FIFTEENTH VERSE OF THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF THE
BOOK OF JUDGES;
WHEREIN OCCASION WAS JUSTLY TAKEN FOR THE PUBLICATION OP
SOME REASONS, WHICH HIS SACRED MAJESTY HAD BEEN PLEASED
TO GIVE, OF THOSE DIRECTIONS FOR PREACHERS,
WHICH HE HAD FORMERLY SENT FORTH.
PREACHED AT THE CROSS, THE 15th OF SEPTEMBER, 1622,
By JOHN DONNE,
DOCTOR OF DIVINITY, AND DEAN OF ST. Paul'sj LONDON;
AND NOW BY COMMANDMENT or HIS MAJESTY PUBLISHED AS IT WAS THEN PREACHED.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
GEORGE, MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM,
HIGH ADMIRAL OF ENGLAND, &C.
When I would speak to the King, by your Lordship's means, I do: now, when I would speak to the Kingdom, I would do that by your Lordship's means too: and therefore I am bold to transfer this Sermon to the world, through your Lordship's hands, and under your name. For the first part of the sermon, the explication of the text, my profession and my conscience is warrant enough that I have spoken as the Holy Ghost intended. For the second part, the application of the text, it will be warrant enough, that I have spoken as his Majesty intended, that your Lordship admits it to issue in your name. It is because kings favour the church, that the prophet says they are her foster-fathers; and then, those persons, who have also interest in the favour of kings, are her foster-brothers: and such use to love well. By that title, (as by many other also) your Lordship loves the church; as you are her foster-brother; loved of him who loves her. And by that title you love all them in the church, who endeavour to advance both the unity of our church in itself, and the unity of the church, with the godly designs of our religious King. To which service, I shall ever sacrifice all the labours of
Your Lordship's humblest and thankfulest Servant
in Christ Jesus,
Preached At St. Paul's Cross, September 14, 1622.
Judges V. 20.
De coelo dimicatum est contra eos: Stella; manentes in ordine, et cursu suo, adversus Siseram pugnavernnt.
They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
All the words of God are always sweet in themselves, says David; but sweeter in the mouth, and in the pen of some of the prophets, and some of the apostles, than of others, as they differed in their natural gifts, or in their education: but sweetest of all, where the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to set the word of God to music, and to convey it into a song; and this text is of that kind: part of the song which Deborah and Barak sung after their great victory upon Sisera; Sisera who was Jabin the king of Canaan's general against Israel. God himself made Moses a song', and expressed his reason why; The children of Israel, says God, will forget my law; but this song they will not forget; and whensoever they sing this song, this song shall testify against them, what I have done for them, how they have forsaken me. And to such a purpose hath God left this song of Deborah and Barak in the Scriptures, that all murmurers, and all that stray into a diffidence of God's power, or of his purpose to sustain his own cause, and destroy his own enemies, might run and read, . might read and sing, the wonderful deliverances that God hath given to his people, by weak and unexpected means. This world begun with a song, if the Chaldeo paraphrasts upon Solomon's Song of Songs have taken a true tradition, that as soon as Adam's sin was forgiven him, he expressed (as ho calls it in that song) Sabbatum mum, his Sabbath, his peace of conscience, in a song; of which, we have the entrance in that paraphrase. This world begun so; and so did the next world too, if we count the beginning of that (as it is a good computation to do so) from the coming of Christ Jesus: for that was expressed on earth, in
1 Deut. xxxi. 19.
divers songs; in the blessed Virgin's Magnificat; My soul doth magnify the Lord: in Zachary's Bonedictus; Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; and in Simeon's Nunc Dimittis, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. This world began so, and the other; and when both shall join, and make up one world without end, it shall continue so in heaven, in that song of the Lamb, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints*. And, to tune us, to compose and give us a harmony and concord of affections, in all perturbations and passions, and discords in the passages of this life, if we had no more of the same music in the Scriptures (as we have the song of Moses at the Red Sea, and many Psalms of David to the same purpose), this song of Deborah were enough, abundantly enough, to slumber any storm, to becalm any tempest, to rectify any scruple of God's slackness in the defence of his cause, when in the history and occasion of this song, expressed in the chapter before this, we see, that Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord again, and yet again God came to them: that God himself had sold Israel into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, and yet he repented the bargain, and came to them: that in ticenty years' oppression he came not, and yet he came. That when Sisera came against them, with nine hundred chariots of iron, and all preparations, proportionablo to that, and God called up a woman, a prophetess, a Deborah against him, because Deborah had a zeal to the cause, and consequently an enmity to the enemy, God would effect his purpose by so weak an instrument, by a woman, but by a woman, which had no such interest, • nor zeal to the cause; by Jael: and in Jael's hand, by such an instrument, as with that scarce any man could do it, if it wero to be done again, with a hammer she drives a nail through his temples, and nails him to the ground, as he lay sleeping in her tent: and then the end of all, was the end of all, not one man of his army left alive. 0 my soul, why art thou so sad, why art thou so disquieted within me? Sing unto the Lord an old song, the song of Deborah and Barak, that God by weak means doth mighty works, that all God's creatures fight in his behalf, They fought from heaven, the stars in their order, fought against Sisera.
» Rev. xv. 3.
You shall have but two parts out of these words; and to make these two parts, I consider the text, as the two hemispheres of the world, laid open in a flat, in a plain map. All those parts of the world, which the ancients have used to consider, are in one of those hemispheres; all Europe is in that, and in that is all Asia, and Africk too: so that when we have seen that hemisphere, done with that, we might seem to have seen all, done with all the world; but yet the other hemisphere, that of America, is as big as it; though, but by occasion of new and late discoveries we had had nothing to say of America. So the first part of our text, will be as that first hemisphere; all which the ancient expositors found occasion to note out of these words, will be in that: but by the new discoveries of some humours of men, and rumours of men, we shall have occasion to say somewhat of a second part too. The parts are, first, the literal, the historical sense of the words; and then an emergent, a collateral, an occasional sense of them. The explication of the words, and the application, quid tunc, quid nunc, how the words were spoken then, how they may be applied now, will be our two parts. And, in passing through our first we shall make these steps. First, God can, and sometimes doth effect his purposes by himself; entirely, immediately, extraordinarily, miraculously by himself: but yet, in a second place, we shall see, by this story, that he looks for assistance, for concurrence of second causes, and subordinate means: and that therefore, God in this song of Deborah, hath provided an honourable commemoration of them, who did assist his cause; for the princes have their place, The princes of Issachar were with her*: and then, the governors, the great persons, the great officers of the state, have their place in this honour, that they offered themselves willingly to that service*; and after them, the merchants, for those who are said there, to ride upon white asses, to be well mounted, according to the manner of those nations, are, by Peter Martyr, amongst our expositors, and by Serarius the Jesuit, amongst the others, fitly understood, to be intended of merchants; and in the same verse, the judges are honourably remembered, Those that sit in judgment; and a far unlikelier sort of people, than any of these, in
8 Judges v. 15, 4 Judges v. 9, 10.
VOL. VI. °
the same verse too, Those that walked by the way; idle, and discoursing men, that were not much affected, how business went, so they might talk of them: and lastly, the whole people in general, how poor soever, they have evidence from this record, that they offered themselves* (and what will they deny, that offer themselves) and willingly, to this employment. And then, God having here afforded this honourable mention of them, who did assist him, he lays also a heavy note upon such, who for collateral respects prevaricated, or withdrew themselves from his service: particularly upon Reuben, who was divided by greatness of heart, and upon Dan, who remained in his ships*. And therefore to the encouragement of those who did assist him, in any proportion, though their assistance were no ways competent against so potent an enemy, God fought for himself too, They fought from heaven, the stars in their order fought against Sisera. And these will be the branches, or circumstances of our first part: for the particulars of the second, we shall open them more commodiously for your memory and use, then, when we come to handle them, than now. Now we proceed to those of the first part.
And into those I pass with this protestation, that in all which I shall say this day, being to speak often of God, in that notion, as he is Lord of hosts, and fights his own battles, I am far from giving fire to them that desire war. Peace in this world, is a precious earnest, and a fair and lovely type of the everlasting peace of the world to come: and war in this world, is a shrewd and fearful emblem of the everlasting discord and tumult, and torment of the world to come: and therefore, our blessed God, bless us with this external, and this internal, and make that lead us to an eternal peace. But I speak of this subject, especially to establish and settle them, that suspect God's power, or God's purpose, to succour those, who in foreign parts, groan under heavy pressures in matter of religion, or to restore those, who in foreign parts, are divested of their lawful possessions, and inheritance; and because God hath not done these great works yet, nor yet raised up means in appearance, and in their apprehension, likely to effect it, that therefore God likes not the cause; and therefore they begin to be shaken in their own religion at home,
5 Judges v. 2. 6 Judges v. 16, 17.
since they think that God neglects it abroad. But, beloved, since God made all this world of nothing, cannot he recover any one piece thereof, or restore any one piece, with a little? In the creation, his production of specific forms, and several creatures iu the several days, was much, very much; but not very much, compared with that, which he had done immediately before, when he made heaven and earth of nothing. For, for the particular creatures, God had then prwjacentem materiam, he had stuff before him; enough to cut out creatures of the largest si?e, his elephants of the earth, his whales and leviathans in the sea. In that matter there was semen creaturarum, the seed of all creatures in that stuff. But for the stuff itself, the heaven and earth, God had not semen cceli, any such seed' of heaven as that he could say to it, do thou hatch a heaven; ho had not any such semen terra), as that he could bid that grow up into an earth: there was nothing at all, and all that is, was produced from that; and then who shall doubt of his proceeding, if by a little he will do much? He suffered his greater works to be paralleled, or to be counterfeit by Pharaoh's magicians; but in his least, in the making of lice, he brought them to confess digitum Dei, the finger of God; and that was enough; the arm of God, tho hand of God needs not; where he will work, his finger is enough; it was not that imagination, that dream of the rabbins, that hindered the magicians, who say, that the devil cannot make any creature, less than a barley-corn; as it is with men, they misconceive it to be with the devil too; harder to make a little clock, a little picture, anything in a little, than in a larger form. That was no part of the reason in that case: but since man ordinarily esteems it so, and ordinarily admires great works in little form, why will he not be content to glorify God that way, in a faithful confidence, that he can and will do great works by weak means? Should God have stayed to levy, and arm, and train, and muster, and present men enow to discomfit Sennacherib? He took a nearer way; he slew almost two hundred thousand of them, in one night, by an angel7. Should God have troubled an angel to satisfy Elisha his servant? Only by apparition in the clouds, he brought him to acknowledge, that
1 Isaiah xxxvii. 3C.
there were more with them, than with the enemy, when there was none8. He troubled not so much as a cloud, he employed no creature at all, against the Philistines, when they came up with thirty thousand chariots*; but he breathed a damp, an astonishment into them, he imprinted a divine terror in their hearts, and they fought against one another. God foresaw a diminution of his honour, in the augmentation of Israel's forces, and therefore ho reduced Gideon's thirty-two thousand to three hundred persons10. It was so in persons, God does much with few, and it was so in time, God does much, though late; though God seem a long timo to have forgot his people, yet in due time, that is, in his time, he returns to them again. St. Augustine makes a useful historical note, that that land to which God brought the children of Israel, was their own land before; they were the right heirs to it, lineally descended from him, who was the first possessor of it, after the flood: but they were so long out of possession of it, as that they were never able to set their title on foot; nay they did scarce know their own title, and yet God repossessed them of it, reinvested them in it. It is so for persons, and times in his ways in this world, much with few, much though late, and it is so in his ways to the next world too: for persons, Elias knew of no more but himself, that served the right God aright: God makes him know that there were seven thousand more; seven thousand was much to one, but it was little to all the world: and yet these seven thousand have peopled heaven, and sent up all those colonies thither; all those armies of martyrs, those flocks of lambs, innocent children, those fathers, the fathers of the church, and mothers, holy matrons, and daughters, blessed virgins, and learned and laborious doctors; these seven thousand have filled up the places of the fallen angels, and repeopled that kingdom: and wheresoever we think them most worn out, God at this time hath his remnant, (as the apostle says") and God is able to make up the whole garment of that remnant. So he does much with few, in the ways to heaven; and that he does much though late, in that way too, thou mayest discern in his working upon thyself. How often hast thou suf
fered thy soul to grow clean out of all reparations into ruin, by thine inconsiderate and habitual course of sin, and never repaired it by any good use of hearing the word, or receiving the sacrament in a long time, and when thou hast at any time come to a survey of thy conscience, how hast thou been affected with an inordinate apprehension of God's anger, and his inacccessibleness, his inexorableness towards thee, and sunk even into the jaws of desperation; and yet quia manet semen Dei, because the seed of God hath remained in thee1*, incubat Spiritus, the Holy Ghost hath sat upon that seed, and hatched a new creature in thee, a modest, but yet infallible assurance of the mercy of thy God. Recollect all; in raising of sieges, and discomfiting of armies, in restoring possessions, and reinvesting right heirs, in repairing the ruins of the kingdom of heaven, depopulated in the fall of angels, in re-establishing peace of conscience; in a presumptuous confidence, or over-timorous diffidence in God, God glorifies himself that way, to do much with little.
He does so; but yet he will have something. God is a good husband, a good steward of man's contributions, but contributions he will have: he will have a concurrence, a co-operation of persons. Even in that great work, which we spake of at first, the first creation, which was so absolutely of nothing, yet there was a faciamus, Let us, us, make man; though but one God, yet more Persons in that work. Christ had been able to have done as the devil would have had him do", to have made bread of stones, when he had so great a number to feed in the wilderness; but he does not so; he asks his disciples, Quotpanes habetis**? How many loaves have you? and though they were but five, yet since they were some, he multiplies them, and feeds above five thousand with those five. He would have a remnant of Gideon's army to fight his battles; a remnant of Israel's believers to make up his kingdom; a remnant of thy soul, his seed wrapped up somewhere, to save thy soul; and a remnant of thyself, of thy mind, of thy purse, of thy person, for thy temporal deliverance. God goes low, and accepts small sacrifices; a pigeon, a handful of flour, a few ears of corn; but a sacrifice he will have. The Christian church implies a shrewd distress, when she provides
"1 John iil 4. 1* Mat. iv. 3. 14 Mark vi. 38.
that reason, that clause in her prayer, Quia non est alius, Give peace in our time, 0 Lord, because there is none other that fighteth for us: if the bowels of compassion be eaten out, if the band of the communion of saints be dissolved, we fight for none, none fights for us, at last neither we nor they shall fight for Christ, nor Christ for them nor us, but all become a prey to the general enemy of the name of Christ; for God requires something, somo assistance, some concurrence, some co-operation, though he can fight from heaven, and the stars, in their order, can fight against Sisera.
And therefore, though God give his glory to none, his glory, that is, to do all with nothing, yet he gives them their glory, that do anything for him, or for themselves. And as he hatb laid up a record, for their glory and memorial, who were remarkable for faith (for the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, is a catalogue of them); so in this song of Deborah and Barak, he hath laid up a record for their glory, who expressed their faith in works, and assisted his service. That which is said in general, The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot15, that is applied and promised in particular, by him, who can perform it, by Christ, to that woman, who anointed him that wheresoever his Gospel should be preached in the whole world, there should also this that this woman had done, be told for a memorial of her1*. She assisted at his funeral (as Christ himself interprets her actions, that she did it to bury him) and hath her glory: how shall he glorify them, that advance his glory? She hath her reward in his death; what shall they have, that keep him, and his Gospel alive? Not a verse in Deborah and Barak's song, and yet that is honourable evidence: not a commemoration at the preaching of the Gospel; aud yet that is the honourable testimony in this place, and at these exercises, of such as have contributed to the conveniences of these exercises; but they, shall have a place in the book of life; indelibly in the book of life, if they proceed in that devotion of assisting God's cause, and do not think, that they have done all, or done enough, if they have done something some one time. The moral man hath saith well, and well applied it; A ship is a ship for ever, if you repair it11. So, says he, Honour is
. . » Prov. xiii. 7. 10 Matt. xxvi. 13. "Plutarch.
honour, and so say we, A good conscience is a good conscience for ever, if you repair it: but, says he well, AUquidfamw addendum, neputrescat, Honour will putrefy, and so will a good conscience too, if it be not repaired. Ho that hath dono nothing must begin, and he that hath done something for God's cause, must do more, if he will continuo his name in the book of life; though God leave no one particular action, done for his glory, without glory; as those who assisted his glory here, have a glorious commemoration in this song.
In the fifteenth verse, princes have their place; The princes of Issachar were with Deborah. When the king goes to the field, many, who are in other cases privileged, are by their tenures bound to go. It is a high tenure, to hold by a crown; and when God. of whom, and of whom only they hold, that hold so, goes into the field, it becomes them to go with him. But as God sits in heaven, and yet goes into the field, so they of whom God hath said, Ye are gods, the kings of the earth, may stay at home, and yet go too. They go in their assistance to tho war; they go in their mediation for peace; they go in their example, when from their sweetness, and moderation in their government at home, there flows out an instruction, a persuasion to princes abroad. Kings go many times, and are not thanked, because their ways are not seen: and Christ himself would not always be soen; in the eighth of John, he would not bo seen. When they took up stones to stone him, he withdrew himself invisibly, ho would not be seen: when princes find that open actions exasperate, they do best, if they be not seen. In the sixth of John, Christ would not be seen. When they would have put upon him, that which was not fit for him to take, when they would have made him king, he withdrew himself, and was not seen. When princes are tempted to take territories, or possessions into their hands, to which other princes have just pretences, they do best, if they withdraw themselves from engagements in unnecessary wars, for that, that only was Josiah's ruin". Kings cannot always go in the sight of men, and so they lose their thanks; but they cannot go out of the sight of God, and there they never lose their reward: for the Lord that sees them in secret, shall reward them openly, with peace
10 2 Kings xiii. 29.
in their own states, and honour in their own chronicles, as here, for assisting his cause, he gave the princes of Issachar a room, a strain in Deborah and Barak's song.
And in the ninth verse, the governors, the great officers, have their place, in this praise, My heart is towards the governors of Israel that offered themselves willingly. It is not themselves in person; great officers cannot do so; they are intelligences that move great spheres, but they must not be moved out of them. But their glory here is their willingness. That before they were inquired into, how they carried themselves in their offices, before they were intimidated, or suppled with fines and ransoms, voluntarily they assisted the cause of God. Some in the Roman church write, that the cardinals of that church, are so incorporated into the pope, so much of his body, and so blood of his blood, that in a fever they may not let blood without his leave. Truly, the great persons and governors in any state, are so noblo and near parts of the king, as that they may not bleed out in any subventions and assistances of such causes under-hand, as are not avowed by the king; for, it is not evident that that cause is God's cause; at least not evident that that way is an assistance of God's cause. But a good, and tractable, and ductile disposition, in all courses which shall lawfnlly be declared to be for God's glory, then, not contra, but propter, not against, but besides, not in opposing, but in preventing the king's will, before he urge, before he press, to be willing and forward in such assistances; this gives great persons, governors, and officers, a verse in Barak's and Deborah's song, and Deborah and Barak's song is the Word of God.
The merchants have their place in that verse too. For, (as we said before) those who ride upon tchite asses, which was as honourable a transportation, as coaches are now, are by Peter Martyr amongst ours, and by Serarius the Jesuit amongst others, well understood to be the merchants. The greatness and the dignity of the merchants of the east is sufficiently expressed in those of Babylon, Thy merchants were the great men of the earth1*. And for the merchants of the west, we know that in divers foreign parts, their nobility is in their merchants, their merchants
10 Rev. xviii. 23.
are their gentlemen. And certainly, no place of the world, for commodities and situation, is better disposed than this kingdom, to make merchants great. You cannot show your greatness more, than in serving God with part of it; you did serve before you were free; but here you do both at once, for his service is perfect freedom. I am not here to-day, to beg a benevolence for any particular cause on foot now: there is none; but my errand in this first part is, first to remove jealousies and suspicions of God's neglecting his business, because he does it not at our appointment, and then to promove and advance a disposition, to assist his cause and his glory, in all ways, which shall be declared to conduce thereunto, whether in his body, by relieving the poor, or in his house by repairing these walls, or in his honour in employments more public: and to assure you that you cannot have a better debtor, a better paymaster than Christ Jesus: for all your entails, and all your perpetuities do not so nail, so hoop in, so rivet an estate in your posterity, as to make the Son of God your son too, and to give Christ Jesus a child's part, with the rest of your children. It is noted (perchance but out of levity) that your children do not keep that which you get: it is but a calumny, or but a fascination of ill wishers. We have many happy instances to the contrary, many noble families derived from you; one, enough to ennoble a world; Queen Elizabeth was the great grandchild of a Lord Mayor of London". Our blessed God bless all your estates, and bless your posterity in a blessed enjoying thereof; but truly it is a good way to that, amongst all your purchases, to purchase a place in Barak and Deborah's song, a testimony of the Holy Ghost, that you were forward in all due times in the assistance of God's cause.
That testimony, in this service in our text, have the judges of the land, in the same verse too, Ye that sit in judgment. Certainly, men exercised in judgment, are likeliest to think of the last judgment. Men accustomed to give judgment, likeliest to think of the judgment they are to receive. And at that last
n Ann Boleyn's great grandfather, Sir Geoffry Boleyn, had been Lord Mayor of London. (See Burnet, vol. i. p. 68.) So that Queen Elizabeth was the great great grandchild of a Lord Mayor. But the expression great grandchild is used generally for descendants beyond the second generation.—Ed.
judgment the malediction of the left hand falls upon them that have not harboured Christ, not fed him, not clothed him. And when Christ comes to want those things in that degree, that his kingdom, his Gospel, himself cannot subsist, where it did, without such a sustentation, an omission in such an assistance, is much more heavy. All judgments end in this, Suum cuique, To give every one his own. Give God his own, and he hath enough; givo him his own, in his own place, and his cause will be preferred before any civil or natural obligation. But God requires not that: pay every other man first, Owe nothing to any man; pay your children, apportion them convenient portions. Pay your estimation, your reputation, live in that good fashion which your rank and calling calls for: when all this is done, of your superfluities begin to pay God, and even for that you shall have your room in Deborah and Barak's song, for assistants, and coadjutors to him.
For a far unlikelier sort of people, than any of these, have that in the same verse also, Ambulantes super viem, They that walk up and down idle, discoursing men, men of no calling, of no profession, of no sense of other men's miseries, and yet they assist this cause. Men that suck the sweet of the earth, and the sweat of other men: men that pay the state nothing in doing the offices of mutual society, and embracing particular vocations; men that make themselves but pipes to receive and convey, and vent rumours, but sponges to suck in, and pour out foul water; men that do not spend time, but wear time, they trade not, they plough not, they preach not, they plead not, but walk, and walk upon the way, till they have walked out their six months for the renewing of bands, even these had some remorse in God's causo, even these got into Deborah and Barak's song for assisting there.
And less; that is, poorer than these: for in the second verse, the people are as forward as the governors, in the ninth, They offered themselves willingly. They might offer themselves, their persons. It is likely they did; and likely that many of them had nothing to offer but themselves. And when men of that poverty offer, part easily with that which was hardly got, how acceptable to God, that sacrifice is, wo sec in Christ's testimony of that widow, who amongst many great givers gave her mite, that she gave more than all they, because she gave all: which testified not only her liberality to God, but her confidence in God, that though she left nothing, she should not lack: for that right use doth St. Augustine make of that example, Divites largiuntivr securi de divitiis, pauper securus de Domino: A rich man gives, and feels it not, fears no want, because he is sure of a full chest at home; a poor man gives, and feels it as little, because he is sure of a bountiful God in heaven.
God then can work alone; there we set out: yet ho docs require assistance; that way we went: and to those that do assist, he gives glory here; so far we are gone; but yet this remains, that he lays notes of blame, and reproach upon them, whom collateral respects withdrew from this assistance. For there is a kind of reproach and increpation laid upon Reuben in that question, Why abodest thou amongst the sheepfolds? The divisions of Reuben were great thoughts of heart*1. Ambition of precedency in places of employment, greatness of heart, and a lothness to be under the command of any other, and so an incoherence, not concurring in counsels and executions, retard oftentimes even the cause of God. So is there also a reproach and increpation upon Dan, in that question, Why did Dan remain in his ships"? a confidence in their own strength, a sacrificing to their own nets, an attributing of their security to their own wisdom or power, may also retard the cause of God; that stayed Dan behind.
Thus then they have their thanks that do, thus their marks that do not assist in God's cause: though God to encourage them that do, accomplishes his work himself, They fought from heaven, the stars in their order fought against Sisera. They fought, says the text, but does not tell us who; lest men should direct their thanks for that which is past, or their prayers for future benefits, to any other, even in heaven, than to God himself. The stars are named; it could not be feared that men would pray to them, sacrifice to them; angels and saints are not named; men might come to ascribe to them, that which appertained to God only. Now these stars, says the text, fought in their courses, Manentes in ordine,
"Judges v. IP. "Judges v. 17.
They fought not disorderly. It was no enchantment, no sorcery, no disordering of the frame, or the powers, or the influence of these heavenly hodies, in favour of the Israelites; God would not be beholden to the devil, or to witches, for his best friends. It was no disorderly enchantment, nor it was no miracle, that disordered these stars; as in Joshua's time, the sun and moou were disordered in their motions; but as Josephus, who relates this battle more particularly, says, with whom all agree, The natural influence of these heavenly bodies, at this time, had created and gathered such storms and hails, as blowing vehemently in the enemies' face, was the cause of this defeat: for so we might have said, in that deliverance, which God gave us at sea, They fought from heaven, the stars in their order fought against the enemy. Without conjuring, without miracle, from heaven, but yet by natural means, God preserved us. For that is the force of that phrase, and of that manner of expressing it, Manentes in ordine, The stars, containing themselves in their order, fought. And that phrase induces our second part, the accommodation, the occasional application of these words; God will not fight, nor be fought for disorderly; and therefore in illustration, and confirmation of those words of the apostle, Let all things be done decently, and in order, Aquinas, in his commentaries upon that place, cites, and applies this text, as words to the same purpose, and of the same signification. You, says St. Paul, you who are stars in the church, must proceed in your warfare, decently, and in order; for the stars of heaven, when they fight for the Lord, they do their service, manentes in ordine, containing themselves in their order. And so in our order, we are come to our second part. In which, we owe you by promise made at first, an analysis, a distribution of the steps and branches of this part, now when we are come to the handling thereof: and thus we shall proceed: first, the war, which we are to speak of here, is not as before, a worldly war, it is a spiritual war; and then the munition, the provision for this war, is not as before, temporal assistance of princes, officers, judges, merchants, all sorts of people, but it is the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and the preaching thereof. Preaching is God's ordinance, with that ordinance he fights from heaven, and batters down all errors. And thirdly, to maintain
this war, he hath made preachers stars; and vw si non, woe be unto them, if they do not fight, if they do not preach: but yet in the last place, they must fight, as the stars in heaven do, in their order, in that order, and according to those directions, which they, to whom it appertains, shall give them: for that is to fight in order. And in these four branches, we shall determine this second part.
First then we are in contemplation of a spiritual war; now, though there be a beatipacifici, a blessing reserved to peace-makers, to the peace-maker, our Peace-maker, who hath sometimes effected it in some places, and always seriously and chargeably, and honourably endeavoured it in all places, yet there is a spiritual war, in which, maledicti pacifici; cursed be they that go about to make peace, and to make all one, the wars between Christ and Belial. Let no man sever those whom God hath joined, but let no man join those whom God hath severed neither, and God hath severed Christ and Belial: and that was God's action, ponam inimicitias; the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent, we and the devil, should never have fallen out; we agree but too well; but God hath put an enmity between us. God hath put truth and falsehood, idolatry and sincerity so far asunder, and infused such an incompatibility, and imprinted such an implacability between them, as that they cannot flow into one another: and therefore, there, maledicti pacifici, it is an opposition against God, by any colourable modifications, to reconcile opinions diametrically contrary to one another, in fundamental things. Day and night may join and meet. In dihiculis and in crepusculis, the dawning of the day, in the morning, and the shutting in of the day in the evening, make day and night so much one, as sometimes you cannot tell which to call them: but lux et tenebrw, light and darkness, midnight and noon never met, never joined. There are points, which passions of men, and vehemence of disputation, have carried farther asunder than needed: and these indeed have made the greatest noise; because upon these, for the most part, depends the matter of profit; and beati pacifici, blessed were that labour, and that labourer, that could reconcile those things: and of that there might be hope, because it is often but the persons that fight, it is not the thing, the matters are not so different. But then there are matters so different, as that a man may sit at home, and weep, and wish, praise God that he is in the right, and pray to God for them that are in the wrong, but to think that they are indifferent, and all one, maledicti pacifici, he that hath brought such a peace, hath brought a curse upon his own conscience, and laid, not a satisfaction, but a stupefaction upon it. A Turk might perchance say, in scorn of us both, They call you heretics, you call them idolaters; why might not idolaters and heretics agree well enough together? But a true Christian will never make contrarieties in fundamental things indifferent, never mako foundations, and super-edifications, the Word of God, and the traditions of men, all one. Every man is a little world, says the philosopher; every man is a little church too; and in every man there are two sides, two armies: the flesh fights against the spirit. This is but a civil war, nay it is but a rebellion indeed; and yet it can never be absolutely quenched. So every man is also a soldier in that great and general war, between Christ, and Belial, the Word of God, and the will of man. Every man is bound to hearken to a peace, in such things as may admit peace, in differences, where men differ from men; but bound also to shut himself up against all overtures of peace, in such things, as are in their nature irreconcileable, in differences where men differ from God. That war God hath kindled, and that war must be maintained, and maintained by his way; and his way, and his ordinance in this war, is preaching.
If God had not said to Noah, Fac tibi arcam; and when ho had said so, if he had not given him a design, a model, a platform of that ark, we may doubt credibly, whether ever man would have thought of a ship, or of any such way of trade or commerce. Shipping was God's own invention, and therein Lwtentur insulw, as David says, Let the islands rejoice. So also, if Christ had not said to his apostles, Ite prwdicate, Go and preach: and when he had said so, said thus much more, Qui non crediderit dantnabitur, He that believes not your preaching shall be damned: certainly man would never have thought of such a way of establishing a kingdom, as by preaching. No other nation had any such institution, as preaching. In the Roman state, there was a public officer, Conditor precum, who upon great emergent occasions, deprecations of imminent dangers, or gratulations for evident benefits, did mako particular collects answerable to those occasions: and some such occasional panegyrics, and gratulatory orations for temporal benefits, they had in that state. But a fixed and constant courso of containing subjects in their religious and civil duties, by preaching, only God ordained, only - his children enjoyed. Christ when he sent his apostles, did not give them a particular command, Ite orate, Go and pray in the public congregation; all nations were accustomed to that; Christ made no doubt of any man's opposing, or questioning publio prayer; and therefore for that, he only said, Sic orabitis, not, Go, and pray, but, When you pray, pray thus; he instructed them in the form; tho duty was well known to all before. But, for preaching, ho himself was anointed for that, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to pi-each": his unction was his function. He was anointed with that power, and he hath anointed us with part of his own unction: All power is given unto me, says he, in heaven and in earth; and therefore (as he adds there) Go ye, and preach": because I havoall power, for preaching, take ye part of my power, and preach too. For preaching is the power of God unto salvation, and the saver of life unto life. When therefore the apostle says, Quench not the spirit", Nec in te, nec in alio, says Aquinas; Quench it not in yourself, by forbearing to hear the word preached, quench it not in others, by discouraging them that do preach. For so St. Chrysostom, (and not he alone) understood that place, That they quench the spirit, who discountenance preaching, and dishearten preachers. St. Chrysostom took his example from the lamp that burnt by him, when he was preaching; (it seems therefore he did preach in the afternoon) and he says, You may quench this lamp, by putting in water, and you may quench it by taking out the oil. So a man may quench the spirit in himself, if ho smother it, suffocate it, with worldly pleasures, or profits, and he may quench it in others, if he withdraw that favour, or that help, which keeps that man, who hath the spirit of prophecy, the unction of preaching, in a
cheerful discharge of his duty. Preaching then being God's ordinance, to beget faith, to take away preaching, were to disarm God, and to quench the spirit; for by that ordinance, he fights from heaven.
And to maintain that fight, he hath made his ministers stars; as they are called, in the first of the Revelation. And they fight against Sisera, that is, they preach against error. They preach out of necessity; Necessity is laid upon me to preach, says the apostle"; and upon a heavy penalty, if they do not; Vcb mihi si non, Woe be unto me if I do not preach the Gospel. Neither is that spoken there with the case of a future, as the Roman translation hath it, Si non Evangelizavero, If I do not hereafter preach; if I preach not at one time or other; if I preach not when I see how things will go, what kind of preaching will be most acceptable 2 but it is Si non evangelizem, If I preach not now; now, though I had preached yesterday; for so St. Ambrose preached his sermon De sancto latrone, Of the good thief, Hesterno die, Yesterday I told you, &c.: so St. Augustine preached his sermon upon All Saints' Day: and so did St. Bernard his twelfth sermon upon the Psalm, Qui habitat. Now, though I preached but lately before; and now, though I had but late warning to preach now; so St. Basil preached his second sermon upon the Hexameron, The six days' work, when he had but that morning for meditation: and more than so, in his second Sermon de Baptismo; for, it seems he preached that without any premeditation, Prout suggerit Spiritus Sanctus. Now, though I had not time to labour a sermon, and now, though I preach in another man's place; for so St. Augustine preached his sermon upon the ninety-fifth Psalm: where he says, Frater noster Severus, Our brother Severus, should, by promise, have preached here, but since he comes not, I will. Now, that is, whensover God's good people may be edified by my preaching: Vw si non, Woe be unto me, if I do not preach. The dragon drew a third part of the stars from heaven". Antichrist, by his persecutions, and excommunications, silenced many; all that would not magnify him. And many amongst us, have silenced themselves: abundance silences some, and laziness and ignorance some, and some
8* 1 Cor. ix. 16. n Rev. xii. 3,4.
their own indiscretion, and then they lay that upon the magistrate. But God hath placed us in a church, and under a head of the church, where none are silenced, nor discountenanced, if being stars, called to the ministry of the Gospel, and appointed to fight, to preach there, they fight within the discipline and limits of this text, Manentes in online, Containing themselves in order.
In this phrase, as we told you before, out of Aquinas, the same thing is intended, as in that place of St. Paul, Let all things be done decently, and in order. That the Vulgate edition reads, Fiant honeste; and then says St. Ambrose, Honeste fit, quod cum pace fit, That is done honestly, and decently, which is done quietly, and peaceably. Not with a peace, and indifference to contrary opinions to fundamental doctrines, not to shuffle religions together, and make it all one which you choose, but a peace with persons, an abstinence from contumelies, and revilings. It is true that we must hate God's enemies with a perfect hatred, and it is true that St. Chrysostom says, Odium perfectum est, odium consummatissimum, That is not a perfect hatred, that leaves out any of their errors unhated. But yet a perfect hatred is that too, which may consist with perfection, and charity is perfection: a perfect hatred is that which a perfect, that is, a charitable man may bear, which is still to hate errors, not persons. When their insolences provoke us to speak of them, we shall do no good therein, if therein we proceed not decently, and in order. Christ says of his church, Terribilis ut castrorum acies, It is powerful as an army"; but it is, Ut acies ordinata, As an army disciplined, and in order: for without order, an army is but a great riot; and without this decency, this peaceableness, this discretion, this order, zeal is but fury, and such preaching is but to the obduration of ill, not to the edification of good Christians. St. Paul in his absence from the Colossians, rejoices as much in beholding their order", as in their steadfastness in the faith of Christ Jesus: nay, if we consider the words well, as St. Chrysostom hath done, we shall see that it is only their order that he rejoices in: for Non dixit fidem, sed firmamentum fidei, says that father, It was not their faith, but that which established their faith, that was their
» Cant. vi . 3. "Col. ii. 5.
order, that occasioned his joy. For whence there is not an uniform, a comely, an orderly presenting of matters of faith, faith itself grows loose, and loses her estimation; and preaching in the church comes to be as pleading at the bar, and not so well: there the counsel speaks not himself, but him that sent him, here we shall preach not him who sent us, Christ Jesus, but ourselves. Study to be quiet, and to do your own business*0, is the apostle's commandment to every particular man amongst the Thessalonians. It seems some amongst them disobeyed that: and therefore he writes no more to particular persons, but to the whole church, in his other epistle, and with more vehemence, than a small matter would have required: We command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you icithdraw yourself from all that walk inordinate11, as the Vulgate reads that in one place, and inquiete, as they translate the same word, in another, disorderly, unquietly: from all such as preach suspiciously, and jealously; and be the garden never so fair, will make the world believe, there is a snake under every leaf, be the intention never so sincere, will presage, and prognosticate, and predivine sinister and mischievous effects from it. A troubled spirit is a sacrifice to God", but a troublesome spirit is far from it. I am glad that our ministry is called orders; that when we take this calling, we are said to take orders. Yours are called trades, and occupations, and mysteries: law and physio are called sciences, and professions: many others have many other names, ours is orders. When by his majesty's leave, we meet in our convocations, and being met have his further leave, to treat of remedies for any disorders in the church, our constitutions are canons, canons are rules, rules are orders: parliaments determine in laws, judges in decrees, we in orders. And by our service in this mother church, we are canonici, canons, regular, orderly men; not canonistw, men that know orders, but canonici, men that keep them: where we are also called prebendaries, rather a prosbendo, than a prwbenda, rather for giving example of obedience to orders, than for any other respect. In the Roman church the most disorderly men, are their men in orders. I speak not of
the viciousness of their life, I am no judge of that, I know not that: but they are so out of all order, that they are within rule of no temporal law, within jurisdiction of no oivil magistrate, no secular judge. They may kill kings, and yet can be no traitors; they assign their reason, because [they are no subjects. He that kills one of them, shall bo really hanged; and if one of them kill, ho shall be metaphorically banged, he shall be suspended. We enjoy gratefully, and we use modestly the privileges which godly princes, out of their piety, have afforded us, and which their godly successors have given us again by their gracious continuing of them to us; but our profession of itself, naturally (though the very nature of it dispose princes to a gracious disposition to us) exempts us not from the tie of their laws. All men are indeed, we are indeed and in name too, men of orders; and therefore ought to be most ready of all others to obey.
Now, beloved, Ordo semper dicitur ratione principi": Order always presumes a head, it always implies some by whom we are to be ordered, and it implies our conformity to him. Who is that? God certainly, without all question, God. But between God, and man, wo consider a two-fold order. One, as all creatures depend upon God, as upon their beginning, for their very being; and so every creature is wrought upon immediately by God, and whether he discern it or no, does obey God's order, that is, that which God hath ordained, his purpose, his providence is executed upon him, and accomplished in him. But then the other order is, not as man depends' upon God, as upon his beginning, but as he is to be reduced and brought back to God, as to his end: and that is done by means in this world. What is that means I for those things which we have now in consideration, the church. But the body speaks not, the head does. It is the head of the church that declares to us those things whereby we are to be ordered.
This the royal and religious head of these churches within his dominions hath lately had occasion to do. And in doing this, doth he innovate anything, offer to do any new thing? Do we repent that canon, and constitution, in which at his majesty's first coming we declared with so much alacrity, as that it was
the second canon we made, That the king had the samo authority in causes ecclesiastical, that the godly kings of Judah, and the Christian emperors in the primitive church had? Or are we ignorant what those kings of Judah, and those emperors did? We are not, we know them well. Take it where the power of the empire may seem somewhat declined in Charles the Great; we see by those capitularies of his, that remain yet, what orders he gave in such cases; there he says in his entrance to them, Nemo prwsumtuosum dicat; Let no man call this that I do an usurpation, to prescribe orders in these cases, Nam legimus quid Josias fecerit, We have read what Josiah did, and we know that we have the same authority that Josiah had. But, that emperor consulted with his clergy, before he published those orders. It is true, he says he did. But he, from whom we have received these orders, did more than so; his majesty forbore, till a representation of some inconveniences by disorderly preaching, was made to him, by those in the highest place in our clergy, and other grave and reverend prelates of this church; they presented it to him, and thereupon he entered into the remedy. But that emperor did but declare things constituted by other councils before: but yet the giving the life of execution to those constitutions in his dominions, was introductory, and many of the things themselves were so. Amongst them, his seventieth capitulary is appliable to our present case; there he says, Epucopi videant, That the bishops take Care, that all preachers preach to the people the exposition of the Lord's Prayer: and he enjoins them too, Ne quid novum, ne quid non canonicum, That no man preach any new opinion of his own; nay, though it be the opinion of other learned men in other places, yet if it be non canonicum, not declared in the universal church, not declared in that church, in which he hath his station, he may not preach it to the people; and so he proceeds there to catechistical doctrine.
That is not new then, which the kings of Judah did, and which the Christian emperors did. But it is new to us, if the kings of this kingdom have not done it. Have they not done it? How little the kings of this kingdom did in ecclesiastical causes then, when by their connivance that power was devolved" into
"Old edition, " deuold.''—Ed.
a foreign prelate's hand, it is pity to consider, pity to remember, pity to bring into contemplation; and yet truly even then our kings did exercise more of that power, than our adversaries, who oppose it, will confess. But, since the true jurisdiction was vindicated, and re-applied to the crown, in what just height Henry the Eighth, and those who governed his son's minority, Edward the Sixth, exercised that jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes, none that knows their story, knows not. And, because ordinarily, we settle ourselves best in the actions, and precedents of the late queen of blessed and everlasting memory, I may have leave to remember them that know, and to tell them that know not, one act of her power and her wisdom, to this purpose. When some articles concerning the falling away from justifying grace, and other points that beat upon that haunt", had been ventilated, in conventicles, and in pulpits too, and preaching on both sides past, and that some persons of great place and estimation in our church, together with him who was the greatest of all, amongst our clergy, had upon mature deliberation, established a resolution what should be thought and taught, held and preached in those points, and had thereupon sent down that resolution to be published in the university, not vulgarly neither, to the people, but in a sermon, ad clerum only, yet her majesty being informed thereof, declared her displeasure so, as that, scarce any hours before the sermon was to have been, there was a countermand, an inhibition to the preacher for meddling with any of those points. Not that her majesty made herself judge of the doctrines, but that nothing, not formerly declared to be so, ought to be declared to be the tenet, and doctrine of this church, her majesty not being acquainted, nor supplicated to give her gracious allowance for the publication thereof.
His sacred majesty then, is herein upon the steps of the kings of Judah, of the Christian emperors, of the kings of England, of all the kings of England, that embraced the Reformation; of Queen Elizabeth herself; and he is upon his own steps too. For
*5 " That haunt," that subject; a Latinism: "locus" would be the word hero used. We have also in Thucydides (lib. i. c. 97). Tolr jrpo t'/ioC airaaiv cxXnrct
rovro To xapiov. "This part of history has been left untouched by all those before me."—Ed.
it is a seditious calumny to apply this which is done now, to any occasion that rises but now: as though the king had done this now, for satisfaction of any persons at this time, for some years since, when he was pleased to call the heads of houses from the university, and intimate to them the inconveniences that arose from the preaching of such men, as were not at all conversant in the fathers, in the school, nor in the ecclesiastical story, but had shut up themselves in a few later writers; and gave order to those governors for remedy herein. Then he began, then he laid the foundation for that, in which he hath proceeded thus much further now, to reduce preaching nearer to the manner of those primitive times, when God gave so evident, and so remarkable blessings to men's preaching.
Consider more particularly that which he hath done now; his majesty hath accompanied his most gracious letter to the most reverend father in God, my lord's grace of Canterbury, with certain directions how preachers ought to behave themselves in the exercise of that part of their ministry. These being derived from his grace, in due course to his reverend brethren, the other bishops, our worthy diocesan, ever vigilant for the peace and unity of the church, gave a speedy, very speedy intimation thereof, to the clergy of his jurisdiction; so did others, to whom it appertained so to do in theirs. Since that, his majesty, who always taking good works in hand, loves to perfect his own works, hath vouchsafed to give some reasons of this his proceeding; which being signified by him to whom the state and church owes much, the right reverend father in God, the Bishop of Lincoln, lord keeper of the great seal, and after by him also, who began at first, his majesty's pleasure appearing thereby, (as he is too great, and too good a king to seek comers, or disguises, for his actions) that these proceedings should be made public, I was not willing only, but glad to have my part therein, that as, in the fear of God, I have always preached to you the Gospel of Christ Jesus, who is the God of your salvation; so in the testimony of a good conscience, I might now preach to you, the Gospel of the Holy Ghost, who is the God of peace, of unity, and concord.
These directions then, and the reasons of them, by his majesty's particular care, every man in the ministry may see and write out, in the several registers' offices, with his own hand for nothing, and for very little, if he use the hand of another. Perchance you have; at your convenience you may see them. When you do, you shall see that his majesty's general intention therein is, to put a difference between grave and solid, from light and humourous preaching. Origen does so, when upon the Epistle to the Romans, he says, There is a great difference, Inter prwdicare, et docere: A man may teach an auditory, that is, make them know something that they knew not before, and yet not preach; for preaching is to make them know things appertaining to their salvation. But when men do neither, neither teach nor preach, but (as his majesty observes the manner to be) to soar in points too deep, to muster up their own reading, to display their own wit, or ignorance in meddling with civil matters, or (as his majesty adds) in rude and indecent reviling of persons; this is that which hath drawn down his majesty's piercing eye to see it, and his royal care to correct it. He corrects it by Christ's own way, quid ab initio, by considering how it was at first: for, (as himself to right purpose cites Tertullian) Id verum quod primum; That is best, which was first. Ho would therefore have us conversant in antiquity: for, Nazianzen asks that question with some scorn, Quis est qui veritatitprepugnatorem,unius diei spatio, velut elutostatu,am,fingit? Can any man hope to make a good preacher, as soon as a good picture? in three or four days, or with three or four books? His majesty therefore calls us to look, quid primum, what was first in the whole church? And again, quid primum, when wo received the Reformation in this kingdom, by what means, (as his majesty expresseth it) papistry was driven out, and puritanism kept out, and we delivered from the superstition of the papist, and the madness of the anabaptist, as before he expresseth it? And his religious and judicious eye sees clearly, that all that doctrine, which wrought this great cure upon us, in the Reformation, is contained in the two catechisms in the thirty-nine articles, and in the two books of homilies. And to these, as to heads and abundaries, from whence all knowledge necessary to salvation may abundantly be derived, he directs the meditations of preachers.
Are these new ways 1 No way new: for they were our first way in receiving Christianity, and our first way in receiving the Reformation. Take a short view of them all: as it is in the catechisms, as it is in the articles, as it is in the homilies. First you are called back to the practice of catechising: remember what catechising is; it is institutio viva voce. And in the primitive church, when those persons, who coming from the Gentiles to the Christian religion, might have been scandalized with the outward ceremonial, and ritual worship of God in the church, (for ceremonies are stumbling-blocks to them who look upon them without their signification, and without the reason of their institution) to avoid that danger, though they were not admitted to see the sacraments administered, nor the other service of God performed in the church, yet in the church, they received instruction, institution, by word of mouth, in the fundamental articles of the Christian religion, and that was catechising. The Christians had it from the beginning, and the Jews had it too: for their word chanach**, is of that signification, initiare, to enter. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it*1. Train up, says our translation in the text; catechise, say our translators in the margin, according to the natural force of the Hebrew word. And sepher chinnuch, which is liber institutionum, that is, of catechism, is a book well known amongst the Jews, everywhere, where they are now: their institution is their catechism. And if we should tell some men, that Calvin's institutions were a catechism, would they not love catechising the better for that name? And would they not love it the better, if they gave me leave to tell them that, of which I had the experience I An artificer of this city brought his child to me, to admire (as truly there was much reason) the capacity, the memory especially, of the child. It was but a girl, and not above nine years of age, her parents said less, some years less; we could scarce propose any verse of any book, or chapter of the Bible, but that that child would go forward without book. I began to catechise this child; and truly, she understood nothing of the Trinity, nothing of any of those fundamental points which must save us: and the wonder was doubled, how she knew so much, how so little.
The primitive church discerned this necessity of catechising: and therefore they instituted a particular office, a calling in the
M 1[Tl 87 Prov. xxii. 6.
church of catechisers; which office, as we see in St. Cyprian's forty-second epistle, that great man Optatus exercised at Carthage, and Origen at Alexandria. When St. Augustine took tho epistle, and the gospel, and the psalm of the day, for his text to one sermon, did he, think you, much more than paraphrase, than catechise? When Athanasius makes one sermon, and, God knows, a very short one too, contra omnes hwreses, to overthrow all heresies in one sermon; did he, think you, any more than propose fundamental doctrines, which is truly the way to overthrow all heresies? When St. Chrysostom enters into his sermon upon the third chapter to the Galatians, with that preparation, Attendite diligenter, non enim rem vulgarem pollicemur, Now hearken diligently, says he, for it is no ordinary matter that I propose. There he proposes catechistical doctrine of faith and works. Come to later times, when Chrysologus makes six or seven sermons upon the Creed, and not a several sermon upon every several article, but takes the whole Creed for his text, in every sermon, and scarce any of those sermons a quarter of an hour long: will you not allow this manner of preaching to bo catechising? Go as low as can be gone, to the Jesuits; and that great catechiser amongst them, Cauisius, says, Nos hoc mumu suscipimus: We, we Jesuits make catechising our profession. I doubt not but they do recreate themselves sometimes in other matters too, but that they glory in, that they are catechisers. And in that profession, says he, we have St. Basil, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Cyril, in our society; and truly as catechisers, they have; as state friars, as Jesuits, they have not. And in the first capacity they have him, who is more than all; for as he says rightly, Ipse Christus catechista, Christ's own preaching was a catechising. I pray God that Jesuit's conclusion of that epistle of his, be true still; there he says, Sfr nihil aliud, If nothing else, yet this alone should provoke us to a greater diligence in catechising: Improbus labor, et indefessa cura, That our adversaries the Protestants do spend so much time (as he says) day and night in catechising. Now, if it were so then, when he writ, and be not so still amongst us, we have intermitted one of our best advantages: and therefore God hath graciously raised a blessed and a royal instrument, to call us back to that which advantaged us, and so much offended the enemy. That man may sleep with a good conscience, of having discharged bis duty in his ministry, that hath preached in the forenoon, and catechised after. Quaere, says Tertullian, (and he says that with indignation) an idolatriam committal, qui de idolis catechizat f Will any man doubt, says he, whether that man be an idolater, that catechises children and servants in idolatry? Will any man doubt, whether he bo painful in his ministry, that catechises children and servants in tho sincere religion of Christ Jesus? The Roman church hath still made her use of us; of our fortunes, when she governed here, and of our example, since she did not: they did, as they saw us do; and thereupon they came to that order in the council of Trent, That upon Sundays and holidays they should preach in the forenoon, and catechise in the afternoon; till we did both, they did neither. Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom 0/heaven*9, says Christ. Except ye, ye the people be content at first to feed on the milk of the Gospel, and not presently to fall to gnawing of bones, of controversies, and unrevealed mysteries; and except ye, the ministers and preachers of the Gospel, descend and apply yourselves to the capacity of little children, and become as they, and build not your estimation only upon the satisfaction of the expectation of great and curious auditories, you stop theirs, you lose your own way to the kingdom of heaven. Not that we are to shut up, and determine ourselves, in the knowledge of catechistical rudiments, but to be sure to know them first. The apostle puts us upon that progress, Let us learn the principles of the doctrine of Christ, and go on to perfection"' Not leave at them; but yet not leave them out: endeavour to increase in knowledge, but first make sure of the foundation. And that increase of knowledge is royally and fatherly presented to us, in that which is another limb40 of his majesty's directions, the thirty-nine articles.
The foundation of necessary knowledge, is in our catechisms; the super-edification, the extension, in these articles. For they carry tho understanding, and the zeal of the ablest man, high enough and deep enough. In the third article there is an ortho
*8 Matt xviii. 3. 85 Heb. vi. 1.
w Old edition, limne.—Ed.
dox assertion of Christ's descent into hell; who can go deeper? In the seventeenth articlo there is a modest declaration of tho doctrine of predestination; who can go higher? Neither do these articles only build up positive doctrine; if the church had no adversaries, that were enough; but they embrace controversies too, in points that are necessary. As in the twenty-second article of purgatory, of pardons, of images, of invocations: and these not in general only, but against the Romish doctrine of pardons, of images, of invocation. And in the twenty-eighth articlo against transubstantiation, and in such terms as admit no meeting, no reconciliation; but that it is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. And in one word, wo may see tho purpose and scope of these articles, as they were intended against the Roman church, in that title which they had in one edition (in which, though there were some other things that justly gave offence, yet none was given or taken in this). That these articles were conceived and published, to condemn the heresies of the Manichees, of the Arians, of the Nestorians, of the Papists, and others. And therefore in these reasons, which his majesty hath descended to give of his directions, himself is pleased to assign this, That the people might be seasoned in all the heads of the Protestant religion. Not only of the Christian against Jews, Turks, and Infidels, but of the Protestant against the Roman church.
The foundation is in the catechism; the growth and extension in the articles, and then the application of all to particular auditories in the homilies: which, if his majesty had not named, yet had been implied in his recommendation of the articles. For the thirty-fifth article appoints the reading of them: both those which were published in the time of Edward the Sixth, and those which after. In the first book, the very first homilies are, of the sufficiency of Scriptures, and of the absolute necessity of reading them; sufficiently opposed against that which hath been said in that church, both of the impertinency of Scriptures, as not absolutely necessary, and of the insufficiency of those Scriptures, if Scriptures were necessary. And in the second book, the second homily is against idolatry; and so far against all approaches towards it, by having any images in
churches, as that perchance moderate men, would rather think - that homily too severe in that kind, than suspect the homilies of declination towards papistry. Is it the name of homilies that scandalizes them? would they have none? St. Cyril's thirty Paschal sermons, which he preached in so many several Easter-days, at his archbishopric of Alexandria, and his Christmasday's sermons too, were ordinarily exscribed, and rehearsed over again, by the most part of the clergy of those parts: and in their mouths they were but homilies. And Calvin's homilies upon Job (as Beza in his preface before them, calls them) were ordinarily repeated over again in many places of France: and in their mouths they were but homilies. It is but the name, that scandalizes; and yet the name of homilia and concio, a homily and a sermon, is all one. And if some of these were spoken, and not read, and so exhibited in the name of a sermon, they would like them well enough. Certainly his majesty mistook it not, that in our catechisms, in our articles, in our homilies, there is enough for positive, enough for controverted divinity; for that Jesuit, that intended to bring in the whole body of controverted divinity into his book, (whom we named before) desired no other subject, no other occasion to do that, but the catechism of that church; neither need any sober man, that intends to handle controversies, ask more, or go further.
His majesty therefore, who as ho understands his duty to God, so doth he his subjects' duties to him, might justly think, that these so well grounded directions might, (as himself says) be received upon implicit obedience. Yet he vouchsafes to communicate to all, who desire satisfaction, the reasons that moved him. Some of which I have related, and all which, all may, when they will see, and have. Of all which the sum is, his royal and his pastoral care, that by that primitive way of preaching, his subjects might be armed against all kind of adversaries, in fundamental truths. And when he takes knowledge, that some few churchmen, but many of the people, have made sinister constructions of his sincere intentions, as he is grieved at the heart, (to give you his own words) to see every day so many defections from our religion to popery and anabaptism; so without doubt he is grieved with much bitterness, that any should so pervert his meaning, as to think that these directions either restrained the exercise of preaching, or abated the number of sermons, or made a breach to ignorance and superstition, of which three scandals he hath been pleased to tako knowledge. What could any calumniator, any libeller on the other side, have imagined more opposite, more contrary to him, than approaches towards ignorance, or superstition? Let us say for him, can so learned, so abundantly learned a prince be suspected to plot for ignorance? And let us bless God that we hear him say now, that he doth constantly profess himself an open adversary to the superstition of the papist (without any milder modification) and to the madness of the anabaptist: and that the preaching against either of their doctrines is not only approved, but much commended by his royal majesty, if it be done without rude and indecent reviling. If he had affected ignorance in himself, he would never have read so much'; and if he had affected ignorance in us, he would never have written so much, and made us so much the more learned by his books. And if he had had any declination towards superstition, he would not have gone so much farther, than his rank and quality pressed him to do, in declaring his opinion concerning Antichrist, as out of zeal, and zeal with knowledge he hath done. We have him now, (and long, long, Oh eternal God, continue him to us,) we have him now for a father of the church, a foster-father; such a father as Constantine, as Theodosius was; our posterity shall have him for a father, a classic father; such a father as Ambrose, as Austin was. And when his works shall stand in the libraries of our posterity, amongst the fathers, even these papers, these directions, and these reasons shall be pregnant evidences for his constant zeal to God's truth, and in the mean time, as arrows shot in their eyes, that imagine so vain a thing, as a defection in him, to their superstition. Thus far he is from admitting ignorance, and from superstition thus far, which seems to be one of their fears. And for the other two, (which concur in one) that these directions should restrain the exercise of preaching, or abate the number of sermons, his majesty hath declared himself to those reverend fathers, to be so far from giving the least discouragement to solid preaching, or to discreet and religious preachers, or from abating the number of sermons, that he expects at their hands, that this should increase their number, by renewing upon every Sunday in the afternoon, in all parish churches throughout the kingdom, that primitive, and most profitable exposition of the catechism. So that here is no abating of sermons, but a direction to the preacher to preach usefully, and to edification.
And therefore, to end all, you, you whom God hath made stars in this firmament, preachers in this church, deliver yourselves from that imputation, The stars were not pure in his sight"; the preachers were not obedient to him in the voice of his lieutenant. And you, you who are God's holy people, and zealous of his glory, as you know from St. Paul, That stars differ from stars in glory", but all conduce to the benefit of man: so, when you see these stars, preachers, to differ in gifts; yet, since all their ends are to advance your salvation, encourage the catechiser, as well as the curious preacher. Look so far towards your way to heaven, as to the firmament, and consider there, that that star by which we sail, and make great voyages, is none of the stars of the greatest magnitude; but yet it is none of the least neither; but a middle star. Those preachers who must save your souls, are not ignorant, unlearned, extemporal men; but they are not over curious men neither. Your children are you, and your servants are you; and you do not provide for your salvation, if you provide not for them, who are so much yours, as that they are you. No man is saved as a good man, if ho be not saved as a good father, and as a good master too, if God have given him a family. That so, priest and people, the whole congregation, may by their religious obedience, and fighting in this spiritual warfare in their order, minister occasion of joy to that heart, which hath been grieved; in that fulness of joy which David expresseth41, The king shall rejoice in thy strength, 0 Lord, and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice? Thou hast given him his hearts desire, and thou hast not withhoMen the request of his lips: for the king trustcth in the Lord, and by the mercy of the Most High, he shall not be moved. And with that psalm, a psalm of confidence in a good king, and a psalm of thanksgiving for that blessing, I desire that this congregation may be dissolved; for this is all that I intended for the explication, which was our first, and for the application, which was the other part proposed in theso words.
41 Job xxv. 5. ** 1 Cor, xv. 41. ** Psalm xxi.