Sermon CI



Psalm xxxviii. 3.

There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither is there any rest in my bones, because of my sin.

In that which is often reported to you, out of St. Hierome, Titulus clavis, That the title of the psalm, is the key of the psalm, there is this good use, that the Book of Psalms is a mysterious book; and, if we had not a lock, every man would thrust in, and if we had not a key, we could not get in ourselves. Our lock is the analogy of the Christian faith; that we admit no other sense, of any place in any psalm, then may consist with the articles of the Christian faith; for so, no heretic, no schismatic, shall get in by any countenance of any place in the Psalms: and then our key is, that intimation which we receive in the title of the psalm, what duty that psalm is principally directed upon; and so we get into the understanding of the psalm, and profiting by the psalm. Our key in this psalm, given us in the title thereof, is, that it is Psalmus ad Eecordationem, A Psalm of Remembrance; the faculty that is awakened here, is our memory. That plural word nos, which was used by God, in the making of man, when God said Faciamus, Let us, us make man, according to our image, as it intimates a plurality, a concurrence of all the Trinity in our making, so doth it also a plurality in that image of God, which was then imprinted in us; as God, one God created us, so we have a soul, one soul, that represents, and is some image of that one God; as the three persons of the Trinity created us, so we have, in our one soul, a threefold impression of that image, and, as St. Bernard calls it, A Trinity from the Trinity, in those three faculties of the soul, the understanding, the will, and the memory. God calls often upon the first faculty, 0 that this people would but understand; but understand? Inscrutabilia judicia tua; Thy judgments are unsearchable, and thy ways past finding out; and, oh that this people would not go about to understand those unrepealed decrees, and secrets of God. God calls often upon the other faculty, the will too, and complains of the stiff perverseness, and opposition of that. Through all the prophets runs that charge, Noluerunt, and Noluerunt, They would not, they refused me, Noluerunt audire, says God in Esay1; They are rebellious children, that will not hear. Domus Israel noluit, says God to Ezekiel, The house of Israel will not hear thee*; not thee, not the minister; that is no marvel; it is added by God there, Noluit me, They will not hear me. Noluerunt erubescere, says God to Jeremiah3, They will not be ashamed of their former ways, and therefore Noluerunt reverti, They will not return to better ways*: he that is past shame of sin, is past recovery from sin. So Christ continues that practice, and that complaint in the Gospel too; he sends forth his servants, (us) to call them, that were bidden, et noluerunt venire*, and they would not come upon their call; he comes himself, and and would gather them, as a hen her chickens, and they would not'; their fault is not laid in this, that they had no such faculty, as a will, (for then their not coming were not their fault) but that they perverted that will. Of our perverseness in both faculties, understanding, and will, God may complain, but as much of our memory; for, for the rectifying of the will, the understanding must be rectified; and that implies great difficulty: but the memory is so familiar, and so present, and so ready a faculty, as will always answer, if we will but speak to it, and ask it, what God hath done for us, or for others. The art of salvation, is but the art of memory. When God gave his people the law, he proposes nothing to them, but by that way, to their memory; I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt1; remember but that. And when we express God's mercy to us, we attribute but that faculty to God, that he remembers us; Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him"? And when God works so upon us, as that he makes his wonderful works to be had in remembrance', it is as great a mercy, as the very doing of those wonderful works was before. It was a seal

upon a seal, a seal of confirmation, it was a sacrament upon a sacrament, when in instituting the sacrament of his body and his blood, Christ presented it so, Do this in remembrance of me10. Memorare novissima, Remember the last things, and fear will keep thee from sinning; Memorare prwterita, Remember the first things, what God hath done for thee, and love, (love, which, misplaced, hath transported thee upon many sins) love will keep thee from sinning. Plato placed all learning in the memory; we may place all religion in the memory too: all knowledge, that seems new to-day, says Plato, is but a remembering of that, ,which your soul knew before. All instruction, which we can give you to-day, is but the remembering you of the mercies of God, which have been new every morning. Nay, he that hears no sermons, he that reads no Scriptures, hath the Bible without book; he hath a Genesis in his memory; he cannot forget his creation; he hath an Exodus in his memory; he cannot forget that God hath delivered him, from some kind of Egypt, from some oppression; he hath a Leviticus in his memory; he cannot forget that God hath proposed to him some law, some rules to be observed. He hath all in his memory, even to the Revelation; God hath revealed to him, even at midnight alone, what shall be his portion, in the next world; and if he dare but remember that night's communication between God and him, he is well near learned enough. There may be enough in remembering ourselves; but sometimes that is the hardest of all; many times we are farthest off from ourselves; most forgetful of ourselves. It was a narrow enlargement, it was an addition that diminished the sense, when our former translators added that word, themselves; All the world shall remember themselves^; there is no such particularly, as themselves, in that text; but it is only, as our later translators have left it, all the world shall remember, and no more; let them remember what they will, what they can, let them but remember thoroughly, and then, as it follows there, They shall turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship him. Therefore David makes that the key into this psalm; Psalmus ad recordationem, A Psalm for remembrance. Being locked up in a close prison, of multiplied cala

10 Luke xxii. 19. 11 Psalm xxii. 27.

mities, this turns the key, this opens the door, this restores him to liberty, if he can remember. Non est sanitas, There is no soundness, no health in my flesh; dost thou wonder at that? Remember thyself, and thou wilt see, that thy case is worse than so; that there is no rest in thy bones. That is true too; but dost thou wonder at that? Remember thyself, and thou wilt see the cause of all that, the Lord is angry with thee; findest thou that true, and wonderest why the Lord should be angry with thee? Remember thyself well, and thou wilt see, it is because of thy sins, there is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither is there any rest in my bones, because of my sin. So have I let you in, into the whole psalm, by this key, by awaking your memory, that it is a psalm for remembrance: and that that you are to remember, is, that all calamities, that fall upon you, fall not from the malice or power of man, but from the anger of God; and then, that God's anger falls not upon you, from his hate, or his decree, but from your sins, There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither is there any rest in my bones, because of my sin.

Which words we shall first consider, as they are our present object, as they are historically, and literally to be understood of David; and secondly, in their retrospect, as they look back upon the first Adam, and so concern mankind collectively, and so you, and I, and all have our portion in these calamities; and thirdly, we shall consider them in their prospect, in their future relation to the second Adam, in Christ Jesus, in whom also all mankind was collected, and the calamities of all men had their ocean and their confluence, and the cause of them, the anger of God was more declared, and the cause of that anger, that is sin, did more a"bound; for the sins of all the world were his, by imputation, for this psalm, some of our expositors take to be a historical, and personal psalm, determined in David; some, a Catholic, and universal psalm, extended to the whole condition of man, and some a prophetical, and evangelical psalm, directed upon Christ. None of them inconveniently; for we receive help and health, from every one of these acceptations; first, Adam was the patient, and so, his promise, the promise that he received of a Messiah, is our physic; and then David was the patient, and there, his example is our physic; and lastly, Christ Jesus was the patient, and so, his blood is our physic. In Adam we shall find the scriptum est, the medicine is in our books, an assurance of a Messiah there is; in David we shall find the probatum est, that this medicine wrought upon David; and in Christ we find the receipt itself; thus you may take this physic, thus you may apply it to yourselves. In every acceptation, as we consider it in David, in ourselves, in Christ, we shall consider first, that specification of human misery and calamity, expressed here, sickness, and an universal sickness; no soundness in the flesh: and more than that, trouble, and an universal trouble; no peace, no rest, not in the bones. And then in a second branch, we shall see, that those calamities proceed from the anger of God; we cannot discharge them, upon nature, or fortune, or power, or malice of men or times; they are from the anger of God, and they are, as the original text hath it, a facie irw Dei, from the face of the anger of God, from that anger of God that hath a face, that looks upon something in us, and grows not out of a hate in God, or decree of God against us. And then lastly, this that God's anger looks upon is sin; God is not angry till he see sin; nor with me, till it come to be my sin; and though original sin be my sin, and sickness, and death would follow, though there were no more but original sin, yet God comes not to this, Non sanitas, No soundness in my flesh, nor to this, Non pax, No rest in my bones, till I have made sin, my sin, by act, and habit too, by doing it, and using to do it. But then, though it be but peccatum in the singular, (so the text hath it) one sin, yet for that one beloved sin, especially when that my sin comes to have a face, (for so the original phrase is in this place too, a facie, peccati, from the face of my sin) when my sin looks big, and justifies itself, then come these calamities, no soundness in the flesh, no rest in the bones, to their height, because the anger of God which exalts them, is in the exaltation: There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither any rest in my bones, because of my sin.

All these particulars will best arise to us in our second consideration, when we consider, humanitatem, not hominem, our human condition, as we are all kneaded up in Adam, and not

VOL. iV. z

this one person David. But because we are in the consideration of health, and consequently of physic, (for the true and proper use of physic, is to preserve health, and, but by accident to restore it) we embrace that rule, Medicorum theoria experientia est", Practice is a physician's study; and he concludes out of events: For, says he, he that professes himself a physician, without experience, Chronica de future scribit, He undertakes to write a chronicle of things before they are done, which is an irregular, and a perverse way. Therefore, in this spiritual physic of the soul, we will deal upon experience too, and see first, how this wrought upon this particular person, upon David.

David durst not presume, that God could not, or would not be angry. Anger is not always a defect, nor an inordinateness in man; Be angry, and sin not13: anger is not utterly to be rooted out of our ground, and cast away, but transplanted; a gardener does well to grub up thorns in his garden; there they would hinder good herbs from growing; but he does well to plant those thorns in his hedges, there they keep bad neighbours from entering. In many cases, where there is no anger, there is not much zeal. David himself came to a high exaltation in this passion of anger. He was ordinarily so meek, as that that which we translate afflictions, the Vulgate edition translates meekness, and patience in his afflictions. Remember David and all his afflictions14, says our translation; and Memento David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus, say they, Remember David, and all his mildness. How mildly he endured Joab's insultation! Thou lovest, says Joab, thine enemies, and thou hatest thy friendsTM. Bitterly spoken; Come out, and speak comfortably, says Joab, or, / swear by the Lord, there will not tarry a man with thee this nightTM; seditiously spoken; and David obeyed him. How mildly he endured Shimers cursing! He cast stones at him, and at all his servants; he charges him with murder; and, that which is heaviest of all, he calls Absolom's rebellion, a judgment of God; and David accepts it so, and says, The Lord hath bidden him to curse David. And yet this exemplar mild man, David himself, upon a scorn offered to him by Hanun in the abuse of his ambas

1* Paracels. 13 Eph. iv. 2<?. 14 Psalm exxxii. 1.

15 2 Sam. xix. 6. "2 Sam. xvi. 5.

sadors, goes himself in person, into a dangerous war, against the Ammonites17, assisted with thirty-two thousand chariots of their neighbours the Aramites, and there he destroys those great numbers, which are mentioned in that story: and after this defeat, in cold blood, he goes out against them, that had assisted them; he takes the city Kabbah, and the people he cuts with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes; David saw that a mild man can grow angry, and that a fire that is long kindling, burns most vehemently. That which is an adage, and proverb now, was ever true in substance, Ab inimico phlegmatico libera me Domine; From him that is long before he be angry, for he is long before he be reconciled again. God's goodness hath that disposition, to be long-suffering; man's illness and abuse of that, is able to inflame God. So David's sin had inflamed him; and the fire of God's anger produced the calamities of this text upon him: which our expositors ordinarily take to have been historically this, that when David had provoked God, with that sinful confidence in numbering his people", when God's anger was executed in that devouring plague, and David saw the persecuting angel, then d facie irw Domini, from that face, that manifestation of God's anger, he fell into that damp, and dead cold, that howsoever they covered him, they could never get heat in him": and this was the sin, say our expositors, and this was the anger, and this was the manifestation, and this was the disease that David complains of here. And be this enough of the personal acceptation of these words; There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither is there rest in my bones, because of my sin; for in their second acceptation as they are referred to the miserable condition of all mankind by sin, the particulars which we laid down before, will fall into more particular consideration.

In this second part, first we contemplate man, as the receptacle, the ocean of all misery. Fire and air, water and earth, are not the elements of man; inward decay, and outward violence, bodily pain, and sorrow of heart may be rather styled his elements; and though he be destroyed by these, yet he consists of nothing

15 2 Sam. x.; 1 Chron. xix. 18 2 Sam. xxiv. 17. "1 Kings i. I.

but these. As the good qualities of all creatures are not for their own use, (for the sun sees not his own glory, nor the rose smells not her own breath: but all their good is for man) so the ill conditions of the creature, are not directed upon themselves, (the toad poisons not itself, nor does the viper bite itself) but all their ill pours down upon man. As though man could be a microcosm, a world in himself, no other way, except all the misery of the world fell upon him. Adam was able to decipher the nature of every creature in the name thereof, and the Holy Ghost hath deciphered his in his name too; in all those names that the Holy Ghost hath given man, he hath declared him miserable, for, Adam, (by which name God calls him, and Eve too80) signifies but redness, but a blushing: and whether we consider their low materials, as it was but earth, or the redness of that earth, as they stained it with their own blood, and the blood of all their posterity, and as they drew another more precious blood, the blood of the Messias upon it, every way both may be Adam, both may blush. So God called that pair, our first parents, man in that root, Adam: but the first name, by which God called man in general, mankind, is Ish81, Therefore shall a man leave his father, &c. And Ish is but a sonitu, a rugitu: man hath his name from crying, and the occasion of crying, misery, testified in his entrance into the world, for he is born crying; and our very laws presume, that if he be alive, he will cry, and if he be not heard cry, conclude him to be born dead. And where man is called Geber, (as he is often) which is derived from greatness, man is but great so, as that word signifies; it signifies a giant, an oppressor, great in power, and in a delight to do great mischiefs upon others, or great, as he is a great mark, and easily hit by others. But man hath a fourth name too in Scripture, Enosh, and that signifies nothing but misery. When David says, Put them in fear 0 Lord, that the nations may know they are but men"; there is that name Enosh, that they are but miserable things. Adam is blushing, Ish is lamenting, Geber is oppressing, Enosh is all that; but especially that, which is especially notified for the misery in our text, Enosh is homo wger, a man miserable,

in particular, by the misery of sickness, which is our next step, Non sanitas, There is no soundness, no health in me.

God created man in health, but health continued but a few hours, and sickness hath had the dominion six thousand years. But was man impassible before the fall? Had there been no sickness, if there had been no sin? Secundum passiones perfectivas", we acknowledge in the School, man was passible before: every alteration is in a degree a passion, a suffering; and so, in those things which conduced to his well-being, eating, and sleeping, and other such, man was passible: that is, subject to alteration; but, secundum passiones destructivas, to such sufferings, as might frustrate the end for which ho was made, which was immortality, he was not subject, and so, not to sickness. Now he is; and put all the miseries, that man is subject to, together, sickness is more than all. It is the immediate sword of God. Phalaris could invent a bull; and others have invented wheels and racks; but no persecutor could ever invent a sickness or a way to inflict a sickness upon a condemned man: to a galley he can send him, and to the gallows, and command execution that hour; but to a quartane fever, or to a gout, he cannot condemn him. In poverty I lack but other things; in banishment I lack but other men; but in sickness, I lack myself. And, as the greatest misery of war, is, when our own country is made the seat of the war; so is it of affliction, when mine own body is made the subject thereof. How shall I put a value upon God's great blessings of wine, and oil, and milk, and honey, when my taste is gone, or of liberty, when the gout fetters my feet ? the king may release me, and say, Let him go whither he will, but God says, He shall not go till I wilt. God hath wrapped up all misery, in that condemnation, morte morietur, that the sinner shall die twice: but if the second death did not follow, the first death were an ease, and a blessing in many sicknesses. And no sickness can be worse, than that which is intended here, for it is all over, non sanitas, no soundness, no health in any part.

This consideration arises not only from the physician's rule, that the best state of man's body is but a neutrality, neither well nor ill, but nulla sanitas, a state of true and exquisite health, say

83 Aquinas,

they, no man hath. But not only out of this strictness of art, but out of an acknowledgment of Nature, we must say, Sanitas hujus vitw, bene intelligentibus, sanitas non est"; It is but our mistaking, when we call any thing health. But why so ? fames naturalis morbus est; hunger is a sickness; and that is naturally in us all. Medicamentumfamis cibus, et potus sitis, et fatigationis somnus: When I eat, I do but take physic for hunger, and for thirst, when I drink, and so is sleep my physic for weariness. Detrahe medicamentum, et interficient; forbear but these physics, and these diseases, hunger, and thirst, and weariness, will kill thee. And as this sickness is upon us all, and so non sanitas, there is no health, in none of us, so it is upon us all, at all times, and so non sanitas, there is never any soundness in us: for, semper deficimus"; we are born in a consumption, and as little as we are then, we grow less from that time. Vita cursus ad mortem; before we can crawl, we run to meet death; et urgemur omnes pari passu: though some are cast forward to death, by the use, which others have of their ruin, and so throw them, through discontents, into desperate enterprises ; and some are drawn forward to death, by false marks, which they have set up to their own ambitions; and some are spurred forward to death, by sharp diseases contracted by their own intemperance, and licentiousness; and some are whipped forward to death, by the miseries, and penuries of this life, take away all these accidental furtherances to death, this drawing, and driving, and spurring, and whipping, pari passu urgemur omnes, we bring all with us into the world, that which carries us out of the world, a natural, unnatural consuming of that radical virtue, which sustains our life. Non sanitas, there is no health in any, so universal is sickness; nor at any time in any, so universal; and so universal too, as that not in any part of any man, at any time. As the king was but sick in his feet, and yet it killed him": it was but in his feet, yet it flew up into his head, it affected his head; as our former translation observed it in their margin; that the disease did not only grow to a great height in the disease, but to the highest parts of the body: it was at first but in the feet, but it was presently all over. Josiah the king was shot with an arrow at the battle of Megiddo; one book that

"Augustine. s 5 Augustine. *5 2 Chron. xvi. 12.

reports the story,7 says he was carried out of the field alive and died at Jerusalem, and another88, that he was carried out of the field dead. Deadly wounds and deadly sicknesses spread themS3lves all over, so fast, as that the Holy Ghost, in relating it, makes it all one, to tell the beginning, and the end thereof. If a man do but prick a finger, and bind it over that part, so that the spirits, or that which they call the balsamum of the body, cannot descend, by reason of that ligature, to that part, it will gangrene; and, (which is an argument, and an evidence, that mischiefs are more operative, more insinuating, more penetrative, more diligent, than remedies against mischiefs are) when the spirits, and balsamum of the body cannot pass by that ligature to that wound, yet the gangrene will pass from that wound, by that ligature, to the body, to the heart, and destroy. In every part of the body death can find a door, or make a breach ; mortal diseases breed in every part. But when every part at once is diseased, death does not besiege him, but inhabit him. In the day, when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease, because they are few, and those that look out at the windows, be darkened *', when age of God's making, age grown by many years, or age of the devil's making, age grown by many sins, hath spread an universal debility upon me, that all sicknesses are in me, and have lost all their names, as all simples have in triacle*, I am sick of sickness, and not of a fever, or any particular distemper, then is the misery of this text fallen upon me, non sanitas, no health, none at any time, none in any part, non in carne, not in my flesh, not in my whole substance, which is also another circumstance of exaltation in human misery.

Take flesh in the largest extent and signification, that may be, as Moses calls God, The God of the spirits of all flesh30, that is, of

47 2 Chron. xxxv. 24. "2 Kings xxiii. 30. "Eccles. xii. 3.

* Qrjp*aKrj, medicina theriacalis, (in French, theriaque), and hence triacle, (and our form, treacle), a compound medicine, good against bites of wild beasts and serpents. Pliny describes its composition, lib. xx. cap. 24.

"Serpylli duum denariorum pondus: opopanacis et milii {lege mei) tantundem singulorum; anetbi et fceniculi seminis, et anisi, et ammii, et apii, denariorum senum singulis generibus, ervi farina? duodecim Hac theriaca

magnus Antiochus adversus omnia venena usus traditur."

The Theriaca of Nicander treats of the composition of these medicines.—Ed. 80 Numb, xxvii. 16.

the being of all creatures, and take all these creatures to be ours in that donation, Subjicite et dominamini, Subdue und rule all creatures, yet there is no soundness in our flesh, for, all these creatures are corrupted, and become worse than they were, (to us) by the sin of Adam. Bring flesh to a nearer signification, to our own, there was caro juxtam naturam, and there is caro juxta culpam31, That flesh which was natural to man, that which God gave man at first, that had health and soundness in it; but yet not such a degree of soundness, as that it needed no more, than it then had. That had been naturally enough, if that had been preserved to carry that flesh itself to heaven; but even that flesh if it had not sinned, though it had an immortality in itself, yet must have received a glorification in heaven; as well, (though in another measure) as those bodies, which shall be alive at the last day, and shall be but changed, and not dissolved in the dust, must receive a glorification there, besides that preservation from dissolution. Now this caro juxta culpam, sinful flesh, is farther from that glorification; our natural flesh, when it was at best, had something to put on; but our sinful flesh hath also something to put off, before it can receive glory. So then, for flesh in general, the body of creatures, though that flesh be our flesh, because all creatures are ours, in that flesh there is no soundness, because they are become worse; for that flesh, which we call natural, Adam's first flesh, besides that it was never capable of glory in itself, but must have received that, by receiving the light of God's presence, there is none of that flesh remaining now; now universa caro, all flesh is corrupted; and that curse is gone upon it, The glory of Jacob shall be impoverished, and the fatness of his flesh shall be made lean3*. Quia elatum sumpsimus spiritum33, because we have raised our spirits in pride, higher than God would, ecce defluens quotidie portamus lutum, behold God hath walled us with mud walls, and wet mud walls, that waste away faster than God meant at first, they should. And by sins, this flesh, that is but the loam and plaster of thy tabernacle, thy body, all, that, in the entire substance is corrupted. Those gums, and spices, which should embalm thy flesh, when thou art dead, are spent upon that diseased body whilst thou art alive: thou seemest, in the eye of the world, to walk in

31 Gregory. 38 Isaiah iv. 17. 33 Gregory.

silks, and thou dost but walk in cerecloth; thou hast a desire to please some eyes, when thou hast much to do, not to displease every nose; and thou wilt solicit an adulterous entrance into their beds, who, if they should but see thee go into thine own bed, would need no other mortification, nor answer to thy solicitation. Thou pursuest the works of the flesh, and hast none, for thy flesh is but dust held together by plasters; dissolution and putrefaction is gone over thee alive; thou hast over lived thine own death, and art become thine own ghost, and thine own hell; no soundness in all thy flesh; and yet beyond all these, beyond the general miserable condition of man, and the highest of human miseries, sickness, and sickness over all the parts, and so over them all, as that it hath putrefied them all, there is another degree, which follows in our text, and David calls trouble, There is no soundness in my flesh, nor rest in my bones.

That which such a sick man most needs, this sick soul shall not have, rest. The physician goes out, and says, he hath left him to rest, but he hath left no rest to him. The anguish of the disease, nay, the officiousness of visitors, will not let him rest. Such send to see him as would fain hear he were dead, and such weep about his sick-bed, as would not weep at his grave. Mine enemies speak evil of me, (says David) and say, When shall he die, and his name perish3*? And yet these evil-speaking enemies come there to see him. They say, an evil disease cleaveth fast unto him; and that they say is true, but that they say it not out of compassion, for they add, and now that he lieth, let him rise no more. He shall not get to that good trouble, to that holy disquiet of a conscientious consideration, how his state was got; and it shall be a greater trouble than he can overcome, how to dispose it: he shall not only not make a religious restitution, but he shall not make a discreet will. He shall suspect his wife's fidelity, and his children's frugality, and clog them with executors, and them with overseers, and be, or be afraid he shall be overseen in all. And yet a farther trouble than all this, is intended in the other word, which is the last and highest of these vexations, Non in ossibus, No rest in my bones.

St. Basil will needs have us leave the obvious, and the natural

3* Psalm XLi. 5.

signification of this, bones; for, Habet et anima ossa sua, says he, The soul hath bones as well as the body, and there shall be no rest in those bones. Such a signification is appliable to the flesh, as well as the bones; the flesh may signify the lower faculties of the soul, or the weaker works of the higher faculties thereof; there may be a carnality in the understanding; a concupiscence of disputation, and controversy in unnecessary points. Requirit quod sibi respondere nequit", The mind of a curious man delights to examine itself upon interrogatories, which, upon the rack, it cannot answer, and to vex itself with such doubts as it cannot resolve. Sub eo ignara deficit, quodprudenter requirit; We will needs show wit in moving subtle questions, and the more ignorance, in not being able to give ourselves satisfaction. But not only seditions, and contentions, but heresies too", are called works of the flesh; howsoever men think themselves witty, and subtile, and spiritual in these wranglings, yet they have carnal respects, they are of the flesh, and there is no soundness in them. But beyond this carnality in matters of opinions, in points of a higher, this diseased man in our text, comes to trouble in his bones, St. Basil's spiritual bones: he shall suspect his religion, suspect his repentance, suspect the comforts of the minister, suspect the efficacy of the sacrament, suspect the mercy of God himself. Every fit of an ague is an earthquake that swallows him; every fainting of the knee is a step to hell; every lying down at night is a funeral; and every quaking is a rising to judgment; every bell that distinguishes times, is a passingbell, and every passing-bell, his own; every singing in the ear, is an angel's trumpet; at every dimness of the candle, he hears that voice, Fool, this night they will fetch away thy soul; and in every judgment denounced against sin, he hears an Ito maledicte upon himself, Go thou accursed into hell fire. And whereas such meditations as these, might sustain a rectified soul, as bones in this sinner, despair shall have sucked out all the marrow of these bones, and so there shall be no soundness in his flesh, no rest in his bones. And so have you have this sick sinner dissected and anatomized; he hath not only his portion in misery that lies upon all mankind, which was our first branch, but in the heaviest

of all, sickness, which was a second, and then a third sickness spread over all, no soundness, nor rest in that sickness, which was a fourth consideration, no soundness in his flesh, in his weaker faculties and operations, no rest in his bones, no acquiescence in his best actions, with which we end this first part. In which, we consider the sinful man, in himself, and so all is desperate; but in the second, where we find him upon the consideration of the cause of all these distresses, that it is from the contemplation of the anger of God, There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, there we shall find a way offered to him, that may, if he pursue it aright, bring him to a reparation, to a redintegration; for, if he look upon the anger of God in a right line, it will show him, that as that anger is the cause of his calamities, so his sins are the cause of that anger.

May we not piously apply that proverbial speech, Corruptio optimi pessima, (that when good things take in another nature than their own, they take it in the highest exaltation) thus, that when God, who is all mercy, grows angry, he becomes all anger? The Holy Ghost himself seems to have given us leave to make that application, when expressing God in the height of his anger, he calls God then, in that anger, a dove; we read it the fierceness of an oppressor31, but St. Hierome reads it, the anger of a dove. And truly there is no other word than that, in that tongue, (the word is Jonah,) that signifies a dove, and that word does signify a dove, in many other places of Scripture; and that prophet which made his flight from God, when he sent him to Nineveh, is called by that name, Jonah, a dove; and the fathers of the Latin church have read, and interpreted it so, of a dove. Some of them take Nebuchadnezzar to be this angry dove, because he left his own dove-cote to feed abroad, to prey upon them; and some, because the dove was the arms and ensign of the Assyrians from the time of Semiramis; but the rest take this dove to be God himself, and that the sins of men had put a gall into a dove, anger into God. And then, to what height that anger grows, is expressed in the prophet Hosea38; I will meet them, says God, (when he is pleased, he says, he will wait for them) as a bear, (no longer a dove) as a bear robbed of her whelps, (sensible of his

37 Jer. xxv. ult. 38 Hosea xiii. 8.

injuries) and / will rent the caul of their hearts, (shiver them in pieces with a dispersion, with a discerption) and I will devour them as with a lion, (nothing shall re-unite them again, but) / will break them as a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again3'. Honour not the malice of thine enemy so much, as to say, thy misery comes from him: dishonour not the complexion of the times so much, as to say, thy misery comes from them; justify not the deity of fortune so much, as to say, thy misery comes from her; find God pleased with thee, and thou hast a hook in the nostrils of every Leviathan40, power cannot shake thee, thou hast a wood to cast into the waters of Marah", the bitterness of the times cannot hurt thee, thou hast a rock to dwell upon, and the dream of a fortune's wheel, cannot overturn thee. But if the Lord be angry, he needs no trumpets to call in armies, if he do but sibilare muscam, hiss and whisper for the fly, and the bee, there is nothing so little in his hand, as cannot discomfort thee, discomfit thee, dissolve and pour out, attenuate and annihilate the very marrow of thy soul. Everything is his, and therefore everything is he; thy sickness is his sword, and therefore it is he that strikes thee with it, still turn upon that consideration, the Lord is angry; but then look that anger in the face, take it in the right line, as the original phrase in this text directs, a facie irw Dei, There is no soundness in my flesh, from the face of thine anger.

As there is a manifestation of God's anger in this phrase, The face of God^s anger, so there is a multiplication, a plurality too, for it is indeed, mippenei, a faciebus, the faces, the divers manifestations of God's anger; for the face of God, (and so of everything proceeding from God) is that, by which God, or that work of God is manifested to us. And therefore since God manifests his anger so many useful, and medicinal ways unto thee, take heed of looking upon his anger, where his anger hath no face, no manifestation; take heed of imagining an anger in God, amounting to thy damnation, in any such decree, as that God should be angry with thee in that height, without looking upon thy sins, or without any declaration why he is angry. He opens

his face to thee in his law, he manifests himself to thee in the conditions, by which he hath made thy salvation possible, and till he see thee, in the transgression of them, he is not angry. And when be is angry so, be glad he shows it in his face, in his outward declarations; that fire smothered, would consume all God's anger reserved till the last day, will last as long as that day, as that undeterminable day, for ever. When should we go about to quench that fire, that never bursts out, or to seek reconciliation, before a hostility be declared? Therefore St. Bernard begs this anger at God's hands, Irascaris mihi Domine, O Lord, be angry with me; and therefore David thanks God, in the behalf of that people, for his anger, Thou forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions**. The fires of hell, in their place, in hell, have no light; but any degrees of the fires of hell, that can break out in this life, have, in God's own purpose, so much light, as that through the darkest smother of obduration, or desperation, God would have us see him. Therefore St. Hierome makes this milder use of this phrase, that God shows faciam trw, but non iram, that his face of anger is rather a telling us, that he will be angry, than that he is angry yet; the corrections that God inflicts to reduce us, if we profit not by them, were anger ab initio, we shall suffer for the sins, from which those corrections should have reduced us, and for that particular sin, of not being reduced by them; but if they have their effect, there was not a drop of gall, there was not a dram of anger in the anger. Now that that God intends in them is, that as we apprehend our calamities to proceed from God's anger, and to discharge destiny, and fortune, so we apprehend that anger to proceed from our own sins, and so discharge God himself; There is no rest in my bones, because of my sin.

As we are the sons of dust, (worse, the sons of death) we must say to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother*3, so we may say to the anger of God, It is our grandfather, that begot these miseries, but we must say too, to our sin, Thou art my great-grandfather, that begot God's anger upon us: and here is our woeful pedigree, howsoever we be otherwise descended. It is true there is no soundness, there is misery

4* Psalm xcix. 8. 43 Job xvii. 14.

enough upon thee; and true, that God is angry, vehemently angry; but, Expone justitiam irw Dei", Deal clearly with the world, and clear God, and confess it is because of thy sin. When Cain says, My sin is greater than can be forgiven", that word gnavon is ambiguous, it may be sin, it may be punishment, and we know not whether this impatience grew out of the horror of his sin, or the weight of his punishment. But here we are directed by a word that hath no ambiguity; kata signifies sin, and nothing but sin; here the Holy Ghost hath fixed thee upon a word, that will not suffer thee to consider the punishment, nor the cause of the punishment, the anger, but the cause of that anger, and all the sin. We see that the bodily sickness, and the death of many is attributed to one kind of sin, to the negligent receiving of the sacrament, For this cause many are weak and sick amongst you, and many sleep**. Imaginem judicii ostenderat", God hath given a representation of the day of judgment in that proceeding of his, for then we shall see many men condemned for sins, for which we never suspected them: so we think men die of fevers, whom we met lately at the sacrament, and God hath cut them off perhaps for that sin of their unworthy receiving the sacrament. My miseries are the fruits of this tree; God's anger is the arms that spreads it; but the root is sin. My sin, which is another consideration.

We say of a possession, Transit cum onere, It passes to me, with the burden that my father laid upon it, his debt is my debt: so does it, with the sin too; his sin, by which he got that possession, is my sin, if I know it: and, perchance, the punishment mine, though I know not the sin. Adam's sin, six thousand years ago, is my sin; and their sin, that shall sin by occasion of any wanton writings of mine, will be my sin, though they come after. Woeful riddle; sin is but a privation, and yet there is not such another positive possession: sin is nothing, and yet there is nothing else; I sinned in the first man that ever was; and, but for the mercy of God, in something that I have said or done, might sin, that is, occasion sin, in the last man that ever shall be. But that sin that is called my sin in this text, is that that

is become mine by an habitual practice, or mine by a wilful relapse into it. And so my sin may kindle tbe anger of God, though it be but a single sin, one sin, as it is delivered here in the singular, and no farther, because of my sin.

Every man may find in himself, peccatum complicatum, sin wrapped up in sin, a body of sin. We bring elements of our own; earth of covetousness, water of unsteadfastness, air of putrefaction, and fire of licentiousness; and of these elements we make a body of sin; as the apostle says of the natural body, There are many members, but one body4', so we may say of our sin, it hath a wanton eye, a griping hand, an itching ear, an insatiable heart, and feet swift to shed blood, and yet it is but one body of sin; it is all, and yet it is but one. But let it be simply, and singularly but one, (which is a miracle in sin, truly I think an impossibility in sin, to be single, to be but one) (for that unclean spirit, which possessed the man that dwelt amongst the tombs, carried it at first, as though he had seen a single devil, and he alone in that man, I, I adjure thee, says he to Christ, and torment not me, not me, so far in the singular, but when Christ puts him to it, he confesses, we are many, and my name is legion": so though thy sin, slightly examined, may seem but one, yet if thou dare press it, it will confess a plurality, a legion) if it be but one, yet if that one be made thine, by an habitual love to it, as the plague needs not the help of a consumption to kill thee, so neither does adultery need the help of murder to damn thee. For this making of any one sin thine, thine by an habitual love thereof, will grow up to the last and heaviest weight, intimated in that phrase, which is also in this clause of the text, In facie peccati; That this sin will have a face, that is, a confidence, and a divesting of all bashfulness or disguises.

There cannot be a heavier punishment laid upon any sin, than Christ lays upon scandal: It were better for Mm a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he drowned in the sea'0. If something worse than such a death belong to him, surely it is eternal death. And this, this eternal death, is interminated by Christ, in cases

** 1 Cor. xii. 20. 49 Mark v. 50 Luke xvii. 2.

where there is not always sin, in the action which we do, but if we do any action, so, as that it may scandalize another, or occasion sin in him, we are bound to study, and favour the weakness of other men, and not to do such things, as they may think sins. We must prevent the misinterpretation, yea the malice of other men; for though the fire be theirs, the fuel, or at least, the bellows, is ours; the uncharitableness, the malice is in them, but the awaking, and the stirring thereof, is in our carelessness, who were not watchful upon our actions. But when an action comes to be sin indeed, and not only occasionally sin, because it scandalizes another, but really sin in itself, then even the poet51 tells you, Maxima debetur pueris reverentia, si quid turpe paras, Take heed of doing any sin, in the sight of thy child: for, if we break through that wall, we shall come quickly to that, Faciam sacerdotis non erubuerunt", They will not be afraid, nor ashamed in the presence of the priest, they will look him in the face, nay receive at his hands, and yet sin their sin, that minute, in their hearts; and to that also, Faciam seniorum non erubuerunt, They will not be afraid, nor ashamed of the office of the magistrate; but sin for nothing, or sin at a price, bear out, or buy out all their sins. They sin as Sodom, and hide it not, is the highest charge that the Holy Ghost could lay upon the sinner. When they come to say, Our lips are ours, who is lord over us'3? They will say so of their hands, and of all their bodies, They are ours, who shall forbid us, to do what we will with them? And what lack these open sinners of the last judgment, and the condemnation thereof? That judgment is, that men shall stand naked in the sight of one another, and all their sins shall be made manifest to all; and this open sinner does so, and chooses to do so, even in this world. When David prays so devoutly, to be cleansed from his secret sins'*; and St. Paul glories so devoutly, in having renounced the hidden things of dishonesty'1', how great a burden is there, in these open and avowed sins; sins that have put on so brazen a face, as to out-face the minister, and out-face the magistrate, and call the very power, and justice of God in question,

51 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 47. 5* Lam. iv. 16. 53 Psalm xii. 4.

54 Psalm xix. 12. 55 2 Cor. iv. 2.

whether he do hate or can punish a sin? for they do what they can to remove that opinion out of men's hearts. Truly, as an hypocrite at church, may do more good, than a devout man in his chamber at home, because the hypocrite's outward piety, though counterfeit, imprints a good example upon them, who do not know it to be counterfeit, and we cannot know, that he that is absent from church now, is now at his prayers in his chamber: so a lesser sin done with an open avowment, and confidence, may more prejudice the kingdom of God, than greater in secret. And this is that which may be principally intended, or at least, usefully raised out of this phrase of the Holy Ghost in David, a facie peccati, that the habitual sinner comes to sin, not only with a negligence, who know it, but with a glorious desire, that all the world might know it; and with a shame, that any such judge as feared not God nor regarded man'', should be more fearless of God, or regardless of man, than he.

But now, beloved, when we have laid man thus low, miserable, because man, and then diseased, and that all over, without any soundness, even in his whole substance, in his flesh, and in the height of this disease, restless too, and restless even in his bones, diffident in his strongest assurances; and when we have laid him lower than that, made him see the cause of all this misery to be the anger of God, the inevitable anger of an incensed God, and such an anger of God as hath a face, a manifestation, a reality, and not that God was angry with him in a decree, before he showed man his face in the law, and saw man's face in the transgression of the law; and laid him lower than that too, made him see the cause of this anger, as it is sin, so to be his sin, sin made his by an habitual love thereof, which, though it may be but one, yet is become an out-facing sin, a sin in contempt and confidence, when we have laid man, laid you, thus low, in your own eyes, we return to the canon and rule of that physician whom they call evangelistam medicinw, the evangelist of physic57, Sit intentio prima in omni medicina comfortare, whether the physician purge, or lance, or sear, his principal care, and his end, is to comfort and strengthen: so though we have insisted upon human misery, and the cause of that, the anger of

'6 Luke xviii. 2. *7 Mesues.

VOL. IV. 2 A

God, and the cause of that anger, sin in that excess, yet we shall dismiss you with that consolation, which was first in our intention, and shall be our conclusion, that as this text hath a personal aspect upon David alone, and therefore we gave you his case, and then a general retrospect upon Adam, and all in him, and therefore we gave you your own case, so it hath also an evangelical prospect upon Christ, and therefore, for your comfort, and as a bundle of myrrh in your bosoms, we shall give you his case too, to whom these words belong, as well as to Adam, or David, or you; There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger, neither is there any rest in my bones, because of my sin.

If you will see the miseries of man, in their exaltation, and in their accumulation too, in their weight, and in their number, take them in the ecce homo, when Christ was presented from Pilate, scourged and scorned. Ecce homo, behold man, in that man, in the prophets; They have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed, says David58, slandered his actions, and conversation; He hath no form, nor comeliness, nor beauty, that we should desire to see him, says Esay*9; despised, rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs. And ecce homo, behold man, in that man, in the whole history of the Gospel. That which is said of us, of sinful men, is true in him, the salvation of men, from the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores60. That question will never receive answer, which Christ asks, Is there any sorrow like unto my sorrotc"? Never was, never will there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow, because there can never be such a person, to suffer sorrow. Affliction was upon him, and upon all him; for, His soul was heavy unto death; even upon his bones; fire was sent into his bones, and it prevailed against him. And the highest cause of this affliction was upon him, the anger of God; The Lord had afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger. The height of God's anger is dereliction; and he was brought to his Ut quid dereliquisti, My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me? We did esteem him stricken of the Lord, says Esay; and we were not deceived in it; Percutiam pastorem, says Christ himself

58 Psalm i-xxxix. 51. 59 Isaiah Liii. 2.

60 Isaiah i. 6. 11 Lam. i. 12.

of himself, out of the prophet, / will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scatteredTM; and then, the cause of this anger, sin, was so upon him, as that, though in one consideration, the rain was upon all the world, and only this fleece of Gideon dry, all the world surrounded with sin, and only he innocent, yet in another line we find all the world dry, and only Gideon's fleece wet63, all the world innocent, and only Christ guilty. But, as there is a vere tulit, and a vere portavit, surely he bore those griefs, and surely he carried those sorrows, so they were vere nostri, surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and therefore it must necessarily follow, (as it does follow there) with his stripes ice were healed; for God will not exact a debt twice; of Christ for me, and of me too. And therefore, Quare moriemini domus Israel"? Since I have made ye of the household of Israel, why will ye die? Since ye are recovered of your former sicknesses, why will ye die of a new disease, of a suspicion, or jealousy, that this recovery, this redemption in Christ Jesus belongs not to you I Will ye say, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands, Dei viventis, of the living God*1? 'Tisso; a fearful thing; but if Deus mortuus, the God of life be but dead for me, be fallen into my hands, applied to me, made mine, it is no fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Non satis est medicum fecisse suum officium, nisi wgrotus, et adstantes sua*6; It is not enough for Christ Jesus to have prepared you the balm of his blood, not enough for us, to minister it to you, except every one of you help himself, in a faithful application, and help one another, in a holy and exemplar conversation. Quam exacte, et accurate usus dictionibus61? How exact and curious was the Holy Ghost, in David, in choice of words? He does not say, Non sanitas mihi, sed non in carne; Not that there is no health for me, but none in me; Non in carne mea, Not in my flesh, but in carne ejus, in the flesh and blood of my Saviour, there is health, and salvation. In ossibus ejus, In his bones, in the strength of his merits, there is rest, and peace, a facie peccati, what face

62 Matt. xxvi. 31 ; Zech. xiii. 1. 63 Judges vi.

64 Ezek. xviii. 31. 65 Heb. x. 31. 66 Hippocrates. er Chrysostom,

soever my sin have had, in my former presumptions, or what face soever they put on now, in my declination to desperation. The Lord waiteth that he may have mercy upon mesa; he stays your leisure; and therefore will he be exalted, (says that prophet there) that he may have mercy upon you; he hath chosen that for his way of honour, of exaltation, that he may have mercy upon you. And then, Quare moriemini? If God be so respective towards you, as to wait for you, if God be so ambitious of you, as to affect a kingdom in you, why will ye die? Since he will not let ye die of covetousness, of adultery, of ambition, of profaneness in yourselves, why will ye die of jealousy, of suspicion in him? It was a merciful voice of David", Is there yet any man left of the house of Saul, that I may show mercy for Jonathan's sake? It is the voice of God to you all, Is there yet any man of the house of Adam, that I may show mercy for Christ Jesus'' sake? That takes Christ Jesus in his arms, and interposes him, between his sins, and mine indignation, and non morietur, that man shall not die. We have done; Est ars sanandorum morborum medicina, non rhetorical; our physic is not eloquence, not directed upon your affections, but upon your consciences; to that we present this for physic, the whole need not a physician, but the sick do. If you mistake yourselves to be well, or think you have physic enough at home, knowledge enough, divinity enough, to save you without us, you need no physician; that is, a physician can do you no good; but then is this God's physic, and God's physician welcome unto you, if you be come to a remorseful sense, and to an humble, and penitent acknowledgment, that you are sick, and that there is no soundness in your flesh, because of his anger, nor any rest in your bones, because of your sins, till you turn upon him, in whom this anger is appeased, and in whom these sins are forgiven, the Son of his love, the Son of his right hand, at his right hand Christ Jesus. And to this glorious Son of God, &c.