PREACHED AT THE SPITAL, UPON EASTER MONDAY, 1622.
2 Corinthians iv. 6.
For God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.'
Thb first book of the Bible, begins with the beginning; In principio, says Moses, in Genesis; In the beginning God created heaven and earth: and can there be anything prius principio, before the beginning? Before this beginning, there is. The last book of the Bible, (in the order as they were written) the Gospel of St. John, begins with the same word too; In principio, says St. John; In the beginning was the Word: and here, novissimum primum, the last beginning is the first; St. John's beginning, before Moses; Moses speaking but of the creature, and St. John of the Creator; and of the Creator, before he took that name, before he came to the act of creation; as, the Word teas with God, and was God from all eternity. Our present text is an epitome of both those beginnings: of the first beginning, the creation, when God commanded light to shine out of darkness: and of the other beginning, which is indeed the first, of him, in whose face we shall have the knowledge of the glory of God, Christ Jesus.
The first book of the Bible, is a revelation, and so is the last, in the order as they stand, a revelation too. To declare a production of all things out of nothing, (which is Moses' work;) that when I do not know, and care not whether I know or no, what so contemptible a creature as an ant is made of, but yet would fain know what so vast, and so considerable a thing as an elephant is made of; I care not for a mustard-seed, but I would fain know what a cedar is made of: I can leave out the consideration of the whole earth, but would be glad to know what the heavens, and the glorious bodies in the heavens, sun, moon and stars are made of; I shall have but one answer from Moses for all, that all my elephants, and cedars, and the heavens that I consider, were made of nothing; that a cloud is as nobly born, as the sun in the heavens; and a beggar, as nobly as the king upon earth; if we consider the great grand-father of them all, to be nothing: to produce light of darkness thus, is a revelation, a manifestation of that, which, till then, was not: this Moses does. St. John's is a revelation too: a manifestation of that state, which shall be, and bo for ever, after all those which were produced of nothing, shall be returned and resolved to nothing again; the glorious state of the everlasting Jerusalem, the kingdom of heaven. Now this text is a revelation of both these revelations: the first state, that which Moses reveals, was too dark for man to see; for it was nothing: the other, that which St. John reveals, is too bright, too dazzling for man to look upon; for it is no one limited, determined object, but all at once, glory, and the fear and fountain of all glory, the face of Christ Jesus.
The Holy Ghost hath showed us both these, severally in Moses, and in St. John, and both together in St. Paul, in this text: where, as the sun stands in the midst of the heavens, and shows us both the creatures that are below it, upon earth, and the creatures that are above it, the stars in heaven; so St. Paul, as he is made an apostle of the Gentiles, stands in the midst of this text, (God hath shined in our hearts:) ours, as we are apostolical ministers of the Gospel; and he shows us the greatness of God, in the creation which was before, when God commanded light out of darkness; and the goodness of God which shall be hereafter, when he shall give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.
So that this text, giving light, by which we see, light commanded by God out of darkness; and the object which we are to see, the knowledge of the glory of God; and this object being brought within a convenient distance to bo seen in the face of Jesus Christ. And a fit and well-disposed medium being illumined, through which we may see it, God having shined in our hearts, established a ministry of the Gospel: for that purpose, if you bring but eyes, to that which this text brings, light, and object, and distance, and means, then, as St. Basil said of the Book of Psalms, upon an impossible supposition, If all the other books of Scripture could perish, there were enough in that one, for the catechising of all that did believe, and for the convincing of all that did not: so if all the other writings of St. Paul could perish, this text were enough to carry us through the body of divinity, from the cradle of the world, in the creation, when God commanded light out of darkness, to the grave; and beyond the grave of tho world, to the last dissolution; and beyond it, when we shall have fully, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. Now, whilst I am to speak of all this, which is omne scibile, all, and more than can fall within the comprehension of a natural man; for it is the beginning of this world, and it is the way to the next, and it is the next world itself, I comfort myself at my first setting out, with that of St. Gregory, Purgatas aures, et hominum gratiam nancisci, nonne Dei donum est? I take it for one of God's great blessings to me, if he have given me now an auditory, purgatw auris, of such spiritual and circumcised ears, as come not to hear that wisdom of words, which may make the cross of Christ of none effect; much less such itching ears, as come to hear popular and seditious calumnies and scandals, and reproaches, cast upon the present state and government. For a man may make a sermon, a satire; he may make a prayer, a libel, if upon colour of preaching, or praying, against toleration of religion, or persecution for religion, he would insinuate, that any such tolerations are prepared for us, or such persecutions threatened against us. But if for speaking the mysteries of your salvation, plainly, sincerely, inelegantly, inartificially; for the gold, and not for the fashion; for the matter, and not for the form, nanciscor populi gratiam, my service may be acceptable to God's people, and available to their edification; nonne Dei donum, shall not I call this a great blessing of God? Beloved, in him, I must; I do. And therefore, because I presume I speak to such, I take to myself, that which follows there, in the same father, that he that speaks to such a people, does not his duty, if he consider not deliberately, Quibus, quando, quantum loquatur; Both to whom, and at what time, and how much he is to speak. I consider the persons; and I consider that the greatest part, by much, are persons born since the reformation of religion, since the death of idolatry in this land; and therefore not naturalized by conversion, by transplantation from vor.. vi. T'
another religion to this, but born the natural children of this church; and therefore, to such persons, I need not lay hold upon any points of controverted doctrine. I consider also quando, the time; and I consider, that it is now, in these days of Easter, when the greatest part of this auditory, have, or will renew their bands to Christ Jesus in the sacrament of his body, and his blood; that they will rather lose theirs, than lack his: and therefore towards persons, who have testified that disposition in that seal, I need not depart into any vehement, or passionate exhortations to constancy and perseverance, as though there were occasion to doubt it. And I consider lastly, quantum, how much is necessary to be spoken to such a people, so disposed; and therefore, farther than the custom, and solemnity of this day, and place, lays an obligation upon me, I will not extend myself to an unnecessary length; especially, because that which shall be said by me, and by my brethren which come after, and were worthy to come before me, in this place, is to be said to you again, by another, who alone, takes as much pains, as all we, and all you too: hears all, with as much patience as all you; and is to speak of all, with as much, and more labour, than all we. Much therefore for your ease, somewhat for bis, a little for mine own, with such succinctness and brevity, as may consist with clearness, and perspicuity, in such manner, and method, as may best enlighten your understandings, and least encumber your memories, I shall open unto you that light, which God commanded out of darkness, and that light by which he hath shined in our hearts; and this light, by which we shall have the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.
Our parts therefore in theso words, must necessarily be three; three lights. The first, shows us our creation; the second, our vocation; the third, our glorification. In the first, we, who were but, (but what ?) but nothing, were made creatures: in the second, we, who were but Gentiles, were made Christians: in the third, wo, who were but men, shall be made saints. In the first, God took us, when there was no world: in the second, God sustains us, in an ill world: in the third, God shall crown us, in a glorious and joyful world. In the first, God made us; in the second, God mends us; in the third, God shall perfect us. First, God commanded light out of darkness, that man might see tho creature; then he shined in our hearts, that man might see himself; at last, he shall shine so in the face of Christ Jesus, that man may see God, and live; and live as long, as that God of light and life shall live himself. Every one of these parts, will have divers branches; and it is time to enter into them. In the first, the creation, because this text does not purposely and primarily deliver the doctrine of the creation, not prove it, not press it, not enforce it; but rather suppose it, and then propose it by way of example and comparison; (for when the apostle says, God, who commanded light out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, he intimates therein, these two propositions: first, that tho same God that does the one, does the other too; God perfects his works; and then this proposition also, as God hath done the one, ho hath done the other: God himself works by patterns, by examples). These two propositions shall therefore be our two first branches in this first part. First, idem Deus, the same God goes through his works; and therefore let us never fear that God will be weary: and then sicut Deus, as God hath done, he will do again; ho works by pattern, and so must we: and then from these two, wo shall descend to our third proposition, quid Deus, what God is said to have done here; and it is, that he commanded light out of darkness. In these three, we shall determine this part; and for the branches of the other two parts, our vocation, and our glorification, it will be a less burden to your memories, to open them then, when we come to handle the parts themselves, than altogether now. Now we shall proceed in the branches of tho first part.
In this, our first consideration is, idem Deus, the same our God goes through all. Those divers heretics who thought there wero two Gods, (for Cerdo thought so, and Marcion thought so too; the Gnostics thought so, and the Manichees thought so too) though they differed in their mistakings, (for error is always manifold, and multiform) yet all their errors were upon this ground, this root, they could not comprehend that the same God should be the God of justice, and the God of mercy too; a God that had an earnestness to punish sin, and an easiness to pardon sin too. Cerdo, who was first, though ho mado two gods, yet ho used them both reasonable well; for with him, Alter bonus, alterJustus1 .. one of his gods is perfectly good, merciful; and the other, though he be not so very good, yet he is just. Marcion, who came after, says worse; Because he could not discern the good purposes of God in inflicting judgments, nor the good use which good men make of his corrections; but thought all acts of his justice to be calamitous and intolerable; and naturally evil: therefore with him, alter bonus, alter mains; he that is the merciful god, is his good 'god; and he that is so just, but just, is an ill god. Hence they came to call the God of the New Testament, a good God, because there was copiosa redemptio, plentiful redemption in the Gospel: and the God of the Old Testament, malum Deum, an ill God, because they thought all penalties of the law, evil. They came lower; to call that God, which created the upper region of man, the brain, and the heart, (the presence and privy chamber of reason, and consequently of religion too) a good God, because good things are enacted there; and that God that created the lower region of man, the seat and scene of carnal desires, and inordinate affections, an ill God, because ill actions are perpetrated there. But idem Deus, the same God that commanded light out of darkness, hath sinned in our hearts: the God of the law, and the God of the Gospel too; the God of the brain, and the God of the belly too; the God of mercy, and the God of justice too, is all one God.
In all the Scriptures, you shall scarce find such a demonstration of God's indignation, such a severe execution, as that upon the Syrians; when, after the slaughter of ono hundred thousand foot in the field in one day, the walls of the city, into which they fled, fell, and slew twenty-seven thousand more. The armies of the Israelites were that day, but as little flocks of kids, says the text there; and yet those few, slew one hundred thousand. The walls of Aphak promised succour; and yet they fell, and slew twenty-seven thousand. Now from whence proceeded God's vehement anger in this defeat? The prophet tells the king the cause; Beca use the Syrians have said, The Lord is the God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys. The Israelites had beaten them upon the hills, and they could not attribute this to their
1 Iren. i. 28, 29.
forces, for they were very small; they must necessarily ascribe it to their God; but they thought they might find a way to be too hard for their God: and therefore, since he was a God of tho mountains, they would fight with him in tho valleys. But tho God of Israel is idem Deus, one and the same God. He is Jugatinus and Vallonia both, as St. Augustine speaks out of tho Roman authors: He is God of the mountains, he can exalt; and he is God of the valleys, he can throw down. Our age hath produced such Syrians, too; men, who, after God hath declared himself against them many ways, have yet thought they might get an advantage upon him some other way. They begun in rebellions; animated persons of great blood, and great place to rebel: their rebellions God frustrated. Then they came to say, (to say in actions) Their God is God of rebellions, a God that resists rebellions; but he is no God of excommunications: then they excommunicated us. But our God cast those thunder-bolts, those bruta fulmina, into the sea, no man took fire at them. Then they said, He is a God of excommunications, he will not suffer an excommunication stolen out in his name, against his children, to do any harm; but ho is no God of invasion, let us try him there: then they procured invasion; and there the God of Israel showed himself the Lord of hosts, and scattered them there. Then they said, He is the God of invasions, annihilates them; but he is not the God of supplantations; surely their God will not pry into a cellar, he will not peep into a vault; he is the God of water, but he is not the God of fire; let us try him in that element; and in that element, they saw one another justly eviscerated, and their bowels burnt. All this they have said, so as we have heard them; for they have said it in loud actions, and still they say something in corners, which we do not hear. Either he is not a God of equivocations, and therefore let us be lying spirits in tho mouths of some of his prophets, draw some men that are in great opinion of learning, to our side, or at least draw the people into an opinion that we have drawn them; or else, he is not the God of jealousy and suspicion, and therefore let us supple and slumber him with security, and pretences and disguises. But he is idem Deus; that God who hath begun, and proceeded, will persevere in mercy towards us. Our God is not out of breath, because he hath blown one tempest, and swallowed a navy: our God hath not burnt out his eyes, because he hath looked upon a train of powder: in the light of heaven, and in the darkness of hell, he sees alike; he sees not only all machinations of hands, when things come to action; but all imaginations of hearts, when they are in their first consultations: past, and present, and future, distinguish not his quando; all is one time to him: mountains and valleys, sea and land, distinguish not his ubi; all is one place to him: When I begin, says God to Eli, / will make an end; not only that all God's purposes shall havo their certain end, but that even then, when he begins, he makes an end: from the very beginning, imprints an infallible assurance, that whom he loves, he loves to the end: as a circlo is printed all at once, so his beginning and ending is all one.
Make thou also the same interpretation of this idem Deus, in all the vicissitudes and changes of this world. Hath God brought thee from an exposititious child laid out in the streets, of uncertain name, of unknown parents, to become the first foundationstone of a great family, and to ennoble a posterity? Hath God brought thee from a carrier's pack, upon which thou earnest up, to thy change of foot-cloths, and coaches 2 Hath God brought thee from one of these bluo coats to one of those scarlet gowns? Attribute not this to thine own industry, nor to thine own frugality; (for, industry is but fortune's right hand, and frugality her left;) but come to David's acclamation, Dominus fecit, Tt is the Lord's doing": that takes away the impossibility: if the Lord will do it, it may be, it must be done; but yet even that takes not away the wonder; for, as it follows there, Dominus fecit, et est mirabile, though the Lord have done it, it is wonderful in our eyes, to see whom, and from whence, and whither, and how God does raise and exalt some mon. And then if God be pleased to make thee a roll written on both sides, a history of adversity, aa well as of prosperity: if when he hath filled his tables, with the story of Mardocheus, a man strangely raised, he takes this sponge, and wipes out all that, and writes down in thee, the story of Job, a man strangely ruined, all this is idem Dens, still the same God, and the same purpose in that God, still to bring thee
! Psalm cxviii. 22.
nearer to him, though by a lower way. If then thou abound, come not to say with the over-secure man, Soul thou hast much goods laid up, for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry*: and if thou want, come not to that impatience of that prophet, Satis est, Lord, this is enough, now take away my life: nay, though the Lord lead thee into temptation, and do not deliver thee from evil, but fet thee fall into a sin, though he lot thee fall so far, as to doubt of his mercy for that sin, yet idem Deus, all this while, all this is tho same God; and even that voice, though it have an accent* of despair in it, is the voice of God; and though it bo spoken in the mouth of the devil, it is God that speaks it; for even then, when the devil possesses man, God possesses the devil. God can make his profit, and thine, of thy sin: he can make the horror of a sin committed, tho occasion of thy repentance, and his meroy: for, Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it*? God is no disposer to sin, but ho is the disposer of sin: God is not lord of sin, as author of sin; but he is the lord of sin, as steward of it: and he dispenses not only for our sins, but the sins themselves. God imprints not that obliquity, infuses not that venom that is in our sinful actions, but God can extract good out of bad, and cordials out of poison. Be not thou therefore too nimble a sophister, nor too pressing an advocate against thine own soul: conclude not too soon, that God hath forsaken thee, because he hath let theo fall, and let thee lie some time, in some sin: you know who did so, and yet was a man according to God's own heart; for God hath sot his heart upon that way, to glorify himself out of David's repentance, rather than out of his innocence. In the hills, and in the valleys too; in spiritual, as well .as in temporal prosperity and adversity too; in the Old, and in the New Testament; in the ways of mercy, and of justice too, thou mayest find the same God, who is in every change id#m Deus; God, that is, the same God, who commanded light out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts : and so we have done with the first proposition.
The next is, sicut Deus; as God hath done the one, so he hath the other. God brings himself into comparison with himself:
* Luke xii. 19. 4 Amos iii. 6.
* Folio edition, "account."—Ed.
our unworthiness changes not his nature: his mercy is new every morning; and, his mercy endureth for ever. One generation is & precedent to another, and God is his own example ; whatsoever he hath done for us, he is ready to do again. When he had once written the law in stone tables, for the direction of his people, and that Moses in an over-vehement zeal and distemper, had broke those tables, God turned to his precedent, remembered what he had done, and does so again; he writes that law again in new tables. When God had given us the light of the Reformation for a few years of a young king, and that after him, in the time of a pious truly, but credulous princess, a cloud of blood over-shadowed us in a heavy persecution, yet God turned to his precedent, to the example of his former mercy, and in mercy re-established that light, which shines yet amongst us; and (if the sins of tho people extinguish it not) shall shine as long as the sun and moon shall shine above. The Lord's hand is not shortened, nor weakened in the ways of justice; and his justice hath a sicut, a precedent, an example too. There is sicut Kore*, if we sin as Kore and his complices sinned, as Kore and his complices we shall perish. There is an anathema sicut Mud, Thou shalt not bring an abomination into thy house*, (not an idolater into thy house) lest thou be an accursed thing, sicut Mud, as guilty in the eye of God, as the idolator himself. There is sicut Midian; God can do unto the men of these times, as he did unto the Midianites, as toSisera, as to Jabin', which perished, and became as the dung of the earth. He can make their nobles sicut Oreb sicut Zeeb, like unto Oreb, like unto Zeeb, and all their princes sicut Zebah, sicut Salmana. Thero are precedents of his justice too. But yet in the greatest act of his justice that ever ho did, which was the general drowning of the wholo world, though that history remain as an everlasting demonstration of his power, and of his justice, yet he would not have it remain as a precedent; but he records that, with that protestation, / will no more curse the earth, nor smite any more, every living thing, as I have done: though I have showed that I can do it, and have done it, I will do it no more. God forbears, and waves his own example in matter of justice; but God never showed any mercy, but he
desires that that mercy may be recorded, and produced, and pleaded to our conscience, to the whole congregation, to God himself, as a leading and a binding case, as he commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts.
God proceeds by example, by pattern: even in this first great act presented in our text, in the creation he did so. God had no external pattern in the creation, for there was nothing extant; but God had from all eternity an internal pattern, an idea, a preconception, a form in himself, according to which he produced every creature. And when God himself proceeds upon pre-conceptions, premeditations, shall we adventure to do, or to say any thing in his service unpremeditately, extemporally? It is not God's way. Now, it is a penurious thing, to have but one candle in a room: it is too dim a light to work by, to live by, to havo but rule and precept alone; rule and example together, direct us fully. Who shall be our example? Idea novi hominis Christus JesusIf thou wilt be a new creature, (and, circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision nothing, but only to be a new creature) then Christ is thy idea, thy pattern, thine original: for, Quid in eo non novum? What was there in him that was not new? When was there such a conception, of the Holy Ghost? Such a birth, of a Virgin? Such a pregnancy, to dispute so, so young, with such men? When such a death, as God to die? When such a life, as a dead man to raise himself again? Quid in eo non novum? To be produced by this idea, built up by this model, copied by this original, is truly, is only to be a new creature. But that thou mayest put thyself into the way to this, it is usefully said, Enitn vero, cerium vitw genus sibi const ituere*; Certainly to undertake a certain profession, a calling in this world, and to propose to ourselves the example of some good, and godly man in that calling, whose steps we will walk in, and whom wo will make our precedent, Tanti momenti esse duco, says that father, is a matter of so great importance, as that upon that (says he) lies the building of our whole life. That little philosopher Epictetus, could give us that rule; Whensoever thou enterprisest, any action, says he, consider what Socrates, what Plato, (that is, what a wise and religious man) would have done in that case,
8 Ilierome. * Nazianzen.
and do thou so. This way our Saviour directs us; / have given you an example1*: it is not only mandatum novum, but exemplum novum, That yo should do, even as I have done unto you. And this is the way that the apostle directs us to, Brethren, be followers of meu: and because he could not be always with them, he adds, Look on them which watt; so, as you have us for an example. Love the legends, the lives, the actions, and love the sayings, the apophthegms of good men. In all temptations like Joseph's temptations, love Joseph's words, How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God"? In all temptations like Job's temptations, love the words of Job, Shall we receive good at the hands of God, and shall we not receive evil1*? In all temptations like to Shadrach's and his fellow-confessors', love their words, Our God is able to deliver m, and he will deliver us: but if not, we will not serve thy god, nor worship thine image1*. Certainly, without the practice, it is scarce to be discerned, what ease and what, profit there is, in proposing certain and good examples to ourselves. And when you have made up your profit that way, rectified yourself by that course, then, as your sons write by copies, and your daughters work by samplars, be every father a copy to his son, every mother a samplar to her daughter, and every house will be an university. Oh in how blessed a nearness to their direction, is that child, and that servant, and that parishioner, who, whon they shall say to Almighty God, by way of prayer, What shall I do, to get eternal life? shall hear God answer to them by his Spirit, Do but as thou seest thy father do, do as thou seest thy master do, do as thou seest thy pastor do! To become a precedent, govern thyself by precedent first; which is all tho doctrine that I intended to deduce out of this second proposition, Sicut Deus, As God commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts: God did as he had done before: and so we pass from the idem Deus, and the sicut Deus, to the Quid Deus, What that is which God hath done here, he commanded light out of darkness.
The drowning of tho first world, and the repairing that again; the burning of this world, and establishing another in heaven,
John xiii. 15. f 11 Phil. iii. 13. 18 Gen. xxxix. 9.
11 Job ii. 10. 14 Dan. iii. 17.
do not so much strain a man's reason, as the creation, a creation of all out of nothing. For, for the repairing of the world after the flood, compared to the creation, it was eight to nothing; eight persons to begin a world upon, then; but in the creation, none. And for the glory which we receive in the next world, it is (in some sort) as the stamping of a print upon a coin; the metal is there already, a body and a soul to receive glory: but at the creation, there was no soul to receive glory, no body to receive a soul, no stuff, no matter, to make a body of. The less anything is, the less we know it: How invisible, how unintelligible a thing then, is this nothing! We say in the school, Deus cognoscibilior angelis, We have better means to know the nature of God, than of angels, becauso God hath appeared and manifested himself more in actions, than angels have done: we know what they are, by knowing what they have done; and it is very little that is related to us what angels have done: What then is there that can bring this nothing to our understanding? What hath that done? A leviathan, a whale, from a grain of spawn; an oak from a buried acorn, is a great; but a great world from nothing, is a strange improvement. We wonder to see a man rise from nothing to a great estate; but that nothing is but nothing in comparison; but absolutely nothing, merely nothing, is moro incomprehensible than any thing, than all things together. It is a state (if a man may call it a state) that the devil himself in the midst of his torments, cannot wish. No man can, the devil himself cannot, advisedly, deliberately, wish himself to be nothing. It is truly and safely said in the school, that whatsoever can be the subject of a wish, if I can desire it, wish it, it must necessarily be better (at least in my opinion) than that which I have; and whatsoever is better, is not nothing; without doubt it must necessarily produce more thankfulness in me, towards God, that I am a Christian; but certainly moro wonder that I am a creature: it is vehemently spoken, but yet needs no excuse, which Justin-Martyr says, Ne ipse quidem Domino fidem haberem, &c. I should scarce believe God himself, if he should tell me, that any but himself created this world of nothing; so infallible, and so inseparable a work, and so distinctive a character is it of the Godhead, to produce any thing from nothing; and that God did when he commanded light out of darkness.
Moses stands not long upon the creation, in the description thereof; no more will we: When there went but a word to the making itself, why should we make many words in the description thereof? We will therefore only declare the three terms in this proposition, and so proceed; first, God commanded, then he commanded light, and light out of darkness.
For the first, that which we translate here commanded, is in St. Paul's mouth, the same that is Moses' dixit, and no more; God said it. But then if he said it, Cui dixit? To whom did he say it? Procopius asks the question; and he answers himself, Dixit angelis, He said it to the angels. For Procopius being of that opinion, which very many were of besides himself, that God had made the angels some time before he came to the creation of particular creatures, he thinks that when he came to that, he called the angels, that they, by seeing of what all other creatures were made, might know also of what stun* themselves were made, of the common and general nothing. Some others had said, that God said this to the creature itself, which was now in fieri, (as we say in the school) in the production, ready to be brought forth. But then, says Athanasius, God would have said Sis lux, and not Sit lux: he would have said, Be thou, O light, or appear and come forth, O light, and not let there be light. But what needs all this vexation in Procopius, or Athanasius? Whenas dicere Dei est intelligere ejus practicum": when God would produce his idea, his preconception into action, that action, that production was his dixit, his saying. It is, as we say in school, actus indicationspractici intellectus; God's outward declaration of an inward purpose by execution of that purpose, that his dixit, his saying. It is sufficiently expressed by rabbi Moses, In creatione dicta sunt voluntatis; In the act of creation, the will of God, was the word of God; his will that it should be, was his saying, Let it be. Of which it is a convenient example which is in the prophet Jonah, The Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land"; that is, God would have the
"Jonah ii. 10.
fish to do it, and it did it. God spake then in the creation, but he spake ineffabiliter, says St. Augustine, without uttering any sound. He spake, but he spake inteniporaliter, says that father too, without spending any time in distinction of syllables. But yet when he spoke, aliquisadfuit, as Athanasius presses it; surely there was somebody with him; there was, says he. Who? Verbum ejus adfuit, et adfuit Spiritus ejus, says he, truly, The second person in the Trinity, his eternal Word; and the third person, the Holy Ghost, were both there at the creation, and to them he spoke. For, By the Word of the Lord were the heavens framed, and all the host of them11; Spiritu oris ejus, by that Spirit that proceeded from him, says David. The Spirit of God hath made me"; and, By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens". So that in one word, thou, who wast nothing, hast employed and set on work, the heart and hand of all the three persons, in the blessed and glorious Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to the making of thee; and then what oughtest thou to be, and to do in retribution! and not to make thee, that which thou art now, a Christian, but even to make thee that, wherein thou wast equal to a worm, to a grain of dust. Hast thou put the whole Trinity to busy themselves upon thee? and therefore what shouldst thou be towards them? But here, in this branch, we consider not so much; not his uoblest creature, man, but his first creature, light: he commanded, and he commanded light.
And of light, we say no more in this place, but this; that in all the Scriptures, in which the word light is very often metaphorically applied, it is never applied in an ill sense. Christ is called a lion; but there is an ill lion too, that seeks whom he may devour. Christ is the serpent that was exalted; but there is an ill serpenf, that did devour us all at once. But Christ is the light of the world, and no ill thing is called light. Light was God's signature, by which he set his hand to the creation: and therefore, as princes sign above the letter, and not below, God made light first; in that first creature he declared his presence, his majesty; the more, in that he commanded light out of darkness.
There was lumen de limine before; light of light, very God of very God; an eternal Son of an eternal Father, before: but light
"Psalm xxxiii. 6. 19 Job xxxiii. 4. 18 Job xxvi. 13.
out of darkness, is music out of silence. It was one distinct plague of Egypt, darkness above; and one distinct blessing, that the children of Israel had, light in their dwellings. But for some spiritual applications of light and darkness, we shall have room again; when, after we shall have spoken of our second part, our vocation, as God hath shined in our hearts, positively, we shall come to speak of that shining comparatively, that God hath so shined in our hearts, as he commanded light out of darkness. And to those two branches of our second part, the positive and comparative, consideration of that shining, we are in order, come now. In the first part, we were made; in this second, we are mended: in the first, we were brought into this world; in this second, we are led through it: in the first, we are creatures; in this, w e are Christians. God hath shined in our hearts. In this part, we shall have two branches; a positive, and a comparative consideration of the words: first, the matter itself, what this shining is; and it is the conversion of man to God, by the ministry of the Gospel; and secondly, how this manner of expressing it, answers the comparison, As God commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts. And in the first, the positive, we shall pass by these few and short steps: first, God's action, illuxit, he shined; it is evidence, manifestation: and then, the time, when this day breaks, when this sun rises; Illuxit, he hath shined, he hath done enough already. Thirdly, the place, the sphere in which he shines, the orb which he hath illumined, in cordibus: if he shine, he shines in the heart. And lastly, the persons, upon whom he casts his beams, in cordibus nostris, in our hearts. And having passed these four in the positive part, we shall descend to the comparative; as God commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts.
First then, for God's action, his working in the Christian church, which is our vocation, we can consider man to be all, to be all creatures; according to that expression of our Saviour's, Go, preach the Gospel to every creature"; and agreeable to that largenoss in which he received it, the apostle delivers it, The Gospel is preached to every creature under heaven": the properties, the qualities of every creature, are in man; the essence, the exist
s" Mark xvi. 15.
81 Colos. i. 23.
ence of every creature is for man; so man is every creature. And therefore the philosopher draws man into too narrow a table, when he says he is microcesmos, an abridgment of the world in little: Nazianzen gives him but his due, when he calls him mundum magnum, a world to which all the rest of the world is but subordinate: for all the world besides, is but God's foot-stool; man sits down upon his right hand: and howsoever God be in all the world, yet how did God dwell in man, in the assumption of that nature? and what care did God take of that dwelling, that when that house was demolished, would yet dwell in the ruins thereof? for the Godhead did not depart from the body of Christ Jesus in the grave. And then how much more gloriously than before, did he re-edify that house, in raising it. again to glory? Man therefore is Cura divini ingenii", A creature upon whom not only the greatness, and the goodness, but even the study and diligence of God is employed. And being thus a greater world than the other, he must be greater in all his parts, and so in his lights; and so he is: for, instead of this light, which the world had at first, man hath a nobler light, an immortal, a discerning soul, the light of reason. Instead of the many stars, which this world hath, man hath had the light of the law, and the succession of the prophets: and instead of that sun, which this world had, a Son from God; man hath had the Son of God; God hath spoken to us by his Son; God hath shined upon us in his Son. The whole work of Almighty God, in the conversion of man, is many times expressed by this act of shining; an effectual, a powerful shining. The infusion of the Holy Gho9t into the apostles at Pentecost, was with fire": the light which shined upon St. Paul, going to Damascus, struck him to the ground*4. And in both those cases, there were tongues too. The apostles' fire, was fiery tongues, and St. Paul's light was accompanied with a voice; for then does God truly shine to us, when he appears to our eyes and to our cars, when by visible and audible means, by sacraments which we see, and by the word which we hear, he conveys himself unto us. In Paul's case, there were some that saw the light, but heard not the voico: God hath joined them,
separate them not: upon him that will come to hear, and will not come to see; will come to the sermon, but not to the sacrament; or that will come to see, but will not come to hear; will keep his solemn, and festival, and anniversary times of receiving the sacrament, but never care for being instructed in the duties appertaining to that high mystery, God hath not shined. They are a powerful thunder, and lightning that go together: preaching is the thunder, that clears the air, disperses all clouds of ignorance; and then the sacrament is the lightning, the glorious light, and presence of Christ Jesus himself. And in the having and loving of these, the word and sacraments, the outward means of salvation, ordained by God in his church, consists this irradiation, this coruscation, this shining, And we have done with that.
The next is the time, illuxit, ho hath shiued already; and illuxit mundo, he hath shined; that is, manifested himself sufficiently to the whole world. Illuxit nobis, he hath done it fully to this nation; and illuxit nobis, he hath shined sufficiently upon every one of you. First, upon the whole world; for, though at first he shined only upon the Jews, and left all the world besido in darkness, and in the shadow of death; and even to the Jews themselves, he shined but as a light in a dark place"; the temple itself was but a dark room in respect of the Christian church; yet, as soon as Christ had established that, illumined that, inanimated that, given it breath iu his Word, the written Scriptures, and given it motion, and action in the preaching of that Word, and administration of the sacraments, when this was done, immediately there was meridies, a full noon; the light was at the highest, the sun was at the tropic, it could go no further; no fundamental thing can be added by man to this light by which the Son of God hath shined in his church. To set up candles to images, is a weakness in them that do it; but to set up candles to God, is a presumption; that God cannot or hath not shined out sufficiently upon his church, in his institutions, but that they must supply him with the traditions and additions of men. Lex lux, says David, the law of God, the Scripture, is a light, it is the light, it is all light; and therefore they who would take away this light, not suffer men to read the Scriptures; or if they will
not snuff this light, not mend the barbarisms, the errors, the contradictions which are in their translation, and let it shine according to the original truth, this is a shutting of their eyes against this illuxit; for God hath showed enough, and said enough, and done enough, and suffered enough, for the salvation of his church; he hath shined out upon all, and needs no supply of lesser lights.
So he hath shined upon all; and illuxit nobis, he hath shined abundantly upon this nation. He shined upon us betimes; this day sprung, this sun rose in the east; in the east, Christ lived and preached in person; but in his beams, his messengers, he shined quickly into the west too. And when he did so, he did not so shine upon the west, upon Rome, as that that light was cast upon ns, as by reflection from a glass, from the walls of Rome: but we had it, as they had it, by persons ordained by God, to convey it over the world. I dispute not too earnestly, I determine not too vehemently any matter of fact in this point. I confess ingenuously, we had many assistances from Rome; but truly, she hath been even with us since: and, computatis computandis, I think she may be content to give us an acquittance. God shined upon this island early; early in the plantation of the Gospel, (for we had not our seed-corn from Rome, howsoever we may have had some waterings from thence) and early in the Reformation of the church: for we had not the model of any other foreign church for our pattern; we stripped not the church into a nakedness, nor into rags; we divested her not of her possessions, nor of her ceremonies, but received such a reformation at home, by their hands whom God enlightened, as left her neither in a dropsy, nor in a consumption; neither in a superfluous and cumbersome fatness, nor in an uncomely and faint leanness and attenuation: early in the plantation, early in the Reformation, illuxit nobis, and we have light enough, without either seeing other light from Rome, or more of this light from other places. God continue to us the light of this Reformation, without re-admitting any old clouds, any old clouts, and we shall not need any such re-reformation, or super-reformation, as swimming brains will needs cross the seas for. The word of God is not above thee, says Moses, nor beyond the sea. We need not climb
VOL. VI. M
up seven hills, nor wash ourselves seven times in a lake for it: God make the practice of our lives agreeable to the doctrine of our church; and all the world shall see that we have light enough.
Illuxit mundo, illuxit nobis, and nobis too; God hath also shined sufficiently upon every of you, that hoar this, already: upon the greatest part of you in both, upon all in one of his sacraments. God hath been content to talk with you in your infancy, as parents with their children, before they can speak plain, in his language of catechisms; and since you came to better strength, in his stronger language of preaching. He hath admitted you to him in your private prayers, and come to you in your private readings of his Word. He hath opened your ears to him, and his to hear you in the public congregation: and as he that waters his garden, pours in water into that vessel at one place, and pours it out again at an hundred; God, who as he hath walled this island with a wall of water, the sea; so he waters this garden with the waters of paradise: the Word of life hath poured in this water, into that great, and royal vessel, the understanding, and the love of his truth, into the large and religious heart of our sovereign, and he pours it out in a hundred, in a thousand spouts, in a more plentiful preaching thereof, than ever your fathers had it; in both the ways of plenty; plentiful in the frequency, plentiful in the learned manner of preaching. Illuxit, he hath shined upon you before you were born, in the covenant, in making you the children of the seed of Abraham, of Christian parents. Illuxit, he hath shined upon you ever since you could hear and see, had any exercise of natural and supernatural faculties; and illuxit, by his grace, who sends treasure in earthen vessels, he hath shined upon some of you, since you came hither now. Consider only now, after all this shining, that a candle is as soon blown out, at an open door, or an open window, as in the open street. If you open a door to a supplanter, an underminer, a whisperer against your religion; if there be a broken window, a woman loaden with sin, as the apostle speaks, and thereby dejected into an inordinate melancholy, (for such a melancholy as makes witches, makes papists too) if she be thereby as apt to change religions now, as loves before, and as weary of this God, as of that man; if there be such a door, such a window, a wife, a child, a friend, a sojourner bending that way, this light that hath shined upon thee, may as absolutely go out, in thy house, and in thy heart, as if it were put out in the whole kingdom. Leave the public to him whose care the public is; and who, no doubt, prepares a good account to him, to whom only he is accountable. Look then to thine own heart, and thine own house; for that is thy charge. And so we have done with the action, shining evidence; and with the time, Muxit, there is enough done already; and we come to the place, in corde; if God shine, he shines in the heart.
Fecit Deus caelum, et terram, non Ugo quod requieverit, says that father"; God made heaven and earth, but I do not read that he rested, when he had done that: fecit solem et lunam, (as he pursues that meditation;) he made the sun and moon, and all the host of heaven, but yet he rested not: fecit hominem, et requievit; when God had made man, then he rested: for, when God had made man, he had made his bed, the heart of man, to rest in. God asks nothing of man, but his heart; and nothing, but man, can give the heart to God. And therefore in that sacrifice of Noah after the flood", and often in the Scriptures elsewhere, sacrifice is called odor quietis, God smelt a savour of rest: in that which proceeds from a religious heart, God rests himself, and is well pleased. Loqui ad cor Jerusalem, to speak to the heart of Jerusalem, is ever the Scripture phrase, from God to man, to speak comfortably; and loqui e corde, to speak from the heart, is an emphatical phrase, from man to God too. He that speaks from his own heart, speaks to God's heart. Did* not our hearts burn within us, while he opened the Scriptures? say those two disciples that went with Christ to Emmaus". And if your hearts do not so all this while, you hear but me; (and, alas! who, or what am I?) you hear not God. But let this light, the love of the ordinary means of your salvation, enter into your hearts, and shine there; and then, as the fire in your chimney grows pale, and faints, and out of countenance when the sun shines upon it; so whatsoever fires of lust, of anger, of ambition, possessed that heart before, it will yield to this, and evaporate. But why do I
*1 Ambrose. 87 Gen. viii. 21. . "Luke xxiv. 32.
speak all this to others? -Is it so clear a case, that the hearts in this text, are the hearts of others; of them that hear, and not of ourselves that speak? That we are to see now; for that is the next, and last branch in this part, who be the persons: in cordibus nostris, in our hearts.
Certainly this word nostris, primarily, most literally, most directly, concerns us; us, the ministers of God's word and sacraments. If we take God's word into our mouths, and pretend a commission, a calling, for the calling of others, we must be sure that (iod hath shined in our hearts. There is vocatio intentionalis, an intentional calling, when parents, in their intention and purpose dedicate their children to this service of God, the ministry, oven in their cradle. And this is a good and holy intention, because though it bind not in the nature of a vow, yet it makes them all the way more careful, to give them such an education, as may fit them for that profession. And then there is vocatio virtualis, when having assented to that purpose of my parents, I receive that public seal, the imposition of hands, in the church of God: but it is vocatio radicalis, the calling that is the root and foundation of all, that we have this light shining in our hearts, the testimony of God's Spirit to our spirit, that we have this calling from above. First then, it must be a light; not a calling taken out of the darkness of melancholy, or darkness of discontent, or darkness of want and poverty, or darkness of a retired life, to avoid the mutual duties and offices of society: it must be a light, and a light that shines; it is not enough to have knowledge and learning; it must shine out, and appear in preaching; and it must shine in our hearts, in the private testimony of the spirit there: but when it hath so shined there, it must not go out there, but shine still as a candle in a candlestick, or the sun in his sphere; shine so, as it give light to others: so that this light doth not shine in our hearts, except it appear in the tongue, and in the hand too: first, in the tongue, to preach opportune, and importune; in season and out of season"; that is, opportune volentibus, importune nolentibus": preaching is in season to them who are willing to hear; but though they be not, though they had rather the laws would permit them to be absent,
ra 2 Tim. iv. 2. 80 Augustine.
or that preaching were given over; yet I must preach. And in that sense, I may use the words of the apostle, As much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to them also that are at Rome*1: at Rome in their hearts; at Rome, that is, of Rome, reconciled to Rome. I would preach to them, if they would have me, if they would hear me; and that were opportune, in season. But though we preach importune, out of season to their ends, and their purposes, yet we must preach, though they would not have it done: for we are debtors to all, because all are our neighbours. Proximtis tuns est antequam Christianus est**: a man is thy neighbour, by his humanity, not by his divinity; by his nature, not by his religion: a Virginian is thy neighbour, as well as a Londoner; and all men are in every good man's diocese, and parish. Irrides adorantem lapides, says that father; thou seest a man worship an image, and thou laughest him to scorn; assist him, direct him if thou canst, but scorn him not: ignoras quomodo ilium prmciverit Deus: thou knowest not God's purpose, nor the way of God's purpose upon that man; his way may be to convert that man by thee, and to bring that man to serve him; religiosius" fortasse, quam tu qui irridebas; perchance more sincerely than thou; not only when thou didst laugh at him, but even when thou didst preach to him. For brass, I will bring gold, says God in Esay"; and for iron, silver. God can work in all metals, and transmute all metals: he can make a moral man, a Christian; and a superstitious Christian, a sincere Christian; a papist, a protestant; and a dissolute protestant, a holy man, by thy preaching. And therefore let this light shine in our hearts, in the testimony of a good conscience, in having accepted this calling, but also shine in our tongues, preach. Though the disease of St. Chrysostom's times, should overtake ours, Qui quantum placuit tan tum principibus displicuit"; The more good he did by preaching, the more some great persons were displeased with him; yet all this were but St. Paul's importune, a little out of season: but out of season we must preach. How much more now, now, when, as the apostle says of God, we may say of God's
"Rom. i . 15. "Augustine. M Fol. edit. " Heligio tuis."
94 Isaiah Lx. 17. "Nicephorus.
lieutenant, In whom there is no change, nor shadow of change, no approach towards a change, no occasion of jealousy of it? How much were we inexcusable, if either out of fulness of fortunes, or emptiness of learning; if either out of state, or business, or laziness, or pretence of fear, where no fear is, we should smother this light, which if it have truly shined in our hearts, will shine in our tongues too 2
It must shine there, and it must shine in our hands also, in our actions, in the example of our life. Christ says to his apostles, Vos estis lux, You are light: there they were illumined: but to what use? It follows, That men may see your good works": for, as St. Ambrose says of the creation, Frustra fecisset lucem, God had made light to no purpose, if he had not made creatures to show by that light: so we have the light of learning, and the light of other abilities to no purpose, if we have no good works to show, when we have drawn men's eyes upon us. Upon those words of Solomon's, Tempus tacendi, tempus loquendi, St. Gregory makes this note, that Solomon does not say first, There is a time pf speaking, and a time of silence, that when a man hath taken that calling, that binds him to speak, then he might prevaricate in a treacherous silence: but first there is a time of silence, of study, of preparation, how to speak, and then speak on in God's name. But howsoever there may be tempus tacendi, some time wherein wo may be silent; yet there is not tempus peccandi; no circumstance of time, no circumstance at all can excuse an ill life in an ill man, less in a leading and exemplary man, least of all in a churchman. To that which is vulgarly said, Loquere ut te videam; Speak that I may see thee; I do not see thee, not see what is in thee, except I hear thee preach: let me add more, Age ut te audiam, Do something that I may hear thee: I do not hear thee, not hear thee to believe thee, except I hear of thee in a good testimony of thy conversation. I hope our times, and our callings is far enough from that suspicion of St. Ambrose, Ne sit riomen inane, crimen immane in sacerdotibus: God forbid the name of priest should privilege any man otherwise obnoxious from just censure. He were a strange master of faculties to himself, that would give himself a dispensation so; this were truly to M Malt. v. 14, 10.
incur a premunire in the highest kingdom, to forfeit all everlastingly; to appeal from our conversation, to our profession; to make a holy profession the cloak, nay, the reason of unholy actions. But I speak not now of enormous ill, but of omissions of good, and of too easy venturing upon things, in their own nature indifferent: for, as for our words, St. Bernard says well, Nugw in ore laic i sunt nugw, in ore sacerdotis blasphemiw; Idle words, are but idle words in a secular man's mouth; but in a churchman's mouth, they are blasphemies. So for our actions; it may become us, it may concern us to abstain from some indifferent things, which other men without any scandal may do.
Vehementer destruit ecclesiam Dei, laicos em meliores clericis*1: Nothing shakes the church more, than when churchmen are no better than other men are. Where we read in Genesis, Vox sanguinis, The voice of AbeTs blood calls"; it is in the original, vox sanguinum, of bloods, in the plural; many bloods, much blood: the blood of a whole parish, of a whole province, cries out against the life of such a man: for his sermons arc but his texts; his life is his sermon that preaches; Aaron and Moses were joined in commission; Aaron had the tongue, the power of speaking; Moses had the rod, the power of doing great works. When the Lystrians called Paul, Mercury'", for his eloquence, they called his companion Barnabas, Jupiter; their eye was upon their great work, as well as their sweet words. Clearly and ingenuously, we, we the ministers of the Gospel, acknowledge ourselves to be principally intended by the apostle in this text; this light, that is the knowledge, and the love of God's truth, must shine in our hearts, sincerely there; and in our tongues, assiduously there; and in our hands, evidently there; and so we are the persons; but yet not we alone, though the apostle express it in that phrase, in cordibus nostris.
When this apostle speaks of hereditas nostra, our inheritance; and pax nostra, our peace; and spes nostra, our hope, as he does to the Ephesians, and often elsewhere, he does not so appropriate Christ, of whom he says all that, to himself, as that they to whom he writes, should not have an inheritance, and a peace, and a
hope in Christ, as well as he, or any apostle. So when he says here in cordibus nostris, in our hearts, he intends that the Colossians, that people to whom he writes, (and he writes to all) should have that light in their hearts, and consequently in their tougues and hands too; in words and actions, as well as men of the church. It is not only to priests that St. Peter said, God had made them a royal priesthood"; not only of priests that St. John said, God hath made us kings and priests". There is not so regal, so sovereign, so monarchical a prerogative, as to have Animum Deo subditum, corporis sui rector em **; That man who hath a soul in subjection to God, and in dominion over his own 'body, that man is a king. And then there is not so holy, so priestly an office, as pietatis hostias de altari cordis offerre. That man who from the altar of a pure heart, offers sacrifices of prayer and praise to God, that man is a priest: so all you are or may be kings; and all priests. Nay, St. Chrysostom appropriates this rather to you, than to us; not to us at all; for he read this very text, In cordibus vestris, In your hearts. Since then to this intendment you are priests, as we are; since altogether make up clerum Domini, the Lord's clergy, and his portion, do not you make us to be all of the inferior ministry, and all yourselves to be bishops over us, to visit us, judge us, syndicate us, and leave out yourselves: Plus sacerdotum vitam quam suum discutientes, as St. Gregory complains; That bestow more time in examining the lives of their pastors, than their own. Quid tibi mains minister, ubi bonus dominus, says Aquinas upon this: As long as thou art sure, that the master of tho house will receive thee kindly, what carest thou though a surly fellow let thee in at door? Sacramenta absunt indigne tractantibus, says that father": An hypocritical preaching of the Word, an unclean administration of the sacraments, shall aggravate the condemnation of that unclean hypocrite; but yet prosunt digne sumentibus; a worthy receiver, receives tho virtue and benefit of the Word and sacraments, though from an unworthy giver.
I may be bold to say, that this city hath the ablest preaching
481 Pet. ii. 9. "Leo.
41 Rev. v. 10. 4* Augustine.
clergy of any city in Christendom; must I be fain to say, that the clergy of this city hath the poorest entertainment of any city that can come into comparison with it? It is so. And that to which they have pretences and claims to bo farther due to them, is detained, not because that which they have is enough, but because that which they claim is too much: the circumstance of the quantity and proportion, keeps off the consideration of the very right: so that this clergy is therefore poor, because they should be rich; therefore kept without any part, because so great a part seems to belong unto them. Grieve not the Spirit of God; grieve not the spiritual man, the man of God neither: Ex tristitia sermo procedens, minus gratus est": He that preaches from a sad heart, under the sense of a great charge, and small means, cannot preach cheerfully to you. Provide, says the apostle, that they who watch over your souls, may do it with joy and not with grief": for, says he, that is unprofitable for you. You receive not so much profit by them, as you might do, if they might attend your service entirely; when they are distracted with chargeable suits abroad, or macerated with penurious fortunes at home. Consider how much other professions, of arms, of merchandise, of agriculture, of law itself, are decayed of late: and thence, (though not only thence) it is, that so many more in our times, than ever before, of honourable and worshipful families, apply themselves to our profession, to the ministry. Let therefore this light shine in your hearts, bless God for this blessed increase, and shine in your tongues; glorify God in a good interpretation of the actions of his ministers, and shine in your hands; cherish and comfort them so, that they be not put to bread and water, that give you bread and wine; nor mourn in smokey corners, who bring you the sunshine of the glorious Gospel, the Gospel of consolation, into the congregation. And so we have done with all the four considerations, which made up this first branch, our vocation by this light, considered positively, the thing, the time, the place, and the persons. A little remains by debt of promise, to be said of this comparatively, As God commanded light, so he hath shined in our hearts. A little before the text, the act of the devil is to induce darkness; but God illumines. Deus hujus saculi, says
"Heb. xiii. 17.
the apostle, The god of this world", that is, the devil, blinds the eyes of men. Which words by the way give just occasion of making this short note, that many times by altercation and vehemence of disputation, the truth of the literal sense is endangered: and therefore we should rather content ourselves with positive and necessary divinity, than entangle ourselves with impertinent controversies. The Manichees, and thoso other heretics, who constituted duo principia, and consequently two gods, one good, and one bad, made use of this text for that opinion; that if the devil were god of this world, and if any god did blind the eyes of man, there was an ill god. And to elevate and take away that argument of those heretics, very many of the ancient fathers, Irenaeus, literally and expressly, and expressly and literally St. Chrysostom too, and St. Augustine says, most of the orthodox fathers would needs read that place with another distinction, another interpunction, than indeed belongs to it, not deu s hujus soeculi, the god of this world hath blinded man; but Deus, hujus swculi mentes, God, that is, the true God, hath blinded the eyes of the men of this world. And so, for fear of giving the name of God to the devil, they attribute the action of the devil to God. I do not mean that the fathers do it, they were far from it; but this shift, and this inconvenient manner of expressing themselves, hath made some later men who think so, think, that the fathers thought God to be really, positively, primarily, the author of the exejecation of the reprobates. In what sense that may be said, how, and how far God concurs to this exeaecation, we dispute not now. We rest in that of St. Augustine, Aliud venit de astutia suadentis, aliud de nequitia nolentis, aliud de justitia pun tenth. God hath a part, a great part in this; but not the first. First, says St. Augustine, Satan suggests, then man consents; then enters God, by way of punishment, of justice. And how far doth he punish? Deserendo, he forsakes that sinner, he withdraws his grace: and then, as upon the departing of tho sun, darkness follows, but the sun is not the cause of darkness; so upon departing of grace, follows exeaeaction. God, our God, is the God of light, and lighteneth every man that cometh into the world. So he began in the creation, so he proceeds in our voca
46 2 Cor. iv. 4.
tion, As he commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts.
First, he made light: there was none before; so first, he shines in our hearts, by his preventing grace; there was no light before; not of nature, by which any man could see, any means of salvation; not of foreseen merits, that God should light his light at our candle, give us grace therefore, because he saw that we would use that grace well. He made light, he infused grace.
And then, he made light first of all creatures: Ut innotescerent, says St. Ambrose; That by that light all his other creatures might be seen: which is also the use of this other light, that shines in our hearts, that by that light, the love of the truth, and the glory of Christ Jesus, all our actions may be manifested to the world, and abide that trial; that we look for no other approbation of them, than as they are justifiable by that light, as they conduce to the maintenance of his religion, and the advancement of his glory: not to consider actions as they are wisely done, valiantly done, learnedly done, but only as they are religiously done: and Ut abdicemus occulta dedecoris, as the apostlo speaks; That we may renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, and not walk in craftiness": that is, not sin therefore, because we see our sins may be hid from the world: For, says St. Ambrose, speaking of Gyges' ring, a ring by which he that wore it, bocame invisible; Da sapienti, says that father, Give a wise man, (a man religiously wise) that ring, and though he might sin invisibly before men, he would not, because God sees. Nay, even the moral man" goes further than that, in that point; Though I knew, says he, hominem ignoraturum, et Deum ignosciturum, that man should never know it, and that God would forgive it, I would not sin, for the very foulness that is naturally in sin. As God commanded light for the manifestation of his creatures, so he hath shined in our hearts, that our actions might appear by that light.
How then made he that light? Dixit, he said it, by his word. In which we note, first, the means: verbo, he did it by his word; and by his word, the preaching of his word, doth he shine in our hearts. And we consider also the dispatch, how soon he made light, with a word. Dixit, id est, gumma cum celer Hate fecit"
47 2 Cor. iv. 2. 40 Seneca 4* Chrysostom.
His work cost him but a word; and then Cogitasse jussisse est", His word cost him but a thought. So if we consider the dispatch of Christ Jesus in all his miracles, there went but a tolle, Take up thy bed and walk, to the lame man ; but an ephphatha, Be opened, to the deaf man; but a Quid vides? What seest thou? to the blind man. If we consider his dispatch upon the thief on the cross, how soon he brought him from reviling, to glorifying; and if any in this auditory feel that dispatch of the Holy Ghost, in his heart; that whereas he came hither but to see, he hath heard; or if he came to hear the man, he hath heard God in the man, and is better at this glass, than he was at the first; better now, than when he came, and will go away better than he is yet; he that feels this, must confess, that as God commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in his heart: so, that is, by the same means, by his word; and so, that is, with the same speed and dispatch.
Again, Deus vidit lucem, God saw the light; he looked upon it; he considered it; this second light, even religion itself, must be looked upon, considered; not taken implicitly, nor occasionally, not advantageously, but seriously and deliberately, and then assuredly, and constantly.
And then vidit quod bona, God saw that this light was good; God did not see, nor say that darkness was good; that ignorance, how near of kin soever they make it to devotion, was good; nor that the waters were good; that a fluid, a moving, a variable, an uncertain irresolution in matter of religion, is good; nor that that abi/mts, that depth which was before light, was good; that it is good to surround and enwrap ourselves in deep and perplexing school-points; but he saw that light, evident and fundamental articles of religion, were good, good to clear thee in all scruples, good to sustain thee in all temptations. God knew that this light would be good, before he made it; but he did not say so, till he saw it. God knew every good work that thou shouldest do, every good thought that thou shouldest think to thy end, before thy beginning, for he of his own goodness, imprinted this degree of goodness in thee; but yet assure thyself, that he loves thee in another manner, and another measure, then, when thou comest
really to do those good works, than before, or when thou didst only conceive a purpose of doing them: he calls them good when he sees them.
And when he saw this light, this good light, he separated all darkness from it. When thou hast found this light to have shined in thy heart, God manifested in his way, his true religion, separate all darkness, the dark inventions and traditions of men, and the works of darkness, sin ; and since thou hast light, benight not thyself again, with relapsing to either.
The comparison of these two lights, created and infused light, would run in infinitum; I shut it up with this, that as at the first production of light, till light was made, there was a general, an universal darkness, darkness over all, but after light was once made, there was never any universal darknesss, because there is no body big enough to shadow the whole sun from the earth; so till this light shine in our hearts, we are wholly darkness; but when it hath truly and effectually shined in us, and manifested to us the evidence of our election in God's eternal decree, howsoever there may be some clouds, some eclipses, yet there is no total darkness, no total, no final falling away of God's saints. And in all these respects, the comparison holds. As God commanded light out of darkness, so he hath shined in our hearts; and so we have done with all the branches of our second part, which implies our vocation here, and we pass to the last, our glorification hereafter.
As in our first part we considered by occasion of the first creature, light, the whole creation, and so the creation of man; and in our second part, by occasion of this shining in our hearts, the whole work of our vocation and proceeding in this world: so in this third part, by occasion of this glorious manifestation of God, in the face of Christ Jesus, which is intended principally, by this apostle, of the manifestation of God in the Christian church; we shall also, as far as that dazzling glory will give us leave, consider the perfect state of glory in the kingdom of heaven: so that first, our branches in this third part, will be three, these three terms, (1) knowledge, (2) glory, and then, the face of Jesus Christ. And then we must look upon all theso three terms two ways, first, inchoative, how we have an inchoation of this knowledge, of this glory, in this face of Christ Jesus here in the church; and then consummating, how we shall have a consummation of all this hereafter.
To us then, who were created of nothing, in the first part, and called from the Gentiles in the second, in this third part, our preparation to glory, is knowledge. The persons in this part of the text, are, as in the former; not only we, we the ministers of God's Word, but you also the hearers thereof: for there is a knowledge, an art of hearing, as well as of speaking. Students make up the university, as well as doctors: and hearers make up the congregation, as well as preachers. A good hearer is as much a doctor, as a preacher: a doctor to him that sits by him, in example, whilst he is here: a doctor to all his family, in his repetition, when he comes home: a doctor to that which is more than the whole world, to him, his own soul, all his life. Christ appeared to this apostle, and said, / have appeared unto thee, for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, to open the Gentiles' eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God". There he received his degree, his learning, and the use of it; but when St. Paul came abroad into the world, when he comes to preach, and to write, he says to the Colossians, The Father hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in his light". Us, says St. Chrysostom, and so says Theophylact too, and many more than they two; us, that is, all us, us that preach, you that hear; you are bound to study this knowledge, as well as we. And truly, a hearer hath in some respects advantage of the preacher: for a preacher, though in some measure well disposed, can hardly exuere hominem, put off the affections of man, by being a preacher; they stick closer to him than his hood and habit, even in the pulpit. Some little clouds, if not of ostentation, and vain glory, yet of complacency and self-pleasing, will affect him; the hearer hath, not that temptation, but hath herein a more perfect exercise of the most Christian virtue, humility, than the preacher hath. . Though therefore, when you cast your eye upon this part of this text, you see in your book, a difference of character, in this word, To give, to give light, &c, which seems to fix all upon the person
"Acts xxvi. 16, 18. M Col. i. 12.
of the apostle, and consequently of the minister; yet that word is not in the text, but the text is only, fir the enlightening; God hath shined, for the enlightening, &c, ichich is alike upon all; and therefore let us, all us, cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light: light itself is faith; but the armour of light is knowledge; an ignorant man is a disarmed man, a naked man.
Ignorance then is not our usher into this presence, to show us the face of Christ Jesus: almost in every one of the ancient fathers, you shall find some passages, wherein they discover an inclination to that opinion, that before Christ came in the manifestation of his Gospel (for, since that coming, every man is bound to see him there) many philosophers, men of knowledge, and learning, were saved without the knowledge of Christ. Christus ratio, says one of them88, well, (for Logos is ratio, and not only verbum, as it is ordinarily translated) Christ is reason, rectified reason; and secundum rationem vixerunt, Christiani semper, says he, Whosoever lives according to rectified reason, which is the law of nature, he is a Christian; and therefore, when that father, Justin Martyr, who had been before a philosopher amongst the Gentiles, came to be a preacher amongst the Christians, he never left off his philosopher's habit, because that gave an impression of his learning, and an estimation by it. That knowledge was a help to salvation, the ancients thought: but that is a new doctrine, that men should make a title to God, by being ignorant: that whereas all the life of man, is either an active life, or a contemplative, they should in the Roman church make one' order, and call them nullanos, men that did nothing, in contempt of the active life, and in contempt of the contemplative life; another order, whom they call ignorantes, men that know nothing. There is an annihilation in sin; Homines cum peccant, nihil sunt": Then when by sin, I depart from the Lord my God, in whom only I live, and move, and have my being, I am nothing; and truly, in this sinful profession of thine, of doing nothing, of knowing nothing, they come too near being nothing. What other answer can this knowing nothing, here, produce at the last day, from Christ Jesus, but his nescio Vos, I know not you? As David
u Justin Martyr. 54 Augustine.
says of God", Cum perverso perverteris, With the froward, God will be froward; so, ignorantes ignorabit, of the ignorant, God will be ignorant; not know them, that study not knowledge. The miracle that Christ wrought in the conversion of the world, was not, that he wrought upon men by apostles, that were unlearned; for the apostles were not so; they were never unprovided to give a pertinent and satisfactory answer to the learnedest of the philosophers amongst the Gentiles, to any of the Gamaliels and Nicodemuses, who were true understanders of the law amongst the Jews; to any of their scribes, the perverters of the law; to any of the Pharisees, their separatists, and schismatics; to any of the Sadducees, their formal heretics; nor to any of their Herodians, their state divines, who made divinity serve present turns, and occasions. The apostles were no ignorant men, then, when they were employed: but in this consisted the miracle, that in an instant, Christ, by his Spirit, infused all knowledge, necessary for that great function, into them. If they had not had it, they could not have done his work. All must have it; Intelligite reges, says David; For all their business, kings must study for it: Erudimini judices**; With their other learning, judges must have this. The prophet denounces it for a heavy curse, The prophet shall be a fool"; he that should teach, shall not be able to do it: and, as it follows, the spiritual man shall be mad; if he have knowledge, he shall not know how to use it. St. Hierome translates that word, arreptitius, he shall be possessed; possessed with the spirit of fear, or of flattery; others shall speak in him, and he become the instrument of men, and not of God. It was the devil's first advantage, knowledge; the serpent was wiser than any beast: it is so still; Satan is wiser than any man in natural, and in civil knowledge. It is true, he is a lion too; but he was a serpent first; and did us more harm as a serpent, than as a lion. But now, as Christ Jesus hath nailed his handwriting, which he had against us, to the cross, and thereby cancelled his evidence; so in his descent to hell, and subsequent acts of his glorification, he hath burnt his library, annihilated his wisdom, in giving us a wisdom above his craft; ho hath shined in our hearts by the knowledge of his Gospel.
"Psalm xviii. 20. M Psalm ii. 10. 57 Hosea ix. 7.
Measure not thou therefore the growth and forwardness of thy child, by how soon he could speak, or go; how soon he could contract with a man, or discourse with a woman: but how soon he became sensible of that great contract which he_ had made with Almighty God, in his baptism: how soon he was able to discharge those sureties, which undertook for him, then, by receiving his confirmation, in the church: how soon he became to discern the Lord's Spirit, in the preaching of his word, and to discern the Lord's body, in the administration of the sacrament. A Christian child must grow, as Christ when he was a child, in wisdom and in stature: first, in wisdom, then in stature". Many havo been taller at sixteen, than ever Christ was; but not any so learned at sixty, as he when he disputed at twelve. He grew in favour, says that text, with God and man; first, with God, then with man. Bring up your children in the knowledge and love of God; and good, and great men, will know, and love them too.
It is a good definition of ill love, that St. Chrysostom gives, that it is animw vacantis passio, a passion of an empty soul, of an idle mind. For fill a man with business, and he hath no room for such love. It will fit the love of God too, so far, as that that love must be in anima vacante: at first, when the soul is empty, disencumbered from other studies, disengaged in other affections, then to take in the knowledge, and the love of God; for, A mart nisi notanon possunt, says St. Augustine truly; however we may slumber ourselves with an opinion of loving God, certainly we do not, we cannot love him, till we know him; and therefore hear, and read, and meditate, and confer, and use all means whereby thou mayest increase in knowledge. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them, says Christ; you are not happy till you do them; that is true: but ye can never do them, till ye know them. Zeal furthers our salvation; but it must be secundum scientiam, zeal according to knowledge. Works further our salvation; but not works done in our sleep, stupidly, casually, nor erroneously, but upon such grounds as fall within our knowledge to be good. Faith most of all furthers and advances our salvation; but a man cannot believe that which he does not know. Conscience includes science; it is knowledge, and more; but it is that first. It is,
18 Luke ii. 52.
VOL. vi. ,N
as we express it in the school, syllogismus practicus. I have a good conscience in having done well; but I did that upon a former knowledge, that that ought to be done. God hath shined in our hearts, to give us the light of knowledge, that was tho first; and then, of the knowledge of the glory of God, that is our second term, in this first acceptation of the word. The light of the knowledge of the glory of this world, is a good, and a great piece of learning. To know, that all the glory of man, is as the flower of grass": that even the glory, and all the glory, of man, of all mankind, is but a flower, and but as a flower, somewhat less than the prototype, than the original, thau the flower itself; and all this but as the flower of grass neither, no very beautiful flower to tho eye, no very fragrant flower to the smell: to know, that for the glory of Moab, auferetur, it shall be contemned, consumed"'; and for the glory of Jacob itself, attenuabttur, it shall bo extenuated"; that the glory of God's enemies shall be brought to nothing, and the glory of his servants shall bo brought low in this word; to know how near nothing, how mere nothing, all the glory of this world is, is a good, a great degree of learning.
It is a book of an old edition, to put you upon the consideration what great and glorious men have lost their glory in this world: give me leave to present to you a new book, a new consideration; not how others have lost, but consider only how you havo got that glory which you have in this world: consider advisedly, and confess ingenuously, whether you have not known many men, more industrious than ever you were, and yet never attained to the glory of your wealth? many wiser than ever you were, and yet never attained to your place in the government of state? and valianter than ever you were, that never came to have your command in the wars? Consider then how poor a thing the glory of this world is, not only as it may bo so lost, as many have lost it, but as it may be so got, as you have got it. Nullum indifferens gloriosum, says that moral man"; in that which is so obvious, as that any man may compass it, truly this can bo no glory.
But this is not fully the knowledgo of the glory of this text:
"1 Peter i. 24. co Isaiah xvL 24. «1 Isaiah xvii. 4.
though this moral knowledge of the glory of this world, conduce to the knowledge of this place, which is the glory of God; yet not of the majestical, and inaccessible glory of the essence, or attributes of God, or inscrutable points of divinity: for Scrutator majestatis opprimetur a gloria, as St. Hierome and all those three rabbins, whose commentaries we have upon that book, read that pake8*: He that searches too far into the secrets of God, shall be dazzled, confounded by that glory. But here, gloria Dei, is indeed gloria Deo; the glory of God, is the glorifying of God: it is as St. Ambrose expresses it, Notitia cum la ude; the glory of God, is the taking knowledge, that all that comes, comes from God, and then the glorifying of God for whatsoever comes. And this is a heavenly art, a divine knowledge; that if God send a pestilence amongst us, we come not to say, it was a great fruit year, and therefore there must follow a plague in reason: that if God swallow up an invincible navy, we come to say, there was a storm, and there must follow a scattering in reason: that if God discover a mine, we come not to say, there was a false brother that writ a letter, and there must follow a discovery in reason; but remember still, that though in David's Psalms, there be psalms of prayer, and psalms of praise; psalms of deprecation, and of imprecation too; how diverse soever the nature of the psalm be, yet the church hath appointed to shut up every psalm with that one acclamation, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, &o. Whether I pray, or praise; deprecate God's judgments from myself, or imprecate them upon God's enemies, nothing can fall from me, nothing can fall upon me, but that God may receive glory by it, if I will glorify him in it. So that then, in a useful sense, gloria Dei, is gloria Deo; but yet more literally, more directly, the glory of God in this place, is the glorious Gospel of Christ Jesus: which is that which is intended, and oxpressed in the next phrase, which is the last branch, in this first acceptation of these words, in facie, The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When our Saviour Christ charged the Sadducees with error, it was not merely because they were ignorant: the Sadducees were not so: but, Erratis nescientes Scripturas, says Christ; You
** Prov. xxv. 27.
err because you understand not the Scriptures": all knowledge is ignorance, except it conduce to the knowledge of the Scriptures, and all the Scriptures lead us to Christ. He is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person". The brightness of the everlasting light, and the image of his goodness". And, to insist upon a word of the fittest signification, Him hath God the Father sealed". Now, Sigillum imprimatur in materia diversa": A seal graven in gold or stone, does not print in stone or gold: in wax it will, and it will in clay; for this seal in which God hath manifested himself, we consider it not, as it is printed in the same metal, in the eternal Son of God; but as God hath sealed himself in clay, in the human nature; but yet in wax too, in a person ductile, pliant, obedient to his will. And there, Signatum super nos lumen vultus tui, says David, The light of thy countenance", that is, the image of thyself, is sealed; that is, derived, imprinted, upon us; that is, upon our nature, our flesh. Signatum est, id est, significatum est1*: God hath signified this pretence, manifested, revealed himself in the face of Jesus Christ. For that is the office, and service, that Christ avows himself to have done; 0 Father, I have manifested thy name: that is, thy name of Father, as thou art a father: for, Qui solum Deum notit creatorem, judaicw mensuram prudentiw non pxceditn. Knowest thou that there is a God, and that that God created the world? What great knowledge is this? The Jews know it too. Non est idem, nosse Deum opiftcem esse, et habere filium". It is another religion, another point of faith, to know that God had a Son of eternal begetting, and to have a world of late making. God therefore hath shined in no man's heart, till he know the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, till he come to the manifestation of God, in the Gospel. So that that man comes short of this light, that believes in God, in a general, in an incomprehensible power, but not in Christ; and that man goes beyond this light, who will know more of God, than is manifested in the Gospel, which is the face of Christ Jesus: the one comes not to tho light, the other goes beyond, and both are in blindness.
"Matt. xxii. 29. "Heb. i. 3. M Wisd. ii. 26. "John vi . 27.
"Hilary. "Psalm iv. C. 70 Tertulliau.
71 Cyprian. 78 Chrysostom.
Christ is the image of God, and the Gospel is the face of Christ: and now, I rest not in God's picture, as I find it in every creature; though there be in every creature an image of God; I have a livelier image of God, Christ. And then I seek not for Christ's face, as it was traditionally sent to Agbarus in his life; nor for his face, as it was imprinted in the Veronica, in the woman's apron, as he went to his death; nor for his face, as it was described in Lentulus's letter to the senate of Rome; but I have the glory of God in Christ, 17a, and I have the face of Christ in the Gospel. Except God had taken this very person upon him, this individual person, me, (which was impossible, because I am a sinful person) he could not have come nearer, than in taking this nature upon him. Now I cannot say, as the man at the pool, Hominem non habeo, I have no man to help me; the heathen cannot say, I have no God; but I cannot say, I have no man; for I have a man, the man Jesus; him who, by being man, knows my misery; and by being God, can and will show mercy unto me. The night is far spent, says the apostle, the day is at hand1*; Nox ante Christum, aurora iti evangelio, dies in resurrectione1s. Till Christ all was night, there was a beginning of day, in the beginning of the Gospel, and there was a full noon in the light and glory thereof; but such a day, as shall be always day, and overtaken with no night, no cloud, is only the day of judgment, the resurrection: and this hath brought us to our last step, to the consideration of these three terms; (1) knowledge; (2) glory; (3) the face of Christ Jesus in that everlasting kingdom.
For this purpose did God command light out of darkness, that men might glorify God in the contemplation of the creatures; and for this purpose hath God shined in our hearts, by the Scriptures in the church, that man might be directed towards him, here; but both these hath God done therefore, to this purpose, this is the end of all, that man might come to this light, in that everlasting state, in the consummation of happiness in soul, and body too, when we shall be called out of the solitariness of tho grave, to the blessed and glorious society of God, and his angels, and his saints there. Hoc verbo reconcinnor, et componor et in
7* i. e. "aye." See Shakspearc, Romeo and Juliet, act iii. scene ii.
74 Rom. xiii. 12. 75 Gregory.
alium virum migro,e: with that word, Surgite mortui, Arise ye that sleep in the dust, all my pieces shall be put together again, reconcinnor; with that word, Intra in gaudium, Enter into thy Masters joy, I am settled, I am established, componor; and with that word, Sede ad dattram, Sit down at my right hand, I become another manner of man, in alium virum migro; another manner of miracle, than the same father makes of man in this world; Quodnam mysterium, says he, What a mystery is man here! Parvus sum et magnus: I am less in body than many creatures in the world, and yet greater in the compass and extent of my soul than all the world: Humillimue sum et excelsus; I am under a necessity of spending some thoughts upon this low world, and yet in an ability to study, to contemplate, to lay hold upon the next: Mortalis sum, et immortalis; in a body that may, that must, that does, that did die ever since it was made; I carry a soul, nay, a soul carries me, to such a perpetuity, as no saint, no angel, God himself shall not survive me, over-live me. And lastly, says he, Terrenus sum, et coslestis; I havo a body, but of earth; but yet of such earth, as God was the potter to mould it, God was tho statuary to fashion it; and then I have a soul, of which God was the father, he breathed it into me, and of which no matter can say, I was the mother, for it proceeded of nothing. Such a mystery is man here: but he is a miracle hereafter; I shall be still the same man, and yet have another being: and in this is that miracle exalted, that death who destroys me, re-edifies me: Mors veluti medium excogitata, tit de integro restauraretur homo11: Man was fallen, and God took that way to raise him, to throw him lower, into the grave; man was sick, and God invented, God studied physic for him, and strange physic, to recover him by death. The first, faciamus hominem, the creation of man, was a thing incomprehensible in nature; but the dtnuo nasci, to bo born again, was stranger, even to Nicodemus18, who knew the former, the creation, well enough. But yet the immutabimur is the greatest of all, which St. Paul calls all to wonder at, Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed1*: a mystery, which if Nicodemus had discerned
it, would have put him to more wonder, than the denuo nasci; to enter into his mother's womb, (as he speaks) to enter into the bowels of the earth, and lie there, and lie dead there, not nine months, but many years, and then to bo bom again, and the first minute of that new birth to be so perfect, as that nothing can be better, and so perfect as that he can never become worse, that is that which makes all strange accidents to natural bodies, and bodies politic too, all changes in man, all revolutions of states, easy, and familiar to us; I shall havo another being, and yet be the same man. And in that state, I shall have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. Of which three things being now come to speak, I am the less sorry, and so may you be too, if my voice be so sunk, as that I be not heard; for, if I had all my time, and all my strength, and all your patience reserved till now, what could I say that could become, what, that could have any proportion, to this knowledge, and this glory, and this face of Christ Jesus, there in the kingdom of heaven 2 But yet be pleased to hear a word, of each of these three words; and first, of knowledge. In the attributes of God, we consider his knowledge to be principium agendi dirigens, tho first proposer, and director; this should be done: and then his will to be principium imperans, the first commander, this shall be done; and then his power to be principium exsequens, the first performer, this is done: this should be done, this shall be done, this is done, expresses to us, the knowledge, the will, and the power of God. Now we shall be made partakers of the divine nature; and the knowledge, and the will, and the power of God, shall be so far communicated to us there, as that we shall know all that belongs to our happiness, and we shall have a will to do, and a power to execute, whatsoever conduces to that. And for the knowledge of angels, that is not in them per essentiam, for whosoever knows so, as the essence of the thing flows from him, knows all things, and that is a knowledge proper to God only: neither do the angels know per species, by those resultances and species, which rise from the object, and pass through the sense to the understanding, for that is a deceivable way, both by the indisposition of the organ, sometimes, and sometimes by the depravation of the judgment; and therefore, as the first is too high, this is too low a way for the angels. Some things the angels do know by the dignity of their nature, by their creation, which we know not; as we know many things which inferior creatures do not; and such things all the angels, good and bad, know. Some things they know by the grace of their confirmation, by which they have more given them, than they had by nature in their creation; and those things only the angels that stood, but all they, do know. Some things they know by revelation, when God is pleased to manifest them unto them; and so some of the angels know that, which the rest, though confirmed, do not know. By creation, they know as his subjects; by confirmation, they know as his servants; by revelation, they know as his council. Now, Erimus sicut angeli, says Christ, There we shall be as the angels: the knowledge which I have by nature, shall have no clouds; here it hath: that which I have by grace, shall have no reluctation, no resistance; here it hath: that which I have by revelation, shall have no suspicion, no jealousy; here it hath: sometimes it is hard to distinguish between a respiration from God, and a suggestion from the devil. There our curiosity shall have this noble satisfaction, we shall know how the angels know, by knowing as they know. We shall not pass from author to author, as in a grammar-school, nor from art to art, as in an university; but, as that general which knighted his whole army, God shall create us all doctors in a minute. That great library, those infinite volumes of the books of creatures, shall be taken away, quite away; no more nature; those reverend manuscripts, written with God's own hand, the Scriptures themselves, shall be taken away, quite away; no more preaching, no more reading of Scriptures; and that great schoolmistress, experience and observation, shall be removed, no new thing to be done; and in an instant, I shall know more, than they all could reveal unto me. I shall know, not only as I know already, that a bee-hive, that an ant-hill is the same book in decimo sexto, as a kingdom is in folio, that a flower that lives but a day, is an abridgment of that king, that lives out his threescore and ten years; but I shall know too, that all these ants, and bees, and flowers, and kings, and kingdoms, howsoever they may be examples, and comparisons to one another, yet they aro all as nothing, altogether nothing, less than nothing, infinitely less than nothing, to that which shall then be the subject of my knowledge, for, It is the knowledge of the glory of God.
Before, in the former acceptation, the glory of God, was our glorifying of God; here, the glory of God, is his glorifying of us: there it was his receiving, here it is his giving of glory. That prayer which our Saviour Christ makes, Glorify me, 0 Father, with thine own self, with the glory which I had, before the world was*0, is not a prayer for the essential glory of God; for Christ in his divine nature was never divested, never unaccompanied of that glory; and for his human nature, that was never capable of it: the attributes, and so the essence of the glory, of the divinity, are not communicable to his human nature, neither perpetually, as the Ubiquitaries say, nor temporarily in the sacrament, as the Papists imply. But the glory which Christ asks there, is, the glory of sitting down at the right hand of his Father in our flesh, in his human nature, which glory he had before the world, for he had it in his predestination, in the eternal decree. And that is the glory of God, which we shall know; know, by having it. We shall have a knowledge of the very glory, the essential glory of God, because we shall see him sicuti est, as God is, in himself; and cognoscam ut cognitus; I shall know as I am known that glory shall dilate us, enlarge us, give us an inexpressible capacity, and then fill it; but we shall never comprehend that glory, the essential glory; but that glory which Christ hath received in his human nature, (in all other degrees, excepting those which flow from his hypostatical union) we shall comprehend, we shall know, by having: we shall receive a crown of glory, that fadeth not": it is a crown that compasses round, no entrance of danger any way: and a crown that fadeth not, fears no winter: we shall have interest in all we see, and we shall see the treasure of all knowledge, the face of Christ Jesus. Then and there, we shall have an abundant satisfaction and accomplishment, of all St. Augustine's three wishes: he wished to have seen Rome in her glory, to have heard St. Paul preach, and to have seen Christ in the flesh. We shall have all: we
shall see such a Jerusalem, as that Rome, if that were literally true, which is hyperbolically said of Rome, In urbe, in orbe, That city is the whole world; yet Rome, that Rome, were but a village to this Jerusalem. We shall hear St. Paul, with the whole choir of heaven, pour out himself in that acclamation, Salvation to our God, that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb": and we shall see, and see for ever, Christ in that flesh, which hath done enough for his friends, and is safe enough from his enemies. Wo shall see him in a transfiguration, all clouds of sadness removed; and a transubstantiation, all his tears changed to pearls, all his blood-drops into rubies, all the thorns of his crown into diamonds: for, where we shall see the walls of his palace to be sapphire, and emerald, and amethyst, and all stones that are precious84, what shall we not see in the face of Christ Jesus! And whatsoever we do see, by that very sight becomes ours. Bo therefore no strangers to this face: see him here, that you may know him, and ho you, there: see him, as St. John did, who turned to see a voice65: see him in the preaching of his word; see him in that seal, which is a copy of him, as ho is of his Father; see him in the sacrament. Look him in the face as he lay in the manger, poor, and then murmur not at temporal wants; suddenly enriched by the tributes of kings, and doubt not but that God hath large and strange ways to supply thee. Look him in the face, in the temple, disputing there at twelve years; and then apply thyself to God, to the contemplation of him, to the meditation upon him, to a conversation with him betimes. Look him in the face in his father's house; a carpenter, and but a carpenter. Take a calling, and contain thyself in that calling. But bring him nearer, and look him in the face, as he looked on Friday last; when he whose face the angels desire to look on, he who was fairer than the children of men, as the prophet speaks8*, who so marred more than any man, as another prophet says", That they hid their faces from him, and despised him; when he who bore up the heavens bowed down his head, and he who gives breath to all, gave up the ghost: and then look him in the face again, as he looked yesterday, not lamed upon
8* Rev. vii. 10. 81 Eev. xxi. 19. 85 Rev. i. 12.
88 Psalm Xlv. 3. 87 Isaiah Lii. 11; Liii. 3.
the cross, not putrefied in the grave, not singed in hell, raised, and raised by his own power, victoriously, triumphantly, to the destruction of the last enemy, death; look him in the face in all these respects, of humiliation, and of exaltation too; and then, as a picture looks upon him, that look upon it, God upon whom thou keepest thine eye, will keep his eye upon thee, and, as in the creation, when he commanded light out of darkness, he gave thee a capacity of this light; and as in thy vocation, when he shined in thy heart, he gave thee an inchoation of this light, so in associating thee to himself at the last day, he will perfect, consummate, accomplish all, and give thee the light of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus there.
This is the last word of our text: but we make up our circle by returning to the first word; the first word is, for; for the text is a reason of that which is in the verse immediately before the text; that is, we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants, for Jesus' sake. We stop not on this side Christ Jesus; we dare not say, that any man is saved without Christ; we dare say, that none can be saved, that hath received that light, and hath not believed in him. We carry you not beyond Christ neither, not beyond that face of his, in which he is manifested, the Scriptures. Till you come to Christ you are without God, as the apostle says to the Ephcsians: and when you go beyond Christ, to traditions of men, you are without God too. There is a sine deo, a left-handed atheism, in the mere natural man, that will not know Christ; and there is a sine deo, a right-handed atheism, in the stubborn papist, who is not content with Christ. They preach Christ Jesus and themselves, and make themselves lords over you in Jesus' place, and farther than ever he went. We preach not ourselves, but him, and ourselves your servants for his sake; and this is our service, to tell you the whole compass, the beginning, the way, and the end of all, that all is done in, and by, and for Christ Jesus, that from thence flow, and thither lead, and there determine all, to bring you, from the memory of your creation, by the sense of your vocation, to the assurance of your glorification, by the manifestation of God in Christ, and Christ in the Scriptures. For God, who commanded light out of darkness, hath shined, &c.