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A00593 Clavis mystica a key opening divers difficult and mysterious texts of Holy Scripture; handled in seventy sermons, preached at solemn and most celebrious assemblies, upon speciall occasions, in England and France. By Daniel Featley, D.D. Featley, Daniel, 1582-1645. 1636 (1636) STC 10730; ESTC S121363 1,100,105 949

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ordinary Priests and Chemarims who were a peculiar order differing from the rest by their blacke habit so the Romish Clergie is evidently divided into ordinary Priests and Monks and Jesuites whose coat is of the same colour with Baals Chemarims 6. As the Priests of Baal used vaine repetitions of the name of their God in their prayers crying O Baal heare us Baal heare us c. so doe Papists in their Jesus and Ladies Psalters much more often repeat the name of Jesus and our Lady and which I never read of the Baalites they put a kind of religion in the number For yee shall reade in the Churches as yee passe by many hundred nay thousand yeeres of pardons liberally offered to all that devoutly say over so many Pater nosters or Ave Maries before such an Altar or Picture 7. As the Priests of Baal used many strange gestures at their Altars mentioned ver 26. so doe these at theirs and some more ridiculous than those of the Baalites 8. As the Priests of Baal cut themselves with knives and launcers till the bloud gushed out in great abundance so these at their solemne processions whip themselves till they are all bloudy These things being so is it possible that there should be any that have given their names to Christ and partake with us in the mysteries of salvation and seed at our Lords board should yet bow the knee to the Romish Baal and so fall within the stroake of Elijahs reproofe How long halt yee between two opinions Should wee not much wrong our reformed Church to surmise there should be any of her members subject to the infirmity or rather deformity of the Israelites here taxed by the Prophet Had they no meanes this sixty yeeres to strengthen the sinewes of their faith and cure their halting Are there any that follow Baalim or to speake more properly insist in the steps of Balaam and for the wages of unrighteousnesse will as much as in them lyeth curse those whom God hath blessed Are there any that lispe in the language of Canaan and speake plaine in the language of Ashdod frame and maintaine such opinions and tenets as like the ancient Tragedian Buskin which served indifferently for either foot left as well as right so these as passable in Rome as Geneva If there be any such I need not apply to them this reprehension of my Prophet How long halt yee between two opinions The dumbe beast and used to the yoke hath long agoe reproved the madnesse of such Prophets But I would that this larum of Elijah still rung in the eare of some of our great Statists About this time Doctor Carier who came over Chaplaine with the Lord Wotton preached a scandalous Sermon in Paris at Luxenburg house and not long after reconciled himselfe to the Romish Church and miscarrying first in his religion after in his hope of great preferments by the Cardinall Perons meanes in great discontent ended his wretched dayes who in the height of their policy over-reach their Religion and keep it so in awe that it shall not quatch against any of their projects for the raising their fortunes or put them to any trouble danger or inconvenience For as the Heliotropium turneth alwayes to the Sunne so they their opinions and practice in matter of Religion to the prevalent faction in State As the cunning Artizan in Macrobius about the time of the civill warre between Anthony and Augustus Caesar had two Crowes and with great labour and industry he taught one of them to say Salve Antoni Imperator God save Emperour Anthony and the other Salve Auguste Imperator All haile my Liege Augustus and thereby howsoever the world went he had a bird for the Conquerour so these if the reformed Religion prevaile their birds note is Ave Christe spes unica but if Popery be like to get the upper hand they have a bird then that can sing Ave Maria. Strange it is ●hat in the cleare light of the Gospel wee should see so many Batts flying which a man cannot tell what to make of whether birds or mice They are Zoophytes plant-animals like the wonderfull sheep in Muscovie Epicens amphibia animalia creatures that sometimes live in the water and sometimes on the land monsters bred of unlawfull conjunctions which should not see light If the image of this vice be so horrid and odious in nature what shall wee judge of the vice it selfe in religion I am sure God can better away with any sort of sinners than these for these he threatneth to spew out of his mouth To close up all My Beloved as yee tender the salvation of body and soule take heed of this Laodicean temper in religion if ye ever looke to be saved by your religion yee must save and preserve it entire and unmixed Take heed how ye familiarly converse with the Priests and Chemarims of Baal lest they draw you away from the living God to dumb dead Idols By no meanes bee brought to bow the knee to Baal or give any shew or countenance to idolatrous worship for God is a jealous God and will not give any part of his glory to graven Images Now the Lord who of his infinite mercy hath vouchsafed unto us the liberty of the Gospel and free preaching of his Word give a speciall blessing to that portion which hath been delivered to us at this present plant hee the true Religion in our hearts and daily water it both by hearing and reading his Word and meditating thereupon that it may bring forth plentifull fruit of righteousnesse in us all strengthen he the sinewes of our faith that we never halt between two opinions enflame he our zeale that we be never cold or lukewarme in the truth but in our understanding being rightly enformed and fully resolved of the orthodoxe faith we may in the whole course of our life be conformed to it reformed by it zealous for it and constant in it to death and so receive the crowne of life through Jesus Christ Cui cum Patre Spiritu sancto c. Amen Ambodexters Ambosinisters Or One God one true Religion THE LIX SERMON 1 KIN. 18.21 If the Lord be God follow him but if Baal then follow him Right Honourable c. NOt to suspect your memorie or wrong your patience by any needlesse repetition of what hath beene formerly observed out of the whole text joyntly or the parts severally considered the drift of the Prophet Elijah in this sprightly reproofe is to excite the King Nobles and Commons of Israel to resolution and zeale in the true and only worship of the true and only God and agreeably to this his maine scope and end hee bendeth all his strength and forces against those vices that bid battaile as it were to the former vertues These are two 1. Wavering unsettlednesse opposite to resolution 2. Timorous luke-warmnesse the sworne enemie to zeale To displace and utterly overthrow them and establish the contrarie
ad rustic Eloquentiae torcularia non verborum pampinis sed sensuum quasi uvarum expressionibus redundarent For in these the presses of eloquence abound with leaves of words and luxuriant stemmes of extravagant wit but in it with spirituall senses and divine sentences as it were the juice and bloud of the ripest grapes of the Vine of Engeddi It is a point of wisedome in man who hath but little to make it goe as farre as he can and so thriftily instill it in his workes as Nature doth her influences in simples a great quantity whereof is often distilled to extract one drop of pure quintessence whereas on the contrary no plant of Paradise no branch of a plant no flower of a branch no leafe of a flower but affordeth great plenty of the water of life more precious than any quintessence that Art can force out of Nature The finers of gold Chrysost tom 5. homil 37. as golden mouth St. Chrysostome teacheth us deale not only with wedges ingots and massie pieces of gold but with the smallest portions thereof And the Apothecaries make singular use in divers confections even of the dust of gold When Alexander the great managed his affaires in Judea those whom he imployed to gather the most precious oyle of a Plin. l. 12. nat hist c. 25. Succus è plaga manat quem Opobalsamum vocant suavitatis eximiae sed tenui gutta Alexandro magnores ibi gerente toto dic aestivo unam concham impleri justum erat Opobalsamum thought a whole Summers day well spent in filling a small shell taking it as it fell drop by drop from the twigge And if a skilfull Jeweller will not grind out a small spot or cloud out of a rich stone though it somewhat dimme the bright lustre thereof because the substance is so precious shall we lose or sleightly passe by any Iota or tittle of the Booke of God which shall out-last the large volumes of the heavens for * Mat. 5.18 heaven earth shall passe away but no one Iota or tittle of the Word of God shall passe The Jewish Rabines say that great mountaines hang upon the smallest Jods in the Bible And St. b Chrys in Gen. 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Chrysostome will not endure a devout Christian to let goe any syllable in the Scripture no nor pricke or point without observation Surely if God so carefully preserve the smallest parcels of Scripture he would have us religiously observe them Else if wee content our selves with a generall handling of the Word of life how shall wee satisfie the Apostles precept of rightly dividing the Word of God * 2. Tim. 2.15 Shew thy self a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of truth The word in the originall is not 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 dichotomizing the Apostle tyeth no man to a precise Ramisticall method yet is it 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 rightly cutting or dividing the Word of truth which cannot be done if any sensible part be omitted be it but a conjunctive particle as this Till in my Text which standeth like an hinge in the midst of the sentence turning the meaning divers wayes If it hath reference to the death and resurrection of our Saviour as Cajetan Avendanus conceive it hath in which he brought forth judgement unto victory by condemning the world conquering both death hell then the meaning of the whole is this He shall not strive nor cry c. he shall not offer any violence to his enemies by word or deed although he could as easily destroy them as a man may breake a reed already bruised or tread out the smoaking week of a light ready to goe out of it selfe yet he will not use this power but contrariwise carry himselfe most meekly towards them and by his mildnesse and patience both condemn their fury and conquer their obstinacy If it looke farther forward to the destruction of the City and Temple and the overthrow of the whole Jewish Nation as Theophylact and Musculus imagine expounding Till hee bring forth judgement unto victory till he execute judgement upon them that judged him and fully be revenged of them by the sword of the Romans then the meaning of the whole is Hee shall not breake the bruised reed of the Jewish Nation till by the victory of the Romans he shall execute judgement upon that Nation nor shall he quench the smoaking flaxe of the Aaronicall Priesthood till forty veeres after his death the City of Jerusalem shall bee sacked and the Temple burned downe to the ground and by the propagation of the Gospel and prevailing thereof in all places the dimme light of the Ceremoniall Law be quite extinguished But if the word Untill carry us so farre as the last Judgement to which St. Jerome St. Hilary c Guilliand comment in Mat. Qui diebus carnis suae visus est humilis benignus doctor aderit aliquando Jude● utetur potentiá absolutâ damnavit hostes suos Guilliandus and many other learned Expositors referre it then the whole beareth this tune See you Jesus now in the forme of a servant how humble and meeke he is so farre from killing and subduing his bloud-thirsty enemies by forcible meanes that hee will not strive with them so farre from lifting up his hand against them that hee will not lift up his voice Hee will not cry nor shall his voice bee heard in the streets complaining against them so farre from wounding the spirit Cic. Catil prim Quos ferro vulnerare oportebat nondum voce vulnerat or hurting the bodies of any men that hee will not breake a bruised reed nor quench the smoaking flaxe The time shall come when you shall see this meek Lambe turned into a fierce Lion He who cryed not upon earth shall thunder from heaven He who came now to suffer in meeknesse shall hereafter come in power to conquer Hee who came in humility to bee judged shall come in Majesty to judge both quicke and dead Hee who came by water and bloud by water to wash our sinnes and by bloud to quench the fire of his Fathers wrath shall one day come in flaming fire to render vengeance to all that beleeve not the Gospel He who in all his life never brake a bruised reed a Beza in Mat. c. 12. Tum rebellia corda confringet non jam clemens humilis sed severus majestate verendus shall after his death and resurrection when he commeth to Judgement if not before rule the Nations with a rod of Iron and breake them in pieces like a potters vessell Hee who here never quenched the smoaking flaxe hee shall hereafter put out the greater lights of the world He shall darken the Sunne and turne the Moone into bloud and shake the powers of heaven and foundations of the earth and the hearts of men and behold he commeth with the clouds and all eyes shall see
putteth his trust in him shall glory in these his victories But the mouth of all Jewes and Gentiles Turkes and Infidels Atheists and Idolaters that belch out blasphemies against him shal be stopped when he shall come in the glory of his Father with his elect Angels and sit in judgement upon quicke and dead u Hieron epist ad Heliod Tunc quod vocem inbae pavebit terra cum populis tu gaudebis Judicaturo Domino lugubrè mundus immugiet tribus ad tribum pectora ferient Potentissimi quo●dam reges nudo latere pulpitabunt exhibebitur cum prole sua vere tunc ignitus Jupiter adducetur cum suis stultus Plato discipulis Aristotelis argumenta non proderunt Tunc tu rusticanus pauper exultabis ridebis dices ecce crucifixus Deus meus ecce Judex qui obvolutus pannis in praesepio vagiit hic est ille operarii quaestuariae filius hic qui matris gestatus sinu hominem Deus fugit in Egyptum hic vestitus coccino hic sentibus coronatus cerne manus Judae e quas fixeras cerne latus Romane quod foderas Then at the sound of the last trumpe the earth shall tremble with the inhabitants but thou O Christian shalt rejoyce When thy Lord comes to judge the world shall roare hideously all the kindreds of the earth shall smite their breasts the most puissant Kings shall appeare without their guard panting for feare Jupiter himselfe the chiefe Idoll of all the heathen with all his off-spring shall be seene all in true fire foolish Plato shall be brought with his disciples Aristotles sophistry shall stand him in no stead Then thou poore and simple countrey swaine shalt leap for joy and say Behold my God who was crucified behold the Judge who sometimes wrapt in swadling clothes cryed in a manger this is the Carpenters sonne this is he who borne in his mothers armes being God fled from man into Aegypt this he who was clad in purple and crowned with thornes see O Jew the hands which thou nailedst view O Roman the side which thou diggedst with thy speare behold O Jew the head which thou prickedst with thornes now compassed with radiant beames behold the face thou defiledst with spittle shining brighter than the Sun behold the hands thou woundedst with Iron nailes holding a rod of Iron and bruising his enemies like a potters vessell behold O Roman the naked side which thou piercedst with a speare now guarded with a troupe of Angels with their polaxes behold the body thou strippedst starke naked cloathed with light as with a garment In a word behold him whom thou esteemedst the scorne of the earth made now the glory of the heavens in a triumphant march with millions of Saints and Angels riding on bright clouds as it were fiery chariots through the aire to execute speedie vengeance upon all his enemies and to take up all the elect with him into heaven x Apoc. 22.20 Etiam sic veni Domine Jesu Even so come Lord Jesu come quickly You have heard how sweet and heavenly the musicke is if you take the highest cliffe from Christ if you take the middle from David thus the notes follow They that seeke my soule to destroy it that is my bloud-thirsty enemies shall goe into the lowest parts of the earth that is either enter into their graves or hide themselves in caves of the earth they shall make him to run out like water that is cause Saul my capitall and mortall enemie to spill his owne bloud by falling upon his owne sword And they shall be a portion for foxes This clause of the prophecie was not fulfilled in Saul his person nor his sonnes for y 1 Sam. 31.12.13 their flesh was burnt and their bones buried under a tree at Jabesh but in his servants and souldiers which mortally wounded on the mounts of Gilboa and being not able to helpe themselves nor having any to burie them after they had breathed out their last gasp fell to the foxes share and therefore David purposely altereth the number saying not they shall cast him downe and he shall bee a portion for foxes but they shall be a portion for foxes as in the truth of the story afterwards they fell to the foxes commons Now after the death first of Saul and the discomfiture of his royall armie and the overthrow afterwards of the Philistims and destruction of all his enemies round about King David sitting safely and quietly in his throne full of joy and comfort breaketh forth into a Psalme of thanks-giving to God for his wonderfull victories and strange deliverances and all the loyall subjects of Judah and Israel beare a part with him in it whereat all those that before had falsely traduced his person or impugned his right to his crowne were put to silence and shame Thus have I set the tune in my text to the middle key also and as you heare the musicke is sweet if you will have the patience to heare it once more set to the lowest key you will all perceive that every note in it conforteth not onely with our voices but our thoughts and affections at this present I have shewed you how this prophecy in my text was fulfilled in Christ Davids Lord and secondly in David the Lords Christ may it please you out of your love to him to whose honour you have dedicated this feast to stretch out your patience to the length of the houre and I shall briefly exemplifie the same in our Israels David To resume then the words of this Scripture and by the parts of it to draw the lineaments of that narration which shall serve for my conclusion First I will relate unto you the attempt of the conspirators the Earle Gowrie and Alexander Ruthen his brother and their complices by the occasion of these words They that seek my soule to destroy it Secondly the event by occasion of the words following shall goe to the lowest parts of the earth c. They that seeke my soule to destroy it Were there ever any such or are there any at this day Doth hee breathe that would goe about to stop the z Sen. de clem l. 1. c. 4. Ille est vinculum per quod respublica coheret ille est spiritus vitalis quem tot millia trahunt breath which so many thousands draw Doth the Sun give light to any that would go about to quench the light of Israel can the earth bear any such an ungratefull and gracelesse varlet whose conscience is burthened with so heavie and heinous a sin as Parricide in the highest degree laying violent hands upon the Father of his countrey whom for his clemencie and wisedome the world at this day cannot parallel Yes beloved this hath beene the lot of the best Princes that ever ware corruptible Crownes a Suet. in vita Tui Titus sirnamed Delitiae humani generis The darling of mankinde drew this lot and b
eleven Apostles or to more than five hundred brethren that saw him all at one time nay what to more than five millions of Confessors and Martyrs signing the truth of it with their blood and shewing the power of it as well by the wonders which they wrought in his name as the invincible patience wherewith they endured all sorts of torments and death it selfe for his name I might produce the testimony of Josephus the learned Jew and tell you of Paschasinus his holy Well that fils of his owne accord every Easter day and the annuall rising of certaine bodies of Martyrs in the sands of Egypt and likewise of a Phoenix in the dayes of Tyberius much about the time of our Lords resurrection rising out of her owne ashes m Lactant. in Poem Ipsa sibi proles suus pater suus haeres Nutrix ipsa sui semper alumna sibi Ipsa quidem sed non eadem quia ipsa nec ipsa Eternam vitam mortis adepta bono But because the authours of these relations and observations are not beyond exception I will rather conclude this point with an argument of Saint n De civit Dei l. 22. c. 5. Haec duo incredibilia scil resurrectionem nostri corporis rem ●am incredibilem mundum esse crediturum idem dominus antequam vel unum horū fieret ambo futura esse praedixit unum duorum incredibilium jam factum videmus ut quod erat incredibile crede●et mundus curid quod reliquum est desperatur Austines to which our owne undoubted experience gives much strength The same Spirit of God saith hee which foretold the resurrection of Christ foretold also that the doctrine thereof should bee publickly professed and believed in the world and the one was altogether as unlikely as the other But the latter wee see in all ages since Christs death and at this day accomplished in the celebration of this feast why then should any man doubt of the former The Apostles saw the head living but not the mysticall body the Catholike Church of all places and ages We have read in the histories of all ages since Christ and at this day see the Catholike Church spread over the whole face of the earth which is Christs body how can wee then but believe the head to bee living which conveigheth life to all the members I have set before you the glasse of the resurrection in the figures of predictions of the Old Testament and the face it selfe in the history of the New may it please you now to cast a glance of your eye upon the Image or picture thereof in our rising from the death of sinne to the life of grace All Christs actions and passions as they are meritorious for us so they are some way exemplary unto us and as none can bee assured of the benefit of Christs birth unlesse hee bee borne againe by water and the Spirit nor of his death unlesse hee bee dead to sinne nor of his buriall unlesse hee have buried his old Adam so neither of his resurrection unlesse hee bee risen from dead workes and continually walketh in newnesse of life See you how the materiall colours in a glasse window when the sun-beames passe through it produce the like colours but lesse materiall and therefore called by the Philosophers intentionales spiritales on the next wall no otherwise doth the corporall resurrection of Christ produce in all true believers a representation thereof in their spirituall which Saint John calleth o Apoc. 20.5 the first resurrection Saint Paul p Heb. 6.1 repentance from dead workes Sinnes especially heinous and grievous proceeding from an evill habit are called dead workes and such sinners dead men because they are deprived of the life of God have no sense of true Religion they see not Gods workes they heare not his Word they savour not the things of God they feele no pricke of conscience they breath not out holy prayers to God nor move towards heaven in their desires but lye rotting in their owne filthinesse and corruption The causes which moved the Jewes so much to abhorre dead corpses ought to be more prevalent with us carefully to shunne and avoid those that are spiritually dead in sinnes and transgressions they were foure 1 Pollution 2 Horrour 3 Stench 4 Haunting with evill spirits 1 Pollution That which touched a dead corpse was by the law uncleane neither can any come nigh these men much lesse embrace them in their bosome without morall pollution and taking infection in their soules from them 2 Horrour Nothing so ghastly as the sight of a dead corpse the representation whereof oft-times in the Theater appalleth not onely the spectatours but also the actours and yet this sight is not so dreadfull to the carnall man as the sight of those that are spiritually dead I speake of foule notorious and scandalous offenders to them that feare God Saint John would not stay in the same bath with Cerinthus and certainely 't is a most fearefull thing to bee under the same roofe with blasphemous heretickes and profane persons who have no feare of God before their eyes 3 Stench The smell of a carkasse is not so offensive to the nostrils as the stench of gluttony drunkennesse and uncleannesse in which wicked men wallow is loathsome to God and all good men 4 Haunting with evil spirits We read in scriptures that the men that were possest of the divel came q Mat. 8.28 out of the tombs and graves and we find by dayly experience the like of these rather carkasses than men that the devill hankereth about them and entereth into their heart as he did into Judas filling them with all wickednesse and uncleannesse After they have exhausted their bodies with incontinency their estate with riotous living and have lost first their conscience and after their credit they fall into the deepest melancholy upon which Sathan works and puts them into desperate courses r Psal 73.19 O how suddenly doe they consume perish and come to a fearefull end Me thinkes I heare some say wee heard of places haunted by evill spirits in time of popery are there now any such not such as then were solitary houses ruined pallaces or Churches in which fearefull noyses are said to have beene heard and walking spirits to have beene met For at the thunder of the Gospell Sathan fell like lightning from heaven and hath left those his old holds but places of a contrary condition such where is the greatest concourse of people I meane profane Theaters disorderly Tavernes Ale-houses places of gaming and lewdnesse yea prisons also which were intended for the restraint of wickednesse and punishment of vice are made refuges of Malefactors and schooles of all impiety and wickednesse Quis custodes custodiet ipsos As in the hot sands of Africa where wilde beasts of divers sorts meet to drinke strange monsters are begotten which gave occasion to that proverbe ſ Eras
Adag Semper Africa aliquid apportat novi c. so in the places of moist meetings monstrous sinnes are begotten monstrous oaths monstrous blasphemies monstrous murders monstrous uncleannesse here Popery is familiarly broacht nay Atheisme freely vented Gods creatures abused his Sabbath profaned the actions of the State censured the watchfull Magigistrates and the zealous Ministers of the Gospell and all that make profession of Religion nick-named jeared and made a parable of reproach here prophane Musicke and impure Songs are played and sung even in time of divine Service here 's no difference of dayes holy or common nay no difference of day or night I had almost sayd nay nor of Sexes If the hands of the religious Magistrates be not strengthened and their zeale stirred up to take some course to abate the incredible number and reforme the unsufferable abuses of these sinks of all impurity especially about the skirts and suburbs of the city we have cause to feare a worse fire than that which lately affrighted us falling in that place where it might bee as a dreadfull beacon to warne both City Borough and Suburbs I meane such a fire as fell upon Sodome and Gomorrha t Caus in Polyhist symb Polycritus writeth of a Lake of troubled water in Sicily quam si quis ingrediatur in latum extenditur into which the deeper a man wadeth the larger it doth extend it selfe Such a lake my discourse is fallen into the water is foule and troubled and the deeper I sinke into it the more it enlargeth it selfe and lest it should overflow the bankes of the allotted time I will suddenly leape out of it into my second part which is Christs prerogative whereby he is become the first fruits of them that slept Wee have surveyed the ground let us now take a sample of the fruits in the spreading whereof abroad I must handle two things 1 The reference 2 The inference 1 The reference is to Leviticus 23.10 When you reape the harvest you shall bring in a sheafe of the first fruits of the harvest unto the Priest ver 7. and he shall wave it And to Exod. 34.22 You shall observe the feast of weeks the feast of the first fruits of wheat harvest Now let us set the truth to the type As the first fruits were reapt in the harvest when the corne was ripe so Christ was cut off by death in his ripe age 2 As the sheafe that was offered was shaken before so there was an u Mat. 28.2 earthquake at Christs lifting out of the grave 3 As the sheafe was offered the morrow after the Sabbath so Christ the first day of the week after the Sabbath was presented alive to his Father at his resurrection Lastly as there was a distance of time between the first fruits which were offered on Easter day those that were offered at the day of Pentecost so there is a distance of time between Christs rising from the dead which was 1600. yeers ago ours which shall be at the last day Thus much for the reference now to the inference which is twofold 1 Christs prerogative in that he is the first fruits 2 The Saints communion with him in that they are of the heape 1 Christs prerogative * Joh. 3.31 Hee that is in heaven is above all for x Mat. 28.18 to him is given all power in heaven and earth and y Phil. 2.9 a name above all names z Eph. 1.22 he is the head of the Church and a Eph. 5.23 Saviour of the body he is the first b Heb. 1 6. begotten of the Father c Mat. 1.25 first borne of his Mother the first d Col. 1.18 Rev. 1.5 begotten of the dead e Col. 1.15 first borne of every creature Therefore as Quiros strongly concludes in every order both of creation and regeneration of nature and grace of things visible and invisible hee hath the preheminence among all let him have the precedency in our love and affections let us not set any thing above him on earth who hath the first place in heaven If hee bee the head of men and Angels let the knees of all in heaven in earth under the earth bow to him if hee bee the bright morning starre let the eye of our faith bee earely upon him if hee bee f Apoc. 22.16 Alpha and Omega the First and the Last let him bee first in our thoughts and last in our memory g Apoc. 1.8 let us begin our prayers in his name and end them in his merits 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Primâ dicta mihi summâ dicende Camenâ If he be the first fruits Reshith bicorre the first fruits of the first fruits let all the sheaves do homage to him let us sanctifie him in our minds let us offer him the first fruits of our hearts the first fruits of our lips the first fruits of our hands the first fruits of the earth the first fruits of our thoughts the first fruits of our desires the first fruits of our prayers the first fruits of our labours the first fruits of our substance so will he esteem us h Jam. 1.18 the first fruits of his creatures and we shall receive the i Rom. 8.23 first fruits of the spirit here in our regeneration and the whole harvest hereafter in our glorification as our holy brethren that are fallen asleep in soule have received already who rest from their labours and their workes follow them and here you may see them I may say of them as Isaac said of Jacob Gen. 27. The smell of my sonne is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed And behold here as in a corne field Allude to the Hosp tall children in blew coates blew flowers intermingled Here the Preacher read the Catalogue printed of all the poore relieved in the Hospitals of the City which followeth Children kept and maintained at this present at the charges of Christs Hospitall in the said house in divers places of this city and suburbs and with sundry nurses in the country 905 Which is a farre greater number than hath hitherto beene since the foundation The names of all which are registred in the books kept in Christs Hospitall there to bee seene from what parishes and by what meanes they have beene from time to time admitted Children put forth apprentices discharged and dead this yeere 69 There hath beene cured this yeere last past at the charges of Saint Bartholomews Hospitall of souldiers and other diseased people to the number of 832 All which were relieved with money and other necessaries at their departure Buried this yeere after much charges in their sicknesse 121 Remaining under cure at this present at the charge of the said Hospitall 262 There hath beene cured this yeere last past at the charges of Saint Thomas Hospitall of souldiers and other diseased people 731 All which were relieved with money and other necessaries at their
the flames of fire are the conquerers c Pareus in Apoc Corporaliter victi sunt spiritualitèr vicerunt dum in verá Christi fide ad mortem us● perstiterunt Paraeus expoundeth this riddle The servants of Christ who seale the truth with their blood are in their bodies mastered but in their soules undaunted and much more unconquered whilest notwithstanding all the tortures and torments which the malice of man or devill can put them to they persist in the profession of the true faith unto death For this is the d 1 Joh. 5.4 victory of the world even our faith In that famous battell at Leuctrum where the Thebans got a signall victory but their Captaine Epaminondas his deaths wound Plutarch writeth of him that he demanded whether his buckler had beene taken by the enemy and when hee understood that it was safe and that they had not laid hands on it hee died most willingly and cheerefully Such is the resolution of a valiant souldier of Christ Jesus when hee is wounded even unto death hee hath an eye to his shield of faith and finding that out of the enemies danger his soule marcheth out of this world singing Saint Pauls triumphant ditty e 2 Tim. 4.7.8 I have finished my course I have kept the faith Henceforth is layd up for me a crowne of righteousnesse To cleare the summe which I have beene all this while in casting Christian victory is a prerogative of the regenerate purchased unto them by Christs death and resurrection whereby in all conflicts and temptations they hold out to the end and in the end overcome on earth and after triumph in heaven First it is a prerogative of the regenerate for none but those that are f 1 Joh. 5.4 borne of God overcome the world Secondly this prerogative is purchased unto them by Christ and therefore the Apostle ascribeth the glory of it to his grace g 1 Cor. 15.57 Thankes bee unto God who giveth us victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thirdly this victory is not in one kinde of fight but in all whether Satan the world or the Devill assault us whether they lay at our understanding by sophisticall arguments or at our will by sinfull perswasions or at our senses by unlawfull delights whether our profession bee oppugned by heresie or our unity by schisme or our zeale by worldly policy or our temperance by abundance or our confidence in God by wants or our constancy by persecution or our watchfulnesse by carnall security or our perseverance by continuall batteries of temptations in all wee are more than conquerours through him that loved us h Rom. 8.35.36.37 What or who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation or distresse or persecution or famine or nakednesse or perill or sword as it is written For thy sake wee are killed all the day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter Nay in all these things we are more than conquerours c. Obser 6 None can overcome who fighteth not valiantly none can fight valiantly unlesse they be trained up in Martiall affaires and provided of good and fit armour both for offence and defence this spirituall armour is got by instant and constant prayer and reading and meditating on Gods word and wee put it on by due application of what wee read and heare and wee use it by the exercise of those divine vertues above mentioned from whence the severall pieces of our armour take their names Moreover that a man may conquer his enemie three things are most requisite 1 Exasperation 2 Courage 3 Constancy Exasperation setteth him on Courage giveth him strength and Constancy holdeth out to the end Exasperation is necessary because anger as Aristotle teacheth is the goad or spurre of fortitude neither indeed can any man maintaine a hot fight in cold blood And this is the cause why wee are so often put to the worst in our spirituall conflicts because wee fight like her in the Poet Tanquam quae vincere nollet wee fight not in earnest against our corruptions but either in shew onely dallying or faintly without any earnest desire of revenge Saint i Aug. confess l. 8. c. 7. In exordio adolescentiae petieram chastitatem sed timebam ne me nimis citò audiret citò sanaret à morbo concupiscentiae quem malebam expleri quam extingui Austine before his thorough conversion prayed against fleshly lusts but as he confesseth with great anguish sorrow of heart for his insincerity so aukwardly against his will that secretly hee desired that his lust should rather be accomplished than extinguished As it was then with him so it is with too many that take upon them the profession of Christians and would thinke it foule scorne to bee taken for other than true converts When the voluptuous person offereth a formall prayer to God to extinguish the impure flame of lust rising out of the cindars of originall sinne Satan setteth before his fancy the picture of his beautifull Mistresse and as the Calor ambiens or outward heat in a body disposed to putrefaction draweth out the naturall heat so this impure heat of lust draweth out all the spirituall heat of devotion and so his faint prayer against sinne is turned into sinne In like manner while the covetous man prayeth against that base affection in his soule which ever desireth that wherewith it is never k Aristophan in Plut. 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Sen. ep 15. Si quid in his esset solidi aliquando implerent nunc haurientium sitim concitant Horat. carm l. 2. od 2. Crescit indulgens sibi dirus hydrops nec sitim pellit nisi causa morbi fugerit venis aquosus albocorpore languor satisfied Mammon representeth unto him the rising up of his heapes and swelling of his bagges by his use-mony whereby his heart is tickled and so his prayer also turneth into sinne Thus all sinners that are not brought to a perfect hatred and detestation of their bosome sinne even whilest they pray against the forbidden fruit hold it under their tongue and their carnall delights suffocate their godly sorrow Spirituall courage is most necessary that is confidence in God and in the power of his might This confidence is the immediate effect of a lively faith which S. John calleth l 1 Joh. 5 4. the victory of the world When Christ bad Peter come to him walking on the sea upon the rising of a storme Peters faith began to faile and no sooner his heart sanke in his body but his feete also sanke in the water even so when any storme of persecution ariseth for the word when wee see our selves encompassed on every side with dangers and terrours and our faith faileth wee presently sinke in despaire if Christ stretch not out his hand presently to support us and establish our heart in his promises 3 Thirdly constant perseverance is most needfull for though all vertues runne in
and godly in this present world Againe if any Spirit tell thee that thou art rich in spirituall graces and lackest nothing when thine owne Spirit testifieth within thee that thou art blinde and naked and miserable and poore beleeve not that Spirit For the Spirit of God is a contest with our spirit q Rom. 8.16 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Hee beareth witnesse with our spirit that wee are the sonnes of God and when they both sweetly accord we may without presumption conclude with Saint r Tract 22. in Joh Veritas pollicetur qui credit habet vitam aeternam ego audivi verba Domini credidit infidelis cum essem factus sum fidelis sicut ipse monuit transii de morte ad vitam in judicium non venio non praesumptione meâ sed promissione ipsius Austine The truth promiseth whosoever beleeveth in mee hath eternall life I have heard the words of the Lord I have beleeved whereas I was before an Infidell I am now made faithfull and according to his promise have passed from death to life and shall come into no condemnation It is no presumption to ground assured confidence upon Christs promise Hereunto let us adde the testimony of the effects of saving grace As the testimony of the Spirit confirmeth the testimony of the Word so the effects of saving grace confirme both unto us These Saint Bernard reckoneth to bee Hatred of sinne Contempt