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A LEARNED SERMON OF THE NATURE OF PRIDE 1 . - Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3 
The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton. Arranged by the Rev. John Keble MA. 7th edition revised by the Very Rev. R.W. Church and the Rev. F. Paget (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888). 3 vols. Vol. 3.
Part of: The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton, 3 vols.
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A LEARNED SERMON OF THE NATURE OF PRIDE1 .
Habak.a ii. 4.
His mind swelleth, and is not right in him: but the just by his faith shall live.
SERM. III.THE nature of man, being much more delighted to be led than drawn, doth many times stubbornly resist authority, when to persuasion it easily yieldeth. Whereupon the wisest law-makers have endeavoured always, that those laws might seem most reasonable, which they would have most inviolably kept. A law simply commanding or forbidding, is but dead in comparison of that which expresseth the reason wherefore it doth the one or the other. And, surely, even in the laws of God, although that he hath given commandment be in itself a reason sufficient to exact all obedience at the hands of men, yet a forcible inducement it is to obey with greater alacrity and cheerfulness of mind, when we see plainly that nothing is imposed more than we must needs yield unto, except we will be unreasonable. In a word, whatsoever we be taught, be it precept for direction of our manners, or article for instruction of our faith, or document any way for information of our minds, it then taketh root and abideth, when we conceive not only what God doth speak, but why. Neither is it a small thing which we derogate, as well from the honour of his truth, as from the comfort, joy, and delight which we ourselves should take by it, when we loosely slide over his speech as though it were, as our own is commonly, vulgar and trivialb . Whereas he uttereth nothing but it hath, besides the substance of doctrine delivered, a depth of wisdom in the very choice and frame of words to deliver it in. The reason whereof being not perceived, but by greater intention of brain than our nice minds for the most part can well away with, fain we would bring the world, if we might, to think it but a needless curiosity to rip up any thing further than extemporal readiness of wit doth serve to reach unto. Which course if here we did list to follow, we might tell you, that in the first branch of this sentence God doth condemn the Babylonian’s pride; and in the second, teach what happiness ofc state shall grow to the righteous by the constancy of their faith, notwithstanding the troubles which now they suffer; and, after certain notes of wholesome instruction hereupon collected, pass over without detaining your minds in any further removed speculation. But, as I take it, there is a difference between the talk that beseemeth nursesd amongst children, and that which men of capacity and judgment do or should receive instruction by.
The mind of the Prophet being erected with that which hath been hitherto spoken, receiveth here for full satisfaction a short abridgment of that which is afterwards more particularly unfolded. Wherefore, as the question before disputed of doth concern two sorts of men, the wicked flourishing as the bay, and the righteous like the withered grass, the one full of pride, the other cast down with utter discouragement; so the answer which God doth make for resolution of doubts hereupon arisen, hath reference unto both sorts, and this present sentence, containing a brief abstract thereof, comprehendeth summarily as well the fearful estate of iniquity over-exalted, as the hope laid up for righteousness opprest. In the former branch of which sentence, let us first examine what this rectitude or straightness importeth, which God denieth to be in the mind of the Babylonian. All things which God did create, he made them at the first true, good, and right: true, in respect of correspondence unto that pattern of their being, which was eternally drawn in the counsel of God’s foreknowledge; good, in regard of the use and benefit which each thing yieldeth unto other; right, by an apt conformity of all parts with that end which is outwardly proposed for each thing to tend unto. Other things have ends proposed, but have not the faculty to know, judge, and esteem of them; and therefore as they tend thereunto unwittingly, so likewise in the means whereby they acquire their appointed ends, they are by necessity so held that they cannot divert from them. The ende why the heavens do move, the heavens themselves know not, and their motions they cannot but continue. Only men in all their actions know what it is which they seek for, neither are they by any such necessity tied naturally unto any certain determinate mean to obtain their end by, but that they may, if they will, forsake it. And therefore, in the whole world, no creature but only man, which hath the last end of his actions proposed as a recompense and reward, whereunto his mind directly bending itself, is termed right or straight, otherwise perverse.
To make this somewhat more plain, we must note, that as they, which travel from city to city, inquire ever for the straightest way, because the straightest is that which soonest bringeth them unto their journey’s end; so we, “having here,” as the Apostle speaketh1 , “no abiding city,” but being always in travel towards that place of joy, immortality, and rest, cannot but in every of our deeds, words, and thoughts, think that to be best, which with most expedition leadeth us thereunto, and is for that very cause termed right. That sovereign good, which is the eternal fruition of all good, being our last and chiefest felicity, there is no desperate despiser of God and godliness living which doth not wish for. The difference between right and crooked minds, is in the means which the one or the other do eschew or follow. Certain it is, that all particular things which are naturally desired in the world, as food, raiment, honour, wealth, pleasure, knowledge, they are subordinated in such wise unto that future good which we look for in the world to come, that even in them there lieth a direct way tending unto this. Otherwise we must think, that God, making promises of good things in this life, did seek to pervert men and to lead them from their right minds. Where is then the obliquity of the mind of man? His mind is perverse, kamf2 , and crooked, not when it bendeth itself unto any of these things, but when it bendeth so, that it swerveth either to the right hand or tog the left, by excess or defect, from that exact rule whereby human actions are measured. The rule to measure and judge them by, is the law of God. For this cause, the Prophet doth make so often and so earnest suit, “O direct me in the way of thy commandments”: as long as I have respect to thy statutes, I am sure not to tread amiss. Under the name of the Law, we must comprehend not only that which God hath written in tables and leaves, but that which nature hathh engraven in the hearts of men. Else how shouldi those heathenk , which never had books but heaven and earth to look upon, be convicted of perverseness? “But the Gentiles, which had not the law in books, had,” saith the Apostle1 , “the effect of the law written in their hearts.”
Then seeing that the heart of man is not right exactly, unless it be found in all parts such, that God examining and calling it unto account with all severity of rigour, be not able once to charge it with declining or swerving aside (which absolute perfection when did God ever find in the sons of mere mortal men?) doth it not follow, that all flesh must of necessity fall down and confess, We are not dust and ashes, but worse; our minds from the highest to the lowest are not right; if not right, then undoubtedly not capable of that blessedness which we naturally seek, but subject unto that which we most abhor, anguish, tribulation, death, woe, endless misery. For whatsoever misseth the way of life, the issue thereof cannot be but perdition. By which reason, all being wrapped up in sin, and made thereby the children of death, the minds of all men being plainly convicted not to be right; shall we think that God hath endued them with so many excellencies, moel not only than any, but than all the creatures in the world besides, to leave them inm such estate, that they had been happier if they had never been? Here cometh necessarily in a new way unto salvation, so that they which were in the other perverse, may in this be found straight and righteous. That the way of nature, this the way of grace. The end of that way, salvation merited, presupposing the righteousness of men’s works; their righteousness, a natural abilityn to do them; that abilityn , the goodness of God which created them in such perfection. But the end of this way, salvation bestowed upon men as a gift, presupposing, not their righteousness, but the forgiveness of their unrighteousness, justification; their justification, not their natural abilityo to do good, but their hearty sorrow for notp doing, and unfeigned belief in Him, for whose sake not doers are accepted, which is their vocation; their vocation, the election of God, taking them out from the number of lost children; their election, a mediator in whom to be elect; this mediation, inexplicable mercy; his mercy, their misery, for whom he vouchsafed to make himself a mediator. The want of exact distinguishing between these two ways, and observing what they have common, what peculiar, hath been the cause of the greatest part of that confusion whereof Christianity at this day laboureth. The lack of diligence in searching, laying down, and inuring men’s minds with those hidden grounds of reason, whereupon the least particulars in each of these are most firmly and strongly builded, is the only reason of all those scruples and uncertainties, wherewith we are in such sort entangled, that a number despair of ever discerning what is right or wrong in any thing. But we will let this matter rest, whereinto we stepped to search out a way, how some minds may be and are right truly even in the sight of God, though they be simply in themselves not right.
Howbeit, there is not only this difference between the just and impious, that the mind of the one is right in the sight of God, because his obliquity is notq imputed; the other perverse, because his sin is unrepented of: but even as lines that are drawn with a trembling hand, but yet to the point which they should, are thoughr ragged and uneven, nevertheless direct in comparison of them which run clean another way; so there is no incongruity in terming them right-minded men, whom though God may charge with many things amiss, yet they are not as those dismals and uglyt monsters, in whom, because there is nothing but wilful opposition of mind against God, a more than tolerable deformity is noted in them, by saying, that their minds are not right. The angel of the church of Thyatira, unto whom the Son of God sendeth this greeting, “I know thy works, and thy love, and service, and faith; notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee1 ,” was not as he unto whom St. Peter, “Thou hast no fellowship in this business; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God2 .” So that whereas the orderly disposition of the mind of man should be this; perturbations and sensual appetites all kept in awe by a moderate and sober will; will in all things framed by reason; reason directed by the law of God and nature; this Babylonian had his mind, as it were, turned upside down. In him unreasonable cecity and blindness trampled all laws, both of God and nature, under feet; wilfulness tyrannized over reason, and brutish sensuality over will: an evident token that his outrage would work his overthrow, and procure his speedy ruin. The mother whereof was that which the Prophet in these words signifieth, “His mind doth swell.”
Immoderate swelling, a token of very imminentu breach, and of inevitable destruction: pride, a vice which cleaveth so fast unto the hearts of men, that if we were to strip ourselves of all faults one by one, we should undoubtedly find it the very last and hardest to put off. But I am not here to touch thatx secret itching humour of vanity, wherewith men are generally touched. It was a thing more than meanly inordinate, wherewith the Babylonian did swell. Which that we may both the better conceive, and the more easily reap profit by,y the nature of this vice, which setteth the whole world out of course, and hath put so many even of the wisest besides themselves, is first of all to be inquired into: secondly, the dangers to be discovered which it draweth inevitablyz after it, being not cured: and, last of all, the waya to cure it.
Whether we look upon the gifts of nature or of grace, or whatsoever is in the world admired as a part of man’s excellency, adorning his body, beautifying his mind, or externally any way commending him in the account and opinion of men, there is in every kind somewhat possible which no man hath, and somewhat had which fewb can attain unto. By occasion whereof there groweth disparagement necessarily; and by occasion of disparagement, pride through men’s ignorance. First, therefore, although men be not proud of any thing which is not at the least in opinion good; yet every good thing they are not proud of, but only of that which neither is common unto many, and being desired of all causeth them which have it to be honoured above the rest. Now there is no man so void of brain, as to suppose that pride consisteth in the bare possession of such things; for then to have virtue were a vice, and they should be the happiest men who are wretchedestc , because they have least of that which they would have. And though in speech we do intimate a kind of vanity to be in them of whom we say, “They are wise men and they know it;” yet this doth not prove, that every wise man is proud which doth not think himself to be blockish. What we may have, and know that we have it without offence, do we then make offensive when we take joy and delight in having it? What difference between men enriched with all abundance of earthly andd heavenly blessings, and idols gorgeously attired, but this, “The one takee pleasure in that which they have, the other none?” If we may be possessed with beauty, strength, riches, power, knowledge, if we may be privy what we are every way, if glad and joyful for our own welfare, and in all this remain unblameable; nevertheless, some there are, who, granting thus much, doubt whether it may stand with humility, to acceptf those testimonies of praise and commendation, those titles, rooms, and other honours, which the world yieldeth, as acknowledgments of some men’s excellencyg above others. For, inasmuch as Christ hath said unto those that are his, “The kings of the Gentiles reign over them, and they that bear rule over them, are called gracious lords; be yeh not so1 ;” the Anabaptist hereupon urgeth equality among Christians, as if all exercise of authority were nothing else but heathenish pride. Our Lord and Saviour had no such meaning. But his disciples feeding themselves with a vain imagination for the time, that the Messias of the world should in Jerusalem erect his throne, and exercise dominion with great pomp and outward stateliness, advanced in honour and terrene power above all the princes of the earth, began to think how with their Lord’s condition their own would also rise; that having left and forsaken all to follow him, their place about him should not be mean; and because they were many, it troubled them much, which of them should be the greatest man. When suit was made for two by name, that of them “one might sit at his right hand, and the other at his left1 ,” the rest began to stomach, each taking it grievously that any should have what all did affecti : their Lord and Master, to correct this humour, turneth aside their cogitations from these vain and fanciful conceitsk , giving them plainly to understand, that they did but deceive themselves; his coming was not to purchase an earthly, but to bestow an heavenly kingdom, wherein they, if any, shall be greatest, whom unfeigned humility maketh in this world lowest, and least amongst others: “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations, therefore I leave unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on seats, and judge the twelve tribes of Israel2 .” But my kingdom nol such kingdom as ye dream of: and therefore these hungry ambitious contentions seemlierm in heathens than in you. Wherefore from Christ’s intent and purpose nothing further removed than dislike of distinction in titles and callingn , annexed for order’s sake unto authority, whether it be ecclesiastical or civil. And when we have examined throughly what the nature of this vice is, no man knowing it can be so simple, as not to see an ugliero shape thereof apparent many times in rejecting honours offered, than in the very exacting of them at the hands of men. For, as Judas his care for the poor was mere covetousness; and that frank-hearted wastefulness spoken of in the gospel, thrift; so there is no doubt but that going in rags may be pride, and thrones be challenged with unfeigned humility.
We must go further, therefore, and enter somewhat deeper, before we can come to the closet wherein this poison lieth. There is in the heart of every proud man, first, an error of understanding, a vain opinion whereby he thinketh his own excellency, and by reason thereof his worthiness of estimation, regard, and honour, to be greater than in truth it is. This maketh him in all his affections accordingly to raise up himself; and by his inward affections his outward acts are fashioned. Which if you list to have exemplifiedp , you may, either by calling to mind things spoken of them whom God himself hath in Scripture especiallyq noted with this fault; or by presenting to your secret cogitations that which you daily behold in the odious lives and manners of high-minded men. It were too long to gather together so plentiful an harvest of examples in this kind as the sacred Scripture affordeth. That which we drink in at our ears doth not so piercinglyr enter, as that which the mind doth conceive by sight. Is there any thing written concerning the Assyrian monarch in the tenth of Esay, of his swelling mind, his haughty looks, his great and presumptuous vaunts; “By the power of mine own hand I have done all things, and by mine own wisdom I have subdued the world1 ;” any thing concerning the dames of Sion, in the third of the prophet Esay, of their stretched-out necks, their immodest eyes, their pageant-like, stately and pompous gait; any thing concerning the practices of Cores , Dathan, and Abiron, of their impatience to live in subjection, their mutinous repiningt at lawful authority, their grudging against their superiors, ecclesiastical and civil; any thing concerning pride in any sort or sect, which the present face of the world doth not, as au glass, represent to the view of all men’s beholding? So that if books, both profane and holy, were all lost, as long as the manners of men retain the estatex they are in; for him which observeth, how after thaty men have once conceived an over-weening of themselves, it maketh them in all their affections to swell; how deadly their hatred, how heavy their displeasure, how unappeasable their indignation and wrath is above other men’s, in what manner they compose themselves to be as Heteroclites, without the compass of all such rules as thez common sort are measured by; how the oaths which religious hearts do tremble at, they affect as principal graces of speech; what felicity they take to see the enormity of their crimes above the reach of laws and punishments; how much it delighteth them when they are able to appala with the cloudiness of their look; how far they exceed the terms wherewith man’s nature should be limited; how high they bear their heads over others; how they browbeat all men which do not receive their sentences as oracles, with marvellous applause and approbation; how they look upon no man but with an indirect countenance, nor hear any thing, saving their own praisesb with patience, nor speak without scornfulness and disdain; how they use their servants as if they were beasts, their inferiors as servants, their equals as inferiors, and as for superiors, acknowledge none; how they admire themselves as venerable, puissant, wise, circumspect, provident, every way great, taking all men besides themselves for ciphers, poor inglorious silly creatures, needless burthens of the earth, off-scourings, nothing: in a word, for him which marketh how irregular and exorbitant they are in all things, it can be no hard thing hereby to gather, that pride is nothing but an inordinate elation of the mind, proceeding from a false conceit of men’s excellency in things honoured, which accordingly frameth also their deeds and behaviour, unless there be cunning to conceal it. For a foul scar may be covered with a fair cloth. And as proud as Lucifer may be in outward appearance lowly.
No man expecteth grapes of thistles; nor from a thing of so bad a nature can other than suitable fruits be looked for. What harm soever in private families there groweth by disobedience of children, stubbornness of servants, untractableness in them, who, although they otherwise may rule, yet should in consideration of the imparity of their sex be also subject; whatsoever, by strifec amongst men combined in the fellowship of greater societies, by tyranny of potentates, ambition of nobles, rebellion of subjects in civil states; by heresies, schisms, divisions in the Church; naming pride, we name the mother which brought them forth, and the only nurse that feedeth them. Give me the hearts of all men humbled; and what is there that can overthrow or disturb the peace of the world? wherein many things are caused of much evil; but pride of all.
To declaim of the swarms of evils issuing out of pride, is an easy labour. I rather wish that I could exactly prescribe and persuade effectually the remedies, whereby a sore so grievous might be cured thee means how the pride of swelling minds might be taken down. Whereunto so much we have already gained, that the evidence of the cause which breedeth it, pointeth directly unto the likeliest and fittest helpf to take it away. Diseases that come of fulness, emptiness must remove. Pride is not cured but by abating the error which causeth the mind to swell. Then seeing that they swell by misconceit of their own excellency: for this cause, all which tendethg to the beating down of their pride, whether it be advertisement from men, or from God himself chastisement, it then maketh them cease to be proud, when it causeth them to see their error in overseeing the thing they were proud of. At this mark Job, in his apology unto his eloquent friends, aimeth. For perceiving how much they delighted to hear themselves talk, as if they had given their poor afflicted familiar a schooling of marvellous deep and rare instruction, as if they had taught him more than all the world besides could acquaint him with; his answer was to this effect: Ye swell as though ye had conceived some great matter; but as for that which ye are delivered of, who knoweth it not? Is any man ignorant of these things? At the same mark the blessed apostle driveth1 : “Ye abound in all things, ye are rich, ye reign, and would to Christ we did reign with you:” but boast not: for what have ye, or are ye of yourselves? To this mark all those humble confessions are referred, which have been always frequent in the mouths of saints, truly wading in the trial of themselves; as that of the prophet2 : “We are nothing but soreness, and festered corruption;” our very light is darkness, and our righteousness itself unrighteousnessh : that of Gregory, “Let no man ever put confidence in his own deserts; sordet in conspectu Judicis, quod fulget in conspectu operantis3 : in the sight of thati dreadful Judge, it is noisome, which in the doer’s judgment maketh a beautiful show:” that of Anselm, “I adore thee, I bless thee, Lord God of heaven and Redeemer of the world, with all the power, abilityk , and strength of my heart and soul, for thy goodness so unmeasurably extended; not in regard of my merits, whereunto only torments were due, but of thy mere unprocured benignity.” If these Fathers should be raised again from the dust, and have the books laid open before them, wherein such sentences are found as this: “Works, no other than the value, desert, price, and worth of the joys of the kingdom of heaven; heaven, in relation to our works, as the very stipend, which the hired labourer covenanteth to have of him whose workl he doth, a thing equally and justly answering unto the time and weight of his travails, rather than a voluntarym or bountiful gift1 ”—if, I say, those reverend fore-rehearsed Fathers, whose books are so full of sentences witnessing their Christian humility, should be raised from the dead, and behold with their eyes such things written; would they not plainly pronounce of the authors of such writ, that they were fuller of Lucifer than of Christ, that they were proud-hearted men, and carried more swelling minds than sincerely and feelingly known Christianity can tolerate?
But as unruly children, with whom wholesome admonition prevaileth little, are notwithstanding brought to fear that ever after which they have once well smarted for; so the mind which falleth not with instruction, yet under the rod of divine chastisement ceaseth to swell. If, therefore, the prophet David, instructed by good experience, have acknowledged, Lord I was even at the point of clean forgetting myself, and ofn1 straying from my right mind, but thy rod hath been my reformer; it hath been good for me, even as much as my soul is worth, that I have been with sorrow troubled: if the blessed Apostle did need the corrosive of sharp and bitter strokes, lest his heart should swell with too great abundance of heavenly revelations2 : surely, upon us whatsoever God in this world doth or shall inflict, it cannot seem more than our pride doth exact, not only by way of revenge, but of remedy. So hard it is to cure a sore of such quality as pride is, inasmuch as that which rooteth out other vices, causeth this; and (which is even above all conceit) if we were clean from all spot and blemish both of other faults and of pride, the fall of angels doth make it almost a question, whether we might not need a preservative still, lest we should haplyo wax proud, that we are not proud. What is virtue but a medicine, and vice but a wound? Yet we have so often deeply wounded ourselves with medicines, that God hath been fain to make wounds medicinablep ; to cure by vice where virtue hath stricken; to suffer the just man to fall, that, being raised, he may be taught what power it was which upheld him standing. I am not afraid to affirm it boldly, with St. Augustine3 , that men puffed up through a proud opinion of their own sanctity and holiness, receive a benefit at the hands of God, and are assisted with his grace, when with his grace they are not assisted, but permitted, and that grievously, to transgress; whereby, as they were in over-great liking of themselves supplanted, so the dislike of that which did supplant them may establish them afterwards the surer. Ask the very soul of Peter, and it shall undoubtedly make you itself this answer: My eager protestations, made in the glory of my ghostly strength, I am ashamed of; but those crystalq tears, wherewith my sin and weakness was bewailed, have procured my endless joy; my strength hath been my ruin, and my fall my stay1 .
Now what we did at the first observe, the same we must here repeat unto you. As that complaint, which heretofore the prophet Abakuk hath made unto God in the person of the afflicted people of God, had two principal respects; the one to the flourishing estate of impious and cruel persecutors, the other to the woful and hard condition of saints persecuted by their cruelty; so this short abridgment of answer thereunto made hath likewise a double relation. It threateneth the one sort that their swelling pride doth prognosticate their speedy ruin: the other, which counted themselves the children of death, it reviveth, and with the hope of life laid up in store for them, it causeth their bruised hearts to rejoice. So that, whereas before, they mourned in the presence of God, and made their moan, saying2 , “For thy sake we are continually slain, and are counted as sheep for the slaughter; why sleepest thou, O Lord? wake, and be not far off for ever: wherefore hidest thou thy face, wherefore dost thou forget our misery and affliction? our souls are beaten down to the dust, they cleave even to the very ground. O Lord, rise up for our succour, and redeem us for thy mercy’s sake:” all these their tears are here wiped away, and such abundance of grace consolatory ministred unto them, that they may now put off sackcloth, and anoint their heads with oil, change their doleful tunes into songs of cheerful melody, shake off that overr -depressing heaviness, and resume their wonted joys; forestalling as it were, and preoccupating that of the blessed Apostle, “Like dead men, yet behold alive3 .” “For the just by his faith shall live.” For explication whereof the words themselves do offer occasion to speak, first of the promise of life; secondly, of their quality to whom life is promised; and in the last place, of that dependency whereby the life of the just is here said to hang on their faith.
In nature those things are properly said to live which do move, having in them that which giveth them their motion; as plainly appeareth to be seen in all those creatures which are commonly termed living: for they move as long as they are said to live. Neither are they moved by any external impulsive force, but a certain divine vigour, which nature hath imbreathed them with, moveth them. Touching men, of all creatures living the chiefest and most eminent, they have their natural life which the soul in the body causeth; and correspondent thereunto some amongst them a life ghostly, wrought by a force much diviner inhabiting the soul. Wherein we are to consider, first the fountain, the cause original and beginning, whereof spiritual life proceedeth: then, in what manner we do here live the life of God: and thirdly, how this life shall in the world to come be perfected.
“I have set before you,” saith Moses, “life and death. Choose life therefore, that both thou and thy seed may live by loving the Lord thy God, by obeying his voice, and by cleaving unto him, for he is thy life and the length of thy days1 .” Again, “the children of men,” saith the Prophet, “they shall repose themselves under the shadow of thy wings: they shall be satisfied with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt give them drink of the river of thy pleasures; for with thee is the well of life2 .”
Now “as the Father hath life in himself, so to the Son he hath given to have life in himself also3 .” Not so in himself, but that others are, by his quickening force and virtue made alive. For which cause Peter, in the third of the Apostles’ Acts, termeth him “the Lord of life.” He is the life of the world; partly, because for the world he hath suffered death, to procure it eternal life: and partly, for that the world, being really quickened by him, liveth that life which his death hath purchased. The soul which quickeneth the body is in the body. And it must be in the soul, which the soul of man liveth by. Except therefore Christ be truly in you, through him ye cannot be made alive. Hereunto all those sentences apostolic and evangelical have relation. That in the eighth to the Romans, “If Christ be in you, then is the body dead unto sin, but the spirit life for righteousness’ sake.” That in the thirteenth of the second to them of Corinth, “Know ye not how Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be castaways?” That in the second to the Galatians, “Christ Jesus liveth in me.” That in the third to the Ephesians, “For this cause bow I my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he may grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts.” That in St. John, “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.”
Somewhat strange it seemeth, that a thing in Scripture so often inculcated should be so hardly understood. Granted it is and agreed upon, that he which hath not the Son of God in him hath not life. But how to construe this, we are to seek: some thinking it to be a point inexplicable, a mystery which all must hold, but none is able to open or understand. Others considering, that forasmuch as the end of all speech is to impart unto others the mind of him that speaketh, the words which God so often uttereth concerning this point must needs be frivolous and vain, if to conceive the meaning of them were a thing impossible, have therefore expounded our conjunction with Christ to be a mutual participation whereby each is blended with other, his flesh and blood with ours, and ours in like sort with his, even as really materially and naturally as wax melted and blended with wax into one lump; no other difference but that this mixture may be sensibly perceived, the other not. Which gross conceit doth fight openly against reason. For are not we and Christ personally distinguished? Are we not locally divided and severed each from other? “My little children,” saith the Apostle1 , “of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” Did the blessed Apostle mean materially and really to create Christ in them, flesh and blood, soul and body? No: Christ is in us, saith Gregory Nazianzene, not κατὰ τὸ ϕαινόμενον but κατὰ τὸ νοούμενον: not according to that natural substance which visibly was seen on earth: but according to that intellectual comprehension which the mind is capable of. So that the difference between Christ on earth and Christ in us is no less than between a ship on the sea and in the mind of him that builded it: the one a sensible thing, the other a mere shape of a thing sensible. That whereby the Apostle therefore did form Christ, was the Gospel. So that Christ was formed when Christianity was comprehended. As things which we know and delight in are said to dwell in our minds and possess our hearts; so Christ knowing his sheep and being known of them, loving and being loved, is not without cause said to be in them, and they in him. And for as much as we are not on our parts hereof by our own inclination capable, God hath given unto his that Spirit which, teaching their hearts to acknowledge and tongues to confess Christ the Son of the living God, is for this cause also said to quicken. Concerning the fountain of life therefore, this may suffice.
Touching the manner of life spiritual, here begun: Of them that walk in the blind vanity of their own minds, that have their cogitations darkened through ignorance, that have hardened their hearts, that are conscienceless, that have resigned themselves over unto wantonness, that are greedily set upon all uncleanness and sin; of such it is plainly determined, they be dead. Strangers they are from the life of God. Which life is nothing else but a spiritual and divine kind of being, which men by regeneration attain unto, Christ and his spirit dwelling in them, and as the soul of their souls moving them unto such both inward and outward actions as in the sight of God are acceptable. As they that live naturally have their natural nourishment, wherewith they are sustained; so he to whom the spirit of Christ giveth life, hath whereon he also delighteth to feed. He hungereth after righteousness: it is meat and drink unto him to be exercised in doing good: “the hart is not after the rivers of water so thirsty as my soul,” saith the Prophet, “is thirsty after thee, O God.” They that live the life of God, what they delight to taste, let it by those words spoken unto Christ in the Song of Salomon be conjectured, “Honey and milk are under thy tongue;” what to smell, by those, “My beloved is as a bundle of myrrh, as a cluster of camphor:” what to hear, by those, “O let me hear thy voice, thy voice is delectable:” what to see, by those, “Shew me thy countenance, thy sight is comely.” And as the sense, so the motion, of him that liveth the life of God hath a peculiar kind of excellency. His hands are not stretched out towards his enemies, except it be to give them alms: his feet are slow, save only when he travelleth for the benefit of his brethren. When he is railed upon by the wicked, his voice is not otherwise heard than the voice of Stephen, “Lord, lay not this thing to their charge.” Though we could triple the years of Methusalem or live as long as the moon doth endure; our natural life without this what were it? This altereth and changeth our corrupt nature: by this we are continually stirred up unto good things: by this we are brought to loathe and abhor the gross defilements of the wicked world; constantly and patiently to suffer whatsoever doth befall us, though as sheep we be led by flocks unto the slaughter: this dispelleth the clouds of darkness, easeth the heart of grief, abateth hatred, composeth strife, appeaseth anger, ordereth our affections, ruleth our thoughts, guideth our lives and conversations. Whence is it that we find in Abel such innocency, in Enoch such piety, in Noah such equity, in Abraham such faith, in Isaac such simplicity, such longanimity in Jacob, such chastity in Joseph, such meekness and tenderness of heart in Moses, in Samuel such devotion, in Daniel such humility, in Elias such authority, in Elizeus such zeal, such courage in Prophets, in Apostles such love, such patience in martyrs, such integrity in all true saints? did they not all live the life of God?
Which life, here begun, (to come to the last point,) shall be in the world to come finished. Whereof we have heretofore spoken largely. And when we have spoken all we can speak, all which we can speak is but this; he which hath it hath more than speech can possibly express, and as much as his heart can wish: he doth abound and hath enough. For the words of the promise of life, in the tenth of John, are these; “I came that my sheep might have life, and might abound.” Seeing therefore we are taught that life is the lot of our inheritance, and that when we have it we have enough, wherefore struggle we so much for other things which we may very well want and yet abound? When we leave the world, this hope leaves not us: it doth not forsake us, no not in the grave. Sundry are the casualties of this present world, the trials many and fearful which we are subject unto. But in the midst of all, this must be the chiefest anchor unto our souls, “The just shall live.” Wherefore this God setteth before the eyes of his poor afflicted people, as having in it force sufficient to countervail whatsoever misery they either did or might sustain. Those dreadful names of troubles, wars, invasions, the very mention whereof doth so much terrify; weigh them with hearts resolved in this, that “the just shall live,” and what are they but panical terrors? If they promise great things, which are not of power and habilitie to perform the least thing promised, what wise man amongst you is there whom such presumptuous promises do not make rather to laugh than to hope? Yet behold at the threatenings of men we tremble, though we know that their rage is limited, that they cannot do what they list, that the hairs of our heads are numbered, that of so many there falleth not one to the ground without the privity and will of our heavenly Father. How often hath God turned those very purposes, counsels, and enterprises, wherewith the death of his saints hath been sought, both to the safety of their lives, and increase also of their honours! Was it not thus in Joseph, in Moses, in David, in Daniel? If cruelty, oppression, and tyranny do so far forth prevail, that they have their desires and prosper in that which they take in hand: the utmost of that evil which they can do is but that very good which the blessed Apostle doth wish, “Cupio dissolvi.” Thrice happy therefore are those men, whom, whatsoever misery befalleth in this present world, it findeth them settled in a sure expectation of that which here God promised the just, felicity and life in the world to come. Whereof God the Father make you partakers through the merits of his only-begotten Son our blessed Saviour, unto whom, with the Holy Ghost, three persons, one eternal and everliving God, be honour, glory, and praise for ever.
There never was that man so carelessly affected towards the safety of his own soul, but knowing what salvation and life doth mean, though his own ways were the very paths of endless destruction, yet his secret natural desire must needs be, not to perish but to live. “What man is he,” saith the prophet David1 , “which desireth, or rather what man is there which doth not desire life, and delight in days wherein he may see everlasting good? Let that man keep his tongue from harm, his lips from guile: let him shun evil, embrace good, pursue peace and follow after it. For the eyes of the Lord [are] upon the righteous, and his ears unto their cry. Their cry he heareth, and delivereth them from all their troubles: near he is unto them that are contrite in heart: men afflicted in spirit he will save: the troubles of the righteous [are] great, but he delivereth out of all: their very bones so charily kept that not as much as one of them broken: such as hate them malice shall slay: the Lord redeemeth the souls of his servants, and none that trust in him shall perish.” What the prophet David largely unfoldeth, the same we have here by way of abridgment comprehended in small room. So that hearing how the just shall live, you hear no less in weight, though in sound much less be spoken. For whatsoever the watchful eye of God, whatsoever his attentive ear; whatsoever deliverance out of trouble; whatsoever in trouble nearness of ghostly assistance; whatsoever salvation, custody, redemption, safe preservation of their souls and bodies and very bones from perishing, doth import: the promise of life includeth all. And those sundry rehearsed specialties, harmlessness and sincerity in speech, averseness from evil, inclination unto good things, pursuit of peace, continuance in prayer, contrition of heart, humility of spirit, integrity, obedience, trust and affiance in God; what import they more than this one only name of justice doth insinuate? which name expresseth fully their quality unto whom God doth promise life.
Slightly to touch a thing so needful most exactly to be known, were towards justice itself to be unjust. Wherefore I cannot let slip so fit an occasion to wade herein somewhat further than perhaps were expedient, unless both the weightiness and the hardness of the matter itself did urgently press thereunto. Justice, that which flourishing upholdeth, and not prevailing disturbeth, shaketh, threateneth with utter desolation and ruin the whole world: justice, that whereby the poor have their succour, the rich their ease, the potent their honour, the living their peace, the souls of the righteous departed their endless rest and quietness: justice, that which God and angels and men are principally exalted by: justice, the chiefest matter contended for at this day in the Christian world: in a word, justice, that whereon not only all our present happiness, but in the kingdom of God our future joy dependeth. So that, whether we be in love with the one or with the other, with things present or things to come, with earth or with heaven; in that which is so greatly available to both, none can but wish to be instructed. Wherein the first thing to be inquired of is, the nature of justice in general: the second, that justice which is in God: the last, that whereby we ourselves being just are in expectancy of life here promised in this sentence of the prophet, “By faith the just shall live.”
God hath created nothing simply for itself: but each thing in all things, and of every thing each part in other hath such interest, that in the whole world nothing is found whereunto any thing created can say, “I need thee not.” The prophet Osee, to express this, maketh by a singular grace of speech the people of Israel suitors unto corn and wine and oil, as men are unto men which have power to do them good; corn and wine and oil supplicants unto the earth; the earth to the heavens; the heavens to God. “In that day, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and the heavens shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn and wine and oil, and the corn and wine and oil shall hear Israel.” They are said to hear that which we ask; and we to ask the thing which we want, and wish to have. So hath that supreme commander disposed it, that each creature should have some peculiar task and charge, reaching furder than only unto its own preservation. What good the sun doth, by heat and light; the moon and stars, by their secret influence; the air, and wind, and water, by every their several qualities: what commodity the earth, receiving their services, yieldeth again unto her inhabitants: how beneficial by nature the operations of all things are; how far the use and profit of them is extended; somewhat the greatness of the works of God, but much more our own inadvertency and carelessness, doth disable us to conceive. Only this, because we see, we cannot be ignorant of, that whatsoever doth in dignity and preeminence of nature most excel, by it other things receive most benefit and commodity. Which should be a motive unto the children of men to delight by so much more in imparting that good which they may, by how much their natural excellency hath made them more to abound with habilitie and store of such good as may be imparted. Those good things therefore which be communicable; those which they that have do know they have them, and do likewise know that they may be derived unto others; those which may be wanting in one, and yet not without possibility to be had from some other; such are matter for exercise of justice.
And such things are of two kinds; good and desirable either simply unto him which receiveth them, as counsel in perplexity, succour in our need, comfort when we are in sorrow and grief; or, though not desired where they are bestowed, yet good in respect of a further end: so punishments, trembled at by such as suffer them, yet in public nothing more needful.
Now forasmuch as God hath so furnished the world, that there is no good thing needful but the same is also possible to be had; justice is the virtue whereby that good which wanteth in ourselves we receive inoffensively at the hands of others. I say, inoffensively: for we must note, that although the want of any be a token of some defect in that mutual assistance which should be; yet howsoever to have such want supplied were far from equity and justice. If it be so, then must we find out some rule which determineth what every one’s due is, from whom, and how, it must be had.
For this cause justice is defined, a virtue whereby we have our own in such sort as law prescribeth1 . So that neither God, nor angels, nor men, could in any sense be termed just, were it not for that which is due from one to another in regard of some received law between them: some law either natural and immutable, or else subject unto change, otherwise called positive law. The difference between which two undiscerned hath not a little obscured justice. It is no small perplexity which this one thing hath bred in the minds of many, who, beholding the laws which God himself hath given, abrogated and disannulled by human authority, imagine that justice is hereby conculcated; that men take upon them to be wiser than God himself; that unto their devices his ordinances are constrained to give place: which popular discourses, when they are polished with such art and cunning as some men’s wits are well acquainted with, it is no hard matter with such tunes to enchant most religiously affected souls. The root of which error is a misconceit that all laws are positive which men establish, and all laws which God delivereth, immutable. No it is not the author which maketh, but the matter whereon they are made, that causeth laws to be thus distinguished. Those Roman laws1 , “Hominem indemnatum ne occidito,” “Patronus2 si clienti fraudem fecerit, sacer esto,” were laws unchangeable, though by men established. All those Jewish ordinances for civil punishment of malefactors, “the prophet that enticeth unto idolatry shall be slain3 ,” a false witness shall suffer the same hurt which his testimony might have brought upon another, life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; all canons apostolical touching the form of church government, though received from God himself, yet positive laws and therefore alterable. Herein therefore they differ: a positive law is that which bindeth them that receive it in such things as might before have been either done or not done without offence, but not after, during the time it standeth in force. Such were those church constitutions concerning strangled and blood. But there is no person whom, nor time wherein, a law natural doth not bind. If God had never spoken word unto men concerning the duty which children owe unto their parents, yet from the firstborn of Adam unto the last of us, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” could not but have tied all. For this cause, to dispense with the one can never possibly be justice; nor other than injustice sometimes not to dispense with the other. These things therefore justice evermore doth imply; first, some good thing which is from one person due to another; secondly, a law either natural or positive which maketh it due; thirdly, in him from whom it is due a right and constant will of doing it as law prescribeth.
The several kinds of justice, distributive, commutative, and corrective, I mean not presently to dwell upon. Only before we come to speak of the justice of God, this one thing generally I note concerning justice amongst men. Almost the only complaint in all men’s mouths, and that not without great cause, is, “There is no justice.” The cure of which evil, because all men do even give over in utter despair that ever any remedy can be devised to help a sore so far gone: seeing there is no hope that men will cease to offer, it remaineth that we study with patience how to suffer wrongs and injuries being offered.
And although the fault of injustice be too general, yet whom particularly we do charge with so heavy a crime, it standeth us upon to be wary and circumspect, lest our reproving do make us reprovable. What more injurious than undeservedly to accuse of injury? It cannot be denied but that cause on all sides hath been and is daily given, for each to blame other in this respect. Howbeit, patience, quietness, contentment, wise and considerate meditation, might surely cut off much from those scandalous accusations which are so often and so grievously, without regard what beseemeth either place or person, poured out in the ears of men. Wherein perhaps our kindled affection were better slaked with sober advice, than overmuch liberty taken to feed our displeased minds. No man thinketh the injuries light which himself receiveth. But first, when we seem to receive injury, how do we know that injury is done us? Whereby discern we that we have not the thing which is due? Doth not every man measure his due for the most part by his own desire? When we have not what we would, we think we should have that which we have not, and that therefore we are wronged. Might not Daniel be thus condemned for being unjust to the Babylonian: the Jews towards the Persian: our Lord and Saviour Christ himself towards the high priest Annas, before whom he stood in judgment? No man can be a competent judge of his own right. Wherefore upon our own only bare conceit to say of any man, we find him unjust, must needs be rashness: which being abated, many accusations of injustice would be answered before they be made. Again; be it that we claim nothing as to ourselves or to others due more than by law we seem to have warrant for, and that in the judgment of mo than one besides ourselves. Do we think it so easy for men to define what law doth warrant?
One example I will propose unto you instead of many, to the end it may appear that there are now and then great likelihoods inducing to think that in equity warrantable which in the end proveth otherwise. A law there was sometime amongst the Grecians, that whosoever did kill a tyrant, should appoint his own reward, and demanding receive it at the hands of the chief magistrate. Another law, that a tyrant, being slain, his five nearest in blood should also be put to death. Alexander Phereus exercising tyranny was by his own wife treacherously murdered1 . In lieu of this act she requireth the life of a son both hers and his, which son the same law commandeth to be executed because of his father’s tyranny, and not executed by reason of his mother’s request. The question is, whether the grant or denial of her demand, being such, were justice. On the one side, sith all commonweals do stand no less by performance of promised rewards than by taking appointed revenge, let their hope, who in such cases hazard themselves, be once defrauded, and who will undertake so dangerous attempts? Again, if in this case law have provided that none might revenge the death of tyrants by appointing so many of their nearest to die, how much more likely that such a benefit should make the son to his country ever afterwards dutiful, than his father’s deserved punishment kindle in him a desire of revenge? Besides that punishments are, if any thing, to be abridged, rewards always to be received with largest extent, what if the son had done this which the mother did, should his act by law rewardable be punished because of his near conjunction in blood? And that the father’s offence should more disadvantage the son than his mother’s deserts profit him, it seemeth hard. A bridle undoubtedly it would be to stay men from affecting tyranny for ever, if they might see that enmity with them could not in any case go unrewarded. On the contrary side there is either greater or no less appearance of justice. For first, when two laws do by an unexpected casualty each control other, so that both cannot possibly be kept; what remaineth, but to keep that which cannot but with most public harm be broken? which in this case seemeth not greatly hard to discern; the one being needful unto the common safety of all, the other one body’s only benefit. Secondly, fathers being often much more careful of their children than of themselves, more afraid of the overthrow of their progeny than of their own estate and condition, they could not but be the bolder to tyrannize, if they did hope that their offspring any way might wind itself out of the evil which law inflicteth. Thirdly, were it not a thing intolerable, that so monstrous an act, as a woman to murder her husband unto whom she is so nearly linked, should not only not receive punishment, but receive what reward soever she will herself? Finally, the law bidding first generally any thing that should be demanded in way of reward to be granted, and afterwards commanding the death of the five next in blood, doth by this specialty abridge as it seemeth the former generality, and grant anything, but so that this thing be not demanded. Otherwise, what letteth but that license to exercise tyranny might be required as a reward for taking tyrants out of the way? Not therefore simply what men will ask, but what they ask with reason and without contradiction to law, that only by law doth seem granted.
This may suffice to shew how hard it is oftentimes even for the wisest and skilfullest, to see what is justice and what not. So that not only to ourselves but to others we may seem to take injury when we do not. Howbeit, even when we have not the thing which in truth and in right we should have, it may be notwithstanding that they who do us hurt, do us not that injury for which we may blame them as unjust. There is no injustice, but where wrong is wilfully offered. Is it not a rule of equity and justice, “Nullum crimen patitur is qui non prohibet quod prohibere non potest?” “we are towards them unjust, whose injustice we make complaint of for not doing that which to do they want not will but habilitie.” And when we do not receive as we should at the hands of men, it may be so much even against their wills whom in such cases we think most hardly of, that their infelicity is rather to be sorrowed for, than their iniquity is to be accused.
But let it be, that men of very set purpose and malice bend themselves against us; in this case to abate the keen edge of our indignation at wrong which we suffer, it were not nothing if we did consider the wrong which we do. God we are not able to answer one of a thousand; and of a thousand if but one be unanswered us by men, we are unable to bear it.
To conclude: though we had ourselves never injured God or man, the patience and meekness of Christ in putting up injuries were worthy our imitation. His meekness were sufficient to meeken us, were the wrongs which be offered us never so grievous and unsufferable. If therefore men will not be persuaded not to do, let these persuasions induce us to take wrong with all patience, and to show ourselves just men in bearing the cross which men’s injustice doth lay upon us. Which wisdom God the Father for his Son’s sake grant; unto whom with the Holy Ghost, three Persons, one eternal and everliving God, be honour, glory, and praise, for ever.
As we have spoken of the nature of justice in general, so now we must speak of the justice of God. Wherein lest any man should imagine that we term God just, not because in himself he is so, but because the liking which we have of, and love which we bear unto, ourselves, maketh us to think God such as we ourselves are; it shall not be unexpedient, first, to prove unto you that in God there is this divine virtue called Justice: secondly, to show in what sort God doth exercise that virtue in the regiment of his creatures: thirdly, what injury we do to God for want of right understanding how he doth justice unto us: last of all, what honour unto him, and us what benefit, the true knowledge of his justice addeth.
I should have a large and scopious field to walk in, if I did here endeavour with exactness either to collect so many reasons as might forcibly demonstrate, or to reckon up the numbers of particularities effectual to make plain and evident, that in the thirty-third of Exodus which God himself doth insinuate, terming himself “all good.” For that mystical suit of his servant Moses, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory,” thus he answereth; “I will make all goodness to go before thee.” As therefore there can be no particular warmth which universal heat containeth not, so the infinite being of God comprehending all goodness, if justice be any part thereof, God necessarily is just. Secondly, who doth not yield unto justice more than the meanest place of reckoning and account amongst good things? Put therefore the case, that angels and men were just, God not: should they not in this part of goodness excel God, and so be better than He to whom the title, as of “greatest,” so of “best,” is confessed due? Besides, God himself being the supreme cause which giveth being unto all things that are, and every effect so resembling the cause whereof it cometh, that such as the one is the other cannot choose but be also; it followeth that either men are not made righteous by him, or if they be, then surely God himself is much more that which he maketh us; just, if a [He] be the author, fountain, and cause of our justice. Finally, seeing that we cannot conceive God without correspondence between him and creatures receiving from him whatsoever they have or are, either we must think that God cannot choose but impart good things, and then what creature would give him thanks, ever invocate, adore, and worship him? or if he distribute his graces advisedly, knowing upon whom what and wherefore he doth bestow, this being the proper function of justice, doth it not follow that God is just?
Only this doubt there is. We have already declared justice to be that virtue whereby we yield and receive good things in such sort as law prescribeth. Now God hath no superior; there is not that can lay commandment upon him; he is not subject; he standeth not bound to any higher authority and power. How then should there be any justice in his doing that which no superior’s authority or law can bind him to do? To this we could make no answer at all, if we did hold as they do who peremptorily avouch that there is no manner why to be rendered of any thing which God doth, but only this, It was his absolute will to do it. True it is that thus the prophet speaketh in the Psalm1 , “Our God is in heaven; and whatsoever he will, he doth.” Thus our Saviour in the Gospel2 , “I give thee thanks, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and men of understanding, and hast opened them unto babes. Even so, O Father, because such was thy good pleasure.” Thus the blessed Apostle often3 , “God predestinateth, calleth, saveth, worketh all things, according unto the purpose of his own will.” But what infer we hereupon? That there is no other cause in any of all the works of God to be either searched or rendered but this? If so, then it seemeth that when the people do ask this question, in the fifth of Jeremy’s prophecy, “Wherefore hath the Lord our God done these things?” God should rather have closed up their mouths with sharp reproof for making any such demand, than have commanded the prophet to content and satisfy their minds by yielding a reason of his actions: Thou shalt answer them, “like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye also serve strangers in a land that is not yours.” Again, let those very alleged sentences be seen into; and by sifting them it will soon appear that they rather exclude the rendering of some one cause which we are specially to beware of than import an impossibility of any reason at all to be rendered of the works of God. Our nature is prone unto haughty conceits: and when we see those blessings abundantly poured upon us, which God hath withheld from sundry others, we easily imagine that what we have more we are more worthy of than others are. To take down this proud opinion, it is so often inculcated, that whatsoever we have, the reason wherefore we have it is not our dignity, but his mercy; not the worthiness of our merit, but the goodness of his will. Yea, even in that very place where the blessed Apostle setteth down our predestination and adoption thorow Christ to have been according unto the pleasure of God’s only will, doth not himself yield a cause of this will in God, by immediately adding, “unto the praise of the glory of his grace1 ?”
Then seeing God doth work nothing but for some end, which end is the cause of that he doth, what letteth to conclude that God doth all things even in such sort as law prescribeth? Is not the end of his actions as a law? Doth it not strictly require them to be such as always they are, so that if they were otherwise they could not be apt, correspondent, suitable unto their set and appointed end? There is no impediment therefore but that we may set it down, God is truly and properly just.
Touching the next point, how God doth exercise justice in the world, justice exhibiteth all good which congruity and right would have imparted unto equals, inferiors, or betters. Superiority and equality being excluded from all things as they are in relation unto God, at his hands we are to expect only that which justice yieldeth unto inferiors. In which consideration he taketh upon him the person of a Judge, a Lord, a Father. “He shall judge nations,” saith the prophet in the seventh Psalm. But because those future comminations seem to imply some truce and respect for the time, the wicked man through freedom from present sense of evil emboldeneth himself, taketh heart and courage, hates to be reformed, casteth the words of God behind him, runneth on his race with lost companions, for this refraineth not a whit the more, avoideth no one deed, keepeth not in any one word or syllable which his heart delighteth to utter, for fear of this; “God will judge the world,” is little cared for, though Christ our Saviour and his Apostles divinely inspired describe it in never so fearful manner. For which cause the prophet in the same Psalm addeth, that God not only shall judge nations, but is the judger of the just and of despisers of God daily. So that what criminals openly convicted are to look for from such a judge as respecteth no man’s person, standeth in awe of no man’s countenance, hateth sin extremely, knoweth every action and circumstance of action that sinners do, be it never so closely conveyed; what criminals convicted are to look for from such a judge, thereon let impenitent malefactors make their certain reckoning: for as verily as God is just, his justice will show itself upon them soon or sine1 , in the greatness of that judgment, which if they feel before they fear, woe worth them. God their judge, but your Lord. Wherefore, if unfeignedly ye do your endeavour to serve and please him, ye have your presidents to claim the benefit by, of protection, care, maintenance, and whatsoever good thing righteous dominion doth answer dutiful service withal. The Church, in the thirty-third of Esay, concludeth hereupon boldly and plainly, “He is our king, therefore he will save us.” Is it not much that free leave is given you to plead your causes as Ezechias pleadeth his2 , “Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth with a perfect heart; and have done that which is good in thy sight?” As David his3 , “Preserve my soul, O Lord, thou art of great kindness unto all that serve thee: save me, for I am thy servant: O Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant: judgment for thine enemies and them that hate thee, I am the son of thine handmaid, thy servant; O bruise not my bones, suffer not my soul to descend into hell.” Or, if the name of a Lord do not seem sufficiently gracious, unto whom God hath already imparted a spirit that giveth them cheerful courage boldly to call upon him as children upon their father, let them enlarge their hearts, and what good thing can they invent which his fatherly indulgence doth not abundantly warrant them to expect? If they thirst after consolation; behold to them it is said4 , “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” If they wish endless continuance of hearty affection; to them5 , “I have loved you with everlasting love:” if a prosperous and flourishing estate; of them6 , “I will be unto them as the dew, they shall grow as the lily, and fasten their roots like the trees of Lebanon; their branches shall spread, and their beauty like the olive-tree; they shall revive as the corn, and flourish like the pleasant vine.” It is not with God as it is with men, whose titles show rather what they should be than what they are. God will not be termed that which he is not. His name doth show his nature. Were not his affection most fatherly, the appellation of a Father would offend him. Fathers lay up treasure for their children: and shall not your heavenly Father provide sufficient for you? O minds void of faith, full of distrustfulness! Fathers spend out the day in travail, and continue the night in pensiveness, ever studying how to better their children’s estate: and have the sons of God a father careless whether they think [sink] or swim? “The eye of the Lord is over the righteous.” “If a mother forget her child, (O love inexplicable!) art thou my son? of thee I will never be unmindful.” Fathers, if they be provoked unto anger, conceive not unappeasable wrath: do not the tears of their children confessing faults and craving pardon wring out oftentimes tears from their eyes? And, that which should cause even hearts of stone and iron to relent, we do not find God in Scripture so often rejoicing over the righteous, as shedding forth tears of kindness in the bosom of sinners penitent. Thus God is righteous; and his righteousness thus he showeth.
It followeth in the next place, concerning this matter of divine justice, that we consider how, for want of right understanding the reason how God doth justice unto us, injury is done unto him many ways. For by this it cometh to pass, that some beholding the present not only impunity but prosperity of sin in the world, repine at it as at a thing repugnant unto divine justice. Some, noting a difference between men departing this mortality immediately after great and grievous sin repented of, and others always leading an honest, holy, virtuous and upright life, upon conceit of inconformity with justice in God, if both ending their lives should enter forthwith and immediately into bliss, have imposed upon the souls of faithful men a kind of after-punishments satisfactory. Some, considering how God as a just and righteous judge shall hereafter reward their works, glory in them, as if, unless in themselves they were worthy of reward, they could not in justice be rewarded. These err by thinking that to be against God’s justice which is not: on the contrary side, others by thinking that not to be against it which is. These not weighing how opposite it is to the justice of God either actually to condemn, or in purpose to determine condemnation, without a cause thereof presupposed in the party so condemned, have by misconstruction of some Scripture sentences with no small hazard, as well of God’s honour as men’s comfort, over-easily been led to define that so many were fore-appointed unto endless torments, only for that the will of God was to have them endlessly tormented.
What injury men do to God for want of right understanding in what sort and manner he doth administer equity and justice unto them, in no way plainlier appeareth, than first by those repining accusations wherewith the hard and heavy casualties of the righteous, contrariwise the impunity and prosperity of godless persons hath been from time to time complained of. With such kind of pleas books both profane and sacred are fraught. The motives especially inducing their minds to deem an incongruity herein, and to the justice of God a kind of repugnancy, are these. First, to that justice which we call distributive, and define to be a virtue yielding unto each person that which is due according to the difference of their quality; unto this virtue nothing more opposite than the parity of their condition in the quality of whose persons there is inequality. For which cause from God Abraham putteth off that unevenness, which blendeth these two, and maketh the one’s estate such as the other’s should be1 . “Far be it from thee to slay the righteous with the wicked: that as the wicked are so the righteous should be also, far be it from thee.” If then it be a thing most unequal and unconsonant unto justice, that they which excel in virtue should not be exalted in all parts of happiness above them that are of contrary note: if it do argue an uneven hand, to bestow upon the one sort as upon the other; what may be thought, when they, whose virtues all men do admire, are in respect of the hard condition of their lives for outward things not only as the worst, which notwithstanding were greatly to be complained of, but in so far more miserable and wretched case, that these living in all abundance of whatsoever their hearts can wish; they, if they perish not, as oftentimes they do, at their enemies’ will and pleasure, are found not seldom in such sort to live that their deadliest adversaries could hardly wish them greater woe than to continue as they are; doth it not stand even with reason to conclude, surely this is not that which equity and justice requireth?
Wherein, secondly, the judgment of the world doth universally so agree, that imprisonments, banishments, restraint of liberty, deprivation of honour, diminution of goods, loss of limme or life, any thing penal and unpleasant to be suffered, is by authority no where laid upon other than dangerous and pernicious malefactors. So that when contrariwise the supreme guide and governor of heaven and earth taketh a clean other course of regiment, impoverishing, depressing, and by all means keeping down the good and virtuous, but crowning the heads of malignants with honour, and heaping terrene felicity upon them, this can hardly seem just or according to righteousness. It is not therefore without cause, nor of nothing, that those so usual oppositions have in this case and question risen, some concluding if God indeed did with justice order the course of human affairs, it should be bonis benè, malis malè; well with the good, with the bad still otherwise: others crying out, Posse contra innocentiam quæ sceleratus quisque conceperit; impiety to prevail against innocency, even as far as it listeth, God himself looking on, who can but wonder and be amazed?
The state of good and bad thus continuing, what construction shall we make of God’s own promises unto the one sort, and to the other of his so heavily pronounced sentences, which he uttereth as it were emptying upon them vessels full of wrath and execration? To the one, “If thou wilt walk in my ways, and keep mine ordinances and commandments, I will lengthen and prolong thy days1 :” to the other, “Thou, O God, shalt bring them down, thou shalt humble them unto the pit of corruption: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half the time which they might by nature2 .” To the one, not only long life promised, but with life prosperity and peace: to the other, not only unseasonable death, but before death woe and all kinds of misery threatened. To the one, “What man is he that feareth the Lord? his soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the land1 .” “The earth shall yield him increase of fruit; it shall be fat for his sake as oil; his cattle shall feed in large pastures2 .” To the other, “Cursed shalt thou be in field, town, and city; in person, in goods, in children: the Lord shall send upon thee trouble and shame: in all that ever thou settest thy hand to, thou shalt never but suffer wrong and violence: the strangeness of those calamities which thine eyes shall behold shall take even wit and sense from thee; because thou wilt not serve the Lord thy God with a cheerful and true heart, that so thou mightest be in all things happy. Hunger and thirst, and nakedness, and want of all things necessary shall be thy undividable companions; misery shall hunt and pursue thee for ever: no peace, no prosperity for the wicked3 .” These being the words of God’s own mouth, how are they performed when the righteous are hourly led as sheep to the slaughter, their goods taken from them by extortion, their persons subject unto violence, nothing about them but that which they cannot look or think upon without tears: impious despisers of God in the meanwhile rejoicing pleasantly upon their beds, living long, waxing old, increasing in honour, authority, and wealth, their houses peaceable without fear, the rod of God not upon them nor near them. Can these things cleave together, God true in his word, and we such in our estate?
This we might happily either answer with more ease, or with better contentment endure, if to the harm that such interchangeable mixture of states in the world breedeth any countervailable good did grow. But there doth not, for ought that any man living can see. The damages, losses, and inconveniences which this confusion draweth after it, they are apparent. For as the benefit but even of one man’s virtue, taking root, continuing and flourishing in the world, is invaluable not only in respect of the courage which thereby all others well inclined do take, exulting in the conscience of their own most holy resolutions to serve the Lord, when they are therein confirmed by visible assurance, that with as many as fear him from their hearts it shall undoubtedly go well; but furder also in regard of the singular delight which itself doth take in being most largely beneficial, and in watching for occasions to do good, whereby it cometh to pass that the hearts of all men bless them as common fathers, and wish them, if it were possible, the very possession of heaven on earth: so on the other side, there can be no greater plague than improbity, if it come once to have any long continuance in the world, and be furnished with habilitie to annoy; because it doth not only hereby take occasion to scorn the better endeavours of more virtuously disposed minds, thinking with itself what profit have they by serving the Almighty; but maketh it even a recreation and a kind of sporting exercise, to try what wit can do in devising, and force in executing, vile, barbarous, and cruel acts, such as future ages may most wonder at and the present most rue. Sith therefore nothing doth more agree with the nature of God than to better the state of all things, what more effectual way to fill the mouths of his saints with hymns of everlasting thankfulness, to augment their joy, to illustrate his glory, to put his foes for ever to silence, and to manifest unto all generations the care which he hath of righteousness, than by making always an apparent separation between men in state according to their good or evil quality?
These are the principal inducements whereby men, as long as they do not conceive the course of divine proceedings in justice, imagine all to be out of square, because the righteous are afflicted when the contrary sort doth prosper. First, it seemeth against the rule of distributive justice, that men’s condition should not be suitable unto the quality of their persons. Secondly, the general opinion and judgment of all men disliketh to have it otherwise. Thirdly, God himself often and openly hath protested that so it should be. Finally, if it be not so, the inconveniences thereupon growing unto the world are more than mean, the virtuous not encouraged as they might be, but put out of heart, infinite good undone whereby thousands would reap benefit, impiety corroborated and made bold, no less unto God’s own dishonour than unto men’s discomfort.
It cannot be thought a labour needless that we do our endeavour to free this cause from all scruple, and to make it so expedite as may suffice for our reasonable satisfaction; the minds of so many being entangled with such perplexities when they enter into these alleged considerations, through an opinion of discoherence thereby conceived between the justice of God and the state of men in this world. First therefore, touching the rule of distributive justice, which requireth that whose quality is best, their condition be not like and much less inferior unto theirs which are worst qualified, how understand we this rule of justice? Doth it require that the righteous have every desirable thing, the unrighteous nothing which is naturally good permitted them? Then that which never as yet any man was so senseless as to imagine notwithstanding must needs be; to wit, that if only the just be not beautiful, if they only be not strong, if any be healthful besides them, if they alone do not see the fruit of their bodies increased unto the third and fourth generation, God doth deal unjustly with them. How unjustly therefore with Christ, our blessed Saviour, and his only begotten Son, who, being so much more righteous than angels, saw creatures far beneath men in dignity, in some parts of outward felicity so far above him, that birds having nests, and foxes holes to hide themselves, the Son of God and man had scarce where to lay his head! Know we not that God is by nature good and gracious unto all the works of his hands? Wicked men, although they be their own workmanship as they are wicked, yet as they are men being his handywork, are not we rather injurious unto them than God to us, if so be we envy them all participation even in those things which they are capable of as men? For the favours which God extendeth towards just men, not as they are men but as they are just; such favours are so peculiarly theirs, that they neither are nor can be imparted to any other. Judge thereby therefore their estate, and is it not clear as the light, that the foresaid rule of justice is no way violated? Judge according unto this, and most evident it is that God doth not deal with the righteous as with the wicked, but always better. What should I mention him that preferred imprisonment with Cato before some other’s imperial sublimity1 ? It had been more than childishness in Moses to choose a fellowship in the bitter afflictions of the people of God1 , refusing the offered pleasures of sin, if the just man’s estate, be it whatsoever, were not by infinite degrees happier than the wicked’s in their chiefest ruff. He that sitteth at this day in Rome, kings of nations falling down before him, is his glittering estate so glorious in the eye of any good and spiritually wise man’s judgment, doth his tripled diadem adorn him as those honourable robes and garments dyed in the blood of martyrdom did beautify his first most reverend predecessors, disgraced, discountenanced, banished, murdered, rent asunder, devoured by wild beasts, put to most sharp and cruel deaths, exercised with all extremity of torture, for the name of Christ? There was not the meanest of them that would have changed his comforts in the midst of greatest woe, with all the joys and honours worldly which the flourishing rank of their successors hath acquired.
When we think otherwise, the reason of our misconceit herein is, that because all suffering is grievous, even as the contrary pleasant and acceptable unto the flesh; by occasion of this common accident, the just and unjust suffering materially the same kind of grief, by hunger, pestilence, sword, or the like, imagine that they suffer simply the same: whereas in truth their sufferings formally, and even essentially, are different. The end of God is never the same in both, howsoever upon both he seemeth to lay the same burthens. But being both in the same furnace, the one are as stubble, the other as gold: being stricken with the same rod, the one receive the torment of a judge, the other the chastisement of a father: though both seem equally forsaken, they are never equally forsaken; but the one by dereliction of probation only, the other by dereliction of reprobation. The righteous therefore may have their phancies; they may, being carried away with grief or distempered with passionate affections, conceive worse of their own estate than reason giveth: but surely there never was yet that hour, wherein, if mortal eyes could discern the things that belong unto solid happiness, the hearts of the most unhappy would not wish, as Balaam’s did, “O that we were as the just and righteous!” So that the rule of distributive justice is not violated. As for the judgment of all the world, supposing yes, what should we weigh it, when we have the judgment of him who created the world, to the contrary?
Howbeit, we err, if we take the casual and unadvised sentences of men, uttering rashly that which indignation hath put in their mouths and not sound reason established their minds in, for the judgment of the whole world: whereof the wisest and skilfullest part is so far from judging God when his saints are most roughly dealt with, to give them the portion of malefactors, that they plainly and peremptorily avouch the evils which they suffer to be rather seals assuring them of everlasting bliss, than tokens arguing unto others, that God doth put no difference between them and the children of malediction.
In the words of our Saviour there is no enigmatical obscurity. “When men revile you, sclaunder you, hate you, when they cast you out of their synagogues, when they speak and practise all manner of evil against you, say not in your hearts, this lot should have fallen upon the wicked that know not God. Such sufferings do not argue your infelicity, for when ye suffer these things ye are happy, yea because you suffer them happy are you. Men shall woonder that serving a God so able to protect you, ye should be enfeebled and die daily: but ignorant they are how it cometh by the mighty hand of God to pass, that there is even in imbecility strength, and gain in the very loss of your lives.” Nor doth any thing done or suffered in this present world prejudice a whit the grand authority, or impair the sacred credit either of the promises of God containing the good things of this life which are proposed to them that serve him, or of the contrary threatenings denounced against the children of rebellion and disobedience. That which befalleth us maketh no way vain and frustrate what God speaketh. But that which is spoken and meant conditionally must be conditionally understood. The life of the just shall be long and fortunate; they shall see many and happy days; their prosperity is a sequel of their piety; but with exception, unless it be far better for them to be otherwise. That this may be far better for them, there needeth no other proof, than the very acknowledgment of men touching the fruit of their own afflictions. Minds which prosperity would make wanton, experience of hard events do keep in subjection and awe. Affliction is the mother of hearty devotion. “When God humbled their hearts with heaviness,” saith the prophet, speaking of Israel, “then they cried unto the Lord.” When they loathed and abhorred their food, then they poured out their very souls in supplication unto God. Affliction is both a medicine if we sin, and a preservative that we sin not. Again, if sentence of death and temporal calamity be given against such as hate to be reformed, the certain performance thereof we must count upon; but with this caution, so far as may stand with that woonted patience which God useth ordinarily towards sinners, and so far as it may be without let and hinderance unto any greater intended good than can grow by their speedier revenge. In which considerations, if God do suffer with unweariable toleration vessels concinnate unto death, shall this, than which nothing doth more show his mercy and love towards men, by men be alleged to implead his righteousness?
“But good whereunto this tendeth, we say we discern none, sundry inconveniences being apparent.” Truth, they say, is the daughter of time1 : and in time who doubteth but God may discover that, which, because we presently see not, must we needs therefore presently deny? Into the heart of Joseph, at what time his brethren made gain of his person by merchandise; into the heart of Daniel, at the hour wherein he left his native soil; hardly could it have sunk2 what good so unpleasant accidents in the end would grow unto. “The end of all things,” saith the Apostle, “is at hand.” And if till then it should lie buried in the bosom of God alone, unto what good these things in outward appearance so confused for the time may tend; yet we to be less advised than that heathen Platonic, uninstructed in the mysteries of our faith? “In that I understand concerning the works of God,” saith Plotin, “therein will I praise him; and admire him even in those things which I know no reason of3 .” Do not we ourselves many times that whereof our servants do see no cause? neither dare they therefore argue and dispute against our actions, because our intentions are hidden from them. As for the wicked that hereby take occasion to harden themselves, it is to their own greater woe in the end. The time is not gained; divine revenge shall come upon them so much the heavier, by how much the slower. If the virtuous do fail in courage, it is through error and misconceit. “There was a time,” saith the prophet David, “when beholding fools in prosperity, I fretted at it in my heart, saying, ‘Lo, these are wicked, yet prosper they alway, and increase in riches: surely in vain have I cleansed my heart; that I have washed my hands in innocency, to what purpose is it?’ Such was my ignorance, such my folly1 .”
Another sort of men, injurious unto the God of heaven for want of understanding how towards them God is righteous, are they who abridge his mercy towards sinners penitent, tormenting their minds with a fearful expectation of future anguish, tribulation, and woe; as if, how merciful soever God be in remitting, pardoning, forgiving all their transgressions, nevertheless so unappeasable is the rigour and dirity of his corrective justice, that till transgressors have endured, either in this world or another, vexation proportionable unto the pleasure which they have taken in doing evil, there is no possible rest for their souls. Upon which opinion because much dependeth, I will first endeavour to lay before you, how the favourers and defenders thereof do ground it upon a supposed exigence in the justice of God; and secondly, make manifest unto you how weakly and ungroundedly they have erected it: how the nature of divine justice doth not only not require it, but is by it plainly oppugned, denied utterly, and overthrown.
Their grounds, unto such as cast but a slight view over them, may seem to be strong and forcible, they are with such art and cunning laid. The parts of their doctrine concerning the point which now we treat of, are by their greatest masters thus cemented and set together. First, most true it is, they say, and of all Christian comfort the very root, that the death of our Lord and Saviour hath duly and sufficiently paid for the sins of all the world, by that abundant price of redemption upon the cross. Which solemn entrance being such as cannot but have the full and ready approbation of all men Christian without any pause or furder deliberation gladly yielded, they smoothly proceed, adding hereunto that which cannot reasonably neither be denied; to wit, that no man was ever partaker of this benefit but in the knot and unity of his body mystical, which is the Church: that to them the streams of the holy blood of Christ and beams of his grace are in sundry manners conveyed: that upon all men, at their first incorporation into the household of the faithful, the merits of the death of Christ are so largely carried down for the remission of their sins, that were their lives before never so loaden with the most enormous offences that in this misery man may commit, yet they are not only pardoned of the same, but also perfectly acquitted for ever of all pain and punishment, which his offences by any means committed might deserve: that if men received into the favour of God and fellowship of his Church do, by sin committed after baptism, again pollute the temple of God, their estate is not such as Novatus would have it, irrecoverable, but even they may also be repaired through repentance; God most largely and mercifully promising unto his children which have erred and gone astray, if they return, if they be penitent, full remission of all their sins.
Whom we have found in so many things and so weighty true of their word, we do not easily suspect of deceit. Wherefore, as having now full possession of their hearers’ minds, they slip into that, which, being in truth utterly repugnant unto the verdicts hitherto given, they notwithstanding adjoin as consonant and agreeable thereunto. Sin, they say, committed draweth after it a double evil: First, it polluteth1 , defileth, staineth the purity and dignity of our nature: secondly, it maketh the soul that sinneth obnoxious unto punishment deserved by sin. Now God remitteth indeed the manifold sins of his children upon their hearty repentance, yea acquitteth them from that great pain, death and endless condemnation, which their iniquities justly deserved: howbeit doth not always, together with the remission of deadly sins and eternal punishment, exempt offenders received to his grace from all correction due1 for sin. That justice exacteth punishment for offending, even after their offences be forgiven them, there is, as it seemeth, proof sufficient mo ways than one. For first, have not just and holy men in this respect taken most sharp revenge upon themselves? Hath not the Church, for the satisfying of God’s most heavy indignation, from the very first spring of Christian religion, perpetually enjoined transgressors certain penal works of correction, either before, as the old usage was, or after the release of their offences, which now of late for grave causes hath been more used? When men do neither chastise themselves, nor are by the Church’s rod chastised, so inevitable2 is the punishment of sin, that it is a kind of constraint unto God himself to punish, yea to punish them whose sin he hath pardoned and received them into favour. Was it not thus in our first progenitors, whose grievous transgression though pardoned, yet both they did and we do smart for? For this cause the blessed Apostle plainly to them of Corinth3 , “See ye not how many there are amongst you weak and feeble, how many fallen asleep:” some stricken with sickness, some with death? This we might help, if we were not careless. If we did judge ourselves, we should not be judged of God: now we are, that with the world we might not perish. It cannot therefore be doubted of, but there is pain due for sin after sin be remitted. And if any debt or recompense remain to be discharged by the offender after reconcilement, it must needs rise by proportion, weight, continuance, number, and quantity of the faults committed before. Which debt we cannot say all men do fully discharge in this world. How many thousands do live at ease, secure, and altogether careless thereof? How many, by reason of their late conversion, taken out of the world before they can fully discharge this debt? So that if there were not in the next life pains satisfactory for them to endure, the case of grievous sinners till the very hower of death were much better than of small offenders converted long before: a thing not seemly to God’s justice. Unless perhaps we think that God shall be forced of necessity to remit his debt, for lack of means to punish it in another world. The punishments, which God hath reserved for his children after this life, are of two kinds1 : the one, want of perfect felicity and bliss; the other, sense of fearful and grievous torments. In the former of these two Adam and all the fathers2 before Christ, till Christ’s coming, were for so many worlds together detained, to satisfy for the punishment due to the sins the guilt whereof was in this life forgiven them. Nor did only the holy patriarchs feel in this respect the lack of the abundant fruition of the majesty of God, but all the souls of the just, excepting some, who by peculiar prerogative have already received their bodies, being now in rest and unspeakable felicity, do nevertheless for sin want the increase of joy and bliss, that by receipt of their bodies lying as yet in the dust, they are hereafter undoubtedly sure of. This they term pœnam damni3 . The other punishment, which hath in it not only loss of joy but also sense of grief, vexation, and woe, is that whereunto they give the name of purgatory pains, in nothing different1 from those very infernal torments which the souls of castaways, together with damned spirits, do endure, saving only in this, there is an appointed term to the one, to the other none; but for the time they last, they are equal. Nor may we therefore think ourselves quite and clean discharged of all such punishment, though we do never so carefully beware of heinous offences. For the common infirmities2 and daily trespasses which defile the works of the virtuous, as immoderate laughter, excessive jesting, smaller exceedings in meats, drinks, attire, and the like, distractions of mind, wandering cogitations in holy exercise; these, though easily pardonable and venial oversights, yet deserving temporal pain, the same unforgiven here must have of necessity afterward the punishment which justice requireth. This taught in Scripture, this determined in councils general, this believed by the ancient fathers, this by the very heathens acknowledged. The doctrine which maketh either denial or doubt of this, giveth license unto evil livers, and is the very mother of presumption.
The whole sum of all this we may reduce unto these two grounds. First, the justice of God requireth, that after unto the penitent sin is forgiven, a temporal satisfactory punishment be notwithstanding for sin inflicted by God or man. Secondly, the same doth also require, that such punishment being not inflicted in this world, it be in the world to come endured; that so to the justice of God full and perfect satisfaction may be made. For each of these, we have with sincerity and care touched the very principal flower of that which the wisest and learnedest on that part have hitherto alleged as proofs to stand upon. So that if this be answered unto the full contentment of reasonable men, I hope we shall not be thought unreasonable for withholding our assent from that which they urge upon the world with greater eagerness than weight of speech1 .
* * * * * * *
[1 ][Collated with the first Edition, printed by Joseph Barnes, Oxford, 1612, 4to.] 1887.
[a ]Abac. 1612, F. 1622.
[b ]is, commonly vulgar and trivial. 1612, F. 1622.
[c ]happiness of om. D.
[d ]nurces, 1612, F. 1622.
[e ]ends 1612, E.F. 1622.
[1 ][Heb. xiii. 14.]
[f ]kam om. E. cam 1612, F. 1676.
[2 ][See Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 4.
[g ]to om. E. not F, or 1612.
[h ]also hath 1612, E.F. 1622.
[i ]shall 1612, E.F. 1622.
[k ]heathens E. not F.
[1 ]Rom. [ii. 14, 15.]
[l ]mo 1612, moe F. 1622, more Keble (1676).
[m ]all in D.
[n ]habilitie 1612, D.F. 1622.
[1 ]Rom. [ii. 14, 15.]
[o ]hability E.F. habilitie 1612, 1622.
[p ]their not E. not F.
[q ]om. not 1612, F. 1622.
[r ]thought 1612, F. 1622, 1676, v. p. 650.
[s ]those hideous 1612, E.F. 1622.
[t ]ougly 1612, F.
[1 ][Rev. ii. 19, 20.]
[2 ][Acts viii. 21.]
[u ]eminent 1612, E.F. 1622.
[x ]the 1612, E.F. 1622.
[y ]no stop after “by” 1612, F. 1622.
[z ]inevitable 1612, F. 1622.
[a ]ways 1612, D.F. 1622.
[b ]few men 1612,E.F. 1622.
[c ]most wretched 1612, E.F. 1622.
[d ]or D.
[e ]takes 1612, 1622.
[f ]except 1612, F. 1622.
[g ]excellencies E. excellencie F.
[h ]you D.
[1 ]Luke xxii. [25, 26.]
[1 ][Matt. xx. 21.]
[i ]a full stop here, 1612, 1622.
[k ]fansifull 1612, fansiefull F. 1622.
[2 ]Luke xxii. 28, [30.]
[l ]is no 1612, E.F. 1622.
[m ]are seemlier 1612, E.F. 1622.
[n ]callings E.F.
[o ]uglie F.
[p ]exempled D.
[q ]specially 1612, D.F. 1622.
[r ]percingly 1612, F.
[1 ][Ver. 13.]
[s ]Corah 1612, F. 1622.
[t ]mutinies, repining 1612, E.F. 1622.
[u ]in a 1612, E.F. 1622.
[x ]estate D. state 1612, F. 1622.
[y ]how that when 1612, E.F. 1622.
[z ]the om. 1612, F. 1622.
[a ][appale 1612, F. 1622, 1676, v. p. 481.]
[b ]praise 1612, F. 1622.
[c ]harm by strife D.
[d ]the cause 1612, E.F. 1622.
[e ]and the 1612, E.F. 1622.
[f ]helps 1612, E.F. 1622.
[g ]which tend 1612, E.F. 1622.
[1 ][1 Cor. iv. 8.]
[2 ][Isai. i. 6.]
[h ]unrighteous D.
[3 ][“De meritis meis non præsumo . . . sæpe enim nostra justitia, ad examen divinæ justitiæ deducta, injustitia est; et sordet in districtione Judicis, quod in æstimatione fulget operantis.” Greg. Moral. in Job. 5. 21, 56 in Alulfus’ Compilation on 1 Cor. iv. 3.—Greg. Opp. iv. p. 817.] 1887.
[i ]the E.
[k ]habilitie D.
[l ]works 1612, F. 1622.
[m ]to a voluntary 1612, E.F. 1622.
[1 ]Annot. Rhem. in 1 Cor. iii. [8. “Every one shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” “A most plain proof that men by their labours, and by the diversities thereof, shall be diversely rewarded in heaven; and therefore that by their works proceeding of grace they do deserve or merit heaven, and the more or less joy in the same. For though the holy Scripture commonly use not this word merit, yet in places innumerable of the Old and New Testament the very true sense of merit is contained, and so often as the word merces, and the like be used, they be ever understood as correlatives, or correspondent unto it. For if the joy of heaven be retribution, repayment, hire, wages, for works, (as in infinite places of holy Scripture,) then the works can be no other but the value, desert, price, worth, and merit of the same. And indeed this word reward, which in our English tongue may signify a voluntary or bountiful gift, doth not so well express the nature of the Latin word, or the Greek, which are rather the very stipend that the hired workman or journeyman covenanteth to have of him whose work he doth, and is a thing equally and justly answering to the time and weight of his travels and works, (in which sense the Scripture saith, ‘Dignus est operarius mercede sua,’) rather than a free gift.”]
[n ]so 1612, E.F. 1622.
[1 ][Psalm cxix. 71.]
[2 ][2 Cor. xii. 7.]
[o ]happily 1612, D.
[p ]medicinalle D.
[3 ][De Civ. Dei, xiv. 13. “Audeo dicere, superbis esse utile cadere in aliquod apertum manifestumque peccatum, unde sibi displiceant, qui jam sibi placendo ceciderant. Salubrius enim Petrus sibi displicuit, quando flevit, quam sibi placuit, quando præsumsit.” t. vii. 366 B.
[q ]Christall 1612, F. Chrystall, 1622.
[1 ][“Hucusque excusum exemplar: sequentia in eo non habentur.” Note in MS. D. The ed. of 1618 (F.) stops here. Cp. vol. i. liii. So also the ed. of 1612.]
[2 ][Psalm xliv. 23-27.]
[3 ]2 Cor. vi. 9.
[1 ]Deut. xxx. 19.
[2 ]Psalm xxxvi. 7.
[3 ]John vi. [v. 26.]
[1 ]Gal. iv. [19.]
[1 ]Psalm xxxiv.
[1 ][Arist. Rhet. i. 9. δι’ ἣν τὰ αὑτω̑ν ἕκαστοι ἔχουσι, καὶ ὡς νόμος.]
[1 ][XII Tab. Fragm. ad calc. Cod. Justin. ed. Gothofred. tit. 27. p. 91. “Interfici indemnatum quemcunque hominem, etiam XII Tabularum decreta vetuerunt. Hæc Salvianus Episc. Massiliensis; 8. de Judicio et Providentia.”]
[2 ][Ibid. tit. 26. “Servius ad illos versus Virgilii 6 Æn. 609. ‘fraus innexa clienti;’ ‘Ex lege,’ inquit, ‘XII Tabularum venit, in quibus scriptum est, Patronus, &c.’ ”]
[3 ]Deut. xiii.
[1 ][Xenoph. Hist. Græc. lib. vi. The rest is a mere case put by Hooker for argument’s sake.]
[1 ]Psalm cxv. 3.
[2 ]Matth. xi. 25.
[3 ]Ephes. i. 11.
[1 ]Ephes. i. 6.
[1 ][“Soon or syne,” as Archdeacon Cotton has pointed out to the editor, is the Scottish expression for “soon or late.” See Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary, voc. Syne. He quotes Baillie’s Letters, i. 355. “What I know I shall ever give you an account of soon or syne.”]
[2 ]Esay xxxviii.
[3 ]Psalm lxxxvi.
[4 ]Esay lxvi.
[5 ]Jer. xxxi.
[6 ]Hos. xiv.
[1 ]Gen. xviii. 25.
[1 ]1 Reg. iii. 14.
[2 ]Ps. lv. 23.
[1 ]Ps. xxv. 13.
[2 ]Esai xxx. 23.
[3 ]Deut. xxviii.
[1 ][Valerius Maximus, II. x. 7.] E. M.
[1 ][Heb. xi. 25.]
[1 ][Aulus Gellius, XII. xi. 7. “Alius quidam veterum poëtarum, cujus nomen mihi nunc memoriæ non est, Veritatem Temporis filiam esse dixit.”] E.M. qu. Bacon, N.O. i. 84.
[2 ][The reading of the MS. here is doubtful.]
[3 ][De Prov. qu. in Parsons, Christian Directory, c. ii. § 2.] E.M.
[1 ]Psalm lxxiii.
[1 ][Vid. S. Tho. Aquin. 2 Summ. Theol. pars i. qu. 86. “De Macula Peccati;” et qu. 87. “De reatu pœnæ,” especially art. 6. respons.]
[1 ][S. Tho. Aquin. in 4. Sent. dist. xiv. qu. ii. art. 1; et dist. xviii. qu. i. art. 3. “Pœna est duplex; scil. exterminans hostes;—et talis pœna ex reconciliatione ipsa removetur:—alia pœna est quæ corrigit civem et filium, vel amicum, et debitum ejus potest remanere reconciliatione jam facta: et ideo simul cum peccatum remittitur quoad maculam, remittitur quoad pœnam æternam quæ est exterminans, sed non quoad pœnam temporalem quæ est corrigens.”]
[2 ][Id. dist. xx. qu. i. art. 3. “Quidam dicunt, quod indulgentiæ non valent ad absolvendum a reatu pœnæ, quam quis in purgatorio secundum judicium Dei meretur, sed valent ad absolutionem ab obligatione, qua sacerdos obligavit pœnitentem ad pœnam aliquam, vel ad quam etiam ordinatur ex canonum statutis. Sed hæc opinio videtur non vera . . . quia . . . Ecclesia hujusmodi indulgentias largiens seu dans magis damnificaret quam adjuvaret, quia remitteret ad graviores pœnas, scil. purgatorii, absolvendo a pœnitentiis injunctis.” et dist. xxi. qu. i. art. 1.]
[3 ]1 Cor. xi.
[1 ][S. Tho. Aquin. in 4 Sent. d. xxi. qu. i. art. 1. “Ad tertiam quæstionem dicendum, quod in purgatorio erit duplex pœna. Una damni, in quantum sc. retardantur a divina visione: alia sensus, secundum quod ab igne corporali punientur; et quantum ad utrumque pœna purgatorii minima excedit maximam pœnam hujus vitæ.”]
[2 ][Ibid. “Sancti Patres ante adventum Christi fuerunt in loco digniori quam sit locus in quo purgantur animæ post mortem, quia non erat ibi aliqua pœna sensibilis: sed locus ille erat conjunctus inferno, vel idem quod infernus, alias Christus ad limbum descendens non diceretur ad inferos descendisse: ergo et purgatorium est in eodem loco, vel juxta infernum.”]
[3 ][The words “pœnam damni” are changed into “predestination,” in an old transcript of this sermon: Library, Trin. Coll. Dubl. (MS. B. I. 13). Contractions, in some measure, account for the mistake. So Mr. Gibbings informs the Editor.]
[1 ][Ibid. “De loco purgatorii non invenitur aliquid expresse determinatum in scriptura, nec rationes possunt ad hoc efficaces induci: tamen probabiliter et secundum quod consonat magis sanctorum dictis, et revelationi factæ multis, locus purgatorii est duplex . . Secundum legem communem locus purgatorii est locus inferior inferno conjunctus, ita quod idem ignis sit qui damnatos cruciat in inferno, et qui justos in purgatorio purgat, quamvis damnati secundum quod sunt inferiores merito, et loco inferiores ordinandi sunt. Alius est locus purgatorii secundum dispensationem, et sic quandoque in diversis locis puniti leguntur, vel ad vivorum instructionem, vel ad mortuorum subventionem, ut viventibus eorum pœna innotescens, per suffragia ecclesiæ mitigaretur.”]
[2 ][Ibid. art. 3. “Culpa venialis in eo qui cum gratia decedit, post hanc vitam dimittitur per ignem purgatorium, quia pœna illa aliqualiter voluntaria virtute gratiæ habebit vim expiandi culpam omnem quæ simul cum gratia stare potest.”]
[1 ][At this point unfortunately the Dublin MS. of this sermon breaks off: and no other copy has been found to supply the deficiency. On a leaf at the end of it is written, apparently by three different scribes: