Front Page Titles (by Subject) SERMON I. - The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3
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SERMON I. - 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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Epist. Jude, vers. 17-21.
But ye, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
How that they told you, that there should be mockers in the last time, which should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These are makers of Sects, fleshly, having not the Spirit.
But ye, beloved, edify yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
And keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life.
SERM. V. 1.THE occasion2 whereupon, together with the end wherefore, this Epistle was written, is opened in the front and entry of the same. There were then, as there are now, many evil and wickedly disposed persons, not of the mystical body, yet within the visible bounds of the Church, “men which were of old ordained to condemnation, ungodly men, which turned the grace of our God into wantonness, and denied the Lord Jesus.” For this cause the Spirit of the Lord is in the hand of “Jude the servant of Jesus and brother of James,” to exhort them that are called, and sanctified of God the Father, that they would earnestly “contend to maintain the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints.” Which faith because we cannot maintain, except we know perfectly, first, against whom; secondly, in what sort it must be maintained: therefore in the former three verses of that parcel of Scripture which I have read, the enemiesa of the cross of Christ are plainly described;SERM. V. 2. and in the later two, they that love the Lord Jesus have a sweet lesson given them how to strengthen and stablish themselves in the faith. Let us first therefore examine the description of these reprobates concerning faith; and afterwards come to the words of the exhortation, wherein Christians are taught how to rest their hearts on God’s eternal and everlasting truth. The description of these godless persons is twofold, general and special. The general doth point them out, and shew what manner of men they should be. The particular pointeth at them, and saith plainly, these are they. In the general description we have to consider of these things; First, when they were described; “They were told of before:” Secondly, the men by whom they were described; “They were spoken of by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:” Thirdly, the days when they should be manifested unto the world; they told you they “should be in the last time:” Fourthly, their disposition and whole demeanour; Mockers and walkers after their own ungodly lusts.”
2. In the third to the Philippians1 , the Apostle describeth certain; “They are men,” saith he, “of whom I have told you often, and now with tears I tell you of them, their god is their belly, their glorying and rejoicing is in their own shame, they mind earthly things.” These were enemiesa of the cross of Christ, enemiesa whom he saw, and his eyes gushed out with tears to behold them. But we are taught in this place how the Apostles spake also of enemiesa , whom as yet they had not seen, described a family of men as yet unheard of, a generation reserved for the end of the world, and for the last time; they had not only declared what they heard and saw in the days wherein they lived, but they have prophesied also of men in time to come. And “you do well,” saith St. Peter2 , “in that ye take heed to the words of prophecy, so that ye first know this, that no prophecy in the Scripture cometh of any man’s own resolution.” No prophecy in Scripture cometh of any man’s own resolution. For all prophecy, which is in Scripture, came by the secret inspiration of God. But there are prophecies which are no Scripture; yea, there are prophecies against the Scripture:SERM. V. 3, 4. my brethren, beware of such prophecies, and take heed you heed them not. Remember the things that were spoken of before; but spoken of before by the Apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Take heed to prophecies, but to prophecies which are in Scripture; for both the manner and the matter of those prophecies do shew plainly that they are of God.
Of the spirit of prophecy received from God himself.3. Touching the manner, how men by the spirit of prophecy in holy Scripture have spoken and written of things to come, we must understand, that as the knowledge of that they spake, so likewise the utterance of that they knew, came not by these usual and ordinary means, whereby we are brought to understand the mysteries of our salvation, and are wont to instruct others in the same. For whatsoever we know, we have it by the hands and ministry of men, which lead us along like children, from a letter to a syllable, from a syllable to a word, from a word to a line, from a line to a sentence, from a sentence to a side, and so turn over. But God himself was their instructor, he himself taught them, partly by dreams and visions in the night, partly by revelations in the day, taking them aside from amongst their brethren, and talking with them as a man would talk with his neighbour in the way. Thus they became acquainted even with the secret and hidden counsels of God. They saw things which themselves were not able to utter, they beheld that whereat men and angels are astonished. They understood in the beginning, what should come to pass in the last days.
Of the Prophets’ manner of speech.4. God, which lightened thus the eyes of their understanding, giving them knowledge by unusual and extraordinary means, did also miraculously himself frame and fashion their words and writings; insomuch that a greater difference there seemeth not to be between the manner of their knowledge, than there is between the manner of their speech and ours. When we have conceived a thing in our hearts, and throughly understand it, as we think within ourselves, ere we can utter it in such sort that our brethren may receive instruction or comfort at our mouths, how great, how long, how earnest meditation are we forced to use! And after much travail and much pains, when we open our lips to speak of the wonderful works of God, our tongues do falter within our mouths, yea many times we disgrace the dreadful mysteries of our faith, and grieve the spirit of our hearers by words unsavoury, and unseemly speeches:SERM. V. 4. “1 Shall a wise man fill his belly with the eastern wind?” saith Eliphaz; “shall a wise man dispute with words not comely? or with talk that is not profitable?” Yet behold, even they that are wisest amongst us living, compared with the prophets, seem no otherwise to talk of God, than as if the children which are carried in arms should speak of the greatest matters of state. They whose words do most shew forth their wise understanding, and whose lips do utter the purest knowledge, so long as they understand and speak as men, are they not fain sundry ways to excuse themselves? Sometimes acknowledging with the wise man2 , “Hardly can we discern the things that are on earth, and with great labour find we out the things that are before us; who can then seek out the things that are in heaven?” Sometimes confessing with Job the righteous, “intreating of things too wonderful for us, we have spoken we wist not what3 .” Sometimes ending their talk, as doth the history of the Maccabees4 : “If we have done well, and as the cause required, it is that we desire; if we have spoken slenderly and barely, we have done what we could.” But “God hath made my mouth like a sword,” saith Esay5 . And “we have received,” saith the Apostle6 , “not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are given to us of God; which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost doth teach.” This is that which the prophets mean by those books written full within and without; which books were so often delivered them to eat, not because God fed them with ink and paper, but to teach us, that so oft as he employed them in this heavenly work, they neither spake nor wrote any word of their own, but uttered syllable by syllable as the Spirit put it into their mouths, no otherwise than the harp or the lute doth give a sound according to the discretion of his hands that holdeth and striketh it with skill. The difference is only this: an instrument, whether it be a pipe or harp, maketh a distinction in the times and sounds, which distinction is well perceived of the hearer, the instrument itself understanding not what is piped or harped.SERM. V. 5. The prophets and holy men of God not so. “I opened my mouth,” saith Ezekiel1 , “and God reached me a scroll, saying, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this I give thee. I ateb it, and it was sweet in my mouth as honey,” saith the prophet. Yea, sweeter, I am persuaded, than either honey or the honeycomb. For herein they were not like harps or lutes, but they felt, they felt the power and strength of their own words. When they spake of our peace, every corner of their hearts was filled with joy. When they prophesied of mournings, lamentations, and woes, to fall upon us, they wept in the bitterness and indignation of spirit2 , the arm of the Lord being mighty and strong upon them.
5. On this manner were all the prophecies of holy Scripture. Which prophecies, although they contain nothing which is not profitable for our instruction, yet as one star differeth from another in glory, so every word of prophecy hath a treasure of matter in it, but all matters are not of like importance, as all treasures are not of equal price. The chief and principal matter of prophecy is the promise of righteousness, peace, holiness, glory, victory, immortality, unto “every soul which believeth that Jesus is Christ, of the Jew first, and of the Gentile3 .” Now because the doctrine of salvation to be looked for by faith in Him, who was in outward appearance as it had been a man forsaken of God; in him who was numbered, judged, and condemned with the wicked; in him whom men did see buffeted on the face, scoffed at by soldiers, scourged by tormentors, hanged on the cross, pierced to the heart; in him whom the eyes of many witnesses did behold, when the anguish of his soul enforced him to roar as if his heart had rent in sunder4 , “O my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I say, because the doctrine of salvation by him is a thing improbable to a natural man, that whether we preach it to the Gentile, or to the Jew, the one condemneth our faith as madness, the other as blasphemy; therefore, to establish and confirm the certainty of this saving truth in the hearts of men,SERM. V. 6. the Lord, together with their preachings whom he sent immediately from himself to reveal these things unto the world, mingled prophecies of things both civil and ecclesiastical, which were to come in every age from time to time, till the very last of the latter days, that by those things, wherein we see daily their words fulfilled and done, we might have strong consolation in the hope of things which are not seen, because they have revealed as well the one as the other. For when many things are spoken of before in Scripture, whereof we see first one thing accomplished, and then another, and so a third, perceive we not plainly, that God doeth nothing else but lead us along by the hand, till he have settled us upon the rock of an assured hope, that no one jot or tittle of his word shall pass till all be fulfilled? It is not therefore said in vain, that these godless wicked ones “were spoken of before.”
6. But by whom? By them whose words if men or angels from heaven gainsay, they are accursed; by them whom whosoever despiseth, “despiseth not them but me1 ,” saith Christ. If any man therefore doth love the Lord Jesus, (and woe worth him that loveth not the Lord Jesus!) hereby we may know that he loveth him indeed, if he despise not the things that are spoken of by his Apostles, whom many have despised even for the baseness and simpleness of their persons.A natural man perceiveth not heavenly things. For it is the property of fleshly and carnal men to honour and dishonour, credit and discredit the words and deeds of every man, according to that he wanteth or hath without. “2 If a man with gorgeous apparel come amongst us,” although he be a thief or a murderer, (for there are thieves and murderers in gorgeous apparel,) be his heart whatsoever, if his coat be of purple, or velvet, or tissue, every one riseth up, and all the reverend solemnities we can use are too little. But the man that serveth God is contemned and despised amongst us for his poverty. Herod speaketh in judgment, and the people cry out, “3 The voice of God, and not of man.” Paul preacheth Christ, they term him a trifler. “4 Hearken, beloved, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, that they should be rich in faith?” Hath he not chosen the refuse of the world to be heirs of his kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him? Hath he not chosen the offscourings of men to be the lights of the world, and the Apostles of Jesus Christ?SERM. V. 7. Men unlearned, yet how fully replenished with understanding? few in number, yet how great in power? contemptible in shew, yet in spirit how strong? how wonderful? “I would fain learn the mystery of the eternal generation of the Son of God,” saith Hilary1 . “Whom shall I seek? Shall I get me to the schools of the Grecians? Why? I have read, Ubi sapiens? ubi scriba? ubi conquisitor hujus sæculi? These wise men in the world must needs be dumb in this, because they have rejected the wisdom of God. Shall I beseech the scribes and interpreters of the law to become my teachers? How can they know this, sith they are offended at the cross of Christ? It is death for me to be ignorant of the unsearchable mystery of the Son of God: of which mystery, notwithstanding I should have been ignorant, but that a poor fisherman, unknown, unlearned, new come from his boat with his clothes wringing wet, hath opened his mouth and taught me, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ ” These poor silly creatures have made us rich in the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ.
7. Remember therefore that which is spoken of by the Apostles. Whose words if the children of this world do not regard, is it any marvel? They are the Apostles of our Lord Jesus; not of their Lord, but of our. It is true which one hath said in a certain place, Apostolicam fidem sæculi homo non capit. “A man sworn to the world is not capable of that faith which the Apostles do teach.” What mean the children of this world then to tread in the courts of our God?We must not halt between two opinions. What should your bodies do at Bethel, whose hearts are at Bethaven? The god of this world, whom ye serve, hath provided Apostles and teachers for you, Chaldeans, wizards, soothsayers, astrologers, and such like: hear them. Tell not us that ye will sacrifice to the Lord our God, if we will sacrifice to Ashtaroth or Melcom; that ye will read our Scriptures, if we will listen to your traditions; that if ye may have a Mass by permission, we shall have a Communion with good leave and liking; that ye will admit the things that are spoken of by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus, if your Lord and Master may have his ordinances observed, and his statutes kept. Salomonc took it (as well he might) for an evident proof, that she did not bear a motherly affection to her child, which yielded to have it cut in divers parts. He cannot love the Lord Jesus with his heart, which lendeth one ear to his Apostles, and anotherd to false apostles; which can brook to see a mingle-mangle1 of religion and superstition, Ministers and Massing-priests, light and darkness, truth and error, traditions and scriptures. No, we have no Lord but Jesus; no doctrine but the gospel; no teachers but his Apostles. Were it reason to require at the hands of an English subject, obedience to the laws and edicts of the Spaniard? I do marvel, that any man bearing the name of a servant of the servants of Jesus Christ, will go about to draw us from our allegiance. We are his sworn subjects; it is not lawful for us to hear the things that are not told us by his Apostles. They have told us, that in “the last days there shall be mockers,” therefore we believe it; Credimus quia legimus2 , We are so persuaded, because we read it must be so. If we did not read it, we would not teach it: Nam quæ libro legis non continentur, eanec nosse debemus, saith Hilary1 ;SERM. V. 8, 9. “Those things that are not written in the book of the law, we ought not so much as to be acquainted with them.” “Remember the words which were spoken of before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Mockers in the last time.8. The third thing to be considered in the description of these men of whom we speak, is the time wherein they should be manifested to the world. They told you there should be mockers “in the last time.” Noah at the commandment of God built an ark, and there were in it beasts of all sorts, clean and unclean. A husbandman planteth a vineyard, and looketh for grapes, but when they come to the gathering, behold, together with grapes there are found also wild grapes. A rich man prepareth a great supper, and biddeth many; but when he sitteth him down, he findeth amongst his friends here and there a man whom he knoweth not. This hath been the state of the Church sithence the beginning. God always hath mingled his saints with faithless and godless persons; as it were the clean with the unclean, grapes with sour grapes, his friends and children with aliens and strangers. Marvel not then, if in the last days also ye see the men, with whom you live and walk arm in arm, laugh at your religion, and blaspheme that glorious name whereof you are called. Thus it was in the days of the patriarchs and prophets, and are we better than our fathers? Albeit we suppose that the blessed Apostles, in foreshewing what manner of men were set out for the last days, meant to note a calamity special and peculiar to the ages and generations which were to come. As if he should have said, as God hath appointed a time of seed for the sower, and a time of harvest for him that reapeth; as he hath given unto every herb and every tree his own fruit and his own season, not the season nor the fruit of another (for no man looketh to gather figs in the winter, because the summer is the season for them; nor grapes of thistles, because grapes are the fruit of the vine): so the same God hath appointed sundry for every generation of men, other men for other times, and for the last times the worst men, as may appear by their properties; which is the fourth point to be considered of in this description.
Mockers.9. “They told you that there should be mockers.” He meaneth men that shall use religion as a cloak, to put off and on, as the weather serveth1 ;SERM. V. 9. such as shall with Herod hear the preaching of John Baptist to-day, and to-morrow condescend to have him beheaded; or with the other Herod say they will worship Christ, when they purpose a massacre in their hearts; kiss Christ with Judas, and betray Christ with Judas. These are mockers. For as Ishmael the son of Hagar laughed at Isaac, which was heir of the promise; so shall these men laugh at you as the maddest people under the sun, if ye be like Moses, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” And why? God hath not given them eyes to see, nor hearts to conceive that exceeding recompense of your reward. The promises of salvation made to you are matters wherein they can take no pleasure, even as Ishmael took no pleasure in that promise wherein God had said unto Abraham2 , “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” because the promise concerned not him, but Isaac. They are termed for their impiety towards God, “mockers;” and for the impurity of their life and conversation, “walkers after their own ungodly lusts.” St. Peter in his Second Epistle and third chapter soundeth the very depth of their impiety; shewing first, how they shall not shame at the length to profess themselves profane and irreligious, by flat denying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and deriding the sweet and comfortable promises of his appearing: secondly, that they shall not be only deriders of all religion, but also disputers against God, using truth to subvert the truth; yea Scriptures themselves to disprove Scriptures. Being in this sort “mockers,” they must needs be also “followers of their own ungodly lusts.” Being atheists in persuasion, can they choose but be beasts in conversation? For why remove they quite from them the fear of God? Why take they such pains to abandon and put out from their hearts all sense, all taste, all feeling of religion? but only to this end and purpose, that they may without inward remorse and grudging of conscience give over themselves to all uncleanness.Mockers worse than Pagans and infidels. Surely the state of these men is more lamentable than is the condition of Pagans and Turks. For at the bare beholding of heaven and earth the infidel’s heart by and by doth give him, that there is an eternal, infinite, immortal, and ever-living God, whose hands have fashioned and framed the world; he knoweth that every house is builded of some man, though he see not the man which built the house, and he considereth that it must be God which hath built and created all things; although because the number of his days be few, he could not see when God disposed his works of old, when he caused the light of his clouds first to shine, when he laid the corner stone of the earth, and swaddled it with bands of water and darkness; when he caused the morning star to know his place, and made bars and doors to shut up the sea within his house, saying1 , “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther;” he hath no eyewitness of these things. Yet the light of natural reason hath put this wisdom in his reins, and hath given his heart thus much understanding. Bring a Pagan to the schools of the Prophets of God; prophesy to an infidel, rebuke him, lay the judgments of God before him, make the secret sins of his heart manifest, and he shall fall down and worship God. They that crucified the Lord of glory were not so far past recovery, but that the preaching of the Apostles was able to move their hearts and to bring them to this, “Men and brethren, what shall we do2 ?” Agrippa, that sat in judgment against Paul for preaching, yielded notwithstanding thus far unto him, “Almost thou persuadest me to become a Christian3 .” Although the Jews for want of knowledge have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God; yet “I bear them record,” saith the Apostle4 , “that they have a zeal.” The Athenians, a people having neither zeal nor knowledge, yet of them also the same Apostle5 beareth witness, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive ye are δεισιδαιμονέστεστεροι, some way religious.” But mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts, they have smothered every spark of that heavenly light, they have stifled even their very natural understanding. O Lord, thy mercy is over all thy works, thou savest man and beast! yet a happy case it had been for these men if they had never been born; and so I leave them.
SERM. V. 10, 11.10. St. Jude having his mind exercised in the doctrine of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, concerning things to come in the last time, became a man of a wise and staiede judgment. Grieved he was to see the departure of many, and their falling away from the faith which before they did profess;Judas vir sapiens et certi judicii. grieved, but not dismayed. With the simpler and weaker sort it was otherwise: their countenance began by and by to change, they were half in doubt they had deceived themselves in giving credit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Jude, to comfort and refresh these silly lambs, taketh them up in his arms, and sheweth them the men at whom they were offended. Look upon them that forsake this blessed profession wherein you stand: they are now before your eyes; view them, mark them, are they not carnal? are they not like to noisome carrion cast out upon the earth? is there that Spirit in them which crieth, “Abba, Father,” in your bosoms? Why should any man be discomforted? Have you not heard that there should be “mockers in the last time?” These verily are they that now do separate themselves.
11. For your better understanding what this severing and separating of themselves doth mean, we must know that the multitude of them which truly believe (howsoever they be dispersed far and wide each from other) is all one body, whereof the Head is Christ; one building, whereof he is the corner-stone, in whom they as the members of the body being knit, and as the stones of the building being coupled, grow up to a man of perfect stature, and rise to an holy temple in the Lord. That which linketh Christ to us, is his mere mercy and love towards us. That which tieth us to him, is our faith in the promised salvation revealed in the word of truth. That which uniteth and joineth us amongst ourselves, in such sort that we are now as if we had but one heart and one soul, is our love. Who be inwardly in heart the lively members of this body, and the polished stones of this building, coupled and joined to Christ, as flesh of his flesh, and bones of his bones, by the mutual bond of his unspeakable love towards them, and their unfeigned faith in him, thus linked and fastened each to other by a spiritual, sincere, and hearty affection of love, without any manner of simulation; who be Jews within, and what their names be;SERM. V. 12. none can tell, save he whose eyes do behold the secret disposition of all men’s hearts. We, whose eyes are too dim to behold the inward man, must leave the secret judgment of every servant to his own Lord, accounting and using all men as brethren both near and dear unto us, supposing Christ to love them tenderly, so as they keep the profession of the Gospel, and join in the outward communion of saints. Whereof the one doth warrantize unto us their faith, the other their love, till they fall away, and forsake either the one, or the other, or both; and then it is no injury to term them as they are. When they separate themselves, they are αὐτοκατάκριτοι, not judged by us, but by their own doings. Men do separate themselves either by heresy, schism, or apostasy.Threefold separation. If they loose the bond of faith, which then they are justly supposed to do, when they frowardly oppugn any principal point of Christian doctrine, this is to separate themselves by heresy.1. Heresy. If they break the bond of unity, whereby the body of the Church is coupled and knit in one, as they do which wilfully forsake all external communion with saints in holy exercises purely and orderly established in the Church, this is to separate themselves by schism.2. Schism. If they willingly cast off and utterly forsake both profession of Christ and communion with Christians, taking their leave of all religion, this is to separate themselves by plain apostasy.3. Apostasy. And St. Jude, to express the manner of their departure which by apostasy fell away from the faith of Christ, saith, “They separated themselves;” noting thereby, that it was not constraint of others which forced them to depart, it was not infirmity and weakness in themselves, it was not fear of persecution to come upon them, whereat their hearts did fail; it was not grief of torments, whereof they had tasted, and were not able any longer to endure them. No, they voluntarily did separate themselves with a fully settled and altogether determined purpose never to name the Lord Jesus any more, nor to have any fellowship with his saints, but to bend all their counsel and all their strength to raze out their memorial from amongst men.
12. Now because that by such examples, not only the hearts of infidels were hardened against the truth, but the minds of weak brethren also much troubled, the Holy Ghost hath given sentence of these backsliders, that they were carnal men, and had not the Spirit of Christ Jesus, lest any man having an overweening of their persons should be overmuch amazed and offended at their fall.SERM. V. 13. For simple men not able to discern their spirits, were brought by their apostasy thus to reason with themselves: If Christ be the Son of the living God, if he have the words of eternal life, if he be able to bring salvation to all men that come unto him, what meaneth this apostasy and unconstrained departure? Why do his servants so willingly forsake him? Babes, be not deceived, his servants forsake him not. They that separate themselves were amongst his servants, but if they had been of his servants, they had not separated themselves. “1 They were amongst us, not of us,” saith St. John; and St. Jude proveth it, because they were carnal, and had not the Spirit. Will you judge of wheat by chaff which the wind hath scattered from amongst it? Have the children no bread because the dogs have not tasted it? Are Christians deceived of that salvation they looked for, because they denied the joys of the life to come which were no Christians? What if they seemed to be pillars and principal upholders of our faith? What is that to us, which know that Angels have2 fallen from heaven? Although if these men had been of us indeed (O the blessedness of a Christian man’s estate!), they had stood surer than the angels, they had never departed from their place. Whereas now we marvel not at their departure at all, neither are we prejudiced by their falling away; because they were not of us, sith they are fleshly, and have not the Spirit. Children abide in the house for ever; they are bondmen and bondwomen which are cast out.
13. It behoveth you therefore greatly every man to examine his own estate, and try whether you be bond or free, children or no children. I have told you already, that we must beware we presume not to sit as gods in judgment upon others, and rashly, as our conceit and fancy doth lead us, so to determine of this man, he is sincere, or of that man, he is an hypocrite; except by their falling away they make it manifest and known what they are. For who art thou that takest upon thee to judge another before the time? Judge thyself. God hath left us infallible evidence, whereby we may at any time give true and righteous sentence upon ourselves.SERM. V. 14. We cannot examine the hearts of other men, we may our own.Infallible evidence in the faithful, that they are God’s children. “That we have passed from death to life, we know it,” saith St. John, “because we love our brethren1 :” and, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates2 ?” I trust, beloved, we know that we are not reprobates, because our spirit doth bear us record, that the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ is in us.
14. It is as easy a matter for the spirit within you to tell whose ye are, as for the eyes of your body to judge where you sit, or in what place you stand. For what saith the Scripture? “Ye which were in times past strangers and enemiesf , because your minds were set on evil works, Christ hath now reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to make you holy and unblamable and without fault in his sight; if you continue grounded and established in the faith, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel3 .” And in the third to the Colossians, “Ye know, that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of that inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ4 .” If we can make this account with ourselves: I was in times past dead in trespasses and sins, I walked after the prince that ruleth in the air, and after the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience; but God, who is rich in mercy, through his great love, wherewith he loved me, even when I was dead, hath quickened me in Christ. I was fierce, heady, proud, high-minded; but God hath made me like the child that is newly weanedg . I loved pleasures more than God; I followed greedily the joys of this present world; I esteemed him that erected a stage or theatre, more than Salomonh which built a temple to the Lord; the harp, viol, timbrel, and pipe, men-singers and women-singers, were at my feasts; it was my felicity to see my children dance before me5 ; I said of every kind of vanity, O how sweet art thou unto my soul! All which things now are crucified to me, and I to them: now I hate the pride of life, and pomp of this world: now “I take as great delight in the way of thy testimonies, O Lord, as in all riches1 ;”SERM. V. 15. now I find more joy of heart in my Lord and Saviour, than the worldly-minded man, when “his wheat and oil do much abound;” now I taste nothing sweet but the “bread that came down from heaven, to give life unto the world2 ;” now mine eyes see nothing but Jesus rising from the dead; now my ear refuseth all kind of melody to hear the song of them that have gotten victory of the beast, and of his image, and of his mark, and of the number of his name, that stand on the sea of glass, “having the harps of God, and singing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, O King of Saints3 .” Surely, if the Spirit have been thus effectual in the secret work of our regeneration unto newness of life; if we endeavour thus to frame ourselves anew: then we may say boldly with the blessed Apostle in the tenth to the Hebrews, “We are not of them which withdraw ourselves to perdition, but which follow faith to the conservation of the soul4 .” For they that fall away from the grace of God, and separate themselves unto perdition, they are fleshly and carnal, they have not God’s holy Spirit. But unto you, “because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts5 ,” to the end ye might know that Christ hath built you upon a rock unmovable; that he hath registered your names in the Book of Life; that he hath bound himself in a sure and everlasting covenant to be your God, and the God of your children after you; that he hath suffered as much, groaned as oft, prayed as heartily for you, as for Peter, “O Father, keep them in thy name; O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee, but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. I have declared thy name unto them, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them6 .” The Lord of his infinite mercy give us hearts plentifully fraught with the treasure of this blessed assurance of faith unto the end!
The papists falsely accuse us of heresy and apostasy.15. Here I must advertise all men, that have the testimony of God’s holy fear within their breasts, to consider how unkindly and injuriously our own countrymen and brethren have dealt with us by the space of four and twenty years1 , from time to time, as if we were the men of whom St. Jude here speaketh; never ceasing to charge us, some with schism, some with heresy, some with plain and manifest apostasy, as if we had clean separated ourselves from Christ, utterly forsaken God, quite abjured heaven, and trampled all truth and all religion under our feet. Against this third sort, God himself shall plead our cause in that day, when they shall answer us for these words, not we them. To others, by whom we are accused for schism and heresy, we have often made our reasonable, and in the sight of God, I trust, allowable answers. “For in the way which they call heresy, we worship the God of our fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and the Prophets2 .” That which they call schism, we know to be our reasonable service unto God, and obedience to his voice, which crieth shrill in our ears, “Go out of Babylon, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues3 .” And therefore when they rise up against us, having no quarrel but this, we need not seek any farther for our apology, than the words of Abiah to Jeroboam and his army: “O Jeroboam and Israel, hear you me: ought you not to know, that the Lord God of Israel hath given the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons, by a covenant of salt4 ?” that is to say, an everlasting covenant. Jesuits and papists, hear ye me: ought you not to know that the Father hath given all power unto the Son, and hath made him the only head over his Church, wherein he dwelleth as an husbandman in the midst of his vineyard, manuring it with the sweat of his own brows, not letting it forth to others? For, as it is in the Canticle, “Salomoni had a vineyard in Baalhamon, he gave the vineyard unto keepers, every one bringing for the fruit thereof a thousand pieces of silver5 ;” but my vineyard, which is mine, is before me, saith Christ. It is true, this is meant of the mystical head set over the body, which is not seen. But as he hath reserved the mystical administration of the Church invisible unto himself, so he hath committed the mystical government of congregations visible, to the sons of David, by the same covenant; whose sons they are in the governing of the flock of Christ, whomsoever the Holy Ghost hath set over them, to go before them, and to lead them in their several pastures, one in this congregation, another in that; as it is written, “Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock whereof the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood1 .”The pope’s usurped supremacy. Neither will ever any pope or papist under the cope of heaven be able to prove the Romish bishop’s usurped supremacy over all churches by any one word of the covenant of salt, which is the Scripture. For the children in our streets do now laugh them to scorn, when they force, “Thou art Peter,” to this purpose. The pope hath no more reason to draw the charter of his universal authority from hence, than the brethren had to gather by the words of Christ in the last of St. John, that the disciple whom Jesus loved should never die. “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee2 ?” saith Christ. Straightways a report was raised amongst the brethren, that this disciple should not die. Yet Jesus said not to him, he shall not die; but “if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” Christ hath said in the sixteenth of St. Matthew’s Gospel to Simon the son of Jonas, “I say to thee, Thou art Peter3 .” Hence an opinion is held in the world, that the pope is universal head of all churches. Yet Jesus said not, The pope is universal head of all churches; but, Tu es Petrus, “Thou art Peter.” Howbeit, as Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, the servant of Salomonk , rose up and rebelled against his Lord, and there were gathered unto him vain men and wicked, which made themselves strong against Roboaml , the son of Salomonk , because Roboam was but a child, and tenderhearted, and could not resist them; so the son of perdition and Man of Sin, (being not able to brook the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which forbade his disciples to be like princes of nations, “They bear rule, and are called gracious, it shall not be so with you1 ,”) hath risen up and rebelled against his Lord; and, to strengthen his arm, he hath crept into the houses almost of all the noblest families round about him, and taken their children from the cradle to be his cardinals2 ; he hath fawned upon the kings and princes of the earth, and by spiritual cozenagem hath made them sell their lawful authority and jurisdiction for titles of Catholicus, Christianissimus, Defensor Fidei, and such like; he hath proclaimed sale of pardons, to inveigle the ignorant; built seminaries3 , to allure young men desirous of learning; erected stews4 , to gather the dissolute unto him. This is the rock whereupon his church is built. Hereby the Man is grown huge and strong, like the cedars which are not shaken with the wind, because princes have been as children, over tenderhearted, and could not resist.
Hereby it is come to pass, as you see this day, that the Man of Sin doth war against us, not by men of a language which we cannot understand, but he cometh as Jeroboam against Judah, and bringeth the fruit of our own bodies to eat us up, that the bowels of the child may be made the mother’s grave, thatn hath caused no small number of our brethren to forsake their native country, and with all disloyalty to cast off the yoke of their allegiance to our dread Sovereign, whom God in mercy hath set over them; for whose safeguard, if they carried not the hearts of tigers in the bosoms of men, they would think the dearest blood in their bodies well spent. But now, saith Abiah to Jeroboam, “Ye think ye be able to resist the kingdom of the Lord, which is in the hands of the sons of David. Ye be a great multitude, the golden calves are with you, which Jeroboam made you for gods: have ye not driven away the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests like the people of nations? whosoever cometh with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods1 .” If I should follow the comparison, and here uncover the cup of those deadly and uglyo abominations, wherewith this Jeroboam, of whom we speak, hath made the earth so drunk that it hath reeled under us, I know your godly hearts would loath to see them. For my own part, I delight not to rake in such filth, I had rather take a garment upon my shoulders, and go with my face from them to cover them. The Lord open their eyes, and cause them, if it be possible, at the length to see how they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Put it, O Lord, in their hearts to seek white raiment, and to cover themselves, that their filthy nakedness may no longer appear. For, beloved in Christ, we bow our knees, and lift up our hands to heaven in our chambers secretly, and openly in our churches we pray heartily and hourly, even for them also: though the pope hathp given out as a judge, in a solemn declaratory sentence of excommunication against this land, that our gracious Lady hath quite abolished prayers within her realm1 ; and his scholars, whom he hath taken from the midst of us, have in their published writings charged us not only not to have any holy assemblies unto the Lord for prayer, but to “hold a common school of sin and flattery; to hold sacrilege to be God’s service; unfaithfulness, and breach of promise to God, to give it to a strumpet, to be a virtue; to abandon fasting; to abhor confession; to mislike with penance; to like well of usury; to charge none with restitution; to find no good before God in single life, nor in no well-working;” . . . “that all men, as they fall to us, are much worsed, and more than afore corrupted.” I do not add one word or syllable unto that which Master Bristow2 , a man both born and sworn amongst us, hath taught his hand to deliver3 to the view of all. I appeal to the conscience of every soul, that hath been truly converted by us, Whether his heart were never raised up to God by our preaching; whether the words of our exhortation never wrung any tear of a penitent heart from his eyes; whether his soul never reaped any joy, any comfort, any consolation in Christ Jesus, by our sacraments, and prayers, and psalms, and thanksgiving; whether he were never bettered, but always worsed by us.
O merciful God! If heaven and earth in this case do not witness with us, and against them, let us be razed out from the land of the living! Let the earth on which we stand swallow us quick, as it hath done Corah, Dathan, and Abiram! But1 if we belong unto the Lord our God, and have not forsaken him; if our priests, the sons of Aaron, minister unto the Lord, and the Levites in their office; if we offer unto the Lord every morning and every evening the burnt-offerings and sweet incense of prayers and thanksgivings; if the bread be set in order upon the pure table, and the candlestick of gold, with the lamps thereof, to burn every morning; that is to say, if amongst us God’s blessed sacraments be duly administered, his holy word sincerely and daily preached; if we keep the watch of the Lord our God, and if ye have forsaken him: then doubt ye not, this God is with us as a captain, his priests with sounding trumpets must cry alarm against you; “O ye children of Israel, fight not against the Lord God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper2 .”
[2 ][so 1614 and 1618. “occasions” ed. 1622.]
[a ]enimies, 1614.
[1 ][Ver. 18, 19.]
[2 ][2 Pet. i. 19, 20.]
[1 ]Job xv. 2, 3.
[2 ]Wisd. ix. 6.
[3 ][Job xlii. 3.]
[4 ][2 Macc. xv. 38.]
[5 ]Isa. xlix. 3.
[6 ][1 Cor. ii. 12, 13.]
[1 ]Ezek. iii. 2, 3.
[b ]eate, 1614.
[2 ][Ezek. iii. 14.]
[3 ][Rom. i. 16.]
[4 ][Matt. xxvii. 46.]
[1 ][Luke x. 16.]
[2 ]James ii. 2.
[3 ]Acts xii. 22; [xvii. 18.]
[4 ]James ii. 5.
[1 ][De Trin. ii. 12. 795. ed. Bened. “Superest de inenarrabili generatione Filii adhuc aliquid, imo aliquid illud adhuc totum est. Æstuo, differor, hebesco, et unde incipiam nescio . . . Quem imprecer? quem implorem? ex quibus libris ad tantarum difficultatum enarrationem verba præsumam? Evolvam omnem Græciæ scholam? Sed legi, Ubi sapiens? ubi conquisitor sæculi? In hoc ergo sophistæ mundi et sapientes muti sunt, sapientiam enim Dei reprobaverunt. Scribam ergo legis consulam? Sed ignorat; quia ei crux Christi scandalum est. Hortabor forte vos connivere et tacere, quia ad venerationem satis sit ejus qui prædicatur, leprosos emundatos fuisse, surdos audisse, claudos cucurrisse, paralyticos constitisse, cæcos lumen recepisse, cæcum ab utero oculos consecutum, dæmonas fugatos, ægrotos revaluisse, mortuos vixisse? Sed hæc hæretici confitentur, et pereunt.” § 13. “Expectate itaque nihil minus claudorum cursu, cæcorum visu, fuga dæmonum, vita mortuorum. Consistit enim mecum, in patrocinium editarum superius difficultatum, piscator egens, ignotus, indoctus, manibus lino occupatus, veste uvida, pedibus limo oblitus, totus e navi. Quærite et intelligite, utrum mirabilius fuerit mortuos excitasse, an imperito scientiam doctrinæ istius intimasse. Ait enim, In principio erat Verbum.”]
[c ]Solomon, 1614.
[d ]ear, 1614, 1618.
[1 ][So in “The Device for Alteration of Religion, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth,” ap. Strype, A. i. 2. p. 394. Oxford, 1824. “A cloaked papistry, or a mingle mangle.” And in a Letter of certain Puritans to the Bp. of Norwich, (Parkhurst) A. ii. 2. p. 455. “You think God may be served with a mingle-mangle.”]
[2 ][S. Jerome, Adv. Helvid. c. 19. v. supra, p. 501.]. E. M.
[1 ][In Ps. cxxxii. Col. 463. ed. Ben.] E. M.
[1 ][E. P. V. lxxvii. 3. “They which have once received this power may not think to put it off and on like a cloak as the weather serveth.”]
[2 ][Gen. xxi. 12.]
[1 ][Job xxxviii. 11.]
[2 ][Acts ii. 37.]
[3 ][Acts xxvi. 28.]
[4 ][Rom. x. 2.]
[5 ]Acts xvii. 22.
[e ]staid, 1614.
[1 ][1 John ii. 19.]
[2 ][So 1614, 1618: “hath” ed. 1622.]
[1 ][1 John iii. 14.]
[2 ][2 Cor. xiii. 5.]
[f ]enimies, 1614.
[3 ]Coloss. i. 21-23.
[4 ]Ver. 24.
[g ]wained, 1614, 1618: weyned, 1622.
[h ]Solomon, 1614.
[5 ][Job xxi. 11.]
[1 ][Psal. cxix. 14.]
[2 ][John vi. 33.]
[3 ][Rev. xv. 2, 3.]
[4 ][Ver. 39.]
[5 ][Gal. iv. 6.]
[6 ][John xvii. 25, 26.]
[1 ][There are but two dates from which these twenty-four years may be reckoned: the accession of Queen Elizabeth, 1558, or the publication of the bull of Pius V. against her, 1570. This sentence was therefore probably written either in 1582 or 1594. The latter date is perhaps the preferable one, as a book is afterwards quoted which was published in 1583. See note 4. p. 677.]
[2 ]Acts xxiv. 14.
[3 ]Rev. xviii. 4.
[4 ]2 Chron. xiii. 5.
[i ]Solomon, 1614.
[5 ]Cant. viii. 11.
[1 ]Acts xx. 28.
[2 ][John xxi. 22, 23.]
[3 ]Matt. xvi. 18.
[k ]Solomon, 1614.
[l ]Jeroboam, 1614 & 1618.
[1 ][Luke xxii. 25, 26.]
[2 ]Conc. de Lector. Cardin. [de Electione Cardinalium: e. g. Constant. 1418. Sess. xliii. t. viii. 876. “De numero et qualitate dominorum Cardinalium. . . . . Sint viri in scientia, moribus et rerum experientia excellentes: doctores in theologia, aut in jure canonico vel civili: præter admodum paucos, qui de stirpe regia, aut ducali, aut magni principis oriundi exsistant, in quibus competens literatura sufficiat.” Comp. Conc. Basil. 1436. Sess. xxiii. § 4. t. viii. 1207.]
[m ]cousenage, 1614; coozenage, 1618, 1622.
[3 ]Laurent. Surius Com. de reb. gest. a Pio V. [“Commentarius brevis rerum in orbe gestarum ab 1500 usque ad 1574.” Colon. 1574. p. 486. “Est Romæ Academia, quam vulgo Sapientiam vocant. Ea jam collapsa erat, et ejus liberales annuos proventus quidam sibi vindicarant. At Pontifex eos jussit restitui, ut iis alantur scientiarum omnium egregii professores.”]
[4 ][Ibid. p. 485. “Impudicas mulieres, publico proposito edicto, ab urbe expelli jussit. Erant tum Romanorum plerique qui se vehementer opponerent, dicerentque si meretrices ab urbe excluderentur magnum id Reip. annui quæstus dispendium allaturum. Pontifex tandem ita eis silentium imposuit, ut asseveraret se cum tota curia sua alio migraturum, nisi illa hominum fæx profligaretur. Ita illæ coactæ sunt discedere, interim tamen nonnullæ in vicis ignobilibus ob pejora vitanda relictæ sunt, cum prius in viis publicis et splendidis ædibus magno numero habitarant.” P. 486. “Meretricibus, quas in unum urbis angulum rejecit, severiter præcepit, ne per urbem vagentur: contra facientes jussit publice flagellari. Duo vero aut tria designavit templa, quæ sacrificii et concionis auscultandæ causa petant. Ex iis pleræque nupserunt, aliæ complures cupiunt, honesta reperta conditione, ex ea se turpitudine extrahere; nec Pontifex se defuturum illis dixit, quas paupertas a sectanda pietate remoraretur. Eas autem, quæ sine sacramentis in iis sordibus decederent, in sterquiliniis vult sepeliri, quod multis calcar addat ad meditandam resipiscentiam.”] Francisc. Sansovin. de Gubern. Regnor. et Rerumpubl. t. xi. [xii.] cap. de Jud. Marescal. et Soldan. [“Del Governo et Amministratione di diversi Regni,” &c. Vinegia. 1583, fol. 89. “Le meretrici della città pagano ogni anno un certo censo che essi chiamano tributo.”]
[n ]he, 1614, 1618.
[1 ]2 Chr. xiii. 8, 9.
[o ]ougly, 1614, 1618, 1622.
[p ]have, 1614.
[1 ][Bulla Pii V. 26 Apr. 1570. “Missæ sacrificium, preces, jejunia, ciborum delectum, cælibatum, ritusque Catholicos abolevit.” ap. Cherubini, Bullarium. tit. ii. 229. Rom. 1638.]
[2 ][Strype, Park. ii. 392. “Anno 1574. popish books imported. Motives to the Catholic Faith by Richard Bristow, Priest, Licentiate in Divinity. Imprinted at Antwerp 1574.” Ann. II. i. 498. A book of great vogue with the papists, which Dr. Fulk of Cambridge now answered in a treatise called The Retentive. In the year 1599 it was published again at Antwerp. And again the next year, 1600, one Dr. Hill put it forth at Antwerp, entitled then ‘Reasons for the Catholic Religion,’ . . . as a new book of his own . . . which was fully and learnedly answered by Geo. Abbot, D.D., Master of University College, Oxford, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. And in our time came out Bristow’s Motives again, with a new name, viz. The Touchstone of the new Gospel: which Dr. Simon Patrick, afterwards bishop of Ely, briefly and effectually answered.” The title of Bristow’s book is, “A brief treatise of divers plain and sure ways to find out the truth in this doubtful and dangerous time of heresy, containing sundry Motives unto the Catholic Faith: or, Considerations to move a man to believe the Catholics, and not the heretics.” He was born at Worcester, and bred in Oxford, where he was made Petreian Fellow of Exeter College, 1567. Two years afterwards he conformed to the church of Rome and went over to Douay, where and at Rheims he read lectures in divinity; and died in England, 1582. Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 482; who adds, that “he collected, and for the most part wrote, the notes to the Rhemish Testament.”]
[3 ][Motives to the Catholic Faith, fol. 151, ed. 1599. This book has prefixed the testimony of Cardinal Allen, “that it is in all points catholic, learned, and worthy to be read and printed.”
[1 ]2 Chron. xiii. 10, 11.
[2 ]2 Chron. xiii. 12.