Inferences of Practice from the consideration of the former Actions.
THESE are all the holy actions we finde to have been by Christ and his Apostles, celebrated in the great mystery of this Supper: all other humane accessions and superstructions, that are by the policy of Satan and that car∣nall affection, which ever laboureth to re∣duce Gods service unto an outward and pom∣pous gaudinesse, foisted into the substance of so divine a work, are all of them that strawa and stubble, which hee who is a con∣suming bfire, will at last purge away. Impo∣tent Christ was not that he could not, nor malignant that hee would not appoint, nor improvident that he could not foresee, the needfulnesse of such actions, which are by some proposed, not as matter of ornament, comelinesse and ceremony, (a thing left ever arbitrary to the Church) but are obtruded on consciences (swayed with superstitious pom∣pousnesse) for matters substantiall and ne∣cessary to be observed. As if God, who in the first Creation of the world from nothing, did immediately after the work produc'd cease from all manner of further Creations, Page 73 did in the second creation of the world from sinne, not finish the work himselfe, but leave it imperfect, to be by another consum∣mated and finished. Certainly whatsoever humane Inventions doe claime, direct, pro∣per, and immediate subscription of Consci∣ence, and doe propose themselves as essenti∣all, or integrall, or any way necessary parts of divine mysteries; they doe not onely rob God of his honour, and intrude on his Soveraignty, but they doe farther lay on him the aspersion of an imperfect Saviour, who standeth in need of the Churches con∣currence, to consummate the work which he had begunne. Away then with those Actions of elevation, adoration, oblation, circum∣gestation, mim•call gestures, silent whisper∣ings, and other the like incroachments, in the supposed proper and reall sacrifice of Christ in the Masse, (wherein I see not how they avoyd the guilt of Saint Pauls fearfull observation. To crucifie againe the Lord of glo∣ry, and put him unto an open shame:) In which thingsg as in sundry others they do nothing else, but imitate the carnall ordinances of the Jewes and the Heathenish will-worship of the Ethnicks, who thought rather by the motions of their bodies, than by the affecti∣ons of their hearts, to wind into the opinion and good liking of their Gods. Certainlyh affectation of Pomp, Ceremony, and such Page 74 other humane superstructions on the divine institution (I alwaies except Ecclesiasticall observances which being imposed for order, and used with decencie, Paucity, and indif∣ferencie, are not lawfull only, but with respect to the Authority which requires them, obli∣gatory also) I say all other pompous accumu∣lations, unto the substance of Christs Sacra∣mentr, are by Tertullian made the charact∣ers and presumptions of an Idolatrous service. True it is indeed that the Ancients make mention, out of that fervour of Love and Pi∣ety towards so sacred mysteries of Adora∣tion iat them, and of carryingk the remain∣ders of them unto the absent Christians; but as in other things, so here likewise wee finde it most true, that things by devout men be∣gunne piously and continued with zeale, doe after, when they light in the handling of men otherwise qualified, degenerate into su∣perstition, the forme purpose, end and reason of their observation being utterly neglected; It being the contrivance of Satan to raise his Temple after the same forme, and with the same materialls whereof •ods consisteth, to pretend the practice of the Saints for the en∣forcement of his owne Projects, to transforme himselfe into an Angell of light, that hee may the easier mislead unstable and wan∣dring soules, and to retaine at least a forme mof Godlinesse, that he may with lesse cla∣mor Page 75 and reluctancy with-draw the substance. And as in many other things, so hath hee herein likewise abus'd the Piety of the best men, unto the furtherance of his owne ends. That Adoration, which they in and at the my∣steries did exhibit unto Christ himselfe, (as indeed they could not choose a better time to worship him in) he impiously derives up∣on the creature, and makes it now to bee done not so much at, as unto the elements, making them as well the terme, and object, as occasion of that worship which is due only to the Lord of the Sacrament: That carry∣ing about and reserving of the Eucharist, which the primitive Christians used for the benefit of those who either by sicknesse, or by persecutions, were with-held from the meetings of the Christians (asn in those dayes many were) is by him now turned into an Idolatrous circumgestation, that at the sight of the Bread, the people might direct unto it that worship, which is due only to the person whose passion it representeth, but whose honour it neither challengeth nor knoweth; and certainly if wee veiw the whole fabrick either of Gentilisme or He∣resie, we shall observe the methods and con∣trivances of Satan, most often to drive at this point, that either under pretenceo of di∣vine truth or under imitationp of divine In∣stitutions retaining the same materiall Acti∣ons Page 76 which God requires, or with the god∣ly have piously, or upon temporary reasons observed, he may convay into the hearts of men his owne poyson, and imprint an opini∣on of holinesse towards his owne devices: for howsoever his power and tyranny have done much mischiefe to Gods Church, yet his ma∣ster-peece is that cunning and deceit which the Scripturesq so often takes notice of.
Secondly, we see here what maner of men wee ought to be in imitation of these blessed Actions, that we may be conformabler unto the death of Christ. First, as he when hee took these elements, did consecrate them un∣to a holy use, so we when we receive them, should first consecrate our selves with thanks∣giving and prayer, unto a holy life. For if not only amongst Christianss but even amongst Heathenst themselves, it hath been by the Law of nature receiv'd for a religious custome not to eat their ordinary food with∣out blessing, and prayer, with how much more fervency of prayer should we call upon the name of the Lord, when we take this Cup of salvation, this bread of life, wherein we doe not only taste how gratious the Lord is, but doe eat and drink the Lord himselfe. And thereforeu the Church hath both at first and since most devoutly imitated our blessed Saviour in consecrating both these mysteries, and their owne soules by thanksgiving and Page 77 prayer, before ever they received the ele∣ments from the hands of the Deacons, that so that same pure Wine, that immaculate Blood might be put into purex and untainted ves∣sels, even into sanctified and holy hearts, lest otherwise the wine should be spilt, and the vessells perish. And indeed the Sacra∣ment is ignorantly and fruitlessely received, if we doe not therin devote, consecrate, and set apart our selves unto Gods service; for what is a Sacrament, buty a visible oath, wher∣in wee doe in consideration of Christs mer∣cies unto us vow eternall alleigeance and ser∣vice unto him against all those powers, and lusts which warre against the soule, and to make our members weapons of righteousnesse unto him?
Secondly, as Christ brake the bread before he gave it, so must our hearts before they be offered up to God for azreasonable sacrifice, be humbled and bruised with the apprehensi∣on of their owne demerits, for a Brokenaand contrite heart O Lord thou wilt not despise: shall wee have adamantine and unbended soules, under the weight of those sins which brake the very Rockb of our salvation, and made the deadc stones of the Temple to rend in sunder? Was his body broken to let out his blood, and shall not our soules be broken to let it in? Was the Head wounded, and shall the Ulcers and Impostumes remaine unlan∣ced? Page 78 Would not God in the Law accept of any but pushedp, and dissectedq, and burned sacrificesr? was his Temples built of none but cut and hewed stones, and shall we think to have no Swordt of the Spirit divide us; no Hammeru of the Word break us; none of our drosse and stubble burnedx up; none of our fleshy beaten downe; none of our oldz man crucified and cut off from us, and yet be still livinga sacrifices, and livingb stones in his Temple? Whence did Davidc call on God, but out of the pit and the deepe waters, when his bonesd were broken & could not rejoyce? Certainly we come unto God, either as unto a Physitian, or as to a Judge: wee must needs bring soules either full of sores to be cured, or full of sins to be condemned. Againe, in that this Rock of ours was broken, we know whi∣ther to flie in case of tempest and oppression, even unto the holese of the Rock for succor. To disclaime our owne sufficiency, to disavow any confidence in our owne strength, to flie from Church treasures and supererrogations and to lay hold on him in whom were the treasuresf, the fulnesg of all graceh, of which fulnesse we all receive; to forsake the private Lampes of the wisest Virgins, the Saints and Angels, which have not light enough to shine into anothers house; and to have recourse only unto the Sonne of righteousnesse, the light not of a House, but of the World, who Page 79 inlightneth every man that commeth into it. Think when thou seest these Elements bro∣ken, that even then thou applyest thy lips un∣to his bleeding wounds, and doest from thence suck salvation. That even then with Thomas thy hand is in his side, from whence thou mayest pluck out those words of life, My God, my God; that even then thou seest in each wound a mouth open, and in that mouth the blood, as a visiblei prayer to intercede with God the Father for thee, and to solicite him with stronger cries for salvation, than did Abels for revenge. Let not any sins, though never so bloody, so numberlesse, deterre thee from this pretious Fountaine. If it be the glo∣ry of Christs blood to wash away sinne, then is it his greatest glory to wash away the greatest sins. Thy sinne indeed is the ob∣ject of Gods hate, but the misery which sinne brings upon thee is the object of his pitty. O when a poore distressed soule, that for many yeares together hath securely weltered in a sinck of numberlesse and noisome lusts, and hath even beene environed with a Hell of wickednesse, shall at last, having received a wound from the sword of Gods Spirit, an eye to see, and a heart to feele, and tremble at the terrors of •ods judgements, shall then I say flie out of himselfe, smite upon his thig•, cast away his rags, crouch and crawle unto the throne of grace, solicite Gods mercy with Page 80 strong cries for one drop of that blood which is never cast away, when powred into sinfull and sorrowfull soules, how think we will the bowels of Christ turne within him? How will he hasten to meet such an humbled soule? to embrace him in those armes which were stretched on the Crosse for him, and to open unto him that inexhausted Fountaine, which even delighteth to mix it •elfe with the teares of sinners? Certainly, if it were possible for any one of Christs wounds to be more preti∣ous than the rest, even that should be opened wide, and powred out into the soule of such a penitent. Yea, if it might possibly be, that the sins of all the World could be even throng'd into the conscience of one man, and the whole guilt of them made proper and perso∣nall unto him, yet if such a man could bee brought to sue for grace in the mediation of Christs broken body, there would thence issue balme enough to cure, blood enough to wash and to drowne them all. Only let not us sin, because grace abounds; let not us make work for the blood of Christ, and go about by crim∣son and presumptuous sins, as it were to pose Gods mercy. The blood of Christ, if spilt and trampled under foot, will certainly cry so much lowder than Abels for vengeance, by how much it is the more pretious. It may be as well upon us, as in us. As the vertue and be∣nefit of Christs blood is in those that imbrace Page 81 it unto life and happinesse, so is the guilt of it upon those that despise it unto wretchednesse and condemnation.
Thirdly, in that Christ gave and delivered these mysteries unto the Church▪ we likewise must learne not to ingrosse our selves, or our owne gifts, but freely to dedicate them all un∣to the honour of that God and benefit of that Church, unto which he gave both himselfe and them. Even nature hath made men to stand in need of each other, and therefore hath imprinted in them a naturalla inclination unto fellowship, and society, in one common City: by Christ we are all made of one Cityb, of one houshold, yea, of one Church, of one Templec. He hath made us membersd of one body, animated by onee and the same Spirit; stonesf of one entire building, united on one and the same foundationg; branchesh of one undivided stock, quicknedi by one and the same root, and therefore requires from us all a mutuall support, succour, sustentation, and nourishment, of each other a kind of trafique, and continuall intelligence from part to part; a union of members by the supply of nervesk and joynts, that so each may be serviceable unto the whole. The eye seeth not for it self, but for the body; and therefore if the eyel be simple, the whole body is full of light, for the light of the body is the eye. Nay, God in each creature imprinteth a love of communi∣ty Page 82 (which is that whereby one thing doth as it were bestow it selfe on another) farre above the private and domestick love, whereby it labours the preservation and advancement of it selfe: from which generall charity and fee∣ling of communion it comes to passe, that if by any casualty the whole body of the Uni∣verse be like to suffer any rupture or defor∣mity (as in the danger of a vacuum, which is the cōtumely of nature) each particular crea∣ture is taught to relinquish his owne naturall motion, and to prevent the publike reproach, even by forsaking and forgetting of them∣selves. Agreeable unto which noble impresse of nature was that Heroicall resolution of Pompey, when the safety of his countrey de∣pended on an expedition dangerous to his own particular: Itnis not (said he) necessary for me to live, It is necessary that I goe. And more honourable that of •odrus to dedicate his owne life as a sacrifice for his Countries victory: But yet more honourable that of the blessed ApostleoI count not my life deare unto my selfe, that I may finish the Ministry which I have received of the Lord: But lastly, most admirable was that of the same blessed Paulp and Mosesq, whose feeling of Community transported them not only beyond the feare, but even into a conditionall desire of their owne destruction. In mans first Creation what was that great endowment ofr originall Page 83 righteousnesse, but such a harmony of all mans faculties, as that there was no Schisme in the Body, no part unsubordinated, or unjoynted from the rest, but did each conspire with other unto the service of the whole, and with the whole unto the service of God? and what was the immediate effect of that great fall of man, but the breaking, ands unjoynting of his faculties, the rebellion of his members each towards other, whereby every faculty seeketh the satisfaction of it selfe, without any respect unto the Common Good? And as it bred in man an Enmity to himselfe, so to his neigh∣bour likewise. So long as Adam remained up∣right, his judgement of Evah was a judgement of unity,uBone of bone, no sooner comes sinne but we heare him upbraid God with thex wo∣man that thou gavest mee, termes of dislike and enmity. For the removall whereof wee must imitate this great example of Christ our head, whose sufferings are not only our merit but oury example, who denying himselfe, his owne naturallz will, and life, bestowed him∣selfe on us, that we likewise might nota seek every man his owne, but every man the good of another,b bestowing our selves on the ser∣vice and benefit of the Church, and soc grow up and bee built up together in love which is thed concinnation, or perfecting of the Saints.
Secondly, in that Christ gave this Sacrament, Page 84 and did thereby testifie his most willing obe∣dience unto a cursed death, we likewise should in all our respects back unto him, break through all obstacles of selfe-love, or any temptations of Satan, and the world, and though contrary to the bent of our owne desires, to the propension of our owne cor∣rupt hearts, most willingly render our obe∣dience unto him, and make him the Lord of all our thoughts. First for our understand∣ings, we should offer them as free and volun∣tary sacrifices, ready not only to yeeld unto truth out of constraint, but out of willing∣nesse and love to embrace it, not only for the evidence, but for the Authorl, and goodnesse of it, and thus to resigne our judgements into Gods hands to be (though never so much against its owne naturall and carnall preju∣dices) inform'd and captivated unto all kind of saving knowledge, even to the extirpating of all those presumptions, prepossessions, and principles of corruption which use tom smo∣ther and adulterate divine truth; for there is naturally in the mindes of men, (though other∣wise eagerly pursuing knowledge) a kind of dread and shrinking from the evidence of di∣vine truthes, (as each facultie avoydeth too excellent an object) a voluntary andn affe∣cted ignorance, lesto knowing the truth they should cease to hate it; a facultie of making doubts touching the meaning and extent of Page 85 such truths, whose evidence would crosse the corruptions of our practice, and then a frame∣ing of arguments and presumptions for that part which is most favourable and flattering unto nature, a certaine privatec prejudice against the lustre of the most strict and practi∣call principles, a humour of cavilling and dis∣puting dabout those parts of Gods will, which bring with thē a more strait obligation on the conscience, a withdrawing the thoughts from acquainting themselves with the more spiri∣tuall parts of divine truth under pretence of more important imployments, about schola∣sticall and sublime speculations. All which do evidently prove, that there is not in the un∣derstanding that willingnesse, to give up it selfe unto God, which there was in Christ to bestow himselfe unto us.
Secondly for our wills and affections, wee should be ready to crosse & bend them against all the noyse of corrupt delights, to cut out our right eye, our right hand, to be crucified to the world, to be disposed of by Gods pro∣vidence cheerfully in any course whether of passive obedience to have a minde submitinge unto it, & rejoyceingf in it; or of active obe∣dience to obey him contrary to the streame, & current of our naturall desires, though it be to offerg unto him our Isaack, our closest and choysest affection, though to shake of the child that hangethh about our neck, to stop Page 86 our eare to the voice of her that bare us, to throw the wife out of our bosome, when they shall tempt us to neglect God, to spit out the sweetest sinne that lies under our tongue, briefly to take under Christs banners the Ro∣man goath to goe and doe where and what∣soever our great Captaine commanded, nei∣ther for feare of death or dread of enemy to forsake service, or resigne weapon till death shall extort it.
Lastly, in that Christ gave his Sacrament, and therin himselfe, the Authorh and finisher of our salvation, we learne how to esteeme of our salvation, namely as of a free and un∣meritted gifti. Christ was sold by Iudas, but he was given by God, and that in the abso∣lute nature of a gift, without so much as suit or request on our part for him. True it is that if man had persisted in the state of his crea∣ted integrity, he might after an improper man∣ner bee said to have meritted the glory which he was after to enjoy, in as much as he was to obtaine it in the vertue of those legall operations, unto which he was by the habili∣ties of his owne nature, without the speci∣all influence of a supernaturall infused grace, fitted and dispos'd; though even this was not fromk the dignity and value of our work, but from the indulgence of almighty God, who would set no higher price on that glory which he propos'd unto man for the object of Page 87 his desires, and reward of his works: fork if we go exactly unto the first rule of justice, un∣qualified with clemency and bounty, it could not possibly be that God should be bound to requite our labours with eternall blisse, there being so vast a disproportionl between the fruition of God an infinite Good, and any the most excellent, yet still limited ope∣ration of the creature. For as water in its owne nature riseth no farther than the spring whence it first issueth: so the endeavours of nature, could never have raisd man (without a mixture of Gods mercy) unto an higher de∣gree of happinesse, than should have been proportionable to the quality of his work. But now having in Adam utterly disabled our selves to pay that small price, at which God was pleased to rate our glorym, all those who are restored thereunto againe, must ac∣knowledge both it, and Christ the purchaser of it, as a free gift of almighty God, by them so farre undeserved, as hee was, before the promise unknowne and unexpected. If it bee here demanded how salvation can be said to be freely given us, when on our part there is a condition requir'd, for the work whereby we obtaine life, is not quiten taken away but onely alterd; before it was a legall work, now an evangelicall; before it was an obedience to the Law, now a beleefe in the promise; be∣fore ceat not lest you die, nowd eat and you Page 88 shalt live: We answer, that the hand of the beggar, without which the Almes is no way received, doth not prejudice the free dona∣tion thereof, that being only the Instrument whereby the gift is convayed. The labou∣rer doth not deserve his wages because hee receives it, but hee receives it because hee hath before deserv'd it, receiving convayeth, it doth not merit it. Neither is salvation gi∣ven us for our faith in the vertue of a work, but onely because of that respect and relation which it hath unto him who trod the wine∣presse alone, without any assisting or come∣riting cause. Even Adam in innocenry could not be without an Assent and firme beleefe that the faithfull God would performe the promise of life made and annexed unto the Covenant of workes: But this faith could not be the merit of life, but the fruit and effect of merit anteceding; for his perfor∣mance of the Law (in the right whereof hee had interest unto glory) preceding, there should immediatly from thence have issued, by faith, a prepossession (as it were) and pre∣apprehension of that glory which by vertue of that legall obedience he should have had interest unto; so that it is repugnant absolute∣ly to the nature of faith to be any way the cause meritorious of salvation, it being no∣thing else but the application and apprehen∣sion of that salvation, which in vaine our Page 89 faith layeth claime unto, unlesse in the right of some anteceding worke either our owne or some others in our behalfe it be first meri∣ted for us. Hee which beleeves and so by consequence layes hold on life, without a ground preceding for his claime thereunto, is a robber rather than a Beleever, and doth rather steale heaven than deserve it, though hee is not likely so to speed,a for in heaven theeves break not through nor steale. Again, suppose Faith, in the quality of the worke, should merit that, which untill merited can in truth be never by Faith apprehended, yet in as much as nothing can merit for another any farther than as it is his owne proper worke,* Faith therefore being not within the compasse either of naturall or of acquir'd endowments, but proceeding from a super∣naturall and infused Grace, it is manifest that even so, it cannot possibly obtaine salvation by any vertue or efficacie of its owne. For as hee which bestowes money on his poore friend, and after, for that money sells him Land farre beyond the value of the money which hee gave, may be thus farre said ra∣ther to multiply and change his gifts, than to receive a price for them: so God bestowing eternall life on man upon the condition of beleeving,b the ability whereunto hee him∣selfe hath first bestowed, and betweene which life and faith there is an infinite dis∣proportion Page 90 of worth, may be said rather to heap his gifts, than to bargaine and com∣pact for them, rather to double his free bounty, than to reward mans impotent me∣rit; unlesse wee take it improperly for the performance of a voluntary debt,c where∣in it hath pleased God in mercie, as it were, to oblige and ingage himselfe upon condition of our faith.
Neither doe wee herein at all make way for that cursed doctrine of Socinianisme (than which a more venemous was never suckt from so sweet and saving a truth) that be∣cause salvation is a free gift, Christ there∣fore did not suffer for the satisfaction of Gods wrath, nor pay any legall price for the salvation of the world, nor lay downe himselfe in our roome, as the ransommer of us, and purchaser of life for us, but became incarnate in the flesh, made under the Law obedient unto death, onely for an example of Patience and Humility unto us, not for a propitiation to his Father, and reconcile∣ment of the world unto God.d A price was paid, and that so pretious, as that the confluence of all created wealth into one summe, cannot carry the estimate of one farthing in comparison of it; (and indeed it ought to bee a price more valuable than the whole world, which was to ransome so many soules, the losse of the least where∣of Page 91 cannot by thec purchase of the whole world bee countervail'd.) A price it was valuable onely by him that payd and recei∣ved it, by us to be enjoy'd and ador'd, by God onely to be measured. Neither could it stand with the truth and constancy of Gods Law, with the sacrednesse and Majestie of his Justice, to suffer violation and not re∣venge it, and when all his attributes are i• him one and the same thing, to magnifie his mercie not by the satisfaction, but the destruction of his Justice, and so to set his owne unity at variance with it selfe, Mer∣cie and Truth, Righteousnesse and Peace▪ they were in mans redemption to kisse and not to quarell with each other, God di• not dis•unite his Attributes, when hee did re-unite his Church unto himselfe. A price then was paid unto Gods justice, and eternall life is af purchase by Christ bought, but still unto us a gift, not by any paines or satisfaction of ours attain'd unto, but only by him who wasg himselfe given unto us, that together with himselfe hee might give us all things. He unto whom I stand ingaged in a summe of mony, by me ever impossible to be rais'd, if it please him to perswade his owne heire▪ to joyne in my obligation, and out of that great estate by himselfe conferred on him for that very purpose, to lay downe so much as shall cancell the bond and acquit Page 92 mee, doth not only freely forgive my debt, but doth moreover commend the abundance of his favour by the manner and circumstances of the forgivenesse. Man by nature isc a debtor unto God, there is a hand-writingd against him, which was so long to stand in vertue till he was able to offer something in value proportionable to that infinite justice, unto which he stood ob∣liged; which being by him without the su∣staining of an infinite misery utterly unsa∣tisfiable, it pleased God to appoint his own co-essentiall and co-eternall Sonne to enter under the same bonde of Law for us, on whom he bestowed such rich graces, as were requisite for the oeconomy of so great a work; by the meanes of which humane and created graces, concurring with, and receiving value from the divine nature, meeting hypostatically in one infinite per∣son, the debt of mankind was discharg'd, and the obligation cancel'd, and so as ma∣ny as were ordained to life effectually de∣liver'd by this great ransome, vertually sufficient, and by Gods power applicable unto all, but actually beneficiall and by his most wise and just will, conferd only upon those, who should by the grace of a lively faith apply unto themselves this common Gift. So then all our salvation is a giftf, Christ a gift, the knowledgegPage 93 of Christ a gift, the faithh in Christ a gift, repentancei by Christ a gift, the ksuffring for Christ a gift, the rewardl of all a gift, whatsoeverm wee have, whatso∣ever we are, it is all from God that shew∣eth mercy.
Lastly, in that Christ gives his Sacrament to be eaten, we learne first not only our benefit, but our duty; the same Christ it is who in eating, wee both enjoy and obey, hee being as well the Institutor as the sub∣stance of the Sacrament. If it were but his precept, wee owe him our observance, but besides it is his body, and even selfe-love might move us to obey his pre∣ceptn: our mouths have been wide open unto poyson, let them not bee shut up against so soveraigne an Antidote. Secondly we see how we should use this pretious gift of Christ crucified, not to look on, but to eat, not with a gazing, speculative knowledge of him, as it were at a distance, but with an experimentall and working knowledge, none truly knowes Christ but he that feels him. Comeotaste and see saith the Prophet, how gracious the Lord is: in divine things, tasting goes before seeing, the union be∣fore the visionp Christ must first dwell in us, before wee can know the love of God, that passeth knowledge. Thirdly, we learne not to sinne against Christ, because there∣in Page 94 we doe sinne against our selves, by of∣fring indignity to the body of Christ, which should nourish us, and like Swineq by trampling under foot that pretious food which preserveth unto life, those that with reverence eat it, but fatteth un∣to slaughter those who profanely devoure it. Even as the same raine in different grounds serves sometimes to bring on the seed, other times to choak and stifle it, by the forwardnesse of weeds: for as it is the goodnesse of God to bring good out of the worst of things, even sinne; so is it the malignity of sin and cunning of Satan, to pervert the most holy things, the wordr of God, yea the very bloods of Christ unto evill. Lastly, we learne how pure we ought to preserve those doores of the soule from filthinesse and intemperance; at which so often the Prince of glory him∣selfe will enter in.