Meditations on the holy sacrament of the Lords last Supper Written many yeares since by Edvvard Reynolds then fellow of Merton College in Oxford.
Reynolds, Edward, 1599-1676.


The last End of this holy Sacrament; namely, the Celebration and Memory of Christs Death. A briefe Collection of all the benefits which are by his Death conveyed on the Church. The Questi∣on touching the quality of temporall Punishments stated.

THe last and most expresse End of this holy Sacrament is to celebrate thefMemory of Christs Death and Passion, which was that un∣valuable price of our double Redemption, Redemption from Hell, and Redemption unto Glo∣ry. Great Deliverances as they have mooved Page  117 theg Church unto anniversary celebrations of them,h which Christ himselfe hath beene pleased to honour with his owne Presence; so have they drawne even heathen men also not onely toa solemnize the Festivals and dei∣fie the memories of those unto whose inventi∣ons they owed the good things which they enjoy, but farther to honour evenb brute crea∣tures themselves with solemne triumphs and memorials: nayc beasts have not beene for∣getfull of those unto whom they owe any way their life and safety; how much more then doth it become Christians to celebrate with an eternall memory the Author of their Redemption, a worke beyond all that ever the Sunne saw; yea, a worke whose lustre darkened the Sunne it selfe, and which the Angels cannot comprehend: matters circum∣stantiall, as Time, and Place; and matters Ty∣picall, and representative, as Ceremonies, Sa∣crifices, and Sacraments, as they receive their particular advancement and sanctification from those workes which they immediately respect, so are they not by us to be solemnely celebra∣ted without continued memories of those workes which doe so dignifie them. All pla∣ces naturally being but severall parcels of the same common aire and earth, are of an equall worth. But when it pleaseth God in anyd place to bestow a more especiall ray of his Pre∣sence, and to sanctifie any Temple unto his Page  118 owne service, as it is then by that extraordinary Presence of his made a holy and consecrated Place, so are wee when wee enter into it to elooke unto our feete, tof pull off our shooes, to have an eye unto him that filleth it with his Presence, or otherwise if wee enter into it as into a common place, wee shall offer nothing but the sacrifice of fooles. All Times are na∣turally equall, as being distinguished by the same constant and uniforme motion of the heavens, yet notwithstanding when God shall by any notable and extraordinary worke of his, honour and sanctifie some certaine daies, as hee did the Jewish Sabbath with respect to the Creation, and our Lords day by raising up Christ from the dead, as they are by this won∣derfull worke of his severed from the ranke of common times, so are wee ever when wee come unto them not to passe them over with∣out the memory of that worke which had so advanced them: otherwise to solemnize a day without reference unto the cause of its solem∣nization, is but a blinde observance. And for this cause when God commands reverence to places, and sanctification of daies, hee anne∣xeth the ground of both, and leades us to a sight of those workes from which they re∣ceive both their dignity and institution; so likewise in Sacraments, to eate Bread, and drinke Wine, are naked, common, simple actions, and in themselves alwaies alike, but Page  119 when Christ shall by that great worke of his aDeath set them apart unto a holy use, and make them representations of his owne sacred Body, as they are by this divine relation hallo∣wed, so to partake of them without comme∣motating that great worke which hath so san∣ctified them, is not onely impious in that it perverteth the divine institution, but absurd likewise, it being all one, as if a man should with much ceremony and solemnity receive parchment and waxe, never so much as thin∣king on the land it conveyes, or looke on a pi∣cture without any reflexion on the patterne and originall which it resembleth, which is indeed to looke on the wood and not on the picture, it being naturally impossible to se∣parate things in notion whose being doe con∣sist in relation to each other. So then the Sa∣crament being a Typicall service, is not, nor can bee celebrated without a remembrance of the substance which it resembleth; which thing, according as is the pretiousnesse, value, and importance of it, doth proportionably impose on us a greater necessity of this Duty; which is then rightly perform'd, when there is a deep impression of Christ crucifi'd made on the Soule by these Seales of his Death, than which there is not any thing in the world more fit to fasten a stampe of it selfe in the minds of men.

Permanent and firme impressions doe use to bee made in the mindes of men by such causes Page  120 as those. First, if the Object be wonderfull and beyond the common course of things, it doth then strangely affect the thoughts, whereas bobvious and ordinary things passe through the soule, as common people doe through the streets without any notice at all. And this is the reason why naturally men remember those things best, wch either they did in theira childe∣hood, because then every thing brings with it the shape of novelty, and novelty is the mo∣ther of admiration; or those things which doe very rarely fall out, which howsoever they may be in their causes naturally, yet with the greater part of men, who use to make their observati∣ons rather on the events than on the origi∣nals of things, they passe for wonders. Now what greater wonder hath ever entred into the thoughts of men, even of those who have spent their time and conceits in amplifying Nature with Creatures of their owne fancying than this, that the God of all the World, without derivation from whose life, all the Creatures must moulder into their first no∣thing should himselfe dye, and expire, the frame of Nature still subsisting? that he who filleth all things with his Presence, should bee stretched out upon a piece of wood, and con∣fined within a narrow stone? hee who uphol∣deth all things by his power, should bee him∣selfe kept under by that which is nothing, by death? Certainely, that at which the World Page  121 stood amazed, that which against the course of Nature brought darkenesse on the Foun∣taine of Light, (which could no longer shine, when his Glory who derived lustre on it was it selfe ecclipsed) that which made the earth to tremble under the burden of so bloudy a sinne, that which the Angels stoope and looke into with humble astonishment and adoration, that which consisteth of so great a combinati∣on and confluence of wonders, must needs make a deepe impression on the Soule, though hard as Marble, at which the stones themselves of the Temple did rend asunder.

Secondly, those things use to make impres∣sions on the understanding which doe moove and excite any strong Passion of the minde, there being ever a most neare activity and inti∣mate reference betweene Passion and Reason, by meanes of that naturall affinity and subordina∣tion which is betweene them. Observe it in one passion of Love, how it removes the mind from all other objects, firmely fixing it on one thing, which it most respecteth; for as know∣ledge makes the object to bee loved, soa love makes us desire to know more of the object: the reason whereof is that inseparable union which Nature hath fixed in all things betweene the trueth and the good of them; either of which working on the proper faculty to which it belongeth, provokes it to set the other fa∣culty on worke, either by distinction as from Page  122 the understanding to the passion, or by insinu∣ation, as from the passion to the understanding: even as fire doth not heate without light, nor enlighten without heate. Where the treasure is, the heart cannot bee absent, where the bo∣dy is the Eagles must resort. If I know a thing bee good I must love it, and where I love the goodnesse of it I cannot but desire to know it, all divine objects being as essentially good as they are true, andb the knowledge and love of them being as naturally linked as the nerve is to the part which it moveth, or as the beame is to the heate and influence by which it wor∣keth: now what object is there can more de∣serve our love than the Death of Christ? Certainely if it beec naturall for men to love where they have beene loved before, and if in that case it bee fit that the quantity of the for∣mer love should bee the rule and measure of the latter, how can it bee that our love to him should not exceed all other love (evend as hee justly requireth) sincee greater love than his hath not beene seene, that a man should neglect the love of himselfe and lay downe his life for his enemies. And if we love Christ, that will naturally lead us to remember him too, who as he isf the Life, and so the object of our love; so is he theg Truth likewise, and so the object of our knowledge: and therefore the same Apostle, who didh rejoyce in nothing but Christ crucified (and joy is nothing else but love Page  123 perfected, for they differ onely as the same water in the pipe and in the fountaine) did likewise, notwithstanding his eminency in all Pharisaicall learning, Desire toiknow nothing but Iesus Christ and him crucified. Such a domi∣nion hath love on the minde to make perma∣nent and firme impressions.

Lastly, those things worke strongly upon the memory, which doe mainly concerne, and are beneficiall to man; there is no man, not dis∣possessed of reason, who in sicknesse doth for∣get the Physician, neither did ever man heare of any one straved because he did not remember to eate his meate.a Beasts indeed I have heard of (but those very strange ones too) which up∣on turning aside from their meate have forgot∣ten the presence of it; but never were any so forsaken by Nature as to forget the desire and inquiry after what they wanted: and the rea∣son is, because wheresoever Nature hath left a capacity of receiving farther perfection from some other thing, there she hath imprinted an appetite to that thing: and there is such a sympathy betweene the faculties of Nature, that the indigence of one sets all the rest on motion to supply it. Now what thing was there ever more beneficiall unto mankinde than the Death of Christ? in comparison whereof all other things are as drosse and dung. Theb name, and fruite, and hope of a Christian would be all but shadowes if Christ Page  124 had not dyed. By his humility are wee exal∣ted, by his curse are wee blessed, by his bon∣dage are wee made free, by his stripes are wee healed, we who were vessels of dishonour had all our miseries emptied into him in whom dwelled the fulnesse of the Godhead.c What∣soever evils hee suffered, ours was the pro∣priety to them, but the paine was his,d all that Ignominy and Agony which was unworthy so honourable a Person as Christ, was necessa∣ry for so vile a sinner as man.

Infinite it is and indeed impossible to take a full view of all the benefits of Christ Death, yet because the remembrance of Christs Death heere is nothing else but a recordation of those unvaluable blessings which by meanes of it were together with his holy Bloud shed downe upon the Church, I will touch a little upon the principall of them.

That Christ Jesus is unto his Church the Authour and Originall of all spiritualle Life, thef deliverer that should come out of Sion, that shouldg set at liberty his People,h spoile Principalities and Powers,i lead Captivity, captive,k take from the strong man all his ar∣mour and divide the spoiles, is a Trueth so clearely written with a Sun-beame, that no Craconian Heretique dae deny it. Let us then see by what meanes he doth all this; and wee will not heere speake of that worke whereby Christ, having formerly purchased the Right,Page  125 doth afterwards conferre and actually apply the benefit and interest of that right unto his members, which is the worke of his quicke∣ning Spirit, but onely of those meanes which hee used to procure the right it selfe, and that was in generall Christs Merit. The whole con∣versation of Christ on the earth was nothing else but a continued merit, proceeding from a double estate, an estate of Ignominy and Passi∣on procuring, and an estate of Exaltation and honour applying his benefits.

The Passion of Christ was his Death, where∣by I understand not that last act onely of expi∣ration, but the whole space betweene that and his Nativity, wherein beinga subject to the Law of Death, and to all thoseb naturall infir∣mities, which were the Harbingers of Death, hee might in that whole space bee as truly cal∣led A man of Death, ascAdam was a dead man in the vertue of the Curse that very day beyond which notwithstanding hee lived ma∣ny hundred yeares, that which we calld Death, being nothing else but the consummation of it. The estate of exaltation is the Resurrecti∣on of Christ, whereby the efficacy of that me∣rit which was on the Crosse consummated is publikely declared, and his Intercession where∣in it is proposed and presented unto God the Father as an eternall Price and Prayer in the behalfe of his Church. Now the Benefits which by this merit of Christs we receive are Page  126 of severall kindes. Some are Privative, consi∣sting in an immunity from all those evils which wee were formerly subject unto, whether of sinne or punishment: others are Positive, in∣cluding in them ac right and interest unto all the Prerogatives of the sonnes of God. The one is called an Expiation, Satisfaction, Redemp∣tion or Deliverance. The other a Purchase, and free Donation of some excellent blessing. Re∣demption thus distinguished is either a Re∣demption of Grace from the bondage and ty∣ranny of Sinne; or a Redemption of Glory, from the bondage of Corruption: and both these have their parts and latitudes; for the first,

In Sinne we may consider three things. The state or masse of sinne: the Guilt or damnable∣nesse of sinne: and the Corruption, staine or deformity of sinne.

The state of sinne is a state ofadeadnesse or immobility in Nature towards any good: the understanding is dead and disabled for any spirituall perception: the will is dead and disa∣bled for any holy propension: the affections are dead and disabled for any pursute: the body dead and disabled for any obedient Ministery; and the whole man dead, and by consequence disabled for any sense of its owne death. And as it is a state of death, so it is a state of enmity too; and there∣fore in this state wee are the objects of Gods hatred and detestation: so then, the first part of our Deliverance respects us as we are in this Page  127 state of death and enmity, and it is (as I said before) a double Deliverance, negative by re∣moving us out of this estate; and positive by constituting us in another, which is an estate of life and reconcilement. First, theb under∣standing is delivered from the bondage of ig∣norance, vanity, worldly wisedome, misper∣swasions, carnall principles, and the like, and is (after removall of thisc darknesse, andd vaile) eopened to see and acknowledge both its owne Darkenesse, and the evidence of that Light which shines upon it. Our wils and affections are delivered from that disability of embra∣cing or pursuing of divine Objects, and from that love of darknesse and prosecution of evill which is naturally in them, and after this, are wrought unto a sorrow and sense of their for∣mer estate, to a desire and love of Salvation, and of the meanes thereof, with a resolution to make use of them: and the whole man is delivered from the estate of Death and enmi∣ty unto an estate of Life and Reconciliation by being adopted for the sonnes of God: of these Deliverances Christ is the Authour, who worketh them (as I observed) by a double Cau∣sality, the one that whereby he meriteth them, the other that whereby hee conveyeth and transfuseth that which hee had merited. This conveying cause is our Vocation, wrought by the aSpirit of Christ effectively, by theb Word of Life, and Gospell of Regeneration instru∣mentally, Page  128 by meanes of both which (this lat∣ter as the seed, that other as the formative ver∣tue that doth vegetate and quicken thec seed) are wee from dead men engrafted into Christ, and of enemies made sonnes and Coheires with Christ; but the meritorious cause of all this was that Price which Christ laid downe, whereby he did ransome us from the estate of Death, and purchase for us the Adoption of sonnes; for every Ransome and Purchase (which are the two acts of our Redemption) are procured by the lying downe of some dPrice valuable to the thing ransomed and purchased. Now this Price was the precious Blood of Christ, and the laying downe or payment of this Bloud was the powring it out of his sacred Body, and the exhibiting of it unto his Father in a passive obedience: and this is to be applied in the other Deliverances.

The second consideration then of sinne was the Guilt of it, which is, the binding over unto some punishment prescribed in the Law: so we have here a double Deliverance, from the Guilt of sinne, and from the Bondage of the Law.

First, for sinne, though it leave still a staine in the soule, yet the sting of it is quite remo∣ved, though wee are not perfectly cleansed from the soile, yet are wee soundly healed from the mortalnesse and bruises of it.

Then for the Law, wee are first freed from theeCurse of the Law, It is not unto us a kil∣ling Page  129 letter, nor a word of Death, in as much as it is not that rule according unto which wee expect Life.

Secondly, wee are freed from the Exaction of the Law, wee are not necessarily bound to the rigorous performance of each jot and title of it, a performance unto which is ever an∣nexed Legall Justification; but our endea∣vours though imperfect, are accepted, our in∣firmities though sundry are forgiven for his sake,* who wasf under both these Bondages of Law for our sakes. And as wee are thus deli∣vered from the Guilt of sinne, so are wee far∣ther endued with positive Dignities,g interest and propriety to all the Righteousness of Christ, with which wee areh clothed as with a garment: claime unto all the blessings which the Law inferres upon due obedience perfor∣med to it, and the comforts which from either of these Title and Prerogatives may ensue. And this is the second branch of Deliverance, conveyed by the act of Iustification, but merited as the rest, by the Death of JESUS CHRIST.

The third consideration of sinne was the Corruption of it, from the which likewise wee are by Christ delivered, sinne doth not any more rule, nor raigne, nor lead captive those who are ingrafted into Christ, though for their patience, triall, and exercise sake, and that they may still learne to live by faith, and to prize mercy, the remnants of it doe cleave Page  130 fast unto our Nature, like the sprigges and rootes of Ivie to a Wall,* which will never out till the Wall bee broken downe and new built againe. Sinne is not like the people of Ierico utterly destroied, but rather like the Gibeonites, it liveth still, but in an estate of bondage, ser∣vitude, and decay; and besides this, wee are inabled toa love the Law in our inner man, to delight in it, to performe a ready and sin∣cere, though not an exact and perfect obedi∣ence to it, we are made partakers of the divine Nature, the Graces with which Christ was anointed doe from him streame downe unto his lowest members, which of hisb fulnesse doe all receive, and are all renewed after cGods Image in righteousnesse and true holi∣nesse.

The next part of our Redemption was from the Bondage of Corruption, unto thedLi∣berty of Glory, which likewise is by Christ per∣formed for us, which is a Deliverance from the Consequents of sinne; for sinne doth binde over unto punishment, even as the per∣fect obedience of the Law would bring a man unto Glory. Now the Punishments due unto sinne are either Temporary or Eternall, consi∣sting principally in the oppressions and distres∣ses of Nature: for as Sinne is the evill of our working, so Punishment is the evill of our being: and it includes not onely bodily and spirituall death, but all thec inchoations and preparatory Page  131 dispositions thereunto, as in the soule doub∣tings, distractions, tremblings, and terrours of Conscience, hardnesse of heart, fearefull ex∣pectation of the wrath that shall be revealed: in the body sicknesse, poverty, shame, infamy, which are so many earnests and petty payments of that full debt which will at last bee measu∣red out to all the wicked of the World.f E∣ven as amongst the Romans their Prelusory fight with dull and blunt weapons were but introductions to their mortall and bloudy games. And besides this Deliverance there is in the souleg peace and serenity, in the body a patient waiting for Redemption, and in the whole man the pledges of that eternall glory which shall be reveled; of all which the onely meritorious cause is the Death of Christ. Thisa alone is it which hath overcome our death, even asb one heate cureth, one Flux of blood stoppeth another, and hathc caught Sa∣tan as it were by deceit, with a baite and a hooke; this is it which hath taken away the denmity betweene God and man, reconciling us to the Father, and by thee prayer of that precious Blood hath obtained for us thef right of Children; this is it which tooke away the guilt of sinne, andg cancelled the Bond that was in force against us, swallowing up the hCurse of the Law, and humbling Christ un∣to the forme of a servant, that thereby wee might be made free; this is it which removeth Page  132 all both temporall and eternall punishment from the faithfull, it having beene a perfect payment of our whole debt; for in as much as Christ himselfe said on the Crosse, It is fi∣nished, wee are to conclude, that the other worke of Resurrection was not properly an essentiall part of Christs merit, but onely a necessary consequent required to make the Passion applicable and valuable to the Church. As in coined metals, it is the substance of the coine, the Gold, or Silver, onely that buyeth the ware, but the Impression of the Kings I∣mage is that which makes that Coine to bee currant and passable, it doth not give the va∣lue or worth to the Gold, but onely the appli∣cation of that value unto other things: even so the Resurrection and Intercession of Christ doe serve to make actuall applications of those merits of his to his Church, which yet had their consummation on the Crosse.

And if it be heere demanded how it comes to passe, if all these consequents of sinne be re∣moved, that the faithfull are still subject to all those temporall evils both in life and death which even in the state of Nature they should have undergone; wee answere in generall, that the faithfull dye in regard of the state, but not in regard of the sting of Death, they are subject to a dissolution, but it is to obtaine a more blessed union,k even to bee with Christ: and though a man may not take the whole Page  133 World in exchange for his Soule, yet he may well take Christ in exchange for his life.l It is not a losse of our money, but traffique and merchandise, to part from it for the procuring of such commodities as are more valuable; and Saint Paul telles us that toa dye is gaine. Theb sting wee know of Death is sinne, (for sinne is the cause of all inward discomforts; for which cause thec wicked are often compa∣red to the foaming Sea, which is still tossed and unquiet with every winde) and thed strength of sinne is the Law, with the malediction and bondage thereof, from the which wee being perfectly delivered, by him who was himselfe emade under the Law, and by that meanes became af perfect and sufficient Saviour, wee are in like manner delivered from the penalty of Death; for weaken sinne by destroying the Law, (which is the strength of it) and Death cannot possibly sting.

To examine this point, though by way of digression, something farther will not bee al∣together impertinent, because it serves to mag∣nifie the power of Christs Passion. The evils which wee speake of are the violations of the nature and person of a man: and that evill may bee considered two waies, either physically▪ as it oppresseth and burdeneth Nature, working some violence on the primitive integrity there∣of, and by consequence imprinting an affecti∣on of sorrow in the minde, and so it may bee Page  134 called paine; or else morally and legally, with respect unto the motive cause in the Patient, Sinne; or to the originall efficient cause in the Agent, Iustice; and so it may be called punish∣ment. Punishment being some evill inflicted on a subject for transgressing some Law comman∣ded him by his Law-maker, there is ther unto requisite something on the part of the Com∣mander, something on the part of the Subject, and something on the part of the Evill infli∣cted. In the Commander there must bee first a will unto which the actions of the Subject must conforme, and that signified in the nature of a Law. Secondly, there must bee a Iustice which will. And thirdly, a Power which can punish the transgressours of that Law. In the Subject there must be first Reason and Free-will (I meane originally) for a Law proceeding from Justice presupposeth a power of obedience, to com∣mand impossibilites is both absurd and tyran∣nous, befitting Pharaoh and not God. Se∣condly there must bee a Debt and Obligation whereby hee is bound unto the fulfilling of that Law. And lastly, the Conditions of this Obligation being broken there must be a For∣feiture, Guilt and Demerit following the viola∣tion of that Law. Lastly, in the Evill it selfe inflicted there is required first something ab∣solute, namely a destructive Power, some way or other oppressing and disquieting Nature (for as sinne is a violation offered from man to the Page  135 Law, so punishment must bee a violation retor∣ted from the Law to man.) Secondly, there must bee something Relative, which may re∣spect first the authour of the evill, whose Ju∣stice being by mans sinne provoked, is by his owne power, and according to the sentence of his owne Law to bee executed. Secondly, it may respect the end for which it is inflicted, it is not the torment of the Creature, whom as a Creature God loveth, neither is it the pleasing of the Devill, whom as a Devill God hateth, but onely the Satisfaction of Gods Ju∣stice, and the Manifestation of his Wrath. These things being thus premised, wee will againe make a double Consideration of Pu∣nishment, either it may be taken improperly, and incompletely, for whatsoever oppressive evill doth so draw its originall in a Reasonable Crea∣ture from Sinne, as that if there were not an habitation of sinne, there should be no roome for such an evill, as in the man that was borne blinde, though sinne were not the cause of the blindenesse, yet it was that which made roome for the blindenesse: or it may bee taken pro∣perly and perfectly, and then I take it to admit of some such Description as this Punishment is an evill or pressure of Nature, proceeding from a Law-giver just and powerfull, and in∣flicted on a Reasonable Creature, for the diso∣bedience and breach of that Law unto the per∣formance whereof it was originally by the Page  136 naturall faculty of free-will enabled, whereby there is intended a Declaration of Wrath, and Satisfaction of Justice.

Now then I take it wee may with confor∣mity unto the Scriptures, and with the Analo∣gy of Faith set downe these Conclusions.

First, consider Punishments as they are do∣lours and paines, and as they are impressions contrary to the integrity of Nature, so the temporall evils of the godly are punishments, because they worke the very same manner of naturall effects in them which they doe in o∣ther men. Secondly, take Punishments impro∣perly for those evils of Nature which doe occa∣sionally follow sinne, and unto which sinne hath originally opened an entrance, which declare how God stands affected towards sinne, with a minde purposing the rooting out and destroy∣ing of it; in this sense likewise may the affli∣ctions of the godly bee called Punishments, as God is said to have beenea exceeding angry with Aaron. But now these evils though infli∣cted on the godly because of their sinnes, as were, the death of the child to David, the tem∣pest to Ionah, and the like, yet are they not evils inflicted for the Revenge of sin (which is yet the right Nature of a proper Punishment) (so saith the Lord, Vengeance is mine, I will repay it) but they are evils by the Wisedome of God, and love towards his Saints inflicted for the over∣throw of sinne, for weakening the violence, and Page  137 abating the outrageousnesse of our naturall corruptions. As then in the godly sinne may be said to be, and not to bee in a diverse sense, (so saith Saint Iohn in one place,bIf wee say wee have no sinne wee deceive our selves, and yet in another,cHee that is borne of God sinneth not) It is not in them in regard of its Condemnation, although it bee in them in regard of its inha∣bitation, though even that also as daily dying and crucified, even so punishments or conse∣quents of sinne may be said to be in the godly, or not to be in them in a different sense. They are not in them in regard of their sting and curse as they are proper Revenges for sinne, al∣though they be in them in regard of their state, substance, and painefulnesse, untill such time as they shall put on an eternall Triumph over Death, the last enemy that must be overcome. Lastly, I conclude, that the temporall evils which doe befall the godly are not formally or properly punishments, nor effects of divine ma∣lediction or vengeance towards the persons of the godly, who having obtained in Christ a plenary reconciliation with the Father, can be by him respected with no other affection (how∣ever in manner of appearance it may seeme otherwise) than with an affection of love and free grace.

The reasons for this position are these: first, Punishment, with what mitigation soever qua∣lified is in suo formali, in the nature of it a thing Page  138Legall, namely the execution of the Law, for di∣vine Law is ever the square and rule of that Ju∣stice of which punishment is the effect and work. Now all those on whom the execution of the Law doth take any effect, may truly bee said to be so farre under the Law in regard of the sting and curse thereof, (for the curse of the Law is nothing else but the evill which the Law pro∣nounceth to bee inflicted, so that every branch and sprigge of that evill, must needes beare in it some part of the nature of a Curse, even as every part of water hath in it the nature of wa∣ter) but all the godly are wholly delivered from all the sting and malediction of the Law, Christb is unto us the end of the Law, aboli∣shing the shadowes of the Ceremoniall, the the Curses of the Morall;c wee are no more under the Law, but under Grace, under the pre∣cepts, but not under the Covenant, under thedo∣bedience, but not under the bondage of the Law: unto thee righteous there is no Law, that is, there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ: wee are dead unto the Law by the Body of Christ, it hath not the least power or dominion over us. Secondly, the most pro∣per nature of a punishment is to satisfie an of∣fended Justice, but Christ bearing the iniquity of us all in his Body on the Tree, did therein make a most sufficient and ample satisfaction to his Fathers wrath, leaving nothing wherein wee should make up either the measure or the Page  139 vertue of his sufferings, but did himselfe per∣fectly save us: for an infinite person suffering, and the value of the suffering depending on the dignity of the Person, it must needs bee that the satisfaction made by that suffering must be likewise infinite, and by consequence most per∣fect. Lastly, if we consider (asa it is in all mat∣ters of consequence necessary) but the author of this evill, we shall finde it to be no true and proper punishment; for it is a reconciled fa∣ther bwho chasteneth every sonne whom hee receiveth, who as hee often dothc declare his severest wrath by forbearing to punish, so doth he as often even out ofd tendernesse, and com∣passion chastise his Children, who hathf pre∣destinated us unto them, dothg execute his decrees of mercy in them, doth by his provi∣dence governe, and by his love sanctifie them unto those that suffer them, in none of which things are there the prints of punishment.

But if Christ have thus taken away the ma∣lignity of all temporall punishments, why are they not quite removed? to what end should the substance of that remaine whose proper∣ties are extinguished?h Certainely God is so good as that he would not permit evill to bee, if hee were not so powerfull as to turne it to good. Is there not honey in the Bee when the sting is removed? sweetnesse in the rose when the prickles are cut off? a medicinable vertue in the flesh of Vipers when the poyson is cast Page  140 out? and can man turne Serpents into Anti∣dotes, and shall not God bee able to turne the fiery darts of that old Serpent into instruments for letting out our corruptions, and all his buf∣fets into so many stroakes for the better faste∣ning of those Graces in us, which were before loose, and ready to fall out? Briefly to con∣clude this digression, some ends of the remai∣ning of Death, and other temporall evils (not∣withstanding the Death of Christ have taken away the malignity of them all) are amongst others these. First, for thei triall of our faith and other Graces;k our Faith in Gods Pro∣vidence is then greatest, when wee dare cast our selves on his care, even when to outward appearances hee seemeth not at all to care for us: when wee can so looke on our miseries that we can withall looke through them. Ad∣mirable is that faith which can with Israel see the Land of Promise through a Sea, a Perse∣cution, a Wildernesse, through whole Armies of the sonnes of Anak, which can with Abra∣ham see a Posterity like the starres of Heaven through a dead wombe, a bleeding sword, and a sacrificed sonne▪ which can with Iob see a Redeemer, a Resurrection, a restitution, through the dunghill, and the potsheard, through ul∣cers and botches, through the violence of hea∣ven and of men, through the discomforts of friends, the temptations of a wife, and the ma∣lice of Satan; which can with Stephen see Page  141 Christ in heaven through a whole tempest and cloud of stones; which can with that poore Syrophenician Woman see Christs compassion through the odious name of Dogge, which can in every Egypt see an Exodus, in every red Sea a passage, in every fiery Fornace an Angell of Light, in every Denne of Lions a Lion of Iudah, in every temptation a doore of escape, and in every grave an arise and sing. Second∣ly, they are unto us fora antidotes against sinne, and meanes of humility and newnesse of life, by which ourb faith is exercised and excited, our corruptions pruned, our diseases cured, our security and slacknesse in the race which is set before us corrected, without which good effects all our afflictions are cast away in vaine upon us. Hee hathc lost his affliction that hath not learned to endure it, the evils of the faith∣full are not to destroy but to instruct them, they loose their end if they * teach them no∣thing. Thirdly, they make usd conformable unto Christs sufferings. Fourthly, theye shew unto us the perfection of Gods graces, and the sufficiency of his love. Fifthly, theyf drive us unto God for succour, unto his Word for information, and unto his Sonne for better hopes, for nothing sooner drives a man out of himselfe than that which oppresseth and con∣quereth him; in so much as that publique ca∣lamitiesg drave the Heathen themselves to their prayers, and to consult with their Sybils Ora∣cles Page  142 for removing those Judgements, whose authour, though ignorant of, yet under false names, and idolatrous representations, they laboured as much as in them lay to reconcile and propitiate. Sixthly, God is in themh glo∣rified, in that he spareth not his owne People, and yet doth so punish, that hee doth withall support and amend them.a Lastly, it prepa∣reth us for Glory, and by these evils convin∣cing the understanding of the slipperinesse, and uncertainty of this worlds delights, and how happinesse cannot grow in that earth which is cursed with thornes and briars, it teacheth us to groane after the revelation of that life which is hidde with Christ, where all teares shall be wiped from our eyes. So that in all temporall evils that which is destructive the sting and malediction of them is in the Death of Christ destroyed: having therefore so many motives to make imprssions on the Soule, the Wonder of Christs Death, the Love of it, and the Benefits redounding unto us from it; there is required of us a multiplied recor∣dation, ab ruminating, and often recalling of it to our thoughts, if it were possible at all times, to have no word, or thought, or worke, passe from us without an eye unto Christ crucified, as the patterne, or if not, as the Judge of them; but especially at that time when the drift, and purpose of our whole sacred businesse is the Celebration of his Death.