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.
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MEDITATIONS ON THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE LORDS LAST SUPPER.

CHAP. I

Mans Being to bee imployed in working: that working directed unto some Good, which is God; that Good, a free and voluntary Re∣ward, which wee here enjoy onely in the right of a Promise, the seale of which Pro∣mise is a Sacrament.

THE Almighty power and wis∣dome of God hath given unto his creatures, a triple degree of perfection, their Being, their Working, and their Good; which three are so subordinate to each other, that Working is the end and scope of Being, and Page  2Good is the end and scope of Working. But no Being, can produce any Work, no Work reach unto any Good, without something that may be a rule of working, and a way to Good; and therefore Almightie God in the work of the Creation imprinted in each creature a secret principle, which should move, governe, and uniformly direct it to its proper work and end, and that principle we call a Law, which by assigneing unto each thing the kinde, mea∣sure and extent of its working, doth lead it on by a strait and in fallible line unto that Good, for which it worketh. All other Creatures below the spheare of reason, being not only in the quality of their nature of a narrow and strait perfection, but in their duration finite and perishable, the good unto which this Law of their creation directs them, is a finite Good likewise. But men and Angels being both in nature more excellent than all others, and in continuance infinite and immortall, cannot possibly receive from anything, which is a meere creature, and lesse perfect than themselves, any compleat satisfaction of their desires, and therefore must by a circle turne back unto God, who is aswell the Omega, the end and object of their working, as the Alpha, the cause and authour of their being. Now God being most free, not only in himselfe, but in the diffusion and communication of himselfe, unto Page  3 any thing created (which therefore he can∣not be naturally or necessarily bound unto) and being also a God infinitely beyond the largest compasse of the creatures merit or working, it followes that neither Men nor An∣gels, can lay any necessary claime unto God, by a debt of Nature, (as a stone may unto the Center by that naturall impresse which di∣rects it thither;) but all our claime is by a right of Promise and voluntary Donation, so that that which in other meere naturall creatures is cald the Terme or Scope, is in reasonable creatures the Promise or Reward of their working. Feare not Abraham, I am thy exceeding great reward; So then we have here our Good which is God, to bee commu∣nicated unto us, not in the manner of a ne∣cessary and naurall debt, but of a voluntary, and supernaturall Reward: Secondly we have our working required as the meanes to lead us in a strait line unto the fruition of that Good: and in as much as mans will, being mutable, may carry him unto severall operations of different kinds, wee have thirdly a Rule or Law, to moderate the kind and manner of our working, whereby we reach unto our desired Good; which Rule when it altereth (as in the new Covenant of grace it doth) the quality of that work, whereby we reach unto our desired Good doth alter likewise. Now fourthly wee must farther observe that be∣tween Page  4 our working, which is the motion to∣wards our Good, and our fruition, or resting in it, there is a distance or succession of time: so that while we are in our estate of working, we doe not enjoy God by any full, reall pre∣sence or possession, but only by a right of a Covenant and Promise, which makes the Apo∣stle say, that in this life we live by faith and not by sight. Now Promises or Covenants re∣quire to have annexed unto them Evidence and certaintie, so farre as may secure the party that relyes upon them: which in humane ontracts is done, by giving our words, and setting to our seales for confirmation. And now lastly in as much as that Dutie, on condi∣tion whereof God maketh this Promise of himselfe unto us, is the work of the whole man, the Evidence and Confirmation of the Promise is by God, made unto the whole man likewise, and to each facultie of man, which it pleaseth him in mercy the rather to doe, because of that dependance of our soules on the inferiour and subordinate powers, and of that necessary connexion which there is be∣tweene the inward reason, and the outward senses. God then (presupposing ever the per∣formance of conditions on our part) doth se∣cure hs Church, and give evidence for the discharge of his covenant and promise, first to the soule alone by the testimony of his Spirit (which is both the seale and the witnesse of Page  5 Gods Covenant:) and secondly both to the soule and to the senses by that double bond, his word written or preached, and his seale visibly exhibited to the eye, and taste, but especially unto the taste, in which objects are more really and with lesse fallibilitie uni∣ted to the faculty, in which there appeareth a more exquisite fruition of delight, in these good things which are pleasing; and lastly in which the mysticall union of the Church to its head, unto the making up of one body is more naturally exprest. And these seales an∣nexed unto the word or patent of Gods Pro∣mise, have been ever proposd unto the Church in all its estates, and are nothing else but that which we call a Sacrament. So that as the testimony of the Spirit is an invisible seale, and earnest to the soule, so is the Sa∣crament a visible seale and earnest to the sense; both after a severall manner, ratifying and confirming the infallible expectation of that future Reward, which as well the senses as the soule shall in Gods presence really enjoy after they have fulfilled the service which God requireth.

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CHAP. II.

Sacraments are earnests and shaddowes of our expected glory made unto the senses.

THE Promises, and word of grace with the Sacraments, are all but as so many sealed Deeds to make over unto all successions of the Church, so long as they continue legitimate children and observe the Lawes on their part required, an infallible claime and title unto that Good which is not yet revealed, unto that inheri∣tance which is as yet laid up unto that life which is hid with God, and was never yet fully opened or let shine upon the earth. Even in Paradise there was a Sacrament; a tree of life inded it was, but there was but one; whereas Adam was to eat of all the fruits in the Garden: He was there but to taste sometimes of life, it was not to bee his perpetuall and only food. We read of a Tree of life in the beginning of the Bible, and of a tree of life in the end too; that was in Adams Paradise on earth, this in Saint Iohns Paradise in heaven: But that did beare but the first fruits of life, the earnest of an after fulnesse. This bare life in abundance, for it bare twelve manner of fruits, and that every moneth, which shewes both the compleat∣nesse, Page  7 and eternity of that glory which wee expect. And as the Tree of Paradise was but a Sacrament of life in heaven, so Paradise it selfe was but a Sacrament of heaven. Certain∣ly Adam was placed amongst the dark and shady trees of the Garden, that he might in an Embleme acknowledge, that he was as yet but in the shadow of life, the substance whereof he was elsewhere to receive. Even when the Church was pure, it was not perfect; it had an age of infancy, when it had a state of innocence: Glory was not communicated unto Adam himselfe without the vaile of a Sacrament: the light of God did not shine on Paradise with a spreading and immediate ray; even there it was mixed with shadowes, and repre∣sented only in a Sacramentall reflex, not in its owne direct and proper brightnesse. The Israelites in the wildernesse had light indeed but it was in a cloud, and they had the pre∣sence of God in the Ark,* but it was under se∣verall coverings;* and they had the light of God shining on the face of Moses,* but it was under the vaile;* and Moses himselfe did see God, but it was in a cloud: so unca∣pable is the Church while encompassed with a body of sinne, to see the lustre of that glory which is expected. Certainly as the Sonne of God did admirably humble himselfe in his hypostaticall union unto a visible flesh, so doth he still with equall wonder and lowlinesse Page  8 humble himselfe in a Sacramentall union un∣to visible Elements.* Strange it is that that mercy which is so wonderfull, that the An∣gels desire to look into it, so unconceiveable as that it hath not entred into the thought of man; of such height, and lenghth, and breadth, and depth, as passeth knowledge, should yet be made the object of our lowest faculties: That that which is hid from the wise and prudent in mans little world, his mind and spirit, should bee revealed unto the babes, his senses: It were almost a contradi∣ction in any thing, save Gods mercy, to bee so deep as that no thought can fadome it, and yet so obvious that each eye may see it;* Han∣dle mee and see, for a spirituall substance hath not flesh, was sometimes the argu∣ment of Christ; and yet handle and see, take and eat, for a spirituall grace is con∣veyed by flesh, is the Sacrament of Christ. So humble is his mercy that since we cannot raise our understandings to the comprehensi∣on of divine mysteries, he will bring downe, and submit those mysteries to the apprehen∣sion of our senses.* Hereafter our bodies shall be over-clothed with a spirituall glory by a reall union unto Christ in his kingdome;* mean time that spirituall glory which wee grone after, is here over-clothed with weak and vi∣sible elements, by a Sacramentall union at his Table. Then shall sense be exalted and made a Page  9 fit subject of glory, here is glory humbled,* and made a fit object of sense; Then shall wee see as wee are seen, face to face; here wee see but as in glasse darkly; in the glasse of the crea∣ture, in the glasse of the word, in the glasse of the Sacraments. And surely these are in them∣selves cleer and bright glasses, yet we see even in them but darkly, in regard of that vapour and steeme which exhaleth from our corrupt nature, when we use them: and even on these doth our soule look through other darke glasses, the windowes of sense. But yet at the best they are but glasses, whose properties are to present nothing but the pattern, the shaddow, the type of those things which are in their substance quite be∣hind us, and therefore out of sight: so then in generall, the nature of a Sacrament is to be the representative of a substance, the signe of a covenant, the seale of a purchase, the fi∣gure of a body, the witnesse of our faith, the earnest of our hope, the presence of things distant, the sight of things absent, the taste of things unconceivable, and the knowledge of things, that are past knowledge.

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CHAP. III.

Inferences of Practice from the former observa∣vations.

HERE then we see first the different [ 1] state and disposition of the Church, here in a state of corruption and therefore in want of water in Bap∣tisme to wash it; in a state of infancy, and therefore in want of milke in the word to nourish it; in a state of weaknesse, and there∣fore in want of bread, the body of Christ, to strengthen it; in a state of sorrow, and there∣fore in want of wine, the blood of Christ, to comfort it. Thus the Church while it is a child, it speaks as a child, it understands as a child, it feeds as a child, here a little and there a little; one day in the week, one houre in the day, it is kept fasting and hungry. But when it is growne from strength to strength, unto a perfect age, and unto the fulnesse of the stature of Christ, then it shall be satisfied with fatnesse, and drink its full of those rivers of pleasures, which make glad the City of God: It shall keep an eternall Sabbath, a continued festivall; the Supper of the Lamb shall bee without end, or satiety: so long as the Bride∣groom is with them, (which shall be for ever) they cannot fast.

[ 2] Secondly we see here, nor see only, but Page  11 even taste and touch how gratious the Lord is, in that he is pleased even to unroabe his graces of their naturall lustre, to overshad∣dow his Promises, and as it were to obscure his glory that they might be made propor∣tion'd to our dull and earthy senses, to lock up so rich mysteries as lie hidden in the Sacra∣ments in a bason of water, or a morsell of bread. When hee was invisible by reason of that infinite distance between the divine na∣ture and ours, hee made himselfe to be seen in the flesh; and now that his very flesh is to us againe invisible by reason of that vast di∣stance between his place and ours, he hath made even it in a mysticall sense to be seen and tasted in the Sacrament. Oh then since God doth thus farre humble himselfe and his graces even unto our senses, let not us by an odious ingratitude humble them yet low∣er, even under our feet. Let us not trample on the blood of the Covenant, by taking it into a noisome sinke, into a dirty and earthie heart. He that eats Christs in the Sacrament with a foule mouth, and receives him into an un∣clensed and sinfull soule doth all one as if he should sop the bread he eates in dirt, or lay up his richest treasures in a sink.

Thirdly we learn how we should employ [ 3] all our senses. Not only as brute beasts do, to fasten them on the earth, but to lift them up unto a more heavenly use, since God hath Page  12 made even them the organs & instruments of our spirituall nourishment. Mix ever with the naturall a heavenly use of thy senses. Whatso∣ever thou seest▪ behold in it his wonder: what∣soever thou hearest, hear in it his wisedome: whatsoever thou tastest, taste in it the sweet∣nesse, as well of his love, as of the creature. If Christ will not dwell in a foul house, he will certainly not enter at a foul door. Let not those teeth that eat the bread of Angelsgrinde the face of the poor; Let not the mouth which doth drink the blood of Christ, thirst after the blood of his neighbour: Let not that hand which is reached out to receive Christ in the Sacrament, be stretched out to injure him in his members: Let not those eyes which look on Christ, be gazing after vanity. Certainly if he will not be onea in the same body with a harlot, neither will he be seen with the same eyes: he is really in the heaven of the greater world, and he will be no where else Sacra∣mentally but in the heavenly parts of man, the lesser.

Lastly, we see here what manner of conver∣sation we have; The church on earth hath but the earnests of glory, the earnest of the Spirit, and the earnest of the Sacrament; that bwitnessing, thisc signifying; both confirming andd sealing our adoption. Bute we know not what we shall be,f our life is yet hid, andg our inheritance is laid up for us. A Prince that Page  7 is haply bred up in a great distance from his future kingdome in another Realm, and that a∣mongst enemies where he suffers one while a danger, another a disgrace, loaded with dan∣gers and discontents, though by the assurance of blood, by the warrant of his fathers own hand & seal he may be confirmed in the evident right of his succession, can hardly yet so much as imagine the honour he shall enjoy, nor any more see the gold and lustre of his crown in the print of the wax that confirms it, than a man that never saw the Sunne can conceive that brightnesse which dwelleth in it by its pi∣cture drawn in some dark colours. We area a royall people,b heirs, yea coheirs with Christ: but we are in a farre countrey andc absent from the Lord, in houses ruinous and made of clay, in a region of darknesse, in a shadow of death, in a valley of tears, though compas∣sed in with a wall of fire, yet do the waves of ungodly men break in upon us; though ship'd in a safe Ark, the temple of God, yet often tos'd almost unto shipwrack, and ready with Ionah to be swallowed of a great Leviathan; though protected with a guard of holy An∣gels, which pitch their tents about us, so that the enemy without cannot enter, yet enticed often out,* and led privily but voluntarily a∣away by the enchanting lusts, the Dalilahs of our own bosome. The kingdome and inhe∣ritance we expect is hid from us,* and we know Page  14 no more of it, but onely this, that it passeth knowledge. Truly the assurance of it is con∣firmd by an infallible pattent, Gods own pro∣mise, and that made firm by a seal coloured with that blood, and stamped with the image of that body which was the price that bought it. What remains then but that where the bo∣dy is, thither the Eagles flie, where the treasure is, there the heart be also, that we groan after the revelation of the sonnes of God, when the vayl of our mortallity shall be rent, the mud∣wall of the flesh made spirituall and transpa∣rant, the shadows and resemblances of the Sa∣craments abolished, the glasse of the creature removed, the riddle of our salvation unfold∣ed, the vapours of corruption dispelled, the patience of our expectation rewarded, and from the power of the spirit within, and the presence of Christ without shall be diffused on the whole man a double lustre of exceeding abundant glory. The hope and assurance of this is it which in those holy mysteries of Christs Supper we receive, which if received without dependance and relation on that glo∣ry which they foreshadow, and on that body which withall the merits of it they obsignate, doth no more good than the seal of a king, without any grant or patent whereunto it should be joyned, in which there is no profit beyond the bare wax, and much danger in tri∣flin with so sacred a thing.

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CHAP. IIII.

Whence Sacraments derive their value and be∣ing, namely from the Author that insti∣tuted them.

BUt why are not the instruments more glorious where the effects are so admirable? whence is it that there should lie so much power in the narrow roome of so small and common elements? It had been worth the creating of a new creature, to be made the pledge of a new covenant; the first fruits are of the same nature with their crop, and earnest useth to be paid in coine of the same quality with the whole after-summe. If then Sacraments are the earnests of our glory, why are not the faithfull instead of eating a morsell of bread, taken up with St Paul into the third heavens? why are they not in stead of drinking a sip of wine transformed with their Saviour; and have with Steven a vision of him at the right hand of the father? how discursive is foolish pride when it would prescribe unto God? vaine man who undertakest to instruct thy maker in stead of praysing him? to censure his benefits when thou shouldst enjoy them? wilt thou not receive salvation without thine owne counsell, or art thou so foolish as to Page  16 conceive nothing precious without pompe? and to judge of the things conveighed by the value, and quality of the instrument that con∣veighs it? tell me then, why it is that water a vulgar element, is held in a Cisterne of lead, and thy wine a more costly liquor, but in a vessell of wood? Tell me the reason why that wax which in the shop haply was not priz'd at a penny, should by cleaving unto a small parcell of parchment be valuable unto a million of money? Tell me why should that clay, which while it lay under foot was vile and dishonourable dirt,* when it was applyed by Christ unto the eye of a blind man, be advanc'd unto the condition of a precious and superna∣turall salve? Is not even in works of Art, the skill of the workman more eminent in the nar∣rowest and unfittest Subjects? Are not the Iliads of Homer more admirable in a Nutshell than in a volume? doe not Limmers set the highest value on their smallest draughts?a and is there not matter of admiration, and asto∣nishment in the meanest and most vulgar ob∣jects? And what madnesse is it then by those reasons to undervalue faith, which are the ar∣guments to confirme it? as if the power of an Agent were not there greatest where the subject on which hee worketh doth conferre least;* as if the weaknesse of the element did not adde unto the wonder of the Sacrament. If it were an argument of Christs miraculous Page  17 power to feed five thousand with so few loaves, why should not the miracle of his Sa∣crament be equall which feeds the whole Church with so slender elements? certainly they who any way dis esteeme the seeming meanesse and emptinesse of the Sacrament, en∣tertaining but low and vulgar conceits there∣of, stumble at that same stone of foolishnesse, by which the Gentiles fell from their salva∣tion. But wilt thou needs know both the rea∣son why we use no other Sacraments, and why these carry with them so much vertue? one answer resolves both. It is the Majestie of the same King that coynes his mony, and that values it; he that frames a private mint, or imposeth another rate, is in both equally a traitor; in the former by stealing the Kings authority,* in the other by altering i: the same Author did both institute the Sacra∣ment and value it; from the same power did it receive the necessity of its being, and the efficacie of its working. In covenants or con∣veyances the articles and instruments may be haply drawne by some Lawyer, but the con∣firmation of them by hand and seale, are ordi∣narily performed by the men themselves who are interessed in them. A Secretary may write the letter, but his Lord will himselfe subscribe and seale it. Thus the pattent of Gods covenant hath been drawn out for the benefit of Gods Church by many selected and Page  18 inspired instruments, unto whom God did dictate so much of his will by divine sugge∣stion, as his pleasure was to acquaint and edifie his Church withall. But when hee comes to confirme this his gift by hand and seale, behold then an immediate presence of his owne; then comes Gods owne finger, that is in the phrase of Scripturea, his spirit to write as a witnesse in the soule;* and then doth God stretch out his owne hand, and reach unto us that Supper which is the seale to obsignate unto the senses the infallible truth of those covenants, and our evident in∣terest in those benefits, which were before proclaimed in the pattent of his word. The bApostle delivered nothing as it were by a se∣cond hand to the Corinthians, but what hee had formerly received from the Lord. Di∣vine things are unto usc deposited, we must first be receivers,* before deliverers.

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CHAP. V.

Inferences of practice from the Author of this Sacrament.

HEre then we see, first both the absurdity and the wickednesse of a wil-worship, when the same man who is to performe the obedience shall dare to appoint the lawes, implying a peremptory pur∣pose of no farther observance than may con∣sist with the allowance of his own judgement. Whereas trued obedience must be grounded on the majesty of that power that commands, not on the judgement of the subject, or benefit of the precept impos'd: divine laws require o∣bedience, not so much from the quality of the things commanded (thoughe they be ever holy and good) as from the authority of him that institutes them. We are all the servants of God, and servants are but livingfinstru∣ments, whose property it is to be governed by the will of those in whose possession they are. Wil-worship, and services of superstition, well they may flatterg God, they do not please him. He that requires us to denie our selves in his service, doth therein teach us that his commands stand ratherin feare, than in need of us; in feare of our boldnesse lest we abuse Page  20 them,* not in need of our judgements to polish or alter them. The conquest of an enemy a∣gainst the perscript of his Generall cost a Ro∣man Gentleman his life, though his own fa∣ther were the judge. The killing of a Lion contrary to the establish'd Laws of the Kings hunting, (though it were only to rescue the King himself,* whose life was set upon) lost a poor Persian the losse of his head.* The over∣wise industry of the Architect in bringing not the same but a fitter peece of timber than he was commanded to the Romish Consul,* was rewarded with nothing but the bundle of rods. So jealous and displeased are even men them∣selves,* to have their own Laws undervalued by the private judgements of those who ra∣ther interpret than obey them. And there∣fore even those men who erected the fabricks of superstition and wil-worship,* have yet ever endeavoured to derive the originall of them on some divine revelations. And that great Roman Captain Scipio, ever before the undertaking of any businesse, was wont first to enter the Capitol and pretend a consultati∣on with the Gods touching their allowance of his intended designes, grounding all his attempts and governing all his actions by the unerring judgement of their Deities.* And generally in all the Roman sacrifices the mi∣nister or servant was to attend a command before hee was to strike the beast that was Page  21 offered. Horrible then and more than hea∣thenish is the impiety of those who mixing humane inventions and ceremonies of their owne unto the substance of these sacred my∣steries, and imposing them as divine duties with a necessitie of absolute obedience, do by that meanes wrench Christs owne divine pre∣rogative out of his owne hands, and make themselves, shall I say confounders and joynt authors of his Sacraments? nay rather indeed the destroyers of them: since as he that re∣ceives otherwise than Christ requires,* re∣ceives not Christ but rather damnation; so he that gives otherwayes than Christ instituted doth not indeed give Christ, but an Idoll of his own making.

Secondly, we see here with how great re∣verence we ought to approach Gods Temple, to receive these deep mysteries of Salvation, which it pleas'd Christ in his owne person to institute, and with his owne presence to ex∣hibit unto the Church: was a beast slaine for touching the Mount, and shall not a man of beastly and vile affections,* bee punished for touching that table where the Lord is present? was Moses to put off his shooes at that bush which represented Gods power, and must not we shake off our earthly and corrupt de∣sires at those mysteries which represent his mercy? were Nadab and Abihu destroyd be∣fore the Lord for offring strange fire at his Page  22 Altar, and shall we plead immunity if we pre∣sent strange soules, and a false faith at his Ta∣ble? was Adam thrust out of Paradise for his sinne in eating of the tree of knowledge; and shall we escape if we sinne in eating of the bread of life? even unto the institutions of mortall men, though often in their substance needlesse, in their observance difficult, and in their end not much beneficiall, so long as they keep within the compasse of indifferent things, there is requir'd not only our obedi∣ence, but our reverence. The word of God, though delivered unto us in earthen vessells, by men of like, weak, and fraile affections with our selves, yet because of that native preti∣ousnesse which resides in it, and of that de∣rived glory which it brings from the spirit that reveald it, is so farre to be honor'd, as that the vessells that bring it, are to be had in high estimation, even for their works sake: But the Sacraments are not either of humane authority, as are positive lawes, nor of; divine inspiration unto holy men, as were the Scrip∣tures, but they are by so much the more the immediate effects of divine power, by how much they are instituted without the least concurrence of any other instrument; being reach'd out first unto the Church of God by that immaculate and pretious hand, which was it selfe presently stretcht forth on the Crosse to embrace the weary and heavy laden. Page  23 Let us not then venture to receive so sacred things with unwashen hands, as matters of meere custome, fashion, or formality. But let us look unto that high authority that or∣dayn'd them, on that holy mouth that blessed them, on that arme of mercy that exhibits them; being ever assur'd that as Christ hath one hand of bounty and redemption which reacheth forth life to the worthie receiver, so hath he another of justice and power ready to avenge the injuries and contempt that shall be done to his owne holy institution.

Thirdly, we see here the honourable condi∣tion of the faithfull, in that they not only re∣ceive Christ, and all the benefits of his me∣rits and actions, but all this they receive from his owne hands. For we may not think that the actions of Christ in looking up and bles∣sing, and breaking, and giving, were meerly temporary, locall, or confined actions, ter∣minated only to the present company that were then with him. Certainly as the Apo∣stles were then the representative Church, so was that a representative action, the vertue and effect whereof descends, and passeth through all successions of the Church. The arme of the Lord is not shortned or any way shrunk that it cannot still exhibit what then it did. If he can so lengthen the arme of faith in us, as to reach as farre as heaven to embrace him, he can as well stretch out his owne arme Page  24 of mercy from heaven to present that unto us which he did unto his disciples. It was an admirable and unexpected honour that was shewd to Mordecay when the royall Crowne and the Kings owne apparell was put upon him,* though by the service of wicked Haman: But Christ doth not only bestow on us his Kingdom in the Sacrament (which seales unto us our inheritance with him) nor doth only invest us with his own meritorious purple roabs,* his red garments from Bozrha (the gar∣ments of innocency and of unity) but doth all this with his owne immediate hand;* so that our honour must needs be so much greater than was Mordecay's, by how much the roabs of Christ are more royall than the Persian Kings, and his person more sacred than was wicked Hamans.

CHAP. VI.

Of the Circumstances of the Institution, namely the Time and Place.

AND as the Author, so the Circum∣stances of the Institution do not a little adde unto the excellency of this Sacrament: first for the cir∣cumstance of Time;* It was the same night wherein he was betrayed:* in the evening Page  25 and after Supper. In the evening or night, a time fit to prefigure a passion, and eclipse, his especially who was the Sunne of righte∣ousnesse, and the light of the world; a passi∣on that brought darknesse on the very foun∣taine of light, the Sunne, even in the midday: In the evening,* to note that now the fulnesse of time was come, wherein Christ was to ac∣complish the redemption of the world. In the evening or twylight when the Passeover was celebrated, learne from the condition of the time the nature as of that Legall,* so in some sort of this Evangelicall Sacrament; it is but a shaddow and dark representation of that light which shall be revealed. It hath but the glim∣merings, and faint resemblances of that mer∣cy which redeemed us, of that glory which expecteth us. In the evening at the eating of the Paschall Lamb, to note that Christs active obedience to the commands of the Law went together with his passive obedience to the curse and penaltie of the Law.* He first cele∣brated the Passeover that therein he might re∣stifie his performance of the Law, and then he instituted his own Supper, that therin he might prefigure his suffring of the Law.*In the even∣ing after the Passeover, to signifie the abolish∣ing both of the Evening, and of the Passeover, the plucking away of Moses his vail, of all those dark & misty prefiguratiōs of that light, which was within a few dayes to rise upon the world. Page  26 He would first celebrate the Passeover, and there nullifie it,* to make it appeare unto the world that he did not therefore abrogate that holy ordinance, because he oppugn'd it, but because hee fulfil'd it, and therefore to the substance hee joynes the shaddow, the Lamb of the Jewes, to the Lamb of God, the true sacrifice, to that which was typi∣call, that the brightnesse of the one, might abolish and swallow up the shaddow of other. In the evening at the time of unlea∣vened bread, to signifie that we also (it is the Inference of the Apostle) should keep our Feast not with the leavened bread of malice,* or of wickednesse, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth: That we should not venture to play the hucksters with so di∣vine and pure mysteries,* by adulterating them with either the mixture of humane inventi∣ons, or with the mud of our owne sinfull affe∣ctions. In the evening at the time of Supper, to note the most wiling & ready, yea, the forward and greedy resigning himselfe into the hands of bloody and cruell men;* to signifie that un∣to him it was meat and drink not only to doe, but to suffer his Fathers will. In the evening of that same night,* wherein he was betrayed to give first a warrant unto his Church, of his approaching passion, which, though so intol∣lerable for the quality and burthen of it, that it could not but amze his humanity, and draw Page  27 from him that naturall and importunate ex∣pression of the desire he had to decline it,* yet in their elements did hee ascertaine the Church,* that as he came to drink of the brook in the way, so hee should not shrink from drinking the very bitterest part of it.

And secondly in the night wherein hee was betrayed, to forearme his poore disciples with comfort against the present losse of him, and against all that anguish which their tender hearts must needs suffer at the sight of that bloody and savage usage, which Iudas and the Jewes would shew towards their Master. And therefore in these elements he acquaints them with the nature and quality of his passion, that it should be as Bread to strengthen, and as Wine to comfort the faint hearted, to con∣firme the knees that tremble, and the hands that hang downe. Thirdly it was the night wherein he was betrayed,* to let us under∣stand that these words were the words of a ding man, and therefore to be religiously ob∣served,* and that this Sacrament was the work of a dying man,* and therefore in its nature a Gift or Legacy. In his life time hee gave his Church, his Word, and his Miracles, he went about doing good, but now in his passion he bestowed that which added weight and value, to all his other gifts, himselfe. Other men use to bequeath their bodyes to the earth, from whence it came;* but Christs body was Page  28 not to see corruption, and therefore hee be∣queath'd it unto the Church. It was his bo∣dy by his hypostaticall and reall but it is ours by a mysticall and spirituall union.* Whatsoever fulnesse is in him,* of it have we all received; whatsoever graces and merits flow from him as the head, they trickle down as farre as the skirts of his garment, the mean∣est of his chosen: the paines of his wounds were his, but ours is the benefit; the suffrings of his death were his, but ours is the mercy; the stripes on his back were his, but the balme that issued from them ours; the thornes on his head were his, but the Crowne is ours; the holes in his hands and side were his, but the blood that ran out was ours: in a word, the price was his, but the purchase ours. The corne is not grinded, nor baked, nor broken for it selfe; the grape is not brized nor pres∣sed for it selfe; these actions rather destroy the nature of the elements than perfect them; but all these violations that they suffer are for the benefit of man. No marvell then if the Angells themselves stoop and gaze upon so deep a mysterie, in which it is impossible to decide whether is greater the Wonder or the Mercy.

If we look unto the Place* where this Sa∣crament was celebrated even there also shall we find matter of meditation,* for we may not think that two Evangelists would bee so ex∣presse Page  29 and punctuall in describing the Place, i there were not some matter of consequence to be observed in it. First then it was a bor∣rowed roome,* he that had no hole where to lay his head in, had no place where to eat the Passeover. We may not then expect in Christs new Supper any variety of rich and costly dishes; as his Kingdome is not, so neither is his Supper of this world. It was not his purpose to make our worship of him a chargeable ser∣vice, and to enjoyne us such a table, as should six our thoughts on the meats rather than on the substance which they resembled. Hee knew that where the senses are overcharg'd faith lies unexercis'd: and therefore he pro∣portion'd his Supper both to the quality of his own estate, which was poore, & to the con∣dition of our weaknesse, apt (as the Church af∣ter in her love-feasts found) to be rather temp∣ted than edified in too much variety of out∣ward meats.* It was likewise an upper roome, to note the dignitie and divinenesse of this Sa∣crament, and that property of lifting up the hearts, which it should work in the receivers of it.* Our thoughts and affections while con∣versant about these mysteries should not lie groveling on the earth, but should be raised unto high and noble contemplations.* And this particular of the place may seeme to have been imitated by the Churches, in place∣ing the Lords Table and celebrating the Lords Page  30 Supper in the Chancell or upper roome of the Temple; besides, it was a spatious and great roome, and so it should bee, for it was a great Supper, the Supper of a King. The Dis∣ciples were then the type & representative of the whole Catholick Church, which was now by them to be begotten unto God, and ther∣fore the Chamber must needs be a resemblance and Modell of the whole world throughout which the sound of Christs name, and the memory of his passion, should in his Supper be celebrated untill the end of all things, and then no marvell if it were a great Chamber. Lastly, it was ready spread, fitted, trimmed, and prepared. So sacred a mysterie as this may not be exhibited in an unfitted, or uncleane place, much lesse received into a corrupt and unprepared soule. The body of Christ was never to see corruption, and therefore it will never be mix'd with corruption. It lay first in a cleane womb, it was after buried in a virgin Sepulcher; it then was taken into the brightest heavens, and it still resides in molten and purifide hearts. He that had the purity of a Dove, will never take up the loding of a Crow. Here then we see from these cir∣cumstances with what reverence and prepara∣tion, with what affection and high esteeme we should receive these sacred mysteries. The gift of a dying friend (though of con∣temptible value) is yet greatly prized for the Page  31 memory of the donor; for though the thing it selfe be small, yet is it the pledge of a great love.* The words of a dying man, though for∣merly vile and vaine, are for the most part se∣rious and grave, how much more pretious was the gift of Christ, who is the Almoner of Almighty God, and whose only businesse it was to give gifts unto men: how much more sacred were his last words,* who all his life time spake as never man spake. The very presence of a dying man estamps on the mind an affe∣ction of feare and awe, much more should the words and gifts of him who was dead and is alive againe. Certainly he hath a flinty soule whom love as strong as death,* and death the work of that love cannot melt into a sympa∣thie of affection. In summe: the Time of this Sacrament was a time of passion, let not us be stupid; it was a time of passeover, let not our soules be unsprinkled; it was a time of unleavened bread, let not our doctrine of it, be adulterated with the leaven of heresie, not our soules in receiving, tainted with the lea∣ven of malice; it was the time of betraying Christ, let not our hands againe play the Iudas by delivering him unto jewish and sinfull soules, which will crucifie againe unto them∣selves the Lord of glory; let not us take that pretious blood into our hands rather to shed it, than to drink it, and by receiving the body of Christ unworthily, make it as the sop was Page  32 to Iudas even an harbenger to provide roome for Satan. Againe the place of the Sacrament was a high Roome, let not our soules lie sink∣ing in a dungeon of sin; it was a great roome, let not our soules be straightned in the enter∣taining of Christ; it was a trimmed roome, let not oursoules be sluttish and uncleane when then the King of glory should enter in: but as the Author of those mysteries was holy by a fulnesse of grace, the elements holy by his blessing, the tyme holy by his ordination, and the place holy by his presence; so let us by the receiving of them bee transformed as it were into their nature, and bee holy by that union unto Christ, of which they are as well the instrumentall meanes whereby it is in∣creased, as the seales and pledges whereby it is confirm'd.

CHAP. VII.

Of the matter of the Lords Supper, Bread and Wine, with their Analogie unto Christ.

WEE have considered the Author or efficient of this Sacrament and those circumstances which were annexed unto its Institution: we may now a little consider the essentiall parts of it, and first the elements, or matter of which it con∣consisteth Page  33 consecrated bread & wine: it neither stood with the outwad poverrty of Christ, nor with the benefit of the Church to insti∣tute sucha sumptuous and gaudy elements as might possesse too much the sense of the be∣holder, and too little resemble the quality of the Saviour. And therefore he choose his Sa∣craments rather for the fitnesse, than the beau∣ty of them, as respecting more the end, than the splendor or riches of his Table, and in∣tended rather to manifest his divine power in altering poore elements unto a pretious use, than to exhibit any carnall pompe in such de∣licious fare as did not agree with the spiritu∣alnesse of his Kingdome. Though he be con∣tented out of tendernesse toward our weak∣nesse to stoop unto our senses, yet he will not cocker them; as in his reall and naturall bo∣dy b, so in his representative, the Sacrament, a sensuall or carnall eye sees not either forme or beauty, for which it may bee desired. Pi∣ctures ought to resemble their originalls, and the Sacrament wee know is the picture or type of him who was ac man of sorrow, and this picture was drawne when the dayd of Gods fierce wrath was upon him, and can we then expect from it any satisfaction or plea∣sure to the senses: this body was naked on the Crosse, it were incongruous to have the Sacrament of it pompous on the Table. As it was the will of the Father, which Christ both Page  34 glorifies and admires, to reveale unto babes what hee hath hidden from the wise; so is it here his wisedome to communicate by the meanest Instruments, what he hath denied un∣to the choisest delicates: to feed his Daniels rather with polse than with all the dainties on the Kings table. And if we observe it, di∣vine miracles take ever the poorest & meanest subjects to manifest themselves on. If he want an army to protect his Church, fliesd, & frogse, and catterpillers, and lampsf, and pitchers &c. shall be the strongest souldiersg and weapons he useth; the lameh, and the blindi, the dumbk, and the deadl, waterm, & clayn▪ these are ma∣terialls for his power: even where thou seest the instruments of God weakest, there ex∣pect and admire the more abundant manifesta∣tion of his greatnesse, & wisedome; underva∣lue not then the Bread and Wine in this holy Sacrament which doe better resemble the benefits of Christ crucified than any other the choisest delicate. Bread and Wine, the ele∣ment is double to encrease the comfort of the faithfull, that byo two things wher∣in it is impossible for God to deceive, wee might have strong consolation who have laid hold upon him. Thep dreame is doubled said Iosph to Pharoah, because the thing is cer∣taine: and surely here the element is doubled too that the grace may be the more certaine. No marvell then if those men who deny Page  35 unto the people the certainty of grace, deny unto them likewise these double elements: so fit is it, that they which preached but a halfe comfort, should administer likewise but a half Sacrament. Secondly Bread and Wine. In cthe Passeover there was blood shed, but there was none drunken: yea that flesh which was eaten was but once a yeare. Theyd who had all in types had yet their types as it were imperfect.e In the fulnesse of time came Christ, and with or in Christ came the ful∣nesse of grace, and of his fulnesse doe we re∣ceive in the Gospell, which the Jewes only expected in the promise, thatg they without us might not be made perfect: these thingsh have I spoken saith Christ, that your joy might be full: the fulnesse of our Sacrament notes also the fullnesse of our Salvation, and of his sa∣crifice who is ablei perfectly to save those that come unto God by him. Thirdly Bread and Wine: common, vulgar, obvious food, (wine with water being the only knowne drinke with them in those hot Countries) amongst the Jewes a lamb was to bee slaine, a more chargeable and costly Sacrament, not so easie for the poore to procure, And therefore in the Sacrifice of first fruits, thek poore were dispenc'd with, and for a Lamb offred a pair of pigeons. Christ nowl hath broken down that partition wall, that wall of inclosure which made the Church as am garden with hedges, Page  36 and made only the rich, the people of the Jewes, capable of Gods Covenants and Sacraments: now that Gods Table hath crumms as well as flesh,a the Dogs, the Gen∣tiles eat of it too; the poorest in the world is admitted to it, even as the poorest that are do shift for bread, though they are not able to provide flesh. Then the Church was ab foun∣taine sealed up, but in Christ there was ac fountaine opened for transgressions and for sinnes. Fourthly Bread and Wine, Breadd to strengthen, and Wine to comfort. All tem∣porall benefitse are in divine Dialect called Bread, it being the staffef of life, and the want of which though in a confluence of all other blessings causeth famineg in a Land. See here the abundant sufficiency of Christs passion, It is the universall food of the whole Church, which sanctifieth all other blessings, without which they have no relish nor comfort in them. Sinne and the corrupt nature of man hath a venemous quality in it to turne all other good things into poyson, unlesse corre∣cted by this antitode, this Breadh of life, that came downe from heaven. And well may it be called a bread of life, in as much as in it re∣sides a power of trans-elementation, that whereas other nourishments doe themselves turne into the substance of the receiver,* this quite otherwise transformes and affirmilates the soule unto the Image of it selfe, whatsoe∣ver Page  37 faintnesse we are in, if we hunger after Christ hee can refresh us; whatsoever feares oppresse us, if likea men opprest with feare, we thirst & gaspe after his blood, it will com∣fort us; whatsoever weaknesse either our sinnes or suffrings have brought us to, the staffe of this bread will support us; whatsoe∣ver sorrowes of mind, or coldnesse of affecti∣on doe any way surprize us, this wine, or ra∣ther this bloud (inb which only is true life) will with great efficacy quicken us. If wee want power, wee have the powerc of Christs Crosse; if victory, we have the vi∣ctory dof his Crosse; if Triumph, we have the triumphe of his Crosse; if peace, we have the peacef of his Crosse; if wisdome, we have the wisdomeg of his Crosse. Thus is Christ crucified a Treasureh to his Church, full of all sufficient provision both for necessitie and delight. Fiftly, Bread and Wine, both of parts homogeneall, and alike; each part of Bread, bread; each part of Wine, wine; no crumme in the one, no drop in the other, differing from the quality of the whole. O the admi∣rable nature of Christs blood to reduce the affections and the whole man to one uniforme and spirituall nature with it selfe. In so much that when we shall come to the perfect fruiti∣on of Christs glorious Body, our very bo∣dyes likewise shall be spiritualli bodies; spiri∣tuall in an uniformity of glory, though not of Page  38 nature with the soule.a Sinnes commonly are jarring and contentious; one affection strug∣gles in the same soule with another for ma∣stery, ambition fights with malice, and pride with covetousnesse, the head plots against the heart, and the heart swells against the head; reason and appetite, will and passion, soule & body set the whole frame of nature in a continuall combustion, like anb unjoynted or broken arme, one faculty moves contrary to the government or attraction of another, and so as in a confluence of contrary streames and winds, the soule is whirld about in a maze of intestine contentions. But when once we becomec conformable unto Christs death, it presently makes ofd two one, and so worketh peace, it slayeth that hatred and warre in the members, and reduceth all unto that primi∣tive harmony, unto that uniforme spiritual∣nesse, whichf changeth us all into the same Image from glory to glory. Sixtly Bread and Wine: as they are homogeneall, so are they gunited together, and wrought out of divers particular graines and grapes into one whole lump or vessell: and thereforeh Bread and blood even amongst the Heathen were used for emblemes of leagues, friendship, and Mariage the greatest of all unions. See the wonderfull effiacy of Christ crucified to sod∣der as it were, and joynt all his members into one body by love, as they are united unto Page  39 him by faith. They are built up asi living stones through him who is the chiefe corner stone elect and pretious unto one Temple; they are all united by love, by thek bond or sinewes of peace unto him who is thel head, and transfuseth through them all the same vitall nourishment; they are all them flock of Christ reduc'd unto one fold by that one chiefen Shepheard of their soules, who came to gather those that wandred either from him in life, or from one another in affection. Lastly Bread and Wine, sever'd and asunder; that to be eaten, this to be drunken; that in a loafe, this in a Cup: It is not the bloud of of Christ running in his veynes, but shed on his members that doth nourish his Church. Impious therefore is their practice, who powre Christs blood as it were into his body againe, and shut up his wounds, when they deny the Cup unto the people under pre∣tence that Christs Body being received, the blood by way of concomitancy is received together with it: and so seale up that preti∣ous Fountaine which he had opened, and make a monopoly of Christs sacred wounds, as if his blood had been shed only for the Priest, and not as well for the people; or as if the Church had power to withhold that from the people of Christ which himselfe had given them.

Page  40

CHAP. VIII.

Practicall inferenes from the materials of the Lords Supper.

HEre then we see first, in as much as these Elements are so neces∣sary and beneficiall to that life of man, with what appetite we should approach these holy my∣steries, even with hungry and thirsty soules, longing for the sweetnesse of Christ crucified. Wheresoever God hath bestowed a vitall be∣ing, hee hath also afforded nourishment to sustaine it, and an inclination and attractive faculty in the subject towards its nourishment. Even the new-borne Babe by the impression of nature, is moved to use the breasts before he knowes them. Now we which were dead in sinnes hath Christ quickned,* and hath infu∣sed into us a vitall principle, even that faith by which the just doa live; which being instilled into us, Christ beginneth to be formedb in the soule, and the whole man to be made confor∣mable cunto him. Then are the parts organced and fitted for their severall workes; there is an eye with Stephen to see Christ, an eare with Mary, to heare him; a mouth with Peter, to confesse him; a hand with Thomas, to touch him; an arme with Simeon, to imbrace him; Page  41 feet, with his Disciples, to follow him; a heart to entertaine him, and bowels of affecti∣on to love him. Alld the members are wea∣pons of righteousnesse; and thuse is the new man, the newf creature perfected. Now hee that left notg himselfe amongst the Heathen without a witnesse, but filled even their hearts with food and gladnesse, hath not certainly left his owne chosen without nourishment, such as may preserve them in that estate which he hath thus framed them unto. As therefore newh Infants are fed with the same nourishment and substance of which they consist; so the same Christ crucified, is as the cause and matter of our new birth, so the food which sustaineth and preserveth us in it: unto whose body and blood there must needs be as proportionable an appetite in a new Christi∣an, as there is untoi Milke in a new Infant; it being more nourishable then Milke, and faith more vitall to desire it then nature. And all this so much the rather, because he himselfe did begin unto us in a more bitter Cup. Did he on his Crosse drinkk Gall and Vinegar for me, and that also made infinitely more biter by my sinnes, and shal not I at his Table drink Wine for my selfe, made infinitely sweeter with the blood which it conveighs? Did hee drink a Cupl of bitternesse and wrath, and shal not I drink the Cup of blessingm? Did he eat the bread of affliction, and shall not I eat the Page  42 bread of life? Did he suffer his Passion, and shall not I enjoy it? Did he stretch out his hands on the Crosse, and shall mine be withe∣red and shrunken towards his Table? Cer∣tainly it is a presumption that he is not only sick but desperate, who refuseth that nourish∣ment which is both food to strengthen, and Physick to recover him. Secondly, the benefit of Christ being so obvious as the commons, and so sufficient as the properties of these Ele∣ments declare: we see how little we should be dismaid at any either inward weaknesses and bruses of minde, or outward dangers and assaults of enemies, having so powerfull a re∣medy so neere unto us: how little we ought to trust in any thing within our selves, whose sufficiency and nourishment is from without. There is no created substance in the world but receives perfection from some other things; how much more must Man who hath lost his owne native integrity go out of him∣selfe to procure a better estate, which in vaine he might have done for ever, had not God first (if I may so speak) gone out of himselfe, humbling the Divine Nature unto a personall union with the humane. And now having such an Immanuel as is with us, not only by assuming us unto himselfe in his incarnation, but by communicating himselfe to us in these sacred Mysteries: whatsoever weaknesses dis∣mayes us, his body is bread to strengthen us, Page  43 whatsoever waves or tempests rise against us: his wounds are holes to hide and shelter us: what though sinne be poyson, have we not here the bread of Christ for an Antidote? What though it be red as Skarlet, is not his blood of a deeper colour? What though the Darts of Satan continually wound us, is not the issue of his wounds the balme for ours? Let me be fed all my dayes with bread of affli∣ction, and water of affliction, I have another bread, another Cup to sweeten both. Let Sa∣tan tempt mee to despaire of life, I have in these visible and common Elements, the Au∣thor of life made the food of life unto me; let who will perswade me to trust a little in my owne righteousnesse, to spie out some ga∣spings and faint reliques of life in my selfe: I receive in these signes an all-sufficient Savi∣our, and I will seeke for nothing in my selfe when I have so much in him. Lastly, we see here, both from the example of Christ who is the patterne of unity, and from the Sacra∣ment of Christ which is the Symboll of unity, what a conspiracy of affections ought to be in us, both betweene our owne, and towards our fellow-members. Thinke not that thou hast worthily received these holy mysteries, till thou finde the image of that unity which is in them, conveighed by them into thy soule. As the breaking of the bread is the Sacrament of Christs Passion, so the aggregation of many Page  44 graines into one masse should be a Sacrament of the Churches unitya. What is the reason that the bread and the Church should be both called in the Scripture by the same name? The breadb is the body of Christ, and the Churchc is the body of Christ too? Is it not because as the bread is one Loafe out of diverse cornes, so the Church is one body out of diverse Be∣leevers; that the representative, this the my∣sticall body of the same Christ. Even as the Word,d and the Spirit,e, and the faithfull,f, are in the Scripture all called by the same name of seedg, because of that assimulating vertue, whereby the one received, doth trans∣forme the other into the similitude and na∣ture of it selfeh. If the beames of the Sunne, though divided and distinct from one another, have yet a unity in the same nature of light, *because all pertake of one native and originall splendor: if the limbes of a Tree, though all severall, and spreading different wayes, yet have a unity in the same fruits, because all are incorporated into one stock or root: if the streames of a River, though running diverse wayes, doe yet all agree in a unity of sweet∣nesse and cleerenesse, because all issuing from the same pure Fountaine: why then should not the Church of Christ, though of severall and divided qualities and conditions, agree in a unity of truth and love, Christ being the Sunne whence they all receive their light, Page  45 the Vinel into which they are all ingrafted and the Fountainm that is opened unto them all for transgressions and for sins.

CHAP. IX.

Of the Analogy and proportion betweene the holy Actions used by Christ in this Sacrament, and Christ himselfe who is the substance of it.

IT followes now, that we enquire farther into the nature of this holy Sacrament, which will be explained by considering the Analogie, fitnesse, and similitude betweene the signes, and the things signified by them, and conferred or exhibited toge∣ther with them, which is Christ the Lord. Now, this Analogie or fitnesse as it hath been in some generall manner expres'd in the na∣ture or quality of the elements substantially or physically taken; so more expressely and punctually is it propos'd unto us in those ho∣ly aactions which doe alter in the use, and make it a Sacrament. And first we finde that Christ tooke the Bread and Wine, and blessed it, and gave thanks, and so consecrated it, or set a part unto a holy or solemne use,* which is the reason why Saint Paul calls it a Cup Page  46 of blessing; so that unto the Church it ceaseth cto be that which nature had made it, and beginnes to be that unto which the blessing had consecrated it: In like manner did the eternall Sonne of God assume into the sub∣sistance of his owne infinite person, the whole nature of man, the body and the soule, by the vertue of which wonderfull union notwith∣standing the properties of the divine nature, remaine absolutely intransient and uncom∣municable unto the humane; yet are there shed from that inexhaustible fountaine many high and glorious endowments, by which the humanity under this manner of subsistence is dannoynted,*consecrated,e sealed, and set apart for that work of incomprehensible love and power, the redemption of the world: and secondly as the Bread is taken by us from Christ in the nature of a gift, he brake it and gave it to his Disciples; so is the humane na∣ture taken by Christ from the Father as a giftf, from the good pleasure of God. Thirdly, as the taking of the Bread by Christ did alter only the manner of its being, the operation, and efficacy, the dignity and use, but no way at all the element or nature of the Bread. Even so the taking of the humane bo∣dy by Christ did conferre indeed upon it many glorious effects, and advance it to an estate farre above its common and ordinary capacity (alwayes yet reserving those defects Page  47 and weaknesses which were required in the aeconomie, and dispensation of that great work for which he assumed it) but yet he ne∣ver alterd the essentiall and naturall qualities of the body, but kept it still within the mea∣sure and limits of the created perfection which the wisdome of God did at first share out unto it. Lastly, to (come neerer unto the Crosse of Christ) as hee did by prayer and thanksgiving consecrate their elements unto a holy use; so did he immediately before his passion (of which this is the Sacrament) make that consecratoryg prayer and thanks∣giving which is registred for the perpetuall comfort of his Church.

The second Action is the breaking of the Bread, and powering the Wine into the Cup, which doth neerly expresse his crucified Bo∣dy; whereh the joynts were loosed, the sinewes torne, the flesh bruized and peirced, the skin rent, the whole frame violated by that straining and razeing and cutting, and stretching, and wrentching, which was used in the crucifying of it, and by thei shedding of that pretious blood which stop'd the issue and flux of ours. It were infinite and intri∣care to spin a meditation into a controversie, about the extent and nature of Christs passi∣on: but certainly, whatsoever either Ignomi∣nie, or Agony his body suffered (which two conceive to comprize all the generalls of Page  48 Christ crucified) are if not particularly ex∣pressed, yet typically and sacramentally shad∣dowed and exhibited in the Bread broken, and the Wine powred out.

The third Action was the giving, or deli∣vering of the Bread and Wine: which first, evidently expresseth the nature and quality of Christ crucified, with these benefits which flow from him, that they are freely bestowed upon the Church, which of it selfe had no in∣terest or claime unto any thing save death. Secondly, we see the nature of Christs passi∣on, that it was a free, voluntary, and uncon∣strained passion, for though it be true that Iu∣dasadid betray him, and Pilate deliver him to bee crucified: yet none of this was the giving of Christ, but the selling of him. It was not for us, but for mony that Iudas de∣liver'd him, it was not for us, but for feare that Pilate deliver'd him:b but God deli∣ver'd the Sonne, and the Sonne deliver'd himselfe with a most mercifull and gracious will to bestow his death upon sinners, and not to get, but to be himselfe a price. The Passion then of Christ was most freely under∣taken c(without which free-will of his own, they couldd never have laid hold on him) and his death was a most free and voluntary explication, his life was not wrentched nor wrung from him, nor snatch'd or torne from him by the bare violence of any forraine Page  49 Impression; but was with a loud voice (ar∣guing nature not brought to utter decay) most freelye surrendred andf laid downe by that power which did after reassume it. But how then comes it to passe that there lay a ne∣cessicie gupon Christ of suffring, which ne∣cessicie may seeme to have enforc'd and con∣strain'd him to Golgatha, in as much as hee himselfe did not only shrinke, but even testi∣fie his dislike of what he was to suffer by a redoubled prayerh unto his Father that that Cup might passe from him? doth not fearei make Actions involuntary, or at least dero∣gate and detract from the fulnesse of their liberty? and Christ did fearek, how then is it that Christs Passion was most voluntary though attended with necessitie, feare, and reluctance? surely it was most voluntary still, and first therefore necessary because vo∣luntary, the maine and primitive reason of the necessitie, being nothing else but that im∣mutable will which had fore-decreed it. Christs death then was necessary by a neces∣sitie of the event, which musts needs come to passe after it had once beenl fore-determined by that most wise will of God, which never useth to repent him of his counsells; but not by a necessitie of the cause, which was most free and voluntary. Againe, necessary it was in regard of the Scriptures, whose truth could not miscarry, in regard of the promises made Page  50 of him, which were to be performed, in re∣gard of propheticall predictions which were to be fulfilled, in regard of typicall prefigura∣tions, which were to bee abrogated, and se∣conded with that substance which they did fore-shaddow, but no way necessary in oppo∣sition to Christs will, which was the first mo∣ver into which both this necessitie and all the causes of it are to be finally resolv'd.

And then for the fear and reluctance of Christ, noe marvell if he who was in all things like unto us, had his share in the same passions and affections like wise though without sin. But neither of these did any way derogate from the most free Sacrifice which hee himselfem offered once for all, in asmuch as there was an absolute submission of the inferiour to the higher will, and the inferiour it selfe, shrunk not at the obedience, but at the pain. To ex∣plaine this more cleerly, considern in Christ a double Will, or rather a double respect of the same Will. First the naturall Will of Christ, whereby hee could but wish well unto himselfe, and grone after the conservation of that being, whose anguish and dissolution did now approach; whereby he could not upon the immediate burdeno of the sinne of man, and the wrath of God buto feare,p and not∣withstanding the assistance of Angellsq drop downe a sweatr, as full of wonder as it was of torment, great drops of blood, and then no Page  51 marvell if we here, Father if it be possible let this Cup passe from me. But then again consider not the naturall, but the mercifull will of Christ by which he intended to appease the wrath of an offended, & by any other unsatisfi∣able God; the removall of an unsupportable curse, the redemption, of his own, and yet his fellow creaturs, the giving them accesse unto a father, who was before a consuming fire, in a word, the finishing of that great work which the Angles desire to looke into, and then wee finde that hee did freely lay downe his life and most willingly embraced what hee most natu∣rally did abhorre. As if Christ had said (if wee may venture to paraphrase his sacred words) Father thou hast united mee to such a nature whose Created and Essentiall property it is to shrink from any thing that may destroy it, and therefore if it be thy Will let this Cupp passe from mee: But yet I know that thou hast likewise annoynted mee to fullfill the eter∣nall Decree of thy love, and to the perfor∣mance of such an office the dispensation wher∣of requires the dissolution of my assumed na∣ture, and therefore not as I, but as thou wilt. So then both the desire of preser∣vation was a naturall desire, and the of∣fring up of his Body was a free-will offring. And indeed the light of nature hath required a kind of willingnesse, even in the Heathens bruit Sacrifices. And therefore the beastsPage  52 was led, and not haled to the Altar; and the struggling of it, or flying and breaking from the Altar, or bellowing and crying was ever coun∣ted ominous and unhappy. Now our Saviour Christs willingnesse to offer up himselfe is herein declared, in that hee openedb not his mouth; in that he suffred such a death where∣in hee first did bearec the Crosse before it bore him, in that hee dehortedd the women that followed after him to weepe or expresse any passion of willingnesse for his death. Thus did hee in his passion, and still doth in his Sa∣crament really, perfectly, and most willingly give himselfe unto his Church. In somuch as that the Oyle of that unction which consecra∣ted him unto that bitter worke, is called an Oylee of gladnesse. So then Christ freely offreth both in himselfe Originally, and in his Sacraments Instrumentally, all grace sufficient for nurishment unto life, to as many as reach forth to receive or entertaine it.

Page  53

CHAP. X.

Of the fourth Action, with the reasons why the Sacrament is to be eaten and drunken.

THe fourth and last Action made mention of in this Sacrament, is the eating of the bread, and the drinking of the wine, after wee have taken them from the hands of Christ: to signifie unto us, that Christ crucified is the life and food of a Christian that receiveth him. Here are the degrees of faith: first we take Christ, and then we eat him. There are none that finde any nourishment or relish in the blood of Christ, but those who have received him, and so have an interest, propriety, and title to him. He must first be ours, before we can taste any sweetnesse in him; ours first in possession and claime, and after ours in fruition and comfort. For all manner of sweetnesse is a consequent and effect of some propriety which we have unto the good thing which causeth it; unto the which the neerer our in∣terest is, the greater is the sweetnesse that we finde in it. In naturall things we may observe, how nothing will be kindly nourished in any other place or meanes, than those unto which nature hath given it a primitive right and sym∣thy. Page  54 Fishes perish in the aire, and Spice-trees dye and wither in these colder Countries, be∣cause Nature had denyed them any claime or propriety unto such places.* We are all bran∣ches, and Christ is a Vine: now no branch re∣ceiveth juyce or nourishment, unlesse first it be inserted into the stock. If we are not first ingrafted into Christ, and so receive the right of branches, we cannot expect any nourish∣ment from him.* As the name which was written in that white Stone, was knowne unto him only that had it, so in these mysteries which have the impresse and character of Christs Passion on them; Christ is knowne and enjoyed onely by those, who first take him, and so have a hold and right unto him. But why is it that Christ in this Sacrament should be eaten and drunken? Cannot the benefit of his Passion be as well conveighed by the eye as by the mouth? It was the joya of Abraham that he saw Christs day, the com∣fortb of Simeon that hee had seene Gods sal∣vation, the supportc of Stephen that hee saw Christ in his kingdome, the faithd of Thomas that he saw his resurrection; and why is it not enough that wee see the passion of Christ in this Sacrament, wherein he is crucifiede be∣fore our eyes? Certainlyf if wee looke into the Scriptures wee shall find nothing more common, than the Analogie and resemblance betwixt spirituall grace and naturall food. Page  55 Hence it is that we so often read ofg Manna from Heaven, Water from the Rock, Trees in Paradise, Applesi and Flagons for Christs Spouse, Wisdomes feastk, and the marriage feastl of hungringm and thirsting, and sucking of marrow and fatnesse, and Milken, and Ho∣ney, and infinite the like expressions of divine grace: the reasons whereof are many and im∣portant. First, to signifie the benefit we re∣ceive by Christ crucified, exhibited unto us in his last Supper, by thato Analogie and simi∣litude which is betwixt him and those things we eat and drink. Now meates are all either Physicall, common, or costly, either for the re∣storing, or for the supporting, or for the de∣lighting of nature; and they have all some of those excellent properties of goodp which Aristotle hath observed, either to conserve nature entire, or to restore it when it hath beene violated, or to prevent diseases ere they creep upon it. And all these benefits do the faithfull receive by Christ. First, his body and blood is an Antidote against all infections of sin, or feare of death. When he said, Feareq not, it is I. It was an argument of comfort which no temptation could repell. Secondly, it hath a purging and purifying property. Ther blood of Christ clenseth us from all sinne. Thirdly, it hath a quickning, preserving, and strengthning power. Christs is our life, and ourt life is hid with Christu, and Christ liveth Page  56 in us, and he hath quicknedw us together with Christ, and we area able to do all things through Christ that strengtheneth us. And lastly, it hath a joying and delighting proper∣ty, I rejoyceb in nothing but in the Crosse of Christ: I countc all things dung that I may winne Christ, and I protestd by our rejoycing which we have in Christ. Whether we want Physick to cure us, or strong meats to nou∣rish us, or sweet meats to delight us, Christ is unto us all in all, our health, our strength, our joy.

Secondly, the Sacrament is eaten and drunken, to signifie the necessity we stand in of Christ crucified: many things there are usuall in the life of man both for delight and profit; beautifull and pleasant objects for the eye; melody and harmony for the eare; oint∣ments and odours for the smell; curiosities and luxuriancies of invention for the fancie: but there is no faculty of nature that doth so immediately concurre to the support and pre∣servation of the whole man, as the sense of Tasting, which is, as it were the Sluce & in-let to life; without which we have not so much as a capacity of that delight, which other objects of an inferiour and subordinate nature can af∣ford: even so many things theree are where∣in the children of God may and ought to take pleasure and solace, even as many as we ac∣knowledge from God for blessing; but there Page  57 is nothing in the world which is the object and principle of our life, but only Christ: no quality in man, which is the Instrument and Organ of our life, but onely a lively and ope∣rative faith, by which only we tastef how gra∣cious the Lord is. The justg shall live by faith; and I liveh by the faith of the Son of God: and wherei the body is, thither do the Eagles flye, that they may eat and live.

Thirdly, the Sacrament is eaten and drun∣ken to shew unto us the greedy desire which is and ought to be in the hearts of Beleevers towards Christ crucified. There is no one faculty in man will so much put to its utmost for procuring satisfaction, as this of Tasting if once brought into anguish or straits. Because as Deathk in the generall is most terrible, so much more that lingringl death which con∣sumes with famine; and therefore no power of nature more importunate and clamorous for satisfaction; no motive stronger to worke a love, and attempt a conquest on any nation, than an experience of such excellent com∣modities as may from thence be obtained for the releeving of this one faculty. And there∣fore Almighty God when he would provoke the people to forsake Egypt, and comfort them with the newes of a better Countrey, describes it by the plenty that it brought forth; Im will bring you to a Land which floweth with Milke and Honey. And when Page  58 the people murmured against God in the Wildernesse, all that hatred of Egypt which the tyranny of the Land had wrought in them, all the toyle and servitude that was redoubled on them, was wholly swallowed up by the one consideration of flesh-potsb and Onions which they there enjoyed. Andc when by Gods appointment Spies were sent into Ca∣naan, to enquire of the goodnesse of the Land, their Commission was to bring of the fruit of the Land unto the people, that thereby they might be encouraged unto a desire of it. And we finde how the Roman Emperours did strictly prohibit the transportation of Wine, or Oile, or other pleasant commodities unto barbarous Nations, left they might prove ra∣ther temptations to some mischievous de∣signe, than matters of mutuall intercourse and trafique. No marvell then if the Sacrament of Christ crucified, who was to be the Desireeof all Nations, the desire of whom was not on∣ly to transcend and surpasse, but even (after a sort) to nullifief all other desires, be received with that faculty which is the seat of the most eager and importunate desire.

Fourthly, we eat and drink the Sacrament, to intimate unto us the conformity of the faithfull unto Christ. As in all the appeties and propensions of naturall things we finde an innate amity, betwixt the natures that doe so incline towards, or imbrace one another, so Page  59 principally in this maine appetite unto food, is there ever found a proportion betweene nature and its nourishment: insomuch, that younga Infants are nourished with that very matter of which their substance consisteth. Whatsoever hath repugnant qualities unto nature, she is altogether impatient of it, and is never quieted till one way or other she dis∣burthen her selfe. And thus is it, and ought to be betwixt Christ and the faithfull; there is a conspiracyb of affections, motions, passi∣ons, desires, a conformity of being in holi∣nesse, as well as in nature, a similitude, parti∣cipation, and communion with Christ in his death, sufferings, glory. All other things in the world are very unsuitable to the desires of faith, nor are able to satiate a soule which hath tasted Christ, because we finde some∣thing in them of a different, yea, repugnant nature, unto that pretious faith by him infus'd:* no man having tasted old Wine desireth new, for he saith the old is better: and therefore howsoever the wicked may drinke iniquity like water, and rolec it under their tongue as a sweet thing; yet the children of God, who have beene sensible of that venimous quality which lurketh in it, and have tasted of that bread which came downe from Heaven, ne∣ver dthirst any more after the deceitfull plea∣sures, the stolnee waters of sinne; but no soo∣ner have they unadvisedly tasted of it, but pre∣sently Page  60 they feele a warre in their bowels, a strugling and rebellion betweene that faith by which they live, and that poyson which would smother and extinguish it, which by the effi∣cacy of faith, whereby wea overcome the world, is cast out and vomited up in an hum∣ble confession, and so the faithfull do re-gaine their fellowship with Christ, who as he was by his mrits our Saviour unto remission of sins,b so is he by his holinesse our example, and by his Spirit our head, unto newnesse of life.

CHAP. XI.

Of other Reasons why the Sacrament is eaten and drunken, and of the manner of our union and incorporation into Christ.

FIfthly, wee eat and drinke the Sacrament of Christ crucified, to signifie that reall and neere incorporation of the faithfull in∣to Christ their head; for the end of eating is the assimulation of our nourish∣ment and the turning of it into our owne na∣ture and substance, whatsoever cannot bee assimulated is ejected: and thus is it between us and Christ; whence it commeth that wee so often read of thec Inhabitation of Christ in his Church, of his more peculiar presencedPage  61 with and in his people, of our spirituallc in∣grasture into him by faith, of those more neere and approaching relations of Bro∣therhood d, and coinheritancee between Christ and us, that mutuall interest, fellow∣ship, and society which wee have each to other, with infinite other expressions of that divine and expresselesse mixture whereby the faithfull are not only by a consociation of affectionsf and confederacy of wills, but by a reall though mysticall union ingrafted, knit, and as it were joynted unto Christ by the sinew of faith, and so made heires of all that glory and good which in his person was pur∣chased for his members, and is from him dif∣fus'd on them as on the parts and portions of himselfe. So that it pleaseth Gods spirit (as someg do observe) so farre sometimes to ex∣presse this union betwixt Christ and his Church, as to call the Church it selfe by the name of Christ, and every where almost to in∣teresth himselfe in the injuries and suffrings of his Church, yeai to esteeme him self incom∣pleat and maimed without it. And here this mysticall unity between Christ & his Church being by eating and drinking so expressely sig∣nified, and in the Sacrament so gratiously ob∣signated unto us, it will not be impertinent to enlarge somewhat on so divine a point: wher∣soever any thing hath so inward a relation and dependancy on something else, as that it Page  62 subsisteth not, nor can retaine that integri∣ty of being which is due unto it, without that whereon it dependeth, there is necessarily re∣quir'd some manner of union between those two things by meanes whereof the one may derive unto the other, that influence and ver∣tue whereby it is preserved: for broken, dis∣continued and ununited parts receive no suc∣cour from those from which they are divided. (All manner of activity requiring a contract, and immediatnesse between the Agent and the subject) and this one proofe of that omni∣presence and immensity which we attribute unto God, whereby he fillethb all creatures, bestowing on them all that generall influence and assistance of his Providence whereby they livec and move and have their being.

But besides this universall presence of God wherwith he doth equally fill all things by his essence, which were from eternity wrapped up in his power and wisedome; there is a more speciall presence and union of his unto the creature; according as he doth in any of them exhibit more expresse Characters of his glorious Attributes: In which sense he is said to be ind Heaven, because hee doth there more especially manifest his power, wise∣dome, and majesty; ine the soft and still voice because there his lenity was more conspicu∣ous, in the burning bushf and in the light cloud, because in them his mercy was more Page  93 express'd, in the mount Sinah*, because there hisherrour was especially declared. Ac∣cording unto which different diffusions of himselfe on the Creature and dispensation of his Attributes, God (without any impeach∣ment of his Immensity) may be said to be ab∣sent, to depart, and to turne away from his Creature, as the words are every where in the Scriptures used. Thus is God united to the creature in generall, by the right of a Cre∣ator, upholdingi all things by his mighty word, without the participation whereof they could not but be annihilated and resol∣ved into their first nothing: but besides, there is a more distinct and nobler kind of union unto his more excellent Creature, man? for as there are some things which partake only of the vertue and efficacy, others which par∣take of the Image and nature of the Sunne; as the bowels of the earth recceive only the vertue, heat and influence, but the beame re∣ceives the very Image and forme of it, light: so in the creatures, some partake of God only as an Agent, as depending on his eternall pow∣er from whence they did originally issue, and by which they doe now still subsist, and so receive only some common Impressions and foot prints of divine vertue, whereby they declarek his glory, others partake of the Imagel of God, of the divinem nature as Saint Peter speaks, and receive from him those two Page  64 speciall properties wherein principally con∣sists the Image of God, holinesse and happinesse, that giving perfection to our working, and this to our being, (which two satisfie the whole compasse of a created desire) and so declare his love; some acknowledge God as their maker, others as their Father, in them is dependance and gubernation only, in these is cognition and inheritance. The bond of this more speciall union of the reasonable creature unto God, was originally the Law of mans creation, which did prescribe unto him the forme, and limits of his working, and subordination unto God, which knot he by his voluntary aversation violating and unty∣ing, there did immediately ensue a dis-union between God and man, so saies the Pro∣phet, your sinnesuhave separated between you and your God. Now as the parts of a body so long as they are by the naturall bonds of joynts and sinewes united to the whole, doe receive from the fountaines of life, the heart and the braine, all comfortable supplies for life and motion, which are due unto them; but being once dissolved and broken off, there then ceaseth all the interest which they had in the principall parts: so as long as man by obedience to the Law, did preserve the union between God and him intire, so long had he an evident participation of all those graces spirituall, which were requisite to the Page  65 holinesse and happinesse of so noble a crea∣ture: but having once transgress'd the Law, and by that meanes broken the knot, he is no more posses'd of that sweet illapse and in∣fluence of the spirit, which quickneth the Church unto eternall life; but haveing united himselfe unto another head, and sub∣jected his parts unto another Prince, even the Princex that ruleth in the children of disobedience, hee is utterly destitute of all di∣vine communion an alieny from the common∣wealth, and by consequence from all the pri∣viledges of Israel, a stranger from the cove∣nant of promise, unacquainted with, yee un∣able to conceive aright of spirituall things, quite shutz out from the Kingdome, yea with∣out God in the world. And thus farre wee have considered the severall unions, which are between the creatures either in generall as creatures, or in particular as reasonable, and God consider'd in the relation of a Crea∣tor, which will give great light to understand both the manner and dignity of this mysticall and evangelicall union betwixt the Church and Christ consider'd under the relation of a Redeemer, by whom we have re-uniona and accesse to the Father; in whom only he hath acceptedb us againe, and given unto us the adoption of children. Now as in the union of God to the creatures, we have before ob∣served the differences of it, that it was either Page  66 generall unto all, or speciall unto some, in which he did either more expressely manifest his glory, or more gratiously imprint his Image: so also in the union of Christ unto us, we may observe something generall whereby he is united to the whole mankind, and some∣thing speciall whereby he is united unto his Church, and that after a double manner; ei∣ther common unto the whole visible assem∣blie of the Christians, or peculiar and pro∣per unto that invisible company who are the immediate members of his misticall body.

First, thenc all man kind may be said to be in Christ, in as much as in the mistery of his incarnation hee tooke on him the selfe same nature, which maketh us to be men, and wher∣by hee is as properly man as any of us,d sub∣ject to the same infermities, liable and naked to the same dangers & temptations, moved by the same Passion, obedient to the same lawes with us, with this only difference, that all this was in him sinlesse and voluntary, in us sinfull and necessary.

Secondly, besides this, there is a farther uni∣on of Christ unto all the Professors of his truth in knowledge and explicite faith, which is by a farther operation infusing into them the light of truth, and some generall graces that which make them serviceable for his Church; even as the root of a tree, will some∣times so farre enliven the branches as shall Page  67 suffice unto the bringing forth of leaves, though it supply not juyce enough for solid fruit: for whatsoever graces the outwad professors of Christianity do receive, they have it all derived on them from Christ; who is the dispencer of his Fathers bounty, and who inlightneth every man that commeth in∣to the World.

Thirdly, there is a more speciall and neere union of Christ to the faithfull, set forth by the resemblances of buildingc, ingrastured, memberse, marriagef, and other the like si∣militudesg in the Scriptures, whereby Christ is made unto us the Originall, and well-spring of all spirituallh life and motion, of all ful∣nesse iand fructificationk. Even as in naturall generation, the soule is no sooner infus'd and united but presently there is sense and vege∣tation derived on the body: so in spirituall new birth, as soone as Christ is formedl in us as the Apostle speakes, then presently are we quicknedm by him, and all the operations of a spirituall life, sense of sin, vegetation, and growth in faith, understanding and know∣ledge of the mysterie of godlinesse, taste and relish of eternall life, begin to shew them∣selves in us. Wen are in Christ by grace, even as by nature we were in Adam. Nowo as from Adam there is a perpetuall transfusion of Ori∣ginall sin on all his posterity, because we were all then not only represented by his person, Page  68 but contained in his loynes; so from Christ, who on the Crosse did represent the Church of God, ande in whom we are, is there by a most speciall influence transfus'd on the Church, some measuref of those graces, those vitall motions, that incorruption, purity, and holinesse, which was given to him without measure; that he alone might be the Authorg and Originall of eternall salvation, the conse∣crated Princeh of glory to the Church: from which consecration of Christ, and sanctificati∣on of the Church, the Apostle inferres a uni∣on betweene Christ and the Church; for he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are of one. And all this, both union or associati∣on with Christ, and communion in those hea∣venly graces which by spirituall influence from him are shed forth upon all his mem∣bers, is brought to passe by this meanes origi∣nally, becausei Christ and we do both par∣take of one and the selfe-same spirit, which spirit conveighs to the faithfull, whatsoever in Christ is communicable unto them. For as the members naturall of man are all conserv'd in the integrity and unity of one body, by that reasonable soule which animates, enlivens, and actuates them, by one simple and undivi∣ded information, without which they would presently fall asunder and moulder into dust: even so the members of Christ are all firmely united unto him, and from him receive all vi∣tall Page  69 motions, by meanes of that common Spi∣rit, which in Christ above measure, in us ac∣cording unto the dispensation of Gods good will, worketh one and the selfe-same life and grace; so that by it, we are all as really com∣pacted into one mysticall body, as if we had all but one common soule. And this is that which we beleeve touching ourafellowship with the Sonne, as S. Iohn cals it; the cleere and ampleb apprehension whereof is left un∣to that place where both our union and like∣nesse to him, and our knowledge of him shall be made perfect.

Sixtly, we eat and drink the Sacrament of Christs Passion, that thereby we may expresse that more closse and sensible pleasure which the faithfull enjoy in receiving of him. For there is not any one sense whose pleasure is more constant and expresse, than this of Ta∣sting: the reasons whereof are manifest. For first it followes by the consequence of oppo∣sites, that that faculty when fully satisfied, must needs be sensible of the greatest plea∣sure whose penury & defect brings the extrea∣mest anguish on nature. For the evill of any thing being nothing else but an obliquity and aberration from that proper good to which it is oppos'd. It must needs follow, that the greater the extent and degrees of an evill are, the more large must the measure of that good be in the distance from which that evill con∣sisteth. Page  70 Now it is manifest that the evill of no senses is so oppressive and terrible unto na∣ture, as are those which violate the taste and touch (which later is ever annexed to the for∣mer;) no ugly spectacles for the eyes, no howles or shrikings for the eare, no stench or infection of aire for the smell, so distastefull, through all which the anguish of a famine would not make a man adventure to purchase any food, though affected even witha noisome qualities. Secondly, the pleasure which na∣ture takes in any good thing, is caused by the union thereof to the faculty, by meanes whereof it is enjoyed; so that the greater the union is, the more necessarily is the pleasure of the thing united. Now there is not any fa∣culty whose object is more closely united un∣to it than this of Tasting: in Seeing, or Hea∣ring, or Smelling, there may be a farre di∣stance betweene us and the things that do so affect us, but no tasting without an immediate application of the object to the faculty. Other objects satisfie though without me, but meats never content nor benefit till they be taken in. Even so is it with Christ and the faithfull: many things there are which affect them with pleasure, but they are without, and at a di∣stance; onely Christ it is, who by being and dwellingb in them, deligheth them. Lastly, we eat and drink the Sacrament of Christ cru∣cified, that therein we may learne to admire Page  71 the wisdome of Gods mercy, who by the same manner of actions doth restore us to life, by which we fell from it. Satan and Death did first assault our eare, and then tooke pos∣session of us by the mouth; Christ and faith chose no other gates to make a re-entry and dispossesse them. Thus as* skilfull Physitians doe often cure a body by the same meanes which did first distemper it, quench heats with heat, and stop one flux of blood by ope∣ning another: so Christ that he may quell Sa∣tan at his owne weapons, doth by the same in∣struments and actions, restore us unto our primitive estate by which he had hurried us downe from it. That those mouthes which were at first open to let in death, may now much more be open, not only to receive, but to praise him, who is made unto us the Author and Prince of life.

Page  72

CHAP. XII.

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, mimcall 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 disunite 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.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]Page  81

CHAP. XIII.

Of the two first ends or effects of the Sacrament, namely the exhibition of Christ to the Church, and the union of the Church to Christ. Of the reall Presence.

HAving thus farre spoken of the na∣ture and quality of this holy Sa∣crament, it followes in Order to treate of the Ends or Effects thereof, on which depends its necessity, and our comfort: our Sacraments are nothing else but Euangelicall Types or shadowes of some more perfect substance; for as the Legall Sa∣crifices were thea shadowes of Christ expe∣cted, and wrapped up in a Cloude of Pre∣dicting, and in the loines of his Predecessors: so this new mysticall Sacrifice of the Gospell is a shadow of Christ risen indeed, but yet hid from us under the Cloud of those Heavens which shall containe him untill the dissolution of all things; for the whole heavens are but as one great cloud which intercept the lustre of that Sunne of Righteousnesse who enligh∣teneth every one that commeth into the world: now shadowes are for the refreshing of us a∣gainst the lustre of any light unto which the weaknesse of the sense is yet disproportioned: as there are many things for their owne smal∣nesse Page  82 imperceptible, so some for their magni∣tude doe exceed the power of sense, and have a transcendency in them which surpasseth the comprehension of that faculty unto which they properly belong. No man can in one simple view looke upon the whole vaste frame of Heaven, because he cannot at the same mo∣ment receive the species of so spreading and diffused an Object, so is it in things Divine, some of them are so above the reach of our imperfect faculties, as that they swallow up the understanding, and make not any immedi∣ate impression on the Soule, betweene which and their excellency there is no great dispro∣portion. Nowadisproportion useth in all things to arise from a double Cause; the one naturall, being the limited Constitution of the faculty whereby even in its best sufficiency, it is disa∣bled for the perception of too excellent an Object, as are the eyes of an Owle in respect of the Sunne.

The other Accidentall, namely by some violation and distemper of the faculty even within the compasse of its owne strength; as in sorenesse of eyes in regard of light, or lamenesse in regard of motion.b Great cer∣tainly was the mystery of mans Redemption, which poted and dazled the eyes of the An∣gels themselves: so that betweene Christ and man there are both these former Disproportions observable.

Page  83 For first of all, man while he is on the earth, a Traveller towards that Glory which yet he never saw, and which the tongue ofc Saint Paul himselfe could not utter is altogether e∣ven in his highest pitch of Perfection unquali∣fied to comprehend the excellent mystery of Christ either crucified, or much more, glori∣fied: and therefore our manner of assenting in this life, though in regard of the authority on which it is grounded (which is Gods owne Word) it be most evident and infallible, yet in its owne quality it is not so immediate, and expresse as is that which is elsewhere reserved for us;d for hereafter we shall know even as we are knowne, by a knowledge of Vision, fruiti∣on and possession, heere darkly, by stooping and captivating our understandings unto those divine Reports which are made in Scripture, which is a knowledge of Faith, distance and expectation; wee doe I say, heere bend our understandings to assent unto such truths as doe not transmit any immediate species or irradiation of their owne upon them, but there our understandings shall be raised unto a grea∣ter capacity, and bee made able without a se∣condary report and conveyance to apprehend clearely those glorious Truths, the evidence whereof it did heere submit unto, for the in∣fallible credit of God, who in his Word had revealed, and by his Spirit obsignated the same unto them; as theaSamaritans knew Page  84Christ at first, onely by the report of the Wo∣man, which was an assent of Faith, but after when they saw his Wonders, and heard his Words, they knew him by himselfe, which was an assent of vision.

Secondly, as the Church is heere but a tra∣velling Church, therfore cannot possibly have any farther knowledge of that Countrey whi∣ther it goes but onely by the Mappes which describe it, the Word of God, and theseb few fruites which are sent unto them from it, the cfruits of the Spirit, whereby they have some taste and relish of the World to come: so moreover is it even in this estate, by being enclosed in a body of sinne, (which hath a darkning property in it, and addes unto the na∣turall limitednesse of the understanding, an accidentall defect and sorenesse) much disabled from this very imperfect assent unto Christ the Object of its Faith: for as sinne when it wastes the Conscience and beares Rule in the Soule, hath a power like Dalila and the Phili∣stines, to put out our eyes, (asdVlysses the eye of his Cyclops with his sweet wine) a power to e corrupt Principles, tof pervert and make crooked the very Rule by which we worke; conveying all morall truths to the Soule, as some concave glasses use to represent the spe∣cies of things to the eye, not according to their naturall rectitude or beauty, but with those wrestings, inversions, and deformities Page  85 which by the indisposition thereof they are framed unto; so even the least corruptions unto which the best are subject, (having a na∣turall antipathy to the evidence and power of divine Truth) doe necessarily in some manner distemper our understandings, and make such a degree of sorenesse in the faculty as that it cannot but so farre forth bee impatient and unable to beare that glorious lustre which shines immediately in the Lord Christ. So then we see what a great disproportion there is be∣tweene us and Christ immediately presented; and from thence wee may observe our necessi∣ty, and Gods mercy in affoording us the re∣freshment of a Type and Shadow.

These Shadowes were to the Church of the Iewes many, because their weaknesse in the knowledge of Christ was of necessity more than ours, in as much as they were but ana in∣fant, wee an adult and growne Church, and they looked on Christ at a distance, wee neare at hand, hee being already incarnate; unto us they are the Sacraments of his Body and Bloud in the which wee see and receive Christ as weake eies doe the light of the Sunne, through some darke Cloud, or thicke Grove: so then one maine and principall end of this Sacra∣ment is to bee an instrument fitted unto the measure of our present estate for the exhibiti∣on or conveyance of Christ with the benefits of his Passion unto the faithfull Soule, an end Page  86 not proper to this mystery alone, but com∣mon to it with all those Legall Sacraments which were the more thicke shadowes of the Jewish Church: forb even they in the red Sea did passe through Christ who was their Way, in thec Manna and Rocke did eate and drinke Christ who was their Life, in the Bra∣sen Serpent did behold Christ who was their Saviour, in their daily Sacrifices did prefigure Christ who was their Truth, in their Passeo∣ver did eate Christ by whose Bloud they were sprinkled; for howsoever betweene the Legall and Euangelicall Covenant there may be sundry dCircumstantiall differences: as first in the man∣ner of their Evidence, that being obscure, this perspicuous, to them aePromise onely, to us a fGospell. Secondly, in their extent and compasse, that being confined togIudea this universall to allh Creatures. Thirdly, in the meanes of Ministration, that by Priests and Prophets, this by thei Sonne himselfe, and those dele∣gates who were by him enabled and authori∣sed by a solemne Commission and by many excellent endowments for the same service.

Lastly, in the quality of its durance, that being mutable andb abrogated, this toc con∣tinue untill the consummation of all things; yet notwithstanding in substance they agree, and though by sundry wayes doe all at last meet in one and the same Christ, who like the heart in the middest of the body, comming Page  87 himselfe in person betweene the Legall and Evangelicall Church doth equally convey life and motion to them both; even as that light which I see in a starre, and that which I re∣ceive by the immediate beame of the Sunne, doth originally issue from the same Fountaine, though conveyed with a different lustre, and by a severall meanes.

So then wee see the end of all Sacraments made after the second Covenant (for Sacra∣ments there were even in Paradise before the Fall) namely to exhibite Christ with those bene∣fits which hee bestoweth on his Church unto each beleeving Soule; but after a more espe∣ciall manner is Christ exhibited in the Lords Supper, because his pretence is there more no∣table; for as by Faith wee have the evidence, so by the Sacrament wee have the presence of things farthest distant and absent from us. A man that looketh on the light through a sha∣dow doth truely and really receive the selfe same light which would in the openest and clearest Sun-shine appeare unto him, though after a differentd manner; there shall wee see him, as Iob speakes, with these selfe same eyes, here with a spirituall eye after a mysticall man∣ner: so then in this Sacrament wee doe most willingly acknowledge a Reall, True, and Per∣fect Presence of Christ, not in, with, or under the Elements considered absolutely in themselves, but with that relative habitude and respect Page  88 which they have unto the immediate use where∣unto they are consecrated; nor yet so doe wee acknowledge any such carnall transele∣mentation of the materials in this Sacrament; as if the Body or Bloud of Christ were by the vertue of Consecration, and by way of a locall substitution in the place of the Bread and Wine in, but are truly and really by them, though in nature different, conveyed into the Soules of those who by Faith receive Him. And therefore Christ first said, Take, Eate, and then, This is my Body; to intimate unto us (asa learned Hooker observeth) that the Sa∣crament, however by Consecration it be chan∣ged fromb common unto holy Bread, and se∣parated from common unto a divine use, is yet never properly to bee called the Body of Christ till Taken and Eaten, by meanes of which Actions (if they bee Actions of Faith) that holy Bread and Wine doe as really con∣vey whole Christ, with the vitall influences that proceed from him unto the Soule, as the hand doth them unto the mouth, or the mouth unto the stomacke. Otherwise if Christ were really and corporally present with the conse∣crated Elements severed from the act of faith∣full Receiving, the wicked should as easily re∣ceive him with theirc teeth, as the faithfull in their Soule, which to affirme is both absurd and impious.

Now Christs Presence in this holy Sacra∣ment Page  89 being a thing of so important consequence and the consideration thereof being very pro∣per to this first end of the Sacrament, the ex∣hibiting of Christ (for to exhibite a thing is nothing else but to present it, or to make it present unto the party to whom it is exhibited) It will not be impertinent to make some short digression for setting downe the manner, and clearing the trueth of Christs Reall Presence, the understanding whereof will depend upon the distinguishing of the severall manners in which Christ may bee said to bee present. First then, Christ being an infinite Person hath in the vertue of his Godhead an infinite and unlimited Presence, whereby hee so filleth all places as that hee is not contained or circum∣scribed in them, which immensity of his ma∣king him intimately present with all the Crea∣tures is that whereby they are quickened, sup∣ported and conserved by him; for by him all things consist, and hee upholdeth them all by the Word of his power, and in him they live and move and have their being. But this is not that Presence which in the Sacrament wee affirme, because that presupposeth a Presence of Christ in and according to that nature where∣in he was the Redeemer of the World, which was his humane nature. Yet in as much as this his humane nature subsisteth not but in and with the infinitenesse of the second Person; there is therefore (in the second place) by the Page  90Lutherans framed another imaginary Presence of Christs humane Body, (after once the Di∣vinity was pleased to derive glory in fulnesse on it) which giveth it a participated ubiquity unto it too, by meanes whereof Christ is cor∣porally in or under the Sacrament all Elements. But this opinion as it is no way agreeable with the truth of the humane nature of Christ, so is it greatly injurious to his Divinity: for first, though Christs humane nature was in regard of its Production extraordinary, and in regard of the sacred union which it had with the Divi∣nity admirable, and in regard of communica∣tion of glory from the Godhead, and of the unction of the Holy Ghost farre above all o∣ther names that are named in heaven or earth, yet in its nature did it ever retaine the essenti∣all and primiive properties of a created sub∣stance, which is to bee in all manner of perfe∣ctions finite, and so by consequence in place too, for glory destroies not nature, but exalts it, nor exalts it to any farther degrees of Perfecti∣on than are compatible to the finitenesse of a Creature, who is like unto us in regard of all naturall and essentiall properties▪ but these men give unto Christs Body farre more than his owne divine nature doth, for hee glorifies it onely to bee the Head, that is, the most ex∣cellent and first-borne of every Creature, but they glorifie it so farre as to make it share in the essentiall properties of the divine nature; Page  91 for as that substance unto whom the intrinsecall, unseparated, and essentiall properties of a man belong, is a man necessarily (man being nothing else but a substance so qualified) so that being unto which the divine attributes doe belong in that degree of infinitenesse as they doe to the divine Person it selfe must needs bee God; and immensity wee know is a proper attribute of the Divinity, implying infinitenesse, which is Gods owne Preroga∣tive; neither can the distinction of ubiquity communicated, and originall or essentiall salve the consequence: for God is by himselfe so differenced from all the Creatures, as that it is not possible any attribute of his should bee participated by any Creature in that manner of infinitenesse as it is in him; nay it implies an inevitable contradiction that in a finite nature there should bee roome enough for an infinite attribute. We confesse that in as much as the humane nature in Christ is inseparably taken into the subsistence of the omnipresent Sonne of God; It is therefore a truth to say, That the Sonne of God, though filling all places, is not yet in any of them separated or asunder from the humane nature, may by the vertue of the communication of the properties; it is true likewise to say that the Man Christ is in all Places, though not in or according to his humane nature. But now from the union of the Manhood to the Godhead to argue a coexten∣tion Page  92 or joynt-presence therewith is an incon∣sequent argument, as may appeare in other things. The Soule hath a kinde of immensity in her little world, being in each part thereof whole and entire, and yet it followes not be∣cause the Soule is united to the Body, that therefore the Body must needs partake of this Omnipresence of the Soule, else should the whole body be in the little finger, because the Soule unto which it is united is wholly there. Againe, there is an unseparable union betweene the Sunne and the beame, so that it is infallibly true to say, the Sunne is no where severed from the beame, yet wee know they both oc∣cupy a distinct place: againe, Misleoe is so united to the substance of the Tree out of which it groweth, that (though of a different nature) it subsisteth not but in and by the sub∣sistence of the Tree, and yet it hath not that amplitude of place which the Tree hath.

Letting goe then this opinion, there is a third Presence of Christ, which is a carnall Phy∣sicall, locall Presence, which wee affirme his humane nature to have onely in Heaven: The Papists attribute it to the Sacrament, because Christ hath said, This is my Body: and in matters of fundamentall consequence, hee u∣seth no figurative or darke speeches; to this wee say, that it is a carnall Doctrine, and a mi∣stake like that of Nicodemus, and of Origen, from the Spirit to the letter. And for the dif∣ficulty, Page  93 it is none to men that have more than onely a carnall eare to heare it: for what dif∣ficulty is it to say that then the King gives a man an Office when hee hath sealed him such a Paent in the right whereof that Office be∣longeth, and is conveyed unto him? And if Christ bee thus locally in the Sacrament, and eaten with the mouth, and so conveyed into the stomacke: I then demand what becomes of him when and after hee is thus received into the stomacke? If hee retire from the accidents out of a man, then first accidents shall be left without any substance at all under them to sustaine them, and which is (if any thing can bee) yet more absurd, bare accidents should nourish, bee assimulated and augment a substance; for it is plaine, that a man might bee nourished by the Bread; yea, the Priest by intemperate excesse made drunke with the consecrated Wine; unto which detestable effects wee cannot imagine that God by a more especiall concurrence and miracle would enable the bare accidents of Bread and Wine. But if Christ stay, and doe corporally unite himselfe to the Receiver; then I see not how all they that receive the Sacrament, being phy∣sically and substantially united to Christs Bo∣dy have not likewise a naturall union to his Person too, that being no where separated from this, which is blasphemous to affirme.

Secondly, how Christs Body may not bee Page  94 said to have a double subsistence, Infinite in the second Person, and Finite in all those with whom he is Incorporated.

Leaving then this as a fleshly conceit, wee come to a fourth Presence of Christ which is by Energy and power; thus where two or three bee gathered together in his Name,* Christ is in the middest of them by the powerfull wor∣king of his holy Spirit; even as the Sunne is present to the Earth, in as much as by its influ∣ence and benignity it heateth and quickeneth it. For all manner of operation is by some manner of Contact betweene the Agent and the Patient, which cannot bee without some manner of presence too; but the last manner of Presence is a Sacramentall Relative, mysticall Presence. Understand it thus, The King is in his Court or Presence-chamber onely locally, and physically; but representatively he is where∣soever his Chancellour or subordinate Judges are, in as much as whatsoever they in a Legall and judiciall course doe determine, is accomp∣ted by him as his owne personall act, as being an effect of that power, which though in them as the instruments, doth yet originally reside no where but in his owne Person; just so Christ is locally in Heaven, which must con∣taine him till the restitution of all things, yet having instituted these Elements for the sup∣ply as it were of his absence, hee is accompted present with them, in as much as they which Page  95 receive them with that reverend and faithfull affection as they would Christ himselfe doe together with them, receive him too, really and truly, though not carnally or physically, but after a mysticall and spirituall manner. A reall Presence of Christ wee acknowledge, but not a locall or physicall; for Presence reall (that being a metaphysicall terme) is not opposed unto a meere physicall or locall absence, or distance, but is opposed to a false imaginary, phanta∣sticke presence; for if reall presence may bee understood of nothing but a carnall and locall presence, then that speech of Christ, Where two or three bee gathered together in my Name, there am I in the middest of them; cannot have any reall Trueth in it, because Christ is not locally in the middest of them. This reall Presence being thus explained may bee thus proved, The maine end of the Sacra∣ment (as shall be shewed) is to unite the faith∣full unto Christ, to which union there must of necessity be a Presence of Christ by meanes of the Sacrament, which is the instrument of that union. Such then as the union is, such must needs bee the presence too: since Presence is therefore only necessary that by meanes there∣of that union may be effected. Now united unto Christ we are not carnally, or physically, as the meat is to the body, but after a mysticall manner, by joynts and sinewes, not fleshly but spirituall: even as the faithfull are united to each other in Page  96 one mysticall Body of Christ, into one holy aspirituall Building, into one fruitfull olive, into a holy, but mysticall marriage with Christ. Now what Presence fitter for a Spirituall union than a spirituall presence. Certainly, to confine Christ unto the narrow compasse of a piece of Bread, to squeeze and contract his Body into so strait a roome, and to grinde him betweene our teeth is to humble him (though now glo∣rified) lower than hee humbled himselfe, hee himselfe to the forme of a servant, but this to the condition of a monster. That Presence then of Christ which in the Sacrament wee acknowledge is not any grosse Presence of cir∣cumscription, as if Christ Jesus in Body lay hid under the accidents of Bread and Wine; as if hee who wasa wont to use the senses for wit∣nesse and proofe of his Presence,* did now hide from them,* yea deceive them under the ap∣pearances of that which hee is not; but it is a spirituall Presence, of energie, power, and concomi∣tancy with the Element, by which Christ doth appoint that by and with these mysteries, though not in or from them, his sacred Body should bee conveyed into the faithfull Soule: and such a Presence of Christ in power, though ab∣sence in flesh as it is most compatible with the properties of a humane Body, so doth it most make for the demonstration of his power, who bcan (without any necessity of a fleshly Pre∣sence) send as great influence from his sacred Page  97 Body on the Church, as if hee should descend visibly amongst us. Neither can any man shew any enforcing reason why unto the reall exhi∣bition and reception of Christ crucified there should any more physicall Presence of his bee required, than there is of the Sunne unto the eye for receiving his light, or of thed roote unto the utmost branches for receiving of vi∣tall sappe, or of thee head unto the feete for the receiving of sense, or of the land andf pur∣chase made over by ag sealed Deed for recei∣ving the Lordship; or lastly, (to use an in∣stance from the Jesuites owne Doctrine out of Aristotle) of a finall Cause in an actuall exi∣stence to effect its power and causality on the the will: for if theh finall Cause doe truely and really produce its effect, though it have not any materiall, grosse Presence, but onely an intellectuall Presence to the apprehension: why may not Christ (whosei sacred Body, however it bee not substantially coextended (as I may so speake) in regard of ubiquity with the Godhead, yet is in regard of its coopera∣tion, force, efficacy unlimited by any place or subject, it having neither spheare of activity, nor stint of merit, nor bounds of efficacy, nor necessary subject of application, beyond which the vertue of it growes faint and uneffectuall) why may not hee, I say, really unite himselfe unto his Church by a spirituall Presence to the faithfull Soule, without any such grosse and Page  98 carnall descent, or rehumiliation of his glori∣fied Body unto an ignoble and prodigious forme? So then to conclude this digression, and the first End of this Sacrament together; when Christ saith, This is my Body, wee are not otherwise to understand it than those o∣ther Sacramentall speeches of the same nature, aI am the Bread of Life, Christ was that rocke, and the like, it being a common thing not one∣ly inb holy Scriptures, but even inc prophane Writers also to call the instrumentall Elements by the name of that Covenant of which they are onely the Sacrifices, seales, and visible con∣firmations, because of that relation and neere resemblance that is betweene them.

The second End or Effect of this Sacrament which in order of Nature immediately follo∣weth the former is to obsignate, and to en∣crease the mysticall union of the Church un∣to Christ their Head; for as the same opera∣tion which infuseth the reasonable soule (which is the first act or principle of life naturall) doth also unite it unto the body, to the making up of one man; so the same Sacrament which doth exhibite Christ unto us (who is the first act and originall of life divine) doth also unite us together unto the making up of one Church. In naturall nourishment the vitall heate being stronger than the resistance of the meat, doth macerate, concoct, and convert that into the substance of the Body; but in this spirituall Page  99 nourishment, thec vitall Spirit of Christ ha∣ving a heate invincible by the coldnesse of Nature doth turne us into the same image and quality with it selfe, working aa fellowship of affections and confederacy of wills: and as the body doth from the union of the soule unto it receive strength, beauty, motion, and the like active qualities; so also Christ being united unto usb by these holy mysteries, doth comfort, refresh, strengthen, rule and direct us in all our waies. Wee all in the vertue of thatc Covenant made by God unto the faith∣full and to their seed in the first instant of our being doe belong unto Christ that bought us, after in thed Laver of Regeneration, the Sa∣crament of Baptisme, we are farther admitted and united to him: our right unto Christ be∣fore was generall from the benefit of the com∣mon Covenant; but in this Sacrament of Baptisme my right is made personall, and I now lay claime unto Christ not onely in the right of his common Promise, but by the effi∣cacy of this particular Washing, which sea∣leth and ratifieth the Covenant unto mee. Thus is our first union unto Christ wrought, by the grace of the Covenant effectively, and by the grace of Baptisme (where it may bee had) Instrumentally, the one giving unto Christ, the other obsignating and exhibiting that right by a farther admission of us into his Body. But now wee must conceive that as Page  100 there is a union unto Christ, so there must, as in naturall bodies, be after that union, ae gro∣wing up, till wee come to our 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the measure of the fulnesse of Christ. This growth being an effect of the vitall faculty is more or lesse perfected in us, as that is either more or lesse stifled or cherished: for as in the soule and bo∣dy, so in Christ and the Church. We are not to conceive the union without any latitude, but capable of augmentation, and liable to sun∣dry diminutions, according as are the severall meanes which for either purpose wee apply unto our selves. The union of the soule and body, though not dissolved, is yet by every the least distemper slackned, by some violent diseases almost rended asunder, so that the body hath sometimes more, sometimes lesse hold-fast of the soule; so heere wee are in the Covenant and in Baptisme united unto Christ; but wee must not forget that in men there is by Nature aa roote of bitternesse, whence issue thoseh fruites of the flesh, a spawne and wombe of actuall corruptions, where sinne is dailyc conceived and brought forth, a mare mortuum, a lake of death, whence continually arise all manner of noysome and infectious lusts; by meanes of which our Union to Christ (though not dissolved) is yet daily weakened and stands in need of continuall confirmation; for every sinne doth more or lesse smother and stoppe the principle of life in Page  101 us, so that it cannot worke our growth which we must rise unto with so free and interrupted a course as otherwise it might. The Principle of life in a Christian is the very same from whence Christ himselfe according to his crea∣ted Graces receiveth life, and that is thed Spi∣rit of Christ, ae quickning Spirit, and af streng∣thening Spirit. Now as that great sinne which is incompatible with faith doth bidde defiance to the good Spirit of God, and therefore is more especially called The sinne against the holy Ghost, so every sinne doth in its owne manner and measureg quench the Spirit that it cannot quicken, andh grieve the Spirit that it cannot strengthen us in that perfection of degrees as it might otherwise: and thus is our union unto Christ daily loosened and slackened by the distempers of sinne: for the reestabli∣shing whereof God hath appointed these sa∣cred Mysteries, as effectuall instruments, where they meet with a qualified subject, to produce a more firme and close union of the Soule to Christ, and to strengthen our Faith which is the joynt and sinew by which that union is preserved, to cure those i wounds, and purge those iniquities whose property it is to sepa∣rate betwixt Christ and us, to make usa submit our services, to knit our wils, to conforme our affections, and to incorporate our persons into him; that so by constant, though slow pro∣ceedings we might be changed from glory to Page  102 glory, and attaine unto the measure of Christ, there where our Faith can no way bee impai∣red, our bodies and soules subject to no decay, and by consequence stand in no need of any suchb viaticums as wee heere use to strengthen us in a journey so much both above the Perfe∣ction, and against the corruption of our pre∣sent Nature.

CHAP. XIV.

Of three other Ends of the holy Sacrament, the fellowship or union of the faithfull, the obsigna∣tion of the Covenant of Grace, and the abroga∣tion of the Passeover.

NOW as the same nourishment which preserveth the Union betweene the Soule and Body, or head and members, doth in like manner pre∣serve the Union betweene the members themselves: even so this Sacrament is as it were the sinew of the Church, where∣by the faithfull, being allc animated by the same Spirit that makes them one with Christ, are knit together in a bond of Peace, conspi∣ring all in a unity of thoughts and desires, ha∣ving the same common Enemies to withstand, the same common Prince to obey, the same Page  103 common rule to direct them, the same com∣mon way to passe, the same common Faith to vindicate, and therefore the same mutuall en∣gagements to further and advance the good of each other; so that the next immediate effect of this Sacrament is to confirme the Union of all the members of the Church each to other in a Communion of Saints, where∣by their prayers are the more strengthened, and their adversaries the more resisted: for as in naturall things,d Union strengtheneth motions naturall, and weakeneth violent; so in the Church, Union strengtheneth all spiri∣tuall motions, whether upward as meditations and prayers to God, or downeward as sympa∣thy, and good workes towards our weake Brethren, and it hindereth all violent motions, the strength of sinne, the darts of Satan, the provocations of the World, the Judgements of God, or whatever evill may bee by the flesh either committed or deserved. And this Union of the faithfull is both in the Elements and appellations, and in the ancient ceremo∣nies, and in the very act of eating and drin∣king most significantly represented.

First, for thea Elements, they are such as, though naturally their parts were separated in severall graines and grapes, yet are they by the art of man moulded together and made up into one artificiall body consisting of divers homogeneous parts: men by Nature are dis∣joynted Page  104 not more in being, than in affections and desires each from other, every one being his owne end, and not any way affected with that tendernesse of Communion, or bowels of love, which in Christ wee recover; but now Christ hath redeemed us from this estate of enmity, and drawing us all to the pursuite of one common end, and thereunto enabling us by one uniforme rule his holy Word, and by one vitall Principle his holy Spirit; wee are by the meanes of this holy Sacrament after the same manner reunited into one spiri∣tuall Body, as the Elements (though original∣ly severall) are into one artificiall masse. And for the same reason (as I conceive) was the bholy Passeover in the Law commanded to bee one whole Lambe, and eaten in one Fami∣ly, and not to have one bone of it broken, to signifie that there should bee all unity, and no Schisme or rupture in the Church which is Christs Body.

Secondly, for the appellations of this Sa∣crament, it is commonly called The Lords c Supper, which word, though with us it im∣port nothing but an ordinary course and time of eating, yet in other Language it expresseth that which the other appellation retaines, Communion or fellowship: and lastly, it was called by the AncientsaSynaxis, a collection, gathering together, or assembling of the faith∣full, namely into that unity which Christ by Page  105 his merits purchased, by hisb prayer obtained, and by his Spirit wrought in them; so great hath ever beene the Wisedome of Gods Spi∣rit and of his Church, which is ruled by it, to impose on divine institutions such names as might expresse their vertue and our duty: as Adams Sacrament was called thec Tree of Life; the Iewes Sacraments, thed Covenant, and thee Passeover; and with the Christians, Baptisme is calledf Regeneration, and the Lords Supperg Communion, that by the names we might bee put in minde of the power of the things themselves.

Thirdly, for the Ceremonies and Customes annexed unto this Sacrament in the Primitive times, notwithstanding for superstitious abu∣ses some of them have beene abolished, yet in their owne originall use they did signifie this uniting and knitting quality which the Sacra∣ments have in it, whereby the faithfull are made one with Christ by faith, and amongst them∣selves by love.

And first they had a custome ofh mixing Wa∣ter with the Wine (as there came Water and Blood out of Christs side) which, however it might have a naturall reason, because of the heate of the country, and custome of those Southerne parts, where thei use was to cor∣rect the heate of Wine with Water; yet was it by the Christians usd not without a mysti∣call and allegoricall sense; to expresse the Page  106 mixture (whereof this Sacrament is an effe∣ctuall instrument) of all the People (who have faith to receive it) with Christs Blood;k Wa∣ter being by the Holy Ghost himselfe inter∣preted for People and Nations.

Secondly, at the receiving of this holy Sacra∣ment their custome was tol kisse one another with an holy kisse or a kisse of love, as a testifi∣cation of mutuall dearenesse, it proceeding from thea exiliency of the spirits and readi∣nesse of Nature to meet and unite it selfe unto the thing beloved; for love is nothing else but a delightfull affection arising from an attractive power in the goodnesse of some excellent Object, unto which it endeavoureth to cleave and to unite it selfe, and therefore it was an argument of hellish hypocrisie in Iudas, and an imitation of his father the Divell, (who trans∣formeth himselfe into an Angell of Light for the enlargement of his kingdome) to use this holy symbole of love for the instrument of a hatred so much the more devilish than any, by how much the object of it was the more divine.

Thirdly, after the celebration of the divine Mysteries, the Christians, to testifie their mu∣tuall love to each other, did eate in common together; which Feasts from that which they did signifie (as the use of God and his Church is to proportion names and things) were cal∣led blove-feasts, to testifie unto the veryc Hea∣then, Page  107 how dearely they were knit together.

Fourthly, after receiving of these holy my∣steries, there were extraordinary oblations and dcollections for refreshing Christs poore mem∣bers, who either for his Name, or under his hand did suffer with patience the calamities of this present life, expecting the glory which should be revealed unto them: those did they make the Treasures of the Church, their bo∣wels the hordes and repositaries of their piety, and such as were orphanes, or widowes, or aged, or sicke, or in bonds condemned to Mine-pits, or to the Islands, or desolate places, or darke Dungeons (the usuall punishments in those times) with all these were they not ashamed in this holy worke to acknowledge a unity of condition, a fellowship and equality in the spirituall Privileges of the same Head, a mu∣tuall relation of fellow-members in the same common Body, unto which if any had grea∣ter right than other, they certainly were the men, who were conformed unto their Head in suffering, and did goe to their Kingdome through the same path of blood which he had before besprinckled for them.

Lastly, it was thea custome in any solemne testimoniall of Peace to receive and exhibite this holy Sacrament, as the seale and earnest of that union which the parties whom it did concerne had betweene themselves. Such hath ever beene the care of the holy Church in all Page  108 the customes and ceremoniall accessions whe∣ther of decency or charity which have beene by it appointed in this holy Sacrament, that by them and in them all, the concinnation of the Body of Christ, the fellowship, sympa∣thy, and unity of his members, might be both signified and professed: that as wee have all but one Sacrament, which is the Food of life, so wee should have butb one Soule, which is the Spirit of life, and from thence but one heart, and one minde, thinking, and loving and pursuing all the same things, through the same way, by the same rule, to the same end. And for this reason amongst others I take it, it is that our Church doth require in the Re∣ceiving of these Mysteries a uniformity in all her Members, even in matters that are of them∣selves indifferent, that in the Sacrament of u∣nity there might not appeare any breach or Schisme, but that as at all times, so much more then, wee shouldc all thinke, and speake, and doe the same things, least the manner should oppose the substance of the celebration.

Lastly, if we consider the very act of eating and drinking, even therein is expressed the fel∣lowship and the union of the faithfull to each other, ford even by Nature are men directed to expresse their affections or reconcilements to others in feasts and invitations, where even epublique Enemies have condescended to termes of fairenesse and plausibility, for which Page  109 cause it is noted for one of thef Acts of Ty∣rants, whereby to dissociate the mindes of their Subjects, and so to breake them when they are asunder, whom all together they could not bend, to interdict invitations and mutuall hospitalities, whereby the body poli∣ticke is as well preserved as the naturall, and the love of men as much nourished as their bodies. And therefore whereaIoseph did love most, there was the messe doubled, and the nationall hatred betweene the Iewes and Aegyp∣tians springing from the diversity of Religions (whoseb worke it is to knit and fasten the affe∣ctions of men) was no way better expressed than by theirc mutuall abominating the tables of each other. So that in all these circumstan∣ces we find how the union of the faithfull unto each other is in this holy Sacrament both sig∣nified and confirmed, whereby (howeverd they may in regard of temporall relations stand at great distance, even as great as is betweene the Palace and the Prison) yet in Christ they are all fellow-members of the same common Bo∣dy, and fellow-heires of the same common King∣dome, and spirituall stones of the same common Church, which is ae name of unity and Peace. They havef one Father who deriveth on them an equall Nobility, one Lord who equally go∣verneth them, one spirit who equally quickneth them, one Baptisme which equally regenerateth them, one faith which equally warrants their in∣heritance Page  110 to them, and lastly one sinew and bond of love which equally interesteth them in the joyes and griefes of each other, so that, as in gall other, so principally in this divine friend∣ship of Christs Church there is an equality and uniformity, be the outward distances how great soever.

Another principall End or Effect of this holy Supper is to signifie and obsignate unto the Soule of each Beleever his personall claime and title unto the new Covenant of Grace. We are in a state of corruption, sinne, though it have received by Christ a wound of which it cannot recover, yet ash beasts commonly in the pangs of death use most violently to struggle and often to fasten their teeth more eagerly and fiercely where they light; so sinne here,i that body of death,k that besieging, encompassing evill, thatlCananite that lieth in our members, being continually heartened by our arch enemy Satan, however subdued by Is∣rael, doth yet never cease tol goad and pricke us in the eyes, that we might not looke up to our future Possession, is ever raising up steemes of corruption to intercept the lustre of that glo∣ry which wee expect, is ever suggesting unto the Beleever matter of diffidence and anxiety, that his hopes hitherto have beene ungroun∣ded, his Faith presumptuous, his claime to Christ deceitfull, his propriety uncertaine, if not quite desperate; till at last the faithfull Page  111 Soule lies gasping and panting for breath un∣der the buffets of this messenger of Satan. And for this cause it hath pleased our good God (a who hath promised never to faile nor forsake us) that wee might not be swallowed up with griefe to renew often our right, and exhibite bwith his owne hands (for what is done by his Officers is by him done) that sacred Body with the efficacy of it unto us, that wee might fore-enjoy the promised Inheritance, and put, not into our chests or coffers which may haply by casualities miscarry, but into our very bo∣wels, into our substance and soule the pledges of our Salvation, that wee might at this spiri∣tuall Altarc see Christ as it were crucified be∣fore our eyes,d clinge unto his Crosse, and graspe it in our armes, sucke in his Blood, and with it salvation, put in our hands with Tho∣mas, not out of di••idence, but out of faith in∣to his side, and fasten our tongues in his sacred wounds, that being all over dyed with his Bloud, wee may use boldnesse, and approach to the Throne of Grace, lifting up unto hea∣ven in faith and confidence of acceptance those eyes and hands which have seene and handled him, opening wide that mouth which hath received him, and crying aloud with that tongue which having tasted the Bread of Life hath from thence both strength and arguments for prayer to move God for mercy: this then is a singular benefit of this Sacrament, the often Page  112 repetition and celebration whereof is as it were the renewing, or rather the confirming with more and more seales our Patent of life; that by so many things, in thee smallest where∣of it is impossible for God to lye, wee might have strong consolation who have our refuge to lay hold on him who in these holy Myste∣ries is set before us; for the Sacrament is not onely afSigne to represent, but a Seale to exhi∣bite that which it represents. In the Signe wee see, in the seale wee receive him. In the Signe wee have the image, in the seale the be∣nefit of Christs Body, for* the nature of a Signe is to discover and represent that which in it selfe is obscure or absent (asa words are called signes and symboles of our invisible thoughts) but theb property of a Seale is to ratifie and o establish that which might other∣wise bee uneffectuall; for which cause some have called the Sacrament by the name of a cRing, which men use in sealing those writings unto which they annexe their trust and credit. And as the Sacrament is a Signe and Seale from God to us representing and exhibiting his benefits, so should it bee a signe and seale from us to God, a signe tod separate us from sinners, a seale to oblige us to all performances of faith and thankfulnesse on our part required.

Another End and Effect of this holy Sacra∣ment was to abrogate the Passeover, and testifie the alteration of those former Types which Page  113 were not the commemorations, but the predi∣ctions of Christs Passion: and for this cause our blessed Saviour did celebrate both those Suppers ate the same time, (but the new Sup∣per after the other, and in the evening, where∣by fwas figured the fulnesse of time) that there∣by the presence of the substance might evacu∣ate the shadow:g even as the Sunne doth with his lustre take away all those lesser and substituted lights, which were used for no o∣ther purpose but to supply the defect which there was of him. The Passeover however in the nature of a sacrifice it did prefigure Christ, yet in the nature of a Solemnity and annuall commemoration it did immediately respect the temporall deliverance of that People out of Egypt, by the sprinkling of their doores with blood, which was it selfe but a shadow of our freedome from Satan: so that their Sa∣crament was but the Type of a Type, and there∣fore must needs have so much the weaker and more obscure reference unto Christ; even as those draughts doe lesse resemble the face of a man which are taken from a former piece;h or that light the brightnesse of its originall which shines weakly through a second or third refle∣xion. Besides this small light which shined from the Passeover on the people of the Iewes, and by which they were something though darkly enabled to behold Christ, was but like the light in a house or family, which could Page  114 not shine beyond the narrow compasse of that small people, and therefore it was to bee eaten in such aa family, to signifie, as I conceive, that the Church was then but as a handfull or houshold in respect of that fulnesse of the Gentiles which was to follow. Now then the Church being to enlarge its borders, and to bee coextended with the World, it stood in need of a greater light, even that Sunne of Righteousnesse, who was now to be as well the blight to lighten the Gentiles, as he had beene formerly the Glory of his People Israel. And therefore we may observe that this second Sa∣crament was not to bee eaten in a private sepa∣rated Family, but the Church wascto come toge∣ther, and to stay one for another, that in the conflu∣ence of the People, and the publikenesse of the action, the encrease and amplitude of the Church might be expressed. Besides the Gen∣tiles were uninterested in that temporall Deli∣verance of the Iewes from Pharaoh, it being a particular and nationall benefit, and therefore the commemoration thereof in the Paschall Lambe, could not, by them, who in the loines of their ancestours had not beene there deli∣vered, be literally and with reflexion on them∣selves celebrated. Requisite therefore in this respect also it was, in as much as thed partition wall was broken downe, and both Iew and Gentile were incorporated into one head,* that nationall and particular relations ceasing, such Page  115 a Sacrament might bee reinstituted; wherein the universall restoring of all mankinde might bee represented. And certainely for a man at mid-day to shut his windowes from the com∣munion of the generall light, and to use onely private lampes of his owne, as it is towards men madnesse, so it is impiety and Schisme in Religion. There is betweene the Gospell and the Legall Ceremonies (as I observed) the same proportion of difference as is betweene houshold Tapers and the common Sun-shine, as in regard of the amplitude of their light, and of the extent of their light, so in the dura∣tion of it likewise; for as Lampes within a small time doe of themselves expire and pe∣rish, whereas the light of the Sunne doth ne∣ver waste it selfe: even soaIewish rites were by Gods institution perishable and temporary, during thatb infancy of the Church, wherein it was not able to looke on a brighter object, but when in the fulnesse of time the Church was growne unto a firmer sense, thenc in the death of Christ did those Types likewise die, and were together with the sinnes of the World cancelled upon the Crosse. Amongst thedPersians it was a solemne observation to nullifie for a time the force of their Lawes, and to extinguish those fires, which they were wont idolatrously to adore, upon the death of their King, as if by him both their policy and Religion had beene animated: even so at the Page  116 death of our blessed Saviour were all those Legall Ordinances, those holy fires, which were wont to send up the sweet savour of in∣cense, and sacrifices unto heaven, abolished he (who before had substituted them in his roome, and by an effectuall influence from himselfe made them temporary instruments of that pro∣pitiation, which it wasc impossible for them in their owne natures to have effected) being him∣selfe come to finish that worke which was by them onely foreshadowed, but not begunne, much lesse accomplished.

CHAP. XV.

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.

Page  137

CHAP. XVI.

Of the manner after which we are to celebrate the memory of Christs Passion.

BUt wee may not presume that wee remember Christs death as hee requires, when either with an historicall memory, or with a festivall solemnitie onely, wee celebrate, or dis∣course of it, except we doe it with a practicke memory, proportioned to the goodnesse and quality of the thing remembred. And first we must remember Christ with a memory of faith, with an applying and assuming memo∣ry, not onely in the generall, that he died; but in particular, that the reason of his death was my salvation and deliverance from death. Pilate and the unbeleeving Iewes shall one day see him whom they have peirced, and remember his death, Iudas shall see and re∣member him whom he kissed, the Devill shall see and remember him whom he persecuted, and in every one of these shall their remem∣brance produce an effect of horror and trem∣bling, abecause they remember him as their Iudge. If our remembrance of the love and mercy of his death, not onely testified, but Page  138 exhibited, and obsignated unto us, were no other than that which the wicked spirits have of his justice and severity, it could not be but that wee should as readily beleeve, as they do tremble at his death.

And indeed (if wee obserue it) the remem∣brance of Christs death, and the faith in it are one and the same thing; for what else is faith but a review and reflection of our thoughts upon Christ, a multiplied, and reiterated as∣sent unto the benefits of him crucified? and what is remembrance, but the returning of the minde backe unto the same object about the which it had been formerly employed? The remembrance of Christ is nothing else but the knowledge of Christ repeated, and thebknow∣ledge of Christ is all one with the beliefe in him, they which are not by faith united unto him, are quite ignorant of him. And there∣fore we finde that Saint Peers second deniall of Christ, is by the Evangelists diversly rela∣ted. In somecI am none of his, in others I know not the man: and certainely, if the one had been true, the other had been true too, for all compleate knowledge must have a commen∣suration to the objects that are knowne, and the ends for which they are proposed. Now all divine objects, besides their truth, have to∣gether annexed a goodnesse which is applicable to those that know it; so that to professe the knowledge of it, and yet not know how to ap∣ply Page  139 it to our owne use, is indeed therefore to be ignorant of it, because there is no other end why it should be knowne, then that there∣by it might be applyed. And therefore in the Scripture phrase, a wicked man and a foole are termes equivalent, because the right knowledge of divine truths,* doth ever inferre the love and prosecution of them; for every act in the will, whether of imbracing, or abominating any object, is grounded on some precedent Iudg∣ment of the understanding. Nothing that by the ultimate dictate of each particular and practicall judgment is proposed as to∣tally and supremely good, can possibly bee by the Will refused, because therein it must needs resist the impresse of Nature, which leads every, as well voluntary as necessary Agent, unto an infallible pursuite of whatsoever is propos'd unto it, as a thing able by the acces∣sion of its goodnesse, to advance and perfect the nature of the other: and therefore who∣soever beleeve not in Christ Iesus, and his death, nor doe imbrace and cling unto it, with all the desires of a most ardent affection, can∣not possibly bee said to know him, because however they may have some few, broken, faint, and floating notions of him, yet hee is not by this knowledge propos'd unto the Will, as its sole and greatest good (for then he could not but be embraced) but is in good earnest by the practick judgment underva∣lued Page  140 and disesteemed, in comparison of other things, whose goodnesse and convenience un∣to sensuall and corrupt nature, is represen∣ted more cleerely. Many men may bee able to discourse of the death of Christ, after a speculative, and scholasticall man∣ner, so profoundly, as that another who truely beleeves in him, shall not be able to understand it: and yet this poore soule that desires to know nothing but him, that accounts all things else dung in comparison of him, that endevours to be made conformable unto him in the com∣munion and fellowship of his sufferings, that can in Christs wounds see his safety, in Christs stripes his Medicine, in Christs anguish his peace, in Christs Crosse his triumph; doth so much more truely know him, as a man that is able safely to guide a ship through all the coasts of the world, doth better know the regions and situati∣ons of Countries, than he who by a dex∣teritie that way is able to draw most ex∣act and Geographicall descriptions.* Boyes may bee able to turne to, or to repeate severall passages of a Poet or Oratour more readily than a grounded Artist, who yet notwithstanding knowes the elegancy and worth of them farre better: and a Stage-player can haply expresse with grea∣ter life of passion the griefes of a distres∣sed Page  141 man, than hee can himselfe, although al∣together ignorant of the weight and oppres∣sion of them.

It is not therefore Logicall, Historicall, Speculative rememhrance of Christ, but an experimentall and beleeving remembrance of him, which wee are to use in the recei∣ving of these sacred misteries, which are not a bare Type and resemblance, but a seale also, confirming, and exhibiting his death unto each beleeving soule.

Secondly, we must remember the death of Christ, with a remembrance of thankefulnes for that great love which by it wee enjoy from him: certainely he hath no dram of good na∣ture in him, who for the greatest benefit that can befall him doth not returne a recompence of remembrance,a which costs him nothing. Our salvation cost Christ a pretious price, his owne bloud, and shall not we so much as lay up the memory of it in our mindes, that wee may have it forth-comming to answer all the objections that can be made against our title to salvation? consider with thy selfe the feare∣fulnes and horror of thy naturall estate, wherin thou wert expos'd to the infinite wrath of Al∣mighty God, whom thou therfore being both finite and impotent wert no way able to ap∣pease, subiect to the strokes and terrors, not onely of thine owne Conscience, a bosome Hell, but of that most exact Page  142 justice, which it is as impossible for thee to sustaine with patience, as with obedience, to satisfy. The creatures thine enemies thine owne heart thy witnes, thy Creator, thy Judge, eternity of expreslelesse anguish, gnawing of conscience, despaire of delive∣rance, & whatsoever misery the most search∣ing understanding can but imagine thy sen∣tence, for according to his feare, so is his wrath, from this, and much more hath the death of Christ, not onely delivered thee, but of a cast away, an enemy, a deplored wretch, weltring in thine owne bloud, rotting & stinking in thine owne grave, hath restored thee not only to thine originall interest, and patrimony, but unto an estate so much more glorious then that could have been, by how much the obedience of Christ, is more pretious, then any thy innocency could possibly have performed. Consider the o∣dious filthines of sinne, the pertinacious ad∣herence thereof unto thy nature, so that no∣thing but the incarnation, and bloud of the Sonne of God, the Creator of the World could wash it out; consider the Justice, and undispensable severity of our God a∣gainst sinne, which would not spare the life of his owne Sonne, nor be satisfied with∣out a Sacrifice of infinite, and coequall vertue with it selfe: consider that it was thy sinne, which were thy associates with Page  143Iudas, and Pilate, and the Iewes to crucify him: It was thy Hypocrisy which was the kisse that betraid him, thy covetousnes the thornes that crowned him, thy oppression, and cruelty the nayles, and Speares that peirced him, thy Idolatry and superstition the knee that mocked him, thy contempt of religion the spittle that defiled him, thy anger and bitternes the gall, and vnegar that distasted him, thy Crimson, and re∣doubled sins the Purple that dishonord him, in a word thou wert the Iew that kild him. Canst thou then have so many members as weapons wherewith to crucify thy Saviour, and hast thou not a heart wherein to recog∣nize, and a tongue wherewith to celebrate the benefits of that bloud which thy sinnes had powred out? The fire is queched by that water which by its heate was caused to runne over, and shall not any of thy sins, be put out by the over-flowing of that pre∣tious bloud which thy sinnes caused to run out of his sacred Bodie? Lastly, consider the immensitie of Gods mercie, and the unutterable treasures of his grace, which neither the provocations of thy sinne, nor the infinite exactnes of his owne justice could any way overcome, or constraine to dispise the worke of his owne hands or nor to compassionate the wretchednes of his creature though it cost the Humiliation Page  144 of the Sonne of God, and the exinanition of his Sacred person to performe it. Lay together all those considerations, and cer∣tainly they are able even to melt a heart of Adamant into thoughts of continuall thankfulnes towards so bountifull a Re∣deemer.

Thirdly, wee must remember the death of CHRIST with a Remembrance of O∣bedience even the commands of God should be sufficient to inforce our obedience. It is not the manner of Law-makers to use in∣sinuations, and plausible provokements, but peremptory, and resolute injunctions upon paine of penalty: but our God deales not onely as a Lord, but as a Father, he hath delivered us from the penalty, and now ra∣ther invites, then compels us to obedience, least by persisting in sinne we should make voyd unto our selves the benefit of Christs death, yea should crucify him a fresh, and so bring upon our selves not the benefit but the guilt of his bloud. Is it nothing thinke we that Christ should die in vaine, and take upon him the dishonor, and shame of a servant to no purpose? and disobedi∣ence, as much as in it lyes doth nullify, and make voyd the death of Christ: Is it nothing that that sacred Bloud of the co∣venant should bee shed onely to be troden, and trampled under foote as a vile thing? Page  145 and certainely he that celebrates the memo∣ry of Christs death in this holy Sacrament with a willfully polluted soule, doth not commemorate the Sacrifice, but share in the slaughter of him; and receives that pretious blood not according to the institution of Christ, to drinke it, but with thea purpose of Iudas and the Iewes, to shed it on the ground; a cruelty so much more detestable then Caines was, by how much the blood of Christ is more pretious than that of Abel. In the phrase of Scripture, sinning against God, and forgetting of him, or casting of him behinde our backe, or bidding him depart from us, or not having him before our eies, are all of equall signification, neither is any thing cald remembrance in divine dialect which doth not frame the soule unto affe∣ctions befitting the quality of the object that is remembred. Heb is not said to see a pit, though before his eyes, who by Starre-gazing or other thoughts falls into it; nor hee to remember Christ, though presen∣ted to all his senses at 〈◊〉, who makes no regard of his presence. Divine knowledge, being practicall, requires advertence and consideration, an essicacious pondering of the consequences of good or evill, and there∣by a proportionable governement of our se∣verall courses, which who so neglecteth, may bee properly said to forget, or to bee ig∣norant Page  146 of what was before him, though not out of blindnesse, yet out ofbinconsiderate∣nesse, as not applying close unto himselfe the obiect represented, which if truely re∣membred, would infallibly frame the minde unto a ready obedience and conformitie thereunto.

Lastly, Wee must remember the Death of Christ with Prayer unto God, for as by faith wee apply to our selves, so by prayer wee re∣present unto God the Father that his death as the merit and meanes of reconciliation with him: as prayer is animated by the Death of Christ (which alone is that cha∣racter that addes currantnesse unto them) so is the Death of Christ not to bee celebrated without Prayer, wherein wee doe with confi∣dence implore Gods acceptance of that sa∣crifice for us, in which alone hee is well∣pleased. aOpen thine eyes unto the supplica∣tion of thy servants, to hearken unto all for which they shall call unto thee, was the Prayer of Sa∣lomon in the consecration of the Temple. What, doth God hearken with his eyes unto the prayers of his people? Hath not hee that made the eare an eare himselfe, but must be faine to make use of another faculty unto a different worke? Certainely unlesse the eye of God be first open to looke on the bloud of his Sonne, and on the persons of his Saints bathed and sprinkled therewith, his eares can Page  147 never be open unto their prayers. Prayer doth put God in minde of hisb Covenant, and Covenants are not to bee presented without seales; now the seale of our Covenant is the blood of Christ, no Testament is of force but by the death of the Testator, whensoever therefore wee present unto God the truth of his owne free Covenant in our prayers, let us not forget to shew him his owne seale too, by which wee are confirmed in our hope therein. Thus are wee to celebrate the death of Christ, and in these regards is this holy worke called by thed Antients an unbloo∣dy sacrifice, in a mysticall and spirituall sense, because in this worke is a confluence of all such holy duties, as are in the Scripture called spirituall sacrifices: and in the same sence was the Lords Table ofttimes by them called an Altar, as that was which the Reubenites e∣rected on the other side of Iordan, not for any proper sacrifice, but to bee a patterne and memoriall of that whereon sacrifice was offered.

Page  148

CHAP. XVII.

Inferences of Practice from the severall ends of this holy Sacrament.

HEere then in as much as these sacred Elements are institu∣ted to present and exhibit Christ unto the faithfull soule, wee may inferre with what affection wee ought to approach unto him, and what reverent esti∣mation to have of them. Happinesse as it is the scope of all reasonable desires, so the confirmation of that happinesse is the solace and security of those that desire it. He (said the Prophet, speaking of Christ) shall bee the desire of all Nations, in as much as without him that happinesse which all doe naturally desire, is but a Meteor and fiction. So then wee see that even the light of our inbred rea∣son, seconded and directed by Divine truths doth leade us unto a desire of Christ, who alone is the Authour and Matter of that Happinesse, which is the true though un∣knowne object of all our naturall desires. Now this happines in Christ wee cannot have till we have actuall fruition of him, enjoy this blessednes we never can till we Page  149 are vnited to him, no more then a dissected member enjoyes the vitall influences of the soule, and Spirits. Vnion unto Christ wee cannot have untill it please him, by his Spirit as it were to stoope from that King∣dome where now he is, and to exhibit him∣selfe unto those whom it pleaseth him to assume into the unity of his body. Other way to enjoy him here we can have none, since no man can at his pleasure or power lift up his eyes with Steven to see him, or goe up with S. Paul to the third Heavens, to injoy him. Now it hath pleased the Wis∣dome of Christc (whose honor ever it is to magnifie his power in his creatures weaknes and to borrow noe parcell of glory in his service from those earthly and elementary instruments which he useth in it) by no o∣ther meanes to exhibite, and confirme the virtue of his sacred Body unto us, with the life, and righteousnes that from it issu∣eth, but onely by those poore and ordinary elements of Bread, and Wine in his Sacra∣ment unto which therefore he requireth such reverence, such hunger and affection as is in reason due to the Hand that reacheth, to the Seale that secureth, to the food that strengthneth that spirituall life in us, with∣out which we cannot possibly reach unto the end of our very naturall, and created desi∣res, happinesse and tranquillity. It behoves Page  150 us therefore to beware how we give enter∣tainment to any carnall thoughts, which goe about to vilifie, and undervalew the excellency of so Divine misteries from the outward meannesse of the things themselves. Say not like sullendNaaman, Is not the Wine in the Vintners Sellar, or the Bread of mine owne Table as good, as nourishing as is any in the Temple? certainly if thou be commanded some great Worke for the procuring of so great a good, as there had beene betweene the service, and the reward we disproportion, so would even reason it selfe have dictated unto us a necessity of obey∣ing rather then of disputing, how much ra∣ther when he biddeth us only to eat, and live. True it is that these creatures naturally have no more power to convey CHRIST, then wax hath in it selfe to convey a Lordship: yet as a small piece of wax when once in the vertue of a humane covenant or contract it is made the instrument to confirme, and ra∣tifie, such a conveyance is unto the receiver of more consequence then all the wax in the Towne besides, and is with the greatest care preserved: so these elements though physically the same which are used at our owne Tables, yet in the vertue of that holy Con∣secration, whereby they are made the instruments of exhibiting, and the seales of ascer∣taining Gods Covenant of grace unto us, Page  151 are unto us more valewable then our barnes full of graine, or our presses full of grapes, and are to be desired with so farre distant an affection from the other that are common, as Heaven is above Earth.

Secondly, in that these elements are con∣secrated and exhibited for confirmation of our Faith, wee thence see how the Church hath hera degrees of faith, herb measure the spirit, herc deficiencyes of grace, her languishings, ebbings, imperfections, her decayes, blemishes and fals, which makes her stand in neede of beingd perfected, builded,e rooted, establishedf in faith and righteousnes,g all things under the middle region are subject to Winds, Thun∣ders, Tempests, the continuall uncertain∣ties of boysterous wheather, whereas in the Heavens there is a perfect uniforme sere∣nity, and calmenes: so when a Christian comes once to his owne Countrey unto Hea∣ven, he then comes unto an estate of peace, and security,a to be filled with the fulnes of GOD, where theeves do not breake thorowgh nor steale, where neither flesh nor Satan have any admission, noe stormes of tempta∣tion, No Ship-wrack of conscience,* but where all things are spirituall,* and peace∣able. But in this Earth, where Satan hath power to goe from place to place toa compasse the World, to raise his tempests Page  152 against the Church even theb Waves of ungodly men, can have no safety from any danger, which eyther his subtelty can con∣trive, or his malice provoke, or his power execute, or his instruments further, and therefore wee are here subject to more or fewer degrees of faintnes in our Faith accor∣ding as our strength, to resist the common adversary is lesse or greater. As in the natu∣rall, so in the mysticall Body, though all the parts doe in common pertake of life, yet one is more vitall then another, the Heart, and Head, then the Hands, and Feete, yea the same part is at one time more active, and quick then at others. One while overgrowne with humors, and stiffned with distempers, another while free, expedite, and able for the discharge of any vitall office. And this is that which drives us to a necessity of re∣covering our strength, and making up our breaches by this holy Sacrament, which should likewise tell us in what humble esteeme wee ought to have our perfectest endowments, they being all subject to their faylings, and decaies.

Thirdly, in that these mysteries doe knit the faithfull together into the unity of on common body, we see what fellow feeling the faithfull should have of each other, how they should interest themselves in the severall states, and affections of their fel∣low Page  153 members, tod rejoyce with those that rejoyce, and to weepe with those that weepe. As we shoulde thinke the same things, and so agree in a unity of judg∣ments becausef all led with one, and the same Spirit which is the Spirit ofg truth, so we should allh suffer, and doe the same things, and so all concurre in a unity of affections, becausei all anima∣ted by the same Spirit, which is thek Spirit of love too,l where there is dissention, and disagreement, there must needs be a seve∣rall Law, where the Law is diverse, the go∣vernment differs too, and in a different govern∣ment there must of necessity be a differēt sub∣jection. He then that doth not sympathize with his brother, but nourisheth factious and uncharitable thoughts against him, doth ther∣in plainly testifie, that he is not subject (at least totally) unto the same prince with him and then we know that there are but two Princes, a Prince of peace, and a Prince of darkenes. Nature is in all her operations uni∣forme, and constant unto her selfea one Tree cannot naturally bring forth Grapes, and Figgs,b out of the same Fountaine can∣not issue bitter water, and sweete, the selfe same vitall faculty of feeling which is in one member of the body is in all, because all are animated with that soule which doth not confine it selfe unto any one. The Page  154 Church of God is ac Tree planted by the same hand, ad Garden watred from the same Fountaine,e a body quickned by the same Spirit, the members of it are all brethren;f begotten by one Father of mercy, generated by one Seede of the Word, delivered g from one wombe of ignorance, fed with one bread of Life, em∣ployd in one Heavenly calling, brought up in one House-hold of the Church, travel∣lers in one way of grace, heires to one Kingdome of glory, and when they agree in so many unities, should they then admit any fraction or disunion in their minds? from Adam unto the last man that shall tread on the Earth is the Church of GOD but one continued, and perfected body, and therefore we finde that as in theh body the head is affected with the grievances of the feete, though there be a great distance of place betweene them; so thei holy∣men of God have mourned, and been ex∣ceedingly touched with the afflictions of the Church even in after Ages, though betweene them did interveane a great dis∣tance of time. Certainly thenk if the Church of God lie in distresse, and we stretch our selves on beds of Juory, if she mourne in sack-cloath, and we riot in soft rayment, if the wild Bore of the Forrest breake in upon her, and we send not out one prayer Page  155 to drive him away, if there bee cleane∣nesse of teeth in the poore, and our teeth grinde them still, if their bowells be emp∣ty of food, and ours still empty of compas∣sion, if the wrath of God bee enflamed a∣gainst his people, and our zeale remaine still as frozen, our charity as cold, our af∣fections as benum'd, our compassion as stu∣pid as it ever was, In aword, if Sion lye in the dust, and wee hang not up our Harpes, nor pray for her peace, as wee can conclude nothing but that we are unnaturall members, so can wee expect nothing but the curse of aMeroz, who went not out to helpe the Lord.

Fourthly, in that this Sacrament is Gods Instrument to ratifie and make sure our claime unto his Covenant, we learne. First, there∣in to admire and adore the unspeakeable love of God, who is pleased not onely to make, but to confirme his promises un∣to the Church. AsbGod, so his truth, whether of judgments or promises, are all in themselves immutable, and infallible in their event; yet notwithstanding, as the Sunne though in it selfe of a most uni∣forme light and magnitude, yet by rea∣son of the great distance, and of the va∣riety of mists and vapours through which the raies are diffus'd, it often seemeth in both properties to varie: so the promises Page  154〈1 page duplicate〉Page  155〈1 page duplicate〉Page  156 of God; however in themselves of a fixed and unmoveable certainty, yet passing through the various tempers of our minds one while serene and cleere, another while by the steeme of pas∣sions, and temptations of Satan, foggie and distemperd, doe appeare under an inconstant shape. And for this cause, as the Sunne doth it selfe dispell those vapours wch did hinder the right perc••tion of it; so the grace of God, to∣gether with and by the holy Sacrament com∣municated, doth rectifie the minde and com∣pose those diffident affections wch did before intercept the efficacie and evidence thereof.

God made a Covenant with our fathers, and not accounting that enough hee confirmed it by an oath,c that by 2. immutable things, where∣in it was impossible for God to ly, they might have strong consolation who have had refuge to lay hold on the hope that is set before them. The strength wee see of the consolation de∣pends upon the stability of the covenant. And is Gods covenant made more firme by an oath than by a promise? The truth of God is as his nature withoutd variablenesse or shadow of changing, and can it then bee made more im∣mutable? Certainly as to infinitenes in regard of extension, so unto immutabillity in regard of firmenes, can there not bee any accession of degrees, or parts: All immutability being nothing else but an exclusion of whatsoever might possibly occur to make the thing vari∣able Page  157 and uncertaine. So then the Oath of God doth no more adde to the certainty of his word then doe mens oathes and protestations to the truth of what they affirme; but because wee consist of an earthly and dull temper, therefore God when he speakes unto us doth ingeminate his compellations,aO Earth, Earth, Earth, heare the word of the Lord. So weake is our sight, so diffident our nature, as that it seemes to want the evidence of what it sees: peradventure God may repent him of his promise, as he did sometime of hisb Creature. Why should not the Covenant of grace bee as mutable as was that of gwords? God promised toc esta∣blish Sion for ever, and yet Sion, the City of the great God is fallen; was notdShilo beloved, and did not God forsake it? had eComah beene as the signet of his hand, had hee not yet beene cast away? was not fIerusalem a Vine of Gods planting, and hath not the wild Boare long since rooted it up? was notgIsrael the naturall Olive that did partake of the fat and sweetnesse of the roote, and is yea cut off, and wrath come upon it to the uttermost? Though God be most immutable, may he not yet alter his promise? did the abrogation of Ceremonies prove any way a change in him who was as well the erector as the dissolver of them? Though the Sunne be fastned to his owne Page  158 Spheare, yet may hee bee moved by ano∣ther Orbe. What if Gods promise barely considered, proceed from his Antecedent and simple will of benevolence towards the Creature, but the stability and certainty of his promise in the event depend on a second resolution of his consequent will, which pre∣supposeth the good use of mine owne liber∣ty? may not I then abuse my free will and so frustrate unto my selfe the benefit of Gods promise? Is not my will mutable, though Gods bee not? may not I sinke and fall though the place on which I stand be firme? may not I let goe my hold though the thing which I handle bee it selfe fast? what if all this while I have beene in a Dreame, mistaking mine owne private fan∣cies and misperswasions for the dictates of Gods Spirit? mistaking Satan (who useth to transforme himselfe) for an An∣gell of light? God hath promised, it is true, but hath hee promised unto mee? did hee ever say unto mee, Simon, Simon, or Saul,*Saul Or Samuel, Samuel? Or if hee did,* must he needs performe his pro∣mise to me,* who am not able to fulfill my conditions unto him? Thus, as unto men floating upon the Sea, or unto dis∣tempered braines, the land and house though immoveable seeme to reele, and totter, or as unto weake eyes, every thing seemes Page  159 double: so the promises of God however builta on a sure foundation, his Coun∣sell, and Fore-knowledge, yet unto men prepossest with their owne private distempers doe they seeme unstable and fraile, unto a weake eye of faith Gods Covenant to bee (if I may so speake)b double, to have a tongue, and a tongue, a promise, and a promise, that is, a various and uncertaine promise. And for this cause (notwithstandingc diffident and distrustfull men doe indeed deserve what they suspect, and are worthy to suffer what they unworthily doe feare) doth God yet in compassion towards our fraitly condescend to confirme his promises by an Oath, to engage the truth of his own essence for performance, to seale the Patent which he hath given with his own blood, and to exhibite that seale unto us so often as with faith wee approach unto the Communion of these holy mysteries. And who can sufficiently admire the riches of this mercy which makes the very weake∣nesses and imperfections of his Church oc∣casions of redoubling his promises unto it?

Secondly, in that this Sacrament is the instrumentall cause of confirming our faith from this possibility, yea, facility of obtaining, we must conclude the necessity of using so great a benefit, wherein wee procure the strength∣ning of our graces, the calmeing of our con∣sciences, and the experience of Gods favour; Page  160 in the naturall body there being a continu∣all activity and conflict betweene the heate and the moisture of the body, and by that meanes a wasting depassion, and decay of na∣ture, it is kept in a perpetuall necessity of succouring it selfe by food: so in the spiritu∣all man there being in this present estate an unreconcileable enmity betweene the spirit, and the flesh, there is in either part a pro∣pension towards such outward food, whereby each in its distresses may be releeved. The flesh pursues all such objects as may con∣tent and cherish the desires thereof, which the Apostle calleth the provisions of lust. The Spirit of the contrary side strengthens it selfe by those divine helps which the wise∣dome of God had appointed to conferre grace, and to settle the heart in a firme perswasion of its owne peace. And amongst these instruments this holy Sacrament is one of the principall, which is indeed no∣thing else but a visible oath, wherein Christ giveth us a tast of his benefits and engageth his owne sacred body for the accompli∣shing of them, which supporteth our tot∣tering faith and reduceth the soule unto a more setled tranquility.

Fifthly, In that in this one all other Types were abrogated and nullified, wee learne to admire and glorifie the love of God, who hath set us at liberty from the thraldome Page  161 of Ceremonies, from the costlinesse, and difficulty of his Service, with which his owne chosen people were held ina bon∣dage, under the Pedagogie and governe∣ment of Schoole-masters, the ceremoniall and judiciall Law, as so many notes of distinctions charactristicall differences, or bwall of separation betweene Iew and Gentile, untill the comming of the Mes∣sias, whichc was the time of the re∣formation of all things, wherein the Gen∣tiles were by his death to bee ingrafted dinto the same stocke, and made par∣takers of the same juyce and fatnesse, the eshadowes to bee removed, thef or∣dinances to bee canceld, the Law to bee gabolished: forhThe Law came by Moses, but Grace and Truth by Iesus Christ; Grace in opposition to the Curse of the Morall Law, Truth in opposition to the fi∣gures and resemblances of the Ceremoniall Law. The Iewes in Gods service were bound unto one place, and unto one forme, no Temple or ministration of Sacrifices without Ierusalem, nor without expresse prescription, no use of Creatures without difference of common and uncleane: wher∣as unto usi all places are lawfull and purek all things lawfull and pure, every Country a Canaan, and every City a Ieru∣salem, and every Oratory a Temple. It is Page  162 not an ordinance but al Prayer which sanctifieth and maketh good unto our use mevery creature of God.

But yet though we under the Gospell are thus set at liberty from all manner ordinan∣ces which are not of intrinsecall, eternall, and unvariable necessity; yet may this li∣berty in regard of the nature of things in∣different bee made a necessity in respect of the use of them. We may not thinke that our liberty is a licentious, and unbounded liberty, as if CHRIST had been the Au∣thor of confusion, to leave every man in the externall carriages of his worship unto the conduct of his private fancy. This were to have oura liberty for a cloake of naugh∣tines, and asb an occasion to the flesh: but we must alwayes limite it by those generall, and morall rules of piety, loyalty, charity, and sobriety. Use all things we may indifferently without subjection or bondage unto the thing but not without subjection unto GOD, and superiors. Use them we may but with* temperatnes, and modera∣tion, use them we may but with respectc to Gods glory, use them we may, but with dsubmission to authority, use them we may, but withe avoyding of scandall. Christian liberty consisteth in the inward free∣dome of thefconscience, whose onely bond is a necessity of Doctrine, not in out∣ward Page  163 conformity or observances onely, whose bond is a necessity of obedience, and subor∣dination unto higher powers, which obey∣ing, though wee become thereby subject unto some humane, or Ecclesiasticall ordinan∣ces, the conscience yet remaines uncurbed and at liberty.

Secondly, we have hereby a great en∣couragement to serve our God ing spirit, and in truth, being delivered from all those burdensome accessions which unto the in∣ward worship were added in the legall ob∣servances. In spirit in opposition unto the Carnall, in truth, in opposition unto the Typicall ceremonies. The services of the Iewes were celebrated in the bloud, and smoake, of unreasonable creatures, but ours in the Gospell must be a spirituall, ah reasonable service of him, for as in the Word of God thei letter profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that quickneth, so in the worship of God likewise, the Knee, the Lip, the Eye, the Hand alone profiteth not at all, it is the spirit that worshippeth. It is not a ma∣cerated body, but a contrite soule which he respecteth; if there be palenes in the face, but bloud in the heart, if whitenes in the Eye but blacknes in the soule, if a drooping coun∣tenance but an unbended conscience, if a knee bowing downe in the Temple of God, and thoughts rising up against the grace of Page  164God the head like a Bul-rush, and the heart like an Adamant, in a word if there bee but a bodily, and unquickned service, a schisme in the same worshipper betweene his outward, and his inward man, he that is not a God of the dead but of the living, hee that accompteth in the leviticall Law, carcases, as uncleane things, (as being in the neerest disposition to rottennes, and putrefaction) will never smell any sweete savor in such services.b What have I to doe (saith God with your Sacrifices, and my soule hateth your new Moones, and your appoin∣ted feasts. My Sacrifices, and myc Sab∣boths they were by originall institution, but your carnall observance of them hath made themdyours. Even thee Heathen Idols themselves did require rather the truth of an inward then the pompe of an outward wor∣ship, and therefore they forbad allf pro∣fane people any accesse to their services. And God certainly will not be content with lesse then the Divill.

Sixtly, in that by these frequent cere∣monies we are led unto the celebration of Christs death, and the benefits thereby arising unto mankinde, we may hence ob∣serve the naturall deadnes, and stupidity of mans memory in the things of his sal∣vation. It is a wonder how a man should forget his Redeemer that ransomed him Page  165 with the price of his owne bloud, to whom he oweth whatsoever he either is or hath, him whom each good thing we injoy lea∣deth unto to the acknowledgment of. Looke where we will, he is still not onely in us, but before us. The wisdome of our minds, the goodness of our natures, the purposes of our wills and desires, the calmenes of our consciences, the hope, and expectation of our soules and bodies, the liberty from law, and sinne, what ever it is in or about us which we either know, or admire, or enjoy, or expect, he is the Treasury whence they were taken, the fulnes whence they were received, the head which transferreth the hand which bestoweth them, we are on all sides compassed, and evena hedg∣ed in with his blessings; so that in this sense we may acknowledge a kind of ubiquity of Christs body, in as much as it is e∣very where even visible, and palpable in those benefits which flow from it. And yet we like men that looke on the River Nilus, and gaze wonderously on the Streames, remaine still ignorant of the head, and Originall from whence they issue. Thus as there is betweene bloud, and Poyson such a naturall antipathy as makes them to shrinke in, and retire at the presence of each other: so though each Page  166 good thing we enjoy serve to present that pretious blood which was the price of it unto our soules, yet there is in us so much venome of sinne as makes us still to remove our thoughts from so pure an ob∣ject. As in the knowledge of things many men are of so narrow understandings that they are not able to raise them unto con∣sideration of the causes of such things, whose effects they are haply better acquain∣ted with, then wiser men; it being the worke of a discursive head, to discover the se∣cret knittings, obscure dependances, of na∣turall things on each other: so in mat∣ters of practice in Divinity many men commonly are so fastned unto the present goods which they enjoy, and so full with them that they either have noe roome, or noe leisure, or rather indeed no power, nor will to lift up their minds from the streames unto the Fountaine, or by a holy logick to resolve them into the death of Christ from whence if they issue not, they are but fallacies, and sophisticall good things, and what ever happines we expect in or from them, will prove a non sequitur at the last. Remember, and know CHRIST indeed, such men may, and do in some sort, sometimes to dishonor him, at best but to discourse of him. But as the Phy∣losopher speakes of intemperate men, who Page  167 sin, not out of a full purpose uncontroled swinge of vitious resolutions, but with checks of judgement and reluctancy of reason, that they are buta halfe vitious (which yet is indeed but an halfe-truth.) So certainly they, who though they doe not quite forget Christ, or cast him behinde their backe, doe yet remember him onely with a speculative contemplation of the nature and generall efficacy of his death, without par∣ticular application of it unto their owne persons and practices, have but a halfe and halting knowledge of him. Certainely a meere Schoole-man who is able exactly to dispute of Christ and his passion, is as farre from the length, and breadth, and depth, and heigth of Christ crucified, from the requisite dimensions of a Christian, as a meere Sur∣veiour or Architect, who hath onely the practise of measuring land or timber, is from the learning of a Geometrician. For as Ma∣thematicks, being a speculative Science cannot possibly bee compris'd in the narrow compasse of a practicall Art; so neither can the knowledge of Christ, being a saving and practick knowledge be compleat, when it floats only in the discourses of a speculative braine. And therefore Christ at the last day will say unto many men who thought themselves great Clerks, and of his neere acquaintance, even such as did preach him and doe wonders Page  168 in his name, that hee neverb knew them, and that is an argument, that they likewise never knew him neither. For as no man can see the Sunne, but by the benefit of that light which from the Sunne shineth on him: so no man can know Christ, but those on whom Christ first shineth, and whom he vouch safeth to know, Mary Magdalen could not say Rabboni to Christ, till Christ first had said Mary to her. And therefore that we may not faile to re∣mēber Christ aright, it pleaseth him to insti∣tute this holy Sacrament as the image of his crucified body, whereby wee might as truely have Christs death presented unto us, as if he had beenec crucified before our eyes.

Secondly, we see here who they are who in the Sacrament receive Christ, even such as remember his death with a recognition of faith, thankefulnesse and obedience. Others receive onely the Elements, but not the Sacra∣ment, As when the King seales a pardon to a condemned malefactour, the messenger that is sent with it receives nothing from the King but paper written and sealed, but the malefactor (unto whom onely it is a gift) re∣ceives it as it were a resurrection. Certainely there is a staffe as well of Sacramentall as of common bread, the staffe of common bread is the blessing of the Lord, the staffe of the Sacramentall is the body of the Lord; and as the wicked, which never looke up in thank∣fulnes Page  169 unto God, doe often receive the bread without the blessing, so here the ele∣ment without the body, they receive in∣deed, as it is fit uncleane Birds should doe, nothing but the carcasse of a Sacrament, the body of Christ being the soule of the Bread, and his bloud the life of the Wine. His body is not now any more capa∣ble of dishonour, it is a glorified body, and therefore will not enter into an earthy, and uncleane soule: As it is corporally in Hea∣ven, so it will be spiritually and sacramen∣tally in noe place but a heavenly soule. Thinke not that thou hast received Christ, till thou hast effectually remembred, seri∣ously meditated, and been religiously af∣fected, and inflamed with the love of his death, without this thou maist be guilty of his body, thou canst not be a partaker of it: guilty thou art, because thou didst reach out thy hand with a purpose to re∣ceive Christ into a polluted soule, though he withdrew himselfe from thee. Even as Mutius Sevola was guilty of Porsena's bloud, though it was not him, but another whom the Dagger wounded; because the error of the hand cannot remove the malice of the heart.

Page  170

CHAP. XVIII.

Of the subject, who may with benefit receive the holy Sacrament, with the necessary quali∣fications thereunto, of the necessity of due preparation.

WE have hitherto hand∣led the Sacrament it selfe; wee are now breifly to consider the subject whom it con∣cerneth, in whom we will observe such qualifications as may fit, and predispose him for the comfortable receiving, and proper interest in these holy mysteries. Sacraments, since the time that Satan hath had a Kingdome in the World, have been ever notes, and Characters whereby to distinguish the Church of God from the Ethnick, and unbeleeving part of men; so that they being not common unto all mankinde, some subject unto whom the right, and propriety of them belongeth must bee found out. GOD at the first created man upright, framed him after his owne Image, and endowed him with gifts Page  171 of nature, able to preserve him entire in that estate wherein he was created. And because it was repugnant to the essentiall freedome wherein he was made, to neces∣sitate him by any outward constraint unto an immutable estate of integrity, he there∣fore soa framed him that it might be within the free liberty of his owne will to cleave to him, or to decline from him. Man being thus framed, abused this na∣tive freedome, and committed sinne, and thereby in the very same instant became really, and properly dead. For as he was dead iudicially in regard of a temporall, and eternall death (both which were now al∣ready pronounced though not executed on him) so was he dead actually, and really in regard of that spirituall death; which consisteth in a separation of the soule from God, and in an absolute immobility un∣to Divine operations. But mans sinne did not nullifie Gods power. He that made him a glorious creature when he was no∣thing, could as easily renew, and rectifie him when he fell away. Being dead, true it is, that active concurrence unto his owne restitution he could have none, but yet still the same passive obedience, and capacity which was in the red Clay of which Adams body was fashioned unto that di¦vine Image which God breathed into it, Page  172 the same had man being now fallen unto the restitution of those heavenly benefits and habituall graces which then hee lost; save that in the clay there was onely a pas∣sive obedience, but in man fallen there is anb active rebellion, crossing resistance, and withstanding of Gods good worke in him. More certainely than this hee can∣not have, because howsoever in regard of naturall and reasonable operations hee bee more selfe-moving than clay, yet in regard of spirituall graces hee is full as dead. Even as a man though more excellent then a beast, is yet as truely and equally not an Angell as a beast is. So then thus farre wee see all mankinde doe agree in an equallity of Creation, in a universallity of descrtion, in a capacity of restitution.

God made the world that therein hee might commuicate his goodnesse unto the creature, and unto every creature in that proportion as the nature of it is capable of. And man being one of the most ex∣cellent creatures is amongst the rest capa∣ble of these two principall attributes, ho¦linesse, and happinesse, which two God out of his most secret Counsell and eternall mercy, conferreth on whom he had chosen and made accepted in Christ the beloved, shutting the rest either out of the com∣passe, as Heathen, or at least out of the Page  173 inward priviledges and benefits of that Covenant which hee hath established with mankind, as hypocrites and licentious Christians. Now as in the first Creation of man, God did into the unformed lumpe of clay infuse by his power the breath of life and so made man, so in the regenera∣tion of a Christian doth hee in the natu∣rall man who is dead in sinne, breathe a principle of spirituall life, the first Act, as it were, and the originall of all superna∣turall motions, whereby hee is constituted in the first being of a member of Christ.

And this first Act is faith, the soule of a Christian, that whereby wea live in Christ, so that till wee have faith wee are dead and out of him. And as faith is the principle (next under the Holy-Ghost) of all spirituall life here, so is Baptisme the Sacrament of that life, which accompanied and raised by the Spirit of grace, is unto the Church though not the cause, yet the bmeanes in and by which this grace is conveyed unto the soule.

Now as Adam after once life was infus'd into him, was presently to preserve it by theb eating of the fruites in the Garden where God had pla∣ced him, because of that continuall depa∣shion of his radicall moysture by vital heat▪ which made Nature to stand in need of Page  174 succours and supplies from outward nou∣rishment: so after man is once regenerated and made alive, hee is to preserve that faith which quickneth him by such food as is pro∣vided by God for that purpose, it being o∣therwise of it selfe subject to continuall languishings and decayes. And this life is thus continued and preserved amongst o∣ther meanes by the grace of this holy Eucha∣rist, which conveyes unto us that true food of life, the body and bloud of Christ cru∣cified. So then in as much as the Sacra∣ment of Christs supper is not the Sacra∣ment of regeneration, but of sustentation and nourishment; and in as much as no dead thing is capable of being nourished (aug∣mentation being a vegetative and vitall act) and lastly in as much as the principle of this spirituall life is faith, and the Sacra∣ment of it Baptisme, It followeth evidently that no man is a subject quallified for the holy communion of Christs body, who hath not beene before partaker of faith and Baptisme.

In Heaven, where all things shall bee perfected and renewed, our soules shall be in as little neede of this Sacrament, as our bodies of nourishment. But this being a state of imperfection subject to decayes, and still capable of further augmentation, wee are therefore by these holy mysteries to Page  175preserve the life which by faith and Baptisme wee have received: without which life, as the Sacrament doth conferre and confirme nothing, so doe we receive nothing neither but the bare elements. Christ is now in Heaven, no eye sharpe enough to see him, no arme long enough to reach him but one∣ly faith. The Sacrament is but thec seale of a Covenant, and Covenants essentially in∣clude conditions, and the condition on our part is faith, no faith no Covenant, no Co∣venant no Seale, no Seale no Sacrament. dChrist and Beliall will not lodge to∣gether.

Having thus found out the first necessa∣ry quallification of a man for the receiving of the holy Eucharist, without which hee is absolutely as uncapable of it, as a dead man of food, we may the more easily looke into the next more immediate and particular, consisting in that preparatory Act ofeex∣amination or triall of the conscience touch∣ing its fitnesse to communicate, because the former is to bee the rule and measure by which wee proceed in the latter.

f Some things there are which men learne to doe by doing of them, and which are better perform'd, and the dangers incident unto them better avoided by an extempora∣ry dexterity, than by any premeditation or forecast. But yet generally since matters Page  176 of consequence are never without some perplexed difficulties not discernable by a sudden intuition, and since the mindes of men are of a limited efficacy, and therefore unfit for any serious worke, till first dispossessed of all different notions which might divert, and of all repugnant prin∣ciples or indispositions which might oppose it in the performance of any great bu∣sinesse set upon with sudden, uncomposed and uncollected thoughts; It is very ne∣cessary before wee undertake any serious and difficult worke, both to examine the sufficiency, and to prepare the instruments by which wee may bee enabled to per∣forme it. Thus wee see in the workes of Nature, those which admit of any lati∣tude or degrees of perfection are seldome done without many previous dispositions to produce them. In Plants and vegeta∣bles the Earth is to bee opened, the seed to bee scattered, the raine to moysten, the Sunne to evocate and excite the seminall vertue, and after all this comes a Fruit∣full Harvest: and so in generation of all other naturall bodies there are ever some antecedent qualities introduc'd by meanes whereof Nature is assisted and prepared for her last act. So in the workes of Art wee finde howa wrestlers and runners in ra∣ces did supple their joynts with oyntments Page  177 and diet their bodies that by that meanes they might be fit for those bodily exer∣cises; howb those Romane Fencers in their gladiatory fights did first use presa∣tory or dulled weapons before they entred in good earnest into the Theater, and then their custome was, first to carry their weapons to the Prince to have his allow∣ance of the fitnesse of them before they used them in fighting. ThecLacede∣monians were wont to have musicall in∣struments before their warres, that there∣by their courage might bee sharpned, and their mindes raised unto bold attempts. And wee reade ofdScipio Africanus, that ever before hee set himselfe upon the undertaking of any great businesse, his manner was to enter the Capitole, to submit his projects unto the judgment of the gods, and to implore their aid and allowance for the good successe of such his enterprises. A thing for the sub∣stance of it, practised by all the Ethnicks before they addressed themselves unto any worke of consequence, whose constant use it was to have recourse unto their gods ine prayers, for benediction and encou∣ragement. And it was a religious obser∣vation in the Romane superstitious sacri∣fices for aa servant that stood by, to put the Priest in minde what hee was a∣bout, Page  178 and to advise him to consider ma∣turely, and to doe with his whole mind, and endeavour that worke hee was to per∣forme. Andb whatsoever vessells, or garments were in those solemnities used, were before-hand washed and cleansed, that they might bee fit instruments for such a worke. Thus farre wee see the light of reason, and the very blindnesse of super∣stition enforceth a necessity of preparation unto any great, especially divine, worke.

If wee looke into the holy Scriptures wee may finde God himselfe a patterne of these deliberate preparations. In making the world it had beene as easie for him in one simple command to have erected this glorious frame at once, as to be six daies in the fashioning of it. But to exhibite unto us an example of temperate, and aduis'd pro∣ceedings, he first provides the materialls, and then superadds the accomplishment and perfection. In the dispensing of his judgments hee first prepares them, before hee inflicts them, He hath whet his sword, and bent his bow, and made ready his arrowes, before he strikes or shootes: his eye comes be∣fore his hand;c He comes downe to see Sodome before to consume it. Hee examines before he expells,dAdam where art thou? before he drive him out of Paradise. Nay in the very sweetest of all his attributes, his mer∣cy Page  179 we find him firsteconsider his people Israel, before he sends Moses to deliver them. In like manner our blessed Savi∣our, though having in him the fulnes of the God-head, the treasures of Wisdome, and Grace without measure, he was there∣fore perfectly able to discharge that great worke unto which the Father had Sealed him, was yet pleased to prepare himselfe both unto his propheticall, and sacerdo∣tall obedience byf Baptisme,g Fast∣ing, Temptation, andh Prayer, That the practise of this great Worke, where it was not necessary, might be a president, unto us who are not able of our selves to thinke, or to doe any good thing,a In the building of Salomons Temple the stones were perfected, and hewed before they were brought, there was neither Hammer, nor Axe, nor any toole of Iron heard in the house while it was in building. And so should it be in the Temple of which that was a type even in the mysticall body of CHRIST, every man should be first hewed, and fitted by repentance, and other preparatory workes before he should ap∣proach to incorporate himselfe into that spirituall, and eternall building. In the observation of Leviticall ceremonies wee may note thatb before the celebration of the Passeover the Lambe was to be taken Page  180 and severed from the flocke three dayes ere it was slaine, in which time the people might in that figure learne to sanctifie themselves, and to be seperated from sin∣ners. And our saviour Christ in the cele∣bration of the last Supper, would not have so much as thec roome unprovided, but he sent his Disciples before hand about it. Teaching us that in sacred things there should be first a preparation before a cele∣bration. So then we see in generall the ne∣cessity of preparing, and deliberating be∣fore we addresse our selves unto the per∣formance of any holy worke, and if any where, certainly in this worke of the Sa∣crament most necessary it is. Though Gods commands by his Apostle were bond e∣nough to inforce us thed necessity of obe∣dience, depending rather on the Author then on the emolument of the Law, yet GOD, who is not wanting all wayes to winne men unto the observance of what he requires, urgeth us thereunto not onely with an argument of debt because we are his servants, but with an argument of profit too, because the omission of it will not onely nullifie unto us the benefit of his Sacrament but make us, guilty of that very bloud which was shed for the Salva∣tion of the World, and turne that into Judgment which was intended for mercy.

Page  181 What this danger of being guilty of Christs blood is, I will not stand long to explaine. Briefly, to be guilty, of the body and bloud of Christ, is to offer some no∣table contempt, and indignity unto the sufferings of Christ, to sinne against the price of our redemption, and toa vi∣lifie and set at nought the pretious bloud of the new covenant, as if it were a com∣mon, and profane thing when men out of ignorant, sensuall, secure, presumptuous, formalizing, inconsiderate, and profane affections approach unto Christs Table to Communicate of him. To be guilty of bloud is in some sort, or other tob shed it, and to joyne with the Crucifiers of CHRIST. A sinne, which as it drove Iudas to dispaire, and to end with himselfe, who had begunne with his Master, so doth it to this day lie with the heaviest curse that ever that people indured, on the off∣spring of those wicked Iewes, whose im∣precation it was, His bloud be on us, and on our children. As Christ on the Crosse was in regard of himselfe offered up unto the Father, but in regard of Pilat, and the Iewes crucified; so is his bloud in the Sacrament by the faithfull received, by the wicked shed, and spilt on the ground, when not discerning or differencing the Lords body from other ordinary Food, they rush Page  182 irreverendly to the participation of it.* For a man may be guilty of the blood of Christ though he receive it not at all, as a man may of murther though he hit not the party against whom his Weapon was directed.c It is not the event but the purpose which specifies the sinne. The an∣ger of a Dog is as great, when he barkes at the Moone which is above his malice, as when at a man whom he may easily bite. The malice of the apostate who shot up dDarts against Heaven was no lesse then if he had hit the body of Christ at whom he shot. If that which is done un∣to the Apostles of Christ is done unto him, because they are his Ambassadores, and if that which is done unto the poore, and distressed flocke of Christ, is done unto him because they are his members, then surely that which is done unto the Sacrament of Christ must needs be done unto him too, in as much as it is his representation, and Image. For a man may be guilty of treason, by offering indigni∣ty to the Picture, Coyne, Garment, or Seale of a Prince. The dishonour that is done to the Image (it being a relative thing) doth ever reflect on the originall it selfe. And therefore the Romans when they would dishonor any man, would shew some dis∣grace toe the statues that had bin e∣rected Page  183 to his honour, by demolissing, break∣ing, downe, and dragging them in the Dirt. Againe a man may be guilty of the bloud of Christ by reaching forth his hand to receive it having noe right unto it. A sacriledge it is, to lay hold wrong∣fully on the Lords inheritance, or on any thing consecrated to the maintenance of his worship, and service; but this certain∣ly by so much the greater by how much the Lords body is more pretious then his portion. To counterfeit right of inheritance unto some Kingdome hath beene ever a∣mongst men unfortunate, and Capitall. We know how ill it is succeeded with the counterfeitaNero amongst the Ro∣mans, and that forged Duke of Yorke in the time of Henry the seventh. And sure∣ly no lesse succesfull can their insolence be, who having by reason of their un∣worthy approach noe clayme nor interest unto the benefits of Christs body, doe yet usurpe it, and take the Kingdome of Heaven as it were by rapine, and presump∣tuous violence. Certainly if Christ will not have the wicked to take hisb Word much lesse his body into their mouths; If thec Raine that falleth to the ground returnes not empty, but according to the quality of the ground on which it falls maks it fruitfull eyther in Herbs meete for the Page  184 use of men that dressed it, or in Thornes, and Briars that are neere unto cursing, im∣possible it is that the blood of Christ in his Sacrament should be uneffectuall, whe∣ther for a blessing unto the faithfull, or for a curse to those that unworthly receive it. So then necessary it is that before the Commu∣nication of these sacred mysteries, a man prepare himselfe by some previous devo∣tions; and for this cause wee finde our eSaviour Christ washing his Disciples Feet, that is cleansing their earthly, and humane affections before his institu∣tion of this Sacrament. And we finde Ioseph of Arimatheaf wrapping his dead Body in a cleane linnen Garment, and putting it into a new Tombe, never yet defiled with rottennes, and corruption. And can we imagine that he that endured not an uncleane grave or shrowd will en∣ter into a sinfull, and unprepared Soule. The everlasting Dores must first bee lif∣ted up before the King of Glory will enter in.

Page  185

CHAP. XIX.

Of the forme or manner of Examination requi∣red, which is touching the maine quallification of a worthy receiver, Faith: The demonstra∣tion whereof is made, first, from the causes secondly, from the nature of it.

HAving thus discovered the necessity of preparation, and that standing in the exami∣nation and triall of a mans Conscience; it followeth that wee conclude with set∣ting downe very compendiously the manner of this examination, onely naming some principall particulars. The maine querie is whether I am a fit guest to approach Gods Table, and to share in the fellowship of his sufferings. The suffrings of Christ are not exposed unto the rapine and violence of each bold intruder, but he who was first the Au∣thor, is for ever the despenser of them. And as in the dispensation of his miracles, for the most part, so of his sufferings likewise, there is either a question premised, beleevest thou, or a condition included, bee it unto thee as thou beleevest. But a man may bee alive, and yet unfit to eate, nor capable of Page  186 any nourishment by reason of some dange∣rous diseases, which weaken the stomacke, and trouble it with an apepsie, or difficulty of concoction. And so faith may sometimes in the Habit lye smothered, and almost sti∣fled with some spirituall lethargie, binding up the vitall faculties from their proper motions. And therefore our faith must be an operative, and expedite faith, not stupi∣fied with any knowne and practised course of sinne, which doth ever weaken our ap∣petite unto grace, they being things un∣consistent. The matter then wee see of this triall must bee that vitall quallification which predisposeth a man for the receiving of these holy mysteries, and that is faith. To enter into such a discourse of faith, as the condition of that subject would require were a labour beyond the length of a short meditation, and unto the present purpose impertinent. Wee will therefore onely take some generallities about the causes, nature, properties or effects of faith (which are the usuall mediums of producing assents) and propose them by way of interrogation to the Conscience, that so the major and minor being contriv'd, the light of reason in the soule may make up a practicall syllo∣gisme▪ and so conclude either its fitnesse or indisposition towards these holy my∣steries.

Page  187 First, for the causes of faith, not to med∣dle with that extraordinary cause, I meane miracles, the ordinary are the word of God, and the Spirit of God, the Word as the Seed, the Spirit as the formative and se∣minall virtue making it active, and effectu∣all: for the Letter profiteth nothing, it is the Spirit which quickneth. What the for∣mality of that particular action is, whereby the Word and Spirit doe implant this heavenly branch of faith in the soule.

(Faith it selfe having in its nature seve∣rall distinct degrees, some intellectuall of assent, some fiduciall of relyance, and con∣fidence, some of abnegation, renouncing, and flying out of our selves, as insufficient for the contriuance of our owne salvation, and so in congruity of reason requiring in the causes producing them severall man∣ners of causalities) as I take it not necessa∣ry, so neither am I able to determine. I shall therefore touch upon some pincipall properties of either, all which if they con∣curre not unto the originall production, doe certainely to the raduation and establishing of that divine virtue, and therefore may just∣ly come within the compasse of those pre∣mises, from the evidences of which assumed and applied, the Conscience is to conclude the truth of its faith in Christ.

And first for the word, to let passe those Page  188 properties which are onely the inherent at∣tributes, and not any transient operations thereof (as its sufficiency, perspicuity, ma∣jesty, selfe-Authority, and the like) let us touch upon those which it carrieth along with it into the Conscience, and I shall observe but two, ItsaLight, and its bPower: Even as the Sunne where ever it goes doth still carry with it that bright∣nesse whereby it discovereth, and that Influ∣ence whereby it quickneth inferiour bodies. First, for the Word, the properties there∣of are first to make manifest and to dis∣cover the hidden things of darknesse, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. The heart of man naturally is a labyrinth ofc darknesse, his workes,d workes of darknesse, his Prince, a Prince of darkenesse, whose projects are full of dark∣nesse, they area depths,b devices, ccraftinesse,d methods. The Word of God alone is that lighte which maketh manifest the secrets of the heart, thatf glasse wherein wee may see both our selves, and all the devices of Satan a∣gainst us discovered. And secondly by this act of manifesting doth light distinguish one thing from another. In the darke we gmake no difference of faire or foule, of right or wrong waies, but all are alike unto us: and so while wee continue in Page  189 the blindnes of our naturall estate, wee are not able to perceive the distinction be∣tweene Divine, and naturall objects, but the Word of God like a touchstone, dis∣covereth the differences of truth, and fals∣hood, good, and evill, and like fire seperateth the pretious from the vile.

Secondly, light is quickning, and a comforting thing. The glory of the Saints is ank inheritance of light, and they arel children of light who shall shine as the Sunne in the Firament, whereas darknes is both the Title, and the Porti∣on of the wicked. The times of darknes men make to be the times of their sleep∣ing, (which is an Image of Death,) tis in the light onely that men worke: And so the Word of GOD is a comforting Word; It wasmDavids delight, his hony-Combe. And it is a quickning Word too, for it is then Word of Life. Lastly,o light doth assist, direct, and guide us in our waies, and so doth the Word of GOD, it is ap Lanterne to our feete, and a light unto our pathes. Se∣condly, for the power of the Word, it is two fold, even as all power is, a govern∣ing power in respect of that which is under it, and a subduing power in respect of that which is against it. First the Word hath a governing power, in respect of those Page  190 which are subject to it; for which cause it is every where called a Law, and aq royall, that is, a commanding Soveraigne Law, It beares Dominion in the soule con∣forming each faculty to it selfe, direct∣eth the righteous, furnisheth unto good workes, raiseth the drooping, bindeth the broken, comforteth the afflicted, reclaim∣eth the straggling. Secondly, it subdu∣eth all emnity, and opposition, discom∣fiteth Satan, beateth downe the strong holdes of sinne, tisr a Sword to cut off, as weapon to subdue, at Hammer to breake in peeces whatsoever thought riseth up against it. Now then let a mans conscience make but these few demands unto it selfe.

Hath the light, and power of Gods Word discovered it selfe unto mee? Have the Scriptures made me knowne unto my selfe? have they unlocked those crooked windings of my perverse heart? have they manifested unto my soule not onely those sinnes which the light of rea∣son could have discerved, but even those privy corruptions which I could not o∣therwise have knowne? have they ac∣quainted me with the devices of Satan, wherewith he lieth in waite to deceive? have they taught me to distinguish be∣tweene truth, and appearances, betweene Page  191 goodnes, and shaddowes, to finde out the better part, the one necessary thing, and to adhere unto it? am I sensible of the sweetnes and benefits of his holy Word, doth it refresh my soule, and revive me unto every good worke? Is it unto my soule like thea hony Combe, likeb pleasant pastures, likec springs of wa∣ter, like [d] the Tree of life? doe I take it along with me wheresoever I goe, to pre∣serve me from stumbling, and straggling in this valley of darknes, and shaddow of death? Againe doe I feele the power of it like a Royall commanding Law, bearing rule in my soule? Am I willing to submit, and resigne my selfe unto the obedience of it? doe I not against the cleere, and convincing evidence thereof, entertaine in my bosome any the least rebellious thought? Doe I spare noe Agag, noe ruling sinne? withdraw noe wedge or babilonish Gar∣ment, noe gainefull sin? make a league with noe Gibeonite, noe pretending sinne? But doe I suffer it like Ioshua to destroy every Cananite, even the sinne which for sweetnes I roled under my tongue? doth it batter the Towers of Ierico, breake downe the Bul-warkes of the flesh? lead into captivity the corruptions of nature? mortifie, and crucifie the old man in me? doth it minister comforts unto me Page  192 in all the ebbs, and droopings of my spi∣rit, even above the confluence of all earthly happines, and against the combi∣nation of all outward discontents? and doe I set up a resolution thus alwayes to sub∣mit my selfe unto the Regiment thereof? In one word, doth it convince me of sin in my selfe, and so humble me to repent of it? of Righteousnes in CHRIST, and so raise me, to beleeve in it, of his spi∣rituall judgment in governing the soules of true beleevers by the power of love, and beauty of his graces, and so constraine, and perswade me to be obedient unto it? These are those good premises out of which I may infallibly conclude, that I have had the beginnings, the seeds of Faith shed a abroad in my heart, which will cer∣tainly be further quickned by that holy spirit who is the next, and principall pro∣ducer of it.

The operations of this holy spirit being as numberlesse, as all the holy actions of the Faithfull, cannot therefore all possi∣bly be set downe, I shall touch at some few which are of principall, and obvious observation. First of all, the spirit is a spi∣rit of liberty, and a spirit of prayer, It takes away theb bondage, andc feare, wherein we naturally are (for feare makes us runne from God as from a pu∣nishing, Page  193 and revenging Iudge, never any man in danger fledde thither for succour whence the danger issued, feare is so farre from this that itd betrayeth and sus∣pecteth those very assistances which reason offereth) and it enableth us to have ac∣cesse and recourse unto God himselfe whom our sins had provoked: and in our prayers, like Aron, and Hurr, it supporteth our hands that they doe not faint nor fall. It raiseth the soule unto divine and unutte∣rable petitions, and it melteth the heart into sights and groanes that cannot be ex∣pressed.

Secondly, the holy Ghost is compared unto a witnesse, whose proper worke it is to reveale and affirme some truth which is cal∣led in question. There is in a mans bosome by reason of that enmity and rebellion be∣twixt the flesh and the spirit, and by meanes of Satans suggestions sundry dia∣logues, and conflicts wherein Satan questi∣oneth the title wee pretend to salvation. In this case the Spirit of a man (as one can∣not choose but do when his whole estate is made ambiguous) staggereth, droopeth and is much distressed: till at last the Spirit of God, by the light of the Word, the Te∣stimonie of Conscience, and the sensible motions of inward grace, layeth open our title, and helpeth us to reade the evidence Page  194 of it, and thus recomposeth our troubled thoughts.

Thirdly, thee Spirit of God is com∣pared to a Seale: thef worke of a Seale is first to make a siampe and impression in some other matter, secondly, by that means to difference, and distinguish it from all o∣ther things: And so the Spirit of God doth fashion the hearts of his people un∣to a conformity with Christ, framing in it holy impressions, and renewing the de∣cayed Image of God therein; and there∣by separateth them from sinners, maketh them of a distinct common-wealth under a distinct governement, that whereas be∣fore they were subject to the same Prince, Lawes, and desires with the world, being now called out, they are new men and have another character upon them. Secondly, a Seale doth obsignate, and ratifie some Cove∣nant, Grant, or conveyance to the person unto whom it belongeth. It is used amongst men for confirming their mutuall trust in each other. And so certainely doth the Spirit of Godb pre-affect the soule with an evident taste of that glory which in the Day of Redemption shall be actually con∣ferd upon it, and therefore it is called an hansell, earnest, and first fruit of life.

Fourthly, the Spirit of God is compa∣red to an oyntment; now the properties of Page  195 oyntments are first to supple to asswage tumors in the body: and so doth the Spi∣rit of God mollifie the hardnesse of mans heart, and worke it to a sensible tendernes and quicke apprehension of every sinne. Se∣condly, oyntments doe open, and penetrate those places unto which they are applied; and so thec Unction which the faithfull have, teacheth them all things, and openeth their eyes to see the wonders of Gods Law, and the beauty of his graces. Ind vaine are all outward sounds or Sermons, unlesse this Spirit be within to teach us. Thirdly, oyntments doe refresh and lighten nature, be∣cause as they make way for the emission of all noxious humours, so likewise for the free passage and translation of all vitall spirits, which doe enliven and comfort. And so the Spirit of God is a Spirit of consolation, and a spirit of life, hee is thee comfor∣ter of his Church. Lastly,f oyntments in the Leviticall Law, and in the state of the Iewes were for consecration and seque∣stration of things unto some holy use. As Christ is said to beeg annoynted by his Father unto the oeconomy of that great worke, the redemption of the world: and thus doth the holy-Ghost annoint us to be aa Royall Priest-hood, a holy Nation, a people set at liberty.

Fifthly, and lastly, I finde the holy Ghost Page  196 compared untob fire, whose properties are, first, to bee of a very active and wor∣king nature, which stands never still, but is ever doing something: and so the Spi∣rit of God and his graces are all opera∣tive in the hearts of the faithfull, they set all where they come on worke. Secondly, the nature and proper motion of fire is to ascend, other motions whatever it hath, a∣rise from some outward, and accidentall restraint, limiting the nature of it: and so the Spirit of God, ever raiseth up the af∣fections from earth, fastneth the eye of Faith upon Eternity, ravisheth the soule with a servent longing to bee with the Lord, and to bee admitted unto the fru∣ition of those pretious joyes which heere it suspireth after, as soone as ever men have chosen Christ to bee their Head, then pre∣sently ascendunt de Terra, they goe up out of the Land. Hos. 1. 11. and have their con∣versation above where Christ is. Thirdly, fire doth inflame and transforme every thing that is combustible into the nature of it selfe: and so the Spirit of God filleth the soule with a divine fervour,* and zeale which pur∣geth away the corruptions and drosse of the flesh, with the spirit of judgment, and with the Spirit of burning. Fourthly, fire hath a purifying and cleansing property, to draw away all noxious or infectious vapors Page  197 out of the Ayre, to separate all soyle and drosse from mettalls, and the like: and so doth the Spirit of God clense the heart, and in heavenly sighes, and repentant teares, cause to expire all those steemes of corrup∣tions, those noysome and infectious lusts which fight against the soule, Fifthly, fire hath a penetrating and insinuating quallity, whereby it creepeth into all the pores of a combustible body, and in like manner the ho∣ly Spirit of God doth penetrate the heart though full of insensible and inscrutible windings, doth search the reines, doth pry into the closest nookes, and inmost cor∣ners of the soule, there discovering and working out those secret corruptions which did deceive and defile us. Lastly, fire doth illighten, and by that meanes communicates the comforts of it selfe unto others: and so the Spirit being a Spirit of truth doth illuminate the understanding, and doth dis∣pose it likewise to discover its light unto others who stand in need of it: for this is the nature of Gods grace, that when Christ hath manifested himselfe to the soule of one man, it setteth him on worke to manifest Christ unto others, as Andrew to Simon. Iohn 1. 41. and the Woman of Samaria to the men of the City. Ioh. 4. 29. and Mary Magdalen to the Disciples. Ioh. 20. 17. It is like Oyntment poured forth, which cannot Page  198 be concealed, Proverb. 27. 16. Wee cannot (saith the Apostle) but speake the things which we have heard, and seene Acts 4. 20. And they who feared the Lord, in the Prophet, spake often to one another. Mal. 3. 16.

These propositions being thus set downe, let the conscience assume them to it selfe in such demands as these. Doe I finde in my selfe a Freedome from that spirit of feare, and bondage, which maketh a man like Adam to fly from the presence of GOD in his Word? doe I finde my selfe able with affiance, and firme hope to fly unto God, as unto an Alter of re∣fuge in time of trouble, and to call up∣on his Name? and this not onely with an outward battology, and lipp-labour but by the spirit to cry Abba Father? doth the testimony of Gods Spirit settle, and compose such doubtings in me as usually arise out of the Warre betweene Flesh, and Faith? doe I finde a change, and transformation in me from the vanity of my old conversation unto the Image of Christ, and of that originall Justice where∣in I was created? doe I finde my selfe distinguished, and taken out from the World by Heavenly mindednes, and rai∣sed affections, by renouncing the de∣lights, abandoning the corruptions, suppres∣ing Page  199 the motions of secular, and carnall thoughts? solacing my soule, not with perishable, and unconstant contentments, but with that blessed hope of a City, made without hands, immortall, undefi∣led, and that fadeth not away? doe I finde in my heart an habituall tendernes, and aptnes to bleed, and relent, at the dan∣ger of any sinne, though mainly crossing my carnall delights, and whatever plots and contrivances I might lay for further∣ing mine owne secular ends, if by indi∣rectnes, sinfull engagements, and unwar∣rantable courses, I could advance them? doe I finde my selfe in reading, or hear∣ing Gods Word, inwardly wrought upon, to admire the Wisdome, assent unto the truth, acknowledge the holines, and sub∣mit my selfe unto the obedience of it? doe I in my ordinary, and best compo¦sed thoughts preferre the tranquility of a good conscience, and the comforts of Gods Spirit before all out-side and glitter∣ing happines, notwithstanding any dis∣couragements that may bee incident to a concionable conversation? Lastly, are the graces of God operative, and stirring in my soule? Is my conversation more heavenly, my zeale more fervent, my cor∣ruptions more discovered, each faculty in its severall Sphere more transformed Page  198〈1 page duplicate〉Page  199〈1 page duplicate〉Page  200 into the same Image with Christ Iesus? Are all these things in me, or in defect of any, doe the desires and longings of my soule after them appeare to be sincere and unfeigned by my daily imploying all my strength, and improving each ad∣vantage to further my proficiencie in them. Then I have an evident, and infallible token that having thus farre partaked of the spirit of Life, and by consequence of Faith, whereby our soules are fastned unto Christ, I may with comfort approach unto this holy Table, wherein that life which I have received, may be further nourished, and confirmed to me.

The second medium formerly proposed for the tryall of Faith was the nature, and essence of it. To finde out the for∣mall nature of Faith we must first con∣sider that all Faith, is not a saving Faith. For there is a Faith that worketh aatrembling as in the Divels, and there is a Faith whichb worketh life, and peace as in those that are justified. Faith in generall is an assent of the reasonable soule, unto revealed truths. Now every medium, or in ducement to an assent is drawnec ey∣ther from the light which the obejct it selfe proposeth to the faculty, and this the blessedd Apostle contradistinguisheth from faith by the name of light; or else Page  201 it is drawne from the authority, and Au∣thenticalnes of a narrator, upon whose re∣port while we relie without any evidence of the thing it selfe, the assent which we produce is an assent of faith or credence. TheeSamaritans did first assent unto the miracles of CHRIST by the re∣port of the woman, and this was faith, but afterwards they assented because them∣selves had heard him speake, and this was sight. Now both those assents have an∣nexed unto them, either evidence, and in∣fallibility, or onely probability admitting degrees of feare, and suspition. That faith is a certaine assent, and Certitudine rei in regard of the object, even above the e∣vidence of demonstrative conclusions is on all hands confest: because howsoever qan∣tum ad certitudinem mentis, in regard of our weakenes, and distrust wee are often subject to stagger, yet in the thing it selfe it dependeth upon the infallibility of Gods owne Word, which hath said it, and by consequence is neerer unto him who is the Fountaine of all truth, and therefore doth more share in the proper∣ties of truth which are certainty, and in∣fallibility, then any thing proved by meere naturall reasons, and the assent produ∣ced by it is differenced from suspition, he∣sitancie, or dubitation in the opinion of Page  202 Schoole-men themselves.

Now then in as much as we are bound to yeild an evident assent unto the Arti∣cles of our christian Faith, both intel∣lectuall in regard of the truth, and fiduciall in regard of the goodnes of them respe∣ctively to our owne benefit, and salva∣tion. Necessary it is that the understand∣ing, be convinced of those two things. First that GOD is of infallible Authority, and cannot lie nor deceive, which thing is a principle unto which the light of na∣ture doth willingly assent. And secondly that this Authority which in Faith I thus relie upon is indeede, and infallibly Gods owne Authority. The meanes whereby I come to know that may be eyther extroardi∣nary, as revelation; such as was made to prophets concerning future events: or else ordinary, and common to all the Faithfull. For discovery of them we must againe rightly distinguish the double Act of Faith. First that Act whereby wee assent unto the generall truth of the object in it selfe, secondly, that Act whereby we rest per∣swaded of the goodnes thereof unto us in particular, with respect unto both with these doth a double question arise.

First touching the meanes whereby a beleever comes to know that the testimo∣ny, and authority within the promises, Page  203 and truths of Scripture hee relieth upon, are certainly, and infallibly Gods owne Authority. Which question is all one with that how a Christian man may infallibly be assured (ita ut non possit subesse falsum) that the holy Scriptures are the very dictates of Almighty God.

For the resolution whereof in a very few words wee must first agree, that as noe created understanding could ever have invented the mystery of the Gospell, (it being the counsell of Gods owne bosome,* and containing such manifold wisdomes as the Angels are astonished at) So, it be∣ing dictated, and revealed by Almighty God, such is the deepnes, excellency, and holines of it, that the naturall man, whose faculties are vitiated by originall, and contracted corruption cannot by the strength of his owne naked principles be able to understand it. For notwithstand∣ing the gramaticall sense of the words, and the logicall coherence,* and connexion of consequenses, may be discerned by the common light of ordinary reason, yet our Saviours 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, conviction, and the A∣postles 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, demonstration, and manifestation of the spirit, is a thing surpassing the discovery,* and comprehensi∣on of naturall men.* And therefore it is called a knowledge which passeth knowledge.Page  204 And this doth plainly appeare upon this ground. One principall end, we know, of the Gospell is, To cast downe every high thing that exalteth it selfe against the know∣ledge of GOD,*and to bring into capti∣vity every thought to the obedience of Christ. So that untill such time as the light of Evangelicall truth have thus farre prevai∣led over the conscience, certaine it is that the practicall Judgment is not yet fully convinced of it, or acquainted with it. It is an excellent speech of the Phylo∣sopher that according as every man is himselfe in the Habit of his owne nature,* such likewise doth the end appeare unto him. And therefore naturall men whose inclinations, and habit of soule are al∣together sensuall, and worldly, never have a supernaturall good appeare unto them under the formall conceite of an ultimate, and most eligible end, and therefore their knowledge thereof must needs be imperfect, and defective.

Againe the Scripture every where, be∣sides the externall proposing of the object, and the materiall, and remote disposition of the subject (which must be ever a reaso∣nable creature) doth require a speciall helpe of the grace of CHRIST to open, and molifie, and illighten the heart, and to proportion the Palate of the practi∣call Page  205 Judgment unto the sweetnes, and goodnes of supernaturall truthes.* He it is who openeth the eye to see wonders in the Law, giveth an heart to under∣stand, and to know GOD, teacheth all those which come unto Christ, without which teaching they doe not come, gi∣veth us an understanding to know him, illightneth the understanding to know what is the hope of our calling, enableth us to call Iesus Lord, and draweth away the Vaile from before our eyes, that we may see with open face the Glory of God.

Againe, there is a vast distance, and dis∣proportion betweene a supernaturall light, and a naturall faculty, the one being spi∣rituall the other sensuall, and spirituall things must bee spiritually discerned. *Two great impediments there are where∣by the minds of meere naturall men are bound up, and disabled from receiving full impressions, and passing a right sentence, upon spirituall things. First the native, and originall blindnes of them which is not able to apprehend 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the heighth, and majesty of the things which are taught. Secondly, That which the A∣postle calleth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,*the wisdome of the flesh which is enmitie against God. For as the appetite of the flesh lusteth against the Page  206Spirit, so the wisdome of the flesh reasoneth, and rebelleth against the Spirit. For such ever as are the wayes, and Wills of men whereby they worke, such likewise would they have the light, and the Law to bee which ruleth them in their working. And therefore where there is a meeke Spirit, and a heart devoted unto the obedience of Christ, and a purpose to doe the things which the Gospell requireth, there is ne∣ver any swelling, nor resistance against su∣pernaturall truths, for as the cleanenesse of the window doth much conduce to the admission of light,* so doth the cleanenesse of the Conscience to the admission of Truth. If any man will doe his will, hee shall know of the Doctrine whether it be of God,* and hee will reveale his secrets to them that feare him.

And yet by all this which hath been spo∣ken wee doe not goe about so to disable Naturall Reason, as to leave it no roome at all in matters of supernaturall Assent. For though Nature alone bee not able to compre∣hend Grace, yet Grace is able to use Nature, and being it selfe a spirituall Eye-salve, when it hath healed and rectified Reason, it then applyeth it as an Instrument more exactly to discover the connexion and mutuall con¦sequences, and joynings of spirituall Do∣ctrines together. Besides thus much vigour Page  207 wee may safely attribute to Naturall Reason alone, that by the force of such premises as it selfe can frame, the falsenesse, vanity, and insufficiency unto humane happinesse, of all other Religions or Doctrines which are not Christian may by a wise man bee evidently discovered, neither have there *beene wanting amongst Infidels and Ido∣laters, men of more generous, piercing, and impartiall judgments, who have made bold to confesse the vanity of that polutheisme and corrupt worship which was amongst them.

Naturall Reason then being (notwithstan∣ding any remainders of strength, or vigour in it) too impotent to discover the certain∣ty of Gods Word, and unable alone to present the Gospell, as objectum credibile, and as the infallible Oracle of God. It remai∣neth that wee consider by what further meanes this may bee effected. And, in one word, there is a three-fold different, but sub∣ordinate causality requisite to the founding of this Assent.

The first is ministeriall, dispositive, and in∣troductory by Ecclesiasticall dispensation, which is likewise two-fold. First, to those that are bred in her bosome, and matriculated by Baptisme, and so from their infancie trained up to have a reverend and due esteeme of her authority, there is her act of Tradition,Page  208 delivering to her children in this age,* as shee her selfe by a continued succession hath also received, this as an indubitate principle to bee rested on, that holy Scriptures are the Word of God. Secondly, If the Church meete with such as are without her bosome, and so will not ascribe any thing to her maternall Authority in Testification and Tradition, except shee can by strength of argument evince what shee affirmeth, shee is not in that case destitute of her Arma praelusoria, valid and sufficient arguments to make preparation in mindes not extreamely possessed with prejudice and perversenesse for the entertaining of this principle.

As first, that all Sciences have their Hypotheses and Postulata. Certaine princi∣ples which are to bee granted, and not disputed, and that even in lower Sciences and more commensurate to humane reason, yet Oportet discentem credere, hee must first Beleeve principles for granted, and then af∣ter some progresse and better proficiency in the study, he shall not faile more clear∣ly to perceive the infallibility of them by their owne light. That therefore which is granted unto all other Sciences more de∣scending to the reach of humane judgment than Divinity doth, cannot without un∣reasonable pertinacy be denied unto it, Es∣pecially considering that of all so many Page  209 millions of men, who, in all ages, have thus been contented to beleeve, first, upon Ecclesiasticall Tradition and suggestion, there hath not in any age been enough to make up a number, who upon inducements of ar∣gument, and debate have forsaken the Scrip∣tures at the last, which is a strong pre∣sumption that they all who persisted in the embracing of them, did after triall, and further acquaintance by certaine taste and experience finde the Testimony and tradition of the Church to bee therein faithfull, and certaine.

Secondly, That man being made by God, and subject to his will, and owing unto him worship and obedience, which in rea∣son ought to bee prescribed by none other than by him to whom it is to bee perfor∣med, that therefore requisite and congruous it is, that the Will of God should bee made knowne unto his Creature, in such a manner, and by such meanes, as that hee shall not without his owne willfull neglect mistake it; in as much as Law is the rule of obedience, and promulgation the force of Law.

Thirdly, that no other Rule or Religion can bee assigned, either of Pagans or Ma∣humetans, which may not manifestly by the strength of right reason bee justly disproved, as not proceeding from God, either by the Page  210 latenesse of its originall, or the shortnesse of its continuance, or the vanity and bru∣tishnesse of its rules, or the contradictions within it selfe, or by some other apparent imperfection. And for that of the Iewes, notwithstanding it had its originall from Divine ordination, yet from thence like∣wise it may bee made appeare out of those Scriptures which they confesse, to have re∣ceived its period and abrogation. God pro∣mising that as hee had the first time sha∣ken the Mount in the publication of the Law, and first founding of the Mosaicall Pedagogie, so he would once againe shake both the Earth, and the Heaven, in the promulgation of the Gospell. To say no∣thing, that force of reason will easily con∣clude, that with such a God, as the old Scriptures set forth the Lord to be, the bloud of Bulls, and Goates could not pos∣sibly make expiation for sinne, but must necessarily relate to some greater sacrifice, which is in the Gospell revealed. And be∣sides whereas the Lord was wont for the greatest sinnes of that people, namely Ido∣latry, and pollution of his worship, to cha∣stice them notwithstanding, with more to∣lerable punishments (their two greatest cap∣tivities having beene that of Egypt, which was not much above two hundred yeares, and that of Babylon, which was but seventie;) yet Page  211 now, when they hate Idolatry as much as ever their fathers loved it, they have lien under wrath to the uttermost, under the heaviest judgment of dispersion, contempt, and basenesse, and that for fifteene hundred yeeres together; a reason whereof can bee no other given than that fearefull impreca∣tion, which hath derived the staine of the bloud of Christ upon the children of those that shed it unto this day.*

Fourthly, the prevailing of the Gospell by the ministery of but a few, and those unarmed, impotent, and despised men, and that too, against all the opposition which power, wit, or malice could call up, making it appeare, that Christ was to rule in the midst of enemies. When Lucian, Porphyrie, Libanius, and Iulian, by their wits; Nero, Severus, Diocletian, and other Tyrants by their swords, the whole world by their scorne, malice, and contempt, and all the arts which Satan could suggest, laboured the suppression, and extinguishing of it. The prevaling, I say, of the Gospell by such meanes, against such power, in the midst of such contempt, and danger, and that over such persons as were by long custome and tradition from their fathers trained up in a Religion extreamely contrary to the truth, and very favourable to all vitious dispositions, and upon such conditions to Page  212 deny themselves, to hate the world, and the flesh, to suffer joyfully the losse of credit, friends, peace, quiet, goods, liber∣ties, life and all, for the name of a cru∣cified Saviour, whom their eyes never saw, and whom their eares daily heard to bee blasphemed, such a prevailing as this must needs prove the originall of the Gospell to bee divine, for had not God favoured it as much as men hated it, impossible it must needs have been for it, to have continued.

Fifthly, that the doctrines therein deli∣vered, were confirmed by miracles, and divine operations. And certaine it is, that God would not in so wonderfull a man∣ner have honoured the figments of men, pretending his Name, and Authority to the countenancing of their owne inventi∣ons. And for the Historicall Truth of those miracles, they were not, in those A∣ges when the Church in her Apologies did glory of them, and when, if faigned, they migh most easily have been dispro∣ved, nor yet by those enemies who mar∣vailously maligned and persecuted Christian Religion, ever gain saied.

Lastly, That were it not so that omne mendacium est pellucidum, and hath ever something in it to bewray it selfe, yet it could not bee operaepretium for them to lie in publishing a Doctrine whereby they Page  213 got nothing but shame, stripes, imprison∣ment, persecution, Torments, Death. Es∣pecially since the holinesse of their lives, their humility, in denying all glory to themselves, and ascribing all to God, must needs make it appeare to any reasonable man, that they did not lay any project for their owne glory, which they purposely disclaymed, refused to receive from the hands of such as offered it, yea, and registred their owne infirmities upon perpetuall Re∣cords.

With these and many other the like ar∣guments is the Church furnished to prepare the mindes of men, swayed with but ordi∣nary ingenuity, and respect to common Reason, at the least to looke further, and make some sad inquiry into the Doctrine of the Gospell. There being therein especi∣ally promises of good things made with∣out monie or price, of incomprehensible value, and of eternall continuance.

But now though a Philosopher may make a very learned discourse to a blinde man of colours, yet it cannot bee that any formall and adaequate notion of them should bee fashioned in his minde, till such time as the faculty bee restored, and then, all that preceeding Lecture being compared with what hee afterward actually seeth in the things themselves, doth marvailously Page  214 settle and satisfie his minde. So though the Church by these and the like induce∣ments doth prepare the minds of men to as∣sent to divine Authority in the Scriptures, yet till the naturall ineptitude and disposition of the soule be healed, and it raised to a capacity of supernaturall light, the worke is no whit brought to maturity.

Two things therefore doe yet remaine after this ministry and manuduction of the Church. First, an Act of the Grace of Gods Spirit healing the understanding, and ope∣ning the eye that it may see wonders in the Law, writing the Law in the heart, and so making it a fit receptacle for so great a light. Secondly, the subject being thus by the outward motives from the Church pre∣pared and by the inward Grace of God re∣paired, then lastly the object it selfe being proposed, and being maturely considerd by reason thus guided, and thus assisted, doth then shew forth such an Heavenly light of holinesse, puritie, majesty, authority, efficacy, mercy, wisedome, comfort, per∣fection, in one word, such an unsearcha∣ble Treasurie of internall mysteries, as that now the soule is as fully able by the native light of the Scriptures to distinguish their Divine originall, and authenticalnesse from any other meere humane writings, as the eye is to observe the difference betweene a Page  215beame of the Sunne, and a blaze of a Can∣dle.

The second question is how the Soule comes to bee setled in this perswasi∣on, that the goodnesse of these truths foun∣ded on the Authority of God, doe parti∣cularly belong unto it? Whereunto I an∣swere in one word, That this ariseth from a two-fold Testimonie grounded upon a prece∣ding worke of Gods Spirit. For first, the Spirit of God putteth his feare into the hearts of his servants, and purgeth their consciences, by applying the bloud of Christ unto them, from dead workes, wish affe∣ctions strongly, and very sensibly altering the constitution of the minde, must needs notably manifest themselves unto the soule, when by any reflex act shee shall set her selfe to looke inward upon her owne ope∣rations.

This being thus wrought by the grace of God, thereupon there ensueth a two∣fold Testimonie. The first of a mans owne spirit, as wee see in the examples of Iob, David,*Hezekiah, Nehemiah, Saul, and o∣thers, namely, That hee desireth to feare Gods name, to keepe a conscience void of offence, to walke in all integrity towards God, and men, from which, and the like personall qualifications, arise joy in the ho∣ly-Ghost, peace of conscience, and experi∣ence Page  216 of sweetnes in the fellowship with the Father, and his Sonne. Secondly, the Testimony of the holy Spirit, bearing witnes to the sincerity of those affections, and to the evidence and truth of those per∣swasions which himselfe, by his grace stirred up. So then first the Spirit of God writeth the Law in the heart, up∣on obedience whereunto ariseth the Testi∣mony of a mans owne spirit: And then he writeth the promises in the heart, and by them ratifieth and confirmeth a mans hops, and joyes unto him.

I understand not all this which hath been spoken generally of all assents unto objects Divine, which I take it in regard of their evidence, firmnes, and stability doe much differ according unto the divers tempers of those hearts in which they reside; but principally unto the cheife of those as∣sents which are proper unto saving Faith. For assent as I said in generall is com∣mon unto Divils with men, and there∣fore to make up the creature of true Faith. There is required some differencing pro∣perty whereby it may be constituted in the entire essence of saving Faith. In each sense we may observe that unto the gene∣rall faculty whereby it is able to per∣ceive objects proportioned to it, there is annexed ever another property whereby Page  217 according to the severall nature of the objects proposed it is apt to delight or be ill affected with it: for example, our eare apprehendeth all sounds in common, but according as is the Harmony or dis∣cord of the sound, it is apt to take plea∣sure or offence at it. Our taste reacheth unto whatsoever is the object of it, but yet some things there are which grievously offend the Palate, others which as much delight it, and so it is in Divine assents. Some things in some subjects bring a∣long with them tremblings, horrors, feare∣full expectations, aversation of minde, un∣willing to admit or be pursued with the evidence of Divine truths, as it is in Di∣vils, and despayring sinners. Other as∣sents on the contrary doe beget serenity of minde, a sweete complacency, delight, adherence, and comfort: Into the hearts of some men doth the Truth of GOD shine like Lightning with a penetrating, and amasing brightnes, in others like the Sunne with comfortable, and refreshing Beames.

For understanding whereof wee are to observe that in matters practicall, and Divine (and so in all others,* though not in an equall measure) the truth of them is ever mutually embraced, and as it were insolded in their goodnes; for as truthPage  218 doth not delight the understanding un∣lesse it be a good truth, that is such as un∣to the understanding beares a relation of convenience (whence arise diversities in mens studies, because all men are not a∣like affected with all kindes of truth) so good doth noe way affect the will, un∣lesse it be a true,*and reall good. Other∣wise it proves but like the banquet of a dreaming man, which leaves him as hungry, and empty as when he lay downe. Goodnes then added unto truth doth to∣gether with the assent generate a kinde of rest, and delight in the heart on which it shineth.

Now goodnes Morall, or Divine hath a double relation. A relation unto that origi∣nall in dependency on, and propinquitie whereunto it consilleth, and a relation unto that faculty or subject wherein it resideth, and whereunto it is proposed. Good in the former sense is that which beares in it a proportion unto the Fountaine of good; for every thing is in it selfe so farre good as it resembles that originall which is the author, and patterne of it, and that is GOD. In the second sense that is good which beares a conveniency, and fitnes to the minde which entertaines it. good, I meane not alwayes in nature, but in apprehension. All Divine truths are Page  219 in themselves essentially good, but yet they worke not alwaies delight, and com∣forts in the minds of men untill pro∣portioned, and fitted unto the faculty that receives them. As the Sunne is it in it selfe equally light, the water in a Fountaine of it selfe equally sweete: but according unto the severall Temper of the eye which perceiveth the one, and of the ves∣sell through which the other passeth, they may prove to be offensive, and distastfull. But now further when the faculty is thus fitted to receive a good, it is not the generality of that good which pleaseth neyther, but the particular propriety, and interest thereunto. Wealth and honor as it is in it selfe good, so is it likewise in the apprehension of most men; yet we see men are apt to be griev'd at it in o∣thers, and to looke on it with an evill eye, nothing makes them to delight in it, but possession and propriety unto it. I speake here onely of such Divine good things as are by God appointed to make happy his creature, namely our blessed Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ, his Obedience, Satisfaction, Resurrection, Ascension, Intercession, Glory, and what∣ever elce it is of which he hath been unto his▪ Church the Author, Purchaser, con∣veyer, and Foundation.

Page  220 Now, unto these as unto other good things there is a double right belonging by free donation from him unto the Church, a right of propriety unto the thing, and a right of possession in the thing. This latter is that which here in Earth the Church suspireth, and longeth after; that other onely it is which here we have, and that confirmed unto us by a double Title. The first as the Land of Cannan was confirmed unto the Israelits by some few clusters of Grapes, and other Fruits of the Land, I meane by the earnest first fruits, and pledges of the spirit: Second∣ly, by the free promise of Christ who cannot deceive. Thus then at last we have discovered the proper, ultimate, and com∣plete object of faith, which is all Divine truth, and goodnes, unto which there is a right and propriety given to all such as are Christs, though not in actuall pos∣session, yet in an infallible promise, and the Acts by which they entertaine that object, assenting, adhearing, and de∣lighting in it as particularly good. By these two, to wit the object and the Act. (as all other habits of the minde) so is this of faith to bee defined. So that from these observations I take it wee may conclude that the nature of saving faith admits of some such explications Page  221 as this, Faith is a particular, personall, applicative, and experimentall assent unto all Divine Revelations, as true, and good not in general onely, but unto me arising out of that sweete correspondency which is betweene the soule, and from that re∣lish, and experience of sweetnes which the soule, being raised, and illightned by Gods Spirit, doth finde in them.

I have been over teadious in finding out this definition of the nature of faith, and therefore brieflie from these grounds, let the conscience impartially examine it selfe in such demands as these. Doe I finde in my selfe a most willing assent un∣to the whole compasse of Divine truths, not out of constraint, nor with griefe, reluctancie, and trembling of spirit? doth Gods Word shine on me not like light∣ning which pierceth the Eye-lids though they shut themselves against it, but doth this finde in my heart a wel∣come, and a willing admittance? Am I glad when I finde any Divine truth dis∣covered of which formerly I had been ig∣norant? doe I not of purpose close mine eyes, forbeare the meanes of true infor∣mation, stifle and smother Divine prin∣ciples, quench the motions, and dictats of Gods Spirit in me? am I not ignorant willingly of such things, the mention where∣of Page  222 would disquiet me in my bosome sin, and the inquiry whereunto would crosse the reserved resolutions, and unwarran∣table projects which I am peremptory to prosecute? am I not so in league with mine owne corruptions that I could har∣tily wish some Divine truths were not revealed,* rather then being so they should sting my conscience, and disable me from secure enjoying some beloved sinne? doe I assent unto all Divine truths as a like pretious, and with equall adherence? am I as little displeased with the truth of GODS threats as of his promises? doe they as powerfully worke upon me to re∣forme, as the other to refresh me? doe I beleeve them all not onely in the Thesis or generall, but in the Hypothesis, and respectively to mine owne particular? againe, doe I finde my heart fitted unto the goodnes of Divine truth? am I for∣ward to embrace with much affection, and loving delight whatsoever promises are made unto me? doe I finde a spiritu∣all taste and relish in the food of life? which having once tasted of, I finde my selfe weaned from the love of the World? from admiring the honours, pursuing the preferments, hunting after the applause, adoring the glories, and selling my soule and liberty for the smiles thereof? doe Page  223 the sweetnes of those promises like the fruits brought by the spies from Canaan, so much affect me as that to come to the full possession thereof, I am at a point with all other things, ready to encoun∣ter any Cananite, or sinfull lust that shall oppose me, to adventure on any difficul∣ties that might deterre me, to passe thorow a Sea, a Wildernes, through fiery Serpents, the darts of Satan; yea, if neede were by the gates of Hell? briefly doe I finde in my heart (however in it selfe froward, and wayward from any good) a more then naturall livelinesse, and vigor which disposeth me to approve of the word, promises, and purchases of my salvation as of an unvaluable Jewell, so pretious as that all the things in this World are but as dung in comparison? to a most fervent expectation, and longing after them, to a heavenly perswation of my happines by them, and Lastly, to a sweete delight in them, working peace of conscience, and joy in the holy Ghost, a love of CHRISTS appearing, an en∣deavour to bee like unto him, and a desire above all things to be with him, and enjoy him, (which are all so many secret, and pure issues of the spirit of a∣doption)? I may from these premises infallibly conclude that I am possessed of Page  224 a lively faith, and thereby of those first fruits which bring with them an assurance of that great harvest of glory in the day of redemption. And in the meane time hav∣ing this wedding garment, I may with much confidence approach Gods Table to re∣ceive there the renewall of my Patent un∣to life.

CHAP. XX.

Of the third, and last meanes for the triall and demonstration of Faith, namely, from effects or properties thereof.

THE last Medium which was assigned for the examination of Faith was the properties or effects of it, by which as by stepps we raise our thoughts to the apprehension of Faith it selfe. To assigne all the consequences or effects of Faith is a labour as difficult as it would be tedious. I decline both, and shall therefore touch upon some spe∣ciall ones which if present, all the rest in there order follow with a voluntary traine. Page  225 And now as in the soule of man there are two kinde of operations, one primitive, and substantiall, which we call the act of information, others secondary, and subsequent, as to understand, to will, to desire, and the like: so Faith, being (as hath been formerly observed) in some sort the Actus primus, or forme of a Christian, I meane that very medium unionis whereby the soule of man is really united to CHRIST, hath therefore in it two kinds of opera∣tions. The first as it were substantiall, the other secondary. The former of these is that act of vivisication or quickning, by which, Faith doth make a mana to live the life of Christ, byb knitting him unto Christ as it were with Joynts, and Sinews, andc ingrafting him into the unity of that Vine whose Fruit is Life.

That which doth quicken is ever of a more excellent nature then that which is quickned, now the soule being a spirit, and therefore within the compasse of highest created perfection, cannot possibly be quickned by any but him who is a∣bove all perfection, which the Heathen themselves have acknowledged to be God. For S. Paul hath observed it out of them, that in him we live, and move, and have our being. Now unto life necessary it is Page  226 that there bee a vnion unto the principall or originall of life, which to the soule is God. In regard of the essence of God no∣thing can be seperated from him he be∣ing immense, and filling all things: but yet in regard of his voluntary communi∣cation, and dispensing of himselfe unto the creature, the manner of his speciall presence doth much vary, unto this speciall union of the creature unto God (in ver∣tue whereof the creature is quickned) and doth in some sort live the Life of God. There is necessarily presupposed some sinew or ligament, which may be therefore cal∣led the medium, and instrument of life. This knot in the estate of mans Creation was the obedience of the Law, or the covenant of workes, which while man did maintaine firme, and unshaken, he had an evident Communion with God in all those vitall influences which his mercy was plea∣sed to shed downe upon him: but once untying this knot, and cutting asunder that bond, there did immediately ensue a seperation betweene GOD, and man, and by an infallible consequence death like∣wise. But God being rich in mercy, and not willing to plunge his creature into eternall misery, found a new meanes to communicate himselfe unto him, by ap∣pointing a more easie Covenant, which Page  227 should be the second knot of our union unto him, onely to beleeve in Christ incarnate, who had done that for us which we our selves had formerly undone. And this new Covenant is the covenant of faith by which the just doe live.

But here a man may object that it is harder for one to discerne that hee doth live in Christ then that he beleeves in him, and therefore this can be noe good meane by which we may finde out the truth of our Faith. To this wee answer, that life must be discerned by those tokens which are inseperable from it, and they are first a desire of nourishment, without which it cannot continue, for nature hath imprinted in all things a love of its owne being, and preservation, and by consequence a prosecution of all such meanes as may preserve, and a removeall of all such as may endanger or oppresse it. Secondly, a conversion of nourishment into the nature of the body. Thirdly, augmentation, & growth till we come unto that Stature which our life requires. Fourthly, participation of influ∣ences from the vitall parts, the Head, the Heart, and others, with conformity unto the principall mover amongst them, for a dead part is ever withered, immoveable, and dis∣obedient to the other faculties, Fiftly, a sympa∣thy, and communion in paines, or delights with the fellow members. Lastly, a free use Page  228 of our senses▪ and other faculties, by all which we may infallibly conclude that a creature liveth.

And so it is in Faith. It frameth the heart to delight in all such spirituall food as is requisite thereunto. Disposing it up∣on the view, at lest upon the taste of any poysonous thing to be pained with it, and cast it up. The food that nourish∣eth Faith is as in little Infants, of the same quality with that which begat it, e∣ven the word of life, wherein there is sincere Milke, and strong meate. The poyson which endangereth it is heresie, which tain∣teth the roote of Faith, and goeth about to prevert the assent, and impiety, which blasteth, and corrupteth the branches. All which the soule of a Faithfull man abhorreth.

Secondly, in Faith there is a conversi∣on likewise, the vertue whereof ever there resides where the vitall power is. In na∣turall life the power of altering is in the man, and not in the meate, and therefore the meate is assimilated to our flesh: but in spirituall life the quickning faculty is in the meate, and therefore the man is as∣similated, and transformed into the qua∣lity of the meate. And indeed the word is not cast into the heart of man, as meate into the stomacke, to be converted Page  229 into the corrupt quality of nature, but rather as seed into the ground to convert that Earth which is about it into the qua∣lity of it selfe.

Thirdly, where Faith is there is some growth in grace, wee grow neerer unto Heaven then when we first beleeved, an improvement of our knowledge in the my∣steries of godlines, which like the Sunne, shines brighter, and brighter unto the perfect day: An increase of willingnes to obey God in all things; and as in the growth of naturall bodies if they be sound, and healthy, so in this of Faith likewise, it is universall, and uniforme, one part doth not grow, and another shrivell, ney∣ther doth one part grow too bigge, and disproportioned for another, the Head doth not increase in knowledge,* and the Heart decay in love, the Heart doth not swell in zeale, and the Hand wither in charity, but in the nourishment of Faith every grace receives proportionably its ha∣bituall confirmation.

Fourthly, by the spirituall life of Faith, the faithfull doe partake of such heaven∣ly influences as are from the head shed downe upon the members. The influences of Christ in his Church are many, and peradventure in many things impercepti∣ble. Some principall I conceive to be the Page  230 influence of his truth, and the influence of his power. His truth is exhibited in tea∣ching the Church, which is illumination, his power partly in guiding the Church, and partly in defending it, that is direction, this protection. Now in all these doe they who are in Christ, according to the measure and proportion of his Spirit, certainely com∣municate. They have their eyes more or lesse opened, like Paul, to see the terrours of God, the fearefulnesse of sinne, the rot∣tennesse of a spirituall death, the pretious∣nesse of Christ and his promises, the glimp∣ses and rayes of that glory which shall be revealed: they have their feete loosned with Lazarus, that they can now rise, and walke, and leape, and praise God. Lastly, they are strengthned and cloathed with the whole armes of God, which secureth them a∣gainst all the malice, or force of Satan.

Fiftly, where faith is, there is a naturall compassion in all the members of Christ to∣wards each other. If sinne be by one mem∣ber committed, the other members are troubled for it, because they are all parta∣kers of that Spirit which is grieved with the sinnes of his people. If one part bee afflicted, the other are interested in the paine, because all are united together in one head which is the Fountaine, and originall of Sense. The members of the Church are Page  231 not like paralyticke, and unjoynted mem∣bers, which cannot move towards the suc∣cour of each other.

Lastly, where Faith is, there all the fa∣culties are expedite and free in their ope∣rations. The eye open to see the wonders of Gods Law, the eare open to heare his voyce, the mouth open to praise his name, the arme enlarged towards the reliefe of his servants, the whole man tenderly sen∣sible of all pressures, and repugnant qua∣lities.

The secondary effects of faith are amongst sundry others such as these. First,a a love and liking of those spirituall truths which by faith I assent unto.* For saving Faith being an assent with adherence and delight, contrary to that of Divils which is with trembling and horror (which delight is a kinde of relish, and experience of the goodnesse of those objects wee assent unto.) It necessarily followes even from the di∣c¦ate of Nature (which instructeth a man to love that which worketh in him delight and comfort) that from this assent must arise an approbation and love of those objects whence doth issue such sweetnesse. A second effect is affiance, and hope, con∣fidently for the present relying on the goodnesse, and for the future waiting on the power of God, which shall to the full Page  232 in time performe what hee hath in his Word promised, when once the minde of a man is wrought so to assent unto divine promises made in Christ, as to acknowledge an interest, and propriety unto them, and that to bee at last actually performed not by a man, who is subject both to unfaith∣fulnesse in perseverance and to disability in performance of his promises (for every man is a lyar, either by imposture, ready to de∣ceive, or by impotencie, likely to disappoint the expectations of those who rely upon him) but by Almighty God, who the bet∣ter to confirme our faith in him, hath both by his Word, and Oath engaged his fidelity, and is altogether omnipotent to doe what hee hath purposed: Impossible it is but from such an assent, grounded on the ve∣racity, and on the All-sufficiency of God, there should result in the minde of a faith∣full man a confident dependance on such promises, renouncing in the meane time all selfe-dependance, as in it selfe utterly impo∣tent, and resolving in the midst of Temp∣tations to relie on him, to hold fast his mercy, and the profession of his Faith with∣out wavering, having an eye to the recom∣pence of reward, and being assured that he who hath promised will certainely bring it to passe.

A third effect of Faith is ioy, and peace of Page  233 Conscience,b for being iustified by faith we have peace with God. The minde is by faith, and the impression of sweetnesse in Gods Promises, composed unto a setled calme∣nesse, and serenity. I doe not meane a dead peace, an immobility, and sleepinesse of Conscience, like the rest of a dreaming pri∣soner: but such a peace as a man may by a syllogisme of the practicke judgment upon right examination of his owne inte∣rest in Christ, safely inferre unto himselfe. The wicked often hath an appearance of peace as well as the faithfull: but here is the difference. Betweene a wicked mans sinne and him there is a Doore shut, which will surely one day open, for it is but ei∣ther a doore of Error, or the doore of Death: for sinne lieth at the doore, ready to flye at his throate as soone as it shall finde either his eyes open to see it, or his life to let it in upon the soule: but betweene a faithfull man, and his sinne, there is a Corner-stone, a Wall of fire, through which Satan himselfe cannot breake, even the merits of Christ Iesus. Briefly, the peace which comes from Faith hath these two properties in it, tranquility and serenity too; otherwise it is but like the calmenesse of the dead Sea, whose un∣moveablenesse is not Nature, but a Curse.

The last effect which I shall now name Page  234 of Faith, is that generall effect of fructifi∣cationapurifying the heart, and dispo∣sing it unto holinesse, and new obedience, which is to bee framed after Gods Law. Faith unites us unto Christ, being thus u∣nited we are quickned by one and the same Spirit, having one spirit, and soule we must needs agree in the same operations, and those operations must necessarily beare conformi∣ty unto the same rule, and that rule is the Law, under which Christ himselfe was for our sakes made. So that the rule to exa∣mine this effect of Faith by, should bee the whole compasse of Gods Law, which to enter into, were to redouble all this la∣bour past, for thy Law (saith David) is exceeding wide. Briefly therefore in all our obedience observe these few rules. First, The obligatory power which is in the Law depends upon the one, and sole authority of the Law-giver who is God. He that breakes but one Commandement venturs to violate that authority which by the same Ordination made one equally obli∣gatory with the rest. And therefore our obedience must not bee partiall, but uni∣versall unto the whole Law, in as much as it proceeds from that Faith which without indulgence, or dispensation yeel∣deth assent unto the whole compasse of Divine Truth. Secondly, as is God, so Page  235 is his Law, a spirituall, and a perfect Law, and therefore requires a universality of the subject, as well as of the obedience. I meane (besides that perfect integrity of Nature, which in regard of present inherence is irre∣coverably lost in Adam, and supplied one∣ly by the imputed righteousnesse and in∣tegrity of Christ) an inward, spirituall, sincere obedience of the heart, from thence spreading like lines from a Centre un∣to the whole Circumference of our Na∣ture, unto our Words, Actions, Ge∣stures, unto all our parts, without croo∣ked, mercenary, and reserv'd respects, where∣in men often in stead of the Lord, make their ends, or their feares their God. Lastly, remember that in every Law all ho∣mogeneall matters to the maine duty which is commanded, every sprigge, or seed, or originall, or degree thereof is in∣cluded, as all the severall branches of a Tree are fastned to one and the same stocke. And by these rules are wee to examine the truth of our obedience. But heere be∣fore I draw downe these premises to an Assumption, I will but name one caution which is this, That Faith as it may bee either habituall or Actuall, so it is the cause of these holy actions either habitu∣ally by framing and disposing the heart un∣to them, or actually, when it is it selfe, Page  236 as it ought ever to bee sound, and opera∣tive. But sometimes Faith (so great is the corruption of our nature) admits of a decay, and languor, wherein it lies as it were like fire under ashes raked up, and stifled under our corruptions. Againe in some there is a weaker, in some a stronger Faith, according unto which difference, there must be a difference in the measure, and magnitude of the effects. But yet it is infallibly true that all, or most of those holy fruits doe in some seasons or other bud forth of that stocke which is quick∣ned by Faith, though sometimes in some men lesse discernable by reason of cor∣ruptions interposed. For it usually thus falleth out, that our graces are but like the Army of Gedeon, a small handfull where∣as our corruptions are like the Midianits which lay on the ground as Grashoppers innumerable. But yet in these God crow∣neth his owne meanest gists with victory, and successe.

So then these things being thus proposed let the conscience without connivence ex∣amine it selfe by such interrogatories as these. Doe I finde my selfe live by the Faith of the Sonne of GOD who gave himselfe for me? Doe I delight in his Word more then my appoynted food, ne∣ver adulterating it with the Leaven or Page  237 Dreggs of hereticall fancies or dead workes? Doth the word of Truth transforme me to the Image of it selfe, Crucifying all those corruptions which harboured in me? Doe I finde my selfe to grow in all graces universally, and uniformely towards God and man, not thinking to recompence some defects which my nature drives me unto, with supererogation (as I con∣ceive) and over performance of such du∣ties as are not so visibly repugnant to my personall corruptions? Doe the beames of the Sunne of righteousnesse shining on my soule illighten me with his truth, and with his power sway me unto all good? Am I heartily affected with all the con∣ditions of Gods Church, to mourne, or to rejoyce with it even at such times, when mine owne particular estate would frame me unto affections of a contrary temper? Have I free use of all my spi∣rituall senses, to see the light of God, to heare his Word, to taste his mercies, to feele with much tendernes all the wounds and pressures of sinne? Doe I love all di∣vine truth, not so much because propor∣tionable unto my desires, but because conformable unto God? Am I resolv'd in all estates to relie on Gods mercy, and providence, though He should kill me to trust in him? Doe I wholy renounce all Page  238 trust in mine owne worthines, or in any concurrences of mine owne naturally to∣wards God? Doe I not build eyther my hopes or feares upon the faces of men, nor make eyther them or my selfe the rule or end of my desires? finally, doe I endeavour a universall obedience unto Gods Law in all the whole latitude, and ex∣tent of it, not indulging to my selfe li¦berty in any knowne sinne? Is not my obedience mercenary, and hypocriticall, but spirituall, and sincere? Do I not swal∣low gnats, nor stumble at straws, not dispense with my selfe for the least of sinns, for irregular thoughts, for occasi∣ons of offence, for appearances of evill, for the motions of concupiscence for idle words, and vaine conversation, and what∣sover is in the lowest degree forbidden? And though in any, or all these I may be sometimes overtaken (as who is it that can say I have washed my hands in inno∣cency, I am cleane from my sinnes?) Doe I yet relent for it, strive, and resolue against it? in a word, doth not mine owne heart condemne me of selfe-deceite, of hypocrisie, of halting and dissembling in Gods service. Then may I safely con∣clude that I have partaked of the saving efficacy of Faith, and am fitly qualified to partake of these holy mysteries, Page  239 whereby this good worke of Faith be∣gun in me, may bee strengthned, and more perfected against the day of the Lord Jesus.

In the receiving of which we must use all both inward, and outward reverence, secret elevations of spirit, and comfortable thoughts touching the mercies of God in Christ, touching the qualities, and be∣nefits of his passion, and of our sinnes that caused it: and Lastly, for the course of our life after wee must pitch upon a constant resolution to abandon all sinne, and to keepe a strict hand over all our wayes;a least turning againe with the Swine to the mire that which should bee the badge of our honor, prove the Cha∣racter of our shame. The Persians had a festivall time one day in the yeere which they cald Vitiorum interitum, wherein they slew all Serpents, and venemous, creatures, and after that till the revolution of that same day suffred them to swarme againe as fast as ever: If we thinke in that manner to destroy our sins, and onely one day in the yeere, when we celebrate this holy Festivall, the evill spirit may hapily de∣part for a day in policie, but surely he will turne againe, with seven other spirits, & make the end of that man worse then his beginning. But that ground which drinketh in the Page  240 raine which commeth of upon it (and what raine comparable to a showre of Christs bloud in the Sacrament?) and bringeth forth herbs meete for the use of him that dressed it, receiveth blessings from God; A Cup of Blessing heere, but Rivers of Bles∣sednesse hereafter, in that Paradise which is above, where Hee who is in this life the Obiect of our Faith and Hope, shall bee the End, and Reward of them both for ever.

FINIS.