1. Cor. 10. Vers. 17.
Wee being many, are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
OTher entrance I need not make vnto my speech at this time, then that which the Apostle himselfe pre∣senteth vnto mee in the verse next but one going before my Text: I speake to wise men. The more vnwise might I deeme my selfe to be, who being so con∣scious vnto my selfe of my great weakenesse, durst aduenture to discouer the same before so graue and iudicious an Auditory; but that this consideration doth somewhat support me, that no great blame can light herein vpon mee, but some aspersion thereof must reflect vpon your selues, who happened to make so euill a choyce; the more facile I expect you to bee in a cause, wherein you your selues are some wayes intere∣sted.
Page 3 The speciall cause of your assembling at this time, is, first, that you who professe the same truth, may ioyne in one body, and partake together of the same blessed Communion: and then, that such as adhere vnto false worship, may bee disco∣uered and auoyded: You in your wisedome dis∣cerning this holy Sacrament to bee, as it were, ignis probationis, which would both congregare ho∣mogenea, and segregare heterogenea, (as in Philo∣sophie wee vse to speake) both conioyne those that be of the same, and dis-ioyne such as bee of a differing kinde and disposition. And to this purpose haue I made choyce of this present Text: wherein the Apostle maketh our partaking of the Lords Table to bee a testimony, not onely of the vnion and communion which wee haue betwixt our selues, and with our Head, (which he doth in the expresse words, which I haue read) but also of our dis-vnion and separation from all idola∣trous worship: as appeareth by the application hereof vnto his maine drift and intendment, laid downe in the 14. and 21. verses.
The effect therfore of that which Saint Paul in expresse termes heere deliuereth, is the Commu∣nion of Saints: which consisteth of two parts; the fellowship which they haue with the Body, laid downe in the beginning; and the fellow∣ship which they haue with the Head, laid downe in the end of the verse: both which are thus ex∣plained by Saint Iohn: That which wee haue seene and heard, declare we vnto you, that ye also may haue fellowship with vs; and truly our fellowship is with Page 3 the Father, and with his Sonne Iesus Christ, 1. Ioh. 1.3. Let them therefore that walke in darknesse, brag as much as they list of their good-fellow∣ship: this blessed Apostle assureth vs, that such onely as doe walke in the light,*haue fellowship one with another; euen as they haue fellowship with God, and Iesus Christ his Sonne, whose blood shall cleanse them from all sinne. And to what better company can a man come,* than to the ge∣nerall Assembly, and Church of the first-borne which are inrolled in heauen, and to God the Iudge of all, and to the spirits of iust men made perfect, and to Iesus the Mediator of the new Couenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things then that of Abel? No fellowship (doubtlesse) is com∣parable to this Communion of Saints.
To begin therefore with the first part there∣of; as the Apostle in the third to the Galatians maketh our being baptized into Christ,* to bee a testimony that wee are all one in Christ: so doth hee heere make our partaking of that one bread, to be an euidence that we also are all one bread, and one body in him. And to the same purpose, in the twelfth Chapter following, he propoundeth both our Baptisme and our drinking of the Lords Cup, as seales of the spirituall coniunction of vs all into one mysticall body. For as the body is one,* (saith he) and hath many members, and all the mem∣bers of that one body, being many, are one body: so al∣so is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether wee bee Iewes or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and haue been all made to drinke Page 4 into one Spirit. Afterwards hee addeth, that wee are the body of Christ, and members in particular: and in another place also,* that We being many, are one body in Christ,*and euery one members one of another.
Now the vse which hee teacheth vs to make of this wonderfull coniunction (whereby wee are made members of Christ, and members one of another) is two-fold: 1. That there should be no schisme in the body. 2. That the members should haue the same care one for another, 1. Cor. 12.25. For preuenting of Schisme, hee exhorteth vs in the fourth to the Ephesians,*to keepe the vnity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: and to make this bond the firmer, hee putteth vs in minde of one Body, one Spirit, one Hope, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God and Father of all, who is aboue all, and through all, and in vs all: by this multipli∣cation of vnities declaring vnto vs, that the knots whereby wee are tyed together, are both in num∣ber more, and of farre greater moment, then that matters of smaller consequence should dis∣seuer vs: and therefore that wee should stand fast in one spirit, with one minde, striuing together for the faith of the Gospell, and in nothing terrified by our aduersaries, Philip. chap. 1. vers. 27, 28.
But howsoeuer God hath thus marshalled his Church in a goodly order,*terrible as an army with banners: yet, such is the disorder of our nature, that many for all this breake ranke, and the ene∣my laboureth to breed diuision in Gods House, Page 5 that so his Kingdome might not stand. Nay, oftentimes it commeth to passe,* that the Watch∣men themselues, who were appoynted for the safegarding of the Church, proue in this kinde to bee the smiters and wounders of her: and from among them who were purposely ordained in the Church, for the bringing of men *into the vnity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, euen from among those, some doe arise, that speake peruerse things, to draw away disciples af∣ter them.
Thus wee finde in the Ecclesiasticall History, that after the death of Iulian the Apostata,aque∣stions and disputes concerning matters of doctrine were freshly set afoot by those who were set ouer the Churches. Wherupon Sozomen maketh this graue obseruation: that bthe disposition of men is such, that when they are wronged by others, they are at a∣greement among themselues; but when they are freed of euils from abroad, then they make insurrections one against another. Which as we finde to be too true by the late experience of our neighbour Churches in the Low Countries: so are we to consider with the Wise man, c that What hath been, is now, and that which is to bee, hath already been: and bee not so inquisitiue, d why the for∣mer dayes were better then these? for wee doe not en∣quire wisely concerning this. When like troubles were in the Church heretofore, Isidorus Pelu∣siota, an ancient Father, moueth the question, eWhat a man should doe in this case? and maketh answere, that If it be possible, wee should mend it, Page 6 but if that may not bee, wee should hold our peace.
The Apostles resolution, I thinke, may giue sufficient satisfaction in this poynt, to all that haue moderate and peaceable mindes. fIf in any thing yee bee otherwise minded, God shall reueale euen this vnto you: neuerthelesse, whereto wee haue already attained, let vs walke by the same rule, let vs minde the same thing. It is not to bee looked for, that all good men should agree in all things: neither is it fit that we should (as our Aduersaries doe) put the truth vnto compromise, and to the say∣ing of an Achitophel, whose counsell must bee accepted, as if a man had inquired at the Oracle of God. We all agree that the Scriptures of God are the perfect rule of our faith: wee all con∣sent in the maine grounds of Religion drawne from thence: wee all subscribe to the articles of doctrine agreed vpon in the Synode of the yeere 1562. for the auoyding of diuersities of opini∣ons, and the establishing of consent touching true Re∣ligion. Hitherto, by Gods mercy, haue wee al∣ready attained; thus farre therefore let vs minde the same thing: let not euery wanton wit be permitted to bring what fancies he list, into the Pulpit, and to disturbe things that haue been well ordered.*I beseech you, brethren (saith the Apostle) marke them which cause diuisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which yee haue lear∣ned, and auoid them.
If in some other things wee bee otherwise minded, than others of our brethren are; let vs beare one with another, vntill God shall reueale Page 7 the same thing vnto vs: and howsoeuer we may see cause why we should dissent from others in matter of opinion; yet let vs remember, that that is no cause why wee should breake the Kings peace, and make a rent in the Church of God. A thing deepely to be thought of by the Ismaels of our time, whose hand is against euery man,*and euery mans hand against them;* who bite and deuoure one another, vntill they bee consumed one of ano∣ther; who forsake the fellowship of the Saints, and * by a sacrilegious separation breake this bond of peace. Little doe these men consider, how precious the peace of the Church ought to bee in our eyes (to bee redeemed with a thousand of our liues) and of what dangerous consequence the matter of schisme is vnto their owne soules. For howsoeuer the schismaticke secundùm affe∣ctum (as the Schoolemen speake) in his intenti∣on and wicked purpose, taketh away vnity from the Church; euen as he that hateth God, doth take away goodnesse from him, as much as in him lyeth: yet secundùm effectum, in truth and in very deed, hee taketh away the vnity of the Church onely from himselfe: that is, hee cutteth himselfe off from being vnited with the rest of the body; and being disseuered from the body, how is it possible that he should retaine commu∣nion with the Head?
To conclude therefore this first vse which wee are to make of our communion with the Body: let vs call to minde the exhortation of the Apo∣stle: Aboue all things put on loue,*which is the bond Page 8 of perfectnesse, and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one Body.* Be∣hold how good and pleasant a thing it is for bre∣thren to dwell together in vnity: what a goodly thing it is to behold such an honourable Assem∣bly as this is,* to bee as a house that is compact to∣gether in it selfe; holding fit correspondence with the other part of this great body, and due subor∣dination vnto their and our Head! Such as wish not well to the publike good, and would reioyce at the ruine of our State, long for nothing more, then that dissensions should arise here, betwixt the members mutually, and betwixt them and the Head.
Hoc Ithacus velit, & magno mercentur Atridae. They know full well,* that euery Kingdome diuided against it selfe, is brought to desolation; and euery house diuided against it selfe, shall not stand: nor doe they forget the Politicians old rule, Diuide & impera, Make a diuision, and get the dominion. The more neede haue wee to looke herein vnto our selues; who cannot bee ignorant how dolo∣rous Solutio continui, and how dangerous Rup∣tures proue to bee vnto our bodies. If therefore there be any comfort of loue, if any fellowship of the spirit,* fulfill our ioy: that yee be like-min∣ded, hauing the same loue, being of one accord, of one minde; and doing nothing through strife or vaine-glory. Remember that as oft as we come vnto the Lords Table, so oft doe we enter into new bonds of peace, and tye our selues with firmer knots of loue together: this blessed Communion being a Page 9 sacred seale not onely of the vnion which wee haue with our Head by faith, but also of our con∣iunction with the other members of the body by loue.
Whereby as we are admonished to maintaine vnity among ourselues, that there be no schisme or diuision in the body: so are we also further put in minde, that the members should haue the same care one for another. For that is the second vse which Saint Paul teacheth vs to make hereof, in 1. Cor. 12.26. which he further amplifieth in the verse next following, by the mutuall sympathy and fel∣low-feeling which the members of the same bo∣dy haue one with another. For whether one mem∣ber suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one mem∣ber be honoured, all the members reioyce with it: and then he addeth: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. Shewing vnto vs thereby, that as wee are all *〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 con∣corporated (as it were) and made copartners of the promise in Christ: so wee should haue one another in our hearts, *〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to die and liue together. And hereupon is that exhor∣tation in the 13. to the Hebrewes grounded:*Re∣member them that are in bonds, as bound with them, and them which suffer aduersity, as being your selues also in the Body. It being a perillous signe that we be no liuely members of that body, if we be not sensible of the calamities that lye vpon our afflicted brethren. We know the Woe that is pro∣nounced against such as are at ease in Sion,* and are not grieued for the affliction of Ioseph: with the Page 10 iudgement following. Therefore now shall they goe captiue, with the first that goe captiue. We know the Angels bitter curse against the inhabitants of Meroz.*Curse ye Meroz (said the Angell of the Lord) curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof: because they came not to helpe the Lord, to helpe the Lord against the mighty. Not as if the Lord did stand in need of our helpe, or were not able, without our assi∣stance, to maintaine his owne cause; but that hereby he would make triall of our readinesse to doe him seruice, and proue the sincerity of our loue. If wee hold our peace and sit still at this time,* deliuerance shall arise to Gods Church from another place: but let vs looke that the de∣struction doe not light vpon vs and ours.
I need not make any application of that which I haue spoken: the face of Christendome, so miserably rent and torne, as it is at this day, cannot but present it selfe as a rufull spectacle vn∣to all our eyes, and (if there be any bowels in vs) stirre vp compassion in our hearts. Neither need I to be earnest in exciting you to put your help∣ing hands to the making vp of these breaches: your forwardnesse herein hath preuented mee, and in stead of petitioning (for which I had pre∣pared my selfe) hath ministred vnto mee matter of thankesgiuing. A good worke is at all times commendable: but the doing of it in fit time, ad∣deth much to the luster thereof, and maketh it yet more goodly. The season of the yeere is ap∣proching, wherein Kings goe forth to battell:* the present supply and offer of your Subsidie was Page 11 done in a time most seasonable: being so much al∣so the more acceptable, as it was granted not grudgingly, or of necessity, but freely, and with a willing minde. God loueth a cheerefull giuer:* and he is able to make all grace abound towards you, that ye alwayes hauing all sufficiency in all things, may a∣bound to euery good worke.
And thus being by your goodnesse so happily abridged of that which I intended further to haue vrged from the coniunction which we haue with the Body: I passe now vnto the second part of the Communion of Saints, which consisteth in the vnion which we all haue with one Head. For Christ our Head is the maine foundation of this heauenly vnion. Out of him there is nothing but confusion; without him we are nothing but dis∣ordered heapes of rubbish: but in him all the building fitly framed together, groweth vnto an holy Temple in the Lord; and in him are we builded toge∣ther for an habitation of God through the Spirit, Ephes. 2.21, 22. Of our selues wee are but lost sheepe, scattered and wandring vpon euery Mountaine. From him it is, that there is one fold, and one shepheard, Ioh. 10.16. God hauing pur∣posed in himselfe to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heauen, and which are on earth, euen in him, Ephes. 1.10. This is the effect of our Sauiours prayer, Ioh. 17.21. That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, & I in thee, that they also may be one in vs, &c. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. And this is it which we finde so oft repeated by Saint Paul: We Page 12 being many, are one body in Christ, Rom. 12.5. Ye are all one in Christ Iesus, Gal. 3.28. And in the Text wee haue in hand: Wee being many, are one bread, and one body. Why? because we are all partakers of that one bread: namely, of that bread, whereof he had said in the words immediately going before: The bread which we breake,*is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Vnder the name of Bread therefore heere is comprehended both Panis Domini, and Panis Do∣minus; not onely the bread of the Lord, but also the Lord himselfe, who is that liuing Bread which came downe from heauen, Ioh. 6.51. For as Saint Peter,* saying that Baptisme doth saue vs, vnderstan∣deth thereby both the outward part of that Sa∣crament, (for he expressely calleth it a figure) and more than that too (as appeareth by the explica∣tion presently adioyned: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh) euen the inward purging of our consciences by vertue of the death and re∣surrection of Iesus Christ: so Saint Paul heere making the reason of our vnion to bee our parta∣king all of this one bread, hath not so much respect vnto the externall bread in the Sacrament (though he exclude not that neither) as vnto the true and heauenly Bread figured thereby; where∣of the Lord himselfe pronounceth in the sixth of Iohn:*The bread that I will giue, is my flesh, which I will giue for the life of the world. And (to shew that by partaking of this bread, that wonderfull vnion we speake of, is effected:) Hee that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,*dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Page 13 It is a lamentable thing to behold, how this ho∣ly Sacrament, which was ordained by Christ to be a bond whereby wee should be knit together in vnity, is by Satans malice, and the corruption of mans disposition, so strangely peruerted the contrary way; that it is made the principall oc∣casion of that wofull distraction which wee see a∣mongst Christians at this day, and the very fuell of endlesse strifes, and implacable contentions. And for as much as these mischiefes haue pro∣ceeded from the inconsiderate confounding of those things which in their owne nature are as different as may be: for the cleerer distinguishing of matters, we are in the first place to consider, that a Sacrament taken in his full extent, com∣prehendeth two things in it: that which is out∣ward and visible, which the Schooles call pro∣perly Sacramentum, (in a more strict acception of the word:) and that which is inward and in∣uisible, which they tearme rem Sacramenti, the principall thing exhibited in the Sacrament. Thus in the Lords Supper, the outward thing which we see with our eyes, is bread and wine, the inward thing which wee apprehend by faith is, the body and blood of Christ: in the outward part of this mysticall action, which reacheth to that which is Sacramentum onely, we receiue this bo∣dy and blood but sacramentally; in the inward, which containeth rem, the thing it selfe in it, wee receiue them really: and consequently the pre∣sence of these in the one is relatiue and symbolicall; in the other, reall and substantiall.
Page 14 To begin then with that which is symbolicall and relatiue: we may obserue out of the Scrip∣ture, which saith,* that Abraham receiued the signe of Circumcision, a seale of the righteousnesse of the faith which hee had being vncircumcised; that Sa∣craments haue a twofold relation to the things whereof they be Sacraments: the one of a signe, the other of a seale. Signes, wee knovv, are rela∣tiuely vnited vnto the things which they doe sig∣nifie; and in this respect ate so neerly conioyned together, that the name of the one is vsually communicated vnto the other. This cup is the new Testament, or, the new Couenant, saith our Sa∣uiour in the institution of the holy Supper, Luk. 22.20. This is my Couenant, saith God in the in∣stitution of Circumcision in the old Testament, Gen. 17.10. but how it was his Couenant, hee explaneth in the verse immediatly following: Ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskinne; and it shall be a SIGNE of the Couenant betwixt me and you. So words being the signes of things, no sooner is the sound of the word conueyed to our cares, but the notion of the thing signified there∣by is presented vnto our minde: and thereupon in the speech of the Scripture nothing is more ordinary, then by the terme of *Word to note a thing. We reade in the fourth of the first of Sa∣muel, that the Philistims were afraid and said, God is come into the Campe, vers. 7. when the Israe∣lites brought thither the Arke of the Couenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth betweene the Che∣rubims, vers. 4. and yet was that no other but this Page 15 relatiue kinde of presence wherof now we speake: in respect whereof also the shewbread is in the He∣brew named 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the bread of faces, or, the pre∣sence bread. Wee see with vs, the roome wherein the Kings c•aire, and other ensignes of State are placed, is called the Chamber of presence, although the King himselfe bee not there personally present: and as the rude and vndutifull beha∣uiour of any in that place, or the offering of any dis-respect to the Kings pourtraicture, or to the Armes Royall, or to any other thing that hath relation to his Maiesty, is taken as a disho∣nour done vnto the King himselfe: so heere, hee that eateth the bread, and drinketh the cup of the Lord vnworthily,* is accounted guilty of of∣fering indignity to the body and blood of the Lord.
In this sort wee acknowledge Sacraments to be signes; but bare signes we denie them to bee: seales they are, as vvell as signes of the Coue∣nant of grace. As it vvas therefore said of Iohn the Baptist, that he vvas a Prophet,*and more then a Prophet: so must vve say of Sacraments, that they be signes, and more then signes; euen pledges and assurances of the interest vvhich vvee haue in the heauenly things that are represented by them. He that hath in his chamber ye picture of the French King, hath but a bare signe; vvhich possibly may make him thinke of that King vvhen hee looketh on it, but shevveth not that hee hath any manner of interest in him. It is othervvise vvith him that hath the Kings great Seale for the confir∣mation of the title that hee hath vnto all the Page 16 lands and liuelihood which he doth inioy. And as heere, the waxe that is affixed to those letters Patents, howsoeuer for substance it bee the very same with that which is to be found euery where, yet being applyed to this vse, is of more worth to the Patentee, then all the waxe in the coun∣try beside: so standeth it with the outward ele∣ments in the matter of the Sacrament. The bread and wine are not changed in substance from be∣ing the same with that which is serued at ordina∣ry tables: but in respect of the sacred vse where∣unto they are consecrated, such a change is made, that now they differ as much from common bread and wine, as heauen from earth. Neither are they to be accounted barely significatiue, but truly exhibitiue also of those heauenly things whereto they haue relation: as being appoynted by God to bee a meanes of conueying the same vnto vs, and putting vs in actuall possession there∣of. So that in the vse of this holy ordinance, as verily as a man with his bodily hand and mouth receiueth the earthly creatures; so verily doth he with his spirituall hand and mouth (if any such he haue) receiue the body and blood of Christ.
And this is that reall and substantiall presence, which wee affirmed to be in the inward part of this sacred action. For the better conceiuing of which mystery, we are to inquire, first, what the thing is which wee doe heere receiue; secondly, how and in what manner we are made partakers of it. Touching the first, the truth which must be held, is this: that wee doe not here receiue onely Page 17 the benefits that flow from Christ; but the very body and blood of Christ, that is, Christ himselfe crucified. For as none can bee made partaker of the vertue of the bread and wine to his bodily su∣stenance, vnlesse he first doe receiue the substance of those creatures: so neither can any participate in the benefits arising from Christ to his spiritu∣all reliefe, except he first haue communion with Christ himselfe. We must ahaue the Sonne, before wee haue life: and therefore beate him we must, as himselfe speaketh) that is, as truly bee made partakers of him, as we are of our ordinary food, if we will liue by him. As there is a giuing of him on Gods part (for cvnto vs a Sonne is giuen;) so there must bee a receiuing of him on our part: for das many as reciued him, to them gaue hee power to become the sonnes of God. And as wee are ecalled by God vnto the communion of his Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord: so if we doe heare his voyce, and not harden our hearts by vnbeliefe, wee are indeed made fpartakers of Christ. This is that great myste∣ry (for so the Apostle termeth it) of our vnion with Christ, whereby we are made members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones:* and this is that eating of the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinking of his blood, which our Sauiour insisteth so much vpon, in the sixth of Iohn.
Where if any man shall demand, (that I may now come vnto the second poynt of our inquiry) How can this man giue vs his flesh to eate?* He must beware that he come not pre-occupied with such dull conceits as they were possessed withall, who Page 18 moued that question there; hee must not thinke that we cannot truly feed on Christ, vnlesse we re∣ceiue him within our iawes: (for that is as grosse an imagination as that of Nicodemus, who could not conceiue how a man could bee borne againe, vnlesse he should enter the second time into his mo∣thers wombe:)* but must consider that the eating and drinking which our Sauiour speaketh of, must be answerable to the hungring and thirsting, for the quenching whereof this heauenly Banquet is prouided. Marke well the words which he vseth, toward the beginning of his discourse concer∣ning this argument.*I am the bread of life, hee that commeth to me, shall neuer hunger; and hee that be∣leeueth on me, shall neuer thirst. But I said vnto you, that ye also haue seene me, and beleeue not. And com∣pare them with those in the end:*It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speake vnto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that beleeue not. Now obserue, that such as our hungring is, such is our eating. But euery one will confesse, that the hunger heere spoken of, is not corporall, but spirituall: Why then should any man dreame heere of a corporall eating? Againe, the corporall eating, if a man might haue it, would not auaile any thing to ye slaking of this hunger; nay, we are expressely told, that the flesh thus taken (for so we must vnderstand it) profiteth nothing, a man should neuer be the better, nor one iot the holier, nor any whit further from the second death, if he had filled his belly with it. But that Page 19 manner of feeding on this flesh, which Christ himselfe commendeth vnto vs, is of such profit, that it preserueth the eater from death,* and ma∣keth him to liue for euer. It is not therefore such an eating, that euery man who bringeth a bodily mouth with him may attaine vnto: but it is of a farre higher nature; namely, a spirituall vniting of vs vnto Christ, whereby he dwelleth in vs, and we liue by him.
If any doe further inquire, how it is possible that any such vnion should be, seeing the body of Christ is in heauen, and wee are vpon earth? I answere, that if the manner of this coniunction were carnall and corporall, it would bee indeed necessary that the things conioyned should bee admitted to bee in the same place: but it being altogether spirituall and supernaturall, no locall presence, no physicall nor mathematicall conti∣nuity or contiguity is any way requisite there∣unto. It is sufficient for the making of a reall vni∣on in this kinde, that Christ and we (though ne∣uer so farre distant in place each from other) bee knit together by those spirituall ligatures, which are intimated vnto vs in the words alledged out of the sixth of Iohn: to wit, the quickening Spirit descending downeward from the Head, to be in vs a fountaine of supernaturall life; and a liuely faith (wrought by the same Spirit) ascending from vs vpward, to lay fast hold vpon him, who hauing by himselfe purged our sinnes, sitteth on the right hand of the Maiesty on high.*
First therefore, for the communion of the Page 20Spirit, which is the ground and foundation of this spirituall vnion; let vs call to minde what we haue read in Gods Booke: that Christ, the second Adam, was made aa quickening spirit: and that he bquickeneth whom he will: that vnto him cGod hath giuen the Spirit without measure: and dof his fulnesse haue all we receiued: that ehe that is ioyned vnto the Lord, is one Spirit: and that fheereby wee know that we dwell in him, and he in vs, because hee hath giuen vs his Spirit. By all which it doth ap∣peare, that the mystery of our vnion with Christ consisteth mainly in this: that the selfe-same Spi∣rit which is in him, as in the Head, is so deriued from him into euery one of his true members, that thereby they are animated and quickened to a spirituall life. We reade in the first of Ezekiel, of foure liuing creatures, and of foure wheeles standing by them. When those went, (saith the Text) these went; and when those stood, these stood: and when those were lifted vp from the earth, the wheeles were lifted vp ouer against them. Hee that should behold such a vision as this, would easily conclude by yt which he saw, that some inuisible bands there were by which these wheeles and li∣uing creatures were ioyned together, howsoeuer none did outwardly appeare vnto the eye: and the holy Ghost, to giue vs satisfaction heerein, discouereth the secret, by yeelding this for the reason of this strange connexion; that the spirit of the liuing creature was in the wheeles, Ezek. 1.21. From whence wee may inferre, that things may truly be conioyned together, though the manner Page 21 of the coniunction bee not corporall: and that things distant in place may be vnited together, by hauing the spirit of the one communicated vnto the other.
Nay, if we marke it well, we shall finde it to be thus in euery of our owne bodies: that the for∣mall reason of the vnion of the members con∣sisteth not in the continuity of the parts (though that also be requisite to the vnity of a naturall bo∣dy:) but in the animation thereof by one and the same spirit. If we should suppose a body to be as high as the heauens, that the head thereof should be where Christ our Head is, and the feet where we his members are: no sooner could that head thinke of mouing one of the toes, but instantly the thing would be done, without any impedi∣ment giuen by that huge distance of the one from the other. And why? because the same soule that is in the head, as in the fountaine of sence and motion, is present likewise in the lowest member of the body. But if it should so fall out, that this, or any other member proued to be mor∣tified, it presently would cease to bee a member of that body; the corporall coniunction and con∣tinuity with the other parts notwithstanding. And euen thus is it in Christ; although in regard of his corporall presence,*the heauen must receiue him, vntill the times of the restitution of all things: yet is he here with vs alway, euen vnto the end of the world, in respect of the presence of his Spirit;* by the vitall influence whereof from him, as from the Head, the whole body is fitly ioyned together,*Page 22and compacted by that which euery ioynt supplieth, ac∣cording to the effectuall working in the measure of e∣uery part. Which quickening Spirit if it be want∣ing in any, no externall communion with Christ or his Church, can make him a true member of this mysticall body: this being a most sure prin∣ciple, that He which hath not the Spirit of Christ, is none of his, Rom. 8.9.
Now among all the graces that are wrought in vs by the Spirit of Christ, the soule (as it were) of all the rest, and that whereby athe iust doth liue, is Faith. bFor we through the Spirit waite for the hope of righteousnesse by faith, saith S. Paul to the Galatians. And againe: cI liue, yet not I, but Christ liueth in me; and the life which I now liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith of the Sonne of God, who loued me, and gaue himselfe for me. By faith it is, that wee doe dreceiue Christ: and so likewise e Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith. Faith there∣fore is that spirituall mouth in vs, whereby wee eate the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinke his blood, that is, (as the Apostle expresseth it without the trope) fare made partakers of Christ: he being by this meanes as truly, and euery wayes as effectu∣ally made ours, as the meate and drinke which we receiue into our naturall bodies.
But you will say, If this be all the matter, what doe we get by comming to the Sacrament? see∣ing we haue faith, and the quickening Spirit of Christ before wee come thither. To this I an∣swere: that the Spirit is receiued in diuers mea∣sures, and faith bestowed vpon vs in different de∣grees; Page 23 by reason whereof our coniunction with Christ may euery day bee made straiter, and the hold which we take of him firmer. To receiue the Spirit gnot by measure, is the priuiledge of our Head: we that hreceiue out of his fulnesse, haue not our portion of grace deliuered vnto vs all at once, but must daily looke for isupply of the Spirit of Iesus Christ. So also, while we are in this world, kthe righteousnesse of God is reuealed vnto vs from faith to faith, that is, from one degree and mea∣sure of it to another: and consequently, we must still labour to lperfect that which is lacking in our faith, and euermore pray with the Apostles, mLord increase our faith.n As wee haue therefore receiued Christ Iesus the Lord, so must wee walke in him; rooted and built vp in him, and stablished in the faith: that wee omay grow vp into him in all things, which is the Head. And to this end God hath ordained publike officers in his Church, pfor the perfecting of the Saints for the worke of the ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the vnity of the faith, and of the know∣ledge of the Sonne of God, vnto a perfect man, vnto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ: and hath accordingly qmade them able Ministers of the Spirit that quickeneth, and rMinisters by whom we should beleeue, euen as the Lord shall giue to euery man. When wee haue therefore receiued s the Spirit and t Faith (and so spirituall life) by their ministery, we are not there to rest; but uas new borne babes we must desire the sincere milke of the Word, that we may grow thereby: and as growne Page 24 men too, wee must desire to be fed at the Lords Table, that by the strength of that spirituall repast we may be inabled to doe the Lords worke, and may continually be nourished vp thereby in the life of grace, vnto the life of glory.
Neither must we heere with a fleshly eye looke vpon the meanenesse of the outward elements, and haue this faithlesse thought in our hearts, that there is no likelihood, a bit of bread, and a draught of wine should be able to produce such heauenly effects as these. For so we should prooue our selues to be no wiser than Naaman the Syri∣an was,* who hauing receiued direction from the man of God, that he should wash in Iordan se∣uen times, to be cleansed of his Leprosie; replied with indignation, Are not Abana and Pharpar, riuers of Damascus, better then all the waters of Isra∣el? May I not wash in them, and be cleane? But as his seruāts did soberly aduise him then, If the Prophet had bid thee doe some great thing, wouldest thou not haue done it? How much rather then, when hee saith to thee, Wash and be cleane? So giue mee leaue to say vnto you now: If the Lord had comman∣ded vs to doe some great thing, for the attaining of so high a good; should not we willingly haue done it? How much rather then, when hee bid∣deth vs to eate the bread, and drinke the wine that he hath prouided for vs at his owne Table, that by his blessing thereupon wee may grow in grace, and be preserued both in body and soule vnto euerlasting life?
True it is indeed, these outward creatures haue Page 25 no naturall power in them to effect so great a worke as this is, no more then the water of Ior∣dan had to recouer the Leper: but the worke wrought by these meanes, is supernaturall; and God hath been pleased in the dispensation both of the Word and of the Sacraments so to or∣daine it, that these heauenly treasures should bee presented vnto vs in earthen vessels,*that the excel∣lency of the power might be of God. As therefore in the preaching of the Gospell, the Minister doth not dare verba, and beate the aire with a fruitlesse found, but the words that hee speaketh vnto vs are Spirit and life; God being pleased by the foolish∣nesse of preaching, to saue them that beleeue:* so like∣wise in the administration of the Lords Supper, he doth not feed vs with bare bread and wine, but if we haue the life of faith in vs, (for still we must remember that this Table is prouided not for the dead, but for the liuing) and come worthily,*the Cup of blessing which he blesseth, will be vnto vs the communion of the blood of Christ, and the bread which hee breaketh, the communion of the body of Christ: of which precious body and blood wee being really made partakers, (that is, in truth and indeed, and not in imagination onely) al∣though in a spirituall and not a corporall man∣ner; the Lord doth grant vs,*according to the riches of his glory, to bee strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that we may bee filled with all the fulnesse of God. For the Sacraments (as well as the Word) be a part of that ministration of the Spirit,* which is committed to the Ministers of the Page 26 New Testament: for as much as by one Spirit, (as before we haue heard from the Apostle) wee haue been all baptized into one body,*and haue been all made to drinke into one Spirit.
And thus haue I finished the first part of my taske, my Congregatio homogeneorum, (as I call it) the knitting together of those that appertaine to the same body, both with their fellovv-members, and vvith their Head: vvhich is the thing laid dovvne in the expresse vvords of my Text. It re∣maineth novv that I proceed to the Apostles ap∣plication hereof vnto the argument hee hath in hand, vvhich is Segregatio heterogeneorum, a dis∣seuering of those that bee not of the same com∣munion; that the faithfull may not partake vvith Idolaters, by countenancing, or any vvay ioyning vvith them in their vngodly courses. For that this is the maine scope at vvhich S. Paul aimeth in his treating here of the Sacrament, is euident both by that vvhich goeth before in the 19. vers. Wherefore my deareby beloued, flee from Idolatry: and that vvhich follovveth in the 21. Yee cannot drinke the Cup of the Lord, and the cup of di∣uels; ye cannot be partakers of the Lords Table, and of the table of diuels.
Whereby vve may collect thus much, that as the Lords Supper is a seale of our coniunction one vvith another, and vvith Christ our Head; so is it an euidence of our dis-iunction from Ido∣laters, binding vs to dis-auovv all communion vvith them in their false vvorship. And indeed, the one must necessarily follovv vpon the other: Page 27 considering the nature of this hainous sinne of Idolatry is such, that it can no wayes stand with the fellowship which a Christian man ought to haue, both with the Head, and with the body of the Church. To this purpose, in the sixth of the second to the Corinthians we reade thus: What agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols?*for ye are the Temple of the liuing God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walke in them, and I will bee their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among the, & be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the vncleane thing; and I will receiue you. And in the 2. Chap. of the Epistle to the Co∣lossians: Let no man beguile you of your reward,*in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of Angels, intru∣ding into those things which he hath not seene, vainely puft vp by his fleshly minde: and not holding the head, from which all the body by ioynts and bands hauing nourishment ministred, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. In which words the Apo∣stle sheweth vnto vs, that such as vnder pretence of humility were drawne to the worshipping of Angels, did not hold the Head, and consequently could not retaine communion with the body, which receiueth his whole growth from thence. Answerably whereunto the Fathers assembled out of diuers prouinces of Asia in the Synode held at Laodicea, (not farre from the Colossi∣ans) did solemnely conclude, that aChristians ought not to forsake the Church of God, and goe and inuocate Angels, and pronounced an anathema against any that should bee found to doe so, Page 28bbecause (say they) he hath forsaken our Lord Iesus Christ, the Sonne of God, and giuen himselfe to Idola∣try: declaring plainly, that by this idolatrous in∣uocation of Angels, a discession was made both from the Church of God, as they note in the be∣ginning, and from Christ the Head of the Church, as they obserue in the end of their Ca∣non.
For the further vnderstanding of this particu∣lar, it will not be amisse to consider what Theo∣doret, a famous Bishop of the ancient Church, hath written of this matter in his Commentary vpon the second to the Colossians, They that de∣fended the Law (saith he) induced thē also to worship the Angels, saying that the Law was giuen by them. And this vice continued in Phrygia, and Pisidia for a long time: for which cause also the Synod assembled in Laodicea the chiefe City of Phyrgia, for bad them by a Law, to pray vnto Angels. And euen to this day among them and their borderers, there are Oratories of Saint Michael to be seene. This therefore did they counsell should be done, vsing humility, and saying, that the God of all was inuisible, and inaccessible, and incomprehensible; and that it was fit men should get Gods fauour by the meanes of Angels. And this is it which the Apostle saith, In humility, and wor∣shipping of Angels. Thus farre Theodoret, whom Cardinall Baronius discerning to come somwhat close vnto him, and to touch the Idolatry of the Popish crue a little to the quicke, leaueth the poore shifts wherewith his companions labour to obscure the light of this testimony, and telleth Page 29 vs plainely, that cTheodoret, by his leaue, did not well vnderstand the meaning of Pauls words: and d that those Oratories of Saint Michael were erected anciently by Catholicks, and not by those Hereticks which were condemned in the Councell of Lao∣dicea, as he mistooke the matter. As if any wise man would bee perswaded vpon his bare word, that the memory of things done in Asia so long since, should be more fresh in Rome at this day, then in the time of Theodoret, who liued twelue hundred yeeres agoe.
Yet must I needs confesse, that hee sheweth a little more modesty heerein then Bellarmine his fellow-Cardinall doth; who would make vs be∣leeue, that the place in the nineteenth of the Re∣uelation, where the Angell saith to Saint Iohn that would haue worshipped him, See thou doe it not, I am thy fellow-seruant, Worship God; maketh for them; and demandeth very soberly, ewhy they should be reprehended, who doe the same thing that Iohn did? and, whether the Caluinists knew better then Iohn, whether Angels were to bee adored or no? And as for inuocation of them, he telleth vs, that f Saint Iacob plainly prayed vnto an Angell, in the 48. of Genesis, when in blessing the sonnes of Ioseph, hee said, The Angell which deliuered me from all euill, blesse those children. Whom for an∣swere we remit to Saint Cyril, (in the first Chap∣ter of the third booke of his Thesaurus) and in∣treate him to tell vs, how neere of kinne hee is here to those Hereticks of whom S. Cyril there speaketh. His words bee these: That hee doth not Page 30 meane (in that place, Genes. 48.16.) an Angell, as the HERETICKES vnderstand it, but the Sonne of God, is manifest by this: that when hee had said, [The Angel,] he presently addeth, [who deli∣uered mee from all euils.] Which S. Cyril pre∣supposeth, no good Christian will ascribe to any but to God alone.
But to come more neere yet vnto that which is Idolatry most properly: An Idoll (we must vn∣derstand) in the exact propriety of the terme, doth signifie any Image; but according to the Ecclesiasticall vse of the word, it noteth such an Image as is set vp for religious adoration. And in this later sence we charge the adherents of the Church of Rome with grosse Idolatry:* because that contrary to Gods expresse Commandement they are found to bee worshippers of Images. Neither will it auaile them heere to say, that the Idolatry forbidden in the Scripture, is that onely which was vsed by Iewes and Pagans. The Apo∣stle indeed in this place dehorting Christians from Idolatry, propoundeth the fall of the Iewes in this kinde before their eyes:*Neither be yee Ido∣laters, saith he, as some of them were. And so doth hee also adde concerning another sinne, in the verse following: Neither let vs commit fornica∣tion, as some of them committed. As well then might one pleade, that Iewish or Heathenish fornica∣tion were here onely reprehended, as Iewish or Heathenish Idolatry. But as the one is a foule sinne, whether it bee committed by Iew, Pagan, or Christian: so if such as professe the Name of Page 31 Christ, shall practise that which the Word of God condemneth in Iewes and Pagans, for Ido∣latry, their profession is so farre from diminish∣ing, that it augmenteth rather the hainousnesse of the crime.*The Idols of the Heathen are siluer and gold, the worke of mens hands, saith the Psalmist: and so the Idols (of Christians, in all likelihood) mentioned in the Reuelation,* are said to bee of gold, and siluer, and brasse, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor heare, nor walke. The de∣scription of these Idols (wee see) agreeth in all poynts with Popish Images: where is any diffe∣rence?
The Heathen, say they, held the Images them∣selues to be gods, which is far from our thought. Admit, some of the simpler sort of the Heathen did so: what shall we say of the Iewish Idolaters, (of whom the Apostle here speaketh) who erected the golden Calfe in the Wildernesse? Can wee thinke ye they were all so senselesse, as to imagine that the Calfe, which they knew was not at all in rerum naturâ, and had no being at that time when they came out of Egypt, should yet be that God which brought them vp out of the land of Egypt?* And for the Heathen: did the Romans and Gre∣cians, when they dedicated in seuerall places an hundred Images (for example) to the honour of Iupiter, the king of all their gods, think that there∣by they had made an hundred Iupiters? or when their blocks were so old, that they had need to haue new placed in their stead; did they think by this change of their Images, yt they made change Page 32 also of their gods? without question they must so haue thought, if they did take the very Images themselues to be their gods: and yet the Pro∣phet bids vs consider diligently; and wee shall finde that the Heathen nations did not change their gods, (Ierem. 2.10, 11.) Nay, what doe we meet with, more vsually in the writings of the Fathers, then these answers of the Heathens for them∣selues? aWee worship the gods by the Images.bWee feare not them, but those to whose image they are made, and to whose names they are consecrated.cI doe not worship that stone, nor that Image which is without sense.dI neither worship the Image nor a spirit in it: but by the bodily pourtrature I doe behold the signe of that thing which I ought to worship.
But admit they did not account the Image it selfe to be God, (will the Papist further say;) yet were those images set vp to represent either things that had no being, or diuels, or false gods; and in that respect were Idols: wheras we erect Images onely to the honour of the true God, and of his seruants the Saints and Angels. To this I might oppose that answere of the Heathen to the Chri∣stians: eWe doe not worship euill spirits: such as you call Angels, those doe we also worship, the powers of the great God, and the Ministers of the great God. and put them in minde of S. Augustines reply: fI would you did worship them; you should easily learne of them not to worship them. But I will grant vnto them, that many of the Idolatrous Iewes & Hea∣thens Images were such as they say they were: yet I deny that all of them were such, and confidently Page 33 doe auouch, that Idolatry is committed by yeel∣ding adoration to an Image of the true God him∣selfe. For proofe whereof (omitting the Idoles of gMicah, and hIeroboam, which were erected to the memory of Iehouah the God of Israel; as also the Athenians superstitious worship of the *Vn∣knowne God, Act. 17.23. if, as the common vse of Idolaters was, they added an Image to their Al∣tar:) I will content my selfe with these two places of Scripture; the one whereof concerneth the Iewes, the other the Heathen. That which toucheth the Heathen, is in the first Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans: where the Apostle hauing said, that God had shewed vnto thē that which might be knowne of him; and that the in∣uisible things of him, that is, his eternall power and God-head, was manifested vnto them by the crea∣tion of the world, and the contemplation of the creatures: hee addeth presently, that God was sorely displeased with them, and therefore gaue them vp vnto vile affections, because they changed the glory of that vncorruptible God, into an Image made like to corruptible men, and to birds, and foure-footed beasts, and creeping things. Whereby it is euident, that the Idolatry condemned in the wi∣sest of the Heathen, was the adoring of the inui∣sible God, whom they acknowledged to be the Creator of all things, in visible Images fashioned to the similitude of men and beasts.
The other place of Scripture, is the 4. of Deuteronomy: where Moses vseth this speech vnto the children of Israel.
Page 34The Lord spake vnto you out of the midst of the fire: yee heard the voyce of the Words, but saw no similitude, onely yee heard a voyce, verse 12. And what doth he inferre vpon this? Take yee therefore good heed vnto your selues, (saith he in the 15. vers.) for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake vnto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire. Left yee corrupt your selues, and make you a gra∣uen image, the similitude of any figure, the likenesse of male or female, the likenes of any beast that is on the earth, the likenes of any winged fowle that flieth in the aire, the likenesse of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likenes of any fish that is in the waters be∣neath the earth. Where we may obserue: first, that God in the deliuery of the Law did purposely vse a voyce onely; because that such a creature as that, was not to be expressed by visible lineaments. as if that voyce should haue said vnto the Painter, as Eccho is fayned to doe in the i Poet.
Secondly, that when he vttered the words of the second Commandement in mount Sinai, and forbad the making of the likenes of any thing that is in Heauen aboue, or in the Earth beneath, or in the Waters vnder the Earth; hee did at that time for∣beare to shew himselfe in any visible shape, either of man or woman, either of beast in the earth, foule in the aire, or fish in the waters beneath the earth: to the end it might be the better made knowne, that it was his pleasure not to be adored at all in any such formes; & that the worshipping Page 35 of Images, not onely as they haue reference to the creatures whom they doe immediately repre∣sent, or to false gods, but also as they haue relati∣on to himselfe (the true God, who was then spea∣king vnto them in the Mount) did come within the compasse of the Idolatry which was condem∣ned in that Commandement.
In vaine therefore doe the Romanists goe a∣bout to perswade vs, that their Images be no I∣doles: and as vainely also doe they spend time in curiously distinguishing the seuerall degrees of worship; the highest point whereof, which they call Latreia, and acknowledge to be due onely vn∣to God, they would be loth wee should thinke that they did communicate to any of their Ima∣ges. But here wee are to vnderstand, first of all, that Idolatry may be committed by giuing not the highest onely, but also the lowest degree of religious adoration vnto Images: and therefore in the words of the Commandement, the very bowing downe vnto them, which is one of ye meanest degrees of worship, is expresly forbidden. Se∣condly, that it is * the receiued doctrine of Po∣pish diuines, that the Image should be honored with the same worship, wherewith that thing is worshipped whose Image it is: and therfore what adoration is due to Christ and the Trinity, the same by this ground they are to giue vnto their Images. Thirdly, that in the Roman Pontificall published by the authority of Clement the VIII. (to omit other testimonies in this kinde) it is con∣cluded, * that the Crosse of the Popes Legate shal Page 36 haue the right hand, vpon this very reason, quia de∣betur ei latria, because the worship proper to God is due to it. Now whether they commit Idola∣try, who communicate vnto a senselesse thing, that worship which they themselues confesse to be due vnto God alone: let all the world iudge.
They were best therefore from henceforth confesse themselues to be Idolaters: and stand to it, that euery kinde of Idolatry is not vnlawfull. Their Iesuite Gregorius de Valentia will tell them for their comfort,* that it is no absurdity to thinke that Saint Peter, when he deterreth the faithfull by name ab illicitis Idolorum cultibus (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Saint Peter calleth them, that is, abomi∣nable Idolatries) doth insinuate therby, that * some worship of Images is lawfull. Iohn Monceye the Frenchman in his Aaron Purgatus (dedicated to the late Pope Paul the fifth) and in his twenty questions propounded to Visorius, stretcheth yet a straine higher. For howsoeuer hee cannot away with the name of Idols and Idolatry; yet he li∣keth the thing it selfe so well, that he vndertaketh to cleare Aaron from committing any error in setting vp the golden Calfe, and laboureth to purge Laban, and Micha, and Ieroboam too from the imputation of Idolatry: hauing found in∣deed, that nothing had beene done by them in this kinde, which is not agreeable to the practice of the Romane Church at this day.
And lest the poore people, whom they haue so miserably abused, should finde how farre they haue beene misled; wee see that the masters of Page 37 that Church doe in the Seruice books and Cate∣chismes, which come vnto the hāds of the vulgar, generally leaue out the words of the second Com∣mandement that make against the adoration of Images: fearing lest by the light thereof, the my∣stery of their iniquity should be discouered. They pretend indeed that this Commandement is not excluded by them, but included onely in the first: whereas in truth they doe but craftily conceale it from the peoples eyes, because they would not haue them to be ruled by it. Nay,*Vas∣quez the Iesuite doth boldly acknowledge, that it plainely appeareth by comparing the words of this Commandement, with the place which hath beene alledged out of the 4. of Deuteronomy; that the Scripture did not onely forbid the wor∣shipping of an Image for God, but also the ado∣ration of the true God himselfe in an Image. He confesseth further, that he and his fellow Catho∣likes doe otherwise. What saith hee then to the Commandement, thinke you? Because it will not be obeyed, it must be repealed, and not admitted to haue any place among the morall precepts of God. * It was (saith he) a positiue and ceremo∣niall Law: and therefore ought to cease in the time of the Gospell. And as if it had not beene enough for him to match the Scribes and Phari∣ses in impiety, who made the Commandement of God of none effect, that they might keepe their owne tradi∣tion: that he might fulfill the measure of his fa∣thers, and shew himselfe to be a true childe of her who beareth the name of being the mother of Page 38 harlots and abominations of the earth;* he is yet more mad,* and sticketh not to maintaine, that not one∣ly a paynted Image, but any other thing of the world, whether it be without life and reason, or whether it be a reasonable creature, may (in the nature of the thing, and if the matter bee dis∣creetly handled) be adored vvith God, as his Image; yea and counteth it no absurdity at all, that a very vvispe of stravv should be thus vvor∣shipped.
But let vs turne yet againe,* and vve shall see greater abominations then these. We heard hovv this blessed Sacrament, vvhich is here propoun∣ded by the Apostle, as a bond to vnite Christians together in one body, hath beene made the apple of strife, and the occasion of most bitter breaches in the Church: we may now obserue againe, that the same holy Sacrament, which by the same A∣postle is here brought in as a principall induce∣ment to make men flee from Idolatry, is by our Ad∣uersaries made the obiect of the grossest Idola∣try that euer hath been practised by any. For their constant doctrine is, that in worshipping the Sacrament they should giue vnto it,*latriae cultum qui vero Deo debetur, (as the Councell of Trent hath determined,) that kinde of seruice which is due to the true God; determining their worship in that very thing which the Priest doth hold betwixt his hands. Their practice also runs accordingly: for an instance whereof we neede goe no further then to Sanders booke of the Lords Supper; before which he hath perfixed Page 39 an Epistle Dedicatory, superscribed in this man∣ner: To the Body and Blood of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, vnder the formes of Bread and Wine, all ho∣nour, praise, and thankes, be giuen for euer. Adding further in the processe of that blockish Epistle. Howsoeuer it be with other men, I adore thee my God and Lord really present vnder the formes of Bread and Wine, after consecration deuly made: Beseeching thee of pardon for my sinnes, &c.
Now if the conceite which these men haue concerning the Sacrament should proue to bee false (as indeed we know it to be most absurd and monstrous) their owne Iesuite Coster doth freely confesse, that they should be in such an error and Idolatry, qualis in orbe terrarum nunquam vel visus vel auditus fuit, as neuer was seene or heard of in this world.*For the error of them is more tolerable, (saith he) who worship for God a Statue of gold or siluer, or an Image of any other matter, as the Gentiles adored their gods; or a red cloth lifted vp vpon a speare, as it is reported of the Lappians; or liuing creatures, as did sometime the Egyptians; then of those that worship a piece of bread. We therefore who are verily per∣swaded that the Papists doe thus, must of force (if we follow their Iesuites direction) iudge them to be the most intolerable Idolaters that euer were.
Nay, according to their owne principles, how is it possible that any of themselues should cer∣tainly know, that the host which they worship should be any other thing but bread? seeing the change doth wholy depend vpon consecration Page 40 duly made, (as Sanders speaketh) and that depen∣deth vpon the intention of the Priest, which no man but himselfe can haue notice of Bellarmine, disputing against Ambrosius Catharinus, one of his owne brethren, that a man hath no certaine knowledge of his owne iustification, can take ad∣uantage of this, and alledge for himselfe, that one *cannot be certaine by the certainty of faith, that hee doth receiue a true Sacrament; for asmuch as the Sa∣crament cannot be made without the intention of the Minister, and none can see another mans intention. Apply this now to the matter we haue in hand; and see into what intricate Labyrinths these men haue brought themselues. Admit the Priests in∣tention stood right at the time of consecration, yet if he that baptized him failed in his intention when he administred that Sacrament, he remain∣eth still vnbaptized, and so becommeth vncapa∣ble of Priesthood; and consequently, whatsoeuer he consecrateth is but bread still. Yea, admit hee were rightly baptized too: if either the Bishop that conferred vpon him the Sacrament of Or∣ders, (for so they hold it to be) or those that bap∣tized or ordained that Bishop, missed their right intention; neither will the one proue Bishop, nor the other Priest; and so with what intention soe∣uer either the one or the other doth consecrate, there remaineth but bread still. Neither doth the inconuenience stay heere, but ascendeth vpward to all their predecessors: in any one of whom if there fall out to bee a nullity of Priesthood (for want of intention, either in the baptizer, or in the Page 41 ordainer) all the generation following, according to their principles, goe without their Priesthood too; and so deliuer but bread to the people, in stead of the body of Christ. The Papists them∣selues therefore, if they stand vnto their owne grounds, must needs confesse, that they are in no better case heere, then the Samaritans were in, of whom our Sauiour saith,*Yee worship yee know not what: but we know, that what they worship (bee the condition or intention of their Priest what it will be) is bread indeed; which while they take to be their God, we must still account them guil∣ty of spirituall fornication, and such fornication, as is not so much as named amongst the Gentiles.
These then being the Idolaters with whom we haue to deale, let vs learne first how dangerous a thing it is to communicate with them in their false worship. For if we will be partakers of Ba∣bylons sinnes,* wee must looke to receiue of her plagues. Secondly, wee are to be admonished, that it is not sufficient that in our owne persons we refraine worshipping of Idols, but it is fur∣ther required, that we restraine (as much as in vs lyeth) the practice thereof in others; lest by suf∣fering God to be dishonoured in so high a man∣ner, when wee may by our calling hinder it, wee make our selues partakers of other mens sinnes. Eli the high Priest was a good man, and gaue ex∣cellent counsell vnto his lewd sonnes: yet wee know what iudgement fell vpon him,*because his sonnes made themselues vile, and he frowned not vpon them, (that is, restrained them not;) which God Page 42 doth interpret to be a kinde of Idolatry,* in honou∣ring of his sonnes aboue him. The Church of Per∣gamus did for her owne part hold fast Christs name, and denyed not his faith: yet had the Lord something against her;*because she had there, them that held the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling blocke before the children of Israel, to eate things sacrificed vnto Idols, and to commit fornication. So we see what speciall notice our Sauiour taketh of the workes, and charity, and seruice,* and saith, & patience of the Church of Thyatira: and yet for all this he addeth, Not∣withstanding, I haue a few things against thee, be∣cause thou sufferest that woman Iezebel, which calleth her selfe a Prophetesse, to teach and to seduce my ser∣uants to commit fornication, and to eate things sacri∣ficed vnto Idols.
In the second of Iudges God telleth the childrē of Israel, what mischiefe should come vnto them by tolerating the Canaanitish Idolaters in their Land.*They shall be thornes in your sides, (saith he) and their gods shall be a snare vnto you. Which words containe in them the intimation of a dou∣ble danger: the one respecting the soule, the o∣ther the body. That which concerneth the soule, is: that their Idols should be a snare vnto them. For God well knew that mans nature is as prone to spirituall fornication, as it is to corporall. As therefore for the preuenting of the one, he would not haue a common harlot tolerated in Israel, Lest the Land should fall to whoredome and become full of wickednesse:* so for the keeping out of the Page 43 other, he would haue prouocations taken away, and all occasions whereby a man might be temp∣ted to commit so vile a sinne. The bodily danger that followeth vpon the toleration of Idolaters, is: that they should be in their sides, that is,* (as in another place it is more fully expressed) they should be prickes in their eyes, and thornes in their sides, and should vexe them in the Land wherein they dwelled. Now in both these respects it is certaine, that the toleration of the Idolaters with whom we haue to doe, is farre more perillous than of any other. In regard of the spirituall danger, wherewith simple soules are more like to bee in∣snared: because this kinde of Idolatry is not brought in with an open shew of impiety, (as that of the Pagans) but is a mystery of iniquity, a wickednesse couered with the vaile of piety; and the harlot, which maketh the inhabitants of the earth drunke with the wine of this fornication, is both gilded her selfe, and presenteth also her abominations vnto her followers in a cup of gold.* If we looke to outward perill, we are like to find these men, not thornes in our sides to vexe vs, but daggers in our hearts to destroy vs. Not that I take all of them to be of this furious disposition, (mistake me not: I know a number my selfe of a farre different temper:) but because there are ne∣uer wanting among them some turbulent hu∣mours, so inflamed with the spirit of fornication, that they runne mad with it; and are transported so farre, that no tolerable termes can content them, vntill they haue attained to the vtmost Page 44 pitch of their vnbridled desires. For compassing whereof, there is no trechery, nor rebellion, nor murther, nor desperate course whatsoeuer, that (without all remorse of conscience) they dare not aduenture vpon.
Neither doe they thus only, but they teach men also so to doe: arming both Pope, and Bishops, and People, and priuate persons, with power to cast downe euen Kings themselues from their Thrones, if they stand in their way, and giue any impediment to their designes. Touching the Popes power herein, there is no disputing: one of them telleth vs, that athere is no doubt, but the Pope may depose all Kings, when there is a reasonable cause so to doe. For Bishops, Cardinall Baronius informeth vs by the example of Dacius the Bishop of Millayne, his dealing against the Arrians; b that those Bishops deserue no blame, and ought to suffer no enuie, who roll euery stone, (yea and rather then faile, would blow vp stones too) that they may not liue vnder an hereticall Prince. For the People, Dominicus Bannes, a Dominican Friar, re∣solues, that they need not, in this case, expect any sentencing of the matter by Pope, or other; but cwhen the knowledge of the fault is euident, subiects may lawfully (if so be they haue sufficient strength) exempt themselues from subiection to their Princes, before any declaratory sentence of a Iudge. And that we may vnderstand that the Prouiso which hee in∣serteth Page 45of hauing strength sufficient, is very mate∣riall; he putteth vs in minde, that dthe faithfull (the Papists he meaneth) of England are to bee ex∣cused hereby, who doe not exempt themselues from the power of their superiours, nor make warre against them. Because that generally they haue not power suf∣ficient to make such warres against Princes, and great dangers are imminent ouer them.
Lastly, for priuate persons, wee may reade in Suarez, that an hereticall King, eafter sentence gi∣uen against him, is absolutely depriued of his King∣dome, so that he cannot possesse it by any iust title: and therfore from thenceforth may be handled altogether as a Tyrant; and consequently, hee may bee killed by any priuate person. Onely the Iesuite addeth this limitation: that fIf the Pope doe depose the King, he may be expelled or killed by them onely to whom hee shall commit that businesse. But if he inioyne the exe∣cution thereof to no body; then it shall appertaine to the lawfull successor in the Kingdome: or if none such be to be found, it shall belong to the Kingdome it selfe. But let him once be declared to be a Tyrant; Ma∣riana (Suarez his Country-man and fellow Ie∣suite) will tell you better how hee should bee handled. gThat a Tyrant (saith he) may be killed by open force and armes, whether by violent breaking in Page 46 into the Court, or by ioyning of battell, is a matter confessed: yea, and by deceit and ambushes too, as E∣hud did in killing Eglon the King of the Moabites. Indeed it would argue a brauer minde to professe open enmity, and publikely to rush in vpon the enemy of the Common-wealth: but it is no lesse prudence, to take aduantage by fraud and ambushes, because it is done without stirre, and with lesse danger surely, both pub∣like and priuate. His conclusion is, that hit is law∣full to take away his life, by any art whatsoeuer: with this prouiso onely, that he be not constrained either wittingly or vnwittingly to bee the cause of his owne death. Where the tendernesse of a Iesuites con∣science is well worth the obseruing. Hee maketh no scruple at all to take away the mans life: onely hee would aduise that hee be not made away, by hauing poyson conueyed into his meat or drinke, lest in taking hereof (forsooth) he which is to be killed, should by this meanes haue some hand in procuring his owne death. i Yet poyson him you may, if you list, so that the venome be externally applyed by some other, he that is to bee killed helping nothing thereunto: namely, when the force of the poyson is so great, that a seat or garment being infected therewith, it may haue strength to kill. And that such meanes of poysoning hath been vsed, hee prooueth by diuers practices of the Moores: which we leaue to be considered of by Fitzher∣bert, who (to proue that Squires intention of poy∣soning Queene Elizabeth in this manner, was but a meere fiction) would perswade vs that it is not agreeable to the grounds of nature and reason, Page 47 that any such thing should be.
Thus we see what pestilent doctrine is daily broched by these incendiaries of the world: which, what pernicious effects it hath produced, I need not goe farre to exemplifie; this assembly and this place cannot but call to minde the me∣mory of that barbarous plot of the Powder-trea∣son. Which being most iustly charged to haue kexceeded all measure of cruelty; as inuoluing not the King alone, but also his children, and the States of the Kingdome, and many thousands of innocent people in the same ruine: a wicked varlet (with whose name I will not defile this place) steppeth forth some foure yeeres after, and with a brasen forehead biddeth vs not to wonder at the matter. For of an euill and pernicious herbe, both the seeds are to be crushed, and all the roots to be pulled vp, that they grow not againe. And otherwise also, for a few wicked persons it falleth out oftentimes that many perish in shipwracke. In the later of which reasons we may note these mens insolent impiety toward God: in arrogating vnto themselues such an absolute power for the murthering of inno∣cents, as hee that is Lord of all, hath ouer his owne creatures; the best of whom, if he doe en∣ter into iudgement with them, will not bee found righteous in his sight. In the former, we may ob∣serue their deadly malice toward Gods Anoyn∣ted, which they sufficiently declare will not bee satisfied but by the vtter extirpation of him, and all his Royall progenie.
And whereas for the discouery of such wicked Page 48 spirits, his Maiesty in his Princely wisedome did cause an Oath of Allegeance to bee framed; by the tendring whereof he might be the better able to distinguish betwixt his loyall and disloyall sub∣iects, and to put a difference betwixt a seditious and a quiet-minded Romanist: this companion derideth his simplicity, in imagining, that that will serue the turne, and supposing that a Papist will thinke himselfe any whit bound by taking such an oath. lSee (saith he) in so great craft, how great simplicity doth bewray it selfe. When he had pla∣ced all his security in that oath; hee thought he had found such a manner of oath, knit with so many cir∣cumstances, that it could not, with safety of conscience, by any meanes be dissolued by any man. But hee could not see, that if the Pope did dissolue that oath; all the tyings of it, (whether of performing fidelity to the King, or of admitting no dispensation) would bee dis∣solued together. Yea, I will say another thing that is more admirable. You know (I beleeue) that an vniust oath, if it be euidently knowne, or openly declared to be such, bindeth no man; but is voyd ipso facto. That the Kings oath is vniust, hath been sufficiently de∣clared by the Pastor of the Church himselfe. You see therefore, that the obligation of it is vanished into smoke: so that the bond, which by so many wise men was thought to bee of iron, is become lesse then of straw.
Page 49 If matters now be come vnto this passe, that such as are addicted to the Pope, will account the Oath of Allegeance to haue lesse force to binde them then a rope of straw; iudge ye whether yt be not true which hath been said, that in respect not of spirituall infection onely, but of outward dan∣ger also to our State, any Idolaters may be more safely permitted then Papists. Which I doe not speake, to exasperate you against their persons, or to stirre you vp to make new Lawes for shedding of their blood. Their blindnesse I doe much pit∣ty: and my hearts desire and prayer to God for them is, that they might bee saued. Onely this I must say, that (things standing as they doe) I can∣not preach peace vnto them.* For as Iehu said to Ioram, What peace, so long as the whoredomes of thy Mother Iezabel, and her witchcrafts are so many? so must I say vnto them: What peace can there be, so long as you suffer your selues to bee led by the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, who by her sorceries hath deceiued all Na∣tions,* and made them drunke with the wine of her fornication?* Let her put away her whore∣domes out of her sight, and her adulteries from betweene her breasts; let her repent of her mur∣thers, and her sorceries, and her idolatries: or ra∣ther, because she is past all hope, let those that are seduced by her, cease to communicate with her in these abominable iniquities; and wee shall be all ready to meet them, and reioyce with the An∣gels in heauen for their conuersion. In the meane time, they who sit at the Helme, and haue the Page 50 charge of our Church and Common-wealth committed to them, must prouide by all good meanes, that God bee not dishonoured by their open Idolatries, nor our King and State indan∣gered by their secret trecheries. Good Lawes there are already enacted to this purpose: which if they were duly put in execution, wee should haue lesse need to thinke of making new. But it is not my part to presse this poynt. I will there∣fore conclude as I did begin:*I speake as to wise men; Iudge ye what I say.
2. Tim. 2.7.
Consider what I say; and the Lord giue you vnder∣standing in all things.