A SERMON PREACHED BE∣fore the Kings Maiestie at Whitehall, on Christmas day. ANNO 1609.
GALAT. 4. verse. 4, 5.
When the fulnesse of time was come, God sent his Sonne, made of a woman, made vnder the Law.
That, Hee might redeeme, them that were vn∣der the Law, that wee might receiue the Adop∣tion of sonnes.
IF when the fulnesse of time com∣meth, God sent his Sonne: then, When God sent his Sonne, is the fulnesse of time come. And as this day, God sent his Sonne. This day therfore, (so oft as by the reuolution of the yeere it commeth about) is to vs a yeerely representation of the fulnesse of time. So it is: and a speciall honour it is to the Feast, that so it is. And wee our selues seeme so to e∣steeme of it. For we allow for euery month a day, (Looke how many moneths so many dayes) to this Feast; as if it were, and wee so thought Page 2 it to be, the ful recapitulation of the whole yere.
This honour it hath, from Christ, who is the substance of this, and all other Solemnities. Pecu∣liarly, â Christi missá, from Christs sending. (For, they that read the ancient writers of the Latin Church, Tertullian, & Cyprian know that Missa, and Missio, & Remissa and Remissio, with them are taken for one. So that Christi missa, is the sending of Christ.) And when then hath this Text place so fit, as Now? Or what time so sea∣sonable to entreat of it, as This? Of the sending of his Sonne; as, when God sent his Sonne: Of the fulnesse of time; as, on the yeerely returne and memoriall of it.
To entreat of it then. The Heads are two• 1. Of the fulnesse of time. 2. And of that, where∣with it is filled. 1. Times fulnesse, in these, when the fulnesse of time came. 2 Times filling in the rest, God sent his Sonne, made of a woman, made vnder the Law, &c.
[ 1] In the former, (Quando venit plenitudo tempo∣ris,) there be foure points. 1. Plenitudo temporis, That, time hath a fulnesse; or, that there is a ful∣nesse of time. 2. Venit plenitudo. That, that ful∣nesse commeth, by steps and degrees, not all a• once. 3. Quando venit. That, it hath a Quando,Page 3 (That is,) there is a time, when time thus com∣meth to this fulnesse. 4. And, when that When is? And that is, When God sent his Sonne. And so passe wee ouer to the other part, in the same Verse, Mi•it Deus; God sent his Sonne.
For the other part, (touching the filling of [ 2] time.) There be Texts, the right way to consi∣der of them, is to take them in pieces. And this is of that kinde. And if wee take it in sunder, we shall see; as it is of fulnesse, so a kinde of fulnesse there is in it: euery word, more full then other: euery word, a step in it, whereby it ri∣seth still higher, till by seuen seuerall degree• it commeth to the top, and so the measure is full. 1. God sent, the first. 2. Sent his Sonne, the second. 3. His Sonne made, the third. 4. And that twice made, made of a woman the fourth. 5. Made vnder the Law, the fift, euery one ful∣ler then other, still.
And all this, for some persons, and some pur∣•ose. [ 3] The persons, Vt nos, that we. The purpose, •eciperemus, that we might receiue. Nay, (if you marke it) there be two Vt's, vt ille, vt nos, that He might, and, that we might. He might redeeme: ••d we might receiue, that is, Hee, pay for it, •nd, wee reape the benefit. 6. A double Page 4 benefit, of Redemption first from the state of per∣sons cast and condemned, vnder the Law, which is the sixt. 7 And then, of translation into the state of adopted children of God, which is the se∣uenth; & the very filling vp of the measure.
Al which, we may reduce to a double fulnesse. Gods, as much as He can send. Ours, as much as we can desire. Gods, in the fiue first. 1. God sent. 2. Sent his Sonne. 3. His Sonne made. 4 Made of a Woman. 5. Made vnder the Law. And Ours in the two latter, 6. We are redeemed, the sixt 7. We receiue adoption, the seuenth.
In that of Gods, euery point is full; The thing sent, full. The sending, and the maner of sending full. The making, and the two maners of making Of a woman, and, vnder the Law, both full. And our fulnesse in the two latter, the effects of these two Actes, or makings of a woman vnder th• Lawe, Redemption, and Adoption, which mak• vp all. That, when we were strangers from th•Adoption; and not that onely, but lay vnder th• Law, as men whom sentence had passed on From this latter, we are redeemed, (Hee vnd•• the Law, that we from vnder the Law) Tha• (being so redeemed) we might further recei•• the adoption of children, (and as Hee the Son••Page 5 of man: So we might be made the sonnes of God.) Which two are as much as we can wish. And this is Our fulnesse.
And to these, I will craue leaue to adde ano∣ther fulnesse o•Ours, rising out of these, and to make a motion, for it. That, as it is the time, when wee from God, receiue the fulness••f his bounty: so it might be the time also, when He from vs, may likewise receiue the fulnesse of our duetie. The time, of His Bounty fulnesse, and the time, of our Thanke-fulnesse: That it may be Ple∣nitudo temporis, quà ad illum, quà ad nos; downe∣ward, and vpward; from Him to vs, and from vs to Him againe: and so be both wayes, The fulnesse of time.
Quando venit plenitudo temporis.
FIRST, there is a fulnesse in Time. The terme,1Fulnesse, carieth our conceit to measure straight, fromwhence it is bor∣rowed: which, is then said to be full, when it hath as much,* as it can hold. Now, God hath made all things in measure: and if all things, then Time.* Yea, Time it selfe is by the Apostle called, Mensura temporis, The measure of time. As Page 6 then, all other measures haue theirs; so the mea∣sure of Time also hath his fulnesse, when it re∣ceiueth so much, as the capacitie will conteine no more. So, Time is a measure: it hath a capaci∣tie: that hath a fulnesse. That, there is such a thing as, as the fulnesse of time.
2B••, nothing is full at first: no more is Time by and by. Venit plenitudo, it commeth, not at once, or straightwayes, but by steps and paces, neerer and neerer: Fill's, first a quarter, and then halfe, till at last it come to the brim. And degrees there be,* by which it commeth. Ecce palmares posuisti dies meos, Psal. 39.6. From which word palmares, it is an obseruation of one of the Fathers, a man may reade his time. In his owne hand, visibly there is an ascent, the fingers rise still, till they come to the top of the middle finger; and when they be come thither• downe againe by like descent, till they come to the little, which is the lowest of all: So is i• in our time; It riseth still by degrees, till we com• to the full pitch of our Age, and then declinet• againe, till we grow to the lower end of ou•dayes. But, howsoeuer it may be (as it oft falle• out) the descent is sudden, wee goe down• headlong without degrees, goe away in a mo•ment; Page 7 yet, euer this holdeth, to our fulnesse we come not, but by degrees.
Now thirdly,3 this comming hath a Quando ve∣nit, a time, when it commeth thither. As a time there is a great while,* when we may say, Non∣dum venit hora, the time is not yet come, while the measure is yet but in filling: So at the last, a time too, that we may say,*Venit hora, the time is now come, when the measure is full: That is, A time there is, when time commeth to the full: As in the day, when the Sunne commeth to the Meri∣dian Line: in the moneth, when it commeth to the point of opposition with the Moone: in the yeare, when to the Solstice: In man, when he commeth to his full yeres: for that is the fulnesse of time the Apostle alledgeth, in the three verses before.
And, when is that When, that time thus com∣meth to his fulnesse? Quando misit Deus,4 when God sends it: for, Time receiues his filling from God. Of it selfe, time is but an emptie measure, hath nothing in it: Many dayes and moneths •unne ouer our heads, Dies inanes, sayth the Psalmist. Menses vacui, sayth Iob: Emptie dayes, Psal. 78.33. Void moneths, without any thing to fill them, Iob 7.3.
Page 8That which filleth time, is some memorable thing of Gods powring into it, or (as it is in the Text) of his sending, to fill it withall. Mi•it Deus is it: and so commeth Time to be more or lesse full; therafter as that is, which God sends to fill it.
Now, many memorable mission's did God make before this heere; whereby in some mea∣sure, hee filled vp certaine times of the yeere vn∣der Moses, and the Prophets: all which, may well be termed, The implements of Time.
But, for all them, the measure was not yet full•filled perhaps to a certaine degree, but not full to the brimme: full it was not (seeing it migh• bee still fuller) till God sent That, then which, • more full could not be sent.
And, That He sent, when He sent his Sonne, a fuller then whom, He could not send, nor Time could not receiue. Therefore, with the sending Him, when that was, Time was at the top, that was the Quando venit, then it was plenitud• temporis, indeed.
[ 1] And, well might that Time, be called the ful∣nesse of Time. For when he was sent into the world,** in whom the fulnes of the Godhead dwel• bodily: In whom the Spirit was not by measure•Page 9 In whom was the fulnesse of grace and trueth.* Of whose fulnesse we all receiue, when He was sent, that was thus full, then was Time at the full.
And well also might it be called the fulnesse of Time, in another regard. For, till then all was but in promise, in shadowes, and fi∣gures, and prophecies onely, which fill not, God knowes. But when the performance of those promises, the body of those shadowes, the substance of those figures, the fulfilling or filling full of all those Prophecies came, then came the fulnesse of Time, truely so called. Till then, it came not: then it came.
And well might it bee called the fulnesse of time, in a third respect. For, then the Heire, (that is the world) was come to his full age: and so, that the fittest time, for him to bee sent. For to that, compareth the Apostle their estate then; that, the former times vnder Moses and the Prophets were as the Nonage of the world; sub Paedagogo, in the 3. Chapter, ver. 24. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, at their A.B.C. or rudiments, (as in the very last words before these) Their estate then, as of Children in their minority, little diffe∣ring from seruants. For, all this while, nondum venit, the fulnesse of time was not yet come.Page 10 But a time there was, as for man; so for mankind to come to his full yeeres: That time, came with Christs comming, and Christs comming with it, and neuer till then, was the fulnesse of time; but then it was.
And let this be enough, for this point; more there is not in the Text. But if any shall further aske, why then, at that age of the world, the world was at his full age, iust then, and neither sooner nor later? I know, many heads haue bene full of deuices, to satisfie mens curiositie in that point. But, I hold it safest,, to rest with the Apostle (in the second verse) on Gods 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Let that content vs. Then was the time, for that was Tempus praefinitum á Patre, the time appointed of the Father. For, euen among men, (though the Father being dead) the Lawe setteth a time, for the Sonne to come to his heritage: yet the Father liuing, no time can be prefixed, but one∣ly when it liketh Him to appoint; and the Fa∣ther here liueth;* and therefore let his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 stay vs. The times and seasons, He hath put in his owne power, it is not for vs to know them. This is for vs to know, that, with his appointment, we• must come to a full point. So doth the Apostle• and so let vs, & not busie our selues much with Page 11 it Time is but the measure or caske, that where∣with it is filled, doth more concerne vs. To that therefore let vs come.
The degrees are seuen (as I said.) To take [ 2] them, as they rise. Misit Deus. God sent.* That standeth first; and, at it, let our first stay be. [ 1] That, will fall out, to make the first degree. For, euen this, that God sent at all, Ipsum mit∣tere Dei, this very sending it selfe, is a degree. It is so; and so we would reckon of it, if wee knew the Sender, and who he is; the Maiestie of his presence how great it is, & how glorious, how farre surpassing all we can see on earth.
For Him, for such an one as Hee, to conde∣scend, but to send; is sure a degree. For, y∣nough it had beene, and more then ynough, for Him, to be sent to; and not to send, Him∣selfe. To haue sit still, and beene content, that we might send to him, and haue our mes∣sage and petition admitted, and not, he send to vs. That had beene asmuch as we could •ooke for, and well, if wee might haue •ene vouchsafed but that. But it was he that sent, not we to him first, nay, not we to him at •ll, but, he to vs.
He to vs? And what were we, that He to vs? Page 12 Vs,* (as elsewhere he termeth vs) meere Aliens from Him, and His Houshold; Not that onely, but Vs, in case of men, whom the Law had pas∣sed vpon. (So is our estate described in the end of the Text:) for Him, to send to Vs, so great as He, to such as we; to thinke vs, tanti, so much worth, as to make any mission, or motion, or to disease any about vs; This, may well be the first. Be it then so; that to vs, or for vs, or concerning vs, God would trouble himselfe, to make any sending. A fulnesse, there is in this. Full he was; a fulnesse there was in him, (euen the fulnesse of compassion in His bowels ouer our estate,) else such a Sender, would neuer once haue sent.
*God sent; Sent, and sent his Sonne. That, (I [ 2] make no question,) will beare a second. Other• He might haue sent; and whosoeuer it had bene Hee had sent, it might well haue serued ou• turnes. If, sent by the hand of any his Ser∣uants, any Patriarch, Prophet, any ordinary messenger, it had beene ynough. So hither∣to had bene his Sending. So, and no otherwise• euer till now.
Then, if to send by any may seeme sufficient• to send his Sonne, must needs seeme full. For• euer the more excellent the Person sent•Page 13 the more honourable the sending: the greater He, the fuller it. Now, greater there is not, then his sonne,* His first, His onely begotten Sonne, in whom the fulnes of the Godhead dwelt; In sending him, He sent the greatest, the best, the fullest thing He had.
To heape the measure vp yet more, with the cause of his sending, in the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; It was voluntarie. Hee sent him not for need: but for meere loue to vs, and nothing else. There was no absolute necessitie, that He should haue sent him. He might haue done what Hee intended by the meanes and ministerie of some besides. God could haue enabled a Creature; a Creature enabled by God, and the power of his might, could soone haue troad downe Sathan vnder our feete. But, if it had bene any other Hee had sent, his loue and regard to vs, had not shewed so full. It had bin ostendit Deus charitatem, but not, Ecce quan∣tam charitatem ostendit Deus.* Whomsoeuer He had sent besides, his loue had not bene full, at least not so full, as it should haue beene, if He had sent his Sonne. That therefore it might be full, and so appeare to vs for full, Misit Deus filium suum. Enough it was, in compassi∣on Page 14 of our estate, to haue releeued vs, by any: Men that are in need to be releeued, care not, who they be that doe it. Enough then for com∣passion: but not enough, to manifest the ful∣nesse of his loue, vnlesse to relieue vs, He se• his owne Sonne.
*This is full, one would thinke: Yet, the [ 3] Manner of his sending him, is fuller still. Misi• Flium; Filium factum. Sent his Sonne; His Sonne made. Sent Him, and sent Him made. This is a third. For, if Hee would haue sent Him, Hee should not haue sen• Him, made: but as Hee was, neither made 〈◊〉 created, but like himselfe, in his owne estate, as was meete for the Sonne of God, to bee sent. To make Him any thing, is to mar•• Him, bee it what it will bee. To send Hi• made, is to send him marred, and no better. Therefore, I make not doubt, Christs sending is one degree, His making is another: So 〈◊〉sende, as withall to make, are two distinct mea∣sures, of this filling. As He is, Hee is a Ma∣ker, a Creator: If God make Him any thing• He must be a thing made, a Creature; and that is a great disparagement. So that, howsoeue• the Time is the fuller, for this; Hee is th•Page 15•mptier: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The fulnesse of Time, is his emptinesse; The exalting of that, his aba∣sing. And,* this very Exinaniuit seipsum, empty∣ing Himselfe, for our sake, is a pressing downe the measure: and so, euen by that, still the mea∣sure is more full.
Yea, the very maner of this making, hath his encrease too, addeth to it stil. In the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which is not euery making, but making it his na∣ture. To haue made Him a bodie, and taken it vpon him for a time, till He had performed his Embassage, and then laid it off againe, that, had bene much: But so to be made, as once made and euer made: so to take it, as neuer lay it of more, but, continue so still, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it to become his very nature; so to be made, is to be made in∣deed, so to to be made is to make the vnion full. And to make the vnion with vs full, He was content, not to be sent alone, but to be made, and that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be made so, as neuer vnmade more. Our manhood becomming his nature, no lesse then the Godhead it selfe: This is Filium factum indeed.
Made, and twise made, (for so it is in the verse) factum ex, and factum sub, made of and made vnder. Of a woman; vnder, the Law. So Page 16 two makings there be, either of them of it selfe, a filling to the measure, but, both of them, maketh it perfectly full.
*Made, first of a woman: that, I take cleerely •o be one. For, it Hee, if the Sonne of God must be [ 4] made a Creature; it were meet, He should bee made, the best creature of all. And if made of a∣ny thing, (if any one thing, better then ano∣ther) of that: made some glorious Spirit, Some of the orders of the Angels.* Nay, made, but made no Spirit,*Verbum caro factum est, The word became flesh: made, but made no Angel•Nusquam Angelos: Hee in no wise tooke the Angels nature vpon Him.
But made man, First I will aske with Dauid, Domine,*quid est homo? Lord, what is man? And then, tell you his answere: Homo quasi res nihili. Man is like a thing of nought. And this he was made, this he became, made man, made of a woman; did not abhorre the Virgin• wombe, (as wee sing daily, to the high praise o• the fulnesse of his humilitie, to which his Lou• brought Him for our sakes.) For, whatsoeue• else He had bin made, it would haue done vs no good. In this then, was the fulnes of his Loue• as before of his Fathers, that He would bee Page 17made, and was made, not what was fittest for Him, but what was best, for vs: not, what was most for his glory, but what was most, for our benefit and behoofe.
Made of a woman. For man He might haue bin made, and yet haue had a body framed for Him in heauen, and not made of a woman. But when he saith, Factum ex muliere, it is euident, He passed not through Her, as water through a Conduite Pipe, (as, fondly dreameth the Ana∣baptist.) Made of, Factum ex: Ex, dicit materi∣am. Made of her; She ministred the matter, Flesh of her flesh.*Semen mulieris. The seed, and Semen intimum substantiae, that is the principall and very inward chiefe part of the substance. Made of that, made of her very substance.
And so haue we here now in one, both twaine his Natures. God sent his Sonne, There his Diuine: made of a woman, Heere his humane Nature, That, from the bosome of his Father, be∣fore all worlds: this, from the wombe of his mo∣ther, in the world. So that, as from eternitie, God his Father might say, that verse of the Psalme.*Filius meus es tu, hodie genui te: Thou art my Sonne, this day haue I begotten thee. So, in the fulnesse of time, might the Virgine his Page 18 mother, no lesse truely say, Filius meus es tu, ho∣die peperite: Thou art my Sonne, this day haue I brought thee into the world.
And heere now, at this word, made of a wo∣man, He beginneth to concerne vs somewhat. There groweth an alliance betweene vs: For we also are made of a woman. And our hope is, as, He will not be confounded, to be counted inte••natos mulierum:* No more will He be, (saith the Apostle) to say in medio fratrum;* to acknow∣ledge vs, his Brethren. And so by this Time H• groweth, somewhat neere vs.
*This now, is full for the vnion with our na∣ture, to be made of a woman. But so to be made 〈◊〉 a woman, without He be also made vnder th• [ 5] Law, is not neere enough yet. For, if he be out 〈◊〉 the compasse of the Law, that the Law canno• take hold of Him, factum ex muliere will doe 〈◊〉 small pleasure. And He was so borne, so made 〈◊〉 a woman: As the verity, of His conception, is 〈◊〉 this factum ex muliere: So, the puritie, is in thi• that it is but ex muliere, and no more; Of th•virgin alone, by the power of the Holy Ghos• without mixture of fleshly generation. B• vertue whereof, no originall soile was i• Him;*Iust borne He was, and Iusto non 〈◊〉Page 19 lex posita, No law for the Iust, no law could touch him. And so wee, neuer the better, for factum ex muliere.
For, if one be in debt and danger of the Law, to haue a Brother, of the same blood, made of the same woman, both (as we say) lying in one belly; will little auaile him, except He will also come vnder the Law, that is, become his Surety, and vndertake for him. And such was our estate. As Debters wee were,* by vertue of Chirographum contra nos, The hand writing that was against vs. Which was our Bond, and we had forfeited it. And so, factus ex muliere, to vs, without factus sub lege, would haue bene to small purpose.
No remedy therefore, He must be new made, made againe once more. And so He was, cast in a new mould, and at his second making, made vnder the Law, vnder which if He had not bene made, we had bene marred: euen quite vndone for euer, if this had not beene done for vs too. Therefore, He became bound for vs also, en∣tred Bond anew, tooke on Him, not onely our nature, but our Debt; our Nature, and Condition both Nature, as men: Condition, as sinful men; expressed in the words following; [Them that were vnder the lawe] for that was our Condition.Page 20 There had indeed beene no captiuitie in him, to doe this, if the former had not gone before, factum ex muliere; if He had not bene, as we, made of a woman, but the former was for this; Made of a woman He was, that he might be mad• vnder the law: Being ex muliere, He might the• become sub lege, which before He could not, but then he might and did: And so, this still is the fuller.
And when did He this? when was He mad• vnder the lawe?* Euen then, when he was cir∣cumcised. For this doth S. Paul testifie, in the third of the next Chapter, Behold, I Paul testifi• vnto you, whosoeuer is circumcised, factus est debi∣tor vniuersae legis. He becomes a debter to the whole lawe. At His Circumcision then, He en∣tred Bond anewe with vs, & in signe that so H• did, He shed then a few drops of his blood wherby He signed the Bonde (as it were) and gaue those few drops then, tanquan arrham vni∣uersi sanguinis effundendi, as a pledge or ear∣nest, that when the fulnesse of time came, He would be readie to shed all the rest, as He did For, I would not haue you mistake, though we speake of this, sub lege, being vnder the law, in the termes of a Debt sometimes: yet, the Page 21 truth is, this debt of ours was no money debt, we were not sub lege pecuniariâ, but Capitali: and the debt of a Capitall law, is death: and vnder that, vnder Death He went, and that the worst death law had to inflict, euen the Death of the Crosse, the most bitter, reproch∣full, cursed death of the Crosse. So that vp∣on the matter, factus sub lege, and factus in Cruce, come both to one; one amounts to as much, as the other. Well, this Hee did vn∣dertake for vs, at His Circumcision: and there∣fore then, and not till then, He had his n•me giuen him,* the name of Iesus a Sauiour.••r then, tooke He on him the Obligation to saue vs. And looke, what then at his Circumcision He vndertooke, at his Passion he paid, euen to the full,* and hauing paid it, deleuit Chirogra∣phum, cancelled the sentence of the lawe, that till then, was of record, and stood in full force against vs.
Howbeit all this, was but one part of the law, But He was made sub lege vniuersâ, vnder the whole law, and that, not by his death onely, but by his life too. The one halfe of the law, (that is, the Directiue part) Hee was made vnder that, and satisfied it, by the Innocencie of his life, Page 22 without breaking so much, as one iot or title of the lawe: and so, answered that part (as it might be, the Principall.) The other halfe of the law, which is the Penaltie, He was vnder that part also, and satisfied it, by suffering a wrongful death, no way deserued, or due by him, and so answered that (as it might be the forfeiture.• So, He was made vnder both, vnder the whol• law. Satisfying the Principall, there was no rea∣son, He should be lyable to the forfeiture, an•penaltie: yet, vener that He was also. And al•〈◊〉 the whole law might be satisfied fully, b•〈◊〉 being vnder both parts, and so, no part 〈◊〉 it light vpon vs.
These two then, 1 Made of a woman. 〈◊〉 Made vnder the law, ye see, are two seuerall 〈◊〉 kings, and both very requisite. Therefore, E••ther hath a seuerall Feast, they diuide this S••lemnitie betweene them. Sixe dayes a peece, 〈◊〉 Either; as the seuerall moities of this fulnesse 〈◊〉 time.* This day, Verbum caro factum, The Wo•• made flesh: That day, Him that knew no Sinn• He made Sinne,* (that is) made him vnderta•• to bee handled as a Sinner, to be vnder the la• and to endure what the lawe could lay vpo• Him. And so now, the thing sent is full: an•Page 23fully sent, because made: and fully made, because made once and twice ouer: fully made ours, be∣cause fully vnited to vs: Made of a woman as wel as we. Made vnder the Law as deepe as we, Both ex muliere, and sub lege. So of our nature (of a woman,) that of our condition also (vnder the lawe:) So, fully vnited to vs in nature, and con∣dition both.
3. And so we are come, to the full measure of His sending. And, that we are come to the ful, ye shall plainely see,* by the ouerflowing, by that which we receiue from this fulnesse, which is the latter part of the verse, and is our fulnesse, e∣uen the fulnesse, of all that we can desire. For, if we come now to aske, For whom, is al this adoe This Sending, This making, ouer & ouer againe? it is for vs. So is the conclusion, vt nos, that wee might from this fulnesse, receiue the full of our wish. For in these two behinde, Redemption, and Adoption; to be redeemed, and to be adopted, are the full of all, we can wish our selues.
The transcendent Diuision, of Good and E∣uill, is it, that comprehendeth all. And heere it is. Our desire can extend it selfe no further then to be rid of all euill, and to attaine all, that good is. By these two, (being redeemed, and being Page 24adopted) we are made partakers of them both. To be redeemed from vnder the law, is to be quit of all euill. To receiue the Adoption of children, is to be stated in all that is Good. For, all Euill is in being vnder the law, from whence we are re∣deemed, and, all Good, in being inuested, in the heauenly Inheritance, whereunto we are adop∣ted. Thus stood the case with vs:*Aliens we• were from God His Couenant, and his kingdome: More then that, Prisoners we were fast layed vp vnder the Lawe. From this latter wee are freed: of the former, we are Seised: And what would we more?
Onely, this you shall obserue, that in th•Idiom of the Scriptures, it is vsuall; two point• being set downe, when they are resumed a∣gaine, to beginne with the latter, and so ende with the former. So is it heere, At the first mad• of a woman, made vnder the Lawe. At the resu∣ming, He beginnes with the latter, made vnde• the Lawe, That He might redeeme them, tha• were vnder the Lawe. And then comes to th• former, made of a woman, made the Sonne o• man, That we by adoption might be made the Son• of God. But this we are to marke, it is He that i• at all the cost & paine: and we, that haue the be∣nefitPage 25 by it. At the redeeming it is, v••ille• At the receiuing it is, vt nos.
Briefly of either:* And first, of our Redeeming. Redeeming (as the word giueth it) is a second buying, or buying backe of a thing, before alie∣ned or sold. Euer, a former sale is presupposed before it. And such a thing there had gone [ 6] before. A kinde of alienation, had formerly beene, whereby we had made away our selues, (for a sale I cannot call it, it was for such a trifle) our nature aliened in Adam, for the forbidden fruit; a matter of no moment. Our Persons likewise, daily wee our selues alien them, for some trifling pleasure, or profit, matters not much more worth. And, when wee haue thus passed our selues away, by this Selling our selues vnder sinne,* the Law seizeth on vs, and vnder it wee are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Cap. 3.23. euen lockt vp, as it were in a Dungeon, tyed fast with the cordes of our sinnes, Prou. 5.22: the sentence passed on vs, and wee waiting but for executi∣on. What euill is there not, in this estate, and on euery soule that is in it? Well then, the first vt, the first ende is, To get vs ridde, from vnder this estate.
He did it: not by way of intreaty, step in Page 26 and beg our pardon: That would not serue; Sold we were, and bought we must be. A price must be laide downe for vs: To get vs from vn∣der the Lawe, it was not a matter of Intercession• to sue •or it, and haue it. No, He must purchase it, and pay for it. It was a matter of Redemp∣tion.
And, in Redemption or a Purchase, we looke to the Price. For, if it be at any easie rate, it is so much the beter. But with an high price, He Pur∣chased vs; it cost Him deare to bring it about•Non auro, nec argento.* Neither of them woul• serue, at an higher rate it was, euen pretioso sa••guine. His precious blood, was the price, w• stood him in. Which he payed, when He ga•• his life a ransome for many.*
It stood thus, betweene Him and vs, in th• point of Redemption. Heere are certaine mal• factors, vnder the Lawe, to suffer, to be execute• What say you to them? Why, I will becom•vnder the Lawe, suffer that they should, take v••on me their execution, vpon condition, the• may be quit: In effect so much, at his Pass••• He said, Si ergo me quaeritis Io. 18.6. If youl• hold on me, if I must discharge all, Sinite 〈◊〉 abire, Let these goe their way, Let the pricePage 27 pay be their Redemption: and so it was. And, so wee come, to bee redeemed from vnder the Lawe.
And this is to be marked, that Them that were vnder the Law, and, We that are to receiue, are but one, one and the same persons both: But being so redeemed, then we are our selues. Till then, the Apostle speakes of vs, in the third per∣son, Them, that were vnder the Lawe, as of some strangers, as of men of another world, none of our owne: But now being redeemed, the stile changeth. He speaketh of vs, in the first person vt nos, that we: for till now we were not our owne, we were not our selues, but now we are: till this, it was the old yeere still with vs, but with the new yeere, commeth our new estate.
Being thus redeemed,* we are got from vnder the Lawe: and that is much. Till a party come to be once vnder it, and feele the weight of it, hee shall neuer vnderstand this aright; but then he shall. And if any haue beene vnder it, [ 7] he knowes what it is, and how great a benefit to be got thence. But is this all? No, He leaues vs not heere; but to make the measure compleat, yea, euen to flowe ouer, He giues vs not ouer, when he had rid vs out of this wretched estate, Page 28 till He haue brought vs to an estate, as good, as He himselfe is in. After our Redemption, we stood, but as Prisoners enlarged; that was all: But, still we were as strangers, no part, nor porti∣on in God, or his kingdome: nor, no reason, we should hope for any. He now goeth one step further, which is the highest and furthe•t step of all. For further then it, He cannot goe.
That we might receiue the Adoption, (that is) from the estate of Prisoners condemned, be trans∣lated into the estate of Children Adopted. Of A∣dopted: for, of naturall, we could not: That is His peculiar alone, and He therein onely abou• vs, but else, fully to the ioynt fruition, of all that He hath, which is fully as much, as we could de∣sire. And this is our Fieri out of His Factum ex muliere. We made the Sonnes of God, as Hee the Sonne of man;* We made partakers of his Diuine• as He of our humane nature. To purchase our pardon, to free vs from death, and the laws sen∣tence, this seemed a small thing to Him:* ye• this is Lex hominis. Mans goodnesse goeth no farther; and gracious is the Prince, that dot• but so much. For who euer heard of a condem∣ned man, Adopted afterward; or that thought i• not enough and enough, if Hee did but scape•Page 29 with his life? So farre then to exalt his boun∣tie, to that fulnesse; as pardon, and Adopt both, Non est lex hominis haec. No such measure a∣mong men, Zelus Domini Exercituum, The zeale of the Lord of Hosts, was to performe this:*The fulnesse of the Godhead, dwelt in Him, that brought this to passe.
For (to speake of adopting:) We see it dayly; No father adopts, vnlesse He be orbe, haue no childe; or i• He haue one, for some deepe dis∣like, haue cast him of.* But God had a Sonne, The brightnes of his Glorie; The true character of his Substance:* and no displeasure there was; No, In quo complacitum est, In whom He was absolute∣ly well pleased: yet, would He by adoption, for all that,*bring many Sonnes to Glory. Is not this full on his part?
We see againe, no Heire will endure to heare of Adoption, nay, nor diuide his Inheri∣tance, no not with his naturall Brethren. Then, that the Heire of all things,* should admit ioynt Heires to the Kingdome hee was borne to;* and that admit them, not out of such, as were neere him, but from such as were strangers, yea such as had beene condemned men vnder the Lawe, Is not this full on his part? To purchase vs, and Page 30 to purchase for vs, both at once? And not to doe this for vs alone but to assure it to vs: For, as his Father, in this verse, sends Him: So, in the next verse, He sends the Spirit of his Sonne, to giue vs sei•in of this our Adoption: wherby we now call him, the Iewes Abba, the Gentiles Pa•ter, as Children all, and He our Father, which is the priuiledge of the Adoption, wee hee• receiue.
And now, are we come to the fulnes indeed• For this Adoption, is the fulnesse of our optio•• We cannot extende; we our wish: or He 〈◊〉loue and goodnesse any further. For, what can w• aske, or He giue more, seeing in giuing this, 〈◊〉 giueth all He is worth? By this time, it is 〈◊〉 Sea.* All the Banckes are filled. It is now, as E•••kiels waters, that he sawe flowe, from vnder 〈◊〉 threshold of the Temple• that tooke him to 〈◊〉ancles first, then to the knees, after to 〈◊〉loynes, at last, so high risen, there was no mo•• passage.
1. From the fulnesse of his Compassion,〈◊〉sent to release vs: 2. from the fulnesse of 〈◊〉loue, He sent his Sonne: 3. In the fulnesse 〈◊〉 Humilitie, Hee sent him made: 4. Made 〈◊〉 Woman, to make a full vnion with our nature•Page 31 Made vnder the Lawe, to make the vnion yet more perfectly full with our sinfull condition: 6. That we might obteine a full deliuerance, from all Euill, by being redeemed: 7. and a full e∣state, of all the ioy and Glory of his heauenly in∣heritance, by being adopted. So, there is fulnes, of all handes. And so much, for the fulnes of the Benefit, we receiue.
Now, for the fulnes of the duetie, we are to performe this day. For, in the fulnes of time, all things are to be full. Plenitudo temporis, tempus plenitudinis. And, seing God hath suffered vs to liue, to see the yeare run about, to this plenitudo temporis: if it be so, on Gods part; meete also, it be so on Ours: and that we, be not emptie, in thi•fulnes of time. It is not fit, if He be at the brincke, that we be at the bottom. But as we be willing, to yeeld Him of ours againe; of our due∣ty (I meane:) that it, to him, in a measure, and proportion be like full; as his Bountie, hath •eene full aboue measure, toward vs. That so from vs. & on our parts, it may be plenitudo tem∣poris, or tempus plenitudinis, the fulnesse of time, or time of fulnes, choose you whether.
1. And, a time of fulnes it wilbe, (I knowe) in a sense: of fulnes of Bread, of fulnes of brauerie,Page 32 of fulnes of sport, and pastime: and this it may be. And it hath beene euer, a ioyfull time in appa∣rance, for it should be so: with the ioy (sayth E∣say a verse or two before, Puer natus est nobis, vnto vs a Childe is borne) that men reioyce with, in haruest.* Not to goe from our Text here, with the ioy of men that are come out of prison, haue scaped the Lawe, with the ioy of men, that hau• got the reuersiō, of a goodly heritage. Only, tha• we forget not the principal, that this outwa•• ioy, eate not vp, euacuate not our spirituall io•• proper to the Feast: that we haue in mind, 〈◊〉 the middest of our mirth, the cause of it, Christ• sending, and the benefits that come thereby And, it shall be a good signe vnto vs, if we c•• thus reioyce, if this our ioy can be full, if we ca• make a spirituall blessing, the obiect of o•• mirth.*Beatus populus, qui scit iubilationem. Bles∣sed is the people, that can reioyce on this man∣ner.
[ 2] And, after our ioy-fulnesse, or fulnesse of ioy, o• fulnes of thankes, or thank-fulnesse, is to ensue for, with that fulnesse, we are to celebrate it like∣wise. Our minds first, and then our mouthes, t• be filled with blessing, and praise, and thankes t• Him that hath made our times, not to fall int•Page 33 those emptie ages of the world, but to fall within this fulnesse of time,* which so many Kings and Prophets desired to haue liued in, but •ell short of; And liued then, when the times were full of shadowes, and promises, and nothing else. How instantly they longed, to haue held such a Feast,* to haue kept a Christmasse, it is euident, by Dauids Inclina caelos,* by Esays Vtinam disrumpas Caelos, Bow the Heauens, and Breake the Heauens: How much (I say) they longed for it: and therefore, that we make not light account of it.
To render our thankes then, and to remem∣ber to doe it fully, To forget none: To Him that was sent, and to Him, that Sent; Sent his Sonne, in this; the Spirit of his Sonne, in the next verse. To beginne wi•h Osculamini filium,* it is the first duetie enioyned vs this day, to kisse the Babe new borne, that when his Father would send Him,* sayd, Ecce venio, so readily: and when he would make Him, was content with Corpus aptasti mihi, to haue a body made him, meete for him to suffer in: who willingly yeelded to be our Shilo;* to this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 heere; yea to be not onely Christ, but an Apostle for vs, Heb. 3.1. euen •he Apostle of our profession.
Page 34And not to Him that was sent and made a∣lone: but, to the Father that sent Him, and to the Holy Ghost that made Him, (as by whom He was conceiued.) To the Father, for his mis∣sion; The Sonne, for his Redemption; the Holy Ghost, for his Adoption; For by him it is wrought• He that made Him the Sonne of man, doth like∣wise regenerate vs, to the state of the Sonnes 〈◊〉 God. And this for our thankefulnesse.
3 And, to these two, (to make the measure full) to ioyne, the fulnesse of duetie, euen what∣soeuer duetifull minded persons, may yeeld 〈◊〉 a bountifull minded, & a bountifull handed Bene∣factor. And with this to begin, to consecra•• this first day of this fulnesse of time: euen wi•• our seruice to Him at the full; which, is then• the full, when no part is missing: when all o•dueties, of preaching, and praying, of Hymnes,〈◊〉offering, of Sacrament, and al, meet together. N••fulnes there is of our Liturgie, or publike so•lemne seruice, without the Sacrament. Som•part; yea, the chief part is wanting, if that 〈◊〉 wanting. But our thanks are surely not ful, with•out the Holy Eucharist, which is by interpre•••tion, Thankesgiuing it selfe.*Fully we cannot say Quid retribuam Domino? but we must answer•Page 35Calicem salutaris accipiam, we will take the cup of saluation, and with it in our hands giue thankes to Him; render Him our true Eucharist, or •eall Thankesgiuing indeed. In which cup is the blood, not onely of our redemption of the Couenant, that freeth vs from the Lawe, and maketh the Destroyer pass eouer vs:* but of our Adoption of the new Testament also, which intitles vs, and conueyes vnto vs (Testament-wise, or by way of Legacie) the estate wee haue in the ioy and blisse of his heauenly kingdome, whereto we are adopted. We are then made partakers of Him, and with Him of both these His bene∣fits. We there are made to drinke of the Spirit,* by which we are sealed,*to the day of our redemption, and adoption both. So that, our freeing from vn∣der the law, our inuestiture into our new adopted state, are not fully consummate without it.
And what? Shall this be all? No, when this is done, there is allowance of 12. dayes more, for this fulnesse of time: that, we shrinke not vp our duety then into this day alone, but in the rest al∣so remember, to redeeme some part of the day, to adopt some howre at the least, to bethinke our selues of the duetie, the time calleth to vs for: that so, we haue not Iobs dies vacuos, no Page 36 day quite emptie in this fulnesse of time. Hereof assuring our selues, that what we doe in this fulnesse of time, will haue full acceptance at His hands. It is the time of his birth, which is euer a time as accepted,* so of accepting, wherein, what i• done, will be acceptebly taken to the full: fully accepted, and fully rewarded by Him, of whose fulnesse we all receiue:* with this condition, of grace for grace, euer one grace for an other.
And so, growing from grace to grace, finally from this fulnes, we shall come to be partakers of another yet behinde, to which we aspire. For all this, is but the fulnesse of time• but that, the fulnesse of eternitie, when time shall be runn• out,* and his glasse emptie, Et tempus non erit amplius; which is, at His next sending. For y•• once more shall God send him, and He come a∣gaine. At which comming, we shall then in∣deed receiue the fuln•sse of our redemption, not from the Law (that we haue alreadie) bu• from Corruption, to which our bodies are ye• subiect; and receiue the full fruition of the Inhe∣ritance, whereto we are heere but adopted. And then it will be perfect, compleat, absolute ful∣nesse indeed, when we shall all be filled with the fulnesse of him that filleth all in all.* For, so shall a••Page 37 be when nothing shall be wanting in any: for God shall be all,*in all. Not as heere He is, some∣thing, and but something in euery one; but then omnia in omnibus. And then the measure shall be so full, as it cannot enter into vs, we can∣not hold it:* wee must enter into it; Intra in gau∣dium Domini tui.
To this we aspire, and to this in the fulnesse appointed of euery one of our times, Almightie God bring vs, by Him, and for His sake, that in this fulnesse of time, was sent to worke it for vs, in his person: and worke it in vs, by the operation of his blessed Spirit.