An exposition of the prophesie of Hosea begun in divers lectures vpon the first three chapters, at Michaels Cornhill, London
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.

The Fifteenth Lecture.


HOSEA 2. 15. 16.

—And she shall sing there, as in the dayes of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.

SOme few Observations are to be added to the 15. verse.

Mercies that have been much sought for, that have had many cryes sent up to God to obtaine, when once they are granted, should cause singing forth the praises of God. The people of Israel cryed much, before God granted them de∣liverance from Egypt, Exodus 3. 7. I have heard their cryes, saith God: And God sayes here, They shall sing as they did when they came out of Egypt. Psal. 22. 26. They shall praise the Lord that seek him. The more we seek God for any mercy, the more we shall praise God when we have obtained that mercy. Psal. 28. 6. 7. Blessed be the Lord, be∣cause he hath heard the voyce of my supplication; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped.* What followeth? Therefore my heart greatly rejoyceth, and with my song will I praise him. Because God had heard the voyce of his supplication, therefore with his song he would praise him. Those mer∣cies that we get by crying unto God, those are singing mercies indeed. Such mercies as come to us only through a generall providence, without seeking to God, they are not such sweet mercies; as Hannah said to Eli concern∣ing her son whom she had got by prayer, (and therefore named him [Samu∣el,] Sought of God) As thy soul liveth, this is the son, this is the child that I was here praying for, and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.

Page  392 This she spake,* triumphing in Gods goodnesse. Mercies got by prayer may be triumphed in. When you want a mercy, pray much for it; the more you pray for it, the more you will sing when you have it, and the lesse pray∣er went before, the lesse singing will follow after.

Further;* Mercies that make way for the enjoyment of Ordinances are very sweet mercies, singing mercies, They shall sing as they did when they came up out of the land of Egypt. Why did they sing when they came up out of the land of Egypt?* Because that mercy, that deliverance from Egypt made way to that rich mercy of the injoyment of Gods worship in his Or∣dinances. How doth that appear? Thus, Exod. 15. where they sung when they came out of Egypt, ver. 2. I will build him an habitation saith Mo∣ses, together with the people; they rejoyced in that, that now they were go∣ing on in the way to build God an habitation; but more, ver. 13. Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation: as if Moses and the Israelies should say, this indeed is a great deliverance that we are delivered out of bondage, but what is this but in order to a higher mercy that we looke at yet further, that is, guiding of thy people in thy strength to thy habitation? we looke upon this present mercy of our deliverance, for which we doe now sing and give thee praise, but in order to the guiding of thy people to thy ha∣bitation, and that in thy strength: as if Moses should say, Lord there will be a great many difficulties between this and our comming to enjoy thy ha∣bitation, but thou wilt guide us in thy strength, thy strength shall carry thy people along till it bring them to thy habitation; this was that which made them sing so chearfully as they did. And again, v. 17. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountaine of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. This was that that made them so sing. So David, Psa. 27. 4. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seeke after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the dayes of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, & to enquire in his Temple; That is a choice mercy, therefore all mercies that make way for that mercy, are indeed sweet mercies. So we should looke upon all our deliverances, from outward trou∣bles, and whatsoever peace God giveth us to enjoy, as sweet and comforta∣ble, in order to this mercy of enjoying Gods mountaine, of living in God habitation, that we may dwell there all the dayes of our life.

A third Observation is,

New mercies should renew the memory of old. They shall sing as in the day when they came up out of the land of Egypt, that is, I will grant to them yet further mercies,* and that mercy that I shall grant, shall renew the me∣mory of all the former mercies they have enjoyed from me. As new guilt renews the memory of former guilt, so new mercies the memory of former. Hath God delivered you from any danger now? were you never delivered before? if but when you were a childe, those deliverances you now have should bring into your memory what then were.

Page  393 So in a nation, doth God grant to a nation any new mercy? this new mercy should bring into the memory of that nation all the former mercies that ever that nation hath received. Psal. 68. 26. Blesse ye God in the con∣gregatations, even the Lord from the fountaine of Israel. Not only you who are true Israelites, but in your blessing God now, let present mercies be to you but as streames to bring you to the fountaine. Consider of all the mer∣cies along till you come to the fountaine, even that Covenant that God hath made with Israel.

A fourth is,* All former mercies to Gods people should help Faith in be∣leeving future mercies. That is raised from hence. Why doth the Prophet tell them or comming out of the land of Egypt? He speaks of some mercy that was to come to Israel;* now hee names this coming out of the land of Egypt, that he might helpe and strengthen their Faith in the beleeving of what mercy was to come: As if he should say, That God that hath wrought so wonderfully for you, in delivering you out of the land of Egypt, is able, and willing to make good his word in granting to you deliverance for time to come. We have excellent Scriptures for this, as Psal. 66. 6. He turned the sea into dry land, they went thorough the flood on foot, there did we re∣joyce in him. Marke, they went thorough the flood, and there did we rejoyce in him: How did we rejoyce in him? it was many hundred yeares after that we came to rejoyce: But upon the manifestation of Gods great good∣nesse to his people in former dayes, our faith commeth to be strengthened in Gods mercies for our times, and there did we rejoyce in him, we did rejoice in the worke of God when they went thorough the Red-sea upon dry land, for it is an argument of Gods mercy to us of the power, goodnesse, and faith∣fulnesse of God to us. Another temarkable Text is, Hos. 12. 4. Hee had power over the Angel,*he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us: Marke, he had power over the Angel, he found him in Bethel; VVho was that? It was Jacob, who many years before, but there he spake with us, hee did not speake with Jacob onely, but there hee spake with us, that is, whatsoever goodnesse the Lord did shew to Jacob in Bethel, it concerned us for the strengthening of our faith, Mat. 22. 31. 32. Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Iacob? This was spoken to Moses many hundred yeares before; but that expression of Gods grace then, was a strengthening the faith of the godly, when Christ spake, and is the same to us now.*

A fifth is, where there is a proportion of mercies, there ought to be a pro∣portion of thankfulnesse. They shall sing as they did in the day when they came out of Egypt. I will grant unto you as great mercies as they had, and I expect as great thankfulnesse from you as I had from them; as they sung to my praise, so must you sing too. God sheweth as much mercy to you now, as he hath done heretofore, I appeale now to you, nay God appeales to your consciences, Is there a proportion of thankfulnesse as of mercies?

Page  394 There hath been a time when you have sung to the praise of God, when your hearts have been inlarged to give God praise, why should it not be so now? A sixt observation is, deliverance out of Egypt is an ascending conditi¦on, That ariseth from the words as they are in the Originall, They shal ascend out of the land of Egypt, so I told you the words were in the Hebrew; as then God would never rest till he brought them up to Mount Zion, so when God beginneth to deliver his people from Antichristian bondage, they should ne∣ver rest in their spirits, untill they be got to the height of Reformation, to the height of their deliverance, that is, to come to enjoy Gods Ordinances in his own wayes, in the purity and the power of them. This is our misery and our bsenesse, that upon some little deliverance we presently are ready to rest, whereas we should rise yet higher and higher, and expect that God should goe on still with us, and raise us in the wayes of mercy, untill he hath brought us even to the top of Mount Zion.

Seventhly, From the connection of these words with what followes, They shall sing as in the day when they came up out of the land of Egypt, and they shall call me Ishi, and shall call me no more Baali, for I will take even the very names of Baalim out of their mouths, and they shall remember them no more, that is, there shall be a most glorious reformation, & they shal be deli∣vered from all the remainders of their Idolatrous worship, they shall not so much as remember their very names, the Reformation shall be so perfect;

From thence the Observation is,

When God raiseth the spirits of people to rejoyce in his mercy, then is the time for them if ever, to set up a through Reformation; then when their hearts are warmed, inflamed, and inlarged with the goodnesse of God un∣to them, then is the time to cast out all the remainders of all superstition, of all kinde of false worship. I will give you two excellent Scriptures for this, the one is, Esay 30. 19. Thou shalt weep no more (saith he) he will be very gra∣cious unto thee at the voyce of thy cry; The Lord promiseth abundance of mercy, he tells them that they shall weep no more, he will be very gracious; now marke what followeth in the 22. verse, Ye shall defile the covering of thy graven Images of silver, the ornaments of thy molten Images of gold, thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth, thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence; The other Scripture is, 2 Chron. 30. 26. there you finde that there was great joy in Jerusalem, such joy as the text saith, was not since the dayes of Solomon, it was upon the celebration of their Passe-over, there had not beene the like; Marke then in the beginning of the next Chapter, saith the text, when all this was finished, that is, when they had celebrated a Passe∣over so full, and had such abundance of joy, such a joy as had not beene in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon; Now all Israel went out to the Cities of Iudah, and brake the Images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places, and the Altars out of all Iudah & Benjamin. Their hearts were inflamed with the joy they had, & they went with resolu∣tion and brake down 〈◊〉••ages, &c. And marke it, the Text saith, it was 〈…〉 that did this; 〈◊〉 went out into the Cities of Iudah, and brake the Page  395 the Images in pieces, and threw down the high places, & the Altars out of all Iudah: What had Israel to doe with Iudah? Iudah and Israel were di∣vided; But now their hearts were so inflamed for God, that they were not able to abide any false worship amongst their brethren, though it belonged to Judah, yet they would goe help their brethren to cast down all their Ima∣ges, and to cut down their Groves and Altars, this was when their hearts were warmed with joy in blessing the name of God. VVhen God once warmeth the hearts of people, it is much what they will doe for God then: They will not stand examining every nicety, but they will fall upon the work directly; the joy of the Lord was the strength of their hearts at this time: as it is with the lusts of wicked men, when they get into company, at feasts, in Taverns, and there they are drinking, while their lusts are warmed, then what desperate resolutions have they to doe wickednesse! So when Gods Saints are exercised in Gods Ordinances, and are refreshed with the sweet love of God, when that lies glowing at their hearts, what strong resolutions have they for God! then they can doe any thing for God.

Now the very name of Baalim must be taken away.

VERSE 16. And it shall be in that day, saith the Lord, that thou call me Ishi, and shalt call me no more Baali.

17. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, & they shall be no more remembred by their name.

Here we have as full a Prophesie and promise of as thorough reformation of the Church, as any I know we have in Scripture, God hath a time to re∣forme his Church thorowly, the very names of their Idols, the very remem∣brance of them shall be taken away. This reformation is ods worke, I will doe it saith God, I will take away the names of Baalim

They shall call me Ishi, and no more Baali.]

Why? what great difference is there betweene these two names Ishi and Baali, that God will have one but not the other?

The truth is, both of them signifie even almost the same thing; Both of them are names very fit for a wife to call her husband by, Ishi is my hus∣band, and Baali is my husband too. But the word Ishi cometh from a word that signifieth strength, the woman being the weaker vessel, therefore shee calls her husband Ishi, my strength; for the husband should be strength to the wife, he should live with her as a man of knowledge, he should be a pro∣tection to her, he should help her in all her weaknesses, & afflictions. Baali signifieth my Lord, as well as my husband; it is a word that moteth rule and authority, Ishi is a word that hath more love and familiarity in it; Baali is a word that noteth the inferiority of the wife to the husband. Now God saith he will be called Ishi, but not Baali; why? there is no hurt in the word Baali it selfe; the word Baali is a very good word, and hath a good signification, & it is proper to God, as any word that can be given to him by the Church (but that God did forbid it here) for it is no more when the church cals God Baali, then if the Church should say, O God that art my Lord, my husband, who art to rule & govern me;

Page  396 Yea and we find that God gives to himself this name, Isa. 54. 5. Thy Ma∣ker is thy [husband,] so it is in your books, but the word in the Hebrew is the same that we have here, Thy Maker is thy [Baali,] so that husband and Baal is the very same. But now because they had abused this word Ba∣al, and given into their Idols, therefore God would have no more of it; though it was a good word, a significant word, and as proper to God as any was. As the word Tyrannus was a name once for a King, Kings were cal∣led Tyrants, without any such ill signification as now it carries with it; but because they had gotten the sole power into their hands, they did so oppress, abuse their power, therefore oppressors were called Tyrants. So the Latine word fur, which is for a thiefe, it was once the ordinary word for a servant, Fures, and Servi were wont to be the same, and without any ill significa∣tion; but because afterward many servants grew to be false, to steale from their Masters, therefore fures was altogether taken in the worst part, onely for theeves. So Sophista, a Sophister, was one that studied wisdome, but because they did so much degenerate, many under the colour of the study of wisdome, deceived others, therefore the name Sophister was used in the worst part. I might instance in many other.

For further opening this. May not the name Baal be mentioned? God tells them that he would take away the name of Baalim out of their mouths. VVhy may not we use this word Baali in our mouths?

To this I answer, Yes, it is not unlawfull for us to mention the word, notwithstanding this, for the holy Ghost a long time after this mentions the word in an historicall way: Rom. 11. 4. hee speaks there of those that had not bowed their knees to Baal, the word you see is mentioned & remembred by the spirit of God, therefore it was not a sin; nay not only the word Baal, br it is not unlawfull to mention the names of any Idols of the heathen, for the holy Ghost doth so likewise, Acts 18. 11. speaking of the ship that they sayled in, he saith there, whose signe was Castor and Pollux, the names of two heathen Idols. And you may observe that here in the text the rememb∣ring is as much forbidden as the mentioning. Now if it were a finne meerly to mention the names of the heathen gods, it were a sin to remember them. Therefore God means the mentioning of them Honoris gratia, any way for their honour, or without detestation of them.

The words being thus opened, you have many excellent observations out of them very usefull and seasonable for our times.

First,* There is a great deale of danger in words and names. You shall call me Ishi, I will not have you call me Baali, I will not have that word used; the Devill hath got much by words and names, heretofore by the word Pu∣ritane, though 〈◊〉 knew not what it meant; now by this new name that he hath of late invented;* the devill hath alwayes some words, some names for distinction of men, in which he sees advantage is to be had. The speak∣i••f the ways of 〈…〉 the language of superstition doth much hurt. 〈…〉 a notabl〈◊〉etion from the Papists themselves concerning Page  397 that, it is in the Rhemists Testament in their notes upon that place, 1 Tim. 6. 20. Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoyding prophane, and vaine bablings, so we translate it, they translate it, prophane novelties, this is their note upon it; Let us (say they) keep our fore-fathers words, and we shall easily keepe our old faith; you shall see that wee had not long since the very spirit of these men breathing in many amongst us. The Hereticks call repentance amendment, but let us say they keep the old word Penance, they say the Lords Supper, but we will keep the old word Masse; they say Com∣munion Table, but let us keep the old word Altar; Was it not just thus with us? the call Elders and Ministers, let us say Priests; they say superin∣tendents, but let us keep the word Bishop; (it is a Scripture word indeed, but not in that sense they call it, for in the Scripture sense every Presbyter is a Bishop) they say Sacrament, let us keep the word Sacrifice and Host; they say Congregation, let us keep the word Church; they morning, evening prayer, let us keep the words Mattens, even-song; and so Oblation & Lent, and Palmsunday, and Christmas day, &c. This was the policy of Papists, and it hath been the policy of many of us to bring in popery by. Let us take heed of this, for the Devill is subtile in this; for though these words have some kind of good sense in the Originall, yet there is danger in the use of them.*Augustine in his preface to his narration upon the Psalms hath this expression. It is a better thing in the mouths of Christians to speak according to the manner of the Church, so we may well say, it had been better that in the mouths of Protestants, there had been the ordinary language of Protest∣ants, not the language of Papists. Certainly if God had not been very mer∣cifull unto us, the very language of Papists that began to be amongst us would have done abundance of mischief, take heed as long as you live of the language of Papists, whatsoever pretence they may have for their words. In that place of the Rhemists Testament quoted, they say, Let us take heed of the words of hereticks, they there confess that heretiques (as they call us) use many words that have no great hurt in them, but because they are the words of heretiques, let us not (say they) use them; They are wise enough, they will not use our words, though they confesse the words themselves have no harme in them, yet because they are our proper language (as they make them) distinct from themselves, therefore no Catholiques should use them, why should not we be as wise as they?

The second Observation, Idolatry is a most loathsome and abominable thing;* Why? Surely that is most loath some that we may not so much as mention, that we may not so much as remember. We must seek to abolish the very name, the very remembrance of Idolatry as much as possibly we can. First, one that we hate, we do not love his presence, we do like his com∣pany.

Secondly, if we hate him very much, we doe not love so much as to see him;* and if perhaps we doe see him afar off, out hearts rise, that is a second degree. But thirdly, if our hatred be so great thee wee cannot endur•••Page  398 name him, that is a greater degree of hatred. But fourthly, if wee cannot endure to remember him, that is more then to name him. Yet thus should it be in our manifestation of our hatred to Idolatry: we should not admit it into our company, much lesse then to joyn in the Ordinances of God. We should not admit, no not the very sight of it, no not the name of it, no not the memory of it without a great deale of indignation. Jer. 44. 4. Oh doe not this abominable thing, saith the Lord there; The Lord cryes out with a shriek as it were, Oh! doe not this abominable thing, as if any of you should see one ready to murther your child, or to cut the throat of your father, you would shrick out, Oh! what mean you to doe? do not such a horrible villa∣ny as this; so God cries out as it were with a shriek, do not this abominable thing. It is observable in the second commandement, that God saith hee will visite the sinn upon the third generation of them that hate him: none seem to love God more then wil-worshippers; they will not only worship God as he hath appointed, but will devise ways of their owne, and yet God charges the breakers of no commandement with hatred of him but onely these. As if God should say, you pretend love to me, in that you will finde out new wayes to worship me by, you pretend decency and reverence, but I account it hating me, you can provoke me in nothing more. Tertullian in his book De Idololatria,* hath this expression; Idolatry is the principall hey nous crime of mankind, it is the chief guilt of the world, and the onely cause of judgment in the world.

It were good therefore, seeing God hates it, and loaths it so much, that we should hate and loath it, and therefore even cast out the name and the me∣mory of it; it were a happy thing if this could be obtained, that now the names as of Popish, so of heathenish Idols could be got out from the Church; But I know not how it comes to passe that we Christians do still retaine the use of their names, the very dayes of the week am••g us are called by the names of Planets, or Heathen Gods: Not that I think it a sin, when it is the ordinary language of the world, so to speak as may be understood; for the Apostle (as I said afore) mentioneth the name of Castor and Pollux: but if there could be an alteration by a generall consent, it were a thing desire∣able (as our brethren in New-England doe) and it were very desireable likewise, that our children might not be educated in the use of heathen Po∣ems, where the names of heathen Idols are kept up fresh amongst us; The Papists themselves acknowledge so much in their notes upon the Rhemists Testament, Rev. 1. 10. where they say, the name Sunday is Heathenish, as all other of the week dayes, some imposed after the name of Planets by the Romans, some by the name of certaine Idols that the Saxons worshipped, to which they dedicated their days before they were Christians; which names the Church used not, but hath appointed to call the first day Dominike, (the Lords) the other by the name of Feries, untill the last day of the week, which she calleth by 〈…〉 name Sabbath, because that was of God, and 〈…〉 imposition of 〈◊〉eathen. And in their Annotations upon Luke,Page  399 24. 1. The first day of the Sabbath, that is, first after the Sabbath, which is our Lords day. And the Apostle (1 Cor. 16. 2.) commanded a collection to be made on the first of the Sabbath; whereby wee learn (say they) both the keeping that day, & the Churches count of days, 2, 3, 4. of the Sabbath: that is, the second day, the third day of the week, and so on, to be Apostoli∣call, which S. Sylvister afterward named 2. 3. 4. Feriam. Thus you have the Papists acknowledging the Lords day to be Apostolicall, and the calling the days of the week, the 2. the 3. the 4. &c. to bee likewise Apostolicall. The Heathenish Roman names of the days were from the seven Planets, 1. Sol, from thence Dies solis, Sunday, dedicated to the Sun. 2. Luna, Mon∣day, dedicated to the Moon. 3. Mars, Tuesday, dedicated to Mars. Our English Tuesday is a Saxon name, from Tuisco, who they say was chiefe leader and ruler of the German Nation from the Tower of Babel, who in honour of him called this day Tuisday, Tuisco his day. 4. Mercurius, to whom Wednesday is dedicated. Our English is from the Saxons, Woden, who was a great Prince amongst them: after his death they adored his I∣mage. The 5. Jupiter, to whom Thursday is dedicated: Our English is from the Saxon Thor, the name of an Idol which they anciently worshiped. The 6. Venus, to whom Friday is dedicated: Our English is from Friga, an Idol of the Germans. This Idol represented both sexes, as well man as woman, an Hermaphrodite. She was reputed the giver of plenty, and the causer of amity, it is like it was the same which the Romans called Venus. The 7. Saturnus, dedicated to Saturn, from whence our Saturday hath the name: or as others think, from Seater, an Idol of the Germans. Exod. 23. 13. we have this charge, In all things that I have said unto you, be circum∣spect, & make no mention of the names of other Gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. Psal. 16. 4. David professeth he will not take the names of Idols into his lips. A third note is, that little things in point of Gods wor∣ship, any way tending to Idolatry are to be taken heed of.* The very word Baali, meerly to mention it, one would think to be one of the smallest things that could be, but yet we see God would have his people take heed of that.

There is no Commandement wherein God speaks of himself as a jealous God, but in the second: now jealousie you know doth not only cause one to bee offended at some grosse thing, but at any thing that doth but tend that way,* as if a Husband be a jealous Husband, hee is not onely offended if hee should meet with his wife committing the very act of adultery with another man, but the least glance of a wanton look will displease him, the least thing that is any way tending that way will offend him. So saith God in this com∣mandement. I am a jealous God, to note that though wee should not agree to grosse Idolatry, to worship Images in a gross way, yet if we do any thing that doth but tend that way, that hath but any likeness to superstition, the Lord is jealous of that, even such a thing would displease him, in matters of Gods worship little things are not to be contemned (if in any things in the world) we are to make conscience of little things then in point of worship, when we come to deal with God, we had need to look to the smalest things.

Page  400 No question but the Pharises when they washed their hands, and Christ would not was his, would be ready to accuse him of too much precisenesse, what is there any hurt in the washing of a mans hands? yet Christ would not wash his hands. Though this might seeme to be but a little matter be∣fore others, yet because it had some kind of tendency to shew some respect to their superstitious waye, Christ would not agree to them therein.

There is a story in the Primitive times of that noble servant of God and Minister of the Church Marcus Arethusius, who in the time of Constan∣tine had beene the cause of overthrowing an Idoll Temple, afterward when Julian came to be Emperor, he would force the people of that place to build it up againe, they were ready to doe it but he refused it, whereupon those that were his own people, over whom he had been Bishop, tooke him and stript him of all his cloathes, and abused his naked body, and gave it up the children to lance it with their pen-knives, and then caused him to be put in a basket and anoynted his naked body with honey, and set him in the sun to be stung with waspes, and all this cruelty they shewed because he would not doe any thing toward the building up of this Idoll Temple; Nay they came to this, that if he would doe but the least thing towards it, if he would give but a halfe-penny to it they would save him; but he refused all, though the giving but of one halfe-penny towards the re-edification of that Idoll Temple might have saved his life, hee would not doe it, for a little thing in that which concerns the worship of God in Religion, is of more concern∣ment then your or my life.

I have read in Theodoret of Valentinian, who was afterwards Empe∣rour, going before Julian into the Temple of the goddesse Fortune (which by the way, because we are speaking of the names of Idols, take this note; The word Fortune, as it is commonly used, such a man hath a good for∣ture, should be forborne: The Heathen had a goddesse that they called Fortune, and we should not continue those names) when they went up into that Temple, the Priest there had his holy-water, (just as the Papists who i∣mitate the Heathens) as he sprinkled it upon Julian, by accident there came but one drop of water upon Valentinian, he thereupon presently struck the Priest, and withall tooke his garment and cut that part of it in pieces upon which the water was sprinkled. Some would say, alas what was that? It was but a little water that dropped upon him, & that by accident; yet in de∣testation of that Idolatry, he cut in pieces that part of his garment. VVe cannot shew our hatred against Idolatry fully, except wee show it in little things, as well as in things that are very grosse and vile.

Theodoret lib. 4. cap. 15. tells of the zeale of children of Samosaten, who because a Tennis-ball with which they played, had but touched the foot of the Asse whereon L••ius their hereticall Bishop rode, they cryed out it was defiled, and burnt it in the Market-place presently; hatred is much shewn in little things.

Fourthly, It is the 〈◊〉 of all Gods people, to keepe themselves as free Page  401 from Idolatry and superstition as can be, from the very verges of it: Why? Here they must not so much as mention the very names of their Idols,* cer∣tainly therefore they must keepe themselves at a great distance from it: We must not thinke it enough to say, Can any man convince us that this is Ido∣latry? Though it be not, yet if it but borders upon it, it is your duty to keep your selves from it. Ps. 81. 9. You shall not have any strange God with you, or by you. It is not onely sorbidden that you shall not worship a false God, but you shal not so much as have a false God by you; as Deut. 25. 13. when God would forbid the sinne of injustice, of selling wares by false weights, mark what the expression is, Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights▪ a great & a smal one, it was sin to have a great and a small weight in a mans bag; Why? if you should find a great and a small weight in ones bag, per∣haps you would say, but can you prove that ever I sold wares by the small weight, or tooke wares in by this great weight? Yea, bnt saith God, to the end you may be farre off from the sinne of injustice, I require you that you shall not have them in your bag; God would have us keepe off from the ve∣ry verge of that sin, much more from Idolatry, which is the worst of all o∣ther sins; Esay 65. 4. God chargeth upon them, not onely that grosse sin of eating swines flesh, but the having the broth of abominable things in their vessels; They might say, we will not eate the flesh, but the broth; no you must not have the broth of abominable things in your vessels, you must keep far off from that defilement; As the Lord speakes concerning corporall whoredome, Prov. 5. 8. Remove thy way farre from her, come not igh the doore of her house; If one should say, we will not commit uncleannesse, but saith God, you must remove your way farre from her, and you must not come nigh her, no not nigh the door of her house. We must not come nigh Popery, we must abstaine from the appearance of that evill.

Certainly, it hath beene a great distemper in many of your hearts, that you went so nigh to Popery as you did, especially at such a time when the Tyde was comming in upon you; for a man to stand just at the edge of the water when the Sea is comming in, especially if you were in some places, as in the Washes in Lincolneshire, is a dangerous thing, to stand at the edge when the tyde is going away, is not so dangerous: Many of you when the tyde of Popery and superstition was comming in, you stood upon the very edge of the water;* this is a sin you ought to repent off.

Fifthly, The Church of God must not worship God after the manner that Idolaters doe: They must not so much as make mention of the names that they did, certainly then not worship God in the way they doe, in those orders and ceremonies they doe.

Marke that place; Deut. 12. 30. Take heed to thy selfe that thou be not snared by following them, and that thou enquire not after their Gods, saying, How did these Nations serve their Gods? even so will I doe like∣wise; thou shalt not doe so unto the Lord thy God; then verse 32. VVhat thing soever I command you, observe to doe it, thou shalt not adde there∣to nor diminish from it.

Page  402 Thou shalt not so much as enquire how others serve their gods, what their rites and ordinances, and manners of serving their gods are, thou shalt not worship me so; How then Lord? as if they should say, Whatsoever thing I command you, observe to doe it, thou shall not adde thereto, nor diminish from it, you must keep to that, and not think to worship me, as others wor∣ship their Idols. The Lord stands much upon this, though the thing in it self may be a lawfulthing, yet because it is the way idolaters have taken up, there∣fore it must be rejected, Ezek. 44. 20. there is a comandement to the Priests of the Lord, that they shall not shave their heads, nor suffer their lockes to grow long, but they shall round their heads, so the words are rendred in the old Translation,* and Arius Montarus translates them thus, They shall clip equally their haire all of a length, that is the meaning of the words as they are in the Hebrew; the old Translation, They shall round their heads, is ac∣cording to the Hebrew; the reason is this, because the idolatrous Priests, ac∣cording to the several ways of worshipping their Idols, some did shave their heads, others wore long hair as women, some kind of Idols being worshipped one way, some another, all in excessive ways: Now saith God to his Priests, they shall doe neither; so that it is the injunction of God to his Ministers there to be Round-heads. Certainly the Devil forgate that place of Scripture when he raised up such a name to reproach men by, which we have the ex∣presse word in Scripture for the injoyning it: And on the other side, when the Scripture would describe the enemies of God, it describeth them by the con∣trary, the hairy scalpe.*

I remember I have read of the Lacedemonians, when they would reform excesse in apparell, which was much amongst them, at length their consul∣tation came to this result, that there should be a law made, that none but harlots should weare pompous and rich cloathes, and by this meanes they thought to get all women that regarded their credites, or chastity, to goe in meane or plain cloathing, by this they attained their end: If by the light of nature once a thing come to be in fashion with harlots, grave and sober Ma∣trons will never meddle with it, then what Idolaters take up in worship, the Church should abstaine from; if there must not be a conformity betweene Matrons and harlots, there must not be a conformity between the Church of God and Idolaters.

Arius Montanus in a Trea∣tise he hath De Templi fabrica,* saith, that the Jews report of 13. tables of stone that were in the outward court of the Temple, at which men were wont to pray, & all of them were made, saith he, so as some looked to the North,* some to the South, and some to the West, but not one toward the East: And so God built his Temple that the Holy of holiest was not to look toward the East, but toward the West: Hence Ezek. 8. 16. it is said that •••se that worship 〈◊〉 the Sunne, with their faces toward the East, Page  403 they had their backs upon the Temple, so that it appeareth plainly, that the Temple stood west-ward, and upon this ground, because there were so many among whom the Jews lived, that were worshippers of the Sun, and in their worship they would ever look Eastward, & upon that very reason the Lord would not have the Holy of holiest built Eastward; Now all your Chancels in England are built Eastward, and it was wont to be the order and way of your superstitious worshippers evermore when they came into such a place to look Eastward, and bow solemnly themselves, not only to the Altar, but Eastward. I have seen my self a Bishop, who when the Communion table was set down in another place, he neglected that, and goes to the East end of the Chancell, and boweth himself, though his back was upon the table. And you shall observe it in all your burials, the corps are laid East and West, for this end by some, that when Christ comes to Judgment, they may be ready to look him in the face, it being a trodition that he shall come from the east. You must not think, that those who do not follow the old customes of su∣perstition, do it out of crosness of disposition; it is the same way that God brought his people up in, when they saw Idolaters worship one way, they should worship another way; we must take heed of borrowing from the E∣gyptians, if you borrow from them you may think it riches, but you may get their botches and boils: we have enough in the word of God, we need no i∣mitation of Idolaters and Papists in the way of worship.

Yet further,* that which lies more fully in the Text is, such things that in themselves considered have no hurt in them, yet when they come to be abu∣sed to Idolatry, they must be cast away; I will take the name of Baali out of your mouths, the name was good, but being abused, was to be taken away; yea not only such things as are in the originall of them from Idolaters, but e∣ven such things as in the beginning were of Gods own institution, if they do not yet continue his institutions, if God doe not require the continuance of them still, they must be taken away, not only corrected, but removed, and wholly rejected from Gods worship. I will give you an instance for both these together, Exod. 34. 13. Ye shall destroy their altars, break their ima∣ges, cut down their groves. Many will easily grant, those things that came from Idolaters at first, should be rejected by us: but they say those ceremo∣nies we have,* we have them from the ancient Fathers in the primitive times before Popery was. For a full answer to that which may for ever stopp the mouth of that objection, you have an expresse command here, that those groves were to be cut downe whose originall was not from Idolaters, for Gen. 21. 33. the text saith that Abraham built an Altar, and planted a grove, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God; groves and altars had a good originall from Abraham, but afterwards be∣ing abused by Idolaters, God requires of them now to cut down the groves. And that example 2 K. 18. 4. of the Brazen Serpent, it had a good beginn∣ing, and was an ordinance of God for a time, only it did not continue as an ordinance afterward, but they might think and so plead that it was kep as a religious monument:

Page  404 But Hzekiah according to the command of God by Moses, beat down the Brazn Serpent, and called it Nehustan in a way of contempt, a piece of brasse, though it had been a notable instrument of good to the people of Israel in former times, yet now it was but Nehustan, but a piece of brasse.

And further, to the abolishing those things that have been abused to Ido∣latry there is added a gracious promise, Esay 27. 9. By this shall the iniqui∣ty of Iacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sine, when he maketh all the stones of the Altar as chalke-stones that are beaten in sunder; Then indeed hath Jacobs correction the true fruite npon him to purge away his sinne, when hee makes all the stones of the Altar as chalke∣stones; And Josiah is commended 2 King. 23. for destroying the high places, the groves and altars and the charets for the sun, &c. And repenting Manasses, 2 Chron. 33. 18. is commended that hee did take away the strange gods, and the Idols out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars; and Daniel, chap. 1. would not eate of the Kings meat, because it had been abused and consecrated to his Idols.

But for the opening of this there will be something required by way of answer to an objection.* You will say, are not those prohibitions there par∣ticular, concerning the Jews and not so fully concerning us? they somtimes are forbidden to take of the gold and silver of the Idols, doe such prohibiti∣ous concerne us in every thing that hath been abused to Idolatry?

For answer,* I confesse I thinke we are not bound in every particular cir∣cumstance according to those commandements that God required of them: neither doe I thinke that they had been bound if they had not had some ex∣presse commandement in some things that they did, if they had made use of the silver, or gold of an image, for some civil use, before the expresse prohi∣bition came to them, it had been no sin unto them, those things being requi∣red of them by some positive Law, and not required in the second Com∣mandement further then there is a morall equity in them.

[ 1] But how farre do they binde us?* All those rules God gave to the Jews to destroy all things abused to Idolatry, binde us in these three cases.

First, we must retaine nothing whereby any false worship may retaine any honour. If Mordecai would not bow to a living monument of that na∣tion, whose name God had ordained to be blotted out from under heaven, much lesse should we reverence dumbe monuments of those Idols which God hath devoted to destruction; we must not shew respect to any thing that Idolaters have abused, when our reserving of them, or respect to them may any way keepe up any honour of them. Therefore certainly thi is a truth, that to take a ceremony from Papists, to bring it into the most so∣lemne Ordinances of CHRIST, yea so into them to that end that it may adde to the honour of that Ordinance,* can never be justified. There never was any ceremony more abominably abused then that of the Crosse; Now though it be not a sin to make a crosse, yet to bring it into one of the most 〈◊〉 Ordinances of Christ in his Church, and to make it there to con∣duce Page  405 to the honour of such an Ordinance, it is impossible but men must shut their eyes if they doe not see it a great evil. So for vestments, suppose there might be some use of them some other way, yet to bring them to make the worship of God to be decent, to think that those vestments that have beene o notoriously abused, should adde to the honour of divine worship must needs be sinfull, surely all those scriptures that required the Jews to abolish those things that have been abused by Idolaters, if they have any morality [ 2] in them, they will cast out these. Secondly, When any thing that hath been abused to Idolatry, shall in the use of it imply any communicating with I∣dolaters, then it must be rejected: that is cleare out oRev. 2. 20. there the Church of hyatira is charged that they did eate things sacrificed to Idols; Why? the meat sacrificed to Idols was good meat, a good creature of God, and we have that rule, that every creature of God is good, if it be sanctified by the word and prayer, yet they are charged for it as a sinning against Christ in it; You will say what is that to them if it were offered to Idols? they might eate it as Gods creature: But it was a sin because the eating of that did ar∣gue communion with them, that is plain in that 1 Cor. 10. 18. 19. 20. where you have the argument of the Apostle against eating things offered to Idols, thus he reasoneth, When you eat the same bread in the Sacrament it is a note of your communion one with another, so when you eate of the things sacrifi∣ced to idols, that is a note of your communion with them: that is the argu∣ment of the Apostle in that place, and upon that ground it is made a sin, You cannot (saith he) partake of the Table of the Lord, aud the table of devils, if you eat of their meat, you communicate with them & so it is sinne to you.

Thirdly,* To make use of any thing abused by Idolaters when it cometh [ 3] to be a scandoll to our brethren, a snare to those that are weake, then it is a sin against God, 1 Cor. 10. 28. eating meat offered to Idols, is forbidden in the former place upon a ground of communicating, but in this 28. ver. it is forbidden upon the ground of scandoll, that is enough: Calvin in his Epi∣stle to the Lord Protector in King Edwards dayes, hath these words; What other things were those ceremonies maintayned by in England but so many pleasing allurements that ensnare poore miserable soules, & bring them into evil? certainly these that we have retayned have brought abundance of evil this way, they have been the ensnaring of many souls. In these three things the rules that concerne the Jews have a morality concerning us.

But yet these rules must be observed with some cautions, or else we may goe away and not understand the ruels aright.

They must be understood first in things that are not Ordinances continu∣ed by God; for certainly if it be an Ordinance that God hath appointed, though Idolaters abuse it never so much, we must goe on in it. It is true, the brazen serpent was an Ordinance of God, but it was an Ordinance but for a time, it was not a continued Ordinance, and therefore being abused to Ido∣latry it was to be destroyed; but when a thing is an Ordinance appointed by God to be continued in the Church, we must go on in the use of it, though it be abused.

Page  406 As in Baptisme, the ordinance is water, though they abuse water, we must continue the use of it; in the ordinance in the Lords supper is the use of bread and wine, though they abuse those elements, we must continue them, why? because no abuse is an argument to refuse that which is a duty; the subject of scandall is a thing indifferent, but if it be an ordinance, we must continue our obedience, whether men be offended or not offended.

[ 2] Secondly, Neither can any of these rules hold in any thing that is of necessa∣ry use for the worship of God, so as we cannot enjoy the worship of God without them. As for places, supose Idolaters have abused a place of meet∣ing for Gods worship, when we have no other place to meet in, this is (for the present at least) of necessary use to Gods worship, there is a naturall ne∣cessity of a place, and if no other for the present may be had, we are bound to worship in that place, the abuse of men must not hinder Gods worship, God hath never put his worship under the power of wicked men, so as they should keep his people off from it when they please.

[ 3] Thirdly, If it be any ceremony that of its own nature (not by vertue of a∣ny institution from man) hath that decency in it as that the want of it would be an undecency, then though it be never so much abused, we are to goe on in it; for it is the duty of Gods people to worship God in a decent way; It is the rule of the Apostle, Let all things be done decently, but there is a mist∣ake in that use that many make of that Scripture, this rule is, that which the light of nature teaches, though we had never found it in Scripture, it is not meant of such a decency as the institution of man puts upon a thing, but such a decency as God in the nature of the thing puts upon it, so that if it were wanting, the worke would bee undecently performed: But if the things be meerly mans inventions and institutions, having their supposed decency, not from what is indeed in the things themselves, but from that which mans in∣stitution puts upon them, then they come not under that rule of the Apostle, but the abuse of them is argument enough for their rejection.

But it may be objected,* If we can instruct people what the abuse is, and what right use they may make of such things, will not that serve for the retai∣ning them?

No certainly,* it had not been enough for the Jews to use the name Baali, though their Prophets had taught them what the abuse of it was.

This is as if a man should keep a company of rags, that have lien a great while upon plague sores, and say it is enough, I will wash them cleane, and lay them out to ayre them; will any wise man keep such rags in his house up∣on this precence? Those things that have had poyson in them, none will be so unwise to keep them by them, upon pretence of washing them clean; if they be broken vessels of which there is no use, they are cast upon the dung∣hill with lesse trouble and more safety.

All things that are of mans invention, yea those things that have beene Gods Ordinances, but now are out of date, & are not for the present Gods Ordinances the Scripture calls them beggerly rudiments; you cannot com∣pare Page  407 mens inventions to cloaths, or any thing worth the ayring or keeping, but the truth is, all such things that have been abused to Idolatry, are no other but as such dirty rags, and plaisters laid upon plague-sores.

But further you will say,* If that use we receive them for be not the same use they were in, if we retain them for another use that is good, why may we not doe it?

The text answers that,* though the Jews should call God Baali in a right sense, it was not enough, they must wholly reject the very mentioning of the name. But further, suppose a harlot should be brought out of a most no∣torious stews in Rome or Paris, and brought to Dover into an honest mans chamber, is shee not a harlot still? and is there not a provocation in her to uncleannesse, though she become now to lye not in the stewes, but in the chamber of an honest man? So in all those things that have been abused to Idolatry, though you should think you make use of them in a better way, it is no other then to bring a harlot out of the stews, into a place not so vile, and to company with the harlot there.

Besides, if a mans wife whom her husband had not without just cause sus∣pected for uncleannesse with another man, should get something from that man, and keep it in her bosome, or lay it next her heart, and should tell her husband, true, she keeps such a thing, but she intends no hurt in it, it is a good thing, onely she had it from him, will this think you satisfie any jealous hus∣band? The Church is the wife of Christ, he is jealous, and he hath cause to be jealous, for he knows while we are in the flesh, we are prone to spirituall filthinesse; and if we take any ceremony from Popish Idolatry, and joyne with his own Ordinances, and think to put off Christ thus, we intend to make no ill use of it, this will not satisfie Christ.

If any say,* why should we not retain our liberty if the things be good?

But why shouldst not thou manifest thy hatred to all Idolatry? And why shouldst not thou tender thy brethren so, as to prevent all scandall that may come by the use of such things?

But you will say,* the idolatry of Papists, and the idolatry of Heathen is not the same, there is a great deale of difference between the Heathens in worshipping their Idols, and the Papists worshipping of God, though in a false way?

Indeed the difference seems to be much,* but yet the Idolatry is even the same in both; for you are mistaken, if you think that many of the Heathens worshipped a false God, otherwise then the Papists doe; though they made stocks and stones their Idols, yet they worshiped the God that was Primum Ens,* the first Being, in and through those Idols: Therefore Austin upon Ps. 96. brings in one answering thus, We do not worship a stone, but the ver∣tues, the strength, and the powers of the great God wee worship: And ano∣ther, one Maximus Madaurensis that Austin speaks of in his 43. Epistle, Who is so madde, or so void of sense that will doubt whether there be more Gods then one? we invocate the vertues of this one God under many names, diffused through the frame of the whole world.

Page  408 VVhat more faire answer can Papists give for their Idolatry then they did? Therefore the thing continueth still cleare, that (with those rules and cautions that have been named) such things as have been abused to Idolatry, must wholly be cast away; we must not retaine them, and think to put off God with such distinctions. To what end doe we retaine them? Is there not sufficient in the worship of God it selfe to make it acceptable to him?