An Excellent Allegory, taken forth of this History by Augustine In his 14. Sermon, Upon the Words of our LORD.
AS Christ going to the Mountain to pray, gave comman∣dement to his Apostles, to get into a ship, and to goe to the other side; so after his ascending into heaven, at his com∣mandement the Gospel was to be carried through the Sea of this world. As the Ship wherein the Apostles of Christ were Passengers, meeteth with a great tempest: so the Church of Christ sustaineth waves of persecution, and is opposed by the various blasts of haereticall winds. As the Disciples doe not straightway forsake the Ship, but did toyle in rowing: so the confession of our faith is not to be forsaken, but the teachers of the Church, both by word and writing, in the midst of the contrary windes of the world, and of the blasts of tumultuous Haereticks, are to discharge their office faithfully. Let the Page 24 crosse yard be set up, and Christ crucified, be looked upon, and let us not make defection from him, but follow his steps, let us, through suffering and death it self, presse toward eter∣nall glory. Let also white sailes, that is, a pure and honest con∣versation, be laid hold of. Moreover, although the sea do rage, the wind withstand strongly, and the surges rise and make a noise, so that the ship be sore tossed, and covered with the waves, yet is shee not drowned, but runneth to the Haven: so may indeed the Church be pressed, but can never be oppres∣sed: for Christ is praying on high, and beholdeth his own, mightily wrestling with the contrary winds: He therefore in∣tercedeth for them, that their faith fail not, but that they may carry unto the Nations these Noble, but to humane reason, forein wares of remission of sinnes, and the Kingdome of heaven, through faith in Christ, freely offered to all that ear∣nestly repent, and amend their lives. Furthermore this small Ship shalbe tossed, and float on the water, till the Lord come, who alone is able to make a weighty body to walk upon the face of the liquid element, which shall come to passe about the fourth watch of the night, that is in the end of time, when the night of this world is, almost spent. In the meane while, al∣though the roaring Sea doe murmur and repine under the seet of the Lord, yet nilling willing, it is constrained to beare him; so, although the swelling pride and powers of the world arise together never so high, yet our Head shall trample on their head. But when Christ cometh neer unto the ship, before he be clearely seene and known of his owne, he striketh their hearts with a new terrour, that they seeme to themselves to see a Ghost: for in the darknes of this night wee are not able rightly to understand the worke of the Lord: But when the darknes is scattered, and all the storme calmed, we shall know him aright, and shall worship him as the true Son of God, our Redeemer and Saviour. It is our part who do live about the fourth watch, & upon whom the ends of the world are come, 1. Cor. 10. 11. to provide, lest that by the sudden and unlooked for coming of the Lord, we be surprised and confounded: for as Christ in one moment, and with one thrust, brought the ship into the harbour; so before we can look about us or turne our selves, Eternitie shall come upon us; for the Elects sake these dayes shall be shortned. Matth. 24. 22.