A century of sermons upon several remarkable subjects preached by the Right Reverend Father in God, John Hacket, late Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry ; published by Thomas Plume ...
Hacket, John, 1592-1670., Plume, Thomas, 1630-1704.
Page  893


JOHN iv. 13, 14.

Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again.

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst.

THere is not a more superficial part of Science than an Emblem, when a moral Lesson is delivered in the Riddle of a Picture, yet in those shadows of invention if rules of wisdom be not better understood, I am sure they are better remembred. My Text well conceived is but an Emblem, for your fancy must apprehend as if it saw two fountains, the one a deep Lake, salt, and unsa∣voury, which carries the transitory joys and riches of this world upon it, and they that lap at it are never content: The other a crystal stream, running with heavenly blessings, and those that taste of it their soul is satisfied. Satan shewed our Saviour all this world, and the glory of it in the twinkling of an eye, our Saviour hath shewn the woman of Samaria all the vani∣nity, that is, the glory of this world, and the happiness of a better as it were in two Pitchers of water. The whole Scripture is a living fountain, and this Text is fons in fonte, a sweet spring running by it self out of that great fountain of life. It is impossible to match it with a better similitude, and I think, as the case stands, it would be hard to fit our selves with a more convenient. For the Similitude it self, it lays two contraries so fairly together, that it makes the good part shine much the better; and by setting the grace of God, which is the immortal seed in our soul, against the meat which perisheth, it invites the appetite, which is not altogether unrelishable, to the better banquet. To our selves it is thus proper, for several exhortations belong to the miserable times of persecution, and to the plen∣tiful days of peace. When dreadful calamities are rife, men must be taught to be contented with their losses; when peace brings in abundance, take heed ye thirst not after too much, then men must be taught to be contented with their gains. I learn this difference from my Saviours mouth, Mat. xvi. 24. against the days of sor∣row thus he prepares his Disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. In the next verse against the days of peace and riches, What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul?*Gregory frames this clear Meditation upon it, Persecutionis tempore ponenda est anima, pacis tempore fran∣genda▪ sunt desideria; In the time of persecution lose your life that you may gain Christ, (that Lesson, God be praised, is out of date with us) in the time of peace lose your vast concupiscence that you may gain content. Here comes in our part, who have leisure to gather great store, and peaceable security to enjoy and increase it; for that we may lay our desires level with a moderate fortune, it is fit above all things to know, that you shall never measure these earthly things to the bottom, and you cannot measure the joys of heaven to the top, so said our Saviour to the Samaritan as I have read it unto you, &c.

Now to bring on the division of the Text I lay this ground: Man is a most de∣siring, and a wishing creature; his heart doth reach it self forth so much to get and gain, that it resembles nothing better than an house with a deep Mote round about it: but for the most part the mote is full of puddle water, if that were cast Page  894 out, which is the first part to be handled, a water which makes us always thirst, there is a sluce to let in better, which is contained in the second. For these two shall be the general heads to which I will refer all that I shall speak, the lading out of bad waters from our soul, and the letting in of better. I will not venture beyond the former of these two at this time; Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. And St. Austin preaching upon those words did thus divide them, Et verum est se∣cundum hanc aquam, & verum est secundum quod significat haec aqua. It is true being spo∣ken upon those waters drawn out of Jacobs well, and upon any other water; and it is true being spoken upon that unto which the Element of water did allude, that is, the riches and glory of this world; according to the very waters which our Saviour lookt upon when he preacht. I will speak to these three points: 1. That all the refe∣ction of our body is commended in the phrase of drinking waters. 2. Heat consumes our moisture and makes us thirst, which is the punishment of our nature. 3. We thirst, and thirst again, which is the punishment of our sensual appetite. According to the water unto which our Saviour alluded, I have three things more to observe. 1. That all these worldly things are compared to waters which slide away. 2. Here is the greediness of our heart to be filled with them, we would pour them in, and drink them down. 3. Here's their emptiness, they will never fill us; for drink both much and often, yet whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.

And first a few words litterally of that outward Element, which the Woman of Samaria came to draw in her Pitcher; upon which this is the former observati∣on, that all the refection of our body, especially that which cools our thirst, is de∣livered in the phrase of drinking waters. Indeed before temperance was perverted this phrase was well understood of all men to drink waters From the Creation to the Floud, above sixteen hundred years, it is affirmed by divers, scarce denied by any, that the World knew not what belonged to Wine, or to any artificial li∣quor, the great Rivers of the Earth were all their Sellarage, and they filled their Cup from thence without cost or labour. Therefore in the first of Genesis God stint∣ed our first Parents and their Posterity what they should eat, namely the fruits of several Trees, all but one, and the Herbs of the Field; but they were not stint∣ed what they should drink, because their nature was inclined to nothing but to the Fountain Element. And Noah having never perceived the malignity and headiness of too much Wine, neither in himself, nor any other person, surely not out of in∣temperance, we may well excuse him that, but out of ignorance he became drun∣ken. It is too much perhaps to look back so far as before the Deluge, now we are sure that every Creature of God is sanctified by Prayer and Thanksgiving to them that use it well; it is the Lord that makes the Vine to swell with comfortable juyce, that men may take it for infirmity of health, and upon occasions of chear∣fulness: yet the good Patriarchs would never lay down the primitive sobriety of the World. I will go no further to shew it than the verse before my Text. Says the Woman, Art thou greater than our Father Jacob, who drank himself of this Well, and his Children, and his Cattle? The Flocks and Herds quenched their thirst with no worse than their Master did: according to which simplicity of diet, God in the be∣ginning allotted the same food for the Beasts that he made for Man, Gen. i. 30. I have given you, says He to Adam, every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, &c. and to every beast of the earth, and to every foul of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life: I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so. We and the Cattle you see had once the same allowance, or there was very little to choose between our Pasture and theirs.

I will wind about no longer, the scope is to let you see the difference between the frugal institutions of nature, and the monstrous inventions of that luxury which at this time prevails among us. Why doth the Scripture express all manner of Be∣verage in forty places by the name of water, but to insinuate sobriety? Why doth Gods word in an hundred places call the whole repast of the belly by the name of bread, but to insinuate frugality? The Scripture makes but two words of that, whereof affected gluttony hath made twenty thousand. The Apostles did break bread from house to house, and eat their meat with gladness, Acts 2.46. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, alimentum non delicias, says St. Chrysostom, plain necessary nourishment is meant, which nature earns for, and cannot want; not piled dishes one upon another, to the intolerable scorn of God Almighty's first Laws, as if you did not set, but build a Banquet. Our Saviour will condemn you out of your own mouth if you pray his Prayer as you ought, Give us this day our daily bread; if the word be a Synechdoche one Page  895 part of sustenance for all Gods gifts, I know it is so, yet it circumscribes our desires to ask a little, and no excess: and if you pray with Christs words, and not with Christs meaning, God will not bless, but curse your supplications. As the Fable goes of Dido, that she asked no more Land than an Ox Hide would compass; but she cut that Hide into small thongs, and took in as much ground as to build a City: so it is a cheat to ask God for bread and water, and to mean all manner of superflui∣ty. The Morallists and Poets of the Heathen were wise men, and when they character the best and happiest times of the World, I am not presumptuous, but confident of my knowledge, that they all insist upon this, that the men of that Age studied not for their Diet, but took the voluntary Offerings of the Springs and Mountains. Now we have left that praise and happiness to the Beasts and Fowls of the air, who take the next thing they light upon to satisfie their thirst and hunger. Non fuit noverca nobis natura, ut homo sine tot artibus non possit vivere.* It is our own fault that we consume our Revenues, and spend all our labour, as the Wise-man says, for the belly; Nature is not so much a Stepdame to us alone, that no less than two hundred Arts and Trades may be reckoned before his Table can be magnificently furnished.

This is the only conveniency of great sins, which are very expenceful, though not for the sin, yet for the charge sake they use to vanish away by little and little, I have the more hope my labour shall not be fruitless, to exhort you to fall back to some laudable measure of ancient frugality. Though it be a thing grown quite out of the constitution of your bodies to thirst for water, as my Text says, yet I would you would thirst less for wine: and as one said, though once our Saviour was so gra∣cious to turn water into wine, yet it were happy now on our part, if he would in∣fuse such temperance into us, as to turn our wine into water. See into what luxu∣ry we have sopt our Souls in the revolution of time: see how we are metamorpho∣sed in our appetite; those Wines which were wont to be sold by the Apothecaries, for a Drug, are now become every Meals liquor at our Tables; and Water which was the ordinary drink of man, now it is never used but as a Potion, and for some Medicinal operation: So that which was our Physick is become our ordinary Drink, and that which was our daily Drink is become our Physick.*Satis est populo fluvius{que} Ceresque; though bread for hunger, and water for thirst are but a bare enough, yet such expressions from our Saviour, who knows what is fittest for us; will make the most of us I hope ashamed, when we compare it with an Epicures too much.

But whether temperate or intemperate, whether the poor Beggar that drinks of the running Brook, or the rich Glutton that quaffs the bloud of the Grape, at sundry times they feel a scarcity, and want of moisture, it is an affliction upon our nature that all men have their thirst. The Schoolmen ask, and which is more, they contend among themselves, whether hunger and thirst had befallen Mankind, if they had never sinned against the Lord? The Controversy comes to this issue. This heavenly part of us which God breathed into the body it is both Anima and Spiritus; a Soul and a Spirit: and therefore it causeth both an animal life, which consists in the faculties of nourishment, augmentation of every part, generation, &c. and it causeth by Gods gracious gift a spiritual life, making this corruptible flesh of ours incorruptible, and transfusing many more of its own excellencies into this gross substance, and then it is a glorified Body. These by the Divine ordination were appointed after a large space to be one after another, so says St. Paul,*That was not first which was spiritual, but that which was natural, and afterward that which is spiritual. It was necessary therefore while it was a natural body, that sustenance must be ta∣ken; and at such a time when man knew right well by his own constitution, that it was fit to repair nature (he could not err, and be deceived in that in the state of innocency) and at that time his appetite would call for it as a pleasant and whole∣some thing to be taken; for you know what a loathing thing it is to take meat and drink into the mouth without an appetite. Here's the scruple plainly laid down before you, whether hunger and thirst did provoke such an appetite in man before he fell in∣to disobedience? I answer that this Controversy is but a bare mistaking of a word.* If hunger and thirst be largely taken for that sense which a man hath, how the stomach must be replenisht for the maintenance of life: so Adam before he fell had sensum indigentiae, a far more exacting feeling than we have, when nature was in in∣digency, and must be supplied: but strictly and properly hunger and thirst habent adjunctam molestiam & cruciatum, they come upon us with some molestiousness and tor∣ment, and so they are only incident to wicked man, where punishment is manifold Page  896 ways inflicted upon transgression. Where heat doth dry up moisture, and parch the juyce of the veins, there our thirsty soul doth gape like a barren and dry Land, that is, when one elementary quality doth feed upon another, and consume it. But before sin entred into the World: there was such an orderly mixture of all parts in us, that the Elements were at peace in our Body, no quality did seek to over-master another, and corrupt it: but the pangs and girds of thirst did ensue upon just revenge; Reason proved rebellious to the Law of God; the sensual appe∣tite grew rebellious to reason, and the distemperature of the body grew rebellious to appetite. Shall I need to tell you how the Israelites in a sore thirst were ready to renounce God in the Wilderness? or how the strength of Sampson fainted, till the Jaw bone besmeared with the bloud of his Enemies did run with water? or how Darius in extremity of drought was glad to drink of a most putrified puddle? Eve∣ry man hath felt such anguish in himself at some time or other; every little scarce∣ness threatens death, or is worse than death to them that want the friendship of God.

And as our appetite is never but sick of longing, so the body troubles it with a perpetual craving; that which it takes to day is forgot to morrow, as if it never had been, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. That which nourisheth the Soul of man must be immortal like the Soul; but that which nourisheth a cor∣ruptible Body, it self is corruptible. One lean Harvest in Egypt made seven rich ones be quite forgotten: A short Fast will gnaw the bowels, though Ahasuerus his long Feast had gone before it. Whatsoever you taste the pleasure of it is not re∣membred in a minute, the strength and virtue of it is gone in a few hours. A man that is grown to the end of a full age, if he would reckon by measure and propor∣tion, how much waste in threescore and ten years one Belly hath made, it would make him wonder, and say to himself, am I run on the score so far for my daily sustenance? is it not due that my Carkass should rot in the Earth, or in the Sea, since my flesh hath been the consumption both of Sea and Land? And again, since we are born to that care and distress, that every day must have his several necessity of hunger and thirst, be not luxurious upon one entertainment, as if at once you would spend all the brood of nature, and leave nothing for to morrow. To morrow must be cared for. You cannot say to your appetite, this is thy stint, and hereafter thou shalt have no more. It was but poor provision to send Hagar and her Child away with one Bottle of water into the desart Wilderness: when the Bottle was spent her desire did come again upon her like an armed man, for whosoever, &c.

Yet this is not meant altogether to throw us into affliction, that we must cater for the stomach every day: It makes us often cast down our eyes upon the neces∣sities of the Poor; it makes us often lift up our eyes to the providence of our Hea∣venly Father; it compels the Societies of men to seek out many industrious Voca∣tions, and to disrellish idleness. In these regards it was an extravagant Prayer which the Woman of Samaria made in the next verse, Sir, give me such water to drink as I may not thirst, neither come hither to draw. But in some particular persons Gods vengeance is bent sore to vex their appetite, where water nor wine, nor any liquor hath vertue to satiate their thirst, when that which they drink doth them no good, but it is as if they had taken nothing. As God gave bread to the Israelites, but sent leanness withal into their souls. So Haggai brought news of the Lords wrath unto the people, c. i. v. 6. Ye eat, but ye have not enough, ye drink, but ye are not filled. Some Heathen Lawgivers attempted to rate every private Family in their Cities what they should spend at their Board, and at last one of the wisest of them concluded, there could be no rule given in that case, because an heavenly hunger sometimes lights upon some men which devours in excess, and is not satisfied. It is the grace of God which gives meat in due season, so that health and comfort go together with it. I will borrow this Similitude to give it light. Sometimes when we go to Physick for any Disease, we are bidden to seeth such and such herbs in running water, and then to drink the water. We know it is not the water helpeth the sick man, but the decoction of the infusion. So it is not bread or drink consider'd barely in it self which doth nourish the body, but the blessing of God infused into it. When the Lord is pleased not to bless your victuals with his goodness, soak what you can in∣to your skin, you shall thirst as if you never drank: and again, if He will let his power be shewed in our weakness, you shall have the gift to abstain from all manner of liquors, as if you never thirsted.

Page  897Spiritus sanctus aliquando supplet locum cibi & potus in corpore, says St. Hierom; the Holy Ghost is called our Food, not only in a mystical sense, but sometimes God makes his Spirit supply the place of bodily refection, that we shall not need to ask for it. He that corroborated Elias to eat nothing for fourty days, could have continued that Miracle upon his Servant for ever. I will not reach for an instance beyond that Story which was the occasion of my Text. Our Saviour came hungry and thirsty to Jacob's Well, sent his Disciples into the Town to buy provision, in the interim demands drink of a strange Woman; yet falling into a Divine discourse with this Woman, forgets his hunger and thirst, and when food was come he did not re∣gard it. And I am not incredulous of such Stories, which report of long conti∣nued Fasts in devout men, who spent their time so earnestly in Prayer, that they put their body to an agony, if not to an exstasie: in these the Spirit did support the Fabrick of Nature, instead of corruptible things. It is a good thing, says St. Paul, that the heart be established with grace, and not with meats, Heb. xiii. 9. To conclude this Ar∣gument, God shewed in his Prophet Elias, that he can find out sundry ways to up∣hold the state of our flesh. One way Elias was fed by a miraculous multiplication of Oil and Meal with the Widow of Sarephath. 2. By the Ministry of the Ravens in the Wilderness. 3. By putting strength into his bones, and marrow, forty days to need no reparation. And fourthly, by using the Creature with tempe∣rance and sobriety at his daily repast: so he did feel the continual urging of the appetite, as all men do upon the face of the earth, For whosoever drinketh, &c.

So far upon the Text litterally, and upon no other waters, but such as the Wo∣man of Samaria drew out of Jacobs Well. In the Allusion Interpreters make it ex∣tend to all kind of worldly pleasure, wherein our heart rejoyceth. This one piece of natures store, which gives but imperfect content, stands for all the rest, qui unam noverit omnes noverit: It is in every thing else under the Sun as it is in this one Creature, our thoughts are not quiet when they have enjoyed them, no not a day; you cannot gulp so much down of these earthly delights but ye shall thirst again. The first thing which must be noted hereupon is the ground of the Similitude, that all these vanities which we affect are justly compared to waters that slide away. Whatsoever those fancies be that ensweeten your affections towards them, they come unto you like that young Prophet, whom Elisha sent to Jehu to Ramoth Gilead: says Elisha, Thou shalt anoint him King over Israel, then open the door, and fly,*and tarry not. Salute him with good luck, and be gone. Good fortune, as we call it, sends no body of her errand, but they dispatch as suddenly, and fly away. If any man that loves this World expostulate with himself that his pleasures dodg him, as thus, When will my delights continue for a time? when shall I have rest from thirsting after more, and enjoy that which is past? O says the Tempter it will come anon, you shall see it by and by. Alass what a sickness is expectation, which is no better than a doting delusion. As the Mother of Sisera looked out at a Window to see her Son come home in triumph, and she speaks to her wise Ladies in Debora's Song, Why are his Charriot wheels so long a coming? Look not after transitory delights, as if a thing which is always in fluxu could be made permanent, the Devil and all his Alchymistry cannot fix this Mercury. A River may be shut up by a Frost, and when the Sun thaws the ice, the stream runs his current again: So if you can attain to mortifie your heart, as I think old Barzillai did, whose affections to all worldly alacrity were Ice and Marble, he cared not, he said to David, for the pomp of Jerusalem, nor for the taste of Meats, nor for the noise of Musick; then your inward delights are a River shut up, the waters of comfort flit not out of the channel. But if you desire to have a Portion in this life, if you desire to taste a little of this honey, as Jonathan did, which hangs in the Trees round about you, plenus rimarum effluis, then the River opens, your earnings, and your desires will break out in a thousand Sluces.

If a Chrystal Glass were durable, and not obnoxious to breaking with a fall, it would be as estimable perhaps as a Silver Plate, though the substance be not so pre∣cious. So the vanities of this World, which are but water, or rather froth that passeth away, had they been stable, and of long endurance, which God forbid (for then who almost could have withstood their temptation, as base as they are in themselves, I say, if they had not been so transitory, they had deceived many in∣stead of that which our Saviour commends so highly, the water of Eternal Life. But there is not such a terminus diminuens in nature, not any word of more reject∣ment, than to say, they consume as fast as they are born, they perish in their ma∣king, Page  898 and come to a perpetual end. If I see a Meteor make a fair shew in a bright Evening I may take it for a Star, but if it once glide in a flake of fire like a swift arrow, I contemn it for a putrid exhalation; so Honors and Riches make a gay sight, but because they are as transitory as dreams and shadows, I despise them. Shall I moil my self like the Grecian Champions at Olympus for no more than a Gar∣land of leaves that will wither before I go to bed, for a corruptible Crown as St. Paul calls it? How little did the recompense answer the danger? These men, you will say were fit to be laught at: As they lived in a silly Age, so they sped ac∣cordingly. But now the World's grown wiser, they do not aim at a few flowers, but at the whole Garden, as Ahab did; not at leaves, but at fruit I warrant you, and the trees that bear the fruit, and the Lands and Lordships that the trees grow upon, both to them and to their Posterity. This will come to some value, and not to be slighted like the labour of the Heathen for a Garland, or for a corruptible Crown. Yet for all this I will and must maintain, that worldlings deserve the ap∣plication both of this, and of a worse Similitude. I confess that the Heathen in their emulatory Sports aimed at trifles, scarce fit to hang on the Posts of their Doors, and no way comely for their head: yet trifles, as they were, they engaged but a trifle against them, their limbs and body: but you venture your soul, the Divine part of Man, for things that may stick as little by you as a flower of the Gar∣den: Aut habebunt finem sui, aut finem tui, either your pleasure, or your life, or the whole World may pass away in a moment. What a rotten pillar we lean upon, which is subject to the hazard of three imminent casualties? where lies the wit now? they hazard Grass for Grass, their Body against a Garland; you hazard Heaven against Earth, your Soul for Honours and increase of Substance: you stake the hope of Salvation, to drink in a few pleasing relishes of this World, which fall away like water that runneth apace.

Because time is as transitory as these fickle things of fortune which I speak of, therefore my discourse shall pass from this point without any longer trouble to you. Now St. Austin observes how the pleasures of our natural life are not simply resem∣bled here to River waters, which you may take up with your hand, and are in every mans fight that passeth by. Our Saviour was now at Jacobs Well, and he that will drink of it, must draw it out from a deep bottom: Et voluptas seculi est aqua in puteo, seu profunditate tenebrosâ: so our terrestrial pleasures are waters in a deep pit, with which if you desire to fill your Pitcher, (this Body I mean, which is an earthen Vessel) you must bestow your labour to fetch it up from a low Abyssus, from a dark profundity. They that plunge themselves into delights of all fashions and condi∣tions, are not able to tell you how deep their own concupiscence is, nor how far it would descend into vanities. Tiberius the Emperor, I confess no common example, the worst not of men, but even of four-footed beasts. When he had run over all kind of pleasure that was known and common, then he puts down the Bucket into the Well to fetch up rarities of sensuality, and was so witty in nothing as to find out new studied pleasures, unheard of to all former impiety. Novum instituit offici∣um à voluptatibus, says Suetonius, he created an Officer to reward such as brought forth new invented stratagems. Are you not afraid when you go so low into these vile earthly things, from one sensuality to another, deeper and deeper, I say are you not afraid that the next step should be into the bottomless pit? A fugitive Servant in Plutarch being well nigh overtaken, ran out of the way to hide himself in a Mill, and the Mill was in those days instead of an House of Correction to tor∣ment Runnagate Servants. O says the Master, ubi te occuparem nisi in pistrino? This is the very place where I wisht to find you. So shall the Lord speak to those Epicures that make a mystery of their pleasures, you are in the right way for my vengeance to find you out, when you run into the dark and secret corners of vo∣luptuousness, as if you digged into Hell.

The deeper we reach into the Well, Satan knows we must stoop down the more. David complains what a snare it is, when a man is enticed to dive as it were into a large bottom for his vanity, incurvaverunt animam meam, they have pressed down my soul, Psal. lvii. 7. like Corn that's beaten flat to the earth with a violent storm, and when it is laid the Fowls of the air devour it. As the eye of Cain which looked down dejectedly upon the earth was a sign of desperation; is it not worse when the will and desire of the Soul tends downward to this base Element, and to these transitory joys. So it was with Israel, when the Lord had forsaken them, and left them to the dregs of their own carnal mind, Es. li. 23. I will put thee into the hand Page  899 of them that have said unto thy soul, bow down that we may go over thee. A certain Pa∣rable and a Story go together on this wise, Luke xiii. A woman had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up her self. And a Fig∣tree was planted in a good soil, which for three years together bore no fruit. Here's the double condition of our sinful nature, homo nec fructum servat operationis, nec statum rectitudinis, the rectitude of innocency is turned crooked in us; and then it is im∣possible we should bring forth the fruit of good works. The Soul stands upright when it desires to be with Christ, but it is bowed down with a spirit of infirmity when our treasure is upon earth.* You know how Gedeon's choice Souldiers did drink of the Brook, putting water in their hands, and lapping like a Dog; but the rest bowed down to the River to drink upon their knees, ver. 6. Whereupon Gregory took occasion to shew symbolically, what different postures our spiritual and our carnal appetite have in partaking those things they love? mundi aqua bibitur facie pronâ in terram, fons aquae viventis facie supinâ; we drink the waters beneath with our face bowed down to the earth, we drink the waters of life with our face and eyes turned up to Heaven. To him that walks in a Valley every Shrub is tall that grows upon the top of a Mountain; so perhaps our pleasures seem aloft to us, and not to lie so low as the bottom of a Well, because we our selves do walk in the shadow of death, and in the valley of corruption. An ambitious man will scarce believe his soul is bowed down, when he seeks for honour, but rather that aspiring to a grand Title doth lift up his thoughts: O that you did stand upon a Pinacle of faith, and from thence look up to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, and you would then acknowledg that all these empty clouds did fly below you. Why do you not expect the grace of God, and pray often unto him, when wilt thou make good thy promise to me, O Lord, which thou hast spoken to me, O Lord,*Es. lviii. 14. Thou shalt delight thy self in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth: Sustollam te super altitudines terrae. O that I could be exalted a∣bove the earth, then would I not bow down my soul to draw forth vanity from this deep Well, and nothing but the waters of bitterness.

You see what these waters are; there is no permanency in them, they flit away; and yet we draw them from the very depth of Hell, with much toil and carefulness, and it is disputable with St. Austin, which of the two be more commodious to man, labor in hauiendo affligens, aut sitis crucians, but after the labour of our body to draw them forth follows the greediness of our heart to be filled with them, we drink them down. All things were made for man, the pleasures of art and wit, the abun∣dance of the whole World, the Myrrh and Frankincense of one India, the Gold and Silver of the other: Divinity must not deny you that which is your own. The great God is as liberal to us as He was to his own People, but he gave them the labours of the Heathen in possession, that they might keep his Laws. Carnalis populus si parva non acciperet, magna non credoret, says Gregorianus: As Caleb and Joshua brought a bunch or two of Grapes, to let the people see what a rich Land it was, which the Lord had promised; so a Modicum is allotted to us for our present use, that we may look for a real and more substantial treasure in Heaven. And indeed this is the purpose of my Text, to commend the Grace of God above all things, but not altogether to contemn his Creatures.

The Crime reproved is to swallow them down, like drink that runs in all our veins and is presently incorporated into our bloud and spirits: as a learned Author says, that a greedy heart hath animam triticeam, not an heavenly spirit, but a whea∣ten soul, altogether projecting for outward means, it must have bread, it must have store, the Barn must be thwackt full, the provision must be able to serve many years; such wheaten cogitations make a wheaten soul. By such another Catechresis I may say out of my Text, that a greedy tipling desire makes a drunken soul: an unsa∣tiated mind is as brutish a Monster as Job's Behemoth, He drinketh up a river,*he trust∣eth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. David would not drink of that water which was brought from the Well of Bethel with the jeopardy of his Servants bloud, therefore he poured it out to the Lord; but our desires fetch such things unto us which are brought with the hazard of that which is better than life. David hath shewed us the way what is to be done, pour them forth unto the Lord; if they be sinful pleasures, by repentance; if they be riches, by alms and charity: By all means pour them forth, lest they consume us like those waters in the Levitical Law, which the Priest gave to the Woman suspected for Adultery; if she were defiled the waters turn'd bitter, and did rot her thigh, and she became a curse among all Page  900 the people. It is a prefiguration, I do verily think, of that diseaseful rottenness which doth oftentimes in these days befall Adultery. And as the rottenness goes before, so be sure the curse will come behind it.

I might be copious from this Allegory in my Text, that a wanton appetite is a drunken disease; but I will contract it by shewing one dissimilitude, he that pours any liquor into his body it is to cherish himself; but the most men drink greedily of worldly things, to make others swell, and heap up riches, that their children may gather them: So the Son often times vomits up that wealth whereof the Fa∣ther surseited: for you shall never purchase so much as your Posterity would sell away in the third or fourth Generation. The good Father thought he said enough to discipline an avaritious fool, when he bad him number his days which were very short, and therefore cut shorter his covetous desires, which were very long, Longa nostra desideria increpat vita brevis. Alas, says Nabal, I measure not my necessities by the span of my own life, but according to the breadth and length of all my Po∣sterity, who must enjoy these things after me. I shall answer it with a Paradox, yet it is such a rule as I never saw many exceptions against it. If your children love gains as well as you have done, they will thrive though you leave them but a lit∣tle: If they regard not Parsimony as you have done, they will break and decay though you bequeath them a great treasure. Lighten your self therefore of these superfluous burdens which you carry like a Camel for their sakes that will never bear them after you: And if God have given you a large Issue, be you more bountiful in Alms-deeds and Charity, as St. Cyprian reasons, Pro pluribus placandus est eleemosynis; as Job offered Sacrifices to God according to the number of his Sons and Daughters: So must you offer up gifts unto the Lord to bless your Olive branches according to the number of your Posterity. Therefore to end this Point, drink your waters for your own thirst, and not for others, for he that deviseth to leave an huge mass be∣hind him is sure he shall take nothing at all away. Aeneas Sylvius celebrates this Story among the actions of Saladine the Great, he knew his end was at hand, and therefore bad a Souldier carry a winding-sheet upon the top of a Spear through all his Army, and proclaim with a loud voice, Ex tantis opibus nihil aliud Saladinus secum tulit; Saladine carried nothing away with him but that of all his magnificent for∣tune. O bewitching vanity therefore to devour the Fatherless, and the Widow, to swallow down ill-gotten wealth to drink so greedily of these stoln waters, and out of so many Lordships it is well at last if your Heirs will allow you an handful of herbs and flowers to carry you sweet to your grave.

I have shewed what a vanity it is in man to have a greedy desire to be filled with the vanities of this world: If you will be mocked, like Tantalus, you may dap at these waters, and always miss: you may suck like an horse-leech and never be sa∣tisfied; this I deduce from the last part of my Text, terra inanis, as I believe Moses means mystically, Gen. i. 2. The earth is void and empty, and all the joys upon earth have such an emptiness that they cannot fill, for whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. Man disquieteth himself in vain, so David begins; and St. Chrysostom descants thus upon the complaint, the Seas are rouled about with a storm, and grow calm again within an hour: the Air is driven violently by the winds, and at last it is hush: the earth sometimes quakes and moves, and by and by it stands fast up∣on his Pillars: only the heart of man is never at peace, never but hunting for some new-nothing which it had not before. So St. Chrysostom runs over three of the Elements, shewing that their disquietness and troubles are composed again; now I had rather instance in the Element of the fire, which he omitted, than in any of the rest; a devouring fire, though it be as great as Nebuchadnezzars Furnace, goes out by little and little; and every man knows how, not by throwing wood upon the Pile, but by drawing away the combustible stuff, so that it shall have no matter to spend: so the appetite of man hath an hot fume, and a scaulding fire within; will you go about to extinguish it as fools do, by throwing heaps upon it? Or rather by substraction of all superfluities; and then it will go out of it self.

Will you attend to those reasons which the heathen hammered out, why you shall never take the heart of man without a new and a changeable Wish? One speaks Astronomically that the Planet of the Moon being the lowest doth most predominate over the composition of man, and therefore her continual increasings and decrea∣sings do lead our heart, Luna rursus nascitur, & impletur, sed impleta non permanet, sed rursus minuitur. If this cause hit the nail right we should ebb sometimes as well as flow in our wishes, which is not incident to our continual thirstiness. Rather, says Page  901 a second, such things as we desire, their substance doth not enter into our heart, but simulacra & umbra earum, their colours, and shadows, and a shadow or a fancy takes no room, the place is as empty for all them as ever it was before. A third makes this ingenuous observation, Nemo nostrûm se esse unum cogitat; Every man reckons of himself to be more than one, rather to be a great Troop than a single Creature: And because he may be a Sire of many Generations, he wearies him∣self with wishing much, as if he would provide for a multitude that could not be numbred. But take these two Reasons in a Theological way, the greater part of men glut themselves with pleasures that stink in Gods nostrils; they creep into the advancements of honour by undeserving means; they grow rich by deceit and op∣pression, wherefore the Lord sends a disturbance upon their Spirit, that they take as little pleasure in that they have, as in that they have not: They drink the wa∣ters of bitterness, therefore they shall thirst the more and be tormented. But where there are moderate and lawful pleasures, well merited honours, just and godly gain, I dare say no such vertiginous vexation shall fall upon them. When God gives riches he gives quietness withal unto the heart; The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he doth add no sorrows with it, Prov. x. 22. Besides, since we refuse the Lord for the chief and principal content, his curse comes down upon all things else that they shall never content us. When Julian did attempt to build up the Temple of Jerusa∣lem again, as many stones as were laid in the day were thrown down by God's ven∣geance in the night. In the day time every man is building a Babel in his own heart, and laying stone upon stone; after he hath slept, and is awake again, his heart be∣gins to meditate upon new crotchets and devices, he vilifies all that he did intend before, unless he can frame it better, and thus every day brings new sorrows and imaginations to the Appetite.

The Prophet Hosea doth insinuate this similitude, that the heart doth itch after this delight, and the other, but never resolve it self where it will stay: As some Youngsters love to court and wooe their Mistris many years, but never to con∣summate a Marriage. So the Prophet, Chap. ii. 7. She shall follow after her Lovers, but she shall not overtake them. Alas, how can we overtake what we would have, when we set our selves no bounds, but run after every thing that is before us? It is like the Fable of the Hare and the Hedghog; the Hedghog challenged the Hare to run: And because the Hare was far the swifter, a thousand Hedghogs laid themselves in several distances in the way, and when the Hare had out-run an hundred, there were nine hundred still before it. So if our covetous affections do prick us on to over-take every Hedghog that runs before, we shall put our selves to an endless labour, and weary our souls with vanity. Set your self this short Stage which I shall tell you, and it is quickly run. Whatsoever the Lord gives me in this life my heart shall be contented if he will give me himself. I shall be satisfied with his good∣ness as out of a River; and he that drinketh of those waters which Christ shall give him, He shall never thirst. AMEN.