THE TRUE ZEALOT. A Sermon preached at the Archbishops visitation in Saint Dunstans. THE FOURTEENTH SERMON.
The zeale of thine house hath eaten mee up.
THe parcell of Scripture whence I have taken my text is a sacred sculpture or Hieroglyphicke, consisting of
- 1 An embleme or imprese:
- 2 A motto or word.
The embleme presenteth to us the Temple with a kinde of Faire in it; and a man (which is the sonne of man) with a scourge of small cords, dri∣ving out all the buyers and sellers, and powring downe their money, and overthrowing their tables and stalles. The motto, word or sentence, is that which I have already spoken in your hearing, viz. The zeale of thine house hath eaten mee up. The exemplification of the embleme I commend to him, to whom our Saviour hath left his whip to void, & cleanse this tem∣ple, and to discipline all sorts of bad merchants in it. The motto or word be∣longeth properly to them to publish & proclaime it, whose stile is vox cla∣mantium, the voice ofacryers; not the sweet voice of singers to lull men a∣sleep in security, with melodious streines of time-serving & eare-pleasing Madrigals and Fancies: but the strong and loud voice of Cryers, to Page 186 call all men into the Court, and summon them to the barre of Christs judgement: hee that promiseth his Apostles and their successors to give them abmouth, hath given mee at this time both the mouth and the Motto, the Motto of the embleme, viz. the words of my text, Zelus domus tuae devoravit me. In the uttering whereof if ever, now I need to pray that the Lord wouldctouch my tongue with a coale from his altar; with a coale, that I may speake warmely of zeale; with a coale from the altar, that I may discourse holily of his Temple. SaintdBernard made the like prayer upon the like occasion: O, saith hee, that there were given unto mee from the al∣tar above, not one coale, but rather a fiery globe, a heape of coales, to scorch the abuses of the time, and burne out the inveterate rust of vitious customes. By the light of these coales you may behold in this Scripture,
- 1 In David as the type, Christ,
- 2 In Christ, as the mirrour of perfection, zeale,
- 3 In zeale as a fire,
- 1 The flame,
- 2 The fuel.
The flame, vehement, consuming, or devouring, devoravit.
The fuel sacred, me, mee.
No divine vertues or graces like to Christs affection:
No affection in him like to his zeale:
No zeale like to that which hee bare, or rather wherewith hee was transported to his Fathers house, which even eat him up; and may deser∣vedly take up this golden moment of our most pretious time. May it please you therefore, Right, &c. to suffer your religious eares to bee bored at this present with these sacred nayles, or points, which I humbly pray the holy Spirit to fasten in your hearts:
- 1 The vertue or affection it selfe, zeale.
- 2 The object of this affection, thy house.
- 3 The effect of this object, hath eaten up.
- 4 The subject of this effect, mee.
- 1 In figure, David.
- 2 In truth, Christ.
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; and who is sufficient for these things? or able wor∣thily to treat of
- 1 An affection most ardent, zeale.
- 2 A place most sacred, thine house.
- 3 An effect most powerfull, hath eaten up.
- 4 A person most divine, mee?
Zeale is derived from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to burne, or hizze, as water cast on metall mel∣ted, Page 187 and it signifieth a hot or burning desire, an ardent affection: and some∣times it is taken
1 For 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or emulation, which is a commendable desire of attai∣ning unto anothers vertue or fame.
2 For 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, envie, which is a vitious affection, repining at anothers fame or fortune.
3 For 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 jealousie, which is an irkesome passion arising from love wronged, at least in opinion. And no other fire wee finde on natures forge, or the Philosophers hearth; but on Gods altar there burneth another manner of fire, fed with pure fuell, which like a waxe light or taper, yeel∣deth both a cleare flame and a sweet fume; and this is holy zeale. All things that are cast into the fire make a smell; but the burning of sweet odors one∣ly makes a perfume: so the hot and fervent
- 1 Desire of,
- 2 Intention in,
- 3 Affection to the best things onely, is zeale.
Fire is the noblest of all the elements, and seated next to the heavens: so zeale sparkling in the soule is the chiefe and most heavenly of all spirituall affections. Some define it to bee the fervour, intention, excellency, or im∣provement of them all.
- 1 Ine devotion, if it exceed becommeth zeale.
- 2 Inf affection, if it be improved groweth to be zeale.
- 3 Ing desire of spirituall gifts, if it bee ardent is zeale.
- 4 Inh indignation, or revenge of our selves, if it bee vehe∣ment, is called by the Apostle zeale.
Fervent devotion, ardent love, earnest desire, vehement indignation, all are zeale, or rather are all zeale: for there is a
- 1 Zeale of good things, which maketh us zealous of Gods gifts.
- 2 Zeale in good things, which maketh us zealous in Gods service.
- 3 Zeale for good things, which maketh us zealous for Gods glory.
- 1 The first heateth us, by kindling a desire of grace.
- 2 The second burneth, by enflaming our hearts with the love of God.
- 3 The third consumeth, by drying up the heart, absuming the spirits with griefe, and hazzarding our persons and estates in removing scandals, and reforming abuses and profanations of God his name, house, or worship, as also revenging wrongs done to his houshold and servants.
In summe, zeale is a divine grace grounded upon the knowledge of Page 188 Gods word, which according to the direction of spirituall wisedome, quickeneth and enflameth all the desires and affections of the soule in the right worship of the true God; and vehemently and constantly stirreth them up to the preserving, advancing, and vindicating his honour by all lawfull meanes within the compasse of our calling. Rectum sui est judex & obliqui: If you set a streight line or rule to a crooked figure or body, it will discover all the obliquities in it. Hang up an artificiall patterne by an un∣skilfull draught, and it will shew all the disproportions and deformities in it. Wherefore Aristotle giveth this for a certaine 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or character of a true definition, to notifie and discover all the errors that are, or may be de∣vised about the nature of the thing defined; which are in this present sub∣ject wee treat of, sundry and manifold. For as when there is publicke no∣tice given of a ring found, with a rich stone set in it, every one almost that ever was owner of a ring like unto it, especially if his owne bee lost, chal∣lengeth it for his: so all in whose temper, affections or actions, any natu∣rall or spirituall, divine or diabolicall, heavenly, earthly or hellish fire glow∣eth, challengeth the pretious coale or carbuncle of zeale to bee theirs. The Cholericke and furious, the quarrelsome and contentious, the malicious and envious, the jealous and suspicious, the Idolatrous and superstitious, the in∣discreet and preposterous, the proud selfe-admirer, the sacrilegious Church-robber, the presumptuous and exorbitant zealot, nay the seditious boutefieu and incendiary, all pretend to zeale. But all these claimers and many more besides, are disproved and disclaimed by the true definition of zeale: which is, first, a grace, and that distinct from other; not more graces, or a com∣pound of love and anger, as some teach; or of love and indignation, as others: for the graces of the spirit, and vertues of the minde are incoincident. As where divers candles or torches in a roome concurre to enlighten the place, the light of them remaineth impermixt, as the Optickes demonstrate by their severall shadowes: so all the divine graces conjoyne their lustre and vertue to adorne, and beautifie the inward man; yet their nature remaines distinct, as their speciall effects make it evident to a single and sharp-sigh∣ted eye. God was in the bush that burned and consumed not, yet God was not the bush. The holy Ghost was in the fiery cloven tongues, yet the holy Ghost was not the tongues. The spirits runne along in the arteries with the purer and refined blood, yet the spirits are not the blood. The fire insinua∣teth it selfe into all the parts of melted metall, and to the eye nothing ap∣peareth but a torrent of fire, yet the fire is not the metall: in like manner zeale shineth and flameth in devotion, love, godly jealousie, indignation, and other sanctified desires and affections, it enflameth them as fire doth metall, it stirreth and quickeneth them as the spirits doe the blood, yet zeale is not those passions, neither are all, or any of them zeale; howsoever the schooles, rather out of zeale of knowledge than knowledge of zeale, have determined the contrary.
2 Secondly, zeale is defined to bee, not a morall vertue, but a divine gift or grace of the Spirit: the Spirit of God is the efficient cause, and the Spirit of man is the subject; which the Apostle intimates in that phrase,i〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, being fervent or zealous in Spirit. This fire, like that of the Vestals, is kindled from heaven by the beames of the Sunne of righteous∣nesse,Page 189 not from any kitchen on earth, much lesse from hell. They there∣fore qui irae suae stimulum zelum putant, they who imagine the flashes of naturall choler are flames of spirituall zeale, toto coelo errant, are as farre from the marke as heaven is distant from the earth. No naturall or morall temper, much lesse any unnaturall and vitious distemper, can commend us or our best actions to God and men as zeale doth. The fire of zeale like the fire that consumed Solomons sacrifice, commeth downe from heaven; and true zealots are not those Salamanders or Pyrausts that alwayes live in the fire of hatred and contention; but Seraphims, burning with the spirituall fire of divine love, who, as Saint Bernard well noteth, kept their ranke and station in heaven, when the other Angels of Lucifers band, that have their names from light, fell from theirs. Lucifer cecidit, Seraphim stant, to teach us that zeale is a more excellent grace than knowledge, even in An∣gels that excell in both. Howbeit though zeale as farre surpasse know∣ledge as the sunne-beame doth a glow-worme, yet zeale must not be with∣out knowledge. Wherefore God commandeth the Priest when heekligh∣teth the lamps to burne incense: though the fire bee quicke, and the incense sweet, yet God accepteth not of the burning it to him in the darke. The Jewes had a zeale, as thel Apostle acknowledgeth; and the Apostle him∣selfe before his conversion, yet because it wanted knowledge, it did them and the Church of God great hurt. No man can bee ignorant of the dire∣full effects of blind zeale: when an unskilfull Phaeton takes upon him to drive the chariot of the sunne, hee sets the whole world in a combustion. What a mettled horse is without a bridle, or a hot-spurred rider without an eye, or a ship in a high winde and swelling saile without a rudder, that is zeale without knowledge; which is like the eye in the rider to choose the way, or like the bridle in the hand to moderate the pace, or like the rudder in the ship to steere safely the course thereof. SaintmBernard hits full on this point: Discretion without zeale is slow paced, and zeale without dis∣cretion is heady; let therefore zeale spurre on discretion, and discretion reyne zeale; fervor discretionem erigat, & discretio fervorem regat. Discre∣tion must guide zeale, as it is guided by spirituall wisedome, not worldly policy: and therefore
Thirdly, I adde in the definition of zeale, that it quickeneth and enfla∣meth all our holy desires and affections according to the direction of spirituall wisdome. For wisdome must prescribe zeale, when, and where, and how far, and in what order to proceede in reforming all abuses in Church and State, and performing all duties of religious piety, and eminent charity. What Isocrates spake sometime of valour or strength, is as true of zeale, viz.nthat zeale and resolution with wisedome doth much good, but without, it doth much mischiefe to our selves and others; like granadoes and other fire-works, which if they be not well looked to, and ordered when they breake, do more hurt to them that cast them than to the enemie. Yet that we be not deceived in mistaking worldly policy for wisdome, I adde spirituall, to dif∣ference it from carnall, morall, or civill wisedome; for they are too great coolers, they will never let zeale exceed the middle temper of that* States∣man in Tiberius Court, who was noted to bee a wise and grave Counseller, of a faire carriage, and untainted reputation; but hee wouldo never strike a Page 190 stroake against the streame, hee would never owne any mans quarrell, hee would bee sure to save one. Such is the worldly wise man, hee will move no stone, though never so needfull to bee removed, if hee apprehend the least feare that any part of the wall will fall upon himselfe. Thep Romane Consul, and incomparable Oratour shall bee no president for him; who imployed all his force and strength to keepe off those waves from the great ves∣sel of the State, which rebounded backe againe, and had neere drowned the cocke-boate of his private fortune. Hee will never ingage himselfe so farre in any hot service, no not though Gods honour and the safety of the Church lye at stake, but that he will be sure to come off without hazzard of his life or estate. Hee hath his conscience in that awe that it shall not cla∣mour against him for not stickling in any businesse that may peradventure reflect upon his state, honour, or security. In a word, peradventure he may bee brought with much adoe to doe something for God, but never to suf∣fer any thing for him. This luke-warme Laodicean disposition, the lesse offensive it is to men, the more odious it is to God, who is a jealous God, and affecteth none but those that are zealous for his glory; he loveth none but those that will bee content to expose themselves to the hatred of all men for his names sake. Heeq accurseth all those in the name of Meros that refuse to come in their best equipage to aide the Lord against the mighty.rAnastasius the Emperour for his luke-warmnesse in the Catholicke cause, and endevouring to reconcile the Arrians and Orthodoxe, or at least silence those differences, was strucken to death with a hot thunder-bolt. No Sa∣crifice is acceptable to God that is not salted with the fire of zeale, which guided by wisedome quickneth and enflameth all the inward desires as well as the outward actions, that appertaine to religion: for the chiefe seat of zeale is the fountaine of heat, and that is the heart; there itsbubbled in Da∣vid, there itt burned in the disciples, itu consumed and dryed up the very substance of the heart in Christ. If our zeale burne not inwardly as well as outwardly, as well upwards towards God, as downewards towards the world; if it enflame not our charity as well as incense our piety; if the heat of it bee cooled by age, or slacked by opposition, or extinguished even by floods of bloody persecution, it is no true Vestall fire, nor such as becom∣meth Gods altar: for that might never, this did never go out; sincerity it selfe is not so opposite to hypocrisie, as zeale. Sincerity without zeale is a true, but a cold and faint-hearted, zeale is an eager, fierce, hot, and couragious ene∣my of all hypocrites, whom shee brandeth with an eternall note of infa∣my. But because all fires are in a manner alike to the eye, how should wee know holy fire from prophane, heavenly from earthly, that is, zeale from enraged hypocrisie; pretending with Jehu, that hee is zealous for the Lord of hostes? I answer, as a precious Diamond is valued, by three things:
- 1 Inward lustre:
- 2 Number of caracts:
- 3 Solidity of substance.
- 1 Sincerity; I have loved thy testimonies with my heart,* yea my whole heart.
- 2 Integrity; I have had respect unto all thy commandements:* all false wayes I abhorre.
- 3 Constancy; I have kept thy lawes unto the end.*
When the face and hands and outward parts burne, as in a feaver, the heart is so cold that it quaketh and shivereth: so it is with the hypocrite, his tongue alwayes, and his hands too sometimes burne,
Secondly, as insincerity discries the hypocrite, so also want of integrity. Take the hypocrite that maketh the fairest offer to zeale, though hee out∣strippe some it may bee in some works of piety, and duties of the first Ta∣ble, you shall take him tardy in most acts of charity, and duties of the se∣cond Table. Peradventure he will slay smaller sinnes with the sword of the Spirit, like the meanest of the Amalekites, but hee will spare Agag and the principall, his gainefull sinnes of simony, sacriledge, usury, and oppression; hee is never
By the marks I have now set upon the hypocrite, you may descry him, and sever him from a zealous Christian: & by those which follow in the de∣finition of zeale, Enflaming all the desires and affections in the true worship of the true God, the holy fire of the sanctuary is distinguished from all such strange fire as our Nadabs and Abihu's, superstitious, idolatrous, seditious, or presumptuous zealots offer.
Page 1941 The lay Papist is a kinde of zealot; for his zeale eates up his time and his estate too: yet hee is not zealous, because his zeale is not employed and exercised in the true worship of God, according to his word, but accor∣ding to mans will and invention; viz. in praying to Saints, in worshipping images, in suffrages for the dead, in seeing Masses, and adoring the hoste, and telling out a fet number of Pater-nosters, and Ave-Maries upon hal∣lowed beads, in making superstitious vowes, and going in pilgrimage, and abstaining from certaine meates, and wearing haire-cloth, and whipping themselves, and creeping on all foure to a crucifix, and the like: of all which wee demand as God doth of the Jewes by the Prophet Esay,hWho requi∣red these things?
2 The idolatrous heathen is a kinde of zealot: for hee is not content to offer beasts onely to God, with the Jew, but men also to their gods. For in some places they sacrifice their children, as among the Moabites: in o∣thers their fathers, as among the Triballi: elsewhere their princes or priests, as among the Indians: and in some countryes themselves, as among the Americans: yet for all this their throwing themselves into, or causing others to passe through the fire to their Moloch, or Saturne, or Abaddon, they are not to bee accounted zealously affected in religion, because what they doe in this kinde, is not done by Gods commandement, nor intended to his honour; but in obedience, and to the honour of an Idoll, or Devill, whom they worship in stead of the true God.
3 The Jesuite, or Jesuited Romanist is a kinde of zealot: for hee will compasse sea and land to make a proselyte, hee will sticke at nothing for the advantage of the catholike cause, no not the sticking or stabbing of Kings and Princes: his zeale is so hot, that it will kindle a fire to blow up whole Parliaments for an Holocaust to the Romane Moloch; yet is hee not zea∣lous, because hee is hot and fervent, not for Christ, but for Antichrist; and hee useth not sanctified, but execrable and damnable meanes to promote the catholike cause (as he termeth it) and enlarge the territories of the Man of sinne.
The last condition of true zeale is, that it keepe within the walke of mens speciall calling, which they who confound, for the most part bring confu∣sion upon themselves, as did King Uzziah, who would bee thought out of zeale to burne incense unto the Lord; but because hee tooke upon him to doe that whichiappertained not to him, but to the Priests of the Lord the sonnes of Aaron, that were consecrated thereunto, his incense stanke in the nostrils of God,* and himselfe also: for a leprosie rose up in his forehead before the Priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar; and Azariah the chiefe Priest thrust him out of the Temple,* yea himselfe hasted also to goe out, because the Lord had smitten him. Nothing is more necessary or usefull than fire, if it bee kept within the furnace, oven, or tunnell of the chimney, yea or within the barrell of the piece, and from thence orderly issue out; but nothing so dangerous if it bee not contained within the hearth, or breake out of it selfe, and flye abroad: so nothing is more commendable or profitable than well guided, nothing more in∣commodious and perillous than exorbitant zeale; when the Prince medleth with the censer, or the Priest with the scepter: when private men take Page 195 the sword out of the Magistrates hand, or the Magistrate mis-applyeth the publike sword of justice to revenge his private wrongs.
Thus have I at length defined zeale, and confined it within the limits of every mans lawfull and speciall calling. Which limits shall be the bounds of my speech and your attention at this present. The bestkbalsamum and most soveraigne, is that which is biting in the taste, and burning in the mouth: such have beene the observations upon this text, biting in the taste, and hot in the mouth. God grant that like true balsamum they may prove a savour of life unto life to all that have heard me this day. I am come with our Saviours Commission, to put fire among you; and what is my desire, but that forthwith it be kindled, to purge out all your drosse, to purifie the sons of Levi likel sil∣ver, to burne up all hay and stubble built upon the foundation of our most holy faith, and lastly, to consume all our spirituall sacrifices? But non opis est nostrae, non opus est nostrum; alas it is not my breath will doe it, it must bee the blast of Gods holy Spirit, that can first kindle, and after keepe this sa∣cred fire in the hearth of our hearts. To him therefore who descended in themsimilitude of fiery cloven tongues, let us lift up our hearts, hands, and voi∣ces, beseeching him to tind and preserve this spirituall fire in our
- 1 Hearts,
- 2 Eares,
- 3 Tongues,
- 4 Hands; that wee may bee zealously affected to Godward, in meditating on him, in hearing from him, in praying to him, in doing and suffering for him. To knit up all in a word, His grace make us sincerely, entirely, discreetly, and constantly zealous,
- 1 Of his gifts,
- 2 In his service,
- 3 For his honour: to whom bee ascribed all ho∣nour, glory, &c.