A sermon preached before the Right Honourable House of Lords, in the Abbey-Church at Westminster, Wednesday the 28. of May 1645.: Being the day appointed for solemne and publick humiliation.
Henderson, Alexander, 1583?-1646.
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A SERMON PREACHED BEFORE THE RIGHT HONOU∣RABLE HOUSE OF LORDS, IN THE ABBEY-CHURCH AT Westminster, Wednesday the 28. of May 1645. Being the day appointed for solemne and publick humiliation.

BY ALEXANDER HENDERSON, Minister at Edenburgh.


MAT. 6.10.

Thy Kingdome Come.

LONDON, Printed by F. N. for Robert Bostock, dwelling in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Kings-head. 1645.

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To the Christian Reader.

NOt any desire or confidence of mine owne, but submission and obedience, made me first preach, and now print this Sermon. Not any opinion or esteeme I have of it, but example and custome, have moved mee to set some words before it; These have I directed generally to the Christian Reader, that I may not onely include the Noble Lords of Parliament, if any amongst them shall be pleased to looke this way; but may also invite all other Christian Readers (and such I wish all Readers to be) to bestow some of their most serious thoughts upon so precious and excellent a subject, as is the Kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; which is here but generally hinted and briefly touched, but is represented to the life in Scrip∣ture, and to the full treated and debated by Divines. Jesus Christ by vertue of the three Offices, of his Pro∣phesie, Priesthood, and Kingdome, is made unto us of God, Wisdome and Righteousnes and Sanctification and Redemption. His sufficiency and sutablenesse to be un∣to us a Saviour, consisteth in the dignitie of his Per∣son, and in his willing undertaking and faithfull ad∣ministration Page  [unnumbered]of these his Offices: The Summe of the Grace given us through communion with him, is com∣prised in these inestimable benefits; Without the one he could not be a perfect Saviour, without the other our salvation cannot be perfect. It hath been of old and is at this day a just complaint, that of the Offices of Christ, his Kingdome is least considered of, and most mistaken; Which as it is dishonour to his Name, so is it a mightie hinderance to the comfort of some, to the sanctification of others, and to the salvation of many; and is a maine cause of the many disorders and scandals in the Church of Christ.

The Papists will have their Pope, by reason of the Kingdome of Christ, to be the head and (which is the same) the King of the Church, and at least in ordine ad spiritualia, to be the head and King of the Kings of the Earth. A seect of Politicks, which subject Religion to Policie, and Christ to the world, will have the su∣preame civill power, at least in ordine ad temporalia, to be the Head and King of the Church; And both the one and the other doe turne the Kingdome of Christ into a worldly Kingdome. Ignorant and carnall Pro∣fessors are content to be served with Christ, as a Pro∣phet to teach them, and a Priest to satisfie and make intercession for them, but are not willing to serve Christ as their King, that he may rule over them. And many modest and peaceable Christians suffer themselves to be robbed or cousened, if not of the one halfe, yet of a necessary and large part of the Kingdome of Christ, while they either satisfie them∣selves with the internall influence of Christ their Page  [unnumbered]Head, upon their own spirits, or give way to such as for their owne ends would have them beleeve, that the whole administration of the Kingdome of Christ is internall, not distinguishing betwixt that which is spi∣rituall, and that which is internall, nor considering the externall administration of the Kingdome of Christ, although it be in this world, yet to be spirituall and heavenly, and not of this world. Judicious Martin Bucer in the beginning of the Reformation, wrote to pious Prince Edward the sixt, two books of Church-policie, to which he prefixeth the title De Regno Chri∣sti, of the Kingdome of Christ. The complaints pow∣red forth by him at that time against the wise-men of this world, and the common sort of people, as ene∣mies to Christs Kingdome, may be now renewed, and with new aggravations; so rare a thing is it in any age to finde a people disposed to receive the whole Kingdome of the Sonne of God.

It should not seeme strange, that formerly such as desired to decline the one extreame of Prelaticall ty∣ranny, having nothing to stay them in their way, no∣thing in the middle to rest upon, and to associate them∣selves unto, did run to the other extreame of popular Anarchy; But now when from the mercy of God, by advice of the Assembly and Authoritie of Parliament, the case shall be changed, and a remedy provided, the people of God will know where to fix their judge∣ment and choice. Can any wise-man imagine, that such a Chaos of Anarchy, Libertinisme, and popular confusion, as now covereth the face of this Kingdome, and wherein all errors and sects cover their Heads Page  [unnumbered]under the Catholick Buckler of Independency, that such a Tohu Vavohu, can be the face of the Kingdome of Christ, or the work of the new Creation; of which it may be said, And God saw that it was good. Can any of the godly think that the Kingdome of Christ draw∣eth the minds of men from the humble exercise of faith, to the ambition of new and vaine opinions, that it transformeth Religion into fancy, vertue into spe∣culation, zeale into contention, truth into policy, and charitie into faction? Doth not the present posture of Religion, and the constitution of the Church (which yet is not so Independent, as it is by some desired to be) call as loud for a Reformation, and for setling of Re∣ligion, as the former did, before a Reformation was begun? And may wee not say, that wee have spent our strength in vaine, and purchased our misery at a great price, if wee shall rest where wee are, that is, in Inde∣pendency? I should not exceed, if I should say; Were wee all agreed in all things, except in the point of Independency, wee would quickly run againe into divi∣sions; And that nothing in a Family, in a Citie, in a Kingdome, in a State, or in a Church, hath more need of Reformation, then that Independency, which all men in all Societies naturally love and seek after. The Go∣vernment of the Church by subordination of Assem∣blies, hath endured much opposition and many tryals, and is at this day set upon at all hands, yet is the Pro∣verbiall speech of the Hebrewes verified concerning it, Myrtus stans inter urticas, Myrtus tamen est, & vocatur Myrtus, The myrtle standing amongst nettles, is for all that, the myrtle, and is so called; And necessitie will Page  [unnumbered]drive all that love the preservation of Religion, and peace of the Church, unto this shelter and sanctuary at last, although in faire weather some kicke against it, and would not onely pull at the branches, but pluck it up by the roots. When after all these tempests and troubles, the Kingdome of Christ is uniformly setled in the Land, Christ Jesus will be seene in his beautie and strength, his people will be filled with truth and peace, and the instruments of so good a work, especial∣ly such as remove impediments out of the way, shall against all envy and aemulation have their own testimo∣ny and honour; according to the Hebrew Sentence; Nisi ipse elevasset lapidem, non fuisset inventa sub eo haec margarita, if the stone had not been lifted, the pearle had not been found under it.

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Die Mercurii, 28. Maii. 1645.

IT is this day ordered by the Lords in Parlia∣ment, that Mr. HENDERSON, who preached this day before the LORDS in Parliament, is hereby thanked for the great paines he tooke in his Sermon; And is desired by their Lordships to print and publish the same, which his not to be printed or reprinted by any, but by Authority under his own hand.

Jo: Browne Cler Parliament.

ERRATA.

PAge 5. line 10. read forth. p. 10. l. 9. for indure r. obdure. p. 22. l. 26. r. na∣turall l. 28. r. him. p. 25. l. 11. r. clownishnes.

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A SERMON PREACHED Before the Right Honorable House of LORDS.


JOHN 18.

36 Jesus answered, My Kingdome is not of this world: if my Kingdome were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Iewes. But now is my Kingdome not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a King then? Iesus answered, thou sayest that I am a King. To this end was I borne, and for this cause came I unto the world, that I should beare witnesse of the truth: every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.

IT is acknowledged, and universally confessed, that Justice or Righteousnesse is a noble and most ex∣cellent vertue. When the dipute was betwixt Justice and Fortitude, Righteousnesse and Cou∣rage, whether of the two should have the first place, both of them being most noble Vertues, Justice was pre∣ferred, because Courage without Justice, is of nouse; but if all men were just, there should be no need of Courage or Forti∣tude. This Justice is a constant and perpetuall will of giving Page  2unto every one his due, it rendreth to the inferiour what is due to him; to the equall, what he ought to have; and to the supe∣riour, but most of all to God, and to his Sonne Jesus Christ, who are supream, what belongeth to them. There be in these dayes many complaints of the want of military skill and courage for the truth and cause of God; but the complaint of the want of Justice is more just: For if all men were just, the former com∣plaint would be silenced. And there be many complaints of inferiors, of equals, and of superiors, that they receive not that which belongeth unto them: but the Sonne of God, who is su∣pream and soveraigne above all, may more justly complaine, that he getteth not his right: which is the greatest injustice in the world, and the cause of so great injustice amongst men. And therefore the cause of the great wrath of God, which to deprecate and to turn away, we are humbled before God, and doe afflict our souls this day. Oh that the conclusion might be, a resolution in all, according to their places and callings, to render unto Christ his own right.

This parcell of Scripture containing the answer of Jesus Christ unto Pilate, before whom hee witnessed a good confessi∣on, holdeth forth his right: for being accused by Pilate of the highest degree of ambition, sedition, and rebellion, and indeed of no lesse then laese-Majestie: he desendeth himselfe by disco∣vering the causes of these Tragedies, and by revealing the my∣steries of his Kingdome, confessing that he was indeed a King; but withall, shewing that his Kingdome needed not to be for∣midable either to Pilate, to his master Tiberius, or to any in au∣thority, because his Kingdome was not of this world. This he maketh manifest, from the common condition and manner of earthly Kingdomes, and Kings, which have their Souldiers and Guards that fight for them, and defend them from vio∣lence, but he maketh not use of any: this being the end of his Kingdome, that the truth of the Gospel may prevail and reigne in the hearts and lives of men, against the tyranny of darknesse and lies. Nor should it seeme any thing strange, that hee hath so many adversaries, and his Kingdom findeth so great opposi∣tion Page  3in the world, there being so few whether of the Church or State, that submit themselves to be captived and ruled by the truth: none are subjects of his Kingdome to obey his voyce, but such as by regeneration are the children of the truth, which is parallell to what he saith, Matth. 11.19. But wisdome is justified of her children.

There be four principall points aimed at in the Text: First, the dominion and soveraignty of Christ, My Kingdome.

Secondly, the condition and quality of the Kingdome of Christ, negatively expressed, as best serving his present inten∣tion: My Kingdome is not of this world.

Thirdly, the end and use of his Kingdome, that the truth may have place among the children of men for their salvation and eternall happinesse, To this end was Iborn, and for this cause came I unto the world, that I should be are witnesse unto the truth.

Fourthly, the subjects of the Kingdome of Christ, such as heare the voyce of Christ, and obey his will: Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voyce.

The knowledge of the first is necessary, that the Son of God may have his due, and we may be humbled for not rendring it unto him.

The knowledge of the second is necessary, that Kings, Prin∣ces, and great ones in the world may have what is due unto them, lest from their unjust suspitions, and evill grounded jea∣lousies, they become enemies to the Kingdome of Christ, and that they may be humbled for lodging any such thoughts or fears in their hearts.

The third is necessary to be knowne, that we may have the benefit intended for us in the Gospel, and be humbled, that we have not endeavoured as we ought, to find the comfort and power of the truth in our hearts and lives.

And the fourth is necessary, that wee may henceforth shew ourselves to be the children of truth, and willing subjects of the Kingdome of the Sonne of God.

That Jesus Christ is not onely our Prophet, revealing unto us the whole will of God, by the Law discovering unto us our Page  4sinne and wretchednesse, and by the Gospel righteousnesse and life: and our Priest, by himselfe offered in a sacrifice, purging us from sin, and arraying us with long garments, clean and white, which is the righteousnesse of the Saints: but that as our supream Lord and King, by his mighty power, and sove∣raignty, he ruleth in us, and over us, & conserveth and main∣taineth our blessed estate thus revealed and purchased, against all enemies, is a truth as necessary for us to know, but never e∣nough acknowledged, so very much insisted on in Scripture, as may appeare:

First, by the Titles of honour and dignity put upon him; A Commander, a Captain, a Ruler of Governour, a Prince, Michael the great Prince, a King, the Prince of the Kings of the earth, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, the Lord of all. By these Titles is he known in the way of eminencie. What is most emi∣nent in Rulers, Princes, or Kings, all their excellencies, and flowers of perfection, are most eminently and egre∣giously found in him; in the way of negation, all their er∣rors, infirmities and imperfections, which are many, and too many are farre from him, and in the way of causation (as they speak) for with him is the originall and prime cause of all that is excellent in them.

Secondly, by the many great and glorious promises and prophesies of the Kingdome of Christ, which cannot be recko∣ned up, (so many are they) in this shortnesse of time; and are to every one that readeth the Prophesies of the old Testament, so obvious.

Thirdly, the same is manifest by the administration and exe∣cution of his office, in giving lawes unto his people, and executing them, in giving gifts unto his servants for the good of his people, in ruling his people by his Word and Spirit, in defend∣ing and delivering them from their enemies, and in subduing and destroying their enemies in the end.

Fourthly, the same is evident also by the homage and honour which the whole Church militant and triumphant give unto him. And I beheld, and I heard the voyce of many Angels, Page  5round about the Throne, and the living Creatures, and the Elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a lowd voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdome, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing: And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are of the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever, Rev. 5.11, 12, 13. It requireth an heart ready to indite, and a tongue as the pen of a ready Writer, to set forth the praises of this King, Psal, 45.1. Only three things I would say from the descriptions which we have in Scripture: One is, that the Kingdome of Christ was first made known to the Church when the promise was made to our first parents: The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, Gen. 3.15. The second is, that since that time till this day, he hath been reigning in the midst of his enemies, not onely after his coming in our flesh, but before the times of the Patriarcks and Prophets, and ever was known to the sub∣jects of his Kingdome. The third is, that his Kingdome hath been sometimes more obscure and under a cloud, as in the times of the old Testament, howsoever even then his hand was stretched out in delivering his people out of Egypt, in leading them through the wildernesse, and possessing them in the land of promise. And at the time of his suffering, howsoever the beames of his bringhtnesse did shine through the dark cloud: at other times the lustre and brightnesse thereof, hath been more apparant, as at the time of his exaltation: Thou art my Sonne, this day, this day of thy glorious resurrection, have I begotten thee, fulfilled the decree, and declared thee to be the Sonne of God. A Commentary whereof we have, Phil. 2.9, 10, 11. Where∣fore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earch, and things under the earth: And that every tongne should confesse that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And Ephes. 4.8. When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. These were his servants, Page  6who were sent forth to preach and proclaim him to be King: And although men ought to be sparing in determining the manner, the measure, the time, and indurance of a greater glo∣ry of the Kingdome of Christ on earth, to come; yet have we reason to hope for great things at the bringing in of the ancient people of God: but ought so to hope for it, that for the pre∣sent we may behold Christ reigning in his spiritual Kingdome, and to take heed that the expectation of that which is future, be not a prejudice to that which is present, and is come to passe in our dayes, more then in former times.

Some perhaps may think, that this is no great matter, or deep mystery; since no man can acknowledge Christ to be the eter∣nall Sonne of God, but he must also confesse, that he is King and Lord, and that all honour, and Titles of honour are due unto him. To which I answer, first, that there be many, what∣soever for their credit they may professe to the contrary, who do not in their hearts beleeve, that the Lord God, as a great King, ruleth the world: for they fight against the light of Na∣ture, and abuse their power and policie no lesse, then if they could rule the world without God: God is not in all their thoughts, Psal. 10.4. Secondly, a man may know that God is King and Ruler, and yet be ignorant that Christ God and Man is King. Nature which teacheth that there is a Godhead, leadeth also to a providence, but the other is a grand mystery, which can∣not be conceived but supernaturally. Thirdly, we are to un∣derstand, that Christ hath a twofold right unto his Kingdome: one by nature, as he is God; the other by donation, as he is Man. To me is given all power in heaven and in earth, so that the man Jesus Christ (which is a great mystery, and which the world beleeveth not) hath prerogative and power above all creatures in earth and in heaven, above all Nobles, Princes, and Kings; and (which is more,) above all Angels, Principalities and Powers.

Having thus shewed, that Christ hath a Kingdome, which made him to say, My Kingdome, I would now make some use of this point; but that I conceive it to be more convenient, Page  7first to speak of the quality of the Kingdome of Christ, and ha∣ving joyned both together, That he is a King, and that his Kingdome is not of this world, to give the uses of both at once.

The quality then of the Kingdome of Christ, negatively is this, That his Kingdome is not of this world: it is not an earth∣ly or worldly Kingdome, and therefore by consequence must be a spirituall and heavenly Kingdome. As it is a Kingdome, it hath many things common with the Kingdomes of the world: both the one and the other are of God, both for God and his glory, both for the good of the people: This being a perpetual difference between a Tyrant & a King, that a Tyrant conceiveth the people to be for him, and his ends; but a King knoweth, that he is set over the people for their good: both have their Lawes, and rule by them: both have their enemies, which oppose and disturb their peace. But this is the great difference, that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world: For first, Christ being called before Pilate, and being deman∣ded, whether he was a King, answered, That his Kingdome was not of this world, therefore his Kingdome is not a tempo∣rall and earthly Kingdome, nor would Pilate have pronounced him innocent and guiltlesse, if he had made any claime to Caesars Kingdome. This is very strongly proved by the follow∣ing words: If my Kingdome were of this world, then would my ser∣vants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; which yet ma∣keth nothing against the taking of Armes by such as are in au∣thority, for the defence of Religion, and the just Liberty of the Professors thereof. Secondly, Christ refused to be a King, when it was offered unto him, and told his Disciples, That the Kings of the Nations have dominion over them, and they that are great, exercise authority, but that it should not be so with them, but that whosoever would be great among them, must bee their Minister, Matth. 20.25. Thirdly, he refused to be a Judge of secular quarrels, or a divi∣der of inheritances, Luke 12.14. He came from heaven for things divine, to work upon the consciences of men, and was appoin∣ted to be Judge of quick and dead, but never medled with the Page  8office of a temporall King. Fourthly, he acknowledged that Caesar was King, saying, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars. Nor did the Prophets prophesie of any earthly Kingdome of Christ: For the Kingdome that they prophesied of, was to bee established and confirmed by him, but the Kingdome of Judea was ruined and overthrown for refusing him to be their spri∣tuall King: There shall not a stone be left upon a stone in Jerusalem, the chiefe Citie of that Kingdome, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation, saith Christ. This yet appeareth further, if we consider the qualities of these two kinds of Kingdomes more particularly: The Kingdomes of the world endure but for a time, and the periods and endings of them are matter not one∣ly of discourse before they come, but of tragedies after they are come: but the Kingdome of Christ shall not be destroyed for ever, And of his Kingdome there shall no end, Dan. 2.44. After his departure out of the earth, his Kingdome was in the grea∣test strength, and in a most flourishing condition, he then was gloriously manifested to be a King. The Kingdomes of the world are governed by the rules and counsels of humane pru∣dence and policie; but the Kingdome of Christ, by lawes of a∣nother kind, by the simplicity of the Gospel, which to the na∣turall man is foolishnesse. The Kingdomes of the world are supported by taxes and tributes, ceasments and subsidies; but no such thing in the Kingdome of Christ. The Kingdomes of the world consist in riches, honour, power of men, externall splendor, and earthly greatnesse; but in the Kingdome of Christ, poverty and humility, triumph over the world under the Standard of the Crosse. The Kingdomes of the world have carnall weapons, and strength of Armes to pursue their ends; but the weapons of the Kingdom of Christ are spiritual, to pro∣cure spirituall obedience unto him.

Many such differences may be observed, by which we may clearly perceive, that the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world. Yet one thing we must remember for preventing mi∣stakes, and which being rightly taken & understood, would put an end to many of the questions which are so much debated at Page  9this time, about Chruch-government. It is this: That we are to distinguish between that which is of this world, and that which is externall and visible in this world: The Kingdome of Christ is not of this world, yet some part of this Kingdome is externall and visible in this world: for there be two parts of the spirituall administration of Christs Kingdome; the one is the internall operation of the Spirit, accompanying the exter∣nall means, which are his Ordinances appointed by himselfe and his owne authority: the other is the externall dispensati∣on of these means and Ordinances by such officers as are cal∣led the Ministers of the Kingdome of Heaven. This doth ap∣pertaine to the Kingdome of Christ, and shall continue no lesse then the former, till he render up the Kingdomes into God the Father, 1 Cor. 15.24. This part of the administration of Christs Kingdome, although it be externall, yet it is not of this world, but spirituall: for it comes from the Spirit, and is done by the gifts of the Spirit: The Word and Sacraments, which are the matter of it, are things spirituall; for the manner of doing, it is by the evidence of the Spirit; the spirits and souls of men are the object of it; the end thereof is spirituall edification; and the effect, the ministery of the Spirit. So that in this respect also, the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world, but a spirituall Kingdome in both parts of the administration theoreof.

The Text thus expounded, is a fountaine full of springs of Doctrine; As first, that although Christ was a King, a Gover∣nour and Commander, as hath been formerly shewed, and was a Prophet also, and it may be now exercising that office, and testifying of his own Kingdome before Pilate; yet is it no warrant for Captaines or Commanders to preach the Gospel, and to become Prophets: because first he was a spirituall King and Commander, and not a temporall; and next, because he had a speciall calling. The Apostle, Rom. 10.14. telleth us, that men cannot preach unlesse they be sent. And this calling the Apostle judgeth to be so necessary, that the Son of God would not undertake that charge without a singular vocation, Heb. 5. Although a private man who runneth unsent, and an Am∣bassador Page  10who is authorized and sent, speak the same things, yet the one wants the authority which the other hath.

Secondly, although Jesus Christ knew well, that all that he could say, was not able to deliver him from death, or to do a∣ny good to the heart of Pilate for his conversion, yet he findeth himself bound to answer calumnies and unjust accusations, and to give a testimony of the truth: And so must the servants of God do, although their words do no more but serve to blindfold and indure blind and hard hearts, yet must they speak out the truth. It was the practice of the Prophets, Apo∣stles, and holy Martyrs, and in this as in other things, Mini∣sters and all others, who have by their place any calling to give testimony to the truth, must do their duty, committing the event unto God.

Thirdly, although Christ at this time was brought very low in the eyes of the world; yet he spareth not to speak of his Kingdome, and to call himself a King: Humiliation and ex∣inanition is in it selfe no derogation to right, but the right is the same in the estate and case of humiliation, and in the estate and case of exaltation: the case may change, and the estate be altered, but the right is without change, and standeth un∣alterable. So was it with Christ, and so is it in the cause of Christ, with the Church of Christ, and every beleeving soul.

Fourthly, as there be many things that are of this world, so there be other things that be not of this world. A truth which all will acknowledge in respect of this world and the world to come: but it holdeth also in this present world, wherein there be some things that are of it, and somethings that are in it, but not of it. The Kingdome of Christ, which hath many mysteries, many parts, many priviledges, many lawes, many subjects, is of this kind. The naturall man seeth no more in the world, then what he conceiveth to be of the world; but the spirituall man judgeth all things. And what the eye of the na∣turall man seeth not, what his eare heareth not, and what his reason understandeth not, because it is spirituall, and cannot be discerned but spiritually; that the spirituall man percei∣veth, Page  11and receiveth with all his heart, and is no lesse assured of the infallibility thereof, then of what he perceiveth by sense or reason: he knoweth what he beleeveth, and that he is not de∣ceived about it.

But passing over all these, and other the like particular do∣ctrines, which cannot at this time be prosecuted, I come to the necessary uses of that main and principall doctrine inten∣ded in the Text, and laid open by that which hath been spo∣ken: That Christ Jesus the Sonne of God hath a Kingdome in this world, and that this Kingdome is a spirituall Kingdome, and not of this world.

The first use shall be for Information in the point of agree∣ment and difference betwixt Civill and Ecclesiasticall power; the Kingdomes of this world, and the Kingdome of Christ; the Magistracie and the Ministery.

First, both the one and the other is from God: In the State there be superiors and inferiors: the Lord who hath appointed in nature the tall Cedar and the low Shrub growing at the root of it, the Elephant and the Mole, the Eagle and the Wren, the great Leviathan, and the smaller Fishes, hath also in poli∣cie appointed Kings, Princes, and Nobles, to rule and governe, and others of lower condition to honour and obey. In the Church some to teach and rule, and others to be taught and ruled by them.

Anabaptists (I speak of such as are not novices, but are ac∣quainted with the deeps of the profession) and other such ma∣sters of confusion, do not distinguish betwixt the common and particular vocations of Christians: betwixt a Christian e∣quality, and a Civill or Ecclesiastick inaquality. All Christi∣ans having alike pretious faith, in respect of their common dignity and vocation, as they are Christians and are in Christ, are equall amongst themselves, there is neither Master nor Ser∣vant, Bound nor Free, King nor Subject, Pastor nor people, but all are one in Jesus Christ: but this hindereth not an inequali∣ty in Civill or Ecclesiasticall respects. God who hath appoin∣ted them to be equall the one way, hath also appointed an in∣equality Page  12equality amongst them the other way. Notwithstanding this agreement betwixt the Magistracie and Ministery in respect of their Author, yet is there here also some difference betwixt the one and the other: for Magistracy proceedeth from God the Creator and Ruler of the world, and therefore doth be∣long unto, and is to be found amongst all sorts of people in all Nations that live in any civill society: But the Ministery is the Ordinance of Christ the Mediator, & hath not place but in the Church of Christ. Again, Magistracie and Civill government in the generall, is from God, and is ordained of him: But the particular different formes of Civill government are from men, and yet all of them lawfull: Whence it followeth, that Civill power is not absolute, but limited: First, by the will of God, whose Minister the Magistrate is. And next, by such lawes and limitations as are agreed upon to be the founda∣tion of that power. It is not so with the Ministery: For not onely is the Ministery in the generall the ordinance of Christ, but all the speciall kinds of Ministers are appointed by him. An humane creature in the State is not unlawfull; but to be, or appoint an humane creature in the Church, is unlawfull. A difference which Politickes and Church-men who love pre∣eminence above their brethren, are never enough moved to ac∣knowledge: Nor have the Ministers of Jesus Christ any limita∣tions from men: all their limitation is from Jesus Christ, whose Ministers they are.

There is also a second thing wherein the Magistracy and the Ministery doe agree: It is true indeed, that the Magistrate is more about things externall, which concern this present life; and the Minister about things spirituall, which concern the soule, and life eternall: yet is there nothing so Ecclesiasti∣call, but it belongeth some way to the Magistrate: he being keeper of both Tables: Nor is there any thing so secular, but it concerneth the Ministery, in so far as secular things fall un∣der obedience or disobedience to God: For the word of God is extended to all causes, all persons, all conditions of life: all which are to be ruled by the Word. And this Word is to be ex∣pounded, Page  13and must be particularly applied by the Ministery. But while both are about the same things, causes, and persons, it is in a very different way: the power of the one is but Mini∣steriall, & the weapons of his warfare are spiritual, not carnall: but the power of the other, though in respect of God, whose Minister he is, it be Ministeriall, yet in respect of his subjects, and inferiors, it is Magisteriall, and hath authority to compell and coerce. The Magistrate may not go to the Pulpit to preach or minister the Sacraments; nor may he, as he is a Magistrate, exercise Ecclesiasticall discipline: but ought by his authority to command all these necessary duties to be done. And the Minister may not ascend to the Tribunall to judge civill or criminall causes; yet ought he to teach, and in the Name of God exhort that justice be done to all, by which every one may have that which is due unto him. We may say with Ber∣nard, that the Church hath two Swords, the Spirituall and the Temporall, but in a different sort, the use of the spirituall and the benefit of the temporall. We may also say, that the Civill power hath two swords, the Temporall and the Spirituall, but in a different manner the use of the temporall, and the benefit of the spirituall. When these two Swords are put in good hands, and wisely managed, it goeth well both with Church and State, with Truth and Peace, with Religion and Righte∣ousnes. The Magistracy and the Ministery are not unfitly com∣pared to the two principall faculties of the soule of man, the Will and the Understanding (man being as well a Republick as a little world) the will of man hath two acts: one which is her proper and essentiall operation, it is called actus elicitus, as to will, to nill, or to suspend: the other is called actus imperatus, produced by another power, whether of the body or of the soule, as by the Understanding at the commandment of the Wll: For the Will may command the Mind or Understanding, quoad exercitium, although not quoad specificationem. The Magistrate hath actum elicitum, as his proper operation, about civill mat∣ters, as his proper object, but in spirituall things not so: He may neither preach nor minister the Sacraments, nor exercise Page  14discipline, yet hath he actum imperatum, he may and ought by his place to command Ministers to do all these duties. And if he be negligent in this, he sinneth against God. Upon the o∣ther part, the Minister may not judge civill or criminall causes, nor performe the proper offices of the civill power; yet as the Minister hath actum elicitum for performing of spirituall du∣ties, so hath he, although not actum imperatum, yet actum ex∣citatum, for exciting, and in the name of Christ exhorting and charging the Civill Powers to the performance of their duty.

This generall use of Doctrine may be brought neerer home, by the following use, which is for reproof of two main errors, which at this time make a great deal of trouble in the Christi∣an world, and which being once removed, there might be grea∣ter peace and quietnesse in Churches and Common-wealths: The one is of the most unjust & tyrannous claim made by the Pope, of temporall dominion over the whole world; or at least to intermeddle with the affaires of Princes and Kingdomes in reference to the Church, or as the Papists expresse themselves, in ordine ad spiritualia: For the Pope not contenting himselfe with the transcendency of Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction over the whole Church, though he hath no warrant for it, in his bound∣lesse and endlesse ambition, did climb yet higher; and partly by the favour, or foolishnesse rather, of Christian Princes; and partly by his own fraudulent and violent dealing, as the son of him who hath been a murtherer & a lier from the beginning, hath set himselfe up first amongst, and next over the greatest Princes and mightiest Emperours, to dispose of their Crownes and Dignities at his pleasure, which is the mark and character of him who is spoken of by the Apostle, 2 Thess. 2.4. Who sitteth in the Temple of God as God, shewing himself that he is God, and oppo∣sing and exalting himselfe above all that is called God. As the Text sheweth, that Christ was no earthly King, that he left no Regal power to Peter, and therefore the Pope can have no temporall power as the Vice-gerent of Christ, so the supream power to dispose of Kingdomes, and temporall things in reference to Page  15things spirituall, and the lawfulnesse of civill dominion, which the Pope claimeth by the donation of Princes, are overturned by the grounds laid in the Text: The Kingdome of Christ is not of this world. About this point there be three things which may astonish our hearts, and indeed are matters of admiration: one is, the wonderfull patience of God, suffering that man of sin so long to rage, and to be drunk with the blood of the Saints, which should make us to say with the Spirit and Bride, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly; the sins of that Sea are long since at the height, Lord, why tarriest thou? Never since the begin∣ning of the world was there such an example of divine pati∣ence. Learned men have applied themselves to search into the causes of the so long continuance of the Sect of Mahomet, and conceive that the detestation of Idolatry, and of persecution of the Gospel, are two principall causes thereof; the contrary whereof is found in the Church of Rome, which makes the patience of God so much the more admirable. A second is, that he who calleth himself the servant of servants, doth make himself the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and yet the Kings and Lords of the earth do still give their strength and power unto the Beast, and lie under his yoke drunk with the wine of his fornications; nor will they yet awake after so full a discovery of that mystery of iniquity, which is from the spirit of slumber in the justice of God possessing their spirits. And the third is, that such Kings and Kingdomes as are be∣gun to hate the Whore, and make her desolate and naked, doe suffer themselves by whatsoever tentations or worldly re∣spects, to be divided or retarded in accomplishing the work. And here we have just reason to lament, that the work of God maketh so slow progresse in this Land. And it may be unto us this day, just cause of deep humiliation, that our sins in for∣mer times, and since the beginning of this work of Reforma∣tion, are such as make obstruction unto it. The Lord, I con∣fesse, hath done much already, especially in removing the Pre∣lats, and other members of that Popish Hierarchy, who had transformed the Kingdome of Christ in this Island, into a Page  16wordly Kingdom, very conform unto the Pope the head of the Hierarchy. In this, England hath as great cause to rejoyce, as a∣ny Nation under heaven, because never any nation hath felt more of Popish and Prelaticall tyranny, then England, and that both of old, and of late, witnesse your own Histories.

There is also another error to be reproved, which is upon the other hand, and may be called a new Papacy: the former er∣ror is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which Court-parasites, politicians, and such other enemies to the Kingdome of Christ, would introduce into the reformed Churches: ascribing to the highest civill authority, or to the supream Magistrate, the same place in the reformed Church within his dominion, that the Pope hath in the Roman Church, and making him head of the Church, by which the Pope is changed, but not the Papacy; the Dominator, but not the Domination: Nor is there any dif∣ference, but 1. that this opinion maketh as many Popes as su∣pream Magistrates, which would cease, if Caesars or Emperours as of old, did rule the world. 2. That it will be acknowledged that such civill Popes are subject to error, which is no great difference: for the chiefest Doctors in the Roman Church do ad∣mit that the Pope may erre; and for this cause will have him subject to generall Councels. For clearing of this great diffi∣culty, and that we may give to Caesar what is Caesars, unto Christ and his Ministers what belongeth to them, we are to observe these three distinctions: 1. We are to distinguish times; in the times before the Law, the Civill and Ecclesiasticall power might be in one person, as in Melchisedeck, Job, &c. not so af∣ter the Law, when the Republick and Church of Israel were once constitute and setled. The Lord that maketh Summer to succeed after Winter, the day after the night, and youth after infancy, would have it to be so. The saying of the wise Physi∣tian, Vindiceanus, quia ego non jussi, belongeth to God in mat∣ters of this kind, August. Epist. 5. 2. We are to distinguish be∣tween cases; in extraordinary cases, and when the estate of the Church was corrupt, many things were allowed or permitted, as in the times of Eli and Samuel, which in other cases were not Page  17lawfull. 3. We are to distinguish betwixt the supream Civill power of the Magistrate about matters of Religion or things Ecclesiasticall, and the ultimate and highest jurisdiction Eccle∣siasticall in matters of this kind, the one is not onely lawfull, but necessary, as a principall point of the Magistrates duty; the other doth not belong to the Magistrate, or any civill au∣thority, but to the Church, and authority Ecclesiasticall. To assume ordinarily after religion is setled, the last resolution and highest jurisdiction Ecclesiasticall in matters of Reli∣gion, unto which formall and legall appeales shall be made in Church matters from the Assemblies of the Church, is more I hope, then needeth to be feared from the wisdome, piety, and justice of the honourable Houses of Parliament. They have in their great wisdome, piety, and justice, removed Church-men from their Senat, and will neither have Prelats nor Pastors to sit with them in that supream civill Court: They have aboli∣shed high Commissions and Star-chambers, and therefore will not intermeddle, unlesse it be at extraordinary times, and in extraordinary cases with Church matters. It cannot be denied, but persons distressed by Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, may by way of complaint, although not by way of accusation, expresse their unjust sufferings to whatsoever kind of persons, private or publick, in Church or State, and each one is to bear the bur∣then of another, much more therefore may they flie to the su∣pream civill authority, not to this end that the cause be recog∣nosced by them; but if need be, and they find it necessary, they may desire, or command the same to be resumed and exami∣ned again of new; but this Christian way of complaining, ma∣keth nothing for any formall or legall appeal from one kind of authority to another. Appellations must be from the inferior to the superior in the same kind.

Before I proceed, there is one objection to be removed: If the power of the Church be not above the State in civill matters, nor the power of the State above the Church in matters of re∣ligion, if the Kingdoms of the world be not subordinate to the Kingdome of Christ, and if the Kingdome of Christ be not sub∣ordinate to the Kingdomes of the world, then it will follow, Page  18that they are equall, that they are parallell and collaterall; and therefore will be emulous and jealous one of another, and will strive one against another. For answer. This objection sa∣voureth of much malice against the Ministery of the Gospel, and (which is suppressed) against the Kingdome of Iesus Christ. It is not unlike the speech of the adversaries of Judah and Ben∣jamin against the building of the Temple at Jerusalem unto the Lord God of Israel: This Citie is a rebellious Citie, and hurtfull unto Kings and Provinces: It hath made insurrection against Kings, and re∣bellion and sedition hath been made therein, Ezra 4.15. The practises of such are not unlike the practises of the enemies, Nehem. 4. who by craft, by rumors, and by hired prophesies, would have terrified Nehemiah, and others that were with him, from build∣ing the walls of Jerusalem. Their calumnies are not unlike that of Haman, Esther 3. There is a certain people scattered abroad and dis∣persed among the people in all the Provinces of the Kingdome, and their laws are divers from all people, neither keep they the Kings laws, therefore it is not for the Kings profit to suffer them. In a time of reformation when the Temple or walls of Jerusalem are to be builded, there be ever some Rehums, and Shimsaies, some Sanballats, Tobiahs, Gash•…es, or Hamans, that endeavour to hinder the work. It is a matter of humiliation, that there are any such in this land, and wil prove greater matter of humiliation if they shall have their desire. But the wisdome and vigilancy of the honorable Houses of Parliament, will take heed unto, and note such unhappy in∣struments, that their wicked desires be not satisfied. It cannot be denied, but there is some kind of mutuall and reciprocall sub∣jection or subordination of the one authority and government unto the other: such as useth to be, & must needs be in all such societies as have divers ends before their eyes: those who command in respect of the one end, must obey in respect of the other; & such as obey in respect of the one end, must command in respect of the other. When a company of Souldiers entreth into a ship to fight against the enemy at sea, in so far as they are in the ship, and within boord, they are to be governed by the master of the ship, who is to command all in matters of naviga∣tion; but as they are Souldiers fighting against the enemy, they Page  19must obey their own Captain, and be directed by him. He that commanded in the one respect, although a Generall, or a King, must obey in the other respect; nor is it any derogation, but wisdome to do so. When the son is a Consull, and the father a private man, the son obeyeth the father as his father, and the father obeyeth the son as his Consull, or Magistrate. And thus in divers respects there is a mutuall subordination, yet is there no such equality, as to make the two Governments jealous one of another: for there is a threefold difference betwixt them, which being well observed, will cure all this unnecessary and groundlesse jealousie: one is, in respect of God, to whom both are subject; another in that respect which the one of them hath to the other; and the third is, in respect of the people concredit unto them. In respect of their subjection to God, the one is subject as a deputed and inferior Lordship or Do∣minion; the other is subject as a ministery or service, Christ onely being Lord of his Church: The Kings of the Gentiles exer∣cise Lordship over them, and they that exercise authority upon them, are called Benefactors. But yee shall not be so, Luke 22.25, 26. Domi∣nation is forbidden Church-men, Ministration is commanded. It is one thing to be a Viceroy, and another thing to be a Le∣gat, or a Stewart: Christ hath Legats to declare his wil, but hath no Deputies or Vicegerents. In that respect which the one hath to the other, we may observe this difference, that the sub∣ordination of the Minister to the Magistrate, is to the Magi∣strate himself, as to the Vicegerent of God, of whose power he doth participate; but the subordination of the Magistrate to the Minister, is not to the Minister himselfe, but to Jesus Christ, whose servant he is. Now then we are Embassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God, 2 Cor. 5.20. In respect of the people under their charge, every soule is subject to the higher powers, but the Church onely is subject to the Ministery: they have nothing to do with those who are without; and which is a main diffe∣rence, the flock under their charge, is dealt with by them, not by way of command, or compulsion, but by moving, intreat∣ing, and perswading them to receive the commandements of Page  20Christ. They are therefore no other then fire-brands, and in∣struments of division, that would raise jealousies of this kind, betwixt these two kinds of government, both which are ap∣pointed of God to serve for the good of the people of God, each in its own way. Whatsoever hath been, or can be spoken a∣gainst Church-government, may as wel be spoken against the Gospel and Kingdome of Christ, and the contest is not proper∣ly betwixt the Magistracy and the Ministery, or betwixt Civill and Ecclesiasticall authority, but betwixt the Kingdomes of this world, and the Kingdome of Christ, which is a great un∣happinesse, and the cause of a world of miseries unto the King∣domes of this world, wherein the ambition of Church-men transforming the Kingdome of Christ into an earthly King∣dome, and cloathing the Church with the pomp of the world, beareth a great part of the guiltinesse: if both were kept with∣in the just limits, and moved within their own spheares, their motions and influences might be comfortable to the souls and lives of the children of men.

I come now to the third use, which is Correction, against such as say with those Citizens, Luke 19.14. We will not have this man to reigne over us. There be many divers sorts of enemies in the kingdom of Christ, that say so: some open & professed enemies, such as are Pagans, Jews & Turks; some more secret & dissem∣bled enemies, who under the pretence of the doctrine of Christ, oppose him and his Kingdom, such as have been false Christs, and are this day Antichrist, with all his members and follow∣ers, Hereticks, Schismaticks, Politicks, and all worldly & meer naturall men: And there be many sundry causes that draw them into by-parhs, and make them run into errors greater or lesser: but it may be coafidently a vouched, that the main cause by which Satan prevaileth upon the corrupt heart of man, to make him an enemy to Christ and his Kingdome, is the dislike he hath of this principle, and fundamentall of Christian Re∣ligion: That the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world. All men naturally love the world, and the things of the world, which are the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; and finding that the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world, Page  21nor doth promise unto them the things of this world, but that it is a spirituall Kingdome, binding up their spirits, and inter∣dicting their hearts, the love of the world it must of necessity follow, unlesse the light and power of the Spirit of Christ, shine in their minds, and work upon their hearts, that either in pro∣fession, or in hear, or both, either more or lesse, they prove ene∣mies unto Christ, especially in that which would break the bond that tieth them fast to the world. If men might be plea∣sed to examine themselves narrowly, and descend into their own hearts, they would find that their hearts deceive them; and while they seem to others, & to themselves, to be despisers of the world, they are either by covetousnesse or vaing-lory, or love of carnall liberty, or some other such tie, intangled and keeped fast by the world, and are either directly or indirectly, drawn to oppose the Kingdome of Christ. He that will consi∣der the grounds of Paganisme, Judaisme, and Turcisme, and for what reason they doe not receive Christ when he is offered unto them, shall find this to be a principall cause. He that will search into the histories of particular heresies and schismes, wil often meet with this, and find the world in the bottome of the hearts of men. I do not speak of the simple seduced people, but of the wisest and learnedest of their seducers, and of the great wits of the world, which make the world their Idoll, and bow down before it.

But leaving this, I come to the fourth use for instruction in such duties as are required of us all at this time, and after a speciall manner of those that are in high places. First of all, see∣ing the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world, but is a spiri∣tuall Kingdome, it is a necessary duty to study the nature, and search into the mysteries and secrets of this Kingdom. The kingdome of Satan and Sin have many deeps and secrets, the Kingdomes of the world have their secrets of policie and go∣vernment, and the Kingdom of Christ hath greater secrets, and more hid mysteries. Great ones in the world know many things of the mystery of Iniquity, and of the secrets of Kingdoms and States of the world; but the truth is, many of them are igno∣rant of the mysteries of the Kingdome of Christ. The Princes of Page  22this world, whether Princes for knowledge, as the Philosophers were, or for power and greatnes, as the Nobles and great ones be, do not know those mysteries: for had they known them, they would not have crucified the King of glory; But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor eare heard, neither have entred into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him; which the Apostle speaketh of the Kingdome of grace in this world, 1 Cor. 2.8, 9. Natural reason calleth for fit instruments for every work, and the matter well prepared to work upon: but the A∣postles were neither noble nor learned, but poor and simples, and the world altogether indisposed to receive them, being at that time, as much as at any time before or since, full of learning, of power, and of policie; yet they went on, subduing, conquering, and bringing all unto the obedience of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The laws of this kingdome were, in stead of revenge, Love your enemies; in stead of lust, Look not on a woman to lust after her; in stead of covetousnesse, Forsake all; instead of ambition, Deny your selves. And yet the supernaturall lawes, by the Spirit and power of the great Law-giver, were setled and written in the tables of mens hearts. The promises of reward were, not worldly pleasures, or ease, but let every man take up his crosse and follow me. All things in this kingdome were above the reach of naturall reason; yet the spiritual man by a new faculty crea∣ted of God, knoweth the deep things of God, and judgeth all things. Some Divines have observed seven things in the passion of Christ, altogether contrary to the judgement of the naurall man: the greatest impotency and weaknesse in him who was omnipotent: the greatest suffering in that was impassible: the greatest foolishnes (according to the judgement of men) in the deepest wisdome: greatest poverty in the God of all riches: greatest shame in the greatest glory and majesty: greatest dere∣liction and forsaking in the most perfect union; and great severity of the Father against his Son, in the greatest love of the Father to the Son, in the very time of his suffering. Many more might be added in the administration of the Kingdome of Christ after his ascension into heaven, both at the first planting of the Gospel in the primitive times, and in the time of refor∣mation Page  23of Religion in divers Kingdomes and Nations. And therefore as naturall sense correcteth the errors of our imagi∣nation, and maketh us see the folly of our fancies: and as na∣turall reason correcteth the errors of our sense, and maketh us judge otherwise then our sense teacheth; so must the divine power, and superior faculty of faith, correct the errors of our naturall reason. If we will acquaint our selves with the secrets of the Gospel, and with the proceedings of the Kingdome of Christ, we begin no sooner seriously to think upon them, but we seem to our selves to be transported and carried to another world, and are constrained to acknowledge and confesse to the glory of God, that flesh and blood doth not reveale these things unto us.

The second duty required of us, is this: When the Lord hath opened the eyes of our understanding to behold somwhat of the secrets of this spiritual Kingdome, we are to draw neere, to joyn our selves unto it, and become the subjects of Jesus Christ. To which purpose it is necessary to expresse the matter briefly, that we first know our estate by nature, all of us by nature being subjects, yea slaves to the Kingdome of Sin and Satan; no man is excepted, Kings, Princes, Nobles, as base slaves, this way as a∣ny other, although walking in gold chains. Next, that we ac∣knowledge Christ to be King and Lord of his people, putting our confidence in him, as having all sufficiencie for life, liberty, salvation, and every good thing, yea, endevouring to feele the Kingdome of God within us, and his Scepter set up in our souls formerly tyranized over by strange Lords. And thirdly, that we make a resignation of our selves in all humility and obedi∣ence to do his will: for it is the quality of his subjects to be a willing people, or a people of willingnesse, Psal, 110.3. If every one of us had many wills, we ought of sacrifice them all, and turn each one of them in a willingnesse to serve him. According to this is it, that his people are called Amminadib, or my willing people, Cant. 6.12. The word used to expresse, willingnesse, signifeth Generosity, or Noblenesse, opposed to Churlishnesse, Isa. 32.5. The vile person shall be no more called liberall, nor the churlish said to be bountifull, Nabal shal not be called Nadib. The true subjects of Christ, were they Page  24never so meanly born, although like the wretched infant de∣scribed Ezek. 16. yet being born again, they deal nobly with him; but others whatsoever be their extraction, and were they never so nobly descended, they deal but churlishly with Christ. A noble man, that giveth not himselfe willingly and cordially to the Son of God, & accounteth it not his chiefest honor to be a subject of his Kingdom, in Scripture language is not a Noble∣man, but a Nabal, a Churle; and surely to deal churlishly with Christ, who hath been so benigne and bountifull unto us, and is so worthy to be served, is the most base churlishnesse, and the greatest churlishnesse in the world. If we would consider what we are without him, what we may be through him, and that there is a necessity either to be the slaves of sin, or to become the subjects of Christ; yea, either to be his free subjects, or his bound-slaves and captives, we would willingly offer our selves in this day of his power.

The third duty is, when we are acquainted with the nature and secrets of the Kingdome of Christ, and are now become his willing subjects, then to be zealous in using all good means, each one according to his place, for advancing and establishing the kingdom of Christ. A point very necessary to be considered, because as Herod and all Jerusalem with him, were troubled when they heard that the King of the Jewes was born: So are great ones that are in authority, and the multitude of the peo∣ple much troubled when they heare of the Kingdome of Christ; Kings and great ones, because they conceive the advancing of Christs Kingdome to be a diminution of their greatnesse and power, wherein they bewray both their ignorance and ingra∣titude: ignorance of the nature of his kingdome, which is spi∣rituall, not only in the internall, but externall part of it. He that would establish a spirituall Kingdom, doth not take away, but on the contrary doth both confirm and sanctifie the tem∣porall Kingdome wherein it is established. The Son of God ne∣ver imposed such a hard condition to Kings and Nobles that were to become Christians, as to forsake their crowns and dig∣nities, except in their affection, and in comparison of the excel∣lency of the Kingdome of Christ. Ingratitude, not only because Page  25by him Kings reigne, but Jesus Christ having proclaimed a Ju∣bilee, a great liberty to Kings & Kingdomes from the tyranny, the servitude, the usurpations and impositions of the Pope. This is all the thanks that they return, that they either put a∣way the Gospel from themselves and their Kingdomes, or will receive but so much of it as they think meet; which is rather to reigne over Christ, then that Christ by his Scepter reigne o∣ver them. As for the multitude of the people, they have no de∣sire to heare of the setting up of the Kingdome of Christ, be∣cause they are afraid of poverty, and other such miseries as may be brought upon them by innovations, measuring all by their worldly gain and ease, and considering no other wayes of changes, but as they import some earthy benefit to their own privat. So was Jerusalem troubled when Christ was born, & so were the Gadarens when he came into their countrey. It cannot be denied but the Lord hath done a great work in this land, yet there be many of all ranks, that wish it had never been begun, by reason of the trouble and losses they have sustained: not considering nor knowing that a little of God and of Christ, and of his Spirit, and of the Word, and of the Ordinances, is much more then the greatest things of the world; and that it is better to suffer with the people of God, and for God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. When things are equally ballanced, the worst things of Christ, that is, his crosse and suf∣ferings, is better then the best things of the world. Upon the contrary therefore I shall desire these seven things about the Kingdome of Christ, and the matter of religion may be dili∣gently taken heed unto.

1. Take heed of selfe respects: these are of two, sorts, one is privat, when men look so much to themselves, that they forget the publick; or if they look to the publick, and seem to be zea∣lous about it, it is alwayes with reflection upon their own pri∣vat; were the circumference never so wide, themselves are the center, and all the lines of their actions have their concentrati∣on there. Privat spirits are evill spirits, whether they be in Church or Parliament; and I may adde, that they are foolish spirits, seem they never so wise: for being once imbarked, how Page  26shall they hope to escape if the publick shall perish? Another sort of selfe respect is publick, which may seem a paradox, and yet is it a certain truth, when men would draw all to the Par∣liament, not only negotia Regis & Regni, the matters of the King and Kingdome, but negotia Jehovae & Ecclesiae, the matters of God and the Church. Many things indeed may, yea must be done pro tempore, and in this corrupt state of the Church; but it is the worst kind of sacriledge to take the power which Christ hath given to the Church, and put it in the hands of the State.

2. Beware of luke-warmnesse and indifferency in matters of Religion, that we be not like Gallio, that cared for none of these things, or like Pilate in this place, who spoke so coldly of the truth: What is truth? He declared by his question, that it was a thing he cared not for; or like Saul, I Sam. who when he had commanded to advise with the Oracle of God, what he should do; yet before he received an answer, led forth the Ar∣my into battell. It is a rare thing in great men to take Religi∣on to heart, and to be solicit about it. There may be here a twofold indifferency: one is, when matters of Religion come in debate, we care not what way they go, nor to what side they be determined. The other is, that having past an Ordinance, we care not what become of it, whether it be put in execution or not, or whether it be spoken or written against, or not, which is nothing else but a vilifying of the Ordinance of God, and the prostituting of that authority which God hath put upon men, unto contempt and reproach.

3. Take heed of division, the most destructive thing both to your selves and the cause, that can be. There be many causes of division from Satan, who is a factious and schismaticall spirit; from the world, which delighteth to run in divers channels; and from our selves, every man having a seed of division in his own heart. It is true, that all men by nature love unity as well as being: for unity preserveth, but all men through the corruption of nature, incline to division and destruction: yet there be some spirits, whose predominant it is, to be hereticall, schismaticall, and factious: and it is as naturall to such to de∣light Page  27in divisions, as it is for others to wallow in uncleannesse or excesse. If we will have the Kingdome of Christ setled, these are to be noted, and either avoided or kept in order: otherwise there will be no end of division in the State, and of schisme in the Church. And take heed of division from the Kingdome of Scotland, with whom ye are so neerly united, both by nature and covenant; were I there, I would say no lesse unto them in relation to this Kingdome. There be some pernitious instru∣ments, who bufie themselves in fishing of faults, and use the damnable art of Tyberius: he was earnest to have a Virgin strangled, some mention particularly the daughter of Sejanus: others, as Suetonius, more indefinitly speake it of Virgins: but because it was not lawfull amongst the Romans to strangle a Virgin, he will have them first defiled by the Executioner, and thereafter strangled, Immaturae puellae, quia more tradito nefas esset virgines strangulari, vitiatae prius a carnifice, dein strangulatae. I leave it to your own application. It is knowne amongst the people, that he that would kill his Dogge, can easily find a staffe, and it is not unknown to the State, that they who would be rid of a good subject, or servant, can easily lay treason to their charge. But so long as that Nation abideth constant to the cause of God, and honest in their endeavours towards you, ought they to be so talked of as they are by many? If in saving themselves, and serving you, they should be disabled from sa∣ving themselves and serving you, ought ye to adde affliction to the afflicted? When the truth, which is the daughter of time, shall appeare, I hope men will be ashamed of their speeches, and eat up their own words; and therefore I will speak no more of this sad subject.

4. Beware of delayes and procrastinations in setling of Christs Kingdome. The setting up of the Discipline and go∣vernment of the Church, had been a more easie work long a∣go, then it is now; and is more easie now then it will be after∣ward: For the longer we go down by the river side, wee will find it grow the deeper & broader, and parting if selfe in more divided channels. Had the Discipline and Government of the Church been set up at first, it would have proved very service∣able Page  28to the Parliament, and saved them much labour in the do∣ing of their work. The ordinances of Christ have much power and strength in them, and they are accompanied with many blessings. The spirituall and secular Arm, like the two Arms of the body, when both are stretched out and exercised, are ve∣ry effectuall for the publick good.

5. Beware of discouragements from the power of the world, the Kingdomes of the world, or any other kinds of op∣positions whatsoever, while ye are about the building of the House of God, and establishing of the Kingdome of Jesus Christ. If the enemies had been able to hinder it, it had never found any setling on earth. Principalities and powers in high places, the Kingdomes of this world, and the spirits of men, have been alwayes bent against it, no power, no plot, or po∣licy, hath been, or wil be unassaied. Beside many particular hin∣derances of the setling of Religion in particular places and Nations, do but lift up your eyes and look back to the course of the world in the generall. In the first Monarchy we find a fiery Furnace; in the second, a den of Lions; in the third, the madnesse and fury of Antiochus, justly surnamed Epimanes, which exceeded the former two; and in the fourth Monar∣chy, the ten Persecutions, ten times more bloody and grievous then all that went before. The Kingdoms of this world are re∣sembled by most bloody & monstrous wild beasts, Dan. 7. and by mountaines that are full of wild beasts, because of their craft and cruelty against the Kingdome of Christ, Psalm 76.4. Cant. 4.8. But we may bee comforted by that, Zach. 4.7. What art thou, O great Mountain? And I may adde, All yee wild Beasts? Be not troubled with the feares of the Kingdomes of the world, in building the Kingdome of Christ. For my part, I think it nothing strange, that the world, and the God of this world, stand in a continuall opposition. It is a greater wonder that any especially of great Ones: are found to have any courage for the Kingdome of Christ. It is a mira∣cle which we heare of, Isai. 11. The Wolfe shall dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard with the Kid, and the young Lion with the Calfe, &c.

Page  29 6. Take heed of imprudency in choosing and imploying of instruments for the establishing the Kingdome of Christ: the greatest shew and profession of zeale, is not alwayes the pro∣grame of the greatest zeale. As a man of a calm constitution may seeme to have more patience then another, which yet is not patience, but mildnesse of temper. So a cholerick dispositi∣on may appear to be zeale, but it is only a natural and earthly, not a spirituall and heavenly fire. Again, he that hath most true zeal and holinesse to make him a spirituall Souldier, hath not alwayes the best abilities for a temporall warre. It is a great mistake, and the mother of much confusion to take grace for gifts, or gifts for grace. A man may have great gifts and abilities, which the Lord will blesse for the benefit of his peo∣ple, and yet have a small measure of grace for his own com∣fort and salvation: And a man may be a very gracious man, and yet no more skill to be a good Souldier, then to bee a good Shooe-maker. It was said of old, that then it is well with Kingdomes and Common-wealths, when either Philosophers reigne, or they that reigne are Philosophers. We may say that it is a happy thing when such men are imployed as have best gifts and grace, whether it be in the time of peace or war.

7. Take heed of fainting and wearying in setting up of the Kingdome of Christ: the Lord hath made you instrumentall in laying the foundation, ye must persevere till the head stone be brought forth with shoutings: otherwise it will be said, that these Kingdomes did begin to build, but were not able to fi∣nish the work. Sometimes weaknesse may appeare in one Ar∣my, and sometimes in another; out the cause is the same, and with God Almighty there is no shadow of change: his power is not greater one day then another: for the infinitnesse of Omni∣potencie admitteth of no degrees. Pilate protested three times, that he found no fault in Christ, and endeavoured for sati∣sfying his own naturall conscience, to set him free: but in end, lest he should be reputed an enemy to Caesar, he delivered him to be crucified. Darius laboured all the day long, till the setting of the Sun, to deliver Daniel, but overcome with oppor∣tunity, he condemned him at last to the den of Lions. We may Page  30change, the Kingdomes of the world may change, but the Cause and Truth of Christ abide the same without change throughout all generations.

My exhortation therefore is, that you beware of selfe Re∣spects, of Indifferency, of Division, of Delayes, of Dis∣couragements, of Imprudency, and of Inconstancy; and that you give your selves to Sincerity, Zeal, Unity, Diligence, Magnanimity, Prudence, and Perseverance, that yee may be the choyce and blessed Instruments of God, for the establish∣ing of the Kingdome of his Son, our Saviour, in the Land.

The last use is for Consolation, which is not repugnant to true humiliation. I will not trouble you with the generall Doctrine of such benefits and comforts as we are made parta∣kers of by the Princely office of Christ: for it were long to shew how by the vertue of this his office, hee applieth unto us all that he hath done and suffered, that the Kingdomes of the world may be our Lords, and his Christs, and he reigne over them for evermore; and communicates with all true be∣leevers this grace, to be Kings with him, to reigne over their own lusts, which is greater then any earthly conquest: He that ruleth his own spirit, is better then he that win∣neth a Citie; to reigne over the world, which still lieth in wickednesse, and to reign over Satan the Prince of this world, and worker of all mischiefe: if we find nothing of this, we be∣leeve nothing of the Kingdome of Christ: if we endeavour not the sense and experience of this communion, our faith is but imagination. But leaving these generals, I would upon this ground, give you some comfort for the Cause, and work in hand, and it is this: First; If it be the cause of Christ which we maintain. Next, if we be the servants and people of God, seeking his honour, and endevouring that his Kingdome may come, why may we not be comforted in this, That Christ is our King, and will one way or other vanquish and subdue all our enemies. I will use but two reasons for it: one is, from the great and glorious victories that he hath in former times ob∣tained over so mighty-enemies for the comfort of his people, if we do but remember what great things he hath done since Page  31the beginning of this warre, we should deny our own experi∣ence, if we doubt for afterward: The other is, when we con∣sider what is said in the end of the prayer which he taught his Disciples, Thine is the Kingdome, the Power and the Glory: If we pray and endeavour that his Kingdome may come, if we desire the Crown to be put on his head, and the Scepter in his hand, we may be confident of successe: Because his is the Kingdome, he is bound by right to fight for, to defend, and to deliver his own subjects that are fighting for his King∣dome: His is the power in heaven and in earth, over An∣gels, over Devils, over Armies of men, and over all Crea∣tures: And his is the Glory, the honour of his own actions will return upon himselfe. The first, that he is our King, teacheth us, that by office he ought to save us: The second, that he is able to do it, because power is his: And the third, that he will do it, because it will be dishonour to this Name, to suffer his Cause and People to perish; and it will be his glory to save them. And that not onely in this world, but when we go hence. The penitent Malefactor on the Crosse, cried out, Lord remember me when thou commest into the Kingdom; we may rather with greater con∣fidence say, Lord remember us, when now after victory over Satan, the World, and Death, thou dost possesse thy Kingdome. The time permitteth not to proceed to the other two branches of the Text, and therefore here I cease. {inverted ⁂}

FINIS.