An exposition vpon the Lords prayer Deliuered in certaine sermons, in the cathedrall church of S. Paul. By Henry King Archdeacon of Colchester, and residentiary of the same church.
King, Henry, 1592-1669.
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*Our Father which art in Heauen.

I Haue drawne the Curtaine; and now the Master-peece of Prayer, wrought and conceiued by Christ, begins to dis∣couer it selfe. Of which, before I take a strict view, like men arriued at some curi∣ous building, who first examine the situa∣tion and modell, giue me leaue a little to fix my contemplation on the outward parts of this Fabricke, to consider the Forme of the Prayer, before I open the Matter.

This is the Psalmists method, who be∣ing to discourse of Sion,* and make a spiri∣tuall corography and description of the beauty thereof, directs the eye of the be∣holder first to the walls and battlements, to walke round about the out-works, and to number the turrets thereof.*

A faire and specious front promises a faire inside: and if our pitty or wishes could preuaile, there should bee no faire well proportioned body, but should haue Page  31 as faire a soule to inhabit it, and a disposi∣tion suting the exteriour lineaments.

Orandum est vt sit mens sana in corpore saeno; for 'twere a foule solecisme, that the Cabinet should be better then the Iewell which is contained within it.

If Salomon should haue built only a faire Porch, or a beautifull Gate, and a Temple disproportionate to his Porch, he had then drawne mens Religion into their eyes, and made them more zealous to gaze without, then to pray within. But his Fabricke was better cast; so much ornament, so much cost beautified the inside of his Temple, that the outward Pile serued as a bait to attract the peoples deuotion, and prepare them by the exteriour Modell sufficiently to prize and admire what was contained within. Happily by describing the Courts, and Gates, and Porch of this rare Building, erected by a greater then Salomon, my dis∣course may attaine that good effect to pre∣pare your piety for the entrance into it.

The outside of it comprehends enough to exercise your attention, as the Land∣skipPage  32 of Ierusalem contained matter to hold the eyes of those that most curiously loo∣ked vpon it. That had many Turrets, This hath Seuen, raised from those seuen Petiti∣ons in Christs Prayer. View it in the natural mold whereinto it is now cast, and you will finde it like Minerua's Shield compo∣sed by Phydias, which consisted of ma∣ny excellent parts, all which made but one intire Shield, yet taken asunder, each part that belonged to it was a compleat worke. So consider this Prayer as it now lies all to∣gether, the plates, and ioints, and seuerall matters, make but one Christian Buckler to ward and auert all necessities that may befall vs; yet resolued into parcels, euery Limbe, and Member, and Gradation, is a perfect Buckler to beare off our particular wants.

It is like that famous Target of Aiax, that was Clypeus Septemplex, consisted of seuen folds; this is Oratio Septemplex, a pray∣er consisting of seuen requests. That Buck∣ler was Dart-proofe, impenetrable, and this Prayer an impenetrable Shield to resist Page  33 the fiery darts of Satan.*Oratio quotidiana quam docuit ipse Dominus, vnde & Dominica nominatur, delet quidem quotidiana peccata cum quotidie dicitur. If I would insist vpon the allusion to the number of these Peti∣tions, I might compare this whole Prayer to the constellation of the Pleiades, or se∣uen starres in Heauen;* Or to the seuen starres in the right hand of the Sonne of Man, being fit Lights and Tapers for the seuen golden Candlesticks there mentioned,* to be set vp in those seuen Churches,* and not in them alone, but in all the Churches of the world, where Christs name is known and adored.

Or I may liken the parts of this Prayer to the seuen Planets, eminent aboue all other starres of the Firmament. For as some of those Planets moue neerer to the earth, others higher and farther off, so is the motion of these seuen Petitions; some of them moue and solicite God for Earthly things, as the foure last of them; others for Heauenly and Eternall, as the three first, Hallowed be thy Name, and thy Kingdome Page  32〈1 page duplicate〉Page  33〈1 page duplicate〉Page  34 come,*&c. Saint Augustine hath taken their iust Height and Motion, Tres petitiones su∣periores aeternae sunt, quatuor sequentes ad hanc vitam pertinent.

I purpose not to inlarge my Discourse by commending the perfection and dig∣nity of the seuenth number, which some ga∣ther out of Naamans command, to wash seuen times in Iordan:* or as Lyra vpon that place, Reuertere septem vicibus, when Elias bade his seruant goe seuen times and looke towards the Sea, after which he dis∣couers a cloud of raine. So saith Lyra, Post septem Christi mysteria, after the seuen Mysteries of our Sauiour, viz. His Con∣ception, Birth, Baptisme, Preaching, Passi∣on, Resurrection, Ascension; Descendit abundanter pluuia gratiae, &c. abundant showers of grace fell vpon the earth.

I know euery seuenth yeere is reputed a Climactericke; and seuen yeeres the rate of a mans life; and seuen daies the account of our weekes; and seuen Petitions the num∣ber of Christs Prayer.

But 'tis not my taske to consider this Page  35 Prayer by Number but by Weight. God regards not how many prayers men string with their Beads, but with what deuotion they send them vp; nor doth he keepe a Score or Tally of our Petitions, though hee bottle vp and number each religious Teare shed in the vehement imploring of his Grace. The Excellence, not the Arith∣metike of this Prayer, is my obiect, which Hugo Cardinalis commends vnto vs in three obseruations; In Dignitate,*Breuita∣te, Foecunditate, the Dignity, Breuity, and Fulnesse.

For the Dignity, Christ was the Author [ 1] of it, Qui fecit viuere docuit orare.* And if he were the Author, of whom God said, This is my beloued Sonne in whom I am well pleased, heare him; it must needs follow, that for his sake this Prayer is more audi∣ble in the eares of God, and more accepta∣ble than any we can make,*Dum prece & oratione quam Christus docuit ad Patrem lo∣quimur facilius exaudimur.

For the Briefenesse of it, Saint Cyprian [ 2] saith, this is that verbum breuians,* short Page  36 compendious Oration promised in Esay to the world,*Quoniam sermonem breuiatum faciet Deus in toto orbe terrae. The reason why it was comprised in so few words are seuerally alleaged by the Fathers: one is, that it might be more portable in our me∣mories,*vt in doctrina coelesti discentium me∣moria non laboraret, that so it might bee sooner learn't and oftner repeated, that he who daily vses it might not thinke it tedi∣ous, and hee who knowes it not might want all excuse for his ignorance of it. Therefore Saint Augustine giues a strict charge that young children should first of all learne this Prayer,* being no burden at all to their memory or capacity. The last reason for its shortnesse, is to shew vs, the most wordy voluminous Prayers are not euer the best,* or soonest heard by God Alex∣ander Hales summes vp all the commodi∣ties of it thus shortned together; Ob illius breuitatem facilius scitur, melius retinetur, fre∣quentius iteratur, minus fastidit orantem, cito exaudiri innuit, plus affectu quam ore orandum esse insinuat, ignorantem incusat.

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The last Argument of this Prayers excel∣lency, [ 3] is the fulnesse and weight of it.* In few words it inuolues most copious mat∣ter, and though very briefe, yet it is of an am∣ple sense.*Quantum substringitur verbis tan∣tum diffunditur sensibus: The sense of it is as large as the Body is little.*Continet omne pe∣tibile & expetibile: It is the summe of all we can request at Gods hands; that is, of all which we can iustly and piously request. Sometimes we desire of God what is vnfit for him to grant, or vs to receiue: therefore saith Saint Augustine, Si rectè & congruenter oramus, nihil aliud petere possumus quam quod in oratione Dominica positum est: It consists of seuen Petitions (saith Biel) Et septem numerus est vniuersitatis:* Seuen is a number that includes the vniuerse of goodnesse: V∣niuersa quae à Domino licitè desiderari possunt & postulari his petitionibus continentur: And this is the Exception which the Brownists take against it, because 'tis so ample. Saint Augustine makes a particular demonstrati∣on of it. If you run thorow all the prayers of good men and Prophets set downe in Page  38 the Scripture, all the seuerall Petitions in the Psalmes, You shall finde (saith he) none of them but may be reduced to these seuen Petitions, as the Common places of all Prayer:* when Christ sayes, Pater clarifica nomen tuum; what is it else but Hallowed be thy name?* When the Psalmist cries, Ostende nobis faciem; Shew vs the light of thy coun∣tenance; what is it but Thy kingdome come? When he sayes againe,*Dirige gressus meos, &c. Direct my steps in thy paths, that my feet doe not slide; what is this but Fiat voluntas, Thy will be done? Againe, when Salomon prayes vnto God,*Giue mee not pouertie nor riches; what is it but Giue vs our daily bread? When the Psalmist sayes,*Si reddidi retribu∣entibus mihi mala, &c. If I haue repayed euill for euill vnto any; what is this, but Forgiue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue others? When it is said,*Aufer à me concupiscentias ventris; Take from mee concupiscence; is it not as much as Lead vs not into temptation? Last∣ly,* when the Psalmist cries, Erue me ab ini∣micis; Deliuer me from mine enemies: is it not as much in effect, as Libera nos à malo; Deliuer vs from euill?

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You see the large capacity of this Prayer, how that it comprehends the subiect of all other prayers; and not them only, but euen all Christian discipline, as Tertullian writes:* for which cause he stiles it Breuiarium totius Euangelij; the Abridgement of the whole Gospell. Such plentifull Riuers streame from this Seuen-headed Fountaine. So that as septem-flua flumina Nili; the seuen Armes of Nilus watered and made fertill all Ae∣gypt; so doth this Prayer, springing from seuen Petitions, which are Deprecatiuae,* or Optatiuae, water the whole Christian world, preuenting and deprecating all mishaps, and supplying our wants.

So that in this short Prayer, as in a little Orbe, the Sonne of righteousnesse moues: from hence doth euery Starre, euery faith∣full seruant and Confessor of Christ (for they are Incarnate Starres)* borrow a ray of light to illuminate and sanctifie the bo∣dy of his meditations. The Church in her Liturgie, and the Preacher both enioyn'd to vse it. A small quantitie of this Leuen seasons a great lumpe of Deuotion, and a Page  40 few spirits giue taste & quicknesse to much liquor. This Prayer is a Quintessence extra∣cted by the greatest Chymist that euer was, from Him that brought Nature out of Chaos, Separated Light from Darknesse, and extracted the foure Elements out of No∣thing.* All parts of it are spirits. Quae enim spiritualior oratio? And the mixture of a few graines therof with our prayers, proues the strongest and best Christian Antidote. Ore∣mus ita{que} sicut Deus nos docuit ('tis Cyprians inference) Let vs gladly vse that forme of Prayer which Christ our Lord hath taught vs, and giue vnto God what the Sonne of God gaue vnto vs.*Amica & familiaris est oratio Deum de suo rogare, ad aures eius de∣scendere Christi orationem: It is a familiar and friendly tribute to present God with his owne; A petition cloth'd in Christs words, will finde the ready way to heauen, and a speedie accesse into the eares of God.* And when the Father acknowledges his Sonnes words in our Prayers, hee will ac∣knowledge and ratifie that promise, which through him he made vnto vs, that what∣soeuer Page  41 we should aske him in his sonnes name should not be denied.

Thus haue I at full surueyed the Forme or Outside of Christs Prayer.* I am now come to the Matter, to enter the inward roomes, into which my Text is the doore that leads me; seruing as a Prologue or a Frontispice to the whole Prayer; which is diuided into three generall Parts. Into an Exordium; Our Father which art in heauen,* &c. Tractatum, a Tract, which is the seuen Petitions. Conclusionem, a Conclusion, a Ra∣tification of the Prayer, Amen.

Or if you please, I will call this whole Prayer of our Sauiours, a Letter consisting of foure parts or complements.

An Endorsement or Superscription dire∣cting [ 1] it to the party, viz. God, Our Father: and to the place, Heauen, which art in Hea∣uen.

The Contents following in the seuerall [ 2] Petitions, from Hallowed be thy name, &c. to Deliuer vs from euill.

A Subscription or Vnder-writing found [ 3] in the latter part of the thirteenth verse, and Page  42 immediatly following the last Petition whereunto it is ioyned, For thine is the king∣dome, the power and the glory for euer.

[ 4] The Seale that closes vp all, Amen.

*My Text is the Endorsement, the Super∣scription, or it is the Exordium of the Prayer, wherein as Rhetoricians vse first of all, Cap∣tare beneuolentiam, to implore the Attenti∣on and Beneuolence of their Auditors: so doe we from hence begge Gods attention and inclination to our requests by a double Insinuation.

[ 1] First of his Goodnesse, in that we stile him Father.

[ 2] Secondly of his Power, in that wee ac∣knowledge him the Lord of Heauen, Qui es in Coelis.

Both which circumstances conduce to his Praise and Honour (saith S. Ambrose*) Laus Dei patet quia praedicatur in eo pietatis gloria. Laus Dei quia in Coelis habitat non in Terris.

*Gabr. Biel diuides this Exordium more punctually into foure parts, for so many wayes herein doe we conciliare gratiam, win vpon Gods fauour.

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A dilectionis magnitudine quia dicitur Pa∣ter; [ 1] From the greatnesse of his loue to vs when we call him Father.

A liberali bonitatis diffusione, From the li∣berall [ 2] communication of his goodnesse to vs, in that we say Our Father.

Ab immutabili perpetuitate, from the im∣mutabilitie [ 3] of his Essence, intimated in these words, Qui es, Which art.

A sublimitate potentiae, from the high do∣mination [ 4] and power he hath ouer vs when we say, In Coelis, Which art in Heauen.

'Tis most requisite, when we speake to God, we should vse a decent Method, an orderly proceeding, since he is the God of Order. 'Twere a rude presumption for any to sue vnto him in that fashion which they would not vse vnto men, if their superiours. When we make any request vnto them, we hold it manners to prefix some modest in∣troduction before the suit,; wee doe not bluntly discouer it at first. Dic mihi si velis hominem rogare & sic incipias, Da mihi quod peto, nonne arrogans videtur oratio? If thou begin a Petition with this homely phrase, Page  44 and in this peremptory manner, Giue mee what I require, can it auoid the censure of rudenesse? as if thou cam'st to command, not intreat, and to challenge or lay a claime to a fauour, not to sue for it: and canst thou hold it fit to petition Almighty God without some preface, as well to confesse his power, as to declare thine owne mo∣destie?

Humblenesse becomes the person of a suitour; Molestum verbum est onerosum & demisso vultu dicendum Rogo: To beseech, is a terme that confounds an ingenuous man, deiects and casts downe his sookes, as asham'd that his eye should follow the suit which his tongue preferres. Which bash∣full recognition of his wants findes an easie way to pity; whereas he that begs in arro∣gant termes or impudent behauiour, shuts vp the hand of bounty, and destroyes the good intention of the giuer.* The deiected Publican in the Gospell stood fairer and better iustified in our Sauiours estimation, than the Pharisee insolently bragging of his worth.

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You shall finde in the Scripture, that Prophets and holy men, whensoeuer they spake or prayed vnto God, vsed some Pre∣face to prepare his eare, and to make way for their words. When Abraham besought God concerning Sodome, he begins,*Let not my Lord be angry if I speake that am but dust and ashes. And Moses pleading for the people, begins, Si gratiam inueni in conspectu tuo; If I haue found fauour in thy sight.* And when Dauid prayes vnto God to forget the sinnes of his youth,* he makes a commemo∣ration of the goodnesse and mercy of God; Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies,*&c. euen for thy goodnesse sake.* It giues life and hope to our Petitions, when before wee aske we vrge God with the precedents of his owne goodnesse. This kinde of ac∣knowledgement is Ad plus dandum inuita∣tio; a fit preparing of his fauour: and we inuite him to grant againe, when we reuiue what already he hath done. Good cause then had our Sauiour to lay the ground of our Petitions on Gods fatherly care and loue to vs, by bidding vs cry Our Father.Page  46 That as Orators, before they plead, vse some Exordium or Preface to make the Iudge fauourable to their causes; so we, being to speake vnto the Iudge of Heauen and Earth, might by this beginning make him propitious to our Prayers.

Whereby let me note vnto you, formes of Oratory and Rhetoricke are allowed in our Deuotions;*Eloquentiam non pug∣nare cum simplicitate religionis. Nor doth Christ dislike an elegant Prayer.

And let mee tell those men who haue such an vnlearned conceit of Gods seruice, that they thinke it a trespasse of high na∣ture to staine their Discourses with a La∣tine sentence, or authority of Fathers quo∣ted in their owne Dialect, or that make it a nice case of Conscience to present God with a set studied Prayer, or any other forme of speech than Quod in buccam ve∣nerit, what comes into their heads whi∣lest they are speaking, when the tongue striues with the Inuention for precedence, or at least both goe together; that if they please they may be more elaborate, take Page  47 more paines and time for what they speak then an extemporary minute, or an instant, vnlesse they finde it more for their ease to keepe vnto that naturall vaine of theirs, vnstudied or vnlaboured, and hold it a better protection and excuse for those that know little to condemne Learning, and all that know more then themselues.

I confesse that Pia rusticitas,* Deuo∣tion clothed in the rudest phrase that can be, is to be preferred before eloquent hypo∣crisie, and an holy Ignorance is better then learned irreligion. I would aduise all men to vse more Religion than Rhetoricke in their Prayers; yet none can deny, but that an eloquent Meditation, so it be not affe∣cted,* and so it doe not Exercendae linguae magis operam dare quam menti mundandae, is acceptable both to God and Men.

View the Scripture, the Dictate and worke of the Holy Ghost; you shall find that, for the elegance of the phrase and weight of the words, it passes all the weake shallow Oratory of Mans tongue. There∣fore Saint Augustine calls it,*Venerabilem Page  48 Spiritus Sancti stilum, the venerable stile of the Holy Ghost. And in the Gospell the Iewes acknowledged our Sauiour for the best Rhetorician that euer was,*He spake as neuer man spake. The practick perfection of which Eloquence he hath declar'd in no∣thing more then in this Prayer, which in a narrow compasse comprehends the summe of all Oratory; Breuity, and Elegance, and Perspicuity.

[ 1] Pater Noster. It may be askt who is here meant by Pater,* whether the word be ta∣ken Notionaliter, and Personaliter, for God the Father, the first Person in the Trinity; or Essentialiter, essentially, as it is refer'd vn∣to the creature made and conserued by God, in which sense it appertaines to the whole Trinity,*Tota enim Trinitas, Pater, Filius, Spiritus Sanctus, vnus Pater est, & singula persona Pater est, sicut singula Deus; for the whole Trinity is one Father as one God. It is resolued by all, that when wee say Our Father, we meane and pray vnto the Trinity, and that by good right.

In the beginning, it was the Trinity Page  49 which fathered all mankind, Faciamus homi∣nem, which originall title of Sonne to that Father, Man might still haue preseru'd, had he not by his wilfull disobedience made a forfeiture of it. For though God had setled an estate vpon Adam, it was not so firmely intailed, but that it might bee, and was quickly cut off. His sinne did dis-inherit him, and vs in him, dispossest him of the Garden, his first Mansion and Patrimony, and deuested him of the title of a Sonne: For he was then no more filius Dei, the Sonne of God, but Seruus peccati, sinnes bond-slaue; Nay (saith Saint Augustine) Pater noster ante gratiam Christi Diabolus erat;* before the Deuill onely had title to him, and in that bondage was he conclu∣ded till that time; by whose mediation God was reconcil'd to Man, and the lost Sonne acknowledged by the right Father. I am non seruus est sed filius,*quod si filius & haeres. So that Christ hauing now by Grace restor'd to Man what originally hee lost, repurchased the title of Sonne, by Adoption; since that we tooke from Crea∣tion Page  50 was extinct, he held it meetest, that as God now tooke vs for his children, wee should also in our Prayers claime him for Our Father.* Since we had receiued Spiri∣tum adoptionis filiorum Dei, the Spirit of A∣doption should cry Abba Father. So be∣ginning where Adam left, and directing our supplications to that Father which first made vs the Blessed Trinity.

Which though it be here meant, yet is not the Essentiall name, as Deus, or Domi∣nus,* God, or Lord, vsed; but a Personall Father, Voca me Patrem (as 'tis in the Pro∣phet) Call me not Lord, but Father.

Saint Chrysostome* giues the reason, God (saith he) would be called Father, and not Lord, that hee might giue vs more confi∣dence of obtaining what we sue for. Ser∣uants doe not alwaies finde an easinesse in their Lords to grant what they aske, but Sonnes presume it.* Therefore, Oratio quae paterno dulcescit nomine omnium petitionum impetrandarum fiduciam mihi praestat. A Prayer that is sweetned with the Name of Father, how much comfort doth it beget Page  51 in the heart of him that pronounces it? Can a woman forget her childe? Yea, though she forget to be kind, to be naturall, yet will not I forget to be mercifull, saith our heauenly Father.

Hence Saint Augustine fitly notes the priuiledge which the Christian hath aboue the Iew. Nunquam inuenitur praeceptum po∣pulo Israelitico vt dicerent Pater noster, sed est ijs infinuatus Dominus, tanquàm seruis; You neuer finde that the old Israelites were allowed to call God Our Father; no, as Seruants still they stiled him Lord; but vnto vs Christians, hee hath afforded this grace through his beloued Sonne, to say vnto him, Our Father, Dedit potestatem fi∣lios Deifieri his qui credunt.

This Prayer then is the Prayer of Sons,* fit onely for their mouthes who acknow∣ledge God for their Father,* it is the Bread of Children; Non catulis proijciendus, not lawfull to bee taken into the mouthes of any that are not Children. But yet say it be; admit that men of prophane lips and peruerse life, that hate to bee reformed take Page  52 these words into their mouthes; say Esau, the father of the Reprobate, spake in the lan∣guage of Iaacob, and cry, Our Father, how is this Sacrifice accepted by God, when it is offered vp from such vnhallowed Altars? Doth he answer to that call of Father? or stands it with his honour to account them Sons? Either it must follow that they say false in saying Our Father, and saying false,* sinne in saying the Lords Prayer (for verbum mendax iustus detestabitur) or that God must father children which are none of his, but such to whom he sayes, Vos ex Patre Diabolo estis. The doubt seemes sub∣tile, but easily answered by acute Alexan∣der Hales.* A wicked man may say this Prayer and not sinne, or lye, so he say it not Indicatiuè, but Optatiuè, not Implying but Wishing that God would be so gracious as to be his Father, which wish is lawfull. A∣gaine,* this Prayer is Oratio communis, a com∣mon vniuersall Prayer, Et dicenda in Per∣sona Ecclesiae quae multos habet filios, said in the behalfe of the whole Church of Christ, which hath many sonnes; therefore though Page  53 Atheists or Reprobates cry Our Father; they include not themselues, but only speak the language of the Church, which reapes what they sow; for their owne lips must not taste the fruit and effect of this sweet vintage, as hauing no part in God, nor in the Church. So that vnto such men this Prayer is like weapons, which cowards or vnskilfull men weare, to arme others, not to defend themselues. Though they vse the words and syllables of Christ, they want the Spirit that animates the words, and though they haue the Sword of Prayer, they want the Arme of Faith to weild it. Like as the Epyrots told the Turks (when they vaunted they had won the sword of that victorious Prince of Epyre, George Castriot) though you haue the sword of Scanderbeg, yet you haue not his arme.

I need not set any marke of difference to [ 2] distinguish those false spurious children from the true. The next word Noster*(Our) shuts out them from the Church, and sepe∣rates them from the number of Gods elect children, who can only, and may iustly call him. Our Father.*

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Meum and Tuum, these words, Mine, and Thine, haue beene the seeds of Enuie and Contention euer since the world was habi∣table. From these little Graines hath the Lawes large Haruest growne vp. These were they which at first inuented, and euer since exercised our Termes: The common Barritors, causes of all rents and schismes in in the Common-wealths body: These haue blowne the coales of strife, occasioned bro∣thers to goe to law with brothers, nay bro∣thers to destroy one another. If Abel should haue ask't Cain vpon what quarrell he kill'd him, he could haue stated his countrouersie in no other termes but Meum and Tuum, Thy sacrifice is better accepted than Mine: These haue beene the accur'st remouers of neighbours bounds, and land-markes, haue entitled the vigilant Oppressor to anothers patrimony: These were the bloudy Depo∣sitions that cost Naboth his life; had he re∣linquished his right to the vineyard, and not call'd it Mine (I will not giue thee my vineyard) he had preseru'd a friend of Ie∣sabel,* and a life too. These two little Mo∣nosyllables, Page  55Mine and Thine, they are the great Monopolists that spanne the wide world; that, like Abraham and Lot, diuide the land betwixt them, yet cannot agree, but are euer wrangling and quarrelling about their shares; like those two factious brethren, Aetrocles and Polymises, who ne∣uer could be reconcil'd, liuing nor dead; for when they had slaine one the other, and were put in one Herse, one funerall pile, their Ashes fought, & the flames that burnt the bodies as sensible of the mortall fewd which was betwixt them liuing, diuided themselues. How many actions and suits begun vpon these termes Mine and Thine, haue suruiued those that commenced them first, and descended from the great Grand∣father, to the Heire in the fourth genera∣tion?

Since then these two had occasioned so much strife, so much mischiefe in the Poli∣ticke Body, Christ would not haue them admitted to make any faction or rent in the Mysticall Body of the Church. But as he was the Reconciler of God and Man by Page  56 his bloud; so would he shew himselfe the Reconciler of Man and Man, shutting vp all opposition of Mine and Thine in this one word, as the common Peace-maker, Noster, Our Father.

'Tis Atheisme for any to say Pater Tuus, God is Thy Father, and not Mine. 'Tis pre∣sumption for any to say, Pater Meus, to call God My Father:*Nemo dicat meus, quod soli Christo euenit. Patrem dicis quasi Filius sed noli tibi aliquid specialiter vindicare: 'Tis Saint Ambrose* his Caueat. Christ alone can call God My Father, for God is his Father by Nature, ours onely by Grace. Vnto Christ he is Pater specialis,* to vs Pater com∣munis, not in speciall, but common; Haue we not all one Father?* 'Tis meetest then we should say in one voice, Pater noster, Our Father.

In teaching vs to say thus, Christ taught vs also a two-fold Lesson.

[ 1] First of brotherly charitie; we must not only (as Saint Iohn saith) Loue one another,* but Pray one for another; brother for bro∣ther, neighbour for neighbour, the Priest Page  57 for the Congregation, and the Congrega∣tion againe for the Priest. Thus doth the practise of our Church instruct vs in the Liturgie, Dominus vobiscum, The Lord be with you. There the Priest prayes for the people; and the people againe pray for the Priest, when they answer,*And with thy spi∣rit; Frater qui adiuuatur à fratre quasi ciui∣tas firma; When brethren thus vnite their forces and prayers, they are so fortified that the power of Hell cannot make them dis∣band. If we are commanded to doe good vnto all men, it followes, à maiori ad minus, that at least we must pray for all men. A good wish is better cheape than a good worke, nor will they afford a reall bene∣fit to their brethren, that will not pray for them: he that thinkes himselfe borne only for himselfe, contracts and straightens the freedome of his being. The most noble and Christian resolution therefore is, for a man to study his brothers good as well as his owne, Nec sibi sed toto natum se credere mundo.

Secondly, a lesson of humility. When he [ 2] Page  58 hath thus combin'd the race of men toge∣ther in one fraternitie, giuen the lowest and meanest as good right to call him Father,* as the highest and best amongst vs: Hee would not haue any to prize themselues so much, as to scorne and dis-value all below them. God is a God of the valleyes, as well as the hills, nor is he a Father of the rich and noble, but of the poore too: Be their qua∣lities and degrees neuer so different in the account of the world, summ'd vp in the ac∣count of this Prayer, they are all euen. As but one sacrifice was appointed for the rich and poore;* so Christ hath appointed but one Prayer, but one appellation for them all,*Pater Noster, Our Father. Hoc dicit Im∣perator, hoc dicit Mendicus, hoc dicit seruus, hoc dicit Dominus: The King and the Beg∣ger, the Lord and the Slaue, all concur and say, Our Father.

God is no partiall Father, nor is his eare partiall, he heares and accepts the one as soone as the other. For our Prayers doe not ascend in their rankes, nor doth the poore mans Petition stay to let the great Page  59 ones goe before; but when we pray, God comprehends vs all vnder one common Notion of sonnes and suitors;*Intelligant ergo se esse fratres quando vnum habent Pa∣trem; From hence let them learne this equal lesson, not to disdaine any,* though the mea∣nest, for their brethren, who haue God for their Father, as well as themselues.

I haue held you too long vpon these first words Our Father, indeed beyond a Pater noster while. But I shall quickly dis∣misse you, for my speech is now arriued at the end and period of our Prayers iourney, Heauen. Which art in Heauen.

Thither it now bends; but being in the ascent and rising vp to it, giue me leaue a little to breath by the way, to rest a minute vpon the contemplation of Gods Essence, intimated in these words Qui es. To be,* is predicated of none so properly as of God, Exod. 3.14.* he takes an attribute, denomi∣nates himselfe from his Being: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Thou shalt say vnto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me vnto you. Againe, our Sauiour sayes, Ante Abraham, Ego sum, Before Abraham was,*I am.

Page  60

Lastly, Saint Iohn characterises him by his Essence,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Grace be vnto you from him that Is, that Was, and that Is to come. He is indeed Ens Entium, Ens primum, and Ens simplicissimum, The first, purest, most independant Essence. The world, and the creatures in it, and we our selues, are but Deriuations from that Primitiue Being: In him we liue, and moue, and haue our Being.

As he is the most absolute, so the most immutable Essence.*Qui es signifies Immu∣tabilem subsistentiam. The circumstances of Time measure not, nor alter Him, as nei∣ther feeling the accessions multiplied, nor the waining and decrease of Times.

*In Deo non est praeteritio nec futuritio, sed nunc aeternitatis semper stans; say the Schooles. Things past and future, are eter∣nally present with him, whose Title and Motto is,*I am that I am, or as the Chaldee Paraphrast renders it,*I will be what I will be: Yesterday and to day the same for euermore.*

In a word, he is that Immense Being, in whom those three vast transcendents, v∣num, verum & bonum; vnitie, veritie and Page  61 goodnesse knit and meet together and make their aboad. He is Maximè vnus, be∣cause most inuariable; Most True, because most absolute and independant; Most Good, because the Author of all Good, nay, Goodnesse it selfe in the Abstract.

So long therefore as wee conforme our selues to his Will retaining our goodnesse, so long we preserue our Being, it may bee said we are; but when we once leaue off that, we leaue to Be: we are only priuations, or what is worse, Beasts and no Men. Non impune mali sumus,*& in quantū mali sumus in tantū minus sumus. There is no true existence but Vertue, a good man is a Copy & Image of God, God is euer neere vnto him, he euer neere vnto God; neere to Beatitude, neere to Heauen, nay he is Heauen.*Caelum est ibi vbi culpa cessauit; wheresoeuer sinne is not, there is Heauen. If a sinner be called Earth, as in Genesis 3.*Terra es & in terram reuerteris; God tels Adam after he had sin∣ned, Thou art earth: certainly, a iust man by as good right may be tearmed Heauen. His Conscience is a Firmament,*Simplicis∣sima, Page  62 solida, pellucida (as Aristotle defines Heauen) cleere, and serene, and solid, not to be shaken or daunted. This is it, which whilst he liues here, makes him shine cleere in report and the esteeme of the world, and hereafter will cause him to shine more brightly in the Kingdome of Glory. Iusti fulgebunt sicut Sol.*

*Thus you may perceiue this short stay hath not hindered or disaduantaged our proceeding a whit, but rather set vs forward and brought vs a neerer, though a lower way to Heauen, since we haue here discouered an Heauen vpon Earth.

*For Heauen is not alwaies taken mate∣rially for the place where the Saints abide, but spiritually for Angels and Saints, or for good Men. So Saint Augustine interprets this place; Pater noster qui es in Coelis (id est) in Sanctis & iustis.

But why Coelis in the plurall number? Is it onely an Hebraisme? or to giue vs an oc∣casion to dispute whether there bee more Heauens than one? Whether Heauen be diuided into seuerall Classes, and roomes, Page  63 and stories, and degrees, because the Psal∣mist mentions the Heauen of Heauens?* And in the Gospell we read,*Glory in the highest Heauens? Whether there be three Heauens onely, because Saint Paul was rap't to the Third? or whether so many as Philosophy supposes, Ten?

Or is it said, Qui es in Coelis, to limit God and tie him to a place, as if he were only in Heauen, not in Earth? as Aristotle thought, Qui putat Deum suis contentum esse finibus;* as if hee did not fill both Heauen and Earth with his presence;*Coelum & Terram ego impleo; or as if he were not in all pla∣ces, and at all times, in this place, at this present, in this assembly, in vs, as one hath it,

Est Deus in nobis, &c.

For none of these reasons was this cir∣cumstance In Heauen put here; neither to egge our curiosity to dispute of Heauen, nor to restraine or confine God, who is All in all and aboue all, as Saint Gregory* excellently, Deus est inter omnia, non tamen inclusus; Extra omnia, non exclusus; infra omnia, non depressus; super omnia, non ela∣tus.Page  64 The true reason why hee is said to be In Heauen,* is, Vt eleuetur animus; to lift vp our hearts, and our hands, and our eyes, and our contemplations vnto the Lord. Saint Chrysostome* more fully, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. When Christ bid vs say, Our Father which art in Heauen, he did it that he might remoue our thoughts from the Earth, and fix them on Heauen and the things aboue.

Whither since I haue at last conducted your Meditations, there will I leaue them. Now they are placed at that pitch, there let them rest; I will not by any farther dis∣course call them downe, or settle them lower. I haue discharged the full scope and purpose of my Text, which was onely to direct your Prayers to the right Place, Heauen; and to the right Obiect, God our Father.

I know, our aduersaries, the Papists, set their Disciples a lower course, directing their Deuotions to Compostella or Loretto, or the Shrines of Saints, or the Sepulchre Page  65 at Ierusalem, but these are no obiects for our Religion or piety. Heauen must be the receptacle of our Prayers. Shall wee seeke to Christ amongst the Graues or Tombes of the dead? The Angell long since an∣swered them, Resurrexit, non est hîc;*Hee is not there, he is risen. And if we euer hope to finde him, our prayers must rise after him; Goe vp vnto that place whither he is ascended, Heauen.

Againe, though their Prayers goe to the right Place, yet they are not deliuered according to Christs direction, vnto the right Owner, Our Father, but vnto Saints and Angels; they calling them Father that are but brethren and fellow-ser∣uants, as the Angell told Saint Iohn, be∣ing about to worship him,*See thou doe it not, I am thy fellow-seruant and one of thy brethren which haue the testimony of Iesus; worship God. Nay, I would to God it were not true that they prayed vnto stockes and Images, saying vnto the worke of the Car∣uer and the Crucifix, Thou art my Father.

But howsoeuer they thus grosly will mis∣take Page  66 their way and mis-place their prayers, and if not disclaime the true Father, yet ioyne other Step-fathers vnto him; let vs goe vnto the right Father, and to him a∣lone, sending our Prayers as Christ hath directed them, not leauing them by the way, or deliuering them to the hand of any officious busie Saint that would inter∣cept them; that we giue not him cause to complaine of vs,* as he did of Israel, Filios genui qui me non agnouerunt; I haue children that will not acknowledge me.

Happy is that people whose God is the Lod (saith Dauid) but much happier that people whose Father is the Lord;* and Foe∣lices qui Patrem agnoscunt ('tis the step vn∣to which Tertullian aduances the Empha∣sis) happy are they that acknowledge God for their Father, that at the last day hee may owne and acknowledge them for his sonnes; Come ye bles∣sed Children, &c.