« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the other in their heart, uncircumcised, a wepé muyTou; the one, Obstinacy; the other, Unbelief. Stiff necks indeed! that will not stoop and relent with the yoke of sixteen hundred years' judgment and servility. Uncircumcised hearts! the film of whose unbelief would not be cut off with so infinite convictions. O mad and miserable Nation! let them shew us one prophecy, that is not fulfilled; let them shew us one other, in whom all the prophecies can be fulfilled; and we will mix pity with our hate: if they cannot, and yet resist, their doom is past; Those mine enemies, that would not have me to reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before ine. So let thine enemies perish, O Lord !
But what go I so far? Even amongst us, to our shame, this riotous age hath bred a monstrous* generation, (I pray God I be not now in some of your bosoms, that hear me this day,) compounded, much like to the Turkish religion, of one part, Christian; another, Jew; a third, Worldling; a fourth, Atheist, a Christian's face; a Jew's heart; a Worldling's life; and, therefore, Atheous in the whole: that acknowledge a God, and know him not; that profess a Christ, but doubt of him, yea, believe him not: the fool hath said in his heart, “ There is no Christ.” What shall I say of these men? They are worse than devils: that yielding spirit could say, Jesus I know: and these miscreants are still in the old tune of that tempting devil; Si tu es filius Dei, If thou be the Christ. O God, that after so clear a Gospel, so many miraculous confirmations, so many thousand martyrdoms, so many glorious victories of truth, so many open confessions of angels, men, devils, friends, enemies, such conspirations of heaven and earth, such universal contestations of all ages and people, there should be left any spark of this damnable infidelity in the false hearts of men ! Behold then, ye despisers, and wonder, and vanish away: whom have all the prophets foretold? or what have the prophecies of so many hundreds, yea thousands of years, foresaid, that is not with this word finished? Who could företeli these things, but the Spirit of God? Who could accomplish them, but the Son of God? He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, saith Zechariah: he hath spoken, and he hath done. One true God in both. None other spirit could foresay these things should be done: none other power could do these things, thus foreshewed. This word, therefore, can fit none but the mouth of God our Saviour, It is finished. We know whom we have believėd; Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Let him, that loves not the Lord Jesus, be accursed to the death.
2. Thus the PROPHECIES are finished : of the LEGAL OBSERVATIONS, with more brevity.
Christ is the end of the Law: What law? Ceremonial, Moral. Of the Moral; it was kept perfectly by himself, satisfied fully for us: of the Ceremonial; it was referred to him, observed of him, fulfilled in him, abolished by him.
There were nothing more easy, than to shew you how all those * Aug. ad. Híer. Dum volunt et Judei esse et Christiani, ncc Jud.ci sunt, nec Christiani,
Jewish Ceremonies looked at Christ: how Circumcision, Passover, the Tabernacle both outer and inner, the Temple, the Laver, both the Altars*, the Tables of Shew-bread, the Candlesticks, the Veil, the Holy of Holies, the Ark, the Propitiatory, the Pot of Manna, Aaron's Rod, the High Priest, his Order and Line, his Habits, his Inaugurations, his Washings, his Anointings, his Sprinklings, Offerings, the Sacrifices, inasina łuxepisina, and whatever Jewish rite, had their virtue from Christ, relation to him, and their end in him.
This was then their last gasp; for, now straight they died with Christ, now the veil of the Temple rent : as Austin weil notes out of Matthew's order; " It tore then, when Christ's last breath passedt." That conceit of Theophylact is witty; that, as the Jews were wont to rend their garments when they heard blasphemy, so the Temple, not enduring
these execrable blasphemies against the Son of God, tore his veil in pieces. But that is not all: the veil rent, is the obligation of the Ritual Law cancelled; the way into the heavenly sanctuary opened; the shadow giving room to the substance: in a word, it doth that which Christ saith, Consummatum est.
Even now then the Law of Ceremonies died: it had a long and solemn burial, as Augustin | saith well; perhaps figured in Moses, who died not lingeringly, but was thirty days mourned for. What means the Church of Rome to dig them up, now rotten in their grayes? and that, not as they had been buried, but sown with a plenteous increase; yea, with the inverted usury of too many of you Citizens; ten for one. It is
and deep censure of that resolute Jerome , Ego è contrario loquar, &c.“ Í say,” saith he, “ and in spite of all the world dare maintain, that now the Jewish ceremonies are pernicious and deadly; and whosoever shall observe them, whether he be Jew or Gentile," in burathrum diaboli devolutum,“ shall fry in hell for it.” Still altars? still priests ? sacrifices still ? still washings ? still unctions ? sprinkling, shaving, purifying? still all, and more than all? Let them hear but Augustin's || censure, Quisquis nunc, &c.“ Whosoever shall now use them, as it were raking them up out of their dust, he shall not be pius deductor corporis, sed impius sepulturæ violator; an impious and sacrilegious wretch, that ransacks the quiet tombs of the dead."
I say not that all Ceremonies are dead, but the Law of Ceremonies, and of Jewish. It is a sound distinction of them, that profound Peter Martyr bath in his epistle to that worthy Martyr, Father, Bishop Hooper: some are typical, fore-signifying Christ to come; some of order and decency; those are abrogated, not
* Θυμιατήριο», θυσιαςήριον. + Ex quo apparet tunc scissum esse, cùm Christus emisit spiritum. Ceremoniæ sicut defuncta corpora necessariorum officiis deducenda erant ad sepulturam, non simulatè, sed religiosè, nec deserenda continuò. Augustin.
§ Ego è contrario loquar, et reclamanto mundo libera voce pronunciem, ceremonias Judæorum perniciosas esse, et mortiferas, et quiCunque eas observaverit, sive ex Judæis sive ex Gentibus, in barat hrum diaboli devolutum. Hier. || Quisquis nunc ea celebrare voluerit, tanquam sopitos cineres eruens, non erit pius &c.
these. The Jews had a fashion of prophesying in the churches; so the Christians from them, as Ambrose: the Jews had an eminent pulpit of wood; so we: they gave names at their circumcision; so we at baptism: they sung psalms, melodiously in churches; so do we: they paid and received tithes; so do we: they wrapped their dead in linen with odours; so we: the Jews had sureties at their admission into the Church; so we: these instances might be infinite: the Spouse of Christ cannot be without her laces, and chains, and borders. Christ came not to dissolve order. But thou, O Lord, how long; how long shall thy poor Church find her ornaments, her sorrows ? and see the dear sons of her womb, bleeding about these apples of strife? Let me so name them, not for their value (even small things, when they are commanded, look for no small respect,) but for their event. The enemy is at the gates of our Syracuse: how long will we suffer ourselves, taken up with angles and circles in the dust*.
Ye men, brethren, and fathers, help: for God's sake, put to your hands, to the quenching of this common flame: the one side, by humility and obedience; the other, by compassion: both, by prayers and tears. Who am I, that I should revive to you the sweet spirit of that divine Augustin, who, when he heard and saw the bitter contentions betwixt two grave and famous Divines, Jerome and Ruffin; Heu mihi, saith he, qui vos alicubi simul invenire non possum; “ Alas, that I should never find you two together, how would I fall at your feet, how I would embrace them, and weep upon them, and beseech you, either of you for other, and each for himself, both of you for the Church of God; but especially, for the weak, for whom Christ died, who, not without their own great danger, see you two fighting in this theatre of the world.” Yet, let me do what he said he would do; beg for peace, as for life: by your filial piety to the Church of God, whose ruins follow upon our divisions ; by your love of God's truth; by the graces of that one Blessed Spirit, whereby we are all informed and quickened; by the precious blood of that Son of God, which, this day and this hour, was shed for our redemption; be inclined to peace and love: though our brains be different, yet let our hearts be one. It was, as I heard, the dying speech of our late reverend, worthy, and gracious Diocesan; Modò me moriente vivat ac floreat Ecclesia; “Oh, yet if, when I am dead, the Church may live and flourish !!!
What a spirit was here! what a speech! how worthy never to die! how worthy of a soul so near to his heaven! how worthy of so happy a succession! Ye, whom God hath made inheritors of this blessed care, who do no less long for the prosperity of Sion, live you to effect what he did but live to wish; all peace with ourselves, and war with none but Rome and Hell. And if there be any wayward Separatist, whose soul professeth to hate peace, I fear to tell him Paul's message; yet I must: Would to God those were cut off that trouble you! How cut off? As good Theodosius said to Demophilus, a contentious Prelate; Si tu pacein fugis*, &c. “ If thou fly peace, I will make thee fly the Church." Alas, they do fly it: that, which should be their punishment, they make their contentment: how are they worthy of pity! As Optatus of his Donatists; they are brethren, might be companions, and will not. O wilful men; whither do they run? from one Christ to another? Is Christ divided ? we have him, thanks be to our good God, and we hear him daily; and whither shall we go from thee? thou hast the words of eternal life.
* Alluding to the well known story, which Plutarch relates concerning Archimedes; that, when Marcellus had taken Syracuse, the mathematician's mind, as well as his eyes, was so fixed and intent upon some gcometrical figures, that he neither heard the noise of the Romans, nor perceived the city to be taken.
3. Thus the Ceremonies are finished : now hear the END OF HIS SUFFERINGS, with like patience and devotion.
His death is here included: it was so near, that he spake of it as done; and, when it was done, all was done. How easy is it to lose ourselves in this discourse! how hard not to be overwhelmed with matter of wonder; and to find either beginning or end! his sufferings found an end, our thoughts cannot. Lo, with this word he is happily waded out of those deeps of sorrows, whereof our conceits can find no bottom: yet let us, with Peter, gird our coat, and cast ourselves a little into this sea.
All his life was but a perpetual Passion. In that he became man, he suffered more than we can do, either while we are men, or when we cease to be men; he humbled, Étativwce; yea, he
einptied himself, ¿névwce. We, when we cease to be here, are clothed apon, 2 Cor. v. 2. We both win by our being, and gain by our loss; he lost, by taking our more or less to himself, that is, manhood. For, though ever as God, I and my Father are one; yet, as man, My Father is greater than I. That man should be turned into a beast, into a worm, into dust, into nothing; is not so great a disparagement, as that God should become man: and yet it is not finished; it is but begun.
But what man? If, as the absolute Monarch of the World, he had commanded the vassalage of all emperors and princes, and had trod on nothing but crowns and scepters and the necks of kings, and bidden all the potentates of the earth to attend his train; this had carried some port with it, suitable to the heroical Majesty of God's Son. No such matter: here is neither form nor beauty; unless perhaps, mopon dóns, the form of a servant : you have made me to serve with your sins. Behold, he is a man to God; a servant to man; and, be it spoken with holy reverence, a drudge to his servants. He is despised and rejected of men; yea (as himself, of himself) a worm, and no man, the shame of men, and contempt of the people. Who is the King of Glory? the Lord of Hosts, he is the King of Glory; Psalm xxiv. 10. Set these two together; the King of Glory; the shame of men: the more honour, the moro abasement.
* Si tu pacem fugis, ego te ab Ecclesiâ fugere mando,
Look back to his cradle: there you find him rejected of the Bethlehemites; born and laid, alas, how homely, how unworthily; sought for by Herod, exiled to Egypt, obscurely brought up in a cottage of a poor foster father, transported and tempted by Satan, derided of his kindred, blasphemously traduced by the Jews, pinched with hunger, restless, harbourless, sorrowful, persecuted by the Elders and Pharisees, sold by his own servant, apprehended, arraigned, scourged, condemned, and yet it is not finished. Let us, with that disciple, follow him afar off; and, passing over all his contemptuous usage in the way, see him brought to his Cross.
Still the further we look, the more wonder: every thing adds to this ignominy of suffering, and triumph of over-coming. Where was it ? not in a corner, as Paul saith to Festus, Acts xxvi. 26. év ywvíą; but in Jerusalem, the eye, the heart of the world. Obscurity abateth shame: public notice heightens it: Before all Israel and before this sun, saith God to David, when he would thoroughly shame him: in Jerusalem, which he had honoured with his presence, taught with his preachings, astonished with his miracles, bewailed with his tears; 0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft would 1, and thou wouldst not! O yet, if in this thy day. Cruelty and unkindness, after good desert, affict so much more, as our merit hath been greater. Whereabouts ? without the gates: in Calvary, among the stinking bones of execrable malefactors. Before, the glory of the place bred shame; now, the vileness of it. When? but in the Passover; a time of greatest frequence and concourse of all Jews and Proselytes: a holy time: when they should receive the figure, they reject the substance: when they should kill and eat the Sacramental Lamb, in faith, in thankfulness; they kill the Lamb of God, our true Passover, in cruelty and contempt. With whom? The quality of our company either increases or lessens shame. “In the midst of thieves," saith one*, “as the prince of thieves:" there was no guile in his mouth, much less in his hands : yet, behold, he, that thought it no robbery to be equal with God, is inade equal to robbers and murderers; yea, superior in evil.
What suffered he? As all lives are not alike pleasant, so all deaths are not equally fearful. There is not more difference betwixt some life and death, than betwixt one death and another. See the Apostle's gradation : He was made obedient to the death, even the death of the Cross: the Cross, a lingering, tormenting, ignominious death. The Jews had four kinds of death for malefactors; the towel, the sword, fire, stones; each of these above other in extremity. Strangling with the towel, they accounted easiest ; the sword worse than the towel; the fire worse than the sword; stoning worse than the fire: but this Roman death was worst of all. Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Yet, as Jerome well, “ He is not therefore accursed, because he hangeth; but therefore he hangeth, because he is accursed.” He was made,
* In medio latronum, tanquam latronum immanissimus,