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But what if we shall meet here no more? what if we shall no more see one another's face? Brethren, we shall once meet together above: we shall once see the glorious face of God, and never look off again.
Let it not over-grieve us, to leave these tabernacles of stone; since we must shortly lay down these tabernacles of clay, and en ter into tabernacles not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Till then, farewell, my Dear Brethren, farewell in the Lord. Go in peace; and live as those that have lost such a Master, and as those that serve a Master whom they cannot lose: And the God of Peace go with you, and prosper you in all your ways; and so fix his Tabernacle in you upon earth, that you may be received into those Tabernacles of the New Jerusalem, and dwell with him for ever, in that glory which he hath provided for all that love him. SERMON VI.
A HOLY PANEGYRIC:
A SERMON PREACHED AT PAUL'S CROSS, UPON THE ANNIVERSARY so.
LEMNITY OF THE HAPPY INAUGURATION OF OUR DREAD SOVEREIGN LORD, KING JAMES, MARCH 24, 1613.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR JOHN SWINERTON, KNIGHT,
LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON,
ALL GRACE AND HAPPINESS.
My own forwardness, whereof it repenteth me not, hath sent forth other of my labours unbidden; but this, your effectual importunity hath drawn forth into the common light. It is a holy desire, that the eye may second the ear, in any thing that may help the soul ; and we, that are fishers of inen, should be wanting to ourselves, if we had not baits for both those senses. I plead not the disadvantage of a dead letter, in respect of that life, which elocution puts into any discourse. Such as it is, I make it both public, and yours. I have caused my thoughts, so near as I could, to go back to the very terms wherein I expressed them; as thinking it better to fetch those words I have let fall, than to follow those I must take up. That, therefore, which it pleased your Lordship to hear with such patient attention, and with so good affection to desire, I not unwillingly suffer abroad ; that these papers may speak that permanently to the eyes of all our Countrymen, which in the passage found such favour
in the ears of your Citizens, and such room in so many hearts. Besides your first and vehement motion for the press, your known love to learning
deserves a better acknowledgement, and no doubt finds it from more worthy hands. And, if my gratulation would add
any thing, those should envy you, which will not imitate you. For the rest, God give your Lordship a wise, understanding, and courageous heart ; that you may prudently and strongly manage these wild times upon which you are fallen ; and, by your holy example and powerful endeavours, help to shorten these reins of licentiousness : that sa this City, which is better taught than any under heaven, may teach all other places how to live; and may honour that profession, which hath made it renowned, and all God's Church joyful : the welfare and happiness whereof, and your Lordship in it, is unfeignedly wished, by
Your Lordship's humbly devoted,
I SAMUEL xii. 24, 25. Therefore fear you the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your
hearts, and consider how great things he hath done for you. But if you do wickedly, ye shall perish, both
and your king. I HOLD
HOLD it no small favour of God, Right Honourable and Beloved, that he hath called me to the service of this day; both in the name of such a people to praise him for his Anointed, and in his name to praise his Anointed to his people. The same hand, that gives the opportunity, vouchsafe to give success to this business!
That, which the Jews sinned in but desiring, it is our happiness to enjoy. I need not call any other witness than this day, wherein we celebrate the blessing of a King; and, which is more, of a King higher than other Princes by the head and shoulders. And, if other years had forgotten this tribute of their loyalty and thankfulness, yet the example of those ancient Roman Christians, as Eusebius and Sozomen report *, would have taught us, that the tenth complete year of our Constantine deserves to be solemn and Jubilar. And, if our ill nature could be content to smother this mercy in silence, the very lepers of Samaria should rise up against us, and say, We do not well; this is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace.
My discourse yet shall not be altogether laudatory; but as Samuels, led in with exhortation and carried out with threatening: For this text is a composition of Duties, Favours, Dangers : of DUTIES WHICH WE Owe, of FAVOURS RECEIVED, of DANGERS THREATENED.
The Duties, that God looks for of us, come before the mention of the Favours we have received from him, though after their receipt; to teach
mercy, so our obedience should be absolute: and the Danger follows both, to make us more careful to hold the favours, and perform the duties. And, methinks there cannot be a more excellent mixture. If we should hear only of the favours of God, nothing of our duties, we should fall into con
* Decimum quemque annum Imperatores Romani magna festivilate celebrant, Sozom. 1. i. 24. Idem Euseb. de vità Const.
ceitedness; if only of our duties, without recognition of his fa vours, we should prove uncheerful; and if both of these without mention of any danger, we should presume on our favours, and be slack in our duties. Prepare, therefore, your Christian ears and hearts for this threefold cord of God; that, through his blessing, these duties may draw you to obedience, the dangers to a greater awe, and the favours to a further thankfulness.
1. The goodness of these outward things is not such, as that it can privilege every desire of them from sin. Monarchy is the best of governinents; and likest to His rule, that sits in the assembly of Gods. “ One God, one King *,' was the acclamation of those ancient Christians; and yet it was mis-desired of the Israelites. We may not ever desire that, which is hetter in itself; but that, which is better for us: neither must we follow our conceit in this judgment, but the appointment of God. Now, though God had appointed in time, both a Scepter and a Lawgiver to Judah; yet they sinned in mending the pace of God, and spurring on his decree. And, if they had stayed his leisure, so that they had desired that which was best in itself, best for them, appointed by God, and now appointed; yet the manner and ground offended : for, out of an humour of innovation, out of discontent, out of distrust, out of an itch of conformity to other nations, to ask a King, it was not only a sin, as they confess, v. 29, but 127 nyn, a great wickedness, as Samuel tells them, v. 17; and, as oftentimes we may read God's displeasure in the face of heaven, he shews it in the weather. God thunders and rains in the midst of wheat-harvest. The thunder was fearful; the rain, in that hot climate and season, strangely unseasonable: both to be in the instant of Samuel's speech, was justly miraculous, The heathen poets bring in their feigned God 'thuridering in applause : I never find the true God did so. This voice of God brake these cedars of Lebanon, and made these hinds to calve; Psalm xxix. 5, 9: and now they cry Peccavimus, v. 19. If ever we will stoop, the judgments of God will bring us on our knees. Samuel takes 'vantage of their humiliation; and, according to the golden sentence of that Samian-wise-man, that bids us lay weight upon the loaden †, however Jerome I take it in another sense, he lades them with these three DUTIES; Fear, Service, Consideration,
1. Fear and service go still together. Serve the Lord in fear, saith David; Psalm ii. 11. Fear the Lord, and serve him, saith Joshua; Joshua xxiv. 14: and, fear ever before service; for that, unless our service proceed from fear, it is hollow and worthless. One says well, that these inward dispositions are as the kernel; outward acts are as the shell : he is but a deaf nut therefore, that hath outward service, without inward fear. Fear God, saith Solomon, first, and then, keep his coinmandments; Eccl. xij. 13.
* Juxta Honier. Eis xolgavos&c. + Juxta Χρυσα παραγγελματα Pythagora, Oneratis superponendum onus, id est, ad virtutem incedentibus augmentanda præcepta; Tradentes se otio relinquendos. Hier, advers, Ruffin,
Behold, the same tongue, that bade them not fear, v. 20, now bids them fear; and the same Spirit, that tells us they feared exceedingly, v. 18, now enjoins them to fear more.
What shall we make of this? Their other fear was at the best initial; for now they began to repent: and, as one says of this kind of fear, That it hath two eyes fixed on two divers objects *; so had this of theirs : one eye looked upon the rain and thunder; the other looked up to the God that sent it. The one of these it borrowed of the slavish or hostile fear, as Basil calls it; the other, of the filial: for the slavish fear casts both eyes upon the punishment; the filial looks with both eyes on the party offended.
Now then Samuel would rectify and perfect this affection; and would bring them, from the fear of slaves, through the fear of penitents, to the fear of sons; and, indeed, one of these makes way for another. It is true, that perfect love thrusts out fear ; but it is as true, that fear brings in that perfect love, which is joined with the reverence of sons : like as the needle or bristle, so one compares it, draws in the thread after it; or, as the potion brings health.
“The compunction of fear,” saith Gregoryt, “ fits the mind for the compunction of love." We shall never rejoice truly in God, except it be with trembling: except we have quaked at his thunder, we shall never joy in his sunshine. How seasonably there fore doth Samuel, when he saw them smitten with that guilty and servile fear, call them to the reverential fear of Gad! Therefore fear ye the Lord. It is good striking, when God hath stricken: there is no fishing so good, as in troubled waters. The conscience of man is a nice and sullen thing; and, if it be not taken at fit times, there is no meddling with it. Tell one of our gallants, in the midst of all his jollity and revels, of devotion, of piety, of judgments; he hath the Athenian question ready, What will this babbler say ? Let that man alone, till God hath touched his soul with some terror, till he hath cast his body on the bed of sickness, when his feather is turned to a kerchief, when his face is pale, his eyes sunk, his hand shaking, his breath short, his flesh consumed, now he may be talked with; now he hath learned of Eli to say, Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth,
The convex or out-bowed side of a vessel will hold nothing: it must be the hollow and depressed part, that is capable of any liquor. Oh, if we were so humbled with the varieties of God's judgments as we might, how savoury should his counsels be; how precious and welcome would his fear be to our trembling hearts ! whereas now our stubborn senselessness frustrates, in respect of our success, though not of his decree, all the threatenings and executions of God,
There are two main affections, Love and Fear; which, as they take up the soul where they are, and as they never go asunder, (for
* Joh. de Combis Compend. Theol. + Greg. 3. Dial. c. 34. Compunctia. formidinis tradit animum compunctioni dilectionis,