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but him, who made all things in which we rejoice by the way, In thy name shall we rejoice all the day, says David; Si in nomine suo, non tota die. St. Augustine says not that to any particular person, nor any particular calling, but to any man, to every man; any prince, any councillor, any prelate, any general, any discoverer, any that goes in any way of joy, and glory, Si nomine suo, non tota die, If they rejoice in their own names, their own wisdom, their own strength, they shall not rejoice all the day, but they shall be benighted with dark sadness, before their days end; And their sun shall set at noon too, as the prophet Amos speaks. And therefore that shall be Christ's expressing of that joy, at the last day, enter into thy master's joy, and leave the joy of servants (though of good servants) behind thee; for thou shalt have a better joy than that, thy master's joy.
It is time to end; but as long as the glass hath a gasp, as long as I have one, I would breathe in this air, in this perfume, in this breath of heaven, the contemplation of this joy. Blessed is that man, Qui scit jubilationem, says David, that knows the joyful sound: for, Nullo modo beatus, nisi scias unde gaudeas"; For though we be bound to rejoice always, it is not a blessed joy, if we do not know upon what it be grounded: or if it be not upon everlasting blessedness. Comedite amici, says Christ, bibite et inebriamini". Eat and drink, and be filled. Joy in this life, ubi in sudore vescimur, where grief is mingled with joy, is called meat, says St. Bernard, and Christ calls his friends to cat in the first word. Potus in futuro, says he, Joy in the next life, where it passes down without any difficulty, without any opposition, is called drink; and Christ calls his friends to drink; but the overflowing, the ebrietas animæ, that is reserved to the last time, when our bodies as well as our souls, shall enter into the participation of it: where, when we shall love every one, as well as ourselves, and so have that joy of our own salvation multiplied by that number, we shall have that joy so many times over, as there shall be souls saved, because we love them as ourselves, how infinitely shall this joy be enlarged in loving God, so far above ourselves, and all them. We have but this to add.
Heaven is called by many precious names; life", simply and absolutely there is no life but that. And kingdom"; simply, absolutely there is no kingdom, that is not subordinate to that. And Sabbatum ex sabbato, A sabbath flowing into a sabbath, a perpetual sabbath: but the name that should enamour us most, is that, that it is satietas gaudiorum; fulness of joy. Fulness that needeth no addition; fulness, that admitteth no leak. And then though in the school we place blessedness, in visione, in the sight of God, yet the first thing that this sight of God shall produce in us (for that shall produce the reformation of the image of God, in us, and it shall produce our glorifying of God) but the first thing that the seeing of God shall produce in us, is joy. The measure of our seeing of God is the measure of joy. See him here in his blessings, and you shall joy in those blessings here; and when you come to see him sicuti est, in his essence, then you shall have this joy in essence, and in fulness; of which, God of his goodness give us such an earnest here, as may bind to us that inheritance hereafter, which his Son our Saviour Christ Jesus hath purchased for us, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.
A LENT SERMON PREACHED AT WHitehall,
LUKE Xxiii. 40.
Fearest not thou God, being under the same condemnation?
THE text itself is a christening sermon, and a funeral sermon, and a sermon at a consecration, and a sermon at the canonization of himself that makes it. This thief whose words they are, is baptized in his blood; there is his christening: he dies in that
54 Matt. ix. 15.
56 Isaiah Lxvi. 23.
55 Luke xii. 32.
$7 Psalm xvi. 11.
profession; there is his funeral: his diocese is his cross, and he takes care of his soul, who is crucified with him, and to him he is a bishop; there is his consecration: and he is translated to heaven; there is his canonization. We have sometimes mention in Moses' Book of Exodus, according to the Roman translation, operis plumarii, of a kind of subtle and various workmanship, employed upon the tabernacle, for which it is hard to find a proper word now; we translate it sometimes embroidery, sometimes needle-work, sometimes otherwise. It is evident enough, that it was opus variegatum, a work compact of divers pieces, curiously inlaid, and varied for the making up of some figure, some representation: and likeliest to be that which in sumptuous buildings, we use to call now Mosaic work: for that very word originally signifies, to vary, to mingle, to diversify. As the tabernacle of God was, so the Scriptures of God are of this Mosaic work the body of the Scriptures hath in it limbs taken from other bodies; and in the word of God, are the words of other men, other authors, inlaid and inserted. But, this work is only where the Holy Ghost is the workman: it is not for man to insert, to inlay other words into the Word of God. It is a gross piece of Mosaic work, to insert whole apocryphal books into the Scriptures. It is a sacrilegious defacing of this Mosaic work, to take out of Moses' tables, such a stone as the second commandment; and to take out of the Lord's prayer, such a stone as is the foundation-stone, the reason of the prayer, Quia tuum, For thine is the kingdom, &c. It is a counterfeit piece of Mosaic work, when having made up a body of their canon-law, of the rags and fragments torn from the body of the fathers, they attribute to every particular sentence in that book, not that authority which that sentence had in that father from whom it is taken, but that authority which the canonization (as they call it) of that sentence gives it; by which canonization, and placing it in that book, it is made equal to the Word of God. It is a strange piece of Mosaic work, when one of their greatest authors pretending to present a body of proofs, for all controverted points from the Scriptures, and councils, and fathers (for he makes no mention in his promise of the mothers of the church) doth yet that body with sentences from women, and obtrude to us
the revelations of Brigid, and of Catherine, and such she-fathers as those. But when the Holy Ghost is the workman, in the true Scriptures, we have a glorious sight of this Mosaic, this various, this mingled work; where the words of the serpent in seducing our first parents, the words of Balaam's ass in instructing the rider himself, the words of profane poets, in the writings and use of the apostle, the words of Caiaphas prophesying that it was expedient that one should die for all, the words of the devil himself (Jesus I know, and Paul I know) and here in this text, the words of a thief executed for the breach of the law; do all concur to the making up of the Scriptures, of the Word of God.
Now, though these words were not spoken at this time, when we do but begin to celebrate by a poor and weak imitation, the fasting of our Saviour Jesus Christ, but were spoken at the day of the crucifying of the Lord of life and glory; yet as I would be loth to think, that you never fast but in Lent, so I would be loth to think that you never fulfil the sufferings of Christ Jesus in your flesh, but upon Good-Friday, never meditate upon the passion, but upon that day. As the church celebrates an advent, a preparation to the incarnation of Christ, to his coming in the flesh, in humiliation: so may this humiliation of ours in the text, be an advent, a preparation to his resurrection, and coming in glory and, as the whole life of Christ was a passion, so should the whole life (especially the humiliation) of a Christian, be a continual meditation upon that. Christ began with some drops of blood in his infancy, in his circumcision; though he drowned the sins of all mankind, in those several channels of blood, which the whips, and nails, and spear, cut out of his body in the day of his passion. So though the effects of his passion be to be presented more fully to you, at the day of his passion, yet it is not unseasonable now, to contemplate thus far the working of it upon this condemned wretch, whose words this text is, as to consider in them, first, the infallibility, and the dispatch of the grace of God upon them, whom his gracious purpose hath ordained to salvation: how powerfully he works; how instantly they obey. This condemned person who had been a thief, execrable amongst men, and a blasphemer, execrating God, was suddenly a convertite, suddenly a confessor, suddenly a martyr,
suddenly a doctor to preach to others. In a second consideration, we shall see what doctrine he preaches; not curiosities, not unrevealed mysteries, not matter of state, nor of wit, nor of carnal delight, but only the fear of God: Nonne times Deum? and for a third part, we shall see his auditory, the church that he preached to: he contented himself with a small parish; he had most care of their souls, that needed him most: he applies himself to the conversion of his fellow-thief. He works upon those sins which he knew to have been in himself. And he works upon him by all these steps: first, nonne tu? howsoever the rest do revile Christ, because they stay behind, and look for a temporal Messias, to make this life sweet, and glorious unto them; yet what is that to thee? thou art to have no part in it; howsoever they be, art not thou affected? Nonne tu times? If the bitterness of thy torment cannot let thee love, though thy stomach will not come down to kiss the rod and embrace correction, yet nonne tu times? doth it not imprint a fear in thee? nonne times Deum? Though the law have done the worst upon thee, witnesses, advocates, judges, executioners can put thee in no more fear; yet, nonne times Deum? fearest not thou God? who hath another tribunal, another execution for thee; especially when thou knowest thy condemnation, and such a condemnation; eandem, the same condemnation; and that this condemnation is not imminent, but now upon thee: when thou art now under the same condemnation, fearest thou not God?
The first thing then is, the powerfulness and the dispatch of the grace of God in the conversion of them, who are ordained unto it. In Judas, the devil entered into him when Christ gave him the sop; but the devil had put the treason in his heart before. The temptation had an inchoation, and it had a meditation, and it had a consummation. In St. Paul, in his conversion, God wrought upon him all at once, without any discontinuance; he took him at as much disadvantage for grace to work upon as could be; breathing threatenings and slaughters against the disciples, and provided with commissions for that persecution. But suddenly there came a light, and suddenly a stroke that humbled him, and suddenly a voice, and suddenly a hand that led him to Damascus. After God had laid hold upon him,