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though God be seen in a weed, in a worm, yet he is seen more clearly in the sum) So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

Now, as the first devils were in heaven (for it was not the punishment which they feel in hell, but the sin which they committed in heaven, which made them devils) and yet the fault was not in God, nor in the place; so if the greatest sins be committed in courts (as even in Rome, where they will needs have an innocent church, yet they confess a guilty court) the faults are personal, theirs that do them, and there is no higher author of their sin. The apostle does not bid us say, that it is so in courts; but lest it should come to be so, he bids us give these rules to courts, So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by a law of liberty. First then, here is no express precept given, no direct commandment, to speak the Holy Ghost saw, there would be speaking enough in courts; for, though there may be a great sin in silence, a great prevarication in not speaking in a good cause, or for an oppressed person; yet the lowest voice in a court, whispering itself, speaks aloud, and reaches far; and therefore, here is only a rule to regulate our speech, Sic loquimini, So speak ye. And then, as here is no express precept for speaking, so here is no express precept for doing; the Holy Ghost saw, there would be doing enough, business enough in court: for, as silence, and halfsilence, whispering, may have a loud voice; so, even undoing may be a busy doing; and therefore, here is only a rule to regulate our doings too, Sic facite, So do ye. And lastly, as there is speaking enough, even in silence, and doing enough, even in undoing, in court; so the court is always under judgment enough. Every discontented person that hath missed his preferment, though he have not merited it; every drunkard that is over-heat, though not with his own wine; every conjecturing person, that is not within the distance to know the ends, or the ways of great actions, will judge the highest counsels, and executions of those counsels. The court is under judgment enough, and they take liberty enough; and therefore here is a rule to regulate our liberty, a law of liberty: So speak ye, and, &c. But though for the more benefit of the present congregation, we fix the first point of this circle, that is, the principal purpose of the Holy Ghost, upon

the court; yet our text is an amphitheatre. An amphitheatre consists of two theatres : our text hath two parts, in which, all men, all may sit, and see themselves acted; first, in the obligation that is laid upon us, upon us all, Sic loquimini, sic facite: and then in the reason of this holy diligence, and religious cautelousness, Quia judicandi, Because you are all to be judged, by, &c., which two general parts, the obligation, and the reason, flowing into many subdivided branches, I shall, I think, do better service, both to your understandings, and to your memory, and to your affections, and consciences, to present them as they shall arise anon, in their order, than to pour them out, all at once


First then, in our first part, we look to our rule, in the first duty, our speaking; Sic loquimini, So speak ye. The comic poet gives us a good caution, Si servus semper consuescat silentio, fiet nequam; That servant that says nothing, thinks ill. As our Nullifidians, men that put all upon works, and no faith; and our Solifidians, men that put all upon faith and no works, are both in the wrong; so there is a danger in multiloquio, and another in nulliloquio: he that speaks over freely to me, may be a man of dangerous conversation; and the silent and reserved man, that makes no play, but observes, and says nothing, may be more dangerous than he: as the Roman emperor professed to stand more in fear of one pale man, and lean man, than of twenty that studied and pursued their pleasures, and loved their ease, because such would be glad to keep things in the state they then were, but the other sort affected changes: so for the most part, he that will speak, lies as open to me, as I to him; speech is the balance of conversation. Therefore, as God is not merx, but pretium; gold is not ware, but the price of all ware; so speaking is not doing, but yet fair-speaking prepares an acceptation before, and puts a value after, upon the best actions. God hath made other creatures gregalia, sociable, besides man; and pigeons, will flock, and herd, and troop, and meet together; but when they are met, they are not able to tell one another why they meet. Man only can speak; silence makes it but a herding: that that makes conversation, is speech, Qui datum deserit, respuit datorem, says Tertullian. He that uses not a benefit,

sheep, and deer,

reproaches his benefactor. To declare God's goodness, that hath enabled us to speak, we are bound to speak: speech is the glue, the cement, the soul of conversation, and of religion too.

Now, your conversation is in heaven; and therefore loquimini Deo, first speak to him that is in heaven, speak to God. Some of the Platonic philosophers thought it a profanation of God, to speak to God; they thought that when our thoughts were made prayers, and that the heart flowed into the tongue, and that we had invested and apparelled our meditations with words, this was a kind of painting, and dressing, and a superfluous diligence, that rather tasted of human affections, than such a sincere service, as was fit for the presence of God; only the first conceptions, the first ebullitions and emanations of the soul, in the heart, they thought to be a fit sacrifice to God, and all verbal prayer to be too homely for him. But God himself, who is all spirit, hath yet put on bodily lineaments, head, and hands, and feet, yea and garments too, in many places of Scripture, to appear, that is, to manifest himself to us: and when we appear to God, though our devotion be all spiritual, as he is all spirit, yet let us put on lineaments and apparel upon our devotions, and digest the meditations of the heart, into words of the mouth. God came to us in verbo, in the word; for Christ is, the word that was made flesh. us, that are Christians, go to God so, too, that the words of our mouth, as well as the meditations of our heart, may be acceptable to him. Surely, God loves the service of prayer, or he would never have built a house for prayer; and therefore we justly call public prayer, the Liturgy, service: love that place, and love that service in that place, prayer. They will needs make us believe, that St. Francis preached to birds, and beasts, and stones; but they will not go about to make us believe that those birds, and beasts, and stones joined with St. Francis in prayer. God can speak to all things; that is the office of preaching, to speak to others but, of all, only man can speak to God; and that is the office of prayer. It is a blessed conversation, to spend time in discourse, in communication with God. God went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham'. When we leave praying, God leaves us but God left not Abraham, as long as

1 Gen. xviii. ult.


he had any thing to say to God; and we have always something to say unto him. He loves to hear us tell him, even those things which he knew before; his benefits in our thankfulness, and our sins in our confessions, and our necessities in our petitions. And therefore having so many occasions to speak to God, and to speak of God, David ingeminates that, and his ingemination implies a wonder, O that men would (and it is strange if men will not) O that men would, says he more than once or twice, O that men would praise the Lord, and tell the wondrous works that he hath done for the sons of men! for, David determines not his precept in that, Be thankful unto him; for a thankfulness may pass in private, but Be thankful unto him, and speak good of his name. Glorify him in speaking to him, in speaking of him, in speaking for him.

and loquimini diis, speak to As religious kings are bound

Loquimini Deo, speak to God; them whom God hath called gods. to speak to God by way of prayer; so those who have that sacred office, and those that have that honourable office to do so, are bound to speak to kings by way of counsel. God hath made all good men partakers of the divine nature; they are the sons of God, the seed of God; but God hath made kings partakers of his office, and administration. And as between man and himself, God hath put a mediator, that consists of God and man; SO between princes and people, God hath put mediators too, who considered in themselves, retain the nature of the people (so Christ did of man) but considered in their places, have fair and venerable beams of his power, and influences of him upon them. And as our mediator Christ Jesus found always his Father's ears open to him; so do the church and state enter blessedly and successfully, by these mediators, into the ears of the king. Of our mediator Christ himself, it is said, That he offered up prayers, and strong cries, and tears; even Christ was put to some difficulties in his mediation for those that were his; but he was heard, says that text, in that he feared. Even in those things, wherein, in some emergent difficulties, they may be afraid they shall not, these mediators are graciously and opportunely heard too, in the due discharge of their offices. That which was David's prayer, 3 Heb. v. 7.

2 Psalm c. 4.

is our possession, our happiness, Let not the foot of pride come against us: we know there is no pride in the head; and because there is no fault in the hands neither, that is, in them, into whose hands this blessed mediatorship is committed, by the great places of power, and counsel, which they worthily hold; the foot of pride, foreign, or home-oppression, does not, shall not tread us down. And for the continuation of this happiness, let me have leave to say, with Mordecai's humility, and earnestness too, to all such mediators, that which he said to Esther, Who knows whether thou beest not brought to this place for this purposes, To speak that, which his sacred and gracious ears, to whom thou speakest, will always be well pleased to hear, when it is delivered by them, to whom it belongs to speak it, and in such humble and reserved manner, as such sovereign persons as owe an account but to God, should be spoke to? Sic loquimini Deo, So let kings speak to God, (that was our first) Sic loquimini diis, So let them, whom kings trust, speak to kings whom God hath called gods, (that was our second.) And then, a third branch in this rule of our first duty, is, Sic loquimini imaginibus Dei, So speak you to God's images, to men of condition inferior to yourselves; for they also are images of God, as you are.

And this is truly, most literally the purpose of the apostle here, that you undervalue no man for his outward appearance; that you overvalue no man for his goodly apparel, or gold rings; that you say not to a poor man, Stand thou there; or if you admit him to sit, Sit here under my footstool. But it is a precept of accessibleness, and of affability; affability, that is, a civility of the city of God, and a courtship of the court of heaven, to receive other men, the images of God, with the same easiness that God receives you. God stands at the door, and knocks, and stays our leisure, to see if we will open, and let him in even at the door of his beloved, he stood, and knocked, till his head was filled with dew, and his locks with the drops of the night". But God puts none of us to that, to which he puts himself, and his Christ: but, Knock, says he, and it shall be opened unto you; no staying

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