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power is it to make bills of believers? Oportet accedentem credere, says St. Paul, He that comes hither should believe before he comes: but, Benedictus sis egrediens, says Moses, God bless you with the power of believing, when you go from hence*: where St. James says, You deceive yourselves, if you be hearers, and not doers; How far do you deceive yourselves, if you come not halfway, if you be hearers, and not believers? Tiberius, who spoke all upon disguises, took it ill, if he were believed: he that was crucified under Tiberius, who always speaks clearly, takes it worse, if he be not believed; for, he hath reduced all to the tantummodo crede, only believe, and thou art safe: if we take it higher or lower; either above, in hearing only, or below, in working only, we may miss. It is not enough to hear sermons; it is not enough to live a moral honest life; but take it in the midst, and that extends to all; for there is no believing without hearing, nor working without believing. Be pleased to consider this great work of believing, in the matter, what it was that was to be believed that that Jesus, whose age they knew, must be antedated so far, as that they must believe him to be elder than Abraham that that Jesus, whose father and mother, and brothers and sisters, they knew, must be believed to be of another family, and to have a father in another place; and yet he to be as old as his father; and to have another proceeding from him, and yet he to be no older than that person who proceeded from him that that Jesus, whom they knew to be that carpenter's son, and knew his work, must be believed to have set up a frame, that reached to heaven, out of which no man could, and in which any man might be saved: Was it not as easy to believe, that those tears which they saw upon his cheeks, were pearls; that those drops of blood, which they saw upon his back, were rubies; that that spittle, which they saw upon his face, was enamel : that those hands which they saw buffet him, were reached out to place him in a throne: and that that voice which they heard cry, Crucifige, Crucify him, was a Virat Rex, Long live Jesus of Nazareth king of the Jews; as to believe, that from that man, that worm, and no man, ingloriously traduced as a conjurer,


48 Heb. xi. 6.

49 Deut. xxviii. 6.

50 James i. 22.

ingloriously apprehended as a thief, ingloriously executed as a traitor; they should look for glory, and all glory, and everlasting glory? And from that melancholic man, who was never seen to laugh in all his life, and whose soul was heavy unto death; they should look for joy, and all joy, and everlasting joy: and for salvation, and everlasting salvation from him, who could not save himself from the ignominy, from the torment, from the death of the cross? If any state, if any convocation, if any wise man had been to make a religion, a gospel; would he not have proposed a more probable, a more credible gospel, to man's reason, than this? Be pleased to consider it in the manner too: It must be believed by preaching, by the foolishness of preaching, says the apostle; by a few men, that could give no strength to it; by ignorant men, that could give no reason for it; by poor men, that could give no pensions, nor preferments in it: that this should be believed, and believed thus, and believed by the world, the world that knew him not; He was in the world, and the world knew him not: the world that hated them, who would make them know him; I have chosen you, says Christ, and therefore the world hateth you: that then when mundus totus in maligno positus, the world, and all the world, not only was, but was laid in malignity and opposition against Christ; that then the world, and all the world, the world of ignorance, and the world of pride, should believe the Gospel; that then the Nicodemus, the learned and the powerful man of the world, should stand out no longer, but to that one problem, quomodo, how can a man be born again that is old; and presently believe, that a man might be born again even at the last gasp: that then they which followed him, should stand no longer upon their durus sermo, that it was a hard saying, that they must eat his flesh, and drink his blood, and presently believe that there was no salvation, except they did eat and drink that flesh and blood: that Mary Magdalene, who was not only tempted (is there any that is not so?) but overcome with the temptations (and how many are so!) and possessed, and possessed with seven devils, should presently hearken after the powerful charm of the Gospel, and presently believe that she

51 John i. 10.

52 John xv. 19.

53 1 John v. 19.

should be welcome into his arms, after all her prostitutions: that the world, this world, all this world, should believe this, and believe it thus; this was the apostle's altitudo divitiarum, the depth of the riches of God's wisdom": and this is his longitudo, and latitudo, the breadth, and length, and heighth, and depth, which no man can comprehend". Theudas rose up, Dicens se esse aliquem, he said he was somebody; and he proved nobody. Simon Magus rose up, Dicens se esse aliquem magnum, saying, he was some great body; and he proved as little. Christ Jesus rose up, and said himself not to be somebody, nor some great body; but that there was nobody else, no other name given under heaven, whereby we should be saved; and was believed. And therefore, if any man think to destroy this general, by making himself a woful instance to the contrary; Christ is not believed in all the world, for I never believed in Christ: so poor an objection, requires no more answer, but that that will still be true in the general; Man is a reasonable creature, though he be an unreasonable man.

Now when he was thus preached to the Gentiles, and thus believed in the world, that is, means thus established, for believing in him, he had done all that he had to do here, and therefore, Receptus in gloria, he was received into glory: he was received, assumed, taken; therefore he did not vanish away; he had no airy, no imaginary, no fantastical body; he was true man: and then he was received, re-assumed, taken again, and so was in glory before; and therefore was true God. This which we are fain to call glory, is an inexpressible thing, and an incommunicable : Surely I will not give my glory unto another, says God in Isaiah 57, we find great titles attributed to, and assumed by princes, both spiritual and temporal: Celsitudo vestra, et vestra majestas, is daily given, and duly given amongst us: and Sanctitas vestra, et vestra beatitudo, is given amongst others. Aben-Ezra, and some other rabbins mistake this matter so much, as to deny that any person in the Old Testament ever speaks of himself in the plural number, Nos, we: that is mistaken by them; for there are examples 58. But it is more mistaken in practice, by the generals, nay

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provincials of some orders of friars, when they sign and subscribe in form and style of princes, Nos frater, We friar N., &c. It is not hard to name some, that have taken to themselves the addition of Divus in their life-time; a style so high, as that Bellarmine denies that it appertains to any saint in heaven and yet these men have canonized themselves, without the consent of Rome; and yet remained good sons of that mother too: we shall find in ancient styles, that high addition, Eternitas nostra, Our eternity: and not only in an ancient, but in our own days, another equal to that, given to a particular cardinal, Numen vestrum, Your godhead. We find a letter in Baronius, to a pope, from a king of Britain (and so Baronius leaves it, and does not tell us which Britain; he could have been content to have had it thought ours; but he that hath abridged his book ", hath abridged his Britain too, there it is Britannia minor: but he was a king, and therefore had power, if he filled his place; and wisdom too, if he answered his name; for his name was Solomon) and this king we find reduced to this lowness, as that he writes to that bishop, Adrian II., in that style, Precor omnipotentiam dignitatis vestræ: he gives him the title of God, Almighty. But two or three years before, he was far from it; then, when he writ, he placed his own name above the pope's: but it is a slippery declination, if it be not a precipitation, to come at all under him: great titles have been taken, ambition goes far; and great given, flattery goes as far greater than this in the text, perchance have; but it hath not fallen within my narrow reading, and observation, that ever prince took, that ever subject gave this title, Gloria nostra, or restra; May it please your glory, or, It hath seemed good to our glory. Glory be to God on high; and glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, and no more. As long as that scurf, that leprosy sticks to everything in this world, Vanitas, vanitatem, that all is vanity can any glory in anything of this world, be other than vain glory? What title of honour hath any man had in any state, in court, that some prison in that state hath not had men of that title in it? Nay, what title hath any herald's book, that Lucifer's book hath not? Or who can be so great in this world, but that as great as he have perished in the

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next? As it is not good for men to eat much honey"; so, for men to search their own glory, is not glory. Crowns are the emblems of glory; and kings out of their abundant greatness and goodness, derive and distribute crowns to persons of title; and by those crowns, and those titles, they are consanguinei regis, the king's cousins. Christ Jesus is crowned with glory in heaven, and he sheds down coronets upon you; honour, and blessings here, that you might be consanguinei regis; contract a spiritual kindred with that king, and be idem Spiritus cum Domino, as inseparable from his Father, as he himself is. The glory of God's saints in heaven, is not so much to have a crown, as to lay down that crown at the feet of the Lamb. The glory of good men here upon earth, is not so much to have honour, and favour, and fortune, as to employ those beams of glory, to his glory that gave them. In our poor calling, God hath given us grace; but grace for grace, as the apostle says, that is, grace to derive, and convey, and seal grace to you. To those of higher rank, God hath given glory; and glory for glory; glory therefore to glorify him, in a care of his glory. And because he dwells in luce inaccessibili, in a glorious light which you cannot see here; glorify him in that wherein you may see him, in that wherein he hath manifested himself; glorify him in his glorious Gospel: employ your beams of glory, honour, favour, fortune, in transmitting his Gospel in the same glory to your children, as you received it from your fathers: for in this consists this mystery of godliness, which is, faith with a pure conscience and in this lies your best evidence, that you are already co-assumed with Christ Jesus into glory, by having so laid an unremovable hold upon that kingdom which he hath purchased for you, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. To which glorious Son of God, &c.

60 Prov. xxv. 27.

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