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“ Never did any public misery
And to the flame which ruineth mankind
LORD BROOKE, Inquisit. upon Fame and Honour.
« θαυμάσιοι δε άρεται ή τε εντολμία και η εν δέοντι παρρησία προς τους αμείνους, ως και το κωμικόν αψευδώς μάλλον ή κωμικώς ειρήσθαι δοκεϊν
*Αν πάνθ' ο δούλος ησυχάζων μανθάνη
Philo JUDÆUS. Quis Rerum Dirinarum Hæres. § 1.
“Sad events may sometimes be improved by men's censures, further than they were intended by God's justice ; and it is more wisdom seriously to observe them to the instructing of ourselves than rigidly to apply them to the condemning of others.” .”
FULLER’s Church History, b. iii. p. 16.
“ The Church's proper arms be tears and prayers,
Peter's true keys to open earth, and sky,
God's sacred word he thereon doth abandon,
And runs with fleshly confidence at random.
Reverence your priests, but never under one
The soul his image is, and only he
LORD BROOKE.—Of Church. THERE is a most remarkable and striking passage in the works of that great, but much-neglected and long-forgotten divine, Thomas Jackson, with which, having to say somewhat of the Church's troubles, and of the trials of her members in particular, I would wish to preface this Introduction:-“This lower hemisphere,” says he, “or invisible part of the world, is but as the devil's chess-board, wherein hardly can our souls move back, or forth, but he sets out one creature or other to attack them; nor have we any other means to avoid his subtlety, but by looking unto the hills from whence cometh our help, or into that part of this great sphere, which is altogether hid from the world's eye, where we may behold more for us, than those that be against us'. And seeing we come in danger of Satan's check, either by fear, causing our souls to draw back, or love of some worldly creatures alluring them being on the listes they are to combat in ; if we view that host of heavenly soldiers which are for us, we may always have one of the same rank more potent to remove all fear, or diminish the love of any visible creature, or other incumbrance which Satan can propose unto us, and which, unless we be negligent in our affairs, may, as we say, give our antagonist the check-mate. If he tempt us unto wantonness, by presenting enticing looks of amiable, but earthly, countenances to our sight, we have sure hopes of being as the angels of God, and consorts of His glorious unspotted Lamb, to encourage us unto chastity. If with pleasantness or commodiousness of our present habitations, he seek to detain us from the place of our appointed residence, or discharge of necessary duties, we have the beauty of the New Jerusalem to ravish our thoughts with a longing after it, to cause us choose the readiest way that leads unto it, rather than take up our rest in princely palaces. If with honour, he go about to entrap us, or terrify us with worldly disgrace, we may contemn the one by looking upon that shame, and confusion of face, wherewith the wicked, though in this life most honourable, shall be covered in the day of vengeance, and loathe the other, by fixing the eyes of our faith upon that glorious promise made to all the faithful, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you? If tyrants by his instigation threaten us with fear of death, which is the utmost of their despite, faith sets another before our eyes, whom we must fear more than only such as can kill the body. If with sickness and languishment, we may by faith feel the inward man daily grow, as the outward man decays. Finally, let him assault us what way he can, the affliction can be but light, and for a moment, in comparison of that excellent and eternal weight of glory, which we hope shall be revealed, of which hope faith is the only substance 3.”
1 2 Kings vi. 16.
2 Matt. xxv. 34.
3 See Jackson's Works, vol. i. p. 638. Ed. folio. The image of the chess-board was no uncommon one with our earlier divines. Hall used it. “The world is a large chess-board, every man hath his place assigned him one is a king, another a knight, another a pawn, and each hath his several motion,” &c.—Of Contentation, s viii. Works, vol. iii. p. 502. Ed. folio. Jackson also again and again uses the same image, e. g. vol. iii. pp. 515. 865. &c.
Sentiments such as these, drawn from that deep well of comfort, the Scriptures of truth, were they duly impressed on men's minds, would balance them in sorrow, and strengthen their hearts and hands, when standard-bearers of Christian truth are almost fainting, and the banners of Sion, to the outward eye, are soiled and tarnished ;-I say to the outward eye, because within the Church is all glorious, and a King's daughter. In the words of the Canticles, Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah ; comely as Jerusalem ; terrible as an army with banners. And how should it be otherwise, when the Apostle tells us that Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it ; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word : that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
But here a question should be answered which is constantly asked : “See we," says an objector, “any such Church? Are any tokens left of that Holy Catholic Church, in which the saints profess to believe? Is not all rather division, than unity, and seem not the gates of hell to prevail, as it were, in defiance of His word, who is the Head of the Church, even Christ ?”
Having quoted one great luminary of the Church, with reference to her troubles and trials, let me answer these questions, in the words of another, whose exposition of the Creed can never be studied too much. “ The Church, as it embraceth all the professors of the true faith of Christ, containeth in it not only such as do truly believe, and are obedient to the word, but those also which are hypocrites and profane. Many profess the faith, which have no true belief; many have some kind of faith, which live with no correspondence to the Gospel preached. Within therefore the notion of the Church are comprehended good and bad, being both externally called, and both professing the same faith : For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a field in which wheat and tares grow together unto the harvest ; like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind ; like unto a floor in which is laid up wheat and chaff'; like unto a marriagefeast, in which some have on the wedding garment, and some not.
4 See Ps. xlv. 14. Solomon's Song, vi. 4.
5 E. es. v. 25-27.