Paul’s Cross from 25 feet. From the Visual Model, constructed by Joshua Stephens, rendered by Jordan Gray.
THE SCRIPT, AS DELIVERED
A Sermon upon the fifth of November 1622. being the Anniversary celebration of our Deliverance from the Powder Treason
[Time: 9:30 AM — Verger leads procession from the north side of the Cathedral’s Choir to Paul’s Cross]
[Time: 09:50 AM]
Minister: The Lorde be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirite.
Minister. Let us praie.
O Lord open thou our lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise; for thou, O Lord, didst make haste to help us, Thou O Lord, didst looke down, not onely to see what was done upon the Earth, but [also] what was done in the Earth; and when the bowels of the Earth, were, with a key of fire, ready to open and swallow us, the bowels of thy compassion, were, with a key of love, opened to succour us.
This is the day, and these are the houres, wherein that should have been acted; In this our Day, and in these houres, We praise thee, O God, we knowledge thee, to bee the Lord; All our Earth doth worship thee; The holy Church throughout all this Land, doth knowledge thee, with commemorations of that great mercy, now in these houres.
Now, in these houres, it is thus commemorated in the Kings House, where the Head and Members praise thee; Thus, in that place, where it should have been perpetrated, where the Reverend judges of the Land doe now praise thee; Thus in the Universities, where the tender youth of this Land, is brought up to praise thee, is a detestation of their Doctrines, that plotted this;
Thus it is commemorated in many severall Societies, in many severall Parishes, and thus, here, in [the shadow of] this Mother Church, in this great Congregation of thy Children, where, all, of all sorts, from the Lieutenant of thy Lieutenant, to the meanest sonne of thy sonne, in this Assembly, come with hearts, and lippes, full of thankesgiving:
Thou Lord openest their lippes, that their mouth may shew forth thy prayse, for, Thou, O Lord, diddest make haste to helpe them, Thou diddest make speede to save them.
Accept O Lord, this sacrifice, to which thy Spirit giveth fire: This of Praise, for thy great Mercies already afforded to us, and this of Prayer, for the continuance and enlargement of them, upon the Catholick Church, by them, who pretend themselves the onely sonnes thereof, dishonoured this Day; upon these Churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland, shaked and threatned dangerously this Day; upon thy servant, our Soveraigne, for his Defense of the true Faith, designed to ruine this day;
upon the Prince, and others derived from the same roote, some but Infants, some not yet Infants, enwrapped in dust, and annihilation, this day; upon all the deliberations of the Counsell, that in all their Consultations, they may have before their eyes, the Record and Registers of this Day; upon all the Clergie, that all their Preaching, and their Governement, may preclude, in their severall Jurisdictions, all reentrances of that Religion, which, by the Confession of the Actours themselves, was the onely ground of the Treason of this day; upon the whole Nobilitie, and Commons, all involved in one Common Destruction, this Day;
upon both our Universities, which though they lacke no Arguments out of thy Word, against the Enemies of thy Truth, shall never leave out this Argument of thy Works, the Historie of this Day; And upon all those, who are any ways afflicted, that our afflictions bee not multiplied upon us, by seeing them myltiplyed amongst us, who would have diminished thee, and annihilated us, this Day: and lastly, upon this Auditory assembled here, that till they turne to ashes in the Grave, they may remember, that thou tookest them, as fire-brands out of the fire, this Day.
Heare us, O Lord, and hearken to us, receive our Prayers, and returne them with Effect, for his sake, in whose Name and words, wee make them:
OUR Father, whiche arte in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kyngdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Geve us this day our dayly breade. And forgeve us our trespasses, as we forgeve them that trespasse against us. And lead us not into temptacion. But deliver us from evil. Amene.
[Time: 10:00 — Bell tolls ten times]
The fourth chapter of the Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremy, the twentieth verse:
The breath of our Nostrills, the Anointed of the Lord, was taken in their Pitts.
Here endeth the reading from the fourth chapter of the Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremy.
[Donne turns the Hour Glass]
Of the Autor of this booke I thinke there was never doubt made. But yet it is scarse safely donne by the Councell of Trent, when in that Canon which numbers the books of Canonicall Scriptures they leave out this booke of Lamentations. For, though I make no doubt but that they had a purpose to comprehend and inuolue yt in the name of Jeremy, yet that was not inough; for so they might haue comprehended and inuolud Genesis and Deuteronomie and all between, in one name of Moses: and so they might haue comprehended and inuolud, the Apocalypse and some Epistles in the name of John, and haue left out the booke it selfe in the number.
But one of their owne Iesuits, though some (whome in that Canon they seeme to haue followd,) make this of Iamentations but an Appendix to the booke of Jeremie, determins for all that Canon, that it is a distinct booke; Indeed, if it were not, the first Chapter would haue been calld the 53th of Jeremy: and not the first of the Lamentations. But that which giues most assurednes to it, is, that in divers Hebrew Bibles it is placd otherwise, then we place it; not presently after the prophecy, of Jeremy though it were ever vndoubtedly receyud to be his.
The booke is certainly the prophet Jeremies: and certainly a distinct booke; but whether the booke be a history, or a prophecy, whether Jeremie lament that, which he had seene, or that which he forsees, calamities past, or future calamities, things donne, or things to be donne, is a question which hath exercisd and busied divers expositors. But as we say of the parable of Diues and Lazarus, that it is an historicall parable, and a parabolicall history, some such persons there were, and some such things were really donne, but some other things were figuratively, Symbolically, parabolically added, so we say of Jeremies lamentations, it is a propheticall history, and it is a historicall prophecy; some of these sad occasions of these lamentations were past, when he writt, and some were to come after: for we may not despise the testimonie of the Chalde paraphrasts who were the first that illustrated the Bible in that Nation, nor of Saint: Hierome: who was much conuersant with the Bible, and with that Nation, nor of Josephus who had iustly so much estimation in that Nation, nor of those later Rabbins who were the learnedest of that Nation, who are all of opinion, that Jeremy: writt these lamentations after he sawe some declinations in that state in the death of Josiah, and so the booke is Historicall, but when he onely foresaw, their transportation into Babilon, and before that calamity fell vpon them, and so it is propheticall.
Or if we take the exposition of the others, that the whole booke was written after their transportation into Babylon, and so be in all, historicall, yet it is propheticall still; for the prophet laments a greater desolation then that, in the vtter ruine and devastation of that Citty and Nation after the death of Christ Iesus: Neyther is any peece of this booke, the lesse fitt to be our text, this day, because it is both Historicall and propheticall; for, they from whome God in his great mercy, gaue vs a deliverance this day, are our Historicall enemies, and our propheticall enemies; historically we know, they haue attempted our ruine heretofore, and prophetically we may be sure, they will do so againe; when soever any new occasion provokes them, or sufficient power enables them.
The text then is as the booke presented to Ezechiel. In it are written lamentations, and mourninge, and wo: and all they are written within, and with out, says the Text there: within, as they concerne the Iews, without as they are appliable to vs. And they concerne the Iews, historically, attempts vpon that state, Jeremie had certaynely seene, and they concerne them prophetically, for farther attempts Jeremie did certainely foresee. They are appliable to vs so to; historically; we saw what they would haue donne; prophetically, we foresee what they would do.
So that here is but a difference of the Computation; here is Stilo veteri, and Stilo nouo: here’s the Iews Calender and the Papists Calender. In the Iews Calender one Babilon wrought vpon the people of God, and in the Papists Calender, an other Babilon; Stilo veteri, in the Iews Calender 700 year before Christ came, there were pitts made, and the breath of theirr Nostrills, the Anointed of the lord was taken in their pitts.
Stilo nouo in the Papists Calender, 1600 year after Christ came in all fullnes, in all clearnes, there were pitts made againe, and the breath of our Nostrills, the Annointed of the lord was [almost] taken in their pitts.
It is Jeremies; and a distinct booke; it concernes the Iews, and vs too; and both, both ways; but whether Jeremie lament here the death of a good King Josias, (for so Saint Hierome and many of the ancients, and many of the Iews themselfs take it, and thinke that those words haue relation to these lamentations, and Jeremie lamented for Josiah, and all the people speake of him in their lamentations to this day, and behold they are written in their lamentations) or whether he lament the transportation and the misery of an yll King of Zedichia, (as is more ordinarilie and more probably held by the expositors,) we argue not, we dispute not now: we embrace that which arises from both, that both good Kings, and bad Kings, Josiah and Zedichia, are the anointed of the lord, and the breath of the Nostrills, that is the lyfe of their people; and therefore both to be lamented when they fall into dangers, and consequently both to be preservd by all meanes, by prayer from them who are private persons, by Counsayle from them, who haue the great honor, and the great chardge to be near them, and by support and supplie from all of all sorts, from fallinge into such dangers.
[Time: 10:15 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — one stroke]
These considerations, will, I thinke, haue the better impression in you, if we proceed in the handling of them, thus.
First, the maine cause of the lamentation, was the ruine, or the dangerous declination of the Kingdome, of that great and glorious state, the Kingdome. But then they did not seditiously sever the King and the Kingdome, as though the Kingdome could be well, and the King yll; that safe, and he in danger; they see cause to lament, because misery was fallen vpon the King; perchance vpon Josiah, a good, a religious Kinge, perchance but vpon Zedichia a worse Kinge: yet, which soever it be, they acknowledge him to be Vnctus Domini, the anointed of the lord, and to be Spiritus narium, the breath of their Nostrills.
When this person therefore was fall’n into the pitts of the Enemie, the Subiect laments; but this lamentinge, which was because he was falln, implyes a deliverance, a restitution; he was falln, but he did not ly there; so the text which is yit a lamentation, growes an howre hence to be a congratulation; and then we shall see, that whosoeuer hath lamented a danger and then congratulated a deliverance, he will provide against a relapse, a fallinge againe into that or any other danger, by all meanes of sustayning the Kingdome, and the King, in safety, and in honor.
Our first step in this Royall progresse is, that the cause of this lamentation was the Declination, the diminution of the Kingdome. If the Center of the world should be moved, but one inche, out of the place, it cannot be reckconed how many miles this Iland, or any buildings in it, would be throwen out of their places: A declination in the kingdome of the Iews, in the body of the kingdome, in the Soule of that state, that forme of gouerment, was such an Earthquake, as could leave nothing standinge.
Of all things that are, there was an Idæa in God; there was a Model, a platforme, an exemplar, of euery thing, which God producd, and created in tyme, in the Mind and purpose of God before. Of all things God had an Idæa, a conception; but of Monarchy, of Kingdome, God, who is but one, is the Idæa; God himselfe, in his vnity, is the Model, he is the Type of Monarchy. He made but one world; this and the next, are not two worlds; this is but the morninge, and that the everlasting Noone, of one and the same day, which shall haue no night. They are not two howses; this the gallery, that the bedchamber of one and the same pallace which shall feele no ruine. He made this one world, but one Eye, the Sun; the Moone is not another Ey, but a glasse vpon which the Sun reflects. He made this one world but one Ear, the Church: he tells not vs that he hears in a left ear, by Saints, but by his right ear, the Church, he does.
One God, one faith, one Baptisme, and these leade vs to the loue of one Soueraigne, of Monarchy, of Kingdome. In that name he hath convayd to vs the state of grace, and the state of Glorie too; and promisd both, in enioyninge that prayer, adueniat regnum; Thy kingdome of grace here, thy kingdome of Glorie hereafter. All formes of goverment haue the same Soule, Souerainty; that resides some where, in euery forme; and this Souerainty is from the same roote in them all; from the lord of lords, from God himselfe, for all power is of God: but yet this forme of a Monarchy, of a kingdome, is a more liuely, and a more masculin organ, and instrument of this Soule of Souerainty, then the other formes are.
We are sure women haue Souls as well as Men; but yet it is not expressd, that God breathd a Soule into woman as he did into Man: All formes of goverment haue this Soule, but yet God infuses it more manifestly, and more effectually in that forme, in a kingdome. All places are alike near to heaven; yet Christ would take a hill for the place of his Ascension. All goverments may iustly represent God to me, who is the God of Order, and fountaine of all gouerment. But yet I am more easd and more accustomd to the contemplation of heauen in that notion, as a kingdome, by hauing been borne and bread in a Monarchy. God is a Tipe of it; and yt ys a tipe of heauen.
This forme then, in nature the noblest, and in vse the profitablest of all others, God allways intended to his best beloued people; God allways ment that the Iews should haue a king, though he prepard them in other formes before; he ment them peace at last, though he exercisd them in war; he ment them the land of promise, though he led them through the wildernes; he ment them a King though he prepard them by Iudges.
God intended it in himselfe, and he declard it to them: 400 years before he gaue them a king, he told them what kind of King they should sett ouer them, when they came to that kinde of gouerment. And longe before that, he made a promise by Jacob to Judah of a kingdome, and that the Scepter should not depart from him till Siloh came. And when God came near the tyme, in which he intended them that gouerment, in the tyme of Samuel, who was the immediat predecessor to their first King Saul, God made way for a Monarchy; for Samuel had a much more absolute autority in that state, then any of the Iudges had; Samuel iudged them; and in their petition for a king they aske but that, Make vs a king to iudge vs.
Samuel was little lesse then a king: and Sauls raigne and his are reckned in one number and made all one. When that is said that Saul reignd 40 years, Samuels tyme is included; for all the years, from the death of Heli, to the begining of Dauid are but 40 years. God ment them a kingdome in himselfe, promisd them a kingdome in Judah, made laws for the kingdome in Deuteronomie, made way for the kingdome in Samuel; and why then was God displeasd with their petition for a king? It was a greater fault in them, then it could haue bene in any other people, to aske [for] a king: not that that was not the most desirable forme of gouerment, but that he governd them so immediatly, so presentially himselfe, as that it was an ingratefull intemperance in them to turne vpon any other meanes.
God had ever performd that which he promisd; ye shall be a peculiar treasure vnto me aboue all people; And therefore Josephus hath expressd it well; All other people are vnder the forme of Democratie or Aristocratie or such, composd of Men, sed noster legislator theocratiam instituit: The Iews were onely vnder a Theocratie, an immediat goverment of God; he iudged them himselfe, and he fought their battalys himself, and therefore he says to Samuel, They haue not rejected thee, Thou wast not king, but they haue rejected me; I was.
To be weary of God, ys it inough to call it a leuity? But if they did onely compare forme with forme, and not God himselfe with any forme, if they did onely thinke a Monarchy best, and beleeve that God intended a Monarchy to them, yet to limit God his tymes, and to make God performe his promise before his day, was a fault inexcusable. Daniel saw that the Messias should come within 70 weekes; Daniel did not say, Lord let it be within 50 weeks, or let it be this weeke.
The Martyrs vnder the Altar, they cry vsque quo Domine. [How long Lord,] but yet they leaue it there; euen as long as yt pleaseth thee. Their petition should haue beene, adueniat regnum, lets haue that kindome, which, because thou knowest it is good for vs, thou hast promisd to vs, but yet fiat voluntas tua, lets haue it then, when thy wisedome sees it best for vs.
You said to me, says Samuel, Nay but a king shall ræigne over vs, when the lord your God, was your king. They would not trust Gods meanes, theire was their first fault; And then though they desird a good thing, and intended to them, yet they fix God his tyme, they would not stay his leasure; and both these, to aske other things then God would giue, or at other tymes then God would giue them is displeasing to him.
Use his means and stay his leysure. But yet though God were displeasd with them, he executed his owne purpose; he was angry with their manner of asking for a King but yet he gaue them a King. Howsoeuer God be displeasd with them that prevaricate in his cause, who should sustayne him, and do not, Gods cause shall be sustaind, though they do it not.
[Time: 10:30 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — two strokes]
We may distinguish the period of the Iewish state well inough, thus. That they had Infantiam or pueritiam, their infancy, their Minority in Adam, and the first Patriarchs till the flood; That they had Adolescentiam a growing tyme, from Noah through the later Patriarchs, till Moses. That they had Juuentutem, a youth and strength from Moses through the Iudges to Saul.
But then they had virilitatem, virilem ætatem, their establishd vigor, vnder their Kings: and after them, they were in Senectute, in a wretched and miserable decay of old age. Theyr kingdome was their best state. And that, God in the prophet intimats pregnantly, when refreshing vnto theyr Memories, in a particular Inventary, and Catalogue, all his former benefitts to them, how he clothd Ierusalem, how he fed her, how he beutified her, he sumd vp all in this one Et profecisti in regnum, I haue aduancd thee to be a kingdome.
There was the Tropique, there was the Solstice; farther then it, in this world, we knowe not how God could goe; a kingdome was really the best state vpon earth, and symbolically the best figure, and tipe of heauen. And therefore when the prophet Jeremie historically beheld the declination of this kingdome in the death of Iosiah, and prophetically foresaw the ruine thereof in the transportation of Zedechiah, or if he had seene that historically too, yet prophetically he foresaw the vtter devastation, and depopulation, and extermination, which scattered that nation soone after Christ, to this day, and God, and no man, knowes for how long, when they, who were a kingdome, are nowhere a village, and they, who had such kings have nowhere a Constable of their own, historically, prophetically, Jeremie had iust cause of lamentation for the danger of that Kingdome.
We had so also, for this our kingdome, this day. God hath giuen vs a kingdome, not as other kingdomes, made vpp of diuers Cittyes, but of diuers kingdomes. And all these kingdomes were destind by them to Desolation in one minute. It was not onely the destruction of the persons present, but of the kingdome; for to submitt the kingdome to a foreine prelate, was to destroy the Monarchy, to annihilate the Supremicie, to ruine the verie forme of the kingdome; a kingdome vnder another head besides the king, is not a kingdome, as ours is.
The oath that the Emperour takes to the Pope, is by theyr autors calld Juramentum fidelitatis, an Oath of Allegeance, and if they had brought our kings to take an oath of Allegiance so, this were no kingdome; Pope Nicolas the second went about to create 2 kingdomes, that of Tuscany, and that of Lombardy: his successors haue gone about to destroy many; for to make it depend vpon him, were to destroy our kingdome. That they haue attemted historically; and as long as these Axioms and these Aforisms remaine in their Autors, that one says, All christian kingdomes are De Jure held of the Pope, and are De facto forfeited to the Pope. And another says, Christendome would be better governd, if the Pope would take the forfeiture, and take all these royall farmes into his own demesne, we see also their propheticall desire, their propheticall intention, against this kingdome, what they would do. In their Actions we haue their history, and in their Axioms their prophecy.
Jeremie lamented the desolation of the kingdome, but expressd in the Death and Destruction of the king, that He did not diuide the king and the kingdome, as if the kingdome could be well and the king in distres. Omnipotentia Dei asylum Hæreticorum; it is well said by more then one of the Ancients, the omnipotence of God, is the Sanctuary of all Heretiqus: when they would establish any heresy, they fly to Gods Almightines; God can do all, therefore he can do this.
So they establish their heresy of Transubstantiation, so theyr deliverance of Souls not onely from purgatory, but from Hell it selfe. They thinke to stopp all Mouthes with that, God can do it, no man dares deny that; when, if that were graunted (which, in things, which imply contradiction in themselfs, or contradiction to Gods word, cannot be graunted, God can not do that, for God cannot ly) yet though God can do yt, concludes not that God will do yt, or hath donne it. Omnipotentia dei, Asylum Hæreticorum. And so Salus regni, Asylum proditorum, Greater treasons, and seditions, and rebellions haue neuer been set on foote, then upon color and pretence of a care of the state, and the good of the kingdome.
Euery where the king is Sponsus regni, the husband of the kingdome; and to make loue to the kings wife, and vndervalew him, must needs make any king iealous. The king is Anima regni, the Soule of the kingdome; and to prouide for the health of the body, by the detriment of the Soule, is yll phisick. The king is Caput regni, the head of the kingdome, and to cure a member, by cutting off the head, is yll Surgery. Man and wife, Soule and body, Head and Members, God hath ioynd, and those whome God hath ioynd let no man seuer: Salus regni asylum proditorum, to pretend to vphold the kingdome, and to ouer throw the king hath euer been the tentation before, and the excuse after in the greatest treasons.
In that Action of the Iews, which we insisted vpon before, in theyr pressinge for a king, the elders of Israel gatherd togeather, so far they were in theyr way; for this was no popular, no seditious assembly of light and turbulent Men; but the elders: and then they came to Samuel; so far they were in theyr right way too, for they held not counsayls apart, but came to the right place, for redresse of greivances, to theyr then highest governor, to Samuel.
When they were then lawfully met, they forbear not to lay open vnto him, the iniustices of his officers, though it concernd the very Sonns of Samuel: and thus far they kept within convenient limitts: but when they would presse Samuel to a new way of remedy, to an inconuenient way, to a present way, to theyr own way and refer nothing to him, what care soeuer they pretended of the good of the state, it is euident that they had no good opinion of Samuel; and even that displeased God, to be yll affected to the person whome he had set over them.
To seuer the king and the kingdome, and pretend the Weale of the one, with out the other, is to shake, and discompose Gods buildinge. Historically this was the Iews case, when Jeremie lamented here, if he lamented the Declination of that state, in the Death of the kinge Josiah, And if he lamented the transportation of Zedechiah, and that that were not yet come, or if he lamented the deuastation of that nation occasioned by the death of the king of kings Christ Iesus himselfe, when he came, this was their case prophetically. Eyther way, historically, or prophetically, Jeremie looks vpon the kingdome through that glasse, through the king.
[Time: 10:45 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — three strokes]
The duety of the day, and the order of the text inuites vs to an application of this branch too. Our aduersaries did not come to say to them selfes, Nolumus regnum hoc we will not haue this kingdome stand; the materiall kingdome, the plenty of the land, they would haue been content to haue, but the formall kingdome, that is this forme of gouerment, by a Soueraine king that depends vpon none but God, they would not haue.
So that that they came implicitly to Nolumus regnum hoc, we will not haue this kingdome to be gouernd thus, and explicitely to a Nolumus regem hunc, we will not haue this king to gouerne vs at all.
Non hunc? Will you not haue him? You were at your Nolumus hanc long before, you would not haue that Queen to raigne ouer you.
There, your, not aniuersary, but hebdomidary treasons cast vpon her a necessitie of drawing blood often: and so your Nolumus hanc might haue some ground. But your Nolumus hunc, for this king, who had made no Inquisition for blood, who had forborne the very pecuniary penalties, who had (as himselfe witnesses of himselfe) made you partakers, with his Subiects of his own religion, in matters of grace, in reall benefits, and in titles of honor, Quare fremuerunt, why did these Men rage, and imagine a vayne thinge?
What they did historically we know: They made that House which is the hyue of this kingdome, from whence all her Hony comes, that House, where Justice herselfe is conceyud, in their preparing of good laws, and inanimated and quickned and borne by the Royall assent there giuen, they made that whole house, one Murdring peece: and hauing put in theyr powder, they chargd that peece with Peers, with people, with Princes, with the King, and ment to discharg it vpward at the face of heauen, to shoote God at the face of God, Him, of whome God had sayd, Dij estis, you are gods, at the face of that God who had said so: as though they would haue reprochd the God of heauen, and not haue been beholden to him for such a king, but shoote him vp to him and bid him take his king againe, for Nolumus hunc regnare, we will not haue this king to reigne ouer vs.
This was our case historically, and what it is prophetically, as longe as that remains their doctrine, which he, against whome that attempt was principally made, found by theyr Examinations to be theyr doctrine, that they, and no sect in the world but they, did make treason an article of Religion, that theyr Religion bound them to those attempts, so long they are neuer at an end; tyll they disauow those Doctrines, that conduce to yt, prophetically they wish, propheticaly they hope for better successe in worse attempts.
It is then the kingdome that Ieremie laments: but his nearest obiect is the king: he laments him, first, let it be, as with Hierome, many of the Ancients, and with them many of the later Rabbins, will haue it, for Josias, for a good king, in whose death the honor and strength of that kingdome, tooke that deadly wound, to be come tributary to a foraine prince: for to this lamentation, they refer, those words, which describe a great sorrowe, in that day, shall there be a great mourninge in Ierusalem as the mourninge of Hadadrimmon. In the valley of Megiddon; which was the place, where Josiah was slaine, there shall be such a lamentation, as was for Josiah; this then was for him; for a good king.
Wherein haue we his goodnes expressd? Abundantly. He did that which was right in Gods sight. And whose Ey needs he fear, that is right in the eye of God? But how longe? To the end. For Nero who had his Quinquennium, was worst of all. He that is yll all the way is but a Tirant, he that is good at first, and after yll, an Angells face, and a Serpents tayle make him a monster; Josiah perseuerd; He turned not aside to the right hand, nor to the left.
If we applie it to the Josiah of our tyme, neither to the fugitiue, that leaues our Church, and goes to the Romane, nor to the Separatist, that leaues our Church, and goes to none. In the eighteenth year of his reigne, he vndertooke the reparation of Gods house; If we applie that to the Josiah of our tymes, I thinke in that year of his reigne, he visited these walls. In one word, like to him there was no king before, nor after; and therefore there was iust cause of lamentation for this king; for Josiah; historically, for the very losse of his person, prophetically, for the misery of the state, after his death.
Our errand is to day, to applie all these branches to the day. Those men who intended vs this cause of lamentation this day, in the destruction of our Josiah, spard him not, because he was so, because he was a Josiah, because he was good. No, not because he was good to them, his benefitts to them, had not mollified them to him. For that is not their way. Both the French Henries were their own, good to them; and did that rescue eyther of them, from the knife? And was not that Emperour whom they poysond in the Sacrament, theyr own, and good to them; And was that any Antidote against theyr poyson? To so reprobate a sense hath God giuen them over, as that, though they ly heauiest in theyr books, vpon princes of our religion, yet truly they haue destroyd more of theyr own, then of ours.
Thus it is Historically in theyr proceedings past, and prophetically, yt can be but thus, since no king is good, in theyr sense, if he agree not to all poynts of Doctrine with them, and when that is donne, not good yet, except he agree in all poynts of Iurisdiction too; and that no king can doe, that will not be theyr farmer of his owne kingdome. Theyr autors haue disputed Auferibilitatem Papæ; They haue made it a Probleme, whether the Church of God might not be with out a Pope, and some of theyr autors haue diuerted towards an affirmation of yt. But Auferibilitas potestatis, to imagine a king without kingly Souerainty, neuer came into probleme, into disputation.
We all lamented, and bitterly, and iustly the losse of our Deborah, though then wee all saw a Josiah succeeding: but if this had removed our Josiah and his Children, and this forme of gouerment, where, or who, or what had been an obiect of consolation vnto vs? The cause of lamentation, in the losse of a good king is certainly great; so it was, if Jeremie lamented Josiah; but if it were but for Zedechiah an yll king (as the greater part of Expositors take it) yet the lamentation we see is the same. How yll a king was Zedechiah? Very yll, as yll as Josiah was good; thats his measure, for he did evyll in the sight of the lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had donne: here’s his Syn; by precedent; he sets the worst kings before him, and is as bad as they. What had Jehoiakim donne? He had donne evyll in the sight of the lord according to all that his fathers had donne.
It is a great, and dangerous wickednes, which is donne vpon pretext of antiquitie. The religion of our fathers, the Church of our fathers, the worship of our fathers, is a pretext that colors a great deale of Superstition. He did evyll, as his fathers, there was his comparatiue evyll; and his positive evyll in particular was, that he humbled not him selfe to Gods prophets, to Jeremie speaking from the Mouth of the lord, there was irreligiousnes; and then he broke that oath, which he had sworne by God, there was faithlesnes; And lastly he stiffned his neck, and hardned his hart, from turning to the lord God of Israel
There was impenitiblenes: Thus evyll was Zedechia, irreligious to God, treacherous to Man, impenitible in himself and yet the state lamented him; not his spirituall defections, his Syns; for they did not make themselfes Iudges of those, but they lamented the calamities of the kingdome, in the losse, even of an yll king.
[Time: 11:00 — Bell tolls eleven times]
That Man must haue a large Comprehension that shall aduenture to say, of any king He is an yll king. He must know his office well and his actions well, and the actions of other princes too, who haue correspondence with him, before he can say so. When Christ says let your Communication be yea yea, and nay, nay, for whatsoeuer is more then these, when it comes to swearinge, that commeth of evill, Saint Augustine does not vnderstand it of the evyll disposition of the Man that swears, but of them who will not beleeue him without swearinge.
Many tymes a prince departs from the exact rule of his duty, not out of his own indisposition to truth and clearnesse, but to countermyne vndermyners. That which Dauid says he speaks of God himselfe, Cum peruerso peruerteris, with the froward thou wilt shew thy selfe froward: God who is of no froward nature may be made froward. With craftie neighbours a prince will be craftie, and perchance false with the false.
Alas, to looke into no other profession but our own, how often do we excuse dispensations, and pluralityes, and nonresidencyes, with an Omnes faciunt, I do but as other Men of my profession do: Allow a king but that, he does but as other kings do, or but that, as their doings put him to a necessity to do, and you will not quickly call a king, an yll king.
When God sells his people for old shooes, and for nought, and giues his enemyes abundance, when God commaunds Abraham to sacrficie his own and onely sonne, and his enemies haue Children at their pleasure as Dauid speakes, to giue your selfs the libertie of humane affections, you would thinke God an yll God: but yet they are to him a royall Preisthood, and a holy nation for all that, and all their tears are in his bottle, and registered in his booke for all that.
When princes pretermitt in some things, the present benefit of their Subiects, and confer fauours vpon others, giue your selfs the liberty to iudg of princes actions, with the affections of priuat men, and you may thinke a king an yll king. But yet we are to him as Dauid says, his brethren, his bone, his flesh, and so reputed by him. God himselfe, cannot stand vpright in a naturall Mans interpretation, nor any king in a priuate mans
But then how soone our aduersaries come to call kings, yll kings, wee see historically, when they boast of hauing desposed kings Quia minus vtiles, because another hath seemed to them fitter for that gouerment, and wee see prophetically, by alowinge those inditements and attainders of kings which stand in their books de Syndicatu, That that king that neglects the dutys of his place, That exercises his prerogative with out iust cause, that vexes his Subiects, nay that giues himselfe to intemperate hunting for in that very particular, they instance, that in such cases kings are as much in theyr mercy, and subiect to censure and correction.
We proceed not so in censuring the actions of kings. We say with Ciril, impium est dicere regi, inique agis. We remit the iudgment of theyr action to God, where they are secret, and if they were euident and bad, yet we must endeuour to preserve their persons, for there is danger in the losse, and lamentation due to the losse, even of Zedechiah, for euen such are vncti Domini, the anointed of the Lord, and spiritus Narium, the Breath of our Nostrills.
First, the king is Spiritus Narium, the breath of our Nostrills. First, Spiritus; a name most peculiarly belonging to God. That blessed person of the glorious Trinitie, whose office it is, to conuay, to insinuate, to applie to vs the mercies of the father, and the Merits of the Sonne, is calld by this name, by the word of this Text, Spiritus, Ruach, euen in the begining of the Creation.
God had created heauen, and earth; and then the Spirit of God, sufflabat, says Pagnins translation, and so say the Chalde Paraphrasts, it breathd vpon the waters, and so inducd or deduc’d particular, and specifique formes. So God hath made vs a litle world of our own, this Iland; he hath giuen vs heauen and earth, the truth of his ghospell, our earnest of heauen, and the abundances of the earth, a fruitfull land; but then, he who is the Spirit of the lord, he who is the breath of our Nostrills, Incubat aquis, he moues vpon the waters, by his royall and warlike Nauy, at Sea, in which he hath expressd a speciall, and a particular care, and by the breath and influence of his prouidence throughout the land, he preserves, he applies, he makes vsefull these blessings vnto vs.
If this breath, that is this power, be at any time corrupt in the passage, and contract an yll Sauor, by the pipes which convay it, and his good intentions are yll exectued by inferior Mynisters, this must not be imputed to him; That breath that comes from the East, the bed and garden of spices, is, when it is breathd out there, a perfume; by passing ouer the beds of Serpents, and putrified lakes, it may be a breath of poyson, in the West.
Princes purpose some things for the ease of the people (and as such, they are sometymes presented to them) and if they proue greiuances, they tooke their putrifaction in the way, theyr corruption from corrupt executors of good intentions. But here, we carry not this word, Ruach, Spirit, so highe: though, since God hath sayd, that kings are Gods, The attribute of the Holy ghost, and his office, which is to apply to Man, the goodnes of God, belongs to kings too; God giues, but they applie all blessings to vs. But here we take the word, literally, as it is in the Text, Ruach, Spirit, is the breath that we breath, the lyfe, that we live.
The king is that breath, that life, and therefore that belongs to him. First, our breath, that is, Sermo, our Speech. Be faithfull vnto him, and speake good of his name, is commaunded by Dauid of God. To Gods annointed, we are not faithfull, if wee do not speake good of his Name.
First, there is an internall speech in the hart: God looks to it. The foole hath said in his hart, there is no God; Though he say it but in his hart, yet he is a foole. For as wise as a politician would thinke him for sayinge it in his hart, and comminge no farther, yet euen that is an ouert act with God, for God sees the hart. It is the foole [that] says in his hart, there is no God; And it is the foole that says in his hart, I would there were no king.
That enormous, that infamous tragedy of the Leuites Concubin, and her Murder, of which it is sayd there, there was no such deed donne, nor seene before, (and many things are donne, that are neuer seene) with that Emphaticall addition, consider of it, aduise, and say your mind, hath this addition to, In those dayes there was no king in Israel; If there had been any king, but a Zedechiah, it could not haue been so.
Curse not the king, not in thy thoughts: for they are synns that tread vpon the heels of one another, that induce one another, to conceyue yll of Gods liuetenant, and of God himselfe: for so the prophet ioynes them, they shall fret themselfs, and curse theyr king and theire God. He that begins with one, will proceede to the other.
Thus then he is our breath; our breath is his; our speech must be containd, not expressd in his dishonor: not in misinterpretations of his actions. Ialousies haue often made women yll: Incredulity, suspitiousnes, ialousy in the subiect hath wrought ill effects vpon princes, otherwise not yll. We must not speake ill; but our duety is not accomplishd in that abstinence; we must speake well.
And in those things which will not admitt a good interpretation, we must be apt to remoue the obliquitie and peruersnes of the act, from him, who is the first mouer, to those who are inferior instruments. In those diuers opinions, which are ventilated in the Schoole, how God concurrs to the workinge of second and subordinate causes, that opinion ys, (I thinke) the most ancient, that denies that God workes in the second cause, but onely hath communicated to that, a power of working and rests himselfe:
This is not true; God doth worke in euery Organ, and in euery particular action: But yet though he do work, in all, he is no cause of the obliquity, of the peruersnes of any action; now earthly princes are not equall to God; they do not worke in particular actions; many tymes they communicate power to others, and rest themselfs; and the power is from them, but the peruersnes is not.
God does worke, and is not gilty: but princes do not so much as worke therein, and therefore are excusable. They are our breath; our breath is theyrs, in good interpretations of their actions, and it is theirs especially in our prayers to allmightie God for them especially.
[Time: 11:15 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — one stroke]
The Apostle exhorts vs to pray. For whome? First for all men in generall: but in the first particular that he descends to, for kings: And both Theodoret and Theophylact make that the onely reason, why he did not name kings first, vt non videatur adulari: least he should seeme to flatter kings. Whether mankind it selfe, or kings by whome Mankind is happie here, be to be preferred in prayer, you see both Theodoret and Theophylact make it a Probleme.
And those prayers were for infidell kings, and for persecuting kings: for euen they were the breath of their Nostrills; Theyr breath, their speech, their prayers were due to them. But then, beloued, a man may conuay a Satire into a prayer, a man may make a prayer a libel; if the intention of the prayer be not so much, to incline God to giue those graces, to the king, as to tell the world that the king wants those graces, it is a libell.
We say sometymes in scorne to a Man, God helpe you, and God send you witt, and therein, though it haue the sound of a prayer, we call him foole. So we haue seene some of late in obscure conventicles, institute certayne prayers, That God would keepe the king, and the prince in this religion.
The prayer is allways good, allways vsefull. But when that prayer is accompanied with circumstances as though the king and prince were declyning from that religion, then euen the prayer it selfe is libellous and seditious. Saint Paul in that former place, apparrels a subiects prayer well, when he says, let prayers be giuen with thanks. Let our prayers be for the continuance of the blessings which we haue, and let our acknowledgment of present blessings, be an inducement for future.
Pray and prayse togeather; pray thankefully, pray not suspitiously. For beloued in the bowells of Christ Iesus, before whose face I stand now, and before whose face, I shall not be able to stand amongst the righteous, at the last day, if I ly now, and make this Pulpit my shop, to vend Sophisticate wares, in the presence of you a holy part (I hope) of the Militant Church, of which I am, in the presence of the whole triumphant Church of which, by him, in whome I am that I am, I hope to be, in the presence of the head of that whole Church who is all in all, I, and I thinke, that I haue the spirit of God, (I am sure I haue not resisted it in this point) I, and I may be thought to know something in Ciuill affayres, (I am sure I haue not been stupified in these points) do deliuer that, which vpon the truth of a Morall Man, and a Christian Man, and a Church Man, I beleeue to be true, that he who is the breath of our Nostrills, ys, in his hart, as far from submitting vs to that Idolatry, and superstition, that did heretofore oppresse vs, as his imediate predecessor, whose Memory is iustly pretious to you, was. There ways may be diuers, and yet theyr ends the same, the glorie of God. And to a higher Comparison, then with her, I know I cannot carry it.
He is the breath of our Nostrills, our breath is his, that is our speech. First in the contayning it, not to speake in his diminution, then in vttringe it amongst Men, to interpret fayrely and loyally his proceedings and then in vttring yt to God, in such prayers, for the continuance thereof, as imply a thankefull acknowledgment of the present blessings spirituall and temporall which we enioy now, by him.
So breath is speech, but breath is life too, and so our lyfe is his. How willingly his subiects would giue their lifes for him, I make no doubt, but he doubts not. This is argument inough for their propensnes, to giue their lyfes for his honor, or for the possessions of his Children, that though not contra voluntatem, not against his will, yet præter voluntatem, without any Declaration of his pleasure by command, they haue been as ready voluntarily as if a presse had commanded them. But those ways which his wisedome hath chosen for procuring peace, haue kept off much tryall of that, of how willinglie his Subiects would giue there lyfes for him. Yet their lyfes are his, who is the breath of their Nostrills; and therefore though they do not leaue them for him, let them lead them for him; though they be not calld to dy for him, let them liue so, as it may be for him. Liue peaceably, liue honestly, liue industriously; all this is for him, for the Sins of the people endanger the Prince, as much as his own. When it shall be required at your hands, dy for him.
In the meane tyme liue for him; liue so, as your liuinge do not kindle Gods anger against him, and thats a good confession, that he is the breath of your Nostrills, that your lyfe is his. As then the breath of our Nostrills is expressd by this word in this text, Ruach, Spiritus, speeche, and lyfe, so it is his. When the breath of lyfe was first breathd into man, there it is calld by another word, Neshamah and thats the Soule, the imortall Soule: and is the king that breath of lyfe? Is he the soule of his Subiects so, as that theyr Souls are his? So as that they must sinne towards Men, in iniust actions, or sinne towards God in forsaking or dishonoring him, if he will haue them?
If I had the honor to aske this question in his royall presence, I know he would be the first Man, that would say no; No; your Souls are not myne, so. And as he is a most perfit text man in the booke of God (and by the way I should not easily fear his beeing a papist that is a good text nan) I know he would cite Daniel, though our God do not deliver vs, yet know, O king that we will not worshipp thy Gods; I know he would cite Saint Peter, we ought to obey God rather then men; And he would cite Christ himselfe, fear not them (for the soule) that cannot hurt the soule. He claimes not your Souls so.
Tis Ruach here, tis not Neshamah; your life is his, your soule is not his in that sense. But yet, beloued, these two words are promiscuously vsd in the Scripture; Ruach is often the soule; Neshamah is often but the temporall lyfe: and thus far, the one as well as the other, is the kings, That he must aunswer for your Souls; So they are his; for he is not a king of bodyes, but a king of Men; bodies and Souls; nor a king of Men onely, but of Christian men: so your religion, and your Souls are his; his; appertayning to his care.
And therefore though you owe no obeience to any power vnder heauen, to decline you from the true God, or the true worship of that God, in the fundamentall things thereof, yet in those things which are in their nature but Circumstantiall, and may therefore according to time, and place, and persons, admitt alteration, in those things, though they be things appertaynynge to religion, submitt your selfs to his direction, for here the two words meete, Ruach, and Neshamah, your lifes are his, his, and your Souls are his: his end being to aduance Gods truth, you are bound to trust him with the way.
He is Spiritus, as it is the Holie ghost, an instrument of the Holie ghost, to convey blessings to vs; Spiritus, as it is our breath, our speech; Spiritus, as it is our lyfe, Spiritus as it is our Soule, euen in things concerninge the Soule, so far as temporall things concerne Spirituall, as tymes of meetings and proceedings when we are mett, he is the breath of our Nostrills, our speech, our life, our Souls, in that limited sense, are his.
[Time: 11:30 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — two strokes]
But did those Subiects of his (and I charg none but his Subiects with this plot) from whome God deliuerd him this day, did they thinke so of him, that he was the breath of our Nostrills? If the breath be soure, if it be tainted and corrupt, (as they would needs thinke in this case), is that good Phisicke, for an yll breath to cut off the head, to suffocate it, to smother, to strangle, to murder that man? He is the breath of their Nostrills, they own him theyr Speech, theyr thanks, theyr prayers, and how haue these Children of fools made him theyr Songe, and theyr byword? How haue these Drunkards, men drunke of the Babilonian Cup made libells against him? How haue these Seminatores verborum; [these word-scatterers,] defamd him with contrary defamations, then, that he persecuted theyr religion, when he did not, now that he hath lefte his own religion when he hath not?
He is their breath, they owe him their tongues, and how fouly do they speake; theyr breath, they owe him theyr lifs, and how prodigally did they giue away their lifes, to take away his? He is theyr breath, their Soule, that is accomptant for their Souls, (though his account to God will be easie for them) and how haue they rasd themselfs out of his Audit, withdrawen themselfs from his Allegeance?
This they haue donne Historically: and to say prophetically what they would do, first theyr extenuation of this fact, when they call it an enterprise of a few vnfortunate gentlemen, and then theyr exaltation of this fact, when they make the principall person in it, a Martyr, this is prophecie enough, that since they are not ashamed of that Originall, they will not be affraid to coppie it often, and pursue the same practise till they haue their end.
Let it be Josiah, let it be Zedechiah, he was the breath of his Subiects, that was the first attribute, and he was the anointed of the lord, that is the next: vnction it selfe allways seperated that which was anointed from prophane and secular vse: vnction was a religious distinction. It had that signification in practise, before any law giuen for it. When Jacob had had that vision — sleeping vpon his stone, which made him see that that place was the house of God and the gate of heauen, then he tooke that stone, and set it vp for a pillar, and anointed it.
This was the practise in nature; and then the precept in the law, was, as for the altar it selfe, so for many other things belonging to the service of God, in the temple, Thou shalt anoint them, to sanctifie them. Thus it was for things, and then if we consider persons, we see the dignitie that anointing gaue, for it was giuen but to three sorts of persons, to Kings, to Preists, and to Prophets. Kings, and Preists had it to testifie their ordinarie and permanent and indelible iurisdicition: Theyr power is layd on in Oyle; and prophets had it, because they were extraordinarily raysd to denounce and to execute Gods iudgments vpon persons that were anointed, vpon Preists and kings too, in those cases, for which they were particularly employd.
Thus then it is, anointed things could not be touchd but by anointed persons; and then anointed persons could not be touchd but by persons anointed; the preist not directed but by the king, the king, as king, not corrected but by the prophet. And this was the state that they lamented so compassionatly, that theyr king, thus anointed, thus exempted, was taken prisoner, saw his Sonne slaine in his presence, then had his own eys pulld out, and was bound in chaines, and carried to Babel.
And lesse then this, in himselfe, and in his sonne, and in all, was not intended, this day, against our, not Zedechiah but Josias; for death (speaking in nature) hath all particular miseryes in it. An anointed king (and many kings anointed there are not) and he that is vnctus præ consortibus, aboue his fellow kings (for, I thinke no other king of his religion, is anointed) The anointed of the lord, he who in this Text hath both these great names Meshiach Jehouah, Christus Domini, as though he had been but the bramble anointed for king of the trees, and so made the fitter fuell for their fire, as though (as Dauids lamentation is for Saul) he had not been anointed with oyle, this ey of God, he by whome God looks vpon vs, this hand of God, he by whome God protects vs, this foote of God, by whome, in his due tyme, (and vsque quo Domine how long o lord before that tyme come?) God shall tread downe his own and our enemies, was swallowd and deuourd by them, in theyr infallible assurance of his perishinge.
So it was Historically. And how it stands prophetically, that is what such as they were would do for the future, as longe as they write, not in libells clandestinely and subreptitiously stolln out, but with publique autority, that our Preists are no anointed preists, but the priests of Baal, for that they write; that the Conspiracy of this day beeing against him, who oppressd religion, was as iust, as that against Cæsar, who did but oppresse the state, and that they write; that those who were the actors, are therefore saved, because at theyr execution they submitted all to the Romane Church, and were content, if that Church condemnd that fact, then to repent yt, so they write too; that the religion of our present king, is no better than the religion of Jeroboam, or of Numa Pompilius, that also they write; that the last Queene though an Heretique, yet because she was Anointed did cure that disease, The kings evyll, but because in scorne thereof the king refusd to be anointed at his Coronation, therefore he cannot cure that disease, and therefore Non dicendus vnctus Domini, [he is not to be called the Anointed of the Lord,] says that autor, (for all these are the words of one Man; and one who had no other occasion to say all this, but onely the kings Apology for the Oath of Allegeance,) by retayning and relyenge vpon such autors, and autorities as those, which remayne for theyr future instruction, we see theyr disposition for the future, and iudge of them prophetically as well as historically.
Now the misery which is here lamented, the declination of the kingdome in the person of the king, is thus expressd, He was taken in theyr pitts. Taken, taken in pitts, taken in their pitts, are so many stayres downe, so many descents, so many gradations, or rather degradations, in this calamity. Let it be Josiah, let it be Zedechiah, they were taken, taken and neuer rescued. Let it be our Josiah, and will it hold in that application?
Was he taken? He was plotted for; but was he taken? When he himselfe takes knowledge, that both at home and abroad, those of the Romane persuasion, assurd themselfs of some especiall worke, for the aduancement of theyr cause at that tyme, when they had taken that assurance, he was taken, taken in their assurance, infallibly taken, in theyr opinion.
As this kingdome was taken in theyr opinion, who thought that Nauy inuincible, so this king was taken in theyr assurance, who thought that plot infallible. He was taken, and in foueis, in pitts, says the text. If our first translation would serve, the sorrow were the lesse, for there it is, he was taken in their Net; now, a man that flattereth spreadeth a Net; a Prince that discerns not a flatterer from a Counsaylor, is taken in a net: but thats not so desperate, as in a pit.
In Josiahs case it was a pit, a Graue, in Zedechiahs case, it was a pit, a prison. In our Josiah’s case, it was fully as it is in the Text, not in fouea, but in foueis, plurally in their pits, in their diuers pits; Death in the Myne, [where they beganne,] Death in the Cellar, [where they pursued their mischief.]
And then it was in Foueis illorum; says the Text, in their pits, but the text does not tell vs in whose. In the verse before, it is said our persecutors did this, and this, and then it follows he was taken in their pits; in the persecutors pitt certainely; but yet who are they? If it were Josiah, the persecutor was Necho king of Egipt, for from his army Josiah receyud his deaths wound; If it were Zedechiah, the persecutor was Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babilon, for he carried Zedechiah into Captiuity: Certenly the Holy ghost knew well inough, and could haue spoke playne, whose these pitts were; but it pleasd him to forbear Names.
Certaynely our Josiah knowes well inough, whose those pitts, that were digged for him, were; but according to his naturall sweetnes, to decline the drawing of more blood, then necessarily he must, or the layenge of imputations and aspersions vpon more then necessarily he must, he hath forborne Names.
The Holy ghost knowes better then all the expositors in all our libraries, who diggd those pitts; Our Josiah knows better then all we who come but to Solemnize the deliuerance, whose hands, and whose counsayls were in the digging of these pitts too.
[Time: 11:45 — Bell tolls the quarter hour — three strokes]
He was taken, says our Text. Fixe it in Josiah, who was taken, and neuer taken back, fixe it in Zedechiah who was taken, and neuer taken back, they both perishd, in both them there is iust cause of perpetuall and permanent lamentation; But transfer it to our Josiah, and then He was taken, ys, He was but taken; God did not suffer his holy one to see corruption; and so the lamentation is changd to a congratulation: so our Væ is an Euge, our exclamation turnd to acclamation, so our De profundis, is a Gloria in Excelsis, the pit the vault, is become a hill, whence we behold the power of our great God; The Sepher kinoth, The booke of lamentation, is become Sepher Tehillim, The booke of Psalms, and thanksgiuinge; Dauids bonus es omnibus, O lord thou art good to all, ys come to Moses his Non taliter omni, thou hast not dealt so well with any Nation, as with vs; And when we might haue feard a Dereliquisti, that God had forsaken vs, we had Saint Augustins Appropinquaui et nesciebam, we came nearer and nearer to God, and knew yt not; we know not our danger, and therefore we knew not his espetiall protection.
It was one particular degree of his Mercy, to proceed so: as it is an ease to a Man not to hear of his frinds sicknes, till he hear it by hearing of his recouery, so God did not shake vs with the danger, till he establishd vs with the deliuerance. And by making his Seruant and our Soueraigne, the blessed meanes of the discouery, and the deliuerance, he hath directed vs in all apprehensions of dangers, to rely vpon that Wisedome in Ciuil affaires of state, and vpon that zeale, in causes of religion, which he hath imprinted in his Royall Soule; Historically God hath donne great things for vs, by him, prophetically God hath great things to do for vs, and all the Christian world, and will make him, his instrument to do them.
We reserud at first, for the last gaspe, for the knott to ty vp all, this consideration, That he who was truly affected with the sad sense of such a danger, and the pious sense of such a deliuerance, would also vse all means in his power, to secure the future, That the kingdome in that king might allways be safe from the like dangers. No doubt, our Josiah does that, in that which appertaynes vnto him; and all (the care of all) appertaines vnto him. If God had made him his rodd to scourge others with warrs and armies, we might be afraid, that when God had donne his worke by him, he would cast the rodd into the fire:
God does not allways blesse those instruments who loue blood, though they pretend his glorie: but since God hath made him his Doue, to fly ouer the world with the Oliue branch, with endeuours of peace in all places, as the Doue did, he shall euer bring his oliue branch to the Arke, endeuour onely such peace as may aduance the Church of God, and establish peace of Conscience in him selfe.
That care on his part, shall preserve him, and for his preservation, and ours in him, these things are to be donn on our part. First, let vs returne to God, so as God may looke vpon vs, cloathd in the righteousnes of Christ; who will not be put on, as a fair gowne to couer course cloathes; but first put off your Synns, and then put on him; Syns of the tyme, sins of your age, sins of your Sex, sins of your Complexion, sins of your profession; put off all; for, your time, your age, your Complexion, your Sex and your profession shall not be damnd, but you; your selfes.
Do not thinke that your Sondays zeale, once a weeke, can burne out all your extortions, and oppressions, and vsury, and bribery, and Simony, and chamberinge, and wantonnes practisd from Monday to Saterday. Do not thinke it to be so with the spirituall Man, as with the Naturall; in the naturall body, a great proportion of Choler will rectifie a cold, or old, or flegmatique man; he is well by hauing so much choler. But a vehement zeale on Sonday doth not rectifie the six dayes Sinner.
To cry out then, I am starved for want of an afternoones Sermon, and to fast all the weeke longe so, as neuer to tast how sweete the lord is, in Clensing thy hart, and withdrawinge thy hand from sin, this is no good diet. Not onely vpon your allegeance to God, but vpon your allegeance to the king, be good. No prince can haue a better guard then Subiects truly religious. Quantus murus patriæ, est vir justus is Saint Ambrose his holy exclamation. The sins of former tymes, the sins and prouocations of Manasseth lay heauy vpon Josiah, as well as God loved him. The sins of our days, our sins, may open any prince to Gods anger.
This is the first way of preservinge our Josiah, to turne away the wrath of God, by our repentance of former, and abstinence from future sins. A second is to vphold his honor and estimation with other men; espetially amongst strangers that liue with vs; who, for the most part value princes so, as they find theyr Subiects to value them. Ambassadors haue euer been sacred persons, and partakers of great priuileges. A prince that lives, as ours, in the Ey of many Ambassadors, is not, as the Children of Israel, in the midst of Cananites, and Jebusits, and Amonits, who all watchd their destruction; but he is in the midst of Tutelar Angells, Nationall Angells, who study, by Gods grace, the peace and well fare of the Christian state.
But all strangers in the land are not noble, and candid, and ingenous Ambassadors; and even they who are so may be misled to an vnderualue of the prince, by rumors, by disloyall, and negligent speeches from the subiect.
We haue not felt Salomons whips, but our whinings, and repinings, and discontents may bringe vs to Rehoboams Scorpions. This way hath a part in the kings safety, and in our safety, to hold in our selfs, to conuay to strangers, a good estimation of that happy gouerment, which is truly good in it selfe. And then a third, and verie important way towards his preservation, is a chearfull disposition to supplie, and to support, and to assist him, with such things as are necessary for his outward dignity. When God himselfe was the immediate king of the Israelits, and gouernd them by himselfe, he tooke it yll, that they would depart from him, who needed nothing of theyrs; for there could be no other king but must necessarily be supplied from them.
And yet, consider, beloued, what God, who needed nothing tooke. The sacrifices of the Iews, were such, as would haue kept diuers royall houses. Take a byll of them but in one passeouer, that Josiah kept, and compare that, and other the like with the smallnes of the land, which they possessed, and that that they gaue was a very, very great proportion.
Now it is the service of God to contribute to the king as well as to the preist; He that giues to a prophet, shall haue a prophets reward, he that giues to the king shall haue a kings reward, a Crown, in those cases, where to giue to the king is to giue to God, where the peace of the state, and the glory of the ghospell so much depends vpon the sustentation of the outward honor and splendor of the king. Preserve him so, and he shall the lesse be subiect to those dangers.
But lastly, and espetially let vs preserve him, by preserving God amongst vs in the true and sincere profession of his religion. Let not a mis-grounded and a disloyall imagination, of coolenes in him, coole you in your own families. Omnis spiritus qui soluit Jesum, says Saint John in the vulgate. Euery spirit that dissolues Iesus, that embraces not Iesus intirely, all Iesus, all his truth, and all his, all that suffer for him, is not of God.
Do not say I will holde as much of Iesus as shall be necessary; as much, as shall distinguish me from a Turke or a Iew; but if I may be the better for parting with some of the rest, why should I not? Or, I will hold all my selfe, but let my wife, or my Sonne, or one of my sonns go the other way: as though protestant and papist, were two seuerall callings, and as you would make one Sonne a lawyer, another a Merchant, you will make one Sonne a papist, another a protestant.
Excuse not your own leuity, with so high a dishonor of the prince: when haue you heard, that euer he thankd any Man for becomming a papist? Leaue his dores to him selfe; the dores into the kingdome and the dores within the kingdome, the ports and the prisons.
Looke thou seriously to thine owne dores, to thyne owne family, and keepe all right there. A theife that is let out of Newgate, is not therefore let into thy house.
A preist that is let out of prison, is not therefore sent into thy house. Still it may be felony to harbor him, though there were mercy and benignity, to let him out.
Cities are built of families, and so are Churches too; Euery man keepe his own family, and then euery pastor shall keepe his flock; and so the Church shalbe free from Scisme, and the state from sedition, and our Josiah preserud, prophetically, for euer, as he was historically, this day, from them, in whose pitts, the breath of our Nostrills, the anointed of the lord was taken. Amen.
[Time: 12:00 — bell tolls twelve times]
[Psalm-singing — the Verger leads a procession, with Donne, back to a portal on the north side of the Choir.]