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nor be deceived in them. We are that semen Dei
that Malachi speaks of, the seed of God24, which he
hath sowed in his church; and by that extraction we
are consortes divine nature, partakers of the divine
nature itself25, and so grow to be filii Dei, the sons
of God; and by that title, cohceredes Christi, joint
heirs with Christ *; and so to be Christi ipsi, Christs
ourselves, as God calls all his faithful, his anointed,
his Christsn; and from thence we grow to that
height, to be of the quorum in that commission, Dii
estis, I have said you are gods, and not only gods by
representation, but idem spiritus cum Domino, so
become the same spirit with the Lord, that as a spirit
cannot be divided in itself, so we are persuaded, that
neither death nor life, nor any creature, shall be
able to separate us from God2*. If any man be
ignorant, let him be ignorant still"9. If he will not
study his own case, let him be subject to these scorns
and these terrors still; but Christianus idiota per
suasissimum habetM, the unlearnedest Christian that
is (be he a true Christian), hath learning enough
to establish himself so, that neither scorn nor terrors
can shake his foundations. So then you see what
fellowship of the faithful, what household of the
righteous, what communion of saints it is, that falls
under this denomination, we, we that have laid our
foundations in faith and made our superedifications in
sanctimony and holiness of life; we that have learned,
and learned by the right rule, the rule of Christianity,
how to put a right value upon this world, and those
things which can but concern our body in this world;
for multis serviet qui corpori servit, says the oracle of
moral men31. That man is a common slave to everybody, that is a slave to his own body; that man dares displease no man, that dares not displease himself; that man will grovel, and prostrate, and prostitute himself at every great man's threshold, that is afraid to lose a dish from his table, or a pillow from his bed, at home. Multis serviet, qui corpori servit, et qui, pro Mo, nimium timet, He is the true coward that is afraid of every inconvenience which another may cast upon his person or fortune. Honestum eivile est, cut corpus nimis charum est, He that hath set too high a price upon his body will sell his soul cheap. But if we can say of the fires of tribulation as Origen says (whether he speak of the fires of conflagration at the last day, or these fires of purification in our way to it), Indigemus sacramento ignis, baptismo ignis, that all our fiery tribulations fall under the nature and definition of sacraments, that they are so many visible signs of invisible grace, that every correction from God's hand is a rebaptization to me, and that I can see that I should not have been so sure of salvation without this sacrament, without this baptism, without this fire of tribulation. If I can bring this fire to that temper which Lactantius speaks of, that it be ignis qui obtemperabit justis, a fire that shall conform itself to me, and do as I would have it, that is, concoct, and purge, and purify, and prepare me for God; if my Christianity make that impression in me which Socrates's philosophy did in him, who (as Gregory Nazianzen testifies of him) in carcere damnatus, egit cum discipulis, de corpore, sicut de alio ergastulo, who, when he lay a condemned man in prison, then in that prison taught his disciples, that the body of man was a worse prison than that he lay condemned in. If I can bring these fires to this compass and to this temper, I shall find, that as the ark was in the midst of the waters, and yet safe from the waters, and the bush
S4 Mai. ii. 15. * 2 Pet. i. 4. M Rom. viii. 17.
* Psalm cv. 15. s8 Rom. viii. 38. 29 1 Cor. xi». 38.
30 Origen. 3i Seneca.
in the midst of the fire, and yet safe from the fire; so, though St. Jerome says (and upon good grounds), Grandis audaciee est, pureeque conscientiee, It is an act of greater boldness than any man, as man, can avow, and a testimony of a clearer conscience than any man, as man, can pretend to have, regnutn Dei postulare, etjudicium non timere, to press God for the day of judgment, and not to fear that day (for upon all men, considered but as men, falls that severe expostulation of the prophet Amos, Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord; to what end is it for you f The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light )u; yet I shall find that such a family, such a society, such a communion there is, and that I am of that quorum that can say, Come what scorns can come, come what terrors can come, in Christo omnia possumus, though we can do nothing of ourselves, yet as we are in Christ we can do all things, because we are fixed in him, secundum promissa; which is our fourth and next branch, According to his promises.
I have nothing to plead with God but only his own promises. I cannot plead birthright; the Jews were elder brothers, and yet were disinherited. I cannot plead descent; my mother was an Hittite33 (as the prophet Ezekiel speaks), I am but of the half blood at best, more of the first than of the second Adam, more corporal than spiritual. I cannot plead purchase; if I have given any thing for God's sake, if I have done any thing, suffered any thing for God's sake, all that is so far from merit, as that it is not the interest of my principal debt. Nay, I cannot plead mercy, for I am by nature the child of wrath too". All my plea is, that to which he carries me so often in his word, Quia fidelis Dominus, Because the Lord is a faithful God. So this apostle calls him fidelem Creatorem, a faithful
m Amos, T. 18. » Esek. xvi. 3. 3i Eph. ii. S.