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houses, rooms without the house ; so considered in this world on the Gentiles, and the heathen, which are without the church, and yet amongst them God hath some servants : so in his house there are women below stairs, that is, in his visible church here upon earth; and women above stairs, that is, degrees of glory in the triumphant church. To them that are lodged in those outhouses, out of the covenant out of the church, salvation comes sometimes, God doth save some of them: but yet is not near them, that is, they have no ordinary nor established way of attaining to it, because Christ is not manifested to them in an ordinary preaching of the Word, and an ordinary administration of the sacraments. And then to them who are above stairs, that is in possession of salvation in heaven, we cannot say salvation is nearer and nearer to them, because they are already in an actual possession thereof. But to them who are in God's house, and yet below stairs; to them who have salvation presented unto them by sensible and visible means; to them their salvation is properly said to be near. And such a people God had from the beginning, and shall have to the end; and that people the Jews were ; and therefore their glory was just and true glory, when they glorified themselves in that, What nation is so great.?? wherein consisted their greatness ? that follows; Unto whom is the Lord so nigh as he is to us? and in what consisted this nearness ? in this; What nation hath ordinances and laws 80 righteous as we hace? Here then was their salvation ; first God withdrew them from the nations; he naturalized them; he denizened them into his own kingdom, sub sigillo circumcisionis, in the seal of their blood in circumcision, he gave them an interest in his blood to be shed in his passion : and then, this was their further salvation, that when he had thus taken them into his service, and put them into his livery, a livery of his own colour, of blood in their circumcision, then he gave them a particular law for all their actions, how they should live in his favour; and he gave them a particular form of outward religious worship, which should be acceptable to him; the law, which was a sensible rule of their life, and their sacrifices, which were the sensible rule of their religion, was salvation : Non taliter, says David', God hath not dealt so with * Deut. xli. 7.
3 Psalm cxLvii. 9.
other nations ; for though God from other nations do here and there pick out a servant, yet he hath not given other nations salvation, that is, settled an ordinary means of salvation amongst them. That was true of the Jews, and will always be true of the whole church of God, which Calvin says, Quia nec oculis perspicitur, nec manibus palpatur spiritualis gratia, because the grace of God itself cannot be discerned by the eye, nor distinguished by the touch, Non possumus nisi externis signis adjuti, statuere Deum nobis esse propitium, we could not assure ourselves of the mercies of God, if we had not outward and sensible signs and seals of those mercies; and therefore God never left his church without such external and visible means and seals of grace. And though all those means were not properly seals, (for that is proper to sacraments, as a sacrament is strictly taken to be a seal of grace) yet the fathers did often call many of these things by that name Sacraments, because they had so much of the nature of a true sacrament, as that they advanced and furthered the working of grace. How a visible sign, water or wine, (even in a true and proper sacrament) should confer grace, Fateor me non posse capere, says a learned bishop in the Roman church“, as easy a matter as they make it, he professes that he cannot understand it: he argues it subtilly, but he concludes it modestly; Omnia brevi sententia dicenda sunt, consistere in pactis; this must says he be the end of all, that these things are not to be considered in the reason of man, but in the covenant of God: God hath covenanted with his people, to be present with them in certain places, in the church at certain times, when they make their congregation, in certain actions, when they meet to pray; and though he be not bound in the nature of the action, yet he is bound in his covenant to exhibit grace, and to strengthen grace, in certain sacrifices, and certain sacraments; and so other sacramental, and ritual and ceremonial things ordained by God in the voice of his church, because they further salvation, are called salvation in this sense, and acceptation of the word, the first way.
This was the first branch, in the first sense of these words ; salus adminicula salutis, salvation is means of salvation; and the next is the prope, wherein these means and helps were nearer to the Jews, after they were converted to the Christian religion, than before: and we consider them justly, to have been nearer, that is, more discernible ; first, quia plura, because the helps of the Christians are more ; and then, quia potiora, because in their nature they are better; and lastly, quia manifestiora, because they have a better evidence towards us; for so as the more bodies are together, the greater the object is, and so made the more visible; so they are nearer, quia plura, because they are more; and so, as the more beautiful, and better proportioned a body is, the more it draws the eye to look upon it; so they are nearer, quia potiora, because they are better: and so as the more evidence, and light and lustre they have in themselves, the easier things are discerned, so they are nearer, quia manifestiora, because they are more visible. First, how there should be more helps in the Christian religion, than in the Jewish, is not so evident at first : for first, if we consider the law to be salvation, they had a vast multiplicity of laws, scarce less than six hundred several laws ; whereas the honour of the Christian religion is, that it is verbum abbreviatum, an abridgment of all into ten words, as Moses calls the commandments; and then a re-abridgment of that abridgment into two, love God, and love thy neighbour, that is, faith and works. If we consider their laws to be their salvation, they had more; and if we consider their sacrifices to be their salvation, they had more too; for their rabbins observe at least fifty several kinds of contracting uncleanness, to which there were appropriated several expiations and sacrifices; whereas we have only the sacrifices of prayer, and of praise, and of Christ in the sacrament; for so it is the ordinary phrase and manner of speech in the fathers, to call that sacrifice; not only as it is a commemorative sacrifice, (for that is amongst ourselves, and so every person in the congregation may sacrifice, that is, do that in remembrance of Christ,) but as it is a real sacrifice, in which the priest doth that, which none but he does; that is, really to offer up Christ Jesus crucified to Almighty God for the sins of the people, so, as that that very body of Christ, which offered himself for a propitiatory sacrifice upon the cross, once for all, that body, and all that that body suffered, is offered again, and presented to the Father, and the Father is entreated, that for the merits of that Person, so presented and offered unto him, and in contemplation thereof, he will be merciful to that congregation, and apply those merits of his, to their particular souls. These are our sacrifices, prayer and praise, and Christ thus offered ; and how are these more than the Jews had? they had more laws, and more sacrifices, and as many sacraments as we; and if nearness of salvation consist in the plurality of these, how is salvation nearer to us than to them? Quatenus plura, in that first respects as the means are more, as it is truly and properly said, that there are more ingredients, more simples, more means of restoring in our dram of triacle or mithridate*, than in an ounce of any particular syrup, in which there may be three or four in the other, perchance so many hundred ; so in that receipt of our Saviour Christ, quicquid ligaceris, in the absolution of the minister, that whatsoever he shall bind or loose upon earth, shall be bound or loosed in heaven; there is more physic, than in all the expiations and sacrifices of the old law. There an expiation would serve to-day, which would not serve to-morrow; if it were omitted till the sun were set upon it, it required a more severe expiation : and so also an expiation would serve for one transgression, which would not serve for another; but here, in the absolution of the minister, there is a concurrence, a confluence of medicines of all qualities ; purgative in confession, and restorative in absolution ; corrosive in the preaching of judgments, and cordial in the balm of the sacrament : here is no limitation of time, at what time soever a sinner repenteth, nor limitation of sins, whatsoever is forgiven in earth is forgiven in heaven : salvation is nearer us in this respect, that we have plura adminicula, more outward and visible means than the Jews had, because we may receive more in one action, than they could in all theirs.
* Catarin. Ep. 5.
It is so also, not only quia plura, because we have more means, but quia potiora, because those means which we have are in their nature, better, more attractive, and more winning. The means, (as we have said before) were their laws, and their sacrifices, and their sacraments, and for their law, it was Lex interficiens, non perficiens"; It was a law, that punished unrighteousness, but it
* Universal medicines, compounded of a variety of ingredients. See Vol, IV. p. 343, note
did not confer righteousness : and their sacrifices, being in blood, (if we remove from them their typical signification, and what they prefigured, which was the shedding of the blood of the Lamb which takes away the sins of the world) must necessarily create and excite a natural horror in man, and an averseness from them. Take their sacraments into comparison, and then one of their sacraments, circumcision, was limited to, one sex, it reached not to women; and their other sacrament, the passover, was in the primary signification and institution thereof, only a gratulatory commemoration of a temporal benefit of their deliverance from Egypt. And therefore to constitute a judgment proportionably by the effects, we see the law, and the sacrifice, and the sacraments of the Jews, did not much work upon foreign nations; it was salvation, but salvation shut up amongst themselves; whereas we see that the law of the Christians, which is, to conform ourselves to our great example and pattern, Christ Jesus, who, (if we would consider him merely as man) was the most exemplar man, for all theological virtues, and moral too, that ever any history presented ; and the sacrifices of Christians, which are all spiritual, and therein more proportional to God who is all Spirit; and the sacraments of Christians, in which, though not ex opere operator, not because that action is performed, not because that sacrament is administered, yet ex pacto, and quando opus operamur: by God's covenant, whensoever that action is performed, whensoever that sacrament is administered, the grace of God is exhibited and offered ; Nec fallaciter, as Calvin says well, It is offered with a purpose on God's part, that that grace should be accepted, we see, I say that these laws, and these sacrifices, and these sacraments have gained upon the whole world; for in their nature, and in their attractiveness, and in their appliableness, and so in their effect, they are potiora, better, and in that respect, salvation is nearer us than it was to the Jews.
And so it is, lastly, quia manifestiora, because they have an evidence and manifestation of themselves in themselves. Now, this is especially true in the sacraments, because the sacraments exhibit and convey grace; and grace is such a light, such a torch, such a beacon, as where it is, it is easily seen. As there is a lustre in a precious stone, which no man's eye or finger can limit