Imágenes de páginas

at that book in writing, is scarce less than forty) yet scarce one of them all hath undertaken the arguments of that book, but either repeated, and perchance enlarged those things which their own authors had shovelled together of that subject (that is, the pope's temporal power) or else they have bent themselves maliciously, insolently, sacrilegiously, against the person of his majesty; and the pope may be antichrist still, for any thing they have said to the contrary. It belonged only to him, whom no earthly king may enter into comparison with, the King of heaven, Christ Jesus to say, Those that thou gadest me have I kept, and none of them is lost"8; and even in him, in Christ Jesus himself, that admitted one exception; Judas the child of perdition was lost. Our king cannot say that none of his subjects are fled to Rome; but his vigilancy at home hath wrought so, as that fewer are gone from our universities thither, in his, than in former times ; and his books abroad have wrought so, that much greater, and considerable persons are come to us, than are gone from us. I add that particular, (from our universities) because we see, that since those men whom our universities had bred, and graduated before they went thither, (of which the number was great, for many years of the queen's time) are worn out amongst them, and dead; those whom they make up there, whom they have had from their first youth there, who have received all their learning from their beggarly and fragmentary way of dictates there, and were never grounded in our schools nor universities, have proved but weak maintainers of that cause, compared with those men of the first times.

As Plato says of a particular natural body, he that will cure an ill eye, must cure the head; he that will cure the head, must cure the body; and he that will cure the body, must cure the soul; that is, must bring the mind to a temperature, a moderation, an equanimity; so in civil bodies, in states, head, and eye, and body; prince, and council, and people, do all receive their health and welfare from the pureness of religion : and therefore, as the chiefest of all, I chose to insist upon that blessing, that God hath given us a religious king, and religious out of his understanding. His other virtues work upon several conditions of

08 John xvii. 12.

men ; by this blessing, the whole body is blest. And therefore not only they which have been salted with the salt of the court”, as it is said of the king's servants; but all that are salted with the salt of the earth 100, (as Christ calls his church, his apostles) all that love to have salt with themselves, and peace with one another 10), all that are sensible of the spiritual life, and growth, and good taste that they have by the Gospel, are bound to praise him, to magnify him for ever, that hath vouchsafed us a religious king, and religious out of understanding.

Many other happinesses are rooted in the love of the subject; and of his confidence in their love, his very absence from us is an argument to us. His continual abode with us hath been an argument of his love to us; and this long progress of his is an argument of his assurance of our loyalty to him. It is an argument also of the good habitude and constitution to which he hath brought this state, and how little harm they that wish ill to it, are able to do, upon any advantage; Hanc in vobis fiduciam pertimescunt's; This confidence of his makes his home-enemies more afraid, than his laws, or his trained-bands; Et contemni se sentiunt, cum relinquuntur; When they are left to their own malignity, and to do their worst, they discern in that, how despicable and contemptible a party they are. Cum in interiora imperii seceditis, When the king may go so far from the heart of his kingdom, and the enemy be able to make no use of his absence, this makes them see the desperateness of their vain imaginations. He is not gone from us; for a noble part of this body, (our nation) is

gone with him, and a royal part of his body stays with us. Neither is the farthest place that he goes to, any other than ours, now, when, as the Roman orator" said; Nunc demum jucat orbem terrarum spectare depictum, cum in illo nihil videmus alienum; Now it is a comfort to look upon a map of the world, when we can see nothing in it that is not our own; so we may say, Now it is a pleasant sight to look upon a map of this island, when it is all one. As we had him at first, and shall have him again, from that kingdom, where the natural days are longer than ours are, so may he have longer days with us, than ever any of our

9 Ezra iv. 14.

100 Matt. v. 13. 102 Mamertinus Maximiano.

101 Mark ix. 50. 108 Eumenius.

princes had; and as he hath immortalitatem propriam sibi, filium sibi similem, (as it was said of Constantine,) a peculiar immortality, not to die, because he shall live in his son ; so in the fulness of time, and in the accomplishment of God's purposes upon him, may he have the happiness of the other immortality, and peacefully surrender all his crowns in exchange of one, & crown of immortal glory, which the Lord the righteous Judge lay up for him against that day.

To conclude all, and to go the right way from things which we see, to things which we see not, by consideration of the king, to the contemplation of God; since God hath made us his tenants of this world, we are bound, not only to pay our rents, (spiritual duties and services towards him,) but we are bound to reparations too, to contribute our help to society, and such external duties as belong to the maintenance of this world, in which Almighty God hath chosen to be glorified. If we have these two, pureness of heart, and grace of lips, then we do these two; we pay our rent, and we keep the world in reparation ; and we shall pass through all those steps and gradations, which St. Ambrose harmoniously, melodiously expresses, to be seroi per timorem, to be the servants of God, and live in his fear; to be mercenarii per laborem, to be the workmen of God, and labour in his vineyard ; to be filii per lavacrum, to be the sons of God, and preserve that inheritance which was sealed to us at first, in baptism; and last of all, amici per virtutem, by the good use of his gifts, the King of kings shall be our friend. That which he said to his apostles, his Spirit shall say to our spirit here, and seal it to us for a covenant of salt, an everlasting, an irrevocable covenant, Henceforth call I you not servants, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, have I made known unto you 10 And the fruition of this friendship, which neither slackens in all our life, nor ends at our death, the Lord of life, for the death of his most innocent Son, afford to us all. Amen.


[ocr errors]

104 John xv. 14.





For God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our

hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.

The first book of the Bible, begins with the beginning; In principio, says Moses, in Genesis ; In the beginning God created heaven and earth: and can there be anything prius principio, before the beginning ? Before this beginning, there is. The last book of the Bible, (in the order as they were written) the Gospel of St. John, begins with the same word too; In principio, says St. John; In the beginning was the Word: and here, novissimum primum, the last beginning is the first; St. John's beginning, before Moses ; Moses speaking but of the creature, and St. John of the Creator ; and of the Creator, before he took that name, before he came to the act of creation; as, the Word was with God, and was God from all eternity. Our present text is an epitome of both those beginnings : of the first beginning, the creation, when God commanded light to shine out of darkness: and of the other beginning, which is indeed the first, of him, in whose face we shall have the knowledge of the glory of God, Christ Jesus.

The first book of the Bible, is a revelation, and so is the last, in the order as they stand, a revelation too. To declare a production of all things out of nothing, (which is Moses' work ;) that when I do not know, and care not whether I know or no, what so contemptible a creature as an ant is made of, but yet would fain know what so vast, and so considerable a thing as an elephant is made of; I care not for a mustard-seed, but I would fain know what a cedar is made of : I can leave out the consideration of the whole earth, but would be glad to know what the heavens, and the glorious bodies in the heavens, sun, moon and stars are made of; I shall have but one answer from Moses for all, that all my elephants, and cedars, and the heavens that I

consider, were made of nothing; that a cloud is as nobly born, as the sun in the heavens; and a beggar, as nobly as the king upon earth; if we consider the great grand-father of them all, to be nothing: to produce light of darkness thus, is a revelation, a manifestation of that, which, till then, was not: this Moses does. St. John's is a revelation too: a manifestation of that state, which shall be, and be for ever, after all those which were produced of nothing, shall be returned and resolved to nothing again ; the glorious state of the everlasting Jerusalem, the kingdom of heaven. Now this text is a revelation of both these revelations: the first state, that which Moses reveals, was too dark for man to see; for it was nothing: the other, that which St. John reveals, is too bright, too dazzling for man to look upon; for it is no one limited, determined object, but all at once, glory, and the fear and fountain of all glory, the face of Christ Jesus.

The Holy Ghost hath showed us both these, severally in Moses, and in St. John, and both together in St. Paul, in this text: where, as the sun stands in the midst of the heavens, and shows us both the creatures that are below it, upon earth, and the creatures that are above it, the stars in heaven; so St. Paul, as he is made an apostle of the Gentiles, stands in the midst of this text, (God hath shined in our hearts:) ours, as we are apostolical ministers of the Gospel; and he shows us the greatness of God, in the creation which was before, when God commanded light out of darkness; and the goodness of God which shall be hereafter, when he shall give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.

So that this text, giving light, by which we see, light commanded by God out of darkness; and the object which we are to see, the knowledge of the glory of God; and this object being brought within a convenient distance to be seen in the face of Jesus Christ. And a fit and well-disposed medium being illumined, through which we may see it, God having shined in our hearts, established a ministry of the Gospel: for that purpose, if you bring but eyes, to that which this text brings, light, and object, and distance, and means, then, as St. Basil said of the Book of Psalms, upon an impossible supposition, If all the other books of Scripture could perish, there were enough in that one,

« AnteriorContinuar »