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remember nothing backward beyond him, and remember him so too, that thou mayest stick upon nothing on this side of him, that so neither height, nor depth, nor any other creature may separate thee from God’s; not only not separate thee finally, but not separate so, as to stop upon the creature, but to make the best of them, thy way to the Creator; we see ships in the river; but all their use is gone, if they go not to sea; we see men freighted with honour, and riches, but all their use is gone, if their respect be not upon the honour and glory of the Creator ; and therefore says the apostle, Let them that suffer, commit their souls to God, as to a faithful Creator ; that is, be made them, and therefore will have care of them. This is the true contracting, and the true extending of the memory, to remember the Creator, and stay there, because there is no prospect farther, and to remember the Creator, and get thither, because there is no safe footing upon the creature, till we come so far.
Remember then the Creator, and remember thy Creator, for, Quis magis fidelis Deo 27? Who is so faithful a counsellor as God? Quis prudentior sapiente? Who can be wiser than wisdom? Quis utilior bono? or better than goodness ? Quis conjunctior Creatore? or nearer than our Maker? and therefore remember him. What purposes soever thy parents or thy prince have to make thee great, how had all those purposes been frustrated, and evacuated, if God had not made thee before: this very being is thy greatest degree; as in arithmetic how great a number soever a man express in many figures, yet when we come to number all, the very first figure is the greatest and most of all ; so what degrees or titles soever a man have in this world, the greatest and the foundation of all, is, that he had a being by creation : for the distance from nothing to a little, is ten thousand times more, than from it to the highest degree in this life: and therefore remember thy Creator, as by being so, he hath done more for thee than all the world besides; and remember him also, with this consideration, that whatsoever thou art now, yet once thou wast nothing
He created thee, ex nihilo, he gave thee a being, there is matter of exaltation, and yet all this from nothing; thou wast worse than a worm, there is matter of humiliation ; but he did not create thee ad nihilum, to return to nothing again, and there is matter for thy consideration, and study, how to make thine immortality profitable unto thee; for it is a deadly immortality, if thy immortality must serve thee for nothing but to hold thee in immortal torment. To end all, that being which we have from God shall not return to nothing, nor the being which we have from men neither. As St. Bernard says of the image of God in man's soul, Uri potest in gehenna, non exuri, That soul that descends to hell, carries the image of God in the faculties of that soul thither, but there that image can never be burnt out, so those images and those impressions, which we have received from men, from nature, from the world, the image of a lord, the image of a councillor, the image of a bishop, shall all burn in hell, and never burn out; not only these men, but these offices are not to return to nothing ; but as their being from God, so their being from man, shall have an everlasting being, to the aggravating of their condemnation. And therefore remember thy Creator, who, as he is so, by making thee of nothing, so he will ever be so, by holding thee to his glory, though to thy confusion, from returning to nothing; for the court of heaven is not like other courts, that after a surfeit of pleasure or greatness, a man may retire; after a surfeit of sin there is no such retiring, as a dissolving of the soul into nothing; but God is from the beginning the Creator, he gave all things their being, and he is still thy Creator, thou shalt evermore have that being, to be capable of his judgments.
25 Rom. viii. ult.
28 1 Pet. iv, ult.
Now to make up a circle, by returning to our first word, remember : as we remember God, so for his sake, let us remember one another. In my long absence, and far distance from hence, remember me, as I shall do you in the ears of that God, to whom the farthest east, and the farthest west are but as the right and left ear in one of us; we hear with both at once, and he hears in both at once ; remember me, not my abilities; for when I consider my apostleship that I was sent to you, I am in St. Paul's quorum, quorum ego sum minimus s, the least of them that have been sent; and when I consider my infirmities, I am in his quorum, in another commission, another way, quorum ego maximus *°; the greatest of them ; but remember my labours, and endeavours, at least my desire, to make sure your salvation. And I shall remember your religious cheerfulness in hearing the word, and your christianly respect towards all them that bring that word unto you, and towards myself in particular far above my merit. And so as your eyes that stay here, and mine that must be far off, for all that distance shall meet every morning, in looking upon that same sun, and meet every night, in looking upon the same moon; so our hearts may meet morning and evening in that God, which sees and hears everywhere ; that you may come thither to him with your prayers, that I, (if I may be of use for his glory, and your edification in this place) may be restored to you again ; and may come to him with my prayer, that what Paul soever plant amongst you, or what Apollos soever water, God himself will give the increase : that if I never meet you again till we have all passed the gate of death, yet in the gates of heaven, I may meet you all, and there say to my Saviour and your Saviour, that which he said to his Father and our Father, Of those whom thou hast given me, have I not lost one. Remember me thus, you that stay in this kingdom of peace, where no sword is drawn, but the sword of justice, as I shall remember you in those kingdoms, where ambition on one side, and a necessary defence from unjust persecution on the other side hath drawn many swords; and Christ Jesus remember us all in his kingdom, to which, though we must sail through a sea, it is the sea of his blood, where no soul suffers shipwreck; though we must be blown with strange winds, with sighs and groans for our sins, yet it is the Spirit of God that blows all this wind, and shall blow away all contrary winds of diffidence, or distrust in God's mercy; where we shall be all soldiers of one army, the Lord of hosts, and children of one choir, the God of harmony and consent: where all clients shall retain but one counsellor, our advocate Christ Jesus, not present him any other fee but his own blood, and yet every client have a judgment on his side, not only in a not guilty, in the remission of his sins, but in a venite benedicti, in being called to the participation of an immortal crown of glory: where there shall be no
28 I Cor. xv. 9.
difference in affection, nor in mind, but we shall agree as fully and perfectly in our hallelujah, and gloria in excelsis, as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost agreed in the faciamus hominem at first : where we shall end, and yet begin but then; where we shall have continual rest, and yet never grow lazy ; where we shall be stronger to resist, and yet have no enemy; where we shall live and never die, where we shall meet and never part.
Two SERMONS, TO THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS PALATINE, THE
LADY ELIZABETH, AT HEIDELBERG, WHEN I WAS COMMANDED BY THE KING TO WAIT UPON MY LORD OF DONCASTER IN HIS EMBASSAGE TO GERMANY,
FIRST SERMON AS WE WENT OUT, JUNE 16, 1619*.
ROMANS xiii. 11.
For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
There is not a more comprehensive, a more embracing word in all religion, than the first word of this text, now; for the word before that, for, is but a word of connexion, and rather appertains to that which was said before the text, than to the text itself: the text begins with that important and considerable particle, Nou, now is salvation nearer, &c. This present word, nou, denotes an advent, a new coming, or a new operation, otherwise than it was before: and therefore doth the church appropriate this Scripture to the celebration of the advent, before the feast of the birth of our Saviour. It is an extensive word, now ; for though we dispute whether this now, that is, whether an instant be any part of time or no, yet in truth it is all time; for whatsoever is past, was, and whatsoever is future, shall be an instant ;
I have retained the title as it stands in the folio edition; there is, however, but one sermon, nor can I find any trace of another. -Ed.
and did and shall fall within this now. We consider in the church four advents or comings of Christ, of every one of which we may say now, now it is otherwise than before : for first there is verbum in carne, the word came in the flesh, in the incarnation ; and then there is caro in verbo, he that is made flesh comes in the word, that is, Christ comes in the preaching thereof; and he comes again in carne saluta, when at our dissolution and transmigration; at our death he comes by his spirit, and testifies to our spirit that we die the children of God: and lastly he comes in carne reddita, when he shall come at the Resurrection, to redeliver our bodies to our souls, and to deliver everlasting glory to both. The ancients for the most part understand the word of our text, of Christ's first coming in the flesh to us in this world; the latter exposition understand them rather of his coming in glory : but the apostle could not properly use this present word now, with relation to that which is not now, that is, to future glory, otherwise than as that future glory hath a preparation and an inchoation in present grace; for so even the future glory of heaven hath a now, now the elect children of God have by his powerful grace a present possession of glory. So then it will not be impertinent to suffer this flowing and extensive word now to spread itself into all three : for the whole duty of Christianity consists in these three things; first, in pietate erga Deum, in religion towards God; in which the apostle had enlarged himself from the beginning to the twelfth chapter of his epistle: and secondly in charitate erga proximum, in our mutual duties of society towards our equals and inferiors, and of subjection towards our superiors, in which that twelfth chapter, and this to the eighth verse is especially conversant: and then thirdly, in sanctimonia propria, in the works of sanctification and holiness in ourselves : and this text the apostle presents as a forcible reason to induce us to that, to those works of sanctification, because Now our salvation is nearer us than when we believed. Take then this now, the first way of the coming of Christ in person, in the flesh into this world; and then the apostle of Christ directs himself principally to the Jews converted to the faith of Christ, and he tells them, that their salvation is nearer them now, now they had seen him come, than when they did only believe that he