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Roman church hath used, from declaring whether the laws of secular magistrates do bind the conscience, or not, that is, whether a man sin in breaking a temporal law, or not, (for, though it have been disputed in their books, and though the bishop of that church were supplicated in the Trent Council to declare it, yet he would never be brought to it) that abstinence, I say, of theirs, though it give them one great advantage, yet it gives us another, For by keeping it still undetermined and undecided, how far the laws of temporal princes do bind us, they keep up that power, , which is so profitable to them, that is, to divide kings and subjects, and maintain jealousies between them, because if the breach of any law constitute a sin, then enters the jurisdiction of Rome ; for that is the ground of their indirect power over princes, In ordine ad spiritulia, that in any action, which may conduce to sin, they may meddle, and direct, and constrain temporal princes. That is their advantage, in their forbearing to declare this doctrine ; and then, our advantage is, that this enervates, and weakens, nay destroys and annihilates that ordinary argument, that there must be always a visible church, in which every man may have clear resolution, and infallible satisfaction, in all scruples that arise in him, and that the Roman church is that seat, and throne of infallibility. For how does the Roman church give any man infallible satisfaction, whether these or these things, grounded upon the temporal laws of secular princes, be sins or not, when as that church hath not, nor will not come to a determination in that point? How shall they come to the sacrament? how shall they go out of the world with a clear conscience, when many things lie upon them which they know not, nor can be informed by their confessors, whether they be sins or not? And thus it is in divers other points besides this; they pretend to give satisfaction and peace in all cases, and pretend to be the only true church for that, and yet leave the conscience in ignorance, and in distemper, and distress, and distraction in many particulars.
The law of the prince is rooted in the power of God. The root of all is order, and the order of all is the king; and what the good kings of Judah, and the religious kings of the Primitive Christian church did, every king may, nay should do. For, both the tables are committed to him; (as well the first that concerns our religious duties to God, as the other that concerns our civil duties to men.) So is the ark, where those tables are kept, and so is the temple, where that ark is kept; all committed to him; and he oversees the manner of the religious service of God. And therefore it is, that in the schools we call sedition and rebellion, sacrilege; for though the trespass seem to be directed but upon a man, yet in that man, whose office (and consequently his person) is sacred, God is opposed, and violated. And it is impiously said of a Jesuit, (I may easily be believed of that Jesuit', if any other might be excepted) Non est regum etiam veram doctrinam confirmare, The king hath nothing to do with religion, neither doth it belong to him to establish any form of religion in his kingdom, though it be the right religion, and though it be but by way of confirmation.
This then David, David as a king, takes to be in his care, in his office, to rectify and settle religion, that is, the outward worship of God. And this he intimates, this he conveys by way of counsel, and persuasion to all the world; he would fain have all agree in one service of God. Therefore he enters the psalm so, Jubilate omnes terræ, Rejoice all ye lands; and, Adore te omnis terra, All the earth shall worship thee; and again, Venite et audite omnes, Come and hear all ye that fear God. For as St. Cyprian says of bishops, that every bishop is an universal bishop, that is, must take into his care and contemplation, not only his own particular diocese, but the whole Catholic church : so every Christian king is a king of the whole Christian world, that is, must study, and take into his care, not only his own kingdom, but all others too. For it is not only the municipal law of that kingdom, by which he is bound to see his own subjects, in all cases, righted, but in the whole law of nations every king hath an interest. My soul may be king, that is, reside principally in my heart, or in my brain, but it neglects not the remoter parts of my body. David maintains religion at home; but he assists, as much as he can, the establishing of that religion abroad too.
David endeavours that, persuades that everywhere; but he will be sure of it at home; there he enjoins it, there he commands it;
Dicite, says he, Say; that is, This you shall say, you shall serve God thus. We cannot provide, that there shall be no wolves in the world, but we have provided that there shall be no wolves in this kingdom. Idolatry will be, but there needs be none amongst
Idolaters were round about the children of Israel in the land of promise ; they could not make all those proselytes; but yet they kept their own station. When the Arian heresy had so surrounded the world, as that Universa fore Orientalis ecclesia, Almost all the Eastern Church, and Cuncti pene Latini episcopi, aut ri, aut fraude decepti", Almost all the bishops of the Western Church, were deceived, or threatened out of their religion into Arianism; insomuch that St. Hilary gives a note of a hundred and five bishops of note, noted with that heresy; when that one bishop, who will needs be all alone, the bishop of Rome, Liberius, so far subscribed to that heresy, (as St. Hierome's express words are') that Bellarmine himself does not only not deny it, but finds himself bound, and finds it hard for him to prove, that though Liberius did outwardly profess himself to be an Arian, yet in his heart he was none; yet for all this impetuousness of this flood of this heresy, Athanasius, as bishop, excommunicated the Arians in his diocese, and Constantine, as emperor, banished them out of his dominions. Athanasius would have been glad, if no other church, Constantine would have been glad, if no other State would have received them; when they could not prevail so far, yet they did that which was possible, and most proper to them, they preserved the true worship of the true God in their own jurisdiction.
David could not have done that, if he had not had a true zeal to God's truth, in his own heart. And therefore, as we have an intimation of his desire to reduce the whole world, and a testimony of his earnestness towards his own subjects, so we have an assurance, that in his own particular, he was constantly established in this truth, He calls to all, (Come and see the works of God) and more particularly to all his, (O bless our God ye people) but he proposes himself to their consideration too, (I will declare what he hath done for my soul.) Great is the Lord, and greatly to
? Nicephor. Vinc. Lyra.
" Hieron. de Roma. pont. I. 4. c. 9.
be feared, says this religious king, in another Psalm '; and that is a proclamation, a remonstrance to all the world. He adds, One generation shall declare thy works to another; and that is a propagation to the ends of the world. But all this is rooted in that which is personal, and follows after, I will speak of the glorious honour of thy Majesty; and that is a protestation for his own particular. And to the same purpose is that which follows in the next verse, Men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts ; they shall, that is, they should; and, I would all men would, says David; but, whether they do, or not, I will declare thy greatness, says he there; I will not be defective in my particular. And David was to be trusted with a pious endeavour amongst his neighbours, and with a pious care over all his own subjects, as long as he nourished, and declared so pious a disposition in his own person. And truly, it is an injurious, it is a disloyal suspicion, and jealousy, it is an ungodly fascination of our own happiness, to doubt of good effects abroad, and of a blessed assurance at home, as long as the zeal of God's truth remains so constantly in his heart, and flows out so declaratorily in his actions, in whose person God assures both our temporal safety, and our religion.
We pass now from this consideration of the persons; which, though it be fixed here, in the highest, in kings, extends to all to whom any power is committed, to magistrates, to masters, to fathers, all are bound to propagate God's truth to others, but especially to those who are under their charge; and this they shall best do, if themselves be the example. So far we have proceeded, and we come now to the duty, as it is here more particularly expressed, Dicite, Say unto God, publish, declare, manifest your zeal. Christ is Verbum, The word, and that excludes silence; but Christ is also Nóyos, and that excludes rashness, and impertinence in our speech. Inter cæteras Dei appellationes, Sermonem veneramur's, Amongst God's other names, we honour that, that he is the Word; that implies a communication, God's goodness in speaking to us, and an obligation upon us, to speak to him, For, beloved, that standing of the sun and moon“, which gave occasion to the drawing of so much blood of the Amorites, is, in the original, not siste sol, but sile sol; he does not bid the sun and moon stand still, but he bids them say nothing, make no noise, no motion so. Be the sun the magistrate, and be the moon, the church, Si sileant, If they be silent, command not, pray not, avow not God's cause, the case is dangerous. The Holy Ghost fell in fiery tongues, he inflamed them, and inflamed them to speak. Divers dumb men were presented to Christ's; but if they were dumb, they were deaf too, and some of them blind". Upon men that are dumb, that is, speechless in avowing him, God heaps other mischievous impediments too; deafness, they shall not hear him in his word, and blindness, they shall not see him in his works.
12 Psalm cxlv. 3,
14 Josh. X. 12.
Dicite, Say, says David, delight to speak of God, and with God, and for God; Dicite, Say something. We told you, this was magis quam cogitare, That there was more required than to think of God. Consideration, meditation, speculation, contemplation upon God, and divine objects, have their place, and their season; but this is more than that; and more than admiration too; for all these may determine in ecstasies, and in stupidities, and in useless and frivolous imaginations. Gold may be beat so thin, as that it may be blown away; and speculations, even of divine things, may be blown to that thinness, to that subtilty, as that all may evaporate, never fixed, never applied to any use. God had conceived in himself, from all eternity, certain Ideas, certain patterns of all things, which he would create. But these Ideas, these conceptions produced not a creature, not a worm, not a weed; but then, Dixit, et facta sunt, God spoke, and all things were made. Inward speculations, nay, inward zeal, nay, inward prayers, are not full performances of our duty. God hears willingliest, when men hear too; when we speak aloud in the ears of men, and publish, and declare, and manifest, and avow our zeal to his glory.
It is a duty, which in every private man, goes beyond the cogitare, and the admirari; but yet not so far as to a facite, in the private man. Private men must think piously, and seriously, and speak zealously, and seasonably of the cause of God. But this does not authorize, nor justify such a forwardness in any pri
15 Matt. xii. 22.
16 Mark vii. 32.