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النشر الإلكتروني

God suffers the hypocrite to praise him, he imprints no understanding ; here is a frustra colunt, It is a worship that is no worship, when it is with the lips only, and the heart far off. So when a papist cries Templum Domini, templum Domini, Visibility of a church, infallibility in a church, here is no understanding; he pretends to believe as the church believes, but he knows not what the church believes ; no, nor he neither upon whom he relies for his instruction, his priest, his confessor. They are deceived that think every priest or jesuit, that comes hither, knows the tenets of that church ; it is a more reserved, a more perplexed, a more involved matter than so. To contract this consideration, when a preacher speaks well, and destroys as fast by his ill life, as he builds by his good doctrine, here is no understanding neither. A good understanding have all they that keep the commandments®; not all they that preach them, but that keep them; it is all they, and only they. There is no other assurance but that; Hereby we are sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. This is our criterium, and only this; hereby we know it, and by nothing else. So that as he that is slothful in his work, is eren the brother of him that is a great waster®; so he that builds not with both hands, life and doctrine, is slothful in his work. He that preaches against sin, and doth it, Instruit Dominum quomodo eum condemnet', He doth not so much teach his auditory, how to escape condemnation, as teach God how to condemn him. In these cases there is no understanding at all; in the case of the ass, and the hypocrite, and the blind Romanist, and the vicious preacher. In some other cases, there is understanding given, but without any concurrence, any co-operation of man, as in those often visions, and dreams, and manifestations of God, to the prophets, and his other servants; there was a faciam ut intelligas, God would make his pleasure known unto them, but yet not as in this text, where God makes use of the man himself for his own salvation. But yet it is God, and God alone that does all this, that rectifies our understanding, as well as that establishes our faith. It is my soul that says to mine eye, faciam te videre, I will make thee see, and my soul that says to mine ear, faciam te audire, I will make thee hear, and without that soul, that eye and ear could no more see nor hear, than the eyes and ears of an idol ; so it is my God that says to my soul, faciam te intelligere, I will make thee understand. And therefore as thou art bound to infinite thanksgivings to God, when he bath brought thee to faith, to forget not thy tribute by the way, to bless and magnify him, if he have enlarged thy desire of understanding, and thy capacity of understanding, and thy means of understanding; for, as howsoever a man may forget the order of the letters, after he is come to read perfectly, and forget the rules of his grammar, after he is come to speak perfectly, yet by those letters, and by that grammar he came to that perfection ; so, though faith be of an infinite exaltation above understanding, yet, as though our understanding be above our senses, yet by our senses we come to understand, so by our understanding we come to believe. And though the Holy Ghost repeat that more than once, Domine quis credidit? Lord who belieces our report? And that, Shall the Son of man find faith upon earth when he comes? Though he complain of want of faith, yet he multiplies infinitely that complaint for want of understanding, and there aro ten non intelligunts for one non credunt, ten increpations, that his people did not understand, for one that they did not believe; because, though faith be a nobler operation, God takes it always worst in us, to neglect those things which are nearest us, as he doth to neglect the ordinary and necessary duties of religion, and search curiously into the unrevealed purposes of his secret counsels. And this instruction to the understanding, he seems in this text to extend to all, for this singular word, Te, I will make Thee, thee to understand, includes no exclusion, but is an offer, a promise to all, which is our other and last consideration in this first part.

6 Psalm cxi. 10.

8. Prov. xviii. 9.

7 1 John ii. 3. Chrysostom.

In this consideration, let us stop a little upon this question, why the Scriptures of God, more than any other book, do still speak in this singular person, and in this familiar person? Still tu, and tibi, and te; thou must love God, God speaks to thee, God hath care of thee. Certainly in those passages, which are from lower persons to princes, no author is of a more humble, and reverential, and ceremonial phrase, than the phrase of the Scripture is. Who could go lower than David to Saul, that calls himself a flea, and a dead dog 10? Who could go higher than Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, O king, thou art king of kings; in all places, the children of men, the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, are given into thy hand"); thy greatness reacheth to heaven, and thy dominions to the ends of the earth". So is it also in persons nearer in nature, and nearer in rank; Jacob bous seven times to the ground's, in the presence of his brother Esau, and my lord, and my lord, at every word. The Scripture phrase is as ceremonial and as observant of distances, as any, and yet still full of this familiar word too, Tu and Tuus, Thou and Thine. And we also, we who deal most with the Scriptures, are more accustomed to the same phrase than any other kind of speakers are. liament, who is ever heard to say, Thou must needs grant this, Thou mayest be bold to yield to this? Or who ever speaks so to a judge in any court? Nay, the king himself will not speak to the people in that phrase. And yet in the presence of the greatest, we say ordinarily, amend thy life, and God be merciful to thee, and I absolve thee of all thy sing. Beloved, in the Scriptures, God speaks either to the church, his spouse, and to his children, and so he may be bold, and would be familiar with them; or else he speaks so, as that he would be thought by thee to speak singularly to thy soul in particular. Know then, that Christ Jesus hath done enough for the salvation of all; but know too, that if there had been no other name written in the book of life but thine, he would have died for thee. Of those which were given him, he lost none; but if there had been none given him, but thou, rather than have lost thee, he would have given the same price for thee, that he gave for the whole world. And therefore when thou hearest his mercies distributed in that particular, and that familiar phrase, faciam te, I will make thee understand, thou knowest not whether he speak to any other in the congregation or no; be sure that he speak to thee; which he does, if thou hearken to him, and answer him. If thou canst not find that he means thee yet, that he speaks to thee now, if thou think he speak rather to some other, whose faith and good life thou pre

In a par

1 1 Sam. xxiv. 15; 2 Sam ix. 8

19 Dan. iv. 19.

11 Dan. ii. 37. 13 Gen. xxxüi. 3.

ferrest before thine own, do but begin to think now of the blessedness of that man, to whom thou thinkest he speaks, and say to God, with thy Saviour, Eli, Eli, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou gone to the other side, or why to the next on my right, or on my left hand, and left out me? Why speakest thou not comfortably to my soul ? And he will leave the ninety-nine for thee, and thou shalt find onus amoris, such a weight, and burden, and load of his love upon thee, as thou shalt be feign almost to say with St. Peter, Exi à me Domine, O Lord go farther from me, that is, thou shalt see such an obligation of mercy laid upon thee, as puts thee beyond all possibility of comprehension, much more of retribution, or of due and competent thanksgiving. Miserere animæ tuæ, Be but merciful to thine own soul, and God will be merciful to it too; if God had never meant to be merciful to thee, he would learn of thee; if thou couldst love thyself before God loved thee, God would love thee for loving thyself; how much more for thy loving his love in thee? Love understanding, and, faciet te intelligere, He will make thee understand enough for thy pilgrimage, enough for thy transmigration, enough for thy eternal habitation. As we count them wisest, who are most provident, and foresee most, he will make thee see farther than all they, through all generations, beyond children, and children's children, (which is the prospect of the world) to all eternity, that hath no termination, and he will allow thee an understanding for this world too; he will bid thee lift up thine eyes to heaven, and bid thee look down to the earth" too ; he will make thy considerations of this world acceptable to him, as well as those of the next; he will remember thee, that angels descended as well as ascended's, that to a religious soul, this world is not out of the way to heaven; faciet te intelligere, He will make thee understand enough for both. And so we have done with that first part, De credendis, Things which we are bound to believe, that even for those, God works upon the understanding, that though God work all in all, yet it is the man that understands; and lastly, that in the Holy Ghost's choosing this word of singularity, te, I will make thee understand, there is a pregnant intimation of God's large and diffusive goodness to all, this word, thee, excludes none. And so we pass to our second part, Instruction, de agendis, what we are to do, I will teach thee in the way thou shalt go.

14 Isaiah Li. 6.

15 Gen. xxvii.

If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God; and faciet intelligere, God shall make him understand: God shall; I may study, and then, you may hear me, but God only makes us all understand; for the understanding is the door of faith, and that door he opens, and he shuts: so by understanding, he brings us to believe. But then, he that truly believes, finds that he hath something to do too; and he says to himself, Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his ways? And he cannot tell himself; he asks them whom God hath sent to tell him, his ministers, Viri, fratres, Men and brethren what shall we do to be saved? And by their leading, he goes to the Spirit of God, to God himself, and says, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may hate eternal life"? And that good master will teach him what to do, which is the promise of this part of instruction in our text, I will teach thee in the way thou shalt go. And plus est docere, quam instruere"?, God promises more in this, that he will teach thee in the way, than in the former, that he would make thee understand. Not that the matter or subject in this part, is the greater, (for the former had relation to faith, and this but to good works) but that it intimates a more frequent recourse to us, and a more studious care of us, and a more provident vigilancy over us, and a more familiar conversation with

that God accompanics us in all our way, and directs us in all our particular actions, than that by understanding he hath brought us to believe. He that horses a man well for a journey, or he that rewards a man well for a journey, does a greater work, than he that goes along with him as a guide ; but yet there is aliquid magis in the guide, there is a more continual, a more incessant courtesy in him. We see in the Roman church, they are not in their beads, without credoes, they believe enough; and lest that should not be enough, they have made a new creed of more articles than that, in the Council of Trent, and to testify a strong faith therein, they must swear they believe it: and then they have to every creed, more Pater nosters, they petition enough, ask enough at God's hands; 10 Matt. xix, 16.

us,

17 Gregory

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