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for his counsel to resist penury, and to preserve plenty and abundance within the land. See Basil in an homily which he made in a time of dearth and drought, in which he expresses himself with as much elegancy, as any where, and every where I think with as much as any man) where he says, there was in the sky, Tristis severitas et ipsa puritate molesta, That the air was the worse for being so good, and the fouler for being so fair; and where he inverts the words of our Saviour, Messis magna, operarii pauci, says Christ", Here is a great harvest, but few workmen; but Operarii multi, messis parra, says Basil, Here are workmen enough, but no harvest to gather, in that homily; he notes a barrenness in that which used to be fruitful, and a fruitfulness in that which used to be barren; terra sterilis et aurum fæcundum, he prophesied of our times; when not only so many families have left the country for the city, in their persons,

but have brought their lands into the city, they have brought all their evidences into scriveners' shops, and changed all their renewing of leases every seven years, into renewing of bonds every six months: they have taken a way to inflict a barrenness upon land, and to extort a fruitfulness from gold by usury. Monsters may be got by unnatural mixtures, but there is no race, no propagation of monsters: money may be raised by this kind of use; but, non hærebit, it is the sweat of other men, and it will not stick to thine heir. Nay, commonly it brings not that outward blessing of plenty with it; for, for the most part, we see no men live more penuriously, more sordidly, than these men do.

The third of these temporal blessings is health, without which both the other are no more to any man, than the rainbow was to him who was ready to drown; Quid mihi, si peream ego? says he, What am I the better, that God hath past his word, and set to his seal in the heavens, that he will drown the world no more, if I be drowned myself? What is all the peace of the world to me, if I have the rebellions and earthquakes of shaking and burning fevers in my body? What is all the plenty of the world to me, if I have a languishing consumption in my blood, and in my marrow? The heathens had a goddess, to whom they attributed the care of the body, deam Carnam: and we that are Christians,

10 Luke x. 2.

acknowledge, that God's first care of man, was his body, he made that first; and his last care is reserved for the body too, at the resurrection, which is principally for the benefit of the body. There is a care belongs to the health, and comeliness of the body. When the Romans cononized Pallorem and Febrim, Paleness and Fevers, and made them gods, they would as fain have made them devils, if they durst; they worshipped them only, because they stood in fear of them. Sickness is a sword of God's and health is his blessing. For when Hezekias had assurance enough that he should recover and live, yet he had still a sense of misery, in that he should not have a perfect state of health. What shall I say, says he, I shall walk weakly all my years, in the bitterness of my soul. All temporal blessings are insipid and tasteless, without health.

Now the third branch of this part, is the other in quibus, not the things, but the persons, in whom these three blessings are here placed: and it is beatus populus, when this blessedness reaches to all, dilates itself over all. When David places blessedness in one particular man, as he does in the beginning of the first Psalm, Beatus vir, Blessed is that man, there he pronounces that man blessed, If he neither walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. If he do not all, walk, and stand, and sit in the presence and fear of God, he is not blessed. So, if these temporal blessings fall not upon all, in their proportions, the people is not blessed. The city may be blessed in the increase of access; and the lawyer may be blessed in the increase of suits; and the merchant may be blessed in the increase of means of getting, if he be come to get as well by taking, as by trading; but if all be not blessed, the people is not blessed: yea, if these temporal blessings reach not to the prince himself, the people is not blessed. For in favorabilibus princeps è populo, is a good rule in the law; in things beneficial, the king is one of the people. When God says by David, Let all the people bless the Lord, God does not exempt kings from that duty; and when God says by him too, God shall bless all the people, God does not exempt, not exclude kings from that benefit; and therefore where such things as conduce to the being, and the well-being, to the substance and state, to the ceremony and majesty of the prince, be

11 Isaiah xxxviii. 15.

not cheerfully supplied, and seasonably administered, there that blessing is not fully fallen upon them, blessed is that people that are so; for the people are not so, if the prince be not so.

Nay, the people are not blessed, if these blessings be not permanent; for, it is not only they that are alive now, that are the people; but the people is the succession. If we could imagine a blessing of health without permanency, we might call an intermitting ague, a good day in a fever, health. If we could imagine a blessing of plenty without permanency, we might call a full stomach, and a surfeit, though in a time of dearth, plenty. If we could imagine a blessing of peace without permanency, we might call a night's sleep, though in the midst of an army, peace; but it is only provision for the permanency and continuance, that makes these blessings blessings. To think of, to provide against famine, and sickness, and war, that is the blessing of plenty, and health, and peace. One of Christ's principal titles was, that he was Princeps Pacis'and yet this Prince of Peace says, Non teni mittere pacem, I came not to bring you peace, not such a peace as should bring them security against all war. If a ship take fire, though in the midst of the sea, it consumes sooner, and more irrecoverably, than a thatched house upon land: if God cast a firebrand of war, upon a state accustomed to peace, it burns the more desperately, by their former security.

But here in our text we have a religious king, David, that first prays for these blessings, (for the three former verses are a prayer) and then praises God in the acknowledgement of them; for this text is an acclamatory, a gratulatory glorifying of God for them. And when these two meet in the consideration of temporal blessings, a religious care for them, a religious confessing of them, prayer to God for the getting, praise to God for the having, Blessed is that people, that is, head and members, prince and subjects, present and future people, that are so; so blessed, so thankful for their blessings.

We come now, Ad dextram dextræ, to the right blessedness, in the right sense and interpretation of these words, to spiritual blessedness, to the blessedness of the soul. Estne Deo cura de bobus? is the apostle's question ", and his answer is pregnantly

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1 Cor, ix. 9.

implied, God hath care of beasts : but yet God cared more for one soul than for those two thousand hogs which he suffered to perish in the sea, when that man was dispossessed. A dram of spiritual is worth infinite talents of temporal. Here then in this spiritual blessedness (as we did in the former) we shall look first, Quid beatitudo, what it is; and then, In quibus, in what it is placed here, Ut Deus eorum sit Dominus, That their God be the Lord ; and lastly, the extent of it, that all the people be made partakers of this spiritual blessedness.

This blessedness then, you see is placed last in the text; not that it cannot be had till our end, till the next life; in this case, the Nemo ante obitum fails, for it is in this life, that we must find our God to be the Lord, or else, if we know not that here, we shall meet his nescio vos, he will not know us; but it is placed last, because it is the weightiest, and the uttermost degree of blessedness, which can be had, To hare the Lord for our God. Consider the making up of a natural man, and you shall see that he is a convenient type of a spiritual man too.

First, in a natural man we conceive there is a soul of vegetation and of growth; and secondly, a soul of motion and of sense; and then thirdly, a soul of reason and understanding, an immortal soul. And the two first souls of vegetation, and of sense, we conceive to arise out of the temperament, and good disposition of the substance of which that man is made, they arise out of man himself; but the last soul, the perfect and immortal soul, that is immediately infused by God. Consider the blessedness of this text, in such degrees, in such proportions. First, God blesses a man with riches, there is his soul of vegetation and growth, by that he grows in estimation, and in one kind of true ability to produce good fruits, for he hath wherewithal. And then, God gives this rich man the blessing of understanding, his riches, how to employ them according to those moral and civil duties, which appertain unto him, and there is his soul of sense; for many rich men have not this sense, many rich men understand their own riches no more than the oaks of the forest do their own acorns. But last of all, God gives him the blessing of discerning the mercy, and the purpose of God in giving him these temporal blessings, and there is his immortal soul. Now for the riches

themselves, (which is his first soul) he may have them ex traduce, by devolution from his parents; and the civil wisdom, how to govern his riches, where to purchase, where to sell, where to give, where to take, (which is his second soul) this he may have by his own acquisition, and experience, and conversation ; but the immortal soul, that is, the discerning of God's image in every piece, and of the seal of God's love in every temporal blessing, this is infused from God alone, and arises neither from parents, nor the wisdom of this world, how worldly wise soever we be in the governing of our estate.

And this the prophet may very well seem to have intimated, when he saith, The generation of the righteous shall be blessed "; here is a permanent blessedness, to the generation. Wherein is it expressed ? thus; Riches and treasure shall be in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever. He doth not say, that simony, or usury, or extortion shall be in his house; for riches got so are not treasure; nor he doth not say, that riches well got, and which are truly a blessing, shall endure for ever, but his righteousness shall endure for ever. The last soul, the immortal soul endures for ever. The blessedness of having studied, and learnt, and practised the knowledge of God's purpose in temporal blessings, this blessedness shall endure for ever; when thou shalt turn from the left to the right side, upon thy death bed, from all the honours, and riches of this world, to breathe thy soul into his hands that gave it, this righteousness, this good conscience shall endure then, and then accompany thee: and when thine eyes are closed, and in the twinkling of his eye that closed thine, thy soul shall be gone an infinite way from this honour, and these riches, this righteousness, this good conscience shall endure then, and meet thee in the gates of heaven. And this is so much of that righteousness, as is expressed in this text, (because this is the root of all) That our God be the Lord.

In which, first we must propose a God, that there is one, and then appropriate this God to ourselves, that he be our God, and lastly, be sure that we have the right God, that our God be the Lord. For, for the first, he that enterprises any thing, seeks any thing, possesses any thing without recourse to God, without

* Psalm cxii. 2.

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