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acknowledging God in that action, he is, for that particular, an Atheist, he is without God in that; and if he do so in most of his actions, he is for the most part an Atheist. If he be an Atheist every where, but in his catechism, if only then he confess a God when he is asked, doest thou believe that there is a God, and never confess him, never consider him in his actions, it shall do him no good, to say at the last day, that he was no speculative Atheist, he never thought in his heart, that there was no God, if he lived a practic Atheist, proceeded in all his actions without any consideration of him. But accustom thyself to find the presence of God in all thy gettings, in all thy preferments, in all thy studies, and he will be abundantly sufficient to thee for all. Quantumlibet sis avarus, saith St. Augustine, sufficit tibi Deus, Be as covetous as thou wilt, be as ambitious as thou canst, the more the better; God is treasure, God is honour enough for thee. Avaritia terram quærit, saith the same father, adde et cælum ; wouldst thou have all this world? wouldst thou have all the next world too? Plus est, qui fecit cælum et terram, He that made heaven and earth is more than all that, and thou mayest have all him.
And this appropriates him so near to us, as that he is thereby Deus noster. For, it is not enough to find Deum, a god; a great and incomprehensible power, that sits in luce, in light, but in luce inaccessibili, in light that we cannot comprehend. A God that enjoys his own eternity, his own peace, his own blessedness, but respects not us, reflects not upon us, communicates nothing to us. But it is a God, that is Deus noster; ours, as we are his creatures; ours, as we are like him, made to his image; ours, as he is like us, in assuming our nature; ours, as he hath descended to us in his incarnation; and ours, as we are ascended with him in his glorification : so that we do not consider God, as our God, except we come to the consideration of God in Christ, God and
It is not enough to find deum, a god in general, nor to find deum meum, a god so particularly my god, as thất he is a god of my making: that I should seek God by any other motions, or know God by any other notions, or worship God in any other fashions, than the true church of God doth, for there he is Deus noster, as he is received in the unanime consent of the Catholic church. Sects are not bodies, they are but rotten boughs, gangrened limbs, fragmentary chips, blown off by their own spirit of turbulency, fallen off by the weight of their own pride, or hewn off by the excommunications and censures of the church. Sects are no bodies, for there is nihil nostrum, nothing in common amongst them, nothing that goes through them all; all is singular, all is meum and tuum, my spirit and thy spirit, my opinion and thy opinion, my God and thy God; no such apprehension, no such worship of God, as the whole church hath evermore been acquainted withal, and contented with.
It is true, that every man must appropriate God so narrowly, as to find him to be Deum suum, his God; that all the promises of the prophets, and all the performances of the Gospel, all that Christ Jesus said, and did, and suffered, belongs to him and his soul; but yet God is Deus meus, as he is Deus noster, my God, as he is our God, as I am a part of that church, with which he hath promised to be till the end of the world, and as I am an obedient son of that mother, who is the spouse of Christ Jesus: for as St. Augustine saith of that petition, Give us this day our daily bread, Unde dicimus da nostrum ? How come we to ask that which is ours, Quomodo nostrum, quomodo da? if we be put to ask it, why do we call it ours ? and then answers himself, Tuum confitendo, non eris ingratus, It is a thankful part to confess that thou hast some, that thou hast received some blessings; and then, Ab illo petendo, non eris vacuus, It is a wise and provident part, to ask more of him, whose store is inexhaustible; so if I feel God, as he is Deus meus, as his spirit works in me, and thankfully acknowledge that, Non sum ingratus ; but if I derive this pipe from the cistern, this Deus meus, from Deus noster, my knowledge and sense of God, from that knowledge which is communicated by his church, in the preaching of his word, in the administration of his sacraments, in those other means which he hath instituted in his church, for the assistance and reparation of my soul that way, non ero vacuus, I shall have a fuller satisfaction, a more abundant refection than if I rely upon my private inspirations: for there he is Deus noster.
Now, as we are thus to acknowledge a God, and thus to appropriate that God ; so we must be sure to confer this honour upon the right God, upon whom who is the Lord. Now this name of God, which is translated the Lord here, is not the name of God, which presents him with relation to his creatures : for so it is a problematical, a disputable thing, whether God could be called the Lord, before there were any creatures. Tertullian denies absolutely that he could be called Lord till then; St. Augustine is more modest, he says, Non audeo dicere, I dare not say that he was not; but he does not affirm that he was; howsoever the name here, is not the name of relation, but it is the name of his essence, of his eternity, that name, which of late hath been ordinarily called Jehovah. So that we are not to trust in those Lords, whose breath is in their nostrils, as the prophet says, For, wherein are they to be esteemed ? says he's; we are less to trust in them, whose breath was never in their nostrils, such imaginary saints, as are so far from hearing us in heaven, as that they are not there: and so far from being there, as that they were never here: so far from being saints, as that they were never men, but are either fabulous illusions, or at least, but symbolical and allegorical allusions. Our Lord is the Lord of life and being, who gave us not only a well-being in this life, (for that other Lords can pretend to do, and do indeed, by preferments here) nor ' a beginning of a temporary being in this life, (for that our parents pretend, and pretend truly to have done) nor only an enlarging of being in this life, (for that the king can do by a pardon, and the physicians by a cordial) but he hath given us an immortal being, which neither our parents began in us, nor great persons can advance for us, nor any prince can take from us. This is the Lord in this place, this is Jehovah, and Germen Jehocce", the Lord, and the offspring of the Lord; and none is the offspring of God, but God, that is, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. So that this perfect blessedness consists in this, the true knowledge and worship of the Trinity.
And this blessing, that is, the true religion and profession of Christ Jesus, is to be upon all the people; which is our last consideration. Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord, and the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance'. And here again (as in the former consideration of temporal blessedness) the people includes both prince and people ; and then, the blessing consists in this, that both prince and people be sincerely affected to the true religion ; and then, the people includes all the people; and so, the blessing consists in this, that there be an unanimity, a consent in all, in matter of religion ; and lastly, the people includes the future people; and there, the blessing consists in this, that our posterity may enjoy the same purity of religion that we do. The first temptation that fell amongst the apostles carried away one of them: Judas was transported with the temptation of money; and how much? For thirty pieces, and in all likelihood he might have made more profit than that, out of the privy purse; the first temptation carried one, but the first persecution carried away nine, when Christ was apprehended, none was left but two, and one of these two, St. Hierome, says, Utinam fugisset et non negasset Christum, I would Peter had fled too, and not scandalized the cause more by his stay, in denying his master : for, a man may stay in the outward profession of the true religion, with such purposes, and to such ends, as he may thereby damnify the cause more, and damnify his own soul more, than if he went away to that religion, to which his conscience (though ill rectified) directs him. Now, though when such temptations, and such persecutions do come, the words of our Saviour Christ will always be true, Fear not little flock, for it is God's pleasure to give you the kingdom's, though God can lay up his seed-corn in any little corner, yet the blessing intended here, is not in that little seedcorn, nor in the corner, but in the plenty, when all the people are blessed, and the blessed spirit blows where he will, and no door nor window is shut against him.
15 Isaiah ii. ult.
16 Isaiah iv. 2.
17 Psalm xxxii, 12.
And therefore let all us bless God, for that great blessing to us, in giving us such princes, as make it their care, Ne bona caduca sint, ne mala recidiva, that that blessedness which we enjoy by them, may never depart from us, that those miseries which we felt before them, may never return to us. Almighty God make always to us all, prince and people, these temporal blessings which we enjoy now, peace and plenty, and health, seals of his spiritual blessings, and that spiritual blessedness, which we enjoy now,
18 Luke xii. 32.
the profession of the only true religion, a seal of itself, and a seal of those eternal blessings, which the Lord, the righteous Judge hath laid up for his, in that kingdom which his Son, our Saviour hath purchased for us, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. In which glorious Son of God, &c.
PREACHED TO THE KING AT WHITEHALL, APRIL 15, 1628.
ISAIAH xxxii. 8.
But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things he
By two ways especially hath the Gospel been propagated by men of letters, by epistles, and by sermons. The apostles pursued both ways; frequent in epistles, assiduous in sermons. And, as they had the name of apostles, from letters, from epistles, from missives, (for the certificates and testimonials, and safe-conducts, and letters of credit, which issued from princes' courts, or from courts that held other jurisdiction, were in the formularies and terms of law called apostles, before Christ's apostles were called apostles) so they executed the office of their apostleship so too, by writing, and by preaching. This succession in the ministry of the gospel did so too. Therefore it is said of St. Chrysostom, Ubique prædicavit, quia ubique lectus, he preached everywhere, because he was read everywhere. And, he that is said to have been St. Chrysostom’s disciple, Isidore, is said to have written ten thousand epistles', and in them to have delivered a just, and full commentary upon all the Scriptures. In the first age of all, they scarce went any other way, (for writing) but this, by epistles. Of Clement, of Ignatius, of Polycarpus, of Martial, there is not much offered us with any probability, but in the name of epistles.