OESJD II.5; on Psal. 144.15

[p. 123] At White-hall, to ye Kinge./
Psal: 144.15 Being ye first psal: for ye day./
Blessed are the People that bee soe, Yea blessed
are the People whose God is the Lord./

This first part of this Text hath relation to temporall blessings Blessed is the People that bee soe: The second part to spirituall Cant: 2.6. yea, blessed is the People whose God is the Lord. His left hand is vnder my head, saith the spouse, that sustaines mee from falling into murmurings, or diffidence of his prouidence, because out of his left hand, hee hath giuen mee a competencie of his temporall blessings, but his right hand doth imbrace mee saies the spouse there, His spirituall blessings fill mee, possesse mee so that no rebellious fire breakes out within mee, no outward tentation breakes in vppon mee, So also, saies Solomo[n]Pro: 3.16 againe, In her left hand is riches, and glory (temporall blessings) and in her right hand length of daies, all that accomplishes & fullfills the eternall ioyes of the Saints in heauen. The person to whom Solomon attributes this right, and left hand is Wisedome, and a wise man may reach out his right, and left hand to receaue the blessings of both sorts, And the Person whom Solomon presents by wisdome there, is Christ himselfe, So that not onlie a worldly wise man may reache out both hands to both kindes of blessings, right and left, Spirituall, and Temporall, [p. 124] And therfore Interrogo Vos filios Regni Cœlorum, saies St. Augustine, Lett mee aske you who are sonnes and heires of the kingdome of heauen, Progenium resurrectionis in æternum, you that are ye off-spring of the resurrection of Christ Iesus, and haue your resurrection in his, Membra Christj, templa spiritus sanctj, you yt are the very body of Christ you that are the very Temples of the holy Ghost, Interrogo vos, Let mee aske you, for all your great reuersion in heauen hereafter, for all that present possession which you haue of it, in an apprehensiue faith, and in a holy conuersation in this life, for all that blessednes, Non est ità fælicitas? Is there not a blessednes in enioying Gods temporall blessings here too? Sit licet, sed sinistra, sayes that Father, it is certainly a blessednes, but a lefthanded blessednes, a weaker and more imperfect blessednes, then spirituall blessings are, And there as there is dextra, and sinistra beatitudo, a right handed, and a left-handed blessednes in the Text, soe there is Dextra, et Sinistra Interpretatio, a right and a left exposition in the Text, and as both theis blessednesses temporall & spirituall are testimonies of Gods loue, though not both of equall strength, and eguall euidence, soe both the interpretations of these words are vsefull for our edification, though they bee not both of equall authority. That which wee call Sinistram interpretationem, is that sense of these words wch. arises from the first Translators of the Bible, the Septuagints and those Fathers wch followed them, wch. though it be not an ill way, it is not the best because it is not according to the letter. And [p. 125] then that which wee call Dextram Interpretationem is yt sense wch. arises pregnantly, and euidently, liquidly and manifestly out of the originally text it selfe. The Authors, and Followers of the first sense read not these words as wee doe (Beatus Populus) That People is blessed, but, Beatum duxerunt populum, that People was esteemed blessed; And so they referre this, and all the temporall blessings mentioned in the three former verses to popular error; to a generall mistaking of the opinion, and word of wicked and worldly men, that onely they desire they desire these temporall blessings, only they tast a sweetnes and apprehend a blessednes in them, whereas they who haue their conuersation in heauen, are swallowed vp with the contemplation of that blessednes without any affliction vppon earth, or earthly things. But the Author of the second sense which is God himselfe, and his direct word presents vs this Beatus Populus, that People is truly blessed, there is a true blessednes in temporall things, but this yet is but sinistra beatitudo, a lesse perfect blessednes, for the flowers of both interpretations, and all translations, and all expositions meete in this, That the perfect, the accomplishing, the Consummatorie blessednes, is only in this, That our God be the Lord./

1a Interpre tatio.First then to make our best vse of the first sense, That Temporall things conduce not at all to blessednes, St. Ciprians wonder is iust, Deum Nobis solis contentum esse, Nobis non sufficere Deum, That God should thinke man enough for him, and Man should not be satisfied with God, that [p. 126] God should be content with Fili da mihi Cor, My sonne giue mee thy heart, and Man should not bee content with Pater da mihj spiritum, My God, my Father, graunt mee thy spirit, but must haue temporall additions too, Non est castum cor, saies St. Augustine, si Deum ad mercedem colit, as hee sayes in another place, Non est casta vxor quæ amat quia diues, shee is neuer the honester woman, nor ye louinger wife that loues her Husband in contemplation of her future ioynture, or in fruition of her present abundancies, so saies hee here, Non est castum cor, That man hath not a chast heart, a sincere heart towards God that loues him but by the measure, and proportion of his temporall blessings, the Deuill had so much colour for that argument, That in prosperitie there could bee no tryall whether a man loue God or no, as that hee presses it euen to God himselfe, in Iob.1. Iobs case. Doth Iob serue God for nought? hast thou not hedged him in, and blessed  the workes of his hands, & increased his substance? how canst thou tell whether hee would loue thee or feare thee if thou wouldst take all this from him? thou hast had no triall yett. And this argument descended from that Father 3.14. to his Children, from the Deuill, there is, to those followers of his, whom the Prophet Malachy reprehends for saying, It is in vaine to serue God, for what profitt is it, that wee haue kept his commaundements? when men are willing to preferre their frinds wee heare them often giue these testimonies of the man, Hee hath good parts, and you need not bee ashamed to [p. 127] speake for him, hee vnderstands the world, hee knowes how things passe, and hee hath a discreet, and supple, and appliable disposition, and hee may bee a fitt instrument for all your purposes, and you need not bee afraid to speake for him. But whosoeuer casts into this scale, or valuation of a man that waight that hee hath a religious heart, that hee feares God, what profitt is there in that if wee consider this word only? But what profitts it a man, if hee gett all ye world, and loose his owne soule? And therfore that opinion that there was no profitt at all, no degree toward blessednes in those temporall things preuailed so farre as that it is easy to obserue in their expositions vpon the Lords prayer that the greatest part of the Fathers doe euer interprete that petition, Da nobis hodiè, Giue vs this day our daylie bread to be intended only of spirituall blessings, and not of temporall, Soe St. Jerom sayes, when wee aske that bread, Illum petimus qui panis viuus erat est, Ei descendit de Cœlo, wee make our petition, for him who is the bread of life, and descended from the bosome of the Father, and so hee refers it to Christ, and in him to the whole ministry of our Redemption; And Athanasius, and St. Augustine too, (and not they two alone) referr it to the sacramentall bread; that in that petition wee desire suche an application of the bread of life, as wee haue in the participation of the body, and blood of Christ Iesus in that Communion, St. Ciprian insists vppon the word Nostrum, our bread, for saies hee, Temporall blessings cannot be called ours, because they are common to ye Saints, and to the Reprobate, but [p. 128] in a prayer ordained by Christ for the faithfull, the petition is for such things, as are proper, and peculiar to the faithfull, and it is for spirituall blessings only. If any man shall say, Ideò quærenda quia necessaria, wee must pray, and wee must labour for temporall things because they are necessary for our best state god will giue vs without this laborious anxiety, and without eating the bread of sorrowe in this life, Non sperandum de superfluis, non desperandum de necessarijs, saies the same Father, It is a spicious thing to doubt or distrust God in necessary things, and it is an vnmanerly thinge to presse him to superfluous things They are not necessary before, and they are not our afterward, for those things onely are ours which nobody can take from vs, and for temporall things Auferre potest inimicus homo invito, Let the Inimicus homo bee the Deuill, And remember Iobs’ case, Let the inimicus homo bee an envious, and a powerfull man who hath a mind to that wch. thou hast, And remember Naboth’s case, and this envious man can take any thing from thee against thy will, But spirituall things cannot August: bee taken soe, Fidem nemo perdidit, nisi qui spreuerit, saies St. Augustine, No man euer lost his faith, but hee that thought it not worth keeping, And the spirituall blessings of a faithfull man are neuer lost totally though hee fall into sinns of infirmity, though hee fall into scruples in matter of faith, yet there is Semen Dej in him, all is not lost. But for [p. 129] Jobs temporall state, saies St. Augustine, all was lost: and least any man should say, vxor relicta erat, Iob had not lost all because his wife was left Misericordem putatis Diabolum (saies the Father) qui ei reliquit vxorem? Do you thinke that Iob lighted vpon a mercifull, and good natur’d Deuill, that the Deuill did this out of his pitty, and compassion to Iob, or that Iob was beholding to the Deuill for this that hee left him his wife, Nouerat per quam deceperat Adam, sayes hee, The Deuill knew by what instrument hee had deceaued the first man, and by the same instrument hee practised vppon Iob, Suam reliquit adiutricem, non mariti consolatricem, hee left Iob a helper, but a helper to his owne ends but for her husband a miserable Comforter, Caro Coniux, saies the same Author, in another place, This flesh, this sensuall parte of ours is our wife, And when these temporall things by any occasio are taken from vs, that wife, that flesh, that sensually is left to murmure, and repine at Gods corrections and that’s all the benefitt wch. wee haue by that wife, and all the portion wee haue with that wife./

Though therfore St Jierome who vnderstood ye originall language the best of his tyme in his translation of ye Psalmes doe giue the true, the right sense of this place, yet in his owne Commentaries vpon the Psalmes hee takes this first sense, and beates vpon that Doctrine, as that hee would not see the right interpretation of the words, hee saw well enough yt according to the letter of the Text, temporall things were blessings, remembring the storie in the booke of Iudges of [p. 130] 20.16700. left handed Beniamites that would sling stones at the haires breadth, and were better marke-man then ye right handed, and considering that the left-handed men of this world, those who pursued temporall blessings only, went with most earnestnes, and best successe to their markes to correct the generall distemper, that generall vehemence vppon temporall things, St. Ierome and so manie of the Fathers as accompany him in that interpretation were content to embrace the sense, wch. is not truly the literall sense of this place, that it should bee only (Beatum dixerunt and not Beatus Populus, a popular errour, and not a truth that any man or any people were blessed in temporall things, and soe wee haue done with the first sense of these words and the reason why soe many followed it./

2a. Interpre tatio. Wee are come now to the second interpretation where there is not Beatitudo falsa, et uera, for both are true, but there is Dextra and Sinistra, a right handed, and a left-handed blessednes, there is Inchoatiua et perfectiua, there is an introductory, and a consummatory blessednes; And in the first of theis in the lefthanded, in the lesse perfect blessednes wee must consider 3. things first Beatitudinem ipsam that there is a blessednes propos’d, and secondly, In quibus, in what that blessednes is placed in the Text Quibus sic, Blessed are they that are soe, that is so as is mentioned in the 3. former verses. And thirdly another In guibus, not in what things but in what persons this first blessednes is placed Beatus [p. 131] populus, it is when all the people, the whole Body, and not some rancks of men, nor some particular men in those ranks but when all the people participate of theis blessings./

Now first, for the first blessednes. As no Philosophers could euer tell vs among the Gentiles what this Blessednes was so no Grammarians among the Iewes, amongst ye Hebrewes could euer tell vs what the right signification of the word is, in wch. Dauid expresses blessednes here, whether this Asherei which is the word bee a plurall nowne, and signifies Beatitudenesse, blessednes in the plurall number, and intimate thus much that blessednes consists not in any one thing but in a harmony and consent of many, Or whether this Acherei be an aduerbe, and signifie, Beatè, and to bee an acclamation. O how happily, how blessedly are such men prouided for that are soe! they cannot tell; whatsoeuer it bee, it is ye very first word with wch. Dauid begins his booke of Psalmes Beatus vir, as the last word of that booke is, Laudate Dominum. To shew that all that passed betweene God and man from first to last is blessings from God to man, and praises from man to God. And that the first degree of blessednes is, to find ye print of the hand of God euen in his temporall blessings, and to praise and glorifie him for them in the right vse of them./

A Man that hath no land to hold by it, nor title to recouer by it, is neuer the better for finding, buying, or hauing a faire peece of Euidence, a faire Instrument fairely written, duely seal’d, authentically testified. A man that hath not the grace of [p. 132] God, and spirituall blessings too, is neuer the nearer happines for all his abundancies of temporall blessings, Euidences are evidences to those that haue title; Temporall Blessings are euidences to them who haue a testimony of Gods spirituall blessings in the temporall, Otherwise as in his hands who hath no title it is a suspicious thing to find euidence, and hee will bee thought to haue imbesiled, and purloyned them, hee wilbee thought to haue forged, and counterfeited them, and hee will bee call’d to an accompt for them how hee came to them, and what hee meant to doe with them, So to them that haue temporall blessings without spirituall, they are but stolne blessings for they belong trulie to the seruants of God, they are but counterfeit blessings, they shall not purchase a minutes peace of Conscience heere, nor a minutes refreshing to the soule hereafter; and there must bee an heauy accompt made for them both how they were gott, and how they were imployed./

But when a man hath a good title to heauen, then these are good 1. Tym:4.8 euidences, For Godlines hath a promise of the life to come, and of the life that now is. And if wee spend any thing in the maintenance of that title, giue, or loose any thing for his Mat: 19.22. glory, and making sure this saluation, wee shall inherite euerlasting life, saies the best suretie in this world, But wee shall not stay so long for our bill of charge, wee shall haue a hundred fold in this life, St. Augustine seemes loath to take Christ at that large word, hee seemes to thinke it too great vsury to take one hundred folde for that which wee haue layde [p. 133] out for Christ, and therfore hee reads that place Accipiet septies tantum, Hee shall receaue seauen tymes as much in this life; but in both the Euangelists, Mathew and Marke, the ouerflowing bountie, and retribution, of God is soe expressed Centuplem accipiet, If God repay’d Iob soe as hee had bene Iohn 10.10 impair’d God had recompenced him in specie, in the same kind as hee had bin damnified; And Christ testifies of himselfe that his comming to vs is not onely Vt vitam habeatis, sed vt habeatis abundantius, more abundantlie it is as many of the Fathers interprete it. That you might haue eternall life sealed vnto you in the prosperitie, and abundancies of this life. I 9am the dore, saies Christ in the same Chapter, wee must not thinke to flie ouer walls by sudaine, and vndeseru’d prefermts., nor to vndermine and supplant others; wee must enter at the dore by faire, and Christian meanes; and then by mee if any man enter, saies Christ there hee shalbee saued, there is a rich and infallible inheritance, But before hee come to yt saluation Hee shall goe in and out, and find pasture saies the Text; now in heauen there is no going in and out, but in this way to heauen in this life hee shall find this interest in the Text conuayed & sealed to him in temporall blessednes here. If Plato found and acknowledged a happines in that, Quod natus homo, that hee was borne a man, and not a Beast (Lactantius adds in Platoes behalf when hee cites that place out of him, Quod natus vir, that hee was borne a man, and not a woman) If hee found a farther happines, Quod Græcus, that hee was borne a Grecian, and not a Barbarian, Quod Atheniensis, that hee was borne in [p. 134] that Towne which was ye Receptacle, and dwelling of all wisdome, and Quod tempore Socratis, That hee was borne in Socrates tyme, that soe hee might haue a good example as well as a good rule for his life; As all wee owe to God an acknowledgement of blessednes, That wee are borne in a Christian Church, in a Monarchy, in a Monarchy composed in Monarchyes and in the time of such a Monarch as is a Peacemaker, and a peace-preseruer, both at home and abroad, So let all them that are borne of nobilitie, or borne vp to nobilitie vppon ye two faire wings of meritt, and fauour, All yt are borne vp by riches and borne vp and borne out by their riches, All whome their industry, and wisdome, and vsefullnes of the state hath or may any way preferre, take heed of separating the Author and ye meanes, of separating God, and the King, in the wayes of fauour, of separating God, and their riches, in the wayes of purchace, of separating God and their wisdome in the wayes of preferment. But let them allwayes discerne, and allwayes acknowledge the hand of God, the Author in directing and prospering the hand of his Instrument in all these temporall things, and then these temporall things are truly blessings unto them, and they are trulie blessed in them.

In guibus This was our first Consideration, our first branche in this part that temporall things were seales, and testimonialls of blessednes. The second is to what particular euidence this seale is annexed in this Text, vppon what things this blessednes is placed here which are all involued in this one litle particle, this monosillable, soe; Blessed are they that are soe, as a prayer is [p. 135] made in the three former verses, that they might bee, Nowe as the maledictions wch. were threatned to Dauid were presented to him by the Prophett in three formes, Of Warr, of Famine, of Pestilence. So these blessings comprised in those three uerses may well be reduced to three things contrary to those three maledictions, To the blessing of peace contrary to Dauids Warr, ytVe: 14 there may be no innovation; To the blessing of Plentie contrary to Dauids famine, that our Barnes may abound with v. 13. all sorts of corne; To the blessing of health contrary to Dauids v.12. destroying sicknes, that our Sonnes may growe vp as Pax Plants in their youth. For the first temporall blessing of Peace, wee may consider the louelynes, the amiablenes of that; if wee looke vpon the horrour and ghastlines of Warre; either in effigie, in that picture of warr wch. is drawne in euery leafe of our owne Cronicles; in the blood of so many Princes, and noble families; or if wee looke vpon warr it selfe in that distance where it cannot hurt vs, as God hath formerly kindled it amongst our Neighbours, and as hee hath transferred it now to remoter Nations, whilst wee enioy yet Goshen in ye midst of all those Egypts. In all Citties disorderly, and facinorous men couett to draw themselues into the skirts, and suburbs of those Citties, that so they may bee the nearer the spoile wch. they make vppon Passangers in all Kingdomes that border vpon other kingdomes, and in Ilands wch. haue no other borders but ye sea, particular men, who by dwelling vpon those skirts & borders may take their profitt of spoile, delight in hostility, and haue [p. 136] an auersenes, and detestation of Peace, But it is not so within; They who till the earth, and breed vp Cattell, and imploy their industry vpon Gods creatures according to Gods ordinance feele the benefitt, and apprehend the sweetnes, and pray for the continuance of Peace.

Copia This is the blessing in wch. god so very very often expresses his gracious purpose upon his people.That hee would giue them Peace, and Psal: 81. v:13. vlt. Peace with Plentie, O that my People had harkened vnto mee saith God, I would soone haue humbled their enemies (there’s their peace) and I would haue fed them with the fatt of wheat and with the hony out of ye rocke (and there’s their Plenty:) Persons who are preferr’d for seruice in the warr proue oft suspitious to ye Prince, Iobs confidence in his owne meritt and seruice made him insolent towards the King, and the King iealous of him, But no man was more suddenly, nor more safely preferr’d then Ioseph for his counsell to resist penurie, and to preserue plenty, and abundance within the land; St. Basil in a Homile, wch. hee made in tyme of dearth, and drought, in wch. hee expresses himselfe with as much elegancie as any where (and euery where I thinke with as much as any man) where hee sayes, There was in the skie Tristis serenitas, et ipsa puritate molesta, That the aire was the worse for beeing so good, and the fowler for being so faire, and where hee inverts the words of our Sauior, Messis Luke. 10.2 magna, sayes Christ, heres a great haruest but a few  workmen but Operarij multi, Messis parua, saies Basil: here are workmen now, but no haruest to gather in; In that Homilie hee [p. 137] notes a barenes in that which used to be fruitfull, and a fruitfullnes in that wch. vsed to bee barren Terra sterilis, et aurum fæcundum, Hee prophecied of our tymes, of our tymes, when not only so many families, haue left their Country for the Cittie in their persons, but they haue brought their landes into ye Cittie, They haue brought all their euidences into Scriueners shopps, and changed all their renewing of leases euery seauen yeares into renewing of bonds euery 6. months, They haue taken a way to inflict barennes vpon the land, and to extort a fruitfullnes from gold by vsury. Monsters may bee gott by vnnaturall mixtures, but there is no race, no propagation of Monsters, Monie may bee rais’d by this kind of vse, but non hærebit. It is the sweat of other men, and will not stick to thy heire, Nay commonly it brings not that outward blessing of plentie with it, for, for the most part wee see no men liue more penuriously more sordidly then these men doe./

SanitasThe third of these temporall blessings is health, wth.out which both ye other are no more to any man, then the Rainebow was to him who was ready to drowne; Quid mihj si peream Ego, saies hee, what am I the better, that God hath past his word, and sett his seale in the heauens, that hee will drowne the world no more if I bee drown’d my self? what’s all the peace of the world to mee if I haue the earthquakes of choking, and burning feuers in my body? what’s all the plenty of the world to mee if I haue a languishing consumption in my blood, and in my marrow? [p. 138] The Heathens had a Goddesse to whome they attributed the care of the body, Deam Carnem. And wee that are Christians acknowledge that gods first care of man was his body, Hee made that first, and his last care is reserued for the body too, at the resurrection wch. is principally for ye benefitt of the body, there is a care belongs to the health, and comlynesse of the body. When the Romanes canonized Pallorem, et Febrim palenesse, and feauers, and made them Gods, they would as faine haue made them Deuills, if they durst, They worshipped them only because they stood in feare of them. Sicknes is a sword of Gods, and health is his blessinge, for when Ezekias had assurance enough that he should recouer and liue, yet he had still a sense of misery in that hee should not haue a perfect sense of health. What shall I say (saies hee) I shall walke Esay.3 8 weaklie all my yeares in the bitternes of my soule, All temporall things are insipid and tastlesse without health. Now the third branche of this part is the other In guibus, not the things, but the blessings; In whome these three blessings are heere placed; and it is Beatus Populus, when this blessednes reaches to all, dilates it selfe ouer all, when Dauid places blessednes in one particular man as hee does in the beginninge of the first Psalme, Beatus Vir, Blessed is that man, it reaches to all the parties, all the faculties, all the actions of Man. There hee pronounces that man blessed, if hee neither walked in the Counsell of the wicked, nor stand in the way [p. 139] of sinners, nor sitt in the seat of the Scornefull. If hee do not all walke, and stand, and sitt in the presence, and feare of God, hee is not blessed, So if these temporall blessings fall not vppon all in their proportion, the people is not blessed The Cittie may bee blessed in the increase of accesse, and the Lawyer may be blessed in increase of suits, And the Marchant may bee blessed in the increase of meanes of getting, if hee bee come to trade as well by gett taking, as by trading, but if all bee not blessed, yea if these temporall blessings reach not to the Prince himself, the People is not blessed, for, In favorabilibus, Princeps Populi is a good rule in the lawe, In things beneficiall the King is one of the People, when God saies by him too, God shall blesse all ye people, God do’es not exempt or exclude Kings from that benefitt, And therfore where such things as conduce to the King, and the well-beeing, to the substance, and state, to the Ceremonie, and maiestie of the Prince, bee not cheerfully applied, and seasonably administred, there that blessing is not fully falne vppon them; Blessed is the People that are soe, for the people are not soe if the Prince bee not soe Nay the people are not blessed if these things bee not permanent for it is not only they that are aliue now that are the People, but the People is the succession, if wee would imagine a blessing of health without permanencie, wee might call an intermitting ague and a good day in a feauer, health. If wee would imagine a blessing of plentie without permanencie, wee might call a full stomack and a surfett, though in tyme of dearth, plentie. If [p. 140] wee would imagine a blessing of Peace without permanency wee might call a nights sleepe in the midst of an Army, Peace. But it is only prouision for the permanencie, and continuance that makes these blessings, blessings. To thinke of to prouide against Famine, and Sicknes, and Warr, that it is the blessinge of Plentie, of health, of Peace  . One of Christs principall titles was, that hee was Princeps Pacis, And yet the Prince of Peace sayes, Non venj mittere Pacem I came not to bringe you peace, not such a peace as should bring them security against all Warr, If a Shipp take fire, though in the midst of ye sea, it consumes sooner, and more irrecouerably then a thatch’d house vpon land. If God cast a firebrand of Warr vpon a State accustomed to Peace it burnes the more desperatly by their former securitie, But here in our Text wee haue a religious King Dauid, that first praies for these blessings (for the three former verses are a praier) and there praises God in acknowledgment of them, for this Text is an acclamatory, a gratulatory glorifieing of god for them.) And then these twoe next in the consideration of temporall blessings, a religious care for them, Prayer to God for their getting, praise to God for their having, Blessed is that People, that is, Head and members, Prince and Subiects, present and future People, that are so, so blessed so thankfull for their blessings.

2. part.Wee come now, Ad Dextram Dextræ, to the right Blessednesse in the right sense, and interpretation of these words to spirituall [p. 141] blessednes, to the blessednesse of the soule; Est ne Deo cura de 1. Cor: 9.9. Bobus? is the Apostles question, and his answer is pregnantly implied, God hath care of Beasts, but yet God careth more for Mar: 5: one soule then for those 2000. hoggs wch. hee suffred to perish in the sea when that man was dispossessed, A dramme of Spirituall is worth infinite Talents of Temporall. Here then is ye spirituall blessednes (as wee did in the former) Wee shall looke first Quid Beatitudo? what is it; and then In Quibus, in wt. it is placed here Vt Deus eorum sit Dominus, That their God bee the Lord, and lastly the extent of it, That all the people bee made Partakers of this spirituall blessednes./

Beatitudo This Blessednes then you see is placed last in the text, not that it cannot bee had till our end, till the next life, in this case the Nemo ante obitum, failes, for it is in this life that wee must finde our God to bee the Lord, or els if wee know not that here, wee shall meete his Nescio Vos, hee will not know vs, But it is placed last because it is the waightiest, and the vttermost degree of blessednes which can bee had to haue the Lord to our God; Consider the making vpp of a naturall man, and you shall see that hee is a conuenient type of a spirituall man too: First in a naturall man, wee conceaue that there is a Soule of vegetation and growth, and secondly a Soule of motion, and of sense, and then thirdly a soule of reason and understandinge, an immortall soule. And the two first soules of vegetation and of sense, wee can conceaue to arise out of the temperament and good disposition of ye substance of which that man is made, [p. 142] they arise out of man himselfe, but the last soule, the perfect and immortall soule it is immediatly infus’d by God. Consider the blessednes of this Text in such degrees, in such proportions, first God blesses a man with riches, there’s a soule of vegetation and growth, by that hee growes in estimation, and in one kind of true ability to produce good fruites, for hee hath wherwth.all, and then God giues this riche man the blessing of vnderstanding his riches, how to imploy them according to those morall & ciuill duties wch. appertaine vnto him, and there’s his soule of sense, for many rich men haue not this sense, many rich men vnderstand their owne riches no more, then the okes of the Forrest do their akornes. But last of all God giues him the blessing of desiring the mercie, and purpose of god in giuing him these temporall blessings, and ther’s his immortall soule. Now for the riches themselues (which is his first soule) this hee may haue by his owne acquisition, and experience, and conuersation, but the immortall soule, that is the desiring of Gods image in euery peece, and of the seale of Gods loue in euerie temporall blessing, this is infus’d from God alone, and arises neither from Parents, nor the wisdome of this world, how worldly-wise soeuer wee bee in the gouerninge of our Estate. And this the Prophett may very well seeme Psal: 112.1. to haue intimated when hee saies, The generation of ye righteous shalbee blessed; Heere is a permanent blessednes to the generation wherin it is expressed, thus riches, and treasure is in his house, and his righteousnes indureth foreuer; Hee do’s not say, that Simony, that Vsury, or extortion shall bee in his house, for riches gott soe [p. 143] are not treasure, Nor hee does not say that riches well gott and which are truly a blessing shall indure foreuer, but his righteousnes shall endure foreuer, The last soule, the immortall soule endures foreuer, The blessednesse of having studied and learn’d, and practis’d the knowledge of Gods purpose in temporall blessings this blessednes shall indure foreuer, when thou shalt turne from the left to the right side vpon thy death bed, from all the honours, and riches of the world; to breath thy soule into his hands that gaue it, this righteousnes, this good conscience shall endure then, and then accompanie thee, and when thine eies are closed, and in the twinckling of his Eye that closed thine thy soule shalbee gone an infinite way from thine honour, and these riches, this righteousnes, this good conscience shall endure then, and meete thee in the gates of heauen. And this is so much of that righteousnes as is expressed in this Text (because this is the roote of all) That our God In quibus bee the Lord; In wch. first wee must propose a God, that there is one, and then appropriate this God to our selfe, That hee bee our God, and lastly bee sure that wee haue the right God, that our God bee the Lord, for, for the first, Hee that enterprises any thing, seekes any thing, possesses any thing without recourse to God, without acknowledging God in the action hee is for that particular an Atheist, If hee bee an Atheist euery where but in his Catechisme, if only then hee confesse a God when hee is asked, Dost thou beleeue that there is a [p. 144] God? and neuer confesse him, neuer consider him in his actions it shall doe him no good to say at the last day that hee was no speculatiue Atheist, if hee neuer thought in his heart that there was a God, if hee liu’d a practick Atheist proceeded in all his actions without any consideration of him; But accustome thy selfe to finde the presence of God in all thy gettings, in all thy preferments, in all thy studies, and hee wilbee abundantly sufficient to thee for all Quantum libet sis auarus, sayes St Augustine, sufficit tibj Deus; Bee as couetous as thou wilt, bee as ambitious as thou canst, the more the better, God is treasure, God is honour enough for thee, Auarìtia terram quærit, sayes the same Father, adde & cœlus, Wouldst thou haue all this world?. wouldst thou haue all the next world too? Plus est qui fecit Cœlum et terram, hee that made heauen and earth is more then all that, and thou maist haue Noster. all him. And this appropriates him so neare vnto vs, as that hee is therby Deus noster, for it is not enough to find Deum, a God, a great, and incomprehensible power that sitts in Luce, in light, but in Luce inaccessibilj, a light that wee cannot comprehend a God that enioyes his owne eternitie his owne peace, his owne blessednesse but respects not vs, reflects not vppon vs, Communicates nothing to vs, but it is a God that is Deus noster, ours, as wee are his Creatures, ours, as wee are like him, made to his Image, ours, as hee is like vs in assuming our nature, ours, as hee hath descended to vs in his incarnation, and ours, as wee [p. 145] are ascended with him in his glorification. So that Wee do not consider God, as our God except wee come to the consideration of God in Christ, God in man, It is not enough to find Deum meum, a God that is particularly my God as that hee is a God of my making, That I should seeke God by anie other motions, or knowe God by any other notions, or worship God in any other fashions, then the true Church of God doth; for there hee is Deus Noster, as hee is receued in the vnanime consent of the Catholique Church Sects are not Bodies, they are but rotten boughes, gangrene lymms, fragmentarie slhips, blowne off by their owne spirits of turbulancie, fall’n off by the waight of their owne pride, or hew’n off by the excommunications, and censures of ye Church, Sects are no Bodies, for there is Nihil nostrum, nothing in common against 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, noe such apprehension, no such worship of God as the whole Church hath euermore bin acquainted withall, and contented with. It is true, that euerie one must appropriate God so narrowly as to find him to bee Deum suum, his God, that all the promises of the Prophetts, and all the performances of the Gospell, all that Iesus Christ said, and did, and sufferd’ belongs to him, and his soule, but yet God is Deus meus, and Hee is Deus noster, My God, and hee is our God, as I am [p. 146] a part of that Church with which hee hath promised to bee till the end of the World, and as I am an obedient Sonne of that Mother who is the Spouse of Christ Iesus. For as St Augustine saies of that Petition, Giue vs this day our daylie bread, Vnde dicimus Nostrum? how come wee to aske that wch. is ours? Quomodo nostrum? Quomodo Da? if wee bee put to aske it, why do wee call it ours? And then answers himself Tuum confitendo, non eris ingratus, It is a thinkfull thing to confesse that thou hast some, that thou hast receaued some blessings, And that Ab illo petendo non eris vacuus, It is a wise, and prouident part to aske more of him whose store is inexhaustible, Soe if I feele god as hee is Deus meus, as his spirit workes in mee, and thankfully acknowledge that Non sum ingratus, but if I deriue this pipe from ye cesterne, this Deus meus from Deus Noster, my knowledge, and sence of God from that knowledge wch. is communicated by his Church in ye preaching of his word, in the administration of the sacraments, in those other meanes which hee hath instituted in his Church, for the assistance, and reparation of my soule that way, Non ero vacuus, I shall haue a fuller satisfaction, and more abundant reflection then if I relie vppon my priuate inspirations: for, there hee is Deus noster./

Dominus Now, as wee are thus to acknowledge a God, and thus to appropriate that God, so wee must bee sure to conferr this honour [p. 147] vppon the right God, vppon him who is the Lord. Now this name of Lord wch. is translated the Lord here, is not the name of God which presents him with relation to his Creatures, for so it is a problematicall, a disputable thing, whether God could bee called the Lord before there were any Creatures, Tertullian denies absolutely that hee could bee call’d Lord till then, St. August: is more modest, Hee sayes, Non audeo dicere, I dare not say that hee was not, but hee doe’s not affirme that hee was, howsoeuer the name here is not the name of Relation, but it is the name of his essence of his eternitie that name which of late hath bin ordinarily called Iehouah, So that wee were not to trust in those Lords whose breath is in their nostrills, as the Prophet saies, for wherin are thy to bee esteemed? sayes hee, wee are lesse to trust in them whose breath was neuer in yeir nostrills such imaginary saints, as are so farr from hearing vs in heauen as that they are not there, and so farr from being there, as that they were neuer heere, so farr from being saints as that they were neuer men, but are either fabulous illusions, or at best but Symbolicall, and allegoricall allusions, Our Lord is the Lord of life and beeing who in this life not only gaue vs a well-being (for that other Lords can pretend to doe, and do indeed by preferment here) nor a beginning of a temporary being in this life (for that our parents pretend, and pretend truly to haue done) nor only an enlarging of our beeing in this life (for that the King can do by a Pardon, and the Physitian by a Cordieall) but hee hath giuen vs an immortall beeing, which neither our Parents begunne in vs, nor great persons can advance for vs, nor any Prince [p. 148] can take from vs; This is the Lord in this place, This is Iehouah, and Germen Iehouah, the Lord, and the offspringe of the Lord, and none is the Ofspring of God, but God, that is the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, so that this perfect blessednes consists in this, The true knowledge, and worshippe of the Trinity./

Populus.And this blessednes that is the true Religion, and profession of Christ Iesus is to bee vpon all people, which is our last Consideration./

Psal: 33.12.Blessed is ye Nation whose God is the Lord, and the People whom hee hath chosen for his Inheritance, And here againe as in the former consideration of temporall blessednes, the people includes both Prince, and People, and then ye blessing consists in this, that both Prince, and People bee sincerely affected to the true Religion, And then the People includes all the People, and soe the blessinge consists in this, that there bee an vnanimity, a consent in all in matters of Relligion And lastly the People included the future people, and there the Blessing consists in this, That a posteritie may enioy the same purity in Religion that wee doe./

The first tentation that fell amongst the Apostles carried away one of them, Iudas was transported with the tentation of mony, and how much? for 30. peeces, and in all likeliehood hee might haue had more profitt then that out of the privy purse. The first tentation carried one, but the first persecution carryed away nyne; When Christ was apprehended none was left but two, and one of those two St. Ierome sayes, [p. 149] Vtinam fugisset, et non negasset Christum, I would Peter had fled too, and not scandaliz’d 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 hee may damnifie the cause more, and damnifie his owne soule more, then if hee went away wth. that Religion, to which his Consience (though ill rectified) directs him. Now though when such tentations, and such persecutions do come, to the words of our Sauiour Christ will allwaies Luke 12.32. bee true: Feare not litle flocke, for it is Gods pleasure to giue you the Kingdome, though God can lay vp his seed corne in any litle corner, yet the blessing intended heere is not in that litle seed corner, nor in the corner, but in the plenty when all the People are blessed, and the blessed spirit blowes where hee will, and no dore, or window is shutt against him./   And therfore let vs blesse God for that great blessing to vs in giuing vs such Princes as make it their care, Ne bona caduca sint, ne mala reditura, That that blessednes wch. wee inioy by them may neuer depart from vs, that those miseries which wee indur’d before them may re neuer returne to vs. Allmightie God, make allwaies to vs all, Prince, and People these temporall blessings wch. wee inioy now Peace, and Plentie, and Health; seale of his spirituall blessings, And that spirituall blessednesse wch. wee enioy now the profession of the only true Religion a seale of it selfe, and a seale of those eternall blessings wch. the Lord the righteous Iudge hath laid vp for his in yt Kingdome [p. 150] which his Sonne our Sauiour hath purchased for vs with ye inestimable price of his immortall blood. To which glorious Sonne of God &c./ /

Publishing statement

Publisher: The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne
General Editor: Peter McCullough
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Availability: This XML document is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License.

Transcription notes

Transcription by Mary Morrissey.

Transcription checked and coded by Elizabeth Williamson.

The Manuscript

Institution: Bodleian Library, Oxford
Shelfmark: MS Eng. th. e. 102
OESJD siglum: D

Manuscript Content

Item no: 1
Locus: pp. 1-25
Title: Mathew 21.Ver. 44. Whosoeuer shall fall on this stone, shall be broken, but on whomsoeuer it shall fall it will grinde him to powder.
Incipit: Allmightie God made us for his glory, and his glory is not
Explicit: reparation in Iesus Christ, may be manifested vnto vs:
Final Rubric: To whome with the blessed spiritt &c: /
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.1; P&S Vol. II.8

Item no: 2
Locus: pp. 27-49
Title: Iohn 5. ver: 22./ The Father iudgeth no man, But hath committed all Iudgement to ye Sonne./
Incipit: When our Sauiour Christ forbids vs to cast pearle before
Explicit: sake hee committed all Iudgment to ye Sonne./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.11; P&S Vol. II.15

Item no: 3
Locus: pp. 51-66
Title: John.8.15. I Iudge no Man./
Incipit: The Riuers of Paradice did not all runne one way, and yet they
Explicit: the sonne, and yet the Sonne iudges no man./
Final Rubric: At Lincolnes Inne. 3o Ianuar: 1619./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.12; P&S Vol. II.16

Item no: 4
Locus: pp. 67-95
Title: Ecclesiastic. 12.1 Remember now they Creatour in ye daies of thy Youth./
Incipit: Wee may consider two great vertues, One for the so
Explicit: here wee must./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11

Item no: 5
Locus: pp. 97-121
Title: Colossians. 1. 24./ Who now reioyce in my sufferings for you, And fill vp that wch. is behind of ye afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his Bodies sake, which is the Churche./
Incipit: Wee are now to enter into the handling of the Doctrine of
Explicit: to vs all.
Final Rubric: Amen.//
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.2; P&S Vol. III.16

Item no: 6
Locus: pp. 123-150
Title: At White-hall, to ye Kinge./ Psal: 144.15 Being ye first psal: for ye day./ Blessed are the People that bee soe, Yea blessed are the People whose God is the Lord./
Incipit: This first part of this Text hath relation to temporall blessings
Explicit: inestimable price of his immortall blood.
Final Rubric: To which glorious Sonne of God &c./ /
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.5; P&S Vol. III.2

Item no: 7
Locus: pp. 151-181
Title: Psalme. 38.ver. 9. Lord, all my desire is before thee, And my groaninge is not hidd from thee./
Incipit: The whole Psalme hath two parts 1. A prayer, and then a
Explicit: by the Church. /
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.8; P&S Vol. II.6

Item no: 8
Locus: pp. 183-212
Title: Preached to ye Kinge at Whitehall 16. Febr. 1620. 1 Tymothy.3.16. And without controuersie great is ye Mistery of Godlinesse: God was manifested in ye flesh,Iustified in ye spirit; seene of Angells; Preached vnto the Gentiles; Beeleeued on in ye world; Receaued vp into glory./
Incipit: This is the Text for an Houreglasse; If God would afford mee
Explicit: with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood.
Final Rubric: To which glorious Sonne of God &c. /
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.6; P&S Vol. III.9

Physical Description

Material: Paper, quarto, ix + 116 + vi leaves. 215 X 170 mm.
Foliation: The manuscript is consistently and consecutively paginated.
Collation: I-XXXI:4. Gathering XXVI appears to consist of two bifolia.
Condition: The manuscript is in good condition.

Hand(s) description

The Donne sermons have all been written by one scribe, Hand 1 (pp. 1-212). This is a non-cursive round hand with some secretary forms. There are occasional words written in a square Roman print for emphasis (e.g., pp. 37, 95, 207). In the transcription, these have been rendered in italic. There is fairly extensive use of punctuation, and standard use of abbreviations.

A series of later emendations have been made throughout the manuscript, perhaps (but not certainly) by the same hand that transcribed the final sermon in the manuscript, not by Donne. Some evidence suggests that more than one corrector amended the manuscript, but on account of the brevity of these corrections it is difficult to be certain. It appears that the majority of corrections were made later in the manuscript's history, during the second half of the seventeenth century. In the present transcription, these corrections have only been relatively conservatively recorded: only in those instances where H2 corrects what appears to be an obvious textual error on the part of H1 (corrections, deletions, emended punctuation). All such corrections by H2 appear with a light-grey background. Especially sermon 5 (pp. 99-121), but also others, were very extensively marked up, by means of deletions, additions, repunctuation, underlining, and boxing of text; in effect, almost a re-editing of Donne's text. These interventions are not presently transcribed. However, a separate transcription containing these features will be made available later.

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