[fol. 68r] To the right hono:ble the
Countesse of Montgomery.
Of my ability to doe your La:ps seruice, any thinge spoken may be an Embleme good ynough: for as a word vanisheth, soe doth any power in me to serue you. Thinges that are written, are fitter Testimonies, because they remaine and are permanent. In writinge this Sermon, wch your La:p was pleasd' to heare before, I confesse I satisfy an ambition of mine owne, but it is the ambition of obeyinge your commandement; not only an ambition of leavinge my name in your memory, or in your Cabinet. And yet, since I am goinge out of the kingdome, and p[er]chaunce out of the world, when God shall haue given my soule a place in heaven, it shall not the lesse diminish your Lad:p yf my poore name be preserud' about you. I knowe what dead Carkases things written are, in respect of things spoken: but, in things of this kinde, that soule that inanimates them, neuer departs from them: the spirit of God that dictates the[m] in the speaker, or writer, and is present in his tongue or hand, meets himselfe againe (as we meete our selues in a glasse) in the eyes and eares and parts of the hearers and readers, and that spirit wch is euer the same to an equal deuotion, maks writinge and speaking equall meanes to edification; In one circumstance my preachinge and writinge this sermon is too equall. That yt your Lad.p heard in a hoarse voyce then, you reade in a course hand nowe; but in thankefulnes I shall lift vp my handes as cleane, as my infirmities can keepe them and a voyce, as cleare as his spirit shalbe pleased to tune in my prayers for your La:p in all places of the World wch shall eyther sustaine or bury
your La:ps Humble servant in christ Iesus I. D.
[fol. 69r] Matt: 21.44. Whosoeuer shall fall on this stone he shalbe
broken, but on whomesoeuer it shall fall, it will dash him in pieces
Almighty God made vs for his glory; and his glory is not ye glory of a tyrant to destroy vs, but his glory is in our happines: he put vs in a faire way towards that happines, in nature in Creation: that way would haue brought vs to heaven, but there we fell, and yf we consider our selues, irrecouerably. He put vs after into another way, thorny hedges, and ploughed lands, through the difficulties and incumbrances of all the ceremoniall Lawe; there was noe way to heaven then, but that. After that he brought vs a crosse way, by the Crosse of Christ Iesus, and the application of his gospell, and thats our way nowe. yf we compare the way of Nature and our way, we went out of that way at the Townes end; assoone we were in it, we were out of it. Adam died assoone as he liued, and fell assoone as he was sett on foote. yf we compare the way of the Lawe and ours, the Iewes and the Christians, theire Synagogue was but as Gods farme our Churche is as his dwellinge house; Locauit vineam, he let out his vine to husbandmen, and then peregre profectus, he went into a farre Countrey, he promised a Messias, but deferrd' his com[m]inge a longe time: but to vs dabitur regnum a kingdome is given: the vynearde is turnd' into a kingdome (heere is a good improvement) and the lease into an absolute deede of gift, heere is a good enlargement of the Tearme: he giues therefore he will not take away againe; he giues a kingdome, therefore there is a fulnes and all sufficiency in ye gift, and he doth not goe into a farre Countrey, but stayes with vs, to governe vs vsque ad consum[m]ationem till the end of ye world: heere therefore God takes all into his owne hands, & he comes to dwell vpon vs himselfe. To wch purpose he ploughes vp our harts, and he builds vpon vs. vos dei agricultura et dei ædificium, you are Gods husbandry and Gods buildinge. 1. Cor. 3.9 Nowe of this husbandry God speakes familiarly and parabolically many times in Scripture; of this buildinge particularly and principally in this place, where havinge intimated vnto vs the seuerall benefitts we receiue from Christ Iesus in that ap [fol. 69v] appelac[i]on, as he is a stone, he tells vs also our dangers in misbehavinge our selues towards it. Whosoeuer shall fall on this stone, he shalbe broken. Christ then is a stone, and we may runne into 2 dangers first we may fall vpon this stone, and then this stone may fall vpon vs; but yet we haue a greate deale of comfort presented to vs, in that Christ is pr[e]sented 1 to vs as a stone, for there we shall find him, to be the foundation stone; Nothinge can stand wch is not built 2 vpon christ: 2 to be lapis angularis, a Corner stone, that 3 vnites thinges most disvnited, and then to be lapis Iacob, the stone that Iacob slept vpon, 4 to be lapis 4 Dauidis, the stone that Dauid slewe Goliah with. And 5 lastly to be lapis petra, such a stone as is a rocke and such a rocke as noe waters or stormes can remoue or shake. These are benefitts: Christ Iesus is a stone; noe firmenes but in him: a fundamentall stone, noe buildinge but on him: a Corner stone, noe peicinge no reconciliac[i]on but in him: Iacobs stone, noe rest noe tranquillity but in hi[m]: Dauids stone, noe revenge noe anger but in him: and a rocky stone, noe defence against troubles and tribulac[i]on but in him; and vpon this stone we fall and are broken, and this stone may fall vpon vs an grind vs to powder./
LapisFirst in the Metaphor that christ is called a stone, the firmenes is expressed, for as much as he loued his owne wchIoh. 13. were in the world, in finem dilexit eos, sayth St Iohn, he loued them to the end, and not for any particular end, for any vse of his owne, but to theire end qui erant in mundo Cyrill. (sayth Cyrill) ad distinctionem angeloru[m], he loued them in ye world, and not Angells, he loued not only them who were in a confirmed estate of mutuall lovinge of him too, but euen them who were themselues conceiued in sinne, and then conceiued all theire purposes in sinne too; them who cold haue noe cleansinge but in his bloud, and when they Iob.9. were cleansed in his bloud, theire owne clothes would defile them againe; them who by nature are not able to loue hi[m] at all, and when by grace they are brought to loue him, [fol. 70r] can expresse their loue noe other way, but to be glad that he was betrayed, and scourged, and scorned, and nailed, & crucified, and to be glad that yf this were not already done, it might be done yet, and to longe and to wish, that yf Christ were not crucified to haue him crucified nowe, (wch is a strange manner of expressinge loue) those men he loued, and loued to the end, men and not angells, ad distinctionem [two filler marks here] mortuoru[m] (saith Chrysost) not only the Patriarkes, who were departed out of the world, who had loued him soe well, as to take his word for their saluation, and had liued and died in the faithful Contemplation of a future promise wch they neuer sawe p[er]formed, But those who were the partakers of the p[er]formance of all those promises, those in the midst of whome he came in person, those vpon whome he wrought by his peircinge doctrine and powerfull miracles, those who for all this loue not him, he loued, et in finem, he loued them to the end. It is much he should loue them in fine at their end, that he should looke graciously vpon them at last, that when their Sunne setts, theire eyes faint, his Sunne of grace should arise, and his East should be brought to their West, that then in the shadowe of Death the Lord of life should quicken and inanimate their harts, that when their last bell tolls, and calls them to their first and last Iudgment, for to this purpose all is one, the passinge bell and the angells Trumpe sound all but one note Surgite qui dormitis in puluere, arise yee that sleepe in the dust, wch is the voice of the angells, Surgite qui vigilatis in plumis, arise yee that cannot sleepe in feathers for the panges of death, wch is the voice of the Bell, is in effect but one voice; for God at the generall Iudgement, shall neuer reuerse any particular Iudgement formerly giuen; that God should then come to the bed-side ad sibilandu[m] populum suum, as the prophet Ezechiell speakes, to hisse Softly for his child, to speake comfortably in his eare, to whisper [fol. 70v] gently to his departinge soule, and to drowne and ou[e]rcome wth this soft musicke of his, all the clangor of the angells trumpetts, all the horror of the ringinge bell, all the cries & vociferations of a distressed and distracted and scatteringe family, yea all the accusations of his owne conscience, and all the triumphant acclamations of the Deuill himselfe, that god should loue a man thus in fine, at his end, and returne to him then, though he had suffered hi[m] to goe a stray before, is a greate testimony of an vnexpr[e]sible loue; but his loue is not only in fine at the end, but in finem, to ye end, all the way to the end: He leaues them not vncalled at the first, he leaues them not vnaccompanied in ye way, he leaues them not vnrecompenced at the last. That God who is alpha and omega first and last, that God is also loue it selfe, and therefore this loue is alpha and omega first and last too. Consider christs proceedings wth Peter in the Matth. 14.27. shipp in the storme: first he suffered him to be in some danger, but then he visitts hi[m] with that strange assurance noli timere, be not afraid, It is G; any testimony of his presence rectifies all. This putts Peter into that spirituall courage and confidence, Iube me venire; Lord bid me come to thee, he hath a desire to be with Christ, but yet stayes his biddinge, he puts not himselfe into an vn-necessary danger without a Com[m]andemt, Christ bids him, and Peter comes; but yet though Christ were in his sight, and euen in the actuall exercise of his loue to him, yet soe soone as he sawe a gust, a storme timuit he was afraid, and christ letts him feare, and letts him sincke, and letts hi[m] cry, but he directs his feare and his cry to the right end, Domine salvum me fac, Lord saue me, and therevpon he stretched forth his hand and saued hi[m]. God doth not raise his children to honour and greate estates, and then leaue them and expose them to be subiects and exercises of ye malice of others, neyther doth he make them mighty, and then leaue them, vt glorietur in malo qui potens est, yt he [fol. 71r] should thinke it a glory to be able to doe harme, he doth not impouerish and dishonour his children, and then leaue them vnsensible of that doctrine, that patience is as greate a blessinge as abundance, God giues not his children health and then leaues them to a boldnes in surfettinge, nor beauty and then leaues them to a confidence and openinge themselues to all sollicitations, nor valour, and then leaues them to a spirituous quarrellsomnes; God makes noe patternes of his works, noe modells of his houses; he makes whole peices, he makes perfect houses: he puts his children into good wayes, and he directs and protects them in those wayes. for this is the constancy and the perseuerance of the loue of christ Iesus to vs, as he is called in this text a stone.
To come to the particular benefitts: the first is, that he is fundamentalis Lapis fundamentalis a foundac[i]on stone for other foundac[i]on can no man lay then that wch is laide, wch is Christ Iesus. Now then St Augustine sayes (as he doth in 2 or 3 places), that this place of St Paul to the Corinthians is one of those 1.Cor.34. places of wch Peter sayes, quædam difficilia, there are some 1:3.11. thinges in St Paul hard to be vnderstood, St Austins meaninge is, that the difficulty is in the next words, howe any man should build hay or stubble vpon such a foundac[i]on as christ, howe any man that pretends to beleiue in christ, should liue ill. for in the other their can be no difficulty, howe christ Iesus to a christian should be the only foundac[i]on; and therefore to place saluac[i]on or damnation in such an absolute decree of God as should haue noe relac[i]on to the fall of man, and reparation in a redeemer, this is to remoue this stone out of ye foundac[i]on, for a Christian may be well content to beginne at christ: yf any man therefore haue layd any other foundac[i]on to his actions, possession of greate places, alliance in greate families, stronge practise in Courts, obligac[io]ns vpon dependants, acclama[ci]ons of people, yf he haue layd other foundac[i]on for pleasure and contentment, care of health and complexion, appliablenes in conu[e]rsa[ci]on, delightfulnes in discourse, cherefulnes [fol. 71v] in disportings, enterchange of secretts, and such other small warts of Courts and Citties as these are, whosoeuer hath layd such foundac[i]ons as these, must proceede as that generall did, when he beseiged a towne, to mercy, vpon condic[i]on that in sight of subiection they should suffer him to take of one rowe of stones from their walls, wherevpon he tooke away the lowest rowe, the foundac[i]on, and soe ruined and demolished the whole walles of the citty; soe must he that hath these foundac[i]ons, that is, these habitts, diuest the habit, roote out the lowest stone, the generall and radicall inclinac[i]on to these disorders, for he shall neuer be able to watch and resist euery particular tempta[ci]on, yf he trust only to his morall constancy; noe nor yf he place Christ for ye roofe to couer all his sinnes, when he hath done them: his mercy workes by way of pardon after, not by way of non obstante and priuiledge to doe a Sinne before hand, but before hand he must be in the foundac[i]on, in our eye when we vndertake any particular action, in the beginninge, for there he is in the first place to be Lapis fundamentalis, and then after we haue first considered him in the foundac[i]on, as we are Angularis there chri[sti]ans, he growes to be Lapis angularis, to vnite those christians wch seeme to be of diuers wayes, diuers aspects, diuers professions together. as we consider him in the foundac[i]on, there he is the roote of faythe; as we consider him in the corner, there he is the roote of charity. Esay.28. In Esay he is both together, a sure foundac[i]on and a corner stone; as he was in that place of Esay Lapis probatus I will lay in Sion a tryed stone, and in the psalme lapis reprobatus Ps.118. a stone that the builders refused; in this considerac[i]on he is Lapis approbatus, a stone approued by all sides, that vnites all sides together.
Consider first what diuers thinges he vnites in his owne person, that he should be the Sonne of a woman, and yet noe Sonne of man, that the sonne of a woman should be y[e] Sonne of God [fol. 72r] that mans nature and Innocency should meete together, a man that should not sinne; that gods nature and mortability should meete together, a God that must dy: breifely that he should doe and suffer soe many thinges impossible as man, impossible as God; Thus he was a corner stone that brought together natures naturally incompatible, thus he was Lapis angularis a Corner stone in his person.
Consider him in his offices, as a redeemer, as a mediatour, and soe he hath vnited god to man, rebellious man to a iealous god; yea such a corner stone he is, as hath builded heaven and earth, Hier[usa]l[e]m and Babell together. Thus in his person, and thus in his offices.
Consider him in his power, and he is such a cornerstone, as he is the god of grace and loue and vnion and concorde, such a Corner stone as is able to vnite and re-vnite, as he did in Abrahams house. A wife and a Concubine in one bed, a couetous Father and a wastfull sonne in one family, a Seuere magistrate and a licentious people in one citty, an absolute Prince and a Iealous people in one kingdome, Lawe and concience in one goverment, Scripture and Tradtion in our church, yf we will but make Christ Iesus the llife, and soule of all our actions and all our purposes, yf we would mingle that sweetnes and supplenes wch he loues, and wch he is in all our vndertakings, yf in all our Controuersies booke Controue[r]sies and sword contro: we would fit them to him, and see howe neere they would meete in him, that is, howe neere we would come to be frends, and yet both sides good christans, then we placed this stone in his second right place; who as he is a corner stone reconcilinge god and man in his owne p[er]son and a corner stone in reconcilinge God and mankind in his office, soe he desires to be a corner stone in reconcilinge man and man, and settlinge peave amonst our selues, not for worldly ends, but for this respect, that we might all meete in him to loue one another, not becayse we made a stronger party by that loue, not because we made a sweeter conu[e]rsa[ci]on by yt loue, but because we meete closer by that loue in ye bosome of [fol. 72v] Christ Iesus, where we must at last either rest alltogether or be altogether eternally throwne out, or be eternally separated and divorced one from another.
Havinge then receiued Christ as a foundac[i]on stone, we beleiue aright, and for the corner stone we interpret charitably the opinion and actions of other men. the next is, ytLapis Iacob. he is Lapis Iacob, a stone of rest and security to our selues. when Iacob was in his iourney he tooke a stone, and that stone was his pillowe; vpon that stone he slept all night and restinge vpon the stone he sawe the ladder that reacht from heaven to earth. It is much to haue this egresse and regresse to God, to haue a sence of beinge gone from hi[m], and the desire and meanes of returninge to him. When doe fall into particular sinnes, it is well yf we can take hold of the first steppe of this ladder wthPs. 74.10 that hand of Dauid, Domine respice in Testamentu[m], O Lord consider thy couenant, yf we can remember god of his couenant to his people and to their seede, it is well; that is more yf we can clamber a steppe higher on this ladder, to a Domine labia mea aperi, yf we can come to open our lipps in a true confession of our wretched condition, and of those sinnes by wch we haue forfeited our interest in that Couenant, it is more; and more then that too, yf we come to that inebriabo me lachrimis, yf we ouerflowe and make o[u]rselues drunke with teares in a true sence and sorrowe for those sinnes, still it is more; and moe then all this, yf we can Ps. 13.2. expostulate wth god in an vsquequo Domine, howe longe O Lord shall I take counsell in my selfe, havinge wearines in my hart? these stepps, these gradations towards god doe well. Warre is a degree of peace, as it is the way to prayer, and this colluctation and wrestlinge wth god bringes a man to peace wth him; but then is a man vpon this stone of Iacob, when in a fairer and euener and constant relligious Course of life he enters into sheetes euery night as though his executors had closed him, as though his neighbours [fol. 73r] next day were to shrowd and wind him in those sheetes, and lies downe euery night, not as though his man were to call hi[m] vp next morninge to hunt, or to the next dayes sport or busines, but as though the angells were to call him to his resurrection, and this is our third benefitt as Christ is a stone, we haue security and peace of Conscience in hi[m].
The next is, that he is Lapis Dauid, the stone wth wch Dauid Lapis Dauid slewe Goliah, and with wch we may ouercome all o[u]r enemies. Sicut baculus crucis, ita Lapis Christi habet typu[m], sayes Austine, Aug: Dauids slinge was a type of the Crosse, and the stone was a type of christ: we will chuse to insist vpon spirituall enemies, sinnes; and this is that stone that enables the weakest man to ouerthrowe the strongest sinnes, yf he proceede as Dauid did. Dauid sayd to Goliah thou comest to me wth a sword with a speare, and with a sheild, but I come to thee in the name of the god of ye hoste of Israel, whome thou hast railed vpon. yf thou watch the approach of any sinne, any Giant-sinne that transports thee most, yf thou app[re]hend it to raile against the Lord of Hosts, in that there is a lowde and actiue blasphemy against god in euery sinne, yf it desire to come wth a sword or a speare, persuasions of advancement yf thou doe it, threatninges of dishonour yf thou doe it not, yf then it come wth a sheild, wth promises to couer & palliate it, yf thou doe it, yf then this Dauid, thy attempted soule can put his hand into his bagge as Dauid did, (for quid Cor hominis nisi sacculus dei) or mans hart is that bagge in wch god layes vp all good directions) yf he can but take into his consideration his christ Iesus, and slinge out his workes, his com[m]andements, his meritts, this Goliah, this giant-sinne will fall to the ground, and then as it is sayd of Dauid there, that he slewe him when he had no sword in his hand; and yet in the next verse, that he tooke his sword and slewe him with that; soe euen by ye considerac[i]on of yt wch my Sauio[u]r hath done for me, I shall giue this sinne the first deathe wound, and then I shall kill hi[m] with his owne sword, his [fol. 73v] his owne abhominac[i]on, his owne foulnes shall make me detest hi[m] yf I dare but looke my sinne in the face, yf I dare call him (I came in the name of the Lord) yf I consider him, I shall triumph Aug.ouer him, et dabit certandi victoria[m], qui dedit certandi audaciam, that god that gaue me courage to fight, will giue me courage to ouercome.
Lapis Petra The last benefitt wch we consider in christ as he is a stone, is yt he is Petra, a rocke. The rocke gaue water to ye Israelits, and he gaue them hony out of the stone and oile out of ye hard Num.20. rocke. Nowe when St Paul sayth that our Fathers drunke of the same rocke as we heard that rocke was christ, soe yt all temporall and spirituall blessinges to vs and to the Fathers were all conferred vpon vs in christ: but we consider not nowe any miraculous production from the rocke, but that wch is naturall to the rocke, that it is a firme defence to vs in all Tempests, in all afflictions, and in all tribulac[i]on, and therefore Es. 42.11. Laudate dominu[m] habitatores petræ (sayth ye prophett) you that are inhabitants of this rocke, you that dwell in christ, and christ in you, you that dwell in earth, in this rocke, praise yee ye Lord, blesse him and magnify him for euer. yf ye Sonne should aske bread of the father, will he giue him a stone, is christs question? yes o blessed father, we aske noe other answeare to our petition, no better satisfaction to our necessity, when we aske and say Da nobis hodie panem, giue vs this day our daily bread, then that thou giue vs this stone, this rocke, thy selfe in thy Church for our direction, thy selfe in thy sacraments for our reflecetion, what hardnes soeuer we find there, what corrections soeuer we receiue there, all shalbe of easy digestion and good nourishment to vs, thy holy spirit of patience shall com[m]and these stones to be made bread, and we shall find more iuice, more marrowe in these stones, in these afflictions, then worldly men shall doe in the softnes of their oile, in the sweetnes of their hony, in the cheerefulnes of their wine, for as christ is our foundac[i]on, we beleiue in him, and o[u]r Corner [fol. 74r] corner stone, we are at peace wth all the world in him, as he is Iacobs stone givinge vs peace in o[u]r selues, and Dauids stone givinge vs victory ouer all our enemies; soe he is a rocke of stone, noe affliction noe tribulac[i]on shall shake vs, & soe we haue passed through all the benefitts proposed to be considered in this first part.
It is some degree of thankefulnes to stand longe in the contempla[ci]on of ye benefitts wch we haue receiued, and therefore we haue insisted thus longe vpon this first p[ar]t: but it is a degree of spirituall wisedome too, to make laste to the considerac[i]on of our dangers, and therefore wee come nowe to them. We may fall vpon this stone & be broken; this stone may fall vpon vs and grind vs to powder. And in the first of these we may consider, quid frangi, quid cadere, what the fallinge vpon this stone is, and what it is to be broken vpon it; and then the latitude of this vnusquisq[ue], that whosoeuer falls soe, is soe broken.
First therefore because Christ loues vs to the end, therefore some will neuer put hi[m] to it, neuer trouble hi[m] till then. As the wise man saide of Manna that it had abundance of all pleasures in it, and was meete for all tasts, that is (as expositors interpret it) that Manna tasted to euery man like that wch euery man liked best; soe hath this stone Christ Iesus abundance of all qualities of stone in it, and is such a stone to euery man, as he desires it should. Vnto you that beleiue (sayth St peter) it is a pretious stone, but vnto the disobedient a stone to stumble at. for yf a man walke in a Gallery where windowes and tables and statues are all of marble, yet yf he walke in the darke, or blindfolded, or carelesly, he may breake his face as dangerously against that rich stone, as yf it were but bricke; soe though a man walke in the true Church of God, in yt Hier[usa]l[e]m wch is described in the Reuelac[i]on, the foundac[i]on, ye walles, ye gates all pretious stone, yet yf a man bringe a mis-beleife, [fol. 74v] all his relligion is but a p[ar]t of ciuill goverment and order; yf a man be scandalized at that humility, that patience, that pouerty, that lowlines of spirit, wch the Christian religion inclines vs vnto; yf he will say, Si vex Israel, yf christ wilbe kinge, let hi[m] come downe from the Crosse, and then we will beleiue in him; let hi[m] deliuer his Church fro[m] all doctrines, Crosses, first of doctrine, then of p[er]secution, and then we will beleiue hi[m] to be kinge; yf weele say nolumus hunc regnare, we will admit christ, but we will not admitt hi[m] to raigne ouer vs, to be kinge, yf he wilbe content wth a Consul-ship, wth a Colleague-ship, that he and the world may ioyne in goverment that we may giue the weeke to the world and the sabboth to hi[m], that we may giue the day of the sabboth vnto hi[m], and ye night to our licentiousnes, that of the day we may giue ye forenoone to him, and the afternoone to our pleasures, yf this will serue Christ we wilbe content to admitt hi[m], but nolumus regnare, we will none of this absolute power, that whether we eate or drinke or whatsoeuer we doe, we must be troubled to thinke on him, and respect his glory in euery thinge, yf he will say, precepit angelis, god hath giuen in charge to his angells and therefore we neede not looke to our owne wayes, he hath lockt vs vp safe, and lodged vs safely, vnder an eternall election, and therefore we are sure of saluac[i]on, yf he will walke thus blindly, violently, willfully, negligently in ye true Church, though he walke amonge the Saphires, and pearles and Chrysolites wch are menc[i]oned there, that is in the outward com[m]union and fellowship of gods, Saints, yet he may bruise and breake and batter himselfe as much against these, as against the stone gods of the heathen or the stone Idols of the Papists. for first the place of this fallinge vpon this stone, is the true Church, qui iacet in terra, he yt is already vpon the ground, can fall noe lower, till he fall to hell: But he whome god hath brought into his Church yf he come to a confident security that he is gone farre ynough in these outward acts of relligion, he falls though he be vpon this [fol. 75r] stone. this is the place then, the true Church: the fallinge itselfe (as farre as will fall into our time of considerac[i]on nowe) is a fallinge into some particular sinne, but not such as quenches our faith, we fall soe as we may rise againe. St Ierome expr[e]sseth it soe, qui cadit et tamen credit, he that falls and yet beleiues, reseruatur per pænitentiam ad salutem, that man is reserued by gods purpose to come by repentance to saluac[i]on. for this man that falls heere falls not soe desperately, as yt he feels nothinge betweene hi[m] and hell, nothinge to stoppe at, nothinge to checke him by the way, cadit super, he falls vpon somethinge, nor he falls not vpon flowers to wallowe and tumble in his sinne, nor vpon feathers to rest and sleepe in his sinne, nor into a coolinge riuer to disport and refresh and strengthen himselfe in his sinne, but he falls vpon a stone where he may receiue a bruise, a paine vpon his fall a remorse of that sinne that he is fallen into; and in this fall our infirmities appeare 3 wayes, the first is impingere lapidem, for though he be vpon the right stone, in the true relligion, and haue Light ynough, yet impingimus meridie (as ye prophet sayes) Es. 59.10. euen at noone we stumble: we haue much more light by Christ beinge come, then the Iewes had, but are sorry we haue it. When Christ hath sayd to vs for better vnderstandinge of the Lawe, he that lookes and lustes hath committed Adultery, he that couetts, hath stolne, he that is angry hath murthered, we stumble at this, and we are scandalized wth it, and we thinke that other relligions are gentler, and that Christ hath dealt hardly wth vs, and we had rather Christ had not sayd soe; we had rather he had left vs to o[u]r liberty and discrec[i]on, to looke and couett, and to giue wey to our passions, as we should find it most to conduce to o[u]r ease and to our ends, and this is impingere to stumble, and not to goe on in an equall pace, and not to doe the will of god cheerefully. A second degree is, calcitrare to kicke to spurne at this stone, to bringe some particular sinne and some p[ar]ticular Lawe into comparison, to debate thus; yf I doe not this nowe, [fol. 75v] I shall neuer haue such a time, yf I slip this, I shall neuer haue the like oportunity, yf I wilbe a foole nowe, I shalbe a begger all my life; and for the Lawe that is against it, there is but a litle euill for a greatt deale of good, and there is a greate deale of time to recouer and repent that litle euill. Nowe to remoue a stone that was a Land-marke and to hide and couer that stone was all our fault in the Lawe; to hide the will of god from our owne conscience wth excuses and extenuac[i]ons, this is calcitrare, as much as we can to spurne ye stone, the land-marke out of the way: but the fulnes and accomplishment of this, in is the third word of the text, cadere: he falls, as a piece of money falls into a riuer, we heard it fall, and we see it sincke, and by and by wee see it deeper, and at last, we see it not at all: soe noe man falls at first into any sinne, but he heare his owne fall, there is a tenderness in euery conscience at the beginninge, at ye entrance into a sinne, and he discernes a while the degrees of sinkinge too; but at last he is out of his owne sight, till he meete this stone some hard repr[e]hension, some hard passsage of a Sermon, some hard Iudgment in a prophet, some crosse in the world, some thinge from the mouth or some thinge fro[m] the hand of God yt breakes him. he falls vpon this stone and is broken. Soe that to be broken vpon this stone is come to this sence, that though our Integrity be lost, that we be no more whole and entire vessells, yet there are meanes of peicinge in againe, though we be not vessells of Innocency (for who is soe? and for that Enter not into Iudgement wth any of thy seruants O Lord) yet we may be vessells of repentance, acceptable to god, and vsefull to his seruice, for when any thinge falls vpon a stone, the harme that it suffers is not allwayes, or not only accordinge to the height that it falls fro[m], and that violence that it is throwne wth. yf their fall, who fall by sinnes of infirmity, should referre only to they stone they fall vpon, ye Ma.ty of god beinge wounded and violated in euery sinne, eu[e]ry sinner [fol. 76r] would be broken to peices and ground to powder. but yf they fall not from too farre a distance, yf they liued within any neerenes, any considerac[i]on of god, yf they haue not falne wth violence; taken heate and force in the way, growne confident in the practice of theire sinnes, yf they fall vpon this stone, sinne, and stop at Christ, this shall breake them, breake theire force and confidence, breake theire pr[e]sumption and security, but yet it shall leaue ynough in them for the holy ghost to revnite to his seruice, yea even the sinne it selfe cooperatur in bonum, as ye Ap[ost]le sayes: the very fall it selfe Rom. 8.28 shalbe an occa[ci]on of this risinge; and therefore yf st Austine seeme to venter farre it is not too farre, when he sayes audeo dicere, it is boldly sayd and yet I must say it vtile e[ss]e cadere in aliquod manifestu[m] peccatum, a sinner falls vnto this advantage that fals in to some such sinne, as he beinge manifested to the world, manifests his owne sinnefull state to his sinnefull conscience too: it is well for that man that fall soe, as that he may thereby looke better to his footinge euer after, dicit, Domine susceptor meus es tu, sayes St Bernard; that man hath a newe title to god, a newe name for god: All creatures (as St Bernard sayth enlarginge this Medita[ci]on) can say, Creator meus es tu, thou giuest me meate in due season; all men can say, redemptor meus es tu, thou art my redeemer, but only he wch is falne, & falne vpon this stone can say, susceptor meus es tu, only he who hath byn ouer come by a tempta[ci]on, and is restored can say, Lord thou hast supported me thou hast recollected my shiuere (and revnited me; only to him hath this stone expr[e]ssed both abilities of stone, first to breake hi[m] wth a sence of his sinnes, and then to giue him rest and peace vpon it. Nowe there is in this part this circumstance more Quicunq[ue] cadet, whosoeue[r] falls, where, the quincunq[ue] is vnusquisq[ue] whosoeuer falls, that is, whosoeuer he be that falls, Quomodo cecidisti de cœlo Lucifer! sayes ye p[ro]phet Esay. 14.12 Es. 14.12 the p[ro]phet wonders howe Lucifer should fall, havinge noe [fol. 76v] noe body to tempt hi[m]; for soe many of ye Auncients interpret that place of the fall of ye Angells; and when the angells fell, there were noe other creatures made; but quid est homo aut filius hominis! since the Father of man, Adam, could not, howe should the sonnes of man that inherite his weakenes, and contractinge more and more, contribute theire tempta[ci]ons to one another hope to stand? Adam fell, and he fell alonge, farre of, for he wold see noe stone to fall vpon: when he fell there was noe such Messias, noe such meanes of reparac[i]on p[ro]posed or promised: when he fell, the blessed Virgin and forerunner of Christ John Baptist, fell too. but they fell propè, neere-hand they fell but a little way, for they had this stone in a p[er]sonall pr[e]sence, and there faith was allwayes awake in them; but yet he and shee and they all fell into some sinne; quicunq[ue] cadit, is, vnusquisq[ue] cadit, whoseuer falls, is, whosoeuer he be that falls, and whoseuer falls too (as we sayd before) is broken, yf he fall vpon some thinge not to an infinite depth; yf he fall not into vpon a soft place to a delight in sinne, but vpon a stone, and this stone, none harder, sharper, ruggedder then this; not into a diffidence or distrust in gods mercy; he that falls soe, and is broken soe, comes to a remorsefull, a broke, and a contrite hart, he is broken to his advantage, left to a possibility, yea brought to a neereness of beinge peiced againe by the word and Sacraments, & other ye medicinall Medita[ci]ons of Christ in his Church.
3. p.We must end only wth touchinge vpon the 3d part; Vpon whome this stone falls, it will grind him to powder: where we shall only tell you quid conteri, what this grindinge is, and then quid cadere, what ye fallinge of this stone is: and breifely, the grindinge to powder, is to be brought to that desperate and irrecoverable state in sinne, as that noe medicinall correction fro[m] god, noe breakinge, noe bowings, noe meltinge, noe mouldinge can bringe hi[m] to any good fashion: when god can worke noe cure, doe noe good vpon vs by breakinge vs; not by breakinge vs in our healthe, for we will attribute that to weakeness [fol. 77r] of stomacke to surfett in digestion; not by breakinge vs in o[u]r estates, for we will impute that to falshood in seruants, to oppr[e]ssion of great adu[e]rsaries, to iniquity of iudges; not by breakinge vs in our hono[u]r for we will accuse for that factions and practises and supplanta[ci]ons in Court; when God cannot breake vs wth his corrections, but that we will attribute them to some naturall, to some accidentall causes and neuer thinke of gods iudgements, wch are the true cause of these afflictions; when god cannot breake vs by breakinge our backes, by laying on heavy loads of calamity vpon vs, nor by breaking o[u]r harts, by puttinge vs into a sad and heavy but fruitlesse sorrowe, and melancholy for those worldly losses, then he comes to breake vs by breakinge our neckes, by castinge vs into that bottomles pitt, and fallinge vpon vs there in his wrath and indigna[ci]on, Com[m]inuam eos in puluerem Ps. 15.42 ps. 15. 42. sayth he, I will beate them as dust before the wind, and tread them as flatt as the clay in the streete. and the breakinge therof shalbe as the breakinge of a potters vessell, wch is broken wthout any pitty Es. 30.14 noe pittyEs.
230.14. from god, nor shall any pitty them in the breakinge thereof, (sayth ye p[ro]phet farther) There is not found a sheard to take fire from the hearth, but incapable of one drop of Christs bloud from heauen, or of any teare of contrition in themselues; not a sheard to fetch water at the pitt: I will breake them as a potters vessell quod non potest instaurari, Ierem. 19.11 sayes god in Ieremy, there shalbe noe possible meanes of those meanes wch god hath ordained in his Church, to recompact them againe; noe voice of gods word shall drawe them, noe threatnings of gods iudgement shall drive them, noe censure of gods Church shall fitt them, noe Sacraments shall cyment and glue them to Christ body againe: In tem[po]rall blessinges he shalbe vnthankefull; in temporall afflictions he shalbe obdurate, and these two shall serue as ye vpper and nether milstone to grinde the reprobate sinner to powder.
[fol. 77v] cadere Lastly this is to be done by fallinge vpon him, and whats that? I knowe some expositors take this to be but the fallinge of gods iudgments vpon him in this world, but in this world there is noe grindinge to powder: all gods iudgement heere (for any thinge we can knowe) haue the nature of phisicke in them, and noe man is heere soe absolutely broken in peices, but that he may be revnited. We chuse therefore to followe the auncients in this, that the fallinge of this stone vpon the reprobate, is Christs last and irrecouerable fallinge vpon him in his last iudgement, that when he shall wish that ye hills might fall and couer him, this stone shall fall and grind hi[m] to powder: he shalbe broken, and be noe more found (sayes yeDan. 11.15. p[ro]phet) Dan: 11.15, yea he shalbe broken, and be noe more sought noe man shall consider him, what he is nowe or what he was before. for that stone wch in Dan: was cutt out wthout ye hand, wch was a figure of Christ, who came wthout ordinary generac[i]on, when that greate Image was to be ou[e]rthrowne, broke not an arme or legge, but broke y[e] whole Image in peices, and it wrought not only vpon ye weake partes, but it broke all, the clay and ye Iron, ye brasse, ye syluer, ye gold: soe when this stone falls thus, when Christ comes to iudgement he shall not only condemne hi[m] for his clay, his earthly couetous sinnes, not for his Iron, his revengfull and oppressinge and rusty sinnes, nor for his brasse, his shininge and glisteringe sinnes wch he hath filed and polished, but he shall fall vpon his syluer, his gold, his relligious his pretious sinnes, his hypocriticall heeringe of sermons, his pharisaicall givinge of almes, and as well his subtill counterfettinge of relligion, as his Atheisticall opposinge of relligion. This stone, Christ himselfe, shall fall vpon hi[m], and a showre of other stones shall oppr[e]sse him; sicut pluit laqueos, sayes Dauid, as god rayned snares and springes vpon them in this world, abundance of temporall blessinges to be occa[ci]ons of sinne vnto them; soe pluit grandinem, he shall rayne such haile stones vpon them, as shall grind them to powder. [fol. 78r] There shall fall vpon hi[m] the naturall Lawe wch was written in his heart, and did rebuke him then when he pr[e]pared for a sinne; there shall fall vpon him the written lawe wch cried out fro[m] the mouthe of the prophets in these places to auert them from sinne; there shall fall vpon those sinnes that he hath done and those sinnes wch he hath not done, yf nothinge but want of oportunity and meanes hindred hi[m] from doinge them. there shall fall vpon hi[m] those sinnes wch he hath done after anothers dehorta[ci]on, and these wch another hath done after his prouoca[ci]on: there the stones of Niniueh shall fall fall vpon him, and of as many Citties as haue repented with lesse proportions of mercy and grace then god afforded him: there the rubbidge of Sodome and Gomorrah shall fall vpon hi[m], and as many citties as theire ruine might haue byn example to him: All those stone shall fall vpon hi[m], and to adde weight to all these, Christ Iesus himselfe shall fall vpon his conscience wth vn-answearable questions, and grind his soule to powder. But he that oue[r]cometh his soule shall not be hurt by ye second death. Reu. 2.11. he that feels his fall vpon Reuel. 2.11 this stone, shall neuer feele the stone fall vpon him; he that comes to remorses earely and earnestly after a sinne, and seekes by ordinary meanes his reconciliac[i]on to god in his Church, is in the best estate that man can be in nowe: for howesouer we cannot say that repentance is as happy an estate as Innocency, yet certainely eu[e]ry particular man feeles more comfort and sp[irit]uall ioye after a true repentance for a sinne, then he had in that degree of Innocency wch he had before he com[m]itted that sinne; and therfore in this case also we may easily repeate these wordes of St Augustine, Audeo dicere, I dare be bold to say that many a man hath byn the better for some sinne. Almighty God, who giues vs yt ciuill wisedome to make vse of our enemies, giue vs also this heavenly wisedome to make that vse of our particular sinnes, that therby our wretched condic[i]on in our selues and our meanes of reparation in Christ Iesus may [fol. 78v] may be manifested vnto vs, To whome wth ye blessed spiritt be all glory and honour and praise nowe and for euer