OESJD IV.8; on Psal. 38.9

[p. 151] Psalme. 38.ver. 9.
Lord, all my desire is before thee, And my
groaninge is not hidd from thee./

The whole Psalme hath two parts 1. A prayer, and then a ordine et ratio reason of that Prayer, The prayer hath two parts. 1 A deprecatory praier, and then a postulatory in the two last. And the reasons are also of two kinds. 1 Intrinsecall arising from consideration of himselfe. 2. extrinsecall in the behauiours and dispositions of others towards him. The reasons of ye first sort determine in the tenth verse which wee haue handled. But this verse wee reseru’d to bee handled after, because wee are to obserue something out of the Cittie scite, and place of ye uerse as well as out of the words, first out of the place this; That Dauid hauing presented the intrinsecall reasons of his depracatory praier. Lord correct mee not for I haue suffred these v: 1.2. corrections allready, And now presenting his humble referring of all to Allmightie God, Domine omne desiderium, Lord all my desire is before thee, this comforts mee, this confirmes mee this establishes mee that all is knowne vnto thee, Yet for all this suffering, and this willing suffering, for all this passion, and all this patience, God do’s not presently take of his hand, nor end his miserie, but (as wee see) all his extrinsecall occasions of his misery, the scornes, and the real iniuries of other men [p. 152] followe, and fall vpon him after all this affliction, and all this submission. This consideration arises out of the place of this Text, that though afflictions bring the godly to praier, for deliuerance, yet that prayer do’s not presentlie bring deliuerance; And that wilbee our first part; for a second part wee shall take the words altogether in their whole frame and thereby consider the generall doctrine arising out of them that all things are present to God, Vidit omnia, and then if hee see all things as God, hee did euer see all things, for hee was euer God; Præuidit omnia; And if hee foresawe all things, hee foresaw our sinns, And there wee shall haue occasion to see how farr our sinnes are necessary, and how farre God is any cause of our sinnes, And these wilbee the branches of the second part, In the third part wee shall descend to a more particular consideration of the words, and see Dauids profession, that first desideria, the first internall motions of his heart, and then Gemitus, the first externall motions of his sorrow are knowne to God; And if our thoughts bee known, much more our actions; If our sighes, and groanes bee knowne much more our prayers our confessions, our deuotions; our more manifest, & euident wayes of seeking, and esablishing our reconciliation with God, But then these wch. Dauid considers are Desideria sua, and sui gemitus: Hee reueales not, hee inquires not after other mens sinnes, nor sorrowes, nor iudges vpon their actions, nor censures their Repentances, hee is his owne Librarie, hee studies himself. Now theis desires, and these [p. 153] groanings, they are, saies hee, Ante te; not only as they are desires, and gronings but as they are mine, And therfore haue I brought them before thee, I haue opened them to thee by way of confession, the matter is brought before thee, ye cause depends before thee, so they are Ante te, thou couldst see them without mee, but yet I haue brought them to thy sight too, and they are so brought before thee, Vt nihil absconditur, My sinfull desires are not hid from thee, though I haue laboured sometimes to couer them, and my sorrowfull Repentance is not hid from thee, though mine vnworthines, and the abhominations of my foulenesse might haue drawne a curtaine yea, built a wall of separation betweene thee and mee, yet nothing is hid from thee, nay nothing is hid by mee, for all this that I haue done, all the sinnes that I haue committed, and all this Repenance that I haue begun and proceeded in is, Ante te Domine, it is Ante te, for my sinnes are only against thee, and my confession belongs onely to thee, but yet, Ad te Dominum, to thee as thou art Lord, and has a dominion and excercisest a Iudgement: to thee that art Lord of a spirituall Kingdome, of a visible, and established Church. And so many considerations the particular words will minister vnto vs in our third parte./

1 PartFirst then out of the Scite, and place of these words as they stand between the narration of miseries in two kindes, some before it, some after it, wee collected, that God do’s not allwaies putt an end to our miseries, as soone as wee take knowledge of [p. 154] his purpose vppon vs by those mistsseries. wWee pray, and yet are not deliuered, It is true Omne desiderium in pœnam conuertitur, so non citò euenerit quod optatur. When Gods corrections haue brought mee to a religious desire of beeing deliuered, then not to bee deliuered is a new, & the greatest correction, yea the most dangerous tentation of all, Cupiditatj ipsa celeritas tarda est: when I pray to bee deliuered, and beginne to thinke that God hath bound himselfe by his promise to giue mee the issue with the tentation, That hee maketh Iob. 5. 18.19 the wound, and hee bindeth vpp, he smiteth, and his hand maketh whole, that hee will deliuer mee into six troubles, but in the seuenth the euill shall not touch mee, that he will preserue mee from despaire in all the afflictions of my life, but in the seauenth, that is when I am come to my saboath, to my rest, and confidence in his mercie, And then it shall not touch mee, it shall passe away presentlie, when I beginne to come to these meditations, Ipsa celeritas tarda est, though god do deliuer mee sooner then I deserue, yet it seemes longe in doing if it bee not so soone as I haue conceaued that which appeares 2. Pet: 3.9. to mee to bee so religious a desire. But the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slacknesse, in that place of the Apostle, his promise is Iudgement, punishment for sinne, and if God bee not slacke in that promise muche lesse is hee slacke in dispensing of his mercies, and removing those Iudgements againe. The mistaking rises out of the [p. 155] Hierom:different computations betweene God, and vs, Annos cenum æternitatem putamus, wee neuer reckon beyond 100. yeares, because that is the longest life, wee thinke there is no more, no other life but that, But with God one day is as a thousand yeares, and 1000. yeares as one day. Whensoeuer hee comes to Iudgement hee comes too soone to thee, if hee come before thou beest prepar’d, and whensoeuer hee comes in mercie hee comes soone to thee too considering how farre thou wast runne away from him, It is all one when that fire beginns that shall neuer goe out; if the torments of hell must take hold of thee, they begin too soone if they begin in thy desperation vppon thy death bedd, they end soone considering how much rust, and drosse was to burnt off thy soule./

It was long in the Roman estate before they came to distinction of houres; All their reckoning for some hundreds of yeares was, Ab ortu solis ad occasum, This was done after the rising, and this after the setting of the sunne; but the distinction of howers in the degrees of ascending, or descending of the sunne they had not, Wee reckon all things soe too, wee reckon from the rising of the sunne, when any great fortune fell vppon vs, when wee came to yeares, when the Father dies, and leaues the estate, when the Mother dies and leaues the Ioincture, when the Predecessor dies, & leaues the office; And wee reckon from the setting of the sunne when any great calamitie falls vpon vs, when a decree is passed against vs, and swept away such a Mannor; when a shipwrack [p. 156] impouerished vs, when a fire, a rott, a murrion, a feauer ouerthrew out bodies as our estates, The rising, and setting of ye sunne, height of prosperitie, depth of aduersitie wee obserue, but wee obserue not the degrees of the ascending of this sunne how God hath ledd vs euery stepp, and preserued vs in many particular dangers in our rising, Nor the degrees of the descending of this sunne wee obserue not, That God would shew vs in the losse of our Children, the sinfull wantonnes in wch. they were begotten, and conceaued, In the losse of health, the sinfull voluptuousnes in which the Body was pamperd, In the losse of goods, the sinfull extortion in which they were gathered, wee consider sometimes in generall Iobs Nudus egressus, that wee came naked out of our Mothers wombe, And in generall Iobs Nudus reuertar, that wee shall returne naked againe, that wee shall carrie away no more than wee brought. But wee consider not in particular that Dominus dedit, and Dominus abstulit, that it is the Lord that gaue and the Lord that takes away, and thereuppon blesse the name of the Lord for it, in all his steps, and degrees of our rising and falling. God hath not only giuen thee a naturall day from period to period to consider thy birth, and thy death, this thou wast borne to, and this thou diest worth, but hee hath giuen thee an artificiall day, a day wch. hee hath distinguished into houres by continuall benefitts, and a day which thou has distinguished into houres by continuall sinnes, and hee would haue thee remember those houres, when and how, by [p. 157] what degrees, by what meanes hee raised thee, and humbled thee, thou hast prouoked his anger, and thou wilt then finde that it was in the coole of the evening, it was late Psal: 19.14. before God came to correct Adam, but hee hath filled vs wth mercy in the morning, that wee might bee glad and reioyce all the day./

God is not slack in his promises, saies the Apostle there; for hee, as it is said there in the Originall ο κυριος tês επαγγελίας Dominus Promissionis, It is not only, The Lord is not slacke, Hee is Lord of his promise, and in that sense wee are sure that hee can, and may bee sure that hee will performe his promise; Delaies in Courts of Princes and in Courts of Iustice proceed out of this, that men are not Lords of 2. Cor: 7.5. of their promises, Masters of their words, Foris pugnæ intùs timores may well bee applied here, There are afflictions within, and feares of offending without, letters from aboue, kindred from within, mony from both sides wch. keepes them from beeing, Dominj Promissionis Lords of yeir promises, Masters of their wordes. Either they thinke that if they dispatch a suitor too soone, there’s an end of his obseruance, of his attendance, of his respect, hee vnderualues the fauour if it bee soe soone show’d, and soe there’s a delay out of state, to giue a dignity, a maiestie to the busnesse; Or els they see that when there is an end of the profitt too cause, there is an end of ye profitt too, that mine is exhausted, that vaine is dried vpp, that Cowe giues no more milke, and therfore by differences, and conferences they keepe open that, wch howsoeuer it bee [p. 158] an vdder to them is a wound to them that beare it; and heere’s a delay to keepe a way open to extortions, and bribery; Perchance abundance of wealth, or els of honor and commaund, if not of wealth may make then ouer-indulgent to their owne ease; and heere’s a delay out of lazines; Perchance corrupt meanes haue brought an vnsufficient man to the place, and then hee must put of busines till hee bee better informed, till hee haue consulted with more sufficient men, and there’s a delay out of Ignorance./ To contract this, Euery man hath made facile promise to God, and to the State to do the duties of his place, and either for fear or loue or money, for state, for ease or ignorance hee is not Dominus promissionis; Lord of that promise, M.r of that word, hee is not able to performe it: God only is soe, and thereuppon Non tardat, saies the Apostle, wtsoeuer thou accountest slacknes, yet as that is Natura rej August: quam indidit Deus, So that if god would imprint a cold qualitie in fire, the nature of the fire were cold, So that’s the tyme for thy deliuerance which god hath appointed. If thou pray for deliuerance, and beest not deliuered. do not think that thou art not deliuered, for God deliuers thee by contynuing thee in that calamitie from some greater, when mans sinne extorts iudgement from God, that it concernes him for his glorie, or for the education of his Church to inflict those Ezeck: 14.14. iudgements. If Noah and Daniell, and Iob were amongst [p. 159] them they should not deliuer them from those Iudgements, But yet, saies the Prophet there, There shalbee a remnant in whome yee shall bee comforted, Though the hand of God lye heauy vpon thee, yet there shalbee a remnant to wrapp vp the woundes of thy heart; the seed of God the balme of God, an humble confidence in him shall still preserue thee, St. Paul prayd, and pray’d thrice, that, that Stimulus carnis might be remoued from him, and it was not; God did not giue him that but hee gaue him as good a suit, an æquiualent thing, Gratia mea sufficit; St. Paul desired peace, God saw it to conduce more to his glorie to make him able to hold out the warr, and therfore hee removed not the Enemie, his concupiscence, but assisted him with grace against that Enemie. Thus St. Paul praied long for one thing, and had another, Abraham prayed and seem’d to haue all hee asked, and yet had nothing. Hee pray’d in the behalfe, and favour of the Cittie of Sodome, and hee had courage to goe on in this praier, for hee founde that hee wonnne and gayned vpon God in euery petition, that hee bated much of God’s first price, and that hee beate that holy bargaine from 50. to 10. and yet when all was done nothing was done, hee rescued none, the Iudgement was executed vpon the Cittie. Limit not god therfore in his waies or times, but if you would bee heard by him, heare him; if you would haue him graunt your praiers doe his will. wee pray you in Christs stead, that you would be reconciled to God; and are you reconciled? durst you heare the Trumpett [p. 160] now? Christ Iesus praies for you now to his Father in heauen that you might bee conuerted, and are you conuerted? If the praiers of the Church militant, and the Church triumphant, and the head of both Churches Christ Iesus, bee not heard yet effectuallie in your behalfe, yet they shall bee in his tyme, his eternall election shall infallibly worke vppon you, Soe if your owne prayers for an your deliuerance in any temporall, or spirituall affliction bee not presentlie heard, perseuer for your selues, as the Churches, and the head of them perseuers in your behalfe, and God will certainly deliuer you in his tyme, and strengthen you to fight out his battell all the way.

2. Part.Wee passe now from the occasion taken iustly from the place Videt of these words, to the words themselues; And first taking them all together to that generall Doctrine Videt omnia, for since hee had made all things, hee thad care of all things, a prouidence, wch. in such perfection (as becomes vs, to ascribe to God, hee could not haue except hee saw all things, Our seeing of God hereafter is the blessednes wee hope for, and our comfort is, the way to that is, that hee see vs, for soe wee neuer are, neuer shalbee out of sight of one another. If any sinner can conceaue that wish, that God did not see him hee should loose more by it then hee could gett, That hee would bee glad not to bee seene by him in his sinfull pleasures, yet hee would bee sorry not to bee seene by him in his miseries and afflictions of this life, which are more [p. 161] then pleasures in the most habituall sinner, A man that would bee glad that God sawe not his extortions, his oppressions, his grinding of the poore by cullor of an office would yet bee sorry if god saw not those priuy whisperings these machinations, and plotts and (nequitias in cœlestibus) as wee might call them, practises aboue, in high places, to traduce him, to defame him, to supplant him, and wring his office from him, perchance for things hee neuer did, though hee haue don as ill, And then wee make our selues superuisors, ouerseers of god if wee will appoint so farr as in our wishes, what hee should see, and what not. You know howe certaine, and how speedie a conviction it is if a man be taken in the manner, and you know how heauily a fault is aggrauated that is done in the face of the Court, All our actions are soe, In facie Iudicis, and there needs no euidence, wee are deprehended in the manner, in corners where nothing sees vs, and in hell where wee shall see nothing hee shall see vs to; Videt Præuidet. omnia. And, Præuidet omnia: Hee sees as God, and therfore hee allwayes saw all. Hee calleth those things which bee not Rom: 4.17. as though they were, saies the Apostle. Hee looketh vppon all Ecclus. 23.20 things after they be brought to passe (saies the wise man), And hee knew them ere they were made. You would thinke him a weake Lawyer, that could not foresee what whould be the issue of a cause which depended wholly vppon the Lawe, without relation of the opinion of the Iudge or to the affection of the Iurie. And a weake Astrologer that could not foresee [p. 162] Ecclipses, and position of the heauens, and a weake Counsaile that could not foresee the good, or ill of such a Warr, and such a Peace, or such a marriage. And shall not the sight and knowlege of God prepend our actions.? Omniscience is an attribute of his aswell as omnipotence. God can no more bee ignorant of a thing then impotent in it. And whatsoeuer is his attribute was allwaies soe, Was not God Omnipotent, and had hee not all power till I was made, vpon whome hee excercises part of his power, wch. hee did not before I was? Was hee not Omniscient? Did hee not knowe all things that were, and that are, and that shalbee, and that may bee, and that may not bee, because hee will not haue them bee for if hee would, they should bee: And hee knowes yem. otherwise then they are for hee knowes future things as present, and hee knowes contingent things as certaine, and necessarie. It is true hee shall say at the last day to Hipocrits, Nescio Vos I do not know you, I neuer did know you. But this is that knowledge of wch. St. Gregory speakes, Scire Dei est approbare, So God neuer knew the hypocrites, nor euer shall, as to accept them, to allow them, to approue them. And soe also it is said of Christ Non nosse peccatum, Hee who knowes no sinne was made sinne for vs, But experimentally, actually, personally hee knew no sinne; but in his eternall knowledge hee euer knew all our particular sinnes and hee knew the generall roote of all, the sinne of Adam before that sinne was, or before that man was; But was this [p. 163] knowledge, or foreknowledge the cause of it? God forbid. Detestanda, August: abominanda opinio, quæ Deum facit cuiusquam malæ voluntatis Autorem. The opinion is detestable, abhominable; Nefas est adscribere Deo causas peccatorum, saies the same Father; and therfore let vs be afraid of coming so neere this detestable, and abhominable opinion, as to expresse our selues in misinterpretable termes and phrases too bold and too different from the modest, and sober vse of ye ancient Doctors, and Fathers. That there is in god an effectuall and an actiue, and a positiue, and a consulted, and a deliberate Reprobation of certaine men, before their sinnes, yea before their Creation was considerd; Or that there is in man a necessary damnation which hee was made for, and created to, Gods knowledge of sinne imprints not a necessity of sinne, an Astrologers knowledge of an Ecclips, causes not that Ecclips, my knowledge that hee that falls from a steeple will breake his bones, did not thrust him downe, nor precipitate him to that ruine; But God might haue preserued him from sinne and so cannot an Astrologer worke vpon an Ecclips, nor I vppon a desperate man that will cast himself downe, It is true god might haue preserued him from sinne, by making him better, and so hee might by making him worse too, hee might haue preseru’d him by making him an Angell in a confirm’d estate and hee might haue preseru’d him by making him a Beast without a reasonable soul, for then hee could not haue sinned August: and had hee bin the better for it? But Gods will (Cuius quj [p. 164] quærit rationem aliquid maius Deo quærit) was to make him a man, and as a man hee finds the reason of his sinne. Soe is the peruersnes of his owne will; who peruerted that? God? Abhominandum, Detestandum. But God might haue preuented this peruersnes, hee might haue made him so strong, as that hee could not haue peruerted himselfe. But then God had not made him man. God did abundantlie enough that hee made him good, and able to continue soe. And hee does aboundantly enough in giving vs those generall declarations of his desire, that wee should all returne to that goodnesse that he would haue no man to perish, but that all men shouldecome to repentance; Hee sees all things euen sinnes, and foresees them, but yet this foresight is no cause of them./

3 Part3. part. Wee are come now to our third part; The particular consideration of the words, God sees, and foresees, first, Desideria the desires, and all desires. For Dauid does not speake this by way of discomfort, as though God did only watch our ill desires to punish them, and not our obedience to cherish, and reward that, It is true as the Prophet Jeremy testifies, our iniquitie is marked Psal: 56.9. before the Lord. But it is also true wch. Dauid sayes, That o[u]r teares are putt vp into his bottles, and into his Register, So that as St. Psalm: 84.3. Ambrose’ enlarges this desire, It may bee Dauids desire; Concupiscit, et deficit anima mea, My soule longeth and fainteth for the Courts of the Lord, A desire to liue in the Church of God, And it may bee the Apostles desire, Concupiscite lac 1. Pet.2.2. As new borne Babes desire the milke of the word, A desire to bee fed with such knowledge in the Church as is fitt, and pro [p. 165] portionable to my capacitie, and vnderstanding. Consider desiderium Beatorum, the desire of the blessed Saints in heauen, who though they bee in full possession of happines haue yett a farther desire of a Consummation, and reunion Pro:11.23. of body and soule, Consider Desiderium Iustorum; The desire of the righteous is only good, sayes Solomon, It is good as it is a desire to know God. My heart breaketh for ye desire to thy Iudgements allwaies. And it is good as it is a Psal. 119.20 desire to propogate this their knowledge of God to others by instruction, or at least by good example, For God hath giuen every man a commaundement concerning his Neighbour. Ecclus. 17.12 And it is good as it is a desire to bee vnited to God, as Simeon expressed in his Nunc dimittis, Lord now lettest thou thy Seruant depart in peace, and St. Paul in his Cupio dissoluj; I desire to bee dissolued, and to bee with Christ. Consider it lastly, as Desiderium Peccatorum, the diuers, and contrary desires of sinners; euery way, euery desire, Dauids desire was to liue in the Church, The Apostles desire to bee satisfied with things necessary in the Church, the desire of the saints in heauen for the Consummation; The desire of the Saints in Earth, to know God, to make him knowne to others, and to bee vnited to him, and the desire of sinfull men too, all these meete in that Creator, in the Eye of God; All our desires are before him; But principally this is intended of corrupt and sinfull desires, for though it bee Omne desiderium, yet all ye imaginations of the thoughts of our hearts are only euill contynually, The [p. 166] The Imaginations Ipsa figmenta, as the Originall word (Feezer) imports, before it come to bee a formall and debated thought. And then the thoughts themselues when I haue discouer’d them, debated them, and in my hart at home seriously, (not only in tentations) presented to my fancie, or senses. These Imaginations, and all these imaginations, they are euill, If any good be mingled in them yet it is soe litle, as that Denominantur a majori, They are euill because they are euill for the most part. But it is more then soe, for they are only euill, no dramm, no tincture of good in them: all euill, and onely euill, and all this continually; Euill in the roote, in the first concupiscence, and euill in ye fruit, in the youth, in the perseuerance, Soe that Desideria heere, are most properlie figmenta, ye first imaginations, and they are euill affections is in the sight of God; but so are Gemitus, our groanings too, hee sees them, and what is good or euill in them as well as in our desires./

GemitusFirst then, as Dauid had expressed it before, in the verse præcedent, it is Gemitus cordis, the groaning of the heart, Cordis, non carnis, as St. Augustine makes the difference, a hearty groaning, and not meerly sensuall; Abstulit Deus filium et vxorum,  saies that Father; God hath beaten downe the greene fruit from the beloued tree, God hath hewen downe ye beloued tree it selfe, thei yong children, and the Mother of those Children hee hath taken from thee, Grandinata vinea, as hee inlarges this Consideration, They Vine is stroken wth. [p. 167] the haile, the Raine hath drown’d thy meadowes, Nowe thou lackst heate to make thy hay, and then heate takes hold of it in the stacke, and setts it on fire, and thou lackest water to quench it. Vnseasonable weather, negligence of seruants, casuall accidents, violence of theeues, greatnesse of Neighbours, all concurre to thine impouerishing, and then thou com’st, Ad Gemitum, to a groaning, but it is Carnis, non Cordis, it is a meere sensuall groaning, not from the heart, or not from the heart so dispos’d towards God as it should bee: It must then first bee Cordis, and not Carnis, and it must bee Gemitus, not Rugitus, a groning, not a roaring, the voice of a Turtle not of a Lion. If wee take it here for the voice of sorrow in worldly crosses wee must not presently warre out in petitions, in suits, in complaints for euery such crosse, There is a fault amongst you, sayes Cor: 6.7 the Apostle, because yee go to law with one another, why rather suffer yee not wrong? why rather suffer yee not harme? The Apostle would not call it expressly a sin; but hee calls it a fault, and in a word which signifies weaknes, and imperfection, The streame of the Fathers runnes somewhat vehemently in this point, for they scarce excuse any suit at all from sinne, or occasion of sinne; and they will not depart from a literall vnderstanding of those words of our Saviour, Mat: 5.7. If any man will sue thee at lawe for thy Cloake, lett him also thy Coate too, For if thine Aduersary haue it not, thine Aduocate will. Howsoeuer euery man feeles in his owne [p. 168] Conscience whether hee bee not the lesse dispos’d to charity the lesse fitt to come worthy to the sacrament, and the more apt to corrupt, and bribe an Officer, and to delude and circumvent a Iudge, by hauing suits at law then otherwise. And last as St. Ambrose reports the words, and behauiour of St. Laurence at his Martyrdome, That hee came wth. that Constancie to say to the Persecutor Assatum satis, versa et manduca, So the Deuill will allwayes haue his Martyrs too, who out of a desperate impatience after long delayes will come to that desperate issue towards the Aduersary or ye Counsaile or the Iudge; You haue taken my living, take my life too; To end this, for euery damage, euery trespasse, euery iniurious word to call one another with the Kings letter, the Kings writt, this is Rugitus Leonis, for the voice of the King, is the roring of a Lion, whereas Gemitus Columbæ, such a mild complaint, as might referre it to men of lesse quality but more leisure would make a better end; So then if wee consider this groaning to bee the voice of sorrow for worldlie losses, it must not bee Rugitus, a vociferation, a cryinge out as though wee were vndone, as though wee could not bee happie except wee were riche, and as though wee could not bee rich, except wee had iust too much: It is not an immoderate complayning for worldly losses, for remedy for euery petty iniury, it must bee but Gemitus, both these wayes. And take it, as it is most properly to bee taken for the voyce of [p. 169] spirituall sorrow, a sorrow for our sinnes, so it must bee but Gemitus neither, it must not bee an immoderate sorrow that testifies, or argues a distrust in Gods goodnesse, Drowne that body of sinne wch. thou hast built vp in thee, Drowne that world of sinne wch. thou hast created (for wee haue a creation as well as God) Hominem fecit Deus; peccatorem homo; Man is Gods creature, and the sinner is mans creature; Spare thy world no more then god spared his, who drown’d it with a flood, Drowne thine too with repentant teares; But when that worke is religiously done, Miserere animæ tuæ. Bee as mercifull to thy soule, as hee was to Mankind, drowne it no more, suffer it not to lye vnder the water of distrustfull differidence, For soe thou maist fall too lowe to bee able to tugg vp against ye tide againe, So thou maist bee swallowed in Caines whirlpoole. To thinke thy sinnes greater then can bee forgiuen thee, God deales with vs,as hee did with Exechias, Vidit lachrimas yea, as it is in the originall, Vidit lachrimam in ye singular, God sees euery teare, our first teare, and is affected wth. that; Dauid arose from the ground, and eat bread; when thy sin is dead by thy true Repentance, raise thy selfe from this sad deiection, and come, and eate the bread of life, the bodie of thy Sauiour for the seale of thy pardon, For there in this Repentance, and this seale Finem litibus imponis, thou leauiest a fine vpon thy sinnes, wch. cutts off, and concludes all titles, And when God hath prouided that thy sinnes shall rise no more to thy condemnation at the last day, if thou raise them [p. 170] vp here to the vexation of thy Conscience, thou art a litigious man to thy owne destruction; This was then Dauids comfort, and is ours, Desideria, and Gemitus, the beginning of our sinfull concupiscencies, and the beginning of our Reptentance are seene by God, and God in his mercie stops those August: desires at beginning. Either hee keepes away the Deuill, or the woman; hee takes away, either stimulum, or Obiectum, either my lust to that sinne, or the occasion & opportunitie for the sinne, in his mercy hee stops mee at the beginning of my desire, and in his mercie hee profitts the beginnings of my repentance, hee sees Desideria, et Gemitus. /

Sua. Now these desires, and these groanes they were Sua, His. The study of our conuersion to God is in this like the study of yo[u]r profession, it requires a whole man for it; It is for ye most part losse of time in you to diuert vpon other studies, and it is for the most part losse of Charity in vs all to diuert from our selues into the consideration of other men, To prognosticate ill for the future vpon any man, I see his couetous desires, I see his carnall desires, I see his sinfull courses, This man can neuer repent; Or to collect ill from what is past, I see his Repentance, his sadnes, his deiection of Countenance & spirit, his approach towards desperation, surely this man is a more greiuous sinner then wee tooke him for. To prognosticate thus, to collect thus vpon others is an intrusion, an vsurpation vpon them, and a dangerous dereliction, and abandoning of ourselues; John.9. When the disciples of Christ would needs call into question [p. 171] the sinnes of that man who was borne blinde, rather then lett them goe on in that, (althought no punishment bee inflicted without sinn præceeding,) yet Christ saies there, Neither this man, nor his parents haue sinned; not that hee or they were simply without sinne, but hee would draw his Disciples from that which concerned not them, the sinnes of another; to that wch. concerned them more, the contemplation of his Omnipotence, who would recouer that man of his blindnes in their sight. tThinke you Luke 13. (saies Christ,) that those 18. vpon whom the Tower of Siloe fell were the greatest sinners in Ierusalem, No Christ had a care to deliuer them from that misinterpretation then, and the holy Ghost hath not suffred the names, nor the sinnes of those men so slaine to come to our knowledge. In all ye Euangelists, in all the other histories of the Iewish Nation, and affaires, there is no mention, no word, no record of the death of these men, nor of the fall of this Tower; God would not haue posterity know their names, nor their sinnes so particularly after hee had inflicted that extraordinary punishment vpon them. Bee thine owne text then, and bee thine owne comment, watch thine owne desires, and God shall stopp them, and thine owne groanes, and God shall perfect them with his vnspeakable Ante te. comfort. But all this must bee Ante te, before God, in his presence, and so before him, Vt nihil absconditum, that August: nothing bee hid from him. Now Quale Desiderium debet esse quod ante Deum? Oras vt moriantur inimiej? Is that thy desire that thine Enemies might come to confusion? And [p. 172] is that a fitt desire for the presence of god? is this a writing after the copy? after thy Master Christ? his Copie is Pater Ignosce, Father forgiue them for they knowe not what they doe, or is it after his Vsher, his disciple Stephen? his Copie is, Domine ne statuas illis, O Lord lay not this sinne to their charge; If thou wilt needs pray for thine enemies death, the same Father teaches thee a good way, Ora vt corrigantur, et moriuntur inimiej. Pray for their amendment, and then the enemy is dead, when the enmitie is dead./ But this phrase of Dauids heere, that all is Ante te, imports not onely Gods seeing of ill, but it implies our Psal. 10. 17. bringing of our desires, and groanings into his sight. Lord thou has heard the desires of the poore, saies Dauid, but how? Thou preparest their heart, and thou bendest thine eare to heare them; first Gods preuenting Grace prepares, enables vs, and then hee bends downe wth. a farther supply of his concurrent grace; but that is to heare vs, for if wee do nothing then, if wee speake not then, hee departs from vs. Hee hath looked downe from the height of his Psal. 102.18 Sanctuarie, saies hee in another place; There’s his first grace, that hee lookes towards vs, and then hee heares the mourning of the Prisoner, and hee deliuers the childe of death; But first this Prisoner must know himself to bee in prison, and send forth the voice of mourning, Hee saw, and succor’d Ezechias, but not till hee saw his teares, hee lookes for outward demonstrations of our sorrow, for Confession and amendment of [p. 173] life. It is one thing in a Iudge to know, another to know so as hee may take knowledge, and iudge vppon it. God knowes thy desires, and thy groanes, but hee will not take knowledge of them to thy comfort to stop thy desires, to perfect thy repentance, except thou bring them iudicially before him, thy desires by way of Confession, and thy desires groanes by way of thankfullnesse. It is nothing for a rich man to say in generall, Lord all that I haue is from thee, and if thou wilt haue it againe, I am ready to part with it. This is an hypocriticall complement to say to God, or man, all’s at your seruice; but giue god some part of that; Howse Christ Iesus, where hee is harborlesse; Helpe to build, and beatifie that house, where his name may be glorified, & his saboth’s sanctified; Cloath him where hee is naked, feed him in his hunger, Deliuer him in his imprisonment, when hee suffers this in his afflicted members; All our recognitions to God without subsidies, without beneuolences, without releiving him in his distressed Children are but Ceremoniall, but hypocriticall complements, So thy telling to God that hee knowes all thy desires, and all thy grones, This is an easie matter for any man, it is a word soone saide, but bring all this before him, shew him where, and how, and when thou hast taken light at his visitation to returne towards him, and then hee shall ouerthrowe thy worke, and build vp his owne; Extinguish thy desires, and perfect his Repentance./

Non absconditus This Dauid intends in that Word Ante te, and more fully in the next Non absconditus for I may bee content to [p. 174] bring some things before God, and yet hid others; or hid circumstances that may aggrauate, yea that may alter the very nature of the fact. Wee must not hide our desires vnder our grones, nor hide our grones vnder our desires; Not our desires vnder our groanes, by wrapping vp all our sinnes in a sadnes, in a deiection, in a stupiditie, so that I neuer saw my sinnes in yeir. true proportion, as they lie vpon Christ shoulders, and not vpon my soule, nor in their true apparrell as they are clothed with Christs righteousnes. and not with my corruption, notr with their true waighte, as they are waighed downe with Christs merits, but as they waigh downe my soule into desperation, this is a hiding of our desires in our groanings, our sinnes in our deiection; And the hiding of our groanings in our desires is, to wrap vpp all sorrow for sinne in a verball Confession, and enumeration of the sinnes without any particular contrition for the sinne or detestation of it; wee must not only not hide neither, but anatomize our soule in both, and find euerie sinew, and fiber, euer lineament, and ligament of this body of sinne, and then euery breath of that new spirit, euerie drop of that new blood that must restore, and repaire vs. Studie all the historie, and waite out the presence of God, by putting himself into the presence of his Minister, nor doubt but that that confession is Ante Deum, and that absolution a Domino, and from that Lord who is presented here, not as Iehouah the Lord of essence, and being and so in his general prouidence, and sustayning of all creatures, [p. 175] but as Adonai, a Lord that is the basis, and foundation of a Church. And lett no man deale so niggardly, so penuriously with his owne Soule. as to contract this ease, and discharge of his conscience only to the point of death, because it is not literally expressed, appointed to others, But lett vs all thinke our selues deadlie sick whensoeuer wee are vnder the burden of any deadly sinne. I am not vpon that friuolous, and yet impious distunction of the Roman Church, of Veniall, and Deadly sinne, as though there were any sinne wch. deserued not death, or might bee washt out of our selues, wthout any application of the meritts of Christ, but agreeably to the modestie, and sobriety of the Antients. I call that deadly sinne, which is Peccatum vastans Conscientiam, such as, if they bee not rooted out, destroy the Conscience, and in their owne nature oppose the working of Gods grace in vs, To end this, God knew where Adam was, and  yett hee askes him, Adam vbi es? hee would faine haue knowne it from himselfe. God knew what the Sodomites had don according vnto that cry wch. was come vp. And yet hee would come downe, and see, God knowes our desires, and our gronings, in heauen as God, hee would know them vpon earth too as Lord./

Now the Conclusion of all (according to our custome held in all the partes of this Psalme) shalbee a short application of some of the most important passages to the person of Christ, Of whome many Auntient Expositors haue vnderstood this [p. 176] Psalme to haue bin principally intended: First then, Hee in the daies of his flesh offerd vp prayers, and supplications Heb: 5.7. with strong cryings, and teares vnto him that was able to saue him from death, and was also heard in that which hee feared, Hee was heard, but when? first, when pray’d hee that vehement prayer? All agree that that place of the Apostle hath relation to Christs praier in his agonie in the garden. AmbroseQuando non contentus lachrymis oculorum, totius Corporis sanguineis lachrimis lachrimauit, when hee besides his teares of water opened as many eies as hee had pores in his body, and wept blood at euery one of those eyes. And they agree too that that place of the Apostle hath relation to his vehement prayer vpon the crosse, Eli, Eli, My God, My August: God &c: then when his Father, Non soluit vnionem sed

 So that Christ prayed in his affliction, & god prayed againe That wch. was Dauids case, and is ours was his case too, hee was heard, but not at his first praying; After his first praier of Transeat calix  hee was put to his Expostulation, Quare dereliquisti? The Father was allwayes with him, and his with vs, but our deliuerance is in his time, and not in ours which was the doctrine rais’d out of the first part of this Text./

For the second, the knowledge, and foreknowledge, It is true yt God who sees all, and foresees all, foresawe all the malignity of the Iewes in crucifieing of Christ, but yet hee was no cause of it. St. Augustine presents that passion pathetically before [p. 177] our Eyes, Propinatur fontium, potatur Aceto, mellis datur, cibatur felle, flagellatur remissio, et condemnatur venia. Illuditur Maiestas, et irridetur virtus, et profunditur datur imbrium scutis,  And all this, and more then all this, euen the shedding of his blood was foreseene, For he was Agnus occîsus ab origine, and all this done too, vt implerentur scripturæ26.45., as Mathew expresses it; How els should ye scriptures bee fullfilled wch. say that it must bee soe? But were these Prophesies the Cause of this? No the Prophecies were long before the execution; But the foreknowledge of God was long before that Prophesie, His knowledge was the cause of the Prophesie, but neither the foreknowledge, nor the Prophesie was any Cause of the sinfull part of their fact, and that’s as muche as is appliable vnto Christ in a second part./

And in the third part to passe speedily through some of ye principall words, first for Desideria; Himselfe tells vs, as St. Chrysostome obserues it, what his desure was, Luk. 22Desiderio desideraui comedere Pascha hoc, Other Passeouers hee had eate with them before; but this Passeouer wch. was to bee a memoriall not of their departing out of Egipt, but of his departing out of this world by a bitter, and ignominious  death for their saluation, hee had a desire to institute, and celebrate, and to commend to their desires the imitation, and commemoration of him ./. When wee consider the next, Gemitus, his mournings they were vehement, but yet still they ended in a Calme, And first in the Tristis anima, and, Si possibile; there appeares some gust, some beginning of a storme, but all becalm’d presently [p. 178] in the Veruntamen, yet not my will, but thy will be done. So at first, in the Quare dereliquistj. there appeares a gust, but in manus tuas a Calme againe. Wee do not call that an immoderate, nor ouerpassionate sorrow for sinne, wch sees day and apprehends the presence of God in that deiection of spirit, but exclamations vppon destiny, imputations vppon necessity aspersions vppon the decrees of God himselfe, as if any thing but the peruersenes of my will were the cause of my sinne. These are Rugitus Leonis, the roring of that Lion that seekes whome hee may deuoure, and not, Gemitus Columbæ, ye voice of that Doue that comes to the Arke with an Olaue branche settles in the Church with the testmonies of peace, and Reconciliation wch. are there./ Moreouer, Christ was to bee glorified with the glorie wch. hee had before, and how hee long’d till that was accomplished, but yet all was Ante Patrem Dominum His meete was to do his Fathers will, and till his time was come. Nondum venit hora mea, saies Christ My hower is not yet come./

To end all, hee propos’d all Ante Patrem, but Ante Patrem Dominum, To his Father soe as his Father had a Churche vpon Earth; And therfore through all ye Progresse of the holy Ghost in thy selfe, take not the grace of God, or the mercie of God as a medall, or a wedge of gold to bee layed vp, but change thy medall, or wedge unto current monie; find this grace, and this mercy applied to this [p. 179] and this action, for though the meritt of Christ bee a sea yet bee thou contented to take it in drop, after drop, and to acknowledge in the presence of god, that at such a tyme, by reducing them to thy memory, and contemplation, his agony, thou wast brought to a sense of thy miserable estate, and after by considering the ministring of the Angells to him there thou tookst a confidence of receaving succour from him; That at such a particular time the memorie of his fasting rescued thee from a voluptuous, and riotous meeting, and the memory of his proceedings, and behauiour in his tentations brought thee allso to deliuer thy selfe, by applying his word, and the promises of the Ghospell, from these dangerous attempts of the Tempter. Hide nothing from God, neither the desires thou wast in, nor the degrees of health that thou art come to; nor the wayes of thy falling, or rising, for Deus fecit, et erit mirabile, if I mistake not the measure of thy Conscience thou wilt find an infinite comfort in this particular tracing of the holy Ghost, and his working in thy soule./

This is the laying open, and not hiding, but all this is limited Ante te, and Tibj, Before god, and To god, For why should I open my sinnes to man? hee cannot releiue mee by way of pardon: Or why should I open my groanings to man? Hee will not releiue mee so much as my compassion.August: Recedit gemitus seruourum Dej ab auribus hominum, sed ante Deum semper. There therefore they are well placed only, from [p. 180] whence they neuer part. But yet consider to whome all these are directed, it is Ante te, and it is Tibj, but Tibj Domine, Now there are two names of God, which are ordinarily in the scriptures translated by this word Dominus, The Lord, One name is Iehouah, and th’other is Adonai, And Iehouah signifies Essence, Beeing; Adonai signifies properly Basin, fundamentum, That vppon which some building rests, and in this place, that’s the word Adonai soe that this is an opening of our desires, and gronings of the wounds, and scruples of our Consciences to God, as God is the Lord, and such a Lord as is the Basis, and Foundation the Cornerstone, and the Pillar of a Building, and that Building is the Church. All power of remission of sinnes is in the Lord, but in the Lord in his Church, and therfore yt Church in which God hath seal’d thee to him in both sacraments according to the direction of the holy Ghost hath ordayned that sick persons shall make a spirituall confession if they feele their Consciences troubled with any waightie matter, and that after that confession the Priest shall absolue them. Let no man thinke himself wiser the Church, and for the abuse of a thing in a corrupt Church, goe forward in an ignorance of what the true Church holds in that point, or defraud himself of nourishment out of a false feare of poisons, and fumes when there are none. Let no man think himself there were a new Church to bee erected by him, yet [p. 181] hee yeelded all obedience to that was formerly erected, in yt hee circumcised, and presented, and in that his Mother was purified according to the Lawe, And in that hee sent his owne disciples to bee instructed by the Scribes, and Pharises. And to conclude, all refractory persons by Jo: 10 his example in yt Church, hee honour’d with his presence  the feast of the dedication wch was an Anniuersary Feast and a Feast not of divine Institution, but ordayned by the Church. /

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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