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have taught much. Let it shame us, that the basest kind of men, even cobblers and porters, do that which belongeth unto them; and we, which ought to give light to all other, are idle and do nothing. For God would not have us idle bellies, but he would have us both be interpreters of his mind, ministers of Jesus Christ, attornies of the people before the Lord of Sabaoth, the light of the world, salt, angels, and the sons of God, and so to be called; and we are appointed to govern, not dumb cattle, not wild beasts; but the flock of the Lord, but the sons of God, but the brethren of Christ. If any of these shall perish through our default, his blood shall be required at our hands. If these things alone were still set before us, in our eyes and minds, we would not so cast from us carelessly and unadvisedly the safeguard of our brethren and of ourselves; we would not so cast from us the blood of Christ.
There is no cause why any should say, We speak to them that are deaf : the people give no ear: we labour for them which are unthankful, we prevail not, we cast that which is holy unto dogs, we give pearls to swine. We know that otherwhile these things are truly spoken; and it grieveth me exceedingly that they may be so truly spoken against those that be christian men. Yet for all this, we may not therefore hold our peace, but speak so much the oftener, so much the sharper, so much the hotter. For look, how much the disease is more perilous, so much the more needeth there a physician.
Neither can we justly complain of the people's stubbornness, while we ourselves do all the while nothing. Let us do our endeavour, and leave the success unto the Lord. Then shall they, if they be of so froward a mind that they will not hear, die in their own sin. But there is no cause why we should be in despair of the people's salvation. God himself husbanded the vine which for grapes brought out wild grapes. God himself hath all the day long stretched out his hands to a rebellious and overthwart people. How oft hath Christ himself said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen gathereth together her chickens ;” whereas they turned away their ears and would not hear! This malady will easily be taken away, if the medicine therefore be used. Let us bring forth the light; and God will open their eyes : let us beat at their ears; and God will give them a heart of flesh: let us give the word; and God will give the Spirit: let us plant and water; and God in due time will give the increase. For, as it is our duty to instruct the people with words, so it belongeth to God to join unto his words
fortasse quam quisquam nostrum. Pastoris est non tam multa didicisse, quam multum docuisse. Pudeat autem vilissimum genus hominum, cerdones et bajulos, officium suum facere; nos autem, quos aliis omnibus prælucere oportuit, otiosos esse et nihil agere. Non enim nos Deus ventres otiosos, sed suæ mentis interpretes, ministros Jesu Christi, populi sequestros apud Dominum Sabaoth, lucem mundi, salem, angelos et filios Dei, et appellari et esse voluit: præficimur autem, non mutis pecudibus, non feris animantibus, sed gregi Domini, sed filiis Dei, sed fratribus Christi. Si quis horum nostro vitio perierit, sanguis ejus e nostris manibus repetetur. Hæc si nobis sola in oculis atque animis versarentur, non ita fratrum nostrorum, non ita nostram salutem, non ita sanguinem Christi secure et temere projiceremus.
Nihil enim est quod quisquam dicat: Surdis canimus, populus non audit, laboramus ingratis, nihil promovemus, rem sanctam objicimus canibus, margaritas damus porcis. Scimus ista interdum vere dici, et vehementer dolet tam vere in homines Christianos dici posse. Neque tamen nos idcirco reticere oportuit, sed tanto frequentius tantoque acrius et incensius dicere. Quanto enim periculosior est morbus, tanto magis opus est medico.
Nec satis juste de populi contumacia queri possumus, si nos interim ipsi nihil agimus. Præstemus nos operam nostram, successum Domino relinquamus. Tum illi, si animo ita erunt obfirmato ut audire nolint, in peccato suo morientur. Sed nihil est causæ quamobrem populi salutem desperemus. Deus ipse coluit vitem, quæ pro uvis peperit labruscas. Deus ipse totos dies protendit manus ad populum rebellem et contradicentem. Christus ipse quoties dixit, “Hierusalem, Hierusalem, quoties volui congregare filios tuos, quemadmodum gallina congregat pullos suos,” cum illi aures avertissent et audire noluissent! Hic morbus facile tolletur, si adhibebitur medicina. Proferamus nos lucem, Dominus aperiet oculos : pulsemus aures, Dominus dabit cor carneum : demus nos verbum, Dominus dabit Spiritum : plantemus, rigemus, Dominus suo tempore dabit incrementum. Nam ut nostrum est populum verbis instituere, ita Dei est fidem dictis suis et robur adjungere. Ea autem est vis
faith and force. Such is the strength of the word of God, that to work nothing, or to profit none, it is not possible. Much will fall into the bushes, into the beaten way, and among stones; yet some will fall into good ground and bring forth fruit. “For look, as the rain cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither again, but moisteneth and watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth, and giveth seed to the sower, and bread to him that eateth?; so my word, saith the Lord, which goeth forth out of my mouth, shall not return empty unto me, but shall do whatsoever I will."
But, because it is not enough to speak, let us now consider that which in the second place I have promised, namely, what is to be spoken. For some otherwhile speak, who had been better have held their peace: other some, while they make a noise and cry out with great contention, speak to no purpose. Wherefore regard must be had that we neither speak unfruitfully ne yet hurtfully. For all things are not to be huddled out in a sermon before the multitude. We must take care what the religious silence of the people, what the reverence of the place, what the greatness of our office, do require. The truth must be spoken, not lies; the scriptures, not fables; the precepts of the highest God, and not the dreams of men. For religion is to be ordered, not by our judgment, but by the word of God. Wherein if we shall hearken to Moses, or to the prophets, or the apostles, or Christ, or the Father himself, we shall not much go out of the way. For Moses, whatsoever was to be said or done in so great a wilderness, when he led the people, being banished and wandering, by a savage and desert region, always asked counsel at the Lord: he never brought them any thing of his own head. The prophets always say, The word of the Lord, the vision of the Lord, the voice of the Lord: this saith the Lord: hear the Lord. “I," saith Paul, “have received my gospel not of man, neither by man;" and again : “I know nothing but Jesus Christ, and the same crucified.” And again : “ If an angel from heaven shall teach another gospel than that which you have learned, let him be cursed.” Christ saith : “All things which I have heard of my Father, I have delivered unto you;" and: “Preach you," saith he, not whatsoever shall come in your head, but “the gospel to all creatures ;” and, when as the Pharisees and Sadducees had moved the questions of divorcement, and the resurrection of the dead unto life, he never had recourse unto the rabbins, but always to the word of the
verbi Dei, ut nihil efficere et nulli prodesse non possit. Multa in vepres, in viam, in saxa cadent, et aliquid cadet in terram bonam et feret fructum. “Quemadmodum enim imber Esai. Iv. descendit de cælo, et illuc non revertitur, sed irrigat et perfundit terram, et eam facit germinare, et dat semen serenti et panem comedenti ; sic verbum meum, dicit Dominus, quod egreditur ex ore meo, non revertetur ad me vacuum, sed conficiet quæcunque volui.”
Sed quoniam non satis est dicere, videamus nunc id, quod secundo loco polliciti sumus, II. quid sit dicendum. Alii enim interdum dicunt quos præstiterat tacuisse, alii cum magna Docendum contentione vociferantur et clamant, nihil dicunt. Quapropter videndum est, neve otiose neve perniciose dicatur. Non enim omnia promiscue pro concione ad populum dicenda sunt. Habenda est ratio, quid populi religiosum silentium, quid loci reverentia, quid muneris nostri magnitudo postulet. Vera dicenda sunt, non mendacia, scripturæ, non fabulæ, Dei opt. max. præcepta, non hominum somnia : non enim nostro judicio instituenda est religio, sed e verbo Dei. Qua quidem in re si vel Mosen, vel prophetas, vel apostolos, vel Christum, vel Patrem ipsum audiemus, haud sane multum aberrabimus. Moses enim cum per incultam et desertam regionem populum exulem et vagum traduceret, in tanta solitudine, quicquid vel dicendum vel agendum esset, semper consuluit Dominum, nihil unquam attulit de suo. Prophetæ semper aiunt, Verbum Domini, visio Domini, vox Domini, hæc dicit Dominus, audite Dominum. “Ego," inquit Paulus, “evangelium meum non accepi ab homino neque per hominem :" et, “nihil novi nisi Jesum Christum, et illum quidem crucifixum.” Et, “si angelus e cælo docuerit aliud evangelium quam quod didicistis, anathema sit.” Christus, “Omnia," inquit, "quæ audivi a Patre meo, tradidi vobis :" et, “prædicate,” inquit, non quicquid inciderit, sed “evangelium omni creaturæ:" et cum quæstiones Pharisæi et Sadducæi de divortio et mortuorum reditu ad vitam commovissent, nunquam ad Rabinos recurrit, semper ad
[° Eareth, 1611.)
Lord. God the Father crying from heaven, “This," saith he, “is my dearlybeloved Son:" he saith not, Hear your fathers, your grandfathers, or your great grandfathers; but he saith, “ Hear him," even him. For our heavenly Father would have his Son and his word to be taught, and to be beat into men's heads in all places.
And certainly it may not be doubted of by any man but that that, which the most excellent, most wise, and most loving' Father hath given unto us for our cause, is most excellent, most wise, and to our reasons most profitable. This is that river of water flowing abroad into life everlasting. This is that flesh, this is that blood of Jesus Christ, this is that only both most delicate and most wholesome food of our souls: with this only sword the devil is overcome, with this only stone Goliah is laid along, with this only maul the roughness and hardness of hearts is softened and overcome. And, were it not for this, neither could religion flourish, nor faith be confirmed, or the church kept within the limits of her duty.
Call to remembrance, I beseech you for the Lord's sake, that, as oft as the word of the Lord languished, how often and into how many grievous errors, and how great a break-neck evil did the whole people fall into; how oft despised they the mightiest and most loving God, their preserver and Father ; how oft worshipped they Astaroth, Belial, the sun, the moon, calves, and beasts, and turned away themselves from all religion and godliness, and put their whole hope and confidence in things most vain and filthy. For, when as every one hatched out of his own mind a religion and holiness unto himself, superstition and such a multitude of new gods increased so suddenly, that the prophet was informed? to cry out, “ Your gods are in number as many as your cities." For, when as they had forsaken the truth, life, and religion, what remained but that they should fall headlong into lies, into destruction, into ungodly worshippings?
I had rather make mention of these old things, than to bring in examples which are fresh and in memory. There is none of us that ever was so blind that he saw not, or so blockish that he understood not, the calamities of former times. We have far gone beyond, not only the superstition and vanity of the Jews, but also of the Egyptians and Grecians. For when the authority of councils, and the conspiracy of a few bishops and monks, was placed above
verbum Domini. Deus Pater clamans e cælo, “Hic,” inquit, “est Filius meus dilectus: Ipsum,” non patres, non avos aut proavos, sed“ ipsum,” inquit, “audite.” Suum enim Filium cælestis Pater et verbum suum omnibus locis doceri et inculcari voluit.
Neque certe cuiquam dubium esse potest, quin quod et optimus, et sapientissimus, et amantissimus Pater nostra causa nobis dedit, et optimum sit, et sapientissimum, et nostris rationibus utilissimum. Hoc illud est flumen aquæ scaturientis in vitam æternam. Hæc illa est caro, hic ille sanguis Jesu Christi, hic unicus est et suavissimus et saluberrimus pastus animorum. Hoc solo gladio diabolus superatur, hoc solo lapide Goliah sternitur, hoc solo malleo animorum rigor et durities emollitur et vincitur. Hoc nisi esset, neque religio vigere, neque fides confirmari, neque ecclesia in officio contineri posset. Revocate enim ad memoriam, per Deum immortalem, quoties verbum Domini elanguerit, quoties et quam graves in errores et quantum in præcipitium populus universus inciderit, quoties Deum opt. max. conservatorem et Patrem suum contempserit
, quoties Astaroth, Belial, solem, lunam, vitulos, pecudes coluerit, seque ab omni religione et pietate averterit, et in rebus inanissimis et fædissimis spem omnem et fiduciam collocarit. Cum enim suam sibi quisque religionem et sanctimoniam ex animo suo peperisset, ita repente increbuit superstitio, et tanta novorum Deorum multitudo, ut propheta coactus sit exclamare," Pro numero civitatum sunt dii tui.” Nam cum veritatem, cum vitam, cum religionem deseruissent, quid relinquebatur, nisi ut in mendacia, in exitium, in impios cultus, præcipites ruerent?
Hæc enim vetera commemorare malo, quam exemplis uti vivis et recentibus. Nemo enim nostrum unquam fuit, vel tam cæcus ut non videret, vel tam stupidus ut non intelligeret
, superiorum temporum calamitatem. Omnem enim non modo Judæorum, sed etiam Ægyptiorum et Græcorum, superstitionem et vanitatem multis partibus superavimus. Nam cum conciliorum auctoritas et aliquot episcoporum et monachorum conspiratio supra scripturas. Dei locaretur ;
[Living, 0. E.)
[? Enforced, o. E.]
[ Calamity, 0. E.]
the scriptures; when it was doubted whether the Romish bishop were a man or a god, and whether he could sin; when all things were referred to the constitutions of men, and nothing to the knowledge of Christ; when sales of pardons, vows, and masses, were made openly and without all shame; when the sacraments were miserably torn in pieces; when the word of God was demned of fraud and heresy; when nothing was left sound and superstition; when error possessed all things, and the truth could not be heard; where then, or what church of God was there? It was heresy in those days, not that disagreed from the scriptures, but from that which liked a few bishops. For the gospel was thrust into corners : nothing was left to the judgment of Christ. Our gods were not then according to the number of our cities, but they were as many as we had streets, yea, almost houses. So were all things utterly out of frame; for that religion depended not on the word of God, but on the will of man.
These horrible cases, brethren, may warn us, that we never unadvisedly depart from the word of God. And thereof it is that all the scriptures do move us so often and so diligently, that we neither add any thing to the word of God, nor take ought therefrom, nor that we bow to the right hand or the left. Neither would the Lord that we should be princes and judges, but messengers and ministers of his word. For look, what serveth to our salvation and unto godliness, all that hath God himself set down in his laws. “ For the holy scripture (as Paul saith) inspired by God is profitable to doctrine, to reprove, to correction, to instruction, that the man of God may be perfect, instructed to every good work:” that the man of God, saith he, may be perfect and sound, and, as far as is requisite either to godliness or manners, that he should in every respect be perfectly furnished. And now, I pray you, what should God's embassador 4 bring forth unto God's people5 rather than the word of God ? He that is an embassador in civil affairs, if perhaps he say any thing beside that which is commanded him, he is accused that he hath not done his embassade rightly, he is called to his trial, he is arraigned upon life and death; and why do not we with like fidelity handle the word of God? But too too, good God, too too secure a mind, my brethren, too too secure a mind be we of. And, as though men alone could not be deceived, so do we hold, so do we defend that alonely
cum Romanus pontifex homone an deus esset, et peccarene posset ambigeretur; cum omnia ad hominum constitutiones, nihil autem ad Christi cognitionem rejiceretur; cum indulgentiarum, votorum, missarum auctiones publice et sine pudore ac fronte venderentur; cum sacramenta misere discerperentur, cum verbum Dei pro fraude et hæresi damnaretur, cum nihil a superstitione integrum et purum relinqueretur, cum error omnia possideret, veritas audiri non posset, ubi tum aut quæ usquam fuit ecclesia Dei? Hæresis tum erat, non quod a scripturis, sed quod ab aliquot episcoporum libidine discrepasset. Nam evangelium in angulos abstrudebatur, nihil Christi judicio relinquebatur. Non enim tum pro civitatum, sed pro vicorum atque etiam pene pro domorum numero dii numerabantur nostri. Ita omnia prorsus pervertebantur, cum religio non verbo Dei, sed hominum arbitrio niteretur.
Hi nos horrendi casus, fratres, monere possunt, ne unquam temere discedamus a verbo Dei. Eaque de causa omnes scripturæ nos toties et tam diligenter monent, ut neve addamus aliquid ad verbum Dei, neve minuamus, neve ad dextram vel sinistram deflectamus. Neque enim Dominus nos Aristarchos et criticos esse voluit, sed nuntios et ministros vocis suæ. Nam quicquid ad salutem nostram et ad pietatem facit, id omne jam olim Deus ipse suis legibus occupavit. “Sacra enim scriptura,” ut ait Paulus, “divinitus inspirata utilis est ad doctrinam, ad redargutionem, ad correctionem, ad institutionem, ut integer sit homo Dei ad omne opus bonum instructus:" ut perfectus, inquit, et integer sit homo Dei, et quod vel ad pietatem vel ad mores faciat, omnibus numeris et partibus absolutus. Jam vero Dei legato apud populum Dei quid potius proferendum est, quam verbum Dei? In civili negotio legatus, si extra mandata quippiam forte dixerit, accusatur tapampeoßeias et male obitæ legationis, vocatur in jus, jubetur capitis causam dicere. Cur non eadem fide tractamus verbum Dei? Sed nimis, o Deus bone, nimis animo securo, fratres mei, nimis animo securo sumus. Quasi falli homines soli non possint, ita id tenemus unum, id tuemur, id defendimus quod a ma
(* God his embassador, 0. P..
[5 God his people, 0. E.]
which is come from our forefathers. There were among the Jews many murderers, thieves, and adulterers; and yet did not Christ inveigh either more often or more bitterly against any than against the Pharisees and scribes : “You break,” saith he, “the commandment of God for your own traditions. In vain do you worship me, teaching doctrines and the precepts of men.” They are “blind guides of the blind.” “Harlots and sinners shall go into the kingdom of God before you." How often, and with what words doth the Lord in the prophets complain of this ! “Be astonished, ye heavens,” saith he: “My people have done two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living water, and have digged unto themselves broken cisterns, which can hold no waters.” “What is chaff compared with wheat ? ” What is the rashness of men compared with the eternal will of God? For Basil doth say that that man, which dareth put to, or take away any thing from the scriptures of God, is either a feeble Christian, or a notable arrogant fellowl. To put to the word of God the inventions of men, what other thing may it seem than to mingle new wine not with old wine, but with wine that is dead, and with lees or dregs ? and to join light with darkness, a wild beast with a man, a man with God ? “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways are not your ways, saith the Lord; for look how far the heaven is from the earth, so far are my ways from your ways, and my thoughts from your thoughts.” Nay, rather look how far a man is distant from God, so far is the understanding of man distant from the word of God.
For, although very much by the judgment of all men is to be given to the fathers, yet were they men, and also might err. Truly, to speak nothing else of them, they did oftentimes very ill agree among themselves about very great and weighty matters. But the word of God is sure, and firm, and certain, and appointed for every time. Peter would have this kind of learning to be delivered unto the people in a sermon. And he, that will have doings (herein) with the people, must first be instructed himself with the word of God, that he may utter the word as inspired with a heavenly power. O if Peter were now alive, what would he say, or rather what would he not say, seeing that religion, godliness, the scriptures, are all passed into the inventions and dreams of men ? That is only in question at these days, whether the customs of men are rather to be retained,
joribus nostris profectum sit. Multi erant apud Judæos sicarii, latrones, adulteri; in nullum tamen genus hominum Christus vel sæpius vel acerbius invehebatur, quam in Phariseos et scribas. “Violatis enim," inquit, "præceptum Dei propter traditiones vestras. Frustra me colitis, docentes doctrinas et præcepta hominum.” “Cæci sunt duces cæcorum. “Meretrices et peccatores antevertunt vos in regno Dei.” Id quoties et quibus verbis conqueritur Dominus apud prophetas. “Obstupescite,” inquit, “cæli; duo mala fecit populus meus, me reliquerunt fontem aquæ vivæ, et foderunt sibi cisternas dissipatas quæ aquas continere non possunt.” “Quid enim paleæ ad triticum ?" quid hominum temeritas ad æternam voluntatem Dei? Nam Basilius hominem vel parum Christianum ait esse, vel insigniter arrogantem, qui scripturis Dei vel addere aliquid audeat, vel detrahere. Hominum enim inventa ad verbum Dei ascribere, quid aliud videri potest, quam mustum, non veteri cum vino, sed cum vappa fæceque miscere ? et lucem cum tenebris, feram cum homine, hominem cum Deo conjungere ? "Non sunt cogitationes meæ cogitationes vestræ, neque viæ meæ viæ vestræ, dicit Dominus : quantum enim abest cælum a terra, tantum absunt viæ meæ a viis vestris, et cogitationes meæ a cogitationibus vestris.” Imo quantum abest homo a Deo, tantum abest sensus humanus a verbo Dei.
Nam quamvis patribus plurimum sit omnium judicio tribuendum, tamen et homines erant, et errare potuerunt. Certe, ne quid dicam præterea, maximis sæpe et gravissimis de rebus parum inter sese convenerunt. Dei autem verbum et fixum et firmum et certum est, et in omne tempus constitutum. Hoc doctrinæ genus Petrus populo pro concione tradi voluit
. Oportet enim eum qui cum populo acturus sit, prius ipsum instructum esse verbo Dei, ut tanquam ab afflatu numinis cælestis proferat oraculum. O si Petrus nunc viveret, quid ille diceret, vel quid potius non diceret, postquam religio, pietas, scripturæ, omnia in bominum inventa et somnia transierunt ? Id enim solum hodie ambigitur, hominumne potius
[' ...φανερά έκπτωσις πίστεως και υπερηφανίας κατηγορία, ή άθετείν τι των γεγραμμένων, ή
επεισάγειν των μη γεγραμμένων.-Basil. Op. Ρar. 1721-30. De Fid. 1. Tom. II. p. 224.]