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the cross, not putrefied in the grave, not singed in hell, raised, and raised by his own power, victoriously, triumphantly, to the destruction of the last enemy, death ; look him in the face in all these respects, of humiliation, and of exaltation too; and then, as a picture looks upon him, that look upon it, God upon whom thou keepest thine eye, will keep his eye upon thee, and, as in the creation, when he commanded light out of darkness, he gave thee a capacity of this light; and as in thy vocation, when he shined in thy heart, he gave thee an inchoation of this light, so in associating thee to himself at the last day, he will perfect, consummate, accomplish all, and give thee the light of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus there.
This is the last word of our text: but we make up our circle by returning to the first word; the first word is, for; for the text is a reason of that which is in the verse immediately before the text; that is, we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants, for Jesus' sake. We stop not on this side Christ Jesus; we dare not say, that any man is saved without Christ; we dare say, that none can be saved, that hath received that light, and hath not believed in him. We carry you not beyond Christ neither, not beyond that face of his, in which he is manifested, the Scriptures. Till you come to Christ you are without God, as the apostle says to the Ephesians: and when you go beyond Christ, to traditions of men, you are without God too. There is a sine deo, a left-handed atheism, in the mere natural man, that will not know Christ; and there is a sine deo, a right-handed atheism, in the stubborn papist, who is not content with Christ. They preach Christ Jesus and themselves, and make themselves lords over you in Jesus' place, and farther than ever he went. We preach not ourseloes, but him, and ourseldes your servants for his sake; and this is our service, to tell you the whole compass, the beginning, the way, and the end of all, that all is done in, and by, and for Christ Jesus, that from thence flow, and thither lead, and there determine all, to bring you, from the memory of your creation, by the sense of your vocation, to the assurance of your glorification, by the manifestation of God in Christ, and Christ in the Scriptures. For God, who commanded light out of darkness, hath shined, &c.
U PON THE
FIFTEENTH VERSE OF THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF THE
BOOK OF JUDGES ;
WHEREIN OCCASION WAS JUSTLY TAKEN FOR THE PUBLICATION OF SOME REASONS, WHICH HIS SACRED MAJESTY HAD BEEN PLEASED
TO GIVE, OF THOSE DIRECTIONS FOR PREACHERS,
WHICH HE HAD FORMERLY SENT FORTH.
PREACHED AT THE CROSS, THE 15TH OF SEPTEMBER, 1622,
BY JOHN DONNE,
DOCTOR OF DIVINITY, AND DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S, LONDON ;
AND NOW BY COMMANDMENT OF HIS MAJESTY PUBLISHED AS IT WAS
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
GEORGE, MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM,
HIGH ADMIRAL OF ENGLAND, &c.
WHEN I would speak to the King, by your Lordship’s means, I do: now, when I would speak to the Kingdom, I would do that by your Lordship’s means too: and therefore I am bold to transfer this Sermon to the world, through your Lordship’s hands, and under your name. For the first part of the sermon, the explication of the text, my profession and my conscience is warrant enough that I have spoken as the Holy Ghost intended. For the second part, the application of the text, it will be warrant enough, that I have spoken as his Majesty intended, that your Lordship admits it to issue in your name. It is because kings favour the church, that the prophet says they are her foster-fathers; and then, those persons, who have also interest in the favour of kings, are her foster-brothers : and such use to love well. By that title, (as by many other also) your Lordship loves the church ; as you are her foster-brother; loved of him who loves her. And by that title you love all them in the church, who endeavour to advance both the unity of our church in itself, and the unity of the church, with the godly designs of our religious King. To which service, I shall ever sacrifice all the labours of
Your Lordship’s humblest and thankfulest Servant
in Christ Jesus,
PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S CROSS, SEPTEMBER 14, 1622.
JUDGES v. 20.
De cælo dimicatum est contra eos : stellæ manentes in ordine, et cursu suo,
adversus Siseram pugnaverunt. They fought from heaven ; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
All the words of God are always sweet in themselves, says David ; but sweeter in the mouth, and in the pen of some of the prophets, and some of the apostles, than of others, as they differed in their natural gifts, or in their education : but sweetest of all, where the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to set the word of God to music, and to convey it into a song; and this text is of that kind: part of the song which Deborah and Barak sung after their great victory upon Sisera ; Sisera who was Jabin the king of Canaan's general against Israel. God himself made Moses a song', and expressed his reason why; The children of Israel, says God, will forget my law; but this song they will not forget ; and whensoever they sing this song, this song shall testify against them, what I have done for them, how they have forsaken me. And to such a purpose hath God left this song of Deborah and Barak in the Scriptures, that all murmurers, and all that stray
into a diffidence of God's power, or of his purpose to sustain his . own cause, and destroy his own enemies, might run and read, . might read and sing, the wonderful deliverances that God hath
given to his people, by weak and unexpected means. This world begun with a song, if the Chaldee paraphrasts upon Solomon's Song of Songs have taken a true tradition, that as soon as Adam's sin was forgiven him, he expressed (as he calls it in that song) Sabbatum suum, his Sabbath, his peace of conscience, in a song ; of which, we have the entrance in that paraphrase. This world begun so; and so did the next world too, if we count the beginning of that (as it is a good computation to do so) from the coming of Christ Jesus: for that was expressed on earth, in
· Deut. xxxi. 19.