Mary Ann Lund (ed.), The Sermons of John Donne, Vol. 12: Sermons Preached at St Paul’s Cathedral, 1626
Editor’s Notepg 53Editor’s NoteSERMON 4Critical Apparatus1Critical ApparatusPreached upon[3E3v]2the Penitentiall Psalmes.
- 3PSAL. 32. 6.
- 4For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee,
- 5in a time when thou mayest be found; surely in the floods of
- 6great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Editor’s Note7You would not bee weary of reading a long conveiance, in which the landDivisio. Editor’s Note8were given to your selves; nor of a long Will, in which the body of the state Editor’s Note9were bequeathed to you. Be not weary, if at any time your patience be exercised 10some minutes beyond the threescore, sometime beyond the houre in these Editor’s Note11exercises, for we exhibit the conveiance, in which the land, the land of Promise 12is made yours, and the Testament, in which even the Testator himselfe is 13bequeathed to you. But Legacies must be demanded, and oftentimes sued for; 14and in this text you are directed how to come by it, by prayer, (For this shall 15every one, &c.) And you are encouraged in the suit by the value of that you are 16to recover, by the effect of prayer, Surely in the floods of great waters they shall 17not come nigh to him: and these two, the way and the end, the manner and the 18matter, prayer and the benefit thereof, will be our two parts. And in the first Editor’s Note19of these, The duty of prayer, though wee be elsewhere commanded To pray1 Thess. 5. 17. 20continually, yet for all that continuall disposition, we have here certaine 21limitations, or rather indeed preparations, lest that which we call Prayer should Editor’s Note22not be so, and these are foure: For first, it is but omnis sanctus, every godly man 23shall pray, for the prayer of the wicked turns to sinne; And then the object of Editor’s Note24prayer, to whom it must be directed, is limited, it is but ad te, unto thee hee 25shall pray, beyond him wee cannot goe, and he that prayes short of him, to any 26on this side of God, falls short in his prayer; And in a third consideration, Editor’s Note27the subject, the matter of his prayer is limited too, It is but propter hoc, for 28this shall hee pray, that is, for that which hath beene formerly expressed, not 29whatsoever our desires, or our anguish, and vexation, and impatience presents Editor’s Note30or suggests to us; And lastly, the time is limited too, In tempore opportuno, In a 31time when thou mayest be found. In these foure, we shall determine that first 32part, the duty; and in the second the reward, the benefit, which is deliverance, 33(Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh him) wee shall see Editor’s Note34first, that the world is diluvium aquarum, a deluge of water floods that threaten 35all; But yet though worldly calamities bee of that spreading, and diffusive, and Editor’s Note36overflowing nature, non approximabit, there are places that it cannot come to, 37rocks that it cannot shake, hills that it cannot overflow; God hath so erected the pg 54Editor’s Note38godly man, that hee is a non ultra, a banke to this sea; It shall not come neere Editor’s Note39him; and this David establishes with that seale of infallibility, Surely, Surely in 40the floods [3E4r]| of great waters they shall not come nigh him. And these be the steps by 41which we shall leade you to the greatest happinesse, that is, deliverance from all 42afflictions, and that by the noblest meanes, and the fairest way, that is, familiar 43conversation with God by prayer.
1 Part.44Into our first part, The duty of prayer, wee shall make our entry with this 45consideration, That our religious Duties, in their precepts, are for the most Editor’s Note46part accompanied with reasons to induce us to the performance thereof: Hoc 47fac & vives; Doe this, sayes God; doe it, because I command it, at least doe it, Heb. 13. 2.48because if thou doe it, thou shalt live for ever. And so, Bee not forgetfull to 49entertaine strangers, for thereby some have entertained Angels unawares; Here the Editor’s Note50reason of the precept is example; others have prospered that way, therefore 51walke thou in it. God illustrates his precepts, comments upon his owne Text Editor’s Note52much by examples. First, to raise us to the best height, God makes himselfe our Editor’s Note53example, Sicut Pater, Be holy as your Father in heaven is holy: Then, because we 54cannot reach to that, he makes men like our selves (at least, such as we should Iam. 5. 17.Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus55be) our example, Sicut Elias, Elias was a man subject to like passions as wee are, 56and hee prayed that it might not raine, and it rained not, and that it might, and Editor’s Note57it did. If wee be not able to conforme our selves to the singularity of one Editor’s Note58particular and transcendent man, hee sends us to the whole body of good men, ver. 10.Editor’s Note59his servants, Sicut Prophetæ, Take, my brethren, the Prophets, for an example of Editor’s Note60long patience. And because he knowes our inclination, to be a declination, and 61that we cast those lookes, which hee made upward towards him, downward Editor’s Note62towards the creature, he sends us to creatures of an ignobler nature, Vade ad 63formicam, Goe to the Ant, doe as shee doth, be as industrious in thy businesse, 64as she is in hers. And then, as in inclining us to good, so also for avoiding of 1 Cor. 10.Editor’s Note65sinfull courses, he leades us by example too, Non sicut quidam eorum, Bee not 66idolaters as some of them, nor fornicators, nor tempters of Christ, nor murmurers, ver. 6.Editor’s Note67as some of them. And as that Apostle begins that catalogue there, so, These are ver. 11.Editor’s Note68examples to us, so hee ends it thus also, These things came unto them for examples: 69God suffers the wicked to proceed in their sin, and he powres downe his 70judgements upon them for their sins, not onely for their punishment, but 71therefore, that they might be examples to us. Now if God raise a glory to 72himselfe in the destruction of the wicked, if he make the wicked in their ruine, 73even Ministers in his Church, that is, edifiers, and instructers of others, by Editor’s Note74their owne ruine, if their ruine bee a sensible Catechisme, and a visible Sermon 75for the edifying of others, how much more doth it conduce to his glory, that the 76righteousnesse, and holy conversation of his Ministers, and Prophets should Editor’s Note77bee a lanterne to the feet of his people? This is all that David promises in 78thankfulnesse for that mercy which he asks of God, This is that that hee asks; Psal. 51. 12.Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus79Restore me to the joy of thy salvation, Et confirma me spiritu principali, Establish Editor’s Note80mee with thy free spirit, Spiritu munifico, sayes S. Hierom, with thy liberall, thy pg 5581bountifull Spirit; This is much that David asks; and what will David doe for Editor’s Note82God? This; I will teach thy wayes unto the wicked, and sinners shall be converted 83unto thee. And this is that which S. Paul apprehended to have moved God, to Editor’s Note84use his service in the Church; For this cause was I received to mercy, that Iesus1 Tim. 1. 16. 85Christ should first shew unto me all long suffering; but that was not all; But as 86it followes there, Vnto the example of them, which shall in time to come beleeve in 87him unto eternall life. It is an unexpressible comfort to have beene Gods instru-88ment, for the conversion of others, by the power of Preaching, or by a holy and Editor’s Note89exemplar life in any calling. And with this comfort David proceeds in the Editor’s Note90recommendation of this duty of Prayer, Day and night I have felt thy hand uponver. 4. 91me, I have acknowledged my sinne unto thee, and thou forgavest the iniquity of myver. 5. 92sin; thus it stood with me, and by my example, For this shall every one that is 93godly pray unto thee, in a time when thou maiest be found.
Editor’s Note94First then, the person that hath any accesse allowed him, any title to pray, isOmnis sanctus. 95he that is Godly, holy. Now, Omnis Sanctus, est omnis Baptismate sanctificatus:Hierom. 96Those are the holy ones whom God will heare, who are of the houshold of the Editor’s Note97faithfull, of the Communion of Saints, matriculated, engraffed, enrolled in Editor’s Note98the Church, by that initiatory Sacrament of Baptisme; for, the house of God, Editor’s Note99into which we enter by Baptisme, is the house of Prayer; And, as out of the 100Arke, whosoever swam best, was not saved by his swimming, no more is any Editor’s Note101morall man, out of the Church, by his praying: He that swomme in the flood, 102swomme but into more and more water; he that prayes out of the Church, 103prayes but into more and more sin, because he doth not establish his prayer in 104that, Grant this for our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus sake. It is true then, that 105these holy ones, whose prayer is acceptable, are those of the Christian Church; Editor’s Note106Onely they; but is it all [3E4v]| they? are all their prayers acceptable? There is a second 107concoction necessary too: Not onely to have beene sanctified by the Church in 108Baptisme, but a sanctification in a worthy receiving of the other Sacrament too; 109A life that pleads the first seale, Baptisme, and claimes the other seale, The Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus110body and blood of Christ Jesus: We know the Wise mans counsaile, concerning 111propitiation, Be not without feare. Though thou have received the propitiatoryEcclus. 5. 5. Editor’s Note112Sacrament of Baptisme, be afraid that thou hast not all. Will the milke that thou 113suckedst from a wholesome Nurse, keepe thee alive now? Or canst thou dine 114upon last yeares meat to day? Hee that hath that first holinesse, The holinesse 115of the Covenant, the holinesse of Baptisme, let him pray for more. For Omnis Editor’s Note116Sanctus, is Quantumcumque Sanctus, How holy soever he be, that holinesse Editor’s Note117will not defray him all the way, but that holinesse is a faire letter of credit, and 118a bill of exchange for more. When canst thou thinke thy selfe holy enough? 119when thou hast washed thy selfe in snow water? In penitent teares? (as the bestIob 9. 30. Editor’s Note120purity of this life is expressed) why, even then, Abominabuntur te vestimenta tua, 121Thine owne cloathes shall make thee abominable. Is all well, when thou thinkest all 122well? why, All the wayes of a man are cleane in his owne eyes, but the Lord weighethProv. 16. 2. 123the spirit. If thine owne spirit, thine owne conscience accuse thee of nothing, Editor’s Note124nothing unrepented, is all well? why, I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not1 Cor. 4. 4. pg 56Iob 4. 18.Editor’s Note125thereby justified. It is God onely that is Surveyor of thy holinesse, And, Behold, 126he found no stedfastnesse in his Servants, and laid folly upon his Angels; how much Gregor.Editor’s Note127more in them, that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust? Sordet in 128conspectu æterni Iudicis, When that eternall Judge comes to value our transitory, 129or imaginary, our hollow, and rusty, and rotten holinesse, Sordet quod in inten-Editor’s Note130tione fulget operantis, Even that which had a good lustre, a good speciousnesse, 131not onely in the eyes of men that saw it, who might be deceived by my hypocri-Editor’s Note132sie, but in the purpose of him that did it, becomes base, more allay then pure 133metall, more corruption then devotion.
Gen. 31. 31.134Though Iacob, when he fled from his Father in law, Laban, were free enough 135himselfe, from the theft of Labans Idols, yet it was dangerously pronounced of Editor’s Note136him, With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: For, his owne Wife, August.Editor’s Note137Rachel had stollen them: And Caro conjux; Thy Wife, thy flesh, thy weaker part, 138may insinuate much sin into thine actions, even when thy spirit is at strongest, 139and thou in thy best confidence. Onely thus these two cases may differ; Rachel 140was able to cover those stollen Idols from her Fathers finding, with that excuse, Editor’s Note141The custome of Women is come upon me; But thou shalt not be able to cover thy 142stollen sins, with saying, The infirmity of man is come upon me, I do but as 143other men do; Though thou have that degree towards sanctification, that thou 144sin not out of presumption, but out of infirmity, though thou mayest in a 145modified sense fall within Davids word, Omnis sanctus, A holy man, yet every 146holy and godly man must pray, that even those infirmities may be removed Apoc. 22. 11.Editor’s Note147too. Qui sanctificatur, sanctificetur adhuc: He that is holy, let him be holy still; Editor’s Note148not onely so holy still, but still more and more holy. For, beloved, As in the Editor’s Note149firmament, of those stars which are reduced into Constellations, and into a 150certainty of shapes, of figures, and images, we observe some to be of one 151greatnesse, some of another, wee observe divers magnitudes in all them, but to 152all those other Stars, which are not reduced into those formes, and figures, we 153allow no magnitude at all, no proportion at all, no name, no consideration: 154So for those blessed soules which are collected into their eternall dwelling in Editor’s Note155Heaven, which have their immoveable possession, position at the right hand Editor’s Note156of God, as one Star differs from another in glory, so do these Saints which are 157in Heaven; But whilst men are upon this earth, though they be stars, (Saints 158of God) though they be in the firmament, established in the true Church of 159God, yet they have no magnitude, no proportion, no certainty, no holinesse 160in themselves, nor in any thing formerly done by God in their behalfe, and 161declared to us; but their present degrees of godlinesse give them but that 162qualification, that they may pray acceptably for more; He must be so godly 163before he pray, and his prayer must be for more godlinesse; and all directed to 164the right object of prayer, To God, Vnto Thee shall every one that is godly pray, 165which is our next, the second of our foure Considerations in this first part.
Ad Te.Editor’s Note166Ad Te, To God, because he can heare; And then Ad te, to God, because he can 167give. Certainely it were a strange distemper, a strange singularity, a strange Editor’s Note168circularity, in a man that dwelt at Windsor, to fetch all his water at London 169Bridge: So is it in him, that lives in Gods presence, (as he does, that lives 170religiously in his Church) to goe for [3E5r]| all his necessities, by Invocation to Saints. pg 57171David was willing to bee our example for Prayer, but he gives no example of 172scattering our prayers upon any other then God. Christ Jesus was willing to Editor’s Note173give us a Rule for Prayer: but if hee had intended that his Rule should have 174beene deflected and declined to Saints, he would have taught us to say, Frater 175noster qui es in Cælis, and not only Pater noster; to pray to our Brethren which Editor’s Note176are there too, and not onely to our Father which is in Heaven. If any man have 177tasted at Court, what it is to be ever welcome to the King himselfe, and what it 178is to speake to another to speake for him, he will blesse that happinesse, of 179having an immediate accesse to God himselfe in his prayers. They that come 180so low downe the streame, as wee said before, to London Bridge, they will go Editor’s Note181lower, and lower, to Gravesend too; They that come to Saints, they will come to Editor’s Note182the Images, and Reliques of Saints too; They come to a brackish water, betweene 183salt and fresh, and they come at last, to be swallowed up in that sea which hath 184no limit, no bottome, that is, to direct all their devotions to such Saints, as have 185no certainty, not onely not in their ability, we know not what those Saints can 186doe, but not in their history, we know not that such as they pray to, are Saints; Editor’s Note187nay, we know not whether they ever were at all. So that this may be Idolatry, in Editor’s Note188the strictest sense of the word, Idol; Idolum nihil est; let that be true, which 189they say, and in their sense, Our Images are not Idols, for an Idol is nothing, 190represents nothing, but our Images are the Images of Men that once were upon 191the earth. But that is not throughout true; for they worship Images of those Editor’s Note192who never were; Christophers, and other symbolicall, and emblematicall Saints, 193which never lived here, but were, and are yet nothing. But let them be true 194Saints, how will they make it appeare to us, that those Saints can heare us? 195What surety can we have of it? Let us rather pray to him, who we are sure can 196heare, that is first, and then sure he can give that we pray for, that is next.
Editor’s Note197The prayer here, is forgivenesse of sins; And can Saints give that? TheQui dant. Editor’s Note198Hosannaes, and the Allelujahs, and the Gloria in Excelsis, Glory in heaven, peace 199upon earth, good will amongst men, these are good and cheerfull Notes, in which Editor’s Note200the Quire of heaven are exercised; Cherubims and Seraphims, Prophets and 201Apostles, Saints and Angels, blesse God and benefit men by these: But the Editor’s Note202Remittuntur peccata, Thy sinnes are forgiven thee, is too high a note for any Editor’s Note203creature in earth or heaven, to reach to, except where it is set by Gods own 204hand, as it is by his Commission to his Minister, in his Church, and there onely, 205in the absolution given by his Ordinance to every penitent sinner. We see that 206phrase, Dimittuntur peccata, Thy sinnes are forgiven thee, was a suspicious word, 207even in the mouth of Christ himselfe, amongst the Scribes that would not Editor’s Note208beleeve his Divinity; when Christ said to him that had the Palsie, My sonne be Editor’s Note209of good cheare, thy sinnes are forgiven thee; the Scribes cryed out, he blasphemed: 210It strikes any man, to heare of forgivenesse of sins, from any but God. It was not Editor’s Note211a harder thing to say, Fiat lux, then to say, Dimittuntur peccata: Not harder to Editor’s Note212bring light out of darknesse by Creation, then to bring a cleane thing out ofIob 14. 213uncleannesse by Conversion; for, who can doe that? And therefore when the 214King of Aram sent Naaman to the King of Israel, to take order for the curing of Editor’s Note215his bodily Leprosie, the King of Israel rent his Clothes, and said, Am I a God,2 King. 5. 7. 216to kill and to give life? The power even of temporall life and death, is proper pg 58Editor’s Note217to God; for, as Witches thinke sometimes that they kill, when they doe not, 218and are therefore as culpable, as if they did; So a tyrannous persecutor, so a Editor’s Note219passionate Judge, so a perjured witnesse, so a revengefull quarreller, thinks he 220takes away the life of his enemy, and is guilty of that murder in the eye of God, 221though the blow be truly from God, whose judgements are ever just, though 222not ever declared. Let them never say, that they aske not these things, temporall 223or spirituall, at the hands of those Saints; for, expresly, literally, as the words 224stand, and sound, they do aske even those very things; and if the Church have 225any other meaning in those prayers, the mischiefe is, that they never teach the Editor’s Note226people, by Preaching, what that their reserved meaning is, but leave them to 227the very letter of the prayer, to aske those things, which, if they could heare, 228yet the Saints could not give. And when the prayer is made aright, directed to 229God himselfe, yet here in our Text it is limited, Propter hoc, For this, this that 230was spoken of before, every one that is godly shall pray unto thee. Now what is 231this This? for that is our third Consideration.
Propter hoc.Editor’s Note232Si à quo petenda, sed non quæ petenda petis, If thou come to the right Market, August.233but buy unwholesome hearbs there, If thou come to the Apothecaries shop, 234and aske for nothing but poysons, If thou come to God in thy prayer, and aske 235onely temporall blessings, [3E5v]| which are blessings onely in their use, and may be, 236and are ordinarily snares and encumbrances, then is this direction of Davids, 237Propter hoc, for this shall he pray, transgressed. For, This, as appeares in the 238words immediately before the Text, is, The forgivenesse of the punishment, and of 239the iniquity of our sinne; which is so inexpressible a comfort, to that soule that 240hath wrastled with the indignation of God, and is now refreshed and released, 241as whosoever should goe about to describe it, should diminish it; He hath it not 242that thinks he can utter it. It is a blessed comfort to find my soule in that state, 243as when I last received the Sacrament with a good conscience: If I enjoy that 244peace now, that is, the peace of a religious, and of a wise conscience; for there is 245a wisedome of the conscience, not to run into infinite scruples and doubts, but Editor’s Note246Imponere finem litibus, to levy a fine in bar of all scruples, and diffidences, and 247to rest in the peace and assurednesse of remission of sinnes, after due means 248for the obtaining thereof; and therefore if I be as well now, as when I received, 249this is a blessed degree of blessednesse. But yet there is one cloud in this case, Editor’s Note250Ab occultis, my secret sins, which even mine own narrowest inquisition extends 251not to. If I consider my selfe to be as well as I was at my Baptisme, when 252I brought no actuall sin, and had the hand of Christ to wash away the foulnesse 253of Originall sin, can I pray for a better state then that? Even in that there Editor’s Note254was a cloud too, and a cloud that hath thunder and lightning in it, that Fomes 255peccati, that fuell and those embers of sin, that are but raked up, and not trod Editor’s Note256out, and doe breake forth upon every tentation that is presented, and if they 257be not effectually opposed, shall aggravate my condemnation, more then if 258I had never been baptized. But David conceives such a forgivenesse here, as 259carries up the soule to the contemplation of that state, which it had before the 260fall of Adam. It is not this present sin of a cold delivering, and a drowsie hearing 261of the messages of God; It is not my yesterdayes sin, nor my sins since my last Editor’s Note262repentance, that are forgiven me, but my sin committed six thousand yeares pg 59263before I was borne, my sin in Adam, before any promise, nay, before any 264apprehension of any need of a Messias; I am so restored, that now by the 265application of the merits of my Redeemer, I am as well as I should have been, 266though there had never been any use of a Redeemer, no occasion given by me 267in Adam, of the incarnation and passion of Christ Jesus. The comfort of being Editor’s Note268presented to God as innocent as Adam, then when God breathed a soule into Editor’s Note269him, yea as innocent as Christ Jesus himselfe, when he breathed out his soule 270to God; oh how blessed is that soule that enjoyes it, and how bold that tongue 271that goes about to expresse it! This is the blessednesse which the godly Editor’s Note272attaine to by prayer, but not by every sudden Lord, Lord, or every occasionall 273holy interjection, but by serious prayer, invested, as with the former, so with 274that other circumstance that remains, In tempore opportuno, In a time when thou 275mayest be found.
Editor’s Note276This time is not those Horæ stativæ Horæ canonicæ, those fixed houres inIn tempore. 277the Romane Church, where men are bound to certaine prayers at certaine 278houres. Not that it is inconvenient for men to binde themselves to certaine 279fixed times of prayer in their private Exercises; and though not by such a vow, 280as that it shall be an impiety, yet by so solemne a purpose, as that it shall be a Editor’s Note281levity to breake it. I have known the greatest Christian Prince, (in Style and 282Title) even at the Audience of an Ambassador, at the sound of a Bell, kneele 283downe in our presence and pray; and God forbid, he should be blamed for 284doing so; But to place a merit in observing those times, as they doe, is not a 285right understanding of this time of finding. Nor is it those transitory and Editor’s Note286interlocutory prayers, which out of custome and fashion we make, and still Editor’s Note287proceed in our sin; when we pretend to speake to God, but like Comedians Editor’s Note288upon a stage, turne over our shoulder, and whisper to the Devill. When youEsay 1. 15. 289stretch out your hands, I will hide mine eyes; when you make many prayers, I will 290not heare; for your hands are full of blood. And if they be full of blood, they 291can take in no more; If they be full of the blood of oppression, they can lay no Editor’s Note292hold upon the blood of propitiation. Irrisor est, non pœnitens, qui adhuc agit quodIsidor. 293pœnitet, He mocks God, that repents and sins over those sins every night, that Editor’s Note294every day he repents. The Apostle sayes so too, Hee makes a mock of the Sonne Editor’s Note295of God, and crucifies him againe. This onely is true Repentance, Plangere &Ambro. 296plangenda non committere, To bewayle our sins, and forbeare the sins we have 297bewayled. Neither alone will serve; which deludes many. Many thinke they doe 298enough if they repent, and yet proceed in their sin; and many thinke they doe 299enough, if they forbeare their sin now, though they never repent that which is Editor’s Note300past; both are illusory, both deceitfull distempers. Lacessit Iudicem, qui post-August. 301[3E6r]| posita satisfactione quærit præmiis honorari, He doth but provoke and exasperate 302the Judge, that solicites him for heaven, before he hath appeased his anger by Editor’s Note303repentance for former sins; for this is to call for costs before he be discharged.
304These then are not the times of finding God; but what are? Generally it isGospel. Editor’s Note305Manifestatio Euangelii, The time of the Gospel is the time of finding God; nowAugust. Editor’s Note306when God hath vouchsafed Induere hominem, to put on us in his Incarnation, Editor’s Note307and enabled us Induere Deum, to put on him in the Sacraments; to stay with us 308here upon Earth, and to carry us up with him in his Ascension to Heaven; when pg 60Editor’s Note309he is made one body with us, and hath made us one Spirit with him, how can 310we doubt of a fit time to finde him? Christs time was alwayes; for even under the Esay 49. 8.Editor’s Note311law, God sayes, I have heard thee in an accepted time, and in the day of Salvation 312have I succoured thee; But this doth the Holy Ghost apply to the time of the 2 Cor. 6. 2.Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus313Gospel, Behold now the accepted time, behold now the day of salvation.
Calamitie314The time then of the Gospel is the time of finding; But now, all times are not Psal. 116. 4.Editor’s Note315alike. Calamities are a good time. When I found trouble, and sorrow, then I called 316upon the name of the Lord, saying, I beseech thee O Lord, deliver my soule. This 317is a good time, but it is somewhat a darke time; the withdrawing of Gods Exod. 14. 25.Editor’s Note318countenance from us; The Egyptians when they deprehended their danger, Editor’s Note319said, We will fly from the face of Israel; But whither? The Sea returned, and the 320Egyptians fled against it, and perished. We may be benighted, benummed by 321calamities, and they may as well deject us as raise us. Ioab pursued Abner hotly, 2 Sam. 2. 25.Editor’s Note322vehemently; Abner asks, What, Vsque ad internecionem, Shall the sword devoure Editor’s Note323for ever? Ioab answered, (as the Vulgat reads those words) Vivit dominus, si 324locutus fuisses mane, As the Lord liveth, if thou hadst spoken in the morning, in the 325morning every man had departed. If we turne to the Lord in the morning, in 326the beginning of an affliction, the Lord turnes his fierce wrath from us; but 327if we stand out long, and bend not under his corrections, he pursues Ad 328internecionem, even to destruction by obduration.
Prosperitas.Editor’s Note329So then the manifestation of the Gospel, that is, the helpes which God 330offers us, more then Jews, or Gentils, in the Ministery of the Gospel, and the Editor’s Note331Ordinances of his Church, is the time of finding God; And woe unto us, if 332we seeke him not whilest he affords us these helpes; And then the time of Editor’s Note333affliction, when God threatens to hide his face, but hath not yet hidden it, 334but awakens us by a calamity, is a time of finding God. But the best and the 335clearest time is in the Sun-shine, then when he appeares to us in the warme 336and chearefull splendor of temporall blessings upon us; Then when thou hast a 337good estate, and good children to let it descend upon; Then when thou hast 338good health, and a good profession to exercise thy strength, and thy labors in; Editor’s Note339Then when the dishes upon thy table are doubled, and thy cup overflows, and 340the hungry and thirsty soules of the poore doe not onely feed upon the crums Editor’s Note341under thy table, and lick up the overflowings of thy cup, but divide dishes with Editor’s Note342thee, and enter into the midst of thy Bolls; Then when thou hast temporall 343blessings, (that is Gods silver) and his grace to use those blessings well, (that is 344Gods gold) then is the best time of finding the Lord, for then he looks upon 345thee in the Sun-shine, and then thy thankfull acknowledgement of former 346blessings is the most effectuall prayer thou canst make, for the continuance, and 347enlargement of them.
Nunc.Editor’s Note348In a word, then is a fit time of finding God, whensoever thy conscience Editor’s Note349tells thee he calls to thee; for, a rectified conscience is the word of God; If that 350speake to thee now this minute, now is thy time of finding God. That Now, that 351I named then, that minute is past; but God affords thee another Now; he speaks pg 61352againe, he speaks still, and if thy conscience tell thee that he speaks to thee, now 353is that time. This word of God, thy conscience will present unto thee, but that Editor’s Note354one condition, which Moses presented to Gods people, and that is, That thouDeut. 4. 29. Editor’s Note355seeke the Lord with all thy heart, and all thy soule. It is a kinde of denying the 356Infinitenesse of God, to serve him by pieces, and ragges; God is not Infinite to 357me, if I thinke a discontinued service will serve him. It is a kinde of denying 358the Unity of God, to joyne other gods, Pleasure, or Profit with him; He is not Editor’s Note359One God to me, if I joyne other Associates, and Assistants to him, Saints or Editor’s Note360Angels. It is a kinde of diffidence in Christ, as though I were not sure that he 361would stand in the favour of God still, as though I were afraid that there might 362rise a new favorite in heaven, to whom it might concerne me to apply my Editor’s Note363selfe, if I make the balance so eaven, as to serve God and Mammon; if I make a Editor’s Note364complementall visit of God at his house upon Sunday, [3E6v]| and then plot with Editor’s Note365the other faction, the World, the Flesh, and the Devill, all the weeke after. The 366Lord promised a power of seeking, and an infallibility of finding; but still with Editor’s Note367this totall condition, Ye shall seeke mee, and ye shall finde me, because ye shall seekJer. 29. 13. 368mee with all your heart. This he promised for the future, that he would doe; This Editor’s Note369he testified for the house of Iudah, that he had done, Iudah sought him with a2 Chro. 15. 15. 370whole desire, and he was found of them, and the Lord gave them rest round about: 371And the Lord shall give you rest round about; rest in your bodies, and rest in 372your estates; rest in your good name with others, and rest in your consciences 373in your selves; rest in your getting, and rest in your injoying that you have 374got, if you seeke him with a whole heart; and to seek him with a whole heart, is 375not by honest industry to seeke nothing else, (for God weares good cloathes, Editor’s Note376silk, and soft raiment, in his religious servants in Courts, as well as Cammels 377haire, in Iohn Baptist in the Wildernesse; and God manifests himselfe to man, 378as well in the splendor of Princes in Courts, as in the austerity of Iohn Baptist Critical Apparatus379in the Wildernesse) but to seeke God with the whole heart, is to seeke nothing Editor’s Note380with that Primary, and Radicall, and Fundamentall affection, as God; To seek 381nothing for it selfe, but God: not to seeke worldly things in excesse, because 382I hope, if I had them, I should glorifie God in them; but first to finde established 383in my selfe a zealous desire to glorifie God, and then a modest desire of meanes 384to be able to doe it. And for this, every one that is holy shall pray unto thee, in a 385time when thou maist be found.
386And so we have done with our first Part, and the foure pieces that constitute Editor’s Note387that, The Person, Omnis sanctus, Every godly man; that is, Sanctificatus, and Editor’s Note388Sanctificandus, Hee that is godly enough to pray, and prayes that he may be 389more godly: And the Object of prayer, Ad te, God alone, for God alone can 390heare, and God alone can give; And then the Subject of prayer, Hoc, This, this 391which David expresses, forgivenesse of the punishment, and of the iniquity Editor’s Note392of sin, In which respect, (that David proposes and specificates the subject of 393prayer) wee are fairely directed rather to accustome our selves to those prayers, 394which are recommended to us by the Church, then to extemporall prayers of pg 62Editor’s Note395others, or of our owne effusion; And lastly, the Time of finding God, that is, Editor’s Note396Then when we seeke him with a whole heart, seeke him as Principall, and then 397receive temporall things, as accessory, and conducible to his glory. Thus much 398hath fallen into the first Part, the duty of Prayer; A little remaines to be said of 399the benefit here assured, Surely, in the floods of great waters they shall not come 400nigh unto him.
2. Part.Editor’s Note401Taking these waters, either Distributively, to every one that is godly, or Hier.402Collectively, as S. Hierome does to the whole Church, the use will be all one. Editor’s Note403The Holy Ghost who is a direct worker upon the soule and conscience of Aquæ.Editor’s Note404man, but a Metaphoricall, and Figurative expresser of himselfe, to the reason, 405and understanding of man, abounds in no Metophor more, then in calling Ezek. 26. 3.Editor’s Note406Tribulations, Waters: particularly, He would bring in waters upon Tyrus, And, Hosea 5.Editor’s Note407He would poure out his wrath upon his enemies, like waters. Neither doth he onely 408intimate temporall, but spirituall afflictions too, in the name of Waters. And Hieron.409as S. Hierome understands the whole place of the Church, collectively, so August.Editor’s Note410S. Augustine understands these waters, to be Variæ Doctrinæ, those diverse Editor’s Note411opinions, that disquiet and trouble the Church. And though the Church of 412God were built upon a hill, and compassed, and environed, and fenced with 413the blood of him that built it, and defended and guarded by the vigilancy 414of the Apostles; yet into this Jerusalem did these waters breake, even in the 415Apostles time, as we see by those severall, those manifold, those contradictory 416Heresies, that sprung up then. Christ and his Apostles had carried two Waters August.Editor’s Note417about his Church: The water of Baptisme, that is Limen Ecclesiæ, and Ianua 418Sacramentorum, The first Ferry, by which we passe into the Church; and by this Editor’s Note419Water came three thousand, and five thousand at once to the Church, upon 420particular Sermons of S. Peter. And then Christ gave another Water, by which, 421they came to another Ablution, to Absolution from actuall sins, the water of Ezek. 36. 25.Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus422contrite teares, and repentance, which he had promised before, I will poure Editor’s Note423cleane water upon you, and you shall be cleane, And by this water came Peter Editor’s Note424himselfe, when his faith had failed, And by this water came Mary Magdalen, 425when her life had been defiled. But yet for all these Waters, other Waters soaked Editor’s Note426in, and corrupted them earely; for, for Baptisme, the Disciples of Simon Magus 427annulled Christs Baptisme, and baptized in Simons name; and his Disciple 428Menander annulled the Baptisme of Christ, and Simon, and baptized in his owne Editor’s Note429name. And then, for the other Water, Repentance, the Heretiques drained up 430that [3F1r]| shrewdly, when they took away all benefit of repentance for sins committed 431after Baptisme. David denies not, nay David assures us, that collectively, the 432whole Church shall be beaten upon with waters.
1 Preached . . . Psalmes.] ed.; Serm. LIX. ~ F80
55 [marg.] Iam. 5. 17.] ed.; Iam. 5.27. F80
79 [marg.] Psal. 51. 12.] ed., PS; Psal. 51.2. F80
110–111 concerning . . . feare.] Concerning . . . feare: PS
313 [marg.] 2 Cor. 6. 2.] ed.; 2 Cor. 2.6. F80
Multæ.Editor’s Note433Waters multiplied; Aquæ multæ, Many waters; so the vulgat reades this, that Editor’s Note434wee Translate here, Great waters. So multiplied Heresies. The excellency of the Editor’s Note435Christian Religion is, that it is Verbum abbreviatum, A contracted Religion; All Editor’s Note436the Credenda, all that is to be beleeved, reduced to twelve Articles of the Creed; Editor’s Note437All the Speranda, all that is to be hoped for, prayed for, expressed in seaven pg 63438Petitions, in the Lords Prayer; All the Agenda, all that is to be done in it, 439comprised in ten Commandements, in the Decalogue. And then our blessed Editor’s Note440Saviour, though he would take away none of the burden, (for it is an easie yoke, Editor’s Note441and a light burden) yet he was pleased to binde it in a lesse roome, and a more 442portable forme, when he re-abridged that Abridgement, and recontracts this 443contracted Doctrine, in those two, Love God, and Love thy Neighbour. And then 444the Devill hath opposed this Abridgement by Multiplication, by many waters, 445many heresies: for, it is easie to observe, that in every Article of the Creed, there 446have been at least a dozen Heresies. And in those Articles, which were most 447credible, most evident, most sensible, most of all; Many more Heresies upon 448the Humanity of Christ, then about his Divinity: And then, as in matters of 449Faith, so for matter of Manners, there was scarce any thing so foule and so 450obscene, which was not taught by some Heretiques, to be religious and Editor’s Note451necessary; Things which cannot be excused, things which may not be named, 452made by the Gnostiques, essentiall and necessary in the Consecration of the 453Sacrament. And then, when these waters of death were in a good part dryed up, 454these grosse errors in Faith and Manners were reasonably well overcome, Editor’s Note455Then came in those waters of Traditionall Doctrines in the Romane Church, 456which are so many, as that they overflow even the water of life, the Scriptures 457themselves, and suppresse, and surround them.
458Therefore does David, in this text, call these many waters, Diluvium, A floodDiluvium. Editor’s Note459of great waters; many and violent. For this word Shatach, Inundans, signifies 460Vehemence, Eagernesse, and is elegantly applied to the fiercenesse of a horse Editor’s Note461in Battel, Equus inundans in Bellum, A horse that overflowes the Battell, thatJer. 8. 6. Editor’s Note462rushes into the Battell. Therefore speaks the Prophet of waters full of blood;Esay 15. 9. Editor’s Note463What Seas of blood did the old Persecutions, what Seas have later times poured 464out, when in the Romane Church, their owne Authors will boast of sixty 465thousand slaine in a day, of them that attempted a Reformation in the times 466of the Waldenses!
467Surely, sayes our Prophet, These waters shall be, Heresies there shall be.Omnis sanctus. 468And no man may look for such a Church, as shall have no water; Evermore Editor’s Note469there will be some things raw, and unconcocted in every Church; Evermore 470some waters of trouble and dissention, and a man is not to forsake a Church, in 471which he hath received his Baptisme for that. But waiving this generall, and 472collective application of these waters to the Church, and to take it as the letter 473of the Text invites us, Omnis sanctus, surely every godly man shall finde these 474waters, many waters, floods of many waters; for affliction is our daily bread; for, 475we cannot live in this world a spirituall life, without some kinde of affliction: 476for, as with long fasting we lose our stomachs, so by being long unexercised in 477tribulation, we come to lose our patience, and to a murmuring when it falls Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus478upon us. For that last Petition of the Lords Prayer, Libera nos à malo, Deliver us Editor’s Note479from evill, may as some interpret it, suppose that this Evill, that is Malum pœnæ, 480Affliction, will certainly fall upon us; and then we doe not so much pray to be pg 64481delivered from it, as to be delivered in it, not that afflictions may not come, but 482that they may not overcome, when they come, that they may not be ineffectuall Editor’s Note483upon us. For, it was Durus sermo, A harder and an angryer speech then it seemes, Esay 1. 4.Editor’s Note484when God said to his people, Why should yee bee smitten any more? Why should 485I keep you at Schoole any longer? Why should I prepare Physick, or study 486your recovery by corrections any farther? When God was wearied with their 487afflictions, and they were not, this was a heavy case; He afflicted them forty Editor’s Note488yeares together in the Wildernesse, and yet he saies, Forty yeares long was I 489grieved with this generation: He never saies, They were grieved, but he was with Editor’s Note490their stupidity; They murmured, but they sorrowed not to any amendment. 491So they perverted this word, Non approximabunt, They shall not come nigh thee, 492they shall not affect thee; That they must doe; we must be sensible of Gods 493corrections; but yet there is a good 3F1v| sense, and a plentifull comfort, in this word 494of our Text. To the godly man, non approximabunt, the floods of great waters, 495though waters, though floods, though great floods, they shall not come nigh him; 496and that is our last word, and finall conclusion.
Non aproximabunt.Editor’s Note497Consider the Church of God collectively, and the Saints of God distributively, Editor’s Note498in which Babylon you will, in the Chaldean Babylon, or in the Italian Babylon, 499and these waters doe come nigh us, touch, and touch to the quicke, to the heart. 500But yet as David intends here, they touch not us, they come not nigh us; for 2 Cor. 4. 7.501wee have treasures in earthen vessels; They may touch the vessell, but not the Editor’s Note502Treasure. And this is literally expressed in the Text it selfe, non approximabunt 503eum; not that they shall not come neare his house, or his lands, or his children, Editor’s Note504or his friends, or his body, but non eum, they shall not come nigh him. For, for 505the Church, the peace of the Church, the plenty of the Church, the ceremonies 506of the Church, they are sua, but not illa, they are hers, but they are not she. And 507these things, riches & ceremonies, they may be washed off with one tide, and 508cast on with another, discontinued in one Age, and re-assumed in another, Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus509devested in one Church, and invested in another, and yet the Churches, she in Critical Apparatus510her fundamentall Doctrines never touched. And so for us, a wave may wash 511away as much as Iob lost, and yet not come nigh us; for if a Heathen could Editor’s Note512say, Vix ea nostra voco, That outward things were scarce worthy to bee called 513Ours, shall a Christian call them not onely His, but Himselfe, so as if they be Editor’s Note514lost, he is lost? How long will a Medall, a piece of Coine lie in the water, before 515the stampe be washed off? and yet how soone is the Image of God, of his Editor’s Note516patience, his longanimity defaced in us by every billow, every affliction? But for 517the Saints of God it shall not be so; Surely it shall not. They shall stand against Psal. 114. 3.Editor’s Note518the waters, And the Sea shall see it, and fly, and Iordan shall be turned backe: And Editor’s Note519the world shall say, What ayled thee O Sea, that thou fleddest, O Iordan that thou 520turnedst back? For they that know not the power of the Almighty, though they 521envy, yet shall wonder, and stand amazed at the deliverance of the righteous. Rev. 3. 20.Editor’s Note522Sto, & pulso, sayes God of himselfe, I stand at the doore and knocke; God will 523not breake open doores to give thee a blessing, as well as he loves thee, and pg 65524as well as he loves it, but will have thee open to him: much more will he keepe 525Tentations at the doore; They shall not breake in upon thee, except thou open. Editor’s Note526This then was that, which David elsewhere apprehended with feare, ThePsal. 18. 5. 527sorrowes of the grave compassed me about, and the snares of death overtooke mee; 528Here they were neare him, but no worse. This is that that hee prayes deliverance Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus529from, Let not the water flood drowne mee, neither let the deepe swallow me up. AndPsal. 69. 15. Editor’s Note530this is that God assures us all that are his, When thou passest through the waters,Esay 43. 2. 531I will bee with thee, and through the floods that they doe not overflow thee. Maintaine 532therefore a holy patience in all Gods visitations: Accept your waters, though 533they come in teares; for hee that sends them, Christ Jesus, had his flood, his 534inundation in Blood; and whatsoever thou sufferest from him, thou sufferest Editor’s Note535for him, and glorifiest him in that constancy. Upon those words, Tres sunt, 536There are three that beare witnesse, The Spirit, and water, and blood, S. BernardBernard. 537taking water there, (by way of allusion) for affliction, saith, Though the Spirit Editor’s Note538were witnesse enough, without water, or blood, yet Vix aut nunquam inveniri 539arbitror Spiritum sine aqua, & sanguine, we lack one of the seales of the Spirit, 540if we lack Gods corrections. We consider three waters in our blessed Saviour; Editor’s Note541He wept over Jerusalem; Doe thou so over thy sinfull soule. Hee sweat in the Editor’s Note542garden; Doe thou so too, in eating thy bread in the sweat of thy browes, in Editor’s Note543labouring sincerely in thy Calling. And then hee sent water and blood out Editor’s Note544of his side, being dead, which was fons utriusque Sacramenti, the spring-head ofAugust. 545both Sacraments; Doe thou also refresh in thy soule, the dignity which thou 546receivedst in the first Sacrament of Baptisme, and thereby come worthily to 547the participation of the second, and therein the holy Ghost shall give thee, the 548seale of that security, which he tenders to thee in this Text, Non approximabunt, 549How great water floods soever come, they shall not come nigh thee, not nigh that, 550which is Thou, that is, thy faith, thy soule, and though it may swallow that, 551by which thou art a man, thy life, it shall not shake that, by which thou art a 552Christian, thy Religion. Amen.