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tion, to be advanced to the blessed participation of the divine nature; and, thereby, to be more above thyseif, than the beast is below thee. Fight with thyself, till thou hast beaten away the beast; and wrestle with God, till his blessing have sent the angel away with thee.
4. But, from the Common view of these beasts, may it please you to cast down your eyes to the SPECIALS.
There are beasts of Game; there are beasts of Service: neither of these are for this place. They are Harmful beasts, with wnich this fight is maintained; and yet not every harmful beast neither.
Ye know the philosopher, when he was asked which was the harmfullest of all beasts, answered, “Of tame, the Flatterer; of wild, the Detractor."
We have nothing to do with the Former; and never may that pestilent beast have ought to do with this Presence. Those serpents, that sueil up the soul with a plausible poison, that kill a man laughing and sleeping; those dogs, that worry their masters; those vultures, that feed on the eyes, on the hearts of the great: Hell is a fitter place for them, than Christian Courts.
The Detractor is a spiteful beast: his teeth are spears and arrow's; his tongue, a sharp szoru; Psalm lvii. 4: it was a great vaunt, that the witty captain made of his sword, that it was sharper than slander. And, which is most dangerous, this beast is a close 0:2, mordet in silentio, bites zeit hout noise"; Eccl. x. 11. He carries the poison of asps under his tongue, as David speaks; and in linguá diabolum, as Bernard. Deliver my soul, O God, froin lying lips, and from a decei fill tongue.
St. Paul was vexed with two kinds of them: 1. The Sophisters; 2. The Idolaters: 1. The wrangling adversaries of the Gospel; 2. The superstitious abettors of Diana; Acts six. Both of them had fænum in cornu.
The first, after three months' confutation, not only remained refractory, but blasphemous, aumonOY CŨNTES, railing on Christianity; and that openly, before the multitude. What beasts were these every way! Beasts, in that they would not be convinced by the clear and irrefragabie demonstrations of truth; by the undeniable miracles of the apostles: in that, as they had no reason, so they would hear none. Beasts, in that they bellowed out blasphemies against the Sacred Name of Christ. In analogy whereto, let me safely and not uncharitably say, that whosoever he is, that wilfully stands out against a plain evidence of truth, and sharpens his tongue against the way of God, is no other than a beast. There is a faction of men, (705PE Douévw (Tit. j. 14.) that do not only turn their backs upon that bright-shining truth, whose clear beams have, these hundred years, glared upon their faces; but also spend their clamorous mouths, in barking against this glorious light. What marts of invectives, what Bulls of censure, what thunderbolts of anathemas, do we still receive from these spiteful enemies of peace! What doth this argue, but the litter of the Beast? Rev. xiii.
The latter were the superstitious Demetrians, the doating Idola
ters of Diana: beasts indeed; as for their Sottishness, so for their Violence and Impetuosity.
Their Sottishness is notable, even in their ring-leader Demetrius. Do you hear his exception against St. Paul? verse 26. No other than this; “ He says, that they are not gods, that are made with hands.” Did ever any Ephesian beast bray out such another challenge? Is it possible, that human reason should be so brutified, as to think a man may make his own god; as to seek a deity in lifeless metals; as to bow his knees to what had fallen from his fingers ? () Idolatry, the true sorceress of the world, what beasts do thine enchantments make of men! Even the fine Athenian (not the gross Theban) wits were fain to be taught, that the Godhead is not like to gold, or silver, or stone. And would to God the modern superstition were less foppish! Hear this, ye Seduced Souls, that are taught to worship a pastry-god. Ergo adeo stolidi opifices ab se fabrefieri Deos credunt? saith our Jesuit Lorinus of these Ephesians; “ These so foolish workmen think they can make their gods." And why not of gold, as well as of grain? why not the smith, as well as the baker? Change but the name, the absurdity is but one. To hold, that a man can make his own fingers, or that those fingers can make that wheat whereof the wafer is made, were a strange folly: but, that a man can make the God that made him, and eat the god that he hath made, is such a monster of paradoxes, as puts down all the fancies of Paganism; and were enough to make a wavering soul say with Averroes, Sit anima mea cum Philosophis. I remember their learned Montanus, upon Luke xxii. 19, construes that Hoc est corpus meum, thus, Verum corpus meum in hoc Sacramento panis continetur sacramentaliter, et etiam corpus meum mystiсит;
“My true body is sacramentally contained in this Sacrament of bread, as also my body mystical:" and, witbal, as willing to say something if he durst speak out, adds, cujus arcanam et mysteriis refertissimam rationem, ut explicatiorem habeant homines Christiani, dabit aliquando Dominus ; “whose secret and most deeply-mysti- cal meaning, God will one day more clearly unfold to his Christian people.” Now the God of Heaven make good this honest prophecy; and open the eyes of poor mis-led souls, that they may see to distinguish, betwixt a slight corruptible wafer, and an incomprehensible immortal God. And if from this spronatgeíu, “ bread-worship," I should lead you to their saygonátreia, “ cross-worship,” and from thence to their εικονολατρεία, , image-worship,” you would find reason enough why that Man of Sin, the author of these superstitions, should be called the Beast.
The Violence, and Impetuosity, of these Ephesians was answerable: for here was ta'gux@ Trouble, verse 23; then ouscamin Concourse, verse 40; then cúi xuris Confusion, and that in the whole city, verse 29; and, more than that, oguzi a furious rushing into the theatre; and then ouveztrávua a boisterous snatching of those that were conceived opposites, besides all their shouting, and outeries, and
savage uproar. What should I need to tell you, that this furious prosecution is no other than an ordinary symptom of idolatry? And, to make it good, what should I need to lay before your eyes all those turbulent effects, that in our days have followed malicious superstition; those instigations of public invasions; those conspiracies against maligned sovereignty; those suffossions of walls; those powder-trains; those shameless libels; those patrocinations of treasons: and, to make up all, those late Bulls, that bellow out prohibitions of justly-sworn allegiance; those bold absolutions from sacred oaths (ότε βωμός, έτε πίςις, έτε όρκο, as he said of the Lacedemonians)? In all these, we too well feel, that we have to do with the Beast; with St. John's Beast, no whit short of St. Paul's. God knows how little pleasure I take in displaying the enormities of our fellow-Christians. Although, to say as it is, not the Church, but the Faction, is it, that by their practice thus merits the title of savageness. Of that Faction, let me say with sorrow of heart, that their wilful opposition to truth, their uncharitable and bloody courses, their palpable idolatry hath poured shame and dishonour, and
hath brought infinite loss and disadvantage to the blessed Name of Christ.
5. And now ye see by this time, that, in the generality, natural and vicious men are no other than beasts; that, specially, all contentious adversaries to the truth and impetuous idolaters are beasts of St. Paul's theatre. Wherefore then serves all this, but to stir us up to a threefold use; of holy Thankfulness, of Pity, of Indignation?
The two first are those duo ubera Sponse, “the two breasts of Christ's Spouse," as Bernard calls them, Congratulation and Compassion.
(1) The former, of Thankfulness to our good God, that hath delivered us; as from the wretchedness of our corrupt nature, so from blind and gross mis-devotion, yea from the tyranny of superstition. Alas! what are we better, what other, than our neighbours; that our Goshen should be shined upon, while their Egypt is covered with darkness? What are we, that we should be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and be created according to the image of God; while they continue in the woeful deformation of their bestial corruptions ? that our understanding should be enlightened with the beams of diyine truth; whereas those poor souls are left in the natural dungeon of their ignorance, or groveling to base earthly unreasonable traditions? ( God of Mercies, had it pleased thee to give them our illumination and attraction, and to have left us in their miserable darkness and indocility, we had been as they are, and they perhaps had been as we should be. Non nobis, Domine; Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but to thy name let the praise be given, of this thy gracious sequestration; and thou, that only hast done it, take to thyself the glory and improvement of thine own work.
(2) Of Pity and yearning of bowels: whether to those careless unregenerates, that cannot so much as complain of their too-pleasing corruptions, but applaud themselves in the free scope of their own brutish sensuality, as if they had made a covenant with death, an agreement with hell; or, whether to our poor seduced brethren, that are nursed up in an invincible ignorance of truth, and are held down with the imperious sway of antichristian usurpation. Alas! it is too true, which our learned Spalatensis (why should I not call him ours, who sealed up that truth of ours, which his pen had so stoutly maintaived, with his last blood ?) hath observed and published; Nam et plebem rudiorem, &c. “That the ruder multitude, under the papacy, are carried commonly with more inward religious affection toward the Blessed Virgin, or some other Saint, than towards Christ himself.” Whose heart would not bleed at the thought of this deplorable irreligion? And yet these poor souls think they do so well, as that they cry out of our damnation, for not accompanying them. I tu, Domine, usque quò ? How long, Lord, how long wilt thou suffer the world to be deluded, with these foul and pernicious impostures? How long shall thy Church groan under the heavy yoke of their sinful impositions? O thou, that art the Great Shepherd, look down and visit thy wandering flock; and, at last, let loose those silly sheep of thine, that are fast entangled in the briers of antichristian exaction. And we, why do not we as heartily labour to reclaim them, as they to withdraw us? Why should they burn with zeal, while we freeze with indifferency? Oh, let us spend ourselves in prayers, in tears, in persuasions, in unweariable endeavours for the happy conversion of those ignorant, mis-guided souls; who, having not our knowledge, yet shame our attections.
(3) Of Indignation, lastly: as, on the one side, at those practical revolters, that, having begun in the spirit, will needs end in the flesh; that, having made a shew of godliness, deny the power of it in their lives, returning, with that impure beast, to their own vomit: so, on the other, at those speculative relapsers, that have, out of policy or guiltiness, abandoned a known and received truth. Pity is for those silly creatures, that could never be blessed with divine reason, and upright forms; but for a Gryllus, that was once a man, to quit his Hunanity, and to be in love with four feet, what stomach can but rise at so affected a transformation? The cameleon is, for a time, beautiful, with all pleasing varieties of colours: in the end, no skin is more nasty. Woe is me! the swept house is repossessed with seven devils. This recidivation is desperate: although, indeed, there would not be a revolt, without an inward unsoundness. Do ye see an apple fall untimely from the tree? view it, ye
shall find it worm-eaten; else, it had held. Avolent, quantum volent, paleæ istæ levis fidei, as that Father said; “ Let this light chaff fly whither it will:" it shews it to be but chaft. God's heap shall be so much the purer: and, in the mean time, what do they make themselves fit for, but the fire? What shall we say to these absurd changes? Our forefathers thought themselves in heaven, when first the bright beams of the Gospel brake forth in their eyes: and shall we, like those fond subterraneous people that Rubruquis speaks of, curse those glorious beams of the sun now risen up to us; and lay our ears close to the ground, that we may not hear the harmony of that motion ? Our fathers blessed themselves in this angelical manna: and shall our mouths hang towards the onions and garlic of Egypt? Revertimini, filii aversantes; Return, ye backsliding children; returu to the fountains of living waters, which ye have exchanged for your broken cisterns. Recordamini priorum; as Isaiah speaks, xlvi. 9. But, if their will do lie still in their way, it were happy for them, if authority would deal with them as confident riders do with a startling horse, spur them up, and bring them back to the block they leaped from. But, if still their obstinacy will needs, in spite of contrary endeavours, feoff them in the style of filii desertores, it is a fearful word, that God speaks to them, Ve eis quonium ragantur à me; Woe to them, for they have wandered from me; Hos. vij. 13. Now the God of Heaven reclaim them ; confirm us; save both them and us, in the day of the Lord Jesus ! To whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One Infinite God, be given all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
ST. PAUL'S COMBAT.
1 CORINTHIANS XV. 32.
Eθηριομάχησα. I HAVE carried you into St. Paul's theatre at Ephesus; I have shewed you his beasts: you must now see his FIGHT, .
It was his charge to Timothy, that he should be an example: know then, that what he bids, he practises. It is an exemplary combat, which St. Paul fought; and that, wherein we must follow him, as Teachers, as Christians.
Here he says, I have fought : afterwards, in imitation of him that saw his own works and approved them, he says, I have fought a good fight; doubtless, as with principalities and powers elsewhere, so even with these beasts at Ephesus.
Let it please you to see, first, the Person of the Combatant; then, secondly, the Manner of the Fight,
1. In the PERSON OF THE COMBATANT, ye may not look at St. Paul as a common soldier, but as a selected champion of God: not merely as Paul, but as an Apostle; as a public person; as the spiritual leader of God's people: so & Dugouáxyod, I have fought with beasts.