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comes froin our ignorance and infidelity. No man goes unwillingly to a certain preferment. I desire to be dissolved, saith Paul: **I have served thee, I have believed thee, and now I come to thee,” saith Luther: the voice of Saints, not of men. If thy heart can say thus, thou shalt not need to entreat with old Hilarion, Egredere mea anima, egredere, quid times? “ Go thy ways forth, my soul, go forth, what fearest thou?" but it shall Ay up alone cheerfully from thee, and give up itself into the arms of God, as a faithful Creator and Redeemer. This earth is not the element of thy soul : it is not where it should be. It shall be no less thine, when it is more the owner's.
Think now seriously of this point. God's angel is abroad, and strikes on all sides : we know not which of our turns shall be the next: we are sure we carry deaths enough within us. If we be ready, our day cannot come too soon. Stir up thy soul to a heavenly cheerfulness, like thy Saviour : know but whither thou art going; and thou canst not but, with divine Paul, say from our Saviour's mouth, even in this sense, It is a more blessed thing to give, than to receive.
God cannot abide an unwilling guest *: give up that spirit to him, which he hath given thee; and he will both receive what thou givest, and give it thee again, with that glory and happiness, which can never be conceived, and shall never be ended. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
* Ut contra: Nullam animanı recipio, quæ nie nolente separatur à corpore. Hier, SERMON III.
THE IMPRESS OF GOD,
IN TWO SERMONS,
ZECHARIAH xiv. 20. In that day shall be written upon the bridles (or, bells) of the horses,
Holiness unto the Lord : and the pots of the Lord's house shall be
like the bowls before the altar. If any man wonder whither this discourse can tend, of horses and bells, and pots, and bowls for the altar; let him consider that of Tertullian, Ratio divina in medulla est, non in superficie. These Horses if they be well managed, will prove like those fiery horses of Elijah, to carry us up to our heaven; 2 Kings ii. 11: these Bells, like those golden bells of Aaron's robe; Exodus xxxix. 25: these Pots, like that Olla pulmenti of the prophets, after Elisha's meal ; 2 Kings iv. 41: and these Bowls, like that blessed and fruitful navel of the Church; Cant. vii, 2.
St. Paul asks, Doth God take care for oxen? So may I here, Doth God take care for horses ? Surely, to provide for them, not to prophesy of them; much less of their bells, the unnecessary ornaments of a necessary creature: but he, that forbids us to learn of the horse that lesson of stubbornness by the Psalmist, and checks us oft by the ox and ass for their good nature, would have us learn here, under this parable of the horse, and the bells of the horse, and the writing on those bells, the estate of our own peace and sanctification, God doth both speak and work in Parables, as that Father saith well: of this then I may truly say, as Jerome said of the book of Job, Singula verba plena sunt sensibus. Suffer yourselves, with Abraham's ram, to be perplexed a while in these briars, that you may be prepared for a fit sacrifice to God.
In that day: What day is that? All days are his, who is the Ancient of Days; and yet he says, Abraham saw my day, and rejoiced. He, that made all days, says yet again, This is the day, which the Lord hath made. There is one day of the week God's, nupícny; Rev. i. 10: and yet I would it were his: God's day by creation, by ordination; I would it were his by observation too. There is one day in an age his: While it is called to day; Hebrews iii. 13 : the day of visitation; and yet this thy day; Luke xix. 42. One day in a world his : Matthew vii. 22; in that day. A day beyond
the world his: To day have I begotten thec, Hodie, i. e. ab æterno, which is a nunc stans, as Aquinas defines it.
The heathens had five famous periods of computations, Ninus' monarchy, Ogyges's flood, Trojan war, Olympiads, Urbs condita : all ours is ab illo die, which St. Paul calls, The fulness of time.
But Christ hath two days, as two comings : his first, in die illa radix Jesse, saith Isaiah xi. 10; the day of his coming to sojourn in the world: his second, 1 Cor. i. 8; the day of his return, which St. Paul calls zijéges a TOAUT PAGEWS ; Eph. iv. 30, when he comes to ransom us, and to judge the world. Both are days indeed: in the first, there is no night of his absence, though to our sense there be some little darkness of our misery: in the second, no absence, nor no misery; a day without night; Rev. xxi. 25. This prophecy is true of both. Partially and inchoately, of the first ; totally and absolutely, of the second : of the first, so far as it makes way for, and resembles the second : and this, as it is here principally intended, so shall it be the drift of our discourse.
This is the day. Now, what of this day? There shall be a motto written: an honourable motto; such as was written upon the nagy, the turban of the high priest, Holiness to the Lord. And where shall it be written ? An honourable motto in an ignoble place; nibyn sy: not, as Aquila and Theodotion, under the belly of the horse, super profundum ; nor, as Symmachus, under his feet, super incessum umbrosum ; the senses are senseless, (though you take them cum grano salis, as the lawyers admonish) they savour neither the sense nor word: not, as Jerome, the Septuagint, and Geneve, super frenum ; though this hath the sense well, not the word : Jerome's master came a little nearer, super phaleras. Those of the Rabbins yet light rightest, both on the word and sense, which turn super tintinnabula : for ten times, at least, in the Chronicles and Ezra, is the same word dually used, for cymbals; and the verb of this root is the same, whereby God would express the tingling of the ears : ngbyn, Tinnient aures audientium ; Jer. xix. 3.
To adorn their horses with bells, was not only a fashion in those south-east countries; but, in our forefathers' days, in this land: as it were easy to show you, but out of Chaucer's antiquity; and some of us have seen it still in use elsewhere. What belis then were these? Not of the priest : it had been easy to transfer his emblem from his forehead, to his skirts : but of the horses : the horse, an unclean beast ; Lev. xi. a warlike beast; Equus paratur in diem belli; Prov. xxi. 31. Whence still shall you find horses and chariots put together: In bello et equis; Hosea i. 7.
Behold this motto had wont to be written upon a man; now, upon a beast : had wont upon a holy man, the High Priest ; now, upon an unclean beast : before, upon a man of peace; now, on a beast of war: before, upon the forehead of the high priest; now, as Rab. Eliezar, inter oculos, betwixt the eyes of the horse. But what ? not to continue there; as some Rabbins and good Interpreters: but so, that of these very bells shall be made Pots, for the use of sacrifice: like as of the glasses of the Jewish women was
made a Laver; and of the jewels of the Midianitish camels, a rich Ephod. This is well, to come thus near : yet they shall be promoted higher : they shall be Bowls for the Šltar
. The pots might be greater, for there was Olla grandis; 2 Kings iv. 38: but the bowls were more noble, and more peculiarly devoted to God's service.
Moses shall comment upon Zechariah: Num. vii. twelve several times you have the matter of these bowls, silver; the weight, seventy shekels; the use, for flour and oil for the meat-offering, besides that following employment for the incense. But I hold not this dependance necessary : here are rather two distinct prophecies, though to one purpose, as we shall see in the process. You see now Zechariah's holy riddle read; That God, under the Gospel, will effect a gracious sanctification, both of things and persons ; and, by those things, which, in their use, have been altogether profane, will indifferently glorify himself, and work them both to peace and holiness : and, as Cyprian saith, Fidem rerum cursus implevit.
What now is more fit for courtiers to hear of, than an Impress of honour? What more fit for kings and princes, than the Impress of the God of Heaven? And, as in all Impresses, there is a body and a soul, as they are termed; so are both here without any affectation. The soul of it is the Motto or Word, Holiness to the Lord : the body is the Subject itself; as, ofttimes, the very shield is the device; the subject, Bells of the horses.
In the Word, first see the ancient use of heraldry in the Scriptures : that part especially which concerns inscriptions ; as on coins, shields, ensigns. If the “ Testament of the Patriarchs” had as much credit as antiquity, all the Patriarchs had their Arms assigned them by Jacob : Judah, a lion; Dan, a serpent; Napthali, a hind; Benjamin, a wolf; Joseph, a bough; and so the rest. The coin, which Jacob paid to the Shechemites, was stamped with a Lamb; Gen. xxxiii. 19. And, if Judah's ring, that he left with Thamar, had not had an inscription, it could not so certainly have descried his master. These coins had a figure, without a word: the frontal of the high priest had a word, without a figure: the shekel of the sanctuary, whose Character we have oft seen, had both a word and a figure; the word, Holy Jerusalem, the figure, A pot of Manna like a large chalice, and Aaron's rod not budding but branching
Solomon compares the Church to an Army with Banners : there could be no use, no distinction of Banners, without inscriptions. The Maccabees had four Hebrew letters in their ensign, for both their word and device ; whence they had their name. Yea, this is not in via only, but in patria. They shall have a white stone, and a new name written in it: the field and the arms, both named and unknown.
The use therefore of inscriptions and arms must needs be very laudable, as ancient; since God himself was the first Herald, and shall be the last. Yea, the very Anabaptists, that shake off all the yoke of magistracy, yet, when they had ripened their fanatical proVOL. V.
jects, and had raised their king Becold, from the shop-board to tho. throne, would not want this point of honour : and therefore he must have one henchman, on the right hand, to carry a crown, and a Bible with an inscription; on the left, another, that carried a sword naked, and a ball of gold: himself, in great state, carries a globe of gold, with two swords across. His pressing iron and shears: would have become him better.
And, if I should look to heathenish antiquity, I should need to say no more, than that the Egyptian Hieroglyphics, whereof they say Horus Apollo was the inventor, were nothing else, but Emblems and Impresses. Among the rest, it is memorable that Ruftinus reports, that the sign of the Cross was one of their ypaéhjata δερατικα,
their ancient figures, long before Christ; which, saith he, signified to them, eternal life: and Socrates adds, that when they found the sign of the Cross, in templo Serapidis, the Heathen and Christians contended for it; each challenged it for theirs; and, when the Heathen, knowing the signification of it, saw it thus fulfilled to the Christians, many of them converted to Christianity. Be it far from us, to put any superstition in this : I think it done by the same instinct, whereby the Sibyls prophesied of Christ.
And, as arms and emblematical devices, are thus ancient and commendable; so more directly posies and words, whether for instruction or distinction, are here warranted. So the word of a faithful King is Dominus mihi adjutor; or, when he would thankfully ascribe his peace to God, Exurgat Deus, dissipentur inimici: $0 of a good prince, either, “ I serve,” to express his officious care; or, “ One of your own," to signify his respective love: sa the good statesman's should be given him by Solomon, Non est con silium contra Dominum, No policy against the Lord : a good Courtier's, by Samuel, Honorantes me honorabo : a good Bishop's, by Paul, cunaíows ancípws; In season, out of season: a gond Subject's Not for fear, but conscience : a good Christian's, Christus mihi vivere est
. So the Israelites were charged to make their Emblem the Law of God; for their posts, for their garments.
But these things may not be written upon our walls, or shields only: they must be written upon our hearts: else we are as very painted wal's, as our walls themselves: else we shall be like some inn, that hath a Crown for the sign without, and within there are none but peasants; or a Rose upon the post without, and nothing but sluttishness and filth within; or an Angel without, and nothing within, but lewd drunkards. As it is said of God, Dirit, et factum est ; so also, Scripsit, et factum est; They shall be written holy, that is, they shall be niade holy. Happy is it for us, though we write no new emblems of our own, if we can have this holy “ Impress af God” written, not in our foreheads, but in our hearts, Holiness to the Lord.
Thus much of the Emblem, or Word. Now for the Subject and Circumstances: In that day, above this; there is the Proficiency of the Church; Holiness shall be written upon the bells ; profane things shall be holy; there is the Sanctification of the