Or, A SERMON PREACHED BY ORDER Of the Honourable House of COMMONS, At Margarets Westminster, Decemb. 27. Being a day of Publick Humiliation.

By THOMAS WATSON, Pastor of Stephens Walbrooke, London.

The Third Impression.

Doth not he see my wayes and count all my steps? Job 31. 4.
Propè Deus est, tecum est, intus est.

London, Printed for Ralph Smith, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Bible in Corn­hill neer the Royall Exchange. 1654.


HEB. 4. 12.‘But all things are naked, and o­pen'd unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.’

WE are met this day to humble our soules, and to bring our Censer, as once Aaron did, and step in, that the wrath of the great GOD may be ap­peased. [Page 2] And was there ever need to lie in sackcloth, then when the Kingdome almost lies in ashes. Or to shed teares, then when the Nation hath shed so much blood▪ These dayes are called in Scripture, Soul-afflicting dayes, Lev. 23. 29. For whatsoever soule it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And certainly, that may be one reason why there is so much State-afflicti­on, because there is so little Soul­affliction. Our condition is low, but our hearts are high. God sees with what hearts we now come, what is our spring, what our centre; his eye is upon us. So saith my Text, All things are naked and open.

I shall wave the Coherence, lest I be prevented, and handle the words as an entire Proposition. We have here a Map of Gods Knowledge. But before I extract any thing, [Page 3] I will first open the Terms. In the Law, first the Lamps were light­ed before the Incense was burned; I may allude, First the judgement is to be enlightned by Doctrine, before the affections are set on fire. Ministers must be first shining, and then burning Lamps.

All things are [naked.] Some Expositors translate the word [...] Excoriata, And to this sense Chry­sostome inclines. It is a Metaphor from the taking off the skin of any beast, which doth then appeare na­ked. Thus our hearts are said to be naked; they lie open to the eye of God, they have no covering; there is no vaile over the heart of a sinner, but the vaile of unbelief; and this covering makes him na­ked.

This is not all, the Apostle goes higher. They are naked and [open] [...]. The word [...] * Beza. Interpreters render Per spinam dorsi * Gagneius [Page 4] findere. It alludes to the cutting up of the Sacrifices under the Law, where the Priest did divide the Beast in pieces, and so the intestina the inward parts were made visible▪ Or it may allude to an Anatomy, where there is a dissection and cut­ting up of every part, the Mesentery, the Liver, the Arteries. Such a kinde of Anatomy doth God make; an heart-Anatomy: He doth cut up the inwards, and makes a difference; This is Flesh, that is Spirit; this is faith, that is fancy. He makes a dissection, as the knife that divides between the flesh and the bones, the bones and the marrow, the sinews and the veins. All things are open [...], They are cut up before him.

The next word is, [...] [All things] [...], as a Learned Writer upon the wordsOecume­nius.. There is nothing scapes his eye: and here­in [Page 5] Gods knowledge doth infinitely differ from ours. We cannot see in the dark, nor can we see many things at once; but it is not so with him, Nihil tam profundum quod non extra­hatur in lucem Calvin.. There is nothing so deep, but God will bring it a­bove-board. Who will bring to light [...] the hidden things of dark­nesse 1 Cor. 4. 5. And he sees many things at once, nay, all are as if they were but one. Scientia Dei est in­finita, & in singulis & in omnibus, tanquam unum esset singulare Austin.. All things being represented to him in the pure Crystal, of his own Essence, are but as one individual thing.

Again [unto his eyes.] Eyes are as­cribed to God not properly, but Metaphorically; Idols have eyes, yet they see not Ps. 115. 5; God hath no eyes, yet he sees; the eye of God is put in Scripture for his Knowledge; all things are naked to his eye, that is, they are obvious to his Know­ledge. [Page 6] We cannot sinne but it must be in the face of our Judge.

The last word is, [with whom we have to do,] [...] pro [...] (Cornel à lapide. The sense is cleare. To whom we must give an account. So some translate it, Reddere rationem Hierome. Calvin▪ And Oecumenius, [...], To whom we must be responsible. The words thus o­pened fall into these parts.

  • 1. Here is the Judge, that is God. Unto the eyes of [Him]
  • 2. The matter of fact [All things]
  • 3. The Evidence given in, All things are [Naked]
  • 4. The clearnesse of the evidence, Naked and [Open]
  • 5. The Witnesses [his eyes]
  • 6. The persons to be adjudged either for life or death, [We] that is, every individual person: There is none exempted from this Gene­ral Assize. With whom we have to do.

[Page 7]The Proposition I shall dilate upon is this,

That the most secret Cabinet-de­signesDoct. of mans heart are all unlocked and clearely anatomized before the Lord.

I might produce a whole cloud of witnesses, giving in their full vote and suffrage to this truth. I shall rest in two or three, that in the mouth of three witnesses this great truth may be established.

He knows the secrets of the heart, Psal. 44. 21. in the originall it isPs. 44. 21. [...] the hidden things of the heart; those which are most veiled and masked from humane perception.

And, Psal. 139. 2. Thou knowest Psal. 139. 2 my thoughts afarre off. Here are two words, that set out the infinite­nesse of Gods knowledge.

First, Thou knowest my thoughts, 1. [Page 8] there is nothing can be paralle'ld with a thought.

First, For its subtilty, 'tis called the [...] imagination of the thought Gen. 6 5., or as the word may bear, the first em­bryo and forming of the thought, that is, a thing very subtle, and scarce discernable.

Secondly, For its celerity, our thoughts are winged, like the Che­rubims, they will in an instant tra­vel over the world: they are swifter then Eagles 2 Sam. 1. 23., but he that rides upon the swift cloud can over-take them, he can out-march them.

Thirdly, For its incongruity: our thoughts are snarl'd and tangled one within another, they have no de­pendance, they may be inter anoma­la: yet even these thoughts are knowne to God, and set in their proper Sphere: what David saith of his members, may be said of our thoughts, Are they not all written in thy Book?

[Page 9]2. Afarre off, that is either.2. 1. God knows our thoughts before1. we our selves know them. He knows what designes are in the heart, and men would certainly pursue, did not he turne the wheele another way. God knew what was in Herods minde before Herod him­self knew it, viz. that he would have destroyed the childe Jesus. God knew his thoughts afarre off: he sees what blood and venome is in the heart of a sinner, though it never comes to have vent: he looks at the intention, though it be not put in execution.

Secondly, Afarre off, that is, God2. knows our thoughts when we have forgotten them: they are afarre off to us, but they are present with him, These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: thou thoughtest I was such a one as thy selfe, &c. That is, that I had a weak memory, but I will reprove thee, and set thy sinnes in or­der [Page 10] before thee Ps. 50. 2 [...].. Millions of years are but as a short Parenthesis be­tween: and that we may not thinke God forgets, he keeps a Book of Records, Rev. 20. 12. I saw the dead, small and great stand before the Lord, and the Books were opened. God writes down, Item such a sinne: and if the Book be not discharged, there will be an heavy reckoning; to every beleever, the debt-book is crossed, the black lines of sinne are crossed out in the red lines of Christs blood.

To instance in one Scripture more, The night shineth as the day, Psal. 39. 12. The Cloudes are noPsal. 39. 12 Canopy, the night is no Curtain to draw between, or intercept his knowledge; we cannot write our sinnes in so small or strange a cha­racter, but God can read, he hath a key for them. Indeed, we know not sometimes what to make of his Providences, His way is in the [Page 11] Sanctuary Ps. 77. 13, we cannot read his hand-writing: but He understands our▪ Hearts without a commentary, He is privy to all our treachery, though we think to keep it under lock and key; We cannot climb so high but he sees us, we cannot dig so low but he takes notice. The men of Babel were climbing very high, they would make a City and Tower, the top whereof should reach to heaven, and so indeed it did; for God saw them all the while, and what became of it? He divided their language; Gen. 11. 7, 8. Achan digs deep to hide his counsels, saying, No eye shall see; he takes the Baby­lonish garment, and hides it in the earth, with the wedge of Gold, but God unmasks his theevery Josh. 7. 21.

If there be any here, that when they should have been doing Gods work, have been by stealth hiding the Babylonish garment, making themselves rich, feathering their [Page 12] own nests; instead of driving in nailes into Gods Temple to fasten it, have been driving a wedge of gold into their chests, God sees it; let me tell you, all the gaine you get, you may put in your eyes, nay, if you belong to God you must, and weep it out againe. God hath a window that looks into your hearts. Momus complained of Vulcan, that he had not set a grate at every mans breast. God hath such a grate, he is the great Superintendent; we come into the world as upon a The­atre, every man acts his severall Part or Scene, God is both the Spe­ctator and the Judge.

You have seen the Doctrine proved.

For the Amplification, let us consider what the knowledge ofWhat the knowledg of God is. God is; it is a most pure act by which he doth at one instant know [Page 13] himselfe in himself, and all things without himselfe, not only necessa­ry, and contingent, but which shall never be, after a most per­fect, exquisite, and infallible manner. Out of this description, we may gather two things. 1. That there1. is no Succession in Gods knowledge, it is uno intuitu, our knowledge is per [...]rius & posterius, from the effect to the cause; it is not so in God. 2. Things that are not have an ob­jective2. being in his knowledge, Rom. 4. 17. He calls things that are not as if they were; even these non entia have an Idea in his knowledge.

Quest. Here a question may beQuest. started, If there be such perfection in the knowledg of God, then he knows sin?

Resp. The Schools distinguish ofAnsw. a double knowledge in God. There is, 1. Scientia simplicis intelligentiae, a knowledge of pure intelligence, and thus he knows evil by a con­trary good, as the light discovers [Page 14] the darknesse. So we say, Rectum est index sui & obliqui, The straight rule shews the crooked. 2. There is a knowledge of approbation. Thus God doth not know sinne; for he hates it, he punisheth it. Christ was made sinne, yet he knew no sinne; he did know it so as to hate it, not so as to act or ap­prove it.

I passe to the Reasons.

1. Reason. From his creation; 1. Reas. God is the Father of lights, therefore must needs see. It is his own Ar­gument, He that planted the eare, shall he not heare? he that formed the eye, shall he not see *? He thatPs. 94 9. makes a Watch, knows all the pins and wheels in it, and though these wheels move crosse one to another, he knows the true and perfect mo­tion of the Watch, and the spring that sets these wheels a going; He [Page 15] that formed the eye, shall he not see? Man may be compared to a spiritual Watch. The affections are the wheels; the heart is the spring; the motion of this Watch is false; the heart is deceitful; but God that made this watch knowes the true motion of it (be it never so false) and the spring that sets the wheels a going. God knows us better then we know our selves: He is as Eze­kiels wheels full of eyes, and as Au­gustin saith, he is totus oculus, all eyeAug. in Psal. 126. Reas. 2..

2. Reason. From his ubiquity. He is Omniscient, because Omni­present, Ier. 23. 24. Do not I fill Jer. 23. 24. heaven and earth? He is no where included, and yet no where ex­cluded; His circumference is every where: God hath an eye in Coun­cels, in Armies, he makes an Heart­anatomy; he sees what mens de­signes are, and whither they are driving. If hatred weares the li­very of Friendship, if Ambition [Page 16] comes masqued with humility, if Religion be made a stirrup to get into the saddle of preferment, God sees it; And though they dig into hell, thence shall my hand take them, Amos 9. 2. God can unlock hell; Plato saith of the King of Lydia, he had a Ring, when he turned the head of it to the palme of his hand, he could see every one, but himself walk invisible. Thus God observes all our actings, but himselfe is not seene, as the Apostle argues, 1 Tim. 6. 16. Therefore the School­men say well, Deus est in loco repleti­vè. Aquin. Man may be circumscribed, the Angels may be defined, but God is in every place by way of repletion. His Centre is eve­ry where, and his eye is ever in his Centre.

Object. 1. But is it not said, Gen. Object. 1. 18. 21. I will go down and see whe­ther it be done altogether according to the cry?

[Page 17] Resp. It could not be that GodAnsw. was ignorant; because there is men­tion made of a cry, but it is spoken [...], after the manner of a Judge; who will first examine the cause before he wil pass the sentence. Therefore to answer that Scripture, I will go down and see: It implies two things.

First, The moderation God useth when he is upon a work of Justice; God doth not make the sword the Judge; he doth first weigh things the balance; he doth ever lay judge­ment to the line, before he draws the line of confusion. God when he is upon a work of Justice, is not in a Ryot, as if he did not care where he hits, but goes in the way of a circuit against offenders, I will go down and see; He doth not punish rashly: and this may be a good hint to them that have power in their hand, they must work by line and plummet; judging the Cause rather then the [Page 18] Person; they must proceed in righ­teousnesse; else seeming Zeal is no better then Wild-fire; it is not ju­stice, but violence.

Secondly, I will go down and see. It denotes Gods patience in waiting for sinners; He staid till the cry came up: God puts up a great deal of injury at our hands, before Justice draws the sword. He spins out mercy into patience, and eekes out patience into long-suffering. Oh, had not Gods patience been infinite, we have spent so long upon it, that we had quite spent the stock. But let no sinner presume: Though God be long-suffering, he doth not tell us how long: When the cry comes up, God comes down. If pride, lust, oppression abound, God will heare the cry, and will quench the fire of sinne with a showre of blood.

Object. 2. Zeph. 2. 1. I will search Object. 2. Hierusalem with candles. Imply­ing, [Page 19] that something is hid out of his reach.

Resp. Not that God needs anyAnsw. candles to see by; for though it be said, The spirit of man is the can­dle of the Lord Prov. 20. 27.: This candle is not for him to see by, but for us. There­fore this searching implies two things:

First, The exactnesse of Gods knowledge; He hath such a deep insight as usually men have upon search. 2. God threatens to search, because he would have us search. As, Lam. 3. 40. Let us search and try our wayes. Gods searchers are now abroad, his Iudgements; let us finde out our sinnes, or else our sinnes will finde us out.

Information. And this hath twoUse 1. branches.

1. What manner of persons ought 1. Branch. we to be 2 Pet. 3. 11? hath God a window that [Page 20] opens into our breasts? Doth he make a critical descant upon our actions? Oh what holinesse, what sincerity, what exemplary piety be­comes us, being in such a presence! Were we to come before some great Monarch, what solemne pre­parations would we make? Shall the eye of a King do so much, and not the eye of God? The King can only see the outside; there may be treason within, for ought he knows: but God hath a key for the heart, Ier. 17. 10. I the Lord search the heart. And will not this command reverence? In these dayes of solemn Humiliation, Gods eye is princi­pally upon the heart. God looks there most where we look least; some have no heart at allHos. 7. 11; sinne hath stollen away their heart; others have an heart too much, An heart and an heart Psal. 12. 2 [...]; others have hearts good for nothing, earthly hearts; like Saul that was hid among the [Page 21] stuffe 1 Sam. 10 22; some have Angels tongues, but as Nebuchadnezzar, he had the heart of a beast given to him. Brethren, did our hearts stand where our faces do, this would be a day of blushing, we should be ashamed to look one upon another; re­member God hath a key for the heart.

When we come to these solemne duties, God asks that question as2 King. 10. 15. Iehu did Iehonadab, 2 King. 10. 15. he saluted him and said to him, Is thy heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And he said, It is. If it be, give me thy hand. And he took him up into the chariot.

This is Gods question. You come this day to humble your selves and make atonement, Is your heart right with me? if we can answer, as he did; Lord, thou knowest it is; Though I have much weaknesse, yet my heart is right, I have no false byasse upon it; though I am [Page 22] not perfect, I hope I am sincere; Then will God say, Give me your prayers, give me your tears, now come up with me into the chariot. A tear from a bleeding heart is a pre­cious perfume in heaven. Oh did we consider this all-seeing eye, we durst not bring so much strange fire into the Divine presence. We read of Ezekiels wheels, they had a wheel within a wheel Ezek. 1. 16.. Thus God hath a thought within a thought; He doth intervenire Seneca. he comes be­tween us and our thoughts.

The goddesse Minerva (as the Poets feign) was drawn in such lively colours, that which way soever one turned, still Minerva's eye was up­on him. Thus, turne which way you will, fall in love with any sin; still God looks upon you, He hath an eye in your heart, He is [...]. What manner of persons ought we to be?

[Page 23] Of how dangerous consequence is it, to act any thing against God? He2 Branch of Infor. sees it, and his knowledge is arm­ed with Power; He that hath an eye to see, will finde an hand to punish. If there be any designes against God, though carried on never so subtilly; remember there is a Coun­cel of War sits in Heaven.

Against GOD? Will some say. By no means.

There are foure Things; and if we act either directly or indi­rectly against any of these, we act against God; and he sees it, He writes it down.

1. If we act against his truth, we act against God, truth is a beame1. of God, it is his essence, he is cal­led [...], the truth; it is the most orient Pearle of his Crown, take away his truth and we ungod him. Truth is the precious seed, [Page 24] by which we are begotten to lifeJam. 1. 18, it is the pillar of our salvation; it is not only norma fidei, the rule of faith, but it is radix fidei, the root out of which faith grows; take a­way truth, and what is faith but fan­cy? we believe our selves into hell. Truth is the great purchase of Christs blood, and it hath been transmitted to us in the blood of many Saints and Martyrs; if we strike at truth, we strike at God; and doth not God see this?

Give me leave to plead in Gods cause, is not this pure wine of truth mixed with water, nay, with poison? How are the truths of God almost lost in the croud of errours? what truth in Divinity but is now called in que­stion? some denying the Scriptures, others denying the Lord that bought them; not only the foun­dations of the earth are out of course, but even the foundations of Scripture [Page 25] are shaken. We read that when the bottom lesse Pit was opened, there arose a smoake as the smoake of a great fur­nace, and the Sunne and the aire were darkened Rev. 9. 2.. The late errours sprung out of the furnace of hell, have made such a smoak and mist in the Church of God, that the bright Sunne of truth is much eclipsed in our Horizon. How many Religi­ons are there now among us, and e­very day in a new dresse? old he­resies newly vamp'd? Our Saviour Christ saith, Luk. 18. 8 If the Son of man comes, shall he finde faith on the earth? yes sure, he may now finde many faiths; so many men, almost so many faiths; Pudet haec opprobria nobis, &c. These things are done, but are they punished? are they not counte­nanced? God sees; silence when truth is wounded, is a loud sin.

Secondly, We act against God,2. when we act against his Covenant; a Covenant is a serious thing. Sup­pose [Page 26] the matter of it Civill, (though ours is more) the making of it is Divine. We read of a Cove­nant made with an Heathen King, Ezek. 17. 16, 17, 18. which being broken, saith God, shall he prosper, shall he escape that doth such things? what, when lo he had given his hand, ver. 18. He shall not escape; let us look up­on our solemne League and Cove­nant, I tremble when I read it; we covenanted not only against Prelacy, but Popery; not only Hie­rarchy, but Heresie; not only Sinne, but Schisme; and have we not gone against the letter of it? how is the Covenant slighted, as an Almanack out of date? Those that did once lift up their hand to it, do now lift up their heele against it. Indeed at first the Covenant was looked upon as sacred; the drunkard would be sober that day, the uncleane person chaste; but within a while it is laid aside; we begin to play fast [Page 27] and loose with God, and for a trifle will venture the curse of the Co­venant; But they like men have trans­gressed the Covenant Hos. 6. 7., or as in He­brew [...], They like Adam, how is that? for a poor apple; so for a trifle, a Penny in the shop, or the bushel, men will set their Covenant and their conscience to sale. God sees this, and hear what he saith, I will bring a sword, which shall avenge the quarrell of my Covenant Lev. 26. 25.: Covenant­violation is an high affronting sinne, and an affront will make God draw his sword; to set our hand and seale to the Covenant, and then to teare off the Seal, if the Covenant will not hold us, God hath Chaines that will.

That which doth inhance the sin, is, it must needs be renitente consci­entia, against light; 'tis to be pre­supposed no man would take a Co­venant blindfold, either he was in­formed, or else might have been; This is that which dyes the sinne [Page 28] in graine; take any sin, put it in the scales, and put in this weight with it, that before and when it was done, it was against knowledge; This circumstance is as much as the sin it self; though it be but one sinne, it weighs as much as two.

The Covenant is Nodus Connubia­lis, a marriage-knot; for a woman to go away from her husband after solemne Contract, is of an high nature. The Covenant is zona virginea, a girdle, or golden claspe that bindes us to God and God to us. The girdle in ancient times was an Embleme of chastity. When the Covenant is broken, the Church loseth her virginity. Israel was a People espoused to God in Cove­nant Jer. 3. 2.; but having stained this fede­ral relation by idolatry, (a sinne that did directly cut asunder the marri­age-knot,) God gives her a Bill of divorce: Plead with her, saith he, Hos. 2. 2. she is not my wife.

[Page 29]The Carthaginians were execra­ble for Covenant-breakingPoeni foe­difragi semper ha­biti. Plautus., inso­much that it grew at last to a pro­verb, Punica fides Salust., The faith of a Carthaginian; and I would to God it might not be said, that many of the Christians in England are turn­ed Carthaginians; they make no reckoning of their oaths.

The Scythians had a Law, That if any man did duo peccata contor­quere, binde two sins together, a Lie and an Oath, he was to lose his head, because this was the way to take away all Faith and Truth a­mong men: If all Liars and Per­jurers in this age should come to Tryal, I think we should scarce finde men enough to bring them to the Barre.

3. We act against God when we3. act against his Ambassadors. I mean not such as have stollen into the Priests Office, such as are gone out, 1 Iohn 4. 1. not sent out, they are [Page 30] gone without a Commission; but such as are in a Scriptural manner instituted into this holy Function; he that acts against these, acts a­gainst God; and remember God sees, he writes it down: What in­jury is done to the Ambassador, the King takes as done to his own per­son; so saith Christ, He that despiseth you, despiseth me. What a black vaile is drawn over the face of the Ministery! Let me plead with you; God might have come in his own person, and have preached to you in flames, as when he did once deli­ver the Law upon Mount Sinai; but then you would have said, Oh let not God speak, lest we die, let Moses speak; God might have preached to you in the Ministery of Angels, but you would not have been able to bear it: God is not in the fire, nor in the earthquake, but in the still small voice: 1 King. 19. 11. 12. He is pleased in a sweet kinde of humility to send [Page 31] his Ambassadors, and he puts an Olive-branch into their mouth; they woo, and beseech, and all [...], in the bow­els of Christ; will not love con­quer.

This Nation is sick of a spiritual Pleurisy, we begin to surfeit upon the bread of life; when God sees his mercies lying under table, 'tis just with him to call to the enemy to take away. I heartily pray that plenty of Ordinances doth not as much hurt in this City, as Famine hath done in other places of the Land; and if we once say, what is this Manna? no wonder if we begin to say, who is this Moses? Oh what a sad change is there in our dayes! Those that once would have count­ed our feet beautifull, that would have been ready to have pull'd out their eyes for their Minister, are now rea­dy to pull out their Ministers eyes; and what is the quarrel? Even this! [Page 32] Am I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? G▪ l. 4. 16 If Ministers would preach placentia, smooth things, make the way to Heaven nearer then ever Christ made it, then they should be admired. (You shall have more people gaze at a Comet or Blazing­starre, then at the Sunne.) But if they come to lay the axe of the Law to the root of Conscience; if they fall a hewing, and cutting down mens sinnes; The Land is not able to bear their words. If the Prophet goes to tell King Asa of his great sinne in joyning with a wicked Ar­my. 2 Chron. 16. 9. Herein thou hast done foolishly. If he goes about to imprison his sinne, he himselfe shall be imprison­ed. Then Asa was wroth with the Seer, and put him in a prison-house. Ver. 10. This was Ierusalems sinne, and it drew teares from Christ; O Ieru­salem, Mat. 23. thou that stonest the Pro­phets! &c. And she stoned them so long, till she had not one stone left upon another.

[Page 33]Those that would annihelate the Ministery, go to pull the starres out of Christs hand; and they will finde it a work not feasible; it will fare with them as with the Eagle, that going to fetch a peece of flesh from the Altar, a coale sticking to the flesh, she burnt her selfe and her young ones in the nest. 2 Chron. 36. 16. They mocked the Messengers of God, and misused his Prophets, till there was no remedy.

4. We act against God, when we4. act against that Order and Govern­ment which he hath set up in his Church▪ God is the God of Order▪ he hath set every thing in its proper sphere. The order and harmony of the World doth consist in De­grees, one thing still above another. For as Aristotle saith, no Harmony consists of Union; there can be no musick, if all the sounds be alike; The Countertenor is above the Base. In nature, the Sunne is Comman­der [Page 34] in chief among the Planets. Thus in the Body Politick; God hath set King, Nobles, Judges, still in a descent: and this makes up the Harmony. And these Powers are of God, Rom. 13. 1. The Powers that Rom. 13. 1. be, are of God. Magistracy is the hedge of a Nation, And he that breaks an hedge, a serpent shal bite him.

Use 2. Reproofe, Here's a just Im­peachmentUse. 2. against two sorts of Persons.

1. The Libertine. And there are1. Branch of reproof two kinds of them:

First, The prophane Libertine, that fancies to himselfe a God made up of mercy; and therefore he in­gulphes himselfe in sinne, doth act pro arbitrio, he is upon the spurre to go to hell, as if he were afraid hell would be full before he could get thither. Doth not he say, God shall not see.

Secondly the Religious Libertine, and these are of two sorts.

[Page 35]1. That pleads Liberty of Con­science. Conscience! Must he have his Conscience, that makes no Con­science? What, He that hath sinned a­way his Conscience? If Conscience be a sufficient plea, the Papists will come in for a childes part. Consci­ence must have a Rule; it bindes only virtute praecepti, by vertue of a precept. If Conscience goes a­gainst the Word, Deponenda est talis D. Ames. de Consc. Conscientia. Get Conscience bet­tet informed. The Conscience of a sinner is defiled, Tit. 1. 15. Con­science being defiled, may erre; Conscience erring, may suggest that which is sinfull. There is nothing can binde a man to sin.

2. Sort of the Religious Liber­tine is, That sinnes because Grace abounds; that saith, God sees no sinne in his people, and therefore what need we see it? After we are in Christ, we cannot sinne; there­fore Repentance is out of date. [Page 36] Whom I shall refute in two words.

There needs Repentance after1. we are in Christ: for, 1. Though sinne in a Believer be covered Psal. 32. 1, yet it is not perfectly cured. There are still Reliquiae peccati, some remainders of corruption; and certainly, as long as there is an issue of sin open, there must be an issue of sorrow kept open.

2. Every sinne after we are in2. Christ, is a sinne of unkindnesse, it is labes sponsae, the sin of a Spouse; and if any thing will melt and break the heart, this will. The sinnes of the Regenerate do wound Christs heart deeper then others. Hath not Christ suffered enough already? Wilt thou wound him whom God hath wounded? Will you give him more vineger to drink? O rather Give wine to him that is of an heavy heart; Cheare him with thy teares: Look on a bleeding Christ with a bleeding heart.2. Branch of reproof

It doth impeach the Hypocrite, [Page 37] who is a practical Atheist, he saith, God shall not see. The word in the Hebrew [...]. Iob. 13. 16. signifies to dissemble. The Syriack word is the same with assumens vultum, a face­taker. The Hypocrite weares a vi­zor of Sanctity. Aquinas in his Summes calls hypocrisie simulatio virtutis. The counterfeiting of ver­tue. The hypocrite is a very Mountebank, he pretends that which he is not. He is like those An­gels that assumed the dead bodies, but there was no soul to animate them, Gen. 19. 1. he is a shape, anGen. 19. 1 apparition, he doth but assume Re­ligion. The hypocrite is a walking Land-skip, a rotten post guild­ed over; he is like the paint­ed grapes that deceived the living birds. Plut. Or the beautifull apples of Sodom with this Motto, No further then Colours; touch them, and they moulder to dust.

In short, hypocrites are like turn­ing [Page 38] pictures which have on one side the image of a Lamb, on the other side a Lion: so they are on their out-side Saints, but their in-side de­vills. Hypocrites may be compa­red to trumpets which make a great sound, but within they are hollow. Do these believe the all-seeing eye? The hypocrite turnes all Religion into meer complement; he walks with a dark Lanthorn, saying, No eye shall see. He goes about to juggle with God, as Ieroboams wife did think to do with the Prophet, 1 Kin. 14. 6. but he pulled off her vizor, Come in thou wife of Ieroboam. The hypocrite knowes God is of purer eyes then to behold sinne, yet for all this will play a Devotion; he will venture to abuse God, that he may delude men. The hypocrite takes more care to make a Covevant, then to keep it; and is more studious to enter into Religion, then that Reli­gion should enter into him. This [Page 39] Text doth arraigne the Hypocrite: [...], All things are naked. God sees our juglings.

I shall give you two [...], or di­stinguishing Characters whereby you may know an hypocrite.

1. He is one that is partiall in 1. Chara­cter. his goodnesse; zealous in lesser things, and remisse in greater. As Luther complained of some in his time, and our Saviour in his time, which straine at a gnat, and swallow a Camel. He is one that sweats only in some part, but is coole in all the rest, which is a signe his zeale is di­stempered. He is zealous against a Ceremony, a Relique or painted Glasse, (not that I plead for these) but in the mean time lives in known sinne; Lying, Cozening, Extorti­on, &c. Just as the High Priests, It is not lawfull, say they, to put the mo­ney into the Treasury, because it is the price of blood. Mat. 27. 6 They speak like consciencious men. Oh do not defile [Page 40] the treasury! But let me ask the que­stion, Why did they shed that blood▪ it was innocent blood. They will not take the price of blood into the treasury, but they never scruple to take the guilt of blood into their souls. They were zealous for the Temple, but in the mean time mur­derers of the Sonne of God. And we have a parallel Scripture to this, Rom. 2. 22. Thou that abhorrest idols, *Rom. 2. 22. dost thou commit sacriledge? Who at the first blush would not have ta­ken these for very holy, devout men; they were zealous against idolatry? But see a root of hypocri­sie! They were partially good, they hated one sin, but not another; ido­latry, but not sacriledge. Though it was an abominable sinne, and there was an expresse Law of God against it, Deut. 26 12, 13, 14. yet these seeming Zealots make no conscience of robbing God of his tithes.

And here as in a Scripture looking-glasse, [Page 41] we may see our own faces; have we not many now adays seem­ingly zealous against Popery? if they see a Crosse, though it be in a Coate of Armes, they are much of­fended, and are in a kinde of con­vulsion: but in the mean time make no conscience of sacriledge, star­ving out the Ministery, they put out the fire on Gods Altar, shut the doors of his Temple; is not this vi­sible hypocrisie? There are some it may be will not be heard to sweare, it will not stand with their Saintship, that were to call the devill father a­loud, but they will defraud and de­fame, which is a sinne they can ne­ver satisfie for; take away a mans name, what amends can you make him? 'tis no better then murder; and if these be Saints, there are as good Saints in hell?

The second Character of an Hy­pocrite2 Cha­racter. is, he makes Religion a mask to cover his sin.

[Page 42] Herod pretended to worship Christ, but his zeal was no other then malice, forit was to have destroyed him. Thus oft bad purposes lie hid under good pretences. Iezabel that she may dis­semble her murderous intentions, proclaimes a Fast. Absalom to colour over his treason pretends a religious vow. How cunning is the heart to go to hell! Sometimes Covetousnesse pretends Conscience; Iudas fisheth for money under a pretence of Re­ligion, This oyntment might have been sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor, Joh. 12. 5. how charitable Iudas was! but his charity began at home, for he carried the Bag. Many make Religion a Cloak for their Ambition, Come, see my my Zeal, saith Iehu, for the Lord 1 King. 10. 16.. No, Iehu, thy zeal was for the kingdom; it was not zeal, but State-policy. Iehu made Re­ligion hold the Stirrop, till he got in­to the Saddle, and possessed the Crown; here was [...] Chrysoft., dou­ble-died hypocrisie.

[Page 43]The Hypocrite doth ex diametro set himself against God.

First, he opposeth him in his Es­sence; 1. God is a substance, the Hypo­crite is onely a shape.

Secondly, in his unity; God is one,2. and made him one at first, but he hath made himself two, an heart and an heart; he gives God the Tenth, and leaves the rest for that which he loves better.

Thirdly, in his goodness. God is 3. good, and in him is no mixture. The Hypocrite is therefore good in show, that he may be bad indeed Hypocritae tegunt ma­lum bone., he is a devil in Samuels Mantle. Pilate would make the world beleeve he had a tender Conscience, he washeth his hands, but he could not say as Da­vid, I will wash my hands in innocency, for then he would never have given his Vote for the shedding of innocent blood. God sees our prevarications. How odious is the Hypocrite? We our selves cannot endure treacherous [Page 44] dealing; therefore in the Common­wealth, he that poysons, hath a great­er punishment then he that kills with the sword, because he offers it hypo­critically under a shew of meat and drink. Iudas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? we may aswell be­tray Christ with a tear, as Iudas did with a kisse Lachrymae [...] d [...]ctae. Bernard. You may see Gods great dislike of this sin, in that he forbids his people in the old Law, the very resemblances of it, Linsy Woolsy; and by his expostulation, Psal. 50. 16. What hast thou to do to take my Cove­nant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to bereformed? Thou Hypocrite, what hast thou to do to meddle with Reli­gion, to pretend Saint-ship, that ma­kest religion odious, and the offering of God to be abhorred? Heare that dreadful Commination, Isa. 29. They draw neere to me with their lips. They*Is. 29 14 have God in their mouths, but their heart is far from me; therefore, v. 14. I will take away the wisdom of the wise [Page 45] men; I'le blast their Proceedings, I will infatuate their Counsels, They are Hypocrites! Christ pro­nounceth seven woes to this sin, in one Chapter, that he never doth the like to any other, Mat. 23. Woe to you Hypocrites, Woe, Woe, &c. To be an hypocritical Nation, and to be the Ge­neration of Gods wrath are made in scripture synonomaes, & are all one. Isa. 10. 6. And when the Holy Ghost would inhance & aggravate the tor­ments of hell, he sets them out un­der this notion, The place of Hypo­crites; as if hell were taken up on pur­pose for the Hypocrite to quarter [...].

Use 3. A word of Exhortation. If theUse. 3. Exhort. secrets of our hearts are unvail'd and unmasked, walk as in the eye of God Sic vi­vendum est tanquam in conspe­ctu, sic co­gitandum tanquam aliquis in itimum pectus [...] spic [...]re pos­sit; quid prodest ab homine quidvis ab scondi, cùm nihil Deo clusum est interest a­nimis no­stris & co­gitationi­bus mediis intervenit. Sen.. He thinks that of Hagar should be a Christians Motto, Thou God seest me. And Davids prospect should be ever in our eye, Ps. 16. 8. I have set the Lord [...] as is before me, some set their bags of [Page 46] mony always before them, others set the fear of men always before them▪ but a wise Christian will set God, & judgement, and eternity aways before him: If indeed Gods eye were at any time off from us, we might take the more liberty; but if all things be naked and naked in his Eye, we cannot sinne but in the face of our Judge. Oh then reverence this Eye of God.

First, it should be a bridle to keep1. us from sin: How shall I do this and sin against God? Seneca gives his friend Lucillius this counsel: What­ever he was doing, he should imagine that some of the Romane Worthies did behold him, and then he would do no­thing dishonourable. The eye of God should be ever in our eye; this would be as a Supersedeas and counter-poy­son against sin, nor is it enough to prune sin Plurimi radunt peccata, non eradicant. Bernard., viz. to cut off the exter­nal acts, but kill the root. Crucifie complexion-sinnes; let not thy [Page 47] heart sit brooding upon sin. Again, let Gods omniscience deterre thee from hiding sin. Who would hide a traitour? Now it sucks your breast, shortly it will suck your blood. Men think to walke in the dark, and to [...]arry their sins under a Canopy, that no eye shall see them: as those that have bad eyes, think that the skie is ever cloudy, whereas the fault is not in the skie, but in their eyes: so when the Prince of the world hath blinded mens eyes, because there is darkness within, they think it is dark abroad too, and now the skie is cloudy, God cannot see: but remember, all things are naked: do not go about to hide sin: confess, confess, it is a work proper for the day. Confession doth that to the soul which the Chir­urgion doth to the body; it opens a spiritual veine, and lets out the bad blood. The onely way to make God not see sin is to see it our selves, but not with dry eyes, point every sinne with a teare.

[Page 48]2. It is a spurre to vertue: art thou zealous for God? dost thou exhaust thy self in the cause of religion? God sees it, thou shalt lose nothing: for the present thou hast a Promise which is Gods bill of exchangeMat. 19. 29▪ and when God comes to make up thy Accounts, thou shalt be paid with o­verplus: The more any man hath disbursed himself for God, the great­er sums of glory are still behinde.

3. It is a whetstone to duty. O thou Christian that art much in pri­vate, that settest houres apart for God, (a signe he hath set thee apart,) thou sheddest many a tear in thy clo­set, the world takes no notice; but remember, Gods eye is upon thee, thy Prayers are registred, thy teares are bottled up, and he that sees in se­cret, will reward thee openly Mat. 6. 6. How should this add wings to Prayer, and oyle to the flame of our devotion? Let us take heed of slacking our pace in Religion, let not our tears begin [Page 49] to freeze; for this if it doth not lose, yet it may lessen our Crown.

Here is a breast of consolationUse. 4. to the Saints of God (in these sad times,) in the midst of all that hard measure they may meet with; let the world frown, let men persecute and calumniate, (and it may be, think they do God service*,) here's sap in the vine,Iohn. 16. 2▪ a strong cordial to take, [...], All things are naked, They do no­thing but what our Father sees. They make wounds, and then poure in vineger; God writes down their cru­elty, he sees what rods they use, and how hard they strike; & he that hath an eye to see, hath also an hand to pu­nish. I have seen, I have seen the affli­ction of my people Act. 73▪ 4., not only with an eye of Providence; but with an eye of pitty. This was a great comfort to David in his affliction, and was like a golden shield in the hand of his faith, My groaning is not hid from thee Psal. 38. 6▪: when I weep, Christ weeps in my [Page 50] tears, he bleeds in my wounds. There are two bloods will cry: the blood of souls, when they have been starved or poisoned: and the blood of Saints. I do not mean Saints without Sancti­ty, Titular Saints; but such as have Christ engraven in their hearts, and the Word copyed out into their lives; 'Tis dangerous medling with their bloodRev. 6. 9; if we spill their blood, it is no better then spilling Christs blood, for they are members of his body, In all their affliction he was afflicted Isa. 63. 9.. The People of God are precious to him. There is blood-Royal running in their souls, they are his Iewels, Mal. 3. 17. And his heart is exceedingly ta­ken with them, it is wounded with love, I was jealous for Sion with great jealousie Zach. 8. 2; jealousie (we know) proceeds from love; nay, I was zea­lous for Sion; zeal is the flame of love; Oh then ye Saints of God, be of good comfort; whatever your mea­sure is, God sees it, Exod. 14. 24. In the [Page 51] morning-watch, the Lord looked through the Pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the Host of the Egyptians; re­member, God hath an eye in the cloud.

Caution. God being so infinite inUse. 5. wisdom; If things go cross in Church or State, take heed of charging God with folly; do not censure, but admire. All things are naked. There is not any thing that stirs in the world, but God hath a designe in it, for the good of his Church: He carries on his de­signe by mens designes: Al things are unvailed to the Eye of Providence. God is never at a stand: He knows when to deliver, and how to deliver.

1. When to deliver.

David saith, My times are in thy hand Ps. 31. 15.. If our times were in our own hand, we would have deliverance too soon; if they were in our Enemies hand, we should have deliverance too late: But my times are in thy hand; and Gods time is ever best. Every thing [Page 52] is beautifull in its season: when the mercy is ripe, we shall have it. It is true, we are now inter malleum & in­cudem: Between the hammer and the anvill, we may fear we shall see the death of Religion, before the birth of Reformation. But do not cast away your Anchor; God sees when the mercy will be in season. When his people are low enough, and the ene­my high enough, then usually appears the Churches morning-starCum du­plicantur lateres ve­nit. Moses., let God alone to his time. Isa. 60. 22

2. How to deliver.

All things are naked. God will de­liver sometimes in that way in which we think he will destroy. It might seem strange, when he would deliver Israel, he stirr'd up the hearts of the Egyptians to hate them. Psal. 105. 25 Could this be a likely way? yet by this means was deliverance usher'd in. So now the hearts of many are stirred up to hate the People of God, to hate the Covenant; but God can make use of [Page 53] their power and rage, as once he did of the High-Priests malice, and Iu­das treason, for our greater advan­tage; there was no way for Ionah to be saved but to be swallowed up; he sailes safe to land in the Whales bel­ly; God brings his people many times to shore upon the broken Peeces of the ship: God can make the enemies do his work; he doth sometimes play his own game by their hand. Well then may we cry out with the Apo­stle Rom. 11 33, [...]! O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and know­ledge of God! God will not make us of his privy counsel, his path is in the deep; if we cannot see a reason of his Proceedings, let us censure our own shallownesse, not his depth.

It is a word of counsel, it shews usUse. 6. ult. whither to have recourse in all our straits and doubts; go to God, all things are naked in his eye, he is the Oracle of wisdom, If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God Jam. 15.. We [Page 54] are here in tenebris, in the dark pray with David, Lord, light my can­dle Ps, 18. 28, shed some beames of divine knowledge into my soul. Beg of God, that as things are naked in his eyes, so they may be naked in our eyes that we may see the sinfulness of sin, and the beauty of holiness. The times are evil, let us pray to God that he would be our Pilot, that he would teach us to walk jealously to­wards our selves, piously towards him, prudently towards others, that he would give us the graces of our relation which do bespangle and grace our profession, that so guiding us by his Counsels Ps. 73. 24., we may at last be received to Glory.


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