THE CROWN OF Righteousness. Set Forth In A SERMON PREACHED At Stephens Walbrook, May 1. 1656. At the Funeral of Thomas Hodges ESQƲIRE.

By THOMAS WATSON, Minister of Stephens Walbrook, in the Citie of LONDON.

1 SAM. 2. 30.

They that honour mee, I will honour.

LONDON, Printed for Joseph Cranford, at the signe of the Kings Head in Pauls Church-yard, Anno Dom. 1656.

JUNE 10. 1656. Imprimatur Edmund Clamie.

[...]

TO THE Virtuous, and my worthie Friend, Mris MARY HODGES.

HONOURED FRIEND!

IT was not my intention when I preach'd this Sermon, that it should go any further then the Pulpit; But seeing you were plea­sed to request me to print it, that I might herein gratifie your desire, and exhibit a testimonial of that respect which I did bear to your deceased Husband, I was willing to make it more publick, and the Lord make it profi­table. You are sensible enough, I doubt not, of the late losse you have susteined, I did therefore choose to treat on this subject, that I might re­vive you with the hope of future gain: not forgetting that of Solomon, Prov. 31. 6. Give wine to those that be of heavie hearts.

[Page]The Jewes have this forme of Speech at their Funerals, whereby they would chear up the par­ty surviving; Let thy consolation bee in hea­ven Sic consola­tio tua in coeli [...]. so I say to you, Look up to Heaven, let the Crown laidup comfort you The Lord help you to make a sanctified use of this sad stroke of Provi­dence; learn (dear Friend) to make sure of Christ, when you cannot make sure of other relations. Faith will Contract you to CHRIST, and if your Maker bee your Husband, Isa. 54. 5. Death shall not dissolve, but perfect the Ʋnion: La­bour still to Anchor within the vail, Hebr. 6. 9. 'tis no casting Anchor downward; wee break our earthly comforts while we lean too hard on them, but I must not expatiate. I have here presen­ted you with the Sermon as I preach'd it, onely I have cast in some few additionals, which through straits of time I was then forced to omit. The blessing of the Almighty rest upon you, and let that golden Oil bee powred out upon your Posteritie. [...] Ignatius ad Heronem.

So praieth
Your faithful friend
and servant in the Lord,
THO. WATSON.

IN OBITUM Thomae Hodges ARMIGERI.

LAurus Apollinoi nemoris ditissima proles
exulet, & crinem taxus opaca premat.
Et mea faerales humectent carmina guttae,
carmina lugubri, commemoranda sono.
Nuper enim tristi noctis squalore sepultus
eximiae cecidit maximus urbis honos.
Scilicet egregius generosi nobilis haeres,
quem tenuit verae Religionis amor.
Nullus amicorum lateri constantior haesit,
civibus aut passim clarior alter erit.
Non auri coluit radios, nec pauper ut esset
sponte, tenebroso carcere clausit opes.
Sed bene divitiis quaesitis noverit uti;
sanctorum ut merit as possit habere preces.
[Page]Transegit placidam chastâ cum Conjuge vitam
Exemplo natos, consitiìsque regens.
Huc tamen, (O nigri rigor insatiabilis orci).
fatales ictos mors inopina dedit.
Ecce hic marmorea sopitum dormit in urnâ
corpus, at aethere as mens petit alta domus.
Illio terrestris discusso pondere limi
exultat, pseno necteris amne lavans.
O utinam digno celebrarem funus honore,
& tacito cineri debita jura darem.
Non cuperem violas mollisve rosaria pesti,
nempe haec vix tumulo congrua dona forent.
Non caret unguentis nec picti floribus horti,
quem sequitur famae nobilioris odor.
Edm. Hall.

THE CROWN OF Righteousness.

2 TIM. 4. 8.‘Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteous­nesse, which the Lord the righteous Judg shall give me at that day.’

THe wise GOD, that he may invite and encourage the sons of men to holi­nesse of life, is pleased to set before their eies the recompence of reward, that if the equitie of his Precepts doth not prevail, the excellencie of his Promise may. God will have his people Volun­tiers in Religion, Psal. 110. 3. not forced with fear, but drawn with love; therefore he works upon them in such a way as is most alluring and perswasive: he would [Page 2] catch men with a golden bait, and tempt them to obedience by shewing them what is laid up in heaven for them; so in the Text, Henceforth there is a Crown of Righteousnesse laid up, &c. A Crown? Oh infinite! for a Delinquent to have a pardon is well, but to have a Crown set upon him, is no lesse rare, then stupen­dious.

A true Saint hath a double Crown; one in this life, the other laid up. In this life he hath a Crown of Ac­ceptance, Ephes. 1. 6. He hath made us accepted in the beloved. Some render the word [...], he hath made us favorites; Chrysost. Theophilact. here is the Crown of acceptance, and in the life to come a Crown of Righteousnesse. The glorie of heaven is represented in Scripture under va­rious Similies, and Metaphors: Somtimes heaven is compar'd to a place of rest, Heb. 4. 9. it is the souls center. Eo feror quocunque fe­tor. Aug. lib. Consess. Somtimes to an house not made with hands, 2 Cor. 5. 1. Somtimes to an inheritance in light, Go­los. 1. 12. and in the Text the glorie of heaven is set forth by a Crown; the Circle is the most perfect figure. Significat Corona perfe­ctionem, rati­one figurae cir­cularis. Brondo. This blessed Crown doth incircle within it all perfe­ction. I shall first break up the ground of the Text by Explication, & then come to sow the seed of Doctrine.

1. Henceforth] 1. [...], in posterum. Beza. This word [...], henceforth, is a relative word; either first it may bear date from the time of the Apostles conversion; Henceforth there is laid up a Crown: assoon as a man is implanted into Christ, he stands intituled to a Crown. Or secondly, this word Henceforth may relate to the end of his race and fight. Paul had run through all the several stages of Christianitie. He had finished his course, and from hence­forth saith he, there is laid up a Crown. He knew his work was done, and there was nothing now remain­ing, [Page 3] but to step out of the world, and put on his Crown.

2. There is laid up for me a Crown of righteousness] 2. [...]. Quest. Quest. Why a Crown of Righteousnesse? it is a Crown of mercie; Psal. 103. 4. a Crown that free grace bestows; Why then is it called Corona justitiae, a Crown of righteousness? Answ. 1. Negatively; not that we can byAnsw. I. N [...]g. our righteousnesse merit this Crown. Bellarmine builds his Doctrine of Merit on this Text; Aquinas and Bonaventure say, that we merit this Crown ex condig­no, by way of condignitie. But the whole current of our Orthodox Divines runs another way. Opera san­ctorum non esse talia ut eis ex condigno debeatur mer­ces; asserunt. Gregorius, Hie­rom, Origen, Durandus. And the Apostle makes a clear distinction between a reward be­stowed by Merit, and by Grace; Rom. 6. 23. The wages of sin is death, but the guift Rom. 6. 23. of God [...]. is eternal life. Had the reward been by merit, the Apostle should have said, the wages of God is eternal life. Gratia non est gratia ullo modo, nisi sir gratuita omni modo. Aug. contra Pelag. & Celessium, lib. 2. c. 24. tom. 7. Alas! how can we merit a Crown? before we merit we must satisfie, but we have nothing to satisfie. How can fi­nite Obedience satisfie infinite Justice? Besides, what equalitie is there between our service, and the reward? What proportion between the shedding of a Tear, and a Crown? So that we cannot by our righteousnesse merit this Crown Munera sua coronat Deus, non meritatua. Aug. Ep. 105..

I Answer therefore 2. Affirmatively, it is called aAnsw. 2. Assir. Crown of righteousnesse in a double sence. [...]. Because it is Corona promissa, it is a Crown promised, Promissum Dei cadit in debitum. Balduinus. Re­vel. 2. 10. I will give thee a Crown. God having made this promise, Non dici­mus Deo, red­de quia acce­pisti, sed red­de quod tu promisisti. Aug it is a righteous thing to bestow this Crown on us. Metcedem tribuit, non quod uilo ipsum obsequio praeveniamus, sed quia eodem quo er­ga nos coepit liberalitatis tenore, priora sua dona posterioribus cumulat. Calvin. 2. It is a Crown of righteousnesse, be­cause it is Corona acquisita, a Crown purchased; it is a Crown bought with the price of blood. It was so [Page 4] bought as it was given, else where were God's mercie? And it was so given as it was bought, else where were God's justice. This Crown swims to us through the blood of a Saviour. When Christ was hanging upon the Crosse, he was purchasing a Crown for us: and in this sence it is a Crown of righteousnesse; it is righteous with God to give us the Crown which Jesus Christ hath paid for so dearly.

3. This Crown is said to be laid up. 3. [...].]

The Crown is kept in reversion. God doth not pre­sently broach the full vessels of glorie: he doth not presently install us into our honour: it is Corona recon­dita, a Crown laid up. The Saints are heirs under age; God doth not crown them till they are of age: the sons of Kings are oft crown'd during their minori­tie, some have been crown'd in their cradle; Hen. 6. Speed Chron. p. 662. but the heirs of glorie must be of perfect stature before they are crowned. God will give his children the ring, and the bracelets here, some of the comforts of his Spirit, but not the Crown, we are all for present pay; we are still putting off our repentance, yet would bee putting on our Crown; God will have us stay a while, the Crown is laid up.

Quest. But why is it laid up, why is not the CrownQuest. Answ. 1. presently put on? Answ. 1. It is not fit that we should yet wear it, and that for two reasons. 1. Our graces are imperfect in this life; Christianus mundus est & mundandus. Aug. tract. 80. in Johan. they are in their infancie and minoritie; therefore we are said to receive but primitias, the first fruits of the Spirit, Rom. 8. 23. non decimas, saith Luther; we are but Christians in fieri, Luther de profectu in Christian. we have onely some imperfect lineaments of grace drawn in us; our graces are mingled with much cor­ruption, as Gold in the Oar is mingled with drosse; the [Page 5] most refined soul hath some lees and dregs of sin left in it. The life of grace is said to be hid, Col. 3. 3. our faith is hid under unbelief, as the corn is hid under the chaff; now if God should set the Crown upon us in this life, he should crown our sins as well as our graces. There­fore the Crown is laid up. 2. 'Tis not fit that wee should yet wear the Crown, for then it would take us off from doing our work; wee should be idle in the Vineyard. Who will take pains for a reward, when he hath the reward already; therefore the Crown is laid up. Wee must run the race before wee wear the Crown.

2 The Crown is laid up to make heaven the sweet­er. Answ. 2. Quo longius defertur, eo suaviùs laetatur. Greg. in mor. The longer we stay for our Crown, the sweeter it will be when it comes. The absence of that which we desire, doth but endear it to us the more when we enjoy it. After all our sweating for heaven, all our praying, weeping, fasting, how welcom will a Crown bee? Therefore it is that God, though he will not de­nie, yet hee will delay our reward; 'tis a Crown laid up.

Quest. But if this Crown be laid up, when shall wee wear it? this brings me to the fourth and last particu­lar in the Text.

4. In that day] 4. [...]. Ter­tullian. What day? Die obitûs mei, saith Tertullian. * In the day of my death. Justinus and others are of opinion, that the Saints shall not receive this Crown till the Resurrection. But Hierom con­futes this opinion Elect is in morte datur vitae Corona. Hierom. The Souls of the elect shall be presently Crown'd with joy and felicity; The body indeed shall lie in the grave, as in a bed of perfume, till the resurrection. Jacet in se­pultura usque ad diem novis­ssimi sui adven­tus. Anselm. That this rerurrection shall be is clear. Job. 19. 26. John. 5. 28. Therefore it is that some of the antients have [Page 6] called the grave [...] a sleeping house, because this body shall awake again, and the Jewes called their burying place, The house of the living, s because they [...] believed that life would come into them again at the resurrection, and till then, the bodies of the Saints must wait for their preferment; but their Souls shall be immediately Crown'd after death.

Why else should Saint Paul desire to be dissolved, if he were not presently Crown'd with glory? It were better for believers to stay here, if they should not be imme­diately with Christ. Here they are daily improving their stock of grace, they are increasing the jewels of their Crown; though they sit in the valley of teares, yet God often turns their water into wine, they have many Praelibamina sweet tasts of Gods love; they have the bunches of grapes; If Pauls Soul should sleep in his body (a drowsy opinion) then when he desired to be dissolved, he wished that which was to his losse, but this Crown shall be given in that day, die obitûs, the day of our death. It cannot be halfe a days journey between the Crosse and Paradise.

The words being thus opened, fall into these three parts.

1. Here is a glorious reward, a Crown.

2. The adjournying of this reward, it is layd up.

3. The persons on whom it is bestowed; viz. Paul, and the rest of believers. For me, and not for me onely, but for all them that love Christ's appearing.

Doctr. That the righteous person shall wear the Crown of righteousnesse. For the illustration of this, I shall do four things.

1. I shall enquire who this righteous person is.1.

2. I shall evince it by Scripture, that the righ­teous2. [Page 7] person shall wear this blessed Crown.

3. I shall shew you, wherein the reward of Glo­ry3. is compared to a Crown.

4. Wherein this Crown of righteousnesse excells,4. and out-shines all earthly Crowns.

I. Who this [...] or righteous person is. I an­swer,I. a man may be said to be righteous, two ways. 1. legally. Thus Adam while he did wear the robe of1. innocence was legally righteous; he had that [...] a law of holiness written in his heart, and his life was a living commentary upon it. He went exact­ly, according to every institute of God; as a well made Diall goes with the Sun; but this is lost and forfeited.

2. A man is said to bee righteous Evangelically: And this righteousnesse is two-fold; either a righteous­nesse2. by imputation. Rom. 4. 6. This righteousnesse is as truly ours to justifie, as it is Christ's to give. Or 2. a righteousnesse by implantation. Ezek 36. 29 27. The one is by the merit of Christ: The other is by the Spirit of Christ. Now this implanted righteousness is in the Soul as an in­trinsecall quality; and if it be of the right kind, it must be there three manner of ways. 1. Righteousness must [...]. be in the Soul, Extensively, Subject [...]m denominatur à major [...] parte. in every part; we do not call a Blackmore white, because he hath white teeth. Those are not said to be righteous, who can speake righteously, what are these white teeth? righteous­nesse like a holy leaven must diffuse, and swel it self into every part, the understanding, will, affections. The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, 1 Thes. 5. 23.1 Thes. 5. 23. Therefore grace is called the new man. [...]. Col. 3. 10. not a new eye, or a new tongue, but a new man. A Saint though he be righteous but in part, yet he is righteous in every [Page 8] part. 2. Righteousness must be in the Soul intensively. [...]. we call water hot, when it is hot in the third or fourth degree; he is not said to be righteous who is tepid and neutrall in religion; This was Laodicea's temper, Lukewarm, Revel. 2. 16. I would thou wert cold or hot ver. 15. I would thou wert something; any thing ra­ther then lukewarm: Righteousnesse must rise up to some degree, David boiled over in holy zeale, Psal. 119. 139. Psal.3. 119. 139. My zeale hath consum'd me. 3. Righteousnesse3. must be in the Soul Perseveringly. [...]. It must abide, and continue. He is not a righteous person, that is good onely in a passion, either of fear or joy; hypocrits may seeme righteous for a time, so long as the wind sits that way, but it is quickly over; they change apace; not unlike the hearb Poleon whose leavs in the morning are white, at noon purple, at night blue; Thus they change in their goodnesse, and are of divers minds, as Joseph's coat of divers colours. Hypocrites for the most part live to confute themselves; they are like Cataline of whom Salust observes, he had a good and hopefull be­gining, but a bad end. Bonis initiis malos exitus habuit. Salust. I have read of a certain peo­ple in India called Pandorae, that have white hoar haires in their youth, and in their old age black haires. An embleme of hypocrites, who at first look white and fair like Saints, but in their elder yeares do blacken in wickednesse; These mens religion was never in grain, they are onely to be judged righteous persons, who with Job hold fast their integrity. Job 2. ver. 3. Feramus er­go fidei fructū ab adolescen­tiâ, augeamus in juventute, compleamus in senectute. Ambrosedeabr. lib. 2. cap. 8. There is a great deal of difference between the motion of a Watch, and the beating of the Pulse: the one is quickly at an end, but the other proceeding from a vitall prin­ciple, is permanent, and constant, as long as there is life [Page 9] the Pulse beates: True righteousness is a spirituall Pulse, which will be ever beating. So much for the first, who this righteous person is.

2. The second particular which I will but glance at, is, that the righteous person shall wear the Crown of righteousnesse. Jam. 1. 12. He shall receive the Crown of Jam. 1. 12. Rev. 2 10. life. And Rev. 2. 10. I will give thee the Crown of life. By both which Scriptures you see, that a true Saint is heir to the Crown; The truth being so apparent; I may say as they did in another sence, What needs there further witnesse. Luke 22. 71] I proceed therefore to the next thing.

3. To shew you wherein the reward of glory is3. compared to a Crown. It is called here a Crown of1. Righteousness, and that in three respects. 1. a Crown is res splendida; Corona insig­nem habet prae caeteris orna­mentis dignita­tem, Bern. the Crown-roiall hung with jewels, is a splendid magnisicent thing. [...]. 1 Pet. 5. 4. Thus the Crown of Righteousnesse is most orient, and illustrious. For the splendor of it, it is called a Crown of Glory. 1 Pet. 5. 4. It must needs be glorious, because it is a Crown of Gods own making. Sinne hath made us our Crosses, God hath made us our Crown. What are all the beau­ties, and glories of the world which have been esteem'd most famous, in comparison of this Crown of Righteousnesse? The Temple of Diana, Quid tem­plum Dianae, quid Columna Solis, quid Co­rona Apollinis aurea. Mausolus Tomb, the Egyptian Pyramides, the Pillar of the Sun, which the Heathens offered to Jupiter. The glory of this Crown is inexpressible. [...]. Cyril lib. 2. contr. Jul. were the Angels them­selves sent from heaven, to give us a description of this Crown of Righteousnesse, they would sooner want words then matter. But here I must draw a vail, as not being able to give you the [...], or dark shadow of it; Nor can it be set out by all the lights of [Page 10] heaven; though every star were turn'd into a Sun.2.

2. A Crown is res ponderosa, a weighty thing. So is the Crown of Righteousnesse; Corona haec non magis exi­mia quam in­gens. Corn. a lap. Therefore it is call'd by the Apostle, a weight of Glory. [...] 2 Cor. [...]. 17. We think our sufferings weighty, alas, they are light in comparison of our Crown; This Crown of Righteousnesse, is so weigh­ty, that it would soon overwhelme us, if God did not make us able to bear it.] 3. a Crown is res honorifica an honourable thing. Corona est insigne regiae potestatis. Bron­do. Thou Crownest him with honour Psal. 8. 7. Therefore when King Ahashuerus asked Haman, What shall be done to the man whom the King will * Psal. 8. 7. honour? Haman could think of nothing more honou­rable then the Crown. Let the Crown roiall which the King useth to wear be set upon his head Esther, 6. 8. A Crown is not for every one, it will not fit every head; It is for Kings and persons of renown to wear. What great honour was it to wear the Olympick Crownes! Olympicae Co­ronae quae cele­bres erant in Asia & Grecia, olim tanti aesti­mabantur ut [...] evchebatur in sublime, & isli­usmodi Coronae eo in praetio sue­runt, ut non Pauci hoc decus ipsi vitae praetu­tulerunt sicut humanae saelicitatis terminum. Co [...]. To which the Apostle seems here to allude. A Crown is a badge and ensigne of imperiall honour. Diagoras [...]tres filios vidis­set vincere & coronari eodem Olympiae die, eumquo [...] adolescentes amplexi Coronis suis in pa­tris caput posilis, suaviarentur; cum [...]ue populus gr [...]tul [...]bundus stores undique in eum jaceret, ibi in stadio, in oculis atque manibus filiorum animam efflavit, Gellius lib. [...]. cap. 15. So this Crown of Righteousnesse is insigne honoris, it is an en­sign of royalty and excellence. Onely those who are, è regio Sanguine n [...]ti, born of God, and have the blood royall of heaven runing in their Souls, do wear this blessed Crown. The men of the world may heap up Silver as dust, but the Crown God reserves onely for them whom be hath made Kings. Rev. 1. 6.

4. The last thing is, to shew you wherein this Crown of Righteousnesse exceeds, and out-shines all earthly crowns; That will appear in fix particulars. 1. This Crown of Righteousnesse is, lawfully come by. It is a [Page 11] Crown which God himself will set upon our head. The Lord, the righteous judge will give it me at that day, saith the Text. Therefore it is come by lawfully. Other crowns are often usurped; As histories abundantly witness; they may be called Crowns of unrighteousness, because they are unrighteously gotten. Julius Cesar was wont to say, For a Crown it was lawfull to violate any Oath. Si violetur jus jurandum sit regni causa. The Saints have not their Crown by usurpati­on, but by Election; They are chosen to a Crown 2 Thes. 2. 13.

2. This Crown of Righteousnesse exceeds in pure­nesse. 2. Other Crowns are of a more feculent, drossie mettle, They have their troubles. A Crown of gold cannot be made without thorns Seleucus rex dicere solebat, si multi scirent quantum sit ne­gotii tot Episto­la [...] mittere, [...]t curas subire, ne humi diadema tollerent. Herein the Crown of Righteousnesse excells. It is made of a purer metal, there are no cares or crosses woven into it. It fills the Soul with melody; It banisheth all sorrow from the heart, there can be no more sorrow in heaven, then joy in hell.] 3. This Crown of Righteousnesse can never be lost or forfeited. Other Crowns may be lost.3. [...] Agath. The Crown is fallen from the head. Lam. 5. 16. Henry the sixth was honoured with the Crowns of two King­doms, France and England. The first was lost through the faction of his Nobles, the other was twice pluck'd from his head, before his death. Speed's Chr. The Crown hath many heirs and successors; How many have been de­posed either by fraud, or force. But this Crown of Righteousnesse can never be lost. God will not say, Re­move the diademe, take off the Crown. Ezek. 21. 16. This Crown is set upon the head of Christs Spouse, and Christ will never depose his Spouse. There's nothing unlesse sinne can forfeit the Crown; but Believers shal be so fixed in their Orbe of sanctity, that they cannot have the least erring, or retrograde motion.

[Page 12]4. This Crown of Righteousnesse is a never-fading Crown Corona haec non fit ex rosis aut gemmis, flo­res isti ex qui­bus contexitur semper vi [...]ide­scunt, repullu­lant semper. Other crowns are like a garland of flowers that soone withers; Doth the Crown endure to all gene­rations? Prov. 27. 4. All outward glory passeth away as a swift stream, or a ship in full saile; Crowns wear away and tumble into the dust: But this Crown of Righteousnesse Fades not. Quid ubi cum flore morituro? quid caput stro­phiala, aut dra­contario, gloriae di idemati de­stinatum? Ter­tul. de Coron. mil. 1 Pet. 5. 4. Eternity is a jewell of the Saints Crown; after Millions of yeares, it will be as bright and splendent as at the first dayes wearing.

5. This Crown of Righteousness doth not draw envy to it. Davids own son envied him, and sought to take his Crown from off his head. A Crown of gold is often the marke for envy and ambition to shoot at: But this Crown of Righteousnesse is free from envy. The white Lilly of peace is a flower that grows in this Crown. One Saint in glory shall not envy another [...]. Macar. hom. 33. because all are Crown'd; And though one Crown may be larger then another, yet every one shall have as big a Crown as he is able to carry.

6. This Crown of Righteousnesse makes a man bles­sed; Earthly Crowns have no such virtue in them; They rather make men cursed; they are so heavy that they often sinke men into hell; They make mens heads so giddy, that they stumble and fall into Hurtfull lusts. [...]. 1 Tim. 6. 9. But this Crown of Righteousnesse makes them blessed that wear it. The Hebrew word to Crown, sig­nifies, to Compass round. Because the Crown doth com­pass them that wear it with terrene felicity. The Saints shall have a sight of God to eternity, [...] This is the en­compassing Crown. The Schoolmen place happinesse in the Vision of God. a Verbe, signi­ficat [...] am­bire, & circum­ [...]ingere. But besides the Saints shall [...], have such communications of divine [Page 13] excellencies, as they are capable to take in. This is the quintessence of blessednesse. In Coelesti be­atitudine sine aliquo taedio manens aeternitas, inspectio sola divinitatis efficit, ut beatius nihil esse possit. Cassidor. Ep. lib. 2. [...] Psal. 16. 11. * Lombard. Aquin. * [...]. Macar. hom. 34.

Ʋse. 1. Information, and it hath four branches. 1. ItUse 1. Infor. 1 Branch. shews us that Religion is not imposed upon hard terms; God doth not put us upon things unreasonable, he doth not cut us out work and give no reward, behold, there is a Crown of Righteousnesse laid up. Joh. 6. 60. When wee* Non exemplis tantùm sed prae­miis ad Christū allicimur. Bern. hear of the doctrine of Repentance, steeping our souls in brinish tears for sin; the doctrine of Mortification, pulling out the right eie, wee are ready to crie out as they did, This is an hard saying, who can hear it? No beloved, Gods terms are not unreasonable, he never sets us on work but we are sure of Double pay; many sweet encouragements he gives us while we are doing the work, hee often strews our ways with Roses, shedding his love abroad into our hearts, Rom. 5. 5. filling us with joy in believing, Romanes 15. verse 13. Hee that hath the least mercie from God in this kinde, will die in his debt: but when wee look upon the recompence of reward, which doth as far exceed our thoughts, as it doth surpass our deserts, Then surely we cannot say to God (without wrong) as he Mat. 25. 24. I knew thee that thou art an hard man. If a King should bid one take up his staffe when it is fallen, and for that should settle an annuity upon him for life, this were not unreasonable. When you have done all (as our Lord Christ saith) you are but unprofitable servants. Luke 17. 10. What advantage do you bring to God? Yet for this poor inconsiderable nothing there is a Crown laid up. Sure God doth not invite [Page 14] you to your losse, nor can you say he is a hard Master. Satan, who would discourage you from a strict holy life, will he give bond to assure you of som hing equi­valent to this Crown? As Saul said in another sence, Will the son of Jesse give you fields and vineyards, and make you Captains of thousands. 1 Sam. 22. 7. So, will Satan who disparageth the waies of God give you Crowns to possesse? will he mend your wages? Alas! you know what wages he paies, his wages are death, Rom. 6. and truly the lesse wages the better.

2 Branch. See here that which may raise in our hearts an holy indignation against sin, it will make us forfeit our Crown. Sin is not onely hateful in its own nature, the most horrid, ugly, deform'd thing; which made holy Anselm say, That if hee should behold the pains of Hell on one side, and the deformitie of Sin on the other, and he must of necessitie choose one of these two; I would (saith he) rather throw my self into hell, then voluntarily commit one sin against God. Anselm inter opusc. cap. 190. Fol. 82. But besides the intrinsecall-filth that is in sin, (it being the very spirits & quintessence of evill) this may cause in us an abhorrency of it; Sin would degrade us of our honour, it would pluck away our Crown from our head; Thinke what will the end of sin be? as Abner said to Joab, will it not be bitternesse in the latter end? 2 Sam. 2. 26. If men before they did commit sin, would but sit down and rationally consider, whether the present gain and sweetnesse in fin, would make amends for the future losse, I beleeve it would put them into a cold sweat, and give some check to their unbridled affections. Ja­cob tooke Esau by the heel. O? do not look upon the smileing face of sin, but take it by the heel, look at the end of it; It will bereaves us of our Crown. And can [Page 15] any thing countervail this losse? When a man is tempted to Pride; let him remember this will swel his head so big, that the Crown wilnot com on; Wo to the Crown of Pride! Isa. 28. 1. the Crown of Pride will hinder him of the Crown of Righteousness. When he is tempted to Lust, let him re­member that for the injoying the pleasures of sin for a sea­son, Hebr. 11. 25. he hazards a Crown of immortality. [...]. And is there so much sweetnesse in sin, as is in a Crown? When he is tempted to drunkennesse, (a sin that doth not onely unchristian him but, un-man him) O ignis infer­nalis luxuria! cujus sumus in­famia, cujus flamma immun­ditia, cujus fi­nis gehenna. Hierom. let him consider here it would uncrown him of his reason, and after­wards un-crown him of his happinesse. When he is tempted to swearing, let him think with himself, this is a sin which hath nothing to render it delightful. Other sinns have a shew of pleasure and profit, which is the [...]. bait men are drawn with. Capiuntur ho­mines voluptate ut pisees hamo. Cicero lib de sen ect. But the swearer is brought to the devills hook without any bait. O! is it not madnesse for these unfruitfull works of darknesse Eph. 5. 11. to forfeit heaven. How will the devill reproach, and laugh at men? That they should be so stupid, as for a rattle, to forego a Crown. Like those Indians, who for pictures and glasse-beads will part with their gold. O! how should we hate sin which will take away our Crown from us.

3. Branch. See here the misery of a wicked man,3. Branch. though he may be, Coronis aureis donatus, and flourish in his bravery while he lives, yet when he dies he shall not have a Crown of Righteousnesse, but Chaines of Darknesse. Jude, ver. 6. Death carries him prisoner to hell, it leades him away to be Crucified. The Egyptians as Plutarch reports at their feastes, brought in a Death's­head with this Motto; Hoci [...]tuens epulare. Plut. Look upon this, and proceed in your banquet. The sinner who sports himselfe [Page 16] with sin, and Crowns himselfe with Rose-buds, in the mid'st of all his mirth and musick; here's a Death's head for him to look on. The day of Death to him will not be a day of Inauguration, but a day of Ex­ecution. How can the wicked rejoyce? Theophylact us'd to say, his estate is miserable that goes laughing to hell. We may say of this laughter, it is mad, Eccles. 2. 2. Suppose yee saw a man set in a rotten chair, under him a fire burning, over his head a Sword hanging by a twine thread, and before him a table spread with va­riety of delicacies, sure he would have but little sto­mack to eat, sitting in that danger: So it is with a sin­ner, his Soul sits in his body as in a chair, diseases like worms breed there, under him hell fire is burning, over his head not a Crown, but a sword of Justice hangs, when death breakes this chair of the body, he falls into the fire, & this fire is unquenchable. Luke 3. 17. Multitude of tears cannot extinguish it, length of time cannot annihilate it. Nor let the sinner expect any Charon to ferry him over that stygian-lake, (as some have vainly fancied) Godw. antiq. God hath the Keyes of hell, Rev. 1. 18. and besides thedamned are bound hand and foot. Matt. 22. 13. So that there can be no coming out. O that this might scare and affrightmen from their evill courses! The wick­ed when they are dying must say to their Souls, as the Emperor Adrian; Animula, va­gula, blandula, quo vadis? O my poor wandring Soul, whi­ther art thou going? What will become of thee? There remaines nothing for sinners, but a certain fearfull looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. Heb. 10. 27. God will not say to them, Come hither and be Crowned, but go ye cursed. Mat. 25. 41.

4. Branch. It shews us, as in a Scripture-Glasse, the happinesse and nobility of a righteous person. 4. Branch. In his [Page 17] life he wears Stolam justitiae, a robe of righteousnesse. And after death he weares Coronam justitiae, A Crown of Righteousnesse. I say 1. In his life time he weares a Robe of Righteousness, Isa. 61 10. this is the righteous­nesse of Christ, in which he is look'd upon & reputed as righteous as Christ himself. 2 Cor. 5. 21. We are made the righteousnesse of God in him. 'Tis not said, we are made the righteousnesse of Angels, but of God. 2. After death he wears a Crown of righteousnesse. This Crown doth incircle all blessednesse within it; Profectum ul­terius don re­qui [...]i [...], qui ad superna perve­nerit. Lactanti­us lib. 3. divin. instit. The Saints are not perfectly happie till death, then comes the Crown. Here we are but aeternitatis candidati, candi­dates and expectants of heaven. This is but seed-time, we sow the seed of praier, and water it with our tears, the golden harvest is yet to reap. The Crown is laid up. When Craesus ask'd Solon whohe thought happie? He told him one Tellus, a man that was dead. Ante obitum nemo supremá­que sancra felix Solon. So a Christian is not perfectly happie till death; then the Crown shall be put on. The Thracians in their fune­rals used musick; and Theocritus observs, that the Hea­thens had their [...], or funeral banquet, because of that felicitie which they supposed the parties decea­sed to participate of: when the mantle of a Believers flesh drops off, then shall his soul ascend in a trium­phant chariot, and the garland of glorie shall be set up­on his head.

Ʋse 2. Trial. Examine your selves whether you areUse 2. Trial. Quest. Answ. the heirs of this Crown. Quest. But how may that be known? Answ. By this one note; If you set the Crown on Christs head while you live, he will set the Crown on your head when you die. Have you wis­dom to manage businesses of concernment, strength to do duties, resist temptations, bear burdens? you will [Page 18] not assume, or arrogate any thing to your selves, but let Christ wear the Crown: Celarinus in quantum gloria sublimis, in tan­tum verecundiâ humilis, Cypr. 1 Cor. 5. 10. Thus Saint Paul, 1 Cor. 15. 10. I labored more then they all, and yet not I. This is the Inscription on Christ's vesture, and on his thigh, King of Kings, Rev. 19. 16. Then we do what in us lies to make him King, when we set the Crown of all up­on his head. King Canutus (as Historians relate) took the Crown off his own head and set it upon a Crucifix; so a good Christian takes the Crown of honour and applause from his own head, and sets it upon the head of Christ: This is hard for flesh and blood to stoop to; a proud heart will not easily part with the Crown; he will commend Christ, and bid others bow the knee: onely in the throne he would be greater. Gen. 41. 40, 43. But be assu­red there's no way for us to reign with Christ, but to let Christ reign here.

Ʋse 3. Exhortation; and it exhorts us to four things:Use 3. Ezhort. 1. Branch. 1. If there be a Crown laid up, it calls for our love to God. Behold what manner of love the Father hath be­stowed upon us, 1 John 3. 1. to give us a Crown. This is the highest enobling of a creature. If there be love in a Crumb, what is there in a Crown? If there be love in Pardoning-mercie, what is there in Crowning-mercie? [...]. It is a favour that wee poor vermiculi, worms and no men, should be suffered to live; but that Worms should be made Kings; Animam me­am odio habe­rem si alibi quàm in Christo invenirem, Aug. that Christ should be arreigned and we adorned; that the Curse should be laid on his head, and the Crown set on ours, Behold what manner of love is this! It is beyond all Hyperbole. And should not this make our hearts reverberate, and eccho back love. Rev. 1. 6. Gal. 3. 13. Oh Christians! light your love at this fire; as burn­ing glasses when the Sun hath shin'd on them they burn: God having so shin'd upon us in love, let our [Page 19] hearts burn; and our love to God must be divinely qualified.

1. It must be a Genuine love; we must not love1 Amor Genui­nus. him propter aliud, for something else, as a man loves a potion for health sake; but as a man loves sweet Wine, for it self. We must love God for those intrin­sick excellencies in him, Jesus propter Jesum. Aug. which are so alluring and amiable.

2. It must be a Voluntarie love, Deut. 23. 23. else it is not love 2. Amor elici­tus. but coaction: It must come freely, as water out of a Spring. It must be a free-will offering, not like the pay­ing of a Tax.

3. It must be an Exuberant love; it must not bee3. Amor exube­rans. Modo sine mo­do. Bern. stinted, not a few drops, but a stream; it must like Nilus, over flow the banks.

4. It must be a Transcendent love; it must be of no4. Amor prae­signis. ordinary extraction, but a choise, intire, superlative love; we must not onely give God the milk of our Love, but the cream; not onely the truth of it, but the spirits and quintessence. I would cause thee to drink of spi­ced wine, and the juice of my Pomgranates, Cant. 8. 2. If the Spouse hath a cup which is more juicie and spi­ced, Christ shall drink of that.

5. It must be a most Intense ardent love: The Sun5. Amorinten­sivus. [...]. Greg. Nyss. Rom. 12. 11. shines as much as it can; such must our love to God be, ad ultimum virium, it must boil over, but never give o­ver. What unparallel'd love hath God shewn us. Oh Christian! answer love with love. In love we may, as Bernard saith, reciprocate with God. In amore cum Deo reciprocare licitum est. Ber. If God be an­gry, we must not be angry again, but if God love us, we must love him again. O love God the Father, who hath made this Crown for us; love God the Son, who hath bought this Crown for us; love God the Holy [Page 20] Ghost, who hath made us fit to wear this Crown.

2 Branch, Exhort. Let us pant, and breath after this2. Branch. happy condition. [...]. Chrys. hom 6. ad Thes. Doth not the heire desire to be Crowned? Here we have a weight offin. Heb. 12. 1. In heaven a weight of glory. 2 Cor. 4. 17. How should our souls be big with desire to be gon hence, what is the world we so dote on? 'Tis but a spacious prison, and should not we be willing to goe out of prison to be Crowned. The bird desires to go out of the cage, though it be made of Gold. The Academicks compare the Soul of man to a fowle, mounting with her wings aloft: Pi [...]callom. lib. 10. Eth. Every Saint is a true bird of Paradise, he is ever flying up to­wards heaven in ardent and zealous affections, he longs to be out of this earthen cage of the body, when with the Phaenix he shall receive his golden Coronet on his head, and shine in glory as the Angels of God. Tully observes that Scipio when his father had told him ofTully in somn. Scip. ithat glory the soul should be invested with in a state of mmortality, Why then saith Scipio do I tarry thus long upon the earth? why do I not hasten to dye? Methinks when we heare of this Crown of righteousnesse, which will so infinitely enrich, and adorn the Soul, [...]. it should make us weary of this world, and long for the time of our solemn inauguration. How did Paul desire to be dissolved. Mors non est iuteritus, sed in [...]roitus. Would not a man be willing to hoise up Seales and crosse the waters, though troublesome if he were-sure to be Crown'd assoone as he came at shore. Why are our Souls so earthly? [...]. Chry. ad Hebr. We love to be grazing in the worldes full pastures, and are affraid to dye. Most men look so ghastly at the thoughts of death, as if they were rather going to the Crosse, then the Crown. O long for death! The Apostle calls death a putting off our earthly Cloaths, 2 Cor. 5. 4. This is all [Page 21] death doth to us, if we are in Christ, it puts off ourEgredere ani­ma▪ gredere; quid times? cloaths, and puts on a Crown. This should make us say as Hilarion, Go out my Soul, go out, why trem­blest thou? thou art going to receive a Crown. A believer at death will be the happiest looser, and the happiest gainer. He will loose his sins, he will gain Glo­ry. The day of death is the Saints Coronation day.

3. Branch. Learn so to deport and demeane your3 Branch. selves, that this Crown of Righteousness may be set upon your heades, when you dye. Qu. How is that? Answ. Do three things.

1. If you would wear the Crown of Righteousnesse, 1. find in your hearts the work of Righteousness, Isa. 32. 17. That is, the work of Grace wrought in you; and this Work must be evidenced by a mighty change; which is somtimes called an ingrafting, somtimes a Transforming. Grace makes a Metamorphise; [...]. Rom. 12. 2. it produceth in the Soul a configuration, and likeness to Christ; first there must be a Consecrating work, before a Crowning work. We read in Scripture in the solemne inauguration of their Kings, first they anointed them, and then they Crown'd them. Z [...]dock the Priest took an horn of oile out of the Tabernacle, and anointed solomon; * Unctio invi­sibilis gratia. Aug. tom. 9. col. 6. o. and after that he was Crown'd: So there must be the unction of the Spirit [...] Mac. hō. 15 1 Kings 1. 39., 1 John 2. 20. first God powrs on us the anointing oile of grace, and after the horn of oile, then coms the Crown.

2. If you would wear the Crown of Righteousnesse, 2. then walk in the way of Righteousnesse Prov. 12. 28. This is called in Scripture, a walking [...] after the Spirit, Rom. 8. 1. As the people of Israel walked after the Pillar offire; and the wisemen walked after the Star; Mat. 2. 9. which way the Star went, they went. [Page 22] And somtimes it is called a walking by rule, Gal. 6. 16. Those that expect a Golden Crown, must walk by a Golden rule. Be sure you walk with Davids Candle and Lanthorn in your hand, Psal. 119. 105. He that walks in the dark, may soon be out of the way. Walk [...], Soberly, in acts of temperance; [...], Righte­ously, in acts of Justice; [...], Godly, in acts of Piety. Titus 3. 12. Walk as Christ did upon earth; His life was (as one saith) purer then the Sun-beams. Chrysostom. Copy out his life in yours; Be assured you shall never partake of the priviledge of Christ's death, unlesse you imitate the patterne of Christ's life. Would you wear the Crown of Righteousnesse; walk in the way of Righteousnesse; but alas this is a very untroden way. 1. Some know the way of Righteousnesse, but do not walk in it; like the Graecians, of whom Plutarch speaks, they knew what was honest, but did it not. 2. Others Commend the way of Righteousnesse, but do not walk in it; like those that tast and commend the wine but do not buy. 3. Others walk Antipodes, in stead of walking in the way, they are good onely at Crossing the way, they oppose the way of Righteousnesse, such are persecutors. 2 Tim. 3. 8. 1 Thes. 2. 15. 4. Others walk a few steps in the way and then Go back again; Quid prodest currere, & ante cursus metam deficere? Bern. Nónne Rhetor circa finem ora­tionis satagit clarior appare­re, ut cum ap­plausibus disce­dat? nónne Gu­bernator si pela­gum totum per­transeat, circa portum autem consringat ra­tem, omnem perdit operam oleumque; sic iis convenit qui exordiis finem non imposue­runt. These are apostates. 2 Tim. 4. 10. As if there were any going to heaven backward. 5. Others walk Half in the way, and half out; these are loose pro­fessors, who though in som dogmaticals they dissent not from us, yet under a notion of christian liberty, they do walk carelesly, and presumtuously, crying up justifi­cation, that they may weaken the power of sanctifica­tion: They can take that liberty, which others trem­ble to think off; Surely were there no other Bible to [Page 23] read in, but the lives of some professors, we should read but little Scripture there. 6. Others walk soberly a while in the way, but on a sudden drinking in the poison of error, Nonnulli dum veritatis disci­puli esse nolunt humilime ma­gistri erroris fi­unt. Greg. lib. moral. begin to be intoxicated with novel and dangerous opinions, who as the Apostle saith, Are turned aside after Satan. 1 Tim. 5. 15. Ignatius calls error the invention of the Devill. [...]. Ig­natius Epist 2. ad Trallianos. Basil calls it a Spiritual drunkennesse; and when the head is giddy the feet must needs reel. Loos principles, breed loos practises. 7. Others in stead of walking in the way, do Traduce & slander the way of Righteousness. The way of truth shal be evil spoken of, 2 Pet. 2. 2. or as it is in the Greek, [...], it shall be blasphem'd. The men of the world give out, that the way of Righteousnesse is a solitary way, & makes them melancholly that walk in it, and that they must expect to loose their joy by the way; These forget that golden saying of Austin, when a man is converted, and turned to God, his joy is not taken away, but changed, Homine ad Deum converso, mutatur gaudi­um non tollitur, Aug. 'tis more sublime, and pure; And doth not Solomons Oracle tells us, that All the ways of God are pleasantnesse.

Prov. 3. 17. Take the most ruggid part of the way of religion, and it is pleasant walking; Holy weeping seems at first very uncouth and disconsolate, but how often, while the Saints weep for sin, doth the Lord make them weep for joy. Psal. 126. 6. The water of repentance like rose-water, while it drops from the stil of the eye, sends forth a sweet smell, which refresheth the Soul with in­ward consolation. O what green branches! what full clusters of Grapes, hang all along as we are walking in the way of Righteousnesse: How then dare men ca­lumniate?

8. Others Creep in the way, they do not walk; they go on but very slow, like the motion of the eighth [Page 24] sphere. Those who look on can hardly tell whether they make any progresseor no. They are dull in their heavenly motion, and had need often pray with Da­vid for Gods free Spirit. Psal. 51. 22.

9. Others walk quite besides the way. Those are pro­phane persons, who dedicate their lives to Bacchus, Qui vi [...]iliùs peccant, Senec. who border every step they take upon the Devills confines. They are like Asa, diseased in their feet; 1 King. 16. 23 they walk as the Apostle saith, [...] disorderly 1 Thes. 3. 11. like souldiers that march out of rank & file. Jesus Christ doth not onely send forth blood out of his sides to re­deem us, but also water to cleanse us. 1 John 5. 6. They that have have not the power of the one to sanctify, may question the benefit of the other to save. O! all you that would wear the Crown of Righteousness, walk in the way of Righteousnesse; labour to keep up the credit of religion in the world; walk [...], exactly, walk so that if we could suppose the Bible to be lost, it might be found again in your lives. 2. If you would wear the Crown of 3. Righteousnesse, put 2. Tim. 4. 7. on the Armour of Righteousness. 2 Cor. 6. 7. The meaning is if wil you have this Crown, you must fight for it. I have (saith Paul) fought the good fight Cer [...]ent sin­guli ut acci­piant coronas vel de opere candidas, vel de passione purpu­reas. Cyprian Epist. 9.; a metaphor, as Chrysost. & Ambrose observe, taken from wrestlers, who when they had gotten the victory were Crown'd. 'Tis Corona triumphalis, therefore the Saints in glory are set forth with Palms in their hands Rev 7. 9. Corona non promittitur ni­si certantibus. Aug. 3. Tom. in token of Victory. Christians must strive as in the Olympick combats; they must not onely be Ornati but Armati. Not onely adorned with the jewell of know­ledge, but Armed with the breast-plate of faith. 1 Thes. 5. 8. Sa­tan is a Lion in the way, there must be a pitch'd battel. This Crown is worth contending for; A Christian shines most in his spirituall armour. This is his sacred [Page 25] gallantry when he is like those souldiers Curtius speaks of Non auro ne­que splendida vesle, sed ferro [...]e [...]ere ful­gentes. Quint, Curtius., who did not look gay in gold and glittering appa­rel, but shined in their martiall habit. The Crown in set upon the head of the conqueror; those delicatuli, those dainty silken Christians that live at ease, Quid dicam de lis Christia­nis, quibus cura est ut vestes be­ne oleant, qui­bus ut crines calamistro ro­tentur, quibus ut digiti annu­lis radient, & si via humidior siat, vix in eam pedes compri­mant. Hieron ad Eustoch. and will not make the least sally out against the enemy, they shall have no Crown, but be discarded for Cow­ards. Lycurgus would have no mans name written up­on his Sepulcher, but his that died manfully in war; God will write no mans name in the book of life, but his that dies fighting. [...]. Ignatius Epist. 8. ad Polycarp. When the Saints after all their Spirituall battells shall come to heaven Conquer­ors, then (as it was said of Cesar,) shall their ensigns of honor be hung up, Tribuuntur beatis Coronae aurcae, Rev. 4. 4. in signum tum potestatis regiae, tum victoriae. Gerard. loc. Theo [...]. tom. 8. then shall the Crown of Righte­ousnesse be set upon their head.

4. Branch, let this put spurres to our sluggish hearts, and make us act with all our might for God. What wrestling? What sweating? 4. Branch. How should we [...] provoke our selves to holiness? How should we spend, and be spent for Christ, how should we strive to bring in some Crown-revenews to our Lord and Master, when we consider, how infinitly it shall be rewarded. While we are laying out for God, he is laying up for us, henceforth there is a Crown laid up. How should this Crown adde wings to praier, and oile to the flame of our zeale? O Christian let thy head study for Christ, let thy tongue plead for him, let thy hands work for him! What honour & dignity hath been done to Mordecai saith [Page 26] King Ahasuerus, Esther. 6. 3. enquire what hath been done for God. Me thinks we should somtimes go aside into our closets and weep, to consider how little work we have done for God. Beloved, what a vaste dispro­portion is there, between our work and our reward;* Quantum discrimen inter sudorem & Co­ronam? our sweat and our Crown. And 'tis but a while, a very little while before the Crown shall be put on. The time is short, saith the Apostle. 1 Cor. 7. 29. [...]. We are ready to strike saile, we are almost at shore, and then we shall be Crown'd. O! improve the present season for the glo­ry of God; The Crown is hard by, you saile apace, work apace; and that I may put spirits into Christians, and quicken their obedience, consider this, the more work you do for God, the bigger Crown you shall wear. There are degrees of glorie, Dispar est gloria singulo­rum, attamen communis laeti­tia omnium. Aug. Med. he that with his pound gained five, was made ruler over five Cities; Luke 19. 17. but he that with his pound gain'd ten, was made ruler over ten Cities. Sicut va [...]iè Deus saa dona sanctis in hoc mundo distribu­ens, cos inequa­liter irradiat, ità in caelis pa­tet non sore ae­qualem gloriae modum. Cal­vin. lib. 3. Inst. As one Star differs from another in glorie, so one Crown differs from another in glorie. If there are degrees of torments in hell, thenby the same reason there are degrees of glorie in heaven. That there are degrees of torments is evi­dent, Luke 20. ult. Who for pretence make long prai­ers, the same shall receive [...] greater damnation. They that do wrap sin in Religions mantle, that intitle God to their wicked nesse, shall have an hotter place in hell; even so there are grada­tions in happinesse. Aretius, An­selm, Pet. Lom. Bernard. How then should we abound in work, seeing we shall exceed in reward?* 1 Cor. 15.

Ʋse. Here is a Gospel-hony comb, dropping com­fortUse ult. Con­solation. into the hearts of the godly. How may this al­leviate all the afflictions of this life, and make these wa­ters [Page 27] of Marah sweet and pleasant to drink of, There is a Crown laid up. A Christian in this life hath some­thing to grieve him, and yet something to comfort him. [...]. Menand. A true Saint is haeres Crucis, an heir of the Cross; if he wears any robes, they are bloodie; if any Crown, 'tis of Thorns: [...]. Greg. Nazian. but here is that may sweeten his suf­ferings, here is Wine mingled with his myrrhe, he* Nunc pluit & daro, nunc Ju­piter aethere sul­get. shall be crowned in Paradise; This my brethren may change our mourning into melodie, our tears into tri­umph; though we bearth Crosse, we shall wear the Crown. [...]. Chiys. hom. 27. ad Hebr. and these sufferings cannot continue long, if our life be short, our sufferings cannot be long: O how may this sweeten all the bitter cups we drink of! Cleopatra put a jewel in her cup which contein'd the price of a Kingdome: when we are drinking in our Wormwood cup, let this jewel be put into our cup to make it drink more pleasantly, There's a reward of glorie. Though Death be in the Cup, here's Sugar lies at the bottom, Henceforth there is a Crown of Rightcous­ness laid up. So much for the Text, now to the oc­casion.

Sorrie I am to bee an Actor in this mournful Scene; ItThe Occasion. might better have becom som other, (grief often caus­ing brokennesse of expression) but I forbear to Apo­logize. We are here met to solemnize the Funerals of THOMAS HODGES Esquire, who I believe was not more generally known then loved. I shall not beeCicero pro Archia Poet. such a [...] as Homer of Achilles: what I shall speak of him now interred, shall be onely some of my own [Page 28] observations. I hate to give flattering titles Job. 32. 22.; onely seeing it is the last office of love I can do, suffer me to strew a few flowers upon his Hearse: The Jews did [...], Embalme the bodies of their Dead, and why may not Names bee Embalmed.

1. He was not onely a frequenter, but a very reve­rent hearer of the Word; and to my best observation did seem to receive the truth not onely in the light of it, but in the love of it.

2. He was a great zealot, and opposite against error. He liked not to hear Heterodox Preachers, as know­ing that smooth tongues could easily put off bad wares, he was a friend to Truth.

3. He was a great honourer and encourager of the lawfully Ordained Ministers; I seldom heard him speak of such as were conscientious without som testi­mony of respect; This I observed of him, he ever pri­zed those Ministers most (not who did smooth their tongues Jer. 23. 31. [...] qui lemsicant pagnin. or did use to gingle out their words in the Pulpit, whose preaching was rather musi­call, then medicinall, but) who did speak most to the conscience; Verba non tam inflant is quàm inflāmā ­tis. 'Twas Bo­naventures En­comium, It was a good sign of a spiritual appetite, that he liked rather the savouriness of the meat, then the garnishing of the dish.

4. He was vir sine fuco; a most true hearted man to his friend. He was no [...] he knew not that art (which some have) at the same time to flatter, and hate. The Romans painted friendship with her hand upon her heart; Fagius Com. in Alpotheg. An Hieroglyphical Embleme of a faithfull friend, who fetcheth all words from the bottom of his heart. This our friend deceased would speak plainly what was in his mind. Not like those who [Page 29] have the honey of fair words in their mouth, and the sting of malice in their heart.

5. He was one that did not sinfully comply with the humors of men. There are too many who Froteus like, can change into any shape; who can sail with any winde, especially if it blows preferment; this I may say of him, though death did break him, the times could never bend him. He did often in my hearing b'ess God for that liberall allowance, which providence had carved out to him, Fuit annona sua contentus. nor did he desire to increase his estate by increasing his guilt.

6. He was very Charitable to the poor; The age we live in, though it hath the Lamp of Profession, yet little of the Oil of Charity; 'Tis the sin of many rich men though they have a flourishing estate, yet they have a withered hand, Luke 6. 6. and cannot stretch it out to good uses. It was a serious and weighty speech of Chrisostom. Feed (saith he) the hungry with your Charitie while you live, that you feed not the fire of hell when you dye. [...]. Chrys. in Phil. Serm. 1. There was a Temple erected at Athens, which they called the Temple of mercy; it was dedicated to Charitable uses; And there could not be a greater reproach laid upon a­ny man, then to upbraid him with this, that he had not been in the Temple of mercy. This may be the re­proach of many rich men in this Citie, that though they somtimes visit Gods Temple, in the frequenting publick Ordinances, yet they are seldom or never seen in the Temple of mercy. They can drinke in a full cup themselves, but will not let one drop fall beside to refresh the bowells of the poor; Their arguments con­clude still in Celarent. As for this our friend deceased I must herein be his [...], and let it be his garland [Page 30] now he is gone. He had not onely an Estate, but an heart; though I often went to him for works of Chari­ty, he used not to make any excuse (which is onely an handsome denyall) but his fingers drop'd with the myrrhe of liberality, which is a sacrifice of a sweet smell­ing savour to God; Eph. 5. 2. He had indeed a free and noble spirit; he sailed equall between two rocks; he avoid­ed vain profusness, he hated a sordid penuriousness. When I came to him on his death-bed, he told me that sin was the burden of his life, and that he cast himselfe only upon the merits of Christ, but saith he, How hard do I find it to believe; which words were dropped out with many teares. 'Tis better to Complain then presume. I might expatiate but I shall here contract my sails. These things were commendable in him, [...]utu [...]ae soli­citatis praesa­gia. Bern. and imi­table by us. Here was good fruit which did adorn the Tree. It will be our wisdome to Copy out what we see good in others, and to walk so unblameably in holi­ness, that while we live we may have good hope through grace of a part and interest in Christ; and when we dye, may receive that Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give at that day to all them who love his appearing.

FINIS.

In marg. pag. 12. for [...] read [...].

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