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bounty : the mercies of the wicked are cruel. They were precise in their Sabbath; we so loose in ours, as if God had no day : see whether our taverns, streets, highways descry any great difference, These things I vowed in myself to reprove: if too bitterly, as you think, pardon, I beseech you, this holy impatience; and blame the foulness of these vices, not my just vehemency.
And you, Christian Hearers, than which no name can be dearer, be persuaded to ransack your secure hearts : and, if there be any
you, whose awaked conscience strikes him for these sins, and places him below these Jews in this unrighteousness; if you wish or care to be saved, think it high time, as you would ever hope for entrance into God's kingdom, to strike yourselves on the thigh; and, with amazement and indignation, to say, What have 1 done to abandon your wicked courses ; to resolve, to vow to strive unto a Christian and conscionable reformation. Paul a Pharisee was, according to the righteousness of the Law, unreproveable ; Phil. ii. 6: yet, if Paul had not gone from Gamaliel's feet to Christ's he had never been saved. Unreproveable, and yet rejected! Alas, my brethren, what shall become of our gluttony, drunkenness, pride, oppression, bribing, cosenages, adulteries, blasphemies, and ourselves for them? God and men reprove us for these: what shall become of us? If the civilly righteous shall not be saved, where shall the notorious sinner appear? A Christian below a Jew! For shame, where are we? Where is our emulation? Heaven is our goal; we all run; lo, the Scribes and Pharisees are before thee: what safety can it be, to come short of those, that come short of heaven? Except your righteousness &c.
III. You have seen these Scribes and Pharisees; their Righteousness, and our unrighteousness. See now, with like patience, their UNRIGHTEOUSNESS that was, and our righteousness that must be, wherein they failed, and we must exceed. They failed then in their Traditions and Practice. May I say they failed, when they exceeded? Their Traditions exceeded in number and prosecution ; faulty, in matter.
To run well, but out of the way, according to the Greek proverb, is not better than to stand still. Fire is an excellent thing; but, if it be in the top of the chimney, it doth mischief rather. It is good to be zealous, in spite of all scoffs; but év narã, In a good thing ; .Galatians iv. 18. If they had been as hot for God, as they were for themselves, it had been happy: but now, In vain they worship me, saith our Saviour, teaching for doctrines the Traditions of men. Hence was that axiom received currently amongst their Jewish followers; “ There is more in the words of the wise, than in the words of the Law* :" “ More;” that is, more matter, more authority. And from this, principally, arises and continues that mortal quarrel, betwixt them and their KARRAim and MINIM unto this day.
A great Jesuit (Serarius,) at least that thinks himself so, writes thus, in great earnest; “ The Pharisees," saith he, " may not un. fitly be compared to our Catholics *.” Some men speak truth is. norantly ; some, unwillingly : Caiphas never spake truer, when he meant it not. One egg is not liker to another, than the Tridentine Fathers to these Pharisees in this point; besides that of free-will, merit, full performance of the Law, which they absolutely received from them: for mark; “ With the same reverence and devotion, do we receive and respect Traditions, that we do the books of the Old and New Testament t,” say those Fathers in - their Fourth Session. Hear both of these speak, and see neither:
* Plus est in terbis sapientum, quàm in verbis Legis. Galatin.
if thou canst discern whether is the Pharisee, refuse me in a greater truth. Not that we did ever say with that Arian in Hilary ; " We debar all words that are not written I :" or would think fit, with those fanatical Anabaptists of Munster, that all books should be burnt besides the Bible. Some Traditions must have place, in every Church; but, their place: they may not take wall of Scripture: substance may not, in our valuation, give way to circumstance. God forbid !
If any man expect that my speech on this opportunity should descend to the discourse of our contradicted ceremonies, let him know, that I would rather mown for this breach, than meddle with it. God knows how willingly I would spend myself into persuasions, if those would avail any thing; but I well see, that tears are fitter for this theme, than words. The name of our Mother is sacred, and her peace precious. As it was a true speech cited from that Father by Bellarmin, “ The war of Heretics is the peace of the Church $;" so, would God our experience did not invert it upon us, “ The war of the Church is the peace of Hereties !” Our discord is their music; our ruin, their glory. Oh, what a sight is this : brethren strive, while the enemy stands still, and laughs, and triumphs! If we desired the grief of our Common Mother, the languishing of the Gospel, the extirpation of religion, the loss of posterity, the advantage of our adversaries, which way could these be better effected, than by our dissensions ? That Spanish Prophet (Escovedo) in our age, for so I find him styled, when king Philip asked him how he might become master of the Low Countries, answered; “ If he could divide them from themselves.” Accord ing to that old Machiavelian principle of our Jesuits, “ Divide and Rule." And indeed it is concord only, as the posy or mot of the United States runs, which hath upheld them in a rich and flourishing estate, against so great and potent enemies. Our adversaries already brag of their victories; and what good heart can but bleed, to see what they have gained since we dissented; to foresee what they will gain? They are our mutual spoils, that have made them
**Non malè comparari Pharismos Catholicis. t Pari pietatis affectu et re. verentiâ, Traditiones, unà cum libris Veleris et Novi Testumenti suscipimus et veneramur. Decr. i. Sess, 4. I Nolo verba que scripta non sunt legi. Bel. lum Hæreticorum pax est Ecclesiæ : ex Hilario. Bellar. Concordjá res parta trescunt, &c.
proud and rich *. If you ever therefore look to see the good days of the Gospel, the unhorseing and confusion of that strumpet of Rome, for God's sake, for the Church's sake, for our own soul's sake, let us all compose ourselves to peace and love: Oh pray for the peace of Jerusalem ; that peace may be within her walls, and prosperity within her palaces
. For the Matter of their Traditions, our Saviour hath taxed them in many particulars ; about washings, oaths, offerings, retribution: whereof he hath said enough, when he hath termed their doctrine, the Leaven of the Pharisees, that is, sour and swelling. St. Jeromet reduces them to two heads. They were turpis, anilia ; some so " shameful,” that they might not be spoken; others idle and "dolt. ish;" both so numerous, that they cannot be reckoned. Take a taste for all; and, to omit their real traditions, hear some of their interpretative. The Law was, that no leper might come into the temple: their Tradition I was, that if he were let down through the roof, this were no irregularity: The Law was, a man might not carry a burden on the Sabbath : their Traditional $ gloss; if he car, ried ought on one shoulder it was a burden, if on both none; if shoes alone, no burden ; if with nails, not tolerable. Their stint of a sabbath's journey was a thousand cubits : their gloss was, that this is to be understood without the walls; but, if a man, should walk all day through a city as big as Nineveh, he offends not.
The Church of Rome shall vie strange glossems and ceremoDious observations, with them, whether for number or for ridiculousness. The day would fail me, if I should either epitomize the volume of their holy rites, or gather up those which it hath omitted. The new elected Pope, in his solemn Lateran procession, must take copper money out of his chamberlain's lap, and scatter it' among the people, and say, Gold and silver have I none !. Seven years penance is enjoined to a deadly sin **; because Miriam was separated seven days for her leprosy; Numbers xi: and God says to Ezekiel, I have given thee a day for a year ; Ezekiel iv. 6. Christ said to Peter, Launch forth into the deep; Luke v. 4 : therefore he meant that Peter's successor should catch the great fish of Con. stantine's donation tt. But I favour your ears.
That one I may not omit, how St. Jerome, whom they fondly term their Cardinal, compares some Popish fashions of his time with the Pharisaical; who, when he had spoken of their purple fringes in the four corners of their Tallin, and the thorns which these Rabbins tie in their skirts for penance and admonition of their duty : Hoc apud nos, saith he [, superstitiose mulierculæ in parvulis Evangeliis, in crucis ligne et istiusmodi rebus factitant; that is, “ Thus superstitious
Nostra miseriâ tu es magnus. De Pomp. Mimus. + In Matthew xxiii. Præc. Mos. cum Expos. Řab. Ibid. 11 Ibid. T Sacrarum ceremoniarum lib. i. accipit de gremio Camerarii pecuniam, übi nihil tumen est argenti ; sparRouisque in populo dicit: Aurum et argentum non est mihi, quod autem habeo koc tibį do. ** Canon. Pænitential. page 1, ++ Otho Frisingensis in præfat. #i la Matthew xxiii.
old wives do amongst us, with little Gospel of John, with the wood of the Cross, and the like.” Thus that Father directly taxeth this Romish use; who, if he were now alive, and should hear their Church groaning under the number of ceremonies more than the Jewish, would, besides holy Austin's complaint, redouble that censure of our Saviour, Matthew xxiii. 4, Woe to you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites ; for ye bind heavy burthens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders /
I forbear to speak of the erroneous opinions of these Jewish masters, concerning that Pythagorean transanimation *, or passage of the soul from one body to another, a point which the Jews had learned from them, Matthew xvi. 14; concerning the not rising up of the wicked; astronomical destiny ; free-will; merit of works; perfection of obedience: in every of which, it were easy to lose myself and my speech.
I haste to their main unrighteousness; which was not so much the planting of these stocks, which God never set, as the graffing of all holiness and God's service upon them; a fashionable observation of the outward letter, with neglect of the true substance of the Law t; a vain-glorious ostentation of piety and perfection; and more care to be thought than to be good ; a greater desire to be great, than good; cruelty and oppression, coloured with devotion.
My speech now, towards the closure, shall draw itself up within these two lists; of their Hypocrisy, their Worldliness : Hypocrisy, in Fashionableness and Ostentation ; Worldliness, in Covetousness, Ambition. Only stir up yourselves a while, and suffer not your Christian attention to fail in this last act.
Some of their Rabbins say well, That God requires two things concerning his Law, Custody and Work : Custody, in the Heart
; Work, in the Execution. These unsound and overly Pharisees did neither. It was enough, if they kept the Law in their hands : so they had a formal shew of godliness I, it was enough: if the outside of the platter were clean, they cared for no more. God had charged them to bind the Law to their hand, and before their eyes, Deut. vi. 8: wherein, as Jerome and Theophylact well interpret it, he meant the meditation and practice of his Law: they, like unto the foolish patient, which, when the physician bids him take that prescript, eats up the paper; if they could get but a list of parchment upon their left arm next their heart, and another scroll to tie upon their forehead, and four corners of fringe, or, if these be denied, a red thread § in their hand, thought they might say. with Saul, Blessed be thoù of the Lord, I have done the command ment of the Lord. That Opus operatum of the Papists, for I still parallel them, is not more false Latin than false Divinity. It is not the out-side of thy obedience, that God cares for; if never so holy
* Vide Drusium de tribus sectis Jud.
† Alia doctrina Pharisæorum, que est nisi legis secundam carnem observativ? Hier. in Gal. i. & 2 Tim. ij. 5; jópowow túr Bros. Si hæc prohibeantur, filum rubrum porient in manu. Præc, Mos. cum Expos.
never so glorious : it is enough, that men are cozened with these Aourishes: the heart and the reins are those, that God looks after. What cares a good market-man, how good the fleece be, when the liver is rotten? God doth not regard fashion, so much as stuff. Thou deceivest thyself, if thou think those shews, that bleared the eyes of the world, can deceive him. God shall smite thee, thou whited wall; God shall smite thee. Dost thou think he sees not, how smoothly thou hast daubed on thine whorish complexion ? He sees thee afar off; and hates thee, while thy parasites applaud thy beauty. I speak not of this carrion-flesh, which thou wantonly infectest with the false colours of thy pride, which God shall once wash off with rivers of brimstone: I speak of thy painted soul, and thy counterfeit obedience. Give me leave, yea let me také it, to complain, that we are fallen into a cold and hollow age; wherein the religion of many is but fashion, and their piety gilded superstition. Men care only to seem Christians. If they can get God's livery on their backs, and his name in their mouths, they outface all reproofs. How many are there, which, if they can keep their Church, give an alms, bow their knee, 'say their prayers, pay their tithes, and once a year receive the Sacrament, (it matters not how corrupt hearts, how filthy tongues, how false hands they bear,) can say in their hearts, with Esau, I have enough, my brother! As if God cared for this thy vain formality : as if he hated thee not so much more than a Pagan, by how much thou wouldest seem more good. Be not deceived: if long devotions, sad looks, hard penances, bountiful alms would have carried it, without the solid substance of godliness, these Scribes and Pharisees had never been shut out of heaven. Consider this, therefore, dear brethren; none but your own eyes can look into your hearts: we see your faces ; the world sees your lives ; yourselves see your souls : if your lives be not holy, your hearts sound; though your faces were like angels, you shall have your portion with devils. Tell not me thou hearest, prayest, talkest, believest : how livest thou? what doest thou? Shew me thy faith by thy works, saith James. It was an excellent answer, that good Moses gave to Lucius in the Churchstory * ; “ The faith, that is seen, is better than the faith, that is heard :" and that of Luther not inferior, That faith doth pinguescere operibus ; “ grow fat and well-liking with good works.” It is a lean, starved carcase of faith, thou pretendest, without these. If profession be all, the Scribes and Pharisees are before thee. Ransack thy heart; and find sound affection to God, firm resolutions to goodness, true hatred of sin : ransack thy life; and find the truth of works, the life of obedience: then, alone, thy righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; and thou shalt enter into heaven.
Their Ostentation follows: wherein it is strange to consider, howy those, that cared not to be good, should desire yet to seem good.