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So did these Pharisees: they would not fast without a smeared
exceed the hypocritical righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
My speech must end in their Covetousness and Ambition: a pair of heinous vices. I join them together; for they are not only brethren, but twins; yet so as the elder here also serves the younger. It is Ambition, that blows the fire of Covetousness. Oppression gets wealth; that wealth may procure honour. Why do men labour to be rich, but that they may be great?
Their Covetousness was such, that their throat,' an open sepulchre, swallowed up whole houses of widows. Whence their goods are called by our Saviour, Luke xi. 41, Tà évóvta, not тà ovтa; as if they were already in their bowels. And, which was worst of all, while their lips seemed to pray, they were but chewing of that morsel.
Their Ambition such, that they womanishly brawled and shouldered for the best seat; the highest pew; poronλicías nai apоTOadedpins. Matth. xxiii. 6. A title, a wall, a chair, a cap, a knee, these were goodly cares for them that professed gravity, humility, mortification. Let me boldly say, Jerusalem never yielded so very Pharisees as Rome. These old disciples of Sammai and Hillel were not Pharisees in comparison of our Jesuits.
From Judgment, you see, I am descended to Practice; wherein it is no less easily made good, that these are more kindly Pharisees, than the ancient. A poor widow's cottage filled the paunch of an old Pharisee: how many fair patrimonies of deyout young gentlemen Druryed by them, (pardon the word, it is their own; the thing I know and can witness) have gone down the throat of these Loyolists, let their own Quodlibet and Catechism report. What speak I of secular inheritances? these eyes have seen no mean houses of devotion and charity swallowed up by them. for their ambitious insinuations, not only all their own religious enviously cry down, but the whole world sees and rings of. What oar of State can stir, without their rowing? What kingdom either stands or falls, without their intermeddling? What noble family complains not of their prowling and stealth? And all this with a face of sad piety and stern mortification. Yea, what other is their great Master, but the king of Pharisees? who, under a pretence of simple piety, challenges without shame to have devoured the whole Christian world, the natural inheritances of secular princes, by the foisted name of Peter's Patrimony; and now, in most infamous and shameless ambition, calls great Emperors to his stirrup, yea to his footstool †. But what wander we so far from home?
* A word, which the Seminaries report, in their Quodlibet, usual amongst them, to signify beguiled and wiped of their inheritance; from the example of M. Henry Drury, of Lawshull, in Suffolk, so defeated by the Jesuits. As at Winnoxberg, in Flanders, near Dunkirk; where a rich legacy, given by a charitable lady for the building of a hospital, was cunningly turned to the maintenance of Jesuits.
+ Sacr. cerem. 1. i. de Cons. Benedict. et Coron. Pontif. Postea Imperator, si præsens est, stapham equi Papalis tenet, et dein ducit equum per frænum aliquantulum. And afterward: Dum Imperator hæc officia præstat, debet Papa
Væ nobis miseris, saith St. Jerome, ad quos Pharisæorum vitia tra-
modestè recusare: tandem cum aliquibus bonis verbis recipiendo permittit, aliquantulum progredi, &c. That is, "While the emperor doth these services to the Pope, of holding his stirrup, and leading his horse by the bridle, the Pope ought modestly to refuse: but at last with some good words, he suffers him to go on a while; and then at last stays himself, &c.
* Τὶς μέγας. Acts viii, 9, αὐτὸς ὁ.
+ Give me not poverty nor riches. Prov.
of all sorts cry to heaven, and are answered with threats; yea, with variety of vengeances. Take this with thee yet, O thou Worldling, which hast the greedy worm under thy tongue with Isaiah's dogs, and never hast enough: thou shalt meet with two things, as unsatiable as thyself; the Grave, and Hell: and thou, whom all the world could not satisfy, there be two things whereof thou shalt have enough; Enough mould in the grave, enough fire in hell.
I love not to end with a judgment; and, as it were, to let my sun set in a cloud. We are all Christians: we should know the world, what it is; how vain, how transitory, how worthless. We know where there are better things, which we profess ourselves made for, and aspiring to. Let us use the world like itself; and leave this importunate wooing of it to Heathens and Infidels, that knew no other heaven, no other God. Or, if you like that counsel better, "Be covetous:" "Be ambitious." Covet spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. xiv. 1. Never think you have grace enough: desire more; seek for more: this alone is worth your affections, worth your cares. Be still poor in this, that you may be rich; be rich, that you may be full; be full, that you may be glorious. Be Ambitious, of favour, of honour, of a kingdom; of God's favour, of the honour of saints, of the kingdom of glory. Whither, He, that hath bought it for us, and redeemed us to it, in his good time, safely and happily bring us! To that Blessed Saviour of ours, together with the Father, and his Good Spirit: the God of all the World, our Father, Redeemer, and Comforter, be given all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE PASSION SERMON;
PREACHED AT PAUL'S CROSS, ON GOOD-FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 1609.
TO THE ONLY HONOUR AND GLORY OF
MY DEAR AND BLESSED SAVIOUR,
WHICH HATH DONE AND SUFFERED ALL THESE THINGS FOR MY SOUL, HIS WEAK AND UNWORTHY SERVANT
HUMBLY DESIRES TO CONSECRATE HIMSELF AND HIS POOR
BESEECHING HIM TO ACCEPT, AND BLESS THEM TO THE PUBLIC GOOD, AND TO THE PRAISE OF HIS OWN GLORIOUS NAME.
TO THE READER.
IDesire not to make any apology for the edition of this my Sermon. It is motive enough, that herein I affect a more public and more enduring good. Spiritual niceness is the next degree to unfaithfulness. This point cannot be too much urged, either by the tongue, or press. Religion and our souls depend upon it; yet are our thoughts too much beside it. The Church of Rome so fixes herself, in her adoration, upon the Cross of Christ, as if she forgat his glory: many of us so conceive of him glorious, that we neglect the meditation of his Cross, the way to his glory and ours. If we would proceed right, we must pass from his Golgotha to the Mount of Olives, and from thence to heaven; and there seek and settle our rest. According to my weak ability, I have led this way in my speech; beseeching my readers to follow me with their hearts, that we may overtake him, which is entered into the true sanctuary, even the highest heavens, to appear now in the sight of God for us.
JOHN xix. 30.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and bowing the head, he gave up the Ghost,
THE bitter and yet victorious Passion of the Son of God, right honourable and beloved Christians, as it was the strangest thing that ever befel the earth, so is both of most sovereign use, and It is one looks for the most frequent and careful meditation.