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Wherefore hath God given us his good creatures, but that we should enjoy them? Doth not Solomon tell us, there is nothing better than that a man should eat, and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour? Eccl. ij. 24. And why is God so incensed against Israel for doing what he allows them? Know then, that it is not the act, but the time, that God stands upon. Very unseasonableness is criminal: here and now, comforts are sins: to be jovial, when God calls to mourning; to glut our maw, when he calls to fasting; to glitter, when he would have us sackclothed and squalid; he hates it to the death: here we may say with Solomon, Of laughter thou art mad, and of mirth what is this thou doest? He grudges not our moderate and seasonable jollities: there is an Ope-tide by his allow. ance, as well as a Lent. Go thy ways: eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for now God accepteth thy work. Lo, God's acceptation is warrant enough for our mirth. Now, may his saints rejoice and sing: but there is a time to mourn, and a time to dance. It was a strange word, that God had to the prophet Ezekiel, That he would take away from him his wife, the comfort of his life, and yet he must not mourn: but, surely, when he but threats to take away from us the public comforts of our peace and common welfare, he would have us weep out our eyes; and doth no less hate that our hearts should be quiet within us, than he hates that we should give him so just cause of our disquiet. Here the prophet can cry out, Quis dabit capiti neo aquas? And how doth the mournful prophet now pour out himself into Lamentations; How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Sion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel! Lam. ii. 1. Oh, that our hearts could rive in sunder, at but the dangers of those public judgments, which we have too well de served, and be less sensible of our private concernments! then should we make a right use of that dreadful hand of God, of whom our prophet here, Thou hast made the carth to tremble.
2. This for the Passive earthquake of Public Calamities: now for the ACTIVE, OF PUBLIC STIRS AND TUMULTS: with these the land is moved too: and this qraking is so much more unnatural, for that men are here the immediate troublers of themselves; whereas, in the other, they are moved by the immediate hand of God.
And here, alas, what shall we say to those men, that take pleasure in the embroiling of states that, with Nero, can sing to see the city on fire? that love to dance upon a quaking earth? yea, that affect to be actors in these unkindly motitations That great mathematician braggart could vainly say, “ Give me a place where to set my foot, and I will move the earth.” That, which that proud engineer would do by art, these men will do by wickedness: that, and more; for they will be moving that earth, which they cannot but tread upon.
I remember Georgias Agricola, who when I was a young man was noted for the most accurate observer of these under-ground secrets of nature, tells us, most probably, that the secondary and immediate cause of an ear:hquake is a certain subterraneous fire; kindled of some sulphureous matter within the bowels of that vast body, and increased by the resistance of the ambient coldness: the passages whereof being precluded and blocked up by the solid and cold matter of the earth, it rages and roars within those dark hol. lows; and, by the violence of it, as murmuring to be thus forcibly imprisoned, shakes the parts about it; and, at last, makes way by some dreadful Vesuvian-like eruption. Such is the mis-kindled heat of some vehement spirits: this, when it lights upon some earthy, proud, sullen, headstrong disposition, and finds itself crossed by an authoritative resistance, grows desperately unruly ; and, in a mad indignation to be suppressed, is ready to shake the very foundations of government; and, at last, breaks forth into some dangerous rups ture, whether in Church or State. But, forasmuch as these mischiefs are first hatched within, and notice cannot be taken of them till they have got a dangerous head, since no mau keeps the key of a man's own heart but himself; the true way of a perfect prevention, is, for men to work upon their own souls in secret, to suppress the first rising of male-contented and mutinous thoughts in their own breasts, to settle in themselves a true valuation of peace and a just sense of the mischiefs of contentions.
Let no man think I intend to strike at a wise, holy, well-governa ed zeal: no; I hug this in my bosom, as the lively temper of grace, as the very vital spirits of religion: I wish there were more of that in the world: I speak of the unruly distempers of male-contented persons; and of the furies of Anabaptism and Separation. Let such men think what they will of themselves, Solomon has past his doom upon them; Prov. vi. 14: Homo nequam miscet contentiones; as Tremellius turns it: He is no better than a wicked inan that haicheth dia visions. However they may slight this contentious humour, I dare confidently say, a private murderer shall make an easier answer, than a public disturber. Even apostolical charity can wish, Would to God they were cut off that trouble you. And, more than so, wherea as they would not be more stirring than their neighbours, if they did not think themselves wiser; he, that is wiser than they, gives them their own: It is an honour for a man to cease from strife, but coery fool will be meddling; Prov. xx. 3.
So then, a quarrelsome man in a parish, especially if he have gotten a little smattering of law, is like a cholic in the guts; that tears, and wrings, and torments a whole township: but a Seditions ary in a State, or a Schismatic in the Church, is like a sulphureous fiery vapour in the bowels of the earth, able to make that stable element reel again ; worse than that monster of tyrants, who could say, tuo Savoviós yaic píx9410 Tupí; “When I am dead, let earth and fire jumble together:" but this man says ėms ūvlós; “Let me live" to see the earth totter, and with that shaking torn and divided: which is the usual effect of the earthquake, and the second head of our intended discourse; Thou hast broken, or divided it.
II. I come not hither to astonish you, with the relation of the fearful EFFECTS, which earthquakes have produced in all ages: as it were easy to do, out of histories and philosophical discourses; where you may see rocks torn in pieces, mountains not cast down only but removed, hills raised not out of vallies only but out of seas, fires breaking out of waters, stones and cinders belched up, rivers changed, seas dislodged, earth opening, towns swallowed up, and many other such hideous events: of which kind, our own memory can furnish us with too many at home; although these colder climates are more rarely infested with such affrightful aeci
dents. It is more properly in my way, to shew you the parallel ef: fects of the distempers and calamities in States and Churches.
1. To begin, therefore, with the ACTIVE BREACHES.
Whom should I rather instance in, than that woeful heart-burning of Korah the son of Levi, and of Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Reuben? No sooner were they enflamed with an envious rage against Moses and Aaron, than two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown, rise up in the mutiny against their governors: and these draw with them all the congregation of Israel to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. What is the issue? After Moses his proclamation, the people withdraws from their tents; the earth opens her mouth; swallows up Korah and his company, with all that pertained to them; and they go down quick into the pit. What a shriek do you think there was, when they found themselves sinking into that creadful gulf! As for the two hundred and fifty Reubenites, fire came out from the Lord and consumed them. 'Lo, the two terrible effects even of material earthquakes, opening and burning, which we shall find spiritually happening in all commotions of this nature. · Look at the rebellion of Jeroboam: the male-contented multitude, when their petition speeds not, cries out, What portion have we in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, 0 Israel : look to thine own house, David. What was the effect! Israel departed to their tents: only Judah stuck to Rehoboam: there is the division. The stones fly about the ears of Adoram, and be come his sudden tomb; and drive their Liege Sovereign to his chariot: there is the fire of violence.
So, upon the harsh proceeding of Innocent the IVth against Frederick the Emperor; Maxima partialitas populorum subsecuta est, as Tritemius tells us. There was such a division of the people, as lasted, in the computation of that author, no less than two hundred and sixty years; not without the effusion of much blood: those, which took the Pope's part were called Guelfes; those, which took the Emperor's, Gibellines. Here was uéya choud indeed, with this Roman earthquake. .
What should I overlay you with instances? Will ye see the like effects in the Church? I could tell you of those Eastern earthquakes, caused by the Arians; Donatists, Circumcellians; of those of Provence, and the bordering parts, wherein so many thousand honest and inoffensive Albigenses were overwhelmed. I could tell you of the Parisian massacres, and many other such tragical acts. Take that one, whereof Binius himself can tell you; Pope Urban the Vlth, coming to his episcopal chair, would be correcting the loose manners of the Cardinals: they, impatient of his reformation, flew out: to 'Anagina; chose and set up another for an anti-pope, Clement VIIth: and, thereupon, perniciosissimum schisma, “a most pemicious schism,” arose; which could not be stinted of thirty-six years, or, as Fasciculus Temporum says, of forty years: in all which time, saith he, even the most learned and conscientious men knew not, who was the true. Bishop of Rome; cum gravi scandalo tolius Cleri,
et grandi jactura animarum. In the mean time, what woeful work, do you think there was! what discontented murmurs! what roaring of Bulls! what flashes of reciprocal anathemas ! what furious side takings! what plots! what bloodsheds!
Here, at home, what deadly divisions have our intestine earthquakes brought forth! How have whole fields, whole countries, been swallowed up, with the unhappily raised Barons' Wars; with the fatal quarrels of the Two Roses ! Blessed be God, our land hath had rest for many years, ever since that happy and auspicious union; and blessings and peace be ever upon that gracious head and royal line, in whom they are unied! I say we have had a long and happy peace, although perhaps it is no thank to somebody: for, had that sulphureous mine taken fire, as it was very near it, this State, in all likelihood, had not been shaken only, but quite blown up: those goodly piles, and therein the monuments of ancient kings, had been, together with the yet stirring limbs of dying princes, buried in their own ruin and rubbish: Dous oren.
It is a dangerous thing, Honourable and Beloved, for a man to give way to a secret discontentment, or to the first offers of sedi. tion. Curse not the king, no not in thy thought: curse not the rich, in thy bed-chamber; Eccl. x. 20. That great lawyer said well, If treason could be discovered but in the heart, it were worthy to be punished with death: for, however slight and force-less these beginnings may seem, they bring forth, at last, no less than public distraction and utter subversion. What a poor despicable beginning had the Scirifii, two brothers in Barbary, who desired nothing of their father but a drum and an ensign; but with them they made shift to over-run the two kingdoms of Fez and Morocco! What a small snow-ball was that, which cursed Mahomet began to roll; which since hath covered all the vallies, yea and mountains of the east! What a peor matter is a spark lighting on the tinder, and yielding a dim blue light upon the match? yet, if once it hath lighted the candle, it soon kindles a fire able to burn a world. Yea, what can be less considerable than a little warm vapour, fuming up in some obscure cell of the earth ? Had it had but the least breathing out, it had vanished alone without noise or notice: but now the inclosure heightens the heat, and the resisting cold doubles it; and now, it having gathered head, grows so unruly, that it makes the earth to tremble at the fury of it, and tears up rocks and mountains before it, in making vent for itself. Of this nature is a mutinous spirit: he needs no other incentive, than his own disposition; and, by that alone, enraged with opposition, is able to infame a world. So wise Solomon: As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife; Prov. xxvi. 21. → It hath been always, therefore, the wisdom of Churches and States, by an early suppression to prevent the gathering of these hot and headstrong vapours; by the power of good laws, by careful executions: and so they must do still, if they desire to have peace. If we would have our earth stand still, we must not stand still; but most seasonably, with all speedy vigilancy, disperse those unquiet and turbulent fumes, which rise up in it.
How have we seen Churches and States, like a dry unliquored coach, set themselves on fire with their own motion! How have ve seen good timber rotted, with but the droppings of a small chink! Yea, how have we seen goodly ships sinking, with but a leak!
It was a wise obseryation of Erasmus; Sunt quæ neglecta non la. dunt; exagitata graves suscitant tragedias; “There are things which do no hurt to be let alone, but when they are urged breed no small stirs."
It was an absurd and ridiculous mistake of the Vulgate Transla: tion of Luke xv. 8. as Salmeron himself observes in his Prolegomena: Mulier perdidit drachmum, accendit lucernam et evertit domum, instead of everrit; The woman lost her groat, lighted a condle, and overthrew the house, instead of sweeping See how one let: ter may mar a sense. But, truly, so it is. Many a one, in but the seeking of a sorry groat, lights the candle, and sets the house on fire. Would to God, we had not too much experience of this mischief! ..
No less mistaken, but to better purpose, is that of Psalm cvii. 40: where they read Effusa est contentio super principes; whereas the true word is effusa est contemptio; He poureth contempt upon princes : ÈTIAWOW, as - Apollinaris; or, as the Septuagint, étedéwory. The moral may be too good. Where there are quarrels and conten. tions, there will soon be contempt, shame, annihilation. It was our Saviour's word, A house divided cannot stand. If this then be a fearful judgment, which is here specified, That there is a division of the land, let our hearts abhor to be guilty of bringing it upon ourselves. Woe be to those, by whom the offence cometh! England had wont to be Anglia; quasi ev shéos: as Capgrave derives it; intus gloriosa. So we found it in the blessed times of our long peace, and so let us leave it to the succeeding generations. Far be from us that, which Bernard speaks of his time, Omnes suum stomachum sequuntur; that every man should follow his own stomach and luis own brain. Away with all peeyish humours of contention, if we love ourselves, our Land, our Church. Let us, as the Apostle charges, study to be quiet. Thus much for the Active breaches.
2. The PASSIVE BREACHES, which follow upon those earthquakes of judgment, are those grievous vastations, which have followed upon the publie calamities of any nation: for these are called breaches too, as Perez Uzzah ; and the hand upon the wall wrote Balthazar's Upharsin.
If the earth could quiver only for a time, and cease again with. out any sensible breach, it were no great matter:, but, as there is no thunder in the cloud without an eruption of lightning, so there