Page images
PDF
EPUB

chapter : and it nekeep a vessel to put our cearcs in, much more may we perfwade our selves that cur blood is prethus in his sight t Psalm the one hundred and sixteenth and the fifteenth verse 5 which point ministreth great comfort to them that suffer wrong.

Secondly, Hence we learn what is the nature of sinne; before the Holy Chost called it pectatum Cubans, that is, sinne fast asleep j but here is peccatum damans, not only sinne awake, but crying out aud warning ; tor sinne enticeth gently at the first, but ester it will pull a man by the throat: Even as the Devill is ttntator, Matthew the fourth chapter, he tempteth men to sinne, by all the pleasant means he can, and when he hath prevailed with them, then hs is accufator fratrum, Apoc. the twelfth chapter. Sinne is like the wile of Potiphar, which tempted Joseph by all fair means to folly, and as it lie had bsen guilty ,did first accuse him si e/iesis the thirty ninth chapter.* And as one anl wered foab, when he would have had him smite Absalom, If I had done it, it would have been the danger ot my life, yea thou thy (elf which perswadest me to doe it, wouldest have been the first that should accuse me, in the second book of Samuel, the eighteenth chapter and the thirteenth verse so sinne hath no sooner with its deceitfulnesse allured a man to doeevill, but it will straight way call to God tor vengeance agiinst him .• Which thing ought to make it odious in the eyes of all men. Though Abel complain not, Cain cons essc not, and Adam accuse not, yet we cannot so escape, for Mr own sinne is as a Serjeant that willfinde us out, Numbers the thirty second chapter, and the twenty third verse -, and when it hath found us, as 4 Goalor, it will hold and binde us with cords, Proverbs the fifth chapter, and the twenty second verse: And as the Prophet speaketh, in the second chapter of Habakkuk, and the eleventh verse, The stone out of the waB and the beam out of the timberJhallcry to God for vengeance upon oppressions, though the poor whose faces they have ground fay nothing, Efaj the rhi; d c sapter and the fifteenth verse. Touching which putsuit of sinne, the Wise-man faith, in the tenth chapter of Ecclestastes , Curse not the King, no not tn thy thought, neither curse the rich in thy bedchamber, for the fowls of heaven shall disclose it: Tea a mans own spirit will make him to conseffe his own sinne and if all means tail, yet the stones in thestreet will cry for vengeance. And we fee that there is vox won folhm oris, (ed Opcris, as the Prophet speaketh of Gods works, that the very heavens have a voycr, wherewith they doe enarrare gloriam Dei., psalm the ninteenth: And therefore the Heathen fay, Resipfa loquitur. Which as it ministreth fear to Cain and to the wicked; Ib comfort to rhe Godly: For if as we fee in Cain, sinne have a voyceto plead before God against a man; then no doubt Good workt but the good works that a man dor h, will speak to God for him, and cric 10 Go*« are remembrancers to put God in mindeto be gracious unto him: As God hcareth rears and putteth them in a bottle, as he heareth sighes and inward desires of the hearc which speak to him ; the Almes that Cornelius gave, had a voyce ro plead unto God for him * sotharof ah:athenhe was made a Christian, Atlsihc tenth chap

Hhh a tec.

ter. For as the concupiscence ot evill is sinne 5 so the very desire of good, is a virtue that plcascth God .• And it the raking away of a mans life, doe pull down the vengeance of God; then the saving of a mans life, or of his foul, will be a forcible means to procure Gods favour.

To conclude: The last point to be observed from hence is, That ifthe blood of had a voyce to speak unto God j then the blood of Christ Jesus must needs have a more powerfull voyce, because itfpeaketh letter things that the blood of Abel, Hebrews the twelfth chap, ttr aud the twenty fourth verse $ for the blood of Abel cryed for Justice, but Ghrist's blood cryeth for Mercy .• If when we doe evill it will plead to God sot vengeance 5 then if wee doc any good work, much more (hall it speak to God for us. And God as he is inclined to mercy, rather than to vengeance, will rather hear the vpyce of our good works, than of evill, because our good works (peak better things than our wicked actions.

[graphic]

Gtfi.4.11.n. Nunc itaque tu maleditlus efto: exful ah ifla terra, atu aferuit os juum ad excibiendum fangumem fratris tut e mam tua. Quum humum if jam colueris, ne pergito edere <vim sum ttbi: rvagus & infejius agitationibm esto in terra,

Aug. 16. u99, Utk&t&IM N these two verses is contained the sentence pro*

nounced by God against Cab j for God having performed that which the Holy Ghost telleth us in the thirty third chapter of fobxnd the twenty ninth verse, that God will deal twice or thrice with 4 man,that he may turn back hit foul from the fit: First in his examination, Where it thy Brother Ahel i Secondly, in his second question. What hast thou done? Thirdly, in laying open before Cam his sinne, Behold, the voyce of thy Brothers blood cryeth to me. Having spared him tor three transgressions, be will no longer bear with himy hut proceeded to sentence against him> for the fourth, in the first of Amos, and the third verse 5 (hewing that as he gave sentence against Adam confessing, to aisura usthatwemay proceed likewise upon confession $ so we may doe in case of conviction: And that it is a good ground to pronounce sentence * not only when Parties arc convicted upon witnesses, which is the more usuall way, but when by manifest arguments and proofs they arc proved guilty : For so in Cain, The falling down of his countenance, His going into the fields with his Brother, And he being found stain, thereupon arc manifest tokens that he slew Abel % sot there was none else to doc it: Upon those grounds God proceeds to give sentence against Cain.

without Cripplegate- 429

In which sentence we have an Ecce of Gods Severity in his Justice, and of his Bounty in Mercy.

For first, This $ a great mercy to Cain, that where God did not take this judiciall course with Korah, for resisting the Magistrate ot Gods people, but caused the earth presently to 1 wallow him up, in the sixteenth chapter ot Numbers and punished Ananias with stidden death, for that he lyednot to men but to God, Afis ti e fifth chapter, and never stayed either to fee whether he would confesse, or to convince him yet he will not proceed against Cain, till he have proved him guilty, and condemned him accordingly.

Of Gods proceeding in justice against Cain, there arc three parts. Fir It/he spirit uall part,against his loul. Secondly,the Oeconomicall parr, against his labour bestowed in rilling the earth. Thirdly, his Polittcall punishment, which standeth herein,That bostal be an exile And Vagabond on earth.

The first part of his punishment is in these words (Cursedart then stem the earth :) for Gods meaning herein fas Cain himself doth apprehend it, verse the fourteenth j is, that Cain is cast out from the earth, and from the presence of God} that is, God doth inflict upon him an Ecclesiasticall fevering from Gods presence} not from the presence of his Providence, for of that, Psalm the one hundred thirty ninth, Whither shall I gee from thy presence? but from the presence of Gods favour and grace, ot which the Prophet prayeth, Cast me Presrnceof not from thjfresence, psalm the fifty first, from the fellowship of the Oodi favour. Saints, as in saying, Cursed art thou from the earths he prooounceth upon him the sentence of Banishment out of the society of men. As God doth separate Cain out of the family of Adam, which was an Image of the Church, wherein he heard Gods word $ so also he doth baniislihim out of the company of men.

Touching the first point, we know that it is the highest punishment that can be inflicted, to be cursed of God ; for in the third of Gemfts, and the fourteenth verfe,the sentence pronounced upon the Serpent was, Cursed art thou; if there bad been any punishment more grievous doubtlesse God would have laid it upon him. And in the end of the world, the last and most fearfull punishment, or sentence upon the Devill and his Angels, is, he maleditfi^ Matthew the twenty fist chapter : Especially, when the curse is directed to the person, m&hdittut tu, as if it were shot out of purpose against him5 so he directed the curse to the Serpents person, Genesis the third, chapter and the fourteenth verse, Cursed art Thou above all tattel: But when God came to Adam, he spared his person, and laid the curse upon the earth, MaleoUfta terrapropter ttt Gene fit the third chapter and the seventeenth verse: But here we see the sentence is pronounced against Cah's person, (as it was against the Serpent,) Cnrjs* ed art Thou from the earth 1 Wherein we may see that Cab's fume h another manner of sin than Adam's, and therefore is more grievously punished, as it standeth with justice, guia ad ratitnempeccati trit flararummoiut, Deuteronomie the twenty fourth chapter*

Hhhj But

But Cain's sinne is greater than Adam's, five vvayes.

First, Adam's finnc proceeded out of concupiscence, butCaiu't came of malice, which deserveth no mercy,' as the Prophet sbeweth, psalm the fifty ninth, Be not mercifullto them that finite of malicious wickednejfe.

Secondly, Adam's sinne was committed upon a sudden, and did not take root as Cain's did ; for his sinne was a long time hatching and breeding-, for all Gods preaching to him, yet he went forward in sinne, albeit he had long admonition from God to keep him from it.

Thirdly, Adam hating committed his sinne, was taken with fear, and fled to hide him self if he could , but Cain was no,-a w hit afraid, but faced it out, and never shewed any sorrow for ir.

Fourthly, when Adam was examined he confessed his sinne willingly; but Cain obstinatly denyed ir, and would not bc-brought to confess- it, though God had three times laboured to make him con. fesse .• He denieth his taulr,»w» tarn audatfer quamprocaciter. Wherefore Adams sinne and Cains are not both of one regard or nature, and therefore must not be punished alike, but the oce more grievously than the other. So yet we fee here is a great correspondence between the Serpents finnc and Cain's 5 for as the Serpent of envy numbered our first Parents; so Cain is here the instrument of the Serpent to kill Abel, for that he envyed him: And therefore the Wife-man said, Invidia Diaboli intravit mors.

Fiftly, As the Devils sinne is pride, Ere fmilis altifime, JsaUb rhe fourteenth chapter & the fourteenth verse; so Cain shewed his pride by his contempt of Gods word & command, who forewarned him, noi to kill his Brother 5 as also by his saucy answer to God, Am I my Brothers keeper? Wherefore as Cain's sinne is equall to the Serpents sinne$ so he hath the fame punishment that the Serpent had, Malcdictus tu. In regard of which likenesse of their sinne, the Apostle faith, Cain is ex maligno Mo, in the first of fohn the third chapter and the twelfth verse 5 thati$,rather the Son of the Devill than of Adam: and therefore the Son is punished with the like punishment that was laid upon the Father.

* For rhe contents of the word Maledidut : The nature of a curse is, That the party upon whom it is pronounced must be cvill, as the Prophet faith, Isaiah the third chapter, and the eleventh verse, Dicitejusto qui a bene, v* autem malo quia male 5 especially that parry is cursed that hath no good in him, for wee see, in the eighteenth chapter of Genesis, if there had been any good in Sodom, but five persons, the Lord would have sparedit; but because there was no good in it, it was pljgucd with fire and brimstone, which doth most of all resemble hell. But on the other side, because there was wine found in one cluster, the Lord said destroy it not, Ipsiah the sixty fifth chapter, and the eighth verse. In the new Testament, God promiseth mercy to the Ttefoednes* Church of PhiUdelphia,qula modicam habes virtutem in the third of the •falUnw. Revelations, and the eighth verse. But Cain had no goodnesse left in

, . ;—■ — tudHk

him; ror whereas the goodnelsot a sinner is fcar,'i ame,compaflion and repentance 5 Cain had none of these. Adam was atraid when he had sinned, but Cain was io lictlc atraid that he faced out his sin, and as !or shame it was with him as the Prophet speaks, Jeremiah the eighth chapter and the twelfth verse, Were they ashamed when they bad committed (tone? Nay, they wire not ashamed and h>r confession he would make none, of whom that is verified, strut conftftio, Jeremiah the seventh chapter and the twenty eighth verse. Whereas the patience & long suffering should have lead ihcm to repentance, Cain found nothing in himsclr,£«f bad an heart that could not resent, Romans the second chapter, in regard whereof the sentence of God pronounced upon him is just. Secondly, it is just in that it is a fevering of Cain from Gods favour; for as Cyprian faith, amicitiam cum Serpente}inimicitia cum Deo feqmtur,iox it is just that he should be delivered to the pnrty with whom he was entred into league. Thus God dealt with his people, Judges the tenth chapter and the thirteenth verse, They have forsaken me and served other Gods: Cue and crie to themjet them deliver you; and as the incestuous Corinthian had made a league with Satan,fo the Apostles will is, ut tradatur Satan*, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the sift chapter, and this separation from Gods favour is from his presence, which hesheweth to his people th.it meet together to praise and pray to him, and to hear his Word, and be partaker of his Sacraments; of which presence he giveth this command; Seek je my face 5 to which the Prophet faith, Thy face Lord mill seek, Psalm the twenty leventh and the eighth" rerfe, wherewith agree the Apostles words, in the second to the Corinthians, the second chapter and the tenth verse, To whomsoever J forgive any things J forgive it for your fakes ic ©©a&Va Xp«Æ, id est, in the face, sight, or presence of Christ and as he was cursed from the presence of God, so we see he went out presently from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the Land of Nod, Genesis the fourth chapter and the sixteenth verse. This is the effect and summe of that part of the Sentence which is ccclcsiasticall or spirituall, touching his soul 5 for all that remains, contains that pnrt of the Sentence which is terrestrial, where we fee it was Gods will, that he which had shewed himself savage towards mankinde in killing his Brother, should be banished from the company of men. So that when it is said, Cursed art thou from the earth which hath received thy Brothers blood front thy hand : The meaning is, he shall be cast out of his own Country, whereby God doth plainly expreflethus much, That wilfull murthcristobc punished by casting out both from Church and Com 1 mon-we»lrb, both from the Communion of Saints and the Society of men .• For en w is a sinne of such nature, that God thinking hell not to be a sufficient punishment for it, causeth Cain to consume himself on eirth with vexation of minde 5 for as the Wise-man faith, The effett of envy is the rotting of the bones, Proverbs the fourteenth whapeer and the thirtieth verse.

Secondly, God sets down a reason why the earth should detest

and

« PreviousContinue »