Abbildungen der Seite

There is no peace,

Mammon, whiffs and draughts of intoxication, songs of ribaldry, sports of recreation. No, no; the more thou seekest it in most of these, the farther it flies from thee, the farther thou art from finding it; and, if these things may give some poor truce to thy thoughts, it shall soon end in a more direful war. saith my God, to the wicked.

Stray whither thou wilt, O thou Wounded Heart, through the lands and woods; alas, the shaft sticks still in thee; or, if that be shaken out, the head. None but the sovereign Dittany of thy Saviour's Righteousness can drive it out; and, till it be out, thou canst have no peace. In plain terms; wouldest thou have peace? None but Christ can give it thee. He will give it to none but the penitent; none but the faithful. Oh, spend thyself into the sighs and tears of true repentance; and then raise thy humbled soul to a lively confidence in thine all-sufficient Redeemer. Set thy Lord Jesus betwixt God and thy sins. God cannot see thy debt, but through thine acquittance. By his stripes, we are healed: by his wounds, we are staunched: by his death, we are quickened: by his righteousness, we are discharged. The work of his Righteousness is our Peace. O safe and blessed condition of believers! Let sin, Satan, world, death, hell, do their worst; Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who shall condemn? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for us. Our Enemy is now our Father; our Judge is our Saviour; the Offended, our Surety; that precious Blood, our Ransom; that perfect Righteousness, our everlasting Peace.

II. Thus much of our Spiritual Justice, and Peace. The CIVIL follows:

I know these two are wide terms: Justice comprises all virtue, as peace all blessings. For that is just in all kinds, which hath a meet adequation to the rule: all virtue therefore, conforming us to the Law of God, which is the rule of perfection, challengeth justly to itself a stile of justice.

1. Narrower bounds will serve our turn. We speak of justice, first as a single virtue. Habits are distinguished by their acts; acts, by their objects. The object of all moral virtue, is Good; as of all intellectual, is True. The object of this virtue of justice, is the good of men in relation to each other. Other virtues order a man in regard to himself; justice, in regard to another. This good being either common or private; common of all, private of some; the acts and virtue of justice must be suitable: either, as man stands in a habitude to the whole body, or as he stands to special limbs of the body. The former of these is that, which philosophers and casuists call a LEGAL AND UNIVERSAL JUSTICE; the latter is that PARTICULAR JUSTICE, which we use to distinguish by DISTRIBUTION and COMMUTATION: the one consisting in matter of commerce; the other, in reward or punishment: both of them aceording to a meet, though different, equality: an arithmetical equality in Commutation; a geometrical, in Distribution: the foriner, regarding the value or worth of the things; the latter, regarding the proportionable difference of the person. The work of all these three Justices, is Peace.

(1.) The LEGAL JUSTICE is the apparent mother and nurse of Public Peace: when governors and subjects are careful to give each other their own; when both conspire to command and obey for the common goud; when men frame their lives to the wholesome laws of their sovereigns, not more out of fear than conscience; when respect to the community carries men from partial reflection upon themselves: as, contrarily, distractions and private ends are the bane of any state. When the head and members unite their thoughts and endeavours in the centre of the common good; the head to devise and command, the eyes to see, the ear to hear, the palate to taste, the heart to move, the bellows of the lungs to blow, the liver to sanguify, the stomach to digest, the guts to export, the hands to execute, the tongue to talk for the good of this natural commonwealth of the body; all goes well and happily: but, if any of these parts will be gathering to themselves, and obstructions grow within, and muitinous distempers arise in the humours, ruin is threatened to the whole. If either the superiors miscommand, or the interiors disobey, it is an affront to peace. need not tell you, that good laws are the walls of the city, the sinews of the politic-body, the rule of our life, the life of our state; without whichi

, men would turn brute, yea, monstrous; the word were a chaos, yea, a hell. It is wisdomn, that makes laws: it is justice, that keeps them. Oh let this justice still bless us with a perpetual peace. As those, that do not think the world made for us, but ourselves made for the world, let us drive at an universal good. Let there be ever that sweet correspondence betwixt sovereignty and subjection, that the one may be happy in the other; both, in peace.

(2.) The DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE is not less fruitful of Peace: when rewards of honours and gracious respects are suited to the welldeserving; when maletactors sinart according to their crimes. This justice hath stocks for the vagrant; whips, for harluts; brands, for petty larzons; ropes, for felons; weights, for the contumaciously silent; stakes, for blasphemous heretics; gibbets, for murderers; the hurdle and the knife and the pole, for traitors: and, upon all these engines of justice, hangs the garland of peace. It was not for nothing, that Maximillian the first, passing by the gallows, saluted it with Salte, Justilia. Yenever see Justice painted without a sword: when that sword glitters with use, it is well with the public: woe be to the nation, where it rusts! There can be no more acceptable sacrifice, than the blood of the flagitious. Immediately after Garnet's execution, Father David at Ypre, in a public Sermon, declared the miracles shown thereat: amongst the rest, that a spring of oil brake forth suddenly in the place, where that saint was martyred. Instead of a lie, let it be a parable: The blood of traitors shed by the sword of Justice, is a well of oil to fatten and refresh the Commonwealth.

I know well, how mercy befits the mouths of God's Ministers. The soft tongue of a Diyme is no meet whetstone for the edge of severity; but, withal, I dare say, that justice is a noble work of mercy. Neither need we wish to be more charitable, than the God of Mercy, that says, Thine eye shall not spare the murderer; Num. xxxv. 31: the tempter to idolatry ; Deut. xiii. 6. The very sons of Levi were appointed to win an everlasting blessing, by consecrating their hands to God in Israelitish blood. The unjust fayour and plausibility of Romish Doctors towards capital offenders, hath made their Sanctuaries, even literally, a den of thieves, a harbour of villany. It is memorable of Louis of France, styled the Saint, that he reversed a pardon wrought

from him to a malefactor, upon reading that verse in the Psalm, Beati qui faciunt justitiam in omni tempore; Blessed are they that do justice at all times; Psalm cvi. 3. No marvel, if one of those four things, which Isabel of Spain was wont to say she loved to see, were, « A Thief


the Ladder." Even through his halter might she see the prospect of peace. Woe be to them, that, either for gain or private interest, engage themselves in the suit of favour to maliciously bloody hands; that, by the dam of their bribes, labour to stop the due course of punitive justice! These, these are the enemies of peace. These stain the land with that crimson dye, that cannot be washed out but by many woeful lavers of revenge. Far, far be it from any of you, Generous Christians, to endeavour, either to corrupt or interrupt the ways of judgment; or, for a private benefit, to cross the public peace. Woe be to those partial Judges, that justify the wicked, and condemn the innocent; the girdle of whose equity sags down on that side, where the purse hangs! Lastly, woe to those unworthy ones, that raise themselves by frauds, bribes, simony, sacrilege! Therefore are these enemies to the state, because to peace; and therefore enemies to peace because violaters of justice; And the work of justice is Peace.

(3.) That COMMUTATIVE JUSTICE works Peace, needs no other proof, than that all the real brabbles and suits amongst men, arise from either true or pretended injustice of contracts. Let me lead you, in a Term morning, to the spacious Hall of Justice. What is the cause of all ihat concourse? that hive-like murmur? that noise at the Bar? but injurious bargains, fraudulent conveyances, false titles, disappointment of trusts, wrongful detentions of money, goods, lands, cozenages, oppressions, extortions? Could the honesty and private justice of men prevent these enormities, silence and solitude would dwell in that wide Palace of Justice: neither would there be more pleas then cobwebs under that vast roof. Every way, therefore, it is clear, that the work of Justice is Peace: insomuch as the Guardians of Peace are called Justicers.

This for the Commonwealth. If it please you to cast your eyes upon her sister, the Church, you shall find that the outward Peace thereof also must arise from Justice.

Alas; thence is our hopelessness : never may they prosper that VOL. V

love not, that wish not peace within those sacred walls; but what possibility of peace, in the peremptory repulses of justice? What possibility of justice, in the long usurped tyranny of the successor of Romulus ? Could we hope to see justice once shine from those Seven Hills, we would make account of peace; but oh, the miserable injustice of that imperious See! injustice of CLAIM; injustice of PRACTICE.

(1.) Of CLAIM; over Kings, Church, Scriptures, Conscience.

Over Kings. There is St. Paul's superexalted ÚR EPIPÓuevos. His usual title is Orbis Dominus ; "Lord of the World:” Dorninus universorum, in the mouths and pens of his flatterers. And, lest princes should seem exempted, he is Rex Regum, as Paulus IV. says of himself. He is super Imperatores et Reges; “Over Emperors and Kings;" saith their Antonius, Triumphus Capistranus, and who not? How much? you know the calculation of the magnitude of the two great lights. How, over them? as the master over the servant: they are the words of their Pope Nicholas. The imperial throne is unde nisi à nobis; " whence but from us;" saith Pope Adrian. What should I tell you of his bridle, stirrup, toe, cup, canopy? Let the book of Holy Ceremonies say the rest. These things are stale. The world hath long seen and blushed.

Over the Church. There is challenged a proper headship, from whom all influences of life, sense, motion come: as their Bozius. Why said I, Over? He is Under the Church: for he is the foundadation of the Church, saith Bellarmin: over, as the head; under, as the foundation. What can Christ be more? Thence, where are General Councils, but under him? as the stream of Jesuits. Who, but he, is Regula Fidei? as their Andradius. He alone hath infallibility and indefectibility, whether in Decretis Fidei, or in Preceptis Morum; “in Decrees of Faith or Precepts of Manners :" as Bellarmin. He hath power to make new creeds, and to obtrude them to the Church: the denial whereof was one of those Articles, which Leo the tenth condemned in Luther.

Over Scriptures. There is claimed a power to authorize them; for such: a power to interpret them, sententialiter et obligatoriè ; being such: a power to dispense with them, ex causa ; though such.

Over the Consciences of men: in dispensing with their oaths; in allowance of their sins. It is one head of their Canon Law, A Juramento Fidelitatis absoluit; “ He absolves from the Oath of Allegiance;" Decret. p. 2. Caus. 15. qu. 6. And in every oath is understood a reservation and exception of the Pope's power, say his parasites. I am ashamed to tels, and you would blush to hear, the dispensation reported to be granted by Sixtus IV. to the family of the Cardinal of S. Lucie; and by Alexander VI. to Peter Mendoza, Cardinal of Valentia.

(2.) And, as there is horrible injustice in these Claims, so is there no less in PRACTICE. Take a taste of all. What can be more ulljust, than to cast out of the lap of the Church, those, that oppose their novelties; to condemn them to the stake, to hell, for heretics? What more unjust, than-to falsify the writings of ancient or

modern authors, by secret expurgations, by wilful mis-editions ? What more unjust, than the withholding the remedy of General Councils, and transacting all the affairs of the Church by a packed Conclave? What more unjust, than the suppression of the Scriptures, and mutilation of the Sacrament to the Laity? What more unjust, than allowance of equivocation; than upholding a faction, by willing falsehood of rumours; than plotting the subversion of king and state, by unnatural conspiracies? Well may we call heaven and earth to record, against the unjustice of these claims, of these practices. What then? Is it to hope for peace, notwithstanding the continuance of all these? So the work of Injustice shall be peace: and an unjust and unsound peace must it needs be that arises from injustiçe. Is it to hope they will abandon these things for peace? Oh, that the Church of God might once be so happy that there were but


life in that possibility! In the mean time, let God and his holy angels witness betwixt us, that on their part the peace faileth; we are guiltless. What have we done? What have we attempted? What have we innovated? Only we have stood upon a just and modest negative, and have unjustly suffered. Oh, that all the innocent blood we have shed could wash their hands from injustice, from enmity to peace!

3. That from them we may return to ourselves; for the public, we enjoy a happy peace. Blessed be God for Justice. And if, in this common harmony of Peace, there be found some private jars of discord, whence is it, but from our own injustice? The world is of another mind; whose wont is to censure him that punishes the fault, not him that makes it. Severity, not guiltiness, in common opinion, breaks the peace,

Let the question be, who is the great make-bait of the world ? !

Begin with the * Family. Who troubles the house? not unruly, headstrong, debauched children, that are ready to throw the house out of the windows; but the austere father, that reproves, that corrects them: would he wink at their disorders, all would be quiet. Not careless, slothful, false, lime-fingered servants; but the strict master, that observes, and rates, and chastises them: would he hold his hands and tongue, there would be peace. Not the peevish and turbulent wife, who, forgetting the rib, usurps upon the head; but the resolute husband, that hates to lose his authority in his love; remembering, that though the rib be near the heart, yet the head is above the shoulders: would he fall from the terms of his honour, there would be peace.

In the Country: not the oppressing gentleman, that tyrannizes over his cottagers, encroaches upon his neighbour's inheritance, encloses commons, depopulates villages, screws his tenants to death; but the poor souls, that, when they are crushed, yield the juice of tears, exhibit bills of complaint, throw open the new thorns,

* The like discourse to this ye shall find in Conrad. Schlusselburgius, in his Preface to his xiiich Book, Catal. Hæret.

« ZurückWeiter »