I might, saith he, have received maintenance at your hands. But I took nothing, that I might be an example for you to follow, that none should live idly, but that they “work with quietness, and eat their own bread.” Idleness is the mother of all mischief. An idle pack is as if he were already dead. His feet serve him not to travel : his hands help him not to work : his eyes serve him not to see his estate: his heart regardethó not the time and misery of his age. Beggary falleth upon him, and gnaweth his bones; but he feeleth it not. For he is as it were already dead. Salomon saith : “He that followeth idle- Prov.xii. ness hath no understanding.” And again: “He that followeth idleness shall Prov. xxvii.6 be filled with poverty.” He is unprofitable to himself, and unto others. His children shall beg at every door. Again he saith: “The slothful will not Prov. xx. plough because of winter : he shall beg in summer, but have nothing." That is, men, that have received increase of God's blessing by taking pains, shall deny bread unto such, and upbraid them for their idleness, and so drive them to labour. They will say, as it is devised that the ant said in like case to the grasshopper : "In the summer thou didst nothing but sing; therefore thou mayest starve in the winter.” These extremities be great, if a man will weigh them advisedly. Yet Ecclesiasticus saith farther7: “ Idleness bringeth much evil.” Ecelus. It is an evil teacher. He that doth nothing is ill occupied. The mind of man is ever stirring and doing somewhat. If it be not doing well, it is doing ill. Water is clear and fair, fresh and comfortable; yet, if it stand still in a hole, or be kept long in a vessel whence it hath no issue, it will rot, and smell, and be unwholesome. Even so it fareth with the sons of Adam: if they have nothing to do, no way to bestow their wit, they will rot and prove unwholesome, and devise mischief all the day long.

What is it that filleth the prisons and bringeth so many to the gallows, and causeth so many parents to bewail the untimely death of their children, but idleness? When the poor wretches have received their judgment, and come to the place of execution, and stand on the ladder, what counsel give they to young men and to children, but to beware of idleness? What is cause of such and so many diseases in the body? Ask the physicians; and they will tell you, idleness. Whereof rise mutterings in cities against magistrates ? Whereof rise rebellions in kingdoms against princes? You can give no greater cause thereof than idleness. Behold,” saith the Lord, “this was the iniquity Ezek. xvi. of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness.” This was it that called for fire down from heaven, and wasted so many cities into ashes. Christ saith: “Of every idle word that men shall speak, they shall Matt. xii. give an account thereof at the day of judgment.” If we shall make account 8 for our idle words, what shall we do for our idle hands, for our idle feet, for our idle body, for our idle soul? What account for all our idleness shall we make at the day of judgment ?

“We warned you,” saith the apostle, “that, if any would not work, the same should not eat.” This is a hard saying. Yet, saith Paul, I myself have kept it. I have fulfilled it in mine own body. He doth not say, if any be sick, or weak, or impotent, and cannot work, but, if any be idle and froward, and will not work; to such a one give not to eat; that so he may sec the danger of idleness, “and work with his hands the thing which is good, Eph. iv. that he may have to give him that needeth.” It is not lawful to give them the bread of the church, and the alms ordained for relief of the poor. This bread they may not eat.

But you will say, kings, and counsellors, bishops, preachers, and all other sorts of learned men, neither plough nor sow, nor hedge nor ditch, nor

use such painful labour of the body: they sit at rest and live idly. They that so think

. are deceived. The toil which princes take, and the great cares wherewith they are occupied, pass all other cares in the world. St Paul calleth the office of a bishop a good work.” If a bishop or minister study the scriptures, 1 Tim. iii. preach the gospel, catechize the children, and take a care of the souls of

p Regarded, 1611.)
(* 1583, 1609, 1611 repcat this reference.]

[? Further, 1594.)
(* Make an account, 1394.]

2 Cor. xi.

2 Cor. xi.

2 Tim. iv.

God's people; if he sow the Lord's field, feed the Lord's flock, thresh the Lord's corn, and walk before the people carefully; if he have the care of the churches, and can say with the apostle, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burnt? not ?" any offence that is given to my brother is to me as a fire, or as a torment; if he be instant in season, and out of season; if he do the work of an evangelist, and make his ministry fully known; he shall find himself occupied, and not be idle.

The master of the ship seemeth to be idle, to sit still, and to do nothing. He stirreth not the pump, he driveth not the oars, he soundeth not the deep, he rideth not the ropes, he scaleth not the shrouds, he runneth not hither and thither, forward or backward, under the hatches or above. He sitteth still, holdeth his peace, and looketh upon the load-star, and in appearance doth nothing But his labour passeth all the rest. Without his labour, all the pains which the other mariners? take were lost. Were it not for his labour, the ship would soon strike upon rocks, and be stayed in the sands, and they all should perish. Even so fareth it in the state of princes, and of their counsellors: they seem to do nothing, yet they do all things, which is for the peace, and the wealth, and the safeguard of all the people.

“ Be not weary in well-doing.” Many occasions to discourage you to do well: the world is full of lets; but “be you stedfast, unmovable, and abundant always in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Stand fast, and keep the instructions which you have been taught. Distribute to the necessity of the saints. “Do good unto all men, especially to them that be of the household of faith.” Live not after the lusts of men in wantonness, drunkenness, and gluttony, and in abominable idolatry. Though they speak evil of you because you run not with them unto the same excess of riot, though the devil cast you into prison, and there you have tribulation, be you faithful unto death. They that have afflicted you shall give an account to the righteous Judge: and the afflictions which you suffer in this present time are not worthy of the glory which shall be shewed unto you.

Ver. 14. If any man obey not this our saying, note him by a letter, and have

no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

You have been taught not only what you shall believe, but also how ye ought to live: "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” If any despise and will not follow our doctrine, forsake him, and let him have no fellowship with you; that so he may be ashamed, and repent, and turn again to the obedience of Christ. But lay apart all bitterness, and anger, and wrath. Reprove him, but hate him not. Kill the sin that is in him by all the means you can, for it is the work of the devil; but recover again the man that did offend, and restore him, if it be possible, by exhortation, and by your prayers made for him; for he is the creature of God.

Here I have good occasion to speak of excommunication, a principal part of the discipline of the church; a matter which many know not, which some do foully abuse, and over lightly give forth, and which many regard not as they ought. It cutteth us off from the body of Christ, and removeth us from the fellowship of the gospel. Let no man despise it: it is the sword of God, the power of the Holy Ghost, the discipline of Christ : it is an ordinance which the church hath received from above. By it the goats are divided from the lambs, the weed from the good corn, and the sons of God from the sons of Belial. It hath continued from the beginning, and hath been used in the church of Christ, in the synagogue of the Jews, in the law of Moses, and before Moses received the law; among the patriarchs, and the prophets, and the apostles of Christ. Christ saith: “If thy brother trespass against thee,"

['Burn, 1583, 1584, 1594, 1609.]

[’ Marines, 1609, 1611.)

[3 That, 1584, 1594.]

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in doing any wickedness, "go and tell him his fault between thee and him Matt. xviii. alone: if he hear thee, thou hast won thy brother. But, if he hear thee not, take yet with thee one or two; and, if he will not vouchsafe to hear them, tell it unto the church :" publish it, and make it known; "and, if he refuse to hear the church” also; if he continue wilful, and stand in his wickedness, “let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” This form of excommunication our Saviour hath set down, whereby the wicked and ungodly are removed from the church of Christ.

So St Paul speaketh of him that lived in filthiness with his father's wife, 1 Cor. v. that they give him no comfort in wickedness, but take away the evil from among them.

“Let such a4 one,” saith he, “ be delivered unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of our 5 Lord Jesus. Company not together with fornicators. If


that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a 6 one eat not. Let him be put away from the company of the faithful. So did St Paul excommunicate Hyme- 1 Tim. i. næus, and Alexander, and “delivered them to Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme.”

In the law of Moses God commanded the children of Israel to put out of the Num. v. host every leper; that they should neither eat, nor drink, nor walk abroad, nor come to church, nor offer sacrifice, nor make their prayers with the people. Such one, whithersoever he went, hid his face, rent his clothes, gave warning to avoid his company, and to fly from him, because he was foul and filthy. His hands were filthy and made the water unclean: his breath was corrupt, and infected the air. So miserable was his case. This was a kind of excommunication : in such sort were the filthy divided from the clean.

God also set down this ordinance to Abraham, that every uncircumcised man- Gen. xvii. child should be cut off from his people, because he hath broken the covenant. This ordinance of excommunication God hath appointed against idolaters, against fornicators, and crafty deceivers, and other such-like offenders, in the seven and twentieth of Deuteronomy: “Cursed be the man that shall make any carved or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Cursed be he that maketh the blind go out of the way. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.” This is excommunication. This is the use of the keys. This is that of which Christ spake: “He that heareth you heareth Luke x. me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” And, “Whosoever? sins ye remit, they are remitted; and John xx. whosoever' sins ye retain, they are retained." “Whatsoever ye bind on earth Matt xviii. shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” That which you say shall be confirmed; it shall continue and stand for ever.

If any therefore be excommunicate from the church, and removed from the fellowship of the gospel, and from the hope of the life to come; let him humble himself, and pray unto God that he will open his eyes, and that he may see in what case he standeth. Let him lay forth his heart in the sight of God, and consider his fault, and behold his misery, and think thus with himself: I was sometimes the child of God, and a member of his body: I was a branch of the vine which God hath planted, and a sheep of his pasture. But now, alas ! I am divided from the pastures of life. I am fruitless and withered, and cut off from that blessed vine. I receive no moisture from that heavenly root : I am no more a member of the body of Christ. I am out of paradise, and have no joy or pleasure: I am out of the temple, and cannot offer any sacrifice : I am fallen from that heavenly Hierusalem, from the city of God, from the fellowship of the saints, and cannot kneel down, nor lift up my hands, nor make my prayers. God will not hear me: I am none of his : I am as a heathen and a publican, I cannot think of those things which are on high above.

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['1583 omits a.]
15 The, 1683, 1584, 1594, 1609.]

[1583, 1584, 1594 omit a.]
[? Whosoevers, 1583, 1584, 1594, 1609.)

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But why art thou cut off from thy brethren, and banished out of the flock of Christ? Because of thine ungodliness and looseness of life. Because thou hast offended heaven and earth, and hast offended against the church of God, and lived in fornication and adultery; and both thy body and thy mind are defiled ; thou art unworthy to dwell in the house of God: his house is holy.

By what authority is this done? Thou must not think that the judge or the officer doth it. It is not the judgment of any mortal man. It is the judgment of the almighty and everlasting God. It is his hand that bringeth this to pass against thee. It is his word: it is his key. His hand is mighty: his work shall stand: his word is forcible: his key is the key of David: it openeth, and no man shutteth ; it shutteth, and no man openeth. God is departed from thy heart : his Spirit will not dwell in a filthy soul : there is no agreement between God and Belial. Thy soul is void of grace and of the fear of God.

What becometh of thee in this case ? Whither dost thou go, into what misery dost thou fall ? Into the gulf of death, into the seat of pestilence, and the power of Satan, and the snares of the devil, and into a reprobate mind. Thy heart followeth him : thy soul serveth him. He is the father of all the children of disobedience; and his children follow him. Thou art filthy and increasest in filthiness: the fear of God is not before thee: thou dost not acknowledge thy sin, because of the blindness of thy heart.

Wreak not thyself upon thy neighbour that accused thee, nor upon the judge that pronounced sentence against thee. The sentence is none of his : this is not his work: he hath not judged thee. The hand of God is stretched forth to thy punishment: it is thine own life and wickedness which forceth judgment upon thee. The judge sitteth in the place of God, in the seat of justice: he cannot bless that God hath cursed: he must needs do right and equity. He seeth the abomination of thy life, he seeth the filthiness which thou hast done in the house of God, and therefore saith : In nomine Dei, 8c.2 “In the name of the living God and of Jesus Christ, before whom I stand, and before whom all flesh shall appear; by the authority of his word, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, I divide thee from the fellowship of the gospel, and declare that thou art no more a meinber of the body of Christ: thy name is put out of the book of life: thou hast no part in the life to come: thou art not in Christ; and Christ is departed from thee. I deliver thee to Satan, the prince of darkness. Thy reward shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. Thou shalt starve, and wither, and not abide. The grace of God is taken out of thy heart. The face of the Lord is against all them that do evil: they shall not taste of his mercy.”

As for the judge and minister which giveth sentence against thee, he mourneth and lamenteth for thee. When he striketh thee, he striketh himself. We are all one flesh and one blood, and all together make one body, and are one another's members. Therefore, when he doth excommunicate thee from the brethren, he cutteth off an arm from his own body. Jeremy dealt roughly with the people that offended God, and threatened them that the enemy should come upon them, the sword should devour them, and they should be utterly destroyed; yet he wished that he had a stream of tears, that his heart might have wherewith to mourn for their transgressions.

David prayeth that God will stretch forth his hand upon the wicked : “Scatter them abroad by thy power, and put them down, O Lord our shield.” Again : “Let them be chaff before the wind; and let the angel of the Lord scatter them.” And again : “ Let their table be a snare before them, and their prosperity their ruin.” Again : “Let his prayer be turned into sin." Aid him not, hear him not when he calleth unto thee. Yet he saith: “I saw the transgressors, and was grieved, because they kept not thy word.” I pined away and consumed to death; the grief was so deadly unto my soul.

Christ cried out wo upon Corazin and Bethsaida, upon the scribes and Pharisees: yet when he came nigh to Hierusalem he wept over it, saying, “O

Psal. lix.

Psal. XXXV.


Psal. lxix.

Psal. cix.

“ O

Luke xix,

[' Have, 1594.)

[? There is a form of excommunication, but not in the precise words above cited, in Lib. Canon. 1571, in Wilkins, Concil. Lond. 1737. Vol. IV. p.

268. Conf. Pontifical. Rom. Ant. 1627. Ord. Excom. et Absolv. pp. 462, &c.]

[Upon, 1584, 1594.]


if thou hadst, even now at the least in this thy day, known those things which belong unto thy peace! but now are they hid from thee.” Thine enemies "shall make thee even with the ground, ... they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation.” Even such a sorrow also had St Paul for those that offended God: “Who is weak, and I am not weak? 2 Cor. xi. who is offended, and I burn not?” My body is shaken, my heart is wounded for them; such a care have I for the church of God,

It is reported of John the evangelist, that he commended a young man to the Euseb. Lib. education of a certain bishop nigh to Ephesus; and, when he heard that he was

iii. cap. xxiii. fled, and followed the company of such as were dissolute, riotous, and given over to all manner lewdness, he was careful for him, and sought him out, and came to the place where he and his 4 ill company were. When the young man knew him, he was astonied, and fled away from him. But the old man followed him, and cried, O my child! turn again, turn unto me: I am thy father, I have begotten thee in Christ Jesus. I come not to hurt thee: there is yet hope of salvation : I will make answer unto Christ for thee. Fall to the ground, hold up thy hands, ask mercy of God: he is merciful and will receive thee. At these words the young man cast down his weapons, and trembled, and wept bitterly, and was converted 5.

When David heard of the destruction of that wicked wight Absalon, he wrung his hands and wept, saying: “O my son Absalon, my son, my son Absalon, would 2 Sam. xviii. God I had died for thee, O Absalon, my son, my son!” Such a care, such a love and zeal hath a godly minister over his people, if he be a true pastor which hath taken his calling from God, and hath due consideration of his charge.

He weepeth for the sins of the people, as did Jeremy: he gusheth 6 out into tears and consumeth away, as David, because of the ungodly: he is wounded at heart, and trembleth, as Paul, to see them perish. He seeketh for them, calleth after them, that they may return to him, as did John the evangelist ; and is willing to die for their sake, if so be he might redeem them, as David was for Absalon, The people are his children: he is their father. Albeit they be wicked and filthy, yet he presenteth himself before God for them, and poureth forth his prayers, and saith, Sanctify them, O Lord, sanctify them with thy truth: thy word is truth. Let their hearts see the wrath to come, and thy heavy displeasure, which they have deserved, and hangeth over their heads. They are thine ; save them, and let not Satan prevail against them. Turn them, O Lord; and they shall be turned. Give them a new heart and renew a clean spirit in them, that they may fear thee all the days of their life?. Turn away the captivity of their souls. Bring them to the fellowship of the gospel : make them lively stones meet for thy building : build up the walls of Hierusalem. So careful is a good minister for the people of his charge, be they never so ungodly. Yea, the more they lack the comfortable grace of God, the more must be his 8 care for them. This is that St Paul saith, Have no company with such to encourage him, "yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."

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Ver. 16. Now the the Lord of peace give you peace always by all means. The

Lord be with you all. 17.

The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every

epistle : so I write. 18. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

I need not commend peace unto you. It is the guard and strength of mighty princes: it is the nurse and fosterer of the church of God: it is the wealth and prosperity of the world : it is the comfort and quietness of our conscience: it is truce taken with God and man, and our own selves. I need not to tell you who is the worker of peace.

You know God is the God of peace. Worldly peace seemeth to be made by the will and liking of men; but God moveth

{* 1584, 1594 omit his.]

[6 Euseb. in Hist. Eccles. Script. Amst. 16051700. Lib. III. cap. xxiii. pp. 74, 5.]

[6 Gushed, 1611.)

(? All their life, 1594.]
[° The, 1584, 1594.)
L' 1594 repeats and.)

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