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Preces & Lachrymae. A SERMON ON Act. chap. XX. verſ. 36, 37, 38.

Verſ. 36And when he had thus ſpoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

Verſ. 37And they all wept ſore, and fell on Pauls neck, and kiſsed him.

Verſ. 38Sorrowing moſt of all for the words which he ſpake, that they ſhould ſee his face no more, and they accompanied him to the Ship.

By WILLIAM HOUGHTON, Preacher at Bicknor in Kent.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Chryſoſt. ad pop. Antioch. hom. 3. edit. Harm. p. 53.

De inhabitatione Dei in cordibus ſanctorum eſt in ipſa facie eorum redundantia, &c.

Pariſ. de poenit. 555.

Quantò quiſque eſt ſanctior, & ſancti defiderii plenior, tantò eſt ejus in orando fletus uberior.

Auguſt. de civit. Dei lib. 20. c. 17.

And though the Lord give you the bread of adverſity, and the water of affliction, yet ſhall not thy Teachers be removed into a corner any more: but thine eyes ſhall ſee thy Teachers.

Iſa. 30. 20.

LONDON, Printed by Roger Daniel, for Samuel Cartwright, at the Signe of the Bible in Duck-lane. 1650.

TO The Right Honourable ELLENOR, Counteſſe of VVarwick, &c.

Right Honourable,

THe ſubſtance of this Ser­mon was delivered upon the death of a Reverend Miniſter in the City; the Copy thereof hath been deſired by ſome, to whom by promiſe I became a debtour. Before it paſſe to other hands, Duty binds me firſt to preſent it to your Honours. Such an occaſionall Piece perhaps may not be ſo welcom as ſome other, which (if God give time and ſtrength) I ſhall hereafter provide. Having nothing elſe for the preſent, I offer this, not as worthy your Honours Acceptance, but as a teſtimony of the due obſer­vance of

Your Honours old Chaplain, and Servant, HOUGHTON.

To the READER.

THe reaſons of publiſhing theſe Meditations, are, Firſt, the miſerable calamitie of the times, wherein every one may take up Jeremy's wiſh, Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night, Jer. 9.1. I will weep with the weeping of Jazer: I will water thee (O England) with my tears, becauſe the ſpoiler is faln upon thee, Iſa. 16.9. Jer. 48.32. A diſcourſe of tears and weeping cannot be out of ſeaſon, in ſuch weeping times. Secondly, the main ſcope of this Treatiſe, is, to ſhew, what love hath been, and ſhould be between Miniſter and People. Paul was willing to impart the Goſpel to the people of God, and to part with his life too, becauſe they were dear unto him, 1 Theſ. 2.8. And they that found the comfort of his Miniſtery, were ready to receive him as an An­gel of God, Galat. 4.14. Such love there hath been, ſuch ſhould be ſtill; though it now ſeems to be gone out of the land. The Prieſts ſigh (as Jeremy complains, Lament. 1.4.) And they reſpected not the perſons of the Prieſts, they favoured not the Elders, Lament. 4.16. Perhaps the reading of theſe Meditations may move ſome to pray for the return of that an­tient love between Paſtour and People; that, though the Lord give us the bread of adverſity, and the waters of affliction; yet may not our Teachers be removed into corners, but our eyes may ſee our Teachers, Iſa. 30.20. Thirdly, It is the ſaying of Chryſoſtome, that, The holy Scriptures are a fruit­full garden, and pleaſant paradiſe. Would we find comfort in theſe ſad times; it muſt be in walking, and breathing in this garden of God. Some of my brethren have of late, by their great pains and induſtry, brought much light to many Chapters and Books of Scripture, for which I bleſſe God, beſeeching him to ſtirre up others to do the like, that the plain paths of the Lord may be made yet more plain, and dark places of Scri­pture leſſe dark and obſcure. For this that I have here open­ed (not opened before to my knowledge in any Sermon or Trea­tiſe) it is indeed a plain Scripture, and eaſie to be underſtood, yet it may be, the method I have caſt it into will make it be the better remembred. If thou haſt that love that is here diſcourſed of, thou wilt paſſe by all my Errata's. If it help to ſtirre up holy affections in thy heart, thou ſhalt reap profit by it, and I ſhall have my aim. Commending thee and it to Gods bleſſing, and praying help of thy prayers for me; I reſt

Thine, in the Lord Jeſus, William Houghton.
Acts 20. ver. 36, 37, 38.

And when he had thus ſpoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept ſore, &c.

WHen our bleſſed Saviour was to be received up,Luke 9.51. he ſet his face to Jeruſalem: S. Paul is now looking that way, ſetting his face to Jeruſalem. And as our Saviour held on his way,John 11.8. though the Jews not long before ſought to ſtone him: in like manner, Paul, though his friends prayed him to ſtay, and ſtrengthened their prayers with their tears, yet they could not pre­vail. When they deſired him to tarry longer time with them,Acts 18.20. he conſented not, but bad them farewel, ſaying: I muſt by all means keep this feaſt that cometh, in Jeruſalem. To Jeruſalem he muſt, and if you ask what wind drive him thither? He ſaith, It was the wind of the ſpirit: I go bound in the ſpirit. Acts 20.22.What made he there his buſineſſe? He tells you in the next Chapter, It was to die for Chriſt. See here the ſtedfaſtneſſe of holy reſolutions;2 Cor. 1.17. When I de­termined to come to you, did I uſe lightneſſe? The determinations of Gods children, are not light and inconſtant; their reſolves hold, though there were a bear or lion in the way; dangers they are not afraid of in this caſe. Luther, being determined to go to Worms, his friends came to him, told him of ſome that lay in the way for him, and ſought his life; therefore deſired him not to go. Not go? (ſaith he) Though there were as many devils in my way,Fox pag. 84. as there are tiles upon their houſes, yet Luther ſhall go, and by Gods grace enter into Worms: So Paul here; Agabus told him, he ſhould ſuf­fer bonds at Jeruſalem; the Jews would bind him hand and foot: What tell you me of bonds? Act 5 21.13.(ſaith he) What mean you to weep and to break my heart? For I am ready, not to be bound onely, but2 alſo to die at Jeruſalem for the name of the Lord Jeſus. As if he had ſaid, There Chriſt died for me, and thither am I going (if it be his will) to die for my Chriſt. But in his way, he takes occaſion to ſee and ſalute divers Churches; amongſt the reſt, the Church of Epheſus: having called them together, he preacheth to them his fare­well Sermon, ſet down at large from the 17. verſe of this Chapter, to the words of my Text: and here, after many offices of love, and mutuall embraces, the Evangeliſt ſhews the manner of their parting.

The words are very patheticall,Quid quaetis ar­tem ubivides do­minari affectum? and when paſſion is up, ſor­row ſtirring, method is then commonly laid aſide. As one ſaith of Jeremy's book of Lamentations; Do you ſeek for art or method amongſt ſighs and lamentations? So art might well be excuſed here, where affection is ſo ſtrong: yet becauſe method is the mother of memory, you may (if you pleaſe) help your memories with this di­viſion. There are preſented to us out of this Text, two things;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, i. e, The love of Paul to the Epheſians, and the love of the Epheſians to Paul: his to them, theirs to him.

  • 1. His love to them is ſet forth in two acts.
    • 1. Preaching. Having ſo ſaid.
    • 2. Praying. He kneeled down and prayed.
  • 2. Their love to him: you have it expreſt in three acts.
    • 1. Kiſſing. They kiſſed him.
    • 2. Weeping. They all wept ſore.
    • 3. Conducting him. They accompa­nied him to the ſhip.

Other particulars there are, which I ſhall handle in their place; theſe propounded are the chief, of which in their order, ſo as may be moſt pertinent to the occaſion drew me hither at this time: to wit, the deceaſe of my worthy friend, your good Paſtour, who, having ſet his face to Jeruſalem, I mean, that which is above, hath now finiſhed his courſe,Scaligeriqu od reliquum eſt. Scal. Epitaph. his ſoul is at reſt with God. The remains of him, his Corpſe, having wept over it, and ſprinkled it with your tears, you have accompanied to the grave. Conſidering this acci­dent, I knew not what I ſhould diſcourſe of more ſeaſonably at3 this time, then of theſe two generall Points my Text preſents you withall, under the perſons of Paul, and the Epheſians; namely, the love of a faithfull Paſtour to the people, and of their love to him. I begin with the firſt, which (as was ſaid) hath two acts, Preaching and Praying. Firſt, Preaching, in theſe words: When he had thus ſpoken; that is, when he had preached this Sermon unto them.

Doct. Preaching is an act of love in Gods Miniſters: it was (you ſee) the firſt act of Pauls love to the Epheſians. 1 Theſ 2.8. Rom. 1.11.We were willing to impart the Goſpel unto you, becauſe ye were dear to us. And I long to ſee you, that I may impart to you ſome ſpirituall gift. What makes men give gifts, ſend tokens to their friends, is it not their love? So it was his love that made Paul ſo free of his ſpirituall gifts,Tom. 5. pag. 110. be­cauſe they were dear to him. Thus Chyſoſtome, to the people of Antioch:I am your Father (ſaith he) and muſt needs inſtruct my children, and give them good counſel.If the nature of the fleſh, or naturall love, move earthly parents, how much more ſhall the grace of the Spirit move us to do this! Preaching then is an act of love, a teſtimony of that affection and good will, Miniſters bear to the ſouls of Gods people. Simon Jona, loveſt thou me?John 21.26. feed my ſheep. We herein ſhew our love to Chriſt, our love to his ſheep, when we feed them with the word of Life. It is an act of love to feed mens bodies, an act of love to cloathe their bodies; how much more to feed their ſouls with this heavenly Manna of Gods Word?As workers to­gether with him. 2 Cor. 6.2. to cloathe their ſouls with the rich robe of Chriſts righteouſneſſe? We help to do theſe things, therefore, the acts we perform, are acts of the higheſt love.

Inference 1This ſhews then, firſt what depraved judgements men have in this matter; if the Miniſter will eat and drink, hawk, and hunt with them, they account him a kind companion,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 1 Cor. 9.18. eſpecially (the moſt loving a cheap Goſpel) if he be moderate in requiring the dues be­longing to him, or let them go upon eaſie terms; Oh then they cry him up for a wonderfull quiet loving man, though Preaching be a thing he ſeldome uſeth, they ſee no ſuch love in that, whith is the higheſt of all. When Miniſters labour hard in the Word and Do­ctrine, and when Chriſts ſtewards endeavour to break the bread of Life to his houſhold, herein they ſhow their greateſt love; and if they miniſter to you in ſpirituall things,1 Cor. 9 11. is it a great matter if they reap your carnall things?

But ſecondly, what ſhall we ſay to thoſe that account Preaching a ſign of enmity, and Preachers enemies, as Ahab did Eliah;1 Kings 21.20. Haſt4 thou found me,1 Kings 21.8. O my enemy? And Micaiah, I hate the man (ſaid he) he never prophecied good to me, he is an enemy. Many are ready to ſay of us,Wiſd. 2.13, 14. as they in Wiſdome: Theſe Preachers were made to reprove our thoughts, they upbraid us with our offending the Law, they object to our infamy the tranſgreſſion of our education, they are enemies. So we are, we profeſſe our ſelves enemies to your luſts, but friends to your ſouls;1 Pet. 2.11. your luſts they fight againſt your ſouls; there­fore they are your beſt friends, that are ever at war with, and ever fighting againſt your luſts, he is his own enemy that thinks otherwiſe.

Thirdly, if this be an act of love, it ſhews then the little love that many bear to Chriſts ſheep, in that they have ſo little care to miniſter to them this ſpirituall food; to ſee them wandering in by­paths, and not to endeavour to leade them out of thoſe wayes that leade to deſtruction; to be dumb when they ſee them living in igno­rance and profaneſſe, and not to warn them of the danger hereof: this certainly is not love but cruelty, and that in the higheſt degree: O yee Corinthians (ſaith Paul) our mouth is opened to you,2 Cor. 6.11. our heart is enlarged: theſe two will go together, an enlarged heart, and an open mouth: Pauls heart was enlarged, and that opened his mouth. If love, as a heavenly fire hath given us a dilatation or enlargement of heart; it will be as a key, alſo opening our mouths to declare Gods truth unto men. Preaching then is an act of love, Paul out of his love came and preached this Sermon to the Epheſians, and it was an excellent Semon;Oratio praeclara eximia ſingularis Camerar. in vita Pauli. we have not time now to look into the contents or matter of it: but if you caſt your eyes back, and take onely a generall ſurvey of it, you ſhall obſerve four remarkable particulars touching the manner of Pauls preaching.


  • 1. Painfulneſſe.
  • 2. Faithfulneſſe.
  • 3. Prudence.
  • 4. Affectionateneſſe.

All which ſet forth the excellency of this ſermon. Firſt, his Pain­fulneſſe;1. Painfulneſſe. two or three dayes before he preached this Sermon, travel­ling to Miletus, he ſent away his company before, and went himſelf afoot, it may be Paul was then ſtudying this elaborate piece, how­ever, it ſmells (as we ſay) of the lamp, we ſee a great deal of pains in it. The Apoſtles though Divinely inſpired, yet we may think they took pains to make themſelves fit inſtruments for the Spirit to work by:om. 5. pag. 209. So did Paul, as Chryſoſtome teſtifies of him, he gave himſelf to5 labour, and to the ſtudy of virtue, that he might make himſelf a fit receptacle for the Holy Ghoſt to reſide in: how painfull then ſhould we be in this high calling wherein God hath ſet us? Did Paul take pains, and are we idle? Find we him at his ſtudy, and ſhall we be ever from our Books? He had many things by di­vine inſtinct and revelation, but now-a-dayes, knowledge and grace are not to be had without travell and pains, the ſweat of our brows, tugging of our brains. The pure oyle for the light of the Temple to cauſe the Lamp to burn, it was to be beaten:Exod. 27.20. ſo with much labour and pains, the Light of Gods Word muſt be prepa­red. Paul bids Timothy,2 Tim. 2.15. Study to ſhew himſelf approved unto God: Timothy was a ſtudied man, ſo muſt we be, Meditate (ſaith he) on theſe things, give thy ſelf wholly to them; or ac­cording to the Originall, be thou wholly in them: our whole ſelves muſt be imployed in this work. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 1 Tim. 4.15. Mathematica ſtudia totum re­quirunt homi­nem. Alſted.Its ſaid of the ſtudy of Mathematicks that it requires the whole man; much more doth the ſtudy of Divinity, it requires the whole man, our whole ſtrength our whole time. It was a memorable ſpeech of Maſter Calvin, when being ſickly and weak, his friends perſwaded him to give over reading and preaching; What (ſaith he) will ye have the Lord to find me idle at his coming? It were well therefore, if in our ſecular affairs, if we have any to look to in our journeys, nay in our very walks with Paul here, if we have any ſpare hours; we would have them imployed, and taken up with the thoughts of our callings, what we ſhall ſpeak, and what we ſhall ſay, when we come and ſtand in this place: and this is the firſt thing obſerva­ble in this Sermon; His Painfulneſſe.

Secondly, conſider his Faithfulneſſe; I kept back nothing that was profitable; I have declared to you the whole counſell of God;Faithfulneſſe. Verſ. 20.27.35. I have ſhewed you all things: This muſt needs be an excellent thing in a Preacher, the Apoſtle goes over it ſo oft:1 Cor. 4.2. Heb 3.2. It is repuired in Stewards, that a man be found faithfull; he that ſaid it, was ſuch, even a faithfull Steward as Moſes, faithfull in all Gods houſe. Some there are who work not at all, but are idle; others work, and take much pains but to little purpoſe, becauſe they deal not faithfully: ſome beloved ſin they can eſpy in their hearers, but ei­ther through fear, or flattery, will not meddle with it: much like the Perſian Judges, who when Cambyſes askt them, If there were any law for him to marry his ſiſter; made anſwer, There was no ſuch law they knew of, for a man to marry his ſiſter; but they6 found another law, That the Kings of Perſia might do what they liſt:Pet. Martyr. in lib Judic. p. 144. or as Camerarius writes of one Baſilius Cameterus, who having a deſire to be Patriarch of Conſtantinople, went to one An­dronicus a great man, and promiſed him if he would help him to it, he would be his ſervant, never ſay or do any thing that ſhould diſpleaſe him; nay, he would ſet himſelf againſt all that ſhould be his enemies, and gave him his hand upon it: Such trencher-Chaplains, I believe, there are too many; willing for preferment to accept of the like covenant, to enter into ſuch bonds: But Pauls ſpirit was too high, to ſtoop to ſuch baſe conditions; he had rather lye in bonds, then enter into ſuch bonds; he could not flatter nor comply, he could not daub, nor diſſemble; but declared to them the whole will and pleaſure of God. Were there any point of ſalva­tion they were ignorant of, he would unfold it unto them: or were there any ſin reigning amongſt them, they ſhould be ſure to hear of it. Act. 26 25.24.25.If he come before Feſtus, he muſt give him leave to tell him the truth; if before Felix, deal as roundly with him too, let­ing him hear of his injuſtice, and intemperance. Paul would ſpare no man in his ſinnes, neither Feſtus, nor Felix, nor any of them all: Theres the ſecond: his Faithfulneſſe.

The third, I calld his Prudence, in preaching this Sermon at this time; he knew, and ſo he tels them, he ſhould never preach Sermon more to them after this,Prudence. therefore he will not looſe his op­portunity now; now he will ſpeak, That his words might be the more faſtened in their minds; that they might ſay when he was gone, Paul is out of ſight now, but his words ſhall never out of our minds. The laſt words of our dying or departing friends,Solemus morien­tium voces pro oraculis habere. go for Oracles with us. This therefore is a thing further required in Gods Steward, That as he might be found Faithfull, ſo likewiſe Prudent: Our Saviour hath joyned them together;Luk. 12.42. Who (ſaith he) is a Faithfull and Wiſe Steward; or Prudent? Now Prudence is a virtue that preſcribes the right manner of our actions; points out the due cir­cumſtances, time, and place, when and where, this or that is to be done;Eccleſ. 8.5. this we call prudence: and it is an excellent virtue in Gods Steward. Some deſire to be Faithfull, it were well if they would learn to be Prudent too:Tempus & rati­onem reigerendaearwright. in Pro. p. 665 666. Gregor 3 part. Paſtor. Item Hallus de conſcientia. 182. A wiſe-mans heart (ſaith the Wiſe­man) diſcerneth both time and judgement. The ſaying of Gre­gory is good, One manner of admonition is to be given to men, an­other to women; young-men are to be dealt withall one way, old-men another: we muſt addreſſe and apply our ſelves, one way to the7 poore, another way to the rich; after one ſort to the ſervant, another to the Lord or Ruler: one way to the plain and ſimple, another way to the wiſe and underſtanding: one way to our well-willers, another way to our enemies: one way to the modeſt and ſhame-faced, another way to the perverſe and obſtinate: A Miniſter therefore,Chryſ. 10.5. p. 6. ſaith Chryſoſtome, (if that be his de ſacerdotio) ſtands in need of a great deal of wiſedome, had need have ſix hundred eyes in his head to look about him, to ſee and obſerve the ſeverall diſpo­ſitions of mens minds, that he may apply himſelf to them ac­cordingly: How wiſely did the ſame Father dehort the people of Antioch from ſwearing! When Theodoſius by his Officers had put a number of them to death for defacing his ſtatues and ima­ges, Chriſt (ſaith he) is the Image of God, yea the Son of God; and if a mortall King hath thus puniſht you for abuſing his image, how then will the King of Heaven puniſh you, if you offer diſ­grace to the Lord Chriſt, who is the image of God, and the en­graved form of his perſon? If you tear his bleſſed body in pie­ces by your oaths and blaſphemies, he will never hold you guilt­leſſe if you continue to do thus. Words ſpoken in ſeaſon,Prov. 25.11. are like apples of gold in pictures of ſilver; we ſhould therefore de­ſire the Lord to give us the tongue of the learned,Iſa. 50.4. that we may know how to ſpeak a word in ſeaſon to him that is weary; as when we ſee a man caſt down, through any ſad accident, lets labour then if we can, to make him ſorry for his ſinnes; when joyfull or merry through any good befalln him, make his joy ſpirituall if we can: we are Fiſher-men, and muſt bait our hooks with ſuch baits as may catch: Seed-men, our greateſt skill therefore is to fit every ground with ſeed fit for the ſoile, and to ſowe it alſo at ſuch a ſeaſon, as it may take root and grow; for ſeed, though never ſo good, caſt into the ground out of ſeaſon, doth not fructifie. To end this: We are to endeavour to ſpeak ſea­ſonably, both in publick and in private; we muſt take our fit oppor­tunities of doing good: for opportunities are like water in a run­ing ſtream, come to a river with a rod in your hand,Aquin. you cannot touch the ſame water twice, for it runs away: So is it with oppor­tunities, we muſt lay hold of them when they are offered, or they are gone. Paul was never to preach more to the Epheſians, therefore he will by no means hold his peace now. And this is the third thing I noted to you: his Wiſedome and Prudence. Zeal.

There is a fourth yet remaining, which is his Zeal and affection:8 he tells the Theſſalonians, that he was affectionately deſirous of them:1 Theſ. 2.8. ſo he was very affectionate when he preacht this Sermon; he warns, he exhorts, deſires them to look backward how faithful­ly he had dealt with them: forward, to conſider what impoſtors were like to come in amongſt them; now he ſpeaks to them that they would have a care of themſelves,Act. 20. ••.28.31.32. and beware of ſeducers, then he turns to God, and craves help from heaven. Thus you ſee abundance of affection is ſhewed in this Sermon, his ſpirit is now upon the wing, the fire is kindled within, and his heart infla­med with a holy zeal: Spiritus Pauli exemplar Miniſtri, he ſhould be a pattern to us in this alſo. The ſonne of Syrach ſaith,Eccluſ. 48.1. Joh. 5.35. that Elias was like fire, and his word like a burning lamp: John Baptiſt was a burning and ſhining light, and Chry­ſoſtome ſaith, that Peter was like a man made all of fire, walk­ing amongſt ſtubble: This holy fire of zeal will make us like them; Zeal is a greater converter of ſouls to God then Learn­ing. Bellarmine tells us, that with them in Lent-ſeaſon, there are thirty or fourty Preachers in ſome great Cities,Scal. aſcenſ. p. 100.102. daily preaching againſt ſinne, yet no change afterwards appears in their lives; the ſame vices remain, the ſame coldneſſe, as great diſſoluteneſſe; I can give no other reaſon of it (ſaith he) but this, Their Sermons are Learned, and very Elegant, adorned with flowers of Rhetorick, but the Soul, the Life, the Fire is wanting, the Fire of Divine Love, which onely is able to animate the words of the ſpeaker, and inflame the hearts of the hearers. This is not to be underſtood ſo, as if ſtrength of lungs, contention and loudneſſe of a mans voice, or the motion of his body carried it; many lay about them luſtily, make a mighty noiſe, but thats not the thing: Guns having no Bullets or Shot, onely Powder in them, yet make a great noiſe when diſcharged, but without doing any thing: This therefore is the thing required, that we be affectionate­ly deſirous of Gods glory, and of the ſalvation of mens ſouls; and that this affection be true and unfeigned; not extorted, but flowing naturally from the fountain of the heart. Let us labour therefore for this, endeavouring in our preaching to get affections ſuitable to the matter we have in hand, that our words coming from our hearts, may go to the hearts of our hearers;A corde ad cor. for, all the former are in vain, if this be wanting: for admit a Miniſter take great pains at9 his ſtudy, admit he be faithfull, ſay he be prudent too in taking fit occaſions when, and what to ſpeak; yet if he be not zealous withall, his hearers will be little moved with his words, for how ſhould he move them, that is not firſt moved himſelf with that he delivers,Tacent plurimi eorum, aut ſimi­les ſunt tacenti­bus, etiamſi lo­quantur. Salv. 160. Oxon. Coronidis loco. as Salvian writes: Many Miniſters (ſaith he) are ſilent, never open their mouths to preach Gods word, and others are little better then ſilent even when they are ſpeaking they do it ſo faintly and coldly. Let this therefore be added as the upſhot and perfection of all, that we be zealous.

Thus you have heard what manner of Sermon this was that Paul preached to the Epheſians; what labour and pains; what plain-dealing and faithfulneſſe; what wiſdome and diſcretion; what zeal and affection there was in it: Paul was a painfull, faithfull, wiſe, and zealous preacher: Shall I tell you one thus qualified ſtood not long ſince in this place? But I know your thoughts are quick and have prevented me, onely this ſhort application let me make of it. If preaching be an act of love, then Preachers are to be loved; if you ask which eſpecially, I anſwer, ſuch as I have ſpoken of; when God gives you Miniſters thus qualified, think no bleſſing under heaven comparable to it: ſhould the Lord give you riches as great plenty as Croeſus; heap upon you as many titles of honour as the great Turk hath, filling almoſt half a ſheet of a paper:Phil. 2.29. 1 Tim. 5.17. 1 Cor. 9.7. denying this, you wanted ſtill the beſt means of your ſpirituall and everla­ſting good. Count therefore ſuch highly in reputation, count them worthy of double honour, conſider the equity of it, if they feed the flock, ſhould not the flock feed them? If they ſpend their ſtrength for you, is it a great matter, if you ſpend part of your means on them? If they break their ſleep for you, ſhould not you watch all oportunities to do them good? If they for their faithfull and impartiall dealing be evil ſpoken of, ſhould not you ſtand up and defend them where ever you come? If their zeal and affection, in delivering Gods truth, conſume their ſtrength, waſte their ſpirits, cauſing them to end their lives in a kind of martyrdome;Magnes amoris, amor. Amor eſt motivum amoris. Aqun. do they not deſerve your love? Love (they ſay) is loves load-ſtone, let their love then being ſuch, draw you to love and honour them.

And thus much be ſpoken of the firſt act of Pauls love, Preach­ing. When he had ſo ſaid, what then? He kneeled down and prayed: which is the ſecond act of his love; wherein, obſerve with me theſe four particulars. 10

  • 1. The action it ſelf: He prayed.
  • 2. The time when: When he had ſo ſaid.
  • 3. His geſture, kneeling: He kneeled down.
  • 4. The parties with whom: With them together.

With the extent of it in that word (All.) He prayed with them, and with them all. My matter (you ſee) multiplies under my hand, I will therefore be as brief as I can:Doct. Firſt, for the action, Prayer, he Preached,Phil. 1.7.9. yet he prayed too. Prayer then is an act of our love as well as Preaching. Paul tells the Philippians, that he had them in his heart; that is, he loved them: then he adds, and this I pray; as if he had ſaid, I know not how better to expreſſe my love, then by praying for you. Samuel, he prayeed for the Iſraelites: Moreover, as for me,1 Sam. 12.23. God forbid I ſhould ſin in ceaſing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Teach them he would, yet pray too, elſe God forbid; it is an act of love to ſpeak for one to ſome great man; wouldſt thou be ſpoken for to the King or Cap­tain of the hoſt?2 King. 4.13. ſaid Eliſha to the Shunamite: there was love in that, how much more when we ſpeak for men; that is, in their be­half, to the king of heaven! Thus Paul prayed for thoſe Chur­ches which he had planted; he was continually ſpeaking to God for them, that he would build them up by the word of his grace. Reſon 1And this is to be done, both in regard of our ſelves, and in regard of thoſe that hear us. Firſt, our ſelves, for, this will make us more earneſt in the work of the Miniſtery, for look which way our deſires ſet themſelves, our pains and endeavours uſually go the ſame way; if we deſire the good of Gods people, and pray for them, our ta­lents will be employed, our pains will not be wanting to do them good. Rom. 10.1.Paul ſaith, My hearts deſire, and prayer for Iſrael, is, that they may be ſaved: that is, he did earneſtly deſire their ſalvation; and this made him ſtrive ſo much in preaching the Goſpel of Chriſt. Col. 2.29.This will alſo make us deny our ſelves, and not to play the huck­ſters (as many do) with Gods word,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 2 Cor. 2.17. mangling it with their watry inventions, but to approve our ſelves to every mans conſcience in the ſight of God: take a man that loves to breathe in a popular air, ſuch a one aims at the praiſe and applauſe of men, he deſires nothing more then a fine come off, a full and clear delivery, to utter and ſet forth his matter with a good a grace as he can, this is all he regards, which makes many Sermons to be ſuch cold and languid diſcourſes; but when a man hath an higher end and aim, to wit, the edification11 of his hearers: when that he moſt deſires is to do good to the ſouls of Gods people; then more earneſt endeavours will put forth them­ſelves, matter will be ſtudied as much as words, and what may pro­fit, as what may pleaſe; thus, in regard of our ſelves, prayers and earneſt deſires will cauſe in us anſwerable endeavours. Reaſon 2Secondly, in regard of thoſe that hear us, through Gods bleſſing they ſhall become more attentive hearers. Joh. 15.16.Whatſoever ye ask (ſaith Chriſt) in my name, I will do it: If prayer be a means to obtain any bleſſing at Gods hands, why not this? and why may not our Prayers, as well as our Preaching, further the ſpirituall good of our hearers? Let us not therefore be defective in this duty; what a bleſſed thing is it when we do not onely Preach but Pray for men! I am perſwaded this is the reaſon many find ſo little fruits of their labours, becauſe they pray ſo little; did we earneſtly pray for them, God would cauſe them to hear us with greater reverence and attention.

Doct. This for the Act, he Prayed: The next is the circumſtance of time, when he did it: When he had ſo ſaid; that is, when he had ended his Sermon. So our bleſſed Saviour, when he had taught his Diſciples, he lift up his eyes to heaven, and prayed for them;Joh. 17.1. Hora verò jam in ſupplicationem ſermonem ſolve­re. tom. 5. p. 135. Thus Chryſoſtome ſhuts up one of his Homilies, Let us now break off (ſaith he) for this time, and turn our ſpeech into prayers: So Paul here,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as he was ſaying theſe things, he brake off, and fell to his Prayers.

Inference 1As the former Point then taught us to Pray; ſo this, when to Pray: namely, when we have Preacht. It commends prayer after Sermon, whether publick or private. In the**Hic taxantur qui ſe à precibus Eccleſiae ſubdu­cunt ilico atque concio abſoluta eſt, non expect­ta tanquam con­cionis coronida precatione. Car­tier Prov. 30. publick Aſſem­bly, craving a bleſſing upon what hath been delivered; that what we have heard with our outward ears, the Lord would be pleaſed to write the ſame upon the tables of our hearts: or elſe, in our private devotions commending the truths delivered, to Gods bleſ­ſing; when we have preacht a Sermon to the people, deſire God to preach it over again to them: What is ſeed better for being ſown, if it be not watered afterwards; when we preach, we ſowe the ſeed of Gods word; when we pray for the divine benediction upon it, we get it watered with the dew of heaven, and then it proſpers.

Secondly, you may here ſee what a painfull calling, the calling of the Miniſtry is; When he had ſo ſaid he prayed: when we have taken pains in Preaching, then we muſt Pray; and when we have prayed, Preach; and when we have Preacht, Pray again: Thus12 the Apoſtles,Act. 6.4. Redit labor a­ctus in orbem. Frequens medi­tatio, carnis eſt afflictio. Eccleſ. 12.12. Mat. 14.23. We will give our ſelves (ſay they) to prayer, and the miniſtry of the Word; theſe two muſt run in a courſe, and take up the whole life of a Miniſter: Therefore they ſlander our cal­ling, who report us idle and ſlothfull, little do they conſider the greatneſſe of our work that ſay ſo; you do not feel the killing pains we indure. When our Saviour had ſpent the whole day in working miracles, at night he went apart to prayer: So, many a Miniſter, when he hath laboured hard all day in the Word and Doctrine, may be found praying in his Study at night, when o­there are aſleep.

Thirdly, let this alſo commend this duty of Prayer to you after Sermon; When you have heard God ſpeaking to you, then will your hearts be in good plight to ſpeak to him; when we have taken pains in Preaching, we pray that God would bleſſe our labours to you. Do you then the like for your ſelves, drawing that heavenly food of Gods Word into your ſouls by**They be the ſighs of the ſpirit in prayer, that fetch out the comforts of the ſpirit in the word. Dyke School of affli­ction. Doct. 2. Lectio apponit ori ſolidum ci­bum, meditatio frangit, oratio, ſaporem concili­at, contemplatio eſt ipſa dulcedo quae jucundat & reficit. Barthol. Comp. ſpirit. doct. 142. prayer and meditation. I can enlarge nothing, having many things to ſpeak of.

Doct. The third Particular,Pſal. 100.1. Eph. 3.14. Luk. 22.41. Act. is his geſture; He kneeled down and prayed: he did it on his knees. The comlieſt geſture for Petitioners, is kneel­ing. O come let us kneel. For which cauſe I bow my knees. Our Saviour kneeled down and prayed. So did Stephen, ſo did Peter: not that a man is alwayes tyed to this geſture,Certa aliqua le­ge definitum non eſt, qui ſint ad preces geſtus ad­hibendi liberta­te, fanctae mode­ſtiae freno guber­nata, hic gaudet Eccleſia. Sibel. for we meet with examples in Scripture of many other geſtures beſides this: and**Tertul de Co­ron. Tertullian an antient Writer tells us, That in the Primitive Church they were wont to pray ſtanding. Such a cuſtome there was from the Paſch till Pentecoſt, in memoriall of Chriſts Reſurre­ction; but this was but a ceremony uſed onely for ſuch a time, and upon ſuch an occaſion: for the ſame Father commends kneeling, as the fitteſt ordinary geſture that we can uſe:Scultet. exercit. Evang. 143. Sedentem orare extra diſciplinam. and ſaith, that men are not well diſciplined when they pray ſitting. And its well ob­ſerved, that in the Hebrew and Greek tongue, the ſame word ſi­gnifies praying, and bowing of the knee. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉genu〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.Let this therefore mind us of our duty, to make uſe of our knees, in the offering up of our prayers;Scilicet nobis in­cumbit, centum genua (fi illa no­bis ſuppeterent) coram illo flecte­re. Cartw. pro. 886. were they knees of gold, they were not too good to ſtoop to God; it fit we ſhould humble our ſelves, and lay our ſelves low, when we come before the higheſt Majeſty. You have ſeen his geſture. Thats the third thing.

The fourth, is the parties with whom he prayed, He prayed with them:2 Cor. 1.11.Doct. As the Apoſtle ſpeaks, You labouring together in prayer: ſo13 here, they prayed together, he with them, and they with him, they joyned together.

This commends joynt prayers, they bear down all before them. Where two or three are gathered together in the name of Chriſt,Mat. 18 20. Coimus in coe­tum, vota ſundi­mus, coelos: undi­mus. Tertul. Apo. Jam. 5.16. there is he in the midſt of them: How much more, where two or three hundred, or two or three thouſand! We beſet God as it were by troops, we poure forth our prayers, we rap at Heaven gates, ſaith Tertullian. If the prayer of one righteous man prevail much, ſhall not the fervent prayers of many righteous men prevail more? This made Chryſoſtome preferre Church-prayers, before cloſet-prayers: A man (ſaith he) may pray in his cloſet,Chryſ. to 5. p. 212. & 254. but not ſo as in the Church, where the prayers of all are ſent up together with an unanime conſent: you are not ſo heard of God, when you pray alone, as when you pray with your brethren: for there is una­nimity and conſent, the bond of charity, and the prayers of the Miniſter joyned with you, which are wanting in private devotions. Thus that worthy Biſhop and Father of our Church.

Inference 1Now ſhould I apply this by way of reproof; How many had I here to deal withall! for, ſome abſent themſelves, and come not at all to our publick prayers: others very late, others come, and in good time, yet their hearts go not along with us: now none of theſe can be ſaid to pray with us. Not the firſt, who like the bro­ther of the Prodigall, are angry and will not come in, but deſpiſe our publick Prayers:Luk. 15.28. The Devil is a great enemy to the prayers of the aſſembly: and therefore hath made many ſo far out of love with them: heretofore indeed, when the Surplas or Croſſe ſtood in their way; many came not: but that ſince theſe have been remo­ved, they cannot yet find the way hither; ſurely it is the policy of Sathan. The Lord remove all ſtumbling-blocks from before his people, and give them eyes to ſee what are ſtumbling-blocks, and what are not: for our ſelves, let us follow the Apoſtles counſell,Heb. 10.25. which is, not to forſake the aſſembling of our ſelves together, as the manner of ſome is.

Neither do the ſecond pray with us, or at leaſt, not to any pur­poſe, that come very late to the aſſembly. Act. 10.33.It was the ſpeech of Cor­nelius to Peter, We are all here preſent before God: we cannot ſay ſo, half or a third part being away, when the Miniſter begins: now comes the man, by and by, the wife, a quarter of an hour after, the ſervants; ſo that prayers are well nigh ended, ere we can all be got together: let us therefore have a care to come cheerfully toge­ther14 that ſo we may pray together, let us come to the beginning. Octavius Auguſtus and Caligula ſet a fine upon thoſe Senatours heads,Lib. 10. decret. p. 48. Abſentes, tardè venientes. that came late into the Senate-houſe: and in our Colledges, Preſidents puniſh thoſe that come tardie, as well as thoſe that come not at all. It is a fault therefore this, to be ſo leaden-heeld in re­pairing hither; to come dropping in ſo late into Gods courts: as you cannot go over-late to the ſervice of Sathan; ſo neither can you come too early to the ſervice of God.

Yet once more: Neither do they pray with us, whoſe hearts go not along with us in this duty: they come indeed, and are here it may be with the firſt; yet not minding what is done, we neither pray with them, nor they with us: for if ſome fall aſleep, others be laughing or gazing about them, and others have their wits a wool gathering, how can we be ſaid to pray with you all? We onely pray with ſuch as pray with us: intend therefore, and mind what is done here, let your hearts go along with us from the begin­ning to the end of this holy action:Officium divi­num ſumma de­votione perſolvi­to, oblitus omni­um terrenorum quaſi inter Ange­lorum agmina Conſtitutus di­vinas laudes cum eis pariter can­tare ſtudeas. Barthol. comp. ſpirit. doct 10. ſome are ſo farre from joyning with us, thnt when we have prayed, they will hardly open their mouths to add Amen to our prayers. In the Primitive times, their Amen was ſo loud, that it was like a clap of thunder; ours is ſo low, it can ſcarce be heard: therefore when you come toge­ther, be exhorted to uſe that reverence that becomes the preſence of the Divine Majeſty: abſtract your thoughts from all earthly things. When you ſing Pſalmes, and ſet forth Gods praiſe together, do it, as if you were bearing a part with the bleſſed Angels: and when you pray, joyn ſpirits together, ſending up the Miniſters prayer with all your ſtrength to heaven.

He prayed with them. It follows, with them all: ſee how gene­rall his love was, as he preacht to all, great and**Act. 26 22. 2 Cor 9.19.22. Coloſſ. 1.28. ſmall: ſo he like­wiſe prayed for all. This great Doctour of the Gentiles conde­ſcends to the meaneſt man in this company, and prayes with him. Its no diſparagement to greatneſſe, to be imployed in offices of love to the meaneſt Saint: a Ladies hands are not too fair to waſh a Diſciples feet, nor her eyes too beautifull to behold the diſeaſes of thoſe that lie in the Spittle: nor her feet too good to carry her to the ſick-mans bed to pray with him: but it is the fault of too many, to have the faith of Chriſt with reſpect of perſons: If an e­quall or Superiour be ſick, they may chance to lend him a viſit, but an Inferiour, though he have ten times more grace in his heart, may languiſh and periſh ere he be viſited, or have any comfort ſent him15 for body or ſoul: it was otherwiſe here with Paul, he preacht to all, and he prayed for all:Rom. 12.16. Pſal. 119. com­pared with 63.74. condeſcend therefore to men of low e­ſtate, be your ſelves never ſo high. King David did it, They that fear thee, will be glad when they ſee me: that might well be, they glad to ſee him; but the queſtion is, Whether or no, David would be glad to ſee them? for, many are ready to hide their heads, will not be ſeen, when men of low degree come to preſent themſelves before them: It was not ſo with him, but (ſaith he) I am a com­panion of all that fear God: not onely willing to ſee, or to be ſeen of them, but to keep company with them: and not onely with ſome of the higheſt rank, but all ſuch: I am a companion of all them, He would deſcend, as it were, from his throne, forget ſtate, become a companion of every one that feared God. With them all.

Doct. Again, It was a parting prayer this, He prayed with them, and ſo left them; where you may further learn from hence, That it is a laudable cuſtome, that Chriſtian friends uſe at parting, to pray one for another, and to deſire the prayers one of another. Tis true, we are to pray for our friends when abſent, and God can hear our prayers for them, though they be in the remoteſt corners of the world: even as the exhalations that riſe out of the valleys with us in this place, being carried up into the air, fall down in ſhowres, and refreſh thoſe places that are further off; ſo thoſe pious exhalations and prayers, which we ſend up to heaven, may bring down a bleſſing with them upon our friends: whereſoever they be, our prayers may find them out. We ſhould therefore pray for them, when out of ſight, and abſent from us, for God ſees them, and can ſhowr down his bleſſings upon them: howſoever this be true, yet the preſence of a friend we wiſh well to. How doth it ſtirre up to this duty, when as Chriſt prayed to his Father in behalf of his Diſciples, I pray for theſe whom thou haſt given me:Joh. 17.11. theſe as if he had pointed to them with his finger: ſo when a man ſhall ſay,I pray for theſe, theſe now in preſence, theſe here before me, theſe whoſe faces I now behold, but it may be ſhall never behold more:how forcible will our prayers be as ſuch a time! When a man parts from his friend, if his preſence any whit moves him, he hath it, he is not yet gone; if his abſence, his thoughts now give him ab­ſent, being thus, preſens-abſens, having him in his armes; yet ſee­ing him vaniſhing out of his ſight, how are his affections then kin­dled, and inflamed! and then are our prayers moſt prevalent,16 when affections as wings, are ready to waft, and carry them up to heaven: This therefore is a commendable and religious cuſtome, to have God preſent at our parting from our friends: when we leave God with them, we leave them well. Thus you ſee here, Paul and the Epheſians, commending one another to God in their prayers: ſo the Diſciples at Tyre in the next Chapter, they kneeled down and prayed,Act. 21.5, 6. and ſo took leave one of another. He prayed with them.

But what may we think this prayer was? That God would ſtrengthen them by his ſpirit in the inner man,Epheſ. 3.14. was once his prayer for this Church: Such it may be was his prayer for them now, That they might be ſtrong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, that being left as ſo many poore orphans,Epheſ. 6.10. the Lord would take care of them, and build them up by the word of his grace: Such in all probability was the effect of his prayer. It was our Saviours prayer for his Diſciples, I am now no more in the world, holy Fa­ther, keep throught thine own name thoſe whom thou haſt given me:Joh. 17.11. Such its likely was Pauls prayer for theſe Epheſians, that ſeeing he was to be no longer amongſt them, the Lord would keep them by his power and might: And a hint hereof he gives us in his Ser­mon, when he ſaith, And now brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace:Verſ. 32. he was then ſecretly lifting up his heart to God, and beginning his prayer, which afterward he preſt, and offered up with more earneſtneſſe to the Throne of grace: if he commended them to God in his Sermon, how much more in his prayer! Caeterum obortae impediunt la­chrymae. Tranſitio ad ſe­cundam partem.But Paul can now be no longer heard for tears, ſighs and tears ſhed on every ſide, drown his voice, and carry away the ſound of his prayers from us. Come we therefore from the firſt generall part of my Text, Pauls love to them, to the ſecond, their love to him: For it was not here as it was with the Corinthians, of whom he complains, that he loved them, but not they him, Nay,2 Cor. 12.15. the more (ſaith he) I love you, the leſſe am I loved: But here was love returned, love for love. Paul hath done his part, expreſt much love to them, now they come upon the ſtage, and endea­vour to ſhew as much love to him: But how? Poor ſouls, their words were few. As Chryſoſtome obſerves of Peters weeping for the denyall of his Maſter, He wept bitterly (ſaith he) but we hear him ſay nothing: ſo theſe Epheſians wept ſore, but ſaid little. It may be they were in the Pſalmiſts caſe, ſo troubled that they could not ſpeak;Pſal 77.4. yet their love was great. Love conſiſts not all in17 words: I doubt not but words paſt between them ere they parted, but what they were, in that the Text is ſilent; it preſents us with nothing but mute expreſſions, ſuch as kiſſing, weeping, walking: and theſe, as I noted to you before, are the three acts wherein their love was expreſt; according to the three faculties or members of the body, lips, eyes, feet; in their lips, in kiſſing him; their eyes, in weeping over him; their feet, in walking with him, and accompa­nying him to the ſhip. Firſt then, I ſhall conſider their love, as it broke out at their lips, They kiſt him. They kiſſed him. Prov. 24.26. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Home.Every one kiſſeth the lips of him that maketh a wiſe anſwer, ſaith the Wiſe-man: When Paul was preaching and praying with the Epheſians, his lips ſeemed to drop like an hony-comb; they cannot therefore let him go without a kiſſe, and herein they ſhewed their love to him. Luc. 7.45.Wherefore elſe did our Saviour complain of Simon, and take it ſo unkindly at his hands, that when he was at his houſe, he gave him no kiſſe? The learned know, that to love and to kiſſe come from the ſame root; one word in the originall expreſſeth both, and as if it were a thing known to the meaneſt:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. when a mother ſpeaks thus to her child, come love me, her meaning is no more but this, that her child ſhould turn and give her a kiſſe. And therefore when tis ſaid of the Ruler in the Goſpel, that Jeſus beholding, loved him;Marc. 10.21. ſome will have it to be meant onely of a kind ſalutation, that is, he ſaluted or kiſt him. Now this kiſſe, or ſalute, was uſed as a token of love, ei­ther when men were reconciled when they met together, or when they parted: firſt, when they were reconciled and made friends, as the Father of the Prodigall and his ſonne. Luk 15 20. Gen. 29.11.Secondly, when they met together after a long time, as Jacob and Rachel in Padan-Aran: Moſes and Jethro in the wilderneſſe,Exod. 18.7. who meeting his father-in-law there, he did obey ſance, and kiſſed him. Or thirdly, at parting, as Eliſha ſaid to Eliah, Let me I pray thee kiſſe my father and mother,1 King. 19.20. that is, take my leave of them, and then I will follow thee. Ruth 1.8, 9.Thus Naomi to her two daughters-in-law, Go and return each to your mothers houſe, and the Lord be with you, &c. then ſhe kiſſed them, and they lift up their voice and wept. Of this laſt kind was this in my Text, They hang'd upon him (ſaith Eraſmus) being now to go away from them, deſirous to be fild with his company.

Religion then you ſee is no enemy to civility: kiſſes and mutu­all embraces, Religion ſimply miſlikes not. But it condemns firſt,Inference 1Prov. 7.13. Pangit ſuavium〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉impudicitiae. Ames. caſ. 3.ſuch kiſſes as wantons uſe: She caught him, and kiſt him: Such are proems of adultery, preparatives to luſt and corporall unclean­neſſe:18 as ſtrokes are the beginning of murther,Interim ſcien­dum haecantiqui­tus porrect a oſ­cula fuiffe ſpici­tualia, non car­nalia quae com­plexu corporum animas copulant non deſiderio carnis, fed ſpiri­tus. Ambroſ. in ſecundam ad Cor. 7. ſo are ſuch kiſſes of adultery. Theſe in my Text are of another nature, ſymbols of that divine conjunction of ſouls, when the ſouls of two friends go forth, as it were of their bodies, to ſalute each other in a Chriſtian manner: therefore 'tis called an holy kiſſe:**1 Theſ. 5.26. 1 Tim. 1.5. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiſſe; the other are unholy. Paul ſpeaks in Timothy of love out of a pure heart; but, the love and kiſſes of wanton per­ſons, come out of an impure one.

And ſecondly, counterfeit and treacherous kiſſes; as Joab dealt with Abner, took him out of the way to ſalute him, and then ſmote him under the fifth rib:1 Credibile eſt Judam coloſum nebulonem ad iiſſe detecto ca­pite pileo ſupra modum demiſſo curvatóque cor­pore Chriſto pro­cul tedendiſſe manus amplexa­turus vultu hila­riore, voce amicitiam ſolito magis profitente, labia labiis impreſſiſſe, ne quid proditionis deeſſet, per molle oſculi blandimentum inflixit execrabile proditionis jaculum. Boſquier theatr. paſſ. p. 192. 2 1 Pet. 5.14. Vocatur oſculum charitatis, quod non eſt adulatorium ſicut Abſolonis, non ſimulatorium ſicut Joabi, non proditorium ſicut Judae. Hereuſchmidt oſculolog. 82. And 1, Judas, who in a great ſhew of love and reſpect, kiſt our Saviour, when he came to be­tray him: So there are in the world ſuch as will embrace, and kiſſe with their lips, thoſe whom they hate in their hearts: but ſuch are lying lips, though they ſay nothing. Therefore as Paul calls it, a holy kiſſe; ſo 2. Peter, a kiſſe of charity. It muſt be of charity, not of hypocriſie.

But ſo much of their love,They wept. Verſ. 19.31. as it broke out of their lips: Con­ſider we it now in the ſecond place as it had vent at their eyes. The Text ſaith, They wept: twice had Paul made mention of his tears. Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears; and remember (ſaith he) that for the ſpace of three years, I ceaſed not to warn every one night and day with tears. Now therefore they come in with their tears, he powred out his prayers, and they now powre out their tears: ſad men (you muſt needs think) they were Sermon-while and prayer-while, now they cannot contein, a torrent of tears guſhes out of their eyes, they wept: and this like­wiſe ſhewed their love. Paul proves his love to the Corinthians, by this very argument, Out of much affliction and anguiſh of heart I wrote unto you with many tears,2 Cor. 2.4. then it follows, that ye might know the abundant love which I have towards you. Our Saviour is ſaid to weep when hee ſtood over Lazarus grave; Jeſus wept, then ſaid the Jews,Joh. 11.36. ſee how he loved him! So, any man might ſee love in theſe tears; its evident they loved him, by their weeping thus for him. But this was a bitter weeping, this weeping of theirs; theres19 more to be ſaid of it: Conſider theſe four things in the Text: the Generality, the Exceſſe, the Place, and the Cauſe of their weep­ing: Firſt,


  • 1. Generality of it; They all wept.
  • 2. Exceſſe of their weeping, or depth of their ſorrow; Wept ſore.
  • 3. Place, where; On Pauls neck.
  • 4. Cauſe, why; Becauſe they ſhould ſee his face no more

Of theſe in order.

Firſt, of the Generality, in that word all; not ſome, but all. Paul had warnd every one of them with tears,All wept. his love hath broken their hearts, now out fly their tears; every one hath tears now at command for him. I know not well what to ſay to it, how this ſhould come to paſſe, unleſſe as it fares with us, that our eyes do oft water, when we look upon watry eyes: ſo its likely here, that one mans tears drew on anothers:Humanitatis re­fugit affectum qui dolorem non ſequitur alienum Caſſiodor. p. 374. Rom. 12.15. Humane affe­ction makes us follow other men in their ſorrow, and to weep with them that weep. But what ever the cauſe was, certain it is, that tears ſtood in every mans eyes, the Text reports it for a generall weeping. And we cannot but think, that ſome of them were na­turally men of harder conſtitutions, dryer bodies then the reſt: but grace is ſtronger then nature, for the hardeſt heart now relents, the drieſt bodie now yields tears. All wept.

Secondly, Conſider the exceſſe of it, or depth of their ſorrow;2. Wept ſore. They wept ſore. It had been much if every one had wept, though never ſo little: had he onely watered his eyes, or let fall one tear, it had been much: here was more, they all wept; yea, and they wept ſore: their ſorrow therefore muſt needs be great. Some ſay, Lachryma, quaſi lacerrima, à lacerando,Camerar. Cent. 102. becauſe tears are bred of a laceration of the ſpirit: and why may not the Engliſh word tears have the like Etymology, from tearing of the heart? certainly theſe were tearing tears, renting, as it were, and tearing the very hearts of the Epheſians; but the originall word ſignifies more then tears,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. tears and throbs, ſuch as uſe to be the pain of a woman in her tra­vell. Paul had been in travell with them, they are now in travell with him; they cry and weep, and take on without meaſure: Great was that love that drew out ſuch abundance of tears.

InferenceAway then with that Stoicall Apathy, which would make men like ſtocks or ſtones, taking from us thoſe affections which are revet­ed and ingrafted into our very natures; ſo that to take them away20 were all one, as to go about to take away meekneſſe from the Lamb,Evangelium non tollit, ſed vere regit naturales affectus. Beza in loc. Vid. Lactant, p. 478.481. fierceneſſe from the Lion, fear from the Hare; ſooner may ye kill theſe creatures, then take away theſe affections from them: even ſo it is with man. But the Peripateticks allow affe­ctions to be in us, but, modicè ac temperatè; they are Lactantius his words: We muſt rejoyce, ſay they, but not much; grieve, but not much: which is as if they had ſaid. That a man muſt alwayes go fair and ſoftly, but never run; whereas we know, that he that goes foot-pace, may go wrong; and a man that runs as faſt as his leggs will carry him, may keep the right way: So affections, if ſet right, though violent, are not to be condemned. I can tell you of a ſorrow, the leaſt meaſure whereof is ſinfull: I can inſtance a­gain in a ſorrow, which being exceſſive, deſerves no blame: Such was this of the Epheſians, They wept ſore.

The third Circumſtance, is the place and manner of their weep­ing (I put them both under one) it was upon Pauls neck. On Pauls neck.It is ſaid of Joaſh, that he wept over the face of Eliſha as he ſay a dy­ing:2 King. 13.14. Gen. 45.14. ſo Joſeph and Benjamin wept one upon another, when they met together in Egypt, Joſeph wept on Benjamins neck and Ben­jamin wept upon Joſephs neck: ſo here, they wept on Pauls neck. But had they no where elſe to weep? I anſwer, this was the fitteſt place they could chuſe, and that for theſe reaſons.

Firſt,Reaſon 1. A more nihil ve­locius, nihil a­cutius, nihil ſub­tilius: ideo quie­ſcere nequit do­nec in intimum dilecti pectus de­ſcendat. Comp. ſpirit. doct. 182. it is the deſire of lovers, to expreſſe their affections in preſence of thoſe they love: for it is the nature of love to go forth, and embrace the object wherewith it is delighted, therefore called an affection of union, becauſe it unites and knits two together, and ſo makes them as it were, one. Therefore one ſaith thus, Theres no­thing ſo acute, ſo quick, ſo peircing as love is; which cannot reſt, till it be got into the very heart of its beloved.

Again,Reaſon 2. Pſal. 119.159. Tears are teſtimonies of our love: now friends deſire nothing more, then to have their love taken notice of. Conſider (ſaith David) how I love thy law: So a man is not content to love his friend, but he muſt have his friend conſider it, and know he loves him; he comes to him with a Teſtentur hae lachrymae, let theſe tears be teſtimonials of my love to you: for we may not think all thats done openly, to be done hypocritically: The ſaying is, He grieves with a witneſſe, that grieves without a witneſſe; yet our grief may be true,Ille dolet vere qui ſine teſte dolet. though it have a witneſſe. Indeed, Hy­pocriſie may and doth oft mingle it ſelf; yet you ſee a man may weep openly in the preſence of his friend, yet thoſe tears be with­out21 out hypocriſie. When Saul purpoſed to kill David,1 Sam. 22 41. Jonathan went out to meet him in the fields, and they kiſt one another, and wept one with another: ſurely it was to teſtifie that unfeigned love they had one to another, therefore they vent their grief into one anothers boſome, and lay their tears as nigh one anothers heart as they can. So the Epheſians, they might have wept at home, and not here in Pauls preſence; but then they had loſt a teſtimony of their love, but that may not be: they love him, and he muſt ſee they love him, therefore come they up to him as cloſe as they can, and weep upon his very neck: Thats a ſecond reaſon.

Reaſon 3Thirdly, Its a great eaſe to a mans heart, to weep in the pre­ſence of his friend, in the preſence of one whom he loves; thoſe tears give him a great deal of refreſhment:Let a mother receive news of the death of her child, what is the uſuall complaint in this caſe? Oh, had I been with my poor child, to have kiſt it, to have wept upon it, before God took it away; it would have eaſed my heart: neither her kiſſes, nor her tears could do her child good; but they would have done her good, would have been as good as meat and drink to her.Therefore ſaith Seneca:Excidunt reti­nentibus lachry­mae, & animum profuſae levant. Sen. Epiſt. 445. Sedatur lachry­mis, egeriturque dolor. Ovid. de triſt. Tears will out ſomtimes whether we will or no, and when they are gone, the oppreſſed heart finds eaſe. Our Saviour Chriſt loved Laza­rus, and he wept for Lazarus being dead: but where think you was it? at his grave: when they ſhewed him where he lay, Jeſus wept; and he took a journey to come and weep there. Mary ſhe alſo wept, and it was thought by the Jews,Joh. 11.35, 36. to be at the grave too: for when ſhe roſe up haſtily and went out, they ſaid it was to weep at the Sepulcher: they comforted her in the houſe, now they thought ſhe was gone to comfort her ſelf at the grave:Verſ. 19.31. as if it had done her good, to lay her tears near her brother Lazarus. I will draw one ſpirituall meditation from this point.

InferenceIf it be ſo comfortable weeping in the preſence of a friend, Oh what is it then think you to weep for our ſinnes before God! na­ture oft teacheth the former, oh that grace might teach us to do the later, to weep in the preſence of Chriſt with Mary, to waſh his feet with our tears! ſhee came into the houſe,Luc. 7 37. and ſtood at his feet weeping, and waſhing his feet with tears: her heart was full, and ſhe found no comfort till ſhe came to Chriſt, to weep in his preſence: then ſhe heard that joyfull ſentence, thy ſinnes are forgi­ven thee: ſo that her tears, as they waſht the duſt from Chriſts feet; ſo through the mercy of God, they waſht away ſin from22 her ſoul: ſo if we go to Chriſt, and waſh his feet with our tears of Repentance; he will waſh both us and our repentance in his own blood, and ſo cleanſe us from all our ſinnes. When we offer up our prayers, if we then let fall a ſhower of tears at his feet, this rain being fallen, there will be faire weather in our ſouls. There­fore we ſee what a comfort it was to the Prophet David, that he could powre out his tears before God, and that God ſhould take notice of his weeping. Pſal. 6.8. Lachrymae pon­dera vocis ha­bent.The Lord (ſaith he) hath heard the voice of my weeping. But to return where I was, They wept upon Pauls neck that was the place. Conſider withall the manner of it, fall­ing upon his neck, ſo ſaith the Text, They all wept ſore, and fell upon his neck. But was that good manners, all to fall upon him thus? Indeed love loves ſometimes to be unmannerly: When Chriſt after he was riſen appeared to Mary, ſhe would fain have been falling upon him, and touching him; but hands off (ſaith Chriſt) Touch me not: Love made her forget duty. So the Shunamite coming to the Prophet Eliſha, caught him by the feet, inſomuch that Gehezi thought it a ſaucy part of her,2 King. 4.27. to hold his Maſter in that manner, therefore went and ſhoved her away: Oh, ſaith Eliſha, let her alone, for her ſoul is vexed within her, that which ſhee did, ſhe did it out of the abundance of her affe­ction; therefore the Prophet knew how to bear with her: Love you ſee made her likewiſe forget manners.

Object. But how then doth the Apoſtle ſay,1 Cor. 13.5. That love doth not behave it ſelf unſeemly or unmannerly? Tis true.

Anſw. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Therefore I anſwer, It is a very ſeemely unſeemlineſſe, and (if I may ſo ſpeak) mannerly unmannerlineſſe, that comes from love; love puts a grace upon geſtures, otherwiſe undecent; ſpeeches, o­therwiſe rude. When a Pagan offered water to King Artaxer­xes in the hollow of his hand, it was ſo well accepted, becauſe he did it out of love,Drexel. recta. in­tent. epiſt. Nemo ſuccenſet amanti. Pro. 23.26. that he put it into a viall of Gold: We know not how to be angry with him that doth any thing to us out of love: if a man doth truly love me, I regard not his tongue, but his heart. God ſaith, Give me thy heart: Thats accepted with him, though ſomething be wanting in the outward man, but the out­ward man cannot pleaſe without the heart. So here, If I have a mans heart, whatſoever failing there may be outwardly, I conſtrue it but as an errour of love:Nequeſalſum nequeſuave eſſe poteſt quicquam ubi amor non admi­ſeetur. but without the heart, all ſhews and formalities are nothing worth. If a man love me, and that from his heart, it being with me and for me; what if his carriage be not23 ſo courtly, nor his words ſo ſtarcht and ſet out as other mens? I can ſee no indecorum in that geſture, no ſoloeciſme in that ſpeech that comes from love.

You have now ſeen the place of their weeping, Pauls neck: and the manner of it, ruentes in collum Pauli, they fell upon his neck, and wept there. Becauſe they ſhould ſee his face no more. Verſ 25. As Job ſpeaks, the ey of him that hath ſeen me ſhall ſee me no more Job 7.8.The fourth thing propounded concerning this weeping was. The cauſe of it. Paul had told them that they ſhould ſee his face no more, Behold I go bound to Jeruſalem, and I know not what afflictions I may live to ſee there; but this I know, that theſe eyes ſhall never ſee you more, nor your eyes ſee me any more: Hinc ille lachrymae, this was the cauſe of their weeping. Paul had ſaid, grievous wolves ſhall come in among you, and he had ſaid, I am pure from the blood of all men:Verſ. 29.26. A worull change inſtead of the face of an Apo­ſtle, to ſee the face of a wolf. terrible ſayings theſe, e­nough to make ſad their hearts: but that which grieved them moſt, and put them into the greateſt agony, was this ſaying of his, Ye ſhall ſee my face no more; as if they had replyed and ſaid,Oh bleſſed Paul, who can refrain tears that hears ſuch words as theſe! ſhall wee ſee thy face no more! give us leave then to weep,1 Sam, 30.4. till we can weep no more: thou haſt oft bedewed thy cheeks with tears for us, ſuffer us now to ſhed tears for thee.They wept moſt of all for the words which he ſpake, that they ſhould ſee his face no more: that ſaying was like a Bucket let down into the bottom of their hearts, which drew up ſuch adundance of tears: They wept ſore. Their ſorrow was great, as you have heard, and no marvell, you ſee here they had great cauſe: had there been hopes of ſeeing him again, the weather would ſoon have cleard, and their tears dryed up; but no ſeeing of him after this, and that went to their hearts. When our Saviour left his Diſciples, Be not ſorrowfull,Joh. 16.22. ſaith he, for I will ſee you again: but Paul here tels them flatly, they ſhould ſee him no more; and how could their eyes chuſe but water in beholding him now, whom they ſhould never behold more. It was one of Auguſtines three wiſhes, that he might hear Paul in a Pulpit: no marvell then if theſe wept, that heard him ſo oft, but now ſhould never ſee, nor hear him more! how are their eyes now fixt upon that face, that was never to be ſeen more after this! In ſome ſenſe indeed they would ſee him the ofter, for that face that now began to diſappear, being withdrawn from the ſight of their bodies, would queſtionleſſe be the ofter preſented to the eyes of their mindes: yet they cannot indure to hear of his bodily abſence.


Inference 1Firſt then, take notice here what a grief it is for friends to leave one another, its almoſt death to them to part aſunder: a man ſor­rows for nothing more,Omnes dolores leves praeter­quam. Joh. 16.6. Malvezzi David. perfec. 132. then to have his friend taken from him. When Chriſt began but to ſpeak of going away, how ſad were his Diſciples! Becauſe I have ſaid theſe things, ſorrow hath filled your hearts. Friendſhip (ſaith Malvezzi) is an union of two ſouls in one body, which in a ſort inform it; if not truly, yet virtually; and as the ſoul is grieved to depart out of an earthly body which it informed, ſo likewiſe to depart from another ſoul which ſhe loved. Hence it was that Auguſtine tells us,Auguſt. confeſſ. that when his friend Ali­pius was dead, he thought one half of himſelf gone. So Paul here, and his Epheſians, It grieved them (as ye heard) that he was going from them; and we muſt think it grieved him too, to tell them, that he muſt leave them: and therefore, if you mark, you ſhall ſee how mournfully, as it were, he utters thoſe words, I go bound and now behold ye ſhall ſee my face no more: he brings it out with a kind of ſigh And now behold, &c. as it grieved them to hear it; ſo himſelf no leſſe to ſpeak it. Nothing then more grievous to friends, then parting.

Secondly, did they ſorrow thus for Pauls departure; ſee then here the loſſe of Gods Miniſters, what a loſſe it is: we are to ſor­row moſt of all for that. Loſſe of houſes, lands, goods, is not ſo great as this: Miniſters, though they be a burden to ſome, and many ungratefull wretches cry, a faire riddance; yet Gods children know what a loſſe they ſuſtain when they are taken away. When Eudoxia the Empreſſe took a ſpleen againſt Chryſoſtome,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Joh. exuli Cyriaco Epiſe. to. 5. ep. 3. p. 287. Hiſtory of the Church of Scot­land. 214. and ba­niſh him, the people gathered to him weeping, and ſaying: It were better the Sun left ſhining, then the golden mouth of Chry­ſoſtome be ſtopt from preaching. When John Knox was calld into Scotland, being to leave his flock at Geneva, This (ſaith he) to worldly-wiſe-men, may appear a ſmall matter, but to me it was and is ſuch, that more wordly ſubſtance, then I will expreſſe, could not have cauſed me willingly to behold the eyes of ſo many grave men weeping at once for my cauſe, as I did, in taking my laſt good night from them. Acts and Monu­ments. 1387.And Doctour Taylor when he went through Hadley to be burnt, the people ſtood weeping in the ſtreets, point­ing to him, and ſaying, There goes our good Shepheard, what ſhall we poore ſcattered lambs do? this therefore is a heavie caſe.

Thirdly, before I paſſe from this point, give me leave to raiſe up your minds by a ſpirituall meditation. Is the abſence of a friend,25 of a Miniſter ſo grievous; what then is the abſence of Chriſt, when he ſhall ſay, Ye ſhall ſee my face no more? we ſhould think that the heavieſt ſaying that ever was heard, and we ſhould be moſt earneſt in our**Hoe unum per­dere metuamus aeternum Dei aſ­pectum; illudqueaſſidue quiſque pro ſe roget, ne projicias me à facie tua. Pſal. 51.13. faciem tu­am domine re­quiram Pſal 27.8 Oſtende mihi fa­ciem tuam demi­ne, Exod. 33.13. Piè domine mo­dicum illud vo­cas, ob modicum immodicum. prayers, that this may never be: that he would never caſt us out of his preſence, or hide his face from us, for then what a ſad and deſolate condition are we in! for if one Miniſter die, or go away, we can get another; or if we loſe one friend, we can take delight and comfort in another: but what comfort can a man have, when the Comforter himſelf is gone? Hence it is that when Chriſt ſhall withdraw himſelf a little from the ſoul of a Chri­ſtian, he thinks every day ſeven years, till he return: as Bernard up­on thoſe words; Yet a little while and ye ſhall not ſee me; Oh Lord, calleſt thou that a little while? Chriſt indeed calls it ſo, but a Chriſtian thinks it long: as David, Return, O Lord, how long? and How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, for ever? Pſa. Pſal. 30.5.In another place he could tell us, his anger indures but a moment: now that moment ſeems eternity: How long for ever? Thus the Church in the Lamentations complains and bewails her ſad conditi­on; For this I weep, mine eye runneth down with water,Lameux. 1.16. becauſe the Comforter that ſhould relieve my ſoul, is far from me. Where­fore if you have the preſence of Chriſt, and of his Holy Spirit, the counſell I give is this, that ye would labour to keep it;Mane nobiſcum Domine, Luk. 24.29. ſay as the Diſciples at Emmaus, Lord ſtay with us: but if he have ab­ſented himſelf, up and ſeek him with tears: Tears indeed could not bring back Paul; but 'tis poſſible for a penitent by his prayers and tears to regain the preſence of Chriſt.

And ſo much for the ſecond act of their love, Their weeping; enlarged by four remarkable circumſtances out of my Text: the Generality of it, all wept; the Exceſſe, wept ſore; the Place, Pauls neck; and the Cauſe why, becauſe they ſhould ſee his face no more; that filld their hearts with grief, and made them cry Loth to depart. As one friend holds another by the hand, being ſor­ry that he muſt forſake him: or as ſhe ſaid to her husband going into exile, Husband, we will go together, we will live together,Simul hine fimul ibimus ambo, ſe ſequar & conjux exulis, exulero. Ovid. de triſt. and we will die together, an exiled man, and an exiled wife toge­ther: So do theſe here, haerent in amplexibus, they cling to Paul, they are long in taking their leaves, they know not how to bid him adieu But friends (we ſay) muſt part. Come we there­fore to the laſt act of their love, teſtified by their feet: Their lips, their eyes have done their part, now let us ſee what their feet do;26 they walk with him, they conduct, and bring him on his way: and how far? as far as they could, till they came to the Ship. They ac­companied him to the ſhip. They accompa­nied him to the ſhip.This, Chryſoſtome will have to be an­other act of their love, So greatly (ſaith he) did they love him, and ſo diverſly were they affected towards him, that they will on their way with him,Chryſ. in locum. and ſee him Shipt, before they part. It was a frequent cuſtome among the Primitive Chriſtians, when their friends were going from them, to conduct them, and bring them forward on their way,Secundum indi­catos locorum ſi­tus intervallum fuit illud inter E­pheſum, atque Miletum ad ſta­dia circiter 400, quae efficiunt prope 50 millia paſſuum. Camer, in locum. Mat. 5.41. as you may ſee by theſe texts, Rom. 15.24. 1 Cor. 16.6. 1 Joh. ver. 6. So here the Epheſians do it to S. Paul: he ſends for them from Epheſus to Miletus, and there was love in that; in coming ſo far at his requeſt, a matter of fiftie miles from their own houſes, but they do not leave him here, they will on further yet, till they come to the Ship. They obſerve that of our Saviour, If a man deſire thee to go amile, go with him twain. When Eliſha had notice that his maſter was to be taken from him, he went with him all the way from Gilgal to Bethel, from Bethel to Jericho,2 King. 2.1. and from Jericho to Jordan, and beyond Jordan, and then Eliah was ſuddenly taken from him, and he ſaw him no more: but yee ſee, he went with him as far as he could: ſo do the Epheſians here with Paul, they went with him as farre as they could, from Epheſus they come and meet him at Miletus, from Miletus they go along with him to the ſhip, and when they could accompany him no longer by land, they accompanied him by water ſo far as their eyes could reach.

Inference 1Let me here then in the firſt place, preſent you with a picture of true love: you heard before, how their love broke out of their lips, how at their eyes, and here you ſee their very feet ex­preſſe it: where true love is, it will have command over the outward members of our bodies. 2 Tim. 1.17.Oneſiphorus loved Paul, and this made him traverſe the ſtreets of Rome, and never give over, till he had found him, and miniſtred to his neceſſities. The Apo­ſtle calls it,1 Theſ. 1.3. Diligere. The labour of love: and in the Latine-tongue, Love and Diligence come both from the ſame root, to ſhew that love is diligent. But alas, its key-cold, very remiſſe, and (I may ſay) negligent in theſe dayes: our eyes cannot drop, nor ſhed one tear for the miſeries of the Saints: our hands like Jeroboams are ſhrunk and dryed up, we cannot ſtretch them forth to ſhew mer­cy to the poore: our feet lame, and cannot walk to do a poore man good: onely we wagg our tongues, ſaying, alack poore27 man, God help thee, and I am ſorry I can do thee no good, &c. call you this love? no, it deſerves not the name: love is a ſtirring affection. Doſt thou indeed love a good man? it will both move thy lips, water thy eyes, and ſet feet alſo a walking to do him good.

Secondly, See here again the love people ought to bear to thoſe that are the diſpenſers of the myſteries of God: they that wept ſo abundantly before, we muſt think they did it much more now. The word, as I noted ſignifies, the pain of a woman in her travell; they had all this while been in travell with Paul, and are now come to ſend him forth, and to be delivered of him with ſorrow, now there­fore their pangs were greateſt. They follow him to the ſhip, as men follow the bere, when they bury their friends: Paul was now as a dead man, never to be ſeen more of them; therefore now ſure, their tears flowed, they wept: and as Chriſt ſaid of Maries anoint­ing his feet, they did it for his buriall; they wept before,Mat. 26.12. Quae verba cum audiiſſet multo quam antea ma­gis illachrymans &c. Chryſ. de ſacerd. Act. 21.1. 2 Cor. 11.26. they did not give over now at the ſhip, now they begin afreſh, one ſea runs into another, a ſea of tears into a ſea of waters: as the Iſraelites mingled their tears with the waters of Babylon: ſo here a river of tears gliding through their eyes, takes its courſe, and runs into the ſea of Miletus; they bring him to the ſhip, and there teſtifie their love with new embraces: ſo that well doth the Evangeliſt ſay in the next verſe, When we were gotten from them: much ado it ſeems he had to get from them: they would have kept him ſtill, had he not broken from them by a kind of violence;**Pſal. 56.9. Migrationes me­as, vel fugas me­as, &c. quaſi di­cat. Tu ſcis domi­ne quod multis annis ſum vagus homo, & profu­gus, nec uſquam datur mihi quies. vid. Vatabl. in locum. When we were gotten from them, we lanched forth. So that by all this you ſee what af­fection people ought to bear to thoſe whome God hath ſet over them. Love to Gods Miniſters, when it takes in the hearts of a peo­ple, is without bounds, without limits.

Thirdly, you may hence likewiſe take occaſion to conſider the mutable eſtate of the Saints in this life; they bring him to the ſea, ſet him a ſhip-board, and there leave him; he lanches into the deep, and they return home with ſorrow to their houſes:Pſal. he is now en­tring into his perils by ſea, and they are as much diſtreſt at land. Such is the eſtate of Gods children here, full of miſeries, full of changes, ſometimes their eſtates ſink, ſometimes friends, ſomtimes their teachers are taken from them: thus like waves of the him-ſea, one affliction comes upon the neck of another. David ſaith, Thou telleſt my flittings,**David cum ſub­inde mutaret la­tebras comparat ſe aviculae hinc inde volitanti, & oberranti, cui nuſquam nidulari conceditur. Bu­col. chron. 425. 1 Cor. 4.11. or wandrings: and compares him­ſelf to a Pelican of the wilderneſſe, to the Locuſt or Graſhopper, the28 Graſhopper wanders and hops from graſſe to graſſe, from flower to flower: ſo do we in this world, ſhift and remove from place to place, and have here no certain dwelling place, we never continue in one ſtay, nor find any reſt here, till we arrive at the haven of happineſſe.

They accompanied him to the ſhip.

We have now ſet Paul to Ship, and our ſelves a ſhore: I am come to the end of my Text, I have done with that. Onely give me leave by way of generall Application, to commend to you two or three duties, ſuch as I conceive, are both proper to the mat­ter that hath been delivered, and the preſent occaſion. The title of the 45. Pſalme, is, A Song of loves: ſo might the title of this Text be, which I have opened, a Text of love; for therein you have ſeen Pauls love to his Epheſians, and the return of their love to him: The firſt duty therefore I would commend to you, is this of Love; but ſuch a love as my Text commends, that is, operative. When you look upon the Epheſians; you ſee that their lips, eyes, feet, ſpake nothing but love: So that devout Mary Magdalen, our Saviour ſaith of her, That ſhe loved much; but how did it appear? (if it were the ſame Mary ſpoken of after­wards) every member almoſt of her body ſhewed it, her eyes in weeping; feet, in carrying her ſo early to the Sepulchre, to ſeek him whom her ſoul loved; her tongue, ſaying, They have taken away my Lord: and how can we think we love Chriſt, or our brethren, if neither our feet, eyes, nor tongues expreſſe it!

Object. Oh, but we have it, we ſay, in our hearts; what! and never let it come forth, nor walk abroad?

Anſw. It cannot be: Its againſt the nature of love. No affection ſends us more abroad, puts us more upon action, then this of love: Let us then, as theſe Epheſians and Mary, make both our tongues, our eyes, our feet, and our hands alſo witneſſes of our love; our tongues, in warning, reproving, comforting: our eyes, in weeping in ſecret for the ſins of others, and for the miſeries of Gods people: if this heavenly fire of love be once kindled in our hearts, our eyes as Limbecks will be ſometimes dropping and diſtilling tears. Again, our feet in carrying us to the houſe of God, Our feet (ſaith Da­vid) ſhall ſtand there;Pſal. 122.2. and in carrying us to the beds of the ſick to viſit them; and laſtly, our hands in giving to the neceſſities of the Saints: This love of the hand I would eſpecially commend to29 you that are rich, and have wherewithall to do good. God loved the world, and gave his ſon: think of that,Joh. 3.16. his love was a giving love: ſo ſhould yours be: remember the words of the Lord Je­ſus, how he ſaid, It is more bleſſed to give, then to receive; (they are the words immediately preceding my Text,) for, the former binds others to us; by the latter we become bound and obliged:Vid. Combis compend theo. p. 444. the former is a mans own virtuous act, and the former goes away with a reward from God; therefore more bleſſed. I beſeech you therefore, ſuffer this word of exhortation, be ready to diſtribute, willing to communicate, ſo ſhall you make to your ſelves a glori­ous way to heaven. He that hath ſo oft ſtood, and ſpoken to you out of this place, were he now here to ſpeak, and take his leave; what duty would he rather commend to you, then this? Cranmer, a Martyr in Queen Maries dayes, as he ſtood upon a Scaffold in Pauls, immediately before he went to the ſtake to be burnt, com­mended three ſentences of Gods word, to the rich Citizens that were about him: the firſt was this;Luk. 18.24. How hardly ſhall they that have riches, enter into the Kingdome of God! a hard ſaying (ſaith he) but he that ſpake it, is the God of truth. The ſecond, Who ſo hath this worlds good, and ſeeth his brother in want,1 Joh. 3.17. and ſhutteth his bowels of compaſſion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? And the third ſentence was,Jam. 5.1. Go to now ye rich men, weep and howle, for the miſeries that ſhall come upon you. This was all his farwell-Sermon, to deſire them to think of theſe Textes, when he was gone: So the Apoſtle Paul here, parting with the Epheſians, leaves this memento behind him;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Verſ 33. ſupport the weake, remember the poore; and mark how he brings it in, I have ſhewed you all things, how that ye ought to do thus, that is, to re­member the poore, and to ſupport, or ſhore up the weak. He tells them he had ſhewed them all things, yet mentions but one thing, charity to the poore: for that indeed is inſtar omnium, the end of all our preaching, and the end of all your hearing too: charity is the ſumme and perfection of all. I have ſtayed the longer upon this, being ſo neceſſary a duty; and the Text I have opened, gave juſt occaſion to mind you of it. I will be briefer in the reſt.

My ſecond requeſt therefore is, you would carefully retain, and keep in memory, whatſoever good inſtructions and leſſons have been delivered, by your late Paſtour; as John, to the Church of Thyatira, That which yee have already hold faſt:Rev. 2.25. great pains hath been taked amongſt you, let it not be like water ſpilt on the30 ground: Bleſſed (ſaith Chriſt) are ſuch as hear the word, and keep it:Luc. 11.28. not they that onely hear, but they that hear, and keep: you have oft heard the word from his mouth, now therefore hold it faſt, keep it. The ſeed hath been ſown amongſt you, now the Lord water it with the dew of his grace, that it may grow, and be fruitfull.

Thirdly, you have heard how full of changes this life is, we muſt part and leave one another; the Epheſians, Paul; and Paul, his Epheſians; and after a ſhort time, all of us leave this world. Oh therefore let our hearts be, where our treaſure is, where no change of weather ſhall alter us:Ego ipſe, dum lo­quor mutari iſta mutatus ſum, &c. Senec, epiſt. 330. here are changes with­out, and changes within: we are not the ſame in our age, that we were in our youth: nor to day, what we were two or three dayes agoe:Joh. 14.2. Heb. 12.28. here we remove from place to place: above are man­ſions, A kingdome that cannot be ſhaken.

Fourthly and finally, leſt any that now hears me ſhould be too much affected with grief, by reaſon of this weeping diſcourſe. I will add one meditation, that may help to ſweeten theſe bitter waters. Our friends are taken away from us, never ſhall we ſee them more in this world, in heaven (its to be hoped) we ſhall: theſe faces which diſappear and vaniſh from us now, we ſhall recover the ſight of them hereafter. Miniſters and people ſhall then exult and rejoyce together. Paul ſaith of the Theſſalonians whom he had won to God, and who were a comfort to him in his life,1 Theſ. 2.19. that at the preſence of Chriſt, at his coming, they ſhould be his glory, and joy, and crown of rejoycing: that is, he ſhould take far more comfort in them, then ever he had done in this world. The like he ſaith of the Corinthians: We are your rejoycing,1 Cor. 1.4. and ye ours, in the day of the Lord Jeſus. Think of it beloved, think what a happy meeting, and what a happy greeting it will be, when Miniſters and people ſhall come together, and greet one another in this manner, we are your rejoycing, and yee ours;Iſa. 8.18. When Miniſters ſhall ſay, Here am I, Lord, and the people whom thou haſt given me: and they ſhall anſwer, Here are we, Lord, and he to whom thou haſt given us, by whom thou haſt converted us. When Miniſters ſhall turn, and ſpeak thus to their converts, Ye are our glory and our joy: and they ſhall reply and ſay, and ye have been our faithfull guides, that have brought us into theſe joyes; Then there ſhall be no taking ſhip, or horſe to part any more: but we ſhall con­tinue together, enjoying a heavenly communion one with another, and following the Lamb whereſoever he goeth.


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TextPreces & Lachrymæ. A sermon on Act. chap. XX. vers. 36, 37, 38. Vers. 36. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37. And they all wept sore, and fell on Pauls neck, and kissed him. 38. Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, thay they should see his face no more, and they accompanied him to the ship. / By William Houghton, preacher at Bicknor in Kent.
AuthorHoughton, William, preacher at Bicknor in Kent..
Extent Approx. 99 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 19 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A86601)

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Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 92:E602[3])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationPreces & Lachrymæ. A sermon on Act. chap. XX. vers. 36, 37, 38. Vers. 36. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37. And they all wept sore, and fell on Pauls neck, and kissed him. 38. Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, thay they should see his face no more, and they accompanied him to the ship. / By William Houghton, preacher at Bicknor in Kent. Houghton, William, preacher at Bicknor in Kent.. [6], 30 p. Printed by Roger Daniel, for Samuel Cartwright, at the signe of the Bible in Duck-lane,London :1650.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "May 23".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Bible. -- N.T. -- Acts, XX -- Sermons -- Early works to 1800.
  • Sermons, English -- 17th century.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A86601
  • STC Wing H2938
  • STC Thomason E602_3
  • STC ESTC R206405
  • EEBO-CITATION 99865566
  • PROQUEST 99865566
  • VID 117811

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