This day was meant to be the day of all our deaths; and many were appointed as Sheepe to the Slaughter, nay, worse than so. There was a thing doing on it, if it had been done, we all had been undone. And the very same day wherin that appointment was disappointed by God, and we all saved, that we might not die but live, and declare the praise of the Lord: the Lord of whose doing, that marvellous deed was, of whose making , this joyfull day is, that we celebrate
This mercifull and gracious Lord hath so done His marvellous works, that they ought to be had, and kept in remembrance. Of keeping remembrance, many wayes thre be: Among the rest, this is one, of making dayes; set solemne Dayes to preserve memorable Acts, that they be not eaten out, by them, but ever revived, with the returne of the Year, and kept still fresh in continual memory.
God himselfe taught us this way. In remembrance of the great delivery from the destroying Angell, He himselfe ordained the day of the Passe-over yearly to be kept. The Church, by Him taught, tooke the same way. In remembrance of the dissappointing of Hamans bloudy lots, they were like wise appointed the dayes of Purim, yearly to be kept. The like memorable mercy did He vouchsafe us. The destroyer passed over our dwelings, this day: It is our Passe-over. Haman, and his Fellowes had set the dice on us, and we by this time had been all in peeces: It is our Purim day.
We have therefore well done and upon good warrant, to tread in the same steps, and by law to provide, that this Day should not die, nor the memorial thereof perish, from our selfes or from our seed, but be consecrated to perpetual memory, by a yearly acknowledgement to be made of it through all generations. In accomplishment of which order, we are now here in the presence of God, on this day, that He first, by His Act of doing, hath made, and we secondly, by our act of decreeing, have made before Him, His holy Angels, and men, to confesse this His goodnesse, and our selves eternally bound to Him for it. And, being to cofesse it, with what words of Scripture can we better or fitter do it, that those we have read out of this Psalme? Sure, I could thinke of none fitter, but even thus to say, A Domino Factum, &c.
The treaty where of may well be comprised in three points: 1. The Deed or doing: 2. The Day, and 3. The Duty. The Deed, in these: This is the Lord,s &c. The Day, in these: This is the day, &c. The Duty in the rest, Let us, &c. The other two reduced to the Day, which is the center of both. The doing is the cause; The Duty is the consequent: from the day groweth the duty.
To proceed orderly, we are to begin with the day. For though it stand after the deed, yet to us, it is first: our knowledge is a posteriori. The effect ever first, where it is the ground of the rest. Of the day then first.
1. That such dayes there be, and how they come to be such. 2. Then of the doing, that maketh them: wherein that this of Davids was; and that ours is no lesse, rather more. 3. Then of the duty, how to doe it, by rejoycing, and being glad, for so, guadium erit plenum, these two make it full. How to take order, that we may long and often do it, by saying our Hosanna, and Benedictus, for, gaudium rostrum nemo tolles a nobis, those will make, that our joy no man shall take from us.
This is the day! This Why, are not all dayes made by Him? is there any dayes not made by Him? Why then say we, This is the day the Lord hath made? Divide the dayes into naturall and civill, the naturall, some are cleare and some are cloudy; the civill, some are luckie dayes, and some are dismall! Be they faire or foule, glad or sad; (as the Poet calleth him) the Great Diespiter, the Father of dayes hath made them both. How say we then of some one day, above his fellow, This is the day, &c.?
No difference at all, in the dayes, or in the moneths themselves: by nature, they are one. No more in November than another moneth, nor in the fifth, than in the fifteenth. All is, in God's making, For, as in the Creation , we see, all are the workes, and yet a plaine difference between them for all that, in the manner of making: Some are made Six, Let there be light, a firmament, drie Land; Some, with Faciamus with more adoe, greater forecast, and framing, as man, that master-peece of His workes, of whom therefore in a different sense, it may be said: This is the Creature which God hath made (suppose, after a more excellent manner.) In the very same manner, it is with dayes; All are His making, all equal in that' but, that letteth not, but He may bestow a speciall Faciamus upon some one day more than other; and so that day, by speciall perogative, said To be indeed a day, that God hath made.
Now, for God making, it fareth with dayes, as it doth with yeares. Some yeare God crowneth with His goodnesse, maketh it more seasonable, healthful, fruitfull, than other. And so for dayes, God leaveth a more sensible impression of His favour, upon some one, more than many besides, by doing upon it some marvellous work. And , such a day on which God vouchsafeth some speciall factum est, some great and publike benefit, notable for the time present, memorable for the time to come, in that case, of that Day (as if God had said Faciamus diem hunc, shewed some workemanship, done some speciall cost on it) it may with an accent, with an emphasis be said, This verily is a day which God hath made, in comparison of which, the rest are as if they were not; or at least were not of His making.
As for black and dismall dayes, dayes of sorrow and sad accidents; they are and may be counted for no dayes: Nights rather, as having the shadow of death upon them; or, if dayes, such as his were, which Sathan had marr'd than which God had made. And for common and ordinary dayes, wherein as there is no harme, so not any notable good, we rather say, they are gone forth from God in the course of nature (as it were) with a fiat, then made by Him; specially, with a faciamus. So, evill dayes no dayes, or dayes marr'd: and common dayes, dayes; but no made dayes: Onely those made, that crowned with some extraordinary great Favour, and thereby get a dignity, and exaltation above the rest: exempted out of the ordinary course of the Calendar with an Hic est. Such, in the Law, was the Day in the Passe-over, made by God, the head of the yeare. Such, in the Gospell, of Christs Resurrection, made by God, Dies Dominicus; and to it, do all the Fathers apply this verse. And we had this day, our Passe-over, and we had a Resurrection or as Isaac had. But, I forbeare to goe further in the generall. By this that hath been said, we may see, there be dayes of which it may be safely said, This the day, &c. and in what sense, it may be said. Such there be then, that this of ours, one of them; that if it be, we may so hold it, and doe the duties that pertain to it.
David's day here, was one certainly, distante Spiritu; and they, that are like it, to be holden for such: so that, if ours be as this was, it is certainly dies a Deo factus. Now then (to take our rule from the former verse) Factum Domini facit diem Domini. It is Gods deed, that maketh it God's day; and, the greater the Deed, the more God's day. There must be first, Factum est, some doing: and secondly, it must be a Domino, He the doere: and thirdly, that somewhat must be somewhat marvellous: and fourthly, not, in it selfe, so; but, in our eyes. These foure goe to it; these foure make any day a day of God's making. Let us see then these four; First,.in David's here, and then in our owne; and if we finde them all, boldly pronounce, This is the day, &c.
First, the factum est, in David's; what was done, set downe at large in the forepart of the Psalme. It was a deliverance: all the Psalme runneth on nothing else. Every deliverance is from a danger, and, by the danger, we take measure of the deliverance. The greater that, the greater the Delivery from it: and the greater the delivery, the greater the day, and the more likely to be of Gods owne manufacture. His danger first: what should have been done. He was in great distresse. Three several times, with great passion, he repeats it, that his Enemies: came about him; compassed him round: compassed and kept him in on every side: were, no swarm of bees so thicke: That they gave a terrible lift or thrust at him, to overthrow him, and very neare it they were. And at last, as if he were newly crept out of his grave, out of the very jawes of death and despaire, he breaks forth and saith, I was very neare my death, neare it I was, but non moriar, die I will not now, for this time, but live a little longer to declare the works of the Lord. This, was his danger and, a shrewd one (it seemeth) it was . From this danger, he was delivered. This, the factum est.
But, man might do all this; and so it be man's day, for any thing is said yet Though it were great, it maketh it not God's unlesse God, God and not man, but God Himselfe were the doer of it: and, if He the Doer, He donominates the Day. This then was not any mans, nor any Princes doing, but GODs alone, His might, His mercy, that brought it to passe: Not any arme of flesh, but Gods might, not of any merit of his, but of His owne meere mercy. This was done by His might: Thrice he tels us of it, It was the right hand of the Lord, that brought this mighty thing to passe. This was done by His mercy. His ever-enduring mercy: foure times he tels us, it was that, did it. With that he begins, and makes it the key of the song. Then, as we have factum est, so we have A Domine: The deed and the doer both.
Gods doings are many, and not all of one size. The Prophet Zachary speaketh of a day of Small things, and, even in those small, must we learne to see God, or we shall never see Him in greater. Yet, so dimme is our sight, that unlesse they be great, commonly we see Him not: nay unlesse it be greate usque ad miracalum , so great, that marvellous withall, we count it not worth a day, nor worthy God: unlesse it be such. But, if it be such, then it is God's, Qui facit mirabilis solus, Who only workes great marvells: then, man is shut out, and Gods must the Day be. A Domino factum, & mirabile.
And yet this is not enough. The truth is, all that God doth, all His workes are wonderful: Magna, sed ideo parva quia afitata. Great, wonders, all: but, not wonderfull; seeme small to us, because they be usuall: His miracles are no more marvellous, than His ordinary works, but that, we see the one daily, and the other, not. Therefore he addeth [in our eyes] for a full period: His doings, all marvellous in themselves; but, not marvellous, in our eyes, unless they be rare, and the like not seene before: But then they be; and then we say, Digitus Dei est, it is the finger of God, nay, the right hand of God, that brought this mighty thing to passe. Then we give the day for God's, without more adoe. Now then, we have all that goeth to it: 1, A Deliverance wrought; 2, wrought, by God, 3, a wonderfull deliverance, 4, and that, even in our eyes, These make David's day, a day of Gods making.
Will these be found in ours, and then ours shall be so too? They will, all of them certainly; and that, in an higher degree, in a greater measure; match David's day, and overmatch it in all. 1. We were delivered, and from a danger, that is cleare. How great? Boldly, I dare say, from a greater than Davids. Thus I shew it, and go no further than the Psalme it selfe.
David called upon God in his danger; he knew of it, therefore, We did not: we imagined no such thing; but that all had been safe, and we might have gone to the Parliament, as secure as ever. The danger never dreamt of, that is the danger.
His was, by compassing and hemming in, that is above ground, and may be descried from a watch- tower. Ours was by undermining, digging deep under ground, that none could discerne.
One cannot be beset, but he may have hope to break through, at some part. But here, from this, no way, no meanes, no possibility of escaping. The danger not to be descried, not to be escaped, that is the danger.
His were a swarme of bees they buzze and make a noise when they come. Ours, a brood of vipers, mordentes in silentio, still, not so much as a hisse, till the deadly blow had been given.
His was but of himselfe alone, so he saith, I was in trouble, They came about me, kept me in, thrust sore at me. But one person, Davids alone. Ours of a farre greater extent; David, and his three Estates with him.
Now, though David himselfe were valued by them at ten thousand of themselves yet he and they too, must needs be more, than He alone. Not onely King David had gone but Queene Esthere too: and not onely they, but Salomon the young Prince, and Nathan his brother. Nor these were not all. The Scriptures recount, David had Jehosaphat for his Chancellour, Adoran his Treasurer, Seraja his Secretarie, Sadoc and Abiathar, and twenty two more, the chiefe of the Priests, Admo his judge, Joab his Generall; all had bone. His forty eight Worthies or Nobles, all they too. The Principall of all the Tribes in the kingdome: all they too; and many more than these; no man knoweth how many. It is out of question, it had exceeded this of Davids here.
One more. His danger was from man. He goeth no further, I will not feare what man doth unto me. This of ours was not: meerly mans, I deny it, it was the devill himselfe. The instruments (not as his, a swarme of bees, but) a swarme of Locusts, out of the infernall pit. Not men, no not Heathen men: Their Stories; nay their Tragedies can shew none neare it. Their Poets could never faine any so prodigiously impious. Not men; No, not Savage wilde men: the Hunnes, the Heruli, The Turcilingi, noted for inhumanity, never so inhumane: Even among those barbarous people, this fact would be accounted barbarous. How then? Beasts: There were at Ephesus, beasts in shape of men, and brutishness is the worst, Philosophie could imagine of our nature. This is more than brutish, What Tiger, though never so inraged, would have made the like havock? Then, if the like, neither in the nature of men, nor beasts to be found (it is so unnaturall) we must not looke to patterne it upon earth, we must to hell, thence it was certainly, even from the devill. He was a murderer from the beginning, and will be so to the ending. In every sinne of bloud, he hath a claw, but, all his clawes, in such an one as this: wherein so much bloud as would have made it raine bloud, so many baskets of heads, so many peeces of rent bodies cast up and downe, and scattered all over the face of the earth. Never such a day; all Joels signes of a fearfull day, bloud, and fire and the vapour of Smoake. As he is a murtherer, so we see by his renting and tearing the poore possessed childe, he is cruell, and in this, all his cruelties should have met together. Pharoahs and Herods killing innocent and harmless children, yet, they spared the Mother: Esau's cruelty, smiting mother, children and all. Nebuzaradens not sparing the King, nor his Lord: Hamans not sparing Hester, nor her Ladies. Edoms cruelty, not sparing the Sanctuary nor the wals, downe with them to the ground. His owne smiting the foure corners and bringing downe the house upon the heads of Jobs children. Put to all the cruelties, in Jeremies Lamentations, the not honouring the faces of Nobles, Priests, Judges, the making so many widowes nd orphans; the voice in Rama of Rachel comfortlesse. Cruelty, more cruell to them, it spared and left behind, than to those, it took away. It yrketh me to stand repeating these; That every age, or land, but that our age, and this land should foster or breed such monsters!
That you may know it for that perfectly, consider but the wickedness of it, as it were in full opposition to God, and you must needs say, it could not be His doing: God forbid. You shall not touch mine Annointed. You shall not pull up the good corne, rather let the tares stand. You shall not doe evil that good may come of it. But, here is Satan flat contrary, in despite of Law, Prophets, Psalme, Epistle and Gospell. Hoc est Christum cum Paule conculare, to throw downe Abraham and Moses, and David, and Paul, and CHRIST, and GOD, and all, and trample upon them all.
One more yet: That this abominasien of desolation (so calleth Daniel, so calleth our Saviour, the uttermost extremity of all that bad is. so may we this truly) that this abomination of desolation tooke up his standing in the holy place.
An abomination: so it is, abhorred of all flesh, hatred and detested of all, that but heare it named: yea, they themselves say, they should have abhorred it, if it had taken effect. It is an abomination.
Every abomination doth not forthwith make desolate. This had. If ever a desolate kingdome upon earth, such had this beene, after that terrible blow. Neither root nor branch left, all swept away. Strangers called in, murtherers exalted; the very dissolution and desolation of all ensued.
But this, that this so abominable and desolatory a plot, stood in the holy place, this is the pitch of all. For, there it stood, and thence it came abroad. Undertaken with an holy oath, bound with the holy Sacrament warranted for a holy Act, tending to the advancement of a holy Religion, and by holy persons, called by a most holy name, the name of Jesus. That these holy religious persons, even the chiefe of all religious persons gave not onely absolution, but resolution, that all this was well done; that it was by them justified as lawfull, sanctified as meritorious, and should have been glorified long yer this, and canonized, as a very good and holy act, and we had had orations out of the Conclave in commendation of it. These good Fathers they were Davids bees here, came hither, only to bring us honey, right honey they, not to sting anybody: or they came into the land, only for edification, not to pull down, or to destroy any thing. We see their practice, they begun with rejecting this Stone, as one that favoured Hereticks at least, and therefore excommunicate, and therefore deposed, and therefore exposed, to any that could handle a spade well, to make a mine to blow him up, Him, and all his Estates with him to attend him: But then, this shrining it setting it in the holy place, so oughly and odious, making such a treason as this a religious, missal, sacramental treason; hallowing it with orison, oath and Eucharist, this passeth all the rest. I say no more, but as our Savior concludeth, when you see such abominations so standing, qui legit intelligat, nay qui videt. God send them, that see it, and had like to have smelt of it, to learne that, they should by it: and so I leave it.
Tell me now if this were not His doing, and if it should not have beene a day of His making, the Devils owne making.
This should have beene done; this, the danger: what was done. This , the factum fuisset, what the factum est? All these were undone, and blowen over, all the undermining dissappointed; all this murder, and crueltie, and desolation defeated. The mine is discovered, the snare is broken and we are delivered. All these, the King, Queene, Prince, Nobles, Bishops, Judges, both Houses alive, all: not a haire of any of their heads perished; not so much as the smell of fire on any their garments. Give thankes o Israel, unto the Lord thy God in the congregation from the bottome of their heart; here is little Benjamin thy ruler, the Princes of Juda &c. that they are here and do see them here and that the Stone these Builders refused, is still the Head-stone of the corner. That, should have beene done; this, was done: and we all, that are here this day, are witness of it; Witness above all exception of this factum est.
But by whom, whose doing? Truly, not mans doing this; it was the Lords. A Demone factum est illud, or fictum est illud. It was the Devils doing, or devising. A Domino factum est hoc, This was God's doing. The blow was the Devils. The ward was Gods. Not man, but the Devill, devised it: Not man, but God defeated it. He, that sate in heaven all this while, and from hence looked downe and saw all this doing of the devill and his lims, in that mercy of his, which is over all his works, to save the effusion of so much blood, to preserve the soules of so many innocents, to keep this Land from so foule a confusion, to shew still some token, some sensible token upon us for good, that they which hate us may see it, and be ashamed; but especially, that that, was so lately united, might not so soone be dissolved, He tooke the matter into his owne hand. And, if ever God shewed, that He had a hooke in the Leviathans nose, that the Devil can go no further than his chaine, if ever that thre is in him more power to help, than in Sathan to hurt; in this, he did it. And , as the devils clawes to be seene in the former; so God's right hand, in this mighty thinkg and all the fingers of it.
To shew it was He. He held his peace and kept silence, sat still, and let it go on, till it came neere, even to the very period, to the day of the lot; so neere, that wee may trruly say as the Lord liveth, uno tantum gradu, nos morsque dividimur, there was but a step between death and us. We were upon the point of going to the hill, all was prepared, the traine, the match, the fire,wood, and all, and we ready to be the sacrifice, and even then and there, In monte providebat Dominus, God provided for our safety, even in that very place, where we should have been the burnt offering; from heaven, stayed the blow. It was the Lords doing.
When treachery hath his course like water, and creepes along like a snail then to make it like the untimely birth of a woman, never to see the sun: but, as in that, priusquam intelligerent spine, or even the thornes gate heat, or the powder, fire;) then, saith he there, dicit homo,Utique est Deus, Men shal say, verily, there is a God, and this was His doing.
And not only, that it was bewrayed, but that he made them the bewrayers of it themselves, and even according to the place made things with feathers to disclose it: When. their owne tongues make them to fall: all that consider it, shall be amazed; and then all men shall say, This hath God done; for they shall perceive it plaine, it is His worke. They shall be changed in confession, they shall sweare, they shall take the Sacrament not to doe it, and yet, contrary to all this, it shall come out by themselves. Was not this Gods doing?
Yet further, to shew it was so: This which was written, was so written, as diverse of profound wisdome, knew not what to make of it. But then commeth God againe and puts a very divination, a very oracle, in the Kings lips, and his mouth missed not the matter; made him, as Joseph, the revealer of secrets, to read the riddle: giving him wisdome to make both explication, what they would doe and application, where it was they would doe it. This was God certainly. This, Pharaoh would say, none could, unless he were filled with the Spirit of the holy God. It was A domino factum.
Lastly, as that, when it was come forth they were not reclaimed, not then when they saw, the hand of God was gone out against them, and that it was even God they strove withall: no, but even then, from hidden treacherie, fell to open rebellion and even perished in it perished there, and perished eternally: as this I say did. So, that God cast their owne powder in their faces, poudered them and disfigured them with it. and that their quarters stand now in pieces, as they meant, ours should: It is the case of the CIX. Psalme, And hereby shall they know, that is in thy hand, and then the Lord hast done it. How? in that, they are thus cloathed with their owne shame, and even covered with their owne confusion; that they fall as fast as they rise; are still confounded, and still thy servants rejoyce. These five shew, it was God's hand. It was the Lord, that made the day, it was the day, that the Lord made. Be thou exalted Lord in thine own strength. It was thy right hand, that brought this mighty thing to passe.
This will not serve the turne. His doing makes it not the Day. His doing a miracle, that makes it, and that is too. I take no thought, to prove this point: by the Law, the Prophets, the Gospell. To put them to it; Moses: enquire now of the dayes, that were before us, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and aaske from one end of heaven to the other, if there came to passe such a thing as this, whether any such like thing have been heard, and, if we cannot suit it or for such another by it, we must needs yeeld it for one. By the Prophets, Goe to the isles and behold, send to Kedar and take diligent heed, and see if you can possibly finde the like: if not, confesse it for mervailous. Come hither and behold, how marvelous God is! and what is that? that such, as are rebellious, are not able to exalt themselves. We need not goe so farre, we have it here to see. We may say to him, Come hither. By the Gospell: for, so doe they acknowledge our Saviours for miracles: Sure we have seene strange things today. We never saw it on this fashion. The like was never seen in Israel. Therefore marvailous certinly. It is now no miracle, no strange thing, to have a King delivered: every othere yeare, we see it, and therefore wonder not at it. But to see King, Queene, their seede and all their estates delivered, that is mirabile, that is a new thing created on the earth, I conclude: as, that was the Divels doing, and was monstrous in our eyes. so, this is God's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. And againe, upon all these markes, that, as this was a day, the divell would have marred, so this is a day, that the Lord made.
Mervailous then it is: yet hath it not his full Christendome, unlesse it be so in our eyes. For the time it was, and that fits us well, When God turned away the captivitie of his people; then were wee like to them that dreame. No man, but stood in a maze, as if he knew not well, whether he saw it making or reams of it, it was so strange.
And let me goe further. Not, in ours only for that which followeth there, is true of other nations; The Lord hath done great things for them: and we are too blame, if we answer them not, with the Eccho there following, Yea indeed, the Lord hath done great things for us. for which wee have cause to rejoice. If strangers think it strange, and say, and write, A feculo inauditum, The like was never heard before. If it were marvellous in their eyes, It were very mervaileus if it should not be so, in our eyes too.
I adde, they that were in (?) of it, in their eyes, it is so; and that of the Apostle, may aptly be applied to them. Behold ye despisers, and wonder, and vanish, for God hath wrought a work in your dayes, a work which you yourselves that were the doers, shall scarce believe, when it shall be told that even astonished themselves, to see it goe forward so long, and suddenly cast down. Nay, I goe further, to make it a miracle consummate. I doubt not, but it was strange news, even in Hell itself, insomuch as even that place had never hatched the like monster before. You see the welcome they in Hell gave him of Assur, What art thou come, that makest the earth to tremble, and dost shake whole kingdomes? And yet it is well known all his shaking was but in a metaphore. He never made it shake actually as these would have done: and therefore this of greater admiration, and more wonderful in their eyes. And ours are very dimme, if in all other it be, and be not so in ours.
Then if such dayes there be, if this of ours be one of them, if the fore-part of the verse doe, then must the latter also belong to us: If this, the day, the Lord hath made then, this, the day, wherein we to rejoyce. When He makes, we to make; and our rejoycing in it, is our making of it.
To rejoyce, no hard request, nor heavie yoke, let it not be grievous to us. We love to doe it, we seek all meanes to doe it in all cases else: then to assay to doe it here. This the Prophet would not require nor make it the office of the day, but that upon such dayes, God himselfe cals us to joy.
And even as, when God calleth us to mourning, by black dayes, of famine or warre, or the like; then to fall to feasting or revelling, is that that highly displeaseth God: so, when God, by good dayes, calleth us to joy; then to droope, and not to accommodate our selves to seasons of his sending, is that which pleases him never a whit.
What? Droope you today? No-lite, at no hand to doe it, Dies enim festus est, it is a festival day: what then? why it is essential, it is the nature of every Feast omnio-gaudere, by any meanes in any wise therein to rejoyce. And Nehemias promise is to incourage us, that if the strength of the Lord bee our joy, the very joy of the Lord shall be our strength.
To conclude: Sure I am, that if the plot had prevailed, it would have beene an high Feast in Gath and a day of Jubilee in Ascalon; The daughters of the uncircumcised would have made it a day in triumph. Let us not be behind them then, but shew as much joy for our saving, as they would certainly have done, for our perishing.
Exultemus & Laetemur. God loveth our joy should be full; it is not full, except we have both these, the body and the soule of joy: the joy outward of the body, and the gladnesse inward of the soule. Both he will have: for; if one be wanting, it is but semiplenum; halfe full.
And he beginneth with Exultemus, the outward: not to ourselves within, which we call gaudere in sinu, joy of the bosome but such, so exuberant, as the streames of it may overflow, and the beames of it shine and shew forth, in an outward sensible exultation. It is a day, so would he have us rejoyce, that, as by day-light it might be seene in our face, habit and gesture: Seene and heard both: Therefore hee faith the voice of joy is in the dwellings of the righteous. And in the dwelling it doth well: But yet, that would not serve his turne; but, open me the gates of righteousnesse, that is, the Church-doore (his house would not hold him) thither will I go in, and there, in the congregation, in the great congregation, give thanks to the Lord. And that so great a congregation, that it may constituere diem solemnem in condensis usque ad Cornua altaris, that they may stand so thicke in the Church, as fill it from the entrie of the doore, to the very edge of the Altar.
This same joy that is neither seene nor heard, there is some leven of malignitie in it; he cannot skill of it. He will have it seene in the countenance, heard in the voice; not only preaching, but singing forth His praise. And that, not with voices alone, but with instruments, and not instruments of the Quire alone, but instrument of the steeple too, bels and all, that so it may be Hosanna in altissimus in the very highest key we have. This for exultemus.
But, many a close Hypocrite may do all this, and many a counterfeit Schemei and Sheba did all this, to David; got them a fleering forced countenance, taken-on joy. And there fore the other, that God will have his joy, not be the joy of the countenance alone, a cleere face and a cloudy overcast heart, he will have the gladnesse of the heart too, of the inner man: Cor meum & caro mee; the heart, as well as the flesh, to be joyfull. The joy of the soule is the soul of joy, not a body without a soul, which is but a carcase. Strange children may dissemble with me dissemble a gladnesse, for feare of being noted and yet within, in heart, you wot what. But , God calleth for his defontibus Israel, which we read, from the ground of the heart. That is the true fountaine of joy, that our lips may be faire, when we sing unto Him, and so may our soule which he hath delivered. Nay, he delivered both: and therefore, both the body to rejoyce, and the soul to be glad. This doth Laetemur adde, to exaultemus.
If then we be agreed that we will doe both, I come to the last, how to order our joy, that it may please Him, for whom it is undertaken. It is not every joy, that He liketh. Merry they were, and joyfull that kept their Kings day by taking in boule after boule till they were sick again. So they that Malachi speaks of, there came nothing of their feasts but dung that is, all in the bellie and bellie-cheere. So they, that sate downe to eat and drink and rose up to play, and there was all, that is the Calves feast, a Calfe can do as much. But with none of these was God pleased, and as good no joy, as not to the purpose, as not to please him.
That it may be to the purpose, that God may take pleasure in it, it must begin at Hosanna, at Aperite mihi porta Iusitia, at the Temple doore, there must it goe in, it must blesse, and be blessed in the house of the Lord. I will first make joyful in my house of Prayer (it is God by Esay: )the streame of our joy, must come from the spring head of Religion.
Well then, to the Church we are come. So far onward. When we are there, what is to be done? Somewhat we must say, we must not stand mute. There to stand still, that, the Prophet cannot skill of. That then, we may say something, hee here frames, he here endites a versicle, which after grew into such request, as no feast ever without it, without an Hosanna: it grew so familiar, as the very children were perfect in it. The summe and substance whereof is no more, but that God would still save, still prosper, still bless him that in His name, is come unto us King David himselfe, whom all in the house and all of the House of the Lord blesse in His name.
And to very good purpose doth he this for, joy hath no fault, but that it is too short, it will not last, it will be taken from us too soone. It is ever a barre, in all joy, tolletur a vebis, subject to the worme, that Jonas gourd was. It standeth us therefore in hand, to begin with Hosanna, so to joy, as that we may long joy to pray for the continuance, that it bee not taken from us: ever remembering, the true temper of joy, is not without the mixture of some feare. For, this day, wee see what it is, a joyfull day: we knew not what the next day will be and if not what the next day, what the next yeare much lesse. What will come, we know not; what our sinnes call for to come, that wee know; even that God should call to judgement, if not by fire, by somewhat else. If it be but for this, it concerns us neerly, to say our Hosanna, that the next yeare be as this. It is our wisedome therefore, to make the meanes, for the continuance of it, that God would still stablish the good worke, He this day wrought in us; still bless us, with the continuance of the same blessings.
And this that we may doe, not faintly but cheerefully with the lifting up of our soules therefore, as far as art or spirit can doe it, he hath quickened his Hosanna, that he may put spirit and life in us to follow him in it, with all fervor and affection: foure times twice with Anna, and twice with Nr, either of them before, and after, but eightwords, and foure of them interjections: all to make it passionate, and that, so as nothing can be devised more forcible, and so, as it is hard, in any other tongue, to expresse it; which made the Evangelist let it alone, and retaine the Hebrew word still. But, this, as neere as I can it soundeth. Now good Lord save us yet still now good Lord prosper us yet still. Be to us as last yeare, so this, and all the yeares to come, Jesus a Saviour, yesterday and today and the same for ever.
And three things doth he thus earnestly pray for, and teacheth us to do the like.
1. to save, 2. prosper, and 3. blesse
1 To save: that should be first with us; it is commonly last. We have least sense of our soules. To save us, with the true saving health; it importeth the salvation of the Soule; properly to that it belongeth, and hath joyned to it Hosanna in the Gospell to shew it is an high and heavenly salvation.
2. Then, to prosper, If He but grant us the former alone, to have our soules saved though without prosperitie, though with the dayes of adversity, it is sors sanctorum, the lot of many a Saint of his, of farre more worth than we: Even so, we are bound, to thanke Him, if even so, we may be but saved. But, if he adde also prosperitie of the outward, to the saving of the inward man, that not so much as a leafe of us shall wither, but looke what we doe shall prosper, and that, whasoever men of evil counsels do, shall not prosper against us,. if He not onely vouchsafe us Hosanna in excelsis, but Hosanna de profundis too, from deepe cellers, deepe vaults, those that dig deepe to undermine our prosperitie, If he adde the shadow of his wings, to shelter us from perils, to the light of his countenance to save us from our sins, then have we great cause to rejoyce yet more and, both with exultemus from without, and laetemur from within, to magnifie his mercie, and to say with the Prophet, Praised be the Lord, that ( not only taketh care for the safetie, but taketh pleasure in the prosperitie of his servants.
3. Lastly, because both these and one and the other, our future salvation, by the continuance of His Religion and truth among us, and our present prosperitie meet upon the head-stone of the corner, depend both, first, upon the name of the Lord, and next upon him, that in his name, and with his name, is come unto us the King. So, do both the Evangelists S. Luke and S. John supply, and, where we read, Blessed be he, there they read Blessed be the King that commeth, so that neither of them sure, unlesse he be safe, that he would blesse him, and make him blest, that in His blessed name, is come amongst us. The building will be as mount Sion, so the corner stone be fast; so the two walls, that meet, never fall asunder. If otherwise: but I will not so much as put the case but as we pray, so trust, it shall never be removed, but stand tall for ever.
This then we all with that are now in House of the Lord, and we that are of the houe of the Lord, do now and ever, in the Temple and out of it, morning and evening, night and day, wish and pray both, that he would continue forth his goodnesse, and blesse with length of dayes, with strength of health, with increase of all honour, and happinesse, with terror in the eyes of his enemies, with grace in the eyes of his subjects, with whatsoever David, or Salomon or any King, that ever was happie, was blessed with; Him, that in the Name of the Lord is come to us, and hath now these foure years stayed with us, that he may be blessed in that name, wherein he is come, and by the Lord, in whose Name he is come, many and many yeares yet to come.
And, when we have put this incense in our phials, and bound this sacrifice with cords to the altar fast, we blesse you and dismisse you, to eat your bread with joy, and to drink your wine with a cheerfull heart: for God accepteth your work, your joy shall please Him: this Hosanna shall sanctifie all the joy, shall follow it.
To end then. This Day, which the Lord hath thus made fo marvellously, so marvillously, and mercifully, let us rejoyce in the Maker, for the making of it, by His doing on it that deed, that is so marvellous in our eyes, in all eyes returning to the beginning of the Psalme, and saying with the Prophet: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, &c Let Israel, let the house of Aron, yea, let all that feare the Lord, cofesses that His mercie endureth for ever.
Who only doth great wonders. Who remembered us when we were in danger, and hath delivered us from our enemies, with a mightie hand and stretched out arme. And, as for them, hath turned their device upon their owne head. And hath made this day, to us a day of joy and gladnesse. To this God of Gods, the Lord of heaven, glorious in holinesse, fearefull in power, doing wonders, be, &c.