« ForrigeFortsett »
will cease of themselves to frequent the fold, whom otherwise scarce all the prayers of the faithful could have kept back from devouring the flock! But a true pastor of Christ's sending hath this especial mark, that for greatest labours and greatest merits in the church he requires either nothing, if he could so subsist, or a very common and reasonable supply of human necessaries. We cannot therefore do better than to leave this care of ours to God : he can easily send labourers into his harvest, that shall not cry, Give, give, but be contented with a moderate and beseeming allowance; nor will he suffer true learning to be wanting where true grace and our obedience to him abounds : for if he give us to know him aright, and to practise this our knowledge in right-established discipline, how much more will he replenish us with all abilities in tongues and arts that may conduce to his glory and our good ! He can stir up rich fathers to bestow exquisite education upon their children, and so dedicate them to the service of the gospel ; he can make the sons of nobles his ministers, and princes to be his Nazarites; for certainly there is no employment more honourable, more worthy to take up a great spirit, more requiring a generous and free nurture, than to be the messenger and herald of heavenly truth from God
and by the faithful work of holy doctrine to procreate a number of faithful men, making a kind of creation like to God's, by infusing his spirit and likeness into them, to their salvation, as God did into him ; arising to what climate soever he
56 THE REMONSTRANT'S DEFENCE, ETC turn him, like that Sun of Righteousness that sent him, with healing in his wings, and new light to break in upon the chill and gloomy hearts of his hearers, raising out of darksome barrenness a delicious and fragrant spring of saving knowledge and good works. Can a man thus employed find himself discontented or dishonoured for want of admittance to have a pragmatical voice at sessions and jail deliveries ? or because he may not as a judge sit out the wrangling noise of litigious courts to shrive the purses of unconfessing and unmortified sinners, and not their souls, or be discouraged though men call him not lord, whenas the due performance of his office would gain him, even from lords and princes, the voluntary title of father? Would he tug for a barony to sit and vote in parliament, knowing that no man can take from him the gift of wisdom and sound doctrine, which leaves him free, though not to be a member, yet a teacher and persuader of the parliament ? And in all wise apprehensions the persuasive power in man to win others to goodness by instruction is greater and more divine than the compulsive power to restrain men from being evil by terror of the law; and therefore Christ left Moses to be the lawgiver, but himself came down among us to be a teacher, with which office his heavenly wisdom was so well pleased as that he was angry with those that would have put a piece of temporal judicature into his hands, disclaiming that he had any commission from above for such matters.
AN APOLOGY FOR SMECTYMNUUS.
ITH me it fares now as with him whose
outward garment hath been injured and ill-bedighted ; for having no other shift, what help but to turn the inside outward, especially if the lining be of the same, or, as it is sometimes, much better? So if my name and outward demeanour be not evident enough to defend me, I must make trial if the discovery of my inmost thoughts can : wherein of two purposes, both honest and both sincere, the one perhaps I shall not miss ; although I fail to gain belief with others, of being such as my perpetual thoughts shall here disclose me, I may yet not fail of success in persuading some to be such really themselves, as they cannot believe me to be more than what I feign.
I had my time, readers, as others have, who have good learning bestowed upon them, to be sent to those places where, the opinion was, it might be soonest attained ; and as the manner is, was not unstudied in those authors which are most commended. Whereof some were grave orators and historians, whose matter methought I loved indeed, but as my age then was, so I understood