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at every angle of his ill united and unwieldy brigade. And that we are to hope better of all these supposed sects and schisms, and that we shall not need that solicitude, honest perhaps, though over-timorous, of them that vex in this behalf, but shall laugh, in the end, at those malicious applauders of our differences, I have these reasons to persuade me.
First, when a city shall be, as it were, besieged and blocked about, her navigable river infested, inroads and incursions round, defiance and battle oft rumoured to be marching up even to her walls and suburb trenches, that then the people, or the greater part, more than at other times, wholly taken up with the study of highest and most important matters to be reformed, should be disputing, reasoning, reading, inventing, discoursing, even to a rarity and admiration, things not before discoursed or written of, argues first a singular good will, contentedness and confidence in your prudent foresight and safe government, Lords and Commons; and from thence derives itself to a gallant bravery and wellgrounded contempt of their enemies, as if there were no small number of as great spirits among us as his was, who when Rome was nigh besieged by Hannibal, being in the city, bought that piece of ground at no cheap rate, whereon Hannibal himself encamped his own regiment. Next, it is a lively and cheerful presage of our happy success and victory. For as, in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous, not only to vital but to rational faculties, and those in the acutest and the pertest operations of wit and subtlety, it argues in what good plight and constitution the body is ; so, when the cheerfulness of the people is so sprightly up, as that it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety, but to spare and to bestow upon the solid and sublimest points of controversy and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal decay, but casting off the old and wrinkled skin of corruption, to outlive these pangs and wax young again, entering the glorious ways of truth and prosperous virtue, destined to become great and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I
see in my mind a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks : methinks I see her as an eagle, muing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam ; purging and unscaling her long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms. What should ye do, then ? Should ye suppress
all this flowery crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this city? Should ye set an oligarchy of twenty engrossers over it, to bring a famine
upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but what is measured to us by their bushel ? Believe it, Lords and Commons, they who counsel ye to such a suppressing, do as good as bid ye suppress yourselves; and I will soon shew how. If it be desired to know the immediate cause of all this free writing and free speaking, there cannot be assigned a truer than
your own mild, and free, and humane government; it is the liberty, Lords and Commons, which your own valourous and happy counsels have purchased us, liberty which is the nurse of all great wits: this is that which hath rarified and enlightened our spirits like the influence of heaven ; this is that which hath enfranchised, enlarged, and lifted up our apprehensions degrees above themselves. Ye cannot make us now less capable, less knowing, less eagerly pursuing of the truth, unless
ye first make yourselves, that made us so, less the lovers, less the founders of our true liberty. We can now grow ignorant again, brutish, formal, and selfish, as ye found us ; but you then must first become that which you cannot be, oppressive, arbitrary, and tyrannous, as they were from whom ye have freed us. That our hearts are now more capacious, our thoughts more erected to the search and expectation of greatest and exactest things, is the issue of your own virtue propagated in us; ye cannot suppress that, unless ye
reinforce an abrogated and merciless law, that fathers may dispatch at will their own children. And who shall then stick closest to ye, and excite others ? not he who takes up arms for cote and conduct, and his four nobles of Danegelt. Although I dispraise not the defence of just immunities, yet love my peace better, if that were all. Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely, according to conscience, above all liberties.
BISHOP OF CHESTER.
Born 1612_Died 1686.
EXPOSITION OF THE CREED.
The second part of the argument, that Christ made this world, and consequently had a real being at the beginning of it, the scriptures manifestly and plentifully assure us. For the same “Son, by whom in these last days God spake unto us,” is he“ by whom also he made the worlds."
So that as
through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,” so must we also believe that they were made by the Son of God. Which the apostle doth not only in the entrance of his epistle deliver, but in the sequel prove. For shewing greater things have been spoken of him than ever were attributed to any of the angels, the most glorious of all the creatures of God; amongst the rest he saith, the scripture spake "unto the Son, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.' And,” not only so, but also, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning thou remainest ; and they all shall wax old as doth a hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Now whatsoever the person
be to whom these words were spoken, it cannot be denied but he was the creator of the world. For he must be acknowledged the maker of the earth, who laid the foundation of it; and he may justly challenge to himself the making of the heavens, who can say they are the work of his hands. But these words were spoken to the Son of God, as the apostle himself acknowledgeth, and it appeareth out of the order and series of the chapter: the design, of which is to declare the supereminent excellency of our Saviour Christ. Nay, the conjunction and refers this place of the Psalmist plainly to the former, of which he had said expressly, “ but unto the Son he saith.” As sure then
“thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," was said unto the Son, so certain it is, “ Thou, Lord, hast laid the foundation of the earth,” was said unto the same. Nor is it possible to avoid the apostle's connexion by attributing the destruction of the heavens, out of the last words, to the Son, and denying the creation of them, out of the first, to the same. For it is most evident that there is but one person spoken to, and that the destruction and the creation of the heavens are both attributed to the same. Whosoever, therefore, shall grant that the apostle produced this scripture to shew that the Son of God shall destroy the heavens, must withal acknowledge that he created them : whosoever denieth him to be here spoken of as the creator, must also deny him to be understood as the destroyer. Wherefore being the words of the Psalmist were undoubtedly spoken of and to our Saviour, or else the apostle hath attributed that unto him which never belonged to him, and consequently the spirit of St. Paul mistook the spirit of David; being to whomsoever any part of them belongs, the whole is applicable, because they are delivered unto one ; being the literal exposition is so clear that no man hath ever pretended to a metaphorical : it remaineth as an undeniable truth, grounded upon the profession of the Psalmist, and the interpretation of an apostle, that the Son of God created the world. Nor needed we so long to have insisted
upon this testimony, because there are so many which testify as much, but only that this is of a peculiar nature and different from the rest. For they which deny this truth of the creation of the world by the Son of God, notwithstanding all those scriptures produced to confirm it, have found two ways to avoid or decline the force of them. If they speak so plainly and literally of the work of creation, that they will not endure any figurative interpretation, then they endeavour to shew that they are not spoken of the Son of God. If they speak so expressly of our Saviour Christ, as that by no machination they can be applied to any other person, then their whole design is to make the creation attributed unto him appear to be merely metaphorical. The place before alleged is of the first kind, which speaketh so clearly of the creation or real production of the world, that they never denied it: and I have so manifestly shewed it spoken to the Son of God, that it is beyond all possibility of gain-saying.
Thus, having asserted the creation acknowledged real unto Christ, we shall the easier persuade that likewise to be such which is pretended to be metaphorical. In the epistle to the Colossians we read of the Son of God, "in whom we have redemption through his blood ;” and we are sure those words can be spoken of none other than Jesus Christ. He therefore it must be who was thus described by the apostle ; “who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible ; whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers : all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” In which words our Saviour is expressly styled, the “first-born of every creature,” that is, begotten by God as the “son of his love," antecedently to all other emanations, before any thing proceeded from him, or was framed and created by him. And that precedency is presently proved by this undeniable argument, that all other emanations or productions came from him, and whatsoever received its being by creation, was by him created. Which assertion is delivered in