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THE KING'S MAJESTY AT WHITEHALL,
ON THE SIXTH OF APRIL, A.D. MDCVI., BEING EASTER-DAY.
ROMANS vi. 9-11.
Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over Him. For, in that He died, He died once to sin ; but in that He liveth,
He liveth to God. Likewise think (or account) ye also, that ye are dead to sin, but
are alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. [Scientes quod Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur, mors
Illi ultra non dominabitur. Quod enim mortuus est peccato, mortuus est semel ; quod autem vivit,
virit Deo. Ita et vos existimate, vos mortuos quidem esse peccato, viventes autem
Deo, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro. Latin Vulg.] [Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth,
He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but
alire unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Engl. Trans.]
The Scripture is as the feast is, both of them of the Resurrection. And this we may safely say of it, it is thought by the Church so pertinent to the feast, as it hath ever been and is appointed to be the very entry of this day's service; to be sounded forth and sung, first of all, and before all, upon this day, as if there were some special correspondence between the day and it.
SERM. Two principal points are set down to us, out of the two 1.
principal words in it: one, scientes, in the first verse, “knowing;" the other, reputate, in the last versc, “count yourselves;"—knowing and counting, knowledge and calling ourselves to account for our knowledge.
Two points very needful to be ever jointly called upon, and more than needful for our times, being that much we know, and little we count; oft we hear, and when we have heard, small reckoning we make of it. What Christ did on Easterday we know well; what we are then to do, we give no great regard: our scientes is without a reputantes.
Now this Scripture, ex totâ substantiá, “out of the whole frame of it' teacheth us otherwise; that Christian knowledge is not a knowledge without all manner of account, but that we are accountants for it; that we are to keep an audit of what we hear, and take account of ourselves of what we have learned. Hoyíčeode is an auditor's term: thence the Holy Ghost hath taken it, and would have us to be auditors in both senses.
And this to be general in whatsoever we know, but specially in our knowledge touching this feast of Christ's Resurrection, where there are special words for it in the text, where in express terms an account is called for at our hands as an essential duty of the day. The benefit we remember is so great, the feast we hold so high, as though at other times we might be forborne, yet on this day we may not.
Now the sum of our account is set down in these words, similiter et vos; that we fashion ourselves like to Christ, dying and rising, cast ourselves in the same moulds, express Him in both as near as we can.
To account of these first, that is, to account ourselves bound so to do.
To account for these second, that is, to account with ourselves whether we do so.
First, to account ourselves bound thus to do, resolving thus within ourselves, that to hear a Sermon of the Resurrection is nothing; to keep a feast of the Resurrection is as much, except it end in similiter et vos. Nisi, saith St. Gregory, quod de more celebratur etiam quoad mores exprimatur, ‘unless we express the matter of the feast in the form of our lives ;' unless
Rom. 6. 11.
as He from the grave so we from sin, and live to godliness as 1 He unto God.
Then to account with ourselves, whether we do thus; that is, to sit down and reflect upon the sermons we hear, and the feasts we keep; how, by knowing Christ's death, we die to sin; how, by knowing His resurrection, we live to God; how our estate in soul is bettered; how the fruit of the words we hear, and the feasts we keep, do abound daily toward our account against the great audit. And this to be our account, every Easter-day. Of these two points, the former is in the two first verses, The di
vision. what we must know; the latter is in the last, what we must account for. And they be joined with similiter, to shew us they be and must be of equal and like regard; and we as know, so account.
But because, our knowing is the ground of our account, the Apostle beginneth with knowledge. And so must we.
Knowledge, in all learning, is of two sorts : 1. rerum, or i. 2. causarum, ori, or Sioti, that,' or in that.' The former is in the first verse: “knowing that Christ,” &c. The latter, in the second; “for, in that,” &c. And because we cannot cast up a sum, except we have a particular, the Apostle giveth us a particular of either. A particular of our knowledge quoad res, which consisteth of these three : 1. that “ Christ is 1. risen from the dead." 2. That now
66 lle dieth not.” 2. 3. That “ from henceforth death hath no dominion over Him." All in the first verse. Then a particular of our knowledge quoad causas. The cause 1. of His death, sin; “He died to sin.” 2. Of His life, God; “ He liveth to God.” And both these but once for all. All in the second verse. Then followeth our account, in the third verse.
Wherein II. we consider, first, 1. the charge ; 2. and then the discharge. 1. The charge first, similiter et vos ; that we be like to Christ. 1. And then wherein ; 1. like, in dying to sin; 2. like, in living to God. Which are the two moulds wherein we are to be cast, that we may come forth like Him. This is the charge. 2. And last of all, the means we have to help us to discharge 2. it, in the last words, “in Christ Jesus our Lord." Before we take view of the two particulars, it will not be our know
ing : amiss to make a little stay at scientes, the first word, because it
The means of it.
SERM. is the ground of all the rest. “Knowing that Christ is risen."
This the Apostle saith, the Romans did ;—“knowing.” Did know himself indeed, that Christ was risen, for he saw Him. But how knew, the Romans, or how know we? No other way than by relation, either they or we, but yet we much better than they. I say by relation, in the nature of a verdict, of them that had seen Him, even Cephas and the twelve ; which is a full jury, able to find any matter of fact, and to give up a verdict in it. And that Christ is risen, is matter of fact. But if twelve will not serve in this matter of fact, which
in all other matters with us will, if a greater inquest far, if five 1 Cor.15.6. hundred will serve, you may have so many; for “of more than
five hundred at once was He seen,” many of them then living ready to give up the same verdict, and to say the same upon their oaths.
But to settle a knowledge, the number moveth not so much as the quality of the parties. If they were persons credulous, light of belief, they may well be challenged, if they took not
the way to ground their knowledge aright. That is ever best | known that is most doubted of; and never was matter carried
with more scruple and slowness of belief, with more doubts
and difficulties, than was this of Christ's rising. Mary MagMark 16. dalene saw it first, and reported it. “They believed her not."
The two that went to Emmaus, they also reported it. They
believed them not. Divers women together saw Him, and Lu. 24. 11. came and told them ; “ their words seemed to them Inpos, an
idle, feigned, fond tale.” They all saw Him, and even seeing Mat.28. 17. Him, yet they “ doubted.” When they were put out of doubt,
and told it but to one that happened to be absent, it was Joh.20. 25. St. Thomas, you know how peremptory he was ; “not he,
unless he might not only see with his eyes, but feel with his fingers, and put in his hand into His side.” And all this he did. St. Augustine saith well: Profecto valde dubitatum est ab illis, ne dubitaretur a nobis ; all this doubting was by them made, that we might be out of doubt, and know that Christ is risen.'
Sure, they took the right course to know it certainly; and certainly they did know it, as appeareth. For never was any thing known in this world, so confidently, constantly, certainly testified as was this, that Christ is risen. By testifying it,
11. Lu. 24. 13. 41.