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II.

SERM. unity be hand in hand as the unity of brethren, strong and

hard to break as the bars of a palace.

The Lord, by Whose Almighty power all governments do stand, those especially wherein the people are led in the way of His Sanctuary; as He hath graciously begun to lead us in that way, so leave us not till we have finished our course with joy! Knit the hearts of Moses and Aaron, that they may join lovingly; teach their hands, and fingers of their hands, that they lead skilfully; touch the hearts of the people, that they may be led willingly; that by means of this happy conduct, surely without error, and safely without danger, we may lead and be led forward, till we come to the fruition of His promise, the expectation of our blessed hope, even the eternal joys of His celestial Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord! To Whom, &c.

A SERMON

PREACHED BEFORE

QUEEN ELIZABETH, AT ST. JAMES'S,

ON WEDNESDAY, BEING THE THIRTIETY OF MARCH, A.D. MDXCIII.

MARK xiv. 4-6.

Bonum opus

Therefore some disdained among themselves, and said, To what

end is this waste of ointment ? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred

pence, and been given to the poor. And they grudged

against her. But Jesus said, Let her alone, why trouble ye her ? she hath

wrought a good work on Me. Erant autem quidam indigne ferentes intra semetipsos, et dicentes,

Ut quid perditio ista unguenti facta est ? [Poterat enim unguentum istud vænumdari plus quam trecentis

denariis, et dari pauperibus. Et fremebant in eam. Jesus autem dixit, Sinite eam, quid illi molesti estis ?

operata est in Me. Latin Vulg.] [And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and

said, Why was this waste of the ointment made ? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence,

and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone, why trouble ye her ? she hath

wrought a good work on Me. Engl. Trans.]

This action of waste, which by some is brought, and by Christ our Saviour traversed, was against a woman, saith St. Mark the verse before; which woman, as St. John hath it, Joh. 11. 2. was Mary Magdalene, now a glorious Saint in Heaven, some time a grievous sinner upon earth.

St. Augustine noteth; Of all those that sought to Christ, she was the only sinner that for sin only, and for no bodily grief or malady at all, sued and sought to Him. Of Whom

III.

SERM. being received to grace, and obtaining a quietus est for her

many sins, a benefit inestimable, et quod nemo scit nisi acceperit, “which they only know and none but they that have

received it,' as much was forgiven her, so much she loved. Lu. 7. 47. And seeking by all means to express her multam dilectionem

propter multam remissionem, as Christ saith ver. 8. čoyev étroinoev, nothing she had was too dear. And having a precious confection or ointment of nardus, the chief of all ointments, and in it of TTLOTIK, the chief of all nardi ; and in it too not of the leaf, but of the very

choice

part thereof, of the spike or flower—both for the making true, and for the value costly, that did she bestow. And that frankly, for she did not drop but pour; not a dram or two, but a whole pound; not reserving any, but breaking box and all; and that not now alone, but three several times, one after another.

This she did; and, as it may seem, the coherence fell out

not amiss. This outward ointment and sweet odour she Ps. 45. 7. bestowed on Christ for “the oil of gladness,"—for the 1 Joh. 2. 20. “ spiritual anointing” (as St. John), and the “comfortable 2 Cor. 2.14.

savour of His knowledge” (as St. Paul calls it), He bestowed

1

on her.

This, as it was well done, so was it well taken of Christ; and so should have been of all present but for Judas, saith St. John. Who, liking better odorem lucri ex re qualibet, than any scent in the apothecary's shop, seeing that spent on Christ's head that he wished should come into his purse, repined at it. But that so cunningly, in so good words, with so colourable a motion, 1. that it was a needless expenseindeed, “a waste ;" 2. that it might have been bestowed much better to the relief of many poor people; as that he drew the disciples, some of them, to favour the motion, and to dislike of Mary Magdalene and her doing. So that both they and he joined in one bill; but he of a wretched covetous mind, they of a simple plain intent and purpose, thinking all that was well spoken had been well meant.

Which action of theirs, for that it was brought not only against her that bestowed it, but even against Christ also that admitted it, though not so directly; as it were against her with ut quid perilitio ? against Him with ut quid permissio? for that also it might be a dangerous precedent in ages to

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come, if nothing were said to it, and shut all boxes and bar all ointments for ever; our Saviour Himself taketh on Him to plead her cause. Not only excusing it in sinite illam, as no “waste," but also commending it in bonum opus, as "a good work;" that the ointment was not so pleasant to His sense, as her thankfulness acceptable to His Spirit; that the ointment, which then filled the house with the scent, should fill the whole world with the report of it; and as far and wide as the Gospel was preached, so far and wide should this act be remembered, as well for her commendation that did it, as for our imitation that should hear of it.

We see both the occasion and sum of these words read, which may aptly be said to contain in them a disputation or plea about Mary Magdalene's act, whether it were well done or no. Whereof there are two principal parts: Judas, with some other ad oppositum, “against it,' to have Mary Magdalene reformed, and her box converted to better uses; Christ for it, and against them: sinite, that He would have it stand, yea that He would have it acknowledged, for that it was bonum opus.

In the entreating whereof, these three points I purpose : The diI. First of Judas' motion ; and in it 1. The speech itself, ut quid perditio, &c.? 2. The speaker-"some of them; 3. The mind or affection, “thought much.”

II. Secondly, of Christ's apology; and in it 1. That it is 11. sufferable; 2. That it is commendable; 3. The reason of both, in Me; for that on Him.

III. Last of all, laying both together: the former, that it is III. “a good work;" the latter, that “yet grudged at;" that good actions oft-times meet with evil constructions; therefore, 1. though we do well, yet we shall be evil spoken of; and again, 2. though we be evil spoken of, yet we must proceed to do well. The use we shall make is briefly, ex factis facienda discere, ‘by report of that which hath been done heretofore, to learn what to do in like case hereafter.' Whereof that I may so speak, &c.

Of the tongue the Psalmist saith, it is the best member” we have; and St. James, it is the worst, and it marreth all the motion. rest. The nature of the tongue, thus being both good and solde bad, maketh that our speech is of the same complexion, good it quid and bad likewise. Whereof this speech here is a pregnant 1s. 108. 1.

vision. 1.

I. Judas'

Jas. 3. 8.

SERM. example. Good in substance, as I shall shew presently; evil III.

in circumstance, as we shall afterward see, as neither well meant nor well applied.

In the speech I commend two good things: 1. The abuse noted, ut quid, fc. 2. The use set down, potuit, &c. Not only the defect—not thus wasted; but the provision how“turned into money, and distributed to the poor."

We begin with the first: Ut quid perditio, &c.? Surely a good speech and of good use, and to be retained. Religion and reason both teach us, in all things, to regard both quid and ut quid; no less to what end we do, than what we do, and both of them

censure not only what is done to an evil end wickedly, but Rom.6.21. what is done to no end vainly. Quem fructum, “what fruit,”

saith St. Paul-a good question; and if it have none, ut quid Lu. 13. 7. terram occupat, “why troubleth it the ground ?" saith Christ.

So that religion alloweth not waste, censureth idleness, and in all things calleth us to our ut quid hæc?

And this as in all things, in waste of time, waste words, addle questions, so yet chiefly in that which we call bonum utile. The very goodness of which things is in their use, and they no longer good than they have an use, which if they lose they cease to be good. So that in them not only those things that are misspent upon wicked uses, but even those also that are idly spent to no use, they are lost, lavished, and no good cometh of them. And therefore in them, ut quid perditio indeed ? is well said. This they learned of Christ Himself,

Who, in the gathering of the broken meat, gave charge, ut ne Joh. 6. 12. quid perdatur, “ that no waste should be made.” Indeed, ut

quid perditio ulla? 'whereto either this or any waste at all ?' So that religion is an enemy to riot, and good husbandry is good divinity

It is God's will, that of our goods justitia condus sit, `justice should be purveyor, and they rightly gotten; temperantia promus, ‘temperance the steward, and they not wastefully

1. spent. Consequently, neither waste in buying: but as Joh. 13. 29. Christ ών χρείαν έχομεν. Νοt ών χρήσιν, but ών χρείαν, “not

whereof we may have use, but whereof we have need and cannot be without it.

Neither waste in spending : oikovouía 'a dispensation, not a dissipation; a laying forth, not diao Kopalojòs, “a casting

2.

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