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Humane inventions of what use. Ch.5. Apostasie from the Church, and subtlely supplanting the nursing of Religion.
I put off my coat , how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?
I have put off my coat.]Thus upon fleight pretence the Church refuseth to open to Christ: fhee pretends Religion and the worship of God would appear too naked, if it were not cloached with goodly and comely humane inventions ; how then fhould shee in so naked a manner open to Chrift: Humane inventions do not clothe Religion, or the Church professing it with any comely ornaments ; but, as it were with warme blankets, lap her and lull her asleep in the bed of perfunctory worship and carnall security.
I do not here conceive that the Church acknowledgeth she hath cast off her garments of Christs righteousnesse;for then how should fhee remaine the spouse of Christ : yea, how then should her heart have beene otherwise then alleep too? but onely shee pleadeth shee should appeare too naked if shee should open to Christ, if she should worship him in the simplicity and nakedneffe of his simple ordinances,
Ch.5. What the Churches wasbing her feet. 147
I have washed my feet. ] Not with the laver of regeneration , for that would have beene no impediment, but a furtherance to the pure worship of God; but shee had washed her feet, thee had freed and cleansed her converfation from defilements of secular affairs: shee had ta ken up a devout regard of virginity, or hermitish or monkish folitary retiredness; shee being cleansed and washed in these devices, cinnot betake her felfe to wor, ship the Lord in his fimple ordinances,and in the wayes of her calling, without some defilement: Thus marriage and worldly busineffe (though both allowed by God, yet)seem a defilement, in comparison of more strict superstitious devotion. My beloved put in his hand by the hole of Vet. 4.
bowels were moved for
put in his hand by the hole of the doore :] Or, My
dorne his hand by the hole of the doore.] Either of which imply, that Christ did at first use meanes for himselfe to open the doore, when shee would not"; attempting to remove the impediments which hinder him from enjoying his spouse: First , put his
148 Christ seeks to purge his Church. Ch.5.
hand by the hole of the doore, when heeftirred up Christian Emperors, such as Martianus, and both the Theodosii, to call Synods and to command the Fathers afsetnbled, to give all diligence to root out all heresies, and depravations of doctrine and worship, that the pure and holy faith might shine forth.
How easily might the Church upon such encouragements, have broken the barres and bolts of Superstition crept into the worship of God, whereby Christ was debarred from drawing neer to them. The Bishops assembled in those Councels of that time,condemned those gross heresies which blasphemed the doctrine of the Trinity; but how deeply did they neglect to redresse all other enormitics and corruptions Besides, Christ is said to put his hand by the hole ofthe door,when he puts his spirit, which is the power and fin
ger of God*, into the hearts of his people, Luke 11. whereby they are enlightened to know
him better, and stirre up men honestly to seeke after him. So Christ eulightened and stirred up Leo Ifauricus, Constantines sonne,and Leo Copronymus, to bend their best endeavours to root out Idolatry,and
* Mar. 12.
Ch.5. Endeavours after reformation fweet. 149 to remove Images, which were one of the chiefest abuses in Gods worship.
My bowells were moved for him.] These good Princes and other Christians at that time were strongly and inwardly affected to the purity of Gods worship, in which alone Christ is found.
I rofe up to open to my beloved, and my Verses. hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the locke.
I rose up to open to my beloved. ] The Church under thesegood Emperours rose up
out of the blankets of these humane inventions wherewith shee was covered, in a bed of sleeping devotion , and endeavoured to restore openly the fimplicity of Gods worship, reje&ting Images and Idolatry.
My hands dropped with myrsh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the locke.] The endeavours of the Church were sweet, and dele&able, and acceptable to Christ, and favoury to the people, to preserve them as myrrh, from further persecution, when Constantine the sonne of Leo Ifauricus , called the seventh Conftantinopolitan Councell, and there tru
Renfons of Christs withdrawings.Ch.5. ly and solemnly convinced and condemned the worship of Imag 's:As also when Charles the Great did the like fome forty years after,ar a Synod in Frankford. I opened to my
beloved, but my beloved had withdrawne himselfe , and was gone : my foule failed when be spake : I fought him, but I could not finde him : I called him, but hee gave me no answer.
I opened to my beloved.] This attempt of the Church in executing in some places the decrees ofrhese Synods, was an opening of the doore ro Christ : Images and Idolatry being shut forth, there is a doore open
for Christ to enter. But my beloved bad withdrawne himselfe; and was gone. ] Christ did not delight to reveale himself in their publike afsem. blies, tholigh Images were in some places well removed, both because rhofe decrees for removing of Images were not gene rally received and executed, through the coming in of the Bishop of Rome ; and because the worship of God was fill full of Heathenish and Jewish fuperftitions, which Christ tooke no pleasure in.
My fonle' failed when hee spake. ] The frithfull in those times were assembled