And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesu every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Humiliavit Semetipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.
Propter quod et Deus exaltavit Illum, et donavit Illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen:
Ut in nomine Jesus omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum,
Et omnis lingua confiteatur quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.
'For this cause God hath exalted Him,' saith the text; 'Him,' that is, Christ. And 'for this cause' are we now here, to celebrate this exalting. Of which His exalting this [323/ 324] is the first day, and the act of this day the first step of it; even His rising again from the dead. Hæc est clarificatio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, quæ ab Ejus resurrectione sumpsit exordium, Saith St. Augustine, upon this place; 'this now is the glorifying of our Lord Jesus Christ, which took His beginning at His glorious resurrection.'
This is the sum and substance of this text set down by that learned Father.
I. By him also is it likewise divided to our hands; into humilitas claritatis meritum, and claritatas humilitatis præmium. 'Humility, the merit of glory,' in the first verse of the four; and glory, the reward of humility, in the other three. Which two, here and ever, are so fast linked together as there is no parting them. I cannot but touch, and I will but touch, the merit in the first verse - it properly pertains to another day; and so come to opus Diei.
II. The matter of this day's exaltation is called here, His exaltation.
And is of two sorts. By God, in the ninth verse; and by us, in the two last.
1. By God; and that is double: of His Person; of His Name. Two supers, either, one. Super-exaltavit Ipsum, His Person; there is one in the forepart of the ninth verse. And Nomen super omne nomen, His Name; there is the other in the latter part of it. And this is God's.
2. Then cometh ours. For God exalting it Himself, He will have us to do the like. And not to do it inwardly alone, but even outwardly to acknowledge it for such; and sets down precisely this acknowledgement, how He will have it made by us. Namely, two ways: by the knee, by the tongue. The 'knee' to 'bow' to it; the 'tongue' to 'confess' it. And both these be general: 'every knee, every tongue.' And not in gross, but deduced into three several ranks: all 'in Heaven,' all 'in earth,' all 'under the earth;' which comprehends all indeed, and leaves none out. This acknowledgement, thus, but only, insinuated by the knee, is by the tongue more plainly expressed; and this is it, that Jesus Christ is the Lord, Lord of all those three. This to be done, and so done, as redound all 'to the glory of God the Father.'
But then last, take the use with us; that since in Him His [324/325] humiliavit Seipsum ends in super-exaltavit Deus, His humbling Himself in God's exalting, that 'the same mind' be in us, and the same end will come to us. As His end was, so ours will be, in 'the glory of God the Father.'
Propter quod, 'for this cause.' We touch first upon this word. It is the axi and cardo, the very point whereupon a propter quod. Some, as Shebna, Haman, Sanballat, sometimes exalted, no man knows wherefore. With God there goeth ever, with men there should go, a propter quod before exaltavit.
For a cause. For what? 'for this cause.' And this now casts us back to the former verse where it is set down, humiliavit; there it is for His humility.
Now of all causes. Not for that, if we go by this world, which, as the proverb is, was made for the presumptuous. Nor for that virtue of all others. A virtue, before Christ thus graced it, so out of request as the philosophers - look into their Ethics, you shall not so much as find the name of humility in the list of all their virtues. Well, this cast virtue of no reckoning is here made the propter quod of Christ's exalting, as respexit humilitatem the ground of His mother's magnificat. And He That by Him 'brought light out of darkness' at the first, will by Him bring glory out of humility at last, or this book deceiveth us. With God, it shall have the place of a propter quod, how poor account soever we make of it here.
But this quod is a collective; there be in it more points than one. I will but point at them.
Humiliavit Ipse, 'He humbled,' 'He,' which many times is idle, but here a circumstance of great weight. 'He,' so great a person, 'being in the form of God, and without any disparagement at all, equal to God,' as he tells us a verse before, 'He humbled.' Ubi Majestatem præmisit, ut humilitatem illustraret; 'That discourse of His high Majesty was but to set out, to give a lustre to His humility.' For, for one of mean estate to be humble, is no great praise, it were a fault if he were not. But in alto nihil altum sapere: for a king, as David, to say, 'I will yet be more humble;' for the 325/ 326] King of kings, for Him, to show this great humility, that is a propter quod indeed. Humiliavit Ipse.
Then secondly, that humiliavit Ipse Se. Ipse Se, and not alius Ipsum, that He was not brought to it by any other, but of His own accord, 'He humbled Himself.' There is a difference between humilis and humiliatus. One may be humbled, and yet not humble. Pharaoh was humbled, brought down, by his ten plagues. Simon of Cyrene, angariatus, to humble his neck upon the cross. This was alius ipsos. But Ipse Se, is true humility. For then it is laudabili voluntate, not miserabili necessitate; 'of a willing mind, and that is commendable, not of force and constraint, for that is miserable.' 'For this cause,' that 'He humbled Himself.'
And thirdly, humiliavit Ipse Se obediens. It was not Absalom's humility, in show and compliment, and his heart full of pride, disobedience, yea rebellion. And yet it is a glory for humility, that even proud men take a pride to shroud themselves in her mantle, that pride wears humility's livery. But it is not humble courtesy, but humble obedience, that is the propter quod. Till it come to that, many bear themselves in terms and show low ad humum, even touch the ground. But come once thither, to obedience; then give laws they must, but obey none; make others obedient, and ye will, but not factus obediens, not made themselves so. Christ was so 'made.' And 'for this cause.'
And something strange it is, why humiliavit Ipse Se obediens would not serve, and no more, but factus must be added. Somewhat there was in that. An obedience there is that cometh from the dictamen of natural reason; in some things we so obey, we will do it because our reason so moveth us. That is obediens natus. But some other there be, wherein there is no reason to lead us to do it but only this, that it is enjoined us by a lawful superior, and therefore we do it, and for no other cause. This is obediens factus, and that in true proper terms is the right obedience indeed. All look to the former, and very few obey thus. But even so obeyed Christ, et erat subditus illis. And for this cause then, that He was factus obediens.
And obediens factus usque, is a fifth. For the very size, the extent of our obedience, is a matter considerable. [326/327] For if we come to any, it is Agrippa's in modico, 'in some petty small matter.' Or Saul's, in the refuse of the spoils little worth. And that obedience is little worth, that is shrunk up. The drawing our, the usque of it is all in all. How far obedient? until what? usque quo? Which very extent or usque is many times as much worth as the obedience itself.
Now many usques there be in this of His! 1. Usque naturam hominis, - thither. His very humanity had been humility enough. 2. Usque formam servi, is more. How? 'Even to wash the feet of Thy servants,' said Abigail, and took herself to be very humble in so saying. Thither He came too.
What say ye to usque mortem, the sixth point? Mortem? that will stagger the best of us. We love obedience in a whole skin; usque any thing, rather than that. And to say truth, no reason in the world obedience should come to that. 'Death is the wages of sin,' of disobedience. Factus obediens? What, and factus reus too? Obedient, and yet put to death? Heaven and earth should ring of it, if the case were ours. Well, even thither came His obedience; et, ne perderet obedientiam, perdidit vitam, 'and rather than to lose His obedience, lost His life.' This is indeed a great propter quod.
There is yet an autem more behind, to make it up full seven. For one death is worse than another. And His was mortem autem, the worst death of all, the death of malefactors, and of the worst sort of malefactors, mortem crucis.
Enough now, for death is ultima linea we say. Nay, there is yet an autem more behind, to make it up full seven. For one death is worse than another. And His was mortem autem, the worst death of all, the death of malefactors, and of the worst sort of malefactors, mortem crucis.
Nay, if He must die, let Him die an honest, a fair death. Not so; nay morte turpissimâ, said they of it that put Him to it, the foulest death of all other; usque mortem, mortem autem crucis.
Died, and so died. Ever the so, the manner is more than the thing itself, in all of Christ. to be born, so to be born, usque presepe, 'to the cratch;' to die, nay so to die, usque crucem, 'to the cross.' Usque naturam hominis, usque forman servi, usque mortem malefici. 1. So great a person; 2. Thus to humble; 3. Humble His Ownself; 4. To be obedient; 5. To be made obedient; 6. Obedient with an usque, so far; 7. So far as to death; 8. And to a death so opprobius; - these extensives, and intensives put together, will I trust make [327/328] up a perfect propter quod. And this for humilitas claritatis meritum in the first verse.
Now, for claritas humilitatis præmium, in the rest. And will ye observe how they answer one another? For humiliavit there, here is exaltavit; for Ipse there, Deus, 'God' here; for Ipse Se, Deus Ipsum; 'He humbled Himself,' 'God exalted Him.' For humiliavit usque there, here is exaltavit super. For factus obediens there, here factus Dominus. For mortem crucis, 'the death of the cross' there, here is, 'the glory of God the Father.'
This exalting we reduced to two: 1. Of His Person; 2. of His Name. Of His Person, in super-exaltavit Ipsum; of His Name in the rest of the verse.
To begin with His personal exaltation. Super-exaltavit is a de-compound. There is ex and super both in it. His exalting hath an ex, whence or out of what; His exalting hath a super, whither or whereunto.
Ex, from whence? from the two very last words, mortem crucis. His raising to life opposed to mortem, the sorrows of death. The giving of His Name, to crucis, the shame of the cross. This day's ex was from death. His humiliavit had been ad humun, 'to the ground,' no further, into the ground; no further yet, eij katètera 'into the very lowest parts of it.' His exaltavit then was from thence, from death; and not 'the gates of death' - then He was not in; nor 'the jaws of death' - then He was not quite down; but from inferiora and interiora, the 'lowermost' and 'innermost' rooms of death. From under the stone - thence; from the dungeon with Joseph; from the bottom of the den, with Daniel; from the belly of the whale, with Jonah; - all three types of Him: there is His ex.
Now then, whither? From death to life, from shame to glory, from a death of shame to a life of glory. From the form of a servant in factus obediens, to the dignity of a Sovereign in factus Dominus.
But will ye mark again? For non sicut delictum, sic donum, saith he elsewhere; so here, not as His humbling, so was His exalting, but more. That of His humbling was dispatched in one verse; This of exalting hath no less than three. So the amends is large, three to one.
[328/329] But that is not I mean, but this. Super is not thither only, but above and beyond it. From death to life; nay, super, more than so. Not to Lazarus' life, to die again, but to life immortal, ut vitam habeat et abundantius habeat; - that abundantius is immortality. From shame to glory? only that? No, super, 'to the glory of the Father,' that is, glory, that will 'never fade,' as all here shall. So downwards, it was but usque, had his stint, so far, and no farther; upward now it is, super, no stint but higher and higher still.
This day is the feast of the first fruits. On it, He had no more, but the first-fruits of His exalting. He was exalted, but with Jonah's exaltation only, from the lower parts to the upper parts of the earth. But we shall follow Him higher, to the exaltation of Elijah, super, 'above' the clouds; no, super, 'above' the stars, above the Heavens, and the Heavens of the Heavens, till we have brought Him from de profundis to in excelsis, 'from the lowest part of the earth,' to 'the highest place in heaven,' even to the right hand of God. And higher we cannot go.
Will you observe yet once more a kind of omen or presage of both these exaltings, and that at the very time of His humiliation? For even that humiliation was acted after the manner of an exalting, though in a mere mockery. For, to all their disgraces, they added this of scorn. They lift Him up upon His cross, for all the world, as the Philistines did Samson; set Him aloft 'between the two pillars,' to make sport at Him. This was His exaltation. And they gave Him a name too, Pilate's title over His head, and bowed their knees and cried, Ave Rex - a kind of confession.
This, as they performed it, was grande ludibrium; but as God turned it, it was grande mysterium. For, to earnest God turneth both. A kind of strife there seemed to be: the lower they, the higher God; the more odious they sought to make Him, the more glorious God; He exalted His Person, instead of the cross, to His own high throne of majesty. And instead of Pilate's title, gave Him a title of true honour, above all the titles in the world.
And this for super-exaltavit Ipsum. And so I pass from the exalting of His Person, the amends for mortem, and come to [329/330] the exalting of His Name, the amends for crucis, in the latter part of the same verse.
'He gave Him a name.' For without a name, what is exalting? What is His Nativity without an Epiphany? For to those two may these two here well be compared. His resurrection is a very Nativity. To it doth St. Paul apply the verse of the psalm, Hodie genui Te; and this name-giving is as the Epiphany, to make it apparent and known to the world. And indeed, why are things exalted or lift up, but that they may be in view, and notice taken of them? So that they which be exalted, seem not so to be, till their so being be made public, and there go a name of it abroad in the world.
And sure, when men are so high as higher they cannot be, as Kings, there is no other way to exalt them left us but this; to spread abroad, to dilate their names. Which every noble generous spirit had rather have than any dignity, though never so high. For being in their dignities, how far will they venture, even to jeopard dignity, life and all, and all but to leave a glorious name behind them! That to give a name, is even to exalt his very exaltation itself, and to make him, that is at the highest, higher yet.
'A name He gave Him:' what name? not inter 'among' the famous names on earth, but super omne nomen, 'above them all.' Here is super upon super, another super to His name, no less than His person. That above all persons, and this above all names whatsoever. And now by this time His exaltation is complete, and not one super to be added more.
Of the giving, three doubts arise: 1. How given Him, and others had it also? 2. How given now, and He had it before, even in the womb of His mother? 3. How given Him of grace, and yet deserved it? Propter quod.
How is this name said to be given Him as some special dignity, and others had it beside and before Him? Jesus the worthy, the son of Nun; Jesus the high priest, the son of Josedech, to say nothing of Jesus the son of Sirach. They had it, it is true, but not given them by God, as He by the mouth of the Angel, God's deputy. But these by men, had men to their god-fathers, as now we have a sect or society of [330/331] Jesus; but they gave themselves the name, God never gave it to them. He gave it here for humiliavit, a virtue they little regard; for he that doth smell of it, is eo ipso not meet to be of that company. Other manner spirits they.
I have before this told you of four main differences, between this Jesus and all others. This one now shall serve for all. All those Jesuses, and every one of them, had need of, and were glad 'to lay hold of the skirts' of this Jesus, to be saved by Him: otherwise they had been falsely so called, lost men all. And so will be willing to resign this name to Him that He may bear it, at least with a main difference from them all.
But what tell you us of it now after the Resurrection? Do not we know it was given Him, being yet in the womb? It was so, but a kind of anticipation. For it never had the perfect verifying, the full Christendom, as they say, till this day. Not yet full three days since, they upbraided Him with it, Jesus a Saviour! A wise Saviour, and 'cannot save Himself!' For He seemed to perish then, to lose His life in their sight; but now, this day 'taking it again,' He showed He did but lay it down, He lost it not; He was now Jesus indeed, able to save Himself; and able to save all those who had trust in Him for their salvation. So it was never in kind till now, but now it was.
But if He gave it Him, and ecarsato, 'gave it Him of grace,' where is the merit then? the propter quod we spake of, what is become of that? Safe enough for all this. That which is otherwise due, it may be so cheerfully parted with, as if it were a frank and free gift indeed. The Apostle elsewhere hath taught us to join debita and benevolentia in one; they will stand together well enough.
In many things we suffer slander by the Church of Rome; in this among many, as if we pinched at Christ's merit, and were loath He should be allowed Himself to merit aught, because of this ecarsato, that soundeth all upon grace. Wherein it is well known, take the most can be made of it, and we say no other thing than do their own schoolmen. It is not gratia adoptionis, this, 'the grace of adoption,' as in us, that is here spoken of; it is gratia unionis, 'the grace of union.' And that grace Christ had. For seeing in the humanity of Christ, there was not, there could not be, any [331/332] possibility of merit, to deserve the uniting itself, or the being assumed into the godhead; to be so assumed and so united, was that grace we term the grace of union. Other grace we know none in Christ. But being once so united, thee was Propter quod, might then be truly said of Him every way.
This for the giving. But now, how this name said to be 'above all names?' What, above the name of God? We may say with the Apostle when he saith, God did give it Him, 'it is manifest He is excepted,' That did give it Him. But we need not so say, for this is one of God's own names, 'I am, saith He, and beside Me there is no Saviour.'
How is it then given Him? Accepit ut homo quod habebat ut Deus; 'What as God He had, as man He received;' with His nature His name, and the chief of all His names, the Name of a Saviour. For above all it is, above all to Him, above all of us.
To Him: for though many titles of the Deity sound and seem to be more glorious, yet He esteems them all not like this. Why? For no other reason but that they had not nos homines, and nostram Salutem in them. No name He sets by like that, wherein His glory is joined our safety. And this of all He made choice of, as to Him above all, that we might accordingly esteem of Him Who esteems it above all, only for our sakes.
But howsoever to Him, to us sure above all. For no name do we hold by, 'no name under Heaven given us whereby we may be saved, but it.' To us more worth it is than all; yea, I may say, than the very name of God. For 'God in Him reconcileth the world;' without Him is enemy to it, and to us. So with this name there is comfort in the name of God; without it none at all. The name sure which we have use of above all. For it is the name which in the depth of all our distress, by sin or by misery, we even adjure Him by, ut rem nominis impleat, 'that He make good His own name,' show He bears it not for nought, and so save us; that He would never so remember our wretched sins, as that thereby to forget His own blessed name, that name especially, which He of all other most esteems, and so of all other will least forget. To Him then and to us both it is nomen super omne nomen. [332/333] And so let it be, even suprema lex salus, and supremum nomen Jesus, 'to save the highest law, and the name of a Saviour the highest name.' Let it so be, let it ever stand highest, and let no name whatsoever get above it. And so I come to the tenth verse.
'That at the name of Jesus,' &c. To give Him such a name, is one gift; to give Him, that for such an one it should be reputed and taken, is another. For given it may be on His part, and not acknowledged on ours. So that this is a new degree.
That God, though He have so exalted it, yet reckons it not exalted, unless we do our parts also, unless our exaltation come too. At which words comes in our duty, the part that concerns us. Thus to esteem it super omne nomen, 'above all,' and in sign we so do, to declare as much. And therein He leaves us not to ourselves, but prescribes the very manner of our declaration, how He will have it, namely, these two ways: 'The knee to bow to it,' 'the tongue to confess it.'
Now these are outward acts, both. So then, first we are to set down this for a ground, that the exalting of the soul within is not enough. More is required by Him, more to be performed by us. He will not have the inward parts only, and it skills not for the outward members, though we favour our knees, and lock up our lips. No, mental devotion will not serve, He will have both corporal and vocal to express it by.
Our body is to afford her part, to His glory; and the parts of our body, and namely, these two, the knee, and the tongue. Not only the upper parts, the tongue in our head, but even the nether also, the knee in our leg. The words be plain, I see not how we can avoid them.
For the 'knee,' two things: 1. He would have it 'bow;' 2. He would have it 'bow' to His name. 'Bow,' first; for what better way, or more proper, than by our humility to exalt Him Who for His humility was exalted? Or what way more fit, to express our humility by, than by this sign of humbleness? For a special way it is of exalting, or making a thing high, by falling down and making ourselves low before it. Then secondly, that God careth for our knees, will be served with them. Negatively; He will not have them 'bow to Baal.' Positively, He will have them 'bow' to Himself. [333/334] Will you believe Him if He bind it with an oath? 'I have sworn,' saith He, 'by Myself, that every knee shall bow to Me.' And will ye make God forsworn? And it cannot be said, this of the Old Testament, for even in the New these very words are applied to Christ, as meant to be fulfilled in and to Him.
But this here in the text is more strong, that it is assigned Him, this honour, as a part of His reward for mortem crucis. And shall we rob Him, or take from Him the reward of His Passion?
We begin our Liturgy every day with the Psalm - and we have it from the Primitive Church, they did begin theirs with the same, wherein we invite ourselves to it; 'Come, let us worship and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker.' Shall we ever say it, and never do it? Is not this to mock God?
They in the Scripture, they in the Primitive Church, did so, did 'bow.' And verily, He will not have us worship Him like elephants, as if we had no joints in our knees; He will have more honour of men, than of the pillars in the Church. He will have us 'bow the knees;' and let us 'bow' them in God's name.
To 'bow the knee,' and to His name to bow it; for this is another prerogative. He is exalted to whose person knees do bow; but He to whose name only, much more. But the cause is here otherwise. For His Person is taken up out of our sight, all we can do will not reach unto it. But His name He has left behind to us, that we may shew by our reverence and respect to it, how much we esteem Him, how true the psalm will be, 'Holy and reverend is His name.'
But if we have much ado to get it, 'bow' at all, much more shall we have to get it done to His name. 1. There be that do it not.
2. What speak I of not doing it? There be that not only [334/335] forbear to do it themselves, but put themselves to an evil occupation, to find fault where none is, and cast scruples into men's minds, by no means to do it.
3. Not to do it at His name? Nay, at the holy mysteries themselves not to do it. Where His name is, I am sure, and more than His name, even the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; and those, not without His soul; or that without His deity; nor all these, without inestimable high benefits of grace attending on them. And yet they who would be glad and fain, a pardon for this life, or some other patent, with all humility to receive upon their knees; this so great, so high, so heavenly a gift, they strain and make dangerous, to bow their knees to receive it; as if it were scarce worth so much. But it has ever been the manner in Christ's Church, whether we offer to Him or receive aught offered from Him, in this wise to do it.
But to keep us to the Name, this is sure, the words themselves are so plain as they are able to convince any man's conscience; and there is no writer, not of the ancient, on this place, that I can find, save he that turned all into allegories, but literally understands it, and like well enough we should actually perform it.
Yet will ye see, what subtilties are taken up to shift this duty?
All knees are called for, and all have not knees. Here are three ranks reckoned, and two of them have none. What is that to us? we have. To us it is properly spoken, and we to look to it. And if this were aught, that the spirits in Heaven and hell have no bodies, and so knees, why, they have no tongues neither properly, and then by the same rule, take away confessing too, and so do neither.
But the Apostle, that in another place give the Angels tongues, 'with the tongues of men and Angels,' might as well in this place, give them knees; they have one as much as the other. And in both places humanum dicit, he speaks to us, 'after the manner of men,' that we by our own language might conceive what they do. For sure it is, the [335/336] spirit of both kinds, as they do yield reverence, so they have their ways and means to express it, by somewhat ¢ualogÕu to the knee. They do it their way, we to do it ours. And this is ours: let us look to our own then, and not busy our brains about theirs. But for us, and for our sakes, they are divers time expressed in the Revelation, even doing thus, 'falling down before Him.'
Secondly, why to this name, more than to the name of Christ? There want not reasons why.
Christ is not, cannot be, the name of God; God cannot be anointed. But Jesus is the name of God, and the chief name of God, as we have heard.
The name Christ is communicated by Him to others, namely to princes; so is not Jesus, that is proper. Ego sum, et præter Me non est alius. And ever that which is proper is above that which is holden in common.
Christ is anointed to what end? To be our Saviour. That is the end then. And ever, the end is above the means; ever the name of health, above the name of any medicine.
But when we find expressly in the verse, this name is exalted above all names, and this act limited to it in direct words, and so this name above them in this very peculiar, why seek we any farther?
Thirdly, What? to the two syllables, or to the sound of them? What needs this? Who speaks of sound or syllables? The text saith, do it to the Name. The name is not the sound but the sense. The caution is easy then, do it to the sense; have mind on Him that is named, and do His Name the honour, and spare not.
Fourthly, but it cannot be denied but there hath superstition been used in it. Suppose there hath. And almost, in what not? In hearing of sermons now, is there not superstition in a great many? What shall we do then? Lay them down? abandon hearing, as we do kneeling? I trow not, but remove the superstition, and retain them still; do but even so here, and all is at an end.
Indeed, if it were a taken-up worship, or some human injunction, it might perhaps be drawn within the case of brazen serpent. But being directly set down by God [336/337] Himself, in us there may be superstition, in it there can be none. And if it be in us, we are to mend ourselves, but not stir the act, which is of God's own prescribing. It was never heard in divinity, that ever superstition could abolish a duty of the text.
That we set ourselves to drive away superstition, it is well; but it will be well too that we so, drive it away, as we drive not all reverent regard and decency away with it also. And are we not well toward it? we have driven it from our head, for we keep on of all hands; and from our knees, for kneel we may not - we use not, I am sure. Sure heed would be taken, that by taking heed we prove not superstitious we slip not into the other extreme before we be aware, which of the two extreme before we be aware, which of the two extreme religion worse endureth, as more opposite unto it. For believe this, as it may be superstitiously used, so it may irrelegiously be neglected also.
Look to the text then, and let no man persuade you but that God requireth a reverent carriage, even of the body itself; and namely, this service of the knee, and that to His Son's name. You will not displease Him by it, fear not; fear this rather for the knee, if it will not bow, that it will be stricken with somewhat, that it will not be able to bow. And for the Name, that they who will do no honour to it, when time of need comes, will receive no comfort by it. And so I leave this point
For the knee is not all, He further requires somewhat from the tongue, And reason: that member of all other the Psalmist calls our 'glory,' a peculiar we have more than the beasts; they will be taught to bow and bend their joints, we have tongues besides to do something more than they. And indeed, the knee is but a dumb acknowledgment, but signify implicite; but a vocal confession, that doth utter our mind plainly. And so is looked for at our hands.
This he calls exomol_ghsij. Three things are in it: first, l_gooj - speak we must, say somewhat. And secondly, _moà,, do it together; not some speak, and some sit mute. Thirdly, ex, speak out, not whispering or between the teeth, but clearly and audibly. And this is exomol_ghsij. And it was the praise of the primitive Church this, that jointly they did it and aloud; that their Amen, as St. Hierome saiths was like a [337/338] clap of thunder, and the Allelujah as the roaring of the sea; and no praise it is to us, who as our joints are stiff to bow, so our voices are hoarse to confess. We can neither see the former, nor scarce hear the latter; as if, there being but two duties in the text, we meant to suppress them both.
The 'knee' and the 'tongue.' Why the knee first? why begins He there? They be marshalled right. For having by our 'knee' bowed, put ourselves in mind of due regard of Him in fear and reverence, we are then the fitter to speak of Him and to Him with that respect is meet; and not be so homely with Him as in their gesture and speech both some are, as they were Hail fellow, even familiar with God. And all forsooth, as they call it, to cast out the spirit of bondage. From a heart possessed with the humble fear of God, from such a heart, confession is ever most kindly; faith being as the heart, and fear being as the lungs - so the Fathers compare them; it will get an heat and an over-heat, our faith, if by fear, as cool air, it be not tempered; but faith and fear together make the blessed mixture.
The tongue and 'every tongue,' as the knee and 'every knee;' they to bow all, and these all to confess. But all for that, not all alike. They in Heaven 'cast down their crowns' and fall down themselves of their own accord; and confess Him singing, as at His birth, and in the Revelation, divers times. They under the earth do it too, but not ultro, are thrown down, and even made His 'foot-stool.' So down they go, though sore against their wills; and confess Him too though roaring, as it were upon the rack. They on earth, as in the midst, partake of both. The better sort, with the Angels, get them to their knees gladly, and cheerfully confess Him. The rest, as infidels and some Christians little better, are forced to 'fall backward,' and made in the end to cry Vicisti Galilae, though they 'gnaw their tongues' when they have done.
So we see our lot; one way or other we shall come to it all: if not now, in die illo, which is the reason that the Apostle applieth this place in Esay to Christ's sitting in judgment at the latter day. Exalted He will be with our good wills or whether we will or not. Either fall on our knees now, or be cast flat on our faces then; either [338/339] confess Him cantando with the Saints and Angels, or ululando with devils and damned spirits. For the Father will be glorified in the Son, by the glorious confession of them who yield, or the glorious confusion of them who stand out.
The tongue and 'every tongue;' that is every speech, dialect, idiom, language in the world, stand charged with this confession. Omnis spiritus, 'every spirit,' to give breath, and omnis lingua, 'every tongue' to be as a trumpet to sound it forth. And where are they then that deny any tongue the faculty here granted, or bar any of them the duty here enjoined? That lock up the public confession, the chief of all other, in some one tongue or two, and send forth their supersedeas to all the rest? No, His title here hath more tongues than Pilate's on the cross; that had but three, this hath 'every tongue,' what, where, whosesoever, none except. A præludium whereof was in the 'tongues' sent from Heaven, whereby every nation under Heaven 'heard, each in their own tongue spoken,' magnalia Dei, the glad tidings of the Gospel.
But though thus many tongues, yet one confession. Even this, that 'Jesus Christ is the Lord.' And a blessed confession is it, this, that Jesus, that is, a Saviour, that He, that such a one, 'is the Lord.' And a blessed confession is it, this, that Jesus, that is, a Saviour, that He, that such a one, 'is the Lord;' that not a fleecer or a flayer, but a Saviour hath the place. 2. That Christ, that is, one which saveth, and cureth unctione non punctione, with anointing not with searing or pricking - that we acknowledge Him to be 'the Lord.' 'Lord' before by that He is Son, and now Lord again by virtue of His propter quod.
'Lord' whereof? Nay no qualified of such a place, barony, county, signory, but Lord in abstracto. But if we will qualify Him we may. Lord of these three ranks of confessors here in the verse, and of those three places and regions that contain them: 1. 'Lord of heaven' - He gave 'the keys' of it. 2. Lord of earth - He hath 'the keys of David,' and if of His, of every kingdom else. 3. Lord of hell, for lo, 'the keys of hell and of death.' 'Of death,' to unlock the graves; 'of hell,' to lock up 'the old dragon' and his crew, into the bottomless pit. A great Lord; for whither will one go to get out of His dominion.
Well, if it but to confess this, that is no great matter, [338/339] we will not stick with Him; who cannot say, 'Jesus Christ is the Lord?' 'That can no man,' saith the Apostle- say it as it should be said, 'but by the Holy Ghost.' For confessing Him Lord, we confess more things by Him than one. For two things go with it. 1. Domine salva, pereo, saith St. Peter; 'Save Lord I sink;' - a Lord to save. 2. Domine quid me vis facere? saith St Paul, 'Lord what service would Thou I should do?' - a Lord to serve.
St. Peter's we like well, to succour and save us, when we are in danger; He will hear of us then. But St. Paul's Quid me vis facere? when it comes to that, then our confession fumbles and sticks in our teeth, Nay then, Quis est Dominus noster? we have no Lord, we then. So we play fast and loose without confession; fast at succour, loose at service; in at one, out at the other.
But what speak I of doing His will? When, if He do not ours in each respect; if we have not this or that when we would, we fall from confessing, and fall to murmuring. And it fareth with us, not as if He were Lord and we to do His will, but as if we indeed were the lords and He to do ours; as if there were nothing between us and Him, but He to do our turns, and then, Tu autem Domine, His Lordship were expired and at an end.
Upon the point thus it is; we confess it the wrong way, the Lord to be Jesus, but not Jesus to be the Lord. O Lord, be Jesus; but not O Jesus, be Lord. O Lord, be Jesus to save us; but not, O Jesus, be Lord to command us. So that all our humiliavit is without factus obediens.
You see then, it is worth the while to confess this, as it should be confessed. In this wise none can do it but 'by the Holy Ghost.' Otherwise, for an ore tenus only, our own ghost will serve well enough. But that is not it. Quid me vis facere is it that makes 'the Lord.' He tells us so Himself, and with a kind of admiration that any should think otherwise; 'How call ye Me the Lord,' saith He, 'and not do as I will you?' As much to say as, It is to no purpose, though you say Domine, Domine; double it, and treble it too, it will fo for no confession, if a factis negant come in the neck of it, if St. Paul's Quid me vis facere? be left out.
And this is yet more plain by the last words of all, [340/341] namely, that this confession is so to be made, as it redound 'to the glory of God the Father.' Whose great glory it is, that His Son is Lord of such servants, than men will say, See what servants He hath! How full of reverence to His Name! How free, how forward to do His will! Herein is His Name much magnified. As on the other side it must needs be 'evil spoken of, and that among the very heathen,' when not a knee got to bow; when this syllable, Lord, comes out of our mouth but no Quid me vis facere? to follow it. When they see how unservice-like our service is, how rude our behaviour towards Him and His Name, Whom we term Lord, indeed, but use Him nothing so. But come hither into His presence, and carry ourselves here for all the world as fellow did before Augustus, of whom Mæcenas well said, Hic homo erubescit timere Cæsarem And so we, as if we were ashamed to seem to bear any reverence at all to Him, or His name. It would not be thus. I am privy there is no one thing doth more alien those that of a simple mind refuse the Church, than this, that they see so unseemly behaviour, so small reverence shewed this way. But sure. The Apostle tells us our carriage there should be such, so decent, as if a stranger or unbeliever should come into our assemblies, the very reverence be there seen, should make him fall down and say, 'Verily God is among us,' to see us so respectfully bear ourselves in the manner of worship.
This confession that 'Jesus is the Lord,' is to be 'to the glory of God the Father,' so we take it one way. Or this confession is to be, 'that Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father,' so another way. And both well. To 'confess' that He is 'the Lord,' that all His Lordship is not to His own glory, but to His Father's. Think not then that gloria Filio will abate aught of Gloria Patri. 'The Son is Lord to the glory of His Father,' and not otherwise. Let that fear then be far from us, that in exalting the Son we shall in the least minute eclipse the glory of His Father. Here is no fear of emulation, that it will prove the case of Jupiter and Saturn. No, so blessed is the accord of this Father and this Son, as the Father thinketh it some blemish to His glory, if so profound humility, so complete obedience, He had not seen highly rewarded with super upon super. [341/342] And the Son will admit of no glory that will impair His Father's in the least degree; for lo, 'He is Lord to the glory of His Father.' This is the end of His, of Christ's, and the same may be the end of all exultations; that a Saviour ever may be 'Lord,' - hold that place, and hold it and be 'Lord,' not to His own, but 'to the glory of God,' even 'God the Father.'
The end of all, and we must needs know and take that with us, for which all this here is brought. And it is a lession, even His Descite a Me; and it is a pattern, even His exemplum dedi vobis, to commend unto us the virtue of the text, the propter quod of the feast, even humility; hoc erit signum, it is His sign at Christmas. As His sign then, so His propter quod now at Easter; so the virtue of both feasts. I shall offer you but three short points touching it.
1. It is no humble man is set before us here, it is the Son of God, and Himself God; et quomodo non humiliatur homo coram humili Deo? How is not the son of man humble, and the Son of God is? Even for Him to love it, for His very person.
2. And in this verse He is not barely set out to us, but in it and by bringing to pass the works of our redemption, which cannot but extraordinarily commend this virtue to us; in that it hath pleased God to do more for us in this His humility, than ever He did in all His Majesty, even to save and redeem us by it. To love it then, if not for Him, yet 'for the work's sake.'
3. But specially, which is the third, for the propter quod in the text; if not for the work, yet for the reward's sake. That as Christ was no loser by it no more shall we, for all this glory here, the way to it, is by the first verse. Humiliavit is the beginning, and the end of it is exalting. That the mother, this the daughter; all riseth from humiliavit Ipse Se. Humiliamini ergo, saith St. James; humiliamini ergo, saith St. Peter; and after it there follows still, et exaltabit vos Deus, a promise of a like glorious end. And what saith the Apostle here? 'This mind,' saith he, 'was in Christ,' and it was frroueu, a wise mind; that we count it a wise mind, and worth the carrying, and carry it; and it will carry us to the same journey's end it brought Him, even 'to the glory of God the Father.'
[342/343] And what? Shall we not give some light trial of our obedience also, to aver our confession, that He is our Lord? It would be by Domine, quid nos vis facere? that is the true trial. Say then Domine, quid nos vis facere? and He will answer us Hoc facite in Mei memoriam. Will you know what I would have you do? Do this in remembrance of Me. In sign that I am Lord, do but this; here is a case of instance, and that now, even at this very present, as proof to be made. By this we shall see, whether He be Lord or no. For if not this, but slip the collar here, and shrink away; si rem grandem dixisset, in a far greater matter, how would we stand with Him then? We were wrong before; here is the sound and syllables we spoke of, here it is. For all is but sound and syllables, if not this.
But of us, 'I hope for better things,' that by our humble carriage and obedience, at least in this, we will set ourselves some way to exalt Him, in this day of exaltation; which as it will tend to His glory, so will He turn it to matter of our glory, and that in His kingdom of glory; or, to keep the word of the text, 'in the glory of God the Father.' That so we may end, as the text ends. A better or more blessed end there cannot be. And to this blessed end He bring us, That by His humility and obedience, hath not only purchased it for us, but set the way open, and gone it before us, 'Jesus Christ the Righteous,'&c!