That Blessed Dependancy

"There wee leave you in that blessed dependancy, to hang upon him who hangs upon the Crosse…" -John Donne, "Death's Duell"

Tag: John Donne

Death be not proud!

“Danse Macabre” by Bernt Notke, c. late 15th Century. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

A Sermon Preached on the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, November 3, 2013

By The Rev’d Dane E. Boston, Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut

Texts: Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31

May I speak in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Welcome to the revolution. Perhaps when you pulled into the parking lot this morning and parked in your usual spot, you did not realize that you had arrived at a meeting of dangerous radicals. Perhaps when you stepped inside the church and settled into your usual seat in your usual pew, you did not know that what you were coming here for was a protest, a demonstration, an act of outrageous defiance against oppression and tyranny. Perhaps you were not aware that each day, each week, year-in and year-out, from the highest Holy Days to the lowest low Sundays, what we gather here for is a resistance movement—a radical society—a grand conspiracy—with news that can topple the mightiest powers that hold sway over this world. Friends, I say it again: Welcome to the revolution.

Now perhaps some of you are feeling a little uncomfortable by this point. Some of you may be asking yourselves, “When did that nice young curate get so political?” Some of you may be wondering whether there’s still time to reduce your capital campaign pledge…

But before you do anything rash, let me first explain what I’m talking about. Today is the Sunday after All Saints’ Day. Today we celebrate the Feast that took place last Friday, and in so doing we engage in a stunning act of defiance. You see, on All Saints’ Sunday we remember and give thanks for all of God’s servants down through the ages. But we do more than remember the saints this day. Today we rejoice in them as fellow companions and present realities in the life of the Church. All Saints’ Day is not a holiday of history—a time to look back through two millennia of the Christian faith in order to choose heroes and tell stories of people long dead. Rather, on this day we remember that God has “knit together [his] elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of [his] Son Christ our Lord.”

Consider what those words mean. Today we profess that we who are still in our earthly pilgrimage—we who walk as yet by faith and not by sight—nevertheless are one—one communion, one fellowship, one body—with those who have gone before us. The Church recognizes no barriers of geography or chronology–of space or time. We are one with all baptized people around the world today, and we are one with all baptized people down through the centuries, even though they have died. And this claim, this profession, this assertion, is what makes this day revolutionary, for it requires us to defy an oppressor and a tyrant.

And yet the oppressor we repudiate today is not a political one, though he is often wrapped up and mingled in the practice of politics. But no: this All Saints’ Sunday we defy a ruler before whom the President of the United States, the Queen of England, and the Secretary General of the United Nations all stand subject.

The tyrant we reject this day is not an economic power, though greed and wealth have long been known to serve him. But no: this All Saints’ Sunday we renounce a creditor to whom the CEO of General Electric, the Chairman of Microsoft, and the President of the New York Stock Exchange must all pay their final debt.

No, beloved, the enemy against whom we gather today stands over and above all manifestations of human power and authority. He is the power behind all other powers. He is the last and inescapable equalizer of humankind. He is the one uniting reality of human life, because he reveals himself clearly and undeniably in the end of human life. For the great and terrible foe whom we this day defy is Death itself. That is the meaning of this All Saints’ Sunday. That is the force of our protest. That is the revolution of which we are part. Today, we stand defiant in the very face of Death.

And if we are to grasp the full force of our rebellion this day, we must begin with a sober acknowledgement of Death’s power. We must give Death his due—for his horrors confront us everywhere we turn.

The front-page of The New York Times this morning1 tells of a TSA agent murdered in the line of duty, and a Taliban leader “taken out” for the security of the world. These headlines are notable because they are not unusual. Dear people, Death’s reach is global, his activity is unceasing, and he is happy to ally himself with the disturbed and the deranged as readily as with the calculating and the just.

On the radio yesterday2 I heard a heart-wrenching story about a twenty-three year old woman waiting to hear the results of a test that would determine whether she has Huntington’s Disease—a hereditary condition similar to Parkinson’s, except that symptoms typically begin in one’s late-thirties, progress rapidly, and are always, eventually, fatal. The young woman was accompanied to the appointment by her twenty-one-year-old sister, who already knows that she has the gene that will lead to the disease. They talked bravely, casually, with a sort of gallows-humor about how they hoped their siblings would care for them when their very bodies began to rebel against them and their minds began to deteriorate. After all, they had watched it all happen to their own mother. Now, in their early twenties, these two women know that the same fate awaits them. Dear people, Death’s power is personal, and he is a subtle, patient enemy: hiding in our genes and family histories as much as in our choices, or in the changes and chances of this life.

Or consider the e-mail announcement that I received this week, inviting me to an interfaith service of remembrance on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown. That terrible day—and the too-many terrible days just like it that have shocked our nation and the world—reminds us, dear people, that Death’s approach is random, and his movement capricious.

Beloved, this is the enemy whom we defy this day, and we must not doubt for a moment that his reach is universal, his grip is personal, and his power is terrible.

And yet defy him we do. For in keeping All Saints’ Day we claim that untold generations of Christians whom we love but see no longer have not, in fact, been conquered by Death. Today we dare to say that the tyrant’s power is broken and the oppressor’s reign is overthrown. Today we declare our freedom from the fear of Death itself. Today, we stand with the seventeenth-century priest and poet John Donne, who wrote these mocking, defiant words:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

But how can Donne speak so confidently? How can we dare to join in this celebration today, and joyfully declare that the saints whom Death thinks he “dost overthrow / die not”? What gives us the courage to keep this Feast and to sneer at watchful, waiting Death: “nor yet canst thou kill me”? What gives us the strength to shake our fists in the grim face of Death?

Today, dear friends, we dare to defy the great power that rules this world because we know that a greater Power has broken into this world. In our reading from Ephesians, we heard these words: “…with the eyes of your heart enlightened, may you know what is the hope to which [God] has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe…” These are words of promise, words of hope, words of encouragement. But, Christians, they are also words of defiance, words of upheaval, words of revolution!

For how can we know the extent of God’s power that is at work in us? Because “God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion…” Brothers and sisters, here is our glory and our sure confidence. Here is the source of our strength this day—the source of our rejoicing in the company of all the saints. Here is the root of John Donne’s confidence, and may it be established deep within your heart also.

Today we topple Death, our mighty and dreadful enemy, with two little words: Jesus lives! Today we stand and shout our words of defiance in the Apostles’ Creed when we say that, “Yes, Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate—Yes, he was crucified—Yes, he died—Yes, he was buried…but on the third day, on the third day, on the third day he rose again!” Where, O Death, is thy victory? Where, O Grave, is thy sting? Jesus lives!

And the promise of our Scripture and celebration today is that in him, his saints too shall rise. This is no vague “spiritual” promise—no sentimental assurance that “our loved ones live on forever in our memories and our hearts.” No! This is a battle cry. This is a declaration of independence. This is an act of defiance, of strength. For in the resurrection of Jesus, we see that Death’s power is broken. In the resurrection of Jesus, we find that Death’s reign is ended. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, you and I need not fear the grave, nor cower before Death’s forces at work in our world. For we are become joint heirs with the One who has conquered—brothers and sisters with the saints in light—and we live now for the praise of his eternal glory.

And so, beloved, welcome to the revolution. Upheld by the prayers of the saints, “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”4

Let us this day, with John Donne and with all the saints of every age who share in Christ’s eternal victory, look defiantly on the grim, proud face of Death and ask,

…why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die.5

AMEN.

the-resurrection(1).jpg!Blog

“The Resurrection” by Piero della Francesca, c.1460

The New York Times. November 3, 2013. Accessed electronically.

“What Are You Doing for the Test of Your Life?” in “509: It Says So Right Here.” This American Life. Chicago Public Media. October 25, 2013. Radio.

“Holy Sonnet X.” The Complete English Poems of John Donne. Everyman’s Library: New York, 1991.

Hebrews 12:1-2a

“Holy Sonnet X.”

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“An Epithalamion, or Marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine being Married on St Valentine’s Day” by John Donne

I

HAIL Bishop Valentine, whose day this is ;
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners ;
Thou marriest every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove,
The sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird with the red stomacher ;
Thou makest the blackbird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch, or the halcyon ;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine ;
This day, which might enflame thyself, old Valentine.

II.

Till now, thou warmd’st with multiplying loves
Two larks, two sparrows, or two doves ;
All that is nothing unto this ;
For thou this day couplest two phoenixes ;
Thou makst a taper see
What the sun never saw, and what the ark
—Which was of fouls and beasts the cage and park—
Did not contain, one bed contains, through thee ;
Two phoenixes, whose joined breasts
Are unto one another mutual nests,
Where motion kindles such fires as shall give
Young phoenixes, and yet the old shall live ;
Whose love and courage never shall decline,
But make the whole year through, thy day, O Valentine.

III.

Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun ;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all ;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder ; and be thou those ends.
Since thou dost this day in new glory shine,
May all men date records from this day, Valentine.

IV.

Come forth, come forth, and as one glorious flame
Meeting another grows the same,
So meet thy Frederick, and so
To an inseparable union go,
Since separation
Falls not on such things as are infinite,
Nor things, which are but one, can disunite.
You’re twice inseparable, great, and one ;
Go then to where the bishop stays,
To make you one, his way, which divers ways
Must be effected ; and when all is past,
And that you’re one, by hearts and hands made fast,
You two have one way left, yourselves to entwine,
Besides this bishop’s knot, of Bishop Valentine.

V.

But O, what ails the sun, that here he stays,
Longer to-day than other days ?
Stays he new light from these to get ?
And finding here such stars, is loth to set ?
And why do you two walk,
So slowly paced in this procession ?
Is all your care but to be look’d upon,
And be to others spectacle, and talk ?
The feast with gluttonous delays
Is eaten, and too long their meat they praise ;
The masquers come late, and I think, will stay,
Like fairies, till the cock crow them away.
Alas ! did not antiquity assign
A night as well as day, to thee, old Valentine ?

VI.

They did, and night is come ; and yet we see
Formalities retarding thee.
What mean these ladies, which—as though
They were to take a clock in pieces—go
So nicely about the bride ?
A bride, before a “ Good-night” could be said,
Should vanish from her clothes into her bed,
As souls from bodies steal, and are not spied.
But now she’s laid ; what though she be ?
Yet there are more delays, for where is he ?
He comes and passeth through sphere after sphere ;
First her sheets, then her arms, then anywhere.
Let not this day, then, but this night be thine ;
Thy day was but the eve to this, O Valentine.

VII.

Here lies a she sun, and a he moon there ;
She gives the best light to his sphere ;
Or each is both, and all, and so
They unto one another nothing owe ;
And yet they do, but are
So just and rich in that coin which they pay,
That neither would, nor needs forbear, nor stay ;
Neither desires to be spared nor to spare.
They quickly pay their debt, and then
Take no acquittances, but pay again ;
They pay, they give, they lend, and so let fall
No such occasion to be liberal.
More truth, more courage in these two do shine,
Than all thy turtles have and sparrows, Valentine.

VIII.

And by this act of these two phoenixes
Nature again restorèd is ;
For since these two are two no more,
There’s but one phoenix still, as was before.
Rest now at last, and we—
As satyrs watch the sun’s uprise—will stay
Waiting when your eyes opened let out day,
Only desired because your face we see.
Others near you shall whispering speak,
And wagers lay, at which side day will break,
And win by observing, then, whose hand it is
That opens first a curtain, hers or his :
This will be tried to-morrow after nine,
Till which hour, we thy day enlarge, O Valentine.

St Paul, Dr Donne, and “Relatable Preaching”

Preachers get a lot of pressure to be “relatable.” “Folks have to be able to hear your message,” is a common refrain. By that, people usually mean you need to be approachable in style, relevant in allusions and illustrations, and sensitive to your context. Practically speaking, the idea is that if you open with a joke, tell a good story, and put people at ease, then they’ll be better inclined to hear what you have to say about Scripture.

(Of course, some folks may not mean this at all when they talk about “relatable preaching”, and I hope they will correct my error. I offer the preceding summary of “relatable preaching” because I have heard many people define the phrase in that way, and also because that’s how I myself once used it, and thought about it, and strove for it—though I wonder whether the good people at St Paul’s Church in Wallingford, Connecticut, who endured my earliest sermons, would believe that I was actually trying to be relatable…)

The basic principle is sound, and obvious. It would do no good for a preacher to stand up in a pulpit and preach in a language totally foreign to his congregation—what Article XXIV calls “a tongue not understanded of the people.” Neither should a preacher throw up unnecessary barriers for the comprehension of her listeners through the choice of arcane or obscure topics, stylistic affectations, or ponderous diction. Overwrought prose and overreaching concepts are both equally unhelpful.

But if the principle is solid, the practice of “relatable preaching” is often disastrous. In the name of being relatable, I have heard preachers disembowel their sermons—gutting anything that might make a potential listener feel uncomfortable, or confused, or bad about him or herself. In the name of being relatable, I have seen preachers and worship leaders reduced to pandering, preening showmen, trying too hard to be contemporary and hip. In the absolute worst cases, I have seen the desire to be heard (with its attendant distractions and gimmicks) completely overwhelm the message that needs to be heard.

The whole problem springs from a paradox at the very heart of the preacher’s practice and purpose: preachers must speak in a way that can be understood—but we come bearing News too great ever to be understood in its fullness, at least on this side of the eschaton. Our business is to point people to a brightness too great to behold; to tune the hearts of our congregation to a music too high for humankind; “to scrute the inscrutable, and to eff the ineffable,” as I once heard someone rather sillily say it.

Remembering that crucial (!) paradox, I have become convinced that the preacher’s primary focus can never be the vain effort to relate. Instead, he or she must seek simply to proclaim.

Paul’s description of his preaching in I Corinthians 1 and 2 profoundly shapes my thinking on these matters. To a community yearning for eloquence, words of wisdom, and entertaining speech—the “relatable preaching” of an earlier age—Paul says bluntly: “[Christ sent me] to proclaim the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power” (I Corinthians 1:17). 

The Cross is not relatable. It’s not meant to make perfect sense. In fact, “the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Cor 1:18). Paul didn’t come to Corinth trying to speak in a way “that could be heard.” He didn’t want to be “relatable.” He came with an announcement—a proclamation. He knew it would get him into trouble. He knew it would earn the ire of some, the contempt of others, and the derisive laughter of many more.

And that was the point. Paul’s message came like a thunderbolt to the places he preached. He could not control or corral the reactions of his hearers. His task was instead to be faithful in proclaiming, and then to trust that the Holy Spirit would be active in the hearts of his listeners. And so in I Corinthians 2:4-5, he writes “My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”

All of these thoughts on preaching and proclamation came to me again a few nights ago as I was reading a sermon by John Donne. (I recently received a copy of Volume III of the new Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne. Volume III is the first to be printed in this edition, and it includes all the sermons that Donne preached before the court of King Charles I. It’s wonderful reading, and makes me very excited for the publication of additional volumes—more than twelve are planned!)

On April 1, 1627, Donne preached before Charles at the Palace of Whitehall. His text was Mark 4:24, “Take heed what you hear.” William Laud had just been appointed Dean of the Chapel Royal in September 1626, and a renewed emphasis on ritual and liturgy threatened to dethrone preaching from its central place in reformed English worship. Within that context, Donne’s sermon was a bold, extended defense of the work and witness of preaching. (The sermon was highly controversial at the time, and apparently even resulted in Donne being investigated by Laud. Nothing ultimately came of that investigation. I am indebted to David Colclough’s fine “Introduction” to Volume III for this background information.)

The whole sermon is excellent, but two passages stood out to me in connection with the topic of “relatable preaching.” The first is about God’s decision to proclaim and announce himself through the ministry of preachers:

And for Publication of himselfe here, by the way, [God] hath constituted a Church, in a Visibility, in an eminency, as a City upon a hill; And in this Church, his Ordinance is Ordinance indeed; his Ordinance of preaching batters the soule, and by that breach, the Spirit enters; His Ministers are an Earth-quake, and shake an earthly soule; They are the sonnes of thunder and scatter a cloudy conscience; They are as the fall of waters and carry with them whole Congregations; 3000 at a Sermon, 5000 at a Sermon, a whole City, such a City as Niniveh at a Sermon; and they are as the roaring of a Lion, where the lion of the tribe of Juda, cries down the Lion that seekes whom he may devour; that is, Orthodoxall and fundamentall truths, are established against clamorous and vociferant innovations. Therefore what Christ tels us in the darke, he bids us speake in the light; and what he saies in our eare, he bids us preach on the house top.

Donne’s confidence in the power and importance of preaching (and preachers) is extraordinary. Consider the wonderful pun on “Ordinance.” In a basic sense, Donne refers to God’s command to the preacher to preach. But he also uses a secondary meaning of the word “ordinance” (shortened in later years to “ordnance”), meaning “cannon” or “weapon.” Preaching carried out according to God’s command (ordinance) is in fact God’s artillery (ordnance) against the rebellious defenses of the soul. The preacher’s bombardment opens a breach in the wall, and through that breach the Spirit enters. (The image evokes Donne’s famous poem “Batter my heart, three person’d God.”)

For Donne, preachers are earthquakes, thunderstorms, floods, and roaring lions. To preach is to become a force of nature: a tool in the Lord’s hand. The question here is not “Am I relatable?” but “Am I faithful?”: faithful to the ordinance—the command—of God; faithful to the message of Christ, for “what Christ tels us in the darke, he bids us speake in the light; and what he saies in our eare, he bids us preach on the house top.”

And faithfulness to that command, that message, matters infinitely more than concerns about reception. We can, as God gives us grace, proclaim the message he has implanted in our hearts. We can never, by any power within ourselves, control the way people respond to our message.

Donne himself makes this point brilliantly just a little later in the same sermon. Arguing against “Corner Divinity”—preaching or teaching specially suited to certain tastes and not proclaimed boldly to all—Donne declares,

So the Apostles proceeded; when they came in their peregrination, to a new State, to a new Court, to Rome it selfe, they did not enquire, how stands the Emperour affected to Christ, and to the preaching of his Gospel; Is there not a Sister, or a Wife that might be wrought upon to further the preaching of Christ? Are there not some persons, great in power and place, that might be content to hold a party together, by admitting the preaching of Christ? This was not their way; They only considered who sent them; Christ Jesus: And what they brought; salvation to every soul that embraced Christ Jesus. That they preached; and still begunne with a Vae si non; Never tell us of displeasure, or disgrace, or detriment, or death, for preaching of Christ. For woe be unto us, if we preach him not.

I love the sarcasm in this passage! The image of Paul or Peter scuttling into town and doing some reconnaissance, trying to determine whether the Emperor might be open to a little preaching…or whether there might be a sympathetic female in the household who could grease the wheels for them. Donne plays upon and encourages the misogyny of his age through his mention of “a Sister, or a Wife.” We can imagine derisive chuckles rising from his congregation at the notion that the disciples would use a woman as an inroad into imperial favor. (Never mind the very real influence that women did indeed wield at court.)

But notice how Donne then immediately turns to confront and skewer the pretensions of his own audience. There in the Chapel Royal, he dismisses the influence of “some persons, great in power and place, that might be content to hold a party together, by admitting the preaching of Christ.” He tells the assembled courtiers—and the king himself—that the apostolic preaching was never meant to be a mere cog in a vast political machine: a means of currying and keeping favor. The proclamation of Christ is not a useful tool for princes and politicians. God is no respecter of persons, seeking out the influential and the important to accomplish his purposes. Neither do his commissioned messengers tailor their message to the ulterior motives of their hearers.

Instead, they proclaim. “[The Apostles] only considered who sent them; Christ Jesus: And what they brought; salvation to every soul that embraced Christ Jesus. That they preached; and still begunne with a Vae si non; Never tell us of displeasure, or disgrace, or detriment, or death, for preaching of Christ. For woe be unto us, if we preach him not.”

That is our call, and that is our only hope.

So preach, preacher. Preach, not in anxiety whether you may be understood, but in confidence that you have been obedient. Preach, not in worry about whether your message has been received, but in wonder at the words you have been given to say: the announcement that you—even you!—have been given to make. Preach, not that you may be relatable to women and men, but that God may relate himself, convey himself, give himself to your hearers. This he has done already, in the person of Jesus our Lord. This he does still, by the power of his Word at work in you. This he shall do, when at last the Day dawns, and the shadows depart, and we see not in a mirror dimly, but face to face; when we know not in part, but in full, even as we have been fully known.

In expectation of that coming Day, preach!

From “A Sermon Preached at Saint Dunstan’s upon New-Year’s-Day, 1624” by John Donne

On New Year’s Day, the Church keeps the Feast of the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before the 1979 revision of the Book of Common Prayer, this day was kept as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, as it falls eight days after Christmas Day. (I wish I knew more about the reason for the change in name. My instinct leads me to suspect modern squeamishness, but I am not sure how the revisers would explain themselves. The older name has greater theological significance and a physicality not inherent in a title like “the Holy Name.”)

What follows is a portion of a New Year’s Day sermon by John Donne. It is from the standard (but soon to be replaced by a new Oxford Edition) Potter and Simpson edition of Donne’s sermons, accessed online through the electronic version made available by Brigham Young University (http://lib.byu.edu/digital/donne/). Donne connects the Circumcision of Christ with a challenging call for his congregation to be inwardly circumcised (Romans 2:29). In this connection, he follows the Book of Common Prayer in the Collect for the Feast of the Circumcision: 

Almighty God, which madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised and obedient to the law for man: Grant us the true circumcision of the spirit, that our hearts and all our members being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Come therefore to this Circumcision betimes, come to it, this Day, come this Minute: This Day thy Saviour was Circumcised in the flesh, for thee; this Day Circumcise thy heart to him, and all thy senses, and all thy affections.

It is not an utter destroying of thy senses, and of thy affections, that is enjoyned thee; but, as when a Man had taken a beautifull Woman captive in the warres, he was not bound to kill her, but he must shave her head, and pare her nailes, and change her garments, before he might marry her; so captivate, subdue, change thy affections, and that’s the Destruction which makes up this Circumcision: change thy choler into Zeale, change thy amorousness into devotion, change thy wastfulnesse into Almes to the poore, and then thou hast circumcised thy affections, and mayest retaine them, and mayest confidently say with the Apostle, we are the Circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Doe this to day; as God this day gives thee a  New yeare, and hath not surpriz’d thee, nor taken thee away in the sinnes of last yeare; as he gives thee a new yeare, do thou give him a New-years-gift, Cor novum, a new and a Circumcised heart, and Canticum novum, a new Song, a delight to magnifie his name, and speak of his glory, and declare his wondrous works to the Sonnes of men, and be assured that whether I, or any other of the same Ministry, shall speake to you from this place, this day twelve-month, and shall aske your consciences then, whether those things which you heard now, have brought you to this Circumcision, and made you better this yeare than you were the last, and find you under the same uncircumcision still, be assured that God will not, God cannot be mocked, but as he wil receive us, with an Euge bone serve, Well done my good and faithfull Servant; so will he say to you Perditio tua ex te, Your destruction is from your selves: Enough hath been done for you by me, enough hath been said to you by my Servants, Quaere moriemini, Why will you die O house of Israel? And after a long despising of his graces, he will come to a finall separation; you shall come to say, Nolumus hunc regnare, we will not have Christ Jesus to reigne over us; and Christ Jesus shall come to say, Nescio vos, I know you not, nor whence you are.

Hodie si vocem ejus, If you wil heare his voice this day, Hodie eritis, This day you shall be with him in Paradise, and dwell in it all the yeare, and all the yeares of an Everlasting life, and of infinite generations. Amen.