IIII.  The Offer: Every Kingdom

Omnia Regna. [Latin, Every Kingdom]

This was no small offer, but even all the wealth and honor that may be: two such things as are most vehemently desired of all men.

So that as Jerome[1] said, Prae auri sacra fame nihil sacrum.[2]

The desire thereof also is so unsatiable, that it is like the dropsy[3]: which, the more liquor administered to it, the more it thirsts: it is perpetual & unnatural. The less time a man hath to live, and so needs the less: the more he covets to abound[4]. These two do never wax old [wear out, lessen]: of all vices, gray hairs do never grow on these.[5]

This is the bait the Devil laid for Christ, and lays for youth, and minds lascivious given, he lays a bait on live flesh: to choleric natures, he minster matters that may increase their wrath: for melancholy, he lays baits of envy: and so for everyone, according to their natural inclinations and humors, such baits as may entice them soonest[6]. Which if he can get them once to swallow his hook that is within, it will hold them sure enough[7], and by his line he will draw them to him when he list [desires], so that he cares not to let them play with the line: then though he go, it is no matter: with an apple he caught Adam and Eve, and all their posterity.

Well, we must be as children, weaned from this world, though it bring weeping with it[8], Psalm. 131. 2[9]. Genes. 27. 38.[10]

When Eve was Lady and Mistress of all the world; yet, because there was a Godship, a higher degree than hers, she was not content[11]. Princes, because they can go no higher by any earthly dignity, aspire to be Gods, and so would be accounted;[12] as was said to Herod, that it was the voice of God, and not of man[13]. But, as they that are above, can abide to have no equals, but will be alone by themselves: so they that be below can abide no superior.[14] As when Saul was chosen by lot from amongst the Israelites, to be king over them, some wicked men said, There is a goodly wise King: nay, I would I were King, I would they might come to me for iustice 1. Sam. 10. 27[15]. 2. Sam. 15. 4.[16]

Everyone hath this conceit [thought] of himself, that he is worthier to bear rule, than they which are in authority: not so much as the silly Fur-bush, but it thought itself a fit person to make a King, Iudg. 9. 15[17]. & the Thistle would have the Cedars daughter married to his son, 1. King. 14. 9[18]. The Spider, a silly [insignificant]poisonfull thing, will yet be in the top of the Kings palaces, Pro. 30. 28[19]. The gourd start pp in one night, and was gone in the next. Jonah 4. 6[20]. Goodly Zebede’s wife could find no less thing to ask of Christ, for her two sons, that came the last day from the cart[21]; but that the one might sit at Christs right hand, and the other at the left in his kingdom, Mat. 20. 20[22]. Balaam could never think his ass went halfe fast inough, when he rode towards preferment, Num. 22. 17[23]. The Disciples also longed for the kingdom of Israel to be restored[24].

[1]“ JEROME (ca. 347–419/420). A church father and biblical scholar who produced numerous commentaries and homilies on Scripture, historical treatises, theological essays, a vast correspondence, and other miscellaneous works. He is most noted for his translation of the Bible into Latin, later known as the Vulgate.” Brian C. Small, “Jerome,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[2] Latin, “Nothing is more scared than the sacred craving for gold.”  Probably better rendered as, “Nothing is more desired than the accursed greed for gold.”

This appears to be an allusion Virgil,  

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,

  auri sacra fames?

P. Vergilius (Virgil) Maro, “Bucolics, Aeneid, and Georgics Of Vergil,” ed. J. B. Greenough (Medford, MA: Ginn & Co., 1900).

O, whither at thy will,

[81] curst greed of gold, may mortal hearts be driven?[2]

[3] Edema. There is a swelling of the tissue. So the more fluid, the more swelling, the worse the disease.

[4] This is bizarre but true. In one instance, the notes taken by the man’s psychiatrist read, “He has said to his son that he does not care about children and grandchildren and wives because if something happens, you can always replace them. However, money is a different thing.”

[5] Consider this as a practical matter: violence and lust require the cooperation of the body for performance. There are no geriatric highwaymen. But the desires for honor and money are not bound to the body’s strength. Consider merely the geriatric politicians who stump for glory when they could enjoy their grandchildren or great grandchildren. What is this but coveting praise?

[6] The Devil fits the temptation to the person. If you are prone to anger, he will provoke you to anger. If you are prone to discontentment, he will ply you with envy. He is unconcerned with the bait itself, only with the hook:

His first device to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (1). To present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup, and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin, and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he took our first parents: Gen. 3:4, 5, ‘And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods! Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit. Oh, but he hides the hook,—the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow!

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 12.

[7] “He that will play with Satan’s bait, will quickly be taken with Satan’s hook.” Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 159.

[8] The passages quoted by Andrewes are given as illustrations, not proofs of his point. We must give a love of the world, irrespective of the pain and loss we may experience.

[9] Psalm 131:1–2 (ESV)

                                  O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high;

                                    I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

                                  But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

[10] Genesis 27:38 (ESV) “Esau said to his father, ‘Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.”

[11] Eve was the absolute queen of the world. But that was not enough for her. Since there God, and she was not God, she was made to be discontent with being queen.

[12] The irony and even prophetic force of Andrewes words are shown by a speech given by then-future King of England, James I to Parliament:

The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God’s lieutenants

upon earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called gods. There be three

principal similitudes that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the

two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so

their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers

Parens patriae  of families: for a king is truly , the political father of his people. And lastly, kings are

compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man.

Kings are justly called gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth: for if you will consider the attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a king. God hath power to create or destroy make or unmake at his pleasure, to give life or send death, to judge all and to be judged nor accountable to none; to raise low things and to make high things low at his pleasure, and to God are both souls and body due. And the like power have kings: they make and unmake their subjects, they have power of raising and casting down, of life and of death, judges over all their subjects and in all causes and yet accountable to none but God only. . . .

You can find of that speech here: http://historyguide.org/earlymod/james1609.html

[13] Acts 12:20–25 (ESV)

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

[14] Our evny and discontent is not the sole quality of the powerful. Those who lack power despise those who have it.

[15] 1 Samuel 10:25–27 (ESV)

25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

[16] David’s son, a prince, was not content with being a prince:

2 Samuel 15:1–4 (ESV)

After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”

[17] Judges 9:7–15 (ESV)

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, that God may listen to you. The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ 12 And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 15 And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

[18] 1 Kings 14:7–10 (ESV)

Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone.

[19] Proverbs 30:27–28 (Geneva)

27 The greshopper hathe no King, yet go thei forthe all by bandes:

28 The spider taketh holde with her hãds, and is in Kings palaces.

Modern translation all have “lizard” rather than “spider” in verse 28.

[20] Jonah 4:5–7 (ESV)

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.

[21] They had only just been taken from their position of working.

[22] The madness of the request is something. Jesus is on his way to be arrested and murdered:

Matthew 20:18–24 (ESV)

18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.

[23] Numbers 22:22–33 (ESV)

22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”

[24] Acts 1:6–9 (ESV)

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.