And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name…
It must needs be that one man gave his counsel first, saying to the rest, "Come, let us build," etc. But when once it was broached not one man allowed it, but even all full quickly yielded to it. Whereby we see, first, the vileness of man, not only to devise that which is naught, but to set it full greedily abroad when it is devised, and to labour to persuade others to embrace and follow the same. Again, to consent to that which is wickedly devised of others, and to make a particular conceit a general judgment, action, and work at last. Great cause, therefore, that men's lewd devices should be restrained from being published, since both the deviser's wish and man's great corruption is so prone to yield a wicked consent and following of the same. Caiaphas's counsel, when it once sounded of Christ's death, was quickly hearkened unto, and from that day forward consultation had together how they might accomplish the same. Whosoever broached it first that the people should ask Barabbas and refuse Jesus, it was soon received, liked, and followed of such ignorant spirits and giddy heads. That a sort should combine together and kill the apostle had a beginner, and how quickly pleased the plot such other bloody minds and spiteful hearts! How soon embraced Lot's younger daughter the counsel of the elder to do so vile a thing! That unbrotherly conspiracy against Joseph was soon yielded unto when once it was uttered. Do you remember the murmuring against Moses and Aaron, in the Book of Numbers? How began it? Had it not a captain, then a second, then a third, then a number? Once broached that Moses and Aaron took too much upon them; that others were equal with them, and therefore should be in like authority; that the people were wronged, and so forth — soon was it liked, soon was it caught, soon was it prosecuted of proud minds, that would be aloft, and knew not to obey. Conclude we, then, upon all those that sin, some be wicked to broach a wickedness, and thousands weak to follow the same when once they hear it; yea, though it be to build a tower against God. It never was, nor ever shall be, either godly policy or Christian duty to suffer men's brains to broach what they list, and others to follow unquiet devices, hateful to God and hurtful to His Church in a high degree.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.