Fiue Diuine and Morall Meditations, OF

  • 1. Frugalitie.
  • 2. Prouidence.
  • 3. Diligence.
  • 4. Labour and Care.
  • 5. Death.
Prou. 28. 19. He that tilleth his Land shall haue plenteousnes of bread, but he that followes idle persons, shall haue pouertie.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Teage, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Ball. 1622.

I Meddle not with newes of Parlament,
Court-Fauourites, or Kingdomes gouernement;
I on Kings secrets, and affaires of State,
Nor know, nor need, nor care to meditate:
Let gods, who haue the charge of all, beare sway,
The Muses must not censure, but ob [...]y.
I sing what most I wish; what's that? to thriue,
Without least wrong to any man aliue:
A gratefull Worke to all, to young and old,
That seeke to get or to increase their gold:
But why goes Death then with this thriftie traine?
Because I hold, it is the greatest gaine
To die well: For we no man truely call
Or rich, or happie, till his Funerall.

To the Author.

VErtue thine Obiect, thou her Subiect art;
Thou deck'st her in thy verse, she decks thine heart:
Each th' other doth deseruedly set foorth;
From thee her praises flow, from her thy woorth.
R. C.


TO whom should I these pleasing paines commend,
My Muse hath [...]ane Frugality to trade?
But to the Muses deare and noble friend,
Who, as in Honour, seekes to thriue in Grace:
Who, truly nob [...]e, honoureth his Place;
Nor f [...]r his Place is onely honoured:
Whom should the Muses more desire to grace,
Then whom they haue vp in their Bosomes bred,
And who with bount [...]ous gifts them [...]ath reguerdoned?
Such Bounty is true Thrift: Thus thou dost lay
Thy treasure vp in heau'n; thus thou dost gaine:
By giuing of some fading goods away,
True honour, which for euer shall remaine:
If thou wilt pleased be to entertaine
Thrift and her traine, into thy Patronage,
I boldly dare in her behalfe maintaine,
Shee is faire, bounteous, sober, graue and sage,
And fit to counsell thee, in Youth, in Strength, and Age.
Next, Prouidence shall guide thee and [...],
In all wherein [...] hand is diligent,
And holy Care and Labour shall direct
Thy Counsels to a iust and good [...],
To hau'n of Rest, to harbour of Content:
And if thou please to reade Deaths Meditation,
Thou shalt perceiue her as an Herald sent,
To summon thee to heau'nly habitation,
To blessed Bride and Bridegroomes marriage-consummation:
Most happy end of all, that rightly runne
Their courses in the dayes of vanity!
With Wisedomes study Solomon begun,
But ends all with this Epithalamic:
Sweet Swan-like Farewell of Mortality!
Taste of true Ioy which euer shall remaine!
Then know, it is thy highest Dignitie,
This Earnest sure, of heau'n on earth, to gaine;
Which I will pray for, Thou must labour to attayne.
Your Lordships most deuoted in all affectionate duty and seruice, Robert Aylet.

Of Frugality, or Thrift.

MY Muse now fares like some plaine country Mayd,
Walking in fairest Garden for delight,
With all variety and choyce arrayd,
Of herbs and flowers to please the Sent & Sight;
Who with the choycest flowers doth first bedight
White silken pillowes of her bosome faire;
But after their rich colours her inuite,
With them to decke her head and golden haire,
That as she them adornes, so they may all begay her.
For when Brides garden first I entered
Of Graces, for delightfull meditation,
I onely some choyce Flowers gathered,
For holy Life, and heau'nly Contemplation:
But passing foorth with choyce of Delectation,
Such sweet and rich variety I find,
Fit to adorne my life and conuersation,
Out of those pleasant knots I cannot wind,
Which with new choyce of flowres & herbs delight my mind.
But amongst all the fragrant herbes and flowers,
That in the Graces garden doe abound,
I find none of more sou'raigne grace and powers,
Than this of Thrift, which next I do propound:
An herbe indeed that's hardly to be found,
Because she most what in a corner growes,
And matteth low vpon the fattest ground,
And many her mistake for likely showes,
But scarce one of an hundred that her truly knowes.
Oh heau'nly Muse! that taught the shepherds swaine,
(As he his flockes was following great with yong,
To feed them on faire Iordans flowrie plaine)
Diuinest skill in Tunes and heau'nly Song;
With some such holy Fury touch my tong,
Whilst I now of Frugality do sing;
Who, though she little doth to me belong,
Yet if thou help [...] to touch my harsher string,
I may teach some her practice, whilst her praise I ring.
She is that Vertue, or that golden Mea [...]e,
'Twixt Auarice and Frodigalitie,
The constant Moderation betweene
Base Niggardize, and wasting Luxury.
We Temp [...]rance, Abstinence, and Modes [...]y,
With Continence, in this word THRIFT contain;
And yet exclude not Liberality.
Who doth to name of
[...] frugi
frugall man attaine,
One of the highest Titles due to man doth gaine.
And such indeed haue onely right fruition
Of all such fruits, as God to man doth send;
Who prudently here weighing their condition,
Preserue the Substance, and the fruits do spend:
Who flockes and cattell diligently tend,
Grasse, Vines and Corn that in the fields do grow,
To them their lambes for clothing, Wooll will lend;
From Goats and Kine great store of milke shal flow,
To feed their houshold, and large gifts abroad bestow.
There is a Thrift in Substance, and in Grace;
One temporall, the other spirituall:
They that the one, without the other, trace,
Do neither of them find perpetuall:
God is of both the Cause effectuall;
Apo [...]lo water, Paul may plant and sow,
But God it is that work to all in all:
As all spirituall Thrift from him doth flow,
So, by his blessing all in substance thriue and grow.
This did the
Churle by good experience proue,
So long as he good Iacob could retaine,
He saw great blessings come from heau'n aboue,
And therefore sought him ay to entertaine:
Whilst Ioseph with th' Egyptian doth remaine,
All prospers in his house, and in his field,
And in the prison h [...] doth fauour gaine,
Because all well succeeds that he doth wield:
By heau'ns sweet influence the earth her fruits doth yeeld.
Thrift eldest daughter is of Temperance,
By Prudence nursed in her tender yeeres,
But when to riper yeeres she doth aduance,
A Standard vnder Fortitude she beares:
Shee, graced by these three most noble Peeres,
By their aduice directs her actions right,
By Temperance she feedes, and cloathing weares;
By Prudence store prouides with wise foresight;
By Fortitude 'gainst Fortunes blasts she stands vpright.
She moderateth all delights and pleasure,
Not that she vs forbids all sports or play,
But makes vs recreate our selues with measure,
That from our selues they take vs not away:
As he that moderates, vpon the way
His [...]iercer Steed, is said to vse him right;
Not he that let's him runne about and stray:
So onely he doth pleasures vse aright,
That serues not them, but makes them serue to his delight.
For she not onely is a Moderation
In meates, and what to clothing doth pertaine,
But she eke moderates our recreation,
Lest for it we do lose a greater gaine:
She doth too much of any thing refraine,
And cuts off all luxurious vaine expence.
If thou to thrift and riches wouldst attaine
Here, seeke not to increase and raise thy rents,
But moderate Desire, and vaine Concupiscence.
I euer from Frugalitie exclude
All sordid basenesse, want of aliment,
She out of plenty alwaies doth seclude
Some few things necessary for Content:
For to be frugall and magnificent,
May both well in a prudent man combine,
Else Thrift no daughter is of Temperment;
I onely those for frugall men define,
Who vse their store, but suffer it not to decline.
I oft do find in some a simulation,
Or ostentation of Frugality;
When great men follow thriftie imitation
Of those, which are of meaner qualitie:
And this may be too much Rusticitie,
Be it in Diet, Vessels, Ornament;
Best rule for Thrift in all, is Modesty:
For where it meetes with one that's prouident,
Hee's temp'rate, modest, frugall and magnificent.
But the most deare and faithfull friend to Thrift,
Is carefull Husbandry, and Prouidence:
This is the thriuing Vertue, which is grift
On stocke of Labour, Care, and Diligence.
This brings in sewell to Magnificence,
And like good huswife fetcheth food from farre.
The thriftie handmaid of Beneficence,
In Summer for the Winter taketh care;
And, ere she builds, Materials doth abroad prepare.
Fye on the lazie Gras [...]opper, that sings
All Summer, and in Winter sterues for cold,
Vnlike the frugall Pismire, which still brings
In new prouision, ere she spend her old:
Like many youthfull Gallants, who their gold,
In summer of their youth do sport away;
But when their coyne is spent, and land is sold,
Too la [...]e, find Ryo [...] cause of their decay:
But prudent Thrift foresees and shunnes such euill day.
By ciuill Law, the madde and prodigall
Are interdicted the administration
Of their owne Goods; and haue Curators all,
To manage their estate in frugall fashion:
And so long must they both abide Curation;
The furious till he gets his wits againe,
The Prodigall, till he to emendation
Doth of his Manners and his Thrift attaine:
'Tis good for Common-wealth, none spend his state in vaine.
One, Thrift vnto the Temples doth compare
Amongst the Heathen, which, most sure Asyle,
And Sanctuaries for all Debtors were:
Another likes a thrifty man, ere-while,
To ground wel compast, and wel till'd with toyle:
For as such lands grow foule by slothfulnesse,
But fruitfull, where the plough doth stir the soyle:
So men grow grosse and foule by Idlenesse,
But pure and healthfull by laborious Thriftinesse.
Heathen, such fruitfull frugall men compare
Vnto the gods, who had so little need,
Though they had all, that they it all could spare
To mortals, who did here their blessings need:
Farre otherwise 'tis with our rich-mens breed;
They nothing spare, but spend eu'n all and more,
Their Flesh and Lusts luxuriously to feed:
Thus they, in plenty swimming, are but poore,
When those that haue but little, yet haue greater store.
This their rich misery doth not proceed
From any fault, that is in outward store,
But from Lusts and Cupidities which breed
In Soule and Body, as I said before:
Like some in fits of Agues, who the more
Coole Beere they drink, the more they do desire,
Their drinking thirst increaseth: He therefore
Must purge the humours, cause of all this Fire,
Else drinke till he burst, he growes within the drier.
Me thinkes I rightly may this Thrift compare
Vnto the seu'n [...]at Kine on Nylus shore,
Or those seu'n goodly [...]ares of Corne, which were
To Egypts Monarch signes of Thrift and store:
The blasted eares, and Bullockes leane and poore,
I liken vnto Prodigality:
Who all the fruits deuowers vp, and more,
That are prouided by Frugality:
Thus she with her owne bowels feeds her enemy.
As when the Ayer suckes immoderatly
Vp moysture from the ground, the clouds do fall
From thence againe on Earth most lauishly:
Eu'n so, when Misers here do licke vp all,
For to enrich their heyers therewithall,
Soone as the long-expected day doth come
Of their most welcome, tearelesse funerall,
Their wealth all lauishly about doth run,
Till their rich cloud be spent, and they be quite vndone.
It is most terrible, prodigious,
To see an Earthquake, with dread violence,
Swallow a Country, City, Towne, or House;
Yet Prodigals, oft by profuse expence,
Do swallow Towers, Houses, Farms and Rents:
Then they, saith one, them vomit vp againe,
Not truly sell them; for they haue long since
Them spent in drinking, lusts and pleasures vaine;
They onely now are faint to spue them out for paine.
Many good precepts find I of the wise,
Vs to instruct in true Frugality;
But Dauid doth the onely way aduise,
In his most sweet diuinest Psalmody:
He shall haue plenty and prosperity,
That feares the Lord, and scatters to the poore,
His name be blessed to Posterity.
He that disperseth shall haue greater store:
For goods-disposer giues him all his wealth therefore.
Abels first frugall man I of do reade,
Who gaue the fairest firstlings of his Flockes,
Because there was no poore that then had need,
To him that gaue him all his store and stockes.
This gaue to Isaac great and castie Shockes,
When in one yeere he reapt an hundred-fold:
Iacob, that went out with a staffe, now stockes
All Shechims country with his Herd and Fold:
The land of Canaan scarce can all his substance hold.
The Heathen say, that heau'nly Prouidence
To mortals here for labours Blessings sell:
And therefore do require all diligence
Of all, that would haue all things prosper well.
Of Abstinence and Continence some tell,
That giue a man with little, much content;
Which of anothers inch will make an ell,
By whom nought lauishly on Lusts is spent,
But onely needfull wants of Nature to content.
Fabricius thus with little, doth despise
Great Princes presents, and the gifts of Kings:
His Flocks him cloath, his Farmes with food suffi [...]e.
Scranus is his plough a-following,
When as the Senate comes, him newes to bring,
That they him their Dictator had elected.
Braue Curius, who, for Empires managing,
Was after of all Consuls most respected,
Dwelt in a country-Cottage all alone neglected.
More royal's sure Content in Pouerty,
In little homely B [...]res, which can defend
Vs from Sunnes heate, and Ayers iniury,
Then glistring Towers, where they waste & spend
In pompe and luxury, what God doth lend:
There, costly Dainties oft with poyson wound:
Here, without cost, the earth sound Cates doth send:
There, golden Vessels, purple Beds are found:
Here, all the flowry bankes do rest and quiet sound.
When Alexander, in a little Tunne,
Saw a great Tenant with content of mind,
The Cynicke, Lo, saith he, that here doth wu [...]
More rest, than I in all the world can find:
I couet all, he nothing lesse doth mind.
They surely haue more pleasure, and lesse paine,
Who are with little vnto Thrift inclin'd,
Than they that seeke a world of wealth to gaine,
That they may more indulge to ease and pleasure vaine.
One praiseth hunger, as best sawce to meat,
Because it cost him least, yet sauour'd best,
And alwaies with delight did drinke and eate,
Because he ne're did without hunger feast.
Some onely liue to eate, drinke and digest,
But we ought onely eate and drinke to liue;
To liue to feed, is to be like a beast:
Who would in reason more, than sense, be thriue,
To body needfull things, to Soule must plenty giue.
Xantippe's said once Socrates too blame,
For that he often made an inuitation
Of greatest friends; yet's fare was still the same,
Auoyding alwaies costly preparation:
Soone he replide thus to her allegation:
If, as they seeme, they be our friends indeed,
They will respect our Thrift; but if for fashion
They make a shew: let's to our selues take heed,
And not spend our estate, them daintily to feed.
These patternes are of frugall abstinence,
Which, as you see, the Heathen eu'n adore;
Now see the holy fathers prouidence
To raise themselues to plenty being poore:
No [...], Abraham, Booz, and a thousand more,
Liue vpon Tillage, Grazing, Husbandry,
And tend their flockes, come, cattell, grasse, and store:
Yea, Kings did hereunto themselues apply,
To ioyne Magnificence with this Frugality.
Eu'n after Saul anoynted is a King,
He followeth the Cattell from the field,
And they that death to Ishbosheth did bring,
Came to buy Corne; it seemes he Tillage held.
None e're did so magnificently weld
A Scepter, as did royall Salomon,
To which his Thrift such wondrous store did yeeld:
To his sheepe-shearing sprucest Absolon,
Inuites eu'n princely Dauid, and his eldest sonne.
See how great Princes, and the sonnes of Kings
Are not ashamed of Frugality.
Priests liu'd indeed of Tythes and Offerings,
And therefore lookt most to Gods husbandry:
Paul had a trade, although a Pharisie;
And though he to th' Apostleship attaine,
Yet workes he in his Trade and Mysterie,
His liuing with his labour here to gaine,
Nor will he charge the Church, though bound, him to main­taine.
Th' Apostles all were Fishermen, and gain'd
Their liuing, by induring wet and cold:
Diuines thinke, Ioseph blessed Iesus train'd
In his owne Trade, till he thrise ten yeeres told.
I could be yet three times as manifold,
This Vertue with examples to commend,
But I had rather be a little bold,
And you perswade her practice to intend;
One's for her praise, but this is counsell for a friend.
Oh what a happinesse it is to liue,
And do much good, without offence, to all!
To eate secure those cates our ground doth giue,
To lie so low, one can no lower fall.
Yet haue eu'n there Content imperiall:
No wickednesse can enter such a Cell,
Highest delights, that can a Prince befall,
This priuate Cottage may affoord as well,
Where care not halfe their sorrowes vnto thee will tell.
To many, Ri [...]t from meane to great estate,
Is not an end, but change of Misery:
The fault is in the Mind, (not in the Fate,)
Which is the same in wealth and pouerty:
Who onely mind change and variety,
Liue ill, because they still begin to liue:
They rightly here inioy prosperity,
That so much pleasure to their Bodies giue,
As they not for, but in the Body sought to liue.
Happy is he, who neuer saw that one
With whom he would exchange his meane estate;
Most miserable, who to that are come,
They things, which were superfluous of late,
Haue now made necessary to their state:
Such are eu'n slaues, not masters of their pleasure;
They loue their ills, which is the hardest fate.
Alas! there is no remedy nor measure
Of Vices, when as men esteeme them as a treasure.
No good befals a man vnder the Sunne,
The which his mind is not prepar'd to lose:
No losse more easie is to any one,
Than of the things he hath no need to vse:
He's neuer poore, who Natures rules doth chuse;
Nor rich, that liueth by Opinion:
Natures desires be finite; boundlesse those,
That false Opinion depend vpon,
Loathing no Sallet: Hunger likes an Onion.
Sure he is best, to whom with sparing hand,
God giues sufficient, let him wish no more:
In need of things superfluous to stand,
Is miserable want, in greatest store.
Excesse oppresseth many, who before
With little could haue liu'd and beene content:
These, though they haue enough, yet stil be poore,
Because they first beyond their compasse went:
This euill prudent Thrif [...] betimes seeke to preuent.
Who is not made in Husbandry to sweat,
May sweat in Arts or Lawes politicall;
'Tis fit all earne their bread, before they eate:
Nothing is more expensiue, prodigall,
Than to haue nothing here to doe at all:
Want of employment, Ease, and Idlenesse,
Haue caus'd more noble Houses here to fall,
Than Fortunes blasts, or Enuies bitternesse.
Let him not liue to spend, that nothing doth professe.
Then let him neuer liue, that doth professe
What's worse than nothing, basest Vsury:
Herein is certaine profit, I confesse,
But alwaies with anothers misery:
Is this the vertue of Frugality?
By others losses to increase our store?
Then so is rapine, theft, and robbery,
Selling of Iustice, which oft bring in more,
Than all the frugall Trades I named haue before.
Since Nature with so little is content,
Who here would vse vnlawfull Arts for gaine?
We are but Stewards here of what is sent,
If we our Talents vse aright to gaine,
We twice as many shall of God obtaine:
But if to hide them in the earth we chuse,
Or spend them on our Lusts and Pleasures vaine,
They shall be tane from vs, who them abuse,
And giu'n to such as shall them to Gods glory vse.
But I so worldly Thrift haue followed,
That I forgotten haue to thriue in Grace,
And as it in the world is practised,
Must put her off vnto the second place:
For I so neere haue finished my race,
I must deferre this to another time:
God grant we may them both aright imbrace.
Now, like good husbands, knocke we off betime,
And be at worke to morrow in the mornings prime.
BEhold! how Birds for morrow take no care;
Secure, God will due food for them prepare:
Can woorthlesse Birds be confident of meate?
And is a farthing-Sparrowes Faith so great,
She knowes, but by Gods will, she cannot fall?
And shall Gods sonnes, Christs images, once call
In doubt their Makers will, to do then good?
No sure: who lends them life, will giue them food.

Of Prouidence.

THe frugall Husband, which I erst describ'd,
So soone as Titan with his glistring Beames,
Begilds the locks of stately Pines, which hide
The tops of Mountaines from his hotter gleames;
Walkes foorth amongst his cattell, flocks & teames,
His Land to open to Sunnes mellowing heate,
And feed his Herds along the siluer streames,
To drinke and bathe, when they their fil haue eate,
That fat they him may feed, that now prouides them meate.
Thus early rising; as the Prouerbe sayes,
Brings Thrift in body, in estate, and mind;
The early riser spends in health his dayes,
And by his diligence doth plenty find;
And in the morning better is inclin'd
To Prayer, and diuinest Meditation:
Thus, in a three-fold Cord, he Thrift doth wind;
He driueth Slouth farre from his habitation,
His Soule in Grace, his Body [...] by recreation:
For these respects the Husbands country life
Transcends the Citie trades mechanicall,
Or showes at Court, where reign [...] Ambition strife,
Or Merchants which on hazzard stand or fall:
For though Thrift in estate these oft befall;
And Thrift in Grace, in many there we finde,
Yet scarce a strong sound Body 'mongst them all,
They want pure aire whereby the bloud's refinde
And wholesome exercise to co [...]ntry life assign'd.
Well as I could, I rich Frugality
Did late, as her beseemed well, array:
I next describe foure of her company,
Which alwayes with this thrifty vertue stay:
The first two well I name the daughters may
Of Prudence, Prouidence, and Diligence,
Next two themselues from Temperance conuay,
Thrifts Sisters, Abstinence and Continence:
Of these foure I would sing, and first of Prouidence.
Oh! thou by whose most pow'rfull onely Word,
All was of nothing made and finished,
And of this All, mad'st man the little Lord,
That by him All might well be ordered:
Who hayers of our head hast numbred,
Nor lettest the least Sparrow fall to ground,
But as thou hast before determined,
Make heauenly Wisedome in mine heart abound,
That I may wade, not drowne, in Prouidence profound.
There is Diuine and humane Prouidence,
Diuine is infinite, vnlimited
Transcending Reason, more than Reason Sense,
And may to glorious Sunne be likened:
The Stars who thence their light haue borrowed,
Doth humane Prouidence resemble right,
Which by diuine is aye enlightened,
And though like Starres it oft appeareth bright,
Yet when the heau'nly shines, it is obscured quite.
Then pardon, Reader, if my Muses eye
Dazeled with glory great, and splendour bright
Of Prouidence diuine, heere to descry
Vnable is the darke obscured light
Of humane; as indeed I ought by right:
When I come to her Sister D [...]l [...]gence,
I may recouer well againe my sight,
My Muse now rapt with heau'nly Prouidence
Can not descend to highest humane excellence.
But that I may describe her as a Grace,
And linke her in the vertues golden Chaine,
[...] her th' Almighties Scep [...]er call or Mace
Which doth all Peace and Order heere maintaine:
The bounteous hand, which al things doth sustaine,
Whose eyes for nourishment vp to her looke,
Who iust's rewards, and eke the wickeds Paine
Doth register for euer in a booke:
Thus, as Gods Truth and Loue, she fer a grace is tooke.
Thus one eternall powrefull Prouidence
Heere gouernes all things being by Creation:
The necessary Age, is, wanting sense,
Receiue their motion by her ordination:
The voluntary by her moderation
Are aye dispos'd, and rul'd by their owne will,
Which will she vseth as a Mediation;
No man against his will doth good or ill,
Though without Grace we of our selues no good can wil [...].
Sure Ad [...]m in pure innocence was free
To eate the fruit forbidden, or abstaine:
Else iustly how could he condemned be,
Except he had a power to refraine?
But since that gu [...]lt originall did staine,
With him, all imps which from that stock proceed;
We still retaine freewill, none dares gainesaine,
But it is onely vnto euill deed,
Grace onely by New birth a will to good doth bre [...]d.
Schooles may dispute; the Truth is plainely this:
As we are men, we power haue to will,
As men corrupt, we alwayes will amisse,
As borne againe, to good we haue a will.
Thus Nature Freewill giues, Sinne bends to ill;
Grace vnto Good: But now I seeme to stray
From Prouidence diuine, to mans freewill,
But this as needfull shew I by the way,
How Prouidence doth voluntary agents sway.
Her Nature yet more plaine to vnderstand,
We must conceiue the worlds great Marischall,
As he made all things by his mighty hand,
So he for euer them disposeth all
By Prouidence; not onely generall,
By which the Spheres in their due motions ride,
And Summer and the winter seasons fall,
But as he by his speciall doth guide
And orders euery thing, that doth on earth betide.
And this we call diuine Necessitie,
Free from Coaction, which doth all dispose
To proper ends, yet with free liberty
Of Will, the things we doe to leaue or choose:
Thus in respect of God, that future knowes
As present, all effects are necessary,
And, in respect of second causes those,
To vs contingent are: Last voluntary,
As they respect mans will, and motion arbitrary.
God wonders sees in Moses weeping face,
When Pharao's Daughter him in Arke doth finde,
As she by chance, did wash her in that place,
And's mother for his nurse, by chance assign'd;
And when to leaue the Court hee was inclin'd,
His Brethrens [...]uell bondages to see,
He went forth with a free and willing mind;
Lo thus in this example all the three,
Diuine foresight, man's will, and Chance in one agree:
And therefore when of Fortune you do reade,
With reference to man it vnderstand,
Who most to the euent of things take heed,
Not to the Cause, Gods most Almighty hand:
Else Chance and Prouidence can neuer stand
Together in th' Almighties gouernment;
Who being Cause of all he doth command,
Them orders all vnto a sure euent,
Though farre aboue mans limited intendemen [...].
Of things indeed which seeme by chance to be,
The Order, Cause, Necessity and end
Are hid, in Gods close Counsell and Decree:
We onely able are to apprehend
By the euent, how God doth them intend:
Thus Clerk's a threefold working doe obserue
Of Prouidence; which far their reach transcend,
And yet they all to one same end doe serue,
To shew Gods glory, and his creatures to preserue.
Thus meanes and second causes she doth vse,
Oft workes without, by power immediate,
And oft to worke against meanes she doth chuse:
Two last men call Necessity or Fate,
Because the Cause they can not calculate:
(Oh richest Wisedome, Knowledge without bound
Of the Almighty! without time, or Date,
Thy Iudgements no man able is to [...]ound,
Beyond all mens conceit, thy counsels are profound.)
Like this is that Philosophers assigne
To Counsell, Nature, Chance and Prouidence;
By Counsell, they meant Will and Reasons line;
By Nature, force of heau'nly influence;
By Chance, when they below beheld euents,
But not their Cause: Last when some Grace did fall
Past Natures, Chance, and Counsels euidence,
That Speciall Prouidence diuine they call,
Not but they vnderstood she had her [...]and in all.
Sweet fruit of Prouidence to be perswaded,
That all below is ordered by Gods hand,
Nothing by Chance: Thus when we are inuaded
By Foes, Death, Hell, we most vndanted stand:
We, God prime cause of all things vnderstand,
Respecting yet inferiour in their place,
Which alwayes wait vpon the first's command,
And all are to the glory of his grace,
Whereby God his elect doth aye in loue embrace.
Oh what inestimable quietnesse!
From hence ariseth to a godly minde,
Though euils without number him oppresse,
Which like so many Deaths he then doth finde,
Knowing not how his wretched selfe to winde
From Cruelty, which him fast followeth,
And doth so fast with cords and fetters binde,
That eu'ry minute threateneth his Death;
And scarcely suffers him to draw his languid breath.
Yet if this Light of heau'nly Prouidence
Shines to his Soule; then all Anxiety,
Feare, Care, Distrust, are banisht quite frō thence,
And he releeu'd in all extremity:
Then knowes he that one gracious Maiesty,
Heere by his power so directeth all,
By wisedome rules, and by his Bonity
Disposeth so, that nothing euer shall,
But for Gods glory and his owne good him befall.
To fleshes obloquy, some giuing way,
Confesse the highest Powers gouerne all,
But that with mortals heere they vse to play,
As we at hazzard tosse a Tennis-ball:
Some all would haue by Chance and Fortune fall;
Some others grant that God doth all incline,
But that mans wit, and will must worke withall,
These men with God in gouernment, doe ioyne
And his most constant purpose to mans will confine.
Some, to excuse God, grant that Power diuine
Permitteth euill, but not with his will,
And suffreth Satan heere to blind the eyne
Of Reprobates; but no wayes ill doth will,
But sure God willingly permitteth ill,
Since by his power he goodnesse able is,
To draw from ill, his purpose to fulfill;
For thus did Pharaoh wilfully amisse,
Yet God turnes all to's glory, and his chosens blisse.
As Sunnes pure beames exhale from filthy Oose
Foule vapours, which no whit the Sunne defile,
So doth Gods Prouidence of ill dispose,
Yet of no euill he partakes the while:
And as not in Sunnes Beames, but in the soyle,
The matter of th [...] vapour doth consist,
So in mans heart is Bitternesse and bile,
And not in God, who euill doth resist,
Or turnes such euill into Goodnesse, as he list.
Thus Kings, Priests, Rulers, Elders all combin'd
Against the Lord, and his anointed Sonne:
And Pilat [...], Herod, Iewes and Gentiles ioynd,
To doe what God decreed to be done:
But they ment wickedly eu'n euery one,
The people a vaine thing imagined,
To crucifie the Lord of Life they runne,
But God, we see, thereby hath quickened
The members all, whereof he is the glorious head.
As when we see faire Phoebus gentle beames,
Vnited in a burning glasse, enflame,
We vse not to accuse Sunnes gracious gleames,
For such offence, but Burning-glasse doe blame,
Wherin, without the Sunne, 's nor heat nor flame.
So when we see the wicked man abuse
The fairest gifts of Nature to his shame;
The Author of them we must not accuse,
But wilfull man, that doth them heere vnduly vse.
Good, Powerfull, Wise, Disposer of all things!
So w [...]se thou all Disorders ordrest right,
So good thy Goodn [...]s good from euill brings,
So pow'rfull all subsist vpon thy might:
How should an ignorant, weake, wicked wight,
Conceiue thy Wisedome, Power, and Prouidence?
Much lesse by Simile it more inlight,
It farre surpasseth mine intelligence:
Things knowne I doe admire, the rest I reuerence.
But I by Prouidence diuine am led
To passe the bounds of f [...]ugall meditation:
Pardon, great Clarkes, that I haue meddled
To taste a mysterie, by Contemplation,
Worthy your argument, and disputation:
I was desirous to resolue my minde
In this high point of heau'nly moderation,
Wherein most wondrous comfort I doe find,
To see how things on earth are first in heau'n design'd.
Who can suppose this world so perfect, rare,
Not gouern'd by one pow'rfull prouidence?
Since all which without moderat [...]urs are,
Consisting of the foure first elements,
Can not continue; Houses, [...]enements,
Without a tenant, ruine and decay:
Vnpruned Vines doe loose their excellence,
Mans Body failes, when soule doth passe away;
So would this Vniuerse, should God forbeare a day.
As members of a man aright do moue
First by his vnderstanding and his will,
So doth this Vniuerse by God aboue,
And all concord his pleasure to fulfill:
Who duely wait on Prouidence, he will
Make happy heere, and blessed euermore:
Not that he doth the carelesse idle fill
With blessings temporall, or heau'nly store.
Who will not row on Sea, shall neuer come a-shore.
It is a dangerous and impious thing,
Thus to dispute with Prouidence diuine,
Mine arme nor good, nor bad, to passe can bring,
All's done by the Almighties firme designe:
The written Word must be our square and line,
Gods secret purpose, and reuealed Will
Confound not by a vaine conceit of thine:
Thus Theeues may, blamelesse, true men rob and kill,
And say they but Gods secret purposes fulfill.
For Prouidence doth not vs mortals tend,
As mothers infants newly brought to light,
Which haue no strength themselues then to defend
'Gainst ayers iniuries, or forreine might:
But as the Father that his Sonne hath dight
With strength, and weapons 'gainst his enemies,
Directeth him to order them aright,
And to defend himselfe from iniuries,
Religion neuer negligent and idle lyes.
They that are godly and religious,
With Prouidence sweet Diligence do ioyne,
God that without our selues hath fashion'd vs,
Without thy selfe saues neither thee nor thine:
And therefore prudent men prouide in time,
Against all future want that happen may;
When therefore we for morrow do designe
Things necessary; none can iustly say,
Or iudge vs too much carefull, for the following day.
The Lord of all did needfull things prouide,
Therefore the bagge false Iudas carried,
The Loaues and Fishes which he did diuide
Amongst fiue thousand which him followed,
Th' Apostles carri'd for their dayly bread:
Paul temp'rall Almes prouideth for his Nation,
Where he the spirituall had published:
Ioseph from N [...]le comes to make preparation,
To saue aliue old Iacob and his generation.
Of these learne to prouide things necessary:
Of Beasts to shunne and to auoid all ill;
Who neere things hurtfull to them do not tarry,
Nor nigh vnto those places trauell will,
Where they into a Ditch haue lately fill;
The Bird escapt, eschewes the Fowlers gin,
Nor will be tempted more with all his skill:
The fish that finds the hooke the bait within,
Thence to prouide against such danger doth begin.
Things past, for future, are sound documents,
He that is wise, the euill doth foresee,
And hides himselfe from many nocuments,
Which can not by the foole auoided be:
Most admirable, vertuous, wise is he,
That things foreseeing wisely can prouide,
Nothing on earth without a cause we see,
Though them the highest Wisdome so doth hide
They can not by our feeble reason be descride.
The World may be compared to a Stage,
We mortals to spectators, they that stay
Without to see her antique equipage;
Doe truely as they ought behold the play:
The curious that about the Stage do stray,
And pry into the secret tyring roome,
Are by Stage-keepers often driu'n away:
All must not into Natures secrets come,
Although she many Mysteries reueale to some.
How dares proud man inquire so curiously
Of Gods [...]id counsels, and his secret will?
The Bethshemites into the Arke did pry,
And God with sudden vengeance them doth kill.
Prouide thee good things, and auoid the ill,
So maist thou many liue, and happy dayes,
Presume not to be wise aboue thy skill,
By Gods reuealed will guide all thy wayes,
His secret Counsels search not, but admire and praise.
And yet because God all doth here dispose,
Thou like a senslesse Idol must not stand:
God gaue thee not for nought, eares, eyes, hands, nose,
A will to do, a wit to vnderstand:
Employ these alwayes by his iust command,
The whole successe leaue to his Prouidence,
Acknowledge all good blessings from his hand,
And labour, with all care and diligence,
To thriue in Goodnesse, Grace, and all Intelligenc [...]
But aboue all from murmuring refraine,
Or magnifying fl [...]shes arme or might:
So axe may boast, that it along hath laine
The Cedars; and the Plane may claime, as right,
That by it's worke thy roofe so faire was dight:
So may the rod of Moses bragge and boast,
It all the Wonders did in Pharao [...]s sight:
The Asses Iaw-bone, that it slue an host:
But most the house, when Samson pulled downe the post.
On whom we ought to cast eu'n all our care,
To him we must ascribe the Praise of all:
In his hand both our Soules and Bodies are,
By Power of his Breath we stand and fall:
From him all was, is now, and euer shall:
Of all the things done vnderneath the Sunne,
Eecl. 8. 17
Wiseman sought a reason naturall,
But was as blind, as when he first begunne,
Though first he thought he could discouer any one.
Gods counsels shall for euermore indure,
His thoughts stand firme in eu'ry generation;
Our hearts he fashions, and conceiueth sure,
Our workes▪ and secretest imagination:
Who to the Rau'ns giues food and sustentation,
So gouernes all, they nothing here shall need,
That wait on him with patient expectation:
With temporall and heau'nly he doth feed
All those, that craue aright of him spirituall [...]eed.
In number, measure, weight, he doth dispose
Of all things; He preserues both man and beast:
When care and paines may saue thee from thy foes,
Vse diligence, to God commit the rest:
And when thou art so mightily distrest,
Thou canst no helpe in arme of fles [...] behold,
Vpon his prouidence that made thee, rest:
That in thy mothers wombe thy members told,
And in his Booke hath eu'ry one of them inrold.
Good counsell gaue that Heathen, Haue a care
Vnto thy selfe; most of thyselfe take heed:
He meant, Lusts and Corruptions which are
Within vs; which to vs most danger breed:
With others we deale warily indeed,
Lest they deceiue vs by their subtilty,
But our owne vile affections little heed,
Although we haue no greater enemy;
Thus we escape Gaths sword, and on our owne do di [...].
The Iewes may with their Oratour conspire
Pauls ruine; nothing shall to him befall,
But to aduance his Crowne, and Gospell hier:
So as his bonds in Caesars Iudgement hall,
Are manifest and famous 'mongst them all:
To the Elect, and those that truly loue,
Nothing but for the best shall euer fall:
This by examples thousand I could proue,
Happy who finds it written in his heart by loue.
The Lyons want and hunger may endure;
Who se [...]kes the Lord, wants nothing that is good,
The Angel of the Lord him keepes secure,
From his owne lusts hels fury, wickeds mood.
This of the weakest may be vnderstood.
If ought here passeth thine intelligence,
Sucke thou the milke, and leaue the stronger food.
Here ends my song of heau'nly Prouidence,
Next, followes her attendant humane Diligence.

Of Diligence.

WHo, with a prudent heart, and godly minde,
Wil take a view how things are wrought below,
In all effects shall good and euill find,
As cause is good or ill, from whence they flow;
Thus God first Cause of all thy actions know,
As they be good; thy selfe as they be ill;
Which doth Gods pow'r and goodnesse greater show,
In vsing heere mans vile corrupted will,
As second cause his sound, good purpose to fulfill.
All euill then comes from mans vicious will,
Not moou'd thereto by meere necessity,
As senselesse Agents are to good or ill,
But giues consent thereto most willingly:
By Natures Light we good from ill descry,
But this vs onely leaues without excuse,
When seeing better we the worst doe try,
And thus God of mans malice makes good vse,
And he is iustly punished for his abuse.
Oh mans peruersenesse! grant him least freewill,
And he becomes vaine, proud and insolent:
D [...]ny him any power to doe or will,
And he growes lazy, slothfull, negligent:
First kinde are meritorious, impudent,
And merit for themselues and others will,
The other Epicure-like, take content
In pleasure, eating, drinking of their fill,
Or in an idle, melan [...]lique sitting still.
But Diligence, the Grace I next propound,
For this last euill is best remedy,
This Viper which most dang'rously doth wound
Our soules with senselesse spirituall Lethargy,
And brings too aspish-lazy Accidy:
Most perilous, because we feele least harme.
Oh, this is Satans subtillest Lullaby,
Our soules with stupid lazinesse to charme,
And then of spirituall armes and weapons to disarme▪
Thou that hast promis'd endlesse happinesse,
To all which at thy comming thou dost-find
Intent vnto their Masters businesse,
And diligent in body and in minde,
Make all my Soules and Bodies powr's inclind
To Diligence, whilst I her praises write,
Vnloose the chaines, the fetters strong vnbind
Of Sloth and Dulnesse, which, to blackest night
Leade blindfold, drowsie soules that take therein delight.
Vigilance, Industry, and Diligence
So like indeed one to another are,
My plainer Muse scarse sees a difference,
And therefore all will but as one declare;
Our soules and bodies powers they prepare,
In eu'ry noble Vertue to transcend,
Nothing on earth that's admirable rare,
Without these can be brought to perfect end,
On these do honest care and labour aye attend.
For godly, iust and necessary cares
Are parts substantiall of Diligence,
And as she for the future thus prepares,
Hauing to Truth and Iustice reference,
She is a Grace of wondrous excellence:
But if she spring from Enuy, emulation,
Ambition, Feare, or other base pretence,
She is a curious base abomination,
The busie vice that author is of desolation.
Industry best agreeth to the mind,
In which she frames a quicke Dexterity,
In Arts and Sciences the right to find,
And they that know her wondrous energy,
In Phisicke, Law, and in Diuinity,
Know, that she tends the neerest to perfection,
And is to humane imbecillity
Most sound defence, secure, and safe protection,
'Gainst Satans Malice, their owne Lusts, & worlds i [...]fectio [...].
We well Dame Nature may the Mother name
Of noble Industry and Diligence,
Yet oft we see their wondrous force doth tame,
Things against Nature, without violence;
All other Vertues glorious excellence,
Which we in Heroes iustly do admire,
Haue their Beginning and Perfection thence:
Where Industry and Diligence conspire,
Wants nothing that we can in mortall man desire.
For as she many euill things amends,
So is she of all good the consummation,
Most dissolute base manners she commends
Soone, vnto honest thrifty reformation.
An infirme body by exercitation,
And Diligence, becommeth strong and sound:
She frees old-Age from grieuous molestation
Of painefull sharpe Diseases that abound.
Fields of the diligent are fruitfull eu [...]r found.
For by this Diligence all well succeed,
No idle hower on her head doth shine,
She her best howers spends with prudent heed,
And all her businesse aright doth line,
She finds to all things an appointed time,
Except it be for Slouth and Idlenesse.
If idle words be iudged such a crime,
Much more the losse of times high preciousnesse,
Which cannot be regain'd with cost and carefulnesse.
Wherefore good fathers of a Family,
First rise, and latest go to bed at night:
And those that loue the Mus [...]s company,
Do vse their eyes to read by Candle-light.
Artificer, good-Husband, Merchant, Knight,
And Magistrate, this Vertue doth defend.
Nothing so difficult, but by the might
Of Diligence, is conquer'd in the end,
Therefore in all affaires she is our surest friend.
But non [...] more enemies than Negligence,
Slouth, Dulnesse, Carelesnesse, and Idlenesse,
Impurest mire of foule Concupiscence,
The forge of Lust, and draught of filthinesse;
Whence come all Vices, Sinne and Wickednes,
Which turne men into Beasts, like Sirens charmes.
Oh Slouth! the nurse and mother of excesse,
Like Statue standing still with folded armes,
And neuer moues to good, for feare of future harmes.
Vnnecessary Burthen on the ground,
Who when he hath consumed all his owne,
Deuoures his friends, and then a theefe is found,
More false, yea, than a begger bolder growne;
For though the beggers-bodies hands are sown,
And's mind is all on slouth and idlenesse,
Yet often in his mouth Gods Name is knowne:
But God all honesty and shamefastnesse,
He loaths that is possest of slouth and sluggishnesse.
A Sluggard is vnto himselfe, and all
A most pernicious wicked enemy,
By Slouth his mind and body soone do fall
To sicknesses, and all impurity:
He is the bane to all good company,
The stinking Sepulchre of one aliue,
Shadowes of men! Tunnes of Iniquity,
Whose soul [...]s base ease, of Reason doth depriue,
Whilst, as a Swine with Mast, their bodies fat and thriue.
We Sloth, like Lazy Asse, at home do finde:
But listen out, you lowd shall heare him bray,
Iust like a coward dogge of currish kinde,
That doth at harmelesse Pilgrims barke and bay;
But comes a Wolfe, for feare he runnes away:
Like fearefull Hart, when as he comes to fight,
But as a Lyon greedy of the prey;
All day asleepe, but in the dead of night,
He woorrieth the fould, for hunger and despight.
Oh Diligence! perfection of all,
When as thou dost with truth and vertue dwell,
But if to Vice and errour thou doe fall,
Thou passest H [...]ggs and Furies all of Hell;
Hels waking Cerberus is not so fell,
As popish priests, who compasse Sea and Land,
Into Cymmerian darknesse to compell
Those that in Sun-shine of the Gospel stand:
Thus diligently they obey their Lords command.
Oh would we be for Truth as diligent,
As they for errours and traditions vaine!
But I haue too much of my hower spent,
Against the Vice, the Vertue to maintaine.
To Diligence I now returne againe,
Which like heau'ns glorious Sun doth neuer rest,
But like a gyant runnes his Course amaine,
Vntill she of the garland be possest.
This life's no mansion, but a way to heau'nly rest.
In heau'n are many Mansions, heere we stay
Onely to finish that for which we come,
If trewan [...]like we spend our time in play,
And be with drinke, or sleeping ouercome:
Oh! when our fatall hower-glasse is runne,
And we are call'd to render our account,
Of good and euill in the body done;
Our debts, alas! will all our wealth surmount,
And our Omissions more than numbers vp can count.
This Diligence is like one in a Myne,
That digges much earth a little gold to find;
Like Silkeworme, who her slendrest silken twine,
By Diligence doth on a bottome wind:
Like husbandman, who little sheaues doth bind,
Wherewith he fils his Barnes and Garners full:
Like little stones by Morter fast combin'd,
Raisd to a Temple large and beautifull:
Like mighty hostes which Dukes of single men do cull.
Some by a night-Owle, and a Dragons eyes,
This vertue Diligence haue figured,
And therefore Poets Fables do deuise,
The Golden-fleece so highly valued,
Kept by a Dragons diligence and heed.
The Golden-fleece, the Kingdomes Peace I call:
The Dragon, him by whom all's ordered:
For on whose shoulders such a charge doth fall,
He must be vigilant, and diligent in all.
This Vertue is indeed most soueraigne,
In highest Rulers which the Publique sway,
Who are set ouer vs for our owne gaine,
If them as Gods Vicegerents we obay:
They keepe continuall watch both night & day
For all our goods, so they be diligent:
God grant such Rulers euer gouerne may
His little Fold within this Iland pent,
To ioy of all our friends, and foes astonishment.
The Latines, Diligence deriue from Loue:
For he that loueth, doth eu'n all fulfill,
Yea nothing hard or difficult doth proue
To him, that knowes 'tis his beloueds will;
Whose hearts this glorious Grace of Loue doth fil,
They here despise all losses, griefe, and paine:
Let heau'nly loue into mine heart distill,
I worlds discouragements will all disdaine:
For Diligence on earth, I loue in heau'n shall gaine.
This loue in Dauids heart doth so aboun [...],
It from his eyes and eye-lids did expell
All sleepe, till he a resting place had found,
Wherein the Lord of life might alwaies dwell.
This made the Mount of Sion so excell,
That it the glory of the earth became.
This diligence makes all to prosper well,
Though but a sparke of Loues celestiall flame,
It gaines vs loue in heau'n, on earth eter [...]ll fame.
Oh blessed Paul! had I thy eloquence,
Thy indefatigable paines to sound,
Thy wondrous trauell, care, and diligence,
Thy Masters will to know, do, and propound.
How many Sees of Bishops didst thou found?
How didst thou preach by day, and work by night?
How diligently Heretickes confound?
And eu'n in Hels, Worlds, Tyran [...]s, Iewes despight,
By Diligence declare the power of Loues might.
Should I the Fathers liues trace to the Floud,
And into Egypt, follow them from thence;
From thence, through wildernesse to their abode,
By Iordans bankes, in Houses, Cities, Tents,
They all are Maps to vs of Diligence:
From Genesis vnto the Reuelation,
Their Pilgrimages all haue reference,
To new
Reu. 21. 1 [...]
Ierusalem, Saints habitation:
And we all stones, and Builders on that one foundation.
As God, so we must worke before we rest,
We may not cease till all be finished:
In heau'n we shall enioy eternall Rest,
Which by the Sabbaoth was prefigured.
The Spouse may seeke, but finds not in the Bed
Her Bridegroome: he is like the nimble Hind,
He must be
Ca [...]. 3. 1.
diligently followed:
But if by Diligence we once him find,
Cant. 2. 8
He skipping comes o're hils, and mountains like the wind.
But if I onely speake of Diligence,
And image-like to others point our-right,
Yet liue in Carelesnesse, and Negligence:
I, like the blind, may others Lampes inlight,
But stray and wander all the while in night.
Our life's a moment here, if we regard
Eternity: A cloud to heau'nly light:
Like drop vnto the Ocean compar'd,
Is earthly Ioy, to that which is in Heau'n prepar'd.
The Ayer without motion putrifies:
The standing-Poole becomes vnsauourie:
The hottest Fier without blowing dies:
The Land with thornes and weeds doth barren lie,
That is not exercis'd with husbandry.
Thy house and houshold-stuffe do soone decay,
Except they be emploid continually:
Thy lockt-vp garments are to Moth's a prey:
All things not vs'd, like Steele by rust, consume away.
Looke on the nimble Motions of the skie,
How all moue diligently to their end:
Looke on the Beasts that creepe; the Birds that fly,
How they no time to Idlenesse will lend:
Earth, though the dullest Element doth spend
Her strength, for all the Creatures preseruation:
The Creatures eu'n their bloud and life do send
To man, for Life's and Bodies sustentation.
Thus all are diligent here in their occupation.
Oh man! though Lord of all, who yet art borne
To labour, as the Sparkes do vpward flie,
To learne here of thy Vassals do not scorne,
But eate thy Bread in sweat continually.
In Labour did the Fathers liue and die,
To do Gods will was Christ his drinke and food,
Not to dispute thereof with subtilty,
And nice distinctions, which do little good,
But make things easie erst, now hardlier vnderstood.
One thing is necessary, doe and liue:
Practice and Knowledge, must goe hand in hand:
The gods for labours, blessings here do giue,
Not curious knowledge: They that vnderstand,
And yet forbeare to doe their Lords command,
Thereby most inexcusable become,
When all before the dreaded Iudge shall stand,
More then shall heare the finall dreadfull doome,
For things omitted here, than things which they haue done.
Like Plutarchs Lamiae, we are quicke of sight
Abroad, at home we lay aside our eyes:
If each his owne affaires could order right,
That town would soone to wealth and honour rise:
The street, where ech his dore sweeps, cleanly lies.
I do not here forbid all forraine care:
To paire of Compasses I like the wise,
Halfe of their thoughts at their hearts center are,
The other, round about, do for the publique care.
The Cynicke, that he might his hate expresse
To Slouth, would often tumble vp and downe
His Tunne, to keepe himselfe from Idlenesse.
Base Commodus, of all the Caesars knowne
To be most wicked, was not of his owne
Nature so vile: but when his youth by ease,
Into contempt of Businesse was growne,
This was the Empires fatall last disease,
Which lost the Caesars all their fathers did increase.
Oh cursed Negligence! that dost confound
Soules, Bodies, Churches, Cities, Families;
No gracious Thrift will grow vpon thy ground,
Thy field like wildernesse all barren lies.
It Soules, like deadly Opium, stupifies:
It with diseases doth our Bodies fill,
Puls downe our Temples, which did dare the skies,
Layes ope the City walls to Victors will,
And thorow houses roofes rain-droppings makes distill.
Bewaile with me the ruthfull Tragedy,
That Slouth hath made within this holy Land,
I meane, those
Abbeys, &c.
Houses faire of Sanctity,
Which like so many Pyrami'ds did stand,
Erected first by holy Founders hand:
First raisd by Diligence, now raz'd to ground
By Slouth, those lazie-belly-gods to brand
With shame, whose Idlenesse did thus confound
Those Places, where Gods holy Worship should abound.
Behold, with Salomon, the sluggards field,
Which all ore-growne with Mosse and Bushes lies,
Whilst Rents and Sales to him abundance yeeld,
He lookes not after Industries supplies,
Like Grasse-hopper, he skipping liues, and dies,
Or sterues, if Winter bringeth Pouerty:
Th' industrious Ant, and Bee he doth despise.
Oh Slouth! the sinke of all iniquitie,
That changest men to swinish Bestiality.
Awake you sluggards, you that powre in wine,
The day's at hand, when you account shall make;
As of your workes, so of your idle time:
To some employment do your selues betake,
And sayle not alwaies on the idle Lake:
It is a filthy, muddy, standing poole,
No good, or honest mind can pleasure take,
To row at ease in such a muddy hole,
Though there his vessel's subiect to no winds controule.
Oh you, whom God, eu'n gods on earth, doth style,
Withdraw not from the weight of gouernement
Your shoulders, nor let Ease your soules beguile
Of time, which should be in deuotion spent:
Rulers must most of all be diligent,
All euill cleaues on them by Idlenes.
Looke on all States, and forraine Regiment,
They all corrupt by Ease and slouthfulnes,
But flourish, and grow strong by frequen [...] Busines.
You heau'nly-Watchmen, of whom I desire
Rather to learne, than teach you ought to mend,
Marke onely what Paul doth of you require,
With diligence your selues and flockes attend;
God made you ouerseers for that end:
As nought more than assiduous Exercise
Of Soule and Body, doth from sinnes defen [...],
So nothing fills them with iniquities,
More than this sluggish slouth, and idle vanities.
Elian doth of th' Egyptian Dogge report,
That when he drinkes, he neuer standeth still
By Riuers side, lest poysonous beasts him hurt,
Who li [...] in waite, him whilst he drinks, to kill:
Oh could we see the poysoning serpent still,
Waiting occasion with invenom'd sting,
Our bones with Lust, and Luxury to fill▪
And vs by slouth, and idlenesse to bring
To carelesnesse of God, and any holy thing.
That thus would wind vs from all Diligence,
Like lazie Sluggards, onely to rely
Vpon th' Almighties care an [...] Prouidence;
But lo, the Israelites send first to spie
The earthly Canaan, which did typifie
That heau'nly; whither, through this Wildernesse,
We must not hope to passe so easily;
They wanne the cities which they do possesse,
With paines and Diligence, not slouth and idlenesse.
This was their way, this also must be ours;
Priests feet the flouds of Iordane may diuide,
Their trumpets throw downe Iericho's proud towres:
But Ai will many bloudy blowes abide.
He little thinkes Hels force, that neuer tride.
Th' Amalekites, and Moa [...] will assay
To stop thy course to Iordans fruitfull side:
Thou must with Diligence maintaine thy way,
And fight with hardy resolution night and day.
Lord grant I may, like Paul, be diligent,
Who wrought his owne, and all the Soules to saue,
That with him in the ship to Caesar went:
And though he knew, that God, who to him gaue
Eu'n all their liues, his promise would not wau [...]
Yet see, he leaues not any meanes vntride.
Lord grant me Diligence aright to craue,
And Patience thy leasure to abide,
So nothing that I aske, shall be to me denide.
My Muse would faine aboord, but Diligence
Would neuer let my Meditation end,
And blames me sore, that I with Negligence,
Too briefe the story of her Praise haue pen'd;
But Care and Labour next I must attend;
Which two, with Diligence, go hand in hand:
God, better lucke, me in their praises send!
I now will driue my little Boat to land,
And rest, that I more stoutly may to labour stand.

Of Care and Labour.

MY freer Muse now like a Faulcon flies,
Who hauing stoup't a Mallard at the Brooke,
Remounts againe vp to the azure skies,
And for a second Souse at him doth looke:
But suddenly she hath that prey forsooke,
And towreth at a Heron in the Ayre:
So though at first my Muse had vndertooke
Faire Abs [...]inence; yet seeing Thrift doth pray her,
To sing of Care and Labour next, I will obay her.
This Booke indeed I wholly did intend
Vnto the honour of Frug [...]lity,
And morall vertues that her Grace attend:
But so my Muse doth loue her libertie,
And at the fairest is so vsde to flie;
She will not leaue her heau'nly Meditation,
For any Flower of Humanity:
Her food diuine of holy Contemplation,
For any earthly Good, Content, or Delectation.
I grant indeed, that morall Meditation
May much amend our manners, and our mind,
But no such pleasing taste and sustentation,
As in diuine, the soule of man can find:
And therefore though I often am inclin'd,
The Praise of morall Vertues here to sing,
My freer Muse that will not be confin'd,
Runs straight on [...] string,
Else I, in others [...] not meddeling.
And yet I hope no wiser Clerkes will blame
My boldnesse, here to taste, by meditation,
The Mysteries, whose knowledge they proclaime
To vs, as necessary for Saluation:
Thereby to square our Liues and Conuersation.
And though indeed my Writings I intend,
For others minds and manners reformation,
Yet if hereby I may mine owne amend,
I haue attained more then halfe my wished end.
It is no part of holy Contemplation,
To seeke reuenge for vndeserued wrong;
Meeknesse and Patiences meditation
Haue taught my Muse to sing another song:
God send me more Wit, them a better Tong.
Now Thou, that Adam in his vprightnesse,
(To shew, that Labour doth to man belong)
Didst place in Eden, it to plant and dresse,
Helpe me, the praise of Care and Labour to expresse.
Care's an attent intention of the mind,
To any thing that's needfull to be done,
Which good and honest for our selues we find,
And may vnto the publike profit come:
Labour puts Care in execution,
And is our minds and bodies Enargy,
In any businesse by Care begun:
For when to Businesse we do apply
Our selues, we call that Labour, Paines, and Industry.
Care comes from Wits chiefe Vigor, Strength, and Light,
And ready, watchfull euermore doth stand:
Labour, the Bodies Faculty is hight,
Which doth performe the thing we haue in hand:
Where these two powr's of action do band,
We Actors and Directors call them may;
One doth what worke the other doth command:
For as the Body doth the Soule obay,
So Labour is to noble Care obedient ay.
L [...]bour and Care, simply considered,
Nor good, nor ill are, but indifferent,
And not amongst those Vertues numbered,
Which in the Court of Loue are eminent:
But for they nothing, that is excellent,
Can without Care and Labours helpe attaine,
All in their Company take great content,
And honour much amongst Loues royall traine:
And glad is she, that can their best acquaintance gaine.
Care's like an old experienc't Generall,
Too weake to fight, yet orders all the Hoste:
Labour is lusty, valiant, young, and tall,
And strikes, where foes he may indanger most:
Care hath an eye about to euery Coast,
With all aduantages to win the day:
And though more sweat and blood it Labour cost,
Yet which deserueth best, 'tis hard to say;
Neither had wonne the field, had one but beene away.
When Iupiter an Hercules would frame,
Three nights at once he with Al [...]mena lay:
Thus to beget one that should Monsters tame,
Men lost, to lengthen out the night, a day:
Besides, the pangs of Birth her so dismay,
It little fail'd, but she had borne her last.
By witty Fictions, Poets thus bewray,
How it Ioues ordinary strength surpast,
A true Id [...]a of high Labour here to cast.
And thus they make Ioue, Hercules his Sire,
Who must on earth all Labours vndertake;
And clense worlds Stables from impurest mire,
And Ioue of him a mighty god should make.
To tell what for immortall Honors sake
He did, were too long for a Meditation:
He made the yron-gates of Hell to quake,
And Atlas-like, bare vp the worlds foundation,
What can be more for Care and Labours commendation?
He was not fostred in his younger yeeres,
With Pleasures, wanton Ease, and Idlenesse,
But fought with Lyons, Tygres, Goats, and Beares,
Lust, Rapine, Tyranny, Vnrighteousnesse.
No high thing is attain'd by Slouthfulnesse.
Then spake great Alexander like a King,
By calling seruile Slouth and Lazinesse,
But Care and Labour highly honouring,
Which in small time to him worlds Monarchy did bring.
No good thing without Care and Labo [...]r growes,
With them is Thrift, without a barren Soile:
Labour increaseth strength, and who her knowes,
Doth passe through hardest iourneys without toile.
Labour our fiercenes [...]e naturall may spoile,
But raiseth Vertue: Labour doth restore
Those that are fall'n: things hardest reconcile,
She Vertue by employment furthers more.
In all a [...]chieuements Captaine Labour goes before.
And Pleasure followes: for obserue these two,
Delight and Labour though much differing
In nature, yet they link't together go;
Delight, I say, still Labour following:
For things we labour most to passe to bring,
We ioy in more, then those which vs befall
By Chance, and without Paines and labouring.
That conquest is mo [...] glorious of all,
Which hath indanger'd most the H [...]ste and Generall.
No solace without Labour: no man gaines
The Hony, without danger of the Sting:
He that will haue the Kernell, must take paines
To breake the shell: who, sweetest Rose in Spring
Will gather, feares not Bushes prickeling:
But he that in his bosome hides his hand,
Whom honor, profit, feare, nor shame can bring
To action, but doth all day idle stand,
He hates all Vertue, and is hated by their Band.
The Roots of Arts are bitter, but they beare
The sweetest fruits: we can no Good obtaine
But by hard Labour. Thus if we prepare
Vs quiet Peace, what happinesse we gaine?
The Minds and Bodies rest, them fits againe
For Cares and Labours new: as Bow vnbent,
Or Lute-string loosed to a lower straine,
That it may be vp to a higher pent,
And that the Bow may shoot the stronger newly bent.
God here hath placed on our either hand,
Commodities and Discommodities:
These neere, those far, Labor 'twixt both doth stand:
To these a way prone and precipite lies,
Who comes to those, great difficulties tries,
Which they by Labour onely ouercome.
Labour which wise mens wishes here supplies,
And doth to them the trustiest Guide become,
Eu'n from their infancie, vnto their resting Tombe.
Worse than the vilest Infidell is he,
That will not care nor labour for his owne:
How many goods and benefits there be,
To men on earth by Care and Labour knowne;
So many ills by Carelesnesse are sowne:
Base Carelesnesse and Slouth! But I before
In Diligence their Pedigree haue showne:
I sing the vertue of the vice no more,
She to my Muse yeelds matter most abundant store.
For Care and Labour is the very [...]orne
Of Amalthea, and all plenteous store:
She brings good-husbands store of grasse and corne,
And plentifully feeds the hungry poore:
She makes the Shepherds lambes grow great and more,
She is the stay of Trades and Merchandize;
As good on surging seas, as on the shore:
All needfull things she by her hand supplies:
Labour most actiue is, Care politique and wise.
Like Ab [...]shai and Ioab when they fought
With Ammon, and the Syrians on the plaine,
Both constant, noble, resolute, and stout,
Both striuing, that they may the day obtaine:
If that the Syrians ground on Moab gaine,
Then Abishai must helpe: if th' Ammonite
Preuaile against Ab [...]shai: Ioab againe
Must succour him, with all his force and might.
Care, Labour thus, from losse, each mutually acquite.
L [...]bour betweene the Graces and the Mind,
Is as the light 'twixt colours and the fight:
As without light the Eye is alwaies blind,
So without Labour dwels the mind in night.
And as the Lord ordained hath the Light,
To be the meane here colours to discerne,
So Labour, he appoints the medium right,
Whereby the mind may Grace and Vertue learne,
And ioyne them fast together by a force inter [...]e.
And as all l [...]fe and actiue strength proceed
From feeding, so from Labour all our good:
And as Men, to prolong their life, do feed,
So good-men haue for good to Labour stood.
As necessary to our life is food,
So vnto honesty is exercise;
And as none will expect fruit from the wood,
Except he blossoms first thereon espies,
So there's no hope of Age, that paines in Youth despise.
As is a womans fruit without a man,
So fairest hopes are without Labour vaine:
Many haue hotly at the first began,
But Courage want to th'end it to maintaine:
Like some rash Summers storme, or dash of raine,
That corne beats downe with sudden inundation,
But soakes not halfe so deepe in flowrie plaine,
As showres that fall with sober moderation:
Things violent incline to sudden alteration.
And as we nothing to our healths do find
More dangerous, than Ayers alteration,
So nought more hurts the Body and the Mind,
Than change to slugg [...]shnesse from recreation.
Delight or Labour, without moderation,
Destroy mens bodies, and their wits [...]onfound,
Like Nightingales, that take such delectation,
Sweet notes aboue their fellowes to propound,
Their spirits faile, and they are dead with singing found.
Many will labour, but they soare too hie,
Or else most basely s [...]nke downe to the deepe;
They either will into Gods secrets pry,
Or downe into Earths baser bowels creepe:
A few or none true moderation keepe;
They either diue for profits base and vaine,
Or clime vp to Gods secret Mountaine steepe:
In both their steps no longer do remaine,
Then way of Bird in th'ayre, or ships vpon the Maine,
You that the Muses Secretaries are,
And pen the counsels of the King of Kings,
I know your Labour, Industry, and Care,
To vnderstand and publish holy things:
Which vnto you such Ioy and Pleasure brings,
As we that feele it onely vnderstand.
Yet mount you high, Sol fries your waxen Wings;
If low, them Nept [...]ne wets with wauing hand:
The golden Meane 'twixt two Extremes doth alwayes stand.
Fraile mortall man! if thou with fleshly Eye
Behold'st the Sunne, thy sight is dazeled,
Much more with brightnesse of Diuinity,
Is thy Minds weaker Eye astonished:
Glory shall him amaze, that will aread
The Splendour of eternall Maiestie:
Mans Mind, here with corruption limited,
Hath no such ample large capacitie:
No mortall seeth me (saith God) but he must die.
Some Meates the appetite do more prouoke
To eating, we of them must take most heed;
Such are the Labours which are vndertooke
For too high Knowledge, or w [...]rlds baser meed:
For these prouoke our appetites indeed
Vnto Extr [...]mes, from that faire golden Meane;
Which do our Callings here so farre exceed,
To which corrupted minds so much do leane,
They alwaies fall into a curious Ex [...]eme.
Base wretched Cares! whose Labour is in sinne,
Which bring vs terrours in true pleasures steed,
Vncessantly here taking paines to win
Base Mammon, and this worlds vnrighteous meed▪
Or an ambitiou [...] humour base to feed,
Or their meane House to highest pitch to rayse,
Or for Reuenge, or lustfull wicked Deed,
Or to gaine popular applause or prayse,
And be a precedent vnto succeeding dayes.
As greater Fowles, though they be strong of wing,
With bodies burthen are so weighed downe,
They cannot mount like nimble Larke in Spring:
So minds of men to these worlds Cares fast sowne,
Soone like this world, are grosse and heauy growne:
And though they might, by noble Industry,
Be raisd againe to vnderstand their owne;
Yet stupid, senslesse on the dunghill lie,
Drunke with foule Ease, and this worlds base Commodity.
These louers of the world, though they wax strong
In things ter [...]ene, in heau'nly weaker grow;
For worldly honour they will sweat and throng,
Bu [...] to win Crownes in heau'n are dull and slow:
For worldly Gaine they ought will vndergo,
From heau'nly, least reproach or shame will bend:
For Princes fauours they whole dayes will woo,
But not one howre to God in Prayer spend:
Thus present Shewes, not future Glory, all intend.
What Labour hard, what time can we thinke long,
Which doth to vs eternall glory gaine?
To haue our wils no labour seemes too strong:
For Vertue, wee'l not least delight refraine.
Thinke but what holy Labour may obtaine,
A certaine hope, and sweet remuneration,
Of which, the Saints, forsaking Pleasures vaine,
Haue by their liues giu'n plenteous commendatiō,
Here labouring all, whilst they liu'd, in their Vocation.
Here Plenty makes me sparing: read the acts
Of all the holy Fathers till the Flood,
From thence, to Egypts Bondage: next, the facts
Of Moses, Iosuah, Kings and Iudges good:
Haue they not all for Labour stoutly stood?
This shunning Labour by a Hermits Cell,
A late deuice is of Romes lazie brood,
To mumble Prayers, and their Beades to tell,
But take no Care for neighbour, Church, or Commonweale.
Is this Pauls Watching, Paine, and Wearinesse,
Thirst, Hunger, Scourgings, Nakednes, and Cold;
Perils by land, by water sore Distresse?
Besides, his outward labours manifold,
His inward Cares the Church in Peace to hold?
A liuing man lye buried in a tombe;
Lest worldly [...] and labours him withhold
From contemplation of that heau'nly roome,
Where neuer such a slouthfull, idle wretch shall come.
Braue actiue spirits! though in Contemplation
I spend much time, yet I your liues do hold
To be more worthy praise and admiration,
You bring to vs all good, and ill withhold:
You, whose great cares and labours do vphold,
Like Atlas shoulders, ciuill Gouernment:
Your Splendors we, your cares cannot behold,
Who know the Care and Weight of Regiment,
Would neuer enuy them, their glory and content.
O Muses Darlings! do not then abuse
Your heau'nly Numbers, (which the Muses lend
To honour of Authority to vse)
Their names with blots and infamy to blend.
Your Muse not able is to apprehend
Their deepe Foresight, that States and Kingdomes sway:
With care and labour they at Helme attend,
That sleepe and sing in ship you safely may:
No gentle Dogge will at his Keeper barke and bay.
Great Keeper of this famous Brittish Ile!
How dost thou care and labour for our ease?
Besides Kings ordinary Paynes and Toyle
In Gouernement, thy Writings do increase
To largest Volumes, for the Churches Peace:
For Christs pure Spouse, and thy deare Kingdomes weale:
Thy Watchings, Prayers, Labours, neuer cease,
Else blos'mes of Vines, the F [...]xes soone would steale,
Or wild Bore root vp all thy Church and Commonweale.
When in his large, wise, vnderstanding heart,
We, for our Good, such cares continuall see,
What secret Malice can a man peruert,
To deeme that in his Loue, and Wisedome he
Aduance will any to Authoritie;
But whom he eu'ry way doth able finde,
To care and labour for the safety
Of Church and Kingdome, to his care assign'd?
Wise Masters best discerne how Seruants are inclin'd.
Great Peeres appointed, by this Master wise,
To Rule his Kingdome, and adorne his Hall,
Of him learne Labour and braue exercise,
And doe not vnto idle gaming fall:
The Bane of Court, Towne, Country, Church and all:
Oh spend the time you from emploiment spare,
In Tilting, Hunting, Armes, Arts Liberall,
And so with Piety your minds prepare,
To labour in your charge, and haue of heau'n a care.
Besides examples of your earthly King,
Looke on our Lord that sits in heau'n aboue:
Who heere on earth was alwayes labouring,
Now as our Head himselfe he doth approue,
Most carefull for his Spouse and dear [...]st Loue.
See his Disciples, Saints and Martyrs all,
How carefull and laborious they proue,
In Writings, Preachings Counsels generall,
Relieuing poore in want, redeeming Saints from thrall,
Amongst these Lights of Labour, with me looke
On one, though little, yet of wondrous might,
Who, Dauid-like, takes stones out of the Brooke,
The proud Goliah in the front to smite:
Oh how do'st thou most valiantly acquite!
God and his Church, against Rome's railing Host,
And that Augean stable purgest quite,
Though it thee mickle care and labour cost:
Of this would Her [...]'les more, than all his labours boast.
Could Sloth her selfe that sweet Delight but taste,
Which comes of Paines and honest exercise,
Her precious time & strength she would not waste,
In Idlenesse and worldly vanities.
But like to nimble [...]arke wo [...]ld early rise,
Who mounting first to heau'n Deuotions sings,
And afterwards her businesse applyes,
So long as Light lends vse of eyes or wings,
And then in [...]est enioyes fruit of her trauelling [...].
Most sweet Delight! at night when wearied,
We end the Cares and Troubles of the day,
When priuate, publique hauing profited,
We down our selues with Peace and Comfort lay:
Not like rich Mizers, to their Soules, that say,
In this abundance lye thee downe and rest,
When ah! Who knowes but eu'n that night away,
His Soule forth from his Body may be prest,
And he all vnawares o're taken in his nest?
Vnnecessary Labours, worldly Cares,
Which on themselues, not Prouidenc [...] depend,
My Muse to them no such great fauour beares,
As heere amongst the Graces to commend.
All things created serue vnto their end,
For which God at the first did them ordaine,
And all vnto his Glory doe intend:
Why then should man be slothfull, idle, vaine,
So long as heere on earth he doth in health remaine?
He hath a minde firme, valid, rais'd on high,
Able to soare aboue the Firmament,
And by sweet Contemplation to descry
The heau'ns swift motion, Order, Gouernment:
All things are subiect to his Regiment,
In squallid Slouth and ease yet downe he lyes,
Till thou who first didst frame his earthly tent,
Dost raise his mind to heau'nly exercise,
Which may by Care and Labour him immortalize.
Not a [...]xious, vnprofitable cares,
Base off-spring of Distrust and Diffidence:
With present, alwayes, discontent; and feares
Vaine, future wants, or childrens Indigence,
Distrusting thus Gods gracious Prouidence,
Which fils with open hands the mouthes of all,
Whose eyes looke vp to his Beneficence,
And Lillies clads in colours naturall,
More faire than Salomons rich robes imperiall.
He that this all did first of nought ordaine,
And now it gouernes by wise Prouidence,
Is by his Bounty able to sustaine,
All those that labour with true Diligence:
Sure he will giue aboundant recompence
To all, who carefull, faithfully doe heere
Rely on him, without least Diffidence:
He for his Foes did spend his bloud most deare,
Why then should Friends distrust his Prouidence and Care [...]
Kindle thy Loue then in my frozen brest,
Frame in my minde a study and desire,
To follow thee, that canst direct me best,
By thy command to march on or retire.
Awake me from Slouth's filthy durt and mire,
Lest darknesse me fast-sleeping apprehend,
From which to Light againe i [...] no retire,
Let me no houre vnprofitably spend,
Nor passe one day vnfruitfully vnto mine end!
That faithfull seruants blessing on him light!
Whom Thou so doing, when thou com'st shalt find,
Grant, whatsoeuer hower of the night
My Lord and Master comes, my soule and mind
May to continuall watching be inclin'd:
But lest I labour heere too long in vaine,
I next will passe vnto my Port assign'd,
To Death; the end of all my Care and Paine,
To graue, where, till the finall doome, I must remaine.
There quiet I shall sleepe and be at rest,
With Kings, which heere their houses fill'd with gold,
And Emperours, which all the world possest,
Yet all too streight ambitious thoughts to hold:
There small and great, free, bond, rich, poore, young, old,
Oppressors, prisoners haue like fruition
Of rest: All turne againe to dust and mould,
As small an Vr [...] then limits the Ambition
Of Popes, and Caesars, as of Beggers meane condition.

Of Death.

COme, let's shake hands, we in the end must meete:
I haue prouided me this goodly Chain [...]
Of Graces, at thy comming thee to greete,
For thou wilt not for fauour, gold or gaine,
Thy fatall stroke, one moment, heere refraine:
Well, close mine eyes, and dimme my Bodies Light,
These shining Gems for euer shall remaine,
My soule for to enlighten; Oh! then smite,
It skils not when, nor how, so as my heart stands right.
Ah! why look'st thou so pale, as thou didst feare?
Thee, before men and Angels, I forgiue,
I wish thee not a minute to forbeare,
I neuer shall the Life of Glory liue,
Till thou vnlock'st the doore my soule to giue
Inlargement from this Prison-house of clay,
For which she long hath struggled and did striue,
Yet still the Flesh, the Spirit downe doth way;
And fitting 'tis I should my Makers leasure stay.
Thou earthquake-like this prison house must shake,
Before my Soule be loosed from her [...]ands,
And make my K [...]pers tremble all and quake,
Lo then a holy Angell ready stands,
To saue her from he [...]s-watches grizly hands:
And though heau'ns sudden Light my Soule amate,
She forward goes, and nothing her withstands,
A ioyfull entran [...]e to most happy state,
Thus passe we thorow Deaths-doore, in at heau'ns narrow gate.
Welcome, as sleepe, to them that right thee know,
And easie as a Downy-Bed of Rest,
But thou most gastly-terrible dost show,
To those, that thou do'st vnawares arrest:
Sweet hau'n to Soules with worlds winds, waues opprest;
A Rocke to those that swimme in sweet Delight;
Sweet hoast of Saints, who with perfumes hath drest
The Beds, wherein their Bodies, all the night,
May rest, till Trumpets sound, awake to glorious Light.
To Poore thou shew'st thy honey, hid'st thy sting,
The Rich thy Sting, but no [...] thy honey see,
Like Iailour thou doest good and bad newes bring
To Soules, that in the flesh imprison'd be;
One must dye euer; th'other shall be free.
Thou that dost Death, to thine, by dying make
The Messenger of such great ioy and glee,
Direct my Muse, in what I vndertake,
That I may Death discerne, ere Death we ouertake.
What's Death but a diuorce or separation,
Of Man and Wife, that neuer could agree,
From Bed and Boo [...]d, and from Cohabitation?
The guilty Flesh payes Costs, the Soule is free;
Yet Both ere long shall one another see,
Freed from foule Sinne, the cause of all their strife,
And shall in Wedlocks Bands reioined be,
To loue, and liue, for aye, like Man and Wife,
A holy, happy, quiet, and eternall Life.
But this I of the first Death vnderstand;
(Lord! of the second, neuer let me taste)
This is the way into the holy Land,
That doth into continuall darknesse cast:
No mortall Sense did euer see or tast
The seconds anguish, terrour, horrour, paine:
The first is short, the second aye doth last,
Age, Sicknesse, men to dye the first constraine,
The Diuels in the second, soules and bodies chaine.
This, setteth willing soules from bodies free,
That, soules in bodies holds against their will,
By this, from Bodies weight we quited be,
That, with such weight of sinne the soule doth fill,
As to the Pit infernall presse it will:
This, takes good men away before their time,
Lest they be ouer-whelm'd with too much ill,
That, seizeth on the wicked, for their crime.
That leadeth downe to Hell, by this to heau'n we clime▪
The first, hath onely power in the graue,
Second, in Hell; One, vs depriues of sense,
By th' other, sense of endlesse Paine we haue,
Both, haue one name, yet see their difference.
Sinne mother is of both: In innocence
Had Adam stood, Death neuer had been knowne,
But second Adam hath remou'd long sence
The sting of this first Death, eu'n by his owne:
Thus from a Plague, Death is to Saints a fauour growne.
Christ meeteth her as Esau on the way,
And giues a charge vnto her rougher hands,
No euill against Iacob to assay;
Thus turnes he to embracements all her Bands;
Death, made by Sinne our mortall foe, now stands
Our first fast friend, to bring vs vnto blesse;
And though awhile our carkases she brands
With vile corruption, a [...]d R [...]ttennesse,
Our soules the whilst ab [...]de in ioy and happinesse.
All first Death gets, is Rottennesse and Dust,
A Body onely, in corruption sowne,
To kill seeds of Concupiscence and Lust,
That it more glorious after may be knowne,
Our earthly part thus turneth to her owne,
But shall againe a heau'nly body rise,
And as at first, be with the Spirit one,
Which long hath liu'd in ioyous Paradise,
Waiting till Christ her mortall should immortalize.
Alas! why should wee then be so afraid,
Heere to endure a little griefe or paine,
Be it on Racke, or Bed? so I be laid
Safe in my Graue, my soule thereby shall gaine;
Lord! grant me Faith, and Patience to maintaine
Hels last encounter, when my Soule is shaken!
The holy Martyrs did not so complaine
Of Paine, when Soule was from the body taken,
As when their Conscience by tentation was awaken.
This Death, though painefull, quicke dispatch doth make,
The second, hath eternitie and paine,
They rightly at Death's horrour, quake and shake,
Where griefes within, more than without remaine,
Whose conscienc [...] them more terribly doe straine,
Than any outward torment they endure,
Who sees heau'ns most incomparable gaine,
And can thereof by Faith himselfe secure,
Is certaine, Death can nought but good to him procure.
For body fraile, one like his glorious head
For pleasures, profits, hopes and honours vaine,
(Whereby than eas'd, we are more troubled:)
Eternall rest, and freedome from all paine,
Wer't thou, my Soule, but sentenc'd to remaine
In this fraile body, yet a thousand yeeres,
Oh! how wouldst thou of wearinesse complaine,
And maladies thy Flesh about her beares,
And seeke Death as a blessing eu'n with many teares?
Yea should this life last without tediousnesse,
Oh! Doe but thinke that as thou more do'st sinne,
Thou addest more vnto thy wretchednesse,
For Death at first, by Sinne did enter in,
Who would not leaue these loathsome ragges! to winne
That glorious, shining roabe of Righteousnesse,
Thou shalt not lose thy Body, but thy Sinne,
Thou it againe shalt meete in happinesse,
Corruption shall indeede be changed, not thy Flesh.
As Golden Ore, in Finers fier cast,
Is not consum'd, but cleans'd from drosse, and tride;
So substance of the body doth not waste,
Onely by Death is purg'd, and purifide.
Should Soules heere in their Tabernacles 'bide,
With all infirmities till Day of Doome,
How weary would they be, of rest denide,
And wish their Bodies sleeping in their Tombe,
Vntill the ioyfull Day of Resurrection come?
So long as heere our Bodies doe remaine,
They haue like Wooll one ti [...]cture naturall,
But Death them dyeth all in purple graine,
To make them Robes for Sprites Celestiall,
For we in heau'n like Kings and Princes all
Shall reigne in new Hierusalem for ay,
The Graue vs like each side of Red Sea wall,
From cruell Egypts bondage on our way,
Doth to the Land of heauenly Canaan conuay.
As he, who for ill-doing lyeth bound,
Trembles & quakes when loosed from his bands,
He must before the Iudgement Seal be found,
To giue account for workes done by his hands,
But he most stout and resolutely stands,
Whose Conscience him of euill doth acquite:
So men reioyce, or feare, when Death commands
Them to appeare before the Iudge vpright,
There to receiue iust doome, for things done wrong or right.
As water-drops, which fall in Fountaine pure,
Die not, but are preseru'd incontinent,
So Bodies perish not, but ay indure,
Onely resolu'd to their first Element:
Our spirits fly to heau'n whence they were lent.
As drops of raine which from the heau'ns descend,
Are all into the wombe of Tethys sent:
So Saints dead Bodies to Earths bowels tend,
Whence drawn vp by Sonnes heate, to heau'n they re-ascend.
What is our Life? a wind, a course to death:
They that on Earth the longest course can gaine,
Runne in the end themselues quite out of breath,
And no more but their courses end obtaine;
To which, they that liue fewer yeeres attaine.
God here to men doth life, like money, lend:
Which at our Day we must pay backe againe.
As without oyle the Lampe no light doth send,
So when our humid's spent, our Life is at an end.
As Pilgrim with long trauell wearied,
Layes downe his Flesh to sleepe in darkest night,
But Visions houering about his head,
Do shew vnto his Soule most heau'nly Light,
And doth with Dreames his spirits so delight,
He wisheth oft the night would euer last:
So fares it with the new-deceased wight,
When in the graue his Body sleepeth fast,
And Angels haue his Soule in Abra [...]ams-bosome plac't.
As Starres of heau'n, which first in East do shine,
Arise, till their Meridian they haue past,
But do from thence as fast againe decline,
Till they into the Westerne Seas are cast:
Eu'n so vaine Mortals, here are all in hast,
Till they their highest pitch of strength attaine;
But that once got, they fall againe as fast,
And downeward to the graue descend amaine,
Some here a shorter, some a longer course obtaine.
And as hee's happiest, whom the swiftest wind
Brings soonest to the Port, and hau'n of rest,
So's he, that soonest in the graue doth find
Harbour against worlds stormes, which him infest.
Death doth but like his brother Sleepe arrest
The weary wight, where he a longer night,
Himselfe in graue, than in his bed may rest;
And yet no longer, than till Christ our Light
Awakes vs, to enioy for ay his glorious sight.
To all that labour, pleasing is the end;
The Traueller inquireth for his Inne:
The hired Seruant, when his Yeere doth end:
The Husband, when his Haruest doth beginne:
Merchant of his Aduentures comming in:
The Woman, when her ninth Month doth expire:
So Saints, of Death haue euer mindfull bin:
For where's our Treasure, there's our hearts desire,
And where our Crowne is laid, our eyes do ay aspire.
Therefore the dying Saints like Swans do sing,
Foreseeing, that they in the graue should rest
From Labours, and be freed from the sting
Of Sinne, which here their liues did most infest:
Why should we with Deaths feare be so distrest?
When as the Lord of Life himselfe did die,
That we from sting of Death might be releast;
Eu'n Sinne, the Cause of all our Misery,
And made Death our first step to true Felicity.
The truth hereof the sacred Pages seale,
When that which commonly we dying call,
They call it sleeping: For Christ did repeale
The Act of dying, by his Funerall:
Thus Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings, Apostles, [...]
Lie sleeping, till the finall Resurrection,
From Ad [...]m, to the Iudgement generall,
All to this fa [...]all Lord must yeeld subiection,
And sleepe s [...]cure and sound vnder his safe protection.
The Wiseman therefore, better doth commend
The Day of Death, then of Natiuity;
By that, our paine and labours haue an end;
This, the Beginning is of Misery:
The Lord of Life, who Life and Death did try,
Proclaimeth endlesse Blessednesse to those,
With rest from labour, in the Lord that die:
Blessed whom he to liue in him hath chose,
But till their Death, from Labour they haue no repose.
See, but how wiser Heathens entertaine
This fatall stroke, this last neces [...]ity:
How they on Birth-dayes, lowd lament and plaine;
At Funerals, make mirth and melody;
For that begins, this ends all misery:
No man, say they, that doth not Death despise,
Can here on earth enioy true Liberty,
They onely saw an end of miseries,
But lo! heau'n stands wide open vnto Christians eyes.
Ah why should Painters limme Death with a dart,
Time with a Syth, before him cuts all downe,
Death doth but lance, and play the Surgeons part,
Time fells the Corne, that's ready to be mowne.
Alas! what Cruelty hath Death vs showne?
Thou art but as a Seruant vnto time▪
To gather Fruits which, he saith, ripe be growne:
In Wine-presse thou but treade [...]t out the wine,
To barrell vp in Tomb [...]s that there it may refine.
As we greene Fruites more difficultly pull,
Than those we find hang ripe vpon the tree,
So youthfull Sprites of heate and vigor full,
More hardly die than they that aged be:
This is the greatest difference we see,
Betweene their courses that are short and long,
Both goe the broad way of Mortality,
Death, like a mighty wind here layes along,
As weake and hollow El [...]nes, so Cedars stout and strong.
Who is so strong whom she hath not cast downe?
Looke all the generations gone and past,
Their ancient Monuments by Bookes are knowne,
In Gra [...]e their Bodies all to dust do waste;
The Iewes long-life more eagerly imbrac't,
As 'twas a type of endlesse happinesse,
But since Christ in his youth of Death did taste.
All Substances fulfill'd, their Figures cease,
Now happiest he whom Death the soonest doth release.
Happy, though clouds of stones thy head infold
Like Steph'ns, so open heau'ns shew pure & cleare,
And though a Trance like Pauls so fast thee hold,
That whether thou without the Body were,
Or in the Body, thou canst not declare.
Though thus Death doth like sleepe they flesh arrest,
The ioyes of heau'n shall to thy Soule appeare,
Not to be vttered: Lo, they are best
By Negatiues, not by Affirmatiues exprest.
No eye hath seene, no eare hath euer heard,
No heart conceiue, no tongue that can recite
The ioyes, th' Almighty hath in heau'n prepar'd,
For them that here do liue and die aright:
Oh enter Soule into thy Lords delight!
This ioy thou canst not in thy selfe containe,
For thou art bounded, that is infinite;
Who enters, shall for euer there remaine,
And for these finite Cares, Ioy infinite obtaine.
Oh! who can know this Death, and be afraid?
Although amongst the pots thou lie a time,
Thou like a siluer Doue, shalt be arraid
With golden feathers, which like heau'n shall shine.
But ah! Thus with my selfe I do diuine,
Without least perill, by free Speculation:
But should Death seize on this my brittle Shrine,
And offer me to act my Meditation,
How should I tremble at my houses desolation!
That which is now familiar to my thought,
Will bring me then Amazement, Horror, Feare.
Alas! this battel's not so easily fought,
Except Iehouah on our side appeare.
Didst thinke, Death would with Complement forbeare,
And onely thee delight with Meditation?
No, he will try what courage thou dost beare,
And seize vpon thy Fleshes habitation,
It laying waste, till all in Christ haue restauration.
Then as I feele this outward man decay,
Grant I may strong and stronger grow within,
And by a constant daily dying may
Be arm'd, against this strong man enter in;
That though he seize vpon this man of sinne,
My inward man may like the siluer Doue,
That newly hath escap't the Fowlers ginne,
Fly to her Lord and Sauiour aboue,
And be embraced in his blessed armes of Loue.
Oh! there I shall inioy eternall rest,
And happy Peace, which here I craue and misse,
And wander further more and more distrest.
What if some little paine in passage is,
Which makes fraile flesh to feare Deaths pallid kisse?
That paine's well borne, that endlesse ease doth gaine,
And from Sinnes cruell slauery dismisse.
Sleepe after Toyle, faire-weather after raine,
Peace after Warre; ease is most pleasing after paine.
We all are wanderers weary of our way,
And hasting to the Graue our certaine home:
This world's the Flood which doth our passage stay,
Charons boat to weft vs ouer, come.
Who Life did limit by eternall Doome,
And times for all things hath established,
Appoints each Centinel vnto his roome,
And so the termes of Life hath limited▪
None may depart, but by their Captaine licensed.
Nefarious wretch! who with flagitious hand▪
Dares violate the Temple God did raise,
A Mirrour here of all his Workes to stand,
His wisedome to commend, and goodnesse praise:
He that appoints the great worlds nights & daies▪
From her Creation to last Reuol [...]tion,
Determins all thy small worlds workes and wayes,
Who wilfully then hasts his dissolution,
Seekes to gain-say his Makers constant resolution.
The longer life I know the greater sinne;
The greater sinne, the greater punishment,
Yet if thou Souldier-like art entred in,
Thou must go on with stoutest hardiment,
And not depart without commandement.
Oh lie not downe, and thee to rest betake,
Ensuing ills of liu [...]ng to preuent▪
Though life hath nought that can her loued make,
Yet giues it no iust Cause that thou should'st it fo [...]sake:
And yet, O sinfull man! do not desire,
To draw thy dayes forth to the last degree,
Vntill the measure of thy sinfull hire,
Be heaped vp with all impiety,
Against the day of Wrath and Ielousie,
Whilst thou this sinfull Body bearst about,
Laden with Sinnes, and foule Iniquity,
Their numbers more and more increase no doubt,
Most happy he whom Death the soonest helpeth out.
Despaire not yet, fraile, silly, fleshly wight,
Nor let Distrust amate thy manfull heart,
Nor Satans malicing dismay thy sprite,
Thou in thy Sauiours meri [...]s hast a part,
Oh why shouldst thou despaire, that certain art
Of Christ thy Sauiour? Lo! in him is grace,
From thee for euer to remoue Hels smart.
And that accurst hand-writing to deface,
No sinnes can be so great, but Mercy may haue place.
How then should any wretched wight be wonne,
To spoile the Castle of his life and state?
Is't not Gods doing whatsoeuer's done
In heau'n and earth? Did he not all create
To liue and die by his eternall Fate?
Who dares then striue with strong Necessity?
That constant holds the world in changing state,
All ought be willing here to liue or die:
Life, Death, ordained are by heau'nly Destiny.
Then witnesse Death, that willing I lay downe
My Body, sure to put it on againe;
My fleshly Baggage, for a heau'nly Crowne,
My earthly Bondage in the heau'ns to raigne.
I leaue this Tent of brittle clay, to gaine
In heau'n a mansion holy, spirituall.
Lo, my corruption here I downe haue laine,
For incorruption, pure, Angelicall,
And for a heau'nly Parlour, chang'd my earthly Hall.
Lord, this I craue, Direct me in the way,
So shall I certainly attaine my end:
If well my Part on mortall Stage I play,
Saints, Angels, my beholders, shall commend
My Action: God and Christ shall be my friend:
And when my flesh to Natures Tyring- [...]oome,
From whence it came, shall quietly descend:
It there shall rest vntill the Day of doome,
And then in heau [...]nly Quire a Singing-man become.
Sweet Death, then friendly let me thee embrace:
He truly liues, that liuing, learnes to die:
Now smiling, like a friend, I see thy face,
Not terrible, like to an enemy:
But I with Prayer end my melody:
Lord grant, when Death my pass [...]ng-bell doth ring,
My Soule may heare the heau'nly Harmony
Of Sai [...]ts and Angels, which most ioyfull sing
Sweet Hallelu [...]ahs to their Sauiour, God and
TO thee, poore Bird, in Cage imprisoned;
How like am I, by Ag [...]e visited?
I cannot vse my horse, nor thou thy wing,
And therefore both sit still within, and sing.
My Muse hath with my Body Sympathie:
If well, I learne to liue; if sick [...], to die.

Of dying young.

THis world a banquet is, we, conviues all,
Where most, by Drinke, to sinne and surfet fall.
Who dyeth young, is like him that doth rise
From banquet, ere the wine his wit surprize.

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