Miserere mei Deus.



LONDON, Printed by Edward Griffin, for Anne Bowler, and are to be sold at the Marigold, in Pauls Church­yard. 1638.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE EDVVARD, Earle of DORSET, of His Majesties most Hono­rable Privie Counsell; Lord Chamberlaine to the Queene; and Knight of the most Noble Order of the GARTER.

MOST Honoured Lord, I know, you neither like, nor have leisure, to looke upon trifles; but I know also, you account not discourses of Piety, in the number of trifles: This makes [Page] mee bold to present your Lordship, with this short Treatise of Medita­tions; that being short, it may not di­vert you long; being Pious, not di­vert you at all. J so much honour your Lordship, for your publicke ver­tues; so much am bound to you, for your private; that J cannot forbeare to present you with something, as a testimony of my service in both: and a richer present I could not thinke of, than Meditations upon this Psalme of David; which is indeede, the Master-piece of his Repentance, as his Repentance the Master-piece of all his Vertues. The Jewell it selfe is from David, onely the Case from me; and though the Jewell deserve a more Illustri­ous Case; and your Person a more [Page] Jllustrious present; yet there is colour to hope I may bee pardoned in both; seeing, the Jewels splendour, gives a lustre to any case; and your Noble­nesse, to any present. And though it might bee presented with a better hand; yet it cannot with a better heart; seeing he presents it, that is

Your Lordships humble and devoted servant,


Perlegi librum hunc cui Titulum est (Meditations upon the 51. Psalme) eum (que) tipis mandari permitto.



O LORD our GOD, how Excellent is thy Name, in all Verse 1. the World! Thy glorious Majesty is Excellent; but that brings nothing to me; Thy Justice is Excellent, but That brings me to No­thing: It is thy Mercy, that must doe mee good: and therefore, thy other Excellencies I Adore; but This I Invocate. To Invocate thy Justice, I dare not; Thy Glory, I cannot: but thy Mercy, I both Dare, and Can: For, why should I not Dare; when Feare gives me Boldnesse? How should I not be able, when weaknesse gives mee strength? Why should I not Dare, when Thou Invitest me to it? How should I not be able, when Thou Drawest mee to it? Dost Thou Invite mee, and shall I not Come? Dost Thou Draw mee, and shall I [Page 2] draw backe? Can there be a Patron so power­full as Thou? Can there be a Supplyant, so de­jected as my selfe? Of whom then, is it fitter, to aske for Mercy; than of Thee, O God, who art the God of Mercy? and for whom, Is it fit­ter, to aske for Mercy, than for mee, who am a creature of Misery? If I were not so miserable; Thou couldst not be to mee so Mercifull: and have I not reason then to aske that of Thee which thou couldst not have so much occasion, to manifest to mee, as by mee? If it were not for sinne; there should be no Misery; and if no Misery; no exercise for thy Mercy: and wilt thou let it stand Idle, where it hath so foule sinnes; for so faire Fields, to walke in? Hast thou Mercy, and wilt thou not shew it? Or wilt thou shew it to others, and not to me? To say, I have not deserved it, were to make it no Mercy; for, if I deserved it; it were Justice, and not Mercy. Is not thy Mercy over all thy Works; and am not I the worke of thy Hands? The more Mercy thou shewest, the more is thine Honour; and wilt thou not doe that which is most for thine Honour? Thou didst shew Mercy to Adam; who was the first sinner: and thou didst shew Mercy to the Thiese on the Crosse; who was the longest sinner: and wilt thou not shew Mercy to mee, who am not the first; and hope, not to be the longest? Hast thou shewed Mercy to so many, that thou hast not Mercy left for me also? If thy Mercy were finite, and could be exhausted; It were no [Page 3] charity to aske it, lest others might want it; but seeing it is Infinite, and can never be spent; why should I be sparing to aske it, or Thou to bestow it? Thy Mercy is Infinite, or none at all; for all thou art is Infinite; and wilt thou by shewing thy Mercy, lesse; shew thy selfe to be Mercilesse? If thy Mercy be Infinite, it must extend to all; and how extends it to all, if not to me? Thou hast as much Mercy for me, as if thou hadst none to have Mercy on but me: and can it be, thou shouldst have so much for mee, and let mee have none of it? Can my daily In­firmities alien thy Love? This were to thinke, thou didst not love me, but for my goodnesse: and alas! what goodnesse is there? What good­nesse ever was there in mee, that thou shouldst love mee? Can thy Love aliened, turne away thy Mercy? This were to thinke, thy Mercy did reach no further than thy Love; and so, be­cause I know, thou lovest not sinne, I might justly feare, thou wouldst never have Mercy upon sinners. But, O gracious God, Thou lovest for thy loves sake; and Thou hast Mercy for thy Mercies sake; and seeing thy Love, which is thy selfe, can never leave Thee; It makes mee assured, thy Mercy, which is thy Nature, will never leave mee. If I refused thy Mercy, thou mightst justly with-hold it: but now, Behold, I hold my Brest open to receive it; Or if I did not aske thy Mercy, thou mightst for­beare to shew it; but now Behold; I begge it upon my knees. I am none of Zebedees sonnes, [Page 4] that aske to sit at thy right hand, and at thy left; I desire not Exaltation, but Absolution; It is not thy Bounty I aske, but onely thy Mercy; Have mercy upon mee, O God, according to thy loving kindnesse; and according to the multitude of thy ten­der Mercies, doe away mine offences.

It may be thought severity in God, to cast 20. Adam out of Paradise, for only One sin: But was Adams sin, but onely One? but One perhaps in Action, but a Million in Affection. For, say It was Pride? hath not Pride more branches than a Tree hath? Say it was Gluttony? hath not Gluttony more dishes than Dives had? Say it was Curiositie; hath not Curiosity, more Eyes than Argus had? Say it was Disobedience? hath not Disobedience, more faults than Absolon had? For how else could Manasses sinnes come to be more than the sands of the Sea, if it be not, that a sinne, though but in Thought, may justly be thought a Million of sinnes? And as it is said in the Gospel, that a man was posses­sed with an uncleane Spirit; but that uncleane Spirit was a Legion: So wee may say of every sinne; It is but One sinne; but that One sinne is a Legion. Here therefore, O my soule, take heed thou mis-take not thy selfe, in casting up the Audit of thy sinnes; and thinke, thou hast perhaps but One or Two sins, to answer for to God; when in Gods sight, every sin thou com­mittest is a Legion; and for a Legion of sinnes thou must make thy account, thou shalt make account. And now, seeing my sins are in number [Page 5] so many, and so great in measure; have I not rea­son to aske for mercies, of equall proportion? al­though therefore I aske not thy Bounty, but thy Mercy; yet the Bounty of thy Mercy I aske; to aske lesse than would serve, would prejudice my wants, and not relieve them; and how then can I aske lesse than a multitude of great Mer­cies, to doe away my offences; who have a mul­tude of great offences, to be done away? But hath God then, a multitude of Mercies, whereof some be greater, and some be lesser? Is not his Mercv, as himselfe is, onely One and simplicis­simus? No doubt, It is so in it selfe; One and single as himselfe; but yet in relation to us, and to our understanding; It is said to be, as it is applyed: To every sinne, a Mercy; to great sinnes great mercies; to a multitude of sinnes, a multitude of Mercies. But is not this, a Disor­der in praying; to pray for that, for which we should rather give thankes? to pray for a mul­titude of great mercies, as though we had them not already? When wee should rather give thankes for them, which wee have so continu­ally? For is it not Gods great mercy to us all, that wee be not all consumed? and this great mercy multiplyed unto us; when thousands fall on our right hand; and ten thousands on our left; yet we in the midst of these dangers, are kept safe from danger? Is it not his great mercy, that hee gives Riches and Plenty; and this mercy multiplyed unto us, when so many are pined away with penury; yet our Land [Page 6] floweth, with Milke and Honey? Is it not his great mercy, that the light of the Gospell shines upon us; and this mercy multiplied unto us, when so many live in darknesse; and in the sha­dow of death? These indeed are great Mercies; yet they are but the mercies of his Patience: or of his generall Goodnesse and Bounty; and of these mercies, we may justly be afraid: as it is said; There is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared: but it is the mercies of his speciall Love, that I desire; and of these mercies, there can be no feare; for, Love casteth out Feare. The mer­cies of his Patience, and of his Bounty; are not his tender mercies; wee may have them, per­haps, and to our hurt: as long Life; but to heape up wrath against the day of wrath; Riches and Honours, but to make our Camell the greater; and the unfitter to passe thorow a Needles Eye; The light of the Gospell; but to make us the more guilty, and subject to be beaten with more stripes: but his tender mercies, are the mercies of his Love; and can never be had, but for our good; for, Love covers the multitude of sinne [...]; and this covering of our sinnes is the [...] [...]ecove­ring of Paradise; and su [...]ers not the An­gell, with the flaming sword, to find any thing in us, to keepe us out. O therefore, how ever it pleaseth thee, O God, to deale with mee, in the mercies of thy Patience; by length of daies: or in the mercies of thy Bounty, by Riches and Honours; be pleased at least, to grant mee the mercies of thy Love, to cover my sinnes; and [Page 7] according to the multitude of thy tender mer­cies, Doe away mine offences. It was a great mercy, even of thy Love; that with great mi­racles, thou diddest bring the Israelites out of Egypt; but, that thou didst endure to be grieved with that Generation, fortie yeeres together; and yet bring them at last, into the Land of Ca­naan; this was a multitude of great mercies. And yet more than this: It was a great mercy, that thou diddest suffer our first Parents, after their great sinne, to live; and to propagate their sinfull Race; but, that thou didst send, thine onely Sonne, to Expiate their sinne; and to make satisfaction for it, with infinite Indig­nities, in Life and Death; this was a multitude of great and tender mercies. And now, that I have the multitude of Gods tender mercies at the heighth; what would I have it to doe? Even to doe away mine offences: For this is a worke, for a multitude of mercies; and of mer­cy only. Thy Power O God, is Almighty, and yet cannot; Thy Justice most perfect, and yet will not; Thy Wisedome Infinite, and yet knowes not, how to doe away offences, with­out thy Mercy; but thy Mercy alone, and of it selfe, both Can, and May, and Will; and therefore, thy Mercy is the Sanctuary that I flie unto; and seeing thou delightest, in shewing of mercy, Behold, I shew thee a large Field here, wherein thou mayst shew it; a Multitude of my great sinnes, for a Multitude of thy great mer­cies. And because sinnes are Pollutions; and [Page 8] no way to doe away Pollutions so well as by washing; Therefore wash mee thorowly from mine Verse 2. Inquitie, and cleanse me from my sinnes;

I must confesse, I was at first afraid of thy washing; for thou didst once wash the whole World; and then, thou didst wash away the sin­ners, but not the sins; and if thou shouldst wash mee so; It were as good for me, to be unwasht; but I consider, that washing was in thy Iustice: the washing I desire, is in thy Mercy; and I should not have dared to pray thee to wash me: if I had not prayed thee first, to have mercy upon me; for it is thy washing in mercy onely, that washes cleane; thy washing in Iustice, washeth cleane away. But why is David so pre­posterous in making his sute? To pray God, to wash away his sinnes; before he make his con­fession, and tell what his sinnes be? As a man, that should require his Physician to cure his dis­ease; without telling what hee ailes; and what his disease is. But is it not, that the ardour and burning heat, which David felt of his sins; made him, as it were, to leape into the water, at the very first; crying out to be washed; quite for­getting all order, through the violence of his ardour? much like to Saint Peter; who through heat of desire, to be instantly with Christ whom hee saw upon the water; never stayed, but girt his coate about him, and leapt into the water, clothes and all. Or is it, that David might well require to be cured of his disease, without tel­ling it; being come to a Physitian, who knew [Page 9] his disease better than himselfe? Or is it indeed, that to tell our disease, is part of our curing; to confesse our sinnes, is an act of our washing, and therefore no preposterous course in David, to pray for washing, before confessing; seeing no confessing is truly sound; which hath not its beginning, and is not proceeding from Gods washing?

But how can wee answer this to God? Hee saith unto us by Esay; Wash you, Make you cleane; meaning, it seemes, we should wash our selves; and now we come to him to wash us; as though wee should say; If you will have us be washed, you must come and doe it your selfe? Indeed, both must be done; God must wash us, and we must wash our selves: but Gods washing, is not like our washing; Gods washing is by the fire of his Spirit; our washing is by the water of contrition: Gods washing is by pardoning; our washing by repenting. Peter washed him­selfe, when having denied his Master, he went out, and wept bitterly: Christ washed him, when he prayed for him, that his faith might not faile. David washed himselfe, when for griefe of his sinnes, he watered his bed with teares; God washed him, when hee sent him word by the Prophet Nathan, that his sinne was forgiven. And indeede, if God wash us not with his water of pardon; the water of our owne teares, will doe no great good: It may wet, but not wash; or wash, but not cleanse, if God put not our teares into his bottle, which [Page 10] onely can give them the power of cleansing. For Esau had a floud of teares to wash himselfe with­all; but God never put them into his bottle: they were teares for his punishment, but not for his sinnes; and therefore they might wet, perhaps, but they never cleansed. Oh then, Put my teares into thy bottle, O God: for they are teares for my sins, and not for my punishment; and then wash mee with them, and I shall be cleane. My teares, God knowes, are of themselves too cold, unlesse they be warmed by the fire of Gods Spirit; but if wee bring the water, and God bring the fire: then indeed a fit Lexative will be made to make us cleane. O then, warme the cold teares of my repentance with the fire of thy Spirit, O God; and then wash me with them; that my repentance it selfe being first cleansed, may be made effectuall to cleanse mee from my sinne. Our owne washing is of it selfe imperfect; and makes us ne're a whit the clea­ner: because wee mis-take the water, as Pilate did; who washed his hands from Christs blood, where hee should have washed them in Christs blood; but thy washing, O God, is never with­out cleansing; for thou canst not mis-take the water, who art the water thy selfe; and not in a Cesterne, but the Fountaine it selfe. We wash our selves commonly, but as the Pharisees wash their cups; onely the out-side; and this makes us but Hypocrites: but thy washing. O God, is alwaies inward; for, Thou searchest the hearts and reines; and this is the washing that makes the [Page 11] true Israelite, in whom there is no guile. When Naaman was cured of his leprosie, by washing in Iordan; did God then wash him; or did Naaman wash himselfe? Indeed both; Naaman washed himselfe, by obedience and confidence in Gods power; God washed him by giving power to the water, and confidence to Naaman. But this power, was but a personall estate to Iordan; it hath no such power in cleansing of mee: the water that must cleanse me, is the water that flowed out of my Saviours side; and in confi­dence of the power of that water, I humbly pro­strate my selfe before thee, O God, and say; Wash mee thorowly from mine iniquities, and cleanse mee from my sinnes.

But why should David speake so superflu­ously? Vse two words, when one would serve? for, if wee be cleansed, what matter is it, whe­ther it be by washing or no? Yet David had great reason for using both words; for hee re­quires not, that God would cleanse him by mi­racle, but by the ordinary way of cleansing; and this was washing; he names therefore, washing as the meanes; and cleansing as the end: hee names washing, as the worke a doing; and cleansing as the work done: he names washing, as considering the agent; and cleansing, as ap­plying it to the patient: and indeed, as in the Fi­gure of the Law there was not; so in the Verity of the Gospel, there is not any ordinary meanes of cleansing, but only by washing: and therefore out of Christ our Saviours side, there flowed [Page 12] water and blood; water to wash us, and blood to cleanse us: water, to make the laver of our regeneration in Baptisme; and blood, to make the laver of our expiation in Christs sacrifice: but though the words seeme here, to be thus distinguished; yet otherwhere, they are often­times promiscuously used; and as well clean­sing, as washing referred to this water: as well washing as cleansing, referred to this blood.

But what meanes David, to say, Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse mee from my sinne; as though hee would be washed from one thing, and cleansed from another? and not be clean­sed from that for which hee is washed? But is it not, that iniquity and sinne, though called by divers names, are both the same thing; but cal­led iniquity, as being a transgression of the Law; called sinne, as being an offence against God? Or is it, that in sinne there is both a staine, and a gu lt?; and hee prayes to be washed from the staine, and cleansed from the guilt? Or is it in­deed, that he useth divers words, to shew that he askes forgivenesse for all his sinnes, by what name or title soever they be called?

But is not this an indignity, to the great Majestie of God? we put our meanest servants to wash our clothes, and will we put God to so meane an office, to be a Launderer of sinnes? Yet see the humility of Majesty, an humility, even to extasie: he descends yet lower; not onely to wash our sinnes, but to take our sinnes upon him. It seemes Saint Peter indeed, was [Page 13] in this errour, to thinke it an indignity: and therefore would not by any meanes suffer, that Christ should wash him; untill he heard Christ say; unlesse I wash thee, thou canst have no part in mee; and then hee cried, Not my feete onely, but my hands and my head: and is not this my case also; that unlesse God wash mee, I can have no part in him? And will I lose my part in God, for want of washing? Oh there­fore my soule, prepare thy selfe for this wash­ing; put off thy clothes, and strip thy selfe starke naked; keepe not so much as fig-leafes about thee, either to hide thy sinnes by contumacy, or to cover them by hypocrifie, or to sleight them by indulgency; but lay them all open and bare before the face of God; that whil'st no­thing is interposed betweene Gods water and thy sinnes; it may without impediment have full liberty to worke upon thee.

But what though God doe wash us? are wee 20. sure his washing will alwaies cleanse us? Why is it then, that he saith; I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged: for may he not as well say; I have washed thee, and thou wast not cleansed? and if not cleansed, as good not washed. Oh there­fore, Not wash me onely; but cleanse me from my sinnes; that as in washing, thou shewest thy Love: so by cleansing, thou mayest shew thy Power; seeing it is an office, which as none will be willing to undertake, but he whose love is unspeakeable: so none can b [...] able to dis­charge, but he whose power is uneffable. For, [Page 14] can washing be without touching? And would any man foule his fingers, to touch so foule a thing as my sin; if hee did not love exceeding­ly? Can cleansing mee, be without doing a Mi­racle? for seeing it cannot more truely be said, that I have sinne, than that I am sinne; what is it now to cleanse mee, but even laterem lavare? which was never counted lesse, than either a la­bour lost, or a miracle wrought: and can any doe mira [...]les, but hee, whose power is unlimi­ted? Oh then, Wash mee from mine iniquitie, that I may praise thee for thy Love; and cleanse mee from my sinne, that I may magnifie thee for thy Power; which, as I shall doe both, if once I be cleansed: so I am able to doe neither; un­till I be washed. For alas! O Lord, what am I, but as a filthy ragge before thee? Who am I, but the man by the high way side, lying bound and wounded? No meanes at all left mee; to wash, much lesse to cleanse my selfe; They must be both thine owne, thine only worke, O God, both to wash me, by thy preventing grace; and by thy assisting grace to cleanse mee: Oh then, cleanse mee from my sinnes, O God; let not the foulenesse of my sinnes, make thee unwil­ling to wash mee: Let not the reluctancy of my flesh, make thee unable to cleanse me; but make thy worke of washing mee, to prosper in thy hand. Oh wash mee; but not as Simon Magus was washed; who came fouler out of the water, than he went in; but as the Eunuch was washed; who came so cleane out of the water, that hee [Page 15] was ready to runne thorow fire and water, for thy names sake: and by his washing, was made a fit Minister, for the washing of others. And now, O great God, since it hath pleased thee, to descend to so low a worke as washing mee; O wash mee thorowly; not rince mee onely; as though I were but lightly stained; and had but some small spots upon mee; but wash mee tho­rowly, as having a leprosie that over-spreads mee; a foulenesse that is deeply engrained in mee; so deeply, O God, that nothing but a washing by thine owne hand can fetch it out. And yet stay; why should I put God to this trouble of washing me at all? seeing I have an easier way of cleansing, taught me by the Cen­turion in the Gospell; Speake the word onely, and I shall be cleane; or, if this be still too much; an easier way yet taught mee by another; Si vis, potest me mundare; If thou wil [...], thou canst make mee cleane. O gracious God; whether it be by washing; or, by speaking the word; or, by thy will onely to have it so; whatsoever be the meanes, let this at least be the effect; that though I be not made bright, which is more than I can be, yet I may be made cleane, which is no more than I must be; for I am not of the Pharsees minde, to thinke my selfe cle [...]ne enough already; But, Verse 3.

I know mine iniquity, and my sinne is ever be­fore me; although, perhaps, it be a knowledge, I were better be without: For, Christ knew no sinne; which wee may be sure, hee should have [Page 16] done, if it had beene worth the knowing. Christ indeed knew no sinne in himselfe; but he knew sinne in it selfe; he knew no sinne by commit­ting it; but he knew sinne by understanding it. My misery is not that I know sinne; but that I know my sinne; that I have sin of mine owne to know. Christ knew no sinne, because he could not say; I know my sinne: but I know my sin, because I cannot say, I knew not sinne: And yet who will believe, that a man knowes sinne, that will be medling with it? Wee say, there are no miracles now adaies in the world; and can there be a greater wonder than this; that a man should know sinne, and yet commit it? should know the foulenesse of sinne; and yet lie wallowing in it? should know the horrour of sinne; and yet runne head-long into it? But is it not, that wee are all in this, the children of Adam? Our eyes are not opened, till wee have eaten of the forbidden fruit; wee know not sin truely, till wee have committed it; wee see not the foulenesse, till we feele the guiltinesse; and this makes mee say now, which I could not so well say till now; I know mine iniquities, and my sinne is ever before mee: for, they were strangers to me before; and I knew not their conditions; but now I finde what they are; and am sicke of their company: They were indeed pleasing to me in the doing; but are now most loath some, being done: They stood behind me at first, as servants waiting upon mee; but are now ever before me, astormenters seazing upon me; that [Page 17] if ever I loved them before; I hate them now a thousand times more.

But why should David make it so great a mat­ter, to say, I know my sinne; as though a man could commit a sinne, and not know it? as though Adam could eate of the forbidden fruit, and not know hee had eaten it? Adam in­deed knew his eating; yet hee knew not his sinning; he knew his nakednesse, but he knew not his guiltinesse; if when he answered God; I know my nakednesse, he had said, I know my sinne; hee might, perhaps, have tarried in Paradise still; that we may see, how hard a thing it is to say, I know my sinne, which cost Adam no lesse than Paradise before he could say it. And how much easier came David to be able to say, I know my sinne? For, doe wee thinke hee could say it, as soone as hee had committed it? No, nor almost a whole yeere after; that as we may say of Adam; it cost him a great place: so wee may say of David, it cost him a long time, to learne to say, I know my sinne.

But how can David say, I know my sins; and yet in another place, said, Forgive me my secret sinnes? For, if hee know them; how be they secret? and if they be secret, how doth he know them? Indeed, both David, and every one of us, hath sinne enough to serve both turnes; not onely, because sinne is of a greater size in Gods sight, than it is in ours; and therefore leaves much for him to see, which to us is secret; but be­cause also, there are many actions in our life; [Page 18] which we so lightly passe over, as if we thought them no sinnes; perhaps, thought them Ver­tues; when yet in Gods sight, they are grievous sinnes. David had committed a great sin, which hee could not choose, but know to be a sinne; and therefore might justly say; I know my sinne; but that his sinne had caused Gods Name to be blasphemed; this was a sinne he knew not, till God himselfe did tell him: and from hence he might justly suspect hee had cause enough in other sinnes, to say; Forgive me my secret sinnes. Saint Iames saith, In many things wee offend all; this wee all know; and gives us all just cause, to say; I know my sinne; but what those many things are, in which wee offend; and what those offences be, which in many things wee commit; this, many times we know not: and gives us as just cause to say, Forgive mee my se­cret sinnes.

But alas! my soule, I must not stay here, onely to know my sinne; and keepe it to my selfe, as though I thought it a Jewell, which none might know of, for feare of losing it; but in this, I acknowledge the great favour of God, that as I know my sinne; so I acknowledge my sinne: For, farre be it from mee, I should be found of Sauls disposition; to thinke to make God believe, that I saved the fat of the sheepe for sacrifice; when I saved them for mine owne profit; this hiding a sin, is a greater sin than the sinne it hides: For, it is an affront to Gods omnipotency; Adams Fig-leafes proved [Page 19] as hurtfull to him as the forbidden fruit; for no­thing laies our sinnes so open to God, as our seeking to hide them; and although it be often times dangerous to acknowledge a fault to a civill Magistrate, who without our acknow­ledging could not know it; yet there can be no danger, to acknowledge our sins to God; who knowes them already, whether wee acknow­ledge them or no: Our acknowledging them to him, is not a discoverie, but the first degree of recovery; and seeing I am now travelling to repentance; how is it possible, I should ever come at it, if I acknowledge not my sinnes; which is the first step to it? and therefore, how­soever I am guilty of many great and hainous sinnes; yet of this sin, of hiding my sinne; thou canst cleare mee, O God; for, I acknowledge mine iniquity, and my sinne is ever before me.

But yet, what good will the knowing, or the 20. acknowledging my sinne doe me; if I let it slip from my heart, as soone as it is off my tongue? If having once acknowledged it, I cast it be­hinde mee, and thinke no more of it? Behold, therefore, O God, I set it before mee, and am alwaies beholding it: It is ever before mee in Meditation; for I cannot but be thinking still, how foolish I have beene, to procure thy dis­pleasure, though it had beene Regni causa; for the gaining of a Kingdome; how much more to provoke thine anger, for the pleasing onely of some idle fancie? It is ever before me in re­morse; for it is ever running, as a sore in my [Page 20] mind, that against thee onely have I finned; against­whom onely, I should not have sinned; much like the fault of our first Parents; who seeme to have eaten of that fruit onely; of which fruit onely, they should not have eaten. It is ever before mee in prospect; for, looking earnestly upon sinne; I can see nothing i [...] i [...], that should make any man to love it: It is deformed and crooked; it is foule and ill-favoured; it is un­sound and diseased; it is old and wrisled, that I wonder at my selfe, how I was ever gotten but once to embrace it; yet I see wi [...]all, it paints and makes a faire shew; it perfumes, and makes a sweete smell; it is in profession, an Angell of light, and carries Apples in its hand, of the tree of Good and Evill; that would entice any man. It is ever before me in terror; waking, me thinkes I heare the Judge pronouncing sen­tence of condemnation against mee; fleeping, I am frighted with dreames no lesse fearefull; If a leafe doe but wagge, me thinks it threatens me; If a Bird doe but chirp, it seemes to accuse mee; I am frighted with light; and jealous of darknesse: For, how can I choose but feare, lest all thy creatures have set themselves against me; who have so unnaturally; so unloyally; so un­gratefully for my sel [...] against thee? For, Against Verse 4. thee, against thee onely have I sinned; not against Heaven; not against Earth; not against An­gells; not against men; for to these I never vowed allegeance; nor stand engaged: but a­gainst thee onely; against thee my Father; and [Page 21] so have [...]inned in disobedience: Against thee my soveraigne Lord; and so have sinned in rebel­lion; against thee my Benefactor; and so have sinned in ungratefulnesse; that whil [...] no grace hath beene found wanting in thee, that might have kept me from sinning; no grace hath been found in me, to keepe me from sinne.

But i [...] there not matter here to make us at a stand? For, to say, against thee I have sianed; is most just and fit: but to say, Against thee onely I have sinned; seemes something hard. It had, perhaps, beene a fit speech, in the mouth of our first Parent Adam; he might justly have said to God; Against thee onely have I sinned; who never sinned against any other: but for us to say it, who commit sins daily against our neighbours; and specially for David to say it; who commit­ted two notorious sinnes against his neighbour, and faithfull friend Vriah, what unfitter speech could possibly be devised? But is it not that these actions of David, were great wrongs in­deede, and enormous iniquities against Vrias; but can wee properly say, they were sinnes against Vriah? For, what is sinne, but a trans­gression of Gods Law? And how then can sin be committed against any, but against him only, whose Law we transgresse? Or, is it, that it may justly be said; Against thee onely have I sinned; because, against others, perhaps, in a base tenure; y [...] onely against God in Capite? Or, is it, that David might justly to say to God; Against thee onely have I sinned; because, from [Page 22] others he might appeale; as being a King, and having no superiour; but no appealing from God; who is King of Kings; and supreme Lord ouer all? Or is it, that wee may justly say? Against thee onely I have sinned; seeing Christ hath taken; and still takes all our sins upon him; and every sin we commit, is as a new burthen laid up­on his backe, and upon his backe only? Or is it lastly, that I justly say, Against thee onely have I sinned; because in thy sight onely I have done it? For, from others I could hide it, and did con­ceale it; But what can be hidden from thy All­seeing Eye? And yet, if this had beene the worst; that I had sinned onely against thee; though this had beene bad enough, and infinit­ly too much; yet it might, perhaps, have ad­mitted reconcilement; but to doe this evill in thy sight; as if I should say, I would doe it, though thou stand thy selfe and looke on; and as it were in defiance; what sinne so formi­dable? what sinne can be thought off; so unpar­donable? A sinne of infirmity may admit Apo­logie; a sinne of ignorance may find out ex­cuse; but a sinne of defiance can have no de­fence. But hath not David a defence for it here; and that a very just one? For, in saying, Against thee only I have sinned, that thou mightst be justi­fyed in thy saying; doth hee not speake, as though hee had sinned, to doe God a pleasure? therefore sinned, that God might be justified? And what can be more said for justifying of a sinne; then to say it was done for justifying of [Page 23] God? But far is it from David, to have any such meaning; his words import not, a lessening, but an aggravating of his sinne; as spoken rather thus; because a Judge may justly be taxed of injustice, if hee lay a greater punishment upon an offender, than the offence deserves; there­fore to cleare thee, O God, from all possibility of erring in this kinde; I acknowledge my si [...]s to be so hainous; my offences so grievous, that thou canst never be unmercifull in punishing, though thy punishing should be never so un­merciful: For, how can a Judge passe the bounds of equity; where the delinquent hath passed all bounds of iniquity? and what error can there be, in thy being severe, when the greatnesse of my fault is a Iustification of severity? That thou canst not lay so heavie a doome upon mee, which I have not deserved? Thou canst not pronounce so hard a sentence against me, which I am not worthy of: If thou judge mee to tor­ture; it is but mildnesse: If to die the death, it is but my due: If to die everlastingly, I can­not say, it were unjust. Yet in judgement, O Lord, remember mercy; consider not how foule I am become; but how I am become foule; for though my sinne be great, yet I was not the beginner of it; for, Behold, I was borne in iniquity; and in sinne hath my mother conceived me; Verse 5. And seeing my birth did not amend my con­ception; how should my growth amend my birth? Did not sinne, at least the Authour of sin, heare thy voyce, when thou saidst, Encrease [Page 24] and multiply? Which, though not spoken to him, yet, as an Intruder, hee claimes to have a part; and seeing all the parts of my soule and body have increased and growne greater since my birth; will not hee looke, that si [...]ne also shall have a share in growing, as well as they? Doth any thing grow so fast as a weede? and is there any so very a weede as finne? hath it not beene growing ever since I was borne; and can so fast growing, in so long growing, make lesse than a Monster? And am I a fit Champion to encoun­ter Monsters? Indeede I encountred a Beare, and slue him; a Lyon, and killed him; a Giant, and overcame him: but these were no Monsters, at least no Monsters to be compared with sin. Oh the monstrousnesse of sin! farre harder to be vanquished than all the Monsters that ever Nature made; for I could vanquish a Beare, a Lyon, Giant, the greatest of Natures Monsters; but with all my forces have not beene able to vanquish this Monster Sinne.

But why am I partiall towards my Parents; and charge my poore Mother with conceiving mee in sinne; but let my Father passe without blame? Or, is it, that to say, I was borne in sin, is as much as to say, I was begotten i [...] sinne; and so my Father hath a share of my sinne in begetting mee; as well as my Mother in con­ceiving mee? Indeed, if Eve had only sinned, and not Adam; it might have beene said, wee were conceived in sinne; but not, perhaps that we were begoten in sinne; or if Adam had [...]ly [Page 25] sinned, and not Eve; it might have beene said, we were begotten in sinne; but not, perhaps, that we were conceived in sinne: but now that Adam & Eve, have both of them sinned; it is just­ly said: I was begotten in iniquity, and in sinne [...]ath my Mother conceived mee; and so, we are all of us, sinners now of the whole blood; both by Father and Mother; and no Inheritance so sure to us from them, as this of sinne; and in this Inhe­ritance we are all great husbands; whatsoever becomes of Naboths Vineyard, wee commonly make sure worke to improve this; and we sel­dome leave, till wee can leave more of it to our children, than wee received from our Pa­rents: and seeing no diseases are so incurable as those which come Extraduce, from either of our Parents; how incurable must sinne needes be, which is Extraduce, from them both? If I were onely borne in sinne; then all the time I lived in the little world of my Mothers wombe, I must have beene without sinne; and so might hope, thou wouldst at least have some respect, to that time of Innocency I lived there: But now, that not onely I was borne in sinne, but my Mo­ther also conceived mee in sinne; now I was a sinner assoone as a creature, and not one minutes time of Innocencie to plead for my selfe. And now, alas! O Lord, What couldst thou ever looke for at my hands, but onely sinne? The Leopard cannot change her spots; no more can I that am conceived in sin, conceive any thing but onely sin: It is naturall to me; and Nature [Page 26] will have her course. But though it be naturall to mee to sinne; yet it is not naturall to me, to sinne so grievously as I have done; for then every one should be as great a sinner as my selfe; but now, that I must say with Saint Paul, Of all great sinners, I am the greatest; this is an estate of sinne, which I have not by Inheritance, but by Purchase; and I cannot blame Nature, but my selfe for this: all the help is, that though I might be ashamed to doe it; yet I am not ashamed to consesse it; and is not a sincere confessing, in the ballance of thy Mercv, O God, of even weight with the not doing? and therefore, although the sinne I conf [...]sse be great; and being great, must needes be greatly displeasing to thee; yet this conf [...]ssing my sinne to be great; cannot be displeasing: For, Thou lovest truth in the inward Verse [...]. affections; and this my confession comes from thence: For, there is a truth in words, when it is without lying; as Saint Paul saith, I speake the truth; I lie not: but this truth reacheth not home to confessing of sinnes: and there is a truth in deedes, when it is without lying; as Christ said of Nathaniel; Behold a true reacheth, in whom there is [...]o guile: but neither doth this truth rea [...]h home to confessing of sinnes; but there is a truth in heart, when it is in sincerity: as it is said here, Thou lovest truth in the inward affe­ctions, and this is the truth that carries home the confessing of sins, to its full period. For though thou lovest all truth, and every where; yet the truth of the inward affections, thou affectest [Page 27] most inwardly; for this is properly within thine owne survey; soeing thou only art [...], the trier and searcher of the heart and reines. Truth of words may have for its motive, vain-glory and praise of men; truth of deeds, awe of the Law; but truth in the inward affections, can have no motive, but onely the love of truth; which therefore must needs be pleasing to thee, who art thy selfe, both Love and Truth.

Where thou lovest truth, thon teachest wise­dome; 20. and because thou lovest truth in the in­ward affections; thou teachest wisdome, in the secret of the heart; and who can come to teach it there, but onely thou? Superficiall and Ex­ternall wisdome, is the gift oft-times of Nature, sometimes of Art; but this wisedome in the se­cret of the heart, is onely Gods Advowson; none can give it; none bestow it; but God himselfe, and hee alone. Wherefore, O God, though I have not hated that which thou ha­test, the committing of sin; yet seeing I have loved that which thou lovest, the truth of heart; thou hast taught me wisdome in the secret of my heart; though thou didst not give me the grace to prevent sin; yet thou hast taught me the wis­dome to repent sinne; a wisedome which none can haue, unlesse hee be taught; and none can teach but onely thy selfe; a wisedome which cannot be had, but in the heart; and no where in the heart, but in the secret of the heart. A man may have the wisedome to see his sinne, by the outward eye of the heart; and hee may [Page 28] have the wisedome to understand his sin, by the common sense of the heart; but he cannot have the wisedome to repent his sinne; but onely in the secret, and innermost of his heart. And we need not wonder, that God only is the Schoole­master of this wisedome; seeing the wisedome of the world is not capable of it; it is a secret, hidden from carnall eyes: It is as hard a matter to feele the power of repentance, in the soule; as to believe the resurrection from the dead, in the body; both great secrets; but this, perhaps, the greater; as being indeed, the ref [...]rrection of the soule. There are wisedomes of divers sorts in the heart of man; the voluptuous man hath a wisdome, to accomplish his desires; the world­ly man hath a wisdome to gather riches; the Politician hath a wisdome, to compasse his ends; but all these wisedomes are but floating in the heart; or rather but hovering about the heart, as the Crow about the Arke; they enter not in­to the secret of it; not bring into the heart, as the Dove into the Arke, the Olive branch of peace: For when the minde bethinkes it selfe, and dives into its owne bottome; it findes no place for these distended and swelling wise­domes; which indeed, the secret of the heart h [...]th not roome enough to receive; onely the contracted wisedomes of Humility and Repen­tance, can find harbor and entertainment there.

But though a little roome will serve hu­mility; yet as little as it is it must be cleane; [...]nd what one cleane [...] have I, in my whole [Page 29] heart; to give Humility or Repentance enter­tainment? O therefore; Purge me with Hysop, and I shall be cleane; Wash mee, and I shall be whiter Verse 7. than snow. But did not the washing I had before, make me cleane; and what neede then, of any more cleansing? It seemes, that washing was but onely for a preparative to purging; to make it worke the better; at least it went not so farre, as the secret of the heart: And seeing the foule­nesse of my sinne, hath pierced my heart to the very bottome; no remedy now, but I must be purged, if I will be cleansed. But doe I well, to prescribe to God, with what hee shall purge mee; as though I knew, all Gods Medi­cines as well as himselfe? and which is worse; I to prescribe, and he to minister? But excuse me, O my soule; it is not I that prescribe it to God; it is God, that prescribes it to me: for Hysop is his owne receit; and one of the ingredients pre­scribed by himselfe, to make the water of se­paration for curing the leprosie. But why then with Hysop; and not with Ellebor, or Scammo­ny tather? For how else happens it, that Gods purging should not worke; as he saith himselfe: I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged; but that hee gives purges of too weake operation? for Hysop, God knowes, is but a weake purger; it searce reacheth to amend the errours of the first digestion; and how then is it possible, it should ever be able to purge away my sins; which have tainted my blood; and are growne, as it were, a part of my very substance? But is it not, that [Page 30] Gods arme, is of a strange strength; and can put force into the weakest Instruments; and therefore, can doe more with Hysop, than all the world besides can doe with E [...]lebore? But it is indeed the great Love, or rather indul­gence of God; that he will never use Ellebore where Hysop will serve; never use roughnesse and severity, where lenity & mildnesse may be effectuall. Reserve then, O God, thy Ellebour and thy Scammony for more stubborne and re­luctant humors; `Purge me with Hysop only, and I shall be cleane. I must confesse, I was glad at heart, when I first heard Hysop spoken of; to thinke, I should be purged so gently; and with a thing, that may so easily be had; for Hysop growes in every garden; and then I thought I might goe fetch it thence; and purge my selfe; but now I perceive, this is not the Hysop, of which Salo­mon writ, when hee writ from the Cedar, to the Hysop: but this Hysop is rather the herbe Grace; which never grew in garden, but in that of Paradise; and which none can fetch thence, unlesse God himselfe deliver it. The truth is; this Hysop was sometimes a Cedar; the highest of all trees, became the lowest of all shrubs, only to be made this Hysop for us: For, Christ indeed is the true Hysop; and his blood, the juyce of Hysop that onely can purge away my sins; that I need not now feare the weaknesse of Gods purge; seeing this Hysop farre exceeds, not only Ellebore and Scammony, but all the stron­gest drugs, that ever the earth brought sorth. [Page 31] Purge me then, O God, with this true Hysop, and I shall 20. be truely cleane; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. But how is this possible? All the Diers up­on earth, cannot die a red into a white; and how then is it possible, that my sins which are as red as scarle [...]; should ever be made, as white as snow? Indeed, such retrogradation is no worke of humane art; it must be onely his doing, who brought the Sun ten degrees backe, in the Diall of Ahaz: for God hath a Nitre of grace, that can bring, not onely the rednesse of scarlet sins; but even the blacknesse of deadly sins, into its native purity and whitenesse againe.

But say it be possible; yet what need is there of so great a whitenesse, as to be whiter than snow? seeing snow, is not as paries dealbatus; a pain [...]d wall; white without, and foule within; but it is white, intus & in cute; within and with­out; thorowout and all over: and what eye so curious, but such a whitenesse may content? yet such a whitenesse will not serve: for, I may be as white as snow, and yet continue a Leper still; as it is said of Gehezi; that he went out from Elisha, a Leper as white as snow: it must be therefore whi­ter than snow; and such a whitenesse it is, that Gods washing, workes upon us; makes within us: for no snow is so white in the eyes of men; as a soule cleansed from sinne, is in the sight of God. And yet, a whiter whitenesse than this, too; for being purged from sin, we shall induere stolam albam; put on the white robe; and this is a whitenesse, as much whiter than snow; as An­gelicall [Page 32] whitenesse is more than Elementar.

But may we not conceive rather, that in say­ing, Purge mee with Hysop; it is not meant purgan­do; but aspergendo; that so, there may be two de­grees exprest, of using the juyce of this Hysop: one when it is, but a sprinkling only; yet enough to take away the foulenesse of sinne; another, when it is a full and thorow washing; which be­sides the cleannesse, addes also a beauty; and that to admiration. Indeed, the least drop of Christs blood, the true juyce of this Hysop; makes fit to stand in the congregation of the righteous; but a full bathe of it gives a high degree, in the Hierarchie of Saints and Angells. Howsoever, we may plainly see a great difference, betweene the washing that was spoken of before; and the washing that is spoken of here; as great a dif­ference, as betweene cleannesse and whitenesse; for that washing was to cleanse us; but this washing is to whiten us; of that it was said; Wash mee, and I shall be cleane; but of this, it is said; Wash mee, and I shall be whiter thau snow: and therefore upon this, it presently followes; Verse 8. and very justly; Make mee to heare of joy and glad­nesse; that the bones which thou hast broken may re­joyce. For, white is the Embleme of joy: and where the Embleme of whitenesse is once had; the Motto of joy and gladnesse will not long be behind. But we must be whited first; for while the blacknesse of sinne remaines in the soule; there can be no Embleme of whitenesse engra­ven upon it: but if once we be whited by Gods [Page 33] washing; and have the Embleme upon us; this Motto, wee may be sure, will be added to the Embleme; Hee will make us heare of joy and gladnesse. And the like may be seene, in the kindly order of Gods Physicke: First, a Purge; and then, a Cordiall; having purged us with Hysop; hee will make us to heare of joy and gladnesse; but wee must be purged first: for while the peccant humours remaine in the soule; there is no place fit for the Cordiall of joy, but if the humors be purged by the Hysop of repentance; then the heart will be ligh­tened; and the spirits refreshed; and the Cor­diall of joy and gladnesse will have its full ope­ration.

But had David ever any returne of this Peti­tion? Did God ever heare it, or grant it? Oh, the wonderfull graciousnesse of God! he heard it, and granted it; made a returne; and that pre­sently; and by a sure mouth; the mouth of the Prophet Nathan; Behold, God hath forgiven thy si [...]; for this, no doubt, was the joy, which David here makes sute to heare of; for what joy of what Jubile, can make the broken bones rejoyce; but this onely, that wee be at peace with God, through the remission of our sinnes? David was happy, that had a Nathan by whom to heare it: but by whom may wee have hope to heare it? Indeed, as happy in this, as David: for though wee have not the same Nathan, in individno, yet we may truely say, wee have him in specie; and the same message of joy, which that Nathan [Page 34] told to David; our Nathans tell us, when they say; Hee pardoneth and absolveth all them, which truely repent; and unfainedly believe his holy Gospel: which though we heare, perhaps, as words of course; yet it is the very same joy, which David here, makes such earnest suite to heare of.

But why should David pray to God; to make him heare of joy and gladnesse; and not rather doe, as his sonne Salomon did afterward; gather Gold and Silver; get him men-singers, and wo­men-singers; and so make joy and gladnesse to himselfe? Alas, my soule! these are joyes to be repented of; and not joyes to repentance; for, but for such delights as these, I had never fallen into these sorrowes; they have been my snares, and cannot now be comforts; it is not all the delights and pleasures of the world, that can ease one pang of a penitent heart. The sorrowes are spirituall, and must have spirituall joyes; thou, O God, hast caused the sorrowes, and thou on­ly canst Minister the comforts;

Qui Vulnera fecit
Solus Achilleo tollere more potest.

But say, O my soule; how came thy bones to be broken? hath this beene the worke of Gods Hysop? Is the breaking of bones, the gentle purging that was talk'd of? What could Elle­bore or Scammony have done more? and yet thou canst not wonder so much, at the force of Gods purging, to breake thy bones; as thou mayst wonder at the force of his Cordiall, to make thy broken bones rejoyce; and that which [Page 35] thou mayest wonder at more; the same Hy­sop is both the Cordiall and the Purge: won­derfull indeed, that the same thing, should both breake the bones; and make the broken bones rejoyce: yet so it is; for this Hysop, is not only a cleanser; but a knitter and binder together: and as by the force of cleansing, it breakes the bones; so by the vertue of knitting toge­ther, it makes the broken bones rejoyce; for, what greater joy, to broken bones, than to be knit together; and made whole againe? It was not I, God knowes, that broke my bones; I could never have had the heart to doe it: It is thou, O God, didst breake them; and that, in Mercy; for thou knewst, that unlesse my bones were broken; my sin, that is bred in the bone, could never be thorowly purged away. And now, O God; if I be not purged enough alrea­dy; purge mee yet more, and purge mee still; untill I be made more white than snow: but then, make mee to heare of joy and gladnesse: for, without this Cordiall, I shall faint in my purging; and shall never be able to goe thorow, with thy course of Physicke: For my bones are already broken; and I have scarce any blood left me in my veines; but if thou give me this Cordiall of joy and gladnesse; my strength will returne; and my broken bones will be made whole againe.

But why is it said; Make mee to heare of joy and gladnesse; and not said rather; Make mee to feele joy and gladnesse? For, were it not better to feele [Page 36] joy; than onely to heare of joy? but indeede, wee cannot feele this joy, unlesse wee heare it first: and if once wee heare it; it is then our owne fault, if wee doe not feele it. For, what is this joy, but that, of which the Angels brought tidings to the Shepheards; Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy; This day is borne to you a Sa­viour; one that shall make whole againe all broken bones; seeing he is one, of whom there shall not a bone be broken. But what is this to us, that, his bones be not broken, if ours be? Great good to us, if wee be purged with this Hy­sop; for then wee shall be united, and knit unto him; made flesh of his Flesh; and bone of his Bone; that if his bones be sound, and not broken; our bones shall quickly withall, reco­cover soundnesse. And yet a greater joy, to be heard of, than this; for then indeed, wee shall heare of our greatest joy; when wee shall heare this voyce: Arise, thou that sleepest, and stand up; and God shall give thee light; for at the hearing of this voyce; all bones, though broken into a thousand pieces; though burnt, or bea­ten to dust and ashes; shall all come together, and be knit together; and shall be covered againe with this very flesh; and in this flesh, I shall see my Redeemer. And now, O my soule, thou mayst comfort thy selfe in hope; that though thy bones be broken now, yet a time will come, when they shall rejoyce; and should never indeed rejoyce, if they were not now broken; for this is a world for breaking of [Page 37] [...]ones; but we look for a new heaven, and a new earth; when for their breaking now, they shall have beautie for ashes; and a garment of glad­nesse, for the spirit of heavinesse. But, O mer­cifull God, put mee not off so long for my joy; my broken bones, will be in a worse case, than Lazarus body was after foure daies burying; if thou let mee lie so long in the grave of thy dis­pleasure; my case requires a present remedy; and a remedy may be applyed, in the turning of a hand, at least with the turning of a face: Verse 9. onely Turne away thy face from my sinnes; and my broken bones will quickely rejoyce: For, to turne away thy face from my sinnes, is to turne away thine anger for my sinnes; and to turne away thine anger, is to receive mee into grace; and if of this I might be once assured, it would make my broken bones more nimble to leape for joy, than Abraham was to see thy day; for, as it was the apprehension of thine anger, that broke my bones; so nothing can set them to­gether, and put them in joynt againe; untill I be secured of thy Grace and Favour.

But am I well advised, in praying God, to turne away his face from my sinnes? For, am I not so wholly over-spread with sinne; that if he turne away his face from my sinne; he must needes turne it away from me too? and then, in what horrour of darknesse should I be left? But is it not, that thy Wisedome, O God, is so transcendent, that thou canst easily abstract the sinner from the sinne? and then the more thou [Page 38] turnest thy face from my sinne; the more thou wilt turne thy face upon mee; and the more I shall enjoy the light of thy countenance. If thou shouldst not turne away thy face from my sinne; but stand looking upon it; alas, O God! it would be a worse sight, than that which Cham saw in his fathers nakednesse; and a good sonne turned away his face from that; and canst thou be a good Father, and not turne away thy face from this? God forbid, thou shouldst ever say to me, as thou didst once to our first Parent; Adam, Where art thou? a question that was ne­ver asked, but when it was followed with a curse. For why shouldst thou aske, where I am; but that thou canst not see, where I am? and how can it be, thou shouldst not see, where I am, but that thou canst not see mee, for sinne? Vse then, O God, the transcendency of thy Wis­dome; abstract mee from my sinne; and make my sinne and me, two severall objects; that tur­ning thy face from my sinne, thou mayest turne it upon mee; and not need to aske me where I am; but mayest see mee where I am; and by seeing mee, make mee enjoy the light of thy countenance.

But is my sinne so pleasing a prospect; that I should need to feare, lest God should stand loo­king upon it? Indeede, after his first creation, he looked upon all his creatures; and saw them all exceeding good, and this was a prospect, worth his looking on; but my sinnes, O God, are none of thy creatures; there is no goodnesse [Page 39] at all, to be seene in them: therefore looke not upon my sinnes; but upon my repentance; and in this thou shalt find, veter is vestigia formae; that thou needst not to alter thy style; but say still; It is exceeding good. But seeing, if thou turne away thy face from my sinne; thou must needs turne it, upon something else; upon what is it indeed, I would have thee to turne it? Vp on mee? No. Vpon my repentance? Neither; but though not upon my sinnes, yet upon him that hath taken my sinnes upon him; that as in him, thou art well pleased; so through him, thou mayest be well pleased with mee; and with my repentance.

But what safety is it to me, that God turne away his face; if his eares stand open? for my sinnes are crying sinnes; and it may be, as hurt­full to me, that God heare their cry, as see their foulenesse: For, what brought Caine to all his misery, but that God heard the cry of his sinne? but know, O my soule, that God con­sists not of parts; though our weake capacities expresse him so; and if wee expresse him by parts; know also there is an absolute and sweet harmony betweene them, in God; that if his face be turned away from seeing the foulenesse of our sinnes; his eares shall never stand open, to let in their crying. But what am I the bet­ter, that thou turne away thy face from my sin; if my sin continue, and remaine upon me still? For it is not the bold Nature of sinne, to be al­waies pressing into thy sight; and as it were, [Page 40] forcing thee to see it, whether thou wilt or no? Oh therefore, not onely, turne away thy face from my sinnes; but blot my finnes out; that as 20. by turning away thy face, thou mayest not see my sinnes: so by blotting them out, I may have no sinnes to be seene. But if God turne away his face from my sins; how shall he seee, to blot them out? Not therfore, faciem cognitionis; faciem but indignationis, not his face with which, he sees all things: but his face, with which, he frownes upon evil things. But are not my sins themselves blots? and how can blots be blotted out? they are blots indeed upon my soule; but they are faire Characters in Gods Booke; and there is a rela­tion, betweene Gods Booke and my soule; that if they be blotted out in his Booke; they shall never be legible in my soule. But, O gracious God; I dare not trust to this neither: for though by blotting them out, they may be made not legible; yet the very blotting them out, will be a marke of remembrance, that they were once there; and is it not a fearefull thing, to thinke, thou shouldst but once remem­ber them? Oh therefore, not onely blot my Verse 10. sinnes out: but Create in me a cleane heart; that as by blotting them out, they may be made not legible: so by creating in mee a cleane heart, there may be no marke of remembrance, that ever they were written. Indeed, this blotting out of sinnes; is but an Ablative case in the worke of sanctification; the Dative is of much more use: for this Dative is the giving mee [Page 41] a new hear [...]; and seeing the heart is the begin­ning of life; by having a new heart, I shall be­gin a new li [...]e: and the sinnes of my old heart, shall be no more remembred.

O great God, into how many severall formes of ossi [...]tance, doe wee miserable sinners, diver­sifie thy glorious Majesty? We made thee first, our Landerer to wash us; then our Physitian, to purge us: and now our Creatour, to new make us; and indeed there was no staying, till we came hither: Our Dove can find no rest, for the sole of her foote, till she returne into this Arke againe; for if my sin were only a foulenesse; it might be help'd with washing; or if only a stei­ning; it might bee help'd with purging; but seeing it is a totall and absolute corruption; now nothing can helpe it but a new Creation.

But how should David come to be so foule? was it by conversing with Bathsheba? but what foulenesse could hee take from her, who came but then, newly out of her Bathe? O my soule, it is not a Bath of Milke and Roses, that can make a cleanenesse in Gods sight; God hath strange eyes; he can see foulenesse in Bathsheba, though comming out of a neate Bath; and can see cleanenesse in Ieremy, though comming out of a dirty dungeon; he can see foulenesse upon Dives, for all his deliciousnesse and dainties; and can see cleanenesse upon Lazarus, for all his [...] amongst the Dogges. This David knew [...], and therefore all his suit is still for cleane­nesse; Wash me, and cleanse me from my sinnes; [Page 42] Purge me with Hysope, and I shall be cleane; Create in me a cleane heart, O God; All for cleanenesse still; for hee knew, if hee could get cleanenesse, hee should have a Beauty which the Starres want: for the Starres are not cleane in Gods sight; he knew, that by having a cleane heart, he should not onely be fit for God to see; but fit to see God; as Christ said: Blessed are the cleane of heart, for they shall see God: and then, if to be seene of God, be the greatest glory; and to see God the greatest happinesse; O how glorious and happy, must a cleane heart needs be, that is made cape­able to enjoy them both!

O therefore, Create in me a cleane heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me: for thou hast not so finished thy worke of creation; but that thou reteinest thy power of creating still: and wherein canst thou better imploy that power, than in creating of cleane hearts? It was a worke of infinite glory, to be the Creatour of Heaven and Earth; yet to bee the Creatour of cleane hearts; is of all thy workes of glory, the most glorious worke. And indeed, were it not bet­ter for me, and more ease for God; to create in me a cleane heart, once for all; than to be so troubled, with continuall purgings and wash­ings, as now he is? as now I am? for alas, O Lord! thou maist sooner purge my heart out of my body; than purge sinne out of my heart; but that it will alwaies, be returning to its vo­mit; and I shall breake thy rest continually, with importuning thee to wash me.

[Page 43] But why doe I pray to God, for a cleane heart; and not as well for cleane eyes, and cleane hands; seeing these also, have there share in foulenesse, as well as that? But is it not, that these are but the Emissaries of the heart; and do all they do, by the hearts direction; that if the heart bee cleane, these also will bee cleane of course; mine eyes will be cleane; and never looke more, after any more Bathshebaes; my hands will be cleane; and never bee more im­brued in the blood of any Vrias.

But, did not God, create in me a cleane heart once already? & yet how foule is it grown now? and what hope is there, if he create in me, a new cleane heart; but that it will grow as foule, as this I now have? But can it properly be said, that God did ever create in me, a cleane heart before? He made me one indeed, but he crea­ted me none; hee onely created Heaven and Earth: as it is said; In the Beginning, God created Heaven and Earth; and of that Earth, he made me a body; and in that body, a heart; so I had a made heart, before; but no created heart till now; for made, is of matter praeexistent; but created is of nothing: although therefore my made heart, being made of dust, hath al­waies beene apt to gather dust; yet my crea­ted heart, as made of nothing; will have no­thing in it, from whence to gather foulenesse. But O my soule, trust not to this; for, though there should bee no foulenesse in the heart it selfe; yet the stinch of the prison, in which it [Page 44] lies; will he alwaies can [...]e enough to breed in fection: unlesse thou canst get [...]ome such sove raine persume; that may keepe out i [...]l aires; and keepe the place sweer: On therefore, n [...] onely Create in me a cleane heart; but [...] a right20.Spirit within me; for this [...] spirit, makes a better perfume, than that of Tobies fish [...]; to keepe all uncleane spirits, from commi [...] [...]eere the heart. As therefore Moses [...], the Genesis of man; by saying, that God first made him a body; and then brea [...]hed a soule into him; so David describes here, the Palingenesis of man: by saying. Create in me a cleane heart and renue a right spirit within me; that if Nicodemus had well understood this Psalme of David; he nee­ded not to have made such a wonder at Christs speech, when he said; Except a man be borne againe; he cannot enter, into the Kingdome of Heaven: for what is it, to be regenerat and borne againe; but to have a cleane heart created; and a right spirit renued in us? If only a cleane heart be created; and not withall a right spirit renewed within me, this will be but Vehiculum sine Anriga; and I shall presently fall in othe mire of sin again; and grow as foule, as ever I was before: but if thou vouchsafe to adde a right spirit to my cleane heart; this will keepe mee right in the paths of righteousnesse; and then, as I now praise thee for making me cleane; so I shall praise thee as much, or rather much more, for keeping me cleane.

Thou, O God, that art the Maker; art also the renner of all things; yet I aske thee for re [...] [Page 45] of nothing in me, but onely a right spirit: my veeres are waxed old, and vanished away as a [...]; yet I require thee not to renue them my [...]reneth is d [...]yed up like a po [...]sheard; and my moy­sture is t [...]rned into the drouth of summ [...]r; yet I re­quire thee not to renue them: All my worldly friends, are either taken from mee, or gone from me; yet I require thee not to renue them: all that I require thee to renue to mee; is, only a right Spirit: for, so long as this right spirit re­mained with mee, and was my guide; I walked b [...]tore thee in all uprightnesse; I durst then say; s [...]arch mee, O God, and try mee; Examine my heart and my reynes; but as soone as this spirit grew to decay, and waxed faint within mee; I present ly begun to falter in my steps; my iniquities multiplyed so fast, that they quickly grew to be m [...]han than the haires of my head; every thing was a temptation unto me; and every tempta­tion prevailed against mee; but now, O God, Renue a right spirit within mee; and this right spi­rit will s [...]t all right that is amisse in mee, because it is a right spirit; will renue & quicken all that is dead and dull within me, because it is all spirit.

But what more good will a right spirit doe, when it is renued; than it did before, when it was first given? If it prospered not at the first planting; what assurance of prospering at the second? but is it not, that a right spirit, in a created heart, may stand firme; though in a made heart, it gave ground and failed? and specially when it is a right spirit renued; seeing [Page 46] renovation is alwaies with addition of strength; and no part of a house, is commonly so strong, as that part is, which is newly repaired. Secundae cogitationes are sapientiores; and secundi conatus are fortiores. Though once going about Hiericho, did the walls no hurt; yet the going about them, again and againe, made them fall to the ground: though one Cocke crowing, wrought nothing upon Peter; yet the second times crowing, made him weepe bitterly; Oh then, Renue in mee a right spirit, O God; and the walls of my sinfull Hiericho, will fall to the ground; the stupour of my dull braines, will resolve into teares.

When sin seeks to enter, and to get entertain­ment with us; it makes us believe, we shal be like Gods; but when it is once entred, & hath gotten possession; it leaves us to finde, wee are not so much as fit for Gods company. And it seemes, as though we were put to our choyce here; whe­ther wee will have sinnes company, or Gods? for both wee cannot have: if entertaine sinne; then we must take our leave of God: if enjoy Gods presence; then we must give no entertain­ment to sinne: a hard choice to flesh and blood; but a right spirit resolves it presently: Cast mee Verse 11. not off from thy presence, O God; let mee enjoy that; and as for sinne, I utterly renounce it, though it should present it selfe to me, in grea­ter pompe, than Salomon clothed, in all his roy­alty. I had rather live one day in thy courts, to enjoy thy presence; than to live accounted the sonne of Pharaohs daughter: and Methuselahs [Page 47] age, in all the pleasures of the world. Doe wee see, how the presence of the Sunne, cheeres up the aire; makes glad the earth; and enlightens the whole world: and can we not see, the won­derfull effects of comfort, which are wrought in the soule, by the presence of God; in comparison of whom, the Sun is not so much as a moate in the Sunne? If it be thy pleasure, O God; to withdraw thy presence from mee, to make mee sensible of my weaknesse; yet cast mee not off from thy presence, in displeasure, to make mee despaire of thy Love. If thou wilt needs put a veile upon thy face, to keepe mine eyes from seeing thee; yet let it be, but as the veile upon Moses face; to keepe mine eyes from dazeling. It is potion bitter enough, to be deprived of thy presence, though done in never so faire a man­ner; but to be cast out of thy presence, as done in anger; what is this, but to give mee gall and wormewood to drinke? If I needes must die; let it be upon the top of Nebo; where I may see the land of Canaan before mee; for there, thy presence is to comfort me; but let it not be in the valley; where there is no representa­tion of thy glorious presence, to give me com­fort. My sinne, O God, I know is such, that may justly make mee to flie from thy presence; as it once made Adam. when hee hid himselfe from thee; yet in this case, I may hope thou wilt looke after mee; as thou didst then vouch­safe to looke after him: but if thou cast me our of thy presence; and that it be done, by thine [Page 48] owne hand; Alas, O Lord! what hope is there left mee, of ever comming into thy presence againe? As long as I am in thy presence, there is hope; I may intreat; and thou art apt to be intreated; I may fall downe and humble my selfe; and thou givest grace to the humble: but if it should once come to this, that I were cast out of thy presence; alas, O God! thou wouldst then be quite of sight; cleane out of hearing; that no intreaty could be heard; no humbling, be seene; either to give mee the comfort of hope; or to put me in hope of any comfort. If thou, O God, shouldst cast me off from thy pre­sence; whom could I hope, to have present with mee? The Angells would be my guardi­ans no longer; for they would soone take no­tice of thy displeasure; and would never regard, whom thou rejectest. The Saints would be my Associates no longer: for if they found me not in thy presence; they would presently know, I were none of their society; and their com­munion extends no further. And what compa­ny then could I hope to have? Cain, perhaps, and Cham; the damned crew; miserable com­forters; or rather no comfo [...]rs but augmen­ters of my misery. But yet, O God; if my sins unexpressable, have made thee unexorable; and that thou wilt needs cast me off, from thy 20. presence; at least, Take not thy holy Spirit from mee: For, what were this, but to put me out of thy service; and then to take away thy Livery too? Yet as long as I have thy Livery on; it [Page 49] keepes me in credit; it gives me countenance; it leaves me hope, I may be entertained againe; as long as thy holy Spirit staies with me; I have one to comfort mee; one to put me in hope I may be received into favour againe; in no worse case, than Pharaohs Butler was; who in disgrace for a time, was afterward restored to his former place; but if thou take thy Livery from me; if thou take thy holy Spirit from me; Alas, O Lord! I am then utterly undone; none left to comfort me; none, to speake for mee: in as ill a case as Pharaohs Baker; nothing left me to hope in, but a dreame; and that dreame, nothing but of white Baskets; out of which, the Birdes shall eate; but nothing that is good, for mee to taste. If thy holy Spirit, should of himselfe depart from me; it would be a parting, exceeding grievous unto me; but for thee, O God, to take him from me; where the manner of losing, is as much as the losse; what griefe can be spoken of, so unspeakable?

But having said, Cast mee not off from thy pre­sence; it may seeme superfluous to say; Take not thy holy Spirit from me; seeing, this of necessity followes upon that; for how can Gods holy Spirit be, but where hee is himselfe? and how can it tarry with mee, if I tarry not with him? They both indeed, grow upon one tree; yet are severall fruites; Gods presence brings with it, a passive influence; his holy Spirit an active; although therefore, O God; thou barre mee of thy presence, and leave me inglorious; yet take [Page 50] not away thy holy Spirit from me, to leave me prophane. Thy holy Spirit, is the sanctifier; and wilt thou leave me to impiety and pro­phanenesse? Thy holy Spirit is the Directour; and wilt thou leave mee, without a Guide, in the most dangerous passages of this wicked world? Thy holy Spirit is the Comforter; and wilt thou leave mee Disconsolate, in my mani­fold miseries? If thou take thy holy Spirit from me; what spirit will be left mee, but a spirit of errour? a spirit of uncleannesse? a spirit of de­spaire? and canst thou for pitty, leave me a prey, to such outragious spirits? O Lord, though my sinnes be as great as Cains; yet suffer mee not to despaire like Cain; though my sinnes be greater than Sauls; yet suffer me not to distrust thee like Saul; but, as it is a benefit; so let it be a pledge of thy presence; and of thy holy Spi­rit; that I can pray unto thee for thy presence, and for the continuance of thy holy Spirit. When I remember, the sweet comforts, I have sometimes found in the motions of thy holy Spirit; and when I thinke of the joy, I have conceived of thy salvation; Oh, how my heart seemes to leape within me; and how am I ravi­shed, with extasies of delight? and now to thinke this comfort should be taken from me; this joy should be bereft mee: Oh, what tor­ment; what death; what hell can be so grie­vous!

But how can God cast mee off from his pre­sence, though hee would: Is not God, every [Page 51] where? and am not I somewhere? and must I not then, be needs where he is, and in his pre­sence? God indeed hath a presence of Being; and this is every where; and he hath a presence of Power; and this is every where; but he hath a presence of Grace and favour; and this is not every where. His presence of Power, is as well in the Ant, as in the Elephant; yet it maketh not the Ant an Elephant; and therefore, this is not the presence, that I desire: his presence of Being is as well in hell, as in heaven; yet it makes not the hell a heaven; and therefore, neither is this the presence that I desire; but his presence of grace and favour, is not as well in the wicked, as in the penitent; for if it were, it would make the wicked penitent; and therefore, this is the presence, which I so much long to keepe; which I so much feare to lose.

But why should I feare, least God should cast me off from his presence? Is not his delight a­mongst the children of men? and am not I, one of that Generation? And why should I feare, lest hee should take his holy Spirit from mee? was it not hee, that gave it mee at first? and is he one, that will give a thing, and then take it away againe? Yet my sinnes make mee, that I cannot but feare; for why should hee not cast me out of his sight; who hath wrought so much wickednesse in his sight? why should he let his holy Spirit stay there, where it is so much grie­ved? for, what doe my grievous sinnes but grieve it? Oh vile sinne; of what cause thou [Page 52] art the effect; I know not; but this I know, thou art the cause of most vile effects; for thou onely art the cause, that God is like to cast me off from his presence; thou onely the cause, that God is like to take his holy Spirit from me; and seeing in Gods presence, there is fulnesse of joy for evermore; alas, in being cast out of his presence; what is left mee, but the fulnesse of misery for ever more!

But seeing thou hast not cast me off from thy presence; but onely removed thy presence from me, because thy pure nature could not endure to stay in a polluted heart; yet now that I am new made; and that thou hast created a cleane heart within mee; Now thou maiest returne; and restore to me the comfort of thy presence; the joy of thy salvation; and by this, thou shalt shew thou didst not take it away, to keepe it a­way, but to make it more precious in restoring; thou shalt shew, thou didst not leave mee, to forsake mee; but to make thy selfe more wel­come in returning. But though some things are of such condition, that we finde their good­nesse, more by wanting, than by enjoying; as sicknesse makes us more sensible of health; yet this needed not, in the comfort of thy presence, seeing of this there can be no satiety; and wee can never so well learne to desire thee by wan­ting thee; as we are taught to embrace thee by enjoying thee.

Although the fuites I make to thee, O God, be many; yet they are all so subordinate to one [Page 53] another; that if thou deni'st me one; it were as good for me, thou should'st deny them all: For what good will it doe mee, to have a clean [...] heart created in mee; and thy blessed presence removed from me? What good, to have a right spirit renued; and thy holy Spiri [...] to be taken away? as if thou should'st supply mee with props, and take away foundations? The feare of this, lest thou should'st cast mee out of thy presence, and take thy holy Spirit from mee; hath so deeply wrought upon me, and brought me so low; that I find no Physicke now so ne­cessary for me, as a Restorative: Oh therefore, Restore to mee the joy of thy salvation; for this Restorative exceeds not onely all the simples of Verse 12. Nature; but all the compounds of art; for what Alchermes; what Gellies; what Aurum potabile can be comparable, to this Restorative; The joy of thy salvation? But had not this, beene a fitt [...]r sute for Nabuchodonofor; from whom, God tooke away at once, his Sense, Reason, and his King­dome; than for David, from whom God never tooke any thing that wee know of, but onely his childe begotten in adultery? yet David will hardly be dr [...]wne to thinke so; for heare the moane be makes: Alas, O Lord! I live now, as it were, cast out of thy presence; which is more to me, than for Nabuchodonosor, to be cast out of his Kingdome; I feede now upon the bread of sorrow; which is more to mee, than for Nabuchodonosor, to feede upon the grasse of the earth: I sit now, as a Sparrow upon the [Page 54] house top; desolate and disconsolate; which is more to mee, than for Nabuchodonosor, to have no compauions but the beasts of the field: and yet, O Lord, onely Restore to mee the joy of thy sal­vation; and it shall be more to mee, than for Nabuchodonosor to be restored to his Sense; his Reason; his Kingdome againe. This joy is to mee, as Isaak was to Abraham; the whole com­fort of my life; and thou restored'st him to his Father in great compassion; and wilt thou have no compassion on me; and not restore my Isa­ak to me againe? O mercifull God; take away my goods; take away my health; take away my life; but take not away this joy from mee, unlesse thou meane to restore it againe; for without this joy, my goods will doe mee no good; I shall be sicke of my health; I shall be weary of my life; all joy without this joy, is but shadow of joy; no solidnesse; no substance in it; other joyes I can want, and yet want no joy; but how can I want the joy of thy salvati­on; but I must needes fall into the hell of my owne perdition?

Indeed, all these graces, and specially these foure, A right Spirit, and Gods presence; his holy Spirit, and the joy of his salvation; are all, I may say, of a covey; like Partridges that alwaies keepe together: or if at any time, par­ted by violence; they never leave calling after one another, till they meet againe: and thus, a right Spirit calls after Gods presence; his pre­sence, after his holy Spirit; his holy Spirit, after [Page 55] the joy of his salvation; and the joy of his sal­vation, calls after them all. O then, Restore to me the joy of thy salvation: that this covey of thy Graces may be kept together; and that the mournefull voyce of calling after one another, may no more be heard, to disquiet my soule.

But how can God restore that, which hee tooke not away? For, can I charge God, with the taking away the joy of his salvation from mee? O gracious God; I charge not thee with taking it; but my selfe, with losing it; and such is the miserable condition, of us poore wretches; that if thou shouldest restore no more to us, than what thou takest from us; wee should quickly be at a fault in our Estates; and our ruine would be as sudden, as inevitable.

But why am I so [...]arenest for restoring? for what good will restoring doe mee, if I cannot keepe it, when I have it? and how shall I more keepe it, being restored; than I kept it before, being enjoyed? and if I so enjoy it, as still feare to lose it; what joy can there be in such enjoy­ing? O therefore, Not restore it onely; but establish me with thy free Spirit: that as by thy re­storing, 20. I may enjoy it entirely; so by thy esta­blishing, I may enjoy it securely. Indeed, if thou shouldst only restore it; and then leave it for me to keepe; I should presently runne a ha­zard of losing it againe: but when thou restorest it; and then confirmest it; and that with the seale of thy free Spirit; this gives me an indefea­sible estate; and absolutely frees me from feare [Page 56] of losing it any more for ever. Alas my soule! what qualmes have these beene? what floatings betweene feare and hope? all the comfort is; that as Hope sets out first, and gets the start of Feare, so it keepes the field last; and gets the goale from Feare; For, Hope set [...]ing out by Gods renewing a right Spirit; and then distur­bed by feare, lest hee should take away his holy Spirit; gets the victory at last, by being establi­shed with Gods free Spirit: for this establishing fixeth our floating; and frees us from having these qualmes of feare and hope any more: Not, that we can ever bee free where they are; but that they shall not be, where we are; not feare; because in a Haven; not hope; because in possession.

But what mysterie is it, that David intends here, by his triplicity of Spirits? A right Spirit; a holy Spirit, a free and principall Spirit? Are they not all one holy Ghost; but divers opera­tions? called therefore, the right Spirit; be­cause it directeth us: the holy Spirit; because it sanctifieth us; the free and principall Spirit; because it governes us? And thus understood; wee may see, from whence the Collect in our Liturgie was gathered; which saith: Direct, Sanctifie, and governe us in the waies of thy Lawes; and in the workes of thy Commandements. Or is it, that hee makes three sutes for three spirits; as intending to every person, in the Deity, one? intimating the second person, by the right spi­rit; as being the way and the truth; the third [Page 57] person; by the holy Spirit; as being the Author of sanctification; the first person; by the free and principall Spirit; it being Hee, that must say, Fiat, to all that is done? And thus under­stood, we may see from whence is framed, that Versicle in our Letanie, which saith: O Holy, Blessed, and glorious Trinity; three Persons, and one God; have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

And now is David Monte potitus: gotten up, I may say, to the toppe of Mount Gerizim; after many wearisome and painefull steps. Hee was indeed so oppressed with the burden; and so fettered with the chaine of his sinnes; that he seemed as a man distracted; not knowing in the world what course to take: yet not willing to be wanting to himselfe; he tries all the waies; and useth all the meanes hee can possibly devise or thinke of. First, he prayes God, to wash him from his sinnes; and lest washing should not be sufficient; hee praies next, to be purged from his sinnes; but not trusting to these outward meanes; he thinkes upon a new course; and praies, to have his sinnes blotted out; as much as to have Gods Debt-booke cross'd; yet not satisfied with this neither; he then flies to in­ward meanes; and praies, not onely to have a cleane heart created; but a right Spirit renued in him; that so he may be Purus corpore & spiritu: and now one would thinke, he were certainely past all danger: yet even here he falls into the most dismall frights, that ever seized upon a perplexed soule; for he feares, least God should [Page 58] cast him off from his Presence; and lest hee should take his holy Spirit from him: most dismall frights indeed; yet recovering his spi­rits, he bethinkes himselfe at last, of a way; that either will serue to make him a free-man; or he must never looke to be: and that is, to bee established with Gods free Spirit; and this in­deed strikes the stroke; and therefore this hee makes his Murus Aheneus; for being now esta­blished with Gods free Spirit; he findes him­selfe so free; that he thinkes himselfe, able to set up a Free-schoole; and is confident to say; Then will I teach thy waies to the wicked; and sinners Vers. 13. shall be converted unto thee: Then if thou say un­me; Et t [...] conversus, converte sratres; I shall doe it, both boldly and effectually. Boldly; for I shall teach thy waies to the wicked; who are but unruly schollers: and effectually; for sinners shall be converted unto thee; which is the end of all schooling. And, then if the Angels give a Plau­dite to their conversion; I doubt not, O God, but thou also wilt graciously accept the hum­ble service, of the convertour; and even thy selfe shalt receive a benefit in thy glory; by the benefit which I receive by thy pardon; for, as there have beene many scandalled by my sinne; so there shall be many reclaimed by my repen­tonce; and they, who loved thee not for thy Iustice, shall feare thee for th [...] mercy; and the [...], who feared thee not for thy mercy, shall love thee for thy justice; and thy Name shall bee great, amongst all Nations. O happy conver­sion; [Page 59] that is not barren, and ends in it selfe; which was a curse in Israel; but as a fruitfull mother, continues a race of conversions; and shall therefore make the Convertour [...]hine in Heaven, as a Starre of the greater Mag­nitude.

But am I a fit man, to teach thy waies to the wicked; who have walked, all my life long, in the waies of wickednesse? Am I likely to be a meanes for converting of sinners; who have hitherto beene occasion of perverting the god­ly? Thou, O God, that tookest Amos from a­mong the Heard-men of tekoa, to make him a Prophet; thou also canst take me from among the wicked of the world, to make me, a conver­ter of sinners. I take not upon me, to teach the godly, who may better teach me; I teach onely the wicked; None but sinners, are for my Schoole; I am not a Shepheard to tend the fold; but to fetch in, strayers: The title of my pro­fession is Dux conversorum; A guide of converts; all my Doctrine, is onely Repentance; and if any such be, that need no repenting; they need not my teaching; nor belong to my Schoole. But if any man, thinke repentance, a lesson so easie, that he can take it out, and learne it, without a teacher; let him but heare the lesson read, which I have learned, and he must; if he will be a con­vert. Let him see my eyes swolne, with the floods of my teares; and so must his be: Let him see me lie groveling under sackcloth and ashes; and so must hee doe: Let him see my knees [Page 60] brawned with kneeling at Prayer; and so must his be: Let him see mee goe fasting with bread and water; and so must hee doe: Let him see my backe goared with stripes of contrition; and so must his be: Let him see my breast torne, with sighings and groanings; and so must he doe; and if all this be not enough, to make a hard lesson; let him see my heart broken, and shivered with sorrow; and so must his be. And now let flesh and blood tell me, if this be a lesson to be learned without a teacher?

But if Repentance be so hard a lesson to learne; how can David be so confident of his teaching, to say, that sinners shall be converted by it? Indeed, when Kings become Schoole­masters, no marvell, if sinners become converts: For, who knowes not the force of Regis ad ex­emplum? But is David then the only Phoenix in this kinde? Have wee not amongst us at this day; and long may we have, a King like David; who, though hee teach not the same lesson that David did: (for his lesson was onely Repen­tance) yet his whole life, is a Lecture of Piety and op [...]ghtnesse; a lesson so much better than Davids; as to be in the first For me of Vertue, is farre more worthy, than to be but in the second?

But, Oh the the u [...]quier stare of a guilty con­science! David was much troubled at first, about procuring his cleanenesse: and now hee seemes as much troubled about [...] his foule­nesse: I [...] it, the Malus genius of sinne, that is [Page 61] never without feare; and therefore creeps into all corners? Or is it, the Bonus genius of Repen­tance; that is never without care; and therefore searcheth all corners? David had asked God for­givenesse, for his iniquitie; his sin; his offences; his transgressions; corners enow to meete with any sin, of what kinde soever; but is it enough to confesse our sins; and to aske forgivenesse, in generall termes; and never to make mention of any sinne in particular? Indeede, where sins be infinite; it were an infinite labour, to men­tion them all; and with all our labour, could never be done: but yet, where there are emi­nent sinnes; sinnes like Saul; higher than their fellowes, by head and shoulders; not to men­tion such sinnes, were a kinde of concealing them; as if wee meant to hide them, in the throng; that they might passe unperceived; and there must be no concealing, if we looke for cancelling. Behold then, O God; an emi­nent sinne; a sinne indeede, like Saul; so high above his fellowes; that I dare not say what it is, without saying Deliver mee first; Deliver mee Verse 14. from blood guiltinesse, O God; thou God of my sal­uation: and blame mee not, for doubling the Name of God here, seeing it is a deliverance, that requires a double proportion of Gods as­sistance: For, though every sinne may be said a sin of blood; as whereof, the wages is death; yet this actuall shedding of blood, is a sin of the most scarlet-die; and stands in neede of the greatest measure, of God free Spirit to free it.

[Page 62] But what neede David pray God, to deliver him from blood-guiltinesse? For what blood had hee shed? much, no doubt, in warre; but, that was lawfull; and left no guiltinesse; and therefore needed no deliverance. But what blood did hee shed unlawfully? No more did Ahab: No more did Iezabel; yet as guilty of blood, as if they had shed it. When Magi­strates command a thing to be done; they doe it: When a malicious person, imprecates a mis­chiefe to be wrought; hee workes it: When a man plots a villany to be acted; he acts it; and in all these waies, though David actually shed no blood; yet he was as guilty of blood, as if he had shed it. Peralium here, is as much as Perse; and therefore David knew hee had cause enough to say; Deliver me from blood guiltinesse, O God.

But is there any hope, that this sin of blood, may ever be remitted? seeing God hath spoken it peremptorily; he that sheddeth mans blood; by man, shall his blood be shed; and can I looke, that God will breake his Word, to doe me a pleasure? But is it not that Gods threatning, is ever with condition? For, was it not so in Ninive? For­ty daies, and Ninive shall be destroyed: Yet forty daies came; and Ninive was not destroyed. Was it not so to Hezekiah? Set thine house in or­der, for thou shalt die of this sicknesse: yet H [...]zekiah died not of that sicknesse; but lived fifteene yeeres after. I know indeede, that the condi­tion of Gods Will there, though noe expressed, was yet intended: Vnlesse they repented; but what [Page 63] may be the condition of his will here? No doubt, Repentance too; but with ths Codicill annexed: His blood shall be shed, unlesse hee can finde some other, that will shed his blood for him. And alas! if this be the condition, What am I the neere? For, where can I finde out any, that will shed his blood for me? and if I could finde one willing; where can I find one able? An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; and yet a man may live; but blood for blood, and who can live, unlesse he be a God? An Angell cannot doe it; for hee hath no blood to shed. A man cannot doe it; for he cannot lay downe his life, and take it up againe; Thou onely canst doe it, who art both God and man; Thou God of my salvation; for thou art the Lamb that was slaine; and is alive; and I know, that my Redeemer liveth. And wilt thou shed thy blood for me; and not deliver me from b [...]d? Wilt thou pay a Ransome for me; and let me be a Captive still? Wilt thou pay so dearely for a thing, and not take it, when thou hast done? Oh, Deliver mee from blood-guiltinesse, O God; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousnesse.

But why should David pray to be delivered from bloods; as the words indeede are? For seeing he shed but the blood of Vriah only; the singular number might well enough have ser­ved Is it, that the plotting of Vriahs death, drew with it the deaths of many others? and so, just cause of praying to be delivered from bloods? Or is it, that the severall respects of relation in [Page 64] Vriah; made his blood, as so many severall bloods, in Gods account? One blood, as of the husband of Bathsheba; Another, as of Davids owne subject: another, as of an Innocent per­son: another, as of a faithfull servant: another, as of a silly Lambe, that carried letters of his owne death; and which is most of all, another, as of one that was venturing his life for David. But if these severall respects, make so many se­verall bloods; and every blood must have a de­liverance; where shall wee finde a deliverer of so many respects, to make so many bloods, to serve for deliverance? Indeed, wee may looke all the world over; and find none such to be found; but onely thou, O God, who art the God of my salvation: For, in thee alone, may all the like respects be found: To answer the blood, of the Husband of Bathsheba; here is the blood of the H [...]and of the Church: To answer the blood, of King Davids subject; here is the blood, of the King of Heavens subject: To answer the blood of an Innocent person; here is the blood of him, who onely could say; Which of you could reprove mee for sinne? To answer the blood of a faithfull servant; here is the blood, of him, who was in the House of God, more faithfull, than his most faithfull servant Moses: To answer the blood of a silly Lambe, that carried letters of his owne death; here is the blood of him, who carried our flesh, of pur­pose to suffer death; and that which is most of all; to answer the blood of him, that was [Page 65] then venturing his life for David; here is the blood of him, that was then shedding his blood for them, that shed his blood. But see­ing, by this account; wee finde sixe severall bloods, in Vri [...]hs, shed by David; where finde wee sixe severall bloods in Christ, shed by him? Indeed, just sixe, and no more, nor lesse: One blood, which he sweat in the Gar­den; another, which he shed with the stripes of the whips; another, drawne from him with the prickes of the thornes; another, which hee shed on the Crosse, with the nailes in his feete; another, with the nailes in his hands; and the sixth, which hee shed out of his side, with the point of the Speare. And now, tha [...] wee have bloods enough, to serve for deliverance; how shall wee be able to apply them? Is it not, that they are all recollected; and put into [...]hat cup, of which hee said; Drinke yee all of this? For the blood of this cup, is that which washeth away our sinnes; that which purgeth us with Hysop; that which renewes a right Spirit within us; that which restores to us the joy of his salva­tion; that which establisheth us with his free Spirit; and lastly, that which delivers us from bloods; that, David had great cause to say; and wee no lesse than hee; Deliver mee from bloods and blood-guiltinesse, O God, Thou God of my sal­vation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy Righteousnesse.

And now wee may conceive, a match, as it [Page 66] were, to be tryed here, betweene Blood and Repentance; which of them shall cry loudest, and be soonest heard of God; Blood cries for vengeance; and God is the God of vengeance. Repentance cries for mercy; and God is the God of mercy; and so they seeme both, upon equall termes yet: but if wee mark [...] the order of Gods Titles; wee shall finde his Mercy to take place of his Justice: Misericordia superex­altat judicium; and therefore Repentance which cries for Mercy; shall be heard before Blood, which cries for Justice. But if Repentance cannot get it with crying; shee will at least with singing; for shee never sung till now; and now shee sings; My tongue shall sing aloud of thy Righteousnesse; where, Blood onely cries, but cannot sing: and seeing singing makes better musicke in Gods eares than crying; Re­pentance shall be [...]eard, when blood shall be put to silence. But how loud will the singing be, when not onely Repentance sings; but Joy also, which is a loud singer, shall joyne in consort, and sing with her? and if ever Joy sung, it will sing now: For what geater joy; than for a bond-man to be set at liberty? For a man condemned for blood, to be delivered from blood? and if no joy can be greater than this; then certainly no singing can be louder than that. But what this song is that Repen­tance and Ioy joyne in consort to sing; seeing the sweet singer of Israel, hath not vouchsafed to deliver himselfe: It is not for any man now [Page 67] living, to deliver it: onely wee may conceive, that Repentances part, is Deprofundis; and that Ioyes part, is In excelsis; Repentance sings the Hosanna; and Ioy, the Allelujah.

But may we not wonder at David; how hee dares speake thus to God: Deliver mee from blood; and my tongue shall sing of thy Righteous­nesse? as though he thought, he might com­mit a wilfull murther; and then have his par­don of God, for a song? and what should his song be of? of Gods Righteousnesse. But what Righteousnesse is in this; to suffer a righteous person to be murthered; and then to set the murtherer free? As much righteousnesse as this, we may finde in a Iew; who cryed, Crucifie Christ; and Deliver Barbas. But, O my soule, forbeare such thoughts; or rather, tremble at such blasphemies: Remember first, that this song is not for getting of pardon; but for giving of thankes; and what thankes so acceptable, as that which is cheerefully spoken; and what spoken so cheerefully, as that which is sung? And then consider, what Gods Righeousnesse is: Hee saith himselfe; His waies are not, as our waies; and may not wee as well say; his Righ­teousnesse is not as our righteousnesse? Our righteousnesse is blood for blood; but Gods Righteousnesse [...] may be a song for a murther. But then consider withall, what this song is; and how hard a thing it is, to sing of Gods Righ­teousnesse; the Angels have enough to doe to sing it; it is their Allelujah: and seeing the [Page 68] singing this Allelujah, is the chiefest service of an Angell; what deserves he lesse than an An­gels place, that can sing of Gods Righteous­nesse? And that we may see, how transcen­dent a matter it is, to doe it; Behold David here, a man farre abler than any of us; yet finds himselfe not able, so much as to open his lips towards it; but is faine to call to God for help: O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew Verse 15. forth thy praise: open them ind [...]ed, to bid Ioab number the people; and to entice Bathsheba to folly, I can; but to open them to sing of thy Righteousnesse; and to shew forth thy praise; I am utrerly unable, unlesse thou uouchsafe to open them for me: Oh then, open thou my lips, O God; for else I shall be forced, to breake off abruptly; and after so many great favours re­ceived, be faine to goe my waies without so much as saying, I thanke you. But it shall never be said of David, that hee is so unmannerly; so ungratefull: If thou but please, to open my lips; for then, as I have sung this Penitentiall Psalme for my selfe; so I will sing an Enco­miasticall Hymne for thee; and this So reckoned by many of the Ancients. fiftieth Psalme, as well as the fiftieth yeere, shall have its Iubile. If thou open not my lips, neither Repentance will cry, nor Ioy will sing; but both will be as dumbe, as the Divell in the Gospel; but if thou open my lips; my month will turne Organist; and I shall strive with the Angels, in singing their Allelujah. If I onely open my lips; they will quickly shut againe; [Page 69] and there will not be a praise, that is worthy of thee; but if thou open them; Thou ope­nest, and no man shutteth; and then I shall shew forth thy praise to all generations. Thy praise; but for what? for thy washing and purging me: for thy creating in mee a cleane heart; and renewing a right Spirit within mee; for thy restoring to me, the joy of thy Salva­tion; and for establishing mee with thy free Spirit: that wee may know, it is no ordinary opening of lips that will serve; seing it is not, a single praise; but a whole troupe of praises, that must come forth at once; I must praise thee for thy humility; that disdainest not to make mee cleane; I must praise thee for thy bounty; that deniest not to make mee new; I must praise thee for thy patience, that attendest my repentance; I must praise thee for thy graci­ousnesse, that acceptest my repentance; and be­fore all these, I must praise thee for thy mercy, that art willing; I must praise thee for thy Power, that artable; I mst praise thee for thy Iustice, that knowest why; I must praise thee for thy wisedome, that knowest how; to for­give mee my sinnes; and to deliver mee from blood; but above all these, I must praise thee for thy glory; that having made the sands of the [...]a, the starres of Heaven so innumerable; yet all of them put together, are not counters enow to summe up thy praises.

And now I was thinking, what were fit, to Verse 16. offer to God, for all his loving kindnesses hee hath [Page 70] shewed mee; and I thought upon sacrifices; for they have sometimes beene pleasing to him; and he hath oftentimes smelt, a sweete odour from them; but I considered, that sacrifices were but shadowes of things to come; and are not now, in that grace they have beene; for old things are past; and new are now come; the shadowes are gone; the substances are come in place; the Bullockes that are to be sacrificed now, are our hearts; it were easier for me, to give him Bullockes for sacrifice, than to give him my heart: but why should I offer him that hee cares not for? my heart, I know, hee cares fore; and if it be broken and offered up by Penitence and Contrition; it is the only sacri­fice, that now hee delights in.

But can wee thinke God to be so indiffe­rent; that he will accept of a broken heart? Is a thing that is broken, good for any thing? Can we drinke in a broken Glasse? Or, can we leane upon a broken staffe? But though other things may be the worse for breaking,; yet a heart is never at the best, till it be broken: For, till it be broken, wee cannot see what is in it, till it be broken, it cannot send forth i [...]s sweetest odour: and therefore, though God love a whole heart in affection; yet hee loves a bro­ken heart in sacrifice. And no marvell, indeed; seeing it is even hee himselfe that breakes it: for, as nothing but the blood can breake the Adamant; so nothing, but the blood of our scape-goate Christ Iesus, is able to breake our [Page 71] Adamantine hearts. Accept therefore, O God, my broken heart, which I offe [...] thee, with a whole heart; seeing, thou canst neither except against it, for being whole; which is broken in sacrifice: nor except against it, for being broken; which is whole in affection.

But is not this to make God a cruell God; to make him delight, in broken hearts; as though hee tooke no joy, but in our sorrowing? No pleasure, but in our tormenting? It is true in­deede; God delights to be mercifull; but yet hee delights not to be mercifull unjustly: and justly hee cannot be mercifull, but where hee findes Repentance: and seeing Repentance can never be without sorrowing; and such sor­row, as even breakes the heart with sorrow; this makes the broken heart a pleasing sacrifice to God; because, as a just mans Prayer ties up his hand, as it were, from doing of justice: so a sinners Repentance, sets him at liberty, for shewing of mercy.

And now, that I have prayed, and offered sacrifice for my selfe; shall I forget my Mother Sion? For, is not Sion, the common Mother of us all? Shall I forget the glorious City Hierusa­lem; whereof I am a member; and a Ci [...]izen? Can I prosper, if my Sion suffer? Can I be safe, if Hierusalem be in danger? O then, Doe good, O God, in thy good pleasure to Sion; Build thou Verse 18. the walls of Hierusalem. But shall I put God to so meane a worke; to be a builder of walls? O glorious God; what fitter worke for thy All­mighty [Page 72] Power? For what is it, to build the walls of Hierusalem; but to defend Hierusalem from her enemies? And what arme of defence, hath Hierusalem to trust to, against the Host of her enemies; but thine onely, O Lord, who art the Lord of Hosts? Thou hast indeed, laid a sure foundation in Hierusalem; but what is a foundation, if there be no walls reared? A foundation is to build upon; and to what pur­pose, if it be n [...]t built upon? a [...]d who is able to build upon it; but thou, O God, the great Builder of the World, who with thy onely Word, didst buil [...] the W [...]? [...]h is a Vine­yard, if it have no hedges to fence it? no more is Hierusalem, if it haye no walls to defend it. For, is it not subject to all sudden surprises? Lies it not open to all Hostile invasions? and so, wee should lose the end of Sion, in the midst of Sion? For, what is Sion, but a Sanctu­ary for sacrifices? and how can wee offer thee, the sacrifice, of thankesgiving for our fafety; if wee cannot offer our sacrifices in safety? and what safety; if there be no walls to defend us? Oh therefore, Build thou the walls of Hierusalem; and then, as in thy good pleasure, thou hast done a pleasure to Sion; so thou shalt smell a sweete odour; and take pleasure in Sion: for wee shall offer thee, the sacrifices of righteous­nesse; With burnt offering; the offering of a true, though imperfect righteousnesse; in the Hieru­salem here below; and with whole burnt offering; the offering of a perfect Righteousnesse, in the [Page 73] Hierusalem that is above; and we shall offer Bul­lockes upon thine Altar; sing our [...] up­on that Altar, under which the Saints lie now, and sing their Dirges; their Dirge, of How long, O Lord, Holy and True; shall be changed into songs of externall Jubilee, Angells and men; Christ himselfe, and his members, shall all cast downe their Crownes before thee; that thou onely maist be All in All; and that thine may be the Kingdome; the Power; and the Glory; for Ever and Ever: Amen.

And now, that we have heard the penitent David, make his confession; and say his Ori­sons: seene him, make his Oblations, and offer his Sacrifices to God: It may not be unfit, to draw an observation or two; from the manner of his Leiturgie: and first, that this whole Psalme hath in it, thorowout; Bimembres sententias; ver­ses, consisting of two parts: whereof the later, is ever an augmentation of the former; as when he saith; Wash me from mine iniquity: It followes, and cleanse mee from my sinnes; which is more than washing; and so an augmentation. When he saith; I know mine iniquity; it followes, and my sinne is ever before me; which is more than knowing his sinne; and so, an augmentation. When he saith; Against thee onely I have sinned; it followes; I have done this evill in thy sight; which is more than sinning against him; and so an augmentation. When he saith, I was borne in iniquity; it followes; and in sinne hath my mother conceived mee; which is more than to be borne [Page 74] in sinne; and so still an augmentation: as like­wise in all the rest, if we run them over; which shewes the great hast that David makes in his journey of Repentance; and therefore takes two paces at one stride; and climbes, as it were, two staires at one step.

A second observation may be; that almost all the Psalme thorow, but most apparently in the middle verses. One deprecates the evill; and the next following obsecrates the good: One ex­presseth a detestation of his sinnes; and the next following, an application of Gods Mercies; like a Gardiner, that with one hand, pluckes up weeds; and with the other, plants sweet flowers. For, in saying, Purge mee from my sinnes; he de­precates the evill; and pluckes up weeds: and in the next following; Make mee to heare of joy and gladnesse; hee obsecrates the good; and plants sweet flowers. In saying, Turne away thy face from my sinnes; he deprecates the evill; and pluckes up weedes: and in the next follow­ing; Create in mee a cleane heart; he obsecrates the good; and plants sweet flowers. In saying, Cast mee not off from t [...]y presence; he deprecates the evill; and plucks up weedes: and in saying, Restore to me the joy of thy salvation; he obsecrates the good; and plants sweet flowers. And by this, he seemes, as it were, to besiege God round with his Petitions; and to hold him fast with both hands as Iaakob did the Angel: that he may leave him no way to escape; and be sure not to let him goe without a blessing.

[Page 75] Another observation, may be this; that in all this Psalme, David arrogateth nothing to himselfe, but sinne and misery; lying wholly at Gods Mercy, for the remission of his sinnes; and so farre from any ability to satisfie for him­selfe; that hee acknowledgeth in himselfe an ut­ter disability, but to speake a good word; or but to thinke a good thought: and indeed, we may truely say; that all the spirits in the Arteries; all the blood in the vaines of this Psalme; are but blasts, and drops of the Antheame in Christs Prayer: For Thine is the Kingdome; the Power; and the Glory, for Ever and Ever, Amen.


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