Pieties Pillar: OR, A SERMON PREACHED AT the Funerall of Mistresse ELIZABETH GOVGE, late Wife of Mr. WILLIAM GOVGE, of Black-friers, London. With a true Narration of her Life and Death.

By Nicolas Guy, Pastor of the Church at Edge-ware in Middlesex.

PROV. 31 30.

A Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

LONDON, Printed by George Millar, dwelling in Black-Friers. 1626.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, SIR THOMAS LAKE, Knight, of CANONS, in Middlesex.

SIR,

THe Parable of our Saui­our in the Gospel must bee my Apologie for the publication of this Sermon to the eye and censure of the world,Luke 11. the which at the first when I preach't it, I thought not worthy your iudicious eares in my priuate Church: but being ouercome by the importunity of the reuerend Diuine, Master Gouge, I condescended (though sore against my will) to giue way to his desire: thus haue I made [Page] a Vertue of Necessity, and as it is in the Prouerbe, Vnica fidelia duos de­albaut parietes: I haue both satisfied his pious desire for the preseruation of the memory of his vertuous and religious Wife: and also (hauing no better to present your Honor withal) I am bold to offer this, as the poore man brought water in his hands to Artaxerxes: only as a testimony of my willingnesse to returne something to your Ho­nors hands, from whom I haue recei­ued so much (euen all the mainte­nance that now I haue) either imme­diately from your Honour, or medi­ately by your Honours procurement. It was my happinesse to be trained vp by that Illuminate Doctor, Prelate & Pillar of our Church, your Brother, and the now most reuerend and reli­gious, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells; and since to be sustained by your Ho­nour. So that I may iustly say with the Psalmist,Psal 27.10 When my Father and my Mother forsooke mee, the Lord [Page] tooke me vp, and committed mee to the charge of one Brother, of prime place in the Church, for my spirituall estate; and to your Honour, the o­ther Brother, of principall place in the common wealth for my tempo­rall. Now besides your Honours fa­uours to me in particular; your ma­ny reall fauours and great affection to the Church and Churchmen, both when you were in publike place of Honourable imployment to our late­ly gracious Soueraigne, King Iames, of euer famous and happy memory; and also since your priuate retired­nesse, may iustly challenge the best of our Labours to be consecrated to so learned and noble a Patron of Lear­ning. Besides these former respects, your Honour hath yet another inte­rest in these my weake endeuours: because you went chiefe amongst ma­ny worthy and worshipfull Auditors, which honoured the Funerall with your presence. In all these respects, I [Page] hope your Honour will fauourably be pleased to accept that of mee, which Almighty God doth of vs all, a wil­ling heart and desire. Saint Paul tells vs,2 Cor. 8.12. in his second Epistle to the Co­rinthians, that God accepts vs accor­ding to that which wee haue, not ac­cording to that which wee haue not. If in this your Honour pardon my ouer-great presumption, you shall more and more make me

Obliged in all the bonds of respect and seruice to your Honour, Nicolas Guy.

To the Reader.

Good Reader:

IT fell out with the Gentle­woman, at whose Funerall this Sermon was preach­ed, as it did with Iaakobs beloued Rachel. In a Mistresse GOVGE brought forth her last Childe into this world, and went her selfe out of this world, in the Country house of Master Si­mon and Mistresse Anne Gee­ring: who inhabiting the greatest part of the yeere in Black friers Londo, were desirous to shew to their Pastor there, such respect as the Sunemite and her hus­band did to Elisha, & Onesiphorus to Paul. strange place they both fell in trauell, and in the time of their child-bed they both departed this life. Answerably as Iaakob would not haue his Rachels memory perish with her corps, but for better preseruation thereof, erected a Pillar vpon her graue, so to the same end it is desired, that this Funerall Sermon may be published. Rachel could not be more deare to her Iaakob, then this Elizabeth was to her William. In her life time she carried her selfe worthy of all honour: and at her Funerall she was honoured with all the honour that on such a sudden the Country where she de­parted [Page] could afford. Her sweet soule left her body about one of the clocke in the afternoone of the 26. of October, 1625. being Wednesday, whereupon her Corps being infected with the Dropsie, and all the Pores of it open, by reason of her late trauell and weakenesse in Child-bed, could not bee long kept, but on the Fry­day following, which was Simon and Iudes day, was buried vnder the Com­munion Table in the Church, at Edge­ware, in the County of Middlesex, be­ing accompanied with a great multitude of sundry sorts of persons, Honourable, Worshipfull, and others. For besides that, two whole Parishes there met to­gether, Knights, Ladies, Iustices of Peace, Ministers and other good Christians round about that place, came farre and neere to the solemnization of that Fune­rall. That the due honour done to her may be more then the honour of one day, this Pillar of Pietie is now erected for en­couragement to others in their life time to walke worthy of honour.

A SERMON Preached at the Funeral of Mistresse Elizabeth Gouge, late Wife of Master William Gouge of Black-Fryers, London.

IOHN 11.26.

Whosoeuer liueth, and beleeueth in me, shall neuer dye.

THE Embleme of the E­uangelist Saint Iohn was the Eagle, which being King of all the Fowles of the Heauen, soares the highest of all other Birds; so may Saint Iohn in his Gospell claime precedency before the other Euangelists: hee was the Disciple of our Sauiours loue, his Fauorite, on [Page 2] Christs bosome he leaned at Supper,Ioh 13.23. and to him Christ at his death com­mended his Mother, so that wee may thinke that Christ did impart more to him then to the rest: therefore shall wee finde in his Gospell higher mysteries of the nature and workes of Christ then in the other: and in him alone we finde this myracle of raising Lazarus: which (if it bee lawfull to compare) may seeme to be the grea­test of all that Christ did whilst hee was in this world. It is a story not altogether vnbefitting this present occasion, if it were not for the dispa­rity of the sexe. Both of them treat of Funeralls. I will first tell you what this was in the Gospell, and after I haue done with that, this present oc­casion shall bee presented vnto you. I must not (in the relation of this Story) spend time vpon the seuerall circumstances, wherein the Euange­list is so exact; thats done at large in the Chapter: onely for introduction [Page 3] of this particular which wee haue in hand, some passages I will point out vnto you. First, of the Person that was sicke and dyed. Secondly, of the meanes his friends vsed for his reco­uery. Thirdly, of Christs comfortable speech which he gaue vnto them.

First, for the Person, it was Laza­rus, brother to Martha and Mary Magdalene, which washed Christs feet with her teares, and wiped them with her Haires, and anointed them with Ointment; this was his Kindred by nature; and by grace hee was ho­noured with the title, to be a friend of Christs, whom Christ more especially loued. Thus euen they who are the most dearely beloued of Christ must looke for afflictions, and infirmities, and sick­nesse, and death in this world. La­zarus whom Christ loued was sicke. 2. His Sisters therefore vse the best meanes they can whilst hee was sicke. For his recouery they send to Christ, to teach vs that we can sue and seeke to [Page 4] none in comparison of Christ in all our troubles. For as hee was reputed in those dayes a great Phycitian for the body, who cured all diseases: so is he for the soule too, to heale all our mi­series. 3. For Christs part, though he loued Lazarus, yet hee doth not pre­sently come to cure him, but suffers him to dye. Hee abode two dayes in the place where hee was, till Lazarus was dead: from whence wee may note, that Christ suffers the euill of af­fliction to come vpon his seruants whom hee loues, rather then preuents it with grace; and then also he doth not pre­sently relieue them, but suffers them to send and pray, as these Sisters did here: and as Iacob wrestled with God, and Saint Paul prayed thrice. And this he doth for diuers causes, both to manifest our grace and his glory. Our faith and loue to him by this meanes will expresse themselues the more: and this also will more manifest his glory in bringing downe to Hell and [Page 5] the graue, and then bringing againe to life. If Christ had come at the first and healed his sicknesse, an ordinary Physitian haply could haue done as much: but though he tarry long, yet at last hee comes and shewes the gra­cious light of his countenance vpon vs▪ so that now you shall heare him with comfortable words, speaking both to his Apostles in priuate, and afterward to the Sisters when they come to meet him: to his Apostles he saith, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth: so that if wee can get friendship with Christ, our death shall bee but a sleepe, and Christ will certainely awake vs from it at the resurrection of the iust. So Christ goes forward to the house of mourning, where the Iewes were comforting the Sisters for the death of their brother Lazarus. But they were like Rachel mourning for her children, they refused to bee comforted because their brother Lazarus was not. When Martha heard that Christ [Page 6] was comming on the way, she went forth to meete him: few such Mar­thaes who meet Christ comming to­ward them, we rather flye from him. When shee was come to Christ, shee tells him with a heauy heart of the death of her brother Lazarus, which his presence might haue preuented. Christ therefore, in the words I haue read vnto you preacheth a comforta­ble Sermon, to pacifie the friends of the deceased, that they should not sorrow as those without hope; and tells Martha that her brother Lazarus (though he be dead) shall rise againe. And that she may not doubt of it, hee addes, That he will bring it to passe, not onely for Lazarus, but for all o­ther deceased in the faith: and there­fore he sayes, I am the resurrection and the life, he that beleeueth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he liue; and who­soeuer liueth and beleeueth in mee shall neuer dye. So that the words of the Text which I haue read vnto you are [Page 7] a gracious and a large Charter or pro­mise of Christs, wherwith he comforts Martha for her particular, and grants the same in generall to euery one of vs: In which is comprehended no lesse then the summe or Epitome of the Gospell, which is, To beleeue in Christ, and we shall be saued.So it is said,Ioh. 3.16. God so loued the world that hee gaue his onely begotten Sonne, that who­soeuer beleeueth in him should not perish but haue euerlasting life. All the Gos­pell can say no more, and so much is said in these words that I haue read vnto you, whosoeuer liueth, &c.

The Law and the Gospell are as two lines tending to the same Center, or as diuers Riuers leading to the same Ocean, or as the Cherubins on each side of the Throne: though they see­med opposite one to the other, yet both of them looked with their faces towards the mercies Seat: so the Law and the Gospell intend and aime at one and the same end, which is to [Page 8] bring men to life; but the difference is in the Author and in the tenure of the one and the other: the Author of the Law was Moses; Christ of the Gos­pell. [...]. 1 17. The Law was giuen by Moses, but grace and truth came by Iesus Christ. The tenure of the Law runnes thus: Hoc fac & viues: Doe this and thou shalt liue. But the Gospell goes ano­ther way: Crede & viues: Beleeue and thou shalt liue. And thus in this Text, whosoeuer liueth and beleeueth in mee shall neuer dye.

In the words we will consider these foure particulars:

First, the Author or Donour of this Charter, Christ.

Secondly, the large extent of it, next onely to some particular Nation or people, but whosoeuer liueth.

Thirdly, the Condition requisite on their parts, which is faith; Beleeueth in me.

Fourthly, the Priuiledge it selfe, ex­emption from death; shall neuer dye.

[Page 9]First, of the Author or Donour. Hee that promiseth and intendeth to performe, must haue both will and power to performe what hee promiseth: or else wee cannot ex­spect that it will euercome to passe. The willingnesse of the minde must bee first procured, as the originall from whence hee must be moued to good: but this ready minde or desire is not sufficient without power and ability to performe what the will desires. From men sometime God accepts the will for the deed: as hee did Abrahams intention to sacrifice his sonne as well as the action; as if he had really sacrificed his sonne. The reason is, because God stands in need of nothing that is ours, and all that hee exacts of vs is no more but the heart: if there be not further strength to expresse a good desire by a good deede;2 Cor 8.12. a man shall bee accepted accor­ding to that which hee hath, not accor­ding to that which he hath not: but [Page 10] when there is want and necessity (and euen such is our want and necessity in respect of God) there onely a willing minde or compassionate heart or good words (Vox & preterea nihil) are sufficient for vs. Many promise more then they can performe. Thus the Deuil in his temptation of Christ saith,Mat. 4. All these will I giue thee if thou wilt fall downe and worship me, as if all the Kingdomes in the world, and the glory of them, had beene his to giue. In like manner the Pope freely dispo­seth Kings and their Kingdomes, as hee dealt with Henry the fourth, the Emperour, and Childerick of France. But this is (as we say) to be free of ano­ther mans purse, which is not in his power to giue. Thus it were easie to giue large gifts, to promise much and performe nothing: so that both will and power in matter of grant or pro­mise are as the two legs to support the body: either without the other, will goe lame or limping home: but [Page 11] this is our comfort, that in Christ there are both these, Will and Power. First, for his Will: the Apostle tells vs,1 Tim. 2.4. that he would haue all men come to the knowledge of the truth, that they may be saued. And if we will not take him on his bare word wee haue his oath for it.Ezek. 33.11. As I liue (saith the Lord) I haue no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked tuane from his way and liue. So that we may bee sure for his willingnesse to doe: hee would not that any man should dye: then if we may see his power to doe it, there remaines nothing more to adde to our comfort: and for this wee shall easily be assured: for hee is said to haue the keyes of hell and of death;Reu. 1.18. so that though a man should be lockt vp prisoner there, hee hath the Keyes to open the doore and set vs free a­gaine.Mat. 28.18. To him all power is giuen both in Heauen and in earth. Power then hee hath sufficient, as much as we can de­sire: the power of the greatest Mo­narches [Page 12] and Emperours, and wisest Artists in the world doth not extend thus farre, to giue life to the silliest creature, to the least Gnat or Em­mot. They that are stiled Gods in the world, and sit in the seat of Iudge­ment, as Pilate did, haue power ouer life, but onely priuitiuely, not possi­tiuely; onely to take away life, but not to giue life, vnlesse it be onely by way of sauing aliue; they cannot make aliue or restore to life: and therefore it was that the King of Is­rael answered Naaman with indig­nation,2 King. 5.7. Am I God, to kill and make a­liue? This is a worke of God alone. But this power is giuen to Christ; who is therefore called,Joh. 1.1, 4. Verbum Vitae, Fountaine of Life.Psal. 36.9. From whence the diuers streames of all kinds of life doe flow, both naturall, spirituall, and e­ternall: in regard of the naturall life, he is called,Gen. 2.7. The life who breathed the breath of life into vs: and man became a liuing soule.Act. 17.28. In whom wee still liue, [Page 13] moue, and haue our being. In regard of our spirituall life, he is our life:Gal. 2.20. 1 Ioh. 5.12. So Christ liues in vs, and hee which hath Christ hath life, but hee which is without Christ hath not life. In regard of our eternall life he is the life, as ap­peares by the Verse immediately go­ing before my Text, I am the resurre­ction and the life. Thus to his will he hath also power; to both these what more can be added? It may bee you will desire that he should bee as con­stant in his promise, as he is ready and willing, and hath power and ability. Of this also wee may bee ascertained,Iam. 1.17. for euery good and perfect gift commeth from aboue from the Father of lights, with whom is no variablenesse, nor sha­dow of change. 1 Sam. 15 29 The strength of Israel will not lye, nor repent: for he is not man that hee should repent. So that if hee hath once promised, wee need not feare he will goe back from his word. Hath he said it, and shall it not come to passe? Let him be true, and euery man [Page 14] a Lyar. So then, you see in respect of the Author or Donour, the Charter is as full and sure as we can desire it.

I come to the second particular, the large extent of it: whosoeuer liueth. It is without limitation of time or place or condition of men. It is not boun­ded within the compasse of some par­ticular men liuing in such an age of the world, nor vnto a certaine people inhabiting such a City or Land; nor to particular estates or professions and conditions liuing in this world. If we partake not of it, the fault is ours, be­cause we doe not apply it nor lay hold on it: it is promised and proffered to all men liuing: whosoeuer liueth. In what age of the world soeuer hee li­ueth, in what place soeuer he liueth, from what stocke soeuer hee is deri­ued, and in what condition of life so­euer he liueth,Prov. [...]2. [...]. the rich and the poore (saith Salomon) meete together, and God is the maker of them both: so is Christ the Sauiour of both. Of a truth [Page 15] (saith Saint Peter) I perceiue that God is no respecter of persons. Acts 10.34. Not of the rich before the poore, nor of the wise, and Scribe, and learned, before the weake and vnlearned. But in euery Nation, hee that feareth him and wor­keth righteousnesse, is accepted with him. Scythian and Barbarian, as well as Iew or Grecian: bee hee of noble or base descent. This is the large extent; Whosoeuer. I willingly passe by the secret purpose and pre­science of God, who sees all things at once, omnia simul, and so knowes who will embrace it and who refuse it. I will not here dispute whether in those generall promises made vnto man in the Scripture by this forme, in these words, Whosoeuer liueth and beleeueth, whether (I say) God intendeth them alike to euery one: this is a secret lockt vp in the bosome of God, of which wee may say as the Prophet, [...]:Isa. 24.16. this is a secret reserued to God alone, which some interpret, [Page 16] Secretum meum mihi, Secretum meum mihi. This is a profundity, at which we must stand amazed with the Apo­stle,Rom. 11.29. and cry, Oaltitudo; O the depth, his wayes are past finding out. But lay­ing that aside for the Schooles, this is that which is more fit to exhort and perswade withall in our Pulpits,Article 7. and which our Church hath taught vs, that we should content ourselues with this, we must receiue Gods promises in such wise as they he generally set forth vnto vs in holy Scripture; not restraining them or determining them in particular to this or that man. It is fit that we should so conceiue of God, as delighting in no mans destru­ction, nor desiring the death of any, but that all should come to the know­ledge of the truth, that they may bee saued; and if wee are not saued, wee must not charge God with any ineui­table decree to the contrary, as if wee perish vpon necessity: but seeing hee hath set forth his gracious promise in [Page 17] Christ to all men whosoeuer liueth and beleeueth: wee must ascribe the cause of our perishing to our selues. Perditio tua ex te, O Israel, O Israel, Hos. 13.9. thou hast destroyed thy selfe, because they wanted faith to beleeue as others that were saued; or else they might haue beene saued as well as others. It was a fauourable opinion of some, which said, That all mankind should bee saued effectually, to which, al­though we must not giue assent, see­ing such pregnant proofe to the con­trary: yet we doubt not but the re­uealed Will of God would haue his Grace offered to all, and therefore his charge to his Apostles was,Mat. 28.19. Mar. 16.15. Goe and teach all Nations, and preach the Gospell to euery creature: the which, as it seemes, to vindicate God from all in­iustice, in the behalfe of those that dye, and are damned eternally: so it is a point of exceeding comfort to whomsoeuer this priuiledge shall bee offered. At the hearing of it, none [Page 18] should doubt or suppose that hee is exempted: but should beleeue himself to be one of that number comprehen­ded in whosoeuer liueth. The Iew can­not challenge this priuiledge more then the Gentile, for he is the Sauior of the Gentiles as wel as of the Iewes. The Gospell is the power of God vnto sal­uation to euery one that beleeueth: Rom. 1.16. to the Iew first, and also to the Grecian: nei­ther is there any respect or difference in Sex or degree, male or female, bond or free, noble or ignoble, wise or vn­wise.Rom. 10.11, 12. There is no difference, but he that is Lord of all is rich vnto all that call vp­on him: so that here also we see a diffe­rence betweene the Law and the Go­spell. The Law was giuen to a certaine people confined to Ierusalem, Iury, and Israel. Few other people of the world had any knowledge of it, or meanes to know it.

In Iuda is God knowne,Psal. 76.1.his Name is great in Israel. Hee dealt not so with a­ny Nation, neither had the Heathen [Page 19] knowledge of his Lawes. But the Gos­pell was preached to all;Psal. 147.20 the sound of the Apostles went forth to all peo­ple: euen to the vttermost end of the earth. Hence in the Church Catho­tique, the company of beleeuers are of all people, and kinds, and kindreds that liued in the world: so that the Law was like a Torch or Candle, but the Gospell as the Sunne. The Law (said Dauid) was a Lantherne to his feet, Psal. 119.105. but the Gospell is as the beames of the Sunne, which com­meth out of his chamber and goeth to the ends of the earth, giuing light vnto all people. Thus is the light of Christ the Sunne of righteousnesse, as the beames of the Sunne which shineth to all; and if any one doe not partake of that light, it is because they shut their eyes against it: so seeing they doe not perceiue nor vnderstand, least they should see, beleeue and bee sa­ued. Thus much for the vniuersality of this Charter or priuiledge, exclu­ding [Page 20] none, comprehending all, who­soeuer liueth; vpon condition that he beleeueth. By faith he partakes of the priuiledge. This is the onely limita­tion of Gods mercy and promise in Christ. Faith is the Chanell by which it is drawne and dispersed ouer all the world, and makes the earth to bee fruitfull as Eden, the Garden of God. The eternall fauour and goodnesse of God is as the Fountaine, Christ is the Wel or Cesterne, and Faith is the Bucket whereby we draw from Christ liuing waters. He that beleeues in him shall neuer dye: So that when wee say, Faith is the condition of life and salua­tion, you must note that it is not such a condition, as we vsually make in Bonds and Obligations, and bargaine and sale, which runnes in this tenure, Vpon consideration of something of equall value, wee become bound for the performance of such Couenants: as if the condition of faith should bee worth Heauen.

[Page 21]It is not for the worth of our faith, put for the merit of Christ, that the faithfull shall never dye eternally. And therefore the Scripture phrase runnes thus; By faith, and through faith wee are iustified. Not for faith, but for Christ apprehended by faith. So that it is not faith as an habite, or worke in the soule, as other graces, loue and pa­tience, &c. which is of equall worth and vertue to preserue vs that we pe­rish not, but it is Christ alone, who yet hath no vertue or operation in our salvation, and redemption without beleeving on our parts, to apply him to vs: no more then physicke can cure a deadly disease, or cloth affoord any warmth to our bodies, if they be not both applyed vnto vs: so that the Charter runneth betweene God and man, like as if a King should grant a great priuiledge to his subiects, which they should not purchase at a hard price, or with a great summe, but one­ly vpon condition to acknowledge [Page 22] him their soueraign Lord from whom they had receiued such great immuni­ties: which is a point of great comfort to the Christian weake in faith: be­cause it is not for the worth or excel­lencie of our faith that we must thinke to stand. Though a strong faith is an excellent grace, which will make vs as a Rocke, or as houses built vpon the sure Rocke Christ: the stormes and sea and windes of temptation and af­fliction may beat, but they shall not be able to ouerthrow vs, because wee are built vpon a Rocke: yet a little and feeble faith, which with feare & trem­bling layes hold vpon Christ shall neuer perish, because it is not the dig­nitie of faith, which conueyes the be­nefit vnto vs: but the worth, excel­lency & sufficiencie of Christ, which is apprehended by faith. It was not for the vertue of the eye which looked vp to the brazen serpent that men were healed, that had been stung with fierie Serpents; the weakest eyes [Page 23] as well as the most sharpe sighted, if they could but look vp to it, were hea­led: and the begger which receiues a gift may be fully possessed of it, euen with a trembling and shaking hand, as well as he that hath the most stedfast hand. But though a weake faith, beleeving in him, may serue the turne, yet faith there must bee, or else no hope for this priviledge.Heb. 11.6. For with­out faith it is impossible to please God. So that this is that which puts a diffe­rence betweene the sheepe and the goats, the wise & the foolish virgins, the faithfull, and vnbeleevers. Some say, that beleeving onely without o­ther good works, wil neuer bring vs to life: the which though in some sence we deny not: yet this is most certaine that all other vertues, without faith to beleeue in Christ, are nothing worth. This is that vnum necessarium, which the Gospell requires of vs, to beleeue in Christ; and for want of this, how many Infidels, Iewes and Turks perish [Page 24] euerlastingly? euen all those morall vertues of the Heathen, their chastity, iustice, temperance, &c. wherewith diuers of them did abound and ex­ceed many Christians in them, were all but splendida peccata; [...] 115. because to the Infidell and vnbeleeuing, all things are impure: so that notwithstanding all these, if they remaine without faith in Christ, they shall dye. For as there is but one name giuen vnder Hea­uen, by which we must be saued; which is the blessed and sweet name of Iesus: so is there no way to attaine vnto sal­uation by that name, but by belee­uing in him. But as I haue shewed you that this faith to beleeue is neces­sary, and a weake faith may be accep­ted with God: before I leaue the point, it will not be amisse something more fully to shew you the nature of true and sauing faith: which consist­eth not onely in beleeuing in Christ in the History, for there is Credere de Christo, credere Christo, credere in [Page 25] Christum. The first is to beleeue all is true which the Scriptures report, concerning the Nature, Offices, and Merits of Christ: this a man may do, and finde no vertue or fruit of it in his owne soule. The second is to beleeue Christ as wee would a man of his word, giue credit to whatsoeuer hee hath said: this wee may doe to the Prophets and Apostles: but we must come neerer him then so, which is the third, to beleeue in him: which im­plies a dependency and resolution to cleaue vnto him. As wee apprehend Christ,Phil. 3.12. so must wee likewise be appre­hended of Christ: for Faith hath (as it were) two hands, one receiuing Christ from God, the other giuing the Be­leeuer to God; and both these hands [...]t vseth at one and the selfe same time. At the same time that the Beleeuer applies Christ to his owne heart, he applies his heart to Christ, and cleaues to him with full purpose of [...]oule. This was notably shadowed [Page 26] out vnder the Ceremoniall Law, in the coniunction of the sin-offering which pointed out Christ, and the burnt-offering, which (as Saint Paul hath interpreted it) more especially signifieth the sacrificing of the flesh, the crucifying of the old Adam. I beseech you therefore brethren, Rom. 12.1. by the mercies of God, that yee present your bo­dies a liuing Sacrifice, holy, acceptable vnto God, which is your reasonable ser­uice. True faith offers both these at once. But too many mens faith is lame on that hand which should offer the burnt Offering; they onely take Christ, but they giue not themselues to Christ: they offer the Sinne-offe­ring without the burnt Offering, and therefore applying Christ to them­selues, and not themselues to Christ, they misapply. It is therefore, as St. Bernard calls it, Infidelis fiducia, a faithlesse confidence for any man to perswade himselfe, or presume that Christ Iesus is his Sauiour, or that he [Page 27] hath any part, either in the life or death of Christ, albeit hee continue vnder the power of sinne and Satan. Such a faith, to speake in the words of the Poet, is fallax fiducia, a confi­dence whereby men cousen and de­ceiue themselues, in hoping to at­taine vnto Heauen, though they hold on in the high way that leadeth vnto Hell. Nay, it is indeed in effect, to blaspheme and dishonour Christ, by denying (though not in word, yet indeed) that there is any power in his death, any vertue in his resurrection, any renewing grace receiued from him, to sanctifie those who truly be­leeue in him. Turkes and Pagans who plainely deny him, doe not derogate so much from the glory of Christ, as doe prophane professors of his name: tolerabilius enim lingua quam vita mentitur. The lye (saith Saint Augu­stine) which is made by the lippe, is more tolerable then that which is made by the life. Can Christ dwell [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page 28] in their hearts by faith (as Saint Paul speaketh) and not liue in them. Eph 3 17. Gal. 2.20. In whose heart soeuer Christ is resident by faith, there hee reignes, and dispo­seth him as it seemeth best to his god­ly wisdome.Rom, 6.4. By Baptisme we are buri­ed with him into death, that like as Christ was raised vp from the dead, by the glory of the Father, euen so wee also should walke in newnesse of life. Col. 3.1. If we be risen through faith with Christ, we must seek those things which are aboue, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Whosoeuer truly beleeueth in Christ conquereth this world. who is he (saith Saint Iohn) that ouercommeth the world, 1 Joh. 5 5. but hee that beleeueth that Iesus is the Sonne of God. They that by faith are Christs, Gal. 5.24. haue crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. Wheresoeuer there is a Christian beliefe, there will also be a Christian life. Credere in Cri­stum (saith Saint Augustine) est cre­dendo amare, &c. To belieue in Christ is through faith heartily to affect [Page 29] him, and to be really incorporated in­to him: so that beleeuing in Christ is more then to comprehend him in the vnderstanding; it is also to imbrace him in our hearts and affections. As Christ naked without respect of his merits is not the obiect of our faith; so our faith, naked without our affe­ctionate desire to bee ioyned to him, is not the true meanes to apprehend Christ, and conueigh his merits vnto vs. This is that which is required on their parts, who partake of the pri­uiledge here promised. The taske is not hard: it is not to giue a great ran­some for our soules; so the poore could not enioy it: or to discourse accuratly, so the simple and vnlearned could not attaine vnto it; or to goe a great iour­ney to finde Christ, so the lame and impotent might misse of it, but only to beleeue in him, which is a matter possible with euery man. whosoeuer beleeueth in him shall neuer dye, and so I come to the last part of my Text, [Page 30] the priuiledge here granted. Exemp­tion from Death. Death hath a three­fold: acception. It is either naturall, spirituall, or eternall. Whosoeuer beleeueth in Christ is exempted from all these. The two later onely haue properly the name of Death. For Death, to speake properly, is either a separation from God here in his Kingdome of grace, or a separation from him hereafter in his Kingdome of glory. Not to partake of his sauing grace here in this world, is to bee spi­ritually dead; and not to be crowned with his glory in the world to come, is to be eternally dead. They who haue onely vitam naturae, the life of nature here in this world, and haue not vi­tam gratiae, the life of grace, are spiri­tually dead, according to that of the Apostle,1 Tim. 5.6. She that liueth in pleasure is dead while she liueth, and according to that of our Sauiour,Mat. 8.22. Let the dead bury the dead. It may bee said of such as it was of the Angell of the Church of [Page 31] Sardis, They haue a name that they liue, Reu. 3.1. but are dead. So they who in the next world haue onely vitam naturae, the life of nature, and haue not vitam gloriae, the life of glory, are eternally dead. From both these deaths, all true Beleeuers in Christ Iesus are exemp­ted, for they liue spiritually, and eter­nally.

That the true beleeuers in Christ Iesus enioy a spirituall life is euident, accor­ding to that of S. Iohn 1.12, 13. They that beleeue on his Name, are borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Besides their naturall birth they haue a spirituall. As many as by faith are in Christ Iesus, they are new creatures, they receiue a new life: so likewise doe they enioy e­ternall life, according to that of our Sauiour: This is life eternall, by faith,Iohn 17.3. to know the Father to be the onely True God, and whom he hath sent Iesus Christ. All the question seemes to be concer­ning their exemption from the natu­rall [Page 32] death: but if we diligently obserue their condition, it will easily appeare that they are exempted frō that death also. For as they who enioy natural life are said to bee dead, because they are depriued of the spirituall life: so they who are naturally dead may be said to be aliue, because they enioy the life of glory. The naturall death to them e­specially is changed into a sleepe. Death to them is not exitus, but tran­situs: not obitus, but abitus: not a dy­ing, but a departing. A transmigrati­on and exodus out of our earthly pil­grimage, vnto our heauenly home. Fratres mortui (saith Saint Augustine) non sunt amissi, sed praemissi. Profectio est (saith Tertullian) quam putas mor­tem. A passage from the valley of death to the land of the liuing. That all true Beleeuers departing hence are still aliue,Math. 22 32. is euident by the words of our Sauiour, that God who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, is not the God of the dead, but of the liuing. If the [Page 33] father of the faithfull be still aliue, no doubt but so are all his children, who departed hence, in the faith of their fa­ther. Death to them is but a sleepe. So is it said of Dauid, of Salomon, 1. Kin 2.10. — 11.43. and of other Kings of Israel, and of Iuda, that they slept with their fathers. So in the New Testament, such as are dead in the Lord, are said to sleepe in Christ. 1. Cor. 11.30 —15.18. Iob. 11.11. So great a resemblance is there between sleepe and death, that sleepe is called by O­uid, mortis imago, by Virgil, consangui­neus Lethi▪ Seneca cals it the brother, & Hesiode, the Sister of death. Sleepe is a kinde of death, and death a kinde of sleepe.1. Thes. 4.13, 14. I would not haue you to bee igno­rant (saith the Apostle) brethren, concer­ning them which are asleepe, that yee sor­row not, euen as others which haue no hope. For if wee beleeue that Iesus died, and rose againe, euen so them also which sleepe in Iesus will God bring with him. The Apostle saith that the Christ, the Lord (who giues life to all things) is dead: and mortall man (saith he) slee­peth[Page 34] which manner of speech at the first sight may seeme strange, but there is good reason for it. For wee there­fore sleepe, because Christ died. His death made our death but a sleepe. Christ by his bitter death, made death sweet vnto vs, made it, I say, but the very shadow of death: so that death cannot hurt vs, because Christ hath taken away sinne the sting thereof. O death where is thy sting?1. Cor. 15.55. Lastly, though their bodies sleepe in the graue, yet their soules liue a glorified life in hea­uen. So that the Saints departed are dead in their worst part onely, but li­uing in their best, euen in that where­in they desire to liue most, as Martial an Heathen Poet diuinely,

Sed lugere nefas: nam quite (Prisce) reliquit
Ʋiuit qua voluit viuere parte magis.

Sith death then to the true Beleeuers in Christ is but a sleepe, a passage from misery to eternall happinesse, Let vs sing with old Simeon a nunc Dimittis, and reioyce that our warfare, all our [Page 35] combates and conflicts with the world the flesh and the diuell are ended. So long as we are in this world, wee must continually fight against those lusts which fight against our soules. When we haue conquered couetousnesse, lust riseth vp against vs; when carnall con­cupiscence is suppressed, ambition takes place; when ambition and pride are foyled, drunkennesse endeuours to draw vs on to eternall destruction. I know that the men of this world count it their blisse, to be caried away by the world, the flesh and the Diuell, and to doe seruice vnto them. But the chil­dren of God account it their bane, to bee in any the least subiection vnto them, and therefore doe they continu­ally band themselues against them. Blame them not therefore, though they reioyce when the combate is en­ded, and all their enemies conquered, and crowned. What Souldier is not glad when the combate is ended, and his enemie conquered? who in a great [Page 36] tempest at Sea, would not gladly be in a quiet and calme harbour? and who in the sea of this tempestuous world, would not giue this world to arriue at the hauen of eternall happinesse: here is nothing but wailing and weeping:Ioh. 16.20. Who would not bee there where all teares are wiped away? Our Sauiour told his Apostles, being sorrowfull for his departure. If yee loued me, yee would reioyce, Ioh. 14.24. because I goe to my Father. To me (saith S. Paul) to liue is Christ, & to dye is gaine. Phil. 1.21. Let him therefore dread death, who is not borne againe of water and of the Holy Ghost, but remaines en­thralled to the flames of hell fire. Let him feare to die, who shall passe from the naturall death, to eternall. Let him I say, be daunted, when death drawes nigh, who, when hee shall passe out of this world, shall eternally be tor­mented in the flames of hell fire: but let all true Beleeuers in Christ Iesus (whose home is heauen) with the Tra­ueller thinke the time long till they re­turne [Page 37] home to their owne countrey, where after the wearisome trauell of this life, they shall liue eternally in all rest and happinesse.

Thus much of my Text.

GIue mee leaue to adde a few words about the particular occasion of this our meeting, which is euident by the obiect here before our eyes, and maketh vnto vs a visible Sermon of our mortalitie. For it is a dead corps, which was within these few dayes the receptacle of the euer-liuing soule of Mistris Elizabeth Gouge. A soule which while it remai­ned in that receptacle, enabled the same, thorow the good grace of God infused into it, to doe much honour to God, and good to man. Which that I may the better demonstrate vnto you, I will make bold to set before you a briefe, iust, and true view of the whole course of her life: that, though the [Page 38] substance of her soule bee now taken from among vs to be among those i [...] spirits which are made perfect in heauen and her bodie to be couered from ou [...] sight in the earth, in assured hope o [...] the Resurrection thereof to eternal life yet her graces may remaine fresh a­mong vs for the greater consolation of her friends, and imitation of vs all.

Shee was the daughter of such Pa­rents as while they liued were of very good note and name. Her father Mr Henry Calton, was a Mercer and Citi­zen in London of good worth. Her mother was of a good Gentlemans house, Mr Cois of Stubbers in Essex.

Both her Parents died while she was yong, and had not her Mothers owne brother Master William Coys, taken vpon him the tuition of his Sisters children, they had beene made a prey. But he like a good Mordecai brought vp his said Sisters children, which were three in number, a sonne, who was drowned in swimming while he was a [Page 39] youth, and two daughters; the eldest whereof was this Gentlewoman, whose Funerall wee now solemnize. The yonger still liueth being maried to the yonger brother of this Gentle­womans husband. Such was the said Guardians care ouer these Orphanes, as, after he had trained them vp some while in his owne house, for their bet­ter education, hee put them forth to board in a pious, painfull, faithfull Mi­nisters house, Master Huckles by name, of Hatfield-Broad-oake in Essex, whose wife had a great name, and that not without iust desert, for skill, and faith­full care in training vp yong Gentle­women. There were the two suruiuing foresaid Orphanes, Elizabeth and Mary Calton educated sixe yeares to­gether, and there were they well in­structed in pietie, in modestie, in good house-wifery, and much skill in all such workes, as appertained to such persons.

From the said Ministers house the [Page 40] said two Orphanes were brought to Stratford Bow in Middlesex, the elder being about seuenteene yeere old, and the yonger scarce fifteene.

In the said Stratford Bow there dwelt an ancient Gentleman Master Thomas Gouge by name, who well liking the person, grace, and cariage of the said elder Orphane, sent for his eldest sonne Master William Gouge, then fellow of Kings Colledge in Cambridge, now Mi­nister and Preacher of Gods Word in Blacke-Friers London, who being brought to the said Gentlewoman, af­ter some mutual conferences one with another, they tooke such liking one of another, as on the 11 of February in the first yeare of King Iames they were with full consent of all friends on both parts maried together, and conti­nued like Isaak and Rebekah faithfull, and louing yoake-fellowes till the 26 of this present October, in the 1 yeare of our now Royall Soueraigne King Charles, on which dismall day irre­sistable [Page 41] death, made an irrecoue­rable diremption betwixt them. Such respect did this Gentlewo­man beare to the Ministerie of Gods Word, that when it was told her that her suter had diuerted his stu­dies to Diuinitie, and intended to bee a Preacher, shee answered, I am so farre from disliking a man of that profession, as of all other cal­lings, I most desire an Husband, being o­therwise well qualified, of that function. A pious minde in a maiden so yong, and in a Gentlewoman of so good meanes as shee was! To her eter­nall comfort shee had her desire ac­complished. And answerably did shee carie herselfe, A pious, prudent, prouident, painfull, carefull, faith­full, helpfull, graue, modest, sober, tender, louing Wife, Mother, Mistris, Neigh­bour. Many were the graces which made her acceptable in Gods sight, a­miable in her Husbands eyes, & com­mendable among all that well knew [Page 42] her. But that I may keepe my selfe within some bounds, I will especially insist on foure, wherein shee made her selfe a patterne worthy of admiration and imitation; These were Sobrietie, Sedulitie, Charitie, Piety.

1. Her countenance, her confe­rence, her carriage, her apparell did all giue euidence of her Graue, Graci­ous, Sober, Matron-like minde, where­by she did much grace her Husbands Vocation.

2. Shee hath left behinde her many euidences of her indefatigable sedulity, Pro. 31. [...]0. [...] euen such as the Wiseman commen­deth in a vertuous Woman, Vallances, Cup bord-cloathes, Quissions, and many such like vsefull thing, artificially wrought with her owne fingers, be­sides all her owne, husbands, and childrens wearing linnen wrought by her selfe and maidens, whom by her owne example she made diligent. The shortnesse of day-light, she much hel­ped by candle light. She carefully kept [Page 43] Saint Pauls precept to keepe at home. Tit. 2.5. She was not like those whom he sharp­ly reproueth for wandring about from house to house, and for being not only idle, 1. Tim. 5.13. but tatlers also and busie-bodies. Shee vtterly disliked such: she cared not for their company. These commendable vertues of keeping at home, & keeping si­lence; retirednesse, & taciturnitie, made many mis-censure her of too much statelinesse.

3. Her charitie exercised it selfe at home and abroad. At home, towards the head and members of her Family. Abroad, towards her neighbours and strangers. Shee was truely [...] and [...], an entire louer of her husband, and children. Her loue to her Husband made her to yeeld all dutifull respect to him, and to bee very carefull ouer him, and that both well to nou­rish and cherish him, and also to free him from the trouble of all those things which shee in her place could manage: For shee most prudently and [Page 44] prouidently ordered the affaires of her house, whereby hee had the more lea­sure to attend his publike function. Her loue to her Husband was further ma­nifest by that delight shee tooke in his company: It was grieuous to her to be where he was not, except vrgent & necessary imployments required as much: neither did she care her selfe to goe abroad vnlesse her Husband went with her. And when they were absent one from another, they made a supply of that bodily absenee by continuall entercourse of Letters one to another, in which Letters shee testified much pietie, wisdome and loue. If at any time he had beene sicke, shee was very tender ouer him, and very carefull to prouide all things needfull for him in that case. Her entire loue to him was many wayes testified to the very last act of her life. The longer they liued together, the more did this loue shew it selfe.

Her care ouer her children did [Page 45] also declare her true loue of them. She did not onely beare them, and bring them forth into the world, which ne­cessitie forceth all mothers to doe, but with her owne milke she nursed seuen, as many as possibly shee could, which too many mothers doe too much neg­lect. It was not sore nipples or brests, nor an Infants wrangling, nor brea­king her sleepe in the night, nor any other disturbance that could make her neglect this bounden dutie. Her ten­dernesse ouer her children was not di­minished by their growth in yeares: yet as they encreased in vnderstanding, so wisely shee ordered her authoritie ouer them, as with a child-like feare they much reuerenced her. For well she knew how to keepe both children and seruants in dutifull awe. As shee was carefull well to nourish, so also well to nurture her children. In nurtu­ring them, though she were not negli­gent of their ciuill behauiour, & good manners, yet her greatest care and [Page 46] paines was like Eunice, 2 Tim. 1.5. & 3.15. Eph. 6.4. to bring them vp in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, teaching them, so soone as they were capable, the Principles of Religi­on, wherein some of them so profited, as before they were three yeares old, they were able distinctly to answer all the questions of a Catechisme which her Husband published. Many good instructiōs also from time to time they receiued from her after they were put forth,Prou 31.1. wherein shee shewed her selfe like the good mother of Lemuel.

Her poore Neigbours also, as shee had notice of their need, tasted of her charity: for very ready shee was and forward to visite the sicke, and to send them succour. It was her vsuall pra­ctise, on the Lords dayes specially, to send some hot, wholsome refreshing to such as needed it.

This her charity extended it selfe also to strangers. For where she had a quarterly allowance of her Husband for her owne proper vse, she set a part [Page 47] a good part therof for charitable vses, and so dedicated it to that purpose, as she accounted it sacriledge to imploy any part thereof to any other vse. Out of this sacred stocke she was ready to contribute to all charitable motions made in the Church: to all priuate Collections made knowne vnto her; and to many, that time after time came to her Husband for reliefe, be­sides those, whom she her selfe, with her owne hands, of her owne motion relieued. So as herein also shee was like to that good woman whom the wiseman thus commendeth,Prou. 31. 20. She stret­cheth out her hands to the poore.

4. Her Piety, as it was the best of her graces, whereby all the rest were seasoned, so was it not lesse eminent then the rest. For she was a conscio­nable obseruer of the Lords Day, and a constant frequenter of the weeke day Lectures where she inhabited. Shee did both her selfe diligently and reuerendly attend to the dayly exer­cises [Page 48] of piety in her house, and also caused her children and seruants to do the like. She had also her set houres euery day, which secretly betwixt God and her selfe shee spent in holy De­uotions. With her owne hand shee penned sundry deuout Prayers, where­of some being for helps to humble her soule the more before God, were very large. She hath also left written by her selfe many diuine directions for Deuotions. She further tyed her selfe by a set dayly taske to reade the holy Scriptures, whereby she was able rea­dily to answer any question propoun­ded about the History and Doctrin of the Scriptures. Shee did also spend much time in reading English books of diuinity, whereof shee had a pretty Library. She carefully put in practise this precept of the Apostle to wiues, Let them aske their Husbands at home. 1 Cor. 14 35. Her piety left her not till her breath left her. For (to come to the time of her sicknesse and departure) being long [Page 49] weake before her departure, and great with Childe, shee was disabled from doing so much worke as in her health she vsed to do, yet was shee not idle, but spent the more time in reading & conferring with her Husband, and that especially, about euidences of true grace, and assurances of saluati­on. It pleased the Diuine prouidence about a yeere and a quarter before, when shee was great with Childe, to visit her with a Dropsie, though shee was very temperate in her diet, no Wine bibber. Of her Liuer she com­plained from her youth, so as questi­onlesse her ill-disposed Liuer was the cause of her disease. After her deliue­ry of that Childe, thorow Gods bles­sing on the meanes, which her good Neighbour, Master Doctor Argent, an ancient, experienced, and skilfull Physician prescribed, she was recoue­red: and continued very well from September, 1624 till Febr following, when conceiuing againe with Child, [Page 50] the Dropsie returned againe. Not­withstanding the returne of that Dis­ease, she was on the sixt of October 1625 deliuered of her thirteenth and last Childe, which was a sonne, and retained such strength as ordinarily shee was wont to doe in the time of her Childbed, so as on the baptizing day she sate vp, as women in that time vse to doe. But before shee gathered such strength as might enable her to take Physicke for her Disease, death began to seaze vpon her. For on the very day wherein the foresaid Do­ctor Argent had prescribed such Phy­sicke as was fit for one in her case, which was the fourteenth day after her deliuery, the violence of her Dis­ease was such, as accustomed rest, and vse of vnderstanding was taken from her. This made her talke much: but in all her talke not an impious word came from her. (Her tongue was ne­uer accustomed thereto) But that it might appeare how fast fixed, and [Page 51] deeply rooted piety was in her, in her greatest weaknesse and extremity, if any Broth, Drinke, or other sustenance were offered her, she would lift vp her eyes to Heauen, and craue a blessing of him whom she knew to be aboue. In that her restlesse time, she was much perswaded by her Husband to doe what he aduised. To short questions, especially about her Christian faith & hope, she would giue short, but very pithy and comfortable answers. Af­ter she had thus remained two whole dayes, it pleased the Lord to giue some rest, whereby for two dayes she reco­uered good vse of her vnderstanding, and made good vse thereof, by giuing many good euidences of her sted faith in Iesus Christ. Which after she had done, the former violence of her Dis­ease returned vpon her, and soone de­priued her of her sweet breath. Thus would God take her away euen in her calling, in the time of her Child-bed, wherein for a woman to dye, is as for [Page 52] a Souldier to dye in battell; yea, as for a Preacher to dye in the Pulpet▪ They that in Scripture are recorded to dye in that time, are recorded to dye as Saints, as the Wiues of Iaakob and Phinehas: and so vndoubtedly did this pious Matron; whose soule, euer in that moment wherein by Prayer it was commended to God, ascended to God, with whom she now, as we haue great and iust cause to hope, raigneth in euerlasting glory: whether God bring vs also in our time, thorow Ie­sus Christ our Lord, to whom with the Father and the holy Ghost bee all honour and glory, now and for euer. Amen.

The memory of the iust is blessed.
FINIS.

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