CONTAINING two Decades.

By IOSEPH HALL Doctor of Di­uinitie.

LONDON Printed for E. Edgar, and A. Garbrand, at the Wind-mill in Pauls Church yard. 1611.

TO THE MOST HIGH AND EXCEL­LENT PRINCE, HENRIE, Prince of Wales, all hap­pinesse.

Most Gracious Prince,

LET mee not (whiles I de­sire to be du­tifull) seeme importunate, in my dedications. I now bring to your Highnesse these my last, and perhaps [Page] most materiall Letters: wherein, if I mistake not, (as, how easily are wee de­ceiued in our owne?) the pleasure of the varietie shall striue with the importance of matter. There is no worldly thing, I confesse, whereof I am more ambiti­ous then of your Highnes­ses contentment, which that you place in goodnesse, is not more your glory, then our ioy: Do so still, and hea­uen and earth shall agree to blesse you, and vs in you. For me, after this my offici­ous boldnesse, I shall betake [Page] myselfe in silence, to some greater worke, wherein I may approue my seruice to the Church, and to your Highnes, as her second ioy and care. My heart shall be alwaies, and vpon al oppor­tunities, my tong and pen, shall no lesse gladly bee de­uoted to my gracious Ma­ster, as one

Who reioyce to be your High­nesses (though vnworthy, yet) faithfull and ob­sequious Seruant. IOS. HALL.



  • EP. I. TO my Lord Bishop of Bath and Wels.

    Discoursing of the causes and means of the increase of Popery. 1.

  • EP. II. To my Lord B. of Worcester

    Shewing the differences of the pre­sent Church, from the Apostoli­call; and needlesnesse of our confor­mity thereto in all things. 21.

  • EP. III. To my Lady MARY DENNY.

    Containing the discription of a Christian, and his differences from the worldling. 33.


    Discoursing of the necessity of Baptisme; and the estate of those which necessarily want it. 43.

  • [Page] EP. V. To Sir RICHARD LEA, since deceased.

    Discoursing of the comfortable re­medies of all afflictions. 57.

  • EP. VI. To Master PETER MOVLIN Preacher of the Church at Paris.

    Discoursing of the late French oc­currents, and what vse God expects to be made of them. 69.


    Exciting him, and (in him) all o­thers to early and chearefull bene­ficence: shewing the necessity and benefit of good workes. 77.

  • EP. VIII. To E. B. Dedicated to Sir GEORGE GORING.

    Remedies against dulnes and hart­lesnesse in our callings, and en­couragements to chearefulnesse in labour. 91.

  • EP. IX. To S. H. I. Discussing this Question.

    Whether a man and wife after some yeares mutuall, and louing fruition of each other, may vpon consent, whether for secular, or religious causes, vowe and per­forme [Page] a perpetuall separation from each others bed, and abso­lutely renounce all carnall know­ledge of each other for euer. 101


    Incouraging him to persist in the holy calling of the ministery, which vpon conceit of his insufficiency, and want of affection, he seemed in­clining to forsake, and change. 115


  • EP. I. TO my Lord DENNY.

    A particular account how our dayes are, or should be spent, both common and holy. 1

  • EP. II. To M. T. S. Dedicated to Sir FVLKE GREVILL.

    Discoursing how wee may vse the world without danger. 13


    Of the remedies of sinne, and mo­tiues to auoide it. 21

  • EP. IIII. To M. Doctor MILBVRNE.

    Discoursing how farre, and where­in [Page] Popery destroieth the foundati­on. 31.

  • EP. V. Written long since to I. W.

    Disswading from separation: and shortly oppugning the grounds of that errour. 41.

  • EP. VI. To Master I. B.

    A complaint of the mis-education of our Gentry. 65

  • EP. VII. To Master IONAS REIGES BERGIVS in Zeland.

    Written some whiles since, concer­ning some new opinions then broa­ced in the Churches of Holland; and vnder the name of Arminius (then liuing:) perswading all great wits to a studie and care of the common Peace of the Church, and disswading from al affectation of singularity. 75

  • EP. VIII. To W. I. condemned for murder

    Effectually preparing him, and (vn­der his name) whatsoeuer Malefac­tor, for his death. 83.

  • EP. IX. To Master IOHN MOLE, of a long time now prisoner vnder the Inquisition at Rome.

    [Page] Exciting him to his wonted con­stancie, and incouraging him to Martyrdome. 93.

  • EP. X. To all Readers.

    Containing Rules of good aduice for our Christian and ciuill carri­age. 107.



PAge 3. line 11. read setlednes for seelednes. p. 12. l. 16. read their for they, p. 14. l. 4. r. stales for stalls. p. 17. l. 13. r. great, oppugnation for Great oppugnation, p. 23. l. 15. r. person for persons, p. 27. l. 19. r. Fastes for Facts, p. 28. vlt r. concluding for concluding, p. 37. l. 9, r. ingrosses for ingrosse, p. 44. l. 2. read heard for hard, p. 72. l. 10. r. Duels for Doels, p. 72. l. 20. r. Cotton for Cotten, p. 74. l. 12. r. holy for wholy, p. 84. penult. r. death-bed for dead bed, p. 92. l. 4. r. more weake for more weaker p. 98. 7. r. our price for our pride, p. 104. l. 12. r. then euer forthen neuer, p. 110. l. 1. r. matrimoniall for matrimo­nicall, p. 115. l. 8. r. I am not more for I am more, p 116. l. r. 20 appose vs for oppose vs:


PAge 39. l. 6. r. Judges for Iudge. p. 66. l. 19. r. Ruffians for ruffianlike, p. 73. l. 5. r. glad for gald, p. 87. l. 20. r. let for lets, p. 110. l. 12. r. yeeld for yeelds. p. 112. l. 11. r. probation for prouation,

The fifth Decade.

EPISTLE. I. To my Lord Bishop of Bathe and Wels.

EP. I. Discoursing of the causes and means of the increase of Popery.

BY what meanes the Romish religion hath in these latter times preuailed so much o­uer the world, (Right Reuerend and honourable) is a considerati­on [Page 2] both weighty, and vse-full: for hence may we frame our selues either to preuent, or imitate them: To imitate them in what wee may; or preuent them in what they should not. I meddle not with the meanes of their first ri­sings: the munificence of Chri­stian Princes, the honest deuoti­ons of wel-meaning Contribu­ters, the diuision of the Christi­an world, the busie indeauours of forward Princes, for the recouery of the holy land, with neglect of their owne, the ambitious insi­nuations of that sea, the same and large dominiō of those seuen hils; the compacted indulgence, and conniuence of some treacherous, of other timorous rulers; the shameles flattery of parasites, the rude ignorance of Times; or if [Page 3] there be any other of this kinde; My thoughts and wordes shall be spent vpon the present, and latest age. All the world knowes, how that pretended chayre of Peter tottered, and cracked, some three­score yeares agoe, threatning a speedy ruine to her fearefull vsur­per: How is it that still it stands, and seemes now to boast of some setlednesse? Certainely, if hell had not contriued a new support, the Angell had long since saide, It is fallen, it is fallen; and the Mer­chants, Alas, Alas, the great Citie. The brood of that lame Loyola shall haue this miserable honour, without our enuie; that if they had not beene, Rome had not beene. By what meanes, it rests now to enquire.

It is not so much their zeale [Page 4] for falshood; which yet wee ac­knowledge, and admire not. If Sa­tan were not more busie then they, we had lost nothing. Their desperate attempts, bold intrusi­ons, importunate solicitations haue not returned empty; yet their policy hath done more then their force. That Popish world was then foule, and debauched, as in doctrine, so in life; and now beganne to be ashamed of it selfe; when these holy Fathers, as some Saints drop't out of heauen, sud­denly professed an vnusuall strict­nesse, sad piety, resolued mortifi­cation; and so drew the eyes, and hearts of men after them, that poore foules beganne to thinke it could not be other then diuine, which they taught; other then holy, which they touched. The [Page 5] very times (not seldome) giue as great aduantage, as our owne best strength: and the vices of others giue glory to those which eyther are, or appeare vertuous. They saw how ready the world was to bite at the baite, and now follow­ed their successe, with new helps. Plenty of pretended miracles must blesse, on all sides, the in dea­uours of this new Sect; and calls for both approbation, and won­der. Those things by the report of their owne pennes (other wit­nesses I see none) haue beene done by the ten Patriarcks of the Iesui­tish Religion, both aliue and dead, which can hardly bee mat­ched of him, whose name they haue vsurped. And now the vul­gar can say, If these men were not of God, they could doe nothing: [Page 6] How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? not distrusting either the fame, or the worke, but applauding the Authors, for what was said to bee done. But now lest the enuie of the fact should surpasse the wonder, they haue learned to cast this glory vpon their woodden Ladies, & to com­municate the gaine vnto the whole Religion: Two blocks at Hale and Scherpen-heuuell, haue saide and done more for Popery, then all Fryers, euer since Francis wore his breeches on his head. But because that praise is sweete, which arises from the disgrace of a riuall, therefore this holy society hath besides, euer wont to honor it selfe by the brokage of shameles vntruthes against the aduerse part; not caring how probable any re­port [Page 7] is, but how odious. A iust volume would not containe those willing lies, wherewith they haue purposely loded religion, and vs; that the multitude might first hate vs, and then enquire: and these courses are helde not tollera­ble, but meritorious. So the ende may be attayned, all meanes are iust; all wayes straight. VVhom we may, we satisfie: but wounds once giuen, are hardly healed with out some scarres: and commonly accusations are vocall, Apologies dumbe. How easie is it to make any cause good, if we may take li­berty of tongue, and conscience? Yet lest some glimpse of our truth and innocence should per­haps lighten the eyes of some more inquisitiue Reader, they haue by strict prohibitions, whe­ther [Page 8] of bookes, or conference, re­strained all possibility of true in­formations; Yea their owne wri­tings, wherein our opinions are reported with confutation, are not alowed to the common view, lest if it should appeare what we hold, our meere opinion should preuaile more then their subtilest answere. But aboue all, the re­straint of Gods booke hath gained them most; If that might be in the hands of men, their religion could not be in their hearts; now, the concealement of Scriptures breeds ignorance, and ignorance superstition. But because forbid­dance doth but whet desire, and worke a conceite of some secret excellence in things denyed; ther­fore haue they deuised to affright this dangerous curiosity, with [Page 9] that cruell, butcherly, hellish In­quisition. Wherein yet there is not lesse craft then violence. For since they haue perceiued the blood of Martyrs to bee but the seed of the Church, and that these perfumes are more dispersed with beating; they haue now learned to murder without noyse, and to bring forth (if, at least, they list sometimes to make the people priuie to some examples of terror) not men but carcasses. Behold, the constant confessions of the dying Saints haue made them weary of publique executions: None but bare walls shalll now testifie the courage and faith of our happy Martyrs. A disguised corps is one­ly brought forth to the multitude either for laughter, or feare. Yet because the very dead speake for [Page 10] truth in a loude silence; these spe­ctacles are rare; and the graues of heretickes are become as close as their death.

Yet lest (since neither liuing mouthes, nor faithfull pens may be suffered to insinuate any truth) those speeches should perhaps be receiued from the Ancients, which in vs were hereticall; the monu­ments of vnpartial antiquity must be depraued, all witnesses that might speake against them must be corrupted, with a fraudulent violence; and some of them pur­ged to the death. So whiles ours are debarred, and the Ancients al­tered, posteritie shal acknowledge no aduersarie.

What should I speake of those plausible deuices; which they haue inuented to make superstitious, [Page 11] and foolish Proselytes? Their proud vaunts of antiquity, vni­uersality, succession, and the name of their fore-fathers, doe not on­ly perswade, but amaze, and be­sot an ignorant heart. The glo­rious shews of their processions, the gaudy ornaments of their Al­tars, the pompe and magnificence of the places, and maner of their Seruices, the triumphes of their great Festiuals, are enough to be­witch any childish, simple, or vaine beholders. VVho knowes not that nature is most led by sense? Sure, children and fooles (such are all meere naturall men) cannot be of any other religion.

Besides all these, their personall vndertakings, what for cunning, what for boldnes, could promise nothing but successe. They can [Page 12] transforme themselues into all shapes; and in these false formes thrust themselues into al Courts, and companies, not oftner chan­ging their habit, then their name. They can take the best opportuni­ties to worke vpon those which are either most vnable to resist, or most like to bestead them. That I may not speake of the wrongs of vnseasonable trauell: wherein many vnsettled heads haue met dangers, and solicited errors: who like fond and idle Dinahs, going abroad to gaze, haue beene raui­shed ere they returne. Neuer any bird was so laide for, by the ne [...]s and cals of the fowler, as the great heire of some noble family, or some fiery wit, is by these impo­stors. They know that greatnesse is both lawlesse, and commaun­ding; [Page 13] if not by precept, yet by ex­ample: their very silence is persua­sory, and imperious. But alas for that other sexe: Still the diuel begins with Eue; still his assault is strongest, where is weakest resi­stance. Simon Magus had his He­lena, Nicholas the Deacon had his choros foemineos (as Hierome cals them.) Marcion had his Factoresse at Rome; Appelles his Philumena, Montanus his Prisca and Maximilla; Arrius his Constantines-sister, Dona­tus his Lucilla, Elpidius his Agape, Priscillianus his Galla: and our Ie­suites haue their painted Ladies (not dead, but liuing) both for obiects and instruments. VVhen they saw they could not blow vp religion with French powder in­to heauen, they now try by this Moabitish plot to sinke it downe [Page 14] to hell. Those silly women, which are laden with sinnes, and diuers lusts, must now bee the stalls of their spiritual fornicati­ons: But for that these enterprises want not danger; that both parts may securely succeede, beholde publike liberty of dispensations, whether for dissembled religion, or not vnprofitable filthinesse. These meanes are (like the Au­thors) dishonest, and godlesse. Adde (if you please) hereto, those which pretend more innocent policy: their common dependan­ces vpon one commaunder, their intelligences giuen, their charges receiued, their rewards and honors (perhaps of the Calender, perhaps of a red hat) duely conferred. Neither may the least helpe be as­cribed to the conference of stu­dies; [Page 15] (the conioyned labours of whole Societies directed to one end, and shrouded vnder the title of one Author:) to large mainte­nances, raised from the death­beds of some guilty benefactors: from whence flow both infinite numbers, and incomparable helpes of Students. Vnder which head, for the time past, not a fewe are mooued by the remembrance of the bounteous hospitality of the religious; who hauing ingros­sed the world to themselues, see­med liberal in giuing something; like vnto some vaineglorious theeues, which hauing robbed wealthy Merchants, bestow some pence vpon beggars. Further, the smothering, if not composing of their frequent strifes, and confi­ning of brawles within their [Page 16] owne thresholds; with the nice men aging of their knowne op­positions, hath wonne many ignorant friends. Lastly, the ex­cellent correspondence of their doctrines vnto nature, hath been their best solicitor. Wee haue exa­mined particulars in a former E­pistle: wherein we haue made it euident, that Popery affects no­thing but to make nature either proud, or wanton: it offers diffi­culties, but carnall; and such as the greatest louer of himselfe would easily imbrace for an aduantage. That we may therefore summe vp all; I neede not accuse our careles­nesse, indifferency, idlenesse, loose carriage; in all which, would God we had not aided them, and wronged our selues; Nor yet their zeale and forwardnesse; worse [Page 17] meanes are guily of their gaine. In short, the faire outside which they set vpon Religion, which sure is the best they haue, if not all; their pretended miracles, wilfull vntruths, strait prohibitiōs, bloo­dy & secret inquisitiōs, deprauati­ons of Ancient witnesses, expur­gation of their owne; gay and gai­rish sights, glorious titles, crafty changes of names, shapes, habits, conditions; insinuations to the great oppugnation of the weaker sexe; falshood of answers, and oathes, dispensatons for sinnes, vniting of forces, concealing of differences, largenesse of contri­butions, multitude of actors, and meanes, accordances to mens na­turall dispositions: Where wee on the contrary care not to seeme but to bee, disclaime miracles, [Page 18] dare not saue the life of religion with a lie; giue free scope to all pennes, to all tongues, to all eyes▪ shed no blood for religion: suf­fer al writers to speake like them­selues; shew nothing but poore simplicity in our deuotions, got euer, and looke as wee are; teach the truth right-downe in an ho­nest plainenesse, take no vantage of imbecillity: sweare true, though we die; giue no hope of indul­gence for euill; studie each retyred to himselfe, & the muses; publish our quarrels and aggrauate them▪ anger nature, and conquer it. Such gaine shall be grauell in their throates: such losses to vs (in our not daring to sinne) shall bee hap­py and victorious; in all other re­gards are both blame worthy, and recouerable. What dulnesse is [Page 19] this? Haue we such a King, as in these lists of Controuersie, may dare to grapple with that great in­fallible Vicar, for his triple crown: Such Bishops as may iustly chal­lenge the whole Consistory of Rome; so many learned Doctors, and Diuines, as no nation vnder heauen, more; so flourishing Vni­uersities as Christendome hath none; such blessed opportunities, such encouragements; and now when we want nothing else, shal we be wanting to our selues? Yea aboue all these, the God of hea­uen fauours vs; and doe wee lan­guish? The cause is his, and in spight of the gates of hell shall succeede, though wee were not: our neglect may slacken the pace of truth, cannot stay the passage. VVhy are we not as busie, as sut­tle, [Page 20] more resolute? Such spirits, and such hands as yours (reue­rend Lord) must put life into the cold brests of this frozen generati­on, and raise them vp to such thoughts and indeuors, as may make the emu­lation of our aduer­saries equall to their enmi­tie.

To my Lord Bishop of Worcester.

EP. II. Shewing the differences of the present Church from the Aposto­licall; and needlesnesse of our con­formity thereto in all things.

I Feare not to say those men are but superstiti­ously curious, (Right Reuerend, and hono­rable) which would call backe all circumstances, to their first pat­ternes. The Spouse or Christ hath been euer cloathed with her owne rites: And as apparrell, so Religi­on [Page 22] hath her fashions, variable ac­cording to ages, and places: To reduce vs to the same obseruati­ons which were in Apostolicall vse, were no better then to tye vs to the sandals of the Disciples, or the seamlesse coate of our Sa­uiour. In these cases, they did, what we need not: and we may, what they did not God meant vs no bondage in their example: their Canons binde vs whether for maners, or doctrine, not their Ceremonies. Neither Christ, nor his Apostles did all things for imi­tation: I speake not of miraculous Acts. We neede not be silent be­fore a Iudge, as Christ was; wee need not take a towel, and gird our selues, and wash our seruants feet, as Christ did; we need not make tents for our liuing as Paul, nor go [Page 23] armed as Peter; nor cary about our wiues, as he, and the other Apo­stles. I acknowledge the ground not onely of separation, but Ana­baptisme; and wonder that these conceits doe not answere them­selues who can choose but see a manifest difference betwixt those lawes, which Christ and his great Ambassadors made for eternall vse, and those rituall matters, which were confined to place, and time? Euery Nation, euery persons sinnes that obserues not those; These for the most part, are not kept of the most; and are as well left without sinne by vs, as vsed without prescription or ne­cessity by the Authors. Some of them we cannot doe; others wee neede not: which of vs can cast out diuels by command? Who [Page 24] can cure the sicke by ointment, and imposition of hands? The Disciples did it. All those Acts which proceeded from supernatu­rall priuiledge, ceased with their cause: who now dare vndertake to continue them? Vnlesse per­haps some bold Papists, who haue brought in grosse magicke instead of miraculous authori­tie; and daube very chrcasses instead of healing diseases. There be more yet, which we neede not doe: VVhat neede wee to choose Ministers by Lot? VVhat neede we to disclaime all peculiarity in goods? VVhat need wee to Chri­sten in riuers; or to meete vpon their bankes? VVhat need wee to receiue Gods Supper after our owne? VVhat to leane in each others bosome while we receiue [Page 25] it? what to abhorre leauen in that holy Bread? what to cele­brate loue feasts vpon the receipt? what to abstaine from all stran­gled and bloud? what to depend vpon a maintenance arbitrary, and vncertaine? what to spend our daies in a perpetuall pererrati­on, as not onely the Apostles but the Prophets and Euangelists some ages after Christ? whosoe­uer would impose all these on vs, he should surely make vs, not the Sonnes, but the slaues of the Apo­stles. Gods Church neuer helde her selfe in such seruile termes; yea Christ himselfe gaue at first some precepts of this nature, which he reuersed ere long: when hee sent the Disciples to preach, hee char­ges, take not gold, nor siluer, nor money in your girdles; afterwards [Page 26] Iudas carried the bag. He charges, not to take so much as a staffe; yet after behold two swords: should the Disciples haue held their ma­ster to his owne rule? Is it necessa­ry that what he once commaun­ded, should be obserued alwayes? The very next age to these Christi­an Patriarcks, neither would nor durst haue so much varied her rites, or augmented them if it had found it selfe tyed either to num­ber, or kind: As yet it was pure, chast, and (which was the ground of all) persecuted. The Church of Rome distributed the sacramen­tall Bread: the Church of Alex­andria permitted the people to take it: the Churches of Affricke and Rome, mixed their holy wine with water; other colder regions dranke it pure. Some kneeled in [Page 27] their prayers, others fell prostrate; and some lifted vp eies, hands, feet towards heauen: some kept their Easter according to the Iewish vse the foureteenth of March; the French (as Nicephorus) the eight of the Calends of Aprill, in a set solemnity: the Church of Rome the Sunday after the fourteenth Moone; which yet (as Socrates tru­ly writes) was neuer restrained by any Gospell, by any Apostle. That Romish Victor ouercame the o­ther world in this point, with too much rigour; whose censure ther­fore of the Asian Churches was iustly censured, by Irenaeus. VVhat should I speake of their difference of facts? there can scarce bee more variety in daies, or meates. It hath euer beene thus seene, according to our Anselmes rule, that the mul­titude [Page 28] of different ceremonies in all Churches, hath iustly com­mended their vnitie in faith. The French Diuines preach couered (vpon the same rule which requi­red the Corinthians to be vnco­uerd) we bare: The Dutch sit at the Sacrament, we kneele; Gene­ua vseth wafers, wee leauened bread; they common vestures in Diuine seruice, we peculiar: each is free: no one doth either blames, or ouer rule others. I cannot but commend those very Nouatian Bishops (though it is a wonder a­ny precedent of peace should fall from schismaticks) who meeting in Councel together, enacted that Canon of indifferency, when the Church was distracted with the differences of her Paschall solem­nities; conluding how insuffici­ent, [Page 29] this cause was to disquiet the Church of Christ. Their owne issue (our Separatists) will needes be vnlike them in good; and striue to a further distance from peace: whiles in a conceit not lesse idle, thē scrupulous, they presse vs to an vniforme cōformity in our fashi­ons to the Apostles. Their owne practise condemnes them: They call for some, and yet keepe not all: yet the same reason enforces all, that pleads for some: and that which warrants the forbearance of some, holds for all. Those tooles which serue for the foun­dation, are not of vse for the roof. Yea the great master builder chose those workmen for the first stones which he meant not to imploy in the walls. Doe wee not see all Christs first agents extraordinary [Page 30] Apostles, Euangelists, Prophets; Prophetesses? See wee not fiery and clouen tongues descending▪ What Church euer since boasted of such founders; of such meanes? Why wol [...]d God begin with those which he meant not to continue, but to shew vs we may not al­wayes looke for one face of things? The nurse feeds and tends her child at first; afterward hee is vndertaken by the discipline of a Tutor; must he be alwaies vnder the spoone, and ferule, because hee began so? If he haue good bree­ding, it matters not by whose hands. VVho can deny, that we haue the substance of all those royall Lawes, which Christ and his Apostles left to his Church? what do we how thus importu­nately catching at shadows? If [Page 31] there had beene a necessity of ha­uing what we want, or wanting what we haue, let vs not so farre wrong the wisedome and perfec­tion of the law-giuer, as to thinke he would not haue enioined that, and forbidden this. His silence in both argues his indifferency, and cals for ours; which while it is not peaceably intertayned, there is clamour without profite, malice without cause, and strife without ende.

To my Lady Mary Denny.

EP. III. Contayning the description of a Christian, and his differences from the worldling.


IT is true that worldly eyes can see no diffe­rence, betwixt a Chri­stian, & another man; the out-side of both is made of one clay, and cast in one mould; both are inspired with one com­mon breath: Outward euents di­stinguish them not; those, God [Page 34] neuer made for euidences of loue, or hatred. So the sēses can perceiue no difference, betwixt the reasona­ble soule, & that which informes the beast: yet the soul knows there is much more, then betwixt their bodies. The same holds in this: Faith sees more inward diffrence, then the eye sees outward resem­blance. This point is not more high, then material: which that it may appeare, let me shew, what it is to be a Christian: You that haue felt it, can secōd me with your ex­perience; and supply the defects of my discourse. He is the liuing tem­ple of the liuing God, where the de­ity is both resident & worshipped. The highest thing in a man is his owne spirit; but in a Christian the spirit of God, which is the God of spirits. No grace is wanting in him; [Page 35] & those which there are, want not stirring vp. Both his hart & his hands are cleane: All his outward purity flowes from within; neither doth he frame his soul to counter­fait good actiōs, but out of his ho­ly dispositiō, commands and pro­duces them, in the sight of God. Let vs begin with his beginning, and fetch the Christian out of his nature, as another Abraham from his Chaldea: whiles the wordling liues and dies, in nature, out of God. The true conuert therfore after his wilde and secure courses puts himselfe (through the moti­ons of gods spirit) to schoole vnto the lawe; there he learnes what he should haue done, what hee could not do, what he hath done, what he hath deserued. These les­sons, cost him many a stripe, and [Page 36] many a teare, and not more griefe then terror: For this sharpe ma­ster makes him feele what sinne is, and what hell is: and in regard of both, what himselfe is. When he hath well smarted vnder the whip of this seuere vsher, and is made vile enough in himselfe, then is he led vp into the higher schoole of Christ, & there taught the comfortable lessons of grace; there he learnes, what belongs to a Sauiour, what one hee is, what he hath done, and for whom, how he became ours, we his; & now finding himselfe in a true state of dan­ger, of humilitie, of neede, of de­sire, of fitnes for Christ, he brings home to himself al that he learns, and what he knowes he applies. His former Tutor he feared, this hee loueth; that shewed him his [Page 37] wounds, yea made them: this binds and heales them: that killed him, this shewes him life, and leades him to it. Now at once he hates himselfe, defies Satan, trusts to Christ, makes account both of pardon and glory. This is his most precious Faith, whereby he appropriates, yea in grosses Christ Iesus to himselfe: whence hee is iustified from his sinnes, purified from his corruptions, established in his resolutiōs, comforted in his doubts, defended against tempta­tions, ouercomes all his enemies. Which vertue, as it is most imploi­ed, and most opposed, so carries the most care from the Christian hart, that it be sound, liuely grow­ing: Sound, not rotten, not hollow not presumptuous: sound in the Act; not a superficiall conceit, but [Page 38] a true, deepe, and sensible appre­hension; an apprehension, not of the braine, but of the heart, and of the heart not approuing, or as­senting, but trusting, and reposing Sound in the obiect, none but Christ: he knows, that no friend­ship in heauen can do him good, without this; The Angells can­not: God will not: Ye beleeue in the Father, beleeue also in me.

Liuely; for it cannot giue life, vnlesse it haue life; the faith that is not fruitfull is dead: the fruits of faith are good workes: whether inward, within the roofe of the heart, as loue, awe, sorrow, piety, zeale, ioy, and the rest; or outward towards God, or our bretheren: obedience and seruice to the one: to the other reliefe and benefi­cence: These he beares in his time: [Page 39] sometimes all, but alwayes some.

Growing: true faith cannot stand still, but as it is fruitfull in workes, so it increaseth in degrees; from a little seede it proues a large plant, reaching from earth to hea­uen, and from one heauen to ano­ther: euery showre and euery Sun addes something to it. Neither is this grace euer solitary, but alwaies attended royallie: For hee that beleeues what a Sauiour hee hath, cannot but loue him: & he that loues him cannot but hate what­soeuer may displease him: cannot but reioice in him, & hope to inioy him, and desire to enioy his hope, and contemne all those vanities which he once desired and enioy­ed. His minde now scorneth to grouell vpon earth, but soareth vp to the things aboue, where Christ [Page 40] sits at the right hand of God: and after it hath seene what is done in heauen, looks strangely vpon al worldly things. He dare trust his faith aboue his reason, and sense▪ and hath learned to weane his appetite from crauing much: Hee stands in awe of his owne consci­ence and dare no more offend it, then not displease himselfe. Hee feares not his enemies, yet neg­lects them not; equally auoiding security, and timorousnesse: Hee sees him that is inuisible; and walks with him awfully, famili­arly. He knowes what he is borne to, and therefore digests the miseries of his wardship, with patience: hee findes more com­fort in his afflictions, then any worldling in pleasures. And as hee hath these graces to comfort [Page 41] him within, so hath hee the An­gels to attend him without; spirits better then his owne, more pow­erfull, more glorious; These beare him in their armes, wake by his bed, keepe his soule while hee hath it and receiue it when it leaues him. These are some pre­sent differences, the greatest are future, which could not bee so great, if themselues were not wit­nesses; no lesse then betwixt hea­uen and hell, torment and glory, an incorruptible crowne, and fire vnquēchable. Whether Infidels be leeue these things or no, we know them: so shall they, but too late. What remaynes but that wee ap­plaud our selues in this happines; & walke on clearly in this heauen­ly professiō? acknowledging that God could not do more for vs; & [Page 42] that we cānot do enough for him. Let others boast (as your Ladiship might with others) of ancient and noble houses, large Patrimo­nies, or dowries, honourable com­maunds; others of famous names, high and enuied honors, or the fa­uors of the greatest; others of valor or beauty, or some perhaps of eminent learning and wit; it shall bee our pride that we are Christians.

To my Lady Honoria Hay.

Ep. IIII. Discoursing of the necessity of Baptisme; and the estate of those which necessarily want it.


MEthinks children are like teeth, troublesome both in the breeding, and loo­sing, & oftentimes painful while they stand: yet such, as we neither would, nor can well be without. I goe not about to comfort you thus late, for your losse, I rather congratulate your wise moderati­on, & Christian care of these first [Page 44] spirituall priuiledges; desiring on­ly to satisfie you in what you hard as a witnesse; not in what you needed as a mother. Children are the blessings of Parents, and bap­tisme is the blessing of children, and parents: Wherein, there is not only vse, but necessity; Nece­ssity, not in respect so much of the end, as of the precept: God hath enioyned it, to the comfort of pa­rents, and behoofe of children: which therefore, as it may not be superstitiously hastened, so not negligently differred. That the contempt of baptisme damneth, is past all doubt; but that the con­strained absence thereof, should send infants to hel, is a cruell rash­nesse. It is not their sinne to die early: death is a punishment, not an offence; an effect of sinne, not [Page 45] a cause of torment; they want no­thing but time; which they could not cōmand. Because they could not liue a while longer, that ther­fore they should die euerlastingly, is the hard sentence of a bloody religion. I am onely sorry, that so harsh an opinion should bee gra­ced with the name of a father, so reuerend, so diuine: whose sentence yet, let no man pleade by halues. He who helde it vnpossible for a child to be saued vnlesse the bap­tismall water were powred on his face, held it also as vnpossible, for the same infant, vnlesse the sacra­mētal bread were receiued into his mouth. There is the same ground for both, the same error in both, a weaknes fit for forgetfulnes; seeyet how ignorāt, or il meaning posterity, could single out one half of the [Page 46] opinion for truth: and condemne the other of falshood. In spight of whom, one part shall easily conuince the other; yea without al force, since both cannot stand, both will fall together, for com­pany. The same mouth, which said, vnlesse ye be borne againe of water, and the holy Ghost, said also, Except yee eate the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinke his blood: An equall neces­sity of both. And lest any one should plead different interpreta­tions, the same Saint Austin auerres this later opinion also, concer­ning the necessary communica­ting of children, to haue beene once the common iudgement of the Church of Rome: A sentence so displeasing, that you shall finde Index Expurg. the memory of it noted with a [Page 47] blacke coale, & wip't out in that infamous bill of Expurgations. Had the ancient Church held this desperate sequele, what strange, and yet wilful cruelty had it bene in them, to deferre baptisme a whole yearelong: till Easter, or that Sunday, which hath his name (I thinke) from the white robes of the baptised?

Yea what an aduenture was it in some, to adiourne it till their age (with Constantine) if being vn­sure of their life, they had beene sure the preuention of death wold haue inferred damnation? Looke vnto that legall Sacrament of cir­cumcision, which (contrary to the fancies of our Anabaptists) directly answeres this Euangeli­call. Before the eight day they could not bee circumcised: be­fore [Page 48] the eight day they might die. If dying the seuenth day, they were necessarily condemned: ey­ther the want of a day is a sinne, or God sometimes condemneth not for sin: Neither of them pos­sible, neither according with the iustice of the Law-giuer. Or if from this parallell, you please to looke either to reason or example, the case is cleare. Reason; No man that hath faith, can bee condem­ned; for Christ dwels in our harts by faith: and he in whom Christ dwels cannot bee a reprobate. Now it is possible a man may haue a sauing saith, before baptis­me: Abraham first beleeued to iu­stification: then after receiued the signe of circumcision, as a seale of the righteousnes of that faith, which he had when he was vncir­cumcised: [Page 49] Therefore some dying before their baptisme, may, yea must be saued. Neither was A­brahams case singular; he was the Father of all them also, which beleeue, not being circumcised: these, as they are his Sons in faith, so in righteousnesse; so in saluati­on: vncircumcision cannot hin­der, where faith admitteth; These following his steps of beleefe before the sacrament, shal doubt­lesse rest in his bosome, without the sacrament; without it, as fa­taly absent, not as willingly negle­cted. It is not the water, but the faith: not the putting away the filth of the flesh (saith Saint Peter) but the stipulation of a good con­science; for who takes Baptisme without a ful faith (saith Hierome) takes the water, takes not the spi­rit; [Page 50] VVhence is this so great ver­tue of the water, that it should touch the body, and cleanse the heart (saith Austen) vnlesse by the power of the word, not spoken, but beleeued? Thou seest water (saith Ambrose:) euery water heales not, that water onely heals which hath the grace of God annexed; And if there bee any grace in the water (saith Basill) it is not of the nature of the water, but of the presence of the spirit. Baptisme is indeed, as S. Ambrose stiles it, the paune and image of our resurrec­tion, yea (as Basil) the power of God to resurrectiō: but (as Ignatius expoundes this phrase aright) be­leeuing in his death, wee are by baptisme made partakers of his resurrection. Baptisme therefore without faith cannot saue a man, [Page 51] and by faith doth saue him; and faith without baptisme (where it cannot be had; not where it may be had, and is contemned) may saue him: That Spirit which workes by meanes, will not bee tyed to meanes.

Examples. Cast your eyes vp­on that good theefe: good in his death, though in his life abhomi­nable: hee was neuer washed in lordan, yet is receiued into Para­dise; his soble was foule with ra­pines, and iniustice, yea bloody with murders: and yet being scou­ted onely with the blood of his Sauiour, not with water of baptis­me; it is presented glorious to God. I say nothing of the soules of Traian, and Falconella, meere heathens, liuing and dying with­out Christ, without baptisme: [Page 52] which yet their honest Legend reports deliuered from hell, trans­ported to heauen, not so much as scorched in Purgatorie: The one by the prayers of Gregory, the o­ther of Tecla. VVhat partiality is this to deny that to the children of Christians, which they grant to knowne, infidels? The promise is made to vs, and our seed; not to those that are without the pale of the Church. Those Innocents which were massacred for Christ, are by them canonized for Saints, and make one day in their Calen­dar (each yeare) both holy, and dismall; whereof yet scarce any liued to know water, none to know baptisme. Yea, all Martyrs are here priuiledged; who are Christened in their owne blood, instead of water: but where hath [Page 53] God saide, All that die without baptisme, shall die for euer, except Martyrs? why not, except belee­uers? It is faith that giues life to Martyrs; which if they should want, their first death could not auoyde the second. Ambrose doubted not to say, his Valentinian was baptised, because hee desired it; not because he had it: he knew the minde of God, who accounts vs to haue what we vnfaynedly wish.

Children cannot liue to desire baptisme, if their parents desire it for them, why may not the desire of others be theirs, as well as (ac­cording to Austins opinion) the faith of othērs beleeuing, and the mouth of others confessing? In these cases therefore of any soules but our owne, it is safe to suspend, [Page 54] and dangerous to passe iudge­ment. Secret things to God: Hee that made all soulesv, knowes what to doe with them, neither will make vs of counsaile: But if we define either way, the errors of charity are inoffensiue. wee must honour good meanes and vse them, and in their necessarie want depend vpon him, who can worke, beyond, without, a­gainst meanes.

Thus haue I endeauoured your Ladiships satisfaction in what you heard, not without some scruple. If any man shall blame my choice in troubling you with a thorny, and scholasticall dis­course, let him know that I haue learned this fashion of St. Hierome the Oracle of Antiquitie, who was wont to entertaine his Paula, and [Page 55] Eustochium, Marcella, Principia, Hedibia, and other deuout Ladies, with learned canuases of the deep pointes of Diuinity. This is not so perplexed, that it need to offend: nor so vnnecessary, that it may bee vn­knowne.

To Sir Richard Lea, since deceassed.

EP. V. Discoursing of the comfortable re­medies of all afflictions.

WIse men seeke remedies before their disease: sensible patients, when they beginne to com­plaine: fooles, too late. Afflictions are the common maladies, of Christians: These you feele, and vpon the first grones seeke for ease. VVherefore serues the tongue of the learned, but to speake wordes in season? I am a scholer of those [Page 58] that can comfort you: If you shall with mee, take out my les­sons, neither of vs shall repent it. You smart and complaine, take heed least too much: There is no affliction not grieuous: the bone that was disioynted, cannot bee set right without paine. No po­tion can cure vs, if it worke not: it workes not, except it make vs sicke: wee are contented with that sickenesse, which is the way to health. There is a vexation without hurt: such is this: We are afflicted, not ouer-pressed; needy, not desperate; persecuted not for­saken, cast downe but perish not. How should we, when all the e­uil in a Citie comes from the pro­uidence of a good God; which can neither be impotent, nor vn­mercifull? It is the Lord, let him [Page 59] doe what he will. VVoe were vs if euils could come by chance; or were let loose to alight where they list: now they are oueruled; wee are safe. The destinie of our sor­rowes is written in heauen by a wise and eternall decree: Behold he that hath ordained, moderates them. A faithfull God, that giues anissue with the tentation: An issue, both of their end, and their successe. He chides not alwayes, much lesse striketh; Our light af­flictions are but for a moment, not so long, in respect of our va­cancy; and rest. If we weepe som­times, our teares are precious; As they shall neuer be dry in his bot­tle, so they shall soone be dry vp­on our cheekes. Hee that wrings them from vs, shal wipe them off: how sweetly doth he interchange [Page 60] our sorrows, and ioyes, that wee may neither be vaine, nor misera­ble? It is true; to be strooke, once in anger, is fearefull: his displea­sure is more then his blow: In both, our God is a consuming fire. Feare not, these stripes are the tokens of his loue: hee is no Son, that is not beaten; yea till he smart, and cry; if not till he bleed: no parent corrects anothers child, and he is no good parent, that corrects not his owne. Oh rod worthy to be kissed, that assures vs of his loue, of our adoption! VVhat speake I of no hurt? short prayses doe but discommend, I say more, these euills are good: looke to their effects. What is good if not patience? affliction is the mother of it; tribulation bringeth forth patience. VVhat [Page 61] can earth or heauen yeeld better then the assurance of Gods spirit? Afflictions argue, yea seale this to vs. Wherein stands perfect happi­nesse, if not in our neare resem­blance of Christ? VVhy was man created happy, but because in Gods image? The glory of Para­dise, the beauty of his body, the duty of the creatures, could not giue him felicity without the like­nesse to his creator. Behold, what we lost in our height, we recouer in our misery; a conformity to the Image of the Sonne of God: hee that is not like his elder bro­ther, shall neuer be coheire with him. Lo his side, temples, hands, feet, all bleeding: his face blub­bred ghastly, & spitted on: his skin al pearled with a bloody sweate, his head drouping, his soule hea­uy [Page 62] to the death: see you the world­ling merry, soft, delicate, perfu­med, neuer wrinkled with sor­row, neuer humbled with afflicti­ons? What resemblance is here, yea what contrariery? Ease slayeth the foole; it hath made him resty, and leaues him miserable. Be not deceiued; No man can follow Christ without his Grosse; much lesse reach him and if none shall reigne with Christ, but these that suffer with him; what shall be­come of these iolly ones? Go now thou dainty worldling, and please thyselfe in thy happines, laugh al­waies, and bee euer applauded; It is a wofull felicity that thou shalt find in opposition to thy re­deemer: He hath saide, woe to them that laugh; Beleeuest thou, and dost not weepe at thy laugh­ter? [Page 63] and with Salomon, condemne it of madnes? And againe, with the same breath, Blessed are ye that weepe: who can beleeue this, and not reioyce in his owne teares, and not pitty the faint smiles of the godlesse? Why blessed? For ye shal laugh: Behold we that weepon earth, shal laugh in heauen: wee that now weepe with men, shall laugh with Angels; while the flee­ring worldling, shal be gnashing, and howling with diuels: we that weepe for a time, shall laugh for euer: who would not be content to differ his ioy a little, that it may be perpetuall, and infinite? VVhat mad man would purchase this crackling of thornes (such is the wordlings ioy) with eternal shrie­king & tormēt? he that is the dore and the way, hath taught vs, that [Page 64] through many afflictions wee must enter into heauen. There is but one passage, and that a strait one: It with much pressure wee can get through, and leaue but our superfluous rags as torne from vs in the crowd; we are happy. Hee that made heauen, hath on pur­pose thus framed it; wide when we are entred; and glorious nar­row and hard in the entrance: that after our paine, our glory might be sweeter. And if before hand you can climbe vp thither in your thoughts; looke about you, you shall see no more palmes, then crosses: you shall see none crown'd, but those that haue wrestled: with crosses and so rows, to sweat, yea to blood; and haue ouercome. All runs here to the ouercommer, and ouercomming [Page 65] implies both fighting, and suc­cesse. Girde vp your loynes there­fore, and strengthen your weake knees, resolue to fight for heauen, to suffer in fighting, to persist in suffering; so persisting you shall ouercome, and ouercomming you shall bee crowned. Oh re­ward truely great, aboue desert, yea, aboue conceit. A crowne for a fewe groanes: And eternall crowne of life and glory, for a short and moment any suffering: How iust is Saint Pauls account, that the afflictions of this present life are not worthy of the glory which shall be shewed vnto vs? O Lord let me smart that I may reigne; vphold thou me in smar­ting, that thou mayest holde mee worthy of reigning. It is no mat­ter how vile I be, so I may be glo­rious. [Page 66] VVhat say you? would you not bee afflicted? VVhether had you rather mourne for a while, or for euer; One must bee chosen: the election is easie: Whe­ther had you rather reioyce for one fit or alwayes? You would doe both. Pardon me; it is a fond couetousnes, and idle singularity to affect it. What? That you a­lone may fare better then all Gods Saints? That God should strew Carpets for your nice feet onely, to walke into your heauen, and make that way smooth for you, which all Patriarks, Prophets, E­uangelists, Confessors, Christ himselfe, haue found rugged and bloody? Away with this selfe loue; and come downe you am­bitious Sonne of Zebedee: and ere you thinke of sitting neare the [Page 67] throne, bee content to bee called vnto the Cup. Now is your tryall; Let your Sauiour see how much of his bitter potion you can pledge; then shall you see how much of his glory he can afford you. Be content to drinke of his Vine­ger, and gall, and you shall drinke new wine with him in his king­dome.

To Master Peter Moulin, Preacher of the Church at PARIS.

EP. VI. Discoursing of the late French oc­currents, and what vse God expects to be made of them.

SInce your trauels here with vs, wee haue not forgotten you; but since that, your witty and learned trauels in the common affaires of Religion haue made your memory both fresh, and blessed. Beholde, whiles your hand was happily busie in the defence of our King, the heads [Page 60] and hands of traitors were busie in the massacring of your owne. God doth no memorable, and publick act, which he would not haue talked of, read, construed of all the world. How much more of neighbours, whom scarce a sea seuereth from each other? how much yet more of brethren, whom neither land, nor sea, can seuer? Your dangers, and feares, and griefes haue beene ours: All the salt water that runs betwixt vs, cannot wash off our interest in all your common causes: The deadly blow of that miscreant (whose name is iustly sentenced to forgetfulnesse) pierced euen our sides. VVho hath not bled within himselfe, to thinke that he, which had so victoriously out-liued the swordes of enemies, should fall [Page 71] by the knife of a villaine? and that he should die in the peaceable streets, whom no fields could kil? that all those honorable and hap­py triumphs should end in so base a violence? But oh our idlenesse, and impietie, if we see not a diuine hād from aboue, striking with this hand of disloyalty. Sparrows fall not to the ground without him much lesse Kings; One dyes by a tyle-sheard, another by the splinters of a Launce, one by Lice, another by a Fly, one by poyson, another by a knife; VVhat are all these but the executioners of that great God, which hath saide, Ye are Gods, but ye shall die like men? Perhaps God saw (that wee may guesse modestly at the rea­sons of his acts) you reposed too much, in this arme of flesh; or [Page 72] Perhaps he saw this scourge would haue beene too early, to those ene­mies, whose sin, though great, yet was not full: or perhaps hee saw, that if that great spirit had beene deliberately yeelded in his bed, you shold not haue slept in yours: Or perhaps the auncient conni­uence at those streames of bloud, from your too common deels, was now called to reckning; or, it may be, that weake reuolt from the truth. He whose the rod was, knows why he strooke: yet may it not passe without a note, that he fell by that religion, to which he fell. How many ages might that great monarch haue liued (what­soeuer the ripe head of your more then mellow Cotton could ima­gine) ere his least finger should haue bled, by the hand of an Hu­guenot? [Page 73] All religions may haue some monsters; but blessed be the God of heauen, ours shall ne­uer yeeld that good Iesuite, either a Mariana to teach treason, or a Rauillac to act it. But what is that we heare? It is no maruell: That holy Society is a fit Gardian for the hearts of kings: I dare say, none more loues to see them: none takes more care to purchase them. How happy were that Chappell (think they) if it were full of such shrines? I hope all Christian Prin­ces haue long, and well lear­ned (so great is the courtesie of these good Fathers) that they shall neuer (by their willes) neede bee troubled with the charge of their owne heartes. An heart of a KING in a Ie­suites hand, is as proper, as a [Page 74] wafer in a Priests. Iustly was it written of old, vnder the picture of Ignatius Loyola, Cauete vobis Prin­cipes; Be wise O ye Princes, and learne to be the keepers of your owne hearts. Yea rather, O thou keeper of Israel, that neither slum­brest nor sleepest, keepe thou the hearts of al Christian Kings, whe­ther aliue or dead, from the kee­ping of this traiterous generati­on; whose very religion is wholy rebellion, and whose merits bloo­dy. Doubtlesse, that murderer ho­ped to haue stabbed thousands with that blow, and to haue let out the life of religion, at the side of her collapsed Patron: God did at once laugh and frowne at his proiect; and suffred him to liue to see himselfe, no lesse a foole then a villaine: Oh the infinite [Page 75] goodnesse of the wise, and holy gouernor of the world; who could haue looked for such a calme in the middest of a tempest? who wold haue thought that violence could beget peace? Who durst haue conceiued that King Henry should die alone? and that Reli­gion should loose nothing but his person? This is the Lords do­ing, and it is marueilous in our eyes. You haue now parallel'd vs: Out of both our feares hath God fetched security: oh that out of our security, we could as easily fetch feare: not so much of euill, as of the Author of good; and yet trust him in our feare, and in both magnifie him. Yea, you haue by this act gained some conuerts, a­gainst the hope of the agents: nei­ther can I without many ioyfull [Page 76] congratulations, thinke of the estate of your Church; which eue­ry day honours with the accesse of new clients; whose teares and sad confessions make the Angels to reioyce in heauen, & the Saints on earth. Wee should giue you example, if our peace were as plentifull of goodnesse as of pleasure. But how seldom hath the Church gained by ease? or lost by re­straint? Blesse you God for our prosperity, and wee shall praise him for your progresse.


EP. VII. Exciting him, and (in him) all others to early and chearfull be­neficence: shewing the necessity and benefit of good workes.

SIR, I trouble you not with reasons of my wri­ting, or with excusds: If I doe ill, no plea can warrant mee; If well, I cannot bee discouraged with any censures. I craue not your pardon, but your acceptati­on. It is no presumption to giue good counsell; and presents of loue feare not to bee ill taken of [Page 78] strangers. My pen and your sub­stance are both giuen vs for one end, to doe good: These are our talents, how happy are we if wee can improue them well: suffer me to doe you good with the one that with the other, you may doe good to many, and most to your selfe. You cannot but know, that your full hand, and worthy pur­poses haue possessed the world with much expectation: what speake I of the world? whose ho­nest and reasonable claymes yet, cannot bee contemned with ho­nour, nor disappointed without dishonour. The God of heauen, which hath lent you this aboun­dance, and giuen you these graci­ous thoughts of charity; of piety, looks long for the issue of both: & wil easily complaine either of too [Page 79] little or too late. Your wealth and your will are both good, but the first is onely made good by the second for if your hand were ful, and your heart empty, we who now applaud you, should iustly pitty you, you might haue riches, not goods, not blessings: your burthen should be greater, then your estate; and you should be richer in sorrowes, then in mettalls. For (if wee looke to no other world) what gaine is it to be the keeper of the best earth? That which is the common cofer of all the rich mines, we doe but tread vpon; and account it vile, because it doth but holde, and hide those trea­sures. Whereas the skilfull meta­list that findeth, and refineth those precious veines, for publick vse, is rewarded, is honoured. [Page 80] The very basest Element yeeldes golde; the sauage Indian gets it, the seruile prentise workes it, the very Midianitish Camell may weare it, the miserable worldling admires it, the couetous lew swal­lowes it, the vnthrifty Ruffian spends it: what are al these the bet­ter for it? Onely good vse giues praise to earthly possessions. Here in therfore you owe more to God, that he hath giuen you an heart to doe good a will to bee as rich in good workes, as great in riches. To be a friend to this Mammon, is to be an enemie to God: but to make friends with it, is roiall, and Christian. His enemies may be wealthie, none but his friends can either be good, or doe good: Da & accipe, saith the wise man. The Christian which must imi­tate [Page 81] the hie patterne of his creator, knows his best riches to be boun­ty; God that hath all, giues all; re­serues nothing. And for himselfe; he well considers, that God hath not made him an owner, but a seruant: and of seruants a seruant, not of his goods but of the giuer; not a treasurer, but a Steward: whose praise is more to lay out well, then to haue receiued much. The greatest gaine therfore that he affects, is an euen reckning, a cleare discharge: which since it is obtai­ned by disposing, not by keeping, he counts reseruation losse, and iust expence his trade, and ioy; he knowes, that Well done faithfull seruant, is a thousand times more sweet a note, then Soule take thine ease; for that is the voyce of the master recompencing, this of [Page 82] the carnall heart presuming: and what follows to the one, but his masters ioy? what to the other, but the losse of his soule? Blessed bee that God which hath giuen you an heart to fore thinke this, and in this dry, and dead age, a will to honour him with his own: and to credit his Gospell, with your beneficence; Lo we are vp­brayded with barrennesse: your name hath beene publikly oppo­sed to these challenges, as in whom it shall be seene, that the truth hath friends that can giue. I neither distrust, nor perswade you, whose resolutions are happi­ly fixed on purposes of good: one­ly giue mee leaue to hasten your pace a little, and to excite your Christian forwardnesse, to begin speedily, what you haue long and [Page 83] constantly vowed. You would not but doe good; why not now? I speake boldly, the more speede, the more comfort: Neither the times are in our disposing, nor our selues: if God had set vs a day, and made our wealth inseparable, there were no danger in delaying; now our vncertainty either must quicken vs, or may deceiue vs. How many haue meant wel, and done nothing, and lost their crowne with lingring? whose destinies haue preuented their de­sires, and haue made their good motions the wards of their execu­tors, not without miserable suc­cesse: to whō, that they wold haue done good, is not so great a praise, as it is a dishonor that they might haue done it: their wracks are our warnings, we are equally mortal, [Page 84] equally fickle. Why haue you this respite of liuing, but to preuent the imperious necessity of death? it is a woful and remedilesse com­plaint, that the end of our dayes hath ouer-runne the beginning of our good workes. Early benefi­cence hath no danger, many ioies: for the conscience of good done, the prayers and blessings of the re­leeued, the gratulations of the Saints, are as so many perpetuall comforters, which can make our life pleasant, and our death happy our euill dayes good, and our good better. All these are lost with delay, few and cold are the prayers for him that may giue: & in lieu, our good purposes fore flowed, are become our tormenters vpon our dead-bed. Little difference is betwixt good differred, and euill [Page 85] done: Good was meant, who hin­dered it, will our conscience say? there was time enough, meanes enough, neede enough, what hin­dered? Did feare of enuy, distrust of want? Alas what bugs are these to fright men from heauen? As if the enuy of keeping, were lesse then of bestowing: As if God were not as good a debtor, as a gi­uer: he that giues to the poore lendes to God, saith wise Salomon; If hee freely giue vs what wee may lend, and grace to giue; will he not much more pay vs what wee haue lent; and giue vs because wee haue giuen? That is his bounty, this his iustice▪ Oh happy is that man that may be a creditor to his maker: Heauen and earth, shall be empty before he shall want a royall pay­ment. If wee dare not trust God [Page 86] whiles we liue, how dare we trust men when we are dead? Men that are still deceitfull, and light vpon the ballance, light of truth, heauy of selfe-loue. How many execu­tors haue proued the executioners of honest wills? how many haue our eies seen, that after most care­full choise of trustie guardians, haue had their children and goods so disposed, as if the parents soule could returne to see it, I doubt whether it could be happy? How rare is that man that prefers not himselfe to his dead friend? profit to truth? that will take no vantage of the impossibility of account? What euer therefore men either shew, or promise, happy is that man that may bee his owne audi­tor, superuisor, executor. As you loue God and your selfe, be not a­fraid [Page 87] of being happie too soone. I am not worthy to giue so bolde aduice, let the wise sonne of Sy­rach speake for me. Do good be­fore thou die, and according to thine ability stretch out thine hands, and giue: Defraud not thy selfe of thy good day; and let not the portion of thy good de­sires ouerpasse thee: Shalt thou not leaue thy trauels to another, and thy labours to them that will deuide thine heritage? Or let a wi­ser then he, Salomon: Say not, tomorrow I will giue, if thou now haue it: for thou knowest not what a day will bring forth. It hath beene an old rule of liberali­ty, he giues twise that giues quick­ly, whereas slow benefites argue vnchearefulnesse, and lose their worth. Who lingers his receits is [Page 88] condemned as vnthriftie: he that knoweth both, saith, it is better to giue, then to receiue. If we be of the same spirit, why are we hasty in the worse, and slacke in the bet­ter? Suffer your selfe therfore good Sir, for Gods sake, for the Gospels sake, for the Churches sake, for your soules sake, to bee stirred vp by those poore lines, to a resolute and speedy performing of your worthy intentions: and take this as a louing inuitation sent from heauen, by an vnworthie messen­ger. You cānot deliberate long of fit obiects for your beneficence, except it be more for multitude, then want: the streets, yea the world is full; How doth Lazarus lie at euery dore? how many Sons of the Prophets in their meanely-prouided Colledges may say, not, [Page 89] Mors in olla, but Fames? how many Churches may iustly pleade, that which our Sauiour bad his Dis­ciples, The Lord hath need? And if this infinite store hath made your choyce doubtfull, how easie were it to shew you, wherein you might oblige the whole Church of God to you, and make your memoriall both eternall, and bles­sed; or, if you had rather, the whole common wealth? But now I find my selfe too bold and too busie, in thus looking toward particula­rities: God, shall direct you, and if you follow him, shall crowne you: howsoeuer, if good be done, and that be times: he hath what hee desired, and your soule shall haue more then you can de­sire. The successe of my weake yet hearty counsell, shall make me as [Page 90] rich, as God hath made you with all your aboundance. That God blesse it to you, and make both our recknings chear­full in the day of our common audit.

To E. B. Dedicated to Sir GEORGE GORING.

EP. VIII. Remedies against dulnesse and hartlesnesse in our callings, and encouragements to cheare­fulnesse in labour.

IT falls out not sel­dom (if we may me­sure all by one) that the mind ouer layed with worke, grows dull, and heauy: and now doth nothing, because it hath done too much; ouer lauish expence of spi­rits hath left it heartlesse: As the [Page 92] best vessell with much motion and vent, becomes flat, and dreg­gish. And not fewer (of more weaker temper) discourage them­selues with the difficultie of what they must doe: some trauailers haue more shrunke at the Mappe then at the way? Betwixt both, how many sit stil with their hands folded; and wish they knew how to be rid of time? If this euill bee not cured, we become miserable losers, both of good houres, and of good parts. In these mentall diseases, Empiricks are the best Phisitians. I prescribe you no­thing but out of feeling: If you will auoide the first: moderate your own vehemencie; suffer not your selfe to do all you could do: Rise euer from your deske, not without an appetite. The best [Page 93] horse will tire soonest, if the reine lie euer loose in his necke: Re­straints in these cases are incou­ragements: obtaine therefore of your selfe to deferre, and take new daies: How much better is it to re­fresh your selfe, with many com­petent meales, then to buy one daies glutonie: with the fast of many? And if it be hard to call off the mind, in the midst of a faire and likely flight; know that all our ease and safetie begins at the commaund of our selues: hee can neuer taske himselfe wel, that can­not fauour himselfe. Perswade your heart that perfection comes by leasure: and no excellent thing is done at once: the rising and set­ting of many Sunnes (which you thinke slackens your worke) in truth ripens it. That gourd which [Page 94] came vp in a night, withered in a day; whereas those plants which abide age, rise slowly. Indeede, where the heart is vnwilling, prorogation hinders: what I list not to doe this day, I loath the next; but where is no want of de­sire, delay doth but sharpen the stomach. That which we doe vn­willingly leaue, we long to vnder­take, & the more our affection is, the greater our intention, and the better our performance. To take occasion by the foretop, is no small point of wisedome; but to make time (which is wilde and fugitiue) tame and pliable to our purposes, is the greatest improue­ment of a man: All times serue him, which hath the rule of him­selfe.

If the second, thinke seriously [Page 95] of the conditiō of your being: It is that we were made for; the birde to flie, and man to labour. What doe wee here if wee repine at our worke? we had not beene, but that we might be still busie; if not in this taske we dislike, yet in some other of no lesse toile: There is no act that hath not his labor, which varies in measure according to the will of the doer. This which you complaine of, hath beene vnder­taken by others, not with facilitie only, but with pleasure; & what you choose for ease, hath beene abhorred of others, as tedious. All difficultie is not so much in the worke, as in the Agent. To set the minde on the racke of long meditation (you say) is a tor­ment: to follow the swift foote of your hound alday long, hath no [Page 96] wearinesse: what would you say of him that finds better game in his studie, then you in the fielde, and would account your disport his punishment? such there are, though you doubt and wonder. Neuer think to detract from your businesse, but adde to your will. It is the policie of our great ene­mie, to driue vs with these feares, from that hee fore-sees would grow profitable: like as some in­hospitall Sauages make fearefull delusions by sorcery, vpon the shore, to fright strangers from landing. Where you find therfore motions of resistance, awaken your courage the more, & know there is some good that appeares not; vaine indeauors find no op­position. Al crosses implie a secret commoditie: resolue then to will [Page 97] because you begin not to will: and either oppose your selfe, as Satan opposes you, or else you doe nothing. We pay no price to God for any good thing, but labour; if we higgle in that, we are worthy to lose our bargaine. It is an inua­luable gaine, that we may make in this trafique: for God is boun­tifull, as well as iust, and when he sees true indeauour, doth not only sell, but giue: whereas idlenes nei­ther gets nor saues, nothing is ei­ther more fruitlesse of good, or more fruitfull of euill; for we doe ill whiles wee doe nothing, and lose, whiles we gaine not. The sluggard is senselesse, and so much more desperate, because hee can­not complaine: but (though hee feele it not) nothing is more pre­cious then time, or that shall a­bide [Page 98] a reckning more strict and fearefull: yea this is the measure of all our actions, which if it were not abused, our accounts could not be but euen with God: so God esteemes it (what euer our pride be) that he plagues the losse of a short time, with a reuenge beyond all times. Houres haue wings, and euery moment flies vp to the author of time, and car­ries newes of our vsage: All our prayers cannot intreate one of them either to returne, or slacken his pace: the mispense of euery minute is a new record against vs in heauen. Sure, if we thought thus, wee would dismisse them with better reports, and not suffer them either to goe away empty, or laden with dangerous intelli­gence; how happy is it that euery [Page 99] houre should conuey vp, not on­ly the message, but the fruits of good, and stay with the Ancient of daies, to speake for vs before his glorious throne? know this and I shall take no care for your pains, nor you, for pastime. None of our profitable labours shall be transient, but euen when wee haue forgotten them, shall wel­come vs into ioy: wee thinke wee haue left them behind vs, but they are forwarder then our souls, and expect vs where wee would be. And if there were no crowne for these toiles, yet without future respects there is a tediousnesse in doing nothing. To man especial­ly, motion is natural: there is nei­ther minde, nor eie, nor ioint which mooueth not: And as company makes way short, [Page 100] houres neuer goe away so merrily, as in the fellowship of worke. How did that industrious hea­then draw out water by night, and knowledge by day, & thoght both short, euer labouring onely that he might labour? Certainely if idlenesse were enacted by au­thoritie, there would not want some, which would pay their mulct, that they might worke and those spirits are likest to heauen, which moues alwaies, and the freest from those corruptions, which are incident to nature: The running streame cleanseth it selfe, whereas standing ponds breede weedes, and mud. These medita­tions must hearten vs to that we must do: whiles we are cheareful, our labours shall striue whether to yeeld vs more comfort, or o­thers more profit.

To S. H. I.

EP. IX. Discussing this Question.

Whether a man and wife after some yeares mutuall, and louing fruition of each other, may vpon consent, whether for secular, or religious causes, vowe and per­forme a perpetuall separation from each others bed, and absa­lutely renounce all carnall know­ledge of each other for euer.

I Wish not my selfe any other aduocate, nor you any other aduer­sarie, then Saint Paule who neuer gaue (I speake boldly) [Page 102] a direct precept, if not in this: his expresse charge whereupon I insi­sted, is Defraude, not one ano­ther, except with consent for a time, that you may giue your selues to fasting and praier, and then againe come together, that Satan tempt you not, for your in­continency. Euery word (if you weigh it well) opposes your part, and pleads for mine: By consent of al Diuines ancient, & moderne, (defrauding) is refraining frō ma­trimonical conuersation: see what a word the Spirit of God hath chosen for this abstinence: neuer but taken in ill part. But there is no fraud in consent, as Chrysostom, Athanasius, Theophilact, expound it: true; therefore Saint Paule addes (vnlesse with consent) that I may omit to say, that in say­ing [Page 103] (vnlesse with consent) he im­plies, both that there may bee a defrauding without it, and with consent a defrauding, but not vn­lawfull: but see what hee addes (For a time,) consent cannot make this defrauding lawfull, ex­cept it be temporary: No defrau­ding without consent, no consent for a perpetuity. How long then, and wherefore? Not for euery cause, not for any length of time, but onely for a while, and for de­uotion (vt vacetis, &c.) Not that you might pray onely (as Chryso stome notes iustly) but that you might (giue your selues to praier.) In our marriage Societie (saith he) against that paradoxe of Hierome, we may pray, and woe to vs it we doe not; but we cannot (vacare o­rationi.) But we are bidden to pray [Page 104] continually: yet not I hope, euer to fast and pray. Marke how the Apostle addes (that you may giue you selues to fasting and praier;) It is solemne exercise, which the A­postle here intends, such, as is ioi­ned with fasting, and externall hu­miliation; wherin al earthly com­forts must be forborne. But what if a man list to taske himselfe con­tinually, and wil be alwaies pain­fully deuote: may hee then neuer abstaine? No: (Let them meete together againe) saith the Apostle, not as a toleratiō, but as a charge? But what if they both can liue safely thus seuered? This is more then they can vndertake: there is dan­ger, saith our Apostle, in this absti­nence (lest Satan tempt you for your incontinencie) what can be more plaine. Neither may the maried refraine this conuersation [Page 105] without cōsent: neither may they with consent, refraine it for euer. What can you now vrge vs with, but the examples, and sentences of some Ancients? Let this stand eui­cted for the true and necessary sense of the Apostle, and what is this, but to lay men in the bal­lance with God? I see and con­fesse how much some of the Fa­thers admited virginitie; so farre, that there wated not some, which both detested mariage as vicious, and would force a single life vp­on marriage, as commendable: whose authoritie should moue me, if I saw not some of them op­posite to others, and others no lesse to Saint Paule himselfe. How oft doth Saint Austin redouble that rule, and importunately vrge it to his Ecdicia, in that serious E­pistle, that without consent the [Page 106] continence of the maried, cannot bee warrantable: teaching her (from these words of Saint Paule which he charges her, in the contrary practise, not to haue read, heard, or marked) that if her hus­band should containe, and shee would not, he were bound to pay her the debt of marriage beneuo­lence; & that God would impute it to him for continence not with­standing. Hence is that of Chryso­stome, Homil. in 1. Cor. 7. that the wife is both the ser­uant and the Mistresse of her hus­band, a seruant to yeeld her body, a Mistresse to haue power of his: who also in the same place deter­mines it forbidden fraude, for the husband, or wife to containe a­lone: according to that of the Pa­raphrast Let either both containe, or neither. Hierome contrarily, [Page 107] defines thus: But if one of the two (saith he) considering the re­warde of chastity, will containe, he ought not to assent to the other which containes not, &c. because lust ought rather to come to conti­nencie, then continencie decline to lust, concluding that a brother, or sister is not subiect in such a case; and that God hath not called vs to vncleannesse, but to holines. A strange glosse to fall from the pen of a Father: which yet I durst not say, if it were more boldnes for me to dissent from him, then for him to dissent from all others. He that censures Saint Paule to argue grosly to his Galatians, may as well taxe him of an vnfit directi­on to his Corinthians: It shall be no presumption to say, that in this point all his writings bewray [Page 108] more zeale, then truth: whether the conscience of his former slip caused him to abhorre that sexe; or his admiration of virginitie transported him to a contempt of marriage. Antiquitie will afford you many examples of holy men voluntarily sequestred from their wiues: Precepts must bee our guides, and not patternes. You may tell me of Sozomens Ammon, that famous Monke, who hauing perswaded his bride the first day to continuance of virginitie, liued with her 18. yeares in a seuerall bed: and in a seuerall habitation, vpon the mountaine Nitria, 22. yeares, you may tell me of Ieromes Malchus, Austens Ecdicia, and ten thousand others: I care not for their number, and suspect their example: Doe but reconcile their [Page 109] practise with Saint Paules rule; I shall both magnifie and imi­tate them. I professe, before God and men: nothing should hinder me but this law of the Apostle: whereto consider, I beseech you, what can be more opposite then this opinion, then this course of life.

The Apostle saies, Refraine not but with consent for a time: your words, and their practise saith, Refraine with consent foreuer: hee saith (meete together againe) you say, neuer more: hee saith (meete lest you bee tempted) you say, meete not though you bee temp­ted. I willingly grant with Atha­nasius, that for some set time, espe­cially (as Anselme interprets it) for some holy time, we may, and (in this latter case) we must forbeare [Page 110] all matrimonical acts, & thoughts: not for that they are sinfull, but vnseasonable. As marriage must be alwaies vsed chastly, and mo­derately: so sometimes it must be forgotten. How many are drunke with their owne vines, and surfet of their owne fruits? either immo­destie, or immoderation in man or wise, is a dulterous. If yet I shall further yeeld, that they may conditionally agree, to refrain frō each other, so long till they bee perplexed with temptations, on either part: I shall goe as farre as the reach of my warrant, at least perhaps beyond it: since the Apostle chargeth, Meete a­gaine lest you bee tempted; not, meete when you are tempted? But to say, absolutely, and for euer renounce (by consent) the con­uersation [Page 111] of each, other, what temptation soeuer assault you, is directly, not beyond, but against Paules diuinitie, no lesse then my assertion is against yours. The ground of all these errors in this head of Matrimony, is an vnwor­thie conceit of some vnchristian filthinesse in the marriage bed. E­uery man will not vtter, but too many holde that conclusion of Hierome: It is good for a man not to touch a women, therefore to touch her, is euill; whom I doubt not, but Saint Austin meant to De bono coniu­gij, cap. 19. oppose, while he writes, Bonum in­quam sunt nuptiae, & contra omnes ca­lumnias possunt sanâ ratione defendi: Marriage (I say) is a good thing, and may by sound proofe bee de­fended, against all slaunders: well may man say that is good, which [Page 112] God saith, is honorable; and both good and honourable must that needs be, which was instituted by the honourable author of good­nesse, in the state of mans perfect goodnesse: Let vs take heede of casting shame vpon the ordi­nance of our maker. But there was no carnall knowledge in Para­dise. But againe, in Paradise God said, increase and multiply: there should haue beene, if there were not. Those that were naked with­out shame should haue beene conioined without shame, be­cause without sinne. Meates and drinks, and acts of marriage (saith Austin) (for these hee compares De bono. coniug. c. 9. &c. 16. both in lawfulnes, and necessitie) are, as they are vsed, either lawful, veniall, or damnable. Meates are for the preseruation of man: mar­riage [Page 113] acts for the preseruation of mankind: neither of them are without some carnall delight: which yet, if by the bridle of tem­perance it bee held to the proper, and natural vse, cannot be termed lust. There is no ordinance of God, which either is of more ex­cellent vse, or hath suffered more abuse in all times: the fault is in men, not in marriage: Let them rectifie themselues, their bed shal bee blessed. Here need no separati­on from each other, but rather a separation of brutishnes, & close corruption from the soule; which whosoeuer hath learned to re­moue, shall finde the crowne of matrimonicall chastitie, no lesse glorious, then that of single con­tinence.


EP. X. Incouraging him to persist in the holy calling of the ministery, which vpon conceit of his insufficiency, and want of affection, he seemed in­clining to forsake, and change.

I Am more glad to heare from you, then sorry to heare of your discontent­ment: whereof, as the cause is from your selfe, so must the remedy. Wee Schollers [Page 116] are the aptest of all others to make our selues miserable: you might be your owne best counsellor were you but indifferent to your selfe: It I could but cure your pre­iudice, your thoughts would heale you: And indeed the same, hand that wounded you, were fittest for this seruice. I need not tell you, that your calling is ho­nourable; If you did not thinke so, you had not complained. It is your vnworthinesse, that troubles you: Let mee boldly tell you, I know you in this case bet­ter then your selfe; you are neuer the more vnsufficient, because you thinke so: If wee will bee rigorous, Paules question ( [...]) will appose vs all: but according to the gracious indulgence of him that calls things which are not as [Page 117] if they were, wee are that wee are, yea, that we ought; and must be thankefull for our any thing. There are none more fearefull then the able, none more bold then the vnworthy: How many haue you seene and heard, of wea­ker graces (your owne heart shall bee the iudge) which haue sate without palenesse, or trembling, in that holy chaire, and spoken as if the wordes had beene their owne: satisfying themselues, if not the hearers? And doe you (whose gifts many haue enuied) stand quaking vpon the lowest staire? Hath God giuen you that vnusuall varietie of tongues, skill of Artes, a stile worth emulation, and (which is worth all) a faithfull and honest heart; and doe you now shrinke backe, and say, send [Page 118] by him by whom thou shouldst send? Giue God but what you haue; he expects no more: This is enough to honour him, and crowne you. Take heede while you complaine of want, least pride shroude it selfe vnder the skirts of modestie; How many are thankfull for lesse? You haue more then the most; yet this con­tents you not; it is nothing vn­lesse you may equall the best, if not exceede; yea I feare how this might satisfie you, vnlesse you may thinke your selfe such as you would bee: What is this but to grudge at the bestower of graces? I tell you without flatterie, God hath great gaines by fewer talents: set your heart to imploie these, and your aduantage shall bee more then your masters. Neither [Page 119] do now repent you of the vnadui­sednesse of your entrance; God called you to it vpon an eternall deliberation, and meant to make vse of your suddennes, as a meanes to fetch you into his worke, whom more leasure would haue found refractarie: Full little did the one Saul thinke of a kingdom, when he went to seeke his Fa­thers straies in the land of Shali­shah; or the other Saul of an Apo­stleship, when hee went with his commission to Damascus: God thought of both; & effected what they meant not; Thus hath hee done to you; Acknowledge this hand, and follow it. Hee found and gaue both facultie & oppor­tunitie to enter; finde you but a will to proceede, I dare promise you aboundance of comfort. [Page 120] How many of the Ancients, af­ter a forceable Ordination, be­came not profitable onely, but famous in the Church? But, as if you sought shifts to discourage your selfe, when you see you can­not maintaine this hold of in­sufficiencie, you flie to alienation of affection; In the truth wherof, none can contoll you but your owne heart; in the iustice of it, we both may, and must. This plea is not for Christians; we must affect what we ought, in spight of our selues; wherefore serues religi­on if not to make vs Lords of our owne affections? If wee must bee ruled by our slaues, what good should we do? Can you more dis­like your station, then wee all na­turally distast goodnesse? Shall we neglect the pursuit of vertue, be­cause [Page 121] it pleases not, or rather dis­please, and neglect our selues, till it may please vs? Let mee not aske whether your affections be estran­ged, but wherefore? Diuinitie is a mistresse worthie your seruice: All other Artes are but drudges to her, alone: Fooles may contemne her who cannot iudge of true in­tellectual beautie; but if they had our eies; they could not but bee rauished with admiration. You haue learned (I hope) to contemn their contempt, and so pitty their iniurious ignorance. She hath chosen you as a worthy client, yea a Fauorite, and hath honored you with her commaunds, and her ac­ceptations; who but you would pleade strangenesse of affection? How many thousand sue to her; and cannot be look't vpon? you [Page 122] are happy in her fauours, and yet complaine: Yea so far, as that you haue not stucke to thinke of a change: No word could haue falne from you more vnwelcome. This is Satans policie to make vs out of loue with our callings, that our labours may be vnprofitable, and our standings tedious. Hee knows that all changes are fruit­lesse, and that whiles we affect to be other, we must needs be wea­ry of what we are: That there is no successe in any indeauor with­out pleasure; that there can bee no pleasure where the mind longs af­ter alterations. If you espie not this craft of the common enemy, you are not acquainted with your selfe: Vnder what forme soeuer it come, repell it: and abhorre the first motion of it, as you loue your [Page 123] peace, as you hope for your reward. It is the misery of the most men, that they cannot see when they are happie; and whiles they see but the out-side of others conditi­ons, preferre that which their expe­rience teaches them afterwardes to condemne, not without losse and teares. Farre be this vnstable­nesse from you, which haue been so long taught of God. All voca­tions haue their inconueniences, which if they cannot be auoided, must be digested. The more diffi­culties, the greater glory: Stand fast therefore, and resolue that this calling is the best, both in it selfe, and for you: and know that it can­not stand with your Christian courage to run away from these incident euills, but to encounter them. Your hand is at the plough; [Page 124] if you meete with some tough clods, that will not easily yeeld to the share, lay on more strength rather; seeke not remedie in your feet by flight, but in your hands, by a constant indeauor. Away with this weake timorousnesse, and wrongful humilitie: Be chear­full and couragious in this great worke of God; the end shall be glorious your selfe happy, and many in you.


LONDON, 1610.

The Sixt Decade.


A particular account how our dayes are, or should be spent, both common and holy.

EVery day is a lit­tle life, and our whole life is but a day repeated: whence it is, that old Iacob num­bers his life by dayes, and Moses desires to be taught [Page 2] this point of holy Arithmeticke, to number not his yeares, but his dayes: Those therefore that dare loose a day, are daungerously prodigall; those that dare mis-spend it, desperate. We can best teach others by our selues: Let mee tell your Lordship, how I would passe my dayes, whether com­mon or Sacred; that you (or whoso­euer others, ouer-hearing me) may eyther approoue my thriftinesse, or correct my errors: To whom is the account of my houres either more due, or more knowne? All dayes are his, who gaue time a beginning, and continuance; yet some he hath made ours, not to command, but to vse. In none may we forget him, in some we must forget all, besides him. First therefore, I desire to awake at those houres, not when I will, but when I must: pleasure is not a fit rule for rest, [Page 3] but health: neyther doe I consult so much with the Sunne, as mine owne necessity, whither of body, or, in that, of the minde. If this vassall could welserue mee waking, it should neuer sleepe: but now, it must bee pleased, that it may bee seruiceable. Now, when sleepe is rather driuen away, then leaues mee; I would euer awake with God; my first thoughts are for him, who hath made the night for rest, and the day for trauell: and as he giues, so blesses both. If my heart be earely seasoned with his presence, it will sauour of him all day after. While my body is dressing, not with an effe­minate curiosity, nor yet with rude neglect; my minde addresses itselfe to her insuing Task; bethinking what is to be done, and in what order; and marshalling (as it may) my houres with my work: That done after some [Page 4] whiles Meditation, I walke vp to my Maisters & companions, my bookes; and sitting down amongst them, with the best contentment, I dare not reach forth my hand to salute any of them, till I haue first looked vp to Heauen, and craued fauour of him to whom all my Studies are duly referred: with­out whome, I can neither profit, nor labour. After this, out of no ouer-great variety, J call forth those, which may best fit my occasions; wherein, I am not too scrupulous of age: Somtimes I put my selfe to Schoole, to one of those Auncients, whom the Church hath honoured with the name of Fa­thers; whose Volumes, I confesse, not to open, without a secret reue­rence of their holinesse, and grauitie: Sometimes, to those later Doctours, which want nothing but age to make them classicall: Alwayes to GODS [Page 5] Booke. That day is lost, wherof some houres are not improued in those Di­uine Monuments: Others I turn ouer out of choyse, these out of duty. Ere I can haue sat vnto wearinesse, my fami­ly, hauing now ouercome all house­hold-distractions, inuites mee to our common deuotions; not without some short preparation. These hartily performed, send mee vp, with a more strong and chearefull appetite to my former worke, which I find made ea­sie to me by intermission, and variety: Now therefore, can I deceiue the houres with change of pleasures, that is, of labours. One while mine eyes are busied, another while my hand, & sometimes my minde takes the bur­den from them both: Wherein, I would imitate the skilfullest Cookes, which make the best dishes with ma­nifold mixtures: one houre is spent in [Page 6] Textuall Diuinity, another in Con­trouersy; histories relieue them both. Now, when the minde is weary of o­thers labors, it begins to vndertake hir owne; sometimes it meditates, and windes vp for future vse; sometimes it layes foorth her conceits into present discourse; sometimes for it selfe, ofter, for others. Neither know I whether it workes or playes in these thoughts: I am sure no sport hath more pleasure, no work more vse: Only the decay of a weake body, makes me thinke these delights insensibly laborious. Thus could I all day, (as Ringers vse) make my selfe Musicke with chaunges, and complain sooner of the day for short­nesse, then of the businesse for toyle; were it not that this faint moniter in­terrupts me stil in the midst of my bu­sie pleasures, and inforces me both to respite & repast I must yeeld to both; [Page 7] my body and mind are ioyned toge­ther in these vnequal couples, the bet­ter must follow the weaker. Before my meales therefore, and after, I let my selfe loose from all thoughts, and now, would forget that I euer study­ed: A full minde takes away the bo­dies appetite, no lesse then a full body makes a dull and vnweildy minde: Company, discourse, recreations, are now seasonable and welcome; These prepare me for a diet, not gluttonous, but medicinall; The Palate may not be pleased, but the stomack; nor that for it owne sake: Neither woulde I thinke any of these comforts woorth respect in themselues, but in their vse, in their end; so farre, as they may in­able me to better things, If I see any dish to tempt my Palate, J feare a Ser­pent in that Apple, and would please my selfe in a wilfull denyall: I rise ca­pable [Page 8] of more, not desirous not now immediately from my Trencher, to my Booke; but after some intermissi­on. Moderate speede is a sure helpe to all proceedings, where those things which are prosecuted with violence of indeuour, or desire, either succeed not, or continue not.

After my latter meale, my thoughts are slight, onely my memorie may be charged with her Taske, of recalling what was committed to her custodie in the day, and my heart is busie in examining mine hands and mouth, & all other sences of that dayes behaui­our. And now the Euening is come, no Trades-man doth more carefully take in his Wares, cleare his Shoppe­boord, and shut his Windowes, then J would shut vp my thoughts, & clear my minde. That Student shall liue mi­serably, which like a Camell lies down [Page 9] vnder his burden. All this done, cal­ling together my familie, we end the day with God. Thus do wee rather driue away the time before vs, then follow it. I graunt, neither is my pra­ctise worthy to be exemplarie, neither are our callings proportionable. The lyues of a Nobleman, of a Courtier, of a Scholler, of a Cittizen, of a Coun­treyman, differ no lesse then their dis­positions: yet must all conspire in ho­nest labour. Sweat is the destiny of all trades, whether of the browes, or of the minde. God neuer allowed anie man to do nothing. How miserable is the condition of those men, which spend the time as if it were giuen thē, and not lent: as if houres were waste Creatures, and such as should neuer be accounted for; as if GOD would take this for a good Bil of reckoning; Item, spent vpon my pleasures, fortie [Page 10] yeares. These men shal once finde, that no bloud can priuiledge idlenes; and that nothing is more precious to God, then, that which they desire to cast away, Tyme. Such are my com­mon daies: but Gods day cals for an­other respect. The same Sunne arises on this day, and enlightens it; yet be­cause that Sun of righteousnesse arose once vpon it, & gaue a new life vnto the world in it, & drew the strength of Gods moral precept vnto it, therfore iustly do we sing with the psalmist; This is the day which the Lorde hath made. Now, I forget the world, and in a sort, my selfe; and deale with my wonted thoughts, as great men vse, who, at sometimes of their priuacie, forbid the accesse of all suters. Prayer, Meditati­on, reading, hearing, preaching, sin­ging, good conference, are the busi­nesses of this day; which I dare not be­stow [Page 11] on anie worke, or pleasure, but heauenly. J hate superstition on the one side, and loosenesse on the other; but I finde it harde to offend in too much deuotion, easie in profanenesse. The whole Week is sanctified by this day, and according to my care of this, is my blessing on the rest. I show your Lordship, what I would do, and what I ought: I commit my desires to the imitation of the weake, my actions to the censures of the Wise and Holye; my weakenesses to the pardon and redresse of my mer­cifull God.

EPIST. II. To Mr. T. S. Dedicated to Sir Fulke Greuill.

Discoursing how wee may vse the Worlde without daunger.

HOwe to liue out of the daunger of the Worlde is both a great & good care, and that which trou­bles too fewe. Some, that the World may not hurt [Page 14] them, run frō it; & banish themselues to the toppes of solitary Mountaines: changing the Cities, for Deserts, hou­ses, for Gaues, and the societie of men for beasts; and least their enimy might insinuate himselfe into their se­crecy, haue abridged themselues of dyet, cloathing, lodging, harbour, fit for reasonable creatures; seeming to haue left off themselues, no lesse then companions.

As if the Worlde were not euery where; as if wee could hide our selues from the Diuel; as if solitarinesse were priuiledged from Temptations; as if wee did not more violently affect re­strained delights; as if these Hieromes did not finde Rome in their hart, when they had nothing but rockes & trees in their eye. Hence these places of re­tyrednesse, founded at first vppon ne­cessity mixt with deuotion, haue pro­ued [Page 15] infamously vnclean; Cels of lust, not of piety. This course is preposte­rous; If I were worthy to teach you a better way, learne to bee an Hermit at home: Begin with your owne heart, estraunge and weane it from the loue, not from the vse of the world: Christi­anity hath taught vs nothing, if wee haue not learned this distinction; It is a great weakenesse not to see, but wee must be inamored: Elisha, saw the se­cret state of the Syrian court, yet as an enemy: The blessed Angelles see our earthly affayres, but as strangers: Mo­ses his body was in the Court of Pha­raoh, amongest the delicate Egiptians, his heart was suffering with the afflic­ted Israelites. Lot tooke part of the fayre Medowes of Sodom, not of theyr sinnes. Our blessed Sauiour sawe the glory of al Kingdomes, & contemned them: and cannot the world look vp­on [Page 16] vs Christians, but wee are be wit­ched? We see the Sun daily, & warme vs at his beames, yet make not an Idol of it; doth any man hide his face, least he should adore it? All our safetie or danger therefore, is from within. In vaine is the body an Anachoret, if the heart be a Ruffian: And if that bee re­tyred in affections, the body is but a Cipher: Lo then the eyes will looke carelessely and strangely in what they see, and the tongue will sometimes an­swere to that was not asked. We eate and recreate, because wee must, not because we would: and when wee are pleased, wee are suspicious: Lawfull delights, we neyther refuse, nor dote vpon, and all contentments goe and come like strangers. That all this may be done, take vp your hart with better thoughts; be sure it will not be empty, if Heauen haue fore-stalled all the [Page 17] roomes, the Worlde is disappointed, and eyther dares not offer, or is repul­sed. Fixe your selfe vpon the glory of that eternity, which abides you after this short pilgrimage. You cannot but contemne what you find in com­parison of what you expect. Leaue not til you attaine to this, that you are wil­ling to liue, because ye cannot as yet be dissolued: Be but one halfe vppon earth, let your better part conuerse aboue whence it is, and enioy that whereto it was ordained. Thinke how little the World can doe for you and what it doth, how deceitfully: vvhat stings there are with this Hony, vvhat farewell succeeds this Welcome.

When this Iael brings you Milk in the one hand, know shee hath a nayle in the other. Aske your heart what it is the better, what the merrier, for all those pleasures where with it hath be­friended [Page 18] you: let your own trial teach you contempt; Thinke how sincere, how glorious those ioyes are, which abide you elsevvhere, and a thousand times more certaine (though future) then the present.

And let not these thoughts be fly­ing, but fixed: Jn vaine do we medi­tate, if were solue not: when your hart is once thus setled, it shall commaund all things to aduantage. The World shall not betray, but serue it; and that shall be fulfilled which God promises by his Salomon; VVhen the wayes of a man please the Lord, he wil make his eni­mies also at peace with him.

Sir, this aduice my pouerty affoor­ded long since to a weake friend; I Write it not to you, any otherwise, then as Schollers are woont to say their part to their Maisters. The world hath long and iustly both noted and [Page 19] honoured you for eminence in wise­dome and learning, and I aboue the most; I am ready with the awe of a Learner, to embrace all precepts from you: you shall expect nothing from me, but Testimonies of respect and thankeful­nesse.

EPIST. III. To S George Fleetwood.

Of the remedies of sinne, and motiues to auoyde it.

THere is none, ei­ther more com­mon, or more troblesom guest, then Sin. Trou­blesome, both in the solicitation of it, and in the remorse. Before the act, it wearies vs with a wicked impor­tunity; [Page 22] after the act it torments vs with feares, and the painful gnawings of an accusing Conscience: Neyther is it more irkesome to men, then odious to God; who indeed neuer hated any thing but it; and for it any thing. How happy were we, if we could be rid of it? This must be our desire, but can­not be our hope; so long as wee carry this bodie of sinne and death about vs: yet (which is our comfort) it shall not carry vs, though wee carry it: It will dwell with vs, but with no com­maund; yea, with no peace: Wee grudge to giue it house-roome, but wee hate to giue it seruice. This our Hagar wil abide many strokes, ere she be turned out of doores; she shall go at last, and the seede of promise shall inherit alone. There is no vnquyet­nesse good, but this: and in this case, quietnesse cannot stand with safetie: [Page 23] neither did euer warre more truly be­get peace, then in this strife of the soule.

Resistance is the way to victory, and that, to an eternall peace and happy­nesse. It is a blessed care then, how to resist: sinne, how to auoyd it: and such as I am glad to teach and learne. As there are two grounds of all sin, so of the auoydance of Sinne; Loue, and Feare: These if they be placed amisse, cause vs to offend: if aright, are the re­medies of euill: The Loue must be of God; Feare, of Iudgement.

As he loues much, to whom much is forgiuen, so hee that loues much, will not dare to dooe that which may neede forgiuenesse. The heart that hath felt the sweetnesse of Gods mercies, will not abide the bitter rellish of sinne: This is both a stron­ger motiue then Fear, and more No­ble; [Page 24] None but a good heart is capable of this grace: which who so hath re­ceyued, thus powerfully repelles ten­tations.

Haue I found my God so gracious to me that hee hath denyed mee no­thing, eyther in earth or heauen: and shal not J so much as deny my owne will for his sake? Hath my deare Sa­uiour bought my soul at such a price, and shall he not haue it? Was hee cru­cified for my sinnes, and shall I by my sinnes crucifie him againe? Am J his in so many bonds, and shall J serue the Diuel? O God! is this the fruit of thy beneficence to me, that J should wil­fully dishonor thee? Was thy blood so little worth, that I should treade it vnder my feete? Dooth this become him that shall be once glorious vvith thee? Hast thou prepared heauen for me, and do I thus prepare my selfe for [Page 25] heauen? Shall I thus recompence thy loue, in dooing that which thou ha­test? Satan hath no Dart (I speak con­fidently) that can pierce this Shielde: Christians are indeed to oft surprized, ere they can holde it out: there is no small pollicy in the suddainenesse of temptation: but if they haue once set­led it before their brest, they are safe, and their enemy hopelesse. Vnder this head therefore, there is sure remedie against sinne, by looking vpwardes, backwards, into our selues, forwards. Vpwards, at the glorious Maiesty, and infinite goodnesse of that God whom our sinne would offend, and in whose face we sin: whose mercies, & whose holynesse is such, that if there were no hel, we would not offend. Backwards, at the manifold fauours, whereby we are obliged to obedience. Into our selues, at that honourable vocation, [Page 26] wherewith he hath graced vs, that ho­ly profession we haue made of his cal­ling, and grace, that solemne vowe & Couenant, whereby we haue confir­med our profession; the gracious be­ginnings of that spirit in vs, which is grieued by our sinnes, yea quenched. Forwards, at the ioy which will follow vpon our forbearance, that peace of conscience, that happy expectation of glory, compared with the momenta­ry and vnpleasing delight of a present sinne; All these, out of Loue; Fear is a retentiue, as necessary, not so inge­nuous. Jt is better to be wonne, then to be frighted from sinne: to be allu­red, then drawne. Both are little inough in our pronesse to euil: Euil, is the onely obiect of feare. Heerein therefore, wee must terrifie our stub­burnnesse, with both euils; Of losse, and of sence: that if it be possible, the [Page 27] honor of the euent may counteruaile the pleasure of the tentation: Of losse, remembering that now we are about to loose a God; to cast away all the comforts & hopes of ano her world; to rob our selues of all those sweete mercies we inioyed; to thrust his spi­rit out of doores (which cannot abide to dwell within the noysom stench of sinne) to shut the doores of heauen a­gainst our selues. Of sence; That thus we giue satan a right in vs, power ouer vs, aduantage against vs. That wee make God to frowne vpon vs in hea­uen; That we arme all his good crea­tures against vs on earth; That we do as it were take Gods hand in ours, & scourge our selues with all Temporall plagues; and force his curses vpon vs, and ours: That we wound our owne consciences with sins, that they may wound vs with euerlasting torments; [Page 28] That we do both make an hell in our breasts before hande, and open the gates of that bottomlesse pit, to re­receiue vs afterwards: That wee doe now cast Brimstone into the Fire; and least we should faile of tortures, make our selues our owne fiends: These, & vvhat euer other terrors of this kinde, must be layde to the soule: vvhich, if they be throughly vrged to an heart, not altogether incredulous, Wel may a man aske himselfe, how he dare sin? But if neyther this Sunne of mercies, nor the tempestuous Winds of iudge­ment can make him cast off Peters cloake of vvickednesse; hee must bee clad vvith confusion, as vvith a cloak, according to the Psalmist.

I tremble to thinke hovv many liue, as if they vvere neyther beholden to God, nor affrayde of him; neyther in his debt, nor daunger: As if their hea­uen [Page 29] and hell vvere both vpon earth; Sinning not onely vvithout shame, but not vvithout mallice; It is theyr least ill to do euill; Behold they speake for it, ioy in it, boast of it, inforce to it; as if they vvould send challenges into heauen, & make loue to destruction: Their leudnesse cals for our sorrowe, and zealous obedience; that our God may haue as true Seruants, as enimies: And as vvee see naturall qualities, in­creased vvith the resistaunce of theyr contraries: so must our grace vvith others sinnes: We shal redeeme som­vvhat of Gods dishonour by sinne, if vve shal thence grovv holye.

EPIST. IIII. To Mr. Doctor Milburne.

Discoursing, how farre, and wherein Popery destroyeth the foundation.

THe meane in all thinges is not more safe then hard: whether to finde or keep: & as in al other mo­rality, it lyeth in a narrow roome; so most in the matter [Page 32] of our censures, especially concerning Religion: wherein we are wont to be eyther carelesse, or too peremptory: How farre, and wherein Popery ra­ceth the foundation, is worth our in­quiry: I neede not stay vpon wordes. By foundation, we mean the necessa­ry groundes of Christian faith. This foundation Papistry defaces, by lay­ing a new; by casting downe the old. In these cases, addition destroyes: he that obtrudes a new worde, no lesse ouerthrowes the Scripture, then hee that den̄yes the olde, yea this, very ob­trusion denies: he that sets vp a newe Christ, reiects Christ: Two foundati­ons cannot stand at once: The Arke and Dagon: Now Papistry layes a double how foundation: The one, a new rule of faith, that is, a new word: The other, a new Author, or guide of Faith, that is, a newe head besides [Page 33] Christ God neuer layde other foun­dation, then in the Prophets and A­postles: vpon their Diuine writing, he meant to build his Church; which hee therefore inspired, that they might be like (himselfe) perfect and eternall: Popery buildes vppon an vn-written word, the voyce of old (but doubtful) Traditions. The voyce of the present Church, that is, as they interpret it, theyrs; with no lesse confidence and presumption of certainety, then any thing euer Written by the finger of God; If this be not a new foundation, the old was none. God neuer taught this holy Spouse to knowe any other husband, thē Christ; to acknowledge any other head; to followe any other Shepheard, to obey any other King: he alone may be inioyed without iea­lousie, submitted to without danger, without errour beleeued, serued with­out [Page 34] scruple: Popery offers to impose on Gods Church a King, shepheard, head, husband, besides her owne: A man; a man of sin. He must know all things, can erre in nothing: direct, in­form, animate, cōmand, both in earth and Purgatory, expounde Scriptures, cannonize Saints, forgiue Sins: create new Articles of Faith; and in all these, is absolute and infallible as his Maker; who sees not, that if to attribute, these things to the son of God, bee to make him the foundation of the Church; Then to ascribe them to another, is to contradict him that sayde, Other foun­dation can no man lay, then that which is layde, which is Iesus Christ. To lay a new foundation, doth necessarily sub­uert the old: yet see this further actu­ally done in particulars: wherein yet this distinction may cleare the way: The foundation is ouerthrowne two [Page 35] wayes; either in flat tearmes, when a mayne principle of faith is absolutely denyed: as the deity and consubstan­tiality of the sonne by Arrius, the Tri­nity of persons by Sabellius and Serue­tus, the resurrection of the bodye by Himeneus and Philetus, the last Iudge­ment by Saint Peters Mockers; Or secondly, by consequent; when anie opinion is maintained, which by iust sequell ouer turneth the trueth of that principle, which the defendant pro­fesses to holde; yet so, as hee will not graunt the necessity of that deducti­on▪ so the Ancient M [...]n [...]i, of whom Ierom speaketh, while they vrged Cir­cumcision, by consequent according to Paules rule, reiected Christ: so the Pelagians, while they defended a full perfection of our righteoushes in our selues, ouerthrew Christes iustificati­on: and in effect sayde, I beleeue in [Page 36] Christ, and in myselfe: so some Vbiaui­taries, while they hold the possibility of the conuersion, and saluation of re­probates, ouerthrow the Doctrine of Gods eternall decree, and immutabi­lity. Popery comes in this latter rank; and may iustly be tearmed heresie, by direct consequent: Though not in their graunt, yet in necessarie proofe and inference. Thus it ouerthrowes the truth of Christs humanity, while it holds his whole humaine body local­ly circumscribed in heauen, & at once (the same instant) wholy present in ten thousand places on earth, without cir­cumscription: That whole Christ is in the formes of bread, with all his di­mensions, euery part hauing his own place and figure: and yet so, as that he is wholly in euery part of the breade. Our iustification, while it ascribes it to our owne workes: The Al-sufficiency [Page 37] of Christs owne Sacrifice, whiles they reiterate it daily by the handes of a Priest. Of his satisfaction, while they holde a payment of our vtmost far­things, in a deuised Purgatory. Of his mediation, while they implore others to ayde them, not only by their inter­cession, but their merites; suing not onely for their Prayes, but their gifts: The value of the Scriptures, whiles they hold them insufficient, obscure, in points essentiall to saluation, & bind them to an vncertaine dependance vpon the Church. Besides hundreds of this kind, there are heresies in acti­ons, contrary to those fundamentall practises which God requires of his: As prohibitions of Scriptures to the Laity: Prescriptions of deuotion in vnknowne tongues: Tying, the effect of Sacraments and Prayers to the ex­ternall worke: Adoration of Angels, [Page 38] Saints, Bread, Reliques, Crosses, Jma­ges: All which, are as so many reall vnderminings of the sacred foundati­on, which is no lesse actiue, then vo­call. By this, the simplest may see, what we must holde of Papists; neyther as no Heretiques, nor yet so palpable as the worst: If any man aske for theyr conuiction. In the simpler sort, I grant this excuse fayre and tollerable: Poore soules, they cannot bee any o­therwise informed, much lesse perswa­ded: Whiles in trueth of heart, they hold the maine principles which they know, doubtlesse, the mercie of God may passe ouer their ignorant weake­nesse, in what they cannot know. For the other, I feare not to say, that many of their errours are wilfull. The light of truth hath shined out of heauen to them, and they loue darkenesse more then light. Jn this state of the Church: [Page 39] hee shall speake and hope idly, that shall call for a publique and vniuersall euiction: How can that be, when they pretend to bee Iudges in their owne cause? Vnlesse they wil not be aduer­saries to themselues, or iudge of vs, this course is but impossible: As the Diuell, so Antichrist, will not yeelde: both shall bee subdued; neyther will treat of peace: what remains, but that the Lorde shall consume that wicked man (which is now clearely reuealed) with the breath of his mouth, & abo­lish him with the brightnes of his cō ­ming. Euen so, Lord Iesus come quickly. This briefly is my conceit of Popery, which I willingly refer to your clear & deepe iudgement, being not more de­sirous to teach the ignoraunt▪ what I knowe, then to learne of you what I should teach, & know not. The Lord direct all our thoughts to his glory, & the behoofe of his Church.

EPIST. V. Written long since to Mr. I. VV.

Disswading from seperation: & shortly oppugning the grounds of that errour.

IN my former Epistle (I confesse) J touched the late seperation vvith a light hand: onely set­ting downe the iniurie of it (at the best) not discussing the groundes in common; now your daunger drawes [Page 42] me on to this discourse: it is not much lesse thanke-woorthy, to preuent a di­sease, then to cure it: you confesse that you doubt; I mislike it not, doubting is not more the way to errour, then to satisfaction; lay downe first, all pride and preiudice, and I cannot fear you: I neuer yet knew any man of this way, which hath not bewraide himselfe far gone with ouer-weening: and there­fore it hath beene iust with God, to punish their selfe loue with error: an humble spirit is a fit subiect for trueth: prepare you your heart, and let mee then answere, or rather God for mee; you doubt whether the notorious sin of one vnreformed, vncensured, defile not the whole Congregation; so as we may not without sinne communi­cate therewith: & why not the whole Church? wo were vs, if we should thus liue in the daunger of all men: haue [Page 43] we not sins enow of our own, but we must borrow of others? Each man shal beare his own burden: is ours so light, that we cal for more waight, & vnder­take what God neuer imposed? It was enough for him that is God & man to bear others iniquities; it is no taske for vs, which shrink vnder the least of our owne: But it is made ours, you say (thogh anothers) by our toleration & conniuence: indeede, if we consent to them; encourage them, imitate or ac­company them in the same excesse of ryot; yet more, the publicke person, that forbeares a knowne sin, sinneth; but if each mans known sinne be eue­ry mans, what difference is betwixt the roote and the braunches? Adams sinne spread it selfe to vs, because wee were in him, stood or fell in him; our case is not such. Do but see how God scorneth that vniust Prouerbe of the [Page 44] Iewes, That the fathers haue eaten sower Grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge? How much lesse are straungers? Js any bond so neere as this of blood? Shall not the childe smart for the Pa­rent; and shall wee (euen spiritually) for others? You obiect Achans stealth, & Israels punishment: an vnlike case, & extraordinary: for see how direct Gods charge is. Be ye ware of the exe­crable thing least ye make your selues ex­ecrable, and in taking of the execrable thing, make also the hoast of Israell exe­crable and trouble it. Now euery man is made a party, by a peculiar iniuncti­on, and not onely all Israell is as one man: but euery Israelite is a publicke person in this act; you cannot shewe the like in euery one, no, not in any: it was a lawe for the present, not inten­ded for perpetuity: you may as well challenge the Trumpets of Rammes­hornes, [Page 45] and seauen dayes walke vn­to euery siedge. Looke else, where the Church of Thyatira suffers the Wo­man Iezabel to teach and deceyue. A great sinne, Yet to you (saith the spirit) the rest of Thyatira, as many as haue not this learning: I will put vpon you none other burden, but that which you haue, holde fast; Hee saith not, Leaue your Church, but Hold fast your owne. Look into the practise of the Prophets, ran­sacke their burdens, and see if you find this there; yea, beholde our best pat­terne, the sonne of God. The Iewish Rulers in Christ time were notorious­ly couetous, proud, oppressing, cruel, superstitious, our Sauiour feared not polluting, in ioyning with them; and was so far frō seperating himselfe, that he called & sent others to them. But, a little Leauen Leauens the whole lumpe: it is true, by the infection of it; [Page 46] sinne, where it is vnpunnished, sprea­deth; it so wreth al those whose hands are in it, not others. If we dislike it, de­test, resist, reproue, and mourn for it; we cannot be tainted: the Corinthian loue-feasts had grosse and sinfull dis­order: yet you heare not Paul say, Ab­staine from the Sacrament till-these bee reformed; Rather he enioynes the act, and controules the abuse: GOD hath bidden you heare and receiue: shew me, where he hath sayd, except others be sinfull. Their vncleannesse can no more defile you, then your holinesse can excuse them. But while J commu­nicate (you say) I consent; God for­bid. It is sinne not to cast out the de­seruing; but not yours: who made you a Ruler & a Iudge? The vnclean must be seperated, not by the people: I Would you haue no distinction be­twixt priuate and publicke persons? [Page 47] What strange confusion is this? And what other then the olde note of Co­rah and his company, Ye take too much vpon you, seeing all the Congregation is holy, euery one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherfore, then lift you vp your selues aboue the con­gregation of the Lorde? What is (if this bee not) to make a monster of Christs body: hee is the heade, his Church the body, consisting of diuers limbes? All haue their seuerall facul­ties and imployments; not euery one, al; who would immagine any man so absurd, as to say, that this body shold be al toong, or al hands; euery man a Teacher, euery man a Ruler? As if Christ had sayde to euery man, Goe teach, and whose sinnes ye remit: Howe Sencelesse are these two extreames? Of the Papists, that one man hath the Keyes: Of the Brownists, that euerie [Page 48] man hath them. But these priuiled­ges and charges are giuen to the Church▪ True; to be executed by hir Gouernours, the faculty of speech is giuen to the whole man, but the vse of it to the proper Instrument. Man speaketh; but by his toong; if a voice should be heard from his hand, eare, foote, it were vnnaturall. Now if the tongue speak not when it ought, shall we be so foolish as to blame the hand? But you say; If the tongue speake not, or speak ill, the whole man smarteth; the man sinneth: I graunt it, but you shall set the naturall body on too hard a racke, if you straine it in all thinges, to the likenesse of the spirituall, or ci­uill. The mēbers of that being quick­ned by the same soule, haue charge of each other, and therefore either stand or fall together: It is not so in these. If then notwithstanding vnpunnished [Page 49] sinnes wee may ioyne with the true Church: Whether is ours such? You doubt, and your solicitors deny: sure­ly if wee haue many enormities, yet none worse then rash and cruel iudg­ment; let them make this a colour to depart from themselues: there is no lesse woe to them that cal good, euil: To iudge one man is bold and daun­gerous: Iudge then, what it is to con­demne a whole church: God knowes, as much without cause, as without shame, Vaine men may libel against the spouse of Christ: her husband ne­uer diuorc't her: No, his loue is still aboue their hatred, his blessinges a­boue their censures: Do but ask them, were we euer the true church of God? If they deny it, Who then were so? Had God neuer Church vpon earth, since the Apostles time, till Barrow & Greenwood arose? And euen then [Page 50] scarce a number? nay, when or where was euer any man in the worlde (ex­cept in the Schooles perhaps of Dona­tus or Nouatus) that taught their Do­ctrine; and now still hath hee none, but in a blind lane at Amsterdam? Can you thinke this probable? If they af­firme it, when ceased we? Are not the pointes controuerted still the same? The same Gouernment, the same do­ctrine? Their minds are changed, not our estate: Who hath admonished, euinced, eccommunicated vs; and when? All these must be done; Will it not be a shame to say, that Francis Iohnson, as he tooke power to excom­municate his Brother, and Father; so had power to excōmunicate his Mo­ther, the Church? How base and idle are these conceits? Are we then here­tickes condemned in ourselues, wher­in ouerthroew wee the foundation? [Page 51] What other God, Sauiour, Scriptures, Iustification, Sacraments, Heauen, do they teach beside vs? Can al the Mai­sters of seperation, yea can al the chur­ches in Christendome, set forth a more exquisite and woorthy confession of Faith, then is contained in the Arti­cles of the Church of England? Who can hold these, and be hereticall? Or, from which of these are we reuolted? But to make this good, they haue taught you to say, that euery trueth in Scripture is fundamentall; so fruitfull is errour of absurdities; Whereof stil one breedes another more deformed then it selfe. That Trophimus was left at Miletum sicke, that Pauls Cloake was left at Troas, that Gaius Paules hoast, saluted the Romaines, that Naball was drunke; or that Thamar baked Cakes, and a thousand of this nature are fun­damentall: how large is the separatists [Page 52] Creed, that hath all these Articles? If they say al Scripture is of the same au­thor, of the same authority: so say we, but not of the same vse: is it as necessa­ry for a Christian to knowe that Peter hosted with one Simon a tanner in Iop­pd, as that Iesus Christ the son of God was born of the Virgin Mary. What a mōster is this of an opiniō, that al tru­eths are equal? that this spiritual house should be all foundation, no wals, no roofe? Can no man be saued but hee that knowes euery thing in scripture? Then both they and we, are excluded: heauē wold not haue so many, as their Parlor at Amsterdam: Can any man be saued that knowes nothing in Scrip­ture? It is far frō them to bee so ouer­charitable to affirm it: you see thē that both al truths must not of necessity be known, & some must: & these we iustly call fundamental: which who so hol­deth, al his hay & stubble (through the [Page 53] mercy of God) condemn him not: stil he hath right to the church on erth, & hope in heauē: but whither euery truth be fundamētal, or necessary: discipline (you say) is so: indeed necessary to the wel­being of a church, no more: it may be true without it, not perfect. Christ cō ­pares his spouse to an army with ban­ners: as order is to an army, so is Dis­cipline to the Church: if the troups be not well marshalled in their seuerall ranks, & moue not forward, acording to the discipline of warre, it is an army stil: cōfusion may hinder their succes, it cannot bereaue thē of their name: it is, as beautiful proportiō to the body, an hedge to a vineyard, a wal to a Cit­ty, an hem to a garment, seeling to an house. It may be a body, vineyard, Cit­ty, garment, house, without them: it cannot be wel and perfect: yet which of our aduersaries vvill say wee haue [Page 54] no Discipline? Some they graunt, but not the right: as if they sayde? Your Citty hath a Bricke-wall indeede, but it should haue one of hewen stone; your Vineyard is hedged, but it should be paled & ditched: while they cauill at what wee want, wee thanke God for what wee haue; and so much we haue, in spight of all detraction, as makes vs both a true Church, and a worthy one.

But the mayn quarrel is against our Ministery, and forme of worship: let these be examined; this is the Circle of their censure. No Church, there­fore no Ministery: and no Ministery, therefore no Church: vnnatural sons, that spit in the face of those spirituall Fathers that be got them, and the Mo­ther that bore them. What woulde they haue? Haue wee not competent guifts from aboue, for so great a fun­ction? [Page 55] Are we all vnlearned, vnsuffi­cient? Not a man that knowes to de­uide the word aright? As Paul to the Corinthes, is it so that there is not one wise man amongest vs? No man vvill affirm it: some of them haue censured our excesse in some knowledge; none, our defect in all: What then? Haue we not a true desire to do faithful ser­uice to God and his Church? No zeal for Gods glory? Who hath beene in our harts to see this? Who dare vsurp vpon God, & condemn our thoughts? Yea, we appeale to that only Iudge of harts, whether he hath not giuen vs a sincere longing for the good of his Syon: he shall make the thoughts of al hearts manifest: and then shall euerie man haue praise of God: if then wee haue both ability and will to do pub­lick good: our inward calling (which is the mayne poynt) is good and per­fect: [Page 56] for the outward, what want wee? Are we not first (after good triall) pre­sented & approued by the learned, in our Colledges: examined by our church-gouernors, ordaind by impo­sition of hāds of the eldership, alowed by the congregations, we are set ouer: do we not labor in word & doctrine? do we not carefully administer the sa­craments of the Lord Iesus? haue we not by our publick means won many soules to God? what shuld we haue & do more? Al this, & yet no true Mini­sters? we passe very little to be iudged of thē, or of mans day: but our ordai­ners (you say) are Antichristian: surely our censurers are vnchristian: tho we shold grant it: some of vs were bapti­zed by hereticks: is the sacrament an­nihilated, and must it bee redoubled? How much lesse ordination, which is but an outward admission to preach [Page 57] the gospel? God forbid that we shold thus condemne the innocent: more hands were laid vpon vs, then one: & of them, for the principall, except but their perpetual honor, & som few im­materiall rites, let an enemy say what they differ, from Super-intendents? & can their double honor make them no elders? Jf they haue any personal falts, why is their calling scourged? Looke into our Sauiours times: what corrup­tions were in the very Priesthood? It was now made annual, which was be­fore fixed & singular. Christ saw these abuses, & was silent: heere was much dislike, and no clamour; we for lesse, exclaim & seperate: euen personal of­fences are fetcht into the condemnati­on of lawfull courses. God giue both pardon and redresse to this foule vn­charitablenesse. Alas! how ready are wee to tosse the fore-part of our [Page 58] Wallet, whiles our owne faultes are ready to breake our neckes behinde vs: all the world sees and condemnes their ordination to be faulty, yea none at all, yet they cry out first on vs, craf­tily (J thinke) least wee should com­plaine: that Church-gouernours should ordaine Ministers, hath beene the constant practise of the Church, from Christs time, to this houre. I ex­cept onely in an extreame desolation, meerely for the first course: that the people shoulde make their Ministers, was vnheard of in al ages & Churches till Bolton, Browne, and Barrow: and hath neyther coulour nor example: Dooth not this comparison seeme strange and harsh? Their Tradesmen may make true Ministers, our Mini­sters cānot: who but they wold not be ashamed of such a position? Or who but you woulde not thinke the tyme [Page 59] mispent in answering it? No lesse fri­uolous are those exceptions that are taken against our worshippe of God, condemned for false and Idolatrous, whereof Volumnes of Apologies are written by others: we meet together, pray, read, heare, preach, sing, admi­nister, and receiue Sacraments: where­in offend we? How many Goddes do we pray to? Or to whom but the true God? In what words but holy? whom do we preach but the same Christ with them? what point of faith, not theirs? What sacraments but those they dare not but allow? Where lyes our Idola­try, that we may let it out? Jn the ma­ner of performing: in set Prayers, An­tichristian Ceremonies of crossing, kneeling, &c, For the former: what sinne is this? The Original and truth of Prayer is in the heart: the voyce is but as accidentall: if the heart may of­ten [Page 60] conceiue the same thought, the tongue her seruant may often vtter it, in the same words: and if daily to re­peat the same speeches be amisse, then to entertaine the same spirituall de­sires, is sinnefull: to speak once with­out the heart is Hypocriticall: but to speake often the same request vvith the heart, neuer offendeth. What intollerable boldnesse is this; to con­demne that in vs which is recorded to haue beene the continuall practise of Gods Church in all successions? Of the Iewes, in the time of Moses, Da­uid, Salomon, Iehosophat, Ezekiah, Ie­remie: Of the auncient Christian as­semblies, both Greek and Latine, and now at this day of all reformed chur­ches in Christendom; yea, which our Sauiour himselfe so directly allowed, & in a manner prescribed: & the bles­sed Apostles Paul & Peter in all theyr [Page 61] formall salutations (which were no o­ther then set prayers) so commonlie practised: for the other (least I exceed a letter) tho wee yeild thē such as you imagine; worse they cannot be: they are but Ceremonious appendances: the body & substāce is sound. Blessed be God that we can haue his true Sa­craments at so easie a rate, as the pay­ment (if they were such) of a few cir­cumstantiall in conueniences: Howe many deer children of God in al ages, euen neere the Golden times of the Apostles, haue gladly purchased them much deerer, & not complained: but see howe our Church imposes them: not as to bind the Conscience, other­wise then by the common bonde of obedience; not as actions; wherein Gods worship essentially consisteth, but as themselues, Ceremonies: comely or couenient, not necessarie; [Page 62] whatsoeuer: is this a sufficient ground of seperation? Howe many moderate and wiser spirits haue we, that cannot approue the Ceremonies, yet dare not forsake the Church? And that holde your departure far more euill, then the cause. You are inuited to a feast, if but a Napkin or Trencher bee mis­placed, or a dish ill carued, do you run from the Table, and not stay to thank the hoast? Eyther be lesse curious, or more charitable. Woulde God both you, and all other, which either fauor the seperation, or professe it, coulde but read ouer the auncient Stories of the Church, to see the true state of things and times; the beginninges, proceedings, increases, encounters yeildings, restaurations of the Gos­pell, what the holy Fathers of those first times, were glad to swallow, for peace; what they helde, practised, [Page 63] found, left: whosoeuer knowes but these things cannot seperate: and shal not be contented onely, but thankful: God shall giue you still more light: in the meane time, vpon the perril of my soule, stay, and take the blessed offers of your God, in peace: And since Christ sayeth to you by my hand, wil you also go away? Answere him with that worthy Disciple, Maister whe­ther shall I go from thee, thou hast the words of eter­nall life?

EPIST. VI. To Mr. I. B.

A complaint of the mis-education of our Gentry.

I Confesse, I cannot honor blood with­out good qualities, not spare it; with ill. There is no­thing that I more desire to be taught, then what is true Nobilitie: What thanke is it to you [Page 66] that you are borne wel? If you could haue lost this priuiledge of Nature, I feare you had not beene thus far No­ble: That you may not plead desert, you had this before you were; long ere you could either know or preuent it; you are deceiued if you thinke this any other then the body of Gentility, the life and soule of it, is in noble and vertuous disposition, in gallantnesse of spirit, without hautinesse, without insolence, without scornfull ouer ly­nesse: shortly, in generous qualities, carriage, actions. See your error, and know that this demeanor dooth not aunswere an honest byrth: If you can follow all fashions, drinke all healths, weare fauours and good cloths, con­sort with Ruffians, companions, swear the biggest Oaths, quarrell easily, fight desperately, game in euery inordinate Ordinary, spend your patrimony ere [Page 67] it fall, looke on euery man betwixt scorne and anger; vse gracefully some gestures of apish complement; talke irreligiously, dally with a Mistris, or (which tearme is plainer) hunt after Harlots, take smoake at a Play-house, and liue as if you were made all for sport, you thinke you haue doone e­nough, to merit, both of your blood, and others opinions. Certainly, the world hath no basenesse, if this be ge­nerosity: Wel-fare the honest and ci­uill rudenesse of the obscure sonnes of the earth, if such be the graces of the eminent: The shame whereof (me­thinkes) is not so proper to the wild­nesse of youth, as to the carelesnesse or vanity of Parents: I speake it boldly; our land hath no blemmish compara­ble to the mis-education of our Gen­try; Infancy and youth are the seed­times of al hopes: if those passe vnsea­sonably, [Page 68] no fruit can be expected from our age, but shame and sorrow: who should improue these, but they which may commaund them: I cannot alto­gether complaine of our first yeares. How like are wee to children, in the training vp of our children? Giue a childe some painted Babe; he ioyes in it at first sight: and for some daies wil not abide it out of his hand or bo­some; but when hee hath sated him­selfe with the newe pleasure of that guest, hee now (after a while) casts it into Corners, forgets it, and can look vpon it, with no care: Thus do we by ours. Their first times finde vs not more fond, then carefull: we doe not more follow them with our loue, then ply them with instruction: When this delight beginnes to grow stale, we be­gin to grow negligent. Nothing that I know can be faulted in the ordering [Page 69] of Child-hood, but indulgence Foo­lish Mothers, admit of Tutors, but de­barre rods? These, while they desire their Children may learne, but not smart, as is sayde of Apes, kill theyr young ones with loue; for what can worke vpon that age, but feare? And what feare without correction? Now at last, with what measure of Learning their owne wil would vouchsafe to re­ceiue, they are too earely sent to the Common Nurseries of Knowledge; There (vnlesse they fal vnder carefull tuition) they study in iest, and play in earnest. In such vniuersal meanes of Learning, all cannot fal besides them; what their company, what their recre­ation would either instil or permit, they bring home to their gladde pa­rents. Thence are they transplanted to the Collegiate Jnnes of our common Lawes: and there too manie learne [Page 70] to be lawlesse, and to forget their for­mer little. Paules is their VVestminster, their Study, an Ordinary, or Play­house, or Dauncing Schoole; & some Lambert their Polydon. And now af­ter they haue (not without much ex­pence) learned fashions and licenti­ousnesse, they returne home, full of welcomes and gratulations. By this time some blossomes of youth appea­ring in their face, admonish their Pa­rents to seeke them some seasonable match; Wherein the Father inquires for Wealth, the Sonne for Beautie, perhappes the Mother for parentage, scarce any for Vertue, for Religion. Thus setled, What is their care, theyr discourse; yea, their Trade, but ey­ther an Hound, or an Hawke? And it is wel, if no woorse: And now, they so liue, as if they had forgotten that there were Bookes: Learning is for [Page 71] Priests, and Pedants; For Gentlemen, pleasure. Oh! that eyther wealth, or wit should bee cast away thus basely: That euer Reason should growe so debauched, as to thinke any thinge more worthy then knowledge: with what shame and emulation may wee looke vpon other Nations (whose A­pish fashions we can take vppe in the Channelles, neglecting their immita­ble examples) and with what scorn do they looke vpon vs? They haue their solemne Academies for all those qua­lities, which may accomplish Genti­lity: from which they returne richly furnished, both for action and specu­lation. They account knowledge and ability of discourse as essential to great nesse, as bloud: neither are they more aboue the vulgar in byrth, then in vn­derstanding: They trauel with iudge­ment, and return with experience: so [Page 72] do they followe the excercises of the body, that they neglect not the cul­ture of the mind. From hence growes ciuility, and power, to mannage af­fayres either of Iustice or State; From hence incouragement to learning, & reuerence from inferiors. For those onely can esteeme knowledge, which haue it; and the common sort frame either their obseruance, or contempt out of the example of their leaders.

Amongst them, the sons of Nobles scorne not, either Marchandise, or learned professions; and hate nothing so much, as to do nothing: I shame & hate to thinke, that our gallants hold there can be no disparagement, but in honest callings. Thus perhaps I haue abated the enuy of this reproofe, by cōmunicating it to more; which J had not done, but that the generality of e­uil importunes redresse. I wel see that [Page 73] either good or euil descends: In vain shall we hope for the reformation of the many, while the better are disor­dered. Whome to solicit heerein, J know not, but all: How gald should I be, to spend my light to the snuffe, for the effecting of this? I can but per­swade and pray; these I will not fayle of: The rest to him that both can amend and punish.

EPIST. VII. To Mr. Ionas Reigesbergius in Zeland.

Written some whiles since, concerning some new opinions then broached in the Churches of Holland; and vnder the name of Armi­nius (then liuing) perswading al great wits to a study and care of the common Peace of the Church, and disswading from al affect a­tion of singularity.

I Receiued lately, a short re­lation of some newe Para­doxes from your Leiden; you would know what we thinke: I feare not to be censured, as [Page 76] medling: your truth is ours: The Sea cannot deuide those Churches whom one faith vnites. I know not howe it comes to passe, that most men, while they too much affect ciuility, turne flatterers; and plaine trueth is most where counted rudenesse. Hee that tels a sicke friend he looks il, or termes an angrie tumour the Gowt, or a wa­terish swelling, Dropsy; is thought vnmannerly. For my part, I am glad that I was not borne to feed humors: How euer you take your owne euils, I must tell you, wee pittie you, and thinke you haue iust cause of deiecti­on, and we for you: not for any pri­uate cares, but (which touch a Chri­stian neerest) the Common-wealth of God. Behold, after all those hilles of carcasses, and streames of bloud, your ciuill sword is sheathed, wherein wee neither congratulate, nor feare your [Page 77] peace; lo now, insted of that, another while, the spiritual sword is drawn and shaken, & it is wel if no more. Now the politick State sits stil, the church quar­rels: Oh! the insatiable hostility of our great enemy, with what chaunge of mischiefes dooth he afflict miserable man? No sooner did the Christian world begin to breath frō persecution but it was more punished with Arria­nisine: when the red dragon cānot de­uour the child, he tries to drowne the mother; & when the waters fail, he rai­ses war. Your famous Iunius had no­thing more admirable thē his loue of peace: when our busy separatists apea­led him, with what a sweet calmnes did he reiect them, & with a graue impor­tunity cal'd thē to moderation. How it wold haue vexed his holy soule (now out of the danger of passions, to haue forseene his chaire troblesom. God forbid that [Page 78] the Church should find a challenger, instead of a Champion: Who would thinke but you should haue beene taught the benefite of peace, by the long want? but if your temporal state (besides either hope, or beleefe) hath growne wealthy with War, like those Fowles which fatten with harde wea­ther: yet be too sure, that these spiri­tual broyles, cannot but impouerish the Church; yea, affamish it. Jt were pitty that your Holland should be stil the Amphitheatre of the worlde, on whose Scaffoldes, all other Nations should sit, and see variety of bloudie shewes, not vvithout pitty, and hor­ror. Jf I might challenge ought in that your acute, and Learned Arminius; I vvould thus solicit, and coniure him: Alas! that so Wise a man should not know the vvorth of peace; that so no­ble a Sonne of the Church, shoulde [Page 77] not be brought to light, without rip­ping the wombe of his Mother! what meane these subtle Nouelties? If they make thee famous, and the Churche miserable; who shall gain by them? Is singularity so precious, that it should cost no lesse, then the safety and quiet of our common mother? If it be truth thou affectest; what alone? Coulde neuer any eyes (till thine) bee blessed with this obiect; where hath that Sa­cred verity hid her self thus long from all her carefull Inquisitors, that shee now first shewes her head to thee vn­sought? Hath the Gospel shined thus long, and bright, and left some Cor­ners vnseene? Away with all newe truths; faire and plausible they may be, sound they cannot: some may ad­mire thee for them; none shall blesse thee. But graunt that some of these, are no lesse true, then nice poyntes; [Page 78] What doe these vnseasonable Cro­chets and quauers trouble the harmo­nious plain-songs of our peace? Some quiet error may bee better then some vnruly truth. Who binds vs to speak all we thinke? So the Church may be still, would God thou wert wise alone? Did not our aduersaries quarrell e­nough before, at our quarrels? Were they not rich enough with our spoils? By the dear name of our common pa­rents, what meanest thou, Arminius? Whether tend these new-rais'd dis­sentions? Who shall thriue by them, but they which insult vpon vs, & rise by the fall of truth? who shall be vn­done, but thy Brethren? By that most precious, and bloudy ransome of our Sauiour, and by that awefull appea­rance, we shall once make before the glorious Tribunall of the son of God, remember thy selfe, and the poore di­stracted [Page 79] limbes of the Church, let not those excellent parts, wherewith God hath furnished thee, lye in the narrow way, and cause any weake one, eyther to fall, or stumble, or erre. For Gods sake, either say nothing, or the same. How many great wittes haue sought no By-paths, and now are happy with their fellowes. Let it be no disparage­ment to goe with many to heauen. What could hee reply to so playne a charge? No distinction can auoid the power of simple truth. I know hee hears not this of me first: Neither that learned and woorthy Fran. Gomarus, nor your other graue fraternity of re­uerend Diuines, haue beene silent in so mayne a cause. I feare rather too much noyse in any of these tumults: There may too many contend; not in­treat. Multitude of sutors, is com­monly powerfull; howe much more [Page 80] in iust motions, But if either hee, or you, shall turne me home, and bid me spend my little moisture vppon our owne brandes, I graunt there is both the same cause, and the same neede. This Counsell is no whit further from vs, because it is directed to you: Any Reader can chaunge the person: I la­ment to see, that euery where peace hath not many Clients, but fewer lo­uers; yea, euen many of those that praise her, follow her not. Of old, the very Nouation men, Women, Chil­dren, brought stones and morter (with the Orthodox) to the building of the Church of the Resurrection, and ioy­ned louingly with them, against the Arrians: lesser quarrels diuide vs; and euery diuision ends in blowes, and e­uery blow is returned; and none of al lightes beside the Church: Euen the best Apostles dissented; neither kno­ledge, [Page 81] nor holynesse can redresse all differences: True, but wisedome and charity could teach vs to auoyde their preiudice. If we had but these two ver­tues; quarrels should not hurt vs, nor the Church by vs: But (alas) self-loue is too strong for both these: This a­lone opens the flood-gates of dissen­tion, and drownes the sweet, but low valley of the Church. Men esteem of opinions, because their owne; & will haue truth serue, not gouerne; What they haue vnder-taken, must be true: Victory is sought for, not satisfaction; Victory of the Authour, not of the cause: Hee is a rare man that knowes to yeeld, as wel to argue: what shold we do then, but bestow our selues vp­on that which too many neglect, publicke peace; first, in Prayers that we may preuaile, then in teares that we preuaile not? Thus haue I beene [Page 82] bold to chat with you of our greatest and common cares. Your old loue, & late Hospitall entertainment in that your Island, called for this remembe­rance; the rather to keepe your Eng­lish tongue in breath, which was wont not to bee the least of your desires. Would God you could make vs hapy with newes not of Truce, but sincere amity & vnion; not of Prouinces, but spirits. The God of Spirits effect it both heere and there, to the glo­ry of his Name and Church.

EPIST. VIII. To W. I. condemned for Murder.

Effectually preparing him, and (vnder his name) whatsoeuer Malefactor, for his death.

IT is a bad cause that robbeth vs of al the comfort of friendes; yea, that turnes their remēbrance in­to sorrow. None can do so, but those that proceed from [Page 84] our selues; For outward euils, which come from the infliction of others, make vs cleaue faster to our helpers, and cause vs to seeke and finde ease in the very commisseration of those that loue vs: whereas those grieses which arise from the iust displeasure of Con­science, will not abide so much, as the memory of others affection; or if it do, makes it so much the greater cor­rasiue, as our case is more vncapeable of their comfort. Such is yours. You haue made the mention of our names tedious to your selfe, and yours to vs. This is the beginning of your payne, that you had frends: If you may now smart soundly from vs, for your good, it must be the onely ioy you must ex­pect, and the finall dutie wee owe to you. It is both vaine and comfortlesse to heare what might haue beene; nei­ther would J send you backe to what [Page 85] is past, but purposely to increase your sorrow; who haue caused al our com­fort to stand in your teares. If there­fore our former Counsailes had pre­uailed, neyther had your hands shed innocent bloude, nor Iustice yours. Now, to your great sinne, you haue done the one, and the other must be done to your paine, and we your wel­willers, with sorrow and shame liue to be witnesses of both. Your sin is gone before, the reuenge of Iustice wil fol­low: Seeing you are guilty, let GOD be iust; Other sinnes speake, this cry­eth; and will neuer be silent, till it bee answered with it selfe: For your life; the case is hopeles; feed not your selfe with vaine presumptions, but settle your selfe to expiate anothers bloude vvith your owne. Would God your desert had beene such, that we might vvith any comfort haue desired you [Page 86] might liue. But now, alas, your fact is so heynous, that your life can ney­ther bee craued without in-iustice, nor bee protracted without inwarde torment. And if our priuate affecti­on shoulde make vs deafe to the shouts of bloud, and partiality should teach vs to forget all care of publicke right, yet resolue, there is no place for hope. Since then you could not liue guiltlesse, there remaines no­thing but that you labour to dye pe­nitent; and since your bodye cannot bee saued aliue, to endeuour that your soule may bee saued in death. Wherein, howe happye shall it bee for you, if you shall yet giue care to this my last aduice; too late indeede for your recompence to the Worlde, not too late for your selfe. You haue deserued death, and expect it; Take heede least you so fasten your eyes [Page 87] vppon the first death of the body, that you should not look beyond it, to the second, which alone is worthy of trē ­bling, worthy of teares.

For this, though terrible to Na­ture, yet is common to vs, with you. You must dye: What doe wee else? And what differs our end from yours, but in hast and violence? And vvho knowes whether in that? It may bee a sickenesse as sharpe, as suddaine, shal fetch vs hence: It may bee the same death, or a worse, for a better cause: Or if not so, There is much more miserie in lingering: Hee dies easily, that dyes soone: But the other, is the vtmost vengeaunce that GOD hath reserued for his enemies: This is a matter of long feare, and short payne. A few panges lets the soule out of prison; but the Torment of that other is euerlasting; after tenne [Page 88] thousand yeares scorching in that flame, the payne is neuer the neerer to his ending. No time giues it hope of abating; yea, time hath nothing to do with this eternity. You that shall feele the paine of one minutes dying, thinke what paine it is to be dying for euer and euer. This, although it bee attended with a sharpe paine, yet is such as some strong spirits haue indu­red without shew of yeildance. I haue herd of an Irish Traitor, that when he lay pining vppon the wheele with his bones broke, asked his friend if hee changed his countenance at all: ca­ring lesse for the paine, then the shew of feare. Few men haue dyed of grea­ter paines, then others haue sustained and liue. But that other ouer-whelms both body and soule, and leaues no roome for any comfort in the possi­bility of mitigation. Heere, men are [Page 89] executioners, or diseases; there fiends. Those diuels that were ready to tempt the gracelesse vnto sinne, are as ready to follow the damned with tortures. Whatsoeuer becom of your carcasse, saue your soule from these flames: and so mannage this short time you haue to liue, that you may die but once. This is not your first sinne; yea, God hath now punnished your former sins with this: A fearefull punishment in it selfe, if it deserued no more: your cō ­science (which now beginnes to tell trueth) cannot but assure you, that there is no sinne more worthy of hell, then murder; yea, more proper to it. Turne ouer those holy leaues (which you haue too much neglected, & now smart for neglecting) you shall finde Murderers among those that are shut out from the presence of God: you shall finde the Prince of that darknes, [Page 90] in the highest stile of his mischief, ter­med a Man­slayer. Alas! how fearefull a case is this, that you haue heerein-re­sembled him, for whome Topheth was prepared of old, and imitating him in his action, haue endangered your self to partake of his tormēts. Oh, that you coulde but see what you haue done, what you haue deserued; That your heart could bleed enough within you, for the bloud your handes haue shed: That as you haue followed Satan our common enemy in sinning, so you could defye him in repenting: That your teares could disapoint his hopes of your damnation. What an happy vnhappinesse shall this be to your sad friendes, that your better part yet li­ueth? That frō an ignominious place, your soule is receyued to glory? No­thing can effect this but your Repen­tance, and that can do it. Feare not to [Page 91] looke into that horrour, which should attend your sinne, and bee now as se­uere to your selfe, as you haue beene cruell to another. Thinke not to ex­tenuate your offence with the vain Ti­tles of man-hood; what praise is this, that you were a valiaunt Murderer? Strike your owne breast (as Moses did his Rooke) and bring down Riuers of tears to wash away your bloud-shed. Do not so much feare your iudgment, as abhorre your sinne; yea, your selfe for it: And with strong cries lift vppe your guilty hands to that God whom you offended, and say: Deliuer mee from blood-guiltines O Lord. Let me tell you, as without repentance there is no hope, so with it, ther is no condemna­tion. True penitence is strong, & can grapple with the greatest sin, yea with all the powers of hell. What if your hands be red with blood? Behold, the [Page 92] blood of your Sauiour, shall wash a­way yours: If you can bath your selfe in that; your Scarlet soule shall be as white as Snow. This course alone shal make your Crosse the way to the Pa­radice of God. This plaister can heale all the sores of the foul, if neuer so de­sperate: Onely, take heede that your heart bee deepe enough pierced, ere you lay it on; else vnder a seeming skinne of dissimulation, your soule shall fester to death. Yet ioy vs vvith your true sorrowe, whome you haue grieued with your offence; & at once comfort your friends, and saue your soule.

EPIST. IX. To Mr. Iohn Mole, of a long time nowe prisoner vnder the Inquisition at Rome.

Exciting him to his wonted Constancie, and incouraging him to Martyrdome.

WHat passage can these lines hope to finde into that your straight and curious thraldome? Yet who would not aduenture the losse [Page 94] of this paines for him, which is ready to loose himself for Christ? what do we not ow to you which haue thus gi­uen your self for the cōmon faith? bles­sed be the name of that God who hath singled you out for his Champion, & made you inuincible: how famous are your bonds? How glorious your con­stancy? Oh, that out of your close ob­scurity, you could but see the honour of your suffring, the affections of Gods Saints, & in som, an holy enuy at your distressed hapines. Those wals cannot hide you: No man is attended with so many eyes from earth & heauen: The Church your Mother beholdes you, not with more compassion, then ioy: Neither can it bee sayde, how shee at once pitties your misery, and reioyces in your patience: The blessed Angels looke vpon you with gratulation and applause. The aduersaries with an an­gry [Page 95] sorrowe to see themselues ouer­come by their captiue, their obstinate cruelty ouer-matched with humble resolution, and faithfull perseuerance. Your Sauiour sees you from aboue, not as a meer spectator, but as a pati­ent with you, in you, for you; yea, as an agent in your indurance & victory, giuing new courage with the one hād, and holding out a Crowne with the other; Whom would not these sights incorage? who now can pitty your so­litarinesse? The harts of all good men are with you. Neither can that place be but full of angels, which is the con­tinuall obiect, of so many Prayers, yea the God of heauen was neuer so near you, as now ye are remooued from men. Let me speake a bold, but true worde. Jt is as possible for him to bee absent from his Heauen, as from the prisons of his Saints. The glorified spi­rits [Page 96] aboue sing to him; the persecuted soules below, suffer for him, and crie to him; he is magnified in both, pre­sent with both; the faith of the one, is as pleasing to him, as the triumph of the other; Nothing obligeth vs men so much, as smarting for vs; words of defence are woorthy of thankes, but pain is esteemed aboue recompence. How do we kisse the woundes which are taken for our sakes, and professe that we would hate our selues, if wee did not loue those that dare bleed for vs: How much more shal the God of mercies be sensible of your sorrowes, and crowne your patience? To whom you may truely sing that ditty of the Diuine Psalmist, Surely for thy sake am I slaine continually, and am counted as a Sheepe for the slaughter. What neede I to stir vp your constancy, which hath already amazed, and wearied your [Page 97] persecutors? No suspition shall driue me heereto; but rather the thirst of your praise. He that exhorts to persist in well-doing, whiles he perswades, commendeth. Whether shoulde I rather send you, then to the sight of your own Christian fortitude? which neither Prayers, nor threats, haue bin able to shake: Heere stands on the one hand, Liberty, Promotion, Pleasure, life, and (which easily exceeds al these) the deare respect of wife and children (whome your onely resolution shall make Widdow and Orphanes) these with smiles, and vowes, and teares, seeme to importune you. On the o­ther hand, bondage, solitude, horror, death (and the most lingering of all miseries) ruine of posterity: these with frowns and menaces labour to afright you: Betwixt both, you haue stoode vnmooued; fixing your eyes either [Page 98] right forward vpon the cause of your suffering, or vpwards vppon the Crowne of your reward: It is an hap­py thing when our owne actions may be either examples, or arguments of good. These blessed proceedings call you on to your perfection; The re­ward of good beginnings prosecuted, is doubled; neglected, is lost. How vaine are those temptations, vvhich (would make you a looser of all this praise; this recompence? Go on ther­fore happily; keepe your eies where they are, and your heart cannot bee, but where it is, and where it ought: Looke still, for what you suffer, & for whom: For the truth, or Christ: what can be so precious as truth? Not life it selfe. All earthly things are not so vile to life, as life to truth; Life is momen­tary, Truth eternall; Life is ours, the Truth, Gods: Oh happy purchase, to [Page 99] giue our life for the Truth. What can we suffer too much for Christ? He hath giuen our life to vs; he hath giuen his own life for vs. What great thing is it, if he require what he hath giuen vs, if ours for his? Yea, rather, if he cal for what he hath lent vs; yet not to bereue but to chaunge it; giuing vs Gold for our clay, glory for our corruption. Be­hold that Sauiour of yours weeping, & bleeding, & dying for your alas! our soules are too strait for his sorrowes; we can be made but paine for him; He was made sin for vs: we sustain for him, but the impotent anger of men, hee strugled with the infinite wrath of his Father for vs. Oh, who can endure e­nough for him, that hath passed tho­rough Death and hell for his Soule? Thinke this, and you shall resolue with Dauid, I will bee yet more vile for the Lord. The woorst of the despight [Page 100] of men, is but Death; and that, if they inflict not, a disease wil; or if not that, Age. Heere is no imposition of that which would not be but an hastening of that which will bee: An hastening, to your gaine. For behold, their vio­lence shall turne your necessity, into Vertue and profit. Nature hath made you mortall, none but an enemie can make you a Martyr; you must die, though they will not; you cannot die for Christ, but by them: How coulde they else deuise to make you happie? Since the giuer of both liues hath said, Hee that shall loose his life for my sake, shall saue it. Loe, this alone is lost with keeping, and gained by losse. Say you were freed, vppon the safest conditi­ons, and returning: (As how wel­come should that newes be, more to yours, then to your selfe.) Per­happes, death may meete you in the [Page 101] way, perhaps ouer-take you at home: neither place, nor time, can promise immunitie from the common destinie of men: Those that may abridge your houres, cannot lengthen them; and while they last, cannot secure them from vexation; yea themselues shall followe you into their dust; and can­not auoide what they can inflicte; death shal equalie tirannize by them, and ouer them: so their fauors are but fruitlesse, their malice gainefull. For, it shall change your prison into hea­uen, your Fetters into a Crown, your Iailours to Angels, your misery into glory. Looke vppe to your future e­state, and reioyce in the present: Be­holde the Tree of Life, the hidden Manna, the Scepter of Power, the Morning-Starre, the white garment, the newe name, the Crowne, and Throne of Heauen are adressed for [Page 102] you. Ouercome and enioy them: oh glorious condition of Martyrs, whom conformity in death, hath made like their Sauiour in blessednesse; whose honour is to attend him for euer, whō they haue ioyed to imitate. VVhat are these which are arayd in long white robes, and whence came they? These are (saies that Heauenly Elder) they which came out of great Tribulation, and vvashed their long Robes, and haue made their long Robes white, in the bloude of the Lambe.

Therefore they are in the presence of the Throne of GOD, and serue him day and night in the Temple: and hee that sitteth on the Throne, will dwel among them, and Gouerne them, and leade them vnto the liuelie Fountaines of wa­ters, and GOD shall wipe all teares from their eyes.

All the elect haue Seales in theyr [Page 103] fore-heades: But Martyrs haue Palme in theyr handes: All the e­lect haue White Robes; Martyrs, both white and long. White, for their Glorie, long for the largenesse of their Glorie. Once redde with theyr owne bloude; now white with the bloude of the Lambe: There is nothing in our bloude, but weake obedience; nothing but merrit in the Lambes-bloud. Behold, his me­rite makes our obedience Glorious. You doo but sprinckle his feet with your bloude; Loe, hee washes your long white Robes, with his. Euerie droppe of your bloude is answered with a streame of his; and euerie droppe of his, is woorth Riuers of ours: Precious in the sight of the Lorde, is the Death of his Saintes: Preci­ous in preuention; Precious in ac­ceptation, precious in remuneration. [Page 104] Oh, giue willingly that which you cannot keepe, that you may receyue what you cannot leese. The way is steepe, but now you breath towardes the top. Let not the want of some few steps, loose you an eternall rest. Put too the strength of your owne Fayth; The Prayers of Gods Saints shall fur­ther your pace; & that gracious hand that sustaines heauen and earth, shall vphold, and sweetly draw you vp to your glory. Go on to credite the gos­pell with your perseuerance, and shew the false-hearted Clients of that Ro­mayne-Court, that the Trueth yeildes reall and heartie professours; such as dare no lesse smart, then speake for her.

Without the wals of your restraint, where can you looke beside encou­ragements of suffering? Beholde in this, how much you are happier then [Page 105] your many predecessors. Those haue found friends, or wiues, or chil­dren, the most dangerous of al temp­ters. Suggestions of weakenes, when they com masked with loue, are more powerfull to hurt. But you, all your manie friendes, in the valour of their Christian loue, wish rather a blessed Martyr, then a liuing and prosperous reuolter: yea, your deare wife (wor­thy of this honour, to be the wife of a Martyr) preferres your faith, to her affection; and in a courage beyond hir Sex, contemnes the worst miserie of your losse; professing she woulde re­deeme your life with hirs, but that she would not redeeme it with your yeil­dance: and while shee lookes vppon those manie pawns of your chast loue, your hopefull Children, wishes ra­ther to see them fatherlesse, then their Father vnfaithfull: The greatest part [Page 106] of your sufferings are hers. She beares them with a cheerefull resolution. She diuides with you in your sorrowes, in your patience; she shall not bee diui­ded in your glory: For vs we shall ac­companie you, with our Prayers, and followe you with our thankefull commemorations; vowing to Write your name in red Letters, in the Ka­lenders of our hearts; and to Register it in the monuments of perpetual Re­cords, as an example to all posteritie, The memoriall of the iust shal bee blessed.

EPIST. X. To all Readers.

Containing Rules of good aduise for our Christian and ciuill carriage.

I Grant, Breuitie where it is ney­ther obscure nor defectiue, is very pleasing, euen to the daintist iudgments. No mar­uaile therefore, if most men desire much good coūsel in a narrow room; [Page 108] as some affect to haue great persona­ges, drawne in little Tablets, or, as we see worlds of Countreyes described in the compasse of small Mappes: Nei­ther do I vnwillingly yeild to sollowe them; for both the powers of good aduice are the stronger, when they are thus vnited; and breuitie makes counsell more portable for memorie, and readier for vse. Take these there­fore for more; which as I would faine practise, so am I willing to commend. Let vs begin with him who is the first and last: Informe your selfe aright concerning God, without whome, in vaine do we know all things: Bee ac­quainted with that Sauiour of yours, which paid so much for you on earth, and now sues for you in heauen; with­out whom, wee haue nothing to doe with God, nor he with vs. Adore him in your thoughts, trust him with your [Page 109] selfe: Renew your sight of him euerie day; and his of you: Ouer-look these earthly things, & when you do at any time cast your eyes vppon heauen, thinke, there dwels my Sauiour, there I shall be. Call your selfe to often rec­konings, cast vp your debts, paiments, graces, wants expences, imploiments, yeeld not to thinke your set Deuoti­ons troublesome: Take not easie de­nialles from your selfe; yea, giue pe­remptory denials to your selfe; Hee can neuer bee good that flatters him­selfe: hold nature to her allowaunce; and let your wil stand at curtesy: hap­py is that man, which hath obtained to be the Maister of his owne heart: Thinke all Gods outward fauors and prouisions the best for you; your own abilities, and actions the meanest. Suf­fer not your minde to bee either a Drudge or a wanton; exercise it euer, [Page 110] but ouerlay it not: In al your businesses look throgh the world, at God; what­soeuer is your leuell, let him bee your scope: Euery day take a view of your last, and thinke either it is this, or may be: Offer not your selfe either to ho­nour, or labour; let them both seeke you: Care you onely to be woorthy, and you cannot hide you from God; so frame your self to the time & com­panie, that you may neyther serue it; nor sullenly neglect it; and yeeld [...] so far, as you may neither betray good­nesse, nor countenance euil. Let your words bee few, and digested; It is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercie, much more to cast it selfe vp­on the vncertaine pardon of others eares. There are but two things which a Christian is charged to buy, and not to sell, Time and Truth; both, so pre­cious, that we must purchase them at [Page 111] anie rate. So vse your friends, as those which should be perpetuall, may bee chaungeable; while you are within yourselfe, there is no daunger: but thoughts once vttered must stande to hazard. Do not hear from your selfe, what you would be loath to hear from others. In al good thinges giue your eye and eare the ful scope, for they let into the minde; restraine the tongue, for it is a spender▪ fewe men haue re­pented them of silence: In all serious matters take counsel of daies, & nights and friends & let leasure ripen your purposes: neither hope to gain ought by suddennesse: The first thoughtes may be confident, the second are wi­ser. Serue honestie euer, though with­out apparant wages: she wil pay sure, if slow: As in apparell, so in actions, know not what is good, but what be­comes you: how manie warrantable [Page 112] acts haue mishapen the Authors. Ex­cuse not your owne ill, aggrauate not others: and if you loue peace, auoide Censures, comparisons, contradicti­ons: out of good men chuse acquain­tance, of acquaintance, friends, of friends; familiars▪ after probacion ad­mit them, & af [...]e [...] admittance cha [...]ge them not. Age commendeth friend­ship. Do not alwayes your best; it is neither wise, nor safe for a man euer to stand vpon the top of his strength▪ If you would be aboue the expectation of others [...] your selfe. [...] after your p [...]; not after your minde▪ [...] To where you may deny; except vpon Confidence of de­ [...], or hope to require▪ Eyther fre­quent [...]li [...]s, or complaints, are weari­some to any friende: Rather smother your griefes and wantes a [...] you may, then be either querulous, or impor­tunate. [Page 113] Let not your face belye your heart, nor alwaies tell tales out of it; he is fit to liue amongst frends or eni­mies, that can be ingenuously close: Giue freely, sell thriftily: Change sel­dome your place, neuer your state: either [...] conueniences, or swal­low them, rather theen you should run from your selfe to auoide them.

In al your reckonings for the world, cast vp some crosses that appeare not; either those will come, or may: Let your suspicions bee charitable; your trust fearfull▪ your censures sure, Giue way to the anger of the great: The Thunder and Cannon will abide no fence. As in throngs we are affraid of losse; so while the world comes vpon you, look wel to your soule; There is more danger in good, then in euil: I fear the number of these my rules; for Precepts are wont (as nayles) to driue [Page 114] out one another: but these, intended to scatter amongest many: and I was loath that anie guest should complain of a niggardly hand; Daintie Dishes are woont to be sparingly serued out; homely ones, supply in their big­nesse, what they want in their worth.


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