THE Strong Helper, OFFERING TO BEARE EVERY MANS BVRTHEN.

OR,

A TREATISE, TEACHING in all troubles how to cast our burden vpon God: but chiefly deliuering infallible grounds of comfort for quieting of trou­bled consciences.

By IOHN HAIVVARD.

The second Edition, corrected and inlarged.

PSAL. 31. 22.
Though I said in my haste, I am cast out of thy sight, yet thou heardest the voice of my praier▪ when I cried vnto thee.
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¶ Imprinted at London by IOHN BEAL [...], for William Welby. 1614.

TO THE VVOR. shipfull and his most kind and louing friends, Master Israel Owen, and Mis. Bath­shaba Owen his wife.

IN the first publicati­on of this Treatise (the argument whereof is more agreeable to the hungry desires of a troubled soule, then to the dainty appetite of them that seeke to haue their [Page] eares delighted with fine inuention) I commended it to none, but vnto such as had the only neede thereof; euen to them that are weary and laden, which grone vnder that bur­den, whereof none can ease them, but only he that beareth vp all things by his mighty word. Heb. 13. And healeth those that are broken in heart, and giueth me­dicine to heale their sicknesse. Psal. 147. 3.

At this second edition I haue been bold to publish it vnder your Worships name, not that I haue a­ny higher conceit of it now, then at the first; to thinke it now worthier, then at that time, to beare it in the forehead thereof thename of any [Page] worshipfull patron. For though it bee in some places altered, and in some enlarged: yet our bookes grow not vnder our hands, as our chil­dren doe, to become fairer, stronger, and wiser by continuance of yeeres: but they retaine (with little alte­ration) their first proportion and members. And this little booke, as it was at the first, so it remaineth no other, then a knitting together (in one continud discourse) of those obseruations, which in my publike exercise I deliuered in many Ser [...] mons, when I intreated of that text of Scripture, which I haue put downe in the beginning as the argu­ment of the whole worke.

But finding my selfe inde bted [Page] vnto your loue, in a greater mea­sure then I am able to make satis­faction for (which loue of yours to me hath continued now aboue twenty yeeres, and aboue all other proofes thereof, hath lately decla­red it selfe in a most free and kinde offer of extraordinary fauour) I haue been bold in this dedication to testifie vnto you. as I was able, my thankefull heart, which is the best recompence that my weake estate is able to affoord. And with this little booke which I offer vnto your Worshippes I offer vnto Almighty God, my most hearty praiers, that the father of mercy, & God of all consolations, will euer continue vnto you, and your poste­rity, [Page] the abundance of his grace, both for a long and happy life in this world, and for a seasonable and christian departure hence, that af­ter your yeeres bee compleate on earth, you may raigne with Christ for euer in Heauen. From my house in Wool­church this thirteenth of Nouember. 1613.

Your Worships wel-willer Iohn Hayward.

To him that is wearie and laden.

SALOMON in the Prouerbs affirmeth, that he that is full despiseth a hunnie combe. And one wiser then Salomon telleth vs in the Gospell, that the whole haue no neede of the Phisition: Idlely therefore should I offer my labour in this treatise to them that are full, and liue at ease, who bearing no burden, or in their strength not feeling what they beare, would reiect my offer as a mocke, & say vnto me, Brach ia da lasso potius pren­denda natanti, offer your hand to him that is ready to sinke in the sloud, we haue [Page] no neede, we sit safe vpon the shore.

If these mens securitie be sound, I wish it may be durable vnto them: and as they haue no desire vnto, so I wish they may neuer stand in neede of the counsell conteined in this booke: this I wish them out of loue, though (out of iudgement) e know, if they belong to Christ, the tim will come, when they must beare a crosse, and follow him.

But with hope of better acceptation, I offer my counsell here following vnto thee, that see [...]est the burden that thou bearest, and gronest vnder the burden that thou feelest. Salomon in the fore­named place telleth vs, that to the hun­gry soule euery bitter thing is sweete And the Lord Iesus affirmeth the sicke to stand in neede of the Phisitions helpe. Thy burden maketh thee as fainting la­bourer to long for releese, and the crumes of Gods mercy, easing thy ouercharged soule, would be acceptable to thee: and the paine of thy diseased spirit, more [Page] sicke of thy tentation, then of a burning feauer, maketh thee desirous of the Phi­sions helpe, thou criest in thy griefe, Re­bus succurrite lesis, helpe my greeued estate, and the offer and assurance of helpe and health cannot but bee ioyfull vnto thee.

If thy greefe and wearines be occasi­oned, by any troubles of this life, if it grow from any secular & worldly cause, I haue reduced all such burdens vnto fower heades. Because either it is some want in our worldly estate, which com­monly is the burden and trouble of the multitude: or, if wee bee that way well stored, it is some trouble domesticall and neare vnto vs, either in our selues or in our house habitation or kinred▪ or if we haue peace in our habitation, ioy in our kinred, friends and seruants, with life and health as we desire, then there is some more remoued person, or more re­moued accident, that is the cause of greese care and feare vnto vs: or [...]f a­broad [Page] aswell as at home, and among strangers aswell as among friends and neighbours, we liue without disturbance, yet we often finde difficulties in the du­ties of our callings, or we meete with op­positions, and are wronged with mista­kings, & are euill rewarded for our well deseruing. Within the compasse of one of these foure heads fall all such secular and worldly burdens, and in the first place, I haue giuen aduice concerning these: perhaps not altogether such as some wise men, well seene and traded in worldly causes would giue, but surely such as an honest man should giue, and such as he must obserue, that looketh to obtaine ease and helpe from God.

If thy trouble and greefe be of another kinde, if thy burden be spirituall, and t [...]e whole busines lieth more directly be­tweene God and thee, and either as an honest man thou art greeued that thou canst not serue him as thou shouldest, or so humbled that thou art greeued that thou [Page] hast sinned against him as thou shouldest not, and fearest punishment for that sin: these troubles I haue reduced to two heades, for either the lustes of our flesh fighting against our soules, doe crosse vs in the waies of trueth and righteousnes, so that we cannot doe the good we would, and the euill we woud not, that we doe: and our desires being as the desires of the children of light, our deedes become as the deedes of the sonnes of darknes. Or else, hauing in time of our securitie, giuen way vnto our owne lusts, vnto the worlds allurements, and to Satans temptations, our sinnes are called to remembrance, are set in order against vs, with full mani­festation of the wickednes of them, & of all that wrath that they haue kindled ni heauen, and of all that punishment that they haue deserued in hell, to the incre­dible terror of our conscience. Vnder these two heades of the lustes of the flesh, and accusing thoughts, of the dominion [Page] of sinne, and the reward of sinne, fall all those spirituall burdens, that are heauie to the honest minde and to the humbled spirit. And of these I haue giuen aduice in the second place, that if it happen to be last learned, yet it may be longest remem­bred.

And because the burden of accusing thoughts is euen as the gates of hell: for it is true that Saint Gregorie saith. In­ter multiples humanae animae tribu­lationes, among the manifold tribu­lations of the soule of man, and the in­numberable troubles of afflictions, Nulla est maior quam conscienti [...] delicto­rum, there is none greater then the conscience of our sinnes. (Hee might haue said, none like it, none equall vnto it) for in other troubles, which are in a sort without vs, and striue to breake in vpon the heart, the troubled man (saith Gregorie) Ingressus in interiora mentis penetrali [...], entering in into [Page] the closet of his heart, there calleth vpon God where no man seeth: yea also he shutteth the dore of his heart against these assailing troubles, & keepeth peace within. But malae conscientiae tribu­lationem perferens, in arcano cordis, deum non inuenit: He that indureth this tribulation of an euill consci­ence, of a wounded conscience still accu­sing, findeth not God in the secret of his heart, hath not that free, as a retiring place, where quietly he may conser with God: but the plague beginneth within his heart, and the fire is kindled in the mouth of the spring, where the liuing waters of comfort should flow.

Therefore in that argument I haue laboured to be more full, and not onely in a direct path haue led the afflicted sinner to see his sinne to bee pardonable, and himselfe to be allowed, yea comman­ded to craue forgiuenes of it, and God also bound by promise to grant it: which [Page] he will doe, and (hauing promised) can­not denie to doe, if we seeke it aright and may doe without any impeachment of his holy and seuere iustice, hauing receiu [...]d full satisfaction in the death and sacrifice of his Sonne. But because the old serpent is subtile, and the poore sinner is weake, and that cunning craftsmaster of all ten­tations and snares, doeth sophistically frame many dangerous arguments, and putteth them into the minde and mouth of the affrighted and distempered sinner, making him ouer wittie to disclaime his part in God, and his inheritance in hea­uen: and ouer confident in his feare, and ouer resolute in his doubting, so to driue him (if it might bee, and which the diuel doeth most desire) into finall despaire; therefore haue I at large answered those arguments out of the word of God, and with the sword of the spirit I haue eat a­sunder the cords of those snaring obiecti­ons, which the enemie had bound more [Page] fast and close then were the cordes of Gordius: and [...] haue indeuoured to doe this in a plaine and familiar stile.

Others dedicate their workes to hono­rable patrons, because they are worthy of honorable patronage: I haue no such opi­nion of mine, I offer my labour, as a lou­ing seruice vnto thee. They seeke a de­fender, I seeke a reader: not one to coun­tenance or commend what is written, but one that might profit by that which I haue written: and therefore I present it to thee, that art wearie and laden, to­gether with my heartie praier vnto God for thee, that it may be (by Gods bles­sing) a meanes of thy refreshing: intrea­ting thee to read it thorough: & againe to read all that part that concerneth the last burden which is the burden of accu­sing thoughts, to thee the most heauie. Learne thou to depend vpon God▪ to feare him, and to abstaine from sin [...]e, & he will be vnto thee a Father of mer­cy [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] and a God of comfort. Vnto whose mercy in Iesus Christ I commend thee, taking my leaue this 21. of Ianuary. From my house in Wool-church in London.

Thine in the Lord IOHN HAIVVARD.

The Contents of the seuerall Chapters of this booke.

  • THE first Chapter sheweth the context. And diui­deth the text. pag. 1.
  • 2 The second Chapter ma­keth obseruation from the person instructing. pag 3.
  • 3 The third Chapter maketh obseruation from the person instructed. pag. 6.
  • 4 The fourth Chapter diuideth the instruction into a precept and a promise: and in the pre­cept sheweth what is ment by the name of bur­den, and setteth downe the seuerall sorts of burdens. pag. 9
  • 5 The fift Chapter teacheth what it is to cast our burden vpon God in generall rules, without reference to any particular sort of burdens. pag 21.
  • 6 The sixt Chapter giueth warning of two par­ticular sorts of burdens that must not be cast vpon God. pag. 31.
  • 7 Our burdens to be cast vpon God being some secular, some spirituall. The seuenth Chapter [Page] teacheth how to cast the first secular burden of worldly cares and want of things necessarie vpon God. pag. 36.
  • 8 The eight Chapter teacheth generall rules how to cast the second secular burden of do­mesticall troubles vpon God. pag. 52.
  • 9 The ninth Chapter teacheth particular rules for the casting of particular domesticall trou­bles vp [...]n God. pag. 71.
  • 10 The tenth Chapter teacheth how to cast the third secular burden of troubles more remote vpon God pag. 123.
  • 11 The eleuenth Chapter teacheth how to cast the fourth and last burden of secular troubles, which is the difficulties of our callings vpon God. pag 140.
  • 12 The spirituall burdens ar [...] either the rebelling lustes of the flesh, the honest mans burden, or accusing thoughts breeding terrors of consci­ence, the humbled mans burden. The twelfe Chapter teacheth how to cast the burden of re­belling lustes vpon God. pag. 152
  • 13 The thirtenth Chapter beginning with accu­sing thoughts▪ if the sinner be charged in a ge­nerall & confused manner, with an euill heart, teaching how to seeke ease by casting that burden vpon God. pag. 172.
  • 14 If the sinner be charged with particular sinnes and findes them done in the time of his igno­rance, the [...] Chapter teacheth him how to seeke ease by casting that burden vpon God. pag. 189.
  • 15 If his particular sinne were committed against his knowledge, but either the sodaine tentati­on [Page] gaue him no time to consider, or the vio­lent tentation left him no power to resist, the fifteenth Chapter teacheth how to seeke ease by casting this burden vpon God. pag. 197.
  • 16 If his particular sinne were committed with full consent of will, the sixteenth Chapter teacheth how to obtaine ease by casting this burden vpon God, because onely the sinne against the Holy Ghost is vnpardonable. And his sinne is proued not to be that sinne, where­of God neuer giueth repentance, and there­fore neuer forgiueth it. pag. 208.
  • 17 Hence follow obiections made by his troubled minde And first he obiecteth that his sinne comes so neere that vnpardonable sinne, that the angry eie of heauen can se no difference: and though his sinne be pardonable, yet it is punishable: and lesse sinnes then his are pu­nished therefore why not his. The seauen­teenth Chapter answereth this obiection. pag 225.
  • 18 His second obiection is, the iustice of heauen cannot suffer such sinne as his to passe vnpu­nished: and the holines of heauen will not admit such sinners as hee to enter. The eigh­teenth Chapter answereth this obiection. And addeth incouragements from the pro­mise of God and commandement of Christ. pag 234
  • 19 His third obiection is against Christs com­mandement, as not pertaining to him, he may not aske forgiuenes of sinnes, because he can­not call God his father. The nineteenth Chapter answereth this obiection. pag. 247.
  • [Page]20 His fourth obiection is against Gods promise as not pertaining to him, because it was Gods couenant with the house of Israell, and he is no Israelite, neither after the [...] or after the promise. The twenieth Chapter answer­eth this obiection. pag 264.
  • 21 His fift obiection is, notwithstanding Christs commandement to aske, and Gods promise to grant forgiuenes yet ma [...]y perish therefore why not he? The [...]ne & twentieth chapter an­swereth this obi [...]ction, shewing the conditions of obtaining forgiuenes to be repentant to­ward God, faith in Christ, and charitie [...]oward our brethren. pag. 275.
  • 22 His sixt obiection is; There is in him neither re­pentance nor faith nor loue. The two and twentieth chapter answereth this obiection. pag 302.
  • 23 His seuenth obiection i [...]; His heart is euen full of all euill thoughts If they ri [...]e out of his owne heart, it is incurably euill, [...]f the diuel thrusts them in, his heart is irrecouerable in the deuils power. The three and twentieth chapter answereth this obiection. pag. 312.
  • 24 His eight obiection is this; The law [...]f God curseth [...], hee is a transgressor, therefore by the law of God accur [...]ed, the foure and twentieth chapter answereth this obiection. pag. 330.
  • 25 His ninth obiection is, He cannot pray, & al­ledgeth many impediments. The fiue & twen­tieth chap. answereth this obiection. pag. 340.
  • 26 His tenth obiection in an extreame fit of his disease is this; He is forsaken o [...] G [...]d, hee is a [Page] child of perdition and lost, and he is a repro­bate The six & twentieth chapter answereth this obiection. pag 368.
  • 27 His eleuenth obiection is the h [...]ight of dis­paire. He saith he must and will di [...], and must and will be the instrument of his owne death, and alledgeth reasons for it, some to proue from the iustice of the fact, some from the ad­uentage. The seuen and twentieth chapter, in answere to the obiection, sheweth the foule­nes of the fact. pag. 421.
  • 28 The eight and twentieth chapter examineth and answereth his reasons, both for the sup­posed iustice & for the supposed aduantage of the fact, shewing their weakenes and errour. pag. 468.
  • 29 Being driuen from his desperate resolution, he maketh [...] twelfth obiection from his vn­worthines of life, and of the comforts of life, concluding that hee must and will abstaine from them. The nine and twentieth chapter an [...]wereth thi [...] obiection. pag. 517.
  • 30 A thir [...]eenth obiection is from the [...]eare of death, that either he shall die before this ten­ [...]ation be ouercome, or that it will be renew­ed after death, as in the proper place, for then sinnes are brought to iudgement. The thirti­eth chapter answereth this obi [...]ction pag. 533
  • 31 A fourteenth obiection is a matter of discom­fort, namely, that all things that minister de­light and comfort to others, are vnto him mingled with griefe and feare. The one and thirtieth chapter answer [...]th this obi [...]ction and conuerteth the precept. pag. 559.
  • [Page]32 The two and thirtieth chapter beginneth the promise pronounced in words answer able to his owne presen [...] estate. pag. 569.
  • 33 The three and thirtieth chapter handleth the first part of the promise in these words he will nourish thee. pag 578.
  • 24 The fower [...]nd thirtieth chapter beginneth the second part of the promise in these words. He will not suff [...]r [...]he r [...]ghteous to fall for euer, Mens falles are here shewed to be either into sinne or into m [...]serie, and this chapter sheweth that God will not suffer the righteous when they fall into sin, to lie in it for euer. pag.
  • 35 The fiue and thirtieth chapter sheweth that God will not suffer the righteous when they are [...]allen into miserie either inward or out­ward, to lie in it for euer. pag.
  • 36 The six and thirtieth chapter gathereth the conclusion of all the whole treatise. pag.

Faults escaped in Printing.

P [...]g. 19▪ line. 7 read wight. p. 23. l. 13. r. you. p. 54. l. 12 for & r. 2 [...] p. 84. l. 8. [...]. their burdē. p. 88. l. 17. 1. f [...]r mat man. p 89 l. 23 r. b [...] by the. p. 9 [...]. l. 5. r. Aramite. p. [...]04. l. 12 r▪ no meat [...] and l▪ 13 [...]. no drinke and l. [...]7. r. [...]rieue. p. 105. l. 1 [...]. r. repen­tance. p 139. l. 8 r trieth. p. 141. l. 15. r offices. p. 1 [...]2. l. 26. r. to [...] p. 153 l. 6. fo [...] troubles. r. burdens. p. 160. l. 25. r. pnt [...]eth. p 164 l. 6. r [...]. p. 172. l. 12. r. muster master. p. 1 [...]3. l 2. 6 r. louing. p 20 [...]. l 25. for that. r. no constancie. p. 225. l. 14 r. to shew for. p. 2 [...]8. l. 13. r. but l. p. 290. l. 1 [...]. r. budding p. 315. l. 20. r. deriued. p. 320. l. 12. r had couered. p. [...]. l. 2 [...]. [...]. sc [...]uethe. p 367▪ l. 13. r. and of th [...]. p▪ 36 [...]. l 12. [...]. thou knowell whereof. p. 392 l. 27. r and serue him. p 424 l. [...]. r d [...]agon p. 427. l. 2 [...] r. in min [...] hurt. p. 428. l. 3. [...]. they [...]ocke th [...]m. p. 432. l. 28. r. coniecture vnto me p. 436. l. 8. r. pe [...]secu eth. p. 442. l. 23. r. pas [...]ibus. p. 457. l. [...]. r. limme. p. 465. l. 11. r. arts. p. 48 [...]. l. 20. r. h [...] receaueth p. 490. l. 11. r. cut of p. 502. l. 16. r. vnexpected. p. 527▪ l. 15. r. idl [...]e. p. 560. l. 13 r. without content.

Other letterall faults good gentle reader beare withall.

THE STRONG HELPER.

PSAL. 5 [...]. 22.‘Cast thy burden vpon the Lord, and hee shall nourish thee: he will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer.’

CHAP. 1.

THE violence of Saul and [...]nuy of his courtiers hadThe con­text. bred vnto Dauid trouble and danger. This trouble and danger had affrigh­ted his mind, so that trembling feare and horror oppressed his heart, as ap­peareth in the first eight verses of this Psalme.

His trembling feare and horror made him [...]e vnto God, before whom he complaineth of the most perfidious [Page 2] falsehood of his enemies; and at the hands of God he craueth (in iustice) their death and destruction. This appea­reth in the next seauen verses of the Psalme.

By this time his mind is somewhat calmed, hauing vented his griefe into the bosome of God, and therfore from the beginning of the sixteenth verse he speketh in another temper, partly pro­fessing his owne comfort, and faith (whereto euen the falshood of his ene­mies, detestable before God, gaue some strength) and partly instructing others how, in like assault of trouble, they may grow vnto like comfort.

He professeth his owne recoueredWhat is in the text comfort in all these verses, beginning with the sixteenth, to the end of the Psalme (my text excepted) and he in­structeth others in my text.

Those whom he instructeth are such as himselfe lately was, namely men o­uercharged with some heauy burthen.

The instruction that he giueth them is the same that he followed himselfe when he was burdened, namely, by faith and praier to turne the burden [Page 3] vpon the shoulders of God; in these words, Cast thy burden vpon the Lord.

The successe that he promiseth them (obseruing his instruction) is the same that he found himselfe, namely reliefe helpe and deliuerance from God in these words, And he shal nourish thee: he wil not suffer the righteous to fal for euer.

Some profitable obseruations may be drawen from the persons, instru­cting and instructed: and some from the instruction it selfe. These things shall be handled in order.

CHAP. 2.

THe person instructing decla­rethObserua­tion from person in­structing. true charity, seeking to further others in obtaining mercy, as he (before) had been furthered himselfe, according to a good rule of our blessed sauiour, gi­uen in word to Peter, but recorded in writing for all. When thou art conuerted strengthen thy brethren. That is, whenLuk. 22. 3 [...] thou hast found fauour with God, teach others the way how so to seeke, that they also may find the same: and [Page 4] in all things impart vnto others the good that hath been imparted to thee.

He that escaped a danger in the way, will he not giue warning to his neigh­bour that is to trauell the same way? and he that hath recouered health by any good meanes, will he not in his neighbours sicknesse, acquaint him with the meanes for his recouery? cer­tainly an honest man will.

This rule should be kept in al things, but especially in the best things: when thou hast learned the truth, seeke to recouer thy brother out of error: when thou hast obtained grace to amend thy waies, seeke to recouer thy brother out of the bands of sinne: and when thou hast won true comfort of heart, vnto thy selfe, helpe to settle the peace of thy brothers conscience.

Andrew hauing found Iesus brought his brother Simon to him. Philip ha­uing found him brought Nathaniell to him. And the woman of Sichar ha­uing found the Messias, called her [...] [...]129. neighbours saying, Come see a man that hath told me all things that euer I did▪ is not he the Christi▪ When thou hast [Page 5] found God, yea rather hast bin found of God in any mercy shewed vnto thee, teach thy brother how to goe foorth to seek the Lord, that he also may find him and be found of him.

For no man receiueth any blessing of God for his sole priuate vse, but that he should communicate the same to others It is a good saying of Chrysostome; It Hom. 10. in 1. Corin. in [...]rali. belongeth to him that receiueth, to commu­nicate his good to others: and hee proo­ueth it by the members of the body, that communicate their faculties to the whole body, and turne priuate possession into publike vse: and by the professors of arts and sciences that communicate their skill and worke vnto others. And he doubteth not to affirme that who­soeuer refuseth to communicate the skill and blessing whatsoeuer, that he possesseth, to the benefit of others, hur­teth, yea destroieth both himselfe and others. Study therefore to make com­mō the mercy shewed to thee. This doth Dauid hauing found comfort by tur­ning his griefe vpon God, he teacheth others to doe the like. Thus much of the person instructing.

CHAP. 3.

THE person instructed is de­cipheredObserua­tion from per [...]on in­structed. by his condition, intimated in the name of bur­den, when he saith, Cast thy burden: namely the man that in his soule is ouercharged with griefes and cares and feares, as with a heauy burden: such as the Lord speaketh vnto in the Gos­pell,Mat. 11. 28 saying, Come vnto me all ye that are weary and laden, and I will refresh you. If a burden be heauy it ladeth, if it lie long vpon vs, i [...] wearieth: to men so laden and wearied, the Lord Iesus offereth comfort. And vnto the same men, to pre­uent ouerlading and wearinesse, as also to procure their ease that are ouerladen and wearied, Dauid giueth this instru­ction. Cast thy burthen vpon the Lord, and he shall nourish thee. &c.

Of men so burdened here are wee taught, to haue compassion, and to labor by counsell and all good meanes to pro­cure their comfort and ease. Thereto pertaines that precept of God, Comfort Esai. 40. 1. yee, comfort yee my people, will your God [Page 7] say: Speake comfortably to Ierusalem, (in the Hebrew it is speake to the heart of Ierusalem: Which phrase S. Ierome thus interpreteth He that speaketh to him that Ier [...]n▪ in Esai 40. mourneth, and is vnto him a pleasing com­forter, he speaketh to his heart,) and crie vnto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath receiued of the Lords hand double for all her sinnes. So that when God hath hum­bled his people by any crosse, that for the correction of their sinnes he laid vp­on them, his compassion presently moo­ueth, and he pittieth them, as if they had borne twise more then they deserued: and thenceforth he commandeth al men that regard his voice, to comfort them with all good words, and to assure them of his fauour. Yea to speake vnto their heart, that is, all such words as may minister comfort to their hearts.

The Apostle Paul giueth a like charge vnto vs, saying, Comfort the feeble min­ded. 1. Thes. 5. And most excellently in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Remember them that are Heb. 13. 3. in bands, as if yee were bound with them: and them that are in affliction, as if ye also were afflicted in the body. We should e­steem [Page 8] the afflictions of others as our own afflictions, & take vpon vs in com­passion that which they sustaine in pas­sion. And both in our inward affection, and outward diligence we should study and worke their releefe, as we should study and worke our owne.

For we are all of the same kind, con­dition, and quality: and nothing is be­fallen them, that may not quickly fall vpon vs: also we are, & should acknow­ledge our selues to be members of the same body, whose property (if they be neither dead, nor diuided from the bo­dy) is to feele the affliction of their fel­low members, and diligently to seeke their reliefe. But especially finding God to be rich in mercy to vs, and euen a fa­ther of consolation, we should be mer­cifull as our heauenly father is merci­full, and should study to comfort them whom the God of all consolation lo­ueth.

It is the precious vse that God doth giue vs of good mens company in this life, and it is the thing wherein good men doe prooue themselues to be such, when they with the balme of comfor­table [Page 9] words heale the wounds of our grieued soules. It is the saying of S. Au­stin: Good men euen in this life affoord vs Aug. epist. 121. cap. 1. no small comforts: for if pouerty pinch vs, if sorrow make vs sad, if paine in our body afflict vs, if banishment or any calamity vex vs, if good men be present, which know how to reioyce with them that reioice, and to weepe with them that weepe, and in con­ference to speake healthful things vnto vs, those sharpe things are made maruellously gentle, those heauy things are made easie, and those aduersities are borne and ouer­come. For in a good man that hath bow­els of cōpassion, it is most true, that one saith, aegrotanti animo medicus est oratio, his words will heale a grieued mind. Thus much of the person instructed.

CHAP. 4.

NOw we come to the instru­ction.Instructiō. Cast thy burden vpon the Lord and he shall nourish thee: he will not suffer the Parts of the text a precept, and a promise. righteous to fall for euer.

This instruction consisteth of two parts, the first is a precept of aduice, the [Page 10] second is a promise of recompence. The precept is in these words, Cast thy bur­den vpon the Lord: The promise is in the rest, and he shall nourish thee: he will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. This promise giueth assurance of mercy from God according to our want and desire: and the precept directeth vs a sure course to seeke and speed of that wanting and desired helpe.

In the precept, Cast thy burden vpon the Lord: for the better vnderstandingIn the precept▪ thereof, it will be good to consider, first what this burden is, secondly what it is to cast this burden vpon God. These things vnderstood, the precept is vnder­stood.

The name of a burden is familiar:What bur­den means many poore men liue by bearing bur­dens, and know wel the meaning of that name, when they feele the waight vpon their shoulders. But here it is vsed in a borrowed sence, for any thing that is heauy to the mind, breeding feare care and griefe: of which burdens there is great plenty in the world: and euery man high and low, at one time or other, is faine to play the porter, and beare [Page 11] some of these burdens, some more hea­uy and some more easie, but euery man some.

For order sake we may endeauour to bring these burdens vnto certaine heads, vnder which, if not all (for this fruitfull world breedeth new burdens daily) yet the most may be comprehended.

And because in some of these burdens we haue immediatly and at the next hand to doe with worldly matters, and with men, in things belonging to this life: in others we haue immediatly and at the next hand to doe with spirituall matters, and God himselfe, in things belonging to our soules, and the life toBurdens secular & spirituall. come, therefore I will diuide them into secular and spirituall burdens.

The secular burdens shall againe beFirst secu­lar world­ly cares. reduced to fower rankes, whereof the first shall be the burden of worldly cares, when a mans charge is great and his maintenance small, and he taketh care how to pay his debt, how to get meat and clothes, and other necessaries for him and his; which burden is made hea­uy vpon vs▪ sometime by the immediate hand of God, sending times of dearth, [Page 12] and losses by fire and water, and other waies: sometime by other men, as by oppressors, deceiuers, theeues, bad deb­tors, false seruants, and riotous chil­dren: sometime it is increased▪ by our owne fault, through idlenesse, through plaie, through foolish bargains, through daintinesse of fare, costly apparell, and other courses of riot. And this burden may be called the burden of the multi­tude.

The second ranke shall be of domesti­call Secondly, secular domestical troubles. troubles, either in thy selfe, thy fami­ly, thy kindred, or thy habitation. For where there is wealth at will, and that way no cause of care, yet Iob may lan­guish being full of diseases, Dauid may haue a scornfull Michol to his wife, A­bigail may haue a churlish Nabal to her husband, Rahel may mourn for her chil­dren because they are not, the sonne may be riotous and disobedient, the daugh­ter may be dishonest, and between Am­aon, Absolon, and Thamar, the father of the family may haue griefe enough: ser­uants may be vnfaithfull, and perhaps maintaine factions, thy kindred may be vnkind, or fall into some calamity, and [Page 13] thy next neighbour may bee thy neare and great enemy, or thy house may bee visited with sickenesse, so that thy trou­ble shall breed euen in the nest of thy rest, in thine house, at thy table, in thy bed, and in thy bones, and there, and from thence shall thy vexation grow, where, and from whence thou didst pro­mise thy selfe comfort.

A third rank of these burdens shall beThirdly, secular more re­mote troubles. troubles more remote, growing from e­nemies and occasions further of. For many men haue peace at home, ioy in their obedient and louing wiues, com­fort in their dutifull and sober children, content in their trusty and faithfull ser­uants, and sweet fellowship with their kind neighbours, so that their home and habitation is their happy paradise: and yet their▪ estate may be vndermined, by oppressors and deceiuers, their names may be disgraced by liers and slande­rers, and their liues brought into dan­ger, by blood thirsty and malicious ene­mies: and they touched with the cala­mitiesFourthly, secular difficulties of our calling. of their brethren abroad.

A fourth ranke of these burdens shall be the difficulties following the duties of [Page 14] our callings. For though it be our honor and our crowne to performe the duties of our callings, yet they grow diuersly to be burdens vnto vs: sometime when more is required at our hands then wee are able to performe, either by the fault of other men, when we are called vnto publique seruices, before we be [...]ipe and fit for them: or by our owne great fault, when we, either couetously or ambiti­ously, intrude into callings, that we are insufficient for, seeking the reward and honor of the place, without regard of the seruice to be done in it. Sometime we are sufficient, and also painfull, and yet either God denieth successe, to ex­ercise vs therby, or men oppose against vs, as Elimas did against the preaching of Paul. Sometime men are sufficient, diligent, and effect the seruice laudably, but enuious men misinterpret and mis­report their doings, as the Pharisies did the workes of our Lord Iesus Christ, and in stead of praise they are rebuked and reprooued, and in stead of deserued and expected reward they are in danger of punishment. In all these cases the duties of our callings in themselues honorable, [Page 15] yet become heauy burdens vnto vs. Vn­der these foure heads I suppose all secu­lar and worldly burdens may be com­prehended.

There are other burthens, wherein we haue to doe immediatly with God, in things that belong to piety, to peace of conscience, & to the life to come. Those may be reduced to two heads. The first1. Spiritua sinfull lusts. head and ranke of these burdens, are our sinfull lusts, our inbred corruptions, and infirmities, and the law of sinne in our members rebelling against the lawe of our mind, whereby it commeth to passe, that euen the best regenerate man, that feareth God, and loueth righteousnesse, that hath both his vnderstāding enlight­ned & his will sanctified, so that he wan­teth neither knowledge, zeale, nor hu­mility, yet can neither doe the good, that gladly he would, nor leaue vndone the euill that his soule abhorreth. This is no smal burden to the man that wold please God, and doe his dutie, that hee becomes his owne troubler against his owne will, and crosseth himselfe by cor­ruption, in that wherein he taketh plea­sure by sanctification. This made Paul [Page 16] the Apostle to crie out in these words, O wretched man that I am who shall deliuer Rom. 7. 24. me from this body of death? It was death to him that such corruption was so pre­ualent in his fraile body. And in another place he calleth the same law of sinne, a pricke in the flesh, the messenger of satan to 2 Cor. 12. 7 buffet him; because it was euer seruice­able to satan, and armed his hand against the holy feruant of God, so that whenso­euer the Apostle did set his heart to doe well, the diuell did beat him with the weapons of his owne corruption. This is no small burden to an honest minded man.

The second ranke of these spirituall burdens are accusing thoughts, checkes2. Spiritu­al accusing thoughts. and terrors of conscience, the worme in thy bosome gnawing thine heart. This burden often followeth the former, as Zophar speaketh, When wickednesse was Iob. [...]0. 12. sweet in his mouth, he hid it vnder his tongue, and fauoured it, and would not for­sake it, but kept it close in his mouth: then his meat in his bowels was turned, the gal of aspes was in the middest of him. That is, at first, sinne in the committing of it is sweet, as ratsbane & poison often is, [Page 17] goeth downe merrily, and is meate and drinke to the sinner, and he can not bee wonne from it, because it is his delight: but at last the time commeth according to the saying of God in the Psalme, I wil Psal. 50. 21 reprooue thee, and set them, (that is thy sinnes) in order before thee. According to this saying, God mustereth his sinnes together, and presenteth a view of them before the soule of the sinner: where the diuell as a great officer in that campe, setteth them forth in their colours, that al the contempt of God and of his com­mandements, all their vnthankfulnesse, and forgetfulnesse of their duty, all the violence, filthinesse, fury and disorder that accompanied their sinnes, appea­reth fresh to the sinners vnderstanding: and what wrathin heauen, what shame on earth, and fire in hell, he hath made himselfe worthy of, and must now looke for. And this turneth the meat in his sto­mack into [...], this is more deadly then the poison of aspes can be: then feare increaseth & nope decreaseth: then the wicked are confounded, and could wish [...]illes and mountaines to fall vpon them to couer them from the face of God: and [Page 18] thinking to flie deserued destruction, they oft times cast themselues into eter­nall destruction, and with Saul, Achit [...] ­phel and Iudas, kil themselues.

Yea the best seruants of God, when it pleaseth him to lay this burden in any toller [...]ble measure vpon them, are ex­ceedingly affrighted for a time. Dauids words being pressed with this burden, shew the heauy load of it. There is no­thing sound in my slesh, because of thine an­ger, Psal. 38 3. neither is there rest in my bones be­cause of my sinne: For mine iniquities are gone ouer my head, and as a waighty burden they are too heauy for me. His affliction was great, when the griefe of his minde changed the health of his body, and left no soundnes [...]e either in flesh or bones. And so was it with the Prophet, and the only cause of this so great disease was, the remembrance of his sinnes, and the feare of Gods ange [...] by those sinnes de­serued. Another time laden with this burden as he was before, he complainedPsal 40. 12 of his load as he had done before, saying Innumerable troubles haue compassed me: my sinnes haue taken such hold vpon me, that I am not able to looke vp: yea they are [Page 19] more in number then the haires of my head; therefore my heart hath failed me Needes must the assault of innumerable troubles follow the remembrance of innumera­ble sinnes: and these troubles, where they lay hold, doe depresse the heart, that the ouercharged waight cannot looke vp to the mercy feat of God. Yea where faith wageth battaile against fear, and keepeth the field well strengthened with many promises, and in the end pre­uaileth, restoring peace to the consci­ence yet there for a time (vntil the houre and power of darknesse passe ouer) ter­rors are great, when the charge of sinne lieth vpon the soule.

See it in him that had the greatest as­surance of all the sonnes of men: when the glorious sonne of God, our blessed Sauiour Iesus Christ, for our redempti­on was to take vp, and beare the burden of our sinnes, it did put him to vnspeak­able paine, and was vpon his mighty shoulders a mighty burden. Hence cameMat. 26. 39 that tripled praier; O my father if it be possible, let this cup passe from me; neuer­theles not as I wil, but as thou wilt. Thence came that agony that Saint Luke spea­keth [Page 20] of, that being in an open garden, and kneeling on the bare ground, about the middest of night, in a cold season ofLuk. 22. 44. the yeere, he fell into a great sweat, and his sweat was like drops of blood, trickling downe to the ground. Thence came that crie vpon the crosse, which was not the singing of a Psalme, but the true dittie of sorrow, and of a depressed soule, spea­king as was before prophecied of him, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Mat. 27. 46 me? All these grew from the burden of our sinnes laid vpon him, that he bearing our sinnes in his body vpon the tree, we might be deliuered from sinne, to liue in righteousnesse. The burden therefore of sinne, when accusing thoughts once presse and charge the conscience, citing vs to appeare and answer before God for our offences, is a most heauy burden; the burden of the humble, and broken hearted man: these are the two rankes of spirituall burdens.

Now vnder these six rankes, fower of secular burdens, two of spirituall; I sup­pose all those burdens may be compre­hended, which lie heauy vpon vs in this world, and cause feare care and griefe [Page 21] vnto vs; first care of the world: secondly, domesticall troubles: thirdly troubles more remote: fourthly, the difficulties that fol­low the duties of our callings: fiftly the sinfull lusts of our flesh fighting against our soules: lastly accusing thoughts, bree­ding terrors of conscience.

CHAP. V.

YOu haue heard what theWhat it is to cast our burden vp­on God. burden is: now let vs consider what it is to cast this burden vpō the Lord. And hereof I will speake first generally, without relation to any particular sort of these burdens: and then particularly, with relation to the particular sorts of burdens before na­med: and in such order as they were na­med, but first generally.In generall

What it is to cast our burden vpon the Lord, we may see by the words of Saint Peter, repeating this precept of our Pro­phet, and adding a reason in his words, and these are his words, Cast all your 1. Pet 5. 7 care on him, (that is, on God) for he ca­reth for you: that is when afflictions lie [Page 22] heauy vpon you, and carefull thoughts, how to bee freed from those afflictions, troble your harts, quiet those thoughts in your selues, because your wisedome is defectiue, and your power is weake, and you are vnable to bring enterprises to passe: and doing that, which in such case; God commandeth and alloweth to bee done, commend your businesse and the successe of it to God by faith­full prayer: his wisedome is infinite, his power is omnipotent, and by him en­terprises are brought to passe. This is Peters aduice, vsing our Prophets words, and only changing the name of burden, into the name of care, because our burdens doe breed our care: and this reason hee addeth in his owne words, for hee careth for you: that is, he taketh vpon him, and will dispose and effect all things for your [...]ase and safe­tie.

This exposition of casting our burden vpon the Lord, is further warranted by the councell of Saint Paul, saying thus; Phil 4. 6. Be nothing carefull, but in all things let your requests be shewed to God in prayer and supplication, with giuing of thankes: [Page 23] that is, whereas others wrestling with the burden of their businesse, take much care how to accomplish what they de­sire, and gaze vpon their strength, their wealth, their wit and friends, to see what helpe these can affoord: doe not you in such sort trouble and turmoile your selues; but modestly considering and vsing such meanes as you haue, a [...]d giuing thankes vnto God, whether your meanes bee great or small, intreat him in your faithfull prayer to prose­cute the businesse for your not betray­ing your owne businesse by sloth and negligence, yet trusting only to God, and depending only vpon his blessing for successe, faile not continually to sol­licite him with your prayers.

Dauid that is the speaker here▪ doth in another place by another speech of his, excellently interpret this, saying:Psal. 37. 3. Trust thou in the Lord, and doe good, dwell in the Land, and thou shalt bee fed assuredly: delight thy selfe in the Lord, and he will giue thee thy hearts desire: com­mit thy way vnto the Lord, and trust in him, and he shall bring it to passe: and he shall bring forth thy righteousnesse as the [Page 24] light, and thy iudgement as the noone day▪ wait patiently on the Lord, & hope in him.

Here hee giueth many precepts, and euery precept hath his annexed promise. The precepts do follow one another in a most kindly order▪ and together doe teach vs what is to cast our burden vp­on the Lord.

First he commandeth vs to trust in the Lord, that is, to cal to remembranceVerse 3. the couenant that God made with vs, and the many promises that hee hath giuen vs: and seeing hee is faithfull and true in all his promises, to trust to that couenant, and to ground our faith vpon those promises.

Secondly, hee commandeth vs to de­light Verse 4. our selues in the Lord, that is, to cheere vp our hearts in God, and to re­ioice in him, seeing wee haue a God both wise, mighty, mercisull, and saith­full, tied vnto vs by so large promises, more worth then all friends, fauourers, and helpers in the world. And this re­ioicing kindely followeth trust in God.

Thirdly, he commandeth vs to com­mit our waies to the Lord: that is, afterVerse 5. our trust is setled in the couenant and [Page 25] promises, and our ioy conceiued in ha­uing God so tied vnto vs, then, to fall to prayer, and to intreate God that he will take our cause into his hands, that he will bee pleased to prosecute the businesse for vs: and seeing hee is the gouerner and disposer of all the world and of all causes in the world, that hee will vouchsafe among all other causes, to haue care of ours.

Lastly, he commandeth vs to wait Verse 7 patiently vpon God and hope in him: that is, when trust hath begotten reioycing, and trust and reioycing haue together shewed our desires vnto God in prayer, then to expect in quietnes of our minde such issue as he shall be pleased to giue, not failing to hope for all goodnesse at his hands.

Among which degrees of our deme­nour to God-ward, for the referring of our cause [...] to him, hee forgetteth not to insert this aduise▪ that wee doe good Verse 3. and dwell in the land; that is, that con­tinuing in our place and standing, we take no in direct courses, that may offend God, and pull a curse vpon vs in stead of a blessing: but that wee doe [Page 26] the offices of our callings, behauing our selues in all things as becommeth wise and honest men, as in the sight of God, that we may in all good consci­ence expect his blessing. Thus doth he teach vs to cast our burdens vpon God.

These rules being obserued, then he promiseth in all things ease of our bur­dens. First he promiseth sufficient main­tenance, saying; Thou shalt be fed assu­redly. Verse 3. Secondly, hee promiseth con­tent of heart. saying; He will giue thee Verse 4. thy hearts desire. Thirdly, he promiseth cōuenient dispatch of all thy businesse, saying; And hee shall bring it to passe. Verse 5. Fourthly, he promiseth iustification of all thy well doings against mis-constru­ction and slander, saying; Hee shall bring forth thy righteousnesse as the light, and thy iudgement as the noone day: which all men cleerly discerne. These promi­ses pertaine to the second part of my text, and they greatly commend the soundnesse of those rules of aduice, whereto they are annexed.

And the rules of aduice doe inter­pret the casting of our burden vpon God. That my text speaketh of: and they shew [Page 27] vs, that this is truely to cast our burden vpon God, namely, in our trouble to re­member the couenant of God, and the promises of help, which as he gaue in mercy, so hee will fulfill in truth: and to trust vnto that couenant, and vnto those promises, that is, vnto that God that made that couenant, and gaue those promises: and thereupon to take heart vnto vs, and to cheere our selues in God, which hee calleth delighting in God, reioyeing that we haue so wise, so mighty, so mercifull, and so faithfull a God, so strongly tied vnto vs by so faithfull promises: and then in this gladnesse of our hearts to commend our businesse vnto God by praier, and to make him our aduocate, our Atturny, our solliciter, our factor, our agent, put­ting ouer our cause wholy to him, reser­uing nothing to ourselues, but to put him in remembrance from time to time by our praier, and carefully shunning all vnlawfull shifts, that flesh and bloud may perswade vnto, doing that onely that hee by his word doth command vs. And hauing thus left the cause in the hands of God, to wait patiently and [Page 28] quietly for such successe, as God shall be pleased to giue, thinking that alwaies best, which hee shall bee pleased to doe▪ This by Dauids owne interpretation is that casting of our burden vpon the Lord, which in the words of our text hee adui­seth vnto.

For illustration of the doctrine, risingExamples of this cast­ing off our burden. out of these places of Scripture; Let me alledge an example or two, wherein you shall see the true practise of these holie rules. While Abraham, hauing left his seruants, went with his sonne Isaac, to the place where he was commanded to offer him vp for a burnt offering vntoGen. 2217. God, Isaac spake vnto Abraham his fa­ther and said, My father, and he answe­red, Heere am I my sonne: And he said, Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the Lambe for the burnt offering? then A­braham answered, My sonne, God will pro­uide him a Lambe for a burnt offering. Heere is a notable example of casting our burden vpon God. Abraham was a true beleeuer, and in a case of no small trouble, & burden to his soule, he faith­fully intended to doe, as God had com­manded him: and for the successe of all [Page 29] the businesse, he laid all vpon God, and left it to the disposition of his good pleasure, saying, God will prouide; so must we doe: and this is to cast our bur­den vpon the Lord.

When Iacob, to shunne the fury of his brother Esau, from whom hee had won his father Isaacs blessing, and also to the end that hee might marrie in his kinred, and not with a daughter of Canaan, as Esau had done, was sent by his father I­saac in poore estate, with his staffe in his hand toward his vnckle Laban, by theGen. 28. 20 way he vowed a vow, saying▪ if God will be with me & wil keep mein this iourny which I go, and wil giue me bread to eat, & cloths to put on, so that I come againe vnto my fa­thers house in safetie, then the Lord shall be my God, &c. And vpon this vow and praier ma le, Iacob went forward. Here was a right casting of his burden vpon God, while desiring moderatly things necessary for him, for his foode, for his clothing, for his safety, and for his re­turne, hee seeketh them by no wrong courses, nor afflicteth his soule with care for them, but meekly by praier beggeth them at the hands of God.

[Page 30]When Dauid fled from Ierusalem, be cause of the rebellion of his sonne Abso­lom, and it was told him that Ahitophel that great polititian was ioyned with Absolom, being then in great heauinesse, as hauing a great burden fallen vpon him, going vp the Mount of Oliues, with his head couered, his feete bare, and weeping as he went, he praied vnto God and said, O Lord, I pray thee turne 2. Sam. 15. 31. the counsel of Ahitophel into foolishnesse. And afterward, when in his way Shemei had railed vpon him, and Abisha [...] in his heroical indignation would haue taken off the railers head, Dauid said to Abi­shai and to all his seruants: behold my 2. Sam. 16. 11. sonne, which came out of mine owne bow­els, seeketh my life: then how much more now may this sonne of Iemini? suffer him to curse, for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will looke on mine affliction, and doe mee good for his cursing this day. Here doeth Dauid turne his burden vpon the shoulders of God, while he referreth all to his pleasure, and maketh request vnto him for helpe, v­fing in the meane time much patience.

The places of Scripture before alled­ged, [Page 31] and these examples added for illu­stration, doe teach vs in generall maner for all burdens whatsoeuer, that th [...]s is to put them off from our owne shoul­ders, and to lay them vpon the shoul­ders of God our strong helper, namely, if in our troubles wee remember God, thinke vpon his couenant and promises, his truth and faithfulnesse, his wisdome, mercy and power: and thereupon pray vnto him for his helpe, referring our businesse wholy to his pleasure, patient­ly expecting, and thankfully accepting what issue he shall be pleased to send. Thus much for this point, what it is to cast our burden vpon the Lord, conside­red generally without reference vnto any particular branch of our burdens.

CHAP. VI.

NOw we are more particularlyTo cast our burdens in particular. to consider of this point of casting our burden vpon the Lord, with particular refe­rence vnto those rankes of our burdens remembred before.

But before I begin with them, seeing [Page 32] wee must speake of particulars, I will byTwo bur­dens not to be [...] vp­on God. way of caueat tell you of certaine parti­cular burdens, that men doe cast vpon God against his liking: and they are not so much burdens lying heauy vpon themselues, whereof they seeke to be cased by the strength and mercy of God as they are burdens which with pleasure they binde, and cast vpon God to vex him withall. Such burdens wee are not here warranted to cast vpon God.

These burdens are of two kinds, byFirst is a formality without pitty. two kinds of men prepared. The first kind of these burdens is the ceremonious worship of God, not accompanied with true reuerence in our hearts, nor with the conformable practise of godlinesse in our liues. This burden God doth complaine of by the Prophet Esay, say­ing. Bring no more oblations in vaine, in­cense Esay 1. 13. is an abomination vnto me, I cannot suffer your new Moones, nor Saboths, nor solemne daies (it is iniquity) nor solemne assemblies. My soule [...]ateth your new Moones, and your appointed feasts, they are a burden vnto me, I am weary to beare them. And when you shall stretch out your hands, I wil hide mine eies from you They [Page 33] were formall in the outward seruice of God: therein they did well; but because they wanted the reuerend feare of God, and their hands were defiled with the bloud of their oppressions and cruelties, therefore their dutifull formality was abhorred of him that loueth truth in the inward affections: though the ceremo­nies of that formality had been appoin­ted by himselfe.

This burden is the pleasure of hypo­crites, and by them prepared to weary the Lord withall, by such as feare men more then they feare God: and loue the praise of men more then the praise of God: and draw neare vnto God with their mouthes, and honour him with their lips, but they remoue their hearts far from him, and are like vnto painted Sepulchers, shining without, and stink­ing within, so they appeare vnto men to be holy, but within they are full of hy­pocrisie, and in secret commit all iniqui­ty. This inward and hidden wicked­nesse is it that disgraceth their (other­wise laudable) outward and open obe­dience.The second is an open wicked life

The second kind of these burdens is [Page 34] an open wicked life, when men cast off both the feare of God, and also mode­sty, so that they neither make conscience of their doings in regard of God, nei­their make dainty of doing open euil for feare of the opinion of men. Of this bur­den the Lord complaineth by the Pro­phet Amos, saying: Behold I am pressed Amos 2. 13 vnder you, as a Cart is pressed that is full of sheaues. If a Cart be ouerladen, it li­eth heauy vpon the Axeltree, that ma­keth a whining and groning noise, and sometime breaketh, laying both Cart and loade in the dust. So presse they God with the loade of their sinnes, vntill hee grone vnder them, and complaine by his Prophets, and at last ouerthroweth them, casting both them and their sins by his iust iudgement into hell.

This burden is prepared by bold and contemning sinners: by men that rise early to follow drunkennesse, and are strong to drinke strong drinke: by men that commit adultery, and assemble themselues by companies in harlots houses, and rise in the morning like fed horses, euery man neighing after his neighbours wife: by men that lay wait [Page 35] as he that setteth snares, and maketh pits to catch men, and fill their houses with the fruit of deceit as cages are filled with birds: by men that haue two kinds of waights and measures, and vse to sweare falsly: by men that say desperatly, we will doe whatsoeuer thing goeth out of our owne mouth, and our strength shall bee the law of vnrighteousnesse: by mockers that say where is the hope of his comming? and as the Prophet Esay Esa. 5. 19. testifieth of them, draw iniquitie with cords of vanity, and sinne as with Cart­ropes. Of which audacious men that nei­ther feare God nor man: and are neither religious to regard conscience, nor ci­uill, to regard good name, the world is full.

These are the two kinds of burdens, the ceremonious worship of God, without truth and piety, prepared and throwen vpon God by dissembling hypocrits: and the bold transgression of all law and order, prepared and cast vpon God by wicked contemners: these are those particular burdens, which by way of caueat I thought fit to warne you of, that you meddle not with casting these [Page 36] vpon God, least he cast both you and your burdens into eternall destruction in hell.

But our heauy burdens that presse our soules, and breed feare, care, and griefe vnto our mindes, whereof we desire to be eased, those wee may and must cast vpon God, and are, not onely allowed, but allured also to turne them off vp­on him.

CHAP. VII.

OF these burdens, some areSecular burdens. secular, concerning this world, and no way touch­ing Heauen or Hell: and some are spirituall meerely concerning our soules, and the life and death thereof, and the seruice and fauor of God. Of the secular there be foure kindes.

The first secular burden is worldly The first is worldly cares. cares, when a mans charge is great, and his maintenance small: the common burden of the poore; though somtimes also wringing the backe of the rich. This burden groweth heauy, sometimes [Page 37] by the worke of Gods hands, sending more charge, lesse gaines, deare times, and vnexpected losses: sometimes by the malice of other men, some oppres­sing by power, some deceiuing by fraud, and some wasting by riot whom thou didst trust: and sometime by thine owne fault, as by sloth, by sumptuous courses in apparrell, diet, building, and by foo­lish bargaines. This burden makes men grone out these words, what shall wee eate? what shall we drinke? wherewith shall we be clothed? how shall I pay my debts, maintaine my credit, and answer the charges of my place?

To cast this burden vpon God is toWhat it is to cast this vpon God. proceed by these rules: First to consider the bounty of God that giueth to all both life and breath and all things. Se­condly, vpon consideratiō of this boun­ty, to fall to praier, that he will be plea­sed to extend that bounty vnto thee. Thirdly, to apply thy selfe diligently and faithfully in some honest calling, where­in God may blesse thy hand to fill thy mouth, fleeing all vnlawfull shifts. Fourthly and lastly to take heede of ex­cesse. This excesse is double, first the ex­cesse [Page 38] of desire, which we calcouetousnes when a man is not content with that that is sufficient: secondly, the excesse of spending which we cal riot, when a man hath a humour to waste intemperatly.

The first rule is to acquaint our seluesFirst to learne Gods bounty. with the bounty of God that we may cō ­ceiue hope of help from his hand, wherof the Prophet saith, thou openest thine hand Psal. 145. 16. and fillest al things liuing of thy good plea­sure: this boūty of God wil appeare vnto vs, partly by the testimony of the Pro­phets partly by the euidence of his own works & liberal deling with his cretures.

His bounty is testified by the Prophets,Testified in his word. Psal. 104. 14. & other holy men. Dauid thus speaketh of it: He causeth grasse to grow for the cat­tel, and hearbes for the vse of man: that he may bring forth bread out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man▪ & oile to make the face to shine, & bread that strengthneth mans heart. This is a marue­lous work of Gods prouidence, & an e­uidence of great bounty, that out of the drie earth he bringeth forth food for vs. Of his special care among men, to deale bountifully with them that feare him, the Prophet Esay giueth testimony, saying,Esa. 65. 13. thus saith the Lord God, behold my seruant [Page 39] shal eate, & you (that is the wicked, for to them he speaketh) shalbe hungry: my ser­uants shall drinke, & you shalbe thirsty: my seruants shal reioice & you shalbe ashamed. When the wicked shal want and in their want be confounded, the righteous shal abound, and in their abundance reioyce. Excellent is the testimony of our Sauior Christ in the Gospel of S. Math. saying,Mat. 6. 26. Behold the fowles of heauen, for they sowe not, neither reap, nor cary into the barns, yet your heauēly father feedeth them: are ye not much better then they? if God extend his bounty to creatures of so smal regard, to whom also the means of prouiding their food by sowing, reaping, & reseruing is denied, that notwithstanding he sendeth them sufficiency: how much more wil he prouide for the children of men, that are of better regard with him & to whom he hath giuē means of prouiding their own food by sowing, by reaping, & by reser­uing their store. Excellent is the testi­mony of Saint Paul among the vnbe­leeuing Gentiles at Listra, vnto whom hee commendeth the true God that made the world, before the vaine I­dols which they serued, saying, hee left Act. 14. 17. not himselfe without w [...]nesse, in that hee [Page 40] did good, and gaue vs raine from heauen, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with foode and gladnesse. Such was his boun­ty euen toward them that worshipped idols, and being his creatures, he failed not to supply them with necessaries [...] how much more wil he not faile his own children, which worship him in spirit and truth. Such testimony do the Pro­phets and other holy men giue of the bounty of God, that openeth his hand, and filleth all things liuing with his goodnesse.

And the euidence of his works is ve­ryTestified by his workes. cleare, to approue vnto vs the same goodnesse. He giueth daily and yearely store of foode, and nourisheth life in all his creatures that participate life. But because the worke of God in his ordina­ry prouidence is not obserued and estee­med as it ought to bee; let him that is burdened with the cares of this life, by reason of want, consider the records of Gods bounty, making prouision by my­racle, when ordinary prouision failed. How he prouided for Israel in the wil­dernesse Exo. 16. 35. forty yeares, sending them bread from heauen euery mourning. How he [Page 41] prouided for Elias in a time of dearth,1. Kings 17. 4. causing the Rauens to bring him bread and flesh euery morning and euery eue­ning, his drinke being the water of the riuer Kerith. And how after the riuer was dried vp, he multiplied the meale in the Widowes barrell, and the Oile in the1. Kings 17. 14. cruse, so that there was sufficient for her selfe, her son, and the Prophet her guest. How he multiplied another widowes oile, 2. Kin. 4. 4. so that many vessels were filled, and a great summe of mony was raised to pay her debts and to releeue her selfe & her sonne. And how hee prouided for the people of Samaria, when the famine2. Kin. 7. 1. was great among them, so that ouer night the head of an Asse was sould for foure-score pieces of siluer, and the next day a mesure of fine flower was▪ sold for one sicle, and two measures of Barly for a sicle: a thing so vnlikely, before it came to passe, that a great man hearing the promise of it ouer night, said, though 2 Kin. 7 2. the Lord would make windowes in heauen could this thing come to passe? these & ma­ny other like records doe approue to vs the care of God for men, and his boun­tie towardes them to bee such, that if [Page 42] ordinarie prouision faile, by reason of any iudgement of his, he will by miracle prouide for his, rather then they shall want. And for the man burdened with care by reason of want, that would bee eased by casting his burden vppon God: this is his first rule, to consider those and such other testimonies of Gods bounty, that there may be grounded in his heart a good perswasion of Gods care, that hath giuen life, to giue nourishment to maintaine the life that he hath giuen.

The second rule, and next steppe ofSecondly, to pray for this bounty. casting his burden vpon God, is, out of this well perswaded heart, to pray vnto the same bountifull God, that giueth food vnto all flesh, and feedeth the yong Ra­uens when they call vpon him; and offe­reth the pray to the yong lions, that roa­ring in their hunger, seeke their meate; and clotheth the grasse of the field with admirable beautie, that he will be plea­sed to send foode and clothes, and other necessaries for thee and thine. ThereinG [...]. 28. 20. thou hast Iacob for an example, who go­ing towards his vnckle Laban, by the way, in his vow made vnto God, praieth for food, and clothes, and preseruation; [Page 43] & thou hast the Lord▪ Iesus for thy war­rant in so praying, who in the Gospell teacheth vs, and commandeth vs to pray vnto our heauenly Father, for all things necessary for this life, in these wordes, Giue vs this day our daily bread. WhoseMatt. 6. 11 precept and prescribed order, doeth not onely commaund vs to pray for these things, but doeth also giue vs comforta­ble hope to obtayne all things that wee pray for.

A third rule and further degree of ca­stingThirdly, it is to follow some law­full calling. this burden vpon the Lord, is, that we take heede of all vnlawfull shifts, as of theft, of oppression, of fraude, and of idle begging (by which courses men cast their burden, not vpon the back of God, but of the deuill, seeking ease and helpe at his hands) & that we apply our selues di­ligently in some honest calling, that wee may first earne, and then eate our bread, according to the doctrine of the apostleEphe. 4. 2 [...] Paul, saying; Let him that stole steale no more, but let him rather labour, and worke with his hands the thing which is good &c. And in an other place speaking of inor­dinate walkers that refuse to worke, he saith, Them that be such we command and 2. Th. 3. 1 [...] [Page 44] exhort by our Lord Iesus Christ, that they worke with quietnesse, and eate their owne bread. And to such, honestly trauelling in some good calling, GOD will giue bread and all things needful, as the Pro­phet saith: Trust thou in the Lord and doe Psal. 37. 3. good, dwell in the Land, and thou shalt bee fed assuredly. And afterward hee saith in another Psalme, Blessed is euery one that Psal. 128. 1 feareth the Lord, and walketh in his waies: when thou eatest the labor of thine hands, thou shalt be blessed, and it shalbe wel with thee. Tremelius, according to the He­brew reades it thus, Thou shalt enioy, or thou shalt be fedde with the labour of thine hands. So that God blessing the labour of his hands, that trauelleth honestly in a lawfull calling, will giue him food and needefull things, and ease the burden of his charge.

Whereas the man that refuseth to tra­uel in an honest calling, rebelleth against Gods order, and maketh the burden of his want to be heauier. He rebelleth a­gainst the order of God, that casting A­dam Gen. 3. 19. out of Paradice to till the ground, established this as a law for him and his posterity, In the sweate of thy face shalt [Page 45] eate bread, till thou returne to the earth. Therefore ease and slouth must not bee the delight of him that would win case of his burden of want at Gods handes. And that hee maketh the burden of his want heauier, that refuseth to labour, Salomon teaches vs in the Prouerbs, say­ing to the sluggard; Yet a little sleepe, a Prou. 6. 10. little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleepe, therefore thy pouertie commeth as one that trauelleth by the way, and thy necessitie like an armed man. The trauel­ler commeth to thine house, when thou doest not looke for him, and when the armed man commeth he wil not be shut out. In this maner, stealingly as the tra­ueller before thou art aware, and forci­bly as an armed man, that cannot be dri­uen away, wil pouerty & necessity come vppon him that will not take paines to earne his owne bread. Yea it is the iustice of GOD to whippe with want the idle droane, and hee forbiddeth bread to be giuen vnto them, as Pauls words to the Thessalon▪ declare, saying, When we were [...]. The. 3. 10 with you this we warnd you of, that if there were any that would not worke, that hee should not eate: if this discipline of the [Page 46] Apostles were put in practise, a number of idle men and women swarming in the Land, would quickely be reformed. But while iustice sleepeth among magistrats and officers, and charitie is become foo­lish among well disposed people, slouth and idlenesse, the breeders of all vngod­linesse, vnrighteousnesse, and vnclean­nesse, liue and grow fat and lustie among vs: and true pouertie (in the little ones of Iesus Christ) is defrauded of her due reliefe, intercepted by sturdie droanes. But our laden wight, whose burden is want and worldly care, must for his ease apply himselfe vnto some honest course of life.

The fourth and last rule, which per­tainesFourthly, it [...] to flie all excesse. to the right casting of thy burden vpon the Lord, when the cares of this life, by reason of want, are heauie vpon thee, is, to take heede of all excesse. Now this is double, the first is the excesse of desire to get, the second is the excesse of thy minde in spending: the first excesse knowes not what is enough, and there­fore is euer caring, though there bee no neede: the second excesse consumeth more then enough, and therefore ma­keth [Page 47] want, and by want bringeth care where none▪ needed to be, if moderation had been steward. The first excesse is co­uetousnes, the second is prodigalitie.

Many men by Gods mercie are pro­uidedExcesse of desire to haue. of sufficiencie, but they are not therewith contented, and will still take care when they neede not. Salomon in his time among the vanities vnder the Sunne, obserued it for one, saying, There Eccles, 4. [...] is one alone, & there is not a second, which hath neither sonne nor brother, yet is there no end of al his trauel, neither can his ei [...] be satisfied with riches. He had no great fa­mily to nourish, hee had no posteritie to prouide for, and yet could hee neuer be satisfied; the more he had, the more he desired, and his thirsting after wealth in­creased with euerie draft of gaine & ad­uantage that he took. He that so excee­deth in his desire, how can hee be eased of the burden of worldly cares? for, what God giueth for his ease, hee conuerteth into a new load; such men increase their burden, and make it heauier by endlesse desire.

Of this excesse Christ warneth vs to take heede, saying vnto vs, Take heede Luk, 12. 1 [...] [Page 48] and beware of couetousnesse, for though a man haue abundance, yet his life standeth not in his riches. The greatest store ma­keth not the most secured life: and he [...] that thinkes to liue long in plenty, is oft sodainely taken away from all, and in his abundance did euer liue in want, bicause his boundlesse desire neuer thought him selfe to be full, when yet he possessed su­perfluitie. Therefore is contentednesse so much commended in the Scripture.1. Tim. [...]. 6 The Apostle Paul saith, Godlinesse is great gaine, if a man bee content with that he [...] hath: for wee brought nothing into the world, and it is certaine that we can carrie nothing out: Therefore when we haue food and rayment, let vs there with bee content. This vertue of contentednesse hee must striue for, and intertaine, that desireth to bee cased of his burden of worldly cares. And let him remember a notable saying of the Prophet in the Psalmes, A Psal. 37. 16 smal thing vnto the iust man is better then great riches vnto the wicked. It is not so much the measure of thy possession, as Gods loue and fauour with thy possessi­on, that maketh it to bee an case of thy burden: and let him learne to follow as [Page 49] neere as he can, the example of S. Paul, who thus prosesseth of himselfe, saying,Phil. 4. 11. I speake not because of want, for I haue learned in whatsoeuer state I am, there­with to be content: and I can be abased, & I can abound: euerie where in all things I am instructed; both to be ful, and to be hun­grie, and to abound, and to haue want. This lesson of contentednesse with things ne­cessary, when our desires are kept with­in due bounds of moderation, helpeth greatly to case him that is pressed with the burden of worldly cares, by reason of some wants.Excesse of [...]ending.

The other excesse is the excesse of spen­ding: that excesse is vnthristinesse, prodi­galitie & waste, whereby many that had no burden of this kinde, and were well prouided for doe make vnto themselues a burden of want, to breake their owne backe withall. And I thinke there was neuer age, wherein this excesse was so excessiue as in this age, while some man looseth at play in a day, more then he ga­thereth of his reuenew, or winneth by his labor in a weeke, perhaps in a yee [...]e: some man spendeth in idle iournies, or in merie meetings abroad, that which would [Page 50] serue to seede and clothe the family at home: some man spendeth in beautifying the house for shew, in furnishing the table for gluttony, in pursuing idle pleasures for vanitie, farre aboue the proportion of their estate: and in decking the body with rich attire, all moderation is exceeded: so that a yong man wasteth more silke in his garters and shooe-strings, then his grandfather (vpon the greatest feast day) did weare in all his apparel. And I know it, that some haue all the points they vse tagged with gold, as little looked after, and as soon lost as if they were of brasse. By which courses, before they are aware of it, they bring a faire portion to beg­gery; for excesse and riot are in a mans estate as moathes in his garment. The m [...]ath makes a garment to be ragges be­fore bare threedes be seene: euen so ex­cesse and riot beget in a mans estate wāt and neede before it be espied. It is the saying of Salomon; He that loueth pastime Pro. 11. 17. shalbe a poore man, and he that loueth wine and oile shall not be rich. Vaine pleasures and sumptuous fare make a man poore. And in another place, The drunkard and Pro. 23. 21 the glutt [...]n shall be poore, and the sleeper [Page 51] shall be clothed with ragges. Excesse of meates and drinks makes a man a beg­gar: and [...]lenesse will suffer no wealth to cleaue vnto him. These are the two excesses, desire to haue, which is coue­tousnesse, and spending that thou hast, which is prodigalitie: that he must take heed of, that would be cased of the bur­dens of care growing from want.

Call these rules to minde; in them thou hast sure direction how to turne the burden of thy care, growing from want, vpon the shoulders of God for thy ease. First make thy soule acquain­ted with the bountie of God in prouiding for his people, by considering the testi­monies and euidences thereof, that thou maiest trust in him. Secondly, being per­swaded of Gods bountie, pray him to ex­tend that bountie vnto thee. Thirdly, vse faithfull diligence in some honest calling, shunning all vnlawfull shifts, which are neuer blessed. Fourthly, take heede of all excesse; of the inward excesse of desire in thy hart, and the outward excesse of waste in thy spending. Hee that doeth these things, casteth his burden vpon God in the cares of this life, and shall not bee [Page 52] disappoynted. To him pertayne these promises, and all such like, Thou shalt be P [...]. 37. 3▪ 19. fedde assuredly; and againe after, In the dayes of famine they shall haue enough. Thus much for the first particular bran­ches of burdens, euen the burden of worldly cares.

CHAP. 8.

THE second branch of theseThe second secular bur den is do­mesticall troubles. particular burdens, is the bur­den of domesticall troubles, which may bee heauie vppon him that is farre and free from the for­mer burden, hauing for wealth the world at will. I call them domesticall troubles, when the matter and occasion of his tro­ble is neare vnto a man: as in these cases; When strife and offence ariseth between husband and wife, betweene parents and children, betweene masters and ser­uan's, and betweene neighbour and neighbour: or when the hand of God, in some grieuous calamity, in some dan­gerous sickenesse, or in death is heauie vpon thy selfe, thy wife, thy childe, thy seruant, or some other of thy familie, or [Page 53] some neare friend. This is a grieuous burden, when a mans vexation breedeth in the very nest of his rest, as in his house, his table, his bed, and his bones. And this is domesticall trouble.To cast this vpon God, rules gene­rall & par­ticular.

This burden you may see by the cases before named to be very variable. For the casting of this burden vppon God, there are many rules: some are more common to be obserued in all domesti­call troubles; some are more priuate, fitting for this or that domesticall trou­ble. In this chapter I will set down those rules that are common to all these trou­bles.The first generall, i [...] patience.

And first of all, it is a common rule, in all these troubles, pertaining to the right casting of them vpon God, that we arme our soules with patience, and quiet­ly beare whatsoeuer God is pleased to lay vpon vs. For shall we be willing on­ly to receiue good things at the handes of God, things agreeable to our hearts wish, and when he is pleased, eyther for our triall, or for our correction, or for a­ny other holy cause, to lay vpon vs euill and hard things, vnpleasant to flesh and bloud, shall wee then murmure against [Page 54] his worke? God forbid. Iob iustly re­prooueth such a course, saying to his wife; Shall wee receiue good things at the [...]. b 2. 10. hands of God, and not receiue euill? As when good things come, it is fitte to ac­knowledge Gods free mercie, and to be thankefull: so when euill things come, it is fit to acknowledge Gods holy iu­stice, and to be patient. And this course of casting our burden vppon the Lord, our blessed Sauior the Lord Iesus Christ commends vnto vs, and a sure way of finding ease, saying vnto vs, Take my Mat. 11. 29 yoake on you, and learne of mee, that I am meeke and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest vnto your soules: that is, whatsoeuer burden falles vpon any of you, either af­ter my example, or for my sake, (which I account to be my burdens, for I labor in him that labors vnder those burdens) let him not murmure, let him not spurne impatiently against it: but let him take it meekely vnto him, as I did my death. This shal bring ease to his soule, for this is to cast his burden vpon God, while for Gods sake he is willing to beare his good pleasure.

This patience a while continued, will [Page 55] make thy yoake easie, and thy burthenPatience easeth by breeding ioy. light; and whilest others crie and com­plaine, thou shalt reioyce in God: there­fore haue the Apostles, both in their practise and in their doctrine, ioyned to­gether patience and reioycing in the times of trouble, because continued pa­tience breedeth ioy. Of their practise ioyning patience and reioycing toge­ther, Paul speaketh thus; Also we reioyce Rom. 5. 3. in tribulations, knowing that tribulation bringeth foorth patience, and patience ex­perience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed. Such was their pra­ctise. Which while hee reporteth, doeth hee not there with all deliuer, that trou­bles patiently borne, doe giue experi­ence of Gods fauour, giue hope in Gods mercie, and breede a confident and vn­daunted spirit [...] and these three, expe­rience, hope, and confidence are the grounds and true supporters of ioy. Of their doctrine preached to others, Iames the Apostle shewes vs what it was, say­ing, My brethren, count it exceeding ioy, Iames 1 [...] when yee fall into diuers tentations: know­ing that the trying of your faith bringeth foorth patience: and l [...]t patience haue her [Page 56] perfect worke, that yee may be perfect and intire, lacking nothing. In their practise, could this course be kept in wisedome▪ In their doctrine, could this rule bee gi­uen in soundnesse, if the patient bearing of all our troubles were not a readie and very soueraigne way of casting our bur­dens vpon the Lord for our ease? there­fore haue care of this in the first place, to possesse thy soule in patience.Reasons why to be patient.

And if it seeme to any man a hard thing to bee patient in trouble, let him not feare to attempt, euen by this course of patience, to cast his burden vpon the Lord. For there are many reasons, that perswade thereunto. First, the burden, while it continueth, is a sure testimonie of Gods loue vnto thee. Paul in his E­pistle to the Hebrews saith, My sonne, Hebr. 12. 5 despise not the chastening of the Lord, nei­ther faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loueth he chasteneth, & hee scourgeth euerie sonne whom hee recei­ueth. The chastisement of the Lord by these troubls, is an euidēce of his father­ly loue: and therfore we ought with the patience of children to beare it. Second­ly, while God out of his loue continueth [Page 57] the burden of this trouble vpon thee, he doeth it only for thy good. As the same Apostle teacheth vs in the same Epistle,Heb. 1 [...]. 10 saying, Hee chasteneth vs for our profit, that wee may be partakers of his holiness [...]. The effect of those troubles intended of God, is our benefit, that wee may bee brought to haue neerer fellowship with God in holinesse; and therefore they are to bee borne with patience. Thirdly, though God seem to continue our bur­den long, and in the meane time to shew small kindnesse vnto vs, yet sure the end of them will be with a blessing. As Mo­ses saith of the worke of God, leading the children of Israel for many yeres to­gether through a wearie wildernes, that he did it to prooue them, that he might doe Deut. 8. 16 them good in▪ the latter end. And if the cōclusion of our trouble, like the wrest­ling of Iacob, shall be with a blessing, it is to be born with all patience. A fourth reason there is to be regarded aboue all other reasons, & of force to make a man patient euen in the fire, namely, that if wee suffer with Christ, wee shall raigne with Christ, and when we haue indured patiently a while on earth, we shalbe re­warded [Page 58] honourably for euer in heauen. Hereof the Apostle Paul thus speaketh; Our light affliction, which is but for a sea­son, 2 Go [...] 4. 17 causeth vnto vs a furre most excellent, and an eternall weight of glorie. Afflicti­on shall bee rewarded with most excel­lent glory: light affliction with a weight of glory: and momentanie affliction with eternall glorie: therefore to bee borne with all patience. He that consi­dereth these things, that if God do send trouble, it is of his fatherly loue vnto vs as vnto sonnes: that in these troubles he onely intendeth our good, to bring vs to haue fellowship with him in holi­nesse, that our troubles shal bring peace and a blessing in the end: and lastly, that GOD will bring vs from a Crosse to a Kingdome, and turne our Crowne of thornes into a crowne of glory: He that considereth these things will bend his heart to beare his burthen patiently. Whereby hee certainly turneth his bur­den vpon God for his great ease, ma­king a heauy burden to be light, (which while it is patiently borne) melteth and falleth off from the heart, like raine fal­ling from the high grounds: so that af­ter [Page 59] a while he despiseth the troubles, that at the first were fearefull vnto him; and they seeme vnto him moale hils, that at the first shewed (a farre off) like moun­taines. This is the first common rule of casting our burden vpon God, alwayes to be obserued.

By this rule, if it be Husband or Wife Vse of this patience in domestic all troubles. that causeth vnquietnesse, we are taught to suffer their vnquietnesse, whome wee can neyther reforme nor remooue, and not to make a great flame of a small sparke, by prouoking the vnquiet to more vnquietnesse. If it bee Parents or Children that cause vnquietnes, Parents must be honoured, and Children must be cared for, though in some things they grieue vs: and God may amend them at the last, if wee in the meane while, bea­ring patiently their infirmities, continue our duety to them, and our prayers for them. If it be Masters or Seruants that cause vnquietnesse, the Seruants in pa­tience must bee subiect to their Mai­sters with all feare, not only to the good and curteous, but also to the froward: they can not shake off their Maisters, while the dayes of their seruitude con­tinue: [Page 60] and the maisters in patience must do vnto their seruants that which is iust, not omitting any meanes whereby they may reforme them: and in the end, the master hath power to ease himselfe of an incurable euill seruāt, by dismissing him. If it be neighbour against neighbor that causeth vnquietnesse, this rule teacheth, not to render euill for euill, nor rebuke for rebuke; but contra [...]iwise in patience to blesse, and to doe all good offices in neede, whereby thou shalt haue peace in thy heart, howsoeuer thy neighbour bee disposed to contention. And if thy home-trouble be painefull sickenesse, ei­ther vpon thy selfe, or vpon some of thy houshold, or some▪ other neare and deare vnto thee: this rule teacheth thee (what­soeuer other meanes for recouerie of health be vsed) to beare thy visitation meekely, humbling thy selfe vnder the mighty hand of God in euery thing. If thy trouble bee the death of any whose life thou didst desire, this rule will teach thee (knowing the death of the righte­ous to bee vnto them the beginning of true life) to giue glorie to God with a quiet mind. This patience in all things [Page 61] will giue thee ease of thy burden, accor­ding to the saying of our Sauiour; Take Mat. 11. 29 my yoake on you, and learne of me, that I am meeke and lowly in heart: and ye shall finde rest vnto your soules. This is one common rule.

A second common rule in all theseThe second generall is prayer. troubles, pertaining to the right casting of them vpon God, is, that we pray vnto God, crauing his helpe, who for ought wee know, hath therefore layed these troubles vpon vs, because we haue been negligent in prayer: that now feeling sensibly in our sorrow, our neede of his helpe, wee might amend our old neg­ligence, and fall to praier. And surely, whether God did send our troubles for that cause, or no; yet this is most sure, that prayer is a most profitable course for the easing of our trouble: which God commandeth with promise of ease, say­ing by the Prophet, Call vpon me in the Psa. 50. 15 day of trouble, so will I deliuer thee, and thou shalt glorifie mee. And the Saints haue alwayes vsed it with happy successe of ease. As the Prophet testifieth, say­ing, These called vppon the Lord and hee Psal. 99. 6. heard them. So did Iacob, when return­ing [Page 62] from his vnckles, hee heard that E­sau was comming forth against him with foure hundred men, hee said thus vnto God, I pray thee deliuer me from the hand Ge▪ 32. 11. of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I feare him, lest hee will come, and smite mee, and the mother vppon the children: And according to his desire, God deli­uered him from his feare: for his brother and hee met in peace, and departed one from another in peace; so did Moses, when the Aegiptians pursued the Israe­lites, and the Israelites feared the Ae­giptians Ezo. 14 15 before the red Sea, The Lord fayd vnto Moses, Wherefore criest thou vnto mee? for Moses in his heart prayed earnestly vnto God, and God did deli­uer him from his feare, opening a pas­sage for the Israelites thorow the wa­ters of the red Sea, and drowning in the floud the Aegiptians that presumed to follow: so that Israel sawe the Aegipti­ans Exo. 14. 30 dead vpon the Sea banke. Wee neede not stand vpon particular examples, ha­uing a generall rule that neuer fayleth, the Prophet saying, The Lord is neare Ps. 145. 18. vnto all that call vpon him, yea, to all that call vpon him in trueth: hee will fulfill the [Page 63] esire of them that feare him, he also will beare their crie, and will helpe them. Now seeing the saints doe thus in their trou­bles pray vnto God for ease, and do thus at the hands of God obtaine ease when they pray in their troubles, it is euident, that to pray vnto God in our trouble, is a worthy rule of casting our burden vp­on God in all domesticall, yea in al what­soeuer troubles.

And let no man say, there is no needNeed of praier. in these troubles to trouble God with our praiers, because he knoweth both what we suffer, and what himselfe hath determined to do, for these reasons thou oughtest the more gladly to pray, be­cause God doth vnderstand thy want before thou complaine, and is deter­mined to succour before thou intreate him▪ thy labour with such a God cannot be in vaine.

And this know, thou hast great im­ploiment for thy praiers in these and such like troubles. First thou hast needeFirst for thy selfe. to offer vp praiers vnto God for thy selfe that he will giue thee patience and wise­dome to demeane thy selfe aright vnder these troubls, that thou maiest neither [Page 64] be a murmurer against God, grudging at those troubles nor increase thy trou­bles by dealing indiscreetly, and fro­wardly with them that are the causers and occasion of thy troubles: nor maiest erre, and be wanting in vsing good re­medies to heale and reforme them that are the causers of thy troubles. And if thy domesticall trouble be sicknesse in thine owne body, how necessary it is to pray vnto God, to giue thee patience to send thee health, to forgiue thy sins, and to prepare thee for death? when Iames the Apostle exhorteth to reioice for temptations, and to continue in patience, till patience haue her perfect worke, because these things require an extraordinary wisedome, he further ad­uiseth vs to pray vnto God for that wisedome saying; If any of [...]ou lack wise­dome, Iam. 1. 4. let him aske of God, who giueth vnto all men liberally Giuing to vnderstand by that aduise, how necessary it is in the time of trouble, to vse pra [...]er for thy selfe, that thou maiest demeane thy selfe patiently and wisely▪ to glorifie God in thy trouble, to profit by the same trou­ble, and not to increase the same; but [Page 65] safely to grow out of it, and to recouer peace and health.

Secondly, thou hast need to offer vpSecondly, for them that trou­ble or grieue thee. praiers vnto God for them by whose meanes thou art troubled, or for whose sake thou art grieued.

Sometime thou art vnkindly vsed, ei­ther by thy husband or wife: either by thy parents or children, or such as haue stept into the roome of parents and chil­dren, and haue those names by law giuen them, not by nature due vnto them: or else by thy master or seruant: or by some friend or neighbour. For these thou hast great cause to pray vnto God that he will giue them better minds, and let them see their fault with mislike of it, and see what becommeth them to doe, and giue them a heart to doe it. If they continue in their frowardnesse, shall they not continue to be troublers vnto thee? then as thou desirest an end of the trou­ble that they put thee to, so desire that God will giue them a better and wiser heart. This rule is included within that more generall rule of our Sauiour Christ in the Gospell, I say vnto you, loue your e­nemies, blesse them that curse you, doe good Mat. 5. 4 [...] [Page 66] to them that hate you, and pray for them that hurt you, and persecute you. If we ought to pray vnto God for all that hurt vs, then also for them of our owne house habitation and kindred that hurt vs: and so much the rather for those at home, and so neere vnto vs, because they haue more opportunity to hurt vs, then they that are farther of. And what are we to begin praier for them? Two things: one that God would forgiue their fault, which we also must forgiue. Another that he will giue them a heart to see, and to amend their fault. God in his holy iustice doth therefore many times stir vp domesticall troubles to men, because they are negligent in domesticall praier neuer commēding vnto God either hus­band or wife, child, seruant, kinsman, friend; or neighbour, neuer making any request for grace and wisedome to bee giuen vnto them. When Dauid had brought the Arke of the Lord into the place that he had prepared for it vpon the hill of Sion, and had offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, it is said, that he blessed the people in the name of the [...]. S [...] ▪ 6. 18. Lord of hoasts, that is, he praied the Lord [Page 67] of hoasts to powre downe his blessings vpon them: and hauing distributed flesh and bread and wine among them, and they therewith being departed home, it is said that then Dauid returned to blesse his house, that is to pray vnto God2. Sa. 6. 20. for them of his house, that they might prosper, and that he might liue a com­fortable life among them. Also IsaackGen. 25. 21 Gen. 49. 48 praied vnto the Lord for his wife. And Iacob blessed all his sonnes, euery one of them blessed he with a seuerall blessing. And Booz the Bethlemite comming into the field, among his seruants and reapers, saluteth them with a praier vnto GodRuth. 2. 4. Dan. 6. 10. for them, saying, the Lord be with you. And Daniels custome was, three times a day in his house, to pray vnto God, who praying in his family, could not in his praiers be vnmindful of his family. From so holy and worthy examples, learne thou to pray for thine: while thou en­ioyest peace with them, pray that they may not proue a trouble vnto thee: and when thy troble growes from thē, pray that God will giue them a mind more agreeable to peace. So fit for the ease of thy burden, is praier for them by whom [Page 68] thou art troubled.

Sometime thou art not vnkindly vsed by them, yet thy trouble groweth from them, while thou art grieued for some calamity hapned vnto them, and takest care for [...]he helping of them. In this case there is speciall neede of praier to be made for them. And it is a speciall point of casting thy burden vpon God. God speaking to the Israelites, saith of him­selfe, I am the Lord that healeth thee; thatEx. 15, 26▪ is, all the health and helpe both of thee and thine must come only from my hand. And in another place, I kil and giue life, I wound and I make whole. That is, I send sicknesse danger and hurt, to makeDeut. 32. 39. men seeke vnto me▪ and againe I restore health safety and peace, when men doe seeke vnto mee. And these things being the workes of Gods owne hand, they should faile very much, of casting their burden vpon God, that being burdened with griefe for the sicknesse and cala­mities of their neighbours, friends, kins­folke, and family, should forget and neg­lect to pray to God for them. Dauid praied for his child in a most humble and earnest manner when it was sicke. [Page 69] For Dauid besought God for the child, and 2. Sam. 12. 26 fasted, and went in, and lay all night vpon the earth. The Centureon whose faith is commended in the Gospell, praied vnto the Lord Iesus for his sicke seruant, say­ingMat. 8. 6. vnto him, master my seruant lieth sick at home of the palsie: and when Herod had cast Peter into prison, with purpose, after the feast, to bring him forth to the peo­ple to be slaine, earnest praier was made of Act. 12. 5. the Church vnto God for him. The saints of God haue alwaies obserued this as a most safe and sure rule of casting their burdens vpon God, when they were troubled and grieued for the sicknesse and calamitie of others, to pray vnto God for them, to restore their health, their peace, their liberty, and their com­fort: that in the recouered comfort of them that were afflicted, they might re­couer comfort that were afflicted for them There is therefore in these dome­stical troubles imploiment for thy prai­ers to be offered to God for them, either by whose meanes thou art troubled, or for whose sakes thou art grieued.

Thirdly, thou hast need to offer vpThirdly, for all the, rest. praier vnto God for the rest of thy fami­lie, [Page 70] of thy kindred, of thy friends, and of thy neighbors, whether thou be wrong­ed by the vniust and vnkind dealing, or else grieued for the calamity and sick­nesse of some: that neither the sinne of them that wrong thee, nor the calami­ty of them for whom thou art grieued, may spread any further, to the corrupti­on and damage of the rest. If Esau grieue his father Isaack, and his mother Rebec­ca, by taking a wife of the daughters of Canaan, haue not Isaack and Rebecca cause to pray to God for Iaacob their other sonne, that he may not doe as his brother had done? when certaine of the followers of the Lord Iesus Christ had left him, taking offence at some words of his (concerning the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood) which they vnderstood not, Iesus said to the twelue, Ioh. 6. 67. will ye also goe away: he was carefull that an euill example might not spread like a contagious sicknesse, to corrupt the whole company of his disciples. And (more agreeable to the cause that wee haue in hand) when Iudas one of his fa­mily (the diuell entring into his hart) had couenanted with the Priests and phari­sies, [Page 71] to betray his master into their hands the Lord Iesus, heauily charged with a burden of trouble, growing from his treason, taketh occasion from his wick­ednesse, to pray vnto his father for the rest, saying, Those thou gauest me, haue I Ioh 17. 12. kept, and none of them is lost▪ but the child of perditiō, that the scripture might be ful­filled. And now come I to thee, and these things speak I in the world, that they might haue my ioy fulfilled in themselues, &c. The child of perdition (Iudas the traitor) being lost, the Lord hath care of the rest and praieth for them, that they might euer reioice in him. Euen so euery lo­uing man, that can take pleasure in the health and honest cariage of his friends, neighbours and family, when one is ill at ease, and when one doth giue offence, he will heartily pray to God to pre­serue the rest, that they may continue in health, and that they may continue to deale iustly, honestly, and dutifully. This triple imploiment for thy praier thou hast i [...] the time of thy domesticall trouble, for thy selfe that art troubled or grie­ued: for them by whose meanes thou art troubled, or for whose sake thou art [Page 72] grieued: and for the rest. This is the se­cond common rule of casting thy bur­don vpon God in domesticall troubles, namely that thou fall to praier: accor­dingIam. 5. 13. to the saying of S. Iames, is any a­mong you afflicted, let him pray. Now let vs see what other rules, as more parti­cular, are to be added to patience and praier.

CHAP. IX.

THese domestical troubles be­ingParticular rules of cast­ing these troubles vp­on God. These trou­bles are wron [...]s or griefes. of diuers sorts, let vs first distinguish them into two rankes: because it is either sicknesse, death, or some calamity, that is happend to thy selfe, or to some other neighbour [...] [...]d kinsman, or of thy family, for which thou art, out of thy loue and compassi­on to others, and out of sence of thine owne euill greeued: Or else it is some wrong offered vnto thee by others, in their vnthankfulnesse, disobedience, vniustice, or forwardnesse, out of which springeth [...]vnquietnesse and vexation to thee: with this latter member of wrongs [Page 73] let vs first begin and see what it is to cast this burden vpon God.

First here let the wronged person thatWrongs oc­ca [...]oned sometime by our selues. beareth the burden consider whether the occasion of these burdens grew of him­selfe or no. For so it oftentimes commeth to passe, that the vnkindnesse of t [...]e hus­band prouoketh the wife to some such course, as turneth after to the husbands trouble. And likewise the disobedience of the wife may driue the husband vnto that course that after becommeth her heauy burden. Can the party that first did wrong without prouocation, be of­fended with the party, that in the second place did amisse being prouoked? som­times the fondnesse and negligence of parents, that wil not instruct, nor (when needess) correct their children, nor in any thing restraine them of their owne will, or else the euill example of the pa­rents, makes them become wanton, dis­ordered, and euill conditioned, as it fell out in Hell his children: and in the end the parents see and heare things of their children, that grieue their hearts, and out of their disobedience, and insolency they are wronged, and it cannot be o­therwise, [Page 74] folly cleaning to the soule of the childe, but that, when the soule is not husbandly tilled by the discipline of the parents, it must bring forth weedes of euill behauiour: sometime the child that complaineth of the vnkindnesse of parents, hath by his owne folly, by his disobedience and riotous courses giuen vnto his parents (of themselues tender and louing inough) cause to be vnkind, to change their countenance, to shor­ten their allowance, yea to shut the dore against him, and to settle his inheritance vpon some other. So likewise the m [...] ­ster sometimes hath no care at home to teach his seruants to know and feare God: and if he goe to the house of God himselfe, he careth not to bring his ser­uants with him: or if he bring them with him, hee looketh not whether they stay there or no: or if they stay, whether they marke and learne any thing or no: these are not the studies of his heart. He suffe­reth them also to exceede decorum and comelinesse of seruants in their apparel, and to be abroad at vnseasonable times, with other yong persons (and what youth and liberty, wanting an ouerse­er, [Page 75] will doe, wise men know:) also by his owne euill example of riot and vn­thristinesse, hee becomes vnto his ser­uants a plaine corrupter, they thinking themselues out of danger of reproofe, while they tread in the steppes of their masters and gouernours: or else an euill master dealeth vniustly and vnkindly with a faithfull seruant, and being so brought vp, and so prouoked, no mar­uell if at length they breed their Ma­sters trouble. Sometime the seruant, being both well taught and well intrea­ted and hauing no iust exception against the gouernment and vsage of his Ma­ster, out of the lewdnesse of his owne e­uill heart, or harkening to the counsell of ill company, becommeth disobedi­ent and vnfaithfull, and prouoketh his master to take strait courses with him. Sometime also an vndiscreet man, dwel­ling by a neighbour of peaceable dispo­sition, presumeth vpon his neighbours softnesse, and offereth him wrong in such manner, as ouercommeth patience, and makes the quiet man to stir againe: and then hath he trouble in his habita­tion, and feeles himselfe compassed [Page 76] with troubles more then he looked for: in all these and like cases, the grieued man is the occasion of his owne burden, in these domesticall troubles.

When he findeth this: then to cast hisHow to cast those wrongs vp­on God. burden vpon the Lord for his case, is to reforme the errours of his owne misgo. uernment, and to looke better to the waies of his family: and to reforme the errours of his owne life, that hee giue better light vnto his owne houshold, and draw them backe to goodnesse by his example, whom hee had corrupted before, and to giue satisfaction to his neighbour whom hee had wronged, and to abstaine from after-wronging of him. Thus stopping the fountaine of cause giuen by himselfe, the streame of offence takē by others wil soone drie vp (the common rules of patience and har­ty praier to God, withal not neglected.)

If thy vnkindnesse to thy wise, and thy bad husbandry made hir vnquiet, vse her more kindly, and proue a better husband, and she shall be quiet. So let the wife by more dutifull and modest behauiour recouer hir husbands loue.

If neglect of discipline, with too much [Page 77] remisnesse in gouerning children and seruants, and thine owne euill example among them were cause of their disor­der, vse thy fatherly and masterly autho­rity better, and giue a better example, and thou shalt haue them in better obe­dience. The child also and seruant, be­comming more obedient and more faithfull, shall soone recouer the loue and fauour of their Parents and Masters.

And if thy neighbour were prouoked to vex thee, because thou hadst first iniu­riously vexed him, make thy peace with him for the first wrong, and abstain from offering a second, and hee will liue in peace with thee.

Surely if the occasion of a mans do­mesticall trouble grew from himselfe, this is to cast his burden vpon God for his owne ease, in the feare of God to re­mooue the occasion, to reforme the dis­order in himselfe, to giue satisfaction, to seeke reconciliation, and to hold a bet­ter course afterward: and to doe this in patience, ioyning withall praier vnto God, that he wil giue, both to himselfe, and to them that were his troublers, wisdome and grace, that hee may no [Page 78] more giue, and they may no more take any such offence.

But if a mans domesticall troublesNot occasi­oned by our selues. grow not from himselfe, giuing the oc­casion, but onely from their owne euill heart, that troubled him, so that he can say as Samuel did: Whom haue I done 1. Sam. 12. 3 wrong to? Or whom haue I hurt? And as Dauid said, O Lord my God if I haue done Psal. 7. 3. this thing, if there be any wickednesse in my hand, if I haue rewarded euill to him that had peace with me, (yea I haue deli­uered him that vexed me without a cause) then let mine enemy persecute my soule and take it. If the burdened man be himselfe faultlesse, and the euill heart of the euill doer be the onely fountaine of his euill deede; as the Scriptures testifie, and daily experience shewes it to be most true, that there are such neighbours, and such domestikes, that of themselues without cause giuen, are troublesome: as froward wiues, with whom it is as vnquiet dwelling as with a Dragon: and euill husbands that haue neither wis­dome nor honesty to respect the weak­nesse of the womans sex, and to intreat them with due mildnesse; and children [Page 79] riotous and disobedient, that will be ruled by no counsell nor order of pa­rents: and parents so vnnaturall and carelesse, that they haue no regard of their children: and seruants so slothful, vnfaithfull and murmuring, that they will neuer be good: and masters so vn­reasonable and cruel, that their seruants liue vnder them a miserable life: and neighbours and companions to whom it is a pastime to doe euill, according to Salomons words, As he that faineth him­selfe mad, casteth fire-brands, arrowes, Prou. 16. 18 and mortall things, so dealeth a deceitfull man with his friend, and saith, am I not in sport? Thus falleth it out many times, that the quiet man giuing no occasion, yet receiueth iniury to his great mole­station.

In this case, this very testimony of hisHow to ca [...] these vpon God. heart, that he is falultesse, glueth much quiet to his soule, and giueth much boldnesse of heart to him, to commend his cause vnto God, and to craue his helpe, that is the patron of all innocen­cy. And it is a goodly rule of casting his burden vpon God, in this case to beare patiently his burden, till God intreated [Page 80] by humble praier send releefe: And this rule is commended vnto vs by the Apo­stle Peter, saying, If when ye doe well, yee 1. Pe. 2. 20. suffer wrong, and take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. He therefore that ho­peth for ease, must quietly beare in the meane time, according to the pleasure of God.

The trouble may be a present iniury,Troubles not conti­nued nor iterated. passing away with the deede, not to be continued, neuer to be iterated, as the rayling of Shemei vpon Dauid: to beare patiently that, which impatience can­not helpe, giueth hope▪ of ease and re­compence from the good hand of God, as Dauid said of Shemeis cursing, it may 2. Sam. 16. 22. be the Lord will looke vpon mine affliction, and doe mee good for his cursing this day▪ Therfore to suffer it patiently, not ren­dring euill for euill, no [...] rebuke for re­buke, is to cast that burden vpon God.Troubles continued.

If it be a wrong iterated, or continu­ed and prosecuted, still patience with praier is to be vsed: for by patience wee possesse our soules, and by praier we ob­taine helpe at the hands of God.If for a short time.

In this continuing and iterated trou­ble, [Page 81] it may please God for thy triall thy exercise and thy good, to continue it long, or else in mercy to deliuer thee from it be times. If he interpose his hand of deliuerance, to make it of short con­tinuance (which is to be praied for) then he will put an end to thy trouble, either by changing the minde of thy troubler, or by weakning and crossing his malice, or else by remouing thy troubler from thee, or thee from thy troubler: where­in till his will be reuealed by his worke, he is to be attended in patience, and to be intreated by praier.

And because he may remoue the bur­denThis tro [...] ­ble may be remoued by reforming the trou­blers. of thy domesticall troubles, by re­forming the troubler: it is a maine point of the casting of thy burden vpon God, to pray vnto him for the reforming of them. And to put to thy hand to so good a worke.

By this rule, if a man bee troubled with an vnquiet wife, and would be ea­sed by the good worke of God, in re­forming hir, he must pray vnto God, that he would be pleased to giue he [...] a bet­ter heart. And hee himselfe must in all louing manner teach her what is come­ly [Page 82] for her to doe as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a mistresse, & as a neigh­bour, wheresoeuer he hath found he [...] to erre, and by her errour to haue been the cause of his trouble. So did Iob checke and reforme the errour of his wife, when she prouoked him to curse God, saying; thou speakest like a foolish woman: What? Iob. 2. 10. shall we receiue good things at the hands of God, and not receiue euill?

So on the other side, if a woman be troubled with a bad and vnquiet hus­band, and would be eased by the good worke of God in reforming her hus­band, shee must pray vnto God, that he will be pleased to giue her husband a better heart: and she her selfe must in all dutifull manner helpe that change, ac­tempting it, partly by gentle wordes in season spoken, and partly by her owne louing and modest behauiour, that is very forcible to reclaime euen a froward minde. By words Abigail attempted to reforme the churlishnesse of Nabal her husband, chusing a fit season to tell him of the danger thereof, the next day after, when he had slept away his drunkennes. She obserued opportunitie, & so should [Page 83] all women doe. Therefore doeth Bath­sheba Pro. 31. 26 say of a vertuous woman, Shee o­peneth her mouth in wisedome, and the law of grace is in her tongue. And such words of wisdome from the tongue of his wife, an honest man shold not refuse to heare, and vnto wise words spoken in season, let her adioyne her milde and humble behauiour, by which much good may be done vpon him, as testifieth Saint Peter, saying; Likewise let the wiues be subiect 1. Pet. 3. 1 [...] to their husbands, that euen they which o­bey not the word, may without the word be won by the conuer sation of the wiues, while they behold your pure conuersation, which is with feare: So ought the wife, both both with milde words and good beha­uiour, helpe the reformation of her hus­band.

These prescribed rules, for the man to desire, and helpe the reformation of his wife that is froward: and for the woman to desire, and helpe the reformation of her husband that is disordred, when the one prooues the others burden by their errour, giue no countenance vnto the disgracing complaints, vnto the vnciuill taunts and checkes, vnto the brawling [Page 84] words & blowes, and other euill vsage, that passe now and then between man & woman, when one is offended with ano­ther: surely God is not the author of such dealings, neither do the married that vse such dealings▪ cast the burden of their domesticall troubles vpon God, os take [...]ny course to make burden lighter, but they do increase it, and make it heauier.

By the same rule, parēts & masters, bur­dend with disobedient & disordred chil­dren & seruants, and desirous to turn off their burdē vpon god, are taught to pray to God for the reformation of their chil­dren & seruants, & to put their own hel­ping hand to the worke, vsing their fa­therly and masterly authoritie, and wise­dome to draw them back from iniquity. In which godly attempt, fathers and ma­sters haue alowāce frō God; yea they are not▪ only warranted of God to do it, but it is a charge laid vpon them, children & seruants being committed to them, not onely to doe them seruice, and to be at their cōmandemēt, but rather to receiue education, & instruction from them. And when parents and masters faile, and be­come carelesse of the instruction of their [Page 85] children & seruants, and in the right go­uernmēt of them, God doth often (in his iustice) punish the fathers & masters neg ligence, with the childrens and seruants disorder. And when parents & masters are carefull to instruct & gouerne aright their children & seruants, then God (in his mercy) requiteth that care and dili­gence with the obedience and faithful­nesse of children and seruants. Salomon saith in the Prouerbs, The rod and corre­ction Pro. 29. 15 giue wisedome, but a childe set at li­bertie makes his mother ashamed. Here iu­stice repayeth with disorder in the child, the neglect of instruction and gouerne­ment in the parents. The same Salomon saith a gaine, Correct thy sonne, & he will Pro. 29. 17. giue thee rest, and will giue pleasures to thy soule. Here mercy repayeth with con­tenting obedience in the child, the wise and careful gouernement of the parents. To masters also, that their seruants may not breede their vnrest, Salomon in the same place giueth these Items, by which hee might well suppose, that wise men would take warning, A seruant wil not Pro. 29▪ 19 be chastened with words▪ though hee vn­derstand, yet hee will not answer. This is [Page 86] plaine enough, that for some seruants, & the right gouernment of them, some­thing more then words is sometime ne­cessary.Pro. 29. 21. And againe he saith, Hee that delicately bringeth vp his seruant from his youth, at length he wil be euen as his sonne. This is plaine enough, that a delicate life with liberty and pleasure, is not to be allowed to seruants by any rule of good gouernement, left to thy griefe he take vppon him to bee more then a ser­uant.

Yet these rules for parents to desire and helpe the reformation of disobedi­ent children: and for maisters to desire and help the reformation of disordered seruants, giues no defence vnto vnna­turall parents, that are tyrants to their owne children: and to cruel masters, that increase the proportion of worke, and number of strip [...]s, but dimin [...]sh the due allowance of meate, and cloathes, and sleepe, and are neuer pleased, but euer brawling. Saint Paul saith vnto parents,Ephes. 6. 4. Fathers, prouoke not your childrē to wrath. Lenity must be vsed, though not cocke­ring, and too much sufferance. And to masters he saith; Masters, doe vnto your Coloss. 4. 1 [Page 87] seruants that which is iust and equall. E­quity must be vsed toward them, thogh not remissenesse.

To the same purpose may it bee saide for children and se [...]uants, if while they haue carried themselues duetifully, and deserued well, their parents or maisters, out of their owne vnkindnesse, and cru­elty, doe prooue a heauy burden vnto them: because it may please God to ease them of that burden, by chaunging the mindes of their parents and maisters, it belongeth vnto them, as a speciall point of the casting of their burden vppon the Lord, to pray vnto God for their pa­rents and maisters, that hee will be plea­sed to open and amend their hearts, that they may see their errour, and may re­forme the same, & learne to deale more kindly (which belongeth to parents) and to deale more iustly (which belongs to maisters;) and whereas they haue no au­thoritie to admonish, to teach, to cor­rect, as their parents and maisters haue, yet with due reuerēce they may be bold, obseruing opportunitie, and vsing de­cent and humble speeches, somtimes to tell them what they think to be fit. How [Page 88] reuerently, when Saul wronged Dauid and had spoken to Ionathan his sonne, and to all his seruants, that they should kill Dauid, which was Ionathans griefe, because he loued Dauid: how reuerent­ly did Ionathan labour to make Saul his father see his errour, saying vnto him, Let not the King sinne against his seruant, 1. Sa. 19. 4. against Dauid: for hee hath not sinned a­gainst thee, but his workes haue beene to thee verie good: for he did put his life in danger, and slew the Philistim, and the Lord wrought a great saluation for all Is­rael: thou sawest it, and thou reioycedst: wherefore then wilt thou sinne against in­nocent bloud, and slay Dauid without a cause? And when Naamat the Syrian tooke great indignation at the Prophet Elisha, because he came not out and laid his hands vpon his leprousie to heale it, but commanded him to wash himselfe seauen times in the waters of Iordan, which he iudged nothing so vertuous as the waters of Damascus; which indig­nation of Naama [...], the Lord and master grieued all his seruants, how reuerently did they say vnto him, Father, if the Pro­phet 2▪ Kin. [...]. [...]3. bad commanded thee a great thing, [Page 89] wouldest thou not haue done it? How much rather then, when he saith vnto thee, wash and be cleane? Such words of mildnesse, spoken in fit season, and with reseruati­on of due reuerence, may by seruants and children be vsed to their fathers and masters, to induce them to see their for­mer errour, that it may be a meanes vn­der God to change their mindes.

But this liberty can no way iustify the insolence and vnduetifulnesse of many children & seruants, that being restrai­ned by the seueritie of their parents and masters, grow into discontent, & speake contemptuously and raylingly, without all reuerence, and without all regarde, either of the authoritie of their parents and masters, or of the subiection and duety that they owe vnto them.

By the same rule is euery one, whose domesticall trouble growes by the er­rour of his neighbour (if hee would bee cased, which may be the changing of his neighbours minde) taught to pray vnto God for the bettering of his neighbour: and to put his owne helping hand to so good a woorke, by admonishing his neighbour neighbourly. And hee hath [Page 90] precepts from GOD to warrant that course. Moses saith, Thou shalt not hate Leu. 19 17 thy brother in thy heart, but thou shalt plainely rebuke thy neighbour, and not suf­fer him to sinne. So that there wanteth charitie in him that will not louingly tell his neighbor of his errour. And God doeth often in his iustice make thy bad neighbour, to be a cause of trouble vn­to thee, because thou, knowing his dis­orders, hast not told him of them, that he might amend. A like commaunde­ment giueth the Lord Iesus, saying, If Ma [...]. 18. 15 thy brother trespasse against thee, goe and tell him his fault betweene him and thee a­lone. That is, if his faul▪ be bent against thee, as the chosen obiect of his malice: or directed another way, it light vppon thee, to the hurt or hazard of thy life, thy peace, thy profit, or thy good name: or if his misdeede were neither intended a­gainst thee, nor did light vpon thee, but onely thou art grieued in thine honest soule, to behold so vngodly dealing: in these cases thou art commāded of the Lord to tell him of his fault, that if hee be curable he may amend. And because thou knowest not but that it may please [Page 91] God to ease thy burden of domesticall troubles, making them of short conti­nuance by reforming the troubler, it is a speciall point of casting this burden vp­on God, to pray for the amendment of thy neighbour, and to put thy helping hand thereto, by gentle and neighbour­ly admonitions.

But this liberty of telling thy neigh­bour his fault, giues no allowance of rayling, and reproaching, and publique disgracing of men, by casting their in­firmities and faults in their teeth. A chri­stian man must abhorre all such bitter courses, remembring what the Apostle Peter saith▪ Loue couereth a multitude of 1. Pet. 4. 8. sinnes: That is, a right charitable man, though hee seeke to reforme his neigh­bour, by telling him of his sinne, yet he will not disgrace or shame his neighbor by publishing his sinne.

It may please God to ease thee of theBy weake­ning the power of the trobler burden of thy domesticall trouble by weakening the power, and crossing the malice, and abating the pride of thy troubler, that either hee shall not dare, or shall not be able to proceede any fur­ther in thy vexation: as he daunted the [Page 92] Pride of Laban, when he pursued Iacob, for hee meant euill to Iacob; but by the way, God came to Laban the Arnmite [...] Gen. 31. 24 a dreame by night and said vnto him, take heede that thou speake not t [...] Iacob aught saue good. And by this threatning of the Lord Labans stomake was taken down, as hee confessed to Iacob the next day, saying, I am able to doe you euill, but the Gen. 3 [...], [...]9 God of your Father spake vnto mee yester. night, saying, Take heed that thou speake not to Iacob aught saue good. And GOD crossed the fury and violence of Saul, when hee thought to haue slaine Dauid, Saul intended to s [...]ite Dauid to the w [...]ll 1. Sa. 19. 10 with the speare: but he turned asi [...] out of Sauls presence, and he [...]ote the speare a­gainst the wall, but Dauid si [...]d, and esca­ped, &c.

In this case it is not lawful fo [...] thee toHow then to cast it vpon God? pray vnto God for the death, the sicke­nesse, the impouerishing, or any way the hurt of thine enemy, leaue him to the iudgement of God, and pray vnto God to forgiue him his wicked malice. Yet is it lawfull for thee to pray vnto God, that hee will be pleased to confound the deuices, and to crosse the attempts, and [Page 93] to scatter the prepared power of thine aduersaries. So we reade that Dauid, in the time of Absoloms treason, when he vnderstood that Ahitophel that great po­litician tooke part with him, he feared his counsell, and first prayed vnto God, saying, O Lord, I pray thee turne the coun­cell 2. 5 [...]. 15. 31 of Ahitophel into foolishnesse. And af­terward sent his wise and faithful friend Hushai the A [...]chite to bee an opposite vnto Ahitophel, by whose meanes in­deede Ahitophels counsell was reiected, to the danger of Absolom, and safetie of Dauid, and many like prayers wee haue in the Psalmes. In one place, Vp Lord, Psal. 9. 19. let not man preuaile. In another place, Let not them that are mine enemie;, vn­iustly Psal. 35. 19 reioyc▪ ouer mee, neither let them winke with the e [...]e that hate mee without a cause. And in another place, Let not the Psal. 140. 8 wicked haue his desire, O Lord, performe not his wicked thought, lest they be prowd. Thus wee see that the Saints haue made their prayer vnto God, against the ma­lice, power, and cunning of their aduer­saries, that God would be pleased to a­bate their pride, to asswage their malice, to confound their deuices, and delude [Page 94] their cunning, that they might not pre­uaile to doe the mischiefe that they in­tended. And so far it is lawfull for thee to pray for their disappointing.

And because sometime the seruants of God, haue made request vnto him, against the persons of their enemies, praying for their destruction; as Eli [...] did against the messengers of the King of Israel, saying, If that I be a man of God 2. Kin. 1. 10 let fire come downe from heauen, and de­uoure thee and thy fifty. As Dauid in di­uers places of the psalmes, let them bee confounded and put to shame that seeke af­ter Psal. 35. 4. my soule, let them be turned backe and brought to confusion that imagine mine hurt. And in another place, set thou the wicked ouer him, and let the aduersarie Psal. 109. 6 stand at his right hand, when he shal bee iudged, let him be condemned, and let h [...] praier be turned into sinne. As Peter t [...]e Apostle praied against Simon Magus, thy mony perish with thee; that, is both thouAct. 8. [...]0. and thy mony perish. And Paul the A­postle against Alexander the Copper­smith, saying, Alexander the Copper­smith 1. Tim. 4. 14. hath done me much euill, the Lord reward him according to his workes. Let [Page 95] none of vs thinke that for the procuring our ease, and deliuerance from our neare troubles, it is lawfull for vs to bend the force of our p [...]aiers against the persons of our aduersaries, and to desire their destruction or hurt. For those whose ex­amples are before remembred, were the Prophets of God, and Apostles of the Lord Iesus Christ, who knew the re­probation of those against whom they praied, and so rather pronounced the knowen iudgements of God, then the priuate affections of their owne hearts: and if they pronounced their owne af­fections, they were affections confor­med to the known iudgements of God, not contending to guide & moue Gods iudgements. So doth S. Austin affirmeAugust. in Psal. 35. of all such praiers, saying, those things which are spoken in the forme of wishing, are things opened by a spirit of prophecying and when they say, let that be done, and let that be done, it is no other then if they had said such and such a thing shall come vnto them No [...] we haue no such know­ledge of any mans reprobation, he may prooue a sheep of Christ, whom as yet by his fruits we find and therfore esteem [Page 96] a wolfe. And we haue no such spirit of prophecy by which we can foretell, what wrath from God shall fall vpon them. And also our Sauiour hath giuen vnto vs, this rule which we must follow.Mat. 5. 44. Pray▪ for them which hurt you and perse­cute you. Therefore if God be pleased to ease vs of the burden of our troubles by▪ weakning the power, asswaging the pride, and malice, and by disappointing and scattering the purposes and counsel of out enemies, we in seeking this grace at his hands, may pray against their de­uises, but not a against their persons. And therefore by this rule is no countenance giuen to the dire imprecations, and bit­ter curses that many vncharitable men powre out against their troublers.

Perhaps it may please God to easeBy remo­uing the troubler from thee, or thee from him. thee of this burden of domesticall trou­bles, making them short, either by re­moouing thy troubler from thee, or by remouing thee from thy troubler. And this remoue all may be made, either by death or by some other course. And thereto some rules pertaine, in the right obseruation whereof a wise man for his ease casteth his burden vpon God.

[Page 97]If the remoue be to be made by death:If his remoue b [...] by death. this is a thing that God may doe at his pleasure, because he is the Lord of life, to giue it and continue it. Dauid saith vnto God; With thee is the well of life. Psal. 36. 9 And to him also pertaines all power o­uer death, to hastē it & bring it forward. The same Prophet saith of the samePsal. 68. [...]0 God; To the Lord God belong the issues of death.) This maner of remoue by death it is not lawfull for thee to desire, much lesse by thy hand to further, either in the death of thy selfe, or of thy troubler. If God be pleased to doe it for thee, either in remouing thy troubler from thee, or in remouing thee from thy troubler, it is euery way a worke of his mercy to­ward thee.

If God by death remoue the troubler from thee, it is his mercy to thee. When God by death had remoued Absolom, that had greatly troubled his father and made him flie from Ierusalem, then was that domesticall trouble at an end, and Dauid returned in peace to Ierusalem. That remoue of the trobler by his death was Gods mercy to the troubled. So likewise if God by death remoue thee [Page 98] from thy troubler, that also is Gods mercy to thee, for so he giueth thee rest, as the Prophet Esay speaketh, saying; The righteous perisheth, and no man consi­dereth Esai 57. 1. in his heart: and mercifull men are taken away, and no mā vnderstandeth that the righteous are taken from the euill to come. This is also Gods gracious mer­cy deliuering him from trouble.

But for thee to be an actor in these things, it is altogether vnlawfull, God hauing giuen to thee a commandement to the contrary; Thou shalt not kill. Dauid Ezo▪ 20. 13 would neuer so be eased of his troubler Saul: he would not doe it himselfe, nor suffer others to doe it, though he often had opportunity, but waited on the hand of God, saying to Abishai, that would haue smitten him while Dauid and he stood by Sauls beds side; As the Lord li­ueth, 1. Sa. 26. 10 either the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die▪ or he shall descend into battell and perish: the Lord keep me from laying mine hand vpon the Lords annoin­ted. And at last he was eased by Sauls death without laying his hand vpon him, it is the remedy of tyrants and bloud-thirsty persons, to seeke ease of [Page 99] their troubles, by procuring the death of their troublers. And it is the remedy of faithlesse & desperate men, to ease them of their burden of troubles, by remouing themselues from their troubles and tro­blers by their death. So did Saul, Ahito­phel, and Iudas. Those men that so re­moue themselues and others, cast not their burden vpon the Lord, who is the giuer of life, but cast it vpon the diuel [...] backe (and themselues withall) who was a murderer from the beginning.

But if a remoue for thine ease may beIf it be by shift of place. effected by shift of place, that may both be desired and vsed without sinne. Isaack sent his sonne Iacob away from his bro­ther Esau, when Esau in his anger had sworne to slaie him. Dauid fled from the hand and Iauelin of Saul, and shifted for himselfe by remouing from place to place: and he conueied all his fathers house into the land of Moab from Sauls reach. The Lord Iesus oftentimes with­drew himselfe from the fury and rage of the Iewes. And he gaue his disciples a rule for times of persecutiō, saying, when they persecute you in this city, flie vnto a­nother. Mat. 10. [...]3 And many honest men haue re­moued [Page 100] their habitations, to auoid ill neighbours, and to be out of the reach of too neare troublers. And many haue purged their houses of vnquiet spirits, both children & seruants, as they might doe, when they could not amend them in the house.

But yet I must tell you, that if chil­dren and seruants increase the burden ofRulet con­cerning re­moue of children or seruants. thy domesticall troubles, this turning them out for thine ease, must be the last remedy that must be vsed; and all other meanes for their amendment must first be attempted, because children and ser­uants are not sent of God into thine house, only for thy pleasure and ease, but they are committed vnto thee to be brought vp vnder thee, and to be trai­ned by thee to grace and good behaui­our. And that is a thing that thou must looke vnto somewhat more then only to thine owne quiet, that thou maist be able to answer God for their soules. If any member of the body be diseased and out of temper, putting the head and whole body to paine, a man will not at the first cut off that member, but first he vseth all meanes to cure it, and doth [Page 101] with much patience endure the weak­nesse of it, and will suffer a blind eie, ra­ther then plucke it out of the place; and a lame hand rather then cut it of; and a sore leg rather then let the sawe come to it: and that shall be the last worke, if he doe it at all. And children and ser­uants are members in the body of thine house; therefore he is but a bad head and gouernour, that presently, because chil­dren and seruants are troublesome, that thrust them out of dores to seeke their ease. By remouing them must be the last attempt. But if other attempts first made by thine own authority and wise­dome then after by the counsel of neigh­bors and friends, and lastly by the pow­er and countenance of the magistrate, will doe no good vpon them, but they persist in their wickednesse, and proue incurable, to the hurt of thy selfe and o­thers in thy family; Then the eie, the hand Mark. 9. 43 and the foot that offendeth may be cut of. If children or seruants, or any other that may be turned away, be as tender and deare as thine eie, as seruiceable as thine hand, as necessary as thy foot, let them depart. The whole is to be respected [Page 102] before a part, & the head before a mem­ber. Thus God may be pleased to shor­ten thy sorrow by a remoue and shift of place between thy troubler and thee.

If God be pleased to continue thy [...] thy trouble con­tinue long. trouble long, all the former aduises must be practised as time affordeth opportu­nity, because thou know st not what happy houre of thine ease God hath set downe in his good purpose. And those two common rules of patience and praier must neuer be neglected.

And for the mittigating of thy sor­rowConsolati­ons to com­fort in long trou­bles. vnder that burden, consider these things that follow, and they will bring much ease vnto thy mind. First that it is the common condition of all Adams children, in this world to haue troubles; as Iob speaketh most truly, Man that is borne of a woman is of a short continuance, Iob 14. 1. and full of trouble. And if it be common to all, without exception of any (how great how godly soeuer) thou shouldst be too delicate to desire to be exempted.

Secondly, in a more neare manner, it is common to all the Saints of God to haue troubles in this world, more then the wicked, by reason of the enmity [Page 103] that the wicked world beareth to the godly, being vnto them a step-mother, while like a naturall mother, she affor­deth all the delight she can vnto her own. The Apostle Paul saith, All that will liue godly in Christ Iesus, shall suffer per­secution. 2. Tim. 3. 1 [...]. And if it be common to all Christs followers to beare a crosse and follow him, thou must not looke to be free.

Thirdly, thy troubles, if they should continue vnto the last hower of thy life, yet are they but short, for life it selfe is short, & no trouble, but is shorter. They end and giue place one to another, and God interposeth between trouble and trouble spaces of quiet and gladnesse, and they are mixed with much cause of reioycing, not only in regard of future mercies hoped for, but also in regard of present mercies possessed. Which mix­ture is as good and pleasant, as the en­ding of troubles: and therefore they are to be esteemed short: as also the Apostle calleth them, saying, Our light affliction which is but for a seasō, and he that shrin­keth for short troubles, is but faint­hearted.

[Page 104]Fourthly, thou hast Christ ioyning his shoulder to thine, and bearing part with the in euery burden of thine, and he bea­reth both in compassion to pity thee, and also in his diuine power to assist thee, that thou maiest not sinke vnder thy burden. Therefore doth he call thy yoke his yoke, saying, Take my yoke on Matth. 11. [...]9. you. Therefore when he speaketh of the vnkindnesse shewed to his followers, he speakes on this manner, I was hungry Math 25. 42. [...] and yee gaue me meat, I was thirsty and yee gaue me drinke. And speaking to Saul, then perscuting those that called vpon his name, he said vnto him; Saul, Saul, Acts. 9. 4. why persecutest thou me? Thus he maketh himselfe a party in all the sufferings of his seruants: & what Christian man shall grudge to beare his part in that burden, wherein he hath the Lord Iesus so kind­ly and so strongly bearing with him.

Fistly, let him consider that those troubles that disquiet his life, were not raised vp against him without Gods ap­pointment: as Dauid said of Sheme [...], Suf­fer 2. Sam. 16. 11. him to curse, for the Lord hath bidden him. And if thou diddest grue to receiue or disdaine to put vp the offered wrong [Page 105] at the hands of the offerer, yet receiue them without griefe, and put them vp without disdaine at the hands of God, and for his pleasure sake.

Lastly, let him consider that troubles auile much to the practise of Christi­anity, they make vs remember God more often, and pray to him more fer­uently then otherwise we would. They make vs remember our selues that wee are but dust, and haue offended God: they pull downe pride, and prouoke vnto repence: they worke in vs bowels of compassion, causing vs to pity others in trouble: they make vs lesse to loue this present world, and more to desire and long for heauen. These considera­tions put together, are of great power to make any Christian man to beare them patiently, and to esteeme them no burden, though God in his wisedome suffer them to lie long vpon vs. The rules hitherto deliuered, teach kindly how to cast our burden of domesticall troubles vpon God. When our trouble is caused by the wrong offered vnto vs by others, in their vnthankfulnesse, dis­obedience, vniustice, or frowardnesse.

[Page 106]Sometime thy home-trouble is occasi­onedIf thy troble be griefe [...] not wrong. by sicknesse, death, or some cala­mity happened vnto thy self, or to some other, either kinsman, neighbor, friend, or of thine owne family.

If it be sicknesse, feare of death, or any calamity vpon thy selfe, we know that euery man is readily sensible of his ow [...] euill: If it be sicknesse, death, feare of death, or calamity whatsoeuer vpon o­thers, we know that some one is more neere and deare vnto thee then some o­ther, and accordingly thou art more o [...] lesse sensible in their euils. How in these cases we may cast our burdens vpon the Lord, let vs consider.

First if sicknesse, feare of death, or a­nyIf griefe grow from sicknesse in thy selfe. other calamity be happened to thy selfe, patience and praier, commended before for common rules in all troubles, are here to be vsed. And if it be sicknesse in thine owne body, these things obser­ued will giue ease to thy minde, and perhaps health also to thy body; and so either remoue wholy thy burden, o [...] make it more easie. First remember that it is the visitation of God, euen of himDeut. 32. 39. that saith of himself, I wound, and I make [Page 107] whole, that is, I send painefull sicknesse▪ and again▪ I send sauing health. This rule will lead thee into many other, wherof euery one will greatly helpe thine ease. It will teach thee, as the Apostle Peter also teacheth thee, when he saith: Hum­ble 1. Pet. 5. 6. your selues vnder the mighty hand of God, that hee may exalt you in due time. For it wil make thee patiently to yeelde to the Lords pleasure. Secondly, it will make thee looke into thy life past, and to acknowledge thy sinne prouoking God, as it moued Dauid, saying, Thine Psal. 32. 4. hand is heauy vpon mee day and night, and my moisture is turned into the drought of Summer, then I acknowledged my sinne vnto thee: for I thought I will confesse a­gainst my selfe my wickednesse vnto the Lord, and thou forgauest the punishment of my sinne. And thirdly, with a resoluti­on to depart from thy former iniquity, it wil mooue thee to pray vnto God for health, and to vow praise and thankes vnto God, as the sicknesse of Hezekiah Esa. 38 2. wrought zeale of praier and thanksgi­uing in him; Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and praied vnto the Lord, and said, I beseech thee, Lord, remember [Page 108] now how I haue walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and haue done that which is good in thy sight. And for his resolution of praising God, it followeth in the same place; The graue Esa▪ 38. 18. cannot confesse thee, death cannot praise thee, they that goe downe into the pit can­not hope for thy truth, but the liuing, the liuing, hee shall confesse thee, as I doe this day: the father to the children shal declare thy truth. The Lord was ready to saue mee, therefore we will sing my song, all the daies of our life, in the house of the Lord. The first acknowledgement of Gods hand, will produce all these things following, as patience, confession of sinnes, praier, and vowes of thanksgiuing: and euery of these at the hands of God, wil obtain ease of thy griefe. Then lastly, it will mooue thee in all the meanes thou vsest for the recouery of helth, to looke high­er then either to the skill of the Physiti­an, or vertue of the medicine, that thou maist not fall into the mischiefe of Asa 2. Chro. 16. 12. King of Iuda, of whom it is written; Asa in the nine and thirtieth yeare of his raigne, was diseased in his feete, and his dis­ease was extreame: yet hee sought not the [Page 109] Lord in his disease, but to the Physitians. So Asa slept with his fathers, and died. Thus auaileable to the easing of thy burden of sicknesse in thy selfe, it will be, to acknowledge therein the visitati­on of God.

And if it be any other calamity ofIf it be any other cala­mity. whatsoeuer kinde fallen vpon vs, (and diuers they are that may fall vpon vs: as for example, Ioseph was sould vnto strangers, and imprisoned in Aegypt: the men of Zeklag were spoiled of all that they had, in their absence with Da­uid: Abiathar of the house of Eli, was cast out by Salomon from being Priest vnto the Lord: warre and famine, and the anger of Princes, yea many inferior causes, breed many calamities) the only sure way of casting our burden vpon God, is to acknowledge the worke of God in our calamity, patiently to beare what he laieth vpon vs, and heartily to pray vnto him for succour. That wee ought to acknowledge Gods worke in our calamity, and patiently to beare his pleasure, Iob doth teach vs saying, Shall Iob▪ 2. 10▪ we receiue good things at the hand of God, and not receiue euill? Surely we doe ne­uer [Page 110] deserue any good at the hand of God, and wee doe continually deserue euill: what reason then haue we to de­sire euer to receiue good that we neuer deserue: and neuer to receiue euill that we euer deserue? Patience therefore in bearing the calamity that God laieth vpon vs, doth well become the sonnes of men. And that in our calamity wee ought to pray vnto God, if wee would haue him to ease vs of our burden, is so cleare, that wee neede no proofe for it. What man is hee, religious or profane, beleuer or vnbeleuer, that doth not in his calamity remember God, looke vp to heauen, and pray to God? the Ma­riners in the ship, whereinto Ionas was entered, when he fled from God, when the storme vpon the sea was sore, and the tempest proued a calamity vnto them, so that they threw the wares out of the ship into the sea, to lighten the ship, for safty of their liues, without in­struction they could then, according to their knowledge of God, fall to praier. For so it is written; The Mariners were Ion. 1. 5. affraid, and cried euery man vnto his God. Though it be not generall with all men, [Page 111] being in calamity and misery, to beare it patiently, yet it is generall with all men in calamity and misery to pray for ease. So that a religious man, being burdened with any calamity, needeth not so much to be taught, that it is fit for him to pray, as hee needeth to be comforted, by being put in hope, that God will in due time answer his praier: as surely he will, if he be called vpon in the name of his beloued sonne. For so hath the Lord Iesus assured vs, saying.Iob. 16. 23. Verely, verely I say vnto you, whatsoeuer yee shall aske the father in my name, he will giue it you. Let him pray therefore vnto God the father in the name of the Lord Iesus, and patiently attend the Lords leisure, and in due time he wil haue mer­cy vpon him. This is when any calami­ty is fallen vpon vs, to cast our burden vpon the Lord, for our ease.

If it be the feare of death, that is thyIf it be feare of death. burden: and perhaps with regard vnto others that shall be in some danger by thy death, as wife, children, seruants, and others that haue their education and maintenance vnder thee. First the bur­den of feare of death, is made easie to a [Page 112] godly man by many considerations, in al which he cas [...]eth his burden vpon the Lord. First hee will consider that it is common to all Adams posteritie. A [...] Dauid being ready to die saith vnto his sonne Salomon; I goe the way of all the 1. King. 2. 2 earth: therefore death ought not to seeme fearefull to thee, that is common to all. Secondly, hee will consider that hee cannot die before the time appoyn­ted of God, that gaue him life, and assig­ned from euerlasting the certaine length of it; as Iob saith, Is there not an ap­poynted Iob 7. 1. time to man vppon earth? And shall any desire longer life, then the giuer of life alloweth▪ Or shall any be grieued to resigne his life into the handes of him that gaue it? Thirdly, hee will consider that the end of life shall bee the end of trouble vnto him, & that his death shall bring him rest from all troubles, as the Spirit of God from heauen hath proclai­med, saying, 'Blessed are the dead that die Reu. 14. 13 in the Lord, for they rest from their labor. Rest and ease from weary labour, is ob­tained by our death and departure out of this life. Fourthly, hee will consider that the sting and danger, and all bitter­nesse [Page 113] of death is taken away by the death of Iesus Christ, and death vnto the Saints is made the gate of life: the Apostle say­ing; O death where is thy sting? O graue 1. Corin. 15 55. where is thy victorie? The sting of death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the law. But thankes be vnto God, which hath gi­uen vs victorie through our Lord Iesus Christ. Lastly, for his ease, of feare in the approach of death, yea for the filling of his heart with all true comfort in death, that he may rather desire and long for, then any way feare the houre of his death, he will consider, that his death shal be the gathering of him vnto Christ his redeemer: as the Apostle saith, Desi­ring Phil. 1. 23. to bee loosed, and to bee with Christ, which is best of all. For while we liue in the world, we are absent from the Lord, and we walke by faith and not by sight. But when we depart this world, wee are gathered vnto him to dwel for euer with him. And that is performed which hee promised, saying, Though I goe to pre­pare Iohn 14▪ 3. a place for you, I will come againe, aud receiue you vnto my selfe, that where I am, there may ye be also. By these considera­tions is the burden of the feare of death [Page 114] made easie to a beleeuer: and in all these considerations doth hee cast his burden vpon the Lord for his ease.

If hee therefore feare his owne death, because others shall want him: his wife shal be a widow, his children shalbe fa­therlesse, his seruants shalbe orphanes, and many shall misse him, that now haue a helper of him; and for their sakes, ra­ther then for himselfe, hee is afraid to die. This burthen is to bee cast vppon God, by commending them vnto his prouidence, who giueth food to al flesh, because his mercy indureth for euer: and who is the keeper of Israel, that neither slumbereth nor sleepeth. And that hee may doe this the more comfortably, for the ease of his heart, let him remember that the Lord saith, All soules are mine, [...]zoc. 18. 4 both the soule of the father, and also the soule of the sonne are mine. He that crea­ted thee, and had a care of thee as the worke of his handes to maintaine thee, created also thy wife, thy children, thy seruants, and thy poore friends, and therefore hath also a care of them as the worke of his hands to maintaine them, And hee that gaue his Sonne for thee to [Page 115] redeeme thee, and therefore had a father­ly care for thee, to doe all things for thy preseruation and saluation, did also giue his Sonne for them to redeeme them, and therefore also hath a fatherly care of them, to doe all things for their pre­seruation and saluation: so that thou maiest most safely commend them to his mercie. And let him remember what the Prophet hath said of God, pertain­ing particularly to this griefe, as if it were intended for his ease in this case: He is a Father of the fatherlesse, and Iudge Psal, 68. 5. of the widdowes, euen God in his holy ha­bitation. So that thou shalt not leaue thy wife without a husband, thy children without [...] father, thy seruants without a maister, and thy poore friends with­out a helper, when thou commendest them to God. He will be all in all vnto all and euery one of them. And there­fore in this griefe, remembring Gods prouidence, thou castest thy burthen vppon GOD, and easest thine owne heart, when thou commendest them vn­to him.

And if it be not thine owne sicknesse,If th [...]u [...]rt grieued [...] others. death, or calamitie, that grieueth thee, [Page 116] but the sicknesse, death, or calamitie ofFirst help, to ease thē what thou ca [...]st. some other neere vnto thee, as of thy husband or wife, thy parents or chil­dren, thy maister or seruant, or some neighbour, or friend that was neere and deare vnto thee: (with commendation of thy compassion, that ought indeede to stretch it selfe to all these, and further also: for the seruants of God must not be without naturall affections.) This is, in the case of their sicknesse and calamitie, to cast thy burden vpon the Lord, first to minister what help and comfort thou art able vnto them, both with good words and also with reall seruices, that they recouering the sooner out of their sicknesse and calamitie, thy heart may the sooner bee freed of that griefe, that thou sustainest for them. And in this mi­nistring of comfort and help vnto them, thou seruest the Lord, and becommest the meanes and instrument of his mercie to the afflicted. Therefore it is saide of the woman of Shumem, Elishaes good hostesse, that her sicke sonne sate on her [...] Kin. 4. 20 knees till noone: that is, shee was grie­ued for his sicknesse, and with a most willing heart gaue him the best help and [Page 117] comfort that shee could. Hence grow all those workes of mercy, that the Lord Iesus saith, hee will remember and re­ward when hee commeth in his glory. Hence commeth the feeding of the hun­gry, the refreshing of the thirstie, the clothing of the naked, the intertaining of the stranger, the visiting of the sicke, and releeuing men in bonds. Hence grow all these works of mercy, namely, that men and women of tender hearts, which haue bowels of compassion in their bodies, are grieued to behold the want, the miseries, and calamities of o­thers, and doe ease their owne hearts, by vsing all meanes to ease the others cala­mity: so casting in a most sweete maner the burden of their owne griefe vppon God, who will certainely comfort them that labor to comfort his afflicted ones, Vnto this rule pertaine all the precepts of ministring to the necessities of the Saints.

But because while thou art thus ca­stingThe [...] pati­ence and prayer. the burdē of thy griefe vpon God, by vsing all good means to relieue them for whom thou art grieued. Because (I say) they are not presently freed from [Page 118] their calamitie, nor thou from all thy sorrow conceiued for their sakes: ther­fore vnto this diligence of helping and succouring the miserable (if thou wilt soundly and fully cast thy burden vpon God) patience must be added, and prai­er: patience to beare quietly their sick­nesse and calamities whom thou louest, for the Lords sake that hath appoynted it so, glorifying him in all his workes: and prayer, to intreat the God of mer­cie to remember (in his mercy) those thy miserable friends, and to raise them vp whom he cast downe. Heere remember Dauid praying for his sicke childe: Da­niel praying for the returne of the capti­uity: the Centurion praying for his sicke seruant: and the Church praying for Pe­ter imprisoned. I will insteed of all ex­amples, adde the precept of the Apostle Paul, making patience and prayer the chiefe rules of obtaining ease of all bur­dens,Phil. 4. 5. saying, Let your patient minde bee knowne to all men, the Lord is at hand: be nothing carefull, but in all things let your requests be shewed vnto God, in prayer and supplication, and giuing of thankes. Thine owne diligence in shewing mercy and [Page 119] helping, thy patient attendance vppon God, with thy faithfull prayer for the as­flicted, are the mean [...] of casting thy bur­den vppon God, when thou art grieued for the sickenesse and calamities of o­thers.

But if it bee the death of some deareIf it be for the death of others. friend that thou art grieued for, where­in perhappes thou thinkest thy griefe remedilesse, because thy dead can not liue agayne: euen for this verie cause, oughtest thou to beare the death of thy friend quietly, because thy dead cannot liue againe. And herein wee haue Da­uid an example of godly fortitude vnto vs, who hauing a childe sicke, did while it yet liued, afflict his soule. For it is written, Dauid be sought GOD for the 2. Sa. 12. 16 childe, and fasted, and went in, and lay all night vpon the earth. Then the Elders of his house arose, to come vnto him, and to cause him to rise from the ground, but hee would not, neither did hee eate meate with them. Thus while there was hope of re­medy, he gaue way to the sorrow of his2. Sa. 12. 18 heart. But it followeth; On the seuenth day the child died: and the seruants of Da­uid feared to tell him, that the childe was [Page 120] dead: for they said, behold while the child was yet aliue, we spake vnto him, and hee would not bearken vnto our voyce: how shall wee say vnto him, the childe is dead, to vex him more? But when Dauid saw his seruants whispered, Dauid perceiued that the childe was dead: Therefore Da­uid said vnto his seruants, Is the childe dead? And they said, hee is dead: then Dauid arose from the earth, and washed, and annoynted himselfe, and changed his apparell, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped, and after came to his owne house, and bade that they should set bread before him, and hee did eat. His sorrowing ended when hee once sawe, that there was no hope of enioying any longer the company of his childe. Now this course seemed to his seruants a new and strange kind of philosophie, that he should mourne in the danger of death, and yet reioyce, or at least comfort him­selfe with any content in death: and therefore his seruants saide vnto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? 2. Sa. 12. 21 thou diddest fast and weepe for the childe while it was aliue: but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eate meat. And [Page 121] what reason had hee for this strange and vnwonted behauiour? Hee said, while 2. Sa. 12. 22 the childe was yet aliue, I fasted and wept: for I said, who can tell whether God will haue mercy on me, that the child may liue: but now being dead, wherefore shall I now fast? can I bring him againe any more? I shall goe to him, but he shall not returne to me. Behold, the same thing that maketh thee to mourne, namely, that thy dead shall not returne to thee: the same con­sideration Dauid made the ground of his quiet and content, and thereupon he comforted his heart, and would not con­tinue in heauines for that that could not be helped. So that it is (to a right vn­derstanding man) ground enough to build content and quietnesse of heart vpon, that God hath done his worke, which thy sorrow cannot reuoke.

But, for the further quieting of thy minde, know that thy dead shall liue a­gaine: as the Prophet Esay saith▪ Thy Esa. 26. 19 deadmen shall liue, with my body shall they rise. There is a day appointed of GOD, wherin they shall returne out of the dust againe, and liue againe in their bodies then glorified. Yea, know that for thy [Page 122] comfort, that thy dead doe now liue, and howsoeuer their bodies lie without life in the graue, yet their soules do liue, and shall liue for euer with God. And with these considerations of the present life of the soule, and the future life of the bodies, the Apostle would haue wise Christians comfort thēselues ouer their dead, and not giue way to their affecti­ons, to mourne without measure, say­ing,1. thes. 4▪ 13 I would not brethren haue you igno­rant concerning them which are asleepe, that ye sorrow not as others which haue no hope. For if wee beleeue that Iesus is dead and risen, euen so them which sleepe in Ie­sus, God shall bring with him. For this say wee vnto you by the word of the Lord, that wee which liue, and are remayning in the comming of the Lord, shall not preuent them which sleepe. For the Lord himselfe shall descend from heauen with a showt, and with the voyce of the Archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then shal we which liue and remaine, be caught vp with them in the clouds▪ to meet the Lord in the aire, and so shall wee euer bee with the Lord. Wherefore comfort your selues one ano­ther [Page 123] with these words. Let them mourne for their dead, that know not the hope of the dead, and suppose them extinct that are departed: but let them which in the schoole of Christ, haue learned what is the condition and hope of the dead, how their soules doe presently liue with Christ, and that their bodies also shalbe raised vp in glorie at the last day. Let them reioyce in the behalf of their dead, and throw off that burden of sorrow, which is so heauy vnto them. And thus much for the second branch of secular troubles, namely, for domesticall trou­bles, and the casting of that burden vp­on God.

CHAP. X.

THe third branch is of trou­blesThe third secular burden is troubles more re­mote. more remote, hauing a beginning further of, when those by whom thou art wrōged, are not of thy family, neither of thy kindred, neere ac­quaintance, nor neighbours; but stran­gers of another kinred, family, or habi­tation, [Page 124] yet hauing so much knowledge of thee, & acquaintance with thee▪ as to make thee the marke of their malice, and obiect for their enuy and euill hearts to worke vpon. And those, for whom thou art grieued, are not of the same house, stocke, village, or country with thee: yet because they are men, and haue fel­lowship with thee in common nature, or because they are christians, and haue fellowship with thee in the same com­mon religiō, thy hart is grieued by way of compassion, to heare of the calamities that are hapned vnto them. And these remote troubles and griefes may happen to him that hath peace in his own house, liueth quietly with his neighbours, and louingly with his friends, and hath com­fort and ioy in their health and prospe­rity.

The rules giuen for domesticke trou­bles,Generally [...] pati [...]ce are also very sitting for these: first therfore arme thy selfe with patience, & & quietly suffer till God send ease. And for the confirming of thy patience, con­sider that the harts of all mē being in the hands of God, these should neuer haue had any will to offer the wrong, if God [Page 125] for some holy cause had not stirred them vp, as he is said to haue stirred vp trou­blers to Salomon, when he fell to idola­try:1. Ki. 11. 14 Then the Lord stirred vp an aduersary vnto Salomon, euen Hadad the Edomite, &c. And therefore though thou grudge to beare at the hands of men, yet beare with patience and humility the good pleasure of God, who knoweth when and how to make thee amends. Dauid with this consideration confirmeth him­selfe in his patience, saying I should haue Psal. 39. 6. bin dumbe and not haue opened my mouth, because thou didst it. Saint Ierome reades it, I haue been dumbe, and will not open my mouth. Tremellius reades it, I am dumbe, and doe not open my mouth. The meaning is, that either he should haue kept si­lence, or he had kept silence, or he did keep silence, or was resolued hereafter to keep silence: or else altogether, for time past, present, and to come, he held himselfe bound as by way of duty, in his trouble to be mute and dumbe, from murmuring, raging, and all works of im­patiencie, vpon this only reason, because thou didst it, that is, because he knew it to be the handy worke of God.

[Page 126]And vnto patience adde praier: forAnd [...]se praier. though it becommeth a godly man in his trouble to shut his mouth against all words of murmuring, yet it becommeth him not to shut his mouth in the time of trouble, against words of humble prai­er. For by silence from murmuring, it is manifest, that God is feared, and his pleasure approued: but by silence from praier, it is manifest, that God is negle­cted, and his helpe little set by▪ In these troubles therefore, and in all troubles, it is a principall point of casting our burden vpon God, to seeke his helpe by praier. And the same consideration of Gods deed (in stirring vp the aduersary that serueth to shut our mouthes against words of murmuring, serueth as strongly to open our mouthes for words of hum­ble praier. That childe, that bearing the fathers displeasure, & in the fathers dis­pleasure suffering want of some wonted case, doth refuse to make request vnto his father, for the withdrawing of his displeasure, and the restoring of wonted liberty (especially being by the father commanded to make request, and assu­red by his fathers promise that when he [Page 127] doth make request all shal be forgiuen) that childe plainly appeareth to beare too big a heart against his father. And a wise father (not willing to be contem­ned of his child) wil not restore his child to his wonted grace and liberty, till he humble himselfe, and intreat his father. Euen so that christian man that hath displeased God (and who hath not iustly deserued his displeasure) and feeleth vp­on him the hand of his displeased God, in troubles, that these remote enemies (stirred vp of God) doe put him vnto, and doth not humble himselfe, and pray vnto God for his fauour, and ease (seeing God hath both commanded him to pray, and hath also promised to heare him, & helpe him when he praieth) that man shews a heart ouer swolne against his God, and God in iustice can doe no lesse then denie to send him reliefe, so long as he refuseth to intreate for reliefe. This therefore is a speciall point of ca­sting our burden vpon God, in these and in all troubles, that men do learne to make humble praier vnto God.

But from these generall rules let vsParticu­larly for wrongs. consider of the particular, and here, as I [Page 128] said before of domesticall troubles. I [...] vs first consider of them that grow vnto vs from enemies that wrong vs. After of our griefe for friends.

Of these some bend their malice a­gainst our estate, and by cunning and fraud in bargaining, by violence [...] power in oppressing, by robbery in the high way, and by aduantages offered to their couetous and mercilesse hearts▪ seek to inrich themselues by t [...] spoile, or at the least to weaken and ouerthro [...] thine estate, and to scatter thy riches as a spoile.

Some bend their malice against thy good name, and by railing and ope [...] exclamations to thy face, after the man­ner of Shemei, and by slandering & close tales behind thy backe, after the manner of Doeg, by misconstruing and mis-re­porting thy iust doings, and by impu­ting vnto thee those bad deeds, that thou neuer hadst thine hand in, seeke to ble­mish thy reputation in all places, and to bring thee into disgrace.

Some bend their malice against thy life: and either vow and attempt them­selues to kill thee, as Ioab did Abner: or [Page 129] hire and sot on others to murther thee, as Absolom set on his seruants to mur­ther Amnon: or accuse thee to men of more fury & violence then themselues, betraying thee into their hands, to bee sacrificed to their wrath: or stirre vp and arme by false accusations the Ma­gistrate against thee, that vnder shew of iustice thou maiest be vniustly ouer­throwne. Let vs see how the burden of these troubles is to bee cast vppon God.

Consider heere first of all whence theIf thou ga­uest the oc­casion. occasion grew; and if thou findest thy troubles prouoked by any priuate er­ror of thine, seek to satisfie them whom thou diddest wrong, and be not of the stomacke of them that will maintaine what they haue done, be it neuer so in­iurious, and acknowledge thy fault, make reasonable amends, seeke recon­ciliation, and by all meanes assure vn­to them thy resolution to abstaine from offering like wrongs any more. Shemei, though none of the honestest, nor wi­sest men, yet when hee considered that his wrong done to Dauid might breede him that enmity that might become a [Page 130] burden, heauie and daungerous to his peace & life; for his ease & safty his wit serued him to confesse his fault, to seek peace submissiuely, and to offer better seruice for the time to come: when Da­uid after the ouerthrow of Absolom, came backe ouer Iordan to returne to Ierusalem, Shemei came with haste to [...]. S [...]. 19. 18 meete Dauid at the riuers side, and hee fell before the King, when hee was come o­uer Iordan, and said vnto the King, Let not my Lord impute wickednesse vnto me, nor remember the thing that thy seruant did wickedly, when my Lord the King de­parted out of Ierusalem, that the King should take it to his heart: for thy seruant doth know that I haue done amisse. There­fore behold, I am the first this day of all the house of Ioseph that am come to goe downe to meete my Lord the King. And this submission of his, confessing his fault, and crauing pardon, preuayled with Dauid, so that hee did not let his wrath fall, as a heauie burden vppon the necke of Shemei, though there were some men present that did much pro­uoke Dauid to reuenge.

But if thou be free, hauing giuen them [Page 131] no occasion, and onely sufferest wrong,If thou giue not the occa­sion. the fault being wholly in thine enemie: I tell thee, this very testimonie of thy conscience is a great easing of thy bur­den, if thou suffer not for thy sinne, but for their malice. So did the Lord Iesus suffer among the Priests and Pharisies. The greater half of the burden is by this meanes turned off, when peace of con­science abideth with thee: other griefs and wrongs may be the more easily in­dured. Salomon saith in the Prouerbs, A Pro. 15. 15 good conscience is a perpetuall feast. This is no small pleasure to a good man, that hath beene vrged and vexed with vn­kindnesse abroad, that when hee com­meth home, hee entreth into his closet, and examineth his heart, and findeth that hee is in no fault, and can plead his innocencie before God: it is a feast to him: he sitteth downe boldly and cheer­fully by the mercie-seate of God, and despiseth with a godly scorne, both the wrong done, and the wrong doer, say­ing in his heart, by the mercie of God, this wrong shall turne to my good, and this wrong doer shall not preuaile a­gainst mee: and with great confidence [Page 132] of heart he powreth out his desires be­fore God. Saint Peter hath a saying that agreeth well with this point; that wee haue now in hand; Let none of you suffer 1 Pet. 4. 15 as a murderer, or as a thiefe, or as a busie­body in other mens matters, but if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not bee asha­med, but let him glorifie God in this be­halfe. Heere is right thy case: hauing examined thine heart, thou findest tha [...] thou art no murderer, nor thiefe, no [...] euill doer, nor busie-bodie, in the cau­ses pretended by thine enemy, as rea­sons of his violence against thee: but thou findest that thou sufferest as a Chri­stian, that is, thou sufferest without thy desert; therefore thou hast cause to glo­rifie God, thou hast no cause to be asha­med. This innocencie of thine maketh thy burden to be much lighter.

And if God haue purposed to shortenIf God will reforme the troubler. thy trouble by conuersion of thine ene­mie, though thou haue not such oppor­tunitie to helpe him with wholesome councell, beeing a remote enemy, as thou hast to helpe a domesticall: yet as opportunitie is offered, remember and practise that precept of the Lord Iesus, Mat 18▪ 15 [Page 133] go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. And otherwise let it be the wish of thine heart, and pray to God for it, that God will be pleased to giue him a better heart. Some haue obser­ued, that Saint Stephens prayer helped much the conuersion of Saul (after cal­led Paul) beeing one of those remote troublers to him, & a very furious one. When Stephen that blessed Martire of Iesus Christ was put to death, Saul was a busie doer against him. The witnesses Acts 7. 58. (to whome it belonged to throw the first stone at the condemned person) laied downe their cloathes at a yong mans Acts 8. 1. feete whose name was Saul. And Saul consented to his death, and otherwise made hauocke of the church, and brea­thed threatnings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. It pleased the Lord Iesus in his wonderfull mercy to meete this persecuter in the heat of his fury, neere to the Citie of Damascus, and to conuert him, and to make him a disciple.

And the effect of that conuersion was peace to the Church, that had beene oppressed before with a heauie burden [Page 134] of troubles by means of that troubler. As it is written, Then had the Churches Acts 9. 31. rest through all Iudea, and Galile, and Samaria, and were edified, and walked in the feare of the Lord, and were multipli­ed by the comfort of the holy Ghost. And this conuersion of Saul, with the chur­ches peace growing thereby, some haue ascribed vnto Stephens prayer, as an in­termediate cause, who while they sto­ned him, kneeled downe, and cryed with Acts 7. 60. a lowd voyce, Lord, lay not this sinne to their charge. Of which prayer of Ste­phen, Austin in his fourth Sermon of the Saints hath this saying▪ If Stephen Aug. Ser. 4. de Sanctis. had not thus prayed, the Church should not haue had Paul: but therfore was Paul (being fallen from his horse) raised from the earth, because when Stephen, with bowed knees was fallen to the ground, hee was heard in his prayer. Therfore thogh thou hast not oportunitie to admonish thy remote aduersary, yet pray vnto God for his conuersion. Thou knowest not whether God wil heare thy praier, and shorten thy trouble, by changing the mind of thy troubler.

If it be to bewrought by a remoue▪ [Page 135] and that remoue to be made by death,If God will remoue by death. therein thou hast nothing to do before­hand, but to maintaine that resolution that alwaies ought to be in all Christi­ans, namely, to yeeld to the wil of God, and to approue his worke, as well in killing as in giuing life, and as well in our selues as in others. And if it please God to take away thine enemy, then is it thy part to praise his name, that suffe­reth thy peace to out-liue thine enemies fury: but neither worke it, nor desire it, nor reioyce in it as a calamity happened to thine enemy, or to his house: much lesse offer violence to thy self, that may free thee from short troubles, but it will surely plunge thee into eternall trou­bles.

If God haue appointed to shortenIf God will remoue by shift of place. thy troubles, by remouing either thy troubler from thee, or thee from thy troubler by distance of place, that you may be yet further a sunder, and the one out of the reach of another: as opportu­nity is offered, wisdome will aduise thee what to doe. For the departure of an e­nemie,Themisto­cles. a wise man said, A bridge of gold should be made, to further his speedy [Page 136] passage, rather then to stay him with a­ny impediment. And it is at thy liber­ty, flying from the swords point of per­secution and malice, to remooue from one City to another.

But if God be pleased to maintaine a­gainstIf God will continue thy trouble. thee, the enemy that he hath stir­red vp; thy chiefe casting of thy burden vpon God, is by patience to possesse thy soule, bearing quietly what thou canst not shake off: & by hearty praier to sol­licite the maiesty of the most high God, to free thee from thine enemy when it pleaseth him, and in the meane time to giue thee wisdome to suffer as thou oughtest, to his pleasure. Thus much how to cast the burden of remote trou­bles vpon God, when thy troble grow­eth from the malice of remote enemies that offer wrong vnto thee.

Sometimes thou art not hurt by re­moteIf thy trou­ble be griefe [...] others. enemies, but rather art greeued for remote frindes, or strangers, for whose calamity thou are affected with heauinesse. Sometime in regard of com­mon humane nature, because they are men, as thou art, and it grieueth thee that any of thine owne kinde should suf­fer [Page 137] such calamity: sometime in regard of common holy religion, because they worship the same God, and beleeue in the same Sauiour, that thou doest; and it greueth thee, that any of thy faith and religion, and any true worshipper of thy God should indure such misery.

For direction to cast this burden vponNot usuall to be grie­ued for o­thers. God, there needeth no long discourse, because I feare there are not many, that beare any such burden of sorrow for o­thers misery, or vpon whom it lieth hea­uy if they sorrow at all, or vpon whom it abideth long if it be heauy. Selfloue per­mitteth vs not to mourne for the cala­mity of other men, when we are at case our selues. The Butler in Pharaoes court, when hee had once recouered his owne place and honour, neuer regarded, nor was moued with Iosephs imprisonment. The chiefe Butlar did not remember Io­seph, Gen. 40. 2 [...] but forgat him. And those wounds neuer enter deepe in our hearts, which we only see or heare in others, and feele not in our selues: and the teares that fall from our eies for other mens miseries, quickly drie vp. If Amos liued in this selfe-delighting and neighbour con­temning [Page 138] age, wanton and excessiue one way, but wanting and pitilesse another way, he would surely crie out againe, as before he did, saying, They drinke wine Amos 6. 6. in bowles, and annoint themselues with the chiefe ointments, but no man is sorry for the afflictions of Ioseph: that is, euery man cherisheth himselfe delicately, but no man regardeth how other men fare.

Yet because God hath alwaies his, aWhat to doe in griefe. mercifull father mercifull children: be­cause some there are of tender hearts, that mourne with them that mourne, and haue put on, as the Apostle speak­eth, tender mercy and kindnesse; to satis­fieCol. 3. 1 [...]. them, I pray them to call to remem­brance, the three rules giuen before, i [...] the case of like griefe for frindes most neare. First, so farre as distance of place betweene thee and them, the small ac­quaintance that thou hast with them, and thy weake means will suffer, afford them thy best helpe. Egypt afforded food to Canaan, when famine was sort in that land. The King of Moab gaue entertainment to Dauids father, and to his whole houshold, when Sauls disple­sure [Page 139] was heauy to them in Israel. Dauid had Ziklag giuen him to dwell in, when he could not be safe in Iuda. Mercy by hospitality succoureth many strangers, that by famine, warre, and other cala­mities cannot remain in safety at home. If thou be grieued for the calamity of them that dwell farre off, affourd thy best helpe: thou shalt make lesse thy sor­row for their calamity, while thou ma­kest lesse their calamity by thy mercy. Therefore did the brethren among the belieuing Gentiles, make collections to send to the poore Saints at Ierusalem. Secondly, vse patience in this case: and till God put an end to their miseries, glorifie thou God in his iudgments, that so exerciseth truth, humbleth, corre­cteth, and punisheth. Lastly, pray vnto God for them, that in his iudgements he will be pleased to remember mercy; and to spare the sheepe of his owne pa­sture, if they be true worshippers: or at least that he will spare the worke of his owne hands, whatsoeuer they be, and forgiuing their sinnes, that he will giue them repentance, that they may come to the knowledge of him and of his [Page 140] truth, and in the end be deliuered from his fiery wrath. In these three things, i [...] helping mercifully, in bearing patient­ly, and in praying fruently, consisteth the right manner of casting our burden of griefe and sorrow for other mens ca­lamities vpon God. And so haue wee considered of this third secular burden of more remote troubles, which hath great affinity with the burden of more nigh and domesticall troubles and diffe­reth onely in respect of the persons, by whom thou art wronged, and for whom thou art grieued, in that they are further from thee.

CHAP. XI.

THE fourth and last branch ofThe fourth secular bur­den, diffi­culties of our callings. our secular burdens, is the burden of difficulties that fol­low the duties of our callings. The callings themselues, whether supe­riour or inferiour, whether in a priuate house, or in an ample Citie, in the whole kingdome, or in the Church of God are the ordinances of God, as Paul saith of the magistrate; The powers that bee, are Rom. 13. 1. [Page 141] ordained of God; and as might be shewed for all other callings from the highest to the lowest. Therefore they are hono­rable, and in them we serue the Lord, as so many officers in his house. And the offices that we are tied to performe by the nature & condition of our callings, they are inioyned vnto vs (to euery cal­ling distinctly) by God himselfe in his word, wherein is set downe, what the King, the Iudge, and euery Maiestrate, what the Minister, the husband, the wife, the father, the childe, the Maister and seruant, must doe; and therefore those officers are holy. The ends of them are, the glory of God, the peace of the king­dome, the edification of the Church, and the prosperitie & good of euery priuate person: and therefore it is honorable to vs to be imployed in those callings and to performe those good offices; for in those callings and offices, we serue God (whose seruice is perfect freedome) while others, neglecting to serue in these callings, and to performe these offices, serue their owne lustes, the world, and the Diuell, to their dishonour. Yet those offices so holy and so honorable, by rea­son [Page 142] of certaine difficulties that accom­pany and follow them, doe bring a hea­uie burden of troubles vpon vs.

Sometime wee are vnsufficient forIf we be insufficient those callings, and vnable to performe those offices. And that happeneth either by our own fault, or by the fault of some others. By our owne fault, either in our entrance, ambitiously or couetously thrusting into callings (for the honor and fee of them) that we were neuer fit for: or after our entrance, losing our gifts through sloth and idlenes, and so growing vnsufficient, as an instrument that is become rustie for want of vse. By the fault of others, when they which had power to call and admit vnto any place, & perhaps authoritie to impose, hauing a go [...]d opinion of thy gifts, haue sing­led thee foorth somewhat too soone, be­ing willing rather to wait for a suller growth of thy gifts, then to lose a man of so great hope. In all these cases of our insufficiencie th [...] duties of our cal­lings proue a heauie burden vnto vs.

Sometime wee are sufficient for theIf we be sufficient, but are crossed. seruice that our callings bind vs vnto, and we vse faithfull diligence; but some [Page 143] froward men oppose against vs, as Eli­mas the sorcerer with-stood the preach­ing of Paul. By meanes of which oppo­sition, & crosse working of those men, it commeth to passe, that either thou canst not bring to prosperous issue the good things that thou labourest in, or thou effectest them with much more labour. This maketh the seruices of thy calling to be much more heauie vnto thee.If we doe well and be misconstru­ed.

Sometime thou art sufficient, and art diligent, and hast effected things happi­ly to thy minde: but then enuious men misconstrue, mistake wittingly, and mis­report thy doings, as the Scribes and Pharises mistake and mis-reported the holy and most absolute workes of the Lord Iesus. And then insteed of loue and commendation, which thou didst looke for, thou art blamed; and insteede of reward and incouragement, which thou didst deserue, thou art in danger to be punished: this proues a great bur­den. In all these cases, yee see how hea­uie burdens grow from honorable and honest callings, besides the continuall care that euery good man hath to doe his dutie in his place. Let vs see how [Page 144] we may cast these burdens vpon God to be eased.

If thou be insufficient through thineI [...] we be insufficient by [...] owne fault. owne fault, ambitiously or couetously intruding into thy calling, to possesse thy selfe of the honor of the place, or of the fee that belongeth vnto it, without ex­amining thy strength how able thou were to doe the seruice of it, or not re­garding, though thou knowest thy strength to be altogether insufficient; of which sort are many men both in the common wealth and Church. Such are many antient men, that hauing plentie of wealth, and p [...]nury of wisdome, that for their worship, make meanes to be in the commission for the peace, hauing no knowledge (or very little) of the lawes of the kingdome, to helpe to compound the controuersies of the people. And such are young gentlemen, brought vp in idle pleasures, that being younger brethren, for their better maintenance, make suite to haue the charge and lead­ing of companies for the war, & would be Captaines the first day, hauing neuer yet beene good souldiers; they knowe how to behaue themselues in the house [Page 145] and among friends, but they know not how to behaue themselues in the field and against enimies. And such are many ignorant and slothfull men, that seeke to be admitted into the ministrie, and to get a good benefice, that they may liue easily, and eate the milke of the flocke, hauing no abilitie to seede the flocke, yea no care thereof. These men, when they are called and vrged to the seruices of their places, then begins their burden to waie heauie, and their insufficiencie makes them subiect to danger and dis­grace. How shall these men cast their burden vpon God, for their ease?

If thou be not very far from suffici­encie,And be not far from [...] sufficiencie▪ but that counsell from others, thine owne studie and trauell, the view of other mens doings, some practice made by thy selfe, and other like good meanes, blessed of God (whose helpe thou must pray for) may bring thee vn­to some reasonable dexteritie in time, vse and apply all these meanes, and let prayer be vsed with euery other meanes, and remember what thou hast vnder­taken, and that thou canst not without danger neglect the worke of the Lord, [Page 144] and God will second thy desire and tra­uaile with his blessing. The twelue, when they were first called, and admitted of the Lord Iesus, were not so fit for their places; as afterward they proued. I speake not these things to imbolden any man to thrust into [...] calling without due pre­paration, but onely to aduise for the best, those that are already entred, them­selues being hitherto very vnreadie. Let them vse good meanes, and make triall of Gods mercie. It hath fallen out, that men very raw at their first entring, by diligence after vsed, haue growne ve­ry fit, while others, of good fitnes at their entring, by negligence and idlenes haue lost their giftes, and become very vn­profitable.

But if thou be far from sufficiencie, soIf we be far from suffi­ciencie. that after thy entrance, all thy diligence assisted with prayer vnto God, cannot inable thee, at least in some mediocritie to doe thy dutie; then know that God hath not called thee to that place. Then the onely way of casting thy burden vp­on God, i [...], in the feare of God to giue ouer that calling, to resigne that place, and no longer, either for honors, sake or [Page 145] wealths, to stand a blanke, a cypher, [...] blot, and an impediment either in com­mon wealth or Church, and to be an of­fence in the eye both of God & all good men: and to seeke to get his liuing by honest labour in some other calling, that he hath bene better fitted for, as Zacha­rie reporteth the words of some idle Prophets▪ in their repentance; as name­ly, That he should no more weare a rough Zechar. 13 5. garment (that is the robe of the Pro­phets profession that he was vnfit for) and he should say I am no Prophet, I am an husband man▪ for man taught me to be an heardman from my youth. That is, I was neuer brought vp and fitted for the seruice of a Prophet, where into I did foolishly thrust my selfe, and therefore I will leaue that calling vnto more suffici­ent men: and whereas I was brought vp to the trade of a husband-man & heard-man, I will henceforth follow that cal­ling, that I may eate my bread with a good conscience, & with Gods blessing, though my reputation and maintenance be lesse. This is to cast thy burden vpon God.

If thy ambition and couetousnes did [Page 148] not make thee intrude, but men hadIf we be not insuffi­cient by our own faults. good opinion of thy sufficiencie, as Pha­rao had of Iosephs wisdome, & thou hast vsed no cunning to draw them to haue such opinion of thee, but they simplie, out of their owne obseruation iudged well of thee, and imposed a charge vpon thee, not being yet so ripe in iudgemēt, and otherwise, as thou wouldest be, and hadst neede to bee: in this case there is a good calling of God, to giue thee hope of his further helpe, though as yet thou be but as Dauid was, the youngest among many brethren. And the testi­monie of thine owne conscience, cle [...] ­ring thee from intrusion, is some ease of thy burden. Plead thine honest calling, plead thy cleere conscience before God, and craue his fauour: and if they that did chuse thee will not discharge thee, pray to God for increase of strength, & craue the helpe of their prayers, that laid the burden vpon thee, and bend thy selfe with good hope vnto thy busines. It is written, that out of the mouthes of babes Psal. 8. 2. and sucklings, God ordaineth strength, hope well therefore, in thy diligent in­deuour, of the assistance of God, and [Page 149] remember what the Lord Iesus answe­red to Paul, my grace is sufficient for 2. Cor. 1 [...]. 9. thee, my power is made perfect through weaknes: and what the Apostle saith of himselfe assisted with this sufficient gracePhil. 4. 15. of Iesus Christ. I am able to doe all things, through the helpe of Christ that strength­neth me: and make vse of these testimo­nies, studying, striuing, praying, and vsing all meanes and helps for increase of sufficiencie. And take that as spoken to thee, that Paul spake to Timothi [...], 2. Tim. 4. 15. These things exercise, and giue thy selfe vnto them, that it may be seene how thou profitest among allmen. This is the waie of casting this burden vpon God.

If thy sufficiencie be good, and thyIf we be sufficient, but crossed, what then to doe. diligence answerable, so that thy con­science witnesseth, that thy labour in the Lords Vineyard is faithfull labour, but the effect answereth not, and the work goeth not forward, because the re are that oppose their vtter most power against thy labours, to crosse the suc­cesse of them. And there is scarce any one good worke, that a man of publike calling can take in hand, but the Diuell hath one instrument or other to crosse [Page 148] the attempt, and hinder the successe: so did the Sorcerers of Egypt withstand the message of Moses and Aaron, comming vnto Pharao in the name of the Lord. So did Rehum and Simshai, with their companions with Tatuai, and Sauballat and T [...]biah withstand to their vttermost power and cunning the worke of the Iewes, in building the Temple & wales of Ierusalem, after their returne from the captiutie. When Elias had slaine the Priestes of Baal, and sought to bring backe Israel to the worship of the Lord, Iesabel opposed hi [...] selfe, and made Elias to flie for his life. And while the A­postles preached the Gospell of Christ to the Gentiles, the vnbeleeuing Iewes stir­ring vp the Gentiles, withstood them in all places: as the Apostle chargeth them saying, They haue persecuted vs, and God, 1. Thes. 2. 15. they please not, and are contrarie to all men, and forbid vs to preach vnto the Gentiles, that they might be saued. Thus vsually, through Sathans enuie, it falleth out, that scarce any attempteth any com­mendable worke, but that one or other instrument of Sathan ariseth, opposing himselfe against it, to hinder the per­formance [Page 149] of it, increasing his burden that trauelleth about it. How shall men thus vexed, cast their burden vpon the Lord?

First, when thou seest their mallice and opposition, be not driuen from thy pa­tience and peaceable minde, lest thou also shouldest either say or doe amisse in thy vnquiet passion. Secondly, vnto this patience ioyne prayer vnto God, and in thy prayer craue these things of God. First, that God will oppose his helpe a­gainst their opposition, and hinder their hindring attempts, as the Prophet doeth saying. Let not the wicked haue his desire Psal 140. [...]. O Lord, performe not his wicked thoughts. Secondly craue the assistance of Gods hand vpon thy labour, & good indeuor, to helpe thee against thine opposites; as the Prophet doeth, saying, Giue vs helpe Psal. 108. 12. against trouble, for vaine is the helpe of man, through God we shall doe valiantly. Lastly that he will take thy good enter­prise into his hand, and vse thee as his instrument to effect so good a worke by; as also the Prophet doth, saying, Let Psal. 90. 17. the beautie of the Lord our God be vpon vs, and direct the worke of our hands vpon vs▪ [Page 152] euen direct the worke of our handes. Surely in this case, this is to cast our burden vp­on God: if withall, when we see the end to fall out contrarie to our godly pur­pose, we glorifie God therein, supposing, that as God would not let Dauid build his Temple, but reserued it to be per­formed afterward by Salomon: so God for some secret cause will not haue that good worke finished by thee, but re­s [...]rueth it for some other time, and some other person.

Lastly, if thy sufficiencie be good, andIf thy deed be miscon­strued, what to do [...]. thy diligence answereable to thy suffici­encie, and the worke effected through Gods helpe, be answereable to thy dili­gence, but the malice of mē misconstrue thy worke, and misreport it, & so bring thee into danger and trouble: as Ama­ziah the wicked Priest of Bethel, misre­ported the godly seruice of the Prophet Amos, and accused him to the King, say­ing,Amos. 7. 10. Amos hath conspired against thee, in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to beare all his words. So see­king, betray his life into the handes of cruelty vnder shewes of iustice.

Then the casting of our burden vpon [Page 153] God is first, in his name to protest ou [...] innocencie, and that we haue done our dutie with an honest heart as God com­maunded vs. So did Amos after Ama­ziah had accused him, saying for him­selfe, The Lord tooke me as I followed the Amos. 7. 15. stocke, and said vnto me, Goe, prophecie to my people Israel. That is, I haue in those sermons which you call Conspiracie, faithfully followed the commandement of the God of Israel. So also did Ieremy, when the Priestes and false Prophets, and the multitude of the people had laid hands vpon him in the Temple, and went about to kill him for his preach­ing, he protested his innocencie saying. The Lord hath sent me to prophecie a­gainst Iere. 26. 12 this house & against this Citie, all the things that you haue heard. And thine innocency being thus protested & made knowne, then secondly turne thee vnto God, appeale to his iudgemē [...] ▪ & rest vp­on him. He is the true discerner of all mens doings, to whō it is manifest both what things are done, and with what mind they are done: and he is the iudge of all men and of their doings, and he will reward them that truly serue him: [Page 152] therefore taking no discomfort at the vniustice and vnthankfulnes of men, pray God to iustifie thy well doing a­gainst misreporters. Thou hast a pro­mise of such mercie, made by the Pro­phet,Psal. 37▪ 6. saying, He shall bring forth thy righteousnes as the light, and thy iudge­ment as the noone day: and pray him to re­member thee, and giue thee thy reward in heauen, because on earth good ser­uices are not worthily valowed: and in expectation of that reward at Gods hands, comfort thy soule in this case. And thus haue we spoken of the fower secular burdens, wherein immediately we haue to doe with men, in matters concerning this life, and shewed how the burdens may be, & ought to be cast vpon God for the [...]ase of our soules.

CHAP. XII.

THere are diuers troubles, [...]urdens of spirituall troubles. wherein the man that is troubled, hath to doe im­mediatly and at the next hand with God, and the things wherin he hath to doe with God, [Page 153] and looketh directly vpon him, do con­cerne our soule and inward man, and the good estate therof for holinesse and hap­pinesse both now and hereafter. And in regard hereof, those troubles I call spiri­tuall troubles. And those I reduce to two heads. The first of these spirituall burdens, is the powerful lusts of the flesh, enemies to the holinesse of the soule. The second is the feareful accusing thoughts that are enemies to the happinesse of theThe first spirituall burdē, lust [...] of the flesh. soule. The first is the burden of the lusts of the flesh fighting against the soule. The multitude of our corruptions and the law of sinne in our members, so po­tent and strong, that we cannot doe the good we would (in doing whereof God should be serued) and the euil we would not, that we doe (by doing whereof the diuell is serued.)

This is a grieuous burden to an ho­nestGrieuous to the ho­nest man. minded man, that is desirous to please God, and keepe a good consci­ence. Hee considereth who made him, and desireth to glorifie his creator. He considereth the manifold mercies of God towards him, and desireth to ap­proue himselfe a thankfull man. He re­specteth [Page 156] the end both of his creation and of his regeneration, and desireth to come neare vnto God, and to haue fel­lowship with his redeemer, and to re­semble▪ him in holinesse and righteous­nesse: hee seriously thinketh vpon the end of vertue, and reward of vice, the first to be eternall life, the other to be eternall destruction: and with his whole heart and soule he desireth and striueth to auoid euill, which hee abhorreth, and to do good which he loueth. And while he striueth to goe on in this course, no­thing hindereth him more then the root of sin, that is deeply fastened in his owne flesh. The Diuell offereth a temptation, and his false flesh yeeldeth presently vn­to it. The flattering world presenteth showes of vanity, and the flesh greedily imbraceth them. Occasions are offered and presented to our eies, and our traite­rous flesh suddenly apprehendeth them; and our actions fall out to be sinfull and euill, sometime at vnawares, before wee haue leisure to consider what we ought to doe. Sometime against fore-fight: yea against repugning will. For that corruption that is in our flesh, (which [Page 157] for the authority that it vsurpeth, and for the power that it exerciseth in vs, the Apostle calleth the law in our members)Rom. 7. 23 that corruption rebelleth against the law of our minde, and leadeth vs cap­tiue into all actuall sinne. And wee are compelled in the campe of our enemies to serue against our beloued Lord. And this is no small griefe vnto a sanctified soule▪ that desireth to serue and worship God in spirit and truth. How heauy this burden is, the Apostles words doe teach vs, crying out, by reason of it, in this manner: O wretched man that I am, Rom. 7 24. who shall deliuer mee from this body of death? It was vnto him more bitter then death, that sinne was of such pow­er in his mortall body.

Vpon men groaning vnder this bur­den,These men are to be po­tied▪ compassion [...]is to be taken, both in regard of God, whom it grieueth them to offend and dishonour, and also in re­gard of themselues, so intangled and in­dangered, not by any fo [...]aine malice, but by their owne inbred sinfulnesse.

Therefore for the case of such ouer­chargedMatter of comfort for them. soules, to giue them some comfort, notwithstanding the continu­ance [Page 156] of their burden, these things are to be considered. First, that where God hath giuen an heart grieued for these in­firmities, he neuer imputeth vnto them the sinnes that they so vnwillingly, and grieuedly commit, their broken and dis­pleased hearts being a pleasing sacrifice to him. According to the saying of thePsa. 51. 17▪ Prophet, The sacrifices of God are a con­trite spirit, a contrite & a broken heart O God, thou wilt not despise. So that God taketh more pleasure, to see them sor­row for their committing sinne, then he doth displeasure for the sinne that they commit: for to commit sinne is com­mon to all mankinde, and we cannot chuse but to doe amisse, while we liue in this flesh: but to mourne, and to be grieued for sin, to striue against it, and not to commit it, but with dislike & of­fence taken for it, is proper onely to them that truely loue the Lord.

Secondly, though they cannot at­taine vnto such perfect holinesse vppon earth as they desire, nor vnto such an absolute conquest ouer their corrupti­ons, and such a full measure of morti­fication, that sin shal haue no life nor po­wer [Page 157] of mou [...]ng in them: yet their good wil, being true and vnfained, and their holy desire, beeing sound and not dis­sembled, is before God as well accep­ted, as if they were altogether without sinne. Therefore is it that God requi­reth the heart, saying, My sonne giue Pro. 23▪ 26. me thine heart, and let thine eies delight in my wayes. He that can by the mercie of God attayne vnto this, to delight in in the wayes of God, and to haue a sound heart within his weake bodie, he hath attained vnto as great perfection of holinesse, as this present life is capa­ble of, if that desire and delight of his be ioyned with knowledge and vnder­standing: so that hee be free from their errour, whom the Apostle speaketh of, saying; They being ignorant of the Rom. 10. 3 righteousnesse of God, and seeking to e­stablish their owne righteousnes, haue not submitted themselues to the righteousnes of God. A single good intent without knowledge, is the deuotion of fooles, it hath no true comfort tied vnto it, it saueth not from destruction, it leadeth men blindefolde and sleeping into hell. But when men haue learned out of the [Page 160] word of God, what hee requireth, and what is their duety, & vnto that know­ledge ioyne a true desire to doe their duetie, then vnfained desire is before God esteemed a perfect worke. There­foreRom. 13. 10. doth Saint Paul say, That loue is the fulfilling of the Law. And in ano­ther1. Tim. 1. 5. place. The end of the Law is loue out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and of faith vnfained. The Law requi­reth no more but loue, (which will ne­uer be idle;) and that obtained, the Law hath attained his true end in vs. And to him that thus loueth, as much is due, as vnto him that perfectly fulfil­leth the commandement.

Thirdly, to him that thus in heart de­sireth, while he liueth here, full perfect and absolute holinesse (being grieued, that the lusts of his flesh should stand vp in his way with such strength as they doe) that which hee desireth shall in due time be granted, with increase of grace in the meane while. For when death comes, in which hee pulleth off sinfull flesh, he shal put off sin & al corruption togither with the flesh, and thenceforth hee shall offend his God no more, nor [Page 159] be in any danger of offending him For the Apostle truely saith, He that is dead Rom. 6. 7. is freed from sinne, both from the act of sinne, and from all lusting after sinne. And when he shall receiue his bodie a­gaine in the resurrection, hee shall re­ceiue it cleansed and purged from that corruption that was in it before. For1. Corin 15 [...] so doth Saint Paul testifie, saying; The body is sowne in corruption, and is raised in incorruption. By which incorrupti­on he vnderstandeth, not onely an e­state of strength and health, whereby it shall be freed from that decaying that it was subiect to before, in regard whereof we haue relieued it with daily food, to repaire the daily decaies: and also freed from sicknesse and paine that it suffred here before, in regard where­of wee take much physicke to ease the paine of it, and to maintaine the health of it: but he vnderstandeth rather by incorruption, an estate of purenesse & holinesse, whereby it shall bee freed from sinning and offending God, and shall stand and remaine for euer purged and cleansed from all sinfulnesse, and in as perfect sanctitie, as the blessed An­gels [Page 160] of God. And our true holinesse begunne heere, shall be consummated, and become perfect holinesse there.

These are matters of comfort toThis com­fort is some case of his burden. cheere his heart, that is grieued with the burthen of his owne corruptions, not suffering him to serue God as hee would: his defaults displeasing him, shall not bee laid to his charge. His loue and true desire shall be accepted, as if his life were without fault; and hereafter in due time he shall be whol­ly freed from all corruptions. And these comforts are some ease of his burthen, that though his lusts be still as strong as they were, yet his g [...]iefe for them is not so much as it was. But let vs see further how a man may cast this burthen vpon God, to be eased of it, and get masterie ouer his lusts.

For the casting of this burthen vponTo cast this burden vp­on God, first study the Scriptures. God, these are good rules and profita­ble, seruing to procure case, and where­by strength against the corruptions and lusts of the flesh is obtained. First, let him be diligent in the study of the word of God, which Dauid calleth, A lanterne vnto our feete, and a light vnto Psa. 119. 105 [Page 161] our paths. Because in the spirituall darkenesse which ouershadoweth our souls in this world, so that of our selues wee cannot see nor finde out the paths of righteousnesse wherein wee should walke, if wee take vnto vs the word of God, it like a shining light, will reueale vnto vs the old way, which is the good way, that we may goe forward in it. It will teach vs what to doe, and what to leaue vndone, and will guide vs aright, against the dangerous seducings of our owne euill lusts

And great force it hath to keep vs in our way, euen in those men, in whom their lusts and corruptions are most strong. As for example, in yong men, in whom there is more pride of wit, and more stubbornnesse of wil, then in men of other ages: in them, the word of God is powerfull, to make them adui­sed and to humble them. Dauid asketh this question▪ Wherewith all shall a yong Psa. 119. 4▪ man redresse his wayes? and hee giueth answer in the next words, saying, In ta­king heed there to according to Gods word. Such an excellent help, against the se­ducing lusts of the flesh, is the word of [Page 162] God, for the redressing of our waies. So that if a man burdened with his cor­ruptues, & desiring to obtain strength against them, doe giue himselfe to stu­dy the word of God, and do take heed vnto it, though he were as prowd wit­ted, and as stubbornely wilfull, as were those yong men, the sonnes of Iacob, that cōmitted the outrage at Shechem, yet the word of God will bring downe his prowd wit, & reclaime the forward wils of the very dissolute gallants of the world.

And this doth Dauid, being yet but a yong man, out of experience in himself affirme, saying, By thy commandements Ps. 119. 98. thou hast made mee wiser then mine ene­mies, for they are euer with me: that is, I am a continuall student in thy com­mandements, I haue more vnderstanding then my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation: that is, my minde is al­wayes vpon thy testimonies. I vnder­stand more then the ancient, because I haue kept thy precepts: that is, age tea­cheth much by obseruation and expe­rience, but Gods word teacheth more. So that while a man is carefull to study [Page 163] the Scriptures, as Dauid was, and ma­keth them his meditation, hee shall soone become more wise then his tea­chers, and more able to direct himselfe, then the ancient, that think themselues able to giue councell. There shall not moue nor stir a corrupt lust in his heart, attempting to draw him aside to sin; but he being exercised in the study of Gods word, shal presently be able with iudge­ment to checke that desire of his heart, & to oppose against it Gods owne will.Secondly, vse the company of good men.

Secondly let him frequent the com­pany of good men, in whom hee seeth great power to subdue & keepe vnder disordered lusts then is in himselfe: and let him obserue & imitate their behaui­our: this will helpe him much. For if the word of God on the one side giue him a rule how to keepe vnder his raging lusts, these men on the other side will be vnto him an example & patterne, shew­ing him how to doe it, and a very simple workman, when he hath not onely rules giuen him to direct his iudgment, but a patterne also laid before him to di­rect his hand, will very easily with this double helpe, learne to doe his worke [Page 164] in some reasonable good manner, and vnto this helpe vnder God, the Apostle Paul doeth send vs saying, Brethren be Phil. 3. 17. followers of me, and looke on them which walks so as you haue vs for an example. A man merrily ignorant of his way, if he follow carefully, step for step, a skilfull guide going before him, will very safe­ly come to the place that he desireth: so shalt thou doe in the way of godlines, if thou keepe company with the godly, and marke their behauiour to doe there­after. Augustin hauing respect of SaintPsal. 56. Paul, saith in one place, If thou faile in the precept, be strengthned in the example: that is, if by looking onely to the pre­cept, thou canst not bring to passe to keepe it, looke to the example of them that doe after it, and their example shall much strengthen thee.

Men are very apt to be led by exam­ples, and are easily transformed into the manners of those whom they keepe company with: neither will their fellowship hold long, that doe not conforme themselues to the manners of their company. Dauid in one place hathPsa. 18. 25 this saying, With the godly thou wilt shew [Page 165] thy selfe godly, with the vpright man thou will shew thy selfe vpright, with the pure thou will shew thy selfe pure, and with the froward, thou will shew thy selfe froward. The Prophet speaketh these words of God, and we may safely speake them of men, among the godly, thou must shew thy selfe godly, learning and practising their godly behauiour; else they will haue small pleasure in thy company: and among the wicked thou must doe as they doe, else they will soone be wea­ry of thee, and sly thy fellowship. The company therefore of the godly, cannot but be a great helpe vnto thee vnder God, to learne by them to subdue and keepe vnder thy vnruly lusts, if thou conuerse with them, and daily striuest to conforme thy selfe to their manners. This is a good degree of casting this burden vpon God.

Thirdly let him shun all occasions,Thirdly sly occasions that may stir thy lusts that may a [...]lure and prouoke him vnto these sinnes, that by the corrupt lusts of his heart, he findeth himselfe most subiect vnto. For example, if his infir­mitie be pronenesse to anger & wrath, let him auoid the company of conten­tions [Page 166] and froward persons, that are ap [...] to prouoke: let him not take know­ledge of euery pet [...]y wrong that is done vnto him: nor harken vnto them that will tell him this or that tale, what other men say of him, lest suddenly he be dis­tempered. If his infirmitie be a prone­nesse to drunkenes, (as th [...]re are but too many, that when they are at it, can keepe no measure) let him fly the com­pany of pot companions, let him shun the places, and [...]bhorre the ceremonies of great drinking: and let him not de­light himselfe to behold the colour and sparkling of the Wine. If his infirmitie be a pronenesse to adulterie, and such vncleannes, let him shun the haunt of Harlots, and their houses, & all wanton company; and let him not cast his eye vpon deceitful and bewitching beautie: and so concerning all other sinnes that his heart lusteth after.

This rule the holy Ghost giues vs in many places. Salomon saith, Keepe thee Pro 6. 24. from the wicked woman, and from the slat­tery of the tongue of the strange woman: desire not her beauty in thine heart, neither let her take thee with her eye-lid, Her cō ­pany, [Page 167] her countenance, and her wordes, all these are inticing occasions: and all these Salomon warneth him to shun that world not be betrayed by his owne frailty to commit whoredome. In an­other place he saith, Make no friendship Pro. 22. 24 with an angry man, neither goe with the furious man, least thou learne his waies, and receiue destruction to thy soule. Com­pany and fellowship with the froward, will draw thee whether thou wilt or no into many brawles and quarrels, and otherwise also breedes danger vnto thee, & therefore to be shunned of him, that feareth his owne euill nature, too prone vnto anger. Againe, Looke not Pro. 23. 32 thou vpon the Wine when it is red, & when it sheweth his colour in the cup, and goeth downe pleasantly: in the end thereof it will bite like a Serpent, and hurt like a Cocka­trice. The beautifull colour, and plea­sant mouing of the Wine in the cup, are prouocations to drinking: hee that would not be ouertaken with drunken­nes, knowing his owne appetite and weakenes, must shun these prouocati­ons. Generally this is a veriy good rule for him that feareth the violence of his [Page 168] owne sinfull lustes, to sly all occas [...]ions, alluring and prouoking vnto sinne [...] he that would not be strangled with the hooke, let him not play with the bait, and lie nibling at it▪ the Diuell and the world deceiue by such meanes, he that is hurdened with th [...] lustes of his flesh, & desireth case to his gu [...]ed soule, by casting his burden vpon God, let him shun these occasio [...]s dilig [...]ntly: he that would not be hu [...]t with the Lyons clawes, let him not come neare vnto his foote.

In the fourth place, let him often thinkFourthly thinke vpon iudgements and mercies vpon the iudgements of God threatned against sinne, and executed vpon sin­ners, that yeeld, and suffer themselues to be led away by their lusts: the threat­nings he shal finde euery where in Gods word, and the executions he may see a­broad in the world. Let him also medi­tate vpon the mercies of God promised vnto vertue, and performed vnto the vertuous that walke in the spirit, and putting vpon them the Lord Iesus Christ, doe take no care for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof: the promises hee shall meete with euery where in Gods [Page 169] word, and the performances he may see abroad in the world▪ but especially in the church, and among the godly, whose company he was before aduised to frequent. These things obserued, [...] breede in him the feare of Gods power, and the loue of Gods mercy: which two will be vnto him, helps of great seruice against the lusts of his owne heart; while on the on side, the feare of God will make him walke in humility: and on the other fide the loue of God will make him to serue God with gladnesse. This is a very good way of casting this burden vpon God.

Fiftly and lastly, (but continually and [...]pra [...]er. feruently) let him pray vnto God for his grace, to be giuen, continued, and in­creased to him. For as the flesh (that is corruption [...]n vs) lusteth against the spi­rit; so the spirit (that is the grace of God in vs) lusteth against the flesh. So Paul incumbred with the messenger of Satā, bu [...]eting him (by which name he vnder­stood the burden of his troublesome corruptions) praied vnto God, if it might bee, to be freed from it. For all power to preuaile against sinne, and to [Page 170] get the mastery ouer corruptions, is ob­tained by the gift of God, and by the worke of his grace in vs. Therefore doth Dauid pray to God in this manner, Teach mee o Lord the way of thy statutes, Psal. 119. 33. and I will keepe it vnto the end: giue mee vnderstanding, and I will keepe thy law, yea I will keepe it with my whole heart▪ di­rect me in the path of thy commandements, for therein is my delight; incline mine heart vnto thy testimonies and not to co­uetousnesse. Thus earnestly doth he con­tend with God by praier to be assisted with his grace; which if he may obtain, hee feareth not to promise vnto God some obedience, notwithstanding what­soeuer corruption abiding and mouing in his flesh. And so must euery man doe that is incumbred with his owne with­drawing lusts. This course will not be idle. What answer God will giue vnto such praier, wee may see by the answer giuen to Pauls praier, by him offered to the Lord Iesus vpon like occasion: fo [...] when hee had intreated God, that his troublesome lusts might depart from him, he receiued this answer: My grace is sufficient, for thee: my power is made 2. Cor. 12. 9 [Page 171] perfect through weakenesse. He was pro­mised sufficient aid from the grace of Iesus Christ, that in his weakenesse, be­ing vnable to extinguish those lusts, the power of Christ should perfectly ap­peare in strengthening him not to be o­uercome of them. And if with Paul thou make the same praier vnto the Lord Iesus, the giuer of all grace, with Paul thou shalt obtaine the same an­swer, to be continually assisted with his sufficient grace, to preserue thee from being carried away by thy fleshly lusts. They shall haue being, to exercise thee in the warfare of this life: they shall not haue power to subdue thy heart to them.

To take these courses hitherto pre­scribed. As first to exercise thy selfe in the study of holy Scriptures: Secondly, to frequent the company, and obserue the conuersation of holy men: Thirdly, to shun all occasions that may moue thy corrupt lusts to attempt euill action: Fourthly, to thinke often of the iudge­ments of God threatned against sinne, and executed vpon sinners; and of the mercies of God promised to vertue, and [Page 172] performed to the vertuous: and lastly to m [...]ngle continuall praier with the for­mer courses. This is to cast this burden of our sinfull lusts vpon God for our ease.

CHAP. XIII.

THE second branch of spiri­tuallTwo Spiri­tuall bur­den, ac­cusing thoughts. troubles and burdens, is accusing thoughts, distur­bing peace, and breeding terrours of conscience, when it pleaseth God to bring to our remembrance our sinnes past, and to set them in order a­gainst vs, allowing Sathan to be master▪ Who being priuy to our sinnes, and to all circumstances concurring in the do­ing of them, doth present them vnto vs in their t [...]ue colors: amplifying and ag­grauating our ignorance that would not learne, our contempt of God, whose wil we know, yet had no care to doe it; our vnthankfulnesse, our pride, our cru­elty, and ouer vncleannesse; with what­soeuer other thing, that may make our sinnes fearefull vnto vs: not forgetting to let vs see withall, what wrath from [Page 173] heauen, and what torment in hell those our sinnes haue deserued.

This a most grieuous burden, bree­dingA most grieuous burden. disperation in the wicked, and vn­speakable feare in the elect; hee that of all the sonnes of men, was best able to beare this burden, and had the greatest assurance against it, euen Iesus Christ the sonne of God, when he bare the burden of our sinnes imputed vnto him (being in himselfe most pure from sinne) he did by reason of this burden, offer vp prai­ers and supplications, with strong cry­ing and teares, and was in feare, and did sweat bloud, and complained as one for­saken of God. So that this burden is ve­rie heauy, and it much concerns vs to learne how to cast this burden vpon God.

And in this businesse, because the di­uellTo cast thi [...] burden vp­on God, looke into the circum­stances of the sinne. taketh aduantage from euery the least circumstance of our sinne, that may make for him against vs, to increase thereby our feare and trouble of minde: therefore it shall be meete, that we also, for our aduantage against him, doe exa­mine and marke the circumstances of the sinne we are charged with, to see if wee [Page 174] can finde any the smallest hole, through which the light of hope may shine vnto vs. And it may fall out vnto vs as it did to the Prophet Ezechiel, who being en­tred in at the gate of the court, hee looked, Ezec. 8. 7. and behold an hole was in the wall. Then the Lord bad him digge in the wall, and when he had diggd in the wall, behold there was a doore. The little hole which at the first he espied, while hee attempted to digge, became a dore, by which hee en­tered with ease. So may it fall out to thee in thy care of casting this burden vpon God for thy ease. The least hole that we can spie in the circumstances of our sinnes, through which hope of Gods mercy may shine vnto vs, if we take vn­to vs the instrument of praier and digge therewith, may and will proue vnto vs a doore of mercy. For the mercy of God is like a floud that ouerfloweth. But where the waters of a floud finde but a smal hole to issue through at the first, by continuance, they weare the hole grea­ter, make passage for themselues, and run at the last like a strong streame, that cannot be stopped. So the mercy of God appearing first at the hole of a small cir­cumstance, [Page 177] if thou continue in praier, and attend vpon God, wil worke it selfe freer passage, and in the end shine with full brightnesse in thy conscience, and the diuell shall not be able to darken the comfortable and glorious light of it.

First therefore let the afflicted sinnerIf thou he [...] vrged ge­nerally. consider and weigh well the manner of his tentation, whether he be vrged in a distinct maner with any particular sin, [...]r whether he be more cōfusedly vrged and in a generall manner, that hee hath an euill heart, and is an hypocrite, and loueth not the Lord (and if the af­flicted person cannot himselfe discerne the condition of his tētation, his iudge­ment being oppressed and darkened by his affliction; let the iudicious com­forter, whose helpe he seeketh, obserue it for him) for Satan (that by Gods per­mission vrgeth against him this tentati­on) findeth in som men particular mat­ter of enormious sinnes, as of murder in Cain, of adultery in Dauid, and of ido­latry in Manasses: into which particu­lar sinnes they haue broken licentiou­sly with great boldnesse. Where hee hath this aduantage from our former [Page 178] violent courses, he will be sure to vrge it to the vttermost (as making much for him) to driue vs into dispaire, to say with Cain, My punishment is greater Gen. 4. 13. then I can beare. Or as Musculus reades it, agreeable, as he saith, to the Hebrew, Mine iniquity is greater then can be par­doned. In some others hee findeth no such particular grosse sinne, but they haue walked ciuilly and modestly: and where they did sin, (though that were very vsuall) yet they sinned of infirmi­ty rather then of pride, and vpon pro­uocation rather then vpon free choice. Heere hee hath not aduantage as in the former. And therefore in a more gene­rall and confused manner, he vrgeth a­gainst them their corruptions, but spe­cially hypocrisie, and an vnsound heart, that they did abstaine from grosse sins, not out of any hatred that they did beare against such vile sinnes, but one­ly for feare of the peoples speech: and rather for want of meanes and oppor­tunity to accomplish them, then for want of any good will, if time, & place, and other things had been answerable.

And if thou finde that thine is such [Page 179] a generall and confused tentation, asThere is ease in that that thou hast not fallen into grosse actu­all sinne. namely, that thou diddest neuer right­ly know, nor loue, nor feare God; and that thine heart was alwaies, or now is, an euill, an hypocritical heart; thine estate is so much the more easie, that in the dayes of thy security (while thou diddest walke according to the course of this world, and after the prince that ruleth in the ayre, euen the spirit that worketh in the children of disobe­dience) God suffered not the Diuell to thrust thee into presumptuous sinnes, after the manner of others, and into grosse and desperate sinnes against all rules of honesty, wherewith hee might now in this time of temptation, tor­ment thy conscience. This affordeth much aduantage vnto thee, that the di­uell can finde no grosse particular sinne to vrge and presse thee withall.

Here let the afflicted man first consi­der,Such is the originall e­state of e­uery man conceiue [...] in sinne. that hitherto his case is no whit worse then the case of euery man that commeth into the world. For Dauid doth tell vs, that the best man, euen he that prooueth afterwards a man after Gods owne heart, yet out of his mo­thers [Page 180] wombe, yea out of his fathers loines proceedeth a sinnefull creature, with an euill heart empty of the loue of God, and continueth so, till God be­stow some particular grace vpon him for the conuersion of him. And he ma­keth himselfe an instance heereof, spea­king thus, Behold, I was borne in iniqui­ty, Psal. 51. 5. and in sinne hath my mother conceiued me. He was from the wombe and loines a sinner taken in generall termes, for a man in whom there was an euill heart, not knowing, not louing, not fearing God. And Saint Paul doth tell vs, that the holiest man, euen he that was from the beginning a chosen vessell to beare witnesse to the name of Iesus Christ be­fore kings and nations, yet in his ori­ginall estate, and first yeares, hee is the childe of wrath, and dead in trespasses and sinnes, as all other men, till God in mercy looke vpon him, and renew him. And hee maketh himselfe among others an instance thereof, while hee thus speaketh; You hath be quickened, Eples. 2. 1 that were dead in trespasses and sinnes, wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, and after the [Page 181] Prince that ruleth in the ayre, euen the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom wee also had our conuersation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, in fulfilling the will of the flesh and of the minde, and were by nature the children of wrath as well as others. Paul was a bad as the Ephesians, and the E­phesians as bad as all other men, til God in mercy conuerted both him & them. And the Prophet Ieremy telleth vs, that there is both generally and particular­ly, in all men, and in euery man, a heart both wicked and hypocritical: wicked to do that which is euill, deceitfull and hypocriticall to dissemble in the doing of it, and to make shews, pretences and excuses, that it might be thought not to doe euill. And this wickednesse and hypocrisie ro be so deepe and cunning, that it deceiueth, not onely other men, but euen the wicked man himselfe, that flattereth and pleaseth himself with his owne pretences, and perswadeth his owne soule, that all is well, and onely God is able to finde out his hypocrisie: for thus hee saith; The heart of man is Iere. 17. 9 [...] deceitfull and wicked aboue all things, who [Page 182] can know it? I the Lord search the heart, &c. Other men cannot know it, and search it out. For the apostle saith, What man knoweth the things of a man, saue the [...]. Cor. 2. 11 spirit of a man which is in him. A man [...] owne heart may bee acquainted with his owne thoughts, but another man cannot discerne them; a man himselfe oft times is not able to discerne his owne wickednesse, a vaine and false opinion misleading his blinded iudge­ment; but God searcheth it out, because as the Apostle saith, There is not any Hebr. 4. 13 creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and open to his cies, with whom we haue to doe. Such is the depth of the wickednesse of mans heart, such is his deceitfull hypocrisie, that no eye but the all-seeing eye of God, no iudgement but his that neuer erreth▪ can see the same. And Salomon telleth vs, that there is no man iust vpon Eccles. 7. 22. the earth▪ that doth good, and sinneth not. And knowing this to be generaly true, he challengeth euery man that thinkes that he can say any thing to cleere ey­ther himselfe, or any other, saying, Who Prou. 20. 9 can say, I haue made my heart cleane? I [Page 183] am cleane from my sinne. So that this is the condition of all men, till God in his mercy mould them anew by his grace: till then they are altogether such as thou in thy troubled heart art charged to be; men of an euill heart, full of wickednesse and hypocrisie, that nei­ther know God, nor loue God, nor feare God.

Therefore when thou art chargedYeeld to be as thou art char­ged, and make it a warning to cra [...]e Gods helpe. with such a generall and confused ten­tation, yeeld it to be true, that thou art charged withall, and stand not to make thy selfe better then thou art, & with­all, say vnto thy soule; for that I haue no more cause to dispaire of Gods mercy, then Dauid had, that was such a one in his birth; then Paul had, that was such a one, vntill the day of his conuersion; then any other, and all o­ther of Gods elect and best beloued children, that were euery way such, conceiued in sinne, borne in iniquitie, children of wrath, full of vnsearchable wickednesse and hypocrisie, neither knowing, nor liuing, nor fearing God, till he was pleased to looke vpon them in his fauour, and to conuert them, by [Page 184] creating a new heart, and renewing a right spirit in them.

And now that mine eyes are opened by this affrighting of my soule, to see my bad condition, which I saw not be­fore, I will make hast vnto the Lord, and will craue that grace at his hands, that I now want; neither can I, nor will I vnderstand this worke of his, in letting me see by this fearefull temptation my sinfull estate (which in the daies of my peace I did not see) to be any other, then the fruit of his loue, by making me to see my misery, to stir vp my soule (long drowned in former securitie) to seeke with all earnestnes of [...]eale for his help. When a sicke man feeleth paine in his flesh, he doeth not faintly yeeld to death, because he is sicke: but from the feeling of his weakenes, he taketh occa­sion to seeke out some learned Phisiti­on, & craueth his help: & the more sicke he is the more he desireth, and the more earnestly he sueth for his helpe, & spares no cost, and putteth himselfe into the Phisitions power to be ordered by him. Euen so I, feeling feare in my soule, crept in by reason of these accusing thoughts, [Page 185] that make me too sensibly to feele the dangerous sicknes of my soule, will not faintly yeeld vnto death that (I con­fesse) I haue deserued, and might iustly fall vpon mee: but euen from this feare, growing from my now reuealed sick­nes, I will seeke out the Lord, that is the onely Phisition of our soules, who kil­leth, 1. Sam. 2. 6 & maketh aliue, bringeth down to the graue, and raiseth vp. And I will intreat him to make me his patient, and to take me into his charge: and the more I am pained, the more I will sue for his helpe: and I will spare no cost of praiers, of sighes and grones, I will poure out my whole heart vnto him, and I will put my selfe wholy into his power, who hath also commanded mee, in such times of distresse to seeke vnto him, yea, & hath promised when wee so seeke him; to bePsal 50. 15 foūd of vs, saying. Call vpon me in the day of troble, so will I deliuer thee, & thou shalt glorifie me. This is my day of trouble, therefore will I call vpon God, that me obtained deliuerance, I may glorifie him with praises. And seing the ApostleRom 11. 32. Paul hath said, that God hath shut vp all inunbeleese, that he might haue mercy vp­on [Page 172] [...] [Page 173] [...] [Page 174] [...] [Page 177] [...] [Page 178] [...] [Page 179] [...] [Page 180] [...] [Page 181] [...] [Page 182] [...] [Page 183] [...] [Page 184] [...] [Page 185] [...] [Page 186] all, why should I doe so great wrong, either to my owne present misery, or vnto Gods infinite mercy, to beleeue otherwise, but that God hath holden me thus long shut vp and fast bound in the prison and fetteres of my owne vnbeliefe and naturall infidelitie and wickednes, (which now I see) to the end that I might the more dearely esteeme of his mercy in freeing mee (which I will now call for) and that his mercy might bee, euen to his owne name, the more honorable in conuer­ting me. Thus may the afflicted sinner troubled with this generall & confused kinde of accusing thoughts, cast his burden comfortably vpon God, for in this kind of temptation, there is this hole in the wall, wherein while hee dig­geth by continuall prayer, it may & will proue a dore of mercy, easie to be entred.

And I further aduise this afflicted man,And haue care of the body to help the weake­nes of it. when he feeleth himselfe entred or en­tring into this feare, and confused kind of temptation, that he will haue some care of his bodies health, and craue the aduice of some godly and learned Phy­sition: for such confused feares are not [Page 187] alwaies meerly spirituall temptations; but they doe often arise from some na­turall decay in our bodily health, and from some distemper of humors in vs. Great is the affinitie betweene the soule and the body, and the proper passions & diseases of the one (by reason of that affinitie) make the other to be euill af­fected. If therefore the body be crazed, it will make the mind also to be disea­sed; and where the humor of Melancho­ly is predominare, & is not kept in any euen proportion in vs, it naturally dri­ueth vs into deepe and dull, into sad, heauy, and fearefull thoughts and ima­ginations, and causeth doubtings and distrust: and with a little helpe of the wicked aduersary, it will quench all comfortable hope, and breede wofull dispaire in vs; and the Diuell is cunning to iudge of our distemperature, and where he findeth such weaknes, he will worke vpon it; as he worketh vpon the sanguine and pleasant mans dispo­sition, to make him wanton and care­les of God: and as he worketh vpon the cholericke and hastie mans disposition, to make him wrathfull and sudden [Page 188] in mischeefe: & as he worketh vpon the fleginaticke to make him slothfull, colde and negligent of doing his dutie, & a lo­uer of sloth & idlenes: so he will not faile to be busie with the man, in whom me­lancholy aboundeth, to make him full of feare, and void of hope. And lamen­table are the effects, which often follow, where he findeth such matter to worke vpon. The wise Christian therefore, that is affrighted with this confused kinde of temptation, in termes of generall ac­cusation, must not neglect to releeue his body, and to remoue from Sathans hand that euill humour that he maketh so dangerous vse of. This is a thing that the afflicted man often contemneth as carnall counsell: & indeed it were car­nall counsell, if it should be required a­lone, without recourse vnto God by prayer: but it hath beene found by the mercy of God, to haue beene profitable counsell. And it is not to be neglected of him, that in this confused kind of tentatiō, desireth ease to his soule. And to take this with the former prescribed course, is to cast this burden vpon God.

CHAP. XIIII.

BVT if it fall out thatIn d [...]inct and [...] ­cular [...] ­sations. thou be charged more distinctly with some par­ticular enormious sinne, one or many: then hath Sathan espied against thee some especi­all aduantage in thy doings. It be­houeth thee now to looke closely to thy selfe, and to marke, if thou canst espie any hole in the wall of hope to dig in, that a dore of mercy may be opened vn­to thee.

In this case, consider whether that orConsider if in were done in the time of thy igno­rance. those sinnes were committed in the time of thine ignorance, when thou knewest not well what was lawfull or vnlawfull for thee to doe, or in the time of know­ledge, when thine owne heart could tell thee that such things were not lawfull to be done: for if they were done in the time of ignorance, when perhaps thou mightest thinke it lawfull and free to be done, yea perhaps good, perhaps also profitable and necessarie, as Saul after called Paul, thought it lawfull, good, [Page 190] and necessarie for him to persecute the name of Iesus, and to cast into prison them that called vpon that name: as hee said before King Agrippa; I verely Acts. 26. 9. thought in my selfe, that I ought to doe many contrary things against the name of Iesus of Nazareth. Or if thou didst not thinke it to be lawfull, good & necessa­rie for thee, yet thou didst not thinke, or at the least didst not know it to be euill for thee to doe it, and any such danger to hang vpon it, with Gods high displeasure, as now thou perceiuest: then this very circumstance maketh thy burden lighter, and in the wall of hope, a hole appeareth, wherein if thou dig by prayer, a dore of mercy wilbe opened vnto thee.

For though ignorance doth not ex­cuse,Ignorance maketh thy sinne the sooner par­donable. much lesse iustifie our sinnes, and the discharge of that sinne will cost thy soule some teares, and prayers, and other like courses of a contrite heart: yet with more ease will the terror of it be ouercome, then if it had beene done against knowledge. Hereto pertaines that saying of our blessed sauiour, That Luke 12. 47. seruant that knew his masters will, and [Page 191] prepared not himselfe, neither did accor­ding to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes: but he that knew it not, and yet did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with fewer stripes. By these stripes some of the fathers vnderstand, not tor­ments in hell of different rigor (though it cānot be denied, but the condition of some in hell, shall be more tollerable, then of some others) but thereby they vnderstand rather those gripes of con­science, that prouoke prayers, supplica­tions, strong cryings, and teares, out of a heart beset and straightned with fierce accusations, a conuinced conscience, & feared condemnatiō: & these assaults they say, shall be more hard against the conscience of him that siuned against knowledge, in a presuming manner, then against the conscience of him that sin­ned of ignorance, in a weaker manner, that is yeelding rather out of his weak­nes, then daring out of his pride: for it may be alledged for the ignorant man, that if he had knowne such a thing to be euill in the sight of God, he would not haue done it. No such thing can be said for him that presumed against know­ledge, [Page 122] for such an one sheweth con­tempt of God and of his reuealed will, which the ignorant man cannot be charged with all: hee groneth only vn­der the burden of humane errour and frailty, but the other lieth vnder the burden of malice and presumption.

Therefore when our afflicted man, pressed distinctly with some particular sinnes, findeth that they were the sinnes of his ignorance, let him not thinke himselfe thereby free: for to be ignorant of that which is our duty, required of God, is of it selfe a great sinne: and if his ignorance be affected ignorance, as in them that refuse to be taught, and con­temne the meanes of knowledge, when God doth offer them, such ignorance differeth little or nothing from malice. But let him pray vnto God in hope, and let him plead before God his ignorance, not as an excuse, much lesse as a iusti­fication of his fault, but as a motiue, byExamples of then [...] that some of igno­rance. which the Lord is often led in his free mercy to forgiue sinnes.

And for the incouraging of his heart, let him remember the examples of them, to whom, vpon their [...]epentance [Page 193] and conuersion to God, mercy to the forgiuenesse of their sinnes of ignorance hath beene granted. Peter in a sermon of his made vnto the multitude, that came together to see the lame man whom he and Iohn had healed, chargeth them with a grieuous sinne, saying. You denied the holy one and the iust, and desi­red Acts. 3. 14. a muràerer to be giuen you, and killed the Lord of life, whom God raised from the dead, where of we are witnesses. This was a great sinne, to kill the sonne of God, and to make more reckoning of, and to shew more fauour vnto a knowen mur­derer, then to the Lord of life that came to saue them. But this their fact he saith was of ignorance. And now brethren I Acts 3. 17. know that through ignorance you did it, as did also your gouernors. For though the lews were very maliciously bent against Iesus, yet many of them knew him not to be the Lord of life, and to be the holy one of God: neither did they persecute him in that name. Therefore doth Saint Peter sa [...]e vnto them in the same Ser­mon. Amend your liues and turne, that Acts 3. [...]. your sinnes may be done away. Heere is mercy offered and assured vnto them, [Page 194] that amend their liues and turne to God, namely this mercy, that all their enor­mious sinnes, and euen among the rest, their sinne in refusing the Lord Christ, and putting him to a shamefull death, should be forgiuen, and the rather, be­cause they did it ignorantly.

And memorable is the example of the blessed Apostle Paul. His sinne was per­secutiō against the name of Iesus Christ: his proceeding in it was furious, with­out all compassion, raging both against men and women that called vpon that name, and casting them into prison in all places, where he could finde them, and had power against them. In such sort, that hee became famous, or to speake more truely, infamous for his cruelty, so that Ananias in Damascus could say to the Lord Iesus of him. Lord I haue Acts 9. 13. heard by many of this man, how much euil he hath done to thy Saints in Ierusalem: moreouer, here hee hath authority of the high Priests, to bind [...] all that call vpon thy name. And yet this man had his sinnes forgiuen, and was receiued into fauour, and had all the degrees of holy honour done vnto him, that can be done vpon [Page 195] earth, to any among the followers of the Lord Iesus. For first he was called to the knowledge and faith of the Lord Iesus, and was made a true beleeuer: Second­ly, he had honour, not only to belieue in him, but also to suffer for his sake, and was made a true confessour and marter. Thirdly, he was also an excellent instru­ment to draw other men to the know­ledge and faith of Iesus, and was made a teacher and an Apostle. And all this was the more freely done to him, be­cause when hee was a persecurour▪ hee finned of ignorance, and knew no other, but that it was lawfull and holy for him to doe so. Heare what himselfe saith of that matter, I thanke him that hath made 1. Tim. 1. 1 [...] mee strong, that is, Christ Iesus our Lord, for he counted me faithfull, and put me in his seruice, when before I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, & an oppressor▪ but I was receiued to mercie, because I did it igno­rantly through vnbeliefe. Ignorance and vabeleese are not things pleasing ro God, by their vertue and merit, ob­taining forgiuenes of all the sins grow­ing out of them: neither doth the Apo­stle remember his ignorance and vnbe­leefe [Page 196] obtaining his pardon, as out of worthinesse of them: rather know them in themselues to be grieuous sins, deseruing hell as fully as any notorious sinne that issueth from them: but he that sinneth out of ignorance, more easily findeth fauour, then hee that sinneth a­gainst knowledge. For the sinne of the ignorant man hath not in it like eui­dence of rebellion against the reuealed will of God, as the sin of him that hath knowledge; As the words of the Lord Iesus shew, spoken to some of the Pha­risies; If ye were blind, ye should not haue Iohn 9. 41. sinne: that is, if yee wanted knowledge, and were blind in your vnderstanding, your fault should not bee so great, so notorious, so blame-worthy, as now it is, by reason of your knowledge.

There is therefore (though no merit of fauour yet) much hope for him, that can say truely in his heart vnto GOD, Lord thou knowest, that blindly and ig­norantly I ranne into this sinne, not knowing that it was against thy will, and so odious in thy sight. And this is for him, that is distinctly charged with particular sinnes, and findes that hee [Page 197] committed them out of ignorance; a doore of hope, in which these exam­ples may incourage him, to digge by prayer, wherein if hee doe truely, and with a right penitent heart humbly and earnestly trauell, he casteth the burthen of his sinnes vpon God; and shall finde case.

CHAP. XV.

BVT say it was sinne a­gainstIf it were done agenst thy know­ledge. knowledge, and thou hadst warning gi­uen thee many times to take heede of that same sinne: and warning by the word of God, so that thou couldest not but know, that to doe so as thou didst, was a sinne highly displeasing to God. Sometime thou wert warned by a publique Sermon, sometime thou wert warned by thine owne priuate reading, sometime by the louing ad­monition of some neighbour or friend. And thy iudgement was growen to a mislike of that same sinne, and thou wert offended at others, that commit­ted [Page 198] it: aud yet thou hast fallen thy selfe into the same sinne. Surely this is a hard case: and the tempter hath great ad­uantage against thee.

But what! must the charged sinnerConsider if thy w [...] was not ouer. sw [...]ed by som strong temptation sincke eternally vnder this burthen? is there no meanes to cast euen this bur­then vpon GOD for the sinners case? Yes verily: and Sathan hath not yet driuen vs so close vp to the wall, but that wee may, by Gods mercy, slippe safely out of his hands. Heere let the sinner consider in what case hee was, when hee committed this sinne, whe­ther hee were his owne man (as wee speake) that is, whether it were in the choise of his own wil to do it with lik­ing, or without liking. For great is the weakenesse of our nature, and often­times the regenerate, and best minded serue [...]s of God (though they should yeelde to die a thousand deaths, with most exquint [...] torments, rather then commit [...]nie sinne, to the offence of God,) yet, either sodainely affrighted with the appearance of daunger, they commit sinne, before they haue time to consider what they should doe, and to [Page 199] settle their resolution against it: or else, weighing at leasure both their duty to God, and their present danger, pusil­lanimity and weakenesse of heart ma­keth them to shrinke and yeelde at the present. And must a sentence irreuoca­ble presently come forth against this weake sheepe? Is there no balme in Gi­lead? Iere. 8. 12 is there no Physition there? is thereThere is [...] hope in this circ [...]. no mercy in heauen for this sinner? is there no gracious pardoner there? Such a rule must needes haue sent to hell ma­ny of Gods beloued Saints, that now are with him in heauen: who while they liued on earth, were sometime vrged with sodaine, and sometime with vio­lent temptations, and haue yeelded, sometime without consideration, and sometime with consideration: and yet after, by the mercie of God, haue re­couered themselues, and haue glorifi­ed GOD, both in their life and death, & are now glorified of him in his king­dome. And why shouldest not thou, if thy sinne be like theirs, hauing to do with the same God of mercie, hope to finde the same fauour that they found? Surely this very circumstance, that thou [Page 200] wert surprised by a sodaine or violent temptation, & led captiue to do euill, a­gainst thine owne liking, that didst take no pleasure in it; yea wert exceedingly grieued, that thou hadst not strength & grace to withstand it, is a hole in the wall of hope, through which light shin­eth, and wherin if thou dig by humble & hearty prayer, it may proue a doore of mercy for thee to enter by, & come neare to God, to be eased of thy burdē.

Here consider the example of the A­postle Peter: his sin was a grieuous fin,Examples of men par­doned that thus sinned in the time of know­ledge. for he denied before men his master the Lord Iesus Christ: he did so, once, twice, and thrice, & each time more vehemēt­ly then other: for first he simply denied him, & passed it ouer with this saying, I know not the man. At the second time he augmented his sin with addition of an oath, and forsweares him. The third time he yet augmented his sinne more, with addition of grieuous execrations, and cursed himselfe; that is, wished him­selfe accursed, if hee know him. And he did this in the time of knowledge, after he had learned, that to do so was sinne, and dangerous to his soule. For he had [Page 201] heard his Maister openly before speake thus; Whosoeuer shall confesse mee before men, him will I confesse before my Father Mat. 10. 32 in heauen: but whosoeuer shal deny me be­fnre men, him wil I deny before my Father which is in heauen. And though it were a true saying, out of a liars mouth, skin Iob 2. 4. for skinne, and all that euer a man hath, will hee giue for his life. Yet this is true also, and to be regarded aboue the o­ther, that all that a man hath, euen skin and life also, hee must giue, cast away, and esteeme as vile, that he may follow Christ to glorifie him by true confessi­on. Which course only hath power to secure life. As Peter also had heard from the mouth of his Lord, saying, If Mar. 16. [...]4 any man will follow mee, let him forsake himselfe, and take vp his crosse, and fol­low mee, for whosoeuer will saue his life, shall loose it: and whosoeuer shall loose his lifs for my sake, shall saue it. This Peter had heard, this he knew. And be­sides these general caueats long before giuen, Peter was also priuately fore­warned of this thing, euen the same night a little before he did it: when he also took knowledge of that warning, [Page 202] and resolued with himselfe not to doe it; yea, made open vow not to doe it. For when the Lord Iesus Christ, after his last Supper, a little before his appre­hension, hee tolde the Apostles, that they that night should all be offended by him. Peter boldely answered and saide vnto him; Though all men should be offended, yet will not [...] be offended. ToMat. 26. 33 whom the Lord said in the next words▪ Verily I say vnto thee, that this night, be­fore 34 the Cocke crow, thou shalt deny mee thrice. Peter had no meaning to do so, but rather a resolued heart not to do so. And therefore aunswered presently; Though I should die with thee, yet will I 35 not deny thee. And hee spake no more than hee truely intended, hee was no hypocrite, onely he considered not his owne weakenesse, but was ouer confi­dent in the opinion of his own strēgth. And therfore when Iesus was taken and carried to the high Priests hou [...]e, Peter followed a farre off, and entred into the high Priests hall, and put himselfe a­mong the seruants and officers, and drew neere to the fire (for it was colde) and first a maide challenged him to bee [Page 203] one of the followers of Iesus▪ after, some of the men seconded her challenge, strengthening it by adding [...] suspi­tion; that his speech bewrayed him to be a Galilean, and Iesus came out of Galilee, and therefore hee was not vn­likely to be one of his followers. At last a coosin of his, whose care Peter had smo [...]e off in the garden, flatly affirmed, that hee did see him in the garden with him. Peter affrighted sodainely with these challenges, and being in the mid­dest of them whom hee esteemed his e­nemies, seeing at the present no way to escape; yea, hauing no leisure to thinke what was fittest for him to doe, denyed his Maister, and bound his de­niall with oaths and curses.

Was not this a sin against the know­ledge of his heart? and what hast thou done, in the particular sinnes, that thou ar [...] charged withall in thine heart, that Peter did not in this sinne of his? and in what points are thy sinnes greater and more grieuous then his? then what let­teth thee that thou maiest not pray for, and hope for the same mercy, for the forgiuenesse of thy sinnes, which was [Page 204] freely granted to Peter for the forgiue­nes of his sins. Goe forth therefore with Peter in the sight of thy sins, poure out the teares of repentance before God as Peter did, and he that receiued Peter to grace, wil also receiue thee. He was par­doned vpō no peculiar mercy proper to him, & denied to others, but vpon that vniuersall mercy, and most ample grace, that God is ready to extend to euery cō ­trite soule, & then afforded to Peter, that hee, out of his experience, might after commend it to others. Therfore did the Lord Iesus say to him aforehand, when thou art conuerted, strengthen thy brethrē ▪ Luk 22. 32 That is, when peace is restored to thy soule, vpon assured pardon of thy sinnes past, and grace giuen vnto thee, to stand more firme for all times following: then labour to comfort the hearts of others that haue sinned as thou diddest: as­sure vnto them, vpon their contrition, the forgiuenesse of their sinne past, and the presence of Gods grace for the time to come. So that I am not the man, but Peter: nor Peter out of speculation, and from his owne conceit, but out of ex­perience, and vpon most sure authority, [Page 205] from the mouth of his Master, the sonne of God, the sauior of mankind, the Iudg of quicke & dead, that is warranted to tell thee, that there is mercy with God, to forgiue thy sinnes committed▪ against knowledge, if in this sorrow & feare of thine heart, thou turne to God, and har­tily prayest vnto him for pardon, with purpose no more to cōmit the like sin.

I could adde the examples of many of Gods Saints, that sinned against knowledge, being carried away with a sodaine and violent temptation, so that either they had no leisure to thinke what was fittest to doe, or they wanted power to withstand the present assault, and they after found fauour with God, and their sinnes being forgiuen, they liue with him in glorie. Iacobs lie, main­tained to his father Isaacs face, that hee was not Iacob the yonger, but E­sau Gen. 27. 19 the elder sonne, was a sinne of this kind, against knowledge: but his mo­thers words as a potent temptation, led him to the doing of it. Iudaes adultery committed with Thamar his daughterGe. 38. 15▪ in law (though not knowne to be Tha­mar) was a sinne of this kind, against [Page 206] knowledge (for how could Indah bee ignorant of the Law of God against a­dulterie, written in mens hearts, that would haue done execution vpon Tha­mar, when he heard she had played the whoore) but the temptation was so­daine and strong, fitted with so many opportunities; hee was a yong man, at that time without a wife, shee sate dis­guised as an harlot, it was in the field out of the view of men, and shee was soone intreated and yeelded vnto him: these opportunities strengthning the temptation, made it so potent, that Iuda sinned. Dauids hastie sentence, giuing the estate of Mephibosheth vnto2. [...] ▪ 16. 4 Ziba, was a sinne of this kind, against knowledge; (for Dauid could not be ig­norant of it, that there are many false accusers, that a righteous Iudge should giue the accused partie leaue to speake for himselfe, before he proceed to sen­tence) but the temptation was strong, and sodaine; Ziba came with a bribe, he brought it in a time when Dauid had need of it. The time was troublesome, Abs [...]lon was vppe in rebellion. Why might it not be true, that in this trouble [Page 207] of the state, Mephibosheth beeing the right heire to Saul, might seek to make a faction for him. And Dauid had need now of friends, and therefore thought fit to make Ziba sure on his side. These and like considerations darkening Da­uids iudgement, gaue strength to the temptation. And hee sinned in con­demning the innocent, and rewarding the wicked accuser, and that against knowledge, for he was not ignorant of the duety of a Iudge. And yet all these haue found fauor, and their sinnes haue beene forgiuen vnto them. Why then should thy heart faint, and thy hope faile, because thy conscience tels thee, that thou hast sinned against know­ledge. Repent and turne to God, pray and thou shalt be heard. This very cir­cumstance, that thou we [...] not freely maister of thine owne will, but the so­daine or violent temptation led thee captiue, is an hole through which hope shineth: dig by hearty praier, and by true contrition, and a doore of mercie shall be opened vnto thee. This is in this case, to cast thy burden of accusing thoughts vpon God for thine ease.

CHAP. XVI.

BVT perhaps thy heartIs it were d [...]n a [...]niast knowledge, a [...]d wi [...] f [...] consent of [...] will. tels thee, that the parti­cular sinnes that thou art charged withall, were not onely done in thy daies of knowledge, whē thou hadst learned before, that such things ought not to be done: but they were also done in the freedome of thine heart, not surprised with sudden feare, nor led away captiue by any violent temptation: but with full consent of will, thy heart at leisure considering, and freely chusing (against all checke what­soeuer) to do those things venturously, boldly, presumptuously, and (as we say) desperately casting behind thy backe at that time, all feare of God, all regard of his law, all remembrance of his mercy, and all bonds of thy obedience; only seeking to satisfie thine owne lusts, and preferring the pleasure of sinne, and wages of iniquitie, before the seruice of God, though thou didst know, that those pleasures were of that constancie, [Page 209] and would breede eternall torments: and that the wages and gaine of sinne, was of small worth, and fading, and would breed vnto thee the eternall losse of thy soule.

This is a hard case indeed: and if Sa­thanThis is d [...]n­gerous: yet there [...] help. haue this aduantage against thee, then hath he driuen thee vp into a nar­row streight, and hemmed thee in very dangerously. But yet by the mercy of God, there are good and sure meanes, by which to escape euen out of this streight, though with some difficultie: for here hath that saying of the Lord Iesus place, That seruant that knew his Luke. 1 [...] ▪ 47. maisters will, and prepared not himselfe, neither did according to his will, shall bee beaten with many stripes. Many and sore gripings shall his conscience feele, be­fore he recouer his peace against this ac­cusation, & it will cost him many teares sighes and grones, which I doe the ra­ther remember, to make men feare to offend in this manner, and to suffer sinne so to raigne in their mortall bodies. But yet it is possible for the sinner thus bur­dened to cast his burden vpon the Lord, and to obtaine ease. There is yet a hole [Page 210] in the wall of hope, wherein if thou dig by humble and hearty prayer, it may proue a dore of mercy vnto thee. It hath beene so with others.

For who euer sinned more wilfully andAs appea­reth in the example of Manasses sinning a­gainst knowledge. more presumptuously, then Manasses, though he were yong when he began to raigne, being then but twelue yeares of age, & in that regard, all his acts might seme to be grounded in ignorance, that had not learned at the first to doe wel, & after would not learne: yet considering the piety of Hezekiah his father, it is lik­ly that he had been carefully taught, and that his father did no more leaue him without counsell at his departure out of life, then Dauid whē he was ready to die, did leaue his sonne Salomon. When the 1 King. 2. 1 dayes of Dauid drew neare that he should die, he charged Salomon his sonne saying, I goe the way of all the earth: be strong therefore & shew thy selfe a man: and take heede to the charge of the Lord thy God to walke in his waies &c. Thus out of his care, did he not cease, while there was life and strength in himselfe to teach his sonne his dutie to God. And of Heze­kiah it is testified, that hee did vprightly i [...] [...]. King. 18. 3. the sight of the Lord, according to all that [Page 211] his father Dauid bad done: & therefore it is not likely, that either in the time of health or in the time of his sickenes, hee neglected the instruction of his son, that should succeed him. It must needes bee therefore that Manasses sin was againstAnd with f [...]ll course of will. knowledge, euen in his childhood, much more afterward. Sure it was with full freedome of his will, euen with a high hand: of whom it is thus written, He did euill in the sight of the Lord, like the abho­mination 2. Chr. 33. [...]. of the heathen, whō the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel for he went backe & built the high places, which Hezekiah his father had broken downe: & he set vp Alters for Baalim, and made groues, and worshiped all the hoast of Hea­uen, and serued them. Also he built Alters in the house of the Lord, where of the Lord had said; in Ierusulem shall my name be for euer. And he built Alters for all the hoast of the heauē in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he caused his sonnes to passe through the fire in the vallie of Ben­hinnom: he gaue himselfe (here was full sway of his owne will) to witchcraft and to charming, and to sorcery, and he vsed them that had familiar spirits, and [Page 212] soothsayers: he did very much euill in the sight of the Lord to anger him, &c. Here was a man violent, headstrong, yea mad and furious in his sinne, and not in small, but in the greatest sinnes; not onely a­gainst the second table, but much more against the commandements of the first table, in all kindes of idolatry, and all vngodly profanations; and yet heeAnd yet finding fa­uour. found fauour at the hands of God, who first brought him to repentance by [...], and then forgiuing his sinne, re­stored him to peace. The history wher­of is thus recorded; The Lord brought 2. Ch [...]. 33. 11. vpon him the captaines of the hoast of the King of Ashur, which tooke Manasses, and put him in fetters, and bound him [...] chaines, and caried him to Ba [...]ell. And when he was in tribulation, he prayed to the Lord his God, and humbled himselfe greatly before the God of his father, and praied vnto him; and God was intreated of him, and heard his praier and brought him againe to Ierusalem into his kingdome: then Manasses know that the Lord was God. Now after this he built a wall without the Citie of Dauid, on the west side of Gihon in the valley, euen at [...] [Page 213] entry of the fish-gate, and compassed about Ophet, and raised it very high, and put Captaines of war in all the strong Citties of Iudah. And he tooke away the strange Gods, and the image out of the house of the Lord; & all the Alters that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord▪ and in Ierusalem, and cast them out of the Citie. Also he prepared the Altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace offrings, and of thankes▪ and commanded Iudah to serue the Lord God of Israel. Consider seri­ously this example, weigh therein on the one side the sinne of the man, on the other side the mercy of God. In Ma­nasses thou shalt see the height of thy sinne equalled, if not exceeded: and in God thou shalt see mercy exceeding all sinne. And where such mercy appeareth, what should make the sinner doubt of finding fauour, while he seeketh it with a true purpose of leauing his sinne, and true faith and hearty praier. I might adAnd in the th [...]efe that s [...]ffered with Iesus herevnto the example of that theefe, that was crucified at the same time, with the Lord Iesus vpon his right hand; to whom, making his paier to Iesus in these words; Lord remember me when Luke. 23. 42. 43. [Page 214] thou cōmest into thy kingdome. The Lord again m [...]de him this answere, ful of most rich mercy, this day thou shalt be with me Lu. 23. 42. 43. in Paradice. This man liuing among the people of Iudah, could not be ignorant of the commandement of God forbid­ding theft; therefore his sin was against knowledge. And making a trade of theft; thereby to maintaine himselfe, there was no violence offred to his will, but freely, willingly, and with choyce, he followed that course, and was euen a couenant seruant of sinne, reaping with delight the wages of iniquitie, in the spoile that he made of the inocent. And yet he found fauour, and had his sinne forgiuen him▪ and entred into life. Who shall then dispaire of the mercy of God? Saint Ambrose calles the historie of this man, [...]ulcherrimum affectandae conuer­sionis C [...]m in Lu▪ chap. 23. 10. exemplum: A most Godly example to moue men to turne to God. And these examples, let our afflicted sinner consi­der seriously. They are writt [...]n for our instruction, in them hee shall espie an hole in the wall of hope, which will proue a dore of mercy for him to enter, if he dig by hearty paier.

[Page 215]And for the further confirmation ofThere is one onely sin [...]npar­donable. his hope. Let our afflicted sinner know, that there is only one kinde of sinne vn­pardonable, and he shall find the sin that he is charged withall, not to be that sin, & therefore to be pardonable. And this is no small incouragmēt to know his sin, how great so euer, yet to be pardonable▪ when a sicke man vnderstandeth his dis­ease, that will be mortall to him. if hee neglect it, yet to be curable, if he looke to it in time, & apply apt medicines vnto it, hee will take much comfort in that knowledge, & thenceforth he will dili­gently seek for remedy. And so must our afflicted sinner when, he shal vnderstand his sinne to be such as may be forgiuen, comfort his soule with that considera­tion, and thenceforth diligently vse the meanes, that God our Phisition pre­scribeth and the effect by the mercy of God, wil be health, peace, & saluation.

Now that sinne that is vnpardonable,Called blas [...]hemie against the Holy Ghost is called in the Scripture blasphemy a­gainst the Holy Ghost. Whereof our Sauiour speaketh in these wordes, say­ing, Verily I say vnto you, all sinnes shall Mark. 3 2 [...] be forgiuen vnto the children of men, and [Page 216] blasphemies wherewith they blaspheme: but he that blasphems against the Holy Ghost, shall neuer haue forgiuenes▪ but is culpable of eternall damnation. Which sinne, if wee consider the circumstances of the place, where the Pharises are char­ged with it, especially as that matter is recorded by Saint Mathew in his twelst Chapter, we shall finde it to be, not any particular transgression of any, or of all the precepts of the law: but a wil-full [...]at this blasphemie i [...]. opposition of our heart against (as I may call it) the body of religion; first rightly vnderstoode, and certainely knowne to be the true religion of God: and vpon no other cause, but out of meere enuie.

The Pharises heard the doctrine of our Lord Iesus Christ, and saw his mi­racles, and knew him to bee that sonne of Dauid, that Messias that was pro­mised: they knew his doctrine to be ho­ly and heauenly▪ and his workes to bee wrought by the finger of God. Yet be­cause the people honoured him, and vp­on the sight of his miracle, when hee healed the man that was possessed of a diuell, and was both blind and dumbe,Ma [...]. 12. 2 [...] 24. [Page 217] because they then cryed out saying; Is not this that sonne of Dauid? They there­fore out of enuy and mallice, without any other cause, gaue it out concerning him, saying. He casteth out Diuels no o­therwise, but by Belzebub the prince of Diuels: Indeuoring by these wordes to perswade the people that he was a wick­ed man, risen vp out of Hell, set vp by the Prince of diuels, and assisted with his power, to publish the doctrine of diuels, and to vphold his kingdome: so slaundering the person of Christ, the workes of Christ, and the doctrine of Christ: all which many of them knew to be heauenly and of God.

If they had not knowne him to bee thee sonne of God, they had not beene guilty of that great sinne. As the LordIohn. 9. 41. said vnto them, If ye were blind, ye should not haue sinne, your ignorance would haue cleered you from this wi [...]full mal­lice. But they knew his person to be sent of God, his workes to be done by the finger of God, and in his doctrine that he taught truely the will of God.Iohn 7. [...]. The Lord himselfe said vnto them, Yee both know me, and know whence I am. Yet [Page 216] [...] [Page 217] [...] [Page 218] did they out of enuy detract from the glory of his workes, that they might by that meanes bring both his person and heauenly doctrine into contempt.

And they ceased not this course of slandering his person, of disgracing his workes, and obscuring the truth of his doctrine, laying wait also for his life (for God giueth not repentance for this sinne) till they had bought him with money of the traytor, iudged him to be worthy of death vpon the knowne false testimonie of suborned witnesses, extor­ted with their clamours his condemna­tion from an vnwilling Iudge (pro­nouncing him iust, whom he condem­ned for their pleasure) added vnto his vniust death what reproch they could, and after his resurrection, corrupted the souldiers with money, so causing it to be by them divulged, that his disciples stole away his body out of the graue, and that he did not rise againe from the dead: by that course labouring (out of enuy) to suppresse the Gospell and do­ctrine of Iesus Christ, which yet they knew, by the illumination of the holy Ghost, to be the very truth of God.

[Page 219]This malitious opposition of theirs against religion, knowne to be the reli­gion of God, was their vnpardonable sinne. It was not their vncharitabe pro­ceeding against an innocent man: their hiering of a seruant to betray his master: their suborning of false witnesses a­gainst a iust person: their corrupting of a Iudge to giue sentence to their li­king, though vniust: nor the hy [...]ing of bold men to spred a lie among the cre­dulious multitude: nor yet the cruell and vniust murdering of the Lord of life. Though all these were grieuous sinnes, for many were pardoned, both of the people, and of their gouerners, that had their handes in all this iniustice (though they had not so deepe a rea [...], & so enuious a purpose, of ouerthrow­ing by his ouerthrow the religion, which they knew to be of God, as most of the Priestes and Pharises had) many, I say were pardoned, that had their handes in the iniustice done to our saui­our, for he praied for them, saying, Fa­ther Luke. 23. 34. forgiue them, for they know not what they doe: and that praier of his could not be in vaine.

[Page 220]But in the cunning fellowes, both a­mong the people and their goueruors, that knew him, and whence he was, and how he wrought, and what he taught, and that all was of God: this was their vupardonable sin, that they vsed al that falshood, corruption and cruelty, both during his life, and in his death, only to this end, to hinder the course of his doctrine; as they say plainely in their councell, If we let him thus alone, all men Iohn 11. 4 [...]. will beleeue in him. When they knew that doctrine taught by him, wherein they would not haue the people to be­leeue, to be the very truth of God. This is the vnpardonable sinne, called blas­phemie against the Holy Gost, because it flaundereth and disgraceth the truth of God, which was made knowen vnto them, & so made to shine in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, called the spirit of truth, because it leadeth into all truth.

This sinne is a common sinne of di­uels,T [...] sinne [...]nnot bee [...] sinne. that know God, and maliciously seeke his dishonor; that know the groundes of true and holy religion, and enuiously seeke to depra [...]e them, to corrupt them, and if they could, to a­bolish [Page 221] them out of the world, desiring nothing more then to disgrace the truth of God among men. This sin is some­time, but rarely found amongst men, and in examination, thy sinne will bee found not to be this sinne, and therefore not to be vnpardonable: which is a great ground of hope to build vpon.

First, the sinne of him that is pressedIt' can not be [...] that [...] with general ac­cusation. with the generall and confused accusa­tion of an euill and hypocriticall heart, cannot be this sinne; that being natu­rally the estate of all men that come in­to the world: they are borne with a heart deceitfull and wicked aboue all things. But no man can be borne guil­ty of blasphemy against the holy-ghost, because no man is in his birth enlight­ned with the knowledge of true religi­on, which knowledge must necessarily goe before this fearefull opposition.

Neither can this sinne bee found inNor his that sin­ne [...] of ig­noranc [...] them that are distinctly charged with a particular sinne or sins, that were com­mitted in the days of ignorance: it can­not be those sinnes For he that may fall into this vnpardonable sinne, must first haue a full & cleere knowledge of true [Page 222] religion, with perswasion that it is the trueth. But the ignorant man wanteth that cleere knowledge. And hee is far enough from this sinne.

Neither can it be found in them thatNor his who [...]e [...] is ouerruled sinne against knowledge, but out of weakenesse, either surprised with a sud­den temptation, or led captiue with a strong and violent temptation: for when these men are at libertie to consi­der what they haue done, they haue no pleasure in it. But that vnpardonable sinne is a voluntary, wilfull, and mali­cious opposition against the knowne truth, out of their enuy, not induring the glory of Christ in his Gospel.

Neither can any particular breach ofNor his that brea­keth any morall [...]re cept. any one Commandement, nor all the breaches of all the Commandements, howsoeuer committed out of igno­rance, or out of knowledge, out of weakenesse, or out of malice, sudden­ly, or with premeditation, be this sin against the holy-Ghost: for that is a malicious striuing to disgrace the name, or at the least the Religion of Iesus Christ, knowne to be the true Re­ligion, rather then any prowd and li­centious [Page 223] act in transgressing the pre­cepts of Gods Law.

It is the sinne that neuer any of GodsNor the sin of any of Gods elect. Elect fall into, though they fall into many particular enormious sinnes, as of [...]olatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, con­tempt of the Sabboth, rebellion, murd­er, adultery, drunkennesse, theft, lying, periury, and such like: wherein many of Gods deare children fall oft, and yet, by Gods fauour, rise againe by re­pentance. Of that sinne, and of the ex­emption of Gods elect from it, is that saying of Saint Iohn to be vnderstood: Whosoeuer is borne of God, sinneth not, for 1. Ioh. 3. 9. his seede remaineth in him: neither can hee sinne, because he is borne of God. No man regenerate, nor any of Gods elect, can fall into this sinne: nor euerie re­probate▪ for many of them, through their ignorance, that neuer come to know the truth of holy Religion, can­not possibly become guilty of this blas­phemy, though for other sinnes, wher­of they obtaine not grace to repent, they iustly perish from God, and sufferTherefore thy sinne is pardonable the paines of eternall death.

When thou therefore findest, that [Page 224] thou hast not sinned that vnpardonable sinne against the holy-Ghost; and that thy sinne whatsoeuer, and howsoeuer committed, though deseruing a thou­sand Hels, is yet by the mercie of God pardonable, where he is pleased to giue repentance of that sinne, and vppon that repentance to blot out the remem­brance of it. Dost thou not see a sweet possibility of deliuerance from thy sin, fit to bee pursued with all strong desire and diligence of thy soule? Dost thou not see a hole in the wall of hope, through which some light (though ve­ry small) doth shine? Then let it be thy care, to digge in that hole by hearty praier, and by humble deuotion, that God may bee pleased at last, to open a dore of mercy vnto thee, and by faith and amendment of life, to assure thee that thy sinnes shal neuer be laid to thy charge. Thou hast his promises, in which hee will not be found a falsifier and a couenant-breaker. Hee saith by the Prophet, If the wicked will returns E [...]ec. 18. 21 from all his sinnes that hee hath commit­ted and keepe all my statutes, and doe that which is lawfull and right, hee shall sure­ly [Page 225] liue, and shall not die. All his trans­gressions that hee hath committed, they not bee mentioned vnto him, but in his righteousnesse that hee hath done, he shall liue. Make vse of this and such like pro­mises, and faint not in thy praiers. This is to cast this burden of thine vpon the Lord.

CHAP. XVII.

HItherto in an euē courseHenceforth there sol [...] diuers obie­ctions. the sinner is brought to se his sinne be pardona­ble. When hereupon he should addresse him­selfe, to serue for that that may be obtained, and to seeke for that that may be found, euen the for­giuenesse of sinne, for the quenching of his accusing thoughts, and peace of his conscience. Behold hee prepareth himselfe (being instructed and promp­ted by the subtile enemie) to obiect a­gainst the possibilitie of obtaining for­giuenes; so weakening his owne hope, and drowning his owne comfort. Let vs heare his obiections, that by answe­ring [Page 214] [...] [Page 215] [...] [Page 216] [...] [Page 217] [...] [Page 218] [...] [Page 219] [...] [Page 220] [...] [Page 221] [...] [Page 222] [...] [Page 223] [...] [Page 224] [...] [Page 225] [...] [Page 226] of them, we may at the last, if God be pleased, help him out of his feare, & bring him to reioice in God his Sauior.

First, he obiecteth saying: Though my sinne that I am in conscience char­gedThis first ob­iection is: his sin com [...] neere that vnpardo­nable sinne. withall, bee not blasphemy against the holy-Ghost, and therefore not vn­pardonable: Yet seeing I haue sinned notoriously, not in time of ignorance, but in time of knowledge, when I was able to teach my selfe and others, that such things ought not to be done: and I was neither surprised with a sodaine temptation, that gaue me no time to consider what was fit to be done: nor forcibly led captiue by a strong temp­tation, whereto my weaknesse was not able to make resistance: but I did runne vpon it wilfully, wildly, furiously, stri­uing to delight my selfe with the plea­sures of sin, & to inrich my self with the wages of iniquity: euen with contēpt of God, whose iudgemēt at the same time I remēbred, & yet would not feare him [...] whose mercies and goodnes to me and mine I remembred, and yet would not loue him: and whose commandements (requiring the contrary) I remembred, [Page 227] & yet wold not obey him: seeing I haue sinned in this manner so boldly, and so prowdly, my sin, if it bee not that blas­phemy against the holy-Ghost, yet it comes very neere vnto it, and so neare, that I feare the angry eye of heauen wil see no diffrence betwixt them: & then where am I with this possibility? secōd­ly,Though par donable, yet it is punish­able. thogh that blasphemy be only vnpat­donable, yet I am sure it is not the sin onely vnpardoned, it is not the sinne that is onely punishable, and that shall onely be punished: my sinne is also pu­nishable, and may be punished (for so it deserueth) and then what am I better to heare it is pardonable, when I perish in it. Lastly, I know that lesse sinnesAnd lesse s [...]nes are punished. then mine, and more easie to bee excu­sed, are punished in hell with euerlast­ing death. What then must I looke for but the flames of vnquenchable fire? and haue I not already by my abhomi­nable sinne, kindled that fire, euen the fire of Gods fierce wrath against mee, which hath already begun to torment and waste my conscience.

This obiection consisteth of threeAnswer to this obiectiō branches: the first is this, that his wil­full [Page 228] sinne comes so neere to the height of that vnpardonable sinne, that the angry eye of heauen (hee feareth) can and will see no difference betweene them. This will easily bee answered. And to beginne our answer, I must in­treat this afflicted sinner to remember, that it hath been already declared, that his sinne, though grieuous, yet is par­donable. And let him to this purpose, againe heare the words of our Sauiour Iesus, All sinnes shall be forgiuen vnto Mar. 3. 28. the children of men, and blasphemies wherewith they blaspheme. And how neere soeuer his sinne commeth to the vnpardonable sinne, yet, not being it, it remaineth pardonable. And this ground of trueth can neuer bee ouer­throwne.

And the anger of heauen, being al­wayesTo the first part of it. iust euen and holie, doth nei­ther shaddow the vnderstanding, nor disorder the iustice of God, that hee should not be able to discerne the dif­ference of things that are not the same, or infold them rashly, and disordered­ly in the same sentence. Anger is not in God a disturbing passion, as it is in men: [Page 229] But it is the most euen and holy carri­age of his iustice, as becommeth the righteous Iudge of all the world, pour­ing out his plagues vpon sinners, and executing vengeance vpon contem­ners, according to the rule of his owne word, where with hee hath made vs a­forehand acquainted, and according to the merites of mens workes, against which their owne consciences (iustify­ing God in his iudgements) shall not be able to make any exception, to say, that in any thing hee hath erred from the streight rule of iustice. And this iu­stice is that, which (in terms agreeable to our conceit) is called his anger. His eie therefore cannot bee deceiued in e­steeming of mens sinnes. I remember a good speech of Saint Ambrose to this purpose, God lieth not open to passion, In psalm [...] 37. that he should be angry, seeing hee is sub­iect to no passion: but because hee reuen­geth, he seemeth to be angrie, to vs this seemeth, because we vse to reuenge with a troubled minde: So that as anger sig­nifieth a disturbed passion of the mind, troubling our vnderstanding, and per­uerting our iustice, there is no anger, [Page 230] there can (by this Fathers iudgement) no anger be in God: but Gods iust re­uenge wee call anger, because our re­uenge is mingled with anger. Away therefore with this conceit, that the anger of Heauen should not discerne betweene thy sinne, and blasphemy a­gainst the holy-Ghost. The anger of Heauen is nothing else but the iust re­uenge of Heauen.

A second branch of thine obiectionTo the se­cond part of it. is this, that though the blasphemy of the holy-Ghost be the onely sinne vn­pardonable, yet it is not the only sinne vnpardoned. It is not the onely sinne punishable, nor onely punished: thine also is a sin punishable, and may proue a sinne punished. I confesse all this to be true, what then? Doth it follow, that needes thou must be punished, because thou maiest be punished? that conse­quence must not be granted, for then it would follow, that there should bee no place for any forgiuenesse at all, for sinnes are punishable, and deserue eter­nall death. To reason so, were to spoile God of his honour that hee obtaineth by forgiuing sinne, where of the Pro­phet [Page 231] Micah speaketh, saying; Who is Mica 7. 18 a God like vnto thee, that taketh away iniquitie, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage, &c. It is Gods great honour to pardon sins that are punishable. And it is an intollera­ble iniurie offered to the riches of his grace, to affirme that hee will not for­giue in mercy, because hee may punish in iustice. And such reasoning as this, would also make false all his promises, and make vaine and vnprofitable the hope of all his saints grounded vppon those promises, for there is none of them that hath not committed many punishable sinnes, which yet they hope shall neuer be punished. Yea it would make void the passion of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, and depriue him of the ho­nour due vnto him by the saying of Iohn Baptist, Behold the Lambe of God Iohn 1. 29. that taketh away the sinne of the world. For verily euen those sinnes for which this Lambe was slaine and sacrificed, and which by the vertue of that sacri­fice of himselfe he taketh away, are pu­nishable sinnes, sinnes deseruing the most heauy wrath of God, and the most [Page 232] cruel torments of hell. Away therefore with this idle reasoning, my sins are pu­nishable, and therefore it helpeth mee nothing to heare that they are pardo­nable. Where sin aboundeth to deserue punishment, there grace aboundeth much more to remit punishment.

The last branch of thy obiection isTo the third part of it. this, that lesse sinnes then thine, and sins more easie to be excused, are often punished; then why not thine? There is no reason that this thing should of­fend thee, that smaller sins are puni­shed. The Creditor may see reason to forgiue to one debtor many pounds, and yet not to forgiue another a few pence. The punishment of hell is due to all sinners, leaue God the Iudge to the freedome of his owne will, to shew mercy where it pleaseth him to shew mercy, and to forgiue, where, and what and how it pleaseth him to forgiue. Little sins, when men continue them, and regard not to repent of them, are brought to iudgement as well as great ones. And great sins, when men forsake them, & are carefull to repent of them, are put out and forgotten as well as the [Page 233] smallest. It is not the greatnesse and smallnesse of sins that makes them to be retained or remitted, but it is repen­tance that [...]reeth from al together. This is plaine by the words of Esay, who ha­uing called for repentance, that the people should cease to doe euill, and, learne to doe well: immediatly addeth,Esay 1. 18. saying, Come now, and let vs reason to­gether, (saith the Lord) Though your sinnes were as crimson, they shall be made white as snow, though they were red like scarlet, they shall be as woll. Though the spots of them were neuer so foule, and though the staine of them were ne­uer so deepe, yet God will forgiue the sinne, and forgiuing it, he will cleanse and purge the sinner, This great mercy for the forgiuenesse of most great sins is promised to repentance. Where repen­tance is wanting, the smallest sins shall bring the transgressour to iudgement; but where true repentance is found, the greatest sinnes shall be done away. Be carefull then to turne from thy former euill waies, and bring forth fruit wor­thy amendment of life, and God will free thee from all thy sinnes.

[Page 234]And thus it appeareth, that all the feare (that bred this obiection;) first, that thy sinne comes so neere that vn­pardonable sinne of blasphemy against the holy-Ghost, that the angrie eie of heauen can see no difference betweene them. Secondly, that thy sinne, though pardonable, yet is punishable, and therefore must bee punished. Thirdly, that smaller sinnes then thine come to iudgement, and therefore thine being greater, cannot in iustice be passed by▪ All this feare is needlesse feare, and thy sinne still remaineth pardonable, and thou maiest comfortably hope for, and shalt assuredly obtaine forgiuenesse of thy sins, if thou turne to God, ca [...]lest vpon him, and amendest thy waies.

CHAP. XVIII.

BVT feare which is notHis second obiection from the iustice and holines of heauen. easily remoued proceed­eth to another obiection, the afflicted sinn [...]r plea­ding thus against his own peace, the iustice of hea­uen is so pure & holy, & withall so strict [Page 235] & soe seuere, that it wil neuer suffer such sinne as mine is to passe vnpunished: and the holynes of heauen is so cleane spot­les and vndefiled that it will neuer suf­fer so vncleane a person as I am to enter into life. For this I can alledge the ex­presse word of God, and therefore am sure, that my feare is not vaine, the Pro­phet Dauid speaking to God, who would soone haue checked his speech, if it had not beene true, saith. Thou art not Psal. 5. 4. a God that loueth wickednes, neither shall euill dwell with thee: the foolish shall not stand in thy sight, for thou hatest all them that worke iniquitie: thou shalt destroy them that speake lies, the Lord will abhor­the bluddie man and deceitfull. Here is depriuation of Gods loue, expulsion from dwelling with him, and from stan­ding before him, here is the hatred of God, & in his hatred destruction, threa­ned to them, as to men abhorred of God, that worke wickednes, that are doers of euill, that in the foolishnes of their hearts committed iniquitie, that in their talke speake lies, that haue bluddie handes, cruell hearts, and cunning and deceitfull heades. But such an one am I▪ [Page 236] I haue wrought wickednes, I haue done euill, I haue through the foolishnes of mine heart committed much iniquitie, I haue beene a lyar, my handes are full of bloud, I haue beene cruell & deceitfull, therefore I am depriued of Gods loue, I shall not dwell in his kingdome, not be able to stand before him in iudgement▪ I am iustly hated of him and, shall bee iustly destroied by him, and hee must needes abhor me as a thing most vile. Who can speake against these things grounded on such authoritie? must not the seuere iustice of heauen condemne such sinnes as mine are? must not the pure holines of heauen exclude such vile sinners as I am? surely it may be called prodigall mercy, if such sinnes as mine escape vnpunished, and if such a sinner as I may euer be saued.

This obiection seemeth to consist ofAnswere to this obiecti­on from the iustice and holines of heauen. two parts, inregard of iustice that can­not suffer sin to escape vnpunished, & in regard of holines that will admit no vn­cleane person to haue fellowship and cohabitation with it. But they ioyne to­gether in one to increase this poore mans feare, yet let vs helpe him with [Page 237] our answere. It is a comely thing to to thinke reuerently of the iustice and holines of heauen: for certainely iustice will not suffer the least sinne to escape vnpunished, neither will holines euer suffer any vncleane thing to enter into the kingdome of heauen. Yet that can­not hence be concluded that thou ga­therest, namely that therefore mercy can find no free passage, to forgiue thy sinnes, and to bring thee to glory, for the wisdome and power and loue of heauen (which are able to worke won­ders aboue the reach of mans vnder­standing) will find; yea haue found; out a way, to satisfie iustice by the punish­ing of sinne▪ and to satisfie holines by the purging of sinne, and yet to saue the sinner that committed that sinne. Lift vp thine heart and eares, and harken to that that shalbe deliuered, & thou shalt find an helmet of the hope of saluation to couer and saue thy head withall.First con­cerning iustice.

The glorious Trinitie by an eternall de­cree, (ordained defore all time, and ef­fected in the fulnes of time) sent downe the eternall word, the second person, cal­led the sonne, who being conceiued by [Page 238] the holy Ghost, tooke flesh, and was borne of the virgin Mary (of the linage of Dauid) and was made man, true man, the sonne of man, the sonne of Adam, of Abraham, and of Dauid, in all things like vnto vs, yet without sinne: and him the father gaue vnto vs to be our mediator, and to be the Lord our righteousnes, and to the satisfying of the iustice of heauen, God laied vpon him our sinnes, and he willingly submitted himselfe, to the burden of our sinnes, to the curse of the law, to the death of the crosse, and to the wrath of his father, for those sinnes of ours. Excellent to this purpose is the testimonie of Esaie speaking more like an Euangelist, or an apostle, then like a Prophet, saying. He was wounded Es [...]y. 53. 5. for our transgressions, hee was broken for our iniquities, the chastisment of our [...] was vpon him and with his stripes are we healed: all we like sheepe haue gone astray, we haue turned euery one to his owne wai [...] ▪ and the Lord hath laied vpon him the ini­quitie of vs all. We are the men that haue sinned and gone astray from God: stripes woundes and death were due to vs for sinnes: God imputed to him our [Page 239] sinnes, and he was contented to stand before God a sinner in our name. The stripes, the woundes, the death, that we deserued, hee receiued sustained and in­dured for vs. Thus iustice is satisfied & our sinnes being in him punished, it were iniustice to punish the same sinnes againe in them that plead the suffringes of Iesus for them. Thus are his stripes our cure, his woundes our health▪ and his death our life. Vnto that saying of Esaie, let vs ad another of the ApostleGal [...]. 3. 3. Saint Paul. Christ hath redeemed vs from the curse of the law, when hee was made a curse for vs, for it is written, cur­sed is euery one that hangeth on tree, that the blessing of Abraham might come vp­on the gentiles through Iesus Christ. The law curseth euery one that abideth not in all that is written in that booke to doe it, and we haue failed in all, or in most, and the sentence of the curse did lie vpon vs, then it pleased the Lord Iesus Christ by yeelding himselfe to the cursed death of the crosse, to take vpon him the curse that should haue fallen vp­on vs. So was iustice executed according to that sentence of the law, & iustice so [Page 240] satisfied giueth waie to mercy, for the curse being borne by Iesus Christ, the blessing promised to Abraham is our inheritance. Here the one halfe of thy feare is remoued, because in the death of Iesus Christ iustice hath receiued sa­tisfaction for thy sinnes, if thou plead this satisfaction, by what iustice art thou to be punished for thy sinnes.

The other halfe of thy feare is this,Secondly concerning holines. that the holines of heauen will neuer suffer such an vncleane sinner, as thou art to enter into the kingdome of God, to remoue this feare, vnderstand that the same Lord Iesus Christ, that bare ou [...] sinnes imputed to him, and suffered for them, to satisfie iustice, doeth also inuest and cloth vs with his perfect righteous­nes both originall and actuall impu [...]ed to vs, that all our vnrighteousnes and vncleanenes both originall and actuall, being therewith hidden and couered from the view of God most holy, wee might appeare cleane & spotles in him, to the satisfying of the holines of hea­uen. Therefore is it that Paul saith, speaking of Iesus. God hath made him to be sinne for vs, which knew no sinne, that [Page 241] we should be made the righteousnes of God in him. This place plainely sheweth, that God made an exchang betweene Iesus Christ and vs. He knew no sinne, that is, he had no acquaintance nor fel­lowship with sinne, in him was no sinne, to deserue death. That sinne abounded in vs, and God laied it vpon Iesus, and he died for it. On the other side we had no righteousnes, no righteousnes of God, that is no such pure and perfect righteousnes as God requireth, and as might commend vs vnto God, to be ad­mitted for it into heauen. That righte­ousnes was in Iesus Christ who fulfilled all righteousnes, keeping the law, bea­ring perfect loue both to God & man, and performing all offices pertaining to that loue: and that righteousnes of his doth God impute vnto vs, making vs righteous in him. Therefore is it that the Prophet Ieremie calleth him the Lord our righteousnes. And this Ierem. 2 [...]. 6. is the name whereby they shall call him the Lord our righteousnes. Not our iusti­fier, that pardoning our sin [...], pronounc­eth vs righteous, by holding vs excused (which thing also verely he doeth for [Page 242] vs) but our righteousnes, because in him we are accepted, and his righteousnes offered vnto God for vs, is accepted as our righteousnes, and the reward of it is giuen vnto vs. His righteousnes is our righteousnes, yea hee himselfe is our righteousnes, and in him we are righte­ous. not without reference vnto that place of the Prophet Ieremie, doeth the Apostle Paul say thus of him. You are of 1. Cor. 1. 30. him in Iesus Christ, who of God is made vnto vs wisdome, and righteousnes, and sanctification, and redemption. First he is made vnto vs wisdome, that is, in him, and by the knowledge of him, wee at­taine vnto that wisdome, which only is worthy of that name, which philosophie, and all the religions in the world (the Gospell of Iesus Christ excepted) could neuer afford vs, for this wisdome mak­eth vs wise vnto saluation. secondly, he is made vnto vs righteousnes, that is, by the imputation of his righteousnes vnto vs we are accepted as righteous and ho­ly, and are in him righteous and holy. Thirdly he is made vnto vs sanctificati­on, that is, in him, and by the vertue of his death and resurreotion, we are reco­uered [Page 243] out of the dominion of sinne, and haue power giuen vs to keepe vnder, suppresse, & mortifie our earthly mem­bers, and carnall lusts, and doe, euen in this sinfull world, make beginning to serue God in holines and righteousnes, with sinceritie and truth of heart. Lastly he is giuen to be vnto vs redemption, that is, when we are once made wise by the knowledge of him, and are iustified by his imputed righteousnes, & sancti­fied by his quickning grace, we shall in the end vndoubtedly come to full re­demption in heauen by him. And by his meanes, thou which of thy selfe art an vncleane person, such an one as the holines of heauen may iustly denie en­trance vnto, art made in Iesus Christ a most holy and pure person, worthily ad­mitted by the holines of God to enter into glory. And this other part of thy feare, and so thy whole obiected feare is remoued: the iustice of God that will haue sinne punished, and the holines of God that will suffer no vncleane thing to stand before him, both hauing receiu­ed full satisfaction in the mediation of Iesus Christ: Iustice in his death suffred [Page 244] for vs, and holines in his perfect obedi­ence and righteousnes imputed vnto vs: & so free way is made for the mercy of God (which thou foolishly callest pro­digall mercy. For nothing euer was with more wise prouision bestowed) to come vnto thee, & to forgiue thy great and abominable sinnes, and to saue a great and an abominable sinner.

Now therefore fall to praier, & in theIncourage­ment vpon this answere name of so gracious a mediator, intreat the most merciful & louing God, to for­giue thy sins, & to receiue thee to fauor.

And for thy incouragement, first vn­derstand, that without exception of anyBecause he is permit­ted & com­manded to aske forgiu­nesse. sin, whether in time of ignorance or of knowledge, vnaduisedly or aduisedly done, the Lord Iesus Christ hath giuen thee leaue, yea hee hath commanded thee to craue the forgiunes of thy sins, teaching and commanding thee to say vnto God. Forgiue vs our sinnes. Looke then vpon the sinnes that▪ lye so heauieLnke. 11. 4 vpon thy conscience, & marke thē well, and if thou findest them to be thine (as i [...] most like thou shalt) know that thou hast leaue giuen thee, and art also com­manded, to be a suitor for the forgiuenes [Page 245] of them, whatsoeuer they be, being sins.

And consider by whom this leaue, and this commandement is giuen thee: euen by him that is appointed to be the iudge of quicke and dead, who while he giu­eth thee leaue & commandement, hath also himselfe drawne the petition for thee, by which thou art commanded and permitted to craue the forgiuenes. And surely it is a beginning of mercy granted, to grant thee leaue, and to im­bolden thee with a commandement to aske for mercy, his rule being. Aske and Mat. 7. 7. it shall be giuen thee. And it is not with out hope, yea great hope of forgiuenes of sins, when the iudge that hath power to grant it, doth both permit thee, com­mand thee, & instruct thee how [...]o craue it. This being also on of his rulers, in the fore remēbred place. Seek & ye shall find. Mat. 7. 7.

Secondly to incorage thee further, vnderstand, that without exception ofBecause God hath promised to grant for­giuenesse. any sinne whether in time of ignorance or of knowledge, vnaduisedly or advis­edly done, almighty God, against whom thy sinne is commited, and whose heauie wrath for thy sinnes thou art so greatly afraid of, hath promised both to [Page 246] forgiue and forget thy sins, saying. I will [...] 3 [...]. 34 forgiue their iniquitie, and will remember their sinnes no more. And when doeth God giue this promise, but when hee maketh a couenant with his people, whereby he bindeth himselfe vnto them And what shall we say? was not God aduised of his owne meaning, and con­siderate, when he made this promise who can say otherwise of the most wise God, but that he was aduised. Or did he dissemble, or promise this fainedly? when he had no meaning to performe it? who can say otherwise of the God of trueth, but that he fully intended to performe his promise? or hath hee for­gotten now▪ what hee promised then, that by this meanes, his promise should be as no promise, because not remem­bred to be euer giuen? who can imagine this of that God, who knew all his owne workes from▪ the beginning, to whom all times both past and to come are euer present, and of whom the Prophet saith. He hath alwaies remembred his couenant, Psal. 150. 1 [...]. and promise that hee made to a thousand generations. Looke then againe vpon the sinnes, that are so heauie vpon thy [Page 247] conscience, and marke them well, and if they be thy sinnes (which thou canst not denie) as the Lord Iesus hath giuen thee leaue by his commandement, to aske forgiuenes, so God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, hath promised to grant thee forgiuenes of them. Here is a dore of mercy set wide open; enter con­fidently, but humbly with thy praier in the name of Iesus the mediator. Thou hast the promise of the God of trueth, of that God whose word is his deed, who saith. As I haue spoken, so will I bring it Esay. 46. 11 to passe. And what, or whome shouldest thou now be afraid of.

CHAP. XIX.

BVT the afflicted sinnerHis third obiection, he may not aske for­giuenes for he cannot call God his father. that cānot easily cast off this cleauing burden, to his owne further trouble obiecteth against the in­couragment giuen him from the commandement of the Lord Iesus to aske forgiuenesse of sinnes: af­firming that that gracious commande­ment, giuing so franke leaue, and so large hope of asking and obtaining [Page 248] forgiuenesse, neither doth nor can per­taine vnto him: pleading against him­selfe, in this manner. This commande­ment of Christ, that giueth leaue to aske and hope to receiue forgiuenesse of sins cannot belong vnto me, neither haue I any right to the benefit and aduantage of it, because that commandement is gi­uen to them that can call God their fa­ther, for so beginneth the Lords praier wherein that commandement is com­prehended, our father which art in hea­uen. Luke 11. 2 His life doth not shew [...] to be a child of God. Matt▪ 5. 48. 1. Pet. 1. 14. But cannot call God my father, neither haue I any reason to thinke my self his child. First the child ought to resemble the father. Our Sauiour saith. Ye shall therefore be perfect, as your father which is in heauen is perfect. But there is in me no part of the perfection of God▪ either in the vertues of my minde, or in the workes of my life, and the Apostle Saint Peter saith. As obedient children▪ fashion not your selues vnto the former lusts of your ignorance, but as hee which hath called you is ho [...]y, so be yee holy in all manner of conuersation, because it is writ­ten, be yee holy for I am holy. And if yee call him father which without respect of [Page 249] person iudgeth according to euery mans worke, passe the time of your dwelling here in feare. By this rule of Peter, they which call God their father ought to be holy as he is holy, but I am altogether profane. They ought to passe the time of their life reuerently in the feare of God, but I haue beene and am a con­temner of him: and their doings should not be after the lusts of their own heart, that beare sway in the daies of igno­rance, but I neuer followed other rule, then the lusting of mine owne heart, I neuer stroue to suppresse and mortifie them. Yea my whole course of life doth proue mee to be the child of another fa­ther that hath no place in heauen, but was cast out thence for sinne. The Lord Iesus said vnto the Iewes: Ye are of your Iohn [...]. 44. father the deuill, and the lusts of your fa­ther yee will doe. Much more rightly (by triall of my deedes) may it bee said to mee, thou art of thy father the deull, and the lusts of that father of thine thou hast done. While my sinnes thus daily come to remembrance how can I cal God my father.

And who can call God his father, that [Page 250] hath not the spirit of God dwelling inAnd hee hath not the spirit of a­doption. Rom. 8. 15. him, as the seale and earnest of his inhe­ritance, of which spirit Paul speaketh thus. Ye [...] haue receiued the spirit of adop­tion whereby we cry abba father: the same spirit beareth witnesse with our spirit, that we are the children of God. But this spi­rit dwelleth not in me: if this spirit were in me, I should feele at one time or other and in one measure or other, the com­fortable testimony of that spirit: but I feele nothing but feareful horror in my conscience: oh that I had and might feele the comfort of this spirit, my pre­sent tentation witnesseth the absence of it. Also if I had the spirit of God in mee, the fruits of that spirit would bud, and shew forth themselues in mee: but all is contrary. The Apostle Paul saith, the Gal. [...]. 22 fruit of the spirit is loue, ioy, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meekenesse, and temperance. There is none of these to be seene in mee, but the fruits of the flesh are plentifull in mee. With them I am ouergrowen both in body and soule. The Apostle reckoneth them vp in this order. The workes of the flesh Gal. 5. 19. are manifest. which are adultery▪ fornica­tion, [Page 251] vncl [...]annesse, wantonnesse, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulation, wrath, contention, seditions, herefies, enuy, murders, drunkennesse, gluttony, and such like. And in these sinnes I haue liued, and dwelt, and delighted, if not in all, yet in many of them, and if not in many, yet in some of them, inough to quench the spirit of God, if the fire thereof had at any time beene kindled in mee. How then can it be that I should haue the ho­ly Ghost? And not hauing the holy Ghost, how can I call God my father? and if I haue no right nor power to call God my father, that leaue to craue the forgiueuesse of sinnes, and that hope to obtaine forgiuenesse of sinnes, which are grounded vpon that commande­ment of Iesus, pertaine not to mee.

Alas how ingenious men are, in theAnswer to this obies ction. daies of affliction, when the burden of accusing thoughts lies heauy vpon them, to dispute against themselues. They haue not vnderstanding enough to apprehend and taste any thing that is spoken for their comfort: but they haue wit to finde out, and vtterance to pro­nounce, and feruent passion to vrge any [Page 252] thing that may make for their discom­fort. But let vs helpe to remoue these stumbling-blockes, from before these mens feete, that they may walke on in hope, and come vnto God by praier.

Thou thinkest that by that comman­dement of Christ, there is giuen to thee, no leaue to aske forgiuenesse of sinne, [...]orhope to obtaine forgiuenesse of sin, because it is to be craued of an heauenly father. And thou canst not call God thy heauenly father, thou thinkest th [...] he is not thy father, and that thou n [...] not his sonne. And thou hast two rea­sons to proue this to thine owne heart. First because neither thy vertues no [...] thy actions doe in any thing resemble God▪ but▪ rather proue thee to be the child of another father, opposit to God, and se­condly because thou hast not the spi [...]it of adoption to crie Abba Father. For thou neither feelest the restimony o [...] that spirit in thine heart, neither doest thou see the fruits of that spirit in thy life, but al things euery where contrary.This mans cose is like th [...] Prodi­gall in the Gospel.

I mislike not that thou doest hold [...] meane opinion of thy selfe, and cens [...] ­rest thy selfe vnworthy the title of God [...] [Page 253] child: and that thou thinkest honora­bly of the spirituall kinred that is be­tweene God and his saints. But be of good comfort. God sa [...]leth not to be thy father, because thou thinkest him not to be: neither failest thou to be his child, because thou darest not thinke thy selfe to bee his child. And these words vrged against thy selfe, are no o­ther then the words of the prodigall vn­thrift spoken of in the Gospell, who in his vertues and actions did nothing (as yet) resemble his father, for hee hanted harlots, and liued riotously being euery way as sinfull, as thou canst (with any words) make thy selfe: and when by ad­uersity he was brought to consider of his life and estate, as thou now doest, he had that opinion of himselfe that thou now hast, thinking it not fit to take vnto him­selfe the title of a sonne. His words are thus set downe by Saint Luke. I will a Lu [...]e 15. 18 rise and go [...] to my father, and say to him, father, I haue sinned against heauen and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy sonne. Compare thy selfe with him, thou canst not be worse then hee, not in thy life more vnlike thy heauenly [Page 254] father, neither canst thou be in worse case then he was. He for sooke his fathers house, and was departed far from God, knowing very well from whence he was departed. Hee neuer had minde to re­turne backe againe till misery compel­led him, of whom we neede not feare to say (for it is plaine and cleare) that no loue to his father, nor to his fathers house, but pinching necessity, and ex­treame misery made him a conuert. And while hee was abroad, what was hisLuk. 15. 13 course? the euangelist telleth vs, he w [...] ­sted his goods with riotous liuing. That is, all the blessings of God, bestowed vpon him, (whatsoeuer) in minde, in body, or in estate, hee wa [...]led them vainly with­out any fruit, either to the praise of God or good of his saints: yea wickedly, to the dishonour of God, and great offence and hurt of his saints. His elder brother said truly of him to his father. He hath Luk. 15. 30 deuoured thy goods with Harlots. He was a deuourer rather then a spender, be­cause he followed wholy the flatterings and intice ments of the flesh and of the world: hee pursued earnestly and gree­dily the pleasures of sinne: he polluted [Page 255] the whole man, both body and soule, in carnall and spirituall fornication: and hee dishonoured his mercifull Fa­ther, while to his sinfull courses for the furthering thereof, he conuerted all the gfits and graces, that hee had receiued of God. This was his behauiour, being departed from his father. In the end, by misery iustly fallen vpon him, hee was touched, ashamed, and confounded, as thou art: (seest thou not thine estate liuely described in the estate of this prodigall man?) yet after all this wan­dering and wicked behauior, and much misery that hee indureth, hee remem­breth his fathers house, he repenteth, he returneth, and humbly praieth: and the successe was, he is gratiously recei­ued into fauour.

Take this example vnto thee, and view it well, dwell vppon it with holie meditation. Such as he was in his wan­dering in his wickednesse, in his trou­ble of minde, such thou art: such as he was in his repentance, in his returne home to his Fathers house, and in his humble praier vnto God, such be thou: and such fauorable intertainment as hee [Page 256] found at his Fathers hands, thou also shalt find. Are not these things written for our learning, that wee through pa­tience and consolation of the Scrip­tures might haue hope.God proued to [...]e [...]ur Father, though we be sinners.

And, because thou dost not yet re­semble God, either in the vertues of thy mind, or the actions of thy life, say not therefore, that he is not thy Father, and that thou art not his Child. Why wilt thou adde this to the former discom­fort of thy soule, and to the former er­rours of thy life? and wrong, either God in his goodnes, or thy selfe in the grounds of thy hope.

Thou knowest the words of Mose [...] to the people of Israel: if thou know them not, heare▪ and let thine heart vn­derstand them. Is not he thy Father th [...] Deut. 32. 6. bought thee? he hath made thee, and pro­portioned thee. If he be thy Father that made thee and proportioned thee, the [...] surely God is thy Father; for hee, and none but he that made heauen and earth made thee. The Prophet saith of God, It is he that hath made vs, and not we [...] Psal. 100. 3 selues. And if he be thy Father that hat [...] bought thee, and purchased thee; then, [Page 257] whether thou approoue i [...] or no, God is thy Father, for hee hath bought vs with a price, not of corruptible things, as siluer and gold, but with the price of the precious bloud of Christ, as of a Lamb vndefiled, & without spot. Ther­fore the Apostle saith to the Corinthi­ans, Yee are not your owne, for yee are 1. [...]or▪ 6. 1 [...] bought with a price. And beeing once his, all thy wanderings cannot weaken his right in thee, but hee still shall re­maine thy Father that bought thee. If a sheepe runne astray from the fold, and wander long in vnknowne pastures, doth it therefore cease to be his, that is Lord and owner of the flocke? and if it returne, or be brought home, with the fleece lost, and left behind hanging vp­on euery hedge, and with the skin, and flesh also torne, will hee not acknow­ledge it, and receiue it? Yes, he will re­ceiue it with ioy. Reade the fifteenth chapter of Saint Luke: and meditate vpon that thou readest. So farre off is it that the indignation of heauen should reiect thee, that as it is there said, There Lu. 15. 1 [...]. is ioy in the presence of the Angels of God for one sinner that conuerteth. Make ioy­full [Page 258] the angels of heauen by thy returne to God, and that ioy shall shine vpon the face of thy conscience: And (not to forget what we haue in hand, to proue God thy father) consider some words of the apostle to the Hebr. We haue had the Hebr. 12. 9 fathers of our bodies, that corrected vs and we gaue thē reuerence: should we not much rather be in subiection vnto the Father of spirits, that wee might liue? He calleth men that begat vs, fathers of our bo­dies, and hee calleth God that created vs, the Father of our spirits: because in the generation of our bodies men are vsed, but in the creation of our spirits God only worketh, who is also the prin­cipal agēt in the framing of our bodies, and men are but instrumentall agent [...] therfore while there is a spirit dwelling in thy body, quickning and mouing it, thou canst not deny God to be thy Fa­ther: whose glo [...]ous habitation beingEsa. 57. 15 in heauen, as he saith by Esay, I dwell i [...] the high & holy place. Thou hast a Father in heauen. And therfore by the commā ­dement of Iesus Christ willing vs to say to God, forgiue vnto vs our sins, tho [...] hast both leaue giuen thee to aske for­giuenesse [Page 259] of sins, and hope giuen thee to obtaine forgiuenes Vse therfore cheer­fully (but withall, reuerently and thank­fully) this leaue, & obey duetifully and gladly this commandement: for God is thy Father. And thy seruice in calling vpon him shall not be fruitlesse.

And say not, bicause as yet, thou nei­therThe holy Ghost is i [...] ▪ him, or may be obtained seest the fruits of the holy Ghost i [...] thy reformed life, nor feelest the testi­mony of it in thy cheereful conscience, that therefore that blessed Spirit is not in thee. When thou speakest of the fruits of the Spirit, thou makest the Spi­rit to be as seed sowne in the heart, that should bring forth fruit▪ And so indeed the holy Ghost within vs, is the seed of our regeneration and new life, as the Lord Iesus teacheth vs, saying, Except Iohn 3. 5. that a man be borne of wat [...] & the spirit, the water of Baptisme, & spirit of San­ctification. And Iohn plainely giueth the name of Seed to the Holy-Ghost; saying; His seed remaineth in him. And1. Iohn 3. 9 when thou speakest of the testimony of the Spirit, thou makest the Spirit to be as a witnesse that testifieth the fatherly loue of God vnto vs. And so indeed [Page 260] the Holy-Ghost within vs, is vnto our hearts a true witnes of Gods loue. Paul to this purpose saith, Yee haue receiued Rom. 8. 15. the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Ab­ba Father. The same spirit beareth wit­nesse with our spirit, that wee are the chil­dren of God. And Saint Peter in his speech before the Priest and Captain of the Temple, calleth the holy-Ghost a Witnesse, saying, Wee are his witnesses Matt. 5. 32. concerning these things which we say, yea and the holy-Ghost, whom God hath giuen to them that obey him. For the Lord Ie­sus hath two sorts of witnesses, to con­firme to the consciences of men, the truth of his death and resurrection, and his power of sanctifying and sauing. The one sort is, the Apostles and Mini­sters, who by their doctrine doe beare witnesse to the outward man, and the other is the holy-Ghost, who opening the vnderstanding, and leading into all truth, doth beare witnes to the inward man.

Now for seed, we know that when it is cast into the ground, it doeth not presently bring forth ripe fruit: nay, it doth not presently spring vp and shew [Page 261] it selfe, but it resteth for a while in the wombe of the earth, hidden from the eyes of men, till conuenient time com­meth: and if any man in the mean time should say, I see no fruit aboue the ground, therefore there is no seede in the ground, hee might be deceiued, and the Husbandman and Gardner that had sowne the ground, would censure him both of ignorance and boldnesse, and time would disprooue him.

And as for witnesses, we know, that they do not speake, so soone as a man is prouided of thē, nor yet so soon as they appeare in publique place; but being first prepared, and after brought to the place where they should giue testimo­ny, they yet stay, and keep silence: and when the Iudge or Examiner is at lei­sure, then they are called for, and speak their knowledge. And he that reasons thus, there hath yet no witnesse spoken forsuch a mā, therfore he hath no wit­nesse to speake at all for him, should shew himselfe a rash man, and by the timely voyce of the witnesses would be conuinced.

Euen so it is too much rashnesse in [Page 262] thee, to say, that because thou yet hear­rest not the testimonie of the Holie-Ghost in thy heart, witnessing with thy spirit, that thou art the child of God, therefore there is no such witnesse at al to speake when God shall appoint. And because thou yet seest not the fruits of the spirit in the actions of thy life: that therefore there is in thee no seed of the Spirit that may bring forth these fruits in due time. Learne to haue patience, & wait vpon the good pleasure of God, & in time thou shalt see a blessed chāge, & heare that testimonie which yet thou hearest▪ not, and see those fruits of the Spirit, which yet thou seest not.

And if it were as thou speakest, that thou hadst not at all the Spirite, as seed lying in secret, and attending the time of Spring, or as a witnesse prepared to speake when God shal call him fo [...]th to giue his testimonie; yet the Spirit that is not receiued, may be receiued, and shall be giuen thee, if thou pray vnto God for it. We know the words of the Lord Iesus Christ in the Gospel, If you Lu. 11. 13. which are euill can giue good gifts to your children, how much more shall your hea­uenly [Page 263] Father giue the holy-Ghost to them that desire him. So that if there be in thee a true desire to obtaine the holy-Ghost, aske and it shall be giuen thee, for the Lord is more ready to giue then thou canst be to aske. All that matter there­fore of thy feare, for that commande­ment of Christ, that giueth leaue to ask, and hope to obtaine forgiuenesse of sins, that it should not belong to thee, be­cause it must be asked of them that haue God for their Father, and thou thinkest him not to be thy Father, because thou doest neither resemble him as yet, either in the verues of thy mind, or actions of thy life; and thou hast not the spirit of adoption, by which thou maiest cry Abba Father, for thou neither seest the fruits, nor feelest the testimonies of that spirit: all this matter of thy feare is vaine.

That commandement of Christ be­longeth to thee: God is thy Father, thou oughtest to pray vnto him for forgiue­nesse, thou maiest pray vnto him for for­giuenesse, and if thou pray, thou shalt obtaine forgiuenesse. Pray therefore as Christ hath commanded thee, and the [Page 264] obseruation of his order shall prooue thine ease.

CHAP. XX.

OVr afflicted sinner was in­couraged to pray, and to hope for forgiuenesse of his sinnes, not onely by the commandement of Iesus Christ, which giueth leaue and hope, but also, and more strongly by the promise of God, assuring in plaine words that it shall bee granted to him. I will forgiue their ini­quitie, Iere. 31. 34 and will remember their sinnes no more. But the nature of his temptation, suffering no comfort to enter and abide with him, armeth him with an obiecti­on against that incouragement in this manner. I know that God hath madeThe fourth obiection; promise of forgiuenesse to Israel. such a liberall promise. I know that he made it aduisedly, vnderstanding him­selfe what he promised, that hee made it in truth, meaning to performe faith­fully as much as hee promised: and that he remembers his promise for euer, for time can not worke forgetfulnesse in [Page 265] him, nor any shadow of alteration, and therefore it shall be most truely and ful­ly performed. But it pertaineth not to mee for any aduantage and benefit of mine: for the Prophet telleth vs it is a couenant made with the house of Isra­el, for these are his words; This shall be Ier. 31. 33. the couenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those dayes, saith the Lord. But I am no Israelite, howsoeuerBut I am no Israelite. you shall take the name: for if you vn­derstand it in the naturall signification for the children of Iacob, in the twelue Tribes of Israel, I am not of that kin­red, I am of the Gentiles. And if I were naturally of the seed of Israel, yet might I very well loose all lawfull challenge to that promise, because Saint Paul saith, All they are not Israel which are Rom. 9 6 of Israel: But if you take the name in the spiritual signification, for a child of pro­mise, an heire of grace, and a preuailer with God (and in that sence was it first giuen to Iacob. when he wrestled with the Angell, and preuailed, not letting him goe, vntill hee had blessed him) in this signification. It doth yet much lesse agree to mee, that am rather an Egypti­an, [Page 266] a Cananite, an Edomite, and an eni­mie of God, rather then a preuailer with him. I neuer wrestled with God by faith and praier (as Iacob) to preuaile with him: but rather I haue wrestled with God by pride and malice as a professed aduersarie, I haue bidden defiance to God in the contempt of my proud heart, & I haue made fierce war against God in my many sinnes, striuing to pre­uaile against him, neuer desiring to pre­uaile with him: and thence is it, that now in iustice and power, hee beareth himselfe so strongly against me. There­fore being no way an Israelite, and that couenant wherein God promiseth to forgiue and forget sinnes, being made with the house of Israel, what claime can I make to that promise? euen none at all.

The nature of this disease is veryAnswere to this fourth ob­iection. strange, that turneth into poison what soeuer is applyed to it by way of medi­cine, or at least way striueth to extin­guish all the vertue of those medicines, least it might bee cured. But this must moue vs to haue the more compassion, and to take the more paine, to see if God [Page 267] at the last will send comfort and sauing health.

Thou thinkest that this promise of forgiuing and forgetting sinnes doeth not pertaine vnto thee, because it was made with the house of Israel, and thou art neither Israelite in the flesh nor by promise, but takest thy selfe rather wor­thy to be esteemed an Egyptian, a Cana­nite, an Edomite. And if thou wilt, a Dog, and what soeuer other name thou canst remember or deuise. And yet I will shew and proue, that this promise made with the house of Israel pertaineth vnto thee.

But first, to begin withall, let me hereMar. 15. 2 [...]. remember vnto thee an historie recor­ded in the Gospell. A certaine woman of the seed of Canaan, dwelling in theThe woman of Canaan and this sin­ner compa­red together coastes of Tyrus and Sidon, had at home at hir house a daughter that was posses­sed with a diuel: shee came vnto Iesus, crauing mercy at his hands for the hea­ling of hir daughter, saying vnto him. Haue mercy on me O Lord, thou sonne of Dauid, my daughter is miserablie vexed with a Diuel. The Lord Iesus reiecteth her as a stranger from the common [Page 268] wealth of Israel, and as some beast of wilde and fierce nature not fit to be fol­ded vp among his milde sheepe▪ saying vnto her. I am not sent but vnto the lost Mat. 15. 24. sheepe of the house of Israel. Hee pro­nounced asmuch of her, as thou pro­nouncest of thy selfe, shee was no Isra­elite. And when this answere, which thou art so much afraid of, comming but from thine owne mouth, could not, though it came from the mouth of Iesus, checke that boldnes and confidence of spirit in which she came, but that she still continued her sute, hee dealt more roughly with her, and signified vnto her inplaine words, that he made no other account of her then of a Dog, in com­parison of the children of God, to whom the bread of Gods mercy, by the hands of the sauiour, is to be broken, saying vnto her. It is not good to take the chil­drens Mat. 15. 26. bread, and to cast it to whelpes. That is, I were not fit to haue the gouernment of Gods house, if the mercy, which is the portion of his children, I should cast a­way among Dogs, such as thou art. Tell me what thy heart can obiect against thy selfe, to exclude thee from the com­mon [Page 269] wealth and house of Israel, and to cut thee off from being partner in that promise for forgiuenesse of sinnes, or in any other promise of God what soeuer, that is not here obiected by the Lord Iesus Christ against this Cananite, to ex­clude her from all hope of obtaining any mercy at his hands. He denies her to be of the house of Israel, hee doeth not ac­knowledge her to bee a sheepe of his fold, and in plaine termes, to the vnder­standing of all that heare his wordes, he placeth her among Dogs rather then a­mong children. And this is it, that thou chargest thy selfe to be, and therefore secluded from hauing any part in that promise.

But that poore woman would not be answered so, but still she persisteth in praier: and knowing & beleeuing that Iesus the sonne of Dauid was able to in­franchise her, and make her a Citizen & member of the common wealth of Isra­el, and to change her, and of a Dog, to make her a sheepe of his folde, yea a child of Gods familie, shee intr [...]ateth him to admit her to the portion of an allowed dog, saying vnto him, Trueth Mat. 15 [...]7. [Page 270] Lord yet in deed the whelpes eate of the crums which fall from their masters table. And to maintaine in her such faith and such feruencie, shee had no promise so particularly answering the euill that op­pressed her heart, as that promise doeth particularly and most aptly answere to the euill, that lieth so heauily vpon thy conscience, onely shee had heard that Iesus had helped others. And this her inforced importunitie, and (as a man would thinke) her vnreasonable and vn­mannerly soliciting, preuailed for her, and she obtained all that mercy that her soule desired. What shall I say then vnto thee, that so foolishly vrgest against thy selfe, the shadow of thine owne suspici­on, and thine owne fantasticall feare: and refusest to call for that mercy, that God hath alreadie promised to grant? a Cananite and a dog (neither Israelite, nor sheepe, nor child) preuaileth, and thou, discouraged onely by thine owne conceit [...] darest not aduenture.

But it runneth in thy head that thou art no Israelite. And according to the natu­rall signification of the name, for a son of Iacobs loynes, thou art none & thou re­gardest [Page 271] not to be one, because that man­ner of being an Israelite would nothing benefit thee. But thou also thinkest that in the other significatiō of the name, thou likewise art none: & affirmest him in that [...]ence to be an Israelite, that is a child of promise, an heire of grace, & a preuailer with God, a citizen with saints, & of the houshold of God, which thou art not.

Thy definition of a true Israelite isThat this sinner is an Israelite. good, and to be maintained. But for thee to denie thy self to be such an one, is not good, nor to be maintained, for art not thou descended of Christian parents, and thereby a Cittizen with the Saints, and a child borne within the houshold of faith. And an holy one from the wombe: the Apostle Paul, speaking of the chil­dren of beleeuing parents, hath these words. Else were your children vncleane, 1. Cor. 7. 14 but now they are holy. Wherein he doth pronounce them to be holy, that is, to haue a title to the couenāt of grace, and to all the priuileges of the Church, and therefore to be of the house of Israel. And this is their birth-right, & their iust inheritance, if either the father or the mother be a right beleeuer, though the [Page 272] other parent bee an infidell: but both thy parents made profession of the faith of Iesus Christ, therefore this birth-right on both sides is confirmed to thee, and who shal denie him to be a true Israelite, that is borne holy, being of that Holy 1. Pet. 2. 9. nation and peculiar people, that Saint Pe­ter speakes of. Also thy parents receiued the promises of Gods mercy not onely for themselues, but also for thee, as the Apostle Peter preached to his hearers, saying. The promise is made vnto you, and Acts. 2. 39. to your children, and to all that are a farre of, euen so many as the Lord our God shall call. And this affliction, which now li­eth so heauie vpon thy conscience is nothing else then the calling of God, seeking by this trouble to bring thee home vnto himselfe, that hast so long in in thy former securitie gone astray from him: and therefore that promise of for­giuing iniquitie, and not remembring sinne, and all other promises of his mer­cy, are made to thee, and doe belong vn­to thee, as to a true Israelite, thou being the child of such parents as did inherite the same promises before thee, and thou being also by thy afflictiō called of God.

[Page 273]And say that thou wert a stranger andIf he be not an Is­raelite, hee may be. forrener, and as hard-hearted as the stones in the streete, that are nothing fit to receiue the forme of a seruiceable vessell: Yet such is the power of the hand of God our Potter, that he is able to make the hard stones softer then the clay, and to worke our hearts as wax to take the impression of his Law: he is a­ble to make vs vessels of honour, for holy & acceptable seruices in his house: and hee is able to make vs Abrahams seede, and true Israelites. You know the words of Iohn the Baptist, spoken to the prowd Iewes, that gloried so much in this, that they were Abrahams seed, and in Abrahams right were heires of the Couenant. Hee spake thus vnto them, Say not within your selues, we haue Luke 3. 8. Abraham to our Father, for I say vnto you, that God is able of these stones to raise vp children vnto Abraham. So that of him, that is no Israelite, that is no child, that is no heire, God is able to make an Israelite, a child, an heire. Of Gods goodnesse toward them that were no Israelites, and no people, the Prophet Hosea speaketh in this manner, I will [Page 274] haue mercie vpon her that was not pitied, Hos. 2. 23 and I will say to them which were not my people; Thou art my people, and they shall say, thou art my God. If thou wert there­fore of that company that is not pitied, thou maiest yet find mercie at GODS hands: and if thou wert of that compa­ny that is not Gods people, thou may­est yet become one of his. The feare therfore that thou fainest vnto thy selfe hath no ground.

Consider him whom thou hast to deale withall, and hope in his mercie, that is so liberall in his promises, and is also most faithfull in the performance of his word. Thou hast sinned, and hee hath promised to forgiue thy sinnes. Appeale vnto his promises, he cannot faile to effect that which hee hath giuen his word for: of which word of his, himselfe saith thus, It shall not returne vnto mee void, but it shall accomplish that which I will, & it shall prosper in the thing Esa. 55 11. whereto I sent it. So that, hauing sent forth that gracious word of promise, to forgiue and forget thy sinnes, it shall not returne to him void, it shall not be found a false or faulty word, but a word [Page 275] of truth and power. Pray vnto God for the effect of it, and it shall prooue pros­perous to thy peace.

CHAP. XXI.

ALl that hath hitherto been said, is not able to calmeA fift obie­ction, others perish, why not he? and what is to bee done that I pe­rish not? the storme that is raised in this poore sinners con­science; but his restlesse mind stil replies, arguing against himself in this manner; If this leaue of asking, and this promise of granting forgiuenes of sinnes, be so free for euery one, borne of beleeuing parents, as you would make mee beleeue: how commeth it then to passe, that so many perish in their sinnes, not onely of them who are borne and brought vp, of, and among vnbeleeuers, that know not the true God: but of them also that are descen­ded of beleeuers, and all their time broght vp in the bosome of the church,Lu. 13. 2 [...]. that can say before the Iudge, We haue eaten and drunke in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. Yea they pro­ceeded further in the businesse of the [Page 276] church, & cā say to the Iudge, Lord haue Mat. 7. 22. not we by thy name prophecied? and by thy name cast out diuels? and by thy name done many great works? and yet vnto them the Lord wil answer, & make profession, say ing, I neuer knew you, depart frō me ye that 23. worke iniquitie. The way that leadeth to death & destruction is broad and easie, and many walke in it, and perish, & I am one among others, that haue run in that way, and I am yet in it. But the way that leadeth to life and saluation is a narrow way, and few do find it: and I am one of them that cānot find it, I am now out of it, and indeed neuer had any pleasure to seeke it, that I might walke in it. And yet you make the promise of the for­giuenesse of sinnes to be very large, and giuen to al within the church. And why may not I, notwithstanding so gracious & large a promise, misse of forgiuenes, and fall into condemnation, aswel as o­thers? yea before many thousands of o­thers? hauing deserued condemnation as worthily as any other, and morewor­thily then many other? therefore I think that there is something required to the obtaining of forgiuenesse of sinnes and [Page 277] saluation, that I yet know not, and not knowing it, it is very like I haue it not, and not hauing it, I remaine still vnder cōdemnation, and must perish eternal­ly. And I feele it so in the feare of my soule, for notwithstanding all that you haue spoken to put life and hope into my soule, yet the burden of my sinnes, and the feare of damnation is no lesse heauy vpon me, then before you began to speake vnto me. I confesse indeede that the things that haue beene spoken, offer great comfort, but I want a right hand to take it withall. Help me there­fore thorow, and shew me what are the conditions vpon which God forgiueth sinnes: that hearing them, I may know whether I bee capable of that desired happines: and if I be not presently, that yet I may indeuour in time to be, and so at the last obtaine it. For though you haue not deliuered me from al my fear, yet you haue wrought in mee a great desire to recouer, and get out of it, not without some hope, that it may one day, by the mercy of God, bee happily effected to my saluation.

This obiection is tempered with some [Page 278] mildenes, and while the storme is some­thingHis obiecti­on answe­red. laid, hearken, and I will teach thee what the conditions are: so shalt thou know, both why others perish in their sinnes, notwithstanding this promise, namely by neglecting these conditions: and also, how thou maiest obtaine for­giuenes of thy sinnes, according to this promise, by the obedient and carefull keeping of these conditions.

The conditions required at our hāds,Conditions vpon which God keep­eth promise to forgiue sinnes. if we thinke to obtaine forgiuenesse of sinnes, are in number three. The first of these three concerneth our selues and our renouation. It is called repentance; a departure from sinne, and a returne to God in holines and righteousnesse: for it is meete for him that would haue his sinnes past to be forgiuen him, to cease from sinne, and hate the works of dark­nesse, wherein he tooke pleasure before. Which ought to be hated, first in regardRepētance is the first condition. of God, because they are displeasing to him that is most holy, and hee that is most glorious is dishonoured by them: Secondly, they are to be hated in regard of our selues, because they cast vs out of Gods loue, into his iust hatred, and [Page 279] robbing vs of true peace, doe fill our hearts with feare and horrour. And for thine owne part, I hope thou findest that the workes of darkenesse are to be hated, and hast a will also to hate and abhorre them, seeing what wofull feare and danger they haue brought thee in­to. And this repentance, and turning to God, will surely deliuer thee from thine old sinnes, so that they shall ne­uer bee laied to thy charge. It is a true saying of Saint Augustine, Non nocent Serm. 181. de Tempore peccata praeterita, si non placent praesentia: Sinnes past hurt vs not, if sinnes present please vs not. If wee take no pleasure in vnrighteousnesse from henceforth, God will put away and abolish all our old offences. And this saying of his is groū ­ded vpon the Scripture, which must be thy stay before all the sayings of men. The Prophet thus speaketh, If the wic­ked Ezec. 19. 2 [...] will returne from all his sinnes that he hath committed, and keepe all my statutes, and doe that which is lawfull and right, he shall surely liue, and shall not die: all his transgressions that hee hath committed, shall not be mentioned vnto him. Yea vp­on our repentance, and ceasing from [Page 280] sinne, where it had stained as deepe as Scarlet, and like Crimson double died, in a colour not easie to bee changed, yet there will God clense the sinner, and make him as white as snow, & as cleane as the fleece of wooll new washed and skowred. Reade to this purpose the wordes of Esay in his first Chapter. 16▪ 17 and 18. verses; it is a place of much com­fort.

And when thou hearest repentance toGod help­eth vnto re­pentance. be a condition of the obtaining of for­giuenes of sinnes, be not discomforted in the conscience of thine owne weake­nes, and insufficience of keeping the law of God, as if it should be impossible for thee to obtaine forgiuenes vpon this condition. I know thou canst not but be vnapt for good workes now at the first, hauing so long before accustomed thy selfe to a contrary course of vngod­linesse. But attempt with resolution to reforme thy waies, and studie withall thy heart to serue God according to his will in his word reuealed. God esteem­eth the will for the worke: yea hee will worke in thee both to will and to doe of his owne good will, for hee giueth re­pentance [Page 281] as well as remission of sinnes by Iesus Christ, whom he hath appointed and inabled therevnto. As Peter saith of him. Him hath God lift vp with his Acts. 5. 31. right hand, to be a prince and a sauiour, to giue repentance to Israel and remission of sinnes. And therefore (as a good degree of casting thy burden vpon God) pray vnto God to giue thee repentance for thy sinnes, that thou maiest also obtaine forgiuenes. And learne of Dauid to say vnto God, Create in mee a cleane heart Psal. 51. [...]0. O God, and renue a right spirit within me. And craue it in hope, for God hath li­berally promised to giue it. Thus he saith by the Prophet. Then will I poure cleane Ezeki. 36. 25. water vpon you, and you shall be cleansed. yea from all your filthines, and from all your idols will I cleanse you: a new heart also will I giue you, & a new spirit wil I put within you: I will take away the stonie heart out of your body, and I will giue you a heart of flesh, & I will put my spirit with­in you, and cause you to walke in my statutes, and yee shall keepe my iudgements, and do them. What is it that belongeth vnto repentance, either in the inward man, for the renewing, and humbling, and sancti­fying [Page 282] of the heart: or in the outward man, for the altering, amending and re­forming of the life, that God in these words doth not promise to giue. And what he promiseth, that will hee truely giue, if thou make suite vnto him, as it is fit and necessarie for thee.

The second of the three conditionsCharitie to our brother is the second condition. concerneth our brother, and the merci­full vsing of him, and it is a milde kind of charitie, by which we must be willing to forgiue vnto our brother all the wrongs & trespasses that hee hath done against vs, seeking if we can to reforme him, but not to shame him; yeelding to doe all offices of mercy and loue vnto him in his necessitie: not seeking to be re­uenged, and to render euill for euil & re­buke for rebuke. And this is agreeable to iustice and equitie, that if thou wouldest receiue what thou wantest, thou shoul­dest be willing to supply the want of o­thers as thon art able: and if thou woul­dest finde mercy with God, thou shoul­dest shew mercy to men: for what mea­sure we meate to others, the same shall be meat to vs. Iames the Apostle saith; There shall be iudgement merciles to him Iames. 2. 3. [Page 283] that sheweth no mercy, and mer [...]y reioiceth against iudgement. If thou wilt not re­mit vnto thy brother, then looke for no remission at Gods hand: but if thou cha­ritably remit vnto thy brother, then cheerefully promise thy soule remission at Gods hands. Verie clearely to this purpose speaketh the Lord Iesus, saying; Mat. 6. 14. If you doe forgiue men their trespasses, your heauenly father will also forgiue you: but if you doe not forgiue men their trespasses, no more will your father forgiue your tres­passes. This text is plaine and needeth no interpretation, but forgiue & it shall be forgiuen to you: forgiue vnto men, and you shall be forgiuen of God.Reasons why wee should redi­ly forgiue our brother.

At the hearing of this condition there needeth no discomfort arise in thy con­science, from feare of thy insufficiencie, for all resteth in thy will. It is no more but this, be willing, & the work is done; desire not to be reuenged, and thou hast forgiuen him: continue kindnesse vnto him, as if no such wrong had beene done vnto thee, and this condition is fulfil­led.Reasons why wee should redi­ly forgiue.

And if thou thinke, it will be hard vn­to thee, by reason of thy froward heart, [Page 284] heare a few reasons that may moue thee to thinke, that it is a matter of nothing, considering what thou desirest to ob­taine of God. First, it is not much that [...] thou hast to forgiue thy brother, small & few are his wrongs done to thee: but it is infinite that thou seekest forgiuenes of from God, many and grieuous are thy wrongs done to him. Secondly, [...] betweene thy brother and thee there is no such difference, with aduantage of dignitie on thy selfe, that thou shouldest disdaine in regard of thy excellencie to put vp wrong at thy brothers hand, for thou (as hee) art no better then dust and ashes: but infinite is the difference be­tweene God and thee, with all aduan­tage of full excellencie on Gods side, he being of infinite glorie and maiestie, so that hee might iustly disdaine to put vp wrong at the hands of such a vile worme as thou art. Thirdly, thy brother is, nei­ther3 by subiection to thy authoritie, nor by kindenesse receiued from thee so bound vnto thee, that in his doings, which thou interpretest for wrongs, he can be challenged of any great rebelli­on, and any grosse vnthankefulnes a­gainst [Page 285] thee: but thou, both by subiecti­on to the authoritie of God, and by dai­ly blessings receiued from God, art so bound vnto him, that in thy sinnefull deedes done against his knowne com­mandements, thou art euidently guiltie of high treason and rebellion, and most wicked vnthakfulnes. Euery of these reasons doe inforce vpon thy heart (be it neuer so froward and swelling) that it is a trif [...]e and matter of noe worth, for thee to forgiue the wrongs of thy bro­ther done to thee, if thou desire and ex­pect that God should forgiue vnto thee thy wrongs done against his diuine maiestie. But in the fourth place, marke4 well this, & let it enter into thy froward heart, if thy peace were presently setled, and thou hadst receiued from God as cleare and as assured discharge of all thy sinnes, as Dauid had, when Nathan said vnto him from God. The Lord hath 2. Sam. 12. 13. done away thy sinne, thou shalt not die. Crueltie against thy brother reuoketh Gods promise, which hath euer inclu­ded in it, this condition of shewing mer­cy to thy brother, and forgiuing him. It is a true saying of Saint Augustin. Rede­unt [Page 286] dimissa peccata vbi: fraterna charitas Ser. 2. de ser Domini su­per montem non est. The sinnes forgiuen returne againe where there is no brotherly charitie. And this is plaine in the parable of the king and his seruant, that ought him ten thou­sand talents: the king being humbly intreated, forgaue him the debt (that is, promised to forgiue it him:) this seruant went forth, and met with a fellow ser­uant that owed him an hundred pence, and cruelly hee cast him into prison, which when the king heard of, hee was highly displeased, and calling this vn­mercifull seruant before him, hee said vnto him. O euill seruant, I forgaue the [...] Mat. 18. 32 all that debt, because thou praiedst mee: oughtst not thou also to haue had pittie on thy fellow, euen as I had pitie on thee So his master was wroth, and deliuered him to the gailer, till he should pay all that was due to him. His vnmercifull dealing with his follow, to whom he would not for­giue small offences, reuoked the liberall promise of Gods most large mercy for the forgiuenes of his many and grie­uous sinnes: therefore suppresse all fro­wardnes of thy swelling heart, and after the councell of Salomon, say not, I will do Prou. 24. 29. [Page 287] to him, as he hath done to me, I will recom­pence euery man according to his worke. But be curteous, mercifull, and tender­hearted, forgiuing thy brother, and so God will gratiously forgiue thee.

There is a third condition to bee ob­seruedFaith in God is the third condi­tion. of them that thinke to obtaine forgiuenes of sinne, and that concerneth more directly God, and his glory and praise, namely faith in God, faith in Ie­sus Christ the sonne of God. That is, firmely to hold perswasion of the mercy of God, that it reacheth to the forgiue­nes of sinne, without exception of any sinne, or any sinner; as if for sinne, there were any greater then his mercy, and therefore such as hee neither would nor could forgiue: and for the person, that there were any so farre out of fauour, that vpon his repentance God would not & could not be mercifull vnto him:Micha. 7. 18. the Prophet Micah saying of God for his mercy in this point; Who is a God like vnto thee, that taketh away iniquitie, and passeth by the transgression of the rem­nant of his heritage? hee retaineth not his wrath for euer, because mercy pleaseth him: he will turne againe, and haue compassion [Page 288] on vs. He will subdue our iniquities, and cast all their sinnes into the bottom of the sea. And firmely to hold perswasion of the merit and vertue of the death and bloud sheding of the Lord Iesus Christ, that it is effectuall to take away the sinne of the world, as Iohn Baptist saith of him, Behold the lambe of God, that taketh Iohn. 1. 29 away the sinnes of the world. Without ex­ception of any sinne, or of any sinner, as if for the sinne, there were any so grie­uous, that the bloud of Iesus Christ were not able to wash out the staines thereof: and for the sinner, that there were any so wicked, that the sacrifice of the sonne of God were not sufficient to make attone­ment with God for him: the Euangelist Iohn concerning sinne saying, The bloud 1. Iohn. 1. 7 of Iesus Christ cleanseth vs from all sinne. And the Apostle to the Hebrewes, con­cerning sinners, saying. He is able per­fectly Hebr. 7. 25. to saue them that come vnto God by him, seeing he euer liueth to make intercessi­on to God for them. This is faith in God, to hold this intire perswasion of the mercy of God, without making excepti­on, which none can iustly make: and this is faith in Iesus Christ the sonne of [Page 289] God to hold this intire parswasion of the merit of his precious bloud and bit­ter passion, without making exception; which none can truely make. And this intire perswassion without exception includeth particular application, for he that excepteth no sinne excepteth not his owne sinne, a [...]d he that excepteth no sinner, excepteth not himselfe. Of the vertue of this faith to obtaine forgiuenes of sinne, and all other graces at the mer­cifull hand of God, & for the merit, and by the vertue of Iesus Christ the media­tor, these and many other places of Scripture doe speake fully and plainely: Whatsoeuer ye shall aske in praier, if ye be­leeue, Mat. 21. 22 ye shall receiue it. And in another place, If thou beleeue, all things are pos­sible Mar. 9. 23. to him that beleeueth. These things are spoken by the Lord Iesus himselfe. And Saint Paul saith, Beleeue in the Acts, 16. 31 Lord Iesus, and thou shalt be saued.

It may bee the remembrance of thisThou think­est thou hast not faith. third condition breedeth some discom­fort vnto thee, as threatning vnto thee no forgiuenes, because thou thinkest that thou hast no faith, thou thinkest that thou hast it neither in possession, nor [Page 290] in power. whether thou haue faith in pos­session, or no, it may be a questiō, becauseTh [...]u maist haue, it and not know it. thou maist haue it without presēt feeling of it. And sure if euer thou hadst it, thou hast it still. For as the Apostle Iude saith, The faith is once giuen to the saints. FaithIude. 3. hath his summerly beautie, and winterly barrennesse, it admitteth increase & de­crease; but as the tree liueth in the win­ter, though it be bare, and when colde stormes are past sheweth his life by buil­ding in the spring▪ so faith p [...]ncht and benummed with the [...]ipping colde of frostie temptations, assoone as it pleaseth God to send ease of trouble, sheweth it selfe by reioycing and praising God, as it were in a spring, and then manifestly declareth the continuance of his being, when yet it could not be discerned. ButIf thou want it, thou cans [...] not take it of thy selfe. if thou be indeed without it, it is out of question that thou hast no power to command it, it is not a matter of that fa­cilitie to beleeue in God vnto saluation, that some doe account it, who vse to say, they can beleeue what they list. For to command silence to accusing thoughts, and to stop the mouth of Sathan that ac­cuseth thee of thy sinne, and to suppresse [Page 291] the sentence of Gods law that condem­neth thee for sin, and to binde the hands of Gods iustice that is readie to doe ex­ecution vpon thee for sinne, and to quiet a conscience disturbed, and s [...]t on fire with the feare of deserued wrath and condemnation, (and to beleeue in God vnto saluation, is to doe all this) is a worke of greater difficultie, then hee vnderstandeth, that saith, he can beleeue what he list. Credulitie to thinke this or that to be true, because some bodie tels vs so, or because we haue reade it, or be­cause we so thinke of it, is one thing: but faith to rest vpon Gods promises for the forgiuenes of sinne is another thing. The first, namely credulitie, when men are light of beleefe, is a sault and infirmi­tie of nature; the second, namely faith, whereby all accusations are auoided, & all the fiery darts of the diuell are quenched, is the vertue of the spirit, and meerely the gift of God. The Apostle Paul saith, By grace yee are saued through Ephe. 2. 8. faith, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God. Yea the same Apostle makes it a worke of no lesse power of God, to bring a sinfull man vnto this sauing faith, [Page 292] then it was to raise Iesus from the dead, as appeareth by his words written to the Ephesians, where hee praieth for the opening the eies of their vnderstading, that they might know, what is the ex­ceeding Ephe. 1. 19 greatnes of his power to vs which beleeue, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead. So that if any man be able to raise vp the dead, & quicken them if he lift, then he is able to beleeue vnto saluation if hee lift; and else not. Surely faith vnto saluatiō is not in the power of man to take vnto him­selfe at his pleasure, & when he lusteth.

But while I make faith not to bee inBut it is ob­tained of God. thine owne power, I doe not thereby take from thee all possibility of obtain­ing it, if it were wholly wanting. For I haue shewed thee that it is the gift of God. Hee that quickeneth the dead, he it is that maketh sinners to beleeue: and if thou wouldest beleeue, and wilePartly by praier. pray vnto him to giue thee a heart to beleeue, God will heare thy prayer, and grant thy desire, and that without faile [...] if thou pray vnto him in his Sonnes name, who saith vnto vs, Verily, verily Iohn 16. 23 [Page 793] I say vnto you, whatsoeuer ye aske the Fa­ther in my name, hee will giue it you. And while thou praiest, thy faith will grow, and while thou beleeuest, thou shalt haue more heart to praier, and these two within thee, Faith and praier, will afford mutuall help either to other, and they will grow together, and thou shalt become strong in faith, and feruent in praier. Augustine hath an apt saying to this purpose, Vt oremus credamus, & vt Ser. [...]6. De verbis Do [...]. ipsa non deficiat sides qua oramu [...] oremus: fides fundit orationem, & fu [...]a oratio fi­dei impetrat firmitatem. Let vs beleeue in God, that wee may pray vnto him, and let vs pray, that the faith by which wee pray faile not: faith powreth out praier vn­to God, and praier powred forth obtaineth strength of faith from God. Pray there­fore imboldened by the promise of the Lord Iesus. And seeing the chiefestPartly by the study of the word. meanes whereby God worketh faith, is his word, euen the word of the Gospel, which therefore the Apostle calleth the word of faith; that is, the word beget­ting faith, the word in which, and by which wee beleeue, saying; The word Rom. 10. 8. is neere thee, euen in thy mouth, and in thy [Page 294] heart, this is the word of faith, which wee preach. Therefore giue thy selfe to the study of the word, heare it, reade it, me­ditate in it: there shalt thou finde the sweet promises of mercy: there shalt thou find Iesus the Mediatour, in whom all the promises of God are, yea, and a­men; there shalt thou finde assurance for thy soule, to bring it to true rest. For thy priuat reading, and what thou shalt gaine thereby, heare the saying of our blessed Sauiour, Search the Scriptures, Iohn 5. 39 for in them you thinke to haue eternal life, and they are they which testifie of mee: There shall we find the true knowledge of Iesus Christ, and eternall life. And for the diligent hearing of the word preached, and for the fruit thou shalt reape thereby, Paul doth sufficiently informe thee when hee s [...]ith, Faith is by Rom. 10. 17 hearing, and hearing by the word of God. In which words he giues thee to vnder­stand▪ that that faith, which is the con­dition that wee doe speake of (if it were wanting) is obtained by hearing the word of GOD, as by that ordinarie meanes which God hath appoynted to bring the vnbeleeuing Gentiles there­by [Page 295] to the faith of Iesus Christ, as some­what more fully he shewed in the same place before, saying. How shall they Rom. 10. 14 (that is the Gent [...]les) call on him in whom they haue not beleeued? And how shall they beleeue in him of whome they haue not heard? And how shall they heare without a Preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? Here is the ordinary [...]ay described, by which God calleth the ignorant and vnbeleeuing Gentiles to faith and sa [...]uation. First hee putteth the word of reconciliation into the mouth of some chosen Messenger, and sendeth him to preach, without which sending he could not goe: then by his preaching, these ignorāt & vnbelieuing come to heare the word of faith & sal­tion, without which preaching they could not heare: Thirdly, by that hear­ing he worketh in them knowledge & faith in the Redeemer, without which hearing, they could neither know nor beleeue: Then lastly, by that faith are they imboldened to pray vnto God, without which faith they could haue no courage nor comfort to pray. And vnto their praiers growing from that [Page 296] faith is saluation giuen, according to a saying of the Prophet Ioel, which the Apostle alledgeth, Whosoeuer shall call Ioel 2. 32. Rom. 10. 13 vpon the name of the Lord, shall be saued. So that thy diligence in hearing the word of God with gladnesse of heart, will helpe thee to faith, and by faith to forgiuenesse of sinnes, which is salua­tion of soule. And for thy meditating in the word of God, and what benefit thereby thou shalt obtaine, the Pro­phet Dauid teacheth thee in the first Psalme, where he pronounceth him to be a blessed man, that hath his delight in Psalm 1. 2. the Law of God, and in his Law medita­teth day and night. Diligent moditating in the Law of God maketh a man to be blessed, but blessednes comprehendeth the forgiuenesse of sinnes, that follow­eth faith, the same Prophet saying, Bles­sed Psal. 32. 1 is he whose wickednesse is forgiuen, and whose sinne is couered: blessed is the man vnto whom the Lord imputeth not iniqui­tie. In one word, to shew thee fully how auaileable to the obtaining & increase of faith, the studie of the Gospel wil be, the reading, hearing, and meditating thereon, consider the saying of Saint [Page 297] Paul writing to the Romans; I am not Rom. 1. 16 ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God vnto saluation, to euerie one that beleeueth, to the Iew first, and al­so the Grecian: for by it the righteousnes of God is reuealed, from faith vnto faith, as it is written, the iust shall liue by faith. It is the doctrine of faith for Iew and Gentile: it breedeth, nourisheth, and increaseth faith, bringing it forward by degrees vnto full ripenesse: it iustifieth the beleeuer, and saueth the iustified man, and effecteth these things power­fully as the instrument of God, for hee calleth it the power of God to saue, that is, the instrument by which hee power­fully saueth. Though therefore thou hast not power to settle thine own hart, by giuing saith vnto thy selfe, yet thou hast no cause to be discomforted; for by praier vnto God, and by study in the word of GOD, it is obtained at his hands.

These are the conditions betweeneThe three conditions repeated. God and man, which God requireth, where he forgiueth sins: three in num­ber. One that concerneth most directly thy selfe, that is repentance, renewing [Page 298] thy heart to hate sinne, and to loue ver­tue, and reforming thy life, to slie sinne and practise vertue. A second that con­cerneth most directly thy brother, that is, charitie and compassion to forgiue vnto him the wrongs done vnto thee, & to comfort him, and to doe good to him, as thou wouldest that God should forgiue vnto thee the wrongs that thou hast done vnto him, that God should comfort thee, and doe good vnto thee. A third that concerneth most directly God himselfe, reuealed vnto vs in his sinne Iesus Christ, namely, our faith, that wee neither thinke basely of the mercy of God, nor of the merite of Ie­sus Christ, as if there were some person that it could not releeue, and thy selfe that person; and some sinne that it could not do away, and thy sinne that sinne.

And now maiest thou vnderstandOthers pe­rish for not obseruing those con­ditions. what it is that causeth so many to perish in their sinnes, and how it commeth to passe, that so few are saued, when yet without exception of any sinne, the Lord Iesus commandeth, and by com­mandement giueth leaue to aske, and hope to obtaine forgiuenesse of sinne; [Page 299] and likewise, without exception of anie sinne, God the [...]ather of our Lord Ie­sus Christ promiseth to forgiue sinne.

First, they haue no ca [...]e of repen­tance to forsake sinne, yea with delight they dwell in it, liue in it, and die in it: and they will rather forsake God, and renounce heauen, then leaue their plea­sant and gainfull sinnes. Secondly, they haue no care of charitie and compassion to their neighbour, they regard not the rest, the credit, the prosperitie, the peace and safetie of their neighbour: and be­ing full of pride, of wrath and furie, they prosecute the least wrong, till they be reuenged. Thirdly, they regard not to know how ample the Lords mercie is: and the death of Christ, and doctrine of saluation are foolishnesse to them: they pray not for faith, and they stoppe their cares against the word of God. And hereby it commeth to passe that they perish in their sinnes: not that their sinnes are so great that they cannot bee pardoned, or God so mercilesse, that he will not pardon them, or Iesus Christ so defectiue in his mediation, that he hath not done and suffered enough to dis­charge [Page 300] them, but themselues are so care­lesse, so prowd, so contemptuous, so desperate, that they will not leaue to sinne, they will not loue their neigh­bours, they will not know God, but they will goe on in their courses, like them whom Ieremie complaineth of, saying, They are all adulterers, and an as­sembly Ierem. 9. 2 of rebels, and they bend their tongues like their bowes for lies, but they haue no courage for the trueth vppon the earth, for they proceed from euill to worse, & they haue not known me saith the Lord. This is the cause why they perish.

And here maiest thou vnderstand howThou m [...]ist by these con ditions ob­taine for­giuenesse of sinnes. to reape the benefit of the leaue that Christ hath giuen thee by his comman­dement to aske forgiuenesse of thy sins, & how to reape the benefit of the pro­mise that God hath giuen thee to grant forgiuenesse of sinnes. First, forsake the sinnes that haue been so chargeable vn­to thee, and hauing already found the reckoning to be so heauy vnto thee, di­et no more at the Ordinarie of fleshly lusts, where the soule must pay for it in hell, and the inheritance waste that God hath dearely bought for thee. And find­ing [Page 301] how great need thou hast of mercie and forgiuenesse, to keep thee from be­ing eternally miserable. Learne to bee tender hearted toward thy brother, and afford him thy forgiuenesse, that thou maist obtain the same measure of mercy at the hands of God. And let it bee the chiefe of thy daily studies, to vnderstand more cleerely then yet thou dost, how infinite and boundlesse the mercie of God, and the merit of Christ his bloud is. In the word of God thou shalt finde these things. And while thou are occu­pied with desire in these studies, faith in the mercies of God will grow apace, and in a short time bring thy consci­ence to that happy quietnesse, that S. Paul speaketh of, saying, Being iusti­fied Rom. 5. 1 by faith, wee haue peace toward God, through our Lord Iesus Christ. Thus is thy feare, growing from the multitude of them that perish, and from the small number of them that are saued (not­withstanding the commaundement of Christ, giuing leaue to aske forgiuenes, and the promise of GOD offering for­giuenesse) shewed to bee an idle feare, if thou wilt haue care of these conditi­ons, [Page 302] vpon which God granteth forgiue­nesse of sinnes.

CHAP. XXII.

BVT heare againe the af­flictedA sixt ob­iection. Hee hath nei­ther repen­tance, nor loue, nor faith. conscience brea­keth out into grieuous complaintes, and faith▪ If these be the conditions re­quired, where sinnes are to be forgiuen▪ I must neuer looke to grow vnto any agreement with God for the forgiuenes of mine, for I haue not one of these three things in me. For first, I want repentance, sinne aboundeth in me, and whether I hate it or no, I cannot tell, though I know I haue no cause to loue it, that proueth now so grieuous vnto me. And secondly, I hold my selfe to be void of loue to my neighbour; I feare least I shall enuie other men their happy peace of conscience, and their happy hope of saluation: and that standeth not with loue. And sure I am that I haue hurt them oft with the vniust act of my sinne, and haue grieued and offended them with the vngodly example of my [Page 303] sinne. And these things haue no agree­ment with loue. And as for faith, of all three it is furthest off. If dispaire could obtaine forgiuenes of sinne, I should soone speed, for I am not far from that; but if saluation must be apprehended by saith, I am most far from it; for I haue litle or no faith, the present feare that I am in, is directly opposite to faith.

This is the miserable condition ofAnsw're to this sixt ob­iection. this burden, that they which are pressed with it, doe quickly apprehend, and too well remember any thing that may in­crease their feare: but they are dull too apprehend, and doe soone forget any thing that might giue them comfort. If this troubled sinner could but remember (while the three conditions were spoken of) what was said vnto him, why hee should not be discomforted, at the hea­ring of these conditions, as if they, or any one of them did breed impossibilitie of obtaining forgiuenes of sinnes, he would not now make this f [...]uolous ob­iection. But let vs helpe his memorie, that when God shall be pleased to looke gratiously vpon him, his feare may be re­moued for the ease of his heart.

[Page 304]First thou maiest haue all these things,Thou maist haue them, and not know it. and yet not know it, and therefore it is great rashnes to say thou hast them not. For as before this time thou wilt con­fesse▪ that there was in thee wickednes of life, enuie against thy neighbour, and infidelitie against God, and yet then when it was so, thou didst not thinke it to be so, nor couldest be induced to be­leeue it to be so; so at this time, there may be in thee repentance, and charitie, and faith, and yet in this astonishment of thy soule thou canst not see it to be so. Secu­ritie at that time, suffred thee not to see what was amisse in thee: and feare at this time, suffreth not thee to see what is good and orderly in thee.

Againe if thou haue them not, yet thouThou art not far from them. art in the way of them, and thou art not far from them. Thou art grieued to finde thy selfe guiltie of so much sinne, and thy heart is pricked, and thy soule is wounded to thinke that thou art so la­den with thine iniquitie. Surely this is the beginning of true repentance, when a man is grieued at the sight of his sinne▪ Indeed it is loue that commendeth vnto God our repentance and conuersion to [Page 305] him, but it is feare, that first openeth the heart vnto God, whom being once en­tred, we doe after intertaine with loue: so was it with Peters hearers in the Acts. After he had brought them to the fight of their sinne, in crucifying the Lord of life it is said of them. When they heard it, Acts. 2. 37. they were pricked in their heartes, and said vnto Peter, and the other Apostles, men and brethren, what shall we doe? Then be­gan they to haue care of amending their life, when they saw the errour of it, and were afraid at the fight of it. And it is a true saying of Saint Gregorie, Sancta e­lectorum Moral. li. 1. chap. 27. ecclesia simplicitatis suae et recti­tudiuis vias timore inchoat▪ sed charitate, consummat. The holy Church of Gods e­lect beginneth the waies of her simplicitie and vprightnes in feare, but doth perfect them in loue. So that euen this feare that thou art in, by reason of thy sinnes, is the beginning of repentance, giuing thee to vnderstand, that it is not good, nor safe to continue in them. Proceed in the feare of God, for thou art not far from repentance. And thou thinkest other men to be happy in their peace of con­science, and desirest to haue fellowship [Page 306] with them in the fruition of Gods fauor. And is not this loue, or at leastwise a pre­paration to loue? to haue in admirati­on the saints of God, to thinke them to be happy that are in his fauour, aboue the condition of other men, that inioy the glorie of the world without Gods loue, and to desire to be vnited vnto them▪ No man can thinke well and ho­norably of them whom hee hateth, no man can desire to bee ioined in conditi­on and fellowship with them whom he doth not loue, or at least, thinke well of; and therefore this opinion, that thou holdest of them, and of their happines, sheweth, that thou art not far from loue▪ When Balaam, hauing considered the condition of the people of God, both in their life, and death, speake these words▪ Let me die the death [...]f the righteous, and Num▪ 23. 10. let my last end be like his. Hee began to loue the Israelites, and though after hee shewed fruites of hatred against them, yet at that time when hee spake those words he loued them, his change of mind grew from his owne couetousnes: he desired Balaks reward, and therefore sel from his loue; as Gregorie noteth of [Page 307] him, that there was Nequaquam perseue Mor [...]l. lib. 33. chap. 27 ra [...]tia continui amoris, no perseuering in continued loue. He began to loue thē, but the couetousnes of his heart brake off his loue. Continue thou in loue, and striue to increase. Thy present good opinion, that thou holdest of them, and of their happines, is an euidence that thou louest, or art not far from loue. And thou hast a longing desire to recouer the loue of God: thou gladly hearkenest to the re­port of his mercy, and wouldest thinke thy selfe an happy man, if thou couldest grow to any comfortable perswasion thereof: and doth not the man thus minded follow after faith? was there any more in the man that came to Christ for his son that was possessed of a diuell? when he said vnto him, Lord, I beleeue, Mark. 9. 24 help my vnbeliefe. Hee freely confessed, that all the faith he had was no other, & no better, then vnbeliefe: yet his desire of faith was esteemed for faith, or ob­tained faith, for the effect of faith follow­ed. Christ (that said vnto him, If thou Mark. 9. 23 canst beleeue it, all things are possible to him that beleeueth) healed his child, be­cause he beleeued; and shall not thy de­sire [Page 308] of faith in like manner, either be e­steemed for faith, or obtaine faith, that the effect of faith in the forgiuenesse of thy sinnes may follow. Surely, that de­sire of thine sheweth, that thou art not farre from God.

But be it granted, that thou art alto­getherThou may­est obtaine thē, if now thou want them. without them, and at this time most farre from them: doth it therefore follow, that thou canst not obtaine for­giuenesse of sinnes, for the present want of them? Not so, for though now thou haue them not, yet thou maiest obtaine them, and then forgiuenesse of sinnes, now seeming impossible, will easily bee obtained. They that were borne with­out them, die with them, and reape the fruit of them, bearing the testimonie of them into the graue (in the sweet peace of their conscience) that neuer brought them, not any preparation vnto them out of the wombe. And therefore hope in the Lord, and pray vnto him, and practise all the good councell, that was giuen thee, when these conditions were first remembred vnto thee. RepentanceGod giueth repentance. is the gift of God, and he is the Lord most holy, that reneweth our hearts by [Page 309] the spirit of Sanctification. He it is that made this promise, I will poure water Esay 44. 3. vpon the thirstie, (hee meaneth him that thirsteth after righteousnesse) and stonds vpon the drie ground (he meaneth barren hearts that bring forth no good) I will poure my spirit vpon thy seed, and my bles­sing vppon thy buds. By the name of Spi­rit, he giues vs to vnderstand what hee meant by Water and Flouds mentioned before, euen the graces of his renewing and sanctifying Spirit, this promise is made to the Church, whereby GOD doth assure her that he will blesse all her children, how drie and barren soeuer they be, with that grace, the moisture whereof shall make them fruitfull of all good workes. And thou art a child of the church, bred and brought vp in the bosome thereof, thou art the seed, thou art one of the buddes of the righteous: pray vnto God that giueth repentance, and hath largely promised, and in ti [...]e thou shalt find fauour. Also charitie isGod giueth true charity the gift of God, hee is loue, and it is he that maketh men to be of one mind in an house, that is, in all societies hee knitteth mens hearts together in loue, [Page 310] and maketh them to keepe the vnitie of the Spirit in the band of peace. It is he that hath promised in the Church of Christ, and kingdome of the Messias the rod of the stocke of Ishai, to do this; The wolfe shall dwell with the Lambe, and Esay 11. 6. the leopard shall lie with the kidde, and the calfe and the lion, and the fat beast toge­ther, and alittle childe shall leade them: and the cowe and the beare shall feed, their yoong ones shall lie together, and the lion shall eate straw like the bullocke: and the sucking child shall play vppon the hole of the aspe and the weaned child shall put his hand vppon the cockatrice hole. By the wolfe, the leopard, the lion, the beare, the aspe & the cockatrice, he vnderstan­deth men of prowd & cruell minds, apt to do al hurt, bicause they are void of al loue: by the lamb, the kid, the calfe, the fat beast, the cow, the bullocke, the suc­king child, & the new weaned child, he vnderstādeth men of an humble & mild heart, apt to do good, vnwilling to doe hurt, because they are full of loue: by the harmelesse society of these so vnlike people, he giueth vs to vnderstand, that he wil take away from men, their pride, [Page 311] their fiercenesse, their cruelty, their vn­mercifulnesse; and in place thereof, he will giue them humilitie, mildenes, loue and mercie. This is a worke that hee doth, and this hee will doe: pray ther­fore vnto God, who is loue it selfe, and he wil giue thee a heart to loue thy bro­ther. Faith likewise is his gift, and heeGod giueth saith. himselfe is a most faithfull God, worthy to be trusted, the God of truth, that nei­ther can nor will deceiue them, that ac­cording to his couenant and promise of mercy, doe trust in him. The Apostle telleth vs, that faith is his gift, saying, By grace are yee saued through faith, and Ephes. 2. 8 that not of your selues, it is the gift of God. Euery good gift, and euery perfect gi­uing commeth from him, who is the Father of lights: pray him therefore to giue a beleeuing heart vnto thee, and hee will not faile thee. So that if thou haue neither repentance, charitie, nor faith, which are the conditions vppon which God giueth forgiuenesse of sins, yet thou maiest haue them, for GOD doth giue them: pray then vnto God, and thou shalt in due time obtain them. For the want of this triple grace, thou [Page 312] hast a triple commandement to call for grace, with a triple promise to obtaineMatth. 7. 7 all grace. The Lord Iesus saying, Aske, and it shall be giuen you: seeke, and ye shal finde, knocke, and it shall be opened vnto you. Then aske repentance, and it shall be giuen thee: seeke for charitie and a mercifull heart, and thou shalt find it: and knocke at the gate of heauen for faith, and it shall be set wide open vnto thee. Wherefore is it, that God at this time doth make thee see thy want, but because he would haue thee to call for his help.

CHAP. XXIII.

BVt still obiections ariseA seuenth obiection▪ his heart is euer full of euil thoghts in a trobled conscience, and the poore burdened sinner complaineth that his estate must needs be desperate. For, saith he, I feele a continuall swarme of euill thoughts, in extreame disorder, stir­ring in my heart. Thoughts against the maiesty of the most glorious Trinitie: thoughts against the veritie of the di­uine [Page 313] and humane natures, personally v­nited in the Lord Iesus Christ: thoughts against all the Articles of the Christian saith: thoughts rebellious against au­thoritie, and seditious against peace: thought malicious against my neigh­bour, and vnnaturall against my selfe: thoughts vnchristian, vnciuill, inhu­mane, thoughts monstrous, and feare­full: I tremble to thinke that I haue such thoughts. And these must either spring and arise out of mine owne heart, and then wo vnto so wicked heart. It is like vnto the Inne, vnto which the virgine Mary came with the Lord Iesus in her wombe: there was no roome for her in the Inne, all the Chambers were filled with other guests, she was glad to creep into the stable, and there shee brought forth her first begotten. So, if any come to bring Christ, or any christian thoght into my heart, there is no roome in the Inne, all the corners of my heart are ta­ken vp with other thoughts, they must seeke a resting place else-where, and not with mee. Or if they spring not from mine owne heart, then are they thrust into my heart by Satan, who did thrust [Page 314] the thought of treason against his ma­ster into the heart of Iudas: & then surely the diuell hath alreadie possession of my heart, and either hee sendeth these thoughts, as new inhabitants to dwell there, and to keepe possession of my heart to his vse, as the king of Ashur sent new inhabitants into Samari [...], to keepe the Citie and Countrie to his vse: or else he sendeth them as so many hagges, and furies (what should I call them?) so may executioners with fire­brandes to torment me: and being so fully in his power, it is too late to thinke of deliuerance.

Now the Lord of hosts help thee, pooreAnswere to this obiecti­on. afflicted soule, and case thee of this bur­den that presseth downe so heauily. And for thy comfort vnderstand, that if these thoughts arise out of thine owne heartThoughts h [...]rt not, if we yeeld not to them. (as they are in thy heart) and grow in the field in which they spring, they are yet but as the first graffe of sinne, and haue neither blade, nor eare, nor fruit to poison and kill withall, if wee take not liking of them, nor suffer our iudge­ment to be corrupted by them, taking them for rules of truth, and intertaining [Page 315] them as imbraced opinions, nor suffer our will to be seduced by them; inter­preting them as rules and directions to leade vs into action. Iames the Apostle hath an excellent saying to this purpose. Euery man is tempted when hee is drawne Iames. 1. 14 away by his owne concupisence, and is in­tised: then when lust hath conceiued, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finish­ed bringeth forth death. By concupisence he vnderstandeth the first flattering thoughts, the first euill motions that stir in our hearts, that make the first proposi­tion to our iudgement and will, to trie whether they will take holde or no: and howsoeuer the feeblest euill thought be sinfull in Gods sight, who loueth trueth in our inward affections: and it is an euidence of that sinfull nature that wee bring into the world with vs deser­ued vnto vs from our first parents, through all the interceding generati­ons: and howsoeuer the same euill thought, being sinfull, deserueth (in the iustice of God) eternall death: yet the Apostle Iames, (looking vnto rules of mercy, and speaking according to those rules) telleth vs, that it is not dangerous [Page 316] vnto vs, neither bringeth forth sinne vn­to death, except a man be inticed, and drawne away by it. For when the iudge­ment yeeldeth, and is corrupted by it, ap­prouing as good, that that is euill, and approuing as true that that is false: and when the will yeeldeth, and is seduced by it, intertaining the motion with as­sent and liking: then from the first thought there is a progresse made vnto some sinfull action, and in that action, men continue sometime impenitent vn­to death. This is indeed a dangerous course, and if thou giue such way vnto these euill thoughts, and first sinfull mo­tions, that thou allowest their appea­rance without checke, and sufferest their daily returne without controuling thē, and harknest vnto them with pleasure, or at least, with patience; then thou art (as Iames saith) inticed, and drawne a­way: and then it is likely that those thoughts will conceiue (by the compa­ny of thy will) and bring forth some monstrous birth of sinne; whereunto when thou art once entred, it is dange­rous, and doubtfull, whether thou shalt finde grace to returne by repentance or [Page 317] no. And this first deformed birth of sin bringeth forth another deformed and fearefull birth, namely death. The first of these foule births, namely sinne, is thy shame: and the second of them, namely death, is thy snare and destruction, as the Apostle Saint Paul saith, What fruit had Rom. 6. 21. you then in those things, whereof you are now ashamed▪ for the end of those things is death. But if at the first apparance of these thoughts and euill motions, thou checke them, and shew thy iust dislike of them, if thou arme thy iudgement and thy will against them, with-holding thy Iudge­ment from approuing them, by shewing how false and vngodly they bee: and with-holding thy will from assenting vnto them, by shewing how sinfull and abominable they be: if thou vse all dili­gence to expell them out of thine heart, as thou art able, and callest in better thoughts, to occupie their places, falling into some holy meditation of the glory, the greatnesse, the holines, the riches, the bountie the iustice & power of God: or into some meditatiō of the right worship of god, & of thy duty to him, as thou art a christian by generall calling, or as thou [Page 318] art bound by any other particular cal­ling among christians, or into some o­ther meditation of the glory of heauen, of the purchase of it for beleeuers by the death of Iesus Christ, of the meanes by which we may come to the fruition of it, and what manner persons in their con­uersation they ought to bee, that take themselues to bee coheires with Iesus Christ of that glory. If thou fall into such meditations, when thou art at lei­sure, or set thy minde vpon thy worke [...]nd busines, if thou then haue any in hand, that by this good imploiment of thy minde and bodie, there may be nei­ther roome nor libertie for those euill thoughts to abide and wander in thy heart. Certainly those thoughts (though very busie with thee) shall not be able to hurt thee: they shall no more be im­puted vnto thee for sinne vnto death, then the motions of P [...]tiphars wise were vnto Ioseph, when shee said vnto him, come lie with me, was imputed vnto him.Gen 39. 7. And this course (last remembred) is the onely way in such a case, of casting thy burden vpon God, if thou bee carefull withall to pray vnto God for his grace [Page 319] to help thee to ouercome these swarmes of euill thoughts, as he helped the Israe­lites to ouercome the swarmes of the Amalekites, Philistims, & other enimies: and that also thou take heed of idlenes, and chiefely, idlenes ioined with solita­rines. Idlenes is the sinne to be shunned: solitarines doth but make the [...]dlenes to be more dangerous. But certainely they that are troubled with the assault of such thoughts, to them nothing is more dangerous then idlenes, and want of im­ploiment for their mindes. Then are they at leisure for the diuell, then are they like the house, spoken of in the Gospell, whereunto the diuell entred.Mat. 1 [...]. 43 As it is written. When the vncleane spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh throughout drie places, seeking rest, and findeth none: then he saith, I will returne into mine house, whence I came: and when hee is come, hee findeth it emptie, swept, and garnished: then he goeth and taketh vnto him seauen other spirits worse then himselfe, and they enter in, and dwell there, and the end of that man is worse then the beginning. Marke well this saying. Hee found it emptie swept and garnished, that is, hee [Page 320] found it idle, vnimploied. God was not there with good thoughts becomming his presence; and therefore the diuell en­tred with wicked thoughts becomming his presence. Where the heart is not carefully manured by the owner thereof to bring forth good thoughts, it will of it selfe, to an idle owner bring forth euill thoughts. It will be like to the field of the slouthfull, that Salomon passed by,Prou. 14. 31 And lo, it was all growne ouer with thorne [...] and nettles hard couered the face of it, and the stone wall thereof was broken downe, as it was in this ground: because the owner through sloth, did not sowe good seeds in it, euill weeds ouercame the same. So will it be in thy heart, if through idlene [...] thou haue no good thoughts, tending to Gods glory, & the seruice of his Church, thy heart of it selfe will abound with e­uill thoughts.

But if these thoughts rise not out ofEuill thoughts suggested by Sathan are his sinne, & [...] thine. thine own heart▪ through thy idlenes & euil studies, but be the suggestions of Sa­than, thrusting them into thine heart, as he did thrust that thought of treasō into the heart of Iudas▪ [...]f thou doe not open thy heart by thy sloth and other sinnes, [Page 321] vnto those thoughts, and be prepared for the intertainment of them, as a man waiting at the dore of his house, to open it to those guests, whose entrance hee desireth, or is pleased withall: (for so did Iudas, hee did open his heart to the di­uels suggestion by his enuie and coue­tousnes: for when the woman powred the precious ointment vpon the head of Iesus, and Iudas murmured at the waste, saying, it might haue beene solde for much, and giuen to the poore; and Iesus had defended her fact, saying, she did it to prepare him to his buriall: then pre­sently Iudas, who caried the purse, re­ceiued the almes giuen to his master, & now missed this prey out of couetous­nesse and enuy hereupon went presently to the high priests, offring to betray him for a reward, and was as ready to enter­taine that thought, as the diuell was to offer it vnto him, and his enuie and couetousnes held open his heart vnto it) if thou by thine idlenes and other sinnes doest not set open thy heart to such thoughts, the offer of them in thy heart▪ is the diuels sinne, and not thine. And if thou repell them, as before hath beene [Page 322] shewed, they shall no more hurt thee, then the suggestions of Sathan in the wildernes offred to the Lord Iesus did hurt him. What those suggestions were, the Euangelists doe shew, and that the diuell audaciously, like a tempter, did offer them to the Lord Iesus, they also shew: but in what manner they were offred to him, they speake not; as whe­ther the diuell spake them audiblie to his eare, or (which is more agreeable to the nature of the diuell) whether he did speake them spiritually and inwardly to his vnderstanding, hereof they speake nothing. Onely Saint Luke saith, that the diuell did shew vnto Iesus the glorie of the kingdomes of the earth, In the Luke. 4. 5. twinkling of an eie. Which sure was a spirituall manner of presenting: and why may we not aswell thinke that he vsed a spirituall manner of speaking? but how­soeuer it was, the diuels worke in thrusting those vngodly thoughts into th [...]e heart, is like that diuels worke, that offred those sinfull motions vnto the Lord Iesus. The diuell sinned therein as a tempter, that would haue drawne an­other to wickednesse, but the Lord Iesus [Page 323] sinned not in them; while hee gaue no place vnto them, neither was drawne by them to doe euill, but confuted them by the scriptures, those suggestions were no hurt vnto him. Euen so in those thoughts thrust into thine heart, the di­uell sinneth in them as a tempter, that would draw thee to cōmit wickednes, but thou sinnest not in them, if thou giue no place vnto them, and suffer not thy selfe to be drawne by them to doe euill, but confutest them by the scriptures. Surely those thoughts, if thou carry thy selfe thus, shall doe no hurt to thee. A­gaine let me remember thee to call vpon God for the assistance of his grace a­gainst those euill thoughts. And to take heede of idlenes and solitarines, remem­bring Salomons, Vae soli; woe vnto him that Eccle. 4. 10 is alone.

And here I will also aduise the sinner which is troubled with these swarmes of euill thoughts to confer with some god­ly and learned Phisition, and to vse his counsell, for there is oft in the assault of such thoughts some mixture of some dis­temper in the body, which he that is wise in God, & desireth true rest vnto his soule [Page 324] will not, yea must not be carelesse of.The diuell bath leaue to tempt, not power to ouerthrow.

And whereas in the frame of thy obiec­tion, thou saist, that if those thoughts be the suggestions of Sathan in thine heart, then the diuell hath alreadie possession of thy heart, and thou art fully in his power, & it is too late to thinke of deli­uering thee ont of his hand. This is but a false phantasie, the fruit of thine owne feare, without any truth in it, for the di­uell hath often leaue to tempt, when he hath no power to ouercome. Thou heardst euen now how hee had leaue to tempt the Lord Iesus in the wildernesse, but he had no power to ouercome him. And thou knowest the historie of Iob. The diuell had leaue to tempt him, and and that was limited leaue: hee was not able to touch a sheepes taile of Iobs, till God permitted him, and hee could not passe a step further then God allowed him: and whatsoeuer he did to Iob, ei­ther in his possessions, or in his owne bo­die, yet had he no power ouer his mind to make him to blaspheme God, which was the d [...]uels cheefest desire, & where­of he had accused Iob before. And thou knowest what Iesus saith of the Apostles, [Page 325] that the diuell made suite to winnow them as wheat, but hee interposed his praier for them, that their faith might not faile in the most hote and violent temptation. So that the diuell hath no power at all, either to trouble by temp­ting, or to hurt whom he troubleth. But as God in his holy wisdome giueth him leaue. Malice and desire to hurt aboun­deth in that enemy, but power he must obtaine at Gods hands. And in thy selfe thou maiest see it plain by the very ma­ner of thy trouble, that though he haue leaue by these thoughts to tempt thee, yet thou art not wholly in his power: for if hee had power to hurt thee with deedes, hee would not trifle the time with thee, to trouble thee with thoughts: for the diuell euer goeth as farre as [...]is commission extendeth in doing hurt to the sonnes of men: he [...] hath no mercie and charitie to spare where he may do a mischiefe.

And if he had as ful possession of thee,Where hee hath most power, yet deliuerance may be [...] ­ped for. as euer hee had of any child of disobedi­ence, yet were it not therefore too late to thinke vppon, and to seeke deliue­rance out of his power. For the Apostle [Page 326] saith, that hee himselfe, and the Ephe­sians to whom he writeth, walked some­time,Ephes. 2. 2. according to the course of this world, and after the prince that ruleth i [...] the aire, euen the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. He some­time preuailed in Paul and the Ephesi­ans further then to molest them with vngodly thoughts, for they walked in their deedes after his course, and yet they were deliuered out of his power, and made the faithful seruants and obe­dient sonnes of God. Indeed the Deuil is a strong man armed, that to his vtter­most power keepeth those things that hee possesseth in peace: But the Lord Iesus saith in the Gospel, When a stron­ger Luke 11. 22 then hee commeth vppon him, and o­uercommeth him, hee taketh from him al his armour wherein hee trusted, and diui­deth his spoiles. And this stronger then Satan is our Lord Iesus Christ, wholea­deth euen captiuity captiue, and by suf­fering death in his flesh, hath destroyed death, as the Prophet speaketh: O death Hose [...] 13. 14 I will be thy death, O graue I will bee thy destruction. And him also that had po­wer of death to hurt vs withall, as the [Page 327] Apostle saith, That hee might destroy Hebr. 2. 14 through death, him that had the power of death, that is, the deuill. And to what end hath he subdued this enemy, but that hee might diuide his spoiles, and set at liberty those whom he held captiue: as it followeth in the same place, That he Hebr. 2. 15 might deliuer all them, which for feare of death were all their life time subiect to bondage. Where wee see deliuerance granted to them that the deuill had pos­session of, and held in peace, as the spoils that he had taken. And the same may be seene by an other saying of the Apostle writing to Timothy, Instruct them with 2. Timot. 2 25 meekenesse that are contrarie minded, pro­ning if God at any time will giue them re­pentance, that they may know the trueth, and that they may come to amendment out of the snares of the deuill, which are taken of him at his will. Marke it, and make vse of it; those whom the deuill hath taken at his pleasure (are not such men in his power) and whom he hath ins [...]a­red with the cords of ignorance, and of wickednesse, in the blindnesse and stub­bornenesse of their hearts, those God [Page 328] deliuereth and setteth free, bringing them to the knowledge of the truth, and to amendment of life. And doth it by the milde instruction of Timothie, that is, by the word of the Gospel, vnder the free ministerie whereof thou liuest hap­pily in the bosome of the Church. The power of which word (if thou hearken vnto it) in ouerthrowing the power of Satan, and diuiding his spoiles, we may yet further see by that that is written in the Gospell. The Lord Iesus sent forth seuenty Disciples to preach the Gospel, sending them two and two together: and after their ministerie was fulfilled, the Seauentie returned with ioy, saying, Lord, euen the deuils are subiect to vs Luke 10. 17 through thy name. And he said vnto them, I saw Satan like lightning fall downe from heauen. The preaching of the Gospel is a ministerie of power, it is the strong arme of God to destroy the kingdome of Satan. Where it is preached truely and diligently, the walles of Satans kingdome are vndermined, and when the people hearken vnto it, the deuill is cast out of them, and he falleth with vio­lence [Page 329] from his soueraignty ouer them, euen sodainly, as the lightning, which breaking forth in the East, is sodainely seene in the Weast. Therefore, if Satan had that full power ouer thee that thou fearest, thy diligent attendance to the Gospel preached, will surely worke thy freedome. Let Iesus Christ therefore find thee a diligent hearer in the Temple, and thou shalt find him a mercifull Sa­uiour in thy heart, and thou shalt bee freed from all power of that aduersary. And though he trouble thee with many wicked thoughts, yet thou shalt be as a prey plucked out of his pawes. And it pertaineth to the casting of this burthen vpon God, that thou do attend to the preaching of his word. And thereto ioyne thy humble and heartie prayer vnto God, and in due time hee will giue rest to thy soule from these euill thoughts.

CHAP. XXIIII.

YEt hath not our troubled sinner any constāt peace [...] An eight obiection: the Lawe curseth trās goessours, and he is a transgressor therefore cursed. but hauing his eies fixed vpon the Law of God, and hauing no power to looke vp to the Gospel of peace, out of his feare he makes a new obiection, cry­ing & saying, Doth not the Law of God accurse euery transgressor, that abideth not in all that is written in that Booke to do it? And haue not I broken all the commandements of the law? Yes I haue broken them, in thought, word, & deed, and not onely out of ignorance, weake­nesse, or vnaduisednesse, but I haue bro­ken, them boldely, prowdly, contemp­tuously; therefore sure I am that Gods curse lyeth vpon me, I feele the weight and furie of it, and I am no heire of blessednesse.

Indeede here appeares the great ma­liceA fraud of Satan d [...]s­couered, with war­ning to take heede of it. and subtilty of Satan, which it be­hooueth all men to looke vnto with great care, and to take heede of it in the dayes of our peace and securitie, he suffereth vs not to looke into the Law [Page 331] of God, lest from thence we might take any direction for the well ordering of our liues: but then hee driueth vs for­ward after the line of our owne lusts. And then, if we haue any remembrance of God, he onely suffereth vs to thinke vpon his mercy and goodnes, and bea­reth vs in hand, that we cannot do that euill, which hee will not forgiue, and therefore wee neede not greatly care what we doe; we shall repent in time, and all shall be passed ouer in mercie: & so maketh vs to abuse by contempt, the riches of the bountie, and patience, and long-suffering of God. And if wee haue any occasion to thinke vpon the word of God, he turnes vs away from the Law, and presently thrusteth into our mouths the promises of the gospel, and driues vs vpon that rocke of destru­ction, that the Apostle Paul speaketh of in these words, What shal we say then? Rom. 6. 1. shall we continue in sinne, that grace may abound? The Gospel preacheth the mer­cy of God in Christ, to teach, that where sinne did abound deseruing damnation, there the grace of God in Iesus Christ aboundeth more by the forgiuenesse of [Page 332] that sinne vnto saluation. Heereuppon manie that abuse the grace of God vnto wantonnesse, doe resolue to commit sinne more abundantly, that so grace in the forgiuenesse of their sinne might more abound. This wicked resolution of contemptuous sinners, hee reciteth with words of detestation, saying, God Rom. 6. 2. forbid: how shall wee that are dead to sinne liue yet therein? The true condition of a Christian man that shall find grace to the forgiuenesse of his sinnes, is to bee dead to sinne, and no more to hearken to, and to obey the commandement of sinne, then a dead seruant can hearken vnto, and obey the commandement of his master: but to bee aliue vnto God, that is, readily to hearken vnto, and di­ligently to obey Gods cōmandements, as a liuing seruant hearkneth vnto, and obeyeth the voyce of his master. And if this be the condition of Christians, then how shall they that by their profession are dead to sinne, liue in sinne, presum­ing that super abounding grace shal de­liuer him from all danger▪ But vpon this rocke, in the time of our peace and se­curitie, doth the diuell seeke to throw [Page 333] vs, keeping vs from all view and con­sideration of the Law (when wee haue most need to be brideled by it) and ma­king vs with the wrong hand to take holde of the Gospel, when we haue no need of it, nor skill how to make anie right and holy vse of it: and by this meanes he doth in those dayes of secu­ritie, intangle vs in many sinnes.

And after, when he hath vs fast in his bands, hauing made vs guiltie of infinit transgressions, then hee seeketh leaue to set our sinnes in order against vs, and to raise vp stormes of feare and terrour in our soules. And this leaue obtained, and these stormes raised, then hee with­draweth the Gospell from before our eies, and suffereth vs onely to gaze in the glasse of the Law, that by sight of our owne deformities, hee might alto­gether confound vs: and then he suffe­reth vs to haue no other remembrance of God, but of his iustice and seueritie. Then hee presents him vnto vs such a one as Moses describes him, saying; The Lord thy God is a consuming fire and Deut. 4. 24 aiealous God. And such a one as the hy­pocrites in Sion, in the day of their feare [Page 334] conceiue him to be, when they say, Who Esa. 33. 14 among vs shall dwell with the deuouring fire? who among vs shall dwell with euer­lasting burnings? And then he suffereth vs not to think vpon any word of God, but the condemning Law, the accu [...] ­sing Law, the killing letter: then he re­moueth from vs all remembrance of the gracious Gospel, of the free, liberall, & faithfull promises, and of the mercifull mediator, and sweet Sauior Iesus Christ. Then he telles vs, we haue no right to a­ny of those things, they belong to the Saints, to the righteous, to penitent sin­ners, not to such bold contemners as wee are. And then he maketh vs obiect against our owne soules, as the troubled sinner heere doth, that the Law without fauour accurseth transgressors, that wee without measure haue transgressed the Law, and that therefore without reme­dy we are accursed creatures. But let vs see how wee may relieue the affrighted soule of this sinner, and against this ob­iection, teach him, with comfort, to cast his burden vpon the Lord.

Thine eie is vpon the Law: I mislikeAn answer to this eight obiection. it not. The Law shall make thee a full [Page 335] amends for al this feare that it puts thee into. Paul writing to the Galathians speaketh thus of the Law; The Law was Gala. 3. 24. [...]r Schoolemaister to bring vs to Christ, that we might be made righteous by faith. This Law that accurseth thee with such [...]igour and seuerity, euen in that curse serueth as a Schoolemaister to instruct thee, by driuing thee from all liking of thine owne waies, to seeke thy iustifi­cation by Iesus Christ that died for thee. As the tempest by Sea maketh men flie with all speed and skill to safe harbour; and as a storme by land maketh men flie with all possible haste into the house: E­uen so the thundering of the Law de­nouncing curses against transgressors, maketh them with all speed and skill to flie vnto Iesus Christ our Sauiour, who onely is the sure harbour, and house of rest and safetie, to all poore and wea­ther-beaten and distressed sinners. To him truely, and in the first place, be­long those words of the Prophet, That man shall bee as an hiding place from the Esa. 32. 2. wind, and as a refuge for the tempest, as riuers of water in a dry place, & as the sha­dow of a great rocke in a weary land. And [Page 336] as hunger and thirst kindle a desire of meat and drinke, and as paine and sick­nesse felt and knowne, kindleth a desire of the counsell and helpe of the Physici­an, so feare and anguish wrought in our hearts by the rigorous sentence of the Law accursing vs, kindleth in vs a de­sire to slie vnto this man, euen the man Iesus Christ, our hiding place, our re­fuge, our fountaine of liuing waters, our shadow that refresheth: that in him we might find defence against the storme of curses that the Law powreth downe vpon vs. Be not therefore afraid of the Law, but be aduised by it, and confes­sing thy sinnes, flie, as the Law compels thee, vnto Iesus Christ, who as the Apo­stle Peter saith. His owne selfe bare our 1. Pet. 2. 24 sinnes in his bodie on the tree, that we be­ing deliuered from sin might liue in righ­teousnesse, by whose stripes ye were healed.

Turne thee therefore from the [...]igo­rous face of the Law, to the farre more cheerefull countenance of Iesus Christ, and behold him hanging vpon the tree, where he suffered for sinnes, not for his owne (for in him was no sin, nor guile in his mouth) but for thy sinnes imputed [Page 337] to him, as the Prophet Esay teacheth vs, saying, All wee like sheepe haue gone a­stray, Esay. 53. 6. we haue turned euery one to his owne way, and the Lord hath laid vpon him the iniquitie of vs all. Looke therefore from the Law that was giuen by Moses vnto Iesus Christ, by whom grace and trueth are reuealed: behold him sweating in the Garden, till droppes of blood fell from him to the ground: behold him scourged with whippes, and crowned with thornes, till the blood issued from all parts of his body: behold him nailed to the tree, there reuiled most disdaine­fully by the Priests and all the people: heare him crying out vnder the weight of thy sinnes; and of Gods displeasure indured for them, My God▪ my God, why Mat 27. 46 hast thou for saken me? Behold him giuing vp the Ghost, & his life search, whether it were departed from him or no, with a speare. Then O troubled sinner, then did he sustaine the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for vs, as Saint Paul te [...]cheth saying. Christ hath redeemed vs Gal. 3. 13. from the curse of the law, when hee was made a curse for vs. For it is written, cur­sed is euery one that hangeth on tree, that [Page 338] the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Iesus Christ, that wee might receiue the promise of the spirit through faith. Dooth the law thunder out curses, Iesus Christ stepped in be­tweene the law and vs, and receiued the stroke of that curse vppon his owne head, whereof he gaue all the world assu­rance, when he humbled himselfe to the death of the crosse, which manner of death was by a particular sentence of the law, pronounced accursed: and why should the law threaten againe the curse of God against thee, which alreadie be­fore, it hath not onely pronounced but executed vpō another for thee? Thou art discharged from the curse of the law, in the curse that Christ sustained for thee: yea thou art so fully discharged of the curse, that in place there of thou art made heire of the blessing promised to Abra­ham, for so are the Apostles wordes. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gētiles through Iesus Christ. Now this blessing of Abraham is the firme fauour of God to bee our God, accor­ding to the couenant which hee made with Abraham, and his seede after him [Page 339] in their generations for euer Which seed is not to be accounted by carnall birth, but by spirituall faith, without regard of line [...]l discent in bloud, for god is able of the stones, (that is, of the heard & stonie­harted Gentiles) to raise vp children vn­to Abraham. For which cause it was said vnto him, In thy seed shal all the nati­ons Gen. 22. 1 [...] of the earth be blessed. By seed in this place, he meaneth the Messias, the re­deemer that came of Abraham, Isaack, Iacob, Iudah, & Dauid: and in him all na­tions (without respect of persons) be­leeuing in him, as Abrahams heires, walking in the steps of his faith, shall become blessed by inheriting the coue­nant, euen Gods fauour according to the couenant, and thou among the rest.

Feare not therefore the sentence of the law, but from the law turne thy face to Iesus Christ, and the feared curse shall not fall vpon thee. Reuerence the law as it teacheth a rule of life, and feare it not as it pronounceth sentence of death. God made his sonne vnder the law to re­deeme them that were vnder the law. And the same sonne of God is called by Saint Paul, The end of the law for righte­ousnes, Rom. 10. 4 [Page 340] vnto euery one that beleeueth. If therefore being in the hands of the law, thou wilt looke vnto Iesus Christ, tho [...] hast attained to the end of the law, and so art no more vnder the lawe, but vnder grace. And remember what Iesus Christ hath said in the Gospell, As Moses Iohn. 3. 14. lifted vp the serpent in the wildernes, s [...] must the sonne of man be lift vp, that who­soeuer beleeueth in him, might not perish, but haue eternall life. Looke vp therefore vnto that serpent, lift vp vpon the tree of the crosse, and the sting of death which is thy sinne, and the strength of sinne which is the law, shall neuer hurt thee▪ Against all danger of death of sinne, and of the law, heare what the Apostle saith, Thankes be vnto God, which hath gi [...]en vs 1. Cor. 15. 57. victorie through our Lord Iesus Christ.

CHAP. XXV.

ALL that is hitherto spo­kenA ninth ob­iection. He cannot pray therefore shall not speed. cannot giue peace to this troubled minde; but as one waue followeth an­other in the sea, so one feare followeth another in his heart, and [Page 341] new feares afford new obiections. Now he pleadeth thus against himselfe, I haue no reason to hope for mercy, for I haue no heart to pray for mercy. I want all things that pertaine to true praier.

First I haue no God to praie vnto, that will lend any care to my praiers. I find this saying of Gods, recorded by Esay, Esay. 1. 15. When you shall stretch out your hands, I will hide mine eies from you: and though ye make many praiers, I will not heare, for your hands are full of bloud. By bloud he meaneth soule and bloudie sinnes, my hands are full of this bloud, for my sins are many, therefore if I should lift vp my hart with my hands vnto god in the hea­uens, he will neither behold the stretch­ing out of my hands, nor heare the de­sires and grones of my heart. Also I find this saying of the Prophet, set down as a rule, that shall stand. Your iniquities haue Esay. 59▪ [...]. seperated betweene you and your God, and your sinnes haue hid his face from you, that he will not heare. Iniquitie seperateth be­tween God and vs; I am full of iniquitie, therefore there is a wall of seperation shutting him out from mee, and mee from him. And sinne causeth him so to [Page 342] turne away his face that hee will not heare, but I am guiltie of innumerable sinnes, therefore God hath hid his face from me, and [...]ee will not heare. How then can I pray, seeing I haue no God that will lend any eare to my praier?

Secondly, I haue no mediator in whose name to pray, and for whose sake I may hope to be heard when I pray. For men and Angels, whom some do make their mediators, are no mediators: the Apostle saith, There is one God, and one 1. Tim. 2. 5. mediator betweene God and man▪ which is the man Christ Iesus. This saying exclu­deth all other mediators. And the on­ly mediator, the man Iesus is no media­tor for me: for I haue denied him, and he hath said, Whosoeuer shall denie me before Mat. 10. 33 men, him will I also denie, before my father which is in heauen. And I am sure that I haue denied him before men, if not in words, because these daies of peace haue giuen me no cause so to doe (which I know I should haue done, if da [...]es of persecution had vrged me) yet I haue denied him by my deedes. The Apostle hath this saying of the men of his time, which is most true in mee, They professe Titus. 1. 16. [Page 343] they know God, but by workes they denie him. Hee may bee denied by vngodly workes, but I am ful of vngodly workes, therefore haue I denied him before men. And hauing thus denied him, hee must and will denie me before God. So haue I no mediator.

Thirdly, if I should offer to pray, I must pray without any promise: but so to doe were to pray idly, for then only doe men pray according to the will of God, and with comfort to be heard in their praiers, when they ground their praiers vpon the promises of God. But I neuer tooke heede to the promises of God, and at this time I cannot call them to remembrance, and if I could call them to remembrance, I were neuer the better, for God is not bound to per­forme his promises to any, but to them alone, that out of their loue to him striue to keepe his commandements. For Mo­ses thus speaketh of him, Thou maiest Deut. 7. 9. know, that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithfull God, which keepeth couenant and mercy vnto them that loue him and keep [...] his commandements, euen to a thou­sand generations. If any loue not the [Page 344] Lord, out of his loue to keepe the com­mandements of the Lord, hee can make no claime to the couenant of God, or to any promise of his; neither is God bound in his truth and faithfulnesse to performe any promise to him: but such a one am I, that haue not loued the Lord, nor out of loue studied to keepe the commandements of God, but haue bro­ken them all, therefore I haue no pro­mise to ground my praiers vpon, and for that cause I cannot pray.

Fourthly, I know not how to pray, how to begin, and how to make any proceeding: and if at any time I incline my heart to pray, I am disturbed I know not how, and other thoughts draw away my minde. While I thinke to aske for­giuenesse of sinnes, my minde runneth out into a wilde remembrance of my sinnes, with much pleasure to thinke vp­on them. While I thinke to pray for grace to assist mee against the power of sinne▪ the lusts of my heart call backe my thoughts, and I am deuising how I may compasse it to commit sinne, and my will wholy inclineth that way. While I thinke to pray for the inheritance of [Page 345] heauen, my loue to this world carieth away my minde, and I am studying how I may winne the pleasures and prefer­ments thereof. And euer my good de­sires that should lead my minde, are crossed and put downe by my bad de­sires, and I cannot raise vp, or if I raise it, I cannot hold vp my heart to God and holy things with any staiednes, I know what is requisite vnto praier by the A­po [...]les words. Pray alwaies with all ma­ner Eph. 6. 18. supplication in the spirit, and watch there unto with all perseueranc [...]. If I pray, it is with my lips, I doe not make suppli­cation in the spirit; and to watch vnto praier, that is diligently to attend with all the powers of my soule, without ei­ther drowsinesse, fainting or wandering of my thoughts, is most farte from me. And being so vnskilfull, and so vnable to pray, how can I pray, to preuaile by my praiers?

And lastly (which is my greatest mis­chiefe) when I thinke to pray, or when I doe pray, or when I haue praied, there is something within mee, that giueth mee my answer, assoone as I haue praied, and sometime before I haue praied, and I am [Page 346] farre from attending vpon God, till hee doe giue mee answer, as if I did not pray vnto God, but rather vnto my self. The Prophet Dauid saith, Wait patiently vp­on Psal. 37. 7. God, and hope in him: the meaning whereof I take to be this, when we haue shewed our desire vnto God in praier and supplication, that then we should hope in him to receiue a gracious an­swer, and wait patiently for that an­swer, till it please God to shew vs mer­cy in his appointed time. I doe not so, I haue neither hope nor patience to wait vpon his hand, but mine owne heart ma­keth answer without God; And that an­swer is alwaies a negatiue answer, a flat deniall, a plaine repulse. So that I haue lesse hope, and lesse comfort in and after my praier, then before I praied, and where others finde themselues much ea­sed in heart, after they haue by praier powred out their desires into the lap of God, I am much more troubled, estee­ming euen my praier to be turned into sinne: all these things together make me most vnable to pray.Answer to the ninth obiection.

This is a grieuous obiection: but in framing this obiection the troubled sin­ner [Page 347] fareth like a blinde man in an vn­knowen house, who wandering without [...]guide, goeth hee knoweth not whe­ther, and stumbleth often vpon the same threshold: so doth he in seuerall bran­ches of this obiection stumble at the same offences that haue beene answered and taken away before. But let vs lend [...]and to bring him into the way.

First he ▪a [...]th he cannot pray, becauseThat hee hath a God to pray vnto. he hath no God to pray vnto, that will lend an eare of hearing to the praier hee makes, because hee hath sinned against God. And yet hee was taught before, that leaue was giuen him, yea that hee was commanded to pray vnto God, e­uen for the forgiuenesse of those sinnes, that made the separation betweene him and his God: and also that God had promised to forgiue those sinnes yea all sinnes without exception. And whereas he obiected against the commandement of praying for forgiuenesse, that it per­tained not vnto him that could not call God his father; and against the promise of forgiuing, that it pertained not vnto him, that was no Israelite. These things were answred and remoued, and it was [Page 348] clearely proued vnto him that God was his father, and therefore hee might and ought to pray for forgiuesse: and that he was an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, and of the houshold of faith, and there­fore God had promised vnto him for­giuenesse of sin. And while these things stand good, how can he say that he hath no God that will heare him, because hee hath sinned against him. Let him remem­ber what Dauid saith vnto God in one of the Psalmes, Against thee, against thee Psal. 51. 4. onely haue I sinned, and done euill in thy fight, that thou maiest be iust when thou speakest, and pure when thou iudgest. Here is a true confession, that he had sinned a­gainst God. Doth hee therefore thinke that he hath no God to pray vnto, that will lend him an eare of hearing? What is that whole Psalme but a praier vnto this God? In the first verse hee praieth thus: Haue mercy vpon mee o God accor­ding vers. 1.! to thy louing kindnesse, according to the multitude of thy compassions put away mine iniquities. In the second verse heevers. 2. praieth thus, Wash mee throughly from mine iniquity, and clense me from my sinne. In the seauenth verse hee praieth thus, [Page 349] Purge me with Hisop, and I shal be cleane, vers. 7. rash mee and I shall be whiter then snow. And so in many other parts of this Psalme. So that it appeareth by Dauids practise, that our sinners rule faileth, pleading that hee hath no God to pray [...]nto, that will lend an eare to heare his praier, because hee hath sinned against [...]im; for Dauid praied vnto that God, [...]ot doubting of gracious hearing, a­gainst whom he freely confessed that he [...]ad sinned, and sinned grieuously. And whereas in some places of scripture by our afflicted sinner remembred, and in diuers other, the holy Ghost telleth vs that God will not heare sinners, and hi­deth his face from them; they are to be vnderstood, as spoken of impenitent sinners, that take pleasure in sinne, and continue in it, refusing to turne from their sinne vnto God, and yet presume that all shall be well, and that God can­not deny their requests. Like them spo­ken of by leremy the Prophet, Will you [...]er. 7. 9. [...]eale, murder, and commit adultery, and s [...]tare falsly, and burne incense vnto Baal, and walke after other Gods whom ye know [...], and come and stand before mee in this [Page 350] house, whereupon my name is called, and say we are deliuered, though we haue don [...] all these abominations. And like them spoken of by the Prophet Micha, Heare Mich. 3 9. this I pray you, ye heads of the house of Ia­cob, and Princes of the house of Israel, they abhor iudgement, and peruert alle­quity: they build vp Sion with bloud and Ierusalem with iniquity the heads there­of iudge for rewards, and the Priests ther­of [...]each for hier, and the Prophets thereof prophecy for mony: yet will they leane vpon the Lord, and say, is not the Lord among vs? no euill can come vpon vs. Such men there are in the world, that flatter them­selues in their sinnes, and when they heare the iudgements of God denoun­ced against sinne, yet for the pleasure they take in sinne, and for the gaine they make of sinne, they will continue in it, and not leaue it, and thinke with praiers and some other outward humiliations to blow away as a fether or some light thing, the iudgements and wrath of God, These are the men that haue no God, because they depart away from God by their owne wickednesse; these are the sinners whom God will not [Page 351] heare, because they delight more in sin then they do in God. But the humble, the penitent, the broken-hearted sinner, to whom his sins are his burden, a dis­pleasing burden, from which hee desi­reth to be deliuered, as our sinner doth this day. He that is grieued for his sins, that hateth and abhorreth them, and if [...]ee might once get cleere from his sins past, intendeth no more to be acquain­ted with them, and esteemeth them as his plague and his death. Him the Lord most willingly, and with delight heark­neth vnto. The Prophet saith, The sacri­fices Psal. 51. 17. of God are a contrite spirit, & a con­trite and a broken heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. So that thou wert neuer so fit indeede to pray, as now thou art with thy contrite and broken heart; thy praiers now will be a sweet and pleasing sacrifice to him. He is thy God, and wil most readily heare thee.

Secondly, hee saith hee hath no Me­diator,That bee hath a me­diator in whose name to pray. in whose name to pray, and for whose sake hee may hope to bee heard. And yet remembreth the words of Scripture that call Iesus the Mediator betweene God and man. Those verie [Page 352] words prooue thou hast a Mediatour, e­uen the same Iesus, except thou wilt de­ny thy selfe to be a man; for hee is Me­diator betweene God and man, and therefore mediator betweene God and thee, if thou be a man. So that to say thou hast no mediator in whose name to pray, and for whose sake thy praier should be accepted, is but an vnthank­full speech put into thy head without a­ny good ground; for Paul saith of Iesus, that hee euer liueth to make intercession Hebr. 7. 25 for vs. Yet our afflicted sinner thinketh he hath reason to say so, because he hath denied Iesus before men. And did not Saint Peter deny the Lord Iesus before men? and yet hee after praied and was heard in the Mediators name, because hee stoode not in his deniall, but repen­ted. Yet thou hast not denyed him in words before men as Peter did. That thou thinkest to bee no aduantage to thee, and referrest it to the daies of peace, not vrging thee, rather then to the constancie of thine own heart (thou louest to bee thine owne accuser) and what thou hast not done in words, thou thinkest that thou hast done in workes, [Page 353] by them thou hast denied him, while thou didst not liue like á Christian. But must it therefore follow, that he is now [...]o Mediator for thee, and will deny thee before his Father in heauen? Kno­west thou not what Iohn the Baptist faith of him; Behold the Lambe of God Iohn 1. 29 that taketh away the sinnes of the world. He himself when as an vnspotted Lamb he was sacrificed for thee, tooke away, and by the vertue of that sacrifice, still taketh, and euer taketh away thy sinne: where is now that reall deniall of thine, when those sinnes, in which thou didst deny him, are done away? Yea thy sins are so farre from making him no Medi­ator, no Reconciler, that for thy sinnes he is thy Mediator and thy Reconciler. The Euangelist Iohn saith, If any man 1. Iohn [...]. 1. [...], wee haue an aduocate with the Fa­ther, Iesus Christ the iust, and hee is the reconciliation for our sinnes, and not for [...] sinnes onely, but also for the sinnes of the whole world. Wee haue an aduocate with the Father to pleade our cause. When? If any man sinne. And he is our reconciliation that brings vs againe in­to fauour, and makes our peace. For [Page 354] what? For our sinnes. And who is this Aduocate with God the father? who is this reconciliation for our sinnes? Ie­sus Christ the Iust. Where is now the deniall of thy workes, that should make Iesus Christ to be no Mediator for thee, that should make him deny thee before his Father in heauen? Hee taketh away those sinnes: Hee is thy reconciliation for those sinnes. Repent of those thy sinnes, and feare not to pray to God in the name of Iesus.

Thirdly, he saith hee hath no promi­sesThat hee hath the promises of God to ground his praier vpon where on to ground his praiers. And without promise to pray vnto GOD, were to make idle and vnstable praiers, That is most true. But who told him that Gods promises, which are made to all, belong not vnto him. This point was handled before, when he obiected, that Gods promise for the forgiuenes of his sinnes, belonged not to him that was no Israelite. And it was then prooued, that all Gods promises belong to the seed of the righteous: the Apostle Pe­ter saying, The promise is made vnto you, Act [...]. 2. 39. and to your children. So that if it were a prooued trueth, that thou thy selfe wert [Page 355] vnrighteous, and in thine owne right, thou couldest make no claime to any promise of God: yet seeing thou art a child of the righteous, a child of belee­ [...]rs, in the right of thy parents thy progenitors, thou maiest make claime to the promises of God, and vpon thy repentance and conuersion they shal be performed to thee. And if this title con­tents thee not, claime them in the right of Iesus Christ, of whom the Apostle saith; All the promises of God, in him are 2. Cor. 1. 20 yea, and are in him Amen. That is, to euery one that commeth humbly and reuerently vnto GOD, in the name of Iesus Christ, seeking mercy and grace, mercy and grace shal be granted accor­ding to the promises of God, whose truth pertains to them that are in Christ Iesus, and come vnto God by him. But thou dost not now remember any of Gods promises, neither didst thou here­tofore take heed vnto them, when thou [...]rdst them, to lay them vp in the trea­sury of thy heart, against the times of need. Indeed this was thy fault, which being now seene, must heereafter be a­ [...]ended. Hence foorth hearken vnto [Page 356] them, and when thou hearest, lay hold vpon them, and treasure them vp more carefully, for hee is the happy man and blessed, that heares the word of God and keepes it. But though thou hast them not in the store-house of thine heart, and canst not find them there: yet there is an other store-house wherein they are laied vp, and where thou mai­est readily finde them, and that is the booke of holy Scriptures. Iacob in Ca­naan had his priuat store-house where­in prouision was laid vp for him, and his familie: and other men likewise had their priuate store-houses, for their pri­uate prouision: but when the yeares of famine came, and prouision failed in mens priuat store-houses, then the pub­lique store-houses of Ioseph in Egypt were opened, and al men fetched thence what they needed, and especially Iacob and his family was from thence suppli­ed. Euen so for euery mans priuate comfort, his owne heart is his store­house, in which he that is wise wil trea­sure vp the promises of Gods mercie to saue the necessities of soule in times of fea [...]e: but if there come such yeares of [Page 357] famine, such daies of distresse, that the [...]ouision in the priuat store house of the [...]eart will not serue the turne, send to the store-houses of the Scripture. The Lord Iesus saith, Search the Scriptures, Ioh. 5. 3 [...]. for in them you thinke to haue eternall life, [...]d they are they that testifie of me. There [...]lt thou finde the large promises of Gods mercie, vpon which thou maiest with much comfort ground thy praiers, all holie Scripture is written for our in­struction and comfort, and it should be thy sinne and vnthankfulnesse to God, a [...]d treason against thine owne soule, to [...]eglect in this time of feare to search for these promises in the Scriptures. And whereas thou saiest that Gods promi­ses belong to them that loue him and keepe his commandements, and to no other: and thou hast not loued him, [...]ou hast not kept his commandements: learne to amend this errour of thine heart and of thy life. Amend the error of thy heart and loue the Lord, amend the error of thy life, and keep the com­mandements of God; so shall all this feare weare away, and thou shalt with [...]uch strength of faith ground thy [Page 358] prayers vpon Gods promises.

Fourthly, he saith he knowes not howHee is taught how to pray. to pray. I beleeue it; oft-times Gods deare children are so astonished with the burden of their trouble, and euen with this burden of sinne, affirighting their soule, that they know not how to pray. Hezekiah saith of his astonishedEsa. 38. 14. soule, in the time of his sicknesse: Like a Crane or a Swallow so did I chatter, I did mourns as a Doue: mine eies were lift vp on high: O Lord it hath oppressed mee; comfort mee. The sorrow of his heart did so oppresse his soule, that though he re­membred God, and looked vp vnto him, and had all his desires waiting vp­on the hand of God, yet he was not able to pray in any distinct manner like a wel aduised man, his praying was all out of order, it was more like the mourning of a Doue, and more like the chattering of a Swallow, then like the holy and order­ly praiers of a wise and godly man. And Saint Paul doth affirme it to be a moreRom. 8. 26. common thing and vsuall withall the seruants of God in times of affliction; saying: Wee know not what to pray as wee ought; They know not what to aske nor [Page 359] in what order to aske. And this being so common among Gods children, shalt thou bee afraid to be a suitor vnto God, [...] thou knowest not how to pray? shalt thou therefore be out of comfort? if thou canst not pray distinctly and or­derly; yet (lifting thine eles vp on high) with Hezekiah charter like the Swal­low; mourne like the Doue: Weepe with the Apostle Peter: We read not in what words hee praied, but wee read in what bitternesse of heart hee wept. Let thy teares flow where thy words can finde no free passage. Saint Barnard Ser. 30. in cantica. calleth the teares of sinners the wine of Angels. And concerning the true vi­gour of praier, Saint Augustine in one place saith it stands more in tearee then in words; for instructing a certaine rich Widdow how to pray vnto God, a­mong other words hee h [...]th this saying. [...] hoc negocium plus gemitibus Ad [...] epist, 121. capit. 19. [...] sermonibus agitur, plus fleti [...]quam [...]fatu: This businesse of praier for the most part is performed rather with gronings then with words, with weeping then with speech. Let God therfore heare thy sighes and grones, let him see thy teares, when [Page 360] thou canst not shew him thy desire in words: water thy couch with teares, as did the Prophet, and God will gather vp and put euery drop into his bottell; thus doing, when thou thinkest that thou hast not praied, thou hast praied most powerfully. For as Saint Ier [...]mi Ier. in [...]sa▪. saith: Oratio deum lenit, lacr [...]na cogit: Praier gently moueth God, teares forcibly compell him. He is allured as it were and won with the words of praier to heare vs, but with the teares of a contrite heart he is drawen and inforced to heare and helpe, where otherwise hee would not. And in this affliction growing vpon thy heart, because thou knowest not how to pray, heare a notable comfort that the Apostle giues thee, saying, The spirit Rom. 8. 26. helpeth our infirmities, for wee know not how to pray as wee ought, but the spirit it selfe maketh request for vs with sighes that cannot be expressed. Where thin [...] owne strength and wisdome faileth in this ser­uice of praying vnto God, there the wis­dome and power of Gods spirit kindlet [...] in thee strong desires, and earnest long­ings after the mercy of God. And the meaning of those desires and longings [Page 361] God perfectly vnderstandeth, and needs not to bee informed by thy words. So [...] though thou canst not pray as thou [...]oghtest to doe, yet that seruice goeth forward well, while thou hartily desirest Gods fauour. Of which desire in thee, [...]ere needeth no other argument, but [...]en the griefe of thine owne heart, seeing in thy sin cause of Gods displea­s [...]re and that other thoughts come in­to thine heart, when thou bendest thy selfe to pray, maruaile not at it, neither therefore be so farre discomforted, that thou shouldest giue ouer praying, but [...] the more to pray, and to watch thereunto in the attendance of thy thoughts, and lift vp thine heart vnto God, and keepe it with all thy care, looking still to him. These thoughts of thine heart partly arise from thine owne weaknesse and corruption, that art more fit for any thing, then to attend with set­ [...]ed reuerence vpon God. And partly they are mustered together, and thrust [...]o vnseasonably into thine heart by the wicked enimy, that would not haue thee pray, because he knoweth that the mer­cy of God is most easily obtained by [Page 362] harty and constant praier: therefore hee seekes to hinder thee in that businesse, that thy mind being, occupied about o­ther cogitations thou might est let f [...]ll to the ground the petitions that thou are offering vnto God▪ but the more hee seeketh to trouble thee, the more ear­nest be thou in praier▪ remembring that saying of our blessed Sauiour, giuen for a warning to his Discip [...]es, Wate [...] Mat. 26. 41 and pray, that yee enter not into temp­tation.

Lastly▪ hee is offended and discoura­gedWārning to take heed of giuing himselfe any answer. in his praying by an intruded an­swer that offereth it selfe presently after his praier, and sometime before his prai­er be either ended or begun, not suffe­ring him to wait patiently vpon God, and to hope in him: and this intruded answer is alwaies vncomfortable, It comes euer in the negatiue and [...]pul­siue forme, whatsoeuer hee hath praied for, or intendes to pray for, it tels him, he shall not haue, he cannot haue, hee i [...] not worthy to haue, hee must not looke to haue, the iustice of God will neuer grant it vnto him: Which answer is no­thing else, but (if I may so speake) the [Page 363] smoke of those fiery dartes of Sathan, wherby he hath set the poore mans con­science in combustion, bringing his sins [...]o remembrance, setting before him the [...]ath of God kindled by those sinnes, [...] from hence extracting and drawing this heauy conclusion, looke for no [...]rcy where thou hast deserued so [...]ch wrath. It is no other then a very [...] of his disease, the fruit of his owne [...] ouer hastily answering himselfe, [...]ot [...]arying to receiue answer of God; t [...]s he must take especial heed off, that for as much as hee maketh praier to God and not to himselfe, he waite for his an­swer from God, and receiue none from himselfe, and if his heart will be foolish to suffer any such vncomfortable answer vnto him, that hee reiect it, and wait on the hand of heauen. About this point the sonnes of men er [...]e very dangerous­ly, and faile in extremities, and few or [...]one can keepe the right meane, to ex­pect and receiue their answer from God. While men liue carelesly in sinne, and prouoke God euery day, if they chance to offer any petition to heauen, or by a­ [...]y meanes be occasioned to thinke vp­on [Page 364] answer of their hopes from heauen, they euer boldly answer themselues with promise of all prosperity, though in iustice it cannot be, like vnto the man whom God complaineth of saying, that Hearing the words of the curse, blesseth Deu. 29. 19. himselfe in his heart saying, I shall haue peace, though I walk according to the stub­bornnesse of mine owne heart. God giues no such answer to such men. It follow­eth in the same place; The Lord will Verse 20. not be mercifull vnto him. Blessings be­long to them that feare God, not to them that conte [...]ne him. He that inqul. reth for Gods will reuealed in his word, shall finde another answer belonging to the petitions and hopes of such men. The threatnings of Gods iudgemēts are all denounced against them, as in the fore-remembred place of Deuterono­my; Deu. 19. 20 The wrath of the Lord, and his lea­lousie shall smoke against that man, and euery curse that is written in this booke shall light vpon him, and the Lord shall put out his name from vnder heauen. On the other side, when men are humbled in the sight of their sins, and haue great remorse in their hearts, if they powre [Page 365] out any sighes and grones vnto God in their praier, and by any meanes be oc­casioned to thinke vpon answer of their desires from heauen, they euer fearefully answer themselues, like those men spo­ken of by the Prophet Ezechil, that say,Eze. 33. 10. If our transgressions, and our sins bee vpon [...], and we are consumed because of them, [...] shall we then liue? That is, our sins deseruing death, and those being now [...]id to our charge, and the hand of God being heauy vpon vs for them, there is no hope of life. God giues no such an­swer to contrite hearts, and to humbled spirits, he doth not so reiect the deiected man. He that inquireth for Gods will reuealed in his word, shall finde another answer of comfort and health appoin­ted for them, the promises of mercy runne all vpon their side. The Prophet Moses speaketh these words vnto the people, When thou art in tribu­lation, Deu. 4▪ [...]0 and all these things are come vpon thee, at the length, if thou returne to [...] Lord thy God, and bee obedient to his voice (for the Lord thy God is a mercifull God) he will not forsake thee, neither de­stroy thee, nor forget the couenant of thy [Page 366] fathers, which hee sware vnto them. Vn­to this I might ad many promises of like nature, assuring health and comfor vnto humbled spirits, that seek [...] mercy at the hands of God with teares, and sighe [...], and grones, their hearts refusing to take ioy and delight in any thing, till they may recouer againe Gods fauour, and once againe see the light of his counte­nance. Dauid commendeth God by this gracious propertie of comforting such deiected creatures, saying. The Lord vp­holdeth Psal. 145. 14 all that fall, and lifteth vp all that are readie to fall. And in another place. He healeth those that are broken in heart, Psal. 147. 3. and bindeth vp their sores. Pray thou therefore vnto God in the name of Iesus Christ, and pray with comfort of heart: and when thou hast made request vnto God, accept no answere but from God. First hee answereth comfortably in his word, to all such as thou art, comming vnto him. With that first answere ap­pease thy troubled minde, till God in his rich mercy, by his deed of deliuerance, giue thee a further answer. Obserue these rules, and if thou wert at this pre­sent in as bad taking as the Ephejians [Page 367] were at the first, of whom Paul speaketh [...], Ye [...] were at that time without Christ Ephe. 2. 12 [...] were alines from the commonwealth of [...], and were strangers from the coue­ [...] of promise, and had no hope, and were [...] God in the world. Yet thou shalt [...]ortly become as they became after­ward, of [...] is said in the next [...]ords, But now in Christ Iesus, yee which Ephe. 2. 19 [...] were far [...] of, are made neare by the [...] of Christ. And a little after, Yee are no more strangers and foreners, but Ci­tizens with the saints and all the houshold of God, and are built vpon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Iesus Christ himselfe being the cheefe corner stone. Here i [...] a change worthy to be obserued, they which were without God, without Christ, without hope, and strangers from the communion of Saints, are made the sonnes of God, the Disciples of Christ, the heires of the promises, and Citizens of heauen, filled with all hope, & groun­ded vpon that foundation of trueth a­gainst which the gates of hell shall ne­ [...]er preuaile. Put away therefore all these offences, the Lord is thy God his eare will harken vnto thee: Iesus Christ is [Page 368] thy mediator, pray in his name: the pro­mises of God in him are, Yea, and Amen: thou shalt find them in the scriptures. And when thou, knowest not to pray, powre out thy heart vnto God in sighe [...] and teares and grones: repell wandring thoughts when thou praiest, and lift vp thy mind vnto God [...] trust in him when thou hast praied, waiting patiently for his answere. These things doe with all cheerefulnes as thou art able, and the God of peace shall send thee peace.

CHAP. XXVI.

YET is not the mind qui­et,A [...]uth obiection, hee is forsa­ken he is lost, he is a reprobate. nor indeed can be, till God bring the temptati­on to an issue, & remoue his burden. In the meane time, though he cannot charge himselfe out of any reason, yet hee ceaseth not to charge himselfe out of feare, and saith, that this condition is not doubtfull and questionable, whether hee may obtaine mercy or no (if it were no worse, there were some hope) but his condition is certainly euill & miserable; for saith he, [Page 369] I am forsaken of God, I am a lost child, the very sonne of perdition, and I am a reprobate, a far more vile sinner then many reprobates, and therefore you la­bour in vaine that offer comfort to me, and that take so much paine to answere my obiections: you may well deuise an­swers before me and other men, but they are vnanswerable before the iudgement seate of God, where I must appeare for my sinne.

Ah Lord God, whereof thou knowestAn Apo­st [...]ophe [...] God. we be made, thou vnderstandest that we are but dust: & wilt thou permit so weak creatures to be assaulted with so strong [...]tion: yea Lord, thou wilt▪ to thy glory thou wilt, that thy power may be made perfect through weaknes, and that the sufficiencie of thy grace may be knowne by helping, & that thou maist be found worthy of that honorable name, that the Apostle giues thee, calling thee, The fa­ther [...]. Cor. 1. [...]. of mercies, and God of all comfort. Helpe therefore with thy mercy, helpe with thy comfort, instruct me to speake thereof; and giue to this afflicted sin­ [...]er the powerfull feeling thereof, to whō now I turne my speech in thy name.

[Page 370]In this temptation I hope the deuillAnswer to this tenth obiection. hath spit his last poison. If this brunt may be indured and ouercome, I hope peace wil grow speedily, by the blessing of the God of peace. And for answer vnto this obiection, first I say. That if these words had beene spoken by the Lord himselfe, I would haue stood asto­nished at the hearing of so fearefull a sentence: I would haue kept silence for reuerence of the speaker, and without reply I would haue laied my hand vpon my mouth, and haue glorified God in his iudgements, & I would haue said vn­to him as Iob said; Behold I am vile, what Iob. 39. 37. shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand vpon my mouth: once haue I spoken, but I will answer no more; yea twise, but I will proceed no further. But I doe vnderstand from whence these words doe come, & from thence I take vnto me comfort of replying; for I find them to arise out of that soile, that breedeth errors and lies. Therefore they are subiect to excep­tion.

Thou thy selfe art in mine eares theHimselfe b [...]ng s [...]ea­ker [...] no [...] [...]o be regarded immediate speaker: and against thee, and this speech of thine I haue iust ex­ception. [Page 371] First, the thing whereof thou presumest to pronounce, is a thing ex­empted from mans iudgement, and whereof no man hath leaue to pro­nounce, till God by some euident to­kens doe manifest his owne purpose. Three things there are (saith one) which are exempt from mans iudgement. The first is, the word of God, what hee hath spoken, that must stand; man hath no power to iudge it, otherwise then in humilitie to reuerence it. The second thing is, Gods eternal counsell, which is onely knowne vnto himselfe. And no m [...]n can say, it is thus, or thus, vntill God by his apparant worke do manifest it. The third thing is, the reprobation of particular men, whereof no man is a­ble to pronounce, nor indeed ought to iudge, either himselfe or any other to be of that number. God saueth and con­demneth whom he will, not whom we assigne and nominate. Oft times they are vile in the sight of God whom wee approue and honour, and oft times they are honourable and precious in Gods eies, whom we thinke meanly of. Paul saith of him, He hath mercie on whom he Rom. 9. 18 [Page 340] will, and whom he▪ will, he hardeneth. It resteth wholy in the will of God, and it is not as we fancie, thinke, or iudge. Of euery particular man the same Apostle saith. Hee standeth or falleth to his owne Rom. 14. 4. Master, that is, as God our Maister shall be pleased, either to shew mercie, or to execute iudgement, so shall euery man stand or fall, escape or perish, not as either he himselfe, or any other shall iudge and pronounce of him. Therefore this point of particular reprobation, being exempted from mans iudgement (for God sheweth mercie, and giueth faith and repentance at his pleasure, e­uen while the thiefe hangeth on the tree) [...]ust exception lieth against this vnkind obiection.

Secondly, if the matter were such as man might iudge and pronounce of, yet I may without offence (if I see reason for it) deny to credit thy words, because as all men are, so art thou (when thou art in best tune) apt to be deceiued, and prone to receiue, imbrace, and deliuer a li [...]. Dauid hath these words in one of the Psalmes, I said in my feare, all men Psa. 116. 11 are liers. And what the Prophet spake [Page 341] in feare, that the Apostle Saint Paul without feare, and in a freer mind hath confirmed, saying; Let God be true, and Rom. [...]. 4. euerie man a liar, as it is written. And I am not bound to keepe silence to euerie word that comes from the mouth of a liar, when I haue reason to think other­wise then he speaketh, as I haue at this time to think otherwise then thou spea­kest.

Thirdly and lastly, I haue at this time iust cause of exception against thy words, because thy present disease, thy disquietnes of mind, thy feare that thou art in, trouble both thy vnderstanding and speech, that thou canst neither ap­prehend things as they are, nor pro­nounce them as thou vnderstandest them. And thou laborest vnder a temp­tation, directly bent against thy faith, perswading thee those things that are preiudiciall to thy soule. And out of some violent fit of that temptation, thou makest this vnkind obiection against thy selfe. Thus in regard of thee that art the immediat speaker in mine eares, I haue iust libertie to reply against this obiection.

[Page 374]But howsoeuer thou art in mine [...]are the immediate speaker, yet in my vnder­standing,The diuell being autor of this obie­ction, it is to be reiected. the words of this obiection haue another, a more remote, and a more dangerous author. The Spi­rit of GOD which is the Spirite ofIohn 15. 26 trueth, and leadeth into all trueth, is called in the Scripture a Comforter, When the Comforter shall come, whom I will send vnto you from the Father, euen the spirit of truth which proceedeth of the Father, he shall testifie of [...] This spake the Lord Iesus calling [...] Holy-ghost, which is the spirit of trueth, a comfor­ter. But the wordes of this obiection sound not like the words of a Comfor­ter, therefore I cannot iudge them to be the words of that spirit that is the spirit of trueth. But there is another spi­rit, that as the Lord Iesus saith, abode Iohn 8. 4 [...]. not in the trueth, because there is no truth in him: when hee speaketh a lie, then speaketh he of his owne, for he is a liar, and the father thereof. To that spirit is the name of Satan giuen, which signifieth an aduersarie, because hee seeketh our hurt, and in all things dealeth with vs as a sworne aduersarie; of whom vnder [Page 375] the name of an aduersarie Saint Peter warnes vs to take heede, saying; Your 1. Pet. 5. 8. aduersarie the diuell as a roaring lion wal­keth about, seeking whom he may denoure, whom resist stedfast in the faith. And the words of this obiection were neuer put into thy mouth by any friend. And they plai [...]ly shew an aduersarie, euen that aduersary to be their author and sugge­ster: who being himselfe eternally for­saken of God, vtterly lost without hope of redemption, and a reprobate Angell, bound in euerlasting chaines vnder darkenesse vnto the iudgement of the last day, would make thee beleeue, that thou also art forsaken, lost, and repro­bate in like manner as himselfe. Now such an one, a lier, and an aduersarie, being the prompter of these fearefull things vnto thine heart, thou oughtest not to giue any the least credite vnto them, much lesse to maintaine them a­gainst thy selfe. He being a lying spirit, pietie doth teach thee not to beleeue him; and being an aduersarie, wise­dome (if thou haueany) persuades to di­strust him. And both frō thee the spea­ker, and from him the author of this vn­godly [Page 344] obiection, I haue much confi­dence, and am much imboldened to make replie. And against thy vnchari­table affirmation, saying, I am forsaken, I am lost, I am a reprobate, I will oppose a more charitable negation, and say, thou art not forsaken, thou art not lost, thou art not a reprobate. And I will see how I can maintaine my saying, and o­uerthrow thi [...]e, that thou maiest not be ouerthrowne.

First, thou saiest thou art forsaken. IfHe may be forsaken for a time, and a [...]ter again receiued to fauour. by this speech thou meanest that now for the present, God hauing laied trou­ble vpon thee, withdraweth his assisting power and hand from thee, and leaueth thee vnder the crosse to cry and grone, and to take notice of thy infirmitie; in this sense I grant thou maiest bee forsa­ken. But this is a temporary forsaking, it is not a finall forsaking. And to them that a [...]e so forsaken, God after in his time returneth with saluation, & there is hope for them. Hereof let this be an argument vnto thee, that the best ser­uants of God are in this manner forsa­ken oft times, and feele themselues so to be, and complaine heauily for it, and [Page 377] yet after obtaine helpe. So was it with Dauid when he said, My God, my God Psa. 22. 1. why hast thou forsaken mee, and art so far from my health, and from the words of my roaring? If wee should say that these words were words of feare rather then of truth, it might be with shew of reason maintained, for God was not so far de­parted from h [...]m as he feared: but grant that they were words of truth, and that God was indeed departed from Dauid, and had forsaken him, did not God re­turne againe vnto him? and had not hee (euen then) hope of Gods returne? did not God receiue him again into his pro­tection, and helpe him? and had not hee (euen then) hope of such helpe from God? that he had such hope of Gods re­turne to his helpe, hee declareth by his praier vnto God, continued in the same Psalme, where he saith, Be not thou far Psa. 22. 19. of O Lord my strength, hasten to helpe me. Hee that could thus pray, wanted not hope of Gods returne to his helpe, though hee were for the present forsa­ken. And that God did returne vnto him, and helpe him according to that hope of his, hee also declareth in that [Page 378] Psalme, speaking of himselfe, though he vseth the third person as if hee had spo­ken of others. Hee hath not despised nor Psa. 22. 24. abhorred the affliction of the poore, neither hath he hid his face from him, but when he called vpon him, he heard. So that though he were forsaken, it was but for a time, when the Lord was pleased (for the ex­ercise of the Prophets faith) to hide his face from him. The Prophet by his prai­er quickly found him out where he was hidden▪ and at the crie of that praier, he heard and came forth to his succour. I might heere adde the example of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, who hanging vpon the crosse, and being vnder the same temptation for other mens sins, which thou art vnder for thine owne sinnes, v­sed the same words that Dauid did, say­ing. My God, my God why hast thou for­saken Mat. 27. 48 mee? I intreat this afflicted sinnet, hearing the sonne of God complaine that he was forsaken of his father, to tell mee his opinion; whether he thinkes he was forsaken eternally, or was forsaken onely for a time? and whether after this forsaking, God did not returne vnto him, and deliuer him from all his feare? [Page 379] If hee should answer, that he thinkes hee was eternally forsaken, and that God [...]turned not to deliuer him, and that he was neuer deliuered from his feare; it [...]ere an absurd answer. For the history is plaine and cleare, that though he were forsaken vnto the death, and lest vnto the will of his enemies, and sealed vp in his graue, yet as the Prophet, in his per­son, had spoken to God before, saying; Thou wilt not leaue my soule in the graue, Psa▪ 16. 10. [...]ither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption. So God dealt with him, hee was not left in the graue, hee did not see corruption; for on the third day, God raised him vp again to life. Forty daies after that hee ascended vp into heauen, euen with his body, and now in all ful­nesse of glory and maiesty, he sitteth at the right hand of God. So that his fol­ly would fully bewray it selfe, if he should answer, that Iesus was eternally forsaken, and that God returned not to deliuer him from his feare. And if hee answer (as truth will compell him) that he was forsaken onely for a time, and af­ter inioyed againe, and still inioyeth the fauour of his father: then it will follow [Page 380] by his owne confession, that all that are forsaken, are not eternally forsaken, and some are onely left for a time to be tried, exercised, and humbled, and after triall taken of their faith, after patience perfected, and true humility wrought in them, hee that had forsaken them, doth gather them againe into his lap, he that had left them to themselues, doth again receiue them into his charge. And why then may not our sinner, that crieth out thus, that he is forsaken of God, sup­pose himselfe to be onely forsaken for a time.

And if our sinner, complayning thatHe cannot say that he is eternally forsaken: reasons to the con­trary. hee is forsaken, thinketh otherwise, as namely that God hath forsaken him for euer. I answer him, first, that he speaketh foolishly, and out of ignorant feare, that being a matter of Gods secret counsel, where of it is not possible that he should haue certaine knowledge, that hath not so much knowledge as hee should of Gods reuealed will. Let him goe first, and make himselfe better acquainted with Gods reuealed will, let him study to learne and know the promises, the threatnings, the precepts and rules con­tained [Page 381] in Gods word. And as for the se­cret counsell of the Lord, so much as concerneth him to vnderstand, God [...]ill in time by his worke make knowen [...]nto him. In the meane time let him learne to keepe silence, that hath no certaine knowledge of the thing where­of he presumeth to pronounce.

Secondly, I say vnto him, that theTh [...]se whom God [...] sa­keth for e­uer, be v­seth to giue peace vnto, that they may not [...]ee and bate their sins. [...]nner of his temptation argueth and concludeth (against his owne saying) that hee is not forsaken for euer. For if God had purposed to forsake him for [...], hee would not haue laied vpon him this temptation, to make him thereby to see his sinne, and the danger that his sinne bringeth him into: for the sight of these things is a very ready way to re­pentance, for it maketh a man to bee truly displeased with his sinne, and it [...]aketh him restlesly carefull and desi­rous to winde himselfe out of the dan­ger, and it doth awake him with a wit­nesse out of his old security. But rather if the Lord had intended his eternall re­ [...]ection, hee would haue rocked him a­sleep in his security with continual pros­perity, and much peace (after the man­ner [Page 382] of the world) that he might haue had no cause to feare sinne: so long as the prodigall sonnes prosperity lasted, hee neuer thought of returning home to his fathers house. That surely is the way to scale vp sinners in their security, and to keepe them from all thought, or all de­sire, or at least, from all resolution with speede for to leaue sinne: And so vseth God to deale with them whom hee for­saketh for euer: As Iob obserued, sayingIob. 21. 7. vnto God; Wherfore doe the wicked liue, and wax old, and grow in wealth? their seed is established in their sight with them, and their generation before their eies. Marke in the next words what followeth, Their houses are peaceable, without feare, and the rod of God is not vpon them. They are not troubled with any temptation like thine. Their Bullocke gendereth and fai­leth not▪ their Cow calueth and casteth not her Calfe. They send forth their children like sheepe, and their sonnes dance. They take the Tabret and Harpe and reioyce in the sound of the Organs. They spend their daies in wealth, and suddenly goe downe to the graue. Thus, for the most part, God dealeth with them whom he meaneth to [Page 383] forsake for euer. And this continuall prosperity most kindly locketh vp all the powers of their soule in security as in a dead sleepe, that they neuer intend repentance, but are confirmed in their sinne, and in the contempt of God. As Iob in the same place noteth, in the very next words saying; They say also vnto Iob. 21. 14. God, depart from vs, wee desire not the knowledge of thy waies▪ who is the almigh­ty that wee should serue him? and what profit shall we haue, if wee should pray vnto him? Thus continuall prosperity shut­t [...]th vp the heart in security, and bring­ [...]th the wicked asleepe in sinne, whereas no temptation that can come vnto a man, doth so kindly waken the heart, and open the eies of a sinner, to see his sinne, to hate his sinne, to forsake his sinne, to turne to God, and to seeke par­don by repentance, as doth this tentati­ [...] of thine. Thinke rather, that God is g [...]thering thee to himselfe, and laies this burden vpon thee, to stay thee from r [...]nning still from him, then that hee hath eternally forsaken thee.

But against this fearefull perswasion o [...] finall forsaking, the best of all argu­ments [Page 384] is the gracious maner of the Lords merciful dealing with his people (whom yet hee dealeth withall no lesse sharp­ly, then he hath now dealt with thee. The Prophet Esay [...] sets downe that manner of the Lords dealing, and deliuers it in the words of G [...]d himself, saying, For a litl [...] Esa 54. 7. while haue I forsaken thee, but with great compassion will I gather thee: For a mo­ment in mine anger I hid my face from thee for a little season, but with euerlasting mer­cy haue I had compassion on thee saith the Lord thy redemer. This is Gods manner, these are his owne words. Now let vs compare thy words with these words of God, and see how neare thou comest to his truth. I hou saist God hath forsaken me for [...]uer: and God saith, for a little while haue I forsaken thee. Thou saist God hath hid his face for euer, and thou shalt neuer see againe the light of his countenance: and God saith, for a mo­ment in mine anger I hid my face from thee for a little season. Thou [...], God hath cast thee away for euer, and thou art fallen finally out of the lap of his loue and tender compassion: and God saith, with great compassion will I ga­ther [Page 385] thee, and with euerlasting mercy haue I compassion on thee, being thy lord and redeemer. How agree these sayings of God & of thine? Iust, as yea and no, as light and darknesse. And yet thou wouldest haue thy words be taken for words of truth, and wouldest haue no reply be made against them. Rather doe thou take the words that God hath spoken for words of truth (as verily they are) and rest in them, without making any reply against them, for so it becom­meth thee.

But thou vsest varietie of speech inThou art not lost without re­medie. thine obiection, and thou saiest thou art lost, and thou art a childe of perdition. Wel, be it so, is there therefore no reme­die? if thou thinke so, thou art deceiued. We reade in the Gospell, of a sheep that went astray, and was lost. But the owner of it left the flocke in the field, and went forth, and sought for it, and found it, and brought it home with ioy; and called his neighbours and friendes togither, and said vnto them, Reioice with me, for Luke. 15. 6. I haue found my sheepe which was lost. In the same place I reade of a woman, that [...]auing ten peeces of money, lost one, and [Page 386] then lighted a candle, & swept the house, and searched all corners, and at last found it, and called in her friends and neighbours, and said vnto them. Reioice Luke. 15. 9. with me, for I haue found the peece which I had lost. There also I read of a young man, the second sonne of his father, that wandred long, wasted his fathers goods, fell into misery, and by misery was com­pelled to returne home: whom his fa­ther espying a farre off, ran vnto him, and with much copassion & ioy intertained him, and made a feast for gladnes, and gaue this reason of his gladnes; This my Luke. [...]5. 24 sonne was dead, and is aliue againe, and hee was lost, but he is found. Thou saiest thou art lost; I heare thee, and I say with thee, the sheepe was lost, the peece of money was lost, the sonne was lost. But what became of them when they were lost? perished they? no: what then? they were found againe: the sheepe was found, and safely put together with the rest in the fold: the peece of money was found, and with the rest was safely laied vp: and the sonne was found, and kindely re­ceiued againe into his fathers house. And canst thou not see in them what is [Page 387] like to become of thee, that art lost as they were? whatsoeuer is written of that sheepe▪ and of that peece of money, and of that sonne, is all written to teach thee, what thou maiest, and what thou oughtst to pray for and to hope for, perceiuing thy selfe to bee lost. Thou art that lost sheep, and Iesus Christ is the Shepheard and Lord of the flock that seeketh thee: thou art that lost peece of money, & the church, the spouse of Iesus Christ, is that carefull woman, that by the ministrie of the Gospell, as with a light in her hand, searcheth euery corner for thee: thou art that lost child, as thou (but with an euill mind) callest thy selfe, & God in Christ, euen God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ is that most louing and kind fa­ther, that is ready to intertaine thee, and if thou wouldest but turne thy steps to­ward him, hee would meete thee: as it is said of that father, When hee was yet a Luke. 15. 20 great way of, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neeke, and kissed him. Be not then discomforted in thy lost estate, as if there were no hope of recouering thee, and restoring thee.

The name of lost is vsed in two seue­rall [Page 388] senses. For sometime we say a thingThings are said to be lost two mannaner of waies. is lost, when hee that had it in possessi­on or keeping, knowes not what is become of it: the thing in the meane time, beeing perhaps very safe in some vnknowen place, and it is onely lost to him that had it in his keeping, and now knoweth not where it is, and what is become of it, but it is not lost in it selfe. As when some horse or other beast is straied out of thy ground, thou knowest not where it is, and it is in some good pasture of thy neighbour very safe, and not far from thee; and sometime we say a thing is lost, when it is spoiled and perished, remaining still in the possession of him, that had it before in keeping, and he knowes both where it is, and what is become of it: as where thy horse or o­ther beast, being yet within thine owne ground, were fallen into some pit and drowned, or by some other mischance were killed: in both these cases a man saith, I haue lost such a beast. The oppo­site to loosing, and being lost, in the first sence, is to seeke the thing that is staied, and out of the way, vntill thou find it, and recouer the possession of it. And the [Page 389] opposite of loosing, & being lost, in the second sence, is to saue the thing that was ready to be spoiled, & to perish. If a man come in time, and to vse all good meanes for preseruation of it, and by those meanes to preserue it and saue it frō perishing Now I would intreat thisThe sinner thinkes himselfe lost [...] these waies afflicted sinner tell to me, in which sence he thinketh himselfe to be lost. I beleeue, that though he haue not thought vpon it before, yet he will answere me, that he is lost, both in the first, and also in the second sence. First God looketh not af­ter him, he taketh no knowledge of him, as he doeth of those whom he hath any ca [...]e of, and so he is lost in the first signi­fication of the word, being out of the knowledge of him that was heretofore his keeper: for God vseth to say to such wicked men as he is depart, I know you not, workers of iniquitie. And secondly, God hauing brought his sin to remem­brance, and for those sinnes, hauing powred out a viall of wrath vpon him in this his great affliction, hee is lost in the second signification of the word, as a thing perished, for hee feeleth himselfe [...]are to destruction, appointed to de­struction, [Page 390] & alreadie deliuered into the hands of cruel executioners, by the iust sentence of God to be destroied. Thus doeth hee thinke himselfe euery way lost.

This were a heauie case if it were so,If ye were euery way lost there i [...] remedie. But let it be granted to be so, yet there is hope of recouery for thy lost soule; for there is one that will seeke thee, & find thee wheresoeuer thou art, and will bring thee home into the knowledge, possession & custodie of thy first keeper, so to recouer thee from being lost in the first sence and meaning of that word. And there is o [...]e that will saue from de­struction those that are ready to perish, and thee among others; that will deliuer from damnation those that are already iudged, and thee as well as others, and that wil pluck out of the iawes of death, out of the snares of Satan, and out from the gates of hell, those that were ready to be swallowed vp and deuoured as a pray, and thee assoone as others, so to re­couer thee from being lost in the sense and meaning of the word. And this see­ker is of that diligence & wisdome that he cannot be disappointed of finding: & [Page 391] this sauiour is of that goodnes & pow­er, that he will not, and cannot be letted from sauing whom hee in­tendeth to deliuer▪ of whom the Apostle to the Hebrewes saith. He is able perfect­ly Heb. 7. 25. to saue them that come vnto God by him, seeing hee euer liueth to make intercession for them.

And who is this diligent seeker thatIesus Christ doeth seeke and saue them that were lost. can and will so certainely finde? & who is this mightie Sauiour that can and will so certainely preserue? it is the Lord Iesus Christ, the sonne of God, the saui­our of mankind, of whom the Euange­list (yea himselfe, the Euangelist onely reporting his words) saith; The sonne of Luke. 19. 10. man is come to seeke and saue that which was lost. So that if any man be gone a­stray, if any man bee out of the know­ledge and care of God his keeper, Iesus came to seeke him. And if any were worthy to perish, and already by sen­tence giuen adiudged to perish (& such is the condition of all men) Iesu [...] is come to saue him. And it is worthy obserua­tion, that he saith, The sonne of man came to seeke, the sonne of man came to saue: as making this seeking and sauing of them [Page 392] that were lost, to be the onely end (as in­deed it was) of his comming into the world. For this cause was he conceiued by the Holy Ghost, for this purpose was he borne of the Virgin Mary, to this end, and for the effecting of this saluati­on, was the sonne of God made the sonne of man; yea for this, and for this onely, did he fulfill all righteousnes, and yeelded obedience, euen to the death of the crosse, that he might seeke and find them that were gone astray, and that he might recouer and saue them that were lost, so that hee that shall deny these things to be truely intended, and fully performed by Iesus Christ, doeth make idle and fruitlesse the incarnation and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, and de­nieth the vertue of the death and bloud­sheding of the sonne of God. Let our afflicted sinner consider these things, and set his heart on worke to meditate vpon them, and it will come to passe, that whereas before, the remembrance of his lost estate was cause of heauines vnto him, the same very condition shall giue him comfort and hope, and saue him as an argument to proue him to be [Page 393] one of those, for whom Iesus Christ died to saue them. For if it be true, that the lord Iesus came to seeke, and to saue them that were lost, and be also true that [...]e is lost; then it must also be true, that Iesus Chist came to seeke & to saue him. The Lord Iesus said to the woman of C [...]naan, I am not sent but vnto the lost Mat. 15. 24. [...]eepe of the house of Israel, Vnto those lost sheepe hee was sent and to none o­ther. So that if our afflicted sinner see himselfe to be a lost sheepe, there is hope that the Lord Iesus was [...]ent for yea, it is most sure, that he was sent for him, sent to seeke him, sent to saue him: whereas if he had a proud opinion of himselfe, as had the Pharises, that he were not as o­ther men (for so gloried hee, saying, O God thanke thee▪ that I am not as other Luke. 18. 11 men) or if he nourished a careles opini­on of himselfe as doe the contemners of the world, that he were in no danger (for so doe they flatter themselues, saving, Wee are deliuered, though we haue done all Iere. 7. 10. these abominations.) Then Iesus indeed should not profit him, for hee came for none such. He saith of himselfe, I am not come to call the righteous, but the sin­ners [Page 394] to repentance. In this very name therefore that he is a lost sinner, a sinner worthy to perish, he may comfort him­selfe in Iesus Christ, and hope to be saued by him, that came to seeke and saue that which was lost.

Let me in a few words briefely andThe estate of a Christi­an, how it is in himselfe. plainely, open to this sinner his estate, what it is in himselfe, and what it is in Iesus Christ, that as in himselfe hee seeth cause of griefe and feare, so in Iesus Christ he may see cause of hope and re­ioicing if hee looke into himselfe, and consider what he is by birth, what he is by kind, and what he hath manifested and declared himselfe to bee by his life and conuersation, surely hee is and shall find himselfe to be a lost creature, and a child of wrath, for he shall find nothing in himselfe, but sinne deseruing eternall dest [...]uction: he shall find that hee was conceiued in sinne, that he was borne in iniquitie, and that he liued in sinne, not onely in the daies of his first ignorance, whi [...]e sinne reigned without resistance in his mortall body, but also in the daies of knowledge, sinne yet remaining, and misleading him into many errors: and it [Page 395] [...] thus, not onely in him, but euen in all [...]en, and among all others, euen in the elect of God, in Gods owne peculiar people, euen they, at home, and in them­selues are lost creatures, dead in sinnes, and by sinnes deseruing eternall death. The Angell appearing to Ioseph, said vn­to him of the child conceiued in the wombe of the Virgin Mary, Shee shall Mat. 1. [...]. [...]ing forth a sonne, and thou shalt call his [...]me Iesus▪ for he shall saue his people from their sinnes. Those whom his father gaue vnto him, therefore called his people, them he saueth, & he saueth them from their sinnes. By which speech it is plain­ly intimated, that euen they, considered in themselues, are lost by their sins. And so is our afflicted sinner; considered in himselfe, with respect to his kind, to his birth, and to his life, hee is lost, hee is a child of perdition, and therein hee hath cause to be humbled, and to feare the iustice of God.

But let not the sinner gaze so long vp­on this his naturall estate, that his da­zled eies should after be, vnable to look any higher, such a view of this our natu­rall condition, as may serue to beate [Page 396] downe the pride of flesh and bloud, and to bring vs vnto true humilitie, and to the deniall of our selues before God, is sufficient. Let him therefore after consi­der him selfe in another, and view his conditiō & estate in Iesus Christ, by ver­tueAnd how it is conside­red in Christ, by vertue of his holy cal­ling. of his holy calling, & of his second birth (namely his regeneration) and hee shall find himselfe another man. He shall find, that God hath drawen him out of the loynes and wombe of beleeuing pa­rents, that inherited the couenant to the benefit of themselues, and of their seede after them in their generations for euer. That God admitted him from his very birth into the fellowship of the Saints, & marked, yea sealed him for his owne by the water of Baptisme sprinckled vp­on him in the name of the holy Trinitie, as one adopted by God the father, re­deemed by God the sonne, and from that time sealed vp vnto the day of full redemption by God the Holy Ghost. He shall find that God hath brought him vp in the bosome of his Church, the Schole of eternall life, and in this Schole hath taught him, to know God and himselfe, God his creator, himselfe the worke of [Page 397] Gods hands, God his sauiour in Christ, and himselfe one of his saued people. He shall find that God hath put vpon him the name of his holy Sonne, & from the glorious title of the Messiah, which is by interpretation, the Christ, hath graced him with the title of a Christian, as a member and follower of that Christ. Yea [...]e shall find God out of his free loue [...]ath giuen vnto him his onely begotten sonne, that the obedience of Iesus Christ might be this sinners righteousnes, that the suffrings of Iesus Christ might bee this sinners ransome, and that the con­quest wonne by Iesus Christ might bee vnto this sinner a rich inheritance: that so Iesus Christ might be vnto this sinner wisdome, righteousnes, sanctification, and redemption: and that the sinner in Iesus Christ might bee wise vnto saluati­on, righteous by imputation, sanctified by regeneration, and fully redeemed to inherit saluation. He shall find himselfe to be now no more a stranger and foren­ner, but a citizen with the Saints, and of the houshold of God. He shall find for­giuenes of sinnes, peace with God and hope of euerlasting saluation. This is [Page 398] the condition of euery seruant of God in Iesus Christ. And herein he hath cause to looke vp, & to lift vp his head with com­fort and ioy. He that in himselfe is a lost sinner, is in Iesus Christ a saued Saint.

But thou saiest also that thou art a re­probate,Thou canst not affirme thy selfe to be a repro­bate, seeing it depends vpon the vnknowne counsell of God. and a viler sinner then many re­probates. This latter speech, namely, that thou art a viler sinner then many reprobates, may be pronounced, belee­ued, and graunted. But the first speech, namely, that thou art a reprobate, is nei­ther to bee pronounced by thee, nor granted by me, nor beleeued by any. The name of a reprobate is to be vnder­stood with reference, not vnto our na­turall corruption, which makes vs all children of wrath and worthy of repro­bation, but rather vnto the eternall and secret counsell▪ vnto the iust and holie purpose of God. And therefore the name signifieth not euery man that is a most vile sinner, but him that is ordai­ned by God from euerlasting, to perish iustly in and for his sinne, that God by declaring in him his power and his iu­stice, may be glorified in the worke of his owne hands, as of right belongeth [Page 399] [...]o him. This description of a reprobate [...] to bee prooued out of the words of [...]Paul, saying, What and if God would, to Rom. 9. 22. [...] his wrath, and to make his power [...]ne, suffer with long patience the ves­sels of wrath prepared to destruction. The [...]en (for their reprobation) are called vessels of▪ wrath: their reprobation is shewed, when it is said of them, that they are prepared to destruction: the end of their reprobation is signified to bee the glorie of God in the declaration of his iustice and power: when hee is said to suffer them with long patience, that when their ripe wickednesse calleth for vengance, hee might shew in them his wrath & power; where by Gods wrath, we are not to vnderstand any disturbed or disturbing passion, as that which we call wrath in man, but the holy and se­ [...]ere execution of his iustice vppon sin­ners, without respect of persons, to de­clare his dislike of the sinne that he doth punish. This is it that the Scripture cal­leth his wrath, euen his holie, euen, and most vpright and vnpartiall iustice: and for the manifestation of this his Iustice and power, that for it he may be hono­red [Page 400] among his creatures, hee doth in­dure these reprobates (sometime long in their sinnes) and in the end, doth de­stroy them, as hee had from euerlasting determined. And that it doth of right belong vnto God, and that he may glo­rifie his owne name by manifestation of his iustice and power, and may ap­point aforeha [...]d so to doe, the whole question in those words of the Apostle aboue alledged, and the whole discourse of the Apostle in that place doe plainly prooue it. For as the Potter hath power of his clay, out of the same lump, to take one peece to make a vessell for honou­rable seruice, & another peece to make a vessel▪ for baser seruice, the seruice of both being necessarie. So God that is the Potter and fashioner of mankinde, hath full power ou [...] of the same lump of humane flesh (made in the creation of Adam, and multiplied by the gift and power of procreation) to take one peece, and thereof to make a vessell of me [...]cie prepared vnto glory, and to take an other peece, and thereof to make a vessell of wrath prepared to destruction, both these seruices of the glory of the [Page 401] one, and the destruction of the other, being necessary and furthering to one holy end, which is the honour of God, in and among his creatures. Thus you heare what it is to be a reprobate, the name not hauing reference to our ori­ginall sinfulnes, which maketh vs all by nature children of wrath; but to the purpose of almighty God, seeking iust­ly his owne honour and glory, by and in his owne creature. How then can this afflicted sinner pronounce himselfe a re­probate, seeing the truth of that name [...]ightly vnderstood, dependeth not vp­on the knowne sinne of man, but vpon the vnknowne and secret purpose of God? Sure that speech is a presuming speech, wherewith he greatly wrong­eth himselfe, and which in humility and reuerence to God he must reuoke.

If the sinner for maintenance of thatThe sinner secketh to proue by orgument that hee is [...] reprobate▪ first bold and desperate speech, shall fur­ther add and say: I see in my selfe all [...]gnes of reprobation, and therefore not presumptuously, but iudiciously, that [...]s, from ground of reason I pronounce my selfe to bee a reprobate. For first, I [...] a slau [...]o sinne, I am wholly subiect [Page 402] to the dominion of it, it raigneth in my mortall body. And I finde no resisting grace against it in my immortall soule. Secondly, the wrath of God lieth heauy vpon mee, I am already vnder executi­on, the worme that neuer dieth begin­neth already to liue and sting most hor­ribly in my conscience. And what ma­keth or manifesteth a reprobate, but these two; his owne sinne deseruing de­struction, and Gods wrath working de­struction. And to manifest mee to be a reprobate, I haue prowdly committed sinne against God, and hee hath iustly powred out wrath vpon me. I haue rea­son therefore to pronounce my selfe a reprobate.

This bolde and desperate reason, toHis argu­ment an­swered and taken away. maintaine his former bold and desperat assertion, plainely be wrayes the nature of this temptation and burden of accu­sing thoughts and terror of conscience: it ceaseth not to accuse, and to inforce those accusations that it prefers, it wre­steth all things for euidence to increase feare. The things that he hath now last spoken, may be granted him to be true, that sin hath hitherto raigno [...] too pow­erfully [Page 403] in him, and that he hath sinned against God most grieuously, and that the wrath of God is fallen vpon him for that sinne. But the collection that [...]ee maketh and inferreth hereupon, as that therefore he is a reprobate, these be­ing signes & euidences of reprobation, that must not be granted vnto him. His argument as weake and of no good consequence must be denied.

For first, sin euen powerfully reig­ [...]ingSinne though dé­seruing, yet no argumet of reproba­tion. is no signe of reprobation, though euery child of man that is a reprobate, and that is appointed to destruction, doth afterward by his sinne deserue his reprobation and destruction, yet euery man whose sinne deserueth reprobation and destruction is not a reprobate and appointed to destruction. When thou [...]eest a man to wallow in sinne, thou maist be bold to pronounce him a wic­ked man, and of a wicked heart, for his wicked sinne wherein he liueth with de­light prooueth so much. But thou mai­est not therefore pronounce him a re­probate, for God may giue him repen­tance, and vppon repentance forgiue his sinne. And what God will doe to [Page 404] him thou canst not tell; and thou hast more cause to hope of Gods mercie, then pronounce of his iustice so long as this sinner liueth in the Church, and vnder the ministry of the Gospel, where God doth allow the meanes of repen­tance, and maketh daily offer of for­giuenesse of sinnes. God calleth some in their youth, and some in their age, as the housholder hired laborers to worke in his vineyard, some in the morning and beginning of the day, some at the eleuenth houre, when the Sunne was ready to set.

Therefore, whereas before in his ob­iectionThe sinnes of the elect may bee more vile, then the sinnes of the reprobate in our eies. hee had said, that hee was a viler sinner then many reprobates; that was granted to be true, and hee may be so, and yet no reprobate. For oft-times the elect of God doe sinne more grieuously (to the iudgement of man) then there­probate doe, and after obtaine repen­tance, which the reprobate doe not. To this end let vs compare together the sinnes of an elect child, and of a repro­bate, as the Scripture giues testimony of them. Saul was a reprobate, his end pro­ued him so to bee. Dauid was one of [Page 405] Gods elect, for the holy Ghost testifieth,Dauids sin and Sauls compared together. that he was a man after the heart of God. Looke into the sinnes of their liues, and it will appeare vnto our eies, that Da­uids sinnes were more vile then Sauls. Saul was commanded to stay the Ama­lechites, and to destroy them vtterly, both man and beast: in the execution of this iudgement of God, contrary to the commandement giuen him, he saued aliue Ag [...]g the King of the Amalechites, and the best of their kine and sheepe, and brought them home as a pray into the land of Israel. For the extenuatingM [...]ch may be said to ex [...]us Saul, that will seeme reasonable. of this disobedience, how many excu­ses (reasonable in our eies) might be al­ledged. First for the sparing of Agags life, it may be pleaded; Agag was a man, and it was humanity to saue a mans life, and being an enemy, it was noble mercy to saue an enemy, the cowardly and ti­ [...]erous heart neuer doe so: and being a King it was royall mercy to saue him, if he did it in reuerence to royall Maiesty. If he did out of politike respect, either to teach his owne subiects euer to reue­rence the person of a King, or to inrich himself and his kingdome with the ran­some [Page 406] of a King, it was a point of com­mendable wisdome. Then for the spa­ring of the fat cattell it might bee said, would you haue had him make war with flockes of sheepe, and heards of kine? That had been rather to play the part of a mad man, then of a noble warriour. And if they must be slaine, was it not better to kill them, some to day, and some to morrow, so as they might be meate for the people of God, then to kill them at once, and so to leaue their carkases to rot and stinke aboue the ground, and to be meate for dogs, and for the fowles of Heauen? And was there not many a poore man in Israel that was not worth a Cow, and many a poore Widdow in Israel that was not worth a sheepe, that might be inriched, at least releeued with this pray? Further, was it not meete that God, who had gi­uen them a notable victory against their enemies, should be remembred with sa­crifices of praise? And this pray would plentifully serue for that holy seruice, so that the Altars of God might smoke with burnt offerings, and yet the people of Israel not be impouerished, or in any [Page 407] measure burdened with the charge. These and such other excuses in the iudgement of man reasonable, though against an expresse commandement of God nothing worth might be alledged to extenuate the [...]ault of Saul.

Let vs now heare the recorded sinneDauids sin declared. of Dauid, and consider if any such rea­sonable excuse may be made to extenu­ate it, and whether his or Sauls will ap­peare vnto vs to be the viler sinne. Da­uid rose vp from his bed of sloth, where­on he had slept in the heat of the day, and walking on the roofe of his Palace, from thence hee saw a faire woman washing hirselfe in a Garden. Lust that common­ly accompanieth sloth, seazed vpon his heart, and hee began to desire that wo­mans company. And inquiring of hir, he learned that she was the wife of Vri­ [...], a valiant seruant of his, that was now abroad in battell in the seruice of Dauid Exo. 20. 17 against the Ammonites. To hir he sen­deth the messengers of his lust: she com­meth vnto him: and notwithstanding Gods commandement, whereof Dauid was not ignorant, thou shalt not couet thy neighbours wife, hee did couet hir. And [Page 408] notwithstanding the commandement, which also he well knew, Thou shalt not Exo. 20. 14 commit adultery; hee committed adulte­ry, and did lie with hir. Shee conceiued by him in her husbands absence, shee sends him word of it. Now Dauid fea­ring the publike reproch among men that might light vpon him for this soule fact, studieth how to couer it, and sen­deth to the Campe for Vriah: entertai­neth him kindly all the day, and sendeth him away at night, hoping that hee would goe home to his owne house, and lie with his wife, and so couer the fault that Dauid had made. But Vriah hauing taken leaue of the King, went not home, but like a souldier takes vp his lodging among the Kings Guard, and visits not his wife. The King hearing this in the morning, staies him also that day, and makes him drunke at supper, hoping that being heated with wine, hee would de­sire to goe home to his wife, but hee a­gaine takes vp his lodging where he did the night before. Then Dauid seeing that this deuice would not helpe him, re­solued vpon a more wicked and cruell course, and sends Vriah to the Campe, [Page 409] and writes by him to Ioab, the Generall, that hee should place Uriah in the fore­front of the battell, and in the time of danger should with-draw all helpe from him, and leaue him alone in the middest of the enemies, that he might be smitten and die by their hands. And this com­mandement was by Ioab fulfilled at the next assault made vpon the City Rabbah, & Vriah was there slaine. Then was his wife a widdow, and free from all men; and Dauid takes her home to him, and shee became his wife. And thus he co­uered the shame of his first sinne, with a second, as bad, if not much worse. AndNo excuse can be made to extenu­ate the sin of Dauid. what honest man, that knoweth how he ought to keepe his vessell in holinesse and honour, and not in the lust of con­cupiscence, as the Gentiles doe which know not God, can frame any reasona­ble excuse for his adultery? And what sober man, that hath learned to walke honestly as in the day time, not in surfe­ting and drunkennesse, can excuse his fact in making Uriah drunke? and what charitable man, that tendereth the life of his neighbour, and knowes Gods ordi­nance, that he that sheddeth mans bloud [Page 410] by man shall his bloud be shed, can by any good words extenuate the sinne of his rraiterous murder? It may be that wantons, that riotous persons, and blou­dy-minded-mercilesse men will say, it was brauely done; but no man of conti­nency, of temperancy and of charity can excuse him. Surely the sinne of Saul and Dauid compared together▪ it appeareth to vs that Dauid sinned more vilely then Saul, in the act of their disobedience, howsoeuer for the heart yeelding to sin, much may be said for Dauid, that can­not be said for Saul. Which difference of their hearts appeared presently, when they were put in mind of their disobedi­ence by the Prophets Samuel and Na­than. For when Saul was challenged by these words of Samuel, Wherefore hast 1. Sam. 15. 19. thou not obe [...]ed the voice of the Lord, but hast turned to the pray, and hast done wic­kedly in the sight of the Lord? He denied the fact, maintained his deniall with ar­gument, and lastly being inforced to confesse himselfe a transgressour, yet hee did it faintly and neuer repented. But assoone as Nathan had said vnto Dauid, 2. Sam. 12. 9. Wherefore hast thou despised the comman­dement [Page 411] of the Lord: to doe euill in his sight? thou hast killed Variah the Hittite with the sword, & hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slaine him with the sword of the childrē of Ammon. He confessed it freely, grew into displeasure with himselfe for it, and heartily repented, making his humble praier vnto God for forgiuenes, & thereupon penned the one & fiftieth Psalme in testimonie of his repentance; his heart was not so wicked as was the heart of Saul: but in the outward face his sinne to the eies of the world was more vile then the sinne of Saul. ShallDauid was not there­fore a re­probate be­cause he sin­ned more vilely then a reprobate. Dauid therefore say, I am a reprobate, for I haue sinned more vilely then Saul that was a reprobate? this were first to step too presumptuously into to the throne of Gods iudgement. Secondly it were to be vnthankfull vnto God, for that faithfull and most constant loue of his, that euen with such sinnes was not extingushed. Thirdly it were to be vn­kind and iniurious to his owne soule, denying vnto himselfe the hope & com­fort that he might and ought to seeke in the infinite mercy of God: therefore though our afflicted sinner haue sinned [Page 412] more vilely then many reprobates, it followeth not that hee himselfe must therefore be a reprobate: and though they that be reprobates, doe by their sinnes after committed, deserue the damnation, whereunto by the decree of reprobation they are appointed, yet hee and others committing sinnes worthy of condemnation, are not therefore to be iudged reprobates: and his sinne though grieuous, (as he affirmeth it true­ly to be) is no signe nor euidence of re­probation.

Secondly hee alledgeth the wrath ofGods wrath vpon me for sinne is no euidence of reprobation God, now heauie vpon him for his sinne, to be another euidence of his reprobati­on: which likewise must not be granted. For if this should bee a true rule, that wheresoeuer Gods iust wrath falleth vp­on men for their sins, they vpon whom this wrath falleth should be reprobates, then would these great absurdities fol­low. First that all that suffer with Christ in this world should be reprobates. For there is no calamitie that falleth vpon men, in bearing whereof they become sufferers, but it falleth vpon them for their sinnes. And the calamitie so falling [Page 413] is a stroke of Gods wrath. For the first thing, that the calamities that make vs sufferers, fall vpon vs for our sinnes, the words of Ieremie are plain, saying, Wher­fore Lam. 3. 39. is the liuing man sorrowfull man suf­fereth for his sin: we suffer no calamitie, but our sinnes (deseruing more) hath brought that vpon vs. And for the se­cond thing, that the same calamitie com­ming vpon vs for our sinnes, is a stroke of the wrath of God, that is, of his holines abhorring sin, & of his iustice correcting for sin, appears by the words of the Pro­phet Micha, speaking thus of God, Hee Mica. 7. 1 [...]. retaineth not his wrath for euer, because mercy pleaseth him: he will turne againe, and haue compassion vpon vs, he will subdue our iniquities, and cast all their sinnes into the bottome of the sea. That is, for a while he punisheth in wrath the sinnes of his people, and after some short affliction indured, he forgiueth their sinnes, and receiueth them againe into fauour. In that saying of the Prophet, the worke of God in laying calamitie vpon his ser­uants for their sinnes▪ is called his wrath. So that all the euils that fall vpon men, which suffer with Christ in this world, [Page 414] come vpon them for their sinnes, and are the stroke of Gods wrath against sinne, (not to destroy, but to correct) there­fore if it were a true rule, which our af­flicted sinner speaketh, that where Gods wrath falleth vpon men for their sinnes, that wrath should be an euidence, of the reprobation of the person vpon which it is fallen, then those men which suffer with Christ in this world, should bee re­probates: which is most absurd and vn­true, for that suffering is rather an eui­dence of their election vnto saluation, because it is written, It is a true saying, 2. Tim. 2. 11 for if we be dead with Christ, wee shall liue with him: if we suffer, wee shall also raigne with him. But no reprobate shall reigne with Christ, that is the blessed prefermēt of them onely that are the elect of God.

Secondly, if all that beare the wrath of God for sinne were reprobates, and that wrath an euidence of their reproba­tion, then this absurditie would follow, that God should neuer bee displeased with his elect whatsoeuer they doe, & should neuer lay any iudgement vpon them, that might be interpreted to be an euidence of his wrath, and iust displea­sure [Page 415] against their sinnes. Whereas the contrary is most true, and God often lets his wrath fall heauily vpon his elect for their sinnes. To that end heare the words of Gods Church, speaking to the malignant company of her enemies, thatMicah. 7. 7. reioice at her trouble, I will look vnto the Lord, I will wait for God my Sauiour, my God will heare me. Reioice not against me, O mine enemie, though I fall, I shall arise; when I shall sit in darknes, the Lord shall be alight vnto me; I will beare the wrath of the Lord, because I haue sinned against him, vntill he plead my cause and execute iudgment for mee: then will hee bring mee forth vnto the light, & I shall see his righ­teousnes. The Church confesseth that she bare the wrath of God, shee confesseth that that wrath fell vpon her for her sinnes, and therefore promiseth to beare it patiently, because she bare it iustly, and she takes not that wrath of God for any euidence of reprobation, neither ceaseth to esteeme her selfe the chosen of the Lord, that shall inherit his fauour. And therefore she exerciseth her faith in looking vp vnto the Lord, and out of faith promiseth her selfe all gratious re­spect [Page 416] with God in her praiers, & shewes her selfe rich in hope, that God himselfe will in due time plead her cause, and bring her out of the darknes of her trouble into the light of ioy, and so magnifie his loue and fauour to her, that her aduersarie the malignant congrega­tion shalbe ashamed. Therefore certain­ly God doeth often let his wrath fall vp­on the elect for their sinnes, and the manifest strokes of Gods wrath cannot bee said to be infallible euidences and signes of reprobation, as our afflicted sinner affirmeth to his owne great hurt. And if hapily vpon hearing of these things thus spoken, his diseased mind should begin to cauill and to say, that if other iudgements and strokes of Gods wrath be not euidences of reprobation, yet that iudgement and stroke of wrath that is fallen vpon him is a plaine eui­dence of reprobation, his iudgement being accusing thoughts & a wounded conseience, the most heauie of all Gods iudgements, whereof Salomon saith, A Pro. 18. 14. wounded spirit, who can beare it? For that stroke is the beginning of intolerable punishment, it is the very gate of h [...]ll, i [...] [Page 417] is that worme that shall liue euer in the bosome of the damned, it is euen no o­ther then hell vpon earth. And why shold God set a mans sinnes against him in so terrible a manner as hee doeth in this temptation, but because his meaning is to condemne vs for our sinnes, & afore­hand to let vs see that hee shall doe it most iustly, our sinnes being so many and solothsome? against this cauill, and forThe parti­cular stroke of a woun­ded consci­ence is no signe of re­probation. the remouing of this offence from his heart, I will adde this vnto that that hath been already spoken, that God doeth lay euen this particular stroke of his wrath, namely a wounded conscience in the sight of sinnes, vpon his elect, and there­fore that wrath is no euidence of repro­bation. The prophet Dauid bore this stroke of Gods wrath, whereof he speak­eth thus, Thine arrowes haue light vpon Psal. 38. 2. [...], and thine handlyeth vpon me: there is nothing sound in my flesh because of thine anger, neither is there rest in my bones by reason of my sinnes: for mine iniquities are gone ouer my head, and as a weighty bur­den they are too heauie for me. Here was a stroke of the wrath of God, fot he com­plaineth, that Gods hand was heauie vp­on [Page 418] him, and that Gods arrowes had pierced him, and it was not a weake stroke, or slight touch, but forcible and fearefull, so that it made the whole man languish, and for the anguish of his soule his body also was consumed, and op­pressed with paine and feeblenes, so that neither in his flesh nor in his bones re­mained any soundnes. And what stroke of Gods wrath was it? but euen this par­ticular stroke of accusing thoughts, and of a wounded conscience by reason of sinnes that were so heauie a burdthen, that the vexation of them was his con­sumption? and was Dauid vpon whom this stroke of wrath fell, was hee a repro­bate? if he were, he was such a reprobate as the Lord Iesus Christ was (and no o­ther, nor otherwise) whom the builders refused & cast aside as vnfit for the buil­ding▪ but God made him the cheefe cor­ner stone, as Peter saith, This is the stone Acts. 4 11. cast aside of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. So in the king­dome of Israel, Saul, Doeg, and other busie doers, despised and cast aside the sonne os Ishai, but God did chuse him to build the kingdome of Israel. This [Page 419] therefore is most certaine, that euen this stroke of Gods wrath, when hee setteth our sinnes in order against vs, is no more a signe of reprobation, then any other stroke of Gods wrath whatsoeuer. This part therefore of his obiection, when he calleth himselfe a reprobate, is a bold and desperate speech, wherein he shews himselfe presumptuous against GOD, and vncharitable against himselfe, and whether he be a reprobate or not, hee ought not to pronounce himselfe to be one, the name of reprobation hauing re­ference vnto the vnknowne and secret counsell of God, not vnto the knowne and manifest sinne of man. And though our sinnes deserue reprobation, & Gods wrath falleth vpon them that are repro­bate, yet neither the sinne that wee are guiltie of, nor the wrath that is fallen vpon vs for that sinne (though it be this particular stroke of a wounded consci­ence) can be said to be arguments of re­probation.Our an­swers are such as will stand before Gods iudg­ment seate.

And whereas he saith that we deuise answers to his obiections, that cary shew of strength among men, but those his obictions are vnanswerable before [Page 420] God, and our deuised answers before him will be of no vertue. Let him know that the answers which wee haue made to his obiections, are all grounded vpon the word of God, by which word hee shall iudge all men, and all the causes of all men. As the Lord Iesus saith, The Iohn. 12. 48 word that I haue spoken, it shall iudge in the last day. And therefore our answers be­ing grounded vpon that word, shall stand as rules of trueth before the iudge­ment seat of God, when all the obiecti­ons that he hath made, growing onely from feare, and from a weake heart, distempered with a temptation of vn­beleefe, shalbe found to bee of no force. And with this assurance of the sufficien­cie of our answers, wee waite to heare what he can further obiect, why he may not hope for the forgiuenes of pardon­able sins, seeing Iesus Christ by his com­mandement hath giuen him leaue to aske forgiuenes of sinnes, and God the father of our Lord Iesus hath promised to grant forgiuenes of sinnes, as hath be­fore out of the word of God beene true­ly declared.

CHAP. XXVII.

A Fresh assault this afflictedAn eleuenth obiection. His sinne deserueth death, hee must die, & must doe the execu­tion vpon. himselfe. sinner maketh vpon vs, and against himselfe (for this fierie dart is not easily quenched.) And againe, he obiecteth most vnkindly, saying, My sinne deserueth death, and I must die: I haue wronged the Lord of life, I haue prouoked him to anger, and by his iust sentence I must not liue. Also I haue spent the daies of my life on earth so wickedly, that I must liue no longer: There the earth is ouer-loaden with my transgressions, and refuseth to beare the burden of them. And as for the life of heauen, it were folly and madnes in mee, yea it were shameles presumption in me, to hope for any fruition of i [...]. I know no other place of life but these two; earth where life is mortall, and heauen where life is immortall: and heauen will not admit me to liue there, and the earth hath indured my life too long. There­fore I must die. This is the sentence of God. The Prophet Ezekiel saith, The [Page 422] soule that sinneth it shall die. And theEzeki 18. 4 Rom. 6. 23 Apostle Saint Paul saith, The wages of sinne is death. Who can controule this iudgement of God? who shall open his mouth against it? I doe my selfe approue it. And therefore I am become my selfe an enemie to mine owne life, yea heauen doeth abhor it, the earth doeth loath it, it must not continue, to the offence of God and his Angels, to the greefe of the Church and all true members of it. And therefore I [...]hat heitherto haue had no care to serue and glorifie God wi [...]h the continuance of my life, will yet at the least and at the last serue and glorifie God with the end of my life, intending to be the executioner of Gods holy sen­tence vpon my selfe. So shall I cease to sinne any longer against God. As the dead cannot praise him, so the dead can not blaspheme him, and as they haue no place to doe well, so I thinke they haue no place to doe euill; and by such course I shall deliuer my selfe from this vio­lent temptation, I shall obtaine an end of my feare. Doth not Iob say of death and of the graue, The prisoners rest toge­ther, Iob. 3. 18. and heare not the voice of the oppres­sor, [Page 423] there are small and great, and the ser­uant is free from his master. There shall Ire [...] hauing put off this heauy burden. What greater oppressour can there be, then an accusing and condemning con­science? And there he saith I shall not heare the voice of the oppressor (O place to be desired, O sweet graue I long to be laied vp in thee) and am I not a seruant and a slaue to sinne? is it not now a most cruell and tyrannous master to me? and there I shall be freed from his torment­ing power. This being so iust in regard of God, so full of aduantage and ease vnto my selfe, it must be done, it shall be done, and I must do [...] it, yea I wil doe it; disswade mee not from so iust and so gainefull a course, wherein I am resol­ued.

O malice of Satan! this is thy voice,An appostro phe to Sa­tan. this is thy counsell in all the former ob­iections wherein thou hast beene a med­ler, thou hast shewed thy selfe; but in this thou exceedest thy selfe. Hee that knew thee not before, by this obiection may know thee to be as saint Peter calls thee, A roaring lion, that walketh about 1. Pet. 5. 8. seeking whom hee may deuoure. Heereby [Page 424] thou maiest be knowne to be as S. Iohn calls thee, the great dungeon, that olde Reue. 12. 9. serpent called the diuell and Satan, which deceiueth all the world. In this tempta­tion thou seekest to deuoure, but the prey shall be plucked out of thy iawes; in this thou thinkest to deceiue, but thy dangerous falshood shall be discouered and auoyded. The victorious Lion of the tribe of Iudah the roote of Dauid shall rescue and deliuer his seely sheepe. The Serpent that was lifted vp vpon the crosse shall b [...]uise thine head, and heale the wound that thou like a fiery serpent hast made. The Lord rebuke thee Sa­tan. The Lord tread thee downe vnder the feete of this afflicted sinner, and that shortly.

But thou, O sorrowfull sinner, hear­kenAnswer to this obiecti­on. to the councell of God; let not the serpent that deceiued our first parents, deceiue thee: stoppe thine eare against his lying words, and be ready to heare what shall be taught thee in the name of God. God saith by the Prophet, Heare Esay. 55. 3. & your soule shal liue. Heare, that thy soul may liue. Thou art vrged to desire deser ued death, thou art vrged, & yeldest with [Page 425] thine owne hands to hasten, his death. Thy resolution to hasten it seemeth to be grounded vpon these reasons. First thou hast wronged and prouoked to an­ger the Lord of life, and therefore de­seruest in his iustice to die. Secondly, thou hast burdened the earth (the place of mortall life) with thy sinnes, and art not worthy to liue any longer vpon the face thereof, and then to thinke that thou maiest liue in heauen (the place of immortal life) thou holdest to be sham­lesse presumption. Thirdly, thou holdest thy life to be loathsome (it is so to thy selfe) because it is offensiue to God and to his Angels, to the church and mem­bers thereof. Fourthly, because thou hast not serued and glorified God by the continuance of thy life, thou wilt serue and glorifie him by hastening the end of it. Fistly, thou hast multiplied sinne all the daies of thy life, and thou thinkest that thou shalt cease to sin if once thou be dead. Lastly, whereas thy life is full of feare sorrow and bitternesse, thou thinkest by death to be freede at once from all. These are the reasons vpon which thou groundest thy resolution to [Page 426] hasten thy death with thine owne hands, they may preuaile as reasons with them whom God hath left in the power of him, whom the Lord Iesus calleth, a Iohn 8. 44. murtherer from the beginning. But who­soeuer remaineth in the protection of the Lord and giuer of life, to him these allegations cary not the estimation of perswading reasons: o [...] if they beare any such estimation with them, yet God wil n [...]uer suffer them so to preuaile that they shal take effect, but he will preuent their execution as [...]e did with the affri­ted Gaoler of Philippi [...] [...]hom, being rea­dy to fall vp [...] his sword, when he per­ceiued the effects of the earth-quake, and feared that his prisoners were [...]led, the mercifull GOD preserued him by the voice of Paul.

My heart trembleth to thinke of this obiection, and it breaketh out beyond the bounds of my conceit, that thought the precedent obiection to haue beene the height of Sathans malice, and of this poore afflicted sinners danger. But this exceedeth all height: heere is extremity of malice in the tempter, heere is extre­mity of danger in the tempted. If the [Page 427] Deuill preuaile in this temptation, hee xedeth not to vse any other. And if the [...]ner giue place to this temptation, it is [...]othing worth to [...] and ouer come [...]lother. In answering this temptation, [...]il first examine the point that he saith [...]is resolued vpon, and then the rea­ [...]ons vpon which hee groundeth his re­solution.

The thing that he is resolued vpon, isThe iniqui­ty of the thing that he intendeth to doe. [...]o cut the threed of his own life, in plain [...]ords, he intendeth to kill himselfe. In the whole history of the Bible that con­ [...]neth the records belonging to the Church of God, and to the people that [...]tend to haue any knowledge of God, ho [...] many hath he heard [...] that did so? and what were they? in the first age ofIt is rare as being the height of al wickednesse the world that lasted from the creation to the sloud, sixteene hundred fifty and [...] yeares, we read of much wickednesse, [...]ow Kain vnnaturally killed his brother Habel, how Lamech transgressed Gods ordinance for mariage, and gloried in [...]is owne cruelty saying to his wiues in his wicked pride, I would stay a man in Gen 4. 23. [...] wound, and a young man in mine heart. We read of the carnal licenciousnesse of [Page 428] the men of the best line. How the sonnes Gen. 6. 2. of God saw the daughters of men that they were faire, and they looks them wiues of all that they liked. Yea of the whole race of mankind we reade that the earth was cor­rupt before God, for the earth was filled Gen. 6. 11. with cruelty, then God looked vpon the earth, and behold it was corrupt, for al flesh had corrupted his way vpon the earth. And their wickednesse was so vile in the sight of God, that hee repented to hane made man vpon the earth, and hee brought a floud vpon the earth, where with he de­stroied euery creature, in whose nostrels was the breath of life. And in all this time it is not read that any grew vnto this height of wickednes, to incroch so farre vpon the right of God, and to be so vnnaturally sinfull as to kill him selfe. In so many yeares the Deuill that was a murderer from the beginning could not preuaile so far among the most wicked, as to perswade any to lay violent hands vpon himselfe. This wickednesse was then vnknowen from the floud to the natiuity of our Lord Iesus Christ, for the space of two thousand three hundred and eleuen yeares, wee read of horrible [Page 429] wickednesse, of warre among nati­ [...]s, of the tyranny of Nimrod, of [...]e building of Babel, of the vnclea­ [...]esse of the Sodomites, of the slaughter of the Sichemites, of the tyranny of Pha­ [...], of the sinne of the Cananites, of the [...]bellion of Korah, of the couetousnesse [...] Balaam, of the sornication of Zimri, [...] infinit vngodlinesse in euery age of [...], in euery generation; but of this [...]ind of vnnaturalnesse, for men to lay [...]iolent hands vpon themselues, we haue [...] few examples. Saul fell vpon his1. Sam. 31. 4. owne sword and killed himself, because [...]e would not come aliue into the hands of the Philistims that preuailed against [...]im in battell, and his Armour-bearer [...]couraged by his Lords example did [...]e like vnto himselfe. And not many [...]eares after, Ahitophel the great coun­ [...]ller2 Sam. 17. 23. that followed Absolom, vpon dis­content left Absolom, went home to his [...]ne house, and hanged himselfe. We [...]ad of a fourth whose name was Zimri, 1. King. 16. ▪ 18. [...]at being besieged in Tirzah, and not able to defend himselfe and the place, [...]ent into the Kings Palace, and setting the house on fire, burned himselfe, and [Page 430] these are all that the Scripture recordeth guilty of this impiety, for we are not to number Sampson among them, whoseIud. 16. 30. purpose was not to kill himselfe, but to execute the iudgement of God vpon the Philistins, which was a worke of his cal­ling, in the faithfull and zealous perfor­mance whereof hee lost his life. And I wittingly passe ouer the history of Ra­zis▪ 2. Mach. 14. 41. that fell on his sword and slew him­selfe▪ that he might not come aliue into the hands of them▪ whom [...] sent [...] to take him, leauing the credit of that History to the authority of the writer. Whom yet if wee adde to the former, the number is not much increased by him. So few they were in so many yeeres, with whom the ancient murde­rer could [...] to make them ene­mies of their owne [...]. And if we con­sider what manner persons they were with whom he did so far preuaile, their wickednesse will se [...]e to warne any man that hath any dram▪ either of piety or wisdome, or care of his owne credit, not to put himselfe into the company and ranke of them. Saul was a man en­uious, traiterous, perfidious, cruell and [Page 431] profane. His enuy appeared in this, that hee hated Dauid because the Lord pros­pered him, and because the people lio­ [...]oured him, for that and for no other cause did hee seeke to take away his life. His traiterous minde appeared in this, that vnder pretences of loue, & sh [...]wes of the greatest fauour hee sought to kill Dauid, giuing his daughter Michol to Dauid to be his wife, that she might be the traine to destroy him. How persidi­ous and false of faith he was, appeared in this, that often giuing his promse to Da­uid to doe him no harme, and giuing it into him aduisedly, vpon sight▪ and proofe of Dauids innocency and faith to him, he yet euer brake it, and vppon euery the least opportunity, went out a­gainst him with his Army to take him. His cruelty appeareth in this (besides o­ther1. Sam. 22. 9. &c. proofes thereof) that vpon the re­port of Doeg, telling him that Ahimelech the Priest had asked counsel of the Lord for Dauid, and had giuen him victuals, and the sword of Goliah, hee sent for Ahimelech, and all the Priests of his fa­thers house, euen fowre-score and fiue1. Samuel. 2 [...]. 19. men, and caused them all to be slaine, [Page 432] and destroied also Nob, the City of the Priests where Ahimelech dwelt, [...]miting with the edge of the sword, both man and woman, both child and suckling, both Oxe and Asse, and sheepe with the edge of the sword, in most barbarous and inhumane cruelty. How profane hee was without due feare and reuerence of God, the for­mer act done vpon the Priests of the Lord without regard of the seruice whereunto they were separated to mi­nister at the Altar of the Lord, doth plainly show. And his preuenting the time appointed of God in offering his Sacrifice, when the people were scatte­red from him, and Samuel was not come vnto him. But chiefly his profanenesse appeared in consulting with the Witch at Endor. As it is written of him, Saul 1. Sam. 28. 7. said vnto his seruants, seeke mee a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may goe to her, and aske of her: and his seruants said to him, behold, there is a woman at Endor that hath a familiar spirit, then Saul changed himselfe, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, coniure unto [...] [Page 433] by the familiar spirit, and bring me him vp whom I shall name vnto thee. This is an [...]sallible argument of a most profane heart▪ in times of trouble and danger to [...] helpe of the Deuill, to place hope in him, to regard his word and answer. These things ought to bee done vnto God onely, his helpe onely should be sought in the time of danger, in his mer­ [...]y and truth onely wee ought to trust, [...] to giue credit to his word which shall stand for euer, and from the God of truth to [...] for counsell to the father of lies, and from the Sauiour to flie for helpe to the destroyer is most profane and his Armour-bearer was not vnlike [...], for commonly such as the master is, such wil the seruant be, such as the King [...], such wil the Courtier be. As for Achi­tophel, he was a great states-man, but he was also a great traitor: hee was very wise in matters pertayning to rule, but he was also very wicked. He assisted the subiect against the King, that was trea­son: he assisted the sonne against the fa­ther, that was vnnaturall treason: he as­s [...]sted a wicked sonne, proud and bloudy [...], against a godly father, euen a­gainst [Page 434] religious and holy Dauid, this was impious treason. Zimri likewise was a traitour against his Master Elah, whom he [...]lew in the second yeare of his reigne, and inuaded the kingdome of Israel. Such were the men with whom the an­cient murderer preuailed in three and twenty hundered yeeres, few in num­ber, and men of most wicked hearts and liues. And shal our afflicted sinner thinke to match himself with such forlorne mē. In wickednesse so rare will he be so for­ward? and with men so vile will hee ioyne? for the time after the comming of the Lord Iesus in the flesh, wee haue record in holy Scripture onely for sea­uenty yeares. In these yeares we read of much wickednesse, of the rage of the Iewes in crucifying the Lord Iesus, of the persecution of Saul, wherein Steuen was stoned, of the persecution of Herod wherin Iames was slaine with the sword. Of the malice of the Iews in euery place forbiding the Apostles to preach the Gospell to the Gentiles. And of their endlesse malice against Paul being now conuerted and become a witnesse of Ie­sus. And among all the inraged sinners [Page 435] of this time, in whom the prince of this [...]orld exercised his power most impe­ [...]ously. We neade but of one [...]hat [...] [...]iolent [...]ands vpon himselfe, euen [...] the Apostle, and hee is marked out [...]y the [...]nes of [...] [...]raitor, a [...] [...]nd [...] child of per [...]ion, so [...] this [...] q [...]itie in compar [...]son of other [...], [...] so incurably [...]nd not or [...] [...]uill [...] [...] these men in comparison, of other [...]. And shall our poore sinner [...] to increase this number, [...]nd to [...] [...] if not to [...] these m [...]n [...]of the sinne (wherein the [...] [...]eemeth to haue some modestie, [...] [...]ring to (all [...] many to such [...] wickednesse) and the [...]inqui [...]e of the [...] (as if the [...] though [...] i [...] [...] to tempt any to a great wickednesse, but such as [...] out [...]unne his allurements by [...] owne forwardnesse in sinne) let [...] things stay the resolution of our [...], and make him feare to executeIt is the excesse of crueltie without all mixture of charitie. [...] iniustice vpon himselfe.

In which fact (to make al hearts de­ [...]) there is the extreamest height of all cruelty, without all mixture of [Page 436] charitie on mercy▪ the thiefe that mur­dereth by the high-way side, is cruell, yet in his cruelty there i [...] mixture of some charity, for [...]e intendeth his owne supposed good, in seeking spoyle to to maintaine his life. More cruell is the tyrant that sheddeth innocent bloud, and presenteth vnto death Gods Saint [...]. As [...] sh [...]d innocent bloud excee­ding [...]. [...]. 21. 16 much, [...]ill [...] replenished Ierusalem from corner to corner. And [...]s Herod stretched forth his hands [...]exe certaine Acts 1 [...]. 1 of the Church, and hee killed Iames the brother of Iohn with the sword. Great [...] this cruelty that is maintained by po­wer; and count [...] by authoritie, and false show of iustice▪ Yet is there in this [...] mixture of charitie. For such ty­rants suppose them whom they kill to b [...] enemies, either to their religion, or to their rule, for defence whereof they vse their cruelty. Greater is the cruelty, when vnder pretences of loue & peace murders are committed. As when those two seruants of Ish [...]oseth pretending [...]. S [...]m. 4. 6 trade as Merchants, Rehab and Baanah his brother came into the middest of the house, as if they would haue wheate, and [Page 437] they [...] him vnder the fift robb [...] and [...] ▪ For when they came into the house, [...] slept on his bed, in his bed-chamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and [...] [...]eaded him, and tooke his head, and [...] them away through the plaine all the [...]ght. And when Ioab tooke A [...]er a side i [...] the gate to speake with him, peaceably, 2. Sa. 3. 27. [...] smote him vnder the fift ribbe, that he bed, for the bloud of Asael his brother. Heere was great treason, heere was cru­elty couered with pretences of loue and [...]eare. Yet in this cruelty there was some mixture of loue. For the two bre­ [...]ren that slew Ishboseth, did it for Da­ [...] sake as they affirmed. For when they had slaine him, They brought the 2. Sam. 4. [...] head of Ishboseth vnto Hebron, and said i [...] the King, behold the head of Ishboseth S [...]uls sonne thine enimy, who sought after, thy life, and the Lord hath auenged my Lord the King this day of Saul and of his [...]ede. And either they bare this loue to Dauid, to free him from an enemy as they pretended, or else they did it out of loue vnto themselues, hoping to re­ceiue some reward at Dauids hand for their seruice. And the fact of Ioab in [Page 438] murdering Abner was out of loue t [...] Asa [...]l his brother whome Abner had killed before. This their crueltie was exceeded by the murder committed by Cain, in killing his brother Abel, wher­in it cannot be denied, but there was loue vnto himselfe, for this was the quarrell, it grieued him that his bro­ther was accepted in his sacrifice, and hee refused. Heerein hee held himselfe wronged, and intended that way to doe himselfe right. We reade of a crueltie exceeding this, in a degree against na­ture aboue the murder of brothers. For when Senacherib was returned from the land of Israel to Niniue, on a day when [...]. K [...]. 19. 37. he entred into the Temple of Misroch his god, Adramelech and Sharezer his sons slew him with the sword. The sonnes of his loines that should haue beene the staffe of his age, and the guard of his person against his enemies, became his mortall enemies, they that receiued their life by propagation from him, and had not beene, if he had not first beene, they vnnaturally requited him, and spoiled him of his life, and did to their vttermost extinguish his being. What [Page 439] heart of man abhorreth not these cruel­ties? and yet in all these, there is a mix­ture of some loue (I confesse a wicked loue, yet some loue) and some purpose they haue to benefit some, by making their life more happy: themselues at least, and their owne life, if no others. But in the fact of Saul, Achitophel, and Iudas, and such like persons that lay violent hands vpon themselues, there is no intent of doing good to others, no no [...] of making their owne life more comfortable or happie, they are no friends to other men, and they are grea­test enemies to themselues, where no other loue remaineth in wicked men, yet selfe loue remaineth, and perswadeth them things beneficiall to themselues. But in this finne where no loue to other men appeareth, there is loue least of al to themselues, while they worke their owne destruction. What could thy eni­my desire to doe more vnto thee, then thou dost vnto thy selfe? What could iu­stice by the hand of the Magistrate in [...]nishing? What could violence by the hand of the cruel in reuenging, do more [...]nto thee then thou dost vnto thy selfe? [Page 440] Could the Philistims haue done anie more to Saul then kill him? & to escape their violence he killed himself, seeking no other remedy of the mischiefe, then by throwing himself into the mischiefe? could Dauid preuailing against Abso­lom, haue done any more to Achitophel then to take away his life? and to escape the stroke of Dauids iustice, he tooke a­way his owne life himselfe, preuenting the iudgemēt of another that he feared, by pronouncing & executing the same iudgement himselfe vpon himselfe. If wee iudge of the affections by the acti­ons of men, and guesse what the heart desired by that which the hand hath done (and there is no surer rule, for the Lord Iesus saith, By their fruits yee shall Matt. 7. 20 know them) yea may we say, that where hatred made the Philistims enemies to Saul, and Iustice gaue power to Dauid in all seueritie to take away Achitophels life: neither hatred in the Philistims, nor iustice in Dauid, could make them to be greater enemies and more dange­rous, then Saul and Achitophel were vn­to themselues, for they made haste to doe the euill vnto themselues, that the [Page 441] others came more slowly to doe: for though the Philistims made hast to kill Saul, yet Saul made more hast to doe it then the Philistims could: and whereas Dauid perhaps in his mildenes might haue bin intreaded to spare Achitophels life, Achitophel like a cruell iudge hating himselfe, made hast by speedy execution to preuent all pardon whom loueth hee that loueth not himselfe? whose friend can he be, that in this manner and mea­sure is his owne merciles enemie? Goe then, and be more cruell then euer was murdering theefe, oppressing tyrant, bloudy Cain, or Senacheribs vngracious impes, goe and be more cruel then any cruel beast, that though it be an enemie to the life of other creatures, yet is a re­solut defender of it owne life, if thou striue for the name and shame of most cruel, yea more cruel then man or beast (I will ad also, or then diuel, for the di­uels studie not to doe themselues hurt) then goe and doe that violence that thou intendest against thy selfe, but if thou be willing to let the cruellest of men, the fiercest of beastes, yea the di­uels themselues to goe before thee in [Page 442] merciles crueltie, then preserue [...] owne life, if thou or any for thee say, thou doest it out of loue to thy selfe, intending thereby to preuent future euils. The vanitie of this speech shall be shewed when we come to the last reason whereupon thou groundest thy godles resolution.

There is not onely merciles crueltieIt is the losse of all patience & of faith. in this sinne of selfe murder. But there is also totall want of those two cardinal Christiā vertues, that belong to the time of affliction namely of patience & faith, the Lord Iesus requirs no more in vs for our aduantage at that time then these two, remembring faith before patience, and saying, Come vnto me all yee that are Mat. 11. 28 wearie and laden, take my yoke on you, and learne of me, that am meeke and lowly in heart, Hee requireth faith in the first words come vnto me. He would haue vs come, Non pede sed fide, Not with our foote but with our faith, And nonpassus sed precibus, not with our shifting steppes, but with our constant praiers. His mea­ning is not that wee should set our feete within his courtes, but rather that we should with hope present our desires [Page 443] before the throne of his grace, for this is the work of faith to draw neere to Gods mercy seate. And he requires patience in the next words, Take my yoake on you, Let there be no murmuring nor grudg­ing against the yoake that God offreth to lay vpon your shoulders, spurne not against it, but take it meekely vpon you, & learn to submit your selfe vnto it. And Saint Paul requires no more in time of troubles, but these vertues of patience & faith, remembring patience before faith, saying, Let your patiente minde be knowen Phi. 4. 5. vnto allmen, the Lord is at hand and saith in the next words be nothing carefull but in althings let your request bee shewed vnto God in praier and supplication with giuing of thankes. He requireth patience in the first words plainely, Let your patient mind be knowen vnto all men, and he requireth faith in the next words; describing faith by her effects and saying. Bee nothing carefull but let your requestes in all things be shewed vnto God in praier. Vnto these vertues of patience and faith continued and practised in the time of trouble, when we are wearied with our long and laden with our heauie burdens, both [Page 444] Iesus the Lord and Paul his minister doe promise and assure all deliuerance and case. The Lord Iesus in these words, I Mat. 11. 28. will refresh you, and yee shall find rest vnto your soules. And the Apostle Paul his minister in these words. The peace of Phil. 4. 7. God which passeth all vnderstanding shall preserue your hearts and mindes in Christ Iesus. What canst thou require more in thy hottest conflictes, then to be refresh­ed by Iesus Christ? What canst thou de­sire in the greatest load of thy soule but to be eased of thy burden? what canst thou wish and long for more then this in thy greatest vexation, that the peace of God that passeth vnderstanding should preserue thy heart and mind in Iesus Christ? and this is promised by Christ the trueth and by Paul the witnes of trueth, to them that in their troubles doe suffer with patience & pray in faith. But thou in this thy desperate resoluti­on hast lost all patience, and cast away thy faith, for if thou hadst patience thou wouldst not bee vnwilling to indure Gods visitation, and to suffer his good pleasure: and if thou hadst any faith in God thou wouldest trust to his helpe [Page 445] and with much comfort waite for the day of saluation. Consider the qualitie of this sinne, and thou shalt see, that it doeth more spoile thee of thy helps, and makes the more naked of all good co­uering (if more may be) then were our first parents spoiled and made naked by the fraud of the serpent in the Garden. For patience and faith beeing the coue­ring of the soule for such stormie times, thou hast lost all this cloathing: thou re­fusest to bee refreshed by Iesus Christ while thou refusest to hold the course, wherein hee promiseth to refresh thee. thou refusest to be eased by the help of his strong hand, whilst thou refusest the course in which he promiseth [...]ase. Thou [...]stest from thee that peace of God, of inestimable price by which thy heart and mind should bee preserued in Iesus Christ, while thou refusest the meanes by which that peace is to be obtained, how [...]comely is it for the creature to be im­patient at the worke of his Creator? how disordered a thing is it that the professed Christian should faile to put his trust in Christ his Sauiour? a greater error then this into which thou runnest, it is [Page 446] not possible for any man to fall into this is to say to the iudge whom we haue of­fended, I will indure no chastisment at thy hands: this is to say to the redeemer that is readie to saue vs, I despise thy sal­uation & rather make choice to perish. There is a madnes of the bodie when the braine is distempered: but verily this is the madnes of the soule running into ruine: and while thou art yet sober, wilt thou wittingly run mad, foreseeing the mischiefe that will follow?

Besides consider whose thy life is, whoIt is against the right of God who onely is Lord of life & to whom onely the issue of death ap­pertaine. quickned thee at the first, who preserued thy life heitherto, who hath numbred thy dayes and appointed thy time, to whom the seruice of thy life belongeth to vse while he pleaseth, to whom the issues of death doe appertaine, and who hath the keyes of Hell and of Death, and in whose handes the rule of all these things remaine th [...] so sh [...]lt thou discerne whether thou haue any power & autho­rite or no to meddle in this busines. Didst thou appoint the beginning of thine owne life? Didst thou fashion and quickē thy selfe in thy mothers wombe? doeth not the Prophet say, speaking vn­to [Page 447] God, Thine hands haue made me and Psal. 19. 73. fashioned me. He confesseth god to be the work master, himselfe to be Gods work, wherein hee did no more then the pot doeth, that taketh not his owne shape, but receiues it from the potter. Hereof he speaketh more fully in another place. Know yee, that euen the Lord he is God, he Psal. 100. 3. [...]th made vs. and not we our selues. And wilt thou pull downe the building that God hath set vp: go to then; and pull downe heauen which God hath spread, [...]owle it vp in a bundle and cast it into the deepe, scatter in the ayre the water of the sea, and fling abroad the drops of it till it be drie: pound the earth into [...]st and raise a mightie winde to scatter the same, that the place of it may bee sound no more. If thou haue a purpose to destroy that God hath made, and wouldest oppose thy hand in destroying against the hand of God in building, at­tempt some of these things and try thy strength, that thou maiest suruiue thy fact, and liue to reape the glory of it. If these things be to great for thee, then cease to hold this conceit, to attempt the pulling downe of that which God [Page 448] hath built vp, oppose not thy selfe a­gainst his worke, especially in pulling downe the frame of thine owne life, where thou must needes perish with thine owne worke, & not liue to glorie in that that thou hast done. And as God made thee at the first a liuing wight, so it is he that hath preserued thee all thy time, in the feeblenes of thy insancie, in the carelesnes of thy youth in the rash­nes of thy riper yeares, all which seasons of thy life, made thee subiect to many decaies, thorough their proper frailties. But God made thy feeble infancie strong with his strength: he made thy ignorant and carelesse youth aduised and wise by his wisdome: he made thy rash and hold manhod to be safe through his proui­dence. He that keepeth Israel and neither slumbreth nor sleepeth, it is he that hath kept thee. The Prophet speaketh thus vnto God in one of the Psames. Thou Psal. 22. 9. didst draw me out of the wombe, thou gauest me hope euen at my mothers breastes: I was cast vpon thee euen from the wombe thou art my God from my mothers belly. By which words hee giueth vs to vnder­stand that the same God that gaue vs [Page 449] life in our mothers wombe, is hee that keepeth vs from the wombe to the graue, he preuenteth dangers, he giueth [...]oode, hee healeth our sicknes, hee dis­apointeth our enemies, he is our guard to defend vs, he is our shield and buckler to saue vs from all hurt. He hath done this for thee for thy conception vnto this day: and wilt thou in one hower at­tempt to ouerthrow and destroy that, which with so much care God hath che­rished so long? wilt thou be hatefull to oppose thy selfe against his loue? wilt [...]ou be maliciously vnthankefull to op­pose thy selfe against the worke of his fatherly care? while hee is desirous to keepe thee in safetie, wilt thou striue (more then all the world besides) to worke thine owne decay? The Angels in heauen, vnderstanding the care of God for thee, doe willingly pitch their [...]ents about thee, and refuse not for thy safety, to be are thee in their hands, and keepe thee in thy wars. The diuels of hell by Gods prouidence are kept off from thee as with a strong hedge, which they can neither clime ouer, nor breake tho­row, whereby they impeach not thy [Page 450] safety. And while the creator of all things remaineth thy keeper, the crea­tures are in league with thee, and thou liuest in pace among them, and while the worke of God that preserueth thy life, hath this power among all crea­tures, that the creatures of heauen will not attempt thy hurt, the creatures of earth doe not attempt it, and the crea­tures of hell cannot. Wilt thou alone vn­mercifully seeke to crosse the care of God in working thine owne woe? Then thou art worthy whom the heauenly creatures should abhorre, whom the earthly creatures should forsake, and the hellish creatures imbrace, receiued into their company, with this greeting, this is he whom God would haue kept; but against the loue of the Angels of hea­uen, against the peace of the creatures of the earth, and beyond the malice and power of vs Angels of darknes, hee hath destroied himselfe. Besides, it is God that hath assigned to euery one of vs the measure of our time, he hath appointed the number of our daies: our life did not begin till he appointed the first day of it, and so long it must last vntill hee [Page 451] say, this is the last day of it. No man did set downe for himselfe when he would come into the world: and no man must set downe for himselfe when he will goe out of the world. God sent vs in giuing vs life, when we came into the world: and God must call vs out of the world, taking away our life, when wee goe hence. It is the saying of Iob, Is there not Iob. 7. 1. [...] appointed time to man vpon earth: and [...] not his daies as the daies of an hireling? Man hath his time appointed to him, when it shall begin, when it shall end, he cannot lengthen it when the end com­ [...]th, and he ought not to shorten it be­fore the time be come. His daies are as the daies of an hireling; an hireling is entertained for so many daies, longer thē his couenant he may not stay, shorter then his couenant he ought not to stay: such is the life of man, hee is Gods hire­ling, for so many daies and yeares, God [...]ath hired him in this world, as in Gods vineyard, to worke in some honest cal­ling: when we haue serued out our time here, we may stay no longer, and till we haue serued out our time, we must serue so long. Thou wilt therefore be found [Page 452] to bee a fugitiue seruant from God, if thou depart his seruic: before thy time be full out. And that belongeth to God, and not to thee to set downe. The Pro­phet Dauid saith of God in one of the Psalmes, To the Lord God, belong the Psal. 68. 20 issues of death. To God it belongeth and not to man, to set downe and determine who shall die, when he shall die and by what meanes he shall die, he vseth some­time the hand of the magistrate, some­time the hand of the violent, and so en­deth one mans life (as we thinke) by counsell and worke of another man, but neuer did he giue licence to any man to kill himselfe. Hee hath forbidden mur­der by his commandement, Thou shalt Exo. 20. 13. not kill. He condemned it in C [...]ine from the beginning of the world, to whom hauing slaine Abel his brother, he said▪ Gen. 4. 10. What hast thou done? the voice of thy bro­thers bloud cries vnto me from the ground. Now therefore thou art cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to re­ceiue thy brothers bloud from thine hand▪ And after the floud when hee began a­gaine to replenish the earth with inha­bitantes, he made a law against murder, [Page 453] to restraine both man and beast from committing it, saying, Surely I will re­quire Gen. 9. 5. your bloud wherein your liues are: at the hand of euery beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, euen at the hands of a mans brother will I require the life of man. Who so sheddeth mans bloud, by man shall his bloud be shed: for in the image of God hath hee made man. So oftensiue vn­to God it is for a man (without warrant and authoritie) to kill any; because man was made in the image of God, a creature of vnderstanding, indued with excellent vertues of knowledge and righteousnes, with resemblance in these vertues to God himselfe, in the making of whom it pleased God to shew his ex­cellent power, his wisedome, and his mercy. No man, no beast can destroy this creature and bee innocent before God. It belongeth onely to him that gaue life to take it away; where he takes it away, who can giue it? and where he [...] hath giuen it who shall take it away. So that the whole rule of life must remaine in the hands of the Lord of life: who of himself saith, I kill, and giue life. ExceptDeu. 32. 39 thou canst doe both, attempt to doe nei­ther. [Page 454] First make a liuing man if thou canst, and then kill him whom thou ga­uest life vnto, thou shalt hurt no worke therein but the worke of thine owne hands. But if thou canst not giue life, presume not to take away life, thou shalt therein violate the worke of another; and if thou maist not kill any other, thou maiest not kill thy selfe, one God made thee and them: and if thou shalt be guil­tle of bloud in killing thy neighbour, thou shalt be guiltie of bloud in killing thy selfe: if thou maiest not touch the life of thy neighbour, thou maiest not touch the life of thy selfe. When Elias was weary of his life, being persecuted by Iezabel, hee said vnto God, It is 1. King. 19. 4. inough O Lord, take my soule, for I am no better then my fathers. Hee desired to be out of this present euill world, hee was wearie of the trauels and dangers of it: did he therefore kill himselfe; did he lay violent hands vpon his body, & let out his soule before his time? No: such thoughts were far from him, he remem­bred that God had placed his soule in that earthly Tabernacle, and he intrea­teth God to set his soule at libertie. Hee [Page 455] held his hands, howsoeuer his heart was affected. So doe thou: hold thy hands from any fact of violence, and lift them vp with thy heart vnto God in heauen, and desire him to take thy soule when hee thinkes good. When the Apostle Paul was in a streight betwene two, and wist not whether he should desire life to continue in the world, or death to goe out of the world, because his life should be profitable to the Church, but his death gainefull to himselfe: he expressed the inclining of his heart to death for his owne aduantage in these words, De­siring Phil. 1. 23. to be loosed, and to bee with Christ, which is best of all. His reward was in heauen, he desired to obtaine it: his re­deemer was in heauen, hee desired to be with him: and because hee could not come to inioy his reward, and to be with his redeemer, except by death he should passe out of the world, therefore he was willing to depart, and to that end to be loosed and set at libertie from his flesh. But did hee incline to set himselfe at li­bertie, to loose the bands of his owne life, by which his soule was tied and fast bound, to the fellowship of his body? [Page 456] no: he desired to bee a patient, not an a­gent, to be a sufferer, not a doer in this business: his words are, Desiring to be loo­sed. Not desiring to loose my selfe. This he longed, and this he waited for, and in time obtained it. In these men be­hold and see, how to craue and de­meane thy selfe, learne of Elias & Paul learne of them that feare God: learne not of Saul and Iudas, learne not of wicked men, mē that went astray intheir doings.

And tell mee if at any time thy lifeWill thou loose thy life for thy owne plea­sure that neuer wert willing to loose it for Gods sake. was so vile in thy sight, and the pleasure and glory of God so deare vnto thee, that thou wert content and desirous to giue thy life vnto God, to put it in ha­zard for his name and for his trueths sake▪ Where hast thou despised the threatning of tyrants? where hast thou contemned the sword, the fire, the hal­ter, or any other death? hast thou beene cast into the fierie furnace with Ananias, Azarias and Misael, rather then thou wouldest commit idolatrie, and worship any God but the Lord? Hast thou at any time with Daniel bin cast into the Lions den for a prey to their teeth, rather then thou wouldest giue ouer and cease to pray vnto thy God? Hast thou beene [Page 457] whipped with Peter and Iohn? hast thou beene imprisoned with Paul and Silas? hast thou been stoned with Steuen? or hath thy necke beene vnder the stroke of the sword with Iames the brother of Iohn? hast thou suffred rebuke, or any losse of goods, or any linnen, for the name of Iesus thy Sauiour? In these cases, if thy life had beene vile in thy fight, it had beene a commendable thing in thee, to prefer the pleasure & honor of God, the trueth and glory of Iesus Christ, before the safety of thy life: for in this course, thou seruest with thy life, him that is the God of thy life: thou yeeldest it vp (being called for) into the hands of him that gaue it. And thou hast the examples of the Pro­phets of God, and the Apostles of Iesus Christ, to be thy patterne, who were e­uer ready and willing to lay downe and loose their liues in the seruice of God: they did not kill themselues to be deli­uered from the fury of tyrants, but they yeelded themselues to the cruell will of tyrants. As Ieremy, saying to them that went about to kill him for preaching as god had commanded him, As for me, be­hold Iere. 26. 14 [Page 458] I am in your hand, doe with me as you Iere. 26. 14 thinke good and right. It was all one to him, and equally welcome to die or liue, so that he might faithfully doe his office▪ of the like minde was S. Paul the Apo­stle, saying to the elders of Ephesus, Be­hol [...] Acts [...]0. [...]. I goe bound in the spirit to Ierusalem, and know not what things shall come vnto me there, saue that the holy Ghost witnes­seth in euery Citie, saying, that bands and afflictions abide mee. But I passe not at all, neither is my life deare vnto my selfe, so that I may fulfill my course with ioy, and the minstration which I haue receiued of the Lord Iesus, to testifie the Gospell of the grace of G [...]d. Heere was a godly con­tempt of fraile life, with resolution to vse the benefit of it while it lasted, in set­ting forward the seruice committed to him, and to let it goe without shrinking, whensoeuer the rage of men (by the suf­ferance of God) should by violent hands take it from him in the Lords quarrell. If thou haddest resolution in any like quarrell to yeelde thy life when there should be any attempt made to take it from thee, thou hast the Prophets of God, and the Apostles of Christ thy ex­ample [Page 459] and thou hast also the promise of the Lord Iesus to recompence that losse of life with the gaine of eternall life, say­ing, He that will saue his life shall loose it, Mat. 10. 39 and he that looseth his life for my sake shall saue it. That is, i [...] any shall, to saue his life, deny to confesse me before men, his life shall bee taken from him by some such iudgement of God, as that he shall haue no comfort in the losse of it, and he shall after die eternally: But if any con­stantly confesse mee, putting his life in danger, either God shall miraculously deliuer him, and hee shall saue his life in this world, or for the losse of his life here (in which losse hee shall haue abundant comfort) hee shall haue eternall life in the kingdome of heauen. Here are com­forts for thee, if thou haue come, or shalt come (in these cases) into danger, if thou retaine this resolution, to laie downe thy life for God▪ and his glory, for Iesus Christ and his truth. But there was neuer in thee any such resolution: thou diddest not loue God so well and thy selfe so ill, to die for vertue, to die for truth, to die for the glory of God, to die for the name of Iesus: thou diddest [Page 458] [...] [Page 459] [...] [Page 460] neuer esteeme the Gospell, true religion and righteousnesse at so high a price. O vile man, O vnworthy sinner, wouldest thou not gratifie God with contempt of life, and wilt thou gratifie the Deuill with it? wouldest thou not loose it for him that is the truth, & wilt thou loose it for the father of lies? was not he wor­thy (in thy sight) to be serued with this manly resolution, that gaue thee this life, and for the losse of it is ready to re­compence thee with eternall life; and is he worthy to be serued with it, who was euer an enemy to thy life, and when hee hath spoiled thee of this life, makes thee [...]mēds with a higher mischife▪ to plunge thee in eternall death? O monstrous ab­surdity, to be admitted among the pro­fessours of Christianity. Pause a while, and consider of this ▪point, that if it be possible thou maiest be recouered from this desperate purpose. Thinke what it is to haue held God off at the staues end, and neuer to haue yeelded in thy heart; die for his loue, though he gaue thee life, to loose one drop of bloud for his sake, though he filled thy vein [...]s, to haue thy breath stopped for his glory, though it [Page 461] was hee that breathed into thy nostrels the breath of life, and made thee a liuing soule, and now to imbrace the deuill in thy bosome, as if hee were thy God, to tell him that he shall haue thy life, thy bloud shall flowe for his sake, if thou get a sword or knife, and thou wilt strangle thy selfe and stopthy breath for his loue, if thou canst get a halter. Where is thy wisdome, that resoluest so foolish­ly? where is thy iustice that resoluest so iniuriously? where is thy loue either to God or to thine owne soule (to whom thou owest thy loue, to God, to procure his glory, to thy soule, to procure the saluation of it) that resoluest so hateful­ly? for more foolishly for himselfe, more iniuriously against God, and more hatefully, both against himselfe, and God, did any man euer conclude and resolue in any thing, then thou doest in this▪ Most foolishly thou determinest for thy selfe, that runnest into that de­struction, from which thou shouldst flie with all possible speed, as the Israelites fled from the tents of Korah & his com­pany, when the earth swallowed them vp. And most vniustly thou dealest with [Page 462] GOD, to take that is his without his leaue (for we are his, and not our owne. They are the words of the Apostle Paul, Yee are not your owne. And a little after,1. Corin▪ 6 19, 20 speaking of our bodies and spirits, hee saith, they are Gods) and before his face, without any reuerence and feare of him, to destroy them both at once▪ for thou destroyest the body in killing it, & thou destroyest the soule that must perish for that murder. And most hatefully thou proceedest both against God & thy self in this resolutiō, hatefully against God in destroying his creature, and hatefully against thy selfe, in destroying thy selfe, The fact of the Philistims stopping vp with earth the wells that Abraham had digged, to the end that Isaac his sonne should not vse them for his ca [...]tell, is in­terpreted to be an euidence of their ha­tred, Isaac saying vnto them, Wherefore Gen. 26▪ 27 come yee to mee, seeing yee hate mee, &c. How much more must thy fact be inter­preted to be an euidence of hatred both against God and thine owne soule, that fillest vp and choakest the well of life, that God digged and opened for thine vse, and desirest to water at the piece of [Page 463] death and hell, where thou shalt not ob­taine one droppe of water to coole thy tongue when thou art in torments. How commeth it to pas [...]e among deceiued men, that when as in the case of suffring for God, where death is accompanied with comfort, and rewarded with glo­rie, they shrinke and feare, withdrawing themselues, shifting for their liues, which then are sweet vnto them, and death is bitter vnto them: and in this case of lay­ing violent hands vpon themselues, where death is accompanied with ter­rour, and shall be rewarded with eternal damnation; heere they step foorth and are desperately bolde: life now is bitter vnto them, and death is sweet. This is a dangerous errour, wherein the ancient murderer hath beene thy counseller, the giuer of life neuer perswaded there vnto: the very fact bewraies from what head the aduice came, euen from him that de­sireth the destruction of man.

Lay these things togither, and I hopeConclusion concernin [...] the act that bee inten­deth to do. the thing that thou art resolued to doe, wil appeare so foule and odious before thee, that thy resolution will vanish and s [...]de away. This sinne of selfe-murde­ring [Page 464] is so abhominable, that in the first age of the world, when abhominations were so multiplied, that the most pati­ent God was iustly prouoked, with a generall floud, to destroy from the face of the earth, euery thing in whose no­sthrils was the breath of life, and a­mong other abhominations, murder crept in, and that betimes, in a gree­uous manner, the brother murdering the brother: yet this sinne could find no en­tertainement. The Diuell was not then so impudent to tempt thereunto, and men were not so wicked to yeeld there­vnto. In the next long age of the world, from the floud vnto Christs comming in the flesh, for more then three and twenty hundred yeares, all sinne increa­sing, this sinne also crept in, but in all the sacred historie▪ among the people that had knowledge of the liuing God, there were not found aboue foure or fiue that yeelded to this cruell sinne: monsters they were among men, mon­sters among sinners, their ra [...]enes shews them so to bee. And after the daies of Christ, for seauenty yeares, (the Sacred history reaching no further) there was [Page 465] found but one Iudas, the traitour, the thiefe, the diuell, that betraied his Mai­ster the Sonne of God, into the handes of his enemies: a monster whom the world hath not equalled, nor can equall with a match: so that in more then foure thousand yeares, among the people that knew God, though there were many i­dolaters, many blasphemers, many gi­uen to witchcraft, and other diuellish hearts, many traitors, many murderers, many whoore masters, many oppressors, thieues, false witnesses, and sinners of all kinds, yet there were not aboue six selfe murderers. And with these monsters wil [...] thou ioyne? considering also, that in this sinne, there is no mixture of loue, in all other sinnes, there is some mixture of loue, if not to any other yet vnto him selfe, but he that committeth this sinne, shewes no loue, neither to God, to his neighbour, nor to himselfe. His sinne is totally hate, himselfe totally hatefull, and whereas the vertues of Christiani­tie, pertaining chiefly to the daies of af­fliction, when God maketh his elect like vnto the Image of his Sonne, that suffe­ [...]ing with him in this world, they may [Page 450] after reigne with him in heauen, where­as the vertues of christianitie pertaining to this time, are patience to suffer the will of God, and faith to trust to Gods mercie: this sinne is the banishment of all patience, it is nothing else then fu­ry in the highest degree, and it is the o­uerthrow of all faith, hastening and pul­ling on destruction. where it should pray and wait for deliuerance; it is a vi­olent opposition against the worke of God, it is a violent intrusion and inuasi­on vppon the right of God. For life is the gift of God, he made vs liuing crea­tures, a [...]d this sinne violently ouer­throwes the worke of God. And God being the Lord of life, and hauing all authoritie ouer life to giue it, to conti­nue it, and to end it at his pleasure, and for his seruice, this sinner inuadeth vp­on Gods right, and without leaue from God, without any aduice or authority from him; yea directly against the com­maundement of God forbidding mur­der, hee presumeth to cut off his owne life. And he that neuer could find in his heart to lay downe his life for God, and for his glorie, though God gaue him [Page 451] the life that hee hath, and when that is lost in his seruice, and for his sake hath promised to giue him life eternall; yet in this mad and desperate resoluti­on, is ready to step into the place of the tyrant, the persecuter, the executioner, and hangman: and for the diuells plea­sure, not to lay downe, but to take a­way, euen his owne life, and to make himselfe with his owne murtherous hands a sacrifice to Belzebub, who did not giue vnto him the life that yet hee holdeth, but was euer an enemie to the safetie of it: and when that life is lost, shall reward him with eternall death, and hell torments for euer; such is the act thou resoluest to doe, the wofull effect of damned despaire, thro­wing thee into intollerable and eternall torments. And therefore with all care to be auoided. And the most migh­tie Preseruer change thy mind, and keepe thee from this ruine.

CHAP. XXVIII.

WHen our sinner signifiedThe vanity & weaknes of the rea­so [...]s by which he is drawne to intend this act▪ his resolution to this act, he signified withall, the reasons by which he was induced to be so re­solute. Those reasons I will now examine, and shew the weak­nesse of them, that the sinner seeing his deceiued iudgement, may repent him of his wicked purpose in time, and stay his hand from doing that mischiefe, which once done can neuer be helped; the reasons were fixe in number. TheThree rea­sons seruing to proo [...]e it a matter of i [...]stice▪ first three seeming to prooue it a matter of iustice, and the last three seeming to prooue it a matter of aduantage. The first three pretending iustice▪ were these. First, he hath sinned against God, and1 deserued death, and therefore must die, this being a thing of necessity, hee hol­deth it as good to die now as to tarry longer, and to die by his owne hand, as to expect the stroke of another. Se­condly,2 hee hath loaden and ouerchar­ged the earth (the place of his present [Page 469] life) with the burden of his sinnes, it groaneth vnder that burden, and can no longer beare it, it must be eased, and he that hath laied this burthen vpon the shoulders of the earth, is the most fitte to remooue the same: he hath hands wherewithall to doe i [...], and his heart serues him. And with this second rea­son hee inuolueth and wrappeth ano­ther foolish conceit, that seeing hee is vnworthy of mortall life vppon earth, it were follie and madnesse in him, yea it were shamelesse presumption to hope to obtaine immortall life in Heauen. Thirdly, hee saith his life hath been [...] 3 loathsome to heauen and earth, in hea­uen to God and his Angells, in earth to the Church and all the true members thereof. And so great an offence must needes be remooued, that God and his Angells, the Church and her children may receiue content. These things prooue it iust, that hee should die. And that it should be a part of his inioyned penance to see the thing done himselfe. Now because my speech is intended for the health of the sinner, I will direct it to the sinner.

[Page 454]Thy first reason is, thou hast sinned a­gainstThe weake­ness of his first reason. God, thou deseruest to die. This reason is no reason to infer that which thou wouldest inferre. That therefore thou must die, and especially by thine owne hand. For all men sinne against God, & all men deserue to die: must all men therefore die? especially must they die by their owne hands? This I doubt not but thou thy selfe thinkest absurd for others, and yet thou thinkest it rea­son for thy selfe. But God himselfe de­nieth this argumēt to be of any strēgth, while he saith, or commandeth the pro­phet [...]zec. 33. 12 in his name to say, Say vnto them. As I liue saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wic­ked turne from his way, and liue; turne you, turne you from your euill waies, for why will you die, O yee house of Israel? Is not God the Iudge? Is it not hee a­gainst whom thou saiedst thou hast sin­ned, and deserued death, and therefore must die? It shall be granted that thou hast sinned: It shall be granted that by that sinne thou hast deserued death: but where is that must, where is that neces­sity of dying, that thou speakest of? [Page 455] when God saith it, and sweares it by his life (who liueth euer) that hee desireth not the death of a sinner. Thou dream­est of some inexorable seuerity in God, and some ineuitable necessity of death in the sinner: God saith no to both. There is no such seueritie in God. Hee is farre from vrging, that desires not the death of a sinner. And there is no such vnauoidable danger to man▪ while God doth offer him the way of life, e­uen then when he hath by this sinne de­serued death; saying, As I liue, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turne from his way, and liue. Seest thou not the vanitie of this first Argu­ment? where of trueth afforded the pre­misses? for thou hast sinned against god, and thy sinne deserueth death. But er­rour, danger▪ death▪ and the diuell drew in the conclusion against trueth: for there is no necessitie, seeing God the Iudge requires no such death. (As I liue I desire not the death of the wicked:) and contrary to that conclusion sheweth a way of life, to his mind more ag [...]eeable, to the sinner more safe. (But that the wicked turne from his way, and liue,) re­turne [Page 472] this argumēt to the diuel that lent it thee: it may be retorted vpon him in full strength. For he hath sinned against God, and by his sinne deserued death: and therefore must die, for God desireth the death of wicked angels▪ hauing shut them vp in euerlasting chaines vnder darkenesse vnto the iudgement of the last day, and hath not shewed vnto them any way of life. But for thy selfe learne to argue better, and frame thy argument so, that God may allow of it. I haue sinned against God, therefore I must repent, I must turne from my waies vnto God, and learne to walke in his waies. And againe, my sinne hath de­serued death, therefore I must turne from my waies, that I may liue, for God hath sworn [...], that he desires not the death of a sinner, but that the sin­ner turne from his wicked way, and liue. These Conclusions are inferred accor­ding to Gods will, who desireth both thy conuersion from thy former sinnes, and also thy saluation contrary to the merit of thy sinnes, saying, Turne you, Ezec. 33 11 turne you from your euill waies, for why will you die, Oyee house of Israel? These [Page 473] conclusions haue holinesse in them, a­greeable to all the commandements of God, whereas thy former conclusions inuite to murder contrarie to GODS commandements: and these conclusi­ons containe life and saluation in them, according to all the promises of God, whereas thy former conclusions con­taine death and destruction contrarie to his promises. If by thy former sinnes thou hast incurred the iust displeasure of God. This manner of reasoning that I haue taught thee, shews thee how to recouer his loue and liking, and if thy former sinnes haue brought thee into the danger of death; this maner of rea­soning that I haue taught thee, shewes thee how to recouer life and saluation. Throw therefore thy foolish reason (I haue sinned, and therefore must die) in the face of him that framed it for thee: and remember euer that comfortableEzec. 33▪ 11 speech of God, As I liue, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turne from his way, & liue: And frame thy Arguments by the direction of this word. I haue sinned a­gainst God, therefore I must turne from [Page 458] my wicked waies. And my sinne against God hath deserued death. Therefore I must turne from my wicked waies▪ so shal I liue, this māer of arguing being as thou seest agreeable to Gods word, is both pleasing vnto God, and safe for thy selfe.

Thy second reason grounded as thouThe weak­nes of his second rea­son. thinkest vpon iustice, is this. I haue loden and ouer charged the earth with the burden of my sinnes, it groneth vnder that burden and can no longer beare it, therefore it must bee eased by the re­mouing of me. And forasmuch as I haue beene the man that haue laied this load vpon the earth, it is meete I should also be the man to remoue it. This latter part of thy reason, that thou shouldest be the man to remoue the burden, that hast beene the man to lay on the burden, I hold to be most reasonable, he that did the wrong, ought to make the mends. But let vs agree of the true burden that hath beene laid on by wrong, and must be remoued by right. That burden thou speakest of in the first part of thy reason, wherein thou arguest thus; I haue loa­den the earth with the burden of my sinnes, which it can no longer beare: [Page 459] therefore I must by death be remoued. Doest thou not behold and see an error in this arguing? yea a wicked and most deceitful fraud of Satan seeking subtilly to destroy thee, while in the antecedent of thy argumēt thou speakest of the bur­den that presseth the earth, thou namest thy sins, and they indeed make the earth to grone: and when thou commest in the conclusion of thy argument, to speake of remouing this burden, thou [...]aiest nothing of remouing the sinne, but speakest altogether of remouing thy selfe: thy sinne is the burden, and thou concludest not to remoue the sinne, but to remoue thy selfe. If a man wounded by another, and desirous to be healed, should apply his meanes to the party that made the wound, and not to the wound it selfe, doest thou not see, that man that made the wound may bee re­moued, and the wound remaine still as dangerous as it was at the first: but if he apply his meanes to the wound that was made, the wound shalbe healded and so remoued, the man that made it remain­ing still. Thy case is altogether like it, thou hast giuen the earth a wound by [Page 476] the burden of thy sinnes, if the meanes for the easing of the earth, be applied, not to the sinne to take away it, but vnto thee to take away thee, thou maiest be remoued, but the guiltines of thy sinnes shall remaine vnto iudgement. But if meanes be rightly applied to take away the sinne, the earth is eased of her bur­den, and thou also remainest in safetie, thy argument therefore should be fram­ed thus. The earth groneth vnder the burden of my sinnes, therefore these sinnes must be remoued. Hee is vnwise that cannot, & he is vniust that will not discerne betweene the man that sinned, and the sinne by him committed. It is a true saying of Saint Gregorie. Man is the worke of God, sinne is the worke of man, Lib. 4. Epist. 80. let vs therefore discerne what God hath made and what man hath done, and neither for the error that man committed, let vs hate man whom God made, nor for the man, that is Gods worke loue the sinne that man hath committed. According to this rule, discerne betweene thy selfe that art the worke of Gods hands, and thy sinne that is the fruite of thine owne inuention. I hope thou wilt not [Page 477] say that the worke of Gods hands is a burden to the earth, and for the ease of the earth must be remoued, then thou as thou art a man and a liuing creature of Gods making, art not the earthes bur­den, neither is it the remedie to take the man away. But the sinne that thou hast committed is the burden of the earth, and the remedie of this euill is to take the sinne away: which is done on thy p [...]rt by repentance, by ceasing from sin and by working righteousnes as Esaie [...]eacheth saying (in the person of God) to the people of Israel, take away the Esay. 1. 16 [...]il of your workes from before mine eies, [...]ase to doe euill, learne to doe well. Then on the part of the sinner is his sinne re­moued, when hee repenteth him of his sinne ceaseth to doe euill, and sets his heart to worke righteousnes. And one Gods part our sin is taken away by for­giuenes which alwaies accompanieth mans true repentance as Ezakiel teach­eth vs saying▪ if the wicked will turne from all his sinnes that he hath committed, and Eze. 18. 21 keepe all my statutes▪ and doe that which is lawfull and right, he shall surely liue and shall not die, all his transgressions that hee [Page 462] hath committed, they shall not bee menti­oned vnto him, &c. Sinne is remoued, on mans part by repentance, on Gods part by forgiuenes: and thy sin (not thy person) being the burden of the earth, if thou wilt d [...]e a worke of iustice, and ease the earth of the burden vnder which she groneth, by remouing the same, then remoue the sinne wherewith thou hast oppressed her, and let thy selfe alone, re­pent of thy sinnes past, amend thy way for the time to come, and thy sin is done away. So saith Saint Peter, Amend your Acts 3. 19. li [...]es, and turne, that your sinnes may be put away. Amend therefore the first speech i [...] this second reason & frame the argumēt thus. I haue loden and ouercharged the earth with the burden of my sinnes, it groneth vnder that burden, & can no longer beare it, therefore it must be ea­sed by the remouing of my sins, & then ad on Gods name the second part of thy speech in that reason, & say; Forasmuch as I haue beene the man that haue laide this load vpon the earth, it is meete I should also be the man to remoue it, & now become as resolute to ease the earth of the true load, which is thy sin, [Page 463] as before thou didst professe to bee in re­mouing thy selfe which art not the load.

And as for the conceit which thou didst infold in this reason, or infer vp­on this reason, that seeing thou hadstBeing vn­worthy of l [...]fe on earth he is more vnworthy of life in heauen a­swered. oppressed the earth with thy sinnes, and wert vnworthy to liue any longer in the earth which is but the place of mortall life, it should be folly & madnes in thee, yea shamelesse presumption, euen to thinke to liue in heauen which is the place of euerlasting life. Indeed he that [...] vnworthy of mortall life, & of a place on earth, is much more vnworthy of im­mortall life, and a place in heauen. But let this thought vanish, together with the [...]raudulent reason. For he that is wor­thy of neither, may (by the fauour of God) inioy both. Iacob confesseth him­selfe vnworthy of all Gods blessings saying, I am not worthy of the least Ge [...]. 3 [...]. 1 [...] of all the mercy, and all the trueth which thou hast shewed vnto thy seruant. Hee confesseth his vnworthines, & yet con­fesseth with all, that God shewed him that mercy and trueth, that he held him­selfe so vnworthy of; and vnto this vn­worthy man (so considering himselfe) [Page 480] did God make promise of his free fauor in these words. I will not forsake thee, vntill I haue performed that, that I haue promised thee. So that it is not the wor­thines of the receiuer, but the promise of God that hee respecteth in shewing mercy and bestowing his blessings. And if thou wilt take order by repentance (as hath beene taught thee) to remoue the burden of thy sinnes▪ wherewith all thou hast oppressed the earth, thy vn­worthines with thy sinnes shall be done away, and after the daies of thy mortall life on earth finished, thou shalt inioy immortalitie with God in the kingdome of heauen.

The third reason perswading this cruellThe weak­nes of his third rea­son. act as a worke of iustice is this. My life is lothsome both to heauen and earth: in heauen to God & his Angels, in earth to the Church and her children, and therefore it must not to bee continued. This is not a new reason, but the first in­larged with addition of the names of the Angels in heauen, of the Church and her children on earth. For in the first thou didst affirme that thou [...]adst▪ offended God (that is made thy life to be loath­some [Page 481] in his sight). And now thou ad­ [...]est further mention of his Angels a­ [...]oue and Saints beneath, thou hast also [...]en offence vnto them, indeed vpon [...]e loue and hatred of God dependeth [...]e loue and hatred of all his seruants in [...]auen and earth. If by thy wickednes [...]ou make thy life loathsome to God, [...]ou makest it also loathsome to them: [...]d if againe by repentance thou make [...] life pleasing to God, thou makest i [...] [...]o pleasing to men. For as Salomon [...]ith. When the waies of a man please the Prou. 16. 7 lord, he will make also his enemies to be at [...]ace with him. So that if thou repent [...]ee of thy former lewd life, if thou cease to doe euill, & learne to doe well, [...]ou hast reconciled thy selfe to God, [...]d he will make all his creatures to be [...]iendes with thee, euen them which [...]ere most offended before: and for [...]ine owne good consider, what it is that [...]th made thy life so loath some to hea­ [...]n and earth, to God, to his Angels, to [...]e Church, and to the children of it, is it [...]ot thy sinne? is it any thing but thy [...]ne? then if thou wilt be carefull as thou hast beene taught, to put away [Page 482] sinne by repentance, all the offence is remoued: heauen doeth no longer hate thee, and the earth hath not cause any longer to be an enemie vnto thee: what they loathed before, is now done away, and that succedeth in place which they haue cause to loue, and doe loue. That the offence which God tooke, is done away by thy repentance, appeareth by that which is said in the Gospell. Ioy Luke. 15. 7 shall be in heauen for one sinner that con­verteth, more then for ninetie and nine iust men, that neede no amendment of life. And when he saith there shall be ioy in hea­uen, he doeth not exclude the God of heauen, for what ioy can be in heauen and among the cratures of heauen, if the God of heauen remaine displeased? ther­fore thy repentance remoueth all cause of loathing from God, and receiueth therein all content, and in particular, it giueth content to the Angels of heauen. All cause of loathing & offence is taken from them, and in place thereof they re­ioice and are glad for thy conuersion. It is said in the same place of the Gospel, Likewise I said vnto you, there is ioy in the Luke. 15. 10. presence of the Angels of God for one sin­ner [Page 483] that conuerteth. See how thy con­uersion altereth the case: thy sinne ma­keth the Angels to loath thee as a filthy and abominable creature▪ thou art no sooner conuerted and changed by thy repentance, but they which loathed thee before, doe now loue thee; they which held the abomminable before, doe now esteeme thee as honorable. What neede is here of taking away of life, to take a­way and remoue the offence of the An­gels? repent and it is done, amend thy [...]se, and thou hast their loue, and as thy [...]epentance recouereth loue and grace i [...] heauen, so doeth it in the earth, in the Church, and among her children. What else is the Church, but the number of them, that by the calling of God are tur­ [...]ed from their wickednes and infideli­tie? And can the Church hate the chil­dren that by repentance and regenera­tion are borne againe vnto her? the Church inuiteth and calleth to repen­tance, saying, Come and let vs goe vp to [...]say. 2. 3. the mountaine of the Lord, to the house of the God of Lacob, and he will teach vs his [...]ies, and we will walke in his pathes. The Church altogether calleth to repētance [Page 484] the watchmen and pastors in the Church lift vp their voice as a trumpet, and re­proue the sinne of the people and teach them the way and will of God, and call by doctrine: the people and flocke set vp the example of their life, according to the commandement of our Sauiour.Mat. 5. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heauen. And they call by example, all that are truly turned vnto God, doe desire that all other may truely turne to God. And how then can it he? if thou repent thee of thy sinne, and turne to the Lord in amendment of life, but that the Church and her chil­dren, that lothed thee before should now loue thee: and what is then become of this great and fearefull obiection? what neede haue we of killing and murdering the sinner? mortifie thy earthly mem­bers, war against thy fleshly lusts, cease from thy sinne, and doe that which is right in the sight of God, and these rea­sons that seemed iniustice to vrge, a ne­cessity of thy death are vanished away. And thou maiest liue to glorifie God, and finishing thy daies on earth with [Page 485] comfort, and maiest and shalt liue here­ [...]fter in heauen. Al which is ouerthrown with thy wicked resolution.

Besides these reasons that seemed toThree rea­sons seem­ing to [...]roue i [...] a matter of aduan­tage. proue it a matter of iustice (when yet [...]othing can bee deuised more vniust) [...]ou hast other reasons that seeme to [...]ooue it a matter of aduantage (when [...]deed it were the greatest of all losses [...] can hoppen vnto thee.) First thou1. [...]kest by doing execution vpon thy [...], that thou shalt glorifie God in thy [...]th, whom thou neuer haddest care to [...]lorifie all the daies of thy life: and this cannot but turne to thy aduantage, to [...] found so zealous of Gods glory, that [...] art willing to furder it with the [...] of thy life. Secondly, thou thinkest2. [...] by cutting of thine owne life thou [...] then cease to sinne, which during [...] life thou hast not done, but hast con­tinued to multiply iniquity euery day. And indeed he that is dead is freed from [...]ning after the manner of the liuing. [...]or when Achan was stoned, hee could [...]eale no more: When Zimri was thrust [...]orow the body by Phin [...]as hee could commit fornication no more. When [Page 486] Achitophel had hanged himselfe, and Io­ab had smitten Absolom, they could con­spire in treason no more. And this can­not but turne to thy aduantage, that thou shalt no more sinne against God. Thirdly, thou thinkest that thy death shall [...] with it an end of all thy trou­bles, of all thy paine, of all thy feare and indeed it bringeth with it an end of all the momentary troubles of this life, both past, present, and to come. Famine hauing once killed, the famished shall hunger no more: the sword hauing once slaine, the dead shal neuer feare wounds any more: If sicknesse haue deuoured and brought to the graue, the consumed parts shall grone and languish no more. The fire, the water, the prison, the racke, the tyrant, the hang-man, can torment and kil no more. And in one word, death deliuereth from all the labours, trou­bles, dangers, and euils of this life (if there be not other troubles and euils of another world, it freeth from all) and this thou esteemest so great an aduan­tage, as that euen the most fearefull should for it desire seeke and imbrace death. These reasons also let vs examine, [Page 487] that thou maiest not bee deceiued and perish.

The first reason seeming to proue it aThe vanity and weak­nesse of the first of these reasons. [...]atter of aduantage is this, thou think­est by doing this execution, that thou [...]alt glorifie God by thy death, whom thou hast had no care to glorifie all the daies of thy life. And some beneficiall reward must needs be due vnto thee for so great care of glorifying God. I might wonder iustly to heare this reason come from thee, for they which intend to doe [...] such thing vnto themselues, haue little care or thought of Gods glory: and I am sure they haue no rule for it, that by destroying themselues, they do gloryfie God, and may thinke that God would haue them by any such course, seeke to glorifie him. This was a tricke of the prince of darknesse, cunningly [...]ut vpon thee, who turning his selfe in­to an Angell of light, when he goeth a­bout both to destroy thee, and to disho­nour God by this vngodly fact, would make thee beleeue that it were a holy and vertuous action, seruing greatly to the glory of God. And with this cun­ning the subtill Serpent hath preuailed [Page 488] too far with many weake ones, God de­liuer thee from him. Indeed God is ho­noured greatly by the destruction of the wicked, as he saith to Moses. When the children of Israel going out of Aegypt, were directed to goe by the way of the Red-sea through the Wildernesse, Pha­raoExo. 14. 3. will say of the children of Israel, they are tangled in the land, the Wildernesse hath shut them in, and I will harden Pha­raos heart that hee shall follow after you: So I will get me honour vpon Pharao, and vpon all his host. And after when Pharao with his host was come forth after Isra­el, and God had commanded Moses to goe toward the sea, to lift vp his rod, and streich out his hand vpon the sea, that a way being opened in the diui­ded waters, Israel might goe thorow, he said, Behold I will harden the hearts of the Exo. 14 17. Aegyptians, that they may follow them, and I will get me honour, vpon Pharao, and vpon all his host, vpon his Chariots and vp. on his Horse-men. Then the Aegyptians shal know that I am the Lord, when I haue gotten me honour vpon Pharao, vpon his Chariots and vpon his Horse-men. And how was this honour gotten but by de­stroying [Page 489] those wicked men? for after they were entered in betweene the wa­ [...]ts, at Gods commandement, Moses Exo▪ 14 17 stretched forth his hand vpon the sea, and the sea returned to his force early in the [...]ning, and the Aegyptians fled against [...], but the Lord ouerthrew the Aegyptians in the middest of the sea. So the water re­turned and couered the Chariots and the Horse-men, euen all the hoast of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them, there re­ [...]ained not one of them. Heere was ho­nour gotten by the destruction of the Aegyptians. But marke how he speakes of it. I will get me honour vpon Pharao, and vpon all his Host. Hee got it, they did not giue it him: they had no intent to doe him honor, and to make his name glorious: but he tooke it, hee wrought it out for himselfe by his mighty power in their destruction hee made himselfe [...]nowen, to be a iust a mighty and vp­right God, that giueth to euery man ac­cording to his workes, and respecteth to mans person and is able to bridle ty­rants, and to cut of the vngodly what­soeuer they be. Thus he glorifieth him­selfe by winning the praise of a holy iust [Page 490] and omnipotent God, when he cutteth off the wicked, and bringeth them down into destruction. They that perish had no intent to glorifie him, nor may they looke for any thankes or reward in re­gard of the glory that God hath by them, for they neuer studied to yeeld him any such praise, he wonne it altogether against their minde and purpose. And so in thy case, if thou shouldest persist in thy vngodly purpose, and shouldest out of thine owne daies by killing thy selfe, thy frowardnesse and wickednes should turne to his praise, his iustice should ap­peare to his great glory. But to thee no thankes nor reward should be due, as if thou haddest intended and laboured to bring glorie to his name, for what hast thou do [...]e that thou canst thinke agree­able to his will? and worthy of his ac­ceptation and reward. Did he euer giue thee any authority to take away the life of any? shew thy commission and war­rant from God, that thy obedience and care to set vp Gods praise may appeare in thy lawfull and warrantable action. Many trespasses of subiects deserue death, and it is the Kings honour that [Page 491] wickednesse in his people be punished: but is it lawfull presently for a priuate man to kill that trespasser, because hee hath iustly deserued death? he that doth it without authority and warrant from the King, shall hee not bee culpable of murder? If authority be giuen thee, it is thy praise to doe iustice, if thou haue no authority that act of iustice will be thy sinne, it will bee iustice to him that is slaine, but it will be murder in thee that diddest take away his life. So howsoe­uer thy sinne doe deserue death, yet if thou kill thy selfe without authority (and God neuer gaue authority, nor wil giue to any to kill himselfe) thou sinnest presumptuously, and insteede of honou­ring God, doest dishonour him, first in committing wickednesse, and secondly in preuenting the noble honour of God, which he might haue won in forgiuing thy sinne. Gods glory is sought and of­ten wrought by aduenturing thy life in his seruice, yea by loosing thy life in his seruice: this hee often requireth, and e­uer rewardeth. Therein a man truely sheweth that he preferreth Gods glory before his owne life. Thus the Prophets [Page 492] and Apostles, and all holy Martyrs haue glorfied God by aduenturing first, and loosing at last their liues in his seruice. It is their comfort, their glory, their salua­tion, so to yeeld vp their liues to the ser­uice of the giuer of it. But Gods glory is not sought nor wrought by them, that in their discontent, and impatience, grudging at the troubles that hee hath laied vpon them, and despairing of his helpe to support and deliuer them, doe kill themselues, because they will not suffer. Therein they truely shew them­selues enemies of Gods glory, grudgers at Gods will, preferring (euen to the losse of life) their owne wil before Gods will, their owne vniust will, refusing to beare the correction of God, before his iust will in correcting them. Can there be a more proud, a more wilfull, a more wicked and obstinat opposition against God then this? that a man shall say, I wil die before I will indure this at Gods hands, and after to doe it because hee may not haue his will against God. Ne­uer any Prophet, neuer any Apostle, or holy man euer did so. There is no com­fort nor glory in it, but dispaire, horror [Page 493] and eternall confusion in it. This ther­fore is a most false and wicked reason. Thou shalt truely glorifie God if thou a­mend thy life, thou shalt but dishonour and offend him in ending thy life.

Thy second reason grounded vponThe vanity and weak­nesse of the second of these rea­sons. supposed aduantage is this. Thou think­est that by cutting of thy life, thou shalt sinne no more. And to cease from sinne thou holdest to bee very pleasing vnto God, and so it will proue beneficiall to thee. This reason is full of fraude. For first where thou thinkest that after deathHow the dead may be said not to sinne. thou shalt sinne no more, I deny it to be true in all men, otherwise then thus, that they can no more sinne after the manner of this world, they cannot betweene death and the resurrection, giue their members (that laie leueles in the graue, and turue to dust.) As weapons of vn­righteousnesse vnto sinne: Ahabs false Prophets being dead can lie vnto him [...]o more, Ioab being dead can murder [...]o more, the swearer, the adultery, tho thief being dead, can with their tongues blaspheme no more, with their hands rob & spoile no more, nor pollute their members by vncleannesse any more, but [Page 494] doth it follow therefore that they sinneThe wicked continue to sinne euen when they are dead. no more? is not the hatred of God sin? impatiency in suffering deserued dam­nation, is it no sinne? can any imagine that damned soules haue laied off al ma­liciousnesse? and that those men, that while they liued, and were called vpon to serue the Lord, were allured by many blessings giuen, and by promise of many more, were threatned with Gods iudge­ments, and felt also some fauourable and easie corrections, would yet neuer hear­ken to the voice of God, would neuer loue him, neuer feare him, neuer cease from sinne, neuer regard to amend their waies, but continued obstinate, and di­ed in their ignorance, stubbornnesse, malice and all their sinne? can any ima­gine that these, assoone as they are dead, should become free from sinne, and ho­ly Saints, to please God by abstayning from euill, and to merit fauour? O most absurd imagination, to think that a man should become holy in Hell, that was profane vnto the last point of his life on earth. Hitherto properly belong the words of Salomon saying, If the tree doe Eccle. 9. 3. fal toward the South, or toward the North, [Page 495] in the place that the tree falleth in, there it shallbe. In that place he exhorteth to li­berality and vertue while we liue, be­cause when death comes, then there is no place of bearing after any fruits of goodnesse, after death there followeth no alteration of this kinde, to make ei­ther the good man worse then hee was, or the euill man better then hee was: if the tree fall toward the South it turneth not it selfe after to the North, and if it fall toward the North, it turneth not to the South. The good mans goodnesse continueth with him, and is increased rather then diminished, because he then inioyeth the goodnesse of God in Hea­uenly maner, to raise his loue vnto God to the highest degree and measure: and the wicked mans wickednes after death continueth with him, and is increased rather then diminished, because he now feeleth the wrath of God in the heauiest manner, to raise his hatred against God [...]nto the highest straine. Death can make no such change in a man that hee that was a sinner vnto death and in death, should cease to bee a sinner after death; this reason will deceiue thee: if earth [Page 496] was able to make the a contemner, then Hell is able to make thee a blasphemer, for if correction (intended for thy a­mendment) could not make the cease from sinning while thou didst liue. How much lesse can punishments, laid vpon thee, not by way of correction, but by way of condemnation make thee cease from sinning? the minde of the con­demned, how it stands affected toward God, we may see by that which is writ­ten in the Booke of the Reuelations, Men boiled in great heate, and blasphe­med Ma [...]t. 16. 9 the name of God, which hath power ouer these plagues, and they repented not to haue giuen him glorie. When sinners are once tormented in those flames, they are so farre from repenting of their sin, to cease from it, that their whole car­riage is rage and blasphemy. They can doe nothing else; and therefore, though being dead, thou can doe no euill, after the fashion of this world, yet it follow­eth not that therefore thou shalt notIf they doe com [...] it no new sin▪ yet they must perish [...]r the old vn­pardoned. sinne.

But say thou canst not commit any new sinne, what aduantage is that vn­to thee, when thy olde sinne is vnfor­giuen, [Page 497] for want of repentance before thy death: yea thy very death, wrought by thine owne hands (without warrant from God, yea directly contrary to the commaundement of God) addeth vnto thy condemnation deserued before. Doth it helpe the thiefe fast shut vp in prison, that he stealeth no more, when for the olde theft vnpardoned, hee must be hanged? Surely no: and his cea­sing to steale while he is a prisoner, will not bee interpreted to proceede from my new grace, and purpose of amend­ment, but to be want of libertie, want of meanes and opportunitie. Hee doth [...]ot steale, because hee cannot steale, it is no new mind in him, but the streight­ [...]esse of his imprisonment that maketh him for beare, and though hee commit no new robberies, yet hee must die for the olde. And if thou couldest sinne no more▪ after thy death, the not commit­ting of new sinnes would be as smal ad­uantage vnto thee, that perishest for the olde vnpardoned: and thy forbea­ting in thy graue, will not be interpre­ted to be any fruit of repentance, and a renewed heart, but to bee a necessitie [Page 498] imposed vpon thee, thy earthly mem­bers beeing tied and restrained by the condition of death: and therfore thogh thou commit no new sinne, thou must perish eternally for thy old, not repen­ted by thee, and therefore not pardoned of God. There shall not be laied to the charge of them that shall heare this sen­tence at the last day; Depart from me ye Mat. 25. 41 cursed into euerlasting fire prepared for the diuell and his angels. Any other sinne then those which they committed vpon the earth, where they liued among the little ones of Christ: for thus shall it be said vnto them, I was an hungred, and Mat. 25. 41 yee gaue me no meate: I thirsted, and ye gaue me no drinke: I was a stranger, and yee lodged mee not: I was naked, and yee clothed me not: sicke▪ and in prison, and yee visited me not. These were no sinnes committed after they were gone out of the earth, while their bodies were in the graue, and their soules in hell fire, Christ was not there among them in his members, hungry, thirsty, wandring, naked, sicke, and in prison: and they there had neither bread, nor drinke, nor clothes, not lodging chambers to re­lieue [Page 499] him withall, they are their olde sinnes vnpardoned, not any new sinnes after death committed, that the wicked shall be condemned for at the last day. And so much Saint Paul doth teach vs where hee saith, We must all appeare be­fore 2. Cor. 5. 10 the tudgement seate of Christ, that e­uery man may receiue the things which are done in his bodie, according to that hee hath doone, whether it bee good or euill. When thou shalt come to iudgement before Iesus Christ, that shal iudge both quicke and dead, at his appearing, and in his kingdome, thou shalt not be que­stioned for any thing done out of thy body, when thou art dead, but onely for those things, which thou did dest in thy body, while thou wert aliue. Where is then that aduantage that thou drea­mest of, by not sinning any more after death? Seest thou not by this time, what a strange delusion it was, that thou shol­dest sinne no more after death, and that ceasing from sinne should winne thee some fauour with God, and be take [...] for true repentance, and that therefore it should be a benefit vnto thee, to cut off thine owne life, that so thou migh­test [Page 500] withall cut off the (too long conti­nued) course and custome of thy sinne? if thou haue any such purpose indeed to cease from sinne (which I beseech God to giue thee, if thou haue it not, and to continue in thee, if thou haue it) nou­rish thy life, that God hath giuen thee, and while thou art in the bodie, cease to doe euill, and learne to do wel [...]: make haste to turne to the Lord, and put not off from day to day: and whilest thou hast time, bring forth fruits woorthy a­mendment of life. This will be taken for true repentance: this will cause all thy former sinnes to be put out of all re­membrance. And then, whensoeuer God shall be pleased to call thee out of thee out of the world, thou shalt end thy dayes in peace and comfort, and then thou shalt indeede cease from sin, and thy workes shall follow thee, to the gaine of eternall life. This doe, and re­pent thee of thy former resolution, for hitherto the reasons whereuppon it is grounded, are vaine and dangerous.The vanity & weaknes of the third of these reason.

Thy third and last reason grounded vpon supposed aduantage, is this, thou thinkest that thy death shall bring with [Page 501] it an end of all thy troubles, of all thy paine, and of all thy feare. And I verely beleeue, that all the former reasons, were but idlely pleaded by thee, that thou wert nothing at all mooued with them, and that thou didst onely alledge them, to make shew of doing that with reason, for which indeede thou canst haue no reason: and this last alleadged reason (though as weake, as vaine, and as deceitfull as all the other) was the onely thing that carried thy resolu­tion. For all they that resolue vpon such desperate courses, doe it out of a con­ceit to ridde and free themselues from shame and troubles. But verily this act, if thou shouldest doe it (which God de­fend thee from) can not deliuer thee from trouble, from danger, or from shame. It is one of Satans lies: as true­ly as hee tolde our first parents, that by breaking Gods commaundement, they should be as gods, so truely doth he tell thee, that by this act, which is a mani­fest and violent breach of Gods com­mandement thou shalt free thy self from troubles. There is not a more readie [Page 502] way to throw thy selfe into endlesse troubles.

And let vs consider seriously of thisThere are [...]vo k [...]des of [...], o [...] [...] in this life▪ ano­ther after this life. point, that thou maiest see thy errour. There are troubles, dangers, and shames that belong to this world, and to the life of man in this world: this world is their proper place, and thy life heere is their proper time. Some other there are that belong to an other world, and to the time that followeth our departure out of this world. Hell that receiueth the wicked, is their proper place: and the time that succeedeth this life, their proper time. Of the first sort are pouer­tie and vnexpert losses, wearines, weak­nesse and sickenesse, in our bodie, dis­quietnesse in our house, slaunders and disgraces, banishment, imprisonment, publique shame, displeasure of Princes, persecution and such like. Of these the Prophet speaketh, saying, Great are the Ps [...]l 34. 19 troubles of the righteous, but the Lord de­liuereth him out of them all. Of the other sort are the worme that dieth not, and the fire that neuer goeth out, which E­say speaketh of, shame and perpetuall [Page 503] contempt, which Daniel speaketh of: outward darkenesse, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth, which our Saui­our speaketh of: euerlasting fire prepa­red for the diuell and his Angells, tor­menting flame, abiection from God, the second death, and the bottomlesse pit, whose smoake ascendeth for euer. Of these speaketh Iohn the Euangelist, saying. Death and hell were cast into the Reu. 20. 14 lake of fire, this is the second death: and whosoeuer was not found written in the booke of life, was cast into the lake of fire. The first sort belonging to this life are short, tollerable, and mixed with many comforts: the second sort belonging to the time after this life, are eternall, in­tolerable, and no comfort is mixed with them, not so much as one drop of wa­ter to coole the scorched tongue. The first sort is common both to good and bad men, and may be borne, yea ouer­come with patience: the second sort is prepared onely for the wicked, euen for the appointed vessels of wrath, and they giue no place to patience. And among all these troubles, one I finde, that see­meth to be common to both these pla­ces, [Page 504] and that is accusing thoughts (thy present burden) but with this diffe­rence, that in this life it is but a matter of feare (though a tormenting feare) and after this life it is matter of torment (euen a most fearefull torment) in this life both good and bad are affrighted with this tormenting feare, after this life, onely the wicked and the repro­bate are tormented with this fearefull torment.

Now from which of these troublesFrom what troubl [...]s death doth, deliuer. doth death free vs? and in what estate doth it leaue vs, when it hath freed vs? These are materiall considerations for a man in thy condition, and therefore hearke diligently, that thou maiest not be deceiued in thy account, and fall into endlesse and intolerable troubles, while thou striuest to free thy selfe from short and easie troubles. Death doeth put an end vnto the troubles of this life, not be­cause it taketh away troubles, but be­cause it taketh away life, and with the end of life, needes must there be an end of the trouble that is proper to life. For death doth not help our paine a [...] ▪ Phy­sician, but as an executioner; the Phy­sician [Page 505] cureth the griefe, and preserueth life, the executioner cureth the griefe, by taking away the life: for by cutting off the head, hee frees the patient from euer complaining of the tooth-ach. And Imtreate thee to regard this manner of deaths cure. If thou wert sicke of the gowt, or palsi [...], or other disease, wouldst thou send for the common hangman to cure thee with a sword, or with a halter? This is not to take away the disease, but to assist the disease, too weake of it selfe to destroy thee speedily, and therefore thou callest for helpe, not to assist thee against the disease to ouercome it, but to assist the disease against thee, to ouer­come thee, I perswade my selfe thou wouldst not send for the hangman, but wouldest send for the Physician, to cure thy disease with safety of thy self, whose knowledge and fidelitie might oppose against the danger of thy disease, and comfort thee to ouercome thy disease, and weaken the disease, that it might not ouercome thee: so deale with thy selfe in the time of thy Spirituall disease. Send not for death the hangman (death came into the world by the Iustice of God as [Page 506] a punishment of our sinne) but send vn­to God the Physician, that is able to re­moue thy disease, and preserue thy life. God healeth by preseruation, not by de­struction, deaths act (in this maner re­quired) if it may be called a healing, hea­leth by destruction, not by preseruati­on, though I must confesse, that with death there comes an end of all present troubles, from sence and feeling where­of, he is deliuered that is dead.

But in what case doeth death leaueIn what case death leaueth thē that are de liuered so from trou­bles. them that are thus deliuered from pre­sent, short, and sufferable troubles? surely, it leaueth not all in like case, the difference is great betweene the dead. When death commeth by the ordinary worke of Gods hand (to whom the is­sues of death belong) and the partie that dieth, is well prepared by faith in Christ, to leaue this world at the will of his GOD, that he may be gathered to his Redeemer, which is best of all. DeathIt leaueth the godly i [...] a blessed estate. leaueth this man in a blessed estate, it is the period of his present troubles, and then begins his eternall rest. Vnto this man death hath left his sting, and is made vnto him the way and bridge, by [Page 507] which he passeth ouer to enter into true life. And this comes to passe, not by any secret vertue of death it selfe, but by the vertue of the death of Christ, making that by his grace to bee our medicine, that sinne had made to bee our poison. Augustine intreating of this point, thatDe Ciuitat. Deī lib. 13. cap. 4. death which he calleth poenam vitiorum, and supplicium peccator is, the iust paine of wickednes & punishment of sinners, should become as hee calles it, arma virtutis, and iusti meritum, the armour of vertue, and merit or happines of a righteous man, hee saith this commeth thus to passe, non quia mors bonum aliquod facta est quae an­tea malum fuit, not because death is now become a good blessing, that before was an euill curse. Sed tantam Deus fidei praestit it gratiam, vt mors quam vitae constat esse contrariam, instrumentum sieret per quod transiretur in vitam: that is, but God did afford so much grace vnto faith in his Son, that death which is knowne to be contrarie to life, should be made the instrument or way by which we might passe into life. So that death comming by the order of God, to a man prepared by faith in Christ, that neither through impatience hasteneth [Page 508] death before his time, nor through loue of this world, or ignorance of his fu­ture happinesse, cowardly shrinketh, de­siring to liue beyond his time: death comming to such a man in this maner, deliuering him from his present short and sufferable troubles, leaueth him in a blessed and happy condition, absolute­ly freed from all troubles, for the second death hath no power ouer him, and he is presently receiued into glorie. To him pertaine these words of Christ, He that Iohn 5. 24. heareth my wordes, and beleeueth in him that sent mee, hath euerlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but hath passed from death vnto life. As the belee­uing thiefe passed from the Crosse to Pa­radise, and as soone as he was deliuered from his present trouble, entred into e­ternall glorie, and neuer felt eternall troubles: so euery beleeuer, when God calles him out of this world, from earth passeth to heauen, as Lazarus did from his houell into Abrahams bosome, and death leaueth him in a most happy state. For, Blessed are the dead which die in the Reu. 14. 13 Lord, euen so saith the spirit, for they rest from their labours. No more trouble, no [Page 509] more dāger, no more sorrow shal come to them.

But death doth not prooue so benefi­ciallIt leaueth the wicked in a most wicked e­state. to all. For when a wicked man dies, whether hee perish by fire as did the So­domites, or perish by water as did Pha­rao and his Egyptians, or be swallowed vp of the gaping earth, as was Korah and his company, or were stoned to death, as was Achan, or be slaine with the sword, as was Ioab, or perish of some foule dis­ease, as did Herod, or die a faire death in his bed, as the greatest number do, or fall by his owne hand, as Achitophel and some other did; howsoeuer he come to his end, with honour or reproach, with ease or with paine: the wicked man by death (though deliuered frō the troubls of this life, yet) is left in a most wofull estate, being ledde into the depth of all miseries. For from the earth they passe to hell, from short to eternall, from tol­lerable to vnsufferable crosses, from tro­bles mixed with comforts, which also in their bitterest condition may bee indu­ [...]ed, and ouercome with some little pa­tience, to troubles mixed with no com­forts, making euen the remembrance of [Page 510] that sweet name of comfort to be a new addition of discomfort, and which giue no place for the least measure of patience to abide with them. Of the end and end­lesse condition of the wicked, when death hath fetched them from hence, the Prophet speaketh in the Psalme,Psal. 73. 18 Surely thou hast set them in slippery places, and castest them downe into desolation. How suddenly are they destroied, perished, and horribly consumed, as a dreame when one awaketh, O Lord, when thou raisest vs vp, thou shalt make their image▪ despised. There prosperity before death is slippery as Ice, there is no firme standing vpon it and when death commeth, that seemeth to giue ease and end of some intermixed troubles, they fall with violence, and there fall is remedilesse, they perish in it, and remaine miserable for euer, & what­soeuer conceit they nourished of lasting and continued ease, it becommeth like a dreame, which proueth idle when the dreamer awaketh: Iob speaketh excel­lently of the wretched condition vnto which death bringeth the wicked, say­ing,Iob. 21. 17 How oft shal the Candle of the wicked be put out, and there distruction come vpon [Page 511] them? Hee will deuide their liues in his wrath: they shall be as slubble before the wind, and as chaffe that the storme carrieth away. God will laie vp the sorrow of the fa­ther for the children, when hee rewardeth him, he shall know it: his eies shall see his distruction, and▪ he shall drinke of the wrath of the almighty: for what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of [...]is moneths is cut off? This good man Iob knew something, in what condition death leaueth a wicked man, when it hath fetcht him out of this world: then is he deliuered vp to the violent storme of Gods iust indignation, the stubble is not more easily nor more confusedly scattered then hee: then commeth the reward of all his wickednesse, hee was a doer before, from that time hee becom­meth meerely a sufferer: then the fury of the almighty ceazeth vpon him, his dai­ly drinke shall bee nothing else but the wrath of God: his pleasure after his death is altogether ended, and eternall woe lighteth vpon him. Let vs not stand onely vpon sentences, which may perhaps bee esteemed as lawes, which great men easily breake thorow and de­lude. [Page 512] Let vs looke into the acts of God, and consider his reall proceeding: wee haue a notable example commended vn­to vs by our Sauiour Christ, to whom the father hath committed all iudge­ment, and therefore hee should not bee ignorant of Gods carriage. He remem­breth a great man, a rich man, which was cloathed in Purple and fine linnin, and fa­red wel and dilicately euery day. His welth and great estate could not protect him from the stroke of death, that made an end of him, and so of the troubles of his life, if his life were acquainted with any.

But in what case did death leaue him? our Sauiour telleth vs in these words. The rich man died, and was buried, and be­ing in hell in torments, hee lift vp his eies and saw Abraham a farre off, and Laza­rus in his bosome, then he cried and said, father Abraham haue mercy vpon me, and Lu. 16. 22. send Lazarus that hee may dippe the tip of his finger in water, and coole my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame: but A­braham said sonne remember that thou in thy life time receiuedst thy pleasure, and contrariwise Lazarus paine: now therfore is he comforted, and thou art tormented. [Page 513] Ther was his answer, stoping his mouth, & leauing no place for any further hope of any good. While he liued he was wel, if any thing were a little amisse, it was fully recompenced with many pleasures: in the end he died, and in that death his troubles (if he had any) ended and his pleasures also. And where did death leaue him? in Hell: in what estate there? in torments: with what hope of helpe? he had liberty to crie and call, but there was no reliefe: and it seemeth the man vnderstood and feared so much, and therefore in his request he was very mo­derate (if I may call it moderation, which was rather the faint request of a despairing heart) for hee desired not to be taken out of Hel, to be placed in Hea­uen where Lazarus was: he desired not to bee quitted wholy of his torments, and to possesse the ioyes of Paradice: he knew it was in vain to hope for or craue any such thing: And therefore like a saint-harted, fearing, doubting, and des­pairing creature, hee begged a drop of colde water, a thing of nothing, soone dried vp in the heat of that Fornace of fire where he fried. In the measure of his [Page 514] request hee shewed the measure of his hope, hee craues a thing of nothing, as knowing that nothing was to be obtai­ned.

This is all the deliuerance from trou­ble,The sinners misery, that by killing himselfe seckes to be free from trouble. that thy act in killing thy selfe, and adding that vnnaturall sinne vnto all thy other sinnes, can helpe thee vnto: nam­ly to deliuer thee from sicknesse, by thy death, and that death eternall, to deli­uer thee from needlesse feare, by certain danger, and that danger for euer remedi­lesse: to deliuer thee from a little greese, by endlesse woe, and that we also vnsuf­ferable: to deliuer thee from some dis­content, by eternal vexation heaped vp beyond measure: to deliuer thee from the slight offence of a litle sun-burning, by casting thee into the flames of Hell fire, that neuer shal be quenched: to de­liuer thee from some disgrace among men, by making thee, as Esay speaketh to be an abhorring to all flesh. This is thatEsa. 66. 24. sweet aduantage that thou dreamest of, that thy death shall bring with it an end of all thy feares, troubles, and disgraces, indeede it is the most sure way to bring vpon thee all feare trouble and disgra­ces; [Page 515] it endeth present, and beginneth future troubles. It endeth short, and be­ginneth eternal troubles, it endeth easie and tolerable euils, it beginneth wofull and intolerable euils. So that there is no deliuerance to be hoped for this way, it turneth in conueniences into mischiefes, and turneth offences into hellish tor­ments: in one word it turneth a weary life that may bee helped, into a wofull death that cannot be helped. Hee that hateth thee with a deadly hatred, can­not deuise to doe or wish vnto thee a greater mischiefe, then this, that thou vnwisly concludest against thy self, ther­fore change thy minde while yet thou hast time, hurt not thy selfe, please not thine enemies, offend not thy God, quench not the light of life that he hath kindled in thy breast, breake not the prison of thy body, in which God hath shut vp thy soule as a prisoner for a sea­son: it is neither a matter of iustice for thee without commission to punish thy selfe with death: neither is it a matter of aduantage for feare of falling into danger, to throw thy selfe headlong into danger. Beare thy crosse with patience [Page 516] yet a little while, and trust in the mercy of God by Christ. So shall thy sinnes be forgiuen, thy life shall be saued, and in due time peace shall be restored to thy soule.

CHAP. XXIX.

THE sinner by this timeA twel [...]th obiection be i [...] vnworthy of life, and must not nourish it: be is vnwor­thy of good things and must not vse them. partly afraid and part­ly ashamed of his for­mer vniust and dange­rous resolution, and seeing the iniquity and absurdity of it, lets it fall vpon the ground: but is not yet won to that care and loue to the preseruation of his owne life that should be in him: and therfore obiecteth againe in a lesse violent man­ner (but very vnkindly) saying, If I may not kill my selfe that haue deserued to die, yet why should I cherish my selfe, that am not worthy to liue? is not life a gift and blessing of God? is it not a ta­lent of his welth that he hath committed to our occupying, that wee might bee faithfull, and hee might bee a gainer by the right vse of it? and first of all, as it is [Page 517] his gift and blessing bestowed vpon me, I haue beene vnthankfull to him for it, the vnreasonable beasts, the sencelesse trees and plants haue beene more thank­full for a viler and worse-qualified life, then I for my life: yea the stones and dead earth that haue no life, haue beene more thankfull for a bare being, then I for my life adorned with excellent qua­lities. And shall so vnthankfull a man thinke to continue the vse of so great a blessing? And as it is his goodes, and that Talent that hee hath committed to mee to vse to his aduantage, that hee might get glory by his owne possessi­on, I haue beene very vnfaithfull, and haue wasted the daies thereof not onely vnprofitably, but also hurtfully: many daies haue beene spent in ignorance while I knew not my duty: many daies in sloth and idlenesse while I had no care to doe my duty: many daies in vanity while I sought my pleasure: many in wickednesse while I sought the satisfy­ing of mine owne lusts. And shall so vn­faithfull a seruant thinke to haue still in vse such goods of his masters that hee hath done no good withall? was it not [Page 518] said if the vnprofitable seruant, take th [...] Mat. 25. 28 talent from him, and giue it vnto him that hath ten talents. And was it not said toLuk. 16 2 the wastfull Steward, How is it that I heare this of thee? giue an account of thy Stewardship, for thou maiest be no longer Steward. Such a Steward, such a seruant am I, I haue made waste of the daies of my life, I haue brought no glory to God by them, therefore I hold my selfe vn­worthy of life, and wil not seeke to nou­rish it: besides I am not worthy of meat, I wil not eat: I am not worthy of drinke; I will neuer quench my thirst: I am not worthy of my clothes to couer my wicked carcase, nor of my bed to rest my vngodly bones vpon: I am not worthy of thy company, of thy comfort, of these mercifull words of counsell that thou giuest mee: I am worthy of nothing: cast me out to the dung-hill as a crumbe of vnsauory salt, speake no more vnto mee, doe no more seruice for me, giue nothing vnto me, let me perish: I know how vile I am before God, and I am as vile in mine owne sight, and let mee be no dearer in your [...]ies: my sinnes make me vnworthy of all good things, and [Page 519] worthy onely of death, and therefore in reuerence to God I will absteine from the vse of all good things, and waite for deserued death.

O poore afflicted soule, these wordsAnswere to this twelfth obiection. doe much moue my compassion to­ward thee, to see that humilitie should become hurtfull to any poore seruant of God, and that the confession of our vn­worthines should preiudice our com­fort in God, and our releefe from God, euen then when God doth ofter releefe, and in those things wherein God doeth offer comfort. Here is an error that must be helped. This error is not in thy con­fession of thine vnworthines, therein we & all Gods children wil ioine with thee, and euery man confesse that wee are not worthy of the least of Gods mercies, be­cause we haue beene vnthankefull for the comfort that wee haue reaped by them, and haue also beene vnfaithfull not improueing them to the praise of God, we will say with Iacob vnto God. I am not worthy of the least of all the mer­cies Gen. 32. 11 and all the trueth which thou hast shewed vnto thy seruant. We will confesse vnto Christ with the Centurion, and say, [Page 520] I am not worthy that thou shouldest come Mat. 8. 8. vnder my roofe: And with the prodigall childe, priuie to his owne riotous cour­ses, we will say to God, as he said to his father, Father I haue sinned against hea­uen Luke. 15. 21. and before thee, and am no more wor­thy to be called thy sonne. If vnthankeful­nes can make thee vnworthy, we can­not be worthy, that haue beene as vn­thankefull: and if vnfaithfulnes can make thee vnworthy, wee must stand by thee, and confesse as much against our selues▪ if any mans sinne may make him vnworthy, then are wee as vnworthy as any man, for wee also haue sinned and iustly displeased our God. But the errorWherein the error of this obi [...]cti­on heth. is in this, that, because thou doest iudge thy selfe vnworthy of the good giftes of God, therefore thou shouldest forbeare to vse them: alas what should become of the creatures of God, if all should for­beare to vse his guiftes that are vnwor­thy of his guiftes. This must needes produce a generall decay of all Gods creatures.

Vnderstand therefore these thingsGod allow­eth his bles­sings to the vnworthy. following. First God doeth allow his blessings, not to the worthy onely, but [Page 521] to the vnworthy also. Of him the Pro­phetPsal. 145. 9 saith. The Lord is good vnto all, and his mercies are ouer all his workes. Because the creatures are the worke of his hands, therefore (without regard whether they be worthy or not worthy) hee will ex­tend his mercy vnto them. Of him the Lord Iesus saith. He maketh his Sunne to Mat. 5. 45. arise vpon the euill and the good, and send­eth raine on the iust & vniust. God is not ignorant either of the worthines of the good and iust, or of the vnworthines of the euill and vniust, but hee regardeth the necessities of all, and therefore be­cause their grounds equally haue neede, in time of droght of the dew of heauen, and in time of winters cold, of the re­freshing warmth of the sunne, therefore he giues the heate of the sunne, and moisture of his clowdes, to make all their groundes fruitefull, be the owners of those groundes good or euill, yet hee will bee good vnto them. Secondly,The vnwor­thy craue, obtaine, & vse Gods blessings. those men, that haue in iudgement found and acknowledge their owne vn­worthines, yet in their necessities haue made suite vnto God for those good things which they wanted, and haue [Page 522] thankefully receiued and cheerefully vsed the good things that God sent them. Iacob that acknowledged his vn­worthines, euen then made request vnto God for his mercy to bee shewed him, saying. I pray thee deliuer mee from the Gen. 32. 11 hand of my brother from the hand of Esa [...], for I feare him, least he will come and smile mee▪ and the mother vpon the children▪ for thou saidst, I will surely doe thee good, and make thy seede as the sand of the sea, &c. Hee earnestly craueth grace and mercy at Gods hands: and that he may obtaine what he desireth, he is bold to remember vnto God his gracious promise: and he doeth all this euen when hee had in the same pra [...]er ackdowledged his vnwor­thines. The Cent [...]rion that held himselfe so vile, that he was not worthy to re­ceiue Christ into his house, yet euen then intreated mercy at his hand for his seruant, saying. Speake, the word onely Mat. 8. 8. and my seruant, shalbe healed. And his faithfull praier found fauour, for his ser­uant was healed, yea that prodigall child, that is the patterne of all pen [...]tent sinners, when hee did acknowledge his vnworthines, yet euen then he made re­quest [Page 523] for his fathers louing fauour, say­ing, Make me as one of thy hired seruants. Luke 15. 19 And his praier was heard, himselfe was [...]eceiued into grace, and hee obtained at his fathers hand whatsoeuer blessing a sonne might looke for, so that neuer any well aduised childe of man, howsoeuer [...]nowing himselfe vnworthy of the loue [...]nd mercies of God, did yet either re­ [...] to vse them when God did grant them, or to intreat God for them, when [...] felt want of them. Thirdly, the goodGod giueth his blssing [...] that they should be vsed to his praise. blessings of God, by him giuen vnto vs, are therefore giuen that wee should vse them, that by the vse of them wee being refreshed, [...] see therein the fatherly [...]are of God for vs, and his continuall [...]ountie and loue to vs, and might so be [...]oued to giue him thankes, and to trust in his mercy, and being so giuen, they ought not to be refused, yea they can­ [...]ot without our great sinne be refused, for in refusing them, we refuse God, and the free offer of his mercy, that he giueth his blessings to be vsed of vs, Saint Paul teacheth vs saying. Trust not in vncer­taine 1. Tim. 6. 17 riches, but in the liuing God, which giueth vs ubundantly all things to inioy. He [Page 524] giueth all things: he giueth all things a­bundantly: and hee giueth that aboun­dance to be vsed and inioied. There­fore doeth the Prophet Dauid say. Hee Psal. 104. 14. causeth grasse to grow for the cattell, and herbe for the vse of man, that he may bring forth bread out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and o [...]e to make the face to shine, and bread that strengtheneth mans heart. All this in­crease of Gods blessings, the Prophet affirmeth to be giuen for mans vse, and also in some sort limiteth that vse, shew­ing vs what good God intendeth that wee should reape of his guiftes, and hee intendeth his owne praise in this boun­tifull giuing of his blessings. And there­fore is it, that Saint Paul at Listra com­mendeth to those gentiles, the God that made the heauen & earth, commending him by his bountie in giuing those things, so to make his goodnes knowen. And therefore he speaketh thus of him. He left not himselfe without witnes, in that Acts. 14. 17 he did good, and gaue vs raine from hea­uen, and fruitfull seasons, filling our hearts with foode and gladnes. This good did God for the Gentiles, he gaue them the [Page 525] dewe of heauen, and fatnes of the earth, with his guiftes, hee filled their hearts, that is satisfied their desires, and made them to reioyce in the vse of those guiftes. And all this he did for them, to this ende, that they might know the boundles goodnes of this God, and that his blessings, as so many faithfull wit­nesses might preach and declare this goodnes of his, if by this meanes at the last they would turne backe from their idols to serue and please him: and to this purpose serue the words of Moses vnto the people of Israel, saying, When Deu. 8. 10. thou hast eaten & filled thy selfe, thou shalt blesse the Lord thy God, for the good land which he hath giuen thee. In these words be plainely signifieth vnto vs, that when God hath giuen vs fruitfull habitations, and giuen vs foode and all necessarie things, his meaning is, that we should receiue and vse his guiftes, and giue him thankes for his goodnes. Whosoeuer therefore refuseth to vse the guiftes of God for their comfort, contemne his bountie, and denie him his due praise, while they refuse the things for which they should praise him. And most ex­cellent [Page 526] are the words of the Prophet Ioel, promising in Gods name these his blessings to the people, and requiring their thankes for them to bee returned vnto God, saying, The barnes shalbe full Ioel. 2. 24. of wheate and the presses shall abound with wine and oile, and I will render you the yeares that the Grashopper hath eaten, the cankerworme, and the caterpiller and the palmerworme, my great host which I sent among you, so shall you eate and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, &c. Consider rightly of these words: in them the Prophet teacheth vs, that when God sendeth the fruites of the earth, his good blessings vnto vs, his meaning is that we should eate, and in eating be satisfied, and for this satisfacti­on blesse Gods name. This is Gods meaning in sending them and thou wilt not receiue them, thou wilt not eate that thou maiest be satisfied, thou wilt not vse them to the comfort and gladnes of thine heart: is there not in thy course manifest contempt of Gods goodnes? as if thou didst say vnto him, let him keepe his guiftes to himselfe, let him giue me none, I care not for them, I will [Page 527] not receiue them, I will not vse them, I will not be beholding to him for them, veriely this is the stubbornes of an vnto­ward child, that being in his foolish and froward nature, displeased with his fa­ther, refuseth to receiue bread at his fa­thers hands.

Lastly vnderstand that this resolutionThis absti­nence is [...] dangerous to thy life, as violence can be. to refuse the comforts of life, differeth but little from the former resolution to hasten violently thine owne death: for that which thou thoughtest before to doe with Sauls sword or Achitophels [...]lter, thou wilt now doe with foolish and willfull abstinence, most idle pre­tending thy vnworthines, as if in meere humilitie thou wouldest kill thy selfe. And if the matter be wisely considered, this course of weakning first, and after ouerthrowing thy life, will be found a more cruell act, then that of Saul or A­chitophel, for they quickly rid them­selues out of the paines of death, but thou like a cruell executioner, doest kill thy selfe slowly, with a lingring kinde of torment. The Prophet Ieremie saith, They that be slaine with the sword are bet­ter, Lam. 49. then they that are killed with hunger, [Page 528] for they fade away as they were stricken through for the fruites of the field. Let these words weigh with thee, and take heede that thou be not a most cruell tormenter to thy selfe. The prophane histories report of a noble Roman, whose name was Marcus Portuis Latro, Portuis la­tro. that being wearie of a quartan ague, that he had indured long, and whereof he could not be healed, hee killed him­selfe with his sword. And they make like mention of one Eratosthenes a Cire­naean, Eratosthe­nes. the keeper of the famous Librarie of Ptolome in Egypt, that being long vexed with a disease, whereof he could find no remedie, in the end by absteining from meate killed himselfe. Both out of discontent ended their owne liues, one by laying violent hands vpon himselfe, the other by withholding helping­hands from himselfe: the one by ap­plying that that did destroy life, the o­ther by denying that that should pre­serue life: which of these canst thou ex­cuse of murder? of the vnnaturall mur­der of himselfe? and if both were mur­derers, which of them was the more cru­ell in the [...] & iudgement of the world? [Page 529] surely the second, that absteined from the good things that he might & ought to haue vsed, for hee prolonged his first greefe, and ioyned a second greefe (euen the teeth of famine) to it, and so with a double prolonged plague consumed himselfe: whereas the other made quicke dispatch, this fondnes therefore in refu­sing to vse the good guiftes of God, be­cause the conceite is entred into thy phantasie that thou art vnworthy of them, is not a fruite of Christian humili­tie, inspired by the Holy Ghost, it is foo­lishnes, it is extreame dotage: yea if I should call it by the right name, I should say it is high crueltie against thy selfe, besides that, it is vile vnthankfulnes a­gainst God, and the aduiser was no o­ther then the old serpent that deceiueth the whole world.

Lay all these things together: first theThe conclu­sion of the answere to this obiecti­on. bountie of God that giueth his blessings not onely to the worthy but also to the vnworthy, because the necessitie both of the worthy and of the vnworthy doeth require it: and by vnworthy, I doe not meane the godly, that in true hu­militie doe iudge themselues vnwor­thy [Page 530] of Gods fauour (for God esteemeth them worthy) but I meane the wicked▪ whatsoeuer they thinke of themselues for God doeth esteeme them vnworthy) euen vnto them doeth God allow his good blessings. Secondly, the behaui­our of all the wise and well aduised sonnes of Adam, who euen then when they see and acknowledge their vnwor­thines, yet in the feeling of their necessi­ties and wants, doe make hearty praier vnto God, that hee will be pleased to be­stow his blessings vpon them: and it is not onely a libertie that nature taketh to seeke for helpe in time of necessitie, but it is the libertie that God in his mer­cy giueth to his seruants, and which in pietie and faith they doe vse, namely to fly to God their helper in all necessi­ties. Thirdly the purpose of God the giuer of all good things, who giueth them not in vaine, but for our seruice and helpe, that we might vse them, and being cheared by their vse, might returne vnto him with thankes for his goodnes, so that whosoeuer refuseth to receiue them and vse them, deludeth as much as in him lies the good purpose of God, re­iecteth [Page 531] the offred mercy of God, and in­tercepteth the praise of God, while hee refuseth to receiue & vse that, by which God seeketh to merit and winne praise at his hands. Lastly the nature and qua­litie of the thing it selfe, namely the re­fusing of good things that God giueth and thou needest, it is a wilfull killing of thy selfe, while thou doest obstinately refuse to vse the things that may pre­serue thy life: & it is a most cruell kinde of killing thy selfe, while thou doest consume and waste thy selfe by little and little, tearing thine owne bowels with the teeth of inforced famine, continued and increased from day to day, for it is a more grecuous thing to be slaine by famine then by the sword: lay all these things together, and thy doc proue, this abstinence of thine grounded vpon pre­tence of vnworthines, to be a foolish, vn­godly and a cruell course. Put it there­fore from thee, and vse the loue of thy friends, the helpe of the Phisition, the counsell of thy minister, the cheerefull seruice of them that are about thee, vse thy bed, thy clothes, thy meate prepared for thy ease, thy couering, thy nourish­ment, [Page 532] vse all the creatures of God in their kinds, and praise God that thou maiest haue them. S. Paul saith, Euery creature of God is good, and nothing ought 1. Tim. 4. 4 to be refused, if it be receiued with thanks­giuing, for it is sanctified by the word of God and praier. It ought not saith he to be refused, it ought to be receiued with giuing of thankes. And if we vse praier vnto God, that it will please him to blesse vnto vs his owne gift, which the word of God alloweth vs to vse, he will sanctifie it for our good: For God that giueth these things is good, the things themselues that God doth giue are good, therefore the effect of them being Christianly vsed cannot but bee good. Continue the opinion of thine owne vnworthinesse, but reiect thy vnwise purpose of refusing to vse Gods crea­tures for thine vnworthinesse.

CHAP. XXX.

OVR poore distressed sin­ner,A thirtenth obiection. He feareth death for two causes. reclaymed from the conrses, that in his last obiections hee remem­bred, the first being a quicke violent and ap­parent purpose of ending his owne life, the second being a slow dangerous and close purpose of wasting his life, is not yet so freed from the troubled thoughts of death, that he can with a quiet hope of life looke to the God of life: and thus further out of remayning feare ob­iecteth, to the disquieting of his owne heart; though I may not hurt my life with violent hands, as first I thought to doe, and must nourish my life with ser­uiceable hands, which in the second place I thought not to haue done: yet my life must come 'to an end by the condition that all Adams children are subiect vnto. God said to Adam in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till Gen. 3. 19. thou returne to the earth, for out of it wast thou taken, because thou art dust, and to [Page 534] dust shalt thou returne. This was the con­dition of the first man, this is the con­dition of all men, and among all it is al­so my condition, I must die, if I cherish life neuer so carefully. And this remem­brance of death (considering my present woefull estate) is fearefull vnto mee two manner of waies. First I feare lest deathFirst least he die be­fore this temptation cease, that were to die without faith. should take mee away before I be deli­uered from this temptation, as it may well doe; for I may die to day, or to morrow, yea I may die presently. And if I should so hastily die while this feare (directly contrary to faith) lieth yet vp­on my conscience, I should die in my in­fidelity, I should die without faith in Christ: and so to die without faith in the sonne of God, is the high-way to eter­nall damnation▪ for the Lord Iesus saith, he that beleeueth not, is condemned alrea­dy, Ioh. 3. 18. because he beleeueth not in the name of the only begotten sonne of God. SecondlySecondly, least the accusation be renewed after death if there should be any ceasing and inter­mission of these accusing thoughts be­fore my death, yet I feare death, because after death this accusation may bee re­newed, and the precedent ceasing proue no doing away for euer, but onely a de­ferring [Page 535] for a time of this plague. And I haue cause to feare such a thing, because the right time of preferring accusations against sinners, is the time after death, when men must come to iudgement: as the Apostle saith, it is appointed vnto men Heb. 9. 27.. that they shal once die, and after that com­meth the iudgement. After death the soule commeth to iudgement, the book of conscience must then be opened, and accusations then or neuer must be heard: and if these accusations now be so grie­uous vnto mee, now while iudgement is far off, while there is place for repen­tance, and hope of forgiuenesse, surely they will then be much more fearefull, woefull, miserable, horrible: therefore the remembrance of death, come it soo­ner, or come it later, come it before or after the stay of this temptation, is fear­full vnto me.

This obiection is not hard to bee an­swered; Answer to this obie­ction. thou fearest death two manner of waies. First, lest it come before thou haue ouercome this temptation, and re­couered peace with God by faith in our Lord Iesus. And thou fearest this hasty comming of death for two causes, one [Page 536] is because it is possible that it may so come, for we may (and must if God cal) die presently: another because it is dan­gerous so to die, thou takest thy temp­tation to bee directly opposit to faith, therefore if thou die before it bee ouer­come thou diest without faith, and to die without faith is sure damnation. Thus thou fearest deathes hasty com­ming, and to thy feare of death this way growing we will first make answer.

Against thy feare of death commingThere is hope that thy temp­tation shall end before death come vpon thee. before thy temptation be ouercome, God giueth comfortable hope, that death shall not come before thy temp­tation be ouercome. And it comes not at all, but by the appointment of God, neither sooner nor later then he appoin­ted it. For hee sent vs with life into the world, he hath appointed the length of our life in the world, and the time and manner of our dying and departing out of the world, lieth onely in his pleasure, of whom the Prophet saith, To the Lord Psal. 68 20. God belongeth the issues of death. The set time for the produceing of all his ap­pointed workes resteth in his owne counsell when the Apostles questioned [Page 537] the Lord Christ (after his resurrection) for the restoring of the kingdome to Is­rael, he made them answer, It is not for Acts 1. you to know the times, or the seasons, which the father hath put in his owne power. And if the time of all his workes be put and placed only in his power, then the time of thy death, which is one of this workes is put only in his power. But his God that hath the sole disposing of thy death, hath, as I said, giuen thee comfortable hope that death shall not come before this thy temptation be ouercome. For this we haue his gracious promise, deli­uered by the pen of the blessed Apostle Paul, saying; God is faithfull, that will 1. Cor. 1 [...]. 13▪ not suffer you to be tempted aboue that you be able, but will giue the issue with the tem­tation that ye may be able to beare it. Here he promiseth an issue of euery temptati­on, and also that the man burdened there with shal be able to beare it and o­uercome it. And hitherto though this temptation hath beene grieuous vnto thee, and in bearing of it thou hast felt and found thine owne weaknesse, yet God hath supported thee, and thou hast beene inabled to indure weary daies and [Page 538] comfortlesse nights. And in the meane time, while this temptation hath lasted, for thy further strengthening thou hast inioyed many mercies of God, both in thy soule, and body, and estate, and friends; for hee hath not smitten thy soule with the stroke that fell vpon Ne­buchadnezzar, thou hast had, and stil hast thine vnderstanding free, to inquire af­ter God, and harken after his mercy, and he hath not smitten thy body with the bile of Aegypt▪ but thou hast beene able in body to stand vnder thy burden, and to performe many good seruices in thy calling: and he hath not smitten thee in thy children, friends, and goods, with the rod of patient Iob, but thy estate re­maineth safe, thy friends are cheerefull about thee, such mercies of God haue accompained thy affliction, and mini­stred comfort vnto thee in the time of it. And in these things, one part of that promise deliuered in Gods name by the Apostle hath beene performed vnto thee, (God will not suffer you to be tempted aboue that you be able.) He himselfe that sent the temptation, gaue thee strength to beare the temptation, and vnto this [Page 539] day thou bearest it, though not without griefe, yet not without hope. Why then shouldest not thou withall cheerefulnes, hope and pray, that God would per­forme vnto thee graciously the other part of that promise (but will giue the issue with the temptation &c?) Doth not the Apostle, when he giues vs that promise in Gods name, vse a preface to perswade our hearts to hope for it, and pray for it, commending God, in whose name hee giues it, by the title of faithfull, saying, God is faithfull that will not suffer you to be tempted aboue that yee be able? Hope then in that faithfull God, pray vnto that faithful God, who hath already ap­proued his faithfulnesse, in performing vnto thee theone part of his promise, and as he is true and faithful, he will (hauing freely bound himselfe) performe his whole promise, and giue an issue of thy temptation, and thou shalt liue to ouer­come it. And heere I will acquaint thee with an holy rule, which God obser­ueth in the temptations of his seruants, which rule offereth hope of deliuerance from thy greeuous temptation before death.

[Page 540]The rule is found in Deuteronomie, where Moses speaking to the people of Israel, and remembring their wearie wandring through a roaring and terri­ble wildernesse, and the many heauie accidents that in that wildernesse came vnto them, saith, that God led them that way, to humble them, and to prooue Deut. [...]. 16 them, that he might doe them good in the latter end. Gods meaning was, after a hard beginning to bring them to a com­fortable end, when they were first hum­bled and prooued. And very meete it is that Gods seruants should bee hum­bled: and it is right in God to prooue his servants, whether they loue the Lord with all their heart, and will in­dure with patience his good pleasure and whether they will cleaue vnto him in danger, and put their trust in his mer­cies: and this proofe is best made by crosses and troubles: for this cause doth God send troubles to his seruāts whom he loueth, but alwayes with a reserua­tion, in his good purpose, to do them good in the latter end. Apply this vnto thy selfe: It was fit that thou shouldest be humbled, to acknowledge thy selfe [Page 541] before God to be dust and ashes, and la­den with iniquitie: to humble thee in this sort, God hath sent this crosse, doe1. Pet. 5. 6. thou therefore humble thy selfe vnder the mightie hand of God, that hee may exalt thee in due time. It was fit that thou shouldest be prooued, that thou migh­test see thine owne strength to bee but rotten [...]es, and dust, and that thou migh­test shew thy loue, thy patience, thy faith in God, that it might appeare whe­ther God or thine owne case were dea­rer vnto thee, and whether thou wilt glorifie him in aduersitie, as thou ma [...] kest shew to doe in dayes of peace and prosperitie: and thus to prooue thee he hath sent this temptation: therefore now shew thy selfe a man, shew thy selfe a Christian, shrinke not from God, mur­mure not at his visitation, suffer with patience, and pray in faith, and be con­stant vnto the end. And hee that hath brought thee into this temptation, as it were into a roaring wildernesse, to humble thee, and to prooue thee, will surely doe thee good in the latter end. Surely this rule offereth vnto thee com­fortable assurance, that before the end [Page 542] of thy dayes, thou shalt see an end of thy temptation, and such an end as shall bring thee more ioy, then thy affliction doth now breed thee griefe.

But say that death do take thee away,If death com before, yet there is faith euen where this temptation is strong. before thou hast ouercome this tempta­tion, and thou fearest it may doe so, grounding thy feare vpon two reasons, one is the possibilitie of it (thou maiest die presently) the other is the danger of it (thou thinkest that then thou shalt die in infidelitie and without faith) if this danger were not, the possibilitie of dy­ing, and death it selfe, whensoeuer com­ming, could bee no iust ground of thy feare: for the Patriarks and Prophets, yea Christ himselfe the Sonne of God, and his holy Apostles died, and all the Saints of God die. And it can not bee hurtfull to any, that is so common to all, except there be some speciall dan­ger annexed to it, that makes it hurtfull to one, that is not hurtfull to an other. This danger thou saiest is thine infideli­tie. And thine infidelitie and want of faith, thou proouest by the qualitie of thy temptation, which thou takest to be directly opposite to faith, and the bani­sher [Page 543] of all faith. If therefore it shall ap­peare, that though thou die before thou hast ouercome this temptation to thy li­king, yet thou wātest not faith in Christ, euen faith vnto saluation, then there is no cause of feare.

Indeede this temptation argueth aIn this tēp­tation ther is infidelity roote of infidelity to remaine in thee: for seeing the Lord Iesus hath borne our sinnes in his body vpon the tree, and in bearing them hath taken them away, and hath washed and cleansed vs in his bloud: and seeing God the father of our lord Iesus Christ, receiuing satisfaction in the sacrifice of his Sonne, hath by an irreuocable word promised to forgiue our sinnes, and to remember our ini­quities no more: and these things both concerning the meritorious sacrifice of Christ, and concerning the faithful pro­mise of God, are knowne, and haue been made knowne vnto thee: Surely this temptation of accusing thoughts would long since haue receiued an answere, if there had not beene some roote of infi­delitieBut where there is in­fidelitie, there may be faith. remaining in thee, to giue conti­nuall nourishment vnto it. But because there is some infidelitie in thee, doth it [Page 544] therefore follow, that there is no faith? That is not so: there may be both toge­ther either in his measure and degree. Doth not Saint Paul tell vs, that in him­selfe, at the same time, there was one power which he calleth the Lawe of his minde, leading him to God and to the loue of his lawe, and an other power which hee calleth the lawe of his mem­bers, leading him from God: and lea­ding him to sinne, his words are, I de­light Rom. 7. 22 in the law of God concerning the in­nerman, but I see another law in my mem­bers, rebelling against the law of my mind, and leading mee captiue vnto the lawe of sinne which is in my members. Can anie things bee more opposite one to an o­ther, then these two lawes of the mind and of the members, either striuing to draw the man in whom they remaine, a contrary way, the one to God, the o­ther to sin? and yet they continue in the same man, at the same time, for his ex­ercise, so long as hee liueth. The same Apostle telleth vs concerning euerie renewed seruant of GOD, that in him, at the same time, there remaineth, both naturall corruption, which he cal­leth [Page 545] flesh, and infused grace, which he calleth Spirit, and either worketh, stri­uing each against other. His words are,Gala. 5. 1 [...]. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are con­trarie one to the other: so that yee can not doe the same things that yee would. The spirit in them, that is, infused grace, lu­steth against corruption, to draw them vnto goodnesse, and the flesh in them, that is, naturall corruption, lusteth a­gainst grace, to draw them vnto wic­kednesse. Faith and infidelitie, the one being the worke of the spirit, the other the worke of flesh, are not more con­trary one to another, then the flesh and spirit from whence they grow, and yet they are present together: therefore with thy infidelitie there may be faith in thee. The condition of a Christian man in his holy calling from darknesse vnto light, is like vnto the appearing of day after a darke night. It is a similitude much vsed by the holy Ghost in the Scriptures. Paul saith, The night is past, Ro. 13. 12. the day is at hand: That is, the time of darkenesse, in which you erred altoge­ther is past, and God hath sent his word [Page 546] among you, by which, as by the light of the day, you may see the way to walke in. And in another place, Yee are all the 1. Thes. 5. 5 children of light, and the children of the day, wee are not of the night, neither of darkenesse: That is, we liue not in igno­rance, we walke not in ignorance, but God hath called vs to knowledge, and by the light thereof wee see the way be­fore vs, and walke on safely in it. Now we all know, that when the day begin­neth to breake, there is remaining a sha­dow of darkenesse a long time, and that first growing light, is farre from the cleare and ful light that shineth at noon day. But will any man say, that because of the remainder and mixture of darke­nesse in the beginning of the day, that therefore there is no light at all? euery man would controule that assertion. E­uen so, God shewing mercie to them that were shut vp in infidelitie, giueth them faith, which beginneth to growe like the day light, in the first breaking forth of it, and with some faith there re­maineth much infidelitie. Shall any man therefore say, that because there is some infidelitie still remaining, there is no [Page 547] faith at all; that saying were iniurious to the new conuerted and weake Saint, and it were an vnthankefull censure of Gods gracious worke begun. Remem­ber what thou hast read in the Gospel, of the honest man, that came vnto the Lord Iesus, to intreat for his sonne that was possessed with a diuell: he said vnto our Sauiour, Lord I beleeue, helpe my vnbe­liefe. Mar. 9. 24. He professed his faith, while hee confessed his infidelity, he doubteth not of the presence of the one, because hee saw and felt the presence of the other: but knowing his faith to be tender and young, and his infidelitie to be old and strong, hee craueth the help of the Lord Iesus to weaken his infidelitie, and to strengthen his faith. Such altogether is thy case at this time, weake faith oppres­sed by strong infidelitie, strong infideli­tie keeping the vpper hand of weake faith: say vnto the Lord Iesus as that man did, Lord I beleeue, helpe my vnbe­liefe. And if thou thinkest his prayer to be defectiue, because hee onely craueth helpe against infidelitie, and desireth not increase of his faith, vnto the words of his petition, ioyne the words of the [Page 548] petition, that the Apostles togetherLuke 17. 5 made vnto the Lord, saying, Lord en­crease our faith. These words put toge­ther make a perfect praier for this pecu­liar grace, that the Lord Iesus, of whose fulnesse wee receiue grace for grace, will bee pleased to increase our faith, which we finde to bee weake, and to weaken our infidelitie, which wee finde to bee strong. This doe, and by the mercy of God, and goodnesse of our most milde Sauiour, thou shalt finde an happy alte­ration in good time growing; and thou shalt haue no cause to feare to die with­out faith, whensoeuer death shall come, yea though thou shouldest bee taken a­way before the full vanishing of this temptation, because he dieth not with­out faith, in whom, at his death, there is remaining some infidelitie; neither dieth he without hope, in whome at his departure, there is remayning some feare: and vnto God, thy couered, and almost smotherd faith wil appeare, whenIf the temp­tation hee once right­ly ouercom it shall not returne af­ter death. the same is hidden from thine owne fee­ling.

But thou fearest death, not onely this way, least it should come before thou [Page 549] haue wholy ouercome this temptation, but thou fearest it also, though there should be a ceasing of the temptation before, namely that after death this ac­cusation may be renued, because (as thou saiest) the right time of preferring accusations against sinners is, when af­ter death they appeare before the Lord in iudgement: and if the accusation now, while there is yet time of repen­tance, and hope of forgiuenes, [...]e so hea­uie and fearefull as thou doest finde it and feele it, it must needes be then much more heauie and fearefull, when there is left no time of repentance, nor any new course to be taken for the obteining of forgiuenes. To this I answere, that if once thou ouercome this temptation before death, thou needest not to feare the returne of it after death, if now it be ouercome and quenched rightly by such meanes as God hath appointed for the quieting of consciences, whereof it behoueth thee to be very carefull: for if thy temptation be ouercome by the knowledge and faith of the infinite mer­cy of God toward humble and contrite spirits, and of the vertuous mediation of [Page 550] Iesus Christ that lambe of God that ta­keth away the sin of the world, gathe­red by harkening to the doctrine of the Gospel, which is the power of God to saluation: and if this knowledge and faith be accompanied with the loue of God, that is so mercifull a father, and of Iesus Christ that is so gratious a redeem­er, and with the loue of thy brother, and with the hatred of sinne that is offensiue both to God and to thy brother, assure thy selfe that these accusing thoughts so silenced and quenched, shall not be re­uiued after death: and thy peace so growen by knowledge and saith so ac­companied, is not a deferring of this temptatiō vnto a fitter time, but a totall abolishing of it for euer. He that in this manner ouercommeth his accusing thoughts on earth, shall neuer heare of them before God in heauen. Wherefore else doeth the Lord Iesus say of the de­termination and censure of his seruants (to whom he hath committed the word of reconciliation) either assuring for­giuenes to the penitent beleeuer, or de­nouncing iudgement to the impeni­tent and vnbeleeuers? Whatsoeuer yee Mat. 18. 18. [Page 551] binde on earth, shall be bound in heauen, and whatsoeuer yee loose on earth, shalbe loosed in heauen. Wherefore doeth hee speake thus of their determination and of their word, but that according to that good hope, which thou hast gathered vnto thy soule from the word of God, in the writings of his Pro­phets and Apostles, and in the mouthes of his faithfull witnesses on earth, according to that good hope hee will doe vnto thee in heauen. And in his iudgement, both at thy last day, and in the worlds last day, he will not varie one iot from the straight rule of his word whereon thy recouered peace is grounded.

Indeede, if thou shouldest recouer thy peace, and remoue thy accusing thoughts with the remedie of Atheists, that like Dauids foole, Say in their hearts, there is Psal. 14. 1. no God, that is, there is no diuine power gouerning the world in iustice, and re­warding euery man according to his workes. If thou shouldest shake off thy temptation, with that conceit of wicked men recorded in the booke of wisedome, that say, Wee are borne at all Wis. 2. 2. [Page 552] aduenture, and wee shalbe [...]ereafter as though we had neuer beene: for the breath is a smoke in our nosthrilles, and the words are a sparke raised out of our heart, which being extinguished, the body is turned in­to ashes, and the spirit vanisheth as the soft aire: our life shall passe away as the trace of a cloud, and come to [...]ought as the mist that is driuen away with the beames of the Sun, and cast downe with the heate thereof. That is, no hand of God made vs at the first, to be serued with the obedience of our life▪ and when we leaue the world, we shall not appeare before the face of any God to giue account for our liues, for wee were borne by no prouidence and appointment of any higher power, but euen as it happened, such a man to beget such a boy, such a mother to beare such a child: and when wee die wee re­turne into earth and aire, ourbodies be­come dust, our spirits vanish as a puffe of winde, there is no difference after death betweene man and beast, both vanish and come to nothing; as we were not be­fore we were borne, so wee shall not be when we are dead. I [...] with these wicked conceites we seeke to stifle and choke [Page 553] our owne conscience, or falsely flatter our selues with the securitie of contem­ners, despising all the threatnings of God, So that when they heare the words Deu. 29. 19 of the curse, they blesse themselues in their heart, saying, we shall haue peace, although we walke according to the [...] of our owne hearts: that is, the threatnings of Gods displeasure are not to be regar­ded, I esteeme them no more then the winde that breatheth ouer mine head, and I shalbe well inough whatsoeuer God say, and I will hold on my course without any feare of God. If vpon any such sandie and deceitfull ground thou shouldest builde thy peace, and by such deuice, should make dull, rather then quiet thy troubled conscience, verily thy accusing thoughts would returne like so many furies after death▪ charging thee with all thine impieties before the face of thy Iudge. The Atheist shall knowthat there is a God, as it is said in the Psalme, Doubtles there is a God that Psal. 58. 1 [...]. iudgeth the earth. The Sadduce shall know that there is a life after this, when he shall be called to answere, as it is said of the [...]uill steward, Giue accounts of thy Luke. 16. 2. [Page 554] stewardship, for thou maist bee no longer steward. And the contemner shall know the power of Gods displeasure, when the wrath of the Lord and his i [...]alousie shall Deu. 29. 20 smoake against that man, and all the curses written in Gods booke shall light vpon him▪ But if thy accusing thoughts be put to silence by the knowledge and faith of Gods mercy, and of Christ his merit, ac­companied with repentance and true conuersion to God, as hath beene said: if by the promises and rules of Gods word, thy peace while thou liuest be re­couered, assuerdly thy sinnes shall neuer be laid to thy charge after death, for o­therwise there were no faithfulnes in God, nor trueth in his word, wherein he hath thus spoken, I will rememher their [...]. 31. 34 sinnes no more. And in another place, All Eze [...] 8 2 [...]. his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned vnto him. Theresore if it shall please God, by the meanes that is applied vnto thee, out of his word, to deliuer thee frō the storme of this temptation whilest thou liuest, thou hast no cause to feare the renewing of it after death, nor in that name to feare death.

[Page 555]And because thou art troubled withDeath i [...] not to be feared for anything of a good man such fantasticall feares of death (that in­deed is naturally fearefull to all men) let [...]e acquaint thee with the condition thereof to a Chistian; it came indeede into the world by the sinne of our first parents, and by the holy and iust iudge­ment of God it was imposed vpon vs as a punishment of sinne, depriuing vs of all present good things, and plunging vs into eternall euils. But when the sonne of God suffred death for our sinnes, and by his suffring gaue satisfaction to the iustice of God, he then slew & destroied death it selfe by that death of his, and tooke away all deadly & killing power from that dissolution of ours which we call death, and made it vnto all belee­uers a gate and passage into life, putting an end vnto all their present troubles, [...]nd bringing them to the possession of endles happines. So that it is to them as the euening is to the labourer, when he both resteth from his former wearie worke, and also receiueth the reward for which he wrought. For the body hence­forth is laied vp in the graue, as vpon a bed of ease, where it shall [...]euer after, ei­ther [Page 556] shake for colde, or faint for heate, where it shall neuer after feele either hunger or sicknes, or be wearied any more with painfull labour. That is it that the Prophet meaneth when hee saith, Peace shall come, they shall rest in Esay. 57. 2. their beds euery one that walketh before him. That is, the righteous man, that treading in the paths of Gods com­mandements, walketh with him in his holy obedience, he [...] at his iournies end, in his body shall lie downe to rest in his graue, as on his bed, and much peace shall be his portion; and as for the soule, from thenceforth, being vnclothed of his earthly couering, and remoued out of his Tabernacle and house of clay, it ascendeth vp vnto Iesus Christ, and be­ing clothed with glory, it hath an happy abiding with him, in heauen, where it inioyeth the most comfortable presence of Christ his redeemer, and the desired fellowship of those redeemed, that are alreadle passed out of the wildernes of this wicked world into the paradice of eternall delight. So did the Lord Iesus promise to the dying theese, when hee said vnto him, This day thou shalt be­with Luke. 23. 43 [Page 557] mee in paradice. So did the Apostle Paul wish vnto himselfe, when hee ex­pressed his minde in these words, Desi­ring Phil. 1. 23. to be loosed and to bee with Christ, which is best of all. And the same Apostle, speaking of the death of all the faithfull, saith in this wise, Wee know that if our 2. Cor. 5. 1 [...] earthly house of this Tubernacle be de­stroied, wee haue a building giuen of God, that is, an house not made with hands, but eternall in the heauens. Here is the change of the soules dwelling, from a ruinous house on earth, to an eternall house in heauen. Afterward the same Apostle saith. Wee are bold and loue rather to re­ [...]one 2. Cor. 85. out of the body, and to dwell with the Lord. Here is the change of the soules company; on earth it conuerseth with mortall men, in heauen it dwelleth euer with the immortall God. This is all the hurt that death can doe vnto vs (if this were to be called hurt) it bringeth the body to rest in the graue, and it bringeth the soule to present glorie with God, and all the dangerous deadly and kil­ling power that originally it had, by any confederacie with sinne, all that is taken away by the death of Iesus Christ. And [Page 558] if it were sometime to be feared as a poi­soned serpent of the olde serpents brood, yet it is so spoiled by that ser­pent that was lifted vp vpon the crosse, that it hath neither tooth, nor sting, nor any poison left to hurt any beleeuer. Heare to this purpose the words of Saint Paul, O death where is thy sting? O graue 1. Cor. 15. 55. where is thy victorie? the sting of death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the law: but thankes be vnto God, which hath giuen vs victorie through our Lord Iesus Christ. Death therefore cannot be hurt­full to the beleeuer. And if while he liue, he take such order, and find such fauour, that God will be pleased in Iesus Christ to send him a discharge of his sinnes by faith in his sonne, he hath no cause after death to feare the reuiuing of his accu­sation, though the legions of lying di­uels, whose malice makes them accusers of the Saints before God, should altoge­crie out against him, as Saint Paul teach­eth vs saying. Who shall lay any thing to Rom. 8. 33. the charge of Gods chosen? it is God that iustifieth, who shall condemne? it is Christ which is dead, yea or rather which is risen againe, who is also at the right hand of [Page 55] God, and maketh request also for vs. Thou hast no cause to feare death, or any thing that followeth death, if while thou liue thou returne to God, and recouer his fa­uour in Iesus Christ: for there is full dis­charge against accusation & condemna­tion (both in this life, and after this life) in the free loue of God, and most meri­torious intercession of our Lord Iesus Christ.

CHAP. XXXI.

THE storme is ouer:A four­teenth ob­iection, all things are grieuous to him, that are pleasant to other men. our afflicted sinner by this time seeth no cause any longer to dreame of terrifiing death: and were it not that one d [...]am of bitternes disseasoneth the com­forts of life that God hath lent vnto him, he should grow to some reasonable temper. But one thing hee hath cause to complaine of, and let vs heare him, that we may (vnderstanding his griefe) be the better able to helpe him. Hee telleth vs of a heauie case, his sleepe he saith, is not quiet, but mixt with fearefull dreames: [Page 560] at his table his minde taketh in more sad thoughts, then his mouth doeth bits of meate: the voice and face of his old ac­quaintance and former friends doeth now reuiue his greefe, so oft as he doeth either see them, or heare them: the fairest roomes of his house, which he had trim­med vp for his delight, if hee come into them, doe strike him with grieuous ter­rour: and all those things that hee de­lighted in before, are new matter of sor­row and heauines vnto him, and it is his onely content (though without) to sit alone in darknesse. This hee taketh to be some curse of God folowing him, and an euident signe of Gods iust and fearefull anger following him: for what should make Gods good creatures, (other mens comforts) to be discom­forts to him, but the onely displeasure of God?

To this I answer, that it is very likelyAnswere to this obiecti­on. that it is so, and will continue to bee so with him, so long as this burden of ac­cusing thoughts lies heauy, remaining vpon his wounded conscience. It is a very kindly effect of it, that hath grow­en out of it, and wil vanish with it. Thou [Page 561] sleepest & catest, with a wounded heart; and hence it is, that while thou sleepest and eatest, thou still feelest the smart of thy wounded heart. Thy ancient friends and former woonted delights appeare vnto thee now, when thou art not fit to take pleasure in them, as before time thou didst, and that maketh thee at the present to be the more troubled, think­ing vpon thine old liberty now lost. And the things prepared for thy pleasure while thou wert capable of pleasure in the contrary disposition of thine heart, (bent altogether to feare and sorrow) doe now bring [...]orth a contrary effect vnto thee, euen increase of sorrow. And a desire of shaddow and solitarienesse (though they be hurtfull) doth follow a grieued minde, as Ieremy saith of the man that beareth the yoke in his youth, Hee sitteth alone and keepeth silence, be­cause I. am. 3. 28. he hath borne it vpon him. And this desire of darknesse and solitarinesse, ei­ther is an effect of mortification in him that is crucified to the world (seeing the world crucified to him) or else it grow­eth, partly out of shame, and partly out of anger, that things are in no better [Page 562] tune: and vpon the recouering of thy peace, and ceasing of thy temptation, this trouble will certainly vanish away. In the meane time, giue place to this griefe as little as thou canst, and striue to reioyce in the Lord, and in the good blessings hee hath bestowed vpon thee, & pray him that bestowed good things vpon thee, to giue thee a free heart to take comfort in his guiftes, that thou maiest be prouoked to praise his name. And withall, craue and vse the counsell and helpe of some learned and skilfull Physician, for there is somthing in this griefe, that hath neede of his iudgement and diligence. And the God of hope fill Rom 15. 13 thee withal ioy, and peace in beleeuing, that thou maiest abound in hope, thorow the power of the holy Ghost. Amen.

And now after some delay in answe­ringConclusion concerning this burden of accusing thoughts. such obiections, as the vnquiet soule hath made out of his grieuous feare, let vs grow vnto a conclusion, concerning this burden of accusing thoughts: and let vs gather together briefly & orderly, the scatterd grounds of hope, that this burden may be cast off (when God shall be pleased to giue his [Page 563] blessing) and the scattered rules of aduice, that teach how to cast it vpon God.

And for grounds of hope, that thisGrounds of hope that i [...] may be cast off vpon God. burden of accusing thoughts may bee cast off vpon God for the sinners [...]ase, it hath beene shewed and proued. First, that his sinne, not being that sinne that is called blasphemy against the holy Ghost, is a pardonable sinne, though certainly worthy of a thousand damna­tions. According to that saying of Christ in the gospel, Verily I say vnto you, Mark. 3. 28 all sinnes shalbe forgiuen to the children of men and blasphemies wherewith they blas­pheme. Secondly, that the Lord Iesus Christ hath commanded him, and by his commandement, giuen him leaue to aske forgiuenesse of sinnes, and hath drawen for him a forme of petition, by which to craue that forgiuenesse of our heauenly Father, when he taught him in the Gospel to say, Forgiue vs our sinnes, Luk▪ 11. [...] for euen wee forgiue euery man that is in­debted to vs. Thirdly, that God the fa­ther of our Lord Iesus Christ, who is rich in mercy to all that call vpon him, hath promised, both to forgiue, and to [Page 564] forget all our sinne and iniquity. In thos [...] gracious words record [...]d by Iere­my, I will forg [...]ue their iniquity, and re­member Ier. 31. 34. thei [...] sinnes no more. Fourth­ly, the condi [...]ions to bee obserued on our part, which God requireth where hee forgiueth sinnes, and vpon which hee doth most assuredly forgiue sinnes, haue beene shewed to be these three.

First, repentance bringing forth in vs amendmēt of life, according to that say­ingEze. 18. 21 o [...] the Lord in Ezek [...]el, I [...] the wicked will returne from all his sins that he hath committed and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawfull and right, hee shall surely liue, and shall not die: all his trans­gressions that he hath committed, they shal no: be mentioned vnto him but in his righ­teousnesse that he hath done, he shall liue. Secondly, loue vnto our brother, in forgiuing vnto him whatsoeuer wrong he hath done vnto vs: according to that saying o [...] the Lord Iesus in the Gospel,Math. [...]. 14 If ye [...] do [...] forgiue [...] their trespasses, your [...] Father [...] also forgiue you. Thirdly, saith in God, expec [...]ing at his hands that mercy that he hath promised [Page 565] to grant, and ex [...]cting it, in, and [...] his sonne Iesus Christ his son [...]e▪ Iesus Christ his [...], [...] all the promises of God are yea and amen. According to that most precious sayingIo [...]. 16. 23. of the Lord in the Gospel, Uerily, verily [...] to you, whatsoeuer yee shall aske th [...] [...] my name, he will giue it y [...]u. These are grounds of truth, giuing hope vnto vs, that the burden of accusing thoughts, may bee cast off and turned vpon God, for the case of the poore sinner.

The rules of adui [...]e, in obseruingRul [...] of ad­ui [...], how to ca [...]l this burden vpon God. whereof this burden is cast vpon God, and the neglect whereof hindereth the ca [...]ling of this burden vpon God, are these. First, that without deniall, excu sing, or extenuating of his sinne, he doe ingenuously and fully confesse vnto God his sinne, saying with the Pro­phet in the Psalme, Against thee, a­gainst Psal. 51. 4, thee onely haue I sinned, and done euill in thy sight. For hee that seeketh by any meanes to hide, extenuate, or excuse his sinne before God, as if he had not offended, or had not deser­ued wrath by his offence, shall not bee pardoned, but he that freely confesseth, [Page 566] shall finde fauour. Salomon saith in thePro. 28. 13. Prouerbs, He that hideth his sinnes, shal not prosper, but he that confesseth and for­saketh them, shal haue mercy. Secondly, let him patiently beare, and without all murmuring, the stroke of Gods hand, which his confessed sins conuince him to be most worthy of, and let him say with the Church, I will beare the wrath Mic. 7. 9. of the Lord because I haue sinned against him. For murmuring & impatience pro­uoketh God more. The Prophet saith thus of God, With the froward thou wilt Psa. 18. 26. 1. Pet. 5. 6. shew thy selfe froward. But patience win­neth fauour at Gods hands for deliue­rance. The Apostle Peter saith: Humble your selues vnder the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Third­ly, he must now hate sinne that hath bin so chargeable vnto him, and inquire af­ter the will of God, and do it. As Saint Peter likewise teacheth vs saying, amend Act. 3. 19. your liues and turne, that your sinnes may bee done away. For hee that continueth with delight in sinne shal neuer finde fa­uour, but heapeth vp more wrath vnto himselfe, against the day of wrath: thePsa. 11. 5. Prophet saith, Him that loueth iniquity [Page 567] doth his soule hate. A fourth aduice is, that hee haue compassion vpon his fel­low seruant, and forgiue the offences of his brother, putting from him all pur­pose of seeking reuenge for iniuries re­ceiued. As Saint Paul aduiseth saying, Forbearing one another, and forgiuing one Col. 3. 13. another, if any man haue a quarrell to an­other. For he that hath no pitty vpon his brother, and exacteth satisfaction of him, shall finde no pitty with God, and shall be solde to pay the vttermost far­thing of his owne debt. As the Lord Iesus hath plainly said, If ye doe not for­giue Mat. 6. 15. men their trespasses, no more will your father forgiue you your trespasses. A fifth aduice is, that he in [...]orme himselfe daily more and more of the mercy of God, & merits of Iesus Christ, by searching the Scriptures, that doe beare witnesse ther­to, that he may by this meanes grow to beleeue in God, whereunto the written word affordeth great helpe for the say­ing of Iohn is true of all the Scriptures. These things are written that yee might be­leeue. Ioh. 20. 31. And without faith that staieth our mindes vpon God in the merit of his son there is no accesse vnto God, as wee are [Page 568] taught by the Apostle saying, Without Heb. 11. 6. faith it is vnpossible to please God. Lastly, he must with sighes and grones, with humble and harty praiers, solicite the maiesty of God continually, that he will be pleased to respect him with fauour, and to forgiue his sinnes; as the Pro­phet Hosea teacheth vs, saying, O Israel, returne vnto the Lord thy God, for thou Hos. 14. 1. hast fallen by thine iniquity: take vnto you words, and turne to the Lord, and say vnto him, take away all iniquity, and receiue vs graciously, so will wee render the calues of our lips. The neglect of this duty of pray­ing to God, is esteemed to be a marke of a wicked man: For of them whom he calleth workes of iniquity, the Prophet saith, They call not vpon God. In thesePsal. 53. 4. [...]ew rules of confession, patience, repen­tance, loue, faith, and praier, standes the right casting of this burden vpon God. These things let him practise con­stantly, and God will ease his wearied conscience. And thus haue we declared, what burdens are heere meant; and what it is to cast euery such burden vp­on God.

Which things vnderstood, wee haue [Page 569] the Prophets meaning, in this precept of our text, Cast thy burden vpon the Lord: That is, in al thy trouble seeke helpe and deliuerance at [...] hand, depending vpon him.

CHAP. XXXII

NOvv wee come to theThe promise of recom­pence. promise of recompence, folowing in these words And he shal nourish thee, hee will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. The rules of holy counsell giuen vs of God, are alwaies inriched with liberall promises of his blessing, that wee may know that it is not in vaine to harken to his voice, n [...]r either dangerous or fruit­lesse to follow his direction. When the Lord Iesus said to one that talked with him, This doe, so giuing him direction,Luk. 10. 28 there followes a promise in these words, And thou shalt liue, assuring him of good successe, in following his commande­ment. And vnto all the precepts, in­structions, and aduises of almightie God (as noting the sure successe that fol­loweth [Page 570] the keeping of them) may the words of the Prophet bee added, If yee Esay 1 [...] 19. consent and obey, yee shall eate the good things of the land. That is, if ye will hat­ken to the voyce of God, and do what hee commandeth, he will prosper your wayes, and you shall liue comfortably in the land that hee hath giuen you to dwell in. For all the precepts, instru­ctions, & directions God giues, are pre­cepts, instructions, & directions of holi­nes, iustice and wisdome, that can not ei­ther hurtfully or fruitlesly mis-leade vs.Iob 21. 14. The wicked say to God, Depart from vs, for wee desire not the knowledge of thy waies: who is the Almightie that wee should serue him? and what profit should we haue, if we should pray vnto him? and the Prophet Malachie chargeth the wicked of his time to haue spoken stout words against God in this manner; Yee Mala. 3 24 haue said, it is in vaine to serue God, and what profit is it that we haue kept his com­maundements, and that wee walked hum­bly before the Lord of hostes? Therefore wee count the prowd blessed, euen they that worke wickednesse are set vp, and they that tempt God, yea they are deliuered: this is [Page 571] the opinion of the wicked, that the com­mandements, instructions, and directi­ons of God, carry with them no assu­rance of good successe: they can deuise and appoint more safely and more pro­fitably for themselues. But God saith to the righteous that hearken to his cour­ses, and follow his commaundements, that when hee hath done according to justice and goodnesse, both to the one sort, and to the other, then shall you re­turne, Mala. 3. 18 and discerne betweene the righteous and wicked, betweene him that serueth God, and him that serueth him not. Gods iudgement shall make a sensible diffe­rence betweene them, while the wicked miscarry and perish, that despised his counsel: & the godly prosper that follow his counsell. For of all the counsel, and of all the commandements of God, thePsa. 19. 11 Prophet Dauid saith, By them is thy ser­uant made circumspect, and in keeping of them there is great reward. For when a man doth honour GOD by his obedi­ence, as a iust commaunder, and a wise aduiser: then out of his goodnesse hee furthereth and strengtheneth that good successe that dependeth vpon his rule. [Page 572] Hearken then vnto the voyce of God, follow his holy direction, and all things shall goe well with thee.

But let vs looke to the words of thisThe words of the pro­mise are fitted to his owne pre­sent bur­dens. promise, And he shall nourish thee, hee will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. The promise hath two parts. The whole is deliuered by Dauid in such words, as might most fittely answer to those bur­dens, that at that time lay most heauie vpon his owne soule: that, as hauing re­couered comfort to himselfe, he [...] stru­cteth others to seeke the like: so instru­cting others how to winne their com­fort, hee might together confirme his owne more and more.

Now the burthens that at that timeWhich were two, one was pouer­ty and wa [...]. were most heauy to Dauid, were two: first, pouertie and want of necessaries for him and his followers: secondly, a great fall from the honour that he lately enioyed in Israel. His pouerty appea­reth plainely in the historie of his trou­bles. When Ionathan by his arrowes ga [...]e him warning to slie, he left all that hee had, and came in bare estate to the house of Ahimelech the Priest, and of him obtained the sword of Goliah (for [Page 573] hee brought not with him, for haste, so much as a weapon of his owne) and cer­taine loanes of shew bread for him and for his men. From thence he fled to A­chish king of Gath, but durst not staie there. Then came he into the wild coun­trey of Iuda, a place of no plenty: there his number increased daily to the in­crease of his necessitie: and the inhabi­tants became his enemies, not relieu­ing his want, but betraying him and his haunts to Saul▪ Where while he stayed, there fell out a notable thing, that shew­eth how pouerty pinched him. There was a certaine rich man named Nabal, that sheared his sheepe, and prepared great cheere for his shearers. To him Dauid sent tenne yoong men with this message giuen to them; Goe to Nabal, 1. Sa. 25. 5. and aske him in my name how hee doth, and thus shall you say for salutation, Both thou and thine house, and all that thou hast be in peace, wealth, and prosperitie. Behold, I haue heard that thou hast shearers: now thy sheepeheards were with vs, and wee did them no hurt, neither did they misse anie thing all the while they were in Carmel: aske thy seruants, and they will shew thee. [Page 574] Wherefore let these yong men finde fauour in thine eyes (for wee come in a good sea­son) giue I pray thee what soeuer commeth to thine hand, vnto thy seruants, and to thy sonne Dauid. This petition, to beg from a churles dinner, fauoureth of no great abundance: and when he was repulsed of Nabal▪ and his yoong men returned empty, bringing nothing to him from Nabal, but churlish words, he became sodainly inraged, and armed foure hun­dred men, and went that euening with them, with resolution to slay the churle, and all that belonged to him before the morning, which hee had certainely done, if hee had not beene met, and staied in the way by Abigail the pru­dent wife of Nabal. Now wee knowe what maketh the lion to roare, and the wolfe to be furious, euen hunger, when they seeke for their prey. And had not Dauid beene at that time a hungry lion, if his state without touch of want could haue borne that repulse of Nabal, hee could neuer haue resolued vpon so vio­lent and cruell a course. This historie most clearely sheweth, that at this time a heauy burden of a poore estate pressed [Page 575] his soule. Therefore in setting downe this promise, hee vseth words of incou­ragement to others, that agree fittely with his own condition, and serue con­ueniently to confirme his owne hope.

And as hee was poore, so also he wasHis other burdē was a fall from his former honour. fallen from the honour that hee lately enioyed in Israel, and in a manner lay deiected at the feete of his enemies, to be trampled vppon. For hee had beene a great man in the Court of Saul, and in the eyes of all Israel. First in his Fa­thers house, and in the middest of his brethren, by Samuel sent of God, hee was annointed to be King in Israel. Se­condly, when the euill spirit, sent of God to vexe Saul did inuade him, and he was in the fits of his furie, then Da­uid was sent for to the Court, and plaied on his Harpe before Saul, and procured him ease, and a ceasing of his fits, for the euill spirit departed from Saul. Thirdly, when a battell was betweene Israel and the Philistims, and there came forth dai­ly, out of the hoste of the Philistims, a mighty man named Goliah, of the town of Gath, and defied Israel, from whom al the people fled: then Dauid accepted [Page 576] the Philistims challenge, and slew him, and put away the shame from Israel, for which honorable fact, the women prai­sed him in their Song, say [...]ng, Saul hath 1. Sa 17. 7. slaine his thousand, and Dauid his tenne thousand. Fourthly, Saul made him a captaine ouer a thousand men▪ and whi­thersoeuer Dauid led them forth, he be­haued himselfe wisely, and valiantly; for the Lord was with him, and made him to prosper, and all Israel loued him. Lastly, Saul gaue him one of his daugh­ters to wife, and hee became the Kings sonne in lawe: and hee did eate meate at Sauls Table: and Ionathan Sauls sonne, made a true league of amitie with him, and all the gallants of the Court regar­ded him. Such had beene the standing of Dauid in a loft [...] height of honour.

And now from this height of honour, he was fallen low into contemp [...] before his enemies. For, from his house, his wife, his deare [...] Ionathan, from the Court, the Cittie, and the Tabernacle; from his honourable office, companie, and estate, hee was glad to she, and to slie into the wildernesse, into woods, and caues and holes to hide his head; [Page 577] where the company that he had, resem­bled the place in basenesse. For (besides those of his fathers house) there gathe­red vnto him, men that were in trouble for their euill deeds, that brought them within danger of law: men that were in debt, and owed more then they were worth, and durst not shew their heads: & men that were troubled in mind, op­pressed with sorrow, affrighted with feares: this was his companie, as it were the skumme of the people, a rout of lawlesse ones. He was in the Kings dis­pleasure: and the Kings eares were euer open to all malicious and slanderous re­ports made against Dauid: and vpon e­uery discouerie of Dauids abiding in any place, Saul was euer running forth with his armie against him. Thus was he fal­len from that height of honour in which sometimes hee stoode. And the promise of Gods helpe, and of ease from God, that hee giueth to them that cast their burden vpon GOD, hee deliuereth and putteth downe in such words as are fitly answerable to his owne present conditi­on, fallen into such disgrace (hee will not suffer the righteous to fall for [...]uer) that [Page 578] while he giueth to other men a rule, how to recouer comfort in their afflicted estate, hee might withall confirme his owne conceiued comfort more strong­ly.

CHAP. XXXIII.

BVT forasmuch as he de­liuerethThe first part of this promise is the poore mans pro­mise. this promise for the incouragement of o­thers, let vs so handle it, as that others may see their interest in it. And hee shall nourish thee, he will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. This promise falleth of it selfe into two parts, the first is in these words, And he shall nourish thee: the se­is in these words, He will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. The first part of this promise meeteth with the burden of pouertie and want in this present world, and therefore may be called the poore mans promise, who doeth not looke high about the point of nourish­ment and doeth not complaine except he feele some want thereof. In the poore mans house are not heard the com­plaint, [Page 579] that great men make, as that the King frowneth vpon him, and hee is for­bidden to come into his presence: that his child is stollen from him, and meane­ly maried against his liking: that hee hath lost a great estate by the wracke of such a ship, by the breaking of such a tradesman, and by the falsehood of such a seruant. These [...]nd such like are the complaints of great men, and neuer heard in poore mens houses, but their complaints are commonly these: I am not able to pay my debt, I am not ready to pay my rent, and I feare to be cast into prison for the one, and to be throwen out of my house for the other: I haue no prouision against the colde winter, nor money in my house to make proui­sion: the raine beates in at euery corner of my house, and I am not able to repaire it: my wife, my selfe and chil­dren want both meate and clothes, and winter comes on vpon vs: and these hard times affoord much expence, and little getting: charitie is become cold, and her benummed hands now giue no almes: Iustice also is growen very slee­pie, and scarce holdes vp her head to [Page 580] reckon with the labourer, and to giue him his hire: and how wee shalbe fed, clothed and nourished, I can not tell▪ These are the poore mans complaints, and this promise meeteth with these complaints, and assureth nourishment, and therefore it may very well be called the poore mans promise.

For the truth of this promise, thatGod will nourish his poore that attend vp­on his hand. God will nourish them that cast their burden of want vpon him, that is, attend reuerently in well doing vpon his hand for maintenance, it appeareth plainely by the Lords bountie, hee gaue vntoHe sendeth inough for all in gene­rall. Adam and vnto his posteritie, all the fruites of the earth, and all the hearbes of the field, hee gaue vnto Noah and to his sonnes, all liuing things that breede and liue, either in the aire, or vpon the land, or in the sea: this large grant is re­gistred by Moses, saying, The feare of Gen. 9. 2. you & the dread of you shall be vpon euery beast of the earth, and vpon euery foule of the heauen, on al that moueth on the earth, and vpon all the sishes of the sea: into your hands are they deliuered, euery thing that moueth and liueth shall be meate for you, as the greene hearbe haue I giuen you all [Page 581] things. Heere is prouision inough, feare not want: the great depths of the sea, the spread plaines of the earth, and the vast compasse of the aire, are Gods store houses, filled with foode and pro­uision of all kindes for thee: so that there must be no fish in the sea, no fowles flying through the aire, neither hearbe, fruit nor beast vpon the face of the earth, if there be no foode for thee. Yea all liuing creatures must want foode be­fore man can want foode, because euen all those other creatures are appointed and giuen to man to be his foode.God send­eth inough for all, but couetousnes intercepteth it, and the p [...]ore can­not get their part.

But thy present pouertie maketh thee to say, thou fearest not but God will al­waies send inough for all, but thou seest that craft, couetousnes, and oppressi­on gather such superfluous aboundance into some mens hands, that thou art a­fraid, lest that out of that sufficient store that God doeth send for all, thou shalt not be able to get a sufficient portion for thee and thine. Thou confessest that God in this world, as a great Lord in his familie, maketh prouision and allow­ance fully and plentifully: but men as vnfaithfull stewards, make vnequall di­uisions, [Page 582] and some haue to much, to serue euen their intemperate and immoderate lusts; and others haue too little to serue euen their necessarie vses▪ and therefore though thou fearest not but God will send, ye [...] thou fearest how thou shalt get sufficienc [...].

To che [...]e thy heart against this feare,God giueth his gifts by [...] parti­cular proui­dence to euery one. know that God, sending his blessings, send them not blindely: as also when he taketh them away, he doeth not take them away blindely: but both in giuing and taking away, hee appointeth who shall be filled, and who shall remaine emptie, by a prouidence reaching par­ticularly to euer person, both great and small. Therefore doeth he challenge it to be his worke, when any becommeth rich, or remaineth poore, when any is filled with his blessings or remaineth emptie: and the saithfull doe so acknow­ledge it. Hanna the mother of Samuel 1. Sam▪ 2. 7. [...]aith of him, The Lord maketh poore, and maketh rich, bringeth low and exalteth. Yea God doeth challenge it to be the worke of his hand, guided by iudge­ment and mercy, for the good of his Saints and seruants, that feeling their [Page 583] wants, doe seeke their maintenance of him, casting this their burden vpon him, as they haue before beene taught, The Prophet Esay testifieth so much plainely vnto vs▪ hauing these words. Thus saith Esay 65. 13 the Lord God, behold, my seruants shall eate and you shalbe hungry (he speaketh to idolaters) behold my seruants shall drinke, and yee shall be thirstie▪ behold my ser­uants shall reioice, & yee shall be ashamed. So that if thou continue to serue God faithfully in thy place, thou shalt bee nourished, and hee will fill thy heart with foode and gladnes, when wicked men shall want: yea the Prophet Dauid knowing the care that God hath of his, is bold to say, In the daies of famine, they Psal. 37. 19. shall haue inough. Yea God will performe this, the godly poore that depend vpon him, whē he is rich & wealthy, that seem to haue the world at will, & to be Lords of plentie and aboundance, shall want and suffer penurie as the blessed virgin Mary the mother of our Lord Iesus, out of her obseruation, testifieth in herLuke 1. 53. holy song, saying, Hee hath filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich emptie. Consider these things, and [Page 584] thou shalt see, that hee that sendeth inough for all in generall, will send al­so inough for thee in particular: and he that sendeth it for thee, will also con­uey it to thee, & so conuey it that thou shalt receiue it, and vse it, and shalt be nourished with it, and see his goodnesse, and haue cause to praise him for thy por­tion, when others of wealthier estate, shall want, or in their abundance shall not be kindely nourished, their abun­dance prouing vnto them, as the dainty Quailes proued to the lusting Israelites, wherwith they were choked while they fed vpon them.

For a perfect conclusion of this dis­course, that God will nourish them, that in their wants doe wait vpon his hand for their food and maintenance, I will adde that diuine sermon of our Sauiour Christ in the Gospel of Saint Mathew, Mat. 6. 15. I say vnto you, be not carefull for your life, what yee shall eat, or what yee shall drinke, nor for your bodies, what you shall put on: is not the life more worth then meat? and the body then raiment? His Argument is this, God hath giuen vs our bodies more worth then clothes, and he hath [Page 585] giuen vs our life more worth then meat: and finding him bountifull in bestow­ing the greater things, why should wee distrust his goodnesse in the smaller things? Then follows in the same place, Behold the fowles of heauen, for they sow Mat. 6. 26. not, neither reape, nor carry into the barns, yet your heauenly father feedeth them: are yee not much better then they? which of you by taking care is able to adde one cubit vnto his stature? His arguments in these words are two, the first is this: God feedeth those creatures, to whom hee hath giuen no skill at all to make proui­sion for themselues, and they are also vile and of no price in his sight: then why should we that are precious in his eies, and to whom hee hath also giuen meanes and skill to make prouision, and to lay vp for our vse, why should wee distrust his goodnesse? His second ar­gument is this: our distracting care can effect nothing, therefore it is vaine for vs to take care: and it is good and safe quietly to rest vpon him. He addeth fur­ther in that speech, And why care yee for Mat. 6. 28. raiment? learne how the Lillies of the field doe grow, they labour not, neither spin, yet [Page 586] I say vnto you, that euen Salomon in all his glory, was not araied like one of these: wherefore, if God so cloathe the grasse of the field, which is to day, and tom rrow is cast into the ouen, shall hee not doe much more vnto you, O yee of little faith? For apparrell, one part of our care, his ar­gument is as before for food: God beautifully clotheth the grasse, that hath not skill to prouide or fashion apparrell for it selfe, and it is also vile in his sight: then why should wee that are precious in his sight, and haue both meanes and skill to prouide and fashion clothes for our backes, why should wee distrust his prouidence. Lastly, he addeth, There­fore Mat. 6. 31. take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shal we drinke? or wherewith shall we be clothed? (for after these things seeke the Gentiles) for your heauenly fa­ther knoweth that yee haue neede of these things: but seeke yee first the kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and all these things shall bee ministred vnto you. His argum [...]nts, for foode and clothes toge­ther, to perswade vs to rest vpon God are these: it is [...]eathenish to take such care for these thing, therefore it is vn­comely [Page 587] for Christians to take such care. Secondly, the giuer of all things, that careth for vs, knowes our wants, there­fore wee neede not to afflict our selues with care for them. Lastly, the sure way of obtaining these things at the hands of God, is (not to take thought for them but) in our calling to obey God in righ­teousnesse, that hee may reigne in our hearts. If we take care of this, then God without our care will prouide vs of all necessaries. Such is the Diuine sermon of our Sauiour Christ, assuring vs that God will nourish vs.

CHAP. XXXIIII.

WEE haue considered theThe second part of the promise. first part of the promise in these words, And he shal nourish thee: which I call the poore mans promise, that desireth nourishment, and therewith res [...]eth con­tented. The second part of the promise followeth in these words, He wil not suf­fer the righteous to fall for euer. These words answer aptly to his fall from that [Page 588] height of honor, wherein he lately stood in Israel. And being by him deliuered to other cares, it serueth them more ge­nerally, to assure them of recouery from euery fall. And therefore it may well be called the common promise, giuen for the comfort of all men, that are born downe by, and fallen vnder the weight of any burden.

For the better vnderstanding of thisHow many kinds of sa [...] there be. promise, let vs consider of the falls that Gods seruants doe vsually take, which are many, not onely in number (their particular being reckoned) but also in kind (the seuerall sorts being counted:) Salomon saith, Aiust man falleth seauen Pro. 24. 16. times a day, & riseth againe, not so often falling still in the same kind, but diuersly falling in seuerall kinds, and obtaining helpe to rise againe from euery fall: and these many falles may be reduced vnto two generall heads, for either a man fal­leth into sinne, or hee falleth into some misery and trouble that sinne maketh our life to be subiect vnto. And vnder these two names of sinne and misery, we will speake of these falles, and consider how true this promise is, that GOD [Page 591] will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer.

The first of these falles, is our fallingOne kinde of [...]all, [...] to fall by sin. into sinne. For the commandements of God, being (as so many paths) beaten out before our faces; for vs to walke in, he that keepeth them, is as one that walketh vprightly with God: and hee that transgresseth and breaketh them, is as one that stumbleth in his way and fal­leth downe flat, to his great danger. Therefore doe we call Adams sinne, the fall of Adam. Therefore doe we call the lighter errours of the Saints their sli­dings, and their grosser errours we call their falles. And this name of fall is gi­uen to the sinne that we commit by the Prophet Hosea, saying, O Israel, returne Hos. 14. 1 [...] This kind of fall is most dangerous. vnto the Lord thy God, for tho [...] hast fallen by thine iniquity. This is a dangerous kinde of fall, whereof it behoueth vs to take great heede. Heli the Priest fell from the seat whereon he sate, & brake his necke: Ahaziah the sonne of Ahab King of Israel, fell thorow the Lattise­window in his vpper chamber, and bru­sed his body, whereof he died. Yet is not such a fall, as either of them haue taken, [Page 590] any thing neere so dangerous, as to fall into sinne. This fall of sinne made the Angels fall out of Heauen, and out of the fauour of God irrecouerably. And it made our first parents fall out of Para­dise, and from that bl [...]ssed estate of in­nocency and immortality wherin God created them. And many of their poste­rity, by salling into sinne, doe fall from God, and sinke downe into hell, and there perish eternally. It behoueth all men therefore to take heed of it, as the Apostle aduiseth saying, Let him that 1. Cor. 10. 12 standeth, take heede lest hee fall. There is no man of so sure footing, that can walke steedily in Gods commande­ments, without sliding and falling: for as Sant Iames saith, In many things we sinne Iam. 3. 2. all. And the more weake our footing is, the more warily we had need looke vn­to our waies, that as much as is possible, we may escape falles: especially consi­dering how dangerous it is, in this kind to fall.He raiseth by repen­tance them that are fallen by sinne.

But [...]et such is the mercy of God, that he will not suffer the righteous to fal for euer, but in due time, hee will raise vp them by repentance that are fallen by [Page 591] their sinnes. To which end hee giueth vnto vs his word, that teacheth vs the way whe [...]ein we should goe: and send­eth vnto vs his messengers with that word in their mouthes, that they may be our guides: to that end he prepareth our eares for the hearing, and our hearts for the vnderstanding of that word, that we may learne and profit thereby. After this he humbleth our will and bringeth into order all our affections, that our knowledge may not be idle, for want of willing obedience. And because neither knowledge nor willingnesse are able (by reason of our weaknesse) to effect a­ny thing without him, he also strength­neth vs, and worketh in vs what hee would haue wrought by vs. As the A­postlePhi. 2. 13. speaketh. It is God which work­eth in you both the will and the deede out of his good pleasure. Thus he proceedeth in his good worke to raise vp by true re­pentance, them that were fallen by their sinnes. And to assure vs there of, that we may with comfort hope for the helpe of his grace, when our weaknes hath made vs fall into sinne. Hee hath giuen vs many gracious promises. For thus hee [Page 594] saith in the Psalme, I will instruct thee Psa. 32. 8. and teach thee in the way that thou shalt goe, and I will guide thee with mine eie. Thus hee promiseth in the Prophecy of Ieremy, I will put my law in their inward Ie [...]. 31. 33. parts, and write it in their hearts. And thus hee speaketh by the Prophet Eze­kiel. Then will I powre cleane water vpon Eze. 36. 25. you, and you shall be cleane; yea from all your filthinesse, and from all your idols will I clense you: a new heart also will I giue you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your body, and I will giue you a heart of flesh: and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walke in my statutes, and yee shal keepe my iudgements and doe them. These and many such gracious promi­ses hath God giuen vnto vs, to assure vs, that when the righteous fall into sinne, hee will raise them vp againe by repen­tance. Hence haue issued the calling of the Gentiles, and the conuersion of all vnbeleeuers, that for many succeeding ages liued in ignorance and sinne, and yet in the end obtayned mercy to re­turne to God by repentance. Hence hath issued the regeneration and new [Page 593] birth of the Saints, that being original­ly shut vp in vnbeleefe, and naturally dead in trespasses and sinnes, haue beene quickned by Gods grace, and begotten againe by the word of truth to be the first fruits of his creatures: and by his mercifull worke haue been brought out of darknesse vnto his glorious light, to liue thenceforth, not as children of darknesse and of the night, but as chil­dren of the light and of the day. Hence hath this issued, euen that God will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer: and from their daily slidings hee doth raise them, that when they haue sinned as Adams children, they may repent and amend as the children of God. The Prophet saith in the Psalme, The secret of the Lord is reuealed to them that feare him, and his couenant to giue them vnder­standing. Let the righteous therefore, that either finde their owne ignorance, in mischoosing their way, or feele their owne weakenesse in walking in their way, let them pray vnto God for grace, that he will not suffer them to erre, and fall for euer: and let them say vnto God with the Prophet, Teach mee thy way O [Page 596] God, and leade me in a right path. This is the first kinde of fall to fall into sinne, and it is the worst, because it draweth with it the second kinde of fall, which is to fall into misery.

CHAP. XXXV.

THE second kinde ofThe second kind of fall is to fall in­to miserie for sinne. fall, in which God will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer, is an effect of the former, produ­ced by the iust iudg­ment of God, namely a falling into mi­sery. This kinde of fall, mankinde had neuer beene acquainted withall, if they had not taken the first fall, for if man had neuer sinned against God, God would neuer haue suffered man to haue felt any misery. This kind of fall into misery is of infinite variety, no man can number the seuerall miseries and troubles, that sinne hath made our life subiect vnto:These mise­ries are of two sortes inward a [...]d outward. yet they may be reduced to two gene­rall heads, for either they are iudge­ments vpon the inward man, inward mi­series [Page 597] and afflictions vpon the soule: or else they are outward iudgements vp­on the outward man, in outward things that touch not the peace of the soule.

The inward iudgements and miseries,What are these in­ward mise­ries and iudgements which follow the fall into sin, and wher­into for sinne man falleth, are either the blinding of our vnderstanding, and the hardening of our heart, often inflicted as punishments of foregoing sinnes (and such was the iudg [...]ment of God vpon Pharao, whose heart God hardened, and such a iudgement and misery the Apostle Paul telleth vs the Gentiles fell into as a punishment of precedent sins when he saith, Wherefore also God gaue Rom. 1. 24. them vp to their hearts lusts, vnto vn­cleannesse, to de [...]ile their owne bodies be­tweene themselues. And in many more words he recordeth that iudgement) or they are those feares and terrours of heart, that cast vs downe from hope, that empty our soules of comfort, fill them with feares, and make vs as it were to stagger, shrinke, and fall in our faith: of this kind is that iudgement that God threa [...]neth by Moses, in these words, the [Page 596] Lord shall simite thee with madnesse, and Deu. 2, 28. with blindnesse, and astonishment of heart, when a man is amased and confounded with his feares, that hee knoweth not which way to turne him for comfort and helpe, and deepe fallen into this mi­serie were they whom Esay speaketh of saying. The sinnes in Sion are afraid, a Esay. 33. 14. feare is come vpon the hipocrites: who a­mong vs shall dwell with the deuouring fire? who among vs shall dwell with the euerlasting burnings: They conceiued no otherwise of God then of a consu­ming fire, and therefore feare possessed altogither their hearts, hope vanished, faith had no abiding there. And all these inward miseries, falling immediately vpon the soule, and the facultie there­of, tend chiefely to this, to ouerthrow our faith, & by decay of it to ouerthrow vs, for faith is the firme standing of our soule, grounded vpon the assurance of Gods mercy. Therefore doeth the A­postle vse this phrase. Watch you, stand 1. Cor. 16. 13. fast in the faith, quit you like men, and be strong. Because he that hath the stronger faith, standeth the more strong and stead­fast, and hee that hath the weaker faith, [Page 597] standeth more weakely and loose, and thoug the faith of the Saints of God, once giuen vnto them, neuer totally de­caieth, (for as the Lord Iesus saith, hee praied for the continuance and confir­mation of Peters faith, to whom he said, I haue praied for thee, that thy faith faile Luke. 22. 32. not. So he praied for all his chosen ones that beleeue in him, when he said to his father. I pray not for these alone, but for Iohn. 17. 20. them also, which shall beleeue in mee tho­rough their word) Yet the faith of the Saintes suffereth sometimes an eclipse or deceasing, & at some other times an in­creasing whereby as in the increasing of their faith they stand fast and are full of comfort, so in the deceasing of their faith their footing becommeth slipperie, and they take many sore falles, & feele their hearts oppressed with feare: as it was with Dauid, when he cried out, My God Psal. 22. 1. my God, why hast thou forsaken mee, and art so far from my health, and from the words of my roaring. And when he com­plained at another time, saying, Mine Psal. 55. 4. heart trembleth within mee, and the ter­rors of death are fallen vpon mee: feare and trembling are come upon mee, and an [Page 600] horrible feare hath couered mee. In this manner, their faith at that time being in the wane, the righteous oppressed with a weight of anguish and feare, doe often fall through the shrinking of their faith, and feele themselues sore bruised in their soules.

But yet such is the mercy of God thatHe raiseth them vp that are fallen into these in­ward mise­ries. he doeth not suffer the righteous, being fallen into these inward iudgements and miseries, to fall for euer. And if it be a blinded vnderstanding, or a hardned heart, that they are fallen into, he raiseth them vp out from a blinded vnderstand­ing by sending the knowledge of the [...]. As the Lord Iesus sent Paul a­mong the ignorant Gentiles with this commission, I send thee to open their [...], Acts. 26. 18 that they may turne from darkenes to light, &c. And he raiseth them vp from hard­nes of heart, by mollifying their hearts, as hee promiseth by Ezekiel, saying, I Eze. 36. 26. will take away the ston [...]e heart out of your body, and I will giue you an heart of flesh. And if they be fallen into any feare and [...] terror of conscience, he raiseth them vp by repairing their faith, and by reuiuing their comfort. To that end he bringeth [Page 601] to their remembrance the large pro­mises of his grace, the boundles measure of his mercy, the riches of his free & vn­changeable loue: and then doeth hee make them remember, that they haue a mediator that died for their sinnes, and rose againe for their iustification, and ascended into heauen to prepare a place for them, and sitteth on the right hand of his father, in highest fauour and greatest authoritie, to make intercession for them, continually vrging the vertue of his death and bloudshedding, that hath taken away the sinne of the world, who is the prince of peace, that hath made their peace, and is that beloued sonne in whom the father is well pleased, making vs accepted in that his beloued. To the same end doeth he spread the beames of his louing countenance, and cause the light thereof to shine within their con­sciences, sending downe the spirit of adoption into their hearts, to beare wit­nes with their spirits, that they are the sonnes of God: so raking together the sparkes of their almost smothered faith, from among the cold ashes of anguish and feare, where it lay deepe couered, [Page 600] giuing heate and life vnto it with the warming fire of his comfort: so that they begin to lift vp their heads, and to reioice their hearts, and to shake of their their sorrow and feare, and to glorie in God, saying with the blessed virgin, My Luke 1. 46 soule magnifieth the Lord▪ and my spirit re­ioiceth in God my Sauiour. And with the Prophet Dauid, Thou hast tnrned my Psal. 30. 11. mourning into ioy, thou hast loosed my sacke, and girded mee with gladnes. And that God doeth thus, not suffring the righteous to fall and languish in these inward miseries for euer, besides the ex­perience of Gods elect, daily renewed with light and grace, and daily refreshed with comfort and peace, the scriptures also doe testifie it to be the gracious manner of Gods dealing with his cho­sen. The Prophet saith of him. Hee heal­eth Psal. 147 3. those that are broken in heart, and bindeth vp their soares. These words can be referred to no other worke of God: for the more sure and full performance whereof, God sent his sonne into the world, who came to call sinners vnto re­pentance, and to seeke and saue them that were lost, giuing repentance vnto [Page 601] Israel and remission of sinnes, so lifting vp them that were fallen downe, by any inward iudgement of God, any way pu­nishing them in their soules for their first fall into sinne.

This was the inward miserie, vpon theWhat are the out­ward mise­ries where­unto men fall. inward man, whereunto men fall that haue fallen into sinne. There is another miserie into which men fal for their sins, God in his iust iudgement thrusting them forward, which I call outward mi­sery, because it is not the stroke of the heart, though the heart afterward be grieued for it. This kinde of outward misery into which men fall is full of va­rietie, & vnder one head there are diuers branches contained: for some of these fall vpon vs by the good worke of God to trie vs, to exercise our faith, to cor­rect and humble vs: and some doe fall vpon vs by the malice and in iustice of men and Angels, to ouerthrow vs in our faith or our pietie (as the diuell hoped by Iobes losses to make him blaspheme God) or at the least to vexe and grieue vs, and to make vs murmur: so differing in regard of the author from whom they come, and of the end for which they [Page 604] come. They differ also in regard of the subiect matter of them, for some of these outward miseries happen to vs in our name and credit, wounded and impaired by lying, standering, and the spite of euill tongues: or they happen to vs in our bodies, & reach euen to the danger of our liues, by sores and sickenesses, by blowes and bruises, by maimes and woundes: on they happen to vs in our estate & goodes, when we are deceiued, robbed, spoiled, & deposed from offices of profit and worship: or they happen to vs in our libertie, when we are banish­ed from our natiue countrie, or confined to some restrained boundes which wee must not passe, as Salomon confined Shemei to his house in Ierusalem, or we are committed to some prison: or they happen to vs in our friends, by death ta­ken away from vs, that were our main­tenance, our countenance; our credite, and safegarde, and they being remoued, we are left naked and Orphans in a pitti­les world. By which outward miseries (of so great, and greater varietie) we fall from estimation and lone of the people, from health, strength, and beautie, from [Page 605] riches and plentie, from freedome and libertie, from comfort and refuge, into suspicion and an euill name, into weake­nes and leanenes, into pouertie, thral­dome, and much contempt: and aduan­tage is giuen vnto our aduersaries, to in­sult and glory ouer vs, and many men haue beene dangerously bruised with such falles of this kinde.God raiseth them that are fallen into these outward miseries.

But yet such is the mercy and good­nes of God, that hee will not suffer the righteous (fallen into these miseries) to fall for euer, but in due time he will raise them vp, and deliuer them. The slander of Susanna was wiped away, and shee was discharged of the fowle imputation, laied vpon her by the wicked Elders, with honorable repaire of her credit. The imprisonment and affliction of Io­seph after some yeares was done away, and he was brought forth and made a great commander in the land of Egipt. Iob was spoiled of his goodes, robbed of his children, miserably afflicted in his body, and brought most low, for hee could not fall more low, and liue; but God did graciously restore Iob in all his losses, and he ended his daies in [Page 604] honor and peace. Mordechai and the Iewes, by the wicked deuise of Haman, were fallen deepely into contempt and danger of death, yet by the meanes of Hester it pleaseth God, to cast downe their enemies into destruction, and to raise vp the Iewes, both to repaired cre­dit, and to secured life. Saint Paul con­fesseth writing to the Corinthians, that being in Asia, hee was with afflictions and sicknes, Pressed out of measur [...] ▪ passing 2. Cor. 1. 8 strength, so that he altogether doubled euen of life, yea he receiued the sentence of death in himselfe. But when he was fallen and brought so low, God raised him vp by restoring health, and would not suffer the righteous Apostle to lie foreuer, as also he confesseth in the next words, say­ing, God which raiseth the dead, deliuered me from so great a death, and doeth deliuer me, in whom I trust that he will yet deliuer mee. I might easily fill many leaues with examples of the rightsous seruants of God, whom being fallen into these out­ward miseries, hee mercifully raised vp but I will forbeare, and remember only a testimonie or two, that manifestly shew, how God in these, as in other [Page 605] kindes of falles, though hee suffer the righteous to fall, yet he doeth not suffer them to fall for euer, but will raise them vp and reduce them to a better estate. Heereto pertaine the words of Eliphaz, speaking of the almighty. He maketh the Iob. 5. 1 [...]. wound and bindeth it vp, hee smiteth and his hands make whole: hee shall deliuer thee in six troubles, and in the seuenth the euill shall not touch thee: in famine he shall deliuer thee from death, and in battell from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the snare of the tongue, and thou shalt not be afraid of destruction when it com­meth: but thou shalt laugh at destruction and death, &c. If God send the euill, he will send the remedie: if he send danger, he will send deliuerance: if hee affright with feare, hee will comfort with salua­tion: if he cast downe, he will raise vp a­gaine, and will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. And he will doe this not at one time alone, but at all times: not in one manner of miserie alone, but in all kindes of miseries. The Prophet Dauid saith of this mercifull worke of Gods hands raising vp out of miseries. Great Psal. 34. 19. are the troubles of the righteous, but the [Page 608] Lord deliuereth him out of them all,

And if happily this be not effected inIf not in this life, yet most cer­tainly after this life. this world, and during this life, yet most certainely God doth raise vp the righte­ous that were falne, and frees them from all, both outward and inward miseries in an other world, and after this life. The Prophet Esay doth tell vs, that when the righteous perish (for so the world censu­reth their death) and when mercifullEsay 57. 1 men are taken away, then the righteous is taken away from the euills to come r [...] their death is a full deliuering of them from al troubles, and therefore a lifting of them vp from all the miseries into which they were fallen. And for proofe hereof, it is most cleere, that the Lord Iesus repor­teth of the poore Lazarus, in the gospel of Saint Luke, that man was fallen lowe into the pit of pouertie, so that hee was compelled to begge for his maintenance at other mens doores: and he was fallen as deepe into the gaping gulfe of sicke­nesse and diseases, for hee was full of sores, and the dogges licking him were his best leeches, his pouertie could not purchase the helpe of any other (to cure him) in this world. And during this life [Page 609] he was neuer raised vp from this fall, and yet God did not suffer him to fall fore­uer. For at the last hee died, then ended all his miseries, then came glorious ex­altation,Lu 16▪ 22 for he was carried by Angels in­to Abrahams bosome. Where, of his en­tertainement (farre differing from his late condition in this world) Abraham said to the rich man, Now is he comforted 25 and thou art tormented. So that if GOD doe not raise the righteous from these miserable falles while they liue, yet hee will surely doe it after death: and if hee doe not exalt them, and set them vp on high in this world, yet he will surely lift them vp, and exalt them in the world to come, and place them together in the heauenly places, farre aboue the reach ofReuel. 21 all miserie (where there shall bee no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more paine) and where among the queeres of holy Angells, and in the middest of all true and eternall de­lights, they shall for euer reioyce and praise god. For of gods house, where the righteous departed shal haue their dwel ling places for euer, Dauid saith, In thy Psal. 16. 11 presence is the fulnes of ioy, and at thy right [Page 608] hand there are pleasures for euermore. Thus haue you heard how GOD will helpe the weary and laden, that cast their burden vpon him, he will nourish them that want, and raise vp them that are fal­len.

CHAP. XXXVI.

NOW let vs for a Con­clusion,The conclu­si [...]n of all. Consider wherfore these pro­mises were added. Euery one may rea­dily perceiue & vn­derstād the purpose of the Holy-ghost in it: namely, to incourage men to practise the aduice giuen them in the precept be­fore, knowing, and assured by these pro­mises, that their labour shall not bee in vaine. Then let vs make such vse of these promises, and seeing God will nourish his poore that wait vpon his hand, and will raise vp his righteous seruants that craue his helpe, and though he see, and suffer them to fall, yet wil not suffer them to fall for euer: Let vs come vnto him [Page 609] with our burdens, and call to this strong helper to ease vs, to whom the Prophet truly saith in the Psalme, Thou Lord hast Psa▪ 9. 10. not failed them that seeke thee. They that trust to other helpes, euen to helps that are in their owne hands, being men of power, lik [...]ly to breake thorow all diffi­culties, they shall misse: but they that seeke help of the Lord, and cast their bur­den vpon him, shall not misse. The Pro­phet saith, The Lions do [...] lacke and suffer Psa. 34. 10. hunger, but they which seeke the Lord shall want nothing that is good. The lion is the Lord of the forrest, he hath strength and courage to catch the prey. Such as bee the strong and commanding lions of the world shall be disappointed, when the sheepe of GODS pasture, seeking vnto him, shalbe fedde and preserued. And the rather seeke him, because he offereth himselfe to bee found; the rather bring your burdens vnto him, because he cal­leth for them. Heare his voice, and take that course, that may turne to your souls peace. God speaketh thus in the Pro­phecieEsay 55. 1. of Esay▪ Ho, euery one that thir­steth, come yee to the waters▪ and you that haue no siluer come buy and eate, come I [Page 610] say, buy wine and milke without siluer, and with money: wherefore doe yee lay out siluer, and not for bread? and your la­bour without being satisfied? Hea [...]ken di­ligently vnto mee, and eate that which is good, and let your soule delight in fatnesse: Incline your [...]are, and come vnto me, heare and your soule shall liue. And I will make an euerlasting couenant with you, euen the sure mercies of Dauid. Heere God offe­reth all mercies, all deliuerance, all sal­uation; and offereth it freely, without desert, merit, price, or recompence, on­ly if wee will come vnto him, will pray vnto him, hearken vnto him, and rest in him. You therefore that are hungrie, and weake, that are thirstie and faint, that are poore and emptie, that are sicke and pained, that are sorrowfull and hea­uie, and that are laden and wearie; come vnto the strength of Israel▪ come vnto the Lord of Hostes, come vnto this mightie and strong helper, that offereth to beare your burdens, and to giue you case: and after the counsell of the Pro­phet, Cast thy burden vpon the Lord, and hee shall nourish thee, he will not suffer the righteous to fall for euer. And vnto this [Page 611] great Lord, our strong helper, euen to GOD the Father, GOD the Sonne, and GOD the Holy-ghost, three Persons, and one immortall and only wise God, be honor and power euerlasting, Amen.

2. Tim. chap. 4. v. 18.‘The Lord will deliuer me from euerie euill worke, and will preserue mee to hi [...] heauenly Kingdome: to whome bee praise for euer and euer. Amen.’
Finis.

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