THE BVRTHEN OF a loaden conscience: OR THE MISERIE OF SINNE: Set forth by the confes­sion of a miserable sinner.

Printed by CANTRELL LEGGE, Printer to the Vniversitie of Cambridge. 1608.

To all Christened people.

I Knowing the great honor which Almightie God hath graciously giuen vnto you, for you are his children, & his holy Ghost is in you; doe therfore acknowledge my boun­den dutie next after God, vnto you, and accordingly with humble reue­rence dedicate this my Confession, first to God, & then to you his deere­ly beloued children.

I wrote it in deadly disease of bo­die, and in dolefull trouble of minde: my purpose was to glorifie God, and to shew vnto all people the horrible bondage of sinne; that they might plainly see it, truly feare it, and timely preuent it. Herein if any shall thinke [Page] me ouer-harsh, and too too plaine, I beseech them to weigh in their con­science, what it is to be at the doore of death, and the gate of hell; terrifi­ed with the sight of Gods wrathfull iudgement, and in continuall danger of sudden death. This is no time to couer, or to colour my sinnes, but to lay them open, that it may please God mercifully to couer them. To this ende, I doe humbly craue your Christian furtherance, in earnest praier to God for my confession, and for me. For my confession, that it may prosper against sinne: for my selfe, that I may be deliuered out of hell, and receiued into your heauenly companie: I aske no more, but to be the very lowest of all people that shal be saued. Which if it shall please the blessed God, through your praiers in Iesus Christ to vouchsafe vnto me most vnworthie, then shall I be in good hope to liue, and set forth an [Page] Hallelu-ia, that you may praise God for his mercie, his maruelous mercie towards you and me. Then shall you know the poore sinners name, that nowe beggeth the benefite of your praiers.

Hallowed be the name of God, and his blessing be vpon Christened people, men, women, and children for euermore, Amen.

Thus I humbly take my leaue.

To the Printer.

IF any thing which I haue written, doe seeme vnto godly learned men, not likely to worke well for the destructi­on of sinne, I desire that they will take the paines to amend it; so as they will answer their doings therein vnto the Lord Iesus Christ, when all purposes and causes shall be brought to light. I protest before God, that nothing be mitigated concerning me; by turning, I am, into I was, &c. It is very needefull for a man to know what he is. I know none but my selfe, I iudge none but my selfe; I intreat others to giue me leaue to iudge my selfe, because I feare the iudgement of God, and would perswade people to feare God, that they may escape his iudgement, and obtaine his mercie: Amen, Amen. O good Lord Iesu! for thy holy names sake, say thou, Amen.

The burthen of a loaden conscience.

ALl Christened people, men, women and children, I sin­full sinner, hauing by long, and wofull experience found the miseries of sinne, am de­sirous to confesse the same, that others may see and speedily turne away from it. There­fore I humbly beseech you, that for Christs sake you will charitably read, or heare this my confession.

VVHen I was a child, and first began to vnderstand and speake, then was the foundation laide of all my miserie. Because I was not by and by, entered into the faith, and feare of God; but the Deuill had leisure to take full possession of my heart. Who so deepely seasoned me with sinne, that I haue continued sinnefull euer since: yea, I am so hardened in wickednesse, that although I feele death comming vpon me; and may looke euerie houre when I [Page 2] shall suddenly die, and be cast into hell fire, yet I haue no power to turne vnto God. Wherefore I beseech all people to take warning by me: let it be your first, and chie­fest care to liue in the faith, and feare of God. Beleeue verily, for it is most true; you are alwaies in the sight of God. Hee sear­cheth out your thoughts and affections: he hearkneth to your words, he vieweth your behauiour, and writeth vp all in a booke, with purpose to iudge you accor­ding to the practise of your life. Beare this continually in minde, and be afraide to displease God; who shineth ouer your head with such a glorious brightnesse, that if it were his pleasure to shewe himselfe openly to the world; the sunne that shineth in the skie should be vtterly darkened, and no earthly creature could remaine aliue, by reason of the terrible sight of his almightie maiestie. Blessed are you if ye haue the feare of God before your eies. But you are in woefull case, if you feare him not.

O all ye parents, and bringers vp of chil­dren; great is the account which you must make vnto God. Therefore so soone as your children be able to vnderstand and speake, accustome them to know and feare God. [Page 3] Take good heede, least the deuill get the first possession of your childrē: for he know­ing that is little ones are seasoned in the beginning, so they are likely to sauour euer after; will loose no time, nor let passe any occasion to sowe his cursed seede in them. This many parents, and tutors of children doe little thinke of; and therefore giue the deuill leaue to worke his will. But doe you minde it, and in the name of Christ kindely perswade your children to beleeue in God, and to feare him; oftentimes telling them what is good, and what is naught: and that the good commeth of God, and naught frō the deuill: and therefore if they will loue, and practise goodnesse, God will loue them, and keepe them safe from the Deuill: but if they loue and practise naughtinesse, God will forsake them, and leaue them to the Deuill.

Why doe so many teach little children to say, and to doe that which angreth al­mightie God? the silly children seeing their parents & others so much delighted with e­uill [...] setled in beleefe that it is good. Thus the deuill is furthered in working the de­struction of children.

But some sa [...] that vnlesse children be [Page 4] framed to mirthfull wantonnesse, they will not prooue wittie. To which I answere, the children of God are wittie to saie, and doe good: the children of the deuill are wit­tie to say, and doe euill: nowe consider to whom you doe liken your children; to God, or to the deuill? for like will to like.

Children giue great heede to that which they see, or heare, especially in their parents, and gouernours: therefore all people, as you will answer to God, be careful what you say or doe before children: for they will thinke, that they may safely say as you say, and doe as you doe. Let not childrē be much among seruants, for many seruants loue to teach children that which is naught.

O ye godfathers, and godmothers, re­member that you are bound vnto God for the good bringing vp of your god-children.

In the beginning of Christian religion, people were verie carefull of bringing vp their children: whereupon a learned Iewe was wont to saie, that Christians were called tillers; because they did diligently till the heartes of those that were vnder their charge; sowing in them the seedes of god­linesse.

There are too few such tillers now adaies: [Page 5] that heauenly husbandrie, and blessed tillage is laide aside. Our most mightie Lord God for his sonne Iesus Christs sake restore it, and be mercifull to young children, that his holy Ghost may fill their hearts with grace and goodnesse. Amen, Amen.

AS I grew in age, so I increased in sinne, prouoking Gods displeasure continu­ally, who notwithstanding patiently indured me, yea & deliuered me out of many deadly dangers, whereinto I by follie and sinne did thrust my selfe from time to time. More­ouer, of his great goodnesse he gaue me knowledge of his righteousnesse, and of mine owne sinnes; moouing me oftentimes to leaue the waie of damnation, and turne vnto his blessed maiestie thorough Iesus Christ; assuring my heart that in so doing I should be blessed, but otherwise cursed, and condemned. But all this did not preuaile with my reprobate heart, which beeing vt­terly hardened in sinne, and voide of repen­tance, causeth me to heape vp wrath vpon wrath, and vengeance vpon vengeance, to the increasing of mine euerlasting torments in hell fire.

[Page 6]All maner of people, yong and olde, take heede by me. Haue no more Gods but one.

Consider well what he hath done for you. He made you at the first like vnto himselfe in wisdome, and holinesse; and when you were by sinne made like the deuill, and must therefore haue beene con­demned to hell torments, God sent his one­ly sonne, who taking vnto him a bodie, and soule, was a man, and suffered great wrong, and a shamefull death to procure your par­don, and to buie you out of the Deuills bon­dage; that ye might be renued to the like­nesse of God. And now he hath sent the holy Ghost to enter, and take possession of your hearts, clensing you from sinne, which is the Deuills likenesse, and making you righteous, which is the likenesse of God; to the ende ye might be fit to keepe companie with all Saints in the ioyes of heauen. Call to mind, how long ye haue intertained the deuill, and kept out the holy Ghost; and with how great patience God hath hitherto suffered you, and kept you aliue, because he would not haue you perish; but [...], and be saued. O what is the reason that people doe not loue this God aboue all things? yea aboue their owne life? Surely the [...] [Page 7] is, because they lacke faith: for they doe not esteeme it their onely happinesse to be in the fauour of God; but like vnto bruit beastes giue credit to deceitfull shewes, and flattering enticements, and so are wil­fully snared of the Deuill, who with his alluring baites draweth them on to destru­ction: and the further he draweth them, the surer he is of them. Therefore all people for Gods sake take heede, doe not delaie the time as I haue done; thinking to turne vnto God, to morrow, and next daie: for the longer you continue in sinne, the harder it will be to repent, because the deuill doth euery day get more and more power in you, till your heart be fulfilled with wickednesse, and so God doe euerlastingly forsake you. Neuer be at quiet with your heart, vntil you be in loue with God, Studie, and striue to compasse the loue of God, ioye in what­soeuer furthereth you vnto it; grieue in all that hindereth you from it.

How shall I endeauour to loue God? loue that which is good, and hate that which is naught: for good cōmeth of God, and euill is of the deuill. The thought is the beginning of your good, and of your euill. An euill thought is sent from the deuill, [Page 8] and if you entertaine it, it bringeth in the deuill. A good thought is sent from the holy Ghost, as a messenger vnto your soule; if you receiue it, and make much of it in your heart, the holy Ghost will enter, and putting out the Deuill, will fill you full of heauenly grace. Therefore doe as the Psalme biddeth you;4.7. lift vp your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted vp ye euerlasting doores; and the King of glorie will come in. With­drawe your minde from all euill thoughts, and thinke vpon God, and godlinesse, cleaue thereunto with full purpose of heart, and studie how you may alwaies doe his will with diligence, and suffer his pleasure with patience: assuring your selues, that if you giue your minde to serue him, hee will not saile you, nor forsake you; but preserue you to his euerlasting kingdome and glorie: doe not endure to thinke, say, or doe any thing against your conscience, but alwaies be carefull to please God.

My heart beeing not knit vnto God, but to the world, I framed my religion to mine affection, and mine affection to imagina­tion: first, I was hote against the Romane re­ligion, then being much befreinded by some that fauoured that religion, I to gratifie thē, [Page 9] grew in good liking of it also, yea so farre forth, that I became a recusant, was receiued into the Church of Rome by a Seminarie Priest, and did what I could to perswade manie others to leane that waie. But when trouble was likely to fall vpon me, I went to Church againe; and so by little and lit­tle fell off: yet so, as wheresoeuer I found any of that religion, I was still sutable vnto them.

After this, I beeing kindely vsed of some, that were commonly called Puritans, tooke liking of their opinions; yea and in some points, was readie to runne beyond them; and all this in great shew of zeale towardes God, so that I made my selfe beleeue, that I was in the right waie, and did well.

I doe often wonder at my selfe, how feruent I was, first a Protestant, then a Ro­mane Catholike, afterward a Precisian, so that I tooke vpon me to rebuke many, yea and some of high degree; as though I had beene a verie man of God, full of the holy Ghost: whereas indeede the deuill was in my heart, and therefore all my waies were sinnefull, and displeasing vnto God.

O all ye Christian people, take heede by me; doe not rashly giue your minde to [Page 10] fancie this or that religion: but first of all settle your heart in the feare, and loue of God. Make conscience betweene God and your soule of all that you thinke, say, or doe. Serue God in your spirit, vnfainedly tur­ning from sinne, and striuing to please him. Till you be thus setled in true godlinesse, it is vaine, yea and daungerous to hammer & meddle with points of religion: for your heart beeing vncleansed, and your affections vnrighted, God is not your leader, but the deuill: who will strangely deceiue you, and make you proude of your doings, when you stinke in your sinnes before the face of God. Therefore submit your selues humblie to God, weane your soules from sinne, that ye may be wedded to Iesus Christ, and by his spirit bring forth such fruits, as are plea­sing to God: which if you doe, God will surely lead you into all truth. Of what side soeuer you be, doe nothing against your conscience, nor despise the practise of reli­gion in them that are contrarie to your opi­nion. But if you be sure that they are in a wrong way, pitie them, and praie heartily to God for them, that he will mercifully in­lighten their mindes, and turne their hearts. To which ende you must endeauour to serue [Page 11] vnder God with the holy Ghost; that you may help to ouercome the enemies of Gods truth; not with the weapons of this world, as reprochful speaches, and bloody practises; but with the armour of God; as charitie, humblenesse, meeknesse, patience, for these are the meanes to ouercome euill with goodnesse, and turne mens mindes from false opinions to the true religion.

True Christianitie is an holy Priesthood, to offer vp spirituall sacrifices, wel-pleasing to God thorough Iesus Christ. A true Christian doth faithfully intende to offer first himselfe, and then others also vnto God. In offering your selfe, you must be­ginne with your heart: for God saith,Prov. 23 My sonne, giue me thine heart. Your heart must be wholly set vpon God, alwaies desiring to enioy his grace and fauour. Secondly, your tongue must be sacrificed vnto God, that it may be as the pen of a readie writer, to glorifie and please God in euery word that commeth out of your mouth. Thirdly, your apparell, gesture, eating, drinking, buying, selling, borrowing, lending, labour, pastime, and all your behauiour must be sacrificed to God; that in nothing you dishonour, or displease him: yea, your bodie, soule, life, & [Page 12] all that you haue, must be dedicated and gi­uen to the seruice of God. A good subiect doth beare the minde to spende both life, and goods in defence of his Prince, and countrie; therefore a true Christian ought much more to sacrifice all his power and possibilitie to vphold the kingdome of Iesus Christ; first in maintaining the ministerie of his word and Sacraments, [...]. 4.18. which is an offering greatly accepted of God.

Secondly, in succouring his poore: with which kinde of sacrifices God is well plea­sed; [...]. 13.16. as it may appeare by that which the holy Ghost saith of a charitable man;

[...]al. [...]12. [...].He hath dispersed, he hath giuen to the poore, his righteousnesse endureth for euer.

Whatsoeuer mercie is shewed to a Chri­stian in necessitie, [...]atth. 25. is shewed to Christ him­selfe; and he that is any waie vnmercifull to a Christian, is vnmercifull to Iesus Christ: and so Christ will professe at the day of iudgement.

[...]v. 25.22.It is a singular sacrifice to doe good against euill, & kindly to succour your verie enimie in necessitie: for thereby you doe your good will to offer your enemie vnto almightie God, in turning him from enmitie and euill, to peace and goodnesse.

[Page 13]Saint Iames saith,Iam. 5.1 [...]. he that turneth a sin­ner from going out of his waie, shall saue a soule from death, and shall couer a multitude of sinnes. In what a fearefull case are they that sacrifice many to the deuill, driuing them by enmitie, or drawing them by euill allurements, and naughtie examples as I haue done. He that will offer the sweete sacrifice of turning others vnto God, must first with all diligence turne himselfe from sinne; that his life and conuersation may be holy, and vnblameable: for then others will beleeue that God is in him, and there­fore they will haue a good opinion of him. All people by the light of naturall reason, doe honour vertue, and honestie. But if your behauiour be faultie, as mine is, and euer hath beene, you are vnfit to turne others, beeing not turned your selfe.

Secondly, if your conscience be cleere, and your conuersation faultlesse, you must not disdaine sinners,Luk. 28 10, 11. as the proud Pharisie did; for then you marre all; because pride is of the deuill, and God resisteth the proude. But you must pitie their case that doe euill, and mourne for them, as King Dauid did.Psal. 115

Thirdly, you must pray deuoutly vnto God for them, that he will mercifully or­daine [Page 14] some meanes to deliuer them out of the Deuills bondage; and that it may please him to giue you the grace, to be one of his workmen in so honourable a businesse.

Fourthly, you must waite for any fit occa­sion that you may humblie and kindly in­treate them to consider well in what a dan­gerous case they are; displeasing God, ser­uing the deuill, and working their owne destruction. If you see, or heare that any vnder your gouernment doe sinne, whether it be your childe, or your seruant, you are bound to breake them from their sinne, by faire meanes, if it may be; els by correction, and punishment.

But if you see any such sinners, as are your betters in degree, or such as you haue not the heart to rebuke, you must so much the more earnestly pray vnto god for them, and striue more painefully to shew them by the light of your conuersation what they ought to doe.

When you goe about to tell any one of his fault, take God in your minde, and humble your heart, that you may doe it in the spirit of meekenesse, gentlenesse, peace­ablenesse, and patience; carefully keeping out anger: for the wrath of man worketh [Page 15] not the righteousnesse of God.

Hee that doth worthily receiue the holy sacrament of Christs bodie, and bloode, doth offer vnto God many sacrifices to­gether: for that sacrament is a representati­on & setting forth of the sacrifice of Christ; who vpon the crosse offered himselfe vnto God the father to pacifie his wrath, and to purchase his grace for all people: where­upon almightie God doth offer his gracious pardon, and heauenly blessings to all that will worthily receiue them. And if you will worthily receiue the bodie, and bloode of Christ, you must offer vnto God, first a sorrowfull heart for your sinnes, confessing them to his glorie and your shame. Second­ly, you must offer vnto God the sacrifice of faith in Iesus Christ, beleeuing verily that he is the onely sonne of God, God and man, and crying vnto God for mercie in his name, beseeching God that for Christs sake he will forgiue you your sinnes, and clense you from all sinnefulnesse. Thirdly, you must of­fer vnto God a charitable heart towards all people: for God will not accept your heart, if it be not in charitie, yea setled to keepe the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace. Fourthly, you must offer your selfe whol­ly [Page] vnto God, to doe and to suffer his good pleasure. Fiftly, you must offer humble and heartie praise vnto God, for all his gracious gifts giuen vnto mankinde; specially for gi­uing his onely sonne Iesus Christ to be our Sauiour. Sixtly, you must offer of your goods a first fruites vnto God, towards the sup­plying of breade, and wine for the commu­nion; towards the reliefe of the minister, and of the poore.

By baptisme ye are graffed into Iesus Christ, as if branches of a wilde vine were graffed into a true vine; and by worthie receiuing the holy communion of Christs bodie and bloode, ye are fedde and filled with the graces of Christ, as graffes are nourished with the sap of that tree, where­upon they are graffed. I wicked wretch re­ceiued first for fashion sake, negligently; afterward inclining to the Romane religion, I receiued for feare of the lawes of this land, against my will, disdainfully; reckoning it as a thing of naught, which I receiued. Whereby, I doe thinke in my conscience, I did sore displease almightie God. The Lord Iesus Christ giue grace, that no man or woman may hereafter receiue his bodie and bloode vnworthily.

[Page 17]I was not giuen to pray vnto God, nor indeede knew howe to praie, and therefore was not blessed in that which I did practise. All people be carefull to praie alwaies, in the beginning, continuance, and ending of all good emploiment. Whensoeuer you are about to thinke, to say, or to doe any thing, praie vnto God, that he will for Christs sake giue you the grace to thinke, saie, and doe his will; and for euery blessing which hee giueth vnto you, be mindefull and forward to giue him thankes. When you purpose to praie vnto him, or to praise him, quicken your faith in this maner: first, beleeue that you are in the sight, and hearing of God, beleeue it so verily, as you did see him with your bodily eies. Secondly, consider his al­mightie maiestie and your owne vile base­nesse, being as you are a sinner, dust, & ashes, and thereupon humble your heart, as if you would cast your selfe flatte vpon the ground before him. Thirdly, with all reue­rence, and diligent discretion lift vp your minde, and vtter your heart vnto him. You may well praie to God, or praise him in your heart, although your mouth speake it not; but you cannot well speake vnto him with your mouth, vnlesse your heart doe [Page 18] wholly intend and thinke vpon that which you say: for it is your heart that God giueth heede vnto. In your praier and thankesgi­uing shunne the pride of words; for God lo­ueth plaine speech: and vse no needlesse circumstance; because he loueth no idle words. Be very carefull, and fearefull, least in any thing, that you say vnto him, you displease him: for we are apt to displease God euery way, yea euen when we thinke to please him. Pray very leisurely: for hast maketh wast. Because I wanted instruction how to praie, I am desirous to helpe others the best that I can. Let your first praier be for the forgiuenesse of your sinnes, in some such maner as this: O almightie and most dreadfull Lord God, I loathsome sinner vn­worthie to liue in thy sight, doe humbly beseech thee, that for thine onely sonne Ie­sus Christs sake, thou wilt vouchsafe to for­giue me my sinnes, and to clense me from my sinfulnesse; that I may be thine humble and true seruant: for vnto thee all honour and glorie is due world without ende. A­men.

When you purpose to thinke vpon, to speake, or to doe any thing: pray for grace, & good speede, O almightie God, Lord of [Page 19] heauen, and earth, the onely giuer of all good speede, and prosperitie, I beseech thee [...]o forgiue me my sinnes, and so to blesse me [...]n this businesse which now I doe intende, [...]hat it may be prosperous to thy glorie, thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne, who with thee, and the holy Ghost, three persons, and one God, be honoured in heart, word, and deede, henceforth for euer, and euer. Amen.

When you receiue any blessing, or pro­speritie from God, praise him heartily; O most blessed, and bountifull Lord God; what am I, that thou giuest such blessing vnto me? I am a vile sinner, worthie of no­thing but miserie, and damnation; and ther­fore it is thy meere mercie, that I am thus blessed. O good Lord, I humbly beseech thee to continue thy gracious fauour to­wards me, and to make me euery way vn­fainedly thankfull vnto thee for the same, thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne, who with thee and the holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be vnfainedly prai­sed for euer, and euer. Amen.

When sicknesse, or any aduersitie falleth vpon you, the first thing you doe, humble your selfe vnto God; O most holy, and righ­teous [Page] [Page 20] Lord God, I doe confesse that thou maiest iustly destroie me bodie and soule, for my many and grieuous sinnes, where­with I haue daily, and hourely displeased thee all my life long; therefore I am bound to praise thee, because thou hast suffered me all this while, and now doest so fauourably chasten me, to the end that I should repent, and not be condemned. O most mightie Lord, nothing can happen vnto me with­out thine ordinance. Therefore I beseech then, that I may humbly, patiently, and thankefully take this thy correction, to the amendment of my life, and to the glorie of thy blessed name, thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne, who with thee, and thy holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be rightly worshipped, obeied, and praised for euer, and euer. Amen.

When any crosse, or aduersitie doth lie so heauie vpon you, that you can not endure it, make humble supplication to God; O father of mercie, and God of all comfort, I vile wretch am much grieued vnder the burden of my sinnes; and thou hast not laide the whole weight of them vpon me; I doe heartily thank thee, that thou hast not ouer­whelmed me with thy dreadfull wrath, [Page 21] which I haue all my life time deserued; and [...]lso I humblie beseech thee, that if it may [...]and with thy good pleasure, thou wilt [...]ouchsafe to ease me of this, which I nowe [...]uffer; that I may the better be able to doe [...]hee seruice; but if it please thee not, thy will [...] holy, thy wil be done; onely vouchsafe me [...]omfort and patience, most blessed Lord; [...]hat thy holy name may be glorified of me [...]n mine obedient suffering, thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne, who with thee [...]nd the holy Ghost, three persons, and one God, be honoured and praised for euer, and [...]uer. Amen.

I was not accustomed to say grace when I was young, but sometime saide it for a [...]aine glorie, and finding the fashion of the world to be like vnto the manner of bruit [...]oastes, following nature, and not grace, I became a beast my selfe, falling to meate without any acknowledgement of Gods goodnesse. Afterward finding that Iesus Christ himselfe, and all good Christians, vsed to say grace, I was touched in consci­ence, and meant to vse it, but hauing not the power to subdue mine owne will, nor the heart to contrarie the course of them with whome I liued; I remained as a repro­bate, [Page 22] vncouth and vnframable to euery good worke.

All people, for Gods sake, accustome your selues to haue grace before, and after you eate, and drinke. If it seeme vncouth vnto you, as it doth to many people; be a­fraide: for it is an ill signe shewing that your heart is a stranger to God, and if you be strange to him he will be strange to you. Therefore by any meanes ouercome that ill qualitie, and giue your selfe to grace. But you may say, it is so out of vse with most folk, that if I offer to say grace among them, they wil thinke scornfully of me, and reckon me a precise foolish bodie: I answer; first, if you be the disciple of Christ, you serue a good master, be not ashamed of him and his seruice; least he be ashamed of you at the day of iudgement. Secondly, if you for ser­uing God be ill thought of, a blessed soule are you. [...]tth 9.10, [...]. It is a great fauour of God, if hee vouchsafe to giue you the grace to suffer any wrong for his sake. For great is their reward in heauen, that are any waie perse­cuted for righteousnesse sake.

Grace before meate.

O blessed Lord God I humblie beseech thee to pardon my sinnes, and to blesse the [Page 23] foode, which it pleaseth thee to giue me; that I may be thereby nourished, & made able to doe thee true seruice in my calling, through Iesus Christ thine onely sonne our Lord, and Sauiour. Amen.

Grace after you haue eaten, and drunken.

O most mercifull Lord God, I am bound to giue thee humble, and heartie thankes, for thy manifold blessings giuen vnto me, and to all mankinde. Therefore I beseech the to giue me grace, that I may be continually thankfull vnto thee, thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne our Lord, Amen.

Vse often to say the Lords praier, so cal­led because our Lord Iesus Christ made it, and taught it his disciples. It is a most heauenly praier, short and sweete, contai­ning all that we neede in fewe wordes. Therefore you must say it very leisurely, and also vnderstandingly.

According to my weake vnderstanding, I will by the grace of God, briefly open vnto you the meaning of the Lords praier: O father of Iesus Christ,The L [...] pray [...] ned. and thorough him the father of all true Christians, of which number I trust, that by thy grace, I am one. [Page 24] Thy glorious maiestie, and powerfull great­nesse filleth heauen and earth; but in heauen thy ioyfull countenance is to be seene. Thy name is holy: O let the holinesse thereof be euery day more and more set forth, that al the world may honor thee in heart, word, and deede. Thou art the onely rightfull King of heauen, and earth; but the Deuill by temptation hath made vs rebell against thee; O let the kingdome of thy grace come into our hearts, and put out Satan for euer­more. Thine Angels, and Saints in heauen doe altogether obey thy will, O graunt that we children of men here vpon earth may likewise be obedient vnto thee in all things. Our bodies doe daily neede the comforta­ble supplie of foode, raiment, lodging, and such like; O giue vs therefore such continu­all comfort, as thou knowest we cannot be without; and because it is dangerous to our foules to haue too much, or too little of worldly goods; we beseech thee to giue vs neither more, nor lesse; but iust so much, as by thy grace, may best fit vs to serue and please thee. Our sinnes doe deserue thy wrathfull vengeance, and euerlasting tor­ment in hell fire; yet of thy wonderfull mer­cie thou doest offer vnto vs thy gracious [Page 25] pardon thorough Iesus Christ, with condi­ [...]on, that we shall heartily forgiue all that [...]ffend vs; O good Lord we doe forgiue [...]hem from the bottome of our hearts, and [...]s we doe forgiue them, and not seeke re­ [...]enge against them; so wee praie thee to forgiue vs, and not to late thy heauie ven­geance vpon vs.

The deuill by meanes of this world, and our owne naughtie inclination can easily ouercome vs, and tempt vs to his pleasure; Therefore we beseech thee, that thou wilt not giue vs ouer into his handes; but by thine almightie goodnesse, preserue vs from Satan, and all his partakers. For the king­dome of all blessednesse is thine, thou art the right owner of all goodnesse; all power commeth from thee, and therfore all glorie, and praise is due onely to thee, O father al­mighty, with thy sonne, and thy holy Ghost, for euermore. Be it euen so. Amen.

Pray often and with great deuotion vnto God, that all Christian people may be knit together by the holy Ghost in one faith, and one charitie, and shew forth the migh­tie power of God in their liues, and con­uersations; that the Iewes, Turkes, and all misbeleeuing people, may thereby take [Page 26] knowledge that Christian religion is the onely true worshipping and seruice of God, and thereupon turne to be true Christians. For it is not warre, nor worldly conquest that turneth people vnto God; but the holy praiers, and heauenly liues of them that serue God.

IF God will not hold him guiltlesse that taketh his name in vaine, what shall be­come of me, who haue all my life time most grieuously taken his name in vaine, euery kind of way. For first, I professed my selfe a Christian; that is, a child of God, thorough Iesus Christ, but indeed I haue been hereto­fore the child of the deuill: because I haue done his will, and not Gods will. Secondly, I tooke vpon me to be a minister of Christ; that is, a messenger sent of God to ioyne with the holy Ghost in trayning people to be children of God; but indeede I ioyned in worke with the deuill to make people his children. The verie name, and word of God I vsed vainely, rashly, vnreuerently, and vndiscreetly, to glorifie and please my selfe, not to glorifie and please him.

All Christians, take heede to your selues; [Page 27] if you weare the Kings liuerie, serue not the Kings enemie. You were christened in the name of the father, and of the sonne, and of the holy Ghost: therefore serue God, and not the Deuill, least it be prooued against you at the day of iudgement, that ye tooke Gods name in vaine, and so ye be found guilty. At that daie neither shall the onely preaching, nor the onely hearing of Gods word be allowed: for both take the name of God in vaine, because the one preacheth, and practiseth not; the other heareth, and doth not the will of God; therefore both shall be cast away with this grieuous sentence, I knowe you not;Matth. 23. Luk. 13 27. awaie from me, ye workers of vnrighteous­nesse.

Therefore frame your selues to be obe­dient vnto your Lord God, and doe not think, speake, write, heare, or professe his name, or his word without due discretion, and groat reuerence.

Doe not make so light reckoning of your God, as to vse his name, or his word in idlenesse.

It is idle to call vpon the name of God without good cause, and reuerent manner; as some will say, O God, what a iest is this! [Page 28] O Iesu! who euer hard the like! In any such speaking, you are too bold with your God.

It is also a vaine taking of Gods name, to praise him in scorning, or blaming o­others; as some will not be content to say of an idle bodie, he liueth idlelie; but they will say, God be thanked he liueth idlelie. O doe not thank God for any sinne, because you should so doe him great wrong; and of all things he cannot abide it to be noted as the cause of sinne, which is farre from his most holy nature. Be not a common swearer: for a man giuen to swearing, shall be filled with wickednesse. You ought not to call God to witnesse, vnlesse there be great neede, and none other meanes to make the truth knowne. O how grieuous it is to heare people, old and yong sweare by God, without feare of his displeasure. Some swear not by God, but by their faith, and troth; by the masse; by some Saint; by golde, and siluer, and many others waies. But doe not you so: [...] 7. for it is displeasing to God to sweare by that which is not God.

It is called swearing, when any say, Gods woundes, Gods blood, Gods heart; Gods nailes, Gods foote, &c. but you shall heare [Page 29] what Christ will call it, when he cōmeth to iudgement. In the meane time vse no such raging speaches; for they grieuously take the name of God in vaine.

Blesse your selfe from cursing and ban­ning: for cursing is the vengeance of God.Luk. 9.51, 52, 53, 54. He that wisheth vengeance to fall vpon his verie enemie, had neede to be well adui­sed what spirit is within him. Take heede how you heare the word of God, that you be not negligent, nor contentious, nor dain­tie, nor vaineglorious; but diligently hunger and thirst for the pure, and plaine word of God, which if you receiue it in meekenesse, is able to saue your soule.

Some make iestes of Gods word; but doe not you so. For it is ill iesting with edge tooles.

Doe not alleadge any part of Gods word but to a good, and godly ende; and in the feare of God.

Take heede how you make any vowe to God, or how you promise any thing with an oth; for whē you haue vowed, or sworne, your soule is bound. Therefore before you vowe, consider whether it be pleasing to God, and in your power to performe: and when you haue made such a vowe, rather [Page 30] loose your life, then breake it. Iesus Christ keepe you from beeing a vow-breaker, as I am.

Mocke no bodie with their pouertie, lamenes, blindenesse, or with any thing, which they cannot helpe; least you take the name of God in vaine. For Salomon saith, he that mocketh the poore, reprocheth his maker.

It is a most horrible thing to blaspheme almightie God; that is, to thinke, or vtter any thing dishonourable vnto him. It is dangerous in some things to speake that of God, which is true. Because our blinde vn­derstanding is not able to see the depth of his wisdome, and righteousnesse. There­fore it is your safest waie, to be thorough­ly perswaded, that God in whatsoeuer he doth, or suffereth to be done, is most per­fitly wise, and righteous; and to refraine your minde from prying into the high questions of Gods fore-knowledge, and predestination: for the more you look vpon the sunne, the worse you shall see, and the more you seeke into the secrets of God, the weaker will your vnderstanding be.

Whatsoeuer calamitie, or miserie falleth vpon you, acknowledge your selfe to haue [Page 31] deserued it, yea, and much more. Submit your heart wholly to God, and praise him as well for aduersitie, as for prosperitie; for that is meete, and right; So you shall best please him, and most ease your selfe. They that wickedly blame God for any thing which commeth to passe, do both wrong his blessed maiestie, and hurt themselues. Al­though all things goe crosse, and contrarie vnto you, yet praise and blesse the name of God continually, yea to the death, and in dying. Neuer despaire of Gods goodnesse, but confesse his righteousnesse, and your owne vnrighteousnes, and so yeild your selfe to his good pleasure.

I Neuer kept holy the Sabbath day, and therefore am full of all vnholinesse. I for­sooke the Church to followe euerie vaine pleasure, or worldly profit. I traueiled vpon sondaies in seruice time. And when I went to Church, the Deuill perswaded me to come late, that I might tarrie the lesse while there. Comming into Church, I tooke no heede that I came into the house of God, to pray vnto him, and to learne my dutie out of his word: and first I leaned vpon a seate, [Page 32] or kneeled charily vpō one knee, hiding my face, or moouing my lippes, that others might thinke I praied, when indeede I ei­ther saide nothing, or with no deuotion. I little regarded what the minister praied, or what he read in the word of God; and if there were any sermon, I minded not to heare it; but wished for an ende of seruice, and sermon, that I might goe to my dinner, and then to my vaine delights. As for eue­ing praier I either lost it, or came short vn­to it, or howsoeuer, I made no reckoning of it, being wholly giuen to foolish pastime. Thus I made sonday the worst day of the weeke, and my selfe the worst sinner of all the world. But doe you make it the best daie of the weeke, that you may be euery Sabbath daie, by the grace of God, made better and better; till at the length you be fit to enter into the euerlasting Sabbath, and rest of God in heauen. Therefore leauing your worldly affaires, and weaning your hearts from all pleasures of sinne, you must desirously intend to keepe holy the Sabbath daie. Arise early in the morning, fall downe vpon your knees, and humbly praie vnto God, that he will giue you grace to keepe holy his sabbath daie, according to his will.

[Page 33]Prepare your selfe so carefully to goe vnto the Church, as if you were to goe out of this world into heauen. Be not deckt in your apparell, as if you were to plaie a part in a stage plaie, or a may-game; but come into Gods house, as an humble suiter, in such Christian plainenesse of raiment, as decently may shewe the lowlinesse of your heart; least you displease God, and his Angels; and giue much offence to Gods people, yea, and hinder your owne deuoti­on; as I haue done. Alas! I haue beene ex­ceeding vaine, and tooke great pride in comming gaily to Church, and so I quen­ched all desire of seruing God, desiring chiefly to see, and to be seene.

Come to Church with the first, and not with the last, least you come too late to speed. Be more desirous, and more delighted to serue God, then to doe any thing els. For it is hee to whome you must trust, all other things will deceiue you, and forsake you. If you be diligent to serue God, hee will be carefull to saue you, he wil loue you, he will come vnto you, and dwell with you. When you enter into the Church, humble your hearts, kneele downe vpon your knees, lift vp your minde to God, crie him mercie [Page 34] for your sinnes, craue his grace in Christ Ie­sus, that you may truly please him in all that you shall thinke, say, or doe.

When the minister readeth the praiers appointed; ioyne you with him: thinke that which he readeth word by word; and at the ende of euery praier, say heartily, Amen. When any part of Gods word is read, giue diligent eare, as though God himselfe spake vnto you from heauen. When the Minister or any other is about to preach, pray ear­nestly to God in your heart, that God will giue him grace rightly to vnderstand, and well to vtter that which is needefull to be preached. Doe not desire to heare fine words, or wittie conceits: for the word of God is most powerfull to saluation, when it is most plainly preached; because the minde intending onely the will of God, the heart yeeldeth wholly to the working of the holy Ghost. Although the preacher be long in his sermon, yet be not wearie, but giue heed to his words vntill he haue made an ende: for it is a dishonour vnto God, if you neg­lect to heare his messenger. Take heede that you doe not giue any occasion to other folk, to turne their minde from seruing God, to gaze vpon you, or to looke vpon any thing [Page 35] which you bring into the Church with you: for so you should doe much harme vnto them, and wrong vnto God. All the while that you are in the Church, keepe your mind steadfastly vpon God: let nothing mooue you to turne your eies this way, or that way, but as a diligent waiting man, attend vpon your Lord and master, who will be greatly pleased to see your heart, and mind earnestly intended vnto him. Satan will practise many deuises to turne your heart from God, speci­ally by shewing you fine and beautifull wo­men, who doe commonly come glistering into the Church after seruice is well begun, and then sit, or stand in the sight of men. When seruice is done, betake your selfe vnto God, and depart out of the Church: for it is no fit place to talke of worldly matters.

If you must needes reckon, or paie, or re­ceiue money vpon the Sabbath day, yet let it be after euening praier.

Were I worthie to giue you counsell, you should eate and drinke very measurably at Sondaie at dinner, that you might be the fit­ter to serue God also in the afternoone. Ma­ny come sieldome in the afternoone, because they cannot find in their heart to leaue their worldly pleasure, or profit: and some thinke, [Page 36] they can serue God so well at home, as at Church. But doe not you loose euening praier, least you loose that which is praied for. He is no good seruant that will not waite vpon his master both at dinner, and at supper. And goe you to Church, for there all the parish ioyneth in praier with you, wherefore you shall be heard the sooner. Some that you make least reckoning of may be in greater fauour with God, then your selfe, and then you shall speede the better in praying with them. What cause soeuer you alleadge of not comming to Church, others will be readie to follow your example: for they will thinke they may as well loose their praiers, as you.

The better daie, the better deede; there­fore loue to doe any worke of charitie to such as neede vpon the Sabbath daie: to re­leeue the poore, to visit the sicke, to counsell the counsellesse, to comfort the comfortles, and to make peace betweene parties that are in disagreement. Delight not much in worldly pastime: for it is like the burning of thornes, which make a great crackling for a little while; but by and by all the noise com­meth to nothing. O take it vpon mine expe­rience; if you wedde your heart to worldly [Page 37] ioy, you shall in the ende be ioilesse. There­fore giue your minde to consider rightly of time to come, and set your loue and delight vpon God, and a good conscience: for that is a continuall feast, which neuer will for­sake you. And if you had once well tasted it, you would not exchāge it for all the worlds good. I say againe, acquaint your heart with heauenly ioie betime: for as that cloath which is thoroughly died blacke will after­wards take none other colour, so the heart which is fully possessed with the loue of worldly ioie, will very hardly be turned to loue the ioie of God.

Our blessed Lord God for Iesus Christs sake, vouchsafe to giue you grace, that you may rest in him, and ioie in him, which is the right keeping holy of the Sabbath day.

O The terrible wrath of almightie God, I horriblie dishonoured my father and mother euen from my birth vntill they were dead, and buryed. Therefore I could neuer take good roote in any place whithersoeuer I came: great meanes of happinesse haue beene offered vnto me, but thorough want of grace I haue alwaies liued wretchedly, [Page 38] and runne into many grieuous aduersities. I began to dishonour, greeue, mock, and scorne my deare mother so soone, as I coulde speake; and fell into an hellish vngracious­nes, wherewith I haue disgraced, and misu­sed my selfe euer since. In time also I began to dishonour, and greeue my father; in which cursed sinne I continued till his death: Therefore fewe and troublesome are the daies of my life: and that which is worst of all, an euill ende is falling vpon me.

All children take warning by me; ho­nour your parents in heart, in word, and in­deede. Reuerence them, obey them di­ligently, and striue to please them. Then will God surely blesse you, and you shall prosper in bodie, and soule. But if you will be leade by the deuill to despice your par­ents, to disobey them, and greeue them, God will despice you, greeue you, and destroy you. If you haue any waie misbe­haued yourselues to your parents, cry them mercie vpon your knees, and humblie in­treat them to praie vnto God, that he will forgiue you.

If your parents doe neede your helpe, help them to the verie vttermost of your power. When they be sick, goe vnto them, [Page 39] tarrie about them, be readie, and put forth your selfe to to doe any thing for them. O that children did know what is the worth of a fathers, or mothers blessing, when their hearts be comforted by the dutifullnesse of their child. They would rather then faile, creepe vpon their hands, and knees to please them.

The Deuill knoweth this to be true, and therefore blindeth childrens eyes, and hard­neth their hearts, least they, by honouring their father, and mother should procure to themselues the manyfold blessings of God. When your parents die, mourne for them, and bury them in seemelie sort.

Neuer endure to say or heare any worde against your father, or mother.

If you haue any grandfather, and grand­mother, you must honour them as your fa­ther, and mother. Honour your vnckles, auntes, brethren, and sisters, yea and all your kindred, for your fathers, and mothers sake. Moreouer honour all them that haue beene freindes to your father, and mother. you must honour the King as your father; for he vnder God preserueth you in peace from iniurie, and violence. You must loue your country, as your mother: for in it you [Page 40] were borne and brought vp. You must honour them that are in authoritie vnder the king, and all your superiours. For they are meanes to keepe good order; that you may liue a quiet life in all godlinesse, and honestie. Meddle not with state-matters aboue your calling: for it is a spice of a re­bellious nature to call the doeings of higher powers into question, and to finde fault with them. If any thing seeme amisse, pray humblie to God, that he will mercifully cause it to be amended; and doe you care­fully endeuour to amende your owne selfe. For it may be that your sinne is some part of cause, why there is any want of grace in your gouernors. This is your best waie; and not to speake euill of those which are in authoritie, as I haue wickedly done.

You must honour Archbishopps, and Bishops and all Christs ministers as fathers. For their office is to feede your soules; spe­cially the minister of the parish, wherein you liue, who in matter of saluation is as a mother to nurce you, [...]s. 2.7. [...]11, 12 and as a father to traine you, and teach you. Haue alwaies a reuerent opinion of your minister; for other­wise you shall greatly indanger your soules; as I haue done.

[Page 41]If your heart be possessed with a dislike of your minister, goe to some other Church to heare the seruice of God, vntill you be in a better minde; least the ill conceit of the minister make you to mistake and be distas­ted with that which he preacheth, readeth, or prayeth. For then you should be in a fearefull case, and the deuill woulde enter into you, and make you loath the holy ser­uice of God.

Whiles you liue, blesse your selfe from saying, and doing any thing, that may disa­ble the minister of Christ;Luk. 10. [...] for that were to despice Christ himselfe.

If you saie, he is thus, and thus vnfit for his calling. I answear, as before, if hee be so, you are bounde to praie that he may be amended. What warrant haue you to iudge Gods minister; Take heede.

I was once a naughtie seruant; and there­fore doe intreat all seruants to honour them whose seruants they are, as if they were their fathers, and mothers, reuerencing, obeying, and seruing them faithfully. Blessed are all good seruants. For whether their masters vse them well, or no, God will not faile to powre his blessing vpon them. But he will surelie punish naughtie seruants, and [Page 42] naughtie masters.

Honour all your friends, and well willers: for they are, or would be, as your parents, meanes to preserue you. Hate my barbarous propertie, and neuer be vnkind to any that hath beene kind to you, although he be tur­ned from a friend to an enemie.

One vnkindnesse, yea many times a false suspicion of vnkindnesse, hath made me di­shonour my kind freinds: But if you will please God, practise the contrary, let not many vnkindnesses cause you to forget one kindnesse; but let one kindnesse put many vnkindnesses quite out of mind.

Reuerence your elders, and all that are in any gift or grace of God better then you, for they are as fathers and mothers vnto you to doe you some good, at least by exam­ple.

God made all people in his owne like­nesse, and their is none so low but that he may one way or other doe you good; at least by excercising your patience if he be faultie, or your enimie; much more by praying for you, if you giue him cause so to doe: there­fore honour all people, euen your enemies. And let your owne conuersation be wise & vertuous, least you doe as I haue done, di­shonouring [Page 43] God that made you, your pa­rens that brought you forth and norished you, your gouernours that haue the ruling of you, your freinds that fauour, and further you, for you doing euill are a discredit vnto them all: yea, if your behauiour be not good you dishonour all the world, for if you doe respect them as Gods people ought to be respected, you will be ashamed that any should see, or heare euill of you.

All parents, and bringers vp of children nurture them while they be young to feare God and honor you, for so they will be fra­med to honour all others. But if in fonde loue you make your children your fellowes or by ill behauiour cause them to thinke vnreuerently of you, how can they kindly performe their dutie vnto you.

O that parents did so loue their children, that their speciall care might be to make them lowely and louely to God, and to all people; O Lord Iesu, I humbly beseech thee to say, Amen.

I am a murderer in heart, in tongue, & in outward works, therefore euerlasting life is not in me: my heart is full of vncharitable­nesse, readie to mislike any bodie, to surmise euill of them, and so to entertaine furious [Page 44] anger, hellish hatred, and all deadly enmitie my tongue is a sharpe sword wounding euen my freinds; yea, I am like a foole that blindfoldeth himselfe and hurteth he careth not whom, when I conceaue that any is ad­versarie vnto me, I spare no poyson but re­uile him bitterly. I haue murdered many with an euill eie, enuying their prosperitie; I haue stricken and flung at others with a murderous mind, I haue caused quareling & and fighting, I haue caused some to loose the meanes whereby they liued. I haue hindred others from obtaining helps of preseruing their life. I haue greedily kept in store, and vainely wasted that, through the want whereof many poore haue pined with hun­ger and cold. I haue indangered the saluati­on of others by ill example, liuing among them as one infected with the plague; yea many sinnes like plague sores breaking and running out cōtinualy. All people take war­ning by me, if you will not be guiltie of murder, shunne all the causes, and occasions thereof. Doe not endure to take any dislike of man, woman, or child, nor be too well conceited of your selfe, for then you shall be apt to thinke ill of any bodie: O that you knew into how many dangers you put your [Page 45] selfe, when you begin to dislike or despise a­ny bodie: for euen as when your mouth is out of tast you cannot relish any thing be it neuer so good; so if your mind be ill concei­ted of an other, whatsoeuer he saieth or do­eth you condemne it. But you may say, shall I not dislike such as I doe see and heare to be euill? I answere first, you may by sight, and hearing take your tast amisse,Luk. 18. as the Phari­se did in disliking the publican; whose heart was better liked of God then the Pharises, that disliked him. Secondly, although an o­ther be indeede so bad as you see and heare that he is; yet you must dislike him none otherwise, then for your owne sinnes you dislike your selfe. Sorrie you are and much displeased with your sinnes, if you be a true christian; but yet you hate not your selfe, you doe not raile vpon your selfe; but louing your selfe you hide your faults. So must you doe to others, for if you loue them, loue co­uereth a multitude of sinnes. But if you hate any of Gods people you are a murderer:1. Ioh 3 therefore take heede,Eph. 4.2 follow the counsell of the holy Ghost, whatsoeuer cause is gi­uen you to be angry, pacifie your selfe, and let not wrath stay long in your heart; least you entertaine the deuill, who will fill you [Page 46] with hate, and desire of reuenge. If anie doe hurt you in word or deede, first consider well, whether you haue giuen anie cause ei­ther speciallie touching that partie, or by a­nie misbehauiour: examine your heart be­fore the face of God, as he shall iudge your soule, and if you finde your selfe anie waie in fault; crie God mercie both for your owne sinnes, and for his that hath thereupon done you harme: for if you had not giuen cause, he had not sinned in harming you by word or deede.

But if your conscience be cleare, that you be hurt by them, to whome you haue giuen no cause, then if you can haue true patience, you are Gods owne childe. If a man were by the lawes of the Realme condemned to die a grieuous death, and might escape with condition that his coate should be beaten, and he take it patientlie, it is to be thought that he would be verie glad of the conditi­on, and striue to be patient: you are a sinner, and therefore by the law of God worthie to suffer death in hell fire, where the damned are euer in extreame pangs of death, and yet they neuer die. God of his mercie offereth you pardon through Iesus Christ, vpon con­dition that you shall patientlie suffer the ad­uersities, [Page 47] and iniuries of this world. There­fore looke well to your selfe, and by your patience keepe your soule,Matth. 1 23, 24, 25 least breaking the condition you forfeit your pardon, and so be tormēted. Take heed how you iudge of any bodie, for you may be many waies de­ceiued; euen in that which you see, much more in that which you heare, and most of all in that which you surmise.

Doe not wish, no nor imagine any euill to happen vpon any of Gods people; but thinke, and wish well to all, yea to your e­enemies, praie earnestly to God for them. Doe not reioice to see, or heare any euill of others, but sorrow and grieue at it; nor grieue to see or heare of the prosperitie of others, but reioice at it. Then are you in charitie; els not.

Whatsoeuer aduersitie happeneth vnto you, humble your selfe to God, and take it patientlie, least you hurt both body & soule with worldlie sorrow, as I haue done. Haue a good conscience towards God, and be in charitie and peace with all people; then no­thing can ouercome you.

Be slowe to speake, and when you speake let your speach be gracious, powdred with heauenlie salt, that you may harme none of [Page 48] Gods people in any word that you vtter. Before you speake, be well aduised what you say; of whome, and to whome, what you say? for you must giue a reckoning of euerie idle word. One needles word draw­eth out an other, and commonly causeth much euill communication. Take heede of whome you speake: for you must not call a­ny bodies name into question, vnlesse it be to some good and charitable purpose. It is an hellish propertie of mine to occasion speach of any in place where they are likelie to be ill spoken of, whereby I set them as a marke for others to shoote at.

Take heede to whome you speake: for some are of that qualitie, that you can hard­lie saie any thing to them, but they wil pick some euill out of it. Therefore let your words be few, and wiselie spoken.

Neuer speake word to reproach any man, woman, or child. It is naught to reuile our enemie, worse to speake ill of him that neuer did you harme; but an horrible wickednesse to disgrace your friend. Some will say; Is it not lawfull to call a spade, a spade? I answer you by a notable example. S. Iude writeth that Michael the Archangel beeing in strife with the deuill, durst not giue any reproach­full [Page 49] word. Whie durst he not? Surelie for displeasing God. If it be displeasing to God, that an holie Angel should speake any re­proach to the deuil, how can we safely quip, taunt, revile, defame, curse, and banne one an other?

A word of reproach is grieuous to him of whome it is spoken, maketh others to thinke hardlie of him, and may cause his de­struction.

Cursers are murderers, for if it please God, to suffer their curse to take effect, the partie cursed is murdered by the deuill.

They that sooth and flatter others in euil, are murderers: for they thrust them forward into destruction.

Neuer practise any deceit to draw an other into danger: for God hateth blood thirstie and deceitfull men.

Be not double tongued, to speake faire to ones face, and foule behind his backe.

Make no debate, nor be a tale-carrier: for all such are set a work by the deuill, to cause mischiefe, and murder in the world.

Vse no man, woman, or child vncharitab­ly: be kinde to all, and cruell to none. Be carefull to succour the needie, least they pe­rish through want of that which you might [Page 50] doe for them. Goe often to them that are sicke, but goe with a good intent, to good purpose. Sicknesse warneth the sicke to pre­pare towards heauen. Therefore you must not talk much of earthly matters: for a small touch plucketh him downeward that is weakely going vp the hill; but helpe him vpward the best that you can with heauenly communication.

Take heede that you giue none euill ex­ample in word or deed, for it is like the poy­soned infection of the plague, which may goe farre, and cause the destruction of many.

If you would be cleere from all blood­guiltynesse, flee from enmitie, and labour to be in peace, and to make peace.

To be in peace; first and foremost with God: for if there be enimitie betweene God, and you, you take the waie to mur­der your owne soule; Secondly if you can possiblie with a good conscience haue peace withall people, yea sue, and seek for it. Because enmitie can hardly be without much vncharitablenesse. And greeuous is the danger thereof; as I finde, and feele by woefull experience. If your waies please God, as mine did neuer, he will make your [Page 51] enemies to be in peace with you. And then you shal prosperously practise to be a make-peace betweene God and your neigh­bour; and betweene neighbour and neigh­bour, by your godly life, and good counsell. When you see or heare that anie are in en­mitie, pitie their case, as if their houses were a fire and they themselues liklie to be bur­ned; pray vnto God for them, that they may be rightly agreed; and practise what good meanes you can to quench the fire; but come not to neere it, least you be also fired; meddle not to much with the pointes in controuersie: for it is a very dangerous businesse. Keepe your selfe alwaies indiffer­ent, not holding with one, nor with the other: for a partaker cannot be thought to beare an euen hand betweene them. Re­member well the saying of Salomon, Prov. 10 It is honour for a man to keepe himselfe out of contention; but fooles will be medling.

Striue to liue quietly: So shall you escape many troubles, preuent much mischeefe, and inioy many blessings.

ALas! how shall I doe; without holi­nesse none shall see God; I haue al­waies [Page 52] possessed my bodie in vnholinesse, and dishonour: for euen from my childe­hoode I was, and am defiled with flesh­ly lust, which hath consumed my bodie, and cancred my soule, so that I am before God a most ougly monster, and a detesta­ble loathsome wretch. This hellish fire was first kindled in my heart by seeing lewde behauour, and harkening to filthy talke, whereby I grewe to be of so beastly an ima­gination; that I could hardly see, or heare anie thing, but presently I turned it to some meaning of lust. To quench this fire I some time thought vpon Origens remedy, some­time I purposed marriage, but all in vaine, for to this daie I continue inflamed with it; and neuer had the grace to be freed from it.

O all ye children of men, liue in the feare of God, and beginne betimes to hate this foolish and filthie sinne: for if it once take possession of your heart, it will haunt you like an euill spirit. Therefore doe not endure to see, heare, or thinke any vnclennesse. If any beginne to talke, read, or sing matter of beastlinesse, flee out of their compaine: for it is the deuill that setteth them a work to fire your hearts. Whatsoeuer lewd bal­let, [Page 53] booke, or picture cōmeth to your hands, teare it all to peeces, or burne it to ashes: for whosoeuer made it, the deuill deuised it for your destruction. If God doe see that you hate all causes of filthinesse, he will loue you deerelie, and many excellent gra­ces he will giue vnto you.

Parents, and gouernours of children, keep them carefully from the delite of this sinne. It is not good that boyes, and girles should lie in bed together, nor plaie in priuate pla­ces: for the deuill watcheth his time to work his temptation vpon them. It is strange, and I should not beleeue it, but that I remember it, since I was a child, how younglings will draw one an other to this filthie sinne.

All people if you desire by the grace of God, to be preserued from this fierie filthi­nes, in the name of Iesus Christ, settle your hearts to praie, and to practise for chastitie.

O most holy Lord God, who in the be­ginning of this world didst make man and woman, and marrie them together, ordai­ning that they should with so vndefiled hearts increase their kind, as in eating and drinking they nourish their bodies: But e­uer since Sathan by temptation had drawne them awaie from thee, thine holy ordinance [Page 54] is broken, for people doe rather giue them­selues to the delight of beastly lust, then to the desire of blessed increase. Whereupon they pamper, and paint out themselues, that they may followe their filthinesse, & allure one an other thereunto. Moreouer by the procurement of our old enemie the deuill, this world is so full of temptation, that I am continualy in danger by seeing, hearing, or some one waie, or an other to be infected by loathsome lust: yea, although there were not such abundance of outward alurements, yet mine owne heart is readie to betraie me to the deuill. Therefore I doe humbly be­seech thy blessed maiestie, that it may please thee to preserue me from all temptations of lust all the daies of my life. And if it be thy will that I shall marrie, good Lord giue vn­to me a vertuous wife, that we may christi­anly liue together, not in the vnsatiable lust of vncleanes, as they that know thee not; but in such godly temperāce, that our minds may be holy, our bodies healthie, our chil­dren, if thy pleasure be to send vs any, holy, and able to doe thee seruice. Most mercifull God, grant me this my prayer for thy sonne Iesus Christs sake, to whom with thee, and the holy Ghost be all honour, and glory [Page 55] henceforth for euermore, Amen.

Now with daily prayer ioyne diligent practise. Giue your selues to some good ex­ercise and labour, flie from idlenesse. Pam­per not your bodies with gluttonie, and drunkennesse, but vse verie sober diet: ab­hor all brauerie of apparel, be cloathed only as becommeth a christian in your degree.

Whatsoeuer it be that mooueth you any way to the thought, or desire of lust, leaue it, and turne from it.

I doe heartly wish holinesse to al people, but being a wreched man I doe specially in­tend my confession vnto men.

All men, young or old, I beseech you giue your heart and mind to holy thoughts, and heauenly desires, detest all motions of filthinesse, which tend to displease God, & destroie you bodie and soule.

Doe not muse of woman, nor let your eies be delighted in behoulding their beau­tie and finenesse; giue no regard to their coie behauiour, tripping, and dauncing. Take no pleasure in hearing their delicate talking, sweet singing, and amorous playing, for the deuill is readie when you are any way touched with delight of women, presently to kindle his fire in your heart. Be not much [Page 56] familiar with any woman, specially alone for it will cause danger to you, and suspition to others. If you see a woman to be verie fellowly, iudge her not, for she may be good; but be you a stranger vnto her, least Satan make you naught. Doe not dally, iest, or plaie with woemen, least it happen vnto you, as to the flie that playeth about the cā ­dle till she haue spoyled her flying.

As you must carefully keepe your selues from being enflamed with lust, so also you ought to take great heede, that you giue none occasion to enflame any of Gods peo­ple. O what an hellish part it is to ioyne with the deuill in tempting others. A man and his wife should not dally one with an other in the sight of any, no not of their owne children, least it mooue them to euill thoughts. An heathen man among heathen people was put to great disgrace, because he kissed his wife in the sight of his daugh­ter. This is a notable example for christians that make no conscience to infect others by word, and deede, apparell, gesture, and e­uerie waie that can be deuised: [...]th. 18.6. you knowe that Christ saith, it were better for a man to be cast into the sea with a milstone about his necke, then to giue any occasiō to make [Page 57] an other to sinne.

O ye women, I pray you that for Christs sake ye will consider, why God was so displeased with the daughters of Sion,Esa. 3.16. for their fine attire, and wanton behauiour: and also why the holy Ghost doth will christian women to decke themselues with vertues, and not with costly raiment? Surely it se­meth to me, that one cause is the great dan­ger of men, who are inticed to lust by the trimnesse of women. And is not an other cause the wasting of Gods goods vpon vaine ornaments? Take heede least God doe one daie call you to a reckoning for euerie pennie idly bestowed and for euerie man by your meanes tempted. O the modestie of women, what an heauenly preseruatiue and remedie it is against lust?

Yong men pray humbly, and feruently to God, that you be not stained with lust; and if you finde your bodies dangerouslie subiect thereunto, striue to keep your minds cleane. Rather then yeild to any vnlawfull act of fleshlinesse, intend your selfe to marrie: for mariage is an honourable calling, and holy before God. It is farre better to be ma­ried, and very poore, with honestie; then to be vnmaried, and very rich, with dishonestie. [Page 58] If you meane to marrie, pray vnto God that he will giue you grace, well and wisely to gouerne, and maintaine a maried life: praie also that hee will match you with a godly wife. And as you praie, so practise by all good meanes to procure the blessings which you praie for. Commending your selfe to the pleasure of God: be well aduised before you make choise of a wife, and when you haue once setled your minde, let nothing cause you to repent, or forsake your choise: I had beene a married man, and freed from the flames of lust, but that I gaue eare to those that disliked the partie, whome I had good cause to like and to loue, notwithstan­ding whatsoeuer they could say against her: I was accursed, and therefore vnsteadfast in all good courses.

Beeing determined to marrie a woman, hate the thought of making her your concu­bine, before shee be your lawfull wife: least God in great displeasure doe lay some one plague or an other vpon you. O that you knew what a blessednes it is for a man and a woman to come into the Church before the face of God, and his Angels, there to be ma­ried, beeing both vndefiled.

I Haue beene a thiefe many waies: when I was a child, I remember I was giuen to steale apples, and afterward I purloined di­uers things, yea money from my father and mother: I bought things, and neuer paied for them: I did steale bookes, and deceiued others by many shifts: when I was put in trust to buie any thing for an other, I made them beleeue that I paied more for it, then indeede I did: and commonly took vp much commodities for mine owne vse, and left it vpon their reckoning whome I serued; spe­cially when I was a young scholler in the V­niversitie, where I did much wrong my good friends.

When I bought any thing, I made much adoe to get it better cheape then it was worth; dispraising it, and promising to helpe the seller to custome. I haue bought things for halfe the worth, of such as haue wanted money. Contrariwise if I sold a thing, I falsly praised and prized it at more then it was worth, professing that I would not haue par­ted from it, but for neede of money, or for loue of the buier. I haue made them paie ex­treamely that were earnest to buie any thing [Page 60] which I had.

If I found any thing, I closely kept it to my selfe; yea, and sometimes I found things before they were lost.

Once one found certain monie, who see­ing me goe that waie, thought it had beene mine, and therefore gaue it me, and I tooke it for mine owne, although I lost none.

I haue taken reward for doing many things, which I did not as I ought to haue done.

I haue not well rewarded many that did for me, yea I haue diuers times done euill to them, that did good to me.

In matter of reckoning, when some haue not remembred so much as I owed vnto them, I paied them according to their remē ­brance, and kept the residue to my selfe a­gainst my conscience.

I haue taken wages for schooling chil­dren, and ministring in the Church, but did not truly performe my dutie, and therefore am a theefe.

I haue beene giuen to gaming, and there­in practised deceit, which people doe call foule-plaie; but before the face of God it is very theft.

I haue by faire words, and pleasing pro­mises [Page 61] gotten many things of others, for which I made no recompence.

I haue set some to worke for me, & haue paid them too little for their paines.

I haue beene a broker to helpe one to get goods from an other: once I was a meanes to make a man giue house and land from his kinred to an other. In performing which worke I wrought with the deuill, and pra­ctised much deceit.

I haue borowed things, and either not re­stored them at all, or not in so good sort, as I receiued them. I haue heartned some to trust others, by whome they haue beene de­ceiued.

I haue many waies wasted and hurt the goods of other folke carelesly, couetously, and spitefully.

I haue oftentimes beene very partiall in question touching goods betweene partie and partie; because I haue beene ill concei­ted of the one, or well opinioned of the o­ther, or thought to be a gainer by the busi­nesse. I haue many waies counselled, aided, and concealed vnrightfulnesse.

By all these waies, and many more, which I can not remember,Zach. 5.1, 2, 3, 4. I haue beene a theefe, and therefore the huge booke of [Page 62] Gods curses written against theeues, doth take holde vpon me, and will not leaue me till I be brought to naught.

O ye people of God, for Christs sake be carefull to keepe your selues true, and iust. Doe not get so much as a pinne with an e­uill conscience: for howsoeuer the deuill blindeth you, yet one daie you shall see, that all naughtie gaine will haue a naughtie end. Practise no deceit, nor crueltie in buying, selling, chopping, changing, borrowing, len­ding, gaming, or any waie els: for God will surely laie his vengeance vpon all that make any vniust gaine, or diminish the goods of others.

Make no commoditie by any trade, or practise that hindreth your neighbour, or is against a common good. Doe not take, or hold from any that which in conscience is due vnto them: for goods wrongfully got­ten, or kept from the right owner, doe con­tinually crie vnto God for iustice against you.

Therefore if you haue by any manner of meanes hurt, hindred, or diminished the good of any, yeelde due recompence vpon true repentance, to the partie wronged, or if he be dead, to his heires; or if he be dead [Page 63] without heires, or you cannot finde the par­tie to whome restitution is due, giue it to the poore. But if you haue no abilitie to make satisfaction, confesse the wrong to the partie whome you haue wronged, and praie him to forgiue; and at least praie vnto God continually that he will plentifully recom­pence them, whom you haue iniuried, pow­ring vpon them his blessings in bodie and soule. If you thinke that Christs religion doth not require satisfaction of wrongs, you are deceiued:Luk. 19.8. for Zacheus instructed of Christ, offered that if he had done wrong to any man, he would giue to the partie wron­ged foure times so much, as the dammage came to.

Therefore needes must single satisfaction be due, a pennie, for a pennie, and a pound for a pounde.

If you ask, whether I follow this lesson or no? I answer; my conscience doth tie me vnto it. Therefore some satisfaction I haue made, and some more, by the grace of God, I will make; and that which I cannot doe thorough want of abilitie, I must craue of God, that he will supplie: I doe not speake to honor my selfe; but to glorifie God, who is my iudge, and to benefit you, who are [Page 64] his people. I haue paide twentie shillings at once by waie of restitution, to him that could not claime so much as a peny due; because I had formerly paide him his owne reckoning; who thereupon held himselfe satisfied; but my conscience did testifie that I owed more vnto him.

Some haue iudged me foolish, and vaine-glorious, because I appeared to succour some fewe poore people: I doe not iustify my selfe, for it is God that truly seeth, and iudgeth all things. But my conscience is, that I am bounde to giue much, by waie of recompence to the poore; because many that I haue wronged are deade, or if they be aliue, I know not where to finde them; and therefore must followe S. Pauls directi­on, [...]ph. 4.28. who sayeth, let him that stole, steale no more, but let him rather labour, working with his hands that which is good; that he may haue to impart vnto such as haue neede.

All christians ought to put themselues to take any paines, yea such as they were neuer brought vp vnto, rather then to maintaine themselues with the hinderance of other.

Beware of slouthfullnesse, wastfullnes, and vnthriftinesse: for they will bring you [Page 65] into necessitie; and then you must liue like a drone, if not by wicked shifting, yet by base beggerie. Godly thrift is a great vertue, ha­uing diligence to prouide things necessarie truly and righteously, and care to saue and keepe things gotten, yet without filthie nig­gardnesse and vnmercifulnesse.

Take heede, least thorough your coun­tenance, counsell, or commendation you cause one to suffer losse by an other: for if you doe, the losse before God shalbe requi­red at your hands.

If the word of God be true,Prov. 19.9 as without doubt it is, that a false witnesse shall not be vnpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish; then am I in a fearefull case: for I haue made many lies, and borne much false witnesse, I haue signified many things, o­therwise then I thought of them, I take much delight in telling strang reports: and such as are either altogether vntrue, or peeced vp with lies, or at least verie vncer­tain, and not like to be true. Also I loue lies, and when I heare them, I vphold them, some time for my owne aduantage, some time to please other, and some time to hurt them that I loue not. Hereby it plainly appeareth whose child I am: for God is the father of [Page 66] truth, and the Deuill father of lying.

For Gods sake therefore all people I be­seech you hate lying, doe not signifie, or maintaine any word that is vntrue, although you might much benifit your selfe by it: vn­lesse in verie conscience you be perswaded and haue good reason to mooue you that such a thing is true, vtter it not. Be no com­mon reporter of newes, nor much giuen to talke: for such people doe vtter many lies. In bearing witnesse be well aduised what you saie, & with what intent; for you may be a false witnes many waies, and sometime not perceiue it your selfe. False witnesse is a lie in matter or in meaning. The matter testified is false altogether, or in some part. A testi­monie altogether false is that, wherein there is no word true, as they which witnessed a­gainst Naboth, [...]. king. 21. [...]2, 13. that he had spoken against God, and the king: whereas he had not spoken any thing against God, or the king.

A testimonie partly false, is when some­what is put to, or put out, or some word altered.

Of putting to, we haue an example in the Iewes who accused Christ to Pilate the Em­perours deputie,Luk. 23. [...], 2. that he did forbid men to [Page 67] paie tribute to the Emperour, saying,Mat. 22. that he was Christ a king. It is true that he said he was Christ a king; but false that he forbad men to paie tribute to the Emperour,Mat. 17.25, 26, 2 [...] for he willed people to paie, yea, and paide for himselfe.

Of leauing out we haue an example in the deuill; who,Mat. 4.6 Psal 91. [...] to perswade Christ to throw himselfe downe from the top of the temple, told him that it is written in the word of God, the angels of God had a charge giuen them to keepe Christ from hurting him­selfe. Here the deuill left out these words, In all thy waies; which he would not speake, because he intended that Christ should not take the waie to goe downe by staires; but tempt God in falling from the toppe.

Of altering some word we haue an ex­ample in the two false witnesses,Mat. 26. [...] that accu­sed Christ saying; this man saide, I can destroy the temple of God,Ioh. 2.15 and build it in three daies. Whereas Christ saide, destroy ye this temple, and I will build it in three daies.

You may testifie of an other that which he hath saide or done, and yet mistake his meaning. So when Christ saide,Ioh. 2.10 destroy ye this temple; he meant his bodie; but his [Page 68] aduersaries tooke it, that he meant the temple that was built of lime and stone.

When Dauid fled from the court of King Saul, [...]m. 20. [...] 21. [...] 22. and came to Abimelec the Priest; he knowing none otherwise but that he was still in the kings fauour, gaue him intertain­ment; and was therefore falsly accused of one Doeg, to haue conspired with Dauid against the King; who thereupon put him to death and all his kindred.

It is a grieuous thing to consider, how both words and deedes are commonly mistaken, to the great wrong of many peo­ple, yea that which is more grieuous, when a thing cannot in it selfe be mistaken wee presume to finde out some bad cause that mooued the partie to say it, or doe it.

[...] 2.13.When the Apostles by the inspiration of the holy Ghost spake in strange languages good matter; some saide they were drunck. When Christ cast out deuills; [...]t. 12.24. some saide he was a coniurer, and wrought with the deuill. Iob liuing an vpright life, [...] 1.9, 11. the deuill accu­sed him that in his heart he was a dissember; and would serue God no longer then God fed him with giftes; and when he was proo­ued a lyer in that, [...] 2.4, 5. yet he vrged, that if Iob were bodily punished with diseases, hee [Page 69] would shew himselfe falshearted to God: which also prooued a false witnesse.

Among all the apprentises that the deuill hath in the trade of false witnessing and lying, none goe beyond them that will accuse men for well doing, as they that accused Daniel for saying his praiers allead­ging that therein he shewed an ill minde to the king.Dan. 6.

You may testifie against a man that which is true, and yet before the face of God, be within compasse of false witnesse: as he that accused Moses of killing an Egyptian,Exod. 2 gaue true testimonie: for Moses did so indeede, therefore the accuser spake the truth, but not truly, that is, not in zeale to the truth, but in malice to Moses, who told him of his fault.

To keepe your selfe cleare from lying & false witnessing, you must first feare God, for he is a most righteous iudge, and will ex­amine whatsoeuer you saie of any bodie.

Secondly, you must loue the party of whō you speake, for it is verie true, that euill will cannot speake well, but one way or an other it will outrunne your conscience. Therefore if your heart be out of charitie with any, re­fraine your selfe from medling with them: [Page 70] because the wrath of man worketh not the righteousnesse of God. [...] 1.20.

Thirdly, whatsoeuer you see or heare of others, either meddle not with it according to S. Pauls lesson, Striue to be quiet, and doe your businesse: [...]hess. 4. or if it so concerne you, that you must needes thinke and speake of it, take good heed that you doe not mistake a­ny part of it, for mistaking breedeth lies, and it is a sinne to bely the deuill, many things are so said and so done, that they may be ta­ken well or ill, yea what can be said or done, but some one or other will turne it to an e­uill meaning, like vnto the spider that out of the best flowers will suck some poison. But be you of the mind to take euerie thing the best waie, knowing that it is the deuills propertie to make the worst of euerie thing.

You may be deceiued in that which you haue vpon your owne knowledge, because you cannot see the heart and meaning of the partie, much more in that which you haue by hearesaie: for reports are commonly ve­rie faultie, and seldome hold truth in euerie point: wherefore almightie God to shew vs an example what we ought to doe, [...]n. 18. [...] 21. when the crie of the sinnes of Sodom came vp to [Page 71] heauen, came downe to see whether it were true or not, before he would seeme to be­leeue it, whereby you learne to be slow of beleefe in hearing euill of others.

But if you be well assured that an other hath said or done wrongfully, the wrong is either to you or to others. If any haue wronged you, you must by the commande­ment of your master Iesus Christ,Mat. 1 [...] first tel the partie of his fault secretly and charitably;16. if he so amend, you are satisfied. If he regard not your talke, you must take one or two with you, and tell him of his fault againe in charitable manner: and if then he amend, you must rest contented:17. but if he continue in his fault, you must complaine to such as haue authoritie to iudge betweene you.

If one wrong an other, and you be priuie to it, and sure of it, you must be carefull that you wrong neither of them; because they are both your neighbours, and brethren: there­fore first desire the partie that doth the wrōg to right it, which if he will not doe, you must discouer it, least before God you be a partaker in the wrong doing.

I Was neuer content with that which God gaue me, but continually disliked my state; murmuring, and casting out com­plaints; enuying the prosperitie of others, iudging them not so worthie of it as my selfe: yea, wishing in my heart that I had their goods. Beeing promised a liuing, which I could not haue till the death of him that had it, and hath it, I often desired to heare of his death. Wherefore by the iust iudgement of God, he is likely to heare of my death. When I haue heard that such, and such were in possibilitie of preferment, or had obtained it, I fretted and fumed at it, because I would haue had it my selfe.

When I saw a man haue a wise of good condition, I could finde in my heart to wish him dead, and my selfe maried to his wife. And when one maried a wife, whome I li­ked, I stomacked it much, because I had her not. I haue wished a good seruant from one to another.

Thus, and many other waies I haue co­ueted my neighbours goods, both to my selfe and to others, because I had not faith and charitie.

[Page 73]O all Christian people, hate this hellish couetousnes, the roote of all euill. Be high­ly content with that which God giueth you, and you get by good meanes: for that which you get by ill meanes God giueth not, but by the sufferance of God, the deuill helpeth you to it.

Therefore with goods well gotten quiet your minde, and be very thankfull to God. Couet not to be rich, for when a man is o­uerloaded he can hardly trauell: and you are trauailers passing through this world into heauen. But if you foreslow the time till heauen gate be shut against you, what will all this worlds good auaile you? your bodie must to the graue, your soule to hell, & your goods whereupon you haue bestowed all your time, studie, and labour, must remaine to whome you know not. Therefore haue a measure in your worldly cares,Mat. 6.1 [...] 20, 21. and as your deere Lord and Sauiour willeth you, giue your minds to grow rich towards God, lay­ing vp treasure in heauen, where it shall be safely kept till you come, and there you shal inioy the same for euer.

Desire rather to make sure vnto your selues the saluation of your soules, then the goods of the bodie: for looke what you de­sire [Page 74] most, you will most intend. Of the two, it were better to neglect the bodie, [...]th. 6.33. then the soule; because he that seeketh to assure vnto himselfe the good of his soule, shall haue the good of his bodie into the bargaine.

If this were setled in the hearts of people, they would not couet so vnmeasurably. This vnmeasurable couetousnesse doth shewe that the heart is not right set towards God: for if it were turned to him, it would be thoroughly sufficed with his grace, whe­ther you had much or little of worldlie goodes. Like as the needle in a diall will neuer be quiet vntill it be set right to the north starre, and then it will rest.

It cannot be, but that a couetouse man is a breaker of this commandement, because his heart is in the hand of the Deuill, and he turneth it whither he will.

But many will saie, such, and such haue to much, and I haue to little; I answer, how know you, they haue to much, and you to little. Because they haue inough, and spare, but we want that which is necessarie, yea but yet you liue. We liue indeede, but not so well, as they that haue more. Ah, you doe not fare so well, nor goe so gaie, nor please your eies with the sight of worldly [Page 75] wealth: If it be the felicitie of this worlde that you looke for; take heede least you be one of them to whome Christ saith, Woe be vnto you rich,Luk. 6.29. because you haue receiued your comfort: that is, you haue that which you sought after. Yea, but you will say, we haue it not. I answer, God loueth you so much the better. But you will say, why doth he not giue vnto me as well as to others? A good child resteth content with that, which his father giueth him. But if that reason will not serue, why doe parents keepe kniues frō little children? least they should hurt their bodies: so God keepeth worldly goods from you, least you should by the ill vsing of them harme your owne soules. Doe you thinke that the poore begger Lazarus doth now grieue at the miserie wherein he was, when he lay at the rich mans gate full of sores, and readie to starue through want of foode? No verily: He reioyceth, and praiseth God for his pouertie, and for his patience, wherewith he endured the good pleasure of God: knowing that if he had contrariwise beene rich, he might haue thereby lost his saluation, as Diues did. It is a greater mat­ter to vse riches well, then most people ima­gine. Els would not our Sauiour Christ haue [Page 76] said, [...]th. 19.24, 25, as he did say; That it is easier for a ca­mell to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of heauen. And yet least they to whom God giueth riches should be discomforted, hee told his Disciples, that God is able to saue the rich. Whereby you vnderstand that to be rich, and to be saued, requireth a most mightie grace of God: for it were a great miracle to make a camell goe through a needles eie.

All this I say, to the ende that you should not couet more then you may with a safe conscience, your soule beeing first prouided for, procure vnto your selfe.

But some say, I could be contented with a little, were it not for my children; I must needs confesse that it is a godly care to pro­uide for your children: but let it be without couetousnesse. Let not your children be ei­ther brought vp, or settled in the world with goods vnconscionably gotten from others. It is better for them to be poorely brought vp, and to haue but little left them. Haue you not seene many whose friends haue left them much goods, fallen into more follie, then they that had little, or nothing left thē? But if you say, some fewe get all into their [Page 77] hands, and then deale vnmercifully with vs. Doe you beleeue in God? Yea. Then you must throughly perswade your selfe, that he is your father, and in his fatherly care proui­deth that for you, which he well knoweth will doe you most good: notwithstanding all the couetousnesse, and crueltie of this world, yet God, if it please him, could giue you plentie: and because he doth not, it ap­peareth that he purposeth to punish you. Will you therfore be out of patience, know­ing that whome God loueth, he correcteth? Surely I had rather be a patient poore man, and Gods child, then a cruell rich man, and Gods rod: for commonly the child is recei­ued into fauour, and the rod is cast into the fire.

Howsoeuer the world goe, be patient, and submit your self to the pleasure of God. Doe not enuie, nor condemne those that are any waie in more prosperitie then you. For if you doe so, ye are not in charitie, and if you be not in charitie, Christ is not in you, but the deuill. Therefore striue by your pa­tience to possesse your owne soule, and by the holy Ghost, contrarie to the nature of flesh and blood, be exceeding glad, that you may be one of Christs companie, although [Page 78] in the lowest degree that may be; yea, the verie foote: reioycing at the prosperitie of any other, and sorrowing in their aduersitie, as if it were your owne. This if you can doe, you are a Christian indeede; and although you be in low degree vpon earth, yet your Lord and father will highly aduance you in the glorie of heauen. Remember what Saint Iames saith, [...]m. 1.9. Let a brother of low degree re­ioyce in his aduancement.

O that I were a brother of that heauenly cōpanie, and my name written in the booke of life, although it were with condition to suffer all possible miserie in this world. If you saie I giue you such counsell, as I could neuer take my selfe, I confesse it, but you would not be in my case, if you knew it as I do, although you might haue al the goods of the earth; for death and hell haue taken sure hold vpon me, and I am so hardened in sinne through long custom in wickednes, & delay of repentance, that my soule is readie to de­spaire of Gods mercie. Therefore while time serueth, & while grace is offered vnto you, make sure worke; Striue by obeying the will of God to enter in at the straight gate: for Christ saith, [...]k. 13. [...] 24, 25. many wilt seeke to enter, and shall not be able: because they seeke not till [Page 79] it be too late. This is my state, and therefore I perish.

All people yong and old, praie daily and deuoutly to God, that it will please him through Iesus Christ to giue you the graces of faith, hope, and charitie, that you may cleane fast vnto him with full purpose of heart, and being sufficed with that which he vouchsaseth to giue you, put him in trust with soule and bodie, assuring your selues that he will not faile you, nor forsake you, & if his pleasure be to trie your faith and trust by crosses and aduersities, reioyce therein, for his mind is to crown you therfore in the world to come, Loue all christians as your owne selfe, yea loue your verie enemies, pray for them, and practise in word and deede to be kind vnto them.

By these graces you shall performe the kingly law of libertie, and so be kings vnto God, ruling & raigning ouer your thoughts and affections, according to his pleasure, being set at libertie from the law of sinne, & bondage of the deuill. Almightie God for Iesus Christs sake fulfill you all with the ho­ly Ghost, Amen, Amen.

NOw I beseech all that giue your mind to booke learning, patiently to reade or heare this last part of my confession in­tended to your good.

When I went first to schoole, I was ful of all vngraciousnesse, and misbehaued my selfe to God, to my parents, and to all peo­ple: which cursed qualities poisoned what­soeuer learning I could get.

All children that goe to schoole, feare God, and praie vnto him heartily that he will giue you the grace to stand in awe of his almightie maiestie, and to be afraid of displeasing him: for the feare of God is the beginning of wisdome. All learning without the feare of God, is as a sword in the hand of a madde man, likely to doe much mis­chiefe and no good. Hate all naughtie con­ditions, and behaue your selues lowely, and gently to euerie man, woman, and child. Praie often to God and saie, O almightie God, the giuer of all good learning and true wisdome, I sinfull wretch doe humbly be­seech thee, that for thine onely sonne Iesus Christs sake, thou will send thine holy ghost into mine heart, that I may be cleansed from [Page 81] sinne, and get so much learning and know­ledge as may best fit me to be thy faithfull seruant in that state of life, whereunto it shal please thee to call me, Amen.

Vse commonly to praise God in some such manner as this. O most bountifull Lord God, I doe humbly and heartily thank thee, because thou hast caused my friends to set me to schoole. Good Lord I beseech the so to continue, & blesse me in learning, that I may learne to doe my dutie to thee and to all thy people, in what degree soeuer it shall please thee to place me; through Iesus Christ thine onely sonne, who with thee and the holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be honoured and praised in heart word and deede, for euer and euer, Amen.

Follow your schooling diligently, and if it please God to giue you the gift to learne, be glad, and giue him thankes therefore, but be not proud of it: or if pride enter into your heart, it will puffe you vp like a bladder, & although you proue marueilously learned, yet in the end you shalbe nothing but wind. All scholers take heede of pride: for it will make you like the Deuill, and hatefull before God.

When you are allowed to plaie, then plaie: [Page 82] for it is healthfull to stir your bodies: Pract­ise no base, and lewde pastime, but exercise yourselues in some honest sport, which may bring you into strength, and abilitie.

At no time let any bad or beastly word come out of your mouth. Delite not in vaine talk, mocking, or scorning: for all such things are verie displeasing vnto God.

I went to the Vniuersitie verie rawe: for I had fewe groundes of grammar, and none of grace. Therefore I spent much time in getting little learning; but all maner af vice in me grewe vp and abounded. I was vaine minded, proude hearted, busiheaded, and full of a bitter, peeuish, contentious spirit. Beeing poore I found great friendship, and had good allowance of many; but I was singularly negligent, and vnthankfull vnto them. My studie was to make great shewe of little learning, and therefore I sought af­ter fine choise words. When I disputed with anie, I was desirous to dismaie them with reprooches, in stead of reasons; and to that ende I had a written phrase-booke stuffed with taunting, and biting speaches.

All schollers that goe to anie Vniuersitie, take warning by me. Be carefull to come thither well grounded in learning, and ver­tue. [Page] Giue yourselues to be sober, humble, quiet, milde, and peaceable. Be diligent in your businesse, duetifull to all people, and verie thankfull to your friends. These ver­tues will make you gracious in the sight of God, Angells, and men. Be more carefull to get sounde learning, for good vse, then to stand vpon the shew of knowledge; for it is a vainglorious follie. Hunt not after curi­ous minion tearmes, whereof cometh no good; but speake and write plaine ordina­rie words: for they that would seeme to be worde-wise, are of graue and learned men accounted vnwise.

Pride and enuie are properties of the deuill; and of all other sinnes most readie to waite vpon schollers. Therefore take great heede of them: If you be proude, you are Lucifer, high in your owne conceit, and therefore shalbe brought lowe euen downe into hell. If you enuy the learning, estimati­on, and prosperitie of others, you are Satan, an enemie to the giftes of Gods grace.

Doe neuer dispraise anie, nor quip any in your orations, and speaches: for it shew­eth bitternesse, which is very bad in a scho­ler. When you argue, or dispute publike­ly, or priuately, feare God, and shunne [Page] snarling, reproching, and all furious behau­iour. Let your reasoning be, as in the hear­ing and seeing of God, and Angells, calme, amiable, sweet, and sober. Whensoeuer you prepare any oration, disputation, or exer­cise of learning, first humble your selfe be­fore God, crauing his mercie and grace; that you may so performe it, as best becōmeth a Christian scholler; thereby to be fitted for the seruice of Iesus Christ in the Church, or common wealth.

If any sinne reigne in you, striue by all meanes to subdue it: for where sinne reig­neth, there the Deuill dwelleth; and the end of that man will be naught.

VVHen I had gotten a shadowe, and outside of learning, I left the Vniuersitie, and tooke vpon me to be a schoolemaster, God forgiue me; I was a bad one: for how could I frame children to godly learning, beeing vngodly, and ill learned.

I vndertooke to teach more then I had learned my selfe, I was newfangled, and negligent in teaching; and yet tired, and dulled my schollers by keeping them too [Page 85] long at their bookes, and by fierce correcti­on, and cruell beating of them.

O ye schoole masters, I pray you for the reuerence of God, be well aduised; The schooling of children is the nurcerie of christians; therefore you ought to be learned and vertuous; that you may traine your schollers to be the disciples of Christ.

The deuill will practise to make you his vnderschoolemasters, that you may fit your schollers to be his seruants.

To preuent this danger, you cannot be to carefull of your behauiour euery waie.

Take no more vpon you, then you know your selfe able, by the grace of God, to performe, followe the common waie of teaching commanded by authoritie.

It is to be wished that the Grammar for the latin tongue, were one whole booke, the rules in english, the examples in latin.

Teach your schollers their lessons verie leasurely, and plainely, heare them their lessons mildely, and patiently, correct them for their faults merciefully and sparingly. What man fearing God can find in his heart to play the tyrant among Gods tender chil­dren, reuiling, buffeting, striking, scourging, and terrifying them with thundering spea­ches, [Page 86] as if they were dogges, yea limmes of the Deuill, no man can with a safe consci­ence so cursedly vse a beast, as I in word and deede haue vsed my schollers, I praie God forgiue me, and grant that no schoolmaster offend in that point.

Thinke with your selues how hatefull such rigorous vsage is to God, and his holy Angels, who haue the charge of children.

Frame your schollers by all meanes to feare God, and to please him; and then assure your selues that ouer and aboue whatsoeuer their fathers and friends giue vnto you, he will giue you a rich reward.

It is not good to hold children too hard, or too long at their bookes: for their witts are tender, and therefore ought to be gently vsed, and often refreshed. Our Lord Iesus Christ blesse all schoolemasters, that they may know, and doe their duties to the con­tinuall increase of right Christian learning, Amen.

I Presumed with all mine abominable vi­ces to enter into the holy Ministerie, and haue beene a professed minister of Christ; that is, a soule-keeper, and a soule-feeder al­most twelue yeares: Iesu Christ forgiue me. [Page 87] I tooke vpon me to preach, neither vnder­standing the word of God, nor indued with the power of godlines. Therefore I haue in­dangered the saluation of many people, euē as an ignorant and vnhonest physitian doth hazard the bodily life of them that take physicke by his appointment.

Although water in the spring head be pure and wholesome, yet if it be caried from thence in an vncleane and poisoned vessell, who can drinke it without daunger? The word of God is in it selfe most pure and wholesome; but my preaching hath defiled it with ignorance, and with the wicked in­fection of pride, enuy, wrath, couetousnesse, and all sinnes; euery vice vpon occasion put­ting it selfe into my sermons. Moreouer if I preached anie thing according to the word of God, I vtterly vnpreached and denied it in my life and conuersation. Alas how many soules may iustly challenge me before the face of Iesus Christ, for giuing cause of their damnation; I cannot say, vpon my conscience, that in all this time, wherein I haue taken vpon me to be a minister; I haue done my duetie, so much as to the sauing of one soule. A true minister of Christ should be a meanes to turne all euill [Page 88] from his sheepe, and to procure all blessings vnto them. But I contrarily haue beene a meanes to turne blessings from them, and to bring miserie vpon them. It had bin bet­ter for me to haue gotten my liuing by beg­ging from doore to doore; yea, lesse had bin my sinne, if I had liued by stealing and rob­bing: for he that is a minister and doth not discharge his dutie, is a theefe and a robber in the highest degree: because he robbeth God of his people, and robbeth people of their saluation. How is it possible for me to escape the vengeance of hell fire?

All you that purpose to be ministers in the Church, for Christs sake, take warning by me. Before you enter into the ministerie, examine your heart according to your con­science in the sight of God; what mooueth you to be a minister? and what you princi­pally desire and intend? for looke what you minde, that you will follow, and to compasse the same, neglect all other things. Therfore if you perceiue that your mind is chiefly set vpon worldly gaine, or glorie, take no soules to keepe: for you will let them sink or swim: and notwithstanding what shew soeuer you make, they shall be sorily respected, and ma­ny waies vnfitted. But if you doe chiefly [Page 89] aime at the glorie of Christ in the saluation of Christiās, you are the blessed of the Lord; God increase the number of you: for you wil not sticke to loose any worldly commodity, yea your owne life, rather then hazard the losse of one soule. Enter therfore in the name of Iesus Christ. But before you take a charge of soules vpon you, giue all diligence that you may haue a good vnderstanding in the word of God, and that the power of godli­nes may be in your life and conuersation: for if the blind lead the blind, they fall both in­to the ditch: and he is gracelesse, that hauing sight, doth lead the blind out of the way: be­cause the blind will follow their leader. The peoples eyes are neuer well opened vntill the light of their minister doe so shine be­fore thē, that they may see his good works and glorifie God, in following his ensample. O happie is that minister that euer he was borne, who before he vndertaketh a charge of soules,Matth. 4. hath the grace to ouercome the temptations of Satan, as Christ did.

Beeing made a minister, and hauing a charge of soules, beare alwaies in mind, that you must be answearable to Christ for euery one of them. So that whatsoeuer a minister might possibly doe to saue them, you shall [Page 90] deerely abuie it, if you performe it not. This mooued S. Paul to warne euery one, [...]. 28. & teach euery one in all wisdome, that he might pre­sent euery one perfect in Christ Iesus.

Therefore you knowing the terriblenes of the Lord, must approoue your selfe vnto God, and to euery conscience of man, wo­man, and child in the sight of God, carefully and discreetely waiting vpon your charge, that you may giue to euery one their porti­on of meate in due time. You must truly teach Gods people the waie of saluation out of his word. Therefore in vnderstanding and expounding the holy Bible, follow the con­sent of auncient and learned writers, & those especially who are reported to haue liued an holy life: for God in all ages doth most respect them that feare him, and they haue most certen knowledge of his will. Others although they seeme exceedingly learned, yet they are full of errors, because the spirit of deceit hath power in them. Therefore take heede.

Desire not to be singular, nor to differ from others: for it is a signe of a naughtie spirit, which hath caused much euill in the world from the beginning. Teach people that which doth necessarily concerne their [Page 91] saluation: for it is a temptation of the deuill to busie folkes minds with by-matter, that they may neglect the maine worke of sauing their soules. A minister ought diligently to take particular knowledge of his charge: who be yong in vnderstanding; who be ripe in discretion; who be sick in sinne, and who be sound in soule, that he may accordingly diet them. Much preaching and teaching doth not take that good effect which it might, if peoples vnderstanding were ripe­ned to heare it. There is a certaine teaching called the A, b, c, of Gods word; because e­uen as a scholler must learne to know let­ters, and to spell them together, before he can read;Heb. 5.12. so must a Christian first learne the ground worke of religion, before he can well proceede in the vnderstanding & pra­ctise of Gods word. I haue found elderly people, that seemed to be much delighted in hearing the word of God preached, yet not­withstanding strangely ignorant in the foun­dation of faith. As for example, they did be­leeue in the sonne of God, and yet did not thinke that he was in time before the virgin Marie. How is it possible, that people should be ignorant of such points, commonly prea­ched and printed? Because they are not in­structed [Page 92] orderly, pithily, and plainly: orderly, as children are taught to read: pithily, for many wordes and toilesome circumstances doe bring an ignorant hearer into a wood, where he looseth himself: plainly, for tearms of art, and fine eloquence are not sutable to the gospel of Christ, because in darkning the vnderstanding of some, & tickling the eares of others, they hinder the working of the matter. Fie vpon all vaine glorious shewes: for the kingdome of God is not in word,1. Cor. 4.20 but in power.

If you doe not so teach the will of God, that the verie ignorant may well vnderstand it, and keepe it in rememberance, what an­swer can you make to Iesus Christ, when he calleth you to a reckoning?

Although a scholler be taught to knowe his letters, yet many times he is not well instructed to spell them together: So the foundation points of religion may be taught, and yet not put well together: for example,Rom. 3.28. Christians are iustified by faith in Iesus Christ, without the works of the law. This is one point. [...]at. 16.27 [...]. Cor. 5.10 Christ will iudge all peo­ple according to their works, answerable to the practise of their liues. This is an other point. Now vnles these two points be right­ly [Page 93] ioyned together, the deuil wil make some vtterly neglect works, and other altogether to presume vpon their owne deserts.

Iustifying faith is the gift of God, and bringeth forth good workes, whereby true Christians are iustified at the day of iudge­ment.

The capacitie of people is like vnto a small bottle with a narrow mouth, if you powre in wine hastily, you shall spill much beside, and if you doe exceede their measure they will runne ouer: no worke or imploi­ment in all the world doth require more carefull diligence, then the office of a mini­ster.

Although you teach and preach verie much, and in plaine words, yet your sheepe will specially regard your practise of life, be­cause their nature is to be lead, rather then to be driuen.

I would I had preached lesse in words, & more in works. Your conuersation must be euery waie square to your profession: for you cannot so much as speake a word in iest, but it shall be heeded and considered. Yea, if there be any ill word spoken in your hea­ring, people will marke how you take it. Be­leeue me vpon mine experience; if there be [Page 94] gappes in your conuersation, your sheepe will thereby runne out from Christ; yea they will boldly make gappes themselues, presuming that they may with as little dan­ger sinne in one kinde, as you in an other.

When I as a Curate entred into a charge of soules, the people at the first had such a reuerent opinion of me, by reason of mine earnest plainnes in preaching; that they were very carefull least I should see any fault in their behauiour; but afterward when they perceiued that the practise of my life was not according to my preaching, they grew in a manner carelesse what they said, or what they did: whereas if I had not lost that first reputation, I thinke in my conscience, that many, yea most of them would haue amēded their waies.

A minister ought to be graue and mild. Grauitie without mildnesse is surlinesse, and mildenesse without grauitie is light­nesse.

Iocond, iesting, and scoffing behauiour doth not becom a minister, for he is the mes­senger of God, and weightie is his mes­sage.

It is a true saying, that too much familia­ritie breeds contempt; and so I haue alwaies [Page 95] found it. Therefore vse to retire your selfe, and be no common companie keeper: for howsoeuer you may preserue your perso­nall reputation, yet the power of your office, which is much grounded vpon a reuerent e­stimation, will be by companie keeping ma­ny waies diminished. The appearance of any vice in a minister doth disable his ministerie; specially pride, and couetousnes. It were to be wished that ministers would in their ap­parel, and gesture, vse decencie, shunning all vanitie and brauerie; whereby the humble­nes and meekenes of Iesus Christ might be seene in them.

You that teach others to be content with that which they haue, ought to shew your selues free from filthie couetousnes.

Keepe alwaies within compasse of your maintenance, that you may be before hand; els you shall runne into many inconuenien­ces: for first you shall by want be forced to loose your libertie: for, as Salomon saith, the borrower is a seruant to the lender. Then much more is the receiuer seruant to the giuer. An heathen man saide truly, He that taketh a gift, looseth his libertie. Who hath more cause to keepe himselfe free then a mi­nister? for if he be ingaged to any, the deuill [Page] will tempt him to sooth them in their sinnes, or at least to be tongue-tied, and not to re­prooue them for their faults. Alas! in what wretched state are many Curates? for they are driuen to seeke their cōmodities, where they can finde them.

An other inconuenience in a hinderly mi­nister is, that he cannot be beneficiall to the poore: which is a very speciall point in a mi­nister: for how can it appeare that he is zea­lous to feede mens soules, that hath no care to comfort their bodies. Therefore Christ and his Apostles were very diligent to pro­uide for the poore. [...] Mar- An auncient writer testi­fied to an heathen Romane Emperour, that among Christians the minister is a prouider for all needie people.

Although any other minister seeme faul­tie and haue an ill report, yet doe not endure to speake or heare any euill of him: for so you should verie much offend, and incou­rage to be distasted with the ministrie.

Doe not enuie nor despise any minister whomsoeuer, not meddle with any mans charge but your owne.

Suffer much wrong rather then enter in­to strife. Be no partie nor partaker in any contention.

[Page 97]If you be assured that any one doth a­misse in your parish,I tooke vpon [...] to finde fault rig [...] rously with ma­ny; yea, & with great men out of my charge; [...] my great shame. tell him his fault secret­ly, and verie kindly, beseeching him in Christs behalfe to turne vnto God. Whoso­euer fall out, doe not you appeare to be ad­uersarie to any one, nor to vphold the partie against him. It wil hinder your ministerie, & peraduenture put you into more trouble then you can imagine. Contention and par­taking hath tormented me verie grieuously, for I met with those that ouermatched me, and laid heauie accusations vpon me. God forgiue me and them, and God giue you the heauenly blessing of quietnesse. Hate all iarring, and snarling, for they are dogged properties: as also fawning, and flatterie. He is a right dogge, that will one while snarle, and an other while fawne, as I haue foolishly done.

Be a man of wisdome and few words. Be slow to speake, and short and sweet in spea­king. A man full of words is full of many offences. Last of all, I commend vnto you a notable sentence which the holy Ghost sent to a minister.

No man that is a warriour entangleth himself with worldly businesse, [...]. Tim. [...]. that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a [Page] [...] beseech the blessed God, [...] kne [...], that he will for Iesus [...] giue vn [...]o all ministers the grace [...] and pe [...]e the true meaning [...] [...]nce.

Amen, Amen.

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