HALLELV-IAH: Praise yee the Lord, FOR THE VNBVRTHENING of a loaden Conscience: By his grace in Iesus Christ vouchsafed vnto the worst sinner of all the whole world.

I Come, and heare all yee that feare God, and I will tell you what hee hath done for my soule.

O magnifie his Name with mee, and let vs exalt his Name together.

Printed by CANTRELL LEGGE, Printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge. 1618. And are to be sold by MATTHEVV LAVV in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Foxe.

THE DEDICATION. ❧ To the right high and mightie Prince, and most valiant Conquerour, IESVS CHRIST, God and man crucified: My most gracious good Lord, Sauiour, and Master.

THou art gone vp on high, thou hast lead captiuitie captiue, thou hast receiued gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorifie thy name for euermore.

For great is thy mercy towards me, and thou hast deliuered my soule from the lowest hell.

Let the speaking of my mouth, the writing of mine hand, and the thinking of mine heart, be pleasing in thy sight, O Lord my strength, and my Redeemer.

Amen. Amen.

❧ To those learned men which in Cambridge haue authoritie to iudge of bookes before they be there imprinted.

REuerend Masters, my dutie premised, I humbly pray you to giue way vnto the glo­rifying of the grace of God in Iesus Christ, as you will answer vnto his glorious maiestie, when he shall call you to giue account of that your of­fice. Thus, beseeching God to blesse you, and that noble Nurcery of Christianity, with all a­boundance of knowledge, and holinesse, I rest

At your correction in the Lord Iesus, RICHARD KILBY.

THE ƲNBƲRTHE­ning of a loaden Conscience.

WHosoeuer you are that shall purpose to read or heare a­ny part of this booke, I be­seech you that of your cha­ritie, you will grant vnto me these two re­quests:

First, to beleeue that I in making, and putting foorth this booke, intended the glorie of my Sauiour, the good of Chri­stened people, and the hurt of no crea­ture.

Secondly, to shew such fauour, compas­sion, and patience, towards mee, as you your selfe towards your selfe expect from the Lord Iesus.

Now I beginne.

[Page 2]IT pleased the good Lord God to vn­burthen my conscience by repentance, and beleefe in Iesus Christ; whereunto with verie much adoe I was brought by the knowledge of Gods word, and the consideration of mine owne verie misera­ble, and most dangerous state.

Among those parts of the holy Bible, which God made me in some measure to vnderstand, I had speciall vse of his tenne Commandements, and therewith also of the first verse of the 20. chap. of Exodus, as here it followeth.

Exo. 20.1. And, &c. This first word hath respect vnto some things mentioned in the chapter next before, specially the Lords comming downe from heauen vnto the top of mount Sinai in fire, and the comming of the Israe­lites out of their campe, beeing brought forth by Moses, to meet with God. Tou­ching the comming forth of the people, I find that they were first prepared by clean­sing themselues, and washing their clothes; secondly, limited, that they should not come too neere vnto the hill: thirdly, pre­sented and set before the face of God by Moses.

Hereby I learne, that whensoeuer I am [Page 3] to reade or heare Gods word, to pray, or to sing vnto him, I must first prepare my selfe, by putting away all euill thoughts, and naughty affections; secondly, I must be ve­ry humble, auoiding all presumption; third­ly, I must present my selfe before the maie­stie of God, in the name of Iesus Christ, e­uen as if hee tooke mee by the hand, and brought me into the presence of his Father, The neglecting of these three necessarie points, I know by mine owne experience, is verie dangerous: for the doing of holy seruices with an vnreuerent heart, is a rea­die way to make a partie most vncapable of Gods grace; because the custome of abu­sing the meanes of saluation, doth not one­ly prouoke the Lord vnto great indignati­on, but also hardeneth the heart, and brin­geth it to that passe, that without some ex­traordinarie meanes, it cannot be effectu­ally wrought vpon.

And God, &c.] God is the first begin­ning, as of all good, so specially of religi­on: therefore he that will be religious, must first and foremost, steadfastly beleeue that there is a God, Heb. 11.6.

And God spake, &c.] The second ground, or beginning of religion, is the word, and [Page 4] speech of God, which holy men by his di­rection, and appointment, did write in the books of the olde and new Testament.

It is a speciall fauour of God to make his word knowne vnto any man, woman, or child; because the propertie of it is to make vs wise, and holy, fit for euerlasting blisse in heauen. 2. Tim. 3.15.16.

Whereas our Sauiour Christ made his Apostles Ministers of his word, and gaue them commission to ordaine others, and those also to ordaine others from time to time, vntill the worlds ende, is a question how the Ministers of the now publikely al­lowed Church of England, can prooue their calling from Christ by the Apostles, &c. seeing that the now church of Rome, is between them and the Apostles time? I will breifly declare my setled beleefe in this point by way of comparison.

A certaine noble man did by his will ap­point, that a great part of his goods should be employed to such, and such good vses, so and so, vntill the worlds end: for the per­formance of this, he did chuse certaine feof­fers of trust, giuing order that they should choose others, and those others from age to age. The first feoffers had in their time, [Page 5] very much adoe to keepe the noble mans will from beeing wronged. Many hundred yeares after that, it came to passe that some beeing orderly chosen feoffers, were fully perswaded that in many things the wil was wronged. Hereupon, they claimed refor­mation, but others resisted them, yea, and pursued them to the death, killing diuerse of them. Those which escaped the hands of their aduersaries, continued their claime of reformation, and made choise of others to succeede them in their office.

These be the ministers of the Church of England. If an honest man were asked what is in this case to be done? he would say, the written will is to be stood vpon, and to be made knowne.

The Bible is that wil; which the Romane feoffers haue no mind to make known, nor can endure the publishing thereof in vul­gar languages, that all people might heare it read in their Churches: alleadging this reason, that as they iudge, if common peo­ple had Gods word in their owne tongue, they would rather take hurt, then good by it. To my silly vnderstanding, this is a very strange reason: Of all other books is Gods booke so dangerous? Then why did the [Page 6] Lord giue his word, the old Testament, vn­to his beloued nation the Israelites, in their owne tongue? yea, and lay such charge vp­on them to read it, and to heare it? What was the reason that when a woman said vnto Christ,Luk. 11.27. Blessed is the wombe that bare thee, and the pappes which thou hast sucked: I say, what was the reason that our Lord made her this answer;28. Yea rather blessed are they that heare the word of God and keepe it? I say againe, why did he say so, if it be bet­ter for people not to heare, then to heare Gods word?

By the way, bee it remembred, that the Sonne of God saith, It is a blessednes to heare Gods word, and the Pope who taketh vpon him to be the deputie of the sonne of God, he saith, it is not a blessednes, he forbiddeth it. If any vnderstanding conscionable Ro­mane catholike, were betweene God, and his owne soule, to tell what he thinketh to be the maine cause, why the Pope doth not allow Gods word to be commonly bought and sold in Italie, Spaine, &c. and so to bee read in churches: my conscience giueth me, that he would say thus; It is very likely, that thereby many would bee drawne from his obedience, and many things which are [Page 7] nowe in great request among the people, should then bee despised. As surely as the Lord God liueth, I take this to be the main cause. A great number of things in that re­ligion could by no means stand, if the book of God were commonly to bee had in the peoples owne language: Therefore they are not suffered to heare God speake.

I appeale to the conscience of euery man, whether it be likly that those things which are of God, shall bee put out of request by the word of God? It is not likely, it is quite contrary.

I doe most humblie intreat all English men and women, I entreat them in the sight of our Lord Iesus Christ, that they will for­beare to beleeue the Romane religion, vn­till it haue Gods word, and church-seruice read, and said in peoples owne languages. When you come to publike seruice, call it masse, or what you will, are you not of the company that there ought to ioine in prai­er vnto God? why then is not your prayer in your owne tongue? why is it in Latine? Let any man answer, as I aske the question in the feare of God: what reason is there that people should pray, or ioine with any, praying in a language which they vnder­stand [Page 8] not? Is it not much to be feared, that Satan the Prince of darkenes hath a strong hand in this, to keep poore people in blind­nesse, and ignorance?

I haue vpon my conscience, and in cha­rity, without any thought of personall re­proch vnto any one, made bold to say thus much. If any in zeale of that religion haue a minde to say so much, yea tenne times so much to mee, let him speake in the feare of God, and in charitie, and spare not. Or if he list to flie vpon me with words of chol­ler, I will ioyne with him, to say much more against my selfe then he can; and yet leaue him to iudge himselfe without me.

When I am minded to reade any part of Gods booke, I must kneele downe before the face of God, and pray thus;

O most gracious and merciful Lord God, thou hast of thy great goodnesse vouchsa­fed to giue vnto me thine holy Bible, which is able to make me wise vnto saluation: I do humbly thanke thee for it, and heartily I beseech thy blessed Maiestie to giue me the grace that I may feruently reade it, rightly vnderstand it, and diligenty marke it, tho­rough Iesus Christ thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

[Page 9]Besides the meanes and helpes to vnder­stand the Scriptures, as the proportion of Religion contained in the creed, and com­mandements, the circumstances of each se­ueral place, and the comparing of one place with other places, reading of expositions, and hearing other mens iudgements; our Sauiour giueth a very notable direction for the attainement of speciall aide from the spirit of God, and it is a ready way for a man to come to the knowledge of the truth touching any necessarie point in contro­uersie. And this it is, To the Iewes doub­ting whether Christs doctrin were of God, yea or no: hee said, If any man will doe the will of God, he shall knowe of the doctrine whe­ther it bee of God, or whether I speake of my selfe, Ioh. 7.17. The conscionable practise of those duties which are very plainely set downe in Gods word will, in, and through Iesus Christ, be a meanes to procure vnto vs a gracious, and comfortable inlightning of our minds, to vnderstand the minde, and meaning of God in his word daily more & more: for the secret of the Lord is with them that feare him, and he will shew them his coue­nant, Psal. 25.14. If I come to a place of Scripture hard to bee vnderstood, I will [Page 10] marke it, and so stay my selfe, in hope of grace from God at his good pleasure.

Reading any part of Scripture very lea­surely, and heedfully, I must endeauour to take speciall knowledge of some principall notable points, and then commend them vnto the blessing of God, thus.

O most mightie, and mercifull Lord God, I do most humbly, and heartily thanke thee, for that thou hast made me in reading this part of thy Bible, to vnderstand, and mark this & this, &c. I beseech thee, that if I haue mistakē any thing, I may haue grace to see mine error, and to leaue it: I beseech thee that those things which I haue rightly vnderstood, I may well remember, and as neede shall require, profitably vse, to thy good pleasure, and glory in benefiting my selfe and others, through Iesus Christ thy onely Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour; To whome with thee O Father, and with the holy Ghost, three persons, and one onely good Lord God be all praise, honour, and glorie, for euermore. Amen.

Thus much of Gods word.

And God spake all these words, saying.] Hee that made one commaundement, made all the rest; therefore I must not presume to [Page 11] breake any one of them, but, if I will not bee confounded, I must vprightly intend, and carefully endeauour to bee obedient vnto all the commandements of God, Psal. 119.6.

Exod. 20.2. I am the Lord, &c.] This word Lord, in the Iewes language is called Iehouah, and signifieth such a one as is of himselfe, and giueth beeing vnto all things else, specially vnto his own promises, which hee most faithfully, and powerfully perfor­meth in due time.

This wonderfull Lord is thoroughly knowne of none but himselfe; yet vnder his gracious correction, I do thus conceiue of him: The Lord Iehouah is a spirit, single, durable, vnmeasurable, mightie, wise, holy, blessed, and glorious.

God is a spirit, Ioh. 4.24. A spirit hath not flesh and bones, Luk. 24.39. Then how is man saide to hee like vnto God? In the nature, and properties of the soule. Why doth the Bible sometimes speake of God, as if he had eies, eares, hands? &c. It spea­keth according to our capacitie, because God would haue vs to be plainely and ful­ly perswaded, that he hath sight, hearing, knowledge, power, &c.

[Page 12]God is a single spirit, farre excelling the singlenes of any Angel: for an Angel, as al­so the soule of man or woman, hath three wants of perfect singlenesse. First, in eue­ry angel there is a beeing, for it is a certain seuerall thing. There is also in the same an­gel a possibilitie to bee changed into some other thing, yea into nothing: because the angel is vnder God, and God can doe vn­to it whatsoeuer hee will. But there is no possibilitie of change in God; because hee is vnder none.

Secondly, euery angel is that which it is in seuerall, and thereby he differeth and is knowne from all other angels: And yet the same kinde of nature whereby hee is that which he is, is also in other angels. But the nature of God, whereby hee is that which he is, is wholly, and onely in himselfe, and therefore it is altogether one, and the same with that which he is.

Thirdly, in an Angell vnto his spirituall nature, diuerse things are added and ioy­ned, which may also be taken or put away, as wisedome, holynesse; power, &c. But all perfections are in God, as in the foun­taine, and though they seeme diuerse vnto vs, yea. some appeare to be quite contrary [Page 13] one to the other, as most seuere iustice, and most pitifull mercie, yet all these things in God are but only one thing, and that is his most single nature, essence, and beeing.

The truth of this, we may in some sort perceiue by the shining sun: for it appeareth vnto our eies, to bee a very single, pure thing; all that we can see in it, is nothing els but light, most exceeding pure, cleare, and peircing light: yet many sundry vertues are in this light: It shineth, it heateth, it quick­neth man, beast, foule, fish, fruit; yea it see­meth to worke contraries, as softning wax, hardening clay. These, and many other things, worketh the single light of the shi­ning sunne. Much more excellent is the God that made the Sunne. In his most single nature is all vertue, abilitie, and efficacie. His name be blessed, Amen.

God is a durable spirit: not onely with­out ending; for so hath he made Angels, and soules, yea and so he will make the bodies of men, women, and children, to be after the resurrectiō; but also the Lord God is with­out beginning. Therefore Dauid saith vnto him; Psalm. 19.2. From euerlasting to euerlasting thou art God.

God is vnmeasurable, that is, of such an [Page 14] exceeding infinitenes that he filleth, yea, & surpasseth the whole compasse of heauen and earth, Ier. 23.24. 2. King. 8.27. Yet not so, that one part of him is one where, and an other els where; but God is wholly in all the whole world, and wholly in euery part and place of the world.

Then why is it said, that God is in hea­uen? And why are we willed to lift vp our hearts towards heauen, when we pray vnto him? Because his pleasure is to manifest himselfe in glory cheifely in heauen, and from heauen. Why doth the Bible say, that God is with good folke, and not with bad? Because he doth graciously acquaint him­selfe with those that serue him; but he will not be knowne that he is in the company of naughty people, because he hateth their be­hauiour. Yet he is where they are, & heed­fully marketh all that they thinke, say, or doe; purposing to call them to an account, and to give iudgement vpon them, accord­ding to the practise of their liues.

God is mightie, most mighty, almightie. He is well able to doe any worke of power, either by himselfe without meanes, as hee made the world; or by means, as he drownd the world with water. Sometime his plea­sure [Page 15] is to worke by meanes, but aboue the nature, & power of the meanes: as when he clensed a man frō the leprosie by the water of the riuer Iordan.2. Kin. 5.14. Sometime he stoppeth the power of the meanes, as when three of his seruants were by a tyrant cast into a most hot burning fierie furnace; for hee tooke such order, that the extreame bur­ning heat had no power vpon them though it mischeiued those which put them into the furnace, Dan.3

God can work in what measure of pow­er he will. The least measure of his power, is stronger then all the power of man: 1. Cor. 1.25. Hee is able to make the least bit of bread, to giue so much nourishment as a whole loafe. It pleaseth him sometime to work more by one man then by another; yea more by some one then by many other: 1. Cor. 15.10. The power of God is end­lesse, limited onely by his owne will: for whatsoeuer his pleasure is to doe, that he doth, Psal. 135.6. This the poore leperous man beleeued, when hee said vnto the sonne of God, Matth. 8.2. Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me cleane: whereunto he gra­ciously answered, saying, I will, be thou clean: and presently the Lord touching him with [Page 16] his hand the foule disease was cleane gone.

God is wise: he onely is wise, Rom. 16.27. The wisedome of Angels and men is his gift. It is hee that giueth wisedome to the wise, and knowledge vnto them that know vnderstanding, Dan. 2.21. There is no num­ber of his vnderstanding, it is endles, Psal. 147.5. From the beginning of the world he foreknew all things which should come to passe, euen vntill the ende, &c. Act. 15.18. He knew what was the very best way to be takē in making, continuing, altering, doing, or suffering any thing, Psal. 104.24. Though he may doe what he will, because he is the most high Soueraigne Lord of all things, yet he doth nothing, hee suffereth nothing, without most excellent good rea­son: and yet I must not thereupon presume to sinne; for as hee hath reason to suffer a man to sinne, so hee hath reason moouing him to punish the partie that sinneth; yea, such reason, that S. Peter saith, the righteous be scarcely saued, 1. Pet. 4.18. God will beat sinne out of them before they die.

God is holy, most holy, altogether holy, pure, cleane, and free from any staine of e­uill: He cannot be tempted with euill, Iam. 13. Then how came it to passe that so many an­gels [Page 17] sinned, and turned to be deuils? Also how came mā to be a sinner? God made the Angels, and the first man, and woman, very holy, and well able to haue kept themselues so, if they would. Yea, but why did he suf­fer them to sinne, seeing that sinne is most contrarie vnto his holy nature? Because he thereupon took occasiō to shew his dread­full iustice in punishing some, and the most wonderfull ioyning of mercy and iustice in sauing others.

The iustice of God requireth that euery Angel, man, woman, and child be tried and iudged by that which is in them, whether it be righteousnesse or sinne;Rom. 2.11. the righteous to be saued, and the sinner damned. So hee condemned all the sinning Angels; and so he will condemne a great many of Adams children. He might haue cast them al away, because they are a guiltie corrupted brood, not only children of a traytor, but also trai­terously inclined.

The ioyning of Gods mercy and iustice together, is thus; First, it pleased him to be mercifull vnto such, and such, Exod. 33.19. Secondly, he appointed, that they vnto whō he purposed to shew mercy, should be ioy­ned by the holy Ghost vnto his onely Son, [Page 18] who for that purpose was at such a time to take vnto him a body, and a soule, and so being both God and man, after a most holy and guiltlesse life, to suffer a cruell death, to purchase for them the forgiuenesse of sinnes, and cleansement from their wicked inclination, Tit. 2.14.

God is blessed, fully blessed, exceedingly blessed. He that is fully blessed, hath free­dom from all manner of things which may giue him any discontent: and not onely so, but also wanteth nothing that may content or delight him. Such is the blessednesse of Gods chosen seruants, not in this world, but in heauen: for the Bible saith, they are blessed which die in the faith, and fauour of the Lord, that so they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them, Reu. 14.13. Their resting from labours, is their freedome from all causes of discontent; Their works following them, is the crown of euerlasting contentment, giuen vnto them in regard of their workes, and farre surpassing all possible merit in them. This blessednes God giueth vnto his Saints. The blessednes which he hath in himselfe diffe­reth from this, not onely as the cause from the effect, but also in two other speciall [Page 19] points. First, God hath his blisse of him­selfe, and therefore it is said of him, that he onely hath immortalitie, that is, absolute, and necessarie freedome from death, 1. Tim. 6.16. Also of him it is said, that he hath the well of life, Psal. 36.9. that is to say, hee is the very first cause of life, and of all perfe­ction. Secondly, the blessednes of God is beyond all measure, most exceedingly ex­ceeding: for as his vnderstanding is infinit, that is, endlesse, so are all his perfections.

If God be most exceedingly blessed, why doe we oftentimes say, Blessed be God, as though wee wished blessednesse vnto him? We doe praise and magnifie his blessednes in minde, and in word, by acknowledging and publishing the same; yea and the party that heartily loueth God, is so full of good will towards him, that he cannot but wish, that if it were possible, God might bee a thousand thousand times more happie and blessed then he is. And such is the most ho­nourable, and gracious kindnes of God, that he taketh this wish in verie good part: So the great men of this world accept the good will of their poore friends.

God is glorious. Glorie is properly the goodly shewe, seeming, sight, or appea­rance [Page 20] of any thing. It also many times sig­nifieth the famous report of some notable goodnesse: In both these meanings, glorie is a title most proper vnto God. Touching goodly shew, the glorie of God appeareth two wayes, in himselfe, and in his workes. In God himselfe there is such a shining ex­cellent maiestie, that the very angels are not able to endure the full appearance thereof; as we may perceiue by the vision of the Prophet Esay, who did see certaine verie glorious angels before the face of God co­uering their faces, Esa. 6.2.

In all, and euery of Gods workes, appea­reth a shew of some one or more of his ex­cellent properties, as of wisedome, power, iustice, mercy, &c. Esa. 6.3. The whole earth is full of his glorie. Therefore S. Paul saith, the very heathen people knewe God by his works, because his eternall power, and di­uine properties do in his works by the crea­tion of the world, euidently appeare, Rom. 1. ver. 20.

Hee whose port is truely glorious, is worthy of a glorious report; and that prin­cipally is our Lord God, of whose most stately port, and royall behauiour there is a notable report, Psal. 104.1. Blesse thee Lord, [Page 21] O my soule: O Lord my God, thou art verie great, thou art cloathed with honour, and maie­stie, &c.

God appearing in his works so glorious­ly, our dutie is to take knowledge of his glorie, and to do what we can to make the same knowne vnto others. One great cause of vndeuotion, and coldnes in religion, is the not considering of Gods works, speci­ally that most admirable worke of redemp­tion, manifested in the Gospel: Psal. 107.43. Whosoeuer is wise, and will marke these things, euen they shall vnderstand the louing kindnes of the Lord. 2. Cor. 3.18. But we all with open face beholding as in a glasse the glorie of the Lord, are changed into the same likenes, from glory to glorie, euen as by the spirit of the Lord. 2. Cor. 4.6. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkenes, hath shined in our hearts, to giue the light of the knowledge of the glorie of God in the face of Iesus Christ.

How shall wee make the glorie of God knowne vnto others? Two waies: First, by the holynesse of our life, that so others may see the glorious working of Gods grace in vs, Matth. 5.16. Secondly, by the due praising of God, that others may heare the report of his glorious acts and doings: [Page 22] Psas. 145.12. To make knowne vnto the sonnes of men his mightie acts, and the glorious maie­stie of his kingdome.

It is a question, whether such professed Christians, and specially Church-ministers, as haue by open prophanenes, or any vnho­ly behauiour, blemished the glory of God, be not bound to make open cōfession, that so, what in them is, they may salue, and re­medie the wide wounds which they haue giuen vnto the doctrine, and religion of God and Christ? My iudgement in this point, shall (I trust in God) appeare by my practise, both in this booke, and also in the residue of my life. In the meane time this I professe, my poore soule doth vehemently desire to giue glorie vnto God, in the re­uengefull abasing of my selfe, for the grei­uous displeasure, & great dishonour which I haue all my life long caused, and done vn­to his most holy maiestie.

Thus much of the name Iehouah, the Lord.

Thy God, &c.] The language wherein God spake these words, readeth thus, thy Gods, as speaking of more then one. This, whatsoeuer the poore Iewes say to the con­trary, sheweth, that in God there are more [Page 23] persons then one: which persons how ma­ny, and who they are, the good Lord Ie­sus beeing one of them, doth plainly shew, in saying vnto his disciples, Matth. 28.19. —teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost.

The first person is the Father, who be­getteth the Sonne, O most marueilous be­getting! the Sonne is as olde as the Father: the Sonne hath the very selfe-same nature, and substance with his Father; yea,Ioh. 14.10. hee is within his Father, and his Father is within him.

The second person in the godhead, is the Sonne, who is begotten of the Father, as a word is begotten of a mans mind, and ther­fore he is sometime called the Word; as also because he maketh the Father, and the Fa­thers will knowne vnto men, and is that partie concerning whom the Father gaue his word that he would send him into the world to saue sinners.

The third person in the godhead, is the holy Ghost, who proceedeth from the Fa­ther, and from the Sonne, and therefore is the Spirit of them both, and he is in either of them both: also both the Father, and the [Page 24] Sonne are in him. Hee is called the Spirit, not so much to signifie his nature, as to shew his proceeding; because he is spired that is, as it were breathed from the Father, and from the Sonne. He is called holy, not onely because of the holines of his nature, which is all one with the Father, and with the Sonne; but because he doth sanctifie, that is, maketh holy all those which shall be saued, Rom. 1.4.

All and euery outward worke of God commeth from the Father, thorough the Sonne, and by the holy Ghost. The Father beginneth euery worke of himselfe, work­ing in, and through the Sonne, also in, and by the holy Ghost. Therefore the making and beginning of heauen and earth, is intit­led vnto him.

The Sonne worketh in, and from the Fa­ther, in and by the holy Ghost, Therefore the redemption and Sauiour-ship goeth in his name: because he tooke vnto him a bo­die, and a soule, and so being both God & man, purchased our saluation, and saueth vs, in, and from his Father, in and by the ho­ly Ghost; Ioh. 4.19. The Son can doe nothing of himselfe. Mat. 12.28. But if I cast out deuills by the spirit of God, &c.

[Page 25]The holy Ghost worketh in, and from the Father, in and from the Sonne, and so by himselfe finisheth euery worke of God; specially the sanctifying, and cleansing of them which shall bee saued: and therefore he is called the sanctifier, or the cleanser.

Thus much of the three persons in one God.

Now whereas the Lord saith, [I am thy God] the meaning is, I saue thee from all e­uill, and bring thee to euerlasting blisse, Gen. 15.1. But what proofe haue I that the Lord is my God? He further saith, Which haue brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

These words were indeed first spoken, & written vnto the children of Israel, whome God deliuered out of the slauish bondage, and great miserie, which they had long en­dured vnder King Pharaoh in Egypt. Now I ought to take the same words as spoken of God vnto me: for as God made the Isra­lites to passe through the red sea, and there­in drowned the Egyptians; so he caused me to be baptized, and sprinkled with water in his name, euen in the name of the Father, and of the Son, & of the holy Ghost: & so by an holy sacramentall signification, made me [Page 26] passe through the red sea of Christs blood, wherein all the enemies of my saluation are (as if they were drowned) so disabled, that vnlesse I foolishly yeelde vnto them, they cannot preuaile against me, Rom. 6.3. Nei­ther did God onely giue vnto me that out­ward signe, and seale of saluation, but also when I was able to vnderstand, caused mee to heare, yea and to read, yea, and in some good measure, to perceiue the gospel of his grace, wherein hee proffered vnto me his gracious loue, and therewithall such a por­tion of his heauēly blessings in Iesus Christ, as should make me to be louely and plea­sing in his sight.

But vpon what condition did God prof­fer this grace vnto me? Vpon this conditi­on, Exod. 20.3. Thou shalt haue none other God before my face.

These words being considered together with the verse next before, doe containe a double condition. First, that I shall take the Lord to be my God. Secondly, that I shall haue none other to be my God beside him.

How should I take the Lord to bee my God? By performing these foure duties:

First, to be continually mindefull that I am before his face, Gen. 17.1.

[Page 27]Secondly, to esteem his fauour to be my only felicity, and therefore aboue all things to loue him, and desire to enioy his fauou­rable kindnesse, Luk. 14.26.

Thirdly, to be alwaies verie fearefull of displeasing him, Prou. 28.14.

Fourthly, to settle all my trust, and con­fidence in him, Ier.

How haue I performed these duties?

First, I haue not been mindfull of Gods presence: for both being alone, and in com­panie, my minde hath been so far from that dutie, as if there had been in my beleefe, no God at all.

Secondly, I haue all my life long more e­steemed, loued, and desired worldly plea­sures and profits, yea vain toies and trifles, then the fauour of God. I haue a farre off thought vpon God, as of a thing at the fur­thermost ende of all the world, and there­fore mine affection was alwaies wedded vnto things which seemed to be nearer vn­to me; though indeed nothing can bee so neere vnto me as he is: for in him I liue, and mooue, and haue my beeing.

Thirdly, I had now and then, some small feare of God; but it suddenly vanished a­way, and therefore I plunged my selfe into [Page 28] a sea of sinne, not making conscience of one thought, word, or deed among a thou­sand.

Fourthly, I had no right trust in God: for that can not bee without the feare of God. I oftentimes vsed vnwarrantable meanes to helpe my selfe: And so doe none that rightly trust in God.

This hath been the inside of my life, not only before, but also euer since I entred in­to the Ministerie. And withall mine heart, I wish that I had no fellowes; for I am a­fraid that I haue very many. If such there be, I humbly intreate them to take true knowledge in how dangerous a state they are. I trust that God hath pardoned my pa­rents and bringers vp. The ground of all my miserie, next after the euill inclination which I brought with mee into this world, was the euill seasoning of mine heart in my tender yeares. Beeing a little boy, I was trained to delight in a dogge, & a cat; ther­fore I remember the dogges name yet, and haue loued dogges, and cattes euer since. Those, and other vaine things I was enured to loue, when mine heart should haue been taken vp, and filled with the loue of God. I was feared with bugg-beares, and sprits, [Page 29] when I should haue been framed to feare God. Also I was accustomed to take a pride in this, and that, to be angrie and reuenge­full against some one thing or other, to mocke, scorn, misse-call, and speake naugh­tie words vnto such, or such an one. Thus commonly, for ought that I know, are the hearts of children seasoned, and thus their soules are died in the blacke colour of hell. Beeing inwardly thus behaued, I was a little taught outward religion. That is, to say the Lords Prayer, and the Creede by rote, to goe to Church vpon Sabbath dayes, and heare seruice, yea & after that I could read, to answer the Minister in the saying of Psalmes, &c. Hauing done thus, what? heard seruice, yea helped to say seruice, said the Lords Prayer and the Creede, and so forth? Oh! I thought I had done enough, and enough, my heart being farre from God, and not once assaying to come neere vnto him. Here I would aske a question of the common sort of people, young and old, I would aske you for no harme. Is not this your religion? I meane, to say your praiers, to heare seruice, (I will not put in, to say seruice) without any special stirring of your heart; not actually minding that you are [Page 30] in talke with God, nor so affected as they who perceiue themselues to be so neere vn­to, euen before the face of that Almightie King, who is terrible vnto the Kings of the earth: they are his seruiters? I take that blessed God to witnesse against my soule, if I speake vncharitably or idlely; I am per­swaded that I haue good reason to feare that a great many of you haue little religi­on in your hearts, but content your selues with saying and hearing, and some outward ceremonies. Then I can tell you what reli­gion is the fittest for you. Euen that which you call the old religion: for that wil so fur­nish you with outward workes, and cere­monies, that you shall not dreame of med­ling with your heart. You see the deuoutest of them can swallowe downe into their soules, lying, forswearing, murther, and treason. They make no bones of such mat­ters. And why? Because the ceremonie-law of Rome serueth their turne. I speake vpon my conscience for the glorie of my Lord God, and for the good of my coun­trey.

It pleased God, that specially by the meanes of M. William Olney of Tachbrooke neere Warwicke, who tooke me from my [Page 31] poore parents, I was in some sort continu­ed at schoole. About foureteene or fifteene yeares of age, I fell into acquaintance with diuerse that fauoured the Popes religion, a­mong whom one lent me a booke thus inti­tuled, ‘A defence’ of the censure giuen vpon two bookes of William Charke, and Meredith Hanmer mi­nisters, which they wrote against M. Ed­mund Campian priest of the societie of Iesus, and against his offer of disputation. This little booke beeing one of the most dange­rous bookes that euer I read (for they bee little ones that either doe good or harme vnto the greatest number of people) did thoroughly distast me with the Protestant-religion, before religion was in mine heart. A principall case of my distast, was the ma­ny euill reports, which with great pretence of truth, it signifieth touching the liues of Luther, Caluin, and Beza, bringing in this reason withall, that the authors and begin­ners of an extraordinary reformation in the Church of God, should at the least be ordi­narie, honest men in life and conuersation; which those men were not, if that booke be true. Here I humbly entreat all people to [Page 32] take knowledge of two things, which I haue found true by experience.

First, it is not safe for a man to betake him­selfe to this or that side in controuersie of religion, vntill his heart and life bee setled in some vprightnesse of obedience vnto God. Can a man iudge of colours before he bee borne? No. Then how can a man rightly discerne the truth in questions tou­ching the mysterie or secret of godlines, he not beeing renewed by the spirit of God? Although he haue great learning, or depēd vpon the iudgement of great learned men, yet Sathan the deuill will haue an hand in him, because they which doe not conscio­nably obey God, are subiect to be wrought vpon by him, Eph. 2.2.

The second thing that I would desire you to take knowledge of, is this: When a man is well assured, that he is entred into a conscionable course of obeying the com­mandements of God, which is the practise of repentance, to settle his iudgement tou­ching this or that controuersie in religion: hee must not bee lead by the sermons, or books, or liues of men, but principally hee must apply himselfe vnto the grounds of his faith: which are two, God, and Gods [Page 33] word.

How shall he apply himselfe vnto God? By verie often, humble, and earnest prayer, that he will vouchsafe for Iesus Christs sake to giue him the spirit of reuelation, the in­lightening of minde to perceiue the holy truth. S. Paul telleth vs plainly, that the se­crets of God cannot be rightly known, but by the spirit of God, 1. Cor. 2.10.11. And our Lord Iesus hath giuen vs this assurance that if we doe earnestly pray vnto God for the holy Ghost, hee will giue him vnto vs, Luk. 11.5, 6, 7, 8, &c.

How shall a man apply himselfe to the word of God? In following the example of the Iewes that dwelt at Berea, who when S. Paul preached vnto them, receiued the word with all readinesse. But how? They searched the Scriptures dayly, whether those things which S. Paul deliuered vnto them were so as he said, yea or no? Act. 17.11. And for your encouragement, see what followed, Act. 16.12. Therefore many of them beleeued.

If any say, hee cannot vnderstand the word of God: I answer, he may bee sorrie, and ashamed to say so: for to what end hath God giuen his word, but to be vnderstood, [Page 34] euen of very simple folke? for of all the books in the world, there is none that hath more plainenesse in it then the booke of God hath. Many fine schollers haue no minde to reade Gods word, because it is so plaine. It is certainely one of the maine drifts of Sathan the deuill, to make people beleeue that Gods word is hard to bee vn­derstood; because he would not haue them to vnderstand it; for he knoweth that no­thing in all the world is so great an hinde­rance vnto him, as Gods word beeing vn­derstood.

Now I will goe forward in my confessi­on. I went first to Oxford, and then to Cam­bridge: At Oxford I was in Gloster Hall a­bout foure yeares first and last: at Cambridge I was in Emanuel Colledge not so long; but to that Colledge I am singularly bound. Af­terward I tooke vpon me to be a schoole­master, and then entred into the ministerie in the yeare of our Lord, one thousand, fiue hundred, nintie and sixe. The next yeare after, vpon the commendation of diuerse reuerend Ministers in Kent, namely, my fa­therly friend Doctor Milborne of Seuenoke, M. Bust of Penshurst, M. Deiose of Chidding­stone, M. Smith of Chelfield, I obtained of [Page 35] Archbishop Whitegift a generall licence to preach. I haue beene a minister eighteene yeares, and so much more as since the sixe­teenth day of May last; for as vpon that day Doctor Young Bishop of Rochester gaue mee orders at Bromeley in Kent. All this while vntill this verie yeare, one thousand, sixe hundred, and foureteen, my heart con­tinued in that inward behauiour, wherwith it was first possessed in my childhood.

Now let me goe backe againe, and make report how the Father of mercie hath stri­uen with me from my youth, yea and nowe in good and comfortable measure, blessed be his name, vanquished the setled wicked­nesse of mine heart. Euer since I had any vnderstanding of Gods will, something hath been working vpon my mind, perswa­ding me very earnestly to forsake sinne, and wholly to submit my selfe vnto God: which from time to time I vndertooke to doe; but was alwaies hindred, both by the setlednes of mine owne wicked disposition, and also by the common course of this world, which so farre as I know, will very hardly suffer a man to keepe companie with God. I ap­peale vnto their iudgement, that bee in awe of God, and make conscience how they be­haue [Page 36] themselues in his sight. Yet it pleased the Lord first by little and little to stablish my wauering iudgement, and then to let me runne my selfe into many outward dan­gers, and diuerse bodily diseases, that so at last I might be broken from sinne.

In Queen Elizabeths time I was in great danger, because I had spoken something touching the party who should succed her in these kingdomes, whom I well knew to be in all right his Maiestie that now is: (for being giuen to the reading of Chronicles, I had drawne a pedegree, and Mr. Doctor Charles Chadwicke my tutor in Emanuel col­ledge shewed me another) for something publikely spoken to that purpose in a ser­mon at S. Marie Cray in Kent, in the yeare, as I remember, nintie eight, I was accused to Doct. Barlow, then chapleine to Archbi­shop Whitegift, and Parson of Orpington, and S. Marie Craie. He presently gaue or­der vnto one M. Hamden a Iustice of peace, to call me to an account, and examine both me, and diuerse credible persons that heard me. He ioyning vnto him, S. Robert Bose­vile of Anisford, tooke mine examination in Sir Percivall Hartes house at Lullingstone. Those men which were examined what [Page 37] they heard me say, namely M. Francis Had­don, M. Richard Manning of Keuingtowne, and, as I thinke, Richard Manning of Kip­pingden-crowch, &c. did giue good testi­monie of me, and the minister that accused me was by the Iustice found variable. So by the goodnes of God I escaped that danger, but performed not vnto him my promise of reformatiō. I passe by many dangers, be­cause I wil not trouble you with hearing the seuerall reports of thē: only one I pray you patiently to heare. Vpon S. Steuens day in the yeare sixe hundred and eleuen, I prea­ched a sermon in the Church called Alhal­lowes in Derby, where then I was, and now am the vnworthy Minister. In my prayer before the Sermon, I made a strange fault, and thus it came about: I in my priuate prayers, had vsed in verie deare affection to my Soueraigne Lord, (God is witnesse) to name those kingdomes together where­of the Lord God hath giuen him possessi­on, and that by it selfe which yet hee doth not possesse: verie vndiscreetly I in my pub­like prayer that day, fell into that forme of words. My text was S. Steuens prayer for his persecutors, which I vrged verie farre, I will not say discreetly, but I professe be­fore [Page 38] the God of heauen, that it was with­out any secret loue to Poperie: I vrged, that which I shall euer hold to bee true, that though the Papists be our dangerous ene­mies, as beeing full of malice & treason, yet we ought to be rather angrie with our sins, then with them: for had we grace to walke worthy of that glorious light which God by the Gospel of his Sonne hath graciously giuen vnto vs in this land, hee would not suffer that mysterie of iniquity to preuaile against vs. This is most certaine: for hither­to he hath miraculously defeated their hel­lish practises, though we in our owne con­sciences knowe that we are vnworthie of such marueilous preseruatiō. I came to this parrish against the will of many. Some of which companie tooke occasion out of my fault about his Maiesties style-royall, and out of some things spoken both in that and other sermons, (how conscionably & cha­ritably construed, it concerneth them to ponder,) I say they tooke occasion to ac­cuse me of Poperie, and treason, and those accusations they vrged with much pollicy, and great strength against me: I was twice at London about it, and in sore perplexitie God knoweth. It pleased the Almightie [Page 39] though I was most vnworthy of his aide, to be entreated of me, and therefore hee pro­cured me many friends, namely, many reue­rend ministers, especially Doct. Neale, then Bishop of Couentrie and Lichfielde, by whose constant intercession, I obtained of my Soueraigne Lord King Iames a gracious remission, and of the Lord Archbishop, vn­to whom I was vehemently complained of, a very grue and fatherly dismission.

When the trouble came first vpon mee, all the mouie which I had in all the world, was betweene fortie, and fiftie shillings. But I was much befreinded by many, speci­ally by Mr. Frauncis Mundie of Marketon neere Derbie, who by his seruant sent mee a purse, and in it some fifteene, or sixteene pounds, willing mee to take either all, or how much I would freely. Such a freind, yea such freinds, God send euery honest poore man in his neede. And God who is the fountain of mercies, vouchsafe to be e­uermore mercifull vnto them & theirs, that shew mercie vnto poore distressed wret­ches ouertaken betweene the straites. Here in all humblenesse I craue fauourable leaue to speake a few words vnto superiours Ec­clesiasticall, and Ciuill.


[Page 40]Oh my Lords, and Masters, a poore man pursued by mighty aduersaries must needs be guiltie, whether hee be guiltie, or no; vnles you follow his example vpon whom your dignities depend. Please it you there­fore to consider what hee once said vnto Abraham his freind, Gen. 18.20. And the Lord saide, Because the crie of Sodome, and Gomorrah is great, and because their sinne is very greiuous: 21. I will goe downe now, and see whether they haue done altogether accor­ding to the crie of it, which is come vnto mee: and if not, I will know. The Lord our God vnto whom al things are so manifest as pos­sibly they may be, needeth not to examine any accusation; for hee knoweth farre more perfectly then either the accuser, or the ac­cused. But his minde is, that all men, and specially you should with all moderation, and lawfull indifferencie take thorough-knowledge of any, specially of a poore mans cause, before you giue sentence; yea, before you speake any hard word: for a crosse tearme, yea a frowne is e­nough to astonish many a weake-hearted man, and make him vnable to speake for himselfe.

Also I humbly beseech all Preachers, to [Page 41] take these warnings by mee: First, be yee thoroughly reconciled vnto God, that hee may vouchsafe to ioyne with you in that most weightie businesse. Secondly, so farre as possibly with a good conscience, haue peace, and be in freindly tearmes with all people least some in bitternesse of displea­sure mistake your words to their hurt, and your greefe. The holy God is my witnesse, that some speeches of mine were most strangely mistaken, by men professing great precisenesse of conscience: yea, marke I pray you, so strangely, that out of a publike speech of mine, zealously intended, and vt­tered against the Romane religion, one peece of an article was taken against mee to prooue mee popish. Thirdly, be verie carefull that in no sort yee meddle with a­ny matter of Estate: for there is no wise­dome, nor safetie in so doing. Fourthly, though in purposing to speake this or that, your mind be very vpright, yet make care­full choise of words, and phrase: for that which beeing vttered one way can not be ill taken, may in an other sute of words seeme very harsh, and be likely to do more harme then good. O for a mortified mini­ster! Hee will not speake thus, and thus, [Page 42] because hee will; but so, and so, because hee is willed. This, if I mistake not, may bee called the meekenesse of wisedome: which whatsoeuer any man can say to the contra­rie, doth most befit a minister of the Gos­pel, specially in these latter daies, wherein naturall corruption taketh vpon it to bee zealous, and precise for Gods glory. You neede not aske mee, whether in that my great danger, I vowed vnto God a strict re­formation of life? I did indeed. But when my danger was ouer, I performed not my vow.

Now I must fetch a compasse backe a­gaine to speake of my diseases, and of some troubles withall. My bodie hath beene windie and rheumatike from my childhood by a naturall distemper, as I take it, of my liuer; the hotenesse whereof hath caused much euill vnto mee. In the winter, sixe hundred, and sixe, I then beeing Curate of Southfleet in Kent, after an extreame cough did sensibly perceiue blindnesse en­tred into mine eies: for diuerse moates see­med to flie before mee, which way soeuer I turned my sight; yea, and specially before my right eye, a thing in fashion of a kind of chaine, sometime folded, or turned diuerse [Page 43] waies, and sometime at length. What infir­mitie in the eie causeth this appearance, let learned Physitians iudge. Thus it hath all this while been with mee, increasing more, and more, so that now I haue much adoe to write, or to read, and am forced to hold my eyes, and the booke very neere together. The next winter after in the great frost, I was taken with a windie disease in the low­er part of my breast, which so grieuously vexed mee, that I looked for nothing but death. In the very extremitie of this pain­fulnesse, Doctor Barlow then Bishop of Ro­chester, who not long before by the death of Mr. Winter, came to haue the Parsonage of Southfleet, where I was Curat, beeing by some, thorough mine owne vndiscretion, incensed against mee, tooke an occasion to put mee out of the Curatship. About that time I did set forth a little booke, called The burthen of a loaden conscience: Which hath occasioned many heauie burthens to be laid vpon mee, by those whose holinesse is knowne vnto God, and not vnto mee, a many precise folke, that know not other mens hearts, howsoeuer they know their owne. Mine old kind Schoole-fellow Mr. William Eyre fellow in Emanuel Colledge, [Page 44] (who twise before had beene my refuge vnder God) vnderstanding that I was with­out place, did by meanes of Mr. Iohn Cotton fellow in the same college, help mee to the Curateship of S. Alkmunds in Derby of Derbyshier. There I was a yeare, and a quarter very louingly vsed. My stipend was fully so much as euer before. Also M. Robert Bate of little Chester gaue mee my dyet, and lodging all that time, his wife, a vertu­ous woman now in heauen, hauing a verie tender care of me, because of my sickenes. Vnwisely I left that place, and put my selfe into a world of trouble, by taking the Cu­rateship of Alhallowes in the same towne. In this great and burdenous charge, I haue now beene almost fiue yeares. During this time, my windie disease, together with a faintnesse, grew so vpon me, that I fell in­to diuerse deadly fits of the cholike, not onely in cold weather, but in the heate of summer. Now I come to tell you of into­lerable torments. Grauell hath bred in me from my youth, and oftentimes I was pai­ned with it: whereupon I vsed to take a great deale of small drinke, and so auoided it. I remember that my worshipfull friend, M. Richard Sedly of Southfleete, said once [Page 45] vnto me; What will you do when your sto­macke cannot receiue so much drinke? Ah gentle. M. Sedly! the time is now come, and now I can doe nothing to help my selfe but call vpon the name of God.

About the end of Iuly, in the yeare six­teen hundred and twelue, I was taken with many fits of cholike and stone, one fit anon after another: Then I cried God mercie, and promised zealous amendment of life. The fittes left me; but I amended not. The next sūmer after, I had some three or foure seuerall fits. Now marke I pray you, and be­leeue me I beseech you. The second of No­uember last, 1613. at night I going to bed, felt a fit of the cholike and stone comming vpon me. Wherefore I beeing in great an­guish, praied earnestly vnto God, that for his mercies sake, he would then ease me of that paine, with condition that if I did not presently enter into a very reformed course of life, the disease should returne vpon mee and kill me. It presently was gone, and all that night I had quiet rest. The morrowe I performed not my promise. Towards night I felt a threatning of it again, and therefore according to Doct. Bambrigs direction, I tooke purging pills to preuent it: which [Page 46] kinde of Physicke had formerly eased me. The pills wrought: yet the morrowe mor­ning a violent fit came vpon me. How grie­uously I was that day tormented, some that in kindnesse came to see me, namely, M. Thomas Stringer, and M. Iohn Haughton do, I am sure, very well remember. My breast quaked as a leafe shakē with the wind. You may thinke, I had then great cause to feare that the wrath of my Lord was kindled a­gainst me: I humbly besought him to re­buke the disease yet once more, and then (vnlesse I forced my selfe to enter in at the strait doore of repentance) no more: He is a gracious Lord, his name bee praised. At euen he rebuked the disease, and it left me: yet all that night I was glad to haue Mr. Duxburie sit with me, I was so weakened: one while I was vp, an other while downe, and O my good Lord, what I thinke vpon thou knowest; my soule most humbly, and lamentably appealeth vnto thine infinite mercie.

After this I purposed, as I thought, very steadfastly to reforme my selfe according to the word of God; yea so farre forth, that I wrote vnto Cantrell Legge Printer in Cam­bridg, a note to be set before the fift impres­sion [Page 47] of my former little booke. In that note bearing date, Nouemb. 27. 1613. I signifi­ed that my conscience was vnburthened, & that I would shortly publish the manner thereof; whereas God knoweth I was farre short of beeing vnburthened. Nowe yet marke I pray you: All my former fits were about the right kidnie. In Ianuarie and Fe­bruarie, I felt a painfull gathering of some­what about my left kidnie, which pricking­ly continued, causing a grieuous torment in the water passage out of my bodie. Ma­ny times my water came drop-meale, with burning paine. That long practised religi­ous Physitian, Doct. Hunton of Newarke vpon Trent, with whom I had formerly bin for my windie disease, and (by meanes of M. Iohn Batte Vicar of Newarke now de­ceased, my old schoolemaster) had receiued much fauour from him; he sent me word that as he could cōiecture by my letter (for I was not able to ride vnto him) I was in danger of some deadly fretting in my kid­nies, by reason of grauell stones, which was not without difficulty to be preuented in a setled course of Physicke. I had little mo­ney to bestow, and no great minde to take bodily medicine, before my soule were cu­red [Page 48] by the physicke of Iesus Christ crucifi­ed.

The greiuous disease of my water increa­sing, and mine olde splennitiue windinesse filling my bodie, and head, together with an extreame faintnesse, the 19. day of Aprill I did with very fearefull conditions, bind my selfe vnto God, that I would diligent­ly endeauour to order my selfe according vnto these rules following.

My first rule.

First, I must be alwaies mindefull, that I, the worst of all sinners, am before the face of god, who seeth the whole setled wicked behauiour of mine heart, who hath all my euill thoughts, words, and deedes in per­fect remembrance, whose holines extream­ly hateth all manner of sinne, whose righte­ousnesse will not suffer any sinne to be vn­punished, whose prayer is able to torment me euerlastingly with most vnspeakeable paine in body and soule. Hereupon I must conceiue, that great is the wrath whereun­to I haue prouoked God, and that therefore great is the vengeance which iustly he may powre vpon me for euer. I must labour that this double conceit may worke in my heart [Page 49] a double affection, sorrow for the displea­sure of God, and feare of his vengeance. This is the way to breake mine heart, and a broken heart is a sacrifice vnto God, Psal. 51.17. Inward humblenesse cannot but out­wardly shew it selfe; and so it will bee the more easily setled, and the more deepely rooted in mine heart and soule. I must verie carefully reforme my vaine minde, vnsad countenance, and talkatiue tongue: els I cannot be rightly humbled in the sight of God.

My second rule.

Secondly, I must thinke vpon the great mercie, mighty power, and most ioyfull blisse, which God in Iesus Christ, proffereth vnto all those, that will forsake sinne, & be­leeue the Gospel: mercie to forgiue their sinnes, power to free them from the incli­nation of sinne, and blisse to fill them full of all delightfull pleasure for euermore. Here­upon I must striue to haue a most hungry and thirsty desire of the grace of God.

My third rule.

Thirdly, I must giue al diligence, that by prayer I may obtaine of God the spirit of [Page 50] grace. To this purpose I must bee alwaies prayingly, and crauingly affected. I must impart my goods vnto the poor, that I may haue the help of their prayers. Luk. 16.9. Also I must entreate all those which seeme to be acquainted with God, that they will pray for me vnto him: Iam. 5.16. Had I any warrant to intreate the Saints in heauen to pray for me, I would gladly doe it. But I haue none. My beleefe is, that no glorified soule, no, not the blessed virgin-mother, intermedleth with any businesse in this world. And I am fully perswaded, that it is the safer way so to beleeue. It seemeth vn­to me that Romane catholiks of the Popes religion, vnder colour of in treating Saints to pray for them, do indeed worship them, call vpon them, make vowes, and offer spi­rituall sacrifices vnto them, as vnto so many he-gods and she-gods. I beseech the Lord God to inlighten their minds, and rectifie their affections, according vnto true holi­nes, and pure deuotion. Amen. Amen.

I must duely, and deuoutly pray vnto God at least three times euery day. I haue great need to pray euery houre, because of the hardnesse of mine heart, and deathful­nesse of my bodie. I must oftentimes, so [Page 51] farre as my weake bodie will endure; pray fasting, and so long as I am able, humbly kneeling. I must in prayer speake vnto God very leasurely, and reuerently: I must so earnestly mind that I speake vnto him, as I were face to face with him.

When I beginne any set prayer, I will worship the Lord my God, most humbly lifting vp my minde towards his glorious maiestie in heauen, and bowing downe my body towards the ground, so rest vpon my knees.

My prayer early in the morning.

O Almightie, most blessed, and glorious Lord God, I a most wicked sinneful sinner, heartily acknowledging that thou in most wonderfull goodnesse, hast made mee a li­uing soule in thine own likenes, hast proffe­red eueralasting saluation vnto me, hast long time endured my rebellious wickednesse, and hitherto preserued me aliue, doe hum­bly beseech thee to giue grace that I may henceforth vntill the end, and in the ending of my life, very zealously glorifie thy name in the practise of true repentance. Graunt the same grace, I heartily pray thee, vnto euery man, woman, and child that wanteth it; that all people in all places may ioyfully [Page 52] praise thee, thorough thine onely Sonne Iesus Christ: To whom with thee, ô Father, and with the holy Ghost, three persons, & one only Lord God, be all praise, honour, glorie, worship, and humble seruice, now, and for euermore. Amen.

About nine of the clocke in the fore­noone I must pray thus;

Oh Almighty Lord God, who louest ho­lines, and hatest sin, and therefore hast pre­pared euerlasting blisse in heauē for thy ho­ly seruants, & endles torment in hel for sin­ners: I the worst of all sinners, doe humbly beseech thee, that for thy onely sonne Iesus Christs sake, thou wilt giue me thy grace of true repentance, & saith vnfained, that so I may obtaine of thee forgiuenesse of all my sinnes, and the lowest place among all them which shall be saued. Amen.

O Lord, innumerable sinnes haue come out of mine heart, I have filled the world with the cursed fruits of my wickednesse. I beseech thee to put al my sinnes quite away out of thy sight, and out of the minds of all people, that thou mayest be no longer dis­pleased, nor any man, woman, or child any more harmed by meanes of me.

O Lord, I haue caused much euill vnto [Page 53] many folke, and the good which I should haue caused, I haue wickedly neglected. I beseech thee to giue vnto euery one, which hath been any way harmed or neglected of mee, a large recompence, and so farre as may be to work the same recompence vnto them by mee; the residue by those meanes which thou knowest to be fittest for that purpose.

O Lord, many people haue beene bene­ficiall vnto mee; because thy will was that they should be so, I humbly thanke thee for it, beseeching thy gracious goodnesse to giue a bountifull reward vnto euerie one that hath benefited mee in deede, word, or desire, and to make mee so thankefull vnto them, as a right Christian ought to be.

O Lord, if any haue either in way of friendship towards mee, or in manner of enmitie against mee, or by any meanes tou­ching me displeased thee, I beseech thee to pardon them: and also to giue such a mea­sure of thy grace into mine vncharitable heatt, that I may most freely forgiue euery one that either hath been, or shall be a tres­passer against me.

O Lord, I haue displeased, and discon­tented many folke. I beseech thee to pacifie [Page 54] and quiet them. O giue grace that I may humbly seek for, and they may gently yeeld vnto a Christian reconcilement.

O Lord, I am of a froward disposition, apt to displease and disquiet euery one. I beseech thee to breake me from this vnkind vnpeaceable condition: O keepe me from giuing cause of displeasure vnto any, and keep others from taking displeasure against me, that so farre as is possible with a good conscience, I may liue and die in peace with all thy creatures.

O Lord, thou mightest iustly set all thy creatures to sight against mee; because I am most rebelliously disobedient against thee. But contrariwise, thou dost most mer­cifully giue vnto me the comfortable vse of many things, and the fauourable amitie of many people. O gracious Lord, I humbly thanke thee, beseeching thine Almightie goodnesse so to sanctifie thy blessings vnto me, that I may blessedly employ them to the glory of thy grace, the good of all peo­ple, and the hurt of nothing, but onely of sinne.

O Lord, I owe a speciall dutie vnto my kinred, and acquaintance. I beseech thee to be gracious vnto them, and specially vnto [Page 55] those with whom I stand charged as the mi­nister of their saluation. O giue vnto euerie one of them, I most humbly pray thee all those blessings which a good minister of thy Gospel should be a meanes to procure vnto them. Amen. Amen.

O Lord, Christened people, who of thy Sonne Christs name are named Christians, be verie wretchedly entangled with diffe­rences of beleefe, and wickednesses of life: I beseech thee to send forth such a power of thy Sonnes grace, as shall ioyne them all to­gether in the right Christian faith, and make them to abound in the fruits thereof, to thy glorie, and their mutuall benefiting one another. Specially, O Lord, as dutie bindeth mee, I pray for those two Ilands, Brittain, and Ireland, beseeching thee to powre thy graces continually vpon thine anointed seruant King Iames, and vpon his Queene, and Children, and subiects, that hee, and all his may be euery way pleasing vnto thee, and euermore blessed of thee. Amen, Amen.

O Lord, many nations, and people are vnchristians; they beleeue not in thy Sonne Christ, and therefore they are in the way of damnation. I beseech thee to be mercifull [Page 56] vnto them all, and specially vnto the Iewes, and Israelites the naturall children of thine old faithfull seruants Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob. So soone as it possibly may bee, with thine owne good pleasure, I humbly pray thee to conuert them vnto the true Christi­an faith, that they may be saued, and there­in thy Sonne Christ glorified. Amen. A­men.

O Lord, some people are diseased in bo­die, some are troubled in minde, and some are cumbred with outward aduersitie. I be­seech thee to giue them the grace that they may forsake all manner of sinne, and wholly submit themselues vnto thee; O then they shall be most tenderly cherished in all their necessities, & verie timely remooued out of all their miserie into perpetuall blessednes. Amen. Amen.

For these, and for all other mercies which I, or any child of my father Adam doe, or shall need, my desire is, O Lord, I beseech thee, giue mee grace, to pray acceptably vnto thy glorious maiestie in thine onely Sonne Iesus Christs name, as hee hath taught mee, saying, O our Father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name, &c.

Glorie, and honour, and praise, and [Page 57] thankes, with all diuine worship, and hum­ble seruice be giuen vnto thee, O God the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost. And vnto the poore children of the man Adam be vouchsafed from thee thorough the man Iesus, deliuerance from sinne and miserie, henceforth for euermore. Amen. Amen.

That I might sing vnto my good Lord in some tuneablenesse, I bought the whole booke of Psalmes with tunes in foure parts. And I bestowed now and then, a little time to learne the notes of the tenor part. My skill is verie small; but yet I would not for­goe it for a great gaine; because it helpeth my dull deuotion. This, vnder correction, I say of musicke, Vpon an holy affection, it hath an heauenly working: but contrari­wise, contrarily.

¶ My forenoone Psalme,

to the tune of Attend my people, and giue eare.

O [...]Vt of the deepes of miserie, O blessed Lord, I cry to thee: Vouchsafe [Page 58] [...]for thy Sonne Christ his sake, to hear­ken graciously to me.

To me the worst of all the folke
which here vpon thine earth doe dwell;
A wretch most fit to be cut off,
and cast downe headlong into hell.
For mercie Lord to thee I crie,
for mercie and for sauing grace,
To pardon all my wickednesse,
and my corruptions to deface.
Good Lord giue me repentance, that
I may indeed vnfainedly
Enforce my selfe for euermore
my sinnes to kill and crucifie.
Lord guide and leade me all this day,
in euery thought, and word, and deed,
To doe thy will, and blesse thou me
that I may alwaies haue good speed.
And when thou shalt most mightily
haue freed me from sinnefull thrall,
[Page 59]To praise thy blessed Name with me
I will entreat thy people all.
Both now, and henceforth I will praise
thy Name O God, right thankefully,
Because thou wilt not suffer me
in gracelesse state to liue and die.
O Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost,
one onely God in persons three,
All glorie, honour, praise, and thankes,
be yeelded euermore to thee.


My noone prayer.

O most holy, most good, and gracious Lord God, I the most vncleane, and most defiled wretch of all the world, doe hum­bly beseech thy most blessed and glorious maiestie, that euen for that right deare loue which is betweene thee, and thine onely begotten Sonn, the Lord Iesus Christ, God and man crucified, thou wilt vouchsafe to make knowne thy wonderfull grace, in cleansing me from the most abhominable defilement of my sinnes. To this ende I humbly pray thee to make me alwaies very mindefull of thy presence, fearefull of thy [Page 60] displeasure, and desirous of thy fauour. O most mercifull Lord, grant mee this mercy, this exceeding great mercie, and then doe vnto mee euery way that which shall bee most to thine own good pleasure, and to thy owne glory. Yea blessed Lord God, vnto thee bee all good pleasure, praise, honour, worshippe, and glory in Iesus Christ, now and for euermore. Amen. Amen.

¶ My noone Psalme

to a tune which in Cambridge was called Mr. Perkins tune.

[...] O Holy, holy, holy Lord, the pu­rest of all things, the blessefull glorious Maiesty, frō whence all goodnes springs.

Looke downe from thy most holy place,
behold good Lord and see
A sinfull wofull wretched man
most loathsome vnto thee.
Most foule and filthie is my sinne,
Ah! fie vpon me fie!
O Father of all holinesse,
to thee for grace I crie.
For grace to wash, and make me cleane,
from this most vgly sinne,
That I in heauen among thy Saints,
the lowest place may winne.
The last and lowest place of all,
O Lord, of thee I craue:
Giue grace to wash, and make me cleane,
that I that place may haue.
Forgiue me all my sinnes, though they
most grieuous be and great;
Forgiue me all for Christ his sake,
I humbly thee intreat.
Then I will sing to thee with ioy,
my song it shall be this,
No wight so wicked as I was
hath place in heauenly blisse.
To Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost,
All glorie be therefore,
Yea honour, worship, praise, and thanks
henceforth for euermore.

¶ About three of the clocke in the [Page 62] afternoone, I must say the same prayer which I said about nine in the fore­noone.

O Almightie Lord God, who louest ho­linesse, &c.

¶ My afternoone Psalme,

to the Suffolke tune.
[...] O Blessed and most glorious God,
[...] whose throne is set on high,
[...] I sinnfull and most wretched man,
[...] to thee for mercy crie.
Confessing that thy great goodnesse,
thy patience wonderfull,
And long forbearance doe me mooue
my sinnes to disanul.
But wo is me! my naughtie heart
to sinne is still so bent,
[Page 63]That in my selfe I finde no meanes
entirely to repent.
This world also wherein I liue
with sinne doth ouerflowe,
And meetes me with temptations
which way soe'er I goe.
Satan that mighty euill spirit
so full of subtiltie,
Doth practise all the meanes he can,
that I in sinne may die.
Therefore I crie to thee O Lord,
whose power is ouer all,
Beseeching thee to free me from
this sinnefull deadly thrall.
With true repentance, and right faith,
mine heart and soule fulfill,
That I may hate all wickednesse,
and cleane fast to thy will.
From all this worlds temptations,
and Satans practising,
Keepe thou me safe, I humbly pray,
O gracious heauenly King.
Then will I praise with heart and voice,
and magnifie thy name,
[Page 64]When thou hast saued my poore soule
from endlesse paine and shame.
All glorie, honour, praise, and thankes,
be alwaies giuen to thee,
O Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost,
one God in persons three.

My prayer at night before I goe to bed.

O most mightie, and most gracious Lord God, I wretched man, the worst of the world, doe crie thee mercie for all the sinns which this day, or at any time before, haue come out of my heart, by way of deede, word, or thought. I heartily thanke thee for all the blessings which thou hast graci­ously, and plentifully giuen me. I humbly praise thine holy name, for that it hath plea­sed thee to preserue mee from many euills, & to deliuer me out of great dangers. I be­seech thee to endue me with such a measure of thy grace, that I may henceforth fore­uermore bee acceptably thankefull vnto thee, through Iesus Christ.

Be mercifull also I humbly pray thee vn­to all those for whom I ought to pray: giue them, and vnto me, I beseech thee, all the [Page 65] graces which thine only sonne hath taught vs to pray for in his name, saying, O our fa­ther which art in heaaen, hallowed be thy name, &c.

When I lay me downe in my bed, I will say,

O blessed Lord God, here I lie downe, not knowing what shall come vnto me this night: I humbly betake both bodie and soule vnto thee, beseeching thy most graci­ous goodnesse to receiue me into thy kee­ping, through Iesus Christ thine onely Son, my Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

When I settle my selfe to sleepe, I will say,

O good Lord God, vouchsafe to be mer­cifull vnto this feeble bodie, that it may haue a little comfortable rest, and be there­by made the more seruiceable vnto thee, through thine onely Sonne my deare Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

If I cannot take rest, I will say thus,

O most gracious Lord, this body can­not [Page 66] take rest, because I haue wickedly dis­ordered it: I beseech thee therefore to par­don me all my wickednesse, and now teach my poore soule, how it shal find euerlasting rest in thee, thorough thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ. Amen.

About midnight, whether I haue slept or not, I will pray thus;

O most glorious Lord God, the Father of lights, no darkenes can hide me from thee; for thou seest so clearely at midnight, as at mid-day, yea thou beholdest all my thoughts: Therefore I humbly present my selfe before thy blessed Maiestie, beseech­ing thee to look graciously vpon me a most vngracious wretch, and to saue me from the workes of darkenes, that I may haue the lowest place within the kingdome of thy glorie. Graunt this most mercifull Father, for thine onely Sonnes sake, in whose name I pray further for my selfe, and for all other folke, as he hath taught me, saying, O our Father which art in heauen, hallowed bee thy name, &c.

So often as I haue had any sleepe, when I awake, I will say thus,

[Page 67]O most mercifull Father, God almightie, I humbly thanke thee for the rest which thou hast now giuen vnto this naughty bo­die. I bequeath both it and my soule into thine hands, to bee disposed of according vnto thy will, to the glorie of thy name, through Iesus Christ thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour: Amen.

When I arise in the morning, I will say;

O good Lord God, with all mine heart I thanke thy blessed maiestie, for that it hath pleased thee mercifully to keep me all this night; nowe I arise out of this bed, in thy name O Father, in thy name O Iesus Christ, in thy name O holy Ghost, O most holy & vndiuided, vnseparable three persons in one God, one God in three persons, for thy glo­rious names sake, vouchsafe to be mercifull vnto me a sinner. Amen.

This is my third rule.

My last rule.

Fourthly, and lastly, I must in the sight of God, conscionably detest, and resist my sinnes, faithfully endeauouring, that I may [Page 68] in very truth sa [...] with Dauid, Psalm. 18.23. I was also vpright before him, and I kept my selfe from mine iniquitie.

First, therefore beeing alwaies mindfull of Gods presence, I must carefully intend to know and to doe his will.

Secondly, when any motion commeth vnto mine heart, quietly, vnpartially, & di­ligently consider, whether it be good in the sight of God, yea or no? If it be good, I must willingly yeeld vnto it: But if it be e­uill, I must steadfastly purpose to refuse it; yea and remooue my selfe so farre as possi­ble from all danger of beeing tempted vn­to it.

If I be strongly tempted to yeeld vnto a­ny sinne, I must earnestly pray vnto God for deliuerance; thus:

O most holy and blessed Lord God, I the worst of all sinners, being now as thou seest strongly tempted to sinne against thee, and not able to resist the temptation, by reason of the long setled wickednesse of my heart, doe humbly beseech thee to be so mercifull vnto me, as to saue me from this great dan­ger, thorough thy almightie grace in Iesus Christ thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sa­uiour, Amen.

[Page 69]Hauing thus praied, yea, and praied a­gaine and againe, if need require, I must with a good courage put on the mind, that I wil rather endure any losse or dammage, then yeeld vnto that sinne. And I must as­sure my selfe, that how stronglie soeuer I am tempted, God will most certainly ena­ble me to endure that temptation, vnlesse I basely consent vnto it.

When by the grace of God I am freed frō any temptation, I must praise him thus;

O the Father of mercy, and the fountaine of power, I a most weake wretch, not able to resist the least motion of sinne that may be, do heartily thanke thee for this graci­ous deliuerance, which thou hast vouchsa­fed to giue vnto mee. O good Lord, I be­seech thee to continue thy grace towards mee, that I may alwaies be more and more thankfull vnto thee, thorough Iesus Christ thine only Sonne my Lord, and Sauiour. A­men.

If thorough want of heed, or by weake resistance, I fall into any sinne, I must so soone as I know it, make my confession, and prayer vnto God, thus;

O most holy, and righteous Lord God, I most damnable sinner haue now sinned a­gainst [Page 70] thee thus, and thus, &c. I crie thee mercy, O most mercifull Father, beseeching thee to giue mee true repentance, pardon, and freedome from this, and from all my sinnes, thorough thine onely Sonne Iesus Christ, my Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

Moreouer, because I am much giuen to sinne openly, that is, in the sight, or in the hearing of some one or many of Gods people, which is a great meanes to draw them into sinne, or to hardē them in sinne, or at least to discourage those which make conscience of their conuersation; vnto eue­ry one that shall heare or see me sinning, I must, so soone as I perceiue my sinne, with all possible conuenient speed, very plainly, and repentingly, confesse it thus; Such a thing you saw me doe: or, Such a thing you heard me say: I beseech you for Gods sake, to take great heed that it cause no euil effect in you: for it was a sinne against God, and therefore I cry God mercy for it.

Thus I must confesse any open fault; yea if it be commited in preaching, writing, or howsoeuer. A pulpit fault in the same pul­pit, and to the same company, must bee confessed. These be my rules for the pra­ctise [Page 71] of zealous reformation, that I may be in very deed a member, and minister of the reformed Church.

Now I will declare vnto you, how I en­deauoured to bring my selfe into those foure Rules, and with what successe.

All the rest of Aprill I in a manner lost, endeauouring very little or nothing: but I could haue no quietnesse in minde longer then I intended that busines.

The first of May, died in our parish a gen­tleman, one M. Villers, of the same tormen­ting disease which I haue: he had bin long time very greiuously pained with it.

Euery day, specially in the morning, it plagued me. Wherefore to ease the paine, I dranke much small drinke: and sometime water, yea now and then, mine own water; because I was told that so I should be ca­sed. But though I dranke neuer so much, after it was passed thorough my bodie, the paine came againe. Yet notwithstanding all this, I could not keep my selfe in the company of God, specially when I was to­gether with any body: for then I fell into a deale of idle vnholy communication.

The eight of May, beeing Sabbath day, in the euening, these foure were together, [Page 72] M. Sidney Zouch, M. Mathew Bate, Philip A­ram, Richard Kilby: we dranke at M. Matth. Bates house, who at the parting said thus vnto vs; It is great oddes, that not all wee foure shalbe aliue this day twelue moneth. I roundly took the words to my self, iudging that the first which must be gone was I, and that god had put into his mind to say those words for my monishment. Yet (see the setled wickednesse of mine heart) after my departure from thē, I met with other com­pany, and so merily delighted my selfe with prophane talke, that when I came into my chamber, I was forced to goe prayer-lesse to bedde, because my soule was confoun­ded, and ashamed to looke vp towards God.

The morrow morning, I prayed thus; O blessed Lord God, most maruelous art thou in goodnesse, and patience. Is it possi­ble that thou canst forbeare the powring of thy iust, and wrathfull vengeance vpon mee? O Lord, it is exceedingly enough that thou hast thus long forborne mee: Cut off, I beseech thee, this most cursed course of my sinne, and doe vnto mee that which is most pleasing to thy holy will. O Lord, is there yet any hope that I should be saued? [Page 73] Yea, with condition of repentance. Woe is mee! there is no possibilitie of my repen­tance. I cannot steadfastly continue in the purpose of resisting my sinnes: yea so long as thy pleasure is to preserue me aliue, thou callest mee vnto thee; O God, I would come; but I cannot: I will assaie. O I haue no faith. This is that which commeth of long liuing in sinne. Yet who can tell what thou wilt doe, if I but offer to assay? With­out assaying, there is no turning: without turning, no saluation. Therefore I will as­say. Good Lord, I cannot. How vncouth? How strange? How beyond all possibilitie doth the practise of a conscionable life seeme vnto mee? O Lord, besides mine owne inward vnrepentance, the violent streame of this world hindereth mee. Most folke further mee in sinne, some one way, some another. But a very few holp mee to enter in at the little doore of repentance. Men may talke much, and professe great matters; but it is repentance that shall try what kind of people they be. O how easie a thing it is to make an outward shewe, if that would serue the turne? The heart must be vpright with thee, and the spirit must cleaue fast vnto thee; else it is no bargaine, [Page 74] no couenant betweene thee, and the party. In the name of Iesus I wil assay. O Iesu help me, for thy most comfortable names sake. Amen.

That very same day, I comming into com­pany, turned from God.

Tuesday I prayed thus; O Lord God, I do plainely perceiue, that to pray vnto thee for the grace of repentance, and not to en­force my selfe to practise the meanes, is a kind of mockery, and a fearefull prouoking of thy displeasure. Earnest praier, and dili­gent practise, will mutually, thorough thy grace, strengthen each other. But neglect of practise, sheweth cold deuotion. There­fore I purpose to force my selfe vnto this businesse. O good Lord, be mercifull vnto mee. Amen.

My intolerable paine grew worse and worse, yet I could not frame my selfe to take any sure hold vpon the grace of repen­tance.

Munday the sixteenth of May, I prayed thus; O Lord God, had I not been a stony hearted sinner, this deadly windines might haue terrified mee from sinne aboue sixe yeares a gone. O how blessed should I now [Page 75] haue beene, had I but these sixe last yeares in singlenesse of heart serued thee! Now my time is gone; mine heart is dead within me. And though I should liue a while, this hel­lish strangury quite disableth me: yet were I turned vnto thee, thou wouldest be very gracious vnto mee, Oh! mine heart is so deuillishly bent to sinne, that no vowes, no oathes, nothing can turne it. O Lord, what shall I doe? I am as a man that hath most deadly wounded himselfe, and dying would not die. But woe is mee! There is no remedie. He that is wounded to death, must die; yea, but thou vouchsafest to raise vp some by the grace of thy Sonne. True, Lord, true it is. But few of that companie be such as haue bin dissembling hypocrites. And of all counterfeits, the most vncurable is a counterfeit-preacher of thy righteous­nes. My soule can hardly thinke how such a one should haue the grace of repentance. Of all such, if any such there be beside me, I am the worst. O good Lord be mercifull vnto me the worst of all sinners. Amen.

Friday the twentieth of May, I prayed thus; O good Lord, though the hardnes of mine heart be exceedingly great, yet ought I not to despaire: for thy Sonne like­neth [Page 76] the kingdome of thy grace vnto a graine of musterd seede, and vnto a little leauen. O my soule, hast thou not a little faith! Looke vp vnto heauen, and craue of thy maker that the fulnes of grace which is in Iesus Christ may haue some little influ­ence, and entrance into thee, by the holy Ghost. O my good Lord, my soule is full of vnbeleefe. I beseech thee to be mercifull vnto mine vnbeleeuing soule. Amen.

About noone the same day, hauing di­ned with two strangers (for I lodge, and table in a vitteling-house) comming into my chamber, I confessed, and prayed thus; O Lord, what am I that I should vndertake to walke vprightly before thy face? I can­not, for the company, and presence of any one draweth my minde downe from thee. O why doest thou suffer the poore chil­dren of Adam to be thus carried away? Is it because thou wilt haue it so? fie vpon mee sinne-blinded wretch! when a seruant for his naughtines is turned out of his seruice, hee should laie the blame of his miserie vp­on himselfe, and not vngraciously exclaime that his lord had a purpose to put him a­way before euer hee offended. Yea, but seely man thinketh, that thou who art so re­nowned, [Page 77] and famous for mercie, shouldest be mercifull vnto euery one. Or if not so, because then iustice should not be seene, nor the benefit of mercie so well appeare; yet the greater number should haue mercie; specially seeing that the God-man Iesus hath paid so great a ransome for mercy. We do not consider that among many traytors, it is much if a King pardon one. Sinne is treason against thee, yea farre more hay­nous, then the highest treasō can be against Princes; because thy Maiestie is infinitely greater then theirs. Also thy hate of sinn is aboue our vnderstanding, for it is accor­ding to the measure of thy holinesse, which is vnmeasurable. Ah! my father Adam lit­tle knew, how many thousand thousands of his owne naturall children, hee did throwe into euerlasting miserie, in breaking thy commandement. He was well able to haue obeyed thy will: So am not I: for from out of him I haue together with my bodie, re­ceiued a wicked inclination, which now is by long custome in sinning, most extreamly hardened. O good Lord, be mercifull vnto mee. Amen.

That afternoone I kept my selfe within; and the morrow also. But Saturday at night [Page 78] I by occasion of companie, fell into vaine mirth, whereunto I am excessiuely giuen. There is indeed a good kind of merriment, if we could hit vpon it: for, according to the last, and in my weake iudgement, the best translation of the Bible, He that is of a merry heart, hath a continuall feast, Prou. 15.15. But in the Iewes language, a merry heart is a good heart; and therefore there can be no sound safe mirth without the grace of repentance. Can a subiect, though of high degree, bee frolike and iocand before the face of the King, so long as his Maiestie is grieuously displeased with him? That were a ready way to discouer an vnloyall heart, which vnto a prudent Prince is verie abho­minable. But what if the same subiect bee vpon humble submission receiued into his Soueraignes fauour? will he not be very moderate in his mirth, so long as hee is in the presence of his Maiestie? will it not be ioy sufficient vnto him, to be free from gi­uing his Leige Lord any cause of distast, & to minister vnto him all possible good con­tentment? yea, else he is not fit to bee in the presence of Maiestie, for hee eclipseth the royall glory, which cannot but cause some euill effect one way, or another. So [Page 79] it is betweene the Lord of glorie, and those which serue in his presence, that is to say, all Christians.

The 22. of May, beeing Sabbath, I was sore plagued with the strangurie; yet going to Church, and after diuine seruice com­ming into the pulpit, I felt my selfe to be something coole, and able to speake. So might I haue continued, but that I did as I would wish no man to do, strain my selfe with a kind of furiousnesse; the common behauiour of such as are tumultuously, con­fusedly and rawly prepared.

The best way for a Preachers selfe, and the most likely to preuaile in perswading his hearers, is, if I bee not much deceiued, graue, milde, and treatable speech.

If a man perceiue it in himselfe, it is a ve­ry grieuous sight to see corrupted nature play the part of grace, and with a smoakie flourish, make as though it would kill the deuill, beeing indeed his base slaue, so wil­ling to obey, as he to commaund. What a glorie is this to Sathan, what a dishonour to God?

After I was come home, I praysed God thus; O most excellently gracious Lord, what shall I sinner doe? I am neither wor­thy, [Page 80] nor able to praise thee: yet exceedingly bound to do it. O Lord, what mooueth thee to be so good vnto the worst of all sinners? Onely thine owne goodnesse: for in mee there is nothing but causes of prouocation: Yea a thousand, and a thousand thousand causes which crie vnto thee for vengeance, and continually vrge thy iustice to powre a whole sea of wrath vpon me. And yet thou art gracious vnto mee. Had I the ho­liest soule, and the strongest bodie of all that liue vpon the face of the earth, yea though I could liue an hundred holy liues, & die as many right Martyrdomes in zeale of thee, and of thy truth, I should not come neare vnto the making of a sufficient re­compence for the goodnesse, patience, and forbearance which thou hast graciously shewed vnto mee. And yet, loe, most vile wretch that I am! I still liue in sinne, and so continue, displeasing and dishonouring thee. O my good Lord, giue me grace to be once broken from this deuillish wicked­nesse, though it be with condition that I shalbe the most refuse man of all the world. Lay vpon me whatsoeuer thou wilt, onely disburden my conscience of sinne, and ease my body of this vnsupportable paine of the [Page 81] strangury. Amen.

At euening prayer, I read and preached againe. Afterward beeing very much wea­ried, I had a minde to goe and refresh my selfe in company, (the bane of Sabbath day keeping) and went first to one house, then to another, ending the day very heathenish­ly.

Monday after supper, my minde pre­tended reason to draw me abroad: & there­fore out I went. To ease my strangurie I dranke at one house much beere, at an o­ther whaie in stead of beere.

Thursday a great heate with a deadly faintnesse came vpon me: my left kidney was sore pained, and thereupon I was grie­uously tormented in the passage of my wa­ter.

The 29. of May, beeing Sabbath, I took a course [...]ore easie for my selfe, and as I ve­rily beleeue, more profitable for the parish. In the forenoone I preached a sermon, and at euening prayer after the second lesson, I asked a youth, who was well prouided to answer, three or fowre questions touching the foundation of Religion. Then I made those short answers plaine, and prooued them out of the Bible in halfe an houres [Page 82] space. I humbly aduise all young Preachers that they will not imagine they can build Ierusalem suddenly: for sudden buildings will soone fall downe. I maruell how it commeth to passe, that in some places, euen where learned Preachers haue killed them­selues with sore labours, the greater num­ber of people are grossely ignorant; yea, I say it againe, and can prooue it, very gros­ly ignorant. I trust I am vnder protection, and that maketh me the bolder to speak my minde, in the feare of God, and loue of my Countrey. The common sort is much neg­lected: for neither matter of doctrine, nor manner of speach is fitted vnto their lowe and small capacitie. Most people for some three quarters of an houre, if they vnder­stand the words, and perceiue the matter concerning their saluation to be plainely prooued out of the booke of God, (which for ought I know, is of greater reuerence with them, then with many of higher de­gree, and greater vnderstanding:) I say, if they bee plainely and briefly taught out of Gods booke, they will giue very diligent eare: But if the Preacher confound their vnderstanding, or be longer then ordinarie, they leaue all, and thinke thus; When will [Page 83] yonder man haue done; he hath no reason to make an ende.

The next Sabbath the fift of Iune, I did follow the same order which I tooke the Sabbath before.

Thursday following I was drawne to a feast, and so into much sinne: for no sawce is so common at a feast as sinne. Sinne ma­keth all the company merrie: Sathan also hath his factors, who beginne some one or other vngodly kind of merriment. I am na­turally such a one, yea worse then the worst of them that are so disposed: yet this I say, While you liue, blesse you frō those which are speciall ringleaders in matter of vnholy pastime: for the deuil himselfe setteth them a worke.

Friday I dined with certaine strangers, and so fell into forgetfulnes of God: after­ward comming into my chamber, I prayed thus;

O Lord God, how is it possible for him which seeth thee not, to keep company with thee: I beleeue that I am before thy face, what aileth me then, that I do not pro­fesse and shew foorth this my beleefe? be­cause there is no company to be had with most people, if this beleefe be acted, & put [Page 84] into practise. I my selfe should take it for an vncouth thing, if an other in my companie should appeare to present himselfe before thy face. Our disposition abhorreth to bee awed, our mindes are full of vanitie, wee are like vnto foolish schollers, that loue not to haue their schoolmaster in their compa­nie: yea, we are worse then they; for when their master is with them, though it be sore against their wil, yet they acknowledge his presence: and if he be a wise man, tempering masterly grauitie with fatherly gentlenesse, he shall in time winne those rude ones to be glad of his companie, and very reuerent­ly to loue him, as the parent of their good education: So wouldest thou graciously worke vpon vs, if we would acknowledge thy presence; but this is quite contrarie to the bent of our hearts. O good Lord, I be­seech thee to be mercifull vnto vs. Amen.

That day in the afternoone, I went to Church to bury an olde man, named Rich­ard Duke, and thence I went into the town, where, beeing in companie, I forgat God, and what any man perceiued in my behaui­our, I knowe not. Thence I came home, and after some idle communication with some which I found in the house, comming into [Page 85] my chamber, my spirit was so ashamed to speake vnto God, that I went prayerlesse to bedde.

The morrow beeing Whitsunday-eue, I was so grieuously tormented that I dranke besides much beere, foure quarts of water.

Whitsunday one preached in my place both forenoone and afternoone.

Munday by reason of ouerfull diet ta­ken the day before, the winde cholike be­gan in my bowels, which held mee all day, and all night in sore paine: yea, though I v­sed both purges and clisters, it hung vpon me welnigh all the weeke following. I must not tell how vnpatiently, how abominably I behaued my selfe, as I laie tormented with that fit. O most holy Lord, forgiue mee I beseech thee, and of thine exceeding great mercy free me from the wicked bondage of my sinnes Amen.

Trinitie Sunday I should haue preached a sermon at Kirk-Ireton, some eight miles from Derbie, where one M. Storer sometime a baker in London, hath giuen a sermon to be preached, and certaine monie distribu­ted that daie yearely for euer: whether, be­cause the towne of Derbie is bound to see that worke performed, I had beene sent, as [Page 86] I remember, foure times. But my filthie strangurie now so vexed me, that I could not ride: Wherefore tarying at home, I preached twise to mine own charge. Were I able, I would giue so much vnto the pa­rish of Alhallowes in Derbie for euer, as should keepe their owne Minister at home among them; for it is a great company of people, and hath great neede of continuall carefull guidance in the way of God.

The sixe and twentieth of Iune, beeing Sabbath, though in the morning I was sore troubled with the strangury, yet God of his mercy inabled me to preach in the fore­noone, and catechize in the afternoone.

He that had seene how I studied mon­daie, and tuesday for matter of prayer, and Psalmes vnto God, in desire & hope of de­liuerance out of the bondage of sinne; and after all that, how quite contrarily I bent my course, would verily be perswaded that he had seene not one man, but two men in one outward likenesse, the one with many teares pitifully crauing mercie at the hands of God, and the other turning his backe to God, and running away from him.

Tuesday euening I was at a place in the towne, prophanely pleasing my selfe. Bee­ing [Page 87] returned home, and sitting downe in my chamber, my minde left mee, and went backe to the same place againe. At last with much adoe, I started vp, and falling downe vpon my knees before the face of God, prayed thus;

O my creator, thou seest how it is with mee. Thy goodnesse is most wonderfull, my wickednesse is most vncurable, and vn­sufferable. O make a speedie end of my sin which way soeuer it pleaseth thee, & bles­sed for euermore be thy Name. Amen.

The morrow I straggled not abroad, but mine affections were very vnruly; yea, and that which is strange, I could not frame my mind to take any deep conceit of the wic­kednesse of mine heart. Thus it is when a mans heart is setled in the loue of any euill, he is not able to thinke so of it as it is.

Friday the first of Iuly, I dined with a guest, a learned friend of mine; who tooke occasion to speake somewhat sharpely a­gainst Precisians. This, I thought, he did the rather, because some informed him, that I was too familiar with such people.

Therefore to satisfie both that minister, & all others whom it may concerne, I most humbly craue the benefit of modest liber­tie, [Page 88] to speake without offence, what my poore soule in the sight of God, thinketh touching this diuision. It hath bin a meanes of great aduantage both to Poperie & pro­phanenesse: yea, this wretchednes is cau­sed by it, Vpon either side diuerse haue no­thing else to commend them, but only this, that they are of that side; yea, and the side is glad to make vse of them. Is it not a lamen­table case, that some appeare to haue almost no conscience but against ceremonies, o­thers none but for ceremonies? The Pre­cisian doth (in my conscience not without great cause) crie out against ignorant, idle, and prophane ministers. But where is the fault? The coast had been well cleared by this time of the daie, had not Satan caused church-gouernment to be both by way of sobernes, and in the fashion of maddenes, verie fiercely assailed. But to what end? to reforme the Church? No, to deforme it.

This is my beleefe concerning Church-gouernment. Can any man truely say, Such a lord Bishop doth not seeke his own worldly commoditie, but the edifying of his Diocesse, and the glory of Iesus Christ? Doth it euidently appeare that his whole bent is in the diligent discharge of his office [Page 89] to approoue himselfe vnto God, and vnto euery conscience of men in the sight of God? Then will I conclude vpon my soules perill;

There is the Apostolicall Church-go­uernement of Iesus Christ.

If any such there be, who cannot in some good measure be truely so reported of, the calamitie is great, the iudgement very fear­full. Yet because of personall faults, to de­stroy a diuine ordinance, and bring in con­fusion, the calamitie would be greater, the iudgement more fearefull.

Indeede, Church-discipline is not reue­renced for want of holy seuerity. The pu­nishment of fornication and adulterie, &c. is little else but large fees: A filthie gaine, fie vpon it! I would intreat leaue to speake once more. Touching the ministe­rie, besides what I haue by the way signi­fied already, I humbly pray great Schol­lers, and all that seeke after riches, and ad­vancement in the Church, to ponder these my words;

The Gospel of the Sonne of God, must, and will first throwe downe Pride, and Couetousnes, before it worke an vniuersall good in this kingdome.

[Page 90]Those two great sins cannot be vpheld any way, but only by Popery: for they must be accompanied with a superstitious con­ceit that pomp is religion: which, when all haue said what they can say, the Gospel wil not endure. So, I haue done.

The same friday after that I had dined, it came into my mind to goe into the towne, as formerly I had done. But I felt in mine heart no desire to goe. Therefore comming into my chamber, I beganne to wonder at my selfe, what should aile me, fearing least some secret deadlinesse had seazed vpon mine heart. At last, I brake out into these words, Whatsoeuer is the cause, blessed be the name of God. O good Lord, let what­soeuer come vpon me, so that my spirit may be setled in this disposition: And I shall be bound to praise thee most ioyfully for euer­more. Amen.

That day I kept my selfe within, and the morrow, and the Sabbath day, hauing got­ten one to supply my place.

All the next weeke I continued so, and the Sabbath following, my place beeing supplied by one preacher in the forenoone, and an other in the afternoone.

Wednesday the thirteenth of Iuly, I still [Page 91] keeping within, prayed thus;

O most holy, and dreadfull Lord God, with what face can so hainous a sinner as I am, dare to speake vnto thy most glorious Maiestie, or be so bold to aske any thing of thee? Thy most wonderfull goodnesse emboldeneth me. And yet still me thinkes I am past grace, because sinne doth so a­bound in me. O Lord, my sinnes are as the sand of the sea vnnumberable, & there­fore my soule must needs be thorougly, and thoroughly stained: for euery sinne so often as it is yeelded vnto, worketh a black blemish into my soule. Woe is me! my soule is wholly ouerrun with a most foule filthy leprosie. This is all my comfort, that thy seruant saith, Rom. 5.20. Where sinne a­bounded, grace did much more abound. The more deadly the disease, the more soueraign the medicine, the more excellēt the Physi­tian that cureth it. O God, thou art able to doe whatsoeuer powerfull work thou wilt; yea thou canst do infinitly more then thou wilt. But here is the greatest wonder, that thou shouldest vouchsafe to worke a most admirable cure vpon him vnto whom thou mayest most iustly say,

Away from me thou most damnable sin­ner: [Page 92] Away out of my light: I will not par­don thee; because thou hast most grieuous­ly displeased, and vnpardonably dishonou­red me, in breaking the lawes of my king­dome, in refusing my proffered grace, in taking vpon thee to be a preacher of my righteousnes, and denying the power ther­of.

Yet blessed Lord, so long as the Iudge doth not giue order that the condemned prisoner bee taken from the barre, the poor wretch cries for his precious life, say­ing, Mercie good my Lord Iudge, mercie for Iesus Christs sake.

The name Iesus, with an earthly Christian Iudge, cannot but be of great force, & must needs mooue him very much: for it is the name of his deare Sauiour, the onely name whereby he trusteth to be saued. But of all, and aboue all, the name Iesus is most preci­ous in thy sight, beeing not superstitiously parrated, but mournfully presented vnto thee. Therefore though a thousand thou­sand seuerall inditements be found against me, and though the lawes of thy kingdome do condemne me; yet seeing that it is thy good pleasure, to suffer me to stand in thy presence, and not to bee taken out of this [Page 93] world, I crie vnto thee, saying; Mercie Lord God almighty, mercie for thine onely begotten Sonnes sake, Iesus Christ, God & man crucified: for the loue of him, blessed Lord be mercifull vnto me the worst of all sinners. Amen. Amen.

Towards euening I being punished with the hotte passage of my water, painfulnesse about the left kidnie, and burning of the right foote, was much afraid of a deadly fit of the stone, and therefore prayed thus;

O my good Lord, it is a most miserable state, for a man hauing spent his time in sin, to die before that he haue in the way of re­pentance, done any seruice vnto thee. This dolorous disease tormenteth me sore, and threatneth to kill me. O Lord, might it please thee in some measure to rebuke it, that I may liue a while, and glorifie thy grace in the zealous reformation of life; O how should I then be bound to prayse thy blessed name!

Me thinks I heare thee saying vnto mee; Thou vaine man, that talkest so much, and makest so many doubts, wouldings, and wishings, let me see thee once turne vnto me, and then thou shalt know more of my mind: vntill then, all that thou sayest or do­est [Page 94] is as nothing: Therefore make no more words, but turne speedily from sin whilest time serues, and say thou hast faire warning.

O most gracious Lord, I haue long had, and yet haue, blessed be thy name, very faire warning; I will henceforth endeauour to turne vnto thee, through Iesus Christ. A­men.

Thursdaie I beganne to sing a morning Psalme, which I purposed thence-forth to sing euery morning, hauing also prepared an euening Psalme, to bee sung vnto the Lord God, after that I am once well entred into the practise of repentance.

¶ Mine euening Psalme,

to the Kentish tune.
[...] O Lord most high, and mighty God,
[...] I sinnefull wretched man,
[...] Confesse to thee so heartily,
[...] as possibly I can.
That marueilous exceeding great
thy goodnes is to me,
Who haue been alwaies most vnkind,
and grieuous vnto thee.
These very many yeares thou hast
(a wonder it's to tell)
Preseru'd my dying life, els I
should now haue been in hell.
Euen hitherto, O gracious God,
thou hast vpheld me still,
Whō thou most iustly mightst long since
haue left to Sathans will.
What shall I therefore say, O Lord,
to thee for thy goodnesse?
O that my heart and tongue were fit
thy goodnesse to confesse!
O God my poore and sinnefull soule
most humbly sues to thee:
That from this filthy wickednesse,
thou wilt once set me free.
Now blessed Lord, free me I pray,
free me for Christ his sake,
That of thy mercies in him I
my songs may euer make.
Then will I praise thine holy name,
for euer more and more,
Withall my heart, soule, strength, & might,
I will praise thee therefore.
O Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost,
All glorie be to thee:
To thee three persons in one God,
one God in persons three.

Thursday at dinner, I fell into much vn­charitable speech concerning diuerse folk: Therefore comming into my chamber, I confessed and prayed thus;

O Lord, I haue sinned against thee in speaking vncharitably of many people. Thou knowest that it is a common practise of most companies, in talking to shoote at rouers, and for lacke of other markes, to spare neither the liuing, nor the dead. A cruell sinne, and very foule in any, special­ly in a minister of thy Sonne Christ: for that gracious Lord was so farre from speaking ill of others, that he had no minde to heare any body ill spoken of. Yea, hee chose ra­ther to busie himselfe in stooping downe, and writing vpon the ground with his fin­ger, then to haue nothing else to doe, but to giue eare vnto a bad report; though it [Page 97] were neuer so true: Ioh. 8.6. O good Lord, pardon my wickednesse, and giue me grace to leaue it, through Iesus Christ thine one­ly Sonne my Lord, and Sauiour. Amen.

That euening, I hauing not been out of doores a whole fortnight before, went foorth to see Philip Aram, who was then newe come home from London, and told me of the good health of my worshipfull friend Mr. Richard Sedley of Southfleet in Kent; a gentleman endued with many ver­tues, specially deuotion towards God, and charitie towards the poore. And because I haue taken occasion to speake of vertues, so rare in these euill, yet good-seeming daies, I cannot forbeare to commend vnto men of worth, and worship, a very notable patterne of right gentrie, Sir William Sedley the elder brother, whose equal in bountiful releeuing of Gods poore I neuer knewe, and am much afraid that I neuer shal know. Foolish pride, vnsatiable couetousnes, and pampering gluttony, haue banished hospi­talitie, and vtterly renounced liberalitie. Woe is mee for them! How vnlike them­selues doe many great ones liue? Hurtfull to how many? good to how fewe? The world is too too ful of petty tyrants, whose [Page 98] iudgement lingreth not, but followeth so fast vpon them, that it ouertaketh some be­fore they die, and many in the next genera­tion. If any aske, what reason I haue in confessing my owne sinnes, to ransack the faults of others? Mine answer is, I am, though most vnworthy, a professed Prea­cher of righteousnesse, & therefore bound in conscience to doe what I possibly can a­gainst sinn. The day of mine account draw­eth very neere, I haue foolishly lost much precious time. Wherefore I am desirous to make all the vse that may be of this small remnant. I humbly beseech all people, that in tender compassion of my great losse, and fearefull danger, they will be pleased to beare with mee, if I seeme vnto them to speake of any thing ouer-harshly, God Al­mightie knoweth that I heartily wish all good vnto all people. Now I returne to my selfe: I sat a while with my louing friend Philip Aram, and certaine other, whether they tooke knowledge of any offence of mine, I know not. This I knowe, when I came home, my conscience found much fault in my behauiour, and therefore I was driuen to cry God mercy for my forgetful­nesse of his all-seeing, all-hearing presence.

[Page 99]Fryday, by reason of diuerse which came vnto mee, I lost a great part of the day. Therefore at night I confessed and prayed thus: O most righteous Lord, I haue this day not only lost my time, but also by occa­sion of company, indangred my weake bo­die in drinking much betweene meales. I haue also bin a partaker of much idle, and vncharitable talke. I beseech thee to giue me the grace to be truely turned from these and from all my sinnes, that I may be saued. Amen.

Saturday about nine of the clocke in the forenoone I prayed, as I thinke, more de­uoutly, and effectually then euer before. A­mong other words of complaint touching my state, I spake thus; There is no possibi­litie, no likelihood of repentance in me, be­ing within my selfe so accustomed to sinne, & without so holden vnto it by the world. How can I haue any hope to arise out of the hell of sinne, seeing that I haue these twentie yeares and more assaied, and assaied to arise, and still alwaies fallen down again? Yet O Lord, there is hope in thee, though none in mee. Vouchsafe to make an ende of my sinning, whatsoeuer become of me. My duty is to craue mercy of thee. Good Lord, [Page 100] I craue it: good Lord vouchsafe to giue it for thy tender mercies sake: for thy deere Sonne Iesus Christs sake, &c.

At dinner, I spake my minde touching a matter which concerned me not. Also I spake too farre. Therefore comming into my chamber, I confessed, and prayed thus;

O my good Lord, I haue doubly offen­ded, in medling with other folkes busines, & in speaking beyond the compasse which any whome it concerneth ought to haue kept himselfe within. Good Lord conuert me, and forgiue me, Amen.

The 17. of Iuly, being Sabbath, I was in the morning sore tormented with the stran­gurie; yet by the goodnes of God, in the forenoone I preached. Also after dinner I went and prayed with an olde aged good woman, widow Milborne, the mother of my faithfull friend Raph Milborne deceased. At euening prayer after the second lesson, I asked a youth three or foure questions tou­ching a foundation-point of religion, and briefly made plaine his answers. After all this, I was in great danger of a relapse; for I was intreated to go thither, where I should very grieuously haue displeased God, and that through mine owne wickednesse. But [Page 101] by the grace of God, much against mine owne will, I refused to goe.

Whereas I made mention of my faithfull freind Raph Milborne, I intreat the gentle reader, and hearer to take knowledge from me of certain notable properties that were in him very plainly to be seene. He was re­ligious towards God, and that not by way of schisme, dissention I meane, but in peace. Hee loued his minister, yea he loued all mi­nisters that were for the present state of the Church, and of conscionable behauiour. Hee was dutifully kind vnto his aged pa­rents: for he sustained them both vntill his fathers death, then his mother vntill his owne death, and by his will tooke order for her maintenance so long as it should please God to giue her the continuance of life. At his death he gaue portions vnto many bro­thers, and sisters, & to a many of their chil­dren. He was of behauiour very temperate, discreet, and patient. He was farre from the disposition to drinke, and domineere in ta­uernes, and ale-houses: he did often chide me, because I was sometimes forward to goe, and other times easie to be drawen vn­to such places.

It were pittie that the memorie of these [Page 102] vertues should haue bin buried with him: for I knew hardly any one of his rank eue­ry way for goodnes matchable with him. Some may be ready enough to commend themselues, though an indifferent man shall haue much adoe to find any thing that is worthy of commendation in them. There­fore at his buriall I took this text, Prou. 20.6. Most men will proclaime euery one his owne goodnesse: but a faithfull man who can find?

Wednesday the 20. of Iulie, I was so be­yond measure tormented in the water pas­sage, and so burned in the soles of my feet, that I was forced to stand barefooted, and barelegged: yea, hauing a vessell of new drinke standing by me, with a bagg of pur­ging powder in it, (for my body could not els be kept from deadly costiuenes) I drank glasse after glasse, kneeling vpon my knees, and calling very lamentably vpon the name of God. They that at any time haue drunke healths kneeling, had they seene me vpon my knees, weeping and praying, and drin­king, would haue bin terrified from that barbarous fashion of theirs.

Friday the 22. of Iulie, I was in the after­noone taken with a deadly paine vpon my left side, and therewithal an extreame win­die [Page 103] faintnes oppressed the lower parts of my breast, so that mine heart was continu­ally ready to faile. This held me vntill it was wel nigh midnight, I lying full of pain, and calling vpon the name of the Lord. Then had I some rest vntill morning, and then it beganne againe. This praier I often­times made vnto the Lord while I was in torment;

O most gracious God, if it be thy good pleasure, that I shall in most humble and zealous repentance, glorifie thy name, vouchsafe for Iesus Christs sake to rebuke this my disease. But if it please thee not to make that vse of me, because I am most exceedingly vnworthy, and vnfit to doe thee any acceptable seruice; then most bles­sed Lord, withdraw thine hand from me, and let me die. For why should we liue any longer to displease, and dishonour thee, and to cause any more euill vnto my bro­ther; and sisters the children of Adam? Ho­ly Lord, yet I heartily wish glory vnto thy name, and all good vnto thy people. So I bequeath my selfe vnto thy pleasure. My sinne be destroyed, thy will be done, and blessed for euer be thy name. Amen. A­men.

[Page 104]Towards night I felt some ease in my side, and breast; but was pained in my kid­nies.

The foure and twentieth of Iuly, beeing sabbath, one supplyed my place at Church, and I kept at home. That day some came vnto me, with whom I fell in talke, and by that meanes forgat both the presence of God, and the holinesse of the day.

Monday morning I was sore tormented, so that my feete burned very painfully; spe­cially the right foote. I dranke great plenty of small beere, and yet burned stil. In this sore torment, I praied thus;

O the fountaine of right goodnes, kind­nesse, and mercy, I the most hainous of all thine enemies vpon earth, in this my grei­uous misery, haue none to flie vnto for help but onely thee. O holy Lord, I haue sin­ned against thee: I haue sinned; O I haue sinned, and most vnsufferably prouoked thine Almighty maiesty, to destroy mee with most wrathfull vengeance. And doe I now in my selfe-wrought misery come a begging to thee for ease? yea blessed Lord, for I haue no whether else to goe: & there­fore I throw my selfe down before thy face humbly crying thee mercie, and saying; O [Page 105] righteous Lord, here lieth thine enemy, a great traytor to thy kingdome, and glory, crauing mercy at thy most mercifull hands, and beseeching thee, not onely to pardon me thine owne vengeance, but also to re­leeue me in this tormenting misery, which I in sinning against thee haue brought vp­on my self, euen by the wicked disordering and distempering of my bodie. Againe, me thinkes thou sayest vnto me; Ah thou wret­ched man, doe not I shewe thee great mer­cy in sustaining thy dying life, and calling thee vnto me? Why doest not thou come nearer vnto me? why doest thou not con­tinually set me before thy face, and submit thy selfe vnto my pleasure? Thou knowest thou art short of this, and therefore if thou expectest grace from me, come nearer vnto me; for thou art yet too farre off to receiue comfort into thy soule.

O my Lord God, I come; drawe mee, and I will come: I will continually minde thee, feare thee, and call vpon thee. A­men.

Thursday the 28. of Iuly, I beeing hor­ribly tormented, prayed thus;

O most gracious God, thou seest that this painfull, and loathsome disease, will [Page 106] greatly hinder me in thy seruice. O there­fore that it would please thee to ease me of it, and to lay some other iudgement vpon me so great as this, but not so shameful, and hinderous. Me thinkes I heare thee say yet againe;

I tell thee thou sinner, when thy seruice pleaseth me, my grace shall be euery way sufficient for thee.

Most holy Lord, this I verily beleeue: therfore in the name of Iesus Christ hence­foorth I will wholly endeauour to please thee. Amen.

The last day of Iulie, beeing Sabbath, though I was sore tormented, I had no re­medy, but needs must preach my selfe: for neither was I prouided of any supply, and a Churchwarden came to tell me, the parish tooke it in displeasure that I my selfe per­formed not my dutie. That day I preached twise, to the great hurt of my body, which appeared by many little shreads of skinne which came from me in my water.

Monday the first of August, such a drou­sie windie weakenes hung vpon me, speci­ally in my breast and head, that many times I was ready to fall, and had much adoe to stand: a painfull sleepines was stil comming [Page 107] vpon mee, whether I did read or write. Monday night I beeing in bed, and fallen into a slumber, I was so strangely taken as neuer before: Some thing seemed to be vp­on my backe, & so to presse me downe, that my face was held hard to the pillowe, and much winde brake out at the right eare. Be­ing very troublously waked, I called vp­on my good Lord for mercy. I perceiued a shiuering windines offering to arise out of my thighes. I tooke this by ouerforcing my selfe in preaching vpon the Sabbath day, if I be not much deceiued. It pleased God, that afterward I had some quiet rest: but towards morning the cruel strangury came vpon me. Alas, that there is no remedy for such a filthy tormenting disease! a Physitian writing vnto me, among other words, said thus; ‘Know that your disease is incurable.’

The seauenth of August being Sabbath, my disease still tormenting me, I prayed, and vowed thus;

O most holy, and righteous, good, and gracious Lord God, I the most foule and filthy sinner of all the world, do here make a complaint of my selfe vnto thy glorious and blessed maiesty, that I am not fit to liue [Page 106] [...] [Page 107] [...] [Page 108] in thy sight, much lesse to serue thee in the gospel of thy Sonne; because I do not walk with thee, nor keep my selfe in thy com­panie, as thy seruants doe. O be mercifull vnto me I beseech thee: I haue heretofore made many vowes, that I would enforce my selfe to waite vpon thee. But woe is me I haue not kept them: now I most humbly pray thee, that all my former vowes may be shut vp in this which I am minded to make vnto thee. And this it is; This day two se­uerall preachers will supply my place: I be­seech thee to blesse them with holy matter, hallowed affections, powerfull vtterance, & good successe. If I do not from this day for­ward, very conscionably endeauour to hold my selfe to the practise of my foure Rules, I wil the next Sabbath day quite put my selfe out of the ministerie; yea, and openly pro­fesse vnto the world, that therefore I doe it, because my conscience doth certainly iudge mee not to bee fit to preach the Gospell. Good Lord, this is my vowe. If I either reforme my selfe from this day forward, or for default thereof, leaue the ministerie, I breake not my vow. If I do neither the one, nor the other, let me be e­uerlastingly [...]rsaken of Iesus Christ. If I [Page 109] conscionably reform my selfe by thy grace, and so continue with thy fauour in the mi­nisterie, O that thou wilt be mercifull vnto me touching this horrible disease. Then shall I holily and wholly betake my selfe to serue thee, as mine hearts desire is to doe. If I reforme not my selfe, and therefore, as my vow requireth, leaue the ministerie, I aske no more, but the destruction of my sin to thy good pleasure and glorie. Now bles­sed Lord, I offer vp this vowe vnto thee for an euerlasting deed, and thereunto vnchan­geably say, Amen. Be it neuer changed, but euer in force betweene thy blessed Maiestie and me. Amen.

That day some came vnto me, and what with one matter, what with an other, cau­sed me to talke at randome, as though I had not been in the companie of God. When they were gone, I cryed God mercy, & pro­mised to be more mindefull of his presence, and fearefull of his displeasure. At night some came to me againe, and talking of ma­ny things, mooued me to passe my bounds, but not so much as before: yet all this while I was not entred into my vowed practise. This I did fully perswade my selfe, that if I could in companie be mindfull of God, and [Page 110] shunne the displeasing of his maiestie, I were in a verie faire forwardnes of refor­mation.

Mondaie the eight of August, I held my selfe vnto my prayers and businesse careful­ly, thinking how I should avoid the great danger of companie, and talking: I prayed vnto the Lord thus;

O good Lord, thou seest that my dispo­sition is hardened in sinne, and most vnto­ward vnto thy seruice: Thou seest also how apt other folke are to further mine vnto­wardnesse, to hinder my repentance. I be­seech thee, that for thine only Sonnes sake, thou wilt powerfully breake me from mine vntowardnes, & prepare me in thy feare to shunne the manifold wickednesse which is one way, or another caused by companying and talking. Blessed Lord, true it is, as I take harme by others, so they take harm by me: for thy mercies sake be mercifull vnto vs, and keepe vs from causing any harme one to another. Amen. Aman.

Betweene tenne and eleuen of the clock, there came some vnto me about a matter of vnkindnes between certain parties; which had not then been called into question, if I had concealed a report which in writing [Page 111] was giuen vnto me, and which I was verie confidently willed to shewe vnto whome I would. It is likely that many an one would haue thought himselfe well warranted to shew it, specially if it had concerned him so neerely as it did me. I shewed it not, but onely told a certaine part of it, which cau­sed the comming of those men vnto me. Af­ter that we had talked of the businesse, and they were gone, I confessed, and prayed thus vnto God;

O most gracious Lord, I did euill in re­ceiuing that paper, and worse in speaking of any thing written in it. I beseech thee to pardon me, and to giue grace that I may ne­uer hereafter speake any thing of that mat­ter, but onely my bounden thanks & praise vnto thee, through Iesus Christ thy Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

In the afternoone vpon occasion I praied thus;

O most gracious Lord, thou seest that by thy goodnesse I goe not out to seeke com­pany: I perceiue it is great folly so to doe. If any come vnto me, and enter into friuo­lous talke, I cannot tell what I should doe. Thy spirit saith, that in the multitude of words, there wanteth not sinne, Pro. 10.19. [Page 112] And what great losse of precious time com­meth vnto men by vaine idle communicati­on, I know by experiēce to my great griefe. Most mercifull Lord, thou hauing brought me thus farre, and broken me from seeking companie, from ioyning in emptie words, vouchsafe to magnifie thy mercy, in making me to preuaile against this impediment, and all others, that I may euerlastingly praise thy name therefore, through Iesus Christ thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour. Amen.

Tuesdaie morning, the strangury pained me verie grieuously, and my feete were in such an extreame heate, that I was forced to stand barefooted. In this burning tor­ment I prayed, O most mightie, and most mercifull Lord God, my Maker, and Saui­our, of thy most tender compassion, & most excellent mercie, vouchsafe I beseech thee, to ease me of this filthy tormenting disease & lay vpon me in stead thereof what crosse, what iudgement thou wilt. Me thinks thou saiest; ‘Thou foolish man, put away thy folly, drawe neere vnto me, and I will draw neere vnto thee.’

O good Lord, blessed be thy name. In [Page 113] the name of Iesus Christ I will drawe neere vnto thee: I will henceforth be alwaies ve­rie mindefull that I am before thy face: no­thing in the world, no not any companie, shall put me out of that thought. Beeing in companie, so often as I perceiue my minde to turne it selfe from waiting vpon thee, I will presently breake out into these words; Fie vpon me! what a forgetfull foole am I? Good Lord forgiue me, and correct mee. Then if any aske the reason, why I spake those words, I will very plainly tell it. Most gracious Lord, giue me grace thus to doe, and blesse me in so doing, through Iesus Christ thine onely Sonne, my Lord and Sa­uiour, Amen.

The staires to my chamber are the com­ming vp vnto three other chambers. So oft as I heard the noise of any bodies feet com­ming vp the staires, I was very fearefull that some or other were comming vnto me, and as glad if I heard them goe by the doore to any of the other chambers. How men may iudge of this, I know not; but my consci­ence doth assuredly certifie mee how the Lord God iudgeth of it.

That forenoon some company came to me, & staied long: wherefore though I in some [Page 114] sort looked to my soule, yet could I not a­uoide bodily hurt: for I hauing, to ease my paine, taken much drinke before the com­panie came, being forced painfully to hold my water, when they were gone, there came such things from out of my body, as if ma­ny skinnes within were pilled off. Where­fore I fully perswaded my selfe, that I was possessed with a windie fretting inflamma­tion, which of necessitie must very shortly kill me; and that, as I thought most likely, by the perishing of my bladder. In the af­ternoone I praied thus:

Most blessed Lord, very true it is, that the doore of heauen is in comparison much lesse then the eie of a needle. An entrance there is: but most hardly to be gotten. The beginning of an vnfained godly life, is the hardest worke in all the world. Then what meaneth Christ in saying that his yoake is easie, and his burden light? His meaning is, that true repentance, and right faith, do ease, and lighten a loaden conscience. There is no remedy but sinne must needes be put off; else there is no saluation, no heauen to be had. Woe is me! How can a black-moore put off his blacknesse? It is vnpossible. Yea; but thy Sonne hath told, [Page 115] vs, that all things are possible with thee. True it is, O Lord, I beleeue it. But the question is, what thou wilt doe? Therefore with the poor leper I say vnto thee, O Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me cleane. The Spirit answereth me saying; To day if thou wilt heare his voice, harden not thy heart.

I must striue to vnharden mine heart in obeying thy word, which word thou hast graciously made knowne vnto mee, to the end that I should obey it in putting off my sinne. But if knowing thy will I continue disobedient to thee, O what a most dread­full measure of euerlasting vengeance shall speedily fall vpon me! O Lord, none can vnharden mine heart, but onely thou. Then how can I vnbarden it? If thou euer vnhar­den it: thou wilt make mee to vnharden it; for thou workest the will, and the deede in them that shall bee saued. They must will, and doe that which is pleasing vnto thee. The power to will, and doe it, they must haue from thee. Therefore thy seruant Paul aduiseth vs to work out our saluation with feare, and trembling; that is, awfully, and carefully to vse the meanes which thou hast appointed, that so thy grace may work in vs obedience vnto thy will, which is the [Page 116] only way of saluation. Good Lord, in thy Sonnes name I will striue to vse the meanes which thou hast appointed for the brea­king of mine hard heart. Blessed bee thy name: I thinke no man, or woman in all the world can haue more warning to deny him­selfe, and hasten repentance then I haue. To thy mercie and good pleasure I wholly betake my selfe, thorough Iesus Christ. A­men. Amen.

Wednesday morning I was very tormen­tingly pained in the water passage, and therefore prayed thus;

O blessed Lord God, this soule disease tormenteth me verie sore: O that it may be pleasing vnto thy most glorious goodnes, euen in such measure to ease me of this dis­ease, as by thy grace I will from this time forward deny my selfe, and giue glory vn­to thy truth!

Me thinkes thou sayest, Goe to then. See that thou conscionably deny thy selfe, putting thy whole trust in me. And for thy comfort, thou shalt be sure to finde these my words true; I am mercifull. My mercie is vpon them that feare me.

Most gracious Lord, blessed be thy name. I beleeue thy words. And nowe thorough [Page 117] the grace of Iesus Christ, I will steadfastly set my selfe to deny my selfe. O Lord, be mercifull vnto mee, that I may thoroughly doe it. And then thy will be done. Amem.

About an houre after I had so praied vn­to God, my paine of the spleene came vpon mee, in such sort that mine eies were much dazled, mine heart deadly vexed, my limms faintly wearied. Beeing in this state, I prai­ed thus;

O good Lord, what shall I doe? This my deathfull body cannot possibly hold out, nor be seruiceable vnto thee in any good measure, according to my calling. O my good Lord, what shall I doe? I haue no warrant to expect any extraordinary relee­uing of my body. And this deadlines put­teth my poore soule out of comfort. Mee thinkes thou saiest;

Let thy soule be steadfastly, & vprightly bent to serue mee, for so it shall receiue comfort from mee. Touching thy bodie, doe me what seruice thou canst, and betake it vnto mee to dispose therof, as I see good. By greiuing at thy diseasednes, thou mak­est it to be worse. Therfore be only zealous againg thy sinnes, the cause of all thy mise­rie. But take heart of grace, and sustaine [Page 118] thy weake spirit hath assured confidence of my mercy towards thee.

O my good Lord, most wonderfull in mercy, and Almightie in power, with all humble thankefulnes I receiue these words from thee. My soule is certenly perswaded that thy purpose towards mee is according to those words. Blessed Lord, it greiueth me that I hane so long displeased, & disho­noured thee, and now am quite disabled, that I can doe thee no seruice; because my body is full of death. Yet according to thy commaundement, I will thorough thy grace wholly bend my spirit to serue thee. And what seruice my dying body can per­forme, I will put it vnto, betaking my selfe euery way to thy good pleasure, and most holy will. Amen.

That day in the afternoone I was tor­mented, yet, let me say the truth, in a man­ner, as it were vnderhand, succoured and sustained. My back was about, and below the kidnies very sore: which made mee fearefull of a fit of the stone, which from the last Nouember I had not.

It came many times into my mind, to ad­monish all sorts of people, to leaue the most common taking of Gods name in vaine, in [Page 119] prating, and swearing, and cursing. O if any that is giuen vnto that horrible sinne, knew how deere and precious vse I am driuen to make of Gods name, when in hellish tor­ment, specially at, and after the making of water; I haue none other helpe in all the world, but to crie out saying, O Lord, ô God, ô Iesu Christ, &c,

Whosoeuer you are that shall read, or heare this, stay a little while I pray you. Be­think your selfe well, whether the time will not come, you know not how soon, where­in you shall be forced to call vpon God for present help? yea, you ought to call vpon him euery day, euery houre: for your life, and all that you haue, or hope to haue, is at his mercie. In the turning of a hand hee can take all that is good from you, & turne you away into all manner of misery. Then if it stand vpon his pleasure, what shall be­come of you, and specially when you are in aduersity, or anguish, whether you shall be releeued yea, or no? follow my counsell, keep his name in store, and by no meanes endure to write, or speake it in any idle fashion, much lesse in swearing, & tearing, and cursing, like a limme of the deuil. What man is so madde, that hauing a most preti­ous [Page 120] restoratiue, able to cure him of any dis­ease, will hurle it into the dust, fling it a­gainst the walls, or tread it vnder his feete? No, you would lay it most charily, as a most speciall treasure, whereby you may in time of need help your selfe, or your freind. O then consider, that of all restoratiues, the name of God passes, and excells. For it is a soueraigne remedy against all euils, both of soule, and body. Therefore the Psalme saith, Psal. 124.8. Our helpe is in the name of the Lord, who made heauen and earth.

In few words, take this for certen; If you meane to haue helpe in the name of God, vse it like a most pretious restoratiue. Make not an idle word of it, take it not in vaine, least when you haue neede to call vpon it; you call in vaine, because the Lord remem­bers that you made a vaine idle word of his name.

That euening, I did but walke a little in my chamber, & it made my water bloody: what a miserable state am I in?

Thursday morning, a matter that I read gaue me occasion, to consider of an offence which many in Derbie lately tooke, by the leauing out of the Crosse at the baptising of a child. True it is, that I neuer left out that [Page 121] signe, nor euer will leaue it, vntill the Church giue warrant: Yet this I must needs confesse,

A many people thinke that baptisme is not perfect without the signe of the Crosse. Yea more, They thinke that there is some holy vertue in it.

The iudgement of God is a great deepe. But the commanding will of God, is in his word very plaine. Hee would not haue poore people to beleeue that holinesse is there to be had, where it is not.

They which first deuised any ceremony without ground of Gods word, how good soeuer their intent was, little knew what inconuenience would in processe of time grow thereupon.

Did you neuer see a house so ful of smoke that a man might sooner haue been stifled, and blinded, then well warmed? That is typhos superstition, that is the religon of many rude people.

If any say, it is to be required that such people haue good instruction; I say againe, what instruction are they like to haue, whose guides are either vnable to instruct themselues, or suffered to be otherwise im­ploied.

[Page 122]I once heard Bishop Barlowe saie that, touching higher places, which is too, too generall, and extendeth, in my simple ob­seruation, farre further then hee intended it. His speech in effect was thus;

The time was, that fit men were sought for: But now, there is not such neede; be­cause many proffer themselues.

How it is in the higher region, I know not. But in the lower, it is commonly thus. And so long as it is thus, a foole may pro­phecie that sound holinesse is not likely to thriue.

In the afternoon my strangurie was very keene, my right foote burned with a pain­full heat: yet, see the goodnes of God, still a way is made that I may endure it; euen when I am readie to crie out, because of deadlie torment. I am fully perswaded, that had not this disease come vpon me, yea and preuailed more and more, euen to the put­ting of me quite out of all hope of recoue­ry, I should neuer haue beene diuorced and separated from the loue of this world. Not­withstanding all that is yet done, sin clea­ueth vnto my soule like birdlime. I haue a world of trouble within my selfe, to master the olde setled rebellious thoughts of my [Page 123] heart, which are so sturdie, and so deuillish, specially one, my most naturall sinne, that were it not for the verie grace of God in Iesus Christ, I should bee quite out of all hope of subduing them. Let me come into company, and there is such an vprore in mine heart, that whatsoeuer I can doe, is al too little to keep it from breaking out into open rebellion against God. Whosoeuer beeing an old sinner, doth put himselfe in­to the continuall conscionable practise of repentance, he shall plainely perceiue the sinnes of his heart, to be like vnto a compa­ny of desperate rebels besieged in a castle, yeeld they will not, vntill they be famished out. They haue succour from the remem­brance, and from corrupted imagination, from the outward sences, specially the eies, and the eares: and who can say how full of temptations the world is, temptations fit­ted to worke vpon the sight, and the hea­ring. It is well worth obseruation, for any man that knoweth white from blacke, and sinne from grace, to marke when he comes in companie with any, how soone the seue­rall wicked corruptions, which are both in him, and in the other, wil conspire together to betray them both, & to make them sinne [Page 124] against God, at least in a deale of idle talke. I cannot call to minde that euer I was in company with any, and drawne into a fa­miliar communication, but that I was also drawne into sinne. Yea, but some will say, idle talke is a veniall sinne (wherein they may pleade S. Gregories authoritie in his dialogues, lib. 4. cap. 39. and so make a pur­gatorie matter of it) and therefore shall ne­uer be called into question. O how apt are we to deceiue our selues! Doth not our Lord Iesus very plainely say these words? Matth. 12.36. But I say vnto you, that euery idle word that men shall speake, they shall giue an account thereof in the day of iudgement: 37. For by thy words thou shalt be iustified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemnd.

If in the day of iudgement we shall bee tried, whether we be fit to be saued or con­demned euen by our words, and if euery i­dle world shal then be brought in question, it behooueth them that would be saued, to make more conscience of their talke, then the prating practise of this world affoar­deth.

Certainly old Nicholas Denuse said very truely,

Of much speaking, come many euills, speci­ally [Page 125] three, the losse of consideration, the dulling of deuotion, and the multiplying of sinne.

I haue time, and time perceiued the truth of Denuses words in mine owne selfe. Yea, euen in preaching when I haue beene more word-full then needs, (which such shallow preachers as I am be driuen to, for lacke of matter, the more pitty, that people should be fed with winde) those three euills haue come vpon me.

It may be asked, what counsell I would out of my poore experience giue vnto weake ministers? Vpon my conscience in the sight of God this I say; Some goe for ministers, which are not capable of that knowledge which a minister of the Gospel necessarily should haue.

The parish where such a one is, should wholly ioyne together, housholders, men-seruants, women-seruants, and all that haue any thing in the world to giue, for the allowing of him so much yearely mainte­nance to leaue the Ministerie, as he hath by continuing in it; yea and for the assuring of it vnto him for the tearme of his life. This is much: but the saluation of any one soule in the parrish, is much more. And where an vnable minister is, certenly many a soule [Page 126] is in great danger. If some should in loue of their saluation, put themselues to this char­ges, he that hath title to giue the benefice, may put in such an other: for it is too well known that many Patrons (so they are cal­led that giue benefices) are very corrupt, and haue no feeling of conscience in that busi­nesse. O that they knew what a huge mea­sure of Gods vengeance they pull vpon themselues, and vpon their house? Sir, who­soeuer you are, know this for a certain, the Sonne of God hath a Nisi prius against you, to be tried at the great assizes of the world. Then shall come foorth many poore soules cast away by meanes of your corruption, and they shall crie out vpon you before the face of God, Angels, and men, saying, O Lord, this is he that hath caused our damna­tion; for he put vpon vs a man to be our mi­nister that had not the grace of ministration in him.

I vndertake vpon mine vttermost perill, that if faithfull inquirie be made, diuerse such corruptions shall be found in Derbie­shier; yea gentlemen sharing with the mi­nister in things dedicated vnto the Gospels maintenance. O base! more base, and vile then to robbe by the high way side.

[Page 127]Those Ministers which are capable of competent knowledge, but yet haue it not, I would humbly intreat, that aboue all o­ther businesse whatsoeuer, they will giue themselues in the feare of God, most hun­gerly and thirstily to studie for it. Though I entred not into the ministerie vntill the third yeare after I was batchelour of art, which I confesse was too too soone, and though that learned Colledge, so I dare say, Emanuel in Cambridge, did in such fauoura­ble manner approoue mee, that my grace to commence Master of Arts was passed in the house before I knewe it, or thought of it, but I neuer went to commence; yet was I glad, God knowes, to toile my selfe night and day; else that lowest degree of sufficiencie, which by Gods mercie I haue, I should neuer haue had. I haue been for­ced to renew my knowledge of logicke, the Art of vnderstanding againe, and againe, and yet am farre short of perfection. Hee that is ignorant of this Art, I cannot de­uise how hee may bee an vnderstanding Minister. In the Latine tongue I was not verie perfect, yet some-what readie. But to get a little smacke, in that learned lan­guage the Greeke, mine eyes haue fore­gone [Page 128] much sleepe, and been made to smart very often. Into the language of Chanaan, the Hebrew, I haue so little sight as may be; yet it cost mee some labour, and expence withall. By these paines I haue obtained, God beeing mercifull vnto me, this profit; I can make a shift to vnderstand many lear­ned Authors that haue written books verie helpefull for him which studieth Diuinitie. Thus I am only able to abide the Churches triall, and to passe for a sufferable minister; if sanctification be not wanting. If any vn­able minister, being capable of knowledge, did but perceiue first his owne want, and then the comfort which my soule takes in this lowest degree of abilitie, which tho­rough Gods great mercie I haue attained vnto, hee would enforce himselfe night and day, to get knowledge, & so be quick­ly gone beyond me. I would withall mine heart that I beeing no lesse able then I am, as sufferably I can not bee, were in abilitie ministeriall the very lowest of all the mini­sters in this Land. It grieues mee to consi­der, that some are not onely vnable, which they shall find to be miserie too much, but also, which is much more miserable, confi­dently perswaded of their sufficiencie.

[Page 129]I kept my selfe in some small measure of good order all that weeke, much what by shunning vnnecessarie companie.

But my terrible disease increased vpon me, and so tormented me, that the foure­teenth of August, beeing Sabbath, by drin­king much new ale to ease my paine, I al­most ouerthrewe my selfe, and was sore a­fraid least I should haue failed in my mini­stration. Yet, see thee admirable goodnes of God! I preached in the forenoone: and in the afternoone went sicke, and sowning ripe into the pulpit, so that I betooke my selfe to the pleasure of God by way of pre­paration for some dismall successe; yea, be­fore I spake any word, I secretly said thus vnto my Lord,

Blessed Lord God, make way for thine owne good pleasure, and glorie, and doe what thou wilt vnto mee; spare mee not: Yet, I say againe, see the most wonderfull goodnesse of God! there were diuerse of good iudgement, yea and a Preacher, who, I verily beleeue, will say, they neuer heard mee preach more effectully, nor with a more constant voice; I must, and by Gods grace will, knowing mine owne exceeding weakenesse, acknowledge it to be a graci­ous [Page 130] fauour of God.

In the morning I beeing so sore pained, that I could not endure either to reade that which I had prepared to preach, or to thinke vpon it, did deuoutly promise vnto the Lord, that in zeale of his glory, I would not faile to put my selfe vnto open shame, for euery sinne which thenceforth I should openly commit in word or deede. Yea, I said thus much vnto him,

That open sinne which I shall wittingly let passe, without open confession, do thou neuer forgiue.

I doe humbly craue aide of euery Chri­stian which shall read, or heare this. As my disease is very tormenting, so my state is too too vncomfortable. Eccles. 4.10. Woe to him that is alone, when he falleth: for hee hath not another to helpe him vp.

I must sit, and endure my griefe with si­lence. For to whom shall I complaine? Or what shall I ease my selfe by complaining? The prouerbe is not more olde then true; Euery man is for himselfe, and God for all. If the latter part held not very true, I were woe begone: for the first is too true. But what aide doe I craue of the Reader, or hearer? I beseech you that euen for the [Page 131] loue of Christ, and Christianitie, you will very earnestly intreat our Lord God to bee mercifull vnto me, and if it may possibly stand with his holy will, to grant mee ease of this irkesome torment. Amen. Amen.

That Sabbath day at night, I hauing somewhat more conscionably kept that Sabbath day then euer before, praised God thus;

O most mercifull Father, with all mine heart I humbly thanke thee for this verie little entracne into the way of saluation. Good Lord, my soule is yet wretchedly tangled in sinne. Free me for thy mercies sake, and humble mee to the very vtter­most that may be, thorough Iesus Christ thine only Sonne, my Lord and Sauiour. A­men. Amen.

Then also I beganne to sing mine eue­ning Psalme: which is not in double mee­ter, as that vnto whose tune I haue set it; because I neither had leasure, nor minde to be so curious.

¶ Mine euening Psalme,

to the tune of All people that on earth doe dwell.
[...] O God that art most wonderfull,
[...] the fountaine of all blessednesse,
[...] I most vn­fit to sing to thee,
[...] yet needes thy mer­cie must confesse.
Needes must I, for I am most bound,
therefore O Lord, I thee intreat,
For to prepare mine heart and tongue,
thy mercies duely to repeat.
So soone as I into this world
by birth was borne, thou causedst mee
To be baptized in thy Name
In signe of my deliuery.
Deliuerie from Sathans thrall,
and from the house of bondage hell,
That with thee, and with thy Christ,
in euerlasting blisse might dwell.
And when I was of age to learne,
thou didst acquaint me with thy grace,
Moouing mine heart to turne from sinne,
and thy saluation to embrace.
But I most foolishly did loue
this world, and gaue my selfe to sinne,
Deferring time from day to day,
and to repent would not beginne.
Yet notwithstanding all my sinne,
and manifold iniquitie,
Yea such most hainous wickednes
as alwaies did for vengeance crie.
So great thy mercie was to me,
that thou wouldst not my soule forsake,
But patiently didst vse all meanes,
to saue me from the burning lake.
And now at last with much adoe,
a little I am turn'd from sinne;
A little, very small it is,
I doe repentance but beginne.
Yet Lord my soule doth trust, that thou
wilt small beginning not despise,
But grant me grace turning to thee
by small degrees for to arise.
So be it O most gracious God,
be it euen so for Christ his sake,
I doe beleeue, therefore I speake,
thy childe, I trust, thou wilt me make.
O Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost,
thou onely God, and Lord of all,
Thy name be blessed euermore
of all thy creatures great and small.
Amen, Amen, Amen say I,
Gods name for euer blessed be:
O heauen, ô earth, ô creatures all,
say ye Amen, Amen with me.

I most heartily desire, that euery one that hath not more experience in deuotion then I, will take this my counsell,

Accustome your selfe to pray, & to sing oftentimes vnto God; let your prayer, and song, be such matters as is fitting for one in your state to speake vnto God, whether it be confession of sinnes, begging of pardon, and cleansement from sinne, or thanksgi­uing, [Page 135] &c. And that which you speake vnto the Lord by way of praying, or singing, let it not onely be word of mouth, but lift vp the thought of your heart, and thinke eue­ry word directly vnto God, as you would do, if you did see his glorious maiesty with your bodily eyes. Be well assured, and sted­fastly minded that he lookes full vpon you, and marketh all your behauiour; yea and a­boue all things, taketh most heedful insight of your thought, and affection: for longer then you steadfastly thinke vpon him, your words in prayer please him not, and vnlesse your desire be very earnest, he will not re­gard your petition. Therefore enforce your mind to thinke very intendingly vpō God, and labour to haue an hungry and thirstie desire of that which you pray for. You see that I haue often set downe the word, A­men; yea, and sometime doubled it: My rea­son is, because I would be very earnest, and effectually feruent in my desire. Our Saui­our sheweth vs, how earnest and importu­nate we should be in praying vnto God: I pray you consider his words,

Luk. 11.5.—Which of you hauing a friend, and shall go vnto him at midnight, and say vnto him, Friend, lend me three loaues:

[Page 136]


For a friend of mine in his iourney is come vnto me, & I haue nothing to set before him.

7. And he from within shall answer, and say, Trouble mee not, the doore is now shut, and my children are with me in in bed: I cannot rise and giue thee.

8. I say vnto you, though he will not rise, and giue him, because he is his friend; yet be­cause of his importunitie hee will rise, and giue him so many loaues as he needeth.

Our Lords meaning is, that as many a man in his necessitie will haue no deniall, but is so importunatly earnest, that the par­tie to whom he maketh suit, hath no other way to be quiet, but onely by granting his request; so ought we to behaue our selues in prayer to God, most vehemently crying vnto him for mercie, and euer and anone praying againe and againe, as Christ him­selfe did in the garden, not ceasing vntil he doe, as certainly he wil, shew himselfe very mercifull vnto vs.

If we ought to pray so earnestly, and so often, wo is my heart for many a poor soule, that seldome or neuer prayeth, but when he is laid downe in his bed: and then saith his Paternoster and Creed, between sleeping & waking; making none other reckoning but [Page 137] this, that the very bare saying of those things, serues the turne. Surely it is Pope­ry that hath brought the world to this senceles state, by teaching folke to pray in an vnknowne tongue, and to say praiers by set number and tale, as folke buy and sell apples and peares.

When I was a child, I now and then lay with some elder body, who beeing in bed, would beginne to say the Lords prayer, & by and by slumber, then awake and begin againe, and presently fall asleepe againe. If this be true, as I take the Lord God to wit­nes that very true it is, what doth it shew? Surely this, that the common sort of people runne snuggling all day after their worldly busines, and then at night kennell vp them­selues like so many bruit beasts, little or ne­uer a whit minding that which they should principally intend, their conuersion from sinne, and their reasonable vnderstanding, seruing of God, in all that they thinke, say, or doe.

Whosoeuer is in this slumbring state, I beseech you that for Gods sake, you will a­waken your soule, and doe as the Lord Ie­sus willeth you: Matth. 6.33. Seeke ye first the kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and [Page 138] then all other necessaries shall bee added vnto you.

The things of this world, are like vnto the vantage which many times is giuen in­to a bargaine. Therfore let your cheife care be, to make sure your saluation, and then your good heauenly Father will not suffer you to lack any thing that is good for you. O I pray you beleeue it, and build vpon it; for he hath giuen his word and promise: Heare him what he saith, Heb. 13.5.—I will not leaue thee, nor forsake thee.

Accustome your selues, as I said before, to pray often and earnestly vnto God, and by the grace of Iesus Christ, you shall finde that he will most graciously and kindly ac­quaint himselfe with your soule. O then, you will remember these my words; & say, Now Gods blessing light vpon that same poor minister, which gaue me this counsel: I would not that I had missed it for all that this whole world is worth: yea, you will most heartily praise the Lord God, that it pleased him, by so simple a man as I am, to set you into the way of vnutterable blessed­nesse.

By no meanes suffer your priuate praiers to be heard of others: for then it is a hun­dred [Page 139] to one, that the deuill, and the priuie pride of your owne heart, will marre all, and make your deuotions loathsome in the sight of God. If you be an house-keeper, and haue a wife, or any child, or seruant, vse to pray together with them daily, vnles you meane to make them heathen people, such as haue none acquaintance with God. This matter is so far out of request, that many will laugh them to scorne which pray with their houshold: whereby a man of any vn­derstanding, may consider into what a wretched state the world is come.

Now Christian soule whosoeuer you are, the grace & mercy of God be with you for euer. Thus much I am exceedingly desirous to haue printed before I die. If God vouch­safe to giue any increase of life and grace, you may be sure, that I will doe what I can to acquaint you with it. The will of God be done, and blessed bee his Name for euer­more. Amen.


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