¶ A treatice cō teining certain me­ditatiōs of trew & perfect consolatiō, declared in two tables, ye first, is the cō sideratiō of ye eueles, whiche happē to vs, ye second of the good which we receiue, set forth for ye consolatiō & cō fort of all those yt are ladē & do labour to be eased.

Wrytten in the Frenche tung, and translated in to Englishe by Ro­bert Filles.

TO THE RIGHT [...]norable & my singuler good [...]de, the Lorde Roberte [...]ley, Mayster of the Queenes [...]sties Horse, Knight of the moste no­ [...]dre of the Garter, and one of the [...]nes Maiesties priuy Councel, Ro­bert Filles wisheth increace of Ho­noure longe to indute.

IN reading ouer dy­uers bookes in the time of the late per­secution, ther came one litle treatise too my handes wrytten in the Frenche tunge wherein (a­boue the rest) I toke moste plesure and found cheefest comfort in that miserable time, and being not ful­ly satisfied with the often readyng thereof: I took in hand for to trans­late it into the Englishe tunge, for mine own vse only, thinking ther­by to imprint it the more liuely in [Page] my minde, beig not determined to haue published it abrode vntill a certaine freend by chaunce found it among other of my bookes, wyl­led mee, and as it were vrged mee not to keep backe so excellent a tresure from the people of God. At last (being overcome) I condescen­ [...]ed to set it forth in print, deuising with my selfe to choose a patrone whose honorable name & renoume might be an occasion somewhat to stop the mouthe of the sicophant & priuy biter, I could not deuise one more meeter, and to whome this wurk more aptlier dooth agree nor whose estate is more liuelyer pai­ted for the: then is in this litle vo­lume, wherfore taking courage of your accustomable beneuolent kindenes towards me, I haue per fourmed my deuice, desiring your honour to accept my meaning and to be are with my rudenes.

[Page] [...]he apostle. In the 15. to the Ro­ [...]nes, declaring the cheefe con­ [...]ionRo. 15. of a christian, saith. My br [...]n. What so euer thinges are [...]ten aforetime are written for learning, that by pacience and [...]solatiō in ye scripture we might [...]ne hope. In whiche woordes he [...]clareth, that wee ought to seeke [...]r comfortes In the holy scriptu­ [...]s. But we must take heed, for ye [...]riptures doo oft vse a double fy­ [...]re or maner of speaking, shew­ [...]g vnto me as it were a double [...]irrour to look in, of thīgꝭ tēpered [...] mīgled to gether (that is to say) [...]f good and euell, as the wise man [...]ith, in the day of euel: remember [...]he good, and in the prosperous dai­ [...]s remember aduersity. The holy [...]host knowing the affection of mā [...] be without measure, and to esty­ [...]ate things according to his own [...]pinion, assaieth with all possible [Page] meanes too withdrawe man from his vaine estimation and affeccion of erthly thingꝭ so that the affecti­on beeing taken away, all things wilbe indifferent. But suche an al­teration and chan̄ge can not come but by the wurd ōf God, and of good right we ought too seek no other cō solation or rule to guide vs but the scripture, whiche in the daye of ad­uersity bringeth vs to consider the prosperitye whiche eyther is pre­sent or to come, and likewise in the day of prosperity doth call vs back to cōsider aduersity. Also the spirit of God speaking it by the mouthe of wise Salomon, geueth vs too vnderstand that the ioy of man is cō ­passed with sorow, and also sadnes, sorow and displeasure, be alwaies ioyned and linked together wyth some mirth & plesure, that hard­ly can man declare ye end of one or the beginning of the other, in such [Page] meruelous wise is anger, sorow & [...]es, aptly ioyned and linked wt [...] bewtiful colour of ioy and ple­ [...], and not only linked or ioined: [...] rather mingled or confoūded [...] one into the other, so that it is [...]possible to finde in this mortall [...]e, any litle spark of the one: but is mengled with the other, the [...]ery Hethen knowe this. For a [...]reeke Poet said that the pleasure [...]f this world was not the true ple­ [...]re: but was sorow clothed in plesures garmentꝭ, and sheweth in [...]is maner. He said that when the [...]essel yt Pandora brought on earth was opened, whereby all the mis­cheefes and humaine misery wēt forth & then plesure went forth al­so, & going a brode in the world: he began by all meanes to draw men [...]nto him, who began to folow him in suche sorte that none went any more into heauen. Wherfore Jupiter [Page] thought to take pleasure frō the earth and to bring him againe into heauen, and therupon sent the nine Muses for hī, whoo with their melody drew him againe into heauen causing hī yet before, to leaue his apparel behinde him on earth, because into heauen entreth no corrupt deckinges. Sorow in this meane time wandring abrode in the world, found this apparel, and thinking that yf hee clothed hym self therin, he should not so be cha­ced and driuen from euery man, & not being knowen: he put it on his back, & so euer after he hath gone about the world clothed in pleasu­res apparel, deceiuing men conti­nually. Meaning by this yt all thinges yt men take for pleasure bring them sorowe, and the pleasurꝭ of this worlde, too be none other but sorowes clothed and couered with a very small delite, whereby men [Page] [...] desceaued eudeuour them [...] to seeke them and finde in ye [...]ore sorow then delite. And [...]s the holy Ghoste sayth, that [...] accompanied with sorow, he [...]eth according to our rude vn­ [...]nding. The eye of our mindꝭ [...]e soone be daseled with the be­ [...]ng of some sudaine ioy, yet in [...]tinent it shall perceiue that his [...]ine ioy is accompanied with [...]we, euen as is the shadow folo [...]g the body, and how contrarye [...]er these thinges seeme to bee, [...] neuertheles they be euer knyt [...]ether, but this can not be per­ [...]ued but wt a christian eye, lighte [...]d by faith and whiche is excersi­ [...]d to contemplate this deuine sun [...]ning in the holy scriptures, the [...]ly ghoste teacheth vs this coniūc [...] in a number of places in the [...]ripture, but if this coniūccion be [...]eruelous, let vs not muse at it, [Page] For the woorker is meruelous. For if in one personne he knew how to ioine the diuinitye and humanity: wherfore can he not aswel ioine in vs, sorowe and ioy, heuines & gladnes, sweetnes and bitternes? Hath he not by a supernatural coupling vnited, death and life, hell and hea­uen, and in generall all other thin­ges, whiche be directly contrary after our iudgementes? This is the incomprehensible deuine wisdome of God, whiche maketh vnequall thinges equall, in suche maner as our dull vnderstanding can neuer comprehende suche a meruelous discord, according. The holy Ghost is the onely scoolemaister to teache [...]s this lesson in the holy scripturꝭ.

The kingly Prophet Dauid, de­clareth these thinges notably, say­ing. Alas Lord, how great are the tribulations which thou hast thewed mee? and beeing conuerted hast [Page] [...]ened me, and also saith. Thou [...] taken mee out of the depth [...] earth. Consider these words [...]e emport on the one side ex­ [...] dispaire and fearful trouble: [...]n the other side singuler mer [...]d consolation. And what shall [...]eak of King Czechias? whiche [...]er hee was ouerwhelmed with [...]nesse and death, looking for de­ [...] vengeaunce) crying out vntoo [...], and said, Alas Lorde answer [...]me. And sudēly cried what shal [...]y to him? or what answere shal [...] made for me? It is he that hath [...]ought this euel vpon me. Thꝰ be [...]g opressed with sorow and greef [...]nfessed that no man coulde deli­ [...]r him, and said. I will yet haue [...]y recourse vnto God, and in thus [...]ying: he declareth a certain firm [...]d sure trust and hope, yet suden­ [...] he saith. Alas, Lord answere for [...]e, and againe as one being cast of [Page] & discomfiited coplaineth moorningly, I know wel yt none other but he cā deliuer me, but what thē? it is he him self yt pursueth me, he hath pronoūced my death, what shall I say vnto him to cause him too reuoke the sentence? what shall he say vn­to me? He is my counterparty, and my iudge. Heere we may se these two passions, directly contrary in one soule. Now considering these two contrary operations within a man and the tormoiling between hope and dispaire, whiche bē so out ragious, sudaine and vnmesarable so that there is no man, but it ma­keth him amased when he cometh to consider it as it is. Saint Paule to the Romains, after that he had inclosed all vnder sin and dampnation, as one being rauyshed beside or aboue him self, cried out, saying

O prōfound greatnes of the wis­dome, riches & knowledge of God. [Page] [...]ow incōprehensible are his iudgementsRo. 11▪ and his waies past finding [...]ut? And so concludeth, that all [...]hinges be of God, by God and in God. It appereth that S. Paul felt [...]underful thinges in himself. For [...]udenly from the depth of Hel, and [...]he knowledge of sin, he erecteth [...]im self vp aboue the heauens, and [...]andreth, in his spirit contempla­ [...]ing the high and meruelous diui­ [...]itye of God after an vnspeakable maner. Now heere may we learne [...]ot too be careful for our selues or to haue respect to our owne misery [...]or infermitye, but aske of God our good father and he wil not faile vs but with speede wil exalt vs into ye moste blessed and happye fruition of his deuinity. But we cannot rightlye desire the mercy and good­nes of God, except we hate oure own sinful wicked life: and we can [Page] not hate our sinne and wickednes: except we haue ye true knowledge & feeling thereof. And wee cannot know it nor feel it: with out his contrary, whiche is the great mercy and infinite goodnes of God. But so long as our soule doth dwel and abide captiue & deteined we in this miserable body of finne as a wan­derer in the desert or as a pilgrim or wayfaring man: there shalbe al­waise relikes of sin remayning wt ­in vs. The spirituall Philistines & amalechites doo warre continually against vs vntil we come to ye land of promission during whiche tyme: it wil be needefull for vs to knowe our owne misery and euils, alway­es aspiring too the mercy and goodnesse of God. And by this meanes this contradiction aforesaid shalbe to vs both more tollerable & easy to be borne, whiche as we haue said ceasseth not too striue in a christian [Page] [...]. And that man whiche fee­ [...]t this within him self is but [...] souldioure, and rather a [...]n, in name: then in conuer­ [...] and good life. O Lord God [...]uely is this contradiction a­ [...]id proued and founde heare [...]g vs in this common welth of [...]and? For in what quietnes & [...]quillity haue we liued sence th [...] [...] of our moste noble Queene? [...] what security haue we lulled [...]elues a sleep, and looking as it [...] for Mountaines of golde? for [...]ing God and his woorde, or at [...] making no great account of [...]n, and all sudenlye, in the mid­ [...] of our secure life: wee are stri­ [...] with Hunger, Pestilence, and [...]oord. The like plagues for sin [...] often to bee seen in the scriptu­ [...]. For in the time of king Dauid [...]ong the Jewes common welth [...]n they had ouercome their enemies [Page] brought home ye arke of God and were become welthy & ri [...]che then they grew into securitye, and all sudenly the Plague of God fell vpon them, and there dyed in Isra­el seuenty thousand men, and God would haue destroied all Jerusalē likewise, had he not in the middest of his fury remembred mercy. I pray you, what hathe welth and se­curitye brought vs vnto heere in Englond? Hath it not brought cō ­tempt of the Ministers and woorde of God? Nay hath it not brought contempt and disobedience both of the Magistrate and the lawes?

Where euer was there so much▪ crying out against sinne? so many exhortacions? so many good bookes set forth? and all for the suppression of wickednes & sinne: but neuer the better but rather the worse. Altogether (afew exceptid), from the hi­est to the lowest, haue as it were [Page] [...]ent them selues and determined [...]o bring to pouertye and in to con­ [...]empt the Ministers of the woord of God. What meanes is daily inuē ­ [...]ed to catch & rake from thē, by im [...]ropriations, leasses, first frutes and tenthes with many other simo [...]icall meanes, to impoueryshe them and discourage other whiche would enter therintto? But those that laboure and bee so diligent too dispute and reason their cace (pretē [...]ing to bring the ministery too the same rule and estate that Christe & his Apostles were) wil in the ende say as the Jewes said of Christe & his Apostles, away with these fe­lowes they are not wurthy to liue among vs, shal these beggerly raskalles teache vs our duetye? this wilbe the end of your pretence. O Lorde in what reuerence had the Jewes their Ministers? How were they prouided for? Likewise in the [Page] primitiue Christian churche how were they adourned with reuerēce and liuinges as is yet too be seene? yea the very Heathen and Infidel­les had their ministers in estima­tion and prouided for thē, and shal we now that proffes so much chris­tianity seek by all meanes to ouer throwe and bring to nothing our ministers? the Minister being con­temned: his preaching shalbe little estemed. This is the way to ouer­throw the wurd of God, and bring vs too brutalitie, for where prea­ching ceasseth the people perishe, as saith Salomō. But some wil obiect and say, that riches corrupteth the Ministers and hindreth their vocation and that they become co­uetous and more careful then any other, and that a poore estate is best for them. I answere that my mea­ning is not to enriche any greedy [Page] or couetous Minister, but wishe [...]hat when any suche springeth vp [...]n welthe whereby his vocation is neglected: that some good ordinaun [...]is were prouided in that behalfe for to suppresse and keep backe the greedy desire of suche. And my de­sire is that those Parishes where reasonable liuinges and stipendꝭ were appointed by good men, in time past for a Minister: might be reduced and brought againe to the right vse, & that Minister or Pas­tor, whiche would not continew and be resident amonge his flock: should be depriued and haue no ly­uing there. Hospitality is incident to preching, & the Pastor must as­wel feed their belies as their soulꝭ, or els hee shall doo but litle good a­mong a number. But suche as in­tende to bring the Ministery to slauery, by thrusting themselues in­to their liuinges: I trust our mer­ciful [Page] and louing God, wil preuent them and cut them of, from their wicked purposes and take mercy of his people. But now me thinke I heare the enemies of true religion the Papistes say, these plagues are come vpon vs for your new lerning. I answere, in the time of Papistry, yea when popery was most hiest had ye no plagnes? Read Po­lichronicon and ye shall finde that these be but trifels, in respecte of those pestilencis, yea some that felt within this lx. yeere. And I pray you had ye no War in those daies? Read sence Cxx. yeers and see what slaughter, what ciuil dis­cordes with hunger and penurye happened, [...]ea when ye sang masse moste hyest and when your holy Fathers pardones were moste holiest, that men buried them with thē in their graues, but what shall I say now to the City of London? [Page] The plague hath long beene there among them, I beleeue verely and dare affirme, that God is as dilygently serued, and his wurd as sincerely preached and obeyed as euer was in this realme, (of a good numbre there) But as the holy Ghoste saieth. Judgement beginneth at the house of GOD. God dooth vse moste commonly to beginne with his owne house, but after that he scoureth his enmies, and as our sauioure Christe saied, by those vpon whome the towre of Silo fel. Suppose ye (saith he) that those were greater sinners then the other? I say nay, but except ye repent ye shall like wise perishe. So may I say. Suppose ye that Lō don hath more greuously offended then other Townes and Cyties in England? I say nay, but except ye repe [...]t and that with speed, ye shal not escape Gods heauy hand, hys [Page] swoord hangeth euen ouer your heddes ready to strike, therefore lette vs wt Dauid preuent Gods wrath wt harty prayer & euery man enter into his owne conscience and say. It is I (Lord) that haue caused thy heauy wrath and displeasure. And leaue our olde Adamishe excuses and vaine shiftꝭ. Let vs call back againe, oure selues to true fasting and praier with harty repētance, but I feare mee popishe fasting hat almoste ouerthrown the true fast, and supersticious latten pray­ing hath blemished the right vse of praier, so that there remaineth but onely the names of fasting & pray­er (to a numbre) but the effect is vn­known. God bring it againe to the right vse, and geue vs hartes dili­gently to learne, and faithfully to practise it, so that we may turne to the Lorde with all our hartes, that hee may haue mercy vpon vs and [Page] turne away those greuoꝰ plagues that wee haue (thorow our secure and disobedient life) moste iustely prouoked to fall vpon vs. Heer [...] haue I according to my small ha­bility and knowledge declared the minde of Thauthour, & rendred ye very wurdꝭ of his text in as plain english as I could expresse, suche homely stuffe as it is, I beseeche your honour and all other yt fear [...] God to accept it. And if ought be a­misse eyther thorow my negligēc [...] or the printars rechelesnes to bear with vs, or at the least to let vs vn­derstand it, that if it bee possible it may be amended, & I shall hartely pray for your honourꝭ prosperoꝰ estate long to continew that as ye haue Godly begonne not onely to professe and folow: but also to de­fende and maintaine the true pro­fessors and folowers of Christes religion, so ye may cōtinew to the [Page] ende. Amen.

Now least by my not sufficient extolling and declaring your no­ble and excellent vertues (whiche God hath endued you wt) I should rather seeme to darken or shadow them, then condignly to set them forth: I leaue to the Godly reader to call to minde and consider in them selues, more then I can ex­presse in wurdes, desiring GOD that as he hathe hether to fortified you with singuler giftes of his ho­ly spirite: yt hee wil likewise arme you with the inuincible constancy vnto the end. For I am not igno­rant how God hath tried and excercised you wt many hard and sharp batt [...]iles of afflictions the whiche your honour I know wel dooth not forget, but rather looketh for toa­bide a more sharper assault then a­ny that is past, if God lay it vpon you. Now hauing learned by long [Page] [...]perience how necessary it is that [...]od stretche forth his hand to help [...]s, it shalbe moste needfull to call [...]pon him to graunt vs the gift of [...]er seueraunce and constancy, and [...]or my part, I wil call vpon the [...]orde Jesus our King, to whome GOD the Father hath geuen all [...]owre in heauen and earth, and in [...]hose hand hath put all the spiri­ [...]uall treasures. That it may please [...]im to preserue and maintain you, long time among vs to the ad­uauncement of his kingdome and continew your honour in hauing the victory and triumphing ouer Sa­than and his band to his glory.


¶ A table of the Chapiters of the first part of this booke.

  • The first Chapiter of the first con­sideration whiche is the inwarde euel. Fo. 1.
  • The second Chapiter of the secōd consideration whiche is the euell to come or before vs. Fo. 4.
  • The third Chapiter or third consi­deration whiche is the euel passed or behinde vs. fo. 8.
  • The fourth of the fourth consideration whiche is the euel or mise­ry vnder vs. fo. 11.
  • The fift Chapiter of the fift consideration whiche is the euel or misery on our left hand. fo. 14.
  • The sixt Chapiter of the sixt consideration of the euell or misery on the right hand. fo. 18.
  • The seuenth Chapiter of the se­uenth consideration, whiche is the euel or misery aboue vs. fo. 23.

The table of ye second part.

  • The first Chapiter of the first cō [...]eration whiche is the good with [...] vs. fo. 27.
  • The second Chapiter of the se­ [...]ond consideration, the whiche is [...]he good to come or before vs. fo. 33.
  • The third Chapiter of the third [...]onsideration whiche is the good [...]assed or after vs. fo. 38.
  • The fourth Chapiter of ye fourth consideration of the good vnder vs. folio. 42.
  • The fift Chapiter of the fift con [...]ideration of the good on the left [...]and. fo. 46.
  • The sixt Chapiter of the sixt considerations of the good on the right hand. fo. 50.
  • The seuenth Chapiter of the se­uenth cōsideration of ye good which is aboue vs. fo. 54.

To the king of worldes im­mortall invisible, to God one­ly be honour and glory e­ternally. Amen.

¶ The .i. Chapiter of the first considerat on whiche is the inwatd euil

IT is a thing certains and moste true, (whe­ther man geueth cre­dit therto or not) that there cannot bee in a man a greter torment or vnquietnes more miserable then the euilles with in himselfe, whiche be so many & so great, aboue that he dooth either feel or perceiue. For if he did taste or feel them: he should feel Hel. For in a certaine maner, a man hath Hel within himselfe. The ques­tion is, how or by what meanes, the Prophet saith all men are liars? and again. The liuing man is but vanity. Now to bee a liar and vaine: is to be void of the trueth, and of the perfyt substaūce. And to be without trueth and perfection: is to be without God and to be lost. And what is that but to bee in Hel and dampned? And for [Page] this cause God doothe chastise vs be­nignly and meekly, discouering vn­to vs the least euils, and chargeth vs but with the lightest, knowing that if he brought a man to the full knowe­ledge of his sinne and euil: he should perishe in a moment, and to sum he permitteth and geueth to feele it. Of whom it is said. He leadeth to hel, and bringeth out again. Wherfore these whiche call corporall tribulation a certain aduertisement of the inward euil, say well. And the apostle to the Hebrues calleth them Fatherly cor­rections of God, seeing he chastiseth all the children that he receineth and doothe this to thend, yt by his louing corrections of light euils: he putteth back the great and he [...]y euilles that we neuer feel them, as it is said. Fo­ly sticketh in the hart of the Childe, but the rod of correction driueth it a­way. The Parentꝭ truely louing their Children be more greued with them if they be theeues or of a wic­ked [Page 2] life: then if they were woun­ [...]ed or hurt in body. Yea they doo ra­ [...]her beat them and punishe them thē [...]elues, that they should not become [...]icked. What letteth thē yt the depth of euel & misery is not felt? That is [...]s I haue said, by ye dispositiō of God. That man should not fall, in seeing [...]nd feeling his secret euels. For God shadoweth them, willing that [...]hey should be looked vpon by Faith, when he openeth them by sum senci­ [...]le euil, and therefore in the day of [...]uils or tribulation, be mindeful of the prosperouse or good daies. And [...]emēber what a benifite it is, not to [...]eele all the euilles and sinnes. Bee mindful of this benefite: and th [...]n shalt be lesse tormented, with the present sensible euil. Also ye contrary. In the day of prosperity: remember the affliction and miserye, that is to say.

When thou feelest in thee ye waight of euilles and sin: reknowledge the good that is doone to thee, and be think [Page] thee of the depth and weight of th [...] euels, and then thou shalt raste lesse of the sencible euil. It appereth then yt ther is daily more insencibility of euil in man in this life, then feeling of sorow, not that the hole heape of euilles is not daily present: but that ye opinion & affection of them is not dai­ly or continually, and this is by the bountifulnes of God, whiche hideth the euilles. Now we see by this, how cruel they be against them selues, to whom it is geuen to contemplate the weight of their sin and euilles, and how little they doo esteeme all yt they may suffer in this life, yt they might not feele their own hell. So should it be to eche of vs if he felt or if he gaue firm credite to his inward euelles: he would gladly desire with a good wyll sū outward euils or greefe he should so vexe him selfe in them, and would neuer be so sad: as when he felt not sum outward euel, as we haue know en that holy men haue doone, and [Page 3] also as we rede of Dauid in his sixt. [...]salme.

And therefore the first comfort or [...]editatiō is to say to him self. O mā [...]hon feelist not yet thyne own euillꝭ and sin. Reioice therfore and geue thankꝭ to God that thou art not con­streigned to feel thy sin and euilles, & by this meanes a small euel shallbe made lite in comparison of a greater, & whereas some do say, I haue meri­ted muche more greuously to be pu­nished, yea euē hel, This is easly said but intollerable to feele, and how so­euer this euils be hiddē, neuertheles it bringeth forth perfect frute, these frutes be farre incertitude with a trē bling conscience by the whiche the faith is assaulted as, when a man knoweth not or douteth if God bee merciful to hī. This infirmity would be considered as it apperteineth with aspiritual eye, & would cause ye euil corporall to be more lighter & easier, if ye cōparisō be made as it is required [Page] Beside these thingꝭ: all the tragedy [...] of the Ecclesiastes appertaineth to the inward euilles. There it maketh mencion of vanities so often, and af­fliction of ye spirit. For how many coū celles doo wee take in hand, that bee made void and of none effect? Of how many desires be wee void of and abused? How many thingꝭ se we? how many thingꝭ here we that we would not, and the thingꝭ that onely happē after our owne desire, happen as it were against our desire, though it so come that they be desirable or profitable to vs? Moreouer the hier that any is lifted vp in his degre: so much more be all thingꝭ greater, yea so muche the more is such a one necessarily tossed with muche more greate and greater tempestꝭ, waues and stormes then other whiche trauaile in the same thing, so that the Psalmist saith very wel in ye. 103. Psalm. Ther are thingꝭ creeping bothe small and greate, beastes without numbre, in [Page 4] this sea of the world, that is to say, be infinite meanes of temptation. And Job also in the. 7. Chapiter cal­leth the life of man a temptatiō. Now these thingꝭ be not presently felt to be euell: but because that the long v­sage and the continuaunce hath cau­sed that we make no counte of them, and the thingꝭ whiche happen verye seldome dooth more stur vs vp, so that this is trew, that we do scantly feele the thousand part of our owne euel­les. And finally that the euilles bee mesured, felt, and not felt, not after the measure of the fact, but by opini­on and affection.

¶ The second Chapiter of the se­cond consideration whiche is ye euil to come or before vs.

THe present euel what so e­uer it bee, emporteth and helpeth muche if we adres our eies toward the thingꝭ to come, the whiche bee in [Page] suche maner so great, and of so great number that of this onely euill com­meth this great and one of the principallest affections, whiche is called feare, and after the diffinition of sū whiche say, that feare is an infection of the euil to come, as also ye Apostle saith. 11. Chapiter to the Romaines. lift not thy self vp by pride, but feare. This euil is somuche the greater: as webe, lesse certaine what, and how muche it shalbe. So that this pro­uer be, whiche is commonly vsed in some places may be heere spoken, yt there is no age past scabbꝭ, the which is not wtstanding a desease of young boies, yea litle Children, so that ther is no man (what so euer hee be) that can be assured to be exempt from the euilles of others, what soeuer they be. But all that one suffreth: an o­ther may suffer ye same also. To this apperteineth all the histories and tragedies of all worldes and all the complaintꝭ of this worlde. And to this [Page 5] appertaineth also that some doo ob­ [...]rue more then. 3. C. names of mala [...]es, by the whiche the humain body [...]ay be tormented. Now if there be [...] many maladies, how many thinke [...]e that there bee of other infortune [...]f goodes, freendes, and finally of the [...]pirit onely, whiche is the principall, [...]nd subiect to all euelles, and the one­ [...]y retract of sorow and misery? Now [...]he force and feeling of these euilles [...]roweth so muche the more: as the [...]ate is honorable which engendreth [...]t all houres, to feare pouerty, sick­nes, ignomini and all other aduersi­ties, whiche may come sudainlye in an houre, as all thingꝭ hange, as it were by a thred, like as it were the knife of Denis the tiraunt whiche he hung ouer the hed of his hoste. And what soeuer happeneth not of these thingꝭ, may be esteemed as cleerly gotten and a great comforte to the euill whiche is present. So that wee ought to say with Jeremy. This com [Page] meth by the great mercye of God, that we be not vtterly cōsumed. For whiche soeuer of these, is not come vpon vs: is for that the hand of the Lorde, hathe kept it from vs, the whiche enuironeth vs on euery side, and defēdeth vs so strongly, that Sa­than and his euilles complaine, that they be so letted and preuented as it is shewed in Job, wherby we se how muche we are bound to loue ye Lorde as often as none of these come vpon vs, and also for that the celestiall Father is so wel affectioned toward vs admonishing vs, by this onely presēt euel: to consider how many euels be neer adioyning to vs, whiche might take vs if he did not let them, as if he should say to vs. Sathan with his confusion of euelles dooth serche thee, desiring to fanne thee, but I haue blind folde the sea, and haue said to it. Thy roring waues, shall not passe nor o­uerflowe but hetherto, and shall be broken and consumed, as it is said in [Page 6] Job the. 38. Chap. But when none [...]f these thingꝭ come to vs, as when [...]od willeth so to be, yet at ye least he [...] at is called the greatest of all terri [...]e thingꝭ (that is death) faileth not [...] come, and no thing more incer­ [...]aine, then the houre of death. And [...]ruly this euel is so great: that we se [...]any men, that had rather liue with [...]ll these aforesaid euilles and misery [...]s, then ones to dy & end all this misery. And the scripture also bringeth [...]s to this onely (yt is feare) saying.

Be mindeful of the end, & thou shalt [...]ot sin. Let vs wel remember our selues how many Meditations haue bene made, how many meanes hath bene inuented, how many bookꝭ com­posed, how many remedyes serched for to returne man from his sinne to rendre the worlde contemptible, to moderate the passions and euelles & to comfort the afflicted, neuerthelesse of necessity death once must come. Theris no man, whiche desireth not [Page] rather to suffer (if it might bee) all these euils & mo sorowes & miseryes, to auoid death. The saintes feared death. Jesus Christe him selfe, had it in suche horror that his soule was heauy, yea so heauy that droppes of bloud, dropped from his moste holy body, insomuche that our good and merciful God sheweth that there is no euill in the whiche is more neede to comfort the feble and weak then in this euil, as is to be seen heereaf­ter. As now all these thingꝭ, be com­mon too all men, as be also the beni­fites of helth, commen in the same euilles to them. Moreouer the chris­tians haue a new and needful cause to haue in horrour and too feare the euel to come, the whiche neuerthe­lesse dooth surmount all the euelles afore said, whiche is that saint Paul deseribeth in the. 10. Chapiter of the. 1. to the Corinthians, saying. He that standeth: let him take heed that hee fall not. The way is helding and [Page 7] the path slippery, our enemy is so puissaunt, yea armed with our owne proper force and strength, that is to say, with our own fleshe and with all oure wicked affections, garnished with a numbre of worldly armures, hauing the voluptnous delites and plesures on the righthand: and ma­ny wicked willes and desires on the left hand, beside wicked carnall con­cupiscence with the whiche he is garnished, and he hauing suche boldnes to noy, to deceiue, and destroy vs in a thousand sacions and waies. We liue so that we be not assured of our good purposes nor ententes, not the minute of an houre. Saint Ciprian reciteth many like thinges in his booke of mortality, and she with that we must think vpon death, as that that commeth sudenly to dispatche these euelles. Now this commeth customably to those that consider dili­gently in their mindes, these infinit daungers of hell, hauing their har­tes [Page] firm & constant. We se that of­ten times, they desire to be losed out of this prison of the body, despising life and death, that is to say, all these aforesaid euilles, to the ende to bee deliuered from this burden of sinne, in the whiche they be in, as wee haue said in the first speculation, and in­to whiche they may fall into, where of wee wil heerafter speake. And so these two reasons be moste true, not onely to desire the death: but also to dispise all the euils, and more strōg­ly to beare easely one only euel. If the Lord doth so graciously moue a­ny man: as it is verely a gift of God to be moued with these thinges, for he that is a right Christian, dooth not onely desire to be sick: but also to dy, seeing him self, and feeling to be in sinne, when he is in helth, and also seeing him self at euery houre ready too fall into greater and a greater number of euilles and sinnes, and to do without ceassing thingꝭ contrary [Page 8] to the wil of his celestiall Father, [...]hiche is so louing. Saint Paul bee▪ [...]g moued, with suche a burning de­ [...]re, after he had complained, that he [...]ould not finishe the good that hee [...]ould doo, but to doo the euil he would [...]ot: maketh an exclamation, saying. [...] miserable that I am, who shall de [...]iuer me from this body of death? Thankes and praise to God by Je­sus Christe, he that preferreth this euel of sinne and miserable life, be­fore the euell of death: loueth not greatly God his father, seeing that God hath ordeined the death to this end, to make vs an end of this euill and misery of sinne, and that death should be a minister of life and right­ [...]eousnesse as shall be seen heerafter.

¶ The third Chapiter or third con­sideration whiche is the euel passed▪ or behinde vs.

IN this euell shineth mōste excellently, and aboue the others, the great bounti­fulnes [Page] & mercy of God our father, mighty to comfort vs in all our an­guithes and sorowes. For there is not one of vs all, that shall feele the hand of God more presently vpon him: then when he calleth to memo­ry the yeeres of his life past. Saint Augustine saith, if the choice were geuen to a man, to dy or to returne againe, to his first life, he would ra­ther choose the death, seeing so many euilles and so great daungers, that he hath passed, and with how great difficulty, and pain. The whiche sen­tence is true if it be well considered. For as we may se heere, how often times that man without his own endeuour, without any care, yea with out and against his own desire, hath doone and suffred many thinges of whiche if he had taken councell be­fore they were done, or that he did take councel, that after the wurk be­ing finished, he was constrained and abasshed in him selfe, and to say. Too [Page 9] what purpose are these thinges hap­pened to me? or how are they come to passe, contrary to my entent and thought? or that I haue purposed far other wise. So that this prouerbe is true. Man purposeth and God dis­poseth. That is to say, he dooth it o­therwise, and clean contrary to that mā hath purposed. So that if we had but onely this to beholde: we can not deny but our operations, oure life and our actes to be gouerned by the counsaile and bountifull puissaunce of God, & not by our owne prudence. Heer wee may see how often times God hath bene wt vs, when we saw him not, nor felt him, and how veri­table it is that Saīt Peter hath said. That the mercifull God hath care for vs all. Wherefore if wee had no­ther bookes nor preaching, yet our owne liues caried and led thorow so many euelles and daungers: would shew vs sufficiently the deuine bountifulnes of God is very neer vs, as [Page] though he had borne and kept vs, in his bosome without our deliberation and without any feeling of vs in any thingꝭ, as saith Moises in Deutero­nominū. 32 Chap. The Lord hath maī teined and defended him, as the ap­ple of an eye. Hee hath led him ouer all, and borne him vpon his shoul­ders. And frō thence commeth these exhortations whiche be conteined in the Psalmes. I haue remembred the daies past. I haue meditatid all thy woorkes, and I haue thought vpon the woorkes of thy handes. I doo re­membre all the meruailes whiche haue beene from the beginning. I haue bene mindefull of thy iudge­mentꝭ and haue bene comforted.

Now these thingꝭ and all other like tend to this end, that we may know this, that God hathe bene euen then present with vs, when we thought not of him, and specially when it se­med he was absent from vs, for hee [Page 10] that hathe receiued vs into his pro­tection without vs, yea in so many necessities, yea in small thingꝭ, and yet while it seemed that he had forsaken and left vs, neuertheles he hath not throwen vs of, as it is said in Esay. I haue forsaken thee for a litle time, but I will gather thee againe in my great mercy. And let vs ioyn this to it. Who is it that hath had care for vs, in so many nightes while wee haue slept? Who hath cared for vs so oftē and so many times, as we haue felt our selues greeued, when wee wandred about in our owne folies, and haue doone numbers of thinges, in the whiche wee haue not had res­pect to our selues? or since what time haue we had care, or taking charge of our selues? When the auaritius man is in care and study, to gather great heapes of mony, hee dooth dili­gently and earnestly study and care to seek and heap vp together. Also seeing, how all our care, wil wee or [Page] nil we, retorneth to God onely, and that we be scarsly at any time left to our owne councelles. And yet God dooth this onely to instruct vs and to learne vs to reknowledge his great bountifulnes, and that sometime we may vnderstand how great diffe­rence there is betweene his care and oures. By this meanes it happeneth that sumtime he permitteth that we be assailed with some light euil, making as though he cared not for vs, but truely there is neither day night nor houre, but he careth for vs, not withstanding yet he letteth and stoppeth, that all the euelles whiche bee neere vs, come not all at once, to tempt vs and proue vs as his deere and welbeloued Children, to learne vs to commit all our care to him, and to call to remembraunce, our life past, and considre how muche our care and study is vnprofitable and impuissaunt. What doo we profit, or what may we profit our selues in all [Page 11] [...]ur life? Beholde we can not heale a [...]ittle hurt on our legge or finger, no [...]ot in a good space.

Wherefore doo wee torment our sel­ [...]es then, in such great anxiety and [...]orow at the pricke of one euell or [...]aunger? And wherefore doo wee not [...]ommit to our good God, the care of [...]s, seeing hee hath chastesed vs by [...]o many miseryes and euilles, and [...]ath preserued vs without our dily­gence, yea and also our life? We can wel witnes the same, to knowe these thinges, is to knowe the woorkes of God, & to meditate therin is to be cō [...]orted, but those that bee ignoraunt [...]n those thinges: fall into this incon­ [...]eniēce of whom it spoken in the. 27. Psalme, saying. Because they haue [...]ot vnderstand nor knowen the wurkes of God, nor the wurkes of his handes: thou shalt destroy them, and not build them vp. For those whiche doo not commit vnto God their care: [...]ea in smal pointes, be very vnkinde [Page] for all the care that God hath had, for them in all their life.

¶ The fourth. Chapiter. of the fourth consideration whiche is the euel or misery vnder vs.

HEtherto we haue seene no other thing in all the euil­les and miseries whiche we suffer: but the goodnes of God is so fauourable and so great, that among so many euelles with the whiche we be enui­roned in this worlde, and be wholy emprisoned in the same, yea they bee scarcely permitted to assail vs ve­ry seldome, so that what soeuer euel or misery it be, whiche dooth present­ly assail vs: yet neuertheles it is an aduertisement of a certaine great gain or great goodnes yt God wil ho­nour vs with all, when hee dooth not suffer that we be oppressed with [Page 12] the multitude of euels, in the whiche we be in. For what a benefite is it of God, that when one is tempted with a number of miseries and troubles, and yet is scant touched with one? Yea it is meruail, that he is not hurt of all, yea and a grace that he is not stricken and ouercome vtterly.

The first euel that is vnder vs is death, the secōd is hel. For if we consider the horrible death of others, by the whiche the wicked bee punished: we shall see easely what a gaine and benefite it is not to suffer that wee haue wel merited and deserued. For how many be there whiche be stran­gled on the gallowes? drowned in the water? or whiche haue their hed­des cut of, whiche parauenture haue cōmitted lesse offences then wee? So that the Sonne of God himself dooth propose and paint forth their death and ignominy, before our eyes, as in a glasse, in the whiche we may be­holde that wee haue iustly deserued. [Page] for he saith in the .13. of Saint Lake after that they had spoken to him of certaine Galileaus, whose blood Py­lat mengled with ye sacrifices. Think you (saith hee) that those Galileans were greater sinners then the other, because they suffred these thingꝭ? I say not so, but I say to you, that if ye repent not: ye shall all like wise pe­rishe. As also he spake of the .18. men vpon whome the toure of Silo fell, and slew thē. Think ye (saith he) that these same were more culpable then all the inhabiters of Iherusalem? I say not so, but if ye repent not I tell you, that ye shall all pearish. For let vs not think that lighter euelles and plagues be dew to vs, when we doo commit sinnes greater and more abhominable? or at the least the like sinnes. And the trueth of God shall not be vntrue, and his iustice shall not be vnrightwise because of vs, yt whiche hath disposed to rendre to euery one according to his wurks, if we doo not [Page 13] preuent our selues, or at the least it [...]e doo not endeuour our selues paci­ [...]ntly to suffer small and light euell and troubles. Yea how many thou­sandes be there in hel, and in eternal damnation, which parauenture had not the thousand part of our sinnes?

How many yung wenches, and yung boyes, and those whiche wee call innocentes? How many Munkꝭ Friers, Hermittes, Preestes, mari­ed folks, which seemed to serue God all their liues longe, and parauen­ture be damned, for lesse offences then we haue doone? Let vs not dis­semble heerein. There is but one iu­stice of God, for all offences and sin­nes. He hateth and condemneth egally sinne, in whome soeuer he findetk it. Doo we not see heere, the inestima­ble bountifulnes of God and great mercy, the whiche hath not damned vs, so greatly, so many, and so often times, as we haue deserued? I pray you what great thing is it, that wee [Page] may suffer in all our life, in respect of the eternall paine whiche they suffer and namely haue not deserued, but for lighter offences, & yet yt not withstanding, wee be free and preserued from so many euelles and miseries, the whiche God seemeth not to see? Now when we doo lightly passe ouer the benefites of God, or that wee doo not wurthely esteeme them: it is a villain ingratitude and an insencible hardnesse of hart, and incredulitie.

Moreouer heere must we bring in How many Infidelles? How many Jewes, Gentils, Painims, and how many of their infantes to whome if the thinges had bene geuen, that bee geuen to vs: they had not bene in hel but in heauen, and had lesse offended if it be lawful so to say? Jesus Christ himself setteth before our eyes this mirrour in Saint Mathew, saying. Wo be to thee Bethsaida, wo be to thee Corazim, for if yu bertnes, which haue bene doone in you, had bene [Page 14] doon in Tire and Sidon: they had re­pented long agone, in sacke and as­shes. Neuertheles I say to you, that in the day of iudgement it shalbe ca­ [...]ier for them then for you. Wo be [...]o thee, O Capernaum, whiche art [...]ifted vp to the heauē, but thou shalt be thrust down into hel, for if the vertues whiche haue bene doone in thee, had bene doone in Sodom: parauen­ture they had remained to this day.

Neuertheles I say to you, that they shalbe entreated, more easely in the day of iudgement then thou. We see then what thankes and louing prai­ses, we owe to our good God, in what soeuer misery or euel yt may come to vs in this life, for scarsely there com­meth not one droppe of the euilles that we haue meritid, the whiche Job, compareth to the sand of the sea.

¶ The fist Chapiter of the fift consideration whiche is the euell or misery on our left hand.

[Page] HEere let vs set before our eyes, the great numbre of the wicked aduersaries, and consider first in them how many euelles, miseries, and shreud turnes they would haue doone vnto vs, and yet haue not, neither to our bodies, goodes, renoum, nor our soules, the whiche they would haue doone but that the permission of God would not suffer them. And the greater that one hathe his estate spred forth, and set in hy degree: somuche the more is hee subiect to escarmis­shes, conspirations, deceiptes, de­tractions, and temptations of enne­mies, so that in all thinges we may know and perceiue, the present hand of God, and his fauourable kindnes toward vs. Is it then meruail, if we be then sumtime striken and scour­ged with one of these euelles? Also [Page 15] let vs consider theyr euell purpose and ententes, and lament and pitie them, for they bee commonly geuen [...]p, and subiect to all euelles, euen as [...]e be, as is to be seene heere before, not withstanding they be in this cace muche more miserable then we, that is to weete, without the society and brotherly felowship of the Churche, as well corporall as spirituall. And these euelles that we doo suffer, is no­thing in cōparison of that they be in. In sin, infidelity, vnder the wrath of God, vnder the powre of the deuil, bond slaues, accursed, ful of iniquity & sin, so that if all ye world should curse them, it could not be said, to be more execrable & horrible, whiche if we cō sider well all these thingꝭ as apper­teineth: we shall see by and by, how great is the benignitie of God, we sufferīg a certain little incommodity or euel of our bodies, beeing in faith in ye kingdome of Jesꝰ Christe, vnder ye moste blessed yoke of God, yt which [Page] incommodity we can not scacely perceiue, so great is the abundaunts of the true good thingꝭ. But the chri­stian and faithfull hart, ought to bee moued and greeued with the missery of others, esteeming their anguishes to be his own. For as Saint Paul, in the .2. to the Phillippians, commaundith vs to doo likewise saying. Let none of you looke vpon the thinges that bee his owne, but of others. Let ther be suche affection in you as was in Jesus Christe, whiche although he were in the forme of God: neuer­theles hath taken the shape of a ser­uaunt. &c. That is to say, with moste humble affection, hee hathe clothed him self, with our shape, none other wise behauing him self in our euels, then as they had been his owne pro­per, so forsaking and forgetting him self, and his glory, that he was for­med wholy to be a perfect man, sea­sed and taken with our euelles. The faithful saintes, beeing taken with [Page 16] this affectiō and stirred vp with this consideration: haue accustomably praied, namely for the euellꝭ of their enemyes, and to doo all thinges after [...]hexample of our Lord Jesꝰ Christe, forgetting all iniuries doon to them, and all their wrōgꝭ, caring for them as though they should deliuer their enemyes from greef and troubles, wherewith they be without comparison, more tormēted and greeued thē with their own proper bodyly euel­les, as Saīt. Peter writeth of Lot in [...]is .2. Epistle, 2. Chapiter, saying. Lot, beeing among them whiche day and night vexed his rightesꝰ soule by their wicked and abhominable wurkes. We see then what a lake of deepe euelles appeereth heere, and what occasion there is heere, of pity and compassion, and also to forget [...]our own small euellꝭ, and trouble, if the charity of God be in vs, and how [...]tle God permitteth vs too suffer in [Page] respect of that the wicked suffer. What is the cause, that we be so sl [...] ­drely touched and mooued with thes: thoughtꝭ? Because that the eye of our hart is not pure enough, wherewith wee should see how great the misery and ignomini of man is, being wrap ped vnder sin, that is to say, sepera­ted and alienatid from God, and pos­sessed with the deuel. For what man is he, that hath his hart so hardened, that dooth not conceiue a certaine horror in beholding the hideous figures of these whiche sit & ly at the churche doores and other open places hauing the face scabbed and eaten halfe of, their noses quite eaten of, the eyes tornout, and other members moste horribly consumed of filthy rotten­nes, so that it is an horror to the body and minde, to heare them speak, and to the eye, to be holde suche a fearfull & greuous spectakle? Now what dooth God declare by these pitifull mon­sters, [...]utto open the eyes of our vn­derstāding [Page 17] to thend yt we may se how much more horrible the figure of the soule of the sinner, she with his filthy rottennes, and his stinking corruption, yea although he liue in delightes and pleasure, clothed brauely in s [...]k and purple, couered with chaines of golde, among roses, baulmes and sweet smelles as the Sonne of Paradice? But what soeuer he be, beeing a sinner of this world: he is cōpared to one of these rotten ones. Verely these infinite euelles aswel in multi­tude as in greatnes, beeing despised in others: maketh that our owne euil beeing but small, to seeme to vs moste great, and that there is al­moste none other sinne but our own.

But yet it cōmeth to passe that they bee in muche worse condicion then we, namely in corporall euellꝭ. For what thinges (I pray you) may be to them pleasaunt and delectable, all­though they haue, and obtaine all that they will, theire conscience not [Page] beeing in tranquility and rest? Is there an euel more terrible then the tumult of a cōscience full of remorse and sorow? For Esay saith, in the 57. Chapiter. The wicked be as a ra­ging sea ye whiche can not rest throwing out his fome and sand with terrible noise, there is no peace to the sinners, saith the Lord God. We may see in them that whiche is spoken in the .28. Chap. of Deuteronomium.

The Lorde shall geue thee a trem­bling hart, vnseing eyes, and a soule consumed with sorow, and thy life shall be hanging before thee. Thou shalt fear day and night, & shalt not trust to thine own life. Thou shalt say in the morning, who shall bring me the euening? and in the euening who shall geue me the morning? and that because of the feare of thy hart, for the whiche thou shalt be astonied because of the thinges that thou see­ist before thine eyes. Breefly if any might se the the euilles and sorowes [Page 18] of the wicked, with suche affection as appertaineth, be it of freends or enemies not onely he should forget his owne: but it should seem to him that he felt nothing. But with this hee should be moued with an ardent de­sire with Moyses, and Saint Paule, destring if it were possible to dy for them, and to be scraped out of the booke of life, and to bee alienated frō Christe, as it is said in the .9. to the Romaines. To the end that they might be deliuered. For Jesus Christe burning with suche a desire, is deade for vs, and is descended in­to hell, leauing vs an example to the end that we should be careful for the euelles of others, and of their passi­onnes, forgetting our owne and de­siring to vnburden them.

¶ The sixt Chapiter of the sixt consideration of the euel or misery on the right hand.

[Page] OVr frendꝭ be on our right hand. In whome Saint Peter declareth, that our euelles and sorowes bee molified, in the first of. S. Peter, the fift Chapiter, where hee saith. Resist the deuell, being strong in faith, knowing that the same af­flictions are accomplished in your brethern that be in the world. Also the Churche praieth in their prayer, ordinarely that we beeing prouoked by the example of the saintes might folow the vertue of their passions, this is that they sing. How many tormentes haue the saintes suffered to the death, that they might come assuredly to the glorious crowne of martirdome? By these canticles the churche willeth vs otherwise to vn­derstand then to celebrate the feasts and memories of saintes, or to build them temples, aulters or Images.

But after their example we should be incyted and mooued to suffer the [Page 19] like euelles and tormentes that they haue suffred. This was vsed sūtimes vntil the superstition of man had peruerted and turned all these thingꝭ to Idolatry. For if we honour them wt temples, aulters and Images: wee may rightly be called superstitious, as now in these daies, wee see many whiche deck there Images and aul­ters and celebrate their feastes & frequent their temples. And I pray you why doo they these thīgꝭ, but because they wil not suffer the persecution whiche the saintes by their example and memory, haue shewed to be suf­fred? But in dooing these thinges what desire they otherwise, but the contrary of that they should desire? that is to be made vnlike to them, to whom they celebrate the feast, for [...]e apostle to the Hebrues in the .12. Chapiter, treatith very wel this passage of consolation among other saying. Ye haue not yet resisted to blud­sheding, repugning against sinne, [Page] and haue forgotten the consolation whiche spekith vnto you, as vnto children, saying. My sonne despise not the chastening of the Lorde, neither faint when thou art corrected of him, for whom the Lorde loueth: he chastsneth, and scourgeth euery childe yt hee receiueth. If ye suffer correction: God offrith him self to you as to his children. For what childe is it whom the Father correcteth not? for if ye be without chastisement of the whiche all are partakers: then are ye bastar­des and not sonnes. Moreouer. We haue had to chastice vs, our carnall Fathers, and haue sufferid thē, shall not wee rather suffer our heauenly Father, that we may liue? But this correction for the present, semeth not to be ioyoꝰ, but rather sorowful, but afterward it bringeth a quiet frute of rightuousnes to those that be ex­ercised therein. These be the wur­des of the Apostle. Who wil not be astonied at these wurdꝭ of the Apos­tle? [Page 20] wherby he declareth openly that those whiche bee not corrected and chastised of God: bee not the children of God. But to be more strongly comforted in this text, let vs consi­der that those whiche bee chastysed by the hand of God, be his welbelo­ued and dear children, and that they be garnished and armed with the cō munion of all the faithful saintꝭ and that it is not they alone that doo suf­fer. And truly this meditation, shall moderate our paines and torment in our correction. But heere let vs not trouble our selues, in that one dooth suffer thinges lesse greeuous & the other more hard, for temptation is geuen to euery man by measure, and not aboue his strength, as it is said in the .79. Psalme. Thou hast fed vs with the bread of teares, and hast geuen vs to drink, of teares by measure. Saint Paule saith also.

God is faithful whiche permitteth not, that ye bee temptid and afflicted [Page] aboue your strength: but shall deli­uer you in your temptations, that ye may suffer and beare it, and in that ye one dooth feele or taste moste greef, there hath hee moste frute and help of God, in suche wise, that it should see me rather to bee an inequality of passions, then otherwise.

For Saint John Baptist (whiche was miserably beheaded by Herod) may it not make vs all astonied, that suche a great & excellent personage as hath not beene one emong those that are borne of women so great, the singuler freend of ye spouse christ, forerunner of the Sonne of God, greter then all the Prophettes, neuer­theles was not put to death, by pub­like sentence: nor is not accused of malice or enuy, as was Jesꝰ Christe nor yet because of the people, but for the loue of a dauncer, the daughter of an adulteresse and in prison, this shamefull death of this holy person and his life taken away so vilainly [Page 21] [...]ud of so wicked a maner, beeing in [...]he handes of suche a moste poisoned [...] abhominable adulterer, this ought at the least for to mitigate our euellꝭ and all our afflictions. But where was God then, whiche might haue seen all these thingꝭ? Or where was the Lorde Jesus now, whiche hea­ring these thinges, and hath fained to dissemble or not to heare them?

This holy prophet and wurthy man is perished as though it had bene vn­knowē to God, to man & to all other creatures. What suffer we wher­in we may reioice (or more aptly too speak) wherein wee be not confoun­ded, if wee make comparison of our suffringes with his death? Wel now where shall wee become if wee w [...]l nothing suffer, seeing so great and excellellent personages haue suffered and dispised the death so va­liantly, the whiche they haue not deserued, and their bodyes to be sette for the as a mocking stock to their e­nemies [Page] after their death, as it is said by Jeremy. Beholde these that are not condemned to drink of the cup, doo drink thereof, and shalt than continew Innocent? Thou shalt not continew Innocent, except yu drink therof Wee rede of a certain Her­mite that complained (whiche had bene sick almoste all his life) felt him self wel one yeere to gether: hee was greatly troublid and sorowful in his minde, and complained that GOD had vtterly forgotten him, and had refused to geue him his grace. So­muche is necessary vnto helth the correction of the Lord to all Christi­ans. Now we may see, that it whiche we suffer is lesse then nothing, if we consider the Prisons, Manacles, Irons, Fyer, wilde beastes and o­ther infinite number of tormentes, that the Saintes haue sufferid. Or elles if we wil way the temptations of those that suffer presently with vs in this life, so many persecutions & [Page 22] [...] greuous temptations of the deuel [...] their conscience, for there be ma­ [...]y of those yt suffer inwardly, thingꝭ [...]ore greuous & more sharp then doo [...]e, aswel in sprit as in body. Some [...]oo vse to say heere thus. I may la­ [...]ent, for my passions and afflictiōs [...]ay not be compared to those of the [...]aintes: because I am a sinner, and [...]ot wurthy to be compared to them. They haue sufferid for innocency: & [...] for my sinnes. And therefore it is [...]o meruail though they sufferid ioy­fully all these thinges. Verely this is a wurd of great folly. For if thou suffer for thy sinnes thou oughtest to reioice, for as muche as thy sinnes are purgid. The saintes them selues were they not sinners? But thou fea rest least thou be like Herode, or the euel theefe on the crosse, no, thou art not, if thou be patient. For what dif­ference was there between the two theeues, or what did iudge the one to be good, and the other euell: but pati­ence [Page] thorow faith? But thou art a s [...] ner, wel the theefe was a sinner, but patience hath brought him this glo­ry, that he is righteous and holy, al­so thou doo the like, for thou maist not suffer, but ether for thy sinnes or for righteousnes. Bothe these passiōs [...] sanctifie and render a man bles­sed, if a man doo embrase them, wherfore now restith no excuse. Moreo­uer so soone as thou hast confessed vnfainedly, that thou sufferest iustly for thy sinnes, and of good right: thou art then iust and holy, euen as the good theef was made iust and holy. For the confession of sin proceading from faith, iustifieth and sanctifieth, and in this maner as soone as thou hast made this confession, then thou sufferist no more for thy sinnes: but for innocency, for the righteous suf­freth not but innocently. Now thou art made righteous by the confessi­on of thy suffringes and passion: and thorow the confession of thy sinnes, [Page 23] and therfore thy suffering is iustly & [...]f good right compared to the suffe­ring of the saintes, as thy faith may [...]e iustly and of good right, compared [...]o the faith of the saintes, for all had [...]ne confession of sinnes, all had one [...]aith, all had one passion or suffering [...]f euelles, all the saintes communi­cate together trewly in all and by all [...]nd ouer all.

¶ The seuenth Chapiter of the seuenth consideration which is the euel or misery aboue vs.

FInally we must lift vp ou [...] hartes on hy, and ascend vp to ye mountain of mirre to the spouse. This moun­taine is the Sonne of God Jesus Christe crucified hed of all the faithful saintes, Prince of all those that suffer, of whom many haue written notable thinges, and altogether [Page] hath writtē all that ought to be writ­ten, and the memory of the same is recommended to the churche, where it is said. Set me for a signe in thy hart, & as a butte or mark vpon thine arme. The blood of the lamb sprink­lid vpon the entre of the houses, stai­ed the aungel frō striking. And like­wise the spouse is praised, because her heares bee as the purple of the king, that is to say, her meditation is redde by the remembraunce of Jesus Christ. This is the wood that Moises cast by commaundement into the waters of marah, that is to say. Into the bitter passions, and were made sweet. There is nothing but this passion, that can make sweet, yt is to say death, as saith the espouse. His lippꝭ be as ye distilling lilly, drawing out soueraigne mirrhe, ye whiche proporcion of lillies and tippes, sig­nify the act of misticall thinges. For as ye lilly is white & the lippꝭ red, that is ye wurdꝭ of the Lord Jesꝰ be moste white & moste pure in ye whiche is no [Page 24] bitternes, nor bloody slaughter, but sweetnes & plesauntnes from whom distilleth soueraine mirrhe: these lip­pes moste pure, & moste sweete haue powre to put away the great bitter­nes of death, and to conuert it into sweetnes, puritie, whitenes & sweet sauour, as the excellent mirrhe put­teth away all stinckingnes of sinne, that is to say. When we heare that Jesus Christe the sonne of God, hath clensed and sanctified by his moste holy suffringes, all persecutions and passions, yea the very death, he hath blessed the curse, hee hath glorified ye shame and ignomini, and inriched the pouerty, so that death is constrained to be the gate of life, the curse is constrained to bee cause of blessing, and the ignomini mother of glory. Now how can wee be so ingrate and vnthankful, that we doo not earnestly desire, yea and loue all these passiōs and afflictions, dipped and sanctified by the moste pure flesh and moste ho­ly blood of the Son of God, the whiche [Page] be made to vs moste helthful blessin­ges. For if by the touching of his moste pure flesh, hee hath sanctifyed all the waters to be holy and needful to baptisme: yea all creatures, how muche more hath he sanctified by baptism of ye spirit, or of blood, all death, all passions, all iniuries, all outra­gies, all maledictions, all ignomini, & that by the blessed touching of his flesh, and blood whiche is moste preci­ous? as hee saith in the. 12. of Saint Luke, of this baptisme namely the passion. I shalbe baptised with a cer­taine baptisme, and how am I pai­ned vntil it be ended? Heere we see with what ardent desire hee desired to sanctifie the passions, & also dooth, and hath made them sweet and ami­able to vs, for he knew wel, that wee would be astonied at the afflictions & did wel foresee, that we would be a­fraid of death and abhorre it, also willing to make an end of this our e­uilles as a moste meek and prouidēt [Page 25] pastor, and as a moste faithful phisi­cion, he hasted him self, and prolon­ged not the death, that hee might make ye afflictions & passions, yea the very death good to vs, by his holy suf­fring, so that wee may estéeme the death to a Christian as the brasen serpent of Moises, whiche had the fy­gure of a serpent ouer all, and in all pointes and yet was nothing lesse then liuing, he was without venim, without mouing, without byting, so likewise it seemeth to the eyes of the foolishe that the faithful dy, but truly they be in peace, we be like thē yt dy and the apparence of our death is none other but as others bee. Neuerthelesse the trueth is otherwise, for to vs death is dead, also all our afflic­tions and passions bee like to their afflictiōs, but it is only by apparēce. For verely our passions be the beginninges of impassibilitie, as the death is the beginning of life. And this is it that the Lorde Jesus saith, in the. 8 [Page] of Saint John. If any keepe my woord he shall neuer taste of death. How shall he not see death? Because that in dying hee beginneth to liue, and so the life that he be holdeth: cau­seth that he doothe not see death. The night is heer made bright as the day for asmuche as the brightnesse of the life beginning, is clearer then the death departing. These thinges bee moste certaine to all those whiche beléeue in Jesus Christe, but not to the vnfaithful. Now if they doo kisse, if they loue and embrase the apparrel, the vesselles, the cuppes, and finally those thinges whiche Jesus Christe hath touched, or that he vsed, so they honour thē, as great reliques, with great deuociō, because they say that he hath sāctified thē, by the touching therof. But wherfore doo we not the embrace, kisse, and loue rather the the paines, the shames, rebukes, the opprobries, the euilles of the world, and the very death, the whiche were [Page 26] not onely sanctified, by his holy tou­ching: but also be blessed & dipped in his moste precioꝰ blood, & embrasing them with a moste ardent zeale and great charity, euē to the very death.

Beholde in these thingꝭ wee haue much more reward, helth & goodnes, then in reliques. For truly by these thingꝭ, wee doo optain victory ouer death, hel, and all our sinnꝭ, & not by reliques. O good God, if we might look into the hart of ye Sonne of God, and se perfectly whē he was strained on the crosse, yt he might rēder death dead & ouercome, and wt what ardent zeale & affection he embrased ye death and the paines therof, for those yt bee fearful & for those yt abhorre death & the paines therof, and wt what redi­nes & wil hee hath first drunk of this moste bitte [...] cup, & after hath somo­nid ye weak & diseased to drink therof, to the end yt they should not feare to drink after him. Beholde & se that no euell is happened vnto him, but ra­ther [Page] a great inestymable benefyte hath followed in that he rose again. It is moste certain that this pretious mirrhe, is made moste sweet and a­miable, distilling by the lippes, and the woordes of Jesus Christe praising them, as the sweet sauour and beau­ty of lillies. Also Saint Peter saith, in his. 4. Chapiter in his. 1. Epistle. For asmuche as Christe hath suffred in the fleshe, arme your selues with the same minde. And to ye hebrewes. 12. Chapiter. Thapostle saith. Consi­der diligently him that hath suffred suche gaine saying of sinners against him self, to the end that you should not bee wery nor slack in youre min­des. Wherfore if we haue learned to suffer paciently the euellꝭ that be about vs and enclose vs: beholde in this last considerations of our af­flictions shadowed in Jesus Christe, surmountith all euelles, and maketh yt we not onely endeuouring our sel­ues to suffer: but also to loue, to wish [Page 27] and serch for it. And the farther that one is from this affection and zeale: the lesse strength hath the passion of Jesus Christe in him. And those that wil worship the Roodes, Baners and Crosses of Christe, for to put away death and afflictions, that they may not suffer them, and so not to dye: be­holde they vse meanes cleane con­trary to the crosse of Christe and his death. And for this cause it is necessary in this seuenth consideration yt all ye afflictions whiche we suffer, should bee consumed, that it may not greeue vs to suffer, but rather to pleasure in sufferīg. This ought euer to bee in our hartes, and to be liuely rooted in our mindes.

¶ Heere foloweth the second part of this treatise.

¶ Heer shalbe declared in this second table, seuen considerations contrary to these before. The first shalbe the good within vs, the second the good to come, the third the good passed, the fourth the good beneath vs, the fist the good on the left side, the sixt the good on the right syde, the seuenth the good aboue vs.

¶ The first Chapiter of the first consideration whiche is the good within vs.

WHat man is he that cā numbre the goodꝭ and treasures, that one possesseth in his owne person? First, who can esteem how great the bodily graces bee? that is to say. [Page 28] Helth, strength, beauty, the quicke­ning of the spirit, and also the noble kinde of man, whiche is mete to put in execution many excellent thinges as wel priuately as in publike, the whiche other creatures can not doo? But I pray you what great thing is it, if wee haue vsed these good giftꝭ, ten, twenty or thirty yeeres, with quietnes and pleasures, by the grace and goodnes of God? And yet the Germaines haue a prouerb: there is many euelles in one good houre. What ought we to doo, wee that haue recei­ued so long rest, and so many good houres, and will not suffer a little e­uel one poore houre? We se then how we be couered all with the goodnes of God. And how small be the euelles that we be touched or striken with (at the least y greatest part of vs) our good God not being onely content with these goodes: but ioyneth to thē riches, abundance of all thinges? And although it bee not common to [Page] all, yet it is to many, and princi­pally to those that bee not strong e­nough, to suffer euelles and misery. For as I haue said before, he geueth greater strength to those whome he geueth lesse goodes, that all thinges may be equall, & he may be knowen a righteous iudge in all thingꝭ. For great abundance of goodes and ri­ches bringeth not so great consola­tion: as dooth a good conscience and a ioyful hart. And also hee geeueth to some plenty of children, whiche is a souereign pleasure (as they say). To other glory, powre, principalitie, good renoume, fauour, honor and o­ther like thinges, the whiche though they be geuen vs to pleasure in, ey­ther long time or short, yet they geue vs to vnderstand, how we shall behaue our selues in small euelles, when they come. But the goodes of the spirite, be muche more excellent then all these aforesaid. As vnder­standing, iudgement, facundity, [Page 29] knowledge, prudence, or wisedome. Now our good God, dooth moderate the equality of his administration in these goodes, aswel as in the other, so that hee dooth not preferre the one before the other. For in steed of these goodes whiche lacketh to some: he geueth more courage, or more rest, or greater tranquility. Now in all these thinges we must consider the great liberalitie of God, with thankesge­uing, and comfort our infirmitie, so that we doo not dismay in our selues, although in this multitude of excel­lent goodes, there is some sharpnesse mingled with it. For among vs men that be volupteous, there is no meat sodden, rosted or otherwise, what so­euer it be, whiche is found good nor sauery without sauce, that hath some egar taste of nature, or that may sea­son it. For this is moste true, that when one vseth to eat nothing, but sweet thinges, and dooth continew with the same: it is a thing intollera­ble, [Page] so that it is wel said of some, that say all pleasure and volupteousnesse engendreth werines, when it is con­tinued. Also volupruositie is finally conuerted into wearines and paine, that is to weet. This life is not so strong, that it may beare the onely vse of goodes and pleasures, without some temperature of euelles mixed therewith. From thence commeth this prouerbe, that the bones ought to be strong, whiche should beare all their daies in welth and prosperitie. And for my part, I haue wel considered this prouerbe and oftentimes, and I maruail of the sentence, which containeth so effectuall trueth. For ther is in mā certain destres whiche doo repugne the one against the other the whiche seeke but good daies, and neuerthelesse, when they haue that they moste desire: they can lesse suf­fer it, then if they had euel daies. For what dooth God set before vs in thys point: but that ye crosse to bee meruailed [Page 30] at, namely of the enemies of the crosse? So that God dooth temper and season all thinges, by these afore said meanes, and sanctifieth thē that they perishe not, in suche maner as one salteth fleshe, least that therein breede mag [...]ts. From whēce commeth it then that wee doo not ac­cept willingly, this temperature sēt of God? For when he dooth not send it: our life whiche can not beare the voluptuous pleasures of prosperitie, wyll call or desire it of his owne pro­per accord. By this meanes we see how true it is that Salomon saith of God, whiche quencheth by little and little with great powre, and dispo­seth all thingꝭ easely. For if they be­holde wel these commodities: they may sone know how true it is that is recited by Moises in the. 32. Chapiter of Deuteronomiū. He hath horne vs on his backe, hee hath led vs about, and preserued vs, as the apple of his eye. By these thinges we may stoppe [Page] ye mouthes of those that wt great vn­thankfulnes babble & say, that there is more euellꝭ in this life then goodꝭ. Beholde we haue no lack of felicitie and cō modities wt infinit nūbers of delectatiōs, but rather there is great lack of suche as doo wel vnderstand, that the Psalmist reciteth. The earth is full of ye mercy of the Lorde, and agaī the earth is ful of his praise. And in the Psalm. 104. The earth is ful of thy blessing. Lorde thou haste geuen me reioising in thy wurkꝭ. Frō thēce commeth it, yt they sing in ye Churche ordinarely. The heauens and the earth, O Lord, be filled with thy glo­ry. And wherfore is that? Because that there is many felicities for the whiche he ought to be praised: but it is only for those that haue their eies set to beholde his dooinges. For as we haue said of the euelles in the first part. For the greater knowledge that any one hath: so muche more hath he the infelicitie great. And as [Page 31] the goodes and commodities com­meth about vs on euery side, and by a maner of saying doo blinde thē eies

Neuerthelesse they be no greater then we doo estee me them, for all thinges that God hath created bee excel­lent good, yea notwithstanding they be not so known nor vnderstād of all men, as it is said of some, In ye Psal. 77. They haue nothing esteemed the Land whiche was good and plea­saunt. Job geueth vs a good exam­ple of this speculation, the whiche seing all his good quite from him and deffroied, said. If we haue receiued goodnesse at the hand of the Lorde: wherefore shall wee not also suffer euelles? Truly this is a wurd wurthy to be engraued within our hartꝭ, and a singuler cōfort of great powre in our temptations. For certainly Job did not onely suffer: but with the same hee was tempted with impati­ence of his owne wife, the whiche said to him contemptuously. Thou [Page] remainest stil in thy sīplicity. Blas­pheme the Lorde and dye, as if shee had said. All mē may plainly see that there is no God that wil leaue thee so and forsake thee. Wherefore then doost thou put thy trust in him, and doost not rather deny him? And in suche sort after shee had angred him, said. Wherfore doost thou not knowledge thy self to be mortall, and that nothing is left vnto thee after this life? There is none of vs the whiche his owne wife (that is to say sensua­litie) shal not furnish inough of suche matters, for the sensuall man vnderstandeth not the thinges that [...]e of God. Now all goodes that be corpo­rall be common to all, but the Chri­stian and faithful hath other goodes muche more excellent, whiche be in­ward goodꝭ, that is to weet the faith of Jesus Christ, of whom it is said in the Psalme. 44. The kinges daugh­ter is all glorioꝰ within, her clothīg is all of wrought golde. For as ye [...] [Page 32] haue seene the euelles in the first cō ­sideration, that there is no euell so greate in man: as the euell within him. Also the faithful may not nor cā not se the inestimable great goodnes or felicitie that is with in him, for if he felt it: be holde hee should bee in­continent in heauen, for ye kingdome of heauen is within vs, as saith Jesꝰ Christe. For to haue faith, is to haue the trueth & the wurd of God. Now to haue the wurd of God: is to haue God the creator & maker of all thīgꝭ And if these thinges were reueled to the soule, in suche perfection as they be in deede: shee would spring out of the body incontinent, for the great abundaunce of ioy and sweetnesse. Wherfore of good right, the louing corrections of whiche we haue spoke before, be called aduertisementes of the goodes, whiche wee haue within vs, the whiche our good God decla­reth to vs by the same, because this life can not bear nor suffer that they [Page] vereueled to it, but thorow the great goodnes and mercy of God: they bee hidde to vs, vntil toey bee growen in their perfect measure. This is it that the Fathers and Mothers doo geue to their Children, sometimes little Horses, Tabors, Pipes and other trifels, by the whiche they doo incite and stur vp the mindes of their chil­dren, to greater and more excellente thinges. Neuertheles they doo break foorthe and shew them selues some­times, as when the conscience reioi­ceth and triumpheth in the confidēce and sure trust of God, and when shee speaketh willingly and frely of God, when shee heareth his wurd with a gratioꝰ eare and an attentife heart, when she is brought to be ready and diligent to serue him, obey him, to doo good wurkes and to suffer aduer­sities, the whiche thinges be certain tokens of an inestimable good, which is therein hidden, the whiche sprin­geth out thorow a certain conduit by [Page 33] small droppꝭ, although it happeneth sometimes that this is reueled more fully at large, vnto those spirites whiche be geuen to contemplation, so they finde them selues as it were swallowed vp: yt they wot not where they be, as Saint Augustine confes­seth him self to be and many others.

¶ The second Chapiter of the second consideration the which is the good to come or before vs.

THose that be no Christians can finde no great come­fort in hope of the good to come, in the middes of their troubles, because all thinges be to them vncertaine. For this affection and vaine hope, dooth bring to them a certaine tumult, but thorow faith wee doo comfort one an other freendly. And wee doo hope for better thinges, but the weaker doo at [Page] tempt & clime vp to great thingꝭ and oftē in vncertitude, & yet they be of­tē deceiued & voyd of their hope, as Jesus Christe sheweth in ye. 12. of S. Luke, of him yt said to his soule. I wil pul down my barns, & make thē greater & say to my soule. Take thy rest, drīk, eat & make good cheer, for yu hast goodꝭ inough for many yeers but God said. Fool, this night shal thy soule be taken frō thee: & the goodꝭ that yu hast heapid together, whose shall they be thē? Euen so is it wt him yt gathereth treasure & is not riche in God. But ye Christians haue a more excellēt fely­citie whiche commeth certainly, but it is thorow afflictions & death. Also they reioice in a certaine & sure hope so that the present euel endeth, and contrary ye good augmenteth whiche is the verity in Jesus Christe, where in they prospet and profit, from day to day, and for the loue thereof they liue in hope, and ouer & aboue these thinges, they haue two moste great commodities [Page 34] in the death to come. First the death is an end of all the tragedy of euelles, of this present life, as it is written. The death of the faithfull is pretious before the face of God, & againe. I shall sleepe in peace and rest me. If the righteous be preuen­ted by death: hee findeth quickening and comfort. And contrary the death to the wicked, and Infidels: is the beginning of euelles, as it is said. The death of the wicked is moste vnhap­py, also the euel dooth ouertake and katche ye wicked in his death. In this maner was Lazarꝰ cōforted yt which hath receiued heere his euel, and the riche glotton, vnhappy was tormen­ted, because hee receiued his goodes heere in this life. By this meanes also it commeth that the Christian findeth him self alwayes better and encreasing in goodnesse, whether he liue or whether he dye, so blessed a thing it is to be a Christian, and to beleue in Jesus Christe, and therefore [Page] Saint Paule saith. Christ is to me aduauntage, whether I liue or whe­ther I dy. And to the Romaines. 15. Hee that liueth: liueth to the Lorde, and he that dieth, dieth to the Lorde, be it whether we liue, or whether we dy: we be the Lordes. Jesus Christe hath begotten vs this assurance. For he is dead and risen againe, to thend that he might be Lorde of the quicke and the dead, hauing powre to make vs sure and to certify vs aswel in the death as in the life, as is said in the. 23. Psalme. Though I should walke in the middest of the shadow of death yet wil I feare no euel, for thou art with mee. But if we be not certi­fied of this aduauntage of death: it is a sign that the faith of Jesꝰ Christ is in firm and weak in vs, the whiche doo not wurthely esteeme the gaine and price of his moste precioꝰ death. They cannot beleue yet the death to be good: because that is letted by the olde man, and the wisedome of the [Page 35] fleshe, whiche hath yet to muche vi­gour and strength, and therfore wee ought to assay and auaunce to know and to loue this benefite of death. It is a hard saying and difficul, to say that the death which is to others the greatist of all euelles, shalbee to vs the moste excellent gaine and profit. And if Iesꝰ Christe had not wrought this good in vs: what profit were it for vs to habandon and forsake our selues? But this wurke that he hath wrought in vs, is a singuler deuine wurk. For this cause no man ought to dismay, for he hath made the euel of death to bee turned to moste good and profit. Wherefore death is now to the faithful dead, and is not terri­ble but only the outward apparence, euen as a slaine serpent hath yet re­maining the terrible figure or apparence of a serpent that hee had: and yet is it but the figure or image. So there is but one euel dead, and it may no more noy or hurt vs. And [Page] also as Moyses cōmaunded to make a serpent of brasse, and to beholde and looke vpon it, did put away the stinging of the quicke serpentꝭ, as it is said, in the. 21. of Numery: like­wise if our death be looked vpon with a godly eye, and stedfast in the faith of Christe: it perisheth and nothing appereth but onely ye figure of death. So louingly dooth the bountifulnes and mercy of God entreat vs, which yet be weaklinges and infirme tho­row these and suche like figures, be­cause of necessitie, death must take vs away. Neuerthelesse he hath so ouercome and brought to nought the strength and powre of death, that to vs remaineth no more but the onely figure, and for this cause the scriptu­res doo rather call it a sleepe then a death. The second benefite of death is, that not only it maketh an end of paines and euelles of this present life: but also bringeth a more excel­lent thing, that is an end of vice and [Page 36] sin, the whiche cheefly maketh death moste desirable to the faithfull soulꝭ, yea more then dooth any worldly fe­licitie, as wee haue treated heere before. For truly the euellꝭ of the soule whiche is vice and sinne, be without comparison, worse then the euelles of the body, for if we were wise: these onely euelles in deede should make to vs death more desirable, and more louingly to embrace it, whiche if it doo not: it is a signe that we feel not that we ought to feel, nor yet doo suf­ficiently hate the euelles of our soul­les, considering that this life, is sub­iect to many daungers, and the fallīg and sliding of sinne dooth compasse vs about, with snares on euery syde. And finally wee cannot liue without synne. Beeholde then that death is a moste singuler good remedy, for it deliuereth vs from these daungers, it cutteth vs away and deliuereth vs wholy from sinne, and therefore the authour of the booke of Sapience [Page] concludeth in the praise of the righteouse in the. 4. Chapiter, saying. Be­ing made at one and beloued of God liuing amongest sinners, was taken away and trāsported to the end that sinne and euell should not chaunge his vnderstanding or that deceitful­nesse should not begile his soule, for the bewitching of lies and dremes maketh good thinges darke, the vn­stedfastnes of volupteous desire: tur­neth away the vnderstanding of the siple. O how true be these thingꝭ? & how doo we se this to come pas daily? And in an other text. Though he was soone dead: yet fulfilled hee muche time, for his soule pleased God, therfore he hasted to take him away frō among the wicked. So it cōmeth to passe by the mercy of God, that the death whiche was the paine of sinne to man: is now made the ende of sin, and the beginning of life and righteousnesse to the Christian. Therfore of necessitie hee that loueth life and [Page 37] ryghteousnesse: loueth also death, whiche is the minister and the shop of life, and is in no cace afraid of it. For otherwise he shall neuer attaine to life nor righteousnes, and he that cannot so doo: let him be diligent to pray to God that he may haue suche aminde. For the cause why God teacheth vs to say, thy will be doone, is that we can not desire this of our selues, but we rather doo abhorre death, so that wee doo rather loue sinne and death: then life and righteousnesse. Therfore did God ordeine death, for the destruction of sinne. For we may gather by this, that incontinent af­ter sin hee set & ordeined death to A­dam as a deliuerance from sin, and that before hee cast him out of Para­dice, to the ende that hee would shew vs that death neither dooth nor wur­keth any euell in vs but is the cau­ser of all good, for it was set forth in Paradice in maner of a satisfaction. But trueth it is, by the enuy of the [Page] deuel, death is entred into the world, but thorow the mercy and goodnesse of God, hee dooth cause that death is not hurtful to vs, but hath ordeined it from the beginning, to bee the pu­nishement and death of sinne, for he signified the same when he spake be­fore of death to Adam in the cōmaundement. Neuertheles he stayed not in his wurds: but pronounced death and qualifyed the rigour of the com­maundement. But GOD did not in plaine wurdꝭ declare death: but only said, thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return. Item thou shalt return into earth frō the which thou art come. As euen then hating death would not name it, as it is said.

Wrath is in his indignation, and life in his wil. Now it may be said that if death had not bene necessary, to put away sin: God would not haue pronounced it But God taketh no o­ther wepons against sinne whiche hath engendred death, but death it [Page 38] self. Heere is fulfilled that one said properly, that the inuentor of death is dead by his owne inuencion, also the sinne is destroyed by his owne frute, and slaine by the death that he hath engēdred. As a viper is slain by her owne yung serpentꝭ. Beeholde a thing moste pleasaunt to heere and vnderstand, that sinne is destroyed by no other meanes, but by her own proper wurk, and her throte cut by her owne knife, and her hed cut of by her owne swoord as was Goliath. Goliath was the figure of sin. This Giaunt was fearfull to all men ex­cept to little Dauid, that is to say the Sonne of GOD Jesus Christe: the whiche hath ouerthrowen this terrible Giant, and hath cut of his hed with his owne swoord. Now it may be said that there is no swoord meter thē Goliath owne swoord. 1. Samuel. 21. Chapiter. If now wee doo meditate these ioyes of the vertue of the Sōne of GOD and the giftꝭ of his grace, [Page] how should any little euell torment vs: seing so great euellꝭ whiche may happen is turned to so great good?

¶ The third Chapiter of the third consideration whiche is the good passed or after vs.

THis good is easy to consi­der by his opposit or con­trary euel passed, onely it is a help to him yt would consider heere Saint Au­gustine in his confessions, Hee is a good teacher in this, where hee reciteth the good graces and be­nefites that hee hath receiued from his mothers wombe. So is likewise the Psalmist in the. 138. Psalme. Saying. Lorde thou hast prooued me, or a­mong other thinges meruailing of the prouidence of God, vpon him self saith▪ Thou hast knowen my thoughtes afar of, thou hast tried my hart and my raines, as if he had said [Page 39] I see now how far of it is from mee all that euer I thought or did, or all that I might obtain or posses, or how little is put in execution by my pro­per meanes or industry, but that all this hath bene disposed and ordained long time before by thy ordinaunce and prouidence (O Lorde) breefly thou hast foreseene all my waies, or rather in thy might and powre wee doo learn these thinges by our owne experience, for if wee call to remem­braunce our life passed, is it note­nough to astunny vs that wee haue thought willed, doone, and said suche thinges, whiche we haue little or no­thing foreseene? How often had wee doone things, cleane contrary, if we had bene left in our owne free wil? So that we now beginning to vnderstand and to beholde the prouidence and care of God, to bee present and fauourable toward vs by his vigilāt help and succoure, that wee haue ne­ther thought willed nor said, but that [Page] he hath before ordeined. As it is said in the. 7. Chapiter of Sapience. We and our wurdes be all in the hand of God, as Saint Paule saith, the which dooth all thinges in vs. Wherefore then bee wee so without vnderstan­ding, and haue our hartes so harde­ned? Wherefore be we not ashamed miserable that wee bee? that beeing shewed by our owne proper experi­ence wee seeing plainly and openly, how often the Lorde hath bene care­ful for vs, and watcheful euen vnto this houre, and how he hath endow­ed vs wt all maner of good and great benefites, and yet cannot wee resign and acknowledge to him the onely care and watche ouer vs in a very little present euel. But wee behaue our selues as though hee had forsaken vs or as though that wee could put it of or quit our selues of it. Is it not said in the. 139. Psalme. I am poore and miserable but the Lorde careth for me? Vpon this. S. Augustine saith.

[Page 40]He that made thee careth for thee. Permit and rendre to him that made thee, before thou were any thing, to haue cure and charge of thee. How should hee not now haue cure ouer thee, forasmuche as thou art now that same that hee would haue thee? But we wil be partakers of his kingdome with him, wee doo attribute to him this, that hee made vs, and yet wil we scarcely doo that: or at the least doo it very coldely, and yet notwith­standing we vsurpe the custody that he hath ouer vs, as if he (after he had made vs) would retire him self farre from vs, to forsake vs and leaue vs in our owne hands. But if our wise­dome, councelles, and deliberations doo let vs or blinde our eyes that wee can not see this care of GOD ouer vs, when paraduenture many thin­ges happen to vs according to our deliberations and purposes: let vs re­turne to the Psalmist in ye. 138. Psalm. and consider our owne selues, whiche [Page] saith. My bones are not hidden from thee (O Lorde) saith hee, though I was made in a secret place, that is to say. Thou sawest my bones in my mothers womb, when as yet I was not, and when my mother knew not what was made in her, and my sub­staunce was in the lowest partes of the earth, that is to say, the figure or forme of my body was not hidden to thee beeing in the profound entrail­les of my mother, for thou formedst them and made them What dooth he declare by these wurdes, but onely proposeth this great example how our good God hath alwaies had care of vs without vs? What is he that glory that he hath made any thing of that is made? Who hath geuen vnderstāding or knowledge, to the mothers to geue sucke, to entertaine, nourishe, loue, and doo all dutyes & offices of a mother, euen then when we did not feele our life, brefly, wee know, not these thinges and beleeue [Page 41] not that they were doone to vs, if wee had not seene the like thinges doone to others whiche were doone to vs, euen as though wee had slept, or as though we had beene dead, or more aptly to say, as if we had not yet bene borne, as touching our owne know­ledge. Also seeing how true this is, yt without our help wee haue beene brought and directed vnto deuine cō ­fort and great mercifulnesse, and yet we dout or that worce is we dispaire that our good God hath care of vs. If parauenture there be any whiche is not instructed or moued by this expe­rience: I know no way how hee may be taught or instructed, for there is not one Infant that wee doo see with our eyes but may instruct vs, in this ca [...]e euidently. Now seeing so many examples setle before our eyes: we ought to be ashamed of our foly and ignorance. But if we dout that any maner of good or euell may happen to vs, how little so euer it bee, with­out [Page] the singuler prouidence of God, read Saint Peter in his first Epistle the fift Chapiter. Cast all oure care vpon him, for he careth for vs, and in thē. 54. Psalme. Cast thy care vpon the Lord, and hee shall nurishe thee.

And. S. Augustine speaketh in his confessions to his soule. Wherefore doost thou stay thee vpon thy self, and continuest not firme and stable? cast thy self vpon thy God, for hee wil not withdraw his hand from thee nor suffer thee to fall. And moreouer Saint Peter saith in the. 4. Chapiter of his first Epistle. Those that suffer by the wil of God: let them commit their soules in well dooing to the creator whiche is moste faithful. O the bountifulnesse of our GOD. If any may know God in this maner, in what suerty, rest and ioy shall he liue? Suche a one hathe GOD verely with­in him. He is well assured and moste certaine that all that he hath or may haue, be it great or small thinges, or [Page 42] what so euer shall happen or con [...]e to him at any time, that it commeth by the good wil and disposition of God. The sentence of Saint Peter stan­deth allwaies moste true and vndou­ted. He hath care for you. May one heare wurdes more sweet and com­fortable then these? and therefore he saith. Cast all your care vpon him, but now if wee doo not: what other thing doo wee but assay and prooue to stop and let the care that GOD hath of vs, and to bring oure life ful of so­row, heuines and care, with thought & turmoiling within our selues. And what cā we get by thus dooing? Our saluation is nothing aduaunced nor preferred, but as saith Ecclesiastes. It is a vanitie of vanities and afflic­tion of spirit, for that booke speaketh against suche doutfulnesse in suche wise, as hee that had prooued many thinges in him self. Neuerthelesse could finde in all these thinges but labour vanity and affliction of spirit [Page] so that hee concludeth that it is a gift of God, for any man to eat drink and reioice with his wife, that is to say, if he liue without care, committyng to GOD all the care of him self and his, Wherfore to conclude we ought not to be careful for oure selues, nor to pluck from God the care ouer vs, thus you may easely vnderstand the rest, as I haue said before by the cal­ling to minde your life passed.

¶ The fourth Chapiter of the fourth consideration of the good vnder vs.

HEtherto wee haue seene the goodꝭ whiche be oures and whiche bee in our sel­ues, now let vs see those that bee in others, and wt ­out vs. The first of these is in those that be vnder vs, that is to say in the reprobate damned soules, but this is wundrefull. For what good may [Page 43] one finde in the dead and [...]? But ye mercy and goodnesse of God is so great vniuersally, that he teacheth vs to se our good in ye middest of great euelles. Let vs in the first place compare them and vs together; and then we shall see our [...]able gaines, as one may gather easely by the op­posit consideratiōs or contrary euel­les. For so many euelꝭ of death, hell and dampnation as wee doo see in them: so many gaines doo wee see in our selues, and so muche the greater as theses be gre [...]o and great. This consideration ought not lightly to be passed ouer, because these thinges doo propose and set before our eyes the great merey of God whiche is moste excellent and meruailous, and it is daungerous not to way these things so great and excellent, that wee be not found ingrate and on thankfull, and to be dampned with the or more greuoussy tormented▪ And the more that weese them howle and lament: [Page] the more wee ought to reioice in the bounty and mercy of God towardes vs, according as is said in ye. 65. Cha­piter of Esay. Beholde my seruaun­tes eat and drink, and you dy in hun­ger and sorow & languor for thirst. Beeholde my seruauntes reioice in great gladnesse of hart, & you houle and lament for the very dolours and sorow of your hartes, and cry for the great oppression of spirit, your name shall not be sworne by among my e­lect. &c. Finally as I haue said these horrible examples of euel liuers and reprobate, doo help and further to our aduertisement & geueth vs good instructions as Saint Gregory reci­teth in his dialogues, that hee is happy whiche can beware by the daun­gers of others. And although this benefit touche not our hartes but faintly, because it is common and happe­neth often: yet neuertheles it is wurthy to bee estemed and numbred a­mong ye greatest benefitꝭ, and great­ly [Page 44] approoued of wise men, and of those that haue godly vnderstanding. Be­holde a great part of the holy scriptures, teache to this ende. And when we be taught and shewed the wrath, the iudgementes and horrible threatninges of GOD, what helthful doc­trines doo these examples bring to vs of these accursed & miserable people, for to confirme vs more & more?

It dooth then begin to make vs the more to feele the effect and strength thereof: when wee doo put vpon vs the affection of those that doo suffer, & after a maner to say when wee be in their place and person, for then they doo moue vs and aduertise vs great­ly to praise and magnify the goodnes of him, whiche hath preserued vs frō these horrible euelles. Now let vs be holde the iustice of Godꝭ diuinitie in them. Forasmuche as God is a iust iudge, therefore must wee loue & greatly praise his righteousnes and iustice, and by this meanes reioice [Page] in God, euen when he destroyeth the wicked body & soule. For his admi­rable and great iustice, shineth in a a merueilous maner in all these thinges. For the very hell is filled wt the magesty and goodnesse of God, as al­so is the heauens. For the iustice of God, is God him self. And God is the high soueraigne goodnesse. And therefore as wee ought to loue the bounty and mercy of God: so ought wee also to loue his iustice and iudgement, to praise it and shew it forth. In this sence Dauid saith. The righteous shall reioice when he shall se the ven­geaunce, hee shall washe his handes in the bloud of the wicked. Also the Lorde for bad Samuel any lenger to lament Saul, as it is written in the .16. Chapiter of the first booke of Sa­muell, saying. How long wilt thou la ment Saull? Beholde I haue cast him of that hee reigne no more [...]uer Israell, as if hee had said, dooth my wil displease thee, that thou prefer­rist [Page 45] the wil of mā before mine? Breefly this is the voice of praise and re­ioysing, the whiche is so often spokē of in the Psalmes, that the Lorde is the iudge of widowes, and father of orphelins, hee wil reuenge the poore and the oppressed, his enemies shal­be confounded, the wicked shalbee destroyed, & many other like thingꝭ. But if any of a foolishe pitie, will la­ment or bewaile this cruel generati­on, the whiche hath not onely put to death the righteous and innocent, but also the Sonne of GOD, and all by the conspiracy of these wicked impes: shall he not be found as one that reioyceth in their eniquitie with thē and approuing that which they haue doone, yea and is woorthy to perishe with thē which would not haue their sinnes punished? Now heare that is said in the .19. Chapiter of the se­cond booke of Samuel. Thou louest those which hate thee, & hatest those yt loue thee. This Joab said to Dauid [Page] when hee lamented ouermuche for his murderer Absalom. Wherefore in this consideration we ought to re­ioyce together with all the faithfull of GOD, for his righteousnesse the which punisheth moste iustly the persecutors of the true religion, to the end that the elect of God may be de­liuered from the hand of them. In this part we se shining in the repro­bate and dampned suche benefites & tresures as bee not small, but great and excellent, that is to say, the ven­geaunce of the outrage doone to the faithful, yea the iniury doon to thee if thou be righteoꝰ with them, wherefore then bee not dismaied if God by thy present euil, hee taketh venge­aunce of thine enemy, that is to say, the sin of thy body, but rather thou oughtest to reioyce, & to praise God, for the execution hereof, whiche is moste iust and right, whiche yet be­fore thou cāst open thy mouth to pray dooth sley and distroy in thy self the [Page 46] moste wicked enemy that thou hast, that is the sinnes that is within thee, but if thou hast compassion of this e­nemy: thou shalt be found a freend of sinne, and enemy of iustice and righ­teousnesse whiche woorketh in thee. Wherfore wee ought to take heed that it bee not sayd to vs, thou louest those that hate thee: and hatest those that loue thee. For as thou oughtest to reioyce in the iustice of God, perse cuting thy sinne: euen so reioice in the execution against sinners, ene­mies to God and to man. We heare now what excellēt benefites is foūd in great and horrible euelꝭ, and how we ought to reioyce in our great mi­series, not because of ye euelꝭ it self: but because of the inestimable good­nesse and iustice of God, the which taketh vengeaunce of oure sinnes and wickednes.

¶ The fift Chapiter of the fyfth consideration of the good on the left hand.

[Page] HEre is to be spoken of the aduersaries that be yet li­uing in the world, for in the Chapiter going before we haue treated of the ad­uersaries that be all damned & made like to the deuelles, but we must con­sider these heere with an other affec­tion, and consider them two maner of waies. First they abound and prosper in temporall thingꝭ, in suche sort that the Prophetꝭ them selues were almoste moued to enuy thē, because of their felicitie, as it is said in the. 73. Psalme. My foot had all moste slipped, my steps were almoste gone seeyng the wicked in suche prosperi­tie and felicitie, I had euen all moste borne them enuy. And in the same Psalme. Beholde the wicked (ha­bunding in iniquitie) haue obtay­ned great riches. And in the. 12. of Jeremy. [Page 47] Thou art verely righteous Lord when I doo argue against thee, neuerthelesse I shall consider of the thinges that be righteous with thee. Wherfore doo I see the wicked pros­per, the affaires of all those whiche wurk wickednesse and goe forward. But ye questions is, Wherefore dooth he poure vpon them so great bene­fites, and so vndeserued: but to the end to comefort vs, and to shew how good he wil be to them that are of an vpright hart, as it is saide in ye same Psalme. He that is so good to the wic­ked: how muche more wil he be good to the faithful? and in that he dooth not tormēt the wicked with any ma­ner euelles, but the good he prooueth them by many euellꝭ: that they may know that he is good to them, not onely in goodes that be present: but also in riches whiche bee hidden and inuinsible, that they may say with the Psalmist. It is good for me to ioyne my self to the Lorde, and to set [Page] my hope and trust in my God, as if he had said. Although I suffer, seeing them deliuered and free without trouble, yet I haue this confidence, that God wil let me feele his clemency and goodnesse muche more then shall they. And therefore the disible goodes of the wicked: bee spurres to moue vs to trust in the inuisible goodꝭ and to dispise & set light by the euellꝭ whiche we suffer. It is it that ye Lord Jesus commaundeth vs in the sixt Chapiter of Saint Mathew, to be­holde the birdes of the ayre and the Lillyes of the feeld, saying. If God so clothe the grasse whiche is to day in his flowre and to morow cast into the furnace: how muche rather wil he clothe you? O ye of little faith. Wherefore by the comparison of the goodꝭ, whiche the wicked abuse and the euelles and miseries whiche wee suffer: our faith is exercised, and wee obtaine consolation in God, whiche is the moste holy consolatiō and comfort. [Page 48] So necessary it is that all thingꝭ happen to the best to ye faithful. The other goodes, whiche is muche more to be meruailed at: is that their euelles be turned to our good and profite as GOD hath ordeined it. For all though their sinnes be offensiue to ye weakest and infirm and feeble s [...]lꝭ, neuertheles they be exercises of vertue, and of spirituall battaile and of greater helth to the strong and faithful. For blessed is the man that suf­freth in temptation, for when he shal be tried: he shall receiue a crowne of life. Now is there a greater tempta­tion then these multitude of moste euell examples? And ye cheefe reason why the world is called an enemy to the faithful and electe of God: is that by their enticementes and wicked wurkes, they may draw vs, allure, prouoke and turne vs from the way of God to their wayes. As is saide in ye. 6. of Genesis. The Sonnes of God saw the daughters of men that they [Page] were faire, and ioyned them selues to them. Also in Numeri. 25. Chapi­ter. The Children of Israel are fallē with the daughters of the Moabites, insomuche that it is a thing helthful to vs to be continually pressed & hol­den down by some misfortune, so that we striuing with the euell occa­sions of the world: fall not into sinne and wickednesse, we I say that be so weake. Also Saint Peter in the. 2. Chapiter of his second Epistle com­mendeth Lot, for that he suffred ma­ny wicked examples of the Sodomi­tes, so that he profited and encreaced in righteousnes thorow these thīgꝭ. Therfore it is necessary ye offences happen whiche engender warre and victory. Yet notwithstanding, wo bee to ye world because of offences. Now if God procure vs so great goodnesse, in the sinnes and wickednesse of o­thers: how muche more ought we to beleeue with all our hartes that hee shall procure and turne into good our [Page 49] euelles and misfortunes, although the sence and feeling of the fleshe iudgeth otherwise? The world brin­geth vs no lesse goodnesse on the o­ther side with his euelles, whiche is called aduersitie & misery. For those whiche he can not swallow by enticementes and incorporate to him self by offences: hee assayeth to repulse and put fro him by aduerūtyes, and driueth them of by paines and tor­mentes, procuring alwaies against them snares by examples of sin, & foining out his furies by horrible tormentes and paines. This is the monster that the Poets doo call Chimery, whiche hath the hedde of a damosell and gratious countenaunce, the wombe of a Lion, and the taile of a venemus serpent. For the ende to whiche the world pretendeth, what with his volupteousnes, and what wt his tiranny: is poisoned death and dampnation eternally. So now wee see that God hath made vs to finde [Page] our cheef goodꝭ in ye midst of the sinn [...] of ye world, to thend that ye persecutious and afflictions whiche he sendeth be not to vs idle nor vaī. They be or deyned vs for the encreasing of oure benefites, in suche wise that the same wherewith the world dooth noy and molest vs: be constrained to pro­fit vs. As Saint Augustine saith of the litle Children that Herod put to death. That hee neuer profyted so muche by loue and good wil: as hee did by hate. And Saint Agathe went into the Prison very ioyously as to a banket, saying thus. If thou doost not tame my bodye by thy tormentors: my soule shall not come into heauen, for to receiue ye moste blessed crown.

And as the graine of wheat is not laid vp into the barnes, but first is driuen out of the eare, and sore beatē in the ayer barne. But wherefore doe wee tary vpon thinges so small, seeyng the holy scriptures and all ye sayinges of the auncient fathers, the [Page 50] actes of all the holy faithfull saintes and seruauntꝭ of God accord to this? For those that seem to be moste hurtful to the beleuers: be those that doo them moste good, if they doo suffer it patiently. As Saint Peter saith in the. 3. Chapiter of his. 1. Epistle. And who is hee that can hurt you if ye fo­low that is good. And in the Psalme. [...]. His enemy shall not ouertake him, and the sonne of wickednes shal not hurt him. And how shall he not hurt him? Doothe hee not kil often?

But yet in hurting and melesting, he dooth seruice and profit very much to the faithful. So now we may see our selues dwelling in the midst of al perfect goodnes whiche compasseth vs about on euery side If we be wise and consider them with a godly eye, and notwithstanding yet we remain in the midst of thaforsaid euelles. So wunderfully be thinges tempered and mingled by the cōning and mer­uelous wurk of Godꝭ diuine power.

¶ The sixt Chapiter of the sixth consideration of the good on the right hand.

THis benefit is the Church or congregation of the faithful, the new creature of God, our brethern and freendes, wherein we see nothing but all goodnes and conso­lation, although we se not this conti­nually with the corporall eyes as we may see in the contrary Image of e­uelles: but wt the spirituall eye, and also that those goodes, whiche we see the faithful possesse, be not to bee reiected: but rather to consider yt God dooth comfort vs in such cōmodities, For the Psalmist in the. 73. Psalme durst not condemne nor reiect those that possessed riches of the worlde, saithe. If I should speak so: I should condemn the generatiōs of thy Children, that is to say. If I should say, that they be all wicked, and that all [Page 51] those that be riche, honorable, & helthful, be reprobate: I should condemne thy very seruauntes, of whom there be riche, honorable, & helthfull. And also where as Saint Paul exhorteth Timothe to geue commaundement to the riche of this world that they be not proud, yet hee dooth not forbid to haue riches: and the scriptures sheweth that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were riche, and Daniell and his fe­lowes were honored in Babilō, and also many other kingꝭ in Juda were found faithful seruauntes of GOD. The Psalmist casteth his eyes vpon these, and saith. If I had so sayd: I had reproued the generations of thy Children, GOD (I say) geueth abundance of these riches to his people of tentimes, for the releefe aswel of thē selues as of others, but these goodes be not there owne proper & effectuall goodes: but onely figures and sha­dowes of the true goodes, whiche bee faith, hope, charitie and other gra­ces [Page] and giftes, whiche bee all made commō by charitie. This is the com­munion of saintes in the whiche wee should glory. And who is he that wil not recoyce now, yea although it be in the middest of great euelles, if hee beleue that this is true, that is to say If he beleeue that the goodnesse of all the Saintes be his, and that his euel is their euel also? This Image is moste pleasaunt and amiable to be­holde, whiche the Apostle to the Ga­lathians painteth and describeth to vs in this sorre. Beare the burthens one of an other, and so fulfil the law of Christe. Is not this a good thing to be in suche a [...]ace: that when one member suffreth, all the rest suf­fer also? and when one is glorified all the other reioyce with him? As it is said in Saint Paule to the Corinthi­ans. When I suffer, I suffer not a­lone, Jesus Christe and all the Chri­stians suffer with mee, as God him self saith. He that toucheth you tou­cheth [Page 52] the apple of mine eye. Also the Churche dooth feele and beare with my burthen, their vertue is my ver­tue, the faith of the Churche and cō ­gregation dooth strengthen my Infidelitie. The chastitie of the Churche dooth help to beare with the tempta­tion of my fleshe. The praier of them is watcheful for mee, and also moste necessary. Breefly the mem­bers haue suche care the one for the other, that the moste honest doo couer the moste simple, they doo serue them and honour thē, as the Apostle doothe very wel describe to ye Corinthians. Now in this cace I may glory, that is, in the goodnes of other as in mine owne proper, and also they be mine owne when I am content to communicate with them. Now though I bee filthy and wretched, yet those that I loue and of whome I am one, be fair and beautifull, by the whiche loue I make not onely their goodnes mine: but also them selues bee made mine, [Page] and therefore vnder the glory of thē my shame shalbe couered and bew­tified, by their habundance: my po­uertie shalbe fulfilled. Who is he thē yt can dispaire in his sinnes? Who is he that wil not now reioyce in his afflictions and suffringes? For be­holde he beareth no more his afflicti­ons and paines, but they doo beare with him, he beareth thē not alone: but is holpen by a blessed company of the Children of God, and of Jesus Christe him self. Suche an excellent thing is it to be of the Communion of the faithful, and of the Churche of Jesus Christe. But if there be any that beleueth not these thinges to be thus: he is an Infidel, and dooth disa­low Jesus Christe and his Churche, because he feeleth not these thinges whiche be infallible true. But what is the cause that thou fallest not into dispaire, and that thou art not be­come vtterly vnpacient? Is it thy vertue? No truly, but the communion of [Page 52] the faithfull. For otherwise thou couldest not beare the least sin that is, nor suffer one wurd of a man spo­ken against thee. So good is Jesus Christe to thee, and so nigh to thee is he and his Churche. This is it that we say, I [...]eleeue in the holy Ghoste & the holy vniuersal congregatiō or Churche. What is it to beleeue ye ho­ly Churche vniuersall, but the com­munion of the holy and faithful?

But now in what thinges doo the saintes communicate? They communicate in good and euel. For all thin­ges be to all men, as the sacrament of the supper of the Lorde represen­teth the same to vs, in bread & wine, where wee bee called by Saint Paul one onely body, one bread, and one drink. For who is he that can offend or hurt the least part of our body: but by and by he greeueth the whole bo­dy in the same? Who may suffer the least prick in our toe, but all the body wilbe greued with the same? What [Page] good is doone to the foote, but all the body wil reioyce? Euen so are wee all one body, for all that one suffreth: I suffer also, and what soeuer good is doone to one, is doon to my self. For who can take any part or porcion of the bread or supper of the Lorde how little so euer it bee, to whome it may not be said that he hath receaued the Lordes supper? Who is he that dooth despise the least porcion of the bread: the whiche likewise may not be saide that he hath despised the holy communion or supper? Wherefore if wee be angred, if we suffer, yea if we dy, cast our eyes vpon this, and beleeue firmly, be wee certaine that it is not wee that be sadde or heuy, or that doo suf­fer, or that doo dy, no we be not alone: but Jesus Christe and his Churche suffreth with vs. So is it that Jesus Christe hath willed that the way of death should bee to vs comfortable and that we should passe ouer all our miseries by the same the whiche all [Page 54] mē haue in horrour and be afraid of. But now wee entring into the way of the passion and of the death, ha­uing all the Churche to accompany vs, and the Church dooth suffer more constantly then we can our selues, so that we may truly appropriat & take to our selues that whiche Elie sayde to his seruaunt Giezi, whiche was taken with feare in the second, of Kinges the sixt Chapiter. Feare not for there are more on our sides then of our ennemies. And after Elie had praied: hee said Lorde yt it may please thee to open the eyes of this Lad that he may se, and then the Lord opened the eyes of Giezi and he saw and be­holde the mountaine was ful of souldiers and of Chariottes round about Elie. And now their lacketh no more to vs, but that wee pray that God wil open our eyes that wee may see the Churche or congregation of GOD round about vs, yea the eyes of our faith, & thē ther shalbe nothīg so horrible [Page] nor fearful that shall make vs a fraid, as is said in the. 134. Psalme. As the hye mountaines are round a­bout him: euen so standeth the Lorde about his people from this time forth for euermore.


¶ The seuenth Chapiter of the seuenth consideration of the good whiche is a­boue vs.

I Doo not speake of the eter­nall and celestiall goodꝭ, whiche the blessed doo en­ioy, as in a clear light and vision of God: but rather or at the least I speake of those accor­ding to faith, and after the meanes by the whiche these thinges may bee comprehended of vs. Also this seuenth consideration is Jesꝰ Christ the king of glory, rising from death. For as we reade in the seuenth consideration of euelles, he suffred, died, & [Page 54] was buried: so heerewe may beholde ye souerein īestimable ioy of our hartꝭ and the strength of our felicitie and comfort. The Sonne of God beeing raised frō death dieth no more, death shall no more reigne nor haue domi­nation ouer him. This is the furnace of Charitie and the fire of GOD in Sion, as saith Esay. For Jesꝰ Christ is born to vs, and not onely so: but is also geuen to vs, and therfore his re­surrection is mine, and all that he hath accomplished by his moste glorious resurrection. And as Saint Paul in the. 8. to the Romaines, dooth glo­ry and reioyce, saiyng. How shall he not geue vs all thinges with him?

Now what hath hee doone in rising from death? He hath destroyed sinne, he hath raised the righteoꝰ and iust, hee hath swalowed vp death, he hath brought life, hee hath obtained victo­ry ouer hel, and prepared for vs euer lasting glory. Beholde the inestima­ble goodes, so that the vnderstanding [Page] of man can very hardly perceiue o [...] ­beleeue that they be geuen to him. As Jacob in the. 45. Chapiter of Ge­nesis, hearing that his Son Joseph reigned in Egipt, he as rising from a deepe and profound dreame: myght not beleeue those whiche tolde him those thinges vntil they shewed him the Chariottes with stuffe, sent from Joseph. Also as difficil and hard a thing it is to vs to beleeue yt so great goodes is prepared for vs by Jesus Christe, to vs whiche be so vnwurthy except he him self doo make vs beleue it by his wurd in many sure textes & places. And as he did appeere and declare him self to his disciples, by ma­ny apparitions, Also he dooth now allure and draw vs to him, as by Cha­riottes, by long experience and v­sage, and this is a Chariot moste gratioꝰ & louing, that he is made of God to vs righteousnes, wisedome, sanctification and redemption. As Saint Paul saith. 1. Corinthians the. 1. Chapiter. [Page 56] I am a sinner, but I am borne and lifted vp in his righteousnesse which is made mine. I ā filthy shameful, and miserable, but his holinesse is made to me my sanctification and my purgation in the whiche I am moste graciously and louingly trai­ned and brought vp. I am foolish, but his wisedome dooth sustaine and bear me. I am wurthy of damnation, but his liberty is my sufficient raūsome. O Chariot moste sure, so that ye Christian and faithful person (whiche be­leueth the same) may asmuche glory and reioyce in all these goodes and merites of our Lorde Jesus Christe: as him self had doone them. They be his owne proper, so that now he may boldely abide the iudgement of God, the whiche without this is of all men importable. This faith is a thing moste excellent, for it bringeth to vs suche inestimable goodes, so glorioꝰ, that it dooth constitute vs the glorioꝰ Children of God, for wee can not bee [Page] Children, but wee must possesse and obtaine the goodes of our father and the enheritaunce. Now the Christi­ans may boldely say, death where is thy victory? O death where is thy sting? that is to say sinne, for the [...]ing of death: is sinne▪ and the strength of sinne: is the lawe. Thankes bee to our Lorde God whiche hathe made vs to obtaine victory by Jesꝰ Christe our Lord, yt is to say. The law dooth constitute and declare vs sinners, sin maketh vs culpable of death and dāp nation. Now who hath vanquished these thinges? Is it our righteous­nes? Is it our good life? No truly, it is the Lord Jesus rising from death, cō demning death and sin, making vs partakers of his righteousnesse, re­signing to vs his merites, putting his hand vpon vs and taketh vs to him, and fulfilleth the law, and ouer­commeth sinne and death. Now for all these thinges, honour, geuing of thankes, and praise bee to our good [Page 66] God for euer and euer. Amen.

This is the moste souereigne consideration in the whiche we be all redy so by lifted vp, not onely aboue our euelles: but also aboue our good­nesse, and be all ready in possession of the goodes of others, gotten by the labor of other, in place where we were couched before in the euells of other, and conquered by the sinnꝭ of other, and augmented by our owne▪ We be now couched and set in the place of the righteousnes of Jesus Christe, yt whiche is to him righteousnes, for as muche as we are ioyned to hi, which is agreable to God, and as a media­tour dooth intercede & make request for vs and this moste holy sacrifica­tor and aduocate is made whole altogether oures. These thing doo make the Christian to be ful of all strength Lorde of all thinges, hauing all [...]nges, and all without sinne, and wh [...] he shal be yet in any: sinne, the sinne shall not greene him, but bee perd [...] ­ned, [Page] because of ye insuperable righteousnes of the Lord Jesus, the whiche dooth as it were swalow vp all our sinnes▪ vpon whome our faith is stayed, hoping sted fastly that Jesus Christe is euen suche a one as we beleue that he is. And he that beleeueth not this: it is to him as one ye tolde him a fable or as to a dum man or one that knoweth not Christe, nor what he dooth profite him, nor what vtilitie is in Jesus Christe. Where fore if we had no o­ther meditations or considerations but this onely, it were sufficient to fulfil vs with vnspeakable consolati­on, if it bee diligently considered wt an attentife hart, we shall not onely be sorowful for our euelles: but also we shall glory and reioyce in out tri­bulations, thorow the great ioy that we haue in our Lord Jesus, and shall scantly feele our miseries and euel­les. That good Lord Jesus our God blessed for euer: make vs to feel and perceiue this Glory. So be it.

¶ A breefe Table of the prin­cipall matters cōtained in this book, and heere you shall vnderstand that this letter (a) be tokeneth the first side of the leafe, the letter (b) betoke­neth the last syde, and (l) be to­keneth the numbre of the lines on the same side.

  • Abundaunce of riches bringeth not so great cōsolation as dooth a good conscience, fo, 28. b. line. 9
  • Afflictiōs are to be loued. fo. 24. a. l. 23
  • Afflictions good to vs, fo, 25. a. l. 4
  • Afflictions of a Christian, be not as ye afflictiōs of ye wicked, fo, 25. a. l. 19
  • Agathe went into prisō. fo. 49. b. l. 13
  • Benignitie of God is great, fo, 15. a. li. 21.
  • Bodily graces can not be estemed, Fo, 27, b. li20
  • Care of God for vs, fo, 9. a, li. 19. fo, 10. b li. 14. Fo, 42. b. li.
  • [Page]Christian ought to bee greeued with the misery of others. fo. 15. b. li. 3.
  • Christian is alwaies better and in­creceth in goodnes whether he liue or dy. fo. 34. a. li. 20.
  • Comfort to man, is that hee feeleth not all his finnes. Fo. 3. a. li. 3.
  • Communion of Saintes what it is. so. 51. b. li. 2.
  • it is in good and euel. fo. 53. a. li. 13.
  • Confession of sinnes proceeding frō faith iustifieth and sanctifieth. fo. 22. b. li. 16.
  • Corporall tribulation, is aduertise­ment of the inward euel. fo. 1. b. l. 11
  • Curse is the cause of blessing. fo. 24. a. li. 18.
  • Dauid the figure of Christe. fo. 38. a. li. 16.
  • Dampnation of some for lesse euellꝭ then we doo. fo. 13. a. li. 14.
  • Death greatest of all terrible thingꝭ fo. 6▪ a. li. 4
  • [Page]Death feared of Saintꝭ. fo. 6. b. li. 3.
  • Death feared of Christe. fo. 6. b. li. 4.
  • Death is to be desired rather thē this life if we loue God. fo. 8. a. li. 11.
  • Death is rather to be chosen then to returne to the whole kinde of life passed. Fo. 8. b. li. 11.
  • Death of the wicked is often times deserued of other which God dooth keep. fo. 12. a. li. 11.
  • Death good to vs. fo. 25. a. li. 5.
  • Death of a Christian likened to the brasen serpent. fo. 25. a. li. 7.
  • Death is the beginning of life. fo. 25. a. li. 23.
  • Death is neuer tasted of him that kepeth the wurd of Christe. fo. 25. b. li. 1
  • Death of the faithful is precious. Fo 34. a. li. 4.
  • Death of the wicked is moste vnhappy Fo. 34. a. li. 12.
  • Death maketh an ende of euellꝭ and paines, vice and sinnes. Fo. 35. b. li▪ 21. Fo. 36. a. li. 20.
  • [Page]Death whiche was the paine of sin: is now the end of sinne and begin­ning of righteousnes. fo. 36. b. li. 21.
  • Death the cause of al good. Fo. 37. a. li. 21.
  • Euelles within a man moste miserable. fo. 1. a. l. 11.
  • Euelles ful knowne would make a man perishe. Fo. 1. b. li. 5.
  • Euelles long continued we make no count of them. Fo. 4. a. li. 7.
  • Euelles be not measured according to the fact: but after thoppinion. Fo. 4. a. l,. 13
  • Euelles what soeuer one suffereth none can be surely exempted from them. Fo. 5. b. li. 19.
  • Euelles common to all men. Fo. 6. b. li. 13.
  • Euelles to come are moste to be feared Fo. 6. b. li. 18.
  • Euellꝭ of aduersaries letted by God. Fo, 14. b. li. 7
  • Euellꝭ of other shall make our owne [Page] seeme light, Fo, 17. b. li. 25
  • Euelles and sorowes be molified, [...] 18. b. li. 4
  • Euelles of the soule bee worse then the euelles of the body, fo, 36. a li. 5.
  • E [...]ample of euel liuers doo help to our aduertise mentes. fo. 43. b. li. 14
  • Feeble and weake haue moste neede of comfort in death, Fo, 6. b. li. 11
  • Felicitie of Christians, through af­flictions and death. Fo. 33. b. li. 15.
  • God dooth chasten vs benignly, discouering vnto vs the least euelles fo, 1. b. l. 1
  • Goliath was the figure of sin. Fo. 38. a. li. 14.
  • Goodnes that GOD dooth to the wic­ked moueth vs to consider his goodnes to the good, fo, 47. a. li. 14.
  • Goodꝭ of ye wicked be spurrꝭ to moue vs to trust in the inuisible goodꝭ & set light by the euelles whiche wee [Page] doo suffer. Fo. 47. b. li. 8.
  • Goodes that a man hath in his owne person cannot be nombred. Fo. 27. b. li. 15.
  • Goodes of the spirit more excellent then the goodes of honour fame. &c. Fo. 28. b. li. 9.
  • Hermit complained because he was one yeere without trouble. Fo. 21. b. li. 7.
  • Hye degree is subsect to many temp­tations. Fo. 14. b. li. 15.
  • Honorable estate engendreth feare. Fo. 5. a. li. 13.
  • Horror of diseased personnes. Fo. 16. b. li. 12.
  • Hurtful thingꝭ yt seem to hurt ye beleuers: doo thē moste good. Fo. 59. a. li. 3.
  • Ignomini mother of glory. Fo. 24. a. li. 20.
  • Ingratitude not to esteeme wurthe­ly the benefites of God. Fo. 13. b. line. 11.
  • [Page]Iniuries sanctified by Christ, Fo, 24 b. li. [...]
  • Justice of God is but one. Fo. 13. a. l. 16
  • Lot was [...]exed by the wurkes of the wicked, Fo, 16. a li, 15
  • Lot increased in righteousnesse tho­row suffering wicked examples of the Sodomites, Fo, 48. b. li. 13
  • Loue of righteousnesse is the loue of death, Fo, 36. b. li. 25
  • Maladies hurtig the body be named CCC. Fo, 5. a. li. 2
  • Mankinde is noble and can doo many thinges that no oother creature cā doo, Fo, 28. a. li. 2
  • Meat among volupteous men is not found good with out sauce, Fo, 29. a li 16
  • Members of one body help one an o­ther, Fo, 52. a. line. 10
  • Mountain of mirre, what it is, Fo, 23. a. line. 18
  • [Page]Parentes louing their Children, Fo 1. b. line. 23
  • Passion of Christe called a baptisme Fo, 24. b. li. 14
  • Passion of Christe is [...] somuche the lesse strength in a man as he is far ther from the loue of suffring troubles of this worlde, fo, 27. a. l. 3
  • Percecutions sanctified by Christes suffringes, Fo, 24. a. li. 11
  • Pleasure and volupte ousnes engell­dre werines, Fo; 29. a li. 2
  • Pouertie inriched by Christe, fo, 24. a. li. 16
  • Presence of God among vs, Fo, 9. b. li. 21
  • Prouidence of God is alway present toward vs, Fo, 39. b. li. 21
  • Purpose of manne, Fo, 9. a. line. 4
  • Rebukes of the worlde are rather to be imbraced and kissed then the Apparel, Cups or other be sselles that Christe touched, Fo, 25. b. li. 23
  • Reliques doo not so muche good as [Page] troubles in this world, fo, 26. a line. 8
  • Resurrection of Christe what good it dooth to vs, Fo, 55. a. lin. 18
  • Saint John Bapt [...] beheaded, Fo, 19. b. li. 9
  • Saintes praied for the euelles of o­ther, fo, 15 b. li. 25 fo, 18. a. li. 7
  • Soule of the Sinner more horribls then the sore diseased body, fo, 17. a. line. 3
  • Saintes haue suffered tormentes to haue a Crown of life, Fo, 18. b. l. 16
  • Sensuall man vnderstandeth not the thinges that be of God, Fo, 21. a. l. 15
  • Shame is glorified by christe, Fo, 24. a. line. 15
  • Shames of the world be to be imbraced, Fo, 25. a. line. 23
  • Sin is destroyed by his owne frute, Fo, 38, a, li. 4
  • Sufferinges of other domoue vs to praise God, Fo, 44. a. li. 14
  • Suffring of our troubles is nothing [Page] if it be compared to the s [...]ing of the Saintes, Fo, 21. [...]. li. 18
  • Supper of the Lord, Fo, 53. a. li. 16
  • Wicked be as a raging Sea, Fo, 17. b. line. 4.
  • World likened to the Sea, Fo, 4. a line. [...]

¶ Faults escaped in ye printig

Leaf. [...]de.line.fault.correction.
11111.it spoken,it is spoken.
14121.same of the. sea,sād of the sea.
1 [...]225.the the euelles,the euelles.
28124.riches abūdāce,riches [...] abundance
311 [...].yeayet.
502 [...].albeit,also.
512 [...]re [...]oice,reioice.

Imprinted at London at the Long S [...] adioining vnto Sainct Mildreds Churche in the Pultrieꝭ by John Alde.

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