THE OLD MANS STAFFE, Two Sermons, SHEWING THE ONELY WAY TO A COMFORTABLE old Age, Preached in Saint Maries in Douer by IOHN READING.

Psalme 71. 9. Cast me not off in the time of age, forsake me not when my strength faileth.

LONDON, Printed by Bernard Alsop for Iohn H [...]dgets. 1621.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE EDVVARD Lord Zouch, Sr. Maurc and Cantelup, Con­stable of Douer Castle, Lord Warden, Chancellor and Admirall of the Cinque-ports, &c. Of his Maiesties most Honorable Pri [...]te Counsell through Great Britaine, my singular good Lord, encrease of true blessednesse.

RIGHT HONOVRABLE,

THese Sermons which I ten­der your Lordship, I prea­ched to a zealous Congre­gation, with assurance, that GOD who vouchsafed to speake out of the bush,Exod. 3. was also powerfull in my weaknesse: and for that I am resol­ued, that what some profitably heare,Qui est locu­tus [...] sen [...]bus, nee rubum est dedignatus, Ambr, l. 1 de Virg. they and others may also profitably reade, with like confidence I venture them into the iawes of a censuring age; not caring how they displease curious eares, so they [Page] may benefit the good: I shall [...]udge them happily borne, what euer they suffer, if of many Readers some lay them to heart. I confesse they are an vnworthy interest of that I am indebted to your Honor, there­fore am contented if they go but for two mites, so that they may be layed vp in the treasurie which weigheth all offerings by the Giuers mind: Bee pleased to accept them, and I will daily beseech the Lord all-sufficient, to adde many comfortable yeares to your Honorable age, that it may be crowned with immortall glorie in his kingdome: In whom I am

Your Honors most humble Seruant, IOHN READING.

THE OLD MANS STAFFE.

PROV. 16. 31. The hoarie head is a Crowne of glorie, if that it be found in the way of righteousnesse.’

MAns life is but a iourney to the graue,Via vita dici­tur per quam quiliber natus properat ad finem, Basil. in Psal. 1. Exod. 12. 8. 11. a way, a short way to death: Infancy the way to childhood, childhood to youth, youth to the strongest age, that to olde age, and old age the Thule, and ne plus vltra of Nature,Baculus su­stentatio est senectutis Chrysost. in Psal. [...]3. Hos. 4. [...]2. Ezek. 19. 7. Isai 36. 6. is the confines of Death. The old man standeth like the Israelite departing from Egypt, eating the Passeouer with sowre hearbs, and his Staffe in his hand. Some leane on superstitious vanities, their Staffe teacheth them, but to erre; o­thers to that Staffe of Reede, the World: which confidence is an Egypt to Israel,Baculus intel­ligitur ae que ipsa lex, quae [...] ostēdere no [...]r pec [...]a [...]a, non aufer [...]e Chrys quo s. breaking in their hand, and wounding them which trust to it. The blessed man maketh righteousnesse his Staffe, not that of the Law, that is a Rod of Iron to breake the vngodly, that can discouer, but not take away sinne; [Page 2] but the righteousnesse of Faith in Christ, (Arod of the stocke of Ish [...]i) and the complete armour of God, [...] which furnished the Patriarkes and Prophets: which being fully reuealed in the old age of the World, to comfort her e [...]ill daies, are like Dauids Staffe and Scrip, furnished with stones taken out of the brook, a sure defence against the enemie: Blessed is the man planted by these waters, hee shall bring forth fruit in due season, his leafe shall not fade, his olde age sh [...]ll be blessed. The hoarie head is a Crowne of glorie. These words containe this proposition, the old age of a righteous man is honorable and blessed: yet in a second view I see them,Gen. 2. like the riuer of Paradise, diuiding themselues into foure heads.

1 The first runneth towards the last part of mans earthly pilgrimage, set downe heere vnder hoarie haires, an effect or signe of Old Age.

2 The second proposeth a reward to those which arriue at this age of sorrow and care, A Crowne of dignitie.

3 The third look [...]th vp toward the all-seeing eie of Iustice, beholding all our way, and accordingly re­warding as it is found.

4 The last pointeth out the only meanes to obtaine that Crowne of glorie, an honourable old Age, which is to be had in the way of righteousnesse.

The hoarie head or old age is a Crown [...] of glorie, My discourse must begin at the end, like the motion of the inferiour Spheres ab occasu, from the euening and setting of life: The last Scene to be acted on Natures Stage, is the Prologue, the exordium of my Text. The Argument and summe which all our [Page 3] numbred daies shall teach vs,Cur [...]s est cer­tus aetatis & via na [...]urae v­ [...]ea, omnes vnū c [...]rrious c [...]rriculum, ad propr [...]am me­tan [...] tendentes. Basil [...] P [...]l. 1. ho. 1. is our present lesson, We must be old. There is a certaine course, and one onely path of Nature, an headlong way of time, wherein is no stay, but such easie passage, that the Infant and lame old man runne with equall pace to a more distant or neerer end. Mans state was by creation immortall, but the day that sinne was borne, man began to die: had he not sinned, there should haue beene a comfortable maturitie in age; and if our liues like some long kindled lampes should haue consumed, it must haue beene without all paine, sicknesse, want of strength, sense or feare of death; for without sinne there could haue beene no punishment: so that if we define old age, a c [...]rtaine ripenesse of life, and length of time to a blessed translation, then age is naturall;Ipsa senectus est morbus. Membra tor­pent, praemori­tur visus, audi­tus, incestus. Plin. l. 7. c. 50. Eccles. 12. De fide resur. c. 9. but if we describe it according to our present being, it is a continuall disease, the grounds and lees of life, in which the bodie languisheth, one part fore­running the rest toward the graue; in which the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow themselues, the gri [...]ders cease, and they waxe darke which looke out of the windowes: therefore I may say of it as Ambrose of death; God gaue it not a princi­pio, sed pro remedio—non naturaest sed malitiae: [...] is no Child of Nature but Disobedience, and now our liues decay is a remedie against the life of sinne, that therefore in this senio mundi, do [...]age of the world, our liues like winter Sunnes hasten to their s [...]tting, shortning from hundreds to tennes. It is the mercy of God, that our sinnes so quickly mature, should not liue too long, to greaten his iudge­ments. [Page 4] For whose sake [...]ime and age now pull vs by the hands, [...]. 1 [...]. 16. as the Angels did Lot, and part of his familie, lingring in the condemned Sodome; and we must soone be old.

God said it in the first si [...]ners doome: and againe he calleth [...]an earth, earth, earth, Gen 3. 19. remembring him what he was, is, and shall be.

Experience telleth vs, one day telleth another, one night certifieth another, [...] our life is but of few daies; and we like those which saile, arriue insensi­bly at our Port.

O [...]r griefes tell it vs, growing in our decreasing, waxing strong in our feeblenesse.Gen. 47. 9.

All the Creatures tell it vs, [...] [...] which haue [...] se­nium: [...] as of all things there is a maturitie, so of life which is old age: the long liued trees haue their age of decaying, nay, the glorious piles of building, ( [...]ately Sepulchers of Charitie) grow old, the graues are buried in their dust, and monuments by some esteemed the onely suruiuers of their families,Vita sens [...]m absum [...]tur. Ba­s [...]l. in Psal 1. are entombed in obliuion: I haue not yet said all; Death himselfe that meagre Sarcophagus, greedie st [...]ueling, hauing deuo [...]red all like Time, shall ea [...]e himsel [...]e and die of Famine: The last enemie that shall be destroyed is Death. 1. Cor. 15. 26 Vse.

No lesson in the World more taught, lesse lear­ned: though God, experience, paines, Death, nay though the earth euery day opening her mouth to recei [...]e others, tell vs our turne is neere: yet we liue as if we belee [...]ed it not. [...] The first vse cryeth to the Old man, Whilest it is called to day, if ye heare his voice [...]arden not your hearts. Sleepe not without Oyle in [Page 5] your lamps, the Bridegroome is at the doore. The second commeth from the vnhappie old men, cry­ing to the yong as Diu [...]s from hell,Luke 16. 28. lest they also come into this place: the young say of this lesson as the high P [...]iests to Iudas, What is it to vs? Math. 27. 4. at least as the lewes in Hagge 1. 2. concerning the repairing the Temple, The time is not yet come: or with him in the Comedian, How vniust is it that our fathers would haue vs, iam iam,Ecel [...]s 11. 9. Matui [...] sias senex.a pueris ilico nasci senes: reioyce O young man in thy youth, and let thine heart cheere thee, walke in the waies of thine heart. But the foun­dation of a comfortable old age is layed in youth: in faire weather we fit our houses against raine:Ad viaticum senectu [...]s. Eccles. 12. mo­de [...]tion must be learned berimes, the best prouisi­on for age; therefore God saith,Sera & contu­meliosa est senectu [...]s. Remember thy Crea­tor in the daies of thy youth: He knew the danger of the euill daies, how vnapt they are for reformation, and how deceitfull old age is▪ [...]. it stealeth on with a slie foot, maketh no noyse, giueth no warning, thou shalt perceiue it come before than spy it comm [...]ng; youth flyeth as it seemeth to approach: age cree­p [...]th like Gideon through the dark to the Madi [...]nites, mantled with night and steepe, clouded with plea­sures and businesse, and when it seemeth farre off, it layeth hand on vs: [...]os. 7. 9. so (as God said to Ephraim) gray haires are vpon vs, and we know not. This is the rea­son why we ha [...]e so many youthfull old men, C [...]il­dren of age, before wee haue put off our youthfull mind [...]; comm [...]th Time and casteth her hoarie rob [...] ouer our deca [...]ed b [...]dies. Some thinke the time wil make it owne prouision, but our yeares passe by vs like swift stream [...]s, as the swee [...]e streames by Tan­ [...]alus, [Page 6] of which we taste no more then our fore-sight taketh vp; therefore esteeme no time well spent, which will nothing benefit thine age.

Some thinke it a soone learned lesson, but their time will enforce them to know, it is no easie step from the broad pathes of sensualitie, to the wayes of righteousnesse: wee cannot presently bee made good old men, we must not hope to sleepe young, like Epimenides in the fable,Plut. part. 2. moral. and to rise vp old. It is a wonder to finde a fruitfull age following a vicious youth: we haue little hope of the Autumne,An sen [...] s [...]t ge­rend. re [...]p. where the Spring promised not so much as Blossomes: I deny not, but that God (to whom all things are possible which he will) can fill the vallies of Moab, when no raine is seene; can change a leprous soule,2 King. 3. 17. Exod 4. 7. as Moses hand by putting againe into his bosome; but it is a fearefull practise to tempt God with expe­ctation of miracles, whilst we neglect the ordinarie meanes. Improue thy youth therefore, for age stea­leth on, or if futures moue thee not, looke vpon thy present danger: youth is neere error,Vicina lapsi­bus adol [...] ­ [...] Chrysost. it is the age of error, (and happy man whose errors die with his youth:) there are a thousand false tongued Hienaes call vpon it, millions of Sirens to distract it: Sinne fitteth like Salomons Curtizan, readie at euery corner of the streete to fall vpon the young mans necke; [...]elling of peace offerings, oportunitie and fill of pleasures with which she allureth. There are many enemies to grace, but none more to be feared then they which fight within vs against vs: how dange­rous is then the estate of youth? Besides all other enemies, it hath it selfe the greatest enemy to it selfe, [Page 7] it selfe being a contemner of others counsaile,Iuuen [...]s con­temptrix [...]. and de [...]titute o [...] it owne (without which they are like helmlesse Ships in the waues of that age) they loue no vnbought wisedome;Dixit Marc [...]s de filio suo Commodo, & est in salo & fluctu vitae. Herodi I 1. therefore they are like the inferiour orbes, how euer they are euery day carri­ed about by the primum mobile, yet they will go their owne courses. Therefore I may say as Zenophon, of the youth which watched about the Pre [...]orie, [...]. his age seemeth to need most care; S [...]han is ambiti­ous of the hearts of young men, [...]. Hippocrat. and though euerie age be fruitfull of euill, yet none more then youth. The yong man had need to haue continuall coun­sell, others good a [...]uice in their hearts, is like fire in greene wood, it must bee followed with continuall breaths, or it will goe out againe; and their owne good motions are commonly like sicke mens hun­ger, often a false appetite, seldome continuing. To conclude, age is comming, and the day shall haue enough with his owne griefe: if thou loade it with sinne, that leaden talent, with excesses, lu [...]ts, wicked habits of youth, [...] (which deliuer an out-worne strengthlesse bodie to old age) it must needes (as Iacob said of his [...]) couch downe betweene two burthens, sinne and infirmitie. Pre [...]ent the euil betimes: bee an happie old man in thy yo [...]th, as some are vnhappy young in their age. Thou wilt say, I am not sure to be old: admit that old age may be preuented with Death, Death hath a royall pre­rogatiue, and is preuented with nothing; if thou wilt not prouide for vncertaine old age, prouide [...]or certaine death. There was no Manna found [...] the Sabbath, but on the other sixe daies there was [Page 8] found pro [...]ision for the seuenth day. After death commeth the eternall Sabbath, then will be no time for prouision: thou art yet in the flower of thy youth; gather such store that thou maist crown thine hoarie haires, for the hoarie head is a Crowne of glo­rie when it is found in the way of righteousnesse.

I am at the waies end,A [...] of glory. the reward, the Crowne of glorie commeth next to hand, whether wee vnder­stand our Crowne importing a reward,Per Catachre­sin, Pro omniprae­mio as it is vsed, for that the Conquerers were crowned, as a re­ward of their victorious labour, as 2. Tim. 2. 5. or if wee take it for an ornament, as Prou. 4. 9. or for a­bounding fulnesse, such as euen compasse [...]h euerie part,Et Psal. 103. 4. as Psal. 64. 11. it will reach vs this lesson:

The old age of a good man is full of comfort and honour, it reneweth as it [...]adeth, as it loseth the blossomes of youth, it findeth a Crowne of digni­tie, abundance of dignitie, which euen like a crowne compasseth euery part.

This point well learned,Vse. would first, better nur­ture those despisers of the aged, who haue learned of the wicked children of Bethel, [...] to mocke the aged; or (as if they had taken vp the inhumane custome of the Massage [...]es, and Berbuces) with vnreuerent vsage, to eare vp their aged Parents, whom God commandeth them to honour.

Secondly, it would comfort the aged, if they knew the dignitie of their age, and that it is a Crowne of glorie, which consisteth in the benefits and bles­sings which God giueth them by their age, for their age, and at the end of their age: of which I will speake in order, if you will first consider with mee [Page 9] these six things which seem to make old age vnhap­py. Some are troubled,Exod. 20. 12. Leuit 9. 32. Turpe est sa­pienu, cam habe [...]t anim [...] captar [...] laudes ex corpore. for their beauties decay in age; they may learne a worthy saying of a most vn­worthy Iulian: It is a shame for the wise to be ambi­tious of his bodies praise, since hee hath a soule: beautie is fading, a fraile good, vnworthy a wise mans care in possessing, or sorrow in losing.

Secondly, for that it is full of infirmities: but they which so obiect, doe more properly blame the dis­ease, then age. To these I only say, if thou art good, thine infirmities cannot make thee vnhappy.

Thirdly, for that age like Delilah, cutteth off our strength as we sleep in her lap;Plut. leauing old men like Mercuries, which they painted without hands & feete, vnapt for imployment: but it is neither strength of old men, nor counsell of young which is expected: happy state where yong mens armes, and old mens counsel preuaile. When Soph [...]cles sonnes before their time, enquired into their fathers yeres, he repeated to the Iudges the verses he was making, for which he was iudged able still to manage his af­faires: greatest a [...]chiuements are not managed so much by strength as wisedome. But who so weake that c [...]nnot serue God? Remember that thou art subordinately borne for thy Countrey, thy friends, thy selfe, but primarily for Gods seruice.

Fourthly, because it [...] pleasures: but since we want to our opinion, onely what we desire; that fault is not in age, but euill appe [...]e of things at least not seasonable; and to reason, nothing is properly wanting which is not numerable among things ne­cessarily good. Want of abundan [...] riches, or youil [Page 10] full pleasure, are improper, and abusiue speeches; for one we should say, want of a mind not coueto [...]s; for [...]he other, want of temperance, though with some diff [...]rence: abundance may be more happily enioy­ed then desired, (all may possesse, none may be co­ [...]ous) but pleasures are for the most part more happily desired then enioyed. For they like one Zo­roastres, laugh at their birth, [...] but like all others borne & dying, end with sorrow: pleasure is counsels foe, reasons snare, and the wits tyrannicall master; it is the deuils grand-factor, the baite to couer the hooks of sinne; the sweete mortall poyson which drieth the veines, and enfeebleth the sinewes of vertue: no wonder if Marcus Curius wished his enemies giuen to pleasure, he knew suchidefendants vnhappy, next them against whom death fighteth with his double armour, the Sword, and Famine. Happy age then which taketh [...] which would make vs more vnhappy, [...] which maketh vs lesse desirous of that which wee should not desire: so many are the mischiefes which this bewitching Siren conueieth to the hart through the senses, that many may auow that which Appius Clau [...]ius said (when he heard the ouerthrow which Pyrrh [...]s gaue the Romans) Before I grieued that I was blind, but now I wish me deafe al­so: not to speake of the miseries of these euill times, which seem to pron [...]ūce the deafe happier thē their hearers, I dare conclude, that the damned haue expe­rience hereof, it had bin better for them to haue bin blind and deafe, [...] then to haue their pleasures in this [...], changed for eternall torments in hell.

Fiftly, that which some obiect, the aged are fro­ward, [Page 11] petish, hasty, malicious, dispraising the present, praising the ages past, selfe-opinioned, forgetfull, and the like, is not our ages fault but ours: that it is talkatiue, he well confessed and excused who said, I thanke mine age which made me lesse intemperate though more talkatiue: young men blame the aged for speaking much when their owne eares itch to be running out into their tongues, or when they heare their iust reproofes: the speaker maketh discourses long or short. I neuer heard a wiseman speake too much, or a foole too little.

Lastly, some therefore esteeme old age vnhappy, because it is neere death: these may as iustly think al the life wretched, of which no part is far from death: and if this life be but a shadow of true life, then hee that hath most to spend of an vncertaine life, is nee­rer [...] euill to be feared, then the aged, who as he is in probability neerer death, so in truth is he neerer the beginning of a true and eternall life.

Opposite to these seeming euils, are sixe reall be­nefits, whereof God giueth the first foure by our age; the fift, for our age that is with man, the last at the end of our age: and these are like sixe pretious Iewels set in this crowne of glorie, dignifying a righ­teous old man.

The first is wisedome,Gloria senum est canities, [...]d est [...], Bed exp. in Sam c. 2. the beauty and vigor of the mind. The ancient heathen pourtrayed out our ages with the same colours and pensill, which now opini­on worketh with: making thē like Nebuchadnezzars Image, an head of gold, breast of siluer, the last par [...] mixed with Iron & clay. But the word of God doth otherwise describe, youth an age of errour and folly, but old age the last golden part, a crown of dig [...]ity. [Page 12] Some may truly say, it is more easie and common to be old then wise:Si sum Sopho­cles non deli­to, id [...]l [...]o non sum So­phocles. I must borrow his forme of spea­king; If Sophocles, no doter, if a doter, no Sophocles: if any be this blessed old man, he is wise, if not wise, not this righteous old man; as will appeare in the last part. What thē if these wrincles are the monuments of thy beauties ruine and decay? yet in those fur­rowes experience hath sowed wisdome. The spring is louely for hopes, but the autumne for fruits: the glory of yong men is their strength,Prou. 20. 29.and the beauty of old men is the gray head. There is beauty for beauty: but as God hath giuen the flower of our life to adorne our youth, otherwise full of deformities of mind, so hath he giuen the fruit of wisedome, the late comli­nesse of mind to honor age,S [...]a foecundi­tas. Ambr. l. 5.epist. 31. else full of infirmities: [...] age is the flowre of wisedome, or ra­ther wisdome is the fruit of age; as if God made this age amends with greatest excellency of mind: not to tell of the aged necessitie of aged experience, to the happy being of a State, where like the contrarie motions of the heauens, Rehoboams yong States-men are to be moderated by the aged: nor of the miserie of that Common weale, where Princes are children, where those young Phaetons obtaine power, to set the world on fire. I may easily say, it is the helme of the minde, and age bringeth that maturitie which maketh wisedome a skilfull Pilot, which in the yong, at best is but in Theorie, in hope.

The second is, age maketh vs abandon many noy­some affectiōs which loaded our youth, as the storm forced Ionahs Mariners to cast their wares ouer­board: when once we haue receiued the sentence of death in our selues, we do without much difficultie, [Page 13] cast off the care of vain delights. Barzillai (who liued in a more holy age) re [...]used the prefermēts of Da [...]ids court:2. Sam. 19. 34. 35 How long haue I to liue? I am this day eightie years old: can I heare any more the voyce of singing? Let thy seruant turne againe, that I may die in mine owne cittie. He remembred prouision was then to be made which could floate aloft vpon a ship-wracked bro­ken bodie. [...]. It is a world to see the vaine opinions of some men, they would lay violent hands on vncon­quered nature, and be yong againe,Antis [...]. apud Laert lib. 7. so their age the onely desired thing they hate: their desire of youth in age is but a second childishnesse of the old; there being nothing more vnreasonable, then to loathe that state and age to which with wishes and feare of failing we haue attained: and why? forsooth they want those pleasures which attended their youth. It is true, Sathan giueth the yong man pleasures free­ly: but as the reuengefull Selymus bestowed these farmes on his Ianizaries, that he might sequester thē to the slaughter; which dangers the good mans age teacheth him to loathe: which falling vpon the delights of giddy youth like Pythagoras on the com­pany of drunkards,Dorion [...]. lib gent. biddeth the Musitians change the harmony, & sing a sadder note; at which becom­ming sober, they cast off their garlands, and are a­shamed of their folly. Doest thou then blame thine age for disburdening thy mind of eui [...]s? Recount thine age, number thine errors, and thou wilt bee a­shamed of that thou hast beene: as the starres vanish at the fight of the Sunne, so do our foolish delights at the rising and approach of true wisedome shew­ing vs some light of the ioyes of heauen. Age taketh [Page 14] not away, but changeth the delights, giuing true for false; reall for seeming; blessed for dangerous, pleasures: I will dismisse this age as Iacob his Asher, with this blessing, [...] it shall giue pleasures for a king: the greatest and most solid delights.

The third is a willingnes to die; for we die not all at once, but part after part decaying, giueth vs an easie passage. The old man departs as out of an Inne the yong is pulled out of his house: the yong dieth as fire quenched with water violently, the old man like a lampe burnt out.

The fourth is a neerer view of the most blessed e­state of heauen: doubtles God reserueth the greatest comforts for this greatest triall: the neerer death the more the righteous man is sensible of heauen: therefore how euer in his trials, he be toffed betwixt feare & hope, like Iacob at the report of his deare Io­sephs life, [...] yet whē he seeth the charets ready to carry him away, then his spirit reuiueth: as he said of his Be­thel, so may I of this last age, it is the gate of heauē, it is our Nebo frō whēce we take a view of the holy lād to which like wearied pilgrims we are entring: these are foure benefits which God giues vs by age: the 5. he giues for, [...] or in respect of age, that is, honor amōg men. As the law makes a diadem the signe of honor & maiesty, so God by nature makes the hoary head a crown of dignity. Therefore the Greeks do aptly expresse age and honour by the like word they had their Presbytery, the Magistracy so named of the Ro­man Senate was so called of age: [...] the Iewes Sanhe­d [...]im were elders of the people: so is the last part of a holy crown of life dignity. Thou wilt say, thou hast [Page 15] not thine honor. Wonder not, thou liuest amongst men,Quosiudices [...]. of whom God receiueth not what they owe. When the old man at the Olympikes could finde no place to rest him, [...] [...] but with some disrepect was p [...]ssed from one to another, comming to the Lacedemo [...]ians men & children stood vp and gaue him place: which al applauding, the old man wept, saying, Alas that al Greece knoweth goodnesse,Honestissimū senectuus [...] ▪ Nusquam se­n [...]ctus hono­ratior. C [...]c. but the Lacedemo [...]ians onely practise it. All know how God commands to honor the aged, but of the godly I may say as Lysan­der of Sparta, It is the most honourable house for age: they giue it the best entertainment.

The last is the dignity which God giueth at the end of a righteous age, a glorious and eternall life. They perish not which sleepe with the Lord,Manet eorum vita ouorum manet resurre­ctio. Amb. l. 5. orat. suneb. De Vi [...]ginio Ru [...]o. inquit Ph. Mortalitas mag is fin [...]a qu [...]m vita est. l. 2. Ep. 1. they are like Moses bush not consuming though they seeme on fire [...] dying in death, their life remaines whose [...] remaines: so that in their death their [...] is rather ended then their life. Their corruptible state being changed for a most honora­ble: I will say of the poore decayed temple the old mans bodie, as Z [...]rubbabel Hag. 2. 4. 5. Who is left that saw this house in her first glory? and how doe yee see [...] now? is it not in your eyes in comp [...]rison of it as nothing? yet now be of good courage—yet a little while—and I will fill this house with glory, the glory of this shall be greater then the first. The glory of youth is but hope of glo­rie in age, and this shall farre excell it: but herein consis [...]eth the greatest glory of the aged, They are neere the crowne of life in the kingdome of glory.

The end of the first Sermon

THE SECOND SERMON. If it be found in the way of righteousnesse.

WE haue surueyed the last part of mans earthly pilgrimage, and viewed the dignitie belonging to the aged, if their age bee found in the way of righteousnesse: to finde may signifie either to attaine, as Prou. 4. 22. or to exist and be, as [...] 8. or to af­flict and iudge Psal. 21. 8.Psal. 89. 20. So [...] follow this sense we shall discouer the All- [...] of iustice, finding out all the wayes of man: it is the Epilogue to Solomons Ecclesiastes:Eccle. 12. 14. God will bring [...]ery worke to iudgement, with euery secret thing whether it be good or euill. How euer our workes seeme to vs,Prou. 16. 2. [...]. 8. God ponde­reth the spiri [...]t he Ancients of Israel may be secret i­dolaters, but he that searcheth Ierusalem with a light, [...] euen God, vnto whose eyes all things are open, shall discouer it. Dauid well knew that God spyed out all his pathes, and that if he enclined to any euill, the Lo [...]d would finde it out, who saw the secrets of the heart. By three discoueries God manifesteth himself a present beholder of all the wayes of man.

First, more immediately smiting the conscience, [Page 17] with a dreadfull apprehension of his presence: which commeth as Iesus to Magdale [...] before present, but after making his presence knowne; opening the eye of the soule, awakening the conscience to behold the eye of God looking on vs: which falling on the heart like some dreadfull light from heauen, siniteth downe some like Paul bound for Damascus, that hee may raise them: openeth others eies and discoue­reth the iudgement,Num. 22. 31. standing like the Angell before Balaam in a narrow way with his sword drawne in his hand: or like the fingers of an hand writing on Belshazzars wall,Dan. 5. 5. 27. loosing his ioynts, and striking him with a cold shaking at the sight of this sentence, thou art weighed in the ballance, and FOVND too light. So God found Iudas conscience, though a little while he enioyed the price of blood, yet presently his con­science is found,Mar. 27. and he confesseth I haue sinned in betraying innocent blood. Cain was sicke of the same disease, & whilst none pursued him, his conscience told him, who euer found him would slay him. Whē Aristubolus had murdered his brother, and starued his mother: his conscience was found, and he could neuer get those bloody staines out of his minde, till with extremitie of feare and griefe',Ioseph. lib. 1. de bell. Iud. c: 3. Sperandum certe non crat vt maximum deilumen fa­cta [...] his bowels perishing he cast vp blood, which casually throwne down where his brothers was not yet wa­shed out, to the amazement of the spectators drew out this desperate confession of a wounded con­science: There was no hope, I should conceale my wicked deeds, frō the great light of God. Such is the violēce o [...] these E [...]nas, fires of hel, by the breath of God set on fire in the reprobates conscience, that he that hath [Page 18] concealed it all his life, hath often beene compelled at his death to vtter it to his shame. God heareth the secret parly of the heart; hee heard Moses prayer vn­spoken. The tonglesse Creatures speake in his eares, the voyce of Abels blood cried to God,Gen. 4. 10. the stones cry out of the wall in the oppressors house. Hath blood a voyce? can senslesse creatures speake? or doeth this intimate God a present Seer of euery action, in all more certainly informed then if the Creatures could tell. Much more doeth he heare a thousand witnesses crying in a sinners conscience,Origen. vocat signataspeca­torum imagi­n [...]s. in which all the world at the iudgement shall reade the crimes written with a pen of Iron. Lucian wittily feigned in his Menippus, that certaine shadowes at­tending our bodies in this life, accused vs to the in­fernal powers. Our conscience is that shadow which (when the light of God hath found vs) wee cannot outrunne. Euery one hath such a register, a witnes a iudge, a seuere reuenger in his own bosome. Ther­fore (saith Ambrose) if a man be alone, let him bee more ashamed for his owne conscience,Si quis solus est, [...]emetipsum prae caeteris [...]rubescat.l.7. Ep. [...]4.[?] and rather stand in awe of himselfe present then a thousand o­thers: for all the world may be deceiued in thee, but thy conscience will speake the truth.

God findeth out good men in their errors, but as the stranger yong Ioseph, to direct him in his way to repentance: the sinner Luc. 7. long hid her workes of darkenesse, yet being found she watred Christs feete with teares. Peter denyed and forswore his Master: but when Iesus looked backe, and found his consci­ence, he went out and wept bitterly.

The second discouery is by the word preached: [Page 19] some thinke the word finds not the reprobate, but it is euer mightie in operation,Hebr. 4. 12. sharper then a two edged sword, and entreth through, euen vnto the di­uiding asunder of the soule; it is powerfull to harden and conuict the conscience of the rebellious.

Dauid heard the parable, but till God by the mini­stry of Nathan commeth to a neerer application & findeth him,2. San [...]. 12. he giueth sentence as on another man: When the Iewes heard Peter, their hearts were pric­ked: God had discouered their waies to them, then they begin to conceiue a dreadfull presence of God, and the miserable estate they were in. It is no won­der though we haue for a time Adams thickets to run into, strange Labyrinths and excuses to hide vs in, so that the word findeth vs not, but when God will finde vs: hee that being God and man did often find the hearts of his hearers,Math. 8. Non ad verba sed ad animū respondet. often answered as to their minds which spake, will by the same spirit direct the prophesie to our consciences: and howeuer opinion, securitie, or wandring thoughts haue bard vppe the doores of our hearts, when God will enter to finde vs, they shall flie open like the Prison doores before the Angell.

The third discouery of mans waies is by iudge­ment. Ionah fled from God,Act 12. 10. sonah. 1. 3. and was embarked for Tarshish, & when God found him hee confessed his sin. Many yeeres Iosephs brethren hid their mischie­uous practise against poore Ioseph, but at the sight & first appearance of affliction, they confesse, We haue sinned against our brother,Gen. 42. 22. [...] 44. 16. in that we saw the anguish of his soule when he besought vs, and we would no [...] heare him: and again to Ioseph, God hath [...]ound out the wic­kednes of thy seruants.

[Page 20] Achan had buried his theft, [...] but who can hide from God, who being in euerie place, leaueth none secure for the wicked? God findeth him out by lot. Ahab changed his apparell when he entred into the bat­tell, but God singled him out, the arrow found him betwixt the ioynts of his armour. How often doth God finde out the adul [...]erer with shame and pouertie? if perhaps he escape both these, yet rot­rennesse sendeth, 'as Ioab after Abner, and smiteth him vnder the fifth ribbe: how euer hee hide, [...] God will finde him. I need not added to your experience any relatiō of the discouery of murthers,1. Sam. 15. & oppressi­ons, the iniuries like Saules Amalekitish cattell, neuer ceasing crying till the crime be found out. But how euer God let the sinner goe in this life, his iudge­ments shall finde him in that to come.

This were enough to teach the sober minded to keepe a good conscience,Vse. and to lay the word to heart, and pull off the false visours of hypocrisie, thou must not thinke to goe a way which God seeth not: it is true, neither shall any thing bee found which thou hast not done, (there is no cup in B [...]n­iamins sacke) neither any thing hidde which thou hast done: If thou doe well,Gen. 4. 7.shalt thou not be accep­ted? Will hee not crowne thee? And if thou doest not well, sinne lyeth at the doore. Sinne shall hunt the wicked person to destruction: sinnes like Acteons dogges, pursue their Masters to the death. If [...]hou wert to deale with man, thou mightst call thy temporizing in Religion poli­cie, thy Oppression prouidence, thy Luxury mirth, thy M [...]lice austeri [...]ie, thy Profanenesse wit, [Page 21] thy lasciulous talke, sa [...]tnesse; thy wantonnesse, comitie; thy lying, equiuocating; thy symonie, gratitude; but none of these shifts and disguises wil auaile thee: it is God which shall iudge thee accor­ding to thy waies. There is but one path to heauen, the way of righteousnesse in which the blessed are found,Pars vl [...]. In the wa [...] of righteousnesse. Non de aetate sed de mente iudicium est, Origen. Non annorum canities est laudanda sed morum. Ambr. Perfecta aetas est vbi perfecta virtus, Ambr. orat. [...]un. which is my last part. The old man is hono­rable: but where shall I finde the man? there are many of yeares, but few honorably old; they are not gray haires and wrincles, which beget a reuerent e­steeme with man, much lesse the Crowne of glorie with God. There is a young old man, as there are some old young men: he a childe at an hundred yeares, these old with few. Honor is due to the aged, not to all, but to the righteous: to all other their gray haires are the displayed banners of Gods iudg­ment, a Crowne, but a Crowne of thornes; which teacheth vs, [...] that the onely way to an honorable and comfortable old age, is an holy life: the promises of a blessed age are to the righteous. And by the Prophet he saith; There shall be no more a childe of daies, nor an old man that hath not filled his daies; for he that is an hundred yeeres old shall die as a yong man, but the sinners being an hundred yeeres old shall be ac­cursed. And of Elies family, he saith; There should not be an old man for euer: and to the wicked hee threatneth a trembling heart, and a sorrowfull mind, [...] life hanging before them, feare both night and day, without assurance of life. The vngodly shall not liue out halfe his daies: therefore S. Peter saith, If a man long after li [...]e, and would faine see good daies, let him refraine his tongue, eschew euill▪ and [Page 22] doe good. There is no meanes to obtaine a com­fortable old age, but by this narrow way of righte­ousnesse.

There are two waies; [...] the one rough, but straite; the other easie, but like the rocke at Massada, a snaky way full of turnings, and narrow in the end: in these are contrarie leaders; the Deuill saith, as Abner to Asahel, Turne thee either to the right hand or to the left, God saith, Make straight steps vnto your feete: there is but one short and strait line betwixt two li­mits: And they who carrie the Arke of Gods Coue­nant in their breasts, goe like the Philistims kine to Bethshemesh, in one path, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left: though continually ex­pressing fraile affections, [...] of returning & deuiation.

There are that blame their age as full of inconue­niences; but the [...]ruth is, it is onely sinne which ma­keth them vnhappie. As Esau said of his brother,Gen. 27. 36. 38. so may we of sinne, it tooke away our birth-right, and it will also haue our blessing: was it not iustly cal­led a deceiuer? Esaus teares must be our tutors, hee sought the blessing, but too late.

There are many Arguments to perswade the old man to this way of righteousnesse.

First, let this haue the first place: all other com­forts in this winter of life are striken dumb: as La­mech [...]aid of his Noah, [...] this shall comfort vs concer­ning our worke and labour of our hands. The wise man cōpareth the ioy of the wicked to a light which sh [...]ll soone be put out, but the reioycing of the righ­teous is like the light which shineth more and more t [...] a [...]erfect day. Many are the dreams of foolish men: [...] [Page 23] some trust their beautie shall last to comfort them; which flower withereth in the hand of the most charie possessor: the flowers are mans short-liued tutors,Nee ouod fu­imu [...]u [...] sumus­ue, cras erimus telling him all flesh is grasse, and the beauty thereof as the fading flower: the most louely face is subiect to wrincles, those loathed characters of age, despised sepulchers of beautie: sole vertue can beau­tifie old age, which onely waxeth young and fresh with yeares. Some trust to strength,Ad mortem nati sumus eam (que) fugere ne fortissimi possunt, Elea­zer. apud. Io­seph. de bell. Iud. l. 7. c. 28. therefore keep a carefull diet, that it may serue them in their age, but it is a slender fortresse which will not hold out the assault of few daies sicknesse: perhaps some are so strong that they come to fourescore yeares; but then nature commeth like an instant Credi [...]rix, if we presently pay not the life we owe, either she serueth her execution on our senses, or taketh pledges, our legs, our hands, our eies, part after part. Vertue onely hath an immunity and groweth not lame with age.

Some of the Cynicks opinion,Diog apud. Laert. l. 6. that there is nothing more wretched, then a poore old man, leane only to the deceitfull staffe of wealth: but righteousnesse is the Iacobs staffe;G [...]. 32. 10. though it be all the wealth we carie in our iourney, we shall returne rich in the Lord: but riches are but like Elishaes staffe in Gehazies hand,2. King. 4. 29. 32. in vaine sent before to reuiew age, our second child­hood. Others hope to improue their age to an hap­py state by humane reason, but with much industrie haue only shot arrowes at the stars, & sounded deep to touch Nept [...]ne; al their precepts prouing but des­perate conclusions,As Soc [...]tes, & [...]. miserable cōforters: their opini­ons placing selfe-murderers in their supposed happi­nesse. I grant, [...] their reasons like sleepy potions may [Page 24] an afflicted mind for a time, the best of them being as merrie company to bring vs before the Iudge, by which the way may seeme shortned, but the doome nothing lightned. In these or the like waies there is a Crowne:Plut. but as Seleucus said of his, If any knew the miseries which belonged to it, and how heauy it is, he would not take it vp if he found it in the way. Of all such I may say as Paul, They haue all gone out of the way, Rom. 3. 12. 16. 17. destruction and vnhappinesse are in their way, and the way of peace haue they not knowen. Many yeres once told, can no waies comfort a foo­lish old age: but the conscience of a well spent life, is an happy possession.

Secondly, there is no other meanes to be hono­rable before God and good men. It is true, the god­lesse Americans honour the Deuill, wicked men will idoll the vngodly. For a time the rough garment may couer the wickednesse of an old Prophet: per­haps sinne may be folded vp in the large robes, and in the large pleates of Magistracy: but then God will at the last, if he find any such, brand them with finall confusion: and howeuer they shined like glo­rious lights (whilst feare and obseruance awed the vulgar) yet they shall at last goe out, with an ill-sa­uouring snuffe, and Death shall freely confesse what they are, though life dissembled what they were. Time is a slow speaker of the Great, but it will once tell all.

Dishonor not thou thy gray haires, if thou wouldst haue others honour them: as Epaminondas answe­red the Thebanes, when the Arcadians would haue them winter in their Cittie: Now the Arcadians ad­mire [Page 25] vs wintering in the field, what honour would they giue vs if they should see vs [...]itting by their fire? Young men deseruedly honour the aged for their temperance and moderation; but if they see them sitting by their fire of luxurie, drunkennesse, and wantonnesse, how should they [...]euerence them? Wouldst thou haue thy gray haires honoured?Tu [...]illos reue­rere primus, verè confu [...]io ett & irrisio, vr camtiem orna­mentum extrin­secus, intrinse­cus autem a­nimum habe­ant puerilem, Chry [...]. in Heb. ho. 7. Plut. De iuuen. & sen. inquit Ambr. Illi de aetate suppetit excu­satio, mihi iam nulla, illa enim debet disce [...]e, nos docere. de poen. l, 2. c. 8. Z [...]noph [...], l. 1. Ioh. 7. 48. 1. Pet. 5. 3. Ezek. 8. 12. do thou first honour them with the Crowne of digni­tie. It is a meere mockerie for a boyish mind to be suited in the colours of age: old age is a Crowne of dignitie, but if the old will [...] hee shall be but a child of yeares, and God will make his old age most despised.

Thirdly, old mens evill examples are double sins. As the Ephesians had three degrees in their presby­tery: the first were learners; the second, practisers; the third, teachers; so are there in our ages; the last must be a teaching age: to teach [...] continencie it auaileth much, to see how old men liue; example is a powerfull Rhetoricke in any, but in old men, in Princes, it hath an hundred tongues: D [...]e any of the rulers or Pharises beleeue in him? example of the Ho­norable, and Elders speaketh with authority: the more to blame they which abuse it to make others fall, whereas they should be examples to the flocke of Christ: Hast thou not seen what the a [...]cients of the house of Israel do in the dark? Therefore Gods wrath was k [...]dled, it aggrauated the fault that they were El­ders. Some thinke if they be rigid censurers of the yong, it is enough; but see thou giue good example, remember thouart old, & many yonger eies deriue their libertie of sinning from thine intemperance.

[Page 26] Fourthly, there is nothing in the world more wretched then a vicious old man: who in a diseased bodie hath a more corrupted soule. The Heathen said wel, [...] in [...] We must not burden old age, alreadie ouer loaden with miseries. Some men may say, Peccatum reuixit, ego autem intery: the more they grow, the more youthfull their sinne.1. T [...]m. 6. [...]o. Cum cur [...]cta vi [...]a in sene senescant, sola auari [...]a [...] nescit. And among all, that dropsie of the soule, the disease of age, Couetous­nesse maketh an old man vnhappie, at euen buri­eth him aliue in the earth: Sathan hath his variable Porters to watch at the doores of this world;De d [...]uitibus, inquit Greg. Naz. otat. 28. [...] &c. at our comming in, he fetteth his faire sweete-singing hand-maids, those are pleasures: at our going out, standeth his eager long-fingered Groome, Coue­tousnesse, to attend our age, which commeth (like and enuious Philisti [...], to Isaacs Well,) with his earth to fill vp our hearts: you shall haue many men, how carelesse soeuer they haue beene in their youth, yet in their age their thoughts are fixed on the world, as Archimedes on his Geometricall Tables;Plot. when his seruants pulled him vp to eate, and had annoin­ted him, he pourtraied his workes vpon his oylie bodie. Heare they, pray they, if you could open their heart, you might see the picture of the world sitting like Silenus Image in the broken stone:Plin l. 36. c. 5. De bell. [...]ud. l 7. c [...] [...]5. [...] there­fore, though Couetousnesse be the roote of all e­uill, yet it is like Iosephus Baaras, it is death to pull it vp, it is rooted in the heart. All the best riches are but a viaticum, enough is vsefull, too much a bur­den: good men vse the world as if they vsed it not; as Plinies Cranes about to flie ouer the Seas, take vp stones in their feete, and sand in their throat, to [Page 27] giue them weight against the winde, and as they came neere the land, they by little and little, cast them downe, so lightning themselues, that the de­sired shoare seeth the last stone, not taken away, but let fall; So the Children of God take vp the care of riches to serue them in their life, but as they come neerer their desired rest, they more and more disburthen themselues. What old mens Couetous­nesse meaneth, I know not; why they should be so carefull for this nothing, so nothing carefull for the life to come, there is no reason. In the reserued Manna of euery day there was a Worme, saue onely that which was laied vp for the Sabbath: that which thou laiest vp for the eternall rest, shall not perish, what euer else thou storest vp shall bee lost, and thou canst carrie nothing with thee. Sa­ladin would therefore haue his exequies thus so­lemnized: a shirt fastned to the point of a lance, in fashion of a banner, and a Priest going before, cry­ing, Saladin Conquer our of the East, of all the great­nesse and riches he had in this life, carrieth not with him after his death, any thing more then this shirt. If there could be any excuse for the couetous, the yong man had most rightto it. Couetousnesse is vaine in any,2. King. 5. 26. but in the old it is most vnseasonable: as Eli­sha said to Gebaza, Is this a time to take money, and to receiue garments, and Olines, and vineyards, and sheep and oxe [...]? What, wilt thou lay hold on the world with a dying hand? with one leg in the graue? what more foolish then to take vp more prouision for the iourney, by how much lesse thou hast to go? which bringeth me vpon my next Motiue.

[Page 28] Thou hast now but a little time to watch, and the Bridegroome will come: Sleepe not without Oyle in thy Lampe. The Deuill faith as one to the Cynicke, Laert. l. 6. Se [...]exes, quiesce, Master fauour thy selfe: but he answered well, If I were running in a race, should I slacken my pace towards the end, and not rather hasten it? Be zealous, it is but a little while, and thou shalt be crowned.

Sixtly,Senex quasi seminex, semi­mortuus. thine age hath placed thee like Aaron in the campe of Israel, betwixt the liuing and the dead. There is nothing more to be admired, then a wic­ked old man, who being placed at the doore of the world, neuer looketh out, albeit a thousand forerunners continually cry, The Iudge is at the doore.

Seuenthly, the old man hath many remembran­cers: when the sense of death with varieties of in­firmities, when thy dim eyes, thy [...] legges, thy trembling ioynt [...], thy staffe in thine hand, thy gray haires, all together preach vnto thee the Epilogue of dying Iacobs Sermon to his Sonnes (I am rea­die to be gathered to my Fathers,) it is impossible for thee to forger (except thou wi [...] not remember) thine end. Hast thou forgotten the insuries done thee? Hast thou forgotten thy debtours? If thou hast, thou maist the better remember God: Death hath three Nancioes, 2. King. 1. 9. 10. Casus dub [...]a, infirmitas gra­uia, senectus [...]e [...]ta nuntiat. chance, [...] it, and old age; these runne like Ahazi [...]es Captaines ouer fifties, to Eliah on Carmel; if we escape the first, the last bring­eth vs downe. The first relleth vs of Deaths am­bushments: the second, of the Sable flag displayed; [Page 29] the third of the battle ioyned. Infirmitie seemeth to instruct age the second childhood, bending him downeward, as if it sayd, Man behold thy mother, into whose bosome thou art returning for thy long rest. But old age full of infirmitie, being the last scene of our life, assureth vs we are neere death.

Eightly, it is a marke of Gods children to be more fruitfull in age:Pli. l. 16. c 27 Cursu opus e [...]t & curiu va­lido Chrys he 7. in ep. ad He. Ad vnum tan. [...]ùm festinat currendo, hoc est, vt accipiat palmam. [...]b. they are like Plinies Amygdala, more abounding with fruit as more in yeares. It is a way of righteousnesse, importing, we must not stand still in it: our life is a course, and we must runne, and that strenuously: like him which as he passeth, regardeth not rayling, mocking, prayses, disprayses, wife, chil­dren, friends, any thing which may hinder him, one­ly he hastneth for the crowne. Some say, I haue been zealous in my youth, then I fasted, prayed, heard, read:Ne [...]hi ve­teres virtutes enumeres, núc quoque iuve­nis esto. Chry. ibid. now mine eyes are bad, my hearing sayleth me. now I must spare my selfe; would God thou wouldst, which onely may be, by liuing vprightly: Tell me not of the old vertues of a former life, God requireth not strength of body, but a zealous heart: [...]e loueth not a man like the Indians, Plin lib 7. c. 2. Annos du [...] e­nos viuere, in iuventa candi­do capillo, qui in senectute nigres cat. gray headed in their youth, waxing blacke in their age. No louer pa­tiently beateth forsaking, if we forsake the good way we w [...]re in, we must not hope to finde God vniust.

Ninthly, the wicked old man shutteth vp the gate of mercy against himselfe. How canst thou say, for­giue me the sinnes of my youth, which committest the same in age?

Lastly, thou hast lesse excuse for thy sinne, for as much as the sinnes of youth which carryed thee likeLu [...]. 6. the man possessed, haue now left thee (at least thine [Page 30] age might haue dispossessed thee of them) if thouCum sene [...] laborat ibid. fall backe, it sheweth a disposition extremely euill. He were a foolish Mariner who hauing, with long wrestling, ouercome the violence of a curst Sea, wh [...] the storme ceaseth, with a sound Barke and a little way to goe, would put into harbour. In youth our minde is sick of a thousand diseases, it is more found in age: therefore when our youth like Ionah throwne out and swallowed vp of that vast bellied monster Age, which must render it againe to a better life, our masterlesse affections inclined, then to giue ouer the combate against sinne, is, I say not like a foolish and lasie Poet in extreme actu deficere, to [...]aile in his last act, but to depart before the day, before wee haue the blessing. Giue me leaue to say, wherefore being freed (not from ceremonies, but from those tyran­nous masters intemperance and lusts) do ye returne againe to those beggerly rudiments of youth those nastie vomits of sinne cast out?Phil. 3:

Some man may say,Beatus qui nó stent, hoc est, non dru [...]m­moratus est in via peccatorú [...] Psal. Dat vires se­quentibus se, [...]taque quò [...] 8. 14. none can be perfect here: it is true, wee are now but in the way of righteousnesse, tending to, not yet attaining perfection. I account not (saith Paul) that I have attained. Blessed is he that hath not stood in the way of sinners: that is, hath not long lingered in the path of destruction. What if thou goe but slowly? If thou wrestle with Iacob, though thou come halting off, let him not goe be­fore he blesse thee, who giueth strength to those who follow him. Beginnings of goodnesse are hardest.

But yet as the Angell said to Gideon, Goe on in this thy might, if thou haue well begunne: if not, thinke [Page 31] not any age too late to learne,In isto adhuc mundo [...] it is no shame to amend; neither too late to repent in this life. Bles­sed is that man whose errors die young; but if they are growne old, blessed is that man, which euen vn­der the stroke of death conuerteth: this is the life of repentance,Beatus qui sub ictu mor [...] animum con­uertit à vit [...]s. Ambr. Basil [...]n praecept. Iatius disp. Ad [...] uc agon permanet, ad­huc palma pendet, Chr) s. ad Heb. 7. that to come, of reward: this hath labor, that wages: this suffering, that consolation. Put not off thy repentance, thou knowest not whether thou shalt find her among the euill daies: neither despaire, then is a time of despaire when the gate is shut, yet the trial lasteth, yet the crowne hangeth: remember [...]hou art in the way, so run that thou maist obtaine this blessed crowne of glory, in, and at the end of a righteous old Age.

This Ibis, Exhalatis virosis & tur­bidis partibus odoratiorem hab [...]re & vir­tutem aroma­ticam. Plut, by reason shee feedeth on Serpents, hath a poysonous breath in her youth, but hauing wasted those foule and venomous parts, in her age shee giueth a sweete and wholesome odour: thou hast breathed thy soules poyson in thine youth, words proceeding from an infected heart, if thou art now this happie Old man, O shew the best part now, let thy speech bee gracions seasoned with the spirit of God, to the vse of edy­fying, these are the sweete breaths which God and good men expect in thine Age. I will say all in a word, remember thou art old,Cu [...]us vultum intrantes tri­stem, excunt [...]s exh [...]laratu [...] putant. P [...]. lib. 36. c. 5. [...] 46. 6. become thine Age. So shalt thou finde thine age like Dianaes Image at Chios, though it seeme sad at thine entrance, it will appeare ioyfull at thy going out: thy way shall bee like the peoples into the Temple in Ezekiels Vision: though thou goe in at the cold [Page 32] Northerne goae of infirtoities, [...] [...] by the South. Thou [...] sicke, none old; all sh [...]ll be [...], neuer more to be subiect to the lawes of Time and Age. Then shall our d [...]ie and withered [...] [...]od, florish in the [...] to which bring [...] [...]

FINIS.

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