THE ARTE OF HAPPINES.

Consi­sting of three parts, whereof
  • The first searcheth out the hap­pinesse of man.
  • The second, particularly disco­uers and approues it.
  • The third, sheweth the meanes to attayne and increase it.

BY FRANCIS ROVS.

Summa Philosophia est, quae exquirit summum Bonum.

Mans chiefest wisedome is, To find out his chiefe and soueraigne Good.

LONDON Printed by W. Stansby for Iohn Parker, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Ball. 1619.

TO HIS MVCH HO­NORED FATHER, Sr. ANTHONY ROVS of Halton in Corn­wall, Knight.

SIR,

IF the Author and the work bee conside­red, it is no hard matter to finde, to whom the Au­thor should first of all offer his worke. A sonne cannot [Page] present his labours more fitly then to a Father, e­specially when they bring with them so excellent a thing as Blessednesse. And although I know you haue beene an ancient Trauailer in the path of Felicitie, so that the commendation of your posteritie shall bee to follow your steps, yet I am assured, it cannot but bee a comfort to you, to see some increase from aboue, where your careful education hath planted & watered below; in which you haue farre ex­ceeded the vsuall prouidēce of Fathers, that ordinarily lookes no farther then the bodie, pride, and earth. I cōfesse, the outward shewes [Page] of this world had so farre transported me, that I was very vnlikely to haue made this kinde of Matter the maine busines of my Time, but I tooke ship to goe to Tarsus, euen to forraine Countries, and in mine owne beganne the studie of the Law, vntill a storme from heauen chased mee a­way to the studie of Eter­nitie, wherein I haue found so much comfort and assi­stance from aboue, that the incouragement thereof is to mee in stead of a voice speaking in mine eare; This is the way, walke in it: And in this way I desire to walke as stedfastly, as bodi­ly infirmitie, and the neces­sarie [Page] distractions of this life will permit, vntill my Time shall bee no more, that so I may passe immediately from the contemplation of Felicitie, vnto the fruition. This felicitie I likewise wish vnto you with most hum­ble and heartie prayer, and that this worke following may giue some (though small) aduancement to it, that so you may reape a little, where you haue sown much.

Your sonne in all du­tie and obseruance. FRANCIS ROVS.

TO MAN.

HAVING cast mine eyes on the frame of this World, & somwhat par­ticularly considered the works which are wrought vnder the Sunne; I beheld Man, placed as the top and chiefe of the Creatures, and I saw in Man the sparks of an excellent soule, which might seeme to iustifie this his preeminence: but with­all hauing searched the depth and bredth of the life of Man, to see what great actions this [Page] Eminent thing produced, or what extraordinarie happines he enioyeth sutable to his ex­cellence; I finde generally, that this Head of the World doth vsually spend himselfe in base works of Vanitie, Labour, and Wickednesse; and is himselfe spent away by Miserie, Sicknes and Death. His actions are ei­ther no actions at all, but idle, foolish, and superfluous recrea­tions; or meere labours for his owne body, that hee may bee to morrow, not better, but the same that he was to day; or that he may better his estate by ma­king himselfe worse, euen by the losse or diminution of his owne goodnesse; and yet at last, this estate which hee hath bought with himselfe, will [Page] turne him out most vnkindly and vnthankfully from posses­sing it. And as for Mans happinesse, most commonly he sends it before him, by propo­sing high and remote obiects to his desires; which either he neuer ouertakes, or if he doe, it doth often vanish into No­thing, as being made of meere Imagination; or if it will needs seeme something being attay­ned, yet it is at last digested in­to perfect Nothing, when that and the Owner thereof, are both deuoured by the wide mouth of Death, that eates vp all the thoughts and workes of perishing Mankind. But be­fore Man arriues to this point of dissolution, by which hee comes to bee rid of his vaine [Page] happinesse; miserie, sicknesse, and mutuall vexation (Man to Man being a continuall Hangman and Tormentor) by smarting and still-returning stripes, most often cut his little happinesse to lesser pieces, and ouercome the slight and slen­der sweetnesse thereof, with the inter-mingled gall of so­lide and substantiall griefe.

Now this being the state of Things, what is all that we see, and to what purpose is it? Are wee here met together to play the Wretches and Fooles? Is this our appointed taske to la­bour for Vanitie? and to be i­maginarily pleased, and really tormented? or to take great care and paynes to come to No­thing? Is this the fruit of this [Page] huge masse of Creatures, and of glorious Man, the princi­pall of them? Surely, if wee should lye downe in this opi­nion, we might also lye downe in amazement, wondring what we make here, and why Man was created vnto so great fol­ly and misery. We might right­ly cry out, that in regard of this World, the day of Death is bet­ter then the day of Birth, and that not to bee at all, is better then them both. But here wee may not rest, for then all the Creatures, which we see, would rise vp against vs like so many Aduersaries, and Obiections. For it were a great iniurie to the Creator, to see and acknow ledge (which acknowledgment is extorted euen from meere [Page] naturall men) a great wise­dome in the Matter and Forme of the Creatures, and not to acknowledge a great wisedome likewise in the End of the Creatures; that he which made euery thing so orderly in his parts, should make a confusion in the whole; and that he who hath made so excellent things for Man, should make Man for basenesse, vanitie, and mi­serie. Therefore I thought it most likely and safe, to beleeue that the Creator had not fay­led in his Creation, but that the Creature had erred from the course and scope of his Creati­on, and that Man by some fault of his owne, was gone out of the way, both in regard of im­ployment and happines; which [Page] two, in all probabilitie, should be found in one path, it being most agreeable to wisedome, that a Creature should then be in the best and happyest case, when hee doth the worke ap­pointed him by his Creator. Then also it seemed necessarie to inquire what was that right way, from which Man had strayed; euen to search what was the true end of Mans acti­ons, and the true scope of his desires; his duetie and his fe­licitie.

What I haue met with, in this search, I haue here disco­uered; and because there are three sorts of men, which espe­cially doe erre in the matter of happinesse, for these especially haue I fitted the parts of this [Page] Discourse. One sort of these are they, That come blinde in­to the world, and so goe out, neither knowing, nor caring, nor asking, what they haue to doe here, nor what is chiefly good for them while they bee here, nor whether there be any other place for them when they depart hence. These for the most part doe what they see done, or what their owne lusts will haue done, and so hauing spent their time according to Custome and Concupiscence, they liue to no purpose, and die to no end, for ought they know. A second sort is of them, That thinke there is a happinesse, and a way to it; and which is more, they thinke they haue it; yet all the while [Page] they goe without it, euen for this reason, because they thinke they haue it. For, not hauing it, by their beliefe that they haue it, they cease from seeking, and so from finding of that which may only be found by seeking. A third sort is, of such as thinke it enough to come with­in the reach of happinesse, but care not much to fasten it or to increase it, but please them­selues in looking on it, or onely in a little taste of it. It is good to be happy, they thinke, but it is not good to be too happy, and therefore they will gladly traf­ficke some superstuous happi nesse, for a little folly and va­nitie. To all these (which are almost all) are the chiefe parts of this Treatise directed, as [Page] Nayles to driue out Nayles, e­uen rules of Light and Blisse, to driue out the vsuall and re­ceiued rules of darknesse and miserie; and to stand fast in their roome. Of these and the like directions let wretched and ignorant mankinde lay hold, as vpon Boords & Masts in this great shipwracke of Nature. Let them by such helps lift vp their heads aboue the element of Basenesse and Vanitie, wherein the sonnes of corrupted and degenerate Nature, like Fishes doe swim and liue, and die. And let them mount vp into that higher Region, wherein one­ly true and very Men are to bee found, the rest being but the resemblances of Men, [Page] and in substance the true Companions of brute and vnreasonable Creatures.

A Seeker of Happi­nesse for himselfe and thee, F. Rovs.

THE ARTE OF HAPPINES. The first Part. Which is a search of Mans Happinesse.

CHAP. I. That the Seeker of Happinesse must propose an End, and it must be the best End.

WHosoeuer will better and ad­uance himself (which is na­turally euery mans desire) [Page 2] he must finde out and pro­pose to himselfe an End which is good; and toward this End must so striue, that hee may continually draw neerer to it, vntill hee haue attayned it; and hee must grow in the degrees of en­ioying, when hee hath at­tayned. He that proposeth no Marke, nor mayne End to himselfe, can neuer in­crease himselfe, but is a man lost, and comes to no­thing; such a one is like a ship that aymeth at no har­bour, and therefore cannot make any voyage of aduan­tage. He that proposeth an End, yet such a one as is but transitorily or narrow­ly good, he can receiue but [Page 3] a transitorie and narrow aduancement. He that pro­poseth for an End, a seeming good, but a reall euill, may by attayning, puffe vp his imagination, but shall sub­stantially lessen and ruine himselfe. But hee that sets before him a Marke & End truely and perfectly good, by attayning it, shall make himselfe truly and perfect­ly happy, and the more happy in degrees, as in more degrees hee doth en­ioy it. But, amidst the infi­nite changes of things see­mingly good, how shall man finde out that one thing which is truely and perfectly good? It is indeed an impression of Mans na­ture, [Page 4] to seeke for good, but the corruption of the same nature is such, that it makes euery thing seeme good to it self, which it selfe (though falsly) apprehendeth to be good. And so hence it comes, that many men run an vnsatisfied course, through diuers changes of things seemingly good, and most men choose the lesse good for the better good; yea, the most euill for the most good. But he that will seriously inquire for true happinesse, must in his in­quirie lay aside▪ his bodie and the doctrines thereof; and hee must retire into his innermost, and most secret closet of Light and Reason, [Page 5] and there aske of his Soule assured truths and resoluti­ons, concerning his chiefe and soueraigne Good. Yea, because the darknesse of a heauie and sensuall bodie, since the fall, subiect to cor­ruption, hath much dim­med the light of the Soule; she hath need to returne to that vppermost Light, by which at first she was kind­led, thence to receiue a se­cond inlightning, that by an addition of the highest Light, shee may finde out her highest & chiefest hap­pinesse. The soules thus re­ctified, labour, and in some measure attayne to behold things in their truth, as al­so to see the difference of [Page 6] things confounded or mis­ordered by the ignorance of corruption, and to place each thing in his due ranke, and consequently the chief and soueraigne good, farre aboue all; as indeed to the eye of wisedome it shines in a notable and manifest supereminence. And as she giues due acknowledgment to this good, being discoue­red, so she calls aloud to the will and affections to striue towards it, being knowne and acknowledged, she ad­uiseth them to set vp their rest vpon it, to aduenture al for it, and neuer to leaue la­bouring, vntill the soule and happinesse bee ioyned together.

CHAP. II. How that must be conditioned which is the end and happi­nesse of Man.

NOw if with such wise Searchers of felici­tie wee shall make the like enquiry, examining all things in their weight and worth; we must needs meete in one Truth, Truth being but one, euen a com­mon Center, in which all rectified vnderstandings meet. The more wise a man is, the more possession hath he of this truth; and there­fore whosoeuer can chal­lenge to himselfe to be the wisest of Men, he must al­so be the largest discouerer [Page 8] of happinesse, and with him especially shall other wise­domes meete, euen of ne­cessitie.

Now that wee firmely ground our discouerie, let vs first inquire what condi­tions that thing must haue which shall be the happines of Man. That which shall make Man happy, must first bee able to bestow on Man an absence of miserie: for Happinesse & Miserie can­not dwell together in one subiect. Againe, it must giue a man a reall possession and enioying of the chiefest good, and that in perpetui­tie & euerlastingnesse. Man must possesse the soueraign Good; for he can neuer bee [Page 9] happy by inioying imper­fection, but that only which is perfectly good, can make a man perfectly happy. He must also inioy this soue­raigne Good in a perpetui­tie, else the feare of losing happinesse, must needs lose part of it before it be lost; and if not so, yet he cannot be termed happy, who shall haue a time when hee shall be without happinesse. And surely, if wee finde a soue­raigne Good which is euer­lasting, it will bestow it selfe on vs in it owne nature, e­uen euerlastingly. Lastly, the beatificall obiect of Man, must bee the most a­greeable obiect of his most excellent part. Now, Mans [Page 10] chiefest part is a lightsome, reasonable, and vnderstan­ding spirit. Therefore that from which can issue vnto Man the greatest ioy, must be a most wise, reasonable, and lightsome spirit; like­nesse, agreeablenesse, and harmonie, being the foun­dations of pleasure; and consequently, the most ex­cellent Like, powring into his inferiour Like, the most conformable, naturall, and kindly ioyes; from which ariseth an inioying, euen in perfection, contentment, & rest. Hauing thus found out some conditions of Mans soueraigne good, let vs now seeke out that thing which beareth these conditions: [Page 11] to this purpose let vs search the length and breadth, the height and depth of Essen­ces and Beings, which if we draw into a summe, we shal finde to bee no other, then the Creature and the Crea­tor, God and the World. Let vs therefore inquire, which of these is qualified with the abilities of perfect felicitie.

CHAP. III. Whether the World, or part of it, be Mans happinesse. And first, of Honour.

IF wee would begin with the World, & first aske of it, whe­ther [Page 12] it bee able to giue vs happinesse; surely, it pre­uents our asking most com­monly, and teacheth vs by blowes, and not by words, that it is our miserie rather then our happinesse: euen a great treasurie of imperfec­tions, infirmities, griefes, cares, oppressions, wicked­nesse, transitorinesse, and vanitie. There is in it no fit obiect for the soule, no full and stable happinesse for the body. The best things in it that concerne Man, are of a goodnesse mixt or vn­continuing. It is full of con­fusion; all things comming alike to all, and not the best to the best. Folly sits very often in iudgement vpon [Page 13] Wisedome, or which is worse then Folly, Wicked­nesse; and Wisedome, and Righteousnesse are as often condemned: yea, Wicked­nesse hath the reward of Righteousnesse. To con­clude, all things are full of change, the World still changeth her owners, and one generation driueth out another. Euen these with whom the World makes most dalliance, the same World turnes out of fauor and being; as many Princes doe their Fauourites. But if generalities, by reason of their hugenesse, may not easily enter into the narrow capacities of men: Let vs examine some chiefe parti­culars [Page 14] and Master-pieces of the world, and so trie whe­ther any part can bee better then the whole; or whether any part can bee free from that Law vnder which the whole is concluded. And surely, if the best parts of the world being examined, be found to be vanitie, and their ashes nothing; the in­feriour parts must, if it were possible, bee an extremer kinde of nothing. And though many Volumes handling these things, haue almost preuented these lat­ter ages of any new matter, truth in the same thing, be­ing still the same; yet, be­cause truth is infinite in la­titude and largenesse, and [Page 15] all mankind is not an equall match to the breadth there­of: Let euery man search for more truthes, and if he cannot finde them, he may doe well yet to ratifie and confirme the old. And first, let vs looke vpon Honor, a chiefe flowre of this worlds flight and false happinesse, and wee shall finde it hath iustly beene discouered to borrow valuation from o­pinion, & opinion it selfe is of all other a most ground­lesse, mutable, vaine, and witlesse thing. It is the thought of a darke & blind multitude, which catcheth at things like mad Dogs, suddenly, rashly, and vn­considerately; not staying [Page 16] for reason, or at most, onely for a shew of reason. But if thy honour haue a better ground thy own merit, and the estimation of wise and good men, I confesse, it is then a sweete oyntment which pleaseth and deligh­teth the iudgement, but doth not fill and satisfie it. It is not food strong inough for the soule of a wiseman, nor for the body of a hun­grie man: the mind of man still reacheth beyond it, and cryes, it is farre from being the true rest of the soule. How many sicke men, how many sad, yea but wisely seuere men haue looked vpon it, and examined it when they had it, and be­came [Page 17] merrie or angrie, that they found no more in it! But I need not much trou­ble my selfe with exami­ning this kinde of honour; for the World little trou­bles it selfe with seeking or finding it. But that which chiefly pleaseth them, is a vizzard of honour, which makes them honourable to the eyes and opinions of men, no wiser nor better then themselues. But if Fooles ride on horse-backe with this kinde of honour, and Princes for wisedome goe on foote without it; What mad good thing is this, which sets vp folly a­boue wisedome? Of this I need to say the lesse: for the [Page] very Huntsmen of this ho­nor haue bitterly complay­ned on it; they say, it leades them into many pits and downe falls, ouer many myres and dangerous pre­cipices; the mind hath ma­nie strong counter buffes and affronts, the consci­ence is forced to make wide steps for it, and to leape ouer many blocks of stum­bling and offence. Againe, they complain that it keeps the heart from rest and in­ioying; being attayned, it is digged at by Enuie, and makes this often appeare, that it hath clymed for ruine. Finally, one degree of honour attayned, is but a degree, not a bound of the [Page 19] desires; and a farther ho­nour desired and not attay­ned, takes away the sauour of whatsoeuer honour is al­readie gotten. Hence it plainly appeares, that there is in it little substance or so­lide satisfaction, since that pleaseth most, which wee haue not, that little, and left which we haue.

CHAP. IIII. Of pleasures and riches, that they are not Mans happi­nesse.

BVt if neglecting ho­nour, wee looke on pleasures, to finde happinesse in them; How [Page 20] doe pleasures die in inioy­ing? Their end deuoureth their beginning: their back­side is more lothsome then their face is pleasant. They that are past, haue not satis­fide; they that are to come, will bee but the same, and shall not satisfie. There is nothing left of the former, neither shall there be of the latter, but all are bounded within one and the same vanitie. Againe, pleasures neuer stand still, but while they bee, they bee lessening & going to nothing. There­fore of laughter it may bee said, Thou art mad, and of pleasure, What is it that thou doest? And surely, if we could obtayne a conti­nued [Page 21] course of pleasures, through the race of a whole life, yet this only or chiefly concernes the body, but the soule hath no obiect the whiles to giue her any full pleasure or delight. As the body tasteth not spiri­tuall ioyes, so the soule ta­steth not bodily pleasures. Yea carnall pleasures haue this venom ordinarily in them, that their heighth groweth, or continueth, by the diminishing or suppres­sion of the reasonable soule; and commonly the excel­lent soule is vsed but as a slaue to supply the lusts of the body with base satisfa­ction, whiles her selfe goes away without any wages of [Page 22] pleasure or aduantage; yea, shee grones vnder the bur­den of so vile a bondage; then especially sinking, suf­fering, and retyring, when the body enioyes his chie­fest pleasures. But if sober toward pleasures, wee yet stand in reuerence of pro­fit, after which the greatest part of the world runnes a whoring; let vs turne our eyes from Multitude vnto Truth, which vsually by Multitude is most forsaken. There is a sure saying, that a competent portion, fit to defend vs from hunger and nakednesse (that is, a mea­sure able to serue and satis­fie our naturall vses) hath attayned the fulnesse of the [Page 23] substantiall goodnes there­of. Wee are trauayling thrugh this world to death; if we haue enough to beare our necessarie charges by the way, how is not super­fluity rather a burthen then a comfort to a trauayler? whatsoeuer is beyond our vse, wee can but behold with our eies, or put a vaine confidence in it, which of­ten hath deceiued those that trusted in it; for euen that which they haue put their trust in, hath been the same thing that hath be­trayed them. Therefore it is fit that care and feare (as commonly they do) should accompanie Abundance, as well as Pride and Confi­dence. [Page 24] And if so, then what a motley and ming­gled happines ariseth from a doubtfull and carefull su­perfluitie? And surely, very commonly and very iustly the owners of this excesse, are called miserable. For, besides that it often deli­uers them vp into the hands of miserie, it makes them most wretched in them­selues, because most wret­ched to themselues. There is a beastly kinred betweene the heart of man & money, and this kinred begets such a loue, that the heart will goe neere to starue it selfe before it will part from its most beloued obiect. Yea, money begets the loue of [Page 25] money, and stirs vp the af­fection in such a vehemen­cie towards it, that pos session doth inflame the de­sire, and not satisfie it. Now what can giue rest to such a miserable Soule? when obtayning, which in other things giues some (though short) satisfaction, yet to this man it giues new appetite, farther motion, & a longer busines? yet this aboundance thus brought forth by the Mid-wiferie of torment and perplexitie, many times flyes away like an Eagle by the following generations, Folly or Lux­urie; and this certainly is a great vanity and wretched­nesse of riches, that they [Page 26] are so often left to a foolish sonne, who is lesse kin to a true wise man, then an ho­nest stranger; that somtimes they are left to a sonne, that is no sonne, and sometimes left, and there is not a se­cond to enioy them. How­soeuer, left they must bee, euen all things wherin thou hast shewed thy selfe wise and industrious, and that to some who laboured not in them, to some whom thou knowest not, after two or three generations; & there­fore knowest not, whether they shalbe wise or foolish, whether they shall perform thy purposes and desires with thy substance; yea, whether they shall turne it [Page 27] into the price of a Whore or a Dogge, which both are an abomination in the sight of Wisedome. But if riches might escape all this suc­ceeding miserie; yet is not the present possessor of them happy. The common miserie of man laies claime to all, and will not bee bought out by Riches. Therefore the Rich man shall meete with crosses, & losses, in friends or estate; he shall be sicke in minde, and sicke in body, yea ful­nesse it selfe shall make him sicke in both. And if hee might escape all this, yet riches, which are the Ser­uants of his body, cannot make his soul happy, which [Page 28] is better then the bodie: for farre be it from the soule to finde her happinesse in her seruants seruant; especially such a fugitiue vagabond & vncertaine seruant. These massie and grosse riches are too course an obiect, for a pure and spirituall Essence; they carry no likenesse or proportion vnto it, and therefore can giue the soule no addition of her naturall pleasure or profit, much lesse of her perfect happi­nesse, wherein shee must haue a part, so farre greater then the body, as shee is more excellent then it.

CHAP. V. Of Knowledge.

BVT some morall Wizzard will tell mee, that Know­ledge hath some high priui­ledge aboue Miserie, and such a one as can giue Hap­pinesse to this (in spight of it) vnhappy life. Indeede, knowledge is a dim light, which is better then very darknesse. It hath an excel­lency, as dawning aboue night, but though it be bet­ter, it is not that chiefe good which can make vs happy. It may indeede bee vsed as an instrument for the disco­uery of happinesse, though seldome it bee put to that [Page 30] vse. But in it selfe neither in any thing created shall it euer be able to discouer it. Yea rather it shall finde in it selfe and in all things of this world, many imperfec­tions, and faylings of those iust conditions, absolutely necessarie to bee found in Mans soueraign good. Our knowledge is but of a short reach; the things beyond it, are infinitely more then the things on this side of it. Therfore when knowledge is come to a supposed per­fection, a speciall qualitie of it is, to know it selfe to be imperfect: euen those things which are within the com­passe of it, it searcheth by piece-meale, part after part, [Page 31] as one that reades a great Volume in the darke with a Glow-worm; which shews him but letter after letter: so a great deale of trouble goes to a very little profit. Hence are our Sciences, but many littles pieced to­gether while the great body of truth & wisedome stands beyond our sight; and by the incomprehensiblenesse thereof accuseth our know­ledge, euen to it selfe, of weakenesse, as the glorie of the Sunne doth our eies, by dazeling them. And this magnified little know­ledge which we haue, what extraordinarie vātage doth it bring vnto Man? Surely, it often bestowes vexation [Page 32] on the owners of it, and by increasing, increaseth sor­row; for to the greatest knowledge, the vanitie and miserie of man doth present it selfe in a most full appa­rance; yea, great know­ledges vsually take vp a­fore-hand euils to come, and make them present. Hence it is that many lear­ned Philosophers haue vex­ed their liues with the con­sideration of their deaths, which many ignorant and sturdy Clowns without pre­meditation haue vnder-ta­ken, with more ease, as mis­sing the troubles of antici­pation; & haue dispatched with lesse businesse and wrastling, as being hood­winked [Page 33] with a blinde con­tentment, to doe as their fathers haue done before them. For this cause also some of our greatest know­ers haue winked against knowledge, and haue desi­red that ignorance should coozen them of their griefs, to which knowledge would continually and lowdly a­wake them. Surely, when the knowledge of man hath discouered throughout this frame of the world, an ex­cellent wisdome and order, when it sees that there is an excellent beautie in the face of Goodnesse, yea, some ex­cellence in knowledge it selfe; how, must not this needes torment the heart [Page 34] of the knower, while the same knowledge seeth also the actions of mankinde to runne so madly and confu­sedly, whiles it sees Iustice, or at least Power, treading vpon the face of goodnesse, and exalting wickednesse, while it sees an vndistin­guishing chance to come vnto all; and finally, while knowledge seeth know­ledge despised, and yet not able to helpe it selfe, not any of those euils which it sees. Certainly these things are a vexation of minde to the men of knowledge, and make them lothe the works that are wrought vnder the Sunne, euen to hate life it selfe. And as this miserie [Page 35] comes of knowledge being gotten, so euen the getting of knowledge is it selfe a miserie; for vsually it is ac­quired by two meanes. The one is a vehement and con­tinuall labour of the minde, which takes vp one halfe of the life, to instruct the o­ther halfe; yea, many times knowledge is a funeral gar­ment, al the life in working, & worne but the last iour­ney to the graue. A second meanes, is an extraordina­rie instrument of the soule, which is called the drie beame; by which the soule seeth most cleerly & swift­ly, and will dicourse out of a present apprehension, as soundly as some will doe [Page 36] by much studie and preme­ditation: but we must know that in this case, the win­dow of the soule is vsually enlarged by the flaw of the body, and the body and minde doe often suffer some indisposition, when these beames of the soule are o­uer-actiue. Hence may we truly ghesse, that such great­nesse of wit hath common­ly to accompanie it some touch of madnesse or sick­nesse. And now, that wee may giue a conclusion to the poore knowledge of man, as before it was con­uinced to be a spy for griefe, while it beholds the confu­sion, miserie, and vanitie of this world: so may wee [Page 37] truely say, that it can neuer be an Intelligencer of hap­pinesse, while it suruaies the beautie and glorie of this world, and sends vs newes of them alone. For among the varieties of this worlds best & most excellent parts, knowledge can neuer finde any obiect worthy of the soule of man; nothing that may giue it the true happi­nesse of a soule, nor any thing that may lift vp man aboue miserie, there to giue him a rest of safetie and per­petuitie, yea, much rather it sees the soule made a drudge to the bodie, and trudging in the errands of corruption, wickednesse & vanitie; and if sometimes [Page 38] shee delight her selfe in her owne light, that light is but as the shooting of a star, for man eft-soones fals downe into his old station of grosnesse & miserie. And though sometimes it giues a man some ease in lesser e­uils and troubles, yet is knowledge it selfe vsually astonished with sudden en­counters, euen in little mat­ters, and commonly ouer­borne with mightie tem­pests of greatly-sensible e­uils. Therefore wee may conclude, that knowledge rather shewes man that hee is ill, then makes him to be well, & it seemes that some great knowledge hath sub­iected man to an vnresist­able [Page 39] reuolution of miserie, from which all lesser know­ledges can neuer free him, without the helpe of the greater.

CHAP. VI. The vniuersall vanitie of the World.

BVt if in all this, I had said nothing, but that stil in spite of all that hath beene said, these and the like master­pieces of the world, would of force bestow some hap­pinesse on Man, yet herein I cannot choose but to say something; that is, when deadly sicknesse, either ca­suall [Page 40] or naturall, commeth vpon vs; When the grin­ders are weake, the keepers tremble, and the lookers out by the windowes, yea by the windowes of the soule, grow darke; What can honor, riches, pleasures or knowledge then confer vnto Man thus buryed in himselfe, and vncapable of any outward comfort? vp­on this consideration, that old Man did wisely, who refused the pleasures of the Court, being inuited to them; because his eare did no longer taste the sweet­nesse of Musike, nor his palate did any longer rel­lish the sauourinesse of meate. The gates of Man [Page 41] are shut vp, by which the trade betweene the Soule and the World, doth passe to and fro, and therefore Man cannot traffick any longer with his old custo­mers of this outward and visible world. But now the dregs of life are come to the spending, wherin thou shalt confesse that there is no­thing but labour and sor­row. And if yet I had in this said Nothing, because some Philosophers inuen­ted a way to preuent this miserie, by ridding them­selues of themselues, yet this must needes bee some­thing, that Death, the thaw of all cold and frozen com­forts, dissolueth both thee [Page 42] and all thy imaginarie feli­cities into nothing, euen in­to that which such felicities do nothing concerne. Sure­ly, whatsoeuer titles thou hast inioyed, whatsoeuer pleasures thou hast tasted, whatsoeuer riches thou hast possessed, whatsoeuer plots or inuentions thou hast cō ­triued or conceiued, Death cuts them wholly from thee, or thee from them; there is no more relation betweene you, neither doe they any longer concerne thee. Therefore in regard of all outward things, hath there beene a iust out-crie: What remayneth to Man of all his works vnder the Sunne? The dust of Man [Page 43] hath no feeling nor know­ledge of the things of this life; neither those things which haue been nor those which are. Death hath di­gested all mans works and concernments into vanitie; vvhether hee hath beene poore or rich, wise or foo­lish, sad or merrie. Yea, death is most terrible to them commonly, who haue most sought a happinesse in the things of this life, and seemes to bee reuenged on them for this their folly & error. Therefore are the mi­serable and wretched most familiar with Death, and take most pleasure in it, for which reason they may seeme to bee happyer then [Page 44] the others. For, if present ease and pleasure sweeten all former griefe and bitter­nesse, but present griefe and bitternesse doth giue a dis­taste to al former pleasures; then these to whom ease and pleasure are present in the last place, haue a recom­pence and counterpoise to their sorrowes: and they to whom griefe and vexation are last of all present, feele an extinguishment of their former pleasures: and hence it seemes the miserable goe hence in some degree of happinesse, the voluptuous in a great degree of wret­chednesse. Howsoeuer, bee what thou wilt, O world­ling, doe what thou wilt, [Page 45] thou shalt goe into empti­nesse and vanitie thou and thy thoughts shall perish, and [...] remaynes of thee in the world, shalbe of an equall condition to that mould wherein it is in­closed; and the world shall conserue thy dust no more then it doth thy fellow­dust, which lyeth next vnto thee.

CHAP. VII. What remaynes of necessitie to be the happinesse of Man.

NOw, the world be­ing thus shut vp and bounded with vani­tie, there remaynes onely [Page 46] that highest Essence, the Cause and Fountayne of all things, in whom Man may seeke his happinesse, Man is inforced to clime vp aboue this world of vanitie, to reach his true felicitie. His soule must set vp the ladder of contemplation, & there­on shee must ascend vp to her Maker, to seeke in him a remedie of her miserie, an obiect of blessednesse, of perpetuitie. And surely, whither can shee more fitly repaire, then to the Source of her being, there to re­ceiue a reparation of herill being, and an eternitie of well being? For hee that made Man, is in all proba­bilitie most able to amend [Page 47] Man when he is mard, yea, there is none, but he, can do it. Againe, God being the Father of Spirits, what can more reioyce them then their Father & Fountayne, by continuall supplyes of life and ioy? Now, that God is a most blessed Spirit the true beatificall obiect of Spirits blessed, his su­premitie in Excellence, wisedome, and power, doe strongly perswade: and first for excellence, euen in our vulgar estimation, grosse things are base things, and puritie is accounted excel­lencie. Glasse is preferred before Clay, and Cristall before Glasse, and the Dia­mond before Cristall. A­mong [Page 48] Men, the heauie and earthly mindes are most contemned, and they that are of the quickest & shar­pest spirits, are held most noble and generous: If then we will frame any concep­tion of a transcendent and vppermost excellencie; we must also conceiue a most absolute puritie. Therefore if God bee most excellent, he is also most pure. Now what is to be thought more pure then a glorious, single, vn-compounded Essence, such as a Spirit is, and that Spirit most, which is the Cause, and Fountayne, and Father of Spirits? And no lesse doth a spirituall Es­sence fit best with wisdom; [Page 49] For wisedome being a most pure and piercing thing, which by the sharpnesse & subtiltie thereof can pierce into the most hidden and secret profundities, what Essence fitteth wisedome better, then a pure, subtill, and piercing Essence, such as is that of a Spirit? Wise­dome is a light, and we find the higher any thing is sub­limated, and refined, and as it were vnbodied, the more capable it is of light. So Earth, which is a lumpe of darknesse, by fire lifted vp and clarified into the pure­nesse of Glasse, becomes especially capable of light. And surely, if we search but a little depth into wisdome: [Page 50] it wil appeare to our vnder­standings to bee the child, conceiuement, and issue of a Spirit; euen of a cleere, pure, and single essence, which in their models our owne soules doe represent vnto vs, and teach by pat­terne. Thirdly, in regard of Power, as the Creator of all things must excell al things in power; so Power hath his residence most fitly and especially in a Spirit. Ac­cordingly wee see in daily experience, that the heauie and massie things are mo­ued and commanded by things vn-corporeall & vn­seene. The huge Sea is mo­ued to and fro in her Tides, by an inuisible and vnbo­dily [Page 51] Power. There is no hand that toucheth it, no arme that holdeth it backe, or thrusteth it forward. In liuing things, euen those that liue but a growing life, the massie part is moued in growing by a power vnui­sible and vnperceiuable. In Beasts, the purest and most incorporeall part of them is that which mooueth, in­creaseth, and directeth their grosnesse and greatnesse. The Wind is a thing inui­sible & of a great thinnesse and subtiltie. Yet in Earth­quakes it teares Rocks a­sunder, & remoues Moun­taynes; in Tempests it brings the Sea vpon the Land, and equals Towres [Page 52] with their owne foundati­ons. Surely, Power is then most pure & absolute, when it is least clogged with weight; and massines doth lode it, rather then increase it. And as it is of it selfe cleere and vncorporeall, so it cannot but proceed from a cleere, and pure Essence, things euer proceeding frō their like: and what purer then a Spirit? And to shut vp all in an experimentall conclusion: We find in our selues an excellent essence, intelligent, vn-corporeall, inuisible, vn-touchable, (which are the expressions of a Spirit) whereby many great works are performed, and thereby giue euident [Page 53] testimonies therof. If there­fore there be such an essence in vs, wee may imagine the Creator to bee purer then his worke, and therefore he must be more spiritual than we, or more then spirituall, but cannot be lesse. But be that graunted which wee seeke, that God is a Spirit, most wise, most powerfull, that can both free vs from miserie, and giue vs the true and naturall happinesse of Spirits; What auaileth it vs that God is able to doe it, except it be done? There must bee a communication of this abilitie vnto Man else Man onely knowes where he might be happy, but knowes not that hee [Page 54] shall be happy. And with­out this knowledge, the life of Man is but a continuall feare and bondage. Where­fore it concernes vs to make a new suruay of all Nations and all Doctrines of happi­nes, inquiring among them, whether any of them can tell vs the glad tydings of a communion and enter­course betweene God and Man. Let vs diligently exa­mine the vniuersall Teach­ers of knowledges, & aske whether there hath beene any act of the Creator, per­formed for the reparation of miserable mankind, and the deliuerāce of him from this prison of wretchednes & vanitie, into the glorious [Page 55] libertie of blessed Spirits. For my part (as euery man is bounded with his owne knowledge) I haue heard or read of one alone; and that is so fully medicinable to Mans miserie, so fully sufficient to giue Man per­fect felicity; That this is the very doctrine of happines, or else Man must still re­maine a sensuall, wretched, and vnprofitable creature, which to say, were a blas­phemie against the wisdom of creation. In this doctrine is God discouered to be the repayrer of his owne falne creature. And the remedie is euery way equall, yea, preualent to the disease, so that it well becomes the [Page 56] highest God to bee the Au­thour thereof. And though the manner of it be not fet­ched from mans vaine-glo­rious imaginations, nor grounded vpon Nature (GOD being able equally to be an immediate Father of Mans reparation, as of his creation of grace as of nature) yet contayneth this doctrine no vnreasonable contrarieties, or repugnan­ces, but onely things high aboue cōmon reason, such as well befit a Deitie, high­er by farre then his owne creature. And notwithstan­ding this height, yet they that duely conuerse in this doctrine, and by meditati­on enter into the mysterie [Page 57] thereof, they, I say, shall find an excellent harmonie & correspondence between it and Mans present estate, and betweene all the parts of it selfe. For the sore of Man is so iustly couered with an answerable plaister: That it must needs be con­fessed, that he who framed the remedie, must bee hee a­lone that knoweth the se­crets of the heart, euen the depth and roote of our ma­ladie. Philosophie hath in­deuoured to cure the Gan­grene of Mans corruption, by cutting off the very parts corrupted, which must bee vpon the matter, by cutting off Man from himselfe, as indeed some haue done, by [Page 58] leauing him as a meere trunke without feeling, and without affection. But this doctrine leaueth the parts whole, but mainly oppo­seth the corruptiō, it leaues man to be as much a man as he was, but onely it so pur­geth him, that hee is not so much euil, nor so much mi­serable as he was; yea, that at length he shall be neither euill nor miserable. And this is so strongly sealed in­to the heart of Man, that it leaues an euident proofe of a diuine power, accompa­nying and iustifying it. For none but the Creator can pierce into the hart of man, and bind his will and affec­tions, euen against his will [Page 59] and affections, with such powerfull and mightie chaines, that neither the wit of Man, which hath beene fruitfull in inuenti­ons of torment, nor the power of Emperors, which hath ruined mightie King­domes, could change or al­ter them.

Concerning this Arte of Arts, what I haue receiued, I purpose to deliuer to o­thers, through his helpe, who is the Author thereof: and surely, this knowledge is only worthy of a man; o­ther knowledges, except they serue this, they are but wearinesse and vanitie: for man is as miserable, and sometimes more, when he [Page 60] hath gotten their perfecti­ons, as when he entred in­to their beginnings. And becauseit giues a great light to Mans reparation, to know how he came to haue neede of it, and because it concernes the glorie of the Creator, to shew that at first he created not miserie and corruption: Therefore most fitly doth this Doc­trine beginne with the first estate of man, and the losse thereof, euen a created per­fection, and a purchased corruption; A learning, which all Philosophy could neuer reach. For she is the child of man, and therefore cannot tell the beginning of her owne Father. For [Page 61] man was before shee was, yea man was lost, before shee was found: and so shee which was since corrupti­on, cannot tell how that corruption came which was before her, much lesse can she speake of that perfecti­on which was againe before this corruption. But the truth is, bad she findes vs, and not knowing the cause, she can neuer find the cure; and therefore as she found vs, so shee leaues vs mise­rable.

THE ARTE OF HAPPINES. The second Part. Which particularly sets forth the happinesse of Man, and the restoring of it when it was lost.

CHAP. I. Of the Creator and the Crea­tion, and the purpose of the Creator in the Creation.

THe Creator is the beginning of all things, and therefore must he needs be without beginning. For [Page 64] from the things which haue their beginning of him, him selfe cannot take beginning, neither can he be his owne beginning, for that were to say, he was before he was. But God is an eternall Es­sence, that by himselfe vp­holdeth himselfe, and all things else. For all other things haue no being of their owne, but they bor­row their being from him; and in him is their founda­tion: and for this cause may he alone rightly, be­cause alone originally, say, I am. And as he is the foun­taine and beginning from which all things flow, so is he the end to which all things returne; either by [Page 65] their owne wills confor­med to his will, or by the ouer-ruling of his power, which subdueth the vnwil­ling to his will. And thus must it needes be; for the Creator is his owne end in his Creation, and doth all things for himselfe. If wee allow not a Creator, we confesse no Author of the things wee see; but either wee make them Eternall, which is to make meaner gods, and to denie the more excellent, or we frame some imagination of our owne to be their beginning which shall neuer fit with them so well, as a wise, powerfull, and eternall Spirit; and lastly, we rob mans soule [Page 66] of a true rest & happinesse. For if the Spirit of man had not some soueraigne Spirit, to giue it eternall Blisse, then were miserable man shut vp vnto this present life, as vnto his soueraigne good, into which a wise & good man would neuer re­enter, if he were once well discharged of it. Let vs then seeke a GOD higher then these visible things, and a happines higher then these miserable things; and let vs not reason with the brutish Sensualists; Hee is not a God whom wee cannot see with our eyes; but let vs say with the Soules inlightned; Hee is fittest to bee a God, whose purenesse doth ex­cell [Page 67] the grosse capacitie of bodily sences. For the pu­rer the Essence is, the more fit to bee a God, and the more pure, the more inui­sible to a grosse and carnall sight. Let vs therefore be­leeue the Creator to bee a most cleere, lightsome, and glorious Spirit, and to bee seene onely by Spirits and bodies, sublimated into a spirituall kinde of being.

This glorious & eternall Spirit, manifesteth himselfe to our apprehensions in three Persons, the print and impression of each person being found in euery crea­ture, and there being an ab­solute necessitie, that euery one of the three should [Page 68] concurre in all Creation. The first, in order of Consi­deration, though there bee no first in order of Time, is the great and infinite Mind or Vnderstanding, which begetteth a great Wisdom, Thought, or Word; euen the first and radicall Light, the almightie Begetter of the second Light; and this person is called GOD the Father. The second, is the begotten & second Light; euen the Wisdome & Con­ceiuement of the minde or vnderstanding; an Image & issue thereof, and this per­son is called GOD the Son. The third, is the Vertue & Power, which breatheth or floweth from the God head, [Page 69] whereby GOD loueth and inioyeth himselfe, and puts in execution whatsoeuer he wil haue done for himselfe, and this person is called GOD the holy Ghost. These three are one God, and doe so necessarily ioyne in eue­ry Creation, that without any one of them nothing can be created. For how can there be any Creation, but that the Minde or Father must beget a wise purpose, by Wisedome his Sonne, & what he hath purposed and proiected by the Sonne, he must effect by the power of the holy Ghost?

Accordingly, this God, who is the end of himselfe for himselfe intended, and [Page 70] brought forth a Creation. To himselfe he would haue glorie, and to his Creature happinesse; yea, this happi­nes of the Creature, should be by the glorie of the Cre­ator: so in the glorifying of God, should Men and An­gels bee glorified. But on the contrarie, they that would not giue glorie to God, should not haue hap­pinesse to themselues; yet, though vnwillingly, shall they glorifie him by seruing his Iustice in miserie, who would not serue his Good­nesse in felicitie. To effect this in six dayes, God made this great masse of Crea­tures, called the World, which he fitted for the ser­uice [Page 71] of Man, and Man for the seruice of his GOD. Now, as this great Frame came from this one God, so the infinite disagreeings of seuerall parts reconciled to an Vnitie, point to some great vnitie as the Cause of this reconciliation, which can deserue to be called by no other name, then by a supreme and soueraigne Name, and such a Name is God. Againe, the infinite diuersitie of Formes, and that large heape of Matter, neither of which were be­fore, and of which it is alike easie to the Creatour, to make Matter as Formes, direct our eies to som great Wisdome & Power, which [Page 72] could both inuent and pro­duce them. Yea more neer­ly, the drops and streames of wisedome powred into the Creatures in their seue­rall instincts, and into Man with his soule plainly con­fesse, that there is some Spring of infinite wisdome from which these Riuolets might flow, and some infi­nite power which could ac­tuate them into the Crea­tures. And if so, then neces­sarily must wee also allow some pure and infinite Es­sence, wherein this infinite. Wisedome & Power might dwell, which puritie chiefly excelleth in a Spirit, and to such a Spirit can agree no o­ther, but the highest Name [Page 73] of God. Thus the things sealed, bearing the Image of the seale, teach vs the seale; euen these visible Creatures, bearing the im­pression of the Deitie, re­present to vs the same Dei­tie, as their Cause and Be­ginning, and in their dumb language they preach vnto vs their originall.

The world thus trimmed vp with the varietie of in­numerable things, both for vse and ornament, as a roy­all Palace for some great Prince, man (though now a contemptible & wretch­ed thing) was then thought a fit Owner and Comman­der of so glorious a Crea­tion. And this not without [Page 74] order; for though by his body, he was of kin to the Earth, yet his soule was of kin to the Deitie; being a Spirit breathed into man by the Father of Spirits. So Glorie and Humilitie were married together in man at his first Creation; the issues wherof should still be continued; euen apprehen­sions of an excellent soule, to keepe vs from sinking into the basenesse of sensu­alitie and earthinesse; and considerations of a clay bo­dy, to stay vs from moun­ting vp in pride, and ascen­ding into the place of the most High.

And now euen at the first beginning, God did [Page 75] make man know both what was the basenesse of man, and what was the happines of man: hee shewed man that his seruice was the bu­sinesse of man, yea, hee shewed him how he would bee serued. For God plan­ted in man a reasonable soule, in which was written an Image & counter-pawne of the Deitie, although not equall in degrees, yet like in resemblance. Now, the reason of this soule could finde, that a Creator cre­ates things for himselfe, & by whom things are, they are also for him. There­fore man hauing his being from God, he is to returne his being vnto God. And [Page 76] if Man would know the manner how to please and serue God; this very man­ner of his creation will teach him. For the Crea­tor was a Spirit himselfe, and he gaue to man a Spirit resembling him both in substance and facultie. The substance was spirituall, & the facultie, an vnderstan­ding and wil. In the vnder­standing was a light, which could shew vnto man the will of God; and informe Man what was right in Gods vnderstanding. So was it a created reuelation of the Law of God, the sparkes and pieces whereof serue at this day, both to informe and accuse the na­turall [Page 77] man. Now vpon the vnderstanding thus infor­med, the will was readie to attend; and vpon the will, the affections, yea all the members, to execute and performe the will of God certified to them by the vn­derstanding. Now there being such an aptnesse and abilitie of conformitie be­tweene God and Man, and all things being delighted with harmonie and confor­mitie, especially that purest Essence which is vanitie it selfe; surely, it cannot bee imagined, but the chiefest pleasure and seruice most acceptable to the Creator, was, when these lower and lesser spirits did cary them­selues, [Page 78] & the bodies which they ruled in a perpetuall consent and conformitie to that great Spirit which made them. And as Mans workmāship did thus shew him his worke, so did it also his happinesse. Towards the discouerie hereof, let vs set downe these rules. First, the most excellent happines of Man must be the happi­nesse of Mans most excel­lent part. Secondly, Mans chiefest part being a Spirit, the obiect of his happines must be a Spirit; Spirits en­ioying Spirits, as Bodies do Bodies, & chiefly the chief­est. Thirdly, this chiefest Spirit is not to bee found a­mong the Creatures, but [Page 79] must only bee the Creator; for the Creator must needs exceede all the Spirits that issue from him, as the high­est cause doth his inferiour effects. And to this also conspireth this conception euen of humane reason, that in him must bee the chiefest exaltation of Mans being, from whom the being it selfe did first proceede. Yet neither doth our mercifull Father leaue this Truth without a witnesse, but by that great & reuerend my­sterie of the Sabbath, he tel­leth vs outwardly, what be­fore he inwardly taught vs; euen that God is our bles­sednesse, and that holinesse is the way to him. For God [Page 80] is said to haue created the world in sixe dayes, and to haue rested, blessed, and hallowed the seuenth. Now God needed not sixe dayes to create a world, which he can equally doe in a mo­ment. Neither needed he to rest the seuenth day, for any wearinesse gotten by Crea­tion. But these things are of an higher meaning, and in­clude Doctrines more ex­cellent, and so more agree­able to the nature and dig­nitie of God. God chose to make his worke distinctly in sixe seuerall dayes, and in euery day distinctly con­sidered the worke which that day hee had made and vpon this distinct and seue­rall [Page 81] consideration, hee pro­nounced this sentence vp­on each dayes worke, that the worke of that day was good. Yet hee saith onely that it was good; hee saith not that it was goodnesse: it was good enough in his kind for seruice, but not for happinesse. But the seuenth day hee ceaseth, both from Creation and this conside­ration of the good Crea­tures; and with-draweth himselfe into himselfe; Hee returneth from without, to the enioying of himselfe & his owne rest; and to the contemplation of this rest inioyed; and there onely hee findeth & pronounceth to be perfect holinesse, and [Page 82] perfect blessednesse. To make this knowne vnto Man, God takes this Se­uenth day, wherein hee re­tyred to his rest, and im­prints on it the qualities of his rest, holinesse and bles­sednesse; that the holinesse and blessednesse of that day might bee a patterne to vs of the holinesse and bles­sednesse, which is in God: that we reading therein the blessednesse of God, might set our whole hearts & de­sires thereon; and reading therin the holinesse of God, might fit our selues by ho­linesse to his Holinesse; which, as it is inseparable from happinesse in God, so must it be also in all that wil [Page 83] see Good; for nothing con­trary or vnlike to God, may approch vnto him. Thus the Seuenth day, crowned by the employment of that day; & the other sixe daies left vnblessed, by the works of those dayes, by a mani­fest differēce point vnto vs, that the end and happinesse of Man, are not to be sought in the workes of the sixe dayes, but in the blessed Holinesse and holy Blessed­nesse of the Seuenth. And to the same truth the order of Creation doth likewise inuite vs. For, all Creatures being first made; Man was made after Creatures, and so set before them as their end, to whom they should [Page 84] looke, & whom they should serue. But Man being thus placed as the end of the Creatures, in this great my­sterie of the Sabbath, so­lemnized after Mans crea­tion, God and his blessed Rest is set before Man, as the end and happinesse of Man. So as Man is set be­fore the face of the Crea­tures, so is God in the Sab­bath set before the face of Man. The Creatures should looke to Man, and Man should looke to God; Man must turne his backe to the Creatures, and his face to­ward God. The Creatures must serue & follow Man, and Man must serue & fol­low God. And when God [Page 85] is serued in holinesse, then shall he be inioyed in hap­pinesse; when God is pro­posed as the end of Mans being, then shall God bee inioyed as the end of Mans desire.

CHAP. II. How Man fell from happi­nesse into miserie.

MAN being thus crea­ted; with his duetie and happinesse writ­ten in him, and set before him; his businesse was by walking in the duetie, to walke toward the happines. To do this, he was to looke vnto God as the rule of his [Page 86] obedience (of whom also that little Image, which hee carried about him, was a representation) and vpon the same God as the con­summation of his felicitie. In summe, he was to walke with God vnto God; and hauing pleased God in this world, he was to enioy the pleasures at the right hand of God in the world aboue. And now, as Man was to see in God, both what was good to be done, and what was good to bee desired, so also was hee to see by God what was the euill to bee left vndone, and the euill to be lothed in regard of suffe­ring. For, the same rule which sheweth vs rightnes, [Page 87] serues also to find out croo­kednesse. And accordingly as the Will of GOD was the rule of that which was good and righteous, & the goodnes of God was Mans good and happinesse; so on the contrarie, what was a­gainst Gods will, was the e­uill of vnrighteousnesse, or what was separated from Gods goodnesse, or had an influence contrarie to it, was the euill of miserie. Thus was Man set with his countenance toward God, to behold him as the high­est marke & ayme to whom he should fit his actions and affections. Yea, God and Man looked each on other; God to Man, for the seruice [Page 88] of loue: Man to God, for holinesse and happinesse.

And now, because this most wise Creator knew, that a Creature, like a streame, must haue continu­ance from the same spring, from which it tooke begin­ning, & that the same hand must support him from fal­ling, which made him able to stand; he gaue vnto Man a Tree of Life; a most di­uine Sacrament; by the par­taking whereof, hee might haue truely eaten of that Word of God, by whom Man was first made, and who only is Life, and is e­uen now the Tree of Life in the Paradise which is a­boue. In this Word is the [Page 89] Life and Light of Men, and by the partaking of Him, Man may continue in the Life and Light receiued from Him. And if ADAM would haue eaten of this Tree, hee might haue beene established in the state of righteousnesse and happi­nesse.

But that it might bee in the choice of Man to chuse Life or Death, there was al­so set before him a Tree of death, a Tree to which was annexed this curse, That at what time soeuer Man ea­teth thereof, he shall die the death. And great reason there was, that the Eater therof should die, for it had a qualitie powred into it, or [Page 90] annexed vnto it, to ouer­throw all that the Tree of Life would haue preserued. It carried with it a spiritual drunkenesse, that would so captiuate the vnderstan­ding, and turne about the will and affections, that they should not looke to God, as the rule of good & euill, to be done or vndone; nor to the same God, as the rule of that good and euill, which is happines and mi­serie.

But this new fruit will teach Man to know good and euill, after a new fashi­on. For from the venom thereof there issueth a blind lust & concupiscence, which blotteth out the Image of [Page 91] God in the soule, by which we once looked vnto God. And this lust sitteth it selfe as God in this Temple of God. When this fruit is ea­ten, the vnderstanding, wil, and affections, are to bee managed by lust; yea, euen the whole soule and body of man, and that must bee good or euill which lust ap­prooueth or disliketh. God must be no longer the hap­pinesse of man, neither the absence or opposition of God, the miserie of man; God must be no longer the patterne of Mans obedi­ence, neither shall man care to walke with God vnto God, nor to decline from the euill of suffering, by de­clining [Page 92] from the euil of do­ing. But lust that bestrideth the soule and body, fra­meth vp new happinesse & newe miserie, euen newe good and euil, to which the actions of Man must bee wholly leuelled, euen to auoid the euill, and to ob­taine the good. And this must be done with such au­thoritie, that the precise­nesse of the former course, which fitted all actions to the rule of righteousnesse, being trodden vnder foote, as carrying with it a scru­pulous basenesse; these a­ctions shall now onely, and seriously bēe iudged Good or Euill, which are appre­hended and proposed by [Page 93] Lust. Let the things suppo­sed good by this fleshly wisedome, bee neuer so emptie of goodnesse; yea the certaine meanes of mi­serie, yet if this knowledge know them to be good, and perswade the will and af­fections to imbrace them as good, Man must mighti­ly imploy himselfe for the attayning of them. Accor­dingly, if this new know­ledge tell vs that worship­ping of stocks, murder, yea miserie it selfe is good, wee are bound to beleeue it, yea to runne ouer the whole Countrie, and sometimes out of the Countrie, for the attayning and executi­on of such apprehensions [Page 94] of Good and Euill. Neither doth this hold only in some men of extrauagant hu­mours, but it appeares since the eating of this fruit, to bee a generall fruit of that eating. For generally mankind is in bondage to this sensuall wisedome, & generally the liues of men are framed and leuelled thereby, and commonly in the course of euery naturall man, we shal find some one thing especially proposed as his chiefe good & happi­nes; the contrary wherof is his chiefe euill and miserie; neither of which are such, as they be esteemed. Yea, the sway of this knowledge is so mightie, that in many [Page 95] plaine and euident causes of good and euill, the poore ruines of reason, euen the broken remnants of Gods Image in the soule, are put out of countenance, and are ashamed to giue vp their verdict; wherefore, many times, by men of vnder­standing, for feare or flatte­rie, euill is called good, and good, euill. There are ho­nourable Miseries, which Reason plainly sees to bee miseries, yet in the Court it is ashamed to call them so. There are also glorious Murders, which Reason knowes to be very butche­ries, yet among the lustie sonnes of this lustfull wise­dome, it is ashamed to say [Page 96] so. There is a supposall of a God head, or diuine power, to dwell in a piece of wood or metall, and this, Reason sees to bee vanitie, yet in some countries, Kings bow to such imaginations, and the Subiects must doe the same; else for want of bow­ing, they shall bee brought to breaking. As in these, so in infinite other things ap­peares mans mistaking of good and euill, euen the good of righteousnesse and happinesse; and the euill of wickednesse and miserie yea, in those very instincts, which are left as the princi­pall guides of naturall men, and by which their state is continued and preserued [Page 97] (and if such had not beene left, mankind being yeelded vp to the guiding of his na­turall corruption, must needes haue decayed and destroied it selfe) euen these instincts are exceedingly tainted by this knowledge of good and euill. Naturall instinct tells Man, that by Woman, succession is pre­serued, and naturall helpe maintayned, and that shee that is thine, is thy selfe; Lust comes in with his do­ctrines often, and sayes, Loue one that thou hast not, for the good of va­rietie, and it is euill and fulsome to loue but one, though shee be thine owne flesh. Naturall instinct tells [Page 98] vs, it is good to loue our children, and best, the best. Lust comes in many times and tells vs, It is good to loue them better then our selues; to wrong our selues & others, to increase them, and sometimes to loue that childe best that deserues worst. Yea, sometimes on the contrarie it tells vs, that it is foolish and euill to de­barre our selues from any excesse or vanitie, for their sakes, and then the careles­nesse is as bad as the care was before. Naturall in­stinct tells vs, there must be an order among men for their preseruation, that some must bee the heads and keepers of this order [Page 99] Hence ariseth the necessitie of Kings and States. Flesh­ly wisedome comes in, and tels many Kings, they must rule men for their owne pleasures, and to satisfie their owne sensuall desires. And the same wisedome tells many Subiects, Why should ye be subiect to one of your kinde? and if so, why not others to you, as well as you to others? Thus is the new knowledge of good and euill, like a Byas to the soule, and makes it runne awry, both in regard of probitie and felicitie. And surely, the Philoso­phers troubled themselues much with the discouerie of such a disease, but nei­ther [Page 100] knew whence it came, nor how to rid it away. In­deed they plodded for re­medies, and to that purpose wrote of the ends of good and euill, and framed their Distinctions of seeming good and euill, and true good and euil. One of these prophets cries out, There is no euill, but what thou thinkest to be euill; and an­other sayes, Euery mans lust is his guide; and ano­ther, Euery mans lust is his god. But while they groped in the darke, the day-starre is risen vpon vs, and hath discouered to vs, by the light thereof, the true roote of Mans corruption, and how they first went out of [Page 101] the right path of the true knowledge of good and e­uill, into the infinite by­paths of a knowledge de­ceiued, and deceiuing.

Thus these two trees of Life and Death, being sub­iect to the choice of man, this choice and power of Free-will, which in it selfe is an excellent priuiledge, yet to a solitarie and vnsup­ported creature, it easily becomes a dore vnto mise­rie. For while man is left to Free-will, he is left to himselfe, and himselfe is but a Creature, and a Cre­ature may bee circumuen­ted by another Creature, that exceedeth it both in cunning and power. This [Page 102] knew well those falne and corrupted Creatures, the euill and depraued angels, who beeing subtill, and powerfull in knowledge, and withall malicious a­gainst happinesse, because themselues were miserable, employed their cunning & power, to the seducing of inferiour man; inferiour, because a Spirit clothed & vayled with Dust.

The way which they chose, was by conference; wherein they made vse of a visible Creature; and the ground of their conference was, to bring Man into iea­lousie of God. Their drift was to perswade Man, that the Tree which was forbid­den [Page 103] to Man, was denied out of an enuie of mans pre­ferment; for there was in that Tree (say they) such a supereminent knowledge, that it could equall Man with God, and make Man to become a god vnto him­selfe. And lest feare should be an hinderance to credu­litie, the death which was threatned to follow, was vt­terly denied. Miserable man besieged with so strong a temptation! for what re­sistance hath Man against such a temptation, but a firme beliefe in the words of his Creator? & the same temptation bringeth the Creator into suspicion; that his Word may be thought [Page 104] rather to forbid prefer­ment, then sinne and mi­serie.

Accordingly, GOD is vnbeleeued; the Tempter is trusted; the hand is rea­ched out; and the fruit of miserie is deuoured. The eating is most wicked, and the digestion most wretch­ed; Lust as the iuyce of this fruit, entreth into the soule and body of Man; it ob­taineth a conquest ouer the parts and powers of the Ea­ters; and taynteth them with a fleshly wisedome & a sensuall knowledge Man is become as a god, by be­ing become a rule of good and euill to himselfe. His happinesse and misery must [Page 105] be taught him by his owne heart, and his lust shall bee the Oracle & Guide of his life. And now the eyes of Man are opened; but by a knowledge of apparances, not of truths; and accor­dingly, Nakednesse, which was the state of perfection, is censured as shamefull; whereas Nakednesse, while Man was pure & glorious, was also glorious; for it did plainly and manifestly set forth Mans puritie & glo­rie. But the new shame, for which Nakednesse is now blamed, is the shame of the new Lust; which was not caused by Nakednesse, but only discouered; Nakednes excellently became glorie, [Page 106] for glorie is the more glo­rious by being manifest & euident; but shame be­comes shamefull by it, and publisheth it selfe thereby to its owne disgrace. But this is the fault of shamefull Lust, to come into Naked­nesse, which is the habit of glorie; and not (as Man foolishly in his new wise­dome complayned) the fault of Nakednesse, to dis­couer the shame of Lust; which by wrongfull intru­sion entred into it, and shewed it selfe shameful by that, which was appointed to shew forth Mans perfec­tion in glorie. And as in this, so in Mans whole course doth this erroneous [Page 107] knowledge preuaile; and no maruaile; for the body was first guided by the soule, and the soule by the Image of God, yea by God himselfe: But now this lust­full knowledge guideth the bodie, and the bodie, for the most part, tuneth and guideth the soule. Thus the Image of God, in Man, is reuersed and defaced. Hee answereth not, hee looketh not any longer to God; hee neither loueth him, neither is loued of him. Man is be­come a stranger to God, & God to Man; and hence it comes, that there is at this day such a multitude of foolish children, that know not their owne Father and Creator.

[Page 108] Man being thus cut off from God his end, and be­come his owne God and end; he is abased, defor­med, and wholly ouer­throwne by his new prefer­ment: Hee left his true end and happinesse, when hee would not bound himselfe within the happinesse of a Creature; but striuing after the happinesse of a Creator, he lost both what he would haue, and what before hee might haue. And now God and the Law of God being taken out of Mans heart, & a false god with a new law placed in their stead; what shall become of such a wic­ked and corrupted thing? Can a Creator quietly see [Page 109] himselfe robbed of his crea­ture? Can hee without in­dignation and iealousie be­hold an Idoll set vp in his roome? or can hee conten­tedly looke on Pollution, sitting on the face of that soule, wherein before with pleasure he beheld his own resemblance? No; but much rather it is fit, that a Crea­ture thus running away from his Maker, should be branded with a curse for a Vagabond; that the new pride and godhead of the flesh should bee battered & abased; that this wry and false estate of Man should haue no long continuance, but that this stolne and cor­rupt happines should soone [Page 110] be dissolued by reall mise­rie. Accordingly, God calls his sinfull Creatures to an account, and hauing con­uicted them by a confession of their own, extorted from them, by necessarie and in­fallible consequences of transgression, on the Wo­man he imposeth a yoke of subiection, euen to be sub­iect to the Husband, whom shee tempted to sinne. Hee also fastneth vnto her such an heauie paine of child­birth, that to this day it wit­nesseth of it selfe, that it is the stroke of an offended Deitie. Surely, as the bitter fruit of Lust, it punisheth the fault of his owne roote; and it is most iustly tyed to [Page 111] the Generation, to which Mans fall had before tyed Pollution. But neither may the Man passe away safe with his new purchase of false happinesse, but the swelling of his pride must bee pricked and vented. Though the Woman gaue him the fruit, it was not the giuing, but the eating that defiled him. Therefore to Man is the earth cursed, that it shall not traffike her fruit, but for the sweat of his browes. The new god­head is taken downe; for it must either starue or la­bour; and hee, who might haue beene serued by a vo­luntary contribution of the Creatures, and might haue [Page 112] beene next vnto God ouer them; now by stepping vp into Gods place, is cast into a slauerie vnto the Crea­tures, and his life is a conti­nuall seeking of them. This great Earth hath a great curse of barrennesse, or a barren fruitfulnes of thorns and bryers: yea, from the little Earth, which is man, shall spring the thornes of cares, the bryers of feares and sorrowes, which pricke and teare, and torment the heart that beareth them. The brute Creatures being freed from their naturall allegeance, shall henceforth yeeld vnto Man an obedi­ence forced or artificiall. The enmitie of the wicked [Page 113] angels shall cōtinually per­secute the mankind, which they haue deceiued. And finally, Man being driuen from the diuine Sacrament of the Tree of Life, his bo­dy shall be subiect to infir­mitie and diseases, and at last by death shall melt into dust, from whence it was taken; and his soule now darkened with Concupis­cence, shall be driuen into the darknes of the absence and wrath of God, which is the second and most fear­full death. Thus is ven­geance taken on disobedi­ence; thus is the new pride crushed and taken downe; the false gods being turned into most miserable men, & [Page 114] true miserie being applyed as a corrosiue to false felici­tie. Man shall not much in­ioy his iniquitie, for it is ei­ther turned into bitternesse or vanitie; it shall not please or it shall not last; but the miserie following it, shall last for euer. Man is wholly deceiued by the Tempter. God, who is lost, is Mans true happinesse; and the outward and worldly ob­iects, which Lust turnes in­to Idols and false gods in the heart of Man, are by God turned into cursednes. And this curse is so fastned, that if Man goe about to repaire it, himselfe shall be swallowed of it, and be­come a prey to that which [Page 115] he would haue destroyed. For Man is taken and inclo­sed with the wrath of the Almightie, as a wilde Bull in a net or toyle; and wrest­ling cannot free him, it may more intangle him.

And now assemble your selues together, all yee Phi­losophers and Wizzards, & behold Man thus dressed vp in corruption and mise­rie, and heale him, if you haue any Medicine equiua­lent to his Disease. The truth is, you haue taken great paines to make some­thing of this wretched No­thing, called Man: you would faine haue restored him to the vse of reason, the ancient Image of his Ma­ker. [Page 116] You would haue fit­ted an happinesse for him, as Vertue, Pleasure, or some such fantasie and ima­gination. And that Man might the more heartily apply himselfe to your de­uised happinesse, and soue­raigne good, by obscure gropings, you haue disco­uered in Man, a deceitfull knowledge of good and e­uill, and from this you would haue freed him, by shewing him what was tru­ly good and truly euill. But the whiles yee are all mise­rable comforters, and all Phisicians of no value. Man is really cursed, and he can­not be verbally healed. Be your words neuer so sweet [Page 117] and sententious, yet Man is still corrupt, and cursed in his very ground worke and foundation: you haue no fit expiation for a guilt of so high a nature; neither haue yee an expurgation of so foule a corruption. In­deede, your charmes may with their plesantnes bring mans corruption into short slumbers, but it awaketh est-soones, and rageth as before, yea it neuer ceaseth a continuall opposition or auersion, from and against the Creator. Surely, the roote of this corruption lies fastned in the grounds of Nature, and Philosophie cannot pull it vp, but it must only bee cured by the [Page 118] hand of the first Creator. Therefore behold your fol­ly; you put restoratiues, (and those not true but fai­ned) into the mouth of a dead man, and then yee set him on his feete, to see whe­ther he will stand or walke. But, loe, hee is not raised aboue his wretched being; in spight of your Spels, he falleth downe into his true Station of vanitie, miserie, and death. The hand of a Gyant hath bound him, & the voice of a child can ne­uer loose him.

CHAP. III. How Man is restored to hap­pinesse.

WHat shall then bee done for this vn­happy and wretch­ed thing? we find no Balme on earth, nor phisike a­mong the sonnes of men. Miserie hath seized on this world; and miserie is far from being able to cure miserie, neither may it be both a disease and a medi­cine. What remaines then, but that our eyes are infor­ced to lift vp themselues a­boue the world, to seeke a Sauiour, where they found a Creator. The goodnesse and power of him which [Page 120] created, are onely able to restore; but how canst thou expect goodnesse, O rebel­lious Man, of a God for sa­ken, disobeyed, and pro­uoked to wrath? yea, if thou couldest hope against hope, yet how mayest thou conceiue that the decree of GODS Iustice, concerning thy death, shall be fulfilled, & yet death by thee should be auoyded? Shall God be true, then how canst thou not die? Shalt thou not die, then how is Gods sentence to be fulfilled, which hath pronounced that thou shalt die? Surely, thou couldest not thinke a remedie to be likely or possible: and there­fore at this day thy sonnes [Page 121] reiect it, and put that out of their beliefe, which is out of their imagination and inuention. But God who is goodnesse, to a vessell of deserued wrath, gaue free and voluntarie mercie. And God who is wisedome, to Man blind-folded in mise­rie, gaue an vnknowne & vnsearchable remedie. It was beyond the hope of Man, it is aboue his reach, and so it well becomes it to be. For far be it from Man with his shallow reach, to sound the bottom of the in­comprehensible Deity. Let him first vnderstand the Creatures which are daily before him, and stand as beames in his eye, and moc­kers [Page 122] of his poore & simple vnderstanding. These ride in triumph, as hauing con­quered the wits of Man; and still they dare them to come out of their dens of instincts, intelligences, and hidden qualities, to encoun­ter them, before they lift vp weapons against their Almightie Creator. But the whiles, let sober mindes wonder rather that GOD would giue a remedie, then that he could giue it; rather let them admire, that his goodnes would bestow his gifts on Traitors and Run­nagates; and not that his wisdome could deuise what his goodnesse would haue deuised. When Man was [Page 123] dust, this dust knew not how it might be made man. And when Man is corrup­ted, this corrupt Man can­not conceiue how he should bee restored: yet let him with a little cleerenesse be­hold this mysterie of resto­ring, and he shall finde it exceeding sutable to euery part of Mans miserie; hee shall finde it agreeable to a true Iustice, a deepe Wise­dome, an infinite Power, a free Mercy, and an exact Holinesse.

This recouerie of Man was thus bestowed on him; when none could saue vs; yea, none could see how to be saued, God that made vs, stretched out his hand [Page 124] to saue vs, and in the curse of the Serpent bestowed blessednesse on Man. In one sentence GOD ouerthrew our Ouerthrower, and by his ouerthrow raised vs. The outward Serpent was doomed to eate, and walke on the dust whereof Man was; and the inward Ser­pent to compasse this world of dust wherein Man is, yea to nibble and bite at the dust which is Man. But from this Man of dust, shall arise a Sonne of glorie, who shall crush the Serpent vp­on the head, and dissolue all the workes of the Deuil. The Serpent may walke on this earth as a Prince of the world; hee may com­passe [Page 125] his Dominion to and fro; his malice may feed on the soules & bodies of men, by tempting them to sins, and deuouting them with persecutions; but at last this Eater shall become meate, euen the food and fuell of Iustice; for, the Sonne of Man shall take him and bind him, and cast him into vtter darknesse: And those men whom he would haue deuoured, but God will haue preserued, shall stand with the Sonne of Man to iudge him; and being deli­uered from him, shal ioynt­ly deliuer him to eternall torment. Thus is there a two-fold Kingdome set vp in this world; a Kingdome [Page 126] of darknesse, of sinne, and of miserie; and a Kingdom of light, of holinesse, and of happinesse: and the King of the one, is the chiefe of euill spirits; and the King of the other, is the chiefe of men, euen the chiefe Sonne of Man. But how can the Sonne of Man satisfie for Man, the infinite wrath, of God, for all mankind? How shall hee giue stabilitie to mankinde, which being once made pure, hath once also falne? Finally, how shal this Sonne ouer-come the Dragon, who hath alreadie ouer-come the Father of this Sonne? Surely, euen for these works, is there proui­ded an al-sufficient meanes. [Page 127] The Man, who shall doe this, God wil ioyne to him­selfe, and so whatsoeuer wanteth in the Manhood, shall bee supplyed by the Godhead; the Treasurie of power and perfection. The Word which made Man, ioyneth with Man to new make him. Man fell, stan­ding by himselfe; but the Godhead now doth stably support him, & leades him by God vnto God. And because of this Vnion with an infinite Essence, the acti­ons & passions of the Man­hood so vnited, are of an in­finite value; able to satisfie for an infinite number of sinners and sinnes, able to satisfie an infinite iustice, [Page 128] able to procure an infinite loue. And as by the God­head onely the Manhood could performe this, so by the Manhood the Godhead would performe it. For when Man ioyned to God doth ouerthrow him, who ouer-threw Man standing without God, then the dif­ference plainely appeares betweene a creature alone, and a creature ioyned to the Creator. Besides, by Man the end of Man is per­formed, euen a perfect and true obedience. Againe, the Iustice of God offended by Man, by Man is satisfied, and that Word of Iustice. When then eatest, thou shalt dye. Finally, by this meanes, [Page 129] Man becomes a Father of mankind in the state of hap­pinesse, as Man was the fa­ther of mankind in the state of miserie. And now let the Greeke by his Philosophi­call wisedome, scorne and contemne the meannesse of a suffering Sauiour, and let the Iewes with their ambi­tion of outward pompe, count a man of sorrow and humilitie too base a thing to set vp a Kingdome of glorie; but the whiles the truely wise are forced to know & confesse, that there is most glorie and power, where power worketh by infirmitie It becomes weak man, to seeke for power to strengthen and abet him; [Page 130] but it becomes best the Al­mightie to seeke weaknes, for the better manifestation of his power. For God will haue his glorie euident and whole, which is neither e­uident nor whole, by ioy­ning any thing that may share glorie with him, but that only which puts away all glorie from it selfe vnto God. It is a piece of mans foolish wisdome, to adorne the Creator with the glorie of the Creature, but it is Gods most true and highest wisedome, to giue light vn­to darknes, power to weak­nesse, glorie to basenesse. It is the glorie of the Sunne to giue light to the darke and vn-shining bodie of the [Page 131] Moone, but it were a foo­lish glorie for the Sunne to borrow those inferiour and bestowed beames of the Moone, to decke himselfe withall in his progresse. Let men therefore take heede that they bee not so wise, as to amend the most vn­matchable patterne of a Sauiour & Redeemer, since if they doe so, their wise­dome must needs be folly; for they shal find that their amending wil make worse, & they shal diminish Gods honor, by the same meanes by which they thinke to in­crease it. But be it the ioy of our hearts, fixed and vnre­moueable, that God hath giuen vs so full and perfect [Page 132] a meanes of restoring vs to our dutie and felicitie, and of freeing vs from corrup­tion and miserie. Turne we backe our faces from our selues and all things visible, and looke we vp vnto God, leading vs by God vnto God, and that by the ser­uice of Man vnited vnto God. In this Man-God is the remedie of all whereof we can complaine, and the supply of all that wee can desire. So is hee a Refuge from miserie, a Fountayne of goodnesse, the Way to felicitie, yea Felicitie it self. The Manhood vnited to the Godhead, is the Dore of happinesse, and the God­head vnited to the Man­hood, [Page 133] is Happinesse it selfe. The life which in Paradise might haue beene receiued from the Tree of Life, is now to bee receiued from that Manhood which is the Bread of Life: And hee, in whom is the Sabbath, will now leade vs vnto the Sab­bath, which is in himselfe.

CHAP. IIII. The particular fitnesse of Mans restoring: How it freeth him from miserie, and in all points possesseth him of happinesse.

IT hath appeared, how Man exchan­ged that which was [Page 134] his true felicitie, but seemed not to be so, for that which seemed to bee true felicitie, but was indeed true misery. Now let vs see againe, how he can exchange his miserie for felicitie, or rather, how God doth it for him. For God-in-Man, our blessed Restorer, hath done all things that may bee requi­red, for exchanging wret­chednesse into blessednes, and whatsoeuer God hath done, is most fit, yea neces­sarie for such an exchange.

To find the perfectnesse of our restauration in some measure, let vs consider the miserie which we haue got­ten, and the excellence and happinesse which wee haue [Page 135] lost. In our miserie we may with chiefest sorrow behold a roote of sinne, an issue of corruption, which being vgly it selfe, begets also many sins vgly like it selfe, and so altogether they pro­uoke the wrath and dete­station of a pure GOD; whereon attend all plagues temporall and eternal. Man is the slaue of Wickednesse, and Wickednes is the slaue of Iustice: Wickednesse commands Man to offend, & Iustice commands Wic­kednesse to bee punished. Here is the foundation of diseases, famines, pestilence heart-breaking cares, and sorrowes, the temporall death of the body, and the [Page 136] thousand times more feare­full eternall death both of body and soule. For, Man being become a Nurserie of wickednesse, wickednesse becomes the fuell of wret­chednesse. And as all these reall and positiue distresses afflict most miserable Man: so hath he certayne priuati­ons and absences of that ex­cellence and happinesse, wherein and whereunto he was created. Hee hath lost the abilitie of doing the du­tie of his Creation: he hath lost the end and glorie of that duetie; For hee hath lost obedience to God, and he hath lost the Crowne of that obedience, eternal frui­tion of God his soueraigne [Page 137] felicitie. And now, when the sore of mankinde was growne to this vastnesse, that the whole world could not fit it with an equall plaister, GOD, who onely made Nature, and can one­ly restore parts of Nature, which are cut off and de­stroyed, by his owne right hand and holy arme, got himselfe the victorie ouer our miserie. God doth put himselfe into the recouerie of mankind: and if God be on our side, Who can bee a­gainst vs? for hee that will be against vs, must needs be a Creature; and therefore inferiour to him who made all things. God being vni­ted to Man, hath in himself [Page 138] an infinite store-house of blessednesse, infinitely ex­ceeding our miserie, and whatsoeuer hee will blesse, shall be blessed. This bles­sednesse God imparts vnto Man, either by turning bit­ternesse into sweetnesse, e­uill into good, or by taking away the bitter euill, and putting the good sweetnes in the stead thereof. And first, toward the perfecting of this cure, God in our Sa­uiour strikes at the roote of our miserie. Sinne is the foundation of miserie; our being against God, who is holinesse, sets God, who is also happinesse, against vs, and after this we neede not to looke for any farther [Page 139] cause of wretchednes. Nei­ther is it a sufficient cure to heale vs of our old guilt of sinnes past, because we still incurre a new by running into new sinnes, because sin by lust hath dominion ouer vs. Therefore the chaines of this slauery vnto sinne must bee broken a sunder, as well as the guilt of former sinnes purged; Man being cleared from obligation vnto pu­nishment, must also be freed from obedience and obli­gation vnto that which ob­ligeth vnto punishment. This therefore our Sauiour vndertaketh, and by a most precious Death and Passi­on satisfies the Iustice of GOD offended with our [Page 140] sinnes; and after in a glo­rious Resurrection ray seth himselfe to a new life free from sinne (which tooke a­way his former life) and this free life, by the spirit of libertie, hee bestoweth on his members, thereby dis­charging them from the slauerie of sinne; and con­sequently, of death, the ef­fect of sinne. And that the Iustice of God might not yet complaine, that though the breaches of the Law were satisfied, yet the obe­dience vnto the Law was not fulfilled (which was a yoke imposed on mankind by the Iustice of God in the Creation.) Therefore hee who freeth vs from the [Page 141] guilt of sinne, and from the slauerie of sinne, perfor­meth also for vs a righte­ousnesse, perfect without sinne; that so the Law might clayme nothing of Man, which by Man was not acquitted. And this Righteousnesse as hee per­formed through his whole life, so in that one action of his Passion, he fulfilled a whole and intire Righte­ousnesse, euen the length and breadth of the Law, while for the loue of God and Man (which is the sub­stance of the Law) he laid downe his life; euen for the glory of God, and the felicitie of Man. Neither let the large communicablenes [Page 142] of this his absolute satisfy­ing and bounding of the Law, and Iustice of God, be questioned, much lesse censured by Mans foolish knowledge of good and e­uill; for he who made this satisfaction, is equiualent, yea infinitely preualent to all mankinde; his person is of more dignitie then all our persons, and as an ordi­narie King, is more worth then a thousand of his sub­iects; so this King of Kings is more worth then all the thousands of vs his Crea­tures. And as his Person by reason of the Deitie, is of such excellence, so are also his actions, euen of greater worth then if mankind had [Page 143] ioyned in the performance of them. For according to the worth of the person, is the worth of the action: Now the person of Christ must surmount all creatures in dignitie, for the worth of all Creatures floweth from the worth of Christ, and the worth that giues worth, must needes bee more then the worth giuen. But if it be confessed that there is in Christ a sufficient worthi­nesse, but there remaines a doubt how this may bee giuen to another; It is an­swered, that vnion makes a communitie, & the things of persons vnited, are com­mon to both by being one. If a King marry the daugh­ter [Page 144] of a meane person, yet by the vnion of marriage, his royaltie is cōmunicated to her, by which, though before a begger, shee must of force become a Queene.

And now, Man being freed from the burden of the Law, and from the sinne and sinfulnesse which did sting vs by the Law, the punishments which did before attend vpon sinne, eyther altogether fall a­way, or cease to be punish­ments. Eternall death is a thing that cannot be made good, no more then Dark­nesse can bee made Light while it is Darknesse, and therefore from the iustified & sanctified is that wholly [Page 145] taken away. But sorrow, sicknesse, temporall death, and al other outward euils, may cease to be euils, yea they may bee turned into benefits, and indeede are so by the excellence of him that dwelt in vs. But yet our Restorer ceaseth not, in a meere deliuerie of vs from positiue euils, but he goes farther in his bountie, & restoreth to vs a certaine abilitie of performing our dutie, & right of beholding our Creator; yea, a stabili­tiein both, which is more then formerly was giuen to Man. As he freeth vs from Death, so he giueth vs life; as hee freeth vs from being disobedient to God, so hee [Page 146] giueth vs an obediēce plea­sing to God, as he payeth for our defacing of Gods I­mage, so he restoreth againe to vs the Image it selfe; and finally, as he taketh from vs the wrath and terrors of God, so hee giues vs the pleasures and happinesse which are in the presence of God for euermore. And all these benefits doth our Sauiour giue by one instru­ment or conueyance, and by one action. The meanes by which he bestowes and imparts his benefits, is his Spirit, and the action, is Re­generation. The Spirit of God, is the breath and ver­tue of the Highest, which cōmunicates life & power [Page 147] to those whom hee vnites to himselfe, euen as the Tree sends sappe into the graffe, which it striueth to adopt after a sort, and knit vnto it selfe. By this Spirit is the vnitie and communi­tie betweene Christ and his members really performed, forby this Spirit Christ li­ueth in his members, and CHRISTS members liue in him, Christ partaketh their miseries, and takes them on himselfe, and Christs mem­bers partake his Excel­lence, and all the benefits of his being a Sauiour. This Vnion is the knot of bles­sednesse, it is the very graf­fing into the Tree of Life; that which our first Parents [Page 148] lost both by eating and not eating, hereby is recouered & giuen to vs: for by this V­nion we are one with God, and GOD is one with vs, which is the bond of per­fection: the action in which the Spirit of God entreth vniting, is Regeneration, or a new-making, by which, Man of sinfull and corrupt, is made holy, & according to the Image of his Maker: and from a slaue of sinne, he is made an obedient sonne of God. And now as wee beheld Man before in his miserie, let vs behold Man restored to felicitie. What euill can wee finde that is not taken away? at least from being euill? What [Page 149] good can we thinke of, that is not supplyed in a greater degree then our thoughts can comprehend? And if this bee not the true reme­die of our miserie, and our true exaltation to happi­nesse, we are all lost: for the world can shew vs no bet­ter; After a supply of obe­dience to the Law, and Iustice of God, there is also a Sacrificé and satisfaction for the disobedience against the Law. The greatest mi­serie of eternall death is vt­terly taken away. The e­uils of life are turned from punishments into exercises of the Spirit dwelling in vs, or into chastisements of the corruption yet remayning [Page 150] with vs; so are they benefits and no longer euils. For the Spirit which is our life, groweth by exercise, as bo­dily strength doth by bodi­ly labour; and the sadnesse of the heart many times chasteneth profitably the remayning corruption of the flesh, as frost doth the weedes. As for corporall death, which is commonly feared as the greatest euill, it is turned into the greatest benefit. For it is a dore, both to goe out of this life of wretchednesse, and to goe into a life of happines; whereof the one is darke­some, full of Serpents, and hanted with spirits; and the other glorious in light, full [Page 151] of shining Angels, and glo­rified Saints in Eternall blessednes. As a dore in a partition betweene two roomes, so is death between two liues; it no sooner lets vs out of the one, but it lets vs into the other; so that we doe not so much goe out of life, as go into Life; for that onely deserues the name of life, which is full of happi­nesse, and that in perpetui­tie; and not that, which is filled with miseries, and whose speciall commenda­tion is breuitie. Therefore let it be farre from vs, from henceforth to call that euil, which deliuereth vs from miserie into felicitie. More­ouer, whereas we were in a [Page 152] continuall slauerie vnto corruption, euen to that false knowledge of good and euill; by which also we were obedient slaues vnto the Deuill, the master and teacher of this knowledge; Now that authoritie and command of corrupt and fleshly wisedome, is broken downe; foolishnesse, sinne, and the Serpent haue no longer dominion ouer vs, neither are we at the direc­tion of Lust, to know and to doe onely what it teach­eth and approueth. Euils being thus altered and ta­ken away from Man, wee may also behold Man pla­ced in his dutie, which first, and still is his way to hap­pinesse. [Page 153] Accordingly, one and the same Spirit breath­eth holinesse, & breatheth life; and in the same seede, whereby the Image of God isrenewed, the life of God is communicated, and by one new birth we are sons; that is, cōformable to God, and Heires of God. Thus are we most blessedly chan­ged; our miseries are cast behind our backs, wee are placed in the path of dutie, and therein we walke on to happinesse, which stands as a marke before vs: and here let vs settle our foot, let vs fasten our steps in this path chalked out by the Spirit, for the Spirit will both de­fend vs in this way, and at [Page 154] last bring vs to the wayes end, which is eternall feli­citie. In this path of the Spi­rit is perpetuall safetie and protection, the Serpent cannot bite vs, and if he doe bite, his venom is turned into a medicine, so that hee doth rather heale, then poi­son. For the Spirit is more good, then any thing is e­uill, it will sanctifie and blesse whatsoeuer befalleth vs, and the malice of euils inflicted on vs, is cured and made wholesome by the so­ueraign Spirit which dwel­leth in vs. But perchance it will bee asked, Why these seeming euils be not whol­ly taken away, as well as al­tered, it being better to the [Page 155] iudgement of Man, that there were nothing bitter, then that there should be a bitternesse, though recom­pensed with sweetnesse. A­gaine, it may be asked, why the remnant of corruption is so grent in Man, that it leadeth Man captiue often to do that which he would not, and the power of the Spirit is in so small a de­gree, that hee cannot doe that which hee would. To these and the like questi­ons, if the will of the Resto­rer were brought for an an­swere, it might stand for an answere sufficient. For it being Gods meere mercy to restore vs, who can re­quire him to shew vndeser­ued [Page 156] mercy in any other māner or degree, then him­selfe shall please? But yet wee haue other reasons gi­uen; one is, that this place of our present being, hauing been ouerthrowne & made accursed by the fall of man, God lets it alone, and suf­fers it to runne on in the course of miserie, purpo­sing to blot it out wholly by a last fire, and reseruing perfection for the life to come. Another, that the wretchednesse of Man falne being continually felt, may bee a continuall document and reacher of the weaknes of Man, without God, of the odiousnesse of sinne in the sight of God, and the [Page 157] pointing of a finger to turn our eies from this wretched world, to the happinesse which is aboue. For, pre­sent griefe is a sharpe spurre to the heart of Man, & pro­uokes him to runne hastily from these remnants of mi­serie, vnto perfect felicitie. Againe, miserie sweetneth ioy, and the sorrowes of this life shall, like a darke vaile, giue a lustre to the glorie of the next. As for the strong remnant of cor­ruption, and the small por­tion of grace (which is the second question) wee must know, that both by it, and by the remnants of miserie, God is mightily glorified, and Mans glorie in the pre­sence [Page 158] of GOD greatly in­creased. For Gods glorie must needes be great, when by a little seed of the Spirit, he manageth, steereth, and guideth Man through a masse of corruption, and a throng of outward euils, in­to a Port of blessednesse. The lesser the meanes, and the greater the opposition, the more is the glory of him who by little meanes doth ouercome a great oppositi­on: yea, it is greater glorie to God, to turne euils in­to good by ouer-mastering them, then wholly to take them away. And for our part, our glorie shall be in­creased, because wee haue serued Gods glorie in a bit­ter [Page 159] conflict and a difficult combat. The more is the present labour, the more shall be the future ioy; the hardnesse of the Victorie shall increase the glorie of the triumph; and opposi­tion it selfe shall become our aduancement. Accor­dingly, the greatest seekers (which commonly are the greatest finders) of happi­nesse, are vsually placed in the forefront of the battaile against the thickest presse of remayning euils, and the push of most fierce and fie­rie temptations. And sure­ly, while they suffer present euils for future glorie, while they fight fearfull conflicts against remayning corrup­tion, [Page 160] and the king thereof, that they may not impaire their future ioyes, as there­by they preserue and in­crease these ioyes, so bee they Heralds and Proclay­mers of the exceeding hap­pinesse of the presence of God, they are the witnes­ses of God to the world, that this world is nothing comparable to the next, and that neither the miseries nor felicities of it, are any way equal to that transcen­dent ioy which is to come. Finally, when corruption ouer-masters vs, the suffici­ence of Gods grace doth releeue vs, forgiuenesse sup­plying or couering the de­fects of infirmitie.

[Page 161] But yet Man is not quiet; hee is not in good liking with this kind of happines; for hee complayneth it is thin and ayrie, and his flesh­ly palate hath more sauour in the taste of flesh, then in the taste of a spirituall hap­pinesse. Againe, he saith, it is long in comming, and a Man may bee wearie with looking for it, before it comes. To the first, I grant indeede, that the fleshly taste rellisheth not spiritual ioyes, but yet are they not therefore the worse, but the better. For, the grosnesse of the one, and the puritie of the other, are the causes of this dislike. So doth the sto­make of the country Swain [Page 162] despise the delicate and nice dyet of the finer Dames, not that hee can finde any ill in it, but because it is too slight to satisfie his grosse and mightie appe­tite. This was truly patter­ned in the Israelites, whose strong stomakes desired the Onions and Melons of E­gypt, but lothed the pure and excellent Bread of hea­uen. Therefore this must be the rule in this matter; eue­ry appetite pleaseth it selfe most in an obiect, fitting & proportionable to it selfe, and it is not the excellency of the obiect, but the agree­ablenesse, that makes it de­lightfull. According to this is that of the Poet; the Lyo­nesse [Page 163] hunteth the Wolfe, the Wolfe seeketh the Kid, and the Kid delighteth in the greene grasse. Where­fore I expect not, that grosse flesh should find extraordi­narie comfort, in a most pure and spirituall glorie. But a spirituall Man onely rellisheth spirituall things, because they are onely a­greeable to such a man. Ac­cordingly, as farre as a man is spirituall, so farre takes hee comfort in a spirituall happinesse, which indeede is here but in part, so that we do but looke as through some crany into the glorie of Heauen, and we do loue this glorie, but with a part of our affection; yet in some [Page 164] Saints hath it beene so fer­uent, that they haue sent challenges to Death, in strong desires to bee dissol­ued, and would haue built Tabernacles in this spiritu­all blessednes. But when the Spirit of God, in the great Day, shall haue fully pur­ged our soules and bodies with that diuine fire, and refined our grosnesse, cor­ruption, and drosse; then, to vs made fully spirituall, shal the most high & soueraigne Spirit bee the chiefe and so­ueraigne good; for, Man being made spirituall, shall delight in Spirits, & chiefly in the chiefest. And then these grosse pleasures, desi­red now by grosse lusts, [Page 165] shall be lothsome and con­temptible, as too base for so pure & diuine Essences. Wherefore, if wee would take pleasure in things of excellence, we must striue to raise our selues to their excellent degree, we must lift our selues vp to a nature proportionable vnto them. And by such an indenour, wee shall purchase a higher station, and a higher hap­pinesse; whereas otherwise we lye downe basely in our owne dregs, & complaine like Owles of the glorie of the Sunne, when the fault is in our owne eyes: where­fore, let this bee the most commendable ambition, of a truly-noble and generous [Page 166] Spirit, to aduance his mind to a puritie and excellence, proportionable to a super­eminent obiect and happi­nesse. And bee it reputed the quality of a base, worth­lesse, and muddie thing, to bring downe happinesse to his low, groueling, and grosse desires, and when he cannot doe so, to accuse it.

To the second, Who is troubled so much with the delay of payment, and the deferring of Happinesse; for an answere, I would aske him, how long hee would willingly stay to bee Heire of a Crowne? Here, if I may speake for him, I thinke hee would confesse that hee would bee conten­ted, [Page 167] if hee might haue it but seuen yeeres before his death. Now I will desire him to stay but seuen yeeres more, and then hee shall haue this Crowne, that farre excels the other. And to comfort him in this ods of expectation, I can tell him, that those who haue knowne, and (now) worne both these Crownes, haue made a far greater ods be­tweene them, then a few yeeres patience, preferring a day in the Courts of hea­uen, before a thousand in the Courts of Princes. But that wee may come lower, doe not wee see it an ordi­narie thing, that a man con­tinues thirtie yeeres in a [Page 168] course of learning, that he may be a learned man, but thirtie yeeres more, per­chance not twentie, not ten. And not much other­wise the Lawyer and Mar­chant fret out one halfe of their time in Education, Labours, and Aduentures, that they may be rich; the other halfe, yea peraduen­ture a very short part of their time remayning. And wilt not thou spend so much more time gladly & willingly, in expectation of an infinite Glorie which no time can end, nor measure can limit? Surely, an end­lesse & incomparable hap­pinesse, is well worthy of a short lifes patience and ex­pectation, [Page 169] especially when the same life is so often worne out in expectation oftemporall & vncertayne things. But indeede wee deceiue our selues in this matter, for this is not our disease, that we cannot stay, but that wee doe not verily see and beleeue that, which being beleeued, would easi­ly giue vs a patient willing­nesse to stay: if we beleeued that there were such an vn­matchable felicity prepared for vs, wee might indeede somewhat eagerly long to beat it, but withall, the as­sured hope of it would support vs ioyfully in the deferring of it. For most true is that which is spoken [Page 170] of hope, Hope maketh not ashamed; that is, it suffers not to be disheartned, to be confounded, but it keepes vp the heart from sinking, and makes it beare vp in troubles present, by the ex­pectation of ioyes to come. And this common experi­ence shewes vs in worldly actions and sufferings; for hope hath borne out man­kinde, through paynes al­most intolerable, vnto com­forts stedfastly seene & ap­prehended by it. Where­fore doe not make a fault of the futurenesse of thy happinesse; but finde and amend the true fault of thy beliefe & hope. Yet neither are wee altogether thrust [Page 171] vpon hope, but euen in this life haue wee some fruition of this happinesse, and the priuiledges thereof. For (as before) euen here haue wee a crany opened, by which some beames of the diuine Glory shine into our hearts, & giue vs a glimpse of that, whereof hereafter we shall haue a full inioying. They that haue had but such fla­shes of happinesse, haue beene rauished vp in hea­uenly trances far aboue the world, and haue as much despised the world, as the world hath despised these ioyes. They haue cryed out, as men that haue taken possession of true rest and felicitie; let vs here build [Page 172] vp our Tabernacles. Sure­ly, as there is nothing more comfortable to the bodily sight, then beholding the Sunne shining in his glorie: so nothing can bee more comfortable to the sight of the soule, then to behold the Sunne of the Sunne, euen that high and purest Light, which shineth vp­on the Sunne and all other things that shine, but espe­cially on Spirits, himselfe being a Spirit. Againe, the very substance of the Spirit in vs, is a kinde of heauenly oyle, which makes glad, not so much the face as the very heart of Man. It hath in it a taste and rellish of the Deitie, and therefore aboue [Page 173] all other, this is the true oile of gladnesse. The heart anointed herewith, as it finds a light to guide it, and a vertue mouing it to good, and freeing it from the sla­uerie of sinne, so also it fee­leth in it selfe a blessed rest, an heauenly Sabbath, a ioy glorious and vnspeakable, an harmonie & peace with God, which passeth all vn­derstanding. Hence come those vehement pangs and expressions of loue & ioy, vttered by the Spouse of Christ, and penned by the wisest of men, which flesh knoweth not how to vn­derstand but by the flesh; but the spirituall Man that discerneth all things, fully [Page 174] discerneth and rellisheth them as spirituall truths. From the sound of this har­mony come those dancings and exultations of many of the sonnes of God, who for this ioy of heart haue dan­ced before him, who hath filled them with ioy. But then flesh and bloud, seeing onely the dance, and not hearing the musike, mock­eth and despiseth the effect, whereof it sees not the cause. But the Beholder of hearts, knowes these moti­ons of the heart, to be chief­ly reasonable, and therfore principally allowes them. And indeede, how should they not be approued, since this ioy is from the best, and [Page 175] this ioy is in the best, and therefore must needs be the very best ioy. It is a ioy be­yond the reach of mortall power, yea beyond the reach of infernall power, a ioy which no man, nay no­thing can take from vs. It is a boord in shipwracke, a re­fuge in trouble, a retyring place from the powers of darkenesse. Besides these blessings wee haue another blessing, the Authour of these, and all other, euen an vnion with God, who is blessednes. This blessednes is spirituall, seene and felt by the spirituall; It is seene by the eye of the soule, while it beholds a godly Nature, euen the seede of [Page 176] God, powred into the heart of Man, otherwise wholly polluted with the lust of Generation. It is felt chiefe­ly in the will and affections, while in them a filiall loue, ioy, and feare is perceiued toward God; who before was regarded as a stranger, but now as a father; who now is the end and rule of our conuersation, but be­fore was put farre below the satisfaction of Lust and Concupiscence. And from this vnion & the feeling of this vnion, proceedes both that strength of Christians, that the gates of Hell can­not preuaile against them, and that strong confidence, that if God kill them, yet [Page 177] they will trust in him: And why? they are assured that God is with them: and then they are also as much assu­red, that if God bee with them, nothing can bee a­gainst them, except it bee to bee conquered by them. For he that is in vs, is stron­ger then hee or all they that be in the world: to this vni­on with God, we may adde another vnion with the sons of God. The first was the vnion of a Father and a Childe, and this is a vnion of Brethren, for it is a spi­rituall Brotherhood. Eue­ry sonne of God hath all Gods sonnes to his brethe­ren. And as many brethe­ren, so many friends, so [Page 178] many louers, so many hel­pers. So many that reioyce in his comforts, so many that bewaile his troubles, so many to incourage him standing, so many to raise him being falne, so many to aduise him in doubts, so many to releeue him in ne­cessities. In summe, the true children of God euer were, and stil are of one heart and minde, louing and beloued; They account themselues as one, & therefore no part of this vnitie can lacke, what the other part there­of inioyeth. Hee that is a son, hath in him this loue, and hee that hath not this loue in him, is not a sonne; for he must needes loue his [Page 179] spirituall kindred, who is spiritually begotten. Hee must needes loue them, be­cause of Vnitie, because of Vniformitie, because of Pu­ritie, and because the Spirit which begets him, is the Spirit of Loue. And as we haue an interest in our bre­thren, so haue wee in their prayers: they stil commend vs to God, and many times when our owne deadnesse of heart doth slacke the hand of GOD toward vs, their feruency doth cause his countenance to shine fa­uourably on vs. Finally, if the name of friendship bee sweet, if loue on earth be a chiefe comfort; and againe, if the friendship and loue of [Page 180] good men, of men wise in the chiefest wisedome, of men true & single in heart, be the eminence of this e­minent comfort; then haue we all this in the Saints and sonnes of God. For these are our friends vnto the death, yea after death; their loue is more equal & stable then the loue of Women. For goodnesse, they are the salt of the world, and with­out them the world is vn­sauourie; for wisedome, they haue that chiefe wise­dome, which is to know and obtaine the soueraigne Good; and for truth, they haue that sincerity of heart, which may giue rest to the heart that puts confidence [Page 181] in them. Wherefore, if it be a speciall addition in mat­ches, to match into a good family, let vs know, that in our marriage with our Sa­uiour, wee match into the best family in the world; the family of Saints, euen a house-hold of Loue, of Faith, of Holinesse, and of Happinesse.

Besides, by our vnion with Christ, we haue a new right in the Creatures. We were disinherited by the fault of our first Parents, and no part of our Fathers goods belonged vnto vs: so the vse of Gods Creatures was a very robbery of God; for it carried a meere absur­ditie, that they whose liues [Page 182] were a continuall enmitie against God, should pre­serue the same wicked liues by the benefits of GOD. Therefore the despisers of God, haue no title in regard of God, to the Creatures of God. And though in regard of men they may seeme to haue a propertie in them (it being not in the iudgement of men to define, who is not, and shall not bee the Child of God) yet hereaf­ter, by the iudgement of God, which shall make hid­den things manifest, it shall plainly appeare, that this propertie was not by right, but by vsurpation, and by the long suffering of a most patient God. And then shal [Page 183] they be cast into prison, vn­till they haue paid the vt­most farthing, for their vn­lawfull vse of the blessings of GOD. I must confesse they haue these benefits, & that in the greatest abun­dance, but it is no otherwise then a prodigall borrower hath heapes of money lent, or rather as a thiefe hath bags of treasure stolne. The repayment of the borrow­er, makes the remembrance of the heapes lothsome vn­to him, because the more they were, the greater is the burthen and account. The arraignment of the Thiefe makes him to curse the hugenesse of his bags, for the greater the theft, the [Page 184] harder the pardon, and the more strict his sentence. Therefore, as in the things of this world there hath beene an honest, wise, and safe Prouerbe, that a little of a mans owne, is better then a great deale of ano­ther mans: so in the Words of God we shall find a ho­lier, wiser, and safer Pro­uerbe, that a little thing to the Righteous, yeelds more stedfast and vndoubt­full contentment, then the greatest reuenues of the wicked can yeeld to their vnfaithfull & vngrounded consciences. And no mar­uel, for they take the goods without the leaue of the Owner, and transport them [Page 185] to the seruice of his Ene­mies, fleshly lusts, and an aduersarie angell; and what shall the Lord of these things doe, when hee com­meth to iudgement? Hee must needes render ven­geance in flaming fire, to these that haue robbed him of his Creatures, and of the seruice and glorie due by them. But they that are one with Christ, are one with him who is true Heire of all things. Al things were made by him, and therefore all things are his owne, and by our marriage with him wee haue a right in his goods. Therefore truely may wee say, If Christ bee ours, all things bee ours; [Page 186] for he whose all things are, is ours. And by his owne reason, if hee giue vs the greatest gift, which is him­selfe, hee cannot with-hold from vs the lesser, which is, his Creatures.

Besides these, there is al­so a continual eie of Father­ly prouidence, that watch­eth ouer vs. The Redeemer of Israel is the Watchman of Israel, and the Watch­man of Israel doth not slumber or sleepe, but at all times beholdeth all his flocke. As the Sunne see­meth directly to behold & looke on euery man that looketh vp to the Sunne; so, and much more doth the eye of GODS prouidence [Page 187] settle it selfe fully on euery one that is indeed a Man, e­uen a Man of God, which with the eye of his soule still looks vp vnto his God. And then by his prouidence God doth hedge him about in safetie, for hee seeth his dangers, to preuent them, and his necessities to re­leeue them. The same pro­uidence sends some-times good Angels to gard him, and when hee wanders, it sends buffetting Angels, to beate him home into the path of happinesse; and through the diuers exerci­ses of humiliation and ex­altation, it keepes him in one steadie course to his so­ueraigne Good. Surely, it is [Page 188] an especiall comfort to an heauenly Souldier, to per­forme his seruice in the sight of his Prince; whose eye incourageth him, fight­ing valiantly, whose power reseueth him being oppres­sed, and whose bountie scores vp all his aduentures and sufferings vnto a finall reward. And this reward is of such a glorie, that the highest degree of suffering, is not worthy of the least and lowest degree of this Glorie.

Lastly, (though it bee hard to giue a taste of Gods blessing in this life) the Spi­rit of Christ, besides the light of direction and clari­fication, besides the Oyle [Page 189] of gladnesse, besides that highest and supremest Vni­on, it giues also to the mem­bers of Christ, a Testimoni­all and Patent of their sal­uation and happinesse. The light of direction somtimes growes dimme; the light of glorie, and the vanishing brightnesse are often extin­guished; the sauour of the oyntment for which the Virgin-Spouse doth loue her Lord Christ Iesus, som­times is drawn vp into hea­uen, and the feeling of that Diuine Vnion is for a time wholly lost. But though heauen and earth do passe, yet one word of God can­not passe. Now the Word of Gods Spirit, is the Word [Page 190] of God; for God speaketh to vs by his Spirit. If there­fore that Spirit hath giuen thee his testimonie, that thou art the sonne of God; if it haue shewed thee thy Regeneration, and caused thee to behold the true I­mage of God thy Father in thee; from henceforth thou mayst feare and serue God without feare; euen with­out the feare of totall and finall desertion. The seede of this Regeneration, is like the Father of it; an immor­tall God, and an immortall Seede: therefore it cannot die, if once it hath had life in thee. Then though the windowes of thy Soule be shut vp, that no light can [Page 191] shine into thee; though the voice of ioy and gladnesse bee not heard; yea though thy owne corruption stand vp before thine eyes, like a Wall or Mount of sepa­ration betweene thee and thy God; yea, though the terrors of God doe seeme to fight against thee: yet beleeue thou the Word of the Lord, which hee hath spoken to thee by his Spirit; for his record is true, and he must be beleeued vnder hope, against hope. The Spirit which establisheth vs, hath warranted our sta­bilitie, and this Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and what is once Truth, is still Truth, & must stifly be retained, a­gainst [Page 192] all contrary probabi­lities & apparances. There­fore are wee and may wee bee alwayes bold, amidst tribulations and afflictions, amidst terrors without, and terrors within: for the seale of God remaineth vpon vs inuiolable, and the Lord, who knowes who are his, hath told vs that we are his. Now that wee may haue the comfort of this Testi­mony, let vs often examine our selues, and search our hearts, to see whether they resemble God, or not; & let vs lay vp in our memo­ries, yea in memorialls, & records, the witnessings of the Spirit to our Spirits, a­gainst the day of Exercise and Tryall.

[Page 193] Thus wee see, that euen in this Life, wee are not left comfortlesse, but wee haue both Comforts and a Comforter. Yet wee still say that our chiefe Com­fort is in the next Life; yea, the next Life is the chiefe Comfort of this Life, to those whose eyes see things inuisible, and make future things present. Wherefore amidst the comforts of this life, let our eyes and hearts be especially fixed on that, because comforts in this life are but baytings and in­couragements in our way vnto Happinesse, but are not themselues our wayes end.

THE ARTE OF HAPPINES. The third Part. Wherein is shewed, how Man hyeth hold on happinesse, retay­neth, and increaseth it; and finally, is put into the full fruition of it.

CHAP. I. How Man fastneth himselfe vnto happinesse.

WE haue seene what is our Soueraigne Good, and we haue seen how this soueraigne Good [Page 196] imparts it selfe vnto Man; now it concernes vs to search, by what meanes Man may apply this soue­raigne Good to himselfe, or rather himselfe to it. In vaine to vs it is that there is an happinesse; In vaine it is that there is an hand stret­ched out, to deliuer this happinesse to vs, if we haue not also a hand to receiue it. For if there be an happi­nesse, and an offered happi­nesse, if we receiue it not, if wee haue no propertie in it, wee continue in miserie, e­uen in the sight of happi­nesse. Wee are not happy, except happinesse bee ours; and not the being, but the communication of happi­nesse [Page 197] makes vs happy. And euen for this communica­tion & application, is there an instrument giuen vs by him who is our happinesse: he that hath giuen a mouth to the body, to receiue the food of the body, hath gi­uen a mouth to the soule, to receiue the food of the soule. Yea, he hath taught vs how to open this mouth wide, that it may admit and receiue a great fulnesse of happinesse. But if in stead of telling thee how this is done, I should aske thee, what thou wouldest do for that which is better then all things; How canst thou re­turne any other answer, but this, That thou wouldest [Page 198] giue all things, for that which is better then all things? For, euen at that rate thou shalt be a gayner. And if thy minde bee like this answere, thou art in a good preparation for the receit of blessednes, thou drawest neere vnto it, and that thou maist not faile, re­ceiue these directions fol­lowing. The soule of Man hath two especiall parts or powers, the Vnderstanding and the Will. The vnder­standing is appointed to be the guide of the will, and vpon the will moued by the vnderstanding, should the affections, and all the mem­bers attend, yea all things that are ours. Now, if thou [Page 199] wilt receiue and apply hap­pinesse offered in that God and Man, our most blessed Restorer; first, thy vnder­standing must bee opened by knowledge; for it must know & acknowledge God in Christ to bee that which he is, euen the blisse of man­kinde, and the meanes to that blisse. As he is God, so hee is Blessednes: as hee is Man vnited to God, so is he a Mediator betweene Bles­sednes and Man. This thou must know, and thou must know that this thy know­ledge of him is true & right. For, CHRIST being thus known, the eye of the soule is turned from all other shewes and meanes of hap­pinesse; [Page 200] and the same is fix­ed onely on the onely Lord and Sauiour. Being thus settled in the full assurance of vnderstanding, thou hast performed a good part of thy promise, for thou hast giuen thy vnderstanding, e­uen a chiefe part of thy soule, wholly to CHRIST. And if further thou desirest a signe, to know whether thou hast done this truely and really; this may serue for a signe vnto thee; If the knowledge of any thing for happinesse, or the meanes to happinesse, besides God in Christ, bee vnto th [...] as drosse and filth, and [...] ­lishnesse. But [...] vn­derstanding [Page 201] must proceede to worke vpon thy will, & it must moue the will to o­pen it selfe wide vnto hap­pinesse, and being open, to sucke, cleaue, and fasten it selfe by an ardent loue, rest, and settlement vnto happi­nesse, certainly discouered in Christ by the vnderstan­ding. And indeed in Spirits, either vncorrupted or recti­fied, this is a natural course; For in such the vnderstan­ding hauing assuredly des­cryed the soueraigne Good, the will presently moueth it selfe to it being deseryed, and drawes with it all the parts and powers subiect vnto it. And as for all other offers of fained happinesse [Page 202] it giues them this answere; Whither shall I goe for this is he that hath the words of eternall Life & Blessednes? Wherefore that the whole promise be performed, and that all may bee giuen for happinesse, let the will fol­low the vnderstanding, and wholly and vnmoueably will and loue this Treasure of felicitie, discouered in Christ Iesus; for saking, sel­ling, and abandoning all things for it; I say, let the will sticke to Christ alone by a feruent loue & desire, as vnto the alone happines, and let the same will sticke to Christ alone by a strong trust and confidence, as the alone Mediator of happi [Page 203] nesse; And finally, with an earnest hunger and thirst, let it surrender vp it selfe, and all things subiect to it, vnto his sauing or impar­ting of blessednes, which he doth by the Spirit. For thus farre must the wil pro­ceede in working, and then only comes the crowne of the worke. For it is not i­nough barely to know that God is happines, nor to put thy trust in no other but the Sonne, for the imparting of this happinesse, but thou must also surrender vp thy selfe wholly to the Holy Ghost, by whom the Father powreth and sealeth bles­sednesse into vs through Christ his Sonne. When [Page 204] therefore wee haue propo­sed and settled the Deitie for our happinesse, & haue yeelded our selues vp to the three Persons of the same Deitie vnited to the Humanitie, for the confer­ring of happinesse (I meane to God the Father, redee­ming vs by the Sonne, and regenerating vs by the holy Ghost) then hath the vnder­standing and will wrought home, euen to the enter­taynement of blessednesse: and thus knowing God in Christ, euen to the welcom­ming of the Spirit, resting on him, resigning our selues to him, wee sucke happines from him, who is both the Fountaine & the Conduit [Page 205] of happinesse. Hauing done this, I know not how to in­ioyne thee more, though happines be infinitly more worth: for how can Man giue more then all? And how can hee receiue more then all saluation, and a whole Sauiour? But if thou dost not this, thou art short of that which thou art able to doe: And Mercy that ac­cepts the vtmost of thy little power, will not accept a voluntary defect & scant­nesse. Now this great de­pendance, fixing, and sur­render of the whole soule to the whole Sauior, is that blessed affiance, trust, and beliefe. Famous in holy wis­dome for knitting soules [Page 206] vnto the same Sauiour. Which as it hath beene ap­proued, because it is the highest, fullest, and mighti­est indeuour of the soule; so also it is iustified by the fitnesse it hath of receiuing, and by the fitnesse and pro­portionablenes it hath with Christs manner of entring. It is fit to receiue, for the eye of the soule being fixed in Christ, stands as an open window, readie to receiue him who enters by a light­some and illuminating Spi­rit. The eye of the Spouse thus in lightned, reflects the light to him which sent it, and with spirituall glances, shootes the arrowes of loue into the heart of her belo­ued; [Page 207] so that hee confesseth, Thou hast wounded my heart with one of thine eyes. And no otherwise the wil whol­ly willing, desiring, and gas­ping after Christ, is a doore wide opened to receiue the same Christ, entring into vs by a quickning and sancti­fying Spirit. Yea, the Will hath in it a power to hold and knit what it hath recei­ued, euen by a knot of vni­tie. So the heart of IONA­THAN was knit vnto DA­VID; and the Spouse of Christ is knit vnto Christ, and runnes after him as one tyed vnto him, and drawne by the cords of this vnitie. And surely, the soule thus knitting it selfe vnto Christ [Page 208] Christ also knitteth himself vnto the soule, and this is the knot of happines. Then begins that Song of ioy, I am my Wel-beloueds, and my Wel-beloued is mine. To con­firme this, we haue also di­uers promises, which haue told vs, that hee who giues happinesse, will enter with the gift of happinesse into this posture and station of the soule. GOD himselfe hath promised the Seekers to find, and the Hungrie to be filled, and the Sellers of all for the Treasure of hap­pinesse, to be the Buyers of that Treasure, for which they sold all. Hee telleth the Vnderstanding, that to know God and his Sonne [Page 209] Christ, is Life eternall; and that in the knowledge of God, is Mans chiefest glo­rying, and therefore by the knowledge of God, is mans chiefest happinesse. Hee tel­leth the Will and Affecti­ons; I will be found of them that seeke me, euen of them that seeke mee with their whole heart. Hee that clea­ueth to God by a strong & vehement loue, shall dwell in his holy Mountayne; He that cōmeth to Christ (that is, vpon the feete of the soule, which can bee no o­ther then these two, the Vnderstanding and Will) shall neuer thirst. Let vs therefore goe out of our selues, as out of tabernacles [Page 210] of miserie, and leaue a large and open roome for him to enter, who is the fulnesse of infinite felicitie.

Next, if wee consider Christs manner of entring; Christ enters into vs, kil­ling and giuing life: killing our old nature, and beget­ting in vs a new. These workes are chiefly and fun­damentally wrought in the vnderstanding & will. But if the vnderstanding know not Christ to be happinesse, it will not stand still to haue the filme of naturall blind­nesse taken from it, neither to haue an vnknowne light and wisedome (contrary to the old nature) infused in­to it. If the will bee not [Page 211] wholly deuoted to Christ as to the soueraigne Good, and doe not trust in him a­lone, as the only giuer of this soueraigne Good, it wil neuer suffer the fleshly na­ture, which hath so much delighted it, to be cut off & slaine by the sword of the Spirit; nor a new inclinati­on to be inspired into it, by which it shall be subiect to Lawes and Commande­ments; and things future and vnseene, shal be wholly preferred before things pre­sent & visible. But if Christ bee knowne, willed, and trusted as our chiefest good, and the way vnto it, then let him enter circumcising, cutting, and slaying; Our [Page 212] heart is only on our happi­nesse: Hee may doe what he will, so we may obtaine that blessed obiect of our vnderstandings and wills. Againe, our vnion with Christ is by a spirituall mar­riage. Now let vs consider how such a marriage may most fitly be made. Surely, wee must first know him to be the fairest of men, to be anoynted with the beatifi­call oyle of gladnesse and happinesse, aboue all his fellowes; and then forget­ting our fathers house, euen all the pleasures of the old ADAM, we must wholly fa­sten our hearts on him, and wholly cleaue vnto him, re­soluing to be his alone, and [Page 213] to put our selues wholly vnder his shaddow & pro­tection, and then the King will haue pleasure in our beautie; Yea, he will loue vs, and come and dwell with vs; If Christ bee the light of our eyes, and the ioy of our hearts, If his loue be pleasanter then Wine, euen all earthly Comforts; If it bee hee alone whome our soule loueth, If we take de­light, and sit downe vnder his shaddow, Cant. 2. 3. Then will hee set vs as Signets vpon his hand; and as seales vpon his heart; he will bring vs into the marriage Chamber, and call vs his Loue, his Doue, and his Spouse: Loue shall bee his Banner ouer vs: this fruit [Page 214] shall bee sweet to our mouth, and wee shall be no longer two; but one flesh and one Spirit. Now if this great affiance which worketh dedication, resignation, and so an ap­plication of the Soule, yea of the whole Man vnto Christ, bee the Key of our harts, which openeth those euerlasting Doores, that the King of glorie may en­ter in; let vs take heed that this Key bee put home into the locke, that our hearts be fully opened vnto him; otherwise as much of our hearts as is shut vnto him, so much of happinesse is shut out of vs. Let vs bee carefull that this Key of Faith bee not stayed and [Page 215] stopt within our vnderstan­dings; but let it proceede to our wills and affections, and make way to the bot­tome of our hearts, that Christ may enter iust as far, euen to the bottom. For as far as this Faith enters, so farre Christ followes. And as far as Christ enters, hap­pinesse followes. There­fore let not thy faith leaue entring, vntill it hath made made roome inough for Christ to take vp his full rest in thee. It seemes that the vnderstanding is but the Porch, but the Will at­tended vvith the Affecti­ons, is the chiefe roome of Christs rest and residence. When the will is so seaso­ned [Page 216] by Faith that it hateth all felicities, but God, but willeth and desireth him as the onely felicitie, when the will toward the attayn­ment of this felicitie depen­deth, trusteth, and leaneth on no other meanes but Christ Iesus, but on Christ it resteth fully as the onely Mediator of happinesse; & when the will toward the attaynment of Christ, and the vertues of his mediati­on yeeldeth it selfe vp to no other humane inuention, but fully and wholly sur­renders it selfe to the holy Ghost, regenerating & new­begetting, then is Christ sealed in thy heart, hee is come into thee, and his feet [Page 217] tread on the very bottome of thy soule. Thou hast ta­ken vp thy rest in him, and hee hath taken vp his rest in thee; and this is the inward Sabbath of this life, and an earnest & beginning of the eternall Sabbath. Accor­dingly, hee calls out vnto Man; My sonne, giue mee thy heart, for in the hearts of men is the Throne of his Kingdome, and except hee raigne in our hearts, wee cannot raigne in his glorie. Thy knowledge of God in Christ must not bee dead, but effectuall and working; and the worke thereof must be the kindling of a seruent loue, dependance and affi­ance in thy will and affecti­ons. [Page 218] Thy will againe must worke by this dependance and loue, and the worke thereof must be a dedicati­on, and resignation of all vnto God, in Christ, taking possession of thee by the Spirit. Till thou commest to this point, thou art short of happinesse; For this is the Centre of descending to the Spirit of Christ, and in the very ground of the hart doth the Spirit onely fasten his rootes. Wherefore giue the inmost of thy heart to the Spirit of blessednes, and know, that in giuing, thou dost rather receiue then giue. For thy gift is but the gift of a sinfull heart, & that which belongeth to it and [Page 219] serueth it: But thy receit is the receit of the Spirit of Life, & Ioy eternal. Where­fore it concernes thee, not to be niggardly to thy own soule; for, as much of thy soule as thou keepest, so much of it thou losest; and as much as thou giuest, so much dost thou crowne with happines. Thou maist perchance thinke it inough to beleeue he is thine, but if thou haue no better war­rant then such a thought, hee may not bee thine. For thou beleeuest that hee is thine too soone, if thou be­leeuest it, before this worke of faith hath in some mea­sure wrought home vpon thee. It is not a rash presum­ption, [Page 220] nor a bare thought, that can snatch at Christ & make him thine, it must cost thee thy selfe before thou▪ haue him. The getting of Christ is by the way of traf­fike, thou must not thinke wholly to gaine vpon him; but as much as wee would haue him to bee ours, so much must wee striue to yeeld our selues to bee his CHRISTS Kingdome is a Kingdome of power, and hee will enter into thee as a King of power; and it is not a bare imagination that makes way for this King­dome, but an affiance of the heart, which actually and effectually surrenders vs vp to his Scepter and Rule. [Page 221] Therefore the best way is, hereby to get him first into thee, and after to beleeue he is thine. Many haue lost Christ, because not hauing him, they thought they had him. For they sought not him whom they thought they had, and so lost him, who is found by seeking. But on the other side, if thou hast felt the depth of this faith, though in a nar­row breadth, know that Christ is thine, for whom thou hast ceased to be thine owne. As much as thou hast gone out of thy selfe to possesse him, so much hath he entred into thee to pos­esse thee; so much as thou leauest to Christ, & yeel­dest [Page 222] thy selfe to the renew ing of his Spirit, so much dost thou knit Christ vnto thee, and so much thou drawest, yea suckest his Spirit into the innermost part of thy soule. Hee who is Goodnesse it selfe and dyed for vs, when we were sinners, cannot restraine his Spirit from vs; when with a full trust wee haue cast our selues wholly vpon him, and with a whole re­signation haue giuen vp our selues fully vnto him. Hee who is Loue, cannot resist loue; but hee is ouercome and taken, by the feruour of our hungrie and thirstie soules, & giues vs to drinke freely of the waters of Life. [Page 223] Christ is the Phisician of our soules, and to be cured by him, we must deale with him as with a Phisician. Now to be cured by a Phi­sician, it is not inough only to beleeue that the Phisici­an can cure vs, nor that hee will cure vs, but this confidence in the Phisician must worke in vs a willing­nesse and resolution, to take and admit his receits by which he may cure vs. Euen so it is betweene Christ and our sicke soules; it is not inough barely to think that Christ can cure vs, or that hee will cure vs, but our be­liefe must open the mouth of our soules, to receiue his medicines giuen vs in the [Page 224] Cup of saluation. This Cup of saluation is the Spirit by which he communicates to vs his Redemption, his Ho­linesse, his Eternitie. There­fore must we so belieue, that we receiue Christ; for such onely as receiue him, haue the prerogatiue to bee the sonnes of God: so must we beleeue, that we bee bapti­zed with the holy Ghost; for those onely who are so baptized, shall bee saued. And if we thus beleeue, hee who neuer sent away any vncured of their corporall infirmities, that sought him here on earth, surely, hee will not denie his sauing health to any beleeuing soule, that thus heartily [Page 225] thirsts after him, sitting in heauen. For, the spirituall phisicke was Christs truest & most proper profession, and the cure of bodies, was especially to draw our faith thereby to behold, beleeue, & receiue his cure of soules. Therefore especially, yee sicke soules, bee of good comfort, for you the Ma­ster calleth especially. But when yee come to him, re­member that yee desire to bee cured of the whole spi­rituall maladie; euen of sin and of sinfulnesse; of the corruption of sinne, as well as of the guilt and miserie that follow it: For Christ will enter into none to cure the death of sin, but with­all [Page 226] hee will giue death vnto sinne; neither will he by his Spirit giue any one the Life of glorie, to whom by the same Spirit, hee doth not first giue the life of Pietie.

CHAP. II. How a Man may get this fa­cultie which vniteth Man to God.

BVt Man is brutish and sensuall, both in vnderstanding & will; and so it is impossible for him, while he is such, to discerne a spirituall happi­nesse, and the meanes of at­tayning it; and much more hard it is to esteeme and [Page 227] loue the one or other. Hee beleeues that which hee sees, & he loues that which he tastes and feeles, but his grosse palate doth not rel­lish this celestiall and vn­palpable happines. There­fore Man must bee lifted vp aboue this low estate of sensuall and carnall know­ledge; and to effect this, there needes a second hand of the first Creator. If the bodily sight be extinguish­ed, He which made the first sight, can only make a new, and when the eye of the soule is so farre put out, that it seeth not him that made it, He that made it, only can giue it a new sight, where­by himselfe may bee seene. [Page 228] Wherefore if thou which readest thus farre, yet belee­uest not what thou readest, I wonder not, for I know what thou art: I looke not that blindnesse should see, or carnalitie should sauour spirituall ioyes. Thou art bounded with thy owne flesh, which is thy Horizon & limit of discerning. Thy candle cannot see thorow the thicke Lanterne of thy bodie, to perceiue the my­sterie of the blessednes of Spirits, nor the glorie that is aboue the vaile of this vi­sible heauen.

But perchance thou wilt aske; If the opening of the eyes be from God alone, to what purpose shall aduice [Page 229] begiuen to thee, in a matter that lyeth not in thee, and which is not effected by ad­uice, but by supernaturall operation? To this I an­swere, That although the power that must inlighten thee, doth descend from a­boue, yet vsually it doth communicate it selfe vnto vs by the seruice of certaine meanes, left with vs here below. Againe, when grace doth first breathe vpon vs, it worketh by degrees; which degrees being by some neglected, or miscon­strued, it hath bred vnto them a greater difficultie & hardnesse of trauaile in the new birth; but being per­ceiued and duely entertay­ned, [Page 230] they turne into Testi­monials vnto vs, yea to in­couragements vnto farther degrees of grace. But if thou aske mee againe, how thou shalt like or vse the meanes, when thou neither seest nor likest the happines intended by the meanes: To this I must reply, That without God, thou canst not so much as loue the meanes, yet as a naturall man thou mayest consider these things following: first, If thou looke into the best sort of heauenly Philoso­phers, thou shalt see among them Men wise and vnder­standing, iust & righteous, inioying both wealth and honour; and if thou talke [Page 231] with those Men, they will tell thee seriously, that they most certainly see and feele an estate of happinesse; and that they came to the sight of such an estate, by fre­quenting the meanes left with vs here on earth. Se­condly, if thou wilt search some special works of men, thou shalt finde Writers of vndeniable worthines, who by Miracles, Prophesies, Oracles, Successe, and Vic­torie against oppositions, haue proued the veritie of Christian learning; it being impossible that a Doctrine, mainly contrarie to flesh & bloud, should be aduanced so much among men, whose very frame is flesh & bloud, [Page 232] without the maintenance of an Omnipotent LORD. Thirdly, doe but consider what this Doctrine, which is the instrument & meanes of Life, proposeth to thee and requireth of thee. It proposeth to thee an eter­nall felicitie, it requireth of thee Pietie and Puritie, things of themselues desire­able & excellent. But thou wilt say, that this puritie will cost thee deare; for it is sure to cost thee all thy sin­full pleasures, and may cost thee much paine, yea thy life it selfe. But to this I may answere, That though it may cost thee something, yet vpon the matter it lo­seth thee nothing; for what­soeuer [Page 233] pleasures of sinne thou canst inioy, being in­ioyed, they dye, and come to nothing: yea life it selfe comes at last to nothing, & that for nothing: so the con­dition required of thee, is onely this, That what shall be nothing, if it be, may be nothing, by not being; and to incourage thee herein, thou hast for aduantage an aduenture for Eternitie. In summe, thou art required, at the most, but to lose that which will bee lost, for an happinesse, which may and shall be found for euer. Yea for these grosse pleasures, e­uen in this life, thou shalt haue ioyes vnspeakeable. Howsoeuer, whether thou [Page 234] receiue the meanes of hap­pinesse, or refuse it, certaine it is, that to all those that receiue the Life of blessed­nesse, the Doctrine of God, left vnto vs in writing, and vnfolded by his seruants properly, deputed to this office, is the vsuall conuey­ance of this life. God alone inuented and conceiued the remedie of Mans miserie, and a way from miserie vn­to felicitie. The same God who onely knew it, could only tell it, and only by tel­ling, can men know and be­leeue it, and only by know­ing and beleeuing, can men striue toward it, and so fi­nally attaine it. So wee see that men must know and [Page 235] beleeue happines to obtain it, and happinesse must bee taught, if they will know & beleeue it; and to teach this happinesse, there needeth a word of Reuelation; and to reueile this, GOD himselfe must speake vnto vs, who alone was the Founder and Knower of this mysterie. Therefore must we esteeme this Word highly, as a great second Mercy, by which the first great Mercy is de liuered to vs. Before this Doctrine, our happines was lockt vp in Gods vnsearch­able purpose: but by this Doctrine, happinesse is rea­ched out to vs, and issueth from the heart of God into the heart of Man. Where­fore [Page 236] let vs be farre from ac­counting it a vaine Word, for it is our life, and the length of our dayes, and by it wee receiue eternall Life from the Ancient of daies. For, while it is taught vnto vs without, the Ver­tue and Spirit of God en­treth into vs within, and makes vs capable of that happinesse which is taught vnto vs.

Now, the degrees by which this Spirit vsually worketh vpon vs, are these. First, it causeth vs some­what to discerne, & allow the truth of this Word. And next, it moues a desire of more knowledge, and of a greater taste of the Word [Page 237] of Life; which is also made knowne to God in Prayer. And at length, the heart is moued with so seruent a loue vnto it, that it desires to be wholly sauoured, sal­ted, and seasoned there­with, that the naturall Man may no longer liue in the heart, but that CHRISTS Kingdome may bee set vp therein. And so the Word, or CHRIST in and by the Word, becomes the Treasure of the heart, and therefore from thenceforth, the heart is euer thinking on his treasure, it thirsts af­ter it, it seekes it with eye and eare.

But that thou maist not be discouraged in thy first [Page 238] beginnings, thou must also know, in what manner and order the Doctrine and Art of felicitie doth present it, selfe vnto thee. It will first offer to thy knowledge and meditation, the lamenta­ble face of humane miserie, so that thy flesh perchance will feare to goe on, halfe despairing, how thou canst euer come through so great miserie vnto felicitie. But feare not; the beginning and the end are contrarie. Thy naturall estate is in­deede very miserable; And this Doctrine doth not make it to be so; but shewes it to bee so. The corrupti­on of nature made thee mi­serable, and hid thy mise­rie [Page 239] from thee, and so made thee contentedly to conti­nue in miserie. But this Doctrine sheweth thee thy miserie, that by shewing it, it may cure it. It shewes thee indeede the vgly face of thy miserie, but not to this end onely, to terrifie thee; but that by terrify­ing, it may make thee runne a-pace from miserie to fe­licitie. Wherefore take cou­rage, and come with mee, profitably to behold the countenance of miserie; which (as heretofore hath beene mentioned) presents it selfe in a double aspect; the miserie of corruption, and the miserie of punish­ment inflicted on this cor­ruption; [Page 240] To discouer thy corruption, thou shalt finde a strict and seuere Law, the Counter-pane whereof is placed in thine owne heart, and when thou comparest thy actions with this Law, thou canst not choose but say thou art a Creature, falne from the dutie of thy Creation, for ill doe thy actions become him, whom the Creator hath appointed to bee his seruant, and the Lord of the World. Now if thy deedes bee so vnrigh­teous in the sight of thy Maker, how must not that highest Lord be displeased exceedingly with these low­er Lords, when hee seeth his perfection and Iustice [Page 241] crossed and contraryed, with their imperfection & iniustice? when hee seeth his Creatures hyred by so many inestimable benefits, only to doe him the seruice of Righteousnesse (which is a thing of it selfe to bee loued) to renounce their allegeance, yea to rebell a­gainst their Creator with a course of opposition, and to loue wickednesse, more then a bountifull God com­manding Righteousnesse? Surely, the wrath of the Al­mightie must needes smoke against such Traytors, and rebellious Runnagates: And if the Lyon rore, how shall not the Beasts of the Forrests bee afraid? Hence there­fore [Page 242] the miserie of our cor­ruption, leades vs to the consideration of the mise­rie of punishment. And that there is such a connex­ion betweene sinne & pu­nishment, reason, experi­ence, & Gods owne Word do teach vs. Reason tells vs, that hee who hath brought this great frame to an vni­tie consisting of disagreeing parts, by proportiō, weight, and measure, is himselfe a God of Wisedome, Order, and Proportion: And if he bee such, hee must needes expect that Creatures of Reason, & Vnderstanding, should also obserue Order, Iustice and Righteousnesse. For to say the truth, as by [Page 243] this harmonie the Word was founded, so by the same is it still preserued. But if these Creatures which haue in them a power of re­sembling, & pleasing their Maker, crosse him with a crosse of contrarie actions, it must needes be expected, that the Lord being crossed by his seruants in disobedi­ence, must also crosse them in punishment, and being mightily inraged, hee will returne the malice of their owne works on their owne heads. Now wee know as the person is, so is his wrath, and as the wrath is, so is the punishment: An infi­nite person, an infinite Wrath, and an infinite pu­nishment. [Page 244] The very in­stincts of decayed Nature, haue inspired the acknow­ledgement hereof into the terrifyed hearts of guiltie & selfe-accusing Heathens, who not knowing God but by the knowledge of na­ture, yet because of their wicked liues, vpon the hea­ring of thunder and tem­pests, haue feared and shun­ned the furie of an Omni­potent Iustice. But now I shall little need to tell thee, what experience hath alrea­dy taught thee. For I doubt not, but to most that consi­der the life of Man, it hath appeared that the mayne course of humane life, is a connexion or succession of [Page 245] vnrighteousnesse and wret­chednesse. Man liueth as out of the sight of his Ma­ker, and Man liueth as out of the cherishing and foste­ring of his Maker, being generally thrust out vnto a warre against brambles and bryers, against the barren­nesse and staruednesse of a cursed earth, which he must resist and ouer-come with the sweat of his browes. Yea, each man eateth other men, though not with the teeth of the body, yet with the iawes of a fraudulent ouer-reaching and violent soule. And yet there are further miseries wayting vpon Mischiefe: for besides visible and palpable exam­ples [Page 246] of sudden iustice, exe­cuted, and sent from heauen vpon diuers eminent and outragious crimes, wee see in generall, that this sinfull life at the best, is but wise vanitie, pleasant vanitie, or glorious vanitie; and at the worst, vexation of spirit, vexation of body, losse of goods, and losse of friends. Yea, Man is but a piece of reasonable miserie; He hath reason to fore-see miserie, and so to take it to his hart: when reason cannot pre­uent it, reason to fore-see death, but not to auoid it. For as sure as wickednesse is present, so sure shal death be present; for death and sinne, wee see daily, are in [Page 247] euery Man vnseparable. Now the combining of sin and miserie in this bodily life (for this life concernes the body most, & the soule least, and so doth the misery of this life) points our ex­pectation to another life; euen that there shall bee a pursuit of punishment after sinne, in that life which is most proper to the soule, & that then the bodily mise­ries of this life shall bee se­conded with spirituall tor­ments. But if we leaue these darker characters of reason and experience, and come to diuine Reuelations: there wee may reade running the fall and miserie of Man. And these before are de­scribed [Page 248] out of the same ho­ly Writings, but here again they must be considered by the Learner of the doctrine of happinesse, that by the full search and tenting of his miserie, his miserie may be cured.

Briefly therefore, to speake what hath beene spoken; hee shall finde in Gods Word, that wicked­nesse and sinne is the trans­gression of the Law; that the Law being transgressed and offended, is the mini­sterie of death: That this death is both of soule and body, in an eternall darke­nesse & absence from God, who is Light, yea in an e­ternall suffering of the fire [Page 249] of the wrath of God. For Gods wrath is a Worme & a Fire, euer feeding on the tormented soules and bo­dies of disobedient, wic­ked, and sinfull men. And now when thou hast found thy selfe a sinner, and fin­dest also the terror & wrath of God against sinners, I know thou canst not chuse, but thinke thy selfe awhile the child of death, and thy estate fearefull. Thou wilt cry, Wo is mee, a man of sorrow, and, Wretched man that I am, and call thy bo­dy a body of death. But as I told thee before, this ter­ror is but thy way, and not thy wayes end. It is but thy entrance into happinesse, [Page 250] yea it is thy aduancement vnto happinesse. For the burthen of thy miserie will moue thee to seeke for one to ease and refresh thee. The bitternes of thy wret­chednesse will make thee more comfortably to rel­lish the sweetnesse of a Sa­uiour; and the fearefulnesse of the Valley of death, will make thee more stedfastly to list vp thy eies to the Hil of God, from whence com­meth thy saluation. And surely, this fruit of Humili­tie doth God expect before he will exalt. Hee will haue vs confesse our miserie to be fearefull, and desperate in it selfe, he will haue vs to feele it to bee a burthen in­tolerable; [Page 251] we must tell him in wordes and deedes, that we are weary and ouer-hea­uy laden, and then is it for his glorie, to helpe confes­sed-incurable, and despe­rate miserie. And to this end may we reasonably be­leeue, that the fulnesse of time appointed for the cō ­ming of our Sauiour in the flesh, was so long in fulfil­ling, and that during the space between the Promise and exhibiting of a Sauior, there was so spare and rare, and secret notices giuen of him; euen that there might be a manifest and confessed neede of him; before hee should be generally & ma­nifestly offered and shewed.

[Page 252] The whole World left to the state of nature, must bee odiously and vnsufferably corrupted; the Nation of the lewes taken out as the top of mankind, and a chief part to conuince the whole, lifted vp, propped, and sup­ported by a cleere reueiled Law, by Statutes, Ordi­nances, and Ceremonies, and these againe inforced by Prophets, Miracles, and Signes, I say, this Nation must bee laden with iniqui­tie, and wholly defiled from the crowne of the head to the sole of the foot, and so both among Iewes and Gentiles, there must be none that worketh righ­teousnesse, no, not one, and [Page 253] then is the fulnesse and fit­nesse of time for the com­ming, and publishing of a Sauiour.

Being thus humbled in our selues, and made both needy and thirstie of salua­tion, then will God open our eyes, as he did the eyes of despairing AGAR, that wee shall see a spring of wa­ters of eternall Life. Christ Iesus with the beames of his sauing health, will shine in vpon our vnderstādings, and shew them his beautie, and vpon our wils through our vnderstandings to com­fort, rauish, and draw them, and this will bee doe, iust at that time when we feeling­ly complaine and find, that [Page 254] we are in the state of darke­nesse, and in the shaddow of death. And now, Christ Iesus entring into our souls with free mercy and grace, to heale and refresh them, our soules in faith and fer­uency claspe the will and affections about him, and lay fast hold on the Lord of glorie and blessednes. And then the soule kisseth him with the kisses of her mouth, and as she needeth him most before she found him, so she loueth him best after shee hath found him. This is the path of Faith: walke therein, and liue for euer.

CHAP. III. That wee should striue to in­crease our happinesse, and by what meanes.

BEing knit vnto hap pinesse by the knot of a most high and blessed Vnion, wrought by that Faith in Christ, which surrenders vs vp to the san­ctification of the Spirit, what remaynes but that we striue to preserue and in­crease our selues therein? It is no lesse wisdome to keep then to get; yea it is more folly negligently to lose a thing gotten, & the labour by which it was gotten, then hauing taken no paines for it, nor hauing tasted the [Page 256] sweetnesse of it, to haue beene altogether without it. And though the renew­ing Spirit bee strong in ap­prehension, and where it once takes roote, it will not wholly quit the ground, yea we must know that the retchlesnesse & hard hear­tednesse of Man, by shut­ting vp the heart against the dew of heauen, and by che­rishing the weedes of natu­rall corruption, may so much grieue & afflict him, that the seede of grace and glorie, sowne in vs, may be much withered and pined. For the Spirit which is within vs, as it holdeth vs, so it lookes to bee held by vs; as it quickens vs, so it [Page 257] lookes to be quickned and inflamed by vs; And on the other side, it grieues, it pines, it drieth, it dyeth (to our feeling, though not in it selfe) when it wanteth comforting, incouraging, cherishing. And the Spirit being thus quenched with­in vs, the spirituall trading for happinesse decayeth, & so our losse of heauenly ioyes doth daily increase, yea the comforts of God in our way to happinesse doe still abate, and we are often left in a temporal hell, euen in horror of mind, & vexa­tion of conscience, which is the night of the soule, Wisd. 17.14. Farre be it therefore from vs, to kill that which [Page 258] giueth vs life, to quench that which is the Light of our darknesse, to pull backe our hand from this hand of God, which offers to leade vs to eternall Life. But let it be the most earnest indeuor of our hearts and soules, to comfort and cherish this heauenly Seede, wherein lyes wrapt our euerlasting glorie and happinesse. Let vs be merciful to our selues, by being kinde to it; for thou canst not sow to this Spirit, but thou must sow also to thy owne glorie; for the Spirit is a most sure Rewarder of all the seruice done vnto it. And to whom it hath beene an Author of sowing in labour, to them [Page 259] it will also bee a Giuer of a most blessed haruest in glo­rie: yea, according to the measure of sowing, shall be the measure of reaping. Wherefore let vs not bee content, onely to get this glorifying Spirit, nor ha­uing gotten it, only to keep it, but let vs in an vnsatiable couetousnesse, euer bee in­creasing it, euer be getting vpon it. How can a Man be full inough of happines? How canst thou stint thy seeking, since there is no stine of an infinite felicitie? and such is that which thou seekest. Surely, if thou euer didst taste thy Soueraigne Good, thou canst not but ouer hunger and thirst after [Page 260] him, thou canst not but cry out, Euermore giue me this water of life. Let thy world­ly couetousnesse reach thee the manner of a spirituall couetousnesse. That tells thee, that goods are good, and thou canst not haue too much of that which is good Now the Spirit tells thee, that God is goodnesse it selfe, and the summe of all things that are good. Wherefore thou shouldest be still hungrie, still thirstie, after the liuing God; neuer hauing inough of that hap­pinesse, whereof there is still some degree beyond that which thou hast.

Wherefore fastning one foote, that thou slide not [Page 261] backe in the path of happi­nesse, aduance the other, & so march on stedfastly to the Congregation of the first-borne, to the spirits of iust and perfect Men, to the Mediator of the new Alli­ance and Couenant, and to the happy presence of the liuing God. Thy path is in the Spirit; walke in the Spi­rit, and thou walkest to­ward God; walke feruently in the Spirit, let it in flame thee, and bee inflamed by thee; & thou walkest swist­ly towards God; and the more this fire of Grace is kindled in thee, the more shall thy shining be, when thou art a Starre in glorie. For the same Spirit which [Page 262] is the seede of Sanctificati­on, is also the seede of Glo­rification: the first it brings forth in this life, the other in the next. As certainly as it shewes the first, so cer­tainly will it bestow the latter, and the latter in the degree of the former. For according to the power of the quickning Spirit with­in vs, shall be the power & excellence of the Spirit rai­sing vs, and according to the power of the Spirits sanctifying, is the power of the Spirits quickning: San­ctifying and quickning be­ing knit together, and so prospering together in the prosperitie of one and the same Spirit. Therefore to [Page 263] increase our glorie, we must striue to increase our holi­nesse; and by holinesse and other helps aduancing, and supporting holinesse to in crease, comfort and cherish the Spirit, by which both holinesse and glory may be increased.

Now to know what these helps are, we must seeke in the Oracles of God, whose office and mayne purpose is to shine as a Light to mankind, that standeth in the darke place of a clouded and corrupted soule, and to guide their feete into the way of Peace and Rest. This sure Word of GOD, was giuen by GOD vnto Man, to direct Man vnto [Page 264] God; And to effect this, it hath a power to make the children of men, the sonnes of God; Yea it hath a pow­er to nourish this spirituall and heauenly sonship, & so bestoweth a gift of growth, as well as a gift of life: for it causeth the sonnes and heires of God to grow vn­to their perfect stature of Grace & Glory. The great Spirit of God, which pow­reth that portion of the Spirit into vs, wherein lyes our sanctification and sea­ling, powred also in the Pro­phets, Seers, and Apo­stles, the Word and Coun­sell of God. So the Spirit within vs, and the Word without vs, are neere of kin; [Page 265] they haue one Father, euen the Spirit, which is God and being brethren, they must needes cherish, loue, and strengthen each other. Yea the Spirit of GOD which best knowes, how the Spirit issuing from him, may bee cherished, hath by that Word, of purpose shewed vs sundry meanes, by which that which hee hath giuen vs, may be in­creased. And God expects, that wee which were dead and are now raised to life by him, though in our dead­nesse wee could not moue towards him, yet being quickned, wee should by imployments and exercise stirre vp the life bestowed [Page 266] on vs, kindling it by those helps which his Word mi­nistreth vnto vs. So behold, O Man, a double mercy; one, that the indeuours of the Saints may increase their glorie; another, that meanes, helps, and directi­ons are giuen for the ad­uancement and execution of such indeuours. Wee must not be still like Embri­ous, and children in their first conception, to haue the nourishment of life, sent in o vs without our know­ledge and will; but being now at least babes in Christ, wee must desire and sucke the sincere Milke of the Word, that wee may grow thereby; or, being strong [Page 267] men, we must desire and di­gest the solid meate, by which wee may grow from strength to strength; wee must by manly exercises seeke to fortifie the power of Christ in vs, and we must worke towards the increase of our spirituall estate, by heauenly traffike and mar­chandize, that the talents of grace being increased, may increase the talents of glorie.

But now perchance it wil bee demanded what these helps are, by which the Man of GOD may enlarge his stature, and grow vp to his head Christ Iesus. For satisfaction to which de­mand, I would point him [Page 268] to the Word of God, which is the Treasure of the per­fect knowledge of this Arte of felicitie; but yet to giue some stay to hungrie soules, that presently desire the prosperitie of the Spirit, & will not bee delayed, I may name some of the chiefest, though likewise I may leaue others vnnamed, to stirre them vp somewhat to seeke for their owne prouision. And here, as the first means of increasing the Spirit, I will name the increasing of those meanes, by which the Spirit was first receiued; we must striue to increase that faith and affiance, by which wee cleauing vnto Christ, Christ claue vnto vs. For [Page 269] the more wee cleaue vnto Christ, the more Christ clea­ueth vnto vs; the more we comprehend him, the more he doth comprehend vs by a larger and fuller possessi­on of vs. Faith increased, in­creaseth our capacitie of Christ Iesus, and as wee are inlarged in our owne bow­els by faith, so doth Christ inlarge himselfe within vs by his Spirit. To this end let vs remember what hath beene formerly set forth, as the meanes of breeding faith, and in those meanes let vs bee the more conuer­sant, as wee would bee the more plentifull in faith, and more ingraffed in the obiect of faith, Christ Iesus. Brief­ly, [Page 270] let vs feruently and con­tinually pray with the Dis­ciples, vnto the Author and Finisher of our faith, Lord, increase our faith: Let vs be frequently conuersant with Christ Iesus, and often be­hold him liuely described in the Word, in the Sacra­ments, by hearing, by see­ing, by receiuing, by me­ditation. The more Christ is looked on, the more trust, and the more loue, and so the more Vnion. Wee cannot looke on the fairest of Men, but we shall bee rauished with his loue; for, hee kindleth our affecti­ons as coles of fire, and as a vehement flame. And surely, if wee looke into his Word, [Page 271] and into the seales of his Word, wee cannot choose (if wee bee spirituall) but wee must plainly looke on Christ himselfe. For the Word of Christ is the I­mage of Christ; hee hath stamped on it his owne like­nesse, and therein wee may see him borne, liuing, teach­ing, dying, & rising againe. Therein may wee behold his graces and gifts, his ex­cellencie and dignitie, his loue vnto Men, and his la­bours for Men. The Sacra­ments also Christ hath im­printed with his owne re­semblance; and they are the characters and repre­sentations of Christ. So in them may wee see Christ [Page 272] redeeming by passion, and washing by regeneration, feeding and quickning by viuification, yea perfor­ming his part of the whole Couenant of Life. And CHRIST being thus discer­ned, what dull heart will not rise vp toward him in a stronger affiance, in a more firie loue? Wherefore wal­king along with the staffe of Prayer in our hands, let vs still bee tasting of these re­storatiues of Faith, that so faith being cherished, may cherish the Spirit, and the Spirit being cherished, may cherish our life eternall.

CHAP. IIII. Other helps of retayning and increasing happinesse. The first is, quicke obedience.

AN especiall furthe­rance and nourish­er of the Spirit, is a readie and prompt obedi­ence to the motions of the same Spirit. The businesse of our life is indeede no o­ther, but an attendance on the Spirit, in whom lyes our dutie and happinesse, and al other businesses that are not subordinate to this businesse, are inordinate. Wherfore to the holy lusts of this liuing and mouing Spirit, must our continuall care bee attentiue, that [Page 274] when it moueth vs, we may be moued by it, and that the commands thereof bee answered by a speedie obe­dience. For the Spirit is the issue of the God of power, and is it selfe a power pro­ceeding from that great power: now power reioy­ceth in action, yea these se­cond powers grow more powerfull by action. In na­turall things wee see that motion makes a thing more apt to moue, and by how much more the strength of Man is exercised, the more able and mightie it grow­eth. No otherwise doth the Spirit in vs. It grows migh­tie by a free and prosperous exercise of his might: It [Page 275] growes more vigorous and actiue by doing, and by mouing it is more readie to moue. If it be well followed in a combate with a Beare, [...]en a terrible and vgly temptation, it will after leade vs on to the conquest of a Lyon, euen of some raigning wickednesse, and at last will bring vs to tri­umph ouer a Gyant, euen the prince of wickednesse. And as it will leade vs to the increase of the ruine of vice, so it will also leade vs to the increase of vertue, & finally, to increase the re­ward of vertue in eternall felicitie. For as it is the na­turall and kindly desire of the Spirit to beare fruit, so [Page 276] is it likewise his desire to beare more fruit, and by obtayning this desire, it goes on to a farther desire, and so to a farther obtay­ning, if our following bee proportionable to his lea­ding. When the Spirit mo­ueth vs to a good worke, by fulfilling it, wee haue a double profit. One is, the reward of that worke in glorie; the other is, the in­crease of the Spirit by wor­king; who being increased, will increase more workes vnto more glorie. On the other side, by neglecting & disobaying the Spirit when it moueth, wee haue a dou­ble losse; the first, a losse of the good worke, and the re­ward [Page 277] pertayning to it; a se­cond is an impouerishing, discouragement, and weak­ning of the Spirit, against another like occasion: for it must needes moue weaker the next time to that work, to which before it hath mo­ued in vaine. Now farre be it from vs to stop and shor­ten our owne perfection; e­uen the perfection of holi­nesse and happinesse; which two are inseparable, & one the measure of the other. Let it be farre from vs to a­bate our felicitie, by lesning our obedience; yea farre be it from vs, to grieue & stop that Spirit, which demand­eth of vs, but an excellent and necessarie dutie, which [Page 278] is holinesse, and that with a condition annexed of the most excellent thing which is happinesse. Surely, wee discomfort our Comforter, we goe into a spirituall con­sumption, we dead our life, wee grudge our selues the increase of felicitie, when wee resist or neglect the sa­cred instincts & blessed in­fluences of this soueraigne Spirit. Whereas on the o­ther side, by a readie obedi­ence we inflame the Spirit, wee adde fuell to this hea­uenly fire, wee giue that thing food & nourishment, which giueth food & nou­rishment to our life Eter­nall. For the motion of the Spirit tends to this, that we [Page 279] would doe good to our selues, by doing good to it, and that by sowing vnto it in a speedie and large obe­dience, wee may reape a more full and large haruest of glorie. Wherefore let vs be carefull to accept euery proffer of the Spirit, as that wherein is an vnited gift of grace and glorie. If the Spi­rit would exercise it selfe in the practice of some vertue, let our members, as readie seruants, runne to the exe­cution thereof. If the Spirit stirre vs vp to a strong reso­lution, to make a straighter couenant with our God, & to draw neerer vnto him by an increased seruice, let vs make roome in our heart [Page 280] for the settlement of this pillar, and let vs giue way vntill this naile bee driuen vp to the head. If the Spirit lust for a vacation from the world, and complaine that it is oppressed with an heap of earthly imployments, let vs ease it of waight, & take from it that which surchar­geth; yea let vs giue it full and steady times of respira­tion and breathing, that it may conuerse with his Fountayne, and sucke new streames of refreshing from that abundant and euer­slowing Spring. If the Spi­rit desire to warre with the flesh, and particularly with some especiall infirmitie, let vs come willingly to the [Page 281] fight, and helpe the Lord in his battailes; euen this Spi­rit of God against the ene­mies of God and our felici­tie; and if wee serue him in the fight, we shall triumph with him for the victorie. Finally, if the Spirit long to cherish it self with the food of the Word, or the preci­ous and last Banquet of our dying Redeemer, let vs bee carefull to feed the hunger thereof with the food of God in due season. So shall wee increase the life of our life; and by the growth of the Spirit, wee shall grow more gracious here in the sight of our Creator, and wee shall grow more glo­rious hereafter by the in­creased [Page 282] sight of the same Creator.

CHAP. V. Another furtherance of the Spirit, is watchfulnesse.

AS Obedience doth cheere, and as it were, make ioyfull the Spirit within vs, so O­bedience it selfe is suppor­ted by Watchfulnes. Ther­fore (though in a second & remoued degree) is Watch­fulnesse a helpe to the Spi­rit, & so an Increaser of our felicitie. For a Christian cō ­sisting of a double nature, one spirituall, and another carnall, and two-fold mo­tions [Page 283] proceeding from this two-fold nature, and each aduerse, yea hurtfull to the other, herein must Watch­fulnesse helpe vs, that the motions of the nature of corruption and miserie, bee quickly apprehended and suppressed; and that the motions of the Nature of blessednes and grace bee soone espied and furthered. Else on the one side, the egge of Concupiscence be­ing grown to a Cockatrice, before it be seene, may kill; and on the otherside, the excellent desires and preg­nancies of the Spirit, which would haue brought forth the fruit of glorie, may come to abortion by a bar­ren, [Page 284] miserable, and inglo­rious neglect. Beyond these also hath Watchfulnesse a profitable imployment: for it ought to stand as vpon the top of a Towre, to espie a farre off as well as neere at hand; euen to descry the re­mote occasions of such mo­tions, and to sound the Bel to the soule, that shee shut out the Messengers of the enemies of her peace, and louingly admit the friends of her happinesse. We are safest from euill, when euill is kept a good distance from vs; and euill is kept at a good distance, when wee e­spie the occasions of euill a farre off and auoid them. Many times the occasion is [Page 285] admitted with a hope of not admitting the euill; but cōmonly the euill throngs in close after the occasion, and approching neere vnto vs, it ouer-comes vs at han­die blowes, whom it could not at the Pikes point. It is farre easier to kill sinne in the occasion, then in it self; and to grant the occasion, and to denie the sinne, is al­most as bad Logike in pra­ctice, as to grant the former Propositions, and to denie the Conclusion, is in reaso­ning. Therefore let vs keepe the eye of our soule broad­waking, that we lye not like waste ground, vn-hedged and vn-kept, and so become the prey and food of euery [Page 286] wandring Beast, euen of e­uery beastly affection. Let vs also stand watching in the dore of our Tent, with the Father of the faithfull, that when Angels descend vnto vs, euen the graces of God through Iesus Christ our Mediator, we may bee readie to entertayne them; feeding them with the slain concupiscences of our bru­tish flesh, and the kisses of our hearts, which are more comfortable then wine.

To adde intention and earnestnesse to our watch­fulnesse against sinne, three things must be considered. First, the presentnesse of the euill; for our flesh is like Gun-powder, it presently [Page 287] takes fire, it breakes out suddenly vpon vs, & there is no way to bee before it, but by watchfulnesse. For when a man meetes an oc­casion of Anger, of Lust, or of some other passion, if he bee out of his watching, his house is by temptation set on fire about his eares, before hee sees that hee was tempted. But the watch­full man is still in his spirit, and so is still before the temptation; yea the temp­tation comes still before him, and not behinde him, euen in his sight, and vnder his view. Therefore he fore­warnes his owne soule, and so forewarnes her to preuēt the harme which approch­eth [Page 288] towards her. Watch­fulnesse tells the Soule, here comes a temptation of Wrath: there a temptation of Couetousnesse, and an­other way a temptation of Lust: and then the soule knowes her busines, which is, to walke in the Spirit, and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh: but the heedlesse man; he hath raged, he hath lust­ed, he hath coueted, before hee thought hee did so; and as a bird only by being ta­ken, takes too late a know­ledge of the snare; so the vnwatchfull man doth first fall into some odious extre­mitie, and then by the fee­ling of his fall, knows to no purpose that he is falne, and [Page 289] that such a temptation was the cause of his fall; where­as watchfulnes by fore-see­ing the temptation, would haue kept him from falling. And when a Man is falne into sinne, then as much goodnesse as there is in such an one, so much sorrow there is in him also; where­as a little care before would haue saued both the sin and the sorrow. The soule may bee kept cleane with lesse paine, then she may be clen­sed being defiled; for now shee must bee washed with teares, and hardly rubbed with the rough hand of sor­row, before our Sauiour will come neere to wash a­way the guilt by his passion. [Page 290] Now that thy Watching may bee sure to preuent temptation, as soon as thou watchest bodily, watch al­so spiritually, and let thy watching bee more early then Temptation. Know that thou awakest among Philistiens, therefore shake thy selfe vp, and stirre vp the gift of God which is in thee, and so put on the Ar­mour of God, that thou maiest stand in the euill day. Put thy very first thought in order, for the further our thoughts runne astray with DINAH, the more danger of rauishment, & the harder is their recouerie. But the heart being set in tune like a clocke in the morning, [Page 291] it will goe the truer all the day after. Wherefore set thy heart betimes in the way of GODS Commandements, commit it to the Spirit to be guided in this way; for the Spirit is the firie Chari­ot, that carrieth our soules through the way of Pietie, to the Countrie of Felicitie. But hauing thus set forth in thy way, still keepe close to thy Guide, that thou continue in thy way: for, hee that keepeth his way, kee­peth his life, and hee that keepeth his Guide, keepeth his way; but he that for sa­keth his Guide, hazzardeth the losse both of way and life. Surely, if the heart running astray from the [Page 292] Spirit, be suffered to take a full taste of naturall things, it will hardly in a long time rellish spirituall things, and therefore it is best both to season the heart, first with spirituall things, and after to watch that it doe not carnally (that is ouer-gree­dily) deuoure carnal things.

Yea beyond this, thou must euen watch thy watch­ing, that it bee not stolne from thee; for the craftie Serpent will often cast be­fore thee some pleasant or cumbersome temptation, to rob thee of thy watching, if it bee not watched. For securitie which is so easie to Man, is also a chiefe ease to Satan; For by it the gates [Page 293] of the soule stand alwayes open to him, and hee may goe and come whensoeuer hee listeth. On the other side, watching is somthing painfull to a man, and con­trarie to Satan, and there­fore man will the sooner be perswaded to forgoe it, and Satan will be readie still to perswade him. But let such know, who complaine of the hardnesse of this, and o­ther diuine exercises, that custome makes hard things easie, and assured happines makes hard things plesant. Let them beleeue that the wages shall infinitely ouer­match the worke, and it is inough. If they belieue this, they will throng violently [Page 294] into heauen, and no paines shall stop them; if they be­leeue not this, they are no Scholers for the Schoole of happinesse; for, beliefe is the ground of this learning; their portion must be a sen­suall, brutish, vanishing, and dying life.

A second reason of watch­fulnesse is, the affinitie and kindred betweene our flesh and the world. There was an old contract made be­tweene them in Mans fall, and the world still conti­nues the sute, though we be new married to the Spirit: there are certain cart-ropes of sinne, which were once fast tyed betweene the flesh and the world, which as the [Page 295] good Spirit hath out off by the knife of Circumcision, so the wicked spirit seekes to knit againe by conuersa­tion; for well knowes Sa­tan, that if the flesh draw the world into the heart, himselfe also rides in vpon the world. For this is one of PHARAOHS Chariots, which still pursueth the Is­raelites; the Flesh is in stead of the lustie and proud hor­ses, the World is the cha­riot, and the Deuill is the Rider; and this Triplicitie sighteth against the Trinitie in vs. Let vs therefore be e­uer warie, lest some tricks of the old loue passe vne­spied: let vs be carefull that the corrupt flesh nibble not [Page 296] too long, yea not at all on the world; for it will grow hungrie by eating; and the taste will bee so pleasant, that it will not bee conten­ted vntill it eate with gree­dinesse, and then wo be vn­to vs, for wee haue recei­ued deepely the loue of the world, which as much as it is, so much it excludeth the loue of God, and so much it bittereth the sweetnesse of the Spirit: yea, euen in the lawfull loue of lawfull things, let our watchfulnes continue, for such haue be­trayed many soules; and while that which is lawfull, hath been too carelesly ad­mitted, or too carefully sought; a thing lawfull in [Page 297] matter, hath beene vsed in a fleshly manner, & so things lawfull haue beene carnally and vn-lawfully enioyed. The flesh hangeth so fast on vs, that it will hang fast on our actions, if we shake it not speedily from our hands as PAVL did the Vi­per. To doe this, let vs still mistrust the old alliance, and let this mistrust breede watchfulnesse, and let our watchfulnesse still keepe vs in a right fashion and stan­ding toward the things of the world. Let the soule be­hold the world as a thing from which she is diuorced, as a thing made to bee her seruant and slaue; finally, as a thing folded vp in the [Page 298] state of perishing and vani­tie. Accordingly, let her looke soberly, chastly, and coldly vpon it: let her vse it as a seruant, not as a Com­panion, much lesse as a Ma­ster; yea let her vse it, as if shee vsed it not; euen as one readie not to vse it, when happinesse shall call her from the world; or when vanitie, losse, and decay shal call for the world from her.

A third reason of watch­fulnesse is, the watchfulnes of our Aduersarie; euen that crooked Serpent, who is the Prince of darknesse, and the enemie of Mans happinesse. This is the ro­ring Lyon, who still seeketh whom hee may deuoure; [Page 299] and of this kind are special­ly, carelesse and secure men, for such he is sure may most easily be deuoured. This is the enuious man, that sow­eth tares among the wheat, while the good man sleep­eth; euen in the sleeping time of our securitie, hee watcheth most for a mis­chieuous & malicious seed­time. Neither let any man maruell, that this keeper of the dungeon of infelicitie, is so vigilant and carefull to fill his prison: for Enuy as a mayne disease hauing throughly seized him, this gnawing malady giues him no ease but in the ruine and destruction of others; and the onely comfort of his [Page 300] wretchednesse is, to get good store of company to be wretched with him. Nei­ther need wee to goe farre for an example & patterne of the same thing; for very violent is the same sicknesse among men, and in them is also a communication of the same serpentine nature: for they can excellently re­pine at superioritie, & there is no greater quarrell a­mong many then this, that one doth excell and goe be­fore another. And if it be so powerfull in men, wee may allow it to be more power­full in meere Spirits; for the greater is the eminence of their nature, the greater is the eminence of the corrup­tion [Page 301] of that nature; accor­ding to the rule, the cor­ruption of the best is worst. But let vs make a medicine of this Scorpion; and this we shall doe, if the same En­uy, which keepes him wa­king, to deuoure, bee a re­membrance to vs to keepe our selues waking, that we be not deuoured. Is not our owne preseruation as sweet to vs, as our destruction is to him? If our enuious neighbor promise to watch vs a good turne, wee will watch our selues that wee may haue no neede of his good turne; but this spite­full Serpent from the be­ginning is sealed vnder a couenant of continuall en­mitie; [Page 302] and shall not his ma­lice be a spurre in our sides, and a thorne in our brests to keepe vs waking? there­fore giue no sleepe to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye-lids, while thou art in a life of combate; but still beleeue (for it is plaine e­nough to be beleeued) that a watching Angell is too hard for a secure and slee­ping man. Indeed it is true, he is too hard for vs in our best watching, did not a higher Watch-man keepe vs, who neither slumbers nor sleepes. The watchfull eye of that greatest Spirit, is our Preseruer against the watchfull, cursed, inferiour spirit; but this withall wee [Page 303] must know, that God loues to watch ouer them, that watch ouer them selues; his watching is an example to vs, not a discouragement; he will haue vs to doe what wee can for our selues, and then what wee indeuour to doe and cannot, he will doe for vs: the Mariners must stay in PAVLS ship to doe their indeuours, else those could not bee safe, whom God did meane to saue. He hath giuen vs soules, and these soules he hath inlight­ned and sanctified, that wee might discerne and foresee Satans policies; this gift of his he will haue vs to make vse of, and not to looke to haue that done by him, [Page 304] which hee hath giuen vs power to doe our selues. But if wee take away our owne watching, wee pro­uoke GOD also to take a­way his; for if wee bee not worth our owne watchful­nesse, much lesse are wee worth his. And then if wee be wholly forsaken both of God and our selues, wo to him that is thus alone, he is one of those that are fittest to be deuoured. Euill and mortall concupiscences en­ter in by swarmes into such a soule, & al good thoughts are presently carried away, as seede by the Fowles of the aire. The Vine of our soul dressed with the bloud of Christ, and watered with [Page 305] the Spirit, is abandoned to the wildest Bore of this worlds wide Forrest. But on the other side, you can­not anger this Destroyer worse, then to spie his nets and his traps; and if hee see you make a custom of mar­king and shunning them, it is great ods, but he will re­moue his engines. His first plot was, to cast vs into a drunken darknesse, that hee might handle vs, being blind, at his will and plea­sure. And this darknesse is the Deuils pale at this day, by which hee incloseth the sonnes of darknesse, euen naturall men, that they are taken at his pleasure. Yea such men vvonder, when [Page 306] they see the sonnes of light, watchfull in their wayes, & they hold them to bee but scrupulous fellowes, to watch against one whom they neither see nor feare. But indeed, the lesse hee is seene, the more he is to bee feared; for hee doth farre more hurt to them that see him not, then he can doe to them that see him. There­fore the children of wise­dome lighten their eyes with the Spirit and Word of God, & by these Lamps, through the night of their owne nature, they espie the snares of Satan and auoid them. For this double-vni­ted Light, is the thred that must leade vs through this [Page 307] Maze of temptations, vnto the glorious libertie of the sonnes of God. If we abide in this Light, we are out of the iurisdiction of the king­dome of darknesse; wee are escaped into the protection of the Father of Light, and in this light of his, we walk into his owne primitiue Light. But being transla­ted into this Kingdome of Light, let vs not then make our selues secure, but still stand vpon our watch: for sleeping becomes the night and not the light. And as wee haue before receiued some incitements to watch our enemies, so now let vs consider some motiues which may incourage vs to [Page 308] watch and welcome our friends, euen the Messen­gers of grace, which are sent to leade vs into the E­ternall habitations. To this end, let vs first weigh who it is, euen how great is that Prince which visiteth vs by such messages of grace; it is euen the King of glory that knocks at our soules gates, by the fresh supplyes of his Spirit: Maiestie vouch safeth to visite Miserie, and Om­nipotence sendeth strength to Infirmitie; what remains then, but that the euerla­sting Dores of our soules presently open themselues wide, that the King of glo­ry may readily enter in? We must open large windowes [Page 309] in our hearts, that the Sun of righteousnes may powre in a large light and heate, when hee visiteth vs in the mornings of grace. But far be it from vs, to be far from home, when God commeth to see vs. Far bee it from vs, to let him passe as a stran­ger that lodgeth not for a night. And surely, if he be vnregarded, & vnwelcom­med, how can hee choose but scorne vs being neglec­ted, whom hee might iustly haue despised being sought? we are sinful and miserable creatures: and God might well haue lothed vs, & left vs in our bloud; but now he that might haue lothed, loueth and visiteth; and [Page 310] shall we dare to neglect the most great and holy One, that commeth to vs, most wretched and impure, for our owne felicitie? let vs rather with watchful soules espie, and with humble and deuout affections entertain these heauenly Guests, the issues and sparkes of the Deitie: Let vs wonder at our owne happinesse, that our lowlinesse should bee regarded by the Almigh­tie: finally, let vs yeeld vp to him the whole roome of this Tabernacle of ours, that hee may fully rule and raigne in vs; for in his raign­ing in vs, is included our raigning with him.

For a second motiue let [Page 311] vs consider, what it is that this great God sendeth to vs. Surely, it is the sap of the Tree of Life, a iuyce of Eternitie, a food of life e­uerlasting. When his Spi­rit commeth into vs, it is a Light to our darknesse, a Purifier of our pollution, a conueyance of our Redem ption, a celestiall Fire to warm the benummed cold­nes of our spirituall bloud, a seede of liuing and perpe­tuall felicitie. It offers to guide vs, it offers to sanc­tifie vs, it offers vs iustifi­cation, it offers vs zeale, it offers vs eternall Glorie. These are presents well be­comming such a Giuer; of infinite worth, as hee is in [Page 312] finite; and the least is of more worth then hee is that shall receiue them. So the greatest giueth vs gifts grea­ter then our selues; and what remaines but that we be inlarged in our affection, thereby to inlarge our ca­pacitie of them, & if it were possible to equall those gifts with loue & welcome, which our owne persons doe not? Let vs with a watchfull care, with a ser­uent loue, with hungrie and thirstie soules, receiue the bountie of heauen; still remembring, that free mer­cie is the Ladder, by which these blessings descend vp­on vs; by which mercie a­lone, God becomes so fa­miliar [Page 313] with Man, as to vi­site him. And as God is free to be mercifull, so he is free to bee angrie, if his mercie be contemned. And if once the Ladder of mercie be ta­ken vp into heauen, then shall wee see a great Gulfe of distance and separation betweene GOD and Man. Man is far vnable and vn­fit to approch to the same God being angrie, whom with a confident boldnesse hee might intreat & behold being mercifull. The way is cut off betweene GOD & Man, by changing mercie into furie, and he is become admirable in seueritie, who before was wonderfull in familiaritie. Therefore to [Page 314] day let vs heare his voyce; in the present time, without delay, without stay, or let. Let vs not put him off vnto to morrow, lest wee be a ge­neration that grieues him, and so may not enter into his rest. But if our Welbelo­ued put in his hand by the dore, let vs bee affectioned to him, yea let vs rise and open to our Welbeloued: & that wee may bee readie to performe this, though wee sleepe, yet let our hearts wake. Amidst the dreames of worldly pleasure, & pro­fit, which are all but vani­tie, let our hearts watch for the graces of Eternitie. Let vs giue heede to that One kind of things which is on­ly [Page 315] necessary, & let our harts bee onely in earnest, when they regard the things of soliditie, permanence, and perpetuitie. Doth the Spi­rit cast foorth his beames to inlighten the Temple of the Spirit? let Watchful­nesse bee readie to see this Light; and by this Light things otherwise inuisible and inutterable: for sure­ly, a soule thus inlightned, will see more then seuen Men on a Watch-towre. Doth the Spirit stirre vp in thee a desire of meditation, and a motion to goe aside into heauen, by the raptures of contemplation? watch, apprehend, and follow; and let Watchfulnesse deliuer [Page 316] thee ouer to obediēce. Hast thou motions vnto Prayer? vnto spirituall Ioy? vnto feeding on the Word, or the seales of the Word? at­tend and obey, and let him that hath an eare, harken what the Spirit saith vnto the Church. For thus shall watchfulnes become a true factor and seruant of obedi­ence. The Spirit speaketh, Watchfulnesse heareth, O­bedience performeth, and the Spirit prospereth.

CHAP. VI. Of Prayer.

AN inseparable com­panion of watchful­nesse, and an espe­ciall aduancement of spiri­tuall prosperitie, is Prayer: for among all the furthe­rances of the Spirit, Prayer goes directly to the foun­taine of the Spirit, & seekes the gift of the Giuer him­selfe. And indeede, whi­ther should our indeuours most addresse themselues, but where is most of that which wee seeke? and who should exceed him in boun­tie, who exceedes all in that which may bee giuen, yea in that goodnesse which is [Page 318] the cause of giuing? Where­fore since God alone hath the true abundance of Spi­rit, yea since hee hath pro­mised by his Sonne to giue the Holy Ghost (Luk. 11. 13.) to them that aske, why doe we not haste to this eternall and bottomlesse Spring of the waters of Life, where we may fill our selues free­ly by asking? Grace is a chiefe gift of the chiefest Gi­uer: To bee admitted into the presence of the chiefest Giuer, is a great priuiledge; but being admitted, to ob­taine also a chiefe gift, is a high prerogatiue. Why dost thou not then make great vse of this thy great priui­ledge? yea, why dost thou [Page 319] not at once purchase to thy selfe spirituall honour, and spiritual profit, which both in prayer are together be­stowed? For if thou art one of those, whom God gra­ceth by hearing, thou art also one of those to whom God will giue the grace of his Spirit for thy speaking. And surely, as Prayer is ho­norable and profitable, so it is pleasant and comfort­able; for we may terme it a little saluation, since the soule in Praier, clearing her selfe by Faith from fleshly darknesse, looketh directly to the face of God, the visi­on of whom is our perfect beatitude: if light be plea­sant, it is far more pleasant [Page 320] to behold the Father of light: vvhich, though it bee but by the glimpses of faith, yet so much as it is, so much happinesse it is. The soule, for the time, is in heauen, & beholdeth God; yea beholdeth God, behol­ding her with a gracious countenance, through our elder Brother Christ Iesus. Wee see in naturall things, how ioyfully the young­ones run to their dammes, yea, children with earnest­nesse apply themselues to the brests of their mothers. Surely, Man hath but one true and very Father, but one true Cause and Crea­tor; & how ioyfully should Man run to this his Origi­nall, [Page 321] how earnestly should he suck from God by pray­er, the nourishment and in­crease of that spirituall life, which himselfe hath begot­ten in vs? Therefore draw neere vnto God by prayer, and that continually and earnestly. Let thy prayer be continuall, because there is in GOD continuall abun­dance to be prayed for: yea, because GOD knowes the excellency of his gift, and that it is worth long see­king, and therefore if he vse long delay in the grant of thy Petition, thereby hee teacheth thee the worth of his gift, and demands of thee a large price of earnest and continuall prayer. Sure­ly, [Page 322] we make no ill bargaine, if with the Prayers of a whole temporall life, wee obtayne that which is to be inioyed by a life Eternall. Therefore bee not weary of continuance in seeking, for whiles thereby thou acknowledgest the great worth of that which thou seekest, and thine owne great neede of the bountie and supply of thy Creator, God that takes pleasure in this acknowledgement of thy prayers, will grant what pleasing & acceptable pray­ers doe request of him. And indeede, where canst thou in thy wants better bestow thy thoughts, and whither wouldest thou turne them [Page 323] from God; since our helpe standeth only in the Name of the Lord, and there is none but God that heareth and granteth prayers? In GOD alone is the Sabbath and rest of our soules, bat­tered with necessities, cares, and temptations. And ther­fore God inuited vs by his Apostle to take cares and sorrowes out of our owne hearts, and to lay them in his hands; for he careth for vs himselfe. Surely, if with the King of Iudah, before the Arke of Gods presence we vnfold the letters of de­fiance, which the infernall enemie sends vs in his firie temptations; if with the same King being neere vn­to [Page 324] [...] [Page 325] [...] [Page 320] [...] [Page 321] [...] [Page 322] [...] [Page 323] [...] [Page 324] death, especiall the death spirituall, we morne before God as Doues, and lift vp our eyes to him on high, no doubt but he that dwelleth on high will send downe his Angels of deliuerance, to rebuke Satan, & to chase him away into the deepe; and will also send the Spirit of life, to adde life vnto our decaying life. And though prayers of length and con­tinuance, doe not worke meerely by their length, yet are they powerfull by ano­ther meanes. For God be­ing a Spirit, hath professed himselfe to bee pleased by the seruice of the Spirit, and the more seruice of the Spi­rit, the more GOD is plea­sed. [Page 325] So while in the length and continuance of Prayer, much of the Spirit is pow­red out, there is much ac­ceptation of the same with God, who is greatly de­lighted with spirituall sacri­fices. And as much Spirit in continued prayer is pow­erfull with GOD, so much Spirit vented and darted forth, euen in one petition, is forcible with the same God. God suffers himselfe to be ouercome by the fer­uencie of the Spirit, whe­ther by degrees vttering it selfe, or all at once. SALO­MON in a long Prayer, and the Publican in a short, were both heard; the Publican shooting forth the whole [Page 326] strength of his soule in one petition, which SALOMON dispersed into many. But in the length of our prayers, let vs remember this, that the Spirit is the wingednes of Prayer, by which it pier­ceth the heauens; and it is no longer prayer but bab­bling, when some measure of the Spirit doth not ex­presse it selfe therein. Now wee know that we pray in the Spirit, so long as by the light thereof wee behold God in Christ to whom we pray; and the fitnesse and necessitie of the things for which we pray, and by the feruencie thereof wee ear­nestly desire and thirst after the things wee pray for. I [Page 327] must needes confesse, that some-times the Spirit of prayer & supplication doth hide and withdraw it selfe, so that we cannot perfectly fulfill all these parts, but then let vs lament our own dulnesse, and pray, or at least grone some grone of the Spirit, for the Spirit of prayer; let vs bee earnest with God that he will open our lips, that our mouth may speake to his praise, & wee shall seldome depart without a blessing. And if God yet delaies vs (for hee seldome finally denies vs) let vs cast vp short eiacula­tions, desiring God to ac­cept our desires to pray, and to giue vs those things [Page 328] which hee knowes to bee best; (which our hearts do implicitly pray for, though not openly) and finally, to forgiue vs our dulnesse, and to heare Christ Iesus pray­ing for vs. But in the short­nesse of prayer, let vs take heed that we doe it not out of idlenesse, or neglect of God, as if God were not worthy of more labour, or prayer were a thing of little profit or value; but let such short Petitions bee vented forth, either by reason of impotency in prayer, or vp­on a fulnesse of the heart, by reason of some incident meditation, or because of our shame and confusion of face, for some lothsome [Page 329] sinne; when with the Pub­lican we be ashamed to lift vp our eyes to heauen, and to enter into a sudden fa­miliaritie with God, being so newly polluted, and ha­uing so lately offended him; and then it may bee in stead of prayer with PETER, to weepe bitterly (for GOD heareth the voyce of PE­TERS teares aswell as of A­BELS bloud) and anon to cast forth, Lord, be mercifull to me a sinner. I know GOD forgiueth at once, yet the comfort of that which hee doth at once, must wee re­ceiue by degrees, and wee must not too suddenly leap out from the sorrow for sin, into the comfort of Gods [Page 330] promises; but with MIRI­AM wee must for a certayne time (and that proportion­ably greater or lesse, accor­ding to the measure of the sinne) I say, wee must beare the shame of offending so high a Maiestie, and by vn­dergoing some burthen & punishment of sorrow, ac­knowledge the weight of sinne, make sinne lothsome to vs, and feele it burthen­some and intolerable; and being armed to this point, that voice of Christ is then both sweetest and fittest to be heard; Come vnto me, ye heauy laden, and I will refresh you. DAVID hauing his pardon pronounced by the Prophet, yet after he ceaseth [Page 331] not to feele the lothsomnes of his sinne, and in the 51. Psalme prayeth, that his sin may bee pardoned, and his iniquity purged; that which was at once done in heauen he desires with time to feele more sealed and imparted to him on earth. Lastly, such may vse short prayer, to whom bodily infirmitie al­loweth not the bent of long meditation; of such, GOD requires according to that they haue, and not accor­ding to that they haue not, and to them a short Petiti­on may bee accepted for a long Prayer, yea a sigh of the Spirit, may bee like a Diamond of great value, though it lye in a little [Page 332] roome. But ordinarily let vs thinke it best to imitate the ancient Saints, who haue worshipped God in a continuing and combined forme of prayer, the pat­ternes whereof are often to bee found in the Word of life. And as our prayers must be continual, so stil let vs striue to make them ear­nest, seruent, and vehement; that it may still appeare vn­to God, that wee haue an earnest desire to bee heard. Otherwise, coldnesse in as­king, may wel deserue cold­nesse in granting, and since giuing is more then asking, that which doth not merit the lesser, how may wee think it should procure the [Page 333] greater? Againe, God him­selfe, by the Parable of the vniust Iudge, like SAMSON hath shewed vs how hee may be bound, for he hath taught vs, that importuni­tie is a way to ouer-come him. Earnest prayer vseth violence toward him, and thereby, we that are weak­nesse, are too hard for him who is infinite power. But how commeth this to passe, that wee who haue no strength but from GOD, should ouer-come him, from whom wee haue our strength? surely, if we looke neerly vnto it, we shall find that praier perswades God to ouer-come himselfe. It moues his owne goodnesse [Page 334] to ouer-come his owne power, so that we feele on­ly the effects of power ma­stered and conquered with goodnes. Therefore is God by prayer, as it were, trou­bled and stopped in some actions, outwardly propo­sed to haue beene effected. So LOT holdeth the Angels hand from destroying of Zoar, a towne of the sinfull Plaine, and to her growth equally lyable for wicked­nesse to fire and brimstone. And MOSES hindreth and doth not let GOD alone, when in his furie hee would destroy Israel, but diuerteth the plague denounced a­gainst them. Goodnes can­not denie the importunitie [Page 335] of beloued-ones: The bad whereof is in an earthly father, whose bowels are turned within him, if hee cannot giue what his hun­grie childe doth craue of him. But the roote here of is God, who is goodnesse it selfe, in whom is the Foun­tayne of that drop which wee call good Nature in Men. The same God who is goodnesse, is also loue, & loueth his Children farre more tenderly then earthly fathers; and loue workes vpon the will to make it willing, to communicate to the beloued the fruits and effects of goodnesse. The same God is also Almigh­tie, so that whatsoeuer [Page 336] streames of goodnesse, the will moued by loue would particularly distribute, the Almightinesse of GOD is able to fulfil & accomplish. Wherefore in confidence of the great goodnesse, the loue & the power of God; let vs boldly, hopefully, yet humbly repaire vnto him, beleeuing that a power so mastered with goodnesse & loue, cannot denie a vehe­ment & importunate pray­er. But if we faile of obtay­ning, it is certainly some impediment on our owne side; so that either we haue asked in an ill manner, or for an ill matter, or to an ill end, or else we haue limited the most High, telling him [Page 337] how and when we wil haue our request. But if wee aske for good things in a good manner, to a good end, sub­mitting the conditions and seasons to that infinite Wis­dome, to whom to submit is mans chiefest wisedome, then let vs bee assured that wee are in the way of hea­ring, let vs fasten our foote in that way, and resolue ne­uer to turne from it, though checked with the woman of Canaan, and deferred with IOB. This way ends assuredly in granting, and thou shalt either haue the same thing thou crauest, or a better. For as all Gods a­ctions to his children are for their good and aduan­tage, [Page 338] so are also his defer­rings and denyals. And this the daily experience of the Saints can testifie, who haue found that they were then heard vvhen they thought themselues most neglected. The vision and message of the most High (as that of DANIEL) was botimes sent forth, though the time of accomplishmēt was appointed to bee later. GOD will not breake the Couenant of Prayer; but vvould raise thy faith to that high pitch; euen to beleeue that God is good to Israel, euen when thou feelest the smart of thine owne miserie, and seest the prosperitie of the wicked; [Page 339] or hee would raise thy pa­tience to such a degree, that though GOD should kill thee, yet thou wouldest submit thy self to his migh­tie hand; or hee would humble, chastize, and nur­ture thee, that he might do thee good in thy latter end. Therfore stand thou strong in the path of prayer, and therein especially hunger & thirst after Righteousnesse, euen spirituall graces, for therewith thou shalt surely bee filled. But if with the stubborne King of Israel, being grieued, thou say, It is the Lord, Why should I seeke him any more? thou turnest thy selfe out of the way of obtayning, thou forsakest [Page 340] him who is the onely giuer of euery good and perfect gift, thou changest him who only heareth and granteth prayers, for miserable hel­pers, who without him (like IEROBOAMS politike Calues) through a wise foo­lishnes, shall become their Masters destruction.

Now that our prayer may yet haue a farther increase of force, and so a fuller pre­uayling, let our prayers partly consist of praise. Let the remembrance of bene­fits past, accompanie the Petition of benefits to come, let vs pray that Gods Name may bee hallowed, when wee pray that his Kingdome may come more [Page 341] into vs. In the Law of Na­ture, thankfulnesse for one benefit, inuiteth another, and much more with the Father of Grace and Na­ture, doe thanks for a lesse degree of Grace, perswade for a greater. Praise & glo­rie to God, is the end and fruit of Gods gifts, and where God reapeth this fruit abundantly, there will he abundantly sow the seed of this fruit. For if Christ called his Father an Hus­bandman, wee may boldly say he is a good Husband­man; and therefore he will not commit that ill husban­drie, to sow little that hee may reape little, when hee sees that by much sowing [Page 342] he may reape much. GOD will not bee wanting to his own glorie, by sowing smal grace, where by much grace hee might reape much glo­rie. That this was agreeable to the heart of God, well knew that holy Man, who was according to GODS heart, and therefore conti­nually hee mixeth his pray­ers with praises; yea some­time he plainly discouereth the secrets of this skill; as when hee saith: Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee, then shall the earth bring forth her increase, and God, euen our God, shall giue vs his blessing. Examples confirme this in­struction. NOAH gaue a sa­crifice [Page 343] of praise for his deli­uerie from the floud, and God being praised for that one deliuerance, perpetua­teth his benefit, and pro­miseth an euerlasting deli­uerance to the earth from any more flouds. When SALOMONS Leuites, Sin­gers, and Priests, made one sound in praising the Lord, the glorie of the Lord filled the house of God. When the Singers of IEHOSA­PHAT praised the Lord, because his mercy indureth for euer; God laid ambush­ments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, and they slue one another. What doe these things shew, but that [Page 344] prayer is sharpned with praise, and it enters more powerfully into the accep­tation of the Highest? They teach vs plainly, that God willingly opens his eare to receiue his due praises, and into his eares so opened, the adioyned Petitions haue more speedie admittance. Surely, God well accepts his owne glorie; he accepts his glorifier; and with his person, his prayers. But as farre on the other side, doth vnthankfulnesse shut vp the bountie of God, and make it fast against our selues; God will not long giue be­nefits, whereof himselfe may haue no benefit; but if there bee gifts like bene­fits, [Page 345] bestowed on the vn­thankfull; let it be thought that these seeming benefits are very curses; euen gifts giuen in wrath, as Quailes, and a King vnto Israel. For how can a Creator conti­nue his bountie, when hee sees his Creature doth one­ly make vse of him, that he sorues his owne turne vpon him, and makes himself the end of God, and not God the end of himselfe? There­fore euenholy HEZEKIAH, while he is more carefull to shew the glorie of his Trea­sures to the Heathen Am­bassadors, then to giue glo­rie to God for his health, by which he inioyed them, the treasures must bee car­ried [Page 342] [...] [Page 343] [...] [Page 344] [...] [Page 345] [...] [Page 346] away to the same Baby­lon, whose Ambassadors he had intertayned with the sight of them. The heart of man being filled with bles­sings, must not bee lifted vp within it selfe, but it must bee lifted vp with praise and thankfulnesse to the Authour of those bles­sings. Therefore hauing receiued some Talents of grace, let vs returne vnto God some other Talents of glorie; and then to vs by whom hee receiues aduan­tage, shall more bee giuen: but if otherwise, that which wee haue, shall be taken a­way. God hath put al things in order to himselfe, and vp­on this order the God of or­der [Page 347] rayneth his blessings. If then wee will bee vnder his blessings, we must be vnder this order; wee must looke towards him, glorifying & praising, if wee will haue him looke towards vs, bles­sing & sanctifying. There­fore in summe, Let vs pray continually, and feruently, and in al things giue thanks, which is the will of God in Christ Ie­sus towards vs. If wee con­clude our Psalme 33. with Prayer, Let thy mercy and grace bee multiplied vpon vs, as we trust in thee, let vs be­gin it with thankfulnesse; Reioyce in the Lord, O ye righ­teous: for it becommeth vp­right men to bee thankefull. For, if thus, Psal. 66. we call [Page 348] to him with our mouth, and al­so exalt him with our tongue, God will heare vs, and will consider our prayer, wee shall againe praise God, who doth not put backe our prayer, nor his mercy from vs.

CHAP. VII. Of Meditation.

ANother speciall pre­seruatiue and restau­ratiue of the Spirit, is Meditation. Hereby the beames of the heauenly Spirit are contracted into a point vpon the soule, as the beames of the Sunne by a Cristall, whereby the light and heate of grace are in­creased [Page 349] and multiplied into a spirituall Fire. The soule goeth in from the flesh into the Spirit, and bathing and anoynting her selfe in that Oile of gladnes, shee sharp­neth her sight, and quick­neth her might, & becomes much abler to see into hea­uen, to see into her selfe, & to see and iudge the things on earth. Hereby she grow­eth in the knowledge & ac­quaintance of her soueraign Good; hereby she takes out Lessons of a comfortable departing out of this world of vanitie, vnto her Citie of blessednes; and hereby shee iudgeth best of her own fit­nesse, for that happy voy­age. And hauing iudged her [Page 350] selfe in Meditation, by the same, she studies to increase that which is right in her, through the remembrance of profitable motiues and documents, heard, read, or conceiued, and shee inde­uoureth to cast away all that presseth downe, and whatsoeuer sinne hinders by cleauing on too fast. If we would speak of the sub­iect of Meditation, wee might name all that is: for al things haue in them some profitable doctrine, and are Teachers of the glorie of their Creator. But if we aske for the chiefest Matter, and that which is most aduan­tageable to the Citizens of the New Ierusalem, which is [Page 351] our present businesse: Then let the soule flye vp from this place of miserie, and take vp her rest in her only Rest. Let her thoughts bee on her happinesse, and the way vnto it, and let that be her chief meditation, which is her chiefe concernment. And that shee may draw neerer vnto happinesse, by the wings of an inflamed affection: Let her consider the beautie of the highest Essence; let her thinke vp­on a glorie, creating and vn­created; let her thinke on the Light of that Light, which darkneth and shad­doweth the Sunne, & when shee hath thus thought, let her know, the glorie & hap­pinesse [Page 352] which shee shall in­ioy, is more beyond her highest imagination, then imagination can be beyond any thing which is seene. Let vs also consider what God hath beene, and is to vs, as well as what hee is in himselfe: and to this end, let vs cast our inward eye on the great loue of him, who is both our Fountaine and Felicitie, our Beginning and End. Let vs consider how great things this infi­nite loue hath done for vs, from how great a miserie hee hath translated vs, to make vs partakers and in­toyers of himselfe, and by the greatnesse of the effects, let vs ghesse at the infinite­nesse [Page 353] of the Cause. There is nothing greater then Him­selfe, and this greatest Him­selfe, hath he giuen to Man, by a wonderfull and my­sterious Incarnation. Hee hath also giuen the Bloud and Life of this incarnate Deitie, to ransome vs the slaues & bondmen of guilt and punishment, from eter­nal death. He hath giuen vs also his most pure & sacred Spirit, to purge the most lothsom corruption of our lustfull generation. He hath giuen vs infinite blessings of this life; and all these, that we might serue him in holinesse, without the feare of our enemies, and hereaf­ter may inioy him in that [Page 354] Kingdome, wherein wee shall triumph ouer these e­nemies. But hauing waigh­ed (though the weake bal­lances of our vnderstand­ings bee far vnable to beare and containe the exceeding weight of) this infinite loue of God, then let vs consi­der, how wee ought to an­swer this loue with loue, & his mercies by thankfulnes and obedience. And when we haue found out our du­tie, then let vs examine our performance; euen whether the goodnesse of God hath had a perfect working vpon vs, and hath brought forth fruits answerable to it, and whether we haue sufficient­ly yeelded vp our selues vn­to [Page 355] God, in his blessed work of making vs blessed. And herein let vs rippe vp our soules, euen the very bow­els of our consciences, and let vs tent the bottome of our hearts, to feele what is sound and what vnsound in them, that the sound parts may be cherished, and the vnsound healed. If wee see any sparke of the Spirit, let vs kindle it into a fire, & let the infinitenesse of that loue which is our patterne, draw vs on by imitation, to a continual inlargement of our loue, and of the fruit of loue, obedience. If by Me­ditation we taste the sweet­nesse of God in the Spirit dwelling in vs: Let vs thirst [Page 356] afresh for the liuing GOD: who the more he is thirsted after, the more hee giues of the waters of Life. So shall thirst increase that which sa­tisfies thirst, and the satisfy­ing of the thirst shall in­crease our thirst, that so the satisfaction may still in­crease. The Riuer of Rege­neration, points vs to the Ocean of Regeneration, e­uen the Spirit within vs, vnto the great Spirit aboue vs. From him it confesseth that it commeth, to him it desires to returne, that so it may come larger from him, then it returned to him. But if by the inquest of our meditation wee finde, that some rebellious & aspiring [Page 357] sinne hath assayed and vn­dertaken the conquest and death of the Spirit: And on the other side, we finde the Spirit grieued, yea fainting and gasping for life: Let the soule and all the powers thereof rise vp in armes, for the suppressing of the body of death, and for the rescu­ing of life Eternall. Not a common fire, but the fire of Hell hath feized; not vpon our common houses, but vpon the Temples of the holy Ghost; what haste or care can be great inough to rescue such vnualuable ha­bitations, from so abomi­nable a desolation? Let vs run therefore, and that spee­dily, into the water of Bap­tisme, [Page 358] to quench the firie darts of Satan; let vs steepe our soules therein, vntil the flame of sinne bee extin­guished, our soules washed cleane, restored to their for­mer beautie, yea made fai­rer then before. For euen by sins may the Spirit take occasion to increase grace, though not by the nature of sinnes, but by the soue­raignty of that Spirit, which powerful aboue all things, turneth all things to his owne aduantage; of sinnes maketh a plaister against sinne, and by falls makes vs more safe from falling. The mightie Spirit of God is as powerfull as ouer: when with AARONS rod wee bee [Page 359] changed into serpents, God can turne vs againe into rods bearing blossoms and fruit. But that we faile not in this precious Art which turnes Scorpions into me­dicines, and iudgement in to mercy: Let vs obserue the true rules of iust procee­ding. And first, sitting downe in the Court of Me­ditation; let the sin which hath laid violent hands on the Spirit, bee brought be­fore our consideration, e­uen in the vglinesse thereof. Let it appeare iust as it is, ragged, putrifide, and loth­some, without the couering of Fig-leaues, euen of par­tiall and deceitfull preten­ces. Now that we may the [Page 360] more carefully view and iudge our sinne; let vs re­member that this Iudge­ment is the Iudgement of God, and not of Man: wee sit as in Gods place to iudge our selues, that God may not haue neede to sit him­selfe in iudgement vpon vs. For if we doe not iudge our selues well, God will come himselfe to iudge vs better; he will by his punishments set our sinnes in order be­fore vs; and his punish­ments will be double; One for the sinnes which wee haue committed; another for the partiall and corrupt iudgement of the same sins. Wherefore without shew­ing mercy on these Cana­nites, [Page 361] which shew crueltie to vs, by being thornes in our sides pricking vs vnto death; let vs take our sinnes and strip them starke naked, that euery part and circum­stance of them may appear. Hauing done this, let vs in one sight, euen in a view of comparison, at once behold the purenesse and holinesse of our Maker expressed in his Law, ioyning therewith the infinite loue which hath powred it selfe out vpon vs in his inestimable benefits: And euen then let vs also look on our deformed sins, so contrarie to his puritie, and on our selues offending by those sinnes, against so great a Goodnesse. And [Page 360] when we thus haue seene so pure and so gracious a Cre­ator, and withall behold so impure, vngratefull, and re­bellious creatures, how can the soule chuse but flie into her owne face, to teare her­selfe in pieces, for disobey­ing the voice, and crossing the goodnes of a most pure and bountifull God? The sinne being compared to the Law, will appeare croo­ked and full of deformitie, it will be called foolishnes, and filthinesse, because it transgresseth the Lawe of the highest wisdome and puritie.

In summe, the Soule in zeale, indignation, and re­uenge will pronounce iudg­ment [Page 361] against her selfe and her accomplice the body; she will pronounce the bo­dy worthy of smart and pu­nishment eternall, and in testimony that she beleeues what she saies, she will per­chance chastise him with mourning, fasting, and aspe­tity; which also may bee profitable to this end; that the sinfull body tasting some degree of his owne deseruings, may loath that sin which deserued to feele without end and measure, the punishment which she for a season only, and in measure inflicteth on it: And on her selfe will shee likewise powre forth iudge­ment; That she who was [Page 364] made to the Image of God, and should haue guided her selfe and the body ac­cording to that Image, for forsaking her function, hath deserued to lose both the Image of God, and the sight of God for euermore. She iudgeth her selfe worthy to passe from the darknes of sinne, vnto the darknes of punishment and eternall horrour. And in testimony hereof, she sets the Vnder­standing, Will, and Affecti­ons against themselues, to accuse, vpbrayd, and lothe their owne filthines; so that the soule which hath doo­med her selfe to deserue e­ternall trouble, ratifies her sentence on her selfe, by a [Page 365] selfe-vexation. But is this the end of Iudgement, that soules may therby despaire and dye? No surely: But this humiliation and Pro­stration is the foote of the valley, which they must de­scend into, that will ascend to the height of the Moun­taine of God: We are the sonnes of death, and to vs is appointed a space to a­bide in the valley of death; That is our naturall, and first walke, and in it must we doe the homage of our naturall condition, before we may comfortably looke vp to the bills from whence commeth our saluation.

In summe, God wil haue our miserie, & consequent­ly [Page 364] our neede of a Sauiour acknowledged, before a Sa­uiour shall be imparted.

But hauing condemned our selues and our sinnes, euen to the pit of hell, and being as sicke of sorrow, as we are of sinne, then may we hopefully go to the Phi­sicion of our soules, who came into the world only to cure the sicke, and to giue them only Light, who sit in darknes, and the sha­dow of death.

Behold, thou selfe-iudge­ing and selfe-condemning Soule, thou hast preuented the Iudge of the world, thou hast done vpon thy selfe, his worke of Iustice, and hast left him nothing [Page 367] to doe but this worke of Mercie. Accordingly hee offers thee the waters of Baptisme, which are the wa­ters of Life: Wash and bee cleane. And that thou may­est know how to wash vnto cleannesse, know and con­sider the diuers conditions of thy filthines, and the di­uers operations of this Wa­ter proportionable to that diuers condition; that so to thy seuerall kinde of de­filing, thou mayest fit a se­uerall kinde of washing. In thy sin thou hast contracted thy olde contrariety vnto God, thou hast brought backe the flesh vpon the soule, thou hast for the time healed vp the cut of Cir­cumcision, [Page 368] and art become one with thy flesh, from which by Regeneration thou wert diuorced. So by touching this Pitch, is there come vpon thy soule a spot of thy old corruption; and to this is added the guilt of a sinne which hath procee­ded from this corruption. So art thou in a double dis­ease; thou art defiled by the touch of thy flesh, and thou are arrested & seized by guilt, the fruite of Sinne, the fruit of the flesh. Thou art filthy, and thou art guil­tie. Now in the water of Baptisme there is also a dou­ble vertue, fitted for thy double miserie. There is one that washeth away thy [Page 369] guilt; And another that washeth away thy corrup­tion; one that washeth a­way the fruite of the flesh, and another that washeth away the flesh it selfe: One of these is the bloud of Christ, the other is the Spi­rit of Christ; one is Iustifi­cation, the other is Sancti­fication. And these two CHRIST hath inseparably conioyned, because he will haue them inseparable; for he importeth his iustifying bloud, by a sanctifying Spi­rit. Whome Christ clens­eth, he will throghly clense, not taking away the guilt, and leauing the corruption; nor taking away the cor­ruption, & leauing the guilt; [Page 370] but at once clearing both corruption and guilt, by sanctification and iustifica­tion. Wherefore when wee come to bee washed by Christ, and haue recourse to his waters of Purificati­on (whose clensing was applyed mainly and gene­rally to the whole body of sin, in Baptisme, if accom­panied with Regeneration; but the vertue thereof is al­so particularly to be apply­ed through our whole life; to the particular sinnefull fruits of that body of sinne) wee must beware of three faults; The one, that wee begge not the water of Iu­stification, and leaue vnas­ked the water of Sanctifica­tion; [Page 371] that we seeke not for­giuenesse onely, but also a­mendment: For if we will haue but one, we shall haue neither; this gift of Christ being alwayes double, or not at al: but thou must (vp­on better reason) say, as that Disciple of Christ said, Not my feet only, but my head also; so say thou, Not the defiled feete of the guilt of my sinnes, but the pol­luted head & roote of those sinnes; so shalt thou bee wholly cleane. The healing and closing flesh, must bee new ript from the soule, by the sword of the Spirit, e­uen by holy Conuersion, Repentance, and Amend­ment; the face of the soule [Page 372] must bee washed with the Oile of the Spirit, to take away the spots & blemish­es receiued by the pitchy touch of sinne; and then the bloud of CHRIST will take from vs the guilt of sinnes, being formerly a­bandoned, forsaken, and thrust out of doores by the Spirit. A second fault is, a vehement desire and inde­uour, and performance of this part and dutie of sanc­tification, without the cō ­fortable hope & confidence of instification. This infir­mitie is most vsually found in broken & afflicted souls, who most vehemently de­sire renewing and reforma­tion, yet dare not to lay [Page 373] hold on iustifying and ab­soluing. These are contrarie to the former offenders; for they presently lay hold on Christ for mercy, but neg­lect the holinesse, without which no man shall see GOD; and these striuing mainly for holinesse, by doubt goe about to put from them that right in Christs bloud, which be­longeth chiefly to such as they are, euen to the hum­ble and meek, to them that hunger and thirst for Righ­teousnesse. A third fault is, the misordering and misap­plying of these Waters: such is the washing away of guilt, by the water of Sanc­tification, & of corruption [Page 374] by the water of Iustificati­on. For though they bee both ioyned together, and doe not at all diuide them­selues; yet being ioyned, they are not confounded; neither doth the one pro­perly performe the worke of the other. Christs Bloud iustifies, Christs Spirit sanc­tifies; the Iustification is not without Sanctification; neither is the Sanctificati­on without Iustification; yet Iustification is not San­ctification, neither is San­ctification Iustification: the Iustice of God is satisfied with bloud, and his holi­nesse is pleased with pure­nesse in the inward parts, & in these two thus distin­guished, [Page 375] lyeth the Tenor of the new Couenant. For, thus we finde it described, He will take away our sins, and hee will giue vs new hearts. But after wee haue sinned, the renewing of our hearts is not a purgation of our guilt, but of our cor­ruption: the purgation of our guilt being wrought by the bloud of Christ, though imparted and sealed to our spirits by the same Spirit, by which we are renewed; yea euen the same time: now, because in this change and renewing of our minds, the Spirit entreth into vs with fresh grace, by which entrie the vertue of Christs satisfaction entreth also, & [Page 376] offereth it selfe to comfort and heale vp our conscien­ces, with assurance of for­giuenesse (all Christs bene­fits being reached to vs by one onely Spirit) therefore many times is Repentance said to be the cause of for­giuenesse: not (as some o­therwise Venerable, haue anciently misse-conceiued) that the grace of Repen­tance is a sacrifice for sinne, or that Contrition & Con­uersion by themselues, can satisfie for the guilt of sin, but because in the grace of Repentance the Spirit en­treth, bringing also with him the grace of CHRISTS Iustification. In summe, by the admitting of CHRISTS [Page 377] Spirit renewing, we receiue Christ, acquitting and re­newing vs as the point of the Needle of the Spirit, by which the Spirit pierceth it selfe into our hearts, bring­ing the pardon of sinnes re­pented into our soules, and the same sent from God for his Christs sake, but impar­ted, sealed, and ratified by the Spirit.

This washing thus fully and duely performed, and the Spirit restored to his former dominion, he com­monly fortifies himselfe, by the remembrance of his late losse, and hee striues to take deeper roote, because his weaker rootes were be­fore so much mooued and [Page 378] shaken. He keepes a more carefull watch against the enemie, and (with a kind of malice) especially against that sinne that before had foyled him. He sucks har­der from hence-foorth by more feruent desires, at the great Spirit, whose Ocean supplyeth him, and filleth the Creekes of all emptie, drie, and thirstie soules: and thus is sinne turned in­to a medicine against sinne, and grace prospereth by her losses.

To this large and waigh­tie kinde of Meditation, which asketh both length and strength of Intention, and requires the soule to be at leisure for it, wee may [Page 379] adde a lesser and a shorter sort, as it were in a portable and manuall forme to car­ry stil about vs for our con­tinuall vse, to which wee may haue continuall re­course, amidst the continual distractions of this trouble­some and toylesome life. This is to be stil in the hand of a Christian, as a Leuell in the hand of a Builder, that he may square out his acti­ons & conuersations right­ly thereby. The most profi­table fashion of this porta­ble Meditation, is, when in few words it comprehends the summe of our businesse and dutie, whereof there are patternes to bee found in the holy Scriptures; or if [Page 380] wee list, wee may fit the words our selues, so wee fetch the matter frō thence. A good one shall we find in the Epistle to TITVS: The Grace of God hath appeared, which teacheth vs to denie vngodly lusts, and to liue god­ly, righteously, and soberly in this present world. And in the second to the Corinthians: Whether yee eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer yee doe, doe all to the glorie of God; and that of the Royall Preacher: Feare God, and keepe his Commande­ments, for this is the whole of Man. If this be practised by vs, wee shall finde this double benefite thereby: First, if we be in the begin­ning of an ill action, like a [Page 381] Rule, it will presently shew vs the crookednesse of it, & point vs to the right way from whence we haue strai­ed: and if it haue beene too long deferred, so that the sinne is past before it was called for, then will it bee a Seer vnto thee, to tell thee thy sinne, and to deliuer thee ouer to the larger me­ditation of Repentance. Se­condly, if thou art in a good and right action, it stands by thee to abet and incou­rage thee, thou art in the path of Gods protection, in the way where the Angels gard and watch; Goe on valiantly & feare not, what man, nor euill angels can doe vnto thee. Thus shall [Page 382] the soule cōtinue her flight towards heauen, if euer a­mong shee anoynt her fea­thers with this Oile of the Spirit. For in this respect shee is not vnlike those fly­ing fishes, whose wings by flying grow drie, and by being drie, lose their flying, so that still they must haue recourse to the Sea, by the moysture thereof still to make good their flight. So the soule, flying through this world vnto heauen, her wings, euen her cogitations, purposes, and conceptions will grow drie by earthly conuersation, and therefore must bee new oyled with grace, if they will carry her throughly to her iourneys [Page 383] end. The cares and tempta­tions of this life, quickly dry vp the heauenly Vnc­tion, and so the soule is in danger to fall, if she doe not often moisten her selfe in the Riuers of Oyle, which flow from the eternall Spi­rit: and thither doth this short Meditation direct vs.

Lastly, we may adioyne hereunto, incident & occa­sionall Meditations; which will bee very vsefull vpon the receiuing of extraordi­nary blessings, or the suffe­ring of vnwonted chastize­ments. It is fit wee should search out Gods meaning (as neere as we may) by the light of his Word, when he speaketh to vs in his fauors [Page 385] and frownes. His blessings should bee esteemed, like so many bands of obedi­ence, and thou shouldest acknowledge both in heart and actions, that each of them calls to thee for more Loue, more Thankefulnes, more Holinesse. Yea, thou art by them led vnto Hu­militie; for when thou loo­kest on Gods blessings, and thy sinfull selfe at once, thou must needs cry out; I am lesse then the least of thy blessings; and what is man, that the Lord regardeth and visi­teth him? yea, the bountie of God leadeth thee to Re­pentance, and God is often to vs a patterne of ouer­comming euill with good, [Page 384] euen our sinnes, with his Mercies. Hee dresseth and manureth many times a fruitlesse Tree, that he may receiue fruit from it. There­fore bee thou amended by his benefits, and increase thy fruit; otherwise bles­sings made vnfruitfull, are the fore-rūners of cursings; and dressing, if to no pur­pose, is the way to digging vp and casting into the fire. Likewise, let the chastize­ments of God be entertay­ned by Meditation, vnto thy profit and aduance­ment. They would haue thee either to examine thy selfe of some neglected sin, or they would haue thee repent euen for thy secret [Page 386] sinnes (for though thou know nothing by thy selfe, yet art thou not thereby acquited;) or they would haue thee hum­ble thy proud heart vnder the mightie hand of God, or they would spurre thee to a speedier and more a­ctiue Zeale, or they would teach thee the skill of that excellent vertue Patience, and instruct thee to loue God afflicting, and to trust in him slaying. Some of these are commonly the purposes and ends of affli­ction: and if thou take oc­casion by chastizements, to put them all in execution, thou shalt bee the surer to hit the right one, and so to bee a gainer by thy suffe­rings.

[Page 387] But (before wee leaue this subiect) if wee would know which is generally the best and fittest habitude of Man for the receiuing of profit by the larger and more leisurable kinde of Meditation: Surely it is when the body least burde­neth the soule, especially, when shee is least clogged with the grosse vapours of fulnesse and repletion. It is truely said by the Wiseman, That the corruptible bodie weigheth downe the soule: and therefore as truely it may be said, That the bo­die rarified and lessened by abstinence, lighteneth the soule, when the eyes or eares, which see and heare [Page 388] the soule, are stopt vp by thick exhalations, the soule cānot tel the dul body what the Spirit of God doth tell it. But since spirituall things are spiritually discerned, surely then are spirituall things best discerned, when the bodie is most spirit-like, and least bodily. When the Lanthorne of the flesh is pared and thinned by Ab­stinence, then the Light of the soule shineth most cleer­ly through it. Saint PAVL spake of the Man that saw Reuelations vnvtterable, that whether hee were in the body, or out of the bo­dy hee knew not: so if wee will see Reuelations (other­wise inconceiuable) wee [Page 399] must striue to goe out of the body so farre by abstinence, as wee may with preseruing the bodie. For certaine it is, That the soule inlightened by Grace, if it were not for the cloud of the bodie, would shine out to vs in many notable and excel­lent Truths; and therefore hee takes the true course to meete them, that goes a lit­tle out of his body towards them. And, surely such soules so walking toward God, by going out of the flesh into the Spirit, GOD hath often met with hea­uenly Visions, whereas o­thers shutting vp their win­dows by continuall fulnes, haue lost great Reuelati­ons; [Page 390] To DANIEL fasting, GABRIEL appeared; to PETER fasting, the Sheete was let downe from Hea­uen; and to CORNELIVS fasting, euen to the ninth houre, an Angell was sent from God. And surely this latter kind of fasting seemes most profitable for Medita­tion; euen the fast of the Morning, rather then of the Euening. For in the Mor­ning after rest the Spirits are freshest, and most capable both of Light and Action; they are most lightsome & most actiue for Meditation. And as fasting kindles the bright flame of Meditati­on: so the true and kindly fire of Meditation sends vp [Page 391] to Heauen the smoke and incense of Prayer. For fa­sting is an excellent Prepa­ratiue to Meditation, and Meditation to PRAYER. Without abstinence, Medi­tation lesseneth her Light; without Meditation, Praier lesseneth her might: but Meditation ioyned to Ab­stinence, mounteth the higher; and Prayer moun­ted on Meditation, pierceth the swifter, and reacheth the neerer to Heauen. A­gaine, as by Abstinence we are made the fitter to me­ditate, and by Meditation made the fitter to pray: so by Prayer wee get a greater fitnesse and ability both for Abstinence and Meditati­on. [Page 392] Such Prayer blesleth the meanes, by which it is begotten, by going to the Father of blessings, and it is of a great power with GOD; euen so powerfull, that some kind of Deuils go not out but by it. Let vs therefore often abstaine, that wee may often medi­tate; and when wee haue dwelt awhile in Meditati­on, let vs goe forth into Prayer. For Prayer thus inflamed by Meditation, is as the Sacrifice of Israel, kindled by the fire of Hea­uen; and such a Sacrifice is indeed onely acceptable. Without fire it is no Sacri­fice: for euery sacrifice must bee salted with fire, with [Page 393] strange fire (as of supersti­tion or the flesh) it is worse then no Sacrifice; and ther­fore it must euen be the hea­uenly fire of Grace, which makes the Sacrifices accep­table; and this is most fitly kindled by Meditation. And thus if wee kindle the fire of Grace by the Bel­lowes of Meditation, this fire that now guideth, mo­ueth, and comforteth our soules in the Pilgrimage of this life, shall in the next life breake out into a flame of Glory, wherein we shall bee inthroned like the Sun, shining before the lesser Starres in brightnesse, as we haue here excelled them in Holinesse.

CHAP. VIII. Of Association.

AS euery strong thing is made stronger by the combination of a like thing vnto it; and as the heat is the more increa­sed, by the meeting of di­uers things that haue heate: So is also the Spirit increa­sed in vs, by the fellowship of them that haue the Spi­rit. When spirituall Men ioyn their spiritual strength together, they will, like DAVIDS valiant men, breake more strongly tho­row the Hosts of the Phili­stians temptations, obiecti­ons, and afflictions, and [Page 395] fetch away more safely and soundly the Waters of Grace from the Fountaine of Life. This Association of Saints is that Bed of SA­LOMON, wherein two lying together, haue heate: but he lyeth in the Bed of woe, that lyes alone. When two strings of diuers Instru­ments are set to one Tune, if one of them bee mooued, the other leapeth, and dan­ceth: And how can it bee, but that when two men tu­ned by one Spirit, do meet, the Spirit of the one must needs reioyce and be liuely, when it heareth the voice of the Spirit in the other? IOHN BAPTIST being san­ctified with Grace in his [Page 396] Mothers wombe, euen in that wombe springeth for ioy, at the voyce of that Virgin, who was intitled, Full of Grace. Yea, ELIZA­BETH her selfe falleth into an heauenly Trance; and rising aboue her selfe, she is filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesieth the bles­sednesse of the Virgins Son. Surely, there is not a more pleasant and comfortable thing then Harmonie: for it is indeed the ground of all pleasure: Now the chie­fest Harmony is of the chie­fest things, and these are, Spirits: The highest of this kind, is in the highest Spi­rit, euen of himselfe, with himselfe. The second, be­tweene [Page 397] the highest and the lower: And the third, be­tweene the lower them­selues. From this last Har­monie doth arise both ioy and incouragement; our Spirit first is cheered, then incouraged, and so aduan ced in the way of Holines. The Saints of God, either by their gracious words, or holy Examples, stirre vp the gifts of God in vs; they ey­ther adde something to our Zeale, or something to our knowledge: yea, if they be inferior to vs in both, yet by instructing and prouo­king them, we many times instruct and prouoke our selues. Surely there issueth oft-times from the mea­nest [Page 398] something which may better the best, either im­mediately, or by the conse­quence of some Meditati­ons, awaked by conference. Euen in the communicati­on of the Spirit, the Spirit increaseth, and our Talent, by lending, multiplyeth in the most profitable and commendable Vsurie. For the Spirit is so excellently good, that it desires to haue his goodnesse communica­ted, yea, it will reward thee that giuest it abroad, by in­creasing thy abilitie of gi­uing. So art thou made a great gainer, for it is doubly multiplyed to thee; as it is the Bread of Life for thy eating; and as it is the Seed [Page 399] of Life for thy sowing; the more thou sowest, the more mayest thou eate, and the more mayest thou sow.

Wherefore let vs not, as some doe, forsake the fel­lowship & communion of Saints; Let vs not make the Spirit in vs both dumbe & deafe by separation and di­uision; for such it is when it cannot heare, nor speake the language of heauen. Let vs not depriue our selues of the great benefits of spiri­tuall traffike & commerce; thereby knitting vp and stopping the prosperitie, growth, and enlargement of the Spirit. Let vs not bind our selues to our own infirmities, falls and wants, [Page 400] for lacke of opening and cōmunicating our estates; for many haue falne and ne­uer risen againe, because they haue gone alone, neg­lecting the companie of such who could haue giuen them the hand, to raise them from their falls. Wee are all Brethren and Coun­trimen, and withal Pilgrims in a strange Countrie; How glad should Brethren and Countrimen be to meet in a strange Land? especially in the Land of enemies, such as this World is. For this World shunneth vs, it ha­teth vs; our persons and our courses are odious, be­cause contrarie to them. How should their strange­nesse [Page 401] & malice increase our mutuall loue and conuersa­tion? How much more need haue we to counsell & con­ferre each with other, since wee liue as it were in a siege of temptations and perse­cutions? And if the wise­dome of Religion cannot perswade vs, let the pat­terns of Nature, which are the books of the Ignorant, teach vs; let the herds of Beasts, and the swarmes of Bees, & the flights of Doues instruct thee, to beleeue that things of one kind pre­serue and cherish one ano­ther by mutuall societie. But if for all this, wee will needes bee strangers one to another, differing and dis­senting [Page 402] among our selues. Let vs be sure that we then rip that loue from our selues which is the badge of the Family of God; wee lose the comfort of loue, which is one of the greatest in our way to happinesse; we sepa­rate those whom God hath knit together; we lose good instructions and good ex­amples; and finally, wee weaken our selues by diui­sion, and make the scattered Armie of God, a prey vnto their pursuing enemies. Let vs much rather, with the Prince & Prophet, reioyce in them which excel in ver­tue. Let our delight bee in the Saints on earth, and let the sons of God loue their [Page 403] Brethren, begotten by the same Father. Let vs con­firme and prouoke one an­other to good works. Let vs associate our selues to them, who by word or deed can supply our spiritual de­fects; from whose speech wee may learne what wee know not, and by whose exhortation wee may bee mooued to performe that, which wee know and doe not; and by whose exam­ples wee may haue vertues patterned vnto vs, & shew­ed to bee possible, yea easie to the resolute man of God. But neuerthelesse, in this Christian good fellowship doe not pull out thy owne eyes, that thou mayest loue [Page 404] all alike that carry the title of Christians. Thinke not all them to be Israel, that put on the name of Israel. Where thou seest no con­trarie cause, there let chari­tie carry away thy affecti­on, but in a degree, accor­ding to the degree of ver­tue. Yea, though thou seest fals and slips, if acknowled­ged and recouered, restore such a one with the Spirit of meeknesse, lest thou haue need also to be restored by him. But if thou seest one couering a continuall Co­uetousnesse, Pride, Malice, Oppression, and such other sinnes, with a long & thicke cloke of Religion, let thy companie to such a one be [Page 405] a conuersation of reproofe, and the doctrine of SIMON PETER to SIMON MAGVS, or let it bee no companie at all. These are they, for whom chiefly the Name of God is ill spoken of among our Heathen Christians. These be they, that set Re­ligion to the basest & low­est seruice, euen to the at­tendance and supportation of sinne, which of all things else it most hateth and de­testeth. These be they, that make Religion to bee most dangerous and hurtfull to those who haue most Reli­gion, if withall they haue not the wisedome to dis­cern Spirits. These be they, that vse the Word of God, [Page 406] to aduance & prosper their owne wickednes, and con­sequently, their owne dam­nation, and certainly their damnation sleepeth not, but euery Sermon which they heare, increaseth their heape of wrath, against the Day of wrath.

Now as wee should ge­nerally apply our selues vn­to the societie of the Saints, so should we striue to bring Saints into the places of neerest vse and societie. For goodnes being so neere vs, will continually bee doing good vnto vs. Whereas on the contrarie, gracelesnesse by the continuance of con­uersation, will be still infec­ting quenching, and killing [Page 407] of grace. Ancient examples of wretched Memory, haue confirmed this at large; the greatest and the broad­est miseries hauing beene brought on mankind, by the mischiefe of such infec­tious societie. There was but one man at the first, and in him was all mankinde; and in him all mankind fell into destruction, by his be­leeuing a seduced wife, and their both associating and beleeuing a seducing Ser­pent. Yea there is before vs but one great World, and by the conuersation of the daughters of men with the sonnes of God, this world was both corrupted and drowned. After that deluge [Page 408] there was but one Nation chosen by God, as a pattern and Master-piece of the World, in which God, by miracles & precepts, moun­ted and improued mankind to his vtmost height, to see what Man could doe to­wards his owne happinesse and saluation, & this chiefe Nation, yea the chiefest one of that Nation became a­bominably sinfull by con­uersing with sinners. And can a part thinke to stand, where the whole hath falne? Or can our weaknes thinke to ouer-come that enemie, before whom such strength and wisdome lies vanquish­ed and subdued? It cannot be expected. Our vaine and [Page 409] groundlesse presumptions may puffe vs vp with an o­pinion of conquering, but that very presumption is the mayne thing, that by such perswasions leades vs to bee conquered; and by telling vs of Victorie, it leades vs on valiantly to be beaten. And let vs assured­ly beleeue this, that if there bee the like prophane mar­rying, and the like taking in marriage, as there was in the dayes of NOE; the like eating and drinking, euen such wicked & heathenish good fellowship; the world that now is, will bee as ripe for Fire, as it was then for Water; it will haue as much need of burning, as it had [Page 410] then of drowning. But let the wise of heart hasten this day rather by their prayers, then their sinnes; and to preuent sin, let them walke as sonnes of Light, with the children of Light, and haue no fellowship with the works, or workers of dark­nesse.

I know right well, that the fewnesse of those, who enter into the straight gate, doth impose vpon vs a dif­ficultie of fitting our selues round with the societie of Saints. I know also, that the necessities of this life, doe forcibly carry vs into the companies of prophane & godlesse men. Yet let vs re­member to striue stil for the [Page 411] best, to account the euill as thornes in our sides, and let vs finde willingly a trouble & vexation in their companie; but neuer satis­faction, rest, and content­ment. Let our hearts bee to the Saints still, euen to the seede of the Womans seed, and let there euer be a hor­ror in vs, and reluctation a­gainst the seede of the Ser­pent. Let vs doe our inde­uor cōtinually to vnwinde our selues from the wicked, and from the need of their societie. And let vs take heed, that we doe not too easily despaire of accom­modating our vses and oc­casions by some of those sanctified few, especially in [Page 412] [...] [Page 413] [...] [Page 412] that place of neerest Vnion, which requires but one; and that one in the Lord: GOD hath promised the seekers to find, and that hee will withhold no grace, nor blessing from them, which seeke blessings for his Glo­rie.

To conclude, conuerse also with the dead; heare and reade their Actions and Sayings; thou shalt finde that the dead will quicken the dead, as the dead Pro­phet did the dead Souldier. The spirit of the dead will enter into thy dead heart, when thou considerest their excellent Actions and hea­uenly Meditations; The zealous heate of their spi­rits [Page 413] remaineth yet in their words and actions, and by these will enter into thee, to raise thee vpto the same degree of feruence in the Spirit. The first Loue was the best Loue, and the first louers were the best louers. The Apostles that were neerest to Christ, were nee­rest to him in Loue; & those that succeeded the Apostles in time, succeeded them best in Loue: for then did the Kingdome of Heauen suffer greatest violence. I know that God is stil migh­tie in his Saints, but I know also, that in these first times the fire of Loue was more generally vehement; for then they did euen dote vp­on [Page 412] Martyrdome, and by their forwardnesse of suffe­ring, daunted many times the fury of their Persecu­tors. But on the other side, it hath beene fore-told, that in these last Times, Loue shall waxe cold, and men shall loue pleasures more then God: whereupon the World shall bee consum­mate. Therefore let our cold Loue warme it selfe by the communion of their hote Loue, and let no man so much condemne the Fa­thers for Errours, as admire and imitate them for Zeale. Let vs be followers of them that followed so vehement­ly after Christ, yea, of all such which since their daies [Page 415] and euen at this day, haue beene followers of those followers of Christ. Thus compassed with a cloud of witnesses, the testimonies of their loue will powerful­ly perswade vs, to cast a­way all that presseth down, and the sinne which hang­eth so fast on, and to runne more actiuely and swiftly in the race of Pietie & Glo­rie which is set before vs.

CHAP. IX. Of Humilitie.

TO increase in the Spirit, and so to grow in happinesse, [Page 416] wee must carrie about vs a perpetuall Humilitie. For Humilitie is the Fore-run­ner of Grace, and it neuer goes before, but Grace fol­lowes after. This excellent Vertue casts out the old A­DAM, and makes roome for the New; it puts away the fulnesse by which wee are full of our selues, and so makes place for Christ, that we may bee full of his Spi­rit. Man (as before) hath gotten a God-head into him, hee is filled and puf­fed vp with his knowledge of good & euil, euen with a selfe-happines, which keeps out the true Happinesse. God will not haue any gods but himselfe, neither will [Page 417] he allow Man to haue two Felicities, but he imposeth a necessitie on him to loue the one, and hate the other, to lose the one, and to gaine the other. Therefore as much as wee retayne of this corrupt felicitie, so much doe we abate of true Happinesse; and the roome that is giuen to the one, is denyed to the other. And surely too true it is, that e­uen after our Regeneration, there abides a great rem­nant of our proud corrup­tion. It is of kin to the Ser­pent which perswaded it; when the head of it is bro­ken in pieces, the tayle will still bee moouing. And in what degree this corrupti­on [Page 418] remaineth, in that degree is grace abated; but in what degree this swelling euill is abated, in the same degree is Grace increased. There­fore if we be much proud, wee are much gracelesse, if we be much humble, we be much gracious. Wherefore let vs take vp Humilitie, which as a Corrosiue will fret away the proud flesh, & make way for the prosperi­tie of the liuely and quick­ning Spirit. Towards this, let vs consider that the Na­turall Man, being stuft vp with himselfe, and not re­garding any thing beyond the Lust and Law of his owne heart, sits downe in himselfe, and takes vp his [Page 419] rest, Sabbath, and felicitie in his owne imagination. But while God is vnregar­ded and vnsought, he also as little regardeth these vn­regarders; yea hee behol­deth the proud a-far-off. He knowes the weight and end of their swelling, that it is Nothing, that ere long it shall come to Nothing; and that at last these swel­lers must come before him as a Iudge, who refused him here for a Sauiour, and happinesse. On the other side, the spirituall Man plainly seeth, that this ima­ginarie happinesse of pride, is true miserie: since Man, the more hee stands vpon himselfe without God, the [Page 420] more weakly & wretched­ly he stands; and the fuller Man is of himselfe, the ful­ler is he of Corruption, Va­nitie, and Miserie. There­fore desireth hee to goe out of himselfe into God, & to vnlade himselfe of himselfe, that hee may be filled with God; hee purgeth his heart of the tree of false know­ledge, that he may satiate it with the Tree of Life. And Humilitie hauing thus ful­filled her Worke, then en­ters Grace into the Soule so swept and trimmed; for the same God who resisteth the Proud, giueth Grace to the humble. God will be a wel­come, and not a fulsome Guest: he loues not to come [Page 421] when there is no neede of him, he desires not to thrust vnnecessarie Happines vp­on Men sufficiently happie. But the hungrie soules hee filleth with good things, he guideth the meeke & hum­ble, in his wayes, and the poore in Spirit are allowed only to receiue the Gospell. These haue set open their doores to the King of Glo­rie; they haue forgotten their Fathers house, euen their naturall condition, and therefore the LORD hath pleasure in their beau­tie. His Light takes plea­sure, yea, gets Glory in comming into confessed Darknesse; his Grace is de­lighted, and magnified, by [Page 422] pardoning and sanctifying an acknowledged corrupti­on, and his blessednesse re­ioyceth in blessing appa­rant and desperate miserie. Wherefore let vs striue for a practicall skill of this pro­fitable humilitie; that by not louing our selues, wee may loue our soules best; & by the greatest emptinesse, we may purchase the most true & happy fulnesse. To this end let vs euer be pric­king the tumours of our nature, that we die not of a spirituall Timpany. Let vs striue to make our selues nothing, that hee which made all things of nothing, may make some-thing of vs. Let vs willingly walke [Page 423] downe into the Vale of hu­militie, from whence God calls for all whom hee exal­teth vp to his holy Moun­taine. And for the furthe­rance of this holy vertue, let watchfulnes vndertake, as a speciall part of this taske, to marke the first swellings of the heart, that they may bee abated, as soone as lifted vp. Let no degree bee allowed to that, which so much as it is; so much euill, so much losse it is; so much haue wee of­fended God, and so much haue wee abated his Grace. But still let vs be paring and fretting off the proud flesh, with meditations of our owne naturall miserie; and [Page 424] miserable condition, with the asperitie of the exerci­ses of Humiliation, & with feruent and violent Prayer sent vp to the Giuer of per­fect gifts. Let vs intreate him, that hee will discouer vnto vs, our selues, & him­selfe; our owne vilenesse, & his Glory; that so wee may rightly glory in Gods true Glorie, & not (like Fooles) in our owne shame. In our Meditations let vs fasten our eies on the wickednesse of Man, & the wretchednes deseruedly annexed to it. In our wicked corruption, let vs first see our owne blind­nes, and bring our darknesse into the light. There shall we see, that we see little or [Page 425] nothing; yea, in the mayne matters of our life, such as are our beginning and end; whence we come, and whi­ther wee goe, wee are natu­rally blind. Therefore our life is but a thing at ran­dome, without knowing what it doth, and wherefore it is. And if we haue gotten a little knowledge, then let vs behold our filthinesse: How doe wee defile our selues in the things which wee know? how weake are our resolutions of Pietie & Vertue? they are like a Mist or the Morning dew, blown away and dryed vp with e­uery blast of Temptation: So that they seeme to be set vp only for shewes; and to [Page 426] stand no longer then no­thing toucheth them. But the motions of our concu­piscence are strong, and continuall. The flesh of Man is powerfull vpon the Soule, and in Man that opinion is verified, that the Earth runs round, and the Heauen stands still: For there breatheth vp from the defiled bodie, euen the Earth of Man, a continuall, and mightie Venom, which by perpetuall motion chan­geth the aspect and influ­ence of the heauenly Soule, as it selfe lifteth. But the whiles it fastneth and nay­leth the Soule, that shee cannot stir about her owne businesse of Immortalitie, [Page 427] but shee must wholly fixe and employ her selfe in a carefull studie, how to ex­ecute fitly the lusts of this beastly dust. And if at any time the Soule lothing the filth and mire wherewith shee hath sullied her selfe, euen to vglinesse, lay downe a plot for repentance, euen for the clean washing of her face; how soone doth the old dirt of sinne spowt into her visage again; so that her businesse in this life, if it be a life of penitence, seemes to be nothing, but a washing of that which is fouled, and a fouling of that which was washed? and if wee turne our eyes from this filthines vnto the bordering wret­chednesse, [Page 428] we shall find our selues subiect to a thousand infirmities: Miserie & Va­nitie haue both liuerie and seisin in vs, and we are their Tenants for terme of life. One trouble calleth to ano­ther, as the waues of the Sea; and miseries, like Bea­cons, giue notice one to the other, vntill the whole life of man bee set on fire. The sound of the old is but newly gon out of our eares, but there is a new which presently soundeth as ill as the old. It is the very kind of man to bee miserable while hee breatheth; as it is the kinde of sparks to flie vpward. And if a man striue to cure his present miserie [Page 429] with present mirth, com­monly the miserie of such is not taken away but chan­ged, and of temporall made eternall. The rich Man that was euery day gorgeously arrayed, and euery day fa­red deliciously, ended his luxurie in miserie, and his iudgement is, Thou hast ta­ken thy pleasure, therefore art thou now tormented. The cure of our miserie must be by vulneraric poti­ons, not by outward play­sters, by the bloud and Spi­rit of Christ inwardly recei­ued, not by the naturall Balme of Gilead, euen the pleasures of this world. The things of this world are, to serue and cherish vs [Page 430] in our way to happines, not to be taken as our happines, or the absolute cure of our miserie. For if so vsed, they cure our miserie, but with a greater miserie, and by making vs happy, they make vs lose a greater hap­pinesse. Thus must man bee content to see himselfe of himselfe, wretched and mi­serable. He must needes crie out, What is Man, that he is so regarded? And Man is of a short continuance, and his life is full of trouble; & surely, Man is altogether vanitie. Hee must also com­plaine of his filthinesse; our righteousnesse is as a filthy cloth, and if wee should wash our selues, our clothes [Page 431] would defile vs. In iniquitic haue we beene begotten, & conceiued in sinne: And vvho can bring a cleane thing out of filthinesse? Thus lothing and condem­ning our selues, and being weary of our selues, Christ IESVS stands with open armes, ready to receiue such weary & laden soules, and to refresh them. Hee will refresh vs with the Riuer of the Citie of God, euen with fresh streames of grace: and the holy Oile shall drop downe from the head of our high Priest vnto vs who are the skirts, euen the humblest parts of his gar­ment: And then shall wee be filled with the sweet sa­uour [Page 432] of Holinesse, and life Eternall.

CHAP. X. Of Patience.

LAstly, for the preser­uation & aduance­ment of the estate of Happinesse, wee haue great need and vse of Pati­ence. Our need of patience is absolute, because the Saints of God are here with the rest, in a world of mise­rie, and beyond the rest in a vvorld of enmitie. Euery houre there is a likelihood of some trouble and temp­tation; and euery trouble without patience (which is [Page 433] the Ward of the soule) brea­keth in vpon the soule, and carries her away into tu­multuous, enormous, and vnreasonable perturbati­ons. But on the other side, Patience raileth in the soule amidst the prease of tempo­rall euils, and keepeth her in a continuall quietnesse and repose, & consequently in an abilitie of iudgement, discretion, and direction; and this is a first and chiefe vse and benefit of Patience. For doth not that greatly aduantage vs, and the gra­ces bestowed on vs, which makes vs Owners and Ma­sters of our selues & them? By Patience wee can, with the Centurion, call for this [Page 434] seruant, and hee commeth; and send that Souldier, and he goeth. We can make vse of our vnderstandings, and by our vnderstandings, of those very euils, which are the subiects of our pati­ence. We can make vse of our wills and affections, to will and loue God; to will and loue that which GOD wills and loues; yea to will and loue the very troubles and incumbrances, which vrge and presse vs. Hence come those excellent voy­ces; Though God kill me, yet will I trust in him: and, Before I was chastized, I went astray, but now doe I keepe thy Lawes: &, Bles­sed is the man that beareth [Page 435] the yoke in his youth. Hee sitteth solitary and is quiet, because God hath laid it on him. By Patience wee can make vse of our memories, to call to mind the mercies of God in old time; how our Fathers trusted in him, & were deliuered; yea how often God hath beene our helper, and therefore wee need not to feare what man can doe against vs. Hereby wee may also call to mind, those wise and holy Pre­cepts and counsailes, which euery wise and holy man doth prepare, and lay vp for times of trouble and temptation. For it is fit that in calmes wee should pro­uide for stormes; we should [Page 436] in the quiet times of life sit downe, and according to our Sauiours most prudent aduice, cast vp our recko­nings, what the forces of our enemies be, what kind of fighting they vse, how their wounds may bee pre­uented, and how cured, if suffered for want of preuen­tion. Hee that hath perfor­med this act of considerati­on, he fitteth himselfe with spirituall armour, proper to each kind of conflict. As soone as he sees the trouble, he chooseth out a fit shaft to pierce and encounter it; when he sees the blow com­ming, he knowes the Ward that must defend it. And all this is put in execution by [Page 437] the benefit of patience. For the impatient lyes open to al blowes; his wits are con­founded, & when he should hold vp his shield, hee stri­keth with his sword, and when he should take an ar­row from the quiuer of the Spirit, he catcheth at a club proffered to him by the flesh. To such a one all things are confused, hee is besides himselfe, and there­fore knowes not the choise of actions. Againe, by pa­tience wee haue the vse of Charitie, a principall and Mother-grace: For hereby euen in the midst of perse­cutions, we can pray for our Persecutors, and say, Fa­ther, forgiue them, for they [Page 432] [...] [Page 433] [...] [Page 434] [...] [Page 435] [...] [Page 436] [...] [Page 437] [...] [Page 438] know not what they doe; and, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. This quali­tie of ouer-comming euill with good, and likewise the helpe of patience toward the performance of it, must wee beleeue to bee a chiefe preferment to a Christian in this race vnto glorie. For certainly it is so neere a re­semblance of the perfecti­on of God, that God excee­dingly delighteth in the do­ers thereof, and takes speci­all notice of such; as those who are lifted vp aboue the dregs of humane corrupti­on, into a high participati­on of a diuine and godly Nature. They are good out of an inward goodnes, and [Page 441] not because they looke on good and pleasant obiects. For whatsoeuer their ob­iect is, they are still good, & account the excellency of goodnesse, and the fauour it hath with God, to be suf­ficient causes of goodnesse though in the world they see nothing but euill, which of it selfe deserueth onely euill. And that this must needes procure a great loue & blessing from God, doth appeare by the effects it worketh in creatures infi­nitely inferiour to God, yea impure and depraued. For, euen SAVL himselfe, whom the Deuil draue to the hun­ting of DAVID, as a Par­trich in the Mountaynes; [Page 442] this SAVLS euill and wic­ked rage, melteth away with the beames of DA­VIDS shining and glorious goodnesse; and being pre­serued by him, whom hee sought to slay, he is so ouer­come and changed by that goodnesse of DAVID, that he is inforced to blesse him as a sonne, whom hee had taken such paines to slay as an enemie. And if a cursed man can doe this, how shall hee blesse, that is the Father of blessings? Surely, let our soules firmely dwell in this Truth, that those actions which are most perfectly referred to God, and haue no end but God, are most fully rewarded of God; and [Page 443] as much as any outward thing doth share in the end, so much doe we lose of our reward, and so much of our reward must wee looke of that End which did set vs on worke. Now where euill is offered, goodnes cannot well propose any end, but God, in bestowing it selfe for euill. By patience also, wee make roome for Faith, and like a good child it che­risheth the parent that be­gate it: for, while patience keepes the house of Man in quietnesse, the vnruly and tumultuous affections be­ing suppressed and stilled, the soule is at leisure to look abroade vvith the eye of Faith; euen to looke within [Page 444] the vaile, and there to see & comfort her selfe in eternall ioyes, presently possessed by Hope, which as an An­ker both sure and stedfast, is there alreadie vnmoouably fastned. By Patience also, haue we time and place for the excellent instrument of Prayer, to fulfill her worke of piercing the heauens, & presenting our necessities & griefes to the Throne of Grace. And commonly the prayer of the patient re­turnes with this comfort­able answere: In a time ac­cepted, and in the day of sal­uation haue I heard thee: for, the patient abiding of the meeke shall not perish for euer. And that we may yet bee a [Page 445] little more in loue with this beautifying and beautifull patience, let vs looke her somewhat stedfastly on the face, and particularly de­sery her excellent proporti­on. If thus we doe, we shall find, that patience is placed by God in the heart of man against troubles; as the cliffes against the waues of the Sea; for, by patience God saith to the flouds of persecutions & vexations, Hitherto shall yee come & no farther, and here shall yee stay your proud waues. It is the hedge of GODS Vineyard, euen of the bles­sed Spirits of the Saints, which hath fenced them in the bloudiest times, against [Page 446] the wildest Bores, euen the fiercest Tyrants. The body might bee broken by tor­ments, but this brazen wall of the soule could neuer be battered; it is a kind of me­tall that is fitted of purpose to indure the fire, euen a fi­ry triall, and to bee made brighter thereby. This she doth, and how can she doe otherwise? for she is borne of heauenly Ancestors, and fetcheth her originall from the Highest. The power of the most Mightie doth su­staine her, & how can it be but she must then be migh­tie and powerfull? For Pati­ence fetcheth her strength and life from Hope, Hope from Faith, Faith from [Page 447] Christ, Christ from God. If it were not for Hope, the heart would breake with impatience; if it were not for Faith, Hope would dye and starue, as being without a roote; if it were not for Christ, Faith would perish for want of an obiect. And vvithout the Godhead, the Manhood of Christ were not a sufficient foundation of Faith. But now the God­head supporteth and ina­bleth the Man-hood of Christ by a mightie Vnion; Faith groundeth an vn­mouable foundation vpon Christ, being God & Man; Hope violently layes hold on the ioyes truly discoue­red by Faith, and Patience [Page 448] takes iust courage and com­fort from Hope, because Hope tells her shee must waite but a little, and the promises shall certainly bee receiued. And as Patience by this meanes powerfully supporteth, and sustayneth the Soule, and the graces infused into her, so is shee also an excellent meanes for the increase of the same graces. Patience is the calme of the Soule; and as it is best sowing of visible Graine in a time of calme, so in the calme of the Soule, is it best sowing of the Inuisible seed of the Word and Spirit. Then can wee most truely say, My heart is ready, and, Speake, Lord, for thy Ser­uant [Page 449] is at leisure to heare thee and then with Marie; are we most fit for that thing which is necessarie, when by Patience we haue exclu­ded the many things that are troublesome. The Spi­rit delighteth in a meek and quiet Spirit, it commeth in the still wind, and not in the storme and tempest. Accor­dingly experience teacheth vs, that the Patient haue e­uer receiued spirituall con­solations: and euen this ex­perience is a consolation to Patience. For this expe­rience, that the loue of God is shed abroad into the hearts of the patient, so af­fects the patient, that they be not ashamed. And if wee [Page 450] would rather beleeue Ex­amples, then Positions, Let vs examine the Stories of IOB, and DAVID, and let vs remember what end God made with them. The latter end of the patient, hath recompensed his be­ginning; his patient sowing in teares, hath brought forth the carrying of sheues with ioy. God will be suf­fered, loued, and trusted, e­uen when he afflicteth, and chastizeth; he will haue the Soule to repose her Happi­nesse in him, while the body feeleth temporall miserie. And if hee bee still trusted, and loued, if the heart still cleaueth vnto him, then hee commeth at length, with a [Page 451] large measure of comfort, he performeth indeed, what he hath spoken in his Word: Whoso trusteth in the Lord, Mercie shall compasse him. It is no great glorie to GOD, nor excellencie in Man to trust in GOD, when with THOMAS we feele and han­dle the fauours of God. The bodie may haue a share in this kinde of trust: But the sight of things inuisible is the highest pitch of the Soule; this commends Man vnto God, yea, it glorifies God vnto Man; for it brings downe certaine newes, that there is Grace and Mer­cie with God, when the bo­die vtterly denies it, because it feeles the strokes of see­ming [Page 452] Wrath and Punish­ment. And in this testimo­nie deliuered and receiued, GOD exceedingly deligh­teth; euen to bee trusted vnder hope against hope, & hee abundantly recompen­seth it, as in ABRAHAM, so in the sonnes of ABRA­HAM. Another aduantage of Grace by the mediation of Patience, is this, that the patient afflicted, and hee only, vseth afflictions, as in­centiues to spiritual feruen­cie, and being by troubles driuen out the flesh, and the comforts thereof, hee goes more mightily and wholly into the Spirit. He quitteth the battered and polluted tabernacle of his lothsome [Page 453] flesh, and hee entreth into the secret of the Highest, where, by his Spirit GOD himselfe resideth. There doth he warme himselfe by the heauenly flames, hee blowes and kindles them, seeking by all meanes, that as sufferings abound, so consolations may also a­bound, and that temporall sorrow bee at least counter­poyzed by spirituall ioyes. So through Patience, trou­bles driue vs neerer to Christ, and sharpen our sto­makes to sucke more ear­nestly and eagerly the nou­rishment of Life Eternall. But on the other side, be­sides the losse of aduanta­ges, a multitude of euils ru­sheth [Page 454] in vpon the Soule vn­fenced by Patience. Sure­ly shee is a continuall prey to euery trouble, shee is ne­uer owner of her selfe, but like a light and vnballasted vessell, shee is at the com­mand of euery waue, of e­uery winde. As continuall as the miserie of Man is, so continuall is the distemper of Men impatient; and as often as troubles doe hap­pen, so often be they lifted vp frō the hindges of their soules, and remooued into the habitations of their blinde and vncomfortable flesh. Such a one is cleane besides himselfe, euen be­sides his Soule; which is the reason that hee can neither [Page 455] aduise, nor comfort him­selfe. For the vnderstand­ing which should direct, is as a Candle put out, or co­uered with a Bushell; the will and affections, which by the succours of Reason should support and streng­then, are drawn away from lending their seruice to Reason, and so to Man, and are become slaues of Passi­on and Perturbation. And so it comes to passe, that in such cases, a mans owne will and affections, which should sustaine and cherish him, doe distract and teare him to pieces. And com­monly it falls out with the impatient, that to the euill of affliction (which might [Page 456] haue been turned to good) hee addeth two euils more of his owne; euill actions, and euill passions; commit­ting foolish things, and do­ing cruell things, against his own Soule and Heart. And these two are commonly the greater kinde of euils, and which the enmitie of Grace most intendeth, and therefore by vs especially should be preuented. Satan in spoyling the Flockes, in destroying the Children, in tormenting the bodie of holy IOB, did not so much ayme to make him poore, childlesse, and full of paine; as to make him desperate, and rebellious against his Creatour and Sauiour by [Page 457] impatience. His greatest Malice is against our grea­test Happinesse; he knowes wee are still blessed, while God is one with vs, though we be poore, naked, and full of sores as LAZARVS, who in this life tormented, yet was after exalted to A­BRAHAMS bosome: He va­lues our chiefe Felicitie, at a higher and a truer rate, then many of vs doe, and he values temporall things at a lower rate, then many of vs doe; Therefore hee will indifferently take or giue temporall things, to diminish our eternall ioyes; he will assay either by prof­fers, or by plagues, to draw vs from our soueraigne [Page 458] Good: And wee more foo­lishly, and ignorantly, are readie to forsake eternall felicitie, whensoeuer Satan will hire vs with temporall commoditie, or beate vs from it with momentanie afflictions. But it becom­meth vs not to bee ignorant of Satans policies; where Satans eye is most settled to hurt vs, let our eye bee there most fixed for our preseruation. Toward this, let vs thus farre ioyne with Satan, yea learne of him, if wee knew it not before, that the vnion and agree­ment of our Soule with God, is the vnion of felici­tie; and therefore whatsoe­uer wee lose, let vs not part [Page 459] from that. If Satan rob vs of a bagge of Siluer, let vs not call after him, and bid him take a bagge of Gold also. If hee afflict vs out­wardly, yet surrender not to him thy inward and e­uerlasting Happinesse. He is a Prince in this World, and so can doe great things in the World. He can per­secute, he can exalt, he can torment. But hee is a slaue us concerning the other World, which is called the Kingdome of Heauen. Hee cannot reach to this King­dome which is in the Soule, where GOD is the King. Therefore by the things of this life, on which hee hath power, hee reacheth to the [Page 460] things of the next life, on which hee hath no power, that by his owne, hee may preuaile on that which is Gods. But we on the other side, as we know the Deuils purpose, so let vs know his bounds, and then wee shall be safe. Let vs know that he can only stretch his power to temporall and outward things, and no further; and the inward things hee must get by surrender, or else he cannot conquer them. Wherefore bee carefull to keepe him at his true di­stance; if Satan haue leaue to winnow thee outward­ly; yet pray to thy Media­tor, that hee pray, that thy faith faile not: if hee cause [Page 461] thy outward man to perish, bee thou carefull that thy inward man bee renewed daily; and take heed that thou giue not more to him, then he hath alreadie; espe­cially giue not thy eternitie for his vanitie, neither giue him an vsurped power o­uer the Kingdome of Hea­uen, to which hee is a base slaue, and by which he shall be iudged. Cast not to him thy soule after thy bodie, nor thy soule and bodie af­ter thy goods; if the Prince of this World will haue the things of the World, yeeld to this Prince, what must needes bee giuen to this Prince: but the things of GOD, giue only to GOD; [Page 462] the things of Grace and Glorie, reserue for the Au­thor of Grace, and the King of Glorie. For want of this restraint and limitation of Satans power, haue many Saints of God lost the pos­session of their soules, and in those times of extasie, haue vndertaken dolefull actions and executions, which haue grieued and pi­ned the Spirit within them, and haue made worke for a long-after-sorrow, and vex­ation of soule. Surely NA­BALS churlishnesse entred too farre into DAVIDS spi­rit, and the iniurie of the Thessalonians, too much de­liuered away the soule of THEODOSIVS into furie, [Page 463] and the questions of the High Priests Seruants, stole away too much of PETERS Courage and Resolution. These holy men, sometimes by their frailty, gaue too much way, and yeelded too great aduantage to Satan: But some there bee, who are perfect in Satans arte of impatience, and therefore are his highest and greatest schollers. Let the Deuill throw but one crosse to them, they will take their soules, and throw them to the Deuils head; for they breake out either into some cursed rage, or into the rage of cursing, or into some cur­sed action. Such a one is the Deuils Water-spaniell, he [Page 464] goes and brings what the Deuill sends for; and if hee bid him bring his owne soule, hee carries it many times to him in his owne mouth, euen in a mouth of Reuiling, Reuenge, Curses, and Execrations. But let vs rather consider, that Man­kind stands betweene two Spirits, the Spirit of Light, and the Spirit of Darknes, and each of them hath a se­uerall doore into Mans heart, to possesse and inha­bit it. The Spirit of Bles­sednesse comes in by the doore of the Spirit, and this is opened vnto him by the Key of Patience; The spi­rit of Hell enters by the doore of the flesh, and this [Page 465] is vnlocked to him by im­patience. Now troubles & afflictions knock at both these doores, they knock at the doore of the Spirit, cal­ling to vs to open to the Lord of Life, with the Key of Patience; who is now comming by afflictions, to nurture, and to instruct vs, euen to increase vs in the fruits of Righte­ousnesse. But afflictions knock likewise at the doore of the flesh, and by the fee­ling of smart, perswade Im­patience to open to the prince of darknesse, since so griefe may be eased, and it seemes a vaine thing to please & serue an afflicting and chastizing God. But [Page 466] take heed thou open not the doore of Death, to ad­mit the Prince of Death, but by Patience admit the King of Glorie, and giue him the possession of thy soule; for his stripes are hea­lers, his chastizements are restoratiues, and his strokes are the strokes of a Father. So shalt thou prosper in grace, by afflictiōs, through the good husbandry of Pa­tience, and on the other side thou shalt preuent all Sa­tans mischieuous purposes, euen all the euils that vsual­ly doe issue from a totte­red, disioynted, and aban­doned spirit. Now that thou mayst prouide for thy selfe such a strong Patience, [Page 467] which may bee a Coate of proofe to the soule; thy Pa­tience must be tempred and steeled with Resolution. This Resolution is the Ar­mour of thy Armour; euen the keeper of thy Patience, which is the keeper of thy soule and the Graces be­stowed vpon it. For here­by wee are constantly pre­pared to indure all the cros­ses and troubles of this transitorie race of miserie: And this Resolution to be good, must also issue from faith, that sees GOD our felicitie, who otherwise is inuisible, and from hope, by which future blessednesse, though absent, yet assured, yeelds vs comfort aboue [Page 468] all vanishing miseries. Thus the Souldier of God, war­faring against the Enemies of his heauenly Countrie, stands inuincible against the gates of Hell, and him­selfe being wounded or slaine, yet his Patience, and consequently his soule, is safe and aliue. But if thou hast not this Resolution stil ready at hand, thou art im­patient, as soone as thou feelest a blow, & thou must needs run away; for thou didst neuer resolue to fight. Thou hast not made thy cōputation what the King­dome of Heauen will cost thee, or at least when thou sawest the reckoning, thou diddest not resolue to bee at [Page 469] the charge: Therefore thou art not for the Army of Christ; for all his Souldiers haue resolued to sell all, to take vp his Crosse, and to follow him, in the way of suffering, vnto the Crowne of Glorie.

To conclude, that wee may yet bee more secured, that neither our Patience nor Resolution faile vs in the day of tryall; Let vs know by whose strength wee may stand, and in that strength, let vs especially seeke strength. We may doe well, to open the Eye of Faith, to behold the ioyes of Heauen which are eter­nall: for Christ on the crosse beheld this Glory, & there­fore [Page 470] endured the Crosse, & no doubt, the same ioyes, seene with the same sight, may worke the same Reso­lution. We may doe well to apply the Oyle of hope to the sores and wounds, made by troubles & temp­tations; we may doe well to behold the loue of GOD, which wee cannot thinke, intends to punish or tor­ment, but to amend and ex­alt, and we may doe well to looke vpon the print of Gods seale in our hearts, by which that loue is assured to vs. Yet when wee haue done all this, it is the power of God that makes all this profitable to vs. If GOD draw in his breath, we shall [Page 471] be troubled in the midst of our Contemplations, and Resolutions, we shall after many protestations deny him with PETER; all these helps will helpe vs no more then the Law did the Iewes, without the strong Helper. For euen Christ himselfe, by the power of God, endured the wrath of God, and by being GOD, despised the shame imposed for the sins of men. The Glory propo­sed comforted him, but by the Comforter; & the Spi­rit which hee had, not by measure, did aboue mea­sure quicken him with the sight of those ioyes. Where­fore let vs especially by ear­nest Prayer, resort to our [Page 472] chiefe and only strength, without whom no man shal bee strong in his owne strength. Let vs seeke of God that power, by which PAVL being strengthened, was able to doe all things, Let vs put our trust in God a­lone, and with DAVID call him our Rocke, our Fortresse, our Shield, and our strength. We are but Dwarfes to Sa­tan; and hee that is in the World, is farre greater then we. But if God be in vs, hee is farre greater then he that is in the World; and he can make our weaknesse to ex­ceed Satans strength. Ther­fore disclayming the kee­ping of our selues, let vs commit our selues to GOD, [Page 473] trusting that he will keep to the end, what wee haue committed vnto him. Let vs draw neere vnto GOD, and to the power of his right hand; let vs take vp our rest vnder the shaddow of his wings. In his Name, and not in our owne, may wee boast all the day long, for it is his right hand that will get himselfe the victo­ry in vs. If thus wee seeke the Lord, hee will be found of vs; if we ascribe power to the Lord, the power of God will descend to those that glorifie his power; if we trust in the God of Bat­tailes, of weake we shall be made strong, as the faithfull haue beene in the dayes of [Page 474] old. And if we can once say, The Lord girdeth mee with strength to the battell, wee may also say, Those that rise against vs, shalt thou subdue vnder vs. Let Principalities & Powers muster vp things present, and things to come, height, and depth, life and death, yet in all these shall wee be more then Conque­rours, through him that lo­ueth and sustaineth vs. Our Patience and our Resoluti­on are grounded vpon the Rocke of Omnipotence; though the windes blow, & the flouds beat, they shall stand for they are grounded on a Rocke, and while Pa­tience standeth, the Soule flourisheth; where God seeth [Page 475] Patience, he seeth also that the workes are more at last, then at the first; for that, and that a­lone, is a good and fruitfull ground, which bringeth forth fruit with Patience.

CHAP. XI. Of the finall possession and, fruition of Happinesse.

THis World, though of it selfe, it be vnto Man, but Misery, or Vanity, yet by the Mercy of the Creator, it is made vnto Man a Nursery vnto Hap­pinesse. For the Creatour hauing lost his Creation, re­couered it by Redemption. And by this Redemption, [Page 476] the World, which otherwise is but troublesome & tran­sitorie, yet it serues to fit vs for Ioy and Eternity: yea, the troubles and transito­ries thēselues are imployed to doe much of it: For the troubles of this life beate vs on to ward future blisse, and the transitorinesse deliuers vs vp to euerlastingnesse. In this life is the Bride trim­med and dressed; here is she decked for the Day of her Gladnesse, and here being made glorious within, shee goes hence to be made per­fectly glorious, both within and without; hauing glori­fied God by an inward Pu­ritie, shee goes to bee glori­fied by God, in a shining E­ternitie. [Page 477] But what tongue of Man can expresse the Glory of this felicity, which the Heart of Man cannot conceiue? The Tongue must receiue it from the Heart, and the Heart it selfe doth not receiue it. The Tongue is more narrow then the Heart, and the Heart is infinitely too nar­row for the receit of these Ioyes; so how narrow must bee Mans relation of this Happinesse, which must is­sue from that which is nar­rower, then that which is infinitely narrower then Happinesse? And how can it bee otherwise? for this Marriage is betweene the Creature and the Creatour. [Page 478] And how can the Creature comprehend the Creatour, especially, since wee haue here only a little glimpse of Faith, whereby to behold him? Againe, it is a spiri­tuall Marriage, and wee are here more carnall then spi­rituall; so the tabernacle of corruptible flesh, doth much cloud and darken the Spirit, in the view of incor­ruptible ioyes. Yet are wee not left here wholly igno­rant of that, which here we cannot wholly know; but hee who is our Happinesse, hath shewed some sparkles of that which he is, & hath deliuered it to vs, in this World of ignorance, by some palpable expressions, [Page 479] fitting rather to our dull capacity, then to his super­naturall Excellency. Too much light darkens and da­zles a weak sight: and there­fore the full apparance of felicity, is reserued for a per­fect & most absolute Pure­nesse, and Claritie. In the meane time let vs firmely lay hold on those reuealed Truths which GOD hath set apart vnto vs, for our al­lotted portion of Light, in this darke place, vntill we come vnto the perfect Day. Among them we find this most certainly proclaimed, That as there went out at first a Word of Creation, so shall there goe out a Word of Dissolution, and there­with [Page 480] also a Word of Resur­rection. The mightie voyce of the Lord of Heauen, shall make Heauen and Earth to shake, the Ele­ments to melt with fire, and the World to be dissolued. The face of this Visible frame shal be wiped away, it shal be rolled vp as a Scrol: And al the false happinesses of Man shal passe away into nothing. But the All-seeing Prouidence of the Almigh­tie Creator, who numbreth the haires of our heads, and the sands of the Sea (for without his appointed number they could not haue the quantity or num­ber which they haue) know­eth all Mankind both dead [Page 481] and aliue, yea, euery part of euery scattered Man; and calleth vp all Men, as hee doth the Starres in their turnes, Arise, ye Mortals, from Death and Mortality, and come vnto Iudgement. The Earth is but a Ball in the hand of God, whereof euery Mote or Atome was placed by his Wisedome; and the WISEDOME that made all, cannot but know all that it hath made; yea, the thing made, cannot goe out of the reach of the Maker: for it must bee by a Power giuen from the Ma­ker, that it is able to doe those actions, by which it striueth, or seemeth to a­uoyd his Maker. And this [Page 482] Power can be disposed, but at the will or permission of the Giuer, and so it is still subiect to his reach and comprehension. Accor­dingly, God, the Infinite cause of all these finite things, fully searcheth and comprehendeth his owne Creation, yea, euery change and varietie thereof, neither can any thing in the World escape his knowledge, whose knowledge is the very Fountaine of all those changes which would seem to escape it. Wherfore if we will allow a Wisdome wise enough to create, wee must also allow a Wisdome wise enough to know, and to master in knowledge the [Page 483] things created. And if we al­low a Power able to create without matter, we should much more allow the same Power to bee able to renew of something, what was first created of nothing. Bee this therefore the assurance of the blessed; that the Trumpe shall blow, and the dead shall rise, and that the sruit of this Creation shall return to the hand that first did plant it. As God is the beginning of his Workes, so is he the end of them; all things that went from him with Power, must returne to him with Glory; and the Seed-time of Creation, must be answered with the Har­uest of a finall Iudgement. [Page 484] God hath not made the World to no purpose, nei­ther hath hee cast out from him so great a Creation, as a thing contemned and neg­lected. Hee hath not beene wise in an excellent Crea­tion to no end; he hath not set Man here as a wild beast of the Forrest, only to run after his lusts, neither seeing his Maker, nor seene of him. The Soule of Man had in it the power of a reasonable seruice; it could see, and know, and please his Crea­tour. And Nature hath tru­ly discouered, that GOD makes nothing for nothing. Therefore the Soule with her Subiect the Body, must come and stand at the Barre [Page 485] of Iudgement, to bee tryed by her workes, whether in the Body shee hath pleased him that formed her. And though many vagabond soules haue run from their Maker, and haue indeuou­red to put themselues out of his seruice & command; yet he will not lose his pro­perty in them; they may fly from his Obedience, but neuer from his Power, Iu­stice, and Vengeance; they shall be forced to serue him, who is the end of all his Creatures, by the sufferings of Iustice, who would not serue him in the Righteous­nesse of Mercie. Accor­dingly in this great Day of Trial, their appearance shal [Page 486] be in the vglinesse of Gods defaced Image; their blind, foule and leprous soules shall appeare in a perfect, & naked deformednesse; and their many sins shall come againe to visit them, & shall stand before them, as so ma­ny vnnaturall accusers of them that begat them. The pleasure that once encoura­ged to the commission of them, shall now be stripped from them, and sinnes shall then appeare only sinfull, filthy, and detestable. And so by them, sinners being lothsome to the God of pu­rest Eyes, they shall be car­ryed from the Eyes whom they offend; yea, the Eyes of Mercie and Glorie shall [Page 487] be shut vp from them. But on the contrarie side, the Eyes of Wrath and Iustice shall sparkle out fire against them, and this fire shal seize and feed on their Sinfulnes; for sinne vnto Iustice, is as fuell vnto fire. Burne it shall for euer, in a tormenting, but not a consuming flame; It shall haue the agony and vexation, but not the con­sumption and abolition of fire; for the torment must be like the wrath; the wrath of an eternall God, and the torment of an eternall fire. Thus blinde and darke to­ward the God of Comfort, and the Comforts of God, they shall bee open-sighted toward their owne Guilt, [Page 488] Horrour, and Amazement. Their guilt shall beget feare, and their feare amaze­ment, by reason of despe­ration, and hopelesnesse of release. What depth of vex­ation, or rather, how bot­tomlesse a horror it is when the Soule cannot see be­yond torments, but is whol ly swallowed vp of anguish by the contemplation of an immortall miserie? These are they, whose portion is the Creature, and whose Happinesse is in this Life. And as they liued without God in this World, yea, a­gainst God, so shall they liue without GOD in the next World, and God will bee against them. Hee who [Page 489] might haue beene their feli­citie, but was neglected, shall now, because neglec­ted, become their misery; their Habitation shall bee the blacknesse of darknes, and their businesse shall be eternall anguish, vexation, and gnashing of teeth.

But the blessed sonnes and seruants of the Highest God, who haue set their rest on their Creatour, and haue made him the end of their being, and the meanes to the end, euen a God to rule, a Sauiour to redeeme, and a happinesse to blesse; these arise with the Image of God in their fore-heads; God seeth his face, in the face of their soules, & their [Page 490] workes also testifie the same for them. These are clothed with pure White, the Righ­teousnesse of Christ, and the Righteousnesse of the Spi­rit; with the first, the Iu­stice of GOD is satisfied; with the last, the Mercie of God is pleased; and by the last, the first is adiudged to them. They haue fed, clo­thed and visited Christ, in his hungry, naked, and im­prisoned members; these workes are the fruits of Loue, and Loue is the fruit of Sanctification, and San­ctification is an inseparable companion, condition, and witnesse of Iustification. So by the works of Loue, they are proued and approued [Page 491] to bee the sonnes of God, who is Loue; and if sonnes, then also heires; & if heires, they shall for euer dwell in the house of Glorie, euen in the presence of God. Their right to eternall Glory, is by inheritance, euen by be­ing heires annexed with Christ; but their admittance into their right, is by the E­uidences, and Testimonies of the workes of Holinesse. For it is a true Rule, That none but the pure in heart, can see God, and againe, None can be pure in heart, but he must first be new be­gotten by God, euen a sonne and heire of GOD. And now to these is sounded forth that most blessed [Page 492] voice, which openeth the doore of eternall Felicitie, a voice that consummateth that Supremest Marriage, wherein Man is matched to the highest Essence, the chiefest Blisse: Come yee blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you. In this Kingdome, the ragged and filthy garment of the body of sinne, the diseased infirmities of this sinful bodie, the tears of op­pression, yea, all griefe is wi­ped away. And in stead of these, Man is infinitely pu­rified, sublimated, and so▪ fitted for the presence of the highest Being. In the Puri­tie of Holinesse, hee is pure without blemish; washed [Page 493] from guilt, by the bloud of the Lambe, and from cor­ruption, by the holy Ghost, yea, there is a new Light, as a new Eye plāted in the vn­derstanding, exceedingly quickened and enlarged to a spacious view of Truth, and Glorie. Likewise, new Vertue anoynteth and be­deweth the Will, steeping and seasoning it in a Diuine Nature, by which it excel­lently agreeth in harmonie with the will of God, and is holy as hee is holy. In the puritie of Substance, the Soule shall be highly clari­fied, vntill it be capeable of the vppermost and chiefest Light. And the body shall bee lifted vp into a propor­tion [Page 494] with the Soule; for the body shall then bee a spiri­tuall Body: euen a Body like a Soule; euen so pure shall they both bee, that they shall admit into them­selues the beames of the Fountaine of Light, vntill they bee filled with Light and Glorie. God will bee their Sunne, and hee will shine into them as into Christall, and in his Light they shall haue the fulnesse of Light. Then shall the Knowledge of Man ascend into Perfection, farre aboue these poore, pieced, and patched knowledges, which we call Arts and Sciences. Euen the highest Degree of knowledge, which in this [Page 495] mistie time of Ignorance & Imperfection, iustly holdeth the highest degree of Emi­nence, shall then be the bot­tome and lownes of this new knowledge; and then shall it be knowne that this kind of Learning is of vse, much like to that of a Lant­horne. It may doe vs ser­uice in this Night of Mans fall and corruption, but in the Orient brightnesse of the Kingdome of Glorie, the new light by surmoun­ting it, shall make it vselesse, yea, darken and discounte­nance it. For whereas now wee doe but flutter about the branches, and extremi­ties of Wisdome, then shall we behold Wisdome in the [Page 496] roote: The Glorie and Fa­brike of the Creature, shall be seene in the Originall, e­uen in the Creatour; in whom it was first made within, before it was made without. In him shall wee reade the Resolution of all profitable vnknowntruths; and his Wisdome shall bee a most perfect Oracle, in­structing all glorified and blessed Soules. And with this Wisdome shall we also behold an infinite Treasure of Power and Almighti­nesse. The right Hand, and holy Arme of the Omnipo­tent God shall bee reuealed vnto vs, and then shall wee wonder at this Power a­lone, and not at the migh­tie [Page 497] Wonders which this Power hath done: for then shal we plainly see, that such Power might well worke such Wonders. And while wee view and consider this Power, the Power of GOD will point vs to the loue of God. For so meane a thing as Man, may well bee ama­zed at so infinite Power and Maiestie; but that at once with the power there ap­peares an infinite Loue; which tells the Soule, that though Power not mat­ched with Loue, be a Ter­ror; yet tempred with loue, it is the very Safetie, Rest, and Blisse of Soules belo­ued: For as much power as there is in God, so much [Page 498] is God able to blesse those, whom hee loues; and as much loue as there is in GOD, so much willing is hee to blesse those, whom by his Power hee is so much able to blesse. Thus from Gods Wisdome, his Power, his Loue, and his Light, issue continuall ob­iects, and spectacles of Ioy. Yet is not this all of that, which cannot all be expres­sed: For this whiles there flowes from the Deitie, into the Heart of Man, a most pleasant streame of the gladding Spirit, wherein is the extremest power & ver­tue of reioycing. This is the new Wine of the King­dome of Heauen, which [Page 499] makes the Soule drunken with high comforts, rap­tures, and extasies: which inward comforts meeting and clasping with outward ioyes, fill vp a Man with an excesse of Ioy and Happi­nesse, that he shall be euen swallowed vp and ouer-ra­uished with Ioy. And yet their Happinesse stinteth not; for there is an addition of a most delectable and soule-pleasing Harmonie. Harmonie is a chiefe plea­sure, and the most excellent Harmonie is the chiefest of this chiefe pleasure; and the most excellent Harmonie is the chiefest of this chiefe Pleasure; and the Harmo­nie of the most excellent [Page 500] Essences, is the most excel­lent Harmonie; and the most excellent Essences, are Spirits; and the Harmonie of Spirits is in the King­dom of glory. This Musike of Spirits exceedingly ex­ceedeth the Musike of mor­tall voices; yea, that chiefe Musike of hearts, which be­tween men is called Friend­ship, and betweene Man & Wife, is called Marriage-Loue, is but a counterfeit resemblance, and carries but some small rellishes of that Diuine and Celestiall Harmony. For in the Quire of Heauen, the Saints and Angels, euen the blessed Spirits, agree in a perfect V­nison of Truth and Loue. [Page 501] Their vnderstandings think one thing: their hearts, euen their wils, loue themselues and their companions with one loue; They delight themselues each in other, & especially all in God. For as there is between themselues a perfect consent, so there is also a true agreement be­tween these Spirits, and the chiefest Spirit, which is the very top of pleasure and de­light. What perfection can be higher then that of the highest Creatour? And how can a Creature bee more perfect, then when he is con­sorted, & tuned to this high­est perfection? God speaketh to the hearts of these blessed Soules, and the hearts of [Page 502] these blessed Soules, thinke and vtter thoughts agreea­ble to the heart of GOD. God, that saw his Workes of Creation that they were good, and pleased himselfe in their goodnesse; Now beholdeth his worke of Blessing and Glorification, and reioyceth in the rest & ioy which he hath giuen to his Beloued. The glorified Soules behold and admire the Goodnesse and Mercie of God, that gaue not only the workes of the six daies, but the rest of the Seuenth to rebellious dust, and sinful ashes. In the infinite Loue of God, their loue still stee­peth and drowneth it selfe; and the more it seeth the [Page 503] Loue of God, the more it loues God; and the more it loues God, the more it is beloued. And out of the fee­ling of this surpassing Loue of God, breake out those Songs of Ioy, and Voyces of Exultation, Glory, and Honour and Prayse bee to him that sitteth on the throne, & to the Lamb for euermore. And, Halleluiah; For the Kingdome of the Lord God Almightie is come. And, Let vs be glad, and reioyce and giue Glorie to God, for the Marriage of the Lambe is come, his Wife is readie, and shee is arayed in pure and shining Silke. And yet this felicitie is not all; but that it may bee as long as it is large, and as infinite [Page 504] in continuance, as it is in extent, there issues from the Deitie, into the glorified Soules, the sap and nourish­ment of an eternall Life. The Tree of Life nourish­eth eternally the branches of the same Tree; Death is swallowed vp into victory, and it selfe dyeth by the Word which is Life. But the Soules partakers of God, from him who is E­ternall, doe sucke Eternitie, and so become that King­dome, whereof there is no end. And yet this is not all of that inexpressible Feli­citie, but the greatest and chiefest is yet left in silence: for that must needs be grea­test which cannot enter in­to [Page 505] the heart of Man. But let the transcendence of that which is vnknowne, be a double spurre vnto vs in this Race of Happinesse; one, because it is transcen­dent, another, because vn­knowne. Let the Eminence prouoke our Ambitions, & the Secrecie our Curiosi­ties. Let vs desire and striue earnestly to enter into that, which now by reason of wonderfull excellence can­not enter into vs. Let vs in­deuour carefully to walke in the light of Grace, which will bring vs to the full Re­uelation of the yet inacces­sible light of Glorie; where Happinesse shall at once bee fully knowne, and fully enioyed.

[Page 506] In the meane time, it may be sufficient for me to discouer, That the Soules seated in Beatitude, passe their time, which shall ne­uer bee past, in the very top of Blisse and Delectation: They laugh at sorrowes past, and are secure for infi­nite ioyes to come. God is theirs, and they are Gods, and in this Vnitie is the fulnesse of Feli­citie.

FINIS.

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