Vindiciae Senectutis, OR, A PLEA FOR OLD-AGE: Which is Senis cujusdam CYGNEA cantio.

And the severall points on parts of it, are laid downe at the end of the following Introduction.

By T. S. D. D.

LEVIT. 19 32
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the OLD-MAN, and feare thy GOD: I am the LORD.
ECCLES. 11. 10.
Child-hood and youth are vanity.
PROV. 30. 17.
The eye that mocketh at his FATHER, and despiseth to obey his MOTHER, the Ravens of the Vallie shall pick it out, and the Eagles shall eat it.


Printed by George Miller dwelling in Black-Priers, MDCXXXIX.

TO THE WORTHY AND LIVELY Patterne of a good OLD-AGE, Mr. Doctor CHADERTON, all the blessed comforts of it: and after it, everlasting happinesse.

Reverend SIR:

THe Meditations here in this Treatise pre­sented to you, are at their highest pitch of ambition, if they may obtaine, that your judicious eyes (at your con­venient [Page] leasure) shall passe over them. I suppose, it will be asked why they solicit you rather then any other, for this favour. It is, first for your many yeares with which GOD hath crowned you: and then also in respect of your experience in your owne particu­lar, of what in this Tract is deli­ver'd: that is, of GODS free­ing this age from the Imputations cast (in a generality) upon it: and his deyning you above many others, the blessed and comforta­ble priviledges, of which it is ca­pable, and for which it hath the best helps, and most opportunities. I desire not to be made knowne un­to you. It sufficeth, that to me you [Page] are well knowne: and [...]hat, not by heare-say (though with that pre­tious ointment, a good-name Eccles 7. you are renowned) but cheefely out of my many obser­vations, when I was a Student in the Vniversity, and for a long time, one of your Auditors. Eve­ry way you ratifie and make good this Encomium SENECTV­TIS. And therefore yours it is, and to you it comes, both to bee corrected and disposed of, incase it may seeme in any degree, wor­thy your so much paines. And cer­tainely, should I cause my thoughts to range abroad among the Wor­thies that are knowne unto me; none would be found that might [Page] give so ample testimonie to what you shall heere reade, or be so li­ving an example of it, as your selfe. This (I hope) will excuse my presumption, and prevaile with you for your paines in rea­ding the Discourse, though it should not with your judgement for approving it. I beseech the ANCIENT OF DAIES, to continue and increase unto you, the good your many yeeres have possessed you of; that as they are found in the way of righteousnes, so they may be to you a crowne of glory, Prov. 16. and a crowne of righteousnesse, 2 Tim. 4▪

To the Reader.

Courteous Reader, Young or old,

HEre is presented to thee by an Old-Man past his Three­score and three. great climactericall yeare, a Treatise of OLD AGE, indited and penned by D. Sheafe Prebin of Windsore and Rector of Well­forde. one who hath attained to those yeares whereunto hee who attaineth is accounted Foure­score. Wondrous old, and dedicated to him that hath almost attained to An hun­dred those yeares Aetas. Secu [...]um. beyond which there is no ordinary reckoning. The Author in dedicating his Treatise of OLD AGE, to a more aged Friend, imitates the Oratour, who thus saith of himselfe, Ad senem senex de senectute soripsi. Cic de A­ [...]icitia in proem. Being an Old-Man, I wrote to an Old-Man of Old-Age. As the Author by reason of his much rea­ding, strong memory, profound judge­ment [Page] and long experience was well qualified and enabled to undertake such a taske, so most wisely hath he made choice of a very fit Patron, who notwithstanding his exceeding great Old-Age, and the small characters in which this Treatise was written, read it without spectacles, and with no lesse prespicacie of judgement then of sight, gave his approbation thereof. If therefore DAIES may be heard, and a testimony given by multitude of yeares may gaine credit, there are Two or three. as many as the Divine Law exacteth for witnesse bearing that commendeth this Treatise to thee: and those old e­nough; especially the two Elder, who by their many yeares so well im­ployed, as they have imployed theirs, have attained to great experience, and gained much wisdome; so as in them this Adage, multitude of yeares teach wisdome, is verified. All the three intimated witnesses were Academicks together. All of one and the sameD. Cha­derton. University. Anno Dom. 1584 The Dedicatee was * Master of Emmanuell Colledge Cam­bridge, [Page] within few yeares after the Author of this Treatise came to Kings College: yet had this Author beene Sixteene yeare. more then a Bachelour of Divinities time in the College, before he chose the Publisher hereof out of Eton schoole to the said Kings College. A favour very great in the kinde, and in the manner of conferring it, most free. Possumne ingraius & immemor esse? In all humble and hearty gra­titude is this publicke acknowledge­ment made of a gratious Tutors good­nesse, by his much bounden Pupill. Gratitude therfore is one inducement, which hath brought me on to lend an helping hand to the publishing of this Treatise, (which is my onely taske.) But an other and greater inducement is the work it selfe: both in regard of the subject matter of it, which is OLD-AGE, and also in regard of the exqui­site manner of handling it, it being per­formed by an Old-Man, who hath written hereabout what experience hath verified in himselfe. For hee himselfe is a lively image and repre­sentation [Page] of that true Old-Man whichSenectus nos ab im­pudenti si misdomini [...] libera [...] vo­luptatib [...] ▪ gul [...] im­po [...]it▪ mo­ [...]um: libi­dinis fran­git impe­tus: ange [...] sapientiā: dat matu riora con­fili [...], &c. Hier Pro­em 2. lib Comment in Amos. Gran [...]es natu, [...]yg neum nes­cio quid, & solito dulcius ce­cinerunt Hier epist 2 ad N [...] pot de vita [...]er. he describeth, and whom hee doth vindicate and defend from the undue calumnies of youth. If any imagine that OLD-AGE, as it bringeth feeble­nesse upon the body, and upon all the parts thereof, so it blunteth the under­standing, dulleth the wit, weakeneth the memory, and much impaireth all the powers of the soule, I referre him to S. Hierom, who in that very place where he granteth the forementioned bodily infirmities and other like to them, to be incident to OLD AGE, sets downe these good things to abide in it and with it: It keepes us from plea­sures, the most impudent masters: it puts a meane to appetite: it subdueth the vio­lence of lust: it increaseth wisdome: it gives more mature counsell▪ &c. And in another place he giveth us a cata­logue of many heathen men, who be­ing very old, and neere to death, sang their Swan-like songs more sweetly then they were wont in younger yeares. The Author of this Treatise hath given us a larger catalogue, not only of heathen [Page] men, but also of holy men, Gods wor­thies, who in their OLD-AGE have beene endowed with excellent and eminent abilities, especially of mind: withall he sheweth, that if it so fall out as is objected, it is in such an OLD-AGE as followeth upon distempered youth, and disordered manage: but where former yeares have beene tem­perately ordered, and well imployed, OLD AGE▪ though somewhat debi­litated in bodily strength, will prove vigorous in the indowments of the soule. Of such an Old-Man speaketh an ancient Poet to this purpose,

His foot in pace is flow:
[...]. Eurip. [...]n.
His wit doth swiftly flow.

This our Author hath oft most truely and justly observed, that the defects which befall OLD-AGE, are occa­sioned for the most part, if not altoge­ther, by the disorder of younger yeares. Yea the distemper of youn­ger yeares is (to speake according to the course of nature) an especiall cause that so few, even of those who grow bearded, attaine an hoary head: [Page] which (as the Wise-man hath well observed) is a crowne of glory, if it be Prov. 16. 31. found in the way of righteousnesse. He therefore that wrote much in com­mendationCic▪ de Se­nect. of OLD-AGE put in this proviso, Remember that I praise that OLD-AGE which is setled upon the Senectus e­ [...]rum qui a­dolescenti­am suam honest is artibus in­struxer [...]nt aetate fit d [...]ctior, usu tritior, pro­cessu tem­poris sapi­entior, & veterum studiorum dulcissimos fructu [...] me­tit. Hier. ad Nepot foundations of youth: meaning that youth which hath beene well passed over. For, as an ancient Father long since said, and that upon his owne ex­perience, The OLD-AGE of them who have furnished their youth with sciences, is made by continuance the more learned, by use the more ready, by processe of time the more prudent, and reapeth the most sweet fruits of former studies. It much resteth in men by well ordering their tender and flexible age, yea and their more stable and setled yeares follow­ing thereupon, both to attaine unto OLD-AGE, and also to make that OLD-AGE whereunto they attaine more joyous, and glorious. It is said of a wicked man (Iob. 21. 21.) The number of his daies is [...] Divisit vulgat▪ di­midiavit. cut off in the midst. And to like purpose (Psal. 55. [Page] 23.) Bloody and deceitfull men shall not Targum [...] N [...]n vide­bu [...]t dimi­diu [...] die­rum suorū. live out halfe their daies. For some by gluttony, drunkennesse, whoredome and such kinde of distempers bring mortall diseases upon themselves, and thereby hasten death: others doe the like by immoderate passions, as love, griefe, feare and such like: others by too much carking, watching, fasting, paines-taking, and other such excesses destroy nature: others by quarrells and duells cause themselves to be cut off before their time: others by cast­ing themselves upon desperate at­tempts shorten their daies: others by capitall crimes, bring themselves un­der the Magistrates sword which cuts them off: others by laying violent hands upon themselves, prevent the time which otherwise they might have lived: others by notorious sinnes provoke the Divine Justice to take them away by an extraordinary judge­ment. In these, and other like re­spects wicked men may be said dimi­diare dies suos, to cut off their time in the midst, or not to live halfe their [Page] daies▪ namely which they might other­wise have lived (according to the course of nature) if they had not fal­len into such exorbitant courses. Thus many keepe themselves from OLD-AGE. Yet it cannot be denied but that sundry wicked ones attaine there­to. Experience demonstrates as much. For howsoever OLD-AGE be pro­mised as a blessing onely to the Righ­teous, yet it is permitted to wicked ones: but as a curse through their a­buse thereof. A curse I say, both to others and to themselves. To others, in that the longer they live, the more mischiefe they doe. To themselves in this world, and in the world to come. In this world every day they multiply and aggravate sinne, and so make them­selves the more odious to God, Angells and good men; whence it commeth to passe that their name rots: it isPro. 10. 7. like a rotten, pu [...]rified carrion, the lon­ger it lieth above ground, the more noisome and stinking [...]avour it sendeth forth. In the world to come their tor­ment shall be increased according to [Page] the multitude and hainousnesse of their sinnes, Old wicked ones after their Rom 2. 5. heardnesse and impenitent heart, trea­sure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath. Such Old-Men areRev. 12 9. like to the old Serpent. OLD-AGE, as spoken of in the ensuing Treatise is proper to the Righteous. It is theAnte A­braham­nu [...]us est appellatus senex. Hier comment. in Zac. 8. Sic Orig. in Isa. 1 [...]. Hom. 15. [...] Bona Se­nectus. observation of sundry of the ancient Fathers, that Abraham the father of the faithfuil is the first that in sacred Scripture is called an Old-Man. To him it was promised as a blessing (Gen. 15. 15.) and in that respect his OLD-AGE is stiled a good Old-Age (Gen. 25. 8.) Thus to take OLD-AGE (seperated from the accidentall im­perfections thereof, such as arise not simply from OLD-AGE, but from the former and present wickednesse of evill old-men) OLD-AGE is one of the pillars wherewith politi [...]s are supported. Who knowes not that a Senate or Counsell of State is a principall stay of a State. Now a Se­nat useth to consist for the most part of Old-Men: who by reason of their [Page] age and place are called Seniores, El­ders. In the Law we reade that Le­vites Numb. 8. 25. having served in the house of God till they were fiftie yeares old (at which time OLD AGE beginneth) were to goe to their Cities, there to dwell as Iudges. The Jewes hadDeut. 17. 9. 2 Chron. 1 [...]. 8. their [...] Senat or Counsell, whereunto Christ alludeth (Mat. 5. 22.) in this phrase, shall be in danger of the Counsell. This Counsell consisted of Old-Men, called Elders, of whome some wereConfilium, ratio, sen­tentia, ni­ [...]i essent in senibus non sum­mum con­silium Ma­jores nostri appellassēt Senatum▪ Cic. de Se­nect Nomen & aetatis mi te senatus habe [...] O­vid lib. 5. Fast. Priests, some Levits, some Nobles; most of them, if not all of them, Old-Men. So the Romans and others had their Senate of such. Hereupon the Oratour makes this inference, If coun­sell, reason, and judgement were not in Old-Men, our Ancestours would not have called the highest counsell a Senate. Yet further to prove that the Ancient are a staffe and stay to a State, the Pro­phet (Isa. 1. 2.) putteth them into the ranke of such staies as in judge­ment are taken away, and upon the taking away of whom, a state falls to ruine, as a Tent falls slat downe if the [Page] pole by which it is supported be ta­ken away. See the difference betwixt1 King. 12 6, &c. the counsell of Old-Men and Young­men in Rehoboams case. Not without cause therefore is it said, that one hear­ty [...]. Eurip. in Andr [...]. [...]. Hom. Odys. B. Old-Man is of better use then many Young-men. For (as another Poet said of an Old-Man,) He knoweth many and those ancient things too. On this and other like grounds, OLD-AGE hath in all ages beene much honoured. So it was among the Magna suit capiti [...] qu [...]dam reverentia cani Ovid. 5: Fast. Heathen: so much more ought it to be among Gods peo­ple. The Lord himselfe giveth this charge (Lev. 19. 32.) Thou shalt rise up before the hoary-head, and honour the face of the Old-Man, and feare thy God. This last clause (and feare thy God) sheweth that our feare of God, who is invisible, is testified by our re­verence to those that visibly beare his Image, as Old-Men doe. For God himselfe is stiled (Dan. 7. 9.) the An­cient of daies, and the haire of his head is said to be like pure wooll, that is white, not spotted, not stained, not soiled: such as the haire of Old-men useth to [Page] be. In allusion hereunto, S. Hierom Ve [...]usti di­erum caesa­ries descri­bitur can­dida, ut ae­tatis longi­ [...]udo mon­stretur. saith, that the haire of the Ancient of daies is described to bee white, that length of daies may be declared thereby.

So pithily and plentifully hath the Author of this Treatise here presen­ted to thee, handled this point, both Vindicatively, in freeing OLD-AGEHier. com­ment. lib. 8. in Isa. 24. from all undue imputations against it, and also Encomiastically, by setting out the comelinesse and excellency thereof, as to speake any more there­about, would bee actum agere, to preach over the same Sermon againe, yea (as it is in the proverb) to [...]. Occidit mi­seros crā ­be repetita magistros Iuvenal. Sat. 7. set [...]ole-worts twice so [...] before you, which is counted as loathsome as death it selfe.

There is a Treatise of OLD-AGE of old time written by MT. Cic. the purest Latinist that ever spake, or wrote: for the elegancy of stile, for the solid matter of that Treatise, and for many other ornaments wherewith it is dec­ked, it hath ever beene highly accoun­ted of, and learned in most Grammar schooles: yet as farre as divine lear­ning [Page] excells humane, as farre as a judi­cious Divine may goe before a lear­ned Philosopher, so farre is this Trea­tise here tendred to thee, to be pre­ferredMihi qui­dem ita ju­cunda c [...]n­sectio [...] ­jus libri [...]u­it, ut non modo om­nes abster­serit sene­ctutis mo­lestias, sed effecerit mollem e­tiam, & jucundam senectutem. [...]. before that. If the Oratour said truely of his Treatise, The ma­king of this Booke was so delight some to me, as it did not onely remove all the troubles of OLD-AGE, but also made it easy and pleasing▪ much more truely and justly may the Author of this Treatise say the like of his. A Prea­chers frequent and serious meditating and ruminating on that which hee is to preach to others doth oft very much affect him before hee utter it, in uttering of it, and ever after. How much more when hee sets his after thoughts upon it, and more accuratly revieweth it for the view of all thatEurip. in Hyppol. Secundae cogitati­ones sapi­entiores. desire to have their meditations helped about this excellent subject, OLD-AGE. For my part I heartily thanke God that I came to such a thorow view thereof, as I have had; and with­all1 Sam. 25 32, 33. (as David blessed God and Abigaile in the same cause) I heartily thanke [Page] the Author (my Ancient good Tutor, to whom for all the good I received in Kings College Cambridge, under God, I owe all the praise) this Au­thor I heartily thanke for vouchsafing to communicate to his unworthy Pu­pill these his labours. So well I ap­prooved this Treatise in my judge­ment, such profit, sweetnesse and comfort I have found and felt in rea­ding it over againe and againe, as I could not but doe my best to bring it forth to that publick view which now it is brought to. Now I bow my knees to the Ancient of daies, that, as hitherto he hath done, he would yet longer and longer continue to pre­serve the two good Old-Men (the Author of this Treatise, and his Friend to whom he hath dedicated it) to be mirrours of such an OLD-AGE as in this Treatise is set out, that in and by their example and patterne▪ what is here written of OLD-AGE may be verified and ratified.Black-Friers London. 26. Aug. 1638.


The Author to the Reader.

Generous Reader,

I Doe willingly give thee an account both of my first thoughts and in­tentions, and also of my proceedings in the en­suing discourse. Thus conceive of them. [...], know thy selfe, is said to be a voice from hea­ven, and ever hath it beene held for an high and necessary point of wisdome; as contrarie-wise, nothing comes neerer to a ben [...]mmed, sottish, and Nabal-like dispo­sition, then ignorance in this case. Know you not your owne selves, saith the 2 Cor. 13. 5. Apostle.

Many there are that with great la­bour, no lesse expence, and extreame [Page] hazard of their lives, travell into the re­mo [...]e parts of the world, onely out of a desire to know them, and yet know little of their owne countrey: others, that search curiously into the pollicie of forraigne kingdomes, ignorant (the meane while) of the state of that in which they are na­tives. Some againe are busie priers into their neighbours houses and affaires, ne­ver taking notice how it stands with their owne at home, all with shame enough, i [...] that they are lesse carefull of what more▪ neerely concernes them. A mans proper and neerest home of all, is himselfe.

The consideration hereof caused me to▪ looke backe to the sundry passages of my life past, and to fixe mine eye on my present condition, being now farre gone in yeares: and in this Meditation, I fell upon a serious thought of my Old-Age: as, what the discomforts of it are, that so I might addresse my selfe to seeke after the true remedy: what good I may find in it for comfort to countervaile the evils it brings: and lastly, what oppor­tunities it may afford me, for my present and future happinesse. Having, as I [Page] thought, found something by this enqui­rie, I was willing my pen should helpe my memory: and so my paper was my storer for it. Thinke not I doe it out of that itching humour, Pers▪ Sat. 1. Scire tuum nihil est, &c. No, being conscious to my selfe of my emptinesse, I have ever (in privatest places of my abode) said Horat. with the Poet, Hae latebrae dulces. Take this rather for the true cause of my suffering the discourse to come abroad. To impart to others what we have thought of and la­boured in for ourselves, is (especially when it passes not immediatly from the partiall hand of the Author, but hath approbati­on from others more judicious) a thing usuall, not discommended, no not in these scripturient times, and in my opinion, it sorts well with society, for, Bonum est natura s [...]a diffusivum, & usu, quo com­munius, eo melius, Every good thing is naturally communicative, and in use, the more common, the better, and more profi­table.

If any shall thinke the subject of which I have made choice to be but meane, and unworthy of my so many lines in writing, [Page] and his so much paines in reading; I would offer to his consideration these three things. First, touching the contempt of this age, how great and common a sin it is. Secondly, what need men in yeares may have, in respect of some bodily defects, of inward comforts, as of a staffe to support them, that so they may passe on to the end of their race with patience. And lastly, whether it will be lost labour, timely to minde young men of the evills, which not prevented, will dogg them to the age, to­wads which they securely passe along; and which is to such (Iuven. Sat. 9. as one termes it) non intellecta senectus. Sure I am it i [...] now no lesse needfull, then it was in Salo­mons time, to re [...]rove them for their re­joyeing in their youth, &c. and to fore­warne them of their account, as Eccles. 11. also to counsell them even in the daies of their youth to remember their Crea­tor, Eccles. 12.

Let no man thinke that this Treatise is onely for OLD-MEN, chiefely it looks towards them: yet every age, once come to yeeres of discretion, may hap'ly by it be put in minde of some thing or other, that [Page] will concerne it for the present; and if GOD blesse them with long-life, the benefit of it may be the greater. We may say of it, as Horat. Epist. lib. 1 the Poet doth in another case. Aequè neglectum pueris, seni­busque nocebit.

And so, gentle Reader, thou hast my reasons (such as they are) for my under­taking this taske. If thou dislike them not, then reade on.

The Introduction to the whole Discourse.

AN Old-Man, though but meanely learned, may treat of OLD-AGE, out of some experience, feelingly: and in that respect, may be the more fit to discourse of this subject. Onwhich I do not find that many have lighted: among Divines, very few. Some HeathenDifference betwixt Theolo­gicall and Philoso­ [...]hicall Tractates. Writers have professedly handled it: and from one of them I take my aime: yet with this maine difference, that whereas the most lear­ned among them, doe [...]scribe all to the gui­dance of nature, and the precepts of Philoso­phy (which, whosoever followes, fares one, shall be sure smoothly to passe thorow all the troubles of this life) the Christian proceeds by a better and safer rule, by that [...] Pet 1. 19. most sure Word of GOD, to which we must take heed, as to a light that shineth in a dark place: to wit, in that darknesse wherein all the Gentiles walked, till Esa. [...]. 2. the great light shone unto them. GODS Law must direct us how to walke, [Page 2] and his Promises in the Gospell, what to be­leeve, if we will rightly judge of this or of any other part of our pilgrimage, and take a sure course for the avoiding of the troubles, and enjoying the comforts of every of them.How hu­mane te­stimonies to be used

I make not the strangers from the covenants of promise, our judges: yet when they come in as witnesses to Divine truth, the authentick testimonies of the Scriptures, I reject them not.

But heere it will be necessary, before we pro­ceed any further, for the stating of the matter in question, to determine what we meane by OLD-AGE: and then also, whether our plea be for the age of Old-men, or for their persons.

Touching the former; In these our daies,What Old-age is OLD-AGE is not to bee measured by the yeeres of the most ancient before the flood. We are now in this respect, but as dwarfs to them, or as pigmies: bipedales, two foot-high, or, Psal. 39. 5, 6. as the Psalmist speakes, our life is but palmaris, of a hands-breath in comparison. Which made Gen. 44. 9. Iacob to confesse and com­plaine that his daies were few, and that he had not attained to the yeeres of the life of his fa­thers, in the daies of their pilgrimages: Cap. 14. Iob al­so to say, Man that is borne of a woman, is of few daies. And it is certaine that we live now scar [...]e the tenth part of their time. Our life in this old-age of the world, is short, compared with the yeeres of many bruit-beasts, if we may be­leeve He [...]iod, who makes the Crow to live thrice so long as man, the Hart foure ages of [Page] the Crow, the Raven three of the Hart, the Phenix nine of the Raven. But Plinie by whom He [...]ods conceit is reported, and Aristotle him­selfe, who allowes no animal a longer life then man, excepting the Elephant, do account this an idle and vaine fiction. Plinie writes of one that lived 150. of another which lived ten above that, a third, 200. another 300. and so he goes on to an incredible number of yeares. But in the same place (to make what he had said good and true) he tells us, that a yeere wasDifferent account of yeares. not the same to them that reported these things, which it is to us▪ some among them determining one whole yeere by a Summer, and another by a Winter: some by three moneths, as the Arcadians, some by one moneth, as the Aegyptians. But these are uncertaine reckonings. Hippocrates makes the extreamestage of man to be 89. In pr [...]fat. in libr [...]s de Agric [...]lt. Varro saith, Annus octuage simus admonet me ut sarci­nas c [...]lligam, antequam egrediore vita, my yeere 80 (saith he) calls upon me to trusse up my fardles, and to be ready for my departure.

To leave these also. The Psalmist hath gi­ven us the truest direction, as for our▪ setting the bounds of a mans life, [...]o likewise of OLD-AGE. Psal. 90. 10. The time of our life is threescore yeeres and ten ordinarily he meanes, and in a generality, or with most men that come to this age: for in the particulars, the diversity of constitutions doth make a great difference, and further he adds, that if any man live to 80. that age is accompanied with many affli­ctions, [Page] there expressed by labour and sorrow.Degrees of old-age I am not ignorant, that some Physitians make three parts or degrees of Old-age, one from 50 to 60. another from 60 to 70, and the last and extreamest, from 70 to the decrepit. But I follow the Psalmist, and from that place I gather, that we may reckon him for old, that is come to 60. sith the 70. is made the terminus or period of ma [...]s life. Seneca Epist. 26. One saith well, Senecta, lassae, non siactae aetatis nomen est, the word (Senecta) imports a wearied, not a broken age.What old­men here intended.

Now in the next place, to the question, whether men themselves that are in yeeres, or the age, be the subject of our defence: I an­swer, the age, and not alwaies the person, who may be old, and yet not the OLD-MAN wee speake of. There are many that in the former part of their life, have wasted their [...]rationall powers, in lewdnesse, or at lest in idle extrava­gant courses These are not OLD-MEN rightly so called: nor (indeed) men at all: but (as Tit. 1. 12. th' Apostle termes them) evill beasts and slow bellies, such, 1 Tim. 5. 6. having lived in pleasures, were dead while they lived: their Sun is gon downe at noone, Ier. 15. 9. as the Prophet speakes, their old-age is past, before it comes. They are the same Ver. 12. S Iude mentions, and calls corrupt trees, twise dead, and plucked up by the roots. Honourable age (Wisd. 4. [...], 9. saith the Wiseman) is not that which stands in length of time, nor that is measured by number of yeares: but wisdome is the gray-haire to men, and an answerable life [Page 5] is Old-Age. Lib. 30, moral. S. Gregory tells us that the Scrip­ture calls not them Old-men, which are come to ripenesse by length of time, but them which by gravity become such. Non est quod quem­quam propter canos & rugas, &c. Thou seest not old-age (De bre­vitate vi­tae. saith Seneca) whensoever thou beholdest gray-hayres and wrinckles: he that has no more to proove him an old-man, may be granted to have beene long, but not to have lived long▪ for the part of our life ill spent, is time and not life. Puer centum ann [...]rum (saith Epist. 40. S Bernard) maledictus est. Hee that hath lived an 100. yeares and is still a child, is of a cursed condition. And the Poet to one un­worthy to be called an old-man, Ovid. Fast. lib. 1. Nequi [...]ia est quae [...]e non finit esse senem, thou mightest be counted an old-man, wert thou a good man. The cause of such men therefore I undertake not: but the age I would free from the wrong done to it, and vindicate its right, by prooving that in it a man may be (though alwayes he is not soe) more happy then in any of the other ages.

I doubt I shall be thought to stay too long (if not to dwell in the porch of my house)The parts of this Treatise. therefore I will now show you the whole frame of this my building, and lead you into the severall roomes of it: and then hold you a while if I may, in the view of them.

First, you shall have the frivolous complaints taken up many times by foolish Old-men themselves: and the accusations brought in by others against this age, with the answers [Page 6] thereunto, in the first Booke, which consists of foure severall Chapters.

  • The First prooves that Old-Age is not dis­abled for ACTION.
  • The Second answers the objections tou­ching its uncapablenesse of pleasures.
  • The Third shewes, that it is not so weake an age as is thought.
  • The Fourth and last Chapter makes answer to the imputation of its beeing neere to death.

Secondly, I offer to consideration, the dignity of this age, in respect of sundry priviledges, in the second Booke.

  • The First Priviledge is, its being the store­house, or treasury to receive and keepe what­soever good in the afore-going ages hath beene brought in. Chap. 1.
  • The Second, is opportunities and helps, by a long time afforded for a greater measure of grace. Chap. 2.
  • The Third, Honour above other ages. Chap. 3.
  • The Fourth, Vacancy for private devotion. Chap. 4.
  • And Lastly you have the conclusion, con­tayning an exhortation, or admonition to the foure capable ages. Chap 5.

I trouble not my selfe nor my Reader, with any further minsings or subdivisions: because it is but a Discourse.

A Preface to the first Booke, conteyning accusa­tions, and complaints against OLD-AGE.

TO complaine grudgingly or disDiscon­tentednes at ones estate. contentedly of the affl [...]ctions and miseries o [...] this life, or to frame accusations against the time in which they befall us, is the property of ignorant and wicked men; of such as have no true knowledge either of God, or of themselves and their owne condition. When any querimonies of this kinde sound in our eares, we may seeme to beare the voice of Cain, repining against God and his just proceedings. Gen. 4. 13. My punishment (saith he) is greater then I am able to beare. Or of the Is­raelites murmuring in the wildernesse, by acc [...] ­sion of every want or distresse Cain should have complained of the sinne he had committed: that is, of himselfe who had so unnaturally, so treacherously, so wickedly slaine his righteous brother Abel. And the Israelites should have knowne and considered that their wants and af­flictions [Page 8] in the desart, were from the hand of their gratious and loving God, of whose love and care of them, they had not long before so joyfull expe­rience in their miraculous both deliverance out of Egypt, and preservation at the red Sea: all which (had they not beene more then unthank­full) would have beene fresh in their remem­brance. They should have considered likewise that those afflictions were not punishments so much as fatherly corrections by which they were to be schooled and nurtured; being as yet a re­bellious people, unfit and unworthy to become in­habitants in that happy land of Canaan. Both Cain (I say) and that people should have turnedCom­plaints should be against ones▪ selfe. their complaints and accusations against them­selves. And so all men, of what age soever, when the infirmities of this miserable life lye heavy upon them should looke backe to the first punishment of the first transgression. In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat thy bread, &c. And againe, Dust thou art, &c. And also to their inbred corruption and manifold actuall sins they should have had an eye, because they had deserved the afflictions of which they complained, as they are punishments, and did necessarily require them as fatherly chastisements.

And this one consideration might stop the mouthes of those complayners, whether they be such as before they come to this age (having stu­died for some exceptions against it) fall into a base account of it; or Old Men themselves, un­worthily so called, which are ever whining and complaining of their onus Aetna gravius (so [Page 9] they tearme it) a burden forsooth tha, lyes hea­vier then the hill Aetna upon their shoulders: as if the multitude of yeares were the cause of al [...] miseries.

But let them goe on, both the one sort and th [...] other, and not spare any one of the imputation [...] ▪ wherewith commonly they load this age, which i [...] the end or period o [...] mans pilgrimage; that [...] we may see whether there be any soundness [...] truth or reason in them.

Vindiciae Senectutis, OR, A PLEA FOR OLD-AGE.


CHAPTER I. Which conteynes the first imputation, and the answer thereunto.

THey disable this age1. Com­plaint. Old-age makes un­fit for im­ployment. first for imployment in the necessary af­faires of this life: as if men farre growne in yeeres, were altogether unpro­fitable [Page 11] both in respect of God and men. And is it so? are wee inAnsw. Old-age quite worne out and good1. De­baushnesse of youth causeth it. for nothing? certainly when any fall into such a debaushnesse, they may thanke their younger yeares for it. For the proverb is true, Erigere durum est, qui cadit juvenis, senem. A hard thing it is to make him stand firme in Old-age that fell in youth. Quis ullam spem ullius boni habebit in eo, cujus pri­mum tempus aetatis fuerit ad omnes libidines divulgatum. Who (Cic ad Se­natum post reditum. saith one) can have hope of any good in him, whose first yeeres have beene spent in all manner of lusts and luxury? Senes in melius mu­tari ab inolita vitiorum consuetudine, difficilimum est, (sayes De ordi­ne vitae. S. Ber­nard.) Hard it is, Old-men after a long continued custome in vici­ousnesse, to be reformed. The [Page 12] young-mans intemperance must beare the blame of his deficiency when he is in yeeres. His idle­nesse in youth, and wast of im­ployment then, in honest and pro­fitable courses, is the cause of his inability for action when hee is aged. I except here the defici­ency2. Many things which de­bilitat [...] old-age, do the like to youth. that comes by sicknesse, or any other accident, which may and doth enfeeble the youngest and ablest body, as we see by day­ly experience. But if it stand thus, why is Old-age blamed for that which younger yeares bring upon it?

Howbeit wee here stand upon [...]. Elder yeeres best fitted for best im­ploymēts. our deniall, and doubt not to say that elder yeares are best fitted for the greatest and most impor­tant employments, and that when the former ages are brought into comparison with this, it may bee [Page 13] truly said, Euri [...] in Androm. [...], An Eagles old-age is better then the youth of a Lark. And to this pur­pose one saith more plainely, mul­tis juvenibus antestat senex, cui mens adest generosa. An Old-man of a generous disposition, is to bee preferred before many young­men.

If wee should deny this, expe­rienceGreat things done by old-men. in sundry examples would confute us. The examples (I say) of not a few worthies, who in ex­treame age, either by their natu­rall constitution, or by their so­briety and temperance in the for­mer part of their life, or by Gods hand and speciall working in them, have beene fit and able to mannage great matters. Deut. 34 7. Moses 1. Moses. lived to 120. and then his eye was not dimme, nor his naturall strength abated, and how wise, [Page 14] valiant, and industrious a captaine was he [...]o that people? how faith­full also to God in a service so difficult, that when he considered the weight of it, and cast his eye from it to himselfe, he drew back, as wee know: Exod. 3. 11. Who am I that I should goe to Pharoah, &c. Be­hold him in the 31, and 32. Chap­ters of Deutrenomie, how hee carryes himselfe towards Ioshua, in putting courage into him, chap. [...]1. verse. 7, 8. and towards the Priests and Elders, Ibid. v. 9, &c. towards the whole people also throughout both the Chapters, and ye shall find him, even then, immediately before his death, ex­traordinarily strong, active, and every way able for that great ser­vice. Josh 24. Ioshua died at 110. and2 Ioshua. immediately before how did hee bestir him, in that his farewell­speech, [Page 15] to settle the people in a resolution to serve the Lord, to for sake the false gods, and to knit their hearts to God. Iosh. 14. 10, 11. 4. Cyrus. Caleb 3 Caleb at 85. was as able both for warre and government as when hee was but of 40. yeares. Cyrus lived to a great age: yet when he died, in his last words he professed that he felt himselfe at that time no wea­ker then in his youth. It is said of Agesilaus, that being extreamly [...]. Agesi­laus. old, hee was seene in winter to walke bare-foot, and without his garment, that hee might be a pat­terne of patience to the young men. Gorgius Leontinus that had [...]. Gorgius Leontinus. Isocrates, and many others of rare wit for his schollers, being asked when he was aged 107. why hee would live so long; answered, Quia nihil habeo, quod senectutem accusem: because (said he) I have [Page 16] nothing whereof to accuse Old­age of, &c. Plin lib. 7 cap 48. Fabius Maximus we7▪ Fabius Maximus. read, that being very old, he quit himselfe in warre, as when he was young: and that he was Augur 62. yeares, being of ripe age when he entred that office. Isocrates was8. Isocrates 9. Plato. of 94. when he wrote that [...]ana­thenaicum, and lived after it 5 yeares. Plato at 81. dyed with his penne in his hand. Sophocles 10 Sopho­cles. wrote tragedies in his dotage, if his sonnes might have beene beleeved. Massarissa the King of11. Massa­nissa. Numidia, at 90. went barefoot and covered not his head for any raine or cold. Wee may not passe by that worthy Patron of Old-age CATO MAIOR. Plinie sayes of12. Cato Major. him, that in his last dayes he was optimus Orator, optimus Senator, optimus Imperator. A most elo­quent Orator, a most wise Senator [Page 17] and a most valiant and compleat Generall, touching whom also, it is a strong proofe that he had an able body, and was really indust­rious in Old-age, in that even then he learned the Greeke tongue, that most copious and hard lan­guage. A tedious task for such men: children being for this more apt, both because they may bee forced to it by discipline, and in regard of their flexiblenesse for pronuntiation. Whence is that proverb, senis mutare mores, no­ting a difficulty if not an impossi­bility of bringing Old-men to the childes yoke. In all these exam­ples, studiorum agitatio, vitae aequa­lis fuit: that to which their studies had for many yeeres been accusto­med and framed, went along with them to their lives end. Even as the course of waters in rivers or [Page 18] streames: Rusticu [...] expectat dum deflui [...] am [...]is, at ille labitur, &c Horat. Epist. lib. 1 the simple rustick that beholds them gliding along, con­ceives that the channell will soone be dried up, which not­withstanding holds on in its won­ted course. So some ignorants when men are growne old, sup­pose they have spent their store, and that all is at an end with them, but they are deceived. For by long use the agitation of their wits, studies and actions, becomes na­turall to them, so that the cur­rent cannot be stopt.

But for the further manifesting of this point, it would be consi­dered, what the workes are in which men may profitably bee imployed in this life. Wee will take it as granted, that they are ei­ther publique or private. Let us looke into them: but first in the ge­nerall.

[Page 19]Wee may not thinke that theseOld-mens abilities in the gra­ces of the mind. affaires are managed by bodily strength and agility (Prov. 10. 29. the young­mans glory) so much as by the vertues and graces of the minde, the crowne of elder yeeres. An Old-man sees better a farre off then a younger. So by the in­ward eyes of his minde, he rea­ches further then the other, both backward through experience, and forward by providence and forecast.

What shall wee thinke; is theAbilities of the mind, the best. body made of the dust of the earth, and adjudged thither to returne, of greater use and ability then that immortall substance, and farre bet­ter part of man, the soule? thatThe soules excellency soule by which the body (before but as a livelesse statue or image) receiv'd life, when by the Spirit of God it was breathed into it: [Page 20] through which also man became the principall living creature, be­ing furnished not onely with life, but sense and reason, and with all the indowments that might make him like to his Creator? that soule, the losse whereof our Saviour tells us can no way be recompensed? the soulè which Physitians define to bee principium & causa functio­num viventis corporis: the origi­nall and cause of the functions or offices of the living body? Cer­tainely the body to the mind is but a meere instrument, no more then the axe or the hammer to the carpenter.

Is want of bodily strength anyAbilities of the bo­dy cōmon to wicked and to beasts. great disparagement? why, God gives this strength often to the wicked whom he regards not, and many times more then to his deere children. Yea, many brute beasts, [Page 21] as the Lion, Hart, Elephant, Bull, Camell and some others, go farre beyond men in this gift. Homil. ad pop 40. tom. 4. Chry­sostome therfore expostulates with such as are proud of their bodily strength in this manner. Art thou strong and lifted up in regard thereof? I tell thee that the thing whereof thou vauntest is base: for the Lyon is bolder then thou, and the Bore stronger: yea, rob­bers, theeves, and ruffians, and thine owne servants doe herein excell thee, and dost thou then count this a thing so much to be esteemed? And as for agility and swiftnesse, wert thou as nimble as Asael, yet the Deere and Hare would out-runne thee.

God hath made us men: andMans glo­ry where­in it con­sisteth. therefore extreame folly it is to boast of that, or to make any great account of it, wherein the very [Page 22] beasts goe before us. God hath made us Christians: let us know our place and condition, and not think that the want of such things as the Heathen have excelled us in, doth disable us to doe our Cre­ator service in whatsoever cal­ling. Let us observe the counsell Cic de Senect. of him that advises us, when we have this bodily strength, to use it: when it leaves us, to count it no great want or losse.

Arist in fine Phy­siog. The Philosopher tells us that great and strong men ordinarily have lesse wit and wisedome then others, in which respect we may with Themistocles, liken many of them to the sword-fish, which hath a weapon but is heartlesse, they proove many times no bet­ter then that foole of Salomons, in whose hand there is a price, but his heart failes him. Great [Page 23] strength when wisedome and grace is not answerable, breedes such a spirit in men as was in La­mech, Nimrod, Goliah, the An [...] ­chims, and the like giants. It is not the vast bignesse or largenesse of the body that makes a man compleat, but the largenesse of his heart, as in Salomon, 1 Kings. 4. 29.

All action consisteth not in theNor all, nor the best acti­ons in bodily strength. strength of the body: no, nor the greatest and most profitable. Hee that in a ship sits at the sterne, not mooving out of his place, though his bodily paines be not so great as of others who labour in it: yet doth he alone more for the bringing of all safe to the ha­ven, then all the rest. This ther­fore must be held as a sure Max­ime,Most good done by the mind. that more good is done by the endeavours of the mind, then by [Page 24] bodily force. Prov. 11 14. Where no coun­sell is (saith the wise-man) the people fall, but where many counsellors are there is health. And againe, Prov. 15. 2 [...]. without counsell thoughts come to naught: but in the multitude of counsellors there is stedfastnesse.

Experience is said to be stul­torum Experiēce a good teacher. magistra, and so indeed it is: for it makes them wise who before were nothing lesse. Arist. lib 1. Metaph. Art teacheth onely generalls: expe­rience informes us in particulars: which is the best and surest know­ledge. Ovid. Meta­morph. Now the Poet tells us,—ser is venit usus ab annis, it is multitude of yeares that makes a man experimentally and truelyOld-age hath the best op­portuni­ties for wisedome wise.

Here it will be objected: Is all counsell then lockt up in the breast of the aged? may not [Page 25] young-men be able to give ad­vice I answer, Yes, but wee speake comparatively, and say onely, that Old-men have better meanes and opportunities for it then the younger, and yet the Philosopher doubts not to aver, that a young-man wanting time and experience, cannot be wise, so wise as I understand it. But further I answer, that my speech tends not to the disabling of any: onely it would free the age I treat of, from disgrace and contempt. Howsoever there is an instance that will extort from us a confes­sion of thus much at the least, that when the counsell of the aged hath beene rejected, and the ad­vice of younger men preferred before it, the successe hath beene very unhappy. It cost (we know) Rehoboam farre the greater part [Page 26] of his Kingdome.Learning increaseth by age.

But againe, some man hap'ly will say that the Old-mans weak­nesse and insufficiency seizes not onely on the body, but possesses the mind also. I answer, first In Epist. ad Nepot. with St. Ierom, that Old-men instructed in youth in the liberall artes, and exercised in the medi­tation of the law of God day and night, thereby become through their age, more learned; by use, more setled; by succession of time, more wise: and doe reape most sweete fruit by their long continued studies. Discipulus est prior [...]s posterior dies, saith Seneca, the following day ever learnes of the precedent. Nunquam ita quisquam subductâ ratione ad vi­tam fuit, quin, &c. Teren. in Pharm. Never (sayes the Comick) was any man so ex­act in resolving of the frame and [Page 27] course of his life; whom either new occurrences, or age, or ex­perience did not assist with sup­ply, and adde somewhat for the profiting of his judgement, and resolution, minding him of that whereby he perceaved that what he thought he knew, he knew not, and what hee held to be his best way, after triall he rejected as not so good. Solon. Another saith of him­selfe, [...], as I grow in yeares I grow in lear­ningDefects of Old-age most in the body▪ and knowledge. Againe I answer, that where the defects and failings of Old-age are fully and elegantly set forth, as Eccles. 12. there is mention onely of bo­dily defects: or if of the mindes infirmities also, they are such as proceed from the deficiency of the bodily instruments, which (I confesse) decay by Old-age: so [Page 28] as neither the inward nor outward senses can doe their office so well as otherwise they might, but all this is to be imputed to the body, and not to the mind, and the young-man in that place standes charged with it, as with the ef­fects and fruits of his wilde and unbridled carriage. Epist. 26. Seneca said of himselfe, non sentio in animo aetatis injuriam, to my minde my yeares are no prejudice at all.

Come we now to the particu­lar objects of mens indeavours afore mentioned. In the first place wee will consider of pub­lique affaires, and they are either civill in the common-weale, or ecclesiasticall in the body spiri­tuall, or Church of God.

Publique civill affaires may be distinguished by the times of peace and warre. When there [Page 29] is peace, questionlesse the gowneOld-men of best use in peace. (which best fits the Old-mans backe) is preferred before the sword, shield, or helmet, as of greater use for that time. Peace and prosperity, if extraordinarily wise governours be not as a strong bit to hold men in, is the mother and nurse of innumerable vices. Sodom and Gomorrah are speciall instances. In peace therefore for the repressing of infinite enormi­ties, the greatest wisedome is re­quired, and where will that be found if not in the aged, in the grave Senate, which hath its de­nomination a senibus, from Old­men? The sagest and wisest a­mong the Israelites were stiled, the Elders of the children of Is­raell. The 24. which sate round about the throne, (Rev. 4 4.) were Elders, and upon that place [Page 30] Perer. one saith, that whereas gover­ning, instructing, judging, coun­selling are necessary in every so­ciety; Old-men are the fittest for the reverence of their age, ripe­nesse of judgement, gravity of carriage, experience in many things, and not least, for their freedome from perturbations, and quietnesse of their mindes; for the Old-man hath overcome his carnall lusts, and triumphs over them, saith De legat. ad Cam. Philo, and so is crow­ned as a conquerour, Prov. 16. 31. The 28. likewise, of which Lycurgus made choice for his assessors, were Old-men: Pl [...]tar. in vita Li­cur. A­ristotle tells us that for the coun­sell-table and seat of judgement, wisedome and experience are ne­cessary, and that these are to be found chiefly in Old-men. lib. 7. polit. cap. 7. In the time of peace [Page 31] therefore that must be admitted, cedant armatoga. Now touchingOld-men best Gene­ralls in wa [...]re. warre, It may be thought that young-men who are full of hot blood, and have quicke and stir­ring spirits, are the onely actors for this employment, and to with­stand the enemy. But neither may this be granted, unlesse we thinke that Caius Minutius was a better Generall then Qu. Fabius Maximus, whom old Ennius honours with this encomium, unus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem: that hee was the man, who by his wise delayes restored Rome to Rome neere lo [...]t by the other rash, heady, young captaine. Or that he was out, who being asked whom he counted the best leader of his time, said, Pyrrhus were he old-enough. Or that Paulus Ae­milius knew not what hee said [Page 32] and did; who when he had with labour and difficulty (through which his forces grew weary and weake) broken in upon his enemies that were strongly en­camped; and was wished by Na­sica presently to set upon them; made answer, that so hap'ly hee should, were he of his age and yeares, a man so young.

What is the number of armed men, be they never so strong andOld-men fittest coū ­sellers for warre. valorous, when they are not go­verned by wise and stayed Cap­taines? or when the table of counsellors of warre doth not be­fore hand, and after, during the service, upon due consideration of all circumstances of such a bu­sinesse, advise and direct what is to be done? What is it (I say) but as a great flocke of sheepe without a wise and watchfull [Page 33] shepheard, pursued and worried by woolves ready to devoure them? Even like to that which befell 1 King. 22. King Ahab and all Is­raell, when having refused the wise counsell of Michaia, hee would needes be swayed by the false advice of the false Prophets, touching his going to Ramoth Gi­lead? They were as the Pro­phet had foreseene, and foretold they should be, scattered upon the mountaines, as sheepe that had no shepheard.

Thus in the civill state: how in the Church of God? Heere the Ministers of the Gospell are the worke-men, the men of AC­TION. Touching whom it is to be considered, both what is re­quired of them in their place and function, and also how farre Old­age disables them for it.

[Page 34]The taske or worke, which in­deedThe Mi­nisters worke a weighty taske. is of great weight, and of no lesse difficulty, is enjoyned them by their Master, the Heb. 13. 20. great shep­heard of the sheepe, the LORD JESUS: and therfore his Word must be the rule of it. Now the office or charge is set forth unto us in Scripture, by divers simili­tudes: for the Minister is com­pared,Ministers compared 1 To Shep­heards.

First, to a Shepheard, and his worke to feeding. 1 Pet. 5. 2. Feede the flocke of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, &c. So Ioh. 21. 15. our Saviour to Peter: Lovest thou mee more then these? and againe, Lovest thou mee, &c. and the third time, Lovest thou mee more then these? then, feed, feed, feed. Hee had denied his Master three severall times: thrice therefore he is questioned [Page 35] for it. And three strict com­mands of feeding he receives, by obedience whereunto, hee must proove himselfe a true convert. As Luk. 22 32. in another place, when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren, namely by feeding, that must be an evidence both of his repentance, and thankfullnesse also to Christ, who by prayer had stengthened his faith.

Secondly 1 Cor. 3. to a Builder, thata To Buil­ders. must lay CHRIST JESUS for the foundation, and build upon it gold, silver, and pretious stones, not wood, hay, stubble.

Thirdly, to Ibid. a Husband-man:3 To Hus­band-men such an one as labours carefully, diligently, painefully Jer. 4. to plow up the fallow-ground of mens hearts, and to sow good seed, not corruptible, but the 1 Pet.▪ 1. 23. incorrup­tible seed, the seed of regene­ration, [Page 36] which lives and abides for ever: whereas all flesh is grasse which withers and fades away.

Fourthly, to Heb. 13. & Ezech. 33. a Watchman4 To Watch­men. that must give account; whose soule (tremble we at it) lies in pawne for the soules of the peo­ple.

Fiftly, to a Steward, Mat. 24. a faith­full5 To Stew­ards. and wise steward, whom his Lord makes ruler over his house­hold, to give them meate in due season: to divide the word a­right, and to give every one his portion.

Sixtly, to an Embassador for6 His Em­bassadors. 2 Cor. 5. 20. Christ, a most honourable ser­vice: a service of greatest conse­quence to the state of the King­dome of Heaven.

To bee a Shepheard of CHRISTS flocke, a Builder of [Page 37] HIS house or Temple: a Hus­bandman in HIS husbandry, a Watchman to HIS people, a Steward to HIS family, an Em­bassador to HIM; it is indeed a great and a hard taske: and [...]? Who is sufficient for these things? Not the Old-man, will some say: hee is too weake to beare so great a burden. True itOld-men not so fit for the pulpit as young. is that in Suggesto, in the pulpit or­dinarily he may not stand in com­parison with younger men, whose sides are strong and able for a Boanerges, a sonne of thunder, which name (saith St. Nazianzen) was given to Iames and Iohn [...], for the strength of their voice. Yet wee reade of Nestor, old Nestor, that from his mouth, even in extreame age, melle dul­cior fluebat oratio: that his speech even then was sweet, pleasing and [Page 38] delightfull. It is indeed the Old­mans decorum, his grace, to speake according to his temper, softly, and with a low voice. His speech must be grave and short, (in Psal. 113. saith St. Austin) grave (as I under­stand it) because hee speakes with authority: and short for want of strength and breath. Yet may he doe it, if not with Nestor, sweetly, profitably at the least.

The cheefe part of the Mini­steriallPreaching the chie­fest Mini­steriall function. office (I grant) is prea­ching by voice, by meanes wher­of, more ordinarily faith is wrought, and men brought into Christs sheepe-fold: for faith is by hearing. Yet it will not be denied, that the Word of God is taught also, yea and preached, byPreaching by pen. the penne; else why did Moses write those five bookes? and the Prophets write and publish their [Page 39] prophecies? and the Apostles penne and send abroad to the Churches, (which by voice in presence they had planted) the history of the Gospell and their Epistles? and after them the Bi­shops and inferiour Pastors of the primitive Church their writings, of which (we know) the Church of God hath had, and still hath so great and profitable use. It mayThe pen goes fur ther then the voice. be truely said, that bookes have winges, and flie abroad into all parts of the world, whereas the sound of the voice reacheth not farre. And it is well observed, that the translating of the old­Testament into greeke by the Septuagint, was a written prea­ching, which prepared the way for Christ among the Gentiles, as the vocall preaching of Iohn Baptist (who was the voice of one [Page 40] crying in the wildernesse) did a­mong the Iewes.

Now for this kinde of prea­ching,Old-age fittest for writing. that is, for writing, Old­age is the fittest and ablest part of mans life.

Tell mee not what thou hast heard and read, and onely so, but what after thy hearing and rea­ding, thou hast often taken into thy deepest meditations, 1 Thes. 5 tryed and found to be the truth, in this or that point; setled in thy judge­ment; fixed in thy memory; em­braced in thy affections; then, a long time practised in thy life and actions; and so made it to be tru­lyWhat is true lear­ning. thine owne. This, and onely this, is rightly called learning: and for it the Ancients will be best provided, by reason of the long time they have had to pro­fit their meditations and writings, [Page 41] by their continuall private cor­rections and retractations: which are lesse offensive then the pub­lique: and so they will be the ablest men for keeping the Presse in worke, observing the rule of the Poet, Horat. in Arte Poet. Novum (que) prematur in annum.

As therefore the Apostle willOld-Men bel [...] furni­shed for writing. have Timothies youth to be no disrespect to his Ministery: so must younger men be intreated not to rob 1 Tim. 5 17. the Elder of his due honour, when hee labours in the word and doctrine, though not by a vocall preaching so much, (by reason of bodily weaknesse) yet by writing, for which he may be better furnished then others, even by his age. For having in his younger dayes beene indust­rious, taught by the Pismire (to which Salomon sends us) by his [Page 42] former labours to provide for the winter of his life; and learned of the Bee, to store up the word, sweeter then honey, and so be­come a Scribe, instructed to the Kingdome of God; hee brings forth of his treasury things both new and old. If hee have beene idle in his youth, it is youths fault, not to be imputed to Old-age. For Eccles. 25. how canst thou find that when thou art old, which in youth thou laidest not up?

Hitherto it hath beene prooved that elder yeares disable not for publique service, either in Church or Common-weale. Now trie we whether the like may be made good, touching private businesses. They are domesticall or perso­nall.Old-age fittest for ordering families.

First of affaires in the family. We may not thinke that the house [Page 43] thrives and prospers onely or chiefely, by the toyling labours of such as in it have stronger bo­dies, and doe more servile works. The Masters knowledge for or­dering every businesse: his eye for oversight: his authority for holding every one to his taske: his wisedome and discretion in governing all that are under him: his assiduity in prayer, for a bles­sing upon all their indeavours: and lastly, his instructing them (according to his measure of knowledge,) that they may un­derstand themselves, and doe what is required in their severall places; first in obedience to God their great master, that hath called them thereunto, and then also to him whom God hath set over them: that they may doe their worke Eph. 6. 5, 6. not with eye-service, but [Page 44] in singlenesse of heart, as unto Christ, and as the servants of Christ. These things are cheefe­ly conducing to the welfare and prosperity of a family.

When these duties of the Pa­ter-familias What best builds up an house. are omitted, God is excluded from building the house: and so that house hath a miserable downe-fall, Psal. 107. 1. they all labour in vaine that build it. And contrariwise, these thinges duly performed, are the most necessary and strongest pillars to uphold the family. Now for these Old-age is ever the fittest, in regard of its endowments afore mentioned.

And heere, because (Cic. in Parad. as one saith) it is adull and livelesse dis­course that wants examples for proofe of what is said; let us see how this point may be exempli­fied.

[Page 45] Abraham was 140. yeares old,Old men worthy Gover­nours of families. as, 1 Abrahā. when hee tooke that wise and re­ligious course, for the placing of his sonne Isaack in marriage, the most important businesse of a fa­mily: (which wrought on Re­beckah, that holy passion expressed, Gen. 27. 46. I am weary of my life for the daughters of Heth: If Iacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these of the daughters of the land, what availeth it mee 2 Isaack. that I live?) In like manner Isaack when hee was old, and his eyes dimme with age, provided (in this kinde) for that his sonne Iacob. In Iacob, the father of 12.3 Iaacob. sonnes, wee shall see a worthy ex­ample of an able Pater-familias, even then when yeares were mul­tiplied upon him; if wee behold him, Gen. 48. and 49. Chapters, how when his sonne Ioseph was [Page 46] come to doe the duty of an obe­dient and gracious sonne, to his sicke, and now dying father; hee rouses himselfe up in his bed, takes strength both of body and minde, and in that strength (as a Prophet) foretells, what would be the lot or condition of every one of his children, even to the comming of Christ: transferring the right of the first borne, both touching the inheriting the double portion in Canaan (otherwise due to his eldest sonne Ruben, Deut. 21. The cause whereof is exprest, Chap. 49. v. 14.) to the two sons of Ioseph, Ephraim and Manasses: and also concerning the dignity (the other part of the first-bornes right) to Iuda, in whose tribe the authority and power for governe­ment was constantly to remaine, to the comming of Shiloh: so of [Page 47] the rest as in these two Chapters.4. David. David is another example, he was old, and a dying man, when hee gave order for the setling of Salo­mon in the kingdome: a most im­portant businesse (not politicke onely but domesticke) mannaged by him with great wisedome and courage, as we may observe [...] Kings. cap. [...]. & 2. in every circumstance of it: his age was no let. One example more: Appius Claudius caecus being of a5. Appius Claudius. great age and blind also, most carefully and wisely governed a numerous family, consisting of 4. sonnes, and 5. daughters, and many servants, having also not a few clients belonging to him.

And now what shall we say toMan cast ing up his accompt a weighty worke. mens personall affaires? are Old­men unable to manage them? I passe by other particulars of lesse importance. What thinke we of [Page 48] that greatest and weightiest worke, that any man can take in hand in this life? our often, or rather dai­ly casting up our account, and making our peace with God? that unum necessarium, the thing that chalengeth our most earnest and most attentive thoughts and studies? the thing to which our whole life is destined? the busi­nesse which who so neglects, all his labours under the sunne will profit him nothing at all? shall we, can we thinkethat the servants of God (for of such Old-men weOld-Men fittest to cast up their ac­compt. speake all this while) when they are growne in yeares, and have served him long, doe waxe worse and worse by their long continu­ance in their faithfull service? they in whom the graces of Gods Spirit have had their increase yeare after yeare for a long space? [Page 49] that they, after all this, shall be the weakest and most insufficient for this worke of their account? doth God cast off an old servantGod casts not off an old servāt. that hath beene faithfull unto him, or extinguish that fire of grace, which hath beene so long in kind­ling and increasing? No, no; to such an one he will say, Mat. 25. well done good servant and faithfull, &c. certainely whom God once loves, he loves to the end: and his gifts are without repentance.

For this, David prayes Psal. 71. with faith and assurance of ob­taining. v. 9. Cast mee not off in the time of old age: forsake mee not when my strength faileth, and after, v. 18. Now also when I am gray­headed, forsake me not. Gods pro­mises best apprehen ded by old men.

Againe, touching our appre­hension of Gods promises, which concerne our salvation, is it not [Page 50] most eager and ardent, most hun­gring and thirsting in elder yeares, when the good fight is fought, and the race neere runne? yes certainely. Wee may have an eye before to the promised inheri­tance, and to the recompence of reward with Moses: but then, in Old-age, obuijs ul [...]is, with reached forth armes we embrace it. Then, Come Lord Iesu: then our hand is on it, as it were: then we say with aged St. Paul, Now hence forth is layed up for mee, &c. Then we earnestly endeavour to that which is before us, and more neere us, pressing hard towards the marke: then with old Simeon, we resigne our selves to God, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart, Old-mens motion to heaven the stron­gest. &c. The motion of each body is according to the quality of it: things that are heavy (we know) [Page 51] are carried downewards: that which is light, soares upwards, so the unregenerate, the naturall man, being earthly, and of a lum­pish quality, sinkes downe still lower and lower, even towards hell, till he is converted, and al­tered in his condition and incli­nation; and the neerer he is to Acts. 1. 24. his owne place, the faster hee moves, if grace prevent it not. So, on the contrary, the man that is spirituall, being also heavenly, moves towards heaven, and there­fore the neerer he approaches to that his place (as in Old-age) the stronger will his motion be. An Old-man knowes that he is at the end of the day, for which he is hi­red to worke in Gods vineyard: and therefore the time of his worke being neere upon expiring, he will bestirre him, least death as [Page 52] the night overtake him, and put an end to his day or life, before his worke be at an end; hee will be carefull to observe that wise and necessary precept. Eccles. 9. 10. Whatsoever thy hand shall finde to doe, doe it with all thy power: for there is neither worke, nor invention, nor knowledge, nor wisedome in the grave whither thou goest. He will labour (Col. 4. 5. as the Apostle exhorts) to redeeme the pretious time formerly neg­lected and lost, (as who loses not much) and thus his age is so farre from disabling him for this work, as that it is to him a speciall pre­monitor, that doth aurem vellere, and call upon him to be prepared for his dissolution; and who then would complaine of so helpfull acompanion, or be weary of him, or accuse him of inability.

And heere now this also must [Page 53] be considered, that every age orEvery age hath pro­per im­ploymēts part of mans life hath, as gifts dif­ferent from the rest, so likewise a different calling and employment, or taske. There is one of child­hood, another of youth, a third of ripe age: and Old-age differs from them all. It were unreaso­nable to expect that of a child, which is required of young-men: or that of young-men which be­longs to a greater growth: so nei­ther must every thing that any of the former should doe, be required of Old-men.God laies no more on any age then what its able to beare.

To grow towards a conclusion of this point; I say further, if we grant that some inability for acti­on is to be found in this age, yet it will thence receive no disgrace: nor hath any man in yeares cause to complaine in that behalfe. For God is not to us as Pharaoh to the [Page 54] Israelites: he is no exactor, hee laies no more upon any man or age, then he inables him to beare: except it be in case of his disa­bling himselfe, by loosing his talent. Numb. 8 25. God was so indulgent to the Levites, as that their cor­porall and painefull service about the Tabernacle, should determine and be no more required, after the age of 50. When Moses was old, Ioshua was appointed to be for him. When Eli grew aged and weake, God provided that Samuel should supply his defects. St. Austin when he was in yeares, gave over his Bishoprick to Eva­dius. Senec. de brev. vitae. cap. 20. It was a law among the Romanes, that after 50. none should be pressed to the warres: whence was that verse, s Miles de­positis annosus secubat armis. Nei­ther might any be forced to be of [Page 55] the Senate of Rome, after 60.

Solve scnescentem maturè sanus [...] Proper [...] 25. equum, ne

Peccet ad extremum ridendus & ilia ducat;

was the Poets suit to his Mecenas, and his reason for it.

If in youth and ripe age wee have beene diligent and paine­full, there is not much left, or in our hand to be done, when wee are old. If there be much behind, let us blame the former part of our life, not old-age.

A common, too common aTime cō ­monly too much mispent. thing it is for men to spend their strength, (Senec ad Lucil. E­pist. 1. as one saith) nihil agendo, or aliud agendo, or malè agendo: in doing nothing at all, or things impertinent, or things that are evill. These things men suffer, (Senec de brev. vitae. c. 3. sayes the same Author) to weare out their life, they divide [Page 56] it among them. Not so (saith he) in their goods, or lands: they are prodigall of their time, in which onely covetousnesse is lawfull (because time is pretious) but in other things, where it is for­bidden, they are extreamely co­vetous.

If then Old-men be dispensedQuiet ac­ceptable to old-age with, they may rejoyce at it, and comfort themselves in their ma­numission: and sit downe well contented, that being now eme­ritis stipendijs & rude donati, they are freèd from such labours and burdens as are too heavy for them. Why should they be dis­pleased at this so good a lot? Se­nectut is sors est otium & quies. It is the lot of old-age (saith one) that he hath leave to live quietly and be at rest.

Mans life is a pilgrimage, and [Page 57] will not the Pilgrim be glad of rest when he is weary? Francisc. Petrar. Amens viator est, qui labore viae exhaustus, velit ad initium remeare▪ It were madnesse in the Traveller, that is spent with the labour of his jour­ney, to desire to be where at the first he was. Our life is also a race: and how doth he that runnes it rejoyce when he is at the end of it?

A wonder it is that any manLosse of time vvorse in younger then in el­der yeares. should complaine of ease, or blame his age for freeing him of the toiles of this life. And, as for its being an occasion of con­tempt, in the eyes of younger folk; let them know, that one houre lost, or ill spent by them, while they are in their full strength, and not dispensed with for the workes of their callings (as none are) is more dis­grace [Page 58] to them, and shall also have a heavier account, then divers yeares of rest in Old-age, when men may truely say,—DEVS nobis haec otia fecit: God hath given us leave to be at rest.

The II. Chapter. Conteining the second supposed disgrace, cast upon OLD-AGE viz. Vncapablenesse of pleasures: and the answer.

FOr the full understanding of what shall be said in answer to this imputation; something is to be premised concerning the na­ture, and divers kindes of plea­sure.

[Page 59]First therefore to lay downe aWhat pleasure [...] generall and breefe description of it: It is defined to be a lifting up of the minde by the presence or hope of some good that is come unto us or may befall us, an ele­vating (I say) of the mind: for as when any evill betides us or is towards us, the minde is dejected and discomforted: so when the contrary, it is contrarily affected. The object of pleasure is someGood is the object of pleasure good that accrewes unto us: and according to the difference of things tearmed good, must plea­sures be differenced and distin­guished, for either they are falsely, or they are truely so cal­led. Falsely divers wayes. First when they are good in shew one­ly and opinion: and then it is false pleasure that arises from them, not unlike to that which [Page 60] was in Thrasilaus, who thought allFalse plea­sures the ships that arrived at the haven, to be his, and received them with great pleasure and rejoycing: that all (likewise) which set forth were his, which he dismis­sed with a joyfull expectation of a gainefull returne: all the while counting himselfe an happy man that was the owner of so great substance, if any of the ships mis­carried, he enquired not after them: if they returned safe, hee rejoyced. Thus was it with him in his frensy: and when he came to himselfe, he professed that he never lived more sweetely then when he was in that error, for hee had much pleasure (though false) and no care or trouble at all.

Secondly, things may not rightly be called good, when they are not so good, as they are [Page 61] esteemed. And they also yeeld a pleasure (at least in part) deceit­full.

Lastly, things may be thought good (and alas, nothing more common) when they are evill, and sinnefull pleasure taken in them must needes be the worst of all.

Now in every of these, Cit. 2. de finib. it is truely said, and rightly judged to be a vitious rejoycing, when a man thinkes without ground, he hath atteined to that which is good.

Touching the other▪ kinde of good, which we said is the object of pleasure, to wit, that which is truely and in its nature good, it is of two sorts: the one worldly and corporall, the other heavenly and spirituall: and answerable are the pleasures which come of [Page 62] them, either worldly or heaven­ly.

Concerning the worldly;Worldly pleasures though often, through the abuse of them they become carnall and divelish, yet in themselves they are good and lawfull.

First, because they are as a cor­diallHow worldly pleasures are good that releeves the infirmities of our weake nature: or as an Inne after a long and wearisome journey.

Secondly, they are the bles­sings of God to animate and in­courage us to obedience. Psal 104 15. God hath given man bread to streng­then him, and wine to glad his heart.

Thirdly, they are approoved of God in Scripture. Eccles. 3. [...]. There is a time to laugh and to dance, as well as to weepe and mourne. [...]h. v. 5. And the same Preacher telles us, that God [Page 63] answers man in the joy of his heart, and this rejoycing is (as it were) the condiment of▪ Gods outward blessings, without which such a blessing will cease to be a blessing. For what were it to have children, riches, honours, and not to rejoyce in them. Sa­lomon confirmes this also when he sayes, there is no good in out­ward blessings, but for a man to rejoyce and doe good in his life.

Fourthly, these pleasures are many times both the matter and occasion of praising God. The matter, when a man beholding the things in which he delights, as the aforesaid children, riches, &c. doth for them give God praise. Occasion, when we have used these pleasures so, as that thereby we come to the service of [Page 64] God with fresher spirits, and more cheerefullnesse.

Quest. But belong these plea­suresPleasures are good onely to the faith­full. to all men alike?

Answ. No, [...] Tim 1. 4. To the faithfull a­lone they are sanctified: onely Psal. 32. 1 [...]. The upright in heart can rejoyce, who can rejoyce when God is angry? Isa 57. 21. There is no peace to the wicked. As Iehu to Iehoram, how can there be peace so long as, &c. So, how can there bee true joy, so long as our sinnes stand unre­mitted?

Now, in the next place, it will be needfull that we shew the great difference betweene these two, corporall and spirituall pleasures and rejoycing.

First, the corporall are subjectDifferēces be [...]wixt corporall and spiri­tuall plea­sures. to excesse, whereby they become dangerous and hurtfull to the bo­dy and soule: but the spirituall [Page 65] cannot be immoderate: for they1 In mea­sure. arise from heavenly contemplati­on. [...] In pedi­gree. Psal 4. 6.

Another difference is, that they have a different pedigree: the one proceeding from Gods speciall favour, the other from worldly things.

A third: when the corpo­rall3 In satis­faction. nature is satisfied, those plea­sures cease: as when men have a­bated their hunger and thirst, meates and drinkes afford no de­light. Contrary-wise the heavenly joyes and pleasures remaine and continue, the object of them be­ing at all times pleasing and de­lectable: and the subject which is the soule and spirit of a man being alwayes capable of them.

Fourthly, the sensuall pleasures4 In sea­son. are not at all times in season. There is a time when Eccle. 1. to laugh­ter [Page 66] wee may say, thou art mad. As there is a time to laugh, so there is a time to weepe (Ibid) as name­ly when wee humble our selves before God for our sins, or when any calamity is either threatned, or inflicted. Thats a time to fast and pray and to afflict our soules: then no worldly pleasures may be admitted: they are as poyson to our humiliation. Then, Psa [...]2▪ 5. wee must sow in teares, that after we may reape with joy. Then, 1 Cor. 9. ult. the body must be kept under. Whence it is that the Luk. 16. Rich mans Epicurisme became the more odious and the greater sinne, in that he fared deli­ciously every day, he made no diffe­rence of times in his pleasures. but the heavenly joyes are not li­mited or excluded by any time. For even in the greatest heavinesse (which is the godly sorrow for [Page 67] sinne) the soule of Gods chil­dren partakes of joy and comfort; the Spirit of God, even then, yea and by meanes of that sorrow and repentance, assuring us, and sealing up unto us the forgive­nesse of our sinnes, it being pro­mised to such a turning to the Lord, from which assurance also ariseth peace with God and un­utterable joy and rejoycing in our hearts.

Fiftly, another difference be­tweene5 In sta­blenesse. them is in regard of the unstablenesse of the one, and the firmenesse of the other. While the comedy lasts, the spectator laughs: but the play and his pleasure end together. Contrariwise the spi­rituall Pro. 15. 15. joy is a continuall feast. Satan himselfe cannot rob the pos­sessor of it, it is setled upon him by the word of Christ, your [Page 68] joy shall not be taken from you.6 In Puri­ty.

Sixtly and lastly, in regard of purity. Worldly pleasures and delights have alwayes some mix­ture of bitternesse, while a man feedes his conceit with aboun­dance of temporall things, his heart is fed upon by three devou­ring vultures: much care in get­ting, more feare in keeping, and most griefe in loosing: and as for greatnesse (so greedily hunted after) it is ordinarily a continu­all vexation; because of envy from inferiours, thwarting of competitors and jealousies of Princes and such like. How ma­ny great mens hearts have burst with the blasting frowne of a Kings fore-head? Nay some­times the disrespect of no very great one, marrs all, which is in­stanced in Haman.

[Page 69]Thus, by way of preface (o­ver-longSpirituall pleasures most pro­per to old age. I confesse) I have laid the ground-worke of my answer to the aforenamed imputation, and now I aske whether of these two kindes of pleasures is it, the want whereof they say is a disad­vantage to Old-age. The hea­venly? they will not, they can­not say it. For who may be more replenisht with this joy then the Old-man, in whom the graine of mustard-seed hath had so long time to take roote, and to grow up to a tree that reaches up even to Heaven, the seate of everlasting joy and happinesse? then hee whose daily exercise it is to stand knocking at the gates of Heaven, of his house and home, towards which he hath beene long tra­velling, 2 Cor. 5. 4. and for which he hath fetcht many a sigh and grone?

[Page 70]The other kinde therefore ofWant of corporall pleasure is no great disadvan­tage. joy or pleasure it is of which men (belike) are deprived by living long. And of that what shall we now say? If wee aske heathen Philosophers their opinion, theyThe vani­ty of cor­porall pleasure will tell us, that it is grosse and brutish: both an inticement to vice and a nourisher of it: that to bring pleasure into the company of vertues, is to set a strumpet a­mongst chast and honest Matrons: that to say it is our cheefe good, is, vox pecudum, non hominum, to speake like brute beasts, not like men; that the greater the plea­sure, the more it remooves the minde from its seat and state: that it is a flattering enemie: that with vertue it hath no converse, nothing at all to do: that it makes a man neither better, nor more praise-worthy: that nature hath [Page 71] given to man nothing more capi­tall and deadly, a greater plague or enemy: that no high or hea­venly cogitation can consist with it: that he is not to be counted a man, that would spend one whole day in such pleasure: Cic 2. de finib. that it more often leaves cause of repen­tance then of remembring it: Boet. lib. 3. de conso­lat. that the desire of it is full of anxi­ety and doubtfull feare, but the saciety of it, is repentance: Cic de o­ratore. that to it loathing is the nearest neigh­bour. Senec▪ E­pist. 28. What enemies (saies one) can bring upon a man so great reproach and shame, as comes to some men by their own rejoycing? There is (saith the same Author) a sort of men that drowne themselves in plea­sure, without which they cannot be, when once they are accusto­med to it: herein most miserable [Page 72] that they are come to this passe, that the things which before were superfluous and needlesse, are now [...]o them made necessary, and so they serve their pleasures, enjoy them not. Idem E­pist. 51. In another place hee tells us, that pleasures embrace us to the end they may stifle and strangle us: where also hee gives us an instance in Ha [...]ni­ball, so hardy and patient, that hee endured the snow, ice and ex­treame coldnesse, and also the dangerous passage on the Alpes: but yet the pleasures of Campania enervated and overcame him. So what he had gained by warre, he lost by pleasures. Ethic. lib. 7. c. 11. Aristotle will not have such pleasures to bee numbered among things that are good, because they are not the subject of any art.

This account the Heathen made [Page 73] of this kinde of joy; the vanity and evill whereof they had lear­ned onely by experience, and the light of nature, but we have be­sides these the Scripture for our warrant; and thence wee are taught, that such as live in plea­sures, are dead while they live, and that Salomon hath long time passed his sentence on them, that they are vanity. Salomon, who had them in great aboundance, who professes of himselfe, that whatsoever his eyes desired, hee held it not from them, that hee gave himselfe to wine, builded houses, &c. as Eccle. 2. and when he had sucked from these delights what possibly they might affoord, in the end he is forced to con­fesse, that they are all vanity and vexation.

This world is like to an infecti­ous [Page 74] house, in which a man is for­cedCorporall pleasures dangerous to dwell, he hath no remedy: and such pleasures are a part of the world, Gal. 6. 14 and must therefore be crucified to us and wee to them. They are the Divells baites which he laies to catch us. Hamus Di­aboli trahens ad perniciem, Adsanct Bapt. saies S. Basil, they are the kisses of an enemy, pleasant indeed, but most dangerous and hurtfull: Pro. 27 6. and ther­fore the wounds of a lover are to be preferred before them, they are Iudas-like kisses, that watch their time to betray us.

Voluptuous living is as Luk. 8. 14. thornes that choke the Seed of the Word. It is possible and too common a thing that a man addicted much to pleasures [...] Tim▪ 3. 4. should love them more then God, to most men they are Heb. 11. 15. the pleasures of sin.

Here haply it will be objected, [Page 75] that what hath beene said in thisCorporal pleasures can hardly be well u [...] sed. point, makes not simply against pleasures; but pleasures abused. In answer whereto I say, first that our corrupt nature is ever ready to abuse them: and therefore bet­ter and safer it is to want, then to have them. Can we so mistake our selves as not to know either who or where we are? Our owne weakenesse or inability to stand upright? or the ground on which we are while given to pleasures how slippery it is? Our first Parents when they were in their full strength fell from their innocency, in that Garden of de­lights: and shall we then be con­fident and secure in this our weake constitution of body and sinne­full disposition of soule, and think our selves free from the danger of earthly pleasures? If by that [Page 76] their [...] a world of calami­ties fell upon them and their po­sterity; what may we feare will come on us, when to the misery of Adams abusing pleasures, that is added which is due to our like sinne! It will be misery upon misery, even an heape or pile of evills. The tempter was so flesht by the foile hee gave, and the victory he got in Paradice, that he presumed to lay the same baite for our Saviour himselfe in the wildernesse; and though there he was repulst, yet by the same temptation hee hath since, and doth continually prevaile more or lesse with all the sons of A­dam.

God usually layes afflictionsAfflictiōs to weane us from pleasures. upon his deerest children, giving them the soure of this world, ra­ther then the sweet: and it is to [Page 77] weane them from the tickling delights of bodily pleasures. Certainely God would not put them, whom he so entirely loves, to purchase their freedome from these things at so deare a rate, were they not exceedingly dangerous unto them.

But the Apostle makes a di­rectLawfull things in danger let goe. answer to this objection; 1 Cor. 6. 12. All things are lawfull, &c. He standes there stoutly upon his priviledge, his dominion and power which he hath received from God over all these lawfull things; and resolves with an eye to God first, and then also to his owne dignity and safety, not to be so uncircumspect, so unthanke­full to his Lord and creator, or so base in respect of himselfe, as to lay downe this great prerogative, and to become a servant to his [Page 78] servants, he will not embrace and hug that with danger of disho­nouring God, and wronging him­selfe, which he hath received to a quite contrary end.

When a man is on the sea in great danger, he will cast out all the wares be they never so rich, for the safety of his life, so would we in this case, were we as sensible of the soules danger, as of the bodies.

It is our Saviours both coun­sell and charge in case of offences, to be contented to part with our right hand and right eye, which we know of how great and ne­cessary use they are to us.

A shame it were for Christians to be put to schoole to heathen men, especially to the vainest and idlest of them, the Poets; yet they may teach us in this point of plea­sures. [Page 79] For they plainely shew us in the fable of the Sirens (what we are not apt of our selves to be­leeve) how dangerous a thing it is to be within the reach of these deceitfull, enticing, and bewitch­ing delights.

There are two most grosse andDrunken­nes & un­cleannesse seldome severed hatefull sinnes which reigne in the world; drunkennesse, and whoredome. The former is an incentive to the latter. Nunquam ego ebrium castum putabo. I will never count him chast (In Tit. c. 1. saith St. Ierom) that is a drunkard. Now these two sinnes are the fil­thyPleasures make brutish. sinckes of sensuall and brutish pleasures, the consideration wher­of were enough to make a man that is wise and circumspect, at the very naming or thought of sensuallity, to start backe and flee from it, as from the most dange­rous [Page 80] enemy of his well-being.

I come now at last to answerIt is a glo­ry to Old­age that it takes off from plea­sure. the imputation, that Old-age be­reaves us of these kind of plea­sures, and first I say Cic. deSe nect. with him, O preclarum munus, &c. O thrice happy and welcome age, that taketh us off from that which in youth is (through mens aptnesse to abuse it) the mother and nurse of infinite vices, most hurt­full unto us? and S [...]nec▪ E­pist 12. with another: how sweete a thing is it to have given pleasures the farewell? and Idem. E­pist. 67. againe. Ago senectuti gratias, &c. I thanke my Old-age for fastening me to my bed, and dis­abling me to doe what I should not doe.Old age works joy in the wāt of plea­sures.

Further J say that this despised age (freed from the dominion of such pleasures) helpes us in that which the Apostle by the rare [Page 81] vertue of temperance, obtained; to wit, 1 Cor. 7. 29, 30. in abundance of worldly joyes and delights, to be as if we were without them: to be when wee rejoyce, as if wee rejoyced not: and contrariwise, in absence of them, to be as if wee enjoyed them: as sorrowfull (saith the Apostle) yet alwaies rejoycing.

Wee hold him a bad and dan­gerousPleasures are dan­gerous guests. guest, against whom we should (and will if wee be wise) shut our doores to barre him en­trance. These pleasures there­fore being such as if we admit of them, are likely to rob and spoile us, may be wanting and we the safer by it. Happy are we when we suffer not our outward senses (which are the doores and win­dowes to let these theeves in) to stand open to them. The most delightfull object of the eye, to [Page 82] a voluptuous man, is the favour and beauty of a woeman, a peece of well fashioned and coloured clay. Prov. 31. 30. Yet is favour deceitfull and beauty vanity. Job. 31. which caused Iob to make a covenant with his eyes, to bind him not to thinke of a maide. And David prayes, Psal. 119. 37. That his eyes may be turned away from beholding vanity. The eye to many is a very Pandor. The pleasure of the eare is Mu­sick: but was Salomon any whit the better, or not the worse for his men-singers and woemen-sin­gers, &c. The Rose is for the smell, but how is it compast with prickles. Honey pleases the taste, but the stinging Bee lies lur­king in the combe: and theProv. 25. 16. Wise-man councells him that hath found honey, to eate no more then is sufficient, least he [Page 83] be overfull and vomit it. The taste is often the gluttons purvey­or. The touch is a wide win­dow to let in pleasures: but the objects of it are to many as pitch, Eccl. 15. 1. which who so toucheth shall be defiled.

It is a precept no lesse necessa­ry then ancient, Maturè fias senex, Bee old betimes, that thou maiest long be so. J [...] admonishes us, in youth to abstaine from the delights of this world, and then to be as Old-men, if we will come to that age, live long in it, and have it tolerable and pleasing, such as will give no cause to say, Eccle. 12 I have no pleasure in it. That of the Poet, J am sure is true: volup­tates Losse of bodily pleasures recompen­ced in spi­rituall joy commendat rar [...]or usus, nothing doth so much commend such pleasures, as the rare use of them.

So then, if pleasures of this [Page 84] kinde have left and forsaken Old­age, or it abandon'd them, it is no losse at all: and were there some detriment in it, yet would it be aboundan [...]ly recompenced by the farre better, the truly com­fortable, the heavenly pleasures, afore mentioned: of which el­der yeares afford a greater, more then the elder Brothers portion. For those other having left their station, make roome for these, which are better guests to be en­tertained by the soule of man: roost or dwel together with safety in one heart, they cannot. How blessed aturne is it, when a flatte­rer, the worst of all enemies, is re­moved, to make place for a true and faithfull friend?

The III. Chapter. Conteining the third aspertion cast on OLD-AGE, touching its weak­nesse, and the answer.

THe next imputation is, that in elder yeares we are weake. For answer, first I see not why the Old-man should bee singled out, as one liable to the greatest disgrace, in respect of the curse and punishment which was laid on all the posterity of Adam, without exemption or immunity of any age. But I will addresse my selfe to a more distinct and particular handling of this point.

There are two things inquira­ble in it: one touching infirmity, the other concerning sicknesse. [Page 86] Wee will consider of them both, and that comparatively, that it may appeare, which of the sun­dry ages of mans life is least sub­ject to this imputation.

And first of Jnfirmity: whichInfirmity what it is. in my sense is an inclination and aptnesse in such or such an age to any thing that is evill, either in body or mind.

I passe by the [...], the child in the mothers wombe which suffers there nine moneths impri­sonment, and when at the last (if at the last) it is delivered from that misery; comes foorth with great paine and danger, both to it selfe and the mother. Let us see how it is with it after it is borne and becomes an infant, and so attaines to the first age of mans life. Naked doth it enter in­to Infants in­firmities. the world (so Iob professes of [Page 87] himselfe) whereas other crea­tures (In pro­cem. lib [...] ▪ nat hist. as Plinie hath observed) are some of them provided both of armour defensive and offensive: the Bull of hornes, the Lyon and Beare of pawes, the Bore of tusks, the Elephant of a promus­cis, a trunke or snout, and many others, some of defensive one­ly, as Trees have their rine or barke, Fishes, many of them their shels, all, their scales: Beasts their thicke skinnes and haire, Foules their feathers and wings, Sheepe their skins and wool. &c. onely the poore infant is borne naked and unarmed: in it selfe utterly destitute of helpe and de­fence.

True it is, that our good God and provident Creator, whose tender eye is continually on this his so weake a creature (his pu­nishments [Page 88] being alwayes tempe­red with mercy) hath provided for it in this most feeble estate; which is thankefully acknow­ledged by David (Psal. 71. 6. upon thee have I beene staied from the wombe) yet miserable is the infant consi­dered in himselfe, in respect of this his nakednesse, which is not as that, Gen. 2. 25. then our first Parents, when they stood upright before their Creator, were cloa­thed with admirable glory (as Chrisostome noteth) such as to which no outward covering could adde any grace, ornament, or helpe; there being then no need: but this I speake of was and is still a punishment of Adams sinne and ours: such a punish­ment, as (but that God reaches forth his helping hand and gives meanes in this great weakenesse [Page 89] and distresse) would expose the infant to the greatest corporall misery: and as it is, it cannot passe for better then a heavy case, a great infirmity.

Yet besides this, a most pitifullInfants come into the world crying. cry (ordinarily) accompanies its comming into the world; which tells us that it foresees, or rather forefeeles the innumerable miseries to which it is borne, when it lookes into the vale of teares. And so proper is this cry to its birth, that the Law suppo­ses it dead-borne, or (as the com­mon word is) still-borne, if then it cry not: if it be still at the birth and doe not testifie (by this one and onely voice or meanes it hath, to expresse it selfe and call for life and preservation) how weake it is.

These are the lamentable be­ginnings [Page 90] of this miserable life in the Infant. And as it begins, so it continues to the end of this mi­serably-weake age, finding no great alteration or amendment, it is still apt to give notice of its paine and feeblenesse.

But see further, how this weakInfants how first handled. guest is afterwards entertained in this troublesome tempestuous world. Immediately after the birth, it is taken, and hands are layed on it (as if it had highly trespassed by breach of prison and comming forth of the wombe) and then presently it is bound hand and foot, which is so grievous unto it, that it doth not so much as smile (if wee will beleeve Plinie) before the fortieth day.

Of this age therefore we may truly say, that it is weakenesse [Page 91] and misery in the abstract.

It is reported of the men of Thracia, that when a child was borne, the neighbours sitting round about it, were wont with great lamentation and mourning, to reckon up the many miseries with which it was to enter into this world: and on the contra­ry, when any dyed, to carry the corps foorth with no lesse joy and rejoycing; com­memorating the calamities from which it was delivered. The Eccl 7. 2 Infirmity of childe­hood. Preacher also tels us, that the day of death is better then the day that one is borne.

The next age is Child-hood, which (Reddere qui voces [...] puer & pe de certo sig rat humū Hora [...]. de Arte Poet saies the Poet) begins when there is ability to speake and to goe. How fares it with the child during this age? Is it not also weake, so weake and ten­der [Page 92] that it requires (for divers yeares) continuall attendance, being as yet but a gristle as it were of no strength; no, nor of wit, to avoid the danger it may fall into? After when it is come to more growth, so infirme is it both in body and mind, that there is no hope of its avoiding infinite mischiefes, have it not the help of others.

Were it not so, what needeThe yoke of childrē would there be of the yoke which children beare under their Go­vernours, Parents, Schoole-mast­ers, Tutors, &c? Why else doe they passe thorow infinite affrigh­ting feares, in regard of necessary severity under that government? Were it otherwise, it would bee needlesse and no better then cru­elty, to put them to the grievous paines which they undergoe [Page 93] with no small reluctancy: and which are to them almost into­lerable, their weake nature not brooking it. The truth is the scales fall not from the eyes of their mindes; neither can their hearts though tender bee new moulded without much adoe, without their great paines both in doing and suffering: Multa tulit fecit (que) puer, sudavit, &c.

To what end else were restraintCorrectiō of childrē from childrens desires set upon sports and pleasures? Were they not weake, correction would not bee of so necessary use to them, which Salomon saith, Prov. 13. 34. Who so spareth hates his sonne. Certainely chastisement and good breeding is of greater use to this age then bodily sustenance. For Prov. 22. 15. Foo­lishnesse is bound up in the heart of the child, and no way is [Page 94] there to drive it from him, but by the rod of correction. When this rod is neglected (as too often it is) what's the danger? What will come of it? Of this also Prov. 23 14. Salomon resolves us: Smiting with the rod (saith he) delivers a soule from Hell. Is correction so needfull to keepe the child out of this bottomelesse pit? Then is hee of an infirme and weake e­state.

If Child-hood were not an ageMothers care over children. of great infirmity, the mother that lookes on her sonne with a tender eye, and in the bowells of love and compassion; sighing to remember how lamentably he came into the world, and how dearely she hath bought him: with what care also and paines, she hath nurst him and brought him up to this age; would never dis­pense [Page 95] with her naturall affection, and suffer him to be under so hard a discipline (much lesse her selfe be the executor of it) but would say, as many doe, a If I smite him [...] Pro. 23. 13. with the rod, hee will dye, for greefe hee will waste and pine a­way.

Jn a word, the child is a young tender plant, that with much care and diligence must be defended from hurt and propped up, that it may grow straite: infirme therfore and weake.Infirmitie of young­men.

I come now to the young-man, he stands upon his reputation and makes account that of all men he is freest from the infirmities and calamities of this life: ready to stabb all gaine-sayers, yet is hee in the greatest danger, and most subject to infinite evills. This weake and humorous disposition [Page 96] is described by the same Horst. in Arte Poet Poet, in sundry particulars, and from him J willingly take it, least I might seeme to have a stitch to this age, and to be an over hard and harsh censurer of it.

First, Tandem cust [...]de re moto gau­det equis canibus (que), &c. Ibid. he is overjoy'd at his li­bertyLiberty a bused by youth. and freedome from the yoke, which lately he had borne: at his being now his owne man, as we say: at his having the reines loose, so as now he may (like the untamed horse, newly broken from his rider) shise it abroad and runne the wilde-goose-race without controle, up and downe in the world; delighting him­selfe and feeding his distempered desire and unbridled affections, sometimes with one vanity (sinne rather) sometimes with another, [...]ill he hath run himselfe out of breath, as it were.

[Page 97]Secondly, Cereus in vitium slecti. Ibid. he is easily sedu­cedYouth ea s [...]ly sedu­ced. and carried away by evill perswasions, which bewrayes greater lightnesse and weaknesse in him.

Thirdly, if any give him bet­terYouth scornes counsell. counsell, and reproove him for his evill course, Monitori­ [...] asper he will not abide it, but flings out and counts his best friends his enemies: which makes him incapable of a­mendment.Youth im­provident and prodi­gall.

Fourthly,Utiliu [...] tardus pro­visor, pro­digus aeris. Ibid. as he is improvident and carelesse in providing neces­saries, so is he wastefull and prodi­gall in spending.

Sublimis cupidus (que). Youth va­riable. Fiftly, he is lofty and highly conceited. Quod vult, valdè vult, most violent in his desires.

Lastly, [...]mata re­linquere pernix Ib. he changes, as the wind: never long in love with a­ny thing: now of one mind, anon of another.

[Page 98]I wish I were able to set forth the weakenesse and vanity of youth, in its proper colours, that it might appeare in how unfit a Cabinet the ornaments of this age are laid up. Mistake me not: I note the vices onely to which this age is subject; to youth it selfe I have no quarrell.

Yet in regard of infirmity, IYouth like a ship. can no better compare it then to a Ship on the Sea, that is fraught with variety of costly wares, but wants a skilfull Pilot to guide it and keep it in safety when stormes arise: whereby often it comes to passe, that it reaches not the ha­ven, but ship, wares and all sinke in the deepe Ocean. Put into this Ship, that is, grant there is in the young-man, what you will or can imagine him to be endowed with: bodily strength, agility, [Page 99] freshnesse of wit, firmenesse of memory; as much learning and knovvledge as his tender yeares by the helpes he hath had, can furnish him withall: and whatso­ever else selfe conceipt possesses him of: his violent disorderly af­fection, like a blast of wind, many times sinks all to the bottome of perdition.

So vaine a thing is bodilyBodily strength dāgerous strength to youth, that not onely it steades it not, but contrariwise being the breeder of a ground­lesse confidence, it puts it upon infinite dangers: yea, it is the in­strument or meanes by which corrupt nature doth worke its o­verthrow. What security andYouth se­cure. carelessenesse is there in most young-men, that enjoy health and strength? what hardnesse of heart [...] how [...]arre are many of them from [Page 100] any thought of repentance, and all because they put farre from them the last day of account: pre­suming that for them there vvill be time enough hereafter. Things that are farre off seeme lesse to us then they are, as the starres in the firmament. So, because young­men behold death in a great di­stance, they neglect both it, and what it brings, as things not wor­thy their minding. So was it with Salomons young-man whom hee tooke to taske, Eccle. 11. 9. and therefore De inte­ri [...]re dom [...] cap. 46. Bernard tells us, that strength is hurtfull, when it tends to disobedience, and onely then profitable when it is joyned with humility of heart: Greg▪ pa­st [...]ral. par. 3. c. 13. and a­nother counsels us, to use bodi­ly strength and health, that it may further the health of the soule.

[Page 101]I could willingly stay yet lon­gerYouth most op posite to Old-age. in my discourse of youth, for that it stands most in opposition to the age I treate of, and lookes at it commonly with an eye full of scorne and contempt: repi­ning at its length of daies, and oftentimes thinking it long ere it succeeds the Old-man in his of­fices, lands or goods. So did that proud and ambitious Absolon, when he thirsted after his fathers Crowne. Ovid. Me­tamorph. lib. 1. Filius ante diem patrios inquirit in annos.

This one thing here I may notYouth hath most need of re­formation pretermit, that both David and Salomon single out this age, as that which hath most need of reforma­tion, as Psal. 119. VVhere withall shall a young-man cleanse his wayes? And Ecclesi. 11. 9. Rejoyce O young man in thy Youth, &c. but know, &c. and Cap. 12. 1. Remember there­fore [Page 102] thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth. And Prov. 4. he makes the simple man and the young-man to draw in one yoke, and equally to want instruction. These two so skilfull Physitians of the soule, would not have chosen this sub­ject to worke on, or lighted on the young man for their patient, had they not thorowly viewed his state, and found that in his understanding, will and affecti­ons he is (for the most part) exceeding infirme and weake, and much every way out of frame.

That which hath beene said J take to be sufficient to cleare this point, that the young-mans strength and flourishing estate when it is at the highest pitch, or­dinarily makes him no whit the better nor more happy: but much [Page 103] more miserable every way: so weake and infirme an age it is.

The next in order is mature, Mans age when it begins. or ripe age, in Latine, aetas viri­lis, mans-age. From which de­nomination wee may conceave, that till then a man is not a man, not the infant without question: not the child: no, nor the youth though he strut it out, and thinke there is no man-hood to be found but in himselfe.

This aetas virilis, is an age (IMans age in evill immove­able. confesse) more staid then the former, and lesse hot and violent in affections: but yet more stiffe in every thing: and so whatsoe­ver is evill in it, is more perma­nent and unmooveable, and con­sequently more hurtfull. The child (as I shewed before) is as a tender twig, newly planted and [Page 104] easily brought out of frame; yet flexible. Youth, the flower of mans life, is like a tree in the spring-time, beautifull in blos­somes, which gives hope of fruit: and though these blossoms, many times are blasted, and so the tree becomes unfruitfull, yet is it of a more yeelding disposition: and vice being not yet habituall in it or deepely rooted, is more easily nipped in the head. But this age of which wee now en­quire, though it be (for its sea­son) apt to yeeld fruit: yet ma­ny times for grapes it brings forth wild grapes: neither will it byMan-age aspires high. the dresser of the Vine so easily be wrought upon for better fruit.

But what is it, that the heart in this age, is commonly and in most men set upon? Our Author tels us that too. Quaerit [...]pes & a micitias, inservit [...]onori. Ho­rat Ibid. Men here labour [Page 105] for riches that they may be set­led in a great estate: they procure the friendship of great ones, so to be backt in whatsoever they doe, be it right or wrong: they aspire to honour, and labour to be great: and all this many times, that they may be the onely commanders in the places where they live, and may without controle over­top and oppresse the under-shrubs,Mans-age pro [...]e to wrong. the poore weake underlings a­mong the people: and Dum vi­tant stul [...]i vitia, i [...]ō ­traria cur­runt Et a libi, In vi­tium ducit culpae [...]u­ga [...]i caret arte. Hora so they fall from one extreame to ano­ther. They shunne the impro­vidence and prodigality of their youth and light upon the contra­ry covetousnesse, the root of all evill. They will no longer bee rash, simple and unadvised, as in their younger yeares: and to a­void that, they study to bee sub­tile and crafty, and fall to plod­ding [Page 106] and plotting for their pri­vate (not alwayes good) ends. They seeme ashamed of the faci­lity and tractablenesse of youth, and become as a brasen wall, stan­ding unmooveable against what­soever crosses their whatsoever resolutions. To avoide levity, they become obstinate: and so in the rest, and how great then is the weakenesse of such mens minds, though this bee the most stable, and the most commen­dable and in the common account of all the ages.

The Poet, our Author, forgetsOld-me [...] care for [...] thers go [...] not the Old-man: he feeles his pulse also, and notes his conditi­on and properties: but they are such, as bring no disparagement, but a grace and commendation to this age. But what are they? Quaeri & inve tis [...]ise abstinet▪ timet [...] ubi supra he seekes riches, and makes no [Page 107] use of them to himselfe: true, he is contented to be poore and (in a sense) miserable himselfe, that others may be rich and happy: when he is gone wil not the child, the young-man, the man of ripe­age, will they not all (that is all men) commend him for this? For them he gets, for them he keepes what hee spends not, that they may enjoy it after him, and praise both him and his ab­stinency and bounty in the joyfull use of it. They are his heires, to them he leaves his plus viatici, the greater part of his provision, quibus plus viae restat, because they have (in likely-hood) a farre longer journey to goe. This (sure) is providence and care of posteri­ty, not covetousnesse. The eldest man alive is not so stupid and senselesse, as to thinke hee shall [Page 108] carry his goods with him to his grave, and may not this be ano­ther end of his sparing, that the hope of legacies may gaine to him regard and love while hee lives from them, who are apt e­nough to despise his gray-haires. M [...]nāder Molestus est inter juvenes senex, sayes one. OLD-AGE is trou­blesome and unpleasing to youth. Many Old-men that have outed themselves of all, or neare all, while they lived, have after it continued alive long enough to repent when it was too late.

Besides, it is certaine thatOld-men best use wealth. though this man of yeeres, by help of his even temper, is able to use the wealth he hath, with grea­ter benefit, and lesse hurt to him­selfe and others, then younger men, who hardly observe a meane in any thing: yet being wea­ned [Page 109] from the pleasures of this world, to which his riches might be the fuell or materials; no marvell if he abstaine from a much delightfull use of them. While his mind feedes on better food, his body and mind both are contented to want the use of the worser, strange it were if such con­tentednes and moderation should breed reproach.

But S. Austen may seeme toOld-age not to bee blamed with per­sonall vices. stand against us in this point. Psa. 113. He tels us that in Old-age, all o­ther vices decaying, covetous­nesse juvenescit, encreaseth and groweth daily. I answer, first it is unlikely that this his cen­sure was generall, because hee knew well, how farre himselfe in his elder yeares, was from it, and doubtlesse if he wrote it while he was young, when he was growne [Page 110] old, he would have retracted it from his experience in himselfe, had he meant it of all, Probable it is that he said it either accor­ding to the common tenent of the disgracers of this age; or because some Old-men of the worser sort are such, and in that case it is mo­rum vitium, non senectutis: to be ascribed not to the age, but to the viciousnesse of the former part of mans life, whence the habit of covetousnesse might grow up. It is absurd (saies Cato ma­jor apud Ci [...] de se­nectute. the Patron ofOld-men not cove­tous. this age) that an Old-man. should (as an Old-man he meanes) bee covetous▪ no lesse absurd, then for one to vex himselfe with getting still more and more pro­vision for his journey, when he is come neare the end of it. Certainely, that which it is ab­surd for a man to doe, and incre­dible [Page 111] that he will do it; it is as ab­surd to thinke he is culpable in it, or to accuse him of it. Lastly, it may be answered, that, were the Old-man faulty herein, some­what might be said for him by way of excuse: viz. that it isThe ground of Old-mens parsimōy. caused by an incident infirmity, which is feare of want, a­rising partly from the coldnesse of his temper, and in part from his inability (now) to get any thing by his labours or indea­vours; which may seeme to free him from the scraping covetous­nesse, though it put him hap'ly upon parsimony or warinesse in spending. Dio. Cyn One being asked what was in vita calamitosissi­mum, the heaviest calamity in this life, answer'd well [...], the estate of a poore needy Old­man. So then, the calamity of [Page 112] want being greater to this age then to the other, to be sparing in it, is skarse any fault at all. For nature it selfe gives every crea­ture a kind of care and desire to preserve it selfe.Old-men warie.

Further, Res om­nes timide gelide (que) ministrat, ubisupra. It is said that the Old-man doth all things with feare, coldly and slowly. Wa­rily as I conceive it, having ob­served in his long experience, the innumerable mischiefes into which the rashnesse and unadvi­sed hastinesse of young men doth carry them. The Philosopher gives this very reason why youth is bold, and age fearefull. It is (Arist. in Rhetor. Old-men long for better times. saith he) because youth wasts knowledge, (for who so bold as the blind) and age sees the dan­ger of being over-hasty.

It is added, Avidus (que) futuri. that hee desires and longs for better times. True, [Page 113] because he hath seene much evill in the world, and is wearied with greeving at it. No man can faultWhy Old­men hard to please. him for this.

Againe, Diffici­lis Ibid. he is hard to please. This may arise from his dislike ofOld-men praisers of former▪ times. mens evill manners, with which no man should be pleased.

He is said to be a Laudator tēporis acti se puer [...]. Ibid. prayser of former times. Not without cause, sith the world growes daily more and more out of frame and wic­ked.Old-men just repro­vers.

He cannot winke at the vices of disordered young-men, butCensor, ca­stigator (que) minorū. Ibid. sharpely reprooves them. Who may more justly take to him this so necessary an office, or execute it with so much gravity, so great authority, so mature wisedome, discretion and moderation, as the Old-man, Tum pie­tate gravē aut meriti [...] fi forte vi­rum quem cōspexere silent, &c. Uirg. in Aeneid. of whose well-me­riting love, and indeavours for the [Page 114] common good, all men have had long experience and triall?

By this which hath beene said it is plaine and evident, first that all the ages of mans life are in­firme. Secondly, that each hath its proper defects: and lastly, that the infirmities of Old-age, are not so great as of the rest, all things duely weighed and consi­der'd.

Now, they are to be compa­red likewise in the point of sick­nesse. But this part of my taske, I am willing to cast upon the Physitian, both in regard of his farre greater knowledge this way, and to avoid the blame of putting my sickle into an other mans har­vest, and leaping out of mine ele­ment. Fearing to be Piscis in ari­do, m [...]nachus in for [...]. Yet some­thing of it, out of mine owne pro­fession.

[Page 115]Health is (indeed) a blessingSicknesse whence it came. upon blessings: one that seasons and sweetens all the rest. But the perfection of it was onely in Paradice. For immediately after the fall, came the curse, first upon man that had sinned. In the ve­ry same day (Super Gen. ad lit. saith St. Austin) began Adam and Eve to dye, in which they received the law of death. After the curse fell for man and his transgression upon the earth, and the other borde­ring elements, and on all the crea­tures conteined in them. While man was faithfull in serving his Creator, the creatures served him as their second Lord: but presently upon his fall from his God, they all fell from him, and shaking off the yoke of their alle­giance, turned enemies and re­bells against him. Before man [Page 116] had the meanes of health and life, and immortality, (to which he was created) laid up for him in those creatures, then all good. But since through the curse, they are become the instruments to in­flict on him that punishment, the bodily death: or rather so many Sergeants to arrest him. And the infinite number of diseases, bred by the earths curse, are likewise busy tormentors, to waite on him for the execution of that punishment, which the transgression had justly deserved. Dust now wee are, and to dust wee shall returne: dead-men we are, and to death the creatures are ap­pointed to bring us. In the sweat [...] our faces we eat our bread. Our daily labours in our callings are now, not as Adams in Eden, but sweating labours, which make [Page 117] way to sicknesse, and consequent­ly to death: drying up, sensim sine sensu, by little and little, un­perceivably, the radicall moy­sture; and wasting the naturall heate: and withall enfeebling the body, and so farre disabling it to beare the distempers, as that it is sooner or later overcome by them. During the time of mans innocency, the great Creator so temper'd the contrary qualities of the elements of which his bo­dy consisted; that they were not (as since) at strife among them­selves: but when man had sin­ned, that way might be made to the execution of the sentence of death; God drew backe his hand, and left them to their na­turall worke, in seeking their mu­tuall destruction. And by that meanes now (Euripides as one saith) [Page 118] vivere, mor [...] est, our living is a dying. While we live, and by living, we come every day nee­rer and neerer to our dissolution.

This is now the weake estatePhysicke wherein usefull. of our earthly tabernacle, to which the art of Physicke in diet and medicines may be as a prop to a decayed and tottering house: but comes farre short of restoring it to the originall perfection in the creation. Physick (Lib. de constitut. artis medi­cae. sayes Galen) is an art of repairing, not of building. No, this certainely requires the same hand which made man at the first, and the way which God the Creator and recreator will take in it, he hath plainely expressed in his word. It is by demolishing (in his time) this decayed and daily decaying house, and setting up a new. 2 Cor. 5. 1 The earthly house of this our▪ weake Ta­bernacle [Page 119] must first be destroyed, that we may have a building given of God, not made with handes, but eternall in the Heavens. 1 Cor. 15 36. As the seed that is cast into the ground, first dies, and then is quickned: so our bodies at the resurrection. This corruptible shall then put on in­corruption, and this mortall immor­tality.

Perfect health man had: but bySicknesse by sinne his sinne he lost it. Perfect health he shall recover, but the way to it is death, and the way to death is sicknesse, and as the sting of death is sinne, so the evill of sicknesse, is sinne likewise, and that not onely as the meriting cause, but also as the thing to be prevented by it. Would we alwaies live in health? We know not our selves. God that is better acquainted with our estate and condition, sees, that of [Page 120] all afflictions, this of sicknesse, is most beneficiall unto us and most necessary. The reasons, to note some of them, may bee these. The first, to make us looke backeBenefits of sicknes▪ to see from whence we are fallen, and why. Another, because other afflictions are not so direct pre­monitions of death, which should be the meditation of our whole life. A third, for that this cor­rection doth not onely minde us of our sinnes past, and upbraid us with them, that wee may re­pent, but serves also for a curb or restraint to hold us in from rushing into the world of enormi­ties and sinnes, to which our cor­rupt and unbridled nature other­wise would carry us head-long: for by sicknesse the flesh which rebels against the spirit is weake­ned, and more easily observes that [Page 121] precept, of not suffering sinne to reigne in our mortall bodies. Fourthly, health of body is anHealth dangerous occasion of many evills, especi­ally when the soule is sicke, or ill affected. N [...] quā pej u [...] quā in sano cor. pore aeger animue ha­bitat. Pet. lib. 1. dial 4. No where (saies one) can the corrupt heart dwell worse, or more dangerously, then in a healthy body. Fiftly, when we see a man in his bed of sick­nesse, how much doe wee finde him changed (if there bee any sparke of grace in him) from that hee was before? Hee hates his former disorderly course, and himselfe for it. Hee resolves (though hap'ly with great weakenesse, and sometimes after recovery, inconstancy) yet he resolves, or at least professes a re­solution for amendment: and he binds himselfe to God for it by many promises and vowes: in [Page 122] health with most men it is farre o­therwise.

Againe, the want of health mayHealth cō mon to beasts. be borne the more patiently, both by aged and younger folke, be­cause health is a thing common with us to inferiour creatures, not peculiar to man▪ as Psal. 36. [...]6. Lord thou preservest man and beast. From which place, S. Austine observes▪ that we should not bee proud of health, and we may from the same ground, that there is no cause of our being much dejected, for the want of it.

Well then: were it granted thatSicknes no disgrace. old-age is followed with more diseases then the other▪ this not­withstanding would be no dis­grace to it: a benefit rather as hath beene proved. But by the con­current judgement of Physitians, it appeares to be otherwise. For [Page 123] they tell us that old-men are not so subject to sicknesse as the youn­ger, and that the reasons of it are these. One, their temperance above others, by which (say they) the most depraved and corrupt nature of man is preserved and held in a healthy constitution. Another, because they are sen­sible of the least causes of sick­nesse, and thereby become wary, and suffer not the diseases to take root in them▪ And the last is their cold and dry temper, which frees them from hot fevers, in­flammations, and corrupt humors. Whence it is (Lib. 7. c. 50. saith Plime) that they are lesse subject to the pesti­lence. Hereunto wee may adde the common Proverbe, A Phy­sitian, or a foole. A Physitian by experience and many observa­tions; or a foole for want of [Page 124] them. Now we know none hathOld-age hath ex­perience. so much experience as the Old­man, whose many yeares afford him opportunity and meanes to be to himselfe an Emperike, a kinde of Physitian. The care­lesnesse of former ages, have (hap­pily) bred diseases in him: and hee by his skill and knowledge gotten by experience, practiseth the cure. The other ages are as violent winds and stormes that by often beating upon this house of clay (or as bad inhabitants that by their neglect) bring it out of reparations; and OLD-AGE is as the Carpenter to re­paire it.

The IIII. Chapter. Containing the next and last dis­grace cast upon OLD-AGE, and the answer.

THe last imputation is this;Propin­quity of death ob­jected a­gainst Old age. that to the OLD-MAN, death is at hand, and knockes at the doore, as it were, ready to come in and ceaze upon him. And here now we are fallen upon a meditation of Death, and I re­joyce at the occasion, imploring Gods helpe, that I may bee pro­fitably sensible of what I deliver touching this point, and may bring it home to my selfe for my better preparation.

In it, I will endeavour to prove first that to be neare to death is not a misery, but a happinesse ra­ther. [Page 126] Secondly, that were it an af­fliction, as it is deemed to be, the other ages are as liable to it as this. And lastly, that the former part of mans life ill order'd, is one and not the least cause of Old­ages hasting to the grave.

Touching the first. What isWhat makes death most grie­vous to good men there in Death that may make it a misery to a good Old-man? Is it that which David, Psalm. 6. and other where pleaded for the lengthening of his life? In death there is no remembrance of thee, &c. And Hezekias, Isaiah. 38. The grave cannot confesse thee? That indeed should bee a princi­pall motive to the desire of life, and the shunning of death. The end of it should be, not so much that wee may longer enjoy this world, and the comforts of it, as that we may have longer time to [Page 127] goe on in the workes of our cal­ling, that God may by us bee yet more glorified in this world: and that here now grace may grow and increase still more and more in us, and so our glory bee an­swerable in the world to come

The wisest and most valorousMēs rash­ness in speaking against death. among the Heathen, who could say much and have written also (though to no purpose) de morte contemnenda, of the contempt of death: who also that they might seeme no lesse couragious indeed than in word; have many of them rush't upon this enemy, and de­sperately encounter'd him (as at this day, some among us, though better enformed of the danger of it, doe in duello, in single combat, and other unwarrantable at­tempts) they all (I say) may be likened to the man whom our [Page 128] Luk. 14. 31. Saviour taxes for his unadvised­nesse, In that going to warre, hee consults not afore hand, how able he is to meet him that comes against him Certainely death may beeDeath wherein terrible. counted as the last, so the most po­tent and dangerous enemy, when it is in its full strength (that strength which God himselfe put into it immediately after the fall. Gen. 2.) And when we are naked and de­stitute of the armour of proofe, Eph. 6. weake also, as not streng­thened by that victory, wherein Christ our champion overcame this enemy for us. For God hath set him upon us, and strengthened him against us: and what are we then of our selves to withstand him? Yet our good God hath provided a remedy: not that weRemedy against death. should recover our former strength, or be able of our selves [Page 129] to breake the Serpents head, but that the seed of the woeman should doe it. He it is through whom it comes, that this enemy hath no power over us, because Heb. 2. 14 hee hath destroyed the Divell who had the power of death, 1 Cor. 15 and hath taken away the sting of it, by his suffering for our sinnes: and the rigour and curse of the law, which is the strength of sinne: Col. 2. 14 and hath put out also the hand ▪ writing of ordinances that was against us. By this great mercy of God we become conquerours over death, yea, more then conquerours. Rom. 8. I, but (may some man say) death when it comes may bereave us of our confidence in Christ. No, Ro. 8 35 saith the Apostle; neither life, nor death, &c. shall be able, &c. O, but Heb. 2. 15. wee are in ser­vitude to death all our life long. [Page 130] True, of our selves: but we are de­livered from this also by Christs death, as in that place.

Thus we see that death is notDeath a blessing. misery. It is as easie to proove that it is great happinesse. Wee have it by a voice from Heaven. Rev. 14. 13. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

For the further manifestingCorrupti­on the way to ge­neration. of the point: First, let it be laid downe as a certaine truth, that corruption is the way to genera­tion. Wee finde it to be so in things naturall. Ayre becomes water, but first it must leave to be aire: water returnes to aire, but withall it leaves to be water. In things artificiall: the mines bred in the bowels of the earth, must first be digged up: after, by fire purged of their drosse: then made malleable: after, cast into [Page 131] a mould for fashion, and lastly filed and polished, that they mayThe body not de­stroyed by death p in Gen. Cap. 1. Hom. [...]5. become vessels for use. The body of death is not destroyed (saith Chrysostom) as the brasse, when it is melted and cast, that a vessell may be made of it: it lo­seth nothing, but gaineth a better and more usefull fashion. The Cedars which Hiram gave to Sa­lomon for the building of the Temple, were first cut downe, squared and framed, before they could become that glorious house of God. The same is true of the point in hand. The earthly Ta­bernacle must first be dissolved, as we said before, and then after­wards wee have a building of God. And the seed that is cast into the ground must die, and then be quickned, and have a new body given unto it. The way to [Page 132] the putting on of incorruption, and immortality, is the putting off of corruption and mortality.

Is it not a blessed thing thatDeath o­pens Hea­ven gates opens the gates of Heaven to us? is it not the Merchants happi­nesse, after his long travailes, and his venturing on the Sea through many stormes and tempests, that now at the last he is in the haven, his ship full-fraught with rich wares, and he neere his house and home, the thing often wished and much longed for? Cie. lib. 5. Tuse. quest [...] Epist. 84. Death (saith one) is portus malorum, the ha­ven in which a man takes har­bour, freed from all former dan­gers. Queri de cita morte (saith Seneca) est queri, quod citò navi­garis, To complaine of a speedy death, is to dislike that we have so soone passed the dangerous seas. Can any thing more plea­singly [Page 133] befall the rightly affected soule, then to be freed from im­prisonment in the body, and from the clog of that masse of clay which holds it downe, and keepes it from its proper place to which it would mount up, were it not so held? Is not hee that runnes a race, or travels a journey, or workes hard all day, glad when he is at the end of his labour and [...]oyle? Or he that fights, when he hath attained the victory? Or would they be againe in the be­ginning or middle of their race, journey, or fight? Pretiosa mors, tanquam finis laborum, tanquam vi­ctoriae consummatio, tanquam vitae janua, & perfectae securitatis in­gressio. How pretious should death be to us (saith S. Bernard) death that is the end of our la­bours, the consummation of our [Page 134] victory, the gate to life, and an entrance into perfect security. Sup Iob. S. Austin saith it is the laying downe of a heavy burden. Is it not a happinesse to be deliver'd from sinning, from the tempta­tions of Satan, the allurements of the world, and the rebellion of the flesh against the Spirit in us? Certainely death is a bed of peace and rest. Isa. 57. 2.

Who will or can doubt of theDeath brings happinesse happinesse that death brings with it, when he considers how many and great the good things are which accompanies it? First, the perfection of grace, which before was weake and in small measure. Secondly the mansion or place which Christ is gone be­fore to prepare for us, even Psal. 16. ult. a pre­sence with God, where there is full­nesse of joy, &c.

[Page 135]Is not hee happy that is neare the thing he advisedly much de­sires? I desire, saith the Apostle, to be with Christ. S. Austin tels us that he in whom this desire is, doth not patiently die, but lives patiently and dyes with joy and delight. Hee (saies S. Ierom) that daily remembers and consi­ders of his dissolution, contems things present and hastens to that which is to come.

All the faithfull before theThe kingdome of grace brings ioy comming of our Saviour were in a joyfull expectation of his com­ming: many Prophets and righ­teous men desired it: they waited for the consolation of Israel, as Simeon, Luk. 2. After, when hee was come, what rejoycing was there? Then the Angell brings tidings of great joy, and a multi­tude of the heavenly host, joyned [Page 136] with him in a joyfull praising of God. Glory be to God on high, &c. then Simeon, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seene thy Salvation. Af­ter againe, when Iohn Baptist had prepared the way, and wone Dis­ciples to Christ, how rejoyced they at the sight of the Lamb of God: Andrew to his brother Simon, we have found the Mes­sias, and Philip to Nathaniel, we have found him of whom Moses and the Prophets did write. Both Iohn and Christ himselfe for the in­crease of their joy that heard them, made this the summe of their preaching, Repent, for the Kingdome of God is at hand: yet (to bring it now home to our purpose) all this was but the Kingdome of grace; and if when that was at hand, there was cause of so great [Page 137] joy, as indeed there was; then how much greater cause is there, when the Kingdome of GLORIE is at hand, and even come unto us, how great joy and happinesse must there needs bee?

The truth is, every mans deathBy death life. is suiting to his life; if he be bles­sed in his life, he is more so in his death, which followes a good life. In a word, if thou shrink and draw back at the thought of thy death (which is a common infir­mity, De gra­tia novi Test. Why death un­welcome. Tantam habet vim carnis & animae dulce consortium: of so great force in the sweet society betweene the body and the soule) in case it be thus with thee, it is because death comes not into thy frequent cogitations; because 1 Cor. 15. 31. thou diest not daily, because thou 2 Cor. 1. 9. receivest not the sentence of [Page 138] death in thy selfe. Mortem effice fa­miliarem (saith Seneca) ut si ita sors tulerit, possis illi obviam ire, be well acquainted with death, that when he comes, thou maist meet him as a friend, and entertaine him with joy. Facilè contemnit omnia, qui semper cogitat se esse moriturum (saith In Epist. ad Paulū. S. Ierom,) hee that continually thinkes of death, easily tramples upon whatsoever may dismay him. Or it is for that thou hast not yet learned Sup. Mat 10. of Saint Chrysostome, Offeramus Deo promunere, quod pro debito tene­mur reddere; be free in offering up thy selfe to God as a gift, which wee are bound to yeeld toDeath embitte­red by an ill life. him as a debt. Or, because thy life hath beene vitious, Mala mors putanda non est (De Ci­vitate Dei. saith Saint Austin) quam bona vita preces sit, that death may not be counted [Page 139] evill, which is foregon by a good life. Thou art loth to die, where­fore? thou hast lived ill, and so art unprepared for death, know that the reason of this want of preparation is, because thou art not throughly perswaded and resol­ved that thou shalt die, nor dost truly beleeve it; hap'ly thou canst say, from a generall swimming thought of death, that we are all mortall, or the like: but a firme and constant beleefe of it, is farre from thee, for otherwise thou wouldest live in continuall ex­pectation of thy dissolution, and prepare thy selfe for that day, that houre, knowing that then instant­ly thou art brought to judgement. If newes be brought to a City, that the enemie is comming a­gainst it and ready to besiege it; shall we thinke they beleeve it, [Page 140] when they make no preparation for defence, Quotidiè morimur, quotidie mutamur, & tamen aeternos nos esse credimus, In Epist. ad Heliod saith Saint Ierom, we die daily, and every day are we changed, and yet we dreame of eternity, even here inDeath embitte­red by love of this world this life. Or hap'ly, the reason of thy feare of death, is, thou art fast glued to thy earthly portion, thy riches, thy pleasures, thy honours, thy friends. Shake hand (at least in contentment) with these, and all will bee well, forsake them now while thou livest, and then thou canst not in regard of them, thinke death thine enemie, or that it takes either thee from them, or them from thee; if thou have thy treasure in Heaven, there thy heart will be, and from thy heart and treasure thou wilt not be con­tentedly; but wilt love and em­brace [Page 141] the messenger and guide which conducts thee to them; namely thy death.

But (will some man say) how can there bee happinesse in that which all men, yea all the other creatures doe shunne? for they all naturally desire to preserve their estate of being what they are, and by all meanes avoid their being dissolved.

I answer, first, Death and disso­lutionHow death ab­horred and how desired. is two waies to be conside­red: either simply, as it is an abo­lishing of a present estate, or as it is a passage to a future better con­dition: as it is the former, natural­ly it is abhor'd; but as it tends to perfection, it is both in it selfe desirable, and by the creatures de­sired and longed for before it comes; and when it presents it selfe, right welcome and embra­ced; [Page 142] so was it by th' Apostle, Phil. 1. 23, he desired to depart, or as some translate it, to be dissolved. Why? not in respect of death it selfe, but because by this death he should passe to a better life; he should live with Christ, hee should bee deliver'd from his claiey house, as that word dissol­ved imports: or dismissed, as Beza reads it, and our newest tran­slation; that is, set free from im­prisonment in the body, and from the miseries of this life, and hence it is that the Apostle there pro­fesses that he shall gaine by death, ver. 21. he shall gaine Christ by it, enjoy him fully, and with him glory, even the crowne which he aspires unto, 2 Tim. 4. hence it is also that death is longed for, and earnestly groned after, as 2 Cor. 5. neither is this true which hath [Page 143] beene said, ▪onely of the faithfull among men, but of the other crea­tures also; with earnest expecta­tion they grone and travaile in paine for the day of their renova­tion, Rom. 8. 19, 22.

So then, it is plaine that death though it be not simply and in it selfe good and desirable, yet for that which commeth of it, it is.

And this may be further mani­fested by similitudes, with which the same Apostle doth furnish us.

First, in the place afore-named,Death a pulling downe of a Taber­nacle. 2 Cor. 5. 1. the body, our earthly mansion, is compared to a taber­cacle, a weake and moveable house or dwelling: our heavenly habitation to a firme building, not made with hands, but eternall in the heavens, and 1 Cor. 15. our [Page 144] interred bodies are likened to theDeath as the cor­ruption of seed. seed which is cast into the ground, and is there corrupted and dies. I will apply these comparisons to our present purpose.

True indeed, an old weake de­cayed house, is not in this happy, that it is taken downe, better to be in that meane estate in which it was before, then not at all to be, but herein consists the happinesse of its demolishment, that thereby it becomes a new faire building, farre more glorious in it selfe, and more profitable for use then be­fore.

So againe, the seed is not in that happy, that it is corrupted and rotted in the earth, but that corruptio unius is generatio alterius, the dying of the seed, is the life of the corne that springs from it. Thou foole, saith th' Apostle, that [Page 145] which thou sowest, is not quickned, except it die.

Thus we see there is still hap­pinesseThe grave as a Gold­smiths forge. in death. The grave may be likened to the Gold-smiths Forge; in it our bodies are refined and polished by Gods Almighty hand, and by the power of Christs Resurrection; and they are made of corruptible incorrupti­ble, and of mortall immortall, and so that comes to passe which we have, Rom. 8. 28. That all things worke together for good to them that love God: it is true of afflictions which are the fore-runners of death, and true of death it selfe, and therefore the 1 Cor. 3. 22. Apostle tells us, that whether it bee life or death, things present, or things to come, all are ours: and well saith In Can­tio. Serm. 51. Saint Bernard, Bona mors, quae vitam non aufert, sed transfert in melius, [Page 146] O happy death that deprives us not of life, but changes this for a farre better. Dies mortis (saith Se­neca) quem tanquam extremum formidas, aeterni natalis est, How art thou deceived in thy thoughts of death? the day of thy death, which thou so much fearest as thy last day; to thee is the Birth day of eternity; and Euripides answera­bly, vivere mori est, mori autem vivere, to live is to die, and to die is to live. viz. eternally.Deaths curse re­moved.

But now, another block lies in our way, another Objection, which must also bee answered. How blessed by that (may some man say) which is a curse and pu­nishment for sinne? that which God hath armed against us (as was said before) for the executi­on of that doome, In the day that thou eatest, thou shalt die the death?

[Page 147]To this I say first, that the Apostle answers it, 1 Cor. 15. 54, 55. the most hurtfull creatures, if once they bee disarmed and weakned, cannot hurt us; much lesse when they are overcome and slaine for us, and to our hand, as we say; so is death, Christ hath taken away the sting of it, and conquer'd it, and all adverse power that might stop our pas­sage to Heaven. And as when Goliah was overcome by David, this victory made all the people of Israel, for whom hee fought, Conquerours, and freed them from the power of the enemie: so our David, having overcome and conquered death, we are safe, being all more then Conquerours by and in him.Other ages as liable to death as Old-age.

Now, the second point fol­lowes, which I proposed for the [Page 148] answering of this last accusation (that Old-age is a neere neigh­bour to death:) viz. that other ages are as liable to it as this, and many times as neere.

It is observed Hugo de Claustro. by one, that there are three messengers of death, casuality, sicknesse, and Old-age.

Casualities and the unhappyCasualties befall all ages. accidents that doe befall men, and shorten their lives, are indeed many, somewhere whole Cities have beene overthrowne by earthquakes, others burnt up by lightnings: some by fire: whole regions swallowedup by the earths gaping for them, many men and places destroyed by the in­undations of the sea, and many other casualities happen daily; a haire drunke in milke, a stone in a grape, a small bone in a fish, have [Page 149] beene meanes of choaking, some have dyed with suddaine joy. Warres, and the Pestilence, how many thousands doe they de­voure? a multitude of such acci­dents there are: but no age is more free from these messengers, then this we speake of, and that for these reasons. First, because this is an age of the best temper and greatest moderation, and circum­spection, whereby divers of those dangers are avoided. Secondly, because it is not so much in bodi­ly action, as the rest. Thirdly, for that it mooves lesse▪ stirres lesse abroad, giving it selfe to retired­nesse. Fourthly, it is not prest to the warres, where death compas­ses men about, and is daily and hourely expected. Besides, it is free from quarrells, and lesse sub­ject to surfettings, to breaking and [Page 150] disjoynting of limbs, or to dead­ly wounds, &c.

Touching the second messen­gerDeseases befall all. of death, Bodily diseases, they are in other ages moe, more sharpe, and more incurable: eve­ry man will grant it.

If it be said, that though theseEvery age hath a more certaine period then Old-Age. two messengers should passe by Old-men, yet their age it selfe will stand ready every houre to arrest them. I answer, that neither is that so; for Tho. 4▪. Sent. di­stinct 43. artic 3. the Schoole­man tells us that OLD-AGE sometimes equals all the other in yeeres and durance, and whereas of the rest there is a certaine set pe­riod and end; of this there is none: for no man knowes when an Old-man shall die, and cease to be an Old-man. In epist. quadam. Saint Ierome tells us, that Nemotam fractis vi­ribus & decrepitae senectutis est, quin [Page 151] non se putet unum adhuc annum esse victurum, that there is not any in strength so decayed, and in age so decrepit, as not to thinke he shall live yet one yeere longer.

Further we know that the yon­gestNo cer­tainty of life. hath no lease, no certainty of the number of his daies; and therefore must still be in expecta­tion of death, as well as the aged: for it behooves him that hath no set day for his debt, to be at all times solvendo, ready for payment. Socrates was wont to say, that to Old-men death stands before them continually in their sight; but to young- men hee lurks be­hind, that unawares he may come upon them, as an enemy that liesDistemper of former agesmakes Old-Age the nea­rer to death▪ in ambush.

The third part of my answer remaines: which retorts the fault (if it be one) of Old-ages being [Page 152] so neere to death, upon the true cause of it: viz. mens intempe­rance, and disorder in the former part of their life. I will briefly passe through the particular fore­going ages.

In Infancy many times theCauses of infants death. milke in the nursing, or food, when it hath left the brest, is un­holsome: whereby an ill foun­dation is laid for the bodily con­stitution. And heere (by the way) I cannot but blame the indiscreet peremptorinesse of some, who doubt not to make this a generall rule or Maxim, that God never makes the wombe fruitfull, and the brest barren: and thereupon stick not to conclude, that no woman may put forth her childeIn what cases chil­dren may be put out to nurse. to nurse: true, not of nicenesse, and to shunne the paines and trouble of it. Yet it cannot be denied, [Page 153] that there are many cases in which the mother not onely may refuse this office (which in it selfe is most naturall, I confesse, and lies neerely upon her) but is a cruell mother to her child (to say nothing of her selfe) if shee doe otherwise: for what weaknesse, and how many deseases may bee derived from a mother (in some cases, I say, and of some constitu­tions) to the child, to its utter over­throw, and undoing? and besides, it is not true that the mothers breasts are never dry: nor that there can be no other thing, that may justly excuse her refusing to be a nurse. But I leave the digression, having but occasionally and by the way fallen upon it. And now further I say, that often through want of attendance the poore infant falls into many mischiefes; all which [Page 154] it carries with it to Old-age, if the grave prevent it not.

Child-hood is subject to as great distempers and hurts.

The Young-man is next, andCauses of death in child­hood. his affections for the most part, are strong and violent (as hath beene shewed) whatsoever comes of him, he resolves to please his ap­petite in diet, to satisfie his desire of pleasures in immoderate re­creations, and to nourish the pride of his bodily strength and active­nesse in violent exercises, and his lusts also in wantonnesse, and then no marvaile if an intemperate youth leaves to OLD-AGE a weake and worne-out body.

Of mature, or the ripe age,Causes of death in man-age. what shall we say? that (a man would thinke) will be wary of doing wrong to so good, so neere a neighbour as OLD-AGE is to [Page 155] it. Yet we know, and cannot but observe so much, that the two vi­ces before noted do adhere to it; covetousnesse and ambition put men upon many labours, toyles and attempts, which hotly and eagerly pursued, according to the extent of their desires; cause sur­fetings and bring many infirmi­tiesEvill of former ages fol­low Old-Age and diseases upon it: which tend directly to death.

Now all these evills in the end, fall to the lot of the Old-man, brought upon him (as we see) by the foregoing part of his life; and therefore to it they must be impu­ted, and it may truly be said, that if Old-men bee neere to death, they are thrust upon it by their predecessours, the former ages. Ita [...]st, non acce­pimus bre vem vitā, sed seci­mus: non exiguum tempus ha­bemus, sed mulium perdimus▪ necinoses ejus sed prodigi su­mus. De brevitate vitae. So it is (saith Seneca) wee have not received a short life, but wee have made it short: the time wee [Page 156] have is not little, but wee lose much of it by wastfull prodiga­lity.

And that the sicknesses of elder yeeres (the causes of deaths approach) bee they moe, or be they fewer; are to be imputed to former errors & disorders in diet; we may have some proofe from those two famous Physitians, Hippocrates, and Galen: of whom the former lived to an hunder'd, the other to an hunder'd and foure: and how, but through their knowledge and care, by which they attained to a rare temperance in the former part of their life. Ioseph. de bello Iu­d [...]ico. lib. 2 cap. 7. The Essaei also (a Sect among the Jewes) were very temperate and sparing in their diet; and by meanes thereof lived ordinarily to an hun­der'd.

[Page 157]To conclude, when all is said that may bee brought either by the despisers or accusers of this age; It must bee confessed that length of daies is a great blessing, when a man comes to his grave in a full age, Iob. 5. 26. like as a shooke of corne commeth in, in its season: And howelse can it bee the sub­ject of a promise, as in the fift Commandement: Honour thy Father, &c. that thy daies may bee long in the land, &c. and 1 Kings 3. 14. If thou wilt walke in my waies (saith God to Salomon) I will lengthenthy daies. Or how can the contrary be a curse or punish­ment. Psal. [...] 5. [...]lt. The wicked shall not live out halfe their dayes. Certainely long life hath ever beene a boone by which God would expresse his love to his dearest servants. Among other temporall blessings [Page 158] which he affoorded to Abraham, this is one, and the chiefe, Gen. 15▪ 15. Thou shalt be buried in a good Old-Age, and it was accordingly perfor­med, Gen. 25. 8. Gen 35. 29 Isaac likewise died an Old-man, and full of daies. Gen 47. [...]8 Iacob lived to a 14. 7. yeares. Psal. 3 [...]. [...]lt. Da­vid esteemed it a blessing earnest­ly to be prayed for; Spare mee that I may recover my strength be­fore I goe hence and bee no more seene; And againe, Psal. 71. 18. Now, when I am old and gray-headed▪ O God, for sake mee not, untill I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, &c. and he obtained it, 1 Kings 2. Now, can any man bee so shamelesse as to reproach that age of mans life, which God him­selfe hath graced, by promising and giving it as a speciall bles­sing to such as he entirely loved; and by threatning and inflicting [Page 159] the contrary upon the wicked? Gen. 27. 33. I have blessed Jacob (saith I saac to Esau) yea, and he shall bee bles­sed. Mans blessing there stands firme and irrevocable, and shall not Gods much more? Yes certainely; and therefore OLD-AGE is both truly and firmely blessed. Prov 3. 16. Riches and Honour may be a left-hand gift, but length of daies comes to us in Wisedomes right-hand. Excellently I [...] Hex­am. lib. 1. Saint Ambrose, Quid naturam accusas, O homo? habet illa impedimenta quadam, senectutem & infirmita­tem: senectus ipsa in bonis moribus dulcior, &c. O man, why art thou so injuriously busie in accusing na­ture? shee is not altogether free from impediments, as OLD-AGE, and infirmity; but even that weake age, in a good and holy life is more comfortable; in [Page 160] counsell more wise, for constan­cie to entertaine death, more able, and to suppresse lust more strong then any other age: the infir­mity of the body, is the mindes sobriety, saith he.


In which it is shewed that length of daies is digni­fied by time and opportunity, with many speciall privi­ledges, more then any other age.

CHAP. 1. Wherein it is proved that OLD-AGE is as a rich store-house, or treasurie.

HItherto I have done my best, to free my Client OLD-AGE from Calumniati­ons; my forlorne Client, that sues in forma pauperis, [Page 162] or hominis neglecti, and (I doubt) speeds accordingly: yet through my want of skill, rather then of will and desire to manifest the goodnesse of his cause. I will now try what may be said for him (the next thing proposed) by way of demonstration, that the evills to which he is subject, are fully re­compensed by the opportunity and meanes for good, which hee hath above all other ages.All privi­ledges meet in Old-Age.

And first, of his first priviledge. I will not doubt to say, that what­soever good things accrew to man in the other part of his life, doe all ordinarily meet in this age, and in it are much neerer toOrnamēts of mind. perfection, As first, the orna­ments of the minde, KNOVV­LEDGE1 Know­ledge. formerly gotten by reading and study: WISE­DOME [...] Wise­dome. gathered both by study [Page 163] and experience: for he is indeed truly wise, who hath found the propositions, which hee hath laid up for his use, to be true, by long triall: and is able rightly to apply them in his practise. PRV­DENCE,3 Pru­dence. or discretion, purcha­sed by a long continued obser­ving of all pertinent circumstan­ces, in every case. FORTITUDE [...] Courage and courage, a [...]ising from a right apprehension of all occurrences, whereby it comes to passe, that he feares where there is cause to feare (a necessary vertue, which who so wants, is rather foole-har­dy, then valiant) and where there is no cause of feare or doubt, is hardy and bold as a Lyon. PA­TIENCE,5 Patience growing from the many victories which hee hath had over afflictions, outward and6 Con­stancy. inward. CONSTANCY, as be­ing [Page 164] (by experience also) setled and well grounded in his judge­ment of good and evill, truth and falsehood. In a word (to passe by other particulars) the multi­tude of his yeeres have given time to the many actions, from which habits doe arise: so that through long custome, both his wits Heb 5. [...]lt. are exercised to discerne of every thing, and likewise his mind is fraught with vertues of all kindes.

Neither is he a storer this wayExternall priviled­ges of Old-Age▪ only, for the perfection of inward indowments, but rich also in things outward; as children, his joy and comfort, in whom hee shall live after death; honour, wealth, yea and health also, if youth have not played the prodi­gall, and beene a waster of them.

[Page 165]And heere now I thinke of theResem­blances betwixt the sea­sons of the yeare, and ages of man. Analogie, or correspondency that is betweene the seasons of the yeere, and the ages of mans life. The Spring-time resembles child-hood: the Summer, and therein the growth of the fruits of the earth, youth: the Autumne, or harvest, the ripe-age: the be­ginning of the Winter, when all the profits arising from the hus­band-mans labours and charges, are come into his barnes and store-houses; the age we heereFit S [...]mi li [...]s. speake of. As therfore at this time of the yeere, the barne is full of corne, the hive of honey and waxe; as then the fleece is laid up ready for warme winter cloa­thing, and all the other provision, by the thriving Pater-familias, is stored up for the necessary use of the house: and as then the Ants [Page 166] heape is growne great for succour and food: so to Old-men all the forenamed good things come in, and crowne this age with all man­ner of blessings: If (I say) the fore­going times have not beene sloth­full and unprofitable servants to their Master for whom they were all set a worke. So tender­ly is the eye of Gods providence cast on the Old-Man, that hee takes order for his being plenti­fully furnished with all necessa­ries, before he brings him to this infirme bodily estate. As at the Creation man was not made, till God had in a readinesse for him, the whole worlds provision.

But soft, will some man say: let not the Old-man vaunt too much of the good hee receives from the times past and gone: they store up evill to him as well as [Page 167] good: they daily set him on the score, and he must pay all when the reckoning comes in. A disor­derly impenitent fore-led life brings heapes of wrath upon him, and the heavie burden of sin, then when he is least able to beare it: to say nothing of other distresses in his temporall estate. I answer: It isDiscom­forts are no dis­parage­ments to Old-Age. true, too true. The person of the Old-man oft-times feeles the smart of those discomforts: but it is no disparagement to the age that incurres no blame by it, and it is the age so much disregar­ded, that is heere pleaded for. Now when wee see innocency suffer, how will it affect us? with contempt, or commiseration? surely if OLD-AGE be in any man so happy (in some by Gods gracious working it is) as to make a Comedy of that which [Page 168] was in danger to prove a Trage­dy; by concluding whatsoever hath passed in the doubtfull Acts and Scenes of it in a joyfull Ca­tastrophe; who will be so envi­ous, as not to grace it with an an­swerable Plaudite?

CHAP. II. Touching OLD-AGES second priviledge, viz. meanes for a greater measure of grace.

THis my claime for OLD-AGE, maintaines not an uncapablenesse of it, either in In­fancy, when God is pleased gra­tiously to worke it, or in child­hood, or the other two ages; but [Page 169] this, That many yeares and longOld-Age an helpe to grace. life is no small help this way; and that in divers respects: First, in regard of the time it gives for it. Secondly, in respect of the nature of grace, which is to grow: the more certainely, the more time it hath. Thirdly, because God the best and richest, the bountifullest master doth give the greatest re­ward to them that have served him longest.

Concerning the first. Time andFit time and place must bee for every thing. place fit and convenient must be granted to every thing. As it was said by the grand Enginer Archimedes, Da ubi consistam & movebo terram: set mee in a fit place, and I will move the earth: so saith the skilfull and industri­ous man, give me time, and I will worke wonders. Time it is, by which being and increase is given [Page 170] to every creature. Six daies God tooke for the Creating of the world, and all things in it; that short time hee allotted to that worke: and the rest of time he hath appointed for his providence in governing whatsoever he hath made: for his preserving, ordering, and blessing with growth and in­crease every creature, and each good thing hee hath bestowed on it. From hence it will follow,Old-Age hath best meanes for grace. that the men to whom God hath granted a long time and many yeeres, have by it the better meanes and helps for adding still more and more to the grace they have received. As, to insist in some particulars: they may at­taine to more knowledge then others, and a riper judgement, Heb. 5. the Apostle compares the Word of God to food: and the [Page 171] hearers & learners of it he distin­guishes according to the severall kinds of food. The Word hath milk, the first principles & easiest parts of it; and that is for children and babes in Christ. It hath also stronger meate, points of do­ctrine more hard to bee under­stood: this is for men of riper age in Christianity, such as through custome, have their wits exercised to discerne betweene good and evill, as in that place, ver. 12. the difference there is in the time: Concerning the time (saith the Apostle) yee ought to be teachers, &c.

The light in the dawning of the day is not so cleere, as when the Sun is risen above our Hori­zon: so neither is the new-borne babe so inlightned in his ten­der yeares, as when time hath [Page 172] affoorded him more growth.

As it is in knowledge, so inOld. Age hath ex­perience. faith. For the experience a Chri­stian hath (by long continuance in this estate) of Gods mercifull dealing with him in things tem­porall and spirituall, gives strength to his assurance: as it did to David after his triall of Gods assistance in his overcom­ming and slaying the Lyon and the Beare. In repentance like­wise: for by the daily renewing of it, throughout a mans life, it is still more and more perfected: and so in the rest.

I [...]a Se­ges demil vot [...] re­spondet avari Agricolae, bis quae solem, bis frigora sensit. Virg in Georg The corne-ground which hath for two Summers and two Winters felt the comfortable heate of the Sunne, and the chastening frosty-cold, and hath beene plowed oftener then ordi­nary, and so passed through many [Page 173] seasons; thereby becomes the more fruitfull: so the man on whom the comfortable reviving rayes of the Sonne of Righteous­nesse, and the bitter nipps of affli­ctions, outward and inward, have wrought a long time, is by it abundantly increased in all grace and goodnesse. Why? because he hath had more time Ier. 4 4. for the breaking up of his fallow-ground, and preventing thereby his sow­ing among the thornes: and this is the Old-mans case: for many yeares give him time and oppor­tunity for it.

The mysteries of salvation inThe Old-Age of the world had grea­test myste­ries. the Old Testament, were indeed mysteries, being delivered in Types and figures unto the peo­ple Gal. 4. which were but as infants and children: but in the New Testament, and the last times (the [Page 174] Old-Age of the world) they were made more plaine and evi­dent.

The Apostles of our Saviour, inThe Apo­stles most excellent in their el­der yeares. their minority, there beginnings, how weak were they? for their little faith they were often checked by their Master: and when they had beene for a good space in Christs Schoole, they were notwithstan­ding but novices in their con­ceiving of some very necessary points: as of his death, of his Resurrection and of the vocation of the Gentiles, and how little had they then profited in that pa­tience and constancy, which should have beene in them? in suffering, how weake was Peter, when he denied his Master in that fearefull manner? and all the Apostles at Christs death, when they forsooke him? yet after­wards [Page 175] in their elder yeares, they were the trumpets of the Gospell in preaching: Martyrs in suffe­ring: and with knowledge, faith, constancy, zeale, and all manner of gifts miraculously furnished. It is true: This was not to be as­cribed chiefly to time (as nei­ther the other encrease afore mentioned) but to the mighty working of the Spirit in them yet this, that increase of age, or time, gave opportunity for it, cannot be denied.

What thinke wee of the Pa­triarksThe old Patriarks advantage before the flood; their many yeeres, their living (some of them) to almost a 1000, was it not a great advantage to them, for the repairing of the Image of God, so much defaced not longGrace by growth gets strength. before?

The next Reason to prove that [Page 176] many yeeres give great helpe to increase of grace; is from the na­ture of it. It is naturally apt, yea mighty and powerfull in growth. Whence it followes, that the lon­ger it continues in any, the more it may grow and increase: and OLD-AGE affoords time for it. As the Word of God, from which it arises and springs, 1 Pet. 1. is immortall seed, and the sower, or Seeds-man, God himselfe, the most skilfull and Almighty Hus­band-man, who with the same hand, plants, waters, and gives the increase: so the grace and fruit it selfe, is in such manner blessed by the worker of it, as that it hath power to grow abundantly.

In the first of Geneses, ver. 28. It is said, that God blessed his creatures by giving them power to bring forth fruit, and multiply, [Page 177] &c. Now as the blessing upon those reasonlesse creatures was for increase, and conveyed to them a power for the same, which wee call the Law of nature: so the other blessing upon man, gives power likewise, not onely for naturall propagation, but also for spirituall growth; which we may call the Law of grace, be­cause God by the gracious wor­king of his Spirit, confers on it this power of increasing. Now, as time is required for it, so the more time (which is a priviledge of OLD-AGE) the more opportu­nity and meanes. 1 Cor. 13 11. When I was a child (saith the Apostle) I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I be­came a man, I put away childish­nesse.

The seeds of grace, when they [Page 178] are first sowne, are the least of all seeds: yet growth (by time) makes them the greatest: our Sa­viour instances for it, Mat. 13. 31. in the graine of mustard-seed.

So you have the second Rea­sonOld ser­vants re­spected by God. to proove, that by multitude of yeares grace is multiplied. The third and last, is taken from Gods speciall love and respect to an old servant, (a point before touched) and his bounty in rewarding him above others. Every good ma­ster doth so: and God is the best Lord that any creature can serve. He rewards, not onely at the end of the day, when all our worke is done, with a crowne of righteous­nesse; but, the meane while, in the Kingdome of Grace likewise while we are in working, and even by meanes of our work, and for it (as our reward) with a greater [Page 179] measure of grace, even heere in this life. Such a servant shall dou­ble his talents, and thereupon bee made ruler over much, and enter into his Masters joy.

CHAP. III. Prooving that OLD-AGE is ho­nourable.

VVe have seene the Old-Mans second priviledge: the third is Honour.

Honour, on whom soever it isOld-Age honoura­ble. rightly confer'd, is a great gift. A good name Eccl. 7. 3 is better then a pre­tious oyntment, Pro. 22. 1 To be chosen above great riches; but that onely is true honour, which is given by God himselfe primarily, and by men [Page 180] his sub­dispensers of it, accor­ding to his rule and direction, Laus a laudato, hee is rightly prais'd, that is prais'd by the worthiest of praise. Man, judging of anothers worth, may and of­ten doth erre, his judicium, many times, is prejudicium, he judges with prejudice; not uprightly, but with partiality, with a squint eye, and upon sinister respects. But God is the true and just Judge, and the onely giver of Ho­nour, and God fastens it on the gray-haires in the fift Comman­dement.

But heere hap'ly some man will say, Prov. 16. 31. The heary head is indeed a crowne of glory, but how? be­ing found in the way of righteous­nesse, otherwise not: and so Ho­nour is not the Old-Mans privi­ledge, but vertues shadow the [Page 181] reward of righteousnesse in whomsoever. I answer▪ Ho­nour belongs to the very age of an Old-Man: for it is certaine, and will not be denied, that men in yeeres, even for their yeeres, are to be ranked among the Fathers meant in the fift Commande­ment. Now to all Fathers is Ho­nour there allotted, asto Fathers; and therfore even for this to Old­men. The Magistrate in the Common-weale, the Minister in the Church, the Father and Ma­ster in a Family have right to it, as they are Fathers. May the subject, or the flock and people, or the child and servant withhold this Honour, in case the forena­med superiours doe faile of what is required of them? no man may, no man will say it. The meaning of the place therefore, [Page 182] I conceive to be [...], That when the Old-man is not old one­ly, but also vertuous, then his honour is much the greater, even a crowne of glory, as is also the Magistrates, the Ministers, the Fathers and the Masters. In the 1 Tim. 5. 17. it is said, That the Elders which rule well, are worthy of double honour, of honour (doubt­lesse no man will gaine-say it) as they are Elders and Rulers; but when they rule well, the honour must be doubled upon them. So in that place of the Proverbs; it is plaine therefore, that honour is due to Old-men, even for their yeeres, which is a priviledge not granted to any of the other ages.

Elihu was silent before his El­ders, in reverence to their age, Iob 32. 6. The glory of the aged, is the [Page 183] Gray-head, Prov. 20. 29. OLD-AGE carries honour in the very name, [...], which signifies both OLD-AGE, and honour.

We reade of Agamemnon, that when hee entertained the Wor­thies among the Greekes at a feast: hee preferred Nestor, old Nestor above the rest, and invited him first. And Gadera, a City in Spaine, is said to have had a Tem­ple dedicated to OLD-AGE, as to the mistresse of knowledge. A good rule also it is, which Phocid. Me­nander gives: that every one should honour a man of his Fa­thers age, as his Father himselfe. He would have also the Old-man, and the Noble-man to bee of equall honour.

CHAP. IIII. In which we have the fourth privi­ledge, Liberty for private devotions.

THis also falls to the lot ofRetired­nesse a priviledge OLD-AGE. And a sweet priviledge it is, when a man hath leave secum esse and secum vivere, as the Proverbe is, to be by him­selfe after that he hath attained the pabulum animi, the soules pro­vision, of which God gives grea­ter store (or at least meanes for it) to the greatest storer, the Old­man. Now the devotions for which he may secum esse, are principally two, Prayer, and Me­ditation or Contemplation

Touching Prayer: If J shouldExcellen­cies of prayer. stand to shew, first, the necessity [Page 185] of it, for that all Gods promi­ses depend upon this duty, Aske and yee shall have: Call upon mee and I will deliver thee. Secondly, the incouragement, in that God invites us to it, calls upon us to call upon him (which may em­bolden us to come unto the throne of grace.) Thirdly, the strictnesse of the command con­cerning this part of Gods service. Fourthly, the many examples of the faithfull that hereby have pre­vailed with God. Fiftly, Gods gracing it, in that it is in Scrip­ture usually put for the whole service or worship of God, as Ioel 2. 32. If I should insist on these or other like points, for the praise of Invocation; it would of it selfe grow to a long discourse, and bee (I suppose) not very needfull, be­cause many others have very [Page 186] well, and copiously written of it: and so, it would bee but actum agere; therefore heere, no more but this, that vacancy for this part of private Devotion, is given to men of yeeres, more then to others.

Concerning Meditation orContem­plation commen­ded. Contemplation, something, though not all that might be said of it. Contemplation, Tho. 22. quest. 180. artic. 3. the Schoole defines to bee, Liber ani­mi intuitus in rebus, the mindes free beholding of what is in things. Plato. The Philosopher could tell us that it is the mindes nou­rishment or food, like to Am­brosia and Nectar, which the gods are fained to feed upon, and so divine & heavenly a thing is it, that another could say, Arist. moral. lib. 10. Nulla actio dijs digna videtur, praeter Contem­plationem. In a word, by Contem­plation, [Page 187] we have our conversati­on in Heaven: and the objects of this heavenly Exercise are many. As namely, the Word of God,Matter of meditati­on. which is a spacious field for our thoughts and meditations to range in, as David shewes, Psalme 119. the largest of all his Psalmes. The workes of God also: the Creation, Preservation, Redemp­tion of the world; and therein Gods glory, in his Power, Wise­dome, Goodnesse, Mercy, Justice, and his other Attributes. Our owne particular estate likewise: how miserable in our selves, how happy through Gods mercy in Christ Jesus. Our frailty and un­certainty of our lives heere; the last judgement, Heaven and the joyes thereof, to bring us to them: Hell, and its torments, to keepe us from them: and other [Page 188] innumerable objects. I add here­unto the sweet commemoration of whatsoever good wee have done by Gods help and assistance, in the precedent daies of our pil­grimage. O how happy are wee if we can as Esa. 38. 3. Hezekias, humbly plead with God, our integrity and upright walking before him. Also the delight which men doe, and may take in ruminating on the fruits of their wits, learning, and labours; as Homer on his Iliads, Virgil on his Aeneads, Nevius on his Bellum Punicum, Plautus in the repetition of his Truculentus, and his Pseudolus. But above all, (for in those other there was no­thing but earth and drosse in com­parison) David on his Psalmes, he was the sweet singer of Israel: and (doubtlesse) a great comfort it was to him, when his soule in [Page 189] Contemplation fed on the sundry ravishing passages, touching the Creation and Providence of God over all his creatures, but special­ly his goodnesse towards his Church and people, in their ma­ny deliverances, and his innume­rable benefits towards them, tem­porall and spirituall: and yet more feelingly, (if it might be) when he came home to himselfe, and cal'd to mind what God had done in his particular▪ how hee had advanced him, how graciou­sly and mightily preserved him from the hands of Saul, &c. What pleasure and delight hee tooke in reading these things, his Psalmes doe abundantly testifie. In the penning and meditation whereof, he may seeme to have soared up to Heaven, as on the wings of an Eagle, or in Elias fiery Chariot. [Page 190] He was the first that meditated on the Hymnes himselfe had pen­ned, after him to bee for the use of the Church of God, even to the end of the world.Contem­plation sweet.

Heavenly Contemplation cer­tainely is asweet comfort, and in­credible pleasure doth it affoord to men, which makes mee not to marvaile at the Monkes in former ages of the Church (for of the new Monkes in the Church ofMonkes of old. Rome, I say no more but heu quam dissimiles!) they were so taken with this kinde of life, as to give over forthis one joy of Contemplati­on, all the honours, pleasures, ri­ches they had before so highly esteemed; falling (no doubt) up­on Salomons resolution, that they are all vanity and vexation. It is therefore observed that among the policies Rome hath invented [Page 191] for the upholding of the Papacy, this is not the best prevalent, that they have Monasteries for men to rest in, that in them, as is pre­tended, they may solace them­selves in heavenly Contemplati­on, freed from the worldly cares and businesses, which had weari­ed them before. But howsoever this profession is abused by them, it is true that ContemplationSweetnes of Solita­tinesse. brings great delight, Secum vi­vere is right worthy therefore the name of a priviledge, and solitu­do, Tho. 20. 21. quest. 188. artic. 8. saith the Schoole-man, est in­strumentum congruum Contempla­tioni, retirednesse is Contempla­tions opportunity. And againe, Tho [...]. 2 quest. 172 artic. 1. Anima quando abstra [...]itur a cor­pore, aptior redditur ad percipiendum influxum spirituali [...]m, the soule se­questred from things corporall, is the sitter to receive the influ­ence [Page 192] of spiritualls. A happy divorticulum is it to Old-men, so many of them as while they are thus by themselves, can truly say, [...] God is with us, viz. to assist us in all good and godly co­gitations, and to repell all that are evill.

Contrariwise, most miserableContem­plation an Old-mans joy. were mans estate, especially in these elder yeares (which it is not, nor cannot bee denied, bring with them abodily weaknesse) were not their soules raised up and rap't, with great joy and re­joycing, by Contemplation. Consider that one place, Psal. 4. 4, 5, &c. ad finem. As there it fell out to David, so it shall to us, If wee commune with our owne hearts upon our bed, and offer to God the sacrifices of righteousnesse, and trust in the Lord; howsoever worldly [Page 193] men wander in their thoughts, and cannot be setled in a right resolution touching the true GOOD: yet on us God will (while in our meditations our thoughts are on him alone, and all the powers of our soule are carried up to Heaven) lift up the light of his countenance on us, and thereby sprinkle our hearts with such joy as wil bring us to an holy security: we shall lay us downe and sleep in peace, true and sound peace.

In the first of Kings, Chap. 5.Times of peace fit test for Gods house. ver. 4, 5. Now (saith Salomon) The Lord my God hath given mee rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evill occur­rent: and behold I purpose to build an house to the name of the Lord my God, that (hee saw) was the fittest time for such a taske, the time of Peace and rest: and accordingly [Page 194] he finisht it within the compasse of seven yeares, 1 Kings 6. 38. whereas Ezra and Nehemiah op­posed by enemies, were a farre longer time in reedifying thatOld-Age hath least distur­bance. Temple. So is it touching the repaire of our soules and bodies, the Temples of the Holy Ghost, then are wee best fitted and ina­bled for this so great and necessa­ry a work, when we are least di­sturbed by our spirituall enemies, as in OLD-AGE.

Certainely that great Arist. Ethic. lib. [...]0 cap▪ 7. Philo­sopher, though a Heathen, saw somewhat this way, when he pla­ced mans happinesse in Contem­plation.

The innumerable errors of ourMeditati­on on Gods mercies is a sinners cordiall. life, especially, our great and ma­nifold sinnes, doe often and even daily recoyle upon the consci­ence of every penitent sinner: and [Page 195] no salve there is for this sore, no medicine to cure this sicknesse, but the multitude of Gods mer­cies meditated on, and applied by faith, which bring in continually matter of great comfort to the poore, fainting, and almost peri­shing soule.

Now for this sweet solace, noOld-age fittest for meditati­on. part of our life gives so good op­portunity, as our elder yeares, in which we have both an immuni­ty from bodily labours, and free­dome from earthly pleasures, as hath beene shewed. This there­fore is a great and much to bee esteemed benefit of OLD-AGE, a singular Priviledge.

CHAP. V. Containing the conclusion of the Discourse.

ANd now, because I have in this Tract, digressed some­time from the professed subject of it, and touched upon the other ages of this life, by way of com­paring them together; I would from that which hath beene said, raise an exhortation to so many of the ages as are capable of it: in imitation of the Apostle, 1 Iohn 2. 12. I write to you little children, I write to you Fathers, I write to you [...]oung-men, &c.

[...]irst therefore, to Children.Children happy if well sea­soned. O how happy are yee, if now in these your tender yeares, like young plants, ye be set straight in [Page 197] a fruitfull soyle: if now, as new vessells, ye be seasoned with sweet and whole some liquor; if now, with 2 Tim. 3 15. Timothy ye know the holy Scriptures; if ye now 1 Pet. 2. desire the sincere milke of the Word, and doe therein tast how bountifull the Lord is. Certainely after these your so good beginnings, yee will be blessed in your further proceedings, increase daily in grace and Christianity, and grow still neerer and neerer to perfecti­on: and when ye are come to­wards the end of your Pilgri­mage, and doe waxe old; which ye already desire, if not in respect of the age it selfe, yet out of an unwillingnesse to die, and that yee may bee partakers of the blessing of long life. Pro. [...]1. [...]. Being taught in your child-hood the trade of your way, when yee are old yee [Page 198] shall not depart from it: and through it yee shall abundantly reape the fruit of this your seed­time A vertuous and godly child-hood, is a sure foundation for happinesse in all the follow­ing ages.Parents must well season children.

But this premonirion will sort better, and be more effectuall, gi­ven to Parents: to them who live in their children, when them­selves are dead and gone: to them that are intrusted with them in their tender yeares: to them, who in their children shall bee either happy or miserable: happy in their happinesse, if they set them in the right way, while they are more easily brought into it: and miserable in their misery likewise, if then they neglect them.

In the next place to Young­men. [Page 199] Hap'ly the weeds, whichYouth must pluck out weeds growne in child­hood. (through the corruption of nature, and your security) have (un­awares) sprong up in your lives while you were children, are many and ranke: suffer them now to bee plucked up by the rootes. For when they grow in strength, as you in yeares, Infaelix lolium & steriles dominantur avenae, they will domineere over the good seed that is sowne in you, and choke it.

Say not, resolve not with yourYouth needs great cir­cumspecti­on. selves, wee will rejoyce in our youth, and will set our hearts, &c. Rather be exhorted and perswa­ded now in your youth to Remem­ber your Creator. You must know that for you the bit is fitter and of more use then the spur. The heate of your blood and quicknesse of [Page 200] your spirits doe prick you for­ward; but the thing is not so much how fast, as how well yee runne. Know, and forget it not, that yee walke on slippery ground. Ambros de viduis lib. 1. Vicina est lapsibus ado­lescentia (saith a Father) youth of all ages, is most subject to falling: Yee have need therefore of the greatest circumspection and wari­nesse. Bodily pleasure (of which before) hath the face of a friend, but the heart of an enemy, a most insinuating enemie it is; and there is it most busie, and prevailes most where there is least watch fullnesse to keepe it out, least strength to re­sist it, and greatest aptnesse to entertaine it, as ordinarily there is in this your age: Hieron. ad Nepot. wherein (saith one) lust and disorderly affections are to vertue, as greene wood to the fire.

[Page 201]Thinke yee never of the evillCarelesse young-mē worse then beasts. daies that are comming, the win­ter of your life? then are you not so wise as many other creatures much inferiour to you, being void of reason and understanding. Shame ye not to be set to Schoole to the Ant, Pro. 6. 6. when reason is eclipsed by sensuality, men be­come worse then the brute beasts. Be not sensible onely of the pre­sent, of that Terent. in Adelph. Quod ante pedes modo est, which is before you, and at your foot as it were: but looke forward to the end of this, and the beginning of the next life. What you now sow in youth, youCare in youth be­nefits fu­ture ages▪ shall reape in age. If now ye pro­vide for health, for a good out­ward estate, and chiefly for grace, and the inward furniture of the soule; yee shall have the benefit and comfort of it, when yee are [Page 202] old. If not, most miserable will yee then be, by the neglect and losse of them.

I perswade my selfe, and amOld men see how former yeares might have been better im­ployed. confident of it, that there is not an Old-man in the world (such onely excepted as never had, no [...] yet have so much as common wit and understanding) that doth not see how (were he now in his first yeares of discretion) hee might improve his talents (be they moe, or be they fewer) to his exceeding great advantage, this men of yeares see when it is too late. Stu­dy you therefore this art of im­prooving (especially in grace and goodnesse) now in this your time for growth, and put it in practice yeare after yeare: you cannot imagine how rich it will make you: how the increase will come in upon you, use upon use; in this [Page 203] onely lawfull kind of usury.Youths fault to scorne Old-Age.

I cannot end, till I have left with you one cavear, or advice more. It is this: that yee must be so farre from the common sinne of casting a scornefull eye on Old-men; as to thinke your selves never so well sorted, asYouth must hear­ken to Old-men. when yee are in their company. And this counsell yee shall take, not from me, but from Saint In Epist. ad August Ie­rom: Difficilibus ac morosis senibus, aures libenter praebeto: qui pro­verbiorum sententijs adolescentes ad recta studia cohortantur. Lend thy attentive eare willingly to Old­men, seeme they to you never so froward, and hard to please: for by their wise speeches and coun­sels, young-men are brought into a right course of life. And with him also agrees Lib. de ordine vi­tae. Saint Bernard: Aequalium usu [...] dulcior, senum [Page 204] tutior, hap'ly (saith he) thy con­verseYoung men must be conver­sant with Old-men. with thy equalls, who are ready to humour thee, may bee more pleasing to thee: but thy safest and most profitable way, is to be conversant with thy betters and elders, so much as thou maist. Resolve therefore as one did, Quoad possitis & liceat, a senis la­tere nunquam disced [...]re: never to depart from the side of the Old-man, with whom thou maist have leave to converse. And heere it may fitly be remembred, that the young-men which gave Rehoboam bad counsell, were such as had growne up with him, 1 King. 12. 8.

Now, to men of mature, orMiddle­age must redeeme the time. middle-age, thus much. This is your Autumne, the yeare of your life is whirl'd about and now come towards the period. [Page 205] Have yee hitherto beene un­thrifts? hath your child-hood and youth brought in little or no­thing? O then how must you now bestirre you! Yee have neg­lected the first spring of your yeere: the latter is now come, and that is your next season, though not so hopefull as the other. Yet now at last awake, and begin to looke about you: Repent you of your former failings, and presse now hard towards the marke: the harder, because formerly ye have lost much time, and that which remaines to you, is but short.

On the contrary, have yee thri­vedGood things must be communi­cated. by your endeavours, and Gods blessing upon them in times past? are yee now increased both in outward and inward ri­ches, and become great among them with whom yee live? O [Page 206] then let your neighbours bee the better for it: Let there bee to them, ali quid boni, propter vi­cinum bonum. Let not your great­nesse make others little, either in themselves, or in your esteeme. Let not your wealth bee their woe and poverty, your honour their disgrace and abasement. Bee not like the tall Cedars that overtop the the lowly shrubs. If yee be wise and know much, let others light their candle at your lampes. Know that what­soever you have or are, you have received it, and not for your selves alone, but that others may have from you as freely, as you from the great DONOR.Old-men must look back to their for­mer passa­ges.

Lastly, to my selfe, and my coetanei, all that are farre gone in yeares. Let us now being neere the end of our journey, [Page 207] of our travaile towards the hea­venly Canaan: and having pas­sed through the dangerous and trouble some wildernesse of our life, imagine our selves to bee on some high mountaine, on Pisgah, the top of Nebo, if you please: where Moses was being of the age of 120, when he had finished his course, and his ma­ny, his 42. wearisome jour­neyes were at an end, and from thence let us looke back to the sundry passages of our life past (as▪ hap'ly Moses did to his and the peoples wandring in the wilder­nesse, though hee ascended the Mount to another end) calling to mind how God hath dealt with us (least wee fall into the un­thankfullnesse of that people)▪ how God hath preserved and kept us continually, in the wombe, [Page 208] and in our comming into the world, as forth of our prison in Egypt: in our infancy, child­hood and riper age. And on the other side, that wee may see and acknowledge that Gods patience hath still gone along with his mercies and bounty towards us;Old men must think of their former failings. Let us cast up (so neere as wee can) all the particular failings and errors of our life: How wee have wandred up and downe in the daies of our pilgrimage towards heaven: How wee have (as the Israelites) in our journeyes gone crookedly, sometimes forward, otherwhile backward: now neere to our Canaan, anon fur­ther off, never Heb. 12. 13. making straight steps to our feet. And chiefly, let our greatest sinnes stand ever be­fore us (as Davids did, Psal. 51. 3.) and be laid to heart: and that now [Page 209] while it is 2 Cor 6. 2. a time accepted, and the day of salvation. While it is Luk. 19. 42. our day, this certainely is ours, whether the morrow will be our day, we know not.

That which often deceivesOld-Age most calls for repen­tance. younger men (the blind hope that they shall live yet many yeares, and that therefore there is no hast of their repentance or amendment) cannot have the least colour for our deferring. Our very yeeres, besides the sense of our frailty, daily and hourely call upon us to prepare for death, by making up our last account.

To conclude all: because in the precedent Tract, something hath beene said in the defence and praise of our despised age; for admonition therefore (least we should deceive our selves in [Page 210] our particulars) let the following Distick bee ever remembred by us.

Qui laudat quasi jam facias, quae non [...]acis, ille Laudando wonet, & quae sac [...]enda, no [...]at.
Art thou heere prais'd unworthily?
Then to be worthy, learne thereby.


THO: WYKES. R P. Ep. Lond. Cap. Domest.

An Alphabeticall Table.

  • ACtions nor all nor the best in bodily strength, Page 23.
  • Man casting up his Ac­count a weighty worke, Page 47.
  • Old men fittest to cast up their Accounts, Page 48.
  • Afflictions are to weane us from pleasures, Page 7 [...].
  • Agamemnon preferred old Nestor before the Worthies of Greece, Page 83.
  • Age increaseth learning, Page 26.
  • Every Age hath proper imployments, P. 53▪
  • God laies no more on any Age then what it is able to beare, Page 53.
  • All Ages subject to casualties Page 148.
  • Every Age hath a more certaine period then Old-Age, Page 150.
  • Resemblances betwixt the seasons of the yeare and Ages of man, Page 165.
  • Agesilaus his hardinesse, Page 15.
  • Apostles most excellent in their elder yeares, Page 174.
  • [Page]Bodies abilities common to wicked and beasts, Page 20.
  • Body not destroyed by death, Page 131.
  • Casualties befall all Ages, page 148.
  • Cato Major learned the Grecke tongue in his Old-Age, page 16.
  • Child-hoods infirmities, page 91.
  • Childrens yoke, page 92.
  • Contemplation an Old-mans joy, page 192.
  • Contemplation commended, page 186.
  • Contemplation sweet, pag. 190.
  • Correction of children, page 93.
  • Children in what cases they may be put out to nurse, page 152.
  • Children happy if well seasoned, page 196.
  • Causes of death in Child-hood, page 154.
  • Complaints should be against ones selfe, p. 8. Corporall pleasures, See Pleasures.
  • Corruption the way to generation, page 130.
  • Death what makes it most greevous to good men, page 126.
  • Mens rashnesse in speaking against Death, page 127.
  • Death wherein terrible, page 128.
  • Death, remedy against it, page 128.
  • Death a blessing, page 130.
  • Death destroyes not the body, page 131.
  • Death opens heaven gates, page 132.
  • [Page] Death brings happinesse, page 134.
  • Death is suiting to a mans life, p. 137.
  • Death why unwelcome, p 137.
  • Death imbittered by an ill life, p. 138.
  • Death imbittered by love of this world, p. 140
  • Death how abhorr [...]d and how desired, p 141
  • Death a pulling downe of a tabernacle, p. 143
  • Death as the corruption of seed, page 144.
  • Deaths curse removed, p. 146.
  • Death of infants causes of it, p. 142.
  • Death causes of it in child-hood, p. 154.
  • Death causes of i [...] in Man-age, p▪ 154.
  • Diseases befall all, p. 1 [...]0.
  • Distemper of former ages makes Old-Age the neerer to death, p. 151.
  • Discontentednesse at ones estate, page 7.
  • Discomforts are no disparagement to Old-Age page [...]7.
  • Drunkennesse and uncleanenesse seldome severed, p 79.
  • Experience a good teacher, page 24.
  • Evill of former ages followes Old-Age, page 155.
  • Fabius Maximus Augur 6 [...] yeares. p 16.
  • To order Families Old-Age the fittest, p 42
  • Families Old-men worthy governours of them, [...] 45.
  • Gadera a City in Spaine dedicated to Old-Age, p 18 [...].
  • Georgius Leontinus had nothing to accuse Old-Age p [...]
  • [Page] Glory of man wherein it consisteth, p. 11.
  • Good the object of pleasure, p. 59.
  • The Kingdome of Grace brings joy, p. 135.
  • Grace by growth gets strength, p. 175.
  • The Grave as a Gold-smiths forge, p. 145.
  • Good things must be communicated, p. 205.
  • Health dangerous, p. 12 [...].
  • Health common to beasts, p. 1 [...].
  • House how best built up, p. 122.
  • Imployment Old-Age makes not unfit for it, page 10.
  • Greatest Imployments elder yeares best fitted for, page 12.
  • Infirmity what it is, page 86.
  • Infirmity of child hood, page 99.
  • Infirmity of young-men, page 95.
  • Infants infirmities, page 86.
  • Infants come into the world crying, p. 89.
  • Infants how first handled, p. 90.
  • Infants deatli causes of it, p. 152.
  • Lawfull things in danger let go, p. 77.
  • Learning increaseth by age, p 26.
  • True Learning what it is, p 40.
  • Liberty abused by youth, p. 96.
  • An ill Life imbitters death, p. 138.
  • Life uncertaine, p. 151.
  • [Page]Man age when it begins, p. 103.
  • Man-age in evill irremoveable, p 103.
  • Man age aspires high, p▪ 104.
  • Man age prone to wrong, p 105.
  • Causes of death in Man-age, p. 154.
  • Mans glory wherein it consisteth, p 21.
  • Massarissa went bare-head and bare-foot at 90 yeares age p. 16.
  • Matter of Meditation, p 187.
  • Meditation on Gods mercies a sinners cor­diall. p 194.
  • Meditation, Old-age fittest for it p. 195.
  • Middle-age must redeeme the time, p. 204.
  • Minds abilities the best, p▪ 19.
  • Most good done by the Mind, p. 23.
  • Ornaments of the Mind, p. 162.
  • Ministers work a weighty task, p. 34.
  • Ministers compared to Shepheards, Buil­ders, Husband-men Watch-men, Stewards, Embassadours, p 3 [...] &c.
  • Monks of old, p 190.
  • Mothers care over children, p. 94.
  • In what cases children may bee put out to Nurse, p. 152.
  • Old-age what it is p 2.
  • Old-age hath the best opportunities for wis­dome, p. 24.
  • Old-ages defects most in the body, p. 27.
  • Old-age fittest for writing, p. 40.
  • Old-age fittest for ordering of Families, p. 42
  • [Page]Spirituall pleasure most proper to Old-age, p. 69.
  • It is a glory to Old age that it takes off from pleasures, p. 80.
  • Old-age works joy in the want of pleasure, p. 80
  • Old-age not to bee blamed with personall vices, p. 109.
  • Old-age hath experience, p 124, 172.
  • Other ages as liable to death as Old-age, p. 147.
  • Every age hath a more certaine period then Old-age, p 150.
  • Distemper of former ages makes Old-age the neerer to death, p 151.
  • Evill of former ages followes Old-age, p. 155
  • All priviledges meet in Old-age, 162.
  • Old-ages externall priviledges, p. 164.
  • Discomforts are no disparagements to Old­age. p 167.
  • Old-age an helpe to grace, p. 169.
  • Old-age hath best meanes for grace, p. 170.
  • The Old age of the World had great myste­ries, p 173.
  • Old-age honourable, p. 179.
  • Great things done by Old-men, p 13.
  • Old age hath least disturbance, p 194.
  • Old age fittest for meditation, p. 195.
  • Old age most calls for repentance, p. [...]09.
  • Old-men must thinke of their former fai­lings, p. 208.
  • Old-mens abilities in the graces of the mind, p. 19.
  • Old men of best use in peace, p. 29.
  • [Page] Old-men best Generalls in warre, page 31.
  • Old-men best counsellors for warre, p. 32.
  • Old men not so fit for the Pulpit as young, page 37.
  • Old men worthy Governors of families, p 45
  • Old-men best furnished for writing, p 41.
  • Old-men fittest to cast up their accounts, p 48
  • Old-men best apprehend Gods promises, p. 49
  • Old mens motion to heaven the strongest, p. [...]0
  • Old-mens care for others good, p. 106.
  • Old-men best use wealth, p. 108.
  • Old-men not covetous, p. 110.
  • The ground of Old-mens parsimony, p. 111.
  • Old-men warre, p. 112.
  • Old-men long for better times, p. 112.
  • Old-men why hard to please. p. 113.
  • Old-men praisers of former times, p. 113.
  • Old-men just reprovers, p. 113.
  • Old-men most think of their former failings, page 208.
  • Old men see how former yeares might have beene better imployed, p. 203.
  • Old-men must looke backe to▪ their former passages, p. 206.
  • Old servant not cast of by God, p. 49.
  • Old servants respected by God, p. 178.
  • Parents must well season children, p. 198.
  • In Peace old men of best use, p. 29.
  • Times of Peace fittest for Gods house, p. 193
  • The old Patriarks advantage, p. 175.
  • Physick wherein usefull, p. 118.
  • [Page] Plato died with his pen in his hand at 81. yeares of age, p. 16.
  • Pleasure what it is, p. 59.
  • Pleasure, the object of it is good, p. 59.
  • False Pleasure, p. 60.
  • Worldly Pleasures, p 62.
  • Worldly Pleasures how good, p. 62.
  • Pleasures are good only to the faithfull, p 64
  • Pleasures corporall and spirituall how diffe­renced, p. 64, &c.
  • Pleasures spirituall most proper to Old-age, page 69.
  • Pleasure corporall want of it no great dis­advantage, p. 70.
  • Pleasure corporall the vanity of it, p. 70, &c.
  • Pleasures corporall dangerous, p 74.
  • Pleasures corporall can hardly be well used pag. 75.
  • Pleasures make brutish, p. 7 [...].
  • Pleasures are dangerous guests, p. 81, &c.
  • Pleasures bodily lost recompensed with spi­rituall joyes, p. 83.
  • Prayer excellencies of it, p. 184.
  • Preaching the chiefest Ministeriall function, page 38.
  • Preaching by pen, p. 38.
  • The Pen goes further then the voice, p. 39.
  • Promises of God best apprehended by old men, p 43.
  • Quiet acceptable to old age, p. 56.
  • Retirednesse a priviledge, p. 184.
  • [Page]Old Servants not cast off by God, p, 49.
  • Old Servants respected by God, p. 178.
  • Sicknesse whence it came, p. 115.
  • Sicknesse by sin, p. 119.
  • Sicknesse the benefits of it, p. 120.
  • Sicknesse no disgrace, p▪ 122.
  • Solitarinesse sweetnesse of it, p. 191.
  • Sophocles wrote Tragedies in his dotage, page 16.
  • Soules excellency, p. 19.
    Spirituall Pleasures, See Pleasures.
    • Bodily Strength dangerous, p 99.
    • In bodily Strength nor all nor the best acti­ons, p. 23.
  • Testimonies humane how to be used, p. 2.
  • Time commonly too much mispent, p. 55.
  • Time losse of it worse in younger than in elder yeares, p. 57.
  • Fit Time and place must be for every thing, p. 169.
  • Tractates Theologicall and Phylosophicall how differenced, p. 1.
  • In Warre Old-men the best governors, p. 31
  • For Warre Old-men the best Counsellors, page 32.
  • Wisedome Old▪age hath the best opportuni­ties for it, p 24.
    Worldly Pleasures, See Pleasures.
    • [Page]Love of the World imbittors death, p. 140.
    • Writing, Old-age fittest for it, p 40.
    • Writing, Old-men best furnished for it, page 41.
  • Elder Yeeres best fitted for best imploy­ments, p. 12.
  • Young mens infirmity, p. 95.
  • Young men carelesse worse then beasts, p. 201
  • Young men must bee conversant with Old­men, p 203.
  • Youths deboishnesse makes Old-age unfit for imployment, p 11.
  • Youth abuse liberty, p. 96.
  • Youth easily seduced, p. 97.
  • Youth scornes counsell, p 97.
  • Youth improvident and prodigall, p. [...]7.
  • Youth variable, p. 97.
  • Youth like a ship, p 98.
  • Youth secure, p. 99.
  • Youth most opposite to Old-age, p. 101.
  • Youth hath most need of reformation, p. 101
  • Youth must hearken to Old-men, p. 203.
  • Youth must plucke out weeds growne in child-hood, p. 199.
  • Youth needs great circumspection, p. 199:
  • Care in Youth benefits future ages, p. 201.
  • Youths fault to scorne Old-age, p. 203.

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