A CHRISTIAN Memorandum, OR Advertisement wherein is handled the Doctrine of Reproofe. WHAT IT IS, HOW WE MVST RE­proue, How necessary it is: With Exhortations and Arguments moving vs to the right performance of that duty, and Reproofe for neglecting Reproofe. By RICHARD TRVMAN Mr of Arts and Minister of Gods word at Dallington neere Northampton.

EPH. 5. 11.

Haue no fellowship with the vnfruitfull workes of darknesse but rather reproue them.

OXFORD, Printed by John Lichfield, Printer to the Vniversitie, and are to be sold in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Tygres Head by Henry Seale. 1629.

TO THE RIGHT HONOV­rable William Lord Spencer Knight of the Bath, & Ba­ron of Wormeleighton, all out­ward happinesse, with peace of conscience in this life, & everlasting saluation in the World to come.

RIght Honoura­ble It is a true & Ingenui pu­dotis est fateri per quo [...] profe­ce [...]us, & haec quasimere as authoris. Plin ancient saying, It is the property of an honest and ingenuous minde, to ac­knowledge by whom we haue re­ceiued profite, & this is as it were a reward to the author. Now see­ing bookes and writings are the [Page] greatest riches we haue, being the issue and ofspring of our best stu­dies and dearest endeauours; I could not but present to you the first fruits of that tree whose plan­tation was caused by your owne hand; and the rather that I may giue some poore pledge and obui­ous testimony of my thankfull commemoration & acknowledge­ment of such fauours as haue bin on my part receiued from that no­ble personage who is now gathe­red to his Fathers, as also for that fauour and countenance which still I receiue from your selfe. I will not speake much of him whose owne workes haue giuen testimony enough to the world, & [Page] added as to your Honour, so to your comfort: yet to free my selfe from the aspertion of Dixeris male­dicta cuncta, cum ingra­tum homi­nem d [...]cris. vnthankfulnesse which is a sinne of sinnes, and all the evills a man can speake of, I must needs say something of him, for the constan­cy and fidelity of whose loue, I re­ceiue still daily comfort: least iust­ly the world might say of mee ac­cording to that inscription which Scipio Africanus caused to bee set vpon his Tombe when hee had done many fauours for Rome & afterwards was banisht by them. Ingrata Patria, ne offa qui­dem mea ha­bes. Val. Max. Vnthankfull countrey that hast not so much as my bones. Yea the world can testifie how profitable he hath beene to Church & Com­mon wealth, who from a louing [Page] and noble ambition tooke alwaies pleasure and delight to be benefi­ciall to such as stood in need of him; and that not after the man­ner of our ignoble benefactors in these daies, who professe charity, in meane time the obiect dies, and this is to set a dish of meat vpon a dead mans graue; or else they doe good when they themselues are departed, which howsoeuer it may comfort the liuing yet addes no ioy to him that gaue it being dead; good workes being done after death wee carry the Lan­thorne behinde vs, it may guide and comfort the followers, but we see not what wee doe our selues: but good workes done in our life [Page] time, is to carry the Lanthorne before vs, whereby we administer helpe to others, and to our owne comfort behold it our selues. It shall suffice to speake but in gene­rall; for should I proceed to the commendation of his particular vertues, I presume I should be an­swered as he that spent a long O­ration in praise of Hercules, Quis vituperauit? Who disprais­eth Hercules? Yet I could not but breake his boxe of spikenard wherein his good name was enbal­med, that the perfume and swee [...] ­nesse thereof might somewhat im­part itselfe to the world, conclud­ing my speech of him as Philip of Hipparchus, hee died seasona­bly Sibi mature [...] mihi [...]. [Page] for himselfe but to mee too soone: Let mee therefore returne vnto you most Noble Lord bearing the character & impresse of all his worthy partes, as though they came by succession and inhe­ritance, beseeching you to accept these my poore labours, though they be nothing equiualent to that maine debt I owe vnto you. Your acceptance I craue especially be­cause I know in this world and Babel of distraction and confusi­on of diuided mindes no man can please all, but some will presume to taxe the whole world: but this shall be my comfort, that I haue euer found the best learned and in­genuous, the most modest and gen­tle [Page] censurers of others: for which cause, I was moued and embolde­ned to shelter my selfe vnder your religious and iuditious protecti­on, which may be to mee like the buckler of Aiax, to sheild me from the detraction of many. And as Antimachus being forsaken of all his auditors, proceeded in read­ing his booke, because Plato was left, esteeming him to ouer value them all: so if many shall disdaine, and reiect my labours, yet if it please you to approue & like them, it shall administer comfort and encouragement to me: as for such as want both learning and chari­ty to iudge aright, or to iudge in loue, I passe not, if they vse the [Page] freedome of their owne natiue iudgements, & I will resolue as in the Tragedie, as I haue little hope to obtaine their fauour so care I little for their frowne, envy may disdaine, draw bloode it cannot. Thus being as confident of your fauour, as I am certaine of the vn­constancy of the most, I leaue you and all yours to the blessed and prosperous protection of the All­mighty, and remaine

Your Lordshipps euer to command in the Lord Richard Truman.

To the Reader.

CHristian Reader, It was the saying of Solomon, the wisest Prince that ever raigned. Withhold not good from them to Prov. 3. 23. whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to doe it; and them I take to bee the owners of any good, that stand in need of the same; few or none there be, to whom direc­tion may not bee profitable in their demeanure, but to some more then to others; therefore as the Almanacks of Prognosticators are written espe­cially for the climate wherein they dwell, so my publishing this discourse is, chiefly for my owne countries sake: for amongst the manifold causes of the augmentation and increase of sin [Page] though it he not so seriously advised and thought vpon, yet doubtlesse the want of discountenancing and rebu­king sinne, is one reason, why it flou­risheth so much in the most: and in regard there is one kinde of people, who offend by connivency and silence when they see sin committed. I haue endeavoured to put some life & zeal into them, by stirring them vp to this duty: also beholding on the other side a strange extreame, namely a genera­tion of people too industrious and in­genuous in reprouing others, who are rough and tetricall spirits, that who­soeuer is not in every point as precise as themselues, they account them as dogs and swine, men of vncleane and prophane dispositions, vnworthy any account or countenance; yet these men for want of wisdome & discretion in their behaviour, doe more mischiefe through a rash vnadvisednesse and want of gouerment then they can be­nefit by reprehensions; therefore I [Page] haue performed the best I can, that Iudg. 14. 14. like Sampsons riddle, out of these devourers and Lyons, I might bring forth that which may be for meat & sweetnesse in the discovery of this point. Wherein I haue laid downe 1. What it is to reproue sin. 2ly, How or after what maner we must doe it. 3ly, I haue vrged the duty it selfe by way of instruction & reproofe. 4ly, Is set downe Arguments or Motiues therevnto. Many there are that haue briefly discoursed vpon this subiect, and I must needs confesse, my pouer­ty hath constrained me to glean some bundles ofeares, which I haue found seattered here and there, in the fields of some of them. For which I hope no wise and indicious reader will thinke the worse of my paines: for as the spi­ders web is not to bee esteemed the more because it is wouen out of her owne bowels; so neither is the hony of the Bee the lesse set by, because it is suckt from divers flowers. But how­soever [Page] it finde acceptance, I haue ad­ventured to offer this poore mite of my penurie, amongst the Talents, which others out of their plenty haue cast into the offerings of God; yea whilst many worthy and learned men lay vp their Talents in obscuritie. I haue rather chosen to put my little to employment, for the benefit of o­thers, then in a sullen disdaine to hord vp much for myselfe. I confesse my first studies vpon this point, and this impotent worke, like the Cripple at the poole of Bethesda, had kept its owne couch till death, had not some Ioh. 5. 5. Angell troubled the water, and put it in, to make it goe abroad; and the rather, because I knewe my selfe vn­fit & vnworthy to handle this point being not so apt to giue, or receiue in­struction as I should. Take this there­fore, as a token of what I desire, and shall strine to he, not what I am: if thou canst get any good by mee, blesse God, and I will follow thee so fast as I [Page] can. But least I should make my wri­ting like the Citie of Mindus, with a faire and large gate, and the edifice but poore and little, I leaue both it and thee to the blessing of him, who alone giues increase of grace to all our good endeavours.

Thine in the Lord Richard Truman.

A CHRISTIAN Memorandum.

CHAP. 1.

THE Apostle St Paul writing to the Philippians, exhort­eth them so to carry Phil. 2. 15. themselues, that they should be blamelesse and harmelesse, the sonnes of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and peruerse nation, amongst whom saith he, yee shine as lights in the world. Now as in that place the Apostle would haue the Philippians imitate those heauenly bodies in their light and influence, so hee stirres vp the Ephesians to imitate [Page 2] their motion: and therefore as the Planets carried about by the sway of the Heauens doe notwithstanding keepe a proper course to them­selues: so he admonisheth all christ­ians, that though in common and naturall courses, they cannot but be carried by the sway of the world; yet he vrgeth them to haue a peculi­ar and proper motion of grace and goodnesse, contrary to the course of worldlings, and not to participate with the wicked in evill doing, but rather reproue their euill manners. Haue no fellowship with the vnfruit­full Eph. 5. 11, workes of darknesse but reproue What it i [...] to reproue. them rather: Now from this place also we may briefly see the nature of Dogeneres ani­mos times argu­it, Virg. Apparet virtus arguitur (que) malis O [...]id. Ipsum peccan [...] verbis, opera verà luce vitae arguimus, [...]use in loc. reproofe, or what it is to reproue. The word [...], which commonly is translated by the word arguite, Reproue, signifieth properly to bring to light or make manifest, as Caluin & other Expositors on that place obserue. Now that is done [Page 3] two waies, either by our words, or by our workes, by an holy contradi­ction in words, and by an heauenly contrariety of practise. So that to reproue, is nothing else but to dis­cover and lay open to our brethren their faults, together with our owne dislike of the same, that they may a­mend them.

CHAP. 2. How we must reproue.

Three things required in Reproofe

THat this Christian duty may Three requi­sites in re­proofe. be performed to the honour of God, and the good both of the reprouer and reproued, there are three things very requisite and necessary, in all our reprehensions. It is a common saying, euery good Physitian must haue three proper­ties. [Page 4] An Eagles eye, a Ladies hand, and a Lyons heart. Now these three may serue as a fit Embleme, of three vertues, and sister graces, herein re­quired. Wisdome, Gentlenesse, and Courage.

First requisite is wisdome.

The first thing required in our re­proofe, First requisite wisdome. In wisdome a precedent and present dispo­sition. is wisdome, & that requires a double qualification one prece­dent, before our reproofe, the other present in the action of our reproofe it selfe: the precedent condition stands likewise in two things, first in the knowledge of the fault. Second­ly, in Authority to reproue, before we take it vpon vs.

First precedent property of wis­dome is knowledge.

If we will reproue in wisdome, First prece­dent property of wisdome is knowledge of the fault. then first we must be sure, wee haue knowledge of the fault committed, and driue the nayle in a sure place. It must bee made manifest by the light, and then we must reproue it, [Page 5] the fault must not be controuerted, Eph. 5. 13. Om­nia quae argu [...]n­tur manifest an­tur [...] luce. or litigious, vpon suspitious surmi­ses, and flying reports of others, for so we may loose our labour and friend at once, but if we doe mentiō a fault vpon presumptions and pro­babilities, from the reports of others then let our reproofe be Hypothe­ticall, that if the offence reported of be not true, then they that told vs may beare our shame; but the safest course will be to stop our eares, and deny every odious report the en­trance, and of a certaintie to knowe before wee beleeue or reprehend. Thus the Lord himselfe aduiseth vs Thou shalt enquire and make search, and aske diligently, and behold if it Deut. [...]3. 14. be truth and the thing certaine that such abominatiō is wrought amongst you; and then according to equity we may proceed to correction and reproofe. Yea when God was to deale with as spurious a people, as the earth did beare, the sonnes and [Page 6] daughters of whoredome and vn­cleannesse it selfe, namely the Sodo­mites, the cry of whose sinnes pear­ced the heauens for vengeance, yet he would not destroy them vntill he came downe (as it were from hea­ven) and perceiued that the clamour Gen. 18. 20. 21 of their sinnes was iust against them. Almighty God that knoweth all Omni potens Do­minus, omnia scient, cur ante probationem quasi dubitat, nisi vt gravita­tis nobis exem­plum proponat, ne [...]la homi­num ante prae­sumamus quam propere. G [...]eg. [...]or. lib. 29 c. 23 Aequa iniquitas est & punire in­nocentes & non punire nocentes, Ber. things, seemeth to doubt of some thing before proofe bee made, for what cause? but to giue vs an exam­ple of grauitie, not to be light of be­liefe, or reproofe, in conceiuing evill of others, before we see things plainly proued: and indeed it is as great a sinne, in this kind, to punish any man that is not guilty, as not to reproue when we behold a fault worthy re­prehension. But herein many men doe much mischiefe to themselues and others, who will take occasion vpon any suspitions and rumours, even from men of hostile and tray­terous dispositions to control [...] and [Page 7] condemne others; or if they want an author for their aspertion, then they broach adulterate and pesti­lent glosses, hammered onely from the forge of their own falshood, yea many will reproue and speake ill of others hauing no more, in truth, to speake against them, then the chiefe Priests and Officers had to say a­gainst our Saviour Christ vnto Pi­late, Ioh. 18. 30. if he were not an evill doer, wee would not haue deliuered him vp vnto thee. Their bare acclamation & clamour must be groūd enough, even to the destruction and ruine of others, these are like vnto the Lion, that sleepes with his eies open, they will seeme to the world, as if they knewe all things, whereas indeed they see nothing at all, and this qua­lity in many breeds nothing else, but dissention and controuersies, warres and rumours of warre, in good societies, and a well gouerned Common-weale, yea amongst ma­ny, [Page 8] it breakes the very neck-bone of loue and amity, which can neuer be set againe. It is good therefore for vs not to let fly our bullet of re­proofe, in the face of any, but a­gainst sinne, which is perspicuous & evident; least mischiefe & dishonour cause that head-strong and furious bullet, which wee shot into the ad­verse campe, to retort to the destru­ction of our selues; yea it is farre bet­ter to couer a fault when it is com­mitted, then vpon vncertainties to reproue it, or to extend it when it is made knowne.

Second Antecedent required in wisdome, is Authority.

Secondly, wisdome requires that Second prece­dent proper­ty of wisdome is to haue au­thority. Pub­like authority. This is [...] potestas autho­ritatis. before we reproue, we should haue authority therevnto, after the know­ledge of the fault. Now authoritie is either publike or priuate, publike authority is from the word, & from the sword, and belong either to the Minister or Magistrate, these as St [Page 9] Paul aduiseth Titus, may speake ex­hort, Tit. 2 15. and rebuke with all authority. Yea as the Lord saith to Ioshua, and Absolon to his seruants, they must Iosh. 1. 9. 2. Sam. 13. 28. be couragious and doe it because God commandes them to strike sin. Priuate authority pertaineth to eve­ry 2 Priuate au­thority. christian in his seuerall place to vse this duty of loue, gouerning himselfe with cautious, and due con­siderations: but here we must know, that every man is not bound to re­proue, being but a priuate man, but when conueniencie doth offer it selfe; for wee are bound to reproue, as to giue almes, now wee are not bound in giuing almes, alwaies to seeke out persons to whom we may giue, because wee shall commonly finde enough obiects of pitty with­out seeking for them, and then if we administer comfort and helpe to those wee meete, we haue done our duties: thus must wee doe in our re­proofe, it is a publike debt wee owe [Page 10] to all men, and therefore if wee be but priuate men, it is not required of vs to enquire after, and search out the faultes of others, to reprehend them, but if wee seasonably re­proue them as oft as we meet with them, wee haue performed as much as God requires at our handes. In­deed euery man in his owne familie is a publike man, and may exercise his power, but a man hath no pecu­liar charge ouer others, without he sees a milde and friendly reproofe may take place: as for him that will take vpon him to reproue hee knowes not whom, in an abrupt and vnseemely manner, performes hee knowes not what, and his action is strained, as if a Iustice of peace should looke for as much authority in ano­ther country, as he can challenge at home. The best reproofe in this kinde, is our dislike, and resolution on the contrary, with Ioshua, I and my house will serue the Lord; or with [Page 11] the Prophet Dauid, I will not sit or Psal. 26. 5. [...] impii [...] non se­debo. remaine with the wicked; that at least, if we cannot better them, wee may keepe our selues from infecti­on. But here may be repoued many reprouets, and men of dogged na­tures, yea not only so in themselues, but such as bring vp cu [...]res to their owne handes, and send them fawn­ing about, to smell out the faults of others, that they themselues may follow sent the better. Foolish and distempered braines they are, taking vpon them, to reproue and correct their betters, hauing neither autho­rity nor calling to reproue, nor bles­sing and benefit in conclusion, but rather disaduantage and dammage themselues, by their vnaduised car­riage. These may rightly be com­pared to the Pelican, that finding a fire neere her nest, and fearing least her young ones should be burnt, she striues so much to blow it out, and to extinguish it with her winges, [Page 12] that at length she burnes her selfe & her young ones by her foolish pitty: thus many vnaduisedly medling with the sinnes of others proue so farre from helping them, that they rather fire their owne winges, then quench the flame and heat of sinne in others. Therefore it is requisite, that he that will reproue, haue a commission and authority to coun­tenance his action, for defect in this kinde, makes men contemned and resisted. The sonnes of Sceua see­med to take vpon them a matter of great charity and consequence, in casting out diuells, in the name of Iesus, but the diuells knowing they had no authority, for any such acti­on, resisted them, leapt vpon them Act. 19. 16. and preuailed against them, so that they fled away naked and wounded. Thus Vzza hauing no warrant for staying the tottering Arke lost his 1. Chr. 13. 9. 10 life for it. And thus men often times suffer as busibodies in other mens 1. Pet. 4. 15. [Page 13] matters. Better it is therefore to be silent till wee haue a calling to re­proue, & to take S. Pauls counsell, To studie to be quiet, and to meddle 1. Thes. 4. 11. with our owne businesse.

Present qualification of wis­dome in reproofe.

After wee haue searched into the Present Qual­lification of wisdome wherein it consists. knowledge of the fault of another, and our owne authority to reproue him; which are the two maine pil­lars, vpon whom the foundation standeth, it is very necessary wee looke into the present qualification of wisdome: and that consists in consideration of three circumstan­ces. 1. the Person whom wee re­proue. in 3 thinges. 2ly the Place where wee re­proue. 3ly the Time when wee re­proue. In the Person we must con­sider, 1 his disposition by nature. 2ly Three things considerable in the person we reproue. what his offences are, and thereafter temper our reproofes. 3ly wee must know, what he is in place, and out­ward condition amongst men.

Frst wee must consider of what In the person [...] consider his [...]aturall tem­per. temper and constitution hee is of, whom wee haue to deale with, and so demeane our selues in our re­proofe; for all men are not to bee handled alike, because all are not qualified alike. Some are like Thornes (saith a moderne diuine) which being easily touched hurt not; but if hard and vnwarily, they fetch blood of the handes; others as Nettles, which if they bee nicely handled sting and pricke, but if hardly and roughly they are pulled vp without harme, therefore, be­fore we take any man in hand, wee must know whether he be a Thorne or a Nettle, whether hee be of an harsh or mild disposition, for many wee shall finde, that the more they are borne withall, the more outragi­ous they grow; which being strict­ly handled, may bee reformed and reclaimed whereas all the faire meanes, and good wordes a man [Page 15] can vse will no whit better them; others there are of another minde, more stout hearted and manly, who in no hand will bee reclaimed by harsh courses and ill languages, but are like the Indian Lama, a beast that will performe more for intrea­tie, then a multitude of stripes, and a nod, or gentle admonition to thē, (as Salomon saith of a wise man) will doe more good, then an hundred stripes vpon the backe of a foole. Prov. 17. 10. With such kinde of men wee must deale, as a skilfull Cooke, in rosting his meat, who that it may not burne, at first layes it a good way from the fite, for a little fire and a small heat sooner openeth the pores, & heats to the bone, by reason of the little resistance; then if it were at first put neere to the fire, which by reason of that opposition & contrarietie of qualities, would shut the pores and so quickly burne the meat. Thus when wee are to reproue men of this [Page 16] quality, it's better to doe it by little and little, least an ouer violent re­proofe causes rather an opposition, then a capatious and pliable yeeld­ing. It is not amisse to vse both kindes, as wise souldiers striuing to winne a Cittie, who some times goe forward with open and violent bat­teries, and some times by prudent policie; according as they see the condition of the state they oppose. Yea let vs consider with S. Paul and know whether wee should come to them with a rod, or in loue, and in the spirit of meekenesse, which must 1. Cor. 4. 21. bee done vpon consideration of the nature and quality of the reproued.

Secondly, wee must consider a­mongst 2ly his course of life. men that haue committed faults, worthy reproofe, the gene­rall course of their liues, whether they be lesse or greater offenders, & so temper our rebukes. Thus Mo­ses giues vs an example, in reprou­ing men of both conditions; when [Page 17] he saw the Hebrew and the Aegyp­tian fight, hee presently drew his sword and slew the Aegyptian; but when he saw the two Hebrewes con­tend, hee said to him that did the wrong, wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? Thus wee must giue euery Exod 2. 12. 13. man his proper portion, not casting pearles to swine, nor yet giuing the Mat. 7. 6. true child a Serpent for a fish. First 1 How to handle weake christians. 1 Pet. 2. [...]. 1 Cor. 3. 2. some are new borne babes in Christs Church, & must be fed with milke; yea with the hony and the hony-combe of the Gospell of peace and mercy, least they swallowing down [...]he great morsells of misery from the Lambe of God, being not able to digest them, together with them they cast vp their good and whol­some nourishment; and here wee may quickly breake the bruised Isa. 42 3. reede, and quench the sma [...]ing flaxe: Iude 2 [...]. of these therefore we must haue com­passion 2. How to deale with men partly reclaimed. making a difference. Others there are in the second place, who [Page 18] are in part reclaimed and haue re­pented of their fault, or there are in them manifest signes of speedy a­mendment, now here there is no place left for reproofe, but loue must couer a multitude of sinnes: and in­deed 1 Pet. 4. 8. he that cannot wisely accord­ing to time and place digest and winke at small faults, when there are true and stronge probabilities of a­mendment, Qui nestit dis­simulare nescit impera [...]et from the party offend­ing, is vnfit to be a reprouer; suffici­ent it is to such men to haue borne the shame and correction of their former iniquities, as S. Paul speakes of the incestious person, whom hee would haue the Corinthians to re­proue 2 Cor. 2. 7. Condonate illi & consolamini illum: id est, ita nunc est [...]te promp [...] ad ig­noscendu [...], & consolandum sicut tunc suistis a [...] obiurgan­dum & [...]i [...] ­dum. Anselm. in loc. no more for his sinne, least he should be swallowed vp with over­much heauinesse; but contrariwise he exhorts them to forgiue him and comfort him, and that with as much willingnesse and freedome, as first they were forward to correct him and cast him out of the Church for [Page 19] his offence. But herein many are exceedingly ouerseene who though they perceiue some good alteration and change, in the life or manners of a friend or brother, yet they doe so ply him with continuall reprofes, that they rather hurt then helpe; & through too much curiosity and strictnesse, spoyle where they might seasonably better: these are like to Apelles Prentice, who coueting to mend the nose marred the cheeke: or like the foolish Diar, who neuer Multi [...]ratrum peccata antiqua & iam emen­data [...]rigunt. Stella in Luc. cap. 17. v. 3. Nocentes punire supra meritum manifesta ini­quitas est, in quantum enim punitio excedit delictum, i [...] tantum inno­centia punitur. 3ly How to reproue grea­ter malefact­ors. thinkes his cloath blacke, till it bee burnt, yea sometimes they rub vpon an old sore, which hath beene hea­led long agoe, and so most vnmerci­fully exceeding in punishment the nature of the offence, with much vn­iustice punish euen innocency it­selfe, and for want of iudgement in handling men of a good and tracta­ble nature, they neuer leaue till they haue brought a good beginning to an euill end. Thirdly if they that sin [Page 20] be greater offenders, and such as continue in sinne daily and are more hardly reclaimed, then as S. Paul aduiseth Timothie. 2 Tim. 4. 2. re­proue 2 Tim. 4. 2. [...]. rebuke; noting that if a bare reproofe will not serue, then we may deale more roughly with him: for good wordes and forbearance to such is like a too hastie salucing and skinning ouer a sore, the fester whereof breaketh out againe with more rage and danger: and as Thun­der and lightening doe more puri­fie the aire, then the calmest Sun­shine, so the terrours of the law, and a sharpe censure doe more better men of this condition, then milde & pleasant speeches: here if wee deale with too much clemency, wee doe but only shake the sheaues of sinne, and lappe the branches of iniquity, and leaue the tree like that which Daniel speakes of, with the stumpe Daniel 4. 15. and rootes in the ground, which in time will bring forth fruit againe, [Page 21] it is better to lay the Axe to the root of the tree, & to cut away all which God hath not planted, and if they will not be reclaimed by faire means to rebuke them sharpely that they may be sound in the faith, God hath Tit. 1. 13. made euery man in this kinde his brothers keeper, and a fisher of men, therefore it behoues vs to doe like skilfull fishers, who fish not for all kinde of fish after one manner; when they angle they are priuate and still, least they fright away the fish: but when they set their nets to catch, then they plunge & beat the riuers, and with a great clamour and noise they driue fish by force into their nets: so whē we come to catch some soules with the hooke of reproofe, we must fish priuately secretly and concealedly; also when wee fish to catch others wee must doe it magno strepitu, with many great outcries and noises, that wee may compell Luke 14 23. them to come in, as Peter at one time [Page 22] fishing droue three thousand soules Act. 2. 41. into his net: otherwise the want of a little labour may dash all our for­mer hope and future successe; they therefore, they that goe not through-stitch in their reproofes, & handle not greater malefactors with greater seuerity, may doe them some good for the present, but not to the saueing of their soules: these deale like a faint hearted and faith­lesse Physition, who by sparing of an ounce or two of corrupt blood, which was better out then in, they leaue that behinde that taints & in­fects the whole body againe: It is better therefore not to spare the of­fence of a mans person, then to suf­fer soule and body to bee destroied by sinne, at the day of iudgement. Fourthly and lastly, if wee see that 4ly What per­sons are not to bee repro­ued Prov. 17. 22. those wee reproue are vncorrigible, & will not be bettered by reproofe, but harden their hearts against in­struction: if they be the sonnes of Ely, 2. Sam. 2. 12. [Page 23] the sonnes of Belial, past hope of a­mendment, if they be open and ma­nifest contemners of religion, scorn­ing and hating to be reproued, as some there be, whom a man can no sooner reduce frō sin by reproofe, then they may take a Leuiathan in the maine Ocean with a net, then we may giue them ouer as Christ gaue ouer the Scribes, Let thē fulfill Mat. 23. 32. the measure of their owne wretched Reuel. 22. 11. Pereat, perdat, prosundat. choice: and he that is vniust let him be vniust still, and hee that is filthy let him be filthy still: for to instruct and admonish this peruerse gene­ration of men, is but to cast pearles Mat. 7. 6. before swine, who will trample them vnder their feete, & like doggs turne againe, and all to rent you, these men are like vn [...]o the milke of the Tygresse, the more salt is throwne into it, the fresher it is, such whelpes are they of that monster, that the more reproofe they haue to season them, the fresher their sinnes are in [Page 24] them: and wee shall euer finde that those that are bent vpon villanie, with a full intent and resolution, are made more violent by dissuasion; as a strong streame beeing resisted by floodgates, will swell ouer the banks & as he that casteth a stone against a marble pillar, doth not breake the marble, but in regard of the vehe­ment repe [...]cussion brings danger vpon himselfe; thus he that reprou­eth an Adamantine and hardned heart shall for the seed that he hath sowne of wholsome reproofe, in this vnprofitable and cursed ground, reape nothing for his paines, but the weedes and thornes of mockes and reproaches. For a scorner loueth not Prov. 15. 12. one that reproueth him. And hee that reproueth a scorner getteth Prov. 9. 7. himselfe shame, and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot: better therefore is it to be silent, then to stirre vp Hornets about our eares, and to thrust our handes into a waspes nest.

Thirdly and lastly, wisdome re­quires 3. Wisdome is to co [...]sider the outward quality of him we reproue. 1. How to re­proue inferi­riours. that our reproofe be ordered with an aduised consideration of the outward quality and condition of them we reproue, with a respect to their place and age, as if they be our inferiours, especially such as any way haue relation to vs, or depen­dency vpon vs, then wee may doe it with more freedome and authority. If they be our equalls, then not by 2. Equals. Par [...] p [...]rem non habet impe­rium. Vt amica com­monefactione facilius illi in v [...]am offic [...] re­ducantur. Calv. in 1. Tim. c. 5. 3. Superiours. an imperious command but by a louing and friendly commonition, and aduertisement, that wee may bring them into the right way. But if they be our superiours in place & age, or either waies, then wee must carry our selues with reuerent and submisse exhortations, according to that of St Paul to Timothie, Rebuke 1. Tim. 5. 1. not an elder, but entreat him as a fa­ther, especially if he bee a Presbyte­riall Elder and a Father in Gods Church, that revealeth the myste­ries of God to his people, here must [Page 26] a singular care bee taken in gouer­ning our tongues in reproofe and reprehension. But as it was the sinne of Israel, so is it of our times. This people are as they that rebuke the Priest: yea wee shall finde Mecha­nickes Hos. 4 4. and Rurall Swine, that will make no more to reproue the life & doctrine of the ministry, then they will doe to correct a mishapen ve­sture, or to giue their horse the lash, when they are offended with him. But let them knowe that if Cham was cursed for sporting at Noahs nakednesse, and yet spake the truth; thrice cursed shall they bee, that Gen. 9. 22. without a cause, make ashamed their spirituall Fathers in the Lord. Ther­fore if we desire to doe good in this louely office of reproofe, let vs con­sider the person whom we reproue, and therein his naturall temperature his course of life, the quality of his offence, as also his outward conditi­on, and accordingly let vs doe as an [Page 27] expert Musitian, who in setting an instrument in tune, doth sometimes winde vp his strings, & sometimes let them downe againe: so, as occa­sion serues, let vs learne to be earnest and gentle in our reproofes, accor­ding to the rule of wisdome, & then may we expect a good successe to attend our endeauours.

The second generall circum­stance in wise reproofe is the Place.

The second generall circum­stance 2 Place where we must re­proue. Private re­proofe for a private offēce to bee considered in wise and discreet reproofe, is the Place where we must reproue. Now if it be a pri­vate offence, it must bee priuately handled, according to our Sauiours Mat. 18. 15. 16 &c. direction. If thy brother shall trespasse against thee, goe & tell him his fault betweene thee and him alone: but if secret [...]duertisements will not pre­vaile, then we may goe to him more openly. But if he will not heare thee, thē take with thee one or two more, [Page 82] that in the mouth of one or two witnesses euery word may bee establi­shed; and if hee shall neglect to heare them, then wee may relate it more publikely, and tell it to the Church. For as the Damsell was rai­sed Ma [...] 5 41. Luk 7. 14. Ioh. 11. 43. vp within the dores: the widowes sonne without the gates: and Laza­rus before a great multitude of peo­ple: so we must handle some priuat­ly and in secret, others more open­ly, and the third kinde in publike, as the incestuous person was vsed. If we can doe good with them by pri­vate 2. Cor. 2. 6. instructions and corrections, then we need goe no farther: if that will not serue, wee may▪ relate the matter before some others; if nei­ther of these will worke with the pa­tient we haue in hand, then we may tell it to the Church, that if the of­fenders will not be amended yet o­thers Publike re­proofe for publike offenders may be preserued from conta­gion: This made St Paul name A­lexander the Copper-smith to Timo­thie, [Page 29] to the intent he might beware 2. Tim. 4. 15. of him. Iohn also nominateth Dio­trephes for Christians to take heed 3. Ioh 9. of him; but this was in a waightie and publike matter, euen for the Qualification for a publique reproofe. Gen. 2. 23. Quia proximus duo bona habes, famam sciticet & conscientiam quae duo seruā ­d [...] sunt in quā ­tum sieri potest. Sed si po [...]eri [...] cu­rare conscienti­am seruan [...]o fa­mam teneris fa­cere. Ideo oc­culte corripien­dus est. Sed si occulte monitus noluerit emen­dari, tunc quiae conscientia est maius bonum quam [...]ama, ne­cesse est, fama periclitetur, vt conscientia non pereas. Stella in Luc. cap. v. 3. good of the whole Church, & this kinde of reproofe must not be vsed, but in like cases; as for small & pri­vate offences, or for men which fall of infirmity, they must be vsed with all honest priuacie that may be: be­hauing our selues like Noahs good soones, who when their Father had discouered his secrets in time of his drunkennesse, they turned their backes vpon his shame, and vttered not a word; which giues vs to note, that the sinnes of other men wee must modestly hide, & silently con­ceale, with the best preseruation we can of the credit of the delinquent. But if we cannot preserue the soule and conscience of a man without blemishing his credit, it is better to [...]ndanger the one, then that we suf­fer [Page 30] the other to perish; as one large­ly expresseth that caution. But in this case many are to be taxed of in­discretion, who deale with their brethren as the Iews did with Christ who when they came to speake of his miracles and great workes, con­cealed his name, Hic homo, this fel­low doth many miracles, but when Ioh. 11. 47. they wrote the title of his fained crime on the tree, then they maliti­ously published his name, not with hic homo, but Iesus of Nazaret King Ioh. 19. 19. of the Iewes, and in three famous tongues, Hebrew, Greeke, & Latine, written in capitall letters that all men might runne & reade it. There is a generation of men who in prai­sing the virtues of others are very sparing and remisse, but in repro­ving a vice (though but supposed) they write infamie vpon their fore­heads, with the pen of a Diamond, which cannot be blotted out. Thus they cruelly rend the good name of [Page 31] their neighbours, and that some­times in any place or company, and oftentimes it falleth out, that in pla­ces of mirth and feasting, their grea­test musicke is, to talke of the disor­ders and infirmities of others, yea sometimes malitiously, before the company of such as with whom the party offending desires to retaine loue and a good opinion; and this is a most cruell and wicked hostility, for nature and grace doe teach vs, to maintaine the good names of one another, and though we should publikely condemne a disorder, yet to spare the priuate person of any Parcere person is dicere de vitiis. Pa [...] cum homi­nibus, bellum cum vitiis, Aug. man. Which rule if wee rightly ob­serue, we may confidently trust, that as our passage in reprouing is good and honest, so our end will proue ef­fectuall & prosperous, to the com­fort and reformation of him we re­proue.

Third generall circumstance i [...] wise reproofe is the Time.

The third generall circumstance 3. The Time when we must reproue, and that threefold 1. Timely. Nullum medi­camentum sa­nat, nisi qu [...]d opportune a [...]bi­betur. in wise reprouing is to take a due, and fit proportion of Time. As first, that we reproue betimes. 2 That our reproofe be seasonable. 3 That wee continue in reprouing. First our re­proofe must bee Timely, before the patient be past cure, for no salue is sauing being administred after a fit time, and as if there be a fraction or dislocation in our bones or ioints, the sooner the Chirurgian takes it in hand, the easier it is to bee restored, so sinne, which is the distortion of the soule, the sooner it is reproued, the more easily it is amended; Saint Iude compares sinne to a fire, and Iude. 23. therefore hee would haue sinners pulled out of the fire, or snatched out with all hast, before they be con­sumed; which must bee done by a seasonable and timely rebuke. But herein many fayle, who neuer admi­nister physicke till the patient bee past cures nor cast on water till the [Page 33] house be burnt to the ground, they suffer their friend or brother to liue so long in sinne, till he bee hardned through the deceitfulnesse of sinne; Heb. 3. 13. and herein many parents with Eli, 1. Sam. 2. 29. put off reproofe so long, that their children grow impudent in sin, vn­corrigible, past amendment. This kinde of reproofe is like the war­ning which the Porter gaue to Cato who after hee had stricken him on the eare wisht him to beware. Better is the timely stroake of reproofe vp­on sinne, then that sinne should vn­seasonably strike the soule to death.

Secondly the time must be seasonable.

Secondly, our Time must be sea­sonable, 2. Our time must be seaso­nable. when the delinquent is most capable of reproofe. First, not when a man is in distresse and per­plexity, 1. Not to re­proue in di­stresse. a troubled spirit is vnwilling to heare rebuke, and we shall finde reproofe like Hony, which though it be sweet and pleasant, yet if it be ap­plyed [Page 34] to Vicers and ill affected mē ­bers, it is very painefull and trouble­some. Secondly, wee must not re­proue in time of excesse and riot; & Not in time of excesse. Non cum mor­bus excess [...] est, [...]e sae [...]i [...], [...] cum se re [...]tit. Sen [...] 3. de [...]ra. as Physitians forbid to apply medi­cines when the hot fit & paroxisme rageth, and to giue it when the ex­tremity slacketh; so must this phisick of the soule be applied at such times as the patient is aptest to receiue it, & not in a burning distemper. Here we must giue place to wrath. Sinne Rom. 12. 19. Dam furor in cursu est cur [...]ti caede furori. Ov. ludg. 8. 5. in these men must be ouercome like the City of Ai by retiring from it for a season, and not by too furious an on-set. This course tooke wise and virtuous Abigail, she would not tell Nabal of his drunkennesse till he 1. Sam. 25. 36. was awake from this wine, she knewe that a distemper was no season for a man to be bettered by reproofe: she dealt with her husband, as one that hath the ouersight of Bees, who dares not at all times touch his own Hiues, if the Bees be angry and trou­bled. [Page 35] She saw how far he was wide of reason, and how she might incur danger herselfe, therefore for that time she leaues him: least he should like a mad man not onely haue reie­cted her Physicke, but also stroue to More Pl [...]eneti­ci non solum re­pellat, sed & mordere te [...]te [...] medici manum. Ber. bite the hand of the Physitian, as a Father in another case much like this, speakes. And therefore wee read that Alexander killed Clitus his intimate and familiar, because he re­proued him of drunkennesse, in the midst of his cups. Hee that in these cases will follow truth too neere the heeles, it may happily strike out his Ad penetendum properat, cito qui iudicat. teeth. He that throwes a stone thus rashly and vnaduisedly into the aire it may fall downe vpon his owne head. A man that will reproue men in such heats and furies, is like vnto a foolish shepheard, who seeing two furious R [...]m [...]es runne together in full strēgth, thrusts himselfe between them, and so abides the stroake of both. Or like vnto the Bee which in [Page 36] a testie peeuishnesse, stings another Plin. hist. nat. & looseth at once her own strength and life. Thus hee that in this case will take vpon him to reproue and correct the faults of others, had need take heed, that he runne not vpon his owne mischiefe and ruine; & whilst he thus bites and devoures another, Gal 5. 15. he be consumed of another himselfe. Therefore for our owne safety, and for the benefit of the reproued, let vs be carefull to make choice of such a time, when his heart is most plia­ble to correction and discipline, and this will adde grace and comelinesse to our reproofe; For a word fitly spokē is like apples of gold in pictures Prov. 25. 11. 12 of siluer, as an earing of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise re­prouer to an obedient eare. And what can commend a man, or make him shine so bright, as that which M Cleaver vp­on that place. helpeth to remoue away the ragges of his corruption, and further him to repentance that he may be cladde [Page 37] with righteousnesse.

Thirdly, Reproofe must be continued.

Thirdly, the last circumstance of 3. Reproofe must bee con­tinued. Gal. 6. 9. time is, that our reproofe bee conti­nued: In this case wee must not bee weary of well doing. But as S. Paul aduiseth vs, we must reproue, rebuke, 2. Tim. 4. 2. exhort with all long suffering. But herein is to be admired the strange carriage and impatience of many, who hauing told men of their faults and often reproued them for the same, they quickly grow weary of this Christian duty, and in spleene & choller forsake those which God hath not forsaken: whereas euery man should be grauid and in child­birth, for the new-birth of his bro­ther, and herein a man must imitate a woman with child, whose time is at hand; and then is possessed with feare and hope, and these two striue as the two twins in Rebecca's womb her sorrow makes her carefull, how Gen. 25. 22. 23 [Page 38] she should bee deliuered, but her hope stayes her heart, first knowing that her misery is common and in­cident to all women in her case. Se­condly that shee is not likely to suf­fer her misery long. Thirdly because she hopes the end of her paine will be the beginning of her ioy. Thus must wee bee affected for the new birth of our brethren, wee must la­bour in sorrow, and (as S. Paul saith) My little children of whom I tra­vell Gal. 4. 19. in child birth: our patience must be much for those that are yet without, and withall our sorrow must bee mixed with hope, that though the new birth of grace in our brethren, be like that of nature, lachriniosa, painefull, yet let vs with patience expect their amendment, hoping that the conclusion may sweeten all, and that the ende of our eare may bee the beginning of their cure. But if any shall obiect and say, Obiection. I haue so often reproued such a man [Page 39] and yet perceiue no alteration and change, which makes me so weary, I can hold out no longer. I answere, take these motiues, to make thee pa­tient Answer. in this friendly office: First consider Motiues to make vs con­tinue in re­proofe. [...] Motiue. that it is not the [...]enting the eares of any man, with sharpe and bitter words, that will doe much good, but it is the continuance of wise reprehension that gets the ma­stery: reproofes are like the drop­ping Gutta ca [...]tia­ [...]idem non v [...], sed sape ca [...]en­do. Sic homo sit iustus, non v [...], sed sape mo [...] ­do. of water vpon a stone, which makes not impression by force and violence, but by continuall drop­ping. A man commonly is not o­verwaighed with words of pounds and Talents, mighty and dreadfull speeches, these seildome make any penetration in the heart of a sinner: but when in a milde and softly man­ner, we continue in our reprehensi­ons; when our words shall drop as raine, and our speeches distill sweet­ly as dew, we shall make a hard and stonie heart euen to bend, breake & [Page 40] yeeld, and then a broken heart the Psal. 51. 17. a Motiue. Lord will not despise. Secondly cō ­sider how hard a thing it is for a man to be reclaimed from his natu­rall corruptions; and that is intima­ted by the two words which the ho­ly tongue giues for man. The first shewes his weaknesse by creation, as [...] made of the earth, the weakest and basest of the Elements: the second expresseth his weaknesse by the [...] mortiferous and deadly sicknesse, his prevarication, and first fall brought him vnto. So that if wee rightly consider it, wee haue more reason to wonder at the infinite pa­tience Qui miseram instabilem fra­gilem ac depra­vatam bominis naturam consi­derant, illis ma­gis mirum est, quod memor il­lius est Deus, quam quod ille subinde peccat. Musc. in Gal. of God, in suffering the sins of man: then to admire at his often trāsgressing the law of god. Every mā before the time of his effectuall calling is like vnto a chained prisoner, who is not able to goe whether hee would, or to performe what he de­sires; yea, when the chaines are ta­ken from off his legges, hee will halt [Page 41] and complaine a long time after, of his want of agilitie and nimblenesse, to vse his ioints. Thus, before our calling is it with euery man, no man can moue hand or foot to the per­formance of any good action: and when a man hath shaken off the irons of sinne, wherewith hee was holden and restrained, yet a long time after hee will feele, and com­plaine of much want of strength, & be sensible of a great measure of lamenesse, & stiffenesse in the ioints of his soule, occasioned by the bonds and chaines of sinne. It is Rom. 7. 15. 18. 24. 25. storied of one of our owne countri­men an Archbishop of Canterbury De Anselmo in vita eius. that being in his Peripateticall and walking studies in the fields, vpon a certaine time cast his eye vpon a shepheards boy, who hauing caught a bird, tied a stone to the leg thereof, by which meanes the bird could no sooner mount and soare a­loft, but the stone drew her downe againe: whereupon the reuerent & [Page 42] learned man fell a weeping, and con­doled the miserable estate of man by nature; who could no sooner by Godly thoughts & contemplations endeauour to asscend vp into heauē, but his corruptions and concupis­cences forthwith enforced him to the earth againe, the due considera­tion of which should moue vs to patience and continuance in this duty, and withall know and resolue, that if at length, by our wise and sea­sonable rebukes, wee can winne a soule to God, that then our labour is well bestowed. Therefore in the third place, to continue our re­proofe, 3. motiue. let vs consider that man by nature is wonderfull forgetfull of good instruction & reproofe: now, wee can neuer teach that thing too Nunquam nimis dicitur, quod nunquam satis discitur. Sen. much, which a man can neuer suffi­ciently learne; no man can liue so strictly but he hath continuall need to be put in minde of his ill courses, for a mans memory with Pharoas Gen. 40. 23. [Page 43] Butler, will soone be turned into for­getfulnesse; especially in good in­structiōs, for therein it is like a sieue, which holdes fast the course brans, but lets the fine flower fall away. Therefore St Paul aduiseth Timo­thie, 1 Tim. 4. 6. Take heede vnto thy doctrine, and continue in it, for in so doing thou shalt saue thy selfe, and them that heare thee, and thus may I say to euery reprouer, take heed vnto thy reproofe, and continue in it; for in so doing, thou shalt get a good reward to thy soule, and saue the soule of him thou reprouest. Fourth­ly 4 motiue. and lastly, let ou [...] apprehension be continued, because it is the com­mand of God that so we should doe, & therefore when S. Peter asked our Sauiour, How often shall my brother Mat. 18. 21. 22 Luk. 17. 4. sinne against me and I forgiue him? till seuen times? Iesus faith vnto him, I say not vnto thee vntill seuen times, but vntill seuenty seuen times, whereby wee are taught that [Page 44] if wee cannot reforme sinners, so soone as we would, yet we must not giue them ouer, but reproue quoti­es toties, as often as they shall of­fend; and thus wee ought to beare one anothers burthen, that if it bee possible we may conuert the sinners Gal. 6. 2. to God: and euery man that will wisely reproue must in conclusion open his mouth with wisdome as Sa­lomon Pro. 31. 26. [...] in sapientia vel sapienter. Esa. 50. 4. speakes of a good huswife, & speake a word in season, to him that is weary and that word of reproofe must needs bee alwaies seasonable, which with wisdome is directed to the offender, so often as hee doth transgresse, and therefore as needfull it is to continue (yea and farre more necessary) then to begin a reproofe at first, seeing the conclusion of Pers [...]trantia virtutum sola cor [...]atur. every good act is that which crownes it.

CHAP. 3. The Second property of our reproofe, is Gentlenesse.

THe second property where­with euery reproofe must 2 Property in a reprouer. be adorned is Gentlenesse and clemency, a sober, mild, louing and curteous carriage. Wee must deale with malefactors as Lot be­haued himselfe towards the wicked Sodomites, who when they would haue pulled downe his house vpon his head, hee reproued them with meekenesse, and by way of petition, I pray you brethren doe not so wick­edly. Thus Ioshua behaued himselfe Gen. 19. 7. towards Achan, My sonne giue I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, & make confession vnto him, Iosh. 7. 19. and tell me now what thou hast done, [Page 46] hide it not from me. Where wee see his speech was neither filled with te­dious Battologies, nor with inuectiue bitternesse, but hee reproued him August [...]. open tune, impor­tune. with as few and friendly words as clemency could inuent, with a spa­ring and friendly increpation, and yet his reprehension was fitly and powerfully spoken, a pregnant and imitable example of a good tem­perature wee haue in Nathan with his dealling with Dauid, one pro­phet with another, hee comes not Hem adulter, homicida, latro, Aug. in e [...]ar. in Psal. 51. 2 Sam. 16. 13. Psal. 141 5. [...] Perc [...]ia [...] me influs misericordia. with railings and reuilings, out vpon thee thou adulterer, thou murthe­rer, thou theefe: not like a cursed and railing Shemei, but in a coole and gentle temper hee strucke at his impostume, and let out the corrupt bloud. And therefore the prophet Dauid prayeth vnto the Lord, Let the righteous smite me with leniti [...] Nomen [...] commode resol­ui potest in ad­uerbium cle­ment [...]. Calvin. in loc. and gentlenesse, as the Hebrew text plainely declareth, or gently and modestly, as one obserueth vpon [Page 47] that place. Now if Dauid himselfe, a man according to Gods owne heart, doth thus desire to bee dealt withall, then surely it is fit we should deale no worse one with another, for the better perswasion to this kinde of dealing, (let the malefactor be what hee will,) wee must not re­proue him with gall & bitternesse, for Michaell the Archangell con­tending Iude. 9. with the diuell himselfe, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord re­buke thee, yea so farre should wee be from the intemperature of a curst and bitter reprehension, that wee should turne our cholor into a God­ly and christian compassion when we reproue a fault, and as a merci­full Chirurgeon being to cutte his only sonne, handleth him tenderly and softly, and cutteth and weep­eth, and weepeth and cutteth a­gaine; so our bowels should be filled with compassion, at the correction [Page 48] and bettering of a distempered soule.

In gentlenesse two requisites

Now in a beneuolous and curte­ous In gentle re­proofe two things tequi­site. reprehension two things are re­quisite. First a gentle instruction or admonition to make way for re­proofe, 1 A milde admonition. according to that of S. Paul. In meekensse instruct them that op­pose; and therefore hee exhorteth-Timothie to conioyne reproofe, re­buke 2 Tim. 4. [...]. and exhortation, and indeed if these be separated, wee cannot haue such prosperous successe as wee ex­pect; because instruction serues to encourage in goodnesse, & reproofe to restraine from sinne, and those that reproue and correct, and doe it not with admonitions and instructi­ons, are like to those that are often snuffing the light, but forget to put oyle into the Lampe, for want of which it quickly goes out of it selfe. Therefore wee must be profitable (as S. Paul speakes of Scripture) to [...] Tim. 3. 16. [Page 49] teach, to improue, to correct and in­struct in righteousnesse, and vn­doubtedly wee shall finde instructi­on make way for reproofe, and win that audience which an vntempe­rate and preposterous anger cannot attaine. They that reproue with fu­ry, are like to foolish Threshers, who [...]euer tappe the corne in the sheafe gently, but laying on with mighty and powerfull stroakes, they make the good graine fly into euery cor­ner, and scatter that abroad which gentle and leasurely labour might haue preserued. Therefore let vs begin gently with friendly instructi­ons, and when a man will endure this tapping, then strike harder, or else wee shall but loose our labour, for necessary is it that euery repro­uer haue the reproofes of instructi­on; Prov. 6. 23. [...] increpationes eruditionis. which being possessed with an attractiue vertue, cannot but winne audience and respect, that correcti­on or reproue may haue the seaso­nable [Page 50] working.

Second requisite.

Secondly it is very necessary that in our reproofes wee mingle some 2 A wise ap­probation of any good partes. kind commendations of those good partes and vertues wee see in the partie offending. Thus it is in the Poet, O Achilles, &c. As much as if he should haue said, what is be­come now of thy courage and va­lour, which filled the whole world with thy honour & renowne? How cometh it to passe that thou art thus retired, and hast shamefully brought to infamie all those excellent parts and valiant acts by thee peformed? Thus hauing awaked him out of his idlenesse and securitie, he stirres him vp to farther imployment, and so [...] Per­ [...]a. informes him how hee may recouer and get againe his former honor, & thus must wee deale with men of worthie and noble partes, putting them in minde of such vertues and graces they possesse, and this will [Page 51] Vsher reproofe to come before the face of the party offending; for man naturally is like vnto waxe, which being cold is so hard; that it admits of no impression: but being once hot, it becomes soft, and plyable to any impression at all. The minde of man though it be naturally hard & vntractible, yet being made hot by curteous and wise approbations, it becomes fit to receiue the engraue­ment of correction and reproofe, & as when a shower hath moistened the earth, then it is fittest to pluck vp weedes, and cast in good graine. So when louing and kinde speeches haue mollified a mans heart, then he is fittest to haue sinne pulled out of his soule, and to receiue the good seede of wholsome reproofe; for the memory of former vertues cannot but touch the minde with a noble & feeling shame of present faults. Therefore as those that giue worme­seede for the wormes, to children, [Page 52] doe sweeten it with somewhat that they may take the medicine more willingly, or as those that giue bit­ter pills to queasie stomacked pati­ents, doe wrappe them vp in some conserue to the intent they may take them without offence. Thus let vs make a prepatatiue to reprehen­sion, with some louing preamble of their deserued commendations which may make way for their spi­rituall purgation; and be (as it were a bait) to hide the hooke of repre­hension, to catch the soules of them we fish for. But alasse too too many there are, who deale harshly and barbarously in their carriages, and rather hurte then doe good to the reprouer, and all because the salue proues worse then the fore. These kinde of people are like vnto those mentioned in the old law, who striking with the axe to cut downe the tree, the head slips from the helue, and hits his neighbour & kils Deut. 19. 5. [Page 53] him. Thus such as reprehend others too curstly, doe make the head of the Axe fly from the helue, and kill their brethren vnaduisedly, and whereas with the good husband­man they should but lappe with the pruining knife, they hew downe Ioh. 15. 2. with the axe of iudgement, and such as these goe about to amend the faults of others (according to the old prouerbe) as the Diuell did to set his dames legge, for whereas hee should haue set it aright, he burst it quite asunder. But may not a man Obiection. vse what freedome hee seemes meet ouer such he hath in authority, as if my child, my seruant, or any that is in subiection to me offend, may I not then reproue them, as I please. I answere, the more authority thou Answere. hast, thou hast the more freedome: yet take heede thou dost not abuse thy liberty, there is a difference be­tweene supremacy and tyrannic, thou art a King in thy owne house [Page 54] and teritories, but take heede thou proue not a Tyrant: least thou dis­courage those that are in subiection vnto thee; the bitternesse of an eni­mie sticketh close to any man; but the fury of him to whom wee haue relation, wounds a good nature most of all: as when Casar saw the hand of his sonne Brutus against him, then his heart was done, and crye: out [...], what thou al­so my sonne Brutus? Thus the out­ragious cruelty of a friend, in bit­ter reproofes, strikes with as strang a­mazement the heart of him that is reproued. O but the faults of such a Reply. one who is vnder my charge are in­tollerable, and therefore I will nei­ther suffer him nor succor him. I answere, take heede thou suffer not Answ. the same sinnes in thy selfe: at the least that thou beare not the bur­then of a sinfull reproofe in thy selfe, by exonerating another of his ini­quity, againe thou canst finde in thy [Page 55] heart to feede a curst curre a spotted Beast, a wanton Ape, and a cruel Ly­on, but the simplicity, blemishes and sinnes of thy dependents thou canst not endure, nor them for their sinnes sake. Be as wise as thou canst to beat downe sinne, but take heede thou pronest not vnnaturall. Be not thou like a Dragon in the Wildernesse cruell to her young; nor like the Ostrich, which forbearing sustenance [...]am 43. exposeth her young ones to the wide world, as Moses Parents their Exod. 2. 3. sonne to the waues of the riuer. Let not parents proue without naturall 2 Tim 3. 3. Gen. 49. 5. affection, neither Let instruments of cruelty be in their habitation, as it is said of Si [...]eon and Leui, and as they Sce [...]us est. Iason & magis Scelus Med [...]. ought not to be extreame to marke what is done amisse, so neither to reproue what is amisse: but with all gentlenesse and compassion reproue such sinnes in their children, as they haue deriued to them from them­selues.

Three causes of bitter reproofe. Three causes of hit ter re­proofe.

Now if any man shall demand a reason of mee why many men deale thus curstly with such as offend: I will giue him three maine causes of such inhumanitie, the first is vaine glory, the second Loquacitie, & the third Enuy.

In the first place wee shall finde 1 Cause vaine glory. that vaine glory is a great cause of this vnkinde dealing, and stirreth vp men to controll the faults of others, out of a secret selfeloue to them­selues. The Pharisee lookes vpon the publique faults of others, and with an indigne condemning and vnder­valuing of others, striues for ap­plause to his owne person. I am not Luk. 18. 11. 12. No [...] sum sicut cateri, non sicut [...]e. as other men are, &c. nor even as this Publican. Thus there are many men, who from a triumphing and imperi­ous insultation ouer the falls of o­thers, yea from peremptorie and malignant forgeries and fancies of their owne, proclaime the faults of [Page 57] other men, who are seauen times more iust then themselues, thinking that by the eclypsing the light of others, they shall make themselues shine more bright in the eyes of the world. This is as if the Moone should reioyce at the night and absence of the Sonne, and thereby goe about to make the world be­leeue, that all light & influence pro­ceeded from her selfe. But let thē knowe that they that striue to build such a Babel of pride and vaine glo­ry vpon the ruines of other mens re­putation, shall soone be brought to confusion for their paines. And like Flies, whilst they striue to extin­guish & put out the light of others they shall torment and burne them­selues in the flame. I could wish this fault were not too common even a­mongst the sonnes of Levi them­selues, who striue like Absolon to 2. Sam. 15. 6. steale away the hearts of the people, and that by discouering and aggra­vating [Page 58] the faults of their fellow la­bourers, whereby they may winne more renowne to themselues, a­mongst the common & vulgar peo­ple, and as the Apostle S. Paul speaks They are puffed vp rather then 1. Cor. 5. 2. mourne for [...]hem that haue done e­vill. And as a Cypher set after a fi­gure, makes it of more account and valuation, then if it stood by it selfe. So they thinke they shall neuer bee raised to the height of their ambiti­ous mindes, but by the weaknesse of the like comparisons: thus the silly [...]. Farn [...]by in Ep. ante Trag. Sen. Grasse-hopper and the Pismire in their generations proue most dege­nerate in their owne kindes. And they that are most vnable of all to resist, become most cruell enimies one to another, Discouering a great measure of hypocrisie to the world and to God. For how can they be­leeue, Ioh 5. 44. when they seeke glory one from another? And this is the first reason or cause, why many men reproue o­thers [Page 59] with such strictnesse and auste­rity, because by the looking into their blemishes, and imperfections, they think more cleerly to set forth their owne beauty and comelinesse.

Cause the second. The second cause is loqua­city.

The second cause proceeds from Loquacity & a loosenesse of speech, as when men haue small or no im­ployment, they fall into discourse of the liues & manners of others: these are like vnto S. Pauls widowes, they learne to be idle, wandering about 1. Tim. 5. 13. [...], Non solum ver­bosae, sed & cu­riosae, id est, in­vest [...]ga [...]te [...] ali­orum facta & negligentes sua, & studentes ali­quid semper au­di [...]e. Anselm. in loc. from house to house; and not only idle but tatlers also, and busie-bodies, speaking things which they ought not. They are such as cast not an eie vpon their owne faults, but are al­waies discouering the sinnes of o­thers, with itching & Athenian eares. I may rightly compare these peo­ple in a common-weale, to a loose tooth in a mans head, which is both troublesome and vselesse. Or if you will, they are like Ants vpon a mole­hill, [Page 60] which busie themselues in a needlesse and vnprofitable action: and indeed these are the very con­fusion and incendiaries of a Chri­stian world: all their labour is to handle the sores of others; & they take as much delight in reproofe, as the Carter doth in his whip, who is neuer well, but when hee heares, the lash. Their words burne in their mindes, as an vnthrifts mony in his purse: and like an arrow in a dogs side, they are neuer well till they are out. These may fitly bee resembled vnto a cloud, which being possessed with hot exhalations, is so weak that it cannot containe them: and so they breake forth to the terrour of the world. Thus, this kinde of people, through the weaknesse of their minds, & imbecillity of gouerment can keepe nothing that is in their heart, but like Solomons foole, they Prov. 29. 11. vtter all that is in their minde; though it bee to the mischiefe and [Page 61] destruction of them that liue by thē, according to that of Solomon. An Prov. 11 9. [...] In o [...]e hypocro­ta corrump [...] so­dalem suum. [...]er. 12. 6. Hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: yea oftentimes wee shall finde that men of affinity, and neere acquaintance, will much de­generate in this kinde. Ieremic com­plaines of this treachery in his time; and so doth the Prophet David. It was not (saith he) mine enimie that reproached me, then I could haue Ps. 55. v 12 13. borne it▪ neither was it he that hated me that did magnifie himselfe a­gainst me, then I would haue hid my face from him. But it was thou O man, mine equall, my guide and mine acquaintance. And Dauid in another place, compares such kinde of peo­ple to Bees, now a Bee we know hath hony in her mouth, and a sting in her taile: we shall see them come to vs with a supersiciall and outward show of vnfained loue, with as great a complement, as if they would at once prostrate their soules & bodies [Page 62] to our good and welfare. And the words of Ioab to Amasa shall bee at their tongues end, Quomodo vales? 2. Sam. 20. 9. Art thou in health my brother? And yet mischiefe is in the heart; & they can no more hold their tongues, thē he his hands, though it bee to the Psal. 28. 3. wounding & destruction of a man. Now the best way to deale with such impostors is, to answer them as the sicke Hen in the Fable answered the Cat, who asking how she did, re­plied againe, better if you were far­ther off from me: better it is to want such friends, then to be betrayed by their pretended friendship. Or at least it is good to put no trust in a friend, nor confidence in a counsel­lour: wee liue in the worst times, in the last part of Nebuchadnezars Image, the feet whereof are constitu­ted of iron and clay, the last times of the world, wherein men are posses­sed with vnnaturall, iron and stonie hearts. So that they shall betray one [Page 63] another and hate one another. The Mat. 24. 10, father shall bee diuided against the sonne, and the sonne against the fa­ther: Luk. 12 53. the mother against the daugh­ter, the daughter against the mother: the mother in law against the daugh­ter in law, and the daughter in law against the mother in law. Now where there is this want of a good nature, there wee shall finde the vn­friendly loosenesse of trecherous tongues, which is abominated of God and man: and though wee finde some, and the most, to haue as long eares, as they haue wide Auriculas Mid [...] quis non habet? Per. Sa [...]. mouthes; yet withall wee may per­ceiue, that such men are generally hated, and as some loue treason, yet all hate the traytour, so many will desire to heare of the faults of others yet withall they will hate the condi­tion of the relator. Therefore wee are aduised not to declare other mens faults, neither to friend nor foe, end if the sinne appertaine not [Page 64] vnto thee, reveale it not, for hee will harken vnto thee, and marke thee, & when he findeth opportunity he will hate thee: if thou hast heard a word Eecl. 19. 8. 9. Eccl. 25. 10. against thy neighbour let it die with thee: for as Solomon speakes, He that couereth a transgression keepeth loue but he that repeateth a matter sepe­rateth Prov. 17. 9. very friends, and it is better with S. Paul, to study to be quiet, and to doe our owne businesse. And whē 1. Thes. 4. 11. relations of others shall be told vnto vs, not to bee like Malchus without Ioh. 18. 10. the right care, and onely heare with a sinister and left eare, with a crui­call and hypocriticall eare. But let vs eare as little to heare such asperti­ons, as wee will to heare the clocke, when wee care not for the houre: then shal we obtaine fauour of God and man, and retaine quietnesse and tranquility in our own soules.

Cause the third.

Now the last cause of this vnkinde The third cause is Envy. and discourteous reproofe, is Envy [Page 65] and Malice, which maketh men like fiery Salamanders, and raging Seas towards their neighbours: they reproue to bring men into disgrace and ignominie: their end is not to heale the sore, but to vncouer the wound, and to leaue an vnsighty scarre of discredit behinde them: & sometimes they drawe at nothing but sound and solid flesh: & insteed of pulling out the more from their brothers eye, they pull out the eye it selfe; or if by chance they doe any good, with Belzebub they cast out Diuells through the Prince of Di­vells. They behaue themselues as if they had dranke of Marah, Massah and Meribah bitter waters, or as Exod. 15 23. Exod. 17. 7. though they had filled themselues with the waters of strife, as Behe­moth with Iordan: yea they carry themselues with such a Cythian and barbarous austerity, as if they were hewen out of Caucasus, & were nou­rished with the milke of Tygres: that [Page 66] a man may as soone get water out of a flint, or oyle out of a stony rock, as mild and curteous words from their mouths. These are borne of the cursed seed of Cham, delight­ing in nothing so much as to vnco­ver the nakednesse of others: or ra­ther Gen 9. 22. indeed borne of the Divell him selfe, whose name is Diabolus, a de­famer, as the word in the Syriacke tongue, in S. Mathewes Gospell doth import, expressed by the word di­vulgator, a publisher of infamous reports; so that hee which lightly conceiues a reproach against his neighbour, either for giuing it him­selfe, by misconstru [...]tion, or credu­lously receauing it vpon the report of others, is nothing else but a Di­vell in Syrtacke. And therefore S. 2. Tim 3 3. [...] crim [...]natores. Paul affirmes, that in the last times there shall be men Diuells false accu­sers, euill and reproachfull speakers. [...]. Tim. 3. 11. [...], detra [...]entes. And in another place hee speaketh of women diuells in regard of their [Page 67] slanders and detractions. Whereby he shewes the neere vnion betwixt a calumnious reprouer and the Di­vell, for as the Diuell by his accusa­tions of man to God striues to o­verthrowe all his happinesse; so these men by slanderous aspertions and accusations (being as powerfull in them, as the blasts of Rammes hornes before the walls of Ierico) Iosh 6▪ [...]. doe striue to lay all the power and strength of other mens vertues le­vell and euen with the ground at one vtterance, and by their bitter re­viling putrifie the sweet ointment of a mans good name. Yea the good Eccl. 10. 1. Eccl 7 1. [...] name of a man, which is better then pretious ointment. Thus they proue most malignant and vnluckey Pla­nets to their neighbours where they liue; so that a man may with more safety play at the hole of an Aspe, and handle a Cockatrice, then fall in to the hands of these men: whom I take to bee the vncleanest Leapers [Page 68] that euer sore ranne vpon, most worthily deseruing the vsage of Pari­cides at Rome, who were sewd vp in to a male of leather, and cast into the Sea, so that neither water nor ayre, nor element of any other kind could once approach vnto them. Yea I say, they are most vnworthy to liue, moue, or haue their beings. These are the sonnes of Cain and A­badon, yea a brutish spurious and a­dulterate ofspring, whō the Prophet Dauid reports to haue no faithfull­nesse in their mouth, their inward part is very wickednes: their throat Psal. 5. 9. is an open sepulchre, from whence comes this [...], rotten speech, ascending from an internall putrifaction. The best way for vs to reproue such reprouers, is to say to them as Cato said to Lentulus when hee had vttered his stomacke in his face. Lentulus they are deceiued that think thou hast no mouth. And Sen de ira l 3. cap. 38. with faire and gentle words to si­lence [Page 69] them if we can. For in this case sometimes (as the old prouerbe is) it's good to please a knaue: and to doe to him as Aeneas to Cerberus, who is reported to cast a sweet mor fell to that Hell-hound, because hee should not barke at him. Here it is good not to giue Quid pro quo, ray­ling for rayling, and rebuke for re­buke, to these cursing Shimei's, and dead dogges, least the storme of re­proach in an enimie, and the waues of discontent in our own selues, doe Aug. Serm. 3. in fest. Epiph. so tosse the ship of our soules, that it dash vpon a rocke, and so be cast a­way. Also when wee our selues are to reproue any, let vs doe it with the At pater vt gna­ [...]i, sic nos debe­mus amici, si quod sit vttium non fastidire, Hor. greatest clemency wee can inuent, with a friendly, brotherly, and a fa­therly affection, free from a peeuish and enuious disdaine; handling the sores of others, as if they were our owne, with as Christian and Aposto­like compassion as S. Paul did, who is weake, and I am not weake? Who 2. Cor. 11. 29. [Page 70] is offended, and I burne not? bring­ing pitty in our eyes and hearts, when we chance to see the falls and infirmities of others. As our Savi­our Christ who in compassion to Ie­rusalem is said to weepe ouer it. Let vs bee like Vespasian who would Luk. 19. 41. Qui iustis sup­pliciis illa chri­m [...]it etiam & jugemuit. weepe and groane at necessary exe­cutions of law. Yea let vs imitate a wise and mercifull Chirurgian, who setteth and restoreth a limme dislo­cated, to his proper place, with as little paine as may bee to the party. Let Tygers in the forrest bee cruell towards their companions, let them bite and be bitten, devoure and bee devoured of one another, let dogges grinne, and Vnicornes push with their hornes; let Scythians and Ca­nibals bee cruell and eat the flesh of men. Let Midianites and Philistins sheath their swords in the bowells Iudg 7. 22. of each other. Let them forget the loue of the Lord, that the God of heauen may forget his mercy to­wards [Page 71] them; let such reprobate mindes carry to their graues, and to that bottomlesse Abysse of hell and confusion, that marke and character of euerlasting reprobation, that the spirit of God hath engrauen vpon their browes and foreheads, that they are false accusing diuels, and men of a fierce and sauage dispositi­on: 2. Tim. 3. 3. [...]. but let euery one of vs that beares any part of G [...]ds heauenly image, who is Father of mercy, and Isa. 9. 6. 2. Cor. 1. 3. Eph. 2. 4. Prince of peace, and rich in mercy vnto vs, be like minded to others, & giue mercy for mercy, grace for grace patience and long suffering, with a­bundance of brotherly kindnesse, do­ing all things in charity, and let vs put on as the elect of God, holy and 1. Cor. 16. 14. Eph. 4. 31. Col. 3. 12. 13. beloued, bowels of mercy, kindnesse, humblenesse of minde, meekenesse, long suffering, forbearing one ano­ther, and forgiuing one another.

Three arguments to moue vs to clemency.

Now for the better stirring vs vp Three argu­mēts to moue vs to gentle­nesse. to mercy and gentlenesse in our re­proofe, let vs consider three things, First let vs search into the good 1 parts of the party offending. Se­condly consider mans tractable dis­position 2 to good words, and withall his auersenesse to bitter speeches. Thirdly let vs looke vnto our selues, 3 what faults wee haue committed, what wee doe, and what wee may commit: & these cannot but moue vs in meeknesse of carriage towards others.

First Argument.

First let vs consider with our 1 Argument is the virtue of the repro­ved. selues, what good parts and vertues we can finde in him that hath offen­ded, and let those moue vs to clemē ­cy, considering that there is no gold but hath some drosse, and the best men haue their faults. For as a mo­derne diuine saith, euery one is once a foole, & doth that perhaps in one fit of his folly, which hee shall haue [Page 73] leasure to repent of, as Noah in one Gen. 9 21. houres drunkenesse vncouered those secrets, which were hid sixe hun­dred yeares before, the world is herevpon ready to call in question all his former integrity, and to ex­clude him out of the hope of any further amendment. But seeing God hath giuen vs two eyes, the one should be busied about the present fault that we see, with a detesting commiseration, the other about the commendable qualities of the offen­der: since the heart hath no window made to looke into it by the Creator thereof, but is reserued vnder locke and key for his owne view: I had rather wrong my selfe by credulitie, then others by vniust censures and suspitions.

Second argument.

Secondly consider mans propen­sitie 2ly Mans pro­pensitie to good words, & contra. to good wordes, and his in­disposition to rough speeches; the minde of man is naturally stub­borne, [Page 74] and rather followeth with willingnesse then will bee led by Natura contu­max est, humi­nus anim [...] se­quitur po [...]us, quam ducitur. Sen. de cle. lib. 1. cap. 24. Nullum animal est morotius ho­mine, quod (que) arte ma [...]re tractari debet. Sen. de clem. Tritum est illud: Generosu [...] est hominus ani­mus, magis du­citur quam tra [...]itur. harsh meanes, and a minde ouer­weighed with the violence of passi­ons, will scarce admit the freedome of reproofe which reason might warrant. For there is no creature more waiward then man, nor which ought to be handled with more art, and wee shall finde reproofe like vn­to the Sunne and the storme in the Fable; if it be milde and comforta­ble, like the Sunne Beames, it makes a man cast off his cloake; but if it be turbulent & stormic, it causeth him to wrap it more close about him, a gentle and louing reproofe makes a man cast away his transgression, but Plus ita (que) profi­cit amica cor­reptio, quam turbulenta ac­cusatio. Amb. violent & tempestuous words cause him more to cleaue to sinne: for when a sweete and louely nature is wildly handled, it makes a man not only to hate and detest the Satyre; but by accident, it possesseth the mind, with a more fierie and furi­ous [Page 75] disposition, then that which comes by nature, and this kind of v­sage, was a Remora or let to the Ga­lathians, whereby they were rather prouoked and stirred vp to hatred and enuy, to snarling and biting Gal. 6. 1. Hinc antem non emenda­bantur peccato­ves. sed magis ad odia & in­uidiam, & ad [...]emo [...]dendum prouocabantur. Musc. in loc. at the reprouer, then to be bettered by reprehensions and reproofe, and we shall finde it farre better to vse curteous and gentle perswasions, then to enforce by bad language & ill tearmes; for a seruile and violent constraint exasperates free spirits, and like Sampsons foxes sets all on Iudg 15 4. 5. fire, and maketh such as would bee reclaimed with the violence of sweete and seasonable words, euen to cast away shame, and perseuere in faultes. Therefore if euer wee make account to benefit any by re­prehensions, let vs roote out these fibras, and rootes of bitternesse, and plante the hearbe Philantropos, or Plin. h [...]st. nat. lib. 24 cap. 19. brotherly loue in our heartes, then may wee stay our mindes with a [Page 76] good perswasion to better the re­proued.

Third argument.

Thirdly if the two former will 3 Argument is to consider our selues. not perswade to milde & gentle re­prehensions, then let vs consider our own weaknesse, calling to mind what wee haue beene, what wee are and what we may be.

First let vs consider what wee 1 What wee haue beene. were and haue beene. This St Paul would haue Titus to put his audi­tors in mind of, that they should speake euill of no man, that they should bee no brawlers; but gentle, Tit. 3. 2. 3. shewing all meekenesse vnto all men, For (saith he) wee our selues were sometimes foolish, disobedient, de­ceiuing, seruing diuerse lusts & plea­sures, we were once without Christ, and aliants from the common-wealth Eph. 2. 12. of Israel, and were strangers from the couenant of promise, and had no hope, and were without God in the world. Once likewise we were babes [Page 77] and weake in grace, and in the heat of youth; and had much trouble & difficultie, in encountring and pas­sing the vanitie of that age; & there was lesse probabilitie in vs of that good wee haue, then in them wee reproue, for which cause we haue no more reason, in a bitter reproofe, to vaunt our selues ouer our bre­thren, then the wall whereon the sun shines, (though it selfe base) should contemne the marble wall, because it is in some obscure place where the Sunne is not so powerfull: though in processe of time it may receiue more light and influence from the sunne then that doth. Take wee heed then, in our reproofe, wee haue respect to what we were at first our­selues, and what the reprooued may come to, for otherwise, if wee haue not a care, hee shall bee our iudge in conclusion, who at first was guil­ty Nobis erit in­dex, qui [...]it ante nobis reu [...], [...]d what wee are. to vs, and to our reprehension.

Secondly let vs weigh with our [Page 78] selues what we are for time present, namely so weak as not able to stand one hower by our owne strength & abilitie; but as S. Paul saith, By the grace of God I am that I am, & here­in wee shall finde more cause of be­wailing 1 Cor. 15. 18. Qui seme [...]. sum a [...]cit, non quarit, quid in al [...] frequenter reprehendat: sed in semetipso quid l [...]gea [...]ter: wailing our owne sinnes, then ordi­narily to controll the faults of o­thers, we haue more need to breake open the steele gates of our owne breasts, wherein our sinnes lie hid­den, then violently to rush into the coffers of other mens infirmities: and to consider with our selues what sinnes wee haue of late mortified, Quod malum [...]odie sa [...]afli. Sen, de ira lib. 3. before we strike our neighbour vio­lently on the face, leas [...] i [...] be said to vs as Eliphaz to Ioh, Behold thou hast Iob. 4. 3. taught many, and strengthened the weary handes: thy words haue infor­med him that was falling, and thou hast vpheld the weake knees: but now it is come vpon thee, and thou art grieued, it toucheth thee and thou art troubled, and let vs say with St [Page 79] Paul and Barnabas, Sirs, Why doe yee these things? We also are men of Act. 14. 15. like passions with you, for there is no man liuing that can say of himselfe as our Sauiour Christ, Which of you Ioh. 8. 46. conuinceth me of sinne? But if there bee any man, that in his owne eyes seemes thus holy, let him cast the Ioh. 8. 7. first stone at him that sinneth. How vnnaturall then doe those deale, which beholding so much the faults of others, forgette their owne frail­ty and humane nature. What? are Et quid sunt se­ [...]uer [...] illi iudices? an non homines & ipsi. Musc. they not men as well as others? If they will bee men and not beasts, how vnhumane are they, who think­ing they can neuer sufficiently ag­grauate the sinnes of others, forget their owne transgressions? or if they Puluere si le­dant scribunt, sed marmore lasi. doe remember them, write their owne in the dust, and others in marble.

Thirdly and lastly, let vs consider 3 What we may be. what wee our selues may fall into. Consider thy selfe least thou also bee [Page 80] tempted, this good vse did a Father Gal. 6. 1. make of another mans fall. He hath fallen this day, & I not vnlike to fall to morrow. And in another place he aduiseth vs not in any case to iudge Ille hodie & ego eras. Ber. Ser. 2. de resu [...] Dom. Non iudicos fra­trem magis au­tem excusa: excusa intentio­nem si opus non potes, puta ig­noran [...]iam, pu­ta subr [...]ptionem, puta casum; Deoasi omnem omnino dissimu­lation [...] rel certitude recu­sat, suade ni­bilominus ipse tibi, & dicito a­pud teipsum, vehemeni fuit nimis tentatio. Quid de me illa fecisset, si acce­pisset in me si­militer potesta­tem. Ber. [...] Cant. our brother, but rather, if wee canue to excuse him any way; but if wee can no way excuse him, (as he large­ly aduiseth) then he would haue vs consider what such a temptation as our neighbours was, would haue wrought vpon vs, if it had had the like power against vs. Thus let vs when wee chance to see other mens infirmities, behold our owne faults, as when wee looke into the apple of another mans eye, wee may dis­cerne our owne eyes. But herein many may be taxed, who neuer grow into consideration with themselues how they may be temp­ted; so that sometimes it falleth out, that for their vnmercifulnesse to o­thers, God giues them ouer to the shame of the same sinne themselues. [Page 81] Others there are (and sometimes good men) who will strictly con­demne that which themselues fall into. Thus it was with Dauid, who when Nathan the Prophet made re­lation vnto him of one that had ta­ken away a poore mans lambe, Da­uids anger was greatly kindled a­gainst 2 Sam. 12. 5. the man, and he said to Na­than, As the Lord liueth the man that hath done this thing shall surely dye. But when Nathan said to him thou art the man, then he was both ashamed and silent. Thus Iuda hear­ing that Thamar had played the harlot, presently cries out, bring her forth and let her be burnt, but when she shewed vnto him, the Signets Gen. 28. 25. 2 [...] and Bracelets & the staffe, as testi­monies of his owne abomination & filthinesse, then h [...]e could not but confesse, that she whom he so rashly had condemned, was more righte­ous then himselfe. Thus when men haue heard relation of the faults of [Page 82] others, and the odiousnesse of the same, they are ready on a sudden, to condemne them to the greatest iudgement they can thinke of; but when the same impersections are laid to their owne charge, then they grow more remisse and mercifull, yea good men I say, oftentimes spare themselues in great offences, whereas trifles in others shall haue Summumius. Extreame right, ex­treame wrong, and though some times like the moone they are full of blots and imperfections, yet (ac­cording to the prouerbe) they will looke beyond the moone, and complaine against the least moat they behold in the Sunne, yea wee shall finde the most wicked men that liue, like barren rocks and moun­taines, complaine of a fruitfull and fertile soyle, because here and there springes vp a thistle and a weed, and the cause is, men are giuen more to see into the faultes of others, then [Page 83] their owne. For euery man (saith Aesop) hath a wallet hanging vpon his shoulders; the one halfe hanges vpon our breast, and the other halfe vpon our backe: the former is full of other mens faults, which we con­tinually behold: that part which is behinde, and loaden with our owne offences, wee neuer regard, nor cast an eye towards it, & by this meanes wee become vnmercifull towards others, & too sparing to our selues. Therefore to moue vs to pittie and commiseration in our reproofes to our brethren, let vs consider that ei­ther Aut sumus [...] vel pos­s [...] esse quod hic est. wee haue beene, are, or may bee as bad as they that sinne.

The third circumstance in the man­ner of reprouing.

Now the third and last circum­stance 3 Circum­stance in the manner of re­prouing is Courage. to be considered in the man­ner of reproofe is Courage and mag­nanimitie; as well as wisdome, and gentlenesse, we must haue the Oare of loue and the Oare of feare to [Page 84] worke in the delinquent, by the im­partiall Remum am [...]ris & remum [...]i­moris. Plut. courage, of a wise reprouer▪ Herein wee must be like the Bee, which is not all hony, it hath a sting also, and our reproofe must be tem­pered according to the riddle of Fortiter s [...]a [...]is s [...]a [...]iter for­tis. Iudg. 14 14. Sampson; both strong in sweetnesse, and seet in strength, otherwise we shall finde but little profit redownd to our labours, for although loue & faire meanes winne and recall some: yet there are others that wee must Iude. 23. saue with feare pulling them out of the fire, these must bee handled roughly (as Hagar was) for as all men sleepe not alike, so neither are Prod [...]cero [...] ­ra. Pr [...]ducere verbera. they to be wakened alike, to some we must giue the breast, to others the rodde; otherwise by sparing we spill.

Our Courage must consist in two Two things to be conside­red in courage things, Frst that we spare to reproue the person of no man, when we haue authority to reproue. Secondly that we let passe no sin in the party reproued.

First we must shew our true zeale 1 Property of courage. and courage in reprouing whom­soeuer wee see sinne. Herein we are bound to say as Nathan to Dauid. Thou art the man, as Elias to Ahab, 2 Sam. 12 7. 1 Kings 18. 18. 2 Chr. 26. 18. It is thou and thy fathers house that trouble Israel. Azaria rebuked vz­ziah. It partaineth not to thee to burne incense. Asa reproued his mo­ther. 1 King. 15. 13. Yea wee must reproue Father Luk. 14 26. and Mother, and wife, and children and brethren and sisters, be they ne­uer so deare, or neere vnto vs by the bonds of loue or relation. Let vs not doe as many pusillanimous & effe­minate spirits, who dare aduenture to check an inferior, but to a man in power they dare not say as Iohn Bap­tist to Herod, it is not lawfull for Mat. 14. 4. thee, they will aduenture perhaps to throw a stone at a Dogge, but to looke but a Lyon in the face they dare not. Some againe will not sticke to bee couragious in their re­prehensions, but their rebuke shall fall rather [Page 86] vpon vertue then vpon vice; Dat veniam cor [...]is [...]ra [...] censura colum­bas lunen. s [...]t. 1 and so reproue where they should cherish & maintaine, this is as met­tell in a blind horse, & doth endan­ger both his owne life, and the life of him who should be his guide. It is necessary that our reproofe should be setled vpon a right obiect, and then let it be in vs as powder to the bullet, to offer violence vpon the face of any sinner, and like the flam­ing sword in the Cherubims hand to keepe him from forbidden fruit. Though a sinner swell with pride & contempt, as Behemoth with Iordan; Iob. 40. 23. if he be Agag let him suffer as well as the poorest Amalakite. Let vs not sticke to touch the hole of the Aspe; and to lay our handes vpon the den of the Cockatrice; then shall wee shew our true valour indeed, euery coward dares set his foot vpon a poore silly worm, because it hath no power to resist, but hee is the best man that dares encounter where [Page 87] greatest opposition is.

Secondly as wee must know our 2 Property of true courage. courage in sparing the person of no man, so likewise in sparing the sinne of no person, we must deale as Saint Paul with the Corinthians, who no­minates their sinne to them. It is re­ported 1 Cor. 5. 1. commonly that there is forni­cation amongst you: wee must deale with our friends as the Painter dealt with Alexander, who painted him out curiously, yet with his scarre in his face, and Clitus that loued him best, condemned and reproued his quaffing, (though for the manner he did it so vnaduisedly as it cost him his life). Thus must we spare no sinne wee see in others, but discouer and make it manifest: Imitating the skil­full painter, who shadoweth a man in all his partes, and giueth euery peece his iust proportion: thus in our reproofe we must decipher out, and shew euery humour in the kinde: & as the Chirurgion that maketh the [Page 88] Anatomie, sheweth as well the mus­cles in the heele, as the veines in the heart. So in our reprouing, we must faithfully and fully set downe the faultes of the party offending, that he may both see them and shunne them. Let vs not bee fearefull to of­fend Mat. 10. 28. men, whose breath is in his nost­rills, but let vs feare God, who is able to cast both soule and body into hell fire, least (according to the old pro­verbe) whilest we feare the frost, we be ouerwhelmed with the snow for Qui time [...] p [...]i [...]am, irruet super eos [...]ix. Prov. 29. 25. as Solomon saith. The feare of man bringeth a snare, but who so puteth his trust in the Lord, shall be safe. Here then are all such to bee reproued who want courage in this christian duty Especially Ministers & Magistrats who haue most authority to re­proue. It is a shame to see a Mini­ster stand like Harpocrates the Ae­gyptian God, with his fingers in his mouth when Babel is building, and [Page 89] sinne reacheth vp to the heauens. Shame it is that the Magistrate should not be such a man, as Iethro Exod. 18. 21. counselled Moses to make choice of; a man of courage, fearing God, and Rom. 13. 4. whereas he is stiled Goas sword bea­rer, not to weare it for a shew and for nought, hee doth not execute wrath vpon him that doth evill, but lets all runne at Randum, which way it will. Or if he doth any thing, there is no more life in his actions then in a child that is still borne. Yea the Minister that should fight with the sword of their spirit, and the Magi­strate with the sword of iustice, both of thē let the sword lye, as the sword of Goliah rusting behinde the Ephod: and like the Sword-fish, they 1. Sam. 21. 9. haue a sword but no heart; or like a cowardly Gallant, they carry a sword about them, but dare not drawe it, though their cause bee ne­ver so good and honest. Let me ad­vise therefore both Minister and [Page 90] Magistrate to put on courage as a garment vpon them, and though they should bee much opposed by sinne and sinfull men, yet let them with the Horse neigh at the Trum­pet, and with the Leviathan laugh at the speare, and make difficulties whetstones to fortitude, let them conioyne and vnite their forces to­gether, and say to one another as Ioab to Abishai. If the Assyrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt 1. Chro. 19. 12. helpe me: but if the children of Am­mon be too strong for thee, then I will helpe thee. Euen so if an army of sin­ners shall affront either Magistrate or Minister, let them conioine their power and courage, to the cutting downe all monstrous and prodigi­ous outrages: then shall we see that sinne will not so abound amongst many, and the iudgement of God shall be preuented frō falling down vpon vs all.

CHAP. 4. Instruction the first.

NOw in the third place, if the doctrine of reproofe bee so 1 Instruction is to keep our selues from reproofe. necessary and profitable. This should teach vs that lesson of S. Paul to keep our selues blamelesse Phil. 2. 15. and harmelesse, the sonnes of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked & perverse nation, amongst whom wee shine as lights in the world. And though we cannot but conuerse with sinners, and be behol­ders of the sinnes of others, yet let vs haue a care, that wee bee not infe­cted with their euill manners. Let vs be like the bird Trochilus, that li­veth in the mouth of the Crocodile and is not spoiled: like the Salaman­der that lies in the fire, and is not [Page 92] burnt, or like fish that liue and swim in the salt sea, and yet tast not of the Pisce [...] in sal [...] [...]i & alii, sa­lem tamem non reserunt. Lips. constant: lib. 2. cap. 16 1 Ioh. 2. 20. 27. salt. And the rather because as Saint Iohn saith, wee haue receaued the vnction of the spirit, now oyle though it bee powred into other li­quors, yet it swimmes on the top, & keepes it selfe vnmixed. So though wee cannot but mix our selues with the world in naturall actions, yet in spiritual affaires let vs striue alwaies to swimme aloft, least the wicked ones of this world (like cursed Cham) behold our nakednesse, and sport themselues at our shame: for Gen. 9. 22. we shall finde them to make a small fault in a professor to exceed in wic­kednesse the greatest of their owne. And so that sinne which was not ta­ken notice of before a mans con­version, will proue a great disgrace and ignominie to him, in time of his good conuersation. For as whē a comely and delectable picture & portraiture be cut or drawne out, it [Page 93] mattereth not much how vneuen & knotty the bord be, wherevpon it is to be drawne; but when once the picture is finished and brought to perfection, then the least knot or blemish will seeme a great deformi­tie and disgrace to the picture. In like manner, though it bee not of so great importance and obseruation, our follies and errours committed in the old man: yet seeing God hath wrought the sacred impression of his holy spirit in out hearts, if wee walke inordinately now, and not ac­cording to the law of God, the les­ser blemishes and imperfections of our soules wil proue more disgrace­full and odious in the eies of the world, in regard wee haue the con­fused Chaos of nature in vs, transfor­med according to the image of God. But to keepe mee to my mat­ter in hand; the best and safest way to keepe vs both from the sinnes of others, and from the aspertion of [Page 94] the world, will bee to haue nothing to doe with the men nor their man­ners: but rather to take the counsell of Solomon, Enter not into the path of the wicked, and goe not in the way Prov. 4. 14. of evill men. I might lay downe ma­ny reasons why wee should neither walke, nor stand, not sit with wicked Psal. 1. 1. men. But these few arguments may moue vs.

First such as wee commonly and frequently haue society with, such 1 Argument to disswade vs from ill com­pany. commonly we are our selues: therefore ordinarily to associate with wicked men, is a signe of a wicked disposition. And therefore the Lace­demonians that they might the bet­ter vnderstand the quality and con­dition of their children, were wont to enquire what companions they linked themselues withall. And this vse of company and acquaintance did Augustus make, who being at Suetonius. a Combate, where there was a great company of people, amongst the [Page 95] rest, his two daughters Iulia and Li­via were present; who therevpon tooke occasion to marke what com­pany resorted to them, to court and salute them: and seeing that graue Senators talked with Livia, & loose Dulcè quidem dulci se adiunx­it, ama [...] (que) a­maris. striplings, and riotous persons with Iulia: hee therevpon knew the con­ditions & inclinations of his daugh­ters. Thus may we take it for gran­ted, that so long as a man doth commonly & frequently with a full con­sent Qui aequo ani­mo malis im­miscetur, malus est. of minde haunt the company of wicked men, that he is such a one himselfe. Therefore let vs resolue with David, not to sit with vaine Psal. 26. [...]. persons, nor to abide with dissem­blers. Neither let vs bee partakers with them; for though we were some times darknesse, yet now we are light Eph. 5. 7. 8. in the Lord: let vs therefore walke as children of the light.

Secondly keeping company with 2 Argument to disswade vs from ill com­pany. wicked men, doth not onely giue a man his denomination: but likewise [Page 96] it doth by a secret infusion of sinne, wonderfully infect the soule of mā. And hee that associateth with euill men must needs learne their wayes. Prov. 22. 25. Sinne amongst men is like the rot amongst sheepe, its catching and in­fectious. If wee sleepe with dogges wee shall bee sure to swarme with fleas, if we fly with Ostridges and Pelicans wee cannot but haue a tincture of their wild nature, and like Iacobs sheepe, wee shall con­ceiue Gen. 30. 38. 39 and bring forth according to the obiects set before vs, yea though before wee goe into wicked com­pany, we may resolue not to partake of their sinnes; yet the best men shall finde it as impossible to frequent ordinarily euill company, and to returne from them as good as when they went in, as for sheepe to liue amongst bryars and thornes, and not to leaue some of their woll be­hind them, for the best men are like wax, as apt to receiue the impressi­on [Page 97] of sinne, as that of grace, and as those that goe into the Sunne be­come Sunne burnt, though they goe not for that intent. So they that goe into wicked society, become Prov. 13. 20. [...], [...]e­dantu [...] [...] mult [...] corpori­ [...]s [...] natione [...] ▪ O [...]d. worse then they were, euen whilest they thinke not of it, euen as sore eyes doe infect the sound, whilest we expect no mischiefe at all. But some man may say, I may doe good Obiect. to some which are bad, by going into their company; by my re­proofes exhortations and good ex­amples. I answere; It is a great ha­zard Answere. whether thou canst better the bad, but its ton to one thou keepest thy selfe from doing any good in meane time, and with Dauid thou Psal 39 1 [...]. must refraine thy tongue from good speech whilest the wicked are in pre­sence, for vngodly men will keepe others from godlinesse, as the dead Gen. 8 7. carkases did the Rauen from Noahs Arke, and as the Loadstone cannot draw yron, if the Diamond ly by it: [Page 98] soe neither canne the soule of a chri­stian be tractable to goodnesse when ill company are present. Let vs not thinke to imitate the Grafter who ioynes good fruit to a Crab-tree. Nor to be like the Bee the sweet­nesse of whose nature, makes things of another nature sweet. Let vs not thinke the life of grace in vs, will make them aliue to goodnesse, but rather they being dead in sinne, may kill our vertues. It is written of Me­zentius the Tyrant, that he ioyned Corpora corpori­bus i [...]gebat mortua viuis. dead bodies with the liuing, but the dead did not reuiue by the liuing, but the liuing putrified by the dead. Therefore seeing euill company is so dangerous and infectious, let vs doe like the Swallowes who durst not come within Thebes because the walls were so often beseiged: Let vs not put on winges to fly into such company, whose manners proue continuall enimies to our soules, but when wee haue to doe [Page 99] any thing with them, or by them, let vs doe as the Egyptian dogges at the riuer Nilus for feare of the Cro­codile who lap and runne, not mak­ing any stay by them least they should be deuoured. In like man­ner let vs be chary how we come into the company of wicked men, least whilest wee intend to reproue and better them, wee our selues are reproued and made worse.

And we are bound in duty not only to keepe our selues out of the company of euill men, & from their infection; but likewise as occasion serues, to condemne and reproue their wicked behauiours; and as eue­ry Bee hath a sting to rouse vp the Drone, and if any be nastie and vn­wholsome, to make them mundifie and cleanse themselues: So euery Christian must haue a tongue to raise vp the sluggard, from his sinne, for as Solomon saith The words of Eccl. 1 [...], 11. the wise are as goades and pricks in [Page 100] the side of the sluggard, therefore let the father deale with his children, the master with his seruants, & one friend faithfully with another. But some man may obiect and say, I Obiect. would willingly reproue such and such a friend, but I know not how he will take it, and so happily I may loose my friend and my labour at once. I answere. Neuerthelesse thou Answere. must performe thy christian duty, and leaue the euent to God, who hath the hearts of all men in his hands, and can turne them as the waters; and withall let vs consider the saying of Solomō. He that rebuk­eth a man, afterwards shall finde Prov. 28. 23. more fauour, then he that flattereth with the tongue, besides if wee should loose a friend by our wise & holy rebukes, wee shall bee sure to finde a friend of God, and howsoe­uer it shall fall out that the reproued shall not take it in as good part, as it is giuen, yet it is better for vs and [Page 101] him, that wee should suffer his an­ger and displeasure, then his sinne and destruction. Or if wee can doe him no good by our rebukes, yet wee must reproue him: and indeed God requires not at our handes the cure of the partie wee deale with, that must bee wrought by his owne hand and mercy; only wee are com­manded to haue a care ouer one a­nother: Christ like the good Sama­rit Luk. 10. 33. 34. an, requires the seeing to the mā, he himselfe will pay for his cost, and heale his person. Therefore let eue­ry man resolue with that Heathen Diuine. I dare make so bold, as to Audeo pec [...]anti mala [...]u [...] often­dere, vitia eius si non [...]xcidere, inhibebo Sen. tell a transgressour of his faults, if I cut not away his vices, I will not­withstanding inhibite them. And that our reproofes may the better take impression in the heartes of the reproued it is very requisite that wee keepe our selues vnsported of such sinnes as we gainsay in others, by which meanes wee shall bee sure [Page 102] to conuince the conscience of the sinner, of the errour of his actions, which wee by an holy and heauenly contrariety doe contrary, and indeed this is the best reproofe of all, when by a contrariety of carriage wee make manifest the sinnes of others, reforming our selues first, and then endeauouring the good of others, Charitas enim ordinata esse debet, vt homo prius curam sui [...]phus habeat, [...]einde proximi. Stella. and this is it which God requires of euery reproouer. But alasse this course is contrary to the carriage of many, who practice themselues in the reformation of others, but sel­dome looke home to their owne waies: these are like vnto some of the Galathians, who would needs Qui cateris praestantiores videri velehant cum [...]ssent & ipsi carnales, magna seuerita­te mordebant ac damnabant eos qui per in­firmitatem de­linquebans Musc. in G [...]s. 6. 1. seeme better then others, who be­ing themselues carnall would with much seueritie condemne those which fell meerely of infirmity, these men haue eyes with double balls to see with, and stand out of the head, nearer to other men then to themselues, staring at faultes [Page 103] committed abroad, but blind as bee­tles to behold their owne corrupti­ons: O maior tandem parcas insane minori Horat. lib. 2. Sat. 3. and so they reproue the smaller offences of others with greater of their owne, and thus according to the Prouerbe vice corrects sinne. Iratos irati ipst [...]biurgamu [...]. Plut. These men are like vnto the Ibis, a great birde in the cittie of Alexan­dria in Egypt, which was kept only to deuoure the garbage and offall, and to cleanse the streets, but shee left of her owne filth and beastli­nesse, more noysome behind her, Mala mens ma­lu [...] animus. thus many will controll the faylings of others, with greater impurity & impiety of their owne, these men seldome doe good, but rather hurte to them they reproue, they doe as it were put their durtie fingers to wipe out the moat they behold in the eye of their brother, which ra­ther causeth the eye to perish, then helpes the sight. Therefore I will striue first to cast out the beame out of mine owne eye, that thereby I [Page 104] may more clearely see to cast the mo [...]te out of my brothers eye: I will first learne to ha [...]e and forsake mine owne sinne; before I sharpely re­proue it in another; least that speech of our Sauiour, bee applied to me as to the Pharisee, Thou hypocrite first Mat. 7. 5. Luk. 6. 41. cast out, &c.

Instruction the second.

This also in the second place may aduise vs to beare the word of exhor­tation 2 Instruction to suffer re­proofe. Heb. 13. 22. and reproofe, and to endure a memorandum for our miscarriages, and if a friend shall strike vs on the one cheeke with reprehension let vs be so farre from resisting, that wee rather turne to him the other cheeke Mat 9 39. also. It was the wisdome of the Pro­phet to submit himselfe to the check of Nathan, and to yeeld his necke (as it were) to the blocke for his ini­quity: he serued not Nathan as Ahab 2 Sam. 12. 13. serued Eliah, who held him for the Da [...]s of the land and troubler of Israell, because hee told him of his 1 King. 18. 17. [Page 105] sinnes: neither vsed him as Ieroboam did the Prophet of Iudah, cause his seruant to lay hold on him: neither tells him hee is a Prophet as well as himselfe, and therefore Medice cura teipsum. Physitian heale thy selfe; Luk. 4. 23. but he quietly submits himselfe vn­der the censure of the Prophet, and the rod of God, to doe what hee would with him. Thus ought we to behaue our selues when wee are re­proued: not with wicked and gain­saying Spirits, be more outragious when we are told of our faults; but rather take occasion thereby to fur­ther our selues in goodnesse: and though in part wee bee in the right way, yet let instruction & reproofe be vnto vs, as the winde to a ship, ra­ther make vs goe faster though we haue already the tide. Let vs thinke our selues more bound to a faithfull friend, that wisely reproues our faults, then to all the adulterous flat­teries, and Syrens songes, of such as [Page 106] shall sooth vs vp in our iniquities; knowing that the corrosiue which healeth with paine, is better thē the sting of the Serpent that killeth with pleasure. And as Solomon saith. It is better to heare the rebuke of the wise, then for a man to heare the song Eccl. 7. 5. of fooles. Yea open rebuke is better Prov. 27. 5. 6. then secret loue, and faithfull are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enimy are deceitfull. And indeed there is more hope of good, in that man that will take well the correcti­ons of a faithfull friend, then of him who will swallow downe the suge­red words of a perfidious Parasite; who only layes healing plaisters to the sore, to skin it aloft, when there is more need of corrasiues to eat out the dead flesh that is within; thus whilst their speeches are faire like Iezabel vnder painting, and their 2. King. 9. 30. mouthes seeme to be full of Nectar, yet the gall of bitternesse is in their hearts, and they are deceitfull in all [Page 107] their waies. Therefore when our friend shall tell vs of our faults, yea though hee doe it with the more sharpnesse, yet let vs freely and wil­lingly beare the same, though hec burne our sore, or lance our wound, Medicum & vrentem & se­cantem diliga­m [...], Amor. yet let vs vndergoe it with patience in our selues, and loue to the Physi­tian of our soules. Let vs striue to compose our minds to a good do­cility and morigerous tolleration, that no wise obiurgation & chiding proue bitter to vs, but those corre­ctions which breath humanity and clemency, and arise from a placid & beneuolous minde, let vs receiue them louingly and beare them pa­tiently, resoluing with the Prophet David. Let the righteom smite mee Ps. 141. 5. it shall be kindnesse, and let him re­proue me, it shall be an excellent oyle, which shall not breake my head. But Obiect. some man may obiect and say, that he that reproues him doth it out of malice, and therefore why should [Page 108] he harken to his reprehensions? I answere, though hee should fayle in Answ. the manner of reproofe, yet let vs make the best vse we can of it, and though he that reproues, aimes at our discredit and ignominie, yet let vs striue to conuert it to our good: as hee that would haue smote Iason to the heart, by accident opened his impostume and saued his life. Or as Achilles, who when hee wounded Vna eadem (que) manus vulnus opem (que) tulit. Telephus, with the rust of that speare which should haue killed him, hee was cured. Thus let vs striue to cō ­vert the mischieuous end and intent of an enuious reprouer, to the good and conversion of our owne soules. And make the malitious aspertions of our enimies to be as thornes and briers in our way to keepe vs from the forbidden pastures of iniquity and transgression. But some man may further obiect and say, hee that Obiect. reproues me is as bad as the worst; and why should I be guided by him [Page 109] that cannot gouerne himselfe? I an­swere this is a foolish & simple pre­tence Answ. and excuse to keepe a mans beloued sinne; this is as if a man should refuse some soueraigne me­dicines, because the Physitian is sicke of the same disease; how simple is that man that will refuse the physick of him that cannot cure himselfe? Would not the Lord haue been an­gry with Noah, if hee had wilfully Gen. 6. 14. reiected his owne safety in the Arke, because the men that built it were drowned themselues? And shall we reiect the good aduices & reproofs of a friend, or the minister of Gods word, because his life is not so good as he desires it and thine? But know thou this whosoeuer thou art, that though his life be neuer so bad, if his reprehensions be not followed, they will be of sufficient power, to con­demne thee at the day of Christ, though he that reptoues thee stan­cheth not the issue of his owne cor­ruption.

Reproofe the first.

Here then are to be reproued all 1 Reproofe to such as will not suffer re­buke. such as will not beare a reprehensi­on vpon faults committed, but de­light altogether in faire words and flatteries, they make reproofe the only choake-peare they can take, though it be neuer so seasonable & iust, they are rather exasperated a­gainst the reprouer, then amended by reproofe, these are like a Canon that is ouer charged, whē the match is put to it; which will either recoile or burst, so that it proues dangerous to the Gunner, if it cost him not his life: so that a man may say to them as St Paul said to the Galathians. Am I therefore become your enimie, Gal. 4. 16. because I tell you the truth? & when we shall come to cast out Legions of fowle spirits out of their hearts, they will reply, what haue we to doe with thee, Iesus th [...] sonne of the most high Mat. 5. 7. God? yea let the reprouer bee Ma­gistrate or Minister, they will ob­iect [Page 111] malice as Ahab; or pride & am­bition, as Corah and his company, yee take too much vpon you. Or as Num. 16. 3. Exod. 2. 14. Act. 7. 27. one of the Hebrewes to Moses, who made thee a Iudge? Some goe far­ther with Ahab to imprison. And some with Herod, could find in their hearts to cut off Iohn Baptists head, Mar. 6. 27. and take away their liues. Yea most men we shall finde like Marcus An­tonius wife, who would haue worne Tullies tongue in her hat, because he reproued the faults of her husband. These are like the Horse and Mule, Psal. 32 9. without vnderstanding, let a man feed them all his life time, and no re­sistance is made, but when their kee­per comes to let them blood, to drench them, or meddle with their sores (hauing no reason to appre­hend their owne good) they striue to mischiefe him, that only aimes at their health; and some horses there are againe, which being trauelling, if they be spurred, they fling about [Page 112] them rather then mend their p [...]ce. Thus wee shall finde many behaue themselues, when they are reproued, tell them of their faults, and striue to restore them from the distemper of their soules, and they wil inhumane­ly resist, and brutishly oppose those good motions and exhortations, which tend to the good of their soules. For as Solomon saith. He that hateth reproofe is brutish. And cor­rection is grieuous to him that for­saketh Prov. 12. 1. Prov. 15. 10. thy way. These men deale with them that correct their faults, and shew them their imperfections, as the Ape with the looking-glasse, who beholding therein his ilfauou­red face and feature, striues by all meanes to breake the glasse where­in he seeth himselfe. A faithfull and wise reprouer is like a looking glasse wherein a man may see his spirituall faults and blemishes, a disobedient and stubborne heart is like vnto the [...]pe, who striues not to mend his [Page 113] faults, but labours to breake the glasse, that is, to mischiefe him that laieth his faults opē before his face, and this peruersnesse of mind send­eth many soules to hell, For he that hateth reproofe shall dye. How many Prov. 29. 1. then shall shake hands with death and destruction, who being great in place, & estate, are like vnto Mount Sinai, which may not bee touched; Psal. 125. 1. but he that telleth them plainely of their faults, is counted presumptu­ous; he that calleth a waterish swel­ling the dropsie, or an angry humour the Gout, is thought now a daies vn­mannerly, as though men were born to feed the humours of great ones: in reprouing men of inferiour ranck we shall finde reprehension like the flaying of a beast, the skinne goes from the body with much ease, and little labour; but when wee handle great men, wee shall finde reproofe sticke at the head, and from thence the skinne of sinne, as of a beast will [Page 114] hardly be drawne. And this is the reason why great men are Venison in heauen, a rare dish seldome seen.

The second Reproofe.

Here I may also che [...]e another generation of people, who if they looke to their owne carriages, they respect not how others demeane themselues. But are ready to say with Cain, Am I my brothers kee­per? Gen. 4▪ 9. And what haue I to doe with him? Let him looke to himselfe if he will. Whereas S. Paul wisheth vs to consider or obserue one another. And Heb. 10. 24. Phil 2. 4. Id est, ea quae pertinent ad v­tilitatem a [...]r [...]. A [...]elm. in loc. to looke not every man to his owne things, but every man also on the things of others; so farre forth as they concerne the good and bene­fit of our brother. And so it falleth out often times, that wee are more beholding to our foes and enimies, then to our friends & kindred, who pretend much loue to our persons, but are too sparing to our sinnes; with them they will haue nothing [Page 115] to doe, or if they haue, it shall be ra­ther to make and maintaine a vice to be a vertue; like the Fox in Aesops Fables, who said the Crow was a faire bird, and had a pleasant note. Yea this want of reproofe may bee condemned much in Magistrates and Ministers themselues, especial­ly if they should exercise this good office vpon such as haue relation to them, or they that are any way a gaine and profit to them; they can peradventure handle zealously the faults of inferiours, or it may be the inferiour faults of great ones; but if they should light vpon that sinne which chiefly liues and raignes in them, then they growe remisse and flacke handed, and rather sooth vp the same with faire words and su­gered speeches. These are like the fierce Mastiue, that will barke and bay till his chaine cracke at a stran­ger, and if he chance to come with­in his reach, he will fly in the face of [Page 116] him: but if it be his master that hee sees come, then his barking is tur­ned into fawning, because he know­eth his master vseth to giue him crusts and bones to feed on. Thus many will offend for a hit of bread; P [...]ov. 28. [...]1. and for feare of a checke or incon­venience from him that is reproued. And wee shall also finde that couet­ousnesse is a great cause of this de­fect, as well as feare, because some­times it falleth out that men are made rich by the sinnes of others, and this makes them like the Fox hunting after his prey, which wakes with his eyes shut; they see not, and yet see, they are wilfully blinde, ha­ving closed their eyes least they Act. 28 27. Gen. 38. 14. should see; with Thamar, they muffle their eyes and will not see, and all because the sinnes of others bring advantage to them; I would this fault were not too commō amongst the Courts of this Nation, and Ma­gistrates of the Land, who like vn­mercifull [Page 117] Chirurgians keepe the wound raw, which they might sea­sonably heale: and all for their own gaine and advantage. Yea I could wish that every man in his place would deale faithfully and plainely with the faults of others, no [...] searing the person or face of any man. I would men would condemne the sinnes of others as plainely, as the Franciscan Frier did Pope Sixtus the fourth, who came to be Pope frō the same order. Who seeing the Frier, shewed him a great treasure of mony, and said vnto him. Frier, I cannot say as Peter did. Silver & gold haue I none. No more can you say (saith the Frier) as Peter said to the man that was sicke of the palsie, Arise and walke. If wee durst thus behaue our selues, and that to the Act. 3. 6. greatest, surely wee could not but bring forth some reformation from our good endeauours. And for our better encouragement, not to dis­semble [Page 118] with any, but to deale faith­fully with all, let vs consider the words of Solomon. Hee that saith to the wicked thou art righteous, him Prov. 24. 24. 25 shall the people curse, nations shall ab­horre him. But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good bles­sing shall come vpon them.

CHAP. 5. Arguments to perswade vs to re­proue the sinnes of others.

First Argument the guilt of Sinne.

IF we reproue not sin in others, 1 Argument to moue vs to reproue sinne in others. we make our selues guilty of the same sinne, for the neglecting a­ny duty which is commanded, dis­pleaseth God as well as the commit­ting of sinnes prohibited, Curse yee [Page 119] Meroz, saith the Angell of the Indg. 5. 23. Lord, curse yee bitterly the inhabi­tants thereof; not because they fought against the children of the Lord, but because they did not assist the Lord against the mighty, and we are as well liable to the curse of God, for not helping the lord against sin, as they that really transgresse the law; vice & vertue are contraries which haue no medium, & therefore in subiecto capaci, the absence of the one must of necessity argue the pre­sence of the other, so thē he that hath authority to reproue sin, is guilty of it, if he strike it not vpō the face with a seasonable rebuke, and if a man neither lye nor sweare himselfe, yet if he suffer it in others; [...]e sinne is Qui ferendi po­testatem [...]abet, solus in culpa est. si culpa non feritur B [...]r. Amici vitia q [...]i ser [...], facit sua. his owne, as in the Common wealth, and our lawes, the accessary is as well guiltie and lyable to punish­ment as the principall: So in Gods Consistory, the not corrector as well as the law-breaker is both guilty of [Page 120] the sinne and subiect to the same re­ward. For if a soule sinne and heare Leuit. 5. 1. the voice of swearing and is a wit­nesse, whether hee hath seene or knowne of it, if he did not vtter it, then he shall beare his iniquity, and therefore the Lord admonisheth the watchman to blow the trumpet, and Ezeck. 33. 7. 8. warne the people from the Lord, o­therwise if hee warned not the wick­ed man from his way, the wicked man should dye in his iniquitie; but God would require his bloud at his handes. Now euery one in this case must be a watchman ouer his bro­ther, to prohibit and rebuke sinne in him; otherwise his brothers bloud shall be required at his handes. And thus it was in ancient times amongst the Heathens themselues; for the Lacedemonians vsed to punish him that did not reproue the fault of a­nother, with the same punishment that was due to the offender him­selfe, and thus wee see the sinne of [Page 121] another man, by our silence may be­come our owne: and therefore the word mum in English I take to be deriued from the Hebrew word [...] macula, a fault or blemish, so that in this kind to be mute or mum (as wee say) or to hold a mans tongue, is a sinne and transgression in the sight of God; and certainely shall not goe vnpunished. There­fore if any man haue an eye to see sinne, let him discouer it, if he haue an hand, let him plucke it vp; other­wise other mens sinnes shall bee en­rolled amongst ours, and so with Ely wee shall not only breake the necke of the body, but that of the 1. Sam. 4. 18. soule also, and make the curse of a­nother mans sinnes light heauy vp­on our selues.

Second argument is charity to­wards the sinner.

Secondly the duty of loue and 2 Argument to moue vsto reproue sin. charity wee owe one to another, bindes vs to this good office. In the [Page 122] old law we are commanded not to see Deut. 22. 1. our neighbours oxe, nor his sheepe to goe astray, and to hide our selues; but in any case to bring them againe vnto our brother, much more then are wee to reduce a straying soule into the waies of God, and good reason, for wee are all of vs fellow members of that body whereof Ie­sus Christ is the head, now we know members of a body are helpefull to one another; if the foot haue a thorne in it, the head stoopes, & the handes helpe to pluck it out againe. We are brethren as St Paule saith, Brethren if any one bee ouertaken in Gal. 6. 1. a fault, &c. fraternall and brotherly affection must be a spurre to pricke vs on to shew our loue in this action which indeed is a sure tryall & ma­nifestation of the best loue, and on Probatio dilect­ionis est exhibi­tio operis Greg. Ins [...]li [...]ici [...]ia q [...] illum quam [...], [...]endo [...]radit Diabolo. the contrary it's a cursed friendship and association which by a wicked taciturnitie and conniuence at finne giues vp the soule of the sinner into [Page 123] the handes of the Diuell. Therefore in this kinde it is good wee should deale as one louing friend to ano­ther, who beholding him dange­rously and deepely affected with some disease or sicknesse, hee will carefully prouide the Chirurgion or Physition for his cure and restaura­tion to his former health: thus let vs striue to haue as much spirituall loue as most men haue naturall af­fection, that when wee see our bro­ther euill affected with sinne, which is the sicknesse of the soule, wee may by wise and seasonable rebukes make vp and heale the sores and spi­rituall [...]. batteries of sinne and Satan, in the hearts of our brethren. The good Samaritan that found the maimed man in miserie, that was fallen amongst theeues, had compassi­on Luk. 10. 33. 34. on him, and bound vp his wounds: shall not wee then much more haue compassion vpon a Brother, when wee see him lye vnder the hands of [Page 124] his spirituall enimies, and bind vp the wounds of his soule, by holy & Godly rebukes? Hauing reason from the law of equitie and cons [...]ience more to commiserate the diseases of the soule, then of the body. There­fore as Solomon saith, withhold not Prov. 23. 13. 14 correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not dye; thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliuer his soule from hell. Thus if wee withhold not a seasona­ble rebuke when wee see our bro­ther sinne, we may happily deliuer his soule from death & Satan, there­fore reproofe is called the correctiō of life, because it tendeth and lead­eth to life. The eare that heareth the Prov. 15. 31. [...] reproofe of life abideth among the wise: let vs try therefore, if by this meanes wee can conuert a man that is erring from the truth, and we shall saue a soule from death, and shall Au [...]is audie [...] increpationem vitarum. I [...]m. 5. 19. 20. Mat. 18. 15. hide a multitude of sinnes. I might fairely launch forth, and with a pro­sperous [Page 125] gale, set vp saile, and away into an Ocean of reasons, or argu­ments to moue vs to this duty: as the honour of God, or the ensnar­ing the sinner and the standers by, who by our silence, may halfe per­swade themselues, a sinne to be no sinne; or else so small as not worthy a reprehension, or that wee are such as they are, and loue the sinne if wee reproue it not, also by our reproofe See M. Bolton [...] direction [...] for walking with, God. pag. 122. sine. wee may keepe out the infection & contagion of sinne whereby our soules may bee poysoned, but for breuities sake, I will leaue them to the iudgement and amplification of the reader, and him and them to the blessing of that holy spirit, who giu­eth grace to the reprouer and re­proued, both how to speake, and how to take a word of reproofe in due season.

FINIS.

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