THE CHRISTIAN IEWELL. OR, THE TREASVRE OF a Good Conscience. By WILLIAM WORSHIP, Doctor of Diuinitie.

1. TIM. 1. 20. Hauing Faith, and a Good Conscience.
Multi quaerunt Scientiam, Pauci Con­scientiam. Bern. in For. Hon. vit.

LONDON, Printed by WILLIAM STANSBY, for Iohn Parker. 1617.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, Sir FRANCIS BACON, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seale, my very singu­lar good Lord; All in­crease of true Honour, with the glorious comforts of Grace.

THE Gospell (Right Ho­norable) is like the Booke of Canticles; which begins with a Kisse, and ends in Spices. The ve­rie sound of it imports Glad [Page] Tidings of PEACE; withoutRom. 10. 15. which, this Inch of time al­lotted, is but [...], a Dead kinde of Life, as Plato 1. De Re­pub. speaks of a Guilty Conscience. Forwere a man The Darling of the World, with Titus Ves­pasian; were he so repleni­shed with all earthly good things, as that no mortall creature durst wish the like,De Ciuit. Dei, l. 5. c. 25. as S. Augustine speakes of Constantine the Great: yet if in this matchlesse prospe­ritie, hee want the fauour of GOD, and Tranquillitie of minde; he is no better thanAElian. l. 1. Xerxes Plane-Tree, which tooke no delight in it selfe, though it was richly hung with Bracelets, Tablets, Span­gles, Chaines of Gold.

This Peace of GOD, soPhil. 4 7. Gal. 6. 16. Col. 3. 15. much magnified in Scrip­ture, is better known by fee­ling than Discourse; and be­ing the fayrest Iewell vnder Heauen, is peculiarly giuen to the Elect, who cherish the sparke therof, with workes of Pietie to GOD, and Equi­tie to their Neighbour.

Thus, in briefe, hath your Lordship the drift, and scope of this present Indeuour.

Now that I, a Grasse-hop­per (in respect of many lear­ned) dare thus boldly, and hoarcely sing in the eyes and hearing of Him, who is Magnus in Magnis, Primꝰ inHieron. Ad Pammach: Primis, [...] Herôum, is, (I confesse) Piaculum: whereunto notwithstand­ing [Page] the Noblenesse of your Honours disposition (which is wont with Artaxerxes, toAElian. l. 1. take in worth Synaetas hand­full of water) the Correspon­dence of the Treatise with that High place of Iustice whereto God hath aduan­ced you; together with the zeale of declaring my thankefulnes, and duty for so many Incouragements vouchsafed from your Lordship, haue, in a manner, instigated me.

Goe on (most Noble Lord) to be a Sanctuarie to Conscience; a Place of Refuge to the Innocent, & Oppressed; and remember to serue that GOD with a faithfull heart, who so graciously hath set [Page] you in the seate of your Re­nowned Father; and go not onely beyond Him, but Your Selfe too. And as hi­therto your Lordship hath esteemed of Siluer, as of Tinne; and contemned the Wedge of Gold, which so many great Idolaters doe crouch to: so still, in this Exuberance of all things, continue con [...]tant: Et nudum Christum, nudus sequere. Du­rum, Hieron. Grande, Difficile; sed Magna sunt praemia.

Your Lordships most bounden, and duti­full Chaplaine, William Worship.

THE AVTHOVR TO HIS BOOKE.

POore Booke (for all the IEWELL on thy brow)
Goe, passe along; and Bellman-like awake
The Sybarite, that liues he cares not how,
And will no pleasure but in Pleasure take.
Who, while he leanes, hath PINKES vpon his eye,
And POPPIES on his bosome as he sits:
And streaking out his limmes, delights to lye
On Roses faire, and daintie Violits.
Bounce at his doore; and if he aske, WHO'S THERE?
Tell him, A MESSENGER from CONSCIENCE:
Hee'le say, SHE'S HANG'D: but then bid thou him feare
That Death him selfe: for if his skill in Fence
Shall ward the blow that fatall Land-trees lend,
Rather than fayle, WAPPING may be his end.

The Contents of this Booke.

  • CHAP. I. WHat Conscience is not.
  • CHAP. II. What Conscience is: from the Notation.
  • CHAP. III. What Conscience is: from the Definition.
  • CHAP. IIII. Of the Offices of Conscience; and first, that it is an Arbitrator.
  • CHAP. V. That Conscience is a Conuin­cer.
  • CHAP. VI. That Conscience is an Espiall.
  • CHAP. VII. That Conscience is a Peacher.
  • CHAP. VIII. That Conscience is a Monitor.
  • [Page]CHAP. IX. That Conscience is a Schoole-Master.
  • CHAP. X. That Conscience is a Domesticall Chaplaine.
  • CHAP. XI. That Conscience is a Prognosti­cator.
  • CHAP. XII. That Conscience is a Register.
  • CHAP. XIII. That Conscience is a Iudge.
  • CHAP. XIIII. Of the Properties of Conscience, and first, of Testification.
  • CHAP. XV. Of the second Propertie of Con­science, which is Ligation.
  • CHAP. XVI. Of the third and fourth Proper­ties of Conscience, which are, Excusation, and Accusation.
  • CHAP. XVII. Of the kindes of Conscience, [Page] which are, Good, and Euill: and first of the Good one.
  • CHAP. XVIII. That the knowledge of Gods Word is necessary to the Good­nesse of Conscience.
  • CHAP. XIX. That Faith is necessary to the goodnesse of Conscience.
  • CHAP. XX. That Repentance is necessary to the Goodnesse of Conscience.
  • CHAP. XXI. That Peace is necessary to the Goodnesse of Conscience.
  • CHAP. XXII. Of the Blessednes of that Man, whose Conscience is quieted through the Pardon of his sinnes.
  • CHAP. XXIII. Of the vnspeakeable Comfort of a Good Conscience.
  • CHAP. XXIIII. That the Comfort of Conscience [Page] is Inward, and Independent of the Creatures.
  • CHAP. XXV, That the Comfort of Conscience is Noble, and Sincere.
  • CHAP. XXVI. That the Comfort of Conscience is Immutable and Durable.
  • CHAP. XXVII. That Peace of Conscience is the best Musicke.
  • CHAP. XXVIII. That Peace of Conscience is the best Physicke.
  • CHAP. XXIX. That Peace of Conscience is an Inestimable IEWEL.
  • CHAP. XXX. That a good Conscience com­forteth in Infamie.
  • CHAP. XXXI. That a good Conscience comfor­teth in Pouerty.
  • CHAP. XXXII. That a good Conscience com­forteth [Page] in Imprisonment.
  • CHAP. XXXIII. That a good Conscience com­forteth in Sicknesse.
  • CHAP. XXXIIII. That a good Conscience com­forteth at the time of Death.
  • CHAP. XXXV. That a good Conscience com­forteth at the Day of Iudge­ment.
  • CHAP. XXXVI. A complaint that good Consci­ence is so little set by.
  • CHAP. XXXVII. That Gods dearest Children are often troubled in Conscience.
  • CHAP. XXXVIII. Of sundrie Comforts against ex­cessiue Sorrow for Sinne: and first, Of the consideration of the Infinitenesse of Gods Mercie.
  • CHAP. XXXIX. Of the second Comfort in trouble [Page] of Conscience, which is, The Meditation of the Bloud of Christ.
  • CHAP. XL. Of the third Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, the In­definitenes of Gods Promises.
  • CHAP. XLI. Of the fourth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, The Example of Hainous Offen­ders, that haue been pardoned vpon their Repentance.
  • CHAP. XLII. Of the fift Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, The Consideration of Gods Fa­therly Chastisements accom­panying it.
  • CHAP. XLIII. Of the Sixth Comfort in Trou­ble of Conscience, which is Mourning for sinne.
  • CHAP. XLIIII. Of the Seuenth Comfort in [Page] Trouble of Conscience, which is Prayer.
  • CHAP. XLV. Of the Eighth Comfort in Trou­ble of Conscience, which is Reading of Scripture.
  • CHAP. XLVI. Of the Ninth Comfort in Trou­ble of Conscience, which is Singing of Psalmes.
  • CHAP. XLVII. Of the Tenth Comfort in Trou­ble of Conscience, which is the Testimonie of the Minister.
  • CHAP. XLVIII. Of the Eleuenth Comfort in Trouble of Conscience, which is Conference with the Godly.
  • CHAP. XLIX. Of the Twelfth Comfort in Trou­ble of Conscience, which is Painfulnesse in our Calling.
  • CHAP. L. Of the Thirteenth Comfort in Trouble of Conscience, which [Page] is the Consideration of the Truth of Gods Promises.
  • CHAP. LI. Of the Fourteenth Comfort in Trouble of Conscience, which is the Consideration of the Iustice of God.
  • CHAP. LII. That all the fore-named Com­forts are vneffectuall, without the Presence of the Holy Ghost.
  • CHAP. LIII. An Exhortation to the children of God, that the [...] stri [...]e against their Dumpish [...]sse, and that they be cheerefull in the Lord.
  • CHAP. LIIII. A short Prayer for Comfort in Trouble of Conscience.
  • CHAP. LV. Of Euill Conscience; and first, of the Large one.
  • CHAP. LVI. Of the Second kind of Euill Con­science, [Page] which is Nice, or Spiced.
  • CHAP. LVII. Of the Third kind of Euill Con­science, which is the Per­uerse one.
  • CHAP. LVIII. Of the Fourth kind of Euill Con­science, which is the Cauteri­zed.
  • CHAP. LIX. Of the Degrees, and Steps that leade to this Searednesse of Conscience.
  • CHAP. LX. Of the fearefull estate of those that haue Searednesse of Con­science.
  • CHAP. LXI. Of the Fifth kind of Euill Con­science, which is the Despe­rate one.
  • CHAP. LXII. That it is exceeding dangerous [Page] for a Man in horror of Consci­ence, to kill himselfe.
  • CHAP. LXIII. Certaine forcible Reasons a­gainst Despayre.

THE CHRISTIANS IEWELL.

CHAP. I. What Conscience is not.

IT was the o­pinion of O­rigen, In Epist. ad Rom. cap. 2. 15. that Conscience was a certain Spirit, distinct in nature from the substance of the Soule, and ioyned to it as an inseparable Companion. [Page 2] And to fortifie this con­ceit, hee vsurped the place of Saint Paul to the Ro­mans; The same Spirit wit­nesseth Rom. 8. 16 with our Spirit, that wee are the Children of God. But as this assertion is strange, and repugnant to reason, which abhorres du­alitie of Soules cohabiting in one body; so the Text allea­ged, is apparantly wrested from the natiue sense, as ap­peares by Saint Augustine, In Exposit. quar. Prop. Ex Ep▪ ad Rom. In Epist. ad Rom. and Chrysostome, who fitly expound it of the Spirit of GOD, confirming mans heart regenerate by Grace. To which Interpretation though some other Exposi­ [...]ors doe not vnanimously [...]end their voyces, to make [Page 3] vp the Diapason; yet fauor they no whit, the violent, and vngrounded Glosse of Origen.

If here we [...] descend to the Schoolemen, they ac­cordScotus. Aquinas. Sum. 1. Q. 79. Art. 13. not. Some hold it to be an Habit, others an Act: but it will be found, after iust discussion, that Habits, and Acts are transient and perishing, where Conscience cannot be lost, though the edge of her operation bee sometimes dulled.

As for those Minuti Phi­losophi, Plutarch. Mor. the Grylls, & Trough-Philosophers of the World, who degrading Conscience from her seat of Honour, haue thrust her downe a­mongst the Humours, and [Page 4] there left her in the Lees, as if her affects were but the passions of melancholy; albe­it the Paradoxe bee so base, and sensual, that it deserues no answere; yet for vindi­cation of Truth, and out of a certaine homage to Ver­tue, I must giue them this counter-checke, that the blacke and stubborne hu­mour of melancholy, is char­med and mastered by Phy­sicke, Dyet, Musicke, Exercise, Societie; where the gash of Conscience can neuer bee healed, but by a spirituall and heauenly Balme.

CHAP. II. What Conscience is, from the Notation.

WHen the Names of things are signifi­cant, & expressiue, they are pettie Definitions, and giue some light to the point in hand. Conscientia (saith S. In Form. Hon. vit. Bernard) soundeth as much as Cordis Scientia, because it knowes it selfe, and many other things. Conscientia (sayth Aquinas) is Scien­tia Summa. Q. 79. Szeged. cum alio, a knowledge with another: which combi­nation hath either reference to the Soule reflecting vpon it selfe, or else to God, who is priuie to her inmost in­tents. For though Angels, [Page 6] and Men doe not know the Heart, but by Reuelation, or Ouerture; yet the most wise Creatour, who sitteth in the Centre thereof, and conti­nually1. Sa. 16. 7. maketh an vnblou­die dissection, must needs bee acquainted with her most secret designes.

If wee take it in the first sense, it euinceth euidently, that in certaine cases of doubt, the best appeale is to a mans owne Conscience. For, What man knowes the 1. Cor. 2. 11. things of a Man, (sayth S. PAVL) saue the Spirit of a Man, which is in him? There­fore the answere of Saint Austen to Petilian, is excel­lent:Contra lit. Pet. l. 3. c. 10. Me Petilianus Mani­chaeum esse dicit, loquens de [Page 7] aliena Conscientia; hoc ego me non esse dico, loquens de mea conscientia. Eligite cui creda­tis. Petilian giues out that I am a Manichee, and this hee speakes of anothers consci­ence; I plainely affirme I am none of that Sect, and this I speak from mine own Conscience. Now choose ye which of vs Two yee will beleeue.

If we take it in the latter sense, as it hath relation to God, who notes our closest thoughts, it will teach vs to stamp vpon those Cockatrice egges of our poysonous i­maginations, before their hatching. It's an euerlast­ing reproch to Absalon, 2. Sam. 16. 22. that he committed euill in [Page 8] the open sight of the Sunne; and shall wee steame forth corrupt and noysome co­gitations in the face of that GOD, with whose glorious resplendencie if wee com­pare the Sunne, it wil proue no better then a piece of Searing-candle?

But let vs passe on from the Name of Conscience, to the very Life, and Nature of it.

CHAP. III. What Conscience is, from the Definition.

NOt to bury my selfe in the heape of others Definitions, I will select one which seemes most [Page 9] kindely to expresse the na­ture of Conscience. It is this. Conscience is a Part of the Practicall vnderstanding, de­termining of things done, and therevpon excusing, or accu­sing. The substance of this Definition is found in thoseRom. 2. 15. words of the Apostle; Their Conscience bearing witnesse, and their thoughts (or Rea­sonings) accusing one another, or excusing. By this clause, Melanct. Il [...]yric. Grynaeus. Szeged. (as by a Compasse) doe most Expositors shape their course, when they treat of Conscience; concluding that it is a kinde of Practicall Syl­logisme, whose Maior is The Law of GOD, and the Mi­nor, and Conclusion, the Ap­plication of it, approuing [Page 10] what is good, and condem­ning the contrary. As thus:

Euery disobedient child is worthy of Punishment:

But I (saith Cham) am a disobedient Child:

Therefore I am worthy of Pu­nishment.

If now (like good Chy­micks) we labour to extract the very Spirit of this Defi­nition, wee shall finde that it compriseth the Essential­nesse of Conscience with the Soule, as beeing a facultie, or Part therof. Againe; it sheds out the Subiects of Consci­ence (that is, Men, and An­gels) from all creatures that want the Discursiue power: And therefore when wee finde in S. Ambrose, that [Page 11] the Hound being at default, makes a kind of Syllogisme, Hexam. l. 6. c. 4. (Aut in han [...] partem deflexit, aut in illam, aut certè in hunc anfractum se contulit: Sed nec in &c.) Ergo &c. wee must know that it is an Abusiue speech, as is euident by the context, where in full meaning hee ascribes this warie casting about of the Dogge, to the meere Sagacitie, and vigour of his sense.

Further, from this Defi­nition, doe naturally spring the Offices, Properties, and Kindes of Conscience, with her whole furniture, and Appendices, which wee are to handle in due place. So that it is (in effect) the very [Page 12] Base, and Foundation of all the subsequent Discourse.

CHAP. IIII. Of the Offices of Conscience: and first, that it is an Arbitratour.

SVch is the Impatience, and surlinesse of mans nature, that struggling vn­der the weight of his affli­ctions, hee breathes out complaints against the Iu­stice of GOD, as if the pres­sure exceeded the desert. Thus IOB, (the holiest man aliue) beeing ground to powder with the appre­hension of his miserie, criesIob. 14. 17. Ʋatablus in Loc. out that GOD had sealed vp his iniquities in a Bagge, and [Page 13] added vnto his wickednes: as if hee would say (if hee durst) that the Lord kept his sinnes exactly, & made them more then they were.

In another place he com­plaines,Iob 16. 12. 14. 21. that God had taken him by the necke, and beat him, and runne vpon him like a Gyant, as if hee would sue the Lord vpon an acti­on of Batterie; for presentlyIob 38. 39. 40. after, he mumbles thus, Oh that a man might plead with God, as a Man doth with his Neighbour. But after the Lord vouchsafed to parle with him, and cald in Con­science as an Vmpier, to take vp the matter betwixt them, then Iob that ere­while was so exorbitant (in [Page 14] an ouer-loue of himselfe) bewailes his state, and falsIob 42. 6. to deprecation.

Thus the Emperour Mau­ritius, what time his Chil­dren, and his most deare, and vertuous Wife were all cruelly slaine, one after an­other, before his eyes, at the charge, and command of the Tyrant Phocas (himselfe being immediately to act his part in the same Trage­die) his flesh (no doubt) like a grudging Israelite, began to murmure against the Lord; but after some pas­sionate breathings, and pauses (his Conscience awar­ding him Hell, if God should haue beene extreme to marke what he had done a­misse [Page 15] hee thus quietly and meekely concludeth, Iustus es, Domine, & Iu­stum Functius Carion. Osiander. Melanct. Loc. Com. Iudicium tuum; Righteous art thou (O Lord) and iust is thy iudgement.

CHAP. V. That Conscience is a Conuincer.

WHen I consider the force of Conscience in the Conuiction of Errour, mee thinkes Shee is like the Martyr Steuen. For neitherAct. 5. 9. 10 Libertines, nor Cyrenians, nor they of Alexandria, Ci­licia, Asia, no nor all the transcendent, and subli­mated wits of the world, that will vndertake to cut [Page 16] Cummin-seede, with Anto­nine, are able to resist the Wisedome, and the Spirit, by which shee speakes. For instance: The Diagoream, Cic. de Nat. Deor. or Atheist, would gladly threap vpon his soule, that There is no GOD. Dixit in CORDE suo (saith SaintAug. in. Psa. 14. 1. Augustine) qui [...] hoc nemo au­sit dicere, etiamsi ausus fuerit cogitare; Hee said it in his Heart, because, for shame, he durst not vtter it with his lips. O Idoll! The HeauensPsal. 19. 1. Psa. 104. 12 declare the glorie of GOD, and yet hee sees them not: the Birds sing Anthems of his praise, and yet he heares them not; the flowers dif­fuse sweet sents into the Ayre, and yet he smels them [Page 17] not: in euery Vine, there is Water turned into Wine, and yet he tastes it not: and though GOD may bee felt with the hand (as S. Paul Act. 17. 27. affirmeth) in euery crea­ture, yet being starke dead, he is voide of that last, and common sence. And now comes Conscience, and wa­kens vp this Monster in Na­ture, and giues him a thump on the brest, and beates it into him, maugre his heart­bloud, that There is a GOD: and summons him to ap­peare at the great Tribunall, for attempting to deface the Characters of the Deitie, so plainely, and deepely written with GODS owne hand in the heart of euery man.

Another instance of the power of Conscience is the Refutation and confusion of those detestable Hereticks (or rather more then Here­ticks, as Irenaeus cals them) who charge the most Righ­teous GOD, to be the Au­thor of sinne; and that ei­ther Indirectly, as Simon Tertul. Iren. Aug. Magus, the Cerdonists, Mar­cionists, Manichees, Priscilli [...] ­nists, and others; or else Di­rectly, as Florinus, and the Seleucians, with whom wee may shackle foote to foot, the damnable sect of the Libertines, whose Ring-Leaders Caluin Ad­uersus Li­bertinos. Bulling. Ad­uersus A­nabap. l. 2. c. 14. were Coppin, and Quintin, two Coblers of Flanders. With these hide­ous Giants incounters Con­science, [Page 19] and catching them by the throat, breathes fire and brimstone in their fa­ces, and in time of distresse, and horror, compels them to retract this fearfull blas­phemie.

Another instance of the strength of Conscience is in the cōfuting those slow-bel­liedZanch. de Immort. Anim. Cretians, who treading in the steps of the Sadduces, and Epicures, and some of the courser sort of Peripa­teticks, would haue the soule to bee vaparous, and mortall. For when once these Beasts come to bee haled to the slaughter­house, and that they per­ceiue their end is approch­ing, then steps in Conscience, [Page 20] and stiffely pleades the soules Immortalitie, so that in the sence of the truth thereof, they are forced to roare, and hang out the tongue.

Another Instance of the efficacie of Conscience, is in the Repulse of the Roman-Catholicks both Heresies, and Calumnies. And first, for their Heresies, since the na­ture of this Treatise for­bids Polemical Discourse (vn­lesse obliquely, and by oc­casion) I will content my selfe with one Article, but yet of such weight, & con­sequence, as that it con­taines the very sap, and life of Religion. It is the point of Iustification by Faith alone, [Page 21] that is, by Christ alone (for it is not the Instrument, but the Obiect which wee stand vpon.) This sound position the Romanists vtterly dis­auow, and in stead thereof, they set to sale their Linsie­woolsie webbe, the warpe whereof is Workes, and the woofe, Faith; the long thrids mans Merite, and the short inter-iected thrids, the Merit of Christ. But marke. When these iolly Sophisters are at their way­gate, and that they lye pan­ting, and gasping on their Pallet, then nothing but Christ, Christ, and then not a word of Workes, and Me­rit: such difference is there betweene Schoole-disputes [Page 22] on a Cushion▪ and the wrings of Conscience on ones Death­bed.

And here I cannot let passe the vnprosperous successe of Cardinall Bellar­mine, their Pythagoras. For hauing gone about to prooue the concurrence of Faith, and Workes in the point of Iustification, and that at large, euen to sacie­tie and surfet; at last, infor­ced by the reuerberations and recoilements of his owne Conscience, Penelope­like, he vntwists his labour, vnsaies all againe, and is driuen to turne Protestant whether he will or no.

But that I may be cleere from the imputation of in­iurie, [Page 23] I will set downe his words as they came from his owne pen, which (no doubt) like Pilats, was ouer­ruled by the secret hand, and prouidence of GOD. They are these; Propter in­certitudinem De Iustific. l. 5. c. 7. propriae Iustitiae, & periculum inanis gloriae, tutissimum est fiduciam TO­TAM in SOLA Dei miseri­cordia, & benignitate repo­nere: By reason of the vn­certaintie of a mans owne righteousnesse, and for feare of vaineglory, it is the safest way to repose our whole confidence in the On­ly mercie, and goodnesse of GOD.

I confesse, that close vp­on this Luther-like Apho­risme, [Page 24] he settles himselfe to the vnfolding of his owne meaning, but with such perplexnesse, and shifting, as that but for his olde friend Qu [...]dammodo, (Cou­sin-german to Non pro­priè, Non absolutè, and o­ther such nice, and chea­ting Aduerbs) hee might seeme to haue beene found within the compasse of a Spanish Inquisition.

Now, concerning the power of Conscience in the repulse of Calumnies, though it bee not alwayes apparant in regard of the stupified heart of the Ad­uersarie: yet in a disposi­tion not wholly gracelesse, it giues some glimpse of an [Page 25] inward conuulsion. And here, let mee once againe produce Cardinall Bellar­mine: who attempting the ruine of Religion, by the disgrace of her Professours, most virulently writeth, that Caluin (a man of sin­gular learning and sancti­tie) was eaten to death with Wormes (like Antiochus, He­rod, De Notis Eccles. lib. 4. cap. 17. Maximinus, Huneri­cus) and that hee dyed blas­pheming and calling vpon the Deuill: Ne ipse quidem Dae­mon Controuers. Secund. Quaest. Quint. c. 15 potuit malitiosi [...]s loqui (sayth good Whitaker) Not Belzebub himselfe could haue spoken more de­spightfully. Now to shew that he wrote this palpable lye against his own minde, [Page 26] hee forthwith addeth, Te­statur Hieronymus Bolsecus, Ierome Bolseck sayes thus, not I. For hee knew in his Conscience, that this Bolseck was an impure, and perfi­dious Apostata, the most notorious Stigmatick of the World, and the very Suc­cubus of the Deuill.

CHAP. VI. That Conscience is an Espiall.

COnscience is the Lords Numb. 13. 19. Spye, dispatched (like a Caleb, or Ioshua) to view the strength, and weaknesse of euery man. It is Gods Pin­nesse, sent out to make a Discouerie of the Coast, [Page 27] and to returne aduertise­ment. It is the keeper of that Poore Prisoner theNon Caro, sed Corrup­tela Car­nis, Carcer est. Aug. in [...]nar. Ps. 142. 7. Iosh. 7. 21. Soule, whom it watches, & followes at the heele, while it is in Durance, in the cor­ruptible bodie. Shee saw Acha [...] well enough, when he hid the Wedge of Gold in the earth. Shee lookt Da­uid in the face, and frowned vpon him, when hee shut the doore, in hope to haue sinned (with Bathsheba) vn­discerned.2. Sa. 12. 12. Shee beheld (with Ezekiel) what theEzek. 8. 12. Ancients of the house of Israel did in the darke, when they offered vp Cloudes of Incense to their Idols, and then blest themselues with this base delusion, Tush, [Page 28] The Lord sees vs not, Hee hath forsaken the Earth. And as shee is an Eagle in the sharpnesse of her sight; so can shee ouer-heare the sof­test whisperings, and Elisha­like, 2. Kings 6. 8. 9. know what is contri­ued in the Aramites priua­test counsels.

Since therfore each man, attended by his owne Con­science, is, in this, a kind of Scipio, Neuerlesse alone, than when he is alone, let him ne­uer thinke to worke wic­kednesse vnseene, vnlesse hee can find meanes to run away from himselfe. It isPlato. Cic. Ambr [...]se. De Offic. l. 3 cap. 5. not his Gyges Ring wil serue the turne.

CHAP. VII. That Conscience is an Appeacher.

SVch is the folly of an vn­regenerate man, as he [...] presumes, because Cōscienc [...] is an Inmate, that shee will stand by, and see, and heare, and say nothing. And be cause it is now Vacation, hee thinkes it will neuer bee Terme-time with Conscience. But (to vse the wordes o [...] Saint Ierome) Tranquillitas Ad Helio­dor. ista, Tempestas est; This Calme is but the Mother of a Storme; for ere long he shal espie a Weather-gawle in the Ayre. The Watch of his Clock now goes not, and the [Page 30] Wheeles stand still, being clam'd, and rusted in their ioynts; but when by Gods hand the heauie Waights of Sinne shall bee hung vpon the Lines, (and that vvithout any counter poyze of mercy) then shall the Hammer strike thicke, and indistinctly, I meane, his owne tongue shall blab those foule enormities, which so long he hath smo­thered, and concealed in his bosome. He is now at ease, and vowes if he Fesse, he will neuer Con; but alas (silly soule) when Sci, and Con (to sing with him in his owne Cliffe) haue set him vpon the Racke, hee shall perforce spell, and put to­gether, [Page 31] and that without any iocular inuersion. Whē Satan comes, and with his Quill blowes Fig-dust into his eyes, tell me then if hee stampe not, and cry not out against himselfe.

O that wee men would thus reason with our selues, when the bait of Pleasure is cast before vs! What? Shall Gen. 39. 9. I doe this great wickednesse, and sinne against God? Is there any thing so secret,Mat▪ 10. 26 that shall not be disclosed? If I commit it in the Wood, shall not a Bird of the Ayre Ecclesiast. 10. 20. carrie the voyce, and that which hath wings tell the matter? If I do it in the For­rest, am I yet to learne thatNumb. 22. 28. a Beast hath spoken? If in [Page 32] my Bed-chamber, shall notHab. 2. 11. the Stone out of the Wall, and Beame out of the Tim­ber cry vengeance against me? But if all these faile, woe, and alas, I shall not be able to keepe mine owne counsell; but eyther I shall impart it to my familiar friend, who will proue but a riuen dish; or else in com­pany I shall blurt it out at vnawares; or talke of it in my sleepe: or vtter it on my Death-bed, to mine owne shame, and scandall of the Gospell: Malum hoc, & malum De Contrit. Cord. Auth. Inc. hoc; sed minus hoc; & maius hoc.

CHAP. VIII. That Conscience is a Monitor.

AFter Gregory had gi­uenPastoralis Curae, Quarta Pars. sixe and thirtie Ad­monitions, concerning the seuerall estates of men, hee thus modestly concludeth: Pulchrum depinxi hominem, Pictor foedus; I haue por­traid a faire man, being my selfe but a Bungler at the Pensill. And (in truth) there is alwaies some imperfecti­on in humane Aduertise­ments. For eyther they proceed from the humour of Reuenge, and Vaineglorie, or else from flying reports, and supposals, or from selfe-guiltinesse of the re­prooued [Page 34] fault; or if they bee free from all these di­stempers, and aspersions, yet can they not censure an Interior euill. But Conscience being deputed a Monisher from GOD, and looking in at the casement of the Soule, is not easily corrupted by the former, nor deceiued in the last.

And besides this Inge­nuousnesse, and Certainty of her Items (so long as shee stands informed by the Word of God) there is found a Maiesty in the mā ­ner of their giuing: for be­ing Gods Vice-Roy, Shee prayes not, but inioynes, because Requests, and Com­maunds Bodin. De Rep. l. 3. c. 4. are incompatible [Page 35] in a Prince, as derogating from Soueraigntie, & Power: for God, and Conscience, and Kings intreat not. Where­fore when Saint Paul sayth,2. Cor. 5. 20 As though GOD did be­seech you; hee closely im­plyes, that the Edicts of God are Monitorie, and Iussorie, not Petitorie, and stooping. It is therefore a speciall point of wisedome, heed­fully to minde the Watch­word of ones Conscience: for, if in the prepension of some intended act, She shall des­cry eyther turpitude, or doubtfulnesse, it is time to sound the Retrait.

CHAP. IX. That Conscience is a Shoole­master.

COnscience, by Origen, isIn Epist. ad Rom. 2. Velut Pa­dagogus ei quidam sociatus. In Gen. compared to a Schoole­master, associate to the Soule to direct, and tutour it; and by Chrysostome, to a suffi­cient Schoolemaster; not that it is able to lead vs to salua­tion in this obscuritie, and corruption of naturall knowledge; but that it in­formeth vs in many things, and is auaileable to make vs vnexcusable for the Le­cture Pet. Mart. Loc. Com. Mat. 7. 12. of Conscience is,

Alteri non facere, quod nolis pati:

Not to doe that to another, which thou would'st not suffer thy selfe.

And here wee must re­member, that (as Austen Aug. Con­f [...]ss. 1. ca. 18 wittily and diuinely no­teth) wee bee carefull to a uoyd the Solecismes of Manners. For, if wee bee sure of the Rod, or Ferule, if without an Aspiration (contrarie to Grammatica [...] Discipline) wee pronounce Ominem, for Hominem: then let vs not dreame of esca­ping the Scourge of Con­science, if we shall irregular­ly and incongruously be­haue our selues, in the course, and passage of our liues.

CHAP. X. That Conscience is a Dome­sticall Chaplaine.

IT is a terrible saying of1. Cor. 1. 26. the Apostle, that Not ma­ny Mightie, not many No­ble are called: one reason whereof amongst the rest, is their Impatience of Exhor­tation, for that (oft-times) they are of the nature of the Thistle, where they should be like Clarie, which is soft in the hand, and hath a Downe, or Cotton vpon it. Hence it comes to passe, that hauing flattering Pro­phets about them, (which put Honie into the Sacrifice, in stead of Salt) they dream of Peace, euen when the [Page 39] Lord of Hosts is vp on Armes against them.

I know the Persons of Kings are Sacred, and their Crownes, no Ceremonies, or Garlands, but consisting of Preeminence, & Power: I like­wise am not ignorant, that Ministers of State, and Personages nobly descended, haue an extraordinarie stampe of Honour set vpon them: yet because they are all the Sonnes of Adam, in­uolued in Sinne, and Wrath, aswell as others, and haue greater occasions of temp­tations then their Inferi­ours, as sayling both with Wind, & Tyde against them; it is very requisite that they sometimes bee punctually [Page 40] dealt withall, prouided al­wayes that it be performed with great reuerence, and discretion.

But because degenerate and temporizing [...] are so rife and common [...] the Would and those that are of a more t [...]anke, and generous [...] doe sometim [...] [...] passe by the sinnes of Men in Aut [...]o [...]itie, the Lord (in mercie) hath ap­pointed Conscience their Chaplaine in Ordinarie, who will not feare to reprooue them vnpartially, but like Nathan will tell them to their faces, one by one; Thou art the man. Of which plaine and gracious aduer­tisement, [Page 41] if they shall make good vse, they are sure to partake in the glorious Pri­uiledges of the Saints.

CHAP. XI. That Conscience is a Prog­nosticator.

IT is but the vaine at­tempt of a presuming braine, to Calculate Natiuities, and to tell you (with a trice) whether your daies shall bee blessed, or vnpro­sperous. For whether the Starres doe significare potiùs See Aug. de Ciu. Dei. 5. c. 1. 2. 3. &c quam facere, rather fore­shew, than cause: or whe­ther Mars doe Homicidam facere, make a Man an Ho­micide, as the Mathematicks [Page 42] determine; there was ne­uer yet any that could ex­actly define, why in the life of Twinnes, there should be such disparilitie in actions, euents, professions, arts, ho­nours, and euen in death it selfe, being borne contigu­ously one after another (as Iacob, who caught Esau by the heele) and being semi­nate in the same moment. For if the Answere of Ni­gidius concerning the swift whirling about of the Pot­ters wheele (so much ap­plauded by Mathematici­ans) be intertained, and im­braced for current, it quite ouerthroweth the Geneth­liacall profession: inasmuch as in an incomprehensible [Page 43] moment of time there is such a mutation of all things, by reason of the ra­pacitie of the heauen, that they become not onely di­uers, but contrarie: which made S. Augustin conclude, that this figment of the wheele was more fraile, and brittle, then the vessels made by the rotation of it.

Let this then be noted as a point of infallibilitie, that whatsoeuer is decreed in the great Senat of the Stars, is ouer-ruled by the power, and wisedome of their most glorious Creator, who hath made them Attendants to man, to comfort him, and not Lords, to sway him, and shape out his condition.

If then you would know, whether you shall be hap­py in the remainder of your life, or whether wretched, and full of discomfiture; the most compendiarie way to attaine the summe of your desire, is to pro­pound the Question to your Conscience, which wil quick­ly resolue you in the Pro­phet Esayes asseueration:

‘Surely it shall be well with the Iust: Woe be to the wic­ked, it shall be euill with him.Isaiah 3. 10, 11.

From whence you may safely, and certainely Prog­nosticate, that since the bloud of Christ is precious vnto you, and that you loath and detest Sinne, as the very Bane, and Apollyon [Page 45] of the world, your daies shal be good, and your conclu­sion peaceable. But if atPsal. 37. 37 this present, you be frozen in your dregs, and resolue to continue in your rebelli­ous courses, presuming that a Lord, Lord, will serue the turne at the close of your life, (which is nothing else but Infidelis fi [...]ucia, A faith­lesse confidence, as S. Ber­nard cals it) then surely Con­science (which is the Pulse of the soule) will tell you a­forehand, that your bud shall bee rottennesse, and your end wrapped vp in woe, and dishonour.

CHAP. XII. That Conscience is a Register.

Conscience is a Notarie that hath alwaies the Pen in hand, and keepes a Catalogue, or Diarie of our sinnes. Shee sets downe all our debts in her Booke of Account, euen an Hundred Ferus in Math. 18. Thousand Talents; Magna summa, quam tamen omnes Deo debemus; A mightie summe, and yet wee owe (all of vs) as much to GOD. Shee omitteth no default through slownes of hand, for shee writes by Characte­rie; neither strikes she out any through deceit, like theLuk. 16. 6. vniust Steward, that bade [Page 47] put downe fiftie in stead of an hundred; nor yet indures shee to ouer-reckon, for how can Conscience bee so vnconscionable? Nor can her letters be raced out, for they are written with a Pen Ier. 17. 1. of Iron, and with the claw of a Diamond. Which ought greatly to moue vs to an heedfull consideration of our waies. For if the Reue­rend Martyr Latimer, took speciall care to the placing of his words, in his Exami­nation, This He testifieth of him­selfe, in his Ser­mon prea­ched at Stamford. when hee heard the Pen walking in the chimnie behinde the cloth: how circumspectly ought euery of vs to looke vnto our waies, and to guard our senses, which are Ianuae Cor­ruptionis, [Page 48] the Gates of Cor­ruption, In Ps. 49. (as S. Austine calls them) sith Conscience is con­tinually Recording our acti­ons, with the time when, the place where, and the maner how they were per­formed?

CHAP. XIII. That Conscience is a Iudge.

AFter that Conscience hath pursued the poor sinner, flowne him to the marke, attacht him, examind him, and committed him: at last Shee comman deth the Prisoner to bee brought forth to the Barre. And sitting on the Bench, in Robes of Maiestie, betwixt [Page 49] Leo, and Libra (the Em­bleme of Courage in execu­ting, and Indifferencie in de­termining) shee causeth the Booke of Moses Law to bee spred before him, which forthwith begins to plead for the transgression of her precepts, requiring for sa­tisfaction the bloud of the Offender, for that hee hath wilfully broken them, be­ing for number few, for vn­derstanding plaine, for e­quitie not contradictable.

Hereat the wretched soule is agast, and being Selfe-condemned, confesseth [...]. Tit. 3. 11. Guilty; when being pinni­ond, and looking for spee­die execution, his heart would breake, but for the [Page 50] hope of a mercifull [...] And thus much [...] Offices of Conscience [...]

CHAP. XII. Of the Properties of [...] [...]ence, and first of and [...]stification.

IT followeth no [...] we treat of the Pro [...] of Conscience, the first [...] Aquin 1. Quaest. 69. Art. 13. of is Testification, that [...] Calling to Remembra [...] such a thing was done, [...] done. To this purpose [...] keth the Wise man to [...] Scit enim Conscientia tua. I [...]r. Housholder; Oftentimes th [...] heart, (that is, thy Consci­ence) knoweth, that thou likewise hast cursed othe [...] It was this Testifying Po [...] [Page 51] [...] forced the Patriarks Gen. 42. 21 [...]ke backe to that vn­ [...] sin of selling their [...]er Ioseph into Egypt, [...] [...]ey had committed [...] twenty yeeres be­ [...] Euiné Ali­cubi, aut Aliquis? Confess. l. x. c. 6. 7. Scitis ipsi lubricum Adolescen­tiae iter, in quo & ego lapsus sum &c. Ad Chrom. Vir­ginitatem in coelum fero, non quia habe­am, sed quia magis mirer quod non habeo. Aduers. Iouin. it was this that made [...] Augustine confesse, that [...]ent his youth in vani­ [...] Intemperancie, and [...]ee was sinfull in his [...], yea when hee was [...] either Any where, or [...]hing. It was this that [...] S. Ierome to the re­ [...]ew of his greener yeeres, wherein he acknowledgeth he had a Slip, & came short of that Virginitie, which he so extolled in others. What [...]hall I speake of his Epistle [...] Eustochium, wherein he [Page 52] feares not to make know [...] that though hee [...] in the vast, and solitary [...] dernesse amongst Scorpio [...] being scorched, and [...] like an Aethiopian; [...] though hee was rough a [...] squalid with sack-cloth [...] lay vpon the bare ground [...] and liu'd with such [...] and homely fare, that [...] thought it Luxurie to fee [...] Putabam me Roma­nis interesse delitijs. Saepe choris intereram Puellarum. Ad Eusto. De Custod. Virgin. on boild meate: yet for [...] that, his mind was [...] on the daintie sights [...] Rome, and still hee thought hee was present there a­mong the Damsels. I speake not this out of the forget­fulnesse of dutie, as if I would discouer the nakednesse of the Fathers: But [Page 53] onely to shew, how this Te­stifying power wrought on them to recognize theirfor­mer courses. After whose example, I beseech thee (good Christian) seriously to examine thy daies mispent: cum (que) Coram Deo, in Bernard. Lachrymis te maceraueris, precorte, vt memor sismei.

CHAP. XV. Of the second Propertie of Conscience, which is Ligation.

IT is the Binding Power of Aquin. 1. q. 69. Conscience, which iudgeth that a thing is to bee done, or not done: and therevpon ei­ther instigateth the partie to vndertake it, or withdraweth [Page 54] him from attempting it. Hence is it that the Apostle laies downe this generallRom. 14. [...]3. Conscientia, reclamante, & prote­stante. rule, Whatsoeuer is not of Faith, is Sinne; that is, what­soeuer is done against Con­science, is offensiue to GOD: (For, that Faith is there ta­ken for a Perswasion of Con­science, is the opinion of S. Ambrose, Chrysostome, Theo­doret, Theophylact, Occumeni­us, Caluin, & others.) From this ground (as it seemes) a­rose that Axiom amongst Diuines; Conscientia, quam­uis erronea, semper ligat: Con­science, though erroneous, al­waies bindeth: with which concurreth that other, Quicquid fit contra Conscien­tiam, August. aedificat ad Gehennam, [Page 55] Whatsoeuer is performed a­gainst Conscience, helps a man on to hell-ward; the reason is, because in so doing, hee hath sinned formally against the Law, though not ma­terially.

Heere then it must beeNecesse est autem & hoc s [...]iri, Conscienti­am oportere regi verbo Dei, Me­lanct. Loc. Com. carefully remembred, that Conscience bee guided, and gouerned by the Word of God, which alone is the pro­per Binder thereof: For nei­ther Humane Lawes, nor Oathes, nor Promises haue a­ny Coactiue power in the soule, but as they haue au­thoritie, and vertue there­from.

CHAP. XVI. Of the third, and fourth Pro­perties of Conscience, which are Excusation, and Accusation.

THe Conscience iudging of some fact commit­ted, doth Excuse, and com­fort, if it be good and war­rantable; but if it be found swaruing from the Law of GOD, there insueth an ac­cusation, accompanied with the sting of sorrow, and remorse. Thus Abime­lech Gen. 20. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. (King of G [...]rar) being reprooued of GOD in a dreame, for taking away the wife of Abraham, consul­teth presently with his Con­science: & finding his minde [Page 57] vpright, and his hands inno­cent, he appealeth to GOD, and is cleered by him. On the contrarie, when Adam, against the expresse charge, and commaundement of GOD, had eaten of the for­bidden fruit his Conscience smiting him, hee hid him­selfe among the Trees of the garden; which made the Lord call to him with an Adam, vbi es? Adam,Gen. 3. 9. De Ciu. Dei l. 13. c. 15. where art thou? Non vti (que) ignorando quaerens, sed incre­pando admonens, saith Au­gustine; Not as though God knew not where he was squat, but to check, and admonish him for his wilfull praevarica­tion. This of the Properties of Conscience.

CHAP. XVII. Of the kindes of Conscience, which are Good, and Euill; and first, of the Good.

NOw for the Kindes, (that I may declare my minde with popular fa­cilitie) Conscience, is either Good, or Euill. Good Consci­ence is that, which being in­lightned by the Word of GOD,Ephes, 1. 17, 18. 1. Ioh. 1. 7. H [...]b. 9. 14. [...]. Pet. 1. 8. and purged by the Bloud of Christ from the Guilt, and Pu­nishment of Sinne, and from dead workes to serue the liuing GOD, is cheared vp with ioy vnspeakeable, and glorious. In this Description are contai­ned the Causes concurrent to the Nature, and being of [Page 59] Good Conscience, which are Knowledge, Faith, Repen­tance, Peace; of each where­of wee are successiuely to intreat.

CHAP. XVIII. That the knowledge of GODS Word, is necessary to the good­nesse of Conscience.

TO the end the People of Israel might feare the Lord, & walke in vpright­nesse of Conscience before him, he is euer calling vpon them to harken vnto his Law, which hee comman­deth to be written vpon the Posts of their house, andDeut. 6. 7. 8. 9. vpon their gates, and to be rehearsed (or whet) continually [Page 60] to their children, at home, and abroad, when they goe to bed, and when they ryse in the morning. And lest any of them shuld exempt themselues vnder colour of Sexe, or Degree, or Age, hee anticipates with a plain, and familiar distribu­tion, naming Men, Women, Deut. 31. 11. 12. Children, Strāgers. Thus the Prophets also in all matters of Conscience, send ouer the People, To the Law, and To Isai. 8. 20. the Testimonie; and the Apo­stle Paul writing to the Colo­sians, Col. 3. 16. giueth charge that the Word of Christ dwell plente­ously in them. Whereupon Saint Chrysostome (very earnestly vrging the practiceIn Hom. 9. in Epist. ad Coloss. of this dutie) speaketh on [Page 61] this wise: Audite obsecro, Seculares OMNES! com­parate vobis Biblia, Animae Pharmaca: hoc demum malo­rum omnium Causa est, quòd Scripturae ignorātur: I beseech you harken, All yee that bee Lay-men! in any wise get you Bibles, the only Physicke for the Soule; alas, this is the Cause of all mischiefe, that men are ignorant of the Scrip­ture.

Now there are two especi­al Reasons of this Necessity of the Word, to the Goodnesse of Conscience. One is, because it directeth the Vnderstan­ding, and pointeth it to the middle way, betweene theDeut. 5. 32. Right hand, and the Left, preseruing, and staying it in [Page 62] all doubts, and demurres, vpon warrant of the invio­lable truth thereof.

The other is, for that it is a Word of Power, workingHeb. 4. 12. mightily vpon the affecti­on, eyther to the battering of the heart in pieces (in which regard it is compa­redIer. 23. 29. to a Hammer that brea­keth the stone) or else to the refreshing of it, when it is bruised (in which sense it is likened to the dropping Hō ­ny.)Psal. 19. 10 Therefore, when wee shall reade the thundering Sentences of the Fathers, ei­ther in their Apologies of the Christian Faith, or Exhorta­tions to the obedience ther­unto, wee must not rest in the applause of their Rheto­rick, [Page 63] but ascribe the power to that Word, which made Foelix tremble; or rather toActs 24. 26. the Lord, the Author of that Word. The like be affirmed of the incomparable sweet­nesse of the Bible, euery Leafe whereof is be-sprint with Honie-dew. For where­asPs. 119. 103 it is reported of Saint Ambrose (by Paulinus thatPaulinus ad August. wrote his life) that lying in his Cradle, the Bees were seen to flye in, and out, at his mouth; if he literally vn­derstand it, I cannot easily concurre with him in opi­nion; but if hee meane it of his mellifluous tongue, I wil­lingly imbrace his iudge­ment, yet with this Corolla­rie, that Ambrose had all [Page 64] his Ambrosia from Scrip­ture.

And here we may take a iust estimate, and scantling of the Holinesse of the Ro­m [...]n Bishops: who haue shrin'd vp Ladie IGNO­RANCE for a Saint, haue painted her face, and cau­sed her to speake fierc [...]ly out of the window to her Opposites, forgetting that ere long she shal be thrown downe, and trampled vnder foot. O the innumerable soules that haue perished in Securitie, and Despaire, be­cause these Iehoiakims haueIer. 36. 23. cut their Bibles in pieces with their Pen-kniues, and cast them into the fire. O Conscience! thou maist take [Page 65] it on thy death, that thou art murdred by Conscience, euen by those that vaunt themselues for thine only Champions, and Defen­ders. O wicked Church, where Ignorance, Errour, Ambition, and H [...]pocrisie, are the foure Cardinall Ver­tues, whereon the frame of Religion turneth.

CHAP. XIX. That Faith is necessarie to the Goodnesse of Conscience.

THE conclusion of S Paul, is very memora­ble:Rom. 5. 1. Being iustified by Faith, wee haue Peace toward God, through our LORD IESVS CHRIST. For, it being ge­nerally [Page 66] granted (vnlesse by the Sacrilegious Pelagian) that the poyson of Originall Sinne, transmitted from our first Parents, hath spred it selfe ouer all the powers of the soule; it must needs fol­low, that Conscience (beeing a principall part thereof) is corrupted and defiled. And because the Guilt of sinne, binding ouer vnto punish­ment, is that sharp-pointed sting, that woundeth vnto Death; can wee euer find redresse, and succour, but by looking vp to the Bra­zen Num. 21. 9 Serpent? Is there any remission of sinne, without bloud? Is there any bloud that is Expiatory, butIoh. 3. 14. Heb. 9 22. Christs? Will the bloud of [Page 67] Bulls, and Goats asswage the pang of a tormented Con­science? Will the sending out to the God of Ekron 2 King. 1. 2. helpe it? Will the precious heapes of the Gold of Ha­uilah releeue it? Will the comfortable Iulep, and Tro­chiske restore it? Will the Perfumes of the Garden, the straines of Musicke, the charme of Oratorie, or theThese Co­medies were of all other most pleasant: See Ierome Ad Nepo­tian. sporting Scenes of Atella preuaile with it? Nay, can Delight her selfe delight it? Nay, can the Songs of An­gels recouer it? May not the Conscience (in her agonie) iustly cry out to these, as Iob did to his friends, Mi­serable Iob. 16. 2. Comforters are you all? For surely these poore [Page 68] and outward refreshments, are no more auaileable for the curing of the Impostume of the soule, than a Plantin­leafe layd vnto the legge, for the remoouall of the Megrimme.

CHAP. XX. That Repentance is necessary to the goodnesse of Conscience.

REpentance is so necessa­ry to the constituting of Good Conscience, that till sinne bee remooued, and newnesse of life begunne, the Soule can neyther bee Purified, nor Pacified. Ther­fore is King SALOMONSPsal. 45. 10. Spouse intreted to forget her [Page 69] Fathers House; Grande mi­raculum (saith Saint Ierome)Ad Eusto. De Cust. Virg. P [...]ter filiam cohortatur, ne me­minerit Patris sai; A strange miracle, the Father exhorts the Daughter, not to remember her Father. And lest that moytie of Repentance might seeme sufficient, it presently followeth, that the Kings Daughter is all glo­rious Psal. 45. 13. within, that is▪ inriched & beautified with alspiritu­all graces. For when a man hath once attayned to the practice of holy Duties; his Conscience, which before lookt sterne vpon him, be­ginnes to smile, and amia­bly to conuerse with him. Therefore the saying of Saint Bernard is excellent: [Page 70] Vis nunquam esse tristis? Be­ [...]è De Interior. Domo. [...]ap. 45. viue. Wilt thou neuer bee sad? Then see thou liue well.

CHAP. XXI. That Peace is necessary to the goodnesse of Conscience.

SO great a good is Peace Tantum est Pacis bo­num, vt ni­hil sine Pa­ce sit bo­num. De Ciuit. Dei. Hob. 13. 20. Luke 2. 13. Ro. 10. 15. Luke 10. 6. Eph. 6. 15. Ps. 122. 3. 1. Kings 4. 24. (sayth Saint Austine) that nothing is found to bee good without it. Ther­fore is the Lord, the GOD of Peace; the Angels, Sing [...] of Peace; the Apostl [...]s, Me [...] ­sengers of Peace; the Elect, the Sonnes of Peace; the New Testament, the Gospell of Peace; Ierusalem, the Citie of Peace; and Salomon the King of Peace. Nay, not the Arch-Pyrats, Bargulus, and Vi­triatus, [Page 71] but intertaine a kind of Peace; for they conspire in the Plot, and iustly di­uide their vniustly gotten booties. Nay more, not the very Deuils themselues, but can (certaine thousands of them) co-habite in one bo­die.Mark. 5. 9.

Now the reason why all things are so desirous of Peace, is the intendment [...] their owne preserua­ [...]; for it is the nature [...] Peace, to vnite, and strengthen, as it is of Warre, [...]o weaken, and dissolue. Therefore the Hebrewes cal the one Shalom, from Inte­gritie, and the other Mil­chama, from Comestion. And wee see by experience, that [Page 72] rotten wood lies loose, and moulders away, be­cause it wanteth the Conium­ctiue vertue. As all other creatures, so likewise Con­science aspireth after Peace, as her Perfecter, and Preseruer; and therefore can neuer be settled, and content, till she finde sinne remitted, and GOD reconciled.

CHAP. XXII. Of the Blessednesse of that man, whose Conscience is quieted through the pardon of his sinne.

THE learned Heathen, finding by morall in­stinct, that there was a Bles­sednesse [Page 73] attaineable in this life, spent themselues (poor soules) in the inuestigation of it, and that with such variousnesse in their ap­prehensions, that they haue left behind them (as a Me­moriall of their weaknesse) about two hundred, foure­score, Varro. Aug. De Ciuit. and eight Opinions. A­mong which, though that bee most specious which fastneth one shanke of the Compasse in Ciuill Vertue, while the other runs round in the practice of it; Yet, if it be brought to the Bal­lance of the Sanctuarie, it will want the waight, and substance of true Happinesse. For the only Felicitie that is found among the Sonnes [Page 74] of men, consisteth in the Remission of Sinne, and Paci­fication of Conscience: of the first whereof the Philoso­phers knew nothing, and in stead of the latter, betooke themselues to a carnall se­curitie, and sencelesnesse.

The Prophet Dauid in an holy extasie, and infinite feeling of this comfort, breaketh forth into this Exclamation; Beati quorum Psal. 32. 1. sunt remissae iniquitates! Oh, Blessed they, whose iniquities are forgiuen; & quorum tecta sunt peccata, non in quibus non sunt inuenta peccata, sayth S. Austine; and whose In Enarrat. in Ps. 32. sinnes are couered, not those who neuer sinned at all! For as the same Father noteth) [Page 75] Si texit peccata Deus, noluit aduertere; si noluit aduertere, noluit animaduertere; si noluit animaduertere, noluit punire; noluit agnoscere, maluit ig­noscere: If God once haue co­uered our sinnes, hee meanes not to looke on them; if he will not looke on them, hee will not minde them; if hee will not mind them, he will not punish them; no, hee will not presse them, hee will rather pardon them. Now when sinne is remooued (whose nature is to separate betwixt GOD,Isai. 59. 2. and Man) the Conscience is stilled in the view and sence of Gods fauour, which isPsal. 63. 3. sweeter then life it selfe.

CHAP. XXIII. Of the vnspeakeable Comfort of a Good Conscience.

KIng Salomon decyphe­ringPro. 15. 15. the comfort of a Good Conscience, compares it to a continual feast. Where, if you aske, who are the Cookes and Butlers, you are answered from Luther, that they are the Angels. The A­postle Phil. 4. 7. calleth it a Peace which passeth al vnderstanding, car­rying with it a delight so exquisite, and peerelesse, as is not possible for the reach of mortalitie to imagine. This it that hidden Manna, whereof that in the Wilder­nesse was but a counter­type; [Page 77] this is that white stone, Reu. 2. 17. which Christ Iesus giues, and in this stone is written a new name, which no man knoweth but hee that re­ceiueth it.

Saint Bernard beeing ta­kenIn Formula Hon. vit. vp and deeply affected with the admiration of the Royalties, & Indowments of a Good Conscience, descri­beth it on this manner: Con­scientia Bona, est Titulus Re­ligionis, Templum Salomonis, Ager Benedictionis, Hortus Deliciarum, Gaudium An­gelorum, Arca Foederis, The­saurus Regius, Aula Dei, Ha­bitaculum Spiritus Sancti: A Good Conscience (saith hee) is The Title of Religion, The Temple of Salomon, A Field [Page 78] of Blessing, A Garden of De­light, The Ioy of Angels, The Arke of the Couenant, The Kings Eschequer, The Court of GOD, The Mansion of the Holy Ghost.

Let a man bee arayd in Robes of Estate, powdred with Pearle, and let him haue Caesars Lawrell on his head; let him be Lord of as many Kingdomes, as the Diuell shewed our Sauiour from the Mountaine; let him raise his flight into the clouds and perke vpon the tallest Cedar; let him keepe the key of Natures Clese [...], and inrich himself with her munificencie: let euery winde whistle him good newes, and euery Bird sing [Page 79] Madrigals as hee goes: let him bee as prosperous as Augustus, as good as Traian, as learned as Antoninus; yet (alas) if hee haue not the comfort of a good Consci­ence, hee wants the chiefe flower of the Garland, and all his ioyes are but faint, & imperfect If vpon Earth there bee an Heauen, it is Peace of Conscience; oh, it is the Oyle that feedes, and maintaines the Lampe of life: it's the pure-red in­most bloud of the soule.

CHAP. XXIIII. That the Comfort of Consci­ence is Inward, and Inde­pendent of the Creatures.

THe Child of GOD is not vnlike the Taberna­cle, Exo. Cap. 25. & 26. which beeing couered with the skins of Beasts, was contemptible to looke vp­on, but had within, the Arke & Cherubins. And when o­thers trust to Riches, Honour, Alliance, and other such broken Reeds of Egypt, hee hath a certaine Autarchie within him, relying on none but El-Schaddai, who isGen. 17. 1. God All-sufficient in himself, of himselfe, for himselfe, and for all his creatures.

CHAP. XXV. That the Comfort of Consci­ence is Noble, and Sincere.

THe Comfort of a Chri­stian springeth not out of transitorie causes, but is of a right noble, & heauen­ly temper; framed, & plan­ted by GODS owne hand in his sanctified soule, which makes him bold, and vnconquerable as a Lion, Pro. 28. 1. and keepes him in heart, and resolution, against the outragiousnesse, and viru­lencies, of al Aduersaries, of all creatures. For, his Birth being Royall, and Christ his Elder Brother (according toIoh. 20 17 [Page 82] that of S. Bernard, Deus tuus factus est Frater tuus: Thy De Quad. Deb. GOD, O man, is become thy Brother) the Angels guard him, the Saints reuerence him, the Diuels feare him, and the wicked crosse the streets when they spy him, as not able to looke vpon the sober, and vndaunted Maiestie that shineth in his face. Thus mercie imbra­cingPs. 32. 10. him on euery side, he lifts vp his head vnto the Heauens, looking for theTit. 2. 13. blessed hope, and appea­ring of the glorie of the mightie GOD, and of his Sauiour Iesus Christ.

Besides; the Comfort of Conscience is sound, and sin­cere, without mixture, [Page 83] and infection of attendant griefe, (vnlesse in some sharpe assault, and conflict) but is perfectly refined in the life to come, from all drosse of sorrow, and dis­comfiture. This, & a thou­sand times more than this, is his blessed estate, that feeles in his soule, the Ioy of the Holy Ghost. The Lord, The Searcher of Hearts, knowes, that I vse no Hy­perbole, or ouer-commen­dation: no, I speake no more, then the Children of GOD finde daily in them­selues, by sweet experience.

Now for the Delights of Vnregenerate men, oh how Base they be, and how Com­pounded. And first for the [Page 84] Vilenesse of Sinfull Pleasure, it will the better bee disco­uered, if we shall vnmaske, and vn-muffle her painted face, & sophisticated beau­tie. And, to begin with him, who loues not to come behinde (I meane the Lofty, and Elated Spirit, that spends himselfe, and his e­state on vanity) what can be conceiued more sordid, and dishonourable, than to thinke to purchase the title of Generositie, by swearing deepe oathes (on no occa­sion) in the presence of the liuing GOD, as if Hee were an Idoll of Wo [...]d, or Stone, on whose shoulder the Church­birds sit, and proyne them­selues, and sometimes [Page 85] pecke him in the face? And what more in-glori­ous, and degenerate, than like a silken Pompeian, to discourse of warres, and swords, and helmets, and that with a shrug, and pea­king out of the necke, and other such eluish gesticula­tions, as who would say, his fingers itcht till he came to hand-blowes; when all the world knowes him to bee soft, and feminine, much fitter to spin amongst La­dies with the last Assyrian Monarke, than to dare to meete Caesar, (the Man of Men) in the field of Pharsa­lia? Yet do but intimate, in friendly manner, that this kinde of life is Sybaritish, [Page 86] abiect, and vnbeseeming a Christian; he will forthwith cast vp his hayre back­ward, and giuing it a shake, will sternely tell you, that you are a fellow, a degree below Basenesse it selfe. Quae quidem mihi, vox pecudis csse videtur, non Hominis. I pro­test, I am loth to bedabble my pen with Rhumes, and Distillations, much more, to taint it with the noysome steames of Luxuriousnesse; yet lest I become an acces­sarie to Intemperancie, and partake in the plagues of Vinking Prophets, I cannot but prosecute this subiect further. Is it not absurd, that a man should so be­foole himselfe, as to thinke [Page 87] to wring from others, an acknowledgement of his greatnesse, by making a dis­dainefull mouth, and cast­ing out Smoke, which yet is but the commendation of a Chimney? And is it not more then ridiculous, that hee supposes you note not his magnanimousnesse, vn­lesse he drinke till he tum­ble in the floore? Doth not this rude, and brutish de­meanour, rather become a Boore of Germanie, then a Gentleman of England? And what more grosse, and ig­nominious, then to bow the knee to Bacchus, with a Paganish deuotion, and to be alwaies offring large sa­crifice to the God Bel, nay to [Page 88] the God Whose God is their Belly In Serm. Bellie (I had al­mostPhil. 3. 19. said) to the Goddesse Cloacina? O Augustine, thou saidst true; Est blandus Doe­mon Ebrietas, dulce venenum, sua [...]e peccatum, quam qui in se habet, se non habet; quam qui facit, non facit peccatum, sed ipse totus est peccatū: This same Drunkennesse is a flatte­ring Diuel, a sweet Poison, a de­lightful Sin, which whoso hath in himselfe, hath not himselfe, and he that vses it, is not sinful in the Concrete, but sinfulnesse it selfe in the Abstract.

Were the Prophet Amos Amos 4. 1. aliue, though he were a Ma­gistrate of Samaria that were thus licentious, hee would call him Kow of Bashan, as one that at once, had put of [Page 89] both his Nature and his Sexe. I know that Lyra ex­pounds those Kine of Ba­shan of the Popish Ladies of Israel, that ranne gadding to their Calues at Dan, and Bethel, and there kist them, and lickt them, and at their parting fild the ayre with Lowing, like the Kine that went with the Cart to Beth­shemesh; 1. Sam. 6. 12. but I rather follow S. Ierome, and others, who meane it of the Gallants of Israel.

Now as the pleasure of the sensuall man is base, and course-grained; so is it euer mingled with some vnpleasant sense of euill, ac­cording to that of Salomon, Euen in the midst of laughter Pro. 14. 13. [Page 90] the heart is sorrowfull. Thus Haman (the Agagite) ha­uingEster 5. 13. the glory of riches, children, promotion, fa­uour of the Prince; esteemeth them nothing, be­cause Mordecai the Iewe would not rise vp in the gate, and doe him obey­sance.

CHAP. XXVI. That the Comfort of Consci­ence is Immutable, and Durable.

SVch is the Instabilitie of human affayres, and the calamitie whereto all men are subiect, that as the Pro­phet Ieremie complaineth,Lam. 3. 5. they that did feed delicate­ly, [Page 91] are desolate in the streets, and they that were brought vp in Scarlet, imbrace the dunghill. Sampson that in­vincible Nazarite, and Type of Christ, that slew a thou­sand Philistines with a Iaw­bone, bare away the Gates of Azzah on his backe, andIudges 16. 21. Pet. Mart. brake cords as thrids, when they feele the fire, had his eyes digd out of his head with a Bodkin, so that teares o [...] bloud ranne trickling downe his cheekes. Zede­kiah, King of Iudah, in the2. King. 25. very prime and strength of his daies, had his Sonnes slaine before his face; after which woefull spectacle, his owne eyes were put out, and hee bound in [Page 92] chaines, and carried cap­tiue to Babel. Proud Nabu­chadnezzar, Dan. 4. 27, 28, 30. that walking in his Royall Palace, spake thus in a brauerie, Is not this Great Babel, that I haue built for the house of the Kingdome, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my Maiesty? Euen while the word was in his mouth, was told by a voice that came downe from Heauen, O King, Ne­buchad-nezzar, to thee bee it spoken, thy Kingdome is de­parted from thee. The very same houre was this thing fulfilled vpon him, and he was driuen from men, and did eate grasse as the Oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heauen, till his [Page 93] haires were growne as Ea­gles feathers, and his nayles like Birds clawes.

Renowned Xerxes, thatIustin. l. 2. ouer-spred the Seas with Ships, and passed ouer into Greece with such an huge Armie as emptied the Ri­uers, and made the Earth to tremble before him, was inforced to come stealing backe in a poore Fishers boate, without so much as a Page to attend him. Vale­rian, an aged, wise, and va­liant Emperour of Rome, was made the Foote-stoole of Sa­por, Carion. l. 3. King of Persia, and after all kinde of disgrace, and vassallage, was flay'd quick frō the head vnto the feete.

What should I speake of [Page 94] Baiazet the Turke, (theMunster in his Cosmog. Scourge of Greece, and Ter­rour of Christendome,) was he not led about by Tamer­lane, the Tartar, in an Iron-Cage, as a Monster to bee gazed on, and died hee not of the sullen, like a Vermin in a Trap? Was not the vi­ctorious Emperour, Henry the Fourth, who had foughtOsiand. 52. pitcht fields, (at least) compelled to make suite in his old age, for a poore Pre­bend, in the Church of Spyra? And was not Bellisarius, Carion. (sometime the onely man for prowesse and honour) driuen to that hard exigent, that hauing his eyes put out, & being led in a string to beg by the highway side, [Page 95] he cried out to the Passen­gers, Date obolum Bellisario, For Gods sake bestowe one Halfe-penny on Bellisarius?

Thus the beautie of all Earthly excellencie, is but as a fading flower, and asIsaiah 28. 4. the hastie fruit before the Summer; but the Comfo [...]ts of Grace know no end, no stint. Temptations may obscure their verdour, but cannot hurt the inward substance; some Leaues may fall, and some fruit may fade, but the seed, and roote shall still remaine in­tyre.De Ciuit. Dei l. 1. 10. Nec prodi possunt, nec perdi, saith, S. Austine, They can neither bee betrayd, nor lost: but when friends, and health, and life forsake vs, [Page 96] they will sticke vnto the Soule, and accompany her to Heauen.

CHAP. XXVII. That Peace of Conscience is the best Musicke.

SO great is the force, and operation of Musicke, (which handleth measures as they are in sounds) that it doth not onely moue the sense, by the sweetnesse of the tune, and delight the reason by a skilfull compo­sition of numbers, and pro­portions; but also allay the turbulencie of passion, dis­pose to vertue, and make the Rockes, and Solit [...]des to answere it. The Author of [Page 97] this Science, is GOD him­selfe, who stirred vp Iubal toGen. 4. 21. inuent it, and afterward o­ther Proficients to perfit it, and that for the solace of man, who being of all visi­ble creatures the onely sin­full, was therefore deser­uedly the onely miserable.

By the sweet warble ofGod vsed his Mu­sick as a meanes. 1. Sam. 16. 23. 2. Kin. 3. 15 his Harpe (whereto, no doubt, he sang sacred Dit­ties) did Dauid put to flight the Euil Spirit of Saul. Elize­us, when he was to Prophe­sie before the Kings of Iu­dah, and Samaria, cals for a Musician. The Lydian andBodin. De Repl. l. 4. c. 2 Ionique Musicke, haue disar­med wild, and sauage Nati­ons of their teeth, and clawes, & made them quiet [Page 98] and tractable. The Dorian harmonie, hath been held so graue, and pleasant, that in the Primitiue Church, the Psalmes, and Hymnes were sung only in that tune. We shall finde in Iob, that theIob 39. 28. sterne sound of the Trumpet (which is a kinde of Phrygi­an Musicke) doth cause the Horse to cry, Ha, Ha, in con­tempt of the battell.

Thus the seuerall sorts of true Musick, haue wor­thily their due praise, both from their Author, and Ef­fects. But yet there is one Harmony remaining, (which is very Still, and vnper­ceiued of the Eare) where­with the Soule is rapt, and captiuated, and which for [Page 99] sweetnesse surmounts them all. It is Peace of Conscience, that is, Peace with GOD, Peace with Ones selfe, Peace with Angels, Peace with all Creatures. It was this Mu­sick, (though somewhat im­perfect) that brought to Land the Prophet Ionah, Ionah 2. 4. 6. 7. 10. that Christian Arion (as Da­naeus cals him) and that not on the backe of a Dolphin, but in the belly of a Whale.

CHAP. XXVIII. That Peace of Conscience is the best Physick.

DIseases (saith Origen)Super Le­uit. Hom. 8. are either cured by the Iuice of Hearbs, or Liquors of Trees, or Veines of Me­tals, [Page 100] or by the Bodies of Li­uing Creatures: all which doe either euacuate super­fluities, or restore the se­cret decaies of Nature. But yet no drugge, nor precious Confection, may once com­pare with Peace of Consci­ence, it being one of Salo­mons Aphorismes, that A sound Heart is the life of the Pro. 14. 30. flesh. Doth not Experience declare, that this Inward Ioy inlargeth the heart, diffu­seth the spirits, cheereth the countenance, openeth the pores, cleanseth the bloud, fatteth the bones, strengthneth the synowes, maintaineth the natiue heate, and moysture, and spinnes out the thrid of [Page 101] Mans life at length?

How many, (alas) to the end they may purchase health, and hearts-ease, con­sult with the Physician, shake off the yoke of callings, and Cōmunion, are haunted with Rymesters, Iesters, Panto­mimes, lay the reines on the necke, and giue their soules the vtmost of their desire, and yet are pale, and leane, and ill-liking, neuer laugh­ing, but faintly; neuer spea­king, but angerly; fretting themselues away, and hast­ning to the graue, because they want the Cordiall of a Good Conscience?

CHAP. XXIX. That Peace of Conscience is an Inestimable IEWELL.

THE most precious Gemmes of mightie Monarches, which with their lustre dazell the eyes of their admirers, are no whit so glorious as Peace of Conscience, the End, and Crowne of all GODS Graces. Rollock in Thess. For, if wee looke into their matter, it is but an earthie and watrie vapour: and af­ter a certain date of yeeres, they grow sick, and weake in operation, like a deadZanch. De Terr. Me­teor. Pepper-corne, which hath lost the heate, and byteth not the Tongue.

But this Iewell wee speake of, is of a most noble, and Diuine nature, not subiect to decay, but capable of Eternitie. This is the true Diamond, that flings beams of comfort vpon the Soule, enliuing and quickning it, to the cheerefull perfor­mance of all Religious Du­ties. This is the true Rubie, that carries in her face the Colour of Vertue; a speci­allRuhor Vir­tutis Color. 2. Ioh. 1. Ornament for an Elect LADIE. This is the true Smaragd, so faire, and beau­teous to looke vpon, yet withall so Chaste, that it in­dures not the heat of Lust, but will Cracke at such in­dignitie. This is the true Ia [...]per, of colour greene, and [Page 104] sprinkled with many drops of bloud, euen of the bloud of the vnspotted Lamb. This is the true Sardius, which draweth Wood vnto it, (as the Adamant doth Yron) be­ing able to worke vpon the dullest nature. This is the true Chrysolite, of Golden hue, but cold in nature, allaying the heate of the Soules tor­menting Feuer.

Oh that our haughtie Daughters of Sion, would adorne themselues with this inestimable IEWELL, and not suffer the Soule to lye neglected, and for­lorne, while the Bodie is cu­riously pranckt, and trickt vp! Dominam ancillari, & Medit. c. 3. ancillam dominari, magna abusio [Page 105] est, saith Saint Bernard; It's a foule in [...], that the [...] [...] [...] [...] to [...]he [...] of Saint Cyprian who is very earnestDe Discip. & Hab. Virg. and copious in the reproofe of it.

CHAP. XXX. That a Good Conscience com­forteth in Infamie.

THE speech of Iob, is ve­rieIob. 31. 35 36. memorable: Though mine Aduersary should write a Booke against mee, would I not take it vpon my Shoulder, and bind it as a CROWNE vnto mee? His meaning is, that in the vprightnesse of [Page 106] his Conscience, hee would make himselfe Garlands of the reports of Sycophants. Fideliter in conspectu Dei di­co Cont. Lit. Petil. li. 3. c. 2 & 6. (sayth Saint Augustine) nihil eorum quibus Petilia­nus tempus vitae me [...], postea­quam in Christo baptizatus sum, criminatus est, mihi con­scius sum; id [...]o (que) non solum contristari non debere, verum etiam gaudere, & exultare: I speake it solemnely in the sight of God, that I am not guiltie of any of those actions, where­with Petilian chargeth mee, since the time I was baptized in the name of Christ, and therefore haue I no cause to bee sad, but rather to reioyce, and exult.

What though Tertullus [Page 107] (very eloquently) doe call Saint Paul a Pestilent Fellow, Act. 24. 5. 6. and charge him with Sedi­tion, Heresie, Sacriledge, so long as hee is able to an­swere him point, by point, and to cleere himselfe ofCaluin. in Epist. the calumnies? O bona Con­scientia, quantum polles, ac va­les! O innocent Conscience, of how great force, and effi­cacie art thou! For if the Lord speake peace vnto my Soule, the Tongue that's as hot as coles of Iuniper, can­notPsal. 120 4. hurt mee; but if I bee guiltie, and conuiected in my selfe, what auailes an v­niuersal acclamation of my goodnesse, but to my fur­ther plague, for my pallia­ted hypocrisie?

CHAP. XXXI. That a Good Conscience com­forteth in Pouertie.

THE Moralist did wellEth. 3. 6. to place Pouertie in the ranke of things Terrible; for, besides the nips, and pinches it giues, which shrinke vp the heart, like a piece of Northerne Cloth; not Vertue herselfe, but shal passe vnsaluted, if She goe in ill clothes. Howbeit the Christian hauing the Legacy of Peace bequeathed him byIoh. 14. 27. his Sauiour (in whose per­son2. Cor. 8. 9. also Pouertie is sancti­fied) contenteth himselfe with the sa [...]ing of Saint Ie Ad Heliod. rome; Affatim Diues est, qui [Page 109] cum Christo Pauper est: Hee is abundantly Rich, that is Poore with Christ. Thus Iacob can sleepe on a PillowGen. 28. 11 Dan. 1. 15. of Stone: Daniel is content with Pulse, and Water; and the Disciples are glad ofMat. 12. 1. Eares of Corne on the Best Day of the Seuen.

CHAP. XXXII. That a Good Conscience comforteth in Imprison­ment.

WHen Len [...]ulus (theSalust. Con. Cat. Conspiratour) was carryed to Prison, and put in the Dungeon calld Tullia­num (a roome ouer-head v [...]lted with a stone-arch, and exceeding darke, and [Page 110] vnsauourie) oh, with what horror was hee surprized, hauing no friend to flye to but his Conscience, which (like his Executioner) was readie to strangle him! But when Paul, and Silas are sore beaten with Rods, are cast into the Inner Prison, & set fast in the Stockes, they cheerefully sing at Mid­night; Tantum interest, non Aug. De Ci­uit, Dei. lib. 1. cap. 8. Qualia, sed Qualis quisque pa­tiatur: Such difference is there, not betweene the Sufferings, but the Sufferers.

These holy men had Peace of Conscience, which (as Saint Austine describes it) is, The Garden of Eden: A Golden Bed of Rest: and the Mercie-seate of the Che­ru bins. [Page 111] For they were thus shamefully intreated for Christs sake, whose sacredMat. 27. 2. hands had beene bound with cords for the pur­chace of their libertie. O Bern. De Passion. Dom. c. 4. Rex Regum, & Domine Do­minantium, quid tibi, & Vin­culis! O King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, alas, what haue Bonds to doe with thee!

CHAP. XXXIII. That a Good Conscience com­forteth in Sicknesse.

THE comfort that Aha­ziah 2. King. 1. 2. hath, when hee is cast vpon his bed of sicke­nesse, is Baal-zebub, the God of Ekron. When Asa is2. Chron. 16. 12. troubled with the Gowt, [Page 112] his only hope is the Ph [...]sici­ [...]n. But when Hezeki [...]h isIsai. 38. 3. [...]eere vnto death, hee hath recourse to Co [...]s [...]ence, for succour: I besecch thee, Lord, [...]emember now, how I haue walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and haue done that which is Good Bonum. Conse [...]uat [...] ­uum. Congregal [...] ­uum. Communi­catiuum. in th [...] sight: Hee meanes it of all kinds of Goodnesse, whether it be Preseruing, or Vniting, or Communicating: which yet he speakes not in a vaine confidence of me­rit, but in a cheerefull testi­fication of his Faith. Not vnlike to this, is the beha­uiour of GODS Children; in their languishments: for thus they resolue from the Apostle PAVL; Whether Rom. 14. 8 [Page 113] wee liue, wee liue vnto the Lord: or, whether we die, we die vnto the Lord: whether we liue therefore, or die, wee are the Lords.

CHAP. XXXIIII. That a good Conscience com­forteth at the time of Death.

THere are foure things that make Death for­midable; The Parting with the World▪ the bitter Pangs of it: the Horror of the Graue: & the Consideration of Iudge­ment following. Against all these doth Good Conscience arme the Christian, and inable him to incounter them, either ioyntly, or di­uidedly. [Page 114] And first, for Parting with the World, he hath his witnesse within himselfe, that since the time of his effectuall cal­ling, hee neuer set his heart vpon it; so the absence can­not bee very grieuous, where the possession was but faintly taken. As for the Pangs that clap to the heart in Death, I confesse (with Saint Augustine) thatTam mo­lesta est Mors, vt nulla expli­cari locu­tione possit. De Ciuit. l. 13. c. 11. they are so sharpe, as that no tongue is able to ex­presse them: but yet this is his comfort, that hath a Re­generate Conscience, that the Lord in mercie will either mitigate the paine, or pro­portion the patience, or els cause him to triumph in S. [Page 115] Hieromes words, (which heAd Helio­dor. borrowed from the Pro­phet Hosea) O mors, quae fra­tres Hos. 13. 14. diuidis, & amore sociatos, crudelis, ac dura dissocias, De­uorasti, & Deuorata es! O Death, that art wont to part owne-brothers, and (inexora­ble as thou art) doest separate those friends whom affection hath made one, thou hast de­uoured, but art now deuoured thy selfe! Now for the Graue, it is true, that (as Iob de­scribesIob. 10. 22. it) it is a L [...]nd of Darkenesse, and Confusion, but yet Good Conscience (that suckes comfort out of Gall, and Worme-wood) i [...] not in this case destitute For, can Darkenesse strike terrour, when the bodie is [Page 116] asleepe? Can stinch annoy,1. Thes. 4. 13. when the sences are bound vp? Can the Worme affright, which is my Mother, andIob. 17. 14. my Sister? Can Scalpes, and Shin bones terrifie, and a­maze me, sith He that shal, one day, seuer the Sheepe Mat. 25. 32 from the Goats, doth now presently distinguish be­twixt Bone and Bone in the Charnel-house?

And hath not my Saui­our Iohn. 19. 40. 41. taken possession of the Graue, with his owne bles­sed bodie, which was im­balmed with sweet odours; and made it of a rotten Ca­bine, a delightfull Bed of Isai. 57. 2. Downe? And for the Day of Iudgement, shal I not lift vp my head to thinke of it, [Page 117] since it is the day of my Re­demption? Luk. 21. 28 1. Cor. 15. 14. &c. Take away the comfort of the Resurrection, and take away the Staffe of Christianity; for then, my Faith is vaine, and my zea­lous indeuour of holinesse is vaine, and the teares vaine that I haue shed for my sins, and the prayers vaine that I haue made for their forgiuenesse, and those vn­speakable ioyes are vaine, which so oft I haue wisht, which so long I haue longed for, and the Sacraments (the seales of my saluation) are vaine, and the Booke of Bookes (the Holy Bible) is vaine, and woe is mee that euer I was borne, for the Pagan is happier than I, [Page 118] and the Epicure is happier than I, and the foure­footed Beast that eateth hay, is happier than I.

CHAP. XXXV. That a good Conscience com­forteth at the Day of Iudgement.

NOw, if the contem­plation of the day of Iudgement approching, doe bring with it such a waight of consolation: oh, what vnspeakeable gladnesse of heart will the true Professor bee possessed of, when hee shall actually appeare be­fore his Redeemer! O the sweete musicke of Come yee Mat. 23. 34. Blessed! and, O the thun­der-clap [Page 119] of Goe yee Cursed. 41. Ad Heliod. Veniet, ve­niet illa dies, &c.

To this very purpose S. Ierome speaketh notably: The day will come, yes, it will surely come, when this corruptible, and mortall, shall put on incorrupti­on, and immortalitie: and then, blessed bee that ser­uant, whom the Lord finds waking. The Earth with her inhabitants, shall trem­ble at the sound of the Trumpet, but thou, good Christian, shalt reioice. The World shall mourne, and roare, and knock the brest: the hearts of mighty Kings shall be seene to beat, and throb through their sides; the wanton Mistresse shall bee brought forth with her [Page 120] Bratts, and the Iouial Yonker, with his Plume, and Buskin­like eloquence. Then foo­lish Plato, and his Schol­lers, must answere for their Community, and profound Aristotle, shall not haue one poore Argument to helpe himselfe withall. But thou, (now forlorne, and despised) Christian, shalt then exult, and trium­phantly say, Loe, this my Iudge, is the Childe that cry­ed when he was swadled in the Manger: this is He, that (in contempt) was called the Carpenters Sonne; this is Hee, that in his infancie did flie from man, being God, into Egypt. This is Hee, that was clad in Purple, was [Page 121] wounded with the Crowne of Thornes, was held a Con­iurer, a Samaritan, and One possessed of a Deuill. O Iew, behold the hands which thou nailedst! O Romane, looke vpon the side which thou diggedst! come neere, and see whether it bee the selfe same bodie, or no, be­cause ye gaue out, that his Disciples had closely stolne him away by night. Hi­therto S. Ierome.

CHAP. XXXVI. A complaint that Good Con­science is so little set by.

NOt-with-standing all that hath been spoken [Page 122] concerning the incompa­rable Treasure of a Good Conscience, what man (alas) makes any account of it? The Ambitious is hot in the pursuit of Honour, but makes not Conscience pri­uie to his intent; so neg­lecting the one, hee falls short of the other; for, Glo­ria virtutem, quasi vmbra se­quitur (saith S. Ierome) & Ad Eustoch. Virg. appetitores sui deserens, appe­tit contemptores: It is the nature of Glory to follow ver­tue as her shadow, and to for­sake her followers, while shee follow [...]s her contemners. But would he consult with the Booke of God, and take in his1 Sam. 2. 30. way, Honorantes me Hono­rab [...]; hee should finde, that [Page 123] Conscience were the com­pendiary way to true glory; which the very Heathen shadowed (as is noted by S. Austine) when they builtAug. De Ciu. l. 5. c. 12 the Temples of Vertue, and Honour, so close together, that none could passe vnto the last, but through the former.

The Great Ill man (ha­uing discharged Conscience for comming vpon his ground) sacrilegiously takes away the Tythes, andLeu. 27. 30 Offrings, which Scripture a­uoucheth to bee a part of the Lords Crowne, and anci­ent Demaynes: and beeing fleshed with the reuenewes of the Church, runnes with open mouth vpon the Com­mons, [Page 124] and deuoures whole Townes, and Countries be fore him; in hope, at length, to bee Lord of as much ground, as a Kyte can well flye ouer in a day. O Rauen! For hee builds his nest a­lone, and dips his bill in poore mens bloud, vp to the eyes. Hee hath got the aduantage of the Hill, that his deadly Pile might strike downe all before it; which being cast counter-mont, or in a plaine leuill, could not be so dangerous. Which S. Chrysostome considering,This say­ing of Chrysost. is often ci­ted by La­timer. concludeth thus seuerely against the whole Ranke of them; Miror si aliquis Re­ctorum potest saluari; I won­der if any of these Great men [Page 125] can be saued; where (yet) he doth not import an Impossi­bilitie, but a Difficultie.

The Vsurer, and his Broker vnmercifully fasten their gryping talons vpon the bosome of the decayed Borrower: tell them of Good Conscience, they terme you Pragmaticall, and with full mouth talke of their Thou­sands, as if they were able to spit shillings in the face of any one that durst op­pose them.

The subtle Lawyer that pleades in ill causes, sels si­lence, takes fees with both hands, and like an ill Surge­on, keepes the wound of his Client greene, esteemes of Conscience, as the Rich-man [Page 126] in S. Iames of his poore-ap­parrel'dIam. 2. 3. Sit thou here vn­der my Foote­stoole. Guest, that is, hee makes her his Foote-stooles Foote-stoole.

The deceitfull Trades­man, that keepes a weight, and a weight, because hee hath an heart, and an heart, holds Conscience an vtter e­nemie to his thrift; and because he meaneth to be vn­reasonably rich, he can well be content to be vnmeasu­rably sinfull.

The bold fac't Stage­player, that trades in poysoning all sorts, and ages, with verses reezd in the smoke of lust, and blasphemous Scripture-iests, broke in the very face of GOD, is worthily cast out (as the [Page 127] Bane of Conscience) to the vtmost welt of the skirt of the Suburbs.

CHAP. XXXVII. That Gods dearest Children are often troubled in Conscience.

IT is the manner of the vnreclaimed person, to blesse himselfe in the con­ceit of his light-hearted­nesse: and to wonder that the staid, and mortified Christian can bee so sad, and so vnsociable. But (alas) hee must vnderstand, that Sapiens miser, plus miser, quàm Rusticus miser; The wise man in his affli­ction, is more passionate then the vnlearned; for hee knowes [Page 128] how to exaggerate the causes of his griefe, whereof the o­ther cannot skil. And though no outward crosse lye on him, yet is hee so sensible, and apprehensiue of his sinne, that the continuation of his Pilgrimage, is but a vicissitude of Ioy & Sorrow. He is euer sighing out this Prayer with S. Bernard; Eri­pe De Inte­rior. Domo. 31. me, Domine, ab Homine malo, idest, à Meipso: Deliuer me, O Lord, from the Vngodly Man, that is, from mine own selfe. And casting back his eyes on the seuerall passages of his life, hee findes it to be Peccat [...]m, or Sterili­tas; either Sinne, or Barrennesse; so his conclusion is this, after all debatements, [Page 129] Nullum inuenio peccatum, à Bern. de In [...]. Do. 33. quo non sim aliquo modo in­quinatus: I finde no sin, where­with, in some sort, I haue not beene defiled.

This, this was it, that made DAVID water hisPsa. 6. 6. couch with his teares; made him fast, and go bare­foote,2. Sam. 15. 30. and put sack-cloth on his loynes, as if hee had beene at the brim of Des­payre, Psal. 77. 7. as in truth, hee was. And so was Iob, when theIob 6. 4. Lord set him vp as a Butt to shoote at, and sent poiso­ned Arrowes singing into his bosome. So that it is not a matter of dislike to see a brother Afflicted in minde, but rather of reioy­cing; forasmuch as Trouble [Page 130] of Conscience is a necessarie part of Repentance, without which there is no hope of Saluation.

CHAP. XXXVIII. Of sundry Comforts against excessiue griefe for Sinne; and first, of the Considera­tion of the Ins [...]n [...]tenesse of Gods Mercie.

IT is a worthy obserua­tionSuper Can­tica. Serm. 38. of S. Bernard, that The Ignorance of God, bring­eth foorth Despaire. For when the Christian is in his Agonie, his owne carnall reason will assault him on this manner: Quid facis? Et vitam istam vis perdere, & futurā? What now? Wilt thou [Page 131] lose this life▪ & the other too? Nequaquam pro tot, & tantis peccatis, nec site excories, suf­ficies satisfacere; Thou shalt neuer be able to satisfie for thy sinnes (so many are they, and so enormous) no not if thou shou [...] flay thy selfe. Which sharpe temptation must be thus resisted: Graue est vul­nus Aug. in Psal. 51. quod habeo, sed ad Omni­potentem confugio: de meo tam Lethali vulnere desperarem, nisi tantum Medicum reperi­rem: My wound (I confesse) is deepe and dangerous, but I flye for cure to one that is Omnipotent: I should vtterly Despayre, but that I haue found so incomparable a Phy­sician. For though my sinsPsal. 40. 12. haue taken such hold on [Page 132] me, that I am not able to looke vp, and that they be more in number then the hayres of my head, so that my heart faileth mee to re­count them: yet are they not Infinite, as is Gods Mer­cie. And therefore if Satan shall whisper in mine eare, that my sinnes are greater than can be forgiuen, I will answere him out of S. Ber­nard, Mentiris, Latro, quia maior est Pietas Dei, quàm quaeuis iniquitas: Thou liest, thou theefe, for the goodnesse of God is greater than my wic­kednesse either is, or can be. The Lord describing him selfe, for the comfort of his chosen, repeateth his Mer­cie, Exod. 34. 6. eight, or nine times to­gether: [Page 133] is Hee so Rich inEphes. 2. 4. Grace, and shall I bee so poore in Faith? Is it not his Mercie that is Communis Peccantium Portus? The Com­mon Harbour of all (Penitent) Sinners? For it is not the Wis­dome of God, nor his Power, nor Iustice, that keepes the broken heart from dying a­way, but his Mercie: which al men find (by experience) to bee the sweetest proprie­tie of his Nature.

Saint Bernard in a cer­taineDe Euang. Sept. Pa­num. Sermon, makes men­tion of a Seuen-fold Mer­cie, which (hee sayth) each Childe of God may find in himselfe.

The First, is a Preuenting 1. Mercie, by which the Lord [Page 134] preserues his Elect from fal­ling into grosse euils; Fateor, & fatebor, (sayth hee) nisi quia Dominus adiuuit me paulò minùs cecidisset in omne peccatum anima mea: I doe, and will ingenuously confesse, that vnlesse the Lord had pre­serued me by grace, my Soule had gone neere to haue lasht into all sinne.

The Second, is a Forbea­ring 2. Mercie, whereby the Lord waiteth for the Con­uersion of a Sinner. In re­gard whereof the same Au­thour writeth thus: Ego pec­cabam, & tu dissimulabas; non contin [...]bam a sceleribus, & tu à verberibus abstinehas: I sinned, O Lord, and thou see­medst not to regard it: I con­tained [Page 135] not my selfe from wickednesse, but thou abstai­nedst from scourging mee for the same.

The Third, is an Altering, 3. or Changing Mercie, which makes a man settled in the resolution of holinesse, where before hee was pro­phane, and loose in his be­hauiour.

The Fourth, is an Imbra­cing 4. Mercy, whereby GOD assureth the Conuert of his Fauour.

The Fifth, is a Confir­ming 5. Mercie, which strengthneth, and vphol­deth the Righteous in his goodnesse.

The Sixth, is a Mercie, 6. that sets him in the hope, [Page 136] and expectation of Glorie. 7.

The Seuenth, is a Crow­ning Mercie, where is Liue­rie, and Seysin, and full pos­session of the Kingdome of Heauen.

Thus the Lord hath Se­uen Mercies, nay, Seuentie times Seuen Mercies, euen an innumerable multitude of compassions, for the poore distressed sinner, that gro­neth vnder the burden of his transgressions. There­fore if I Pray, this shall beLuk. 18. 13. my Petition, O GOD, be mer­cifull vnto me a Sinner; and if I giue thankes, this shall bePsal. 136. the foot of my Song, For his mercie indureth for euer; for his mercie indureth for e­uer.

CHAP. XXXIX. Of the Second Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is the Meditation of the bloud of Christ.

NExt, when my Soule is heauie vnto Death, I must haue recourse to the Bloud of Christ, whose pro­pertie1. Ioh. 1. 7. is to cleanse from Sin, and to make an atonement betweene GOD and Man. Col. 1. 20. And for my further in­crease of comfort, I must call to minde the seuerall Effusions thereof, as they are recorded in Scripture.

The first bloud he shed,Luk. 2. 21. was at his Circumcision, when hee was but Eight [Page 138] dayes old, which Saint Ber­nard De Passion. Do m. c. 36. cals, Maturum Marty­rium; A Timely Martyrdome. To which end hee further addeth; Vix natus est Coeli Gloria, Coeli Diuitiae, Coeli De­liciae, dulcis IESVS, & eccerecenti ortui Crucis dolor co­pulatur: Scarce was sweete IESVS come into the World, who was the Glorie, the Ri­ches, the Delight of Heauen, but he vnderwent the painful­nesse of the Crosse.

The Second effusion ofBern. De Passion. Dom. bloud, was in his Agonie, wherof S. Bernard speaketh thus; Ecce quàm Rubicun­dus, & quàm totus Rubicun­dus: Behold, how Red, and how all-ouer Red He is: for SaintLuk. 22. 44. Luke affirmeth that his sweat [Page 139] was like droppes of bloud trickling downe to the ground.

The Third effusion ofIohn 19. 1. bloud, was at his whipping; O cum quanta quantitate, pu­tas illum sanctissimum san­guinem, è conscisso corpore, & flagellato, distillasse in terram! Oh, in what abundance, thinke yee, did that most Sacred bloud of his, powre downe from his torne, and scourged bodie, e­uen vnto the ground!

The Fourth effusion ofIohn 19. 2. bloud, was when the Crown of Thornes was despightfully clapt vpon his head: Nec hic puto defuisse Riuos San­guinis, sayth Saint Bernard; Nor can I thinke, that at this time, there wanted Riuers of Bloud.

The Fifth effusion ofIoh. 19. 18. Bloud, was vpon the Crosse, where his hands, and feete, and side were pierced; Quis vnquam tam grauia, tam pu­denda p [...]ssus fuit? Who was e­uer thus cruelly, and thus shamefully handled? Conten­dunt Bern. De Passione. Passio, & Charitas; illa, vt plus ardeat: ista, vt plus rubeat: His Passion, and Loue doe stri [...]e together: that, that it may bee hotter: this, that it may bee redder. O sua [...]ssi­me vniuersorum Domine, & Saluator, Bone IESV, quales tibi condignas gratiarum re­ferre potero actiones! O bles­sed IESV, the most graciou [...] Lord, and Sauiour of all thy Chosen, How can I render thee sufficient thankes! for thy [Page 141] Garment is dipt in Bloud, and Reuel. 19. 13. Isai. 53. 5. the chastisement of my Peace hath beene vpon thee from the beginning of thy dayes, vnto thy death, yea and after thy Death.

CHAP. XL. Of the Third Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, the Consideration of the Indefinitenesse of GODS Pro­mises.

WHEN Satan (that Murtherer fromIoh. 8. 44. the beginning) shall lay the Razor close vnto my throate, and shall labour to threape mee downe, that though there were an Ocean [Page 142] of Christs Bloud, yet not [...] [...]ut drop belonged vnto [...] to then stands it me in han [...] [...]h­pitch my thoughts vp▪ At the Vniuersalitie of Go [...]-Promises, where-from Ic [...]s, not exempt my selfe, wi [...], out iniurie to GOD, [...] preiudice to mine [...] Soule. For, sith the [...] proclaimes a Generall Pa [...]o [...]on in the Prophet, Ho, Eue­rie one that thirsteth, come ye Isai. 55. 1. to the Waters: and that our Sauiour inuiteth All that ar [...] Wearie, and Heauie-laden; Mat. 11. 28. to come vnto him; why should I be so cursedly vngratefull, as to except my selfe, aboue all other, and wilfully refuse the gracious offer of my saluation? Nay, [Page 143] [...] should I not rather [...] thus with S. PAVL;1. Tim. 1. 15 [...]rist Iesus came into the World, to [...]nners:

[...]erefore he came to saue ME, the [...] of Sinners.

CHAP. XLI. [...] the Fourth Comfort in [...]rouble of Conscience, [...]hich is the Consideration [...] most grieuous Sinners, [...] that haue beene pardoned vpon their Repentance.

SVCH is the subtletie of the Spirituall Aduersarie, [...]at in the practicall dis­course before the commit­ting of some crime, hee in­chanteth the Sinner with the spell of Mercie; but when he hath once intang­led him in his Net, hee [Page 144] shewes him nothing [...] the sanctions of the La [...] [...] bring him to vtter aba [...] ment, and confusion. [...] which time I must reme [...] ber those mightie Sinn [...] [...] that haue beene forgiue [...] vpon their serious humi­liation. And thus I must reason. Am I worse the DAVID, that went in, t [...] 2. Sam. 11. Bathsheba, and imbrued his handes in the bloud of V­riah? 2. Kings 21 2. Chron. 33. Am I worse then Ma­nasses; Idolatrous, Murde­rous, Notorious Manasses? Am I worse then Peter, thatMat. 26. 74 curst, and band, and for­swore his Sauiour? Am I worse then Mary Magdalen, Luke 8. 2. that was possest of Seuen Deuils? Am I worse then [Page 145] the Iewes, that scourg'd andActs 2. 36. [...]7. 41. spit vpon, and reuiled, and crucified the Lord of Life [...] Since these haue obtained pardon vpon Repentance, what should barre MEE from it, vpon the same con­dition? O, but my Righ­teousnesse is like the morning dew; for my Conscience tels mee, that I haue had many fearefull Relapses. To this I answere from Chrysostome; In Psal. 51. Contra No­uat. Peccasti? Poenitere: Millies peccasti? Millies Poenitere; Millies Poenitet? Adhuc e­tiam Poenitere: Hast thou sin­ned? Repent; Hast thou a thou­sand times sinned? Why then, a thousand times Repent. Hast thou Repented a thousand times, I say, Despayre not, but [Page 146] still betake thy selfe to Repen­tance.

I dare affirme it, (and Scripture will beare me out)Some of the Scribes and Phari­ses, and others. that those damned Wret­ches that committed that vnpardonable sinne against the Holy Ghost, might haue bin forgiuen, if they could but haue Repented. For we must not thinke, that that Hell-blacke sinne is in it selfe irremissible: but for that it is his nature that fals into it, to abhorre all motions vn­to grace and goodnesse. Then, blessed GOD, create in mee a New heart, and giue mee the singular gift of Regeneration. I craue not Riches, nor Honour, nor Long life; but Repentance, [Page 147] Repentance, is the thing I sue for. O, Lord, vouch­safe it mee, for Iesus sake, vpon my bare knees I aske it.

CHAP. XLII. Of the Fifth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is the Consideration of Gods fatherly Chastise­ments accompanying it.

IN my importable pres­sures, and afflictions, when, that I feared is come vpon mee: when I am be­reft of Wife, Children, Pa­rents, Health, Libertie, Maintenance; this makes my Cup of Gall, and Vine­ger to runne ouer, that my [Page 148] Conscience informes mee of my life, either openly led in prophanesse, or vailed ouer with an hypocriticall precizenesse: and besides, Satan insulteth in my mise­rie, and like Shemei rayles, and throwes stones at mee, as if I were the Monster of the World. But as expert Physicians fetch from the Scorpion an helpe against her poyson: so must I ex­tract from the Matter of my woe, a Preseruatiue a­gainst it. And thus I must hearten vp my selfe: It is e­uen so, O, LORD, WhomHeb. 12. 8. thou louest, thou chastnest, and scourgest euery Sonne that thou receiuest. If I bee without correction (where­of [Page 149] al are partakers) then am I a Bastard, and not a Sonne. Hieron. ad Castrut. Quid inter Reges, Iosia san­ctius? Aegyptio mucrone in­tersectus est; Quid PAVLO sublimius? Neronianum gladium cruentauit: What King was euer holier than Ic­siah? Yet was hee slaine by the Sword of Aegypt; Who more heroical, than Paul? yet died he by the blade of NERO. Mag­na ira est, quando peccantibus non irascitur Deus: GOD is Ibid. thorowly angry with Sinners, when hee seemes not to be an­gry at all.

CHAP. XLIII. Of the sixth Comfort in trou­ble of Conscience, which is Mourning for sinne.

IF, when my Conscience is vpon the Racke, and that I call my saluation into doubt, I can lament my sinnes and rebellions, with brackish teares, or sor­rowes equiualent: I haue iust cause of consolation. For first it is certaine, that Iudging my selfe, I shall ne­uer1. Cor. 11. 31. be Iudged of the Lord. Againe, it is an Axiome in Scripture, that, They that sow Psa. 126. 5. in teares, shall reape in ioy. Thirdly, I find, that the god­liest men were the greatest [Page 151] weepers; as Dauid (for one)Oculus ve­ [...]uti à Tineis Corrosus est. Vatab. in Ps. 6. 7. whose eye was worm-eaten with blubbering. To the which consenteth S. Augu­stine, when he saith, Quantò De Ciu. Dei l. 20. c. 17. quis (que) est sanctior, tant [...] est e­ius fletus vberior: The ho­lier a man is, the more plenti­full is he in weeping. Fourth­ly, the tears that flow from a contrite heart, are accep­ted of God, as secret prayers: therefore saith S. Ambrose, Lachrymae, tacitae quodammo­do Serm. 46. sunt preces: Teares (in some sort) are close supplica­tions. Fiftly, the teares of a pensiue sinner reioyce the blessed Saints of Heauen: to this end saith Bernard, La­chrymae Super Cant. Ser. 68. Peccatorum, Deliciae Angelorum: The teares of [Page 152] S [...]nners, are the delights of An­gels▪ Sixtly the merry sports of The [...]ters, come very farre short of the comfort that goes with teares, for so saith S. Augustine, Dulciores sunt In Ps. 128. lach [...] ymae o [...]antiū, quàm gau­ [...]ia Theatrorum: More sweet are the t [...]ars of them that pray, than the pleasures of Stage­playes. Seuenthly, it is a signe that he is respected of God, whose heart by grace is dissolued into teares. Om­nis Peccator (saith S. Ber­nard)De modo Benè viu. Ser. 10. tunc se cognoscit visi­tari à Domino, quando com­pungitur adlachrymas: Then doth the sinner perswade him­selfe that hee is visited (in mercie) of the Lord, when his griefe for sinne shewes it selfe [Page 153] in teares. Eightly, if teares (as the same Author testifi­eth) bee miraculously tur­ned into Wine, which issue foorth in the feruour ofIn Epiphan. Dom. Ser. 3. Charitie to our neighbour; then much more those, which the Sacred fire of Gods Spirit hath distilled from true remorse for sinne: whereof if we drinke til we scarce know where we are, it is but Sobria quaedam E­brietas; A certaine sober kind of Dizzinesse.

CHAP. XLIIII. Of the Seuenth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is Prayer.

AS our blessed Sauiour, in the dayes of his flesh, did offer vp prayers, and supplications vnto his Father, with strong crying,Heb. 5. 7. and teares, and was also heard in that which he fea­red: so is euery Christian, in the terrour and consterna­tion of his minde, to inuo­cate Gods Name with all Faith, and Zealousnesse. For, since Prayer is of such a pre­uailing nature, that it pier­ceth the heauens, and im­portunes the Lord for suc­cour, [Page 155] not suffering him to rest, vntill hee haue mercie on the Suppliant: how canIsa. 62. 7. he want comfort, that is se­dulous in the vse of it? The Prophet Dauid was often wounded grieuously in Conscience: and in all his Agonies, hee▪ still hath re­course to God by Prayer. And this is very obserua­ble, that his Petitions in that case, howsoeuer they be­ginne in griefe, yet they endPsal. 6. 1. in ioy. O Lord, rebuke mee not in thine anger! an heauie entrance: yet thus he exul­teth in the cloze, Away from 8. me▪ all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voyce of my weeping. So, when he powreth out this [Page 156] complaint, My God, my God, Ps. 22. 1. why hast thou forsaken mee? what can bee imagined more sad, and rufull? yet in the conclusion, where hee23, 44. calls vpon the faithfull to congratulate Gods great re­gard of him, doth not the gladnesse more then coun teruaile the sorrow? In like manner, when he crieth out as for life, and death, Sau [...] me, O Lord, for the waters are Ps. 69. 1. entred euen to my soule; what beginning can bee more passionate? yet if wee de­scend to the latter part, it will not much differ from a Song of Triumph? It were [...]o hard matter to quote sundrie other places to this purpose: but these may [Page 157] suffice, as a direction to the rest.

Now the ground of ourPs. 50. 15. hope in the Inuocation of Gods name, is both a Com­mandement, and a Promise: Call vpon mee in the day of trouble, and I will deliuer thee. O the vnspeakable solace of Gods children, that are not onely inuited, but charged, to call vpon their heauen­ly Father, in all their neces­sities, with a most gracious assurance to bee heard, when they shall aske, nay, before they aske! O theIsa. 65. 24. Rom. 8. 15. glorious priuiledge of Spi­rituall Ado [...]tion, which is a lawfull Act, not imitating, but transcending nature; found out of God, not for [Page 158] the comfort of a Father that wanteth Children, but for the comfort of Children that want a Father. It is this that makes vs crie Ab­ba, Father! It is this that makes vs say, Shibboleth, Iudg. 12. 6. not Sibboleth: it is this that makes vs renew our strength, and lift vp our wings, as the Eagles. Isa. 40. 31.

Say, ye that are the Sons of the liuing God, ye that a­lone can speake the Lan­guage of Canaan, if euer yee made an holy and feruent prayer, and felt not an hea­uenly reioycing after it▪ And say, if ye finde it not true in experience, that much prayer, much com­ [...]ort; little prayer, little [Page 159] comfort; no prayer, no comfort. O, it must needsDe Inter. Dom. 6. 48. bee so. For, as S. Bernard well sayth, Quando oramus, Spiritum sanctum ad nos vo­camus: As oft as we pray, wee call the Holy Ghost vnto vs.

But here it must bee re­membred, that in the anxi­etie and perplexednesse of our soules, wee frame our petitions, (for their mat­ter, and cōtents) according to the patterne of the Lords Prayer, concluding also (v­sually) therewith our own supplications. For (as Cy­prian De Orat. Dom. noteth) Quantò effica­c [...]ùs impetramus, quod peti­mus in Christi Nomine, si pe­tan [...]us ipsius Ora [...]ion [...]? How much sooner shall we obtaine [Page 160] what wee desire in Christs Name, if withall we request it in his owne words? For it is to bee beleeued, that no Saint, nor Angel is able to match that Platforme of Prayer; whether we regard the Authority of it, or the Breuitie, or the Perfection, or the Method, or the Effi­cacie, or the Necessity.

CHAP. XLV. Of the Eighth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is the Reading of Scripture.

EXcept thy Law had beene Psal. 119. 92. my deligh [...] saith D [...]uid to the Lord) I should haue perish­ed in [...]y [...]ouble: (where by [Page 161] Law is meant, not the D [...]ca­logue Caluin. Vatab. Molier. in Psal. 19. onely, but the whole Couenant of God.) S. Paul calleth the Scripture (especi­ally the New Testament) the W [...]rd of Life; because as it isPhil. 2. 16. Verbū Domini, the Word of the Lord; so it containeth nothing (in effect) but Ver­bum Dominū, The Word, The Lord. Now where Christ is the Subiect-matter, there must needs bee cause of Iu­bilation. Certainely, as the Lord is the God of all Com­sort: 2. Cor. 1. 3. so the Bible is the Booke of all comfort; which if wee perceiue not, the fault is in our pallate, according to that of S. Augustine, Mel amarum Febrienti: Not hony In Psal. 19. it selfe, but is bitter to the Aguish.

I confesse, the Bookes of Heathen Writers, doe pro­mise comfort in calamitie, but (alas) they performe it not: but are like a Brooke Iob 6. 17. that swels in winter, when there is no neede of it, and is drie in Summer, when the Passenger fainteth, and panteth for heate. For be­ing ignorant both of Sinne, the wound, and of Christ, the Remedie, the succour they afford, must needs bee wearish. No: if wee will haue good Gold, wee must go to Ophyr: if good Balme, to G [...]lead: if good Wine, to Christ, at the wedding of Cana: and, if good tidings, to the Booke of God. For, to make a voyage, when the [Page 163] minde is deadded, to Gen­tile Authors for refection (especially to their merrie Poets) is little better than1. Kin. 10. 22. trauelling to Tharshish for Apes, and Peacocks. I ap­peale to all the Seruants of God, and chiefely to the old experienced Souldiers of Ie­sus Christ, if euer they were eas'd of the Sting, and tu­mour of Conscience, by any writing vnder heauen, but the Bible; or by some Booke, that hath borrowed all the sweetnesse it hath thence­from. And more, let them say, if at any time they ha­sted to this Fountaine of li­uing waters (taking with them their Pitcher, that is, true Faith) and came not [Page 164] backe with wonderfull re­freshment.

There is a rare, and pro­fitable History, recorded by S. Augustine, of Himselfe, inLib. 8. c. 12. his Confessions. His words are these: Recalling to minde, and aggrauating my miserie: there arose a great storme, which brought foorth a pealing showre of teares. Wherevpon I went aside from my friend Alipi­us, that I might more freely giue my selfe to weeping. And laying me downe vn­der a certaine Figge-tree, mine eyes gusht out with riuers of waters; and thus I bemoned my selfe to God; O Lord, how long? how long wilt thou bee angry [Page 165] with me? For euer? I be­seech thee, remember not my former wickednes. For I perceiu'd, that still I was hopled in it, and therefore I tooke vp this miserable complaint; Quam diu, Quam diu, Cras, & Cras? Quare non modo? Quare non hac hora, finis turpitudinis meae? How long, how long shall I put off my Repentance, with To Morrow, To Morrow? Why turne I not Now, this present houre, from the filthinesse of my life? At which words (deliuered with bitter mourning) mee thought I heard a voice thus singing from the next house: Tolle, Lege: Tolle, Lege: Take vp and Read; Take vp, and Read. [Page 166] Then changing my coun­tenance, and pondering the matter carefully, and adui­sedly, I returned to Alipius, where I had left my Booke of the Epistles of S. Paul; I snatcht it vp, and opened it, and read to my selfe this place, which first presented it selfe to mine eyes: Not Rom. 13. 13. 14. in Gluttonie, and Drunken­nesse, neither in chambering, and wantonnesse, nor in strife, and enuying. But put ye on the Lord Iesus Christ, and take no thought for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts of it. Nec vltra volui Legere, nec opus erat: Nor would I reade any further, nor needed I: for so soone as I came to the end of this clause, my minde was secu­red, [Page 167] & al doubts dislodged.

If here it bee demanded what parts of Scripture are fittest to bee read for the stay of Conscience: I an­swere, that for the Old Te­stament, the Prophet Isaiah, in the iudgement of Saint Ambrose, who counselledAug. Confes. l. 9. c. 5. S. Augustine, propounding the same question, to bee conuersant in him, aboue others: no doubt, because he wrote so cleerely of the Messiah to come, as if hee had beene already incar­nate. But Athanasius, andProlog. in lib. Psal. Ad Rust. Mon. Basil, & Augustine, & Ierome, and Chrysostom, and almost al the New Writers, stand so deeply affected to the Book of Psalmes, that they hold it [Page 168] the Store-house of all good learning, the Diuine M [...]stris both of Faith, and Vertue, and the perfect Anatomie of the Soule. And therefore their aduice is▪ that as Alex­ander the Great, was woont to put the works of Homer, in the most precious Casket of King Darius, which glit­tered all-ouer with gold, and gemmes; so, that euery Christian (especially those that are burdened in Con­science) would locke vp the Booke of Psalmes in the Cabi­net of their hearts, as a most incomparable Treasure.

Now for the New Testa­ment (which is more glori­ous than the Old, as S. Paul proueth) I am of Zanchies De Natur. Dei. c. 3. [Page 169] opinion, that those Do­ctrines are most excellent, which our Sauiour Christ de­liuered with his owne mouth; as his Sermon vponMat. 5. Luke 4. Iohn 17. the Mount, at Nazaret, at Capernaum, and those hea­uenly Prayers, which hee made a little before, and at his Death. Where it must be cautiously remembred, that though in the Sermons of our Sauiour, there be found some sentences of terrour and deiection: yet (as Lu­ther Vpon the Galatians. noteth) they properly belong not to his office of Mediator-ship, and were on­ly bent against the viperous generation of the Pharises, and others of that straine.

CHAP. XLVI. Of the Ninth Comfort in trou­ble of Conscience, which is Singing of Psalmes.

THere are sundry Rea­sons,1. why the Lord would haue the chiefe points of Religion included in Numbers, by the sweet Singer of Israel. One is, that they might be transmitted pure, and without depraua­tion, to posteritie: for they runne so eeuenly, and so harmonically vpon feete, that if there want but a word, or syllable, the er­rour is deprehended.

Secondly, it is done for the2. [Page 171] helpe of memorie; for Con­cinnitie of Numbers is soo­ner learn'd, and longer re­tain'd, then Prose▪

Thirdly, (as Athanasius 3. obserues) it putteth vs in minde of the harmonie of our actions.

Fourthly, it serueth for the4. comfort of the Godly, who are often more cheared by Psalmoaie, than by Prayer. In this last respect S. Au­gustine thus describeth aProlog. in lib. Psal. Psalme: Psalmus, Tranquilli­tas animarum est, & Signifer Pacis: A Psalme is the Tran­quillitie of Soules, and the Standerd-bearer of Peace. With the which agreeth that of S. Ambrose; Psalmus Praefat. in Psal. est vox Ecclesiae, & clamor Iu­cunditatis: [Page 172] A Psalme is the voice of the Church, and the Noyse of Reioycing. And truely it is verified in the experience of the Saints, that deuout Singing of Psalmes, causeth teares (of ioy) to stand in the eyes (if yet wee may call them teares, and not rather the Dew of Heauen, with SaintDe Scala Claustrali. Bernard.) To this purpose, saith S. Austine, Psalmus, eti­am Prolog. in lib. Psal. ex corde Lapideo, Lachry­mas mouet: A Psalme f [...]tch­eth teares from a flintie heart. Nay, he sticketh not to af­firme, that the Singing of Psalmes and Hymnes vnto the Lord, with a grace in our hearts, doth inuite the Angels of Heauen to beare [Page 173] vs companie, and doth put to flight the very Deuils.

Then Sing yee merrily vnto the Lord, O yee ser­uants of his, that wrastle (many times) with Death, and Despayre: for well it becommeth you to bee thankefull, sith you are the Timbrels of the Holy Ghost. For it is not the Beast that can Sing, nor yet the Birds that are of great size: but the Little Lark, the Little Nightingale, the Little Lin­net, I meane, the poore des­pised ones: and they, not on the ground, but vpon the trees, or in the ayre. For the best-men, if they once begin to minde the Earth, forget their Singing.

Now, if it bee obiected from S. Iames, that merrieIam. 5. 13. times are fittest for Singing of Psalmes: I answere, first, that the sorrowes, and ma­ladies of the Saints haue euer their inter mixture of ioy; & then, that the speech is not so to be restrained to prosperitie, but that it ex­tendeth it selfe also to cases of extremitie. To this end Saint Augustine bringeth inIn Psal. 50. God, rebuking those that sung not praises to him in their Distresse, in these words: Quando parco, cantas; quando Castigo, murmuras: quasi quando parco, sim Deus tuus, & quando non parco▪ non sim Deus tuus. Ego, quos amo, arguo, & castigo. When [Page 175] I spare thee, thou singest; when I afflict thee, thou murmurest; as if when I let thee alone, I were thy God, and were not thy God, when I corrected thee. No, know, that whom I loue, I Reu. 3. 19. rebuke, and chasten.

CHAP. XLVII. Of the Tenth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is the Testimonie of the M [...] ­nister.

IN the time of some gr [...]e­uous sicknesse, or calami­tie, when the Conscience of the Beleeuer is waked vp, and the paines of Hel begin to take hold on him; oh, how hard it is to perswade him of his Adoption! For, [Page 176] the Deuill obtruding the multitude of his sinnes, the hainousnesse of their ranke, the holinesse of the Law, the iustice of GOD, and the horror of damnation; and he iudging of himselfe by feeling, not by Faith, some­times breaks forth into fearefull words of impati­ence, and distrust. In which combate, if the godly Mi­nister, to whom are com­mittedMat. 16. 19. Ioh. 20. 23. The Keyes of Heauen, shall perceiue by his thirst­ing after the bloud of Christ, by his zealous praier for increase of grace, by his humble submission vnder the hand of GOD, and by o­ther comfortable effects, and ouertures, that his [Page 177] name is writtē in the Book of life; and therevpon shall acquit him (in Christ) from the malediction of the Law; there is certainely of­fered him great matter of reioycing.

For, if when I shal thinke (because I haue a great drought vpon mee) that I am entred into a Dropsie, and am like ere long to be bigge of the disease, and to bee brought to bed of Death; there shall come vn­to me an expert, and expe­rienced Physician, who af­ter due pause, and aduised consideration, shall confi­dently assure me, that there is no such matter, because my liuer is not obstruct, my [Page 178] Stomacke swells not, my Ankle pitts not, my Vrine is not waterish, nor my Flesh spungie, nor my Complexion sallow, nor a­ny Symptome of such euill can bee discerned; shall I not take heart, and gather vp my spirits, and blush to thinke that I was so timo­rous, and conceited? And euen so should it fare with me in my inward languish­ment, when the Spirituall Physician imparts the like effectuall incouragements.

CHAP. XLVIII. Of the Eleuenth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, Conference with the Godly.

IT is no small blessing, when a man that is hum­bled in Spirit, may repaire for ease to Christian friends to whome is giuen the tongue of the learned, to know how to minister aIsa. 50. 4. word in time to him. For, first, it is a Rule in Diuinity, and in Experience, that Two Eccl. 4. 9. are better than One: and that A three-fold Cord is not 12. easily broken. Secondly, it is the Promise of Christ, that where two or three are ga­theredMat. 18. 20 [Page 180] together in his Name, there will hee bee present by his Holy Spirit, as he was corporally with his Disciples, when they wentLuc. 24. 15. to Emaus. Thirdly, Godly Conference is a speciall part of the Communion of Saints. Fourthly, the vicissitude of graue Discourses, and ad­uised collation of Euangeli­call contexts, exhilerateth the minde, and lifteth it vp aboue it selfe. Fiftly, the inter-view of each others holinesse, puts on the dul­ly-disposed partie, and ex­acuates him to goodnesse. Sixtly, the force of mutuall incouragement, strikes fire into the affections, and in­flames them with zealous­nesse, [Page 181] and deuotion. Last­ly, the prayers that are ioyntly made, with vnited hearts, and pure hands lift vp, ascend as Incense before the Lord, and much availe in the behalfe of the dis­comfited. But if in the fright, and appallment of Conscience, we shall resort to pleasant companions, who with rotten mirth vn­dertake (as they phrase it) to driue away the Qualme from our stomacke: the e­uent will prooue, that it is but cold water in a bur­ning Ague, which asswa­geth the heate for the pre­sent, but afterwards redou­bleth it, and indangereth the bodie.

CHAP. XLIX. Of the Twelfth Comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is Painful­nesse in our Calling.

AMongst other effectual meanes against droo­ping, and vexation of spi­rit, the Diligence in our par­ticular Calling, is not to be forgotten. For as it remo­ueth the occasion of euill: so beateth it backe the temptation to Despaire. Therefore those men are marueilously deceiued, who liuing in discon­ [...]ent, by continuing in [...]ome grosse sinne, doe re­linquish [Page 183] all d [...]aling in the world, and betake them­selues to a Sedentarie life, perswading thēselues they shall rest them in retyrednes, as in the centre of their hopes. For, through want of due motion and stirrage, the rust, and canker of selfe­guiltinesse, will eate into their most solid, and best­compacted parts, and, in tract of time, consume them to nothing.

Let vs therefore shunne Idlenesse, as the Moth of the Soule, which frets it in pie­ces without making any noyse: and let vs beare in minde the counsel of Saint Ierome: Facito aliquid oper is, Ad Rustic. Mon. vt te semper Diabolus inue [Page 184] occupatum: Bee doing something, that the Deuil may alwayes find thee busied. And let vs goe (as Salomon adui­sethPro. 6. 6. vs) to be schooled of the Pismires; for they be­stirre themselues with toile incredible, and (as Ierome reports of them) are witti­lyIn vit. Mal. Mon. laborious: some bea­ring burdens bigger then themselues: some nipping seeds in their mouthes, as with pincers: some carry­ing moulds to stop the wa­ter-wayes: some cutting Corne in the middle, that it growe not: some run­ning to helpe them that lie strugling vnder their load: and others officiously con­ueighing out the bodies of [Page 185] the dead, for feare of an­noyance.

CHAP. L. Of the Thirteenth comfort in trouble of Conscience, which is, The Trueth of Gods Pro­mises.

ANother Anchor-hold, for the Soule to stay her selfe, in the surges of temptation, is the infalli­ble Truth of Gods Promises. For God is not as man, thatNum. 23. 19. he should lye, neither as the sonne of man, that he he should repent: hath He said, and shal He not doe it? Hath Hee spoken, and shall He not accomplish it? Is he not true in him selfe, in his words, and in his works? Is [Page 186] not his Truth sincere with­out imperfection? first, without dependance? eter­nall without succession? immutable without varia­tion? Is not his Word theIoh. 17 17. Trueth by an excellencie? and shall it not remaine in violate, when the constantMat. 5. 18. frame of heauen and earth shall be shaken, and dissol­ued? And hath not theIer. 31. 34. Lord made a Couenant with the Beleeuer, and con­firmed it by hand-writing,1. Cor. 11. 25. and seales, that he will for­giue his iniquity, & remem­ber his sin no more? Then why doe I listen to the deadly Knell of Satan, as if I were a fire-brand of Hell, without all hope of life, [Page 187] and saluation: and not ra­ther crie with teares, as the Man did in S. Marke, Lord, Mark. 9. 24 I beleeue, helpe my vnbe­liefe?

CHAP. LI. Of the Fourteenth Comfort, which is the Iustice of God.

AS out of the Eater cameIudg. 14. 14 meate, and out of the Strong came sweetenesse: so may there matter of consolation, bee fetched from the proprietie of Gods Iustice. For, first, it is ne­uer executed against the nocent, without some mixture of mercie; insomuch that the Deuils themselues are not altogether puni­shed [Page 188] so seuerely as theySee Hier. Zanch. de Nat. Dei. c. 5. deserue. Secondly, it being against the nature of Iu­stice, that a Debt should be twice payd, by the Surety once, and againe by the Principall: why should I feare the attachment of my person, sith my Bonds longCol. 2. 14. since were canceld at Gol­gotha, and nayld to the Crosse of my Redeemer?

CHAP. LII. That all the forenamed Com­forts are vneffectual, with­out the Presence of the Ho­ly Ghost.

BVt in vaine doth Paul 1. Cor. 3. 6. plant, and Apollos wa­ter, vnlesse the Lord do giue [Page 189] increase. It is not bread, but the Staffe of bread that nourisheth. It is the Holy Ghost that is the Comforter, euen the Spirit of Trueth, Ioh. 14. 16, 17. whom the world cānot re­ceiue, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but the Children of God knowe him; for Hee dwel­leth in them with an vn­speakable ioy, which goes a degree beyond Peace of Rom. 14. 17. De Scala Claust. Conscience. Inexperti talia non intelligunt (saith Ber­nard) nisi ea expressiùs legant in libro Experientiae, quos ipsa doceat Vnctio: Vnexpert men cannot skil of these things, nor any but those that expresly reade them in the Book of Ex­perience, beeing instructed [Page 190] therein by the Vnction of the Spirit. Hanc autem gratiam cui vult, & quando vult, Sponsus tribuit; non quasi iure Haereditario possidetur: Now the Bridegroome (CHRIST IESVS) conferres this grace vpon whom he will, and when hee will: for no man can chal­lenge it as an Heritage.

The signes (sayth Saint Bernard) that declare theDe Scala Claust. presence of the Holy Ghost, are chiefely two: Suspiria, & Lachrymae: Sighes, and Teares. O, Domine IESV! si adeò sunt dulces istae lachrymae, quae ex memoria, & desiderio tui excitantur; quàm dulce erit gaudium, quod ex mani­festa Tui Visione capietur? Lord IESV! if the teares, that [Page 191] are shed in the remembrance, and desire of Thee, bee so sweete, and delightfull; how vnspeakeable will that ioy bee, that shall bee conceiued in the manifest Vision of Thee? Si adeò dulce est flere prote; quàm dulce erit gaudere de te? If there be such pleasure in wee­ping for thee, Oh, what com­fort will there be, in reioycing in thee?

CHAP. LIII. An Exhortation to the Chil­dren of GOD, that they striue against their Dum­pishnesse, and that they be Cheerefull in the Lord.

REioyce in the Lord, OPsal. 33. 1. ye Righteous; for it be­commeth [Page 192] well the Iust to be thankefull. Reioyce in thePhil. 4. 4. Lord, alway, againe, I say, Reioyce. Sing ye merrily vn­toPsal. 81. 1. GOD your Strength, make a cheereful noyse vn­to the GOD of Iacob. O Sing Prayses, sing Prayses vnto your GOD; O sing Prayses, sing Prayses vnto your King. O giue thankesPsal 47. 6. vnto the LORD, for hee is Gracious, and his Mercie indureth for euer. O giue thankes vnto the GOD of all GODS, for his Mercie indureth for euer. O thankePsal. 136. 1. 2. 3. the LORD of all LORDS; for his Mercie indureth for euer. Yea, let the Dumbe Isai. 35. 6. man Sing, and the Lame man leape as an Hart.

Hearten vp your seluesPsal. 42. 5. with the Prophet DAVIDS Apostrophe: Why art thou so heauie, O my Soule; and why art thou so disquieted within me? O put thy trust in GOD. Feare not, thou woorme Iacob, for thy Re­deemer, Isai. 41. 14. the Holy One of Israel will help thee. Why shoul­dest thou say, The LORDIsai. 49. 14. hath forsaken mee, and my LORD hath forgotten me? Can a Woman forget her Childe, and not haue com­passion on the sonne of her Wombe? Though they should forget, yet will not the LORD forget thee. Be­hold, he hath ingrauen thee vpon the palmes of his hands, thy Walls are euer [Page 194] in his sight. For a moment,Isai. 54. 8. in his anger, hath he hid his face from thee, for a little season: but with euerlasting Mercie will hee haue com­passion on thee. Who shall lay any thing to thy charge? It is GOD that iustifiethRom. 8. 33. 34. &c. thee. Who shal condemne? It is CHRIST which is dead, yea rather, which is risen againe, who is also at the right hand of GOD, and maketh request for thee. Who shall separate thee from the loue of CHRIST? Shall tribulation, or an­guish, or persecution, or fa­mine, or nakednesse, or pe­ril, or sword? No, thou maist perswade thy selfe, that neyther death, nor life, [Page 195] nor Angels, nor Principali­ties, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate thee from the loue of GOD, which is in Christ Iesus thy Lord.

Consider that the Godly [...]. [...] th. 7. 11. man is a Blessed man, and therefore hath his name of Reioycing. Consider the saying of Athanasius (which is cited by Saint Bernard)De modo Bene Viu. Ser. 11. Homo tristis semper malitia­tur, & contristat Spiritum Sanctum, sibi à Deo donatum: A man that is customably sad, and dumpish, is alwayes hammering some mischiefe, and grieueth the Holy Spirit, which the Lord hath giuen [Page 196] him. Consider that a sorrow­full Pro. 17. 22. minde dryeth vp the bones, and riueleth the bo­die, which is a part of the Image of GOD. Consider, that it disableth a man to the performance of the Workes of his Calling. Consider, that it is excee­ding liable to temptations, and is vsually barren in the very disposition to doe good. Consider, that List­lesnesse, and Vnthankeful­nesse, are neuer seuered, but goe hand in hand together. Consider, that it is the Si­ster of Doubtfulnesse. Con­sider,Bern. De Mod. Bene Viu. Ser. 11 that Melancholy is a Black humour, and the Seate of the Deuill, if it bee not well lookt to. Consider, [Page 197] that immoderate Sorrow 2. Cor. 7. 10 causeth Death, and is the Fore-runner of Despaire. Consider, it argues a defect of Wisedome, sith the wrath of GOD belongsEphes. 5. 6. not to the Elect, but to the Children of Disobedi [...]nce Consider, that as in the Laughing of the wicked, thePro. 14. 13. heart is sorrowfull, and the end of that Mirth is Hea­uinesse: so in the sorrow of the Godly, the heart should bee lightned, because the end of that Heauinesse is Mirth. Consider, that it prouokes the Lord to an­ger, when one serues him not with Ioyfulnesse, andDeu. 28. 47 with a Good heart.

CHAP. LIIII. A short Prayer for Comfort in trouble of Conscience.

MOst mightie, and most glorious GOD, the brightnesse of whose coun­tenance the very Angels are not able to behold, and be­fore whose wrath none is a­ble to stand: how dare I vile, and miserable Sinner, once offer to speake vnto thee by Prayer, who am guiltie in my selfe, of so ma­ny treacheries, and rebel­lions; wherby I haue made my selfe liable to euerla­sting vengeance? But, Lord, it is thine infinite good­nesse, and tender compassi­on [Page 199] in Iesus Christ, that thus imboldneth mee. For, though I bee Hell, yet thou art H [...]auen. And still thou most kindly offerest thy selfe vnto mee in thy Word, and Sacraments, and smi­test my stony heart with re­morse, that so I may bee conuerted, and liue. Yea, Gracious Lord, thou seest at this present, that I lye blee­ding in wardly before thee, and that my sinnes pursue me vnto Death. My belly trembleth, my lips shake, and rottennesse entreth in­to my bones, for feare of thy Iudgements. For, O Lord, I confesse from the bottome of my heart, that, in mine owne feeling, I am [Page 200] the most notorious Offen­der, that euer beg'd mercie at thy hand, or that euer was saued.

For Christ his sake, haue mercie vpon me and speake Peace vnto my Soule. O thou that killest, and ma­kest aliue, bringest downe to the Graue, and raysest vp againe; forgiue mee my manifold, & crying sins, & restore the ioyes that I was wont to find in thee. O bles­sed Father, look vpon me in thy Beloued: O Iesus Christ, one drop, one drop of thy bloud to comfort mee: O Holy Ghost, inspire mee with the sweet motions of grace, and giue me a Certificate of mine Election, and Saluati­on. [Page 201] Good Father, forsake not the worke of thine own hands; but glorifie thy name, in vouchsafing pitie to me poore wretch, who in all humilitie doe craue it further, in the name, and words of my Sauiour, say­ing, Our Father, &c.

CHAP. LV. Of Euill Conscience: and first of the Large one.

HAuing thus copiously discoursed of the na­ture of Good Conscience, and of Trouble of Minde, which (being sanctified) is in the way to it: it now remaineth that wee treat of Euill Con­science, which hath sundrie [Page 202] kindes, or distinctions; the first whereof is called Con­scientia Dilatata; A large or Cheuerill Conscience; because it sticketh not at any sinne, vnlesse it be notorious, and capitall. Thus many will sweare deepe and fearefull oathes, which yet wil pause in a case of Periurie; will di­gest Fornication, but shrinke at Incest; will make no bones of Vsury, Brokage, and such drie murder; yet will sit downe, and demurre, ere they bathe their hands in bloud.

This Conscience is that, which is tearmed Sleepie, or Benummed; for that it lies still, and couches close, till the time of Sicknesse, Death, [Page 203] or other extremitie; and then (like a wilde Beast) it starts vp with fierie eyes, & is ready to pluck out the throate of the soule. Now the causes of this Securitie, are Ignorance, Passion, Harts­ease, Imployment; which ei­ther lull the Conscience a­sleepe▪ or else crie downe her voice with clamours, as the Drummes in the sacrifi­ces to Moloch, were wont to drowne the shriekes of the Infants.

CHAP. LVI. Of the Second kinde of Euill Conscience, which is Nice, or Spiced.

AGaine; there is a Byrd­ey'd Conscience, which starteth backe at the least occasion▪ and maketh more Commandements that Ten. Against this causelesse scru­pulositie, is bent that sage aduice of Salomon, Bee not Ecclesiast. 7. 18. thou Iust Ouer-much: which speech may seeme strange at the first sight, because Iustitia quantò maior, tantò Dionys. Carthus. melior; The greater Iustice is, the more commendable it is. But we must consider, that albeit Iustice (in it selfe) be a [Page 205] vertue, where in there is no Excesse, directly; because the Augmentation is the Com­pletion of it: yet in the Exer­cises, and Acts thereof, super­fluitie may be found. So that (no doubt) it is displeasing to GOD, that a man should maceratehimself, by watch­ings, fastings, and immode­rate labour, refusing lawful meates, & refections, which serue for the sustentation of life, and furtherance of his calling: howsoeuer, in a certaine strictnesse, and morositie, hee perswade himselfe that this Austere­nesse pleaseth him. But we neede not presse this point too farre, in this Intemperate Age, which is rather pam­pered [Page 206] to surfet, than abrid­ged of Necessaries.

CHAP. LVII. Of the Third kinde of Euil [...] Conscience, which is the Peruerse one.

ANother kinde of Euill Conscience, is the Way­ward one; whose propertie is to straine out a Gnat, and swallow a Camell. ThisMat. 23. 24. was the Conscience of the Pharises, who cried out a­gainstMat. 12. 2. the poore hungry Disciples for plucking a few eares of Corne on the Sab­bath; but could bawke their owne sinnes, which were so palpable, and shamefull, that they deserued to bee [Page 207] hooted at. In like sort, they tythed M [...]nt, Annise, andMat▪ 23. 23. Cummin: but left the weigh­tier matters of the Law, as Iudgement, Mercie, and Fi­delitie. Not that it was re­proueable to regard the smallest documents of the Law: but for that they committed a three-fold er­rour. First, in the neglecting of greater duties: Secondly, in placing their hope in these little ones: and Third­ly, in their superstitious cō ­mendation of them. Of the Successors of these Pha­rises, complained Dionysius In Mat. 23. 23. Carthusianus in his time. Ta­les (proh dolor) saith he, iam penè innumerabiles▪ sunt in Ec­clesia Christi, Pastores, & [Page 208] Praelati: qui Decimas, & cae­tera quae ad eorum commodum pertinent, cum omni diligentia exigunt, & non dantes incre­pant durè, non tam diuino, quàm priuato amore inducti: si verò subditi peccent in De­um, vel se inuicem laedant, nil curant, vel parùm: There are at this day (I s [...]eake it with griefe of heart) an innume­rable This is meant of the Romish Pharises. sort of Pastors, and Pre­lates in the Church (of Christ) who demand their Tithes, and other profits, with all diligence and strictnesse, and take them vp roundly, that denie them; not led so much hereto by any loue to God as out of desire to benefit themselues: but if they perceiue that the people sinne immediately against GOD, [Page 209] or else oppresse and wrong one another, they respect that, little or nothing at all.

CHAP. LVIII. Of the Fourth kinde of Euill Conscience, which is the Cauterized.

THere is a Conscience worse then all the for­mer, which S. Paul calleth1. Tim. 4. 2. Seared; because it is bereft of life, and sense, and motion; as an arme, or leg, that is cut off from the bodie, and burnt with an hot iron. This kinde of Conscience is found in none, but obstinate Heretickes, and hainous Malefactors; such, as in Scrip­ture, are said to be Vines of Sodome and Gomorrah, to beDeut 32. 32. fat, and grosse, and laden [Page 210] with fatnesse, to adde drun­kennesseDeut. 32. 15. Deut. 29. 19. 1 Kin. 21. Isaiah 5 18 Zeph. 1. 12. Ier. 3. 3. zach. 7. 12. to thirst, to sell themselues to worke wick­ednesse, to draw sinne with Cart-ropes, to be frozen in their dregs, to haue Harlots fore-heads, and hearts of Adamant. These are they that are said (by the Schoole­men) to be Habituati in malo; Accustomed to doe Euill; and being Black-moores, will notIer. 13. 23. change their hue, though you wash them with Sope, and Nitre.

This hard, and irrelent­ingDe Conside­rat. l. 1. Quid est Cor Du­rum? Quod se­metipsum non exhor­ret, &c. heart is thus described by Saint Bernard: An hard heart is that which feares not it selfe, because it feeles not it selfe: It is that which is not rent with compuncti­on, [Page 211] nor softned with pietie, nor moued with prayers: which yeeldeth not to threats, and growes tough with scourges: vnthankfull for benefits, vnfaithfull in counsels, in iudgements cruell, in vilenesse impu­dent; vnfearefull of dan­ger, vncourteous to the gentle, vnreuerent in Gods worship: vnmindfull of things past, negligent of things present, improui­dent of things to come. And that I may winde vp all in one word, Ipsum est, quod nec Deum timet, nec hominem reueretur; It is that which feareth neither GOD, nor man; like the Vnrighte­ous Luke: 8. 2. Iudge decyphered in the Gospell.

CHAP. LIX. Of the Steps, and Degrees, that lead to this Searednesse of Conscience.

THere are (saith Grego­rie)In Pasto. Cura. three principall Staires, that descend to the chambers of Death: Sug­gestion, Delectation, and Con­sent; the first is effected by Satan, the second by the Flesh, and the third by the Soule. Suggestione peccatum agnoscimus, Delectatione vin­cimur, Consensu ligamur: By Suggestion, we take notice of sinne, by Delight wee are vanquished, by Consent in­thralled. S. Augustine some­timesConfes. 8. 5. makes this Gradation: [Page 213] Will, Peruerse Desire, Cu­stome, Tom. 10. Hom. 27. Necessitie: and some­times this; Suggestion, De­lectation, Consent, Perpe­tration. De Con­scien. Saint Bernard ma­keth seuen Descents in­to Hell; Importabile, Graue, Leue, Insensibile, Delectabi­le, Desiderabile, Defensibile: In effect thus much: First, Sinne is Intolerable, then Heauie, then Light, then Past feeling, then Delightfull, then Desireable, then Iusti­fiable. From all these pla­ces, and some other of the like nature, wee may ob­serue Eight seueral Degrees, which I reckon thus in their order.

The First is the Suggesti­on 1. to sinne, against which [Page 214] we must arme our selues with watchfulnesse, and Gouernement of the Senses. For there were two things that vndid DAVID; Oti­um, & Oculus: Idlenesse, and his Eye. And here we must remember, that Suggesti­on, Bern. De Conscien. without Ingestion, (that is, A temptation offered, without yeelding to it) is not Vulnus, but Corona; no Wound, but a Garland.

The Second Degree, is2. Cogitation, which is Ad pec­catum dispositiuè, in the way to Sinne, if it bee not preuented. For (as SaintAd Paul & Eustoch. Ierome writeth) the Deuill, when he meanes to take vp his lodging, is woont to send a Thought before, to [Page 215] trie whether hee shall bee welcome, or no. So that a wicked thought (as the same Father noteth,) is, Pri­mogenita Diaboli; Satans El­dest Daughter. Now the Thoughts of Man, (as S. Ber­nard De Consci­en. distinguisheth them) are either Burdenous, such as thrust themselues vpon the minde vnavoidably: or Affectuous, belonging to the pleasure of the bodie: or Obscene, as being in the nature of vncleane dregs: or Idle, as the imagina­tion of Birds, flying in the Ayre: or Curious, tending to the exploration of se­crets: or Suspicious, incli­ning to sinister interpreta­tion: or lastly, Distentorie, [Page 216] when the reason is stretcht [...]o the contemplation of farre-distant Regions, or to the speculation of cau­ses, or else to worldly ne­gotiations.

The Third Degree is De­light, 3. whereby an euill thought receiued, and re­ [...]ained in the minde, inuei­gleth the will, and laies a bait for it. And this tickling of the affection, (if it bee dwelt vpon) is a Mortall Sinne, euen by the verdict of the Schoole-men them­selues:Pet. Lomb. l. 2. Dist. 24. which must stirre vp euery one to be circum­spect in this case; to which end tendeth that Historie, which Saint Ierome records in the life of Paulus, concer­ning [Page 217] a godly yongman, a Souldier of Decius; who be­ing at the commandement of the Tyrant, laide vpon a fine Downe-bed, and tyed downe hand and foot with silken Towels, was most dangerously inticed by the kisses, and imbracements of a beautifull Harlot; and being not able to breake a­way from her (as Ioseph didGen. 39. 12 from his wanton Mistresse) to check himselfe in the oc­casion of pleasure, he bit off his tongue, and spit it in her face.

The Fourth Degree, is4. Consent, or Resolution to venter vpon the Action And here the Diuell (that Prince of Darknesse) bindes [Page 118] a Napkin close to the sin­ners eye, lest he behold the danger ensuing; and sets a Skriene betwixt him and Hell-fire, that hee may not feele the least heat of it. Of this Determination to com­mit sinne, S. Bernard thusDe Jnter. Dom. c. 19. writeth: Solus Consensus re­os nos facit, etiamsi aliquid impediat, ne opera subsequan­tur: Consent alone makes vs guilty before God, though the fact intended be neuer accom­plisht.

The fift Degree is Opera­tion, 5. which may be called the Birth of sinne. For nowIam. 1. 15. Ps. 7. 14. the Brat lies wralling in the lap, which before was si­lent,In Serm. de vilic. Iniq. and concealed. Ha­bet & opus vocem sitam, saith [Page 219] Bernard: Euery euill worke hath a kind of voice, whether it be done Contra Naturā, aut Contra Legem, aut Contra Consuetudinem: Against Na­ture, Law, or (warrantable) Custome.

The Sixth Degree is Cu­stome 6. in euill: which hath brought the profane to such an haunt, Vt iam, non modò placeat peccatum, sed & assidue placeat: That he doth not now only delight in sinne, but doth nothing else but de­light in it. Thus Consuetu­do vertitur in Naturam: The Habit is growne to a Necessi­tie. Hic Peccator foetet, Hic Bernard. Quatriduanus est: This Sin­ner stinketh, and rotteth like Lazarus, when hee hadIoh. 11. 39. [Page 220] beene dead foure dayes.

The Seuenth Degree is7. the Defence of Sin, which is fearefull to thinke vpon. At this passe were the Iewes, who being reproo­ued from the Lord, for their grosse Idolatry, re­turned this answere, Wee haue loued Strangers, and Ier. 2. 25. them WIL we follow. Thus the Blasphemer alledgeth Io­seph, to excuse his swearing; the Drunkard, Noah; the Adulterer, Da [...]id; the Op­pressour, Zachee: but these wicked men (as Gregorie Pastor. Cur. 3. pars. well aduiseth) are to be ad­monished, Vt eis perditio priuata sufficiat: That they would hold it sufficient to bee cast awayes themselues, and [Page 221] not by their lewd & licen­tious speeches, to drawe o­thers with them into the same damnation.

The Eighth, and last De­gree, 8. is the Boasting of Sinne, to the which when a man is come, he is in the gall ofAct. 8. 23. bitternesse, and in the bond of iniquitie. The triall ofIsa. 3. 9. his countenance witnes­seth against him; hee de­clures his sinne, as Sodome, he hides it not: woe be vn­toIer. 6. 15. his soule, for he hath re­warded euil vnto himselfe. Is hee a shamed when heeIer. 8. 12. hath committed euill? No, he is not ashamed, neither can he haue any shame, but turneth vnto his race, euenIer. 8. 6. as the Horse that rusheth [Page 222] into the battaile. Thus the Tyrant Boasteth, that hePsa. 52. 1. can doe euill; like Lamech, G [...]. 4. 23. [...] V [...]ab. (the first Bigamist) who Vaunted to his wiues, that he would slay a man in his wound, and a yong man in his heate. And thus the vngracious Old man, whose thoughts are green, though his head be gray, delights to bragge of his Sabbath­dancings, and other vani­ties of his youth; forget­ting that such abusing of the whole body with foo­lish gesticulations, and profanation of the Lords Day, may truely bee defi­ned to bee Circulus, cuius Centrum Diabolus: A Cir­cle, whose Centre is the Deuil. [Page 223] I will end this point with that worthie sentence of Saint Bernard: Nihil equè De Consci­en. exasperat illius tremendi Iu­dicis Maiestatem, quàm pec­care, & securè peccare, & de vitijs, quasi de virtutibus glo­riari: There is nothing in the world, that prouoketh so much to anger the Maie­stie of the most dreadful Iudge, as first, to sinne, and then, to sin securely, & at last to glory in the perpetration of it, as if wee had performed some no­table exploit.

CHAP. LX. Of the fearefull Estate of those that haue Searednesse of Conscience.

TO the end the Obsti­nate, & Obdurate, may be brought to the conside­ration of the dreadful dan­ger, where with he is inui­roned (like the Hoste of the2. Kin. 6. 20 Aramites in the midst of Sa­maria) I will stand a little, to describe the wofulnesse, and forlornenesse of his estate.

First then, the Man thatDeut. 28. Leu. 26. hath his Conscience seared, is liable to all the plagues that are vnder heauen: to hunger, to thirst, to naked­nesse, [Page 225] to Famine, to Warre, to Banishment, to Shame, to Beggerie, to Contempt, to Imprisonment, to the Pestilence, to the Phrensie, and to the Botch of Egypt, to Abridgement of Life by a sudden, and ignominious Death; at what time his Soule is like to goe to Hell, while his Bodie is deuou­red of the Fowles of the Ayre; or at the best, lyes rot­ting like a Carrion in the earth, til the Day of Iudge­ment.

Secondly, the Scripture brands him for a Cursed 2. King. 9. 34. Man; than which, what can be imagined more terrible? For as the sweetest word in all the World, is, Come ye, Mat. 25. 34. 41. [Page 226] BLESSED: so the very bot­tome of the Violl of GODS wrath, is, Goe, yee CVRSED.

Thirdly, he doth enough to bring a plague vpon his Posteritie, to the third andExod. 20. 5. fourth Generation: for oft­times the Curse is intayled to the Children of irreli­gious Parents, the rather, because they vsually tread in the by-wayes of their Progenitors.

Fourthly, the Sinner that hath made a league with Hell, and with Death, is transformed into a Beast, and hath lost the name, and nature of a Man; and there­fore in the Dialect of Scrip­ture, Psal. 10. 9. [...] sal. 22. 12. Luk. 13. 32. Mat. 3. 7. hee is a Lion, a Bull, a Fox, a Viper, and (at the [Page 227] best) a Nebuchadnezzar tur­nedDan. 4. 30. out to grasse.

Fiftly, the Word of GOD, which is as Fire, and as theIer. 23. 29. Hammer that breaketh the stone; which hath beene a powerful instrument of sal­uation to thousand thousād soules that haue heard it, (as we read of Three thou­sandActs 2. 41. that it wanne to the Church at one time) cannot preuaile with the flagitious liuer; but the more Sermōs he resorts to, the worse hee is; like a raw, and vnbaked Bricke, which the more it is washed, the fouler it is.

Sixtly, the Sacrament is altogether ineffectuall to him, though it bee the Con­duit of Grace, and the Lauer [Page 228] of the Soule. Thus Iudas re­ceiuing the Bread of the Lords Supper, at the blessed hand of our Sauiour, and yet retayning a Trayterous disposition, receiued theIoh. 13. 27. Sop, but withall gaue the Deuill the full possession of himselfe.

Seuenthly, (which is e­nough to make one quake to thinke of it) our Sauiour Ioh. 17. 9. Christ hath left it in ex­presse words, that hee will not Pray for him. Ieremie Must not: Christ Will not.Ier. 7. 16.

Eightly, when in his affli­ction he prayes, & howles vpon his Bed, hee doth no better than cut off a D [...]gges Isa. 66. 3. necke, or offer Swines-bloud, or blesse an Idoll. Insomuch [Page 209] that the action of Prayer, which in the Elect is a sin­gular grace, (as being the principal fruit of Faith, andBez. Conf. c. 4. Art. 16. the most honourable ser­uice that can be tendred to GOD) is, in him, vnfruitfull, and abominable.

Lastly, this Hardnesse of Exod. 7. 3. Heart, and high degree of Spirituall desertion, is Pha­raohs punishmēt, that is, the Plague of Plagues, & the ve­ry Master-pocke, that eateth out the eye of the Soule.

CHAP. LXI. Of the Fift kind of Euill Con­science, which is the Des­perate one.

THe last, and worst kind of Conscience, is the [Page 230] Desperate: the horror wher­of but to shadow, (for who is able to expresse it at life?) were enough to split the heart of a Christian. For, First, it is an Inward pang, a Secret torment, and con­uulsion; which by so much the more is into lerable, by how much the lesse it is ca­pable of vent. For the wic­ked is like the raging of theIsai. 57. 20. Sea, whose waters cast vp m [...]re and dirt; being not only tossed with Stormes and Counter-blasts from without, but most of all troubled with it owne reci­procall motion. Thus the huge, and massiue bodie of the Earth, is shaken with vapors from within, where [Page 231] the most boysterous winds that assault her vpper-face, cannot stirre her.

Secondly, he is a Fugitiue, and is runne away from GOD, who (as Saint Augu­stine In Psal. 139 speaketh) is not only an Inquisitour, but an Inue­stigatour: doth not only in­quire of him but traces him step by step, and will finde him out, though hee hide himselfe in the top of Car­mel: Amos 9. 3. nay, though hee lay close in the bottome of the Sea, yet thence would hee command the Serpent, and he should bite him.

Thirdly, the LORD hathDeut. 28. 28, 67. smitten him with Madnesse, (as hee threatned in the Law) so that hee knowes [Page 232] not what to doe, nor where to rest; nor how to passe the time: but when it is morning, hee wisheth it were night; and when it is night, he wisheth it were morning; and cannot sleep sweetly, but starts out of his Bed, and is readie to kill himselfe, like the Keeper Acts 16. 27 of the Priso [...] at Philippi.

Fourthly, hee is a Malefa­ctor, condemned, and ad­iudged to Death; expecting hourely his deserued Exe­cution; and therefore liueth in continuall feare, and pu­nishment: for, Timor sup­plicamentum Id est, sup­plicium. De Fug. habet, sayth TERTVLLIAN: Feare hath euer punishment annexed to it.

Fiftly, he is like the man, [Page 233] Possessed of the Deuill, whoMark. 5. 3. had his abiding in the Graues: for the most plea­sant prospects are to him but Golgothaes.

Lastly, there is a Worme The Hea­thens sha­dowed this by the Ea­gle or Vul­ture, that fed vpon the heart of Prome­theus, Ma­crob. l. 1. in Som Scip. which lyes gnawing, and grabling continually at his heart, which shall neuer die, neuer leaue tugging, no not when hee hath lien thousand thousand yeeres in Hell. For the certaintie whereof, it hath pleased the Holy Ghost to repeat it three seuerall times, within the compasse of fiue Verses, in these wordes; Where the Mark. 9. 44. 46, 48. Worme dyeth not, and the fire neuer goeth out

CHAP. LXII. That it is exceeding dange­rous for a man in horrour of Conscience, to kill himselfe.

AFter the Arch-enemie of Mankinde (the De­uill) hath insnared a man many yeeres together, in sensualitie, and worldli­nesse, and trailed him along with the vaine conceit of Mercie: at last hee presents himselfe in a ghastly shape, with kniues and halters in his hand; cōtinually vrging him to become his owne Deaths-man, that so he may bee rid of his present an­guish. Against which blou­die [Page 235] temptation, the Christi­an is most carefully to arme himself with the considera­tion of the danger that will accrew. For if Cleombrotus Aug. De Ciu. Dei, l. [...] did ill to kill himselfe, that hee might bee possessed of those ioyes of Heauen, which his Master Plato so excellently had described: and if Cato haue got him an euerlasting reproch (a­mongst the truely wise) by dispatching himselfe in a disdaine to yeeld to Caesar (a man of incomparable valour, and clemencie:) and if Lucretia, (chaste, and innocent Lucretia,) haue wronged her name, by the wilfull abridgement of her life, in a false supposall of [Page 236] dishonour: and, if the best commendation that they got, was, that they did itAug. De Ciu. Dei. l. 1. c. 22. Magnè, but not Benè: how shall they escape the iudge­ment of GOD, who in the bright sunne-shine of the Gospell, doe most cruel­ly bereaue themselues of the great blessing of this present life, which God hath allotted them for their comfort, and Repentance?

Hath not the Lord said, Thou shalt not kill, without adding the word Neigh­bour (as S. Augustine wellDe Ciu. Dei l. 1. noteth) that thou migh­test take heede of admit­ting the least thought of destroying thy selfe? A­gaine,2. Sam. 17. 23. are not Achitophel, [Page 237] and Iudas, that strangledAct. 1. 18. themselues, left to all poste­ritie as most fearefull spe­ctacles of GODS venge­ance? (For, as for the fact of Sampson, it is extraordi­narie; and more (as SaintDe Ciu. Dei Austine obserueth) Spiri­tus latenter hoc iusserat: The Spirit of God had secretly commanded it.) Besides; the same Father doth peremp­torily affirme, that for a man to slay himselfe, is De­testabile facinu [...], & damnabi­le; De Ciu. Dei l. 1. c. 25. A crime, that is both De­testable, and Damnable. Fur­ther, M [...]ns Bodie, is a Part of the Image of God, and all the Three Persons in the Trinity Gen. 1. 26. consulted about the ma­king of it; and all the crea­tures [Page 238] in Heauen, and in Earth, are not able to make the least haire of ones head. Lastly, after death, Locu [...] sa­lubris De Ciu. Dei l. 1. c. 25. Poenitentiae non datur; There is no fitting place for Repentance: and therefore, O man, stay thy hand; and commit not that Murder in one instant, which thou canst neuer wash out with thy teares, in infinite Milli­ons of yeeres.

CHAP. LXIII. Certaine forcible Reasons a­gainst Despaire.

TO the end the Deuill may not sinke downe the soule irrecouerably in­to Hell, the distracted sin­ner [Page 239] is to know, that none in this life are apparant­ly debarred from hope of forgiuenesse, but onely the Reprobate angels. Diaboli, & Enarrat. in Psa. 54. angeli eius (saith S. Austin) manifestati sunt nobis, quòd ad Ignem aeternum sunt desti­nati: Ipsorum tantùm despe­randa est Correctio: Concer­ning the Deuill and his an­gels, most certaine it is, that they are Praedestinate to euer­lasting fire: and we are to de­spaire of their correction only. Againe, it must bee well weighed, that there is no Offender so hellish, and a­bominable, but that the Church of God receiues him into her armes, vpon his vnfained Conuersion: accor­ding [Page 240] to that sweete saying of S. Augustine: In quibus­cun (que) Tom. 10. Hom. 27. peccatis, non perdit vis­cera, Pia Mater Ecclesia: Our Holy Mother, the Church, doth not forgoe the bowels of her loue, in any sinne, be it neuer so hainous. Of this very mind is the blessed Martyr Cy­prian: Nec quisquam (saithAd Demetr. he) aut Peccatis retardetur, aut annis, quò [...]inùs veniat ad consequendam salutem: Let no man bee kept backe from seeking mercie, haue he been neuer so mighty, neuer so inueterate a Transgressour. In isto adhuc mund [...] manenti, nulla Poenitentia sera est: so long as a man is in this World, Repentance neuer commeth too late. [...] sub ipso licet exi­tu, [Page 241] & vitae temporalis occ [...]su pro delict is roges, venia con­fitenti datur, & ad Immortal [...] ­tatem, sub ipsa morte transi­tur: Though thou haue d [...] ­ferred the crauing of forgiue­nesse, euen till thou bee draw­ing on, and (in a manner) at [...]he last gaspe: yet, if thou then p [...]rforme it sincerely, thy sins a [...]e pardoned, and thou art p [...]ssed from death to life. Which words are not writ­ten by this godly Father, to bolster vp any man in his presumption; but one­ly to comfort the distressed soule, surcharged with his iniquities.

Mo [...]eouer, the wounded Sinner is to take notice, that to adde Despaire vnto [Page 242] his other wickednesse, is (with the Amorites) to make it Full. For it is the iudgement of Saint Au­gustine, Tom. 10. Hom. 27. that Iudas sinned more grieuously by Despay­ring, than by Betraying Our Sauiour. His wordes are these: Iudam Traditoren, non tam scelus, quod con­misit, quàm Indulgeniae Desperatio, fecit penitùs in­terire: It was not so much the cursed fact of Iudas the Traytour, that cast away his soule, as the Despairing of the Mercy of God.

Lastly, the Sinne of De­spaire is so notorious, that some learned men haue thought it to be the Vnpar­donable sinne against the [Page 243] Holy Ghost: because it isDi [...]nys-Carth. in Euang. Math. c. 27. Pet. Lomb. l. 2. Dist. 43 committed directè contra Diuinitatem; Directly against the Godhead: videlicet, contra Infinitatem Bonitatis, & Mi­sericordiae Dei; that is, against the Infinitenes of Gods Good­nesse, and Mercie. The Lord, for his Christs sake, con­firme vs in the assurance of his fauour, by the testimo­nie of his Spirit, and the comfortable fruits of a Sanctified life; that after this wearisome pilgrimage, we may keepe holy to him, an euerlasting Sabbath in the Heauens. Amen.

Deo Gloria.

Qui primas non potuit habere Sapi­entiae; secundas habeat partes Modestiae. Aug. in lib. Retract.

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