A SERMON PREACHED AT WESTMINSTER MAY 26. 1608. AT THE FVNERALL SOLEMNITIES of the Right Honorable Thomas Earle of Dorset, late L. High Treasurer of ENGLAND.

By GEORGE ABBOT Doctor of Diuinitie and Deane of WINCHESTER, one of his Lordships Chapleines.

Now published at the request of some honourable persons; very few things being added, which were then cut off by the shortnesse of the time.

IOH. 9. 4. The night commeth, when no man can worke.

LONDON Printed by Melchisedech Bradwood for William Aspley. 1608.

TO THE RIHGT Honorable and most vertuous Lady, the La. Cicely Countesse of DORSET.

THere are sundry reasons (right Honourable) which haue moo­ued me to giue my consent that this Sermon might be publi­shed: One is to testifie my duti­full & grateful respect towards that noble personage now de­ceased, to whom when he was liuing, I was so much bound for so many yeeres together: Another is, to giue satisfaction to diuers of speciall qualitie and note, who haue earnestly in­treated me, that I will not denie this dutie to the dead, nor such a kindnesse to them aliue, but that they may reade that againe and againe, which they heard once with no discon­tentment: A third is, that the world may truly take notice of many excellent vertues, wherewith God had indued this honourable man: and that as well with resolued knowledge to compose and settle his soule religiously towards heauen, as with rare wisdome & prudence otherwise, to digest and dis­patch, either publike businesse touching his Souereigne and the State, or his owne priuat affaires. In the opening where­of, as it should be vanitie to adde or amplifie any thing, so it should be want of Christian dutie and regard, to conceale that which is true: especially since the relation may satisfie such as doubt, and the example may prouoke others to imi­tate those good parts, which are not euery where to be found. Now it being published, I haue as great reason to recommend [Page] it to your honourable patronage, since you are the Suruiuer of that worthy couple, who for so long time were ioyned to­gether in the bands of Christian wedlocke. And whom may it more concerne, or vnto whom can it be more comfortable than to your Ladiship, that there should be some memoriall of his well-doing, whom you so deerly loued, and so respect­fully obserued, in the time of your conuersation together? Besides, the reading of it, may peraduenture be a Remem­brancer vnto you of your owne mortalitie, when you heare of his departure before you, who (as you supposed) might haue ouer-liued you many yeeres. And lastly, the mention of that which his Lordship hath left touching your selfe, may incite you to go forward in those vertuous and Christian courses, which hitherto you haue so singularly demonstrated, that (besides the experience which his Lordship had, and testified to the full) the world (which obserueth few good things, vnlesse they be eminent) taketh great notice of them: and therefore it neerly concerneth your Honor to persist therein: and to endeuour yet dayly to increase those good graces; that the end may counteruaile, yea exceed, both the progresse and beginning. I doubt not but God who hath begun his admi­rable worke in you, will accomplish it and make it perfect, so blessing you all the dayes of your pilgrimage heere, that you may liue to your children and childrens children an honou­rable paterne of pietie, religion and vertue; and depart from this earth in a full age, vnto the true and neuer ceasing ioyes of his euerlasting Kingdome. Which he will alwayes pray for, who is and long hath beene

Your Honors very much bounden GEORGE ABBOT.

A SERMON PREA­ched at Westminster May 26. 1608.
AT THE FVNERALL SOLEMNITIES of the Right Honourable Thomas Earle of Dorset, late L. High Treasurer of ENGLAND.

ISAIAH 40. 6.

A voice sayd, Crie. And he sayd, What shall I crie? All flesh is grasse, and all the grace thereof is as the flower of the field.

7. The grasse withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spi­rit of the Lord bloweth vpon it.

HEe that looketh into this Chapter, shall see it to be a Prophecie of the comming of Christ: of his appearing in the flesh, and his taking of our hu­mane nature vpon him, so to bring grace and saluation to as manie as should beleeue. And this, touching the comming of Christ, is not naked­ly layd downe, but with an intimati­on also of his fore-runner Iohn the Baptist, the very words being vsed (to make it the more notorious) which are repea­ted [Page 2] in the third Chapter of Saint Mathew,Matth. 3. 3. The voice of a crier in the wildernesse, prepare the way of the Lord: make his paths straight. But to fit men so much the more, to embrace that mercy which should be offred by him, this sound reason is brought; that of our selues we are mortall, corruptible and transitorie, and that therefore it is good that we should haue something else to rest our soules vpon. For we consist but of flesh, and that is like vnto the grasse. And if we should imagine othermen to be better then our selues, yet they are but as we are: for all flesh is grasse, and all the grace thereof is as the flower of the field: Therefore it is best to trust to something els; and that must be the sonne of God, the Sauiour of the world, the Redeemer of mankind, the mighty God of Iacob. I shall not at this time speake any thing concerning the comming of Christ, but shall rather insist vpon the opening of the reason which leadeth vs vnto Christ Iesus. Which that it may bee the more strongly imprinted in vs, it is not barely deliuered, but with a kinde of Preface, or solemne introduction, A voice said, Cry: And he said, What shall I cry? The whole may be di­uided into these two parts, A preparation, and A proclamati­on. The proclamation is the maine, consisting of the latter words, All flesh is grasse, and all the grace thereof as the flower of the field, &c. In the preparation, are two circumstances: A commandement, what should be done: And the Prophets composing of himselfe to the performance of it. Of all which in their order, as God shall giue assistance.

A voice said, Crie.

2 We shall little need to inquire, what voice this is which speaketh to Esay. For that, whereunto the Prophet would hearken, is only the voice of God. That which spake out of the mount, in the twentieth of Exodus, when the law was gi­uen downe to the people of Israel,Exod. 20. 1. God spake these words and said. That which called to1. Sam. 3. 4. Samuel, in the dead time of the night, and badde him go, and doe a message to old Eli. That whereof Dauid could say,Psal. 29. 4. The voice of the Lord is mightie: the voice of the Lord is glorious. The veritie, the authority, the maiestie of that which is vttered, doth declare so much. This [Page 3] biddeth the prophet Crie: not speake only; much lesse whis­per; but with an extention of his voice to deliuer his mes­sage. This must not be as that was when God passed by Eli­as, 1. Reg 19. 12. in a soft and still voice: nor as that, where, to describe the mildenesse of our Sauiour, it is said of him;Matth. 12. 19. He shall not stirre, nor crie, neither shall any man heare his voice in the streets: but it is rather like that of Ionas the prophet, who entring into NiniueIonah 3. 4. cried and said, Yet fortie daies, and Niniue shall be de­stroied. Or as that in our prophet Esay,Isa: 58. 1. Crie aloud, and spare not: lift vp thy voice like a trumpet. Heere must be such a noise, as would mooue a man that were musing, would whet him that were dull, would rowse him that were slumbring, would awake him that were sleeping. So carefull is God, that we should heare this lesson, and lay it vnto our hearts.

3 Hence we may perceiue the heauinesse and dulnesse of our nature, when in a matter so cleere, we need such a noise to remember vs of our mortalitie. For set aside the word of God, Philosophy and experience may informe so much vnto vs. The Churches and Church-yards thorow which we do passe, the tombes of other men, the going before vs of our parents and our kinsfolkes, of our friends and acquaintance, might proclaime this vnto vs. What should we need any crying? or why should we lacke any speaking? We may see this well enough [...] So many men as wee meet, so many mor­tall creatures. X [...]rxes though but a heathen man, yet could make this vse of his sight: For when he beheld from the top of his high tabernacle, the huge numbers in his armie, as Herodot, in Polymma. Herodotus writeth, he broke forth into teares, and yeelded this reason of it, that of all that multitude (which was so great, that for ought we reade, there were neuer in the world so many souldiers at once compacted into one armie) within one hundred yeres there should not one person be remaining aliue. And if we would not see it, yet feele it we may. For as we reade in S. Austen, the aches of our bones, the heauinesse of our bodies, the deafenesse of our eares, the dimnesse of our sight, the baldnesse of our heads, the grainesse of our haires, are signes of a house that is ready to fall to the ground.August. de 12. abusio­num gradi­bus. Tom. 9. Dum [Page 4] oculicaligant, aures grauiter audiunt, capilli fluunt, &c. hac om­nia ruitur am iam iam (que) domum corporis citò praenunciant. Hee alludeth to an old house, whereof when the walles doe moul­der and fitter away, the roofe is vncouered, the timber is dis­iointed, it is an euident argument, that it will not be long be­fore this house fall. Such tokens of the mortalitie of our bo­dies, are those decaies and imperfections. But Sathan doth so deafe vs, and the world doth so blinde vs, and our flesh maketh vs so senselesse, that wee neither heare nor see, nor feele that which lieth so hard vpon vs, And therefore Gods voice must call vnto vs: A voice said, Crie.

What shall I crie?

4 The Herald is in readinesse, to doe as he is commanded. And that is the highest part of his dutie. What God endi­teth, he writeth: what God will bid, hee will performe. So Ezechiel was taught,Ezec. 3. 17. Heare thou the word at my mouth, and giue them warning from me. And againe,Ezec. 33. 7. Thou shalt heare the word at my mouth, and admonish them from me. In like ma­ner in the new Testament, our Sauiour taking his leaue of his Disciples, biddeth them,Matt. 28. 19. Go, and teach all nations, bapti­zing them in the name of the Father, and the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, Teaching them to obserue all things, whatsoeuer I haue commanded you. And S. Paul to the Corinthians,1. Cor. 11. 23. I haue re­ceiued of the Lord that, which I also haue deliuered vnto you. Thus the Minister should depend vpon the mouth of his Master. Saint Paul could say to Timothy his scholar;1. Tim. 6. 20. O Ti­motheus keepe that which is committed to thee. Whereupon Vincentius Lyrinensis very elegantly doth descant, What is it that thou must keepe,Vin [...]. contr. haeres. cap. 27. That which is committed to thee, not that which is inuented by thee: that which thou hast receiued, not that which thou hast deuised: a matter not of thy witte, but ra­ther of thy learning. If the Preacher of the Gospell doe keepe him to this rule, he himselfe shall be safe; and as for the spee­ding of it, let him leaue the euent to God. The Physicians of Egypt, asDiodor. An­tiquit. lib. 2. 3. Diodorus Siculus doth report, had this rule pre­scribed to them, that they should make their practise accor­ding to a booke deliuered vnto them from ancient Physici­ans, [Page 5] and approued writers. If any followed the rule and pre­script of his booke, though his Patient did miscarie, yet hee was not blamed for it. But if any went besides his booke, though his Patient did well, he lost his life for his labour. We that are Physicians of the soule may make some vse ther­of. We must teach by the booke. The burthen of our song must be with the old prophets, Thus and thus saith the Lord. If he command we must speak; what he willeth, we must cry. So much of the Preparation. And now to the Proclamation.

All flesh is grasse, &c.

5 Heere the speech is so significant, that euery word hath his weight. Flesh it selfe intendeth corruption. When it is likened to the grasse, it more noteth our mortalitie. When the word All is added, it designeth the generalitie of the doome which is giuen. When the grace and beautie is named, it de­monstrateth that there is no hope to the contrarie. The spirit of the Lord blowing on it, sheweth the reason of the whole. Of ech of these very briefly. When flesh is named heere, and it is not said, a liuing creature, or a spirit, nay not so much as that which is ordinarie in the Scripture, a man, it implieth a disso­lution. For our flesh is propagated from Adam, and of him it was said,Gen. 3. 19. From the earth thou wast taken, because thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou returne. This continueth on his successors, who deriued their flesh from him. It is written of Gen. 5. 8. 11. 14. 27. Sheth and Enosh, and Kenan, and Methuselah, that they liued nine hundred yeeres; but it is added touching ech of them, And he died, And he died. Dauid witnesseth this for othermen,Psal. 49. 10. He seeth that wisemen die, and so doe the ignorant and foolish. Of all flesh, that is true which Saint Bernard de­liuereth, Bern. de gra­dib▪ humilitat. Nascimur, morimur: We are borne, and then we die. And in another place,In festo S. Martini. In terra orimur, interra morimur, &c. In the earth we haue our beginning, and in the earth we haue our ending, returning into that, from whence at first we were taken. Thus God hath decreed that there should be a succession of one man after another. And as in the greatest shewes, when one hath had his turne, he is to be gone, and to leaue the place to them that follow, and if he should desire to keepe himselfe [Page 6] on the stage, and by no meanes to depart, he should be verie iniurious vnto those who are to succeed: so it is heere in mens liues; one hath his turne before, another hath his turne after­wards, but the first must yeeld to the latter, when his time is once accomplished; els he shall doe wrong to succession. Yet this going away and departure out of this world, God hath appointed to be the meanes to aduance men vnto heauen. Our corruption is the way vnto our incorruption. For God meaning for to crowne with the garland of immortalitie, those that haue striuen lawfully, doth not come downe to them to honour them vpon earth, but calleth them vp to him, so to glorifie them in heauen. Which thing Saint Chry­sostome well considered, when he spake in this maner:Chrysost in Ep. ad Philip. Homil. 12. He would haue thee to striue below, but he crowneth thee aboue: for the crowne is not in this place, where the striuing is; but in a glorious place. Doe you not see heere, that such champians and cha [...]et-driuers, whom they doe most honour, are not crowned below in the place of trying masteries, but the King calling them vp putteth on their garlands there. God doth take with his children the verie selfe-same course. Their fight must be on earth, but their reward in heauen. And thither they may not come, till they haue put off this body. Their flesh is as a veile which keepeth them from beholding the purity of that secret one.Exo. 26. 31. In the tabernacle which Moses made, there was a veile which was hanged vp betweene the holy place, and the holy of holies. This was made of foure substances, that is, blue silke and purple, and scarlet, and fine linnen, which asIos. de bel. Iud. Lib. 6. 6. Iosephus telleth vs, and SaintHier. Epist. 128. Hierome after him, did represent the foure elements, of whom our flesh consisteth. Such aMatth. 27. 51. veile was afterwards in the temple at Hierusalem, which at the death of our blessed Sauiour did rent from the top vnto the bottome, at which time a man might haue be­held the very Sanctum Sanctorum. So when our flesh, this veile, which keepeth vs from beholding the inuisibilitie of that mightie one, shall be rent and torne in peeces by dissolu­tion and by death, we shall behold our Creator, but neuer vn­till that time.Chrys. Hom. [...]. in 2. Cor. The old house must to the ground, that so [Page 7] the tenant of it, may ascend vnto God by a kinde of remooue, till the building be new repaired.

6 In the next place, our flesh is compared to the grasse. Grasse, than which nothing is more common; nothing more vile. Which groweth, and in an instant is cut downe, and then withereth, & is either deuoured as fodder, or if it be of a bigger size,Matt. 6. 30. is burned in the ouen, as Christ himself speaketh. Dauid vseth the same comparison:Psal. 103. 15. The daies of man are as grasse: as a flower of the field, so flourisheth he. Which is thus expressed by Gregory:Greg. in Psa. 5. Poenitent. Man may be compared to the grasse, quia per natiuitatem viret in carne, per iuuent utem candescit in [...]ore, per mortem aret in puluere: Because by his birth, hee is greene in his flesh, by his youth he is white in his blossome, by his death he is drie & withered in the dust. Such is the shortnesse and vncertaintie of our life. Saint Iames doth liken it to a Iac. 4. 14. vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and afterward vanish­eth away. Saint Peter compareth it to a tent or2. Pet. 1. 14. tabernacle, which is soone vp and soone downe. The oldDiod. Sie. Antiq. li. 2. 1. Egyptians called our houses, by the name of Innes, where we lodge for a night, and are gone in the morning. Tully termed our life a In Cat. Ma [...]or. lodging, Ex vita ista discedo, tanquam ex hospitio: I depart out of this life, as out of a lodging. Iob calleth it a Iob. 14. 2. shadow. And in another place,cap. 7. 6. My daies are swifter than the shuttle of a weauer. Saint Basil doth liken our life vnto a Basil. in Hexam. Ho­mil. 5. dreame, where a man seeth glorious shewes, and is wonderfully plea­sed with them, but after a little while he awaketh, and all is nothing. Homer compareth men vntoHomer. Iliad. 5. leaues, which peepe out of the tree, and then grow bigger and bigger; at last they are at the greatest, fresh in shew, and greene in colour; but then they fade and decay, and are driuen off with the winde. Some other say, that a man is but like vnto an apple, which if it be let alone will at length be ripe, and of it selfe will fall vnto the ground, but peraduenture before that time, it is sha­ken off by a blast, or cropped off by a violent hand. Lastly, other haue likened our being heere in the world vnto a game at chesse, where there be degrees of men, Kings, and Knights and common Pawnes, amongst whom, one is caught away, [Page 8] and by and by another: but howsoeuer on the boord they differ in their degree, yet when the game is ended, and they are swept all into the bagge, there is none better than other, the meanest lieth aboue, and the greatest is vnderneath. Thus both the spirit of God, and the iudgement of wise men, by significant similitudes would riuet it in into vs, and fasten it as with a naile into our cogitations, that our daies are but va­nitie, our continuance heere but momentame, our abode on earth but vncertaintie.

7 Now lest it should be said, that with some it may bee thus, but with other otherwise, it is farther added, that All flesh is grasse. Men are all of the same molde, and returne to the same substance. The wise woman of Tecoah could speake in generall to Dauid,2. Sam. 14. 14. We must needs die, and we are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered vp againe. Heere shee ioineth herselfe with Dauid, My Lord we needs must die, you a man, and I a woman: you a Soueraigne, I a sub­iect. Dauid himselfe knew this, when lying in his death-bed, he spake thus vnto Salomon,1. Reg. 2. 2. I go the way of all the earth. Death is the way of all flesh. So holy Iob,Iob 30. 23. I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all the li­uing. So S. Paul to the Hebrewes,Heb. 9. 27. It is appointed vnto men that they shall once die, and after that commeth the iudgement. Where the indefinite proposition is equiualent to a generall. Death, saith Seneca, is theSenec. Epist. 70. ad Luci­lium. hauen, whither euery ship must go: some come sooner, and some come later, but there they all must ariue. Perhaps when a ship is entring into the mouth of the hauen, there commeth a blast of winde, and driueth it out againe; but that will not serue the turne, it must backe to the same place. The speech is true of all,Innoc. 3. de cont. mund. lib. 1. Vitaperpetuo auolat, neque potest retincri: mors quotidie ingruit, neque potest resisti. Life alway flieth away, and cannot be held backe: and death daily doth grow on, and cannot be resisted. In this one point all conditions are alike. The yoong may, and the old must. The difference is no more, but theSen. Ep. 26 one come vnto death, and death commeth to the other. Death, saith Saint Bern. de con­uers. ad cleric. cap. 14. Bernard, non miseratur inopiam, non diuitias reueretur, &c. [Page 9] pitieth not the pouertie of one, nor standeth in awe of the ri­ches of another, it spareth not the parentage of any man, nor his behauiour, nor his age; for the old it standeth ready in the gates, for the yoong it licth in ambush. The Poet could say of death, that it is that,Horat. Carm. Lib. 4. Ode 7. Quò Pius Aeneas, quò Tulius diues & Ancus, whether Aeneas with his piety, and Tullus with his riches, and Ancus with his valour did go. Puluis & vmbra sumus: we are but dust and shadow. Nay it is a thing so assured, that in a sort a man may say we are more certaine to die, than that euer we were borne, since there is but one way onely to come into the world, but a thousand waies to goe out of it, asGreg. Naz. orat. 40. Gregorie Nazianzene obserued, as, by fire, and by water, by the teeth of wilde beasts, by famine, or sword, or pestilence, and infi­nite meanes besides. And as the rule is generall for persons and for degrees, so also is it for places; no one place being ex­empt or priuileged from death. WhichXenoph. in Apolog. pro Socrat. Socrates himselfe did rightly vnderstand, when after his condemnation being told by his friends, that if he would giue liking thereunto, they would by violence take him from the officers, or other­wise conuey him away; he not onely gaue no consent to that proiect of theirs, but also smiled at them, asking whether they knew any place, without the territorie of Athens, to the which death might not approch. And as pretie a speech was that ofAmmian: Mercellin. hist Lib. 16. Sigon. de Oc­cid. Imp. lib. 6. Hormisda the Persian, who being by his king sent in ambassage to Constantius the Roman Emperour, was cau­sed by Constantius to walke vp and downe, to view the citie Rome. There hee beheld the glorious monuments of the place, the Capitol, the Pantheon, the Temple of peace, the Forum of Traian, the Amphitheater, and the Bathes, with many other matters of excellent workemanship. But being asked by the Emperour what he thought of Rome, or what was his iudgement concerning it, he replied, that it was the most glorious Citie, that was in the world; and that as hee supposed, there was not such another in all the earth: but this, saith he, doth please me, or as other report it, this one thing doth displease me, that I see men die at Rome, as they doe in other places. The speech was most true, and fitteth all other [Page 10] cities. We all then may resolue, that wheresoeuer we be, or of what calling soeuer, we must come to the gates of death. That we might not hope to auoid this, the Patriarkes and the Prophets haue gone that way before vs: That wee may not dread the sharpnesse of it, the Sonne of God himselfe by sustaining death in his flesh, hath sanctified death vnto vs.

8 A man would haue thought, that by this time sufficient had beene sayd. But yet farther to imprint all into our cogi­tation, the Prophet speaketh on, All the grace thereof is as the flower of the field. The grasse withereth, the flower fadeth. As if he should haue subioyned, that if in the life of man there be any thing more faire, more amiable, more goodly, more spe­cious, more illustrious than the common qualitie, yet this is but like to the flower. The flower is more sightly than the grasse, more pleasing vnto the eye, more fragrant vnto the smell: yet it endureth the common qualitie of withering and fading. Yea many times the fairer and the gayer the flower is, the sooner it is gathered and cropped off by the hand. So it is with those things which this world esteemeth most glo­rious. Authority, estimation, youth, beauty, pompe, strength, all the delights of this earth are transitorie and vaine. Dauid setteth men as high as possibly they may go,Psal. 82. 6. I haue sayd, Ye are gods, and ye all are children of the most High: but he bring­eth them downe as low, But yee shall die as a man: and ye Prin­ces shall fall like others. There be many things in this world of high esteeme with men, goodly houses, glorious clothes, daintie fare, curious gardens, musicke, baths, plate and pos­sessions: yet of these S. Austen sayd truly,Aug. de ca­techiz. rudibus cap. 16. Quamuis insana gaudia non sint gaudia: Although these mad and foolish ioyes are in trueth no ioyes, yet be they as they are, and let them delight as much as possibly they can, aufert omnia ista vnafebricula, if there come but one fit of an ague, the comfort of them is gone. To the same purpose Saint Basil: for when hee hath described the glory and the ornaments of Princes and great persons, he ad­deth: Basil. in He­xam. homil. 5. That if there come but one ill night, one little touch of a feuer, some paine of the side, or imperfection in the lungs, abijt illa vniuersa scena, all the play is marred, the shew is quite disgra­ced. [Page 11] Where wee may note, that Saint Basil doth terme our life but a play: And so also doth SaintChrys Con [...]. 2. de L [...]zaro. Chrysostome, like­ning men vnto stage-players, among whom one is a King, a second stands for a Captaine, a third serues for a Mariner, and other haue other parts; but this is only while they are vpon the stage: for the shew being ended, they are then but them­selues, all fellowes, and all alike. Euen so in life there is diffe­rence, there be degrees of callings; but in rottennesse and the graue the best and worst are equall. There no difference may be found betweene2. Sam. 14. 25. Absason with his beautie, andLuc. 16. 20. Laza­rus with his blaines. There it is true whichLucian. in Necromant. Lucian causeth one to report, that when he came amongst the dead, he could there see no difference betweene Nireus the faire, and Ther­sites the foule: betweene Irus the begger, and Vlysses the Prince: betweene Pirrhias the cooke, and Agamemnon the king. Now if these things be so, why doe men set their hearts on the glory of this world? Nay, why do Christian men em­brace it, and admire it, and adore it, and doat vpon it, since Heathen men haue discouered the vanitie thereof, and done strange things about it? ThatA [...]n. Syl [...]. [...] Blond. De­cad. 2. 6. Pla­tin. in Caelest. 3. Saladine who was so great an enemie to the Christians, and wan from them the Holy land, lying vpon his death-bed, gaue charge that his inner garment, his shirt as it may be thought, or rather his shrowd, being put on the end of a speare, should be carried before his coarse now going to be buried, and that a Herald should crie, that Saladine the great Lord and Gouernour of Asia carried nothing away with him but that shirt or that shrowd. Where if it should be obiected that he grew to this contem­plation, when immediatly he was to leaue the world, I may tell you of other persons, who in their strength and vigor haue had as good meditations.Dion. Histor. lib. 66. Titus that Romane Empe­rour hauing set out shewes and spectacles for a hundred daies together, to demonstrate the magnificence of that Empire, on the last day of those sights, in the presence of all the people did breake foorth into teares, vpon a consideration, that all that pompe was vanished and dissolued into nothing. It is sayd ofPlutarch. in vit. Aemil. Paulus Aemilius, that when he had his triumph for [Page 12] three whole dayes together, he ioyed no way apparantly; as neither on the other side, he gaue testimonie of griefe for the death of one of his sonnes, who died a very few dayes before the time of his triumph; with which patience he also tooke the death of another of them within a few dayes after. But albeit in all that, he did beare himselfe with great constancie, yet in another case hee had other cogitations. ForTit. Liu. lib. 45. hauing ouerthrowen in battell Perseus the king of Macedonia, and hauing chased him vp and downe, so that there was small hope to escape, Perseus writeth letters to him, that he would yeeld into his hands his kingdome and his person; which when Aemilius had receiued, he could not stay from weep­ing, remembring the inconstancie and mutabilitie of all states and conditions. So did that nobleTit. Liu. lib. 25. Marcellus in his entrance into that rich citie Syracusae, when he had long besieged it, and at last by composition it was surrendred vnto him; the teares trickled from his eyes, to see so woorthy a place now brought into captiuitie.Appian. de bellis Puni [...]is. Scipio another Romane, when he saw the citie Carthage raced downe vnto the ground, though it had beene enemie to his countrey, yet could not forbeare to weepe, to thinke that empires and nations were so subiect to ouerturning. Thus did the grauest and wisest men that were among the olde Romans, in the happiest and most glo­rious things that euer did befall them while they were heere amongst men. Such meditations as these were, would well become Gods best seruants, to lay it vnto their heart, that the heigth of earthly felicity being taken in it selfe, is but store of the lightest vanitie. Grasse is no better than grasse, and flowers are no better than flowers: these fade, the other wi­thereth.

9 The reason of the whole now followeth: The spirit of the Lord bloweth vpon it. God dissolueth all at his pleasure; and marke with what facilitie this matter is brought about; but as with a puffe of the winde, or as with the blast of the mouth. That breath which made the world, can marre a man in a moment. The Lord sayth of himselfe,Deu. 32. 39. I kill, and I giue life: I wound, and I make whole: neither is there any that can deliuer [Page 13] out of mine hand. Hanna the mother of Samuel, in her song remembreth this;1. Sam. 2. 6 The Lord killeth, and maketh aliue: brin­geth downe to the graue, and raiseth vp. And my Prophet in the same Chapter whence my text is taken,Isa. 40. 23. He (speaking of God) bringeth the Princes to nothing, and maketh the Iudges of the earth as vanitie. These things teach vs the Lords pow­er, and his sway ouer men. Hee setteth them in a standing place like sentinels in a watch, and when he list he dischargeth them: When he calleth for the greatest, there is no way of auoiding, there is no meanes of withdrawing, there is no place for absenting, there is no course of resisting. And so I end this Proclamation.

10 What I haue spoken all this while touching the maine of my text, is verified in that spectacle which is now before our eyes, which can not chuse but be vnto vs a memoriall of mor­talitie. For heere we are to celebrate the funerall solemnitie of an honourable personage, a graue Counseller of Estate, a great Officer of the Crowne, a faithfull seruant vnto his Ma­iestie. Touching whom, since you expect that something should be sayd, I shall draw the beginning of that which I must deliuer, from a witnesse beyond all exception; and that is the late Queene of euerlasting memorie. Her Maiestie not long before her death being pleased, as [...] seemeth, with some speciall piece of seruice which his Lordship had done vnto her, grew at large to discourse touching this Noble man, as an honorable person, and a Counseller of Estate, in writing hath aduertised me. Her Highnesse was then pleased to de­cipher out his life, by seuen steps or degrees: The first was 1 his yoonger daies, the time of his scholarship, when first in that famous Vniuersitie of Oxford, and afterward in the Temple, (where he tooke the degree of Barrister) he gaue tokens of such pregnancie, such studiousnesse and iudgement, that he was held no way inferiour to any of his time or standing. And of this there remaine goodThe life of Tresilian in the Mirrour of Magistr. Epist. pr [...]fix. Aulic. Barth. Clerke. tokens both in English and in Latine published vnto the world. The second was his trauell, when being in France and Italy, he profited very much in the languages,2 in matter of story and State: (whereof this Common-wealth, [Page 14] found great benefit in his Lordships elder yeeres, in the deepest consulations that belonged vnto this kingdome.) And being prisoner in Rome for the space of foureteene daies, (which trouble was brought vpon him by some who hated him for his loue to religion, and his dutie to his Soueraigne) he so pru­dently bare himselfe, that by the blessing of God, and his tempe­rate kind of cariage, he was freed out of that danger. The third 3 step which her Maiestie did thinke good to obserue was (vp­on returne into England) his comming vnto her Court, where on diuers occasions he bountifully feasted her Highnesse and her Nobles; and so he did to forren Embassadors. At that time hee entertained Musitians the most curious, which any where hee could haue, and therein his Lordship excelled vnto his dying day. Then was his discourse iudicious, but yet wittie and de­lightfull. Thus he was in his yoonger daies, a scholar, and a traueller, and a Courtier of speciall estimation.

11 The fourth step of his life, noted by her most sacred Maie­stie,4 was his imployment of higher nature, in Embassages beyond the seas. As first, when his Lordship was sent to the French King Charles the ninth, partly to congratulate his mariage with the daughter of Maximilian the Emperour, and partly about other weighty affaires touching both the kingdomes. At which time his Lordship was so honorably attended with Gentlemen of choice qualitie; and was so magnificent in his expence, as was admirable to the French, honorable to his countrey, and gaue much content­ment vnto his Soueraigne. Holinshed An. 13. Eliz. The Chronicles at large relate the maner of it. Secondly, when afterward in a seruice of tickle na­ture, he was imploied into the Low Countries, where notwith­standing the sharpe sight which by some was caried ouer him, yet his Lordship behaued himselfe so warily and discreetly, that no blame could be fastened on him. The fift time obserued was,5 his temper and moderation after his returns from thence, when her Maiestie to giue contentation to a great personage, in those daies of high imploiment, was pleased to command him vnto his owne house, there priuately to remaine till her farther pleasure was knowen. Where his Lordship did beare himselfe so dutifully and obsequiously vnto her Highnesse command, that in all the [Page 15] time of his restraint, for nine or ten moneths space, hee neuer would endure either openly or secretly, either by day or by night to see either wife or childe. A rare example of obedience, and obseruance vnto his Soueraigne. The sixt degree which was 6 noted by that most renowmed Ladie, was the time that his Lordship was Counsellor, before that he was aduanced to that high office, which afterward he bare, in which time he daily shew­ed great diligence and sound iudgement, in her weightiest af­faires. The last of all was that space, wherein he held the 7 roome of Lord High Treasurer of England, ‘in which place she noted the continuall and excessiue paines, and care which his Lordship did take in her businesse, his fidelitie in his aduices, his dexterity in aduācing of her profit.’ Thus it seemed good to that Queen of blessed memory, in particul [...] discourse touching her faithfull seruant. This was while his Lordship liued: and since his death, his Maiestie that now is, the most religious, the most learned, the most iudicious King, that this land euer enioied, (as I haue beene aduertised from persons of high qualitie) hath beene pleased diuers times to giue many ex­cellent speeches before the Lords concerning him, as his Highnesse had done formerly, while this noble man did liue. Heere, may I not say with the Poet?

Horat. lib. 1. Epist. 17.
Principibus placuisse viris, non vltima laus est:
To please great Princes is not the least commendation.

Nay I may change the verse, and alter it in this fashion:

Principibus placuisseistis, ter maxima laus est.
To please such Princes as these, is a very great commendation.

And indeed, these were most gracious testimonies of two such Soueraignes to their seruant, who desired much to please them with loyaltie and fidelitie, with vigilancie and care, with industrie and diligence, incredible, but vnto those who did know it. And neuer was there any Noble man, who with more humble agnising, with more feeling and affectio­nate gratefulnesse did entertaine the fauours of his Soue­raignes, than this honorable person did, as may fully ap­peare by many w [...]ds in his last will, recommending to his posteritie, a speciall grace of his Maiestie, in sending a Ring [Page 16] vnto him, which he wisheth his to keepe, as a iewell of high­est value, thorowout all generations. The words are worth the reading, but they are too long to rehearse in this place.

12 Now for other parts of morall vertues, how many rare things were in him? Who more louing vnto his wife, that Honorable Ladie, the mirrour of all true vertue? It is a most worthy testimonie, that he hath giuen thereof, and hath left it to beThe words which his Lordship in his last will vseth of his Ladie are these: Inpri­mis, I giue, will, and be­queath vnto the Ladie Cicely Coun­tesse of Dor­set, my most vertuous, faithfull, and dearely be­loued wife, not as any recompence of her infinit merit to­wards mee, who for her incompara­ble loue, zeale, & har­tie affection euer shewed vnto me, and for those her so rare, many, and reuerent ver­tues, of chastitie, modestie, fidelitie, humilitie, secrecie, wisdome, patience, and a mind [...] repleat with all pietie and goodnesse, which euermore haue and do abound in her, deserueth to be honoured, loued and esteemed aboue all the transitory wealth and treasure of this world, and therefore by no price of earthly riches can by me be valued, recompensed or requi [...]ed: To her therefore my most vermous, faithfull and intirely beloued wife, Not, I say, as a recompense, but as a true token and testimony of my vnspeakable loue, affection, and estimation, and reuerenc [...] long since fixed and setled in my heart towards her, I giue, will and bequeath, &c. recorded for those that shall come after. Who more kind vnto his children, and to his Grand-children? Who more fast vnto his friend? who more moderate to his enemy, if truth were once found out, and staining imputations were wiped away from the integritie of his Honor? Who more true of his word? It was a noble testimonie, which a most Honorable personage gaue of his Lordship since his death, in a right worthy assemblie, that in much conuersation and concurrence in many causes, of great waight and importance, hee neuer heard him speake, or in earnest affirme that which he found to be otherwise. What noble man in our time was more giuen to hospitalite, and keeping of a great house? Hauing liued, seuenty and two yeeres (for so was his age accounted) and being married more then fifty and three yeeres, vnto one and the selfe same Lady, he kept house for fortie and two yeeres in an honorable proportion. For thirtie yeeres of those, his family consisted of little lesse in one place or another, than two hundred persons. But for more then twentie yeeres, be­sides workmen and other hired, his number at the least hath beene two hundred and twenty daily, as appeared vpon checke-rowle. A very rare example in this present age of ours, when house-keeping is so decaied. Who more magni­ficent [Page 17] than than his Lordship in solemne entertainments? as (be­sides other particulars) was manifested not long since abun­dantly to the world, when his Maiestie with the Queene and Prince together with a great part of the Nobilitie, spent di­uers daies at Oxford. Who was euer more desirous to doe wrong vnto none? His Lordship bought no land, but hee commonly paid more for it, than it was worth, yeelding this reason of it, that it would the better prosper and continue in his name and posteritie. In his Will how carefull was he, that all debts should be paid? yea though there were no specialty whereby it might be challenged, yet if it might appeare that ought was due vnto any man, his charge is to his Exe­cutors that they should giue satisfaction. The like also for wrong done to any one whatsoeuer (whereof he protested be­fore the eternall Maiestie that he did not remember any.) And if there should grow difference betweene his Executors and any person demanding, his hearty praier and desire is to the Deanes of Windsore, Westminster, and Pauls (for so his Lordship doth ranke them) to heare, order, and determine all controuersies depending. Which if they refuse to doe, which he hopeth they will not, or if the partie claiming shall not obey their award, he leaueth them to the ordinarie course of law, but chargeth and requireth his Executors to answer them in all Courts of Iustice immediately, without all delaies whatsoeuer. Vnto those honorable parts, I may adde a great many more: As his good and charitable disposition toward his Tenants, of whom ordinarily, he tooke lesse fines by a third part, than by other Lords is vsually accustomed; and his Farmers held his Farmes, as is well knowen to the world, but at reasonable rents: As his releefe to the poore in pinch­ing times of dearth.From the 28. of May to the 15. of August, so much as cost 154. li. 14. s. 7. d. In the yeere 1597. which was a time of the greatest scarcitie that euer we did know, his Lordship sent into Sussex of his free gift vnto six parishes store of Danske Rie bought at Billingsgate. Diuers other yeeres, and namely this present yeere 1608. his Lordship hath caused weekely certaine quarters of Wheat, to be caried from his owne Granary at Lewes in Sussex, and to be sold in the mar­ket [Page 18] to the poore, at a farreAfter 26. s. 8. d. the quar­ter, when o­ther men or­dinarily sold for 40. s. the quarter. lower rate than the price which commonly men did take. And that this his Lordships boun­tie might continue after his death, by his last Will and Testa­ment he hath bequeathed a thousand pounds for the erecting of a Granarie at the place which last I named, for the vse and benefit of poore people in those parts: And two thousand pounds as a stocke for the storing of that house against times of dearth and scarcitie. Vnto this he hath also ioined a thou­sand pounds to be bestowed on the building of a Chapell [...] where his ancestors doe lie, and where his Lordship desi­red that his bodie might be enterred. These are fruits of a liuely faith, and so must be reputed.

13 But because a right beleefe and religion toward God is the highest point of all, I may not heere omit to say some­thing touching that. There are arguments most euident to demonstrate vnto all men, that his faith was agreeable vnto the word of God, and according to the profession of the re­nowmed Church of England. In that famous Vniuersitie of Oxford, where his Lordship for more then sixteene yeeres was our Honorable Chancellor, it was his speciall care to substitute such vnder him as were most sound for Religion, which the wiser sort did obserue, although common men did not marke it. As he kept downe with the one hand all no­uelties, and humours in opinions, which laboured to set trou­ble in the Church and Common-wealth, so with the other hand to the vttermost of his power he depressed the Priests and Iesuits, which haue vsed too much to that place; not to the Vniuersitie, which God be praised is free from all such imputation, but to some few of the Citie, who embrace their old superstitions. In that place this I can witnesse, that his Lordship neither openly nor secretly did euer giue counte­nance vnto any that was backward in religion. And on the other side, that there was neuer any thing soberly and wisely proposed which might forward true pietie, which his Lord­ship did not further; as I could by many particulars make plaine to whomsoeuer. Touching the education of those honorable plants his grand-children, his Lordship was euer [Page 19] carefull that they should be trained vp in the trueth of religi­on, farre from Poperie and idolatrie. His charge was vnto their Tutour (as I well knew in his life time) that as he would answer him in the day of the last iudgement, before the face of Christ, that he should traine them vp in the trueth of the religion professed now in England. How angry would he be, when he was at his Countrey house, if they came not duly to praiers? He neuer could endure that they otherwise should be matched, than where was sound religion. Concerning his owne soule, when the last yeere he was sicke, besides ordina­rie praiers, he composed himselfe to God byAt Horseley. receiuing the holy Sacrament of the Lords Supper, when he looked to de­part the world. But two daies before he died, deuoutly and religiously he heard a Sermon at home in his Lordships owne At Dorset house. Chapell. Nay to let all other things passe, how holily and Christianly in his last Will and Testament doth he commend his soule vnto God! I must professe when I saw it first, it did very much affect me. And because it cannot chuse but giue very full contentment to all reasonably minded, yea perhaps may doe much good vnto other by the example, I thinke it not amisse to read the very words, that his owne hand hath deliuered. These they are: First therefore as a liuing creature most bound thereunto, I heere throw downe and prostrate my selfe in all humility and thankefulnes, at the foot of my Creator, Re­deemer, and Sauiour, rendring vnto his diuine Maiestie my most lowly, hearty and infinite thanks, in that he hath vouchsafed to create me a man indued and infused with soule and reason, and fashioned like vnto the image of his owne eternall Sonne, that might haue made me a brutish and soule-lesse beast, to haue fed and grased vpon the earth, like vnto those irrationall liuing creatures of the field. But especially in that he hath pleased to make me a Christian man, whereby in this life I may ioy and reioice with the sound and badge of that glorious name, and when I goe from hence I may thereby, and through the mercies and good­nesse of Iesus Christ depart and die in assurance and comfort of my soules and bodies saluation and resurrection, and to rest at his right hand, in the fruition of those celestiall and vnspeakable ioies [Page 20] and blessednesse that neuer shall haue end. To him therefore my most mercifull and omnipotent God, and into the hands of his in­explicable and eternall goodnesse, I giue, will and bequeath my soule, firmely and assuredly trusting, beleeuing and freely confes­sing, That by the death and passion of his Sonne Iesus Christ, and by his onely mercy, meane and mediation for me, and by none other, and not by any good worke or merit of mine owne (although I must acknowledge, that I am bound vpon paine of damnation, to doe as many good works as possibly I can or may; all which when I haue done, yet am I but an vnprofitable seruant, and a sinfull creature full of all iniquitie) I shall liue and partake with his Saints in his heauenly kingdome, of that eternall and inexplica­ble blisse and happinesse which he hath prepared for his elect, of which number (through his infinite mercy and goodnesse) I doe confidently and stedfastly hope, know and beleeue that I am one.

14 These things did God prouide should be in his Lord­ships lifetime, that those who did loue and honour him (of whom I must euermore acknowledge my selfe to be one, and so bound by due desert) might haue the more comfort, in, and after his death. Which must needes be confessed to haue beene on the sudden: and yet such as hath befallen many good and godly men; yea choice persons amongst Gods ser­uants. I need not giue example, how many in a moment haue beene drowned at sea, or in other riuers; or haue beene slaughtered in the warres; or murthered by their enemies; or stifled in their beds; or passing thorow the streets, haue beene beaten downe with a tile, or slaine with a stone throwen from aIustin. li. 25. wall, as some write that Pyrrhus was, or haue had some such matter as the tower ofLuc. 13. 4. Siloah to fall vpon them. I need not runne toPli [...]. [...]at. hist. lib. 7. 7. Anacreon the Poet, who in an instant was choaked with the kernell of a raisin, or toIbidem. Fabius, who drinking milke was strangled with an haire. Neither need I flie toTull. in L [...]lio. Scipio that admirable Romane, who being ouer night so honored by his countrey-men, that the Senators and the people of that citie, together with the Latines and other their confederates, in solemne fashion brought him home to his house, the next day he was found dead. I may speake of our [Page 21] owne age, wherein many persons of honour, men of learning and of great reuerence haue suddenly beene called out of the world; touching whom for any man to giue a bitter censure, standeth not with any rule of charitie or pietie, yea of com­mon Christianitie. And for the ages past, I might tell you of PetrusNich. Ho­spital. in Tu­mulis. Castellanus, Bishop sometimes of Orleans, who be­ing preaching in the pulpit, fell suddenly downe and died. I might remember you of that woorthy and most renoumed Emperour,Matth. Pa­ris in Richard. Frederike Barbarossa, who going for Palestina, to recouer the Holy land out of the hands of the Saracens, which he thought to be a seruice most acceptable to Christ, and for effecting whereof, he left his countrey and friends, yet by the way as he passed, in the presence of many of his armie, was suddenly drowned in the riuer Sapheth. I might mention the yoongerHier. Epist. 19. Tom. 9. Marcellin. Lib. 30. Valentinian an Emperour indued with many most rare qualities: yet being on a time much of­fended that the Sarmatae and Quadi, two barbarous nations, had broken in vpon the Empire, and speaking loud and passi­onately concerning that matter, he brake some veine or some thing els within him, and presently so died. Notwithstand­ing SaintAmbros. de obit. Valenti­nian. Ambrose making a funerall Oration or Sermon for him, giueth him most singular commendation, and doubt­eth not but that his soule was in peace and rest with God. Yea albeit at that time Valentinian had not receiued the Sa­crament of Baptisme, yet Saint Ambrose is resolued that propter voluntatem & votum Baptismi, for his desire and wish that he had to be Baptised, the Lord had receiued him to mer­cy. Where I may not forget a speech which he vttereth in that Sermon, Iustus quacun (que) morte praeuentus fuerit, anima eius in refrigerio crit: The righteous man, by what kind of death soeuer he be ouer taken, or hastily caught away, his soule shall be at rest. I might rehearse the example of Iouian another famous Emperour, who was the man that freed the Roman armie from the danger whereinto Iulian the Apostata going against the Persians had brought it. In theSocrat. Hist. Eccl. li. 3. 19. midst of their perill, the Captains and souldiers assured both of his vertue and his va­lour, proclaimed him for their Emperour. But he being a [Page 22] zealous and most resolute Christian, and knowing that they not long before, (to giue contentment to Iulian) had turned Heathens and Infidels, made answer that himselfe professing for Iesus Christ, would neuer take vpon him any gouernment ouer Gentiles; which made them by and by returne to the Christian faith. Yet this holy and worthy Emperour,Theodor. Hist. Eccl. Lib: 4. 4. like to the Sunne breaking foorth after a fearefull storme, was presently caught away, and taken out of mens sight. For go­ing in health to bed, he was found dead in the morning; and no reason of that hastie change could be imagined, but that either he had taken tooSolon. Hist. Eccl. Lib. 6. 6. liberall a supper, or was choaked with the sauour of new lime on the walles of the house where he lay, or with the smell of bad coles,Hier. Epist. 3. ad Heliod. foetore prunarum, as Saint Hierome doth deliuer it. Nay I might tell of Iosiah, whom Ieremy did terme, the breath of their [...]am. 4. 20. nostrels, the An­ointed of the Lord, yet saith withall, that he was taken in their nets, that is, was caught away suddenly.2. Chron. 35. 23. He went into bat­tel against Pharao Necho, and there was wounded and slaine. Iustine Martyr speaking of this most godly king, and the maner of his death doth make this obiection,Iustin. Mar­tyr. Quaest. 79. why the wic­ked did not say that Iosias was so slaine, and died in such a fa­shion, because hee ouerthrew their idols and their altars. Whereby he doth intimate, that the maner of men is to giue a hard iudgement on the good as well as vpon the bad, if any thing extraordinarie, especially in their death, do befall them. SaintHieron. in Psa. 93. [...]om. 7. Hierome noteth the same, where hee writeth thus: Solent aliqui dicere, Some men vse to say, He who was slaine had not beene killed vnlesse he had beene a fornicator, or had commit­ted some sinne. The house had not fallen vpon him, vnlesse he had beene a malefactor. He had not suffered shipwracke, had hee not beene an offender. But see what saith the holy Scripture, Et san­guinem innocentem condemnabunt: They shall condemne euen in­nocent bloud. Though the person be innocent, yet God some­times doth suffer the euill man to condemne him. This may well be a lesson to men in our time, that they be not too quicke, nor nimble in giuing vp their verdicts or censures of other men. Especially since God disposeth all at his plea­sure. [Page 23] Since he hath said, thatEccl. 9. 2. All things come alike to all: and the same condition is to the iust and the wicked, to the good and to the pure, and to the polluted; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not. Which is to bee vnderstood of exter­nall and outward things; since the parties that speake this, haue their owne breath in their nostrils, and it may be their owne case, if God should so determine it: it being true that this noble man spake in another cause, the very houre that he died,Eccl. 38. 22. Heri mihi, hodie tibi. Hodie mihi, cras tibi: It is my turne to day, and it may be yours tomorrow. I might amplifie this point much farther, but I end it with that saying of the Apostle Paul, What Rom. 14. 4. art thou that condemnest or iudgest another mans seruant? He stand­eth or falleth to his owne master.

15 Yet, that truth may not be concealed in the matter which now I handle; as God dealt with this noble person some­what extraordinarily in taking him from among vs, so it may be well supposed, that he gaue him more than an ordinarie coniecture, or suspicion, that his death was not farre from him. The last yeere when he returned after his greeuous sicknesse, he spake it more than once to his honorable friends, that he had setled his soule and composed it to another world, whensoeuer God should call for him. Soone after he began to dispose of all those worldly things, which the Lord had lent vnto him. Of late it was his common speech, I am now an old man, therefore this, or therefore that, as I my selfe can wit­nesse. The day before he died, writing with his owne hand to one of his grand-childrē, he more than once in that letter vsed this or the like phrase, After my death: and, when I am dead and gone. The last morning of his life, it was noted by those who were neerest about his Lordship, that he was apparent­ly longer at his priuate meditations, then commonly hee did vse. But the words of his will, written with his owne hand may giue great satisfaction to a man of a hard conceit, that he did fit himselfe to mortalitie, whereof in the former yeere he had had a warning peece. I will read his Lordships owne words, in which letech man iudge, whether it may not bee thought that there was some instinct more then ordinarie. [Page 24] Thus then his will beginneth: The eternall God of heauen and earth, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, guide and pro­sper this mine intent and purpose, which in their name I heere take in hand and begin. Because it is a trueth infallible, such as euery Christian ought not onely perfectly to know, and stedfastly to be­leeue, but also continually to meditate and thinke vpon, namely, that we are borne to die; That nothing in this world is more cer­taine then death, nothing more incertaine then the houre of death, and that no creature liuing knoweth, neither when, where, nor how it shall please Almightie God to call him out of this mortall life: So as heere we liue euery houre, nay euery instant a thousand waies subiect to the suddē stroke of death, which ought to terrifie, teach and warne vs to make our selues ready as well in the prepa­ration of our soules to God, as by the disposition of all our earthly fortunes to the world, whensoeuer it shal please the heauenly power to call vs from this miserable and transitory life vnto that blessed and euerlasting life to come: Therefore, &c.

16 Yet to all this I may adde, that by vs who are liuing, there is an vse to be made of these th [...]ngs: For Exempl. [...]mori [...]ntum sunt documenta viuentium; The examples of men dying are the instructions of the liuing. When in this present spectacle wee may sensibly beholde, that life is so vncertaine, that we may say with Plinie,Plin. Nat. Hist. li. 7. 51. Whereas there be in men innumerable signes of death, there is no assured signe of safetie and of securitie in the yongest or the strongest: let vs remember the counsell of our Master and Sauiour,Matt. 24. 42. Wake therefore: for yee know not what houre your master will come, either by death, or by the last and generall iudgement. Let vs be like the wiseMatth. 25. 4. virgins, euer readie with oile in our lamps; the oile of faith and good life. Let vs say to our selues as God sayd to2. Reg. 20. 1. Hezechiah, Put thine house in an order, for thou shalt die and not liue. Let vs speake thus to our soules. Let vs not weaue the spiders-web; that is, bestow all our labour vpon that which is but vaine, but weake, and of no profit. Let vs not fasten our selues to this transitorie world, making that to be our ioy, our comfort and delight; but let our minde be setled on some thing of higher nature. Let vs daily pray to God as Moses sometimes [Page 25] prayed,Psal. 90. 12. Teach vs so to number our daies, that we may apply our hearts vnto wisdome: which must be the wisdome spirituall, celestiall and eternall. And this is so much the rather to be de­sired in this life, because as we reade in Salomon,Eccle. 11. 3. if the tree doe fall toward the South or toward the North, in the place that the tree falleth, there it shall be, that is, asOlymp in Eccl. 11. Bern. Sermon. paru. 49. Olympiodorus, and Saint Bernard do expound it, as a man doth die, either in the fauour or the disfauour of God, so he must remaine immuta­biliter & irretractabiliter, without changing or recalling. Therefore men while they doe liue should cary themselues warily, as being euer assured, that they are in the eye of God, and that he is among them in their greatest consultations, and most honourable assemblies.Psal. 82. 1. God standeth (sayth Dauid) in the Congregation of Princes; he is a Iudge among Gods. A Iudge to see and examine them, a Iudge to strike and call vnto him, whom and when it pleaseth him. Let him euer be be­fore our eyes, that when he shall send for vs, we may appeare with readinesse, with alacritie and with confidence before the Throne of his Grace. Which God the Father grant vs for his Sonne Christ Iesus his sake: to both whom with the Holy Ghost be laud and praise, and glorie, now and euermore.



BEcause there is mention made in this Sermon of a Ring sent vnto that Ho­norable person by his most sacred Maie­stie, the humble acceptance whereof is set downe with so gratefull remembrance of his dutie and deuotion to his Highnesse; and because the words otherwise imply a great deale of obseruable matter, I haue thought it not amisse to offer them to more pub­like view, as they are deliuered by his Lordship in his last will: which is as followeth.

ALso I giue, will and bequeath vnto my sayd wel-beloued sonne ROBERT Lord BVCKHVRST after my decease for and during his life onely, out of those Iewels of Golde, Pearle and Precious stone, which I keepe and reserue as Iewels for my selfe, the sole vse and occupation only of one Ring of Golde en­ameled blacke, and set round ouer all the whole Ring with Diamonds to the number of twentie, whereof fiue Diamonds being placed in the vppermost part of the said Ring do represent the fashion of a Crosse; and the other fifteene are set round and ouer all the sayd [Page 28] Ring. And after the decease of my said sonne BVCK­HVRST, then I giue, will, and bequeath the like sole vse and occupation only of the said Ring vnto my Ne­phew RICHARD SACKVILLE, his eldest sonne, for and during his life only. And after his decease, then vnto the next heire male begotten of the bodie of the sayd RICHARD SACKVILLE my Nephew, for and during his life only. And so from heire male to heire male of the SACKVILLS, after the decease of euery of them seuerally and successiuely for and du­ring the life and liues only of euery such heire male se­uerally and successiuely: charging and earnestly requi­ring all and euery of my said heire males before speci­fied; euen as they regard the last request of him by whose great trauell, care and industrie (if the Diuine prouidence of God that hath vouchsafed to giue it, shall so please to continue it) they are like to receiue the addition and aduancement of so great honor, pos­sessions and patrimonie, that although percase in this strict course of the common lawes of this Realme, the Entaile of goods and chattels may hardly stand vp­right, that yet for the preseruation and continuance of this gift of mine intended by mee to remaine as an heire-lome to the house and familie of the SACK­VILLS, so long as almightie God (according to the effects of his former goodnesse vnto that house, by the continuance thereof during the space of so many hun­dred yeeres past) shall please to vpholde the same, they and euery of them will forbeare in any sort to oppugne it, or to bring it in question, or to brandle and contro­uert the will of their so well deseruing Ancestour, and specially in a matter so honest, reasonable, fit and con­uenient [Page 29] as this is, but rather with all willing, readie and contented mindes to suffer the same to passe as an heire-lome, from heire male to heire male, according to the true intent and meaning of this my last will and Testament in that behalfe. Which said Ring set all ouer with twentie Diamonds, as is aforesaid, I desire & charge my said sonne BVCKHVRST vpon my bles­sing, and in like sort all other the heires male, whom God shall vouchsafe from age to age to raise vnto my house and familie, and vnto whom (if the Highest so please) my heartie desire and meaning is, the said Ring set with twenty Diamonds, as is aforesaid, may lineally and successiuely descend and come for euer, namely, that with all prouident care and heedfull circumspe­ction they will safely keepe, retaine, and preserue the said Ring whensoeuer and as often as he shall come to their hands and possession, euen as one of the greatest gifts and iewels which (in true estimation) all circum­stances considered, I haue to leaue vnto them. And to the intent they may know how iust and great cause both they and I haue to holde the said Ring in so high esteeme, it is most requisite that I doe heere set downe the whole course and circumstance how and from whom the said Ring did come to my possession, which was thus: In the beginning of the moneth of Iune 1607 this Ring thus set with twentie Diamonds, as is aforesaid, was sent vnto me from my most gracious Souereigne King Iames, by that honorable personage the Lord Hay, one of the Gentlemen of his Highnesse Bed-chamber, the Court then being at Whitehall in London, and I at that time remaining at Horsley house in Surrey, twentie miles from London, where I lay in [Page 30] such extremitie of sicknesse as it was a common and a constant report ouer all London, that I was dead, and the same confidently affirmed euen vnto the Kings Highnesse himselfe. Vpon which occasion it pleased his most excellent Maiestie, in token of his gratious goodnesse and great fauour towards me, to send the said Lord Haie with the sayd Ring, and this royall mes­sage vnto me; namely, That his Highnesse heartily wished a speedie and perfect re­couerie of my health, with all happie and good successe vnto me; and that I might liue as long as the Diamonds of that Ring (which therewithall he deliuered vnto me) did endure: And in token thereof required me to we are it and keepe it for his sake. This most gratious and comfort­able message restored a new life vnto me, as comming from so renowmed and benigne a Souereigne, vnto a seruant so farre vnworthy of so great a fauour; and vp­on whom, not long before, it had pleased his Maiestie, yea in that very first day wherein we all had the hap­pinesse to beholde him, not only to bestow the honor of a Priuie Counseller, but also without any answerable desert or merit of mine preceding, to confirme that most honourable place of High Treasurer of England vnto me, which the late Queene ELIZABETH after foureteene yeeres seruice and ten yeeres following her [Page 31] Court (but not before) vouchsafed (I must needs yet say most gratiously so soon as it became void) to grant vnto me, and likewise within a short time after to ad­uance both me and my succession to the high honor & degree of an Earle; which is and shall be to me, my house and posteritie, an euerliuing demonstration, as­well of his great benefit to vs, as of our infinite bond to him thereby for euer. The which inexplicable goodnesse of his Maiestie towards me, besides many lustres of his bright shining fauours, from time to time cast vpon me, doe giue me iust cause to agnize, that I am no waies able to merit, no not the least part of them, but onely with the humble and infinite earnestie of my heart in desire to deserue; which I can yet no waies manifest, but by that faithfull testimonie which shall neuer faile in me, namely, by demonstration of mine incessant cares, labours and actuall indeuors for the behoofe and furtherance of his Maiesties▪ ser­uices, at the least thereby to shew that good will which is in me, though I cannot shew that effect which is due to him, since all that I possibly can or may doe, is but meere debt and dutie, and so in that course to spend such remaine of life as is left vnto me, yea euen to the very last of my daies here, & when I am dead & gone, if euer occasion may or shall be offered to any of my posteritie to doe his Maiestie or any of his any accep­table seruice heereafter, then let them hold & esteeme themselues most happie, if with the expence of life, & of all the fortunes that this world shall giue them, they may actually approoue and witnesse with effect, that they are not onely most loyall and dutifull vassals to this Imperiall Crowne, but also the most humble, [Page 32] faithfull, and thankfull sonnes and sequell of such a ser­uant, as was more bound vnto King IAMES, his liege Master, than euer subiect was vnto his Soueraigne, especially he being such a Soueraigne, adorned with such excellent parts of iustice, clemencie, and good­nesse, indued with so admirable gifts of memory, lear­ning, and iudgement, and finally beautified with so many other regall graces and vertues so farre beyond all the Kings and Princes that either written storie or this present age hath to present vnto vs, as I know not how any greater honor and felicitie can possiblie be added to the imperiall Crowne of and in this Great Britaine, by his vndoubted right so happily vnited vn­to vs, than we now presently possesse and enioy in the Royall person of this our so renowmed and so rare a King. Beseeching the eternall God, that he and his may euermore both rule and raigne ouer vs, yea euen as long as the Sunne and Moone endureth: and that I and mine may for euer and euer become more and more thankfull, (at the least if it be possibly in me) for so great honors, graces, and fauors, as this most cle­ment and renowmed King hath thus most gratiously vouchsafed vnto me; the remembrance of which, be­cause it may neuer die but be perpetually recorded in the mindes of those, that by the grace & goodnesse of almighty God, both now are, & hereafter shall be the lineall stirpe and succession of my house and family, to serue both him & his: I haue heere therefore set downe this short narration, of the true state and circumstance of the whole matter, to the intent it may remaine to my posterity heereafter, as a faithfull memorie thereof euen in this my last Will and Testament for euer.

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