Hebdomada Sacra: A WEEKES DEVOTION: OR, SEVEN POETI­CALL MEDITATIONS, VPON THE SECOND Chapter of St. Matthewes Gospell. Written, by ROGER COCKS.

[Woodcut printer's device, featuring a bearded face (not in McKerrow).]

AT LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston for Henry Seile, and are to be sold at his shop in St. Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Tygers head. 1630.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, IAMES, LORD Strange.

POetry (noble Lord) in these loose times,
Wherin men rather loue, then loath their crimes,
If hand in hand with piety she goe,
(Though without blushing she her face may show)
Finds but cold welcome, such things onely take,
As flatter greatnesse, or fond fancie make
A baud to base delight: yet grauer eyes
No sacred lines (though rudely drawne) despise,
And such are yours: vpon this worke of mine
Vouchsafe to let them fall, or rather shine,
With kind acceptance doe but daine to grace it,
And enuie shall want power to deface it.

To the Reader.

REader my fortunes are so meanely friended,
I come into thy presence vncommended:
Nor would I haue thee for Encomiums looke,
Or frontispeece, farre better then the booke,
My veine is not so high, to be commended,
Nor yet so low, but it may be defended,
By one sole Patron: Some that carpe will gather,
This is no Poem, but a Sermon rather,
But let them know who thus seuerely note it,
No profest Poet, but a Preacher wrote it.

A WEEKES DEVOTION.

Sundaies Meditation, or the first Canto for the first day.

The Argument.
Christs obscure Birth describ'd, the Place,
To which he did vouchsafe such Grace.
The Time when he was borne is nam'd:
The Iew for vnbeliefe is blam'd.
WHen Caesar famous for his Gallian warre,
Had ended that vnnaturall ciuill jarre,
Twixt him and Pompey, and by his defeat,
Got him a greater name thē that of great,
Perpetuall Dictator, Enuie rose
To ioyne with coward Murder, and depose
Vertue from bearing rule, the Senate made
A bloudy shambles, and a couert shade.
For horrid treason, was the fatall place,
Where his blacke tragedie was wrought, in base
Vnmanly manner, falling by the hand,
Of an vnthankefull Brutus: the command,
Of Romes faire Empire then in three did lie,
Augustus, Lepidus, and Anthonie:
Lepidus soone gaue o're, whether in doubt,
Had he held still, he could not long hold out,
Or for some other reason, t'other twaine,
Shar'd equally Romes glorie, and the gaine
Of forraine kingdomes, till at length there past,
(For great mens freindship doth not alwaies last)
Vnkindnesse twixt them, Anthonie had wed
Augustus Sister, but forsooke her bed,
For Aegypts Cleopatra, This gaue fire
To new dissention, his vniust desire
Must be made good by Armes, for gentle words
Turne him to furie, our impartiall Swords
Shall soone decide this difference said he,
And soone they did indeed, fate did agree
To second his proud saying, for his forces,
Broke by Augustus powers, he life diuorces,
From her weake hold, and being thus o'recome,
Caesar went backe triumphant vnto Rome.
Augustus now hauing sole rule, soone brought
His Prouinces in awe, all humblie sought
To haue his friendship, some few▪ did rebell,
But with vndaunted courage he did quell
Their vaine attempts, and to his fames encrease,
Establisht through the world a welcome peace.
While Ianus Temple was shut vp and warre,
Chas'd backe to Plutoes kingdome, while no iarre
Kept out soule-ioyning concord, whose sweete art
Did Speares to Mattockes, Swords to Plowes conuert,
While Noahs Doue brought in her mouth (the Marke
Of generall peace) and Oliue Branch toth' Arke,
Christ the celestiall Salomon was borne,
That King of peace, whose Amalthaean horne,
Powr'd peace and plenty on vs; so they say,
That when the Eagle flies abroad to prey,
The pratling birds are silent, should not then
Warres tongue be silent, when the best of men
Like to a Royall Eagle from his nest,
Came from the Virgins wombe in manhood drest.
When Halcyons build their nest, & breed their yong,
The Seas are quiet, the winde findes no tongue,
'Twas fit the world should haue the like behauiour,
When the pure Virgin did bring forth our Sauiour.
Philosophers obserue the dewes descent,
Is in a cleare night, when the winde is pent
Aristotle.
In Aeols prison: and the Prophet told
Christ should come downe like dew, and such, behold,
Was his sweet entrance, neuer was the earth
So much refresht by dew, as by his birth,
Fit was it then for warres loud noise to cease,
That this dew might come in a calme of peace.
If in two Kingdomes, suppose Spaine and France,
Which long in hostile manner did aduance.
Armes against armes, one Kings eldest sonne
Marries the others daughter, warres are done,
And they which earst contended eagerly,
Now meet in loue, and feast in royalty,
So stood the case with vs, by faire pretence,
Malicious Satan made man to commence
A warre with God, a warre that would haue wrought
His endlesse ruine, had not mercie sought
A meanes to settle peace, the onely son
Of the Almightie, when he did put on
That veile of flesh, did by it fast combine
Our humane nature to his owne diuine,
And made a reconcilement, which no power
Can breake or time weare out, though euery houre
Satan attempt new practises, and Hell
Spit out her rankest venome, to expell
Man from his Makers fauour, but her spite
Falls on her head redoubled, while delight
Crownes our desires, such happy vnion gan
The blest Messias make 'twixt God and man.
No sooner had Augustus brought each land
Luke 2.
Into subiection, but by his command
A generall Taxe was laid on euery nation,
Iudea 'mongst the rest, by Proclamation,
Each person to his natiue city went
There to be taxed: O that men were bent
With ready minde, and prompt alacrity,
To yeeld obedience vnto Gods decree,
As well as Caesars, in the ranke of those
Who with submissiue dutie did dispose
Their wills to this edict, a blessed paire:
Ioseph the iust, Mary the chast and faire,
Both Abrahams issue, both of Dauids stemme,
Came vnto Dauids City, Bethlehem,
There to be taxed, as the Law requir'd,
She being neere her time, which soone expir'd,
While they were there the dayes accomplished,
That the pure Virgin should be brought to bed,
And yet that phrase ist but improper heere,
Because the Inne, though full of guests, yet cleare,
Of Grace and goodnesse, would afford no roome,
Where she might child her issue, her ripe wombe,
Found, saue a stable, no conuenient place,
To rest it selfe, hard hearts whom such a case,
Mou'd to no pitty, heere she forth did bring
The Worlds Redeemer, heauens eternall King.
A King, where were the nobles of his Court?
Where all his followers? Where the full resort
Of honourable Matrons? to attend
Vpon his mother, was there neere a Friend
To giue soft musique? by whose gentle touch
Her sorrowes might be swagde, did all hearts grutch
To lend assistance? at a Princes birth
The voice of ioy speakes high, and from the earth,
Vnnumbred fires to such perfection grow,
As they would make another heauen below,
Heere all was husht and silent, to his owne
Christ came vnentertaind, because vnknowne.
But why, O Lord, wert thou thus poorely borne?
Why didst thou make thy selfe to be a scorne
To after Ages? Was it to conceale
Thy Deity from Satan? or reueale
Thy vnexampled goodnesse vnto man?
The like whereof, since time and place began
To circumscribe our actions, was not knowne,
Nor shall vnto succeeding age be showne.
As Israels King did once his habite change,
1. King. 22.
When he wagde warre 'gainst Syria and did range
The field in strange disguise: So Christ our King
Whom an vnbounded loue from heauen did bring,
To fight gainst hellish Syrians, and by armes
To giue vs freedome from death-threatning harmes,
Exchang'd his habite for bright Maiestie,
Clothing himselfe with base infirmity:
If some great King put on his royall Crowne,
And regall ornaments, he may be knowne,
But if his Kingly dignity he hide
In vile aray, he may passe vndiscried.
So had our kingly Sauiour cloth'd with light
As with a garment, come at first in sight,
He would haue then beene knowne vnto his foe,
And none haue dar'd once to exchange a blow
That he might therefore come vnto the fight
Vnknowne, this King of Israel had him dight
In strange aray: A Stable was his Throne,
A Cratch his Cradle, His attendance none,
With hunger, thirst, disgrace, and pouerty,
Our Sauiour couered his diuinity.
Loe here full low he in a Cratch doth lie,
Who sometimes on the winged wind doth flie,
Esai. 66. 1▪
And he whose throne is heau'n, whose footstoole earth
Hath but a sordid Stable at his Birth:
O had not man layne miserably defil'd
In sinnes polluted Stable, this faire Child
Had found a better lodging, but 'twas fit
That he which is our food, the sweetest bit
That euer mortall tasted, should be laid
In a poore Manger, since it may be said,
Men were turn'd worse then beasts, and therefore they
Bernard.
To be refresht as beasts that feede on Hay.
The ancient Prophets had foretold of yore
That Bethlehem was the place whereas ybore,
Should the Messias been: the learned read
The word to signifie the house of bread:
Whether because for fruitefulnesse and food,
It as a store-house to the countrey stood,
So 'mongst the ancient Romans Sicily
Horreum Ita­liae. Tully.
Was sometimes called the barne of Italy:
Or because Christ true heauenly bread indeed,
Whereon our soules, and not our mouthes doe feed,
Was there brought forth, so fathers moralize,
Hierom. Gregory.
Indeed from him all bread that doth suffice
Our soules and bodies is deriu'd: he giues
Corporall bread, by which the body liues:
Doctrinall bread he also doth affoord,
And this we call his holy heauenly Word,
Bread Sacramentall, in which we receiue
Spiritually the Giuer, and conceiue
A blessed vnion made in a strange fashion,
By Faith, and not by transubstantiation:
In fine, celestiall bread he doth dispose
At his eternall Table, vnto those
Which are his Seruants whose delicious tasting
Shall giue our bodies an immortall lasting.
In Iosephs time the come of Aegypt land,
Genes. 41.
Was without number, like the Ocean sand,
Bethlem had greater plenty at Christs Birth,
For heere was bread to nourish all the earth,
And of more blest continuance: those full cares
In Pharaohs countrey lasted but seuen yeares,
Leane famine then tooke place: our Bethlehems store
(As inexhausted) lasts for euermore:
There the Aegyptians when they wanted Cates,
Were faine to buy them at excessiue rates.
Heere Bread like to the Prophets Milke and Wine,
Esai. 55. 1.
A man may purchase without price or coyne:
And therefore as all nations in their neede,
To Ioseph came for corne, whereon to feede:
So let all people vnto Bethlehem haste,
And seeke out the true Ioseph which is plac'd
By the celestiall Pharaoh o're the earth,
To furnish men with corne, against the dearth
Threatning the soules destruction, who will giue
If they but aske, enough for them to liue
Heere, and heereafter, where they shall be fed,
In an eternall house of liuing bread.
Thrice happy Bethlehem, thou blest house of bread
On whom the Sunne of glorie first did spread:
The comfortable beames of his man God
Vnited nature, and there made abode:
But O more happy they, within whose heart
Faith giues him second birth, and will not part
With this blest store, I would our soules might be
The Bethlehem of his Natiuity:
But ere this can be so, we must put on
Mystically such a condition,
As that place had: first Bethlehem did seeme
But little in extent, lesse in esteeme,
The least of Iudahs thousands: So must we,
If we expect a blest renascency
Micah. 5. 3.
Of Christ within our soules, or would inherit
The purchase of his all-sufficient merit.
Be meane, and little in our owne esteeme,
How great, how good soeuer we may seeme:
In others iudgement: euery Christian knowes
That Christ a Lilly is, but such as growes
In the low valley of an humble minde,
Cant. 2. 1.
Not on proud mountaine tops, and as we finde
Flouds run not vp steep cliffs, but through low groūds
Conueigh their current: So his Grace surrounds
With a sweet streame of goodnesse, only those,
Which like low bottomes humbly doe dispose
Themselues to that blest moisture, we must then
If we would haue our Christ the best of men
Spiritually borne in vs, all agree
To be a Bethlehem in humility.
Againe we must be storehouses of bread,
To feed the hungry, he that doth not spread
A wing of mercy on the poore shall finde,
Christ will not house them there, the supple minde
Like pliant waxe, loues gentle fire must soften
Ere he imprint his seale, and we must often
Eccles. 11. 1.
Cast our bread on the waters, if we looke
That he which humane nature on him tooke,
To saue the world, while here we liue on earth,
Should haue within our hearts a second birth.
Now was the Scepter tane from Iudahs hand,
Nor 'twixt his feete sate he, who did command
The Lawes coerciue power: an argument
Gen. 49. 10.
The promis'd Shilo was already sent
Blind Iew, which dazeled with abundant light,
Sit'st like a dull Aegyptian, in the night
Of soule-deluding error, could record
Of ancient Prophets, make thee giue thy Lord
No better welcome, wilt thou yet denie
This firme vnquestion'd truth obstinate eye
Shut vp in wilfull blindnesse, let the place
Where Christ was borne, the time when, from ye chase
This cloud of darkenesse, looke not still in vaine
For thy Messias, who till all againe
Turne into Chaos, shall no more be sent
What time for want of faith thou shalt be shent
And sentenc'd to destruction, if in time,
Thy teares like Iordan wash not out thy crime.
But as when Moses was in Aegypt borne,
Exod. 2.
He was of his owne mother as forlorne
Cast out into the riuer, and there found
By Pharaohs daughter, who from being dround
Preseru'd the Infant, and with tender care
Brought vp this foundling, as her wombe had bare,
That goodly Hebrew: So was Christ bereau'd
Of a glad welcome by the Iewes, receiu'd
By the now happier Gentiles, happier farre
Then Abrahams issue, whom so bright a Starre
Cannot enlighten, but his word despise,
And 'gainst the Sun of glory shut their eyes.

Mondaies Meditation, or the second Canto.

The Argument.
The Magi come out of the East,
Vnto Ierusalem, in quest
Of the Messias, and enquire,
But meet not there their full desire.
BEhold while Gideons fleece, the Iuyce is dry,
Iugd. 6.
His floore (the Gentiles) doth it selfe apply
To drinke the heauenly dew: From Hebers land
A countrey farre in the east parts did stand,
But in what place vncertaine, whether Persia,
Neerer Chaldea, or the farthest India,
(Each haue their seuerall authors) did send forth
Primitiae Gentium. Augustin.
These first fruits of the Gentile (whose high worth
Makes them thought kings by some) I dare not say
Only from thence they came, from whence the day
Breakes, and Aurora chases thence blacke night,
Where Sol first rising shewes his glorious light,
And guilds the lofty mountaines, whence his beames
Reflect a brightnesse on the easterne streames.
Whether these wise men came from Abrahams line,
Yet not of Sarahs off-spring, some assigne
Keturah their grand-mother, or begot
By Baalams successor, or tis not
Materiall to examine, so to lay
For firme position, were to much to say:
Whether they were Magicians as some thinke,
And such who for deepe science chose to linke
Their Soules to Satan, or Philosophers
Morall and naturall, or Astronomers,
(To which opinion I assent thus farre,
Because we finde God call'd them by a starre
I list not to examine may't suffice,
They haue this only title they were wise.
Wise men indeed, it is true wisedomes lore,
To seeke for Christ, and neuer to giue ore
Till we haue found him, so did these that came
Out from the East, would we could doe the same.
It is a rare thing to be skil'd in arts
Abstrusest cunning▪ and to haue all parts
That better humane knowledge, but to know
Christ, is more worth, then all that art can show:
And therefore as when Phoebus 'gins to rise,
The starres ecclipsed lustre hidden lies
From eye of mortall; So when as diuine
Soule-quickning wisedome, as the Sun doth shine,
Each humane science like a petty starre,
Must vaile vnto it: as a ship from farre
Spying the Kings ride on the narrow seas,
When she comes neere (though little for her ease)
Bends her proud head, and doth withouten faile,
In most submissiue manner strike her Sai [...]e.
See here the (ne're enough to be admir'd)
Attractiue power of Christ, by which ensp [...]rd
To finde their Sauiour out, with ioyfull hearts
These Magi come from the remotest parts:
The Sun doth not exhale more forcibly
The purest vapours vp, the Loadstone nigh
The Sympathetique steele, makes it not cling,
More close vnto it, then this heauenly King,
(His innate vertue did such loue distill)
Made their affections cleaue vnto his will.
2. King. 10.
That Sheba's Queene drawne by the bare report
Of Salomons faire vertue, left her Court,
For Iudah's countrey may full strange appeare,
But see then Salomon a greater heere.
Luke 11. 31.
More strange to Christ the comming of those wise,
Then hers to Salomon we must agnize:
She was but one alone, they many were,
She but a woman, they men, she came there
Led by the tongue of Fame, but they from farre
Were guided by the leading of a starre:
She came to one whose riper yeeres did speake
Him growne to mans estate: they to a weake
And tender Infant: She to one that swaid
A royall Scepter; They to one was laid
In a poore Manger; She came but to trie
The truth of Fame, and curiously to spie
His state and knowledge, in effect meere vanity:
They to adore their God in his humanity:
In fine we finde her comming is exprest
From forth the South: but theirs is from the east.
Like as the Sun when he doth first display
His radiant lustre, and with lightsome day
Breake from the East, and getting in his throne
Fixt in the middle of the heauenly Zone,
Makes his diurnall progresse to the West,
And then returnes againe into the East:
So those wise men doe first their iourney gin,
From out the East nor did they euer lin;
Till to Ierusalem the West they came,
And fitly may this occidentall name
Be giuen to it, since the glorious Sun
Of righteousnesse hauing his course runne,
Did there sit red and bloudy, there he died,
Who for the sinne of man was crucified,
From thence they Eastward passe, and neuer cease
Till to their countrey they come backe in peace.
Of all the parts in the worlds continent
The East hath aye beene held most excellent.
Whether because that fruitfull Paradice,
Was planted Eastward or that Sol doth rise
There in his glory, or that the day spring
Is made an attribute to heauens great King:
Luke 1. 78.
Hence is it that in Churches (when addrest
In Prayer to God) we looke vnto the East.
Either because the earths most honoured part
Iustin Martyr.
To the Almighties worship we conuert:
Or because Paradice, which Eastward stood,
Lost first by Adam's fall, and since made good
Greg. Nysse.
By Christ our Sauiour, we by looke desire:
Or cause the Lambe of God, which did expire
Vpon the Crosse, extended to the West,
Damascen.
We to behold him looke into the East;
For many causes which might be assign'd,
This quarter of the World, the East, we find
In high repute, of which the least in worth
Is not, that such wise men it did bring forth.
Well doth the title with the place accord,
Wise from the East, for easterne parts affoord
Best intellectuals: so when holy writ
Would Salomon commend for rarest wit,
This Elogie it giues, he did exceede,
1. King. 4. 30.
The best of those, which the East parts did breede:
As if the men which did inhabite there,
Then all the rest of mortals wiser were,
Which commonly is so, either because
Of Phoebus neere vicinity, which drawes
Grosse vapours thence, and by his quickning ray,
Refines the fluent bloud, whose pure allay
Giues vigour to the Spirits: So we see
That Plants by Gardners carefull industry
Set, that the morning Sun may on them glow,
Doe soonest ripe, and to perfection grow:
So natures well red secretaries say,
That in the morne of all times, of the day,
The fairest Pearles are generate, and most bright
Then shines the gold Excelling Chrysolite▪
Or happely in wisedome they excell,
Cause our first Parents in the East did dwell,
And might to their Successors, more confin'd
Some monuments of knowledge leaue behind,
How fitly come they from the East, t'expresse
The rising of the Sun of righteousnesse:
And with the glad report of this bright morrow
Bernard.
To chase from humane hearts the night of sorrow,
From thence they come, frō whence the day is borne▪
And Phoebus hides the blushes of the morne,
That from the place where the day gins to cleare,
Chrysost.
Faith the soules day-light also might appeare
Where after Adam was create of earth,
Gan humane bodies first to haue their birth,
After our blessed Sauiours Incarnation,
The soule did [...] receiue Regeneration,
Where sinne and nature first beginning had,
There G [...] and truth arise, where mischiefe clad
In mercies habite did first [...]ine man
His blessed reparation there began
Indeede 'twas fit that part which did begin
To poison humane nature with foule sin,
Should send forth those that did in Grace excell,
And of a generall Antidote foretell.
Within the heart of Iudahs fertile land,
Salem the soiles Metropolis did stand,
Builded by Shem, the Magi to this place,
Arriue, in hope to see their Sauiours face;
And where indeed on humane state to ground,
Was the Messias likelier to be found,
To see the King where could they haue opinion,
If not in the chiefe seate of his Dominion:
To finde the heart, they that body the enter,
Seeke out the midst, because there lies the Center.
Christ was our head, and where could men expect
Him, but in Shem's faire Citty, which erect
Aboue the rest in Iudah, did so stand
As doth the head the body to command
Iosephus.
Ierusalem the vision of peace
Imports, as Learned say, sterne warre did cease,
When Christ was borne, where thē could make abode
Better then in Ierusalem the God
Of Peace and Mercie? Was not there the Court?
Why should the King be absent? the resort
Of Priests was thither; there the Altar stood,
Why should not Christ the Sacrifice, whose bloud
Did expiate our sinnes, be also there?
There was the Temple, whose faire frame vpreare
Did Salomon the wise, but since despoyld
Herod in greater beauty did rebuild:
Why should not then the Temples God abide
In such a place, so highly beautified?
To question this no more, 'twas Gods behest,
Nor are the greatest places still the best:
Experience tells vs, Christ is sometimes found
In a poore smoakie cottage, when the ground
Of goodly Palaces, pau'd with fairest stone,
And Roomes of choisest beauty stand alone
Vnuisited by him, he may receiue
Birth in a petty cottage, while him reaue
Of life a city doth: So was it here,
As plaine in sacred Story doth appeare:
Bethlehem at first into the world him sent,
Ierusalem out of the world him hent,
I'th first of these a cradle he did sinde,
But in the last a Graue was him assign'd,
Borne, though obscurely borne, at Bethlehem,
And crucified at Ierusalem:
The wise men then at Salem may enquire,
But shall not there find out their Soules desire.
But why, O Lord, since there thou wast not then,
Didst thou permit those well deuoted men
To wander from their way, and goe about,
Protracting time in seeking of thee out:
Did their owne error leade them from the way?
And thou in iustice suffer them to stray?
Subtracting from them thy starres glorious light,
Bernard.
Because they trusted more to humane might,
Then thy assisting power: into my thought
It cannot sinke, that ignorance then brought
But their all carefull prouidence, whose hand
Makes all our actions waite on thy command:
Perhaps it was thy will these men should come
First, to Ierusalem, lest they should rome
Vncertainely about, for their records
Of ancient Prophets, kept, could shew the Lords
Most certaine place of birth and as one saith
Informe their knowledge and confirme their Faith:
Chrysost.
Or it may be as Legates thou didst send
These Magi vnto Salem, to the end
The Iewes might their Messias Birth discerne,
And these teach others, while they seeke to learne,
Or was it not to stirre vp Isaacs Line,
To seeke their Sauiour out, when thus combine
Chrysost.
They saw the Gentiles: or as some conclude
To argue them of foule ingratitude,
Who would not their Messias entertaine
Augustine.
Whom they saw strangers seeke with so much paine?
O let not vs like these hard-hearted Iewes
Out of a wilfull blindnesse thus refuse
Grace freely offred, let these wiser men
Leade vs by their example, how and when
To seeke out Christ, but yet take heed their fashion
Be not abus'd by apish imitation:
As 'tis by Iesuited Rome, which drawes
From hence her pilgrimage to Saints, because
The Magi come to Salem, who indeed
Their action giues no countenance, nor our Creed
Warrant to this deuice, for but compare
The Romanists with them, and they will share
No correspondencie at all, vnlesse
A kinde of poore resemblance they expresse,
In their long iourneys, and their larger gifts,
They offer at their shrines, impotent shifts
For their grosse Idoll worship; first we know
The wise men taught by God to Salem goe,
He blest that iourney which they had begun,
And sent a Starre to leade them to a Sun:
These haue no starre at all, the heauenly Word,
That light vnto our feet, doth them afford
No helpe in all their iourney, ne haue they
The starre of Faith to guide them in the way:
Blind zeale may hale them forward, or perchance
Humane tradition may it selfe aduance
But as a wandring Plannet, no true guide,
Or else the like doth vnto them betide,
Which doth to those, who iourneying in the night
Espie an Ignis fatuus, whose false light
Leads them ore ditch and hedge, though dirt & mire,
His maine inuention is iust such a fire,
Deluding those that follow it, let me say
Romes Pilgrimes are thus guided in their way:
Againe the Magi seeke for Christ alone,
Mat. 2. 2.
Where's Judahs King? O shew vs him or none▪
Whereas the Romish Pilgrimes Christ forsake,
And for their Sauiour vnto Saints them take:
The wise men came Christ liuing to behold;
These but dead rotten reliques to vnfold:
They came to worship God; these idle drones
Come but to worship sencelesse stocks and stones:
Shall we then say, these imitate the wise?
Alas, I cannot, no we must deuise
To follow them a better way then this,
Or finde we shall not, cause we seeke amisse:
And would ye know, wherein to imitate
These blessed Magi? Let it be in that
Which is praise-worthy, as their care and paine,
To finde out Christ, for as the learned saine,
They tooke their iourney when the colder ayre,
Chang'd dewes to frosts, when winters siluer haire
Stucke full of Snow, and Boreas bitter breath
Blew numbnesse on their limbs: yet did pale death
Stand, as the Angell stood in Balaams way
Numb. 22.
With a drawne Sword, their bodies he might stay,
Not their affections, they went forward still,
Choosing to die, rather then want their will,
Like them, so vs no rub, no barre should hold
From Iudahs King: As couetous for gold,
Ambitious after honour: So must we
Seeke Christ, with feruour and alacrity:
Religion is not bred in sloth and ease,
The sweat of labour, ere she God can please,
Must sit vpon her brow: yet see we are
Happy in this, we need not iourney farre
To finde Christ out, our lot so faire doth stand,
That we may still keepe in our natiue land,
And meet our wishes, Christ is to be found
Within our Kingdome, in the hallowed ground,
Whereon our Temples stand, each Sacrament,
May euery good soule is his continent:
Yet we to finde him out (so meane our care)
More slow then Snailes, more lame then Cripples ar [...]:
O how shall the great care and diligence
Of those, condemne our sloth and negligence?
How should we feare, since in offence we stand
Equall with Iudah, Gods all-powerfull hand
Should throw downe vengeance on vs, and our eyes
[...]est that faire light which now they doe despise.
The countrey of these Magi was the East,
And commonly men loue their owne soile best,
Yet ready prest they in obedience stand,
To leaue (as Abraham did) their natiue land:
When that blest Maid and Mother lost her sonne,
At her returne from Salem, as vndone
Without him (who can haue so great a losse
And not goe home againe by weeping crosse?)
She sought him sorrowing 'mongst her friends & kin,
Luke 2.
But could not finde him, she might there begin
Her search anew, Christ is not alwayes found
'Mongst kindred and acquaintance, if the ground
That gaue vs birth, will not our Lord receiue,
For him we must our natiue countrey leaue,
Our Friends, our home, and stranger places greet,
Though our owne Jthaca be nere so sweet.
Thrice happy is that man, which can with these
Forsake his soile, bannish neglect and ease,
Goe from the East of pleasure, till he finde
Ierusalem, that is, the peace of minde.
Now had the Magi found this City out,
Where Sion stood, and walking round about,
(Not to suruay the building or behold
The stately Temple, richly deckt with gold)
Enquire for Iudahs King, her new borne King,
This seem'd to Jsaacs Line an vncouth thing,
They knew the Scepter was from Iudah gone,
And Herod who was now their King, was one
Inaugur'd by the Romanes, therefore they
Pos'd by this question, knew not what to say:
But the wise men the more they found them slow,
To answer, were the more inflam'd to know:
Tell vs we pray (for we desire to learne)
Where liues this Infant King? we can discerne
No signe of ioy, to make vs thinke him heere:
O then where is he? we account not deare
Our trauell or expence, so we may gaine
The long-wisht sight of Iudahs Soueraigne:
That he is borne, we doe true tidings bring,
Borne yours, your promis'd, your expected King,
Borne in your Countrey, what we speake we know,
What we haue seene we willingly will show,
We haue his starre seene, whose vnusuall light,
Shone in our easterne climate, and made night
Excell the day in beauty: There's no cause
You should suspect we come to breake your Lawes,
Or to inuade your Kingdome, for we bring
No armed troupes to set vpon your King,
VVe doe not come as spies, to vnderstand
The fruitfulnesse and strength of this your land,
Our trauell is not to encrease our wealth,
By traffique with you, or by priuate stealth
To get your treasure, see, we bring great store
Of costly spices, and rich Indian Ore,
Vnto this royall Infant to present,
Which with submissiue reuerence our intent
Is to lay downe before him, and fallow
Our selues before his footestoole, for we know
That more then man is in him, and are come
Thus farre to worship him: This is the summe
Of all our wishes, let but your report
Be our direction, to this Princes Court:
This said they ceast, but none can them resolue
In their demand, which doth their soules inuolue
VVith a new cloud of sorrow, in which plight
A while I leaue them, till a clearer light
[...]nfuse more knowledge, time ere long will bring
The deuout Magi, to this new borne King.

Tuesdaies Meditation, or the third Canto.

The Argument.
Herod and his the Newes appalls,
The King in haste a counsell calls:
Next to conferre in secret wise,
He with the Magi doth deuise.
BY this time same hauing new impt her wings,
Flies from the City to the Court, and brings
Newes of these mens arriuall, and the end
Of their intended iourney: to commend
Their diligence Court-Parasites will striue,
Like Ahimaaz and Cushi, who shall thriue
[...]. Sam. 18.
Best in their expedition: Princes eares
Doe like their hands reach farre, and tyrants feares
Place Spies in euery corner, whose close art
Sliely insinuates into the Heart,
Of the abused Subiect, and from thence
Drawes danger on his head, vnder pretence
Of more then common kindenesse, what he find [...]
Sincerely spoken from plaine meaning minds,
He poysons in report, when he it beares
To his Kings greedy, all-suspecting eares.
After this tatling goddesse once had spread
This Newes abroad▪ and buz'd into the head
Of fawning Sycophants, a pick-thanke tale,
Looke how a ship driuen with a fore-right gale
Cuts through the Ocean: they hie fast to court,
And to sterne Herod make a loud report.
No sooner had fame toucht the tyrants eare,
But that his coward bloud gaue way to feare,
To take possession of him, that he stood
Astonisht at the newes: the raging floud
VVhen the fierce winds impetuously doe blow,
And in their vnresisted fury throw
The angry billowes, 'gainst the sandy shore
Spits not out some, or doth more loudly roare,
Then vexed Herod, who did inly burne,
VVhen ycie feare to fiery rage did turne.
Like as a siluer Current, whose cleare strea [...]
VVhen sweetly guilded by the lightsome beame
Of gold-lockt Phoebus, it reflects a light,
Becomes a pleasant obiect to the sight,
But if some ruder Swaine disturbe the floud
By taking in it, fetching dirt and mud
The water thickens, and begins to looke
More like a foule sinke, then a christ all b [...]ooke:
So while the riuer of man's life runs cleare,
And Sun-like reason, from his lofty spheare
Guilds it with beauty, 'tis a precious thing,
Surpassing Thames and Isis, or that spring
VVhich fond N [...]rcissus in his iourney found,
In which the selfe-admiring Boy was drown'd,
But if that passion easie passage finde,
It soone disturbs the quiet of the minde,
Then the Conceit growes muddy to the brinke,
Like puddle, bad to view, but worse to drinke.
So stood the case with Herod, and indeed
Suspicious Tirants seldome better speed:
A panicke [...]er [...]out takes them oftentimes,
VVhen none seeke to offend them, but their crimes:
And reason good, for this truth hath beene said,
He whom all feare, of all must be afraid:
Seneca.
O heauy burthen of a Monarches crowne,
O Pillow stuft with thornes, and not with dowlne,
O glorious bondage seldome blest with age,
O lofty building subiect to the rage
Of storme and tempest, O faire guilded Cup
Containing poison, who would take thee vp,
(So once a Macedonianking did say,)
Antigonus
Though he should stumble on thee in the way.
As a faire roome at some great nuptiall feast
Hung with rich Arras, and each corner drest
With costly furniture, heere goodly plate,
There curious glasses, all set out in state,
Tables well wrought, with perfum'd damaske couer'd,
Embroder'd stooles, nothing amisse or slubber'd,
By some rude fray of the distemper'd guest
(As with the Centaures at the Lapythes Feast)
O [...]
Becomes disordered, so that all the frame
Nought but a Chaos you can iustly name:
Such a confused heape was Iudah's King,
When fame humming about his eares, did sting
His very heart and soule, with the report
Of a new riuall, to his Crowne and Court.
Now gan remembrance of his Tyrant raigne
[...]o torture him with an vnwonted paine,
[...]he stormie rage which on his subiects fell
He thinkes they will reuenge, and now rebell,
Dismaid at this, he doth begin to moane him,
As if they came already to dethrone him:
F [...]e is an ill Interpreter of things,
Especially within the hearts of kings:
He thinkes that strangers will inuade his land
In hostile manner, and with powe [...]full hand,
Expell him thence, and in his seate aduance
The new borne Infant: then he sees a glance
Of a great Persian Hoste, that hard at hand,
Haue got already at their full command
The bulwarke of his kingdome, Salems towne,
Or else the Magi durst not vp and downe
Make such enquiry, quite against his will,
Who with a very frowne was wont to kill:
Mou'd with the wind of different thoughts he raues,
Like the barke, beaten by the furious waues
Of the enchafed floud: the Deuill too
Exagitates his minde, yet doubtfull who
The new-borne Infant was: he knew decreed
Gen. 3. 15.
A time in fate, wherein the womans seed
Should break the Serpents head: As when the queene
Of heauen, fiercely enrag'd with iealous spleene
Against Alcmena, and her Ioue-borne sonne
From Affricke brought two Snakes to seaze vpon
His infant body, that their gripe so fierce
Might cause his cradle to become his Herse,
But young Alcides made his tender hands
About the Serpents such death-threatning bands,
They could not hurt him, squeesing them so sore,
That 'twixt his fingers a foule purple gore
Issued apace, in which their life was drown'd,
Then let them drop quite sencelesse to the ground:
So stood the case, when as dissention rose
Bet [...]ixt this royall Infant and his foes:
H [...]rod and Satan two foule Serpens were,
Whom this new Hercules did squeese with feare
Of his all-powerfull hand, they both did dread
Their kingdomes ruine, and by this were led
Into vnwonted troubles, Satan thought▪
That this was he, by whom was to be wrought
(As a new Moses) Israels Redemption
From Hels proud Pharaoh, and a full exemption
From all Aegyptian bondage, which oppression
Lay heauie vpon man for his transgression:
This troubled Satan in infernall shade,
And with new horrour did his thoughts inuade:
Like as the greedy wolfe, when as he spies
The carefull Shepheard neere, or heares the cries
Of the fierce Mastife troubled therewithall,
A chilling feare his sences doth apall:
So woluish Satan when he saw so neere,
The Shepheard of our soule, a deadly feare
Tooke hold vpon him, and disturb'd him so,
As doth the presence of a powerfull Foe
A weake opponent: rob'd of his content,
He vexes Herod his fit instrument,
Knowing that feare of such a danger will
Stirre vp a care, how to preuent his ill,
Regardlesse so he may securely raigne
Though deepe in blood he doe his hand ingraine,
VVell hoping this distraction would him bring
To seeke the ruine of the new borne King.
That such a Tyrant should so farre giue way
To his perplexed thoughts, and so dismay
With feare of future troubles his weake minde,
Is not to be admir'd: But when I finde
That all Ierusalem was rent in sunder
With him in this strange Passion, then I wonder
She, that as one or'eioy'd at this new birth
Should haue exprest a triumph and with mirth
Haue crownd her browes, she that doth represent
A peacefull city, and with full content
Should the great King of peace haue entertain'd,
Was at Christs birth, as in her trauell, paind.
But wonder not, a Princes fashion
Is soone obseru'd by Subiects imitation:
Cameleons cannot into colours turne
Faster then Courtiers: if their Soueraigne mourne
Blacke clouds of sorrow couer all their face,
If smile, they change their copie; 'tis a grace:
Clysophus thinkes to be without an eye,
If Philip be but blind: to goe awry
If Alexander doe so: Parasites
Are iust like glasses to their Princes sights,
Fitly resembling euery looke they haue,
Merry or sad, ridiculous or graue:
And as the Eccho answereth the voice
Iuuenal. Satyr. 3.
In the same tone it speakes, if it reioyce
Sending forth ioyfull accents, if it sorrow
Vtter, as sad a language it doth borrow.
So Herods Courtiers Eccho-like, but sound
What they receiue from him by a rebound:
Thus with him these (true royalties worst bane)
Sea-like, or like the moone doe waxe and wane.
Another sort of Courtiers, Herods friends
Did sympathize with him, but in their ends
Much differing from the former, some did doubt
A new commenced warre, others more stout,
Expected alteration, for the Theame
It is best fishing in the troubled streame,
Did whet desire, onely they did not know
Which part to side on, when the storme should grow
And this perplext them: A third sort there were
Of grauer Citizens; much dismaid with feare,
That Herod vexed at this strange report
Would wreake his spleene on them: or if the court
Should change her King they fear'd a heauier yoake,
For seldome comes the better when the stroake
Falls from a farre-fetcht hand, it heauier lights
To haue an vnknowne Prince it euen affrights
Their vnderstanding: As that vlcerous man,
Stucke full of flies, when some in pitty 'gan
To chace them thence, cryed out in piteous wise,
O doe not wrong me so, these full fed flies
Now sated with my bloud, I well can beare,
But if you driue them thence, I much doe feare
New ones will fill their places, and the ease
You thinke to doe me, me farre more displease:
So these thought better, with the rusticke swaine
Once to digge vp Antigonus againe,
And to endu [...]e those flies that had their fill,
Rather then new ones, which more bloud might swill.
The common sort seeing their soueraigne sad,
Thought it their dutie also to be clad
In the minds mourning habite: Princes are
Like the first mouer to the lower starre,
Vnto the Subiects, by their swifter motion
They draw them strongly to their owne deuotion:
And as a Horse though full of force and spirit
Backt by a skilfull Rider seemes [...]i [...]herite
His will and iudgement, one while standing still,
Then paci [...]g, running, bounding at his will,
So fares it twixt the Subiect and the King,
Backt by the Prince Rules snaffle doth him bring
To what his sou [...]raigne please: the King's th' head,
The [...]ubiect are the members, which doe spread
And grow from thence, now when the head's diseas'd
How [...]hould the members but be much displea'd?
But here a doubt is mou'd, Must Subiects still
Conforme their manners to their soueraignes will?
May not Ierusalem with faire intent,
In this, or like perplexitie dissent,
From troubled Herod, must the Princes fashion
Still leade the Subiect to an imitation?
Not so, Kings are but men, and so may erre,
The King of Kigs Edict we must preferre
Before a mortals: though Augustus say,
Doe this, if God forbide it, to obey
Is to become a traytor? Gods Command
Compar'd with mans, must like an Ocean stand,
To swallow vp that drop, to quench that sparke,
As Idoll Dagon fell before the Arke;
As starres are hidden when the Sun doth shine:
So humane lawes must stoope vnto diuine.
The tyrant thus with feare perturb'd, at last
Summons his wits together, and doth cast
How to preuent all danger, and in minde
Reuoluing many things, at length doth finde
No better course can with his safety stand,
Then by an Edict sent throughout his land,
To call a counsell, and lest by delay
He might incurre a hazzard, men that day
With speciall writs to further his intent
Goe out, and summon straight a Parlaiment:
In this, though else full of impietie,
Herod to Kings a President may be,
Not on their owne sole iudgement to relie,
But to consult with their graue counsels eie,
Which can see farre into high points of state,
And deepest matters learnedly debate.
Well knew the cunning Tyrant how to make
A fit Election, and such men to take
As his designe might further: for which cause
He conuocates the wisest in the Lawes,
And those whom he knew fittest to expound
Old Prophesies, and misteries profound,
For Priests and Elders, with the learned Scribe,
He picks the best for [...]ame from euery Tribe:
Had warre the subiect beene to be discust,
He wo [...]ld haue cal'd Commanders for the trust
Of mar [...]iall matters, fits them best that are
Well seene and practiz'd in the feats of warre,
But this was no such thing: Herods desire
Was by all meanes he could deuise, t'exquire
Where he to whom so many ages past
Iudah's Dominion was assign'd at last
Should take his birth: the true Messias place
Was the maine question that they had in chase.
They had not sate in consultation long,
But they were soone agreed, and yet among
So many▪ scarce there cou [...]d be one found out
To be their speaker, and resolue the doubt
At last an aged Priest did vndertake
To be the tongue for all the rest, and make
A full relation of Prophetique truth,
So vp he ro [...]e, and spake what next ensueth.
Great Ki [...]g led sure by some diuiner light.
From the blacke darkenesse and Cymmerian night
Of the Worlds error since state pollicies
Thou leauest to search out heauens high mysteries:
Happy are we thy subiects to behold
Such goodnesse in such greatnesse, keepe thy hold,
Goe on in Grace and vertue though alone,
And thou [...] th [...]se prop [...], hold thy throne:
Know thou brig [...]t [...] Bethlehem is the place,
Which our M [...]ssias c [...]o [...]en hath, to grace
With his maiestqu [...] presence, when he shall
First see the light o [...] [...] Ball:
So write our ancient Prophets, 'mongst the rest,
Mi [...]ah, whose Oracles are thus exprest:
And thou, O Bethlehem, in Iudahs Land,
Shalt not for least among the Princes stand,
For out of thee shall come a King▪ which well
Shall know to guide my people Israel:
Thus in few words I doe my soueraigne show,
What he with so much care desir'd to know;
Herod well pleased with this▪ bestowed a nod,
And they their adoration, as some god
Had sent them a rich fauour: then they kist
His hand, and so th' assembly was di [...]mist.
But I (though Herod) not dismisse you so,
Something I haue to say before ye goe,
O can ye be so light, yet seeme so graue,
Professe so much zeale, yet so little haue▪
Can you to Herod truely point the place
Where your Messias is, yet want th [...] grace
To visite him you selues? As larger stones
Erected in some high way for the nounce,
Dir [...]ct the Passenger, but doe not moue
A i [...]t from thence, where they were fixt in loue:
Or as the Bels loud repercussiue sound
Cals vnto Church, neighbours that heare it round,
But in it selfe doth not least motion feele,
To make it leaue it semicircled wheele:
So these could shew where Christ was to be found,
Yet neuer seeke him, all was shew and sound,
No solid substance: They must needes be ill,
Who rich in knowledge, are so poore in will.
By this time Herod who in thought reuolu'd,
Many a Plot, and Plat-forme, was resolu'd
To fixe on one for all: sliely he sent
For the wise men to court, with whom he spent
Some time in free discourse, the maine thus farre
Did reach, to know what time the easterne starre,
Made his first apparision, this once told
Herod his minde did in these words vnfold.
With how great care my selfe haue sought to know
This Infant Prince ye come to, well doth show
The counsell call'd of late, call'd for your good
For now we know the place of his aboad:
That he is more then humane I beleeue,
Though clouded in obscurity, and grieue
Time and occasion will not giue me leaue
To goe this progresse with you, and receiue
That soule securing comfort, and delight
Which you will [...]eet with in the gracious sight
Of such an Obiect: but doe you goe on,
And search with Linceus eyes, to light vpon
The house that holds him, and if once you fortune
(For which I will the higher powers importune)
But bring you to him, after you haue done
That you are led to by Deuotion,
Doe but so much of happy time afford,
As may returne you backe, to bring me word,
And I my selfe submitting state and glory,
Although to aftertimes I make a story,
Will wing'd in my desire approach before him,
And falling prostrate on the ground adore him.
O subtile Fox, that with so faire pretence
Couldst such a deed of cruelty commence,
As the sweete Infants murder, for we finde
Such Lambe-like se [...] blance hid a woluish minde:
Of Christ the Lambe he spake, as if he meant
To worship, when to worry he was bent:
Hypocrisie with a fine thred is spunne,
And seemes an Eagle that dares face the Sunne,
But once expos'd vnto that glor [...]ous light,
Shrinkes backe amaz'd, and canopies her sight.
Herod by craft thought he might quickely gaine
What by plaine dealing he could not obtaine:
So Generalls in their exploits of warre,
Seeing the Lyons case will not reach farre,
That they may bring their Stratagem about
Peece on the Foxes skinne, to eke it out.
So the slie Fox as dead himselfe doth lay,
When he intends to make the largest prey:
So Ioab hugs him whom he meanes to slay,
So Iudas kisses whom he doth betray:
But Herods cunning doth himselfe beguile,
The Wolfe delayes, the Lambe escapes the while:
The wise men lend an eare vnto the King,
But that we finde answeare not any thing,
Yet since by silence they doe shew consent,
They are dismist, and Herod seems content.

Wednesdaies Meditation, or the fourth Canto.

The Argument.
By the starres helpe the wise men finde
Our Sauiour out, their gifts defind,
Admonished from God before
In Herods sight they come no more.
THe Magi finding not what they doe lacke,
Vpon Ierusalem soone turne their backe,
They had not trauail'd from the citty farre,
When the thrice welcome lustre of their starre
Did reappeare vnto them: God withdrawes
His b [...]essings from vs, that a little pause
Of absence may endeare them: so the light
To one immur'd in prison seemes more bright
When his enlargement comes: so when the blast
Of some impetuous wind rends vp the Mast
Of the Sea-tossed-Hulke, ready as food
To stop the mouth of the deuouring flood,
A sudden Calme is sweetest: A disease
Makes health in the repurchast better please:
Vicissitude delights, and breedes respect,
Where long enioying generates neglect.
Ha [...] the wise men in all their iourney kept
The Starre a daily guide, they had not lept
For ioy, as they did now: indeed content
Might then haue kept pace with them, but as pent
Within too strait a prison, their vast ioy
Breakes forth into expression, no annoy
Able to counter-check it, 'twas more great
Gauisi sunt gaud [...]o magno valde.
Then text could well describe, or I repeat.
Like as a mother of a sonne belou'd
As her eye sight, from her eye-sight remou'd
By a long absence, and no newes arriuing,
Whether he doe consort the dead or liuing,
Grieues at her hap, while heart-dismaying feares
V [...]nt out her sorrow, not in words, but teares;
Which when past hope she sees him home returne,
Ceast any longer his decease to mourne,
And rauisht in her ioy, her spirits drownd
In such a deluge, falls into a swound:
But hauing once those powers recollected,
Seeing the obiect by her so affected,
Kisses, e [...]braces, hugs her dearest Boy,
Ready to skip out of her skin for ioy:
So fared it with the Magi; when the Starre
First disappear'd, it made no doubt a warre
Within them, sundry passions did contest,
But gri [...]fe soone gets the mastery of the rest;
Yet [...]ong the [...]rabbed tyrant doth not reigue,
Ere he be clean [...] depos'd, the Starre againe
By new appearing a [...]ters quite the state;
So ioy succeeds, and doth pr [...]dominate;
Tun'd to a holy key, their tongues doth sound
Lauo [...]taes, while their heart [...]oth dance a Round.
This Star [...], [...]hether a [...] [...] in that fashion,
Or else some radiant holy inspiration,
Chrysost.
Whether an errant P [...]a [...]et among the seuen,
Or one of those faire bodies [...]ixt in heauen,
Sent downe to serue the turne or else created
For this sole vse, and then anihilated,
I will not stand to question: on it went
As a sure conuoy, for the course it hent
Was not orbicular, but so direct
As they could wish a guide, whose best respect
Might leade them on; the motion of it slow,
And as it may be well concluded, low,
Else could it not haue kept an equall pace,
Nor yet hauefully pointed to the place.
Come to the house, as if it had no will
For any further motion, it stood still,
And ouer the poore cottage long did houer,
Or like some golden Canopie, did couer
The place of Christs abode: which once descride
By the wise men, its luster it did hide,
And ne'er was seene againe, although some tell,
Gliding from thence, it fell into a Well.
Interpreters doe by this Starre expresse,
Such as turne men to faith and righteousnesse.
Thrice happy are those Starre [...], which soules do guid [...]
To Christ, and also there themselues abide.
Enter'd they find the Infant with his Mother;
She puts not out her Child vnto another:
Me thinkes it is an error against kind,
That Mothers which haue store of milke assign'd,
Should dry those fountaines, to preserue their beauty,
From whence their infants should suck loue and duty
Or that for state, for trouble, or for pleasure,
They should expose such an vnualew'd treasure
As children are, vnto another, care,
While they themselues thereof will beare no share.
The blessed Virgin bare a better mind,
To her owne issue then to proue vnkind,
Milke she a blessing knew, dry breasts a curse,
Therefore she dain'd her selfe to be a nurse:
The wise men when they come, the Infant see
Hang at her breasts, or dandled on her knee.
Now did the Magi meet their full desire,
And might with Simeon wish they might expire:
Great was their ioy, when they beheld the Starre.
To see the Sun must needs transcend it farre:
Abraham reioyc'd to see Christs day in spirit;
Ioh. 8. 46.
Your ioy must needs be greater, which inherit
A larger blessing, you in flesh behold him,
And haue that fauour in your armes to fold him:
Prophets and Kings haue long desir'd in vaine,
To see what you see, Judahs Soueraigne;
Luk. 10. 24.
Therefore (to him who best can censure things)
Happier you are then Prophets, or then Kings.
Yet let me say, 'twas not the sight alone
That made these wise men happy, had they gone
No further, they had ne'er arriu'd at blisse,
Many eyes saw him which of that shall misse:
But these wise men when once they come before him,
Fall prostrate on the ground, and doe adore him:
Well might good Bernard this strange act admire,
That wise men, great men, who to sense were higher
Then what they fell so low to, should afford
Such worship to an Infant, poorely stord
With what should fit a Royall birth, the place,
Attendants dressing, cradle had no grace
To moue such vassalage; sure God inspir'd
(A thing which well deserues to be admir'd)
Such Faith into their minds, as made them see
A God head clothed with humanity.
Being to come fore one of more command
Athanasius.
Then Persiaes Monarke, with an empty hand
They dare not make approach, but ope their treasure,
And giue their owne in an abundant measure:
The gifts they dedicate to Christ are three,
Augustine.
To note they did adore the Trinitie:
Or else to shew, the person they ador'd,
Although but one, was with three Natures stor'd,
Deity, Soule and Body; or to bring
His threefold Office of Priest, Prophet, King,
To our remembrance; therefore some doe call
These, sacramentall gifts; Propheticall
Cyp [...]tian. Rupertus. Basfil.
Others entitle them; the first was Gold,
Which with a King doth correspondence hold;
Or else they offer plenty of their Ore,
That to supply their wants they might haue store
When Christ should f [...]ie to Egypt: they bestow
Mirrhe, that a mortall man we might him know:
The Frankinsence they offer doth define,
As God he must haue sacrifice Diuine.
Againe, pure Gold, cleare Mirrhe, sweet Frankinsence,
Doe each of them afford a morall sence;
Gold signifies pure doctrine, Faith sincere,
A charity refin'd, which God holds deare:
Myrrhe represents the teares of penitence
Shed for our sinnes a mortified sence
To worldly matters: Frankinsence doth shew
Perfum'd deuotion, where we must bestow
The Incense of our prayers: these well presented,
Are offerings wherewith God is much contented.
The wise men hauing their oblat [...]on ended,
And seene, and known what might be comprehended,
Take leaue, and doe betake them to their rest,
Deeming themselues to be not meanely blest
In such a happy issue, now their mind
At quiet, a sweet sleepe their sence doth bind.
About the dead time of the silent night,
They saw, or thought they saw a glorious light;
In it a shape more bright, an Angel [...] stood,
Who came from heauen to warne thē for their good,
And hauing gently wak'd them, with a voice
Able to charme attention, and reioyce
The very heart to heare it, thus he said;
Let not your minds with terror be dismaid,
Almighty God, whose I reioyce to be,
Hath sent me to you on this embasie:
The honour which you lately did his Sonne,
Hath so much fauour from his goodnesse wonne,
That knowing you are bent to vndertake
A dangerous iourney, he desires to make
The hazzard knowne vnto you: Iuda's King,
Herod I meane, is rather any thing,
Then wha [...] he seem'd vnto you: his pretence
Of worship, when in that close conference
He brake about the Infant, was a wile,
Both you and him the better to beguile;
For in his heart he plotted long before,
To wash his hands within the purple gore
Of his l [...]e blood, and chose for this intent
Your simplen [...]sse to be his instrument;
Meaning when he had seru'd his turne, to reaue
You of your dearest liues, striuing to leaue
A president vnto posterity,
Of an vnmat [...], vnheard of tyranny:
Be mindfull of [...]. [...] words, and take good heed
How you returne to Herod, rather speed
Into your Country b [...] some other way,
For no [...]al [...] danger waits vpon delay.
This said, he quickly vanisht out of sight,
And they fell to their rest that rest of night.
No sooner did the grav-eyed Morne appeare,
And by her blushi [...]g [...]hew the Sunne was neare,
But to their [...]ourney they themselues addresse,
And mindfull of the vision, which did presse
Their memories afresh, they leaue the rode
Which leades to S [...]em, though the tract were broad,
And ride through la [...]es, and by-waies, till at last
The confines of [...]udea they are past.
Secure from danger, their post-haste they stay,
And trauaile on at leasure, by the way
Discoursing with ioy not to be exprest,
How highly they were in that iourney blest:
Ere many daies their Country smoke appeares,
And they in peace at ho [...]e liue many yeeres.
I cannot leaue this part of history,
Till I haue shewed a vsefull mystery:
Herod by the vnanimous assent
Of Fathers, doth the diuell represent,
They then which by Gods mercy are set free
From bondage, worse then Egypts slauery,
Satans oppression, must abhorre such bands,
And take good heed they fall not in his hands.
The silly Bird hauing escap'd the net,
Farre from the fatall place herselfe will get.
The Lambe which from the Wolfe hath got away,
Will no more venture from the flocke to stray.
If by the Gospels Starre we once are brought
To Christ, let vs by no temptation wrought,
Turne backe to Herod; but forsaking quite
The workes of darknesse, in Gods Word delight.
Indeed I know we are to trauaile farre
To our owne Country, in this world we are
1. Pet. 2. 11.
But strangers: he that liues the longest age,
Doth waste his life in tedious pilgrimage:
Heauen is our happy home, and we must striue,
Though close by hell we passe, how to arriue
Vnto that blessed Harbor, by the way
Remouing all such rubs as would vs stay.
But let me tell you, lest we chance to stray,
Our iourney thither lyes another way:
'Tis not the too-too common road of vice,
Which is the passage vnto Paradice;
Ah no, the path which vnto blisse doth lead
Matth. 7. 13.
Is straight, and few they are that doe it tread:
Then, onely then, another way we take,
Immutatio viae emen­datio vitae: Eusebius Emissenus. 1. King. 13.
When of our vicious life a change we make.
Like as the Prophet which was sent to cry
Against that Altar of impiety,
Set vp by Ieroboam, had command
Not to goe backe vnto his natiue Land
By the same way he came: the like haue we,
VVe must our old waies leaue, and speedily
As we new creatures are, new wayes enquire,
Such as may bring vs whither we desire.
He that by sinne hath left heauens vsuall track,
Must by repentance a new way come back.
Hast thou walkt on in lusts impurity?
Returne another way, by chastety.
Didst thou with pride a stately march maintaine?
Another way humility regaine.
In auarice didst thou delight to moue?
Returne another way, and walke in loue.
Did sharpe contention make thee trudge to Law?
From that misleading path thy feet withdraw,
And striue to liue in peace. Did thy heart range
In vsuries wilde maze? O let it change
(Though much against thy natiue constitution)
With good Zacheus to a restitution.
In fine if we wander from truth, or stray
Neuer so little from the narrow way,
We [...]isse our path, and so abberring rome
From the right way, should leade vs to our home.
And therefore as the trauailer in doubt
Which way to take, with heed doth looke about
To spie some house, or person, which may be
A helpe to him in his perplexitie,
And neuer leaue enquiring, till he know
Which way he must decline, and which way goe:
So if yee be in doubt which path to hold,
With Salomons faire Spouse get to the fold,
Where shepheards keepe their flock, of them enquire,
Cant. 1. 8.
And they will satisfie your iust desire;
Then hauing found it, keepe it with delight,
And neither turne to the left hand, nor right:
So shall ye find what euer may betide
In your way thither, 'twill you safely guide
To your owne Country, where you shall possesse
More good then heart can thinke, or tongue expresse.

Thursdaies Meditation, or the fifth Canto.

The Argument.
An Angell is to Ioseph sent,
To tell him Hérods foule intent:
He with his charge to Egypt flies,
And there remaines ti [...]l Herod dies.
NO sooner had the Magi left the Land
Of Palestine, but He which hath command
Of all that know a beeing, and can see
Things plotted with the greatest secrecy,
And easily elude them, di [...] intend
To Herods proiect a vaine▪ fruitlesse end:
God can (though man be crafty to deuise)
Infatuate the Counsels of the wise,
And free his children from what may annoy them,
Though malice ioyne with cunning to destroy them
So Pharaoh, who from Israel will not part,
Wants of his will, yet for it feeles the smart:
Consilium diuinum dum deui­tatur, im­pletur, hu­mana sa­pientia dum reluctat [...]r, comprehen­ditur. Greg.
So Saul, who practiz'd Dauid [...] confound,
Did himselfe fall, and Jsh [...]s sonne was croun'd:
So Herod who did seeke [...] haue depriu'd
Christ of his life, did find [...]imselfe short liu'd.
Thus Gods decree while hund, doth take effect,
And humane wisedome w [...]ile it striues, is checkt.
Now were all humane eyes shut vp in sleepe,
But such whom care, or paine did open keepe,
When a blest Angell (Angels are prepar'd
To be to Gods Elect a surer guard
Then mortals can be) vnto Ioseph came,
Sent to that iust man in Iehouahs Name,
Whose Sun-like presence had so bright aray,
That it made mid-night to excell mid-day:
Yet the good man fearelesse, because vntainted,
And with such apparitions pre-acquainted,
Expected the euent; when thus made bold,
The Angell did his Embasy vnfold:
O thou which from the Lord such grace hast won,
To be the Foster-father of his Sonne,
And husband (though thou liuest more like a brother)
Vnto that euer blessed Virgin Mother,
Looke well vnto thy charge, the Wolfe doth warch
With bloody mind, both Lamb and Eue to catch,
That he may prey vpon them, therefore take
The tender Infant, and his Mother make
Co-partner in thy flight, to Egypt flee,
There's roome and safety for thy Charge and Thee:
There plant thy habitation, and remaine,
Till thou mayst safely venture backe againe,
Which safety when the time shall once afford,
Ile be a Messenger to bring thee word.
This message ended, backe the Angell goes,
When presently good Joseph doth dispose
Himselfe to Gods command, that very night
With his deare charge he 'gins to take his flight.
But though such haste Ioseph made to be gone,
Wee'll stay a while, and meditate hereon.
That woman in the vncouth Wildernesse,
Reuel. 12.
Whom neere her time the Dragon did distresse,
One thinkes, doth represent the Church; another
(Not much amisse) the blessed Virgin Mother:
Indeed the Dragon suits with Herod well,
And Mary is the womans paralell:
The story tells vs, that the woman fled
The Dragons furie, when deliuered:
So was the blessed Virgin glad to flie
With her young Babe from Herods cruelty:
The Dragon there stood ready to deuoure
The Child, when he was borne; and euery houre
Herod did gape for newes, that he might slay
The blessedst Infant euer yet saw day:
Yet Child and Mother both escaped there:
So Christ and Mary both preserued were:
As Moses guarded by Gods mighty hand,
Came safely of from the vniust command
Of persecuting Pharoah, and became
A mighty Captaine in Iehouahs Name
To quell the pride of Pharoah, and set free
The Hebrewes from Egyptian slauery:
So by Gods prouidence did Christ escape
From Dragon Herods mouth which wide did gape,
To swallow him aliue, that he might be
Vnto his people in captiuity
A mighty leader, and the power quell
Of Sinne, and Sathan, of the Graue, and Hell,
And so in fine his Israel safely bring
From bondage worse then vnder Egypts King:
Finally when the Dragon did perceiue
Hi [...] force against the woman vaine, did leaue
To persecute her, yet did i [...]ly burne
In indignation, and his fury t [...]ne
To warre vpon the remnant of her seed,
Hoping to meet ther [...] with succesfull speed:
So Herod frustrated of his desire,
Suffers his heart to burne in flaming fire
Of furious rage, and will needes wreake his spleene
On silly infants, but this shalbe seene
More largely, in the progresse of this story,
Christs flight a while keeps back the Infants glory.
Like as a gardner when he spies a plant,
Full of faire hope fit elbow roome to want,
As nigh some ouerspreading tree, bereauen
Of the Suns heat, and the fat dew of heauen,
With care remoues it to another place,
Where it thriues mainly, in a little space:
So when the Lord his Sonne that plant did see
Plac'd to neare Herod that farre spreading tree,
Yet fruitlesse, therefore worthy to be feld
Lest the vnholsome shadow death should peld
To the neare neighbouring plant, his powerfull hand
Doth now transplant him to another land.
He that in flight our refuge is heere flies,
He that assists vs [...]gainst our enemies,
Auoids the furie of his mortall foes,
And like an exile into Egypt goes:
That in such kind of dire calamities
He might with vs the better sympathize:
Our Sauiour Christ without a Gyges ring
Could haue obscur'd his person from the King.
Or had he pleas'd what euer was intended
Gainst Herods malice haue himselfe defended:
He that by fire did his Eliah guard
He that an host of Angels had prepar'd
Elisha to secure, he that did saue
Daniel from Lyons, Lazarus from the graue,
Had it seem'd good could heere haue gon as farre
And quail'd the force of Herods men of warre:
But he chose rather to sepose his might,
And to expose his person vnto flight:
Either to shew what he himselfe doth say,
He came no worldly Scepter here to sway:
Ioh. 18.
Or else by his example to declare,
The Church for persecution must prepare:
Or it may be to teach vs, that the Lord
No extraordinary will afford,
When we haue ordinary meanes at hand,
By which we may withdraw, and quit the Land,
To worke our safety: or to teach in fine
Vs personall persecution to decline:
So Moses fled from Pharaohs cruelty:
So Dauid from his sonnes impiety:
So Paul, no safety being in the Towne,
Was in a basket by the wall let downe,
That he might scape the danger; so againe
He fled from Salem, fearing to be slaine:
So Polycarpe in persecutions heat,
Did by aduice, for a while change his seate:
Eusebius.
So Athanasius did often flie
From that blood thirsting Arrian tyranny:
So when Iustina, Valentimans Mother,
Socrates scholaslicus.
Her rage against S Ambrose could not smother,
He fled from Millaine: Chrysostome like fate
Drew from Bizantium, to shun the hate
Eud [...]xia bare vnto him: Christ our Sauiour,
When past an Infant, had the like behauiour:
So when the Pharises a counsell tooke
Against his life, their presence he forsooke:
Mat. 12. 15. Luk. 4. Iohn. 8.
So when the Nazarens malicious will
Would throw him headlong from the City hill,
He left the place: so when with fell despite
The Iewes did seeke to stone him, from their sight
He hid himselfe: to make this truth more plaine,
He giues this as a precept, to remaine
To all succeeding times, when tyrants hate,
Shall rather seeke your liues, then your estate,
Out of one City to another flie,
Mat. 10. 23.
And saue your selues from their st [...]rne cruelty:
This is to be like cunning Serpents wise,
Mat. 10. 16.
When innocence of Doues will not suffice.
But we must know our Sauiour [...]led not death,
Mortem di­stulit non fugit: Chri­sost:
Out of a feare to leese his vicall breath:
Onely for this cause he did now foreslow it,
That afterwards he better might bestow it:
He meant to lay it downe, as a rare gift
Of his owne bounty, not by Herods drift,
By his freewill he did intend to die,
Morietur non vinculo necessitatis, sed proposi­to volunta­tis: Fulgen.
And not out of a fore'd necessity.
But seeing thou wouldst haue thy Sonne, O Lord,
To flie, wherefore to Egypt so abhord?
Can that to thy belou'd safe harbor giue,
In which thy Israel did in bondage liue.
Haue the Egyptians those plagues forgot
Thou didst impose vpon them? Will they not
Study reuenge? Or may not Ioseph feare,
If Egypts King of his arriuall heare,
He shall be taken for an Hebrew Spie,
And by some vncouth torment forc'd to die.
O let not flesh and blood expostulate
With Gods determination, or debate
The matter any further, God who drawes
Honey from He [...]lock with the Bee, can cause
Each place that is to serue vnto his will,
And safety raise euen from those would kill.
The time was once when his almighty Hand
Threw plagues apace on the Egyptian Land,
The worst of which wherewith they were annoi'd
Was, when their first borne issue was destroi'd;
To recompence this losse he sends his owne
And by his bounty his great loue makes knowne.
Once making Moses his fit instrument,
Exod. 10.
Cymmerian darknesse on their Land he sent.
And which was worse, groping for light as blind
Suffred them liue in darknesse of their mind.
Therfore his sonne, that Sun shall now arise
To giue them light, which doe not shut their eyes
Against his splendour, for as stories tell,
When he came thither all their Idolls fell.
And as we read that Joseph best belou'd
Of Iacob, from his Fathers eye remou'd
By enuie of his bretheren, was conuayed
To Egypt where by Gods direction stay'd;
He was a kind of Sauiour to the land,
In keeping famine out which did command
After a seuen yeares plenty: so more want
Threatning to ruine Egypt which grew scant
Of grace and goodnesse, Christ a Sauiour came,
And in great mercy did preserue the same.
For he the true bread is where he doth dwell
All fa [...]ine from the soule he doth expell.
By this time Ioseph whom much care did presse,
Had gotten all thing [...] in a readinesse,
And in the couert of the shady night
Begins his iourney, darknesse could not fright
Non atten­dit verus o­bediens qua­le sit quod praecipitur: hoc solo con­tentus quia pracipitur. Bernard.
Him or his charge: obedience doth contend
How to please God although it sense offend.
Not into what commanded is, it pries,
But that it is commanded doth suffice:
Good Ioseph murmures not at the great paine
Or the long iourney he must entertaine,
He staggers not in faith, that he doth flie
Which must saue others from their misery:
But as he came from Abraham, behaues
Himselfe like Abraham, in his mind he graues
How ready the glad father was to goe
When God commanded, and should I be slow,
To execute said he what God enioynes,
I should want worth, to issue from such loynes
Mans heart must be like paper, cleane, and white,
Wheron the Lord what he shall please may write:
Or like to waxe well suppled by the hand,
Be soft and pliant to his iust command
We must in all things, seeme they good or ill,
Conforme our wishes to out soueraignes will:
Faith and obedience stand not to dispute,
But are still ready prest to execute:
Our God, obedience doth so highly prize,
That he prefers it before sacrifice.
1. Sam. 15.
And worthily, fot they who with consent
A legall sacrifice to God present,
But other flesh, the flesh of beasts doe till,
In victimis allena caro obedientia vero volun­tas propria mactatur [...] Greg.
Where we obeying sacrifice our will.
Thus did good Joseph, whom no let could stay
No not so long as for the lightsome day:
And well in the black night did they begin
Their trauaile from a place more black in sinne.
Now gan the day from out the east appeare,
Whose comfortable light their hearts did cheare,
And ere the Sun had fully shone an hower
They found themselues got safe from Herods power:
At length in Egypt they arriue what towne
Did giue them harbour, the text sets not downe
Nor will I seeke to know, there they remaine,
Till Herods death did call them back againe.
All this saith the Euangelist was done,
To firme that prophecie which said, My Sonne
From Egypt haue I call'd: the literall sence
I know, concerneth Israel, who from thence
Was brought by mighty hand, yet hath respect
To Christ, as types doe vpon truths reflect:
And as Gods people, Israel, did stay
A time in Egypt, till the Lord made way
For their departure; so his blessed Sonne
Had for a while his habitation
In the same Egypt, till the Lord did call him,
Whom there I leaue to that which did befall him.

Fridaies Meditation, or the sixth Canto.

The Argument.
The Kings fierce rage, his men of warre
The innocents doe massacre:
Rachel doth mourne her heauy losse,
And will no comfort in her crosse.
TIme now (which erst did vnto Iudabs King
Seeme to moue forward with a lazy wing)
Made him suspect, or rather plainely see
The wise men did delude his subtilty:
And th [...]re was reason for it, he that thought
To mocke, is mockt, and rakes but what he brought;
The law of taliation did require
He should meet this euent: the sittest hire
Nequc enim lex lustior vila: Ouid.
For fraud is slic deceit, and they that cherish
Dissembling, in their art doe iustly perish:
God on these men his iudgements doth expresse,
Iob 5. 13.
And takes the wise in their owne craftinesse.
Now this delusion in the King begets
An indignation, and in rage him sets.
When Tyrants cannot by their craft preuaile,
In a red Sea of cruelty they saile.
But why, O Herod, wert thou thus perplext?
Why doest thou rage? or wherefore art thou vext?
Didst thou not know that Christs birth was diuine?
Or wert thou blind, because the Sunne did shine?
Didst thou not conuocate from euery Tribe
Many chiefe Priests, many a learned Scribe?
And did not they by ancient Prophecy
Resolue the truth of this deepe mystery?
Didst thou not know the wise men came thus farre
To worship Christ. led by a glorious Starre?
Thy cheeke should rather blush, then thy heart flame,
And looke red, not with anger, but with shame,
That such Barbarians, which were farre below thee,
Should in their zeale to God so much outgoe thee:
The loue and faith wherewith they were inspir'd
Thou shouldst haue imitated, and admir'd:
For vnlesse thou didst altogether shun
Prophetique truth, so much it might haue won
Vpon thy iudgement, that by iust compare
Of passed things with such as present are,
Thou mightst conclude, this was' not a delusion
Of the wise men, but a confusion,
Which God, who sometimes counterchecks a King,
Vpon thy wicked purpose meant to bring.
But say thou hadst some iniury receiu'd,
And by the cunning Magi wert deceiu'd,
How had the silly Innocents offended,
That so much misciefe is 'gainst them intended:
O why is their vniust destruction sought?
which nere so much as wrong'd thee in a thought,
Surely, should Iordan lend thee all her store,
It could not wash away the purple gore
That hangs vpon thee, with thee still shall bide
The title of a bloudy Homicide.
Thou sought'st for Christ, but went'st too far about,
Tis faith, not furie, which must finde him out;
O foolish Herod which dost thinke t' expell
Him that will still be King of Israell,
Yea King of Heauen and Earth, in spite of thee
Out of thy poore, and petty liberty:
O wicked Herod, and of lewd behauiour
Who fearing thy successor, hat'st thy Sauiour:
O bloudy Herod, which by the fell death
Of harmelesse children, wouldst prolo [...], thy breath:
But little admiration it requires,
That Tyrants seeke to compasse their desires,
Or found their thrones on slaughtered innocence,
Pharaoh long since had taught him to dispence
With murders of that ranke, who to secure
His crowne, made Abrahams yssue to endure
A heauy burden, while he did command
To drowne their yssue male throughout the land.
Exod. 1.
So did Abimelec the base borne sonne
Of that couragious warriour, Gedeon,
Who through the bloud of 70. brothers waded,
Vnto the Crowne most wrongfully inuaded,
Herod was more vnnaturall then these,
'Gainst his owne sonne he could not rage appease,
But fearing he should the Messias be,
Among the rest he wrought his tragedy:
Therefore Augustus did this saying vse,
If I were bound to liue among the Iewes,
With greater willingnesse I would be swine
Then sonne to Herod: for by law deuine
Malo Hero­dis porcum quam filium esse: Macro­bius.
Swines flesh forbid the Hebrewes they did giue
A kinde of priuiledge the beasts might liue,
Whereas King Herod a worse beast did grutch
Vnto his owne childe to afford so much.
The Lyon will not tender Infants slay,
Vnlesse meere hunger force him to such prey,
O With what hunger then was Herod wag'd,
When he against so many Infants rag'd,
With hunger of ambition, which of all
The greatest hunger we may iustly call:
Hunger of raigning sure must needes be great,
Which to appease it, must haue so much meate;
So many Infants flesh, that thirst is sore
Which nought can satisfie but crimsin gore,
Enioy bloud thirsting Herod, re-inioy
Thy kingdome safely, free from all annoy,
He that aboue doth Heauenly crownes bestow,
Gapes not for earthly scepters here belowe,
Such earth-bred honor Christ doth much despise,
Elephants take no mice, nor Eagles flies:
Though he of power be for to cast thee downe,
Yet feare no depriuation of thy crowne,
For though two Kings can in one kingdome raigne,
No more, then Heauen can two bright Suns sustaine,
Yet euery King may with him, in him daigne
His kingly Lord, his true Messias raigne,
As the faire Heauen with many Starres is dight,
And with the Sun, from whom they take their light:
Only learne mercy from this potent one,
And heape not bloud so long vpon thy Throne,
Till it become so slippery, as to threat
Each step thou tak'st, to cast thee from thy seat.
But rage, like to the belly, hath no eares,
To reason deafe, it onely passion heares,
Aduice is vaine, say what I can or will,
Herod will be himselfe, a tyrant still.
They say, that Bee who of the rest is King,
Either hath none, or doth not vse a sting:
Surely this man, whom wretched Bethlehem sees
Reeke in the blood of Infants, not of Bees,
But Waspes was King, for wasplike full of spleene,
2. King. [...].
He thrusts his poysonous sting (so great his teene)
Into the flesh of children, and doth kill
Those, who to hurt him had nor power, nor will.
Indeed two Beares did certaine children sley,
But cause they mockt Gods Prophet: thou then they
More fierce destroyst the guiltlesse: fearefull man,
Do'st thou dread silly childrens force? or can
Faint cowardize with thee preuaile so farre,
Thou shouldst gainst Infants wage such bloody warre.
Great praise no doubt, and many a worthy spoile
Thou shalt enioy, by giuing them the foile.
The noble Elephants will not inuade
The weaker sort of beasts: thou shakst thy blade
At sucking children, and sendst men of might,
To challenge those that know not how to sight.
There is a story of great Constantine,
How true, the Authors credit, and not mine,
Must answer: but the matter [...]le relate,
And leaue the question further to debate:
Before he came to Christianity,
The Prince was troubled with a Leprosie;
To cure this sicknesse the aduice and care
Of his Phisicians would haue him prepare
A Bath of Infants blood: sure here the Diuill
Prompted his Doctors to so great an euill:
But being by Gods prouidence conuerted,
He from so foule a slaughter was diuerted
By soules Phisicians, who doe well assure him,
Baptisme a Bath more powerfull is to cure him.
He hearkens to them, is baptiz'd, and free
Both from the bodies, and soules leprosie.
Behold, ambition Herods soule inuades,
Like a foule Leprosie; [...]atan perswades
(Such is hells phisicke) naught will doe him good,
Vnlesse he bathe himselfe in Infants blood;
And not the opening of a ve [...]e or two,
No, but their life blood this great cure must doe:
Therefore to satisfie the soule-sicke King,
Each tender Babe must empty all his Spring;
And now God lets the Wolfe the Lambes deuoure,
Without restraining of his rage, or power,
He puts no bridle into Herods nose,
But lets him take full swinge in his dispose,
Because he knew how to draw good from ill,
And make this wicked action serue his will:
From Lyons mouth sweet honey he can take,
And Marahs bitter waters wholesome make.
Herod in this his rage doth type out those
Of the malignant Church, who still are foes
To the Church Militant, and by their will
Religion in it infant age would kill:
Herod like malice, and impiety,
Egyptian, Babylonian cruelty.
It is (though tyrants hold these termes in scorne)
To smother piety as soone as borne,
To quench Religion while it is a sparke,
And drowne poore soules by keeping from the Arke▪
Againe, in Herods foule designe of blood,
Satans condition may be vnderstood,
Who seekes not only by malicious will,
Christ while an Infant in our heart to kill,
But many children more, euery good thought,
Though it be neuer into action brought,
To make those babes good motions in vs die,
Though they want strength to goe in act, and lie
In meditations cradle, is his glory,
But I leaue types to prosecute the story:
While Herod inly vext, became thus wilde,
With furious rage, the Deuill rockt his childe,
But would not let him sleepe: like some mad beast,
By nature feirce, if wounded will not rest,
But doubling his fell fury and euen blinde
With rage, regards no longer how to finde
His foe that hurt him, but with head and feete
Fiercely assailes the next that he doth meete:
So Herod, who conceiu'd himselfe much wrong'd
By the wise men, for whose returne he long'd,
His hope deluded like one robd of sence
Wreakes his reuengefull spleene on Innocence:
For full of doubtfull thoughts as well as sinnes,
To reason with himselfe he thus begins:
What childe is this? that hath from Heauen his birth
Foretold, ere it be perfected on earth:
Vnto the World himselfe he hath not showne,
Yet is to those that neuer saw him knowne:
Ouer no people yet he hath command,
And wise men, great men, leaue their natiue land
To waite vpon him: o who is the wight
That ouercomes me, and yet does not fight:
That like a tyrant ouer me doth raigne,
Ere he the kingdome (I possesse) obtaine:
If he already me of state beguile,
What will he doe if he encrease a while?
Poore as he is, he is more fear'd, then I
With all my riches, and authority:
Or else these wise men or impostors rather,
(For by their dealing lesse I cannot gather)
Whom my intelligence is I did make,
Would not haue faltered with me for his sake,
But here I vow, who euer doe be friend him
Nor heauen, nor hel shall from my power defend him:
No I will make (if my vnhappy fate
Crosse not my will) Bethlem as desolate
Of Infants, as this Infant hath made me
Of comfort, since his new nan [...]'d soueraignty.
Thus he resolu [...]s in rage, an [...] what that still
To rash attempts a Counsellor full ill,
Suggests vnto him, he in action brings,
So soone men execute the will of Kings:
And now come other actors on the stage,
The blo [...]dy instruments of Herod rage
Made ready to present vnto our eye
A tragicke [...]ceane of horrid cruelty.
Not to examine who they were, we see
Subiect and King full well, and ill agree,
Tyrants doe neuer want fit Instruments,
To execute their very worst intents:
Would wicked Saul haue the Lords Priests be slaine▪
Doeg the motion soone will entertaine:
Doth Dauid plot to stop Vr [...]ahs breath?
Joab will set him in the face of death:
Doth Iezabell 'gainst Naboths life conspire?
The elders will effect her lewde desire:
The world yet neuer knew a Prince so vicious,
But that he should haue men to be officious,
Such as account it an especiall grace
To doe their Lords will be it nere so base:
The officers of Herod bare this mind,
Ready to goe when he their warrant sign'd.
And now suppose them vnto Bethlehem come,
Ready to act the tyrants fatall doome,
While the Sunne hides his head at such a sight,
As if a Noone he meant to make it night,
And with blacke clouds did couer his sad face,
Grieuing that men should haue so little grace:
The melting heauens doe also showre downe raine,
As if they wept for the poore Infants paine;
Euen the walles there in a cold dew stood,
As struck with horror, to see so much blood:
Yet these feele no remorce, nor once desist
From the commanded murther, but persist
In that abhorred worke of cruelty,
Which shall them brand with lasting infamy:
With their swords drawne, that none this course may stay,
Into mens houses they do force their way.
Here they an Infant from the cradle snatch,
There from the fathers armes another catch,
And the poore childrens sad destruction wrought,
Ere the amazed parents had a thought
Of any danger neere: some they transpierce
With their blood thirsting sword, others in fierce
And sauage manner, they deuide asunder,
While they that own them stand stone still in wonder:
Me thinkes in one place I some father heare
(At his deare Infants danger struck with feare)
Like Nisus in the Poet, or more milde,
Crie out vnto the Butcher of his childe;
O spare my sonne! or if you blood must spill,
Here turne your swords, the grieued father kill?
I might, he durst not could not entertaine
A thought of wrong vnto his So [...]eraigne.
Me thinkes I in another place behold
An Infant stab'd, whose pretty armes lay hold
About his mothers breast, whence he doth draine
Milke, that in blood runs out as fast againe,
While the affrighted mother, with her hands
Heau'd vp, like Niobe, turn'd Marble, stands.
In euery place that doth afford an age
Markt out for slaughter, death and fury rage,
While ye poore soules, some for their mothers crying▪
Some smiling on their murderers, are dying.
O here a while your speedy haste forbeare
Compassionate parents, and vouchsafe a teare!
Thinke but what sad, what soule affrighting sight
These saw, when they were rob'd of their delight.
Suppose your Infants whom you highly prize,
Snatcht from your armes, and slaine before your eyes,
What would you doe in such a case as this?
Nay, what would you not doe? surely amisse
I doe conceiue, or else your sorrow would
Be greater farre, then all their suffering could;
While from their pretty eyes salt teares did trill,
Your pierced hearts would liquid blood distill;
And euery wound their bodies should receiue
Frō murderers hands, your very soules would cleaue.
And yet behold such was the wofull state
Of that late happy Citie, fortunate
Erst in her Sauiour, who there first drew breath,
But now most wretched in her childrens death,
Whilest by this fearefull act of sinne and shame,
Of Bethlehem a Bethauen it became.
But not this bloody act could yet asswage
Either their cruelty, or Herods rage,
No, the neare Villages in her hard fate
The wofull City must associate:
Not one poore cottage can keepe out pale death,
Wherein a child sucks in an infant breath.
They passe through all the coasts about, and striue,
That not one Infant may be left aliue:
Their charge so ready are they to fulfill,
And satisfie the Tyrant in his will.
O mercilesse and matchlesse murderers.
How can you thinke wh [...]n iustice once preferres
A bill against your liues, and death you brings
Fore the Tribunall of the King of Kings
To answer this foule act? when their blood cries
To Heauen for vengeance, it will not suffice
That you had Herods Warrant, Gods Command
Did you knew well 'gainst murder firmely stand.
But how haue I forgot you all this while,
Poore Innocents, delay must not beguile
You of your worthy suffering, ample glory,
The which alone deserues to make a story.
The Church on blood, and the not doing wrong,
But suffering for it, hath foundation strong,
By persecution she receiues renowne,
And martyrdome giues her a glorious Crowne.
The blood of Abel at the Worlds creation
Of this truth giues a pregnant demonstration:
So lik [...]wise in the Gospels pupi [...]lage,
The blood of Infants, slaine by Herods rage.
There be two colours which God much delight,
And they are white and red: first, the pure white
Of innocence, then martyrdomes blood red,
And b [...]th these in the Infants largely spread:
Not all the coates, though quartered nere so faire,
W [...]re men th [...]ir armes emblazon, to repaire
Th [...] [...]try of their Family,
Which time would weare out but for Heraldry,
Are halfe so glorious, as those faire Armes were,
These Innocents did in their Scutcheon beare,
For, crosse of Gules in Argent field they carry,
Versus est vagitus in ga [...]dium luctus in iubilum. Cyprian. O paruuli beati nun­quam ten­tati, mul­tum lucta­ti, [...]am coro­nati. Au­gustine.
Well may their Crest be a rich Crowne of glory.
Some doubt, but such either doe iudgement want,
Or else of charitie are wondrous scant,
Whether these Infants here depriu'd of breath,
Were sau'd or no from an eternall death:
But what should this strange dubitation breed?
Is not Gods promise made vnto the seed
Of faithfull parents? Were not these receiu'd
Into the couenant ere of life bereau'd?
They were, they were, therefore their cry did turne
To ioy, and they now laugh, who then did mourne:
O blessed Infants, whom the cunning Diuell
By his temptation neuer led to euill,
With death you struggled hard, and for that strife,
You are now crowned with immortall life.
Sure Herods flattery could nere haue wrought you
So great a blessing as his fury brought you.
O blessed age, which could not speake Christs Name,
Yet was thought worthy to die for the same:
Sure you were borne in a thrice happy time,
Felicities high toy so soone to clime.
You are scarce past the threshold of your birth,
When life comes forth to meet you, and from earth
Takes you to heauen; you doe no sooner leaue
Your infant cradles, but a Throne receiue:
In stead of hanging at your mothers breast
In Abrahams bosome you securely rest:
Faire Infants whom the ancient Church did hold
The Flowers of Martyrs, sprung vp in the cold
Of vnbeliefe, whose buds were [...]pt to death,
Flores mar­tyrum. Aug.
By frost like persecutions bitter breath,
O how your death due prayse to Christ affords,
Sanguine non lingua passione non Sermone. Chrysost.
By blood, not tongue; in wounds, and not in words.
When greedy Wolfe the Lambe doth beare away,
The tender flesh torne by his teeth, some say,
In taste, if eaten, men shall sweeter finde,
Then others killed whole of the same kind:
This obseruation whether true or no,
Is not materiall any way to know:
Certaine it is, the flesh of these brought vnder
The fangs of woluish Herod, torne asunder,
Was sweet vnto the Lord, and gaue delight:
For death of Saints is pretious in his sight.
That children should teach men, may seeme 'gainst sence,
Yet we may learne frō them, faire innocence
In all our sufferings must companion be:
For if we suffer ought deseruedly,
With these we can expect no Crowne to take;
The cause, not crosse, doth a true mart [...]r make:
Causa non poenafacit Martyrem. August.
If that be good, though Herods doe conspire
Against our liues, and threaten sword or fire,
They may our bodies, not our soules distresse,
And their hate shall but worke our happinesse,
Our crosse shall crowne vs, and the death they giue,
Shall be a meanes to make vs euer liue.
Now was fulfill'd that fatall Prophecy,
Which was foretold of yore by Jeremy;
Ier. 30. 15.
A voice was heard in Rama, whose dire sound
In woe and lamentation did abound.
Among those mothers which were childlesse made,
Rachel was one, whom griefe did so inuade,
That shunning company, she seem'd to liue,
As she were borne for nothing but to grieue.
A shady Groue neare her now hated-home
A neighbour stood, there did she often rome
In that thicke Couert, which made day like night,
She sought to hide her from all humane sight:
Sometime she sets her downe close by the foote
Of a faire spreading tree, vpon whose roote
With nimble hand she 'gins to carue her woes,
But ere she halfe haue done, her passion growes
To such a height, she marres what she hath made;
Then with sterne rage the barke she doth inuade,
Stabbing, and mangling of it without stint,
As if her Infants wounds she there could print.
Starting at this, as if feare wings did borrow,
She fled, as if she would out-run her sorrow:
At last a burbling Brooke she doth espie,
Whose noise, she thought, did hold fit sympathy
With her in mourning, there she stayes her pace,
And seated neare it, doth extend her face
Ouer the current: hauing fixt her looke
A while vpon the Streame, she chides the Brooke
For his to speedy passage: Stay, O stay
Thy course, relentlesse Torrent, did she say,
And carry my complaints with thee along,
My words, although my woes, shall not be long:
Say that a Mother of two hopefull twinnes
Rob'd of that ha [...]lesse issue, for her sinnes,
Will neuer cease to mourne their bloody death,
Till the iust heauens in pitty stop her breath;
And for this kindnesse, I to thee will pay
My teares, as a due tribute euery day.
This said, her eyes a liquid shewre distill,
As they the Fountaine were, the Streame to fill.
All that was done, which she thought vndescried,
By a neere Kinsman of hers was espied,
Who now approacht, and sitting downe beside her,
In this milde manner did begin to chide her.
For shame at last leaue to be thus alone,
And vnto sencelesse things to vent your mone;
Your faith and patience I once thought more strong:
Griefes that recurelesse are should not be long:
By your immoderate sorrow you offend
The highest Powers, and hasten on your end.
Beside such griefe is vaine, whether the dead,
Or else the liuing be considered:
The first, if they die well, are blest; if faile
Of a good end, our teares will nought auaile:
Your Infants death in innocency found,
This should you rather comfort, then confound.
The body the soules prison's said to be,
Now it is death which sets this prisoner free,
Who mournes for the enlargement of his child?
But 'tis the bodies death that makes you wild.
If it be so, O be no longer sory,
That falls to rise againe in greater glory.
Who grieues to see a house puld to the ground,
Which shall he knowes be better built? Some bound
Set to your sorrow then, God will restore
The body farre more glorious then before.
Looke on your selfe, and you will find it vaine,
So great a griefe so long to entertaine:
For shoul [...] your teares in as great plenty fall.
As blood did from your Infants, could they call
Your children backe to life, no, though you mourne,
And pine to nothing, they shall nere returne.
Take comfort then, lest if you sorrow still,
You seeme to spurne against Iehouahs will.
The gri [...]ued Mother, who had all this while
In much impatience heard him, with a smile
Borrowed from scorne, thus answered, that they liue
In health can easily good counsell giue
To such as languish in disease and paine,
And they as hardly doe it entertaine:
Words are but words, I neuer yet could heare,
That the grieu'd heart was cured by the eare.
Aswell may he which hath desire to eate,
Be satisfied by seeing painted meat:
Or he that is through cold like to expire,
Warme his numbe limbes at the Apes Gloworme fire:
As I from cold and painted comfort finde
A medicine, to recure my thought sicke minde,
Withall that I can from poore patience borrow,
I cannot pay so great a debt of sorrow:
In vaine you waste your words, my woes are more
Then time can weare away; therefore giue ore
Your fruitlesse counsell, since my children are not,
Though I consume my selfe in griefe, I care not;
Sorrow hath tane possession in my brest,
And onely can by death be dispossest.
When she had spoken thus, in hasty mood
She runnes, and hides her in the thickest Wood:
But while to trees she doth her woes rehearse,
To other matters I must turne my Verse.

Saturdaies Meditation, or the seuenth Canto.

The Argument.
An Angell doth to Ioseph tell
The death of Herod: Israel
He longs to visit once againe:
Nazareth doth him entertaine.
NOw was the time that the Lord meant to take
Vengeance on Herod, therefore he did make
By iust permission, his owne issue striue
How he might him of Crowne and life depriue:
Herod, while these foule treasons were a breeding,
Got notice of Antipaters proceeding,
So was his base sonne call'd: the yrkesome thought
Of this vnnaturall action, quickly brought
Sicknesse of minde vpon him: and that soare
Encreasing, God did yet afflict him more,
And on his body lay a foule disease:
A secret fire he had, whose heate appease
No course of Physicke could though much he tride,
Iosep. de Bello Iud. lib. 1.
All was in vaine, the flame did quenchlesse bide,
His bowels full of paine did not within,
And wormes to swarme about him did begin;
The Crampe and Dropsie on his limbs did ceaze,
And there was nothing which might giue him ease.
Passing o're Iordan, neere Asphaltis Lake,
Calyrroes hot Bathes, he needes would make
A meanes vnto his cure, there he did baine,
Euseb.
Yet as he went in, came out full of paine.
While Herod thus did in his torments broile,
Phisicians gaue aduice, that in hot oile
His body should be suppled, they prepare
A vessell for that purpose, and with care
Put him therein; the fume perturbs his head
So much, that he is taken out halfe dead.
At last come to himselfe, he knowes to sure,
That he this euill seekes in vaine to cure.
Full of despaire, somewhat before his end,
For Salome his sister he doth send,
(Together with her husband Alexander)
And to performe this foule designe command her:
Sister, you see (said the sicke man), that fate
Hath markt me out for death: the deadly hate
My subiects beare me, will not let them mourne
To see mine ashes clos'd vp in their vrne:
The meanest of them will scarce daigne let fall
A teare, to h [...]our my sad funerall,
Rather I feare they will exceed in mirth,
To see my body turn'd into his earth:
But I haue laid a plot their ioyes to crosse,
And make the mourne, not mine, but their own losse,
Their ioyfull exclamations Ile strike mute,
If you but faithfull be to execute:
All their young Nobles (so haue I dispos'd)
Within Hyppod [...]omus are fast enclos'd,
And a strong guard about it, at my death,
Assoone as euer you shall see my br [...]ath
Forsake my body, giue a strict command,
That they may all be murder'd out of hand;
So when my corps vnto the graue shall goe,
The Iewes shall mourne whether they will or no:
So shall I haue a glorious Epitaph,
And though low vnder ground, shall highly laugh.
This said, his ill increasing more and more,
And his despaire growne greater then before,
Taking an Apple (such was then his meate)
And being wont to pare, and so to eate,
In hasty wise he called for a kntfe,
And with that sought to rid himselfe of life:
But either his weake arme this foule intent
Could not performe, or others did preuent
The fatall blow: and must I then still liue?
Cryed out the Tyrant? Will the iust Heauens giue
No end vnto my sufferings? Must I be
The Ball of scorne, and Butt of misery?
Breake breake my heart! flie forth imprison'd breath!
And welcome, what I haue long lookt for, death.
More he had said, but that he scarce had spoke
This, when with rage his very heart strings broke.
While Herod thus in horror breath'd his last,
A blessed Angell doth to Egypt hast,
That Ioseph may haue word of this euent,
Which well he knew would giue no small content
To him, so long an exile: in the night,
When dreames the fancy please, or else affright,
The Angell makes approach, and thus begins:
The Tyrant Herod, whose abhorred sinnes
Did crie so long for vengeance vnto Heauen,
At last is iustly of his life bereauen:
They that delight in blood not long endure,
Though God be slow in striking, he strikes sure;
His hands be iron, though his feet be wooll,
And Tyrants neuer leaue, vntill they pull
Dire vengeance on their heads, which long delaid,
Falls with the heauier waight. Be not afraid
Of any future mischiefe, he that sought
The Infants▪ hath his owne destruction wrought:
Dead is the Wolfe, whose rage like fire did burne,
Backe to his pasture may the Lambe returne:
Therefore arise and take the blessed Childe,
Nor let thy care forget the Mother milde,
To Israel with them returne againe,
In Egypt thou no longer maist remaine.
This message which the Lord did now direct
To Joseph, shewes that he doth his respect:
Gods Saints in trouble must not alwaies liue,
In time he will a ioyfull issue giue
To all their sorrowes: Ioseph may be cast
Into a lothsome prison, but at last
He shall come forth with honour: for a [...]it
Iob may in anguish on the dunghill sit,
Scraping his soares, ere long a happier fate
Shall crowne his ioyes, and double his estate:
Daniel through enuie of malicious men
May closed be within the lyons denne,
But he their vtmost furie shall withstand,
And after liue aduanced in the land:
Babylons king may giue command to throw
[...]ust Sadruc, Messhac, and Abednego.
Into the fornace, but he shall admire
To see them walke vnhurt, vntoucht by fire,
And afterward, their innocence to grace,
Ouer the Kingdome seat them in high place.
Ioseph an exile may from Herod flie,
But in this persecution must not die,
Now the time comes, when he by Gods command
Must trauai [...]e back to his owne natiue land,
And with a happy salutation greet,
His Galile, whose smoke he held so sweet:
Like as a man for some long tedious time
[...]nisht from his deare Country, to a Clime
[...]arsh and vnpleasant, will, if he doe heare
His banishment repeal'd, with greedy eare
Receiue the happy newes, and in his mind
A not to be expressed comfort find:
So fared it with our Joseph, when he knew
The tidings of the Tyrants death were true,
And that he might returne to Israel,
From which in exile he so long did dwell,
With a glad heart, and more then common care,
He all things for his iourney doth prepare,
And Phoebus scarce salutes the lightsome day,
When he b [...]gins his trauaile, by the way
Rendring due thankes to that Almighty power,
Which had preseru'd him to this blessed hower.
Suppose by this time they are safe arriu'd
There, where vnwearied labour had so striu'd
To bring them to the Land of Palestine,
Here Ioseph doth enquire about the line
Of the deceased Tyrant, and being told
That Archelaus did the Scepter hold
After his father: such mans weakenesse is,
Though hitherto the Lord did neuer misse
Safely to guard him a cold trembling feare
Passing the maze of his offended eare,
Tooke hold vpon his heart: the best of Saints
While here they liue, liue not without their taints.
So Lot, when Sodome was consum'd with fire,
Did doubt the Mountaines safety, and desire
A place of surer refuge: so the sight
Of Esaus Band of men did much affright
Perplexed Iacob, when he did repaire
Backe to his natiue home: O can despaire
Lay hold on such as these? what then shall we
Doe, when in danger and extremity?
So great a power hath feare vpon our soules,
Resest i [...] ­periosa ti­mor. Ouid. Saepius opi­nione quam re la [...]ora­mus. Soneca.
That it checks vertue, and euen grace controules,
And yet sometimes (though feare so farre proceed,)
We suffer in opinion, not indeed.
But why, O Ioseph wert thou thus afraid?
Didst thou misdoubt the Lord would send thee aid,
And propulse danger from thee? Could thy mind
Conceiue a thought of feare? Since thou didst find
Thy gracious God so ready still to send
An Angell for thy guard? Did he defend
Thee and thy charge from Herods cruelty,
To let you fall by his sonnes tyranny?
Was his arme shortned, or his loue growne lesse,
That now he could not as much care expresse
In preseruation of you, as before?
Ah no, Gods loue encreaseth more and more
To such as serue him, and his power extends
Beyond all limitation to his friends.
[...] grant thou mightst, as not vnlikely gather,
That Archelaus would be like his father,
A bloody Tyrant, for a wicked Sire
Mali coru [...] malum ouum. Pro­uerb.
Leaues his sonne like himselfe: a strong desire
To be thought apt for imitation,
Leades children to obserue their parents fashion:
But yet for all this thou maist rest secure,
He who hath vndertaken, will procure
Safety for thee and thine, onely be bold,
And on his goodnesse by true faith lay hold:
Danger may threaten, but it shall not harme
Such as are guarded by th'Almighties arme.
Now was the time, that Morpheus with his wand
Did charme a silent sleepe on all the Land,
Only perplexed Ioseph could not rest,
[...]any cares lay tumbling in his breast.
[...]he while he thought he should most safety find
[...] going back to Egypt: but his mind
Did quickly alter, when the Lords command
Which bad expressely he should leaue the land
To his remembrance came: then he thought best
Where he now lodged to set vp his rest:
But that was dasht, when being come so neare
He did consider an vnmanly feare
Should keepe him from his home: in maze of doubt
An Angell came at last to lead him out,
Giuing direction, he should not abide
Neare Archelaus eye▪ but turne aside
Into the parts of Galile, for there
He might securely liue, without all feare
Ioseph obeyes and now his course he bends
To Nazareth, where all his trauaile ends:
Forfully seated there he liues in peace
With his soules comfort, and his ioyes encrease.
And this saith the Euangelist was done,
That there might be a consummation
Of what the Prophets told of Christ: for he
A Nazarite say they shall called be.
Expositors haue here been much perplext,
Because they can directly find this text
In none of all the Prophets; some conceaue
That time which doth of many things bereaue
The world, hath in his reuolution lost
Those sacred books, where these things were engro'st
Chrysost.
Another before this his sence preferres.
And doth for Prophets read int [...]rpre [...]rs,
Isidor.
For Prophets may be thought to say that thing,
Which men from them by good deduction bring.
But matter fetcht so farre wee need not vse,
Or seeke the sacred writer to excuse:
For holy writ two waies a thing affords,
Either according to the sence or words:
Now though we meet not the same words in sound,
Yet the same sence in Scripture may be found.
Nazaren signifies one flourishing,
And doth not Esay call this heauenly King
A Rod of Iesses Stem, a branch that growes
Out of his roote, each one that Scripture knowes,
Isal. 11. 1.
Knowes this prophetique truth: Againe this name
Is giuen him, that he may haue the same
Which his type had before him: Sampsons facts
Did but foresignifie our Sauiours acts:
Sampson from barraine parents did proceed:
And Christ alone was the pure Virgins seed:
His killing of the lyon did foretell
Christ should that roaring lyons power quell:
Slaughtering his foes euen when he lost his breath
shewed Christ should ouercome his foes by death:
Now of the first we read that he was stil'd
A Nazarite to God: therefore this child
Iudg. 13. 15.
That truth and type might fitly both agree,
was call'd a Nazaren as well as he.
But properly his name came from the place
Hight Nazareth, which had the happy grace
To giue him education as a bower
Most fit to entertaine so sweet a flower.
Nazareth doth a flower signifie,
And what place could he better dignifie
With his abode, then that whose name exprest
His nature, who of all flowers was the best:
Alcinous garden, or Adonis Bower,
Was neuer deckt with halfe so rare a flower,
Those of the greatest beauty are but silly
[...] Sharons Rose, or to the Valleys Lilly.
This is not like French Flowers, in out side braue,
Which yet within nor sent, nor vertue haue,
No, from an outside meane there doth distill
Such vertue, as the Saints with grace doth fill.
The Soule a Nosegay is, if this adorne it,
The Lord will take the sent, if not, hee'l scorne it.
O may this blessed flower which now doth grow
In Heauens high Nazareth, not here below,
Make vs so sweetly in Gods nostrils smell,
That we transplanted from the earth may dwell
In Heauen for euer, and in such a ioy,
As time cannot weare out, or death destroy,
Flourish with Christ, and blisfull Peans sing,
Vnto the praise of our eternall King.
FINIS.

Errata.

Pag. 3. l. 2. r. an. l 25. r. armies. p. 10. l. 10. r. Iew. l 27. r. successors. p. 13. l. 2. r y'runne. p. 16 l. 25. r. thy. p. 17 l 17. r. when p. 18. l. 6. r. humane. p. 19. l. 20. r. leese. p. 31. l 18. r. nonce. p. 34. l. 10. r. repurchace. p. 43 l. 16. r. Ewe. p. 45. l. 14. r yeld. p. 49. l. 19. r. kill. p. 57. l. 22. r in.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.