THE MONVMENT OR TOMBE-STONE: OR, A SERMON PREACHED at Laurence Pountnies Church in Lon­don, Nouemb. 21. 16 19. at the funerall of Mrs. Elizabeth Iuxon, the late wife of Mr. Iohn Iuxon.

By STEPHEN DENISON Minister of Gods word, at Kree-Church in the honourable Citie of London.

Pro. 10. 7. The memoriall of the iust shall be blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.
Math. 26. 13. Wheresoeuer this Gospell shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this that this wo­man hath done, be told for a memoriall of her.

The third impression.

LONDON, Printed byRichard Field dwelling in Great Wood-streete. 1620.

TO Mr. IOHN IVXON, CITIZEN OF THE FAMOVS CITIE OF London, and his fiue children, whom I loue in the truth.

STEPHEN DENISON wisheth in­crease of all true happinesse and prospe­ritie.

DEare friend, it hath bene my purpose a long time, to giue some publicke testimonie before I die, of your loue and kind­nesse shewed vnto me: and considering that God hath offered such an opportuni­tie as this, I thought I could not do lesse, [...]hen to testifie my thankfulnesse vnto you, and to▪ [...]iue Gods Church an occa­sion, [Page] both to blesse God for you, and to remember you & yours in their prayers. I do acknowledge that you haue bene, and so vnto this day you do remaine, the most faithfull friend, and bountifull benefactor, which hitherto I haue found vpon the earth. You and your worthie wife now deceassed were the good Shune­mites, which gaue me the first constant entertainement in this Citie. Your care ouer me hath bene great, your saithful­nesse true, and your bountie to me not little. I am perswaded God will blesse you for it, and that Gods deare people, will loue you for it; and for mine owne part I shall still remaine in your debt, to pray for you, and to do you the best spi­rituall good that I can. God hath depri­ued you of a vertuous wife, and me of a deare friend; but the will of the Lord is good and he knoweth what is best. Com­fort your selfe concerning her death, by the sound experience which you had of her godly and vertuous life: and remem­ber [Page] with ioy, that which drew teares from you at her death, to wit, what a great care she had of your soule whilest she liued. Remember also with comfort those excellent marks which were in her, which you saw in her, and knew in her, as well as my selfe. I confesse you haue a great misse of her many wayes, but the consideration of her vndoubted happinesse, must comfort you concerning that misse. Labour you to make a good vse of her visitation and death; let it moue you to renew your couenant with God, and to be mindfull of your owne mortalitie, to prepare for it in due time, to worke out your owne saluation with feare and trembling. Get oyle into your vessell whilest you haue time, that so you may be ready when the Bridegroome cometh, to enter in with him. And now giue me leaue to speake a word or two to your beloued children.

You M. Iohn Iuxon the first borne, let me exhort you to flie the lusts and va­nities [Page] of youth, and giue your mind vn­to goodnesse: remember your Creator now in the dayes of your youth. Learne with Timothy to know the Scriptures of a child: as you are the first borne in age, so be you the first borne in grace; be an ex­ample vnto the rest of the children in vertue and stayednesse: fulfill the pro­phesies which go of you. Your tender fa­ther reioyceth in you, and hopeth that grace is in some measure begunne in you; and for my owne part I hope good of you, therefore be you good.

A [...]d you M. Thomas Iuxon, let me admonish you, not to turne the grace of God into wantonnesse: vse that capa­city which God hath giuen vnto you, for the glory of God: be carefull to giue your minde vnto learning, and to know God: be obedient to your parents; feare God and keepe his commandements, for this is the whole duty of man, as Salomon saith, Eccles. 12. And otherwise, if you will not hearken vnto this, then must I [Page] say with the same Salomon: Reiòyce [...] yong man in thy youth, and let thine beart cheere thee in the dayes of thy youth, and walke in the wayes of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes. But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into iudgement. Eccles. 11. 9.

And you Mistris Elizabeth Iuxon, let me put you in mind, that as you beare the name of your vertuous mother, so you would be carefull to follow her god­ly steps: be you diligent to heare Gods word preached, and to reade the same in priuate euery day; meditate that which you heare and reade, and be care­full to practise that which you learne, both in your generall and particular cal­ling. For these were the stops of your worthy mother.

And you Mistris Sarah Iuxon, re­member also after whom you are named, to wit, after Sarah the wife of Abra­ham. Be diligent to reade the story of [Page] Sarah in the booke of Genesis, and follow her in all things that are good and imi­table. And remember the words of the Apostle, that women are the daughters of Sarah so long as they do well, 1. Pet. 3.

And lastly, you mistris Marie Iuxon, if God shall giue you life to liue to come to yeares of discretion and vnderstan­ding, consider what I say vnto you. You are named after the blessed virgine Marie. As she therefore conceiued Christ in her wombe, so do you con­ceiue him in your heart. As she pondered the words of the sh epheards in her heart, so do you meditate of the word of God day and night. Yea consider what graces were in her, and labour for the same. Yea let me say vnto all you three pure virgins, beware you of the sinnes of the times, take heed of following the vaine fashions of the world, take heed of pride, take heed of whoredome and all manner of vncleannesse: haue a care with whom you consort your selues: [Page] marrie not without the consent of your parents or gouernours, and be sure that you marrie in the Lord. In a word, be carefull to reade and consider the marks which were in your mother, and labour to find the like in your selues. And thus you shall leade a blessed life, and accom­plish a happie death, and at the last shall come to that heauenly kingdome, whi­ther your deare mother is gone before. Vnto the which heauenly kingdome, the Lord of his mercie bring vs all for Iesus Christ his sake, Amen.

Yours in all Christian dutie, STEPHEN DENISON.


COurteous Reader, I haue bene exceedingly impor­tuned, and that by many worthy Christians, for the markes which our worthy sister deceassed left behind her. I could not tell how so well to satisfie the religious request of my brethren in this thing, as by making publike for the common good both the Sermon and the Markes. Here therefore I offer them to thy Christian consideratio [...]; reade them with a single eye: weigh them well; and if thou reape any benefite, giue the whole glory to God, and remember the vnworthy writer in thy prayers.

Thine in the Lord, S. D.


Iob 7. 3. 4.‘So am I made to possesse the moneths of vanitie, and wearisome nights are appointed to me: when I lie downe, I say, when shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro, vnto the dawning of the day.’

IN the first verse of this chapter the holy man Iob layeth downe a ge­nerall position, to wit, that the dayes of mor­ [...]all man are like the dayes of an hire­ing: and this position he laboureth to make good in the subsequent or [Page 2] next ensuing verses, and that by d [...] ­claring wherein the comparison sta [...] ­deth betweene the dayes of an hir [...] ­ling and the dayes of mortall man, these words following: As a serua [...] earnestly desireth the shadow, and as a hireling looketh for the reward of h [...] worke, so am I made to possesse the m [...] neths of vanity, and wearisome nigh [...] are appointed for me, &c. This is t [...] coherence.

Now this text is for the matter it a lamentable complaint, where for order and methods sake, we m [...] take notice of two points, first of t [...] person complaining, and that was I in this word I. Secondly, of the ma [...] ­ter of the complaint, which is tw [...] ­fold. First, for the vanishing of [...] time, in these words, So haue I ben [...] made to possesse the m [...]neths of vanit [...] Secondly, for the tediousnesse and [...] ­tremitie of his paine, in the rest of t [...] text: And wearisome nights are appo­ [...]ed [Page 3] vnto me: when I lie downe, I say, when shall I arise, & the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro vnto the dawning of the day.

So am I made to possesse the moneths of vanity. It may here be demanded in the first place, what is meant in these words by v [...]nitie. Vnto which iust de­mand for the clearing of the text, I an­swer, that this word vanity is taken in two sences in holy Scriptures, viz. sometimes for the vanity of sinne, and so it is vsed in Psal. 119. 37. where Da­uid intreateth the Lord to turne back his eyes from beholding vanity, that is, frō beholding sinfull obiects. And in deed my deare Christian brethren, sin is iustly styled by the name of va­nity, for there is no vanity to the vani­ty of sin. For how vaine a practise it is for a little momentanie pleasure, and for a modicum of transitory profit, that a man or woman should set the glory of God, the merits of Christ, [Page 4] the kingdome of heauen, and their owne saluation to sale, I leaue it to your owne conscience to iudge. But for mine owne part, I esteeme wilfull and desperate sinners to be the most vaine and foolish people in the world. But concerning this kind of vanitie Iob doth not speake in this place: for it is not meant that Iob had spent his moneths in the vanity of sinne, as they do which spend their precious time in pricking & pinning, and pain­ting and pampering, in running to stage playes, in haunting of tauerns and alehouses, in prosecuting of vn­necessary suites at law, and such like: for Iob indeed was none of this cursed crew: but he was perfect and vpright, and one that feared God, and eschued euill, as God himselfe giues testimony of him in the first chap. of this booke, at the first verse: yea this blessed Iob was such a man, as that there was none like him in all respects in the whole [Page 5] world, at the least in his age and [...]ime. For so it is said of him in the second chapter and third verse, of this holy booke.

We must note therefore and ob­serue, that the word vanity is taken al­so in Scripture for the vanity of a sa­ [...]ing condition; and so it is vsed in Psal. 144. 4. where it is said, Man is like to vanity, his dayes are like a shadow that vanisheth: and in Rom. 8. 20. The [...]reature is made subiect to vanity: that [...]s, to a fading condition. And thus the word vanity is vsed in our present [...]ext: I haue had as an inheritance the [...]oneths of vanity, that is, vanishing and fading moneths, the abstract be­ing put for the concrete, or vanity for vanishing.

And wearisome nights, &c. Here it may be also inquired what it was that Iob endured in the night, for the which [...]e termes his nights wearisome [...]ights, or, as it is in the original, nights [Page 6] of labour. To this I answer: Iob endu­red three things in the nights, the which three things made his night [...]xs the nights of labour and vnrest.

First, he endured fearefull dreame and visions, as appeareth in this pre­sent seuenth chapter and fourth verse where it is said, When I say, my bed sha [...] comfort me, my couch shall ease my com­plaint, then thou scarest me wit [...] dreames, and terrifiest me through visi­ons. And this was a great passion; for i [...] is grieuous to be scared with dreames [...]ut it is more to be terrified with visi­ons and apparitions of Angels whe­ther good or euill. The want of natu­rall rest vnto a weake person is very tedious, but this addition of terro [...] and horror is much more grieuous.

2 The second thing which Io [...] endured in the night as well as by day, it was anguish of mind and trou­ble of conscience: For his calamiti [...] was heauier then the sand of the sea, th [...] [Page 7] arrowes of God Almightie were within him, the poison thereof drunke vp his spirit, yea the terrors of God set them­selues in aray again [...] him, Iob 6. 2. 3. And this was matter of sore labour; for as Salomon saith, A man will be are his infirmitie; but a wounded spirit, who can beare it? Prou. 18. 14.

3. The third thing which Iob en­dured in the night, was extremitie of paine in his bodie, expressed by ve­rie grieuous and dolefull fits; for when he lay downe, he said, when shall I arise, and the night be gone? and he was full, or as it is in the originall, he had his belly full of tossings to and fro to the dawning of the day. And there is none which haue had experience of extremitie of sicknesse, but I hope they will easily acknowledge, that ex­tremitie of paine is a sore labour.

Thus much for the clearing of the meaning of the words.

Now before we come to the do­ctrines [Page 8] and instructions, one maine question may be moued concerning the practise of Iob in complaining, whether he did well or ill in it? And to this I answer, that in many things Iob sinned in the matter of complaint, as in cursing the day of his birth, Iob 3. and in desiring for anguish to be cut off before his time, Iob 6. 9. and chusing to be strangled was like wise a great sin in him, Iob 7. 15. But in these words in the text, I take it that Iob did not mainly sinne, (howbeit I do not ex­cuse him altogether from infirmitie,) but for his words vsed, they are war­rantable; as for his secret affection, we haue nothing to do with it, we leaue it to God that knowes it.

You will then demand, Is it lawfull therefore for such as are in distresse to complaine?

To this I answer, that all complaint is not sinfull. Dauid complained in the si [...]t Psalme, that his soule was sore [Page 9] troubled, and [...]et he sinned not. Heze­chiah mourned like a doue in his sicknes, Esay 38. 14. and yet for that is not iustly to be reproued.

But lawfull complaint in time of extremitie, must be ioyned with these limitations.

First, it must not be with murmu­ring or repining against God, but ra­ther with a patient submitting to his blessed will: so that though we do de­clare our griefe, yet we must be con­tent to endure it, in obedience to God; and we must learne of Christ, to say, If thou wilt that I shall drinke of this cup, thy will be done.

Secondly, our complaint must not be to the weakning of our faith: we must so complaine, as that still we hold fast some ground of ioy. For in­deed we ought to reioyce euermore; and we should not mourne without hope, as the Apostle speaketh.

Thirdly, our complaints must be [Page 10] moderate; for there is but a time to mourne. We ought to find time, as wel for the declaring of Gods mercies which we haue receiued, as to ex­presse our griefes, or else we are great­ly vnthankfull.

Thus much for the meaning. Now come we, by Gods permission and as­sistance, to collect such doct [...]ines and instructions as may make for our edi­fication.

Moneths of vanitie. Where note we, that Iob speaking of his life, doth not terme his moneths, moneths of cer­taintie, as though he had a lease of his life, but moneths of vanitle, as imply­ing that Mans life is very fraile and 2. Doctr. subiect to vanish away. And indeed there is nothing more fraile, & more vncertaine. For this cause the Scrip­ture compareth our liues to things that are very inconstant: as sometimes to grasse, which in the morning flou­risheth & groweth, & in the euening [Page 11] is cut downe and withereth, Psal. 90. 5. 6. And sometime to a vapour, which appeareth for a very little time, and af­terwards vanisheth away, Iam. 4. 14. Sometime to a weauers shuttle, which quickly passeth from one side of the webbe vnto the other. Sometime to smoke, which is driuen away and dis­persed with euery wind or blast, Psal. 102. 3. Sometime to a shadow which declineth, Psal. 102. 11. And sometime to vanity it selfe, as in my text.

Gods Church and people haue ta­ken diligent notice of this frailty from time to time, and therefore haue made account of short life. Hence it is that Abraham in his perfect health ter­meth himselfe dust and ashes, Genes. 18. 27. Hence it is that Dauid saith, that his life is alwayes in his hand, Psal. 119. 109. Hence it is that Paul saith, I am readie to be deliuered, and the time of my departure is at hand, 2. Tim. 4. 6. Hence it is that the [Page 12] Church saith, We haue here no abiding citie, Heb. 13. 14. And hence it is that so many faithfull Christians do so or­dinarily remember their mortalitie & their graue when they lye downe in their beds.

And indeed very experience doth 1. Reason. teach vs that mans life is fraile. For do we not see yong men die as well as old? Do we not see strong men die as well as weake? Do we not see wise men die as well as foolish? Yea do we not see Physitians die as well as pati­ents? Yea there is none, rich or poore, high or low, noble or meane, which can promise himselfe to liue for the space of one poore houre.

Againe, our liues must needs be 2. Reason. fraile and vncertaine, in respect of the manifold dangers whereunto they are continually subiect. For first, they are subiect to infinite diseases, as to the pestilence, to the burning feuer, to consumptions, to the gout, to the [Page 13] stone, to the dropsie, to the bloudie issue, and to innumerable other.

Secondly, they are subiect to the stroke of Angels, to the layings in waite of enemies, yea to Gods imme­diate stroke.

Thirdly, they are subiect to many sodaine accidents. If they trauell by land, they are subiect to be taken by the eues and robbers, and to be left for dead. If they ride, they are subiect to fall from their horses, and to breake their neckes. If they trauell on foote, they are subiect to take immoderate heate. If they eate, they are subiect to take surfet, though they eate neuer so little. If they fast, they are subiect to grow into weaknesse. If they sit in thei [...] houses, diseases will grow vpon them by much sitting. If they walk [...] abroad, a thousand dangers both o­uer their heads and vnder their feete, and before them and behind them, and at their right hand and at their [Page 14] left do attend & wait vpon them, and therfore how fraile is the life of man?

Yea but some possibly will obiect Obiect. and say, Do we not see some men and women to liue long? Do not some in our age attaine seuentie yeares, some eightie yeares, some ninetie yeares, some an hundreth? and may not I hope to liue as long as they?

I do not denie, but God is able to continue thee long vpon the earth, Answ. though thy life be neuer so fraile. But it is not thy safest course, my Chri­stian brother, to make account of, or to expect long life. For if they which are strong, liue vntill seuentie or eigh­tie yeares, yet we find by experience, that there be a great many which ne­uer see fortie, some which neuer see thirtie, some which neuer see twentie, some which neuer see ten.

Yea but some, it may be, wil further obiect and say, I am strong and lusty, 2. Obiect. I am yong, or in my best yeares, I find [Page 15] no decay in my body; and therefore what reason haue I to look for death?

Alas poore soule, whosoeuer thou 2. Answ. art, thou art too prone and ready to deceiue thy selfe. Hast thou neuer read, that Man in his best estate, that is, in his best yeares, in his best strength, in the very fl [...]ure of his age, is altoge­ther vanitie? Reade Psalme 39. 5. and it wil teach thee. Hast thou neuer read what Ioh saith in his 21. Chapter and 23. verse, where he testisieth, that One dieth in his full strength; his breasts being full of milke, and his bones being moistened with marrow? Reade and consider, and be not incredulous, but beleeuing.

Now hauing proued the truth of this point, to wit, that the life of man is very fraile and vncertaine; and hauing answered the Obiections which might be made against the same: it remaineth now to make ap­plication of that which hath b [...]ne de­liuered. [Page 16] And a threefold vse we may make of this our frailtie; to wit, an vse of Reproofe, an vse of Instruction, and an vse of Comfort. An vse of re­proofe. And it may reproue diuers. First, such as haue made a couenant 1. Vse. with Death, and put the euill day far from them; which thinke in their hearts, that though a scourge come & passe through the whole land, yet it shal not come neare them. Alas poore soule, what priuiledge hast thou to escape more then any other? art thou any iote the more safe, because of thy securitie? No verily. For when thou shalt say, Peace and safetie, then shall there come upon thee sodaine destru­ction. As Paul saith, 1. Thess. 5.

Secondly, this may serue to re­proue such as immoderately do seeke after wealth, being as vnsatiable in secking riches, as if they and their children were not mortall, but im­mortall; as if indeed they were to liue [Page 17] here alwayes, and were to make pro­uision for an earthly eternitie. O foo­lish and filthy couetousnesse! when wilt thou say, It is enough? O vaine man, thou prouidest with the danger of thy soule for many yeares, when it may be this night thy soule shall be taken from thee, and then whose shal these riches be which thou hast vn­iustly gathered?

Thirdly, it may make for the iust reproofe of them which labour to perswade others that they shall liue long. These are like vnto them which promise others libertie, and are them­selues the bondslaues of corruption. And in this many Physitians are too much to blame, which will make such large promises to their patients, as though it were in them to recouer health at their pleasure, when as in the meane time the poore patient di­eth vnder their hands.

The second vse is an vse of Instru­ction: 2. Vse. [Page 18] ction: for considering that mans life is thus fraile, therefore hence we should learne to be humbled in our selues. We must remember we are but dust and ashes, and therefore we must not haue high conceits of our selues: nei­ther must we affect the too much pampering and pranking of the body. Alas, it may be thou art feeding nice­ly and curiously to day; it may be thou art now pranking thy selfe in pride and in strange attire, or pain­ting thy face with Iesabel; and before to morrow thou mayest be dead. O earth, earth, earth, heare the word of the Lord; humble thy selfe before the Lord, in consideration of thy mortalitie. If thou wilt not humble thy selfe, thou hast iust cause to feare that the Lord will humble thee, and bring thee low.

Secondly, the consideration of our frailtie must teach vs, not to deferre or put off our repentance: but [Page 19] whilest it is called to day, to call our selues to a secret examination of our wayes and courses, to humble our selues for them, to renew our coue­nants with God of our obedience, and to turne from the power of Sa­than to God. Thou thinkest thou mayest do this soone enough when thou art old: but how doest thou know, whether thou shalt liue to be old, or no? Or suppose thou liue to be old, how doest thou know that God will giue thee repentance at the last, when thou hast hardened thine heart against him by thy sins? Therefore, whilest it is called to day, either now turne or neuer, either now repent or perish. Either seeke the Lord in time whilest he may be found, or else neuer se [...]ke him.

Thirdly, the consideration of our frailtie must teach vs, first to seeke Gods kingdome and righteousnesse, and to lay vp for our selues a good [Page 20] foundation against the time to come. We must labour to be rich in faith, that when death comes vpon vs, we may not slauishly feare it, but ra­ther chearefully embrace it as a most welcome messenger. It is lamentable to see what paines men take to go to hell, how they labour for the obtai­ning of their lusts and vnsatiable de­sires, and in the meane time remaine altogether voide of care how they might attaine heauen. O awake, a­wake, remember out abode here, it is but for a short time; but that estate which is to come, whether it be for happinesse or woe, it is eternall, and whithout end. Therefore striue and take paines to enter in by the straire gate. We find by experience, things of value in the world, to wit, riches and honours, and high places, they are not attained without great meane [...] vsed: and shall we thinke that sauing grace, & Gods kingdome will be ob­tained [Page 21] without great striuing? Let no man or woman deceiue themselues: for if the righteous which labour hard in the vse of meanes, as in hearing, in reading, meditating, in the vse of the Sacrament, in conference, in keeping [...]aith & a good conscience, in prayer, and such like: if such, I say, shall scarce­ [...]y be saued, notwithstanding all their [...]are and striuing; then what shall be­ [...]ome of such as striue not at all; or if [...]hey do striue, it is very coldly and negligently? Surely such, vnlesse they [...]end their pace, they can neuer each their iourneys end, which is the glorious kingdome of heauen. They will be found like trauellers dead in [...]he way before they halfe reach [...]ome.

The third and last vse is for com­ [...]ort 3. Vse. and consolation. For considering [...]hat mans life is so fraile; therfore first [...]t may be a comfort to such as en­ [...]ure exile, or banishment, or impri­sonment, [Page 22] or hard vsage, or pouertie, or sicknesse, or the like, they may re­member, that their afflictions here cannot be long, because their liues are but short. Peace shall come, and they shall rest in their beds, Esay 57. 2. and Blessed are they which die in the Lord yea saith the Spirit, they rest from their labours, Reuel. 14. 13.

Secondly, the consideration o [...] shortnesse of life, may be matter o [...] consolation and comfort vnto such a [...] beleeue; for now their saluation i [...] nearer then when they began to be­leeue. What knowest thou, but tha [...] there is but a step betweene thee an [...] heauen? Thou art here this yere, tho [...] mayest be in heauen before the next thou art here this moneth, tho [...] mayest be with Christ before th [...] next. Yea thou art here to day, tho [...] mayest be in blisse before to morrow O thrise happie estate! how woul [...] men admire the happinesse of such [Page 23] begger as were in possibility euery houre to be aduanced to a kingdome? And how much more admirable is the estate of euery true Christian, who standes in continuall possibilitie to be aduanced to such an estate, as neither eye hath seene, nor eare hath heard, neither can it sufficiently enter into the heart of man to conceiue? 1. Cor. 2. 9.

Thirdly, the consideration of our shortnesse of life may comfort all such faithfull Christians as do desire to be freed from sinne. Though Sa­tan and the world, and their owne corruptions, do disquiet them for a time, yet they shall not alwayes dis­quiet them. Death will come and that quickly, and then thou shalt sinne no more, neither shalt thou be tempted [...]o sinne any more, but thou shalt be [...]ike vnto an elect Angell, yea like vn­to Iesus Christ in perfect holinesse & righ [...]eousnesse. Which estate Gods [Page 24] children more affect then they affect the very happinesse or ioyes of hea­uen. And thus much for the first do­ctrine.

Moneths of vanity: Hence obserue [...]. Doctr. we in the next place, That afflictions sanstified are an especiall meanes [...]bring a man or woman to a cleare sight of the vanitie of earthly things. Iob being greatly afflicted, and ha­uing his affliction sanctified vnto him, was enabled out of the bottom [...] of his affliction to see that his mo­neths were but vanitie. And the lik [...] may be said of Dauid, who being sick [...] and weake, obtained withall an hol [...] contempt euen of his very king­dome, and was content that Salom [...] should be crowned King euen in hi [...] life time, 1. King. 1. 33. The like w [...] reade of Barzillai in 2. Sam. 19. 33. 34▪ who when Dauid offered him grea [...] honour and preferment in his Court he considering with himselfe that h [...] [Page 25] was now growne very old, refused the kings offer. And thus many Chri­stians which in time of health did too much affect riches and honours, and finenesse in apparell, afterwards in time of sicknesse come to see the va­nity of all these. To this purpose Salo­mon speaketh well in Eccles. 12. 4. that in old age, which is a laborious af­fliction of it selfe, the daughters of singing shall be abased: as implying, that though in health and youth, men or women stand too much affectio­nated to the vanitie of earthly de­lights, yet in affliction and old age they shall attaine the sight of the va­nity of these things. So that afflicti­ons are like vnto the clay wherewith the blind mans eyes were annointed in the Gospell, and whereby he came to attaine his sight, which before he wanted. Yea afflictions are like chry­stall spectacles, whereby Christians are helped much in the discerning [Page 26] and discouering of earthly vanity.

And there be two reasons for the 1. Reason. euidencing or clearing of the truth of this point, to wit, That afflictions san­ctified are speciall helpes to bring to sight the vanity of earthly things. As first, because men and women in afflictions finde by experience the helplesnesse of earthly things, they find that they may lie in paine and miserie, yea that they may die, and be turned to dust, for any thing which their riches or honours can helpe them: and therefore they may easily conclude, How vaine ô Lord do I now find these things, vpon the which formerly (foole that I was) I haue so doted, and set my mind? Behold now I see and say with the Preacher, as I find also by euident experience, Vani­ty of vanities, vanity of vanities, all is vanity, Eccles. 1. 2.

Secondly, in sanctified afflictions 2. Reason. men and women come to the sight [Page 27] of the excellency of true sauing grace: now they can value one dram of faith aboue many talents of gold; now they had rather haue oyle in their ves­sels, then treasure in their coffers. And the more that any one is brought to the sight of the true worth of grace, the more they are brought withall to the sight of earthly vanity. Do I see the price of heauen? Then I see the basenesse of the earth. Do I see the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord? Then I see all other things to be drosse, and count them to be dung.

Yea but some, it may be, will be Obiect. too busie to obiect, that afflictions are more like to driue vs from God then to bring vs vnto him, and that afflictions are dead helpes of them­selues, and cannot profit.

Vnto whom I answer, that afflicti­ons Answer. separated from the working of Gods Spirit are indeed of no value; [Page 28] which is the reason that though Turkes and Infidels haue afflictions as well as Christians, yet they are no whit bettered by their afflictions, be­cause indeed their afflictions are not sanctified vnto them. And the like we may be bold to say of the written word of God. For the word it selfe separated from the Spirit cannot worke. So that we put not this vertue of bringing to the sight of earthly va­nity, in the very afflictions thēselues, no more then we ascribe the recouery of the blind mans sight vnto the clay wherewith his eyes were annointed. But this we affirme, that afflictions sanctified, that is, afflictions ioyned with the work of Gods Spirit are ex­cellent means to bring to the sight of earthly vanity. Yea had it not bene for afflictions sanctified, there be ma­ny now in heauen which had neuer come there. And had it not bene for afflictions, there be many prodigals [Page 29] in the world, which had not knowne (as they do know) what had belonged to the turning from the power of Sa­tan to God. And therefore as I desire that there may not too much be ascri­bed to afflictions: so I would fore­warne men to take heede how they make too slight account of them, cō ­sidering to what excellent purposes God hath sanctified and appointed them; & considering withall the con­fessions of many sound and experien­ced Christians, which do ingenuously acknowledge that such and such af­flictions were especiall meanes to bring them to God.

But may not afflictions lawfully 2. Obiect. be desired and prayed for, conside­ring that they may be meanes, if they be sanctified, of much good vnto vs?

To this I answer, that as we are not Answ. to condition with God that he would neuer touch vs with any affliction, [Page 30] but we must referre our selues vnto his will. So we are not to hasten af­flictions vpon our selues▪ and the ra­ther because we know not what abili­ty we haue to beare afflictions, or what grace we shall haue to make the right vse of them. We may indeed pray that if afflictions be vpon vs they may be sanctified vnto vs, and it is an holy and necessary prayer: but to pray that God would scourge vs, it is a presumptuous request, and doth sa­uour too much of ouerweening our owne strength. And if any for their presumptuous practise shall alledge the example of Dauid in Psalme 6. 1. that he prayed, not to be corrected in Gods wrath, whereby he seemeth to be content that God should scourge him, so that it were not in his furie: to this I answer, that such know not of what spirit they are which thus rea­son. For a [...]t thou able to make as good vse of afflictions as Dauid was? [Page 31] I trow not. Secondly, Dauid doth not absolutely pray for afflictions, but ta­king it as granted, that God would afflict him, he prayeth that the Lord would not afflict him in his wrath and fury. Therefore we conclude, that though much good be wrought by afflictions, yet that afflictions are not to be prayed for, or to be hastened.

But to come to the vse and appli­cation 1. Vs [...] of this point: Is it so that af­flictions sanctified are an especiall meanes to bring vs to the sight of the vanities of earthly things? Then this should teach vs in the first place, to take notice of, and to admi [...]e the ex­cellent power of God, who is able out of darknesse to bring light. For what is more vnlikely, in the iudge­ment of flesh and bloud, to do good, then afflictions are? For by reason, when a man is sicke, he is more fit to see the excellency of health then the vanity of it; and when he is poore, to [Page 32] see the happinesse of riches, then to see their impotency. And therefore great and admirable is the worke of our good God in all things, and par­ticularly in the sanctification of af­flictions. We may iustly say with the Apostle, Rom. 11 33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisedome and knowledge of God: how vnsearchable are his iudgements, and his wayes past finding out!’

Secondly, this consideration of the vsefulnesse of afflictions must be an 2. Ʋse. especiall meanes to perswade vs to pa­tience vnder the crosse, and to a wil­ling submitting of our selues vnder the mighty hand of God He is a wise and prudent Physitian, he knoweth indeed what Physicke is best for vs. We haue a great God to deale with when we are vnder afflictions, and if we submit vnto him, he will raise vs vp. But if we walk stubburnly against him, he will walke stubburnly against [Page 33] vs. Gods wrath is like to the thunder & lightnings, which commonly hurt not soft and yeelding bodies because they do not resist, but they exercise their force vpon stout oakes and iron locks and barres, &c. So God deales gently with such as submit them­selues, but if any resist, he will surely crush them and make them tame. They shall be sure to gaine nothing by obstinacy against God, but in­crease of their miseries. Yea God will walke obstinatly against his very elect if they resist his proceedings, as we see in the example of Ionas: how did God persecute Ionas with winde and tem­pests, yea how did he tosse him into the seas, and plunged him into the hell of the whales belly, and neuer left him vntil he had brought him to sub­mit to go to Nineue? And therefore make a vertue of necessitie; that which thou must suffer of necessitie, suffer it with patience and willingly▪ It may be [Page 34] the Lord aimeth at greater good to­wards thee in thine affliction then thou art aware of. And therefore as thou art content to receiue many a bitter potion at the hand of a physi­tian in hope of health, so be content to drinke of the cup which God hath tempered, in hope that it shall worke for thy good.

In the third place we must duly 3. Ʋse. examine our selues if at any time we haue bene afflicted; whether our affli­ctions haue wrought thus with vs or no: viz. whether they haue brought vs to the sight of the vanity of earthly things. If they haue, we may be per­swaded that they are sanctified vnto vs: and we haue great cause to be thankfull to God for them.

But if we haue bene scourged, and yet are neuer the better, we haue iust cause to be humbled, and to feare that our afflictions were neuer sanctified vnto vs. The Lord hath smitten vs, [Page 35] but we haue not grieued, he hath con­sumed vs, but we haue refused to re­ceiue correction; we haue madeour fa­ces harder then the rocke, we haue re­fused to returne: as the Lord complai­neth against the disobedient Iewes, Iere. 5. 3. And thus much for the se­cond Doctrine; to wit, That affl [...]ctions sanctified, are speciall helpes to bring vs to the sight of the vanitie of earthly things.

Painefull nights: Or as it is in the originall, nights of labour. Whence obserue we, That it may befall the 3. Doctr. deare children of God, to be visited with painefull and tedious visitations. They may be sicke and grieuously pained, and that not for a night, or for a day, but for nights, that is, for many night [...] together. The truth of this we see, first here in Iob: Nights of labour, or painefull nights haue bene appointed vnto me: for thus he complaineth.

[Page 36] And that Gods children may be visited with grieuous paine, and with laborious sicknesse, it is further ma­nifest by examples; as first by the ex­ample of Dauid, a man after Gods owne heart. For, how doth he com­plaine in the sixt Psalme? That his bones were vexed, that he was weary of his groning, that his eye was con­sumed with griefe: and in Psalme 39. 10. That he was consumed by the blow of Gods hand: but especially in Psalme 38. Where he saith, That the arrowes of God did sticke fast in him, and his hand pressed him sore. That there was no soundnesse in his flesh, because of Gods anger: and that there was no rest in his bones, because of his sinne. That his wounds did stinke, and were corrupt; that he was trou­bled and bowed downe greatly. That he went mourning all the day. That his loines were filled with a lothsome disease. That he was feeble and sore [Page 37] broken: that he roared for the very disquietnesse of his heart, &c. And the like we see in the Church, Lamen. 1. 11. 12. where she saith, Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like vnto my sorrow, which is done vnto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger: from a­boue hath he sent fire into my bones, and it preuaileth against them. Yea, what paines did Christ himselfe en­dure in the Garden, when he sweat water and bloud? and what torment vpon the Crosse when he cried, My God, my God, why hast thou forsa­ken me? I suppose, that at that time the paines of hell came about him, as it is said also in Psal. 18. 5. I suppose that then Christ descended into hell, when he felt the very fire of Gods wrath in his soule for our sins, when the Lord withdrew the light of his countenance, and left him to the intollerable sence and feeling of his [Page 38] indignation. Now if Dauid, a man so deare to God: if the Church, bought with so deare a price: yea, if Christ Jesus the Sonne of God, were left to this extremitie of paines: then it followeth vndeniably, That Gods [...] deare Saints and children may be [...] with very grieuous paine and sicknesse, with painefull nights, yea with nights of paine.

And for the proofe of the second clause of the Doctrine, to wit, that Gods children may be visited with long and tedious sicknesses, as well as with extremity of paine: consider we first the example of Aeneas, who kept his bed, and was sicke of the pal­sey for the space of eight yeares, Acts 9. 33. Secondly, the example of the poore man, Iohn. 5. 5. who had an in­firmity for the space of eight and thir­tie yeares, lying at the Poole of Be­thesda.

Thirdly, the example of the faith­full [Page 39] woman, Luke 8. 43. who had an infirmitie twelue yeares together, and had spent all her substance vpon Phy­sitians, and could not be healed of any. Yea, as Saint Marke is bold to say, She was neuer the better for her tampering so much with Physicke, but rather much the worse, Mar. 5. 26. I might be large in the pro [...]fe of this point, but I will abstaine. Come we to the reasons.

And there be many causes where­fore God doth thus heauily and tedi­ously afflict his seruants.

First, that hereby he might correct 1. Reason. some remainder of dangerous cor­ruption lurking in them; according to that in Esay 27. 9. By this shall the iniquitie of Iacob be purged; and this is all the fruite, to take away his sin. Some of Gods children are subiect to spiri­tuall pride, some to rash anger, some to worldly-mindednesse, some to in­fidelitie, some to neglect of the best [Page 40] things, some to discontentednes with their estate. And the Lord he layeth [...] an heauie chaine vpon their loynes, to correct and mortifie their co [...]rup­tions in them. And herein God dea­leth like a skilfull Goldsmith; he ca­steth his children into fierie afflicti­ons; not because he meanes vtterly to cast them away, but because he mea­neth to take them out more pure, and purged from their drosse of sinne: yea he fineth them seuenfold, that yet they may be more pure.

Secondly, God doth heauily af­flict his people, of purpose to weane 2. Reason. them from the vaine delights and pleasures of the world. And in this the Lord deales like a nurse; he an­nointeth the teates of the world with bitternesse, to the end that his chil­dren sucking them might desire them no more. How came Iacob to di­staste and to forsake Labans family, but by the affliction which he found [Page 41] by the change of Labans counte­nance? Gen. 31. How came the Prodi­gall sonne to be weaned from the citi­zens seruice, Luke 15. but by the affli­ction of hunger and want which he found in it? And lastly, how come ma­ny of the deare children of God to be so farre mortified to the world, as that they desire to be dissolued, and to be with Christ, but by the bitternesse of affli­ctions?

Thirdly, God doth thus scourge 3. Reason. his Church, and afflict his children, for the triall of his graces in them; ac­cording to that in 1. Pet. 4. 12. Bre­thren; thinke it not strange concerning the fierie triall, which is come vpon you to trie you, &c.

God afflicts his Church, partly for the triall of their patience, to see whe­ther they will submit themselues vn­to him, as well in suffering as in do­ing his will: partly for the triall of saith, to see if they will beleeue a­gainst [Page 42] sence and feeling, and whe­ther they will say with Iob, Though the Lord kill me, yet will I trust in him, Iob 13. 15. Yea the Lord afflicts for the tri­all of wisedome, to see if his children will endeauour to make good vse of their afflictions and of their crosses. Thus God I say afflicts for triall.

In the fourth and last place, God 4. Reason. sorely afflicteth his Church in this world, that he might the highlier ad­uance it in glorie in the world to come. For howsoeuer The affliction [...] of this present time are not worthie to be compared to the glorie that shall be re­uealed, (as the Apostle speakes, Rom. 8. 18.) yet our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for vs a farre more excellent and eternall weight of glorie 2. Cor. 4. 17.

Thus the holy Martyrs, as they suf­fered most, so no doubt they are glo­rified most. And thus many deare Saints of God, which haue endured a [Page 43] very hell of torment here, no doubt but they receiue a more [...]xcellent heauen of comfort hereafter: as they haue bene partakers of the suffering, so they are of the consolation.

But to come to the vse and appli­cation 1. Vse.: Is it so, that God doth sorely afflict his deare children? Then this should teach vs in the first place, not to iudge or censure those which suf­fer, as though they were greater sin­ners then others. You know what Christ himselfe saith in Luke 13. 2. Suppose ye, that those Galileans were greater sinners then all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you nay, &c. And it was the sinne of Iobs friends to iudge Iob an hypocrite, or a notorious offender, because the hand of God was so heauy vpon him. Let vs therefore learne on the con­trary with Gods Church, Iam. 5. 11, To esteeme them happie which suffer. Let vs hope, that afflictions layed vp­pon [Page 44] our brethren or sisters, are signes of Gods loue towards them, and not of his hatred. For whomsoeuer the Lord loues, he chasteneth, and scourgeth eue­rie sonne whom he receiueth: as we reade Hebrews 12. 6. 7. And therefore leud and vncharitable is the practise of all such which take vpon them to iudge and to censure many a sound Christian, by their very afflictions, to be hypocrites, to be dissemblers, to be some way notoriously wicked: For else, say they, God would neuer thus haue punished them. O most vniust and rash censure! Doth not God scourge euery sonne whom he receiueth? and shall we not through many tribulations enter into the king­dome of God? Therefore let God be true, and euery rash iudger shall be proued a lyer.

Secondly, are Gods owne deare children subiect to grieuous and tedi­ous 2. Ʋse. afflictions? Therefore this may be [Page 45] iust matter of terror to the wicked & vngodly. For if iudgement begin at the house of God, what shall be the end of such as obey not the Gospell of God? as the Apostle speaketh, 1. Pet. 4. 17. If God correct his owne with strokes, surely he will punish the wicked with scorpions. If he afflict Lazarus here with pouerrie and sicknesse, surely he will punish Diues hereafter with hell fire.

Yea, if God spared not his Angels which sinned, but cast them downe into hell, and deliuered them into darknesse, to be reserued to iudge­ment; then how shall the wicked thinke that the Lord will spare them, going on in their sinfull courses? Oh therefore let all the sharp corrections layed vpon Gods children in this life, be so many warning peales to the vn­godly speedily to repent, and to turne to God in time, lest worse punish­ments seise vpon them then euer sei­sed [Page 46] vpon the elect.

Thirdly, the consideration of this truth, to wit, that Gods children are 3. Ʋse. subiect to so great afflictions; it must teach euery one of vs, to be prepa [...]ed to endure great trials. We must be prepared to endure losse of our dea­rest friends, losse of good name, losse of our whole estate, losse of libertie, losse of health, extremitie of paines in the body, & that for a long time toge­ther: yea we must be prepared for the firy triall; for what do we know, what God hath in store for vs? Lastly, we must be prepared to endure troubles of minde and vexations of consci­ence; we must be content to be brought to heauen by hell-gates. Bre­thren, we must not thinke it strange if these things befall vnto vs. The like haue befallen vnto Gods owne sons and daughters that are in the world, or haue bene. Let vs learne to get strength now in the time of our peace; [Page 47] we may haue more vse of it hereafter then it may be we are aware of.

Fourthly, considering that Gods 4. Vse. elect are subiect to so great afflicti­ons, let vs which enioy freedom from these tormēting miseries, be the more thankfull to God for our freedome. We might liue in sicknesse, in paine, in pouertie, in persecution, in distresse of minde, and yet remaine the true children of God. Therefore what cause of thankfulnesse haue we, with whom the Lord deales more mildly, and yet giues vs the same hope of glorie, which he hath giuen vnto o­thers which suffer great trials? God deales with vs as he dealt with Henoch; he takes vs away, and we hardly see or feele death: whereas many others are carried as it were in a fierie cha­riot to the kingdome of heauen. Consider this all ye which sit vnder your owne vine and vnder your owne figtree, and be thankfull.

[Page 48] Fiftly, considering that Gods chil­dren 5. Vse. are subiect to so great afflictions; therefore this must teach vs to haue a fellowfeeling of the miseries of others. We must not make small reckning of their paines, as though they ailed no­thing; but we must compassionate them, and vse all the meanes we can to comfort them, and to support them, as we our selues desire to be comforted and to be supported if we were in their estate. Be it therefore farre from vs to adde affliction to af­fliction, or to increase the sorrowes of such whom God hath wounded: But let vs rather thinke with Iob, that he which is in affliction ought to be comforted of his friends. It is a cruell practise to lay on more weight vpon a poore beast, when he is ready to sinke vnder that burthen which is vpon him already. So, much more it is a tyrannous fact to adde to the sor­rowes of them which are already hea­uie [Page 49] laden.

And thus much may suffice to haue spoken concerning the third do­ctrine, to wit, that Gods deare chil­dren are subiect to painfull and tedi­ous sicknesses.

Many painfull nights haue bene ap­pointed vnto me. Where obserue, that Iob doth not say, It was my hard for­tune to see much miserie, or by euill lucke and hard chance I came to this affliction; but many painfull nights haue bene appointed vnto me: wherein is intimated vnto vs this truth, name­ly, that There is no affliction befalleth 4. Doctr. any of the children of God, be it ne­uer so sharpe or tedious, but it befal­leth by the determinate counsell and purpose of God. This is manifest out of diuerse texts of holy Scripture, as out of Esay 45. 7. I forme the light, and create darknesse: I make peace, and create euill: I the Lord do all these things. And out of Amos 3. 6. Shall a trumpet [Page 50] be blowne in a citie, and the people not be afraid? shall there be euill in a citie, and the Lord hath not done it? But yet this point is more especially proued by that in Acts 4. 27. where it is said, Herod, and Pontius Pilate, and the Gen­tiles, and the people of Israel, were ga­thered together, to do vnto Christ that which Gods hand and counsell had de­termined before to be done. Yea indeed, all things both great and small are go­uerned and guided by the prouidence of God: there is not a sparrow which falleth vnto the ground, nor an haire which falleth from our head, without our Father; as Christ himselfe saith in Matthew 10. 29. And this truth the Saints haue acknowledged from time to time. If Sheme [...] curse Dauid and raile vpon him, Dauid will ac­knowledge, that the Lord bids him curse, 2. Sam. 16. 17. If the Sabeans take away Iobs oxen or his asses, and the Chaldeans depriue him of his ca­mels; [Page 51] if a fire from heauen take away his sheepe, aad the winds stirred vp by Satan destroy his children, yet he will acknowledge, that the Lord hath giuen, and the Lord hath taken away, Iob 1. 21.

Yea but this might seeme to be an Obiect. hard saying, that God should be the author of all afflictions. For suppose that a man be robbed of all that he hath, is God the cause of the robbery? or suppose a man be wrongfully slan­dered, is God the cause of the slan­der? This might seeme to make God the author of sinne.

Nothing lesse. For howsoeuer God Answer. is the author of the actiō, yet he is not the author of the euill of the action▪ he tempteth no man to steale, he in­fu [...]eth malice into no mans heart, to moue him to curse or slander. But the euill of the action is partly of the di­uell, and partly of man himselfe. Therefore let no man when he is [Page 52] tempted, say, that he is tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with e­uill, neither tempteth he any man: but euery man is tempted, when he is drawne away by his owne lust, and is enticed, Iam. 1. 13. 14.

But it may be obiected further, Do not many crosses fall out by meere ill lucke? Doth not a mans experience tell him of many ill chances which haue befallen him? Doth not a man sometimes breake his necke, falling from his horse? Doth not a child vpon a sudden fall into a pit, and is drow­ned? Doth not an axe head fli [...] from the helue, when no such thing is in­tended, and slayes a man? And what is this but hand lucke or bad fortune?

These indeed may seeme to be meere casualties vnto vs, in respect Answor. of the suddennesse of them, and be­cause we see not alwayes the causes of them. But with God these things are certaine, and proceed from his de­cree: [Page 53] according to that in Pro. 16. 35. The lot is cast into the lap, but the dispo­sing thereof is from the Lord.

Therefore we must not be like the very heathen, ascribing that vnto chance and fortune, which we should by right ascribe to the prouidence of God.

But to come to the vse and appli­cation. 1▪ Vse. Is it so, that all afflictions come by the prouidence of God? Then this must teach vs in the first place, not to murmure, but let vs say with Dauid, in Psal. 39. 9. I was dumbe, and opened not my mouth, because thou diddest it. If we consider, we haue no cause in­deed to murmure against God. For first, he layeth not vpon any of vs the thousandth part of that which we do deserue. And secondly, he causeth those afflictions which he doth lay vpon vs, to worke for our good: so that we haue more cause to giue him thankes, then in any sort to murmure [Page 54] against him.

Secondly, considering that all our afflictions are from God; therefore 2. Ʋse. it must teach vs to feare God aboue all. Let vs not feare the diuell, nor ty­rants, nor our professed enemies. For none of these can hurt vs without God. But let vs feare that great God, who when he hath afflicted vs here, is able to cast both soule and body into hell fire, Luke 12. 5. It is a miserable thing, that we can feare a great man because he is able to hurt vs, and that we cannot much more feare God which is able to damne vs. This be­wrayes a great deale of infidelity in vs: this shewes that we do not beleeue the certaintie of Gods threatnings. We consider God onely according to his mercie, and so make an idoll of him: but we feare him not for his iu­stice. We pretend that we loue God; but where is that awfull respect which we owe vnto him?

[Page 55] Thirdly, is it so, that all afflictions 3. Vse. are from God? Therefore this must teach vs, that whensoeuer God doth afflict vs in any kind whatsoeuer, ei­ther in our good names, or in our goods, or in our friends by taking them away, or in our bodies, or such like: it must teach vs I say, to [...]ie our selues and to fanne ou [...] selues, what the Lord hath against vs, or for what cause he doth afflict vs. Thus did Mo­ses, Psal. 90. 7. 8. We are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled: thou hast set our iniquiti [...]s be­fore thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. And it is a blessed vse of afflictions, to make them as our looking glasse, wherein we discerne and discouer some things amisse in our selues. Let vs therfore which taste afflictions, find out our secret or o­pen sinnes, and then let vs acknow­ledge them to God, and humble our soules for them; let vs renew our co­uenants [Page 56] with God of new obedience. Yet let vs iustifie God in all his pro­ceedings against vs; and let vs say, Lord, it is thy great mercie that thou layest no greater punishment vpon me, yea it is thy mercie that I am not consumed and brought to nothing. Let vs say with Daniel, To vs belongeth nothing but shame and confusion; yea let vs say as the truth is, that hell fire and the second death is due vnto vs. By this humiliation ioyned with reso­lution of newnesse of life for time to come, we shall obtaine mercie and forgiuenesse of sinnes past, Prou. 28. 13. Secondly, we shall turne away Gods wrath and iudgements from vs for time to come, as Nineue did: and without this repentance, there is no possible escape frō Gods vengeance, but his hand will be still stretched out against vs: he will breake vs with one breaking after another, vntill we be content to breake off our finnes. If [Page 57] we will make no end of sinning, let vs neuer thinke that God will make an end of ouni [...]hing.

Fourthly, is it so, that God is the 4. Vse. author of all afflictions? Therefore this must teach vs to flie vnto God for helpe in the time of distresse. We must say with the Church in Hos. 6. 1 The Lord hath torne, and he will heale; he hath smitten, and he will binde vs vp. We must not seeke to witches or wizzards for helpe, neither must we trust in our Physitians as Asa did, in 2. Chron. 16. 12; but we must seeke to the liuing God. I speake not this, to the end we should neglect the meanes, but that we should not too much dote vpon the meanes, as it is the sinne of too many. And I speake it furthermore to this end and pur­pose, that we might be stirred vp the more feruently to seeke to God by prayer and humiliation in the time of our trouble. For it is too manifest [Page 58] how earnest we are in seeking after the meanes, while in the meane time we neglect to seeke vnto God by prayer for his helpe. We are like vn­to Rachel which cryeth (though other­wise a good woman) and saith vnto Iacob, Giue me children or else I die: not remembring that it was in God onely to giue children. And so we cry with feruency, Giue me this helpe or else I die, whereas it is the Lord one­ly which is able to helpe.

Fifthly and lastly, Do all afflictions 5. Vse. come by the prouidence of God? Then this may be matter of comfort & consolation vnto all Gods afflicted people: for certainly God will lay no other affliction vpon his Saints, but that which is for their good. God is our tender Father, and can we thinke that a tender father will giue any thing to his beloued child, but that which is good and whole some? God is our faithfull Physitian, and shall we [Page 59] thinke that a faithfull Physitian will wittingly giue any thing to his pa­tient, which may do har [...]e and not good? God is our chiefe friend, and shall we thinke that our chiefe friend will seeke our bane? Be it farre from vs so to imagine. Yea be assured of this, thou afflicted in Sion, and tossed with tempests; if God did not know and purpose to do thee good by affli­ctions, I dare be bold to say, he would neuer afflict thee. And therefore say with Christ, and that with comfort and willing subiection, The cup which my Father hath giuen me, shall I not drinke it? Ioh. 18. 11. Yea count it for matter of great ioy, that the Lord doth vouchsafe to correct you for your good: for when y [...] are iudged, ye are chastened of the Lord, that ye might not be cōdemned with the world; as the Apostle speaketh in 1. Cor. 11. 33. And thus much for the fourth do­ctrine, to wit, that all afflictions come [Page 58] [...] [Page 59] [...] [Page 60] by the prouidence of God, and by his decree and determinate purpose.

When I lie downe, I sa [...] when shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro, &c.

Whence obserue, That afflictions may be irkesome and troublesome to 5. Doctr. the very children of God. This is ma­nifest by this example of Iob. For it ap­peareth both by his words and by his gesture, how irksome his sicknesse was vnto him. The like we reade of Dauid. For how was he perplexed for the losse of his sonne Absolon: crying out in a most lamentable manner, O my sonne Absolon, my sonne, my sonne Absolon: would to God I had died for thee, ô Absolon my sonne, my sonne. The lik [...] we reade of Ieremiah in his fourth chapter, 19. verse, crying out, My bell [...]e, my bellie, I am pained at the. very heart, my heart maketh a noise in me. The like we see in Rachel, Matth. 2. 18. For, In Rama was there a voioe [Page 61] heard, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning: Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comsor­ted, because they were not. The like we see in Hezekiah, Esay 38. 14. for in his sicknesse he chattered like a crane or a swallow; yea he mourned like a doue. The like we reade of the Church in affliction, Esay 59. 11. say­ing, We roare like Beares, and mourne like doues. Yea what shall we speake of Elias, who was euen wearie of his life, by reason of the idolatry and persecu­tion in the dayes of Iesabel? 1. Kin. 19. 4. What shall we speake of Naomie who named her self Mara or bitter, in respect of her bitter afflictions? Ruth 1. 21. What should we mention Io­nas, who was exceedingly vexed and troubled, when he had no iust cause so to be? Ionas 4. 9. Yea my beloued, it befell euen to Christ himselfe to be troubled, and to be sensible of his smart. For else why doth he pray a­againe [Page 62] and againe, that the bitter cup might passe from him? Or, why doth he crie, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? and the like.

Yea, the child of God may be so sensible of his afliction, and his crosse may be so irksome vnto him, as that he may fall thereby into diuers dan­gerous temptations.

He may come to thinke that God hath forsaken him, as we see in the example of Dauid, Psal. 77. 7. 8. Will the Lord cast off for euer? will he be fa­uourable no more? Is his mercie cleane gone for euer? Doth his promise faile for euermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut vp his tender mercies? &c.

Secondly, the child of God in af­flictions, may possibly be very impa­tient, and may vtter dangerous spee­ches, as we see in the forenamed ex­ample of Ionas, I do well to be angrie. Yea, he may come to curse the day of [Page 63] his birth, with Iob and Ieremiah. Yea, he may come to haue his words swal­lowed vp that he cannot pray, Iob 6. 3.

Thirdly, the very elect may pos­sibly be comfortlesse in their afflicti­on, according to that in Esay 54. 11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Yea, they may die mourning, their gray haires may go with mourning to the graue; as Ia­c [...]b speakes of himselfe, Gen. 42. 38.

And there be great reasons why af­flictions are thus irksome to Gods children: as first, because our nature is traile and weake, our strength is not 1. Reason. the strength of stones, nor our flesh of brasse▪ as Iob speaketh, Iob 6. 12. but we are fl [...]shie bodies, and therefore very sensible of the least paines.

Secondly, the diuell doth especi­ally tempt vnto impatiencie in the 2. Reason. time of our affliction: we haue then of all other times the strongest temp­tations. [Page 64] When did Satan most tempt Iob to curse God, but in the depth of his miserie and calamitie? And there­fore it is not much to be maruelled at, if we descrie naturall frailtie and weaknesse in our brethren and sisters at such a time.

God deliuers his children to much frailtie, that in their weaknesse his 3. Reason. power might be seene. For, how ad­mirable is the power of God, in the preseruing of such a man or woman to eternall life! which oftentimes nei­ther know what they do, nor what they say. It is a great worke of God to bring any to heauen, though they pray, though they call for mercie, though they giue euidences of faith and repentance: but to bring such to heauen, which for the present cannot pray, it is a wo [...]ke rather to be admi­red then conceiued.

God also suffers his deare children to die vncomfortably for their cause 4. Reason. [Page 65] which stand by, as either for the warning of his Saints standing by, to teach them to take heede of nouri­shing corruption, lest it trouble them at the last: and to forewarne them al­so to prepare great strength against the needfull time. Or else the Lord doth it in his iustice, to be a stum­bling blocke to the wicked that stand by: that they may depart and say, Lo these are the Professours, these are the holy people, these are the run­ners to Sermons; and yet you see what ends they make: God blesse me from their profession, &c. A iust iudg­ment of God, that forasmuch as the wicked will not receiue any good by Gods people in their life time, either by their good counsell, or good ex­ample, that therefore they should receiue hurt and bane by their death.

But here some may possibly ob­iect: 1. Obiect. Doth not Christ himselfe say, that The Comforter shall remaine for [Page 66] euer with his Elect? Iohn 14. 16. Yea doth he not say further, that No man shall take away their ioy? Iohn 16. 22. Which being true, how can it possi­bly be, that the child of God hauing had at any time sound ioy, should die vncomfortably?

To this I answer, that indeed it is Answer. true, soundioy shall neuer vtterly be taken away from any elect vessell; but it is not to be denied but the sense & feeling of that ioy may be taken a­way. Though Christ was alwaies the Sonne of Gods loue, and remained for euer in his fauour, yet he was not alwayes sensible of that loue, which caused him to crie, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

If any shall obiect further, and say; 2. Obiect. Do we not reade, that the Apostles reioyced, In that they were thought wothie to suffer rebuke for Christ? Acts 5. 41. And do we not heare of those holy Martyrs in Hebr. 10. 34. who [Page 67] suffered with ioy the spoyling of their goods? Yea, do we not behold with our eyes, many Christians which de­part out of this life with much hea­uenly ioy? Therefore it may seeme, that the end of Gods children is a ioyfull end.

I answer, it is true that many Chri­stians, Answ. yea I hope the most of Gods children depart with ioy. But this is not the condition of all. There be some that go weeping to heauen, as well as there be others which go tri­umphing. There be some that are car­ried in fiery chariots with Elias, and as it were in a whirle-wind: when o­thers are carried in a more mild man­ner, or as it were in a horselitter.

If any shall obiect yet and say, Do 3. Obiect. we not reade in Psal. 37. Marke the vpright man, & behold the iust: the end of that man is peace? Therefore how is it possible that the end of the child of God should be vncomfortable?

[Page 68] It is most true, that the end of Answer. Gods children is peace, but this peace is especially obtained in the world to come; for so saith the Prophet: Peace shall come, and they shall rest in their beds, Esay 57. 2. Yea what saith our blessed Sauiour? In the world ye shall haue assliction, but be of good com­fort, I haue ouercome the world. Iohn 16. 33.

But to come to the vse and appli­cation 1. Vse. of this point: Is it so, that af­flictions may be thus troublesome and tedious to the very children of God? Then this must teach vs, not rashly to censure all such as in whom we discouer much weakenesse and signes of impatiency. For in so doing we might quickly come to condemne the generation of the righteous. Shall we iudge Iob to be an hypocrite▪ if we heare him cursing the day of his birth? God forbid. Theresore iudge not, that ye be not iudged. For with what iudge­ment [Page 69] ye iudge, ye shall be iudged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you againe, Matth. 7. 2. In stead of iudging and censuring o­ther, in this case rather learne to iudge thy selfe: thinke thus with thy selfe, when thou seest signes of impatiencie in good people, first, that surely their pangs & paines are exceeding great, for otherwise they would not thus complaine: and secondly suspect thy selfe, that if thou were in their case, and didst endure that which they en­dure, thou thy selfe wouldst be farre more impatient.

Secondly, is it so, that afflictions 2. Vse. may be thus tedious vnto the chil­dren of God? Therefore this must teach vs to be thankfull to God, when our brethren and sisters make a com­fortable end. How great cause had the sriends and kindred of holy Martyrs to praise God, when they beheld with their eyes the stedfast faith, the vn­daunted [Page 70] courage, the maruellous pa­tience which appeared in those wor­thy se [...]uants of God. And so when we behold our friends vpon their death­bed, iustifying God, condemning themselues, laying hold of saluation by Christ, giuing good instruction vnto others, and commending their spirits into the hand of their Lord which hath bought them: surely, I lay, in this case we haue great and iust cause to glorifie God. And so much the rather are we bound to be thank­full for this, because it is not giuen to all the Saints to haue this comfort at the last: but some vpon their death­beds are cōstrained with Christ Iesus to cry in the sense of their paines, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Thirdly, is it so, that afflictions may be thus tedious vnto Gods children? 3. Vse. Therefore this must teach all Christi­ans to endeuour, and that betimes, to lay the foundation of a comfortable [Page 71] death; and for this end we must ob­serue these rules.

First, we must take away the sting of death, which is sinne. There is no­thing which makes death terrible or troublesome vnto Gods child, but sinne: as for the pangs, many Christi­ans haue comfortably endured them, especially being assured of Gods fa­uour, and also priuie to themselues of a well spent life. But as for such which would not be ruled, but would still retaine a felfewill, their end hath bene cōmonly vncomfortable. There­fore my deare brother and sister, who­soeuer thou art, let my counsell be auailable with thee; cast away all thy transgressions whereby thou hast transgressed. Spare not thy bosome sins. For I say vnto thee, euery sinne which thou keepest vnmortified, doth threaten to make thy death vncom­fortable. Wherefore let vs euery day be lessening the sorrowes of death by [Page 72] our daily practise of mortification. Hast thou mortified lust, mortifie also couetousnesse: hast thou mortified couetousnesse, mortifie also pride: hast thou mortified pride, mortifie al­so rash anger: in a word, hast thou mortified some sinne, striue to morti­fie all sin. For assure thy selfe, if thou keepe any one sinne aliue, it will be bitternesse in the end.

Secondly, if we desire to make a comfortable end, we must walke faith­fully, and labor to glorifie God in our particular calling. How came Paul to finish his dayes with comfort, but by this, that he had finished his course? 2. Tim. 4. that is, he had bene care­full to accomplish the worke where­unto he was sent. For it is not suffici­ent, my welbeloued, that we obserue with diligence the workes of pietie, and that we walke faithfully in our generall calling as we are Christians, but we must also walk faithfully in our [Page 73] particular callings. It is not sufficient to seeme to be a good Christian, but we must be good Magistrats, or good maisters, or good husbands, or good wiues, or good seruants, or good chil­dren, &c. We must glorifie God in the ranke wherein God hath set vs, if euer we meane to die with sound comfort.

Thirdly, if we desire to make a comfortable end, we must be carefull to thinke of our end betimes. When sicknes and death come vnexpected, they are the more vnwelcome, they come as vnbidden guests: but if we haue seriously thought of these things before hand, and made them part of our daily meditation, then they are the lesse troublesome, and the more easily borne. Euen as a hea­uie burden, if it be throwne vpon a mans shoulders at vnawares, it is ready to breake his backe; but if he be aware of his burden, and fit himselfe to re­ceiue it, i [...] is farre more tollerable: So [Page 74] it is with death and sicknesse: if thou thinke of these things before hand, they will be farre more easie; but if thou put this euil day farre from thee, thou shalt find by wofull experience, that vnexpected death is the most bitter and terrible. Therefore let thy bed put thee dayly in minde of thy graue, and thy sleepe of thy death; let the putting off thy garments put thee in minde of laying downe this taber­nacle of thy body; yea let thy sheetes put thee in minde of thy winding sheete; and the clothes which couer thee in thy bed, put thee in minde of the earth which shall couer thee in thy graue. Thus thou shalt imitate Iob who waited all the dayes of his ap­pointed time vntil his changing came Iob 14. 14. And thus thou shalt imi­tate many deare children of God, which are taught of God thus to thinke of their mortalitie. Thus thou shalt be more and more mortified to [Page 75] the world, and thus no doubt thou shalt make thy end comfortable.

Fourthly, if we desire to make a comfortable end, we must endeuour betimes to make our calling and e­lection sure. Thus Simeon departed in peace, because his eyes had seene Gods saluation. And indeed how can we expect to die with comfort, while we are vnresolued what shall become of our soules in the world to come? And that we may make our calling and election sure, we must ob­serue these rules. First, we must be diligent hearers of Gods word; for Faith comes by hearing, as the A­postle speaketh. What is the reason that so many wauer? Is it not be­cause they are idle, and because they will not take the paines to heare so diligently, as their case requireth? Secondly, that wee may make our calling and election sure, we must frequently receiue the [Page 76] Lords Supper. What experienced Christian is there, but he is able to tell you, that the Sacrament by Gods blessing hath a notable confirming and establishing power? And there­fore those negligent Ministers are guiltie of the weaknesse of the faith of the people, in that they do not so fre­quently as they ought, administer the holy Sacrament. Thirdly, if we desire our calling and election to be made sure, then we must pray vnto God, as the Apostles did, that the Lord would increase our faith. For vnlesse Gods Spirit do testifie together with our spirit, we can neuer come to any full assurance. Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but it must be God alone which must giue the in­crease of sauing grace. Fourthly, if we would make our calling and election sure, wee must meditate often of Gods promises, and we must trie our estate by the ma [...]kes which are pe­culiar [Page 77] vnto Gods elect. Fifthly, if we would make our calling and election sure, we must be plentifull in good workes. For, whom hath God pro­mised to strengthen vpon the bed of languishing, in Psal. 41. 3. but such as consider wisely of the poore? And who are they which lay vp for them­selues a good foundation against the time to come, laying hold of eternall life, but such as are rich in good workes? 1. Tim 6. 19. Thus we see the way to a comfortable departure. God almightie giue euery one of vs grace to take this way, that so by our death we may glorifie God, bring comfort & good example to our brethren, and eternall benefit to our owne soules, and that for the merits of Iesus Christ our Lord, to whom with the blessed Father, and the holy Spirit, three most glorious persons, and one God, be ascribed, as is most due, all honour, praise and glorie, all true feare, reue­rence [Page 78] and obedience, from this time forth for euermore, Amen.

The occasion of this Sermon (as you know) was for the celebration of the funerall of that excellent seruant of God, Mistris Elizabeth Iuxon, the late faithful wife of Maister Iohn Iuxon Citizen of this famous Citie of Lon­don. And the reason which moued me to make choice of this Text ra­ther then of any other, was the re­quest of our deare sister deceassed, who vpon her death-bed called for her Bible, and turned to this portion of Scripture, and desired me to in­treate of it at her bu [...]iall. And indeed if I had bene left to mine owne free choice, I thinke I could not haue made a fitter choice of a Text in all the Bible. For the estate of Iob descri­bed in these words, doth notably an­swer to the estate of our sister.

For, were the moneths of Iob, mo­neths [Page 79] of vanitie? did they vanish a­way like smoake? did they passe away quickly like the Weauers shuttle? Euen so it was with the life of this our sister; her dayes were but few and euill; her pilgrimage here was but short; for she was not full seuen and twentie yeares old when God tooke her away, as I am informed. As it was with Henoch, because he walked with God, therefore the Lord tooke him away in his middle age: euen so it was with this worthy woman; she walked with her God, and therefore he hath now taken her vp vnto him­selfe in the midst of her dayes.

Secondly, did Iob endure a painfull and tedious griefe in his body? Euen so did this our sister; her paines were very great, her triall was a fiery triall; yea her sicknesse was not onely dolo­rous, but likewise it was long and te­dious, continuing vpon her with great extremitie for the space of a [Page 80] yeare and vpwards. God did grinde her in the mortar of his fatherly cor­rection like spice, that so she might be made the more fragrant sacrifice vnto himselfe.

Thirdly, was Iob brought by his sicknesse to the sight of the vanitie of earthly things? So was this seruant of God; she had attained an holy scorne of the contentments of this life. For when I demanded of her, whether the comelinesse of the roome where she lay, and furniture of her house did not somewhat tempt her to desire still to liue: she answered me, That nothing in the world did moue her to desire life, no not her very chil­dren, which were farre more deare vnto her, then any worldly riches whatsoeuer. So that I found she was quite dead to the world in her mind, before she was dead or depriued of life in her bodie. God grant that eue­ry one of vs may labour for the like [Page 81] grace of s [...]und mortification. For, if we be dead and crucified vnto the world, it is a good signe that we are aliue to God.

Fourthly, was griefe and smart irkesome and troublesome vnto Iob himselfe? Then it was the great mer­cie of God, to giue patience vnto this our sister in any measure. And let vs not thinke it strange if she roared and cried with paine at some times; but let vs rather feare, that if we had bene in her case, and had tasted her sorrowes, we had bene like to fall in­to greater extremitie then euer she fell. It is the propertie of a good child to crie whilest he is a beating, as well as of a bad. But here is the difference; a good child, when the smart is gone, will kisse the rod, and loue his pa­rents, and be sory for his fault; where­as a wicked child will murmure a­gainst and hate his parents. Now this our worthy sister shewed her selfe to [Page 82] be a good child; for she cried when she felt the smart: but when she had a [...]y mitigation, she condemned her i [...]patiencie, and iustified God, kis­sing [...]is rod, by shewing a very ten­der affection of loue to God, when­soeuer she thought or spoke seriously of him.

Fifthly, were these painfull nights appointed vnto Iob, not by fatall ne­cessitie, or by chance and fortune, but by the prouidence of God? Euen so it was with this our sister. For ho [...] ­so [...]uer the first occasion of her sick­nesse might seeme vnto vs to bee meerly casuall: yet the truth is, that euen casualties themselues are guided by the diuine prouidence. For (as Salomon saith) The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposition thereof is from Iehouah, Prou. 16. 33. And thus I haue declared vnto you, how fitly this text doth answer vnto this pre­sent occasion. Now may it please you [Page 83] further to consider the spirituall estate of this our sister.

And her spirituall estate shall ap­peare by a strict and serious exami­nation which she tooke of her selfe in the time of her health. It is set downe with her owne hand, and was found by her husband after her de­parture, amongst the rest of her things which she most esteemed: and for my owne part, I know them t [...] be no fables. For I knew her spirituall e­state, by siue yeares experience, liuing in the house with her. Now I thought good to make them publike, not one­ly for a due memoriall of this blessed seruant of God; but also for the com­mon good of Gods Church: as being indeed exceedingly importuned by good people thereunto. If you de­sire to reape benefite by the markes, reade them not as a bare report or commendation of the partie deceas­sed; but duly obserue euery marke [Page 84] what it importeth; and next, obserue in what manner it was found in this worthy woman: thirdly, weigh well the places of Scripture which are al­ledged to proue the Markes to be pe­culiar to Gods elect: and lastly, exa­mine whether thou findest these signes in thy selfe or no; for this is the way to benefit by them.

The Markes which this our sister found to be wrought in her, by Gods holy Spirit, are many: I will reduce them to as few heads as I can, for the helpe of your memorie: I will not adde any thing aboue the sence of that which she hath written; onely it shall be my endeuour to bring that which she hath written, into distinct order for better capacitie, and to de­clare vnto you my owne particular knowledge conc [...]rning her estate. And the Markes are these following, being noted in the small letters for di­stinction. And behold, she that [Page 85] is dead, shall yet speake vnto you.

The first Marke.

First, I desire to be exercised in the word day and night: and I finde a wil­ling receiuing of Gods commandements, they are not grieuous.

And that this precious signe was in this worthy woman, let her pra­ctise shew it. To my knowledge, when she was in the Citie, she heard for the most part, nine or ten Sermons euery weeke; whereof foure of them con­stantly vpon the Sabbath day, besides catechizing. Also, she read daily morning and euening some part of the Scripture, from the beginning of the Bible vnto the end thereof. And she did not reade the Scripture as many do, in haste, but with serious consideration, application, and me­ditation. Moreouer, Gods comman­dements were not grieuous vnto her, [Page 86] but she obeyed them with cheareful­nesse. I neuer made any motion vnto her for any that were in distresse, but as soone as she heard it, she obeyed. Yea, the word was so farre from being grieuous, as that it was more sweete then the hony and the hony combe, (as she acknowledged.) Yea she slept e­uerie night with this meate in her mouth: the word being her last me­ditations in the night, and her first thoughts in the morning.

And this constant meditation of Gods word, is giuen as an infallible marke of a blessed person in Psal. 1. In that Law will he meditate day and night. And if this be a signe in any, then much more in this good Chri­stian. For indeed, vntill it pleased God to conuert her soule (which was about siue yeares ago) she walked according to the course of the world, and maruelled (as she her selfe con­fessed) what people meant to runne [Page 87] dragling to Sermons. But the Lord changed her mind, and then I thinke she ran as fast to Sermons as the rest of her brethren and sisters; I meane as the rest of Gods deare Saints and children.

The second Marke.

The word worketh in me a redresse of my wayes.

And that this signe was in this worthy woman, it was euident vnto me, who was made throughly ac­quainted, by her voluntary confessi­on, with her estate. She acknowled­ged vnto me after her conuersion, how vaine her course had bin in for­mer times. Yea she concealed not from me the greatest sinnes that euer she committed in all her life time. And therefore I saw with mine eyes, what an admirable redresse of wayes the word and Spirit of God had [Page 88] wrought in h [...]. Now brethren, when the word of God workes a through and effectuall redresse, it is an eui­dent signe of an happie estate & con­dition. For the word worketh effe­ctually in none but in such which do beleeue: as we gather out of the words of the Apostle in 1. Thess. 2. 13.

The third Marke.

I find a respect to all the commande­ments of God, desiring to obey in the least commandement as well as in the grea­test; I find a willingnesse to obey against profit, pleasure, credite, ease, libertie, and the liking of carnall friends.

And that this signe was in this worthy Christian, it is also euident. She hath desired to obey in the least, and much more in the greatest com­mandements. She, for her part, made conscience, as well of litle oaths [Page 89] as of great; of deceiuing in a shilling, as well as in a pound; of the lust of the eye, as well as of the act of vn­cleanenesse; of words, as well as of deedes; and of thoughts, as well as of outward practises. This was manifest vnto me by her complaints against herselfe, in such things as a carnall hypocrite would haue esteemed but motes, whereas she esteemed them beames. And that she had a willing­nesse to obey against profit, it is like­wise euident; for she was an especiall meanes to perswade her husband, not to incomber himselfe with too much worldly imployment, but rather to content himselfe with lesse worldly gaine, and to redeeme time for hea­ring Gods word, and for other holy occasions. Secondly, she obeyed a­gainst pleasure; for whereas she had wont to seeke her bodily recreation vpon the Sabbath day, in walking vp and downe, in sitting at her gate, in [Page 90] talking of worldly matters, and such like: now she was growne so deuout and pious, as that she made consci­ence to expell worldly thoughts vp­pon the Lords day, as appeared by many godly questions, from time to time put forth vnto me by her. Thirdly, she obeyed against credite; for whereas in her carnall estate, her carnall neighbours respected her; af­terwards, when they obserued this godly change in her, they ceassed to giue her that respect which was due vnto her; yea indeed they enuyed, hated, and neglected her. Fourthly, that she obeyed against libertie and ease, it was also manifest; for where­as in her carnall estate she could take libertie to keepe her bed vpon the Sabbath day till eight of the clocke, now in her spirituall estate, she could afford to rise by fiue a clocke in the morning, and that in the cold win­ter, and when she was with child, and [Page 91] to go to the Lecture in the citie at six a clocke; and this she did constantly. Fifthly, that she obeyed against the liking of carnall friends, it was also plaine: for they stormed against her for these godly courses, and did not spare to tell her, That if she thus pro­ceeded, she would vtterly vndo her selfe, and ouerthrow her estate: and yet, against all these pull-backes, she held on her godly course vnto the end.

And know this my deare brethren, that there is no surer euidence of a good estate then vniuersall obedi­ence. What was it that confirmed the estate of Zachary and Elizabeth to be a blessed and happie estate, but this, in that they walked in all the com­mandements of God, without rebuke? Luke 1. 6.

The fourth signe or Marke.

I find feruencie and frequencie in prayer, in secret.

Concerning the feruency of this good woman in prayer, and that in se­cret, I my selfe haue bene an eare wit­nesse, for I haue heard her pray when she was not aware of me. And for her frequencie, the family are not ig­norant how exactly she kept and ob­serued her religious houres in pri­uate. There is no hungrie person doth more duely obserue his meale­times, then this faithfull person ob­serued her times for prayer and rea­ding.

And who will not easily acknow­ledge, that the true spirit of prayer is a notable signe of a blessed estate? For God doth powre the spirit of prayer vpon none, but vpon such vpon whom also he powreth the spirit of grace, Zach. 12. 10. And what saith [Page 93] blessed Paul? Whosoeuer shall call vpon the name of the Lord, shall be saued, Rom. 10. 13. Yea what saith Christ himselfe? Matth. 6. 6. Pray vnto thy Father in secret, and the Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

The fift Marke.

I find a striuing against the most se­cret corruptions of nature; I bewaile my transgressions against the inward wor­ship of God, as well as against the out­ward; I bewaile the hardnesse of mine heart, and mourne because I cannot mourne as I ought.

How exceedingly this holy Chri­stian did bewaile her failings against the inward worship of God, I was not ignorant: for many a time hath she complained vnto me, what di­stractions she hath found in prayer, and in the hearing of Gods word. [Page 94] Yea she obserued the subtiltie of Sa­tan, how he would thrust other good motions and meditations vpon her vnseasonably, of purpose to hinder her in her present holy businesse: and moreouer, mine eares were continu­ally filled with her complaints in re­spect of hardnesse of heart, and with her mourning because she could not mourne as she ought. And that she had a striuing against the most secret corruptions, it was likewise apparent vnto me, which was made acquain­ted with her spirituall estate: for it was her godly care still to be instructed how she might cast out and resist e­uill motions, groning and sighing vnder them, as vnder a most vncom­fortable, heauie, and intollerable bur­den.

Now what greater signe is there of a good and gracious estate, then to be sensible of the combat of the spi­rit against the flesh? What greater e­uidence [Page 95] was there that Paul was now a regenerate person, then this, to wit, that he found this striuing in his heart, and that he was sensible of the law of his minde resisting the law of sinne which was in his members? Rom. 7. 23. What greater signe was there that Rebeccha was conceiued with child, then when she felt such a struggling within her selfe betweene the chil­dren, as she neuer felt before? So what greater euidence that we are concei­ued of Christ, then when we feele him sensibly st [...]uggling in vs against the old Adam?

The sixt Marke.

I find a dislike of sinne in all, euen in them that are most deare vnto me.

This marke I know to haue bene in this worthy woman: she grieued for sinne in kindred, in familiar ac­quaintance, in seruants, in children. [Page 96] Yea she grieued for the very appea­rance of euill, as when she saw that some walked not wisely in the vse of Christian libertie, as in the vse of re­creations and such like. And much more did she grieue for the common swearing in the land, for Sabbath­breaking, for whoredome which is so ordinary, and for all such abhomina­tions.

Now to grieue for the abhomina­tions of the time, is an vndoubted signe of a good and happie estate. For whom doth God set his marke vpon for his owne, Ezech 9. 4. but vpon such as sigh and crie for the abhomi­nations of Ierusalem?

The seuenth Marke.

I desire to stirre vp mine affection after God, and to auoide what might steale away mine heart from him, delighting in all the wayes whereby [Page 97] mine heart might be inflamed towards him.

This marke was apparently in this our sister by these signes. She feared both the company and doctrine of such Ministers, as she perceiued would giue her too much liberty. She was likewise best pleased in the grea­test strictnesse, so that it were not cu­rious but commanded of God. She maintained in her selfe a godly iealo­sie, lest that riches and worldly con­tentments should lessen her affection to Christ. She was fearefull to lose any part or dram of her first loue. She delighted most in such conference, both at her table, and in company, which sauoured of religion: it was her griefe to heare some how they would spend their precious time in frothie discourfe, preferring trifles and toyes before such speech as might haue mi­nistred grace to the hearers. So that it [Page 98] was euident, that she delighted in such wayes whereby her heart might be inflamed to loue God. Yea I do sup­pose, that her inner man was come to that degree of loue and zeale, that she desired to heare no other noyse but the noyse of Gods word, nor any other knocking but the knocking of Gods Spirit at the doore of the heart. She found that want of Gods word publickly preached in the time of her long sicknesse, as that she resolued, if God would giue her but so much strength to endure to be carried in a chaire to the Church, she would desi­rously go.

Now what surer signe is there of a blessed estate, then sincere inflamed loue to God? The Lord promiseth to shew mercy vnto thousands of them which loue him, and keepe his com­mandements, Exod. 20.

The eight Marke.

I find an holy rest and quietnesse of conscience, with spirituall boldnesse, and confidence of trust in God sometimes.

She found that degree of spiri­tuall boldnesse to my knowledge at some times, as that in her perfect health she hath desired to be dissol­ued, that she might not liue to haue that confidence weakened. She ac­knowledged vnto me in the middest of many temptations vpon her death­bed, that the Lord had freed her heart from bellish feares, and that she found much peace. Yea not many dayes before her departure out of this life, she made a very excellent sensible acknowledgement of the goodnesse of God vnto her, and how she knew that it should be well with her after this life ended; blessing God withall for the benefit which she had receiued by the Ministerie of the [Page 100] Word, and exhorting her kinred and friends which were about her, that they should be carefull to heare Ser­mons, and to meditate of them. Yea she did so speake with that euidence of Spirit, as that she drew teares from them which heard her at that time.

Now what more euident marke is there of a true Christian, then a sound faith? what surer testimony then the testimony of Gods owne Spirit bea­ring witnesse with our spirits that we are the children of God? Rom. 8. 16. Now indeed this our deare sister did not feele this full assurance at all times, but she groned many a time vnder the sence of much vnbeleefe. But what experienced Christian doth not sufficiently know, that the deare children of God are subiect to these pangs? in so much that we say, That surely that man or woman neuer be­leeued aright which neuer doubted. But my deare brethren remembe the [Page 101] estate of that good father in Marke 9. 24. No sooner did he beleeue, but presently he was made sensible of his vnbeleefe. For thus he cries with teares, Lord I beleeue, helpe my vn­beleefe.

The ninth Marke.

I find a desire of the practise of mor­tification of sinnes past and present. There is no sinne but I could willingly iudge my selfe for it, so soone as I know it to be a sinne.

This holy feruant of God, she was come to that degree of mortification vnto her especiall sinnes, that she did not onely quite forsake the practise of them, but also she lothed them in­wardly, and confessed to the glory of God, that she found her selfe quite dead to the least pleasing motion tending that way. And her especiall sinne hauing bene the abusing of [Page 102] things lawfull, she came so farre to be mortified, as that she was tempted to abhorre euen the lawfull vse. She was inclined not onely to an holy re­uenge vpon her selfe, but euen to exceed in that reuenge and selfe­iudging.

Now what greater argument is there of our spirituall rising with Christ, then if we mortifie our earth­ly members? Coloss. 3. 1. 5. and what greater signe that we shall escape the iudgement of God, then if we iudge our selues? 1. Cor. 11. 31.

The tenth Marke.

I loue all Gods children, and that for the truths sake: I esteeme them the onely excel [...]nt people in the world.

She loued poore Christians as well as the rich, to my knowledge; she pre­ferred them before rich kindred. She loued them meerly sor their graces, [Page 103] and not for worldly respects. For in­deed she was a giuer, and not a recei­uer. So that it was not with our sister as it is with the children of this world, which speake euill of all such as will not runne with them to the same ex­cesse of riot. She was farre from con­temning of Gods deare children, vn­der a colour as though they were Pu­ritans and Precisians, and irregular persons, or the like. But she iudged as Dauid did in Psal. 16. that those that feared God, and were endued with grace, they were the Excellent ones. All that she hated in them was their corruptions, which they themselues also hate.

Now whosoeuer they be which haue their hearts sincerely seasoned with true Christian loue, it is an eui­dent signe that they are the children of God. For as the Apostle speaketh, Euery one which loueth, is borne of God, and knoweth God, 1. Ioh. 4. 5. 7. And [Page 104] againe he saith, in the 16. verse of the same Chapter, He that dwelleth in loue, dwelleth in God, and God in him.

The eleuenth Marke.

I desire after puritie, and to be holy as God is holy.

This our Christian sister laboured against all impuritie both of flesh and spirit: the least secret impure motion did much vexe her, as appeared by her feeling complaints. And as for holinesse, I am perswaded she affe­cted it farre aboue saluation: for what was still her especiall request? euen this, that God would be pleased to giue her a more holy heart. And Moreouer, the more holily that any minister preached, the more was she delighted to heare him. The more holily that any one conferred, or prayed, gaue thankes, the more heartily she shewed her zeale in say­ing [Page 105] Amen. And indeed, as for Ser­mons, and prayers, and thanksgiuing, which seemed to be very eloquent, if there was not some holy zeale in them, they were but a burden vn­to her. Yea shee stood so affected vnto holinesse, as that sometimes walking in her hall vpon the Sabbath day, and conferring of Gods word, she hath heartily desired, neuer to go againe into the world, but if it were the will of God, that shee might spend all her dayes in that blessed fellowship with God. And yet she was none of those that liued inor­dinately or idlely, who liuing by the sweate of other mens browes, vnder the colour of giuing themselues vn­to holinesse, do altogether neglect or cast off their particular callings, es­pecially if they be any thing painfull. But she thus spoke, being carefull of that holy condition, If it might stand with the will of [...]od.

[Page 106] By these symptomes and signes, we may see how this our sister stood affected for holinesse. And what greater signe is there of a true child of God, then holinesse? Be ye sure, saith Dauid in Psalme 4. that God hath chosen to himselfe a godly man. And Saints or holy persons, is one of the names which is giuen of God vnto his children in the holy Scriptures, as you are not ignorant.

The twelfth Marke.

I desire to be good at home as well as abroad, in absence of others as well as in presence, in secret as well as openly.

Concerning the domestical good­nesse of this our sister, we had suffici­ent knowledge: for we dayly beheld her Christian practise. And how con­stant she was in her holy courses in our absence, I haue bene sufficiently [Page 107] informed by others which were in the family. She had attained that de­gree of sinceritie, as that her studie was to hide her graces, at least so farre as grace could be hid. For you know that grace is like sweete oile, it will vt­ter it selfe in the sweete sauour whe­ther the Apothecary will or no. Fear­full she was lest any should thinke more to be in her, then she thought to be in her selfe. She hated vaine shewes; she could not brooke those that would publikly make shew of more then was manifest by their priuate practise, was in them.

Yea vpon her death bed she affir­med, that she had nothing in her selfe to comfort her but poore sinceri­tie. She knew that howsoeuer she had walked weakly before God, yet she had walked sincerely. Another argu­ment of her sinceritie was this, in that she desired her estate to be throughly sifted both in health and in sicknesse. [Page 108] And to that end, in health she repai­red to godly Ministers for the triall of her estate; and also in sicknesse she de­sired the iudgements of more then of one Minister, that she might know the very truth of her estate. Yea she desired to heare of her sinnes, and to that end desired me, either in my owne person, or by some other good Minister, to preach a Sermon of the cursed estate of man by nature, and of the vttermost terrours of the Law against sinne; that so her stonie heart might be more and more broken: and for that paines she would haue giuen me or any other Minister of Christ, which would haue made the Sermon, a large reward in gold.

Now what greater signe is there of a good estate, then is sinceritie? What greater euidence was there of Dauids blessed estate then this, to wit, that he walked in the vprightnesse of his heart in the midst of his house? Psal. 101. 2.

The thirteenth Marke.

I can pray for mine enemies, and humble my soule for them in their di­stresse; I will be at peace with them with­out reuenge, I can forbeare them, when I could bring them to shame.

That this seruant of God could pray for her enemies, and humble her soule in their distresse, we may well beleeue it if she auouch it: for great was her truth in speech, and through­ly tried. I do not denie but she might sometimes report an vntruth, as re­ceiuing it by report from others whom she beleeued: But to speake a lie, or to speake against her owne knowledge, to wrong any, or aduan­tage her selfe, it was farre from her. Againe, that she would be at peace with her enemies, without reuenge, and without seeking their shame, it was manifest. For when some had ex­ceedingly [Page 110] wronged her by their slan­derous tongues, after she had con­ferred with me, what I thought she might do with a good conscience in such a case; she was content to sit downe vnder the wrong, being per­swaded that God would cleare her innocencie as the light at noone day. And this was the more excellent pa­tience in this our godly sister, be­cause indeed by nature she was ve­rie cholericke, and subiect to pas­sions.

And what greater euidence is there of a good estate, then to forgiue our enemies? For Christ him selfe hath said, that If we forgiue men their tres­passes, our heauenly Father will for giue us our trespasses, Math. 6. 14.

The fourteenth Maarke.

I finde a willingnesse, to suffer any thing for God, by his assistance.

[Page 111] She was content (for the present) to endure the hatred of the world for her profession sake, to endure the persecution of the tongue, and the taunts of carnall friends. And these sufferings she did not much respect. Nay further, she was very mindfull of the fiery triall which might come vpon vs: and she for her part looked for it, and prepared for it. Yea, she was minded rather to burne at a stake, then euer to yeeld vnto Poperie, or to betray the truth of the Gospell. And in these godly resolutions, she did not trust in any sort to her owne strength, but was very iealous how she should be able to endure the fire: Oh said she, how shall I endure to be drawne vpon an hurdle vnder Newgate, and to be bound vnto a stake, to suffer the violence of the fire? &c. But yet she still was com­forted with this, namely, that God was able to cause her to stand.

[Page 112] And what greater signe is there of a sound estate, then when it is giuen vnto vs, not onely to beleeue in the behalfe of Christ, but also to suffer for his sake? Phil. 1. 29.

The fifteenth Marke.

I desire to deale faithfully in the charge and calling in which I am, and to dis­charge it in the conscionable feare of God.

This our sister was not onely faith­full in her generall calling, but also in her particular. For first, she was a very faithfull wife, her very desire was subiect to her husband. I am per­swaded, that if her husband had commanded her to dothe vilest drud­gerie about the house, she durst not haue refused, in verie conscience of Gods Law. And moreouer, where­as in her carnal estate, it was her com­mon [Page 113] practise to put forth her chil­dren to be nursed abroad, according to the practise of the proud women in our times: when the Law of God beganne to be written in her heart, she durst no longer nurse her chil­dren abroad, but tooke paines to nurse them with her owne breasts. Againe, she did most diligently o­uersee the wayes of her family: and she eate not the bread of idlenesse, but still she employed her selfe in some commendable employment. And as for her children and seruants, she did diligently instruct them in good wayes. She was grieued at a­ny prophanenesse found in them: she mourned for them: she prayed for them; she pitied their estate: and as for the soule of her louing and kind husband, she had an especiall care.

Now it is an especiall ma [...]ke of a true conuert, to be found faithfull in the particular calling. As we see it [Page 114] is giuen by Paul as an euidence of the truth of the conuersion of Onesimus, that now he was become profitable vn­to his maister, Philem. 11.

The sixteenth Marke.

I desire to glorifie God by a fruitfull profession.

The faith of this our sister was no dead faith. To my knowledge she was exceeding fruitfull in good workes. What money she had of her owne in the time of her health, she distributed it freely, partly to poore Preachers about this Citie, partly also to poore Christians. She was like vn­to Dorcas, she made garments, and that both woollen and linnen, & gaue them vnto poore Christians, and to their children. She was a friend of the fatherlesse and of the widow: and what she had not of her owne [Page 115] to releeue Gods poore, she intrea­ted her husband to supply. Yea, she was a very patronesse for such as were in distresse; she was a blessed instru­ment to stirre vp her willing husband to many secret gifts, and bountifull almes-deedes, especially vnto them which were of the houshold of faith. To my knowledge she hath giuen gold and siluer plentifully, to some more, and to some lesse. And a­mongst the rest of her charitable workes, I remember that she gaue to the Minister which was the means (vnder God) of her conuersion (as she supposed:) She gaue, I say, vnto him, by the consent of her husband, the summe of fiftie pounds, besides a large portion which she begged of her husband to be distributed after her death vnto charitable vses. The sicke had cause to blesse God for her in her health, for she visited them with meate, with bodily presence, [Page 116] with necessarie helpe both by her selfe and by her maides. And many that enioy health, haue great cause to blesse God for her in her death, in respect of her liberall gifts. And for mine owne part I haue especiall cause to blesse God in her life and in her death; for a most kind mother and nurse she was vnto me.

Now this fruitfulnesse did argue the goodnesse of the Tree; for how doth a Christian shew his faith, but by his workes? And the Lord (as you know) promiseth a Prophets re­ward vnto such as do good vnto his members, Matth. 10. 42. Yea, at the day of iudgement Christ will say vn­to all such fruitfull ones, Come vnto me, ye blessed of my Father, inherite the kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gaue me meate: I was thirstie, and ye gaue me drinke: I was a stranger, and ye tooke me in: naked, [Page 117] and ye clothed me: I was sicke, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came vnto me.

The seuenteenth Marke.

I find a daily holy strife to preserue graces giuen vnto me, and to preuent falling away.

She continued faithfull to the end in the most substantiall graces. For howsoeuer shee mourned for the want of that degree of ioy which she had felt in former times, yet she con­tinued in repentance, in the practise of holinesse and righteousnesse, in a tender loue to God, and to his word and children, in holy zeale, and fruit­fulnesse euen to the last period of her dayes. And indeed her want of full ioy was so sanctified vnto her, that it was a furtherance to a better grace, namely to repentance and selfe-de­niall, and base esteeme of her selfe. [Page 118] And I call repentance a better grace then ioy, because howsoeuer ioy is a most excellent gift of the Spirit, yet vnto vs repentance is more profita­ble. For I make no doubt but that a mourning Christian may be saued without rauishing ioy, & that Christ may wipe away his teares in heauen; but no Christian shall be saued with­out repentance and selfe deniall.

Now constancie and perseuerance in a good and holy course, is an vn­doubted argument of a blessed and happie estate; as doth appeare by the words of our blessed Sauiour him­selfe, Marth. 10. 22. He that endureth to the end, shall be saued: and Reuel. 2. 10. Be thou faithfull to the death, and I will giue thee a crowne of life.

The eighteenth Marke.

I find an vniuersall change in my selfe, from that which I [...]ue bene in former times.

[Page 119] This marke and the two following, I propounded vnto her vpon her death-bed; which I mention now be­cause they are as vseful for the church as the former markes which I found n [...]ted in her paper. And that this signe was in our sister as well as the former, it was euident. For there was a maruellous change, wrought in her mind and vnderstanding. She that before knew not the right hand from the left in religion, she was growne to a very great vnderstanding in so much that she was able both to speak diuinely, to instruct her seruants and children, and to write letters in the very language of Canaan with great sufficiency.

Secondly, she found a change in her will and affections. For she that was dead before vnto any sound pie­tie, now she was reuiued aboue all things to affect and to seeke Gods kingdome.

[Page 120] Thirdly, there was an euident change in her life and conuersation; this we all knew which knew her, and can testifie.

Now wheresoeuer this vniuersall change is, from darknesse to light, from euill to good, from the power of Satan to God; it is an euident signe of effectuall calling; and effe­ctuall calling is an vndoubted signe of election. 2. Cor. 5. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.

The nineteenth Marke.

I find an vtter deniall of myselfe, I know that in me, that is, in myflesh, abi­deth nothing which is good.

This blessed seruant of God had attained a great measure of selfe de­niall. She groned long vnder the bur­then of the feeling of spirituall wants.

[Page 121] She admired any ones graces saue her owne: she lothed her own prayers for want of sufficiency and zeale: she was alwayes cōplaining for the most part of her spirituall wants. She was brought to plaine nothing in her owne eyes. She esteemed herselfe to be poore, yea to be a plaine begger in grace, as all those knew which knew her throughly.

Now my beloued, what greater signe is there of a true disciple, then selfe deniall? What greater signe of a safe estate, then spirituall pouerty, felt and groned vnder? For what saith our blessed Sauiour? Matth. 5. 3. Blessed are the poore in spirit, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen. Yea whosoeuer do loathe themselues for their iniqui­ties, and much more for their spiri­tuall wants, and for the euill of their good workes, it is euident that they are in the couenant of mercy, Ezek. 36. 31.

The twentieth Marke.

I find mine heart inclined to seeke after God and Christ in the vse of diuine ordinances with feruency.

This signe our sister acknowledged vpon her death bed also; for when I demanded of her in the sence of her present wants, whether her cōscience did not testifie with her, that in her health she had zealously sought after God: She made me answer, That her chamber, and closet, and orchard, and garden, and watergate, and turret, and euery corner could testifie that she had dearely and earnestly sought af­ter God. Yea out of that knowledge & experience, which I had of the holy courses of this sanctified woman, I may well say, that it was with this wo­man in some measure as it was with Dauid, Psal. 42. As the Hart panteth after the water brookes, so panted her soule after thee ó God.

[Page 123] Now where there is giuen this strong affection after God, the af­fection being constant, and also ioy­ned with a feruent vse of the meanes, it is an euident signe of a bless [...]d estate. For blessed are they which hun­ger and thirst after righteousnesse, for they shall be satisfied, Matth. 5. 6.

Thus I haue for the common good set out vnto you the markes and eui­dences of a blessed woman. I haue spoken that which I knew in her. And the vses which I would haue you to make of that which hath bene spoken are these. First, giue thanks vnto God for his wonderfull worke vpon our sister. Secondly, learne henceforth not to iudge of Christians by the out­ward appearance. For it may be, ma­ny which did not so throughly know her, would not haue thought that she had bene so rare a woman. Thirdly, learne not to enuie the good name or praise of others, but learne to be of [Page 124] Salomons mind, Pro. 31. 31: where spea­king of a good woman he saith, Giue her the fruite of her hands, let her owne works praise her in the gates. Fourthly, examine thine owne estate by these markes, and that by weighing euery particular signe, with the explanation and confirmation of the same. Fiftly, pray vnto God that thou maist finde them in thy selfe. Sixtly, if thou doest find them in thee vpō diligent search, then see thou be thankful to God, the giuer of all grace: and say with Dauid, Psal 16. 6. The lines are fallen vnto me in pleasant places, I haue a goodly heri­tage. Yea say with him in Psal. 23▪ 4. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will feare none euill. The which childlike boldnesse, and holy confidence, God Almighty giue vnto vs all, and preserue in vs vnto the end, and that for Christ Iesus sake, our onely Lord and Sauiour, Amen.


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