THE CHRISTIAN ARMORIE: WHEREIN IS CONTAINED ALL manner of spirituall munition, fit for secure Christians to arme themselues withall against Satans assaults, and all other kind of crosses, temptations, trou­bles, and afflictions: CONTRIVED IN TWO Bookes, and handled pithily and plainly by way of Questions and Answers: BY THOMAS DRAXE, Bachelar in Diuinitie. Hereunto is adioined a Table of all the principall heads and branches comprised in each Chapter of the whole Treatise.

EPHES. 6.13.

Take vnto you the whole armor of God, that yee may be able to resist in the euill day; and hauing finished all things, to stand fast.

¶ Imprinted at London by William Hall, for Iohn Stepneth, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of S. Paul, at the West end of Pauls Church. 1611.

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not perpetual, and they in the mea [...]time, are not exempted frō all euils▪ And what if in the greatest danger: some Iosephs, some Daniels, and some Hesters, are both fauoured and ad­uanced? yet this is very rare and ex­traordinarie. Therfore it behooued euery seruant of God, while she hat [...] time and meanes, to prepare an [...] arme himselfe against all future e­uents and temptations; and for th [...] end to put on the girdle of constan­cie; and in the truth, to bee ready to confesse the Gospell of peace; to take vnto himselfe the Shield of faith tri­umphant in Christ; to couer his head with the hope of saluation in­stead of an helmet; and with the sword of the spirit .i. with testimonies of the scriptures, to offend and foile these spirituall Amalekites: and here­unto to adioyne feruent and conti­nuall prayers, without which all this spirituall armour will little auaile. Thus doing, hee shall find light in darknes, consolation in tribulation, [Page] power in weakenesse, and in all his trials, he shall bee more then a tri­umpher in Christ. And for his fur­ther encouragement, let him remē ­ber, that in this warfare, the Lord Ie­sus is the Generall; godly Kings and Princes the Coronels; the Nobles, Iudges, and Iustices, are the Cap­taines; the Ministers of the Church, the Trumpetters and Centinels; the Angels the assistants; God the Iudge, and Rewarder; and eternall glory, the monument & trophy of triumph. This preparation being so necessary, and the comforts so needfull, and so a­bundantlie set forth in the sacred scriptures; I haue (according to my mediocrity) from thence chiefly, borrowed my spirituall armorie, and haue reduced and contriued the whole doctrine of it, into certaine chapters and pithy grounds & pro­positions. And to the intent, that the Church of God should find cō ­fort and profit by it, I thought good to publish it. And because you (most [Page] excellent Lady) are the Phoenix o [...] your sexe, a glorious starre in our fir­mament, and so ful of princely piety, vertue and clemency; I haue presu­med to offer these my labours to your Graces view, and to commend them to your Graces patronage. For wherein should so noble a Lady in her young and flourishing yeares, more labour to excell, then to bee a conqueresse ouer sinne and satan? For such holie beginnings, cannot but bring forth blessed conclusions.

Vouchsafe therefore (most grati­ous Lady) to pardon my bold enter­prise, and to shelter these my medi­tations vnder the wings of your Graces fauour. In humble desire, and comfortable expectation whereof, I commit your Grace to the blessed gouernement of the highest Maiesty. Couentry, March 30. 1611.

Your Graces ready to be comman­ded in all duty and seruice, THOMAS DRAXE.

THE CHRI­stian Armorie.

CHAP. I. Of Mans offence and fall.


HOw came man, that was ori­ginally, and by his first cre­ation, so honourable, holy and happy, to be so sinnefull, vile, and miserable?


By reason of sinne and the transgres­sion of Gods commaundement,1. Ioh. 3.4. Rom. 5.14. where­by he fell away from God, and lost his, former dignity, holinesse, and happines. Rom. 3.23.

[Page 2] Q. What is sinne?

A. It is [...], the breach of Gods law; or, it is a declination, reuolt, and apostasie from the loue,1. Ioh. 3.8. nature, commu­nion, and will of God. Eph. 4. v. 18.

Q. Who is the subiect (or continent) of sinne?

A. The reasonable creature, that is, many of the Angels,Iud. 6. (for they kept not their first estate and purity) and man­kind vniuersally,1. Cor. 15.21.22. no man excepted: for all men haue sinned, and are depriued of the glory of God. Rom. 3.23.

Q. Who is the author, or committe [...] of sinne?

1. Io. 1. v. 5. A. Not God; for hee is holinesse it selfe, and there is in him no darknes, nor sinne at all; for he doth not commaund nor commend, much lesse, instil and sug­gest sinne, but condemne and punish it, as that which is most aduerse and con­trary to his owne will and word: but man onely, who in mind, will, and affe­ctions is wholy corrupted with sinne, & by this meanes is become a vassall of Satan,Eph. 2. v. 2. and guilty of euerlasting dam­nation.

Q. Jnto how many kinds is sinne di­uided and distinguished?

[Page 3] A. Into two kinds principally, name­lie, that poisonfull corruption wherein man is conceiued, and borne, which we call, Originall sinne; and that offence of action, which we terme, Actuall trans­gression.

Q. What is Originall sinne?

A. It is the leprous,Psal. 51.5. Gen. 8.21. Ioh 5 2. Gen. 6. v. 5. contagious, & pestilent infection of nature, or an he­reditary and naturall corruption, which is successiuely by carnall generation de­riued and conueied from Adam the roote and common beginning of all mankind, vnto all his posterity.

Q By what names and epithetes is it called in the scriptures?

A. Amongst others,Rom. 8.6. these are speciall names of it. First, it is called sinne (ab­solutely) because it is the fountaine of al sinnes.

Secondly, it is termed The body of Sinne, c. 7. v. 13 because all sinnes are included in it, and (as it were) in league with it; for vpon occasion offered they breake out.

Thirdly, it is named, The Law of the members, because of the dominion of it, in,c. 7. and ouer all our members: for all the parts and powers of our bodies, and soules, before regeneration obey it as a [Page 4] law, and it is intituled Rebellion in our members, because it doth by a continuall practise striue and rebell against the law of God.

Lastly, it hath the denomination of Flesh, Rom. 6.6. Iam. 1. v. 15. Gen. 6.3. of the old Adam, and of Concupiscence, which is an euill and inordinate desire and inclination.

Q. What are the maine parts of ori­ginall corruption?

A. Two: first losse and want of the first and originall holines in the whole man: Secondly, the presence of euill; or, a contagion and distempered disposi­tion of all the parts and powers of soule and body.

Q. What are the causes of originall sinne?

A. Thrée; the one inward, and the o­ther two outward.

Q. What is the inward cause of it?

A. The very law of nature, passing originally, and conueied by carnall gene­ration from one person to another.

Q. What are the outward causes of it?

A. Two: First, the actuall sinne of Adam and Eue, the first instruments & [Page 5] foundation of mans nature. Secondly, Gods iustice, imputing the transgressi­on of our first parents to al their ofspring and posterity.

Q. Doth originall sinne, or concupis­cence remaine in the regenerate?

A. Yes: for though the guilt and do­minion of it be taken away, (for Christ through his bloudy sufferings so hinde­reth the force and power of it, that it can­not condemne, and by his spirit so lesse­neth and mortifieth it,Rom. 7.17 that it cannot ty­rannize, nor dominere ouer them,) yet the corruption doth and will remaine in them vntill death, and hereupon it is cal­led sinne dwelling (but not raigning) in the godly.

Q. Why will God haue originall con­cupiscence to dwel and remaine in those that are iustified and sanctified?

A. First, that they should the better perceiue and feele the efficacy of grace, and of the spirit of Christ, who though he suffer this enemie to dwell in them, yet hee doth so kéepe vnder, and captiuate him in them, that he cannot raign in thē, nor destroy them.

Secondly, that they should find, and certainely know, that they can by no o­ther [Page 6] meanes be iustified in Gods sight, then by Christs perfect obedience appre­hended of them by faith alone.Rom. 3. v. 24.

Lastly, God will haue them (for their exercise) to haue an enemie vnto their dying day, with whom they may al­waies fight and combate, and whom by the grace of Christ they might foile in fight,Apoc. 3.4. 1. Tim. 4.8. and by foiling they might procure to themselues the greater Crowne of glory.

Q. What vse are we to make of Ori­ginall sinne?

Ans. First, we must diligently mark and obserue the motions & suggestions of it, whether arising from within vs, or occasioned and caused from without vs; and then we must not be glad, but grieue at them; neither cherish, but rather kill and crucifie them. Let vs therefore keepe this enemy from virtuals, and cherish and strengthen the spirit against him: and let vs watch and warily espie in what part hee assaieth to make a sallie and to assault vs, and there let vs by the contrary weapons resist him. Lastly, let vs alwaies flee vnto the throne of grace, through Iesus Christ▪ & we shall be releeued and rescued, and in the end glo­riously [Page 7] deliuered.

Q. What was Adams fall?

A. A voluntary transgression of the first law and order that God ordained, whereby he fell alway from God, lost his image, and betaine a slaue to sinne and Satan, and so exposed himselfe and all (that were to bee borne of him and suc­ceed him) to euerlasting damnation.

Q. What was the matter or obiect of Adams sinne?

A. The eating of the forbidden fruit or apple.Gen. 3.6. & 7.

Q. How could the eating of an apple (though neuer so much forbidden) de­serue so great misery and punishment?

A. Wee must not rate and esteeme the offence by the basenesse of the out­ward obiect, but by the vnconceiueable dignity of Gods infinite maiesty offen­ded, and by the high contempt of Gods strict prohibition. Lastly, this sinne could bee by no other meanes satisfied, nor Gods wrath appeased, but by the vnua­luable ransom of Iesus Christ his death and obedience.

Q. Who was the instrumentall cause of Adams fall?

A. The Diuell, who by the beauty [Page 8] and baite of an apple,Gen 3. v. 4.5.6. and by lying sugge­stions, entice and drawe him to disobe­dience.

Q. What was the formall or inward cause of the fall of Adam?

A. The blinding and corrupting of his minde, will, and affections, where­upon he beléeued not Gods threatnings, but willingly assented to Satans temp­tation.

Q. Did not God forsake our first Pa­rents before their fall?

A. Yes vndoubtedly: for God by his power could haue preserued them from fault and fall.

Q. How did God leaue & forsake thē?

A. First, by withdrawing from them (for he is bound and indebted to none) the sunshine of his knowledge & grace. Secondly, by denying them strength­ning and confirming grace.

Q. Why did God permit their fall?

A That he might draw good out of e­uill, and might heereby make knowne the glory of his power and iustice in the damnation of the reprobate,Rom 9.22. and the glo­rie of his mercy in the saluation of the e­lect.

Q. What is the guilt of their sinne?

[Page 9] A. A firme and straite binding o­uer, and endangering of himselfe, and all his posterity to eternall punishment.

Q. How can it stand with Gods iu­stice so to impute Adams sinne and fall to all his posterity, that they must be puni­shed and smart for it?

A. It may, and doth stand with Gods iustice very well: for first, when Adam sinned, all his posterity & ofspring was in his loines, from whom they were by the course of nature to issue,Rom. 5.16. and therfore with him they receiued part of his guilt; for the sinne of the head (so farre forth as it is the head) is deseruedly imputed to the whole body: as we may sée the truth hereof in Dauid, who, because he being a King,2. Chr. 21. v. 14. & (in the pride of his heart) would néeds number the people, thréescore & ten thousand of his good subiects perished by the pestilence for it. Secondly, quia contrariorum contraria est ratio, wee may euidently sée and obserue the cer­tainety of this point by the contrary. For euen as whatsoeuer Christ, as the head of all the elect,Eph. 2.6. Eph. 5. v. 26. & 27. and Church, suffered and performed for the Church, is imputed to it: so whatsoeuer Adam as the stock­father, and beginning of mankind lost, is [Page 10] imputed to all his posterity: and no mar­uaile, seeing that he represented all their persons, and did by his offence, as a cer­taine gate, conuey all that was euill in him to all that did, or euer should succéed him. Lastly, as Adam receiued the I­mage of God, that is, illumination, ho­lines, righteousnes, for himselfe, and his posterity; so he lost it for himselfe and his ofspring: and therefore as they should haue béene heires of his happines, com­modities, and rewards if hee had conti­nued in his innocency; so since his fall, they must be partakers of his guilt, bur­den and punishment.

Obiection. But Adams sinne was proper to his owne person, how then could it be imputed to his posterity?

A. Adam in this action is not to bée considered as a priuate person (for then he should haue smarted for his own sin onely,) but hee must bée estéemed as an actiue, and common beginning, yea, & as the roote, head, and first instrument of mankind; and therefore what good hée re­ceiued frō God, or what euill else where, he receiued it aswell for them that were to come of him, as for himselfe.

Q. Is sinne deriued from the parents [Page 11] to the children?

A. Yea verily, for the parents beget them,Psal. 51.5. and their mothers conceiue them in sinne.

Q. But how doe parents conuey, transfuse, and deriue corruption into all their children?

A. First by the law of generation, whereby one person begetteth another; or, by the séed and generation of the pa­rents: for this is the instrumēt by which sinne is deriued: and therefore the séede of man being corrupted, so is, and néedes must be the children also. For (according to the principles of nature) the begetter doth communicate his nature to the thing begotten.

Secondly, this birth-infection inua­deth the minde and vnderstanding, and so stretcheth and extendeth it selfe to the whole body.

Obiection. Heb. 12. v. 9. Zach. 12.1. How can parents by carnal generation infuse into & deriue originall corruption vnto their children, seeing that by warrant of Scripture, and the consent of the most excellent Diuines, both ancient & latter, the Parents do not beget, but God doth daily create new soules in the bodies prepared and fitted [Page 12] for them: but God is iust, and cannot be the author of si [...]ne?

A. Albeit God continually create new soules, and that without sinne, yet hee doth create them in weakenesse, and in the very moment of creation hee forsa­keth them and leaueth them, imputing Adams sinne vnto them.

Secondly, the soule receiueth conta­gion by the body in which it is seated: for as a precious and costly ointment is soone marred and corrupted,Simile (as daily experience teacheth) by an vnsweet and a fusty vessel: so is the soule corrupted by the sinfull body.

Lastly, the soule and body (by common consent and practise) bring foorth sin; for there is so neere a familiarity betwéen them, that the one doth gratify the other.

Q. But why doth God suffer sinne to dwell and remaine in the most holy and regenerate men that liue in the earth?

A. First, to humble and afflict them. Secondly, that they may know what sin bringeth them vnto, and what grace af­fordeth. Lastly, that they may alwaies runne vnto God for helpe and pardon.

Q. What vse are wee to make of this deriuatiue pollution?

[Page 13] A. 1. Vse. We must lay aside al pride and selfe-conceit, and with all humble­nesse, acknowledge our vncleannesse.

Secondly, wee must not so curiously search how the fire of originall sin came, as to be careful how to quench it; nay we must labour betimes to quench & put out the first sparkles of this fire,Ioh. 4.4. lest if preuai­ling flame out and vtterly consume vs.

Lastly, we must in this life be regene­rate and borne anew of water and the holy Ghost, and therefore flee vnto Christ our Sauiour for pardon of our sinnes, and for further grace, or else we shall neuer enter into his kingdome.

Q. What is the actuall sinne?

A. Euery thought, word, and déede, whether in committing euill, or in lea­uing good vndone, that is against the wil and law of God.

Q. Whence floweth or proceedeth it?

A. From the fountaine and roote of o­riginall corruption; for it is a deriuatiue from it, and a fruit of it.

Q. Doth it any way aggrauate and in­crease originall sinne?

A. Yes; for it daiely encreaseth the guilt and punishment of it, and (if faith & repentance preuent not) deserueth, and [Page 14] procureth the greater torment in hell, for as there are degrees of sinne;Ma. 11.24. Luc. 12.47 so God in his iustice hath accordingly appointed and ordained semblable degr [...]es of pu­nishment.

Ephes. 4. vers. 18. Q What is the cause of Actuall sin?

A. The next and immediate cause is mans corrupt minde, wil, and affections: for these are the working instruments and command the action, and therefore as sparkes proceed from the burning coales, as rust from the iron, and ve­nim from the Aspe; so doth actual sin flow from our sinfull and degenerate nature.

Q. What are the outward causes or occasions of Actuall sinne?

Luk. 22. ver. 3.4. A. Foure specially: First, the sug­gestion and temptaton of the Diuel, pro­uoking and enticing men thereunto.

Luk. 7.1.Secondly, the scandals and bad ex­amples of wicked men offending them.

Matth. 13. vers. 21.Thirdly, troubles and persecutions, through which many men are drawn to vniust practises, yea & to fall away from sound faith and true religion.Ibid. v. 22. 1. Tim. 6. ver. 17.

Lastly, profits and pleasures, which drowne men in destruction, and cause them to forget God and themselues.

Q. How is Originall sin to be distin­guished [Page 15] from Actuall transgression?

A. Many waies: First originall cor­ruption is bred and borne in vs and with vs, but Actuall sin is borne afterwards.

Secondly, Originall sinne is the roote, but Actuall sinne the fruit: Originall sinne the cause, but Actuall the effect: O­riginall sinne is the mother, but Actuall the daughter.

Lastly, in Actuall sinne, the matter doth not remaine but passeth away (for when a man hath committed blasphe­mie, adultery, murther, &c. the action foorthwith ceaseth, though the offence of God,Rom. 3.11 and the guilt still remaine) but in originall sinne, the matter manifestly remaineth;Rom. 7.18. héereupon we naturally, yea and daily runne and rush into sinne, and are backward and vntoward to the per­formance of any good thing that God re­quireth.

CHAP. 2. Of the punishment of Sinne.


WHat followeth sinne?

A. Temporall and eternall punishment.Rom. 6.23

[Page 16] Q. Are the temporall punishments of sinne inflicted vpon mankind, curses, satisfactions to Gods iustice, and the forerunners of euerlasting damnation?

A. They are such in their own nature and originall, and such in all the repro­bates, yea they are no other then curses to the elect so long as they are vnregene­rate and vnder the ministry of the Law.Gal. 3.10. For cursed is he that doth not continue in all things that are written in the book of the Law to doe them.

Q. But what are these temporall plagues, and punishments to the belee­uing and regenerate?

A. They are not (to speake properly) the punishment of their sinnes, nor part of the eternall curse, and therefore no sa­tisfactions to the rigour of Gods iustice: for Christ by his death and obedience hath fully satisfied his fathers iustice, re­moued from them the curse of the law,Gal. 3.13. yea and deliuered them,Heb. 2. ver 15. which for feare of death were all their life time subiect to bondage:Heb. 12. ver. 11. ‘they are therefore not cur­ses, but corrections, not punishments, but preseruatiues vnto them, and not the broad way that leadeth to destructi­on,2. Sam. 12. but the narrow way that tendeth vn­to [Page 17] life. Act. 14.22.

Q. But seeing that Christ hath made satisfaction for sinne, Rom. 3. v. 25.26. 2 Cor. 5.19. and their sinnes are not imputed to them, but pardoned, why doth not God as well (& eodem in­stanti) take away the chasticement, as the Sinne?

A. First, because certaine seedes of corruption, certaine sparkles of concu­piscence, and certaine rootes of sinne, in part abide, and will abide in them, so long as they liue in this mortality, which Christ the Physitian of our soules must needes correct, yea and mortifie by the bitter pilles, and purgations of afflicti­on. Secondly, because the bitter me­mory of sinne committed, remaineth in the minds of them that loue God,2 Cor. 7. v. 11. Math. 14. v. 5. & 8. which cannot but grieue and molest them.

Thirdly, the wicked who are Satans impes, and Gods rods, do alwaies séeke, and if they find, they take any occasion to vexe and trouble Gods children. Apoc. 12.12.

Q. What instruction gather you hence?

A. That mans nature is vile & vn­perfect, & that the sinne that ariseth out of it, and from it, is very hatefull, and [Page 18] horrible in Gods sight; for hee will not let it escape, and passe vncorrected in his déere Children, no, nor in the sucking Infants that are frée from the commit­ting of actuall sinne;Rom. 5. v. 14. for they are subiect to diseases, paines, and vnto death, as well as men of yéeres.

CHAP. III. Of the Crosse or Tribulation.


WHat is the Crosse?

Psal. 75.10. Math. 20.23. Luk. 9.23. Ans. It is that cup or mea­sure of affliction that God doth ordaine and appoint out vnto euery one of his children that liueth in this world.

Q. Is then no child of God exempted and freed from the Crosse?

A. No certainely, for euery Christi­an hath the procuring cause of the crosse. 1. Sinne in himselfe, whch cannot but much affect & afflict euery child of God, who is troubled at nothing so much as at the offence of God.

[Page 19]Secondly,Aug. ser. 45. Vita nostra est bellum, non triumphus, our life is a warfare, and not a triumph. Et (cuiuslibet) Christiani vi­ [...], qui secundum Euangelium vixerit, Max in ser. de Martyr. crux est atque Martyrium: that is, the life of a Christian, who liueth according to the Gospell, is a Crosse and Martyr­dome.

Q. What shal we iudge of them that haue experience of no Crosses, neither inward nor outward?

A. They are Bastards,Heb. 12.8. Apoc. 13.19. and no Sons of God, for God chastiseth euery Son whom hee loueth.

Secondly, God doth not in mercy spare, and exempt them, but distrust them; neither doth he fauour them but refuse them, and cassiere them as vnpro­fitable, and vnseruiceable.

Q. What vse are we to make of this point?

A. Wée must neuer vainely dreame of the continuance of outward prosperi­ty and happines; for this is one of the peculiarities and prerogatiues of the Church triumphant in heauen: but we must in our ease and prosperity, looke for trouble, trial, and aduersity, and pre­pare our selues against it, that when it [Page 20] commeth, wée may more holily and hap­pily vndergoe, and ouercome it.

Q. Then the Crosse is good and pro­fitable for Gods children, is it not?

A. Yes, for God in his loue, mercie and wisedome doth temper,Gen. 45. v. 4. & 5. order, and dispose it to their temporall and eternall profite,2. Cor. 1.9. peace and comfort. Hos. 5.15. Ier. 31.18. Heb. 12.11 Psal. 50 5. Ioh. 15.2. For it is the Schoole of experience, the Field of Patience, the wrestling place of glory, the life and reuiuing of Gods graces, and (in a word) the exercise of a Conquerour.’

Q. For what speciall ends doth God exercise his children with the Crosse?

A. First, if they haue fallen, or com­mitted some grosse sinne, (as did Dauid & others) God doth correct and chastice them for their amendment,1 Cor. 11.31. and for the killing of pride, worldlinesse, licentious­nes, and other sins sometime preuailing against them. For hereby the Lord re­moueth the mist of errour from their eyes, that they may see their former follies and what is acceptable in Gods sight: he hereby, as by a fire purifieth their hearts from the drosse of corrupti­on, and by this wind fanneth them from [Page 21] the chaffe of vanity.

Secondly,Psal. 119.67. he snibbing and displing them for sins committed, doth preuent sinne to come, and maketh them better to looke to themselues for the time to come,Ioh. 5.14. lest a worse thing happen vnto them;Hos. 5.15. yea, and more to depend vpon him for grace, and supportance. And herein God may be compared to a skilful physitian: for as the Physitian some­time letteth a man bloud, not that hee should be sicke, but to preserue him from sicknes: so God doth now and then depriue and rid vs of those delights, pro­fites, and pleasures, which would other­wise bée the matter, tinder and nourish­ment of sinne in vs.

Thirdly, God doth hereby (as it were) bring them vpon the stage and theater, and make knowne to themselues and o­thers, that they may be lights and guids of godlines to the dark and blind world, that they may be mirrours of admirati­on," and patternes of constancy and pati­ence to the people:Compari­sons. For as the Mariners skill is tried and made manifest in a tempest: the captaines valour & wise­dome in the battaile: and the Physitians experience and cunning in the curing of [Page 22] a desperate disease; so are the graces and vertues of the godly, and the swéete sent and perfume thereof made knowne in aduersity. Afflictions to them are like vnto the spring-showers, which cause the buds and blossoms of Gods graces to appeare and shew forth them­selues.

Hos. 5.15. Psal 30.8.Fourthly, God by afflictions doth exer­cise, cherish, reuiue, & encrease his graces in them. For Crosses are (by Gods gracious disposition) so many whet­stones to sharpen the dul and blunt edge of their affections, so many bellowses to enkindle and encrease in them the gifts and graces of God; and they are so ma­ny A [...]arams of his iudgements to awa­ken them out of the sléepe of security, and to prepare them against the spirituall battell.Ioh 9.3. Math. 8. v. 26. 2. Cor. 4.10.

Fiftly, God by afflictions & crosses doth seasonably make known the glory of his power, truth, & goodnes in their tempo­rary and eternall helpe and deliuerance.

Lastly, God doth bring all their trou­bles to a finall, and to a most blessed is­sue and conclusion: for hee doth bring them through the red sea of affliction,Act. 14.23. & through the wildernesse of this worlds [Page 23] temptations, vnto the heauenly Canaan, where they haue happy and euerlasting rest.

Q. But seeing that the most wicked and reprobate doe suffer the same euils and troubles that Gods children doe in euery particular (griefe for sin, and per­secution for Christ his sake, onely excep­ted) why should not the ends, effects and euents be the same in them as in the god­lie and elect?

A. First, because the persons of the elect are accepted with God, they are the gold that is not consumed,Exo. 3. v. 2. but made more pure and bright by afflictions fire; but the very persons of the reprobate are refused, being ordained to hatred, and they are as drosse that is wholly consu­med by the sire of affliction.

Secondly, God did neuer in his euer­lasting counsell, purpose and intend to refine and reforme by afflictions the ves­sels of wrath (for who then could resist his decree?) neither doe the reprobates at any time, by pure meanes, and in an holy manner, endeauour the same.

Thirdly, the reprobate being void of the spirit of grace and sanctification, doe neuer in right manner acknowledge [Page 24] Gods hand that striketh them; but with the impenitent theef that reuiled Christ,Ier. 5.3. they fret and fume, they murmur and re­pine against God and his iudgements.

Lastly, the reprobates are made worse by afflictions; and their corruptiōs here­by more breake out. For as the winde doth not suppresse but encrease the fla­ming fire, and as the oyle (though a li­quid matter) doth not coole the furnace, but the more heate it: so affliction and aduersity doth not amend the vnbelée­uers, but (through their owne fault and corruption) make them the worse.Con­trarily Gods children by reason of grace preuailing in them, doe in their troubles comfortably call vpon God, they patient­lie subiect themselues to his correction:Heb. 4.16. finally, they finde helpe in time of néede and praise God for it.

Q. What motiues haue we vnto pati­ence?

Luk. 21.19 A. First, we are commanded to pos­sesse our soules by our patience.

Secondly, wee haue the example of Gods Saints in all generations for our imitation; and therefore as God armed thē with patience, so we must not doubt but he wil vs, if we begge it at his hand [...].

[Page 25]Thirdly, heereby we frustrate the ex­pectation of our enemies, and are more then conquerours ouer them;Rom. 8.37 for in the spirit of zeale and strength, we challenge and defie them.

Fourthly, wee must remember that our sinnes haue deserued farre grea­ter crosses and corrections (for euery sinne, séeing it is committed against an infinite Maiestie, doth in it owne nature deserue death) and therefore wee must the more patiently endure smaller cros­ses.

Fifthly, we by impatiency highly of­fend our God, and cause him to handle vs more roughly, then he would other­wise doe.

Lastly, if wee constantly waite Gods leasure, and entreate his helpe, hee will either encrease our strength or decrease our crosse,Psal. 37. he wil either amend vs by it, or else end it.

Q. What heauenly nepenthes or do­ctrine haue you against the Crosse?

A. First, it procéedeth from the speci­all prouidence and heauenly disposition of God,Isa. 45.7. for he createth euill (namely,Lam. 3 37. of punishment) who is he then that saith, and it commeth not to passe,Apoc. 3.19 and the [Page 26] Lord commandeth it not?

Secondly, the crosse is the ensigne and ornament of Gods children,Act. 14.22. their cup, their part and portion, and the rode way to heauen.

Thirdly, the crosse doth dead and de­stroy sinne in vs, and mortifieth euill affections.Simili­tudes. It is like lightning and thun­der to purge the corrupted aire of our hearts and minds. It is a file to scoure away rust from our soules, a purgation to expell ill humors, and like the gold smiths fire, to consume the drosse of va­nity in vs.

Fourthly, it doth exercise and cause to grow and encrease the fruits of the spirit and the precious graces of faith, hope, loue,A simili­tude. repentance, patience: for as snow and frost by containing the inward heat in the earth and increasing it, causeth the séede cast into it to spring more prospe­rously: so the gifts and graces of Gods children the more that by the crosse they séeme to be smothered and suppressed, the more they breake foorth and are encrea­sed.

Fifthly, God will heereby trie the faith of his children towards his maie­sty, their loue towards their afflicted bre­thren, [Page 27] and their patience towards them­selues.

Sixthly, God is with his in trouble, in fire and water,Isa. 43.2. hee comforteth and strengthneth them, he perfecteth his po­wer in their infirmities,Psal 30.11.12. and at length turneth their sighes into singing, their mourning into mirth, and their trouble into triumph.

Lastly,Rom. 8.17. the afflictions of this present life are not worthy of the glory that is to be reuealed.

Q. What duties are we to performe vnder the Crosse?

A. They either respect God, or our afflicted brethren.

Q. What duties must wee performe towards God?

A. First, we must submit our selues patiently vnto his discipline and corre­ction,Heb. 10.36.37. otherwise if we striue and struggle against God, we offend him, and so en­crease our paine and trouble, no other­wise then he that strugleth with a bur­den on his shoulders, doth the more af­flict and disease himselfe.

Secondly,Psal we must repose our whole confidence in him, and waite his leasure vntill he haue mercy on vs.

[Page 28] Psa. 115.1.Lastly, when God hath deliuered vs, we must returne vnto him all the glory and praise of it: for this is the tribute that we owe vnto him, and the impo [...] that he requireth at our hands.

Q. What duties must we performe to our afflicted brethren?

A. First, we must neither iudge wi [...] ­ked and vngodly men to be blessed and happy, because they liue (for the present) in pompe, pleasure, and prosperity, nor falsely and foolishly censure & condemne the nation and generation of Gods chil­dren (that sincerely serue him, and are deare vnto him) by reason of their presēt aduersities, maladies and miseries: for ordinarily) the wicked, in whō God hath no portion▪ receiue all their pleasure and comfort in this life, & the godly here feele all their paine and suffer all their mise­ries, that the wicked in the world to come may inherit vengeance, and the godly eternall ioy and happinesse.

Secondly, farre be it from vs to dis­daine, despight or despise Gods children in tribulation,1. Cor. 2.26. much lesse let vs aggraua [...] their afflictions, but let it be our practise to cōdole with them, to pity, pray for and refresh & reléeue them. Heb. 13.3. Am. 6.6

CHAP. IIII. Of common crosses, and particularly of warre, forraine and domesticall.


HOw are crosses to be diuided and distinguished?

A. They are either such publicke and priuate euils, which are common to Gods children with the wicked, or such temptations, crosses and troubles that are proper and peculiar to Gods seruants.

Q. Which are those publicke euils to which good men and euill are indiffe­rently subiect?

A. Warre, plague, famine, oppressi­on, losses, pouerty, cosenage, or deceit, it.

Q. With what comfortable perswasi­ons shall wee solace, and support our selues in time of warre?

A. Albeit hostility and warre is a sore iudgement,1. Chr. 21.13. and the sword be more [Page 30] grieuous thē either famine or pestilence, yet Gods children want not their conso­lations.1 Chr. 21.13. Ezec. 14. v. 21. 1 Kin. 8.35 36▪ For first, the sword of the ene­my commeth not by chance, but by Gods direction and appointment, and that not onely for the triall and exercise of Gods children, but for the punishment and de­struction of his enemies.

Secondly, the enemies rage and fury is not of a boundlesse extent, but limited, restrained, & ordered by the diuine pro­uidence for our good.

Thirdly, though our enraged enemies doe or may sometimes (yet not without Gods permission) kill our bodies,Math. 10. v. 28. yet they cannot kill our soules, nor depriue them of Gods fauour, and his king­dome.

Fourthly, neither sword, war, nor persecution can part the godly from their indissoluble vnion with Christ,Rom. 8. v. 38. nor take them out of Gods handes and prote­ction.

Fiftly, if our cause bée good, if the de­fence of our selues be vndertaken by ad­uise and counsell, and withal we call vp­on God for valour,2 Ch. 20.15. wisedome and victo­rie, the successe cannot be but good, nei­ther néed wee feare the great multitude [Page 31] against vs; for the battell is not ours, but the Lords.

Sixtly, though God sometimes, (to shew his iustice, that he doth not winke at sinne, but punish it) vseth the ene­mies malice in the temporall ouerthrow of his children, yet he doth withall shew his mercy in rescuing and sauing many, and in turning the punishment of sinne in his children, into a medicine and soue­raigne salue.

Lastly, God by the euils of warre, wil cause vs more to desire peace and qui­etnesse, and when wee haue obtained it, the more to estéeme it, and to bée thankefull to God for it. For as the nights darkenes maketh the light of the Sunne more desirable; as vallies set out the mountaines, & the champion coun­try commendeth the woodland: so doth warre declare and make knowne the ex­cellency of peace.

Q. But what if in a lawfull war and in a good quarrell, we now and then bee foiled and ouerthrowne, how shall wee comfort our selues? and what course shall we take?

A. First,Ios. 7. v. 21. wee must know that (by reason of Achans sinne that had stollen [Page 32] a Babylonish garment, two hundred shekels of siluer, and a wedge of gold,) the Israelites were put to flight by th [...] men of Ai:Iud. 20. v. 21. & 25. and the Beniamites twice o­uercame the Israelites that had a good cause, because they fought not in faith, nor repented them of their sins, as they did afterwards: wherefore wée must repent vs of our sinnes (before we go to war) and vndertake the iust defence of our selues in humility, and not in pre­sumption of mind.

Secondly, though once, or the second time, we bee ouerthrowne in warre, yet wee must not bee daunted and dis­couraged,Deut. [...]0. v. 3. &. 4. but onely repent of sinne, and séeke helpe at Gods hand, and God will goe with vs, and fight for vs.

Thirdly, Gods children may (for their correction and triall) as well be foiled in fighting in defence of a iust cause and quarrell; as haue ill successe, and be cros­sed in other matters.

Fourthly, the experience of our ouer­throwes in battaile, will make vs more expert and aduised for the time to come.

Fiftly, (though for the time) we haue lost the day; yet we must comfort our [Page 33] selues in this, that we haue not lost our faith, our cause, our wisedome, our ver­tue, our noble resolution and fortitude, & therefore we must (against the next en­counter) entreat the Lord to go out with our armies, and to guide and prosper vs.

Sixtly, it is better for vs sometimes, to haue the ouerthrow in warre, then to triumph ouer our enemies: for if all things fall out according to our desires, wée would soone put out of our hearts all feare of God, and grow secure, proud, and arrogant, ascribing all the glory of the victory not to God the onely cause, & the only author of it, (for he alone is the Lord of hostes) but to the instrumentall cau­ses, and to our selues onely, and therefore God will by some foile and ouerthrow preuent this erroneous arrogancy.

Seuenthly, though we loose the day, & receiue the ouerthrow in battell,Petrarch. de remedi­is vtr. fort. yet we haue not lost the conscience of our good seruice, the liberty of our mind, nor the glory of our skill.

Lastly, as the barrennes of the earth teacheth the husbandman skill, the often arising of stormes add tempests, maketh the Pilot and Mariner wise to decline [Page 34] the annoiance of them, and frequent fals maketh the rider wary: So sundry foiles & ouerthrows in battel, make Gods chil­dren more politicke and prouident, yea, & much more to humble themselues be­fore God, and to implore and entreat his hand and helpe.

Q What duties must we performe in the time of warre and hostility?

A. First, we are to be expert and old beaten souldiers in the spirituall battell against the world and wickednesse, and against the Diuell and death:Ephe. 6.13 and if here­in wee putting on the whole armour of God, quit our selues like mē, other wars shall neither terrifie nor trouble vs.

Secondly, we must search the Scrip [...]tures, and by thē examine the lawfulnes of our defiance or resistance, and if ou [...] quarrell and conscience be good, the issue cannot be euill.

Thirdly, we must not be carelesse and secure in the greatest peace and prosperi­ty, seeing that wars come many times when they are least dreaded or doubted.

Iudg 7.3.Fourthly, the Captaines and souldi­ers must bee trained vp in the feates of warre,Deu 20.3.4. and in all policies & stratagemes, they must bee valorous: the Ministers [Page 35] must exhort them to bee couragious in Gods cause, and they must call vpon God, and depend vpon his power and promise for successe, and then al shall go well with them. And what if their bo­dies bee slaine? yet the truth still remai­neth, and their soules shall liue for euer.

Lastly, the Princes, Ministers, and people at home must renue their faith, and repentance, and their couenant with God, and then the enemies shall fall be­fore them.

Q. How shall the seruants of God comfort themselues against ciuill warre?

A. Mat 24.6.7. First, that this euill commeth from God in his iustice: for when the greater sort refuse to make their peace with God, and to reconcile themselues to Christ, and when they despise the do­ctrine of saluation, God doth so forsake them, that they by vprores and mutuall dissensions deuoure and destroy one a­nother.

Secondly, it is a common euill, and therefore the more patiently to be endu­red.

Thirdly, God hath defined and de­termined the beginning, maner, and end [Page 36] of it, and doth trie and exercise onely those that are his children by it.

Fourthly, as all worldly thinges are mortall and mutable, so haue Cities, and great States and Kingdoms their ma­ladies, and diseases, créeping and grow­ing vpon them, wherefore priuate grud­ges and ciuill warres often befall them.

Fiftly, in what places now are goodly and faire townes, and cities, there haue beene in times past, woods, forrests, wil­dernesses, and so may and will be here­after.

Lastly, a resolued Christian that séeth ciuill warres in their true face and hue, putteth away childish feare,Lipsius de Co [...]st. and is no more broken at them, then the house top is with the haile dashing against it.

Q. What duties are wee to performe in time of ciuill warre?

A. First, let vs not abuse our present peace and prosperity when we enioy it.

Secondly, it behoueth vs to bewaile, and forsake our sinnes, that bring all these euils into the world.

Thirdly, we must bee wary and pro­uident that wee bee not so many fire­brands to nourish the flame of ciuill con­tention, lest we smart for our folly, an [...] [Page 37] when it is once begun, wee must endea­uour by supplication, rebukes, admoni­tions, threatnings, and promises to sup­presse and quench it.

Fourthly, if wée must, or néeds will take parts, then it is our wisedome, and iustice to take part with the best cause & persons, and to pray vnto God for coun­sell and assistance:2 Ch. 14.11 and then God can & will giue victorie (when it pleaseth him) as well by a few, as by many.

Fiftly, let vs beséech the almighty to grant repentance to the authors of it, and to saue our country.

Lastly, for as much as ciuill warres procéede from the ignorance of Christ, & from the contempt and disobedience of the Gospell, we must for the ceasing and remoouall of this euill, make our peace with God and entertaine his word with more delight and deuotion.

CHAP. VI. Of the Plague or Pestilence.


IS the plague and pestilence of our time, contagious & infections?

A. Yes, questionlesse: for first as the leprosie amongst the Iewes infected not onely mens persons, but also their garments, and their very ha­bitations: so doth the plague, as expe­rience proueth it.

2. Sam. 24.17.Secondly, although the plague bee Gods speciall hand, and his destroying Angell, yet it commeth not immediate­ly by the sensible touch of an heauenly Angell; for if it did so come, it were ex­treame vanity, and madnes it selfe, to shunne the infected persons and places; but (ordinarily) by outward means and occasions: this to bee true, experience teacheth, that very many by declining the infected places and persons, haue béen saued and preserued.

Thirdly, sundry persons not infected, [Page 39] haue béene so kept by physicke preserua­tiues; and many infected persons haue béene cured by medicines and plasters; but if God had immediately strucken thē from heauen,2. Sam. 24.15 (as he did 70000. of Dauids people) they had all died without reco­uery.

Q. But why are not all tainted and infected that liue amongst the visited parties and persons?

A. First, all persons are not (by rea­son of their naturall constitution▪) apt to take the infection. Secondly, God so ruleth and restraineth the plague, that it shall touch none, nor in any further degrée then God hath appointed. Lastly, the execution of charitable duties about the visited, preserueth many, and feruent prayer deliuereth sundry persons.

Q. Is it lawfull for any man to flee the infection?

A. Yes: for albeit Magistrates, ne­cessary officers, and they that are pastors of the visited congregatiōs may not flee, yet they that eyther are fearefull, or freed from their ordinary calling, (for they are not bound, being in no publicke, and ne­cessary office) may lawfully flee: for first a man may preserue himselfe by [Page 40] flight, so that he nothing hurt another, A man may shun dangers of the like na­ture as warre, famine, waters, fires, and why not then this iudgement?

Thirdly, there is lesse danger of in­fection, when the concourse of people is abated and diminished.

1. Obiection. They that flie cannot but distrust Gods watchfull prouidence.

A. The fault is not in the action, but in the person, because he distrusteth.

2. Obiection. Ob. But it is offensiue for a man [...]o flee.

A. The offence is taken and not gi­uen.

3. Obiection. Ob. Whatsoeuer is against the rule of charity is vnlawfull: but to flee, and so forsake our neighbour, is against the rule of charity, ergo.

A. Our neighbour is not forsaken so long as he wanteth the helpe neither of Magistrate, nor of kinsfolke, and other friends.

4. Obiection. Mat. 25. v. 43. Ob. But we are to visite the sicke, & that by Gods commaundement.

[Page 41] A. Leprous persons were excepted a­mongst the Iewes, and why not then the plaguie persons in our dayes? seeing that this disease is no lesse contagious.

Q. What is the duty of them that flee?

A. First, they must seriously repent of their sins, else God wil correct them in some other kind (if not in this).

Secondly, they must earnestly entreat the Lord by praier to stay his heauy hād, and to be mercifull to the visited.

Lastly, they must willingly contribute money to the visited.

Q. What is the duty of them that a­bide at home?

A. They must not bee secure and de­sperate (for oftentimes, Gods most ex­cellent seruants are not onely tainted & infected with, but also die of the plague) but humble themselues vnder Gods hand, and endeauour by prayer & repen­tance to pacifie and put away Gods dis­pleasure.

Secondly, they ought not censorious­lie to condemne, but charitably to iudge of them that flie from infected places and persons: for, many of them are not tied to be resident by any speciall calling, and many (specially those that liue by their [Page 42] labours and by their trades) haue no suf­ficient meanes at home to maintaine them and theirs withall.

Q. Why doth God sometimes in one Country, or other, cut downe and de­stroy so many thousands of men, by the sword of plague and pestilence?

A. First, if God, now and then should not take this strict course, the number of men, (especially amongst Turkes, Papists, Pagans,) would ex­ceed: for ordinarily men are faster borne then they die, and heereupon God thrusteth in his reaping hooke, and cut­teth down certaine thousands, when the places where they liue and are resident, could not otherwise well containe, much lesse maintaine them.

Secondly, to snib and controll the pride and presumption of such, who (with Dauid when he numbred the peo­ple) glory and rest in their multitudes & millions:2. Sam. 24. v. 1. & 15. hereupon he to represse their vaine confidence, and to cure generall and desperate sinnes, abateth and lesse­neth those numbers and multitudes.

Q. What meditations are meete for to comfort Gods children in the time of a generall infection by the plague or [Page 43] pestilence?

A. First, the plague is not casuall & contingent, but is from God and in his disposition, so that none die and depart this life, sooner or latter, in greater or smaller number then God permitteth and hath preordaianed.

Secondly, in the time of the old Te­stament, in the time of the Apostles, and in euery age since, (in one place, part, prouince or other) Gods dearest ser­uants haue felt the contagion and noi­somnesse of it, and sundry of them haue died of this visitation.

Thirdly, it is a more milde, gentle, and sufferable chastisement, then either warre or famine: for in the beginning, progresse and disposition of it, God rather worketh by himselfe then vseth the mi­nistry of men, and who in iudgement re­membreth mercy; but men when they are made the instruments to chastise vs, so follow the violent streame of their owne corrupt affections, that they shew themselues destitute and depriued of all mercy and moderation.

Fourthly, when God doth by the plague correct vs, he will trie and proue our faith in his powerfull and gracious [Page 44] prouidence: our tender compassion to­wards our distressed brethren, and our thankefulnesse towards them that either by publike authority, or, of their chari­table disposition attend vpon vs, and that minister to our necessities.

Fifthly, God doth in the greatest in­fection when the plague most rageth, pre­serue very many, and especially those that are imploied about charitable of­fices which concerne the visited.

Lastly, Gods children that die by this visitation are as blessed as they that [...] by the common course of nature; for the Angels carry their soules into Abra­hams bosome.

Q. What duties are the visited per­sons to performe?

A. First, they must commend them­selues to God, who will for Christ his sake, be mercifull vnto them.

Secondly, they must (whiles that there is any hope of life, and whiles they haue opportunity) vse preseruatiues, me­dicines, physicke, restoratiues, (for so did Ezechias:) but if they perceiue the fatall houre to be come, they must willingly, and confidently commend their spirits into Gods hands.

[Page 45]Thirdly, if they be parents and ma­sters of families, they must exhort their children, kinsfolke and seruants, to the profession and practise of godlinesse and vertue: for the last words that such vt­ter, doe (commonly) leaue the deepest impression in the harts and minds of their chlidren, friends and seruants.

Lastly, it they recouer of the plague, they must bee thankfull vnto God,Psal. 66. v. 14. pay vnto him the vowes which their lips haue promised and their mouth hath spo­ken in affliction; and for the time to come they must feare afterclaps, and beware lest a worse thing doe heareafter befall them.

CHAP. VI. Of dearth and famine.


WHat is famine?

A. Gods scourge, for mani­fest and notorious sinnes and e­normities.

[Page 46] Q. Who is the inflicter of it?

A. God: for it commeth not by for­tune or cha [...]ce,Psal. 107.34. Psa. 105 16 Amos 4.6. but God calleth for it, a [...] may appeare by infinite places of Scrip­ture. 2. Chron. 7. vers. 13. Deut. 28.38 Ier. 14.16.

Q. What are the outward meanes, causes and instruments of dearth and fa­mine?

A. They are diuers; as sometimes ba [...]cennesse of the ground, sometimes drought and heate (as in Iudeo and those Easterly countries) sometimes (as in our nation of England) vnseasonable weather and immoderate raine, some­times the Canker, the Palmer worme, the Grashopper, somtimes haile, storms, whirlewindes, and oftentimes warre and hostility; lastly, surfetting, drunken­kennes pride, or excesse in meate, drink, apparell in al rankes and orders of men.

Q. Who are principall outward meanes to encrease dearth and famine?

A. Amongst the rest, enclosers of ground, when they conuert so much a­ [...]able ground into pasture▪ that there is not ground enough for tillage. Secōdly, monopolists or ingrossers. Thirdly, badg­gers [Page 47] & forestallers. Fourthly, hoarders of Corne. Fifthly, transporters of it beyond the Seas. Lastly, oppressors of the poore, namely such as either denie them their wages, or take and retaine their pawns & pledges, or those that vpon aduantage of the pooremans distresse, buy his land, goods, liuing, &c.

Q. What is the deseruing and procu­ring cause of dearth and famine?

A. Sinne and disobedience in gene­rall.

Q. What are the particular sinnes which moue the Lord to send dearth & famine?

Ans. First,Leu. 25.14. Idolatrie and corruption of Gods seruice and worship, Deut. 28. 11.

Secondly, Atheisme, and the contempt of Preaching, Ier. 11.21.22.

Thirdly, when men being addicted to the world and their own gaine,Agg. 2.4.9. do alto­gether neglect the building of Gods house, & the reformation of his Church.

Fourthly, Periury, false oathes, and the breaking of lawfull oathes.

Fiftly,Esa. couetousnesse, oppression of the poore, and enclosing of the com­mon grounds.

[Page 48] Ier. 34.Sixthly, cruelty towards the poor [...] and the wronging of them by fals [...] waights and measures, Micah. 6.10.

Seuenthly, pride in Princes and R [...] ­lers, 2. Sam. 24.

Eightly, surfetting and drunkennesse. Ioel 1, 5.

Mal., neglect of tith-paying and of maintaining the holy Ministry.

Q. Why doth God this way sundrie times trie and chastice his owne children who doe not sinne contemptuously, o [...] with an high hand as wicked men doe?

A. First, there is naturall corrupti­on in them, which deserueth this chastis­ment, especially when (as sometimes it commeth to passe) it breaketh out into blaines and grosse sinnes.

Secondly, God by correcting them in their bodies, preuenteth in them more greeuous enormities, and saueth them from eternall destruction.

Q. What vse is to be made heereof?

A. Let the wicked and profane trem­ble, feare, and betimes returne vnto God: for if God correct small faults so sharpely in his own deare children, how much more will he punish them that sin so presumptuously?

[Page 49] Q. What spirituall meditations are necessary to comfort our soules in time of dearth and famine?

A. These (or the like) following. First, we must know that it is Gods hand, and that it commeth not by the will of man, much lesse by chance: and therefore we must repent and patiently endure this correction.

Secondly, God by dearth and scarsi­tie doth preuent his children from com­mitting many sinnes; such as are riot, excesse, gluttony, drunkennes: for as a Physition letteth his patient bloud, to preuent diseases in him: so dealeth God with his children in this chasticement.

Thirdly, God in the time of dearth doth not pine and starue,Ps. 33.19. Prou. 10.3 but prouide for, and quicken his children and ser­uants. Thus in time of famine, God made Ioseph the meanes to nourish his father Iacob, and his brethren. Thus he fed Elias by an Angel, yea by a rauenous Rauen: thus he multiplied the oile and meale to the poore widow of Sarepta:Luk. 4.26. thus for forty yeeres space hee fed the Israelites in the wildernesse with Man­na from heauen: thus God prouided for Elimeleks, his wife and children, and for [Page 50] the noble Sunamite, and no maruell: for if God féed the fowles of heauen, ye [...] the young Rauens that cry vnto him,Ps. 147 9. Luk. 15.17. how much more will he féed his sonnes and seruants?

Fourthly, neither in this, nor any o­ther euill, will God tempt them abo [...] their strength, for he intendeth their re­formation, and not their ruine: but i [...] they repent and pray vnto him,Psal. 34.19. he will mitigate, if not remoue the dearth and famine, and in the meane time féed [...] them.

Fifthly, if God kéepe them sho [...] of these earthly thinges, yet hee gi­ueth them farre greater giftes, name­ly, faith, hope, charity, assurance of salua­tion, &c.

Lastly, if God sometimes permit their bodies to pine, (as we haue an ex­ample in Lazarus, and in some of the per­secuted Israelites,Heb. 11.37. in the time of Antio­chus) yet he doth sustaine their spirits with patience and féed their soules to sal­uation with the hidden Manna of his word.

Q. What duties are there in such [...] distresse to be practised?

A. First, we must confes, acknowledge▪ [Page 51] and bewaile our sinnes,Ioel 2.13. the cause there­of: we must beware that we contemne not Gods word, nor abuse his good crea­tures; and we must withall intreat the Lord to lessen or take away this plague, and (in the meane time,) suffer this cor­rection with patience and thankful­nesse.

Secondly, if all outward helpes faile vs, yet let vs hold fast the hope of mercy and saluation, and then we shall finde ease and refreshment in our troubles.

Thirdly, Ministers and Preachers must endeauour to make the people to féele the gréeuousnesse of the calamitie, to stirre them vp to repentance and pa­tience, and exhort the rich to libera­litie.

Fourthly, rich men must regard, pi­tie, and reléeue the poore, they must sa­crifice on these altars, they must fil these empty vessels, and let the fountaine of their liberalitie runne out vnto them.

Lastly, magistrates and rulers, must not only prouide against dearth,Neh. 5.10. but also suppresse monopolists, engrossers, bad­gers, transporters of graine, hoarders of corne, &c. for Vae illis, &c. Hi sunt mer­catores humanarum calamitatum: that [Page 52] is, woe vnto them that enhance the price of victuals, for they are hucksters of hu­mane miseries.

CHAP. VII. Of Oppression, Worldly losses, Pouerty.


WHat cōfortable theoreme [...] doth Gods word afford vs against wrong, iniury, and oppression?

A. First, it is the part of good men (rather) to suffer iniury, then to offer it.

Secondly, the wrong done, redoun­deth to the hurt of him that doth it.

Thirdly, if men cannot, or will not right vs,1. Thes. 4.6 yet our God can and will a­uenge such indignities: and therefore we must commit & commend our cause vnto him, yea and wait his leisure.

Fourthly, wee haue the Saints of God for our companions herein: an [...] [Page 53] therefore we may not iudge our selues forsaken, as those that are singled out to these abuses.

Fifthly,Act. 7.3. if Gods people doe but sigh and groane vnder their burthen, he will come downe, yea and ease and deliuer them.

Sixthly,Eccl. 7.9. oppression maketh a wise man mad.

Seuenthly, oppression of the inno­cent and the indignities offered to iust men,Iam. 5.4. enter into the eares of the Lord of hosts, and cry to heauen for vengeance.

Seuenthly, they that defraud and op­presse others, must looke to receiue the like measure againe in Gods powerfull iustice.

Eighthly, God will hereby try and proue whether that we will blesse them that curse vs, and he will haue our ver­tues of loue and patience, to be more eminent and conspicuous. But if we car­ry a cankred affection, and (especially) if we will requite euill with euill, then doth God discouer vnto vs our corrup­tion, which we must labour to pull out, if we will be the masters and conquerors of it.

Lastly, we must meditate vpon Gods [Page 54] gracious promises, and his iust and wise prouidence, which will be a meanes to kéepe vs from all impatience and de­sire of reuenge.

Q. What duties are the wronged and oppressed to performe?

A. First, if we would redresse a wrong, we must forget it.

Secondly; we must make the Iudges, Iustices,Luk. 18.3. Rom. 12.20. and Christian magistrate, the reuengers of our wrongs: but if they faile vs, we must commit it to God, to whom vengeance belongeth, and he will right vs.

Thirdly, we must labour to be innocent as Doues, we must hurt none, but striue to doe good to all, and the more innocent we are, the more ease and peace shall we finde in our owne soules.

Fourthly, if in a country we sée the oppression of the poore,Eccl. 5.7. and the defrau­ding of iudgement and iustice, we must not be astonied at the matter: for on [...] high that is aboue the high taketh no­tice of it, nay the highest is aboue them, (that is) God which is in heauen, and doth excell all mens greatnes, far more incomparably, then the greatest Mo­narch surpasseth the meanest vassall or [Page 55] subiect, and he doth with infinite eyes, behold and view all things. Ezech. 1.18. Zach. 3.9. & 4.9.

Lastly, we must, whatin vs lieth, and what wee may with the testimony of a good conscience, defend others frō wrong and oppression, and then God will stirre vp them that shall defend vs.

Q. How shall a Christian in pouerty, and in want of outward necessary things, resolue and comfort himselfe?

A. Albeit pouerty is in it selfe, a vile and miserable state of life, by reason of the want of necessary money and riches, yet there are manifold meditatiōs wher­in the child of God is to comfort himself, as for example.

First, pouerty is to Gods child not a bane, but a blessing, not a curse, but a correction: for Christ himselfe our bles­sed Sauiour was borne poore,2. Cor. 8.9. liued poor, died poore, and that to make vs rich; and shall wée take that lot grieuously, where­by wee may bée made conformable to Christ, and grow rich in grace?

Secondly,Apoc. 21.7 euery Christian is rich, & with Christ a Lord and possessor of hea­uen and earth, and of all the riches there­in contained, and how then can hée bée poore?

[Page 56]Thirdly, he that is rich in grace, hath the true treasure of eternall life in his heart, and therefore he cannot be poore.

Fourthly, wée lie, and liue in great [...] and security; for we are fréed and disbur­dened from many cares, feares, and dan­gers: wée néede not feare the hurts of fire and water; fained friends, and faw­ning parasites, shall not eate vs vp, ill seruants shall not pilfer, and purloin [...] from vs, nor run away with our goods, neither shal we stand in dāger of théeues and robbers; to all which inconuenien­ces the rich are exposed and subiect.

Fiftly, wee want many occasions of infection, and prouocations vnto euill: for many men are no longer good then they are poore, and therefore God deni­eth vs riches which wee would abuse to pride, vanity, couetousnes, oppression, and vsurie.

Sixtly, if wee be content, few things are wanting, for nature is content with a little, it desireth onely bread and wa­ter; and he is not poore that liueth accor­ding to nature; but a couetous worldling alwayes is bare and néedy, and wanteth that he hath.

Seuenthly, to a rich man all medio­crity [Page 57] is sufficient, for hee is rich being content with his owne: and he is a good scholler and proficient in Christ his schoole,Phil. 4. v. 12. & 13. hauing learned with S. Paul as well to want, as to abound, and that which he wanteth, labour, virtue, and learning will supply.

Eightly, pouerty is a touchstone, and discouereth who are faithful friends, and who are false: who are hollow, and who are holy: for a poore man is commonly contemned, and he will soon shrink from vs, that séeketh not vs but ours.

Ninthly,Pro. 30.8. God that giueth vs life which is the principall, will (for the necessarie sustenance of it) giue vs dayly bread,Psal. 23.1. which is the lesse principall; hee is our father, and will féed vs, and hee is our shepheard, and will suffer vs to want nothing that is conuenient for vs.

Tenthly, Christ is our Lord, and we are his seruants, and therefore hee will not forsake vs, but furnish vs with things néedfull: for if he prouided for the 12. Apostles, his family, when he was in poore estate on the earth; how much more will he prouide for vs being in glo­ry, and in the actuall possession of heauen and earth?

[Page 58]Eleuenthly, Wealth is no part of that happy and glorious inheritance that Christ hath purchased for the Saints: it is none of our own, but another ma [...] but if it were simply bonum, it we [...] bonum commune, wherof wicked [...] ordinarily more partake then Go [...] children.

Twelfthly, it is better to be counted re­ligious then rich, and poore then pr [...] ­phane and impious; for pouerty, religi­on, and blessednes, may possibly & hap­pily concurre, but riches cannot make the possessor blessed; and riches and god­lines doe but rarely consort and meet to gether in one and the same subiect & per­son.

Thirteenthly, riches commonly doe corrupt and effeminate the mind, they like thornes choake the séede of Gods word; they are the matter and fuell of riot, excesse, couetousnes, and vanity: for they doe not banish them away, but beget them; nor extenuate them, but in­crease them; neither doe they take away necessities, but cause them; and therfore we haue no such reason to lamēt the lo [...] of them, or to be so eagerly set vpon thē, but rather to lament our sinnes, the [Page 59] cause of all our misery.

Fourtéenthly, what though thou now be poore, yet God may hereafter enrich and aduance thee,Psal. 113.7.8. (as he did Job, Dauid, and diuers others) for he raiseth the needy out of the dust, and lifteth vp the poore out of the dung, that hee may set him with the princes of his people, &c.

Lastly, the poorer that we are in life, the more ioyfull shall we be in death: for no man liueth so poorely, that would not desire to haue liued more poorely when he dieth, for he must needs part with al, and render an account to God how hee hath gotten, kept, and disposed all his goods.

Q What vse are wee to make of po­uerty? or how are wee to demeane our selues in it?

A. First, we must remēber that hea­uen is our country and kingdome, and that this life is but a pilgrimage, and the earth a place of banishment; and therfore we must not carke and care,Col. 3.1. toile, and moile for the things of this world, but séeke the things aboue, and rather labour to be rich in grace, then in goods.

Secondly, the poorer that we are, let [Page 60] vs be so much the more humble, and by praier and faith purchase and hold [...] Christ that rich pearle and hidden trea­sure, whereof we reade in the Gospell,Math. 13.44. [...] then we can neuer be poore.

Thirdly, let vs not contemne, mu [...] lesse condemne any person for his pe [...] ­ry and pouerty; for then we shall many times magnifie the wicked & condemne the generation of Gods children,Psal. 73.15 wh [...] (for the most part) are poore in these out­ward things; yea and we may hereby [...] prouoke God to displeasure, that he in his iustice will presse vs with their bur­dens, and leaue vs heartlesse & helples in our distresse.

Lastly, if we want outward helps, we must desire God to supply our wants, [...] withall apply our wits to those arts o [...]e [...] which chance hath no power, and which can neuer be lost; we must get godlines and vertue; which wil procure riches, but riches cannot procure them.

Q. Comforts and directions for them that either feele or feare pouerty by rea­son of the multitude of children.

A. First, many poore men haue had many children, and haue maintained a great family, and that competently, and ioyfully.

[Page 61]Secondly, he that féedeth the birds, fowles, and beasts, will féed parents and children, so they can beléeue and depend vpon him; and he that giueth life, will not deny daily bread.

Thirdly, if the bringing vp of many children be troublesome vnto thée, re­member that no man liueth without some trouble: and admit thou hadst no children, yet other cares would succéed in and possesse their places.

Fourthly, if thou want portions to be­stow on thy sonnes and daughters, God that is al-sufficient, will in time prouide for them: for as he hath giuen them wit, and meanes to liue, so he will giue them conuenient portions.

Fifthly, children are thy riches, and how canst thou be poore amongst thy ri­ches and part of thy happinesse? And hereupon Iacob calleth them the chil­dren that God of his grace had giuen him: Gen. 33.5. for if thou account thy oxen, shéepe, beasts, bées, menseruants, and maid­seruants for part of thy riches, shall not thy sonnes and daughters much more be thus estéemed and iustly accounted?

Sixthly, this is a kind of power and dominion, to haue many children; and [Page 62] these are like so many arrowes to shoot at their parents enemies, and so many pensioners to defend and guard thy per­son.

Seuenthly, good children are the so­lace and ornament of their parents, the ease of their labours, the renewing of their age: and what if for the present they be poore, they may in time arise to such dignity and promotion, that they (after the example of Ioseph) may reléeue and nourish their parents, brethren, kins­folks.

Lastly, the children of Kings, Prin­ces, and great potentates, liue not bet­ter, longer, more contentedly, nor more safely, holily, & happily then poore mens children: for gentry and greatnes doth not make them better, but many times puffeth them vp, and maketh them more loose and licentious.

Q. What vse is to be made hereof?

A. First, thou being a poore man, must liue within compasse, and cut thy coat according to thy cloth, and then the lesse will suffice thée.

Secondly, if thy daughters haue no ioyntures, thou must endeuour to bring them vp in vertue, learning, and com­mendable [Page 63] qualities in Arts, that not so much their mony, as their modesty, their riches, as their religion, nor their wealth, as their wisdome may be desired: for vertue maketh their marriage happy, and then they shal be matched with good men, where they shall liue more honestly and contentedly, then if they were mar­ried to Kings and Princes.

Lastly, thou must ioy in the number of children, for they are the renuing of immortality, and the preseruation of thy name.

Q. What comforts are there against basenesse and meannesse of paren­tage?

A. First, God doth call to the state of grace, yea and (many times) to digni­ty and honour in this world, as well the meane as the mighty, and the [...]asely de­scended as the honourable and noble: for he is no respecter of persons.

Secondly, a man meanly descended, if he be learned, religious, vertuous, is the cause of nobility to his posterity, which his parents neuer gaue him; he is the founder of their glory, and his ver­tues are more conspicuous and emi­nent.

[Page 64]Thirdly, vertue only is true nobility, and therefore wee must not séeke from what roote a man springeth, as of what disposition he is of.

Fourthly, our baptisme and new birth by faith and repentance, maketh vs tru­ly noble and honourable before God, as it did the Prophets and Apostles and others, and it taketh away all note and imputation of meane birth.

Q. Propound some comforts for a regenerate man that is basely and vnho­nestly borne.

A. First, some basely descended haue béene blessed and great instruments of good, as Iudas, Iepta, and Constantine the great.

Secondly, he must liue well, and then he shall die well.

Thirdly, his first deformity is washed away in the beginning of life, by the sa­cred water of Baptisme; for he hath God for his father, and the Church for his Mother.

Fourthly, his parents sinne doth not corrupt him, except he bee guilty of the same; for they shall answer for their own sinnes:Ezech. 18.20. for God doth not impute the iniquity of the father to the child, nor the [Page 65] iniquity of the child to the father.

Fiftly, he must seeke for good things in himselfe, and not out of it.

Sixthly, let him liue more holily and chastely, and he shall couer his parents shame.

Seuenthly, hee being borne against the lawes, let him doe nothing against them, but doe all things according to them.

Eighthly, let other men iudge of his descent, he onely shall render a reason of his behauiour and life; therefore let him beware that hee adde no worse thing to it.

Ninthly, the sweetnesse of his man­ners, and the renowne of his life, shall wipe out, not onely the spots: but also all remembrance of his vnhonest birth: for if vertue extoll him, his meane birth cannot depresse him.

Lastly, seeing that his parents haue blemished and stained his birth, let him liue well and he shall die well: he hath reason to be more humble and not more heauie; for his owne vertues and religi­ous behauiour▪ will make him more glorious then the imputation of base birth can make him reproachfull.

[Page 66] Q. Why doth God suffer his deare children to vndergoe so many losses, to be vndone by fires, flouds, inundations, of waters: yea and by theeues, robbers, pyrats, cousoners and ill seruants, to be spoiled and depriued of their goods?

Ans. First, to frée them from the loue of money, and of these outward thing [...], which otherwise would worke their ru­ine, for many more haue perished by reason of riches, then by the temptation of pouerty.

Secondly, God heereby preuenteth many sinnes, into which otherwise they would sinke: for as a father taketh [...] sword or a naked knife from his childe, lest he should hurt himselfe, so God by these aboue named meanes bereaueth his children of riches, which they other­wise would peruert to pride, ostentati­tion, couetousnesse, oppression and v­surie.

Thirdly, he would not haue them to trust in these transitory trifling and vn­certaine things,1. Tim. 6.17. but to trust in him only, who giueth his all things aboundantly to enioy.

Fourthly, they (many times) suffer, their money to be idle and vnfruitfull▪ [Page 67] and do no good with their present riches, but make them instruments of euill, and therefore God doth iustly depriue them thereof.

Fifthly,Luk. 12, 15 to weane and withdraw them from worldlinesse and couetousnesse, for it choaketh the seede of the word; and as for worldly riches, though a man haue aboundance of them (yet) his life stan­deth not in them.

Lastly, to chastice, and correct them, and to cause them to see and be sorry for their error, for that they in their prospe­rity, were puffed vp and withall slacke and negligent in reléeuing the necessities of their brethren; and also (as all earthly things are changeable and vaine) to make them more seriously to séeke the things aboue,Heb. 10.34 and that enduring sub­stance that is laid vp for them in the heauens.

Q. How and wherein shal they com­fort themselues that are despoiled of their worldly goods?

A. By considering, first, that all these outward things (to speak properly) are none of our own,Luk. 16.11.12. and none of the true & spirituall riches which can neuer be ta­ken from vs: for they are subiect to the [Page 68] danger of théeues, robbers, fire, ship­wracke, and therefore these temporals are to be had in the lesse regard.

Secondly, they shal nourish no para­sites, flatteres, and smel-feasts, and all such vermine and vulturs shall neuer hurt them.

Thirdly, by the losse of them, they are fréed from all thoughtfull care in getting and in keeping them.

Fourthly, he that enioyeth them the longest, must of necessity part with them in death, and then he knoweth not what will be come of them, nor into whose hands they will fall.

Fifthly, God can make vs gainers by our losses, and restore our goods double vnto vs,Iob 42.10. as he did vnto patient Iob.

Sixthly, al necessities and wants shal be abundantly supplied at the day of the general Resurrection, and therefore they must in the meane time possesse their soules by their patience.

Seuenthly, God hath but taken a­way his owne, and therefore wee must not be discontent with Gods doings, but be patient and thankeful.

Eightly, ill gotten goods shall not prosper nor long continue in the theeues [Page 69] or robbers hands.

Ninthly, if they be learned, they must comfort themselues in that, for they ca­rie it about them, and it cannot be lost. Héereupon Bias wisely said,Bia [...] omnia mea mecum porto. So also their vertues cannot be taken from them: whereupon Stilpon the Philosopher, when his Countrey was taken, and his wife and children perished in the common fire, when Demetrius the Tyrant asked him whether he had lost ought, he answered, that he had lost nothing: for (saith he) all my goods, (1. learning & vertu) are in me.

Lastly,Seneca. (as saith an ancient Philoso­pher) qui se, (imo qui Christum) habet nihil perdidit.

Q. What vses are we to make here­of?

A. First, wee must perswade our selues, that all these losses and damma­ges fall out for our good, for God dispo­seth them to the best aduantage of them that loue him.

Secondly, Christ our blessed Sauiour was stript of all that he had,2. Cor. 8.9 and became poore to make vs rich, and therefore let vs not take it scornfully to bee made conformable to our blessed Sauiour. Let [Page 70] vs learne and practise patience,Heb. 10.36 that af­ter that we haue done the will of God, we may receiue the promise.

Thirdly, we must looke to receiue euill things from God, as well as good, and to obey God as well when he correcteth vs, as when he comforteth, and bestow­eth good things vpon vs.

Psal. 62. v. 8.9.10.Fourthly, let vs not trust in goods, lands, liuings, money, for these wil faile vs, and may soone be lost: but let vs trust in the Lord who wil neuer faile, nor forsake vs; and let vs whiles wee enioy these earthly things (like good stewards and disposers of Gods gifts, with which we are betrusted,Ecc [...]e. 11. ver. 1.) bestow a good part of them on the poore and needy, and then we shall not loose them.

Fiftly, the losse of our pretious time, (which wée ought to redéeme) and of our good name, should more trouble vs then the losse of our worldly wealth; and wee must much more bewaile our sinnes, the causes of our miseries, thē our hinderan­ces and losses.

Sixtly, it is certaine, that the wicked that be the instruments of our decay, or vndoing, shall not long enioy that which they haue vniustly gotten from vs, but [Page 71] pay swéetely for them in the end.

Lastly, wee must not so much looke vpon the outward instruments of our woe, as vnto God, who doth order & turn all to our solace and saluation in the end.

CHAP. VIII. Of cosenage, falshood, and deceit.


HOw shall they that in bar­gaines, coine, couenants, promises, are gulled, coose­ned, and ouerwraught, com­fort themselues?

A. First, it is better to be deceiued, then to deceiue, and to bee a patient in this point then an agent: for it is sim­plicity, rather then sinne, to be deceiued in outward matters.

Secondly,Psal 32.1.2. as it is a signe of a man truely regenerate to haue his spirit with­out guile, viz. in duties towards God & men: so it is the brand of a wicked man, [Page 72] and of a corrupt disposition to be a decei­uer, and hereupon they are compared in the Scriptures to Foxes:Ioh. 8.44. They are ly­ars, and therfore children of the Diuell, who is the father of lies.

Thirdly, there is no man, (especially if he be an honest and a good man) that is not in this false and cunning world deceiued, beguiled, deluded, for now craft raigneth, deceit dominereth, & faith is fled out of the country.

Fourthly, the wicked by their cunning fetches, and crafty collusions shew, that they haue no faith in God, nor truth of grace in their hearts; for in scripture, crafty and deceitfull men are branded and noted alwaies for euill men.

Fiftly, God neuer blesseth the crafty man, but crosseth and curseth in the end all his vndermining and subtle practises;Pet. Rauen. in quadam Epist. whereas contrarily some liue simply, and vse no deceit, and these prosper in all things.

Lastly, they that deale falsly with vs, were neuer our friends; for then they would not collogue with vs, nor cosen vs, but deale plainly and iustly with vs, and why then should the displaying of falshood so trouble vs?

[Page 73] Q. What vse are wee to make here­of?

A. First, we must striue against the streame of the worlds corruption, our hearts and words must accord, we must not make shew of one thing, and doe a­nother, like him that roweth in a boate, that turneth his face one way, and goeth and is carried another way.

Secondly, God our heauenly Father, is true, plaine, simple in his nature, attri­butes, words, promises, &c. and deceiueth no man; therefore as children borne of God, wee must imitate our heauenlie Father. Farre be it then from vs to conuert that wit and vnderstanding that God hath giuen vs for the good of man­kind, to the hurt and vndoing of others: for this is to bée like the Diuell, and to become his flaues and schollers.

Thirdly, the more glosing and deceit­full that men are, the more let vs beware of them, and haue no familiar conuerse­ment with them; they haue hony in their mouthes, but poison in their hearts, and wiles in their works.

Fourthly, let vs not beleeue any whose faith is suspected, and by the losse of smaller matters, let vs learne to pre­uent [Page 74] greater euils.

Lastly, let vs neuer deale perfidi­ously nor falsly with others, much lesse lay snares to entrap and entangle them in,Psal. 9 v. 15. lest wee be deceiued our selues, sinke downe into our owne pits, and our feete be taken in the net that wee haue hid.

CHAP. IX. Of diuers publicke euils, and common crosses which concerne the body, and namely, of sickenesse, and death.


WHat is sicknesse?

A. It is the disproporti­on of the foure Elements, or an ill disposition in the body against the naturall constitution of it, which by the effect of any action, breedeth offence to it, and maketh the vse of the body worse.

[Page 75] Q. Who is the sender or imposer of it?

A. God onely: for it is his scourge, rod, and discipline.

Q. Why doth God send and inflict it?

A. For the triall, chasticement, and amendment of his children, and to kéepe their soules from sinne.

Q. What is the attractiue, deseruing, or procuring cause of sicknes?

A. Sinne, as well Originall as actu­all:Lam. 3. v. 39. for why doth man suffer but for sinne? And hereupon our blessed Sa­uiour,Luk. 5.20. before he cured the man that was sicke of the palsie,v. 24. & 25. did forgiue him his sinnes, and then restored him to his per­fect health, to teach vs, that sinne was the cause of it.

Q. What spirituall and speciall com­forts doth Gods word afford vs against sickenesse, diseases, paines?

A. First, sicknes and paine is one of Gods rods to disple and correct vs, with: it is healthfull for the soule: it dis­swadeth vs from lusts; it is a mistresse of chastity and modesty.

Secondly,2. Cor 12. Gods power is and wil be perfected by our infirmity.

[Page 76] Psal. 41.3. Lam. 3.23.Thirdly, God doth make our bed in our sicknesse, and euery night and mor­ning doth visit vs by his spirit.

Fourthly, it putteth vs in minds of our mortality, driueth away drowsines and forgetfulnes, and pointeth out our iourney to heauen.

Fifthly, it is but a temporary and gentle chastisement, leni [...]ed, tempered, and disposed by our heauenly father, for our good.

Apoc. 14.13Sixthly, death wil ease vs of diseases, sickenesses & infirmities, and at the v­niuersall resurrection, we shall be glori­fied euen in our bodies; therefore let vs be content (for so short a space of time) to vndergoe them.

Acts 14.22Seuenthly, it is the narrow way and strait gate that leadeth to life.

Heb. 12.1.Eightly, all the Saints of God haue traced this way before vs.

Ninthly, this yoake is but easie, and the burthen exceeding light, for the sting thereof is taken away by Iesus Christ,Esa. 5.3. Mat. 1 [...].28.29. and yet he beares the burthen with vs, and indeede wholly takes it vpon him­selfe.

Lastly, the infirmities and afflictions of this present world, are not worthy of [Page 77] the glory that is to be reuealed and com­municated vnto vs; for what compari­son, betweene finite and temporary in­firmities, and infinite and eternal glory?

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

A. First,Rom. 12.1 [...] let vs enter into the house of mourning, and marke the chastice­ments of the Lord vpon others, labou­ring to stirre vp our bowels towards them, and to weepe with them that wéepe.

Secondly, we must confesse our sins, the causes thereof, and be sorry for them, and (earnestly and constantly) desire and entreat God to pardon them: for as when the sore or wound is cured, the plaster wil fal off, so whē sin is pardoned the affliction wil cease, or (at least) work to and for our saluation in the end.

Thirdly, we must offer and present our soules to the heauenly Physition Christ Iesus to be cured, and then the body will the sooner be healed.

Fourthly, if our bodily disease, be des­perate, or remedilesse, the more we are to ioy and reioice, because wee shall not only haue the strength of the holy Ghost to leade vs through,Phil. 4.13. but also bee the sooner deliuered out of the dungeon of [Page 78] our sinnefull bodies.

Phil. 1.23.Fiftly, let vs all (with Paul) desire to be dissolued, and to be with Christ. Let vs pray for the comming of our Sauiour that we may be cloathed with our house which is from heauen:2. Cor. 5.2. for these desires and praiers are spirituall wing [...] to carry our minds and thoughts into heauen, where is our Lord, our countrey, our ioy, our inheritance, and our treasure.

Lastly, if wee recouer our sickenesse, we must bee more circumspect for the time to come,Ioh. 5.14. and beware lest a worse thing befall vs.


Q. But my sicknesse is most sharpe, greeuous, and violent, that I thinke that God hath wholly forsaken me.

A. Iob, Dauid, Lazarus, and others haue béen in this taking and perplexity, and yet not forsaken, but inwardly su­stained, and (at length) deliuered. For whom God loueth most,Heb. 12.6. hee correcteth most.

Secondly, these violent sicknesses are healthfull and wholesome vnto thée, for they are like strong and vehement pur­gations, to rid and purge thée of thy ill bloud, and corrupt humors of sinne.

[Page 79]Thirdly, nullum violentum est per­petuum, if they be violent, they will not long continue; for God is faithfull, and will not suffer thée to be tempted aboue measure,1. Cor 10.13. but will giue an issue with the temptation, that thou maiest be able to beare it; he will either end thy sicknes, or take thée out of this wretched world. For God is a louing and a merciful father,Heb. 12.10 not erring in affection and in the manner of correction (as earthly fathers often do) for he doth chastice thée for thy profit, that thou mightest be partaker of his holinesse.

Fourthly, the issue and euent cannot be but good, for hereby sinne is morti­fied, grace is encreased, and thou fitted for heauen.

Fifthly, the smart and paine of sick­nesse is not (in it selfe and simply) euill, because it is not sinne, and it rather tou­cheth the outward man, then any way corrupteth the mind and conscience.

Lastly, heathen men, (especially their Philosophers) that had no other teacher and direction then the dimme and darke light of degenerate nature, haue pati­ently endured exquisite torments; and shall not we Christians that haue the [Page 80] lanterne and lampe of Gods word,Psal. 119.104. and his blessed spirit for our helper and com­forter, be much more couragious and [...] ­solute.

Q. What duties must we performe in such an extremity?

A. First, it standeth vs in hand, ear­ly and earnestly to cry vnto God for the pardon (especially) of all our knowne and grosse sinnes, and then God who lo­ueth the righteous,Iam. 5.16. and who knoweth our hearts, cannot but (in due time) spéed our feruent praiers and requests.

Secondly, we must put on the whole armour of God, and especially the hel­met of hope,Eph. 6.16. 1. Iohn 5.3. and the shield of faith that ouercommeth the world, and that quen­cheth all the fiery darts of Satan, and then our paine shall increase our gaine, and the smart of it shall neuer hurt vs.

Lastly, we must neuer trust in our selues,Eph. 6.16. nor séeke so vnto the Physition, that we forget the Lord, but we must make God our (chiefe) Physitian, for he healeth all our infirmities:Ps. 103.3. and we must patiently endure Gods hand, and desire his helpe, and then as our afflictions doe or may abound, so he will cause our con­solations to abound much more. 2. Cor. 1.

A second Obiection.

Q. But what if our sicknesse and dis­ease be of long durance, or of many yeeres continuance, how then shall wee stay and comfort our selues?

A. First, our sinnes, whereof wee must seriously repent, haue (perhaps) long time preuailed against vs, and therefore the medicine must a long time be applied to it.

Secondly, our sinnes haue deserued euerlasting paine,Dan. 9.6. and therefore we must patiently endure this which is tempora­ry and tollerable.

Thirdly,Psal. 73. the blessed saints and ser­uants of God in all generations haue had experience of this temptation, and haue béen our companions and copart­ners herein. For example sake, Iob in the old Testament was very long (no doubt) sicke, pained, and vlcerous: Aza long diseased in his séete: and in the new Testament, a poore woman was twelue yéeres long, troubled with a bloudy issue. A daughter of Abraham, Luke 18. (i. a godly and religious woman) bowed by Satan eightéen yéeres;Iohn 5.5. and a créeple (whereof we reade in Iohns Gospell) was lame, thir­ty eight yéeres.

[Page 82]Fourthly, the longer that our afflicti­ons are, the more easie they will be; for God (in his compassion) will either mi­tigate our paine, or adde vnto our strength.

Fifthly, if our outward man decay, yet shall the inward (or regenerate man) be renewed daily, so that corruptio vni­us, is (by Gods mercy) generatio alte­rius.

Sixthly, the temporary (though long and tedious) afflictions of this world,Rom. 8.18. are nothing to the eternity and vnmeasura­blenesse of glory in the world to come.

Seuenthly, God will heare and helpe vs,Hos. 5.15. after that we haue béen long hum­bled, and diligently sought him.

Lastly, the longer that the deliuerance is delaied,Psal. 5.15. the greater will the comfort be when it commeth Prou 13.12.

The third Obiection.

Q. But what if either the violence, or the long continuance of our sicknes bereaue vs of naturall sleep, whereby our life and strength is prolonged and main­tained; how shall we in this case comfort our selues?

A. By these rules and directions fol­lowing First, sléepe is a resemblance of [Page 83] death, and the image of it, for they differ only in time, sléep being but a short death, and death a long sleepe, and therefore the lesse that we sléepe, the longer doe wee liue.

Secondly, we may, & must conceiue good hope of procuring naturall sléepe, and rest; for if sicknes take it away, health may restore it; and if feare depriue vs of it, hearts ease and quietnes of mind will make vs againe partakers of it.

Thirdly, we are by our wakefulnesse, and want of sléepe freed from the terrour of dreames, and from many illusions, doubts, feares, wherewith men in their sléepe are assaulted.

Lastly, God will haue vs to estéeme more highly of the blessing of sleep when we obtaine and enioy it; and to shew our selues more thankefull for it.

Q. What course are wee to take that we may procure rest and sleepe?

A. Wée must first of all, and most ear­nestly pray vnto God that giueth his be­loued sleepe in peace,Psal. 4 8. Act. 12. v. 6 Hest. 6.1. and that gaue S. Peter (that was bound with two chains, and betweene two souldiers) sleepe, to bestow this gift vpon vs, which is ma­ny times denied to great Monarches.

[Page 84]Secondly, we must striue to disburden & vnlade our selues of cares & thoughts, and to shake off sicknes (what in vs li­eth) and then sléepe will come vpon vs vnlooked for.

Thirdly, in our non rest, wee must read the holy Scriptures, and good books (especially of Diuinity,Psal. 1. v. 2) and haue them about vs, with whom we may talke and confer, and we shall find much ease and refreshment. Psal. 77. v. 11.3.4. ad 12.

Lastly, we must in the day time (es­pecially if our sicknes will suffer vs) di­ligently, honestly, and conscionably walke in our lawfull callings,Eccles. 5. v. 1 and wee shall haue experience of Gods gratious blessing euen this way.

The 4. Obiection.

Q. I am (as it were) a close prisoner in my earthly house, and I am not able to goe to Gods house that I may behold the beauty of it, Psal. 27.4. and visite his temple, how then shall J comfort my selfe?

A. First, though thy body be bound, yet thy soule is at liberty,Psal. 41. Esa. 38. Act. 9 33. Luc. 5.18.19. and kept vn­polluted of sinne and errour.

Secondly, Dauid, Ezechias, Aeneas, & many others haue (against their will,) by sicknes béene kept from Gods house.

[Page 85]Thirdly, God (in this case) accepteth the will for the déede, and requireth the heart, and the affection onely.

Lastly, in this estate thou must reade the scriptures, and godly treatises, and muse and meditate vpon that thou hast heard, read, learned.

The fift Obiection.

Q. Alas, we want friends, kinsfolks, and good neighbours, to relieue, direct and comfort vs; what instructions can you yeeld vs?

A. First, our case is not singular, and without example: for Iob, Dauid, &c. yea and our blessed Sauiour in this case were neglected,Math. 27.42 43. misiudged, forsaken.

Secondly, we must learne to beare our friends death, and therefore much more their absence; for this absence will not appall them, whom death doth notdis­may.

Thirdly, it may be that we in our health made small account of, and were offen­ded at them, and therefore now wee are iustly depriued of them. For as in all things, so in friendship, too much aboun­dance doth dull the appetite, whereas want doth sharpen it, and hunger is the best sauce.

[Page 86]Fourthly, though they bee absent in place (when that their eyes, eares, hands and féet performe not their office,) yet they may be with vs in their mind, and affection: and thus Paul was present with the Colossians,Col. 2. v. 5. and with the Co­rinthians, 1. Cor. 5.4.

Lastly, let vs not be discouraged, nor faint harted,Ios. 1.9. Heb. 13.5. but trust in the liuing God, and bee content with those thinges that we haue, for hee will neuer faile nor for­sake vs.

Q. What duties are wee to performe in this distresse?

A. First, we must not trust in men, who are lighter then vanity it selfe,Psal. 62.7. they are like a brokē staffe that wil faile them that leane on it,Iob. 13.15. and like a réede that will breake in a mans hand: but wee must trust in the liuing God, (thogh he should kill vs,) and liue by faith, and then wee shall haue the recompence of reward.Heb. 2.4.

Secondly, when God raiseth vp friends and kind neighbours vnto vs, let vs be more thankefull vnto God for them, and haue them in more request and estimation.

Q. What if the violence and conti­nuance of sicknes, want of friends, and [Page 87] good neighbours, & lacke of sleepe con­curre, or (at least) we faint vnder some one, or more of them, how then shal we practise patience?

A. By obseruing and practising those instructions and conclusions following. First, that many of Gods Saints, as Iob, Psal. [...]. Dauid, &c. haue encountred with all these temptations, and yet haue by faith and patience ouercome them; and though these men may seeme vnto vs Phoenices and rare birds; yet we must the rather take notice of them, and en­deauour to imitate them.

Secondly, if our minds bee armed with faith in God, our bodies shall be the better enabled to beare them all, yea, and to ouercome all temptations.

Thirdly, God is a present helpe in trouble:Psal. 46. v. 1. where mans helpe endeth, there his beginneth, and his power is perfited in mans infirmitie.

Fourthly,Psal. 22.1. Luk. Christ our Sauiour, God blessed for euermore, endured for our saluation, and that most patiently, exqui­site torments of soule and body, yea, the pangs and paines of hell, (though his soule was neuer in the place appointed for the damned,) in comparison whereof [Page 88] ours are but light and easie, nay swéete and pleasant, and therefore we may the better endure them.

Fifthly, we must not iudge of the euill of our paine,Psal. 73.16.17. by our deceitfull senses, but by Gods word, the true touchstone and vnfallible rule of truth.

Sixthly, if we fret, grieue, and grow impatient, we shall doe nothing but en­crease our euill, and to the disease of our body, adde the disease of our soules.

Sixthly, we haue néed of patience and we in midst of all these euils, must vp­hold our selues, by our courage and va­lour, Luke 21.19 that after that we haue done the wil of God, we might receiue the promise: for yet a very little while,Heb. 10.36, 37. and he that shall come, will come, and will not tary.

Lastly, let vs in our inward and out­ward griefes, abstract and withdraw our minds from them, and thinke vpon some other matter, and obiect, that may more please, content, and affect vs; and when our weake and dazeled eies can­not behold the Sunnes bright beames, let vs looke vpon the gréene coate and co­lour of the earths hearbs, flowers, fruits, leaues, &c.

Q. May we not fitly number amongst [Page 89] the euils of sicknesse, the paines of wo­men in trauile, and the inconueniences of old age?

A. Yea, for they are distempers of the body, caused by mans sin and trans­gression, and tending to the hurt of the body.

Q Seeing that by many places of scripture, by oft allusions vnto the paine of women in trauaile, and by the testi­mony of heathen Philosophers, Arist. 7. lib. de animal. (as Ari­stotle) no creature hath so sore paines in trauaile as a woman: what comforts can you profound for the sweetning here­of?

A. First, though a womans throwes and paines are bitter, yet are they but short, and therefore they may be the bet­ter borne and endured in hope of spéedy deliuerance.

Secondly, no creature besides, brin­geth forth so diuine and excellent a crea­ture as a woman doth,Iohn 16.21 and at the know­ledge and experience hereof, she (for ioy) forgetteth her paine.

Thirdly, these paines are to the belée­uing women,Rom 8.1. no part of the curse, but on­ly fatherly corrections, and the straight way to guide them, and transport them [Page 90] to the heauenly Canaan.

Lastly, to interpret that place of Ti­mothy properly as some doe, the belée­uing women shal be saued,1. Tim. 2.15. [...], that is, by the birth & natiuity of Christ, which was the beginning of the accom­plishmēt of the worke of our redemption.

Q. What comforts are proper to old age that is religious?

A. First, old age is honourable, if it be found in the way of vertue:Leu. 19.32. Prou. 16.31 for a good thing is (commonly) commended for the antiquity of it.

Secondly, an old man is (in some sort) the image and representation of Gods eternity;Dan. 7.9. and therefore the more to be re­uerenced.

Thirdly, let him not grow old in vi­ces and errors, but in grace and vertues, and then he hath more cause of comfort then of complaint.

Fourthly, an aged man and gray hea­ded, is more like a beautifull swanne, then a crow or rauen;Eccles. 12. v. 1, 2. &c. and though beauty, health, strength, and the vse of bodily pleasures cease, and are out of date, yet grauitie and vertue then most flourish in Gods children, and they are often the oracles of God for counsell, (as [Page 91] Iacob, Iob, Nathan, Chuzai, Roboams antients are examples) and in stead of enioying outward pleasures, they be­hold the beauty of the Lord,Psal. 27.4. they visit his temple, they are satisfied with the faines of Gods house,Psal. 36.8. and drinke out of the waters of his pleasure, and doe finde maruellous contentment in the desirea­ble meditation of the kingdome of God at hand.

Fifthly, after the generall resurrecti­on old men shall renew their age, as the Eagle doth hers; yea they shall euer be fresh and flourishing, and neuer decay.

Sixthly, an old man hath a singular prerogatiue, in that so few attaine vnto his yéeres.

Seuenthly, an old man hath had a long time of preparation,Luk. 2.28. and tendeth to his perfection, and lifteth vp his head, (for ioy) because his redemption is so néere at hand, and they hauing (by the eies of faith) séene Gods saluation with holy Simeon, Luk. 2.29. are desirous to depart this life in peace.

Lastly, youth is the glasse of folly, and the bait of vanity, apt to be drawn to any euill; and therfore they may be glad that the rage and intemperate heat of youth is past.

[Page 92] Q. What duties is an old man to per­forme, and put in practise?

A. First, hee must purge himselfe of lust,Gen. 19. couetousnesse, anger, riot, idle­nesse, and the like sinnes, for these vices disgrace old age, and by the dominée­ring of them in many ancients, youth is maruellously corrupted and infected, that are ready to follow such euill presi­dents.

Secondly, he must spend all his time in preparation, and learne to die daily, that so he may be ready for the Lord, and enter into his ioy.

Thirdly, as the body daily decaieth and is posting to his long home: so must the soule and inward man be renewed,2. Cor. 4.16. and look towards heauen, and not turne backe to the Sodome of this world;Luk. 23.43 Luk. 16.22 that it immediatly (after that it is loosed out of the body) may be carried by the An­gels into the kingdome of heauen.

CHAP. X. Of Death, of the nature, causes, euils, and benefits of it; what preparation a­gainst it is necessary: how a man may in this life haue a taste of eternall life, and of a right disposition in death▪ the generall vse of the Doctrine.


WHat is death?

A. Phil. 1.23. 2. Cor. 15.1. It is the loosing and se­paration of the soule from the body.

Q. What is the procuring cause of it?

A. Rom. 5.12. Adams sinne, and the sinne of all his posterity.

Q. Who is the author of it?

A. God, as a iust Iudge imposing it vpon man.

Q. What is it in it owne nature?

A. It is the Diuels weapon, whereby he séeketh to murder mankind, it is the [Page 94] punishment of our sinne, the enemy [...] our soules, and the gulfe of damna [...]on.

Q. But what is it to Gods childre [...] that beleeue and are regenerate?

A. It is no enemy, but a friend to sou [...] and body; for it is changed, by vert [...] of Christ his death and obedience, fro [...] a curse to a blessing: it is Golias hi [...] sword to cut off his owne head; it is [...] the drone that hath lost his sting (that is [...] eternall torment in hell fire;) it is [...] sweet sleepe refreshing the body;Ioh. 11.11 12. it is the accomplishment of our mortificati­on, and fully, and finally, endeth the battell betwixt the flesh and the spirit▪ and it insteede of being the gate and sub [...]urbs of hel, is made the ladder of peace, and the entrance into paradise to all beleeuers.

Q. Why doe holy and regenera [...] men die, seeing that their sins are forgi­uen them?

A. First, because the remainders of sinne are left in them, which cannot be a­bolished, but by changing corruption in­to incorruption: and this cannot be per­formed before the last day.

Secondly, the law of nature must bèe [Page 95] fulfilled, as well in them, as in any o­ther.

Lastly, the quality of death is changed in the beléeuers:1. Thes. 4.13. for it is not death, but a sleepe, and not a punishment, but a fatherly correction, yea and a spéedy pas­sage to eternall life.

Q. Seeing that the soules of the Saints are immediately after their departure out of the body glorified, why are the bodies so long kept vnder the power of death, and not iointly glorified with their soules?

A. First, the body did sinne last, and therefore is glorified last, for this stan­deth with the proportion of iustice?

Secondly, God in detaining the bo­dy for a time in the earth, which is the first death, doth hereby declare his mer­cy in deliuering both soule and body frō the second death.

Thirdly,Rom. 8.17. wee must by death bee made conformable to Christ our Sauiour, that wee may raigne with him.

Fourthly,Gen. 3 19. God will hereby shew the truth of that his threatning, Thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou returne.

Fifthly, Christ their head and King, [Page 96] who is the resurrection,1. Cor. 15.20. and the life, and the first fruits of the dead, must of neces­sity be glorified before the members.

Lastly, the bodies of the Saints, though lying in the graue and consumed there, yet are without sinne, and sense of paine, and they shall arise againe in glory at the last day, and be reunited to their soules, &c. and both together inhe­rite eternall happines through the pow­er of God.

Ob. But the bodies of Henoch, before the law, and of Elias in time of the law, neuer died, but were rapt and translated into heauen.

A. First, these examples are extraor­dinary, and therefore they are no com­mon rule to others. For God did not onely hereby signifie to the world in what account he had them, (though the world distasted and despised their per­sons, and blessed doctrine;) but hee made them types and figures of the generall resurrection.

Secondly, some Diuines hold, that their bodies (though rapt vp into the aire) were cōsumed in the aire, because Christ in regard of his bodily ascension is said to be the first fruits of the dead.

[Page 97]Lastly, they died an extraordinary death, such as we the Saints that shalbe found aliue at Christ his comming shall tast of, for their bodies were in a moment changed from mortality to immortality,1. Thes. 4. and from corruption to incorruption.

Q. But why doe Infants (that are cal­led Innocents) die, seeing that they doe not, and cannot sinne with consent of will, nor of knowledge, as doe men of yeares?

A. Albeit they want, (as yet) the power, meanes, instruments, to com­mit Actuall sinne, yet they haue the bitter and poisonfull root of originall sinne,Rom. 5.14. Rom. 6. v. 23. in them, and in it they were con­ceiued and borne, and the wages euen of it, is death,

Secondly, God will sometimes tem­porally punish or ch [...]sten the parents in the death of their children, because they are flesh of their flesh, and bone of their bones, and who (perhaps) would (if God granted them longer life,) match and equall their parents in sinne.

Q What are we further to consider in prosecuting this argument of death?

A Foure chiefe branches or partes.

First, some of the (principall) re­puted [Page 98] and supposed euils of it.

Secondly, the benefites of it, both Priuatiue, and Affirmatiue, or Posi­tiue.

Thirdly, the right preparation a­gainst it.

Lastly, a right disposition in death it selfe.

Q What are some of the principall (and so reputed) euils?

A. Thrée: First, the suddennes of it in many.

Secondly, the violent death of many.

Thirdly, the vncomfortable, and la­mentable effects of it, in that it bereaueth vs of the benefite, company, gifts, pray­ers, gouernment of many notable, and worthy persons in Church, common­wealth, and family.

Q. Now (to handle euery member of the diuision in his right place and or­der) is sudden death, simply euill, and a curse?

A. I must néeds distinguish of suddē death; for, qui non distinguit, destruit artem. First in it selfe it is not euill; but because it commonly taketh men vnrepentant, and vnprepared; other­wise [Page 99] the last iudgement should be simply euill, because it is sudden, seeing that the sonne of man will come in an houre, when wee looke not for him: but this sudden comming of Christ is not euil,1. Thes. 4.17. but good, and happy for Gods children. Againe, the manner and time of euery mans death, is not in his own dispositiō, but in Gods power and hands onely.

Secondly, we must distinguish of it, according to the persons, vpon whom it seazeth: they are either irrepentant per­sons, and thus die; and to these death is hel-mouth, & the beginning of euerla­sting torment;Gal. 3.13. or repentant, and to these it is no curse; for Christ hath (by his death and passion) taken away the curse; but it is a short and vnsensible crosse, and correction, which freeth them from the feare of death, and doth speedily conuey them into the hauen of eternall rest.

Secondly, it is not sudden to the godly, that long before foresaw it, and waited for it.

Thirdly, the sooner that they die, the sooner are they blessed:Apo. 14.13 for they rest from their labours, and their works fol­low them.

Lastly, many of Gods children haue [Page 100] died suddenly, yet they were not hereby defrauded of eternall glory: of this num­ber were Iobs children; Meph [...]hosheth; the infants that the bloudy butcher He­rode caused to bee massacred,Luk. 13. Math. 14. Iohn the Baptist suddenly beheaded, &c. But as for wicked, vnbeléeuing, and vnrepen­tant persons, they liue not out half their dayes, but sudden, (yea & ordinary) death is to them a curse, and a swift posting of them into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, (as we may see in Pha­raoh, Nabal, and the rich churle, where­of we reade in the 12 of Luke.)

Q. What vse are wee to make here­of?

A. Seeing that death many times stealeth and encrocheth vpon vs so vn­looked for; wée ought daily to prepare ourselues against it, by prayer, repen­tance, and the practise of good works, and to thinke euery day to be the last; for (as an ancient Father saith) vtiliter latet vltimus dies, Augustinus. vt obseruentur omnes dies, (that is) the last day is for our profite kept vnknowne, that all the rest may be obserued.

Secondly, being prepared and resol [...]ued before hand, let vs not feare the [Page 101] circumstances of death, more then death it selfe;Rom. 8.38 but let vs (for our comfort) know and be assured, that the sting of euery kind of death is taken away by Christs death from the true beleeuers, and no manner of death can diuert and diuorce them from Christ their Saui­our.

Lastly, wee must daily commend our soules and spirits into Gods hands, as vnto a faithfull Creator, not doubting but that hee will receiue and glorifie them; but as for the time of death, and the warning that God giueth vs of it, we must refer it wholy to his heauenly disposition.

Q. Is it lawfull for a Christian to pray against sudden death?

A. Yes, when he hath liberty so to doe, or whiles hee hath time and me­mory.

Q. But sudden death cannot preiu­dice his saluation, & there is no expresse forme of prayer against sudden death in all the scripture; why then should any Christian man pray against it?

A. First, because sudden death more often befalleth to the wicked,Psal. 73.19. then to the good.

[Page 102]Secondly, because fewnes of daies, and suddennes of death is wished to the wicked in way of imprecation, and ther­fore we may pray for some warning of death approching, that the wicked and prophane doe not rashly censure, iudge, and condemn vs, as though wee died ac­cursed, and out of Gods fauour.

Thirdly, wee cannot otherwise (by our good confession and prayer) glorifie God before men in our death, nor giue at all a good example of dying well to our family, or others.

Lastly, if we being of ability) die in­testate, and without making a will, the poore may be defr [...]uded of all com­fort; and much contention may (possi­bly) arise about the distribution and dis­posall of our lands and worldly goods amongst our wiues, children, and kins­folke.

Q. What shall wee iudge of Gods children that doe perish by the enemies sword, and (by consequence) are this way cruelly and suddenly massacred?

A. It hath beene the lotte of Gods Saints in the old and new Testament, and in all ages sithence, thus to end their liues,Math. 5.2. and they blessed, yea blessed [Page 103] with a further addition of glory, because they died for Gods cause.

Secondly, this kind of death cannot kill the soule,Rom. 8.32 nor separate soule or body from Gods fauour and loue.

Thirdly, they had no (special) promise to die quietly in their beds, or in their friends hands, and (as for their ene­mies) they haue preuented themselus frō hauing any further power ouer Gods children, for they haue done their worst. Finally, non nocet bonis (si subito) oc­cidantur, vel si subita morte pereunt. Nō enim subito moriuntur qui semper co­gitauerunt se morituros; that is; It dis­parageth not good men, if they be (sud­denly) slain, or if they suddenly die. For they die not suddenly, who alwaies thought that they should die.

Lastly, right many haue béene by the sword not knighted in earth, but mar­tyred here, and crowned in heauen; & this besides the pregnant testimonies of sacred scriptures,) the experience of all times and ages euinceth and verifi­eth.

Q. How shall wee arme and resolue our selues against the feare of perishing by the enemies sword, or any such kind [Page 104] of violent death?

A. First it skilleth and mattereth not, whether a burning feauer, the pe­stilence▪ or the sword kill vs, or whe­ther the prison be set or broken open.

Secondly, we are not so much to feare the hand as the wound; but death doth not so much wound as cure and salue the godly from their sinnes and mise­ries.

Thirdly, wee may hereby bee pre­uented of a more lingring and feare­full death, as to die by famine, and by r [...]cking,Psal 44.22. Rom. 8. v. 2 flaying▪ &c.

Lastly, wee must remember that it is the lot of Gods children oftentimes this way to die and that no kind of death naturall or violent can sepa­rate them or vs from the loue wherewith God loueth vs in Christ.

CHAP. XI. The third supposed euill of death, in that it depriueth vs of most wor­thy and excellently deseruing Princes, Magistrates, Ministers, patrons, friends, kinsfolks, &c.


HOw shall wee comfort our selues against the vntimely death of any worth [...] Chri­stian, whether Magistrate, Mi­nister, kinsman, speciall friend, or any priuate Christian?

A. By marking and meditating vp­on these (or the like) propositions and grounds following. First, no man dieth before his time: for it is appointed for all men once to die,Heb. 9.27. Acts 1.7. and this time not man, but God hath in his eternall certainty appointed.

Secondly, they are loosed from the bonds of sinne and this earthly misery, and how can this be out of time?

[Page 106]Thirdly, they as well as any others, owed a death vnto God, and were (at Gods call) to make present paiment: now this death is due euery day, how then demanded before the day?

Fourthly, these worthy instruments in Church and commonwealth, these pil­lars in Gods house, these noble Cedars in Libanon, these starres in the firma­ment, these Phen [...]ces, and déere saints and seruants of God, were fitter for hea­uen then earth and therefore, partly be­cause we were vnworthy of them, and vnthankfull to God for them,2. King. 22.20. Esay 57.1.2. partly be­cause they should not see the euils to come, and partly, that they should not be changed and infected with the worlds wickednes, God hath iustly depriued vs of them, but crowned them with the crowne of euerlasting glory.

Fifthly, a long life is a long labour, and a suspension (as it were) of their life from immortality; and hee that liueth long, what hath he but increase of sins, manifold cares, griping griefes, and di­stastefull discontentments? and will he count these his gaines, gettings, win­nings and aduantages?

Sixthly, they die not suddenly, that [Page 107] soone haue growne old, and haue spéedily sailed ouer the troublesome and tempe­stuous sea of this world, into the blessed Canaan.

Lastly, if God sée vs truly humbled for the losse of these glorious lights, and earnestly to sorrow for our sinnes and vnthankfulnes, that haue bereaued vs of them; God can and wil raise vp a new succession in their stead; he can cause Iosua to succéed Moses, and Iehoshaphat to succéed Aza; Salomon to follow next after Dauid; Elizeus to execute the office of Elias his predecessor, & can (as he did) cause very many worthy and vigilant Bishops, and faithful Pastors to succéed the Apostles: and therefore in this, though we ought to be humbled, yet we must hope well, and know that Gods arme is not shortned, nor his power a­bridged.

Q. What vse are we to make of vn­timely death, either in regard of others, or else in respect of our selues?

A. First, in regard of others, we must lament and bewaile our sinnes and vn­worthinesse, whereby we haue depriued our selues of them, and that we did not more praise God, nor better serue him [Page 108] when we enioyed them.

Secondly, we must not enuie at, but congratulate their aduancement and e­uerlasting happinesse, sed eodem animo ferenda mors, Sence. epist. quo nostram expectamus: that is, we must so take their death as our owne.

Thirdly, it is our duty to pray vnto God to raise vp new in their place; and if their equals, or those that doe in some good measure resemble them doe succéed, it is our duty more to esteeme them and haue them in the higher account, nam bona nostra, carendo magis quam fru­endo cognos [...]imus: that is, we know good things more by wanting of them, then by enioying of them.

Fourthly, in regard of our selues, if we (as we ought) purpose to doe well, let vs doe it quickly, lest we be preuented; and if we haue begun to doe some wor­thy acts,1. Chron 39.2, 3, 4, 5. as Dauid did, when he made preparation for the building of the Tem­ple, &c. God the righteous Iudge, will re­gard and reward not onely our action, but our affection, and our desire as well as our déed.

Lastly, let vs, laying aside all other works, intend and study this one thing, [Page 109] which is, to die well; for this is instar om­nium, that is, this instead of all, (for ac­cording to the antient Prouerbe) All is well that ends well.

Q. How shall we comfort our selues when death hath depriued vs of very good benefactors, friends, fauorites?

A▪ First, you haue not lost them, but sent them before to God: for death hath not consumed them, but eternity shall re­ceiue them.

Secondly, they liue in their better part;Heb. 12.22.23. for though death hath taken away his body, yet not his friendship past) nor our friends▪ who are forth comming, and whom we shall see, know, and conuerse with after the day of iudgement. 1. Cor. 13.12.

Thirdly, their vertues are immor­tall, and for thy practise and imitation, and the remembrance of them is swéete, delightsome, and comfortable vnto vs.

Fourthly, it may be when we enioied them, we did not (as our duty required) honour, reuerence, and esteeme or them.

Fifthly, if our friends be remooued hence, and translated into heauen, we must labour by our godlinesse▪ humility, and weldoing, to gain & get new friends.

[Page 110]Lastly, if all our chiefe friends and be­nofactors on earth, be flowen vp into heauen, it must abundantly suffice and content vs, that the whole holy and vn­diuideable Trinity, God the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost are our friends, fauorites, benefactors, vphol­ders: for they are all in all, and there­fore let vs as well trust in God when our friends faile, as when they abound.

CHAP. XII. Particular comforts for them that haue sustained particular losses by the death of kinsfolks, &c.


HOw shall a Christian man comfort and resolue him­selfe, that hath (by death) parted with a vertuous and kind wife?

A. Indéed thy losse is great, and it is (as it were) the cutting away of one [Page 111] halfe of thée; but thou must remember that she was borne mortal, and that frō Adam to the worlds end, all must die, and therefore thou must take it pati­ently.

Secondly,Rom. 8.28. all things come to passe by Gods prouidence and appointment, who turneth all things to the best to them that loue him.

Thirdly, God will hereby either correct thy vnthankfulnesse, or try thy patience.

Fourthly, if she had liued longer, she might (perhaps) haue growne worse, and haue béen a crosse and vexation vnto thée.

Fifthly, thou art hereby fréed from ielosie & suspition, to which good women are sometimes subiect.

Sixthly, God can make thée a gainer by thy losse, and procure thee a second, as good as shee:1. Sam. 25.40, 41, 42. as when Michal was taken away from Dauid, God after­wards prouided for him faire and wise Abigail.

Seuenthly, if thou (vnder God) wast an instrument to make her good, thou maiest make the second good by thy in­struction and holy example: for though [Page 112] thy wife be gone, yet thou the workman art aliue.

Eighthly, thanke God that thou so long time, and to thy great contentment, didst inioy so good a wife▪ and therefore now thou must be content to receiue some chastisement from God, as well as good things in former times.

Lastly, preserue and honour her me­mory after her death, and speake well of her: and if thou bee inclined to match againe, pray vnto God that thy second choice may bee matchable to thy first and God will heare thy praier.

Q▪ What comfortable meditations and directions can you bring forth for a Christian wife, that hath lost a good and a godly husband?

A. First, she is wedded to Christ, and therefore she is no widow, nor can want any necessary help and protection. Apoc. 12.1. Apoc. 19 7.

Secondly, death hath not parted hus­band and wife for euer, but for a time; for they shall one day (if they both feared God) sée and know one the other, (albeit all respects of marriage shall then whol­ly cease.)

Thirdly, God hath a speciall care of [Page 113] widowes,Ps. 10.18. Deut. 24.17.18. (as may appeare by miracles done in their behalfe, and for their reléefe, in the old and new Testament) and he laieth a strait charge vpon Magistrates, Rulers, and Iudges, to sée them righted and prouided for.

Fourthly, if she truly feare God, and intend a second marriage, he that proui­ded her a good husband before, can pro­uide her a second as good: as he prouided faire,1. Sam. vertuous, and wise Abigail for Dauid.

Lastly, it may be either she did not re­spect him (according to his worth) and therefore God hath iustly corrected her vnthankfulnes, or else, she too much doa­ted vpon him, and was too fond of him, and therefore God by his death, will heale this sinne in her, and cause her to depend vpon him onely, when the staffe of her outward state is taken a­way.

Q. Let vs heare some comforts for parents, that by death are bereaued of godly and dutifull children.

A. First, we must alwaies remem­ber, that sinne hath deserued death, and that God hereupon in the time appoin­ted, inposeth death vpon young as well [Page 114] as the aged, and his decrée cannot bee preuented or resisted.

Secondly, herein the Saints of God beare their parts with thée and therefore thou must endure these common euils with the greater patience.

Thirdly, children and young men are but as flowers in God his garden; and we must suffer God the soueraigne Lord of it and them, to crop and gather them when he will.

Fourthly, the yonger that they died, they were the lesse defiled with corrup­tion,2 Kings 22.20. and they departed being not la­den with the burthen of many sinnes, which longer continuance of time would haue drawne them into. [...].

Fifthly, if there be a decay, mortality and change in Okes and Cedars, much more in man, that hath rebelled against his Creator.

Sixthly, it may be, that when wee inioyed them, that either wee were too tender and fond ouer them, and so would haue corrupted them, or else were not contented with them, nor thankfull to God for them: and there­fore God (to remedy and correct both [Page 115] these extremities) hath bereaued vs of them.

Seuenthly, if our children led a god­ly life, and so died, then they are in safe­tie and forth comming; their life is not vanished but changed: and though we haue lost them, yet God hath found them, and at the generall resurrection we shall finde them, know and acknow­ledge them: wherefore let vs in the meane time rest content, and comfort our selues in this blessed expectation:1. Thes. [...].18. and therefore wee must be so farre from murmuring and repining against God for depriuing vs of them, that we must blesse and praise God for their perfection and glorification.

Lastly, by their death, wee are fréed from infinite feares of their mis-do­ing, and from many carking cares of prouiding for their outward estate and maintenance: but if our children proue vntoward and vngodly, then our losse is the lesse to bee lamented, for wee haue none to take notice of our gray haires,Filius ante diem, pa­trios inqui­rit in an­nos. none to number our yéeres, none to carpe at our cost, and none to bee discontented at the delay of our death.

[Page 116] Q. What vse (in a word) are we to make hereof?

A. First, we must remember that we being mortall our selues, begat them mortall, and that all men must die (sooner or latter) though the time, place, and ma­ner be vnknowne vnto vs.

Secondly, if we bewaile them being dead, we should (in some sort) haue be­wailed them as soone as they were born, for then they began to die.

Thirdly, we must out of heauinesse conceiue matter of happinesse, and kéepe a measure in lamentation, and not la­ment for euery losse, lest our whole life be filled with lamentation.

Lastly, we must instruct them, and pray for them whiles that they liue: but when we perceiue death to approach, we must not in vaine striue against God, but willingly suffer him to take his owne.

Q. How shall poore orphanes, name­ly, fatherlesse and motherlesse children, comfort themselues, that haue parted with kind, carefull, and most Christian parents?

A. By remembring and obseruing these directions and duties following. [Page 117] First,Iob 14.1.2. that their parents were borne mortall, and must néeds die: and there­fore the children comming of them, can­not be immortall. If the foundation of the building in time shrinke and be sha­ken, that which is built vpon it cannot endure. The earth their common mo­ther must receiue them all, and at the last day yéeld vp all againe.

Secondly, their parents are not lost, for God hath found them, and fréed them from all miseries and molestations: and therefore they in this regard must bee content.

Thirdly,2. Sam. 12.23. that they shall not returne to their children, but their children goe to them.

Fourthly, they were borne first, and therefore must die first, and they are not forsaken, but sent before them to blisse.

Lastly, God hath depriued them of their parents, either to correct their mur­muring against them, or their vndutiful­nes towards them, or (at least) to try how they will depend vpon him, when all earthly meanes faile and are wan­ting.

Q. What duties are they to per­forme?

[Page 118] A. First, they must patiently vnder­goe Gods correction.

Secondly, they must heartily repent them of their sinnes, the cause thereof.

Thirdly, they must follow their ver­tuous example, and immortalize their memories.

Fourthly, they must more highly e­stéeme Gods benefits when they inioy them.

Q. What comforts are fit & seasona­ble against the death of deere brethren and sisters?

A. First, death is a common corre­ction to Gods children, and no person must looke to be fréed from it.

Secondly, though their life was short, yet it was holy and blessed.

Thirdly, though their bodies be dead and interred, yet their soules liue, and their vertues (like so many children left behind them) are immortall, and the im­pression hereof (as of their kindnes and indulgence towards them) must neuer be blotted out.

Fourthly, though they want the com­fortable company of their brethren and sisters, yet they are not alone, being at­tended vpon and guarded by so many [Page 119] vertues, and all those that feare God and doe his will,Mat. 12.48 must be their brethren and sisters.


First, wee must not vnmeasurably mourne for them, but rather bewaile euil things, that hang ouer our owne heads.

Secondly, by such examples of morta­lity, we must be warned to prepare our selues against our latter end.

Lastly, we must comfort our hearts in this, that wee shall one day to our hearts contentment, inioy for euer their most swéet and blessed fellowship.

Q. Is it not a curse to a religious man to die childlesse and without issue?

A. It is a crosse, rather then a curse. For first, they are not vnder the law, but vnder grace.

Secondly, Christ hath taken away the curse from all true beléeuers.

Q. By what arguments and reasons shall such a man quiet and comfort his conscience?

A. First, their loosenesse and lewd­nesse shall neuer grieue him, and their future miserie shall neuer disquiet him.

Secondly, he in [...], or want of children, may (in his discretion) adopt [Page 120] such who may proue more kind, louing, and obedient, then those that might haue proceeded out of his owne loines.

Thirdly, hee néed not trouble him­selues about their maintenance: and as for the distribution of his goods and pos­sessions, he hath at hand many poore ser­uan [...]s and children of God, amongst whō he may more happily diuide them:Luke 16.9. Act. 9.39. for these will pray for him so long as he liueth, and speake well of him when he is dead; and God wil in goodnes reward all his well doing. Neh. 5.19.

Fourthly, law may and will supply the defect of nature: for adoption is an act imitating nature, ordained for the so­la [...]e of such who want children.

Lastly, his children might haue grow­en out of kind, and haue obscured and blemished his name: and hereupon ma­ny had died more happily and contented­ly, if they had died childlesse.

CHAP. XIII. Of the Priuatiue and Positiue be­nefite of death.


FRom what euils doth death free Gods children?

A. First, from all sinne, and the offence of God, the originall and cause of all euill.

Secondly, death is to them the me­dicine, remedy, and physition of al euils; for it endeth all their imperfections, and finally fréeth them from all sicknesses, paines, crosses, calamities, g [...]iefes, di­stresses, euils, errors, enemies.

Thirdly,Esa. 57.2. 2 King. 22.20. it preuenteth all sinne and misery to come, both in this world, and specially in the world to come, for they are wholy and for euer deliuered from all Satans assaults, and from damnation, and the horrour of hell.

Q. What vse is to be made hereof?

A. First, if by death wee would bée [Page 122] freed from all sinne, and the most cursed effects of it, then let vs denie the world and the flesh, and liue in the feare of God, remembring the account that wee are to render vp before God, and the [...] the second death shall neuer haue power ouer vs.

Secondly, let vs giue God all possi­ble thanks and praise, for that hee will by death thus ease and disburden vs.

Thirdly, let vs in the certaine expe­ctation of so great deliuerance at the year of Iubily, be willing to goe to God, (as Simeon and Paul were) and in the mean time to sustaine all crosses patiently.

Lastly, let vs continually waite and pray for this time of our full, and eternall rest and deliuerance.

Q. Is it then not lawfull for Gods children in their distresses & extremities (for their ease and deliuerance) to hasten their death by laying hands vpon them­selues?

A. It is simply and vtterly vnlawful. For,Act. 1. v. 18. & 25. first, this not the way to ease and a­uoide misery, but to encrease it, yea and to emplunge and engulfe himselfe into the bottomlesse pitte of endlesse tor­ment.

[Page 123]Secondly, if a man should be entreated by the distressed to kill him, hee might in no wise condescend thereunto, for hée should bee no otherwise accounted and punished then a murderer,Eph. 5.29. much lesse may any person kill himselfe. For he is bound to cherish, and not to kill his owne body and flesh.

Thirdly, he that in any conceited opi­nion of enioying present blisse, or in any impatiency, and impotent passion, dis­patcheth himselfe out of the way, doth nothing but damne and destroy his own soule: examples whereof wee haue in Saul, Achitophel, Iudas, &c.

Fourthly, he may not depart out of this earthly Tabernacle, nor forsake his standing vntill his heauenly Generall, and Commaunder God almighty call, and warrant him so to doe: for hée is no absolute Lord of his owne body,1 Cor. 7. v. 20. neither hath he the Frée simple of it, but is a te­nant at will to God, whose pleasure hée must attend and abide.

Lastly, he must practice, and put in vre, fortitude and patience, he must not mis­dread any euill, but trust in the Lord to stand fast in his calling, and Christ will [Page 124] by faith enable him to ouercom all temp­tations.

Q. Is death to bee feared or not?

A. A distinction must resolue this point, namely, that it is partly to bee feared, and partly, not to be feared.

Q. In what respects is it to be fea­red?

A. In thrée respects. First, as it is the destruction and dissolution of nature: for in this signification Iesus Christ fea­red it,Heb. 5.7. Luk. 22. v. 44. when he swet water and bloud in the garden.

Psal. 30. v. 9.Secondly, as it is a paineful correction, though wee must most feare death the cause of it.

Esay 57.1.2.Lastly, as it is a meane to bereaue vs of many worthy guides and gouernors, lights and pillers in Church and com­mon-wealth, Esay. 3. v. 1.2.3.

Q. Is it necessary and good (in some regards) not to feare death?

A. Yes, for it is not profitable, nor expedient for vs to liue alwaies here, nor is it possible for vs so to doe.

Q. In what regards then is death not to be feared?

A. First, because (as hath béene for­merly [Page 125] declared) death doth disburden vs of all sinne, and giueth vs our quietus est from all euill.

Secondly, as it is the beginning and gate of immortality.

Lastly, because hereby we are presen­ted blamelesse to our Lord and Sauiour Christ in heauen, and are there solemn­ly wedded to our heauenly husband and Bridegroome the Lord Iesu.

Q. How are we to be defended and strengthned against the feare of it?

A. By remembring that Christ (by his death) hath disarmed and cassiered death,Heb. 2.14. and hath taken away the second death, the sting and strength of the for­mer

Secondly, God is by his spirit pre­sent with his children in the agony of death, and doth support them against the feare of it.

Thirdly, that God doth hereby bisbur­den vs of all sinne, and frée vs from all maladies and miseries.

Fourthly, wee are not to tremble at death, but rather to triumph, because now we haue a speciall time and oppor­tunity to declare our subiection and obe­dience to God.

[Page 126] 2 Cor. 5.1.Lastly, death bringeth vs forthwith i [...]to Gods chamber of presence, where [...] shall see him face to face, and enioy [...] gratious and glorious presence for eu [...] more.

Q. What are the Positiue benefites [...] death, or the good things wherewith [...] doth possesse vs?

A. They are manifold and mar [...]lous. For first death bringeth vs int [...] the immediate fellowship of God the Fa­ther, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, [...] therefore it may be called the gate of life, and a passage to the Father.

Secondly, it bringeth vs into the hea­uenly communion & company of many millions of glorious Saints and Angels, with whome we shall haue perfect rest and security.

Lastly, it is to vs not onely the con­summation of victory against Satan, sinne, the world▪ the flesh; but doth also inuest vs with glory, and put vs into an actuall possession of the new heauen, and the new earth, and of all good things promised vs,Apoc. 21.7. and prouided for vs. Heb. 12. ver 22.23.

Q. What vses are we to make of these affirmatiue or positiue benefites?

[Page 127] A. First, wee are to distast this pre­sent and infectious world, wherin there is no true contentment, nor any thing that can make vs blessed before God, but rather matter of all sinne, griefe, euill, falshood, wrong▪ &c. and we must let the loue of heauen swallow downe the loue of all earthly things: let vs not linger in this earthly Egypt or Babylon, but make hast vnto the heauenly Canaan, a land not abounding with milk, corn, oil, hony, but abounding in peace, righte­ousnesse, Rom. 14. v. 17. Psal. 36.8. [...] and ioy of the spirit, where wee shall be satisfied with the fatnes of Gods house, and shall drinke out of the riuers of Gods pleasures, and that for e­uermore.

Secondly, it serueth to comfort vs a­gainst all the miseries and maladies of this present life,2 Cor. 4.17.18. which shall be so abun­dantly recompensed with the infinite waight of euerlasting glory.

Q. Whether may a man in this mor­tality haue a true taste of euerlasting life?

A. Yes vndoubtedly,Rom. 5.1. for so had Iob, Dauid, Stephen, Paul, the holy Martyres and infinite others.

Secondly, the godly haue (already) e­ternall [Page 128] life, Ioh. 3. v. 36. (viz. in beginning and assu­rance) and therefore in time they shall haue the fulnes of it.

Apoc. 22. v. 20.Lastly, they earnestly pray for the com­ming of Gods kingdom, ergo, they haue some taste thereof.

Q. By what meanes shall hee attaine thereunto?

A. By remembring, considering, and meditating vpon these directions, and conclusions following.

Q. What things must he consider & weigh?

A. Diuers things. First, the sinne­full, miserable, and vncertaine state of this mortall life. Eccles. 1.1. Heb. 13.14.

Secondly, the blessed and vnspeak­able happines of all Gods Saints by reason of their immediate fellowshippe with God and with Christ, from which we are absent so long as we liue in this present world.2. Cor. 5. v. 5. Math. 25. v. 14. For by vertue of this glorious and euerlasting communion, wee are not onely perfectly freed from all sinne, afflictions, and all euil things, but possessed with fulnes of ioy, and of al good things for euermore.

Thirdly, the incomparable diffe­rence betwéen the glory, ioy, happines o [...] [Page 129] this world, and the infinite and eternall glory, ioy, blessednes of the world to come, and the consideration hereof will separate and sequester vs from the loue and affectation of this world, and make vs willing and desirous to goe to God.

Fourthly, euery mans death is deser­ued and procured by his owne sins, and that death with all the seueral circum­stances of time, place, manner, person, is foreséene and appointed in Gods eter­nal decrée and counsell;Psal. 139.15.16. the due obser­uation whereof will preserue vs (when we are dying) from distrust,Psal. 39.10. impatience, and the (seruile) feare of death.

Lastly,Esa. 63.2 Psal. 91 15▪ the speciall promise of Gods presence and assistance in death, which we must before hand be by faith perswa­ded of, and hope after, albeit wee see it not, and though all things may séeme de­sperate.

Q. What are the properties and ef­fects of this taste and ioy?

A. First, it ariseth from sense & griefe of sinne, and from the knowledge of, and faith in Christ crucified.

Secondly, it bringeth with it sound and swéet peace of conscience.

[Page 130]Thirdly, it is grounded vpon the ho­ly ministery of the Word, Sacraments, Prayers, and vpon the practise of holy duties.

Fourthly, it is déepely rooted in the heart, and it continueth for euer.

Lastly, it causeth vs to loue, looke and long for the life to come.

Q. How a man must imprint and ground these meditations in his heart.

A. Hee must abstaine from all im­piety and vnrighteousnesse, and practise the duties of holines, and righteousnes: for God will reueale his secrets to the humble, and to them that feare him. Psal. 25.11. Gen. 18.10.

Secondly, hee must be frequent and feruent in the holy vse of the Word, Sa­craments, and Prayer; for hereby faith and hope are wrought, maintained, en­creased.

Q. Why doe Gods children die, see­ing that their sinnes are not imputed to them, and the image of God (which con­sisteth in the knowledge of the sauing truth, and in true holinesse and righte­ousnesse) is repaired in them?

A. I answere: first, though sinne bee not imputed to them, and so they cannot [Page 131] be condemned for it; yet all sinne is not wholy taken away.

Secondly, regeneration is onely in this life begun, and in dayly progresse.

Thirdly, God will haue the godly to die (the temporary death) as well as the wicked, that they acknowledging the seuerity of Gods anger against sin, may learne to hate it.

Fourthly, that they may lay downe the remnants of sinne, and the adher [...]nt miseries.

And lastly, that they may haue experi­ence of the power of God, who raiseth vp the dead.

Q. Whether that death may be de­sired and wished for.

A. It may not simply and absolutely be desired; for it is an euill and against nature, and therefore not to be desired, but conditionally we may (lawfully) de­sire death.

Q. In what respects may it be desi­red?

A. In two respects principally: First, as it is a way and means to deliuer vs wholy from the burden, bondage, and slauery of all sinne, and to free vs from all the maladies and miseries of this [Page 132] wretched life.

Secondly, as it is a meanes and in­strument to bring vs to the manifest and glorious vision and sight of God, & to the immediate and euerlasting fel­lowship and communion of the whole Trinity, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost.

Q Whether that a Christian may lawfully desire life?

A. Yes, in some respect, namely, i [...] we desire to doe further good before wée die,Psal. 117.15. and make the glory of God the end and scope of our life; for God will bee glorified in vs so long as we liue in this earthly Tabernacle.Phil. 1. And therefore eue­ry man must obediently walke in his calling vntill it shall please God to re­moue and translate him hence; and hee must rather séeke to honour God, and do seruice to his Church then respect his heauenly aduancement.

Ob. But the longer that we liue the more we multiplie sinne, and offend our God, and therefore wee may not law­fully desire life.

A. The Argument is not good. For first, Gods children sinne, not witting­ly and willingly, nor make a trade of [Page 133] sinne as wicked men doe.

Secondly, their sinnes are couered, and not imputed vnto them.

Lastly, the good that they be examples and instruments of, is much more plea­sing and acceptable to God, and to good men, then their infirmities and imperfe­ctions are distastfull.

Q. What is required that a man may die well and blessedly?

A. Two things: First, a preparati­on against death. Secondly, a right disposition in death.

Q. Is preparation against death ne­cessarie?

A. Yea; for first, we must néeds die, for sinne hath deserued and procured it, and God thereupon hath imposed it.

Secondly, in what state soeuer the day of death leaueth vs, in the same state the day of iudgement shall find vs.

Thirdly, this preparation cutteth off, and preuenteth much sinne in vs, which wee would otherwise designe and com­mit.

Fourthly,1 Cor. 15.26. death is our enemy, and our last greatest enemy, and there­fore we must by faith in our Lord Iesu, labour and striue to subdue & quell him.

[Page 134]Lastly, this is our last iourney, and if we dispatch it happily, and according to Christ our Captaines direction, it will forthwith after our death, conuey vs in­to heauen.

Q Wherein doth this preparation consist?

A. In sundry meditations and du­ties.

Q. What must wee principally me­ditate vpon?

A. First, we must before hand thinke on our latter end, and not foolishly accuse old age, or nature: for death commeth, & is inflicted from God.

Secondly, me must betimes thinke on on the right composing and ordering of our liues, namely, whether that wee haue ceased to doe euill,Luk 13.35 and haue done what good we could:‘for otherwise death will ouertake vs, & we wil wish that we had done it, (when it is too late) Luk. 13. v. 35.

Thirdly, we must know that Christ hath abolished eternall death, and made our temporary death an entrance to the Father.

1 Cor. 15. v. 57.58.Fourthly, we must contemplate and muse vpon the glorious resurrection of [Page 135] the body, which will much comfort and refresh vs.

Lastly, we must cast our thoughts vp­on that most excellent and eternall waight of glory reserued for vs in the heauens,2 Cor. 4. [...]7. which doth infinitely surpasse and ouerway all temporall afflictions whatsoeuer.

Q. What duties must the sicke man performe in generall?

A. Thrée duties: First, towards God: Secondly towards his neighbour: and lastly towards himselfe.

Q. What duties is he to perform to­wards God?

A. He must séeke to be reconciled vn­to God, and for this end, he must repaire and renue his faith and repentance, part­ly, because (many times) in temptation, hee looseth somthing; and partly because hee daily slippeth or committeth new sinnes, which require a new act of faith, and repentance.

Secondly, he must constantly confesse Christ, and proclaime and publish how many wayes God hath beene good to his soule and body.

Lastly, hee must by the eyes of faith, view, contemplate, & looke vpon Christ, [Page 136] the brazen serpent, and then death shall neuer sting him.

Q. Why must hee performe these duties towards God?

A. Because (ordinarily) sicknesses, paines, and diseases are sent and inflicted of God for a punishment, and for our re­formation and amendment, as most clearely appeareth in many places of ho­ly Scriptures. Lament. 3.39. Math. 9.2, Joh. 5.74.

Q. What seruices oweth the sicke­man to his neighbour, and what duties is he to performe towards him?

A. Hee must performe all duties of piety, loue and righteousnes: and Ma­gistrates and Ministers must not onely commaund and exhort their people, sub­iects, hearers, to listen to, and obey sound doctrine,Ios. 24.14.15. and Christ his blessed Gospell; but also they must by all possible means endeauour, that they, after their death may leaue them in as holy and happy e­state as they found them. Act. 20.28. 2. Pet. 1. v. 5.

Q. What duties is he to performe to his wife, children, family?

A. First, he must aduise, and per­swade them to constancy, and to obedi­ence [Page 137] of the sauing truth; for his words spoken at such a time leaue the greatest impression in the minds of them that heare him.

Secondly, he must (for the peace of his owne soule, and for the preuenting and cutting of many (néedlesse) suites and contentions in law that might arise af­ter his death) in equity and conscience make his last Will and Testament, and bequeath his goods, lands, liuing, to his wife, children, kinsfolke, friends, and to the poore, as the law of God and man re­quireth.

Q. What duties is hee bound to per­forme towards himselfe?

A. He must by faith in the Lord Ie­su arme himselfe against satans assaults, and against the feare of death and the last iudgement; and he must not so much feare death, as looke on euerlasting life.

Secondly, touching the body, he must be carefull to vse physicke, and all other good meanes to preserue and continue life and health, vntill it shall please God to take it away.

Lastly,Psal. 31.5. hee must continually resigne himselfe, and commend his soule and spi­rit into Gods blessed hands.

[Page 138] Q. Jf all these duties be performed in good conscience, what good wil come thereof?

A. First, God will honour such as feare and honour him; he (I say) will ho­nour them, as well in life as in death. 1. Sam. 2.30.

Secondly, he will make the name and memory of them pretious after death:Ps. 112.6. for the iust shall be had in an euerlasting re­membrance.

Q What is a right dispotion in death?

A. A religious and an holy behaui­our of a mans selfe, especially towards God.

Q Is it necessary?

A. Yes: for first, now it is the very time to practise it.

Secondly, without this disposition and behauiour, our death cannot be plea­sant and acceptable in Gods sight.

Q. What are the parts of it?

A. Thrée, namely, to die in faith, to die in obedience, and to resigne or surren­der vp our soules into Gods hands.

Q What is it to die in faith?

A. To take notice of,Heb. 11.13 Gen. 49.18 and lay hold of Gods gracious promises in Christ tou­ching remission of sinnes and euerlasting [Page 139] life, and wholly to rely vpon them, as they are reuealed and set forth in the scriptures.

Q. What benefit shall a man haue who dieth in true faith?

A. He shall be able to kéepe himselfe safe and sound against the temptations and pangs of death, and shall (forthwith after he hath giuen vp the Ghost) bee made partaker of eternall life and hap­pinesse.

Q. How is our faith to be expressed?

A, Two maner of waies, the one in­ward, the other outward.Rom. 8.16 First, inward­ly by déepe sighes, sobs, and groanes, af­ter a mans redemption.

Secondly, (and that outwardly) by praier, thanksgiuing, and good exhorta­tions, and often communications tou­ching God and godlinesse.

Q. What is it to die in obedience?

A. It is willingly and gladly, to sub­mit our selues to Gods will in bearing the crosse, Mat. 27. and without murmu­ring or grudging, to goe to God, who in death respecteth vs, and will vndoubted­ly receiue vs.

Q. What are they to be compared vn­to that die vnwillingly?

[Page 140] A. They (if they belong to God) doe, as if a prisoner should delight in his pri­son and dungeon, and would not goe forth to a glorious palace and perfect li­berty when he lawfully might; either forgetting the slauery and defilements which he leaueth, or the good things to which he goeth.

Q. How is this duty to bee perfor­med?

A. By learning to die daily, and not through any impatiency, or through the tediousnes of trouble, to wish death, (as Elias did) for then we discouer pride and disobedience,1. King. 18.4. in that we will not wait on Gods leasure, but follow our owne corrupt affections.

Q. How shall we learne to die daily?

A. By taking vp Christ his crosse daily, and if we doe with patience and méeknes buckle with affliction. For eue­ry affliction is a petty death: and if we can endure to vndergo this petty death,1. Cor. 25.31. we shall the more comfortably vndergoe the great death of all, which is the disiun­ction or dissolution of the soule from the body.

Q What is it to surrender our soules into Gods hands?

[Page 141] A. To yéeld them vp into his hands, as vnto a faithfull creator,1. Pet. 4.19 in certaine hope of our present glorification.

Q. What generall comforts are there against death?

A. First, the sting thereof is taken a­way by Christ his death,1. Cor. 15.55.56. and the power abolished: death to the godly is like a drone Bée, that kéepeth a buzzing and humming, but hath lost her sting, and cannot hurt.

Secondly, death is to Gods children a gaile deliuery from all sinne, and the mi­series of this life, and a passage vnto the euident and manifest sight and presence of God.

Thirdly, in death God is not only pre­sent with his children, by his spirit to in­struct, comfort, and assist them, but also sendeth his holy Angels to attend vpon them and to saue them,Luk. 16.22. from the violence and vexation of euill spirits, and to carry their soules into heauen, forthwith af­ter that they are separated from their bodies.

Lastly, by death the soules of the god­ly shall bee made infinitely more ho­ly and happy, glad and glorious, then euer they were when they were inclosed [Page 142] in the sinfull subiect & prison of the body: and as for their bodies, they (after that they haue slept a while in the earth) shall be raised vp againe, immortall, incorrup­tible, and farre more bright and beauti­full then they had euer béen, if man had neuer sinned.

Q. What is the quintessence of these conclusions?

2. Cor. 5.1. A. First, we are taught hereby, not to feare to depart out of the ruinous house of our bodies, whensoeuer God doth call vs, knowing that a better life shall follow after death, for they only are blessed that die in the Lord: and of this point wee must much thinke and study.Apoc 14.13.

Secondly, we are aduertised hereby, not to be cast downe nor discouraged at bodily diseases, dolours, deformities: for the resurrection shall put an end here­unto.

Lastly, we must not vnmeasurably mourne for those that sléepe in the Lord, seeing their soules (which are the better part of them) liue with God, and their bodies being bought with a price, (name­ly the precious bloud of Christ) and be­ing made the temples of the holy Ghost,1 Cor. 6.20 [Page 143] shall at the last day rise againe in glory and incorruption.

CHAP. XIIII. Of certaine particular euils, defects, and deformities in the body, and also crosses in the outward state.


OF how many sorts are these particular euils?

A. Of two sorts; to wit, ordinary, and extraordinary.

Q. What are the ordinary euils?

A. They are either such as are in and about the body, or that haue a mans out­ward state for their obiect.

Q. What are those euils and defects that are in and about the body?

A. Deformity, lamenes, blindnes, deafnes, dumbnes, &c.

Q. How shall we comfort our selues against the lothsome deformity of the body?

[Page 144] A. By marking and meditating vp­on these conclusions following.

First, bodily deformity doth nothing preiudice the estate of Gods Saints be­fore God, (as the examples of Iob, Da­uid, Mephibosheth, Ezechias, Aza, La­zarus, &c. and of innumerable besides [...] demonstrate.)

Secondly, they endure but for a time, and (at the furthest) end and determine with this life.

Thirdly, though the bodies of Gods Saints be (for the time) neuer so loth­some and deformed, yet are their sinnes couered by the roiall roabes of Christ his righteousnesse,Ps. 32.1.2. and the soule in the meane time is most holy, perfect, beau­tifull.

Fourthly, at the general resurrection, this vile body of ours shall be made con­formable to Christs glorious body:Phil. 3.20. it shall be no more mortall, but immortall; no more vise, but honourable; no more weake, but alwaies strong, no more hea­uie, but light and nimble; no more sin­full, but holy: and in a word, no more earthly, and néeding these outward meanes and helps of meat, drinke, ap­parell, rest, sléepe, physicke, recreation, [Page 145] marriage, &c. but they shall be alwaies spirituall, i. immediately supported by Gods omnipotent power, and absolute­ly subiect and obedient to the spirit.

Fifthly, God doth not hate the defor­mity of the body, but of the soule, by rea­son of sinne, contracted and committed by it and in it.

Lastly, we must remember, that our bodies are earthly and mortall, and not heauenly and eternall: and therefore we must not be discontent,2. Cor. 4.16 if rottennes en­ter into them; onely let vs prouide, that as the outward man dieth, so the inward man may be renewed daily.

Q. What comforts against lame­nesse?

A. First, lamenesse is naturall, and is caused by sicknes, old age, or other­wise; and therefore it is to be endured with the greater patience.

Secondly,Acts 9.33. Aeneas. the children of God (as Me­phibosheth▪ Aza, the créeple, whereof we reade in the fifth of S. Iohns Gospell, and a daughter of Abraham) haue béen,Luke 18. are, and shall be subiect hereunto, as much as the prophane and irreligious.

Thirdly, though the bodies of Gods Saints (for their correction,2. Cor. 4.16 trial, and ex­ercise) [Page 146] be subiect hereunto, yet are their soules holy, sound, and nothing impea­ched by the lame body. Psal. 92.

Fourthly, death and the last iudge­ment, which is the time of the restitution of all things, will put an end to it and the body shall rise againe in farre greater in­tegritie then euer it appeared in, when it was in the best plight.

Fifthly, physicke or surgery may pos­sibly in time recouer the body, and there­fore the meanes are not to be neglected.

1. Pet. 1.21.22.Lastly, let our faith & hope be in God, and our soules purified in obeying the truth through the spirit, and lamenesse shall not hurt vs.

Q. Wherein shall a blind man com­fort and solace himselfe?

A. In many things. First, that blind­nes is a great part of innocency: for the eies (since Adams fall) are the windowes of concupiscence, and the porters to let in all vices, from which enticements vnto euill, and blind are fréed.

Secondly, the blind sée nothing to distaste their stomackes, to offend their eies, or to grieue their minds, whereas iust Lot endued with the sense of seeing, 2. Pet. 2.8. vexed his righteous soule from day to [Page 147] day, in séeing the vnlawfull deeds of the Sodomites, &c. And so it fareth with Gods children that are blind, who sée not the euill obiects nor wickednes of the world.

Thirdly, blindnes is naturall and contracted by old age, sicknes, and the like infirmities, and therefore Isaac, Bar­timaeus, and the blind man in the ninth of Iohns Gospell, and diuers Saints of God in all generations haue borne their parts herein; therefore this correction is so much the more patiently to be borne.

Fourthly, though the godly haue no bodily eies to behold the heauens, the earth, and the creatures, which eies the beasts, birds, and creeping creatures haue common with them, yet they haue spirituall and Angelical eies, whereby they behold God their Creator, and looke vpon Christ sitting on the right hand of God his Father in heauen.

Fifthly, the eies are not simply neces­sary for godlinesse, for God requireth the heart and vnderstanding: and yet not­withstanding they shall be restored, yea and glorified at the generall resurre­ction.

Wherefore let vs cléere the eies of [Page 148] our vnderstanding, and cast out of them all beames of selfe conceit, and all dust of error. And because our memories are then most sharpe and retentiue, ha­uing no outward obiect to blunt their edge, let vs apply them to the lear­ning of the best things, and with pati­ence wait the time of the restitution of all things.Acts 3.21.

Q Propound some comfortable me­ditations for a deafe man.

A. First, the deafe person cannot be infected with lies and errors, he cannot be deceiued and gulled by flatterers, nor bee possessed with the ingredients of griefe, he cannot be prouoked to wrath, he séeth nothing to disturbe and disquiet him, and (that which most contenteth him) he cannot heare Gods blessed name blasphemed.

Secondly, by reading the scriptures, sermons, treatises, catechismes, he hea­reth God speake vnto him: for God hath no néed of eares, but only requireth a de­uout mind.

Ioh. 14.26.Thirdly, that which he formerly lear­ned▪ the holy Ghost bringeth to his re­membrance.

Lastly, his perfect hearing shall, (if [Page 149] not before) be restored vnto him at the day of iudgement, and his deafenesse in the mean time cannot separate him from Gods loue.

Q What vse must a man make of his deafnesse?

A. First, whiles we inioy the benefit of our hearing,Ps. 119.71. let vs attend to Gods voice in the scriptures preached vs, and let vs treasure vp the word of God in our hearts to bestead vs in time of néed.

Lastly, though we cannot heare nor discerne the notes of musicke, and the sounds of men and birds, yet we haue the vse of our eies, to behold the crea­tures, and God the Author of them.

Comforts for a dumbe man.

A. Men by reason of this want and affliction, are kept from many sinnes, euils, dangers, which many that can­not temper and gouerne their tongue runne into, for they cannot lie, slander, deceiue, they cannot blaspheme God, nor stirre vp the coales of con [...]ention, the séeds whereof an euill tongue doth cherish.

Secondly, they are not vndone by their rash & vntemperate words, much [Page 150] lesse are they in danger to lose their liues, as many lewd and slanderous speakers are.Psal. 52.5.

Thirdly, it is a labour to speake truly: and in silence there is rest.

Fourthly, if thou hast lost an il tongue, thou art a great gainer by it.

Fifthly, if thou canst not speake with thy tongue, then speake to God in thy heart; for God can and doth heare as well when thou art silent, as when thou speakest.

Lastly, if thou doe but groane, sigh, and cry vnto God,Exod. 3.7. he heareth thée, and that thou shalt féele and finde. For as he that heareth God speake and answer,Exod. 14.15. is not deafe: so likewise he whom God heareth is not dumbe.

CHAP. XV. Of ordinary particular euils from with­out vs, whether at home or abroad.
The crosses of euill and bad husbands, wiues, parents, children, masters, ser­uants, and of a shrewd mother in law.


HOw are good women to comfort themselues when they are matched with euill husbands?

A. First, they are not a­lone. For Abigail was crossed by Nabal her husband;1. Sam. 25. and many innocent wiues in Moses time,Mat. 19.8. by reason of the crueltie and vnreasonablenes of their husbands, were diuorced from them.

Secondly, if their husbands in the flesh be euill and shrewd, yet Christ their spirituall husband will alwaies intreat them kindly, and louingly visit them by [Page 152] his spirit, if so be that they feare him and beleeue in him.

Thirdly, they must be of pure conuer­sation and reuerence their husbands, the hidden man of the heart must be vncor­rupt,1. Pet. with a méeke and quiet spirit, and subiect themselues vnto their husbands, and then they shall either win them, or (at least) leaue them without iust de­fence of themselues, or excuse.

Q How shall good husbands comfort themselues, when they are maried to e­uill and vnquiet wiues?

A. First, (it may be) they were rash in their choice, and did not consult with God by praier, and with good men by conference about it.

Secondly, Dauid, Iob, Moses, &c. were this w [...]y somewhat crossed; and this is almost a common euill, and therefore the more patiently to be vndergone: and if we cannot so well practise patience, we must (during the tempest of chiding) ab­sent our selues, and retire our selues into some priua [...]e place.

Thirdly, they must acknowledge that they are thus crossed for their sins, and therefore they must the more willingly beare the burthen of their offences.

[Page 153]Fourthly, if they can endure raine and smoak in their houses, why not then their wiues?

Fiftly, they must either by gentle­nesse, good perswasions and admoniti­ons reforme their wiues; for then they make them better; or else they must beare with their infirmities, and so they make themselues better.

Sixtly, let their own consciences bear them witnesse, that they faile in no du­tie of godlines and loue towards them: & thē let them commit the matter to God; and what know they whether (at length) they shall conuert them or not?1 Cor. 7.16

Q. How shall good parents comfort themselues that are troubled and crossed with euill and disobedient children?

A. First, goodnes and vertue in chil­dren is not naturall, but from aboue, & commeth not from their first birth, but from their second: for that which is borne of the flesh is flesh,Ioh. 3.6. & that which is borne of the spirite, is spirit; and here­upon many good men haue had euill children, as Abraham had his Ismael, I­saacke had his Esau, Dauid his Absolon, and Amnon, & Hezechias his Manasses.

Secondly, sometimes Parents are [Page 154] punished in their children, partly, be­cause they haue beene disobedient to superiours, and to their owne parents, and partly, because they haue béen neg­ligent in teaching, correcting, and brin­ging them vp.

Thirdly, all children are not predesti­nate to saluation, (as we haue Elies sons, Hophni and Phineas for examples) and therefore we must not looke to haue all good and holy: for iustification and sanctification followeth onely election, and is not common to all.

Fourthly, parents must giue their children holy example,Eph. 6.1. and when they are young bend and bow them, & bring them vp in the nurture and information of the Lord, and then if they proue not good, their vngodlinesse shall neuer bee imputed to the innocent parents.

Lastly, though for the present they be euill and desperate, yet hope wel of them, and pray for them, and vse all meanes constantly for their amendment, & then leaue the successe to God the changer of the hearts.

Q. How shall vertuous children com­fort themselues that are crossed with vn­kind, euill, and irreligious parents?

[Page 155] A. First, sometimes seuerity in Pa­rents, is for their childrens good, who if the parents should not sometimes grow vnkind, they would forget God and themselues.

Secondly, we must beare, with & ex­cuse their infirmities, (as farre as wee lawfully and honestly may) attributing it to old oge [...] choler, melancholy, &c. and therefore we must either speake gloriou­sly of them, or kéepe silence.

Thirdly, the more degenerate, and ir­religious that they be, the more by our humility, dutifulnes, good exa [...]ple, and prayers, we must labour to reclaim, and winne them.

Fourthly, we must note that our pa­rents haue authority & power ouer vs, and not we ouer them; and therfore we must beare with their manifold infir­mities.

Fiftly, let vs ascribe it to our sins, and want of duety, and reueence to them, that we find them otherwise then wee expected.

Sixtly, if we faile in no duty towards them, yet wee must remember, that good Ionathan was the sonne of wicked Saul, 2. Chr. 18.1 Ezechias the sonne of wicked▪ Ahaz, and [Page 156] zealous Iosias the sonne of Idolatrous Amon; who were (no doubt) much cros­sed by, and grieued at their vngodly fa­thers, yea and tempted by them.

Q. What comforts are fitte for good Masters that are crossed, by euill, and vnfaithfull seruants?

A. First, they must sée and consider whether that they haue giuen them good example, and haue béene carefull to traine them vp in true religion, and god­linesse, otherwise they are as much in [...]ault as the seruants; and if they per­forme all offices vnto them, they may or will proue like the Captains seruants that attended at his becke;Math. 8.9. for when hée bad any to come, he came, when to go, he went, and when he bad him do ought he did it.

Secondly, they must partly by gen­tle admonitions, and partly by seasona­ble corrections, labour to reforme their misdeamenours; if this will not serue, if thou haue hired many seruants, lessen the number of them, and they will the better agrée, and thou shalt not bee en­forced to put them away: but if thou haue few, and they be incorrigible, put them away,Gal. 4.30. as Sarah turned out Hagar, [Page 157] and Dauid resolued to haue no slanderer,Psal. 101.5 & 7. no proud, no deceitfull, nor lying ser­uant to abide in his house: and as the Lord of the vniust Steward expelled him.

Thirdly, henceforth be more aduised in thy choice,Luk. 7. [...]. and when thou hast good & faithfull seruants entreat them kindly, and (according to their good seruice, and deserts) doe vnto them that is iust,Col. 4.1. and equall, knowing that thou also hast a master in heauen.

Q. What comforts and instructions are meete for diligent and dutifull ser­uants, that either are wronged, misused, or (at least) vnkindly entreated by euill Lords, and Masters?

A. First, many right good and tru­sty seruants haue béene not onely vn­kindly, but also cruelly entreated both of ancient & of latter times. Thus was Hagar seuerely handled by Sarah. Iacob collogned withall, and deceiued by La­ban: Joseph put out of seruice, & wrong­fully imprisoned by Potiphar; Dauid persecuted by Saul; and therefore no strange matter hath befallen them.

Secondly, the more griefes & wrongs they endure for conscience towards God [Page 158] and for well doing the greater praise and reward shall they receiue from God.

Thirdly, their hard seruice or bon­dage, will one day end.

Fourthly, that they are Gods fréemen, for his seruice is perfect freedome.

Lastly, that God in time will right their wrongs, and requite them that mis­used them; for he is no respecter of per­sons.

Q. What duties are they to performe?

A. Seruants must feare God & vse all good meanes to gaine their fauours, and obey them (as well in their absence as in their presence) in all lawfull acti­ons,Eph. 6. v. 5 6.7. and doe them seruice, as vnto the Lord: & if their masters wil not yet relent they must comfort themselues in their innocency, and recommend their cause to God, whose freemen they are.

CHAP. XVI. Of priuate euils that are occasionall and from without vs.


HOw shal they comfort and be­haue themselus that are cros­sed with hard and shrewd mo­thers in law?

A. First, they must content them­selues in this, that they haue an heauen­ly Father, and good Father in the flesh, and that they haue the Church of God for their mother.

Secondly, she is a woman, and of the weaker sexe, and therfore it is not a part of a valiant man to resist a woman.

Thirdly, that it is a matter far more glorious and acceptable to God and good men, to passe by & pardon wrongs, then to offer them.

Fourthly, it must suffice, that the step-mothers loue their Fathers, and [Page 160] therefore they must for their fathers sake beare with them, and reuerence them.

Lastly, the more insolent that their stepmothers are, the more innocent and humble they must be; they must reuenge the wrongs (that their stepmothers offer them) ra [...]her by not regarding them then requiting them, and the more that the mothers in law hate their sonnes in law, the more must the sonnes loue them; for then they shall either win them by their well doing, or else leaue them without al excuse or defence of themselues, before God the righteous Iudge.

Q. What comforts are to be ministred vnto them that in iust and law [...]ull suites receiue many foiles and repulses?

A. First, it is arrogancy and pre­sumption ambitiously to desire to obtain all things that wee néede. For mighty Emperours haue béene denied in many things, yea God himselfe (albeit hee de­maund them for our good, and not for his owne, for hee néedeth nothing) hée requireth many things of vs, which we yéeld him not.

Secondly, they must perswade them­selues, that if their petition had been condescended vnto, it (perhaps) had not [Page 161] béene for their good.

Thirdly, they must not be ouermuch aggreeued, if men denie vnto them small thinges, seeing that God gratiously granteth them thinges of farre greater worth, vse, and excellency.

Fourthly, if Gods children should haue no deniall in worldly things, they would affect the world rather thē Gods word, and rather trust in men then in the Lord.

Fiftly, in this world, the mighty are preferred ordinarily before the meane, and great men before good men.

Lastly, though they receiue a deniall the first, second, or third time, yet if they be patient and constant, they may spéede at last.

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

A. First, if wee would haue no re­pulse, we must craue things honest and possible.

Secondly, wee must be ready to plea­sure others, if wee would haue them to gratifie vs.

Q. What counsell and comfort is fit for them that are decayed or vndone by rash suertiship?

A. First, it déepely concerneth them [Page 162] to repent of their former vnaduisednes,Pro. 11.15. and be wiser for the time to come.

Pro. 6.Secondly, they must humbly sue to their creditors for fauour, patience, and forgiuenes, or (at least) for abasement.

Thirdly, that which their pouerty can­not pay, they must lay it, and put it on Christ, and then God will neuer exact it at their hands.

Fourthly, it fel out through their selfe-will and voluntary disposition,Gen. 42.37. and ther­fore they must take it patiently.

Fifthly, they shall learne by their own hurt, how profitable and pleasant a thing it is to owe nothing, and to liue with­out bonds and yrons.

Lastly, if they be onely decaied, and not vndone, it wil make them (when the worst is past) alwaies to dread the like daunger, and to feare the like fals.

Q. What vse are wee to make here­of?

A. First, it behoueth vs to be wary, for whom we become sureties,Pro. [...]2.26. and for what summes: alwayes remembring that the day of payment will come soo­ner then wee expect; and what though for the present, we are able to discharge [Page 163] the debt; yet wée full little know what losses and empouerishment may befal vs in the meane time.

Secondly, other mens decaies by suer­tiship must bee our discipline, and their woes our warnings.

Lastly, if we be disposed to doe good, let vs rather impart our goods to the poore, then (otherwise) to loose our liber­ty with our liuing.

Q. What comforts against discon­tentment conceiued by reason of good seruice towards Church and common­wealth, neither respected, nor rewar­ded?

A. They must take notice of these rules and directions following. First, this procéedeth from mans weakenesse, and forgetfulnesse, and therefore this of­fence must not bee ouermuch aggra­uated.

Secondly, many worthy men of good parts and seruice, haue béene neglected & reiected in the world; Ioseph was forgot­ten of Pharaohs Butler; Dauid an hum­ble petitioner vnto Nabal was repelled, and reproched: good Iacob a faithful ser­uant was euill entreated of Laban: Da­uids life was sought of Saul, and Christ [Page 164] the Lord of all, (yet seruant to all) was forsaken of all Unthankefull men are vngodly vnwise and wicked; and ther­fore we must the lesse regard them; for can men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Thirdly, we must alwayes doe good, and looke for our guerdon and reward from God, and not from men.

Fourthly, the lesse hope and expectati­on that wee haue of reward from men, (who are many times vnthankefull, the more reuerend and regardfull is our good seruice before God.

Lastly, Gods children are plaine and simple, and cannot begge, flatter, nor dissemble▪ and therefore they are not e­stéemed in the world, much lesse promo­ted and preferred.

Q. What duties must wee performe herein?

A. First, we must render to no man euill for euill, but good for euill, and o­ther mens vnthankefulnes must not hinder vs from doing good.

Secondly, let vs beware, lest whiles wee complaine and crie out of other mens vnthankefulnes, we bee found vnthankefull our selues, especially to­wards [Page 165] God.

Lastly, the vnthankfulnes of men must not barre vs from doing good, lest that we forgoe the comfort of a good conscience.

Q. How shall a man comfort him­selfe whose wife is barren, and how shall likewise the woman quiet her selfe?

A. First, they both are freed from euil children, and from the feare of sinne and danger, that they might otherwise fall into.

Secondly, they are fréed from the con­tentions of nurses, and the yelling of infants.

Thirdly, the husband shall bee sure neuer to nourish and bring vp another mans children for his owne. And this is a great benefit; for if an adulterous wife be a great euill, much more is [...]hee that is in this case fruitfull.

Fourthly, the reproch of barrennesse, maketh the wife more diligent and duti­full: for shee with Hannah weepeth, and is silent, when many other women are insolent and imperious. 1. Sam. 1.9.

Fiftly, God will hereby correct coue­tous and worldly affections in thē which by the number & multiplication of childrē [Page 166] might be caused and encreased.

Lastly, in common calamities, especi­ally of the sword,Math. 24.19. war, and persecution, such shall with more expedition shift for themselues,Luk. 23.27 28.29. and haue no cause to mourn and howle for bloudy & vntimely death of their children.

Q. Comforts and counsell for godly and innocent persons, vniustly cast into, and detained in prison.

Math. 25.36.First, many of Gods Saints, as Io­seph, Paul, &c. haue beene wrongfully imprisoned,Act. 28.31 and haue herein been kept in safety from the enemies rage, as Paul was, who had a souldier tending on him, and who in prison two whole yeares, receiued all that came in vnto him, and preached Gods kingdome, and taught those things that concerned the Lord Iesu, with all boldnes, no man for­bidding him.

Secondly, many in their imprison­ment haue not onely beene preserued from the great euils of the sword, fa­mine and penurie, but haue wrote ma­ny famous Epistles and works, (as Paul then endited most of his Epistles) yea they haue conuerted many to the Lord, and some haue from hence (as Ioseph) [Page 167] béen exalted to great honour and dignity, Eccles 4.14.

Thirdly, their mothers wombe was once their prison, and the graue shall be their second prison: and why then do they so much feare the Magistrates prison?

Fourthly, many of deuotion to God, and because they would be crucified and mortified to the world, haue spent & en­ded their mortall liues in dens, caues, cloisters, dungeons, and therfore they in prison must carry the same mortified af­fections, and all will be well.

Lastly,Act. 3.19. the day of death, and the day of iudgement wil put an end to it at the furthermost, & therefore they must take their false imprisonment most patiently,Psal. 123.2 and with Paul and Silas pray vnto God and sing Psalmes, and wait also Gods good leasure for their deliuerance.

Q. How shall we comfort them▪ that are heauy hearted and afflicted, because they are borne downe and oppressed in their lawfull suite?

A. First, we must possesse their minds and hearts with this,Eccl. 5.7. that nothing befal­leth them but by Gods prouidence, and for their good:Eccles. 4. [...].2.3. for hee suffereth this wrong to be done: hee seeth it, and will [Page 168] in time require it.

Eccle. 7.17Secondly, Salomon in his time saw a righteous man perish in his iustice; and why may not the like happen in our de­clining dayes?c. 8. v. 14. There are righteous men to whom it commeth according to the work of the wicked.

Thirdly, God will hereby haue the aduersaries of the iust mans cause (whe­ther Iudges or Iustices,Eccles. 3.16.17. Lawyers, Pro­cters, or Apparitors &c.) to fulfill the mea­sure of their sins, and so (if they betimes repent not) to engulfe themselues into the lake of eternall damnation.

Fourthly, God will haue his people to suffer many wrongs by the wicked, that they should not be corrupted with the flatterie of the world, and so should be condemned with it.

Lastly, let vs truely and constantly serue our good God, and he will (partly in this world, and abundantly in the world to come) comfort, right, and ad­uance vs.

CHAP. XVII. Of the extraordinary euilles, which euen the bodies of Gods Saints are in this world (many times) subiect vnto.


WHat are the extraordinarie euils vnto which the bodies of men are subiect and liable?

A. Two especially, to wit witchcraft and possession.

Q. What is withcraft?

A. It is a wicked Art or practise,Perkins. ser­uing for the working of wonders, by the assistance of Satan, so farre forth as God shall in iustice permit.

Q Whether that Gods children can be annoied, or hurt by the practises of witches and enchanters?

A. Yes, why not? For first (as shall be afterwards more particularly shew­ed in the doctrine of possession) S [...]tan transported the holy body of Christ from [Page 170] place to place: hee smote Job with sore boiles from the sole of the foote vnto the crowne of his head; he slew his (religi­ous) children, Job 1.19. and he bowed together a daughter of Abraham eigh­téene yéeres,Luk. 13.16. so that she could not lift vp her selfe.

Eccles. 9.2Secondly, all outward things may come alike, both to the good and to the bad.

Thirdly, God will let his children haue a taste of satans might and malice, that they should beware of his subtill practises, and should desire strength from God, and depend vpon his power and prouidence only.

Lastly, God doth hereby either mani­fest and correct spirituall pride, or some hidden sinne in his seruants; or else hee doth quicken and reuiue the latent and hidden graces of the heart, that they may be thankfull to God for them, and féele them increased and confirmed in them­selues.

Q What vse is to be made hereof?

A. First, hereby it is apparant, that they are wholly deceiued, who haue a strong imagination that their faith is so mighty and perfect, that all the witches [Page 171] in the world, and all the diuels in hell cannot hurt them nor shake it.

Secondly, it behoueth Gods children neuer to presume of outward security from any temptation, but to prepare and arme themselues against it; and if Satan by his instruments at any time (by Gods permission) afflict and torment them, they must know that it is one­ly for the triall of their faith and pati­ence,Matth 5.10, 11, 12. and therefore the end cannot but be good and glorious.

Q. Why doth God suffer his chil­dren thus to be tormented?

A. First, that he may (for the time) try their faith, and likewise exercise their pa­tience.

Secondly, that he may at length (ei­ther by life or death) wholly deliuer them, and then giue Satan the greatest soile, when he looketh for the greatest vi­ctory and aduantage.

Q. What vse and application is to be made of this point?

A. First, we must beware that we doe not censure all, or any, thus tormen­ted, with the blacke note and marke of a reprobate, séeing that Gods children are liable (sometimes) to the hurt of witch­craft, [Page 172] as well as the wicked and profan [...] people.

Secondly, we must be content that Satan should goe about to winnow vs as wheat,Luk. 22.31.32. for he shal not preuaile against our faith: well may the chaffe be parted and diuided from the wheat, but the wheat and the sauing grace of God shall neuer be driuen out of our hearts.

Lastly, the more Satan bestirreth himselfe to annoy and displeasure vs,Iam 47. let vs the more v [...]liantly and vehemently by the word of God, by faith, and praier, resist him, then he will flie from vs, and we shall foile him.

Q Why doth Satan by his instru­me [...]ts, endeuor rather to annoy Gods children then those that are wicked?

A. Because he hath the wicked fast in his hold, and if he should (ordinarily) tor­ment them he might possibly estrange them from him, and so lose them. But as for the godly, they haue escaped his hands, and therefore he laboureth to re­couer them: they are as the Merchants ship, fraught and laden with great riches and pretious commodities and therefore he striueth either to take them, or else to drowne and sinke them.

[Page 173] Q. What meanes and remedies are there to preuent and cure the practises of witchcraft?

A. There is one soueraigne and prin­cipall preseruatiue, and th [...] is, to bee within the couenant of grace, made and confirmed in the Gospel by the bloud of Christ, touching remission of sinnes and euerlasting life; for to such on one apper­taine the promises of the blessed presence of Gods spirit, and of the presence and speciall protection of his holy Angels,Psal. 92.10. to pitch their ten [...]s about them,Num. 23.23. and to pre­serue their soules and bodies from the power and practises of Satan and his instruments, (namely) so far forth as is expedient for them.

Q. How may a man be certified that he is in the couenant of grace?

A. By a liuely faith, applying to him­selfe the sauing promises of God in Christ and by the fruits of it, in true re­pentance and obedience.

Q Deliuer some generall restaura­tiues and remedies against the practises of witchcraft.

A. They that are annoied by witches and the practises of withcraft, must pra­ctise thrée duties. First, they must note [Page 174] that sinne is the true and proper cause of it,1. Sam. 15. as may appeare in Saul vexed with an euill spirit,1. Tim. 1.20 in Hymeneus and Alexander, (for their pestilent errors) giuen vp vnto Satan; and in the incestuous Corinthi­an, 1. Cor. 5.5. And therefore they must neuer rest, vntill that they haue found out this sinne, and withall wounded and slaine it.

Secondly, they must shew forth by hearty praier and fasting, their faith whereby they rely on Gods méere mer­cy; and herein they must pray absolute­ly for the pardon of their sinnes, but con­ditionally for deliuerance from the hurts and torments of witches and sorcerers, for they are but temporall euils.

Lastly, they must comfort themselues in this, that the diuell and his instru­ments, are but Gods executioners, who directeth their practises to his childrens good, and that he being a most wise God, and a louing father in Christ, will not suffer them to be tried and exercised a­boue their ability, but will in his good time, either in this life, or in the end of this life, by death eternally deliuer them, and put them in present possession of euerlasting ease and happinesse.

[Page 175] Q. What is possession?

A. It is when the diuell is manifest­ly present, either in the whole body, or in some part of it; so that he hath the power and gouernment of it. As for examples sake, when he possesseth the instrument of the voice, as the tongue, and withall maketh the party possessed to speake strange languages, which formerly he neuer either heard or vnderstood, and when he causeth the party possessed to giue notice of secrets, and of things done farre off

Q. Whether is there any possession in th [...]se daies or no?

A. Though possession by euill spirits is in these daies of truth but rare, and of few noted, yet there is, and will be such. And this the Writers of the Centuries doe record to haue fallen out in euery age, and frequent experience in our own kingdome doth also confirme it.

Secondly, the causes of possession, namely sinne as the meritorious cause of it, and the demonstration and executi­on of Gods iustice as the finall cause, cease not: for sinne is as rife, yea more raging then euer heretofore; and God is as iust to punish sinne, as at any time, [Page 176] and then why should there not be pos­session an effect of it?

Thirdly, the proper signes and symp­tomes of possession, namely lowd crying of the party possessed,Mark. 9 26 renoing of his bo­dy, and his lying dead at the point of his dispossession, are in these daies descried and obserued:Mar. 9.24. and why is there not then the thing signified?

Lastly, the ordinary meanes of expel­ling Satan, namely praier and fasting remaine, and why not possession?


Q But the miraculous and extraordi­nary gift of eiecting euill spirits out of the possessed, is now altogether ceased, Ergo, there is now no reall and bodily possession.

A. The argument followeth not: for though possession in our daies be farre more rare then in Christ and the Apo­stles times, & the miraculous gift of ca­sting them out (by miracle) be ceased, yet there is an ordinary course remaining and left to the Church, namely, praier and fasting;Mark. 9.2 [...] and not without good reason; for there is no temptation but God hath prouided a remedy for it, and much more for such an extraordinary affliction. [...]nd [Page 177] hereupon when the Disciples of Christ hauing iointly receiued power and au­thority to cast out diuels; and when they assaying to cast out Satan out of one of the Scribes sonnes, and because satan yéelded not at first, and they beganne to doubt of the sufficiencie of their autho­rity, they had no successe; for the gift of miraculous faith, was for the time inter­rupted: hereupon Christ referreth them to the ordinary meanes, namely praier and fasting.


But God hath made promises to his children, Iam 4 7. that Satan shal haue no power ouer them.

A. All temporall blessings (whereof this is one) are promised with condition, namely, so farre forth as may stand with Gods good pleasure, and the good of his children, and not otherwise: but it is his decrée, and for his childrens profit, some­times to be bewitched and annoied by Satans instruments.

Q Whether those that were vexed by euill spirits, in the time that Christ li­ued on the earth, or in any age sithence, were onely obsessed and outwardly tor­mented by Satan, or possessed by the [Page 178] substantiall inherence of him in their bodies.

A. (No doubt) they were tormented both waies. Touching obsession, there is no question; and touching possession, it is apparant by these and the like argu­ments. First, by a distinct voice heard out of the person possessed, differing from his owne naturall voice.

Secondly, by the speaking of the har­dest languages, which the party posses­sed neuer formerly vnderstood.

Thirdly, our blessed Sauiour Christ cast out a diuell out of a man, and bad him enter in no more.

Math. 12.43.44.Fourthly, the vncleane spirit being gone out of a man, and finding no test elsewhere, purposeth and endeuoureth to returne into his house from whence he came: Ergo, he was formerly in it.

Lastly, (a few words satisfie men not conceited or contentious) the experience of most ages, and the iudgement of the most Orthodox Diuines proueth it.

Q. Whether that Gods children may be at any time, or are in these daies pos­sessed by euill spirits?

Eccl. 9.2. A. Yea truly; first in these outward things, al may fall alike to the good & bad.

[Page 179]Secondly, Satan by Gods permission, had power ouer the blessed body of our Sauiour Christ, and transported it from place to place,Mat. 4.8. viz. from the wildernesse to a wing of the temple in Ierusa­lem.

Thirdly, Satan infected Iobs body with lothsome and pestilent botches and boiles, yea and ouerturned the house wherein Iobs children were vpon them, and so crushed and squéesed them in péeces.

Fourthly, holy and blessed Paul was buffeted by satan.

Fifthly,2. Cor. 12.7 a daughter of Abraham was troubled eightéene yéeres with a spirit of infirmity; for Satan so bowed her, that she could not lift vp her head.

Sixthly, the woman of Canaan her daughter was vexed with a diuell.Mat. 15.21.22.

Seuenthly, the child of a true beléeuer was by satan possessed.

Eighthly, the experience of all ages and times (more or lesse) verifieth and iustifieth the truth of this assertion.

Lastly, fatherly and temporary cha­s [...]isements yet remaine; but possession is (to Gods children) but a temporary & fatherly chastisement.

[Page 180] Q. What generall comforts and di­rections are there against possession?

A. First Satans both nature and power is restrained, limitted, and boun­ded: for touching his nature, he is but a creature, and finite both in knowledge and power. And as touching his power, (though it be very great) yet he is so bri­dled and restrained by the decrée, & will of God, that he cannot put in execution all his naturall power, to the hurt and annoiance of any whatsoeuer.

Secondly, sundry of Gods saints, as Iob, and a daughter of Abraham, that was bound by satan eightéene yéeres: yea and our blessed Sauiours body, was subiect (for the time) to satans malice, and yet all happily escaped, and were de­liuered: Christ by his owne power foi­led him, and the other were conquerors in and through Christ.

Thirdly, that in Gods children, pos­session by satan onely annoieth the body, which is as it were the outward wall or the circumference; but he can neuer win or ouercome the castles of our hearts, nor attaine vnto the center of our con­science.

Lastly, that possession by euill spirits, [Page 181] is (to the beléeuers) but a temporary cha­stisement, and shall determine in death, (if not long before) espe [...]ally, if publike and priuate praiers and fastings be (ac­cording to Christ his ordinance) vsed.

Q. What duties are the possessed to performe?

A. They must heartily pray vnto, and call vpon God in Christ, to checke satan, and to restrain his power and ma­lice, and (consequently) to deliuer them and theirs: and in the meane time, they must patiently beare that particular af­fliction, and wait Gods leasure vntill he deliuer them. Iob 13. Heb. 11.17.

Secondly, they must haue recourse to God in his word, in which he promiseth them his presence, and protection in their greatest dangers. Psal. 91.10.11. Zach. 2.51. Esay 66.12. Num. 23.25.

Thirdly,Mat. 17.21. there must praier and fasting of the Church be vsed for them: for so Christ hath ordained and commanded. Marke 3.29. Psal. 37.34.

Lastly, they must to their holy profes­sions, ioyne practises of good works and newnes of life, and then all things will goe well with them in the end.

Q. What duties are the friends of the [Page 182] possesed, and his neighbours, and those that attend vpon him, to performe vn­to him?

Rom. 12.15. A. First, they must condole and grieue with him, as members of one and the same spirituall body.1 Cor. 12.25.

Secondly, they must visit him, and by praiers make intercession to God for him;Iam. 5.15. for so God hath commanded; and the praier of a righteous man auaileth much, if it be feruent.

Esa. 8.20.Thirdly, they must aduertise him that he in no wise send to wizards, nor flie to any vnlawfull meanes;2 Kin. 1.3. & 4. for this is not the meanes to expell satan, but to en­tertaine and also to strengthen him.

Lastly, because in possession, God doth either correct some euill in the party pos­sessed, or make triall of his faith, his friends must endeuor to bring him to re­pentance for his sinnes, and this being done, to perswade the said party to wait constantly and patiently for the good time of his happy deliue­rance.


THE SECOND BOOKE, Wherein are contained soueraigne and most sweet consolations, directions, and remedies against such inward or outward euils, crosses, af­flictions, which properly and peculiarly concerne Gods Church and Children.

LONDON Imprinted by William Hall for Iohn Stepneth. 1611.

TO THE RIGHT Honourable his very good. Lord, the L. HARING­TON, Baron of EXTON; and to the right Noble and Vertuous the LADIE HARINGTON his wife, & my singular good LADIE, Grace, Mercy and Peace.

HAuing (Right Ho­nourable) in the for­mer booke treated of such publike and pri­uate troubles, vexati­ons, losses and cala­mities that are common to Gods children with the wicked; and ha­uing (according to my measure) sor­ted out, and set downe such plaine [Page] and compendious rules, directions, and consolations, as may seeme most fit and necessary; I haue in this se­cond Booke propounded in order those doubts, distresses, griefes, scan­dals, trials and afflictions, which did specially and properly concerne Gods Saints and seruants: (for ma­ny are the troubles of the righteous, and the better Christian the more tried and afflicted) & I haue with­all expressed and drawn out of Gods booke such certaine resolutions, vn­doubted conclusions, and choice comforts, as (I hope) will giue good satisfaction and contentment to eue­ry good Christian. And hoping that through Gods blessing this small worke may doe much good, I haue beene willing to make it com­mon, and for many iust and waigh­ty reasons me mouing, doe deuote and consecrate it to your Honours. For, first, your Honours being Pil­lers in Gods house, and goodly [Page] Cedars in the Lebanon of his Church militant, beare your parts in affli­ction, and therefore the comforts do appertaine vnto you; you share in the conflicts, and why not in the conquests?

Secondly, this my discourse be­ing a subiect and matter of religion and learning, who haue greater in­terest in it, then such a noble Theo­philus, & honourable Sunamite, who both doe so much fauour, further, and wish well to learning and god­linesse?

Thirdly, in whom doe might and meekenesse, honour and hu­mility, greatnesse and gratiousnes, more happily concur, then in your Honours?

Lastly, hauing receiued so many great and vndeserued fauours from your Honours, as the Roote, and from your noble ofspring, as the blessed branches; I could finde no [Page] better meanes to manifest my hum­ble dutie, and to testifie my thank­full heart, then by dedicating, and commending these my labours to your patronages.

Vouchsafe therefore not onely to peruse my meditations, but also to approue them; that the Author may receiue the greater encourage­mēt, & the fragrant perfume of your fauourable disposition, may more amply enlarge, and make knowne it selfe. But fearing to bee offen­siue and tedious, and assuring my selfe of your Honourable accepta­tion; I doe here most heartily sue and supplicate to God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, to blesse the bright Morning Starre, that Princely charge vnder your careful tuition, and herein to respect and reward your faithfull seruice, and watchfull attendance, to remem­ber in goodnesse all your kind­nes [Page] shewed to his Church and chil­drē, to continue you long in health, to encrease you in all grace and honour, and to replenish your hearts with all hope and comfort.

Your Honours in all dutie, most affectionate, THOMAS DRAXE.

THE SECOND BOOKE. Of the soueraigne and most sweet conso­lations, directions, and remedies a­gainst such inward or outward euils, crosses, afflictions, which properly and peculiarly concerne Gods Church and children.



WHat are those crosses, trou­bles and afflictions, that properly and peculiarly concerne Gods Saints and seruants?

A. They are either inward or out­ward.

[Page 2] Q. What are the inward crosses?

A. Those spirituall temptations that assault the soules, faith, and sanctifica­tion of Christians.

Q. How are they to be distinguished?

A. They are either such temptations which arise from within the mind of Gods children, or which are accidental­ly occasioned and obiected from without them.

Q. What are those inward tempta­tions and distresses that arise from with­in the minds of Gods children?

A. They are either anguish of mind and distresse of conscience (in generall,) or doubts of, and assaults against faith and sanctification (in particular.)

Q. What is distresse of mind?

A. A liuely [...]éeling of Gods displea­sure for sinne committed, whereupon the person distressed is in suspense of Gods fauour, and of his saluation, and doth further expect the increase of the same distresse.Heb. 5.7.

Q. Why is it put in the first place?

A. Because it is the most bitter and grieuous crosse of all others.

Q. Render some reasons of your assertion.

[Page 3] A. First, because they that are hereby tried, exercised, and buffeted, striue not with men, who are weake and mortall, but with God almighty, who is highly offended with them, and is a reuenging God.

Secondly, no outward act, physicke, counsell, medicines, might or meanes, can possibly relieue and cure such, but onely the word and spirite of God, re­uealing and applying the bloud and obe­dience of Christ vnto the party affli­cted.

Thirdly, such distressed soules are more tormented by the coueting and remoo­uing all sense and feeling of his graces, then if they should be put to all the racks and gibbets in the world, insomuch, that in their symptomes they are moued and drawne sometimes not onely to com­plaine of God,Iob. 6.2. & 3.24 &c. 16 12. but to blaspheme him, and to crie out that they are damned.

Lastly,P [...]al 6.1.2 3 Psal. 116.3. these temptations and distres­ses doe of all torments most néerely re­semble the paines of the damned, and hereupon Dauid saith, that the paines of hell gat hold on him.

Q. For what ends and purposes doth God oftentimes so t [...]ouble and afflict [Page 4] the minds and consciences of his chil­dren.

A. For diuers ends: First, that they finding (to their griefe) how odious sinne is in Gods sight, may bee the more stricken downe, yea and confounded in themselues, and so be the more mightily stirred vp to godly sorrow.

Secondly, God will hereby checke & correct spirituall pride in them, by reason of illumination, reuelation, graces, acts done, &c. Hereupon Paul saith of himself, [...]. Cor. 12. that lest he should be exalted out of measure by spiritual reuelations, God sent the messenger of Satan to buffet him, and the pricke in the flesh to humble and exercise him. God hereby like a good Physitian letteth them bloud, and easeth them of all ill humors of pride, worldlines, loosenesse of life, security, &c. and estrangeth them from the friend­ship, and familiarity of wicked men.

Thirdly, God will hereby trie and proue, that is, make knowne to them­selues and others, their faith, and a traine of most excellent vertues that follow and attend vpon it.

Fourthly, they hereby, when they are once deliuered,Gen 45.5. & 6. shall be more compassi­onate [Page 5] to their brethren in the like extre­mitie.Psal. 51.13. For as one péece of yron cannot be souldred and fastened to another vn­lesse both péeces bee made red hote,A Simi­litude. and beaten together:Luk. 22 33. so one Christian mem­ber cannot bee soundly affected to ano­ther, vnlesse both haue had experience of the same, or the like misery.

Q. What if temptations and afflicti­ons bee [...], that is, of long du­rance, how then shall a Christian man hold out, and lose no ground?

A First, by considering that (besides the long afflictions of Iob, Dauid, Han­na, a daughter of Abraham, that was bowed by Satan 18. yeares, and the di­stresses of particular persons in all ages) the children of Israel were long in cap­tiuity in Egypt, in Caldea, in Baby­lon: the ten generall persecutions were of long continuance, but the end and is­sue of all, were happy and blessed.

Secondly, God by the long continu­ance hereof, doth cure many desperate sins in them, and preuent many euils, into which otherwise they would cast themselues headlong; these long conti­nuing plasters will fall off as soon as the wounds are cured.

[Page 6] Pro. 13.12.Thirdly, the lenger that the deliue­rance is deferred, the more comfortable will it be when it commeth.

Lastly, if processe of time rid them not away, yet death will end them.


Wherefore let vs humble our selues vnder Gods mighty hand;Ioh. 5.14. let vs séeke his face, and desire his mercy, which be­ing obtained, let vs sinne no more lest a worse thing befall vs, let vs then beware an after-clap.

Q. From what speciall causes doth distresse and anguish of minde a­rise?

A. From two, the one inward & origi­nall, namely, a déepe apprehension, or rather, an ouerrating of sinne commit­ted; and the other outward, and occasi­onall, namely, crosses, calamities dan­gers, distresses, persecutions, and trou­bles.

Q. What meditations are good for our restitution, and for the regaining of Gods fauour once felt and enioied?

A. We must remember and weigh diuers things. First, that in these de­sertions, the Saints of God in all ages, share and are copartners with vs.

[Page 7]Secondly, that they are finite, mo­mentany, and sufferable.

Thirdly, that if they bee weyed in a ballance either with the horrours and torments of the damned, from which Christ hath deliuered vs, or with the glo­rious ioyes of heauen▪ wherein our Lord hath slated vs,1. Pet. 1.6. they are as nothing, and therefore wee are more patiently, and ioyfully to vndergoe them, 2. Cor. 4.17. Heb. 10.37

Fourthly, if these temptations, bee great & grieuous, then they (like strong purgations) will worke our greatest peace at length.

Fifthly, we must note, that ‘the way to heauen is not strawed with flowers, and roses, but set with thornes, and therefore we ought to be well shod with the preparation of the Gospell of peace, Eph. 6.

Sixtly, God will not long leaue vs comfortlesse, but as the temptation a­boundeth, so shall the consolation much more, and the euent shall bee alwaies good.

Seuenthly, God doth sometimes forsake vs, so that wee sinne greatly, and sometimes that we are hopelesse in [Page 8] our troubles, that Gods fauour recoue­red, should be more estéemed of vs. For as the morning light is more comforta­ble after the darkenesse of the night, as walking after sléepe, health after sicknes, a calme after a storme, and peace after war: so is Gods loue more admired after, and his fauour more desirable & acceptable, when sundry temptations and desertions haue gone before.

Lastly, God in due season will bring these dolefull desertions to an excellent issue, and to a blessed conclusion.

Q. What vse are wee to make here­of?

A. First; we must bée héedfull that wee doe not rashly and vncharitably censure any of Gods afflicted children, as though they were finally forsaken. For whom God loueth most hee cha­stiseth most, and he putteth his chiefest Champions and Worthies to the grea­test hazards.

Secondly, wee must neuer promise to our selues any immunity from these troubles and trials, but arme and pre­pare our selues against them.

Lastly, we must not pine away in our troubles, nor despaire, but wee must [Page 9] liue by faith, and waite vpon our God, vntill he gloriously deliuer vs.

Q. With what comfortable directi­ons and rules, are the consciences of Gods children to bee relieued that are vexed in soule by reason of some grie­uous sinne committed?

A. First, they must know that God (in the matter of our saluation) worketh by the contraries,Rom. 8.28. and turneth the poison of the sinne of his children into excellent preseruatiues, and restoratiues, & there­fore hee sometimes so leaueth them to themselues, that they commit some great sinne that woundeth the conscience, that his grace may be more conspicuous and apparant in their recouery, and that they hauing felt the waight of Gods displeasure, may be more watchfull and wary for the time to come.

Secondly,Ioh 3.16. they must remember that Christ his satisfaction to Gods iustice is of infinite value and worth, and that if they doe by the hand of a liuely faith ap­ply it to their soules, it will cure the wounds of their soules, be they neuer so great.

Thirdly, if they debase themselues be­fore God, and strip themselues of all [Page 10] opinion of their own worthines, & with­all truely desire to be reconciled vnto God, then God will giue grace to the humble, and accept the will for the deede.

Math 24. v. 26 Ioh. 20.25.27.Fourthly, that doubting, and despe­ration is like the great monster Golias, that defieth the liuing God, and there­fore we must not yeeld to it, but resist it, and (with the fling and sword of Gods word) slay it.

Lastly, they must meditate vpon Gods swéet mercies, past, present, & to come, & laye his pretious promises close to their harts, and they will be so many flagons of wine and apples of comfort to reuiue their fainting soules.

Q. With what considerations shall Gods children comfort themselues, whē God (for the time) delayeth either to re­moue, or to mitigate inward, or outward afflictions?

A. First, that God is the author of them,Amos. 3.6 and not man onely (or principally) and that he turneth them in the end vn­to the speciall good of his children. Rom. 8.18.

Secondly,Rom. 8.27. that Gods children of all times are subiect to this temptation and [Page 11] are our companions and copartners herein. 1. Pet. 5.9.

Thirdly, that the longer that our temptations endure, the more easie will they be; and that the more violent they bee (like the blustering and stormie windes) the sooner they will end; for nullum violentum est perpetuum; and God will not (such is his tender com­passion and indulgence) haue his chil­dren tempted aboue their measure and strength.

Fourthly, that the Lord Iesu hath long sithence drunke vp the poisoned dregges of affliction, and hath sancti­fied and swéetned the remainders of it vnto them.

Fifthly,Ps. 91.15. God is present with his in trouble, he by his spirit doth instruct, di­rect, comfort and strengthen them,Vers. 16. and [...]ill (in good time) graciously and glori­ously, by life or death, frée and deliuer them.

Q. What is a second, (though an ac­cidentall and occasionall) cause that cau­seth and encreaseth distresse of mind?

A. Melancholy.

Q. What is melancholy?

A. It is (in regard of the outward [Page 12] matter and original of it) a kind of ear­thy and blacke bloud, (especially in the splene) corrupted & distempered, which when the splene is stopt, conueieth it selfe to the heart and braine,Perkins. and there, (what by his corrupt substance, and in­fectious quality, and what by corrupt spirits) annoieth both braine and heart, the seats and instruments of reason, vn­derstanding and affections.

Q. How doth melancholly breed and nourish distresse of mind and consci­ence?

A. By furthering euill and fearefull conceits: for when the mind of the me­lancholick person hath imagined, concei­ued, and presented to it selfe dreadfull things, then affection worketh vpon it, and then iointly from the mind and affe­ction disturbed and distempered, procéed feares, horrours, desperations.

Q How is distresse and griefe of mind to be distinguished from melan­choly?

A. Many waies. First, melancholy may beare sway and preuaile, when the conscience is in a slumber, and no whit disquieted.

Secondly, distresse of conscience per­plexeth [Page 13] the whole man; but melancholy troubleth the imagination only.

Thirdly, distresse of conscience ariseth from the knowledge of sinne, and from the feare and féeling of Gods indigna­tion; but the feare and distresse that is occasioned by melancholy, ariseth from pretended and supposed causes.

Fourthly, he that is distressed in con­science, may, and hath courage in all other things; but the melancholick per­son feareth & misdoubteth euery thing.

Lastly, melancholy is curable by phy­sicke; but distresse of conscience can by no other meanes be remoued, but by faith in Christ his merits and media­tion.

Q. How is melancholy to be cured?

A. First, the melancholick person must be brought not only to an acknowledge­ment of his sinnes in generall,2. Cor. 7.9.10. but of some speciall sinne in particular, that so his melancholike sadnes may be turned into a godly sorrow.

Secondly, hee must bee distinctly acquainted with the precious promises of God,Psal 34.12. made to repentant sinners. Psal. 97 10.

Thirdly, hee must touching the out­ward [Page 14] state of his body, suffer himselfe to be gouerned by his friends and men of skill, or else he must be contained in or­der by violence.

Fourthly, he must suffer nothing to enter into his heart that may vex and disquiet him.

Lastly, the ordinary meanes of phy­sicke must be vsed; for it serueth to a­bate the euill humor of the body, and to cure the distemper of it.

Q. What are the principall and vsu­all effects of distresse of soule and con­science?

A. Six especially: first, sadnesse and heauinesse: secondly, troublesome and vnquiet dreames: thirdly, wearisome­nesse of this present life by reason of dai­ly discontentments: fourthly, despera­tion of saluation: fifthly, feare of the last iudgement: lastly, feare and expectation of hell fire.

Q. What comforts and remedies are there against this sadnes and heauinesse?

A. First, in this temptation a Chri­stian man must by the feet of his faith, and the wings of his affection come,Mat. 11.28 yea and flie vnto Christ, and take vpon him the yoke of his fatherly correction, and [Page 15] then he shall finde rest vnto his soule.

Secondly, let him looke and long for the Lords gracious and fauourable pre­sence, no otherwise then the sea-beaten traueller longeth and looketh for the ha­uen: and euen as the eies of seruants looke vnto the hands of their masters, and as the eies of a maiden vnto the hands of her mistresse:Psal. 123.2. so his eies must wait vpon the Lord his God, vntill hee haue mercy vpon him.

Thirdly, he must with Iacob wrestle with God by praier, and not cease to vrge and importune him, vntill he blesse him, and then he shall (at length) preuaile with him, and haue his quietus est.

Fourthly, he must consult and be ad­uised by the Ministers and Preachers of Gods word,Iob 33.23 24. to whom he hath giuen the tongue of the learned,Esay 50.4. that they should know how to minister a word in season to the weary, and comfort the foeble minded.

Fifthly, the greater that his vnqui­etnesse is, the more must he fasten and fixe his minde vpon Christ, in whom a­lone he shall finde peace.A simil [...] ­ [...]ude. For as he that climeth vp a ladder, the higher that hee ascendeth, the more fast hold he taketh, [Page 16] so the more that a man is oppressed with heauinesse, the more earnestly should he fix and fasten his mind vpon the Lord Iesu.

Sixthly, hee must turne and trans­change his worldly sorrow into a godly sorrow; for then his sadnes shall end in gladnes, and his sorrow in singing, no otherwise then after raine commeth faire weather, and after stormes calmes.

Seuenthly, he must not so muse and thinke vpon sorrowfull and displeasing obiects, much lesse yéeld vnto that sorrow whereof he can render no certaine cause, for then his sorrowes will become vn­cureable, and kill him:2. Cor. 7.9.10. but it is his part to study and ponder vpon the swéete promises of God in Christ,1. Pet. 1.6.7 made to humbled and repentant sinners; he must also ioy in, and be thankefull for Gods graces and gifts conferred vpon him, which will feast and refresh his soule.

Eightly, he must vse and take com­fort in Gods good creatures,Eccles. 2.24 of meate, drinke, herbs, plants, and especially so­lace himselfe in the greene and most de­lectable spring of the glorious resurrecti­on daily approching,1. Thess. 4.15. when God shall wipe all teares from his eies, and fill [Page 17] him with vnutterable pleasure.

Lastly, when he is recouered, he must be truely thankefull to God; and pity and kindly entreate them that are in like extremity.

Q What comforts are to be applied to them that are disquieted with feare­full dreames?

A. First, few dreames are true, be­cause they are either equiuocall, or ordi­narily false, and therefore not to bee be­beléeued; and as for all Propheticall dreames, they are now ceased.

Secondly, it is better to dreame of things that are dreadful vnto vs, then those that are delectable and desirea­ble:Petrarch. de remed. vtrius. fort. for the deceit of a dreadful dreame is pleasant, and the issue of a delightsom dreame is many times sorrowful.

Thirdly, Iob Dauid, and others haue beene this way afflicted.

Fourthly, if wee dreame of any euill that may befal vs, as we may not cre­dit it, because it is a dreame, so it is good we should beware of it, and the occasi­ons thereof, and preuent it by praier.

Lastly, disquiet and feareful dreames procéed ordinarily from cares,Eccles. 5.2. vexation and distraction of mind in the day time, [Page 18] and therefore wee must disfurnish and vnlade our selues of them.

Q. What practises are necessary to preuent fearfull dreames?

A First, moderate and spare diet; for from a full stomack arise noisome fumes which trouble the braine.

Secondly, a quiet disposition, and the following of quiet studies in the day time, which will be the cause of quiet re­pose in the night.

Thirdly, a carefull and conscionable execution of the works of our Christian and ciuill calling.

Fourthly, before we goe to sléepe, a di­ligent examination of our selues,Psal. 4.4.8 and a sorrow for sinne committed, and good o­mitted, and the exercise of reading, con­ference, praier.

Lastly, if our dreames be troublesome, terrible, and from Satan, wee must by earnest praier resist him, and bid him anaunt, and we shall finde maruellous comfort after it.

Q. How much a Christian quiet and pacifie himselfe that is weary of this pre­sent life, by reason of many crosses, toils, troubles, and discontentments?

A. First, hee must remember that [Page 19] euery man is borne to many crosses, and that no calling is fréed from them: and therefore he must learne to take vp his crosse daily,Luke 9.23. & 24. and to follow Christ.

Secondly, he must as well looke to be chastised of God,Iob 2.10. as cherished, and to be as well crossed as comforted; for he must by many afflictions enter into Gods kingdome:Acts 14.22. and therefore hee must en­counter with these euils, and vse no vnlawfull euasion to ease himselfe of them.

Thirdly, hee must reade much, yea muse and meditate vpon the swéete and sugred promises of God, contained in the scriptures: if he delight herein, hee shall not perish in his troubles: Psal. 119.92 but be reuiued.

Lastly, hee must be often conuersant with Gods children, and desire their ad­uice, praiers,Cant. 3.2. & 3. counsell, direction, and then they will be like so many Ionathans to comfort him, and so many Simons to helpe him to beare his Crosse.

Q. What is desperation?

A. It is when a man in his owne sense and féeling, is without all hope of saluation.

Q. How doth this come to passe?

[Page 20] A. Thus, when a man being preuen­ted, falleth into some offence, which sa­tan doth maruellously aggrauate, both by accusing the offender, and affrighting him with the iudgements of God. Matt. 27.3, 4, 5.

Q. With what comforts and perswa­sions shall Gods children arme and fur­nish themselues against this tempta­tion?

Esay 1.16.17. A. First, that Gods mercies in Christ are of an infinite extent, and doe by ma­ny degrées excéed and goe beyond all their sinnes whatsoeuer. Psal. 103.10, 11, 12.

Secondly, that Christ came into the world not to call the righteous, but sin­ners to repentance, and that they that sée not, might sée: and that they which sée, (namely,Iohn 9.39. in their owne opinion and con­ceit) might be made blind; and to séeke and saue that which was lost (namely, in their owne sense and estéeme): and there­fore afflicted sinners haue no cause of doubting, much lesse of despaire.

Rom. 5.10.21.Thirdly, the greater that our sinne is, the greater is Gods mercy to them that depend vpon him; so that where sinne a­boundeth grace aboundeth more.

[Page 21]Fourthly, Christ is a continual inter­cessor for them to God his Father, and God heareth him alwaies. Iohn 11.

Fifthly, that to call Gods goodnesse, truth,Iohn 20.25.27. and power into question is a great sinne, and that thereby they offend him as much as by any other sinne.

Sixthly, that many of Gods déerest saints and seruants haue béen (in a sort) emplunged and engulfed in the pit of de­spaire, as Dauid, Iob, the Church in the Canticles, &c. yet by praier, by medita­ting vpon their former experience of Gods mercies: Ps. 1. Sam. 17.37. and by waiting Gods leasure with patience, they haue happily recouered themselues, and haue béen more confir­med for the time to come.

Seuenthly, that God, when his chil­dren séeme vtterly forsaken and doe con­flict with Gods wrath,Lam. 3 3 [...]. are not wholly nor finally forsaken, but are inwardly with the woman of Canaan supported by Gods power,Mat. 12.11. who doth in his good time bring iudgement vnto victory, or truth, that is, he wil so iudge and raigne, that at length hee will bee a conque­rour.

Eighthly, that God in this case accep­teth [Page 22] the will for the déede,Matth. 5.6. and a desire of reconciliation for reconciliati­on it selfe: so that this our desire bee matched with a setled purpose, and a full resolution to forsake all sin▪ Acts 11.23. and to turne vnto God. Luke 15.18.

Ninthly, that in the beginning of a mans conuersion,Mat 9.22. and in the time of some gréeuous temptation, God accep­teth of a desire to beléeue for faith it selfe. Mat. 8.25.26.

Tenthly, that desperation in Gods children is but temporary, and therefore curable:Iohn 13.3. for God teacheth them, he lo­ueth them with an eternall loue, he en­lightneth and guideth them by his spi­rit, and hauing begun in them the worke of grace,Phil. 1.6. he will finish it vntill the day of Christ.

Lastly, that all the rules and princi­ples of Christian religion are demon­stratiue, and certain both in themselues, and also in the minds and vnderstan­dings of Gods children.

Q. What vse is to be made of all these propositions?

A. First, séeing that desperation is the high way to hell, yea and the mouth of it, let vs not nourish it, and so hereby [Page 23] increase our sinne, and lessen and discre­dit Gods rich and roiall mercies, but ra­ther let vs build and bind vpon them,Acts 3.19. for the hauen of mercy is prepared for the repentant.

Secondly, it is our part to beware of doubting,Heb. 4.1.2. distrusting, and vnbeliefe; for hereby we stop the current of Gods mer­cy, and shut the doores of our hearts that the sunneshine of his grace cannot enter in vnto vs.

Lastly, wee in this case must not cast our eies vpon our owne vnworthinesse, as though we should bring a pawne in our hands, and bind God vnto vs by our owne works; but wee must take notice of the infinite extent of Gods mercy and compassion,Rom. 4.19, 20, 21. and striue to beléeue and apply all the promises of salua­tion.

Q. How are they to bee comforted, that tremble at and are sore afraid at the remembrance of the last iudge­ment?

A. First, their feare of the last iudgement (so that it bee not vnmea­surable and vnreasonable) is a notable alarum to awaken them out of, and to kéepe them from the slumber of security. [Page 24] Hereupon Saint Paul by the terror of it,2. Cor. 5.11 endeuoured to perswade men to re­pentance. And Saint Ierome (whether he did eat, drinke, sléepe, study) thought that he heard alwaies sounding in his eares, Arise ye dead, and come to iudge­ment.

Secondly, Gods children being in Christ, and hauing him for their Saui­our, friend,Rom. 8.1. mediator, and Iudge, shall neuer come into the iudgement of con­demnation, but shall heare that comfor­table sentence;Mat [...]5.41. Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit ye the kingdome prepa­red for you from the beginning of the world.

Q. What vse (in a word) is to be made hereof?

A. We must spiritually imitate the last iudgement,1. Cor. 11.32. by arraigning our selues before the barre of Gods iudgement; we must indite and condemne our selues for our sinnes, and then the last iudgement shall not minister vnto vs matter of ter­ror, but of triumph.

Q. Js it peculiar to Gods children thus to bee sometimes perplexed with doubting of Gods fauor, and their owne saluation?

[Page 25] A. Yes: for first the wicked and pro­phane man is not sensible of his owne wants, but is presumptuous and confi­dent, though he be notwithstanding de­uoid and destitute of faith and inward holinesse.

Secondly, that the child of God is sub­iect to such doubtings and wauerings, it thus appeareth.Luk. 22.32. First, satan desireth to sift them only, and to spoile them of the rich treasure of grace in their minds and hearts.

Secondly, whosoeuer truly beléeueth, féeleth & findeth in himselfe many doub­tings and distrustings, as the whole and sound man perceiueth in himselfe many grudgings of diseases, which if he had not health he could not féele. Hereupon we reade how many of Gods most wor­thy seruants haue doubted, yea and al­most despaired.Mar. 9.21. The man in the Gospel, whose sonne was possessed with a diuel, doubted when he praied Christ to helpe his vnbeliefe: Iob 3. & 13. Dauid, Psal. 77.8, 9, 10, 11. and Psal. 116.1. Ezechias, Esay 38. and many others haue béene brought vnto the pit of desperation.

Thirdly, Gods children onely com­plaine of, abhorre and resist doubtings [Page 26] and wauerings, yea and pray against them, and therefore they must néeds be subiect vnto them.

Q. What are the principall meanes to suppresse these (or the like) doub­tings?

A. The consideration of these medi­tations following. First, it is Gods commandement that we should beléeue his manifold and precious promises,1. Ioh 3.21. which if wee refuse to doe, wee iustly defraud our selues of Gods fauour,Heb. 4.11. and of our owne saluation. Hebr. 3.18. & 19.

Secondly, the promises of grace are generall to all Gods children, and shut out no particular person:Esay 55.1. and therefore when such offers of mercy and grace are made vnto vs, and confirmed by the Sa­craments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper, let vs by the hand of faith apply them to our owne soules and consci­ences.

Lastly, that by doubting of, and cal­ling the truth of Gods goodnesse, & swéet promises into question, we offend God as much almost as by any other sinne; for hereby we rob God of the glory of his mercy,1. Iohn 5.10 and make him (what in vs [Page 27] lyeth) a lyer, because we will giue no credite to his promises, nor apprehend & lay hold on them.

Q. What practise is necessary for our helpe and recouery?

A. Wee must retire our selues into some secret place, humble our selues be­fore God, make known our wants vn­to him, and entreat him to worke faith, and suppresse vnbeliefe in vs, and he wil heare vs.

Q. Comforts and counsell for them that stand in feare, and expectation of hell fire.

A. It is good and profitable, euen for the regenerate oftentimes to speake, thinke of, and stand in feare of hell, that they may hereby bee preserued from e­uill, and confirmed in goodnes. Here­upon our blessed Sauior thus armeth & exhorteth his Disciples against persecu­tion; Feare not them which kill the bo­dy, Mat. 10.28. but are not able to kill the soule, but rather feare him that is able to destroy both body and soule in hell fire.

Secondly, there is no hell to the be­leeuers, for the sting of death is taken away by Christ, the godly haue eter­nall [Page 28] life,1. Cor. 15.55 56. Ioh. 3.36. and are already (viz. in begin­ning and hope) passed from death to life, 1. Ioh. 3.14. Joh. 5.24.

Thirdly, Christ did not onely (many hundred yeares sithence) by his death, and soule-sufferings satisfie his fathers iustice for vs, but alwayes sitteth on his Fathers right hand to make conti­nuall and effectuall intercession for vs:1 Ioh. 2.1. & 2. Rom. 8.34. and how then can we possi­bly perish?

Lastly, our soules forthwith, after that they are loosed from our bodies,Apoc. 14.13. Luk. 23. Ioh. 6.54. are carried by the blessed Angels into heauen, and our bodies shall be raised in glory at the general resurrection; how then can we slauishly feare hell?

CHAP. II. Of doubting of Gods fauour, and loue toward vs.


WHether it be incident to any of Gods children to doubt of his loue and fauour?

A. Yes verily, and that sundry times.

Q. For what ends?

A. First, that he should know, that faith, and a ful perswasion of Gods mer­cies is not naturall, or procéeding from the power of a mans owne frée will, but spirituall, and inspired of God by his spirite.

Secondly, that a Christian séeing his owne weakenesse,Luk. 17.5. and how busie Satan is to take the aduātage of his infirmity, should by prayer entreat the Lord to strengthen his faith, and to ease him of scruples and doubts.

Lastly, that hereby God might traine [Page 30] and exercise his elect in the spirituall bat­tel; for they seeing their manifold doubts and ignorances, are hereby prouoked to search the scriptures,Ioh. 5.36.40. and to take notice of Gods promises, that by the due ap­plication hereof, their faith might bee fortified and strengthned, and the re­mainders of ignorance and doubting, be by degrees abolished.

Q. How shall Gods children com­fort themselues, when by reason of the number and heinousnesse of their sins, they cannot be perswaded that they are Gods children?

Rom. 7.18 19.20 & 24. Psal. A. By remembring and laying close to their consciences, these (or the like) rules and directions following; first, it is a great part of our perfection to learne out, and so to lament a mans errours, and imperfections.

Secondly, God will pardon all sinnes to them that beleeue, and repent, be they as the sands of the sea for number and waight: and hereupon we reade in the Scriptures, how that Iudas hauing committed incest; Dauid hauing in the pride of his heart numbred the people, and added thereunto adultery and mur­ther; Salomon in his defection giuing [Page 31] a toleration to idolatry; Peter hauing thrice denied his Lord and Master; Ma­ry the Adultresse, Paul a blasphemer and persecutor, Zacheus an extortioner, diuers Con [...]urers, whereof we read in the Acts of the Apostles, the incestuous Corinthian, repented, and were receiued into grace and fauour with God.

Thirdly,Eph. 5.2. Heb 2.14.15. Ioh. 6.35 37. Christ their Sauiour came into the world to saue sinners, and for this end gaue himselfe for them (to be) an offring and a sacrifice of a swéet smel­ling sauour to God, & by death hath de­stroied the diuell that had the power o­uer death; and therefore he will deliuer them which for feare of death are in bon­dage.

Lastly, if they doe but hunger and thirst after grace, and in good sadnesse séeke the Lord, and the pardon of their sinnes, they shall neuer bee sent away empty,2 Ch. 15.4 but be filled with good things, and in Gods court get their quietus est, Luk. 1.53. Apoc. 21.6.

Q. What course must a Christian take that hee may bee eased and disburdened of his doubting?

A. First, he must be prouident that he doe not minister matter and nourish­ment [Page 32] to this doubting, by calling the power, truth, and mercy of God into question, and by giuing credite vnto sa­tan, who is alwayes a lyer,Ioh. 8.44. and a mur­derer, and seeketh his confusion; but hee must against hope,Rom. 4.18 19.20.21. belieue vnder hope, all that God hath promised, and vali­ [...]st the diuell, and hee will flée from him.

Pro 28 13 1 Ioh. 1.9.Secondly, he must often meditate vp­on Gods excellent and abundant mer­cies, and appropriate them to his owne vse, and by faith flie vnto the throne of grace, and then he shall find help in time of need, namely, rest to his soule, & peace to his conscience. Psal. 15.

Cant. 3.2 3.Lastly, hee must not onely conferre with and communicate his doubts and irresolutions to Gods Ministers, and his Christian friends, that may be the organs and instruments of God to per­swade and comfort him; but importune the Lord by constant and earnest praier, to send downe his holy spirit, that may teach him al truth, and guide his feet in­to the way of peace, and then he cannot but speed well.

Q. How shall a poor distressed Chri­stian [Page 33] bee informed and reformed in his perswasion, that doubteth whether that Christ be his Sauiour in particular, or not?

A. First, he must knew that Gods mercies in Christ cannot for length,Lam. 3.32. Psal 130.7 bredth, deepenes, and continuance bee comprehended, and like the sunne so shine vpon all men, and like the running springs, so offer themselues to all sorts, that none are put by, and shut out, but by their owne vnbeliefe and wilfulnes: and therefore hee must entitle himselfe vnto, and make claime of Gods gene­rall pardon in Christ, and then hee sh [...]ll neuer miscarrie.

Secondly, if a man bee teachable and fractable, and doe humbly sue and seeke vnto Christ for assurance of faith, he shall vndoubtedly obtaine it.

Lastly, seeing, that (in the worke of our redemption specially) God worketh by contraries, out of darkenes, he draw­eth light: out of sinne, sanctimonie: out of want, wealth: out of reproch renown: and out of death, life: &c he must with faithfull Abraham, contrary to hope, be­lieue vnder hope, and he shall (at length) be assured that Christ is his Sauiour.

[Page 34] Obiection. Where there is no Word of God there is no faith: but there is no particular word of God to ascertain mee that Christ is my Sauiour in particular, how then can I haue any speciall perswa­sion of faith?

A. Though thy name bee not men­tioned and expressed in Scripture, yet there is that which is equiualent there­unto, namely, a commaundement to belieue, and a promise of saluation to him that beleeueth, Math. 28.18. & 19.

Secondly, if thou canst not at first be perswaded that Christ is thy Saui­our in particular:Heb. 10.24 & 25. Mal. 2.7. be a diligent hearer, frequent and feruent in prayer, an ordi­nary resorter to the Lords Supper, a conscionable liuer and conferre with thy Pastor, and christian brethren, and it shall be said vnto thee, as vnto the wo­man of Canaan, Great is thy faith, bee it vnto thee according to thy desire.

Obiection But Hypocrites, Heretickes and prophane persons may make an ap­ply of the generall promise, and yet bee farre wide of any true assurance.

A. Their application is but a meere deceit or illusion, for they make an ap­plication presumptuously, hauing neither [Page 33] the hand of faith, nor the seale of san­ctification. The Diuell plaieth the iug­ler with them, and maketh them belieue that they see that which they see not, and to be full of faith, when they are starke banckrupts in all sauing grace. But it is farre otherwise with Gods children; for they being indued with the spirit of grace, appropriate Gods generall pro­mises to themselues; for when God in the preaching of the gospell saith, Seeke yee my face, they answere, O Lord wee will seeke thy face: and when God shall say, thou art my people, they shall an­swere, The Lord is our God. Zach. 13.9.

Lastly, Gods elect when they are a­dulti, and tall men in Christ, they doe firmely beleeue, and so vndoubtedly know it, as a man that holdeth a preti­ous iewel in his hand knoweth so much,Simile. otherwise they should find no comfort in their calamities, nor be thankfull to God for graces receiued.Rom. 8.38. Math. 9.2. Math. 15 28. Psal. 143.12. Rom. 4.22.

Q But my faith is full of weakenes, ignorance, doubting, and therefore I feare that I haue no faith at all.

A. (Deare Brother,) you haue no [Page 34] such reason of feare and doubting; for albeit your knowledge which is the eye of your soule, be somewhat dimme, yet (blessed be God) it séeth him that is inuisible;Heb. 11.27. and though the application of faith in you (which is the very life of your faith) is but féeble, yet it is suffici­ent to touch the hemme of Christ his garment, and so to saue you, and as for other parts of it (such as are confessiō for sinne, godly sorrow for the same, hun­ger after grace, and earnest desire of pardon) they are strong, sound and sure, and of such force as the gates of hell shal not preuaile against them, and the least sparke of this faith quencheth all the fie­ry darts of the diuell,Math. 12.30. and no maruaile: for Christ your blessed Sauiour wil not quench smoaking flaxe nor bruise a bro­ken réede, but will perfit the begun work of grace in you.

Secondly, (by your owne confession) a weake faith (so it hath Christ onely, so as he is reuealed in Scripture for his onely obiect) is a very true faith: a weak and sickly man is a true man,A compa­rison. so a weak faith is a true faith: and therefore it hath in the Scriptures the denomination of faith,Mark. 9.23.24. and is accepted with God for faith.

[Page 35]For as euery graine of gold is gold, so euery quantity of faith is faith, and the imperfections and failings in true faith, doe no more take away the name and nature of it, then a great mountaine of chaffe doth take away the name and na­ture from the corne contained in it, or the drosse in a great mine of gold, doth take away the name of it, (albeit the gold be the lesser part) for God accepteth it for the better part.

Thirdly, no man is absolutely per­fect in faith,Rom. 8.24 for the most regenerate haue but the first fruites of the spirite,Luk. 17.5. i. some small portion of it: and hereupon the Apostles themselues besought Christ to encrease their faith; wherefore in this case we must not be daunted nor discou­raged, but beséech God to confirme our [...]aith, and be frequent in hearing and reading of the scripture: for the Word preached that begat it, will encrease and strengthen it.

Obiection. But my calling is very la­borious, and many difficult works of­fer themselues to bee performed, which I cannot see how I can vnder­goe.

A. First, God that hath giuen thée [Page 36] thy calling and fitted thee for it, wil blesse thee so long as thou walkst in his waies,Psal. 90.17 hee will prosper thy handy worke, and perfite his power in thy infirmity, 2. Cor. 12.

Secondly, God according to giftes and graces receiued, measureth out to e­uery man his calling,Mat. 25.15 and the labours thereof; for he obserueth a Geometrical proportion in distributing his temptati­ons according to his seruants strength, and in employing them in seruices an­swerable.

Thirdly, the holy Ghost is the spirite of strength, who enableth thee to dis­patch and absolue the most weighty, and dangerous workes of thy calling (as he did Abraham, Phil. 4.12. Dauid, Paul &c) and by the help of him that strengthneth vs, we shall be able to doe all things.

Fourthly, no excellent worke can be performed, or notable act atchieued at home, or abroad, without labour, paines, diligence, continuance.

Lastly, God hath promised to blesse and assist vs in the workes of our law­full calling;Psal. 128.1 wherefore let vs depend vp­on Gods commandement, and desire strength of him, and wee shall obtaine [Page 37] our desire.

Q. But the sacred Scriptures are so diuersly, yea and contrarily in sundry points and places expounded, that I can­not be perswaded that they are Gods word.

A. First, the diuersity or variety of interpretation doth not preiudice the truth of Scripture: for many scriptures, as for example the Canticles, diuers Psalmes of Dauid, as the 2. the 45. the 73. the 91. &c haue both a literall and an allegoricall sense.

Secondly, diuers places may bee di­uersly expounded, and yet nothing ex­pounded against Faith, Hope Charity, and then the exposition is not euill.

Thirdly, they that expound the scrip­tures in an absurd or contrarie sense, are but meere naturals and carnall men, who (for want of spirituall vnderstan­ding) cannot discerne the things of the spirit. For as the eye in the body can­not see without the light of the sunne: so the naturall man, (be he neuer so acute and criticall) cannot without the light of the spirit iudge of heauenly thinges.

Fourthly, though many parts of scrip­ture be hard & obscure to the most rege­nerate [Page 38] man:Psal. 119.105. yet this darkenes is not in the scriptures, for they are light it selfe; but in our blindnes, ignorance, infir­mity.

Lastly, no man vnderstandeth all things, but some man one thing, & some another,1 Cor. 3.13. according to the measure of grace receiued, and euery day the truth is, and will be more fully reuealed.

Q. But how can the scriptures bee Gods vndoubted word, seeing that by the preaching, interpretation, and ap­plication of them, many are offended, and made worse?

A. First, the pure, powerfull, eternal, and holy word of God,Rom. 1.16. is not the cause hereof, for it is in it own nature the wis­dome of God and power of saluation, the immortall séed and food of the soule; but the fault is altogether in the hea­rers, who either doe not vnderstand it, or belieue it not, or else contemn it: to them alone it is the sauor of death vnto death:2 Cor. 2.16. they are owles, and cannot endure the light of the sunne; they are sicke of a burning feuer, and cannot abide the wine of the Gospel; they are filthy swine, and therfore cannot abide this delicious muskadell, but are thereby swelled vnto death.

[Page 39]Secondly, the vaine and Atheisticall hearers, doe conceiue of the Scriptures as of a mans inuention, and not (as it is indeed) the sauing word of God, & here­upon they being offended at it, are (acci­dentally) made worse. And herein they are like to Samuel, who when God be­gan to call him, as he did seuerall times heare the voice of God and not knowing it so to bee, but supposing it to bee the voice of Elie, returned to his naturall sléepe and rest: So the greatest sort of them that are outwardly called, because they heare Gods word as the word of men,2 Pet. 2.22 and so estéeme it; they like dogs and swine returne to their former filth and vomit of their sins.

Lastly, as we must not contemne nor condemn Iewels, pretious stones, artes and sciences, because the ignorant know not their worth, and so regard them not, so though some, or many, ignorantly or contemptuously refuse to be bettered by Gods word, we must not be offended at their abusing and despising of it, but rather condemne their madnes, & make benefite of it, and thanke God that hee hath giuen better light and more grace.

Q. Why doth God suffer the faith of [Page 40] his children to labor of so many doubts, wants, and imperfections?

A. First, to bring them to a true touch and sense of their sinne, & that they may perceiue in what need they stand of Christ, and of euery drop of his bloud, that so they may sue & seeke vnto Christ for recouery.

Secondly, to correct, abate, and pull downe pride, humour, and selfe conceite in them, to which they are so lyable, and enclinable.

Thirdly, to traine and practise them, in the daily fight and battaile against sinne, and to make them such expert sol­diers,Luk. 22. v. 31.32. that Satan though seeking an oc­casion to sift them, shall be wholy disap­pointed of his expectation.

2. Cor. 12.9.Fourthly, to perfect his power in their infirmity, he will enable them to per­forme all, for his grace is sufficient for them.

Q. What vse are we to make here­of?

A. First, wee must bee thankefull vnto God for the seedes and beginnings of grace,Math. 25.28.29 30. and for the least measure of true faith, lest otherwise wee prouoke God either to depriue vs of, or (at least to di­minish [Page 41] his graces bestowed vpon vs.

Secondly, we must bewa [...]le our ma­nifold defects, wants, and back slidings, and diligently vse all holy meanes, to cherish, further▪ and confirme our begun faith, such as are the ministery of the word and sacraments, preaching praier, conference, meditation, and the holy pra­ctise of all good works.

Lastly, hauing a true faith (though for the present borne downe with the win­ter of affliction) let vs perswade our selues that it will reuiue in the spring of Gods graces.

CHAP. III. Of the distresse of mind that ariseth from the sense and seeling of a Chri­stians weaknesse and imperfectio [...] in sanctification, and first of all in praier.


WHat course must a Christian take to relieue and ease him­selfe, [Page 42] that findeth and [...]eeleth many im­perfections in his praiers?

A. First, hee must acknowledge and bewaile his wants and failings.

Secondly, he must desire from God a further addition of zeale.

Thirdly, when he cannot pray as he desireth,Rom. 8.25.26. let him then sob and sigh vnto God in his praiers, for God who sear­cheth the hearts, knoweth what is the meaning of his owne spirit; and no mar­uel, for these groanes are effects of Gods spirit in him, and are (as it were) so ma­ny glorious beames breaking out from it; and God accepteth and approueth of them, as may appeare in the examples of Moses, of the children of Israel, of Eze­chias, of Iehosaphat, and others.

Fourthly, he must remember that the power of Christ remaineth to cure his infirmities, and to remoue his imperfe­ctions.

Lastly, the more imperfections that he findeth and perceiueth in his praiers, the more earnestly must hee labour for the remouall and reformation of them.

Q. What vse is to be made hereof?

A. First, hereby are met withall and condemned, all such who ignorantly [Page 43] count them the best proficients in praier, who neuer knew what these wants and imperfections meant.

Secondly, no man must cease from this exercise of praier, because of his wants: for so long as any man liueth here, hee is but in the beginning of per­fection.

Q. But I feele my selfe cold, dull, and drousie in my praiers: how then can I haue any true sanctification?

A. Yes, thou maiest well assure thy selfe of the truth of thy sanctification, so thou loue God▪ and delight to commune with him by praier.

Secondly, it is good that thou shoul­de [...]t sometimes discouer and discerne the dulnes and deadnes in praier, that thou mightest more earnestly desire this gift: otherwise thou wouldest thinke it natu­rall, and wouldst attribute the glory of it not to thy God, but to thine own selfe; for thus thou wouldest offend, if thou couldst alwaies pray according to thine owne satisfaction.

Lastly,Psal. 51.17 if we can but sigh and sob (for wee preu [...]ile more by sighes then by words) God will heare and helpe vs.Exod. 14.14 For shall an earthly father pitie and re­gard [Page 44] the groanes and sobs of his sicke sonne, and will not our heauenly father much more regard and pitie vs?

Q What vses are we to make hereof?

A. First, when we haue an ability to pray, and a will thereunto, we must be thankfull to God for it.

Secondly, if the spirit of praier bee weake in vs, we must call and cry vnto God for further grace, and we shall ob­taine it.

Lastly, we must by all good meanes stirre vp the spirit of praier in our selues.


I in my praiers am troubled and di­sturbed with many euill, idle, world­ly, and carnall thoughts, and there­fore J doubt that I haue not the spirit of praier.

A. (Déerely beloued brother) though these vaine and sinfull thoughts are so many sparkles of corruption that pro­ceed from the furnace of our vncleane heart, and are like the birds that defiled and disturbed Abrahams sacrifice: yet note for thy comfort, that the most rege­nerate man in earth cannot sound out all the corruptions in his heart,Ier. 17.9. much lesse is hee able to remooue them. [Page 45] For his new birth is onely begunne, and tending towards perfection, but not complete; and then no wonder though some dregs of corruption yet re­maine.

Q. What course shall we take for our helpe and redresse herein?

A. Séeing that prayer is so hea­uenly an exercise, and so preualent with God, and so offensiue to Satan, let vs stirre vp our zeale herein: and for our furtherance heerein, it is good for vs, (before wee pray) to talke and conferre reuerentlie of heauen­lie things, to reade the Scriptures di­ligentlie, and meditate in them, and then wee shall be possessed with better thoughts.

Lastly, we must not yéeld to, but re­sist, and earnestly pray against euill thoughts, yea and intreat the Lord of his grace to purge and purifie our hearts, and then these vaine and idle thoughts shall lesse vex and annoy vs.


I haue long importuned the Lord by prayer, and the Lord will not vouchsafe to attend vnto my praier, [Page 46] therefore I feare I haue not the spirit of praier.

A. You haue no cause thus to doubt; For God doth not deferre you, because he purposeth to deny you, but to cause you to haue his gifts in more high e­stéeme, and to make you more sound sin­cere, and more earnest and instant in praier.

Secondly, it may be that the thing that you desire of God, if it were gran­ted you, would not profit you, but turne to your hurt; and therefore God in his mercy refuseth to spéed your yéeres.

Thirdly, Dauid, Job, the people of God in captiuity,Cant. 3.1, 2, 3. and the Church in the Can­ticles, that sought Christ in her bed by praier, and that consulted her Christian acquaintance, & the Ministers of Gods word, were long delaied, but at last gra­ciously heard.

Fourthly, God by putting off your praiers, will exercise and set on worke your faith,Luk. 18.8. patience, constancie: and when he prospereth your petition, he wil replenish you with the greater ioy.

Lastly, though God heare you not, according to your wil, yet he heareth you for your wealth; and though he heare you [Page 47] not according to your expectation, yet he heareth you to your saluation, and there­fore you must take all in good part.

Q. When God delaieth and deferreth to grant our praiers, what duties then behoueth it vs to performe?

A. We must not faint in our praiers, but persist therein, and cry vnto God day and night, and then God will heare vs, and we shall preuaile with him as Ia­cob did. Our petition shall not be retur­ned non inuentus est, but we shall haue corpus cum causa.

Secondly, we must look that the things we beg and craue, bee lawfull and con­uenient for vs, and then (if wee with patience wait Gods leasure) he wil spéed our desires.

Obiection. But I feare that I haue com­mitted that vnpardonable sinne against the holy Ghost, because I commit so many sinnes against knowledge.

A. Thou (déere brother) hast no cause thus to doubt, because thou art sory and grieued for thy sinnes. Secondly, thou repentest of them: but he that commit­teth this sinne, neuer sorroweth nor re­penteth for so doing.

Secondly, they that sinne against the [Page 48] holy Ghost, tread vnder foot the Sonne of God, they count the bloud of the new Testament, as an vnholy thing, they de­spite the spirit of grace,Heb. 10.29 they f [...]ll away wholly and finally from the reue [...]led truth of the doctrine of Christ,Heb. 6.6. and of their redemption, yea they incessantly blaspheme, deride, and persecute it; but thou continuest in the approbation, pro­fession, and practise of the truth, and re­mainest sound in iudgement, and sincere in affection; therefore thou art farre from this sinne. Onely thou art to be aduised, that thou beware of backe sliding, and the occasions thereof, & that thou (as of­ten as thou sinnest) so often thou renew thy faith & thy repentance, and so preuen­ting the beginnings of apostasie, thou shalt neuer come to the extremity of it.

Q. What if a man finde himselfe re­misse, carelesse, and negligent in the du­ties of praise and thanks-giuing vnto God, can he then assure himselfe that he standeth in the state of grace?

A. Yes: for he doth acknowledge his infirmity, and would faine be cured of it, and this is a print of the seale of Gods blessed spirit in him.

Secondly, all Gods children are sub­iect [Page 49] to this sinne, for either they forget, neglect, or losse esteeme Gods benefits, then their worth and excellency requi­reth: but yet they are reuiued and stir­red by preaching, doctrine, exhortati­on, admonition, and Gods fatherlie corrections in depriuing them of, or in diminishing his blessings formerly be­stowed vpon them.

Q. What restauratiues are there for a mans recouery?

A. These meditations and practi­ses following. First, that he by nature is depriued of the life of God, and vtterly destitute of grace, and therefore vnwor­thy of the least of Gods mercies.

Secondly, that the benefits of re­demption, and the graces of saluation, do far excell and excéed (in vse and continu­ance) all earthly blessings: for they are transitory, they cannot quiet the consci­ence, much lesse saue him, or any man, from the wrath to come, or from death & euerlasting destruction: but these spiri­tual graces & blessings make the posses­sor of them truly blessed in this life, and perfectly blessed in the life to come.

Thirdly, that thankesgiuing vnto God is more excellent and acceptable [Page 50] then praier for it sometimes is hypocri­ticall and constrained;Apoc. 7. but thanksgiuing is a frée will offering, a swéet smelling perfume in Gods nostrils, and the prin­cipall exercise of the Church triumphant in heauen, and therefore we must herein imitate it, and giue God all the glory of it.

Lastly, the forgetfulnesse of Gods be­nefits, whether in sauing vs from euill, or in leading vs into good, is a brand of a prophane man, and a thing most distaste­full to the Diuine Maiesty.

Q What practises are good for our helpe and furtherance herein?

A. First, we must sundry times and seriously meditate vpon our vowes of repentance and new obedience which we made to God in our baptisme, where­of thanksgiuing is a part.

Secondly, we must renew our thanks­giuing by the often and holy receiuing of the Eucharist or Sacrament of the Lords Supper: for herein is a liuely re­presentation of our redemption, and of the heauenly blessings of Christ bestow­ed vpon vs, and wrought for vs.

Thirdly, we must wonder at, extoll, and admire Gods gracious gifts and [Page 51] blessings; for this practise wil make vs more thankfull for them.

Lastly, we must note that many, yea and most kingdomes, countries, nati­ons, prouinces, cities, townes, villages, and in them many millions of people, haue not so much as the outward means of those graces of saluation, wherewith we are (or may be) richly adorned: and therefore how thankfull should we be?

CHAP. IIII. Of a relapse into sinne, and of long con­tinuance in it.


CAn that man haue any dram or scruple of sauing grace, that falleth eftsoones into one and the same sinne?

A. Yes: why not? For first there is no greater perfection i [...] the effect, then in the cause, nor in the whole, then in the parts: but the cause of our obedience, i. our faith, and the parts of our regenera­tion [Page 52] .i. the renewing of our vnderstan­ding, will, affections, are vnperfect; ergo the whole must needs bée vnperfect, and therefore no meruaile that a Saint of God falleth once, againe, yea, & the 3. time, into one and the same sinne.

Secondly, Abraham lyed twice, and Sarah consented: Lot was twice drunkē, and so twice committed incest: Peter (through feare) thrée seueral times deni­ed his good Lord & Master: and (to omit more examples) Iohn the Euangelist, twice fell downe to worshippe the An­gell, taking him for Christ: but all these were Gods deere seruants and repen­ted.

Thirdly, God would heereby correct presumption of our own strength in vs, and make vs more to pitty our brethren when they fall, because we are subiect to the like infirmities.

Fourthly, our gracious Sauiour is ful of mercy and will infinite times for­giue them that repent and turne to him.

Fiftly, the true Christian at length doth recouer out of his sinne.

Lastly, Christ is a continual, and an effectual Mediator for such, and there­fore [Page 53] they cannot fall away from grace,Lam. 3.24.25. nor perish; for he wil not forsake them for euer, 1. Iohn 2.1, 2.

Q. What vse are wee to make here­of?

A. First, wée in our anguish and distresse of soule, must set before our eyes the examples of those that haue through infirmity often committed the same sinne, and yet haue béene for­giuen.

Secondly, wee must bée grieued in our hearts for euery sinne so committed,Heb. 3.12. and sinne no more lest a worse thing befall vs, and lest custome of sin bréede an habite, and so we be hardned in it, and perish.

Thirdly, wee must not yéeld to the enticements of sinne, (as Adam did to Eua) but we must resist them, as Iob did his wife prouoking him to sinne.

Fourthly, seeing that few such are recouered, let vs willingly make no trade,Luk. 13. practise, or occupation of sinne as doe the workers of iniquity.

Lastly, if wee bee cladde with the glorious garments of Christ his im­puted holinesse and righteousnesse, wee must beware that wee staine [Page 54] and defile it not by sinnes of knowledge and presumption; and we must (for the time to come) be carefull to auoid all oc­casions and allurements vnto sinne.

Q. But what if a Christian long sleep and continue in a knowne sinne, how then can hee any way assure himselfe of the truth of his sanctification?

A. Yes: he sinning either of some ig­norance, or of infirmity, without any de­light in sinne, or resolution to sinne; for grace and a resolution to continue in any knowne sinne, cannot stand together. The reasons that a sanctified person may long continue in a sinne, are, or may be these.

First, (perhaps) he is not throughly conuicted that it is a sinne.

Secondly, he is alwaies in battell a­gainst sinne, satan, and the world, and therefore may receiue a venue or wound that is not presently cu [...],Luk. 22.32 but yet his faith cannot faile.

Thirdly, Dauid continued a whole yéere in his murder and adultery,Perkins. before he repented, and Master Luther when he began to sée the truth, lay some three yéeres in desperation.

Fourthly, a regenerate man in his [Page 55] spirituall sight is taken captiue, but full sore against his will; for hee is gréeued much for it, and from his heart desireth to be deliuered,Psal. 119.11. and therefore by such a temptation, grace and faith are not wholly taken away, but rather declared and made manifest.

Q. What vse is to be made hereof?

A. First, if a man (through infirmity) haue laien long in any sin he must study and striue by all good meanes to get ground of it, and to ouermaster it, and then it shal be laid to Satans charge, and not be imputed to him.

Secondly, séeing that he in the conti­nuall combat against the world, the flesh, and the diuell, cannot possibly escape without some spirituall wounds, (yet not deadly to the beléeuer) he must by spi­rituall medicines salue and cure them.

CHAP. V. The complaint of small profiting by the ministery of the Word and Sa­craments.


I Profit very little, and no­thing so much as I would by the Word and Sacra­ments, and therefore J feare that my profiting is to no purpose, and my hearing of the word fruitlesse.

A. Your manner of reasoning and concluding is not good. For first, you be­waile your wants,2. Sam. 24.10. and withall zealously desire to make better procéedings; and this is no worke of nature, but of grace.

Secondly, little increases, as in all na­turall things, so in spirituall, are true increases, and many littles make a mickle.

Thirdly, they that find themselues to make such small and leasurely procée­dings, [Page 57] doe hold that which they haue learned by the ministery of the word, farre more surely, and soundly, then they that so suddenly seeme to profite.

Fourthly, admit that your knowledge be not much encreased by the ministery of the word, yet your affection is much bettered, and your life much more refor­med.

Last [...]y, albeit you doe not forthwith after the hearing of Gods word, and im­mediately after the receiuing of the Sa­crament, find and feele the graces of the spirit reuiued, enceased and confirmed in your selfe, yet you must wait Gods good leasure, and expect the fruit of it in the time appointed. For as the seed cast into the earth doth not instantly fructi­ [...]ie: a purgation doth not forthwith worke, and expresse his vertue: and as an Infant groweth not to mans estate in a moment (but time and space is re­quired to all these:) So you must not look that the séede of the word will inconti­nently worke in you, or the Manna of the Lords Supper presently and sensi­bly encrease your faith, hope and loue to God and your Brethren, but let it suffice you, that you grow by degrees, and in truth.

[Page 58] Q. What vse is to bee made here­of?

A. First, you must beware left by the ignorance of your own estate before God, or by too much complayning of your infirmities, you rob not God of the glory of his graces bestowed on you.

Secondly, the lesse that you find your selfe to profit, the more diligent you must be in hearing▪ prayer, conference, &c.

Q. But J am dull in conceiuing the meaning and vse of Gods word prea­ched, how then can I bee a right hea­rer?

A. First, the apprehension and sense of thy dulnes (if thou be careful to learn) wil make thée more capable of the swéet and heauenly influence of God [...] word, which he that would be partak [...]r of must lay aside all conceit of his owne wit, vn­derstanding, and capacity.

Secondly, if there be in thee [...]ut o [...]e sparke of heauenly vnderstanding,Luk. 24.45 [...] faith, if it be stirred vp by the breath, of Gods mouth, will soone take the match and [...]inder of familiar and gratious in­struction.

Thirdly, the more dull that thou art, [Page 59] the more attention, sobriety, watchful­nesse, and diligence then must vse, and thou shalt at length preuaile and pro­fite.

Fourthly, a dull wit and modest, is better then a quicke and desperate, for a dull wit, if it once truely apprehend a point, it will long reta [...]ne, but a quicke wit will soone forget that which it hath quickly and suddenly learned.

Lastly, we for the remedy of our dul­nesse must pray vnto Christ, to open our wits to vnderstand the Scriptures,Psal. 119.18. & 34. and to enlighten our eyes to behold the won­derfull things of his law, and hee that taught his Apostles the whole will of his Father, will teach thee all things necessary for thy saluation.

Q. My memory is very weake, and I remember very little or nothing of so many excellent lessons and instructions tha [...] are taught me, how shall I comfort and relieue my selfe?

A. First, thou must strengthen, and confirme thy memory by daily exercise: for diligence, indu [...]y, and methode, will much helpe memory, and supply the wants of it.

Secondly, the more weake and vn­certaine [Page 60] that thou findest thy memory,Act. 17.11. the more speedily must thou call things that thou hast heard, to account, an [...] conferre with thy godly Brethren a­bout them.

Thirdly, thou must be sure to remem­ber the text well, to affect the Minister teaching, and to delight in his good do­ctrine, and this will much further thee.

Fourthly, thou must remember what vices reproued thou art subiect to, and in what duties vrged by the Preacher thou failest: and apply this particular­ly to thine owne soule, and thou shalt remember more. Happy art thou if Gods word and Minister find thee, and happy likewise art thou, if thou canst▪ wilt remember that thou art thus found.

Lastly, thou must pray vnto God to giue thee vnderstanding and capaci­ty, and to sanctifie thy memory for the conceiuing and treasuring vp of the best things,Ioh. 14.26. and then God wil heare thée, and send his blessed spirit the comforter to teach thee all things, and bring all things to thy remembrāce that thou hast formerly heard.

[Page 61] Q. But I am hardhearted, and the word of God little or nothing moueth me; what course shall I take to soften & mollifie my heart?

A. First, it argueth grace in thee to be sensitiue of this thine infirmity, and to desire redresse of it.

Secondly, hardnes of heart will al­wayes (plus minus) steale vpon vs, and haunt vs, therefore let vs arme our selues by the word of God against it, and (to this end) let vs not onely endure priuate admonitions,Psal. 141.5. but suffer Gods blessed Ministers by the hammer of his law and iudgements to worke vpon our hearts, yea and to breake and bruise them.

Thirdly, thou must by earnest, and continuall prayer,Ezech. Isay 66.2. entreat the Lord to take the stony heart out of thy bowels, and to giue thée a fleshy and a soft hart, whereupon God may worke by his word, and wherein his spirit may dwell.

Lastly, thou must bewaile this thine infirmity, and for the remouall of it, and the further sanctifying of thy heart, thou must waite for, and tarry Gods leasure, who will in time cure and ease thee.

[Page 62] Q. What shall they doe, that ha­uing sundry times receiued the Lords Supper, doe yet complaine that they perceiue in themselues no encrease of faith, hope, and loue by it?

A. First of all, they must lament, and bewaile their former negligence, & want of preparation.

Secondly, they must for the time to come,1 Cor. 11.2 [...].29. 2 Chr. 30.19. keepe a Court and day of hearing in their owne consciences, and better ex­amine and prepare themselues for so ho­ly a Sacrament: for thus they are com­maunded, and without performance of this duety, there is no worthy recei­uing.

Thirdly, they must not looke at the very instant, or immediately after the receit of the Sacrament, to find & féele their profiting: for as a good medi­cine sheweth not forth his vertue at first, nor the seed straight waies groweth and yeeldeth increase: So the Sacrament (though in faith and reuerence receiued) doth not alwaies presently yeeld sen­sible comfort to the receiuer.

Lastly, they must call vpon God to bestow further grace vpon them, and then they must waite his leasure vntill [Page 63] he speede their desire.

Q. How are we to prepare our selues before wee come to bee partakers of the publicke. Ministerie of the Word and Sacraments.

A. First, we must consider the su­per-excellent maiestie of him,Eccl. 5.1. before whom we appeare, and the most excel­lent nature, vse, profite, and comfort of the Word and Sacraments, in faith, and reuerence heard and receiued.

Secondly,Psal. 26.8. wee must loue the habita­tion of Gods house, and the place where his honour dwelleth,ver▪ 6. and therfore before wee come thither, wee must wash our hands in innocency, wee must lay a­part all filthines and superfluity of ma­li [...]iousnes, and receiue the word of God with meekenesse,Iam 1.21. and with all readi­nesse, Act. 17.11.

Thirdly, we must come with a mind to learne and profite; wee must heare what the Lord our God saith vnto vs, and by the hand of faith receiue whatso­euer he offereth vs.

Fourthly, we must come to the holy assemblies in the loue of God, and our neighbour, and féeding at Gods Table, both in the preaching of the word, and [Page 64] in the administration of the Supper of our Lord, wee must bring with vs the wedding garment of faith and true ho­linesse: otherwise neither the word nor the Sacrament will profite vs, but ra­ther make vs worse, and poison vs.

Psal. 86.11Lastly, we must entreat the Lord by priuate praier, to teach vs inwardly by his Spirite, and to frame our hearts to the obedience of his will.

Q. How are they to be censured and iudged, and what course must they take for their redresse and comfort, that in­deed find in themselues a great desire & zeale to obey, but yet faile often in the Act of obedience?

A. First, a godly man is perfect by imputation by Christs righteousnesse, [...] not by inherent and begun holinesse; and he is perfite rather in purpose then in his practise: and rather in his desire, then in his déede.

1 Sam. 16.7Secondly, God (in his children speci­ally) looketh vnto the heart and affecti­on, and not to outward things.

Rom. 15.7 ad 22. 1 Cor. 2.14.Thirdly, it is a signe of a perfect man to find his imperfection; for this procée­deth not from nature (that is altogether blind in matters of regeneration) but [Page 65] from the spirit and grace of God, wher­by hee reuealeth to his their estate.

Fourthly, the more that he faileth in obedience, the more humble must hée be, and desire further grace & strength from God.

Fifthly, hee must remember, that yet the Iebusite and Cananite (1. sinnes and imperfections) are in his borders, and therefore he must put on and exercise the spirituall armour, vntill hee hath foyled and subdued them of blasphemous thoughts.

Q. Can they (possibly) haue any true sanctification that are often assaulted & encountred with many vile, horrible, & abhominable thoughts?

A. Yea vndoubtedly, for Satan that séeketh to sift al holines out of them, will violently suggest and foist such thoughts sometimes into their minds.

Q. How are these thoughts to bee sorted and distinguished?

A. They either arise from within thē, by reason of the corruptiō of their harts, or else they are outwardly obiected and iniected by Sathan.

Q. What if they arise from within vs, what must we doe for the remouing and [Page 66] reformation of them?

A. First, we must not onely not con­sent vnto, allow, and cherish them, but repent of them, pray against them, sted­fastly resist them, and bee carefull by the rule of Gods word to order and com­pose them, and then God will (in his mercy) passe by, and pardon them all: but if we neglect and omit these duties, then we shall lie open to all the assaults of the diuell.

Psal. 86.11Secondly, we must be frequent in the reading and meditation of the holy scrip­tures, and entreat the Lord to open our eyes to vnderstand them, and frame our hearts to obey them; and then these wic­ked thoughts shall either not come into our minds, or else they shall be soone dri­uen out of possession.

Lastly, we must bee aduised to make more conscience of holy duties, and (es­pecially) of preaching, prayer, and of receiuing the Lords Supper, then for­merly wee haue done; lest for the omis­sion hereof we be iustly giuen ouer to ill thoughts.

Q. But what if they bee onely from without, by Satan obiected vnto vs, and thrust vpon vs, wee giuing no assent vn­to [Page 67] them, how shal we comfort our selues?

A. Wee must comfort our selues in this, that our blessed Sauiour was thus tempted by Sathan,Mat. 4.3. & 6. who suggested and iniected due thoughts into his mind; but Christ neuer assented to him, but ouercame him, and hath for vs broken his head, and dissolued all his works, so that hee cannot preuaile against our faith, or preiudice our saluation.

Q. What course must wee take for our helpe and redresse herein?

A. First, we must not striue against them; seeking violently to driue them a­way: for then wee shall be the more en­tangled with them, and like so many Bees buzzing about vs, they will sting vs: but we must let them goe.

Lastly, if they continue molesting vs, then we must turne to Christ and desire his helpe, who hath so conquered them for vs, that they shal neuer get full victo­rie ouer vs.

CHAP. VI. Of those temptations, scandals, and offences that are by tyrants, wicked men, Heretickes, Apostates, Schis­matickes, prophane Protestants, false Brethren, and by the manifest abuse of the law, and Ecclesiasticall discipline, accidentally occasioned, or obiected outwardly vnto vs.


WHat signifieth this word scan­dall or offence?

A. It is a borrowed speech, & properly signifieth a blocke or stone laid in a mans way,Mat. 18.7.8. at which he stumbleth.

Q. What is it?

A. It is any cause or occasion of grief or offence, whether in word or deed, example, or counsell, whereby a man is [Page 69] hurt or hindered in the course of godli­nes, or whereby he is hardned, and con­firmed in euill.

Q. Why doth God permit it?

A. First, to trie and proue his people whether they will by any occasio­nall matter obiected in their way, be re­uoked from his loue and obedience.

Secondly,1 Cor. 11.19. to manifest lewd minded men and reprobates, who are ready to take any occasion of stumbling, sinning, and erring.

Q. What are the kinds of it?

A. Two, Active, (or that which is gi­uen) Passiue, (or that which is taken.)

Q. What is a scandall giuen?

A. Any euill doctrine, word, or work, that is contrary to the loue of God and our neighbour, whereby the godly are grieued, the weake drawne to sinne & errour, and prophane men confirmed & hardened in their licentious courses.

Q. Of how many kinds and sorts is it?

A. Of fower kinds:Apoc 6.13. Apoc. 12.4. First, when weake consciences are by false doctrine, and the falling away of men from the truth, withdrawne from the simplicity & sincerity of the Gospell of Iesus Christ.

[Page 70]Secondly, when holy and innocent men are defaced.

Thirdly, when men are offended by ill examples, especially of the professors of orthodoxe religion.

Lastly, when by the abuse, or the vn­timely, or vnseasonable vse of their liber­ty, men driue the weake from christia­nity.

Q. What vse are we to make of scan­dals giuen?

A. First, in this generall corrupti­on and wickednes of men,Luk. 17.1.2. we are to looke for nothing else, but we must arme our selues against it.

Secondly, let vs beware, that neither through pride, vnseasonablenes, or any preposterous word or déede, wee bee an offence to others, lest wee bring a woe vpon our owne selues.

Lastly, let vs by our words, works, and behauiour, endeauour to draw o­thers to follow vs in vertue and holines. Phil. 2.14. & 15.

Q. How shall good Christians arme themselues against, and preserue them­selues from the gangrene, poison, and pestilence of false and damnable Do­ctrine?

[Page 71] A. First,1. Cor. 11.29. by remembring that false teachers must of necessity arise, and false doctrine be broached, that they that are approued may be known: but woe be to the authors of it: Luk. 17.1.2.

Secondly, by considering, that this smoake of the bottomlesse pit doth onely blind their eyes,Apoc. 9.2. 2. Thes. 2.10. who despise prophe­cying, and will not walke and delight themselues in the cleare light of the sa­cred Scriptures.

Thirdly, they must note that the true sheepe will not follow a stranger,Ioh. 10.5. & 27. 2 Epist. Ioh. v. 10. & 11. (i. one that bringeth strange and false do­ctrine) but they will [...]ee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers, neither will they bid God spéed to such: but they heare the voice of Christ & fol­low him: for he hath the words of eter­nall life, and to whome should they goe besides? Ioh. 6.68.

Lastly, that it being none of Gods plant shall (at length) be rooted out,Mat. 15 13 and the clouds of it shall bee wholy dispersed when the Sunne-shine of the Gospell breaketh out.

Q. What duties are wee to practise herein?

A. First, seeing that false doctrine [Page 72] is most dangerous and damnable, put­ting out the sight of our spirituall eyes, and infecting the affections of our harts, we must so much the more beware of it: and for our direction herein heare Christ, watch dayly at his gates,Pro. 8.33. and giue at­tendance at the post of his dores, that we may know Gods wil,2 Pet. 3.18. & grow & increase in the knowledge and obedience of it.

Secondly, it standeth vs much vpon to shunne the company of false teachers and seducers, lest by their doctrine, dis­swasion, and ill example, wee be tainted and corrupted: for why should sheepe conuerse with Foxes, and Lambs with Wolues?

Lastly, we must hold fast that which wee haue learned,Apoc. 3.3. Rom. 16.17. & 18. and confirme it by daily hearing and reading of the holy scriptures; but as for those that are false teachers, which cause diuision and offence, contrary to the truth, and by faire words deceiue the hearts of the simple; let vs marke them diligently, and auoide them.

Q. How shall weake Christians arme and resolue themselues against a gene­rall declination and apostasie from the Gospel of Christ?

[Page 73] A. First, the wicked and prophane are the greatest in number, they know not the law of God and are accursed, and therefore we may not in matter of Reli­gion make their example a rule & war­rant of our faith and practise.

Secondly, they that reuolt from the professed truth,1. Ioh. 2.19 and from the communi­on of Gods saints, are those that are none of the Catholicke Church, for then they would haue continued in it, and they are such whose names were neuer written in the booke of life.Apoc. 13.18. They are chaffe by the fanne of affliction [...]euered from the good Corne: they are like the prodigal Child that would néeds depart from his Fathers house,Luk. 15.13.14. where he liued blessedly; but yet they with him neuer reuert, nor repent; and they are spunges that being pressed with tribulation, soone lose and let goe all the water of Gods grace, which they (in some sort) had, or (at least) seemed to haue.

Thirdly, these that thus fall away from the soundnesse and sincerity of truth, are such that either did neuer con­tent themselues wi [...]h the simplicity of Gods word, but did, and doe mingle it with the poison of humane Traditions, [Page 74] or else did neuer receiue the loue of the truth.

Fourthly, most of them were (perad­uenture) neuer rightly informed in the knowledge of the truth, much lesse con­uinced of the soundnesse of it in their consciences, no maruell then that they fall from that they neuer knew, and had no other ground for it, but the command of Princes, and the example of others.

Lastly,Apoc. 13 8 this Apostasie from faith and sound doctrine both in the raigne of An­tichrist and that which shall be towards the end of the world,Luk. 18.8. was long sithence foretold by Christ and his Apostles, and therefore we are the lesse to be offended at it.

Q. What duties must wee in such an Apostasie performe (for our preseruati­on) and the cure of others?

A. First, we must attend diligently to the blessed ministry of Gods word (for it is a lanterne to our feet and a light to our pathes,2. Pet. 1.19 without which wee shall stumble in the darke, and shall not know whither to goe) and we must liue, loue, and obey it.Mat. 7.25. They that heare Gods word, and doe it, are the wise men who build vpon the rocke.

[Page 75]Secondly, we must (if we can) sepa­rate our selues from the common infe­ction, or at least mourning for our hard hap, get vs the preseruatiue of faith and a good conscience.

Thirdly, Christian magistrates must maintaine the truth, and banish error and false Teachers (if they can.) And all faithfull Ministers must by the word of truth refute all infectious doctrine, and exhort them earnestly to be constant in the profession and loue of sound and sin­cere instruction; and they must more la­bour by the preseruatiue of wholsome doctrine, to preserue the sound from the pestilence of error, then to cure the infe­cted, which are (commonly and for the most part) vncurable.

Lastly, we must beware of the begin­nings of Apostasie, for, nemo repente fit turpissimus.

Q. What comforts and preseruatiues are there against the scandall of false and vniust excommunication?

A. First, it is oftentimes incident to Gods children thus to be dealt withall.Iohn 9.35 Iohn 9.35. and 16.2.

Secondly, if the Pope and his adhe­rents excommunicate vs, we must note [Page 76] that they are hereticks, idolaters, and no true members of a true visible Church, and therefore their excommunication i [...] but like a Fencers flourishing, or rather like a leaden dagger, and cannot hurt vs. For the keyes of discipline and doctrine, and the eccle [...]iastical censures, are proper to the true Church of Christ, whereof they are no parts nor members.

Lastly, if any Gouernor, officer, or Elders of the true visible Church, vn­iustly excommunicate any of Gods chil­dren, they are so farre from excommuni­ca [...]ing them from the fauour of God, from the kingdome of heauen, or from being true members of the Church, that they (as an antient Father writeth) ex­communicate themselues; wherefore let vs endeuour to be holy, innocent, and in­offensiue, and then we haue no néed to feare any false or abused excommuni­cation.

Q. What if wee in the country or kingd [...]me where we dwell, see the poore oppressed, and innocency defaced, how shall wee then keepe and preserue our selues from being scandalized?

A. First, if we sée in a country the op­pression of the poore, and the defrauding [Page 77] of iustice,Eccles. 5.7. we must not be astonied at the matter, for the highest séeth and regar­deth it.

Secondly, if we looke for a Church or State without spot & taint of error and iniustice,Eph. 5.27. we must seek it in [...]eauen only, where all things are established in an absolute and eternall order and perfecti­on; or else we must get vs into Mauqsun, or Sir Thomas More his Vtopia, Face [...]è. where we shall finde such a state and policie.

Thirdly, in this distresse wee must haue recourse vnto the magistrate his helpe, and when one faileth or neglecteth vs, we must séeke to another.

Lastly, if we sée all outward meanes to faile,Luk. 18.7.8 we ought to call and cry day and night vnto our God, we must make him our iudge and reuenger, and wait vpon him vntill he right vs, and then (though hee seeme to vse long patience towards our aduersaries) he will auenge vs and that quickly.2. Pet. [...] 7.

Q. Why doth God so sharpely cen­sure, and so roughly handle his iust and innocent children?

A. First, no man is innocent be­fore God, for there is no man that sin­neth not; if God straitely marke mans) [Page 78] iniquity, who shall stand? and no flesh (by his owne workes) can be iustified in Gods sight,1 King. 8.46. Psal. 130.3. Psal. 143.2. so that the all-piercing eye of the almighty, that is tenne thousand times brighter then the sunne, and clea­rer then crystall, can (if it please him) find sufficient matter to condemn them in their begunne iustice and innocency: wherefore we must not thinke them to be altogether vncorrupt in this wicked world, as the fish that liue in the salt sea, their own element,Dissimile. nothing sauour of the saltnes of it: but that they (in part) are tainted with the worlds corruption.

Secondly, God will not haue his chil­dren peruerted with the worlds sinnes, much lesse perish with them,1. Cor. 11.31. and therfore hee doth thus seuerely, and that sundry times, scourge and chastice them, for he would haue them with this salt water of trouble, to wash out the spots of sinne.

Thirdly, man is no equall Iudge of mens sinnes, and so of their afflictions, but wee must reserue the censure and iudgement hereof to God onely, for hee onely eyeth mans secret sinnes, and can and doth righteously censure and punish them, but man is so farre from finding out the number and nature of secret [Page 79] sinnes, that hee in the cloudy myst of his owne ignorance can hardly discerne the quality and desert of notorious offen­ces, and those that are already brought to light: but onely taketh notice of cer­taine outward tracks, impressions, and actions. And therefore wee must not thus without cause complaine, nor picke quarrels with God Almighty.

Lastly, God would hereby affright the wicked,1 Pet. 4.17 18. if not reforme them; for if iudgement begin at the house of God, what shall be the end of them that obey not the Gospell? and if the righteous bee scarsely saued, where shall the vn­godly and sinner appeare?

Q. What vse are we to make of Gods proceedings herein?

A. We blind sinners must not take vpon vs to iudge of the guilt, and to de­termine of the circumstances of mens sinnes, and of their estate before God; but we must referre the iudgement here­of to Gods all-séeing eye, and to his sin­cere iustice.

Secondly, in such hidden and intricate causes and cases, that are vnknowne vnto vs, wee must shut our mouthes and suspend our iudgementes;Rom. 14.4. for [Page 80] who are we that condemne an other mans seruant? for he standeth or fal­leth to his owne master.

Lastly, if God seem to deale extream­ly with vs, we our selues then must s [...] the remouall of this imputation,Lam. search [...] sift into our owne wayes, and call t [...] our remembrance, what duties com­maunded we haue omitted, and what e­uill things forbidden we haue commit­ted;Psal. 130.3 and how that God in his strict iu­stice might condemne vs for the least of­fence, and then wee shall admire God; patience that hée handleth vs so gently, and doth in his bottomlesse mercy passe by and pardon so many imperfections and offences in vs.

Q. But forward men in religion, and many noted professors by their loose life and practises of iniustice, offend many simple hearted men, and weake, yet well affected Christians; what pre­seruatiue is now to be vsed?

A. The due meditation and practise of these Canons and conclusions fol­lowing, as namely;

First, many professors are not so bad as the world would make them, a mole hill in them is made a mountaine, [Page 81] and a moat is made a beame, their infir­mities, like spots in white paper, or fine linnen, are soone espied and noted: but prophane people are not obserued, and their grosse sinnes are silenced and sup­pressed.

Secondly, if any, or many, vnder the cloake, and maske of zeale, labour to co­uer their practises of deceit, couetousnes and iniustice, &c we must know that the visible Church of Christ is compared to a field,Math. 13. wherein is not onely wheate but tares; to a garden, wherin are both good herbes, and also wéeds; and to an house wherein are not only vessels of gold, and siluer, but also of wood and earth; and therefore if wee looke that all professors should be without fault or infirmity,2. Tim. 2.20. and all should be good and none euil; we must looke for them in heauen onely, and not in earth, where are more euill, then good men.

Thirdly, the diseases and sins of the soule are not contagious as those of the body are; for the soule is not infected▪ vnlesse it giue a consent and allowance to other mens sinnes; and therefore let vs keepe our selues frée from their sins, [Page 82] and then we néede not to bee scandalized at their euill dealings which wee cannot helpe.

Gal. 6.4. Ezech. 18.20.Lastly, euery man must beare his owne burden, and answere for his own sinnes; and therefore let vs rather cor­rect our owne sinnes then be scandalized at other mens faults: and let vs striue to bee perfect in an euill generation.

Q. What practises are necessary in such a case?

A. First, we must beware that wee doe not without cause,Rom. censure, and con­demne such; and if we find them faulty, and hereupon reproue them, that we bée not as bad and worse our selues.

Secondly, if many vary much from their sacred profession, and bee workers of iniquity, (for the preuention of this offence) wee must know that we are to walke rather by rule then by example, & rather by the Canon of Gods word, then by custome.

Lastly, it is our duty to reproue, pitty and pray for such offensiue professors.

Q. How shall poore and weake chri­stians confirme themselues in the faith, or preserue themselues from defection, [Page 83] when many noted and notable persons that seemed pillars, reuolt from the sin­cere truth of Religion?

A. First, they that fall away from the substance of true religion, and forsake the assemblies and fellowship of the Saints in the vse of the word, prayer and Sacra­ments, were neuer well rooted in it: [...]or had they beene, no wind or tempest could haue ouerturned them; they were onely Meteors or blazing starres soon extinct, but not true starres, for then they had continued in their firmament, and no night of afflictions could haue put them out; for if they had béen of the Church, they would haue continued in it. 1. Joh. 2.19. Apoc. 13.8.

Secondly,2 The. 2.10. they neuer receiued the loue of the truth, and were neuer sound­ly grounded in the principles of Christi­an faith▪ and therefore they were apt to be seduced with the poi [...]on and efficacy of errour. For as the fire burneth no­thing but that which is combustible, and apt to bee consumed: so heresie infe­cteth none but such as neglect the means of knowledge, or that denie the power of godlinesse in their hearts and [Page 84] liues.

Lastly, God will by their reuolting take an occasion the more iustly to damn them, and to trie, and make known the constancy of his children, who neuer doe wholy, or finally fall away from faith.

Q. What duties are wee to performe to preuent an apostasie in our selues?

A. First, because eminent persons by their fall like oakes beare downe all things that lie in their way; let vs be­ware of their company and communica­tion.

Secondly, let vs beware of the begin­ning and occasion of Apostasie: and for our direction herein, pray for the spirite of reuelation and strength, and in no wise neglect the ministerie of the word & sacraments.

Q▪ But how shall a nouice & a weake Christian perswade himselfe of the truth of his sincere profession, when hee seeth and heareth that sundry learned men die in defence of Idolatry and Popery?

A. First, no Heretickes (though they dy in defence of errors) are martyrs, but all Papists are heretikes: for the obsti­nate [Page 85] maintaining of iustification by works, inuocation and adoration of Saints and Angels, worshipping of images, and especially of their breaden God, denying the sufficiency of the cano­nicall Scriptures, are so many heresies; Ergo, Iesuites, Seminaries, and popish Priests, that are put to death by the Christian magistrate, are no martyrs.

Secondly,Cypr. Apoc. 14 13 Non poena sed causa facit Martyrem, they that b [...]are the Crosse, and follow not Christ, are no Martyres of his: and therefore most damnable is the condition of Iesuites, Seminaries, who die for treason, and not for truth: and not for testimony of a good consci­ence, but for the wilfull trangression of Christian Lawes.

Thirdly, their suffering is of no ac­count before God,1. Cor. 13.3 for they want chari­rity: which appeaeth in this that they are vtter opposites and aduersaries to the Gospel of Christ and the sound pro­fessors of it.

Fourthly, they being no true mem­bers of the Church of Christ, but rather incurable persecutors of it, and being slaine out of the Church, doe not winne [Page 86] the crowne of their faith, but the reward o [...] their felly.

Lastly, true Martyrs ascribe all the glory of their redemption and saluation to Gods mercy in Christ onely; but po­pish martyrs glory in their owne works (though neuer so vile & vnperfect) & they make them exp [...]atory for sinne, and to me [...]t saluation.

Q What vse are we to make hereof?

A First, wee must distinguish and rightly iudge betwéene true martyrs and false ones, which wee shall be ena­bled to doe by obseruing these rules fol­lowing. First, true martyrs die in de­fence of the substance of pure religion: but false martyrs suffer and die in de­fence of error heresie, and idolatry.

Secondly, true martyrs at their exe­cution shew sorth singular patience in their words, testimony, behauiour; but false martyrs either are outragious and impatient, or (at least) by Art doe stupifie and dead their flesh, that it may become insensible of paine.

Thirdly, true Martyrs die holily, cou­ragiously, ioyfully, without all feare and doubting of the truth of their cause, or [Page 87] of the certainty of saluation: but popish martyrs die (many times) irresolued and astonied.

Fourthly, true and Euangelical mar­tyrs are holy, chaste, innocent, feruent in praier, and diligent in their ciuill and Christian callings: but the like cannot be verified of the popish martyrs.

Lastly, God at the death of true mar­tyrs, hath sometimes wrought strange and wonderfull works, as to speake when their tongues haue béen cut Romanus Bruno. out, and to be vntouched of the fire Iohn the Euangelist. albeit oile were put into it: but in the popish martyrs no such accidents haue fallen out.

Secondly, let vs sée and be resolued by Gods word, that our cause is good, and for Christ; & then let vs suffer as cōfi­dently, yea much more comfortably and happily, for the truth, then they for An­tichrist and superstition, knowing that our end shall be blessed.

Q. When factions, diuisions, schismes, grow and preuaile in the Church, what are we to iudge of that Church, and how is a Christian then to arme himselfe?

A. First, wee must remember that where the truth (many times) most [...]lou­risheth, [Page 88] there Satan laboureth to make rents and diuisions, and to sow tares a­mongst the good wheat.

Secondly, the Church of Corinth was a notable Apostolicall Church,1. Cor. 3.3, 4, 5, 6. and yet there were many factions in it.

Thirdly, wee must not separate our selues from such a Church, except it erre in the fundamentall points of faith and true religion; but we must herein com­fort our selues, that this schisme is with­out heresie.

Fourthly, as long as there is error in iudgement and péeuishnes in affection, wee must looke for nothing else but schisme.

Fifthly, schismatikes that depart from the communion of the faithfull, and from the participation of the body and bloud of Christ, indanger their owne soules.

Lastly, God permitteth diuisions, fa­ctions, and schismes in the Church, that the faith and loue of his children might be tried;1. Cor. 11.3 now their faith is tried, whiles they stumble not, nor suffer themselues to be seduced: and their loue and cha­rity is tried in admonishing them that are the authors and occasioners of these [Page 89] sidings, schismes, diuisions.

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

A. If wee be men in authority, wee must betimes striue to roote out, and re­moue out of the Church whatsoeuer may iustly minister an occasion heereof. Secondly, Ministers must by doctrine and writing note and confute those di­ligently, which cause diuision and of­fences, contrary to the doctrine which they haue receiued, and auoid them. Rom. 16.17.

Secondly, if wee be but priuate per­sons, we must beware of pride and selfe-conceitednes, lest we rashly condemne a true and notable visible Church for de­fects and imperfections in the doctrine and practise of discipline or Church po­licie, and so without sufficient cause make a rent from the same, and hereby disturbe the common peace; for we must not depart from it, vntill it depart from Christ.

Lastly, we must by praiers, sutes, sup­plications, teares, and amendment of life, labour to procure better reforma­tion in Church and Commonwealth: and if we cannot attaine it when wee would, then let vs in the meane be a dis­cipline [Page 90] to our selues, and execute it a­mongst our families, and let vs passing by the imperfections of a Church, bee thankfull for, and make vse of the good things of it; for it is better to endu [...]e an inconuenience and couer an infirmity, then by any publike opposition to make a rent in the Church.

Q. How shall a man comfort himselfe that liueth amongst euill, vnquiet, and irreligious neighbours, or what duties must he execute and performe?

A. First of all, hee that hath a good neighbour, hath (as we say) a good mor­row: but an ill and vnquiet neighbour, is like a beare, a lion, a tiger, a viper; and therefore some euill, by reason of an ill neighbour: and herein we must learne either to win him, to endure him, or else (if we can conueniently) to get our selues far from him.

Secondly, if we would dwell néere no ill neighbours, we must get our selues into some wildernesse.

Mat. 7.2.3, 4, 5.Thirdly, we must beware lest we be as bad or worse our selues; for euery man is a sharp censurer of others, but he is a p [...]rtiall Iudge of himselfe.

Fourthly, it may be that a man hath [Page 91] béen harsh and sharpe to his neighbour, and therefore he is iustly plagued with such an one himselfe.

Lastly, let vs be innocent as dones, giuing no iust occasion of oftence vnto him,Math. 10.17. but rather praying for him, and en­deuouring to winne him by kind offices, but let vs be wise as Serpents, to be­ware he doe no mischiefe against vs.

Q. How must they arme and comfort themselues that are forsaken, beguiled, abused, and betrayed by their (reputed) friends?

A. First they must remember, that the world hath not wanted such euill examples, and pernicious presidents: was not the caitiffe Cain false and trai­terous to his innocent brother Abel. Gen. 4. 2. Sam. 16. was not Achitophel perfidious and treacherous to Dauid, Ioab to Abner, & Amasa, yea and Iudas to our Lord and Sauiour? and the world sithens that time is nothing reformed, but rather generally worse.

Secondly, vnfaithfulnesse and true friendship are incompetible, and can neuer suite nor consort together, & there­fore the losse of such fained and false hearted friends is rather to bee enter­tained [Page 92] wt laughter, thē with lamentatiō.

Thirdly, their falshood sheweth; that truth and integrity is good, contratio­rum contraria est ratio.

Fourthly, such fawning, and yet fai­ling, and faithlesse friends are infamous and loathed of all well disposed persons.

Lastly, such deceitfull friends more hurt themselues then them that trust them: for they onely betray those that put affiance in them, but they vndoe themselues.

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

A. First, wee must neuer put any confidence in men, who are lighter then vanity it selfe:Psal. 62. but trust onely in the li­uing Lord, who will neuer faile, nor for­sake vs.

Secondly, that ye more falsly, & Iudas-like others deale with vs; let vs (as be­commeth Gods children) be so much the more whetted on to deale faithfully with others, and let our conscience be a l [...]w vnto vs.

La [...]tly, let vs betimes distrust such, and by smal losses learn to preuent grea­ter ones.

Q. How shall good and religious Prin­ces, Peeres, and Potentates comfort [Page 93] themselues, that are grieued at, and trou­bled with disobedient and disloyall sub­iects and people?

A. Diuers wayes: as first, that the most rare and renowned kinges and princes, such as were Moses, Dauid, Sa­lomon, and many in our late memory, (whereof our late Queen Elizabeth, our Deborah, our Hester, our Iudith, and of incomparable learning & vertues, was as the Moon amongst the lesser starres) had wofull experience.

Secondly, they that resist Gods depu­ties and vicegerents, procure to them­selues destruction and damnation.

Thirdly, though their subiects and people vnder them may be stubborn and disobedient to them, (as they were to Dauid in the beginning of his raigne, and somtime afterwards) yet they may proue louing and loiall at the last, and therfore they are to hope well of them.

Q. What duties are such princes and rulers to performe?

A. They must seeke rather to be loued then feared, for whom the subiects onely feare, him they hate.

Secondly, they must not so much look to find their people good, as to make thē good [Page 94] and if they doe shew all possible dili­gence herein, God will accept and pro­sper their studies and endeauours.

Lastly, that Ministers of Gods word must labour to perswade them to obedi­ence, and if they cannot preuaile, the Magistrate must by the sword correct them (and when néed is,) cut them off, o­therwise the sparing of the wolte is the death of the shéepe.

Q. How must subiects and people behaue themselues that are il entreated, & much oppressed by euill rulers and Magi­strates?

Exod. 3 7. & 8. A. First, they must acknowledge (in generall) that God is iust, and that ma­lo populo malus rex datu, and there­fore they must bewaile their sinnes, the procuring cause thereof, and God will (in time) relieue them.

Secondly, the more euill their gouer­nors are,1 Pet. 2.13 14.15.16. the more innocent let the sub­iects he, that they may haue comfort in their suffrings, namely, when they are for true religion, and righteousnesse sake.

Thirdly, let them pray vnto God, to turn their hearts, and to amend them: 1. Tim. 2.1.2.

[Page 95]Fourthly, let them obey them and their lawes so farre forth as they may with good conscience, that they minister no iust cause and occasion of offence vnto them,Rom. 13. [...] and (if they be not incurably euill) they shall at length find them more mild and mercifull, for God hath their hearts in his hands.

Lastly, the subiects must note and re­member well that the life and tyranny of their Regents shall not continue al­waies: for God will not suffer the scep­ [...]er of the wicked to rest vpon the lot of the righ [...]eous,Psal. 125.3. lest that they (through vi­olent courses) should stretch out their hands vnto iniquity, and therefore they must preuent that by their wisedom, yea, and possesse it by hope & patience, which God and time will worke.

Q. How shall weake Christians bee strengthned that are scandalized, and are ready to be peruerted, either by igno­rant, idle, or else by euill Ministers?

A. First, if they bee ignorant, and cannot teach, wee must seeke for instru­ction elsewhere, vnlesse wee would pine and sterue our soules.

Secondly, if they can teach well, and yet be lazie,Col. 4.17. and idle, and will not em­ploy [Page 96] their talent, we must louingly (and yet earnestly) exhort them to more di­ligence in their calling, add giue them all good encouragement: and if we can­not this way preuaile, wee must com­plaine of them, and present them to law­full authority that may compell them: but if authority fault herein, wee must pray God to amend them, and so leaue them vnto him.

Thirdly, if the Ministers teach well, and diligently, and yet liue lewdly and vitiously, then they must know that God sends them such a scandalous Mi­nister for their triall or punishment: and therefore wée must repent vs of our pe­culiar sinnes, and waite the good time, vntil either God or his deputies re­moue or reforme them. But touching their doctrine, seeing it is sound and good, we must heare and embrace that with all reuerence; we must (as our Lord willeth vs) obserue what they bid vs,Math 23.3 Luk. 12.47 but after their works wee must not doe, lest we with them knowing our Masters will, and doing it not, be bea­ten with many stripes.

Lastly, when the publicke and ordi­narie meanes of saluation are wanting [Page 97] or defectiue, wee must entreat the Lord of the haruest to thrust forth more labou­rers, and (in the mean season) plie more often and earnestly the priuate means of reading, conference, and good examples at home.

Q How shall a Christian arme him­selfe against the scandall that the weake take at the streame and inundation of sinne, and at the generall corruption in manners?

A. First,Math. 7.14 that the way that leadeth to life is narrow, and the gate straight, & few there be that find it, and therefore wee must not make the example of the multitude, or of the most, a certaine rule or warrant of his life and p [...]ctise.

Secondly,Ier. 5.4. the greatest sort of people are ignorant of Gods wayes, and stran­gers in the holy Scriptures, making custome a rule for conscience, and they more delight in vaine inuentions, then in the knowledge and obedience of the holy Gospell of Christ.

Thirdly,2 Tim sinne hath abounded in all ages, and the greatest number of Chri­stians hath béene in many places more licentious then religious, and more pro­phane then sincere, and the néerer the [Page 98] world groweth to his finall period and consummation, the more Atheisme and Libertinisme shall abound, for men shall generally giue themselues to surfetting,Luk 21.34 35. drunkennes and the cares of this life, men shal bee louers of themselues,2 Tim. de­spisers of them that are good, louers of pleasures, more then louers of God; and though many haue a forme and profes­sion of godlines,Luk. 18.8. yet they deny the pow­er of it, so that when Christ commeth to iudgement, he shall hardly find faith vp­on the earth; and therefore he is the lesse to be offended hereat.

Fourthly, when there is a generall corruption in maners, then are the faith­full seruants of God most discerned, and their incorrupt sincerity is most eminēt; then they shew themselus pure & blame­lesse, and without rebuke in the middest of a naughty & crooked nation, amongst whom they shine as lights in the world:Phil. 2.15. Noah is iust in his generation, Lot is righteous amongst the Sodomites: in very Pergamus where Satan had his throne, were many faithfull and stout Christians:Apoc. 2.13 Apoc. 3.4 and in Sardi, (that was in a manner dead before God) were a few names that had not defiled their gar­ments.

[Page 99]Lastly,Eph. 5.15.16▪ the more lewd and licentious that the world is, the more wary and strict must wee bee in our conuersation, vnlesse we would perish with the world.

CHAP. VII. Of Offences Passiue, or those that are taken.


WHat is a scandall, or an of­fence taken?

A. It is any wholesome doctrine or counsell,Mat. 15.12 13.1 [...]. any ho­nest and godly spéech, déed [...], example, which through errour of iudgement, péeuishnes of mind, and peruerse inter­pretation, is turned to an occasion of of­fence.

Q. What are the causes of an offence taken?

A. First, blindnesse, and imperfecti­on [Page 98] [...] [Page 99] [...] [Page 100] of mans reason. Secondly, corrupt iudgement arising from the ignorance of Gods word. Thirdly, preiudicate and forestalled opinions. Fourthly, hatred of the godly, and their proceedinges. Fifthly, distast and dislike of good policy and discipline. Sixthly, in the wicked an eager appetite and desire of worldlie gaine and authority, with an earnest af­fection to hold and maintaine it. Lastly, the manifold afflictions of such as feare God.

Q. Who are the persons that vniust­ly conceiue an offence?

A. First and principally, the wicked, Secondly, Gods children.

Q Whereat (in regard of the godly) doe the wicked take an offence?

A. At foure things especially.

Q How shall we arm and strengthen our selues against offences, which wic­ked men vniustly conceiue against vs?

Math. 15.12. Act. 4.29. & 30. A. First, we must constantly, and chearefully goe forwards in our good purposes & proceedings, much more re­garding the kéeping of Gods comman­dements, and a good conscience then the imagined and pretended scandal and of­fence, that the wicked vniustly take: [Page 101] wherefore let their offence taken, rather hearten vs then hinder vs, and more driue vs forward in good actions, then discourage vs.

Secondly, the more clamorous and enuious that they are against vs, the more let vs endeauour by all good meanes to draw them to the practise of holy duties.

Thirdly, if the wicked were falsly and vniustly offended at the excellent person,Math 11.6. the rare humility, the heauenly doctrine, the extraordinary miracles, & the sinnelesse conuersation of our most blessed Sauiour, so that they reuiled, whipped, persecuted him, and put him to the most ignominious death that could bee inuented: how much more will they bée offended at vs that are sinners, and who many times mini­ster matter of offence?

Lastly, let vs (what in vs lieth) liue inoffensiuely, and please our neighbours in all thinges, not see­king our owne good, but their sal­uation.

Q. What is the second pretended of­fence, at which the wicked stumble and fall?

[Page 102] A. At the godly for vsing their lawful liberty in things indifferent.

Q. How shall the godly either preuent or (at least) arme themselues against this offence by the wicked, taken, and not by the godly giuen?

A. If they that take the offence bee obstinate enemies, they must not for their pleasure remit ought of their chri­stian liberty, but rather with the Apostle Paul to vse it: Mat. 15.12. Gal. 5.1. For in this case we are bound onely to auoide the offence of our weake brethren, and not of our incurable enemies, who will neuer be pleased nor satisfied. But if chri­stians that are weake in faith, and not yet fully resolued of points, take an of­fence at the vse of our liberty in meat, drinke, apparrell, &c. better it is for vs (for the time) to yéeld somewhat to our weake brethren,Rom. 14.15. then by the vnseaso­nable, & inconuenient vse of that which is lawfull (in it owne nature) to scanda­lize them, and so cause them to perish, for whom Christ died. Therefore let vs doe all to Gods glory, and giue offence to none,1 Cor. 10.31.32. neither Iews nor Gentiles, nor to the Church of God. 1. Cor. 10.31.32.

[Page 103]Secondly, we must not for the plea­sing of mens humours, and to decline an offence taken (and not giuen) temporize with Gods enemies, nor frame our selues to all companies and professions: for better it is that all the wicked in the world should be offended at vs, then that we for the preuenting of their (vnlaw­ful) offence should be iniurious to Iesus Christ, or preiudice any part of his re­uealed truth; and therefore we are not to communicate with such in the least things.Gal. 2.5. When therefore the omission of our Christian liberty doth either renue errour, or confirme men in it, wee must then neuer dispense with it.

Thirdly, in matters of faith, and in cases of conscience,Gal. 6.16 wee must walke by the Canon and rule of Gods word, & not by vnperfite examples:Gal. 5.1. and hauing gottē certaine resolution, wee must stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made vs free and not be entangled with the yeake of Antichristian bondage.

Lastly, it shall be our wisedome to vse our liberty with aduised discretion, and (what in vs lyeth) to minister no matter nor occasion of (iust) offence to our ene­mies; but, if notwithstanding wée can­not [Page 104] auoide their offence without sin­ning against God, and corrupting our owne consciences: this offence that they take, must neither remoue vs from our sound iudgement in things indif­ferent, nor from the lawfull practise and vse of our holy and Christian li­berty.

Q. What is the fourth offence that the wicked ones & enemies take against the godly?

A. Their manifold crosses, tribula­tions and afflictions.

Q. How shall, or must Gods children arme themselues against this offence?

Phil. 1.29.First, it is giuen to them (as a speciall priuiledge) not only to belieue in Christ, but also to suffer for him.

Luk. 16.25.Secondly, the wicked are none of Gods children, and therfore he letteth them in this world, (many times, and for a long season) to escape vnpunished, that they may at once haue their eternall punish­ment in hell fire.

Heb. 12.Thirdly, God loueth his children, and therefore he doth rebuke and cha­sten them; and therefore none are to take an offence at their troubles, nor to make an ill construction of them: [Page 105] for if they were without all correcti­on, they should be bastards and no sonnes.

Fourthly, That they are blessed that are not offended in Christ,Luk. 7.23. so neither at his word, nor at the contemp­tible estate, and manifold afflictions of his children: but acknowledge Gods prouidence, and admire his wonderfull wisedome,Act. 14, 22. who hath consecrated the prince of our saluation through afflicti­ons: Heb 2.10. and doth by many afflcti­ons bring his childrē into his kingdom.

Fifthly, the enemies of God, and of his children, either want iudgement, and the spirit of discerning, or else are tran­sported with humour and malice, and therefore wee are not to regard their rash censures, nor their vniust of­fence.

Sixthly, the afflictions of the faith­full come not by chance, but by the coun­sell and prouidence of God, which dis­poseth all things in a most excellent sort, for their profit and saluation, Gen. 45.45. 2. Sam. 16 10. Psa. 119.71. Act. 14.21.

Lastly, let it bée sufficient for vs, that God accepteth our persons, san­ctifieth our afflictions vnto vs, and [Page 106] and highly rewardeth our seruice and sufferings, and therefore though wee bee in no grace and request with the wicked world, whose fauour and friendship can neither helpe vs, nor their false iudge­ment and contempt preiudice vs, let vs not be moued, nor amated at it.

CHAP. VIII. Of Offences taken by Gods children.


WHat are the offences that Gods children (in their ignorance or weakenesse) many times take and con­ceiue?

A. First, the long life and flourishing prosperity of euill Rulers, Tyrants, Persecutors.

Secondly, the long impunity, & Gods toleration of lewd, wicked, prophane, and villanous persons.

[Page 107]The third▪ is the inuoluing, or in­wrapping of holy & innocent men with the wicked in the execution of publicke iudgements.

Q. How shall Gods children arme & comfort themselues against the long life and tyranny of wicked rulers?

A. They must note and consider di­uers things: First, that these Tyrants and oppressors doe not raigne and do­minere without Gods holy and proui­dent disposition, and that either for the exercise of the good, or for the plague and punishment of euill doers; and ther­fore they must seeke either by their in­nocent carriage, and dutifull obedience to pacifie and please them, or else they must learne to endure with patience their tyranny.

Secondly, that austere and tyranni­zing rulers, are sometimes necessary for the common wealth, to restraine vice, & to curbe and kéepe downe insolent and wanton people, who by security and o­uermuch liberty grew to this height of prophanenesse; and therefore, they that know not how to loue, must know how to feare.

Thirdly, that the excesse of sinne, and [Page 108] licentiousnesse in the multitude, who delights more in pleasure, then in piety, in goods, then in goodnes, and in loue of money, then in true liberty, doth (if not cause, yet) increase tyrants and op­pressors.

Fourthly, that euery state and go­uernment at one time or other, is sub­iect to such tyrannicall oppressors.

Fifthly, that tyrants and oppres­sors haue their golden fetters, yea, they oftentimes drinke poison in gold: they feare the multitude, as much as the mul­titude doth them, and they doe not wrong others, altogether without pu­nishment and reuenge, but are mette withall one way, or other.

Lastly, because nullum violentum est perpetuum:A Simili­tude. for the more boisterou­sly the winds blow and rage, the soo­ner will they cease; and the more that tyrants and oppressors rage and per­secute, the sooner God will remoue them, or breake their hornes.

Q. How must the people and sub­iects behaue themselues?

A They must first of all performe Honour, Tribute, Reuerence, Sub­iection, and obedience vnto them;Rom. 13 7 and [Page 109] if they will not this way bee wonne, they must rather endure all euill then seeke priuate and vnlawfull reuenge: But if these tyrants commaund any false worshippe, then the subiectes must take another course; they must obey God their supreame Lord, and not the Magistrate, lest otherwise their vnlawfull obedience to man, bee punished as the highest disobedience to the God of Heauen.

Q. How shall the godly cleare Gods iustice when they see the most villa­nous and mischieuous men, long to escape vnpunished in this world?

A. First, they must remember that quod defeitur, non aufertur, forbea­rance is no forgiuenes. The stiller that the waters are, the more deepe and daungerous are they: God doth not spare the wicked for a time, be­cause hee liketh of their doings; but he will ha [...]e their sinnes to grow ripe first, and withall leaue them without all excuse: but he will at length plague and punish them, yea damn and destroy them; God commeth (as the Prouerb is) with wollen feet, ( [...]. faire and softly) but he striketh with iron hands & punisheth [Page 110] so much the more seuerely. Sinne is in the heart, and vengeance at the heeles.

Secondly, they are like the fish which hath swallowed the Anglers bit,A compa­rison. which though it sport it selfe with the baite for a time, yet when the Ang­ler draweth his Angle rod, it is taken; and they though they reuell and roist it out, yet they are Gods prisoners, al­waies in his sight, and repriued for a time vnto a further doome, their iudge­ment and damnation sléepeth not, the terrour of imminent punishment cannot bee remoued out of their minds, neither is the image of direfull death conueied out of their sight; but terrifieth them as the hand writing on the wall did Bel­shazzer, Dan. 5.5.6.

Lastly, though the children of God, who cleanse their harts, and wash their hands in innocency, bee corrected and ch [...]istened euery morning,Psal 7 [...].13 14. v. [...]3.24. yet God is with his, hee will guide them by coun­sell, and afterwards receiue them to glory. Wherefore let vs rather sup­plicate for such wicked doers, then bee scandalized at them; and let vs wait but vntill they haue played their parts, and acted their tragedie, and they will make [Page 111] a ruthfull Catastrophe or conclusion, & all men that sée it, shall say, that it is Gods doing.

Q. But why doth God punish some­times with visible and manifest punish­ment, some euill doers, and not all?

A. First,Ro 20.21. God is an absolute Lord, and his will is iustice it selfe, and there­fore wee must rather reuerence and a­dore Gods iudgements, then rashly to require a reason of them: for shall an earthly Prince disdaine to be accounta­ble to his subiects concerning all his pro­céedings,A Simili­tude. and shall a Master of a fami­ly scorne that his seruant shall exact an account of him? how much more will the diuine Maiesty refuse that his acti­ons and counsels should bee called into question?

Secondly, a few punished, are a purgation for, and a warning to the rest: so that it is a mild iustice towardes ma­ny, which séemeth cruelty to a few.

Thirdly, if God should visibly, and manifestly punish all euill doers, then nothing would bée thought to bée reser­ued to the last iudgement, and if none should bee here punished, men would thinke that either there were no God, [Page 112] or (at least) no iustice and prouidence.

Q. How shall Gods children in the execution of publike iudgement, iusti­fie the equity of Gods proceedings, or practise patience: when they tempo­rally smart for the sinnes aud idolatries of their fore-fathers?

Ezech. 18.20. A. Many wayes they are to stay and comfort themselues. First, (to speake properly) God doth punish the idolatry and sinnes of the children, and not of the parents: for if they tread in the footesteppes of their parents, and doe not repent of their sinnes, it standeth with Gods iustice no longer to put off their correction.

Secondly; though in the vniuersall deluge,Psal. 51.5. Iob. 14.4. and in the destruction of Sodome, and in the sacking of Cities the very Infants perished with their Parents: yet wee must note that they were not sinnelesse and innocent before God, but borne and conceiued in sinne, the children of wrath, & subiect to euerla­sting damnation.

Thirdly, albeit God correct good men for the bads sake, & inuolue them in the common calamities of warre, famine, pestilence, shipwracke, fires, &c. yet [Page 113] these afflictions are rather preseruatiues then punishments: for as Physitians doe by bitter medicines preserue and restore a mans health: so God doth turne the punishments that they haue deserued into a medicine, a trial, a pre­seruation.

Fourthly, Gods children though they resist sinne and wickednes,Psal. 130.4. Dan. 9.5.6 7. yet they in hearing Gods word, in praier, and in the performance of the duties of pietie, iustice, charity, faile and are vn­perfect; and therefore they cannot say that God offereth them any wrong, if they with the wicked be included in the same outward and publike euils, as Jo­nathas, Iosias, &c. were.

Fifthly, we are all of vs the children of rebellious and traiterous Adam, who hath tainted our bloud, and forfeited his and our estate to God almighty, & there is a chaine of faults reaching from Adam to vs, which though wee repent of, yet God may in his iustice punish the re­mainders of them in our posterity.

Sixthly, there is (if not alwaies) a deri­uation of speciall fins from the forefa­thers to the posterity, yet there is a deri­uation [Page 114] of punishment, and therefore God doth afflict herein the Parents, and their po­sterity as one body.

Seuenthly, as in one and the same person a fault committed in youth,Lypsius. is iustly punished in old age: So God in kingdomes, empires, persons doth pu­nish old and inueterate sinnes, for they are before God ioyned together by an outward fellowship, both in time and parts.

Lastly, if wee will bee heires to the commodities, and rewards which are due to our ancestors, it is no rea­son that we should refuse their burdens and afflictions.

CHAP. IX. Heauenly Meditations and Conclu­sions against generall and particu­lar persecution.


WHat is persecution?

A. It is the state and condition, either of the Church in generall, or of any member, in particu­lar, whereby the one, or the other, in Gods euer­lasting counsell and dècrée, are appoin­ted and marked vnto diuers dangers & troubles for the name of Christ, and for righteousnes sake.

Q. Is not the Church of God at a­ny time or in any age wholy rooted out and subuerted by the enraged violence of persecutors?

A. No: for first, God will alwayes reserue to himselfe a people that shall [Page 116] serue him,Apoc. 11.3 & 4. yea, and some that shall open­ly and publikely maintaine and confesse his truth in one place or other.

Rom. 11.4.Secondly, as in the time of Elias there were 7000 holy worshippers of God, that neuer bowed their knées to Baal, 1 Kin. 19.18. and yet they were not visibly known to the enemies and persecutors:Apoc. 12.7 so God hath a latent Church sometimes, and the church is faine to flie into the wildernes, and that partly that she should not be corrupted, & partly that she should be pre­serued from the enemies rage & malice.

Lastly, it appeareth by the diuers things to which the Church is compared and resembled, that shee neuer ceaseth to bee, nor is euer wholy extinct: for it is compared to a shippe tossed with waues and surges,Compari­sons. but not sunke: to Moses Bush, burning, but not consumed; to a City daily besieged, but not taken or wonne: to the moon, which is soone eclipsed, and often in the wa [...]e, but yet often renued: to Noahs Arke tossed in the waters, but not drowned:Apoc. and to a woman in tra­uell, whom the Dragon séeketh to de­uoure together with her child, and yet both are preserued.

[Page 117] Q. For what ends doth God suffer his children to bee persecuted?

A. First, that holy and pure doctrine might bee maintained: otherwise all would in persecution disclaime, and forsake it.

Secondly, that the graces of his chil­dren should be encreased and exercised, and that they like spices pouned in a morter, and like swéet wood burnt in the fire, should yéeld a more sweete swell.

Thirdly, that they by their constan­cy in the profession and defence of the truth, might be distinguished from hy­pocrites, who like Sodome apples,Compari­sons. if a man crush them, fall into chaffe; and like vnto spunges wet in the water, which if a man presse them, let out all the liquour contained in them.

Fourthly, God will haue his chil­dren to denie themselues, and their own abilities, and to depend wholy vpon his power and promises for their strength­ning or deliuerance.

Fifthly, hée will hereby make them so many lights and guides to di­rect the blind world in the roade way to Heauen. Lastly, GOD will [Page 118] hereby increase their reward and glorie in heauen.

Q. Who are Gods instruments here­in?

A. Satan, and wicked men, in the world, namely, Tyrants, Heretikes, Atheists.

Q. Why doth God in the punish­ment and persecution of his children, vse the ministerie of wicked men?

Math. 20.15. Rom. 9.21 22. A. First, to shew his absolute and vn­limited liberty, for hee is a free agent, and he may correct his children by whom he will. For as a naturall Father, doth sometimes make the Schoolema­ster, or one of his seruants, the instru­ments to correct his sonne, though hee (perhaps) is not ignorant, that they may intermingle their priuate affecti­ons: So God, (and that without any mans iust controlement) maketh wicked men, who haue their priuate ends and aimes, the rods to whip and correct his children withall.

Secondly, God suffereth the wic­ked to stumble at the life, or profession of his children, and to runne themselues out of breath,Mat. 23.2 that they may fulfill the measure of their iniquities, and so incur [Page 119] the waight of his displeasure.

Thirdly,Apoc. 11 12. God by the patience of his children, and by their constant death, & sufferinges, appalleth, and inwardly tormenteth the minds and consciences of the persecutors, and leaueth them without all excuse and defence of their doings, before his iudgement seat.

Fourthly, he sometimes by the sin­gular patience and sufferings of his saints ouercommeth the enemies harts, and gaineth them to himself, and so they that séemed conquerors are happily con­quered to Christ, and of his foes are made his friends.

Lastly,Esa. 10.1 God (against the wicked mens intentions) turneth their persecutions to the good of his children: for as an arrow attaineth vnto the Archers mark without any sense of his owne: so the wicked though blindfolded, execute Gods secret decree: they are Gods Ful­lers to whiten his children; God v­seth them as the Goldsmith doth lead, to melt and purifie his gold; for hereby God doth perfite them, and purge them from the drosse and dregs of earthly corruption.

Q. Why doe wicked men so perse­cute [Page 120] Gods children.

A. First, because there is a continu­all enmity betweene the wicked, who are the seede of the Serpent,Gen. 3.15. and be­twixt the godly, who are the blessed séed of the woman.

Secondly, the godly are not of the world (id est) they are contrary to it in profession,Ioh. 15.19. life and practise, and God hath chosen them out of the world, and therefore the world hateth and abhor­reth them.

Thirdly, Gods children professe, preach and confesse Gods sincere truth,Eph. 5.9.12. Ioh. 3.19.20. which the wicked men doe distast and detest, and doe also by the light of their holy life and example checke the deedes of darkenes in the wicked.

Fourthly, the godly weaken the diuels kingdome; hence he by his imps and instruments, purposeth and practi­seth continually their death and destru­ction.

Q. Is it not lawfull for the godly to vse all lawfull meanes of preseruing their liues in persecution?

A. Yes: for, first they are not bound to make confession of their faith to all persons, as namely, to scorners, open [Page 121] enemies, that haue no authority to de­maund a reason of our profession, nor to ignorant persons, that are contemners of good counsell.

Secondly, it is lawfull to flée from the persecutors (or to auoide our habi­tations.1 King. 19. Ier.

Thirdly, wee may decline the dan­ger of persecution by modest answeres, by concealing part of the truth, when wée are not required thereunto: yea, sometimes by our mony and goods, by the change of our apparrell, by the cut­ting of our haire, and by setting our ad­uersaries and enemies at difference a­mongst themselues.Act.

Q. Is persecution gainefull, & com­modious to Gods children?

A. Yea, and that many waies. First, hereby Gods Church groweth, and is much enlarged: for being watered by the bloud of Martyrs (which is the séed of the Gospell) it more flourisheth,A Simili­tude. and it is like Camomi [...]l, the which the more that it is troden vpon, the more it groweth.

Secondly,Act. 11.19.20. Christians in their dis­persion and banishment sow the séeds of the Gospell in other parts and prouin­ces, [Page 122] Countrries, and Kingdomes, Act. 11. Rom. 15.

Luk. 2.35.Thirdly, Reprobates in such a time descrie themselus, and powre forth their venome; and as for hypocrites, who were taken for true professors, they being in­déede nothing but chaffe, (as the euent sheweth) are by the fanne of persecuti­on separated from the wheat of Mar­tyrs.Luk. 8.13.

Fourthly, Gods power and grace is prooued and perfited in the faithfulls infirmity, and the aduersaries are con­futed and confounded, 2. Cor. 12.9.

Lastly, the godly are hereby humbled and mortified, they are weaned from the loue of this vaine world, and are brought to mind and muze on a better life, and so they obtaine peace of consci­ence and holinesse of life, Heb. 12.11. Psal. 78.38.2 Cor, 1.4. Hos. 5.15 Ioh. 15.2.

Q. What good inducements and perswasions are there to moue vs to constancy in persecution?

A. These following, or the like: First, that God exacteth and requireth it at our hands; which if wee doe not accordingly performe, we are altogether [Page 123] vnworthy the name of Christians, and altogether vnméet for the kingdome of God.Luk. 9.23 24.

Secondly, if we fall away from the profession, loue, and practise of the sa­cred Gospell of Christ, all our former good beginnings shall nothing bestead vs,2 Pet. 2.20 & 21. and all the righteousnesse that wée haue done, shall not be mentioned, but we shall die,Ezech. 18.24. and perish in our sinne and apostasie. Heb. 10.26.27.

Thirdly,A Simili­tude. the truth is victorious, and triumphant, and like the Sunne, the more that it is clouded, the more glori­ously it will shine out; and therefore wee must not betray it.

Fourthly, we haue a cloud and infi­nite company of witnesses, confessors, martyrs,Heb. 12.1. for our lights, lampes, guids, and directors, whose holy examples, if we follow, we shall be partakers of their glory and happines.

Fifthly, shall Iewes, Heretikes, Schismatikes, yea Turks, Panyms, and Pagans, that haue no promise of eternall life, be so stout and stedfast in their profession, and shal not wee Chri­stians that haue such comfortable pro­mises of Gods assistance, and of euer­lasting [Page 124] happines, be much more coura­gious and constant in defence of Gods immortall truth.

Lastly, we shall by our patience, suf­fering, innocency; if not (as sometimes it commeth to passe) conuert, yet wee shall daunt, and confound the enemies of the Gospell, in that they cannot pos­sibly remoue vs from our confident confession, and in that our persecution gaineth many vnto God.

Q. What practises are herein neces­sarie?

A. First, wee must in persecution depend vpon God, & implore his helpe, and then hee will at the very instant suggest vnto vs what to speake,Luk. 21.14. & 15. and enable vs to suffer, and perfite his pow­er in our infirmity.

Secondly, we must be perswaded of the truth of the doctrine for which wee suffer.

Thirdly, we must neuer make o­pen confession of our faith, but either when wee are called and vrged by publicke authority so to doe, or (at least) when there is some hope of doing good;1 Pet 3.15 & 16. Mat 7.6. for wee must not betray our selues, nor cast holy things before dogs, and pearles [Page 125] before swine.

Lastly, if wee would march valiantly, we must not presume, but suspect all our wayes, and wee must rather feare our selues then flatter them: and we must chearefully entertaine, and diligently put in execution the motions of the spi­rit.

Q. What duties are we to performe to persons afflicted and persecuted?

A. First, wée must haue a fellowlike féeling of their misery,Amos 6.6. and sympathize with them; otherwise we cannot effe­ctually comfort them:A Simili­tude. for as iron can­not be ioyned, and fastened to iron, vn­lesse both of them bée made red hote, and beaten together: so one Christian can yéeld no comfort to another, vnlesse both suffer together, (if not in action) yet in fellow féeling.

Secondly, we must helpe them with our prayers, and be intercessors to the Almighty for them, that he would arm them with strength and patience, and direct all their sufferings for their own good, and the aduancement of his blessed Gospell.

Thirdly, we must, (as we haue any op­portunity [Page 126] offered) assist them with our counsell, and with the wordes of ex­hortation, cheare, encourage, and em­bolden them.

Mat. 25.43. 1 King. 18.13.Lastly, wée must (if wee can) visite them in our owne persons, or (at least) minister vnto their necessities, as O­badiah ministred vnto the necessities of an hundred of Gods Prophets, in the raigne and persecution of Ahab and Ie­zabel; and as Onesiphorus oft refre­shed Paul in prison,2. Tim. 1: [...]6. and was not a­shamed of his bonds and chaines; and this duety of mercy and commiserati­on God will neuer leaue vnrecompen­sed.



HOw are Persecutions to be diui­ded?

A. Into persecutions of the affection, persecutions of the tong and of the hand, or outward action.

[Page 127] Q. What are the persecutions of the affections?

A. Contempt, enuie, hatred, or ma­lice.

Q. What comforts are to bee impar­ted to Gods Children that suffer con­tempt?

A. First, it is a glorious matter to be contemned for vertue & well doing; for in this case wee are like vnto Christ our blessed Sauiour, who was derided of Herode and the Iewes for his holy life, doctrine, zeale, miracles, &c. and therefore we haue cause to reioice.

Secondly, we must note, who they are that commonly contemne vs; they are either enemies of the truth, or pro­phane worldlings, who cannot discerne of our worth and excellency, and that haue no knowledge and practise of true religion and vertue, and therefore wee are the lesse to care for their censure: for euen as pretious pearles being en­closed and hidden in base earthen shels, are not seene; and therefore they being not discerned, are not esteemed accor­ding to their price and excellency: so the wicked and prophane, looking onely at the contemptible condition of godly [Page 128] mens persons, and not discerning the grace of God in their hearts, take an oc­casion to despise thē: or else they are scor­ned & contemned of hypocrites factious & schismaticall persons, who being more humorous then truely holy, and more haughty then humble, and wiser in their owne eyes,1. Cor. 3.3 4. &c. then worthy in Gods sight, doe distaste and falsly censure their brethren, that are better then them­selues; and hereof blessed S. Paul had ex­pe [...]ience amongst the Corinthians.

Secondly, it is the practise of Satan and his impes, thus to depresse and keep vnder Gods children, that they who are famous and illustrious by the brightnes of their holinesse and vertues, should bée sullied and obscured by misreports and contempt of their persons: but neuer­thelesse, they hereby loose nothing of their inherent excellency: for as a pre­tious iewel, albeit by hogges and swine troden and trampled vnder féet,A Simili­tude. abateth nothing of his naturall excellency: So Gods children scorned and contemned of the wicked lose nothing of their ver­tues; for contempt doth not hurt them but profite them.

Thirdly, it is an vsuall matter for [Page 129] learned men to bee despised of the ig­norant, rare men of the rude, and wise Sages to be contemned o [...] sots; here­upon Seneca saith very well,Seneca de morbis. Nondum foelix es, &c. thou art not as yet happy, if the multitude doth not mo [...]ke thee.

Fourthly,Math. 7.2. they that ca [...] contempt vpon others (vniustly) shall be conte [...] ­ned themseluee: for with what measure they mete, it shall be measured [...]o them againe.

Lastly, let it suff [...]ce that God digni­fieth and honoureth vs, and that he hath garnished and embrodered vs with the pretious and princely graces of hi [...] spirit.

Q. How are we to carry our selues when wee are misregarded and contem­ned?

A. First,Math. 5.11 & 12. let it be our ioy and com­fort to suffer contempt, and to runne through good report and bad for Christ his sake; for God will in the end, the more honour and magnifie vs.

Secondly, it behoueth vs by spea­king well of all men, by interpreting things doubtfull in the better part, by contemning no person without cause, and by our good seruice and offices to­wards [Page 130] Church and common wealth, to wipe and wash away the myre of con­tempt flung in our faces, and then in time our contempt will be turned into credite, and our base estéeme into glorie.

Thirdly, let vs striue to bee that wee would séeme to bee, and also by honest meanes, and by our blessed behauiour seeke to grow into the fauour and famili­arity of excellent, famous, and eminent Personages, and then we shall not bee despised but dignified, and not be neg­lected, but notice will soone be taken of vs, and our eminency.

Lastly, if good men (through igno­rance, misreports, emulation, infirmity) dislike and despise vs,2. Cor. 1.12. we must bee con­tent (with others) to endure a common euill, and in the meane time to com­fort our selues in our honestie and in­nocency.


Q. What is Enuie?

A. It is a griefe or sadnes, by reason of another mans outward or inward, spirituall or temporall prosperity and happines.

[Page 131] Q. How shall a Christian arme and strengthen himselfe against it?

A. First, excellent piety and pro­sperity is euer subiect hereunto.

Secondly, no friend of sincerity, and vndissembled godlinesse and goodnesse,1. Ioh. 3.12 did euer want this exercise: for as the shadow doth follow them that walk in the Sunne: so doth Enuie follow and pursue them that are noble and no­ted for learning, wisedome, and well doing.

Thirdly, it is better to be hated then vnhappy, and to bee maligned then mi­serable.

Fourthly, to enuie greatnes and good­nes in others, argueth a base, raskall, and satanicall disposition: for first, they enuie those good things in others, which themselues want: secondly, they doe but pricke, stabbe, and wound them­selues with their owne weapons: third­ly, they hood-winke, or cast dust into their owne eyes, that they may not be­hold and discerne Gods graces in o­thers.

Fifthly, the enuious person is the cause of greater good to him that is en­uied; for by his carping and deprauing [Page 132] of others, the vertues of the person [...]nuied are brought vpon the stage, and made better known: but the spitefull and enuious person doth nothing but some out his owne shame.

Sixthly, they are tormenters of them­selues, and worke their owne ruines: for as the moath doth consume the gar­ment,Compari­sons. rust the iron, and the viper ea­teth out and consumeth the bellie of her that conceiued her: so doth enuie at lēgth and by degrees, wast and destroy the pos­sessor. Lastly, the euils that they wish to others, they haue themselues, and en­crease vpon themselues.

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

A. First, let vs leaue enuious men to themselues, and suffer them to torture and torment their soules and bodies.

Secondly, the more that we are en­uied and maligned for zeale in pure reli­gion, and for well doing, the more let vs bée stirred vp to the practise of religion & vertue; for wée shall by no meanes so much vexe and torment enuious persons as by our well doing.

Thirdly, if wee cannot otherwise a­uoid the tempest and storme of enuie, let vs auoid it by modestie: let vs auoid [Page 133] all ostentation, and for the time separate our selues from the company of the en­uious, and suppresse & hide whatsoeuer might make vs to bee noted: for some e­nemies are no better ouercome then by our humility and obscurity.

Fourthly, if wee would approue our selues good men,Mal. 3.7. let vs enuy at no mans prosperity (be he neuer so wicked) for they shalbe soon cut down like grasse, and shal wither as the gréen herbe. Lastly, let vs pray vnto God feruently so direct and preserue vs.

Q. What comfort against hatred and malice?

A. First, the world & the wicked hate vs vniustly; for they hate vs not for our sins & imperfections, but for the better pa [...]ts, namely; because we are separated frō them in profession & life, and because wee séeke the ruinating of satans king­ [...]ome, and because they will not bée re­proued and conuinced of sinne.

Secondly, the world is addicted to traditions, and little estéemeth Gods blessed Word, it is in loue with earthly thinges, and neglecteth those that are heauenlie; no maruaile then that it so distasteth and maligneth [Page 134] Gods children, they loue not God, and then how can they but hate his ser­uants?

Thirdly, Abel, Lot, Dauid, Elias, Paul, the Prophets,Ioh. 15 18. Apostles, Christ him­selfe, and his Saints in all ages haue béene causlesly hated of the wicked: and this is a pregnant proofe that they were Gods children, and that wee are like­wise: for,Ioh. 15.19. if either they or we had been of the world, the world would loue his owne.

Fourthly, wee must remember, that wee haue deserued greater euils, and therefore we ought more patiently to endure this.

Lastly, let it content vs, that we are known, loued and liked of God & good men who loue vs in the truth. And if the losse of the loue of the common people grieue vs, we must note that their loue is light, and without iudgement and discretion: and therefore their loue oftē ­times endeth in ill will and hatred.

Q. How are we to demeane and be­haue our selues when wicked men ma­ligne and hate vs?

A. First, seeing that malitious men are good neither actu, nor potentia, [Page 135] (that is) neither in act, nor in possibility, and that they doe but sucke the greatest part of their owne poison, seeing they are peruerted in iudgement, and oppo­site to sincerity: let vs beware how we nourish occasions of hatred, and that we be not too sociable and familiar with them.

Secondly, let vs loue God and his word, for then we cannot hate mens persons, much lesse any vertues in them.

Thirdly, let vs decline hatred (what in vs lieth) by dutifulnes and good seruice; for in so doing, we shall eyther gaine and pacifie our enemie,Rom. 12.20. or (at least) leaue him without excuse; for this is to heape coales of fire on his head.

Q. May we lawfully hate them that hate vs?

A. Wee must not, nor may not hate them in regard of their persons, or as they are Gods creatures, or in pri­uate respects: but it is lawfull for vs to hate their vices, and to abhorre them, as they are Gods enemies and aduer­saries of the Church; but we must not hate them as they hate vs; namely, our persons, and the better parts in vs: but [Page 136] onely hate their errours and vices, &c. which are contrary to Gods nature, will, word and commandements.

Q. What are the persecutions of the tongue?

A. Slander and false imputations.

Q. How are wee to comfort our selues against slander?

A. First, that the life and profession of the Church and Saints of God hath beene traduced and slandered in al ages; and therefore no singular & extraordi­nary matter befalling vs, it is with more contentment to be endured.

Secondly, wee herein are like vnto Christ, who though he were more holy then all men and Angels, yet he was called a wine-bibber, a friend of Pub­licanes and sinners, an enemy to Cae­sar, and he was said to haue the Di­uell.

Thirdly, slander cannot make a man miserable, (for where sinne raigneth there is misery indeed) nay, it is a mat­ter of honour and glorie to be ill spoken of for well doing: for they hate vs be­cause that we are better then they, and because wee runne not to the same ex­cesse of riot,1. Pet. 2.3.4 & the more that wicked men [Page 137] belie, slander and raile at vs, the more in the end will they make our vertues known.

Fourthly, false imputations cast vp­on vs, will not continue long, they are as so many blasts and fumes that will soone be dispersed and blowne away; for God will at length cleare our innocen­cy as the noone day,Psa. 37.6.8 1 Pet. 4.14 and our reproach shall bee turned into the glory of an An­gell Psal 37.6 & 8.

Fifthly, though the wicked doe wil­lingly derogate from our good name, yet they doe addere mercedi nost [...]ae, Augusti­nus. id est, encrease our reward, albeit against their wils: for blessed are wee when men re­uile vs,Mat. 5.10. and say all manner of euill a­gainst vs for Christ his sake; for then great is our reward in heauen.

Sixthly, if the titles and attributes of the iustice, truth, power and mercy of God, bee not frée from slanderous imputations: let vs much lesse looke to be exempt and priuiledged from euill tongues: Psal. 10.11. & 12. Mal. 3.14 & 15.

Seuenthly, if the raskall multitude, or the scumme of the people raile vp­on vs, and belie vs, wee must note that [Page 138] they doe it rather of humour then of knowledge, and of an ill affection rather then of iudgement and aduisement; and they will be silent when they haue much barked and bawled: and as for their lying tales and reports, because they a­rise from false grounds, and trifling oc­casions, they will soone be dead, buried, extinct.

Eighthly, the slanderer doth but hurt and discredite himselfe, and foame out his own shame: for his slander, like an arrow shot against a stone wall, or a ten­nise ball cast against it,1 Sam. 25.39. redounds vpon the slanderer.

Lastly, God discrediteth his deare children with the world, & letteth them fall sometimes into the mire of wicked imputations, that they should not bee stained with the corruptions of it.

Q. How shall wee behaue our selues when wee are thus belyed▪ and slaun­dered?

A. First, let vs descend into our own soules,2 Cor. 1 10. and if we find our selues inno­cent, then let vs comfort our selues in the witnesse of our owne conscience: neither let vs thinke, that ther is more waight in their detractions, then in our owne [Page 139] testimonies.

Secondly, in this case, let vs rather looke vnto God who permitteth them,Micah. 7. 2 Sam. 16.10. then at the howling, barking, and biting dogs that annoy vs: this course tooke Dauid.

Thirdly, whereas the rude and iniu­dicious multitude doth cast false impu­tations vpon vs; let vs not only with the spunge of honest Apologies wipe a­way these pretended spots, but also la­bour to haue a precious report, and an immortall memory amongst Gods chil­dren.

Fourthly, if wée desire to be well spo­ken of, let vs not rashly thinke euill of o­thers; for the better that any man is, the more hardly doth he iudge another to be euill; much lesse let vs secretly bite and sting them, nor take that in the worse sense, that may bee construed in the better meaning.

Fifthly, let vs lend no eare, much lesse giue any applause to the slanderer; but shew our dislike of him, and then he will not willingly speake that which hee shall perceiue to be vnwillingly heard.

Lastly▪ slander is a speciall sinne of the Deuill,Apoc 12.10. who is a lyar, and the slanderer [Page 140] of the brethren, and therefore let vs be­ware of it, and abhorre it.

Q. What are the persecutions in acti­on and in deed?

A. These and the like following; whip­pings, taking away of mens goods, ba­nishment, bondage, nakednes, death by the sword, want of buriall, &c.

Q. What comforts against whip­pings?

A. First, Christ Iesus and his Apo­stles were thus dealt withall.

Gal. 6.17.Secondly, as it was the marke of a true Apostle to beare in the body the marks of the Lord Iesu: so it is the Character of a sincere Christian to suffer the like in time of persecuti­on.

1 Pet. 2 24.Thirdly, Christ was whipped, and shed his bloud for vs; and shall wée sinnefull persons refuse to doe the like, that wee may make knowne our con­formitie with him in his suffrings?

Fourthly, it is giuen vnto Gods children (as a speciall prerogatiue) not onely to be whipped for,Phil. 1.16. but to die for the Lord Iesu. Apoc. 12.11.

Lastly, the more indignities, and torments that any suffer for Christ, [Page 141] or for righteousnesse sake,Apoc. 7.14▪ 15.16. the more they shall aduance the Gospell of Christ, and receiue the greater measure and proportion of glory in the world to come.

Q. How are or ought wee to com­fort our selues when wee are violently by the enemie despoiled of all our goods?

A. First, wee must remember that many good men haue fallen into the hands of théeues (like that man that went downe from Ierusalem to Ieri­cho,Luk. 10.30 and fell among théeues, who robbed him of his raiment, yea and wounded him,) and yet haue afterwards recouered their former estate.

Secondly,Psal. 23.1. Luk. 10.33 34.35. Christ is our Lord and ma­ster, and we his seruants, and therefore though we be despoiled of al our world­ly goods; yet, he wil neuer forsake vs, but prouide for vs things necessary: for so he dealt with the Samaritane.

Thirdly, we want not things (simply) necessary; for natura paucis contenta.

Fourthly, though we be spoiled of our goods, yet we haue not forgone our good­nes, and we retaine our life and liberty, which is the greater blessing.

[Page 142]Fifthly, God in his iustice will in due time punish and reuenge our wrongs.

Sixthly, wee must (after the example of the blessed Hebrewes) suffer with ioy the spoiling of our goods) knowing in our selues,Heb. 10.34 how that we haue in hea­uen a better, and an enduring sub­stance.

Lastly, if wee be patient and con­tent, we may (in time) with Dauid en­ioy our enemies (that are so many Na­bals) goods,2 Sam. 25.42. or by some other prouidence be gainers by our losses.

Q. What duties are we then to per­forme?

Iob. 2 10. Mat. 9.27. A. First, we must with holy Iob be content to receiue euill things from God as well as good, and to praise God for all; and with the Apostles to forsake all for Christ his sake; yea, and with that heroicall woman in the Apocalypse, to tread the Moone (i. all earthly and transitory things) vnder our féet;Apoc. 12.1. wée must withall seeke the things aboue, & the heauenly Ierusalem.

Secondly, it is our duty to procure wisedome, learning, vertue, godlinesse; these are our proper endowments, and can neither by fraud nor force be taken [Page 143] from vs.

Thirdly, let vs (whiles we enioy the fickle and vncertaine things) let vs for Christ his sake loue his members, and with our worldly goods bountifully re­lieue them in their néede and necessity,Ioh. 1.3.17. else how dwelleth the loue of God in vs?

Lastly,Iac. 2.5. let it suffice vs, that wee are rich in grace, heires of glory, and that we haue in heauen (our Country) a bet­ter and an enduring substance; and that after this mortall and miserable life is expired,Heb. 10.3.4. 2 Pet. 3.13. we shall actually enioy the new heauen & the new earth wherein dwel­leth righteousnes.

Q. Propound some comfortable me­ditations against banishment.

A. First, Moses, Elias, Iohn the Euangelist, and infinite more in the Primitiue Church of the Apostles, in the ten generall persecutions, and si­thence, haue beene exiled: and shall we refuse to be partakers with them?

Secondly,Math. 21.33. Heb. 13.13. omnis terra commune naturae exilium: id est, Euery country is a common banishment of nature, and the whole world is but a strange coun­try vnto vs: (for in it wee haue no abi­ding City) and how then can Christians [Page 144] properly be said to bee banished out of their country, when they haue none here?

Thirdly, though the godly bee bani­shed from their natiue soile, yet they can­not be banished from the fauour of God,Psal. 7 [...].19.20.25. & 52.53.54 nor from the communion of Saints, nor from the kingdome of heauen; and God, that is by his essence euery where present, is as ready to helpe his childrē in any strange Country, as in their own. Psal.

Fourthly, sundry men haue gotten great honour, and attained vnto great learning and liuing in the place of their banishment.

Fifthly, here we shall be secured frō enuie: euill men shall not molest vs, but good men shall loue vs, and long for our company.

Act. 11.20.21. [...]2.Sixthly, as the husbandman remo­ueth his plantes and trees out of one orchard into another that they may the better prosper: So God for greater good of his Church doth translate his children into some other country or coast.

Act. 8.1. & 4.Lastly, the time of our banishment well spent, will send vs into a farre better, that is an heauenly one.

[Page 145] Q. What duties must a Christian pra­ctise in his banishment?

A. First, he must comfort himselfe in the conscience of his righteousnes, which the enemy cannot blot, much lesse be­reaue him of.

Secondly, he must at their strict com­mandements and enforcement, relin­quish and depart out of his natiue soile, and then his departure shall be rather a pilgrimage, then an expulsion, and a be­nefite then a banishment.

Thirdly, he must heare God speake vnto him in the Scripture,Ioh. 10.27. (for it is his voice) and hee must speake, and haue familiar speech and conference with our God by prayer, and then hee shall haue God for his companion, and the holy Ghost for his Comforter.

Fourthly, he must not delight in their conuersation and company, that deride and despise him, and by abode with whom he cannot receiue any good infor­mation, but much defilement: and ther­fore in this regard he must preferre re­ligion and a good conscience before coun­try and natiue soile.

Lastly, hee hath the benefite of his priuatenes, and liueth in peace without distraction, or disturbance, and therfore [Page 146] he must by the aduantage hereof, betake himselfe to diuine studies and medita­tions.

Q. Propound and deliuer some hea­uenly consolations against bondage and thraldome.

A. First, it is the greatest bondage to be captiuated and enthralled to sinne and Satan,Ioh. 8.35. & 36. Rom. 5.1. from which slauery Gods children are by grace fréede; for their con­sciences are at peace with God, and they are the seruants of God, whose seruice is perfect fréedome.

Secondly, this bondage is greatly mitigated, yea sugred and swéetned to Gods children: for God doth not one­ly restraine and moderate the enemies malice, but also (sometimes) greatly ho­nour, preferre and exalt them: examples whereof we haue in Ioseph, Jeremie, Daniel, Sidrack, Mesheck, Abednego, in Hester, Mardocheus, and diuers o­thers.

Thirdly, death putteth a terme and end to this bondage, (if wee find not deliuerance long before) and why can­not we a while expect this yeare of our absolute fréedome, and euerlasting Iu­biley?

[Page 147]Lastly, Gods children are Christs frée­men,Iob 8.15. being redeemed and ransomed by his bloud,Phil. 3.20. Joh 3.25. and they are free Denizens of heauen, hauing euerlasting life in be­ginning, and being (by faith) secured of the full possession of it, and therefore though for a time they bee plunged in many euils, yet they can neuer perish: for they are afflicted, but not forsaken, tried, but not tired out.

Q. What is the quintessence or spe­ciall vse of all these propositions and conclusions?

A. First, hence wee may take no­tice of the miserable estate of wicked worldlings and vngodly men, who though they enioy outward wealth, ease and liberty, yet are they drudges to the world, vassals and slaues vnto sinne, & cursed caitiffes; for they are locked in golden fetters, and shut vp in the pri­son of their own sinnefull desires, which is the worst kind of bondage.

Secondly, let vs serue the Lord our God, and not Satan, Sinne, nor Anti­christ, and then we are Gods frée men, & no bondage can impeach, or hinder our spirituall liberty and happines.

Thirdly, farre bee it from vs to con­temne [Page 148] or misiudge any of Gods chil­dren for their outward seruitude and bondage, vnto which, tyranny and ini­quity of times, doe or may enwrappe them; but let vs pray to God to fur­nish them with ioy, and the spirit of long suffering,Ezech. 18.16. Esa. 58.7. and in his good time to ridde and deliuer them: wee must also (by occasion) freely and franckly contribute to their necessities, for they are our owne flesh and bloud, borne of the same both naturall and spirituall seede, brea­thing of the same aire; and seruants to the same God.

Lastly, when we are thus restrained and distressed, it behoueth vs timely and truely to repent vs of our sinnes, for otherwise we are to expect no miti­gation; much lesse a spéedy deliuerance out of our misery.

Q. What comforts against violent nakednesse caused by flight, or the ene­mies vnmercifulnesse?

Psal. 22.18. Mat. 27.28 A. First, Christ our blessed Sauiour was stript of his raiment, and hath san­ctified this euill vnto vs, and hath turned the shame of it into glory.

Secondly, very many of Gods excellent seruants haue béene thus [Page 149] shamefully misused by their enemies. Basil saith, that forty Martyres were turned out naked to bee starued in the cold of the night, and afterwards to bee burned.

Thirdly, they must count it for some benefit and blessing, that the enemy doth onely spoile them of their garments, and not of their liues.

Fourthly, though they endure shame and reproch of the world,Heb. 12.2▪ yet it maketh them not vnhappy: for Christ suffered the shame of the crosse to make them ho­nourable.

Fifthly, the enemie cannot possibly disrobe, dismantle, and despoile them of the garments of Christ, his holines and righteousnesse, wherewith they are clo­thed, and wherewith their deformities are couered.

Sixthly,Rom. 8.38 this is but a temporary and fatherly correction, and can neuer sepa­rate any of Gods children from his loue.

Lastly, it is not the gay garments but godlines, not outward pompe but piety that maketh men honourable: as for the proud mans honour, it is in his garment and not in his person.

Q. What vse are we to make hereof?

[Page 150] A. First, let it be a shame to vs to be called naughty, rather then naked.

Secondly, though Gods enemies rob his children of their garments,Esay. 58.7. let vs in our charity cloath them.

Lastly, let vs by faith put on the Lord Iesu, and then we shall neuer bee found naked; for he onely is naked who hath lost Christ.

Q. Why doth God suffer so many of his best beloued Saints and seruants to be massacred and murdered by the ene­mies sword?

A. First, we herein must rather reue­rence and admire Gods secret, yet iust procéedings, then curiously to diue and enquire into the ground and reason of them; and wée must assure our selues that the end is good, albeit our dulnes cannot so well apprehend it. For Gods purposes and decrees attaine vnto their holy and appointed ends, no otherwise then certaine riualets (though they va­nish out of our sight, and are hidden vn­der the earth) are carried and conuey themselues into the sea.

Secondly, by the effusion and spil­ling of their innocent bloud, the number of true professors is both manifested & [Page 151] multiplied, and the bloudy butchers and Bonners, either conuerted (albeit most rarely) or else conuinced and left vnex­cusable.

Thirdly, though the enemies thinke to root out the Church, and the name and memory of true Christians; yet God doth and will crosse and curse their de­signes: for contrary to their expectati­on the Gospell is more published and proclaimed, the innocency of Gods chil­dren more cléered and testified; and their madnes and badnes made known vnto all the world.

Lastly, the sufferings of the Martyrs doth procure vnto them a greater mea­sure of glorie in heauen: but tyrants, heretikes, persecutors runne themselues out of breath, and draw vpon them­selues the greater damnation.

Q. How are we to arme and comfort our selues against this kind of death?

A. First, they are blessed that die in the Lord,Apoc. 7.13. and for the Lord; they are glo­rious in Gods sight, and are arayed in long white robes.

Secondly, they do not lose their liues but find them, and incomparably better them: Luk. 9.

[Page 152]Thirdly, the sword toucheth the gar­ment of the bodie, but not the soule, nor their faith: for God herein dealeth with his children, as the Persians in puni­shing some noble Personage; for they take away his garment and his hat, and hang them vp in some place, and all to beat them, as though they were the man himselfe: so they (by Gods ouer­ruling hand) doe not touch our soules and our faith, but beate onely the gar­ment of our persons.

Aug. de Cr [...]. Dei l. 3. c. [...].Fourthly, they that die for Christ, re­ceiue some what of death, that it be [...]al not whol [...] vnto them.

Lastly, their innocent bloud which the persecutors haue shed and sucked, crieth like the bloud of Abel to the Heauens for vengeance against them, and they with the soules in the Apo­calypse that were killed for the word of God,Gen. 4. crie with a lowd voice, say­ing; How long Lord, holy and true, doest thou not iudge and auenge our bloud on them that dwell on the earth? Apoc. 6.10 and this their crie the iust Lord, doth & néeds must heare and regard.

Q What vse are we to make here­of?

[Page 153] A. First, we must neuer promise to our selues long prosperity, or immunitie from persecution; but wee must pre­pare and strengthen our selues against the time of triall and martyrdome: and though it bee not our lot alwaies to die for the Lord Iesu, and his blessed truth; yet we must be Martyrs in desire and affection, and then God will accept the will for the deed: for there is Marty­rium sine flamm [...], i. a martyrdome with­out a fagot.

Secondly, we must not estéeme, nor thinke the firie tryall as some strange thing,1 Pet. 4.12. but reioyce in as much as wee are (hereby) made partakers of Christ his sufferings, that when his glory shall appeare, wee may bée gladde and re­ioice.

Thirdly, wee must comfort and stay our selues in the expectation of the feare­full end that abideth Gods enemies;ver. 17. Psal. 37.9. they shall soone be cut off, their pompe shall be despised and soon vanish away▪ Psal. 73.19. They are Gods rods to cor­rect and disciplinate his children by, who when they haue done their office, must bée cast into the fire and consu­med.

[Page 154] Esa. 10.21.22.Lastly, there is no persecution so ge­nerall and grieuous, but many shall bée preserued in it, and from it; and after long wrestling, God will grant a brea­thing time.

Q. What if Gods children cannot be suffered to bee buried when they are dead, what shall wee iudge of them, or how shall we comfort our selues against this euill?

A. Their dead bodies are members of Christ, temples of the holy Ghost; and they shall rise againe in glory to eternall life; therefore we may not iudge them accursed.

Secondly, the want of buriall doth nothing hurt them, as the performance of it doth nothing profite the wicked: & as for these funerall solemnities, they are rather viuorum solatia, quam mor­tuorum auxilia, id est. Comforts for the liuing, then helps for the dead.

Thirdly, many of Gods Saints, yea some most blessed Martyres,Apoc. 11.8 haue wanted buriall, Psal 79.2. and yet haue béene receiued vp into glory. Apoc. 11. ver. 12.

Fourthly, other euils, (as death by drowning, by fire, by earthquakes, by [Page 155] the fall of houses, by the cruell rage of wild beasts, &c.) are as much (if not more) to be feared.

Fifthly, Tegitur coelo qui non ha­bet vrnam, The skie is to them in stead of a coffin.

Sixthly,Iob. 19.25.26. though some Personages be neuer so sumptuously entombed and gloriously buried, yet must the worms (in the body) consume the bodies of such.

Seuenthly, the want of buriall (though it is a curse to Gods enemies, who perish both in soule and body) yet it is but a fatherly, and fauourable chastice­ment to his children, and can neuer part, nor diuorce them from him and his loue.

Lastly,Apoc. 14.13. though sometimes the dead bodies of Gods Saints want buriall, yet they féele no smart; and their soules in glorie cannot, and do not behold the loth­somnes of their vnburied bodies.

Q. What vse is to bee made here­of?

A. First, we must not (so much) trou­ble our selues about this matter, but commit the disposition of our dead corps to Gods prouidence, and the care of the [Page 156] liuing.

Secondly, let vs bury our sinnes in Christ his graue and sepulchre, and then the want of buriall and funerall solem­nities shall neither shame vs,Rom. 6.3. & 4. nor harm vs.

Lastly, if in the heate of personall persecution the bodies of Gods saints knowne vnto vs, and neare vs, do want buriall, wee must (after the manner of those deuoute brethren that buried Stephen) enterre them;Act. 8.2. for hereby we do not onely testifie our loue and reuerence towards them, but also declare our good hope of their glorious resurrection.

Q. By what speciall considerations are we to arme and hearten our selues against persecutions?

A. First, wee know it is the lot of Gods children to bee persecuted of the wicked in euery generation,Apoc. 12.17. but most notably in the raigne and rage of Anti­christ. For they that are borne after the flesh will persecute them that are borne after the spirit,Gal. 4.29. and therefore why should wee bee so offended at persecutions, hauing so many compartners, and com­panions herein.

[Page 157]Secondly, that we are hereby made con [...]ormable vnto Christ our Captaine, leader and guide, and therefore if wee suffer with him, we shal raign with him.

Thirdly, that Gods power and his goodnes doth as much appeare in pri­uatiue blessings as in positiue: for God is with vs in trouble,Psa. 76.9. & 10. he (when it plea­seth him) represseth the power, & chec­keth the malice of the enemy, refor­meth and refineth vs, and giueth a ioy­full issue, euasion and euent to our af­flictions.

Fourthly, that persecution is a badge, ensign, and ornament of the true church; for hereby open enemies take occasion to oppose themselues against Gods ser­uants, and hypocrites; and time seruers are discouered.

Fifthly,Heb. 5.8. that persecution is a schoole-master to make vs vnderstand Gods will, and a plaine commentary of Gods word; for wee learne that by experience, which we heard by the publik ministery.

Lastly, persecution is good for Gods children whether they escape it, or die by it; for God doth order it for their profite and happines, and they are gainers by it many wayes. Luk.

[Page 158] Q. What duties are wee to performe in persecution?

A. First, we are to prepare our selues against it by daily mortification, and by the experience of the swéet and heauenly societie that wee haue with our blessed God that dwelleth in vs,1 Cor. 15.30.31. and so we shal learne to die daily.

Secondly, let vs be assured that we suffer as Christians,1 Pet. 4.16 and not as malefa­ctors, and then wée are not to bee asha­med, but to glorifie God in that behalfe. For we are Gods Worthies, and his champions, placed in the theatre of the world, and if we fight stoutely & wisely in our Lords quarrell and cause, he wil honour and aduance vs accordingly both here, and hereafter.

Thirdly, because persecution is not onely a triall, but also a correction for our sinnes, wee must entreat the Lord to pardon them, and then the flame of affliction shall brighten vs, but not burne vs, scoure vs but not consume vs.

Fourthly, we must possesse our soules and the graces of God by our patience: we must seeke the Lord in our trouble,2 Chr. 15.4 and he will be found of vs; and it is our [Page 159] dutie with Moses (for our encourage­ment) more to looke vnto the infinite and transcendent measure of reward in the kingdome of heauen, then eyther the Sunne-shine of present prosperity, or the blustering windes of persecuti­on.

Fifthly, persecution doth only touch the vestment and garment of our body, but cannot reach vnto the fort of our faith, nor the hold of our heart, and there­fore it ought the lesse to astonish and distract vs.

Sixthly, let it bee our wisedome and practise in the blustering tempests, and the weltering waues of the worlds per­secutions, to adhere vnto, and stand fast vpon Christ the rocke; and then wee shall not néede to feare the waues vn­der vs, much lesse dread drowning.

Lastly, if it please God temporally to deliuer vs, let vs receiue Gods precious word with greater ioy: for when men and outward meanes faile vs, it wil be a staffe and stay to vs in all our tribula­tions, and fill vs full of comfort and hope:Rom. 5.4. Psal 19.7.8. for the law of the Lord is per­fite, conuerting the soule, the testimo­ny of the Lord is sure, and giueth wise­dome [Page 160] to the simple, the statutes of the Lord are right and reioice the heart, the commaundement of the Lord is pure, & giueth light to the eyes. Let vs praise and magnifie God for our gratious deliuerance,Amos. 6.6. let vs remember Ioseph his afflictions, and helpe our persecu­ted brethren by our goods and money (if wee can): and (at least) by our prai­ers and intercessions: for this eui­dently proueth that we are fee­ling members of the same mysticall body, wherof Christ is the head.1 Cor. 12 26.

CHAP. XI. The generall vse and application of the whole Treatise.

THe quintessence of all that hath beene former­ly and at large in this treatise handled, may be aptly and pithily redu­ced to these [...]ew conclusi­ons fol [...]owing.

First, that man by his first creation, was pure, holy, innocent, and liued in a most happy and blissefull estate.

Secondly, that hee by his voluntarie fall, and apostasie from God, and from his former integrity, hath in soule and body corrupted himselfe and all his po­sterity; and not onely depriued himselfe & all his sucsessours, of all originall holi­nesse and happinesse; but also, wholly subiected them & himselfe▪ to all plagues and miseries, both temporall and eter­nall▪

[Page 162]Thirdly, that sinne is very distaste­full, odious, and stinking in Gods taste, sight, and nostrils; for otherwise the most iust Lord, would neuer so grieuously, nor with such variety of plagues and punish­ments execute his indignation, not only vpon men of yéeres, but also vpon the ve­ry infants that haue committed no actu­all transgression.

Fourthly, the Lord, that draweth light out of darknesse, life out of death, and in iudgement remembreth mercy, hath giuen his onely sonne Iesus Christ to die, to make a perfect satisfaction to his iustice,1 Iohn. 2. l. 2. for the sinnes of all the elect, and to be a perpetuall intercessour for them; so that they are not onely freed from the guilt, dominion, and euerlasting punish­ment of sinne, but also entitled vnto, and shall in time certainely possesse euerla­sting and vnspeakable glorie and holi­nesse.

Fifthly, that Christ hath by vertue of faith in his death and merits, transna­tured and changed to all his elect, the temporarie and eternall plagues and pu­nishments of sinne, into certaine gentle, momentanie, & fatherlie corrections and chastisments.

[Page 163]Sixthly, that God hath not left his people, in their crosses, temptations, and afflictions, without hope, helpe, and remedie; but hath giuen them the sacred and all sufficient Scriptures, to instruct, direct, and to confirme and comfort their soules and cosciences in all distresses, inward and outward; in all afflictions, and against all scandals & persecutions whatsoeuer.

Seuenthly, God hath prouided for his people, Ministers, by their pure pre­ching, and iudicious writings, to resolue them in all doubts; and christian friends and acquaintance, to solace and support them: Wherefore wée must daily blesse God for his infinite mercy in Christ; attend vnto, and consult the Scrip­tures, our pastours and christian bre­thren.

Eighthly, wée must make vse of the treatises and volumes of godly learned men, who haue trauelled to good purpose in this kind.

Ninthly, wée must in our afflictions and distresses, find out, confesse and be­waile, our particular sinnes, and ear­nestly entreat God, for Christ his sake to pardon them; for they are the merito­rious [Page 164] causes of all our miseries.

Tenthly, we in our miseries and trou­bles, must not murmurre and repine a­gainst God, nor vse any vnlawfull meanes of ease and deliuerance, much lesse despaire of Gods gracious mercy & helpe; but wée ought to commend our soules, bodies, and outward state to Gods blessed gouernment and promises; wee must desire direction, and the spirit of strength and constancie from God, and in hope & patience, waite vpon him, vntill hée haue mercy vpon vs.

Eleuenthly, wée in our prosperity, must prepare our selues against aduersi­ty; and wee must with such a sympathy and fellow féeling, remember them that are in affliction, and so endeauour to re­léeue and resolue them, as if we were al­so afflicted in the body. Heb. 13.3.

Lastly, when we are recouered out of any temptation, or deliuered out of any trouble, we must giue God all the glory of it: and in our rest and prosperity, g [...] ­ther grace and strength, & so hearten our selues, against the next temptation.

Now the God of all grace and conso­lation, for Christ Iesus his sake, so di­rect and instruct vs by his blessed spirit. [Page 165] to performe all these duties, that his Maiestie may haue all the glorie, his Church and children good examples of imitation; and we our selues haue ioy and comfort in this world, and eternall Saluation in the next: Amen.

A LARGE TABLE, CON­taining the chiefe points, heads, and particulars, that are handled and applied in both the Bookes of this CHRISTIAN ARMORIE.

The first Booke.

  • THe originall of mans sinne and miserie.
  • What sinne is.
  • Who is the subiect of it.
  • What be the kinds of it.
  • What is originall sinne.
  • The titles and names of it.
  • The parts, causes, and vses of it.
  • Why the corruption of it remaineth in Gods children.
  • What was Adams fall.
  • What was the obiect of it.
  • Why the eating of an Apple was so grieuously punished.
  • The instrumentall and formall cause of his fall.
  • How God did forsake our first parents.
  • Why did God permit their fall.
  • How it can stand with Gods iustice, that all A­dams [Page] posterity should smart for his sinne.
  • How can Adams personall sinne be imputed to his posterity.
  • How can parents deriue corruption vnto their children.
  • The parents doe not beget the soules of their children, how can they then infuse corruption into them.
  • What vse are we to make hereof.
  • What is actuall sinne.
  • The o [...]iginall of it.
  • The inward and outward causes of it.
  • The difference betweene originall and actuall sinne.
  • What followeth sinne.
  • Whether afflictions and temporall euils be (pro­perly) cur [...]es and satisfactions to Gods iustice.
  • How are they qualified to the beleeuers.
  • The sinnes of Gods el [...]ct are forgiuen, and why are not the chastisements with a [...]l remoud.
  • The vse of the point.
  • What the crosse is.
  • Why no [...]eruant of God is freed from it.
  • What is to bee thought of them that feele no crosse.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Whether that the crosse be good or not.
  • For what ends God doth crosse and afflict his c [...]ildren.
  • Wh [...] doe not the same ends, effects, and euents [Page] appeare in the wicked.
  • Arguments to mooue vs to patience vnder the crosse.
  • Comfortable conclusions and meditations a­gainst the crosse.
  • What duties are to bee performed towards the afflicted.
CHAP. IIII. How the Crosse is to bee diuided and distinguished.
  • What comforts are there against warre.
  • Comfo [...]ts and holy counsaile for them that are foiled in battaile.
  • What duties are to be performed in time of war
  • Comforts against ciuill warre.
  • What duties are then to be performed.
  • Whether that the plague be infectious or not.
  • Whether a Christian may lawfully flee i [...] the time of the plague.
  • Certain obiections answered.
  • The duty of them that flee.
  • The duties of them that abide at home.
  • Why God somtimes, doth by the pestilence cut downe and destroy so many thousands.
  • Heauenly meditations against the plague.
  • The duties that the visited persons are to per­forme towards God, themselues and their neighbours.
  • Meditations against death and famine.
  • [Page]What are the outward causes of it.
  • What vse is to be made hereof.
  • For what speciall sinnes it is sent.
  • Duties to be practised.
  • Comforts against wrong and oppression.
  • The duties of the oppressed.
  • Manifold meditations and comforts against po­uerty and want.
  • The vse of pouerty.
  • Comforts and directions for them that feare po­uerty, by reason of a great charge of children.
  • Comforts against meannesse and basenesse of birth and parentage.
  • For what ends doth God expose his children to so many losses
  • Comforts against the spoile and losse of worldly goods.
  • Duties then to be performed.
  • Comforts and directions for them that are co­sened and defrauded.
  • Duties then to be performed.
  • What sicknesse is.
  • Who is the author of it.
  • The end why it is inflicted.
  • The procuring cause of it.
  • Spirituall comforts against it.
  • Duties to be performed.
  • Comforts against sharpnesse and violence of sicknesse.
  • [Page]How a Christian must then behaue himselfe.
  • Comforts against the long cōtinuance of sicknes.
  • Comforts for them that cannot sleepe.
  • Comforts for the sicke that cannot goe out of doores.
  • Comforts for them that are in their sicknes, fal­led and forsaken of their friends and kinsfolke.
  • Duties then to be performed.
  • Consolations against the concurrence of many euils,
  • Comforts against paines in childbearing.
  • Comforts against old age.
  • How an old man must behaue himselfe.
CHAP. X. Of Death.
  • What death is.
  • The procuring cause of it.
  • The imposer of it.
  • What it is in it owne nature.
  • What it is to Gods children.
  • Why regenerate men die.
  • Why are not the bodies of Gods Saints depar­ted, glorified together with their soules.
  • Why the bodies of Henoch and Elias died not, but were rapt vp into heauen.
  • Why infants die.
  • Whether that sudden death be a curse.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Whether it be lawfull to pray against sudden death or not.
  • Comforts against violent death by the enemies sword.
CHAP. XI. Of the supposed euils that death bringeth.
  • Comforts against the vntimely death of worthy men in authoritie.
  • What vse we are to make of their vntimely deth▪
  • Comforts against the death of friends, and bene­factors.
CHAP. XII. Comforts against the death of kinsfolke.
  • Comforts for him that hath parted with a good wife.
  • Comforts for a wife that hath lost a good hus­band.
  • Comforts for parents that haue parted with vertuous Children.
  • The vse that is to be made thereof.
  • Comforts for poore Orphanes, that want father and mother.
  • Their duties.
  • Comforts against the death of brethrē & sisters.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Comforts for a married man that dieth without Children.
CHAP. XIII. Of the priuatiue benefits of Death.
  • What be the euills that death freeth Gods chil­dren from.
  • [Page]What vse is to be made hereof.
  • Wheth [...]r it bee lawfull for any man to kill him­selfe that hee may bee eased of his present paine.
  • Whether that death is to be feared.
  • In what respects death is to be feared.
  • In what respects it is not to be feared.
  • How we are to be defended against the fear of it.
  • What are [...]he positiue ben [...]fits of death▪
  • Whether that a man (in this mortality) can haue a tast of eternall life.
  • What considerations and practises are necessary her [...] unto.
  • How he must ground these meditations in his hart.
  • Why do regenerate men die.
  • Whether that death may be desired.
  • In what respects.
  • Whether it be lawfull to desi [...]e life.
  • What is required that a man may die well.
  • Whether that preparation against death bee ne­cessary.
  • Wherein it doth consist.
  • What are the meditations.
  • What duties must the sicke man performe to­wards God.
  • Why so.
  • What duties must he perfo [...]me▪ to his neighbour.
  • What duties must he perfo [...]me▪ to his owne familie.
  • What duties is he to pe [...]form towards himselfe.
  • What will follow vpon the performance of these duties.
  • VVhat is a right disposition in death.
  • VVhether that it be necessary.
  • The parts of it.
  • VVhat it is to die in faith.
  • [Page]What is the benefit hereof.
  • How is faith to be expressed.
  • What is it to die in obedience.
  • How is this duty to be performed.
  • What it is to surrender our soules into Gods hands.
  • Comforts against death.
  • What vse is to be made hereof.
CHAP. XIIII. Of Personall and particular euils.
  • Comforts against impotency and deformity of body.
  • Comforts against lamenesse, blindnesse, deafe­nesse, dumbnesse.
CHAP. XV. Of outward particular euils, or crosses.
  • Comforts against euill husbands.
  • Comforts against euill wiues.
  • Comforts against euill children.
  • Comforts against euill and vnfaithfull Seruants.
  • Comforts against euill Lords and Masters.
CHAP. XVI. Of priuate euils that are from without vs.
  • Comforts against shrewd mothers in lawe.
  • Comforts for them that receiue foiles and repul­ses in lawfull suites.
  • Counsaile and comfort for such as are either vn­done or much decayed by [...]uretiship.
  • Comforts for them whose good seruice is nei­ther respected, no [...] rewarded.
  • [Page]Comforts against barrennes in wiues.
  • Comforts against false imprisonment.
  • Comforts for them that are oppressed in their lawfull suite.
CHAP. XVII. Of extraordinary euils to which the bodies of men are subiect.
  • What is witchcraft.
  • Whether that Gods children can be bewitched.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Why doth God suffer his children to bee thus tormented.
  • What vse is to be made of the point.
  • Why doth Satan seeke rather to annoy Gods children then the reprobate.
  • The spirituall remedies against witchcraft.
  • What possession is.
  • Whether that there be any in these daies.
  • Whether there can yet be any possession, seeing that the miraculous gift of expelling them, is ceased.
  • Whether the Demoniaks in Christ his time, were possessed by the diuell, or only obsessed or tormented from without.
  • Whether that any of Gods children were, are, or can be possessed by Satan.
  • Generall comforts and directions against pos­session.
  • The duties of the possessed.
  • What duties are the friends and those that at­tend vpon the possessed, to performe.

The second booke.

CHAP. I. Of anguish of mind and distresse of Conscience.
  • VVHat distresse of mind is.
  • Why of all crosses and troubles it is the greatest.
  • Why doth God sometimes try and exercise his children by so great afflictions.
  • Comforts against the long continuāce of them.
  • From what cau [...]es distresse of mind ariseth.
  • VVhat comfortable m [...]ditations are necessary for the regaining the losse of Gods gratious fauour once sweetly felt.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Comforts for those that are troubled in consci­ence for some notable sinne committed.
  • Comforts against the long continuance of in­ward and outward troubles.
  • What melancholy is.
  • How it causeth distresse of conscience.
  • How it differeth from trouble of conscience.
  • Comfort against sadnes and heauinesse of mind.
  • Comforts against fearefull dreames.
  • Practises to preuent it.
  • Comforts and remedies for him that is weary of this life by reason of troubles and discontent­ments.
  • [Page]What desperation is.
  • How it is (ordinarily) caused.
  • Meditations and remedies against it.
  • The vse of the doctrine.
  • Comforts against the fear of the last iudgement.
  • The vse of it.
  • Comforts against the feare of Hell.
CHAP. II. Of doubtings.
  • Why God doth suffer his children, to bee perse­cuted with doubtings.
  • Whether that they can be thus distressed.
  • Why it is proper to them, to be this way temp­ted and afflicted.
  • The meanes to suppresse doubtings.
  • What practises are good for this purpose. Comforts & resolutions, for them that doubt of their adoption, by reason of the number & greatnesse of their sinnes.
  • What be the meanes to remoue these doubtings.
  • Resolution for him that doubteth, whether that Christ be his Sauiour in particular, or not.
  • Whether that hypocrites and prophane persons can, or do, euer soundly apply Gods generall promises.
  • Whether a weake and a doubting faith, be a true faith, or not.
  • Comforts for them that are to encounter with most dangerous temptations, in discharging their particular callings.
  • Whether that the diuersitie of interpretation of Scriptures, bee any sufficient argument to prooue that they are not Gods word.
  • How canne the preaching and reading of them, [Page] make some worse if that they bee Gods word.
  • Why God suffereth the faith of his Saints to la­bour of so many doubts.
CHAP. III. Of imperfections in prayer and sanctification.
  • The duties that a Christian is to performe when hee perceiueth many imperfections in his prayers.
  • The vse of them.
  • Whether that dulnesse and drowsines in prayer can stand with true sanctification.
  • The vse that is to be made hereof.
  • Whether euill and vaine thoughts in prayer can consist with true sanctification.
  • What course a christian must take for his helpe heerin.
  • Comforts for them whose prayers God delayeth
  • Whether that a regenerate man may bee negli­gent and remisse in the duties of thāksgiuing.
  • Remedies for a mans recouery herein.
  • What practises are necessary.
CHAP. IIII. Of often falling into, and continuance of a man, in one and the same sinne.
  • Whether that a regenerate man can fall eftsoons into one and the same sinne.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Whether a true sanctified man can possibly he long in one and the same sinne.
  • The vse of it.
CHAP. V. Of small profiting by the word and Sacraments.
  • Whether little profiting by the ministery of the word and Sacraments, be no profiting at al.
  • The vse of the question.
  • Comforts and directions for him that is dull in conceiuing and vnderstanding Gods word.
  • Directions & comforts for Gods child that is troubled with a weake memorie.
  • What meanes are good to cure hardnes of hart.
  • Counsaile and directions for them that com­plaine that they feele no present encrease of faith and comfort by the Lords supper.
  • How a man is to prepare himselfe before hee heare the word of God, or receiue the Sacra­ments.
  • What wee must iudge of them that hauing a great desire to obey, faile in the act of obedi­ence.
  • Whether Gods children be at any time assaulted with blasphemous thoughts.
  • How blasphemous thoughts arising from within vs, are to be reformed, or remoued.
  • How wee must arme our selues against blasphe­mous thoughts obiected from without vs.
CHAP. VI. Of scandales and offences.
  • VVhat a scandall is?
  • [Page]Why God permitteth it.
  • What are the kinds of it.
  • What is a scandall giuen.
  • Of how many kinds it is.
  • The vse that is to be made of scandals giuen.
  • How a Christian shall or must preserue himselfe against the scandall and contagion of false doctrine.
  • What duties he is to practise herein.
  • How a Christian may stay and comfort himselfe in a generall apostasie from the Gospell of Christ.
  • What duties he is to practise at such a time.
  • Comforts against the scandal of false excommu­nication.
  • Comforts against the scandall of innocency op­pressed.
  • Why God doth so seuerely handle holy and in­nocent men.
  • The vse of the point.
  • Comforts and directions for weake Christians, that are offended at the loose life, and vile practises of some professo [...]s.
  • What practises are then necessary.
  • Comforts against the apostasie of eminent and famous persons.
  • How we may preuent it in our selues.
  • Whether popish Martyrs be true martyrs.
  • We may preserue our selues from this scandall.
  • How a man is to arme and comfort himselfe a­gainst factions, schismes, and diuisions preuai­ling in the Church.
  • How we must behaue our selues at such a time.
  • Consolations against euill & vnquiet neighbors.
  • Consolations against false and fained friends.
  • Comforts for Princes that are troubled with [Page] euill and disobedient subiects.
  • Comforts for subiects wronged and oppressed.
  • Comforts and directions against the scandall of euill, idle, and offensiue Ministers.
  • Comforts and directions against a generall cor­ruption in manners.
  • What is an offence taken.
  • What are the causes of it.
  • Comforts against the offence that wicked men take against vs.
  • How shall Gods children comfort themselues when wicked men are offended at their law­full vse of things indifferent.
  • Comforts against afflictions of good men.
  • How shall Gods children reforme themselues, or resolue their minds, that are scandalized at the long raigne and prosperity of tyrants and persecutors.
  • Reasons to remoue Gods children from concei­uing offence at the long impunity of euill do­ers.
  • Why God doth not alike punish in this world, all euill doers, but spareth many.
  • Why doth God in the execution of publike iudg­ments, as of warre, pestilence, famine, include the good with the wicked.
CHAP. IX. Touching Persecution.
  • What persecution is.
  • [Page]Whether that persecutours in any generation, doe, or can, roote out the Church.
  • For what ends God doth suffer his Church and children to be so persecuted.
  • Who are Gods instruments herein.
  • Why doth God vse the ministerie of wicked men in the chastising of his children.
  • Why wicked men do so persecute the godly.
  • Whether that in persecution, Gods children may not lawfully vse all good meanes to pre­serue themselues.
  • Whether that Gods children be gainers by per­secution.
  • Reasons to mooue vs to constancie.
  • What practices are necessary for this purpose.
  • What duties are wee to performe towards the persecuted.
  • The kinds of persecution.
  • Comforts against contempt.
  • How wee must behaue our selues when wee are contemned.
  • What enuie is.
  • How a Christian must, or should arme himselfe against it.
  • What vse are we to make hereof.
  • Comforts against hatred and malice.
  • Whether that wee may lawfullie hate them that hate vs.
  • How are we to behaue our selues, when wee are maligned and hated.
  • Comforts against slander.
  • How the belied and slandered, should behaue themselues.
  • [Page]Comforts against whipping.
  • Comforts against the violent taking away of our goods, by the publike enemie.
  • What duties must wee then performe, when we are thus violently handled.
  • Comforts against exile and banishment.
  • How must wee behaue our selues, when wee are banished out of our country.
  • Comforts against slauerie and bondage.
  • What vse are we to make hereof.
  • Consolations against nakednesse.
  • Why God suffereth so many of his children, to be deuoured by the sword.
  • Comforts against this violent kind of death.
  • What vse is to be made hereof.
  • Comforts against the want of Christian buriall.
  • What vse is to be made hereof.
  • Speciall considerations and consolations, against all kind of persecutions.
  • What duties we must then performe.
  • The generall vse, and application, or the breue and epitome, of the whole treatise.

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