THE CHVRCHES Securitie, Togither with the Anti­dote or preservative of ever waking Faith. A treatise conteyning many fruitefull instructions, moralities and consolations fit for the time and age wherein wee live. Hereunto is annexed a sound and profitable trea­tise of the generall signes and fore­runners of the last judgement. By THOMAS DRAX.

Happy are those servants, whom the Lord when hee com­meth shall finde waking. Luk. 12. vers. 37.

AT LONDON Imprinted by George Eld, and are to be sold by John Wright at his shoppe at Christ­church Gate. 1608.

SALOMONS SONG. Chap. 5. verse. 2.‘I sleepe, but mine heart waketh.’

FOr as much as Christ Iesus the sonne of God, our blessed Sauiour, our holy harmlesse vndefiled hight [...]riest, separate from sinners, and made higher then the heauens, was subi [...]ct to the like infir­mities, and temptations in all things (as wee are,) but without sinne, and that which amongst other temptations, his three-fold combate and conflict with the diuell, doth demonstrate, wee must not thinke it strange, or take it offensiuely, that wee that are but his members, his seruants, yea and most miserable and sinfull creatures should be liable, and subiect to the temptations, and assaults of the world, fl [...]sh, and the diuell. For first we must bee conformable vnto Christ our head. Secondly Satans m [...]lice, and rage against vs, especially in these last dayes wherein hee perceiueth his time to bee so sh [...]rt, Apoc. 12. ver▪ 12. is restl [...]sse and vnpea [...]able. Lastly euery Christian man, yea the most perfect beleeuer that liueth vpon the earth, by reason of his manifold ignorances, slips, errors, drowsinesse, defects, imperfections, doth (if God and grace preuent not) minister and affoord continuall matter, and occasion for the tempter to assault him, yea and to worke vpon him. Therefore, as Christ Iesus was assaulted with three speciall temptations, Math. 4. ver. 3. whereof the first was directed to remoue him from his sonne-like confidence in God. The second, to puffe vp his m [...]nde with rash presumption in the protection of God.vers. [...]. And the third to blast, and infect his minde with the venemous vapour of ambition, and coue­tousnesse, all which he resisted, and ouer-came by the scrip­ture, and word of God: euen so here in the Cantickles the church was encountered with three sorts of temptations, [Page 2] though in forme and kinde differing from Christ his temp­tations. The first which is the best, and most holy tempta­tion,Canti 2. 4. was her Loue-sicknesse, or falling into a swound, by rea­son of the sight of the great prouision, and spirituall dain­ties that Christ had prepared for the Church. Answerably herevnto Peter in the trans [...]iguration of Christ was so ra­uished, and surprised with the sweetnesse of that momen­tanie glory, that hee imagined Christ his kingdome and glory to be earthly, and did plaee the blisfull happinesse of the Saints in this trans [...]tory and troublesome world, which alone is to be sought in heauen. And proportionably here­vnto Paul (whether in the body,2 Co [...]. [...]2. 4. or out of it, he knew not, and therefore it is not in our knowledge to determine) was rapt v [...]into the third heauen, or Paradise, and h [...]ard words which canot be spoken, & which it is impossible for mā to vtter.

The second temptation wherein (as also in the next fol­lowing) the Church more bewraieth her corruption,Cap. 3. vers. 1. 2. 3. is the feare (which commeth from infidelitie) in the Church, least she had lost Christ; yet so qualified, as thereby the spirit kindleth in her more paines, and studie, both to seeke to attaine vnto Christ more neerely, and to apprehend him more firmely, and in a while after that all the meanes had beene vsed, shee findeth Christ, and renueth and reuiueth her faith in him.

The third, and last temptation, which is worldly drow­sinesse,Cap. 5. 2. 3. 4. and some kinde of securitie, incident to the Church, and children of God; the bitternesse, and extremity where­of was, that shee fell into a swound, that is, she for the time, was almost in despaire of her saluation, as one depriued of feeling and comfort of grace: But at length by communi­cation with her friends concerning Christ his excellencie, and the place where he was gone, her faith beginneth to re­uiue, & she assureth her selfe that Christ is hers, & she is his. And this is the third,Vers. 17. 18. and last temptation, wherin we meane to insist. The originall, briefe & substance of it is conteined in these words; I sleepe, that is, I am some-what secure, and carelesse, and keepe not that watch against the pleasures of this life, and the baites & hookes of the world as I should, and am bound to doe.

[Page 3] Then followeth a limitation, or exception in these words. But mine heart waketh, that is, my [...]aith appre­hendeth, and holdeth Christ, and I doe not suffer my de­light, and ioy in him to cease, and determine.

In the temptation comprized in these words, I sleepe, two things are to be considered. First the Churches wink­ing, or slumbering. Secondly the confession, and acknow­ledgment of her faulte, and offence.

In that the Church is here sayd to sleepe, or slumber, yet so as that shee discerneth off,1. Obser. notwithstanding that her heart, that is, her faith, and better part waked, laied hold on, and found sweere repose, and contentment in Christ. We learne hence this doctrine, and iustruction viz. that the true Church of God, and the particuler members of it, are not only subiect to sinne, and error in generall, for eue­ry man is borne, Psal. 51. [...]. 5. and conceiued in sinne, euery man is a liar, we haue all sinned, Rom. 3. 23. and stand in need of the golrie of God, who knoweth the errors of this life: all our righteousnesse is but as a menstrous cloth.Psal. 19. v. 11. and when wee haue done all that we can, wee are but defectiue and vnprofitable seruants; but also, and that more particularly, that many times the Church of Christ, euen in the best, and most flourishing outward Estate of it, is ouertaken with a kinde of spirituall slum­ber, and securitie, and is lesse carefull, and watchfull to beware of the snares of the worldes prosperitie, and the baites, and allurements of honours, and pleasures; so that here it must needs follow that her faith must oftentimes be weakened, eclipsed, and darkned, yea and she now and then fall into simptoms, and fits of desperation.

The truth hereof appeareth first in Dauid, who when he was established in his kingdome, and flourished in prospe­ritie, was puffed vp with carnall securitie, and confidence in his own strength,Psal. 30. v. 6. 7. and ful little thought of his own infirmi­ty, dangers or iminent euills, as though his present felicitie should neuer change:vers. 8. but presently God hid his face from him, that is withdrew the sense of his fauor, and good will, and cast him into trouble, and calamities, and so awakened him from his slumber, and drowsines.

[Page 4] Secondly in Ezechias (otherwise a right good King) whose heart was lift vp with pride, by reason of his late and glorious victory, and aboundance of treasures, in so much. that he in oftentation shewed vnto the ambassadors of the King of Babell all his treasures, 2 King. 20. 13. 15. that bee had in his house and realme, so that wrath came vpon him, and vpon Iudah and Ierusalem.

Thirdly in Ephraim, Iere 31. 18. who in his prosperitie was as an vn­tamed Calfe.

Fourthly,Math. 25. 6. in the very wise Virgins, who (though they had their Lampes furnished with oyle) yet they slumbered at Christ his second comming.

Fi [...]tly, in Christ his disciples, who because Christ whiles he liued vpon the earth, kept them from all dangers, drea­med of continuall prosperitie, and could not conceiue of nor endure to heare of Christ his death and resurrection; in-so-much that at the time of his suffering they slept and slumbered, Make 14. vers. 37. and 40. when they should haue watched, and prayed, and when Christ was once apprehended, they all, for feare, for­sooke him, [...]nd fled away, yea and Peter denied him three seue­rall times,Math. 26. with cursing and swearing, Mark. 14. 71. This was the state of the Angell, and people of Sardis, who had a name that they liued,Reuel. 3. 1. yet were dead. The luke-warme Church of Laodicaea was tact with security, and slumber. She indeed said that she was rich, and encreased in worldly goods, Ibid. ver 17. and had need of nothing, whereas the holy Ghost testi­fieth of her that she was wretched, miserable, poore, blinde, and naked. And lastly the Church of Ephesus, (albeit in all other things a most excellent Church) yet she is noted for this, that she left her first loue, that is, she had abated, and re­mitted much of her former loue, both to God, and her neighbour. Now he is happy that can Rerum cognoscere causas, that is, know the causes of things, and by feeling of the pulse, iudge, and discerne of the disease.

The causes then from whence the churches slumber pro­ceeded, were (especially) worldly prosperity, and cares, as likewise earthly delights, and pleasures; which how great­ly they hinder, yea and many times choake all zeale, and [Page 5] sanctification, appeareth manifestly by the third sort of hearers, which are resembled to seede sowne amongst thornes, they indeed heare the word, and after their depar­ture to their domesticall occasions, they are choakea with cares, Luke 8. Ver. 14. and with riches, and voluptuous liuing, and bring forth no fruite. The sence hereof is, that euen as thornes, & other hurtfull incombrances do choake the corne (that is other­wise prosperous) whiles it is growing to a stem or stalke: so corrupt motions of the flesh doe preuaile in the hearts of men, and ouercome faith: so that it doth suppresse, and op­presse the power and working of heauenly doctrine before it be come to his full ripenesse. And therefore it standeth euery man vpon, to pull these manifold thornes out of his heart, vnlesse hee would haue Gods word vtterly choaked in him. Prosperitie, and excessiue pleasures and delights, corrupted, & effeminated most wise Salomon, that at length he was drawne to commit idolatry himselfe (as some in­terpret) or at least) to grant a toleration and permission of it to his out-landish wiues,1. Reg. 11. & concubines, if not to others. And because the spirituall sleepe, and slumber, which hath allusion to that which is naturall, doth and will, by way of comparison with it, more fully and effectually appeare, let vs a little consider the similitude, and proportion that is betwixt them both.

Naturall sleepe is the rest or binding of the senses, and the suspension, or interruption of the spirits, caused by cer­taine sumes and vapours, which by reason of plenty of meate and drinke, ascend from the stomack into the head and braine, and thereby stopping the rootes of the sinews, or nerues, are by the animall spirits caried vnto the seates of the outward senses: so a spirituall sleepe or slumber, is a ceasing, or stopping of the spirituall senses, so that the spi­rituall eye, for the time, cannot see, nor the eare attend, nor the palate taste, the mouth speake, nor the stomack desire, or digest, nor the hand worke, nor the feete goe, (as in a deepe sleepe): or but very faintly, and weakly (as in a winking, or nodding slumber) such as that of the church is in this place, and it is caused from the fumes, and vapours [Page 6] of earthly prosperitie, cares, and pleasures, honours and glo­rie, which ascend from the distempered affections into the minde, and iudgement, and so stay, and suspend the spiri­tuall senses, and cause sleeping, slumbring, nodding, winking, &c.

But because these te [...]ptations are not so frequent as fearefull, nor so delightsome as dangerous and deceitfull, in so much that the most vertuous, wise, learned, religious, and prudent men in the world haue hereby beene entised, and entangled, I will for the better laying open of them in­sist, and in order handle euery particuler branch.

First touching wordly ioylitie and prosperitie, it pus­feth vp the heart with pride, and contempt of others; and it stealeth away the heart from God,2 Sam. 15. 6. as Absolon did the peo­ples from his father Dauid; and here-vpon Paul aduiseth Timothy to charge his rich hearers that they bee not high minded, 1 Tim 6. 17. and that they trust not in vncertaineriches but in the liuing God: And to this effect, the Lord warneth the Isra­lites that when they haue eaten, & filled themselues, when they haue built goodly houses, and dwelt in them, when their beasts and sheepe are encreased,Deut. 8. 14. and their gold mul­tiplied, that then their heart bee not lifted vp, no they forget the Lord their God. In prosperitie, Dauid committed adulte­rie, and murder, and numbred the people in the pride of his heart.Luke. 15. In his prosperitie the prodigall childe departed from his fathers house, and wasted all his substance by riotous, and intemperate liuing. From hence also sprang the sinnes of Sodom; vnnaturall lust, pr [...]de, fulnesse of bread, aboun­dance of idlenesse, and contempt of the poore. Ezechi. 16.

The Princes of Israell being at ease in Sion, [...]ut farre from them the euill day, Amos. 6. 3. 4. 5 as though Gods plagues should neuer ceaze vpon them: They lay vpon their beds of Iuory, fed, and fared deliciously; had all varitie of Musicke, wines, and ointments; Put none of them was sorie forie for the affliction of Ioseph, Vers 6. that is of their bretheren in capti­uitie.

The riche man in the Gospell, whose ground brought forth plentifull fruites, and whose thoughts were altoge­ther [Page 7] set vpon the enlarging of his barnes and buildings, Luke. 12. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. ap­plauded, and soothed vp himselfe in his security, as though hee had obtained a long lease, or patent of it, but that night was his sou'e fetche [...] (by the Diuell) from him.

The warmth of Ca [...]phas his fire, and the occasion of ill company there,Marke. 4. Ver. 54. induced Peter to deny his Lord and mai­ster. The world bewitched Demas, and made Iudas a traytor. By reason of worldly prosperitie, and eager and earnest pursuite after it, it is, that many Anassims, Nim­rods and Termagonts of the earth, oppresse and insult ouer the poore afflicted and innocent; and as the great [...]ishes deuoure the smaller, so doe the riche the meane and poo­rer sort. Hence it is, that many of them, ioyne house to house,Isay 5. 8. and laye field to field, vntill there bee no place (and elbow roome for the poore), that they may be pla­ced (alone) by them-selues in the middest of the earth. This auarice and vnquenchable thirst of the Ahabs of this world, that will neuer bee content vntill they haue by hooke or crooke gotte Naboth his Vineyard, is the common sinne of the land, not decreasing or going backe ten degrees, as the Sunne in the time of Ezech as, but preuailing like Noah his deluge, vntill all be drow­ned. The poore crye, and no man (almost) for the time regardeth or righteth them, but the Lord in heauen behol­deth all, and his eye liddes trye the children of men. And as for these encrochers and enclosers, GOD at length frustrateth them of their hope and expectation,Isai. 5. vers. 9. pulleth downe their houses, leaueth them voyde of inhabitants and tenants,Vers. 10. and curseth their grounds and fields, that they answer not the labour and cost bestowed vpon them.

From the abuse of ease and prosperitie, likewise, ariseth ryot, pride, excesse, and phantasticknesse of apparell a­mongst all sorts and rankes of men, and especially in women; who like to them, yea and exceeding them much in Isaias his time,Isai. 3. vers 16. 17 &c. beyond their degree, and all come­ly grauitie; affect and follow after brauerie, sumptuousnes, [Page 8] garishnesse, strange, forraine, monstrous and ridiculus fashi­ons, much vnbeseeming Christian profession & the daugh­ters of GOD, who should rather labour to bee inwardly garnished then outwardly trimmed; and whose attire should bee holy, decent, comely, and rather within then a­boue their calling. But this malum (I feare) is i [...] mebicabile & nolime tangere, the fault of Court, Citie & Country. But for all this, God wil and doth punish this pride, many times with shame and captiuitie, and many times with pouertie and beggerie, and hee will call them to account for spen­ding so much time trifling and tricking themselues, and for improouing, racking and inhauncing their rents, to the ru­ine of their poore tennants, and all to maintaine their pompe, and curious brauery.

From the worlds prosperity and the desire and lusting after it, proceede so many vngodly, vnequall and vnpros­perous marriages. Here it is, that sometimes men of sort and place yea and those that doe or, at least seeme to pro­sesse Religion very sincerely, will for landes and liuings, match their sonnes and daughters with Atheists and halfe Papists, as though religion should stoupe to riches, and as though Godlines would sooner be gotten then wordly goods. But is this marrying in the Lord? will iron and clay cleaue togither? and can any good come of so bad begin­ning? To conclude the great red dragon with h [...]s taile, that is not so much with his ceremonies, inuentions, and traditi­ons, (albeit v [...]le, and antechristian) as with his pompe, pro­mises, preferments, dignities, drew the third part of the stars from heauen, Gen. 15. and cast them to the earth. By the starres according to the phrase of scripture are ment principall and eminent persons both in church,Gen. 37. and common-wealth, that were drawne by this baite from the heauenly truth,Apoc. 1. and diuine studies, to intend wholy earthly, and transitorie things, and to become vassals, and slaues vnto Antechrist.

Seeing that worldly prosperity, and welfare,Vse. 1. (though not properly in his owne nature, but accidentally through mans corruption) breedeth, and bringeth the before na­med, and many other euills with it, as wee also of this [Page 9] blessed Iland can for many yeares by wo [...]ull experiments testifie; for from hence hath proceeded so much Atheisme, so greate neglect of Gods worshippe, such contempt of the word, such prophanation in many places of Gods Sabboth, such abuse of the Sacraments, such blasphemy, such oppre­ssion, and so infinite inclosures, such a night vppon many Prophets, &c. We must therefore beware of the inffection, and poison hereof,Apoc: 17. 4. & decline it, as wee would, in a nother case,Apoc. 17. the whore of Babilons golden cup in her handful of abho­minations, & filthinesse of her for [...]ication. Let our treasure be in heauen, not vpon the earth let vs not build vpon out­ward prosperitie, for this is but a sandie foundation; neither lette vs trust vnto it, for it is as a reed, or rotten post, & will soone faile vs, let vs not set our heart vppon it, but vppon God, our hope, and our confidence for euer, who will neuer faile, nor forsake vs. Let it be our seruant, and subiect, and tributary to vs as the Cananites were to Solomon; but let it not bee our maister, and commander: for that were a base, and preposterous course, then might wee say (as Sollo­mon in another case saith) I haue seene seruants on h [...]rses, Eccles. 10. 7. and Princes walking as seruants on the ground.Vs [...]. 2. Seeing that wordly prosperitie is not the true contenting, and [...]uerlas­ting treasure, peculier and proper onely to the Saints, and seruants of God; but it is earthly, vaine, deceitfull tran­sitory, and common to the wicked with the good, yea the wicked inioy it (though as vsurpers onely before God,) commonly in greater measure then the godly; we must not rest and settle our affections vppon it, but if wee bee ri­sen with Christ, seeke the thinges aboue. God who is all sufficient, must be our portion, and if our riches any man­ner of way alienate, or withdraw vs from him, or his ser­uice, we must cast them away as the Mariners in a tempest cast their wares into the Sea: Better to loose all with the Apostles, and poore afflicted Hebrewes, and to gaine Christ our heauenly treasure, who is the fountaine of all happinesse: Then to winne the world, and loose heauen, and make shipwracke of our owne soules. This is not to change [...], that is golden armour for [Page 10] brazen as Diomedes in Homer did with Gla [...]cus: but it is to exchange ease for eternitie, the world for heauen, and the Diuell for Iesus Christ.

For as much as riches, and prosperitie in them-selues, and especially to the godly who know how to vse them,Vse. 3. are not euill, but good blessings of God, and they are giuen and lent vs of GGD to dispose of them as good Steward [...], to good endes, and vppon right vses; we must therefore at the commandement of GOD, and follow­ing the worthy presidents of Abraham, Lot, I [...]b, the Noble Sunamite, [...]ad [...]ah, Nehem [...]as, Leuie, Zachaus, the Centurion, Cornelius, Dorcas, Gaius, and many more in Scripture, and in all ages sithence, with our tem­porals, and outward riches, releeue the distressed, feed the hungry, intertaine strangers, nourish and maintaine the Prophets, & ministers of GOD, feast the poore pro­uide for the fatherlesse, and widdowes, aduance religi­on, further learning, & doe good to the common wealth, and place where God hath seated vs. Then shal our riches, and prosperitie bee sanctified vnto vs, and bee meanes to procure comfort to our soules, and strength to our faith heere: and afterwards adde to our glory in the kingdome of heauen. For according to the measure of our faith, and well-doing, shall God in fauor, and mercy reward vs with further glory, and happines in the world to come. To end this point, shall an Heathen writer, yet Prince of Philoso­phers say.Arist. 1. Thou shalt loue God, Metaphy. if thou shalt imitate him in this, that thou maiest doe good to all, and hurt to none: and shall not wee hauing the light of grace, the warrant of Gods word, the examples and practise of all his Saintes, and worthies, and so singuler, and pretious promises laid before our eyes, much more carefully, and conscionably put it in execution? Otherwise vndoubtedly, our riches, our gold, our siluer, our landes, liuings, possessions, re­uenues will bee but matter, and fewell of our iust, & grea­ter condemnation at the last day. [...] 5. 4.

And thus much of prosperitie, and the vses of it.

[Page 11] The second cause,2 cause worldly cares or occasion, of the Churches slumber, and security, is worldly thoughts, cares, and desires, and this hath some affinitie with the former, and many times doth follow it. The effects hereof are, as diuers so dangerous, as manifold, so most miserable. They dis­tract the minde, and like wilde horses draw it and driue it this way, and that way, and therefore are called [...], that is distracting cares.

They choake the word of God, and make it vnprofitable. For a man that is full of worldly cares, and thoughts, hath his wittes a wooll-gathering (as the common prouerb is) when hee should attend to better matters, his mind is on his halfe-penny, and all his zeale is for Diana the great Goddesse of the Ephesians, when it serueth for the maintai­ning of his trade, and not vppon GODS worde, which is the food of the soule that indureth to eternall life. When hee is gone from hearing the word,Iohn. 6. ye. 27. hee either forgets all, or (at least) neglecteth all, and practiseth nothing, for it is impossible for a man to gather grapes of thornes, or figges of thistles, or to expect any good from such.

Secondly, worldly sorrow, that is for losse of commodi­ties, and goodes, or for sense, and ferae of euill, breedeth death, 2 Cor. 7. 10. that is causeth desperation, & by consequence death: It is the Heathens sinne to be distrustfully carefull; and to say what shal we eate, or what shall we drinke, or where-with sha [...]l no be cloathed? But wee must committe our waies to GOD,Math. 6. [...]. 2. [...] cast all our care vppon him, who careth, and prouideth for vs, and bee content with our estate; for GOD hath made a promise, that hee will neuer faile, nor forsake vs. Will the LORD feed the Rauens that cry vnto him, and will hee not feed his children? will he nou­rish the wicked his enemies,Heb. 13. 5. and will hee not much more feed his friendes, and beeloued? shall hee so gloriously cloth the Lillies of the field, and will hee not much more apparrell those that serue him, and depend vppon him continually?

Lastly they that desire to bee rich (saith Saint P [...]ule) fall into many temptations, 1 Tim. 6. 9. and snares, and fall into mary­noisome, [Page 12] and foolish lusts, which drowne men in perdition, and destruction. And in the end of the next verse hee addeth they erre from the faith, and peirce themselues thorough with many sorrowes. Now the Apostles meaning in this place is not, that riches are (properly) the cause of the e­uills here mentioned, but onelie the inordinate appetite, and desire of man. The temptations into which hereby priuate men fall into are many: strayning, and stretching their consciences (as some doe their broad cloathes, and carsies) but especially in the ministers of whome the A­postle speciallie speaketh, they are so blinded many times with couetousnesse, that they refuse to doe, and defend nothing bee it neuer so absurd, so soone as the hope of mo­ney, and profit hath bleered, and blinded their eies. And as touching faith, they that are ouer troubled with world­lie cares soone fall, and reuolt from it, as wee haue Demas for an example. Lastly they are sundry times horribly tor­mented in conscience, as it befalleth vnto desperate men: To these sorrowes may be added suites in law, losses, hosti­lities, dangerous bargaines, and the like.

But some men will (perphaps) obiect, and say I haue a great family,Obie. and many children to sustaine, and the world is hard, and I do no man open wronge, therefor it is lawfull for me thus to carke, and care, to toile, and moile, or els I know not how to liue, but I must be enforced to borrowe, begge, or steale.

First albeit it be lawful,Ans. and necessary for a man carefully to keepe the goods, which hee hath gotten, and to imploy them to necessary, & profitable vses: & albeit the thoughts, and hand of the diligent bring aboundance, Pro. 5. ver. 16. 17. and pouerty com­meth vpon the idle person, as one that trauelleth by the way, & necessitie like an armed man; Prou. 21. 17. and he that doth not pro­uide for his owne, and namely for them of his houshould deni­eth the faith, and is worse then an Infidel; & albeit euery man must follow his calling; yet notwithstanding, thought­taking, distrustfull care, and toiling, and moyling continu­ally with labour and griefe is not hereby warranted, but rather reprooued, and in many other places of scripture [Page 13] totally condemned. For first no man can hereby adde one cubite to his stature, much lesse to his life.

Secondly men hereby shew themselues more like Pay­nims, Math. [...]. 32. and Gentiles who onely seeke after these earthly things, then like Christians, who waiting for the glorious resurrection of the bodie, and eternall life, should not take such carking care for this mortall, and miserable life.

Thirdly worldly cares, and the sincere seruing of God, are so opposite, and contrarie that a man cannot intend both togither, he cannot serue GOD, and mammon; and therefore so much as a man addeth to his thoughtfull care, so much he detract [...]th from his hope, & cōfidence in God. Fourthly we are seruants in our heauenly Fathers house, & therefore he will kindly,Hebr. 13. and louingly prouide that which shalbe good for vs. And as for borrowing, so it be within our ability,P [...]l. 37. ve 21 and with a minde, and conscience to repay it, is vpon iust occasion lawful. And as for begging, if wee serue God we shall neuer begge, or if it sometimes should so fall out through ino [...]itable losses,Psal. 37 ve. 25 & through the disorder of common-wealthes, yet we shall neuer be for saken of God. Lastly they that trust in God, and carefully, and thirstily walke in their calling shalbe so far from stealeing, that they shall either bee more enabled to giue then to rece [...]ue, or (at least) beeing contented with that they haue, and making the Lord their portion, they shalbe farre from any such vn­lawfull practise.

Let vs therefore beware that wee do not with the Gen­tiles,Vse. 1. or with those that want faith in Gods prouidence with so egar appetites, and thoughtfull cares seeke after these outward, and earthly things, as though they were the chiefe good; but before all things, and with all study, and endeuour seeke after heauenly, and spiritual things, as the most principal blessings, and the true riches of man, & then, as for al other things God wil cast thē vpon vs as an aduantage, or ouerplus, we not careing, or looking for thē.

Secondly let vs not headily,Vse. 2. and ouer hastily vex, and tor­ment our selues with the expectation, and thinking vpon things to come, like vnto those that vainely imagine, and [Page 14] dreame of diuers afterclaps,Math. 6. 34. calamities, and crosses to en­sue. For present distresses, and difficulties bring vnto vs troubles enough, and therefore wee haue no reason to multiply care and miserie by taking thought for that which is to come. And to finish, and absolue this point, verie Heathens condemne this carking care for future e­uents. Quids [...] futurum, cras fugequerere, that is forbeare to enquire what shalbe done to morrowe. And (as Cicero saith) meditationem fut [...]ri mali &c. the think­ing vpon an euill to come, and that, perhaps will not come at all, is foolish: that euery euill is greeuious, and painefull when it is once come.

Lastly wee must commit,Vse. 3. or (according to the origi­nall) roll our waie vpon the Lord, that is, wee must in hope, and patience commit the issue, and euent of all our acti­ons, and affaires to his diuine prouidence, and dispositi­on, and vnload all our cares, and labours into Gods bo­some. Wee must also trust in him; Psal. 37. 5. that is perswade our selues that wee are gouerned of God, and pray also to bee gouerned by him, and then hee will bring it to p [...]sse, that is grant an happie, and prosperous successe; and not suffer our hope to bee frustrate, as hee iustly punisheth the in­fidelitie of the children of this world. For otherwise our life, and calling cannot bee ordered, and directed by mans diligence,Ier. 10. and industry, for except the Lord build and oraer the house they labour in vaine that build it, there­fore in so great waight of businesse, and daungers wee stand in continuall neede of the presence, Psal. 137. 1. and helpe of GOD.

And thus much touching world­lie cares.

Now we are come to the third cause,3. Part. and occasion of the Churches slumber, and securitie, and that is, that shee to much addicted her selfe,Earthly plea­sures. and slacked the raines to earth­lie delightes, and pleasures: which are of maruelous force to rocke, and lull men a sleepe in the cradle of securitie. For euen as wee see that naturall sleeping, and slumbering [Page 15] is many times procured by singing, musicke, rubbing, sweete broathes, and such delightsome thinges: Euen so the sleepe, and slumber of the soule is often caused, not onely by the vse of pleasures, and delights that are in them-selues vnlawfull, which rather worke the death, then the slumber of the soule, but also (as here is inten­ded) by the vnseasonable and immoderate vse, and fol­lowing of sportes, delights, and recreations that are in themselues things meerely indifferent, and therefore law­full to bee vsed, or foreborne. Examples, and proofes here­of wee haue many in holie scripture.Amos. 6. The Princes of Israell in Amos time gaue themselues wholy to delica­cie, wines, feasting, musicke &c. and herevpon thought not vpon their captiuitie at hand, much lesse pitied the distressed Estate of their afficted bretheren; but hereof I haue spoken before, Wise Solomon that felt, and found by wofull experience the poysonfull infection of pleasures, pronounceth laughter to bee madnesse,Ecle. 2. 2. and all pleasure to be but vanitie.

The Iewes in Isaias his time, bathing, and soaking them­selues in their pleasures did not consi [...]er the w [...]rke of God, that is they did not heed,Isay. 5. ver. 12. nor take notice of his iudgments at hand. The baites of pleasure, and a prodigal minde with­drew the lost childe from his fathers house, and protecti­on, and at length brought him to shame,Luke. 15. and extreame pouertie.

It was one of the sinnes of the old world before the ge­nerall deluge, and of Sodome, and the Citties adioyning before their destruction from heauen, and it is one of the maine sinnes that now doth, and shall raigne in the world, Christ his comming to iudgement, namely pleasures, [...]nities, delights. The particulars, whereof were, eating, drinking, marrying wi [...]es, Luk. 17. 26. 27. 28. and gi [...]ing in marriag [...]. Here­vnto is added sur [...]etting, Luk. 21. 34. and drunkenesse, of which sinnes our S [...]uiour in Luke doth so warne vs. By the former ex­ample our Sauiours meaning is, that men shalbe so taken vp, and possessed with the pleasures, and profits of this pre­sent life, as if not change, & alteratiō were to be looked for. [Page 16] whereas otherwise eating, drinking, marrying, &c. are not in them-selues vnlawfull, (for they serue for mans ne­cessitie, and comfort) vnlesse men excessiuely, or altogi­ther herevnto addicted, should grow insensible of Gods iudgements, or shutting their eyes should runne into all licentiousnesse, as though there were no God in Heauen that would take vengeance on them: And as for those vile & damnable sinnes of surfetting, and drunkennes, what hurt they bring to the body, what lauishment to the goodes, what abuse of the creatures, what discredit to a mans good name, what decay to the witte, and vnderstanding, what ill example to the world, what scandall to the godly, what offence to God, and what disstruction to the soule, daily, and lamentable experience sheweth? Paule saith that the widdow liuing in pleasure is dead being aliue, 2 Tim. 6. 5. is shee is dead being idle, and seruing for no vse.

Lastly it is one of the sinnes of the whore of Babilon, and cause of her ruine, yea a fore-runner of it, to liue in pleasure, to sitte as a Quee [...]e, Apoc. 18. Vers. 7. to perswade her selfe that she is no wid­dow, and that she shall see no mourning. These pleasures if we do not beware of them, & wisely and soberly vse them, are as baites to intise vs, snares to intangle vs, a delecta­ble phrensie to beguile vs, thornes to pricke, and goare vs, Vlisses his Syrenes to turne vs into swine, and beastes, the fewell of concupiscence; finally they bring a spirituall le­thargie, it is both forgetfullnes, and a slumber vppon the soule, and the infection of the witte like the biting of an Aspe which casteth the person that is bitten in a sweete sleepe,Vse. 1. out of which he neuer recouereth. The vse of this point serueth to checke, & condemne the practise of those especially that hauing lands, liuings, and possession [...] spend their time in pleasures and sports, but not in readi [...] the scriptures, in perusing good bookes, in singing of psalmes, nor in being instruments of doing good. Here­vpon they like waxe are apt to receiue any forme of religi­on sauing the truth, and no marueile, for he that maketh no conscience of his pleasures, & of directing his life, will make no conscience of true religion; for hee loueth his [Page 17] pleasures more then God. And answerably here-vnto Nimrod, 1 Tim. and Esa [...] are taxed and noted for their hunting, Nimrod a great hunter before the Lord, but an oppressor, Esau an hunter, but a hairy, and a wilde man, and a per­secutor of his brother.

Ob, But is not hunting lawfull?

An. Yes if it be not vpon the Sabboth dayes, and be in moderation. Secondly if the same persons bee as carefull, and dilligent according to their calling, and occasions to hunt the Romish Gray Foxe, and all his cubs, Iesuits, Semi­naries, Priestes, Papists, Recusants, that deuoure the vines, that is, corrupt and destroy the Churches: Heere is good game, sport, pastime, here is pleasure and profit: Otherwise to hunt, and kill the silly Hare, and the Deere that do none or little harme, and to lette these stinking, subtile, and cruell Foxes alone, is both dishonour to God, and shame to them-selues, dangerous both to Church & common wealth.

Ob. Is not beare-baiting, and cock-fighting lawfull and allowable?

An. No, for it maintaineth, yea, and increaseth the enmitie, and opposition betweene the creatures, which mans sinnes brought first into the world:Isai. 11. And therefore they should rather labour to reconcile, then to sette the creatures at iarre, and rather lament then to sport them­selues when they see them one to rend and deuour ano­ther: Yet notwithstanding if they will haue some propor­tionable sport wherein to recreate them-selues, let them first like prudent Paule who for the preseruing of himselfe set the Scribes,Act. 19. and Pharasies at difference; so let them for the defence of them-selues, and the weakening of the Pa­pists, ours, and their aduersaries, shew their best wit, skill, and indeuor to sette these Midianites at enmitie against them-selues, by shewing the opposition of the late Papists with the ancient, the Iesuits with the seculer Priestes, and one Papist with an other, yea one, and the same Papist ma­ny times with him-selfe; as two excellent, & worthy Di­uines Maister Doctor Willet, and Maister Doctor Morton [Page 18] the one in his terrastilon, and the other in his prima et se­cunda Ap [...]logiae Catholicae parte, haue most notably attemp­ted and begunne.

Secondly let them rather, and vpon farre better ground, and vndoubted recreation and comfort, labour and ende­uour in their owne selues, and soules, to worke, and breed enmitie and warre betweene the flesh and the spirit, and by all holy meanes to continue, and further it, for as long as this battaile, and conflict lasteth, there is grace in the heart: and when this ceaseth, faith, and grace determineth. Let them strengthen, arme, and encourage the spirit, and dis­arme and weaken the flesh, and sinne, that the spirit may triumph, and the flesh bee subdued; Here is sport that will end in greater pleasure, here is matter of exercise that will not vndo, or hurt vs, but enrich, and make vs all blessed. But it is much to be feared that most of those that are so caried away with humane vanities, and these cruell sportes; little know, and discerne what this battaile betweene the flesh, and the spirit meaneth, much lesse are they trained vp, and beaten in it.

Vse. 2. Secondly wee must keepe such a moderation, and temper in the vse of lawfull pleasures, wee that haue wi [...]es must bee as though wee had none, 1. Cor. 6. 28. so was it with good Vrias who for the time that his seruice in Dauids warres lasted, made a conscience to go into his wife, least the pleasure of her might perhaps make him more Remisse,2. Sam. 11. ve. 11. and 13. and vnwilling to performe that warlike charge imposed vpon him: wee that reioyee must be as [...]hough wee reto [...]sed not, wee must vse them, as Ionathan tasted of the hunny, onely for his neces­sarie refreshment,1. Sam. 14. 27. and as Canis e Nito bibit, a taste & away. Finally wee must qualifie, and temper them with the feare of God, that wee be not seduced by them, or (at least) made more vnwilling, vnfit, and vnapt for better exercises, and actions.

And thus much of pleasures, and their vses.

[Page 19] A fourth, and last reason of the Churches s [...]curitie, and slumbering in generall, and of the speciall members in particuler,4. cause: affec­tation of ho­n [...]ur, titles, glory. may be, and is oftentimes the desire, affecta­tion of honours, titles, and of the glory, and applause of the world; which many seeking, and withall obtayning, iudge of them-selues rather by the opinion, and esteeme of others, then by the sound knowledge, and experimen­tall Iudgement.Apoc. 3. Vers 1. 2. Hence it was that the Church of Sardis had a name that she liued, and yet was dead. Of this sort are those that haue a forme of godlinesse, 2. Tim. 3. 4. but deny the power of it.

The Diuell (albeit twise before repulsed) at length tempted our Sauiour Christ by shewing him (in a vision perhaps) all the kingdomes of the world,Math. 4. 8. and the glory of them, hoping thereby to blinde his eyes, and to preuaile against him, as he doth against many. Moreouer Christ re­proouing the Scribes, and Pharasies for their vanitie, and ambition, in that they hunted after humaine glory, and neglected the glory that was due vnto God,Iohn. 5. 44. saith hee how can yee beleeue that receiue honour one of an other, and seeke not the honour that commeth from God onely? And this affec­ting, and desire to gaine, and retaine humaine titles, and glory is one great cause that detaineth many of the Papists from admitting of the puritie of the Gospell, and it is some occasion of hardening them in their Idolatry. It is said of many of the cheife rulers in the time of our Sauiour. Ne­uerthelesse euen among the chiefe Rulers many beleeued in him but because of the Phara [...]ies they did not confesse him, least they should be cast out of the Synagogue, Iohn. 12. 42. [...]3. for they loued the praise of men more the thē glory of God. Toss, harm. It is to be thought [...] not with­standing these chiefe Rulers (amongst whome was doubt­lesse Ioseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus were indued with true faith; but it was for the time very weak & yong, which God beareth withal, & in processe of time cureth and per­fiteth. Ambitious vanitie possessing Absolon, moued him to seeke to depriue his aged father Dauid of his Crowne & Kingdome. The assenting vnto the flattering and blas­phemous acclamation, and applause of the multitude [Page 20] caused Herod to be smitten of the Angell of the Lord imm [...] ­diately, Acts 12, 23. because hee gaue not the glorie to God, so that hee was eaten of wormes and gaue vp the Ghost, & it made the scribes, and Pharasies to delight, and content themselues with an externall, and onely seeming righteousnesse; who in their fasting▪ pra [...]ers, almes, titles, robes, salutations, aimed at, onely the praise, and commendation of men, and therefore are by our Sa [...]iour iustly, Math. 6. 16. and often taxed, and checked for it. They had the reward that they sought for, viz. the praise of men, but they had no rewarde, or approbation from GOD. In so much that Christ saith. I say vnto you except your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the scribes, Math. 5. 20. and Pharasies yee shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen.

The pompe, and applause of the world is nothing els but a vapour, or fume soone consumed, it is like a fether tost in the aire from month to mouth, then which nothing is more light, vaine, and inconstant; and the brauery, and flaunting glory of the world is nothing else thē an Idol, & a vaine thing,Psal. 73. 20. yea like vnto a dreame wherewith for a time a man doth delight himselfe, whilest that hee conceiueth great hopes of riches, honours, preferments, and renowne: but when he waketh all his hopes perish, and come to no­thing.

Obi. But is it not lawful for a man to seeke to seeke to get a good name, credit, report, and estimation amongst men, and when he hath once gotten it to maintaine, & keepe it.

Ans. Yes without question for whatsoeuer things bee of good report if there bee any vertue, It is lawfull to get and pre­serue a good name. if there bee any praise, wee must thinke on these things. Secondly that which GOD promiseth, and bestoweth vpon his children as a speciall blessing that they may moderately seeke,Phil. 4. and desire, but he promiseth to honour, yea, and honoureth them that ho­nour him. 1. Sam. 2. 30.

The principall reason that must induce, and drawe vs herevnto, is, and must bee not our owne glory, but that by our meanes the Gospel, and the name of Christ may be wel spoken of; for the good name of Christians is an ornament [Page 21] and credit to the Gospell. And vpon this ground Paul ex­horteth seruants to subiection,Tit. 2 v. faithfulnesse, and obedi­ence that they may adorne the doctrine of GOD their Sauiour in all things.

Lastly our Sauiour willeth, and exhoreth vs saying. Let your light so shine befor [...] men that they may see your good workes, Math. 5. 16. and glorisie your father which is in heauen. Therefore it is lawfull to haue a diligent consideration, loue, and care for a good name, for so much the Greeke worde [...]. vsed before Phil. 4. ver. 8. importeth. But here certaine rules are to bee obserued.Ce [...]ten cauti­ons. First wee must be­ware that in no wise wee detract, and derogate ought from the honour, and glorie of GOD (as the Papists doe who attribute, and ascribe merite, satisfaction, and ius­tification to their owne workes and inuentions, and not to the grace of GOD onely.) for then they that despise GOD shalbe despised, 1. Sam. 2. 30. and hee is so iealous, and zealous of his owne honour that hee cannot abide it to bee gi­uen to any other: therefore wee must in all things ear­nestly seeke for the glorie of GOD onely, and not our owne.Math. 6. 5.

Secondly wee must refraine from all manner of sinne, and wickednesse, for otherwise as one Flie doth corrupt, Ecclesi 10. 1. and cause to stinke the oyntment of the Apothecary: so doth one sinne, or vice obscure, and eclipt his name that is in estima­tion, for wisdome and for glorie.

Thirdly we must repent vs of al our sinnes,P [...]. 10. 7. and we must practise iustice,Mark▪ 14. 9. and excell in good works. For then our me­morall shalbe blessed, and then that which wee haue done, shalbe spoken of, and remembred with honour.

Lastly we must not delight in the oblique, or disgrace of any,Math 7. 2. but haue a speciall regard to thinke, and speake well of others. For with what, iudgemēt we iudge, we shalbe iudged.

And this much touching the resolutiō of this doubt.

Vse. 1. Seeing that the inordinate desire, and affectation of humaine glorie, popular praise, and hunting after titles, and honour, doe euen in the best, sometimes so dimme and darken faith, and make them secure, and carelesse in Gods [Page 22] matters, wee must not please our selues in, much lesse dote vpon these outward, and vaine things, least afterwards beeing dispoyled of them wee bee like the beasts that perish, Psal. 49. 20. who feede only vpon these outward things, and fore-see no further.

Vse. 2. We must first, and principally approue our hearts, waies and consciences vnto GOD, and seeke to bee in­wardly holy & not outwardly only that our praise may not bee of men but of God: Rom 2. 29. for not hee that praiseth himselfe, (no nor whome men alwaies praise who may bee deceiued) is not allowed, 2. Cor. 10. 18. but hee whome the Lord praiseth. And Se­condly when wee labour and endeuour to approoue our selues vnto men, and especiallie to the true seruants of GOD, if they doe praise, and testifie well of vs, wee must not dispise, and neglect their commendation and appro­bation, but take it as a fruite and effect of our wel-doing; and albeit they giue no such great report and commen­dation of vs, wee must bee content, and hold it sufficient, that GOD and our sanctified conscience,2. Cor, 1. 12. testifieth, and beareth witnesse of our Godly purenesse, and weldoing. 1. Cor. 1. 3.

And thus much of the foure causes, and occasions of the Churches sleepinesse and securitie.

Thus wee see by the example of this Church in the Can­ticles; The Church subiect to [...]in and error. as of diuers others, it is subiect, as to other sinnes, defects and errours, so to a kinde of winking or slumber­ing euen in the good and prosperous estate of it. But in this place the Church was in no dead sleepe, much lesse had her faith extinct, for shee discerned and tooke notice of her infirmitie, which shee could not otherwise haue done if she had either soundlie slept, or had wandered in darkenesse.Ioh. 12. 35. Which beeing so, wee are to make a two-fold vse of it.

Vse. 1. First wee must not for certaine defects, infirmities, wants, and some small spottes and blemishes, either in doc­trine or discipline, much lesse forsake, and denie the Church [Page 23] that holdeth firmely and purely the foundation. Neither must wee for certaine spottes, balcknesse, defects and de­formities, doubt of much lesse despaire of our owne e­state and saluation so long as our heart is right with God and wee are sound in the faith of our Lord I [...]sus Christ. For Christ hath made a satisfaction to Gods iustice for all our sinnes, and there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ, in whome sinne albeit it alwaies dwell, yet it neuer swaieth and raigneth. And as for sinnes of ignorance; weakenesse and infirmity the Lord pardoneth,Psal. 103. v. 12 and 13. and passeth by them in his sonnes and seruants.

And as a louing husband will not take away his loue from his wife,A simil [...]ude. nor cast her off for euerie fault and want, so long as shee keepeth her loue entirely, and sincerely to him. So GOD will not cast off his loue, nor forsake his Church or any particular member of it, for speciall wants and frailties in particular commandementes, so long as they by faith cleaue vnto him, and generallie labour to please him.

Vse. 2. Secondly seeing that sleepinesse, drowsinesse, neg­ligence and securitic in the Church doth not please God, but offend him and cause his Maiestie both by inward snibbes, yea and sense of his indignation: and also often­times by sundry and fearefull iudgements and thunder­claps (especially when it is growne to any deadnesse of heart and is hardly sensible of her decay and decline) doth labour to rowse and awaken them as hee hath of latter yeares this Island by clamor and still triumpeting of his ministers; by daungerous, and neere effecting of the Papists gunshot; shogging and shaking of the earth vnder vs, noyse of the windes, and roaring and inundati­on of the waters, eclipting of zeale in manie, and threa­tenings pronounced against vs for our abuse, neglect and contempt of his holie Gospell, that hee will send and bring vpon vs not a famine of bread,Am [...]s. 1 [...]. 12. but of Gods worde: wee all of vs must take knowledge thereof, re­pent of our sinnes betime,zep 2. V 1 [...]2. [...] fanne our selues beefore the de­cree come forth, meete the LORD in the waie, yea and [Page 24] kisse the Sonne Christ Iesus,Psal. 2. 12. by true subiection, faith and obedience,Psal. 2. 12. least hee be angry [...]nd so perish in the way, when his wrath shall sodainly burne. Gouernors of the Church. Let the Gouernors, Rulers and those that haue the greatest eminencie and authority in the Church looke dilligently to their charge for the re­mouall and redresse of ignorance, error, Atheisme and Popish superstition, and for the aduancement and counte­nancing true Religion and vertuous liuing.Passor [...]s and Preachers. Let the Reue­rend Prelates and Pastors of the Church, Ministers, and Preachers of the word beware they do not Performe Gods worke negligently; let them wisely and couragiously speake and admonish the wicked of his way, lest God require his blood at their hands. Ez [...]chi. 33. 8. Let them keepe backe nothing but shew vnto their people all the councell of God, Acts. 20. 26. 27. that they may bee pure from the blood of all men. And let them preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season, improue, rebuke, ex­hort with all long suffering, and Doctrine. For the time will come when they will not suffer wholesome Doctrine: but hauing their eares itching, shall after their owne lusts get them a heape of teachers: 2 Tim. 3. 2. 3. 4. And shall turne their eares from the truth, and shall be giuen vnto fabl [...]s.

Thirdly let the ciuill Magistrates,Magistrates, and ciu [...]ll Ru­lers. whether Superiors or Inferiors defend and assist the Pastors, and Ministers, lette them draw out the sword of Iustice and cutte downe sinne, lette them promote true religion, roote out errour, and Idolatry. Let them execute Iustice and iudgement with­out respect of persons, let them spare, and defend the in­nocent, let them prouide for the wants of the poore, let them shine as lights before the people by all godly & ver­tuous example, and finally let them, (as farre as their power and authoritie will extend) take order and do their indeauour that the people vnder them may lead a qui­et, and a peaceable life in all godlines and honestie. 1 Tim. 2. 2. Finally let the people and subiects feare and serue God,Peoples duty. repent of their sinnes, honour their King, obey and be subiect to au­thoritie, loue and reuerence their Ministers, submitte them­selues to the word of GOD, and liue in brotherly loue, & vnitie, one with another, which GOD almightie graunt [Page 25] for [...]esus Christes sake Amen.

And thus much of the Churches fault and infirmitie.


NOw it followeth to speake of her confession and ac­knowledgement of her slumbring and carelesnes, contained and couched in these wordes I sleepe. From whose example and practise we are taught without all de­nying,Confession of sinne. suppressing, or lessening our sinnes, to make a willing, and ingenuous confession of them all unto allmigh­ty God; to the intent that God may forgiue, and forget them, and remoue or mittigate the [...]uills and punishments that they haue brought vppon vs. For further confirmati­on and illustration hereof; we haue both commandement in S [...]ripture, and also publike and priuate excercise of it. The Lord by the Prophet Hosea Hosea, 13. exhorting the Isralites to repentance prescribeth them a set forme of repentance say­ing. Take vnto you words and turne to the Lord and say:Vers. 3. Take away all iniquitie, and receiue vs gratiously &c.Vers. 4. As [...]ur shall not saue vs &c. neither will wee say any more to the workes of our handes (yee are) our Gods.

Secondly when wee are exhorted to repent, and amend, wee are withall exhorted to confesse our sinnes, for con­fession is as the First, so a most necessary part of repentance. Heere-vppon Iob Iob. 33. 27. saith, if one say, I haue sinned, and peruerted righteousnes and it did not profit me. Then God will deliuer his soule from going into the pitte, and his life shall see the light. If wee confesse and for sake our sinnes, Pro. 28. 13. wee shall finde fauor. Againe, if wee acknowledge our sinnes, God is faithfull and [...]ust, (Viz. in his promise) to forgiue vs our sinnes, publike con­teslion. and to clense vs from all vnrighteousnes. Pub­like examples wee haue in Nehemias making a large and mournefull confession of his and the peoples sinnes.Nehe. 9. 5. 6. 7.

Secondly in Daniel, who in the name, and behalfe of the people maketh a confession of his and the peoples,Dan. 9. 5. 6. 7. and [Page 26] confesseth that Iustice belongeth vnto God, but shame and confusion to them, &c. Thirdly of the Isralites in Isaias his time, who all acknowledge themselues to haue beene as vncleane thing [...], Isai. 64. vers. 4 and their righteousnes as a filthy rotten clout: and of the people in Samuell the Prophets daies; saying,I Sam. 12. 19 we haue sinned in assuming vs a King besides all other sinnes. Herevnto may bee annexed and referred the exam­ple of the Niniuites confessing their sinnes vnto God,Ionah. 3. vers. 8. & 9. and of the people that came to Iohn the Baptist to bee baptized of him,Math. 3. v. 6. confessing their sinnes Viz: voluntarily and in a gene­rall manner onely.Priuate con­session. Priuate practise, and presidents hereof wee haue in Dauid confessing and bewayling his folly in numbering the people, I Exod. 21. 8. his adultery in polluting Vrias his wife,Psal. 51. 3. 4. 5. and his murder in causing her innocent husband, & his good subiect, to be slaine in warre. Dauid before hee had confessed his sinnes (as appeareth) could find no ease day nor night, but his bones consumed, & he roared al the day: but as soone as he in heart purposed to confesse against him­selfe his sinnes vnto the Lord, Psal. 32. 3. 4. 5. God forgaue the punishment of his sin. Iob. 9. Likewise in Iob who acknowledgeth himselfe to be vilde before God, and that he cannot answer one word for a thousand. Thirdly in the Prodigall childe, who confes­sed that he had sinned against heauen and against God, Luke. 15. and that he was no more worthy to be called his son.Vers. 21. Fourth­ly of the contrite Publican, who would not lift vp his eyes to heauen, Luke. 1 [...]. 13. but smote his breast saying God be mercyfull vnto me a sinner. Luke. 5. 8. Fi [...]tly in Peter that accknowledgeth him-selfe a sin­full man, and of Paule that in regard he had bene a blasphe­mer, a persecutor,1 Tim. 1. Vers. 15. an oppressor, (albeit ignorantly) confes­seth himselfe to be the greatest amongst sinners.

The person to whome confession is to bee made is first properly and principally GOD;Psal. 51. 54. for against him onely haue wee sinned, and done euill in his sight, hee alone knoweth all our sinnes, and he alone pardoneth and forgi­ueth all our sinnes and that for his owne names sake, Psal. 51. 4. and for his Christ his [...]ake, merites, suffering, and mediation. And therefore it is folly, vanitie, superstition, yea bondage and impossibilitie, to make confession of al our mortal sins to a [Page 27] Priest (as the Papists make shew of, and require in their care confession) no commandement, no practise, no ex­ample, hereof is extant in the sacred Scriptures, and it be­gan not to be vrged vntil 800. yeares after Christ. Second­ly Dauid and others repented, and receiued remission of sinnes without confessing their sinnes in particuler to any man Psal. 32. 2. Sam. 12. 12.

Ob. But is it lawfull, & conuenient some times, and in some case to confesse our sinnes to our Pastor, Minister, or Christian brother?

An. Yes, for Iames willeth men to confesse their sinnes one to another,I am 5. and this priuate confession is to be made not of all knowne sinnes, but onely of that sinne which troubleth and vexeth the conscience; or of that whereby our neigh­bour is annoyed, and wronged. And that in two cases; first when [...]ase and comfort is sought for in trouble of conscience,Priuate con­fessiō to men when lawfull. and here before confession be made, no helpe can bee obtained: For as the Phisition must know the di­sease before hee can apply the remedie, euen so the Mini­ster, or brother cannot comfort, or councell the distres­sed, before that he hath discouered his griefe. And here­in the persons to whome confession is to be made are es­pecially the faithfull Ministers and Pastors, who for their callings,Isai. 50. 4. guifts, and experience, are of all men most apt and able to direct, informe, and comfort the troubled con­science. And thus Dauid confessed his sinne to Nathan, 2. Sam. 12. 13. and the people to Samuell (as hath bene before touched.)1 Sam. 12. 19. Secondly wee are to confesse our sinnes to our neigh­bour whome wee haue wronged, or offended by word or deed; that wee may giue some satisfaction to him, and pacifie his anger and displeasure, and so bee re­conciled to him. In this case CHRIST preferreth reconciliation to sacrifize,Math. 5. 23. 24. and would haue vs first be recon­ciled to our brother, and then offer that wee left at [...] Altar.

Reasons further to moue, induce, and perswade vs (in the godly sorrow & contrition of our hearts) to make con­fession of al our knowne sins vnto God, are specially these. [Page 28] First hereby we giue glory vnto God and [...]ustifie him in his word and corrections,1. Reason. 10. 12. 27. who the more we debase our selues before him (in respect of our sinnes) the more we glorifie God,Iohn. 9. 24. from whome nothing is hid,Psal. 51. 4. and the more vile, and base that we are in our owne eyes the more pretious and glorious in Gods; and when wee thinke and confesse that we are lost in our selues wee are found of him. The second reason is,Psal. 32. 5. because vnlesse wee confesse our sinnes before God, wee can finde no ease of them, but they will more paine and torment vs. The stomacke that is ouercharged with some vndisgested meates that doth annoy it,A similitude. or with Rheume or Flegme is [...]ased by a vomit: euen so the soule that is burdened with sinne is eased and relieued by con­fession, and accusation of it selfe.

Thirdly without confession, there is not, nor cannot bee any true repentance, for it is a part of it, yea the gate, dore, and foundation of it, and if the heart bee holy, contrite, godly sorrowfull, it cannot but manifest, and discouer it selfe by the confession of the mouth which speaketh out of the aboundance of the heart.

The last reason is because without confession of all our knowne sinnes vnto GOD, there is no remission of sinnes.Prou 28. ve [...]. For hee that hideth his sinnes shall neuer prosper, and the more wee hide them, the sooner, and more so­dainely will they issue forth to our shame and confu­sion,A similitude. like as the waters the more they are dam'ed vppe, the more violently will they breake forth. Dauid be­fore hee confessed his sinnes,2 Sam. 12. 12. hee found not pardon. And vppon his confession hee was immediately pardo­ned.

Seeing that confession of sinne, is so necessary,Vse. 1. & that it is not so easie a matter to finde out all our sinnes, we must not onely try & examine our deedes, words, and thoughts by the strickt and straight line and rule of Gods lawe, which is the discouerer, and reuealer of sinne; but because our knowledge is vnperfect, and wee blinde, and partiall in our owne cases, we must be content to haue our sinnes ript vp and laid open by publike doctrine,1 Cor. 14. 25. and preaching; and [Page 29] indure it albeit, it neuer so much gall, wound, and shame vs: and also admitte and allow of priuate, and brotherly admonition. For all these are holy, & the ordinary meanes ordained and sanctified of God for our humiliation, repen­tance and recouery, which whosoeuer neglecteth contem­neth, or refuseth, hee can neuer truly come to the know­ledge and conscience of sinne, much lesse repent of it, and so be saued.

Secondly wee must not onely confesse those our sinnes vnto God, that are more enormous, and haynous & these Vse. 2. that are many times odious before men; but also our secret, and particular corruptions, faultes, blottes, weakenesses, infirmities, yea and also sinnes of omission, and neglect es­pecially of prayer, praise, thankesgiuing vnto God. And we must haue a true touch and godly sorrow for them: for the least sinne in it owne nature beeing committed against the good and infinite maiestie of God,Rom 6. and his vndefiled law deserueth death. Psal 25. Thus Dauid desireth pardon of the sinnes of his youth, Psal. 19. 11. yea of his vnknowne sins. Iob. 1. 5. Thus Iob offered burnt offerings for his children euery day fearing least his sonnes had sinned, and had blasphemed God in their hearts. Thus Paule was afflicted and troubled in him-selfe for his origi­nall sinne,Rom. 7. vers. 24. crying out, and saying. O miserable man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this body of death? Dauid ha­uing onely vpon extraordinary aduantage,1 Sam. 24. 6. and occasion cutte of the lappe of Sauls garment, Psal. 119. 18. was troubled in his heart. He also confesseth his blindness & ignorance in Gods mat­ters. The Church of God in Isaias his time doth acknow­ledge that whereas they erred from Gods waies, Isai 63. 17. & that their hearts were hardened from his feare, it came for their vn­thankefullnes, & that God in iustice was the author of it. Lastly when they omit good duties to God or men, or faile in the manner, and measure of them, they make confession of it, we haue failed & we haue rebelled, &c. And in another place:Lam. 3. 42. all this plague is come vpon vs, as it is written in the law of Moses, Dan. 9. 13. yet made we not our praiers before the Lord our God, &c.’ And of this we must haue a care to repent, because by leauing our duty vnaccomplished wee oftner offend, [Page 30] then by sinnes committed: and if GOD should require it at our handes, the smallest sinne of omission it is enough to condemne vs.Psol. 130. 3. And therefore Dauid saith if thou O Lord straitly markest iniquitie, who shall stand? And againe,Gal. 3. 10. cursed is euery man that continueth not in all things which are written in the booke of the law to doe them. And here is a notable touchstone whereby the children of God are discerned, and distinguished from all reprobates whatsoeuer. The reprobates (and that but now and then) are touched with, and make confession of some great, and notorious sinne, as wee haue examples in P [...]arao, in Caine, in Iudas. But for their smaller sinnes, particular infirmi­ties and sinnes of omission, they haue no touch, sense and feeling at all.Rom 8. ver. Contrariwise the elect, and regenerate of God, doe euen grone and sigh vnder the burden of these lesser sinnes, they make confession of them, and desire to be eased, and lightned of them, for they know that hereby they offend GOD,Rom. 7. 19. which they would in no wise doe, and therefore Paul saith, the goo [...] thing which I woul [...] I doe not, but the euill thing which I would not doe that doe I: so that here hee is grieued for his particular sinnes both of com­mission and omission, or leauing of good vnperfourmed.

And thus much of confession and the vses thereof.

But mine heart waketh.

HAuing spoken of the Churches flumber and securitie, wherein her infirmitie, and weakenesse appeared: it followeth that now I propound, and apply the Antidote or remedy contained in these words. But mine heart waketh. The heart here, which is naturally the seate, and fountaine of life and motion, principally and properly signifieth, faith, whereby the Church in this her drowsinesse, and slumber­ing securitie, waked, that is laid true hold of Christ, and [Page 31] seffered not her delight in him to vanish. Some shadowe and resemblance hereof wee may see, and obserue in natu­rall sleepe, wherein the outward senses rest, and cease working, but yet the phantasia or imagining part is commonly in action and motion. Euen so a true iusti­fying faith: albeit it bee for a time obscured, and the ex­ternall actions of it appeare not, nor are felt and discer­ned; yet the seede, roote, and foundation of it alwaies, re­maineth and abideth. This beeing so, I from the autho­ritie of this place, gather this doctrine, and conclusion viz: that, doctrine. That the faith, and other sauing gra­ces that proceede from it and accompany it; neither faile, nor are wholy, and finally lost in the children of GOD, no not in the greatest temptations, falls and decaies that can possibly happen vnto them, but it shall reuiue, and bee in time recouered, and confirmed.

The seede of eternall life may for a time bee hidden in them, and not shewe forth it selfe, yet it abideth in them. 1. I [...]oh. 3. 9. The fire of the spirit of GOD may bee cooled yea and couered in them, but it is neuer extinct. The shining Sunne of righteousnesse by reason of the interposition of the earth betweene them and it, may bee eclipted, but yet it neuer departeth out of the firmament of their heart. They may seeme for the time to bee dead trees without leaues or fruite, but they retaine sappe of grace in their heart.

They outwardly may seeme to themselues, and to o­thers, to bee but drosse, yet they are before GOD vessels of siluer and gold. They may esteeme themselues in the time of distresse, bare, yea bankerupt; and yet notwith­standing haue, and retaine in their hearts, the precious marga [...]te, and pearle of the grace of GOD, yea and Christ himselfe the treasure of eternall life. They like the two disciples that went to Emaus, may talke togither of the scriptures,Luk. 24. 14l. 15, 16. yea, and communicate, and conferre with Christ himselfe, and yet their spirituall eyes for a time may bee so holden that they cannot knowe him. They may conceiue Christ in their heartes, and yet now, and [Page 32] then, not perceiue the motion of this heauenly Embrio. Lastly they may bee cast into a swound, or traunce, in so much that no spirituall breath can be discerned in them, & yet haue life and heate at the heart.

That the truth, & soundnes of this conclusion, Viz. that Gods spirit, the gift of faith, and sauing grace in the true members of the Church, can neuer perish or bee vtterly lost, but in time bee reuiued, may more manifestly and euidently appeare, these Scriptures following must be he [...] ­ded and attended.

Hee that drinketh of the water that I shall giue him shall be ne [...]er more a thirst, Ioh. 4. ver. 14. nay I shal be in him a wel of water sprin­ging vp to eternall life, therefore it cannot be dried vp, for it springeth continually, & ceaseth not, vntil it hath brought him to euerlasting life.1 Iohn. 3. 9. Whosoeuer is born of God sinneth not, id est doth not commit that sinne against the holy Ghost, no nor other sinne with delight, and continuance; for his seed abideth in him. Simon, Simon, Luke. 22 31. 3 2. Sathan hath desired you to winnow you as wheat, Viz. that passeth through the rid­dle, the chaffe remaining. But I haue praied for thee that thy faith faile not,Heb. 7. 2 5. yea hee liueth alwaies to make inter­cession to God for the Church. But Christ his prayer is al­waies heard.

Their loue to God, to his word,Ioh. 11. 42. to his Children is ne­uer lost, for much water cannot quenche loue, neither can the floods drowne it, Cant. 8. 7. loue doth neuer fall away, & no maruaile see­ing it is a roote and foundation. 1 Cor. 13. The calling and gifts of God are without repentance,Eph [...]s. 2. 17. that is the inward calling of God,Rom. 11. 29. and his graces that concerne saluation are constant, & neuer (wholy) taken away; for as God is vnchangeable, so are his gifts and decrees. Mal. 3. 6. God hath vnto the Gentiles granted repentance vnto life, Act. 11. 18. if eternal life be the effect, and consequence of it, it can neuer be lost: I saith the Lord will forgiue their iniquitie, [...]er. 3. 1. 34. & will remember their sinnes no more. Therefore they can neuer dye out of Gods fauour, not bee depriued of the grace of iustification, whose sinnes shall neuer bee charged vppon them. They are alwaies greene oliues before God,Psal. 1. 3. their leaues, that is to say, their sanctifi­cation [Page 33] neuer [...]adeth,2. Tim. 1. 19. the continue in the Apostles doctrine, and in the fellow ship of the Church; their election is a sure foundation and certaine,Col. 2. 5. 6. they are rooted, and grounded in the faith: And lastly as their persons can neuer perish, but shall be saued, so answereably cannot their gifts and graces that are the meanes to bringEph. 4. ver. 30. them to eternall life. Touching their persons and so their faith, they are sealed to the day of redemption, their names are writtē in the booke of life, the gates of hell cannot preuaile again [...]t them, [...]oh. 13. 3. Christ loueth them to the end and nothing can separate them from the loue of God,Rom. 8. 38. they are giuen of God to Christ to be saued, Ioh. 10. ve. 2 [...] and none can take them out of his hands, and 1. Pet. 1. 5. (to con­clude) they are kept by the power of GOD through faith vnto saluation.

And if humaine testimonies, and those of most excelent and ancient diuines be to be respected, when the scriptures be so plaine and plentifull, then amongst many others the iudgement of that most iudicious father Saint Augustine is most notable, who saith horum [...]ides quae per dilectionem o­peratur, profecto aut omnino non deficit, aut siqui sunt quorum [...]ides d [...]icit, reparatur antequam vita ista [...]initur. de correpti­one et gratia cap. 7. Their faith which worketh by loue ei­ther neuer faileth at all, or if it do faile in any, it is repaired againe before the life be ended.

Obi. Saul, Simon Magus, Iudas, Himeneus, and Alexan­der, fell away from faith, made shipwrack of it, and a good cōscience, and lost the spirit and grace of GOD, therefore the elect may wholy loose their faith, and the spirit of regeneration.

Answer. The argument or consequence followeth not; these were neuer elected nor euer t [...]uly iust, or righ­teous before GOD. Saul was an hipocrite, persecuted Dauid, and died fearefully: Iudas was the childe of perdition, and in his best estate hee was but a theese, and an hipocrite Simon Magus his hart was not right in the sight of God howsoeuer he was other wise deemed, and esteemed before men.Act. 8. 21 [...]. And as for P [...]ymeneus, and Philetus they neuer had true iustiying faith which neuer faileth [Page 34] but only an historicall, or temporary faith which hipocrites may haue, and which in time of temptation fadeth, and fal­leth away.

Ques. But how far forth may, and sometimes do the elect and regenerate loose faith, grace, and the spirit of God?

An. First they, notwithstanding that their adoption and interest to eternal life remaineth firme, & sure; yet by their sins do & may loose y inward feeling of Gods fauour,Hosea. 5. v. 15. & be left to themsel [...]es for a time, in their troubles & afflictions, Secondly vntill they repent of their sinnes they feele not, nor finde in themselues the outward act and effects of im­puted grace. Thirdly touching inward and inherent grace, albeit the seede, and habite of it cannot bee lost by reason of confirming & succeeding grace, yet the outward worke and apprehension of it may for a time cease and be suspen­ded as wee haue examples in Dauid, Iob, Anna, Ezechias, and others.

Ques. In the most greeuous, and extreame assaults and temptations of the children of God, what grace of God re­maineth in them so, as that they, and others of sincere or­thodoxe iudgement may bee kept from dispaire, and con­ceiue good hope that they remaine in Gods fauour?

An. These following; the loue of God, of his Son Christ, of his word, and of all his children in generall. For they neuer hate God, hate Christ, hate his word, hate his chil­dren, but loue and like them. Secondly they thinke, and speake oft of God, and his waies, desire to bee reconciled vnto him. Thirdly they pray vnto God, which though they cannot doe alwaies in feeling, yet they do it in faith; and this faith without feeling is more precious, and more highly esteemed with God then faith with feeling, for it wholie and simply relieth vpon God and his word. And herein as they bee blessed that beleeue, and see not, so (vn­doubtedly) they are most happy that trust in, and depend vpon God [...] (for the present) haue no feeling. Lastly they reioyce, & finde maruelous contentment when they know or heare of the good estate and prosperity of the church in generall, or any member, or part of it in particular: and [Page 35] when it goeth ill either with the Church or any member thereof, they vpon the notice thereof mourne, greiue, la­ment; And this argueth that they euen in the night, cloude, & tempest of their present affliction are liuely, and feeling members of the Church of God, because they haue a sym­pathy, and such a mutuall compassion; and this point, that saying of Paul confirmeth, and striketh it (as wee vse to phrase it) dead; if one member suffer all suffer with it, if one member be had in honour all the members reioyce with it. 1. Cor. 12. 26.

Que. But God is an holie God, an hater, and a punisher of sinne, one that requireth truth in the inward partes, & that we walke before him, and be perfect, how then will hee or can hee, beare with such want of feeling, so many com­plaints, so many defects, corruptions and wants in his chil­dren?

An. The Godly are better within then without &1. Sam. 16. 7 GOD requireth the heart more then the worke, man looketh on the outward appearance, Mat. 12, v. 20 but the Lord beholdeth the heart. A broken heart is an acceptable sacrifice vnto him. If our faith be but as the graine of m [...]stard seede, yea as smoaking flaxe which for the present can neither yeeld light nor heate, yea and weake, like a bruised reed, if it can but touch the hemne of Christ his garment, yet if it be sound, hauing onely God, Christ and the promises of the Gospell for the obiect, and it doe growe and encrease, it is accepted with GOD for a perfect faith and is sufficient for sal­uation.

Secondly God is a most indulgent,Heb. 12, v. 6, and 7. and louing Father to his children looking onely vnto, and accepting the bet­ter part in them which is his owne worke, and passing by and pardoning their defects,Psal. 32, 1, 2. sinnes and imperfections as though they were not at all;Rom. 8, 33, 34 and therefore they are bles­sed be [...]ause their sinnes are not imputed and GOD iustifieth them, who shall then condemne them?

And as wee respect an heape of corne,Similitude. (albeit the grea­ter part bee chaste) for the corne and not for the chaffe, and giue it the denomination of corne, and as wee esteeme a mountaine, or mine of Gold, or Siluer [Page 36] (though vnwrought, and vnrefined) for the gold, or sil­uer and not for the drosse, and for the more precious parte cal it gold or siluer: Euen so our heauenly Father accepteth & regardeth his children for their better partes; of faith, and sanctification, and taketh no notice of their faultes, and de­fects (albeit they bee farre more in number then their virtues.)

Vse. 1. First this doctrine of the perpetuity, and continu­ance of grace in Gods children serueth to checke and con­demne that false, and comfortlesse doctrine of the Romish Synagogue, who holdeth and maintaineth and that by the cannons of the [...]ridentine councel, non modo infidelitate per quam et ipsa [...]ides amittitur sed etiam quocun [...]q alio mortali peceato acceptam iustificationis Tr [...]dent Con­cil ses. 6. ca. 15 grasiam amitte et omnes qui laethalta committant peccata a Christs gratia seper [...]entur. That the grace of Iustification receiued is lost not onely by vnbeleefe by which faith it selfe is lost, but also by any o­ther mortall sinne, and they that commit deadly sinnes are seperated from the grace of Christ, which vile doctrine (as before hath beene prooued) is the breake-necke of faith directly against the word of God.

Vse. 2. Secondly it serueth for the consolation and re­uiuing of the afflicted conscience of Gods children, for be­ing in the estate of grace they can neuer bee depriued of it, but, God that hath begunne the good worke will finish it,Hose, 6, v. 1. 2. hee that hath wounded the Church will heale it, though shee fall she shall rise, and when shee shall si [...] in dark nesse the Lord will bee a light vnto them,Mic [...] 7. v. 8. and therefore let no man for his owne, or any of Gods seruants temptations, fals, and frail­ties, despaire either of his owne, or any other mans restitu­tion, and saluation;Rom. 11, v. 23 for God is able to restore them, yea and will restore and perfect them.

Vse. 3. Seeing that in euery greiuous temptation, wee suffer much losse, either by abating and remitting of our faith, our zeale, our hope, our loue, our strength, our ioye, feeling; or els by falling into some grosse and greiuous ac­tuall sinne, as did Noab, Lot, 'Dauid, Sol [...]mon, Ez [...]chias, Pe­ter &c. Wee must labour by all good, and holy meanes to [Page 37] repaire our decaies, and recouer our losses. We must nou­rish the spirit of God, by prophesie, praier &c. cherish our lampes with the oile of faith. If our nets bee broken wee must with Iames and Iohn mend them, if our wedding gar­ment bee rent or torne wee must repaire it. And as in Pauls nauigation when through the feare of death, and through an exceeding tempest,Acts 27 and for that the sunne and starres in many daies appeared not, the mariners, and soul­diers for foureteene daies had no appetite to their meat, or did any thing at all; yet at last, beeing comforted and reui­ued by Paul, they did at his exhortation, for the safegard of their liues take foode: euen so, if through the tempests of temptations, wee haue, longer then it was meete either abstained from, nor had any appetite to spirituall foode, it is time (before we famish) to receiue it and to recouer our appetite.

If with the Church of Ephesus we haue lost our first loue, we must repent,Apo. 2, 4, 5. and consider from whence wee are fallen, and doe the first workes; if with the Church of Sardis wee haue a name that weeApo. 3, 2. liue and yet are dead wee must awaken and strengthen the things that remaine that are readie to die. If with the Church of Laodicaea Apoc. 3, 16. 19. wee by reason of ease and prosperitie grow luke-warme, and are neither cold nor hote, we must bee zealous and amend.

Lastly, if our sinnes haue wounded vs, and left vs halfe dead as the theeues and robbers did the man that fell into their hands betweene Iericho a [...]d Ierusalem; Luk 10, 11, [...]. 30, ad 37. wee must in the Inne of the Church entreate, and procure the good Samaritane Christ Iesus to powre wine and oile into our wounds, and to take charge of vs and heale vs, so shall wee bee in staetu quo prius, yea and our latter end wilbe more glorious and comfortable then our beginning.

And thus much of this point viz. that sauing grace in the elect neuer faileth.


BVt mine &c. Here the Church findeth and feeleth grace in her heart, & by faith layeth hold on Christ, so that notwithstanding, that her temptation had in part pre­uailed, yet shee before the extremitie, and bitternesse of it came; professeth and assureth herselfe and others that her faith was vntainted, and her heart sound with GOD. Her walls and outward buildings were somewhat crazed, and battered, but the strong Castle of her faith in Christ vn­touched. From this her confession wee learne to our comfort that the elect, and Saints of GOD (of whome alone his Catholike Church doth consist)The elect as­sured of Gods fauour and their election. are (except onelie in the greene blade, and insancie of the Church or in the night and tempest of some great temptation) per­swaded and assured in their owne consciences by Gods spirit that they are in the state of grace, and saluation, and shall neuer fall away from it.

Now that we may be assured that wee haue faith in our hearts, and so are in fauour with GOD, wee haue most plaine,Rom. 8, 15. and pregnant places of holy scriptures to prooue it. God hath sent forth the spirit of his Sonne into your hearts whereby wee cry Abba father, wee haue receiued the spirit of Adoption, whereby wee cry abba father, the same spirit beareth witnesse with our spirit, that wee are the chil­dren of GOD. But this witnesse is not coniecturall but most certaine; for the spirit can neuer bee deceiued, therefore vndoubtedlie they knewe that they were Sonnes.Ephes. 3, 12.

Thirdly by the spirit wee haue boldness and ente­rance with confidence by faith in him, for the spirit expel­leth all feare, 2. Cor. 13. 5. that is all doubtfulnesse and mistrust. Prooue your selues whether that you are in the faith, examine your selues, know yee not your owne selues howe that [Page 39] IESVS CHRIST is in you except you be reprobates. Now CHRIST was in them by grace and iustifying faith,Gal. 2. 20. and not by his power and miracles only, as Bellarmine would haue it,1 Ioh. 4. 17. for by this faith men liue in Christ, yea liue for euer.1. Ioh. 2. ve. 20

But you knowe the spirit for hee dwelleth with you, and shall bee in you: therefore if wee know the spirit to bee in vs, wee must needs know our faith and ius­tification that proceedeth thence.Dan. 7. 24. Yee haue an oint­ment from him that is holy and knowes all things. Here the Apostle alludeth vnto the old figures of the law, and the ointments where-with the Priests were annointed and specially the high Priest a figure of Christ, who is sti­led by the name of messias, or anointed. Now the anointing of Priests and Kings in the old testament was a representa­tion of the gifts of the holy Ghost, and this is the cause why the holy Ghost is here,1. Ioh. 3. 14. and else where named [...] or ointment, and the sense is that the true beleeuers hauing the holy Ghost,1. Ioh. 4. 14. know all things (necessary to saluation) and by his power preseuer in faith,1. Ioh. 5. 18. 20. ergo they also know that they are in Gods grace and fauour. And againe we know that wee are translated from death to life because wee lou [...]e the brethren. Hereby we know that we dwell in him and hee in vs because he hath giuen vs of his spirit. He that beleeueth in the sonne of God hath the witnes of God in himselfe. Iob. 19. 26. 27 Now this is not a doubting, or coniecturall knowledge but an holy perswasion wrought in Pauls, Rom. 8. 38. 39. and so in all our hearts by the holy Ghost.

I know my redeemer liueth (saith Iob,) and that I shall see God in my flesh, and mine ies shall be hold him, and none other for me Lastly (to be breife) I wil conclude with that of Paul; I am perswaded that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor princi­paliites, nor powers, nor things present or things to come, nor beegth, nor depth, nor any other creature shal be able to separate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ I [...]sus our Lord. But least any man should obiect that this perswasion was proper onely to Saint; Paule and that hee had it by some speciall reuelation for the answere hereof.

[Page 40] A [...]s. Rom. [...]. 5. Wee must note that the ground of his [...] ▪ viz: the loue of God in Christ I [...]sus is common to all the faithfull, for it is shed in all their hearts. And Paul, in ano­ther place, maketh the assurance of saluation common to him with all the faithfull, saying, there is laid vp for mee a Crowne of righteousnesse, 2. Tim. 48 and not to mee onely, but vnto all them also which loue his appearing, albeit some haue it in greater measure then others.

And that this doctrine may bee the more easily concei­ued of vs; I will explaine and make it lightsome by some familier comparisons and similitudes. Can a man carry fire in his hand,Similitudes & comparisons. and not feele it, and can a man containe the holy flame of Gods grace in his heart, and not discerne it? Can a woman be wedded to an husband and not know it? And can wee be conioyned to Christ, yea and ingrafted in­to him, and not perceiue it? Can a man buy, and possesse a precious pearle, and a rich treasure, and yet bee ignorant of it, and can the Church by faith buy, and apprehend Christ, and not be aware of it? Can a man doubt of the gar­ments where with he is cloathed, and can the Church cloa­thed with the sonne of righteousnesse neuer see nor ob­serue it?1. Ioh. 2. 20. Can the elect (the friends of God) know all things needfull for their saluation by reuelation from him, and shall they erre and be ignorant in the knowledge, and cer­taintie of their owne iustification, and saluation? Can the sense bee deceiued about his proper obiect? And can all spirituall senses faile, and beguile vs? Can hee dwell in vs, and we not see him? Can hee dwell in vs, and wee neuer feele him?Luk. 24. v. 32. Can he speake peace to our soules and cause our hearts to burne within vs, and we not heare him? Can hee feede vs with the hony, wine, spices, fatlings, and delicates, and wee haue no tast, and relish of them? Can Christ perfume his spouse with mirrbe, and incense and with all the powder of the merchant,Cant. 3. 6. and shee not smell it? Can Christ lodge and lie with vs,Apoc. 3. 20. and we with him, & neuer spiritually touch him? Finally shall the Church and must shee reioyce that her name is written in heauen, and yet haue no certaintie of it? Wherefore this doctrine of the assurance of faith, and [Page 41] of the grace of God is certaine, infallible, and neuer faileth. But before wee [...] attaine vnto this certaine­ty of faith, and sauing grace,Meanes to come to assu­rance. wee must dilligently and reuerently heare Gods word, know it, and our sinnes by it, be truly humbled by it, dispaire of our owne abilitie; ascent, and subscribe vnto the Gospell; hope and desire pardon, hunger and thirst after grace, craue pardon of our sinnes, and particularly apply vnto our selues the promises of mercy, and saluation made vnto vs in the Gospell, and continue herein,1. Sam. 17▪ 36. and then in processe of time after long sence, obseruation, and long experience of Go [...]'s fauor an [...] loue Psal. 23. 6. Yea after that we haue bene long excercised in temptations,2. Timi 4. 7. 8. and bene old beaten soldiers in Christs bat­taile wee shall attaine vnto this fulnesse, and firmnesse of faith.

By this doctrine is confuted and ouerthrowne that er­roneous and desperate doctrine of the Romish Synagogue, Vse. 1. who albeit they teach that men may by their workes merite saluation, and satisfie Gods iustice, yet they contradict themselues (which is proper to Babel [...] the mother of con­fusion) and considently hold and teach, that no man can be certaine of his saluation in this life by an ordinary and speciall faith, but onely by extraordinary reuelation and hope, which hope ministreth (as they say) but a coniectu­rall certaintie. If this their position were true, how could euer Iob in his extremities haue comforted himselfe in the vndoubted hope of his resurrection to eternall glory. Would euer Moses haue forsaken Pharaohs court, and the glory, pleasure, and preferments of it,H [...]b. 11. 25. if he had not had an eye vnto, yea an assurance of the recompence of the reward in the life to come? would Manahen that had beene brought vp with Herod the Tetrarch so debased and subiected him­selfe to so much enuie,Acts. 13. 1. 2, and so many pcrils, and dangers by entring into the holy ministery, had not the expectation, and assurance of eternall happinesse induced him herevnto? And (to absolue this point) how could, or would so many thousands of Martyrs (since the Apostles times especially) haue suffered so much rebuke, so great losses,Heb. 10. and 11. chapters. so many [Page 42] tortures for Christ, and his Gospell, yea, and most cruell deaths and persecutions, had they not been secured in their soules of the fauour of God, and beene verily perswaded that they stood in the estate of grace, and should in time be glorified?

Seeing that the knowledge of our e [...]tate before God,Vse. 2. and the certaintie of Gods fauour and loue is so admirable and vnualuable a benefit communicated to none but Gods children, and to them that seeke his face in Christ, let vs ne­uer rest, nor be quiet vntill we haue sued out our qu [...]etus est, and haue procured this certaintie. Let not marrying of wiues,Luk. 9. v. [...]5.buying of Farmes, trying of Oxen, oues, & boues, & pecori campi, hinder, and stay vs from getting this as­surance.

What shall we so toile and moile, and so sue and seeke with so much paine and cost, to ascertaine vnto our selues and ours, lands, liuings, leases, patents, reuersions, (which notwithstanding by reason of our mortalitie, and the might, malice, and cunning of men, we (oftentimes) can neither long, nor peaceably enioy) and shall we not much more seeke the kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse of Christ? shall not we labour to secure vs of Gods vn­changeable fauour; and to get the grant, yea, and begin­ing of eternall and vnspeakeable happinesse, which wee may assuredly obtaine, and the obtaining and purchase whereof is worth ten thousand workes: And therefore Curare externa neglectis internis (imoaeternis, (as one saith well) caec [...]tas est, that is, to haue a care of these outward things, and neglect and passe inward, and eternall things is blindnesse, nay madnesse. For what will it profit a man to gaine the whole world, and loose his owne soule, or what ran­some or recompence shall hee giue to r [...]de [...]me it? surely none. GOD therefore make vs wise to saluation, and grant that we may alwayes looke to the maine chance, and make choise of the better part, Amen.

And thus much shall suffice to haue spoken of the churches, faith, confidence, and feeling.

NOw because this doctrine is of so great moment, and importance, and of so excellent, and necessary vse; I for the edification, and comfort of all good Christians will annexe and set downe six special, and principal, or characte­risticall notes, markes and demonstrations, whereby a man may in conscience bee perswaded that he standeth in the estate of grace, and is reconciled vnto God, whether for the present temptation hee haue feeling or not. And by these notes and demonstrations it shall euidently appeare who is in the state of grace and s [...]luation; for as the life is knowne by the motion, the fire by the light and heate, the tree by the fruite, and the sheepe by the markes and brands, so may the godly heareby iudge and determine of their faith.

The notes are these six following, which I will (God as­sisting) handle breifly and in order.Six speciall notes or marks of faith and grace. The first is sound iudgement in matters of faith and religion. The second sin­cere affection towards, and constant delight in Christ, and his Gospell. The third a constant course in all the excer­sises of godlines. The fourth an inward and godly sor­row for our sinnes, and for the offence of GOD.

The fift is thanfulnes in acknowledgement and high esteeme of C H R I S T, and all his graces and bene­fits. Lastly to suffer no sinne to raigne, and haue com­mand and dominion in vs, but to dislike, resist and breake it off. Hee that hath these, and the like [...] congnisances, markes and properties wee may say iustly of him, hee that hath or that doth these t [...]inges, shall neuer fall, that is, hee is perpetually blessed, and can neuer by any violence, tyranny, or iniuries of Satan, and the world, bee ouerthrowne or remoued from his state, but is se­cure and safe against all euills.

Touching soundnes of faith and iudgement,1 note sound­n [...]s of iudge­ment. it is when no heresie is maintained, or errour held against the principles and groundes of Orthodoxe religion; but in iudgement and conscience is directed, and rectified in all thinges by the holy Scriptures, this is a light to our wayes, and a Lanth [...]rne to our steppes, the eye of our [Page 44] soule a lampe, and torch to guide and lead vs, in the darke­nesse of this world, it is a gate and doore to let vs vnto Christ his chamber of presence, and to intromit vs into heauen; it is a key to vnlocke the treasures of the scrip­tures; it is the foundation of our spirituall house, and the directer, & touchstone of al good workes, and obedience. That, this soundnesse of faith and iudgement is of absolute necessity, to prooue vnto vs the truth of grace and Gods fauour, it shall thus by scripture most manifestly bee de­clared.

The Church in the Acts of the Apostles is said to continue in the Apostles doctrine, Ephes. 2. 20. the Church is builded vpon the foun­dation, the doctrine, and scriptures of the Prophets and A­postles. Tit. 2. 2. Elder men must be sound in the faith, nay the church must bee rooted & grounded in it.Col. 2. 6. If they had beene of vs (saith Saint Iohn)1. Ioh. 2, 19. they had continued with vs, viz▪ in sound­nesse of doctrine, and in frequenting the holy assemblies. No other foundation can any man laie then that which is laid which is Iesus Christ. 1. Cor. 3, 11. That is the doctrine of the Gospel, touching Christ his person, and office, is (as it were) the foundation of Christian Religion, therefore both pastors and people must by all meanes endeuour to keepe this doctrine pure, and vncorrupted: And all doctrines and o­pinions, quirkes, and curriosities that are not agreeable herevnto, are but woode, hay, stubble which the fire of hea­uenly truth will in time to their reproach and shame re­ueale, and consume. The ministerie of the word is giuen, and ordained of GOD that wee might grow vp to perfect on of faith, and that wee should bee no more c [...]il­dren, Eph. 4. 13. 14. wauering and carried about with euery winde of doctrine. Iesus Christ yesterday,Heb. 13. 8. and to daie and the same for euer. Bee not caried about with diuers and st [...]ange doctrine▪ for it is a good thing that the heart bee established with grace and not with meates &c. Faith is the eye of the bodie, if the eye be single the whole [...]ody shalbe light.

The necessity, and most absolute vse of this doctrine will appeare by the Caueates and warnings that are giuen vs in scripture to beware of seducers, & false teachers, and [Page 45] by the opposition and zeale that we are to shew against al Atheisme, Idolatry, Libertinisme &c. Hence it is that in matters of conscience, and in troubles of minde wee are put ouer to the lawe and to [...]he testimonies, and they that speake not according to this word haue no light in them. Isa. 8. 20▪ They that will not beleeue Moses and the Prophets will not beleeue though one arose from the dead. Luk. 1 [...]. Hence it is that Dauid by reason of his vnderstanding in,Psal▪ 119. 104 and loue to Gods word, hateth all false waies. Hence it is that the Church is ex­horted to beware of false Prophets, to beware of the leuine that is, the infections and false doctrine of the Scribes and Pharasies, to saue themselues from that forward genera­tion, [...] Iud. 1. 3. to play the Champions and to contend for the common faith,Apoc. 18. v. 4. to come out of [...]abylon least they bee par­takers of her si [...]nes, and so of her plagues; not to goe after false Christs and false Prophets,Ioh. 10. v. 5. for they must not so much as heare a stranger, that is, one that bringeth strange, and false doctrine, much lesse bid him God speede,2. Ioh. 10. that is any way shew any countenance, and allowance to his cor­rupt doctrine. And no maruaile for Heresie and false doctrine is the poyson and pestilence to the soule,Apo. 9 v 5. it sting­eth, and vexeth the conscience like a scorpion. 2. Tim. 2. 17. It doth eat and consume the soule like a Gangraene, it maketh men spiritually mad,2. Pet. 2. 2. yea and bringeth with it (if men die in it) certaine and iust damnation.

Vse. 1. Wherefore we learne hence, first not to measure the truth of Religion by multitudes, vniuersalities, antiquities (as the Papists and ignorants, of the world doe;) for h [...]re­in we may soone bee deceiued, [...]uk. 13. v. 24. the broad way leadeth to de­struction, Christs flocke is but a little one: and the num­ber of the elect is (in comparison of them that perish) ex­ceeding few, therefore we must try and examine all by the standard, and certaine rule of Gods holy word▪ and if it be consonant therevnto, wee must admit it, otherwise re­iect it.

Vse. 2. It meeteth with and checketh the errour, and sottishnesse of the simple ignorant multitude, of whome for the most part we may truely say they know not the law of [Page 46] God and accursed,Ioh. 7. v. 49. who terme and call an Atheist a Pa­pist a Libertine, (if [...]e be onely outwarly and ciuilly righ­teous,) iust, liberall curteous, sociable, a right honest man; as though there could possibly be any true honesty with­out fath and true religion, the cause and foundation of it; For Paul doth make Godlinesse a cause of honesty that is,1. Tim. 2. 2. of Christian life, and behauiour.

Vse. 3. We must beware of and shunne all doctrine that tendeth to Atheisme and Libertinisme, and all popish o­pinions, and especially such as haue beene by some of late yeares vented, furbished and refined, and therefore the more dangerous,Resined Er­rors. and deceitfull. And indeed no better then the whore of Babilons golden cup, glorious without, but within full of abhominations and deadly poyson. Of this kinde of opinions, and errours (to omit others) are these following. First that the now Romish church (albeit idolatrous, and apostatical) is a true visible church.

2. Error. That the holy religion of Christ now profes­sed, and by publicke authority maintained in England, and the doctrine and worship of Papists differ onely in acci­dents and circumstances and not in substance, and that a reconciliation betwixt both parties might well be admit­ted. Whereas first the Romish religion is (for the most part) Idolatrous and hereticall, but so is not ours at all. Se­condly the Papists will in no wise yeeld to any recon­ciliation to vs, though in truth, and why should wee yeeld and bee reconciled to them in error, and Ido­latrie?

3. Error. That we must not enquire how Christ is pre­sent in the Eucharist (viz: whether spiritually or bodilie) intending heereby to keepe men in suspence, and to make away for that absurd and blasphemous doctrine of Tran­substantiation. Whereas otherwise it is most plaine by scripture that Christs presence is altogither spirituall.

4. Error. That the sabboth is but a ceremony, and that it is in the churches power and libertie to alter it, determine the time, and the continuance of it, and to remit and abate of the strictnesse of it as it shall thinke good. Whereas it [Page 47] is one of the tenne commandements, and therefore must needes for substance bee morall and perpetuall, and it is in the power of no person to dispense withall, and the main­tayning of this error openeth a dore to al prophanesse and licentiousnesse.

5. Error. The false opinion of vniuersall grace, and the denying of the doctrine of [...]ternall reprobation in Gods secret decree.Math. 1 [...]. 27. Whereas sauing grace is proper onely to the elect,Rom. v. [...]. and that God hath eternally decreed, and doth in time actually passe by many and most, it is by scripture most apparent.

6. Error. That the sufferings of Christ were only bodily and not in soule (properly and immediately) but by Sym­pathy onely. Whereas his soules heauines, bloudy sweate, praier against it, and the consent of most worthy, and Or­thodoxe Diuines, euince the contrary.

Lastly it is malum omen, and prognosticateth much de­cay of sincere zeale and pure affection, when of late times amongst too too many students in Diuinitie, the sound, iudicious, pithy and fruitfull writings, comments, dis­putes, and Euangelicall authors, such as are Caluin, Beza, Martyr, Bucer, Zanchius, Pola [...]us. Iunins, Iuell, Whittakers, Fulke, and Perkins, &c. are neglected, contemned, and out of request, and the false rubbish, and muddy bookes and writings of Popish schoolemen, and interpreters are iniudi­ciously & rashly receiued. Herevnto may be referred, (as a great rebater to faith, and a mighty infection, and corrup­tion to good life, and manners,) the publishing, tolera­tion, reading, and affecting of scurrile play bookes, vnsaue­ry, and amorous ballads, foolish ieasts, and fained and vn­profitable histories and fables. These are to to much in re­quest; these effiminate mens manners, and make them apt to entertaine any religion but the truth: and if perhaps they retaine the truth, it is to bee feared that it is more in shew then in substance, for custome rather then▪ for con­science.

And thus much of the foundation of faith and iudgement.

Now it followeth that wee speake of sincere affection,2. Note, si [...] ­cere affection. and sound delight in Christ, and in his Gospell: Vbi am [...]r ibi oculus, where our loue is, there will bee our eye, and where our treasure is, there will bee our heart. Our loue to Christ must be hartie like Peters, it must be great like Mary Magdalins, Iohn. 21. 7. it must be setled and vnmoueable that no water can quench it, Luk. 7. 38▪ no [...] the stoods drowne it, yea wee must for no sub­stance part with it. Cant. 8. 7 Christ is the tree of life, and vnder his shadow we must sit down [...] and rest. Cant, 2. v. 3. We must count all things, whatsoeuer may otherwise bee auantageable vnto vs, but losse and dung to winne him. Philip. 3. 8 [...] And as for the world, because it is the spring and fountaine of all knowledge,Psal. 87. v. 7. the immortall seede, and the instrument of faith and saluation; wee must receiue it, and loue it, if we would profit by it, yea, and pre­ferre it aboue spoiles, treasures, gold, siluer, and pretious stones. If we leese it, we leese all things, yea the very broad scale and patent of eternall life, and if we haue and reteine it (in sound iudgement, sincere delight, and hearty affecti­on) wee shall liue for euer. Wee must also cleaue vnto the Lord with full purpose of heart, Acts 11. 23. and entreate him to knit our▪ hearts vnto him, least our hearts distracted with diuers de­sires, Psal. 86 11. should remaine in doubt, and take such courses as are not pleasing vnto God; but that they being consecrated vnto him may obey him,Rom. 8. 23. onely rest in him, and depend vp­on him.2. Cor. 5. 2. Lastly wee must waite for our full redemption, and entertaine an earnest desire to enioy e [...]ernall life.

This doctrine meeteth with the Stoikes,Vse. and those that are Stoikally minded who deny affections, and would haue men herein to be no better then stockes and stones; wheras in truth without these affections set vpon their right ob­iect, and that in due proportion, there can be no true ser­uing of God, no zeale for his glory, no feare of his name, no hatred, and detestation of [...]nne, no spirituall ioy and de­light, no true loue of God, his saints, and word, and no true faith and hope in God, &c. These are wings whereby wee flye, and are carryed vnto God, chariots to bring vs vnto Christ, and they are the very heart and life of all our spiri­tuall actions.

The churches securitie. And thus much in briefe touching the sinceritie of our affections.

THe third note and marke of faith and grace, is a setled and a continued course in all the duties of godlinesse.The 3. note. Constant and vniuersall obedience. And herein is Christian wisedome, fortitude, and resoluti­on seene. For the proofe and demonstration of this point, the Scriptures are plaine and plentifull, Dauid saith; I haue respect vnto all thy commandements. I haue chosen the way of truth, Psal. 119. v. 6. and thy iudgements haue I layd before me; teach me O Lord the way of thy statutes, and I will keepe it unto the end: And seuen times a day doe I praise thee, v. 30. & 33. because of thy righte­ous iudgements. Prou. 4. 18. The way of the righteous shineth as the light that shineth more and more vnto the perfect day; that is the noone-tide, when the day is most cleere and bright. And the meaning is, that the godly do daily profit in wisdome, and the feare of the Lord, and goe from strength to strength, vntill they ascend to that perfection which may be attai­ned vnto in this life. Luke. 1. v. 7. [...]. This is one maine end of our re­demption, viz. to serue the Lord in holinesse and righte­ousnesse all the dayes of our life. Againe we are perpetu­all subiects and seruants vnto God (albeit otherwise his freemen and children) and we expect an eternall reward, namely eternall life purchased for us, and promised vs, therefore our obedience must be perpetuall also. But that wee may the better keepe this continued and resolued course in goldlinesse; we must alwayes remember, and doe our vtmost endeuour, to repaire, and renue our faith and repentance: for as we sinne daily, so wee must repent dai­lie, and as wee slip daily and loose some-thing (especially in the euill day and the time of any speciall temptation) so it is most requisite that wee bee carefulll to confirme and strengthen our [...]aith, and to renue our repentance. For recouery of bodily health and strength decayed, we vse Physicke, good dyet, exercise, and all other good meanes, and shall not wee bee much more studious and prouident by all meanes, for the recouerie and repaire of our spirituall strength and health that is any wayes impai­red, [Page 50] and diminished. This was the practise of Dau [...]d who saith I haue considered m [...] waies and turned my feete vnto thy testimonies. Psal. 119▪ 59. Hence it is that our Sauiour teacheth and com­mandeth vs daily to confesse our sinnes, and craue par­don of them at Gods hands saying, forgiue vs our trespasses as wee forgiue them that trespasse against vs. Hence it is that before wee receiue the word wee are to prepare our selues,Ecles. 4▪ 17. and to take he [...]de to our feete, that is, to our affecti­ons, when wee enter into Gods house, and bee more neere to [...]eare them to giue the sacrifice of Fooles, that is wee must vse­all diligent endeuour that wee heare the voice of GOD, and frame our life thereafter, and not to offer such sacri­fice as fooles doe, who hauing sinned, imagine that they can satisfie the Lord with their ceremonious Worshippe, when their life notwithstanding is not amended.Psal 2▪ 66. Dauid s [...]ith th [...]t hee will washe his hands in innocencie and (so) compasse Gods alter. Likewise before the receyuing of the Sacrament of the bodie, a [...]d bloud of CHRIST; a man must trie, 1. Cor. 11. 28 and examine himselfe, and by consequence re­nue his faith, and repentance, and so eat of the bread and drinke of that cuppe. And (to knit vp all in a word) the Church of Corinth must expell that leauen the incestuous person:1. Cor. 5. 7. the Church of Ephesus must recouer her first loue: the Church of Pergamus must repent of that sinne for tollerating them amongst them that mainta [...]ned the doc­trine of the Nicolaitans.Apo. 2. 25 The Church of Sardis must a­waken, and strengthen the thing that remaine, that are rea­d [...]e to die. Apo. 3. 2. The luke-warme Church of Laodicae [...] which was neither hote nor cold (which is now the common sinne of our time and the maladie of most Churches) must bee zealous, and amend.vers. 19.

Vse. 1. The vse of this doctrine, is to cond [...]mne them that either vse no holie and Religious exercise at all, and hereby discrie and bewray themselues to bee meere A­theists, and Nullifidians, or els if they doe performe any dutie of pietie, religion and loue, they doe it vpon fits, brunts, passions; for a time, and that in some things one­lie like Iehu, and their goodnesse (like that of Ephraim [Page 51] and luda [...]) is as a morning cloude, and as a morning dew it go­eth away, Hosea. 6. 4. they are soone hote and soone cold, and they are farre from any stedfast resolution, and continued practise, which onelie is proper to a true iustifying faith: whereas hipocrites, temporizers, and wordlings may (for a time and vpon suddaine motions) formally performe all the forenamed duties.

Vse. 2. The second vse is for consolation. Dost thou notwithstanding thou now and then deuiate, and di­gresse a little out of the way for a time with Noah, Lot Dauid, Peter, Ezechias &c, trauaile daily foreward to hea­uen? dost thou purposely, and ordinarily walke in the narrow way that leadeth to eternall life? Dost thou not long continue in thy by-pathes, nor please they selfe in them; but vpon notice of thy errour, reduce thy selfe into the waie againe, and then by more speede and hast make amendes for thy former straying and slouthful­nesse? comfort thine heart, thine infirmities shall neuer bee laid to thy charge, and thou shalt at length attaine to the ende of thy iorney and hope, namely the port and hauen of euerlasting happinesse, For GOD, chiefely res­pecteth the heart, and resolution: And that which Paul saith of almes, and contribution;1. Cor. 8, 12. we may truely affirme of all other holy duties: if there be first a willing minde, they are accepted according to that a mā hath, & not according to that a mā hath not, and (to conclude) for this constant practise, continuance, and perseuerance in holy duties and God­linesse: [...]osua, Dauid, Iehoshaphat, Aza, Ezcch: as, Iosias, &c. are commended and eternized in scripture, for that they serued GOD with a perfect and vpright heart, and did (in generall) that which was acceptable in Gods sight.

And thus much of a continued course in Godlinesse.

THe fourth signe or marke is a griefe,2. Cor. 7. 11 4▪ note a Godly sor­ro [...]. and Godly sor­row for the offense of God ioyned with an earnest [Page 45] desire of reconciliation and forgiuenesse. It is a Renting of the heart and not of the garments. Examples of this sorrow,Ioel. 2. 13 we haue in Daniell confessing his, and the peoples sins, wee haue sinned, and committed iniquity and done wick­edly,Dan. 9. vers. 6. O Lord righteousnesse belongeth unto thee, and to vs o­pen pen shame. In the prodigall child, Father I haue sinned a­gainst heauen, Luke 18. 13. and against thee, and I am no more worthy to bee called thy childe. In the Iewes repenting of their vn­thankfulnesse against Christ, of whome its said that they shall lament for Christ as one mourneth for his onely sonne, and bee sory for him as one is one is sorie for his first borne. Zacha. 12, 10. They are blessed that mourne, viz: Math 5. for their owne sinnes, and o­thers, and a broken heart is a sacrifice to God. Let euery man then descend into himselfe, examine his conscience and bewaile his sinnes, whereby hee hath crucified the sonne of God. Let him then sigh and grone and bee af­flicted for his offences, which no Man, Angell, or creature els could satisfie for, but onely Christ Iesus the Kings sonne, who both suffered manifold and exquisite paines in bodie, and most inward and vnspeakeable torments in his soule for his sinne and that beeing his vtter ene­mie, and therefore if hee could shed buckets of teares for his sinnes, yea and teares of bloud all the daies of his life hee must not thinke it sufficient. Now the griefe and sorrow must not bee onely, or cheifely in respect of losses, crosses, extremities, afflictions, punishments, or be­cause hee afraid of hell tormentes and the terrour of the last iudgement;Psal. 130, 4. for reprobates, as Cain, Esau, Iudas, Magus, may and haue gone thus farre: but it must bee chiefely because the good maiestie of GOD hath beene offended, his patience and long suffering abused, and his mercie and fauour contemned, and this sorrow would appeare in iust and Godly men, albeit there were no conscience to accuse, no iudge to condemne, no tem­porall plagues to terrifie, and no eternall torments to daunt and dampe him. And if that saying be good oderunt peccare boni virtutis amore: so much more the Godly and regenerate are loath and grieued to displease God for the [Page 53] loue and reuerence they beare to God and their Sauiour Christ. And as for deprecation,De [...]re of par­don. and desire of pardon, it is of absolute necessitie, and wee haue aboundant scrip­tures for the illustration and iustification of it. In the Iewes in Hosea his time,Hos. 14, 4. saying. Take away all iniquitie, and receiue vs gratiously: I say, Daniell. and the Iewes of his time saying. O Lord heare, O Lord, forgiue, O Lord, consider and doe it, Psal. 51. deferre not for thine owne names sake O my GOD. In Dauid, haue mercie vpon mee, O GOD ac­cording to thy louing kindenesse; according to the mul [...]itude of thy compassions put away mine iniquities.

And here wee may obserue a notable and a manifest difference betweene Gods children, and the hipocrites and wicked. Gods children desire nothing so much as to bee reconciled vnto him, and therefore vpon the sense, and perceiuing of his displeasure, they forthwith fall to prayer and humble suite, for the pardon of their sinnes, and neuer giue ouer vntell God from heauen send into their hearts some comfortable assurance thereof. But the wicked in their extremities (if they desire ought of God) either by themselues or others, it is onelie with Pharao, and Simon Magus, for the remoouall, or pre­uention of Gods iudgement, but as for their particuler sinnes, the cause of all their miseries they haue no true touch of, much lesse, then, desire pardon of them; as the examples of the two forenamed persons, as likewise of Cain, Esau, Iudas &c. doe sufficiently testifie. And the reason hereof is for that the wicked, and reprobate are neuer liuely smitten with the sense of their particular offences, nor discerne what an excellent and vnuttera­ble benefit it is for a man to bee eased of them,Psal. 32, 1. 2 but the case is farre otherwise with euery Godly, and truelie re­generate man.

And thus much of Godly sorrow and desire of pardon.

THe first signe and marke of sauing grace is when no one sinne,A fi [...]t note freedome from all raig­ning sinnes. nor any sin is suffered to sway, domineere, [Page 54] and raigne in the bodie, or soule. Now that is a raig­ning sinne that is committed with a full and resolued con­sent of will,Psal 53. and wherein a man continueth without griefe for it, [...] Thes: 5, 7 without feare of God, or his iudgement, without resistance against it, and without amendment of life. It is when men make a trade, and occupation of sinne, and like Ahab sell themselues to commit sinne, and it is like to a wilde horseman,Math. 7, 23 and vnruly Rider that spur­reth his horse so egarly vntell they both be ouerthrowne, and bee (as he said) caried man and horse and all to the diuell. Euery sinne of this kinde is a deadly wound to the soule, an earnest penny to sathan, yea and his foode and diet; an vnresistable and violent tempest to the con­science,Rom. 6, 16. a strange God, an Idoll, and a certaine herbinger, and forerunner of eternall distruction; and it is in eue­ry man by nature vntill hee bee renued and regenerate. From this, and the like sinnes the regenerate are freede not by nature, but grace, not by their owne desertes, but by Gods meere mercie and goodnesse; and it is a­peculier prerogatiue of a sanctified and iustified man to haue no sinne raigning, and tirannizing in him.

The Godly haue the seede of the spirit remayning in them, and therefore they can commit no such sinne. They keepe themselues (as instruments of grace) that the wick­ed one toucheth him not viz: 1. Ioh. 5, 18. to commit any raigning sinne. Sinne shall not (no nor can) haue dominion ouer them, for they are not vnder the law but vnder grace. Against these there is no law (to condemne them;) for in them the spirit alwaies fighteth against the flesh;Gal. 5, v. 24. and they haue crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof, and therefore albeit they sinne of ignorance, and infirmitie onely, yea & sometimes of presumption, yet they shall neuer bee con­demned for them: for it is not they that do it, but that dwel­leth in them;Rom. 7. v. 20. and they are not slaues, and seruants vnto sin as the wicked, are, who li [...]e and die in them, but seruants of obedience vnto righteousnesse whom the Sonne hath made free.Ioh. 8, 34. 36.

Let herevnto be added, that the regenerate with Dauid [Page 55] pray vnto God,Psal. 19, 13. that he would keepe them from presumptu­ous sins that they raigne not ouer them, and they desire the Lord to direct their footesteps by his word, that so no ini­quity haue dominion ouer them, and this their praier bee­ing framed according to Gods will,Ioh. 15, v. 16. and onelie for spiritu­all and necessary graces God alwaies heareth.

Vse. 1. Seeing that raigning sinnes are so dangerous and pestilent, yea and as contrary to true regeneration, as fire to water, darkenesse to light, and death to life: wee must beware of it, and giue no consent and allowance vnto it, least sinne like the seruants, and messenger of [...]e­nadab King of Syria take diligent heede if they can catch any thing of vs, 1 King 20, 33. and so worke vpon vs to our perpetuall ru­ine as they did vpon Ahab.

Therefore it is wisdome, and good for vs not to pre­sume to come to neere the bankes of sinne, least wee sinke, and bee drowned, if wee would not haue the fire of sinne to consume vs: Wee must take heede of, and labour be­times to quench the very sparkes of it; wee must dash our sinnes like the Babilonish young children against the stones:Psal. 137. v. 9. kill the young Lions; and wee must make a con­science euen of small and lesser sinnes, if wee would bee free from greate and raigning sinnes. These many times are more dangerous then greater and more grosse sinnes; for great and grosse sinnes men will often leaue, for feare of discredit, shame, and penaltie, but smaller sinnes are not acknowledged, and are counted no sinnes, and so at length preuaile, and get head that they that make no conscience of them wilbe drawne in time to commit more horrible sinnes: euen as hee that maketh no con­science of filching, and purloyning, may easily (vpon oc­casion, and entisement) bee drawne to robbe by the high way-side, and to offer violence to innocent men.

Let vs therfore giue no assent to sin, least assent bring de­light, delight custome, custome necessity, necessity, sensles­nes, & senslesnes death & damnation. Shall we so carefully shun, & decline al things y bring hurt, sicknes, infection, & [Page 56] danger to the body? and shall not wee much more heed­fully beware, and take heede of the tyranny and dominion of sinne that in time bringeth both body and soule to eternall destruction. Lastly let vs betimes procure the Amulete or preseruatiue of grace to keepe the poyson of it farre from the heart (our hold, or castle) or (to speake more plainly) let vs hide,Isal. 119. 11. and lay vp Gods word in our heart, that we sinne not against God.

It serueth also to condemne, and reprooue those,Vse. 2. that (because they are in their owne opinion onely righteous, and in the conceit, and estimation of men, whom they may easily by their sophistry and hypocriticall holinesse deceiue: but not so inwardly of conscience before God,) thinke themselues free, though they with the Scribes and Pharasies be fast bound with the chaine of some peculiar and beloued sinne. If they with Iudas preach, do miracles, haue an office, and dissemble their impieties (albeit coue­tousnesse raigne in their heart) all is well with them: they thinke it sufficient with Herod, to heare Iohn Baptist for a time gladly, yea to reuerence him, and to reforme many smaller sinnes, and yet few goe so farre, albeit they liue with him, and remaine in perpetuall adultery, or the like sinnes:Iohn. 5. v. 35. they content themselues to delight in Ioh [...] his doctrine, and Ministery for a time, but they soone fall a­way from it and him: And lastly they thinke themselues happy, and perfect men, if with the Scribes and Pharasies they pray, they fast, they doe almes, they pay their tithes, they weare long robes, and enlarge the fringes of their garments for vanitie, vaine glory, yea and merits sake: and yet inwardly they be hypocrites, rotten bones, and full of extortion, crueltie, persecution, couetousnesse, excesse, de­ceit, and errour. But of these we may say iustly (as Christ did of his time) except your righteousnesse exce [...]d the righ­teousnesse of the Scribes and Pharasies yee shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen: Math. 5. 20: and as Christ said another time. O Serpents, Math. 23. 33. O gene [...]ation of vipers, how should yee escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore let vs labour rather to be inwardly holy then outwardly, and to approone our [Page 57] waies and consciences to God rather then to men, and by no one sinne to suffer satha [...] to haue enterance and accesse vnto our hearts, for if hee once get hold, and possession,2. Pet. 2. v. 20. (and specially re-entry) after hee hath beene by grace and the knowledge of the Lord Iesus repelled: hee will either very hardly, or els neuer bee remooued, but taketh, seauen other spirits worse then himselfe, and they enter in, and dwell there, Math. 12. ve. 45. and the end of that man is worse then the begin [...]ing.

And thus much of raigning sinne with the vses thereof.

THe sixt,The sixt marke praise and thankes giuing vnto God. and last marke amongst many other and that most eminently, is praise and thankes-giuing vn­to God for all his benefits past, present, and to come, whe­ther outward, and temporary, or spirituall, and eternall. Of this sort, in things outward, is our creation, preseruation, health, life, libertie, prosperity, priuate and publicke deli­uerances, yea and all the meanes of our temporall life, and hapinesse; and specially in heauenly things our predesti­nation to eternall glory, our adoption to be Gods sonnes, our redemption by Christs sufferings and obedience, our iustification by faith in Christ his death and merits, our il­lumination, and sanctification by his word and spirit: the blessed ministery of the word, the vse and comfort of the Sacraments, the reueiling, and weaking of Antichrist and his promised destruction, the fitting of vs for a better kingdome; and preparing the kingdome of glorie for vs, his long patience, and forbearance of vs, and all fatherly, gentle, and mercifull corrections, and warnings. For all these in general,Col. 3. 17. yea and for euery one of them in particu­ler we are bound, and must endeuour (both generally and distinctly)Iob. 1, 21. to returne vnto the Lord praise and thanksgi­uing, and to serue him in holinesse, Luke 1, 75. and righteousnes all the daies of our life. Here vpon Paul vpon the distinct consi­deration of them brasteth forth into thankesgiuing, and saith:Ephe. 1. 4: Blessed bee God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ which [...]ath blessed vs with all spirituall blessing in heauenly things in Christ. And afterwards hee descendeth into par­ticulars. [Page 58] Dauid also wondering at the greatnesse of Gods goodnesse bra [...]teth out into an exclamation,Ps [...]l. 116, 17. and ac­knowledgeth Gods benefits to be greater then he is able to requite. What shall I (saith hee) render vnto the Lord for all his benefits? and in another place hee saith, my soule prais [...] thou the Lord, Psal. 103, 1, 2 and all that is within mee praise his holie name; my soule praise thou the Lord and forget not all his benefits. Hereby hee stirreth vp himselfe to thankesgiuing, and laboureth to shake of all drowsi­nesse: For forgetfulnesse, and vnthankefulnesse, as it is the common disease of the world, so it argueth a vaine, and a wicked minde. For speciall, and particular deliuerances from captiuitie, from hunger, from imprisonment, from sicknesse,Psal. 107. from feare of drowning, and shipwracke &c. re­quire particular thankes, and there is good reason it should bee so, for euery particuler benefit requireth a new song, and a peculier forme of thankesgiuing, and this is plaine by sundry psalmes of Dauid endited, and framed vpon sundry benefits receiued, and deliuerances obtai­ned. This thankefulnesse is the peculiar dutie of the Iust, and it is a Sacrifice whereby wee glorifie GOD, and glorifying him, he will glorifie vs. It is also a speciall note of the true, ye the triumphant Church as may appeare by the practise, and examples of the Angells, Elders, and beasts in the Apocalips,Apo. 7, 12 Amen. Glorie, honour, wisedome thankes and power, and might be vnto our God for euermore. It is peculier to them to singe the new song of their redemp­tion which none can learne but the redeemed alone: Apoc. 14, 4. Wee must also with the Church in the Apocalips render and ascribe vnto the Lord,Apo. 19, 1. praise, glorie, wisedome, honour, thankes, power, might, saluation for his righteous iudge­ment (alreadie in part) vpon the Antichrist of Rome, for that he hath condemned the great whore which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath auenged the bloud of hi [...] seruants shed by her hands.

Lastly the Church is exhorted, to reioyce, be glad and giue glorie to him for the full redemption of his Church at hand, and because the mariage of the lambe is come, [Page 59] and the bride hath made her ready. But that we may the more soundly, and sincerely practise and performe this du­tie: we must do three things.

First wee must magnifie, and high esteeme of all Gods 1 blessings (specially of those that concerne and accompany saluation) wee must acknowledge them wonderfull,High estima­tion of Gods blessings. speake of them honorably: thinke, and meditate of them often, yea and to value and price them aboue riches, Psalm. 119. spoiles, corne, wine, gold, siluer, Iewells, precious stones, yea, and account all things els (in comparison of them, and so farre forth as they are any let or hinderance to our saluation) as losse and dung. Philipians 3.

Secondly wee must debase our selues before God,Debasing of our selues be­fore God. and 2 acknowledge our vnworthinesse to receiue so great bles­sings,Genes. 32, 10▪ and graces at his hands. Thus Iacob acknowledg­ed himselfe not to bee worthy of the least of all Gods mercies, and of his promises p [...]rformed vnto him. Thus Dauid (vpon the consideration of Gods vnspeakeable mercies towardes mankinde, and also of mans vilenesse and va­nitie,) brasteth forth into an exclamation, saying. What is man that thou art so mindfull of him, Psal 144. 3. 4. or the Sonne of man that thou thinkest vpon him? Man is like to vanitie, his daies are like a shadowe that vanisheth.

Thirdly in Paul and that most singulerly) who con­fesseth ingenuously that the grace of the Lord was ex­ceeding aboundant towardes him;1 Tim. 1, v. 15 beeing (before his conuersion) a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an op­pressor; and that IESVS CHRIST, came into the world to saue sinners of whome saith hee I am chiefe. Lastlie in the lost childe saying,Luke 15. 19. Father I am no more wor­thy to bee called thy sonne, make mee as one of thy hired seruants.

Thirdly if wee would shewe our selues truely thanke­full,3 wee must liue in obedience of Gods commaunde­ments,To liue in o­bedience to God, and his cōmandmēts. sinne no more least a worse thing befall vs, or­der our conuersation aright, keepe our selues pure from idolatry; and consecrate and deuote our selues, soules and bodies to God his seruice. For this is a most liuely, [Page 60] effectuall▪ yea,Psal. 50. v. [...]3. and reall sacrifice, yea the best sacrifice that we can offer vnto God. Rom. 12. ver. 1. Reasons further to enforce this dutie, and to perswade vs herevnto, are firs [...] so many commandements and exhortations in holy scrip­tures, and (by name) in the psalmes of Dauid.

Secondly the often and excellent examples of so many rare and renowned men in holy scripture, of Patriarkes, Kings▪ Prophets, and right Isralites in the old Testament: and of Christ his Apostles, disciples, and all rankes of sound confessors, and Christians in the new Testament. These are so many notable lightes, lampes, examples, and direc­tors vnto vs; whose footesteps if w [...]e insist not in, wee de­clare our selues to bee bastard slips and not true branches, and to bee (notwithstanding al labour, care, and husband­ing) that cursed ground that bringeth forth nothing, Heb. 6. 8. but bri­ars, and thornes, whose end is to be burned.

Thirdly of all other sacrifices, this is most sweete and sauory in Gods nostrilles,Gen. 8. v. 21. being not a constrained, and en­forced worship (as praier is sometimes,) [...]ut a free-will of­fering, Psa. 50. 14, 15 it is the ca [...]ues and fru [...]te of the lips which confesse his name, and it is a speciall glorification of God.

Fourthly hereby wee imitate and follow the practise of the Church triumphant in heauen, whose continuall vsage and exercise it is, in quiers, and companies by Himmes, Psalmes, and thanksgiuing, to sound and set forth the glo­rie, and mercies of God.

Fiftly because vnthankefulnesse for, and forgetfulnesse of Gods blessings, and benefits, is a thing most distastfull, and hatefull to the diuine maiestie▪ and a brand of pro­faine and dissembling hearted men. Therefore it is said of y Isralites that though they in their affliction remēbred that God was the strength and the most high God their redeemer, Psal. 78. 35. yet they did but flatter him with their mouth, and dissembled with him with their tongue, for their heart was not vpright with him, neither were they faithfull in his co [...]enant: ouer & besides the Iewes were no sooner gloriously deliuered out of Egipt, and had passed through (the red sea making way for them;)Psal. 106. 2. but they forgat God their Sauiour, who had [Page 61] done so great things for them. Lastly nine of the tenne leprous persons whome Christ cleansed and cured, are no­ted for vnthankefulnesse;Luke 17. 8. &c. for it is said that onely one of them returned to giue God thankes, and that was a Sama­ritane, and one that was most odious to the Iewes and of all other the most vnlikely, but he serued not Christ in vaine, for hee alone was inwardly cured, and had his sins forgiuen him. Finally (to end this reason) the very Hea­then [...]nd Pagans, who knew not God in Christ, and were altogither ignorant of, and neuer had any holy Scripture to direct them; did and could by the very darke light of nature see, and acknowledge thus much: [...], saith [...]indarus that sententious and wise Poet. That is, an old good turne is soone forgotten, and men are vnmindfull of it, and that it i [...] lost which a man doth to an vnthankefull person; yea and that which is most remarkeable. Cum ingratum dixeris omnia dixeris. That is when a man hath named an vnthankefull man; hee hath (therein) named all faultes, or disgracefull imputations, and it maketh a man vnworthy of al fauour: and to this purpose, Gregorie in his Morrals saith wel, non est dignus dandis, & that is, he is not worthy to receiue be­nefits to be giuen, who is not thankefull for good thinges already receiued.Math. 1 [...]. 23. Thus the vnthankefull seruant in the Gospell whome his Lord and maister after (vpon his sub­mission, and supplication) had forgiuen tenne thousand talents, was for his vnthankefullnes to his Lord, and his cruell and extreame handling of his fellow seruant, that onely ought him but one hundred pence, deliuered vnto the Iayler vntill hee should pay all he debt,

Lastly because in the duty of praise, and thanksgiuing, we are most defectiue, negligent, and remisse; we need vse all good meanes to stir vp and reuiue vs, and to testifie our zeale, and thankefulnes vnto God. For as without meanes we cannot attaine vnto the end: so without speciall, and spirituall helpes wee can neuer be truly, and constantly thankefull. Of this sort, are the often meditating of our sollemne promise and vow made in Baptisme, to renounce [Page 62] all false Gods, false worship, and sinne, and to beleeue in God, and to serue him in holinesse, and righteousnesse all the daies of our liues. Of this sort are morall and gospel­like vowes,Psalme 119. and couenants of repentance,Psal. 66. v. 13. and 14. praier, and thankesgiuing, obedience, yea publicke and priuate othes to cleaue vnto God, and serue him onely.

Herevnto may bee added religious fasts, both publike and priuate, so often practised of the saints of God both in the old and new Testament, yea and of the reformed church since, and that with most happy successe.

Lastly,The Lords supper a Sa­crament of thankes gi­uing. seeing that the Lord knowing our aptnesse and pronesse vnto this vice, hath ordained a sacrament of thankesgiuing which the ancient fathers call the E [...]cha­rist to nourish and preserue true thankefulnesse in the church towards Christ, and for all his merits, graces, and blessings, wee must often, and religiously, as, vse all other helpes, so specially this. And finally as all riuers runne in­to the sea from whence they came; so let all the benefits and blessings of God bestowed on vs,Similitude. flow backe and re­downd vnto God the author and fountaine of them: which God almightie grant for Christ Iesus his beloued Sonnes sake, to whome with the Father and the holy Ghost be giuen and rendered in the Church, all honour praise and glorie foreuer and euer. Amen.


THE GENERALL signes and forerunners of Christs comming to iudgement, soundly and sincerely collected out of holy Scripture, and seruing as well to awaken the drowsie and slumbering Protestant▪ as to comfort and reuiue the Godly and afflicted Christian.

Take heed watch and pray: for yee know not when the time is. Mark. 13. vers. 33.

When these things beginne to come to passe, then looke vp, and lift vp your heads: for your redemption draw­eth neere. Luk. 21. vers. 28.

To the Right worshipfull lear­ned, and Godly wise Gentleman Mr William Combes of Warwicke Esquire, high Sheriffe of the shire and one of his Maiesties high Commissioners in causes Ecclesiasticall, all increase of grace, comfort and happinesse.

EVEN as (right worshipfull) it was the commendable and diligent practise of the Prophets and holy men of God (for the encrease of their comfort and confir­mation of their faith) to calculate,1 Pet. 1. v. 10 and 11. by the direction of the word of God, and to search and enquire out the very time of Christ his incarnation, his death, his glorification. So in sem­b [...]able sort, it as much concerneth vs, vpon the ends of the world are come, and who haue both promises and signes of Christ his second appearance at hand for our perfit redempti­on and full saluation, to take due notice of them, to serch into them and obserue the accomplishment of them in their proper times. Our rule of direction, must not be humaine collections, fained prophecies and reuelations, Astrologicall coni [...]ctures, Arithmetical computations, for these are vaine, vncertain, de­ceitfull, as the euent in all ages doth demonstrate: but it must bee onely the written word of God, which albeit it hath not re­ueiled the daie, nor the yeare, nor the definite time of Christ his second comming, yet it hath left vnto vs many generall yet vndoubted signes and forerunners of it, which are some of them, wholy expired, some of them in present motion and pro­gresse and others yet wholy to come. These signes and predicti­ons if wee serch them out, weye and make vse of them, (as they are described in holy scriptures) wee shall not onely bee contai­ned and preserued from Atheisme and vnbeleefe, the common sinne of the world, and bee kept from all ras [...], foolish and vn­grounded [Page] [...]uri [...]sities, but also bee effectually and continually stired vp to prepare our selues in Faith, Hope and Repentance against Christ his comming, and we shal in all trialls and temp­tations whatsoeuer might comfort our hearts in that our Re­demption is so nigh at hand.

This doctrine, being of so notable vse and profit, (especially for the Godly and sober minded,) I thought good to publish it and vpon good considerations to recommend it to your worships patronage. First you for learning, iudgement and experienc [...] are very sufficient to iudge of it. Secondly your vertuous affec­tion and most religious disposition will (no doubt) finde comfort and contentment in it. Thirdly, your fauonr, grace and au­thoritie beeing tempered with so much humanitie and humili­tie, [...] not (I hope) be wanting. Lastly (not to be tedious) I can by no other meanes so well testifie my thankefull dutie for your late and extraordinary kindenesse both in word and deed, testified towards m [...]e.

Wherefore, most humbl [...] entreating your acceptance, and requesting you to make vse of my short obseruations, I here, most humbly take my leaue. The Lord, blesse, preserue and prosper your worship, as likewise the Noble, and vertuous La­die, the Ladie Puckering your wise: and infulness [...] of daies and Faith, glorifie you both in the Heauens.

Your worships in all duty to be commanded. THOMAS D [...]AXE▪

The signes and fore runners of Christs comming to iudgement.

THe Lord Iesus in his mercy, because hee would not haue [...]is children ensnared and ouertaken vnawares at the sodainnes of his second comming, and because hee would warne, conuince and leaue the very wicked his enemies without excuse and defence of them-selues: hath reuealed and sette forth in Scripture certaine generall and vndoubted signes of the approaching of the last iudgement, whereof some are already perfectly fulfilled, some in part accomplished, & others yet remaine to come to passe in their time. Of al these and the general vses that [...]re to be made of them, I wil speake breifely, and in order▪

The first generall signe (long sithence past) is the destruction and desolation of Ierusalem, togither with the Iewes state and pollicy, and that irrecouerably vnto the end and consumation of the world, Math. 24. 12. Marke. 13. ver. 12. Daniel. 9. 26.

And this is a type and patter [...]e of the worlds destruction

The second signe is the divulging and preaching of the Gospel throughout the whole▪ known and inhabited world. Therefore for this purpose the Apostles as they had an extraordinary calling and extraordinary guifts, so they had a generall commission and commandement to go into al the world and to teach and Baptize al nations, Math. 28. 19. and to preach th [...] Gospel to euery creature, Act. 1. 8. Marke. 16. 15. and to bee his witnesses vnto the ends of the world.

The reason there of is, first because God would hereby in lighten, conuert & draw vnto himselfe al that are to be sa­ued. Secondly, that it might be a witnes to all nations, & that al men might bee conuinced sufficiently through all parts of the worlde that they could pretend and al­leadge no excuse of their ignorance to hide their impiety. Mathew 24. 14. Secondly the Apostles prea­ched the Gospell accordingly to all the worlde that [Page] was then habitable or knowne, or (at least) in the most famous, populous and knowne countries, kingdomes and citties of it, so that from hence either by the Apostles Disciples, or the Euangelists, or by others, it might bee brought from thence vnto the most obscure, vnknowne and barbarous nations (such as are America and the North parts of the world) Col. 1. v 6. & 23. Rom. 10. 18. Lastly the ancient and holy Fathers of the primitiue Church,Mr. Doctor Willet, synop. [...]ol. pag. 1063. 1064. 1065. as Origene, Ierome, Ambrose, &c. make expresse mention in their writings of the vniuersall calling & en­lightning of all nations, and therfore no such solemne & vniuersall legacie is now the second time to be expected, seeing that the Apostolicall calling and giftes are ceased, and seeing that the Gospell is passed from [...]udaa, and from the East, to the South to the Greekes: from the South it hath made his progresse to the West, that is to the La­tines, and from the West to the North, that is▪ to the Ger­maines and other confining countries, yet we denie not, but it may, though not vniuersally yet bee reuealed in other countries where it either originally hath not beene preached, because perhaps in the Apostles times those countries were not inhabited, or (at least) very slenderly and sparingly, or where the mysterie of iniquitie and Antichristianisme had obscured and preuailed ouer all, Apoc. 14. v. 6. Apoc. 18. v. 1.

The third signe is the comming and reuealing of An­t [...]christ, for the day of the Lord (saith the Apostle) shall not come except first that man of sinne be disclosed, 2. Thes. 2. 3. whom Saint Iohn calleth Antichrist: 1. Iohn. [...]. 18. concerning which Antichrist and his members and Locusts, Saint Paul saith, that they are men of corrupt mindes, 2, Tim. 3. v. 8. & 9. reprobate concerning the faith, and that they shall preuaile no longer: for their madnesse shall be euident to all men.

But Antichrist is come long agoe, when the third An­gell in the Apocalyps blew the Trumpet, then this great starre (the Pope and his successors as the heads of the Apostacie) fell from heauen burning like a torche;Apoc. 8. v. 10. &▪ 11. and it fell into the third part of the riuers, and fell into the [Page 93] fountaines of waters and made them bitter, he hath been reuealed sithence by the preaching of the two (few yet sufficient) witnesses in the Apocalyps,Apoc. 1 [...]. v. [...] ▪ 5. 6. and by the first, second and third Angell in the 14. of the same Apocalyps 1. by all the excellent teachers, Preachers, and writers si­thence Martin Luther his time, namely from the yeare of Christ about 1520. vntill this present time. To conclude, the description of Antichrist, and whatsoeuer the Pro­phets and Apostles haue foretold of Antichrist they in all things agree to euery Pope of Rome, and him onely, since the death of Gregory the great, and since the death of the Emperour Maurice, as hath beene demonstrated by many heretofore both English and forraine writers: and touching this argument yea & the whole mistery of the Romish Antichrist a learned countri-man of our own hath purposely, learnedly, and succintly written in his Theologicall disputations, de Antichristo & eius eccle [...]ia.

The fourth and last signe,Rom. 8. yet in motion, and not per­fectly fulfilled, but to continue vnto the worlds end, is the vanitie, corruption and abuse of the creatures, which hath continued from Adams fall, and doth and shall en­crease by degrees vnto the consummation of all things. The Elements (as we may obserue) of fire, ayer, water and earth, are corrupted, distempered, and often-times very hurtfull and contagious to mankind and other creatures. In plants, trees, herbes, there is not the same vigor, effica­cie and vertue that was wont to be, the earth is become more barren and vnfruitefull; the sea more distempered and tempestuous▪ often breaking his bounds, and encroa­ching vpon the firme continent, the Sunne and Moone, the worlds two eyes, more often-times and fearefully e­clipted then in former times, yea the sunne, as also the starres (as the most excellent Astronomers haue noted) moue much more vnequally, and are remooued greatly from their former standings. And as for men, we full well know, and are taught, by reading scripture, & experience that they are not so long liued, nor of that goodly tall and strong constitution of body, as in former ages.

[Page] But some may obiect and say, this shortnesse of mans life and decay of his strength is notably supplied by agili­tie of minde and pregnancy of wit, capacitie, inuention: I answere; This is most true and Gods name is to be glori­fied for it, but yet men neuer more abused and peruerted their wits & capacities then in these daies; for commonly the more witty men are, the more wicked, the more poli­tike, the more pestilent; and the more vnderstanding that they haue, the more Hereticall, Papisticall and Atheisticall they prooue. To leaue man and to come to buildings, houses, apparrell, what vanitie, what surperfluiti [...] and ex­cell, what follie and pride doth not herein appeare? For buildings, that in time past serued onely for defense and necessitie, and therefore were made very strong and dura­ble; are now for the most part in many places, builded (al­beit with excessiue cost as the poore tenants can testifie) yet slightly, and more for shew then for substance and for pompe then profit. And garments and apparell which na­turally serueth to hide mans nakednesse, and to defend him from cold, and (to make the best of it) to serue for comelinesse and distinction of degrees; is vsed now ordi­narily, as an ensigne of pride, serueth for brauery and o­stentation, more then for profit, durablenesse or common wealthes aduantage. And thus we see, that as the world doth decay and decline in the partes, so it doth and shall in the whole.

The fourth signe is the shaking, weakning wounding & consuming of Antichrist and his kingdome in many king­doms countries & citties by the breath of Gods mouth. 1. by the powerful and continual preaching of the Gospel,2. Thes. 2. v. 8 as al­so by the materiall sword of Christian Kings, Princes and Magistrates in their seuerall dominions, though not all at one time yet successiuely Apoc. 16. 6, Apoc. 17. 16. Apoc. 18. 6 and so it shall be more and more ruinated & decaied vntell the burning and desolation of Romish Babilon.

The fift signe is grieuous calamities & persecutions of Gods Prophets,The fi [...]t signe. Saints and Seruants vnder Antichrist, es­pecially these 100. years last past of which (perhaps) Daniel [Page 94] chap. 2. 15. chap. 8. ve. 34. Apoc. 11. 35. Apoc. 13. ve. 15. 16. 17. Lastly in Rome hath bin found the bloud of the Pro­phets, and of the Saints and of al that were slaine vpon the earth,Apoc. 18, 24 of these it is verified y the Psalmist saith for thy sake are we slaine continually, [...]s [...]l 44. ve 22 and are counted as sheepe for the [...]laughter, & that which our Sauiour fore-sheweth, saying, they shall excommunicate you: yea the time shall [...]ome, Ioh. 16, 1. 2 that wh [...]soeuer killeth you will thinke that [...]e doth God good ser­ [...]ice: the reason hereof in respect of Antichrist and his ad­herents is because they cannot indure the ransacking and refuting of there idolatry, false doctrine, the Popes supre­macy and their idle superstitions and Antichristian rites, ceremonies and traditions. But we hope that these trobles are for the most part past, and that towardes the end of the world shalbe wel abated, so that the church as of late years shall haue a further breathing time, and thus much Mark [...] seemeth to signifie, Mark. 13. 7.

And thus much of the signes perfectly, and many of them long sithence accomplished.

THe second sort of signes and forerunners are those yt are in continuall act, namely partly fulfilled and part­ly to be further performed in their times. Of this sort are first an Apostacy and departure of many pastors & people from faith & soūd doctrine to Antichristianisme Turcisme yea and plaine Atheisme. 2. Thes. 2. 3. 1. Tim. 1. 4. 2. Pet. 2. ve. 1. 2. 3. Apoc. 13. ve. 16. et 17. But vnder the tiranny of the Romish Antichrist & Mahomet this general Apostasie and falling away from truth and wholesome doctrine hath long a goe beene verified, yet not so but that daily wee see it by lamentable experience continued and so it shall more and more bee encreased vnto the end of the world: for many that haue renounced Antichrist, fall to flat A­theisme and Libertinisme, and some againe reuert and re­uolt to their former superstition out of which they were for the time and in sort recouered, of these speaketh the scripture in many places Hebre [...]es 6. vers. 4. 5. 6. 2. Tim. 4. ver. 3. 4. 2. Peter 2. vers. 20. 21. and it shall so abound and ouerflow at Christ his second comming. That hee shall [Page] hardly finde faith on the earth, Luke 18, [...]. and no maruaile for as there haue done, yet doe, and alwaies shall arise false Prophets, Seducers, Deceiuers (successiuely) in many countries▪ king­domes and places,2. Pet. 2. 2 so many shall follow their damnable waies and be blinded by them.

The second signe partly past and partly present and to come, is a generall impietie, corruption of manners and impudency in all manner of sinne, still (like Noah, his ge­nerall deluge) preuayling in most places▪ the particular ef­fects where we as in a cataloge may reade and obserue in Paul his first Epistle to Timo [...]y, chapter the third v. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. And hereof in our owne kingdome we haue had fear­full experience, especially in these six and seauen last yeares, as though God had graunted a general indulgence to all manner of licentiousnesse, and as though hell were broake loose, and this profainesse and corruption of man­ners in all places of the world, yet continueth and shalbe much more vniuersall and contagious neare the time of Christ his second comming Luk. 17. 26. Math. 24. 38. and hereof there is and shalbe more feare then of corruption in doctrine;1. Tim. 3, 5 for many shal retaine a forme and outward pro­fession of Godlines but denie the powre and efficacy of it.

The third signe, is signes in the Sunne and in the Moone, & in the Stars, Luke. 21, 25 and vpon the earth trouble vpon nations, with perplexitie. Acts 2, 20 The sunne shall be turned into darkenesse and the Moone into bloud before the great & notable day of the Lord come. This signe by frequéncie and multitude of Eclipses hath of later yeares and daily is fulfilled; likewise by ter­rible windes, tempests, meteors and strange alterations in the aire it is performed, and this our late experience can iustifie: but it shalbe perfectly accomplished in the instant of Christ his second comming and glorious ap­pearing; for then hee by the brightnesse of his glorious Maiesty shall darken and suppresse the light of Sunne Moone and Starres; and a little before this time the whole frame of the world shalbe shaken and mooued and the ve­ry brute and senselesse creatures shal before hand perceiue and feele the powre of Christ his commingLuke 2 [...], v. 26 when all the [Page 95] reprobate shall remaine blockish and without feeling.

And thus much of mixt or continued signes.

Signes and fore-runners that are yet to come to passe are specially these fiue following.

First the burning and vtter desolation of Rome the mother of fornication and idolatrie and the proper seate of Antichrist, this that it shall be so, is most manifest and apparent by Scripture, reasons and authorities: First the Scripture testifieth that,Apoc. 16. 16▪ the great (ittie shall be diuided into three partes, and great Babilon shall come in remembrance before God: and th [...]t the tenne horned or Ki [...]ges shall hate the whore, Cap. 17. 16. shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eate hir flesh, and burne hir w [...]th fire, Verse 8. and most plainely in the 18. Chapter, hir plagues shall come in one day, death, and sorrow, and hunger, and she shall be vtterly burnt with fire, for strong is the Lord that iudgeth hir. Here-vpon the (Iodolatrous) Kinges of the earth, the Marchants, and euery shippe go­uernour, Chap. 18▪ V. 9. 11. 17. 18. and all they that occupy shippes, and ship-men, and as many as worke in the Sea, shall bewayle hir, lament hir, weepe [...]nd cry at the sight and notice of hir burning, but this is not yet come to passe, like-wise all the Church of God shall [...]eioyce and praise God for his iust iudgements executed vppon the Whore; Apocalips. 11. Verse 20. and Chapter 19. Verse 1. and 2.

Further reasons are these, God hath begun in part to punish and destroy Rome and Antichrist, and therefore seeing that it is builded and standeth vpon a sandy foun­dation, hauing begune to fall, it must needes shortly fall when the raine of Gods seuere iudgement commeth, and the flouds flow, and the windes blow and beate vpon it, and great must be the fall of it.

Secondly, The-Easterne Babilon, a type of this Wes­terne Babilon (abeit she had nothing so much conuiction, nor neuer committed so haynous and manifold abhom [...] ­nations as Rome hath done) was vtterly and many ages sithence destroyed, much more shall Rome it selfe, the mouth of Hell and Satans his chamber and Metropolis. [Page] Thirdly all the Protestant and sound interpreters of the Apocalips by one ioynt consent hold that Rome shalbe ransacked and ruinated and wholely consumed and neuer more inhabited vnlesse it be wi [...]h deuills.

Lastly (to omit the prophecy of Sibylla who saith that Rome in the tenth generation of men shall perish with fire hard at the end of the world) the Papists themselues acknowledge thus much and render reasons of it. [...] & [...]. Our Rhemists in their Annotations in Apoc. 17. say that Rome before the end of the world shalbe come the seate of anti­christ, Ribera vpon the 14. chap. saith, it shalbe the shoppe of all Idolatry. Vega the Iesuite in his commentary vpon the 18. chapter, saith that it shalbe the habitation of deuills and reuolt from the faith of Christ: and herevpon Vega and Ri­bera (both Iesuits) confesse that Rome in the end of the world shalbe Babilon and burned, as they collect out of the 18. chapter: and the Kings and Marchants shall lament for her torments, which saith Vega wee must needes referre to the last times before the end of the world; wherefore howsoeuer many, because of present improbabilities cast needelesse doubts yet shal the threatnings and iudgments of God not fall to the ground but bee executed in their times.Math. 24. 35

The second signe yet to bee fulfilled is the generall cal­ling and conuersion of the nation of the Iewes (in the pla­ces and countries where they shalbe and are residing,) when the fulnesse of vs Gentiles is come into the church, and this shalbe the reuiuing and reioysing of the world both in respect of Iewes and Gentiles, and this is most plaine as by Lu. 21. ver. 24. 2. Cor. 3. 16. & perhaps Zopho­nia 3. ver. 8. so especially Rom. 11. ver. 12. 15. 2. 6. This ge­nerall conuersion of them wee daily expect to come to passe albeit we are ignorant of the maner and circumstan­ces of it, but hereof I haue treated at large in my expositi­on of the 11. chapter to the Romaines.

The third signe next succeeding and following in order is the arising of false Christes,Math. 24. ver. 24. and false Prophets, that shall shew great signes and wonders: in so much that (if it [Page] were possible) they should deceiue the very elect. Here­vpon Gods people are admonished and instructed, that when they shall say,Ver. 26. behold hee is, in the secret places that they must not beleeue it. But it will bee obiected that there were such that tooke vpon them the name of the Messias and the King of Israel before the destruction of Ierusalem, and seduced and drew many after them (as we haue exam­ples in Theudas Acts 5. and in the Aegiption Acts 21.) I answere here in this place Christ speaketh of false Christes that shall long after that time arise, and that shall seduce as well the Gentiles as the Iewes.

Secondly those Christs did shew no signes and won­ders as these shall doe, who shall labour by false miracles and satanicall illusions and conclusions to gaine and pro­cure credit and authoritie to their false doctrine, and also in respect of efficacie of error in the last generation or age of the world, it may very well stand that the Sonne of man shall scarcely finde faith vpon the earth when hee com­meth to iudgement. Luk. 18. 8.

The fourth signe, that is the last generall signe is a cer­taine brutish securitie and an vnspeakable deadnesse of heart and spirit, so that man shalbe without all feare of God, senselesse of all euill, caring for no instructions and admonitions; but liuing in pleasure and impenitency and not heeding nor taking notice of the signes of Christ his comming. Math. 24. 35. Luke 17. 26. 1. Thess. 5. 3. so that the last day shall come as a snare on al such; L [...]k 21. 35 sudden destruc­tion shall come vpon them and they shall in no wise escape, 1. Thes. [...], [...]. et. 4. they shall not be able to endure the day of his wrath; much lesse be able to stand and iustifie their cause in iudgement.

This brutish securitie hath beene in former ages, and much increaseth in these our daies, but then it shalbe much more vniue [...]fall and incurable.

The last signe is the darkning of the lights of heauen, and the roaring of the seas Math. 24. v [...]. 24. Luk. 21. v. 25, this is the neerest signe and therefore, wee are the more carefully to obserue it when it commeth.

[Page] Quest. Why will not God reueale vnto any the time and day of the last iudgement?

An. Partly to bridle mans rash curiositie that doth serch and mine into secrets that are both vnpossible and vnlaw­full to be knowne. Secondly that wee should watch and waite for his comming and make vs ready euery houre. Mark. 13. ver. 33.

Quest. Why doth God def [...]rre and put of the last iudgement so long?

An. First that the number of his elect might be all borne, called and fulfilled, and so gathered into the Chruch tri­umphant in heauen. Secondly to containe and keepe his people from astonishment of feare and from abuse of his long patience, and also to trie & exercise their faith, hope, charitie and patience. Lastly to leaue the wicked and those that contemne his grace offered vnto them,Rom 2 v 4. et 5. 2. [...]. 3. [...]. and a­buse his long suffering, without all excuse and defense of themselues in the last day.

Vse. 1. The generall vses of all these signes past, present and are to come, are principally foure. First here are re­prooued and condemned all such who beeing led by their owne lusts and carnall reason and not by holie scripture beeleue not the last iudgement but contemne and deride it. 2. Pet. 3. ver. 3.

Whereas first this doctrine is plainely and abundantly set forth in the scriptues. Psal. 50. 1. Act. 10. 42. Math. 25. 31. Luk. 18. 17. Rom. 2. 16. Hebrew. 9. 27. Iob. 19. 25. Act. 3. 19. Act. 17. 31. 2. Cor. 5. 10. 1. Pet. 4. Iude. ver. 14. et 15. 2. Tim. 4. 8. Apoc. 1. Apoc. 20. ver. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Secondly except there should bee a generall iudgement there neede no resurrection. Lastly God could not shewe himselfe either perfectly iust in punishing and condemning the reprobates, nor perfectly mercifull in ab­soluing sauing, and rewarding his seruants.

Vse. 2. Secondly, seeing that wee know not the day nor the yeare of iudgement but onely the generall signes of it, it serueth to refute and refell the pride and rash cu­ [...]iositie of those, that either by fained reuelation, humaine [Page] Prophecies▪ Arithmeticall supputation, position of starres and hum [...]ine coniectures and authorities, will calculate and cast yea and define the very time and yeare of Christ comming (as some did in the antient fathers times, and many defined that the world shall end in 88.) but time and experience hath shewed the folly and vanitie of there coniectures.

Secondly it is a thing both vtterly vnlawfull and simp­lie vnpossible for any man to know or define the certaine and set time of Christ his appearance,Acts [...]. [...]. for it is not reuealed to the very elect Angells, and Christ when hee was vpon the earth knew not the day. Math. 24. ver. 36. Math. 13. 32. much lesse can we know it.Math 24, 42, et [...]4

Vse. 3. The third vse is for instruction and admo­nition that the Godly themselues because many times they are in a kinde of slumber, and doe not alike cheere­fully looke for CHRIST his comming, might watch, pray,Luk. 12. 43 repent, make themselues ready and waite for the day and appearance of Christ, that when Christ com­meth to them either by death or at the last iudgement, they may be found waking and walking in their Christi­an calling, and so ready with good conscience to render vnto the Lord an account of their Stewardship.

Vse. 4. The fourth vse is for the consolation of the sound and sincere hearted Christian whosoeuer,Acts 3, ver. 19 for hee know­eth that the neerer the signes are to their accomplish­ment; the sooner shall hee bee eased of the burden of his sinnes, deliuered from all miseries and bee possessed with all ioy and hapinesse.Luk. 21, 28 Herevpon the Godly are vpon no­tice taken of the accomplishment of these signes, exhor­ted to lift vp their heads, because their full redemption draweth nigh and they in the certaine hope and expecta­tation of this blessed day, are notably sheilded and de­fended against all temptations and afflictions. Iob. 25. 19. 2. Cor. 4.Apoc. 1. 7.

Vse. 5. The last vse is for the terrour and conuincement of all im [...]enitent, vnbeleeuing, profaine rebellious persons; who in this life would not submit and subiect themselues [Page] to [...]ee taught, ruled and ordered by Christ, his Gospell, his discipline, they by reason of their vnbeleefe and con­ [...]empt shall finde and feele Christ to be as a iust, so an ang­rie and seuere iudge to condemne them to eternall and vnspeakable torments. Apoc. 6. vers. 15. 16. Luk. 21. 26. Ma [...]h. 25. 41. Apoc. 6.

The Lord God for Christ his sake grant, that wee may take due notice of these signes, and be hereby effectu­ally stirred vp to prepare our selues against Christ his comming that our soules may be saued. Amen.


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