HERACLITVS: OR, MEDITATIONS vpon the Misery of Man­kinde, and the vanitie of Humane life: With The inconstancie of worldly Things; as also the wickednesse of this de­ceitfull age described.

Faithfully translated out of the last Edition written in French by that learned Diuine, Monsieur Du Moulin, By ABRAHAM DARCIE.

LONDON Printed by G. P. for Thomas Pauier: and are to be sold at his shop in Iuie Lane. M.DC.XXIV.

TO THE ILLVSTRIOVS IOHN, Earle of Bridgewater, &c. And to the Princely Lady FRANCESThis Princely Dame, is a blest branch of these famous Trees of Ho­nour, the most ancient House of Derby, and the Noble family of the Spencers. his Noble Countesse; As also to the Honorable Ladies, the Lady Honora­ble branches of Honour sprung from the Noble House of Bridgewa­ter. FRANCES HOBART, and the Lady ARABELLA St IOHN their worthy Daughters:

And to the Honor of the Right Honorable,

  • The Lord St IOHN, Baron of Bletso, & the Illustrious La­dy ELIZABETH
    Noble Twigs of vertue, issu­ed from the Illustrious family of the Paulets, & Marquises of Win­chester.
    His Noble and Vertuous Wife, with their Hono­rable Sonne, Mr▪ St IOHN.
  • The Lord HOBART L. Chiefe Iustice of the Common-Pleas, and to the Religious Lady his worthy Wife, to their Generous & vertuous Son, Sir IOHN HOBART.

True Patternes of Vertue and Pietie, Noble Patrons and Patronesses of Honor and Learning, ABRAHAM DARCIE wisheth to these Noble Families, all internall, exter­nall, and eternall Happinesse and pro­sperity in Christ Iesus.

Right Honorable, Most Worthy:

THat great and wise Monarch, King SALOMON, said long since, that there is no end of making Bookes, Eccles. 12. 12. and much studie is a wearinesse of the flesh.

Which Paradoxe was neuer more verefied, then in these de­generate dayes of Vanity, when ignorant as well as wise men will bee still writing of them­selues, whereby the Presse is euen oppressed with multipli­citie [Page] of such idle Treatises, more light then vanity it selfe. But for such Bookes as doe either affoord direction to the Church, or a way to reforme and better our Life, those are most wor­thy to bee read, and carefully obserued.

This excellent Worke, (first penned in French by one of the most learned Diuines in France) clearely shewing vs the Ʋanity, Misery, and Inconstan­cie of this World, doth warne and admonish vs to take heede how we trust to it, and that we must not build our happinesse vpon so deceitfull grounds as Riches and Earthly possessions, but to direct our Hearts, leuell and lift our mindes and thoughts [Page] to HEAVEN, to that Eternal and blessed Habitation of CHRIST IESVS.

Considering these things, what greater abomination can there be, then to see the people of this miserable age delight to vndoe one another,Pyrrus King of Epirots, that va­liant and victori­ous warriour, is killed by a silly woman with a tile stone. enuie, de­spise, curse, warre, and finally kill one another? For a thing so vaine as this World, deceitful, miserable, inconstant, and dam­nable,He who had filled the earth with the Trophees of his deedes, and tri­umphs of his vi­ctories, Alexan­der of Mace­donia, that most famous Monarch, died impoysoned by his owne ser­uants. which sometimes honors vs, and presently contemnes vs, cals vs to high Callings, and sodainly debases and degrades vs; lifts vs to high prosperity, and immediatly flings vs head­long into lowe aduersity. Ther­fore PHILIP King of Macedo­nia, The chiefe of the Greekes, hauing escaped so many perils in the Troy­ans warres, is cru­elly murdered be­fore his Castle. acknowledging the worlds [Page] great inconstancie, hauing re­ceiued many good newes in one day, prayeth the immortall Gods to stop the course of so greatioyes,Great Pompey hauing shunned the bloudy hand of his enemies, is killed by his deare & obliged friend. fearing lest some si­nister actions, and mournefull euents should ensue them.

Right Honourable, this Booke hauing past many Im­pressions in FRANCE,That victorious French Mo­narch, Henry of Bourbon, the 4. of that name, whose inuincible valour made Spaine quake, & Rome trēble, is in time of peace lamentably mur­dred in his Coach, in the midst of his Royall citie of Paris. is now arriued, newly reuiued and augmented here in Eng­land; and though it bee little in shew, yet it containes many good things, yea, matters of weight and consequence, wor­thy to bee read, knowne, and obserued: As also very fit and needfull for a Christian to me­ditate.These examples do euidently shew the worlds mu­tability and in­constancie. The exquisite worth thereof hath mooued mee to [Page] translate it; but the fame of your rare vertues hath the more imboldened mee to publish it vnder the banner of your No­ble protections. Accept it (most Honorable) as courteously, as officiously it is Dedicated and Consecrated to the perpetuall Honour, and Honourable vse of your Illustrious Houses and Noble Families, by

Your Honours and Worthinesse humble and deuoted obseruant, ABRAHAM DARCIE.
A Table of the Contents of this Booke.
CHAP. 1.
THe vanity and mise­ry of the Nature of man. fol. 6
CHAP. 2.
The vanity and inconstan­cy of man in his action. 10
CHAP. 3.
Of mans Ripe Age. 16
CHAP. 4.
The life of Courtiers. 27
CHAP. 5.
The life of Magistrates, and wicked Iudges. 31
CHAP. 6.
Of mans estate being in Wedlocke. 36
CHAP. 7.
The vanity and inconstan­cie of Women. 42
CHAP. 8.
Of Couetousnesse, Enuie, and Ambition. 45
CHAP. 9.
Of Petty-fogging strifes, and law-contention. 53
CHAP. 10.
Of Philosophy, and the knowledge of diuers tongues. 55
CHAP. 11.
Of Pilgrims, and Ciuill vertues. 59
CHAP. 12.
Of old and decrepit Age. 77
CHAP. 13.
Of Death. 69
CHAP. 14.
Of the terrible Iudgement seat of God. 74
CHAP. 15.
Of Heauen. 79
CHAP. 16.
Of Hell. 81
CHAP. 17.
The misery and vanity of our Life, and the wic­kednesse that now raig­neth.

HERACLITVS TEARES: OR, THE MISERY OF HVMANE LIFE. WITH The vanity and inconstancie of worldly things.

IF we doe but seriously con­sider this besotted World, how like a turbulent tor­rent it is ouerflowne with all sorts of impertinent and importunate affaires, [Page 2] which cut our time into a thousand pieces, wee shall finde, that each of them takes from vs one part of our life, leauing vs no time but that which wee gaine by theft; sub­tracting some houres for to examine our selues in secret, and to enter­tain our mind with religious thoughts. These solitary meditations haue suf­ficient in them to employ our wits. For the first Subiect which doth pre­sent it selfe to our perusall, is a consi­deration of the vanity and misery of humane life, not for to molest vs any way, while we are in it, but to prepare our selues to depart well out of it. No man can aspire as hee ought to the fu­ture life, which doth not contemne this present, neither can any man contemne this present, which doth not well know it: and the way truely to know it, is to [Page 3] remoue it farre from vs, to withdraw it from our heart, and to banish it from our affection; For worldly goods beeing neere at hand, doe both dazell the Minde, and distract the Iudgement.

But let vs first enquire, before we proceede, of some one that hath passed this way. King Salomon in the be­ginning of Ecclesiastes, entring into that meditation doth write, that va­nity is most vaine, all is vanity. That great and mighty King, who had riches without example; peace, without trouble; glory, without enuy: who was obeyed of his Subiects, re­spected of his Neighbors, and raigned forty yeeres, which was a sufficient time to content his minde, in sumptu­ous buildings, in multitude of Horses, in all variety of studies and Sciences, [Page 4] who had trauersed his spirits through all the secrets of Nature, euen from the Cedar vnto the Hysop. Neuerthelesse, in the conclusion of all, considering how these sweets are confected with bit­ternesse, how there is little constancie in these things, how there is small con­tent in all this trauell, hee makes this the cloze of all his actions, That all is vanity and affliction of spirit But be­fore that Solomon had proued these things,Eccl. 1. 14. hee learned that lesson of Da­uid his father, which is written in the 39. Psalme, Truely euery man is nothing but vanity, he walketh in a vaine shadow, and disquieteth himselfe in vaine: hee heapeth vp riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. Let vs therefore, according to the rules of such excel­lent men, enter into that meditation, [Page 5] and taking that Instrument out of their hands, make an Anatomie of our selues. There is no discourse more serious, then that which treateth of vanity: Nor contemplation more high, then to reason of our owne infir­mities: seeing by that meanes man mainteining himselfe, is eleuated aboue himselfe.

This vanity linked with misery, is to be considered:

First, in the Nature of man.

Secondly, in his actions.

And thirdly, in his thoughts and desires.

The vanitie and miserie of the Nature of Man.

MAN being the image of God, and the chiefe worke of Na­ture, is miserable euen in his originall: For the most no­ble of them, yea, if he be the sonne of an Emperor, doth receiue his forme be­tweene the two excrements of nature, and there hee is nourished for a time with the most impure bloud of all: hee is there subiect to be bruised by the least fall of his Mother. His birth is shame­full, insomuch that women blush to bee publiquely seene in child-bed.

The beasts and birds are brought in­to the world, either couered with haire, feathers, or wooll; not so much as the seedes and corne of the ground, but na­ture hath cloathed them with eares and huskes, man onely excepted: for hee [Page 7] being once come from his mothers wombe, seemeth no other thing then the similitude of a poore worme, that commeth creeping out of the earth, his cloathing is bloud onely, wherein he is bathed and couered, which signifieth no other thing but the image and figure of sinne.

The beginning of his life is with sorrow: for at comming into the world, weepings and wailings doe accompa­ny him, which are as messengers and fore-shewers of his calamities to come; the which because hee cannot expresse in words, he witnesseth by teares.

Hee is borne immoueable, and tum­bleth into his owne filth. Other liuing creatures are no sooner out of the wombe, but they fall on their feete and are ready to goe; nor out of the shell, but they runne for meate. The worme (be hee neuer so little) as soone as na­ture hath brought him out of the earth, beginneth to crawle and creepe, and to seeke for foode: The little Chicken, as soone as hee is out of the shell, is found [Page 8] cleane, & runneth after the Hen, know­ing when he is called: hee picketh and eateth▪ hee feareth the Kite, and flyeth danger, being guided onely by nature. But behold, Man, so soone as hee is come into the world, is like vnto a little Monster, and a lumpe of flesh, which will let himselfe bee eaten of other beasts, if he be not seene into; and dye for hunger, before he can finde his mo­thers brest, and will as soone eate poi­son as good meat, and handle hot iron, before hee can discerne the good from the euill.

Thus Man beeing brought into this miserable world, and plunged in the gulph of miseries, he then requireth to haue nourishment, and cloathing, to comfort the infirmity of his nature; but behold, he is subiect vnto such necessi­tie, that hee is glad to gaine it with the sweate of his browes: Whereas other liuing creatures do finde all things rea­die prepared for them, Man onely hath need of habiliments; for he that is the most noble in the world, is ashamed to [Page 9] shew his nakednesse, and therefore hi­deth himself vnder the spoiles of other creatures. Hee is subiect to more mala­dies then all the beasts together; to which the obscurest fogges or euening dewe doe no hurt. They neuer bleed at the nose, although they goe alwayes declining towards the earth. They are ignorant what the Catarre, Calcull, and diuers sorts of Agues meane.

Man onely is capable to discerne these differences, and to feele their ef­fects; for if there be any beasts which are more afflicted with diseases, they are such as liue limited within the precinct of some house, and so receiue it by contagion. But some will obiect that Man hath reason aboue the beasts: which is indeed the reason of his tor­ment, in winning him to practise dan­gerous and pernitious designes; to bee subtle in contentions, to ioyne himselfe into other mens affaires, and being once satisfied, to stirre vp an artificiall appe­tite, and a desire to drinke without thirst. I am ignorant what the reason [Page 10] is, but we are much more sensible of ill then good; and that griefes doe more disturbe vs, then pleasures can content vs. Scarce can we thinke of an absolute health, but some torment or other doth presently possesse vs, as the Tooth-ach, or paine in the fingers end. One drop of gall, will distaste a whole vessell of sweets. How much then of happy for­tunes is required to digest one af­fliction?

The vanity and inconstancy of Man in his actions.

MAn being borne so poore and base into this world, how many yeeres steale from him,Of Infancy. before he receiue abi­litie to conduct himselfe? How long and laborious is his instruction? What time is consumed while hee trembleth vnder Masters, for to gaine vnprofitable words, & some little superficiall know­ledge? Also who doth not discerne in this part of his age, an vntoward per­uersitie, [Page 11] a contradicting humour, and in one infant spirit, all the vices of Man, as buds and graines of some future infeli­citie? The onely meane to appease children, is to correct some one before them: If any do but touch one of their toyes, they ouerturne all the rest for despite, The loue & respect which they giue to their puppets, are eminent seeds of Idolatry. Such are the infants that are begotten of the best of men: A graine of corne winnowed from the chaffe, produceth corne with chaffe; a man circumcised, begetteth an infant vncircumcised.

Therefore you may see by the per­uersitie of your children, the image of your corruption.

Wee haue already discoursed vvhat perils and dangers man hath at his first comming into the world, and in his in­fancie. Now therefore let vs consider vvhat he is when he is sprung vp,Of Youth. and vvhether that there be an end of his mi­series or no. Of which, if we be equall Iudges, we shall finde, that he doth ra­ther [Page 12] increase then decrease in miseries: for this is the time of mans life, where­in Nature doth raise against him a more furious combate; for now his bloud beginneth to rise, the flesh prouoketh him to his owne pleasure, the vvicked world espieth him, the Diuel tempteth him, & his selfe-will'd youthfulnes lea­deth him into all dangers, and induceth him to reiect all instructions, insomuch as it is impossible but that which is as­sailed with so many vices, and succou­red of none, in the end is discomforted and ouercome. For in the body of youth, ryot, libertie, and deliciousnesse aboundeth: for all the vices in the world (saith Marcus Aurelius) doe there plant their siege. O how many persons in this age are corrupted vvith too much pleasure, lulling themselues asleepe, in the lap of such as seeke to strangle them! O traitrous Dalilah, which seekest by thy inticing flatteries, to deliuer vs to an enemie, farre vvorse then the Philistims, which is the Diuell himselfe! Such pleasures are like vnto [Page 13] guilded pils, which vnder their exter­nall beauty include bitternesse. They are also like vnto fresh Riuers, that end their course in the Sea, losing their sweet rellish in an ocean of saltnes. True zeale cannot flourish vnder so nice and delicate a gouernment; nor can the per­fect knowledge of God (which is a ce­lestiall gift) be subiected to the belly, it cannot remaine amongst swine; that habitation is onely agreeable to the di­uell, who, by the permission of Iesus Christ, hauing entred into a Herd of swine, compelled them to runne head­long to their owne ruine: and who (as it is recorded in the holy Writ) nou­risheth prodigall children vvith the husks of pleasures, in stead of their pa­rents bread.

It behooueth the Husbandman, when the trees are yong,Youth com­pared to yong trees. to vphold them, and to lop the o're-weighty branches, if af­terwards he intends to gather any fruit. Likewise, it is necessary for Parents, to reforme & correct the vices that raigne in Youth, lest afterwards it returne to [Page 14] their shame and reproach. But there are at this day many fathers and mothers, who for not hauing well instructed their children in their youth, doe re­ceiue much sorrow and griefe in their age: a iust reward for such Parents, who (although they be said to be nourishers of the bodies) are the destroyers of the soules of their children.

If Ely was grieuously punished vvith his children, for that hee did not so sharpely chastice them, as their offences did require, what shall become of those fathers and mothers, which in stead of correcters, are the childrens corrupters? Such Parents may well bee compared to Apes, which kill their yong ones by too much clasping them between their armes, and keeping them so deare; and this is the cause that so many fall into the hands of the Hangman, which is to them reformer and correcter.

Many there bee, that in stead of gi­uing good exhortations to their Fami­ly, doe shew them first themselues naughty and wicked examples. For the [Page 15] first commandement that they giue them how to liue well, is to blaspheme, sweare, exercise gluttony and drunken­nesse, to spoile the substance of their youth; to bee fornicators, and to kisse women and maidens in their presence.

There bee also many mothers heere that learne their Daughters to Dance, to vse Rhetorick termes, to haunt com­panies, to scoffe and flout, to paint and colour their faces, to decke their fingers with Rings, and their necks with Ie­wels, as though they were Iewel-sel­lers, pretending to keepe a shop: but in the end it will happen to them, as it did to the Prophet Dauid, 2. King. 13. & 15. whose sinne was punished in his children, which were most of them so wicked, that the one of them defloured his owne Sister, and the other killed his Brother, and after­wards sought the death of his owne Fa­ther, and chased him out of his King­dome.

The ancient Philosophers maintained this argument, that all sinnes commit­ted in this world, vvere punished in the [Page 16] World to come, except the sinne that Man committed in the bringing vp of his children, and for that hee suffereth punishment in this world: for the fa­ther can giue nothing to his child, but fraile and mortall flesh, by the corrup­tion whereof, the life taketh end; but by good learning and knowledge, eter­nall praise & memory is gotten. There­fore to conclude, if children haue been in great misery, being nourished with spotted milke, yet the misery doubleth in those that should cause them to bee instructed: for the food of the body is more vile then the food of the soule.

Of Mans ripe Age.

HAuing finished this our second dis­course, Man is growne to his full perfection both of strength and discre­tion, and his heat being allayed by age, behold other vanities which attend on him, although not altogether so vio­lently [Page 17] scorching, yet more opinionated and troublesome, for hee entreth into deeper cogitations and trauell in the spirit. It is requisit therefore that hee frequent publike places, that he haunt the company of those that are touch­stones, for to know the good from euill. If he be come of a great and No­ble stocke, hee must make many enter­prises of Warre, put himselfe in perils, hazzard his life, and shead his bloud, to die in the way of Honour, or else hee shall bee reputed a dastardly Coward, and vtterly despised of all men. If hee be of base estate, and that hee be called to the knowledge of Arts, Sciences, and needfull trades; yet for all that, he runneth into a thousand dangers, tra­uailes, paines and troubles, as well of the body as of the soule, hee toileth day and night, and sweateth water and bloud, to get a maintenance during his life, and oftentimes it is seene, that what paines soeuer man taketh for his liuing, yet it is scant sufficient to serue his necessitie. Let him be of any Voca­tion [Page 18] or Calling whatsoeuer, there come vnto him irremoueable cares, dome­sticke troubles, or the knowledge of husbandry, or contentions in Law, or the labour of painfull Mechanick Arts; all to the end that he may get somwhat for his children, who sucking from him (it may be) all that he hath, is onely re­quited with ingratitude and reproch.

These infelicities are the occasion that man is alwayes wearied with the things present, desiring onely things to come, and continually endeuouring to catch at somewhat that is already escaped; whereas if by chance they obtaine it, it dissolueth to nothing, as it is in their hands, or if they enioy it, yeelds no contentment, nor doth a­ny wise appease their feare, or satisfie their desire.

It is not therefore without cause that M. Aurelius was wont to say (when hee considered the misery of mankinde) I mused in my mind, said he, whether there might bee found in any age, a man that could vaunt, that in all [Page 19] his life-time he neuer tasted aduersitie: and assuredly if there might bee such a one found, he would be such a fearfull monster vpon earth, that all liuing things would bee amazed to behold him. Then he concluded after this sort, saying; And in the end I found my owne thoughts true; for hee that vvas yesterday rich, was to day poore; hee that was yesterday in health, was to day sicke; he that laughed yesterday, did to day weepe: he that was yesterday in prosperitie, was to day in aduersitie; and he that was yesterday aliue, was to day dead.

But let vs now returne to our for­mer matter, and set downe our discour­ses in order.

What liuing man is he in al the world, that hath giuen himselfe to any Sci­ence, or otherwise to liue, but that at one time or other hee disliked of his owne profession, and is weary thereof?

And for the better vnderstanding of the same, we will particularly discourse the miseries and troublesome liues of [Page 20] all the principall estates, liuing vpon the bosome of the sinfull earth.

Searching into all estates of men, we shall finde that aboue all other mortall creatures, Kings are most liberally pro­uided for: for what maketh man ap­peare more happy in this world, then Goods, Honors, Dignities and Rule; licence to doe good or euill, without controulement, power to exercise libe­ralitie, and all kinde of pleasure, as well of the body, as of the minde: all that may be wished for, to the contentation of Man, either in varietie of meates, magnificence in seruice, or in vestures, to raise at their pleasure the meanest man to high place, and with a frowne disgrace the mightiest? All which is continually at a Princes command: there is nothing that may please the memory, or flatter the desires of the flesh, but is prepared for them euen from their cradles, onely to make their liues more happy and full of felicitie.

But now if wee iudge of their liues vprightly, and weigh them in a true [Page 21] ballance, wee shall finde, that the selfe­same things that make them happy in this world, are the very instruments of vice, and the cause of greater sorrowes: for what auaile their costly orna­ments, honorable seruices, and delicate meates, when that they are in continuall feare to bee poisoned, wrong seduced, and often beguiled by their seruitors? Haue wee not had experience thereof many times? Doe not Histories report that some men haue beene poisoned with Pages, and with the smoake of Torches? Wee may reade likewise of certaine Emperours that durst not lye downe to rest in the night, before they had caused their beds to be lyen in, and all the corners of their chambers to bee searched, lest they should bee strangled or murthered in their sleepes. Others that would not permit any Barbers to touch their faces, for feare that in trim­ming of their heads or beards, they would cut their throats: and yet to this day they are in such feare, that they dare not put meat into their mouthes, [Page 22] before their taster haue tasted thereof.

What felicity can a Prince or King haue,That Kings and Soue­raignes are not more free from misery then other inferiour persons. that hath many thousands of men vnder their gouernment, when he must watch for all; heare the complaints and cryes of euery one; procure euery mans saufeguard; prouoke some [...]o doe well by liberall gifts; and others, by terrour & feare? He must nourish peace amongst his Subiects, and defend his Realme a­gainst the inuasion of forraine enemies, besides many other calamities that are depending vpon a Regall Crowne.

But now touching the vnhappy states of wicked Princes, vnto whom three kindes of people are most agreeable and familiar. The first are flatterers, which be the chiefe enemies to all vertue, and they that impoison their soules with a poison so pestiferous, that it is contagi­ous to all the world: their Princes fol­ly, they call Prudence; their crueltie, Iustice; their wantonnesse, Loue; their fornications, Pleasures and pastimes: if they be couetous, they call it good hus­bandry; if they be prodigall, they call it [Page 23] liberalitie. So that there is no vice in a Prince, but they cloake it vnder the sha­dow of some vertue.

The second sort are such, who neuer rest night,The inuen­ters if new Patents. but in the morning they bring in some new inuention or other, how to taxe and draw money from the poore people; and generally all their study is imployed to bee wastefull, and prodigall in the exactions and misery of the poore Commons.Enuious, & insatiable Courtiers.

The third and last sort are such, that vnder the cloake of kindnesse and ho­nestie (counterfetting good men) haue alwaies their eyes fixed vpon other mens liuings, and make themselues re­formers of Vices.

They inuent wicked & false deuices, not only how to get other mens goods, but oftentimes their liues, who before God are most innocent.

Behold, heere you may well see the manifold miseries that compasse Scep­ters, and States of Princes: Heere are the thornes that they receiue, in recom­pence of their brightnesse and royall [Page 24] dignity, which ought like a Lampe to giue light to all the world: but when it is eclipsed or darkened with any vice, it is more reproachfull in them then in any other priuate person whatsoeuer: for they sinne not onely in the fault which they commit, but also by the example which they giue.

The aboundance of honours & plea­sures that Princes enioy, serueth as a bait to induce them to euill, and are the very matches to giue fire to vice.Wealth in­ticeth men to sinne. What was Saul before hee was made King, whose life is shewed in the holy Scrip­tures, whom God did elect? Yet hee made a sudden eclipse or changing. How wonderfull was the beginning of the raigne of King Salomon; the which being ouercome with royall pleasures, gaue himselfe as a prey to women! Of two and twenty Kings of Iudah, there is found but fiue or sixe that haue con­tinued in their vertue.

If we consider the estate of the Assy­rians, Persians, Grecians & Egyptians, we shall finde more of them wicked then [Page 25] good. If we consider what the Romane Emperours were, (which hath been the most flourishing Cōmon-wealth in the vvorld) vvee shall finde them so ouer­come with vices, and all kinde of cruel­ties, that I doe almost abhortre to speake of their corrupt and defiled liues. What was the estate of their Common-wealth, before that Scilla and Marius did murmure against it; before that Cataline and Catulla did perturbe it; be­fore that Caesar and Pompey did slander it; before that Augustus and Marcus Antonius did destroy it; before that Tiberius and Caligula did defame it; be­fore that Domitian and Nero did de­praue it? For although they made it rich vvith many Kingdomes, yet were the vices they brought with them, greater then the Kingdomes they gained. For their goods and riches are consumed, yet their vices remaine vnto this day. What memory remaineth of Romulus that founded the Citie of Rome? Of Numa Pompilius that erected the Capi­toll? Of Aurus Marius, that com­passed [Page 26] it with walles? Did not they shew what felicity remaineth in high estates, who are more subiect to the as­saults of Fortune, then any other earth­ly creature? For many times the thred of life breaketh, when they thinke least of death, and then the infamy of those that bee wicked, remaineth written in Histories, for a perpetuall memorie thereof. The which thing all estates ought more to regard a thousand times, then the tongue that speaketh euill, which can but shame the liuing: but booke record a perpetuall infamie for euer: which thing beeing duely consi­dered of by many Emperours & Kings in times past, forsooke their Scepters, and Royall Empires, and betooke them to an obscure life, resting better contented with a little in quiet, then to enioy with full saile the crooked ho­nors of the world.

The life of Courtiers.

BVt aboue other vanities and mise­ries which corruption doth conti­nually attend, there doth appeare in Princes Courts a certaine Noble cap­tiuitie, where, vnder the colour of Greatnesse, is the highest Seruitude, and those gilded chaines that fetter mens minds. He which will liue heere, must alwayes be masked, and prepared in one houre to conuert himselfe into twenty seuerall shapes, to entertaine many seruants, but no friends. Their innocency is accounted meere simpli­citie; and to affirme any thing, is to dis­proue the same. There are two sorts of people in the Court which hate one the other, each knowing of it: not­withstanding, there is alwayes an emu­lation betwixt them, which should first attempt any point of Honour, to doe the other seruice, and bee the last that should end it. But such ridiculous [Page 28] complements are like vnto Anticke actions. Enuy, which doth supplant and deceiue his neighbour, or that doth snarle in secret, is there perpetually, and to appease it, there is no way but by mi­serie. Vices and degenerate actions, are esteemed among Courtiers, as precepts and part of their composition. Not to bee corrupted by them, there requireth more faith then a graine of Mustard­seed. As Crowes build their nest a­mong the highest boughes, so doth the diuell among the highest of men, where spreading his wings, he clocketh for his little ones,New Duels doe adde to one much reputation: for as it is a shame for a man to come into the world; so they hold it an honour to send him out of it. which are his Vices, because there they remaine more exposed to the sight, and neuer appeare but vvith authoritie. There also shall you see Ca­ualiers, who out of their gallant disposi­tion will kill one the other, vpon the in­terpretation of a word: a manifest con­fession that their life is not much worth, sith they will sell it so good cheape. Notwithstanding these kinde of men, that are in these occasions so valiant, do fly away, when they should suffer the [Page 29] least thing for Gods cause. Surely many such are required to make one good Martyr for the holy Gospell.

There be some kinde of Courtiers so subtill and crafty, that they doe play as the Fisherman, who as soone as he hath gotten any thing in his Net, giueth o­uer the Court, and goeth his way. O­ther some there be that play all out: and other that remaine vntill they become wondrous rich, and in the end they are made to restore all backe againe.

There are also others that doe no­thing but inuent meanes to inlarge their owne treasures, and become vvealthy with spoiling poore people. Princes doe by them many times as wee doe by our hogges; wee let them fatten, to the end we may eate them afterwards: so likewise are they suffered many times to enrich themselues, to be disposed af­terwards when they are fat: and one that is new come, oftentimes is prefer­red in their places.

By this you may see, that Courtiers oftentimes doe sell their liberty, to be­come [Page 30] rich, for they must obey all com­mandements; they must frame them­selues to laugh when the Prince laugh­eth, to weepe when hee weepeth, ap­proue that which hee approueth, and condemne that which he condemneth. They must alter and change their na­tures to bee seuere, with those that are seuere; sorrowfull, with those that are sorrowfull, and in a manner transforme themselues, according to the nature of him whom they will please, or else they shall get nothing. To bee briefe, they must frame themselues according to his manners & nature, and yet many times one little offence stayneth all the ser­uice they haue done in the life before.

Many in Princes Courts put off their caps to them, whom they would gladly see cut shorter by the head, and often bow their knees to do them reuerence, whom they wish had broken their neckes.

Here you may see the life of a great number of vicious Courtiers, which is no life, but rather a lingring death: [Page 31] heere you may see wherein their Youth is imployed,Mens re­ward for those follies and deboist­nesse, com­mitted in their Youth. which is no youth, but a transitory death: for when they come to age, they bring nothing from thence but gray heads, their feet full of Gouts, their backes full of paine, their hearts full of sorrow, and their soules filled with sinne.

The life of Magistrates and wicked Iudges.

NOw our discourse of Courtiers be­ing past,Magistrates and wicked Iudges. it is requisite we speake of things done in the ciuill life, and to how many miseries it is subiect. For al­though it be at this day a degree most noble, & necessary for the peace of mans life; yet shall we finde, that it deserues to haue his part in this Pilgrimage, as well as others: and if there be any de­lectation, pleasure, or Honour, depend­ing thereon, yet it is transitory and in­constant.

[Page 32] First, knowing that all the actions of Magistrates passe before the eyes of the common people, whose iudgements in matters of State be but simple, yet haue they a certaine smell or sauour to know the good from euill. Wherefore those that be Iudges and Magistrates, be sub­iect (as in a Play) to bee hissed at, and chased away with shame and confu­sion.

For the haire-brain'd people vvhich is compared to a Monster with many heads, are mutable, vncertaine, fraudu­lent, apt to wrath and mutinie, ready to praise or dispraise, without wisedome or discretion, variable in their talke, vn­learned and obstinate.

Therefore it behooueth that the life of a Iudge or Magistrate bee sincere and vertuous. For as he iudgeth openly, so shall hee be iudged of the people se­uerally,A Notable ad [...]ertise­ment for Judges and Magistrates. not onely in matters of waight, and importance, but in those of small consequence. For alwayes the rude people will find somewhat to reforme, as the [...] at their [Page 33] Law-maker Licurgus, for that he went alwayes holding downe his head. The Venecians defamed wise Cato, in his ea­ting, and accounted Pompeius vnciuill: for that he would scratch with one fin­ger onely: yet these are but few in com­parison of other good men, that the common sort haue persecuted, banish­ed, and in the end put to death.

If that great Oratour Demosthenes were aliue, hee could say some-what, who after he had a long time been a iust and faithfull Gouernour of the Com­mon-wealth of Athens, was in the end without cause vniustly banished. Mo­ses and many other holy men haue so many times tasted the fury of the com­mon people, that if they were this day liuing, they would powre out most grieuous complaints against them.

Now wee haue shewed and set forth the miseries that proceede from com­mon people; so, must wee in like sort put into the ballance the errours and corruptions that are found in wicked Iudges; of the which sort, some are [Page 34] corrupted with feare: for such feare they haue, that rather then they will dis­please a Prince or a great Lord, will violate Iustice, like Pilate that condem­ned Christ, for feare that hee had to displease the Emperour Tiberius.

Other Magistrates are corrupted by loue, as was Herod, who for to please the foolish loue of a Damsell that dan­ced, condemned Saint Iohn Baptist, al­though that hee knew that hee was iust and innocent.

Some are many times corrupted by hatred, as was the chiefe Priest that con­demned Saint Paul to bee stoned to death, though he deserued it not.

Some Magistrates are corrupted by siluer and gold, and other gifts & pre­sents, as were the children of the Pro­phet Samuel: and this disease is so con­tagious, that I feare (at this day) ma­ny are infected with it.

They all loue rewards (saith the Pro­phet) they all looke for gifts: they doe not right to the Orphane, and the Wid­dowes complaint commeth not before [Page 35] them. And in another place, Woe be to you that are corrupted by money, by hatred or loue; and which iudge the good to be euill, and the euill good; ma­king the light darknesse, and the dark­nesse light. Woe bee to you that haue not respects to the secrets of things, but to the deserts of men: that regard not equity, but gifts that are giuen; that re­gard not Iustice▪ but money. You are diligent in rich mens causes, but you deferre the cause of the poore: you are to them most cruell & rigorous Iudges, but vnto the rich, kinde and tractable.

The Prophet Ieremy cryeth out a­gainst wicked Iudges, and saith they are magnified and become rich: they haue left the Orphanes, and haue not done Iustice for the poore; Shall not I there­fore punish these things, saith the Lord, and my soule take vengeance on such manner of people?

Heere also the sentence that S. Iames pronounceth against them at the day of Iudgement: You haue condemned and killed the iust: you haue liued in wan­tonnesse [Page 36] in this world, and taken your ease: Now therefore (saith the Lord of Hosts) weepe and howle in your wret­chednesse that shall come vpon you, your garments are moth-eaten, your gold and siluer is cankered, and the rust thereof shall be a witnesse against you, and it shall eate your flesh as it were fire; for the complaints of the poore are ascended vpto my Throne.

These are the complaints that the Prophets and Apostles made against wicked Iudges and Magistrates: and likewise the Censures that our good God hath thundered against them.

Of Mans estate being in wedlocke.

MAny hold, there is no ioy nor plea­sure in the world, which may bee compared to marriage: for, say they, there is such fellowship betweene the parties coupled, that they seeme two mindes to be transformed into one; and [Page 37] likewise that both their good fortune and bad is common to them both, their cares to be equall, and their ioyes e­quall: and to be briefe, that all things are in common betweene them two.

Truely if wee account it pleasure to commit our secrets to our friends and neighbors; how much greater is the ioy, when we may discouer our thoughts to her that is ioyned to vs, by such a knot of affinitie, that we put as much trust in her, as in our selues, make her whole treasurer, or faithfull keeper of the se­crets of our minde?

What greater witnesse of feruent loue, and vndissolueable amity can there be, then to forsake Father, Mo­ther, Sister and Brother, and generally all their kinred, till they become enemy to themselues, for to follow a Husband, that doth honour and reuerence her; and hauing all other things in disdaine, she only cleaueth to him? If he be rich, she keepeth his goods; if he be poore, she is companion with him in pouertie; if he be in prosperitie, his felicitie is re­doubled [Page 38] in her: if he be in aduersitie, hee beareth but the one halfe of the griefe; and furthermore she comforteth him, assisteth and serueth him. If a man will remaine solitary in his house, his wife keepeth him company: If he will goe into the fields, she conducteth him with her eye, so farre as she can see him; she desireth and honoureth him: being absent, shee complaineth, and sigheth and wisheth his company: being come home, he is welcommed and receiued vvith the best shew and tokens of loue. And for to speake truth, it seemeth that a Wife is a gift from heauen, granted to a man, as vvell for the contentation of Youth, as the rest and solace of Age.

Nature can giue vs but one Father, and one Mother, but marriage presen­teth many in our children, the which doe reuerence and honour vs, and are more deare vnto vs then our own selues (for being yong, they prattle, play, laugh, and shew vs many pretty toyes: they prepare vs an infinite number of [Page 39] pleasures; and it seemeth they are giuen vs by nature, to passe away part of our miserable life. If wee be afflicted vvith age, they shew the duty of children, cloze vp our eies, & bring vs to the earth from whence we came. They are our bones, our flesh & bloud: for in seeing them, we see our selues. The father be­holding his children, may be vvell assu­red that he seeth his liuely youth renued in their faces, in whom wee are almost regenerate and borne againe. Many are the ioyes & sweet pleasures in mariage, which for breuities sake, I omit & passe ouer. But if we doe well consider it, and weigh it in a iust ballance, we shall finde that amongst these Roses, are many Thornes growing; and amongst these sweet showres of raine, there falleth much Hayle.

But with reuerence now I craue par­don of all vertuous Ladies and Noble women, that with patience I may dis­couer my intent; and that my presump­tion may not gaine the least frowne from their chaste browes: for to the [Page 40] vicious I speake, and not to them whose brests harbour the liberall Fountaines of vertue and wisedome.

The Athenians being a people much commended for their prudence and wisedome, seeing that Husbands and Wiues could not agree, because of an infinite number of dissentions that chanced, were constrained to ordaine certaine Magistrates in their countrey, whom they called Reconcilers of the married ones: the office of whom was to set agreement betweene the Hus­band and the Wife. The Spartanes and Romanes had also such like lawes and orders amongst them: so great was the insolence and rashnesse of some wo­men towards their Husbands.

In this age there are but few, I thinke, can beare patiently the charges of mar­riage, or can endure the vnbridled rage of some women: and to speake truth vvithout flatterie, if thou takest her rich, thou makest thy selfe a bond-slaue; for thinking to marry thine equall, thou marriest a commanding Mistris. If thou [Page 41] takest her foule, thou canst not loue her; if thou takest her faire, it is an Image at thy gate to bring thee company. Beau­ty is a Tower that is assailed of all the vvorld, and therefore it is a hard thing to keepe that, when euery one seeketh to haue the key. This is the conclusion, riches causeth a woman to bee proud, beauty maketh her suspected, and hard-fauourednes causeth her to be hated. Therefore Diponares hauing tasted the Martyrdomes of marriage, said, that there were but 2. good dayes in all the life of marriage; vvhereof the one was the wedding day, vpon which is made good cheere, the Bride fresh and faire, and of all pleasures, the beginning is most delectable. The other good day is, when the woman dyeth: for then the Husband is out of bondage and thral­dome. Yet for all this, a woman is to a man a necessary euill, and one vvhom hee cannot well liue without; seeing that there is nothing more hard to find in this world then a good woman, a good Mule, & a good Goat, being three [Page 42] vnhappy beasts. And to conclude, there is nothing more piercing then her outragious words; more to bee feared then her boldnesse; more cruell then her malice, nor more dangerous then her fury: besides many hurtfull discommo­dities of their Huswifery.

The vanity and inconstancie of women.

THe most part of women are vaine;The Author, as before, craues par­don of all modest Re­ligious, and vertuous women, whose ver­tue hee doth honour and reuerence. not onely out of weakenesse and example, but also by expresse professi­on: All their study is how to establish vanity, and about this, they haue great strife and emulation. For amongst these worldly lustres, you shall see women corrupted with delicacies, subiecting themselues to fashions, and aspects of others, losing the vse of their feet, by pleasing their fancy with too much neatnesse, imploying the fourth part of their life in attiring themselues: wea­ring [Page 43] haire bought out of Tire-womens shops, painting their faces, Idolatrizing their owne bodies, yet neuerthelesse crucifying them with a iust punishment, ignorant of all things, yet studying to speake well, viewing themselues in a Looking-Glasse a thousand times in a day, and calling consultations vpon a particular haire. Poore creatures! vvho in altering the colour of their haire, and adding somewhat to their height, by extraordinary shooes, would disproue the saying of Christ, vvhen hee sought to verifie,Mat. 15. 36. & 6. 27. that man could not make one haire white or blacke, nor adde one cubite to his stature. Make but a collection of the time that a curious vvoman doth spend through al her life, in dressing her selfe, and you shall find that it is more then a fourth part of her age.

This curiosity hath some affinity with seruitude, who amongst them will ap­ply so much time in doing good works: and how commeth it to passe, that those habits which were giuen vnto man for to hide his sinne, are now conuerted in­to [Page 44] to sinne it selfe? What is the occasion that that, which God hath ordained to couer mans shame, serues now to set forth his glory? That that, vvhich was an argument of humilitie, is now be­come the matter of pride? There is no­thing so contrarie to the will and glory of God, as that vaine vanity: for a wo­man that hindreth the going of her owne feete, by wearing such nice and high Pantofles: how can she fly away in­to a strange Countrey for Gods cause? A flesh that is so delicate, how can it endure to take rest, being imprisoned for the testimonie of the Diuine Gos­pell? A vvoman which by reason of her painting, cannot tolerate the heat of the Sunne; how can shee endure the fire for the Word of God? Obserue our Preparations to suffer afflictions, and peruse our Apprentiship to martyrdom, and in the end you will finde that Salo­mon hath not seene such things in his time, and that the vanity of vanities which he speakes of, is inferiour to the vanitie of this age.

[Page 45] But let such beware, that the same happen not to them, which the Pro­phets write against the women of Ieru­salem; who reproued their pride, their vnshamefac't lookes, their rowling eies, their attire, Chaines, Iewels, Bracelets, and other their vaine-glorious fashions. It will happen to you (saith the Lord of Hosts) that in stead of perfumes, you shall haue stinke; in stead of haire, bald­nes, and the fairest young men among you, shall passe through the edge of the Sword, and the strongest shall be slaine, and perish in the warres.

Of Couetousnesse.

BVt of all the miseries that happen to Man in this world, these hereafter following, are the greatest.

And first, let vs consider of Coue­tousnesse, wherewith many men are so farre ouercome, that they will hazard their life to win a little money; that is, [Page 46] to lose their beeing, for to gaine the meanes to bee: which misse the end to obtaine the accessories; as he which sel­leth his Sword to buy a sheath; or his Horse, to haue some prouender; and to gaine worldly pelfe, not to serue his oc­casions, but rather for himselfe to serue it; to haue riches as one hath a Feauer, which doth more possesse the grieued, than the grieued it. To bee like vnto a greedy dogs, which lying vpon hay, & not eating it himselfe, will snarle if any other commeth neere vnto it. O mise­rable people, that liue poorely, to dye rich! that are most couetous in their declining age, which is to prouide for a tedious iourney, when it is euen fini­shed. But a man that feareth God, for to auoid so great an inconuenience, will consider in himselfe, what is the worth and estimation of such drosse: and will conceipt, that these things are oft giuen to wicked men, as seducers of mindes from true piety, and the diuine know­ledge of the Almighty; who sheweth vs what estimation wee should haue of [Page 47] riches, in giuing largely to the wicked; within whose brests it doth fall, as a purse into a stinking priuy. Iesus Christ doth giue vs an example what repute is to be had of it, in committing his purse to Iudas, when as he gaue his holy Spi­rit to his faithfull Apostles. And if hee had thought wealth to haue beene the true felicitie, no doubt he would haue gathered it more abundantly: but hee had not so much, where to lay his head on. He hath willed vs to loue pouerty by his example: And the great King of the World will despise all things, that shall entice vs to affect the contrary. A little wealth will suffice vs to liue well, and lesse to dye happily.1. Tim. 6. Godlines with contententment is great gaine: we are come naked into the world, and naked shall we goe out; peaceable pouertie is much better than troublesome riches. But man is so foolish, that he had rather draw water out of a great disturbed Ri­uer, with difficulty and perill, then from a little cleere brooke, with facility and ease; had rather take a great masse of [Page 48] gold with torment and danger, then a little with peace and security; & in fine, he will bee nothing the more satisfied. Moreouer, he thinketh that to bee lost, which was neuer gayned by him: This kind of Auarice is alwayes linked with enuy. If peraduenture a man lose his worldly fortunes, (according vnto that which Salomon saith: That riches beta­keth her to her wings) it doth some­times distract humane sence; for, to ran­sacke a couetous person, is to flay his skin from his body; to take from him his riches, is to depriue him of his heart; since that such doe wholy deuote both heart and affection to their wealth.

Who euer saw the sinne of couetous­nes more deepely rooted in the world, then at this day? for all the Cities, Pro­uinces, and Kingdomes of the earth, be very shops and store-houses of Coue­tousnesse and auarice. This is the world which the Prophets did fore-shew, that men ioyne house to house, and land to land, as though themselues would alone dwell vpon the earth.

[Page 49] Couetousnesse is the well-spring of miseries:Couetousnes the source and originall of all wic­kednes and abomination. for from thence proceed war and destruction, and the great effusion of bloud, wherewith the earth is ouer­flowne. From Couetousnesse proceed Murders, Treasons, Thefts, Vsuries, for­swearings, the corruption of witnesses, & peruerting of Iudgements; from Co­uetousnes, the tedious delayes in Law, and lingring of Suites doe proceede; And to be short, from thence commeth all kind of wickednesse.

This grieuous sinne is growne so fa­miliar among men, that many liue with­out mercy, in such sort, that now wee may see the streets full of poore beg­gers, naked and cold with pouerty; with an infinite number of banished women, driuen out of their Countries, bearing their children in their armes; wanting that which couetous men hoord vp with such cares, that they rather make it their god, and will rather let a poore body dye at their gates, then refresh him with food.

Therefore let vs now leaue these wic­ked [Page 50] men,Of Enuie, that cruell, abominable, and bloudy vice, which doth gene­raly raigne now in this our degene­rate age. Idolaters of their treasures, with the couetous rich man mentioned in the holy Scripture, and speake of ano­ther Vice, which is called Enuy; a ma­lady wherwith many minds in this new world are grieuously afflicted.

The time is now come, that the whole earth is nothing but a very place of the Enuious: a vice which is the oldest of al vices, and hath bin vsed in the worlds infancy: The experience thereof, was approued in the first Age, in Adam and the Serpent, in Abel and Cain, in Iacob and Esau, in Ioseph and his Brethren, in Saul and Dauid, in Haman and Mardo­cheus, the which pursued not one ano­ther for their riches, but for the enuy that the one bore to āother. But all this is nothing to the enuy which is vsed a­mongst men at this day: which wicked vice not onely raigneth among the common sort, but also amongst the higher: for when they are mounted to the top of Fortunes wheele, and thinke peaceably to enioy the fauour of Prin­ces; behold, suddenly the enuy of some [Page 51] other conspires against them, and cau­seth them to bee disdained and cast out of fauuor. Therefore I thinke there is no other meanes to auoid Enuy, then to auoid Dignity and Rule: The rea­son is, that we are the children of En­uie, and he that leaueth most goods, lea­ueth most enuy.

For this cause,Of Ambiti­on, the cause of our fall and ruine. the Elders counselled the rich that they should not dwell neere the poore, nor the poore, neere the rich: for the one are enuied for their wealth, and the other for their pouer­tie.

Much like vnto this is Ambition, which is an extreme desire to aspire to honour and greatnesse.Bernard. Ambitioso­rum Arcana sunt pericu­losissima. Amongst that multitude of people which presse them­selues in mounting vp, those which fol­low, endeauour to march vpon them that goe before; and at length, three parts of them being driuen to stay be­hind, swell with enuy and griefe at the rest: when as those that haue attained to the heighth of honour, draw vp after them their scaling-ladders, fearing that [Page 52] otherwise some by aspiring, might pa­ralell their worth. But oftentimes, when they haue possest themselues with these dignities,Maledictus superbus est, tam impu­dens volun­tartè se sepa­reta Deo. they are like Apes, which ha­uing once climbed to the top of a tree or house, doe sit, and make ill fauoured faces at passengers, and retaine the peo­ple to gaze at their moppes: For then ordinarily their weakenesse doth en­crease, and their vices grow eminent, insomuch that they find more care and feare in that state of greatnes,Mans felici­tie and hap­pinesse doth not depend onely vpon greatnesse and degnity: for content­ment excee­deth riches. than whē they were most meane. The highest boughes are most shaken by the winde, and the points of Steeples most beaten with stormes and lightening. A man hath least mind to sleepe in beds of silke embroidered with gold. The grea­test feare of poysoning, is at Tables fur­nished with variety of delicate dishes; whereas on the contrary, it hath not bin heard that any haue receiued hurt out of woodden Cups.

After an innocent trauell, sleepe see­meth pleasing in a bed of straw.

Of petty-fogging strifes, and Law-contentions.

BVt now behold another sort of vani­tie, which doth much vexe & trou­ble man; A roaring, crying, and turbu­lent vanity, which is armed with stings, and couered with subtilty, which im­ployeth all the best part of mans life in petty-fogging strifes,Take Fees with both hands, gull their Clients, and make them like bare-headed Vassals, pray and pay soundly, for their impor­tunate baw­ling. and amongst the controuersies of importunate processe. Doe but enter into some great Hall or place of pleading, you will admire at the confused murmure, the corrupted discipline, the wearisome courses, and contentious humours, and will truely perceiue that in carriage of all these things, there is no mention of God, vn­lesse perchance in swearing. And that there in the meane time, while that two persons do cōsume their estates to gaine a processe, commeth a third and begui­leth them both of the prey, and often­times their charge in following, sur­mounts [Page 54] the principall. O how many men do liue by the losse of others? How many would fast without riches, if all those that endeuour to consume one the other,An excellent Simile. should but enter into fami­liaritie and friendship, I doe thinke that God doth perceiue this confused and murmuring multitude, in the same fa­shion as we doe see a little Hillocke full of Ants running together pell mell, without order or reason. Some one knowing these things to bee true, vvill say neuerthelesse, that there is in hu­mane life, some honest study; some laudable knowledge; and many ciuill and religious vertues, which cannot be comprised vnder vanity, but deserue to be much esteemed. In this opinion doth principally appeare the vanity of mans spirit: for if the best of humane actions be but vaine; how much more is vanity it selfe? Let vs first begin to examine Studies and Sciences.

Of Philosophy, and the knowledge of diuers tongues.

IN this moderne time, Learning is onely reputed to be the knowledge of Languages, and those that are learned, doe busie themselues to finde out how the Romish women did speake two thousand yeeres since: how the anci­ent Romanes did apparell themselues: how people did then affect Comedies, and to refine some Latine or Greeke words, that are now growne out of vse by antiquitie. This kinde of course is to vse a golden Scepter for to take vp dung, to imploy the vnderstanding, which ought to flourish in one, to some base occupation, and to make a feast of nothing but sawce. For the knowledge of these things, is onely profitable to season, no way good to nourish.

Also there are some, that when they haue attained old age, doe then search for words, when they should haue the [Page 56] things.The vanity, simplicitie, and folly of aged men. Many there are also that begin to reade Grammar, when they are come to vse Spectacles. They learne Rules to speake eloquently in Latine, when they are barbarous in their owne natiue lan­guage; So that their life is a continuall incongruity.

Philosophy and the Sciences haue many things not onely more high, but also harder: like vnto Pine-Apples in the highest part of a Pine-tree, which many seeking to obtaine, doe fall in climing for them; whereas others doe breake their teeth, that striue to open them. Such is this learning, that as it in­dueth a man with much knowledge; so also it addeth vnto him more care and trouble of minde. For Salomon saith, that hee that doth augment his know­ledge, doth but increase his sorrow. Ignorance is neuer without some com­moditie: And in conclusion, when we haue gotten all the precepts of this knowledge, it extends it selfe not farre, and is of small vse. For Man cannot by all his Philosophy, attaine to the per­fect [Page 57] knowledge of a small fly, or garden Lettice, much lesse of his owne com­position. We desire to trauerse our spi­rits through all things,Hee that knowes much, and knowes not himselfe, knowes no­thing. but remaine strangers to our selues. Wee will know much, and performe little. To speake more properly, our study is not labour, but rather an idle action, which doth torment vs without any hope of ad­uancement:Simile. Like vnto the Squirrels that runne continually within turning Cages, thinking to get away, when as after all their paines-taking, they stil re­maine in the same place. We learne lit­tle with great paine, & that little doth scarcely amend our imperfections, but rather oftentimes adde more to them.

One drop of wisedome, guided by the feare of God, is more worth then all humane learning. For what doth it pro­fit a Lawyer in taking paines, to gaine the processe of another, if hee himselfe be at variance with God? What com­modity reapeth a Physician, to iudge of another mans health, if hee himselfe bee not as yet resolued to feele the [Page 58] pulse of his owne conscience?

What good is it to any that haue lear­ned the ancient Histories, if they be ig­norant of those things that passe in this time? Or to haue learned by Astrono­mie the motions and influences of hea­uen, if they know not the means how to come thither?

Of Ciuill vertues and Pilgrims.

THere bee some that vndertake long tedious voyages, gaining many Oasts, but few friends, promising to learne much in their iourney, vvhen as oftentimes they returne more foo­lish then they went; and perchance hauing circuited the earth, doe sor­rowfully bequeath their body to it, for a conclusion to their perfected reso­lutions, as flyes when they haue passed many times round about the Candle, at length enter into the flame, after they haue seene so much land there, onely [Page 59] require a handfull for to couer them. With this vanity are they iustly afflicted, which make long Voyages towards some Saint, for to desire that they may get children, when it may be, at their re­turne, some officious neighbour hath discharged them of that care.

Yet some againe, perchance, wil say, that our Ciuill Vertues haue some things that are of more consequence. But heere out of this also doth bud an­other vanity, seeing that those vertues haue no mention but by Vices: for Choller giues an edge to Valor; Co­wardize doth make a man to bee more circumspect and wary; Ambition, A­uarice, and Enuy, are as stings to studie and industry.Such minds incite whores ra­ther then chaste and vertuous women. The feare of an ill report in many women, is the cause of chasti­tie: many are sober out of a couetous humour; other for necessity: friendships are contracted, either for the desire of pleasures, or for the hope of profit. The first being no otherwise then a pal­try broker; nor the last then a Merchan­dize. Religion it selfe doth often serue [Page 60] for a cloake to such couetous persons: for many follow Iesus Christ (in the de­sart, only to haue bread, which is to sub­iect their vnderstanding only to the bel­ly, & the chiefe of vertues, onely to the meanest of vices: but I know not which is worse, either to fly away from Christ, or to follow him for gaine; to serue him for money, or to serue the diuell for gaine; whether it doth seeme most in­iurious, or ignominious towards God, either to leaue his Sonne Iesus Christ, or in following him wrongfully, to make him a Vallet to our concupis­cences. What can these vertues then be, that march vnder the pay of the diuell? Surely this is also a great vanity, & ma­nifest corruption. Wherefore some (not perceiuing any thing in the world, which is exempted out of this vanitie, and that vices & impietie haue infected all sorts of estates and conditions in hu­mane life) doe thinke to wrest them­selues out of it, by confining their bo­dies to some desart, and condemning their minde to a perpetuall care: [Page 61] where beeing secluded from all com­pany, they liue in continuall silence, neuer speaking but with God and them­selues.

This solitary humour in many, doth proceede from a brutish conceit; in o­thers, from a weake spirit, vncapa­ble of humane societie; in others, from an ambition to bee remarkeable for some extraordinarie profession, and in others out of discontent-and enuy, that they are wearied in swimming against the current of this worldly streame; and in hauing re­ceiued all things still contrarie to their desire. Notwithstanding, I doe not doubt, but that there bee some which doe imbrace this sort of solitary life, to banish themselues from the vices of this world, and to serue God with more li­berty. But such are much deceiued, who willing to forsake the world, doe returne farther into it by other meanes, and are assaulted by worse temptations: for then passionate griefes, curious co­gitations, peeuish idlenesse, Hypochon­driacall [Page 62] humours, despaire, presumpti­on, and selfe-admiration, doe insensi­bly glide into mens spirits, vnder the profession of an extraordinary sanctity; all which doe render the spirit discon­tented of an insolent melancholy, and presumptuous deuotion, which often­times degenerateth into madnes, and want of sense.With good reason S. Austin said, That Man pleaseth God the best, that, circled with beau­ties, in the mids of Princes magnificent Palaces, could fly their allu­ring tempta­tions. A solitary man, in the extremity of his griefes and sadnesse, hath no body to comfort him: and comparing himself with none but him­selfe, hath this conceit, that hee is some excellent thing. But then lustfull de­sires doe doubly burne within him: For man is of this nature, that he thinketh those things most beautifull, which are farthest remote from him. So S. Ierome being in the middest of a Desart, and in his greatest abstinencie, doth con­fesse that his minde was then amongst the Dances, & Ballads of yong maids; and that he did burne with incontinen­cy and desire. Besides, the Diuell fol­lowing Iesus Christ into the Desart, doth plainely shew that hee did iudge [Page 63] that place most conuenient for temp­tation.A notable comparison to confound the folly of men, who thinke to a­uoid temp­tations, by rendring and making themselues Anchorites and Her­mites. Then if the Sonne of God was assailed by the Diuel in the Desart, how scapeth an Hermite, or secluded per­son, that can neuer be exempted? Ther­fore the surest way for a man to sepa­rate himselfe from the world, not with his feet, but with his affection: to expell it altogether from him & his heart, fea­ring otherwise that departing from this world, notwithstanding hee carrieth it with him. For as it is possible to bee worldly and vicious, liuing farre from the world: So it is possible to leaue the world, without flying into a Desart, and to liue alone in the mid­dest of company; to be within a Court or Palace, spectator of vanity and trou­bles, without participating of them; and in the middest of a babbling multitude, to talke only with himselfe, & to enter­taine his thoughts with God. And in the meane time, to imploy his indeuors to the edification of the Church, stret­ching out his hand to the erroneous, for to re-guide them into the right way of [Page 64] Saluation, rather then to hide his Ta­lent in the earth, and to cut himselfe cleane off from the body, and all ciuill societie, as an vnprofitable member. So did the Apostles and those glorious Lampes, which haue inlightened the Church of God, and which shine a­mongst vs to this day, they beeing dead.

I know well, that the opinion of A­ristotle, in the beginning of his Poli­tiques is true, that hee which is of a so­litarie disposition, is either of a most di­uine, or very base spirit, because that he doth estrange himselfe from all society, either for that hee hath vertues more then humane; or that hee is so con­temptible, and meane, in respect of Man, that he is vnworthy to approach neere him. But let him know which doth affect solitarinesse, because he doth surpasse all men in vnderstanding and vertue, that he ought to repell that hu­mour, and to condescend by humilitie and meekenesse, to the imperfections of others, labouring for the good of the [Page 77] Church or Common Wealth, either by word or worke: For what are all those perfections more then shaddowes, and obscure traces of those perfections that are in Iesus Christ;Non quaere-Christus Iesus glari­am suam omnia. Igi­tur relinqne­re debes eti­am te ipsum spernere & abnegare vt frauris ami­citia Ihesu Christi. notwithstanding he tooke vpon him our shape, and conuer­sion among men, that thereby he might saue them, and winne soules to heauen. Therefore to conclude this point, If to flie from the World bee a vanity, how much more to follow it? If vices and torments do harbour in the desart, how much more in presses and throngs of people? Truely, if vanity bee in euery place, let vs say, that all is torment and affliction of Spirit.

Of old and decrepit age.

BVt in the meane time that man is busied about al these vaine conceits, while he is pushing time with his shoul­der, endeauouring nothing all dayes of his life, but to rise, and to goe to bed, to [Page 66] apparell himselfe, and to make himselfe vnready, to fill his belly, and to euacu­ate his stomacke: which is no more then a circle of the selfe same importu­ning occupations; much like vnto a Mil­lers horse, that alwaies treads one com­passe. While he is thus busied with such occasions, behold, old age stealingly ar­riueth, to which few doe attaine, and all desire: But if any doe peraduenture gaine that time they desire, to haue it prolonged to the vtmost; this age (be­ing as Grapes which haue lost their iuyce, and as the sincke of mans life) is without question, the most vnhappy for those men that are worldly, as no the contrary it is most blessed for such as are godly: For worldly men in this age are doubly possest with way wardnes; their feare and distrust doth increase, their iudgement waxeth weake, & begins to diminish: Wherefore we do wrongful­ly call a melancholy humor, wisedome; a dis-abilitie, sobriety; because old age leaueth not pleasure, but pleasure lea­ueth it.

[Page 67] And therefore he doth vndeseruedly complaine, that the time and manners of men are changed into worse, while nothing is changed but himselfe: for in his youth all things pleased him, if they were neuer so bad; in his old age, all things dislike him, if they were ne­uer so good: Like vnto those which being in a Ship, thinke that the banks moue, when it is onely themselues. It is also a vice incident to this Age, to speake much, because they are no more able to performe any thing; and that they also thinke themselues most fit to propose precepts to youth, and to de­clare things of time long since: Like vnto a declining State, as that of the Romane Empire, where there are many talkers, but few valiant, & not much dif­ferent from the aged time of the world, where are many curious disputers, but few of the true Religion. In this Age also, doth increase the loue of wealth; and earthly cares doe summon new forces against man, he waxeth all gray, and euery thing in him beginneth to [Page 68] wither, onely his vices excepted.

That auncient man, of whom the A­postle maketh often mention, beeing ready to dote, waxeth not old in world­ly age, but then he is in full vigour: He therefore feareth approching death, and holdeth his life like vnto an Eele, which slideth away.Simile. In the meane time, he de­termineth of tedious designes,A pittifull example of Mans Wolfe-like appetite, his insatiate desire of riches, and vgly terror of deformi [...]y. and hea­peth vp riches, as if death stood a farre off, and durst not appeare.

But now that age is come, and the time that he ought to rest; his griefes and dolours are renewed, the heart af­flicted, the braine troubled, the face wi­thered, the body crooked, the sight dim­med, the hayres falne, and the teeth rot­ten; and to be short, the body is as it were, asimilitude of death: yet doth he prepare himselfe least, to gaine the future blisse; and though many times death takes for a gage one part or other of his body, as an arme, an eye, or a legge, to serue for an aduertise­ment that he will shortly fetch the rest, yet he is so affianced to the earth, that [Page 69] he is vnwilling to goe to it, when no­thing remaineth in him, but euill.


THus after Man hath sorrowed all his dayes,Than the Day of Death there is nothing more cer­taine, nor no­thing vncer­taine. vnder the heauy burthen of his sinnes, and in conclusion of all this vnprofitable & wearisome trauell, behold the approch of death, before he hath learned to liue, much lesse to dye: The most part beeing taken out of this world before they know to what end they entred in; they would willingly prolong the date of their life, but death admits no composition: for it hath feet of wooll, but armes of iron; it cōmeth vnsensibly, but hauing taken once hold, it neuer looseth her prize. To this pace or step, man commeth so slowly as pos­sibly he can: For if a Ship should sinke among the waues two hundred leagues from Land, notwithstanding euery Pas­senger would striue to swim, not with [Page 70] an intent to saue his life, but to repell death for some minutes, and to render nature her last ineuitable tribute. Euery man trembleth at this passage, and la­boureth to settle himselfe here, yet is forced at last to yeeld vnto Death; and yet by no meanes may bee knowne af­ter what manner hee shall end his life. Some there bee that are forced to dye by hunger; others, by thirst; others, by fire; others by water; others, by poison; others, are smothered; others are torne in pieces by wilde beasts; o­thers, deuoured of the Fowles of the aire; others are made meat for Fishes, and others for Worms: yet for all this, Man knoweth not his end; when hee thinketh himselfe most at rest, hee so­dainly perisheth.

What a dreadfull sight is it, to see him lying in his bed that is oppressed with the paines of Death? What sha­king and changing of all the bonds of nature will he make? the feete will be­come cold; the face pale; the eyes hol­low; the lips and mouth to retire; the [Page 71] hands diminish; the tongue waxeth blacke; the teeth doe cloze; the breath faileth; the cold sweat appeareth by the violence of sicknes. All which is a certaine token that nature is ouer­come.

But now when it commeth to the last gaspe, or at the sorrowfull depar­ture that the soule maketh from his ha­bitation, all the bands of Nature are broken. Besides, when the Diuell or wicked spirit is assured of our end, what furious assaults will hee make a­gainst our soules, to make vs despaire of Gods mercy? It is the houre when as Satan doth his power to striue against GOD, for to hinder the saluation of mankind; and he is more boisterous in these latter dayes, for that he knoweth that his time is but short, and that the end of his kingdome is at hand, and therefore he is the more enflamed: for he neuer more tormenteth those whom he doth possesse, then when he know­eth that he must depart.

But now when Man hath passed the [Page 72] bitter anguish of Death, where is then become his glories?Nota. This is weighty to be obserued, not ouely of the poore and inferiour persons, but more to be apprehended with feare, by thē most mighty So­ueraignes and greatest men of this world, that they may not build their happinesse vpon the de­ceitfull ground of their riches, and transi­tory possessi­ons. Where are his pomps and triumphs? Where is his Voluptuousnesse and Wantonnesse? Where is his Maiestie, excellency and holinesse? They are vanished as the shadow, and it is chanced to them, as to the garment that the wormes haue ea­ten; or as the wooll that the moth hath deuoured.

Let vs behold Man, when hee is in the graue! Who euer saw a Monster more hideous then the dead carkasse of Man? behold his excellency, Maiestie and Dignity, couered with a lumpe of earth. Heere you may see him that was cherished, reuerenced, and honoured, euen to kisse his hands and feet, by a so­daine mutation, become a creature most abominable; and to them it happeneth as Salomon writeth in his booke of Wisedome; What hath it profited (saith he) the pride and great aboundance of riches? All these things are passed as is the Arrow shot to the white, or as is the smoke that is dispersed with the winde.

[Page 73] The sole memory of Death,Death is a terrour to those ignoble minds, whose pride of life, makes them weake, time­rous, & most vndoubted Cowards to the least ob­iect Death shal present. mourn­full Funerals, and the reading of Inscrip­tions, engrauen in Sepulchers, doth make the very haire to stare and stand an end, and strikes Man with an horrour and apprehension of it.

Some represent Death terrible to the aspect, and depriued of flesh; other con­sider it with compassion, mixt with dread. Some particular man, which not long since was clad in Silke, and shined with Diamonds, is now assaulted with troupes of Wormes, and breathes forth intolerable sents, while that his heyre doth laugh in secret, and enioyeth the fruit of all his labour, which he him­selfe neuer enioyed.The Rich vnprofitable Mizerburns in Hell for his Auarice, while his sonne in the world, dan­cing a Whore on his Lap, sets all pro­digally fly­ing. And neuerthelesse in this his very dust & corruption, doth appeare an Ambition, and pride doth rest within his Tombe. For then be­hold, stately Sepulchers, engraued stones, that report some famous acti­ons, and proud titles vpon his Tombe, set out with false Narrations, to the end that Passengers by may say, Here lyeth a goodly stone, and a corrupted body.

Of the terrible Iudgement Seat of God.

BEing dead in this world, hee must then appeare before the Iudgement Seat of God, with such a terrour to those that consider it well, that there is no member but trembleth. It is the Day that the Lord will come like a tempest, when euery ones heart shall faile them, and all the world shall bee a­stonied: for euen as Lightning which riseth from the East, and extendeth to the West; so shall the comming of the Sonne of Man be. Tribulation shal then be so extreme and great, as the like hath not beene seene since the beginning of the world, till now, nor euer shal be the like: The Sunne shall be darkened, and the Moone shall giue no more light: the Starres shall fall from Heauen, and the waues of the Sea shall rage, & men shall bee amazed with feare, and the powers of Heauen shall moue.

[Page 75] Woe shall be in those dayes to them that are with child, and to them that giue sucke. For as it was in the dayes be­fore the Flood, they did eate & drinke, marry, and were married, euen vnto the day that Noah entred into the Arke, and knew nothing till the Flood came, and tooke them all away: So shall the com­ming of the Lord be; and then all kin­reds of the earth shall mourne, and shall hide themselues in Dens, and Caues, and in the Mountaines, and shall say vnto them, Fall vpon vs, & hide vs from the face of him that sitteth vpon the Throne.

Blow out the Trumpet, saith the Pro­phet Ioel, that all such as dwell in the world may tremble at it: for the Day of the Lord commeth, and is hard at hand; a darke day, a gloomy day; yea, and a stormy day. Before him shall be a consuming fire, and behinde him, a bur­ning flame. Then the dead that are in the graues shall rise, and come forth; the bones and the other parts shall finde out their ioynts, for to ioyne againe toge­ther [Page 76] with the body, that the earth hath putrified, and corrupted.

All those that the Beasts and Birds of the ayre haue deuoured; all those that the Sea hath swallowed vp; all those that are vnvapoured in the earth, and all those that the fire hath consumed, shall bee reduced and brought to their for­mer estate.

All the bloud that Theeues,Tunc: Post vnam voluptatem sequuntur mille dolo­res. Pyrats, Murderers, Tyrants, and false Iudges haue vniustly shed, shall then appeare before the Maiestie of God. So that there shall not one drop of bloud bee lost, from the time of Abel, that was the first slaine of men, vnto the last, so that there shall not one haire perish.

If the vaile of the Temple did breake with the Earthquake,Simile. Most worthy to be read and conside­red with terrour and true repen­tance. the Sunne darken and change his brightnesse, for the wrong that was done vnto IESVS CHRIST being on the Crosse, al­though in nothing he did offend: what countenance may the poore sinners shew, that haue offended him innume­merable times? who then shall abide [Page 77] the shining brightnesse of Gods Maie­stie,Ver Aeter­num plenis­fima delitia­rum quam pura es. sitting vpon his Throne of glory?

It is the dreadfull houre, when wic­ked Monarkes, Kings and Princes shall giue account of their vnlawful exacti­ons that they haue made vpon their Subiects;The Maiesty of God in the generall Judgement Day, shall be more terrible to the impi­ous Monarks of the earth, then either the world on fire round about them, Hell gaping to swallow the vgly Fiends to torture, or the paines of Hell can af­fright them. and of the bloud that they haue wrongfully spilled. It is the houre, wherein Merchants and such as haue traded in the circle of the world, that haue beguiled and sold by false weights and measures, shall render a iust account of the least fraud that they haue com­mitted. It is the houre that couetous men and Vsurers, that haue beguiled some, & vndone others, shall pay them­selues the cruell interest of that which they haue ill gotten. It is the houre, when Magistrates and wicked Iudges, that haue corrupted, violated, and sus­pended Iustice, shall be accountable for their corruption and iniquities. It is the very houre, wherein Widdowes, Or­phanes, and other afflicted persons shall make their complaints before God, of the wrong and oppression that haue [Page 78] beene shewed them. It is the houre wherein the wicked shall say (repenting in themselues, troubled with horrible feare) Behold, these which in times past we had in derision, infamy, & reproach, are now accounted among the children of God, whose portion is amongst the Saints. It is the houre wherein foolish and dumbe persons shall be more happy then the wise & eloquent. Many Shep­heards and Carters shall bee preferred before Philosophers; many Beggers, before rich Princes and Monarches; and many simple and ignorant, before the witty and subtile.

Let vs therefore that are Christians, looke to our selues, and take heed wee bee not counted vnder the iudgement and sentence of the most greatest mise­ries of all miseries. The which sentence is recited in the 25. Chap. of S. Mathew, where it is said; Goe yee cursed into euerlasting fire.


MAny and great are the miseries which man suffreth in this world, but yet all of them are but as Roses, in respect of the Thorns which follow: for the vanity and trauaile of the temporall life is a happinesse, in regard of the tor­ments of eternall death, which doth swallow the most part of men. It is a large way which leadeth to perdition, and few doe find the way of Saluation. Death commeth here to leuy soules for Hell, and doth enroll great and small, learned, and ignorant▪ rich, and poore; yea, many which are esteemed holy, and liue couered vnder the cloake of Hypocrisie, to the end that they might goe to Hell with the lesse noise, and not be stayed by the way.

This Hell is a place of flames, and yet there is perpetuall darknesse, where soules doe waxe old, and yet neuer die, [Page 80] and where they liue, continually to die: Where they burn without consuming; where they mourne without compas­sion; are afflicted without repentance; where torment is without end, and past imagination. There the vnpappy rich man,Remember Hell tis not a feined, but a place most fume, most fearefull. which refused to giue poore Laza­rus a crumme of bread, doth now beg of him a drop of water, although whole Riuers bee not sufficient to extin­guish his heat. What if the rods that God doth punish his Infants with­all, doe sometimes make them almost despaire, and euen curse the day of their Natiuitie,Poenitentia sera raro vera. as Iob and Ieremy did? What are those afflictions that hee doth op­presse his Aduersarie withall? It is a horrible thing (saith the Apostle) to fall into the hands of the Liuing God. For because hee saith in his anger, as it is written in the 32. Chapter of Deutero­mie, I haue lifted my hands towards heauen, and said, I am the euerliuing God; If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on iudgement, I will execute vengeance on mine ene­mies, [Page 81] and will reward them that hate me. Praised be God, which hath deli­uered vs, and drawne vs from that bur­ning furnace of hell, by his Sonne Iesus Christ: who (as S. Paul saith to the Galatians) was reuiled for our sakes, & hath called vs our of perpetual dark­nes, to his maruellous light: 1. Pet. 2. 9. Is it possible for vs to be ignorant what that torment is, & not know how much he hath suffred for to retaine vs in feare, and to make vs know the greatnesse of the grace of God, and the excellence of our Redemptiō in Iesus Christ his Son, who is also God eternally blessed.How Gods incompre­hensible Prouidence frustrates the designes of men, making their enter­prises of no validity.

This precedent discourse hath led vs through all ages, and through all the most ordinary conditions of humane life; yet in this voyage, we haue knowne nothing but vanity and torment of spi­rit: And it hath chiefely appeared, when we haue cast our eyes vpon the diuine prouidence of God, which doth from the highest Heauens view all the actions of man, not as an idle spectator, but as a wise Conductor, and iust Iudge: And [Page 82] there from aboue, he laughes at the de­signes of great men, & frustrateth their enterprises, destroyeth their tongues & spirits of Babylonian builders, ruineth their greatnes, and breaketh their Scep­ters into shiuers; teaching man that he is nothing but dust, and his wisedome but meere blindnes, to the end that hee may learne to contemne the world, aud transport his hopes from earth to hea­uen; & that hauing seene some beames of this terrestriall splendour, which va­nisheth as Lightening, he doth say with S. Peter, Luke 9. & 99. It is good that we be here, let vs make our selues heere Tabernacles. Happy is that man, which hauing well knowne the vantiy of this world, doth retire towards God; thot he beeing in a sure Hauen a farre off, and that being vnder his shaddow, as vnder a sure co­uered place, may contemplate the ruine of the wicked, the instability of their designes, the folly of their hopes, and the effects of the Iudgement of God. Thereupon the Prophet Dauid, in Psal. 92. saith also: O LORD, how glorious [Page 83] are thy workes! and thy thoughts are very deepe: an vnwise man knoweth it not, and a foole doth not vnderstand this. When the wicked grow as the grasse, and all the workes of wickednes doe flourish; then they shall be destroyed for euer. It behoueth vs, heere to note carefully, that this Psalme is intituled, A Song for the Sab­bath day: for by it hee doth aduertise vs, that this meditation requireth a qui­et and resting spirit, which beeing re­strained from the presse of humane acti­ons, doth retire it selfe into the House of God; according to that which hee saith in the 73 Psalme; where he doth confesse, that the prosperity of wicked men hath offended him, and that hee could hardly digest it, vntill that he had entred into the Sanctuary of the Al­mighty, and considered the end of such men: For, to vnderstand what the true happinesse is, and to vnmaske himselfe to the imaginary felicitie of this world; it is not necessary to goe to Philoso­phicall schooles, or to build his resolu­tions vpon the opinion of the Vulgar, [Page 84] but to enter into the holy House of God▪ and there learne what the diffe­rence is betweene the riches which he scattereth vpon this great multitude, and that which he reserueth for his lit­tle ones,Consider the subtilty of Satan, and mans sudden ruine. what the vncertainty of this worldly prosperitie is, in respect of the certainty of Gods promises. But vvith what insensible chaines doth Satan lead men into perdition?Memento decimo sexto die Octobris, [...]ilo Antiquo & quinto die Octob. slilo Nouo. MDCXXIII▪ How doth he triumph ouer those which triumph in this world? how they that thinke them­selues most sure, are vpon the point of their ruine and perpetuall destruction?

Let vs furthermore consider how vaine the glory of man is,Of the vaine glory of men most corrup­tible and transitory▪ in that some one doth boast of his particular strēgth, wherein it is impossible for him euer to equall a Bull.

Some other doe glory in their beauty, when as it is onely a superficiall colour, which couereth the bloud, bones, and braines, hideous things to see. It is also a thing that age and many maladies haue power to deforme.

Some other doth glory of his ho­nour [Page 85] and greatnesse, when indeed he is possest in this state, with most trouble and feare, and lesse liberty: besides, he is mounted so high, that he cannot fall but with breaking of his owne necke.The iust re­ward of Kings proud mounting Fauorites.

Some other doth glory to bee more drunke then his companions, but if his belly bee greater in capacitie then o­thers, notwithstanding it will neuer ex­ceed a Barrell.

These former things are generall; for vanities and miseries are common to all men, since that sinne hath subiected mankinde to them. But notwithstand­ing there are some more then other, which are made examples of extreme misery; As poore beggers, which are constrained through necessitie to lye vpon the bare pauement;Necessitas non habet legem. as Gally­slaues, and as those miserable slaues which are made mercenaries.

The hundreth part of humane kinde doth imperiously and impiously tor­ment the rest, and those that are feeble and meane, serue as preyes to the mighty.

[Page 86] Amongst the Turkes and Pagans, which possesse three parts of the world, men are bought and sold in the same fa­shion, as horses in a Faire: for the buy­er, marketh their fight, maketh them shew their teeth, and feeleth the sin­newes of their armes and legges.

Great Princes keepe millions of chai­ned Slaues for to labour, in making of Sugar, in working of Mines, to serue in Gallies at Sea, and to performe such kinde of seruilitie, that Death is more tolerable to them then this kinde of life.

There are certaine people, which haue for the space of sixe moneths continuall night, who liue in Cauernes, and in the extremity of the extremest degree of coldnesse, hauing no heat to comfort them, but onely cruelty.

Others there are on the contrary, who liue amongst Sands, continually scorch­ed by the Sunne, a countrey barren in fruits, and fertile in Serpents and Lyons.

Our climate, in respect of such intem­perature, [Page 87] is as the garden of Nature, where God hath planted most wealth and riches: but where hee hath reaped least fruit of gracefull actions: And where these naturall blessings are so ill husbanded,Of the va­nitie of hu­mane thoughts, desires, and iudgements. that amongst all that abun­dance, there is nothing to be seene but misery and pouerty.

Now that we haue formally and su­perficially represented as with a coale the vanity and misery of our Nature, and the actions of Man: Let vs now examine his thoughts. Dauid in the 94. Psalme saith: The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man that they are vanity.

For if any could but make a true col­lection of his thoughts, which haue on­ly passed through his brain in one day: the confused multitude, and varietie of them, beeing all very foolish, would a­stonish him. The diuers fictions▪ and strange Ideas that Painters conceit in respect of these,Idle & most vnprofitable thoughts. are nothing. For some man, when he hath settled himselfe in his study, or some place where he thin­keth to haue his spirit busied about the [Page 88] most serious affaires, doth then begin to count the Quarrees of his window; or as the Emperour Domitian, Read Swe­tons Worke. to pursue little flies both with eye and hand.

Some one againe perceiuing himselfe destitute of company, and being very pensiue, doth aduise with himselfe what he would doe if he were a King:A true Si­mile of those that build Castles in the Castles in the ayre. or if that he had a million of Crownes, how he would spend them: or thinking of his own domesticke affaires, doth thred a chaine of tedious hopes, and by de­grees becommeth very rich in his dis­course: at the conclusion of which, he frustrateth all that imagination, and re­turning to the consideration of his pre­sent pouerty, hee moderateth his passi­ons.A principall and most worthy ob­seruation. Yea also during the time of Ser­mons and Prayer (when God speaketh vnto vs, or we to him) our minds are ab­stracted, & thinking of some other thing.

There if our best actions are infected with idle cogitations; how much more­ouer vnprofitable houres are ill spent time?

These friuolous thoughts, mixed [Page 89] with vaine desire, and a like igno­rance,The profit of solitarinesse. do labour the mind, and giueth it no repose: for man in his solitary thoughts doth ruminate the euils past, vexing himselfe with the things pre­sent, and fore-fearing things to come, yea, those things that shall neuer hap­pen: he changeth his doubtfull feare, into certaine miseries: many being mi­serable, out of a feare that they shall bee miserable; and many dying, out of a feare that they shall die.Death terri­ble to the foole. Euery day hath sufficient affliction to torment vs. For who can euer bee in ease, if all the past and future euils doe render them­selues present to vs: the first by our me­mory, and the last by our feare? This naturall vnrest, is the cause that Man lo­ueth change, like vnto one that is sicke, who desireth continually to change his bed: Yet notwithstanding findes him­selfe more distempered in the last then in the first,Mans vncer­tainty where to rest. thinking no repose to be but in wearinesse. For he alwayes carrieth his griefe with him, and findes little ease in changing of sides; yea, I dare say, if [Page 90] God had placed Man betwixt good and euill, to take his choise of either, and as it were to cut what hee thought good out of the whole earth, his blind­nesse is such, that hee would quickly conuert it into ill. If God send such no griefes, they wil send themselues some. If their owne griefes doe not trouble them, the happinesse of others will tor­ment them: and enuy is more stinging then affliction.

From it also doth it proceed,Foolish and vaine de­sires. that men desire alwayes they know not vvhat themselues: they are greedy to desire, but weake to put in Execution: as a Bird that doth couet to fly, but vseth onely one of her wings.

Also men are distracted with contrary cogitations.

One complaineth that his Wife is dead.

Another that shee will not dye.

One mourneth for the losse of his children.

Another that hee hath some that be very wicked.

[Page 91] One disturbed with businesse, prai­seth domesticke repose, and that o­pinion of Saul, who did rather affect to liue obscurely in the basest pouerty, then to bee exalted to the highest Dig­nity.

Another being excluded from pub­lique command, doth notwithstan­ding breake his own necke to attaine it. Euery thing doth seeme to vs beauti­full, but that which we haue; and no­thing delighteth vs, but that which wee cannot obtaine. Nothing doth so much reioyce vs, as the hurt of another man: of some decay in Fortune wee smile; but it grieueth vs to see him receiue any Honour.

In this vanity of thoughts, and vn­certainty of desires, doth appeare a great weakenesse of spirit: for our af­fections are swayed more by gestures, and externall appearance, then by the thing it selfe. Like vnto some Specta­tors at a Tragedie, who notwithstand­ing that they know the argument to be fabulous, & nothing concerning them, [Page 92] doe weepe out of compassion, when as they will not shead a teare for their own vnfained griefes.

Some there bee also that hang them­selues out of despaire,Despaire animates man to ha­sten the de­struction. which the selfe-same houre would haue runne away from the thrust of a sword, because that this last kinde of Death commeth ac­companied with horrour and feare, whereas the former is so quickly dis­patched, that the sight of it doth no­thing amaze one. Opinions doe more gouerne vs, then the things themselues: many doe sometimes eate meat which they know not, and yet they finde it pleasing to the taste; but after, vvhen some one hath told them what it is,The strong operation of conceit. their conceit will make them so sick at heart, that they will vomit it vp againe.

Some others haue more feare of a Mouse, or a Hem, or a Toad, then of a sword; certainely such peeuish weake­nesse, or fantasticall actions doe go­uerne our imaginations.

Truely I know not how, but men study to deceiue themselues. Some one [Page 93] will recite a tale for truth, which hee knoweth to be most false, and that so often, and with so great assurance, that himselfe in fine doth beleeue it.

A Husband that knoweth his Wife to be deformed, notwithstanding, be­cause shee is painted and disguized, will begin to perswade himselfe that shee is faire, and shee her selfe will beleeue it, and thinke to be reputed so.

How many bee there which beleeue in a Religion, because they will beleeue it, which contest against their owne sense, which say among themselues, that surely is absurd, and not agreeable with the Scripture, I will haue it thus, and will beleeue so. This is to haue a constrained beliefe, not to haue his will subiected to Religion, but Religion to his will.

The infirmitie of mans iudgement doth especially shew it selfe in Religi­on: for what he thinketh touching the seruice of God, doth manifestly ap­peare by his exteriour actions. In mat­ters of newes wee doe sooner beleeue [Page 94] one that hath seene it, then the com­mon report.

But in matters of Religion it is con­trarie, for most doe follow the vulgar opinion, which is as much as to main­taine that which is most absurd, and then to hide himselfe amongst the mul­titude.

Obserue many other things,The vaine and supersti­ous follies of ignorant Idolaters. which a­ny may easily perceiue to be most ridi­culous:

As to cloath in Silke and Gold the images of men; while that a poore Beg­ger goeth naked, which is the Image of God.

To weare a Crosse hanging downe vpon the belly, while that the belly is an enemy to the Crosse of Christ.

In going to a Bawdy-house, or retur­ning from some wicked fact, to say cer­taine Pater-nosters.

To kneele downe at the boxe which keepeth the Host, when it returneth empty from some sicke body, as when it went full.

To adore the Host passing by a little [Page 95] boxe, and not to respect it in a mans bo­die, which is come newly from recei­uing it.

To make their Creator with words,Grosse errors which like a foggy mist blind and confound the sight and sense of men. and presently to deuoure him vvith their teeth.

To bee insolent and deboshed one day before Lent; and the next day following to bee very graue and sor­rowfull.Adherents of the Church of Rome.

To imploy their blessed Beades for to obtaine remission of their sinnes.

After the death of any great Perso­nage, to cloath with blacke the Image of our Lady, to the end that shee may participate of their griefes.

To whip themselues in publique, for to content God, or to release a soule out of Purgatory. In honour of the Saints, to burne Candles in the midst of the day.

To conclude, man hath forged many strange things in his braine, and would haue God to approue them. Nay, he is come to that passe, that hee doth assume to himselfe the distribution of Offices [Page 96] in Paradise, making one Protector of a Countrey, another a healer of some particular disease, as if little Ants had power to dispose of affaires belonging to the Crowne of France.

This is also a vanity of vanities, and an extreme imbecilitie of iudgement.

Our selues which haue the true Word of God for a rule to frame our actions by, are not exempted: and our folly and vanity doth mixe it selfe with our best actions. For in our ciuill actions, if we haue need of counsell, wee present­ly addresse our selues to some friends. But in matters of Gods diuine seruice, we take counsell of our minds, and con­cupiscences, which are our domesticall enemies.

If money be due vnto vs from one, we had rather alwayes haue the money then his promise: in celestiall matters it is contrary. For the holy Gospell is an obligation, by which God hath promi­sed vs saluation, and hath sealed it with the bloud of his Sonne: but we had ra­ther keepe the obligation, then receiue [Page 97] the paiment,We must not thinke to make with our wealth and worldly riches a com­position and truce with Death; for Nature re­quires a tri­bute at our hands. which is due at the day of death: nay, wee doe endeuour to pro­long the date of it.

Some doe record in the Emperor Ho­norius, a great simplicitie, and childish weakenesse: that hauing a Hen, nomina­ted by him, Rome, which he did cherish, and so infinitely affect, that when one came vnto him, and said that his Rome was lost, he answered very sorrowfully, Alas! she was here but euen now. But the other replying, said, And it please your Highnes, I speak not of a Hen, but of your Citie of Rome, which hath beene surprized, and sacked by Alario Goth. A Simile worthy of obseruation. The Emperor hearing this, was somewhat comforted, thinking that losse to bee more tolerable.

Such is our simplicitie, wee will not suffer one to touch our riches, butWee are so rooted in this worlds abo­mination, that we pre­fer a minute of worldly pleasure, be­fore heauens euerlasting ioyes, incom­prehensible and immu­table. we will indure any to entice vs to Vice; to seduce vs into errour, and to poison our soules.

It is a great folly to refuse a medicine, because the Physician is not eloquent: Why doe wee not then make account [Page 98] and estimation of the preaching of the Gospell, if the Preacher bee not elo­quent, seeing that the holy Gospell is the medicine of our soules?

Is it not then an extreme brutishnes, for some vicious person to slighten the holy Writ, because it is not ador­ned with Flowers of Rhetoricke? What is the reason then, that the Word of God doth please vs, if it be not dec­ked with Flowers, and composed with Art, seeing that it is that sacred worke, and Doctrine of Reconciliation with God? Wee doe not receiue willingly the correction of our Parents, if it bee not very milde. This is also a vanity, distaste, and childish humour.

Touching our Iudgement which we haue of others, either in esteeming, or contemning them, it is most vaine, and ridiculously ignorant.

For if there be a question about bur­thens, wee account him most strong, which can carry the heauiest. On the contrary, about quarrels wee esteeme him the most valiant, which can beare [Page 99] nothing; attributing force and valour to weakenesse and impatience.

In matters of ornament, we doe not iudge of the goodnesse of a sword, by the beauty of a scabberd: nor of the metall of a Horse, by the fairenesse of a Bridle and Saddle.Men ought not to be re­garded not respected for their gallant and gorgeous apparell on­ly, but more for their vertues. Why doe we then measure our estimation of a man, either by his good or bad apparell? And if it be necessary that we salute one for the stuffe of his cloathes which he weareth; why doe wee not salute the same stuffe in the Shops? Why doe wee iudge dis­creetly in the estimation of vaine and triuiall things; when as in a matter of such importance, as of the estimation of man, we are most voide of reason? So some doe respect a Merchant, or Rent­gatherer, because hee summeth vp ex­actly his accounts, when hee liueth in such fashion, that he cannot giue an ac­count vnto God.

Some labour to till their Gardens, and other grounds, and by it winne much praise; when as themselues are barren, & bring forth no fruit of good workes.

[Page 100] Wee are much vaine and childish in our feares, as in any other thing. For as little Infants doe play with fire & burne themselues, but feare when they see their Father comming, masked with a frowning countenance towards them: So men desiring to dally with pleasures,Man Iull'd in the Laby­rinth of plea­sures, knowes not how to get out. because of their lustre, at the length lose themselues amongst them: yet notwithstanding they feare God their Father, when he commeth vnto them vnder the maske of afflictions or death.

Also man doth ingender in himselfe either foolish or pernicious feares.

Some one being iealous that his wife doth affect others, endeuoureth to espy and search out that which he feareth to finde: and by this meanes angreth her so, that she seeketh to be reuenged, in such nature which hee formerly sus­pected.

Some other fearing to liue without honour, committeth such things as sub­iect his body to some cruell torment, and staineth the memory of him with perpetuall infamy.

[Page 101] Some other feareth the want of riches,The custome of the world. but hee shall want it, and dye without it.

Some againe feareth he shall die be­fore marriage,Marriage without loue and meanes, breeds the most wofull experience of a mise­rable life. but God well obserues that time, and by wedlocke will make him twice miserable.

When I consider what humane wise­dome is, I finde it agreeable to the in­dustry of Moles, which digge vnder­ground with much dexteritie, but are blind when they come into the Sunne.

So wee haue much skill in earthly affaires, to sell, to couenant, and to sup­plant any one.

But take one of these men vvhich is is most subtill in these things,Worldlings most wise in knowing the way to get riches: but to seeke after the riches of Heauen dull Animals. and bring him to the brightnesse and light of the holy Gospel, and there he is altogether blind, and of a selfe-conceit will conti­nue so.

For during the time that hee doth foresee future euents, and alterations of estate, hee is ignorant of his owne de­struction: while that he discourseth on [Page 102] the affaires of Kingdomes, hee is a Slaue to the Diuell: And notwith­standing that blind iudgement of his, dareth contest against the Euer-li­uing GOD, the folly and foolish­nesse of the children of darknesse, a­gainst the Diuine wisedome of the Fa­ther of Light; and the discretion of man, against the Prouidence of the Al­mighty. For the wicked do couer them­selues with silence, craft, and dissimula­tion: Like vnto little children, which think that they are sufficiently hidden, when their eyes are closed; Beleeuing that no body seeth them, when they see no body. But in the meane time, God perceiueth them both naked, and vn­couered; yea, better then they them­selues. For God is not onely all hand, in holding and conducting the whole Vniuerse: but also all eye, in seeing and discerning all things in it. The thickest bodies are to him transparant; and dark­nesse it selfe, is to him light: and there­fore the Prophet Dauid doth iustly re­prehend that foolish wisedome in the [Page 103] 94. Psalme, where he saith: Vnderstand ye vnwise among the people, and ye fooles, when will ye be wise? He that planted the eare, shall he not heare? or he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

Now, in this place he calleth them vnwise, not which are fooles, and run vp and downe the streetes: nor those priuate and particular men, which are without Office; nor the heauy-spirited Commons; but such as are crafty, and manage affaires with dexterity, thin­king by their sagacity, to couer them­selues from the wisedome of God: or to dazle the eyes of his prouidence sa­cred: Like vnto the most dangerous A­gues, which are vnder the appearance of Coldnesse: So the most ridiculous fol­lie, is that which lieth vnder the appea­rance of wisedome.

It behoueth also the Faithfull to ex­ercise his meditation, and to be a specta­tor of the actions and thoughts of men, and of all the vnprofitable labours of his life: For it is in humane life, as in a Faire, where there commeth two sorts [Page 104] of people; one for to buy and sell, the other onely to see.

Man that feareth God, is like to one of those which come to see: he is not there idle, and to search nothing, but to contemplate the worke of God, and hu­mane actions.Omnia sub sole vanitas.

But he may say (when he hath seene all the delights that the curious vanity of men can shew forth)

O how many things are there in this world, which I haue nothing to doe withall? What if during this contem­plation, some one doth iustle or throng vpon him, or if one cut his purse, that it doe afflict, or depriue him of any thing? All that such a one will doe, is, to goe out of that company; and knowing him­selfe to be a stranger in this world, will trauell toward his Country, where that Celestiall Habitation is; pressing al­waies, (as the Apostle saith) towards the marke, for the price of the high cal­ling of God, in Christ Iesus.

If the world contemne him, hee will contemne that contempt, as knowing [Page 105] himselfe better then the world, and to be called to a better hope:Happy the man that followes this blest exam­ple. hee will e­steeme the promised allurements of the world, vaine; the occupations of men, base and importunate: and, according to the example of Mary, in the tenth of Luke, he will choose the good part, which shall not bee taken from him: concluding all his meditations after the same maner as Salomon doth in the end of Ecclesiastes: The end of all is the feare of God, and the keeping of his Commande­ments: for in it is comprized the summe of mans beeing.

Now therefore after all this medita­tion, let vs rest our selues vpon these two Maxime's and Propositions, which are the true foundation that zeale is groun­ded vpon.

The first is, for to loue God, it be­hooueth to contemne the world.

The second is, that for to contemne the world, it is necessary for the Faith­ful to know his own worth, noblenesse, and excellencie of vocation.

The first Maxime is taken out of S. [Page 106] Iohn, in his first Epistle: Loue not the world, neither the things that are in the world:

If any man loue the world, the loue of the Father is not in him: For all things that are in the world (as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life) is not of the Father, but is of the world: And the world passeth away, and the lust there­of; but he that fulfilleth the will of God, a­bideth for euer.

Nothing doth so farre separate vs from the loue of God, as our affection to the world; seeing that the holy Scrip­ture, for to admonish vs, doth call the world, The Kingdome of the Diuell.

But as the Moone hath no light but from the Sunne; so, our soules haue not any light, but by the regard of God; and by a consequent, neither more nor lesse: But euen as the Moone doth lose her light, when she is hidden within the shaddow of the earth; so also doe our soules lose their brightnesse, (for they are called in the holy Scriptures, The children of light) when they molest and [Page 107] wrap themselues within the shadow of earthly things, cares and worldly con­cupiscences: which wee ought to tread vnder our feete, according to the ex­ample of the Church; which, as it is vvritten in the 12. of the Apocalypse, hath vnder her feete the Moone; that is, the mutable instabilitie of these in­feriour things.

To this purpose Iesus also would that the penny should bee restored to Caesar, because that it had his Image on it.

Let vs therefore then giue our selues to God, seeing that we beare his owne Image.

But the inconuenience is, that wee doe often abolish the Image, in rub­bing it against the earth, and polluting our soules with worldly thoughts and desires.

That wee may therefore contemne the earth, and all that the world doth promise, it requireth that wee come to the second point, which is, to know per­fectly what the worth and excellency [Page 108] of the faithfull is. For when as men by an vnfriendly amity, and cruell well-willing,The world's a Where, full of deceit­fulnesse. doe sollicite some one to doe ill, which hath the feare of God, and to offend his Conscience, in offending God, it behooueth the faithfull to think in himselfe:There is no true friend­ship but a­mong good men, very scant in this Age. What? I that am a Child of God, and am of a celestiall noblenesse; that am one of the first-borne, whose names are registred in Heauen! shall I esteeme the promises of the world, which when they are most certain, they are too base for mee to meditate on? To delude the sonne of a Prince with an Apple; To entice with Siluer the Sonne of the King of Heauen: to of­fend his Father; and after the example of Esau, to sell my birth-right for a messe of pottage? Such perswasions shall not by any meanes possesse mee: God will not afflict me vvith so great a blindnesse. We are vnworthy to be fol­lowers of CHRIST, if wee doe not esteeme our selues to be better then the world.

Was it not for the loue of the faith­full, [Page 109] that the world was framed?God in his infinite mer­cy ruinates the building of sinne in the body, to re-build the Soule an e­uerlasting Mansion in Heauen. Will not God ruinate it againe, for to re­edifie for them a faire house in Heauen, where shall bee the fulnesse of glory? For this Heauen or climate, is inferiour to the worth and dignity of the chil­dren of God.

You that feare God, and trust in his Sonne, know, that it is you that vnder­prop the world, and that nourish the wicked in it.

Therefore the enemies of God are bound in obligation to you. For hee doth conserue the world out of a re­spect, which he hath towards his cho­sen and elect, whereof some are mixed among the euill, and others are yet vn­borne. It is written in the sixt of the Apocalypse; That GOD doth attend, vntill our fellow-seruants be accomplished.

And therefore this is one of the rea­sons why that Christ doth call the faithfull, The salt of the earth; which is as much as a little part amongst men, which conserueth the rest, and delayeth their destruction.

[Page 110] For God conserueth the sinfull, be­cause of the good, to the end that they should serue as medicines to them; and that the might and power of our Ad­uersaries might serue to compell vs to the feare of God, and to trust in his promises.

Such being the excellency of Gods elect aboue the rest: it behooueth vs to respect the pleasures, riches, and great­nesse of the world, as things that are most ridiculous, and as the painted king­domes which the Diuell shewed vnto Christ.

Like those which from the highest part of the Alpes,The Alpes be inexasible high & great Mountains, which di­uide France from Italy. doe looke into Cam­pania, where the greatest Cities seeme like vnto little Cottages; how much lesse and base will they seeme then, if they were discerned from Heauen? From thence therefore it behooueth that the faithfull contemplate humane things, and that hee transport instantly his heart to Heauen, since that there is his treasure.

And considering from thence the [Page 111] Palaces of Princes, hee will esteeme them as habitations of Ants, and the turbulent murmuring of men, as the buzzing of an angry swarme of Bees, and contemplating from thence, vvhat things are most great and apparant in the earth, he wil say, The vanity of vani­ties, all is vanity.

That holy glory will not hinder Christian humilitie. For wee knowing the worthinesse of our selues, doe finde our dignity in Iesus Christ.

If Repentance doth humble vs, Faith doth exalt vs.

If we are nothing before God, wee are somewhat in God, & in his fatherly affections.

And therefore in this the faithfull are contrary to worldly men: for they doe lift their eyes to heauen by too much pride, but presse downe their heart on the earth with Auarice and Inconti­nency: whereas the godly on the con­trarie, hath his eyes vpon the earth by humilitie, as the Publican which durst not lift his eyes to Heauen, but hath his [Page 112] heart in Heauen by faith and hope. The contempt of this world pro­ceeds not out of a loue to him­selfe, but out of a true af­fection to God.

THE MISERY OF MANS FRAILE AND NATVRALL INCLINATION AND Of the Wickednesse and Peruersenesse that now raigneth in this wretched AGE.

COnsidering to my selfe the miseries of Humane condi­tion, my minde and spirit is so confounded with diuer­sitie of thoughts, that I enter (as it were) into a Labyrinth of confusion, [Page 114] whose issue is most difficult. For if I set­tle my considerations vpon Nature, humane qualities or effects, those three obiects do so obfuscate my powers, that all the knowledge that I can gather, is impossibilitie neuer to attaine to the perfect knowledge of the numberlesse number of those miseries, mis-haps, and vanities affected, as inseparable to hu­mane kinde; and to that end doe cha­lenge all the most profound and serious sences of the wisest and most learned men,Man borne in misery & most misera­ble euen frō his Cradle. to effect the definition therof. Let them consider from its source & origi­nall; yea, euen from the Cradle, where humane nature shall bee found sense­lesse, depriued from the vsage of all the noblest faculties of the Soule; and so weake, wretched, and capable onely of teares and weepings; expressing there­by in complaining her miseries, which doe increase faster then she growes in yeeres: She hath no sooner giuen ouer the Milke of her Nurse, but she begins to goe, or rather to fall, sith her going is in danger of sore hurts by a conti­nuall [Page 115] experience in falling. Can shee goe? She knowes not whither to goe, but must haue a conduct during the time of her second Infancy: what forme of bringing vp soeuer shee takes vpon her, the first impressions thereof are most costly, in respect of the time, and their labour and trouble which haue the care thereof, which is incredible. For as shee receiues some document of worldly science and discipline, which if it be a true doctrine, will instruct her, that whatsoeuer qualities, sciences, and learning she possesseth, yet she is still ig­norant, and knowes (in a manner) no­thing, and all that she knowes not, can neuer bee by her learned or conceiued, although she haue so many liues, as this world abounds with creatures.

And which is more,Mans life assaultod by peril I and eminent dangers. she hath not so soone escaped, and passed ouer the pe­rils of her Youth, but she commeth and entreth into those infinite dangers of her ripe age: and that which is most deplorable, and lamentable, is, that in that fiery and burning age, shee vtterly [Page 116] consumes & wasts her selfe. Or if she e­scape, & moderates the fury & violence of the heat of that age, it is but for a time for what way so euer she treads Nature, shee still approaches neere vnto death, being alwayes in the ready way to her graue, where by degree, time hunts her vnder the conduct of old age, not with­out many crosses, sorrowes, and tribula­tions; for she must passe through cruell and tedious straights of anguish and miseries, no lesse innumerable, then in­finite; which astonisheth and weares out, euen the most constant, who are in a manner not able to indure them with patience.

If we will see the body of this Tree, we must breake the barke of our condi­tion: for it is the true portraiture of our selues, and so wee may cleerely appre­hend it with the very same reason; con­sidering what an infinite number of mis-haps, miseries, and mischiefes wee are subiect vnto in this transitorie world, that the infinitie of them is im­possible to be related: for if examples be [Page 117] vaine to manifest it vnto vs by compa­rison, our imbecilitie in expressing it a­lone, may be in some fashion eloquent: for to treate some part thereof, and that wherewith the afflicted are most comforted, is, through the assurance they haue that all men together are sub­iect to the like miseries, and ill fortunes, except none but those who are not yet borne, or those, who in their Cradle ending their liues, finde their Sepul­chres: otherwise let the most happy and the most contented man that now liueth on earth gaine-say it, alledging this for his reason, that he knowes not what mis-haps and miseries meane, and that in so sweet ignorance he hath pas­sed not onely the spring of his Youth, but likewise the Summer, and part of the Winter of his age, that it is well hi­therto, but it is without consequence, times past can conclude nothing of the future; and though it seemeth to this happy man, that although crosses, trou­bles, tribulations, and miseries, should as it were assault him in the end of his [Page 118] race, time should bee wanting to make durable and lasting the griefe of his euils and afflictions: Forasmuch as death doth alwaies and lawfully succeed old age, which should hinder and interrupt the course and proceeding thereof: but to that I will truely answer without many needlesse proofes: for surety that his last day onely is able sufficiently to make him feele and haue tryall of the most cruell and sensiblest griefe & tor­ments, wherewith any mortall body can be vexed: therefore the most for­tunate man that is, cannot account him­selfe happy, but at the end of his racei sith oftentimes before an hauen Town many suffer shipwracke, that haue esca­ped miraculously many eminent dan­gers, in the middest of Stormes and Tempests.

But to proceed further,No man free from sorrows & miseries. I say, that al­though there were such a man found in this world, of so happy condition, as to haue alwayes sailed in the ship of his life, in this rough and inconstant Sea of the earth, with the agreeable winds [Page 119] of his desire, and without the least dan­gers, but rather continually to haue en­ioyed a sweet and immutable calme; yet notwithstanding, this kinde of life full of Roses,There is a time pre-or­dained for euery thing. will proue full of Thornes at his death, in considering, that losse and depriuation of all those pleasures, doe produce and bring forth cruell sorrows and griefes to the possessor thereof, whose minde will bee so extremely vext and tormented, that his paines and sufferings can be rather endured, then expressed: which may easily bee proued by the continuall experience that wee haue in worldly things; by this Max­ime, the greater the contentments are, the more extreme is the displeasure and anguish in the deprauation of them, euen as gaine and profit produce fee­lings of ioy; so losse and dammage by different effects, breede sencible tor­ments and griefes: which moues me to conclude, according to my first Propo­sitions, that there is no life, although ne­uer so happy, that can bee free and ex­empted from sorrowes and miseries: [Page 120] and to adde my opinion to it, I hold, that the most vnfortunate, are the hap­piest, considering the conclusion and end of all things; how the calme fol­lowes still the tempest; the day succeeds the night; faire weather, raine; and ioy is still attended with annoy and sor­rowes, according to the maxime of Heauen & Earth: all the difference there is, is, that this worlds happinesse and ioyes are temporall, and limited; and in the other World, eternall and infinite.

But to returne to our condition: to make it appeare vnto you all together wretched & miserable; we must consi­der how time playes with it; somtimes raising vs as it were to prosperity, & in a moment casting vs headlong into aduer­sitie; it serueth for a Marke to aime and leuell at, and an habitation and lodging of all euils: For hope deceiues our con­dition; vanity flouts it; ambition mockes it; vices are her beloued chil­dren, and vertues her greatest enemies: pleasure cheates her; the flesh tempts her; riches commands her, as her So­ueraigne; [Page 121] and finally, the Diuell main­taines a continuall warre with her vntill her end.

Let vs iudge then if pride and arro­gancy become vs well, considering all these our infirmities and defaults. Wee must not therefore wonder,Humilitie, the Queene of Vertues. if Humility bee the Queene of all other vertues, sith Arrogancy hath beene, and is still Princesse of Vices.Pride, the Princesse of Vice. I hold opinion with that worthy Philosopher, which in one lesson only taught all sorts of Sciences, comprehended & abridged in that ad­mirable precept and instruction of Cog­nosce Teipsum; and truely who in that knowledge is not ignorant, and that in knowing himselfe, will auow that hee doth not perfectly know himselfe. The way that we leade to arriue at this blest iourneys end vnto which wee aspire, is most long and tedious. So that it vvere much better for vs to arme our selues with a generous resolution, to forsake the world, before it doth leaue and a­bandon vs; for the soonest we can, will bee late enough, to execute so glorious [Page 122] an enterprize: For when I thinke and behold the miserable state of this tran­sitorie world, and how it is infected with all sorts of execrable sinnes, a trembling horrour vnties my bodies li­gatures, my very knees beat together, and I could vnfainedly wish my sinno­wy structure, to be transformed, into a lumpe of snow, that the ardour of my soules vexation, might dissolue it into penitentiall teares: for men do act sinne with an auaritious appetite, and all va­rieties of abominations are lifted to their Arcticke point. Doth not Satan coyne them so fast, as men would wil­lingly put them in practize? Did pride euer so strut it vpon the Tiptoes, as now it doth?

Can the Diuell, out of his shape of fashions, lay open more Antike-like formes then are forged on the Anuill of mans inuention? In Court, the No­bilitie are hardly distinguisht from their followers. In Citie, the Merchant is not knowne from his Factor. In Coun­trey, the Gentry cannot be descryed or [Page 123] described from the Rusticke; and in ge­nerall, the body publike is so ouer­spred with the Leprosie of that garish Strumpet, Pride, as there is scarce any difference betweene Countesse and Curtezan; Lady, and Chamber-Maid; Mistresse, and greasie Kit­chin Wench; Gentleman, and Mecha­nick. As for Knight and Taylor, there goes but a paire of Sheares betwixt them. How many mis-spend and pro­fusely lauish their fore-noones houres, in the curious pranking of their sinne­polluted bodies! but how few reserue one poore brace of minutes, wherein to prouide spirituall indewments to houze their naked sinfull soules! Neuer was the Apophthegme of old Byas the Phi­losopher more verified, then in these our franticke times.

Most men carry their wealth about with them, not as Bias did, in learning and vertue; but vpon their back in gor­geous apparell. Women doe so com­monly sophisticate their beauties, that one (though Linceus-sighted) can hardly [Page 124] iudge, whether they possesse their own faces, or no? and, which is more than most lamentable, euery snowy-headed Matron, euery toothlesse Mumpsimus, that one may see the sun go to bed tho­row the furrowes of her forehead, must haue her box of odoriferous Pomatum, and glittering Stibium, wherewithall to parget, white-lime, and complectionate her rumpled cheekes, till she lookes as smugge as an hansome painted Close stoole, or rotten poste. But as for them that lap vp their bodies in the pleasant mists of aromaticke perfumes, let them withall swallow this Pill: Within a sweet and ciuet lurking body, often is imprisoned a loathsome stinking soule.

Murther is accounted but manly re­uenge, and the desperate Stabber cares no more to kill a man, then to cracke a Flea. Vsurie and Extortion are held laudable vocations; Couetousnesse is stiled thrift; Luxury and whoredome are reputed but youthfull trickes: And as for Drunkennesse, why that's a tole­rable recreation: Doe not men pursue [Page 125] it with such inordinate affection, that they oft neglect their functions, bid farewell to that domesticke care they ought to entertaine; dislodge that hu­mane prouidence which should be shut vp in the Cabinet of their reasonable part, and solely prostitute themselues to quotidian carousing, till their breaths smell no sweeter then a Brewers apron, whilest their families are wrung and grip't in the clutches of pouerty, lockt vp, and imprisoned from those necessa­rie supplements, which should keepe both breath and body together at vni­on? This is a worthy Fathers opinion: That a man possessed with a Diuell, may be thought to be in a more hopeful state then a Drunkard: for albeit that he be possessed, yet is it compulsiuely, and against his will; but the Drunkard wholly adopts and dedicates himselfe, with all the powerfull faculties of his soule, voluntarily to the seruice of Sa­tan. S. Augustine likewise describes three fearefull properties in a Drun­kard: It confounds nature, saith he, lo­seth [Page 126] grace, and consequently, incurres Gods wrathfull indignation to be pow­red out vpon the imbracer thereof.

Swearing, and blaspheming Gods great and glorious Name, is reckoned for a morall vertue, the grace of birth and honour, the cognizance of an high-bred spirit.

What Christian can refraine, (that hath any sparke of Diuine intellect in him) to vnsluce the flood-gate of his eyes, and let his melting heart gush through with teares; when in the streets he shall heare little Children, scarce a­ble to goe, or speake, to be vnderstood; volley foorth most fearefull oathes, and with such procliuitie, as if they had bin tutored in their mothers wombes; whilest their parents standing by, offer not to check them, with so much as a sowre reproofe; but seeming rather to solace themselues in their Childrens sinnes, and delight in their owne dam­nations: like those who dye in a Sardi­nian laughter? If the penall Law of Lo­dovicus were put in practice; who hea­ring [Page 127] one sweare, seared vp his lips with an hot iron) scarce ten, in as many Pa­rishes, but would be glad to be in league with the Apothicaries lippe-salue. How many miraculous Iudgemēts hath God shot out against the blasphemers of his sacred Name; whose instances would be too prolixious? What sinne can be more damnable, & yet more practised? None can sooner plunge the soule into the implacable gulfe of perdition, and yet no sinne, by intentiue endeuour, more easie to be cropt off, and weeded vp: for that it is no incidentall issue of naturall corruption, but an accidentall monster, inegndred of corrupted cus­tome. A learned Father confesseth, That at euery other word he once vsed to sweare, but at length, endeuouring to locke vp the doore of his lips, to set watch before his tongue; imploying diuine assistance therein, and entreating moreouer his friends to smite him with the rod of reprehension; in forty daies he vtterly lost the abusiue vse thereof: So that now, saith he, nothing is more [Page 128] easie to me, then not to sweare at all.

It is recorded, that Lewis the 7. King of France, diuulged an Edict, that who­soeuer was knowne to warr against hea­uen with oathes, should be branded in the forehead, as a capitall offender: Should not then euery Christian labour to set a watch before his mouth, & keep the doore of his lips, that no rebellious words salley forth against his Creator? If not for feare of temporall Iustice, yet, lest the God of Iustice should brand his soule with the dreadfull stigme of e­ternall damnation, which no salue can heale, Haliacmons Floud wash out, nor length of time weare off. O lamentable▪ when the Turkes and Ethnicks out-strip vs in their cloudy and ignorant zeale: they will dispute in the heart of their highest Streets, about their Alcoran, and Mahometish religion, with holy inten­ded deuotion. But what voice is heard in our Streets? Nought, but the squea­king out of those obsceane and light Iigges, stuft with loathsome and vn­heard-of ribauldry, suck't from the poi­sonous [Page 129] dugges of sinne-swelled Thea­ters; controuersall conferences about richest beere, neatest wine, or strongest Tobacho, wherein to drowne their soules, and draw meager diseases vpon their distempered bodies.

And tell them moreouer, that by their nocturnall superfluities, and insatiable quaffings, they set but feathers in Times wings, and (as a worthy home-bred Author saith) spurre but the gallopping horse; hasten on their speedy deaths, and digge their owne vntimely graues.

More haue recourse to playing hou­ses, then to praying Houses; where they set open their eares and eyes, to sucke vp variety of abominations, be­witching their minds with extrauagant thoughts, and benumming their soules with insensibility, whereby sinne is be­come so customary to them, as, that to sinne, with them is deem'd no sinne at all: consonant to that Theologicall Maxime; The custome of sinning, ta­keth away the very sense and feeling of sinne. And semblable to Pythagoras his [Page 130] conceipt of the Sphericall harmony: Because (saith he) we euer heare it, wee neuer heare it.

Many set faire out-side colours vpon their professiō of religious honesty, but beeing strictly lookt into by the pene­trating eye of practise and performance, proue seldome di'de in graine. Some glitter like gold in their conuersation, but put once to the Touch, are found but counterfeit Alcumy. Others will needs seeme a substantiall body in inte­grity of life; but shaken and sifted with the hand of tryall, become but an Ana­tomy of bones.

To giue almes, is thought but a phan­tasticall ceremony, and to refresh the comfortlesse Lazarus, is deem'd but the maintenance of idle and exorbitant va­gabounds. O where is Charity fled? Is she not whipt & foysted out of great mens Kitchens, glad to keepe Sanctuary in straw-cloath'd Cottages? Are not larger beneuolences often distributed at the doore of one russet-clad Farmer, then at ten mighty mens Gates? The [Page 131] Magnificoes of this world reare vp sumptuous buildings, onely for shew and ostentation; whiffing more smoke out of their noses then their chimneys; and it begets more wonder to see them shake downe their bounty into the poore mans lap, then to see a Court-Lady vnpainted, or to finde an open­fisted Lawyer, that without a Bribe will faithfully prosecute his Clients cause. Notwithstanding al this, so parcimoni­ous are they in their domesticke pro­uision, that not a Rat of any good edu­cation, but scornes to keepe house with them.

In those golden times of yore, Cha­ritie was the rich mans Idoll: for they did emulate each other in supplying the Widdowes want; in comforting the Orphanes misery; and in refreshing the Trauellers wearinesse.

And it was their earthly Summum bo­num, to be open-hearted and handed to each hungry stranger: This inscripti­on commonly engraued vpon the front of their gates:

[Page 132] O gate, stand ope to all, be shut to none.

But in these our moderne dayes, they can cunningly transpose the point, and and thus peruert the sense, ‘Stand open (gate) to none, be shut to all.’

Doe not these heauen-tempting Nim­rods depopulate and leuell vvith the ground whole townes, crowd and iustle many honest and ancient Farmers out of their Demesne, deuastate their Possessions, and expose them with their Wiues, Children and Families, to be Camerades with palefac'd beggery, onely to lay the Basis of their Babel-out-brauing Palaces, abillimented with Punkish out-sides, to cheate the speedy approaching Traueller of his hungry hopes, as Zeuxis did the silly Birds with his liuely-limbed Grapes: as if they be in-lined with quaint garnishing, and costly furniture, & beautified with curi­ous pencild pieces, wheron thy eye may glut it selfe by gazing, yet perhaps maist thou be chap-faln for want of victuals?

These glittering obiects are the Me­dusas [Page 133] that inchant the violent instiga­tions, that spurre on young luxurious heires to hurle out their Angle to catch their fathers liues, and languishingly to long, till they see their mossie-bearded Sires topple vp their heeles into their graues.

And when their Fathers surrender vp their breathes to him from whom it was first diffused: then doe they mourne (forsooth) though ceremonially, not for that they are dead, but because they died no sooner.

The premisses pre-considered; what can be expected then, but an imminent desolation, or conclusiue dissolution of this foolish doting world, since vniuer­sally it is but an indigested Chaos of outragious enormities? Religion is made the Canopy to shrowd the putri­faction of Hypocrisie, and it's growne the highest Maxime in mundane poli­cies, to seeme (not be) religious: equall-handed Iustice is rush'd aside, by stub­borne authoritie, and all Morall vertues imbraced in their contraries.

[Page 134] How long then (most milde & more merciful God) wilt thou forget to bee iust! Oh how long wilt thou shut vp the vessels of thy wrath, and protract re­uenge? Art thou not the powerful God of Iustice? how canst thou then be any thing but thy selfe? What infinities of sinnes are shot vp to Heauen against thee? Yet still and still thou wooest vs with the heauenly breath of thy holy Gospell, vncouering those inexpressible wounds thou receiuedst for our Re­demption from sinne, and Satan, that we might with pittifull commiseration behold them, and vncessantly crying out vnto vs: How oft (O my deare children, whom I haue bought with the price of my most precious bloud) would I haue gathered you together, euen as the Hen doth her Chickens, and yet, nor yet, you will not be col­lected!

How oft hath hee thundered and knockt at the doores of our hearts, with the power of his Spirit, to wake from the profound Ecstasm o f soule-killing [Page 135] sinnes! yet still lye we snorting on the bed of securitie, and cannot be rowzed.

How often, O how often hath hee out-stretched his all-sauing hand, to heaue and helpe vs out of the slimie mudde of our impieties! yet still lye we groueling and ouer-whelmed in the in­sensible Lethargy of abominable trans­gressions.

How many warning-pieces hath he discharged vpon vs! How oft hath hee displayed his milke-white Ensignes of peace vnto vs! What deuouring plagues; what fires; what inundations, what vn­seasonable Seasons, what prodigeous Births, what vnnaturall Meteors, what malevolent Coniunctions, what omi­nous apparitions, what bloudy assassi­nations of mighty Kings: what Rapes, what Murthers, what fraudulencies be­twixt brother and brother? what hor­rible conspiracies by sonnes against fa­thers? All these sent as Heralds against vs, yet will wee not come and bee re­conciled.

These prodigious precursions, or [Page 136] precursiue prodigies, should deterre each humane creature from spurning a­gainst his Creator. These pre-moniti­ons should instruct vs, that Gods dread­full vengeance waits at our dores & like a staru'd Tiger gapes for our destructi­on: And notwithstanding he doe for a while fore-slowe to let fall his flaming rod of fierie indignation vpon vs, yet is the Axe already laid to the roote of the tree, and God must and will assuredly come to iudgement; seeing that now not any of those ancient predictions my­stically pointed out vnto vs, in the soule-sauing Writ by the holy Prophets, re­maine vnfinished, but onely the finall destruction of that Romish seuen-hea­ded Monster, together with the recol­lection of the vagabond Iewes, into the sheepe-fold of Iesus Christ.

Doth not an vncouth terrour seize vpon a man, whē in the depth or noone of night this sudden and vnthought of out-cry of fire, fire, shall fill his affrigh­ted eares, and chase him out of his soft and quiet slumbers; whereat skipping [Page 137] from his easefull bed, and distractedly gazing through the Casement, shall be­hold his owne house o're-spred with a bright-burning flame, and himselfe to­gether with his Wife and Children, seruants goods and all, most lyable to the deuouring rapacitie of imminent danger? O consider then, wicked man, how thy soule will be beleaguered with anguish and horrour, when in that last and terrible Day thou shalt behold with thy mortall eyes, the Cataracts of hea­uen, vnsluced, and hushing showres of sulphurious fires disperse themselues through all the corners of the earth and aire: the whole Vniuerse o're-canoped with a remorselesse flame; when thou shalt see the great and glorious Iudge appeare triumphantly in the skies, whi­lest mighty-winged clouds of deuou­ring flames fly before him, as Vshers to his powerfull and terrible Maiestie, attended with countlesse multitudes of beautious Angels, golden winged Cherubims, and Seraphims, sounding their Trumpets, whose clamorous [Page 138] tongues shall affright the empty ayre, and cal & awake the drowzy dead from their darke and duskie cabins, when thou shalt see the dissipated bones of all mortals since the Creation (concatenate and knit in their proper and peculiar form) amazedly start vp, & in numberles troupes flocke together, all turning vp their wondring eyes, to gaze vpon their high and mighty Creator. Then, O then will thy conscience recommemo­rate afresh thy past committed sinnes, and with the corroding sting of guilt, will stab thorow thy perplexed soule. Then, O then, will it be too late to wish the Mountaines to fall vpon thee; for they themselues for feare would shrinke into their Center. Alas, it cannot then bee auaileable to woo the waters to swallow thee, for they would bee glad to disclaime their liquid substance, and be reduced to a nullity. What will it boote thee then to intreat the earth to entombe thee in her dankish wombe, when shee her selfe will struggle to re­moue from her locall residence, and to [Page 139] fly frō the presence of the great Iudge? The aire cānot muffle thee in her foggy vastitie: for that wil be cleerely refin'd: in her will be celestiall flames, before contaminated with humane pollution. In fine, how will thy soule tremblingly howle out, and breake forth into bitter exclamations, when thou shalt heare that definitiue, or rather infinitiue sen­tence denounced against thee, I know thee not, Depart and goe into euerlast­ing torment, whilest Legions of diuels, with horrid vociferations muster about thee, like croking Rauens about some dead carkasse waiting to carry thee?

O thou Vsurer, and thou that grindest the faces of the poore, thy gold cannot ransome thee. Then, thou mighty man that rackest the Widdow, and circum­uentest the Orphane of his successiue right, thy honour cannot priuiledge thee: then, thou murtherer, adulterer, and blasphemer, thy colourable excuses will not purge thee.

Then, O thou vncharitable Churle, who neuer knewest, that a rich man [Page 140] treasures vp no more of his riches, then that he contributes in Almes.

Thou that neuer imbracedst the counsell of that reuerend Father, who cryes, Feede him that dies for hunger. Whosoeuer thou art that canst preserue, and wilt not, thou standest guilty of fa­mishing: then I say, in that day shalt thou pine in perdition.

Then, O thou luxurious Epicure, that through the fiue senses, which are the Cinque-Ports, or rather sinner-ports of thy soule, gulpest downe delightfull sinne like water, they will bee to thee like the Angels bookes, sweet in thy mouth, but bitter in thy bowels.

Then O thou gorbellied Mammonist, that pilest vp & congestest huge masses of refulgent earth, purchased by all vn­conscionable courses, yet carriest no­thing with thee but a Coffin and a win­ding sheete! Thy faire pretences will be like Caracters drawne vpon the Sands, or Arrowes shot vp to Heauen-ward, they cannot release thee from Satans in­expiable seruitude.

[Page 141] Then O thou Canker-worme of Common-wealthes; thou Monster of Man; thou that puttest out the eye of Iustice with Bribes, or so closely shutst it, that the clamorous cry of the poore mans case cannot open it. Thou that makest the Law a nose of Waxe, to turne and fashion it to thine owne pri­uate end, to the vtter disgrace of con­scionable Iustice, and to the lamentable subuersion of many an honest and vp­right cause: thy quirkes, dilatory de­murres, conueyances and conniuences cannot acquit thee, but thou shalt be re­moued with a Writ, into the lowest and darkest dungeon of damnation. No, no, the Lord of heauen and earth (who is good in infinitenesse, and infinite in goodnesse,) will winnow, garble and fanne his corne, the choyce wheate he will treasure vp in the garners of eter­nall felicitie; but the Chaffe and Dar­nell must bee burnt with vnquenchable fire. There must you languish in tor­ments vnrelaxable; there must you fry and freeze in one selfe-furnace; there [Page 142] must you liue in implacable and tene­brous fire, which, as Austin defines, shall giue no light to comfort you.

Then will you wish (though then too late) that you had beene created loath­some Toades, or abhorred Serpents, that your miseries might haue clozed vp with your liues: but you must bee dying perpetually, yet neuer dye, and which enuirons mee with a trembling (terrour) when you haue languish't in vnexpressible agonies, tortures, gnash­ings, and horrid howlings ten thousand millions of yeeres; yet shall you bee as farre from the end of your torments, as you were at the beginning.

A confused modell, and misty figure of hell haue wee conglomerate in our fancy, drowzily dreaming, that it is a place vnder earth vncessantly (Aetna-like) vomiting sulphurious flames: but we neuer pursue the meditation there­of so close, as to consider what a thing it is to liue there eternally. For this ad­iunct, Eternall, intimates such infinite­nesse, as neither thought can attract, or [Page 143] supposition apprehend. And further, to amplifie it with the words of a worthy Writer, though all the men that euer haue or shall be created, were, Briareus-like, hundred-handed, and should all at once take pens in their hundred hands, and should doe nothing else in ten hun­dred thousand millions of yeeres, but summe vp in figures as many hundred thousand millions as they could, yet ne­uer could they reduce to a Totall, or confine within number this Trisillable word, Eternall.

Can any Christian then (vpon due cō ­sideration hereof) forbeare to prostrate himselfe with flexible humility before the glorious Throne of Grace, & there, with flouds of vnfaigned teares, repen­tantly abiure and disclaine the allure­ments of carnall corruption, the painted pleasures of the world, and the bitter sweetnesse of sinne, which is the death's wound of his soule? for a Weapon wounds the body, and sinne the soule: For what profits it a man to winne the whole world, and lose his owne soule? [Page 144] The soundest Method therefore, to pre­uent our exclusion from the Throane of Gods mercy, is, to imagine, we still see him present in his Iustice, whatsoeuer, or when soeuer we attempt any blacke designe: Let vs but adumbragiously fancy (as one hath it) the Firmament to bee his Face; the all-seeing Sunne, his right Eye; the Moone, his left; the Winds, the breath of his Nostrils; the Lightening and Tempests, the troubled action of his Ire; the Frost and Snow, his Frownes; that the Heauen is his Throne; the Earth his Footstoole: that he is all in all things; that his omnipo­tence fils all the vacuities of Heauen, Earth, and Sea; that by his power, hee can vngirdle and let loose the Seas im­petuous waues, to o'rewhelme & bury this lower vniuerse in their vast wombs, in a moment that hee can let drop the blue Canopy (which hath nothing a­boue it, whereto it is perpendicular­ly knit) or hurle thunder-bolts tho­row the tumorous cloudes, to pash vs precipitate through the center, in­to [Page 145] the lowest dungeon of Hell.

These allusiue cogitations of Gods omnipotent Maiestie, will curbe in and snaffle vs from rushing into damnable actions, if we vnremoueably seat them in our memories.

Make then a couenant with thine eyes and heart, O man, lest they dote on earthly grasse, surfeit on the sugared Pils of poysonous vanities, and so in­sensibly hurle downe thy better part into the gulph of irreuocable damnati­on, if not for thy selfe sake, yet iniure not thy Creatour, who halh drawne thee by his owne patterne, moulded thee in his owne forme; and, to make thee eternally happy, hath infused his owne essence into thee; for thy soule, by the Philosophers confession, is infu­sion celestiall, no naturall traduction, and in that respect another calls it an arrachment, or cantell, pulld from the celestiall substance which cannot ter­minate it selfe within a lumpe of flesh: Euen as the beames of the Sunne, though they touch the earth, and giue [Page 146] life to these inferiour creatures, yet still reside in the body of the Sunne whence they are darted: So thy soule, though it bee seated either within the filme of the braine, or confined in the center of the heart, and conuerseth with the sen­ces, yet it will still haue beeing whence it hath its beginning.

Remember then thy Creatour in the dayes of thy youth, call vpon him while it is called to day; for as the Poet no lesse sweetely then discreetly sung, Who knowes ore night that hee next morne shall breathe? Then take Da­uids Early in the morning, not the De­uils Stay till to morrow: for thou know­est, God will bring thee to Iudgement, yet thou knowest not when, nor in what yeere, nor in what moneth of the yeere, nor in what weeke of the mo­neth, nor in what day of the weeke, nor in what houre of the day, nor in what minute of that houre, nor in what mo­ment of that minute; for hee will come like a thiefe in the night suddenly, be­fore with a winke thou canst locke vp [Page 147] thine eye, or in thy braine create the nimblest thought▪ Canst thou then hope to stand iustified in thy Makers presence, when thou hast cramd the deuill with thy sappe of strength, and full gorg'd him with the purest Acorne Mast of thy siowy virility, if at last thou come limping on Times tottering crutches, to present vnto him the off all huskes, and morosity of thy doting de­crepit age.

What thanke is it to pardon our enemies, when wee cannot hurt them? to giue away our goods, when wee can enioy them no longer? to aban­don our pleasures, when wee can­not vse them? to forsake sinne, when it biddes farewell to vs? and at last onely to surcease to offend, when abi­lity of offending is taken from vs? No, no, hee will then paralell thee with the sluggard, that neuer would acquire foode till hee was first starn'd, and ranke thee with the sottish ideot, that could not know a fish, till hee was al­ready stung with a Scorpion: thy palsie-shaken [Page 148] prayers will bee like Cains ob­lation, vnacceptable to the Lord, and noisome to his nostrils. Thinkest thou to expiate Gods Iustice, when thou hast prodigally swealed out the blazing lampe of thy brightest day in the De­uils chappell, if at last thou come cree­ping (when thy breath lies twinkling in the socket of thy nostrils) to set it vp in Gods Sanctuary, hoping then and there to haue it replenish't with his all-sauing grace and mercie? O mocke not thy soule with these deluding phan­tasma's: for as Alexander seeing one of his souldiers whetting his dart when o­thers of his fellowes went foorth to fight, casheer'd him, saying, Hee's vn­fit to beare armes, that hath them to make ready when hee should skirmish: So will God send thee packing (as hee did the foolish Virgins) with this re­torsion, Thou comest disfurnish't, with no oyle in thy lampe, and thou deser­uest no mercie, that neuer desiredst it till now in miserie. Gather thy selfe be­times then within the weapons of [Page 149] Faith, Hope, Charity, Repentance, and Perseuerance, and let Prayer stand per­petuall Sentinell: for if the Diuell once get footing within thee, he will hardly bee eiected, so wily is he in peruerting thee, that thou canst not bee too wary in preuenting him; For as Iphicrates an­swered his Generall, (who asked him why hee surrounded his souldiers with a Wall, when there was no feare of foe-mens approach?) A man cannot be too prouident in preuenting obuious and occurrent dangers. So canst thou not bee too cautelous in repelling the perillous stratagems of the Diuels as­saults: therefore may I cloze vp the precedencie with that worthy saying of a more worthy Epigrammatist, No man needes feare, that feares before hee needes. O cleanse and purifie thy heart then by earnest prayer and pow­erfull ciaculations, which is made the loathsome cage of sinne, the silent re­ceptacle of diabolicall cogitations, and the dismall dungeon of malignant mo­tions, that the Spirit of grace may [Page 150] there finde harbour, and take delight to bee thy inmate.

Remember, O thou mighty man, that swelling titles of Honour are but the leaues of vanity.

Remember, O thou rich man, that terrene and transitorie pleasures are like the Bee, though they yeeld honey, yet carry they a sting, and are but as the Lil­lies of the earth, more delectable in show, then durable in continuance.

Remember, O thou extortioner, thou cruell man, thou Murtherer, thou A­dulterer, thou deceitfull man; thou vn­conscionably deteinest the hirelings wages; and thou that actest inexora­ble villanies secretly in the darke, im­prisoned from the worlds dull eye, that if the Eagle can discerne, as one hath it, the Hare vnder the Bush, and the Fish vnder the Waues, much more can God, who is the Creator of creatures, pene­trate the closet of thy heart, with his all-seeing eye, and discerne thy clande­stine sinful practices before, and in their very conception, and for them hee [Page 151] will bring thee to iudgement.

Remember, O thou that swayest the Sword of Iustice, to strike or saue, as thou art suggested by thine owne ends, profits, or affections, that though thy couert proiects be not envulgard to the worlds generall eye; yet a day of Re­uelation will come, when all thy parti­all and priuate practices shall bee stript, euiscerate, and laid as apparantly open, as the sheepe vpon the Gambrell.

But now with reuerence and Doue­like humilitie to you (which are Ieho­uahs Embassadors) the light of the world, and salt of the earth, doe I ad­dresse my speech, mustered vp in the meanest and mildest ranke of words. O, I could wish that all of you stood without the list of that reprehension of Vices, which once an ancient and ho­nest Historian twitted the Monkes of Canterbury with. Some rise early in the morning, to see their hounds pursue the prey, but not to pray: some delight to catch Fowles, but not Soules; some take pleasure to cast a Dye well, but not [Page 152] cast to die well. Doth the wilde▪ Asse bray, saith Iob, when he hath grasse; or loweth the Oxe when he hath fodder? But I dare not say, No more doe some of you preach, when you haue once got a Benefice. If there bee any that enter­taine Religion with their Lord, preach the praise of their Patrons; preaching in the Pulpit, chatter in their Cham­bers, suiting their Linsie Wolsey pro­fessions▪ with their seuerall ends: O let those remember how God met with a mischiefe that notorious Nestorius, who for his temporizing inconstancie, set wormes a worke to eate out his tongue. O let them looke into the Story of one Hecebolus, a Sophister, who accommo­dating his profession to the fashions of the Emperours, fained himselfe in the dayes of Constantius, to be a most fer­uent Christian.

But when Iulian the Apostata was Ruler, presently he turned Paynim, and in his Orations proclaimed Iulian a god. And when Iulian was dead in Iouinians time, hee would haue turned [Page 153] backe to Christianitie. Wherevpon for his mutabilitie and lightnesse in his Re­ligion, his horrid conscience draue him to the Church gates, and there hurling himselfe flat, cryed and bellowed with a lowd voice, Trample me vnder your feete vnsauoury salt that I am; entirely wishing out of his soules agony, that he had neuer seene the light; or at his con­ception, his tongue had been riuetted to the roofe of his mouth.

Lastly and indefinitely to all; Re­member so to liue, as you still may bee prepared for the stroke of Death: then will you desire to be dissolued, and to sleep in peace reclusiuely frō the turbu­lent sea of earthy carefull miseries, dis­cerning cleerely by the spirituall eye of vnderstanding, that mans life is a way­fare, because it is short and a warfare, for that it is sharpe, and that worldly delights are deceitfull, and of no dura­bilitie; like the water-Serpent, no soo­ner bred, but dead. Collecting likewise out of humane experience, that the best life is but a weary and tedious pilgri­mage, [Page 154] & feeles no touch of true solace, till at the euening of his dayes he lodge at the Inne of death: for death is the path of life, a Gaole-deliuery of the soule, a perfect health, the hauen of hea­uen, the finall victory of terrestriall troubles, an eternall sleepe, a dissoluti­on of the body, a terrour to the rich, a desire of the poore, a pilgrimage vncer­taine, a thiefe of men, a shadow of life, a rest from trauell, an Epilogue to vaine delight, a consumption of idle desires, a scourge for euill, a guerdon for good: it dis-burdens vs of all care, vn­manacles and frees vs from vexation, solicitude and sorrow.

Of all those numberlesse numbers that are dead, neuer any one returned to complaine of death, but of those few that liue, most complaine of life. On earth euery man grumbles at his best estate.

The very elements, whereby our subsistence or being, as the secondarie cause, is preserued, conspire against vs: the fire burnes vs; the water drownes [Page 155] vs: the earth annoyes vs; and the aire infects vs; our dayes are laborious, our nights comfortlesse; the heat scorcheth vs; the cold benummes vs; health swels vs with pride; sicknesse empaleth our beauties; friends turne Swallowes; they will sing with vs in the Summer of prosperitie, but in the winter of tryall, they will take wings and be gone. Ene­mies brand our reputations with depra­uing imputations; and the enuious man hurleth abroad his gins to ensnare our liues: who would then desire to liue, where there is nothing that begets con­tent? for this world is a Theater of va­nities, a Chaos of confusions, an Em­bassador of mischiefe, a Tyrant to ver­tue, a breaker of Peace, a Fauorite of Warre, a friend of Vices, a coyner of Lies, an Anuile of Nouelties, a table of Epicurisme, a furnace of Lust, a pit-fall to the rich, a burthen to the poore, a Cell of Pilgrims, a den of Theeues, a calumniator of the good, a renowner of the wicked, a cunning Impostor, and a deceiuer of all.

[Page 156] How is the progresse of poore proud mans life violently agitated (like the ri­uer Euripus) with contrarious motions? The pleasure of the wyly world thus inueigles him; Come vnto mee, and I will drowne thee in delight. The cor­ruption of the luxurious flesh thus ingles him; Come vnto me, and I will infect thee; the Diuell he whispers this in his eare, Come vnto mee, and I will cheate and deceiue thee: But our sweet and sacred Sauiour Iesus Christ, with perswasiue inducements thus intreates him; Come vnto me (I pray thee) that art heauy laden, and I will receiue and exonerate thee, and with the mighty arme of my mercy and compassion lift off that vnsupportable loade, which crusheth downe to Hell thy groaning soule.

Study then to liue as dead to the world, that thou maist liue with God: for the iust man is said, neuer to liue till after death. Endeuor thy selfe to march faire through this worlds Labyrinth, not to squander and looke asquint vpon [Page 157] the Circean allurements thereof. But without turning either to the right or left hand, runne straight on in that Eclipticke line, which will conduct thee to that celestiall Ierusalem, where (with that immaculate Lambe Iesus Christ) thou shalt enioy pleasure without pain; wealth, without want; rest, without la­bour; ioy without griefe; and immen­siue felicitie without end.

Moreouer the contempt of the world, born of the loue of God, shall at length grow to hatred of the world, when that besides the vanity and misery of it, he shall contemplate the mischiefe and enmitie against the Almighty vvhich there raigneth; when besides that va­nity which some doe lay open to the view of all, hee will represent to him­selfe the iniquities which are closely kept, and the Treasons, Adulteries, Murthers, which are priuately and lur­kingly committed, when he shall con­sider the vials of Gods wrath and dis­pleasure powred generally vpon all man-kinde: for in the consideration of [Page 158] this world, it behooueth vs to leaue out no part of it, but to obserue all manner of nations and people: amongst which there are many Pagans, which not one­ly by a consequent, but also by expresse profession, adore the deuill. The East Indies dedicate their temples to him, and reuerence him with all respect. The West Indies are afflicted and tormented ordinarily with euill spirits. In most part of the North, lurking deceits, and assuming strange shapes, are very com­mon among the Inhabitants. Sorcery is there an ordinary profession, and the Diuell reigneth without contradicti­on. In that Countrey which did once flourish, where the Apostles had plan­ted so happily the holy Ghost, the Churches are now changed into Mos­ques, and Temples of Idolatry. In the West, the head of the visible Church is become an earthly Monarch, and banks are erected in those places, where, in times past was the House of God. A­mongst those erroneous and enuious people are scattered the Iewes, which [Page 159] blasphemed against Iesus Christ, and hauing persecuted him in his life, doe iniuriously wrong him after his death. The Countrey from whence came De­crees and Orders for Religion, hath in it publike Brothel-houses, and Sodomy is there an vsuall custome. Here it is also, where doubts in Religion that con­cerne a mans faith, are decided in the middest of corruption. There onely remaineth in the world a handfull of people which serue Iesus Christ in truth and verity; and they can scarce receiue breath in this ayre which is so contrary to them; beeing here as fishes without water; as the remainders of great Massacres; as pieces of boords scattered after the breaking of a great vessell; and yet neuerthelesse, among these few that are substracted out of the rest of the world, corruption doth in­crease as a Canker or Vlcer, Quarrels, Vanity, Superfluity in Apparell, Aua­rice, Ambition; Sumptuousnesse, which spendeth foolishly, doth infect the one part of this small troupe; for GOD [Page 160] is ill serued in priuate families, their almes are cold, they pray seldome, and reade neuer: IN briefe, a contagion of vices by conuersing with our aduersa­ries, doth infect vs, which is the first steppe to superstition; for errour creeps in to vs by vice, and spirituall fornica­tion by corporall. If therefore where God is most purely knowne, hee bee there ill serued, how much more a­mongst the rest of the world? If vices doe harbour in the Sanctuary, how much more in the body of the church and habitation of the wicked? There­fore Christ doth rightly call Satan, The prince of the world; and Peter doth iustly write in the second of the Acts, Saue your selues from that peruerse ge­neration, for Satan lieth in ambush for vs all. This age is infectious, vices are like vnto glue, temptations strong, our enemies mighty, our selues feeble and ignorant, and the way of saluation nar­row and full of thornes; And few there bee (saith Christ) that finde it: And those which finde it, doe not alwayes [Page 161] keepe it; but many hauing knowne the trueth, doe leaue it, and returne to their vomit. Let vs know then a place so dangerous, that wee may passe by as strangers, which doe not onely passe, but also runne from it, flying from the world, to come vnto God, for wee shall neuer haue repose, vnlesse wee rest our selues vpon him. The heauen moueth alwayes, and yet it is the place of our rest. On the contrary, the earth resteth alwayes, and yet it is the place of our motion. The Quadrants and Horolo­gies imitate the motion of heauen; but the faith of the beleeuers doth imitate the Rest which is aboue all. Vlysses did more esteeme the smoake of his owne house, than the flame of anothers; How much more then would he esteeme the flame of his owne chimney, than the smoake of anothers? Wee are heere strangers, this is not our house: our ha­bitation is in heauen. Let vs compare the smoake of this strange house, and the darkenesse of the earth, with the beauty and splendor of our owne dwel­ling, [Page 162] which is the in Kingdome of hea­uen: Here is the reigne of Satan, there the Kingdome of God; here is a val­ley of teares, there the height of mirth; here wee sowe in sorrow, there wee reape in ioy; here wee see the light of the Sunne through two little holes, which are called the eyes; there wee re­ceiue light from God on euery side, as if wee were all eyes. Therefore, be­cause God is all in all; to him be ho­nour and glory in this world, and in the world to come. Amen.


ON THE WORTHY NAME OF MY NOBLE and learned Author, that excellent Diuine, Monsieur PIERRE DV MOVLIN, the Mirror of our age.

PRaise mis-bestow'd on him, t' whom none belongs,
ILl fits the Praised, and the Praiser wrongs:
ERror in praising, may the prais'd defame,
RAising vp worth on an vnworthy Name.
REst weake-wing'd Muse: striue not this worth to raise;
ELated by its selfe, its selfe can praise:
DV MOVLIN'S worth, I meane, whose sacred skill,
VNder ha's brought
Romes Champion to his will.
He also by his most ex­celent and admirable Booke, inti­tuled, [The BVCKLER OF THE FAITH] doth vtterly confound the Romane Church: And many Iesuites, in presuming to dispute with this rare Di­uine, are put to their Non plus vltra! Yea, the most fa­mous of thē, Mr. Ar­noux the Iesuite, is put to his Shifts and, Euasions.
MY Muse, bee mute: forbeare his worth t' expresse.
O! Wrong not that, by praise, to make it lesse.
VNto the world's broad Eye, what riches rest
LOck't in the closet of His pious brest,
IS cleerely seene; and specially appeares
NOw more transcendent in's Heraclits Teares.
Deuoted to your Vertues, ABR. DARCIE.

THE TRANSLATOR TO the vnpartiall Reader, all Prosperity.

ALl is corrupt and naught, all eu'ry where:
BElow high Heau'n Ther's not a corner Cleare.
RIch subtill worldlings wise, cramd with wealths store,
ARe but the fooles of Fate, exceeding poore;
HOnor, Wealth, Beauty, Pompe, i'th' best degree,
ARe subiect all to change; no State liues free,
MONARKS, nor Kings; the glory they liue in,
[Page] DEath shall deface, as if th' had neuer bin.
ATtend faire Ʋertue then, Vice dis-respect:
REbuild thy sunke foundation, Architect.
CLimbe Heau'n, braue spirits, let your Teares expell,
IN faire Repentance showr'd, the worst of hell,
EVer to gaine those Ioyes no tongue can tell.

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