THE CHRISTIANS RACE: TEACHING VS ALL SO WORTHILY, AND SO WISELY Both to beginne, continue, and to end, this our most short and momentanie course in this mortall Life: that in the day of our death wee may for euer enjoy that inestimable Crowne of eternall Blisse in the life to come.

Being a Sermon preached in the Parish Church of North Parrott in Somerset, by IOHN ATKINS Master of Arts, and Preacher of the sacred Word of God, and Pastor there.

1. COR. 9.24.

Know yee not that they which runne in a Race runne all, but one receiued the price? So runne that yee may obtayne.

LONDON, Printed for George Hodges, and are to bee sold at his Shop in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Gray-hound. 1624.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE WIL­LIAM SAINTMAVRE, LORD BEAVCHAMPE, EARLE OF HERTFORD: AND TO THE MOST Vertuous and truly Religious Countesse; my very good Lord and Ladie, IOHN ATKINS wisheth all grace, and peace from our LORD IESVS Christ.

CVstome (which with vs is another na­ture) hath euermore claymed by Pre­scription (Right Honourable) that such Bookes, as are publikely committed to the Presse, whither they bee small or great, should be sent abroad to the open view of the World, with some Epistle Dedicatorie going before them. Which if they haue not, they may then bee questioned by the Readers, whither that the Authors and Writers of these Works, haue any worthy good Friends abroad: or else, whither that the Workes themselues may be thought well worthy of their Pa­tronage. [Page]In due regard whereof, I haue here in bent my selfe to tread the common path, and now at this present to vsher forth into the Vineyard of Gods Church, these first Fruits of mine imprinted labours in my publike Ministerie, vnder both your Honours most worthy Patronage (which are now but one in the Lord.) Most humbly crauing your Honours fa­uourable acceptance of the fame, as our Sauiour once did of that poore Widdowes Farthing. And although I may most truly confesse and say, in the words them­selues, of that Centurion in the Gospell, Mat. 8.8. I am not worthy to bee graced here in by your Honours greatnesse (knowing right well mine owne vnworthi­nesse) yet the very little matter, and argument it selfe, of this little Booke of mine is it, which I haue heere made bold to commend vnto you, to wit, The Chri­stians Race: A Race indeed, which the Wisemen of this World doe vtterly refuse to runne, because they are yet but Worldly wise: and what our ignorant ones dreame not of, because that their eyes as yet are blinded: and what our Naturalists know not of Be­cause that this Race is spiritually discerned, and what our Earth-wormes thinke not of, because that all such are but earthly minded: and which all our prophane ones vtterly despise, because that as yet they are al­together irreligious: and which all our vngodly ones as yet regard not, because that their hearts are hard and stony, and which our Hypocrites know right wel, but yet will not runne, vnlesse it be only in the sight of men for a season, to haue the applause and prayse of men: and lastly, which all our truly Religious ones striue to runne; albeit, with many faintings, failings, [Page]and desertions. And therefore (now Right Honoura­ble) to this only end, that all our Worldly wise (benedictione diuina) may be yet more truly wise vnto their owne saluation: and all our ignorant ones may be the more enlightned, and all our Naturalists may bee the more renewed, and all our Worldly ones may the more haue their minds set on heauenly things, and all our prophane ones may yet proue the more pious, and all our vngodly ones may come at last to Re­pentance: and all our Hypocrites may be much more zealous, so many as are found within the ranke of Election. And finally, all our Religious ones may be much more strengthened, and animated in that good course which they haue hither vnto begunne, that so constantly and comfortably continuing to the Goales end, they may reape that rich price of eternall blisse.

I haue heere made bold for the publike good of Gods Church, to commit this short Sermon of mine to the Presse: teaching both your Honours in parti­cular, and all true Christians else in generall, so to be­ginne, hold on, and continue this our true Christian Race, vnto the very end and vpshot of our liues: that in death we may enioy eternall life.

Vouchsafe therefore (Right Honourable, I beseech you) to permit this little Worke of mine, to passe into the World vnder your Honours Name, which in truth will not only be euen as a shield to protect it against the bitter and biting Tongues of all our car­ping and captious Ones, but also bee as an Oint­ment powred out, yeelding a most sweete and redo­lent sauour, for to make it so much the more odorife­rous [Page]indeed, in the hearts and minds of all true Chri­stian Readers, and Hearers of the same. And thus most humbly crauing pardon for this my boldnesse, and not being willing to detayne your Honours any longer, least I should be too tedious. I commend you and yours to that most gracious God, whom you daily serue, and to the Word of his grace, which is able to build further in you both, and to giue you an inheritance a­mong all them that are satisfied.

Your Honours Chaplaine in all dutie to be commanded, IOHN ATKINS.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER.

COurteous Reader: forasmuch as wee are all (as Experience proueth, the surest Schoole-mistresse in the world) from the King to the Begger: from the best to the basest: from the mightiest to the mea­nest: from him that sits vpon the Throne: to the poorest grinder in the Mill, without exception, or exemption of any. Actors heere vpon the Stage of no long continu­ance: and (as euidently the Holy Ghost doth witnesse vnto vs all, in the 1. Cor. 9.24.) runners of a most short and transitorie race heere in this mortall life: the which race being finished first, or last: either at our first, third, sixth, or eleuenth houre. That is to say, either in Child­hood, Youth, Middle age, or Old age: our Bodies must then returne vnto Dust, from whence they came: and our Soules must returne vnto GOD who gaue them. That therefore in the very day and houre of our Deaths: that immortall part, I meane our soules, (which as Saint Austen saith, Generando infunduntur & infundendo generantur, are infused into our bodyes by a Diuine and vnvtterable generation, and are begotten of GOD him­selfe in vs, by a Coelestiall infusion,) may not bee repulsed by CHRIST himselfe, the Iudge of quicke and dead, with Non noui vos, discedite maledicti, &c. I know you [Page]not, depart you Cursed, &c. But may then bee immedi­ately, and that most ioyfully admitted, into the Coelum Emperaeum, the Heauen of Heauens, with that sweet Venite benidicti, &c. Come yee blessed Children of my Father, &c. to GODS most comfortable presence, there to haue full fellowship with the Blessed Trinitie, and with all the Communion of the tryumphant Saints, and so raigne with them in Blisse for euermore. I haue heere made bold in loue, as GODS poore Labourer (though Apostolorum minimus, Peccatorum maxi­mus, & Sanctorum infimus: the least of the Apostles, named of GOD, chiefest Sinner, and the meanest Saint.) to commend this compendious Sermon of mine vnto thy Christian view, for thy better instruction and daily direction in this present Life (which is but for a moment) how to runne most wisely and worthily indeed, of this thine appointed Spirituall race. The which poore Mite of mine, if I shall finde thee (courteous Reader) with wil­lingnesse and chearefulnesse to accept, and with careful­nesse and faithfulnesse daily for to vse, it shall then bee thine; Otherwise, if you doe gracelesly abuse it, or else most grossely refuse it, then it shall bee mine. Reade, and consider well I pray thee with good discretion, what heere thou readest: and the Lord giue vs all a right vnder­standing in all good things. And if vpon thy reading, or hearing hereof, you shall finde any Spirituall and Ghostly comfort for to follow: let GOD haue all the glorie, to whom all Glorie chiefly appertayneth: and let mee (the Lords vnworthy Minister) haue thy daily Prayers to GOD in my behalfe, that GOD of his goodnesse may so blesse me in my Ministrie, which I haue receiued from the Lord, as that hereby I may from henceforth be boldly [Page]encouraged, and enabled to prepare yet some few Me­ditations more of this kinde hereafter for thee. And thus most heartily commending it to thy Christian and charitable consideration, and my selfe with all my daily Studies and endeauours, vnto thy most faithfull and feruent prayers, I rest.

Thine in the Lord Iesus. IOHN ATKINS.

Fiue generall Doctrines, or Instructions, handled in this Sermon.

First, from the word, Vs.
THat all the Elect of God,
This Doctrine.
which doe expect indeed, that rich reward of Glory in the day of Death: must labour now to be Cursores, Spirituall runners of the Christians race, heere in this present Life.
Secondly, from the word, Runne.
That all those which are sound professours indeed of true Christian Religion:
This Doctrine.
must neither stand still nor sit downe, nor flinch, nor looke backe, but daily goe forward in this Religious race, vntill they come in Death vnto that wished place.
Thirdly, from the word, Race.
That mans life heere vpon Earth,
This Doctrine.
it is exceeding short, and passeth very swiftly.
Fourthly, from the word, Patience.
That true Patience indeed in vndergoing of Crosses,
This Doctrine.
is a most need­full and gainefull Grace, for the fitting, fencing, and furnishing of our Soules, to runne this Religious race.
Fiftly, from these words: Looking to IESVS.
That in running of this our Religious race,
This Doctrine.
the life of our Lord and Master Iesus, must bee our speciall Card and Compasse, our Coelestiall Circle, and our Line, for to guide vs by.

THE CHRISTIANS RACE.
THE TEXT.

Heb. 12. Part of the 1. & 10. Verse.

Let vs runne with Patience the Race that is set before vs, looking vnto IESVS.

IN these words (my welbelo­ued in CHRIST IESVS, our best beloued:) the Holy Ghost (our coelestiall Schoole­master of all true sauing Know­ledge) doth borrow a very plaine and familiar compari­son (as wee may all perceiue and see) from the Earthly games of mortall Men, which in a word, wee may thus con­ceiue. The Race which we are heere exhorted for to runne, is not the voluptuous Race of vaine pleasure with Epicurus: (whose wanton Song was onely thus: Ede, bibe, lude: post mor­tem nulla voluptas. Eate, drinke, and play: for after death there [Page]is no further pleasure:) Nor yet the ambitious Race of vaine Glory, with Alexander: who hauing Conquered all this World, wept because hee could not finde a second: that so he might also conquer it: Nor yet the enuious Race of beast­like reuenge, with that accursed Caine, who most insatiably thirsted after his Brother Abels innocent blood. Gen. 4.8. Nor yet the couetous Race of this worlds bewitching wealth: with that most greedie Cormorant mentioned in the Gospell: (Luk. 12.18.19. Qui modo [...]lligat hordeum in horreum, &c. so as hee might fill his Barnes vp to the roofe:) This was the whole and sole compasse of his cares: being crop-sicke (as I may say) out of his great abundance. But onely that pious and Religious race, of a new, a holy, a godly, and a sanctified life, with that regenerate and most worthy King Dauid: running in the path of Gods Commande­ments. Psal. 119.32. Let vs runne with patience this race that is set before vs, looking to Iesus.

Of which words, that I may the more orderly speake, and you in Gods feare the more profitably heare: may it please you all, for methods sake (which is memories guide,) seri­ously to obserue herein these two generall and remarkeable parts; to wit, 1 First, the parties that are heere exhorted for to runne this Religious race: in the first particle Vs: 2 And se­condly, there manner of practice in running of the same: which is, To runne with patience the race that is set before vs, looking to Iesus. The parties, are not all men in generall, with­out exception, but onely Vs: that is, all the righteous and re­generate ranke, which being made Spiritually new creatures in Christ Iesus, are Iustified by the merit of Christ his obedi­ence, and Sanctified by his most blessed Word and Spirit. And so this word Vs, hath onely a reference to all that are of this righteous and regenerate ranke, whither Iewes, or Gen­tiles, male, or female, noble, or ignoble, learned, or vnlear­ned, bond, or free. So that in this sence (as you may perceiue and see) the persons are not definitely, but indefinitely heere proposed. For the Holy Ghost doth not say heere: Let vs [Page]that are Noble, or let vs that are Ignoble, or let vs that are Mightie, or let vs that are Meane, or let vs that are Rich, or let vs that are Poore, or let vs that are Young, or let vs that are Old: but generally (hauing a respect to all the regenerate onely) hee expresseth it indefinte in this wise: Let vs.

Doctrine. And hence à personis from the parties, heere most power­fully exhorted, for to runne this Religious race, there ariseth this obseruable lesson for our further Learning, that all the E­lect of GOD, which doe expect indeed, that rich reward of Glorie in their day of Death: must belabour now to bee Cur­sores, Spirituall runners of the Christians race, heere in this present life. The reason is drawne à decreto Dei: because that the Lord himselfe hath so Decreed: That first, we must bee all of vs Viatores, Trauellers, and Cursores, Runners, ere e­uer that we can be Comprehensores, obtainers of eternall Life. Insomuch, that in this respect, not the very true naturall Sonne of God himselfe, as hee was the very Sonne of Man, (like vnto vs in all things excepting onely in sinne) was in a­ny wise exempted, or priuiledged aboue his Brethren, whiles that hee was heere militant, and conuersant vpon Earth. But first he did Runne, and then after that Obtayne: first hee did Fight, and then he did Conquer: first he did Suffer, and then after that hee did enter into his Glorie. Luk. 24.26. So then (my welbeloued in the best beloued) this being the Militant estate heere vpon Earth of Christ himselfe our head: this also must bee the Lot, Estate, and Condition, of all and euery one of vs, that are his members. For that as in Math. 10.25. wee may runne, and read, from the mouth of our Master Christ himselfe: It is enough for the Disciple to be as his Ma­ster, and the Seruant as his Lord. And no maruel; for, as a lear­ned Father saith. Our God hath these three distinct or seueral houses: Earth, Hell, and Heauen: Earth for labour, Hell for torment, and Heauen for pleasure: Earth for labour in this present life; whereof that holy man Iob speaketh thus, in Iob 5.7. Man is borne to labour, as the sparkes to flie vpward. Hell, for torment to all the Damned, in the life to come: [Page]whereof Abraham spake thus to damned Diues, in Luk. 16.25. Sonne remember that thou in thy life time receiuedst thy pleasures, and contrariwise Lazarus endured paines: but now hee is comforted, and thou art tormented. And Hea­uen for pleasure, to all the Elect of God, whereof our blessed Apostle Saint Paul writeth thus, in 1. Cor. 2.9. That no Eye euer saw, no Eare euer heard, no Heart euer conceiued, the joyes which God hath prepared in Coelo Empiraeo, for them that loue him. So then, if heere wee haue no fighting, stri­uing, running, encountring, and conquering in this present life: we can neuer then looke for any Coelestiall blessing, im­mortall Crowning, and most happie rewarding in the Life to come. And therefore of force I must thus conclude, à de­creto Dei immutabili, from Gods vnchangeable Decree, the truth of this my proposed Doctrine raised a personis, from the persons, which are heere exhorted by the Holy Ghost, for to runne this Christian race, that if euer wee doe expect indeed, that rich reward of Glorie in the day of our Death: wee must labour now with might and maine, for to bee Cursores, Spirituall runners of this Religious race heere in this pre­sent life.

The vse of this Doctrine a Personis, from the Persons, serues to reprooue, to checke, and sharpely to rebuke, many thousands amongst vs in these our dayes and times, who be­ing yet but Talpae in Diuinis, blind Moales in Heauenly mat­ters, doe ignorantly, and most absurdly thinke to goe to Hea­uen, as it were vpon beds of Downe, and that all other mat­ters and businesses in this world, this one thing is the easiest matter of all, for a man to enter into Eternall life, in his day of Death: and in this Life to bee spiritually rich towards God, with a Lord haue mercy vpon them at the last. Where­as (lumine Naturae by Natures light,) they can all confesse and say; that a man cannot possibly bee rich to this slipperie world, first beginning euen ex nihilo, but of a slender Stocke: without rising vp early, & going to bed late, and taking of eue­ry opportunitie offered for that end and purpose: and yet alas [Page]these Naturalists doe thinke, (being yet but flesh and bloud) which as our Apostle plainly tels vs from the Lord, in 1. Cor. 15. vers. 50. cannot possibly enter into the Kingdome of God) to be spirituall rich to God-ward in their soules: and suddenly, in ipso articulo mortis; at the very last gaspe, to enjoy CHRIST, with all his Merits, Graces, and Blessings (which is mans best and chiefest gaine, because the most true and perfect gaine:) though heere they doe stand still in the way of sinners, or sit downe in the seate of the scornfull: neuer running (as we are here exhorted) in this Re­ligious Race; nor yet strugling, or striuing, as Christians ought to doe; either against Satans fiery suggestions, or against this Worlds most dangerous hallucinations, or against their owne carnall lusts and most filthy corruptions: but that only one, Miserere mei Deus, at the last, will suffice their turne.

To all which blind Moales in heauenly matters, I must be a ghostly Remembrancer this day from the Lord of Heauen and Earth, with this my present Doctrine, raised à personis, from the parties, which must runne this our Christians Race. That if euer they doe expect indeed, that most rich reward of glory in the day of death: they must labour now then to bee cursores, spirituall runners of this Religious Race here in this present life. Remembring still, that as a godly Father sayth: Nunc pugnandum tibi est fortiter, nunc currendum viriliter: vt tandem in die mortis triumphes suauiter. Now wee must fight couragiously, now wee must runne manfully: if euer wee looke in our day of death to triumph most ioyfully. And so I come, à personis ad rem, from the parties that must runne this Religious Race, to their practice in running and finishing of the same: which is, To runne with patience the Race that is set before vs, looking to Iesus.

In which two generall parts of this my proposed Text, may it please you methodically to note these three particular points. First, A word of Exhortation in that first word Run. Secondly, A most worthy direction how, in these next words: with patience the Race that is set before vs. And third­ly [Page]and lastly: An illustration of this most worthy direction, by a demonstration drawne, ab exemplo Christi: in these last words, looking to Iesus. Of these (by the helpe of God) in their order. And first, of the word of Exhortation, Runne. Running (as wee all know) is a violent exercise, and there­fore most painfull and laborious: And so likewise is the mili­tant present estate of euery man and woman amongst vs, that will runne this Christians Race full of affliction, mise­rie, and of trouble: insomuch, that Sicut fluctus fluctum inse­quitur: sic afflictio afflictionem: as one waue followeth vpon the Seas, in the necke of another: so doe tryals and afflicti­ons here pursue Gods deare Saints one after another. And therefore, Eccles. counsell is this in his second Chapter and first Verse, My Sonne if thou wilt come to serue the Lord, prepare thy soule for temptations. Moreouer, in running, which (as a­fore I haue taught you) is actio laboriosa: a violent, painfull, and laborious exercise of the bodie: mens bodies are still in motu, & progressu: in action, and in progresse, vntill they doe come at length vnto the Goale.

And euen so likewise (my welbeloued in the best beloued) both in our speculatiue, and practicall part of true Christian Pietie, our whole man flesh, and spirit must still be in motu & progressu: vntill we doe attayne to that wished Palace of fe­licitie. And hence from this first word of Exhortation, Run; There ariseth this remarkable Instruction, or Lesson for our learning: that all such, as doe now professe indeed true Chri­stian Pietie, and Religion; must neither stand still, nor sit downe, nor flinch, nor looke backe: but goe on still forward in this spirituall Race, till in death they shall come vnto their wished place.

The reason for the purpose and confirmation of this Do­ctrine, is drawne à comparatis, from a comparison: because that euen as runners in an Earthly Race, doe not at all, whiles they are Agents in that corporall exercise, either stand still or sit downe, or flinch, or looke backe: but doe hold on cou­ragiously, cheerefully, and constantly, vntill they attayne [Page]vnto their wished Goale: Euen so must wee that are now Cursores, spirituall runners in this our Religious Race: not stand still with those Idlers in the Gospell, Matth. 20.6. whom our Sauiour himselfe did most sharpely checke with Quid hic statis toto die otiosi? Why stand yee heere all the day idle? Nor yet sit downe with that couetous Cormorant in the Gospel, Luke 12. vers. 19. who sang this sweete requiem vn­to his soule: saying, Anima requiesce: Soule take thy rest. Nor yet flinch with those dastardly Disciples of our Sauiour, who fled all away from him, at the houre of his apprehension, Mar. 14. vers. 50. Nor yet lastly looke backe with that disobedient Wife of righteous Lot, Gen. 19. vers. 26. who was deseruedly therefore turned into a Pillar of Salt: to be a warning peale (as I may say) to all succeeding Ages. But according to that most blessed patterne and practice of our holy and blessed A­postle Saint Paul, in Philip. 3.13.14. Wee must forget that which is behind, that is, the things we haue alreadie done, and en­deauour our selues to that which is before: that is, to those good duties, which as yet we haue left vndone, and presse continually to­wards the marke, which is our Master Iesus Christ alone: vpon whom, as on a marke, our eyes must be wholy and solely set, in the compleat course of this our Christian Race. And albeit in the running of this Race, we may either stumble, or fall, or both: as Dauid did; when hee committed both Murder and Adulterie, 2. Sam. 12. vers. 9. and as Saint Peter did, when he denyed and defied his Lord and Master Christ, Matth. 26.72, 74. and as Saint Paul did, when a pricke was giuen him in the flesh, the very Messenger of Satan to buffet him with­all, 2. Cor. 12.7. and generally as all the Disciples did, when as they all forsooke their Master Christ, and fled, Matth. 26.56. Yet wee must vp againe, and to it; We must breake off our wonted sinnes by righteousnesse, and our iniquities by mercifulnesse. So that if with the Church of Ephesus, Wee haue left our first Loue, Reuel. 2.5. yet we must againe remem­ber from whence we are fallen, and repent, and doe our first workes. If then in running of this Religious Race wee doe [Page]fall, yet we must not lye still and sleepe in sinne: but rise by true Repentance, and so runne againe, euen as if our spirituall strength were renewed by our fals; knowing this, that in due time wee shall reape if wee faint not, Gen. 6.9. And thus by this one Reason from a Comparison, I proue the truth of this my former Doctrine, raised from this first word of Exhorta­tion, Runne: that all and euery one of those, that doe now professe indeed true Christian Pietie and Religion, they must neither stand still, nor sit downe, nor flinch, nor looke back: but must hold on still in this Religious Race, vntill they at­tain in die mortis, in their day of death, vnto that most wished place of eternall life.

The vse of this Doctrine, raysed from this first word of Exhortation Runne: is of reprehension to taxe a number of lazie Lepid [...] (I meane, of drowzie Protestants and Professors) now in these our dayes and times, who albeit with Iudas amongst the Apostles of Christ, they doe know as much in Christ his Schoole as others doe, and with the dissembling Pharises too, in Christ his dayes, can professe as much in their golden and glorious words, as the soundest, and most sanctified Christians that are amongst vs: yet in all this interim, they runne not with perseuerance in this our true Christian Race. But either they resemble Iosua his Sunne, which stood still by the space of one whole day, Ios. 10.13. or else Hezekiah his Sun, which went backward ten degrees, Esay 38.8. So doe these either stand still, or else goe backward in goodnesse: whereas they should resemble King Dauids Sunne, in Psal. 19.5. Which commeth forth as a Bridegroome out of his Chamber: and reioy­ceth as a Giant to runne his course. So should these (if they were as they should be indeed) shake off all such lets & impe­diments whatsoeuer, as either did clog them that they could not run this Race at all: or else did cause them to breake off, when as they should continue. To all which drowzie Pro­testants, (as Gods vnworthy Messenger) I must bee also a Re­memberancer from the Lord, with this my former instructi­on, from this first word of Exhortation, Runne: that all and [Page]euery one of those that do now professe indeed true Christian Pietie and Religion: they must neither stand still, nor sit downe, nor flinch, nor looke backe, but hold on constantly in this Religious Race, vntill they attaine in die mortis, vnto that most happie and wished place. Whereunto wee haue these two mayne Motiues to incite vs (which I beseech you marke) First, that there is alwayes in true Christianitie, a [...]: that is, a furthermore: as our Apostle plainly doth ex­presse, in the 1. Thess. 4.1. Furthermore, we beseech you Brethren; and exhort you by the Lord Iesus, that you would abound yet more and more, as yee haue receiued of vs, how yee ought to walke, and to please God. And as Saint Peter also implyeth, in 2. Pet. 3.18. Crescite in gratia; Grow in grace. And therefore, as Appelles Poesie was this, Nulla dies sine linea; Let no day passe without one Line. And as Pythagoras Poesie was, Chaenici ne insidias: Sit not still vpon the Measure of Corne. And finall, as the Motto of Charles the Fifth was this: Ʋlterius: Goe on fur­ther. Euen as Christ himselfe sometimes said to that worthy Ghest in the Gospel, Luke 14.10. Superius, Sit vp higher: So according to all these particular Directions or Mementoes, (as I may truly tearme them) let vs now runne on still in this Race, without ceasing. Remembring that heere vpon Earth whiles we are Militant, wee haue not Mansions to rest in; crying, Anima requiesce (as I told you before) but only Vine­yards to worke in. So that in this World wee must neuer thinke that in grace we are rich enough: but we must bee al­wayes poore in spirit, Mat. 5.3. we must neuer thinke, that we haue either Knowledge, Grace, or Goodnesse enough; but we must alwayes hunger and thirst after Righteousnesse: that so we may be filled and satisfied at the last. So then hauing a Talent of Grace, we must not put it into a Napkin, but in­to the Banke, lighting our Candle; we must not set it vnder a Bushell, but on a Candlesticke: Seeking Christ, we must not seeke him in our Beds of rest, but in our Gardens, and Vine­yards of labour, Cant. 3.1. Still casting off all such clogges and impediments, as may hinder vs in this our Celestiall Race. [Page]Herein resembling Ezechiels Waters that rose vp higher and higher, in Ezec. 47.4 till we come to our Head, which is the Sonne of God: and that growing Wheate in the Gospel, which waxed riper and riper, Marke 4.28. till we come to that great Haruest Day, which is in the end of the World.

A second Motiue to perswade vs to runne on, with all pos­sible perseuerance in this our Religious Race, is, for that in our great Audit Day, the Day of the Lord: it is not our only Faith of knowing much, which the Deuils haue, Iames 2. Vers. 19. Nor yet our only Faith of assenting to much, which our Hypocrites haue, that will then suffice, and serue our turnes: but only this our true sauing Faith of knowing, assen­ting, and applying of Christ with all his benefits vnto our selues. The which Faith of ours, if it bee sound indeed, as it ought to be; it will haue these two principall properties, to wit: First, a godly sorrow, or vnfayned Repentance, for her Gentleman Vsher, as the Faith of the Ninouites sometimes had, Ionas 3.10. and secondly, those liuely fruits, or effects of the Spirit of God for her Attendants and Companions, mentioned in Gen. 5.22. Loue, Ioy, Peace, long suffering, &c. This grace of true sauing faith, being a most glorious Queene. And as Saint Austen stileth her, Ipsa Regina virtutum: The ve­ry Queene of all the Theologicall Vertues: most honourably attended euermore as a Queene, with those Celestiall Vir­gins the fruits of the Spirit, whereof I spake before: as in Psal. 45. Vers. 14, 15. you may runne and reade. And so I come from our Apostles word of Exhortation, Runne, vnto his most worthy Direction how, with patience the Race that is set be­fore vs. In which Direction, note I pray you these two parti­cular Points: First, our Apostles Metaphoricall word Race: by which Race is heere meant the whole course and compasse of this our mortall life: and Secondly, that Theologicall Vertue or Grace, wherewith our soules must bee seasoned, fenced, and guarded, for our more comfortable finishing of this our mortall Race, in that one word Patience: Let vs runne with patience the Race, &c.

The word Race in the Originall, as I find, is [...]: where­of there were three seuerall kinds. The first of Italy, called Stadium Italicum, the Italian Race: contayning sixe hundred fiue and twentie feet. The second, Olympicum: the Race of Olympus: contayning only sixe hundred feet. And the third and last, Pythicum: contayning no lesse then a thousand feet: which is two hundred paces. Now it is most probable, that our Apostle in this place, writing to the Hebrewes, alluded to that Olympian Race, or Course, which of the three is found to bee the shortest; much like to those Tyes (as they tearme them in Kent) which are but some thirtie or fortie Rods: and then there stands the Goale. And euen so likewise, this life of ours (as we see, and know by daily experience) is but only the lasting and continuance of a few yeeres, moneths, weekes, and dayes at the vttermost, and then at last comes this death vpshot, Mortuus est: So this man died, which is the Epitaph of euery man, either first, or last. So that as euery man had a day of Birth: so shall he haue also; & that very shortly, a day of Death. For that all our whole course and compasse here is but as the extent or continuance of a Race, which is but a few feet, or paces of ground, and there is the period or the vttermost bound.

Hence then from this Metaphoricall word Race, there ariseth this Doctrine for our Learning, that the lasting of this our life vpon Earth, it is exceeding short, and passeth verie swiftly.

Doctrine. The reasons for the proofe, & confirmation of this Doctrine, are principally three: whereof the first is drawne, from the Scripture à testimonio Spiritus sancti, (which is, Spiritus veritatis the Spirit of Truth, Iohn 14. ver. 17. & therefore his testimonie cannot but be true:) in Iob 14.1. Man that is borne of a woman hath but a short time to liue: And it is most truely said, Quod homo est animal aui breuissimi, & solicitudinis infinitae: That mans dayes are few, and euill: (as once old Iacob said to King Pharaoh, in Gen. 47.9.) and that his cares and sorrowes are in­finite. So that this our life is not short and sweete, (as Epi­cures [Page]vse to say, though falsly) but very short and sharpe, as daily triall and (experience prooues vnto vs all most plainly) some giuing ouer, at their first setting out in this their earth­ly Race, euen in their very Cradles, as did those Infants of Bethlehem, in Matth. 2.16. Some others when they haue run some three or foure paces in their youth: as did the young man in the Gospel, Luke 7.12. Some others about the middest of their Race, as did Lazarus the Brother of Martha and Marie, in Iohn 11.14. And some when they are almost come to the Goale: as old Simeon did in Luke 2.29. Yea, and most men and women are out of breath, before they can reach the stayed paces of threescore yeeres, and if any doe liue till eightie yeeres, we repute him then exceeding old, as appeares out of Psal. 90. vers. 10. the dayes of the yeeres are threescore and tenne: and if by reason of strength, they reach to foure­score yeeres, yet is there strength then but labour and sorrow for it is soone cut off, and we flye away. And thus, à testimo­nio Spiritus Sancti, I prooue the truth of this my former Do­ctrine, from this our Apostles Metaphoricall word Race, that the lasting of this our life here vpon Earth, it is exceeding short, &c.

A second Reason is drawne, ab experientia quotidiana, from daily experience (which is the surest Schoole-mistris in the World) in that we doe find, perceiue, and see by experience: that there are as many small sculs in our Golgothaes (which are our Churches, & Churchyards) as there are great: and that for one Apple which falleth ripe from our Trees, tenne are pulled before they be ripe: and that the Parents do as often naturally mourne for the death of their children, as the children doe for the death of their Parents. Thus being our Aprill and our Iune (as I may terme) in which we flourish for a while, but very shortly will come our September and Nouember, in which as leaues wee must fall to the ground: and what a wonderfull change will this be, that within these fourescore yeeres at the most, scarce one of all this Congregation shall remayne aliue: but another Pastour and other people, another [Page]Preacher, and other hearers shall supply these roomes. The Rauen, and the Phenix, & the Elephant, and the Lion, and the Hart, liue out their hundreds of yeeres: but Man dyeth, when his sunne is yet but risen, before his Eye can be satisfied with seeing, or his Eare with hearing, or his Heart with lusting; Death knocks at the very doore of his heart, and will not suffer him to studie for an excuse, before hee must appeare to giue an account of his Stewardship, for he can bee no longer steward. Luk. 16.2, 3.

And euen thus, Ab experientia quotidiana, by experience, I proue also the truth of this my former Doctrine, raised from the word Race. That the lasting, and continuance of our life here vpon earth, it is exceeding short, &c. A third reason, for further proofe & confirmation of this Doctrine, is drawne à Comparatis, from Comparisons, taken out of the pure fountain it selfe of Gods blessed Booke. In that this present life of ours is compared by the Holy Ghost in Scripture, sometimes to a Pilgrimage in which is vncertaintie: as in Gen. 47.9. The dayes of my Pilgrimage are an hundred and thirtie yeeres. Sometimes to Grasse and Flowers, in which is mutabilitie: as in Esay 40.7. Sometimes to a Smoake, in which is vanitie; as in Psal. 102.3. Sometimes to a house of Clay, in which there is miserie. Iob. 4.19. Sometimes to a Weauers shittle, in which is volubilitie: as in Iob. 7.6. Somtimes to a Shepherds Tent, in which is varietie: as in Esa. 38.12. Sometimes to a Ship vpon the Seas, or to a Post vpon the Land, in which is great celeritie: as in Wisdom. 5.9.10. Somtimes to a Race, as in 1. Cor. 9.24. And so likewise heere in this my Text. Some­times to a Dreame, whereof wee haue many in one night: as in Iob 20.8. Sometimes to Vanitie, which is nothing in it selfe: as in Psal. 39.5. And sometimes to nothing, or a thing of nought, which hath no being in this world: as in the selfe same Psalme and Verse.

By all which comparisons taken out of the written Word of God, I proue the truth of this my former Doctrine, as by a third reason, that the lasting and continuance of our liues [Page]here vpon Earth it is exceeding short, & passeth very swiftly. And no maruel, for that the holy Ghost resembleth Mans pre­sent estate: (besides all those transitorie things, which afore I haue mentioned:) sometimes to a Shadow, which is as no­thing to the body: as in Iob 8.9. And sometimes to a vapour, which quickly vanisheth: as in Iam. 4.14. Now then, all these things of so short a continuance, what else doe they intimate vnto vs all, but a serious consideration with our selues of our most short, vnconstant, and variable estate? The chiefest of mans glory heere vpon Earth, being resembled (as before I shewed you) but to a Flower: and a Flower (as in Summer wee doe see) is a thing of no long continuance: for that the cold nips it, the heate withers it; and lastly, the sithe will quickly cut it downe. And euen so is our life, in length but as a spanne; yea, a very nothing in respect of Eternitie. Psal. 144.4.

The vse of this my former Doctrine, raised from our Apo­stles metaphoricall word Race, is of admonition to warne vs all, that sith this present life of ours is so exceeding short: (as I haue most euidently prooued vnto you, by three most pregnant and powerfull reasons) So that in truth, in compa­rison of that which followeth, it is but Punctum temporis, quod hîc viuimus, imò & puncto minus. But a very moment of time, that heere wee all doe liue. And yet as Saint Austen truely sayth; Hoc est momentum vnde pendet Aeternitas. This is that onely moment whereupon dependeth Eternitie. For that if this time bee well spent, then of our liuing in euerla­sting Felicitie: but if this bee mispent, then of our liuing in eternall Miserie. That therefore we bee now mindfull and carefull euery day, for to spend it well, and to make good vse indeed, of this so short a moment of our time, in running of this our Christian race aright: by liuing Religiously towards God; Soberly towards our selues, and justly and squarely one towards another: taking especiall heed of all carnall securi­tie. Considering, that which way soeuer we cast our eyes, we haue great cause of vigilancy, but none at all of securitie. For [Page]if wee looke vpward, let vs thinke vpon God, whom by our sinnes wee haue most justly displeased: if downeward, vpon Hell, which wee haue all of vs deserued: if backward, vpon our Sinnes, which we haue formerly committed: if forward, vpon our Death and Iudgement, which cannot bee auoyded if inward, vpon our owne Consciences, which wee haue defi­led: if outward, vpon this wicked World, which to too much wee haue loued. Let vs all now consider whence first we came, and blush, where wee are: and sigh, whither we are going, and tremble: and lastly, how short this our life is, and prepare. And now to this end, that wee may all of vs the more directly runne in this our Religious race as we ought to doe; without standing, sitting, fainting, flinching, or loo­king backe. Two speciall rules must bee well learned of vs; to wit; First, a due Preparation before: and secondly, a right Disposition of our selues, in running of this Religious race a­right as wee ought to doe.

For the first rule. Our due Preparation before, doth chiefe­ly consist in these two principall points. First, in dyeting of our selues afore-hand, from forbearing the pleasing and de­lightsome practice of all our old and wonted sinnes: euen as earthly Runners in a corporall Race, doe keepe themselues to a bodily dyet before their Running day. Secondly, in the stripping and shifting cleane of our selues, from the filthy rot­ten ragges of our owne supposed righteousnesse, (which is all but like to a menstruous Cloath, as in Esay 64.6.) euen as earthly Runners strip and shift themselues of their daily wea­ring Cloathes, before they doe set forth.

And as for our second and last former rule, viz. Our right Disposition in running, it consisteth in these three principall things. First, in our beginning well, for that (as the Poet sayd of old.) Dimidium facti, qui bene caepit habet. Hee that hath made a good beginning, hath therein halfe finished this his Running, being guided herein by the Word of God and Prayer. Secondly, in going on well, not in the wry way of Paganisme, nor in the by-way of Papisme, but only in that old [Page]way, which is the good and right way of Christianisme. That is, In semita Dei statutorum, onely in the path of Gods Com­mandements. Thirdly and last of all, In ending well. For that wee vsually say, and not vntruely, if the End bee well, then all is well. As our Sauiour himselfe doth teach vs, in Math. 24.13. Qui perseuerat vsque ad finem saluus erit. He alone which continueth vnto the end shall bee saued. For that sola perse­uerantia Coronatur, onely our perseuerance in this Race, will enrich vs with the Crowne. And in deed and truth, (as a godly Father sayth) Incassum in hoc stadio curritur, si ante vitae terminum deseratur. As good not at all to begin this Race, as to giue off againe before our dying day. The which Truth, is taught vs by Christ himselfe, in Luk. 9.62. Whosoeuer shall put his hand to the Lords Plough, and then looke backe a­gaine, is vnfit for the Kingdome of Heauen.

Let vs therefore now labour, not onely to enter, but once being entred, carefully and constantly to hold on in this Re­ligious race, to the vttermost end, and Catastrophe of our liues, that so in death we may take hold by Faith, of that our inestimable prize which is Eternall life. Closing vp this our Race, when wee shall come to the goale, with that sweet and comfortable conclusion of our blessed Apostle Saint Paul, in 2. Tim. 4.7.8. I haue fought the good fight of Faith; I haue finished my course, I haue kept the Faith: from henceforth there is layed vp for me the Crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord that righteous Iudge shall giue vnto me, and not to me onely, but to all them that loue his appearing. And so I come from this Metaphoricall word Race, to that Theologi­call grace or vertue it selfe: wherewith our hearts must bee fortified, fenced, & guarded, for our more comfortable running and finishing of this our Religious race, most liuely layed downe in that one word, Patience. Let vs runne with Pati­ence, &c. Patience, is described for to bee a most excellent gift, or grace of God, whereby all Gods militant Saints heere vpon Earth, are enabled to beare quietly, peaceably, and con­tentedly, all Crosses and Contumelies, whatsoeuer it shall please the Lord for to lay vpon them.

And hence there ariseth this Doctrine, or lesson for our learning, that true Patience indeed in vndergoing of crosses, is a most needfull and gainefull part of euery true Christians spirituall Armour, for the fitting, fencing, and furnishing of him, to runne this Religious race aright. The first reason, for proofe of this Doctrine, is drawne à presenti conditione Sancto­rum, from the present troublesome estate of all Gods militant Saints. For that euen a whole world of troubles, tryals and crosses, must be vndergone of them in this present world, be­fore they can come to the goales end, & enjoy euerlasting rest and happinesse in Heauen: as in Ioh. 16.33. in Luk. 14.27. in Act. 14.22. and in Heb. 12.6.7. (being the very Chapter it selfe, from whence this my Text is taken) you may runne and reade. To all which places of Scripture; for breuitie, I re­ferre you. For that all these particuler places doe shew how rough, and full of Thornes our way to Heauen is, in this our Spirituall race. Exeperience whereof, the Histories of all a­ges doe most apparantly proue vnto vs.

As namely of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, and his posteritie in Aegypt, in the Wildernesse, in Canaan, vnder Iud­ges, vnder Kings, and in their Captiuities. Quis Sanctorum, sayth Saint Hierom, sine certamine Coronatus est. Which of all the Saints was euer Crowned without crossing, without fighting, without suffering? Let vs but seriously consider with our selues, the liues of Christ, and of his Prophets and Apostles: and the estate of Gods Church in the Apostles time, and after their time, and euer since, to these our dayes and times, and wee shall quickly find, that it were an infinite worke to reckon vp onely all the persecutions, troubles, af­flictions, and sundry kinde of Crosses, which Gods owne peo­ple, his delicate ones, from time to time haue endured in this present life. And no maruell; for that as impossible as it is for Sheepe to liue quiet amongst Wolues without hurt: or for Noahs Arke to bee without floating vpon the Waters: or for Christ his Ship to bee without danger of sinking vpon the Seas: or finally, for a Lilly to bee without pricking, growing [Page]among Thornes: so impossible is it for Gods militant Church to bee without troubles and tryals, and persecutions in this present world.

Obiect. But heere now me thinkes, I heare some say vnto me, that all Ages and Times, haue not beene times of perse­cutions vnto the Church of God. For that the Church of God in Kings Salomons dayes, and so likewise vnder the raigne of many other good Kings and Princes, had very great peace and quiet. And in Act. 9.31. wee doe finde that in the Apostles dayes, which were troublesome times, the Chur­ches had rest. And so likewise in Constantines time, and of o­ther most worthy Christian Emperours. And euen so like­wise (blessed bee God) heere in this our Iland, vnder the peaceable raigne of King Edward the sixt, Queene Elizabeth, and our most Gracious King IAMES, whom the Lord of his goodnesse long continue amongst vs, if it bee his blessed will, euen as the dayes of Heauen.

Answ. Though Gods militant Church, and the members thereof, bee freed for a season from all outward publike perse­cutions of the cruell Magistrates, or from open inuasions of their forraigne Foes, yet neuer fully free from all manner of troubles. For that as in Psal. 34.19. Many are the troubles of the Righteous; yea, euen in the most halcion and peaceable dayes and times that euer were. And no maruell; For behold in the bosome of Gods Church heere vpon Earth, there haue alwayes beene, still are, and euer will bee, some Ismaels as well as Isaacs; some Esaus as well as Iacobs; some borne car­nally after the flesh onely, as well as some new borne againe after the Spirit of God. Which being so indeed, there will therefore euermore bee persecution of Gods Church vpon Earth; if not with Fire, Sword, Banishment, Imprisonment, and with such like outward tortures and torments; yet with Ignominies, reproches, taunts, and disgraces, & with such like Ismaeliticall persecutions, which wil go as neere to the harts, and pierce thorow the very soules of Gods Saints, as deepely as the other. And thus in the most quiet times of Gods [Page]Church militant; hee that refraineth from euill, maketh him­selfe a prey. Many and manifold iniuries, both in body, goods and name, doe the true Saints of God receiue from their wic­ked neighbours, being often disgraced and oppressed of the greater sort, and many times reuiled and wronged of the meaner sort. And if in this life they should haue peace abroad, yet at home, euen in their owne priuate Families, shall they finde tryals and troubles enough, arising ordinarily from their Parents, Husbands, Wiues, Children, Seruants, Friends, Kin­dred, and the like. Hence then from our present condition heere in this life, wherein wee all are subject to so many stormes, and doe daily meete with such an ocean of troubles, I proue the truth of this my former Doctrine, that of necessi­tie wee must striue to bee fenced, and fitted with Patience, for the finishing of this Religious race.

A second reason, for proofe and confirmation of this Do­ctrine, is drawne Ab vtili, seu commodo Patientiae. From the vnspeakeable gaine and profit, of this most excellent pearle of Patience. For that euen as the lidde is made by God to open and to shut againe, to saue the Eye from hurts and harmes: so Pati­ence is set to keepe our Soules, and to saue whole our Hearts, and to cheere vp our Bodies againe. And therefore if wee obserue it, when we can goe by offences, and put vp wrongs, and suffer troubles quietly, wee shall finde a kinde of peace and joy in our hearts, as though we had gotten some victorie; and the more that our Patience doth increase, the more our Paines will still decrease. For euen as a light burthen borne at our armes length, will weigh much heauier then a burthen of treble weight layed vpon our shoulders, which are made to beare. So if wee take impatience to beare all our Crosses, which is not fit to beare them! O then we will immediately murmur, and grudge, and shrinke, and start, and let our bur­then fall: but if once wee put Patience for to beare them, which is made to beare them all indeed. O then, euen as those heartie Spies which came from Canaan, sayd, it is no­thing to ouercome them. Ios. 2. So will Patience say vnto vs [Page]amidst all our crosses it is nothing to be belyed, nothing to be enuied, nothing to bee back-byted, nothing to bee slandered, nothing to be imprisoned, &c. as though all these things did come vpon vs, not to make vs conquered, but rather by our patience to make vs Conquerours. And thus all is (as we see) in the manner of bearing of the Crosse, which makes perse­cution seeme joyfull to some, and irksome to others: which makes pouertie welcome to some, and bitter to others: which makes some sing in their sicknesse, as if they were whole, and others to raue, and whine, and curse, as they were not sicke but franticke. And therefore Christ his yoke is stiled easie, in Matth. 11.28. because it is made easie to some that haue pa­tience to beare it. As Christ by his infinite patience did suffer infinite paines for our infinite sinnes: so shall we beare all our crosses that come vpon vs in this our Christian Race, if wee haue this one Preseruatiue of patience about vs. For what else hath the poore man to beare his pouertie? or the sicke man his paines? or the bond-man his bondage? or the bani­shed man his exile? but only to lay all vpon the shoulders of patience, and to say, with Ieremy in all his trials, This is my sorrow, and I will beare it, Ier. 10. Vers. 19. In Exod. 15.25. we do reade, That the Tree which Moses cast into the Spring did sea­son the bitternesse of the waters: So this Tree of patience, being cast into our troubles, will season the bitternesse of all our crosses, and will assist vs to ouercome all our trials and temp­tations: like that Armour-bearer, which holpe good Ionathan to vanquish all his enemies, 1. Sam. 14.

And no maruell, for that this most excellent grace of Pa­tience, hath a deuice (as one wittily writeth) to draw such a skinne ouer all our soares and sorrowes, as to make our pouer­tie seeme Riches, our Reproaches seeme Honours, our Bon­dage seeme Libertie, our Labours seeme Rest, our Sorrowes seemes Ioyes, our Paines seeme Pleasures, our Sicknesse seeme Health, and all things that hurt vs to rejoyce vs: vntill wee doe say with holy Dauid; Behold, thy Iudgements are good, Psal. 119. Ver. 39. And for want of which most worthy grace, [Page]many thinke themselues in Hell, amidst there earthly woes; and say, that no mans paines are like their paines, no mans wants like their wants, no mans foes like their foes, no mans wrongs like their wrongs, when as they can scarcely tell, where their paine doth hold them. And therefore, euen those which cannot suffer that they might haue rest, yet sing that old and patient Prouerbe: Of sufferance comes rest. So many and manifold, being the effects and fruits of this Theologicall grace of Patience: that as a godly Father saith; First, In pa­tientia (vt in arca) anima nostra custoditur: By patience our Soules are kept in safetie, as earthly Treasure is in some Iron Chist: which our Sauiour himselfe doth teach vs; saying, in Luke 21.19. In patientia possidete animas vestras: By your pa­tience possesse your soules. Secondly, In patientia vita guberna­tur; By Patience our whole life is led, ordered and guided: for which cause the Holy Ghost doth plainly tell vs, That hee which is patient, is of great vnderstanding, Prou. 14.29. Third­ly, Per patientiam qualis homo sit probatur: By patience a man is proued what a one he is: as in Prou. 27. Vers. 21. As the fining Pot for Siluer, and the Fornace for Gold, so is a patient man to his praise. Fourth, Per patientiam victoria acquiritur: By patience we become Conquerors ouer all our troubles. So that as Seneca saith, Qui verè patiens est, à toto mundo vinci non pos­sit. Hee which is truly patient, no crosses can ouercome him, but he ouercomes them all: according to that old saying, Vin­cit qui patitur: Hee which is patient shall ouercome. For which cause in Reuel. 13.10. and in Reuel. 14.12. When the Holy there speakes of the victory of the Saints; hee saith, here is the patience of the Saints. Noting that by their pa­tience they ouercame all their troubles: and therefore in Iam. 1.5. We are all of vs exhorted, let patience haue her perfect worke. For that Nobile genus vincendi est patientia. Patience is a most noble kind of conquering. Now then your patience may haue her perfect Worke. First, it must bee sound and heartie, and not fayned and counterfeit. For that as soundnes and integritie is a kind of perfection in all Christian graces, [Page]so also in patience. Secondly, It must extend to all our cros­ses, both heauie and light; inward and outward, at home and abroad, whither from the Deuill, or from any of his Instru­ments: or else from God himselfe, as his owne immediate hand. And lastly, of what kind, qualitie and quantitie soeuer they be, as the Holy Ghost implyeth, saying, in 2. Cor. 6.4. We approoue our selues in much patience. Thirdly and last of all for the continuance it must endure vnto the end of our Race. So as wee must both patiently beare the present, and so likewise prepare and fit our selues for future crosses. Re­membring still, that hee which hath patience to the end shall bee saued, Mat. 10.22. Thus the patience of Iob had her perfect worke in all these three respects. For first it was sound, and of a large extent, or else he could not haue so stood against all his friends, and amidst all his trials, so vprightly as hee did: and finally, it continued vnto the end, for hee was ouercome by none of them, but hee by patience ouercame them all: as we may runne and reade in Iob 13.15. and 42.7. whose Presi­dent by Saint Iames is proposed for our practice, Iam. 5.11. and that not vnfitly. First, in regard of the greatnesse of our trials and troubles in this present life: because they are not Scar-crowes, or troubles in shew which we suffer, but such as pierce both our bodies and our soules. Secondly, because that the number of our trials is to vs vncertayne, (our cala­mities as waues falling one vpon another) and thirdly and lastly, because that their continuance is also vncertayne, as is the continuance of our life.

This whole life (as I haue taught you) being but a Race, so that so long as wee are Runners in this Race: so long wee must looke for many stormes and temptations. Now then for vs to faint before we haue ended our Race, is worse then ne­uer to haue endured any whit at all. In that not only the glorie of all our former patience is vtterly lost, but also turned into shame. First, Ignominie, and our God prouoked vtterly to forsake vs, and to haue no pleasure in vs, as in Heb. 10.38. and therefore euermore amidst all our crosses, wee must still [Page]remember this short close, Si vis vincere, disce pati. Learne to be patient if thou looke to conquer. And thus, ab vtili patien­tiae, from the gaine of this most excellent grace of patience, I proue also the truth of this my former Doctrine; That true patience indeed amidst all our crosses, is a most needfull and gainfull grace, for the fitting, fencing, and furnishing of our soule to runne this Religious Race.

The Vse is of admonition to warne vs all, to labour for this Celestiall Herbe of grace & of patience, that so we may haue it still sprouting and springing in the spirituall Gardens of our hearts and liues. Knowing well, that God hath giuen such a wonderfull power to this Medicinable Herbe of per­fect patience, that it shall bee an acceptable Medicament to a generall salue for all persons, and for all Diseases. And there­fore in Reuel. 13.10. wee doe reade that when Gods Angell had recorded all the troubles, which should come into the World in the latter dayes, at last hee closeth and concludeth thus. Heere is the Patience and Faith of the Saints. As if pa­tience should beare and ouercome them all. And for this very cause throughout the whole bodie of the Bible: so many se­uerall Sentences of Scripture are written and placed, as so many Preachers to exhort vs vnto patience, as in Luke 19.21 By your patience possesse your soule, and in Prou. 14.29. A mans wisdome is knowne by his patience. And in Heb. 10.36. Wee haue need of patience, that after that we haue done the will of God, we might receiue the promise. And in Rom. 5.4. Patience breedes experience, experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed.

And againe, in Iam. 4.7, 8. Bee patient Brethren to the com­ming of the Lord, &c. And besides all these powerfull Ex­hortations vnto patience, the Prophets, Euangelists, and Apostles, haue set forth a number of Examples before our eyes, like Beacons vpon the tops of Hils, of such great Cures as haue beene healed by patience. So that what our Apostle saith of Faith, in Heb. 11. from the fourth Verse to the for­tieth, the very same may I say of this grace of patience. By patience holy Iob did beare all the trials that the Deuill could [Page]possibly heape vpon him, Iob 1. By patience Iacob put a num­ber of wrongs at the hands of Laban, his Father-in-law, and neuer once complained in one and twenty yeeres, Gen. 31.7. By patience good Ioseph forgaue all his Brethren, when hee might haue put them all to death: and gaue them food for re­uenge, Gen. 45.15, 17. By patience Dauid ouercame all his crosses: though hee had King Saul that mighty one against him; the Philistims against him, the Ammonites against him, the Edomites against him, the Moabites against him; and lastly, Absalom his owne bowels against him. For whom hee cryed, saying, would God I had dyed for thee, 2. Sam. 18.33. Yet Dauid still comforted himselfe in the Lord his God, 1. Sam. 30.6. euen as if this most precious Pearle of patience, were the only spiritual stone vpon which he leaned and rested his head. Lastly, by patience our Lord & Master Christ suffe­red Banishment, Reproaches, Taunts, and Scourges, vntill last of all hee went to his death, like a Lambe to the slaughter.

Obiect. But here now (me thinkes) I heare some say vnto me; how may wee get and obtayne this spirituall Armour of proofe, this Pearle of Patience: which is so needfull and gainfull a graine.

Answ. First, by labouring to bee furnished with Faith to­wards God. For that whosoeuer doth know perfectly, and is sure in his heart by Faith, that God who is the Lord of all haps and mishaps, of prosperitie and aduersitie, of health and sicknesse. Life and death is pacified, and fully reconciled with him by Iesus Christ, so that hee cannot possibly bee depriued of eternall saluation; to such a true beleeuing Christian man, there can be no crosse so sharpe, bitter, and grieuous vnto him, as can possibly bring him out of patience. But by faith hee shall still obtayne and keepe this precious Pearle and Iewel of patience, as in Iames 1.3. The tryall of your Faith worketh pa­tience; the which faith, though in this life it bee little and weake in the best, and dearest of Gods children heere: and in time of tryall and affliction beginne to draw backe, and proue like to a brand that hath but little fire in it: yet ought wee [Page]not to despayre, but to remember that the Lord Iesus will not quench, but increase it: so as wee doe but pray with the blessed Apostles, O Lord increase our Faith, Luke 17.5. And with the Father of him that was possessed, Lord, wee beleeue, helpe our vnbeliefe, Marke 9.24. Secondly, sound hope, which is the Daughter of a true faith, maketh men to bee patient, when as they hope & trust for honor, & reward after all their suffrings, as in Ro. 8.25. If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Thirdly, faithfull and feruent Prayer maketh men to be patient: for that in Mat. 7.7. hee hath promised, doe but aske and haue, &c. And if experience prooues this much vnto vs, that when once we haue but ope­ned our needs and griefs to our friends, we do afterward feele a certain ease in our selues, so that our former paine and griefe is somewhat remedied and taken away; O then much more comfort, and ease shall we find from God, to the quieting and setling of our mindes, by the opening of our griefes and com­plaints vnto God in humble Prayer. Fourthly, diligent rea­ding, searching, and seeking into Gods most holy, & blessed Word, helpeth much vnto patience, wherein he doth set be­fore our eyes his most sweete and louing promises, as in Iohn 16.33. These things haue I spoken vnto you, that in me you might haue peace, in the World you must suffer tribulation. But bee of good comfort, I haue, &c. In Psal. 50.15. Call vpon mee in the time of trouble, I will heare thee, and thou shalt prayse mee: with such like gracious promises, which we ought daily to seek, & search in his Sacred word, neuer ceasing to laude & prayse his holy Name, in that in these our dayes and times he hath made vs rich partakers of these most sweete and infallible comforts for our soules, in his Word and Gospel: which Word wee ought all to beleeue, receiue and obey, euen as though wee heard the immediate voyce of God himselfe from Heauen, speaking all such things as we heare out of the same. Fiftly, and lastly, a true loue waxing and sprinkling out of faith, will worke in vs this worthy grace of patience; in Gen. 29.20. It is said that Iacob serued seuen yeeres for Rachel, and [Page]they seemed vnto him but a few dayes, because hee loued her: So likewise, whosoeuer truly loueth God, he will beare and take most patiently whatsoeuer tryals and troubles God shall lay vpon him; and whatsoeuer here he suffereth for Christ his sake, it shall be easie vnto him. So that still hee will be readie to runne after him, through all manner of wayes bee they ne­uer so rough, vntill such time as hee may come at last to per­fect and eternall rest in him.

And so I come from our Apostles Direction, with patience the race that is set before vs. The last part of this my Text, which is his Demonstration: drawne ab exemplo Iesu Christi, in these last words: Looking to Iesus. Not looking to the World, Quia mundus deficiet: because that the World will forsake and leaue vs, and we must leaue the World, wee cannot tell how soone, as in Prou. 27.1. Boast not thy selfe of to morrow, for thou canst not tell what a day may bring forth. Nor yet looking to our owne rebellious flesh; Quia care irficiet: our flesh will in­fect and poyson our soules; so that if wee liue after the flesh, we shall dye, Rom. 8. Vers. 13. Nor yet looking to Satan, Quia Diabolus interficiet; The Deuill will destroy vs, walking a­bout continually like a roaring Lion, seeking whom hee may deuoure, 1. Pet. 5.8. but, as it is here in this my Text; Looking to Iesus: Quia reficiet: for that he will ease vs, hee will refresh vs, hee will direct vs.

Doctrine. And hence there ariseth this Doctrine for our Learning, that in running of this our Religious Race: the life of our Lord and Master Iesus, must be our Spirituall Card and Com­passe; our only Line, and Ieuell for to guide vs by.

The Reason for proofe and confirmation of this my last Lesson, for breuitie shall be but one; drawne Ab ipsissima vi­ta Iesu Christi: because that in his life, hee both was, and is the Lord of all Vertues: and therefore he sayth thus to all his Disciples: Discite à me: Learne of me, Mat. 11.29. and se­quimini me: follow me.

For where in all the whole World can wee sooner fiud true Humilitie, perfect Charitie, Sobrietie, Patience, Obedience, [Page]and Prayer without Example, with all other co-adjoyned, and allied Vertues, then in Christ his life? of whose life Saint Augustine writeth thus. Thou hast O Christian Soule (saith he) in the life of Christ alone, a most Celestiall Medi­cine to helpe all thy defects. For what Pride is there in thee, that his Humility cannot abate? What Wrath and Anger, that his Gentlenesse cannot lenifie? What Couetousnesse, that his Pouertie cannot salue? What benummednesse of thine heart, that his Loue cannot inflame? And as Christ his life is a most Celestiall Medicine for all the Defects and Dis­eases of our Soules; so is it a most absolute Rule or Square, of most perfect Discipline for our liues. For where I pray you, can we behold such a President without paralell of Humili­tie, Charitie, Patience, Chastitie, Obedience, Sobrietie, and generally, and in a word of all Vertues, then in the life of Christ? Where is there true Wisdome more to be found, then in the Doctrine of Christ? Where true Fortitude, then in the Death and Passion of Christ? Where true Clemencie, then in the Mercy of Christ? Where true Humilitie then in the obedience of Christ? Where true Charitie, then in the forgiuenesse of Christ? What, I pray doe wee learne by his base lying in the Manger at Bethlehem, and by his poore bringing vp in a meane Hostage at Nazareth, but an vtter contempt of this wicked World? What learne wee by his Exile into Egypt, and by his Birth in the dayes of cruell He­rod, but patient suffering hereof Persecution? What learne we by his Fasting in the Wildernesse, the Austeritie of his life; and conflict with Satan? But how to bee able to with­stand all Temptations? What learne we by all his Contume­lies, and Reproaches offered vnto him by his owne Coun­treymen the Iewes: calling him a Blasphemer, a Seducer of the people; and a friend of Publicans and Sinners: but still to possesse our soules by Patience? What lastly learne wee, by his most heartie Prayers to God his heauenly Father for his most bloudie Persecutours (yea, euen in the bitter pangs of death vpon the Crosse) but a Lesson of Charitie. If we speake [Page]of this World, and of worldy things: Who euer respected them lesse then he? But if we speake of heauen and of heauen­ly things, who euer tended and tendred them more then he? If we speake of Almes, where euer was there such an Almes­giuer heard off as he, who freely gaue his own bodie and bloud to refresh the hungry? If we speake of Bountifulnesse, where euer was there so bountifull a giuer as hee, who gaue Paradise it selfe to a sinfull Suter, only vpon the very first motion made vnto him? Finally, what Grace I pray you can any Chri­stian mans heart desire, which is not to bee found with much spirituall delight in the life of Christ? Or what any one Vertue can wee wish, but that in him we may euidently see, a most liuely Idea, or Image of the same? Thus hath our Lord and Master Christ done his part, and conformed himself vnto vs: & what now remayneth on our parts, but that we striue to conforme our selues to him, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Iohn 14.6. The Way without erring, the Truth with­out failing: the Life without fading: the Way by Example, the Truth by Promise, Life by Reward. In the way of Life, (which is, The Christians Race) whom may wee more safely follow, then the way it selfe? They cannot goe amisse, whose Guide is the Way: they cannot erre, whose Director is the Truth: they cannot perish, whose Preseruer is the Life.

And therefore euermore in this our Religious Race, wee must looke to Iesus; but not to his Miracles to be Imitators of them: For that, Quae supra nos nihil ad nos: these all are far aboue our abilities: being euident Testimonies of his Deitie: but only to his Vertues, to be followers of them. For behold, he neuer commanded vs; saying, Learne of me to fast fortie dayes and fortie nights: to walk vpon the waters, to cast out Deuils, to rayse the Dead, &c. But learne of me to be meeke, and lowly, to loue your enemies, to suffer affliction, &c. The olde Eagle for to learne her young Ones to flye, doth often flutter and houer ouer them: So our Master Christ to teach vs how to liue, both by his Precepts, and Examples of Pietie, doth daily flutter and houer ouer vs in this present life. In [Page] Iohn 13.15. When our Sauiour would perswade his Disci­ples and followers vnto Humilitie and Loue; hee sayth, De­di vobis exemplum, &c. I haue giuen you an Example, that you should doe as I haue done to you. And in the 1. of Pet. 2.21. When as Saint Peter would perswade vs to patient Suf­fering, hee sayth; CHRIST also suffered for vs, leauing vs an Example that wee should follow his steps. And in 1. Cor. 11. Verse 1. When Saint Paul would incite the Corinthians for to follow him, hee tels them plainely that his meaning was, that indeed they should follow CHRIST; saying, Be yee followers of mee euen as I follow Christ. And in Ephes. 4.32. When as the same Apostle would perswade the Ephesi­ans, to forgiue one another, hee sayth; Forgiue yee one ano­ther, as CHRIST forgaue you. And finally in the 1. of Ioh. 2.6. Saint Iohn layes downe this point of Doctrine most plainly vnto vs, saying; Hee that abideth in him, ought him­selfe to walke, euen as hee walked, still looking to Iesus; euen as Saylers doe to their Sterne, and as Runners to their Goale. And thus Ab ipsissima vita Christi, I prooue the truth of this my former Doctrine, that in Running of this our Religious Race, the holy Life of our Lord and Master CHRIST, must bee our Coelestiall Card and Compasse, it must bee our onely leuell and our line for to guide vs by.

First, Vse is of reprehension to checke, and sharpely to re­buke the Spiritually blinde, (I meane the ignorant Papists) of these our dayes and times, who in stead of their looking vnto the life of IESVS, and to his Precepts, Practice, and Presidents, as this our Text doth teach them: looke either to the Pardons, and Indulgences of the holy Father the Pope, or else to the Diabolicall and damnable rules, of his Iesuites (those Iebusites) his Seminary Priests: preferring most grosse­ly, the rules of his Franciscan and Benedictine Friars, &c. before this one onely most excellent rule of the life of Christ: or else they looke altogether to their own Merits & Works, which will vtterly deceiue them at the last, if they renounce not all these, and looke onely vnto Iesus. For that of the first they are [Page]taught by IESVS himselfe; That they are but blind leaders of the blinde, and if the blind leade the blind they both shall fall into the Ditch. Math. 15.14. And of their second, which are our owne good workes, wee are taught out of his most blessed Booke: that Opera nostra per se, nihil mereri possint: the best good Workes that heere wee can doe, deserue rather damnation then saluation in themselues. First, Quia non sunt nostra, sed Dei opera in nobis. Not our owne, but the workes of God in vs, as in 1. Cor. 4.7. Quid habes quod non accepists. If a good Thought, this is Grace infused; if a good Word, this is Grace effused; if a good Worke, this is Grace diffused. Se­condly, Quia non sunt gratuita, sed debita. Not free at our owne pleasures to doe, or else to leaue vndone, but which we must doe by bounden dutie: as in Luk. 17.9, 10. Verses. Third­ly, Quia non snnt perfecta, sed imperfecta. Not perfect, but full of infinite imperfections: as in Rom. 8.23. We haue heere but onely the first fruits of the Spirit, and an earnest penie onely, and no more. Fourthly and lastly, Quia non sunt pura, sed multis peccatis sunt permixta. They are not pure, but like po­luted Cloutes. Esay 64.6. Verse.

So that Eternall life, which we looke for in the end of our liues, is not [...] Debitum, a Debt, or Dutie which our God doth owe vs: but [...] Donum, the free Gift of our God: as in Rom. 6.23. Eternall life is the gift of God, through Iesus Christ our Lord. So that notwithstanding all our owne good Workes, yet wee must looke to Iesus; And onely to his Actiue and Passiue workes, which hee alone hath both done, and endured for vs. Concluding with that Learned Father Saint Austen. Quod meritis quidem nostris damnamur, sed non saluamur, nisi tantum meritis Iesu Christi. By our owne good Workes wee are damned, but cannot bee saued at all, saue onely by the Merits and good Workes of our Lord and onely Sauiour IESVS.

Obiect. But heere now me thinkes I heare some ignorant Papists say: If wee are not saued at all by our owne good Workes? Why then is life Eternall stiled Merces, our wa­ges, [Page]or our hyre. Math. 20.10. Which is euermore payed a­mongst men for their Workes sake?

I answer, the wages which is so payed amongst men, is merces Legalis, a Legall wages or hyre: but this of Eternall life from GOD, is merces Euangelica, an Euangelicall hyre: not merces debita, a deserued hyre, as the Legall is: but onely indebita, altogether vndeserued: and yet most truely an hyre, for these two causes. First, Ob consecutionem, because it fol­loweth after our good Workes, although freely giuen vs of Gods fauour in Christ. And secondly, Ob promissionem, because that God himselfe hath Promised it vnto all his Saints.

And thus, as most excellently sayth Saint Austen. Non de­bendo, sed permittendo Deus se fecit debitorem. Our good God is now become a debtor vnto vs, not of any dutie that hee owes vs at all, but onely out of his most Gracious promise, which hee hath openly made vnto all his Elect. Be ashamed therefore! O yee ignorant Papists, of all your best good workes that you can doe, and notwithstanding all these, yet Oculo fidei, with the Spirituall eye of a liuely Faith, learne and labour with our Apostle in this short Race of your liues, still to looke vnto Iesus. In quo omnia habemus. In whom a­lone wee haue all things necessarie to Saluation, as Saint Am­brose sayth; Whose blessed Birth, was and is our new Birth; whose Victorie ouer the Tempter, was our Triumph; his La­bours, our Peace and quietnesse; his Prayers, our Intercession; his Pouertie, our Riches; his Soares, our Salues; his Wounds, our Medicines; his Righteousnesse, our Merits; and lastly, his Death, our Life.

My second and last vse of this my last Instruction, raised from these last words: Looking to Iesus. Is of admonition to warne vs all, in the Running of this our Religious Race, (wherein euery true Christian is a Runner:) that we may so runne indeed, as to enioy the prize, which is Eternall life with Christ in Heauen, in our day of Death. Let vs now make Christ our onely Marke, our Copie, Goale, and Guide: both in beleeuing, and in liuing as wee ought to doe. So that [Page]first, if wee would know what we ought to beleeue, let vs looke to Iesus: who is made vnto vs of God his Father, Wise­dome, Righteousnesse, Sanctification, and Redemption. 1. Cor. 1.30. And who alone is both the Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end, the first and the last of our Redemp­tion. Reuel. 22.13. There being none other Name giuen vnder Heauen, whereby wee can bee saued, but onely the Name of IESVS. Act. 4.12. Secondly, if wee would know how we ought for to liue, and leade our Liues heere, let vs looke vnto Iesus. First, for that the most Holy life of Iesus, whiles heere hee liued and remayned vpon Earth, both was, and is, Omni­um virtutum perfectissima idea: The most perfect Patterne of all true Vertues. Insomuch, that whereas Enoch is commen­ded in the sacred Scriptures for his Pietie: Abraham for his Faith, and Perseuerance: Iob for his Patience: Isaac for his Coelestiall meditation: Ioseph for his Chastitie: Moses for his Meeknesse: Phinea for his Zeale: Samuel for his vpright­nesse: Tobias for his Mercie: Daniel for his Prayers and De­uotion: and lastly, Salomon for his Wisedome; Yet behold though wee put all these together, euen as a Cloud of wit­nesses, the onely example of this our Iesus is in stead of them all. These holy Men hauing all of them but a measure of Grace: whereas the Sonne of Man alone had Grace aboue measure.

And therefore hee is stiled Sanctus Sanctorum, the Holie of Holies, as in Heb. 9.3. No maruell, for as in the most Sacred place, was contayned the Golden Censer; the Arke of the Testament; the Golden Pot that contayned Manna; the Rod of Aaron, which being dead, budded againe; and the winges of the Cherubins ouershadowing the Mercie Seate. So in CHRIST alone, is contayned that Arke of the E­uangelicall Couenant, betwixt God and vs; together with the Censer, which is the acceptation of the Prayers of the Saints; and the Golden Pot, which contayneth the Manna; to wit, the blessed Sacrament: and Aarons dead Rodde that budded againe; which is the hope of our Resurrection: and [Page]lastly, the two Cherubins that looke face to face; which are the two Testaments, the Old and the New, looking to that one Mercie seate, which is, this our IESVS; Whom Esay calleth the Prince of Peace. Esa. 9.6. Aggat, the desire of the Nations. Aggai. 2.8. Malachi, the Sonne of Righteousnesse. Mal. 4.2. And lastly, the Angell Gabriel IESVS. Math. 1.21. that is, a Sauiour: who alone shall saue all his people from their sinnes.

And secondly, let vs looke vnto this our Iesus, for that Om­nis Christi actio nostra est institutio; Euery action of our Lord and Master CHRIST, it is our instruction. And therefore to whatsoeuer Christian dutie, hee hath exhorted vs in his Word, as our principall Teacher. In the very same hee hath also gone before vs for our imitation, as a most perfect obser­uer, euermore liuing as hee taught. In Math. 5.3. as he taught vs in his Word, to bee poore in Spirit. So in his life, who e­uer poorer then hee; who became from being equall with his Father in Heauen, farre lower then the Angels; yea, a very scorne of men and out-cast of the people? In Math. 11.29. as hee taught vs in Word, to bee meeke and lowly. So in deed, who euer more meeke then hee, who was as a Sheepe before the Shearer, not once opening his mouth? In Math. 5.4. as hee taught vs to Mourne and heartily to Lament. So who in­deed euer mourned and lamented, as hee did: for that as in Heb. 5.7. In the dayes of his Flesh, he offered vp prayers and supplications, with strong Crying and Teares, vnto him that was able to faue him from Death? In Math. 5.6. as he taught vs to hunger, and thirst after Righteousnesse. So in this, who euer hungred and thirsted more then hee, who gaue his Life for the Righteousnesse of many? Last of all, as in Math. 10.37. Hee hath taught vs in Word, to leaue all for his Loue. So first he left all for the Loue of vs, when he left his Kingdome and his Throne in Heauen. Thus you see, as hee taught vs by his Word, so was hee in like manner our Fore-runner by his Workes; still leuelling and laying out vnto vs the way wherein wee should walke, which leadeth vnto Life, whose [Page]way if in this Life wee labour to make ours, then shall his joyes bee our joyes in the Life to come.

Wherefore generally from hence forward, in all our say­ings, and our doings, let vs euer looke vnto this our IESVS: so that when wee doe speake, let vs thinke how hee hath spoken: and when wee keepe silence, let vs thinke of his si­lence: and in all our Actions let vs looke to him for our Imi­tation, seeing that his whole life was an Instruction for our liues: who had Modestie in his Countenance, Grauitie in his Behauiour, Deliberation in his Speeches, Puritie in his Thoughts, and Righteousnesse in all his doings.

When Mariners vpon the mayne Sea, doe want markes to direct them by in their course of sayling, they then take their marke (which is the surest) from the Heauens: in like man­ner, for vs all that are Runners in this Race, our surest marke to direct vs by, is to looke vp to IESVS, whose habitation is in Heauen: which will preserue vs safely betwixt Silla, and Charibdis, Presumption and Desperation, all our whole journey, vnto the port of Paradice, whom truely to follow, as to know, is euerlasting Life. Euery one of vs I know, would most willingly haue and enioy this Iesus in the Life to come, and yet many of vs now make no Conscience to fol­low him in this present Life. But let vs all assure our selues, that vnlesse wee bee his Disciples, and faithfull followers now, we shall neuer bee triumphant Christians with him in his Kingdome.

And therefore this our IESVS, is Rubicundus & Candidus, White and Ruddie, Cant. 5.10. So must we also (beloued) be not onely Ruddie by the application of his Passion, but also White by the daily imitation of his most Sanctified life and conuersation: knowing well, that as a Learned Father sayth; Non solum Christi Passio est nostrum meritum, sed etiam Chri­sti actio sit vitae nostrae exemplum. Not onely CHRIST his Passion is our Merit: but also his most Holy and Vertuous life must bee our Example. Who hath commanded vs, say­ing: Sequimini me, Follow me. Luk. 9.23.

It was sayd of Caesar, that in his greatest Attempts, hee vsed not the word of Authoritie, Ite, Goe yee, but after a better manner, and more louing: Eamus, Let vs goe. Which was most true in this our Master CHRIST before all o­thers, who as wee finde euer led the way himselfe before his Disciples, in all Holinesse of Life, in all Tryals and Tribula­tions, in all Conflicts and Temptations, which are heere wont to arise in the life of Man. And therefore our Apostle wils vs heere, To runne with Patience the Race that is set before vs, looking to Iesus.

The which, that from henceforth wee may doe, let vs e­uermore most carefully keepe and obserue, these foure Spiri­tuall steppes or degrees in this our Religious Race. First, Mature, to begin betimes: for that as in Lament. 3.27. It is good for a man that hee beare the Lords yoake in his Youth. Secondly, Propere, To make hast: for that Mora trahit periculum, Delayes are dangerous. Thirdly, Recte, To keepe on carefully in this way: for that as in Esay 30.21. This is the way, walke in it: turne not aside either to the right hand or to the left. And fourthly, Constanter, To con­tinue to the Goales end: for that as in Rom. 2. Hee which o­uercommeth, and continueth vnto the End, shall not bee hurt of the second Death.

And these foure former Steps or Degrees, that in Running of this our appointed Race, wee may now the more happily and comfortably keepe and obserue, wee must fully and faithfully resolue with our owne selues, of these sixe parti­cular and principall Points. First, that wee haue neuer Runne farre enough heere. Secondly, that our onely ayme and marke, must bee this IESVS. Thirdly, that wee must for­get all our Ground that is behinde vs: that is, all those steppes which wee haue trodden in. Fourthly, that wee must daily endeauour our selues to that which is before: which is to the practice of those Christian duties, that wee haue left vndone. Fiftly, that wee must cast off all impedi­ments [Page]in this Race. And last of all, That when wee haue runne heere as fast, and as farre as possibly we can, yet that our Reward and Crowne is in Heauen. To the which, our Lord IESVS bring vs all, Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria.

FINIS.

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