THE Fathers Legacy: OR BVRTONS COLLECTIONS. Containing Many excellent Instructions for Age, and Youth, shewing them how to live godly in this life, and to at­taine everlasting happinesse in the life to come. First written for the Instruction of his onely Son, and now set forth for the benefit of others. By EDW: BURTON.

PROV. 7.1-2.

My Son keep my words, and lay up my Commandements with thee.— And my Law as the apple of thine eye.

LONDON, Printed by John Clowes, for Mathew Walbancke at Grayes Inne Gate. 1649.


The Fathers Directions to his Sonne.

MY Sonne I have thought good to di­rect those my poor labours unto thee; with a charge, that thou do imprint them in thy memory, and God give thee grace to make good use of them.

Thy carefull and loving Father. E. B.
‘A wise Son will obey the instruction of his Father: but a scorner will heare no rebuke. Prov. 13.1.

To the Reader,

COurteous Reader, having ga­thered together, out of ma­ny learned, and worthy Wri­ters, into this little Booke, for my owne comforts sake; certaine Sen­tences, Instructions, Meditations, and Resolutions. So to have them ready whereinto I might looke at my plea­sure, and behold such things, as m [...] heart desires, for the refreshing o [...] my minde. Which being seen by som [...] of my friends, they have earnestly per­swaded me to put them in Print: whic [...] request I was very unwilling to doe to trouble the Presse with such an i [...] garnisht dish; but since they have s [...] farre prevailed with me, I doe intrea [...] them, whosoever shall read it: First that they be not moved with indigna­nation at that which I have done, be­cause it was not my minde, it shoul [...] have come to publike view: bu [...] that they will pardon the imperfecti­on, [Page] and plainesse of it: considering, that I am no profest Scholer but a plain Countrey man. Therefore, if the sence in any place, appeare either not sound, or not cleare enough, my desire is to have a godly Corrector of the same; Telling him withall, that what faults he shall esp [...]e, it hath escaped from me not of purpose, but rather for that I was not heedy enough in marking what I writ. And so I commend those my poore labours to the blessing of God, and thy self to his most gracious, and all-sufficient protection.

Thine in the Lord, E. B.

To his deserving friend Mr. EDWVRD BURTON, Author of these Collections.

SIr, when I read your Booke,
I thinke I see,
Of all learn'd Writers, an Epitome;
You have rob'd no garden, but your well-spent howres,
Hath made a Poesie of their choisest flowres,
Which with the greater lustre to adorne,
Here's some things of your own Minerva borne,
All well compos'd, all in due order set,
Resembling a well-furnish'd Cabinet,
Whose high priz'd Jewels fetch't from every part,
Are plac'd in ranks by dainty hand and art
Here may wilde youth (if youth will take the paines
To read your worke) receive no little gaines;
Here's wisdomes Abstract, here your silver age,
Gives your Son Counsell, wholesome, grave, and sage.
O happy Son, whose Father both doth give,
Precepts, and an Example how to live.
Since every one which ever saw your book
With an applausive smile doth on it look
Answer the expectation of your Friends,
Let the world see you aim'd at Publike Ends.
ED. F.

To my much honoured Friend Master EDWARD BURTON concerning his Collections.


I Have read over your Collections, and if you be pleased to satisfie the de­sires of your friends, and to commit them to publike view, I think you shall doe very well; yea, my opinion is, you ought to doe it. This Candle should not be under a bushel, but on a Candle­stick. The light of it wil be most usefull many waies. First, the example will be exceeding good; you (as many others) were by the troubles of this Kingdom taken off from you ordinary imploy­ment, but you would not be taken off all imployment; and that albeit your yeares required ease; and your age (at least) an abatement of your labours, yet here is neither, but rather an en­crease of more diligence and harder labour, and your declining time more flourishing and fruitfull, then your youth and best dayes.

Then, you pitched on the best im­ployment: what other you might have been fit for, by reason of your for­mer condition, and present age, I doe not know; I am confident, if you had been fit for any whatsoever, yet for none more, then for the Worke you have performed. Here is wisdome, and this very choice, & in very much varie­tie, and an admirable flowing veine of most sweet and sacred eloquence. Nei­ther is there mixture of any imperti­nencies, at least, there is not any thing absurd, or that admitteth not a very good construction.

I will tell you what happened to me in the reading of it, from approbati­on, I was carried unto admiration; almost to amazement. I see the race is not alwaies unto the swift, and the choysest Jewels, are not seldome hid in closest secrecy. And how often doe things fall far short of expectation, but sometimes also, they as farre exceede the same.

Your Wine is good throughout your whole Feast, but not best in the beginning; your vertue is in the midst, but your midst-is almost all your Book, [Page] at least, by many degrees the greatest part of it.

Sir, goe on in your good endea­vours, that you may say, as a Reve­rend olde Divine, said to a Physitian, perswading to forbeare study in his weaknesse, nay, said he, but I will not, that when my M [...]ster commeth, he may finde me thus doing.

Your very affectionate Neighbour, ARTHUR RICKARDS.

The Table.

  • TO mortifie carnall affections. Pag. 16
  • Against vaine glory. Pag. 17
  • What Company to use. Pag. 19
  • Of Obedience. Pag. 20
  • Against idle meeting. Pag. 22
  • How to come to quietnesse in minde, and to a godly life. Pag. 24
  • What profit cometh by adversity. Pag. 26
  • Of the works of Charity. Pag. 29
  • That men which offend, must be borne withall sometimes. Pag. 30
  • The way to quietnesse, both temporall and eternall. Pag. 32
  • The exercise of a true Christian. Pag. 33
  • Of solitarinesse and silence. Pag. 37
  • Of the last judgement, and punishment for sinne. Pag. 42
  • Of the paines appointed for sinners after this life. Pag. 47
  • Of the most honourable and munificent rewards, proposed to all them that tru­ly serve God. Pag. 62
  • Of the choise of Religion Pag. 79
  • That Divinity doth not crosse nature, so much as exceed it. Pag. 87
  • Of mans imperfection. Pag. 91
  • [Page]Of truth and bitternesse in jests. Pag. 94
  • Of the uncertainety of life. Pag. 98
  • Of reward and service. Pag. 101
  • That all things have a like progression. Pag. 106
  • Of Idlenesse. Pag. 111
  • Of the triall of Faith and Friendship. Pag. 116
  • Of Censure. Pag. 121
  • Comfortable Sentences for such as are af­flicted. Pag. 160
  • Comfortable Sentences concerning earth­ly blessings. Pag. 165
  • Meditations and Resolutions. Pag. 171
  • A Morning Prayer. Pag. 180
  • An Evening Prayer. Pag. 185
  • A Prayer for remission of sinnes. Pag. 188
  • A Prayer in time of W [...]rre. Pag. 192
  • A praier for Gods protection of his Church in respect of the present troubles of it. Pag. 195
  • A Prayer before Sermon. Pag. 199
  • A Prayer before the receiving of the Sa­crament. ibid.
  • A Prayer after receiving of the Sacra­ment. Pag. 200
  • A Prayer at the houre of Death. Pag. 201

The Fathers Legacy, OR, Burtons Collections.

My Sonne,

FIrst honour God, then thy Prince, thy Parents, and thy Elders; be true and just, and see thou never grudge to clear the cause of the oppressed Innocent; for one day, God shall also be thy judge.

If gold, or bribes do corrupt thy Conscience, if fear, or favour, do sway thee in thy Judgment, if thou respect the difference of Persons, be sure that God will in the end repay thee for it.

Begin thy dayes work, when the day [Page 2] begins; first blessing Gods thrice bles­sed name, & then at the Evening when thy labour is ended, praise him again, so bring the year about.

Say not thou, my hand hath brought this work to an end, nor this my ver­tue hath attained, rather say thus; This hath God w [...]ht by me, for God is the Author of that little good we doe.

The world is like unto a [...]ound City, where [...]ach ma [...] may be rightly said to be a Citizen; as well the [...]ude Barbari­an, as the Greek; as well the meanest, as the mig [...]tiest States.

In this fair Cities goodly Walles, God planted man, and placed him as in a Sanctuary, where he himself in a Thousand parts hath plan [...]ed with lively col [...]ur [...] that [...]o never c [...]ange.

There is no [...] a corner so small in all this City, wherein Gods greatnesse doth not appear plain, which that we might the bette [...] view, he hath placed man just in the middle.

Yet can h [...] n [...] where better know the same, then in hims [...]lf, wherein he may see (as in a glasse Earth, Water, Ayre, and Fire: For all the world his Essence doth infould.

Who of himself hath gained perfect knowledge, is not ignorant of any thing that he ought to know; but the best means, whereby it is attained, is often­times to go to wisdoms glasse.

That which thou seest of man, is not man, but a prison that keepes him Cap­tive; it is but a Tombe wherein he is interred, it is but a Cradle wherein a while he sleepes.

This mortall body, where the ravish­ed sence, sees sinnues, flesh, bones, muskles, bloud and skin; it is not man, man is of more Excellency, it is the fair Temple where God himself dwelleth.

Rightly to speak what we call man; it is a beamling of Divinity, it is a drop­ling of Eternity, it is a moathling hatcht of Unity.

O man, then know thine own origi­nall, and learn to scorn the base Cells of earth; sith thou shalt flourish in Heavens glistering Hall, and art indeed a Divine Plant by birth.

Well mayst thou vant thee of thy glori­ous race,
Not from thy mortall Parents either line:
[Page 4]
But from thy true imm [...]rtall F [...] grace,
Who by the modell of his [...] thine.

Shun thou the filthy sect of [...] Epicures, bold miscreant [...], every w [...] blaspheaming, the which do n [...] [...] [...] ­spect, nor acknowledge God, but only the fatall sway of nature.

And in the mean while, like the grunting swine, lye alwayes wallowing in the stinking mud, and feedes on fi [...]th, like to the loathsome froggs voluptious filth of every fleshie desire.

Happy is he, whose hope relies on God alone, and who on him, in either fortune calls, as well in prosperity, as adversity, and puts no trust in humain help at all.

Canst thou assure thy hopes, on worldly trash, frail mortall things, I pray thee tell me? such are the greatest of earthly men, and have more need to be secured then thou.

God is the just mans aid, and his Anchor; his sure defence, when all the world forsakes him; And therefore then is he the least dismade, knowing that God is most strongest for him when [Page 5] all wordly means fayles him.

The goods, which we call the goods of fortune, they are not goods if we tearm them rightly, for they are ever subject to the least change that is. But vertue only still persists the same.

Vertue between the two extreams that hants,
Between too micle, and too little size [...]:
Exceedes in nothing, & in nothing wants.
Borrowes of none, but to it self suffizes.

O vertue, could we but see thy naked face, how wouldst thou ravish us with thy sacred beauty; sith rarest witts, rapt with a seeming grace have in all ages, courted even thy shadowes.

The Parents comfort, is a prudent Sonne; now such a Sonne, if thou desi­rest to have, direct him young to run in duties race; But thy own example is the nearest way.

If thou be born Sonne of a prudent Father, why dost thou not follow his example? if otherwise, why dost not thou by vertuous deeds, strive to cover his disgrace?

It is no small thing to be descended by our predicessours from an honest, [Page 6] and religious stock; but it is much more to shine by their light unto our own Successors.

So long as thou livest, cease not to learn, think that day lost wherein thou learnest not some good thing, that may give new grace, to make thy self wiser, and better.

Respect thy credit more then thy own life, I mean that which drawes each mans duty to the uttermost we are able, to God, to our King, to our Lawes, and our Country.

What thou canst do to day, defer not till to morrow, like sloath, Mother of fowlest sinnes; nor be thou like to those who do borrow others hands, and what themselves might do, will do by others.

Frequent the good, flye from ungod­ly men, especially in thy youthes tender age; the while outragious appetites pro­voke, and arme thy sences against the sway of reason.

Go not about to deceive the simple, nor wilfully offend thy weaker bro­ther, nor wound the dead with thy tongues bitter gall, neither rejoyce at the fall of thine Enemy.

Let thy discourse be true in all things whether then be [...] called as a publike witnesse to [...] a q [...]estion, or in thy ordinary and familiar [...]k.

To beguile [...]he silly birds, the crafty fow [...]er doth faine thei [...] sweet notes; so doth subtle mates, counterf [...]ct the words, and guise of hon [...]st men.

Reveal not, whatsoever is [...]uld thee in secret, nor busily inquire things of others; the Inquisitive, can hardly keep Councell, and the charitable is com­monly a lyer.

Make thou alwayes lawfull measure, and equall waight, though none could spye, or discover thy dealing. And where thou hast received a good turn, restore it with some kindnesse back again.

Whatsoever is committed to thee in trust, keep it carefully, and when the owner shall demand it again, deny it not, neither with a large Conscience by subtle Law-tricks and strive to detain it.

It is not enough, that thou dost wrong no man thy self; but thou must also suppresse the same in others, righ­ting the weak mans cause, against the [Page 8] unrighteous, whether it touch his life, his goods, or name.

Whosoever doth desire the fame of honour, must tame his anger, and that heart-swelling, marrow-melting fire, blown by the wind of sloath, and er­rour.

The most victorious thing, is our own selfe-Conquest; for in our selves do our greatest foes ambush: and the only way to make us ever glorious, is by stout reason still to vanquish those.

If so be thy friend have offended thee, fall not out with him, nor urge him with violence; but mild, and meekly without insolence, make thy com­plaint, and take thou his excuse.

All men are faulty, no man alive can say, I have not erred, no not the per­fectest; if thou doe survay his life, in word and deed, thou shalt find that he hath mist perfection.

It is a most busie, yet a bootlesse pain, for to hide ones falt, for do the best thou canst, thou canst not hide it from thy self.

Be ashamed more of thy self, then o­thers be; thy self art most wronged by [Page 9] thy own faults, and of thy self, thy self first selfly blamed must give an account to thy selfes Conscience.

Care not so much to seem outward­ly, as to be good indeed; for from false rumours which the vulgar blow, a self clear Conscience is defence enough.

Re [...]eve the needy after thine Estate, and to their want perticipate thy store; for God doth blesse with plenty and tranquility, the house that pitties the distressed.

What boots thy baggs to be so crammed with Gold, thy trunks stuffed with such store of change, thy bottles filled with such choyce of wines, and of all grain such plenty in thy Chambers; if all this while the naked-poor, half perished with cold and hunger [...] trembles at thy doore, and at the [...]gth gets but a peece of bread, and many times, perhaps, but hardly that.

Have not a heart so cruell, as to scorn the unhappy poor, that at thy beck doth crouch, who like thy self into the world was born, and bear [...] Gods I­mage, even as w [...]ll as thou.

Misfortune is a common lot to all m [...]n, yea, even to Princes, Kings, and [Page 10] Emperours, only the wise is freed from her, but where are they in this our age.

The wise man is freed among a Thousand troubles, he is only rich with his own Estate content, he is only secure in danger, eased in pain, he is only a true King of fate and fortune.

Who to himself is Law, no Law doth neede,
Off [...]nds no King, and is a King indeed.

He is not danted with the threats of Tyrants, but by his troubles growes more hardy and strong, knowes his own merit, and lookes not for recompence from the great, for vertue is his re­ward.

True morall vertue, cannot be pur­chased by study, by treasure, or by the grace of Princes, nor by one actio [...], or two, or three; but long practice brings her perfection.

Who readeth much, and never me­ditate, is like a greedy [...]ater [...]f much victualls, who doth so surel [...]y his sto­mach with his Cates, that commonly they do him little good.

Cursed is he that defr [...]ds the poor, [Page 11] or that detaines the hierlings wages; or who, ingratefull of a good turn done, thinks never of his friend, but when he sees him.

Forsweare thee not, what cause soe­ver is given thee, and if thou must of ne­c [...]ssi [...]y [...]ake an Oa [...], s [...]ar not by man, not by the earth, nor by Heav [...]n, but by his sacred name who made all things.

For G [...]d, w [...] [...] all [...]ju­ry, and justly plag [...] [...] a­n [...]us s [...] w [...]uld [...] w [...] [...]ou con­test th [...] consta [...] [...] a [...]y [...]i [...]g t [...] i [...] [...]lse or alter [...]ble.

Apply [...]y wh [...]le [...]ff ctio [...] to some one A [...], and s [...]dom [...] af [...] [...] [...] in th [...] [...] m [...] ­ [...] [...].

M [...] thou with no more then t [...]ou can [...] [...] [...]o aspi [...]e [...] use thou the wo [...]ld, [...] it, [...] o [...] [...], [...]ther [...]sir [...] i [...]

W [...]so [...]ver it b [...] [...] by the [...], immed [...]ly [...] sh [...]n that [Page 12] mischief is, to keep shut the Casements of the Eares.

Much talk is seldom without lyes, or at the least, without some Idle speech; unto the truth doth belong brief Lan­guage, for many words are fit for fables and dreames.

It behoves to picture slander to the life, to do it in the instant, while one feeleth her; for who is so happy, that did never prove her, can scarce immagine what she is.

She hath not her residence in the Ayre, nor in the wild woods, nor in the S [...]a; but she inhabits in the eares of great men, where she depraves the innocent and honest.

Never give sentence in thine own cause, for in our own case, we are subject to erre; for our own interest, drawes our partiall judgment, and ever makes the ballance hang a wrie.

Alwayes ground thy Judgment upon the Law, and not on man, for that is af­fection-lesse; but man doth abound strangely in passion, the one all like God, the other too like to beasts.

Before thou promise any thing, pon­der, why, and what; but having once [Page 13] past thy promise, whatsoever it be, yea be it to thy greatest enemy, thou must perform it, thy tongue hath tyed thee to it.

Nothing more beseemes a great (or rich) man, then liberality, so it be given to those that deserve it, and without burthen to his own estate.

The fear that springs from reverence and love, gives a firm support to great­nesse; but he that through violence makes himself feared, himself feares most, and lives still in distrust.

An enemy, disgrace, and misfortune, are three things to prove if friends be just; for many bear the name to be friends, that are not so, i [...] they be put to tryall.

Thou fortunes wonder, that from the lowest place, doth as it were in a mo­ment spring up to the top of greatness, suppose it but a wind that blowes, which before night perhaps will calm again.

A mean Estate is best of all,
A dangerous thing its high to clime;
The mighti [...]st Oakes, have greatest fall,
When little shrubs, grow out their time.

The mean estate, is most permanent, we see the vallies are drowned with e­very shower, and mountain tops are rent with every Thunder, when little hills are pleasant and safe.

A small thing pleases nature, enough is a feast; a sober life requires but a smal [...] charge; but man, the Authour of his own unrest, the more he hath, the more he still d [...]si [...]s.

Man doth repine at the shortnesse of his life, yet doth not rightly spend that time he hath, which might suffice his mind, if to live well, he did desire to live.

Thou canst hardly require him suffi­ciently, w [...]o [...]ath been tutor to thee in thy [...] [...]od: nor him t [...]at hath in­st [...]uc [...] [...], [...]oth well to speak, but ch [...]fl [...] well [...]o do.

[...] [...]ces w [...]re thou comest, al­wayes give place unto the Aged; So when lik [...] Age shal [...] silverize thy Tr [...]sse, thou s [...]t by others be like honoured.

T [...] [...] and drink, and exercise in measure [...] [...]he [...] c [...]tainest means of h [...]th; but [...] th [...] or o­ther delights, en [...]seth [...] me, & doth hasten death.

If evill men speak evill of thee some­times, what needest thou to care? it is thy Commendations, blame from the Authour takes authority; & it is a good report that good men raise.

Of what is spoken, ever make the best, bear with the faults of thy frie [...]ds and neighbours, bear with their defects, and publish them not abroad, be ready to praise, and slow to reprehend.

He that esteemes, or va [...]s himself to be wise, think him a foole, and him that doth assume, the name of learned, who­soever tryes him, shall find him nothing but bare words.

The better learned, learn more their want
And more to doubt, their own sufficiency,
And virtuous men are never arrogant,
These are the fruits of my Philosophy.

To mortifie carnall af­fections.

WHensoever a man doth covet any thing immoderately, straight way his mind is out of quiet, The proud, and covetuous, be ever vexed, but he which is poor and meek in spirit, liveth in great ease, he which doth not mor­tifie the inordinate affections of his mind, may easily be carried away to wickednesse, and with trifling things be overcome: He that is weak, word­ly, and carnall, can no wayes withdraw himself from earthly desires; And there­fore when he resisteth them it griveth him, when he is contraried he fretteth, and if he fulfill his mind he sinneth; and by and by, doth wound his Conscience, because he followeth his desires: which instead of that peace which he looked for, brings continuall disquietnesse; wherefore the true quietnesse of mind, i [...] attained not by following, but by re­sisting wicked affections, and remaineth in him which is fervent and godly zea­lous, not in carnall and wordly men.

Against vain glory.

IT is a vain thing to trust either in man, or in any other Creature; be not ashamed to be in subjection to others, not if thou be poor in this present life; depend not upon thy self, but put thy confidence in the Lord. Do thy part, and God will blesse thy indeavour; Trust not to thine own knowledge, nei­ther do thou repose any confidence in the wit of man, but only in the Lord; which exalteth the humble, and bring­eth down the proud. Glory thou nei­ther in thy riches, if thou have much, not of thy friends if they be mighty; but in the Lord, who both giveth all things, and gladly would give himself, before all things. Be thou proud neither of thy beauty, or highnesse, for a little sicknesse doth both deform the one, and consume the other; Like not over well of thy self, if thou have a good wit, least thou offend God thereby, which gave whatsoever good thing thou hast by nature: Think not thy self better then other men; least God who know­eth what is in man, condemn thee ut­terly [Page 18] for thy arrogant conceit: dost thou well? take heed of pride, God judgeth not as man doth; for that com­monly doth displease him, which plea­seth man. If thou hast any goodnesse in thy self, think that another hath more; so shalt thou alwayes retain the true modesty of mind. To debase thy self even under all men, can never hurt thee, but to prefer thy self afore one man, may easily condemn thee. The humble man is alwayes in quiet, but the haughty minded fumeth common­ly with indignation.

What Company to use.

OPen not thy heart to every man, but communicate thine affaires to the wise and godly; acquaint thy self with reverend old men, and delight not much in the company of youths and strangers, flatter not the wealthy, and take heed of the mighty, joyn thee to thy equalls which are godly, and do that which is honest, and for the pub­like wel-fare; be familiar with no wo­man unlawfully, but generally com­mend as many as are good, wish to be familiar, but with God only, and his holy Angels, and utterly avoid the company of some men. Have peace with all men, but not familiarity: ma­ny times it falleth out that we love a stranger through the report of others; whom afterwards we hate, having try­ed his conditions; and many times we displease others, by our lewd beheavi­our, whom we thought, we should please right well, if we had but their acquaintance.

Of Obedience.

IT is greatly for our behoofe to live under others, not as we list ou [...] selves, and at more ease live Subjects then Rulers. Many obey for fear, ra­ther then for love, and grudgingly, no [...] gladly; but such can never have the li­berty of mind before they obey bot [...] for Conscience, and for the Lords sake wheresoever thou comest, never loo [...] to live at ease, unlesse thou keep thy se [...] within thy calling, and obey thy supe­riours; The opinion and change of pla­ces, hath deceived many a man: ever [...] man by nature, would follow his ow [...] mind, and favoureth such as are of his own opinion; but if we fear God, we will sometimes change our mind for quietnesse sake; for who is so wise, tha [...] he knoweth all things. Therefore trust not too much to thine own opinion: but willingly give eare to the judge­ment of others; And albeit thou stand in a good matter, yet if it be thought more expedient to have it otherwayes [Page 21] alter thy mind, and thou shalt do bet­ [...]. I have heard many times, that it is easier, yet better, to hear and take, then [...]o give Councell. And he bewrayeth his p [...]ide more, which will stick in an opinion, though it be good, if wiser then himself through deeper judge­ment and Circumstances would have it altered.

Against idle meetings▪

SHun the common meetings of me [...] as much as thou canst, for to talk o [...] worldly matters, doth greatly hu [...] us, mean we never so well; the reaso [...] is, we are easily drawn away with va­nity. And for my part, I have wishe [...] many times, that I had been both si­lent, and absent: now if any would ex­amine the cause, why so gladly w [...] chat, and prate together, seeing we sel­dom speak without offence to God and hurt to our Conscience, he sha [...] find the answer to be, for comfort an [...] recreation sake. For the more earnest­ly we desire a thing, or the more cer­tainly we know any evill to be to­wards us, the more vehemently w [...] love to talk and think thereof, albeit to small profit or purpose; for this out­ward comfort, doth not a little hinder the inward consolation; wherefore we are to watch and pray, that we spend not our time idly: And if we will, or [Page 23] must of necessity speak, let our speech be good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. To babble much we should not use, both because the custome thereto is nought, and for that in many words, there cannot want iniquity: But godly speech greatly availeth to a vertuous life, especially where men of like minds and spirit are coupled together in the Lord.

How to come to quietnesse in mind, & to a godly life.

WOuld we not meddle with o­ther mens doings, and sayings, we might live at great ease, and quiet­nesse; but how is it possible we should be quiet, which busie our selves with other mens matters, that touch us not: and pick occasion to go abroad, and little or seldom, keep at home? blessed are the meek, for they have much rest: In ancient time many attained to sin­gular perfection, and were zealous, and how so? They mortified their earthly Members; we loose the bridle to all beastly desires, and care altogether, for temporall trash; seldom, if at all, do we subdue our affections, neither do we desire to profit more and more, dayly in well doing; if therefore we remain in Religion, either cold or luke-warme, what marvell? But were we dead unto our own selves, and not intangled in­wardly with parturbations, doubtlesse we should taste the unspeakable sweet­nesse of a godly life: and be inflamed [Page 25] with a burning desire of celestiall things; for in very deed, the greatest, (if not the whole) let from godlinesse, is because we are in bondage to vild af­fections; and labour not to follow the foot-steps of the faithfull. Hence it is, that if we be never so lightly touched with adversity, we are marvelously dis­maid, and seek help of man, which cometh of the Lord, now would we keep our places, like valiant Souldiers, the Lord would help us from above; for he is ready to assist them which serve him, and will give us victory if we fight his battles. But if we place our Religion in doing these outward things, in short time our Religion with them will utterly decay; where­fore the Axe must be laid unto the root, and our wicked affections must be cut off, which is the only way to find rest for our soules. If every year we would but root out one vice from our mindes, oh how quickly should we prove good men. But alas, we see by experience, that after many years, we are worse then at the first, when we begin for to professe Religion. And he is an holy man counted now a dayes, [Page 26] which can retain a part of his former zeal; yet should the fire of godlinesse in­crease dayly, and be inflamed more and more. The remedy whereof is, at the begining to strain our selves, so shall we afterwards do all things at plea­sure. I confesse indeeed it is hard, for to leave an old custome and as hard, yea harder, for a man to bridle his affecti­on. At the begining therefore strive with thine inclination, and leave a wicked custom, least otherwise when thou wouldest thou canst not easily; for it is impossible that we should vanquish and subdue mighty, which cannot overcome light and trifling things. Oh if thou wouldest consider, what quietnesse to thy self, and joy to others, thou shouldest bring by godly, and good beheaviour, doubtlesse thy chiefest care would be how to live in the sight of God religiously, and ho­nestly in the eyes of men.

What prefit cometh by Adversity.

IT is good for us sometimes to suffer affliction, for it maketh us to know our selves in this world, and to repose [Page 27] no confidence in any creature; It is good for us sometimes, to be ill spoken of, and ill thought of, although we de­serve not the same; for that bringeth to humilitie, and driveth from pride. And the more earnestly we call for the testimony of God in our conscience, when we are condemned among men, and of no credit: So that every man ought so to depend upon God, that he need not care for any worldly com­fort. For a good man, the more he is troubled, either outwardly in body, or inwardly in minde, the more hee considereth how greatly he standeth in need of Gods assistance, without which he seeth he can doe no good; then he sorroweth and sobbeth, & de­sireth to be delivered from misery; then it greeveth him to live any longer, and wisheth to be loosed, and to be with Christ; and then he perceiveth full well, that in this life we cannot finde perfect peace and security.

Against rash Judgement.

LOoke warily into thy selfe, and judge not other men. For in judge­ing [Page 28] others, we labour vainely, erre commonly, and easily offend; but in judging and examining our selves, wee reape singular commodity. As wee fancie a thing, so we judge there­of, and blinded with private af­fection, wee commonely give par­tiall sentence; now were the love of God, alwaies our onely guide, our sences which are enemies to truth, would not so easily trouble us. But commonly somewhat either lurketh within, or chanceth without, which carrieth us away. Many in their do­ings, unwittingly seeke themselves, which are so long quiet in minde, as they injoy all things according to their w [...]sh: but if any thing fall out other­wise then they would, they chafe, fret, and fume; great descention falleth out, even among friends, and Coun­treymen; yea, among the godly and zealous too, through the diversitie of opinions; for such is our nature, we can hardly break on old custome, and further then he seeth will no man glad­ly goe. But if we cleave or depend, more upon reason and sense, then up­on that vertue which bringeth unde [...] [Page 29] the obedience of Christ, let us never looke to be inflamed with the light of Gods holy Spirit: for God wil be ser­ved not with a peece of man, but with whole man, neither doth he allow rea­son to judge of Religion.

Of the Works of Charitie.

WEe ought not to doe wickedly, for any thing, nor for any mans sake; albeit in respect of the weake, a good work may be undone sometimes, or done otherwise: And that is not to neglect a good work, but to leave one good work, to do a better. If thou have not love, there outward deeds profit nothing; if thou have love, be thy works never so small and simple, they profit much, for God respecteth not what is done, but how, and with what affection a thing is done. Hee doth much, that loveth much; hee doth much, that doth a thing as it should be done, and he doth so that seeketh the common welfare before his owne profit. It many times seemeth a chari­table deed, which indeed is a carnall: for that which is done, as common­ly workes are done, either of affecti­on, [Page] or desire of gaine, or hope of re­ward, which are carnall inclinations, is doubtlesse a carnall, and not a cha­ritable Work. A man indued with perfect charity, serveth not his owne turne, but onely in all things seeketh the glory of God. He envieth not, for he loveth no private joy, neither will rejoyce in himselfe, but in the Lord, whose blessing hee desireth before all things. He ascribeth no goodnesse to any, but acknowledgeth all things to come of God; from whom every good gift, & every perfect gift doth proceed; in whom all the Saints do rest in per­petuall blisse. Finally, he which hath but a sparke of this true Charity, ac­counteth all worldly things but meere vanity.

That men which offend must be borne withall sometimes.

THat which thou canst not amend neither in thy selfe, nor others, must patiently be suffered, till God other­waies worke. Thinke with thy selfe, that perchance, God doth it to try thy patience, without which our merits [Page 31] doe little availe; notwithstanding in thy troubles, thou oughtest to beseech Almighty God to assist thee with his grace, that patiently thou maist indure his crosse and tryall. If any, being di­vers, and sundry times admonished, will not amend, deale with him no more, but commit the whole matter to God, that his will and glory may appeare, in all his crea­tures, which knoweth well, how to turne all things to the best; endea­vour thy selfe patiently to beare the faults, and the infirmities of other men, whatsoever they be; for so much as thou art faulty thy selfe, and must be borne withall. And if thou canst not bee such as thou wouldest bee, thinkest thou to make another accor­ding to thy minde? We wish that o­thers were godly, and yet wee our selves mend not: We would have o­thers severely corrected, which we refuse our selves: We find fault with the licentiousnesse of others, and wee our selves will not be gaine-said: We seek that others should be bridled by Law, and we our selves refuse obedi­ence; whereby it is evident, that we [Page 32] love not our Neighbour as our selves. If all were perfect, what should wee suffer at other mens hands, for Gods sake; But now it pleaseth God that we must beare one anothers burden; and that because no man is without fault, no man but hath his burden; no man that can live by himselfe, no man but lacks advise sometimes, and there­fo [...]e we ought to suffer one with ano­ther, to comfort one another, to help, instruct, and admonish one another. And never shall the vertue of a man be so knowne, as by occasion of adversi­tie; for occasions makes not a man fraile, but shewes what he is.

The way to quietnesse, both temporall and eternall.

THou must bridle and breake thy will in many things, if thou wilt live a quiet life: And if thou would­est stand upright, and goe forward in godlinesse, account thy selfe in this world but a banished man, and a pil­grime. And if thou desire to be a Chri­stian, thou must prove a foole before men for Christs sake: A hood or a sha­ven [Page 33] head maketh not a religious man, but an alteration from vice to vertue: and a mortication of thy lusts; hee which loveth any thing besides God, and the salvation of his soule, shall find nothing but misery and sorrow: and let not him looke to be long in quiet, which laboureth not in the sight of men to be most abject, and inferior to all: for thou art in this life to serve, not to rule; and called to suffer, and labour, not to loiter and live at plea­sure. For men are tryed in this world, as gold is in the surnace, and let no man here look to stand upright; un­l [...]sse with all his heart, he humble him­selfe for the Lords sake.

The exercise of a true Christian.

THe life of a Christian should be a­dorned with all vertues, that hee may be such inwardly, as he outward­ly appeareth to the world; yea, more vertuous should he be then he seemeth, in as much as God seeth our hearts, who wee must intirely revere [...]ce, wheresoever we are, and before whom we should walke uprightly as Angels. [Page 34] Every day wee should renounce our mindes, and as though we were but newly converted from sinne, we ought to inflame our zeale, and say; O my Lord God, assist me, I humbly beseech thee, in this my good purpose and zeal, & give me grace even at this pre­sent time, godly to enter into thy ser­vice; for what hitherto I have done is nothing. In this our race and going forward in godlinesse, wee must use great diligence, if we minde to finish our course as we should. For if hee which couragiously goeth on, is tried many times? What will become of him, which either seldome, or faintly setteth forward? Many things cause us to change our good minds; but, we never so lightly omit spiritual exercise, but we greatly hinder our selves there­by. The purpose of the just dependeth upon the favour of God, not upon their own wisdome, on whom they trust in all their enterprizes. For man may purpose, but God disposeth; nei­ther can man of himselfe bring any thing to passe. If we omit our accu­stomed exercise, either for Religions cause, or to profit our brethren, we [Page 35] may easily attaine thereunto againe; but if carelesly, of sloth, or faintnesse of minde, we neglect the same, we do both highly displease God, and greatly endamage our selves. Let us doe our best, yet shall wee [...]ffend in many things. All be it will be good to shoot at some certaine things, and especially against those vices, which hinder us more then others; we must examine and set in order, as well outward, as inward things, for both are nec [...]ssary to our proceedings. If thou can [...] not at all times take account of thy selfe, yet doe it sometimes, and at the least, once a day, either at morne or night. In the morning, consider how thou wilt spend thy time till evening. And at night call to minde how thou [...]ast spent the day; and what thy thoughts, words, and deeds have been, for there­by we commonly both displease God, and offend men. Gird thy loynes like a man against Satan, bridle thy rio­tous appetite, so the more easily shalt thou bring under all the unruly desires of the flesh. Be thou at no time idle, altogether, but alwaies, either read, or write, or pray, or meditate, or doe [Page 36] somewhat for the publlique welfare. The body must bee exercised with judgement, for all exercises be not for every man; private exercises must not be used in a publicke place, a [...]beit thou art to take heed that thou be not too publicke, slow, and swift unto private, but having done thy dutie, according to thy calling, if any leasure be gotten, betake thee to thy selfe as thy profes­sion doth require: All men cannot use one exercise, but that is for some, which is not for others. Againe, ac­cording to the diversitie of time, wee thinke of exercises; for some, like us of holydaies, some on working daies, some in the time of warre, some in the time of quietnesse, some we minde when we are pensive, and some when we rejoyce in the Lord; good exer­cises should oftentimes be renewed, especially on holy daies, as though we were then departing out of this life, and going to the everlasting daies of rest. And therefore at such times espe­cially, we should shew our selves most devout, and most carefully execute Gods Hests; looking, as it were, pre­sently to have a reward of our labour [Page 37] from God, which if it be deferred, let us think with our selves, that we are not sufficiently prepared; but unwor­thy so great glory to be revealed unto us, at a time convenient, and prepare our selves more diligently to our end. Happy is that Servant saith our Savi­our Christ, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watchfull, know ye of a truth, he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

Of solitarinesse and silence.

SEeke a convenient time to medi­tate, and oftentimes call the bene­fits of God into mind, omit curious things, and chuse such matter, as may rather stir up thy mind unto godliness, then busie thee too much: withdraw thy self from speaking vainly, from gadding idly, from listning unto ru­mours, and novelties. And thou shalt find good leasure, and sufficient for thy spirituall exercise: and that after the example of the most godly, who shunned the company of men as much as they might, and chose to live a part [Page 38] unto God. One said, I never came a­mongst men, but I departed more wicked then I was before. And this we find true, when we talk much together; It is easier to be altogether silent, then not to exceed in words, and to tarry at home then not to offend abroad it is easier. Wherefore he which would be zealous, and godly, must avoid Com­pany. No man doth safely go abroad, but he which gladly can abide at home, no man safely doth govern, but he which gladly can be in subjection. No man safely doth Command, but he that hath learned willingly to obey. No man safely is merry, but he that hath a good Conscience. And no man safely can speak, but he that willingly can hold his peace. And yet hath not the security of good men, at any time been without the fear of God, neither did their excellent, and heavenly gifts make them any whit proud, but the more humble. But the security of the wicked, as it ariseth of pride, so it turneth to their distructi­on. Never look to live at thy hearts ease, in this world, seem thou never so godly and religious. It faileth out ma­ny [Page 39] times, that they fall grievously through pride, which in mans opinion were most religious men: whereby it is evident, that tentation is very good for some, both to keep them from pride and outward consolation, O if man would avoid vain pleasure, and not love the world, what a good Conscience should he alwayes retain. If man would cast away all vain cares, and think only upon heavenly things, and trust only in God, what a continuall joy should he feele in his mind? No man shall find any spiri­tuall comfort, except he occupie him­self diligently in stirring up his mind unto godlinesse: the which thou shalt the more easily attain, if thou enter in­to thy Chamber, and shut thy self from troubles of the world, as it is written. Examin your own hearts upon your bed, and be still. For com­monly thou shalt find that in the Clo­set, which thou wouldest leese abroad, the more thou usest thy Closet, the more thou wilt like it; the lesse thou comest thereinto, the more thou wilt loath it. But frequent the same rightly, and tarry therein at thy first conversi­on [Page 40] from wickednesse, and afterwards thou shalt do it with exceeding plea­sure. Solitarinesse, and quietnesse, is good for him that would proceed in vertue, and learn the mysteries of holy Scripture; for there shall he find even floods of teares, whereby he may wash and clense himself every night, that he may be so much nigher unto his Ma­ker, by how much he is further from the resort of men. So that God with his holy Angels cometh unto him, which withdraweth himself from his friends and acquaintance. It is better to live in a corner, so a man have a re­gard to himself, then without care of his own salvation, even to work mira­cles. It is no shame, but praise, for a godly man seldom to go abroad, to shun to be seen, and not to love to see. Why lookest thou on that which is not lawfull for thee to have? The world passeth away, and the lusts thereof. The desire of pleasure maketh thee to rove abroad; but when the pleasure is past, which is quickly gone, what gettest thou thereby, but repen­tance, and a wandering soule? A mer­ry out-going bringeth commonly: [Page 41] murning return, and a merry evening watch, is sign of a lowring morning. Even so the joy of this world entreth pleasantly, but endeth bitterly; what canst thou see in another place, which is not here? Behold the Heaven, Earth, and all the E [...]ements; for of those do all things consist: what seest thou in any place that abideth ever? perchance thou thinkest to satisfie thy self with contemplation, but thou shalt never do so; what if thou s [...]west all things before thine eyes? it were but a vain sight; but lift up thine eyes to God, and aske pardon for thine offences, leave vain things to vain folks, and give thou thy mind to do the will of God. Shut thy self within thy dore, and call thy welbeloved Jesus unto thee; Tarry with him in thy Chamber; for else­where thou shalt never find so great quietnesse. Haddest thou not gone a­broad, nor listned unto tumors, and tales, thou mightest the better have in­joyed quietnesse, but now because thou givest thine eares to hear newes, thou art troubled greatly, and vexed in thy mind.

Of the last judgment and punishment for sinne.

VVHatsoever thou takest in hand, remember thine end; and how thou must appear before a severe Judge, in whose sight nothing is hid; which neither is pleased with reward, nor admitteth vain excuses; but right­ly and indifferently judgeth all men. O fond man and miserable wretch, what answer wilt thou make unto God, who knoweth all thy sinnes, which oftentimes fearest the lookes, e­ven of an angry man? why dost thou not look to thy self, against the day of that judgment when no man shall ex­cuse, or defend another? for every man shall have enough to answer for himself. Now mayst thou do good, if thou takest paine, now will thy teares be excepted, if thou weep, now may thy groans be heard if thou sigh, and both pacifie God, and purge thy self; And indeed, thoroughly is the patient man purged, which being injured, doth bewale the wickednesse of the in­feriour, rather then the injury offered unto himself, prayeth for his enemies, forgiveth them from his heart, asketh [Page 43] pardon speedily of others whom he hath offended, is more easily moved to pitty then to anger, offereth often vio­lence unto himself, and laboureth ear­nestly to bring his body into subjecti­on of the spirit. And these things must not be deferred, but be done while we live, and that with speed. But we de­ceive our selves, thorow an inordinate desire of the flesh; That Hell fire, what else will it burn but sinners? The more thou hast loved thy self, and pam­pered thy flesh, the more shall be thy paines, and the more substance to burn thee, hast thou laid together. For in what things a man hath sinned, in the same he shall be punished, according to the greatnesse of the offence; There idle persons shall be pricked with burning forks, gluttons shall be tor­mented there with extream hunger, and thurst: There Epicures and volup­tious persons, for their sweet delights shall have burning pitch to boyle them, and stinking brimstone to anoy them, The envious there shall houle like mad doggs; and no vice, but shall have his torment.

To be short, one houre of paine in [Page 44] that place, shall bee more grievous, then all the time they had in this world to amend their maners. For the [...]e is no rest, comfort there is none. Here sometimes, their sorrow seased, and sometimes they received comfort of their friends; wherefore have a care of thy selfe, whilst thou art alive, and bewaile thy sinnes, that in the day of that judgement thou mayest safely re­joyce with Gods elect. For then shall the righteous with great boldnesse, stand against such as have vexed and oppressed them. Then shall he sit to judge, which now is content to be judged of men; Then shall the poore and meeke, triumph, when the proud shall quake on every side. Then shall they say, hee was wise, which for Christ his sake seemed a foole, and an abject; Then shall the memory of misery, patiently sustained be sweet; when in the meane while, the wicked shall sobb, and sigh; Then shall the godly rejoyce and be glad, but the re­probate shall howle and weepe. Then shall the afflicted more triumph, then if continually he had been in joy. Then shall the base apparell be glorious, and [Page 45] the proud attire infamous. Then shall the poore Cottage be more commen­ded, then is the guilded Pallace praised. Then shall constant patience more pre­vaile, then all the power of the world. Simple obedience shall be more com­mended then, then all the subilty of man. Then shall a cleare and good conscience more rejoyce a man, then profound skill in Philosophie. The contempt of Riches shall doe more good, then all the riches in the world; then shall a zealous Praier bring more delight then ever did fine Cates. Thy silence kept in thy life time, shall more cheare thy heart in that time, then long babbling; good works then shall be respected, then copy of sweet words, And then shall thy paines taken to re­forme thy maners, more delight then could all the pleasure in the world. Wherefore learne in this life, to suffer small things, that in the world to come thou maist escape great, and grievous dangers. Try first in thy life time, what thou canst suffer after thou art dead; and if thou canst not endure but light things in comparison now; how wilt thou beare afterwards ever­lasting [Page 46] torments? And if now so little paine can make thee impatient, what will the fire of Hell doe? For, per­swade thy selfe, thou canst not be twice happy; that is, to enjoy thy pleasure in this life, and raigne too with Christ in the world to come. Now suppose thou hadst lived hither­to in perpetuall honour, and pleasure, what good would these things doe thee, if thou shouldest dye out of hand? Seest thou not how all things are vaine, save onely to love, and serve God; for he which loveth God, with all his heart, feareth neither death, nor paine, nor judgement, nor damnation; for perfect love maketh a man w [...]th boldnesse to appeare before God. But marvell it is not, though he which de­lighteth as yet in sinne, doth both feare death, and the day of judgement. Notwithstanding, if the love of God cannot allure thee unto godlinesse, yet let the feare of hell fire drive thee from wickednesse. But if neither the love of God, nor the fear of Hell can better thee one jot, then look not to stand in a good estate long, but quickly to fall [Page 47] into the snares of Sathan. And gentle Reader, if none of these perswasions [...]ill prevaile with thee, mark well his ensuing discourse that followes.

Of the paines appointed for sinners after this life.

AMongst all the meanes which God useth towards the Children of men, to move them to resolution a­ [...]ainst sinne, whereof I intreat the strongest and most forceable (to the common sort of men) is the considera­tion of punishments prepared by God for rebellious sinners, and transgressors of his Commandements: wherefore he useth this consideration often, as may appear by all the Prophets, who do al­most nothing else but threaten plagues, and distruction to offendors. And this mean hath often times pre­valed more then any other that could be used, by reason of the naturall love which we bear towards our selves: and consequently, the naturall fear which we have of our own danger. So we read, that nothing could move the [Page 48] Ninivites so much as the foretelling them of their eminent destruction [...] And St. John Baptist, although h [...] came in a simple, and contemptibl [...] manner, yet preaching unto the peopl [...] the terrour of vengeance to come, and that the Axe must be put to the Roo [...] of the Trees, to cut down for the Fire all those which did not repent: he mo­ved the very Publicanes, and Souldi­ers to feare (which otherwise are peo­ple of very hard mettall) who cam [...] unto him upon this terrible Embassage and asked, what they should doe [...] avoid these punishments? After ther [...] that we have considered of death, an [...] of Gods seveare judgements, whic [...] insueth after death, and wherein eve­ry man hath to receive, according t [...] his works in this life, as the Scriptu [...] saith, it followeth, that we consider a [...] so of the punishments which are ap­pointed for them that shall be foun [...] faulty at that account. Hereby, [...] leastwise (if no other consideration w [...] serve) to induce all Christians to th [...] resolution of serving God, for if ever [...] man have naturally a love of him­selfe, and desire to conserve his own [Page 49] case, then shall he also have feare of perill, whereby he is to fall into ex­treame calamity.

This expresseth Saint Bernard ex­cellently; O man (saith he) if thou have lost all shame, which pertaineth to so noble a creature as thou art, (if thou feele no sorrow as carnall men doe not) yet lose not feare also, which is found in every beast: we vse to lead an Asse, and to weary him out with la­bour, and he careth not, because he is an Asse. But if thou wouldest thrust him into the fire, or fling him into a ditch, he would avoid it, as much as he could, for that he loveth life, and f [...]a­reth death. Feare thou then, and be not more insensible then a beast; feare death, feare judgement, feare hell. This feare is called the beginning of wisdome, and not shame, or sorrow, for that the spirit of feare, is more mighty to resist si [...]ne, then the spirit of shame, or sorrow. Wherefore it is said, remember thy end, and thou shalt never sinne: that is, remember the fi­nall punishments which are appointed for sinne, after this. Thus farre Saint Bernard.

First then to speake in generall, of the punishments reserved for the life to come; If the Scriptures did not de­clare, in perticular their greatnesse unto us, yet are there many reasons to per­swade us, that they are most severe, do­lerous, and intollerable. For first, as God is a God in all his works, that is to say, great, wonderfull, and terrible; so especial [...]y, he sheweth the same in his punishment, being called for that cause, in Scripture, the God of justice, as also, God of revenge: wherefore seeing all his other works, are all full of M [...]jestie, and exceeding our capaci­ties: we may likewise gather, that his hand in punishment must be wonder­full also.

God himselfe teacheth us to reason thus; in this manner, when he saith: and will ye not then feare me? and wi [...] yee not tremble before my face, which have put the Sand [...] as a stop unto the Sea, and have given the water a com­mandement never to pas e its bound [...]; no not when it is most troubl [...]d, and the floods most outragious? As who would say, If I am wonderfull, and doe passe your imagination in these works, of [Page 51] the Sea, and others, which you see day­ly; you have cause to feare me, consi­dering that my punishments are like to be correspondent to the same.

Another conjecture of the great 2nd severe Justice of God, may be the con­sideration of his infinite and unspeaka­ble mercy: the which as it is the very nature of God, and without end or measure, as his Godhead is, so also his justice is. And these two are the two Armes, (as it were) of God im­brasing, and kissing one the other, as the Scripture saith. Therefore, as in a man of this world, if we had the mea­sure of one arme, we might easily con­j [...]cture of the other; so seeing the wonderfull examples dayly of Gods infinite mercy towards them that re­pent, we may imagine by the same, his severe justice towards them, whom he reserveth to punishment in the next life: and wh [...]n for that cause, he cal­leth in the Scriptu [...]es, Vessels of his fu­ry, o [...] Vessels to sh [...]w his fury upon.

A third reason to perswade us of the gr [...]at [...]esse of these punishments, may be the marvellous patience, and long-suffering of God in this life. As for [Page 52] example, in that he suffereth divers men from one sin to another, from one day to another, from one year to ano­ther, to spend all in dishonour, and di­spite of his Majestie, adding offence to offence, and refusing all per­swasions, allurements, good inspirati­ons, or other means of friendship, that his mercy can devise to offer for their amendments, and what man in the world could suffer this? or what mor­tall heart could shew such patience? But now if all this should not be re­quited with severity of punishment, in the world to come, upon the obsti­nate, it might seeme against the Law of Justice, and equitie, and one arme in God, might seeme longer then the other. Paul doth touch this reason, in his Epistle to the Romans, where hee saith, Dost thou not know, that the be­nignity of God, is used to bring thee to repentance? And thou by thy hard, and impenitent heart, dost hoord up vengeance unto thy selfe, against the day of wrath, and appearance of Gods just judgement, which shall restore to every man according to his works? He useth heare the words of hoording, [Page 53] up of vengeance, to signifie that even as the covetous man, doth hoord up mo­ney, to money, dayly to make his heap great; so the unrepentant sinner, doth hoord up sinne to sinne, and God on the contrary side, hoordeth up venge­ance to vengeance, untill his measure be full, to restore in the end, measure against measure, as the Prophet saith, and to pay us home, according to the multitude of our abominations. This God meant, when he said to Abra­ham, that their iniquities was n [...]t yet full up. Also in the Revelation of St. John, when he used this conclusion of that Boo [...]e. He that doth evill, let him doe yet more evill, and he that ly [...]th in filth, let him yet become more filthy: for behold, I come quickly, and my re­ward is with me, to render to every man according to his deeds.

By which words, God signifieth, that his bearing and tollerating with sinners in this life, is an argument [...]f his greater severity in the life to come. Which the Prophet D [...]vid also decla­reth, when talking of a carelesse sinner, he saith, The Lord shall scoffe at h [...]m foreseeing that his day shall come. This [Page 54] day (no doubt) is to be understood, the day of account, and punishment after this life; for so doth God more at large, declare himselfe in another place, in these words. And thou Son of man, thus saith the Lord God; The end is com [...], now (I say) the end is come upon thee, and I will shew in thee my fu­rie; and I will judge thee, according to thy wayes; I will lay against thee all thy abominations, and m [...]e eye shall not spare thee; neither will I take any mer­cie upon thee; but I will put thine own waies upon thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. Behold, affliction commeth on, the end is come, the end (I say) is come, that watched against thee; and behold it is come: crushing is come upon thee, the time is come, the day of slaughter is at hand; shortly I will powre out my wrath upon thee: and I will fill my fury in thee; & I wil judge thee accor­ding to thy waies; and I will lay all thy wickednesse upon thee, mine eye shall not pitty thee, neither will I take any com­p [...]ssion upon thee, but I will lay thy waies upon thee, and thine abominations in the middest of thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord that striketh. [Page 55] Hitherto is the speech of God him­selfe.

Seeing then, we n [...]w understand in generall, that the punishments of God in the life to come, are most certain to be great and severe t [...] all such as fall into them, for which c [...]se the Apo­stle saith, It is a fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the living G [...]. Let us consider somewhat in particular, what manner of pains, and punishmens they shall be.

And first of all touching the place of punishment, appointed for the dam­ned, commonly called Hell. The Scrip­ture in divers places, and Languages, used divers names, but all tending to expresse the grivousness of punishment there suffered. As in Latine it is cal­led Infernus, a place beneath, or under ground, as most of the old Fathers doe i [...]terpret. But whether it be under ground or no; most certaine it is, that it is a place most opposite to heaven, which is said to be above: And this name is used for to signifie, the mise­rable suppressing and [...]urling down of the damned, to be troden under the feet, not only of God, but also of good [Page 56] men for ever; for so saith the Scrip­ture, Behold the day of the Lord cometh, burning like a furnace; and all proud and wicked men shall be straw to that furnace, and you that feare my name, shall tread them downe, and they shall be as burnt Ashes under the soles of your feet in that day. And this shall be one of the greatest miseries that can happen to the proud and stout Potentates of the world, to be thrown down with such contempt; and to be troden under feet of them; whom they so much despised in this world. The Hebrew word which the Scripture u­seth for Hell, is Sheol, which signifi­eth a great ditch, or dungeon, in which sence, it is also called in the Apocalips, Lacus irae Dei, The Lake of the wrath of God. And again, A Poole burning with fire and brimston. Also in the Gospel, it is called utter darknesse: And Job, saith of i [...], there dwelleth no order but everlasting horror. Having now in some part declared the names, and thereby also in part the nature. I [...] rem [...]ineth now, that we consider, what manner of paines men suffer there. For declaration whereof, we must no [...]e, that as Heaven, and Hell are contrary, [Page 57] assigned to contrary persons, for con­trary causes, so have they in all re­spects contrary properties, conditions, and [...]ff [...]cts; in such sort, as whatsoe­ver is spoken of the felicity of the one, may se [...]ve to inferre the contrary of t [...]e other. As when Saint P [...]ul saith, That no eye hath seen, nor eare heard, nor heart conceived, the joyes that God ha [...]h [...]epare [...] f [...]r them that shal [...] be sa­ved. We may inferre that the paine of the damned must b [...] as great.

A a ne, when the Scripture saith, that the felicity of them in heaven, is a perfect felicity, containing all good­nesse, so that no kind of pleasure that can be imagined, which they have not; we must thinke on the contrary part, that the misery of the damned, must be also a perfect misery, c [...]n aining all afflictions that may be, without wan­ting any. So that as the [...]appinesse of the good is infinite, and [...]niversall: so also is the calamity of t [...]e wick [...]d infinite, and universall. Now [...] [...]is life, al the in [...] [...]nd paines, which fall upon men, are but pa [...]ticular, and no [...] u [...]iversall. As f [...] example, We see one man pained in h [...]s eyes, another [Page 58] in his back, which particuler paines, notwithstanding sometimes are so ex­tream, as life is not able to resist them, and a man would not suffer them long for the wining many worlds together.

But suppose now a man were tor­mented in all the parts of his body at once, as in his head, his eyes, his tongue his teeth, his throat, his stomack, his belly, his back, his heart, his sides, his thyes, and in all the joynts of his body, besides, suppose (I say) he were most cruelly tormented with extream pains in all these parts; together, without case or intermission; what thing could be more miserable then this? what sight more lamentable? If thou shouldest see a dogg lye in the streete so afflicted, I know thou couldest not but take compassion on him.

Well then, consider what difference there is between abiding those pains for a week, or for all eternity? in suffering them upon a soft bed, or up­on a burning gridiron, or boyling fur­nace; Among a mans friends comfor­ting him, or among the furies in Hell, whipping and tormenting him.

Consider this (I say) gentle Rea­der, [Page 59] and if thou wouldest take a great deal of pains, rather then abide the one, in this life: be content to sustain a little pain, rather then to incu [...] the o­ther in the life to come.

But to consider these things yet further, not only all these parts of the body, which have been instruments to sin, shall be tormented together, but also every sence, both externall and in­ternall; for the same cause shall be af­flicted with his particuler torment, contrary to the obj [...]ct wherein it de­lighted most, and took pleasure in this world.

As if for example; the lacivious eyes, were afflicted with the ugly and fearfull sight of Devills, the delicate cares, with the horrible noyes of dam­ned spirits, the nice smell with poyson­ed st [...]nch of brimstone, and other un­supportable filth, the dainty taste, with most ravonous hunger, and thirst, and all the sensible parts of the body, with burning fire.

Again, the Imagina [...]ion shall be tormented with the apprehension of pain [...]s present, and to come. The me­mory, with the remembrance of plea­sures [Page 60] [...] [Page 61] [...] [Page 60] past; the understanding with con­sideration of the felicity lost, and the misery now come on.

O poor Christian, what wilt thou do a midst the multitude of so grie­vous calamities? It is a wonderfull matter, and able (as one further faith) to make a reasonable man go out of his wits, to consider what God hath re­vealed unto us, in the Scriptures, of the dreadfull Circumstance of this punish­ment, and yet to see how little the retchlesse men of the world do feare it.

Now is the time we may avoyde all, now is the time we may put our selves out of danger, of these matters; now (I say) if we resolve our selves out of hand, for we know not what will become of us to morrow. It may be to morrow, our hearts will be as hard, and carelesse of these things, as they have been heretofore.

Resolve thy self therefore (my dear brother) if thou be wise, and clear thy self from this danger; while God is willing to receive thee, and moveth thee thereunto by these meanes, as he did the rich man by Moses, and the [Page 61] Prophets, while he was yet in his pro­sperity.

Let his example be often before thine eyes, and consider it throughly, and it shall do thee good, God is a mereifull God, and a wonderfull God, and to shew his patience, and infinite goodnesse, he woeth us in this life, seeketh unto us, and layeth himself, (as it were) at our feete, to move us to our own good, to win us, to draw us, and to save us from perdition.

But after this life, he altereth his course of dealing, he turneth over the leaf, and changeth his stile; Of a Lamb, he becometh a Lyon to the wicked. And of a Saviour, a just and severe punisher.

What can be said, or done more, to move us? He that is forewarned, and seeth his own danger before his, face & yet is not stirred, nor made the more warie, or fearfull thereby, but not­withstanding, will come, or slide into the same, may well be pittied, but surely by no means, can he be helped. making himself incapable of all the re­medies that may be used.

Of the most honourable and munificent rewards proposed, to all them that truely serve God.

THe reasons, and considerat [...]ons, laid down before, in the former discourse, might well be sufficient to stirre up the heart of any reasonable Christian, to take in hand this resolu­tion; whereof, and whereupon I so much covet to perswade thee (for thy onely good and gaine) gentle Reader. But that all hearts are not of one con­stitution, in this respect, not all drawn and stirred, with the same meanes. I purpose to adjoyne here another con­sideration, whereunto each man is commonly proane by nature. And therefore I am in hope, it will be more forcible to that we goe about, then any else, that hitherto hath been spoken. I meane then to treat of the ben [...]fits, which are reaped by the service of God; of the gaine drawn thence, and of the good pay and most liberall re­ward, which God performeth to his servants, above all the masters created, that may be served.

And though the just fear of punish­ment (if we serve him not) might be sufficient to drive us to this resolution; and the infinite benefits already recei­ved, induce us to the same, in respect of gratitude: Yet am I content so far to enlarge this liberty to the (good Reader) that except I shew this reso­lution, (which I crave) to be more gainefull and profitable, then any thing else in the world that can be thought of; thou shalt not be bound unto it for any thing, that hitherto hath been said in that behalfe. For as God in all things, is a God of great Maje­stie, full of bounty, liberality, and princely magnificence; so is he in this point above all other, in such sort, as albeit, whatsoever we doe, or can do, is but due debt unto him, and of it selfe deserveth nothing. Yet of this munificent Majestie, he letteth passe no one jot of our service unrewarded, no not so much as a cup of cold water.

God commanded Abraham to sa­crifice unto him his onely Sonne Isack which he loved so much; but when he was ready to doe the same, God said, doe it not; It is enough for me, that [Page 64] I see thy obedience. And because thou hast not refused to doe it, I sweare to thee (saith he) by my selfe, that I will multiply thy seed, as the starres of hea­ven, and the sands of the Sea: and a­mong them also one shall be Christ the Saviour of the world. Was not this good pay for so little paines? King David, one night began to think with himselfe, that he had ow a house of Cedar, and the Arke of God lay but under a Tent, and therefore resolved to build a House for the said Arke: which onely cogitation, God took in so good part, as he sent Nathan the Prophet unto him presently to refuse the thing: but yet to tell him, that forsomuch, as he had determined such a matter, God would build a house, or rather a K [...]ngdome to him and his po­steritie; which should last for ever; and from which he would never take away his mercy; which promise we see now fulfilled in Christ; what should I re­cite many like examples; Christ gi­veth a generall note hereof, when he calleth the workmen, & payeth to each man his wages, so duly; as also when he saith of himself, Behold, I come quickly, [Page 65] and my reward is with me: by which place is evident, that God suffereth no labour in his service to be lost, or un­paid. And albeit, he payeth also, and that abundantly in this life: yet, as by those two examples appeareth, he de­ferreth his chiefe pay unto his coming in the end of the day, that is after this life, in the resurrection of the just; as himselfe saith in another place, of this payment then reserved for Gods ser­vants in the life to come.

We are now to consider, what, and what manner a thing it is, and whe­ther it be worth so much labour and travell, as the service of God requireth, or no.

And first of all, if we will beleeve the holy Scripturs, calling it a Kingdome, an heavenly Kingdome, an everlasting Kingdome, a most blessed Kingdome. We must needes confesse it to be a marvel­lous great reward. For that worldly Princes, doe not use to give Kingdoms to their servants, for recompence of their labours: and if they did, or were able to doe it; yet could it be neither heavenly, nor everlasting, nor a blessed Kingdome.

Secondly, if we credit that which St. Paul saith of it; that neither eye hath seen, nor eare heard, nor heart of man conceived, how great a matter it is; Then must we yet admit a greater opinion thereof: for that we have seen many wonderfull things in our dayes, we have heard more wonder­full, we may conceive most wonder­full, and almost infinit. How then shall we come to understand the great­nesse, and value of the rewards? surely no tongue created, either of man, or Angel, can expresse the same. No imagination conceive, no under­standing comprehend it, Christ him­self hath said, no man knoweth it, but he that injoyeth it, and therefore he calleth it, hidden Manna, in the same place; notwithstanding as it is repor­ted of a learned Geometrician, that finding the length of Hercules foote upon the hill of Olimpus, drew out his whole body by the proportion of that one part: so we by some thing only set down in Scripture, and by some other Circumstances, agreeing thereunto, may frame a conjecture of the matter, though it come far behind [Page 67] the thing it self.

I have shewed before, how the Scri­pture calleth it a heavenly, and ever­lasting, and a most blessed Kingdom; whereby is signified, that all must be Kings, that are admitted thither: To take effect it is called in other places; a Crown of glory, a Throne of Majesty, a Paradice, or place of pleasure; a life everlasting. St. John the Evangelist, be­ing in his banishment, by speciall priviledge, made privy to some know­ledge, and feeling thereof, as well for his own comfort, as for ours, taketh in and to describe it by comparison of City, affirming that the whole City, was of pure gold, with a great, and high wall of the precious stone, called Jaspis. This wall had also 12. founda­tions, made of 12. distinct precious stones, which he there nameth: also 12. gates, made of 12. rich stones, cal­led Margarites, and every gate hath an entire Margarite. The streets of the City, were paved with gold, interlaid also with pearles, and precious stones. the light of the City, was the clear­nesse, and shining of Christ himself, siting in the midst thereof.

From whose seate proceeded a River of water, as cleare as Cristall, to refresh the City, and on both sides of the bankes, there grew the tree of life giving out continuall and perpetual fruit: There was no night in that City, nor any defiled thing entred there but they that are within shall raign (saith he) for ever, and ever.

By this description, of the most rich and precious things that this world hath, St. John would give us to under­stand the infinite value, glory, and majesty of this felicity, prepared for us in heaven: though, as I have noted before) it being the princely inheri­tance of our Saviour Christ, the King­dom of his Father, the eternall habita­tion of the holy Trinity, prepared be­fore all worlds, to set out the glory, and expresse the power, of him that hath no end, not measure, either in power, or glory: we may very well think with St. Paul, that neither tongue can declare it, nor heart can imagine it.

O miserable Children of men, that are born to so rare and singuler a dig­nity, and yet cannot be brought, to consider love, or esteem of the same.

Other such considerations there be, to shew the greatnesse of this felicity, is that if God hath given so many pleasures, and comfortable guifts in this life (as we see are in this world) being a place of bannishment, a place of sinners, a vail of misery, and the time of repenting, weeping and wail­ing, what will he do in the life to come, to the just, to his friends, in the time of joy, and marriage of his Son? This was a most forceable considera­tion, with good St. Augustine, who in the secret speech of his soule with God, said thus. O Lord, if thou for this vile body of ours, give us so great, and innumerable benefits, from the Firmament, from the Ayre, from the Earth, from the Sea, by light, by dark­nesse, by heate, by shadow, by dewes, by showers, by winds, by raines, by birds, by fishes, by beasts, by trees, by multitude of hearbes, and variety of plants, and by the ministry of all thy Creatures.

O sweet Lord, what manner of things, how great, how good, and how innumerable are those which thou hast prepared [Page 70] in our heavenly country where w [...] shall see thee face to face? If thou do [...] great things for us in our prison, wh [...] wilt thou give us in our pallace, If th [...] givest so many things in this world, t [...] good and evill men together, wh [...] hast thou layd up for good men onl [...] in the world to come? If thine enemie [...] and friends together are so well provided for in this life, what shall th [...] only friends receive in the life to com [...] If there be so great solaces in the [...] dayes of tears, what joy shall there b [...] in that day of marriage, if our goale [...] containe so great matters, what sha [...] our Countrie, and Kingdome doe.

O my Lord and God, thou art a gre [...] God, and great is the multitude of th [...] magnificence, and sweetnesse. And [...] there is no end of thy greatnesse, n [...] number of thy wisdom; nor measure [...] thy benignity; so is their neither [...]nd numbers nor measure of thy rewar [...] towards them that love, and faithfully serve thee. Hitherto St. Austin. Anothe [...] way to conjecture of this felicity is to consider the great promises which Go [...] maketh in the Scriptures, to honor▪ and glorifie man in the life to come▪ [Page 71] whosoever shall honour me (saith God) I will gloryfie him.

And the Prophet David, as it were complaineth joyfully, that Gods friends were so much honoured by him, which he might with much more cause have said, if he had lived in the new Testament, and had heard that promise of Christ, that his Ser­vants should sit down and banquet, and that himself would serve, and mi­nister unto them in the Kingdom of his Father.

But now to come to that point of this felicity, which doth appertain to the soul, as the principal part, it is to be understood; that albeit there be ma­ny things that do concur to this felici­ty, for the accomplishment, & perfecti­on of happynesse, yet the fountain of a [...]l is, but one onely thing called by Divines, the sight of God, that ma­keth us happy. This only sight of God is our happinesse: If we would enter into these considerations, no doubt but we should be more inflamed, with the love of this felicity (prepared for us) then we are: and consequently, [Page 72] should strive more to gain it, then w [...] do. And to the end thou mayst con­ceive, some more feeling in the matter (gentle Reader) consider a little with me, what a joyfull day shall that be at thy house, when having lived in th [...] fear of God, and archieved in his ser­vice the end of thy peregrination (b [...] the meanes of death) to passe fro [...] misery, and labour to immortality; an [...] in that passage, (when other men be­gin to feare) thou shalt lift up th [...] head in hope, according as Christ pro­miseth, for that the time of thy salva­tion cometh.

Tell me, what a day shall that be when thy soule stepping forth of pri­son, and conducted to the Tabernacl [...] of Heaven, and shall be received the [...] with the honourable Companies, an [...] Troopes of that place? with all thos [...] blessed spirits mentioned in Scripture [...] as Principalities, Powers, Vertue [...] Dominations, Thrones, Angels, Arch­angels, Cherubines, and Seraphines also with the holy Apostles, an [...] Disciples of Christ, Patriarks, Prophets, Martyrs, Innocents, Confe [...] sors, and Saints of God?

All which shall triumph at thy Coro­nation, and glorification. What joy will thy soule receive at that day, when shee shall be presented in the presence of these States, before the Seat & Majestie of the blessed Trinity, with recitall, and declaration of all thy good works, and travels, suffered for the love & service of God? When there shall be laid down in that honourable Consistory, all thy ver­tuous deeds, al thy labors that thou hast taken in thy calling; all thy almes, all thy prayers, all thy fasting, all thy innocence of life, all thy patience in injuries, all thy constancie in adversities, all thy tempe­rance in meats, all thy vertues of thy whole life? When all (I say) shall be re­counted there, al commended, all rewar­ded; shalt thou not see now, the value & profit of a vertuous life? shalt thou not confess, that gainful, & honorable, is the service of God? Shalt thou not now be glad, & bless the hour, wherein first thou resolvedst thy self to leave the service of the world, to serve God? Shalt thou not think thy selfe to be beholden to him that perswaded thee unto it? Yes ve­rily: But yet more then this, when as being so neere thy passage here, thou [Page 74] shalt consider into what a port, and ha­ven of security thou art come, and shalt looke backe upon the dangers which thou hast passed, and wherein other men are yet in hazzard; thy cause of joy shall greatly be increased. For thou shalt see evidently, how infinite times, thou wert in danger to have perished in that journey, if God had not held his provident hand over thee.

Thou shalt see the dangers wherein other men are; the death and damna­tion, whereinto many of thy friends and acquaintance have fallen; the eter­nall paines of Hell incurred by many, that used to laugh and be merry with them in this world. All which shall aug­ment the felicity of this thy blessed e­state. And now for thy selfe, thou mayest be secure thou art out of all dan­ger for ever and ever.

There is now no more need of feare, of watchings, of labour, of care; thou mayest lay down all armour now, bet­ter then the Children of Israel might have done when they had gotten the Land of promise; for there is no more Enemy to assault thee, there is no wily Serpent to beguile thee. All is peace, [Page 75] all is rest, all is joy, all is security. Thy onely exercise, must be now to rejoyce, to tryumph, to sing Hallelujah to the Lambe, which hath brought thee to this felicitie, and will keep thee in the same, world without end.

But now to draw towards an end in this matter, (though there be no end in the thing it selfe) let the Christian Rea­der consider, whereto he is borne, and whereof he is in possibilitie if he will. He is born heire apparent to the King­dome of heaven, a Kingdome without end, a Kingdome without measure, a Kingdome of blisse, the Kingdome of God himself: he is borne to be joynt heire with Jesus Christ, the Sonne of God, to raigne with him, to triumph with him, to sit in judgement with him, to judge the very Angels with him. What more glory can be thought up­on, except it were to become God himselfe? All the joyes, all the riches, all the glory that heaven containeth, shall be powred out upon him, who wil not esteeme of this royall Inheritance? Especially, seeing that now we have so good opportunity, to the obtaining thereof, by the benefit of our redemp­tion, [Page 76] and grace purchased to us there­in.

Tell me now (Gentle Reader) why wilt thou not accept of this his offer? Why wilt thou not accompt of this his Kingdome? Why wilt thou not buy this glory of him, for so little a labour, as he requireth? There is not the wic­kedest man in the world, but taketh more travell and pains in going to Hell, then the most painefull servant of God in obtaining of heaven. Follow thou not their folly then (deare brother) for thou shalt see them suffer greevously for it one day; when thy heart shall be full gald thou hadst no part among them. Let them goe now, and bestow their time in vanitie, in pleasures, in de­lights of the world. Let them build Pall ces, purchase Dignities, and peeces and patches of ground together; Let them hunt after Honours, and build Castels in the Ayre, the day will come (if thou beleeve Christ himselfe) wherein thou shalt have small cause to envie their felicity.

To conclude then, this prize is set up for them that will strive for it. For tis not every one that saith to Christ, [Page 77] Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the king­dome of heaven: but they onely which doe the will of Christ his Father in hea­ven. Though this Kingdome of Christ be set out to all: yet every man shall not come to raigne with Christ; but such onely, as shall be content to suf­fer with Christ. Thou art therefore to sit down, and consider, according to thy Saviours councell what thou wilt doe, whether thou have so much spiri­tuall money as is sufficient to build this Towre, or no: That is, whether thou have so much good will as to bestow the paines of suffering with Christ, (if it be rather to be called pain then plea­sure) that so thou maist raigne with him in his Kingdome. This is the que­stion, that is the very whole issue of the matter, that hath been spoken be­fore, either of thy particular end, or of the Majestie, bounty, and justice of God; and of the account he wil demand of thee. Also of the punishment or re­ward, laid up for thee. All this is spo­ken to this end, that thou wouldest fi­nally resolve what thou shouldest doe; and not to pass over thy t me in care­less negligence, as many doe: never [Page 76] [...] [Page 77] [...] [Page 80] spying their owne errour, untill it be too late to amend it. For the love of God, then (deare brother) and for the love that thou bearest to thine owne soule, shake off this dangerous security, which flesh and blood is wont to lull men in; and make some earnest reso­lution, for looking for thy soule in the life to come, remember often that wor­thy sentence; This life is but a moment of time, whereof all eternity of life, or death to come dependeth. If it be a moment, and a moment of so great im­portance, how is it past over by world­ly men, with so little care as it is? And if all this thatc hath been said (gentle Reader) will not prevaile with thee, little hope is there, that any other will doe thee good. Wherefore here I end, beseeching our Lord God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, which was content to pay his own blood, for the purchasing this noble inheritance unto us, give us his holy grace, to esteeme of it as the great waight of the matter requireth; and not by negligence to lose our portions therein.

Of the choise of Religion.

VAriety in any thing disturbeth the mind, and leaves it waving in a du­bious trouble; and then, how easie is it, to sway the mind to either side? But a­mong all the diversities that wee meet with, none troubles us more, then those that are of Religion. Tis rare to finde two Kingdoms one; as if every Nati­on had (if not a God, yet at least) a way to God by it selfe. This stumbles the unsetled soule: that not knowing which way to take, without danger of erring, sticks to none; so dyes, ere he doe that for which he was made to live, the ser­vice of the true Almighty.

We are borne as men set down in the middest of a Wood: circled round with severall voyces calling us. At first we see not, which will lead us the right way out: So divided in our selves, we sit still, and follow none, remaining blind in a flat Atheisme; which strickes deep at the Foundation, both of our own, & the whole worlds happiness. Tis true, if we let our dimmed understanding search in these varieties (which yet is [Page 80] the onely meanes that we have in our selves, to do it with) we shall certainly lose our selves in our windings; there being in every of them, some thing to beleeve, above that reason which leads us to the search.

Reason gives us the Annatomy of things, and illustrates with a great deale of plaineness, all the waies that shee goes; but her line is too short to reach the depths of Religion: Religion car­ries a confutation along with it: and with a high hand of soveragnity, awes the inquisitive tongue of nature: and when shee would sometimes murmur privately, she will not let her speake; Reason like a milde Prince, is content to shew his subjects the causes of his com­mands, and rule; Religion with a high­er straine of Majestie, bids doe it, with­out inquiring further then the bare command, which without doubt, is a meanes of procuring mighty reverence. What we know not, we reverently ad­mire; what we doe know, is in some sort subject to the triumphs of the soul, that hath discovered it: and this not knowing, makes us not able to judge. Every one tells us, his own is the truest, [Page 81] and there is none, I thinke, but hath been sealed with the blood of some, nor can I see, how we may more then pro­probably, prove any; they being all set in such heights, as they are not sub­ject to the demonstrations of reason.

And as wee may easier say, what a soule is not, then what it is: so we may more easily disproove a Religi­on for false, then proove it for one that is true. There being in the world farre more error then truth. Yet is there be­sides, another misery, neere as great as this, and that is, that we cannot be our owne chousers, but must take it upon trust from others. Are we not oft, be­for we can discerne the true, brought up and grounded in the false, suckng Heresie with our milke in childhood? Nay, when we come to yeares of abler judgement, wherein the mind is grown up compleate man; we examine not the soundness, but retaine it meerely, be­cause our Fathers taught it us: what a lamentable weakness is this in man, that he should build his eternall well­fare, on the approbation of, perhaps, a weake and ignorant Parent? Oh, why is our neglect, the most in that, wherein [Page 82] our care should be greatest? How few are there which fulfill that precept, of trying all things, and taking the best? Assuredly though Faith be above Rea­son, yet is there a reason to be given of our faith: he is a foole that beleeves he knows not what, nor why.

Among all the diversities of Religi­on, that the world holds, I think it may stand with most safety, to take that, which makes most for Gods glory, and mans quiet.

I confess, in all the Treatises of Reli­gion that I ever saw,; I find none that I should so soone follow, as that of the Church of England: I never found so sound foundation, so sure a direction for Religion, as the Song of the Angels at the birth of Christ. Glory be to God on high. There is the honour, the reve­rent obedience, and the admiration, and the adoration which we ought to give him. On earth peace. This is the effect of the former, working in the hearts of men, whereby the world ap­peares in his noblest beuty, being an in­tire chaine of inter-mutuall amity. And good will towards men. This is Gods mercy, to reconcile man to himselfe af­ter [Page 83] his fearfull dissertion of his maker.

Search all Religions the world through, and you will find none, that ascribes so much to God, nor that con­stitutes so firm a love among men, as does the establisht Doctrine of the Pro­testant Church among us. All other, either detract, from God, or infringe the peace of men.

The Jewes in their Talmod say, be­fore God made this, he made many other worlds, and mard them again, to keepe himself from idleness.

The Turkes in their Alcaron, bring him in discoursing with the Angels, and they telling him, of things which before he knew not: and after they make him sweare by Mahomets pen and lines, and by Figs and Olives.

The Papists portray him as an old man, and by this meanes dis-deifie him, derogating also, from his Royalty, by their odious interposing of merits; and for the society of men, what bloody tenents do they all hold? as he de­serves not the name of Rabby, that hates not his enemy to death. That 'tis no sin to reven [...]e injuries: that 'tis meritorious to kill an Heritike, with [Page 84] whom no faith is to be kept, even to the ungluing of the whole worlds frame, contexted only, by comerse, and contracts.

What abhor'd barbarisme, did Seli­nus leave in precept to his Successour Soliman? which though I am not cer­tain, they were ratified by their Mufties. I am sure they are practiced by the In­heritors of the Empire. By this taste learn to detest them all.

Think not thy kindreds murther ill, tis none,
By thy slain brothers, to secure thy Throne.
This is the way, how kingly names may be,
In fast, and from distructive ter­rors free.

In other Religions of the Heathen, what fond opinions have they held of their gods? reviling with unseemly threats; whē their affaires have thwar­ted them: as if allowing them the name, they would conserve the Numen to themselves: In their sacrifices, how bucherly cruell? as if (as tis said of [Page 85] them) they thought by inhumanity to appease the wrath of an offended Dei­ty. The Religion which we now pro­fess doth establish all in another strain; what makes more for Gods glory? what more for the mutuall love of man, then the Gospel? all our abilities of good we offer to God, as the Foun­tain from whence they streame. Can the day be light, and that light not come from the Sun? can a Clock go without a waight to move it? or a keeper to set it? as for man, it teaches him to tread on Cotton, milds his wil­der temper, and learnes him in his pati­ence, to affect his enemies, and for that which doth partake on both: it makes just God, a friend to unjust man; with­out being unjust, either to himself or man.

Sure it could be no other then the invention of a Deity, to find out a way, how man that had justly made himselfe unhappy, should with a full satisfaction to exactest justice, be made again most happy. I would wish no man, that is able to trye, to take his Religion upon others words: but once resolved in it, [Page 86] 'tis dangerous to neglect, where we know we do owe a service. For

God neglected plentiously,
Plagued mournfull Ittaly.

And this before Horrace his time, when God is neglected of man, man shall be condemned of God; when man abridgeth God of his honour, God will shorten man of his happi­ness.

It cannot but be best to give all to him, of whom, whatsoever we have, we have received and we hold: I be­lieve it saftest, for to take that Religion, which most magnifies God, and makes most for the peaceable conversation of men. For as we cannot asscribe too much to him, to whom we owe more, then we can asscribe; So I think, the most splended estate of man, is that, which comes nearest to his first Crea­tion; wherein all things wrought toge­ther, in the pleasant imbracements of mutuall love and Concord.

That Divinity does not crosse nature so much as exceede it.

THey that are Divines without Phi­losophy, can hardly maintain the truth in their disputations: 'tis possi­ble they may have an infused faith, suf­ficient for themselves: but if they have not reason too, they will scarcely make others capable of their instruction: certainly, Divinity, and morallity are not so averse, but that they well may live together. For, if nature be rectified by Religion, Religion is strengthned a­gain by nature: And as some hold of fate, that there is nothing happens be­low, but is writ above in the Starrs, only we have not skill to find it: So I beleeve there is nothing in Religion that is con­trary to reason, if we knew it rightly. For conversation among men, and the true happiness of man, Philosophy hath agreed with Scripture.

Nay, I think I may also adde, for de­fining of God, except the Trinity, as neare as man can conceive him: how exact hath he made Justice? how busie to find out truth? how rightly directed [Page 88] love? exalting with much earnestness, all those graces, that are any way ami­able: He that seekes in Plato, shall find him, making God the solum sum­mum bonum. To which a pure, and ver­tuous life is the way. For defining God, my opinion is, that man, neither by divinity, nor Philosophy can, as they say, tell what he is. It is fitter for man to adore, and admire him, then in vain to study to comprehend him. God is for man to stand amazed, & wonder at.

The clogged and drossie soule, can never sound him, who is the unimagi­nable Fountain of spirits, and from whom all things by a gradnate deriva­tion, have their light, life, and being. In these things they agree. But I find three other things wherein Divinity overtoureth nature: In the Creation of the world, in the redemption of man, and in the way and rites, wherein God will be worshipped: In the Crea­tion of the world, no Philosophy, could ever reach at that, which Moses taught us. Here the Humanists were all at a stand, and far, all their conjectures, be­ing rather witty, and conceits, then true and reall. Some would have all things [Page 89] from fire, some from Ayre, some from water, some from earth, some from numbers, some from attomies, from simples some, and some from com­pounds. Aristottle came the nearest in finding out the truest materia prima; but because he could not believe this made of nothing, he is content to erre, and think it was eternall. Surely, his conceit was as far from reason as the other, his reason might have fled unto omnipotency, as well as to eternity: And so indeed when Philosophy hath gone as far as she is able, she ariveth at Almightinesse, and in that Abbi is lost, where not knowing the way, she go­eth but by guesse, and cannot tell when she is, or right, or wrong; yet is she rather subordinate, then contrary. Nature is not crosse, but runs into om­nipotency, and like a petty River, is swallowed in that bondles Main. For the redemption of man: Even the Scri­pture calles it a mystery, and all that humanity could ever reach of this, was only a flying to the generall name of mercy, by the urgins of the Conscience; They all knew they had failed and fal­len, their own bosomes would tell [Page 90] [...] [Page 91] [...] [Page 90] them thus: but the way how they might be restored, never fell into their heathen thoughts.

This was a worke that God declared onely to his own peculier: by the im­mediate revelation of his Word, & Will.

For the manner, how God would be worshipped, no Naturalist could ever finde it out, till he himself gave dire­ctions from his sacred Scripture. In the first Chapter to the Romans, St. Paul grants, That they may know God, through the visibilities of his works: but for their ignorance in this, he sayes: The wrath of God is revealed against them, because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but turned the glory of the incomparable God to the simi­litude of the Image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of foure-footed beasts, and of creeping things. And these three things the Scripture teacheth us, which else we could never have learned, from all the Books in the world. Thus we see for Morality, nature still is some­thing peart and vigorous. But in the things of God, it is confirmed that shee is thick sighted, and cannot see them. Can a Flye comprehend man upon the [Page 91] top of a Monarchy? no more can man comprehend God in the height of Om­n [...]potencie. There are as well misteries for Faith, as causes for reasons: This may guide me, when I have to deale with man: but in divine affaires, reason shall wait on Faith, and submit to her prerogative. The Conscience is great, but God is farre greater then it.

Of mans Imperfection..

OF my self what can I doe without the hazzard of erring? nay, what can I thinke? nay, what can I not doe, or not thinke? even my best business, and my best vacancy, are works of of­fence, and errour; uncomfortable con­stitution of man: that canst not but be bad, both in action and forbearance; corruption mixeth with our purest de­votions: and not to performe them, is neglect: When we think not of God at all, we are impious and ungratefull: when we doe, we are not able to think aright. Imperfection swaies in all the weake dispatches of the Palsied soul. If the Devill be absent, our owne fraile­ties are his tempting Deputies. If those forbeare, the meritorious world claps our cheeks, and fonds us to a cozening [Page 92] faile. So which way soever we turne, we are sure to be bitten with the one, or the other head of this Cerberus. To what can we intend our selves, wherein there is not a Devill to entrap us? If we pray, how he casts in wandring thoughts, or by our eyes, steale a­way our hearts, to some other object then God. If we heare he hath the same policie, and prejudicates our opi­nion with the man, or part of his do­ctrine. If we read, he perswades to let reason judge, as well as Faith: So mea­suring by a false rule, he would make us beleeve, Divinity is much short of what it shewes for. If we doe good works, he doth poyson them with Pha­raisisme, and make us by overvaluing lose them. If we doe ill, he encourages us to a continuance: and at last accuses us. If nothing, we neglect the good we should doe. If we sleep, he comes in dreames, and wantonneth the ill in­clining soule: If we wake, we mispend our time; or at best, doe good, not well. So by bad circumstances, poyson a well intended principall.

Even actions of necessitie, wee dis­patch not without a staine: We drinke [Page 93] to excess, and the drowning of the braine. We eat, not to satisfie nature, but to overcharge her: and to venerate the unbridled spirits.

As a Mill wheele is continually turnd round, and ever drenched with a new streame: so are wee alwaies hurried with successions of various sinnes. Like Arrowes shot in mighty windes, wee wander from the Bow that sent us. Sometimes we thinke we doe things well: but when they are past, we are sensible of the transgression. We pro­gress in the waies of vice, and are con­stant in nothing, but perpetuall offen­ding. You may see the thoughts of the whipping Satyrist how divine they are.

Nature is motive in the quest of ill,
Stated in mischiefe: all our ablest skill
Cannot know right from wrong: till wrong be done:
Fixt nature will to condem'd customs run
Ʋnchangeably: who to his sins can set
A certaine end? when hath he ever met
Blushes once from his hardned forehead throwne?
Who is it sins, and is content with one?

Surely there will not a man be found that is able to answer to these quaeries; Their soules have ceeled eyes, that can see nothing but perfection in their own labours. It is not to any man given absolutely, to be absolute.

I will not be too forward in censu­ring the workes of others; nor will I ever do any, that I will not submit to judgement, and correction: yet so, as I will be able, to give a reason, why I have ordered them as the world sees.

Of truth and bitternesse in jests.

JT is not good for a man to be too tart in his jests, bitterness is for seri­ous potions: not for healths of meeri­ment, and the jollities of a mirthfull feast. An offensive man is the Devils bellowes, wherewith he blowes up contentions and jarres.

But among all passages of this na­ture, I find none more galling than an offencive truth; for thereby we run in­to two great errors.

One is, we childe that in a loose laughter, which should be grave, and [Page 95] savour both of love and pitty. So we rub him with a poysoned oyle, which spreads the more for being put in such a fleeting suppleness.

The other is, we desend to particu­lars, and by that meanes, draw the whole Company to witness his dis­grace we break it on.

The Souldier is not noble, that makes himself sport, with the wounds of his own Companion. Whosoever will jest, should be like him that flou­rishes at a show: He may turne his weapon any way, but not any more, at one then at another.

In this case things like truth, are bet­ter then truth it self, nor is it lesse ill, then unsafe, to fling about this worm­wood of the braine: Some noses are too tender to indure the strength of the smell. And though there be many like tiled houses, that can admit a fal­ling spark, unwarm'd; yet some again, are covered with such light drye straw, that with the east touch they will kindle, and flame about your troubled eares: and when the house is on fire, it is no disputing, with how small a mat­ter it came: it will quickly proceede [Page 96] to mischief. Anger is but a step from rage, and that is wildfire, which will not be extinguished. I know, wise men are not too nimble at an injury: For, as with fire, the light stuffe, and rubbish, kindles sooner, then the solid, and more compacted; so anger sooner in­flames a foole, then a man composed in his resolutions. But we are not sure alwayes to meete discreete ones: nor can we hope it, while we our selves are otherwise, in giving the occasion.

Fooles are the greater number: wise men are like Timber trees in a wood, here and there one: and though they be most acceptable, to men, wise, like themselves, yet have they never more need of wisdom, then when they con­verse with the ringing elboes: who, like corrupt Ayre, require many Antidotes, to keepe us from being infected: But when they grow bitter to a wise man, we are then worse; for he sees further into the disgrace, and is able to harme us more.

Laughter should dimple the cheeke, not furrow the brow into rudgedness: The birth is then prodigious, when mischief is the child of mirth. All [Page 97] should have liberty to laugh at a jest, but if it throwes a disgrace upon one, like a crack of a string it makes a stop in the Musick. Flouts we may see pro­ceed from an inward contempt, and there is nothing cuts deeper in a ge­nerous minde then scorne. Nature at first makes us all equall, we are diffe­renced but by accident, and outwards; and I thinke it is a jealousie that she hath infused in man for the maintai­ning of her owne honour against ex­ternall causes, and though all have not wit to reject the Arrow, yet most have memory to retaine the offence; which they will be content to owne a while, that they may repay it both with more advantage and ease. 'Tis but an un­happy wit that stirs up enemies against the owner, a man may spit out his friend from his tongue, or laugh him into an enemy. Gall in mirth is an ill mixture, and sometimes truth is bit­ternesse: I would wish any man to be pleasingly merry, but let him beware he bring not truth on the stage like a want on with an edged weapon.

Of the uncertainty of life.

MIserable brevity, more miserable uncertainty of life; we are sure we cannot live long, and uncertaine that we shall live at all, and even while I am writing this, I am not sure my Pen shall end the sentence; our life is so short, that we cannot in it contem­plate what our selves are, and so un­certaine as we cannot say, We will re­solve to doe it. Silence was a full an­swer in that Philosopher, that being asked, What he thought of humane life, said, Nothing, turn'd him round and vanisht: like leaves on Trees, we are the sport of every puffe that blows, and with the least gust we may be sha­ken from our life and nutriment: We travell, we study, we thinke to desect the world with continuall searches, when while we are contriving but the nearest way to it, Age, and consumed yeares overtake us, and onely labour payes us the losses of our ill expended time: Death whiskes about the un­thoughtfull world, and with a Pega­sian speed f [...]yes upon unwearied man [Page 99] with the kick of his heele, or the dash of his foot, springing fountaine of teares of friends. If Nature had not made man an active Creature, that he should be delighted in imployment, nothing would convince him of more folly then the durance of some enter­prises that he takes in hand, for they are many times of such a future length as we cannot in reason hope to live till their conclusion comes. We build as though we laid foundations for eter­nity, and the expeditions we take in hand, are many times the length of three or foure lives. How many War­riers have expired in their expugnati­ons, leaving their breath in the places where they laid their Seige? Certain­ly, he that thinkes on lifes casualties, can neither be carelesse nor covetous: I confesse, we may live to the Spectacle and bearing-staffe, to the stooping Back, to the Snow, or the slacknesse of the declining Crowne, but how few are there that can unfold you a Diarie of so many leaves? More doe dye in the spring and summer of their yeares, then live [...]il autumne or their growned wint [...] Wh [...] [...] [Page 100] exhaust his very vitality for the hoar­ding up of fatall Gold, and shall then thinke how a haire, or fly, may snatch him in a moment from it, how it quells his laborious hope, and puts his posting [...]inde into a more safe and quiet pace: unlesse we were sure to injoy it, why should any man straine himselfe for more then is convenient? I will never care too much for that I am not sure to keepe, yet I know, should all men respect but their owne time, an age or two would finde the world in ruine. So that for such acti­ons men may plead their charity, that though they live not to injoy those things themselves, they shall yet be beneficiall to posterity: And I rather thinke this an instinct that God hath put in man for the conservation of things, then an intended good of the Author to his followers. Thus, as in propagation we are more beholden to the pleasure of our Parents, then their desire of having us: So in matters of the world and fortune, the aimes of our Predecessors for themselves have by the secret worke of providence cast benefits upon us; I will not altoge­ther [Page 101] blame him that I see begins things lasting, though they be vanities to him; because he knowes not who shall en­joy them, yet they will be things well fitted for some that shall succeede them: They that doe me good and know not of it, are causes of my bene­fit, though I doe not owe them my thankes; and I will rather blesse them as instruments, then condemne them as not intenders.

Of Reward and Service.

WHen it lights upon a worthy nature, there is nothing pro­cures a more faithfull service then the Masters liberality, nor is there any thing makes that appeare more then a true fidelity; they are each of other alternate Parents, begetting, and be­gotten; Certainly, if these were pra­ctised, great men need not so often change their followers, nor would the Patrons be abandoned by their o [...]d At­tendants; rewards are not given, but payed to servants that be good, and wise, nor ought that blood to be ac­counted lost, which is out-letted for a [Page 102] noble Master; worth will never faile to give desert her bayes. A liberall Master that loves his Servant well, is in some sort a god unto him, which may both give him blessings and protect him from danger. And beleeve it on the other side, a diligent and discreet servant is one of the best friends that a man can be blest withall; he can doe whatsoever a friend may, and will be commanded with lesser hazzard of loo­sing; nay, he may in a kinde challenge a glory above his Master, for though it be harder to play a Kings part well, then 'tis to act a Subjects, yet Natures inclination is much more bent to rule then obey, service being a condition which is not found in any Creatures of one kinde but man: Now if the questi­on be when men meet in these relati­ons, Who shall the first begin, the lot will surely fall upon the servant, for he is tyed in duty to be diligent, and that ever bindes without exception. The Lord is tyed but by his Honour, which is voluntary, and not compul­sive, liberality being a free adjection, and not a tye in his bargaine. 'Tis good sometimes for a Lord to use a servant [Page 103] like a friend, like a companion, but 'tis alwaies fit for a servant to pay him the reverence due to a Master: pride becomes neither the Commander, nor the commanded. Every Family is but a severalll plumbe of Feathers, the meanest is of the selfe same stuffe, on­ly he that made the plumbe was plea­sed to set the Lord highest: the power of commanding is rather politicall then from equall natute.

The service of man to man followed not the Creation, but the fall of man; and till Noah cursed his sonne, the name of servant is not read in Scripture; since there is no absolute freedome to be found below: Even Kings are but more splended Servants for the com­mon Body. There is a mutuality be­tween the Lord and Vassels. The Lord serves them of necessaries, and they him in pleasures, and conveniencies; vertue is the truest liberty, nor is he free that stoops to passions, nor he in bondage that serves a noble Master. When Demonax saw one cruell in the beating of a servant; Eye (sayes he) forbeare, least by the world your selfe be taken for the servant. And if [Page 104] we have any faith in Claudian we may beleeve: That,

He knowes no bondage whom a good King swayes,
For freedome never shines with clearer rayes,
Than when brave Princes reigne.

Imperiousnesse turnes that servant into a slave, which moderation makes as an humble speaking friend. Seneca be­gins an Epistle with rejoycing, that his friend lived familiar with his servant. Neither can have comfort where both are uncommunicable; I doe confesse the like countenance is not to be shewed to all; That which makes a wise man modest, makes a foole un­mannerly: 'Tis the saucy servant that causes the Lord to shrinke his descen­ding favours, of the two, pride is the more tollerable in a Master; The o­ther is preposterousnesse, which Sa­lomon saw the earth did groane for. Hadrian sent his inferiour servant a box on the eare for walking but be­tweene two Senators. As I would not serve to be admitted to nothing but to [Page 105] high commands, so I thinke, whoso­ever is rudely malepert blemishes the discretion of himselfe, and his Lord. As there ought to be equality, because Nature has made it; so there ought to be a difference, because For­tune has set it; yet cannot the di­stance of their fortunes be so much as their nearenesse in being men: no fate can fright away that likenesse.

Let not the Lord abuse his servant, for 'tis possible he may fall below him: Let not the servant neglect his Master, for he may be cast to a mea­ner condition: Let the servant deserve, and the Master recompence; and if they would both be noble, the best way is for those that be subject to for­get their services, and for those that are Commanders to remember them▪ So, each loving other for their gene­rous worthinesse, the world shall strew praises in both their paths. If the ser­vant suppose his lot be hard, let him think that service is nothing but the Free-mans calling, wherein while he is, he is bound to discharge himselfe well.

That all things have a a like Progression.

THere is the same method thorow all the world in generall, all things come to their height by de­grees: there they stay the least of time, then they decline as they rose, only mischiefe being more important, ruines at once what Nature hath been long a rearing. Thus the Poet sung the fall:

All that man holds hangs but by slender twine,
By sudden chance the strongest things decline.

Man may be kild in an instant, he cannot be made to live but by space of time in Conception: we are curdled to the fashion of a life by time and set successions, when all againe is lost, and in a moment of a minute gone. Plants, Fishes, Beasts, Birds, Men, all grow up by leasurely progressions: so Families, Provincies, States, Kingdomes, and Empires, have the same way of rise [Page 107] by steps: about the height they must stay a while, because there is a near­nesse to the middle on both sides, as they rise, and as they fall; otherwise their continuance in that top is but the very point of time, the present now, which now againe is gone; then they at best descend, but for the most part tumble. And that is true in the smal­lest particulars, is by taking a large view, the same in the distended barke. There were first Men, then Families, then Tribes, then Common-wealthes, then Kingdomes, Monarchies, Em­pires, which we finde have been the height of all worldly dignities: So we finde they have slid againe to decay. There was the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, the Roman; and surely the height of the worlds glory was in the dayes of the Roman Empire, and the height of that Empire in the dayes of Augustus; peace then gently brea­thed thorow the Universall. Learning was then in her fullest flourish, no age either before or since could present us with so many tow [...]ing ingenuities; and then, when the whole world was most like unto [...]od, in the sway of one [Page 108] Monarchie, when they saluted him by the title of Augustus; and they then like God began to rule, to be called Imperators. This I take it was the fulnesse of time, wherein God the Saviour of the world, vouchsafed by taking humane nature upon him, to descend into the world; And surely the consideration of such things as these are not unworthy our thoughts, though our faith be not bred, yet is it much confirmed by observing such like circumstances. But then may we thinke how small a time this Empire continued in this flourish, even the next Emperour Tiberius began to de­generate, Caligula more, Nero yet more then he, till it grew to be im­broyled, and dismembred to an abso­lute division; since, how has the Turke seized on the East, and the other on the West? How much is it sub-divi­ded by the deduction of France, Bri­taine, and Spaine? Some have also ob­served the sight of these Empires, how the first was nearest to the East, the next a degree further of, and so on in distant removalls, following the course of the Sunne: As beginning in the [Page 109] morning of the world, they would make a larger day by declining to­wards the West, where the Sun goes downe after his rising in the East. This may stand to the Southerne and We­sterne inhabitants of the world, but I know not how to the Northerne; for else how can that be said to rise any where which resteth no where, but is perpetuall in the speed of a Circular motion. For the time, it was when the world was within a very little aged foure thousand yeares, which I doe beleeve was much about the middle age of the world: though seeing there are promises that the latter dayes shall be shortned, we cannot expect the like extent of time after it, which we finde did goe before it: Nor can we thinke but that decay which ha­stens to the ruine of all lesser things will likewise be more speedy in this. If all things in the world decline faster by farre then they doe ascend, why should we not beleeve the world to doe so too? I know not what certaine grounds they ha [...]e that dares assume to fore-tell the particular time of the worlds conslagration, but surely in [Page 110] reason, and nature the end cannot be mightily distant: we have seene the infancy, the youth, the virillity, all past, nay, we have seene it well stept into yeares, and desolution, the most infallable premonitors of a declination. Some could beleeve it with lesse then this twenty nine yeares: Because, as the Floud destroyed the former world one thousand six hundred and fifty yeares after the first destroying Adam: so the latter world shall be consumed with Fire, one thousand six hundred fifty six yeares after the second saving Adam, which is Christ: But I dare not fix a certainty where God hath left the world in ignorance. The exact know­ledge of all things is in God only, but surely by Collections from Nature and Reason, man may helpe himselfe in likelihood, and probabilities. Why hath man an arguing and premedi­tating soule, if not to thinke on the course and causes of things, thereby to magnifie his Creator in them? I will often muse on such like theames: for, besides the pleasure I shall meet in knowing further, I shall finde my soule by admiration of these wonders [Page 111] to love both reason and the Deity bet­ter. As our admi [...]ing of things evill, guides us to a secret hate; so whatsoe­ver we doe applaud for goodnesse, cannot but cause some raise in our affe­ction.

Of Idlenesse.

THe idle man is the barranest piece of Earth in the Orbe, there is no Creature that hath life but is busied in some action for the benefit of the restlesse world, even the most vene­mous and ravinous things that are, have their commodities as well as their annoyances, and they are ever inga­ged in some action, which both pro­fiteth the world, and continues them in their natures courses; even the Ve­gitables wherein calme nature dwells, have their turnes and times in fructi­fying; They leafe, they flower, they seed, nay Creatures quite inanimate are, (some) the most laborious in their motion.

With what a cheerfull face the gol­den Sun chariates thorow the roun­ding Sky? How perpetuall is the [Page 112] maiden Moone in her just and horned mutations? The Fire, how restlesse in his quick and catching flames? In the Ayre, what trans-actions? And how fluctious are the salted waves? Nor is the teeming Earth weary after so ma­ny thousand yeares predictions; all which may tutor the Couch-stretched man, and raise the modest red in shew­ing thorow his unwasht face, that Idle­nesse is the most corrupting fly that can blow in any humane minde. That ignorance is the most miserable which knowes not what to doe; the idle man is like the dumbe Jack in a Virginall, while all the other dance out a wi­ning Musick; this like a member out of joynt, sullens the whole body with an ill disturbing lazinesse.

I doe not wonder to see some of our Gentry growne (well neare) the lewdest men of our Land, since they are many of them so mufled in an non­imployment. 'Tis action that keeps the Soule both sweet and sound, while lying still does rot it to an ord [...]'d noysomnesse.

Augustine imputes Esaus losse of the Blessing partly to his slothfulnesse, [Page 113] that had rather receive meat then seek it. Surely exercise is the fatting food of the Soule, without which shee growes lanke, and thinly parted. That the followers of great men are so much debauched, I beleeve to be want of imployment, for the Soule impati­ent of an absolute recesse for want of wholsome food of businesse, preyes upon the lewder actions; 'tis true, men learne to doe ill by doing what is next it, nothing: I beleeve Salomon meant the field of the sluggard, as well for the embleme of his minde, as the certaine index of his outward state; as the one is over-growne with thornes and bryers, so is the other with vices and innormities.

When one would bragge the bles­sings of the Roman State, that since Carthage was raz'd, and Greece sub­jected, they might now be happy, as having nothing to feare. Sayes the best Scipio, we now are most in dan­ger, for while we want businesse, and have no foe to awe us, we are ready to drowne in the mud of vice and slothfulnesse. How bright does the Soule grow with use of negotiation? [Page 114] With what proportioned sweetnesse does that Family flourish, where but one laborious guide steereth an order'd course.

When Cleanthes had laboured and got some Coyne, he shewes it to his companious, and tells them, that he now, if he will, can nourish another Cleanthes. Beleeve it, industry is ne­ver wholly unfruitfull, if it bring not joy with the in-comming profit, it will yet banish mischiefe from thy bu­sied gates. There is a kinde of good Angell waiting upon diligence, that ever carries a Lawrell in her hand to crowne her.

Fortune they said of old should not be prayed unto, but with hands in motion. The bosom'd fist beckons the approach of Poverty, and leaves be­sides, the noble head ungarded; but the lifted arme does frighten want, and is ever a shield to that noble di­rector. How unworthy was that man of the world that never did ought, but only liv'd, and dy'd? Though Epami­nondus was severe, he was yet exem­plary; when he found a Souldier sleep­ing in his Watch, and ran him thorow [Page 115] with his Sword, as if he would bring the two brothers, Death and Sleep to a meeting; and when he was blam'd for that as cruelty, he said, He did but leave him as he found him, dead. It is none of the meanest happinesse to have a minde that loves a vertuous ex­ercise, 'tis duly rising to blessednesse and contentation.

They are idle Divines that are not heavened in their lives above the un­studious man, every one shall smell of that he is busied in; As those that stirre amongst perfumes and spices, shall when they are gone, have still a grate­full odour with them: So they that turne the leaves of the worthy Wri­ter, cannot but retaine a smack of their long-lived Author. They con­verse with vertues soule, which he that writ did spread upon his lasting paper, every good line adds sinewes to the vertuous minde; and withall, hells that vice which would be spring­ing in it.

That I my selfe have liberty to doe any thing, I account it from the favou­ring Heavens, that I have a minde sometimes inclining to use that liberty [Page 116] well; I thinke I may without osten­tation be thankfull for it, as a bounty of the Deity: Sure I should be mise­rable if I did not love this businesse in this my vacancy. I am glad of that lea­sure that gives me leasure to imploy my selfe; if I should not grow better for it, yet this benefit I am sure would accrew me, I should both keep my selfe from worse, and not have time to entertaine the Devill in.

Of the triall of Faith and Friendship.

FAith and Friendship are seldome tryed but in extreames: To finde friends when we have no need of them, and to want them when we have, are both alike and common. In prosperity who will not professe to love a man? In adversity, how few will shew it, that they doe it indeed? When we are happy in the spring-tide of abundance, and the rising floud of plenty, then the world will be our servant, then all men will flock about us with bared heads, with bended bo­dies, and protesting tongues: but when these pleasing waters fall to eb­bing, [Page 117] when wealth but shifteth to another stand, then men looke upon us at a distance, and stiffen themselves as if they were in Armour, least (if they should comply us) they should get a wound in the close. Adversity is like Penelopes night, which undoes all that the day did weave; 'tis a misery, that the knowledge of such a blessed­nesse as a friend is, can hardly be with­out some sad misfortune; for we can never thorowly try him but in the kick of malignant chance; and till we have tryed him, our knowledge can be called but by the name of hope. What a pitifull plight is poore distempered man in, when he can neither be happy without a friend, nor yet know him to be a true friend without his being unhappy? Our fortunes, and our selves, are things so closely linked, that we know not which is the cause of the love that we finde, when these two shall part, we may then discover to which of them affection will make winge; when they are covied toge­ther we know not which is in pursuit; when they rise and breake, we shall then see which is aimed at. I confesse, [Page 118] he is happy that findes a true friend in extremity, but he is happier that find­eth not extremity wherein to try his friend: Thus the tryall of friendship is, by finding what others will doe for us. But the tryall of faith is, by find­ing what we will doe for God; to trust him for estate, when we have the evidence in our Iron Chest, is easie, and not thankes worthy; but to de­pend upon him for what we cannot see, as 'tis more hard for man to doe, so 'tis more acceptable to God if it be done; for in that act we make confes­sion of his Deity. We know not in the flowes of our contentednesse what we our selves are, or how we could neglect our selves, to follow God commanding us.

All men will be Peters in their brag­ing tongues, and most men will be Pe­ters in their base denials, but few men will be Peters in their quick repen­tance. When we are well, we sweare we will not leave him in our greatest sicknesse; but when our sicknesse comes, we forget our vowes, and stay! when we meet with blowes that will force us, either to let goe our hold of [Page 119] God, or our selves, then we see to which our soules will cleave the fastest. And of this tryall excellent is the use we may make, if we finde our faith upon the test firme, it will be unto us a perpetuall banquet. If we finde it dastardly starting aside, knowing the weaknesse, we may strive to senew it with a stronger nerve, so that it ever is either the assurance of our happi­nesse, or the way whereby we may finde it; without this confidence in a power that is able alwaies to aide us, we wander both in trouble and doubt. Infidelity is the cause of all our woes, the ground of all our sins; not trusting God, we discontent our selves with feares, and solicitations; and to cure these we run into prohibited paths. Unworthy earthen worme, that can thinke God of so unable a nature, as he will suffer such to want, as with a dutifull indeavour doe depend upon him

It is not usuall with man to be so base, and canst thou beleeve that that most Heroicall, and Omnipotent infi­nitenesse of his, will abridge a follower of such poore toyes, as the accoutre­ments [Page 120] of this life are? Can a Deity be inhumane, or can he that graspes the unemptied provisions of the world in his hands, be a niggard to his Sonnes, unlesse he sees it for their good and benefit? Nay, couldest thou that rea­dest this (whosoever thou art) if thou haddest but a Sereptine Widdowes Cruce of Gold, couldest thou let a di­ligent and affectionate servant that ever waited on thee want necessaries? Couldest thou endure to see him sha­med, in disgracefull raggs? nipt to the benumming with the Icie Thumes of Winter, complaining for want of sustinance, or neglected in time of sickness? I appeale to thy in­ward and more noble acknowledge­ment; I know thou couldst not. O perverse thought of perverted man, and wilt thou yet imagine thou canst want such things as those from so un­bounden a bounty as he is? Serve him, and but beleeve, and upon my soule he will never faile thee for what is most convenient. O my God, my Re­fuge, my Altar, and my soules Anker, I begge that I may but serve thee, and depend upon thee; I need not begge [Page 121] supply. To the other two thou givest without asking, thou knowest for my selfe my soules wishes are not for a vast abundance: If ever I should wish a plenty, it should be for my friends, not me: I care not to abound in a­bounding, and I am perswaded I shall never want, nor necessaries, nor con­veniencies: Let me finde a heart duti­full, and my faith upon the tryall sted­fast, and I am sure these will be ground enough for sufficient happiness while I live here.

Of Censure.

TIs the easiest part to censure, or to contradict a truth, for truth is but one, and seeming truths are many, and few workes are performed without errours: No man can write six lines but there may be something one may carpe at, if he be disposed to cavill▪ Opinions are as various as false, judge­ment is from every tongue a severall. Men thinke by censuring to be ac­counted wise, but in my conceit there is nothing layes forth more of the foole; for this you may ever observe [Page 122] they that know least censure most And this I beleeve to be a reason, why men of precise lives are often rash in this extravagancy; their retirednesse keeps them ignorant in the course of businesse, if they weighed the imper­fections of humanity, they would breath lesse condemnation. Igno­rance gives disparagement a louder tongue than knowledge does; wise men had rather know then tell, fre­quent dispraises are at the best but the faults of uncharitable wit; any Clown may see the furrow is but crooked, but where is the man that can plough me a straight one? The best workes are but a kinde of Messalany, the cleanest Corne will not be without some soyle, no, not after often winnowing: there is a tincture of corruption that dyes even all mortality. I would wish men in workes of others to examine two things before they judge, whether it be more good than ill, and whether they themselves could at first have per­formed it better: If it be most good, we doe amisse for some errours to condemne the whole; who will cast away the whole body of the Beast be­cause [Page 123] it inheld the Guts and Ordure? As man is not judged good or bad for one action, or the fewest number, but as he is most in generall: So, in workes we should weigh the generality, and according to that, censure. If it be ra­ther good than ill, I thinke he deserves some praise, for raising Nature above her ordinary flight: Nothing in this world can be framed so intirely per­fect, but that it shall have in it some delinquencies, to argue more were in the compriser; if it were not so it were not from Nature, but the immediate Deity. The next, if we had never seene that frame, whether or no we thinke we could have mended it. To espy the inconveniences of a house built is easie, but to lay the plot at first well, is matter of more repute, and speakes the praise of a good con­triver. The crooked lines help better to shew the streight; Judgement is more certaine by the eye then in the fancy, surer in things done then in those that are but in cogitation. If we finde our selves able to correct a Copy, and not to produce an Originall, yet dare to deprave, we shew more Cri­ticisme [Page 124] than ability: Seeing we should [...]ather magnifie him that hath gone beyond us, then condemne his worth f [...] a few failes.

Selfe exam [...]nation will make our [...]udgement charitable, 'tis from where there is no judgement that the heaviest [...]udgement comes. If we must needs [...]ensure, 'tis good to doe it as Suito­nius writes of the twelve Caesars, tell both their vertues and their vices un­partially, and leave the upshot to collection of the private minde: So shall we learne by hearing of the faults [...]o avoyd them, and by knowing the [...]ertues practise the like: Otherwise, we should rather praise a man for [...] little good, then brand him for [...] more of ill; we are full of faults by na­ture, we are good, not without our care and industry.

Let us never forget, but consider with good attention for what intent and purpose God created us, and thi [...] world for our sakes; and in placing us therein as Lords of the same: for no­thing made it selfe, so nothing was made for it selfe, nor to serve it selfe: The Heavens we see doe serve the [Page 125] Ayre, the Ayre serveth the Earth, the Earth serveth the Beasts, the Beasts serveth man: And then is the question, Who man was made to serve? for seeing he was not made by himselfe, it is not likely he was made to serve him­selfe, but his Creator, who created him and all things else for his use.

True faith is the ground of things hoped for, and the evidence of things that are not seene.

Prayer is an humble request made unto God in Christ, with the lively and feeling affection of the heart, faithfully beleeving to receive what we religi­ously desire.

Let a man never thinke to come to the Kingdom of glory except he enter in at the gates of grace.

Where truth is not invested, grace is not in the heart.

A gracious man is lovely to him­selfe, and sin makes him loathsome to his soule, and afraid of his condition.

Let us use our Profession as it should be, not to have an upper Gar­ment to cover a naughty heart, but to labour more and more to put off the old Man, and not to make Religion a [Page 126] cloke and vaile of Hypocrisie, for be­sides all the sinnes we have to make Religion serve our turnes, it makes our sinnes the greater.

When a mans Religion shall be a cover to his sinfull courses, that in­ [...]reases his sinne, and makes his sinnes abhominable.

A good Conscience is a Casket to keep Divine truths in, and when we have gotten soule-saving truths, let us keep them by a good Conscience.

When we doe any thing let us rea­son thus: Is this becomming my Reli­gion? And say thus to our selves; I should walke worthy of Christ, and as it becommeth the Gospell; for what is the ornament of a Christian but the graces he hath: All the beauty we have is, to be religious.

Many there be that can talke well, and discourse well, but for inward graces they never looke, nor regard: and it is this that upholds many Chri­stians: they see Religion is respected of those of whom they desire to be had in some esteeme, but God sees their Hypocrisie, and they shall have their reward.

What seasons Warre, but the hope of Peace? The troubles and Tempests at Sea, but the hope of the Haven? The labour and cost in sowing, but the expectation of Harvest? Shall not we much more indure a little labour here, for endlesse happinesse assured to us hereafter? this is much forgot.

But here is the pitty, men labour, sweat, taking paines, and travell here, spare no cost, and all this to goe to Hell: to heape up wrath against the day of wrath. The Devill has more servants in his barren and fruitlesse ser­vice, then God gets with all promises, and good things that he so liberally bestowes upon them.

Observe the good motions of Gods Spirit in thee, further them to the most advantage in thee, turne them to present practise, lose, nor delay them not, for else the Devill will steale them away from thee.

If we doe any good, the deed is Gods; if we will it, the will is Gods, and then we please God, when we will that which God wills, and not when we doe that which God wils not.

Wee ought to bee as thankfull to [Page 128] God, for any sinne he keeps us from, as for any good he causes us to perform, for there is not any sinne, that another hath committed, but if God had plea­sed, I might have committed it.

Light is a heavenly quallity. So is the Word of God, holy, pure, trans­forming godly men to its own like­ness; to be heavenly his bread is from heaven, his affections, desires, thoughts, indeavours, are heavenly, his way is upward, he is heavenly minded, while he is on earth, he is in heaven.

Light makes a thing ful of Evidence, all the world cannot perswade a man contrary to that he sees; so doth the Word of God discover to us, our e­states in grace, and so severely as all the world cannot shake the foundation of our Faith.

Therefore, if we desire to be lights, let us communicate, with the chiefest light: As the Sarres are ever in the presence of the Sunne, and from his light they receive theirs. Be sure thou placest thy selfe in Gods eye continu­ally; secondly, use the meanes, use the glasse of Gods Word, thou shalt not onely see thy estate therein, but by [Page 129] it thou shalt be transformed, into Gods Image; other glasses have no such power; like this mirrour of the Gospel: it makes us like God, because it hath the Spirit of God ever to ac­company with it: whence it is called the Word of light.

True patience is a fruit and effect of repentance, and humiliation for sin.

True patience is likewise the fruit of Faith.

True patience is a fruit of our obe­dience unto God, and of a heart sub­dued, and made able to yeeld unto God in all things; Yea, it is indeed, a chiefe part of our obedience unto him.

Patience perforce, as we call it, with­out all reference to the will of God, and in respect of our obedience unto him, deserveth not the name of true patience.

True patience will make a man so to depend, upon the will God, in all his afflictions, as he dares not ease him­selfe of his crosse by any unlawfull meanes, by any other way then such as the Lord h [...]th app [...]inted, or per­mitted him to u [...]e.

True patience, whereby we obedi­ently [Page 130] submit our selves to the will of God in our affections, will moderate our passions, and make us more meeke spirited, even towards men; yea to­wards such men, as have had any hand, or bin any instrument in our afflictions.

God finished the world in six dayes, and Christ finished his prayer he taught us, in six Petitions; that so the works which God formed for man, and the words which Christ framed for man may have a correspondency.

When we say, Hallowed be thy name, we meane not to make it holy; for it is holinesse it self: nor to make it more holy, for it is infinite it selfe: nor to keep it holy, for it is eternity it selfe; but to joyne with the Heavens, in de­claring his glory, and with the Firma­ment in shewing his handy-worke; as then onely hallowing his Name, when we name him only holy; and therein consisting our work of Sanctifying him, when in him we acknowledge our workes to be sanctified.

And indeed, if we marke this Peti­tion well, we shall finde a peculiar Majesty, an extraordinary prehemi­nence in it above all the other: for it is [Page 131] not onely the Primum mobile from which all the other have their moti­ons; but it is the Center also, to which all the other bend their motions: For, when we say, Thy kingdome come, it is but to come, that we may hallow Gods name; and when we say, Thy will be done, it is but this, that we hal­low Gods Name: and when we pray for daily bread, it is but to strengthen us, that we may hallow Gods Name▪ And when we say, Forgive us our tres­passes, it is but to cleanse us, that we may hallow Gods Name: And when we say, Leade us not into temptation, it is but to remore impediments, that we may hallow Gods Name. O Lord our God, how excellent is thy name in all the world.

Wherefore, O my Soule, doe thou by this Name of God, as David (in the 1 19 Psalm) doth by the Law of God, whereof he seemes jealous, and so loath to leave it, that the word is no sooner out of his mouth but he snatch­eth it in againe; and there is not so short a sentence in all this long Psalm, but the Law of God is a word in it. And so doe thou by the Name of God, let it not onely evermore be in thy [Page 132] mouth, but evermore be in thy heart; that thou make it not a common name, but keep it holy: For if thou take it not in vaine to Gods dishonour, thou shalt be sure not to take it in vaine to thine owne benefit, for God will plen­tifully ble [...]se it, and the next newes thou shalt heare of, will be the com­ming of his kingdome.

When we say the Petition, Thy [...]ingdome come, the meaning is, that God by his Spirit would so rule over us, that our spirits may wholly be ru­led by him; and that his Kingdome of Grace may so come unto us, that we may come at last to his Kingdome of glory.

In some the world governes, and he who is Prince of this world, the Devill, and this government is a very tyranny, the people here are not subjects, but slaves, they have fetters on all their faculties; and if they doe not feele them, it is because they are past fee­ling. The ayre of this place is only Foggs, and Mists, which both blinde theis eyes, and infect their spirits, and makes it their Paradice to be wallowing in puddle. He is no true Prince, but [Page 133] an usurper, and therefore rules all by force, and falshood. He takes upon him to be their Pilate, launcheth them out into the maine, and then leaves them to stormes and tempests; and their Haven is to split against the rocks. So here is no being for thee my Soul, thou hadst need to make haste hence, and to seek thee out some better har­bour. In some the flesh governes, and they which be Ladies of the flesh, Pride, and Lust; and this government is a very Anarchie; every base fancy hath an even sway with noble reason: wisedome here is not justified of her Children, they speake the Language of Canaan, but they are all Natives of Sodome. Their eyes are sealed up, yet their flight is only downe hill, for they are travelling to the bottomlesse Pit: So this, O my Soul, is no place for thee neither, no resting for thee here▪ seeing there is no rest, but all in mo­tion, and all motion here is commoti­on. In some the Spirit governes, and he who is Father of Spirits, God him­selfe: and this government is a perfect Kingdome. He hath Majesty for his Crowne, Mercy for his Seat, and Ju­stice [Page 134] for his Scepter: He hath Wisdom for his Councellor, Almightinesse for his Guard, and Eternity for his date: He hath Heaven for his Pallace, the Earth for his Foot-stoole, and Hell for his Prison: He hath Laws to which Nature assents, and Reason subscribes, that doe not fetter us, but free us: for by them Nature gets the wings of Grace, and transcends the Earth: Reason gets the eyes of Faith, and ascends up to Heaven: He hath a yoke indeed, but it is easie: a burthen, but it is light: his reward is with him, and his work before him. He is established in his Soveraignty, not by his Subjects election of him, but by his election of his Subjects: not as raising himselfe to a higher title, but an humbling him­selfe to a lower Calling: and as not re­ceiving it from a Predecessor who is before all, so never leaving it to a Suc­cessor who is after all.

This is the place where my Soul shall dwell, here will I pitch my Ta­bernacle: Only, O Lord, let me be ta­ken into the number of thy Subjects, and indue me with the priviledges of thy Kingdome, and I will freely and [Page 135] faithfully serve thee for ever. Other Lords besides thee have heretofore ru­led us, but now we will remember thee only, and only thy name.

When we make this Petition to God that his Kingdom may come, we should do well to remember a Petition which God makes to us; My Sonne, give me thine heart: for unlesse we give God our hearts, whither do we think this Kingdom should come? For if it come to the ears, as often times it makes offer at the hearing of Gods Word, it findes that a thorow-faire which lyes open on every side, and no fit place to make a residence in, and therefore commonly goes away as it came, and makes no stay there. And if it come to the eyes, as sometimes it doth at the sight of Gods workes, it findes them not able to stay long open, but must have their windows shut in, and so are apt to keep it out: or if they stand open, they are apt to let in va­nity, which this Kingdom likes not, and therefore cannot abide to abide there neither, but vanish away. And indeed, these are the out places, this Kingdom loves to be within us, as [Page 136] Christ saith: The kingdome of God is within you. And we have no place with­in us fit to make a seat of a Kingdom but only our heart, and this indeed hath no back doore to let it out, as the eare hath: nor no Percullis to keep it out, as the eye hath: but it hath a large entrance, and a boundless circuit, and therefore most fit to give this King­dom entertainment. And yet as fit as it is, God will not have it unless we give it him: and he will not have it so neither, unless we give it him all: for it is against his nature to have a Part­ner, and he cannot abide to heare of Moyties, either he must have all, or he hath nothing at all: To be a peice for God, and a peice for the world, is to be all for the world. To conclude, God at all, is to exclude him from all: Wherefore O my Soul, mangle not thy heart in giving it to God, but give it him all, and think thy selfe happy that he will take it all: For the more he possesseth it, the freer he ma­keth it: the more he dwelleth in it, the fairer he builds it: the more he reigneth in it, the more richer he a­dornes it. O my Lord God, that thou [Page 137] wouldest come and dwell in my heart as the owner of it, and reigne in my heart as the King of it: I should not then envie the Pallaces of Princes, nor the Kingdoms of the Earih: seeing I should have within my selfe a Pallace and a Kingdome, not only to equall but far to exceed them.

O what happinesse will this King­dom bring, and wherein doth happi­nesse consist? If in dainty fare? we shall all eat and drink with Christ at his Fathers Table. If in fine cloathes? we shall all be cloathed, in long white Robes. If in curious musick? we shall heare the quire of Angels continually singing. If in knowledge? we shall know, as we are know. If in dominion? we shall judge the Angels. If in joy? our joy shall be full, and none shall be able to take it from us. If in glorious sights? we shall see the blessed face of God, which is the glory of all sights, and the sight of all glory.

O happy Kingdom, ô happy com­ming, ô happy we to whom it shall come; that we can never be attentive enough in praying, never earnest e­nough in longing that this Kingdome may come.

The next is, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. It is a fearefull thing to make this Petition to God; if we doe not withall make it a rule to our selves, that all the actions of our life may be squared by it.

And therefore, O my soule, if mat­ter of profit be offered to thee, lay it to this Rule; whether it be to the will of God, or no: for if it be not, what great advantage soever it make shew of, account it but losse. If matter of honour be offered unto thee, lay it to this Rule, whether it be according to the will of God, or no: for if it be not, what great advancement soever it pretend, account it but shame. If mat­ter of pleasure be offered unto thee, lay it to this Rule, whether it be accor­ding to the will of God, or no: for if it be not, what pleasing suggestion soever it hath, account it but misery. It was conceived by Ahab, that it would be for his profit, to buy Naboths Vineyard; but when he would not lay it to this Rule, he paid for his pur­chase, with his bloud to doggs. It was pretended to Pharaoh, that it would be for his honour, to pursue the Israelites: [Page 139] but when he would not lay it to this Rule, he perished himselfe, and all his Host in the red Sea. It was suggested to Salomon, that it would be for his plea­sure, to entertaine the love of strange women: but when he would not lay it to this Rule; God laid it to his charge, both raising up adversaries a­gainst himselfe, and renting the King­dom from his Sonne to his servant. We must therefore endeavour to make it a Rule to our selves first, and then we may safely make it a Petition to God: otherwise, if we say, Thy will be done, and intend not to doe it: we shall but turne the Petition from active to pas­sive: Gods will into his anger, and draw it downe to be done upon us in earth, as it was done upon the Angels in heaven.

Many, can say this Petition devout­ly enough, so long as they understand it not; but when they are tould how Christ said it, Not my will, but thy will; and thereby come to know, that for praying to doe Gods will, is to pray a­gainst doing their owne wills, against their unlawfull lusts, against their co­vetous desires, against their ambitious [Page 140] designes, against their malicious pra­ctises, and such like. Then it stricks cold to their hearts. Their tongues cleave to the roofe of their mouthes: and they could wish the Petition might ne­ver be made.

But he that understands it, and yet stands to it; he that speaks it, more from his heart, then with his tongue; he that is resolved to say it, because he saith as he is resolved, this man makes it a prayer for himselfe, and an Hallelu­jah to God, and shall reape the fruit of both in the due time: to the other it proves but as the Sacrifice of fooles: and if it make a noise, it is but as the tinkling of a Cymball. Musick at which God stops his eares, onely the Devill makes himself meery.

O Lord God, let it be the pleasure of thy will, that I may take pleasure in doing thy will: for unlesse it be thy pleasure, it can never be my will: for though we may be good followers, yet we are no good beginners, & therfore, though it please thee to say, turne un­to me, and I will turne unto you: as though we should begin first, yet we [Page 141] are faine to returne it back, and say: Turne us O Lord, and, we shall be tur­ned. For we, God knowes, are too un­weldy to turne us of our selves, it must be done by strong hand, and none hath strength enough to doe it: but thou O God, who art the God of strength.

And if we would strive as much with the Angels for holinesse, as we doe with men for place, and dignity, we should finde God as ready to take our parts, as he was to take our Nature, and by such a help, of such a helper, we should be able to make good our saying: Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.

O Lord God, If I cannot be like thee in holinesse: yet let me be like the Angels in obedience, and if I can­not attaine to neither, let me at least, aspire to both, and what I want in po­wer and performance, make me to supply with Vowes and Payers.

And here now seemes a fit place to sit down and wonder, at the unspeak­able love, and bounty of God, expressed towards us, in these three Petitions; for [Page 152] by the first, we are assured of eternity: by the second of a Kingdom: by the third, to be like the Angels: or if we like it better to say; by the first, we are in­formed what we shall be as Angels: by the second, what we shall have, a King­dom; by the third, what we shall do; the will of God.

These are blessings worthy to come from a heavenly Father; these are re­wards, which worthily become a bountifull Master.

And now, let the swine (flesh and blood) go murmure against God, that he is a hard Father, and a bad Master: and that there is no profit in serving him, because he gives them not the mire of the world to wallow in: as though he had no other way to ex­presse his favours, but by clods of earth.

But do thou, ô my soule, meditate upon these Petitions, and in them, upon these blessings, and in these, upon the infinit love, and bounty of God: and think how happy thou art to have such a Father: how much thou art bound to love such a Master: and think not much to love him with thy whole [Page 153] heart: seeing he hath blessings to be­stow upon thee, which cannot enter in­to thy heart.

Think not much to submit thy self wholly to his will, seeing, his will is, to give thee beauty for ashes: the oyle of gladnesse for mourning, that we shall ever find it, a most happy thing for us to say, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. But why do we say, thy will be done in earth, which is done in earth already: and that by creatures, which one would think we are never able to do it: He hath set bounds to the Sea, which it must not passe, and the Sea as raging as it is, and provoked by all the Rivers of the earth, that come running into it, as it were for the nonce, to make it passe its bounds, yet keepes it self precisely within the limits: He hath appointed the earth to stand still, and not for to move, and the earth, though but hanging in the Ayre, and nothing at all to hang upon: yet offers not so much, as once to stir: He hath charged the Trees to bring forth fruit, and the Trees, though almost even kil­led with could of winter, and threat­ned with the tempests of the spring, [Page 144] yet takes heart to come forth, and seeme to rejoyce, they can do as they are bidden.

The very beasts, though never so wild and savage, yet observe the pro­perties of their kind, and none of them incroach upon the qualities of an­other.

And why all this? but only to do the will of God, and that which may seeme more strange: The flowers come out of the durty earth, and yet how neate and cleane, out of the unsavory earth, and yet how fresh and fragrant? out of the sower earth, and yet how mellifluous and sweete? out of the duskish earth, and yet how orient, and virmillion? out of the unshapen earth, and yet in what dainty shapes? in what curious formes? in what inamilings? and diapers of beauty? as if the earth would show, that for all her being cur­sed, she had somthing yet of Paradice left. And why all this? but only to do the will of God. And why then should there be complaining, as though the will of God, were not done in earth.

O wretched man, it is only thy self, that is out of tune, in this harmony. [Page 145] Man that should be best, is of all the worst; that should be cleanest, is of all the fowlest; that should be most beau­tifull, is of all the most deformed; most full of graces, yet most void of grace; of most understanding to direct his will, yet of least will to follow the di­rection of understanding. Man indued with celestiall qualities, yet leaves them all, to incroach upon the qualities of every beast: upon the obcaenity of swine in drunkennesse, upon the gree­dinesse of Cormorants, in covetousness, upon the craftinesse of Foxes in fraud: upon the cruelty of Tygers, in malice, as if he would strive to exceede his first parents in transgressing, and try whe­ther God had any greater punish­ment left, then casting out of Paradice. That if Christ would have served us in our kind, and as we deserve, he needed not to have gone for paterns to hea­ven, he might have found paterns, good enough for us amongst the mea­nest Creatures of the earth.

And as he tould the Pharisees, that the Queen of the South, should rise up in judgement against them, so he might have told us, the flowers, the [Page 146] trees, the beasts, shall all rise up in judgement against man. That we have more need to say. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a Fountain of teares, that I might weep day and night.

Then after trees and beasts have done Gods will, to come after them all, but with only saying. Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.

O God so frame our wills, that they may be fit links, to be fastned to this Chaine of thy will, that as one link drawn on, drawes on another: so our spirits being guided by thy grace, may be guides to our flesh, and that our flesh, as living by thee, may live to thee, knowing, that though the way of thy will may be troublesome, in the going, yet the journey shall be comfor­table in the ending; and though it be the secret of thy will, that in doing it, we shall meete with many crosses, yet it is the purpose of thy will, that by do­ing it, we shall purchase many joyes, and therefore can have no cause to make us a fraid to say. Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.

And now having thought these Pe­titions to be for such most proper, let us conforme our selves according to them. When we say, Hallowed be thy Name, let us lift up the voyces of our hearts, as if we were now joyning with the Angels, in singing their Hal­lelujah. When we say, Thy Kingdome come, let us raise our thoughts, as now offering to set our hands to the Petition of the Saints in heaven: When we say, Thy will be done, let us fix our minds wholly as in the solemnity of dedicating of our selves to God, with all the faithfull upon earth. When we say, Give us this day our daily bread, let us humble our selves, as being in state of other Creatures, and are glad to joyne with them in their common suit. When we say, Forgive us our trespasses, let us think our selves en­rolled in the company of Penitents, and as the greatest sinners chosen speakesmen to present their supplica­tion. And when we say, Leade us not into temptation, let us acknowledge our selves in the number and weaknesse of little Children, and are glad to joyne with them in crying for help; that the [Page 148] Angell of Infants, which alwaies be­hold the face of God, may be im­ployed by him to work our delive­rance.

But what should be the cause that in the three latter Petitions we seem to be altogether for our selves, as ap­peares by our saying, Give us, Forgive us, Deliver us; but in the three for­mer there is no mention of us at all, as though we were no parties to them at all? Is it not that we are, or ought to be more jealous of Gods honour, than carefull of our owne benefits? And therefore when we say, Hallowed be thy name, we dare not say, of us, least we should make God a Musick of too few voyces. And when we say, Thy Kingdome come, we dare not say, to us, least we should assigne his King­dom too small a Territory. And when we say, Thy will be done, we dare not say, by us, least we should stint God in the number of his servants. But we say, Hallowed be thy name, and stop there, that so no mouth may be stop­ped from hallowing it. We say, Thy Kingdome come, but name not whi­ther, that so it may be intended to [Page 149] come every whither. We say, Thy will be done in earth, but tell not by whom in earth, that so it may be done by all in earth.

Many would desire to know, and prize it at a great rate, how the [...] might get the knowledge to be assured when their sins are forgiven, and yet it is a knowledge easily to be had, and every man may tell himselfe; for if thou findest in thy heart a loathing of thy former sins, and a resolution to continue in amendment of life, and specially a fixed charity to forgive o­thers; thou mayest be assured thou art in the favour of God, and all thy sins past are forgiven thee; but if thou continuest to take delight in thy for­mer sins, and art unresolved in refor­ming thy courses; and especially, if thou findest in thy self a desire of revenge, and art implacable towards others, thou mayest then be assured thou art still in the state of Gods displeasure, thy sins are not yet forgiven; for, these things are not only the signes, but the certaine effects of Gods for­giving of us, when we confesse, and be grieved for our owne trespasses to [Page 150] him, and are compassionate and relen­ting to the trespasses of others to us.

There is no deed so acceptable to God, as to take all thankfully which he laies upon us; for not to murmure, or not to cast our eyes upon vanity, are in themselves any great matters; but when a man murmures not in adver­sity, which gives so many causes of im­patience; or when a man casts not his eyes upon vanity in prosperity, which ministers so many occasions of alure­ments, this is a man after Gods owne heart; and this is one to whom the Devill may say, as he said to Christ, Art thou come to torment us before the time? but the difficulty of doing this, and the danger of not doing this, gives us all just cause to say, Leade us not in­to temptation.

O my Soul, if thou canst not be strong enough to resist sinne, be hum­ble to confesse it with contrition; dis­solve into teares for that which is past, resolve upon amendment in that which is to come; and if thou canst do this, thou shalt finde it the true balme of Gilead, and though thy sins were as red as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow.

And more, to speak of hallowing Gods name: it may not be unfit to con­sider the three first Petitions, as they are only hallowings, or Hallelujas: for observing the difference of the songs, we shall perceive the difference of the singers.

The first when we say, Hallowed be thy name, is the Hallelujah of Angels, and we may truly say, is the song of songs: not only, because it is sung with­out ceassing: but because it shall be sung without ending, and is both the cause and the effect, both the signe and the substance of our eternal happiness.

The second (when we say) Thy Kingdom come, is the Hallelujah, of the [...]aints in Heaven, and is an asspiring to the first: but an asspiring in a very near degree, near in distance, though remote in existence: for they are in assurance of attaining, and do but tarry the time, but the time will not be, till time will not be.

The third, (when we say, Thy will be done) is the Hallelujah of the Saints on earth: and is an asspiring to the se­cond; but an asspiring in a remote de­gree: for while they are in the world, [Page 152] they are subject to all the rubs of the world: while they live in the flesh, to all infirmities of the flesh: yet they have a confidence, though no assu­rance, or an assurance, though but in confidence: and therefore are remisse, but not dejected, bould, but not pre­sumptuous, not out of heart, not out of feare.

And may it not here be observed, that as we begin in saying, Hallowed be thy name, so we end in acting the hal­lowing it: and our first and last words, are all for his glory, who is the first and the last: And these three Attri­butes, seeme to answer to our three first Petitions: Hallowed be thy name, for thine is the glory: Thy Kingdom come, for thine is the Kingdom: Thy will be done, for thine is the power.

And we seeme to sing, not only in the first, an unisone with the Angels: but in all the three, the same ditty with the Saints in Heaven, for their Hallelujah is, Thou art worthy, ô Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: and ours here, Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory: That having sung the song of Saints and Angels here on the [Page 153] earth: we may be admitted, into the quiere of Saints and Angels in Heaven, and sing eternally, thou art worthy, ô Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.

And now, ô my soule, consider how perfect a prayer this is: where are the Petitions of men and Angels, the Peti­tions of the Church millitant, and tri­umphant, the Petitions of innocent In­phants, penitent sinners, and faithfull beleevers: And then hearken what mu­sick it makes in Gods eares, how plea­sing, where the songs are all of Christs own setting, how mellodious; where they are all such sweet singers: how lowd, where there are so many voyces: especially, when this quire of singers, which hitherto have sung their parts apa [...]t, shall all joyne their voyces to­gether in that sacred Antheme. For thine is the Kingdome, the power, and the glory. And so end all, in that which [...]s the end of all: and is it selfe with­ [...]ut end; the glo [...]y of God.

The children of God, begotten a [Page 154] new by the Holy Ghost, can never fall from being like him that begat them: and therefore doe they much disho­nour God, who in words doe professe they are his Sonnes, and yet in their actions, they resemble the Image of Sathan.

It were a great blemish to a godly man, to be wrongfully suspected to be the father of a wicked Son; much more is God dishonoured, by such as would seeme to be, but are not of his seed. For they that are of God, in­deed, cannot but in some measure re­semble him, in being righteous, as he is righteous: that is, by casting off the old man, which is corrupt, tho­row deceivable lusts, and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousnesse and true ho­linesse.

This casting off, and putting on, doth teach us, that there is in us some­thing that befits us not to retaine, if we will be the true Sonnes of God: not by reputation amongst men, but by imputation in Christ. What is to he cast off, and what is to be put on, is plainely expressed in the Apostles [Page 155] words, namely, to cast off all decei­vable lusts, which includeth all things forbidden, and to put on righteous­nesse, which implyeth a spirituall in­dowment of all heavenly graces; a­mong which, none is of that singular force, vertue, and effect, as is, zealous, and hearty prayer, in faith unfained; which none can effectually make, but such as have put on this new man. For the old man knoweth not how to pray, being clothed with corruption: and blinded with the mist of igno­rance.

The new man onely shaped in ho­linesse, knoweth to whom, when, in whom, for what, and how to pray: all which circumstances, are duely to be considered in Prayer: and yet none of these, doth the naturall man; that is, the olde man truely appre­hend: and consequently, the lip-la­bour that he pretendeth, to bestow in prayer, is not onely, not profitable, but sinfull.

To pray unto God with the lips, for any corporall benefit, and yet to have t [...]e eye of the heart, fixed in confi­dence [Page 156] upon naturall meanes, is a kind of spirituall Adultery.

For, what man is he, that having a wife, outwardly affable, using words of love unto him, and yet her heart set upon another man, will not think her a faithlesse and unchaste wife? And is God lesse jealous thinke wee? who craveth our hearts, when we shall worship him in words, and outward shew of works? when our Conscien­ces cannot but tell us, that we aske that of God, which we inwardly be­lieve more probably, and possible to be obtained, by meanes without him.

Is not this a fasilfying of our faith, and dissembling of our prayers? Is not this a manifest breach of the Law, that sayes, we shall have no other Gods, but JEHOVAH. As also, not to take his Name in vaine, as they doe, which call upon him with their lips, their hearts farre from him.

God requireth not our prayers, be­cause he hath neede of them; as a ser­vice beneficiall, or profitable unto him; but because we have need of his graces, and blessings, and that he [Page 157] loveth us, in his beloved Sonne, he willeth us to pray unto him for every spirituall and corporall blessing: And although it be true, that he knowes whereof we have need: yet in com­mon reason, he that wanteth, and dis­daines to ask, he is not worthy to re­ceive that whereof he hath need.

And heavily it will befall them, who having received so many blessings at Gods hands, are no whit the more moved to love him: And so many threats for their unbeliefe, and in­gratitude, and yet not moved to feare him.

Will they not be drawne, then from their deceiveable vanities? Will they rather then for lesse then an Aple, or a messe of Pottage, disclaime their Birth-rights and lose that Kingdom, and Crowne, so dearely purchased for the faithfull.

Nay, were losse of it all, it were not so horrible: If a man missing the good promised, could avoid the danger threatned, it would something mittigate the dispairing Conscience, and ease the troubled minde. If af­ter [Page 158] death, there were neither life nor death: If a man might have no be­ing, nor feele, nor endure torment; though he had no comfort, it were a kinde of ease to the carnall minde, that knoweth no other heaven, then the profits and pleasures of this life. Nor feareth other Hell, then the mi­sery, penury, and afflictions of the same.

But the case is otherwise: They that misse the Kingdome of heaven, by not beleeving the promises of God, by not praying unto God, for dire­ction in the course of their lives, may assure themselves, though they seeme not yet to beleeve it: that there remaines for them, and attends them, the god of darknesse, and the Angel of Horrour, and of Tor­ment.

But possesse thou me, my sweet Soveraigne, and raigne in my body, by obedience to thy Lawes: and in my soule, by confidence in thy pro­mises.

Frame my tongue to praise thee, my knees to reverence thee, my [Page 159] strength to serve thee, my desires to covet thee, and my heart to love and imbrace thee. And as thou hast for­med me according to thine Image, so frame me according to thy will. And as thou hast made me a vessell by the stampe of thy creation, to serve thee here on Earth, so make me a vessell of Honour by the priviledge of thy grace to serve thee in thy ever­lasting Kingdom, sweet Fa­ther I beseech thee.

Comfortable Sentences for such that are afflicted.

COme and let us returne unto the Lord, for he hath torne, and he w [...]ll heale us, he hath smitten, and he will bind us up, Hos. 6.1.

I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right, and that thou in faithfulnesse hast afflicted me, Psal. 119.75.

We have had the fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; spall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of our Spirits, and live; for they verily for a few dayes did chastice us after their owne pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partak [...]rs of h [...] holinesse, Heb. 29.10.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithfull, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation make way to escape, that yee may be able to beare it, 1 Cor. 2.3.

For his anger endureth but a moment, in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy commeth in the mor­ning, Psal. 30.5.

He will not alwaies chide, neither will h [...] keep his anger for ever, Psal. 103.9.

For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, least the righteous put forth their hands to iniquity, Psal. 125.3.

For yet a very little while, and mine anger shall cease in their destruction, Esa 10.25.

Come my people, enter into thy Cham­bers, and shut the doores about thee, hide thy selfe as it were for a little moment, untill the indignation be over-past, Esay. 26.20.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but in great mercies will I gather thee; in a little wrath I hid my selfe from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindnesse will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer, Esay 54.7, 8.

For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be alwaies wroth, for the Spirit should faile before me, and the Soules which I have made, Esay 57.16.

For I am mercifull, saith the Lord thy [Page 162] redeemer, and I will not keepe anger for ever, Jer. 3.12.

So will I make my fury towards the [...] to rest, and my jealousie shall depart fro [...] thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no [...] more angry, Ezek. 16.42.

Who is a God like unto thee, that par­dons the iniquity, and passeth by the trans­gressions of the remnant of his heritage; he retaineth not his anger for ever, be­cause he delighteth in mercy, Micha [...] 7.18.

For our light afflictions which is but for a moment, worketh for us a farre more exceeding and eternall waight of glory, 2 Cor. 4.17.

For like as a Father pittyeth his Chil­dren, so the Lord pittyeth them that feare him: for he knoweth our frame, he re­membreth we are but dust. Psalme 103.13.14.

Sing O heavens, and be joyfull O earth, and breake forth into singing O moun­taines, for God hath comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted: but Sion, said the Lord, hath forgotten me: Can a woman forget her sucking Childe that she should not have compassion on him? yea, they may forget: yet will not I forget thee, Esa 49.13, 14, 15.

For the needy shall not alwaies be for­ [...]otten, the expectation of the poore shall [...]ot perish for ever, Psal. 9.18.

In all their afflictions he was afflicted, [...]nd the Angell of his presence, saved them [...] his love, and in his pitty he redeemed [...]hem, and he bare them, and he carried [...]hem all the dayes of old, Esay 63.9.

Behold, happy is the man whom God [...]orrecteth, therefore despise not the cha­ [...]tening of the Almighty, Job 5.17.

Blessed is the man whom thou chaste­ [...]est, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy [...]aw, that thou mayest give him rest for [...]he dayes of adversity, untill the pit be [...]igged for the wicked: whom he loveth [...]e correcteth, even as the Father the Son [...] whom he delighteth; therefore despise [...]ot the chastening of the Lord, neither [...]e weary of his correction; for it is good [...]or me that I have been afflicted, that I [...]ight learne thy Statutes, Psalme 94. [...]2, 13.

Who fed thee in the Wildernesse with Manna, which thy Fathers knew not, that [...]e might humble thee, and that he might [...]rove thee, to doe thee good at thy latter [...]nd, Deut. 8.16.

For we know, that all things worke [Page 164] together for good to them that love Go [...] to them that are called according to [...] purpose, Rom. 8.28.

My brethren, count it all joy when y [...] fall into divers temptations, knowing th [...] that the trying of your faith worketh p [...] tienee, James 2.3.

Though he fall, he shall not be utter cast downe, for the Lord upholdeth h [...] with his hand, Psal, 37.24.

God will lighten our darknesse, he w [...] keep the feet of his Saints, he will not fo [...] sake them, nor forget their complaint, th [...] they shall not be confounded, in time [...] trouble he will hide them, Psal. 18.28.

His Angels shall pitch about them, [...] will heale them, and take all sicknes [...] from them, they shall not feare their enemies, but will make their enemies afra [...] of them, be avenged of their enemies: [...] will repent him of the evill pronounced [...] gainst them. They cry, and the Lo [...] heareth them, and delivereth them [...] of all their troubles. Many are the tro [...] bles of the righteous, but the Lord del [...] vereth them out of all, Psal. 34.7.

But the salvation of the righteous is the Lord, he is their strength in the ti [...] of trouble, and the Lord shall help the [...] [Page 165] and deliver them, he will deliver them [...]om the wicked, and save them, because [...]ey trust in him, Psal. 37.39, 40.

Comfortable Sentences concerning earthly Blessings.

FIrst, seek the Kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and all good things [...]all be added unto you, Mat. 6.33.

O taste, and see, that the Lord is good, [...]lessed is the man that trusteth in him. O [...]eare the Lord yee his Saints, for there is [...]o want to them that feare him. The Li­ [...]ns doe lack and suffer hunger, but they [...]hat seeke the Lord lack nothing, Psal. 4.8, 9, 10.

The Lord is a sunne and shield, and no [...]ood thing will he with-hold from them [...]hat walke uprightly, Psal. 84.12.

Trust in the Lord, and doe good, so [...]halt thou dwell in the Land, and verily [...]hou shalt be fed: delight thy selfe in [...]he Lord, and he will give thee thy de­ [...]ires of thy heart: Commit thy way unto [...]he Lord, trust also in him, and he shall [...]ring it to passe: For the meeke shall [Page 166] inherit the earth, and shall delight them selves in their abundance of peace: a little that a righteous man hath, is bette [...] then the riches of many wicked, Psal. 37 3, 4, 5.

O how great is thy goodnesse, whic [...] thou hast laid up for them that feare thee which thou hast wrought for them tha [...] trust in thee before the sonnes of men, Psal. 31.21.

The Lord is good, and his tender mer­cies is over all his workes, for seeing god­linesse hath the promises of this life, as wel [...] as of the life to come. He will dwell with his and not forsake them, that he will love and blesse his people, that he will be their God, will rejoyce over them to doe them good, will compasse them with fa­vour as with a shield: will keepe his Co­venant with them, that he will set peace in their borders, and prosper them in all they goe about, Psal. 145.9.

My Sonne, forget not my Law, but let thine heart keepe my Commandements; for length of days, and long life, and peace shall they adde to thee: length of dayes is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy [Page 167] is every one that retaineth her, Prov. 3 [...], 2, 16.

If thou wilt diligently hearken to the [...]oyce of the Lord thy God, and wilt doe [...]hat which is right in his sight, and wilt give eare to his Commandements, and keepe all his Statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I put upon the Aegyptians, for I am the Lord that healeth thee, Exod. 15.26.

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of thine increase: so shall thy Barnes be filled with plenty, and thy Presses shall burst with new wine, Prov, 3.9.16.

He that soweth bountifully shall reape bountifully and God is able to make all grace to abound towards you, that yee al­waies having all sufficiency in all things, may attaine to every good worke: 2 Cor. 9.6.8.

So shalt thou finde favour, and good understanding in the sight of God and man, Prov. 3.4.

And I will give peace in the Land, and [...]ee shall lye downe, and none shall make [...]ou afraid, Levit, 26.6.

Behold, my servants shall rejoyce, but yee shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants [Page 168] shall sing for joy of heart, but yee shall cry for sorrow of heart, Esay 65.13, 14.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee: Peace b [...] within thy walls, and prosperity withi [...] thy pallaces, Psal. 122.6, 7.

Then shalt thou walke in thy way safe­ly, and thy foote shall not stumble, Prov. 3.23.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, and the righteous run unto it, and is safe, Prov. 18.10.

But who so hearkneth unto me shall dwell safely, and be quiet from the feare of evill, Prov. 1.33.

He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea in seven there shall no evill touch thee: in famine he shall redeeme thee from death, and in warre from the power of the sword: thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue, neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it com­meth, Job 5.19, 20, 21.

He will honour those that honour him, and bring forth their righteousnesse as the light, and their judgement as the noone day, Prov.

For I will have respect unto you, and make you faithfull, and multiply, and [Page 169] establish my Covenant with you. Levit. 26.9.

And he will love thee, and blesse thee, and multiply thee, he will also blesse the fruit of thy wombe, and the fruit of thy Land, thy corne, and thy wine, and thine Oyle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheepe. Deut. 7.13.

Thou shalt know that thy seede shall be great, and thy off-spring as the grasse of the earth. Job 5.25.

The Lord shall increase you more, and more, you and your Children. Psal. 115.14.

Thy wife shall be as the fruitfull vine by the sides of thy house; thy Children like Olive plants round about thy Table; yea thou shalt see thy Childrens Children, and peace upon Izrael. Psal. 128.3.6.

I have been young, and now am old, yet have not seen the righteous forsa­ken, nor his seed, begging bread; he is e­ver mercifull, and lendeth, and his seed is blessed. Psai. 37.25.26.

The just man walketh in his integrity, his Children are blessed after him. Prov. 20.7.

I will power my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessi [...]g upon thy off-spring, and they shall spring up among t [...]e grasse as willowes by the water courses. Esay. 44.3.4.

A [...]d their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their off-spring among the people; All that see them shall ac­knowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath b [...]essed. Esay. 61.6.

I will give them one heart, and o [...]e way, that they may heare me for ever, for the good of them and of their Chil­d [...]en. Jer. 32. [...]9.

The Children of thy Servants shall continue, and their se [...]d shall be [...]sta­blished before thee. [...]sal. 102.28.

Though h [...]nd joyn in hand, the wick­ed shall not b [...] un [...]shed, but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. Prov. 11.21.

In the feare of the Lord is strong con­fidence, and his Children shall have a place of refuge, Prov. 14.26.

All thy Children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy Children. Esay 54.13.

For God will shew mercy to them that love him, and keepe his Comman­d ments.

Meditations and Re­solutions.

PRide is the greatest enemy to reason, and discretion the greatest opposite to pride; for whiles wisdom makes Art the Axe of nature, pride makes nature the Axe of Art: The wise man shapes his apparell to his body; the proud man shapes his body by his apparell: Tis no marvel then, if he know not himself, when he is not to day like him he was yesterday.

And lesse marvell, if good men will not know him, when he forgets him­self, and all goodnesse.

I should feare whilst I thus change my shape, least my maker should change his opinion, and finding me [Page 172] not like him he made me, reject me as none of his making.

I would any day put off the cause of my apparell, but not every day put on new fashioned apparell; I see great reason to be ashamed of my pride, but no reason to be proud of my shame.

Hipocricy desires to seeme good, rather then be so: honesty desires to be good, rather then seeing so: The worldlings purchased reputation by the sale of desert: wise men, by desert with the hazard of reputation.

I would do much to heare well, more to deserve well, and rather lose opinion then merit.

It shall more joy me that I know my self what I am, then it shall grieve me to heare what others report me. I had rather deserve well without praise, then do ill with comendati­on.

There is nothing more certain then death, nothing more uncertain then the time of dying.

I will therefore be prepared for that at all times, which may come at any time, must come at one time or [Page 173] another: I shall not hasten my death by being still ready, but sweeten it: It makes me not dye the sooner, but bet­ter. Had I not more confidence in the truth of my Saviour, then in the tradi­tions of men: poverty might stagger my faith, and bring my thoughts into a perplexed purgatory, wherein are the poor blessed, if pardon shall be only by expence? Or how is it hard for a rich man to enter into Heaven, if mony may buy out the past, present, and future sins of himself, his deceassed and succeeding progenie? It Heaven be thus sould, what been fit has my poverty, by the prise alreapy paid? I find no happinesse in roome on earth. Tis happinesse for me to have roome in Heaven.

Nature bids me love my self, and hate all that hurt me; Reason bids me love my friends, and hate those that envy me; Religion bids love all, and hate none; Nature sheweth care, Rea­son wit, Religion love, Nature may induce me, Reason perswade me, but Religion shall rule me.

I will hearken to Nature in much, to Reason in more, to Religion in all.

Nature shall make me carefull of my self, but hurtfull to none; Reason shall make me wise for my self, but harmlesse to all; Religion shall make me loving to all, but not carelesse of my self: I may heare the former, I will harken only to the latter; I subscribe to somthings in all, to all things in Religion.

A large promise without perfor­mance, is like a false fire to a great peece, which dischargeth a good ex­pectation, with a bad report: I will fore-think what I will promise, that I may promise but what I will do: Thus whilst my words are led by my thoughts, and followed by my acti­ons, I shall be carefull in my promis [...]s, and just in their performance: I had rather do, and not promise, then pro­mise, and not do.

I cannot s [...]e two Sawyers work at a pit, but they put me in mind of the Pharisee, and the Pub [...]ican, the one casts his eye upward, whiles his acti­ons tend to the p [...] infernall

The other standing with a dejected [Page 175] countenance, whiles his hands and heart move upward.

'Tis not a shame to make shew of our profession, so we truly professe, what we make shew of. But of the two, I had rather be good and not seeme so, then seem good, and not be so: The Publican went home to his house, rather justified then the Pha­risee.

When I see leave [...] drop from their Trees in the beginning of Autumne: just such think I, is the friendship of the world; whiles the sap of mainte­nance lasts, my friends swarme in a­bundance, but in the winter of my need, they leave me naked; He is a hap­py man that hath a true friend at his need; but he is more truly happy that hath no need of his friend.

When I see the heavenly Sun, bu­ried under earth, in the evening of the day, and in the morning to find a re­surrection to his glory, why (think I) may not the Sonnes of Heaven buri­ed in the earth, in the evening of their day [...], expect the morning of their glorious resurrection? Each night is [Page 176] but the past dayes funerall, and the morning his resurrection.

Why then should our funerall sleepe be other then our sleepe at night? why should we not as well awake, to our resurrection, as in the morning? I see the night is rather an intermission of day, then a deprivation; and death rather borrowes our life of us, then robs us of it: since then the glory of the Sun, finds a resurrection, why should not the Sons of glory? since a dead man may live again, I will not so much looke for an end of my life as waite for the coming of my change.

A bad great one, is a great bad one; for the greatnesse of an evill man, makes the mans evill the greater.

It is the unhappy priviledge of au­thority, not so much to act, as teach wickednesse, and by a liberall cruelty, to make the offendors sin not more his own, then others.

Each fault in a leader is not so much a crime, as a rule for error. And their vices are made, (if not warrants yet) presidents for evill.

To sin by prescription, is as usuall as [Page 177] damnable, and men run post in their journey, when they go to the Devill with authority: when then the vices of the rulers of others, are made the rule for vises to others, the offences of all great ones, must needes be the greatest of all offences; either then let me be great in goodnesse, or else it were good for me to be without greatnesse.

My own sins are to heavy for me: why then should I load my self with others offences.

There is no security in evill society, where the good are often made worse, the bad seldom better: for it is the peevish industry of wickednesse, to find, or make a fellow, 'tis like they will be birds of a fether that use to flock together: For such doth their conversation make us, as they are with whom we use to converse.

I cannot be certain, no [...] to meete with ill company, but I will be care­full not to keep with evill company. I would willingly sort my self with such as shall teach, or learn goodnesse. And if my Companion cannot make me better, nor I him good: I will ra­ther [Page 178] leave him ill, then he shall make me worse.

It i [...] the apish nature of many for to follow rather example, then pre­cepts, but it would be the saffest course of all, to learn rather by pre­cept then example. For there is ma­ny a good Divine, that ca [...]not learn his own teaching. It is easier to say, this do, th [...] to do it: when therefore I see good Doctrine with an evill li [...]e, I may pitty the one, but I will practice the other. The good sayings belong to all, the evill actions only to their Au­thours.

I see corruption so largely rewar­ded, that I doubt not, but I should thrive in the world, could I get but a dispensation of my Conscience for the liberty of trading.

A little flattery would get me a great deal of favour, and I could buy a world of this worlds love, with the sale of this little trifle honesty.

Were this world my home, I might perhaps be trading; but alas, these Marchandize yeild lesse then nothing in heaven; I would willingly be at [Page 179] quiet with the world, but rather at p [...]ce with my Co [...]science; the love of men is good, whilst it lasteth; the love of God is better, being ever­lasting.

Let me trade then for those heaven­ly Marchandize: If I find those othe [...] in my way, they are a great deal more the [...] I looke for, and (within little) more then I care for.

As faith is the evide [...]ce of things not seen, so things that are seen, are the perfecting of faith.

I believe a tree will be green when I see him leafelesse in winter. I know he is green, when I see him flourishing in Summer. It was a fault in Thomas, not to believe till he did see. It were a madnesse in him not to believe when he did see. Beleefe m [...]y times ex­ceedes Reason, not oppose it, and faith be often above sence, not against it.

Thus whiles fa [...]h doth ass [...] me, that I eat Christ effectually, sence must assure me, that I tast bread re­ally.

For thou [...]h I o [...]tentimes s [...]e not t [...]ese thi [...]gs th [...]t I beli [...]v [...]; yet I m st [Page 180] still believe those things that I see.

The Crosse is but a signe of Christ crucified. Christ crucified the sub­stance of the Crosse, the signe without the substance is as nothing: the sub­stance without the signe is all things. I hate not the signe, though I adore but the substance, I will not blaspheame the Crosse of Christ, I will not wor­ship but Christ crucified, I will take up my Crosse, I will love my Crosse, I will beare my Crosse, I will imb [...]ace my Crosse, yet not adore my Crosse, All knees shall bend in reference to his name, mine never bow in Idolatry to his Image.

As the giver of all things, so each receiver loveth a chearefull giver; for a bargen is valued by the worth of the thing bought, but a guift, by the mind of the party giving, which made the widdowes mite of more worth, then the riches of superfluity. I see then, he gives not best, that gives most, but he gives most that gives best: If then I cannot give bountifully, yet I will give freely, and what I want in my hand, supply by my heart: he gives [Page 181] well that gives willingly.

When I see the Larkers day-net spread out in a faire morning, and himself whirling his artificiall moti­on; and obs [...]rves by the reflecting luster of the Sun, on the whirling in­strument, not only the merry Larke, and fearfull Pigion, are dazled, and drawn with admiration: but stowter birds of pray, the swift Merlin, and towring Hobby, are intised to stoope, and gazing on the outward forme; lose themselves.

Me thinks I see the Devills night-nets of intising Harlots fully paralleld, spread out for us; in the v [...]gor of our youth, which with rowling eyes, draw on the lustfulnesse of affection, and betray the wantonnesse of the heart, and wich their alluring glanses often make to stoope within the dan­ger of their fatall nets; not only the simple, and carelesse, but others also; men otherwise, wary and wise, who coming within the pull of the net, lye at the mercy of that mercilesse Fow­ler, to their certain destruction.

Hence, I resolve, when I see such [Page 182] glasses, to shun such motions, as assured that these Glass [...]s have Nets adjoyn­ing, those Nets a Fowler atten­ding, that Fowler a death prepa­red for me, then which I cannot dye a worse. I may by chance, I must of necessity, at some time come within their view; I will at no time come within their danger. I cannot well live in this world, nor at all in the better world, if I be caught in their fatall Nets.

As oft as I heare the Robin-red-breast chant it as cheerfully in Sep­tember, the beginning of Winter, as in March the approach of the Sum­mer: why should not we (thinke I) give as cheerfull ent [...]rtainment to the hoary Haires of ou [...] ages Win­ter, as to the Primroses of our youths spring; why not to the de­clining Sunne in adversity, as (like Persians) to the rising Sunne of prosperity; I am sent to the Ant to learne industry, to the Dove to learne innocencie, to the Serp [...]nt to learne wisdome; a [...]d why not to this Bird to l [...]arne Equanimity [Page 183] and patience, a [...] to keep the same teno [...] of my mind [...] q [...]etness, as well at the app [...]ac [...] of calami­tous Winter, as of the Spring of h [...]ppin [...]ss [...]? And since the Romans constanc [...]e is so commended, who changed not his countenanc [...] with his changed Fortunes; why sh [...]uld not I with a Christian resolution hold a steddy cou se in all weat [...]ers? and though I be [...]orced with crosse Winds [...]o shift my Sayles, and catch at side Winds, y [...]t skilfully to steare and keep on my course by the Cape of good hope, till I arrive at the haven of eternall happinesse.

And now to conclude, Medita­tion is a busie search in the Store-house of Fantasie, for some Ideas of matters to be cast in the moulds of resolution, into some formes of words, or actions; in which search when I have used my greatest di­ligence I finde this in conclusion▪ that to meditate on the best, is the best of Meditations; and a resolution to make a good end, is a good end of my resolutions.

A Morning Prayer.

O Most gracious God and lo­ving Father, we heartily thanke thee for all thy loving kindnesses so abun­dantly shewed upon us: for our Election, Creation, Redemption, mercifull Vocation, Justification, Sanctification, and continuall pre­servation, and for our assured hope of our Glorification in the world to come.

We praise thy gracious good­nesse for so mercifully preserving us this night past, and delivering us from all dangers both of soule and body, for that thou hast given us so sweet and comfortable rest, and hast brought us to the beginning of this day: And as thou hast safe­ly preserved us unto this present [Page 185] houre, from all dangers of this life; so we beseech thee to continue this thy favour towards us this day, and the whole course of our life; suf­fer us not by vaine alurements of this world to be drawne away in­to sinne and wickednesse: assist us with thy Grace and holy Spirit, that we spend not our times vainely, or idely, but that we may alwaies be diligently exercised in the duties of our Calling, to the benefit of our Brethren, and discharge of our Con­science: Grant that in all our con­sultations, words, and workes, we may ever have thee present before our eyes, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

An Evening Prayer.

O Most gracious Lord God and lo­ving Father, we heartily thanke thee for all thy mercies, blessings, benefits, and preservations, so abun­dantly shewed towards us. We doe [Page 186] praise thy glorious goodnesse for so mercifully preserving us this day past, and delivering us from all pe­rills and dangers both of body and soule, for prospering and preserving us in health and prosperity, for gi­ving us all things necessary for this present life, as health, food, and ap­parrell, and other convenient things needfull; this gracious goodnesse of thine we beseech thee, O Lord, to continue towards us for ever.

And here, O Lord God, we offer up unto thee our selves, and ours, our soules, our bodies; we recom­mend our lives, our meanes, and all we have unto thy gracious preserva­tion and protection, in assurance that that cannot perish which is committed unto thee; keep us this night in safety, and grant, good Lord, that our bodies may sleep, and ou [...] sou [...]es may watch for the commi [...]g of our Saviour thy Son Jesus Christ, tha [...] so our soules and bodies may be more apt, and able, to serve thee in that estate and Calling wherein thou hast thought good to place us; we [Page 187] doe confesse and acknowledge, O mercifull God, that we are most miserable and wicked sinners, as well by originall corruption of Na­ture, as by the course of our evill and naughty life; we have, and doe daily breake and transgresse thy most holy Law and Commandements, both in thought, word, and deed. By the meanes of this sinne and corruption, we doe continually deserve most just condemnation, and to be for ever cast out of thy presence; yet such is thy goodnesse towards us, thou wouldest not suffer us thus to perish in our sins, but hast sent thine owne deare Sonne Christ Jesus, to take up­on him whatsoever is due to us, and to reconcile and mak [...] us one with thee againe: In him therefore, and thorow him we come unto thee, be­seeching thee for his sake, that we feeli [...]g the griev [...]usnesse of our si [...]nes, and groaning under the bur­then of them, may finde the release and [...]ase of them, in that we through thy [...]y Spirit stedfastly bel [...]eve that Christ hath borne the burthen of [Page 188] them, even for us. Grant O Lord, that we being assured hereof in our conscience, may through thy holy Spirit, be renewed with more graces, and hate, detest, and abhorre all man­ner of sinne, and study to live in all things according to thy blessed Will during our whole life. Grant this O deare Father, for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.

A Prayer for remission of sins.

O Lord, glorious, ever-living, lo­ving, everlasting Father, I wretch­ed sinner presume once againe after my sinne to returne home unto thee, reque­sting, begging, praying, and desiring of thy heavenly Majesty that thou wil [...] look downe upon me; I confesse, were it not for the hope of thy mercy, an [...] the hold of thy comfort, and the renew­ing graces which sometimes I feele from thee, and that sweet taste and feeling of thy good gifts, and thy heavenly Word, I should sinke in despaire, for my sinne is alwaies before me; if I go, they [Page 189] follow me; if I run, they fly after me; if I look back, they stare upon me; if I go forward, they meet me; if I turne to the right hand, they terrifie me; if to the left hand, they torment me: If I look down to earth, Hell is ready to devour me; now have I no way but to look up to thee (Lord) be thou then hore rea­dy to receive me; help me good God, save me deare Father, succour me sweet Redeemer, assist me mercifull Creator, that my prayers may be so fervent, so zealous, so affectionate towards thee, that they may draw down thy mercies upon me; powre down thy blessings, shower down thy graces, open thy hand of mercy, restore joy and comfort to my heavie and laden soule, wash away my sins, wipe away mine iniquity, heale my infirmities, purge my wicked minde of all evill thoughts, pardon all misdeeds, and wicked dealings, renew the good Spirit of he [...]venly graces, restore the joyes of thy holy comsorts upon me: O Lord, let me have some feeling, some taste, some scent, some glimmering of thy glorious presence: Let me feele some comfort, finde some joy, have some rest; [Page 190] good Lord, let me be once truly renew­ed by thy grace, and setled in thy ser­vice, that I never slip, nor slide back but grant unto me most mercifull Fa­ther) a sure and setled dependance up­on thee; so that in all my wordt, work [...], and deeds, I may rejoyce in serving, fea­ring, and obeying thee; and that I may spend all the residue of my dayes truly serving thee, seeking to glorifie thy Name, and magnifie thy goodnesse unto me, so long as it shall please th [...]e to lend me breath to this f [...]aile body; And mer­cifull Father, favourably governe and guide, help, instruct, and teach me in thy wi [...]dom to magnifie thy holy Name; multiply and increa [...]e thy mercies on me, O Lord, preserve and prosp [...]r me in all my waies and works, and all about me; remember thy poore flock, build up thy Church, renew Sion governe, assist, and blesse all pain ull Preachers and Pastors of thy Word, teach them and us understanding, rihgtly to know thee, and truly to follow thee; awake my drowsie soule, defend it from evill ima­ginations, keep me in holy and heavenly meditations, grant me to observe thy [Page 191] waies, so that I may walke in piety, and peace: set my sinnes so before mine eyes, that when I look back on them, I may with sorrow weep, lament, and repent my time past, which hath been spent so wickedly, or unprofitably. O powerfull Preserver remember me, re­store me to joy and comfort, and hasten in time, thy salvation unto me. Draw my lingring soule, and it shall run after thee; turne me unto thee with all willi [...]gnesse, come thou neare unto me, g [...]d Lord, and d [...]clare and shew thy mercies on me; est [...]blish me in grace, excite me to good [...]sse: Give me grace that I may alwaies grow stronger and [...]ger, to walke before thee, weaker and we [...]ker to sinne, faithfull and [...]me in thy service. Grant this, deare G [...]d, and mercifull Father, for Christ Ie [...]us his sake, our Saviour and Re­de [...]mer. Amen.

A Prayer in time of Warre.

O Glorious Lord God, and ever­lasting Father, we intreat the [...] mercifully to looke downe upon us▪ and hearken unto our complaint [...] and desires, and grant we beseech thee our requests, O gracious Fa­ther, thou knowest nor sinnes and our iniquities are not hid from thee, they lye open to thy Judgements, yet we know that thy mercies are the cure of our miseries; and when w [...] fly to thee, thou drawest neare to us; we beseech thee now to be favoura­ble, and spare us for all our sinne [...] past, and be ready to deliver us from sinnes to come; looke down in mer­cy upon us, and as thou hast been ou [...] everlasting defence, so now defen [...] us from the rage of our enemies; go [...] in ond out O Lord before our Armies, before our Generalls, before ou [...] Fleets, and Commanders: And gran [...] we may be thy Souldiers, to fight un­der thy Banner; stirre up our hearts [Page 193] and strength against the enemy, de­fend thy afflicted Flock; remember we beseech thee the burthen of misery laid upon thy Church in this time, in these our Kingdomes, and elsewhere, and in thy due time restore them to their former glory. Settle our hearts and affections to regaine, and recover that which hath been lost, and grant that we seeing their double dealing may no longer trust to them which have no truth; they imagine mischief in their hearts, and are set on fire to doe ill; but breake thou the knot of their malice, lay open their plots, dis­cover their devices, weaken their Ar­mies, over-throw their Inventions, confound their Councels, and consume their numbers. O Lord, thou hast in times past made the Starres to fight in order, the Sun to stand still, the Seas to devoure, the Winds to overthrow thy enemies: So now, O Lord, cause these thy Creatures to assist, and help us, and our distressed Neighbours, that all the world may know, It is thou that fightest our Battels, and undertakest our cause.

Finally, O Lord, blesse we beseech thee, us, and every one of us in what we shall take in hand, for defence of thy Church, and Truth; blesse we in­treat thee our King and Parliament, our State and Clergy, our Commu­nalty; and give thy blessing unto us all; and last of all, blesse we beseech thee all the worthy Companies of Souldiers, in Cities, and all other pla­ces in the Land; blesse O Lord their inventions of Warre, and make them expert by their practises, prosper all their undertakings; so that all the world may know, that thou art the Guider of our Councells, and Leader of our Armies. Grant this deare Fa­ther, and all other good things unto us, for the good of the Church a­mongst us, and the reliefe of others by us, now and ever, for Christ Jesus sake our only Saviour and Redee­mer. Amen.

A Prayer for Gods protection of his Church in respect of the present troubles of it.

ALmighty God, the Lord of Hosts, and Governour of all things, whose power no Creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be mercifull to them that truly repent: Worke in us, and in all thy people, unfained and effectuall repentance, that what thou seest amisse in us, and amongst us, or in any parts of thy Church, may speedily and thorowly be reformed; that which is righteous and good in thy sight may be establi­shed and maintained, especially in this our Land, and other places professing thy Truth and Gospell; and in the meane time while we strive after that which may be most agreeable to thy holy Will, as it is revealed in thy holy Word; be mercifull unto us, and bring us on as thou seest it needfull, evermore supporting us in our most [Page 196] gracious Shepherd by thy staffe of comfort. And thou Sonne of David, that knowest the mercilesse condition of Satan, and cruell men, his cursed Instruments; we humbly beseech thee never to deliver us over into their power, but save, and defend us, and all thy people, evermore from the hands of all our enemies both bodily and ghostly: And more particularly at this time, we earnestly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, by the mediation of thy Sonne Jesus our only Mediator, to be mercifull to those that are joy­ned with us, or stand out for thy Truth, or any righteous Cause; and give that issue to the present troubles of thy Church as may make most for thy glory, the advancement of thy Truth, and Gospell, the reliefe of all thy distressed people, in all those parts of thy troubled Church, and for the establishing of truth and peace in this our Land.

May it please thee once to free all our Brethren from the dominion of that Mistery of Iniquity, as also still to shield and secure us, and all other pro­fessing [Page 197] thy Name, and Truth, from that cruell Faction, which, as if they delighted in bloud, have already spoy­led so many Nations.

Lord, thou only art the Catholick King, we can acknowledge no King over all the Earth but thy selfe, nor any Univers [...]ll Head over all thy Church but that only Arch-bishop of of our soules, thy Sonne Jesus our blessed Saviour, to whom all power is given both in Heaven and Earth.

Arise then thou Lord to whom the Kingdomes doe belong, and shew thy selfe, and let not the man of the Earth any longer exalt himselfe, least he be too proud, and least he ascribe to himselfe, or to his graven Images, or vaine Idols, the conquest that thou shalt see, and suffer over thy people, Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name be the praise; For the honour of thy Name arise before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Ma­nasses, before Great Britaine, Ireland, and other Countries that call upon thy Name; arise, and shew thy selfe for us, for on thee only doe we call: [Page 198] We call on thee to save us, and our Forces, and thy people now in more danger; how, and in what manner, and at what time fully to declare thy Salvation, we referre to thy heavenly wisedome; only in the meane time, that it may please thee to sanctifie, and save, to preser [...]e and provide for them and us, and all thine both in Field and City; Protect and defend, deliver us and ours at home, and abroad: And thou great Sheheard of Israel, be plea­sed to take downe more and more that Man of Sinne, that hath, and would exalt himselfe against thee; Asswage then the malice of those that are ene­mies to us, or to any of thy people, and evermore confound all their devices, that we being armed with thy de­fence, may ever more and more give praise to thee, which art the only Au­thor of our peace, and Giver of all victory. And all this good Lord for us, for them, and all thine, not for our merits, but for thy great Mercy sake, and for the Truth sake of thy gracious Promises in Jesus Christ our Lord, and only Advocate and Redee­mer. [Page 199] To whom with thee O Father, and the holy Spirit, be all praise and glory now and for ever-more. Amen.

A Prayer before Sermon.

O Most gracious God, assist me I humbly beseech thee in this my good purpose and zeale, and give me grace at this present time godly to enter into thy service: Deare Father, assist me with thy holy Spirit, and drive away all vain and idle cogitations out of my minde, that I may heare thy Word to my Soules comfort; grant that it may take deepe roote in my heart, and bring forth plen­tifully, to the honour of thy blessed Name, to the comfort of my Soule, and the good example of my Brethren, who seeing my good workes may glorifie thee my only Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.

A Prayer before the receiving of the Sacrament.

O Most sweet lover of all Mankinde, Lord and Saviour, I beseech thee for thy bitter Passion sake to remove [Page 200] from me all pride, envie, and detracti­on, wrath, malice, and impatience, and all other sicknesses and diseases of the Soule; and plant good Lord in my heart and minde true meeknesse, charity, temperance, and modesty, with all such other vertues and pre­servatives unto the Soule; And mor­tifie in me good Lord, all uncleane motions, carnall desires, and inordinate affections, and revive in me the love of vertues, and the perpetuall exer­cise thereof; so that at this time, and at all times I may worthily receive this holy and blessed Sacrament unto thine honour and glory, and my soules endlesse joy and comfort. Amen.

A Prayer after receiving of the Sacrament.

JN most humble and most hearty man­ner, with most due reverence I thank thee good Lord, most holy Father, and everlasting God; tha [...] by the bounty of thy mercifull grace wouldest vouchsafe thus to refresh and feed my Soule through faith, with the benefit of the Death and [Page 201] Passion of thy Sonne our Lord God and Saviour Iesus Christ.

And I beseech thine infinite goodnesse, that this the Sacrament of this thy Death and Passion, which I most unworthy wretch have now received, may never come hereafter in Iudgement and Con­demnation unto me, for mine evill merits, and deservings; but rather good Lord, it may come to the profit and comfort of my body, and to the salvation of my Soule unto the life everlasting. Amen.

A Prayer at the houre of death.

O Heavenly Lord God, wee poore wretches being overcome with griefe, come all here attending thy good pleasure with this sick Servant of thine, O Lord incline to heare our Prayers, and his complaints unto thee; be now O Lord present, and send thy good Angels and Spirit to attend us; be with us O Lord, and comfort this sick person, and now if the time be come of his departure, grant O Lord he may depart with godly comfort, and joy everlasting into thy King­dome: [Page 202] Ease O Lord his griefs, mittigate his paines, asswage his sorrowes, an [...] give him a lively touch of thy hea­venly comfort: put by all worldly thoughts, and beat downe all bad sug­gestions, let nothing but good come in his minde, and grant that he may to the last gaspe of breath, breath out still some comfort of thy helpe, and grant when he hath done his last, to finish this mortall life, then he may with Lazarus be carried into Abra­hams bosome. O Lord forgive him, O Lord receive him, O Lord protect him, O Lord succour and save him, and now and for ever grant he may rest with thee in eternall glory.

Heare us good Father for this our Brother, and doe for him and us ac­cording to thy Fatherly mercy in Je­sus Christ; to whom we commend him, with these our prayers for him, and all his, and our occasions, in tha [...] prayer which thy blessed Sonne hath taught us.

Our Father which art, &c.

Novemb. 29. 1648.


John Downham.

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