THE Fore-runner of ETERNITIE, OR Messenger of DEATH; sent to Healthy Sick and Dying Men by H. DREXELIUS 1643

[...]NA [...] HIS’ [...]SA: [...]NIS MORE [...]UND [...]



LONDON: Printed by J. N. and are to be sold by John Sweeting at the Angel in Popes-Head-alley.

Ann. Dom. 1642.

¶ To the worthy and most virtuous Gentlewoman, Mistresse MARGARET DRAPER, Widow of Mr. ROBERT DRAPER Esquire.


WOnder not that I presume to thrust this Tractate into your hands, as not having that Relation to your self, usuall in all such Dedications; yet finding so great an affinity betwixt your Goodnesse and the Tractate it self, so great unitie betwixt your Meditations daily ex­press'd in your Practice, and these here im­printed; [Page] I thought it not onely fit, but ne­cessary to prefix your name unto it: For it is most just, That in whom these Meditati­ons have been continually imprinted, she at last should be imprinted in these Medi­tations. Take therefore this Book, reade it your self, and explain it to others, least that Gulf in the Title, ETERNITY, catch and involve those at unawares that might fore-run it. Let the Reader know that it is alwayes to be thought on, though never to be understood. Let him believe that every moment we travell unto it, and shall quickly come to our journeys end, that vast place of entertainment, the Inne of Eternitie: Let him look he bespeaks good Lodging, and good Company; for the next morning, as soon as the Sunne of Righteousnesse appears, he shall begin a journey that shall never have end; in which he shall still move on, yet never pro­ceed; for going forward is but as standing still, in that motion to which no period is allotted. But this you know: in a word therefore; Take this book, now your owne: for though your lesse skill in the La­tine tongue may deny you to have made the Originall, yet the zeal and piety of your Life is the best Translation. Shew it [Page] therefore to the world, that its Meditations whilest you live may be a Pattern for o­thers, and when you are dead the Historie of yours.

So I have brought this Book and you to­gether, I know you will quickly be ac­quainted, and talk out the rest; therefore now ceasing to trouble you, I steal away in silence, remaining,

Yours in all humble service, W. CROYDEN.

¶ The severall Sections of the three ensuing Books.

The first Book.
  • 1 AN Introduction to the work pag. 1
  • 2 That the remembrance of Death should be daily pag. 3
  • 3 The remembrance of death, a medicine against all sinnes pag. 5
  • 4 Of the conclusion of a good life pag. 8
  • 5 That every man is nothing pag. 9
  • 6 Of the short continuance of men pag. 11
  • 7 The same larglier insisted on pag. 13
  • 8 The vanity of the desire of long lise pag. 15
  • 9 That man is dust pag. 1 [...]
  • 10 That every man is truly miserable pag. 21
  • 11 What man is pag. 24
  • 12 Instruction to the haters of funeralls pag. 27
  • 13 That our life is nothing but weeping pag. 29
  • 14 That God comforteth those that weep pag. 30
  • 15 That our death may be as advantagious as our birth pag. 33
  • 16 That death is every where pag. 36
  • 17 Every mans house is deaths home pag. 38
  • 18 The inexorablenesse of death pag. 40
  • 19 The certainty & uncertainty of death pag. 42
  • 20 The suddennesse of death pag. 44
  • 21 An antidote against sudden death pag. 54
  • [Page]22 Our dayes are few and e [...]ill pag. 57
  • 23 How dying young we may be said to be old pag. 59
  • 24 That any one that will may live long pag. 62
  • 25 That we must all die pag. 63
  • 26 The remembrance of death ought to be re­newed pag. 66
  • 27 A discourse of Assan Bashaw pag. 73
  • 28 That each day is to be regarded pag. 78
  • 29 The throne of all our pride is our bier pag. 80
  • 30 What our life is pag. 86
  • 31 Our life is a Play pag. 89
  • 32 A type of mans life pag. 91
  • 33 The Prologue, Narration, & Epilogue of mans life pag. 93
  • 34 That the longest life is but short pag. 96
  • 35 Of procrastination pag. 98
  • 36 Deaths haunt pag. 103
  • 37 Of our negligence in meditating of death pag. 105
  • 38 That the present is onely ours pag. 108
  • 39 That we should not rely on to morrow pag. 110
  • 40 The suddennesse & comelinesse of death pag. 113
  • 41 That we must watch and pray pag. 116
  • 42 Eight verses out of the Psalms, used by S. Bernard for the time of death pag. 119
The second Book.
  • [Page]1 THe remembrance of Death recom­mended to the sick pag. 127
  • 2 The sick mans d [...]scourse w [...]th his friends pag. 131
  • 3 Pleasant things not alwayes best pag. 138
  • 4 Christian valour seen in the cont [...]mpt of death pag. 139
  • 5 Examples of death contemned pag. 141
  • 6 Of a mind ready for death pag. 144
  • 8 Three things grievous in sicknesse pag. 147
  • 9 Sicknesse is the school of vertue pag. 150
  • 10 Sicknesse the monitor to eternity pag. 151
  • 11 Of prayer in sicknesse pag. 152
  • 12 What ought to be our thoughts and acti­ons in sicknesse pag. 155
  • 13 The difference of our thoughts in sick­nesse and health pag. 158
  • 14 In all our sicknesse we must send holy sighs to God pag. 160
  • 15 Faults of sick men pag. 161
  • 16 Rules to be observed by the sick pag. 166
  • 17 How the sick man should quench his thirst pag. 168
  • 18 The sick mans napk n pag. 170
  • 19 The sick mans bed pag. 172
  • 20 The hope of a better life asswageth our misery pag. 175
  • 21 True hope of a most blessed life pag. 176
  • [Page]22 Tranquillity flows from true hope pag. 180
  • 23 Patience the whole armour of a Christi­an pag. 182
  • 24 That we are but guests on earth pag. 186
  • 25 The term of our life is uncertain pag. 187
  • 26 A first objection of the sick man pag. 191
  • 27 A second objection pag. 193
  • 28 The sick mans complaints pag. 195
  • 29 The sick mans discourse with himself pag. 199
  • 30 His discourse with God pag. 201
  • 31 His sure confidence in God pag. 207
  • 32 Of constancy in sicknesse pag. 211
  • 33 Severall prayers to be used by the sick pag. 215
The third Book.
  • 1 THe Art of dying pag. 233
  • 2 How to redeem the time pag. 237
  • 3 How to make a short life long pag. 238
  • 4 An end of all things but eternity pag. 239
  • 5 Considerations of a dying man pag. 245
  • 6 We ought to prepare for death pag. 246
  • 7 Examples of such as buried themselves pag. 248
  • 8 A consideration of our grave pag. 252
  • 9 Nine forms of Wills pag. 255
  • 10 Nine Epitaphs pag. 261
  • 11 Nine reasons to perswade us to die with [Page] a resolved mind pag. 273
  • 12 Death not to be feared pag. 282
  • 13 How the Saints of God may desire, ye [...] fear death pag. 285
  • 14 An ill death follows an ill life pag. 289
  • 15 A good death follows a good life pag. 291
  • 16 Like life, like death pag. 296
  • 17 The desire of a good death pag. 298
  • 18 Sleep the brother of death pag. 300
  • 19 The forerunners of death pag. 302
  • 20 How we must answer the messenger of death pag. 305
  • 21 A sweet death the worst death pag. 307
  • 22 Deaths blessednesse pag. 312
  • 23 A dying mans farwell to the living pag. 315
  • 24 What should be the words and meditati­ons of a dying man pag. 319
  • 25 Things specially to be observed by a dy­ing man pag. 321
  • 26 What a dying man should do pag. 323
  • 27 Consolation for a sick man pag. 325
  • 28 Holy ejaculations for a dying man pag. 329
  • 29 The dying mans confidence in God pag. 333
  • 30 The last words of a dying man pag. 336
  • 31 Of the conforming our will to Gods will pag. 338
  • 32 The dying mans emulation of the good thief pag. 339
  • 33 Of the Heliotropium pag. 342
  • 34 Prayers for a dying man pag. 345
A YE think DEATH sleeps. Take heed, he'll wake; ye'll mone.
B Health makes you skip and dance, while sick men grone.
C Quails shower down to please the glut­tons tongue.
D Sweet Zephyr strows his Flowres. Alas! how long?
E Yet Phoebus smiles, and walks with goodly grace:
But clouds ere long will mask his radiant face.
F When Virtue moves, Health gives you stubborn backs
Like Rammes; when Vice, pliant as Virgin-wax.
G Feast, frolick gallants, feast, drink-swag­ger, rore and kisse:
But think how on this Point hangs end­lesse we or blisse.

THE FORE-RUNNER of ETERNITIE: Or Messenger of DEATH, sent to healthy, sick, and dying men. The Remembrance of Death propounded to the Healthy.

§. 1. Instructions to the Reader, and an Introduction to the Work.

MAny have written com­fortable Antidotes a­gainst Diseases, and Death; I determine the same; and they are so far from discouraging me, that they rather incite my Penne. Some of them (with leave be it spoken) are too [Page 2] long, so that they burthen a sick man with their too too many pre­cepts. Others not so much forget­ting brevity, as a Methodicall Or­der, doe make it too accurate. They had not so much offended, had they kept their Pens from pa­per; (as Apelles desired in Proto­genes. Plin. l. 35 c. 10. post initium.) Many have discours'd ex­cellently, but (as I may say) not satisfactory for Practise. Theorie is to be commended; but here wee must doe, and in stead of words, set forth action. There are others that propose nothing to sick, and dying parties; but meere terrors and feares; and so astonish them yet living. I know (my Reader) that thy desire is to be prepared for Death with small expences: I will endeavour to answer thy ex­pectation: and Briefly, Orderly, and Cheerefully I will lead thee to Deaths dore, so as thou shalt scarce perceive it:1. Briefly Briefly, for I write not a volume, but a short Treatise, which may be thy dayly companion.2. Order­ly. I will not observe a strict Order, but rather a mixt; the [Page 3] way that is plesant seems streight, though there be many windings. Cheerefully, for I will not only treat of Religion,3. Cheer­fully. but will mix with it verses, and fit old Epi­grams; so that my style shall not only be plaine, but relishing of sanctified mirth. Thus I thought fitting to admonish thee, at the entrance into this subject.

§. 2. That the Remembrance of Death should be dayly.

HAppy is that man that spends every day as if it were his last. Epictetus doth wisely teach,Epictet. Enchir. cap. 28. Death (saith hee) and Banishment, and all other evills should be daily be­fore our eyes, especially Death. So shall our thoughts never be too base, nor too ambitious.

Wretched men, why possesse you such large hopes? why under­goe you such a great weight of di­sturbances, who to morrow per­chance may be dust and ashes? [Page 4] Stand sure O man, for the sable Goddesse Death daily stands over thy head; and when the little remnant of sand in thy houre-glasse shall be runn'd out with a vigilant and undrousie eye, ex­pects thy arrivall, and canst thou but expect Her? as he sung, Ortum quicquid habet, finem timet. (i. e.)

All that a beginning have,
Doe expect and feare a grave.

‘— Ibimus omnes. (i. e.)

We all must goe,
To the earth below.

Nor can any age bribe Death. As soone as we are borne, we pay tri­bute, and are Deaths hirelings. Nay, as soone as greedy eyes the first light see, Then doe wee even begin to die. Death kills the Em­presse as well as the Handmaid. As the Poet well.

Horat. lib. 1. ep. 4.
— Because wee dye so fast,
Think every day thy last.

Say every Evening, This day I stand at the dore of Eternity.

§. 3. The remembrance of Death is a Me­dicine against all sinnes.

THE serious remembrance of Death shakes off all sense of Pleasure, and turnes the sweetest hony to Wormwood. S. Chrysostome saith,Chrysost. in his 5. Sermon of wic­kednesse repulsed. pag. 678. The expectation of Death to come, will scarcely suffer or give ad­mittance to any carnall delights. And truly what doth not the sense of Death work, if but entred into the fingers or the pores of the Head, much more when it seises upon the whole body? it spareth no age, no dignity; one young man dies, another Infant, another old man. One dies by the sword, another by poyson, a third by a fall; one de­parts lingringly, another sudden­ly, as overtaken with some violent storme, or thunder clap. Now a­mongst so many doubtfull, change­able, and suddain events, what se­curity can be expected? What cou­rage can there be to sinne amongst [Page 6] such uncertainties? And why? because we die daily. Think of thy houre-glasse: though slowly to sense, yet certainly by degrees, the sands doe runne from the up­permost to the nethermost Cell. Apply this to thy fleeting life. Every moment some parcell of our life slides away. Here's no­thing safe, one houre deceives an­other, one moment steales some­what from another. Happy is hee which makes every day his last; more happy hee which reckons every houre; but most happy that man who accounts every moment. He will abstaine from sinne that counts this present moment to be his determined time. Oh deceit­full Hopes! how many have you deluded? While you promise to many the end of their journey, old age; and yet cut them off in the middest of it in their youth. You make men beleeve that may happen to them which many have enjoyed, the flourishing of the Al­mond tree; what a number have fallen with innocent hands, yet [Page 7] peccant hearts? How many have been overtaken by Death whilest they have beene in meditating of wickednesse? How many sinners and sinnes hath Death cut off in the middest of their acts? How many have smarted for their en­deavours to sinne, being examples of rashnesse & presumption? Have not many put a period to their lives and sinnes together? What if thou shouldst be one of this number? Or why shouldst thou be priviledged beyond others? Oh!Scriban. in Polit. Christ. lib. 1. c. 27. who would think to find sin in that minde, which expects Death with the sinne, and punishment by that Death? No wise man will play in a storme at sea; who in such dan­gerous precipices will or dare me­ditate transgressions? No man unarm'd can be merry in the mid­dest of an Enemies Armie. But much more foolish is hee, who knowing every houre, every mo­ment to be uncertaine, and living in a perpetuated feare of Death, yet dares doe those things, which for ever will make Death to be [Page 8] most miserable. Oh unwise men that we are! why doe wee plunge our selves into everlasting punish­ment? and why obey we not good counsels!Eccles. 7.40. In all thy works (saith Solomon) remember thy end, and so thou shalt no sinne.

§ 4. The conclusion of a good life is of great esteeme.

TEll me (ô Seneca) whom doth that great Pliny in his Testi­moniall worthy to be envied,Plin. l. 14. c. 4. me­dio. call a Prince? Say, what thinkest thou of Death, especially of untimely Death? Heare ô young men, give eare ô old men so full of com­plaints▪ Seneca. ep st. 77. in the end. our life is as a tale that is told; it matters not how long it is; but how well it is performed. It is not of any consequence in what place thou doest end, end where thou wilt, only let thy con­clusion be well. Epictetus in the same manner saith,Euch. c. 23. Remember that thou art but an Actor of a play [Page 9] as thy Master appointeth thee; if he sets thee a long part, thou must performe it, if a short one, thy du­tie is the same to doe it well. Varro speakes not in dissonant termes from these two. They live not best who live longest, but they who doe live the uprightest. Our lives are not valued by the duration of time, but by the qualification of our actions. Goodnesse in mans life is a quality, not a quantity. It matters not therefore either where, or when, or by what means wee die, for as God our Master pleaseth, so vve must depart: On­ly let us pray that vve die vvell.

§ 5. That every man is nothing.

Heu, heu! nos miseros, quam totus
Homuncio nil est!

(i. e.)

What wretches, ah! alas! are we!
All men are nothing verily.

IN truth it is so. But much more wretched are wee in that wee [Page 10] know it not. Man is nothing said an ancient Satyrist, but I dare say, wee begin then to be something, when wee acknowledge our selves to be nothing. O man know thy selfe, know and be wise: for Death crops off Lilies as soon as thornes or thistles.

Oh how vaine and wretched are vve! what are vve? our lear­ning, and Honour is but smoake; our selves but dust: the one is but a fancie, the other but a blast. And wee which now speake in the present tense, we doe live, we are strong, and doe flourish, in a trice all will be chang'd in the praeter-perfect tense, viximus, wee have liv'd. Here all have the same way. Our very life in the encrease, de­creaseth; and we may divide the present day with Death. There is a dayly diminution in some part of our lives. Our glasse may be turn'd, but it's alwayes run­ning.

The first sand as well as the last may be said to empty our glasse; and the last houre in which we die [Page 11] doth not onely make Death, but doth really consummate it.

§. 6. All men are but of a short time and continuance.

THe Lily is a flower, vvhose life and beauty lasts but a day. On the Banks of Hiparis, Pliny l. 11. c. 36. a River in Scythia, there is a bird called Hemerobios, which lives not be­yond the compasse of one day; but ends her life with the same light she first receiv'd it, at sunne-set­ting. In the same shee hath expe­rience of youth and old age: shee springs up in the morning, flou­rishes at noone; growes old and dies at night: but that which is most to be admired in that bird, is; shee doth in that space provide as much sustenance, as if shee should live as long as the Raven. Mans life is not unlike to this creature. It alwayes is by the flood of flying time; and more swift then any bird or arrow. And oftentimes [Page 12] hath all his honour and worldly pomp terminated to a day, some­times to an houre, and often to a moment. Why doe wee then so fondly dreame of yeares and ages, when wee are but as the flowers, or their shadowes? or what can be reckoned to be more vaine or short then either? Hee that vvas thirty yeares in making curiously the forme of a man in Glasse, had in a twinkling of an eye his vaine labour dash'd to peeces; with this vvise answer, As I have done to this brittle glasse, so may Death doe either to you, or my selfe in as short a space; how vaine therefore are you in your thoughts?

But it is most wonderfull, that though this life hath by so many learned Divines in all ages been proved to be so swift and short, and though all Writers in all times have confirm'd the same, yet wret­ches that we are, vve heare not all these loud voyces King Hezekiah cries in the Prophesie of Esay, From morning untill night thou will make an end of me. Esay 38.1 [...]. The Kingly Psalmist [Page 13] cries out;Psal. 102 17. My dayes are past away as a shadow. And that great man in the land of Huz; Iob 14.2 Man commeth forth as a flower, is wasted and flieth away as a shadow. Behold! Oh man, thou art but a bubble; all thy life is but as the passing of a shadow; and expectest thou here an abiding place, or a quiet habitation? Why doest thou heape up thick day, oh thou covetous vvretch? When as this night they shall fetch thy soule. Why thinkest thou on cark­ing and caring as though thou shouldest live Nestors age? When as Death is at thy elbow: thou shalt be gone from hence, before thou thinkest of thy departure: hasten the thought of it early, Eternity is before thee.

§. 7. The same point more largely insisted on, and confirmed.

No mans life but is short, theirs is shortest vvho forget things past, neglect things pre­sent, [Page 14] feare not things to come. Iob saith excellently, And they which have seene him shall say, where is hee? like a dreame that passeth away and flieth hence, Iob 2.7.8. so shall he not be found. A dreame is vaine, a flight is swift: Yet man shal passe away as a vision by night. Hee speaks of himselfe thus.Iob 9, 25.26. My dayes are swifter then a post, they are gone and have seene no good; (This uttered that rich man of the East) They are passed by as ships of burthen, and as an Eagle to the prey. For wee be but of yesterday, Iob 8.9. and know nothing; are not our dayes as a shadow upon earth? truly they are so, and tarry not. We feast, banquet, & dance, yet they tarry not. Wee are most secure, and sleepe till high-noone; and yet our dayes tarry not. Wee sport away our time prodigally in trifles, and invent one idle thing after another; yet our time stayes not. Our yeares doe flit, fleete, and flie apace, no man could ever yet give a ransome to enjoy the next day safely. In our ve­ry sleepe vvee goe on either to the [Page 15] Eternity of joy in Heaven, or of paine in Hell. Excellent was that saying of Suidas. O Mortals of one dayes continuance,Verbo E­phemerii botri pa. 358. cunning for the present, not looking to the fu­ture. Consider of Eternity, to vvhich you hasten.

§. 8. That the hopes and wishes for long life are vaine.

IT vvas the speech of that foolish rich man to his soule. What shall I doe? for vvhere shall I lay my fruits? This will I doe, Luk. 12.18. I will pull downe my barnes and build bigger. Alas vvretched man, twice vvret­ched: vvilt thou enlarge thy barns? thou shalt this night have a grave, if not a Hell; this night shall they require thy soule, then vvhose shall those things be vvhich thou hast provided? Thy Vertues, hadst thou any, thy Vices of which thou hadst too many, shall goe vvith thee. No other traine or atten­dants shalt thou have vvith thee [Page 16] hence; Much like to this rich mans fall vvas that of Senecio re­ported of in Seneca. Senec. epist. 101. [...]it. Who recount­ing the swiftnesse of our life, which is granted to men by moments and minuts, said thus. Each day & houre doth shew that vvee are no­thing, & doth alwaies by some new Argument admonish us that are forgetfull of our frailty, and drives us to looke on Eternity through Death. This Senecio Cornelius a Roman Knight, a frugall man, not only carefull of his patrimony, but also of his body, having sate all day by a friend of his vvho vvas very ill, and almost past hope of recovery, having supped very me­rily, vvas suddenly taken vvith the Squinancie in his throat, so that hee could scarce draw his breath: and vvithin a few houres, Hee, vvhich had gone thorough all offi­ces, and charges, fit to be execu­ted by an healthy able man; He, vvhich both by sea and land had gathered vvealth; He, vvhich had left no wayes untried that seemed gainfull; in the highest pitch of [Page 17] good successe, and in the middest of his wealth, died suddenly.

So often comes it to passe that in the confluence of our hopeful­lest actions vve are gone, as the vvinde, vvhich vvhen at highest, soone is calme: and therefore doth Iob ask of God, and in a sort com­plaine;Iob 10.8 And doest thou so suddenly destroy me? And learnedly Tertul­lian, Tertull. lib de ani­ma. There is (saith he) that force and strength in vessels as they saile by the Capharean rocks, though they be not assaulted by any great or raging vvindes, nor violent vvaves, yet vvith a gentle gale, a smooth course; all thinking them­selves safe are vvith deadly privie overthrow suddenly sunk and lost. An Emblem of the suddain events and unlooked for shipwracks of mens lives.

How foolish therefore is it to dispose of our life, vvhen vve know not vvhat shall be to morrow? Oh vvhat madnesse is it to lay such large hopes upon such brittle un­certaine beginnings! I vvill b [...]y, build, fell, get gaines, purchase [Page 18] honour, and in old age take my ease. When (beleeve it) even to the most happy all things are doubtfull.Iam. 3. Our life is but a vapour (saith S. Iames.) We cannot promise any certainty of future things, and what we enjoy for the present, may be easily taken from us, or we from it. Yet in the middest of these ha­zards vve propound and resolve upon long voyages, and large journeyes, by sea, and land. We lay out for warres, for pleasures at Court, for quietnesse, and ease, long businesses, an orderly suc­cession of labours, heaping offices to offices, hoping for Nestors years, and Metellus good luck; vvhen in the meane time Death stands by us, and in these thoughts doth sud­denly prevent us, and suddenly casts us from the molehill of our hopes, into the depth of Eternity.

§. 9. That man is Dust.

Gen. 3.19REmember this (ô man) that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt [Page 19] thou returne. This is a mourning verse vvhich God himselfe decla­red to Adam, and doth vvisely ad­monish us of our Mortality.Plin. lib. 10. cap. 4. The Eagle vvhen she intends to set up­on and overthrow the Stagg, be­fore she begins her fight, gathers a great deale of dust into her vvings, and sitting betwixt the hornes of the Stagg, vvith beating her wings upon his face strikes dust into his eyes, and so drives him upon the Rocks. So the Church by the vvise use of Humiliation and Mortifica­tion, stops many a violent and ha­stie sinner in his furious course to destruction, and drives his soule upon the Rock of Salvation IE­SVS CHRIST; so likewise doth the Priest at burialls vvhen the corps is laid in the Grave, he utters these vvords vvhen the earth is thrice cast on the dead party, Earth to earth. Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust. These words he speaks not to the dead in the grave, but to those Coffines vvhich have living souls abiding in them, not for those out of which the soule is departed.

King Philip of Macedon vvas vvise in this point, that every morning had this sung to him to make him the more mindfull of Mortality, O Philip remember thou art a man.

The very Cranes will in this point serve to be our Tutors, who, when they set their night Senti­nels, doe hold a stone in one of their feet, that if they should chance to sleepe, by the fall and sound of that stone they might be wakened: the same Birds vvhen they flie over the sea betwixt Maeo­tis and Tenedos, doe carrie sand in their bills. Well, let the stone in their foot remember us of our gravestone, and the sand in their bill, of the earth with which wee shall be covered. The Calfe which the Hebrewes worshipped was in deed of gold, but it was reduced to dust. Nebuchadnezzars Image seemed terrible, but it vvas mouldred to dust by the stroke of a stone. The Apples of Gomorrah indeed outwardly vvere specious and beautifull, but vvithin dust [Page 21] and rottennesse. Proud men may shew their glory and riches, and these may procure some carnall Israelites to vvorship them, but they shall end in dust and corrup­tion: so that it is excellent vvhich Iob speakes, I will say to the worme, thou art my sister; and to corruption, thou art my mother. It is not vvise­dome to admire present glory, but seriously to consider the end. Dust man vvas, and dust he shall be, and his pomp shall follow him; do therefore what is best to be done; Eternity is nigh at hand.

§. 10. That every man is truly miserable.

WE cannot think enough whe­ther nature hath beene a true loving mother,Plin. pre­oemio in lib. 7. hist. nat. or rather a cruell stepmother to mankinde. For among all other living creatures she cloathes man with the wealth of others. Shee hath afforded to the rest divers coverings, as shells, harks, skins, prickles, haire, wooll, [Page 22] bristles, feathers, vvings, scales, and fleeces. Shee defends stocks and trees sometimes with a double barke from the cold or heat: but she only casts out man naked into the world in the day of his nati­vity to cryings, and waylings; but deales not so with any other crea­ture in the world. After this man­ner produc'd is this creature call'd MAN; with crying, and his hands and feet swathed, and yet this vveakling comes to have the so­veraignty of all. Oh great Com­mander! vvho beginneth his life with punishment wretched even in this, that he is borne! Oh the the madnes of those who esteeme themselves gotten to pride by such weake beginnings! The first hope of his strength, and the first gift of time makes him like to the beasts. How long is it before hee can goe, or speake, or eat any so­lid food? How long is it before his head leaves panting, the one­ly and infallible signe of weake­nesse? Suddenly how many dis­eases assaile him? What various [Page 23] medicines are then fought out for his remedy, and those also subject to alterations upon new advises? We see other creatures presently to performe actions arguing strength according to their natures. Some swim, some goe, some flie, and o­thers creepe; but man, unlesse he be taught, can neither speak, nor goe, nor eat, nor doe any thing of himselfe, but cry. Some creatures are addicted to heavinesse, some to luxurie, others to ambition, some to covetousnesse, another to su­perstition, another to desire of long life: but to none hath na­ture afforded a more fraile life, a greater or greedier lust, a more confused feare, or sharper cruel­ty. To conclude, all other creatures live in quiet vvith those of their owne kinde. Wee see them goe in companies, and Heards loving­ly together, and to withstand their enemies. The fiercenesse of Lyons is not exercised upon their owne kinde: Serpents bite not serpents: nay, the fishes doe not devoure but their adversaries. On­ly [Page 24] from man are all evills to man.

§. 11. What Man is.

IF we will beleeve the Ancients, Man is Fortunes Tennis-ball,Aristot. Trism [...] Plant. Sophoc. Pindar. the image of inconstancie, cor­ruptions looking-glasse, the spoyle of Time, the prisoner of Death, a moving Sepulchre, a fraile sha­dow, a vaine image, the dreame of a shadow, a breathing carkasse, or a living death. If you ask Se­neca what man is? he answereth, Man is a weake fraile body, borne naked, unable to help himselfe, standing in need of others help, cast forth to the reproach of For­tune, fodder for wilde beasts, any enemies sacrifice. If wee consult with the sacred Writers, we shall heare them, calling man the bait of wormes, an heap of dung, the laughing stock of calamity, the co­pie of Infirmity, an hasty messen­ger, a ship passing away, a bird [Page 25] [...] [Page 24] [...] [Page 25] taking her flight, vanishing smoake, a thin froth, the ballance of envy, a drop of a bucket, the nothing in a ballance, a drop of the morning deaw, a guest for one day, a flower, grasse, hay; altoge­ther vanity, dust and ashes, an empty Cask, in a word, He is no­thing

In the meane time see what names and sirnames men wear to set forth their glorious & specious titles, if wee weigh but with what Hyperbolicall Ep [...]thetes they in­terlace them, wee shall perceive what vaine proud wretches they are: they wound our eares, with these and the like; Most magnifi­cent, most illustrious, happy, pious, most potent, Imperiall, most victorious, the best of men, the greatest of Princes, &c. Let us heare the titles of Sa­po [...]es King of Persia, which in his letter sent to Constantine the Em­perour begins thus. Sapor King of Kings, Confederate with the Stars, Brother of the Sun and Moone, to Constantine our brother, much [Page 26] health, &c. or if you will see a Ca­talogue of lofty titles, take them from the King of Bisnag; who is saluted thus. Husband of good for­tune, God of the great Provinces, King of mightiest Kings, Lord of all that ride in Chariots, or on Horses, the Master and Doctor of the Dumbe, the Grand Emperour over three Emperours, the Getter of all he sees, the Conserver of all hee gets, whom eight parts of the World stand in awe off, A Knight without an equall, the Conque­rour of all Valiants, the Hunter of Elephants, the Emperour of the East, South, North, and West Seas. These vaunting Titles are recorded by Petrus Jarricus. Are not here termes large enough? Let us adde to these the Titles that the Soldan sent in his letters. Almighty Salmander set down be­fore Carthage, the Lord of Iordan, Lord of the East of Bethlehem, and of Paradise, the Ruler of Hell, the mighty Emperour of Constan­tinople, Lord of the dry fig, Empe­rour of all the Sun and Moon pas­seth [Page 27] through, Protector of Presby­ter Iohn, an absolute Emperour, King of Kings, Lord of Christians, Iews, and Turks, the Cousin of the Gods, &c. And like to this, was that Letter which Solyman sent to the Emperour, To Charles the fifth Emperour of Germany, the great So­lyman sprung out of the most un­conquer'd and victorious house of Ottoman, Emperour of the Turks, King of Kings, and Lo [...]d of Lords, the Emperour of Trapezund and Constantinople, the Conquerour of the World, and the Tamer of the earth, &c. What can you heare more? Oh victorious map of mi­sery! Oh vanity of vanities! It's the most grossest ignorance for a man to forget that he is man.

§. 12. To the Haters of Funerals, and Burials.

DEpart from hence therefore not men, but ravenous Kites, [Page 28] who though yee bee greedy and hungerstarv'd, yet never snatch any food from the Graves. You as you are in other things curious, so you like not to touch or taste any thing that savours of embalming, or of Hears-cloaths, you desire not to be Guests to Church-yards, you doe as much as you can to put off all thought and care of the Grave. You do not frequent the places of Ew-trees or Cypresse-trees, you sel­dome feast under these, these are not places for your delightfull bowers; but see here, how far you are mistaken, and how vainly yee dote: the holy Scripture admoni­sheth yee otherwise, It is better to goe to the house of mourning, Eccles. c. 7. v. 2. than to goe to the house of feasting, but you had rather doe any thing, than mourne and repent, and remem­ber death, Lectures of this nature please not, but take heed, Ye Wan­tons, lest while yee shun mourn­ing here, yee be cast into eternall mourning hereafter.

§. 13. That our life is nothing but teares and weeping.

EVery one (as Saint Cyprian te­stifies) as soone as he is borne,Cypr. Serm. of Patience. and entertained for a guest into this world, begins his journey in teares; every man may thus say of himselfe,

In teares I did begin, in teares I end,
I did in nothing else my short dayes spend.
Our Cradle's full of teares, and soc's our Hearse,
Our life begin [...], ends as a mournfull verse.
Happic [...]s that man who here doth mourn and weep
Because hee shall not when he wakes from sleep.
Serar in rebus Mo­gun. p. 947 Daniel 97 Epis. 57. Archie­pisc. 41. Elector. Mogun.

Will you see the summe and e­pitome of al our life? Daniel Arch­bishop of Mentz, Elector of the Sa­cred Roman Empire, with his own [Page 24] [...] [Page 25] [...] [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page 28] [...] [Page 29] [...] [Page 30] hands writ these following admo­nitions,

  • 1 Life is short;
  • 2 Beauty deceitfull.
  • 3 Wealth uncertaine.
  • 4 Dominion hated.
  • 5 War is pernicious.
  • 6 Victory is doubtfull.
  • 7 Leagues are fraudulent.
  • 8 Old age is miserable.
  • 9 Death is felicity.
  • 10 The fame of true Wisdome is e­verlasting.

To wit of that wisdome which descends from above, which esta­blisheth Kingdomes, shall never cease but is eternall.

§. 14. That God doth comfort those that weep.

HEare the voice of the Com­forter and Prom [...]ser toge­ther,Ps. 50.15. Call upon me in the day of trou­ble; [Page 31] I will deliver thee, Ps. 33.19 and thou shalt glorifie me? And the Lord is nigh to all them that are of a trou­bled spirit, and he will save the hum­ble in heart. Aug. in Tom. 8. in Psal. 50. Most excellently Saint Augustine, Feare not (saith hee) when thou art troubled, as though the Lord was not with thee, The Lord is neere to those that are of a troubled spirit. Man may prepare a Crown for the Conquerour; but hee knows not how to give him strength to conquer: But GOD when he beholds the battaile, hee strengthens his Champions, for that is the voice of the Psalmist, that valiant warriour, If I said, my foot was moved, thy mercy (O Lord) hel [...]t me up. Assoone therefore as thou art troubled, stirre up thy faith, and thou shalt know, Hee will not leave thee comfortlesse. But thou mayst perhaps think thy selfe forsaken, because thou art not delivered when thou would­est; Hee tooke the three children out of the fire, but he which tooke those three, left he the Machabees? Far be it to think so, He delivered [Page 32] the one, as well as the other; the one corporally, that his and their enemies might bee confounded; thes [...] spiritually, that the faithfull might in all ages imitate their va­lour. God is high, Every good soule is lowly, if yee would that the high God should come neere unto you, bee humble; these are great Mysteries (my Brethren) God is above all; Doest thou lift up thy selfe? thou commest not neere him: Doest thou debase thy selfe? he will come down to thee. Call therefore this faithfull Hel­per to thy succour by prayer. Hee will be propitious even at the first sigh, if it be from the soule. God wil wipe away all tears from their eyes,Apoc. 21.4. neither shall there bee any more weeping or mourning, or griefe, or sorrow, because all these are passed away Most truly said the same Father.Aug. in Psal. 127 circamed. How pleasant are the sighs of the soule to God? they are more acceptable than the laughter of Fools or Theatres.

§. 15. That our death may be as advanta­geous as our Birth.

EPaminondas the Theban being at point of death, said,Val Max. l. 3. c. 2. & l. 2. c. 6 I [...] was not so much to bee accounted the period of his life as the beginning. For now (fellow souldiers) may your Epa­minondas be said to be born, because he so dyes. For whether is better to be pampered under griefe in this life, or by death to enter into im­mortality.

There are a people neer Thrace, Herodo [...], lib. 5. Hist. Valer. l. 2. c. 1. Quintil. l. 5. institut. called the Trausi, which agree with the Thracians, in al customs save in this particular; That the neigh­bours when an Infant is born, doe with great lamentations rehearse the great calamity the Infant must suffer on the stage of his life: And they celebrate the Funerals of their Neighbours with great re­joycing; in regard they are by death freed from all the miseries [Page 34] incidēt to this life. This Nation of some in this very respect hath bin reputed wise and discreet, because they celebrate Birth-dayes with teares, and Obits with joy. The Getes and Causians are said to doe the same,Stobaus in Encomio Mortis. and to speak truth, let but the seeming pleasures which this life promiseth, be but ex­empt, which force and inveigle men to many hazards and incon­veniences, by their allurements, and then our end is to bee jud­ged more happy than our be­ginning. Death is not to be ac­counted an evill;Plin. in praf. l. 7. Hist. but the conclu­sion of all evils. Plinius Secundus saith, There have beene some who have judged it best, not to have beene born: and next to that, an carly Death. So Silenus when hee was taken by Midas, being asked what was best for man, was a good space silent; but at last answered thus, It is the best not be at all, and next to that, to be but for a moment.

I cannot omit that fare and sel­dome heard of passage pleasant to be related, of one Ludovicus Cor­tusius, [Page 35] a Counsellour living in Pa­dua, who in his Will at his death forbade all mourning for him at his Buriall; and willed that all the Musicians and Minstrels should bee present, some to goe before, and fifty to follow the Clergymen and the Corps, and allowed by Will to each of them for their attendance halfe a Ducat, and willed further that his coffin should be carried by twelve beautifull Virgins cloathed in a fresh greene habit, and that they should sing melodiously as they passed along; and gave to all of them such large Legacies, that they served for their Dowry: and was attended by an hundred tor­ches, and in this manner was sumptuously interr'd in the Church of Saint Sophia, in Padua; with all the Clergy accompanying his bu­riall, (the Black Friers onely ex­cepted) whom hee debard by his Testament, lest they by their fa­ble weeds might move in some persons mourning or heavinesse, so that his Funeral was celebrated [Page 36] with as much mirth as a marriage. This merry conceited man dyed in the year of our Saviour, 1418, Iuly the seventeenth.

De modo bene viv. Serm 70. Idem de transit. mal.Saint Bernard spoke worth [...]ly saying, Let those mourne for their dead, which believe not the Resurre­ction: those are to bee lamented, who after their death are punished in Hell by Devils, not those who are placed in Heaven with the blessed spirits. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints. Precious (indeed) as the period of their labours, as the consummation of victory, as the gate to life, and the entrance into perfect rest and securitie. Well spoke that wise Hebrew,Eccles. 7.4. Better is the day of our death, then the day of our birth.

§. 16. That Death is every where.

THose Wretches, who seeke by what means they shall die, to [Page 37] whom death is more welcome then life, may vex and distract themselves with griefe and anxi­ous sollicitudes, and disturbing encumbrances; they may sharpen their swords, prepare poysons, catch at Gibbets, looke out for steep Rocks to fall downe from, as though the loving yoke and socie­ty betwixt the soule and body could not be parted without such exquisite preparation. Death is alwayes laying his snares in all places to catch us, wheresoever man passeth, Death is alwayes ready, where is hee not working? whom doth not he meet and strike with his fatall dart? How many sorts of deaths are there, and all to ruine one poore wretch'd man? so that it may be said truly,

why are so many sorts of deaths assailing?
Lib. d [...] honest. vitae. Idem in medit. cap. 3. de dignitat. animae.
When all our lives are bubbles quickly failing?

Heare but Saint Bernard, let the daily meditation of death be thy [Page 38] chiefe wisdome: for there are di­vers kinds of death always pinch­ing thee, What ever happens to o­ther men (saith he) may also hap­pen to thee, because thou art a man, thou art made and compo­sed of earth, and art but dust of dust; thou takest thy descent and pedigree from earth, thou livest of earth, and shalt at one time or other bee reduc'd to earth, when that last and terrible day shall come, which shall come suddenly; and perhaps to morrow, or this day. It is [...]ertain that thou shalt dy, but when, or how, or where, is al­together uncertaine. Seneca saith, It is uncertaine in what place Death looks for thee, therefore doe thou expect it in every place.

§. 17. Every mans House is Death's home.

WE sport, and put Death farre, too far away;
And yet it secretly in us doth lurke,
[Page 39]
Yet from our first breath doe our lives decay,
And Death begins even then 'gainst us to work.
Each hour doth strive to cut our threds in twain,
Each moment Death doth somthing from us gain.
Wee always dye, and in one moment passe
Vnto Deaths darkest Cels, as lights put out.
Death cuts off time, in which our hopes we place,
Frustrates our hopes with time, which wheels about.
So short oft times are both our hopes and time
That oft Death takes them both even in their prime.

In the Northern Ocean, towards Moscovy, there is a certaine fish whose name is Death, this great devourer of fishes is mightily ar­m'd with teeth,Hie. Car­dan. l. 10. de subtili­tate, pag. 336. (and as Cardanus reports it) sword-hilts are made usually of his teeth. Oh mortals! our owne bodies are ponds in [Page 40] which this great Devourer, Death is nourished, wee need not there­fore go farre to find it, when it is bred in our own bowels.

— In each [...] Home
— Death keeps a Roome.

§. 18. That Death is inexorable, not to be intreated.

THough Rocks be deafe and Ti­gres fell,
And boystrous Seas doe rage and swell,
Sometimes these are calme, quiet, pleas'd;
And all their furies are appeas'd:
But death nor threats or friendship doth regard
But is than Seas, Tygres, or Rocks more hard.

Antiquity feignes the three La­dies of destinies to be all inexora­ble, to whom all the power of life [Page 41] and death is only entrusted; to whose distaff, spinning, thread, & sheares the Gods have trans­ferd humane actions: as it is said,

— When Fates in order come,
— Then every one must run
— Without delay to his home.

Those Fates are said not to defer the determined time, but keepe it exactly, Death by Painters is de­lineated with a Dart in his hand, impartially striking Kings Scep­ters, as they that grinde at mill; without eares, because hee is not mov'd with mortals cryes; hee wants eyes, so that hee looks not upon mens miseries; hee wants a forehead and cheeks, so that hee cannot blush; hee wants a tongue & lips, lest he might afford to men some little comfortable syllable, Hee wants flesh all over, to shew that hee cannot be touched with any sence of humanity, onely you shall see him with nerves, limbs, muscles & bones, with his arrows and darts ready to strike downe [Page 42] wretched men suddenly; and if at any time above all the rest, Death showed his cruelty, and inexora­blenesse, it was then, when with­out all pity or compassion, hee struck the Prince and Authour of life, Iesus Christ, with his deadly dart, though at this attempt of his, the stones rent, the earth shooke, the stars hid their beauties, the Sun was darkned, nay, the very Angels seem'd to mourne as not willing to behold Life it selfe brought to death. Whosoever thou art, thou shalt find death inexora­ble, therefore live always mindful of it: the time flies as a Post, and what I say, may instantly come to passe.Pers. Sat. 5. Settle every day as it may be thy last; or first leading to Eternity.

§ 19. As nothing is more certain, so no­thing more uncertain than Death.

De Con­viv. ad Clericos, c. 14.SAint Bernard learnedly crys out, What is more certaine in all hu­mane [Page 43] affaires than death? and yet what can be found more uncertain than the time of it? It shews it self in old men, it layes ambushments in yongmen; therefore wisely said King Salomon, Prov. 27.1. Boast not thy selfe of to morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth; so sings that Horace, ‘—Who knows if Fates will spare us, our next breath or aire?Hor. l. 4. Od. 7.

Saint Iames the Apostle speaks most truly,Iam. 4.13.14. Behold you which say to day or to morrow we will goe into such a citie for a yeere, and there wee will buy, and sell, and get gaines; when as you know not what may be on the morrow, fo [...] what is your life but a v [...]our? which now is, and sudd [...]nly passeth away: whereas you sh [...]uld ra­ther say, if the Lord will, or if wee live, we will doe this or that

Wee all, all of us must passe to the grave; for it is said, Wee all die, 2 Kings 14.14. and are like water spilt on the earth, which cannot be gathered up againe. Neither can any man plead igno­rance, [Page 44] of the Law which faith, Thou must returne the spirit to him wh [...]ch gave it; and as no man can die, which never did live, so no man that ever lived, but did die; onely the time and date is uncer­tain. Therefore Christ hath st [...]rr'd us up by a wise admonition: Watch and pray (saith hee) for you know not the day and houre, and so repeating the words againe. Mark. 13 33, 35, 36 37. Watch yee therefore, for yee know not when the Lord of the house will come, whether at the dawning, or at mid­night, or at the third watch, or in the morning, lest when he com [...]s, he finde you sl [...]eping, therefore what bee saith, Hee saith unto all men, VVatch.

§ 20. Death comes suddenly to many, un­looked for almost to all.

WHo will not watch against the assaults of death, who is ready at all houres for execution? who [Page 45] never acquaints us with the time hee intends to invade us: who sometimes comes creeping, some­times flying, sometimes furiously in the twinkling of an eye, hastily arrests us unprovided; without the least giving us notice, without cause, without caution, in sicknes, in health, in danger, in securitie, so that there is nothing free or priviledged from his talons, or destroying assaults.

Was not Tarquinius healthy and merry,P [...] l. 7. N [...] Hist. c. 7. and suddenly choaked with the bone of a little fish? Fabius likewise wa [...] well and lusty, when presently a small haire (which he drunk with his milke) dispatched him. Was not the byting of a Wea­sell the end of Aristides life? Did not the Father of Caesar arise well from his bed, and dyed putting on his shooes? Did not another Cae­sar breath out his soule going over the threshold into his Palace? That Ambassador who intended to have spoken with great admira­tion the Rhodians affaires in a great Assembly, dyed he not in the [Page 46] entrance into the Court? If wee will believe Lucian, Anacreon the Poet, and Sophocles were both kil­led with the stone of a Grape. One little prick of a Needle kild Lucia the daughter of Marcus Aurelius. Cneus Bebius Pamphilus the Praetor having desired that Dignity from a youth, dyed the first houre hee enjoyed it. A sudden and violent laughter hath kild some, so wee read of Chilo the Lacedemonian, and Rhodias Diagoras, who, when they heard their sonnes were Conque­rours in the Olympick Games, in one and the same time both sud­denly departed. Death hath many passages, and entrances, by which he comes into us, and ruines us; sometimes he comes in at the win­dows, sometimes enters into the Sellars, not seldome by the sup­porters and pillars, and often by the tiles and covering of the house, if hee fails by these be­trayers to overthrow the house, such I call all the ill Humours, Diseases, Cathars, Plurisies, and other Causes, which death useth [Page 47] to effect his designes upon us, then he will burst open the dores with powder, with fire, water, pe­stilence, poysons, beasts, and men, with all violence and fury that can bee invented. Mephihosheth the son of King Saul, as he was upon his bed at noone, was slaine by hired murtherers. Pul [...]o King of Ierusalem, as he hunted a Hare, fal­ling from his horse, and being trodden upon presently w [...]s slain. Iosias of all the Kings of Iuda (Da­vid onely excepted) the most re­nowned for piety, sanctity, and other Princely endowments, when he met the Army of Pharaoh Ne­cho King of Egypt, being sud­denly wounded with an arrow, died in the battaile. Egillus King of the Goths, an excellent Prince, was gored and kild by a mad Bull, which was let loose, by naughty lawlesse people. Malcolme the first King of the Scots, after many ex­amples of justice, on a night as he narrowly viewed his Kingdom, was strangled; many as they have gone to sleepe, have slept their [Page 48] last; it is necessary at all occasi­ons to be in battaile aray against this politique enemy. Vzzah a great man in Davids Court, who laid hands upon the Arke when it shaked as it was bringing to Ie­rusalem, to stay it from falling, was smitten and died. The Prophet that eat meate contrary to the Lords command was torne in pie­ces by a Lion. Ananias and Saphy­ra in the Apostles time, at the ve­ry word of Saint Peter, both died suddenly; whose act may serve as a faire warning to all men not to transgresse in the like manner; but I omit these ancient times, and come to our dayes.

Iacob. Gord. in Chron. in hunc an­num.In the yeare 1559. Henry the second King of France, was kild in the midst of his Sports and Tri­umphs, in a great confluence of Spectators; for as hee celebrated in great state with justs and tour­naments the Marriage of his Daughter in Paris, was run into his eye, and so through the head with a shiver of a Lance, that hee died forthwith. In the yeare 1491, [Page 49] Alphonsus the sonne of John the second King of Portugall, being 16 yeeres old, and a Prince of an ex­cellent wit, and great hopes, mar­ried Isabel the daughter of Ferdi­nand King of Spain, whose dowrie was the Inheritance of the large Territories of her Fathers King­domes: The marriage was cele­brated with the preparation and furniture of six hundred severall sorts of Triumphs, every where were Playes, and Tiltings, and Justs, and Banquets, there was such excesse and superfluitie, that even Pages, and Kitchen-boyes, shone in their cloth of Gold, and silkes and velvets were accounted of no value; but oh the griefe! what a strange Catastrophe presently fol­lowed? scarce were seven mo­neths passed, when as this young Prince sporting himselfe with his horse by the banks of the River Tagus, was strucke off from the banks to the earth, with his head all bruised fatally, and so was car­ried into a poore fishers Cottage, which could scarce hold him, and [Page 50] two of his servants, and in that poore plight, in that dejected state, upon a Mattresse of straw, he ended his life. The King and the Queene his Mother came thi­ther, and saw that deplorable spe­ctacle, and all their pompe and magnificence was suddenly turn'd into mourning, and the wedding ended in a funerall, and all their large hopes of the prosperous suc­cessefull government of their sons state were extinguished, and cut off as greene flowers by the cold blasts of a Northern wind; & so all this Princes glory was laid in a little quantity of earth. Oh the strange and sudden whirle-windes of humane glory! Oh the unex­pected precipices and downfals of the strongest of mortals!

Shall I speak of more? Basilius the Emperour, as he was hunting a Stag, was wounded with his horne,Hippol. Guar. l. 6. de abomi­nandis gentis hum. 1.20 and in short time after of that wound died. An ancient Mo­nument in Ambrose, neer Oenipont, records that a yong unexpert gen­tleman, more rash than wise, put [Page 51] his horse with his spurs to take a ditch of twenty feet over,Vide Iusta Hen. 4. regis Gall. a Ludovi­co Rich [...] ­omo. scri­pta. he forc'd the horse to it, but both he and his horse perished alike: the Knights clothes, and the horses skin kept in that place, speake this true to posterity.

But this sudden death happens alike to good and bad: unlesse (as in some examples) the divine stroke of Justice hath wiped out some out of the Land of the living for some notorious offence in the very act and perpetration, so Da­than and Abiram for their rebellion were swallowed up of the earth quick with their consorts. Such was the death of Absolon for his rebellion against his Father. Such was the death of those fifty, that were sent to Elijah, whom fire from heaven suddenly devoured. Such was the death likewise of Zimri and Cozhi, for their trans­gression, being both run through by Phinees: Whose action in lust brought them to dust.

So many Pores as are in the body, so many little doores are [Page 52] there for death to enter; though death doth not seeme alwayes to be neere, yet hee is certainly at hand always ready. Why should that seeme strange to be done at this time, which may be done at any time? The tearm of our life is fixed,Senet. E­pist. 101. Med. and alters not; but none of us all knows, how neere it wee are. Let us so order our selves therefore alwayes, as if we were come to the mark. Let us not defer. There was a certain man dream't hee was killed by the mouth of a Lion, He rose, and neglecting his dreame, went to the Church with other company, and by the doore as they entred he spied a Lion cut in stone, with his mouth open, which partly upheld one of the Pillars, Hereupon, hee with jesting and laughter told his dreame to his fellows, Behold (saith hee) this is the Lion that kild mee in my dreame; with that saying, Hee put his hand into the hollow place of the stone-lions mouth, and said, Oh fierce Lion here is thy enemy, shut thy mouth [Page 53] if thou beest able, and bite off my hand; hee had scarce made an end of speaking, but hee received his fatall blow: for in the bottome of that hollow place lay hid a Scorpion, which feeling his hand, put forth her sting, touch'd him, and he forthwith fell downe dead. Is it so that stones can sting, and poyson lurke in a Lion of stone? Where may wee then not justly feare deaths stroke? in the like manner did Hylas perish whom a lurking Viper in the chops of a Beare of stone did kill; which is express'd by Martiall in his third Book, and nineteenth Epigram.

What need I to mention the young man who was kild, as hee was going into an house, by an Icesicle, which fell upon his head, from the House-eaves; Whom Martiall laments in his Epigrams.Lib. 4. Ep. 18. So that you see, many are the pas­sages that Death hath to set upon us, and usually he is then nearest when we least think of him.

§. 21. An Antidote against sudden Death.

GOod Reader, here is annexed a short Prayer that I propose unto thee as a pattern for thee to use daily to entreat the Lord JE­SUS CHRIST to preserve thee from sudden death. It is at thine owne liberty whether thou wilt use that or some other every day. I made it, that thou mightst on thy knees beg this great bles­sing of thy Saviour; and know thus much, such is the danger and so common, that no man can be too wary or carefull over himself.

A Prayer.

O Most loving and bountifull Lord Iesus, my Lord, and my GOD, I most ardently d [...]sire thee by thy most precious bloud shedding; by thy last [Page 55] words upon the Crosse, when thou cryedst, My God, my God [...], why hast thou forsaken mee; by those bl ssed words of thine, when thou saidst, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; that thou wouldst not take mee away by violent death. Thy hands (oh blessed Redee­mer) made me, and fashioned mee, oh give me understanding and I shall live, oh make not so soon a [...]end of me, give me, I beseech thee, time of Repen­tance, grant that I may end in thy fa­vour, that I may love thee with all my heart, and prayse, and blesse thy Name for ever, AMEN.

NEverthelesse, all things (good Lord) are in thy disposing, neither is there any that can resist thy will: my life depends upon thy good pleasure, neither doe I will as I please, but resigne my wil, to thy most godly governance, in what place, time, or by what sicknesse thou wilt strike mee, Thy will be done. I doe commend all these to thy fatherly goodnesse and providence. I except no place, [Page 56] no time, no disease, though bitter and grievous, because Thou of ve­ry faithfulnesse hast caused mee to be troubled; onely this one thing do I crave of Thee, not to take me away in my sins, by some hastie Messenger, but how ever not my will but thine (O Lord) be done, if it seemes good to thy heavenly wisdome quickly to make an end of mee, I submit; thy will, Oh God, be done in all things: For even then I hope through thy tender mercies to depart in peace, and in thy favour, in which though I do die by the hand of sud­den death, yet nothing shall sepa­rate thy love from my soul. The just though taken away by death, goes but to his rest.Sap. 4.7. Death is not sudden to him that is alwayes pro­vided.

Which if there be not a longer space and time left to me, in which I may commend my soule to thee, which is onely knowne to thee, be­hold then now I doe it, and doe ardently and heartily call unto thee (O Lord) Lord, heare my voice, [Page 57] and let my cry come unto thee. Have mercy upon me (O Lord) according to thy infinite mercies: Let thy will be done in earth as it is heaven; Into thy hands, O Lord, doe I commend my spi­rit; for thou hast redeemed it, O Lord God of truth. All things living prayse and blesse thee, O God. In thee (O Lord) have I put my trust, let mee not be put to confusion.

§. 22. That our days are few and evill.

HOw old art thou; Sixty; how many yeeres aged art thou? se­venty; tell mee also, oh man, how old art thou? fourescore. Alas! good men where are these yeeres? where are thy sixty? where hast thou left thy threescore and ten, and where (oh man) wilt thou find thy fourescore? why number yee those that are lost and spent? Elegantly said Laelius that wise man to a man that said. I have six­ty yeeres in hold, thou doest (said he) reckon that which thou hast not; [Page 58] neither those that are past, nor what is to come is thine, wee de­pend upon a moment of fleeting time, and even a little time is of great consequence.

Gen. 47.8. & 9. Pharaoh the Egyptian King, asking the Patriarch Iacob how old hee was, old Iacob answer'd, The dayes of the yeeres of thy ser­vants pilgrimage are few and evill.

Hearken you earthly Tantaluss [...]s which so eagerly thirst after the extended yeeres of a perishing life; Know that you are strangers here, not inhabitants, passengers, not dwellers, travellers, not na­tives, nor are you travellers in a long continuing journey, your way as it is evill, so it is short; short it is, perhaps to be ended before the conclusion of the next houre which you divide with death; evill any knows it to be, that are in it. It offers more bra [...]bles than Roses to go upon. Miserable and vaine that we are! what advantage is it for a stranger to load himselfe with p [...]bbles, and fading flowers, and for them to [Page 59] lose his heavenly inheritance? what hinderance or losse is it to leave these, if we get immortalitie and glory? to labour in the way, to provoke to good workes, to sweat in them, to endure any troubles or molestation is to bee counted gaine. The more harsh our banishment is, the more welcome will our Country be.

§. 23. That a young man may die old.

AS old men at length become as children, so there may be many young may be said to be old men. Old Balaam a man of threescore yeers and ten, answered Josaphat the King (asking him how old he was) that hee was fortie and five, and told the King w [...]ndring at his wo [...]ds; that hee had beene quiet at his study twenty five yeeres, as for the rest which hee had spent [Page 60] upon worldly vanities hee did ve­rily believe all those to be utterly lost; so one Similius, which was (as it were) buried in Court af­faires, & had rather liv'd for his Emperour, than for himself, cau­sed this to be engraved upon his Sepulchre, Here lyes buried Simi­lius an old man of seven yeeres of age. 1 Reg. 13.1. In the sacred Writ it is re­corded of King Saul, that he be­gan to reigne when hee was one yeere old, and hee reigned two yeeres over Israel. Saul when hee began to reigne was as pure from sin as an Infant of a yeere old: and he kept this his uprightnesse and integrity but one compleat yeere, although in all hee ruled twenty yeeres. Many get to old age be­fore they be so. Many never see the flourishing of that worke, but in their old and decrepid age they too often reteine the sinnes of youth, holy Iob doth speak it, His bones are filled with the sins of his youth.Sen. Epist. 49. ad fi­nem. et. l. de tran­quill. c. 3. A life is not counted good for the duration of it, but the use; it may be so, and hath come [Page 61] to passe, that hee who hath lived a long time, may be said to have li­ved but a short moment; there is nothing more grosse, than an old man that hath no other argument to prove himselfe old by, than his age and multitude of yeeres. Saint Ambrose spake elegantly of Agnes a Virgin, Serm. 90. qui est de S. Agnes. In yeeres shee was a child, but in gravity and sobriety of minde shee was an ancient Ma­tron: the sacred Scriptures pro­claim that old age is reverend, and the hoary head, when they are furnished with wisdome.Wisd. 4, 8, 9.

It is therefore that old men are reverenced, not for their anti­quity and multiplicity of days, but for their holinesse of life, and abundance of wisdome. Whosoe­ver therefore is ancient in wise­dome, though yong in yeers, is as a Daniel, and deserves respect: an upright life is the best senio­rity.

Hee hath liv'd long enough, who hath liv'd wel. He hath fought enough, who hath got the victo­rie.

§. 24. A Paradox. That any man that will, may live long.

TVlly saith, that a short time is long enough to live well.Lib. 1. Tus [...] q [...]. Hee never dies too early that (if hee had liv'd longer) would not have liv'd better. That youngling hath lived yeeres enough, who hath liv'd to get Vertue, to get Eter­nity. Hath not he spoke well that perswades his Auditours by one short sentence, or beckning? Hath not he run well, who hath gain'd the prize? Hath not he sail'd far enough that is come happily to his desired Haven? Onely have a care that death prevents not our meditations, and then the swifter our course, the happier it is.

Curt. lib. 9 c. 12. Mod.Truly, I say (as the King of Ma­cedon said in Cu [...]tius) Hee which numbers not my yeeres but my vi­ctorious Conquests, & computes my husband [...]y of Fortunes gifts [Page 63] exactly, will finde I lived long time; but much more trulier, Hc, who hath consecrated his whole life to God, and hath onely studied to please and serve him, may say with confidence and comfort; if my yeers be not numbred, but my manifold desires of pleasing God, and Gods great and infinite mer­cies bestowed up [...]n mee in that time, I have lived long.

§. 25. That wee must all die.

AVgustus the Emperour having taken the City of Perouse in Hetruria, observed many,Sn [...]on. in Aug. c. 15 how they beg d their pardons, or desired to excuse themselves, hee answered them all in this short sentence,Dio saith 400. We must all die; Thereupon hee forth­with commanded three hund [...]ed of them to be sacrificed upon the Altar built to Iulius Caesar. Iust. Ma [...]. in Trip. [...]ren. l. 5. cont Ha­r [...]se [...].

Iustinus Martyr and Ireneus fa­mous writers amongst the Primi­tive [Page 64] times, have wittily observ'd, that after the sentence pronounc'd of death against our first parents, there was never any mortall man, according to Gods sacred account, that did ever live out one whole day compleat; For the Prophets and Apostles beare record,Ps. 90.4. & 2 Pet. 3.8. That a thousand yeeres in Gods fight are but as one day, and one day as a thousand yeeres: But yet never vvas that man found whose life attaind to such a large extent as to a thou­sand yeeres, therefore according to Gods reckoning never did any live a day outright. Thou must dy, though thy life goes beyond the compasse of 900. yeeres. All those registred in the word of God, of whom some lived so many hundred, and others so many hun­dred yeeres, yet the finall clause of all of them is this, and He dyed. This will appeare to be most cer­tain by the sacred oracles, by rea­son and experience. Gods word hath in the old and new Testament mentioned this 600. times, Mori­endum, We must die. Reason con­vinceth [Page 65] the same by most evident demonstrations; because man is compos'd of contraries, and ob­noxious to ruine, and so of conse­quence at one time or other, Mo­riendum est, He must die. Experi­ence the Schoolemistris of wise & unwise, points as it were with her finger at the immēse heaps of dead corpses, and shews by daily exam­ples that yet there was never man that deluded or shifted off deaths wound, it is as manifest as the sunne at noon day, Moriendum est, that man must goe to his long home. This word, Death, sounds in the eares of all as loud as thun­der; no man can in this thing bee either blind, or deafe; will we, nil we, this voice will peirce our ears; Deaths thunder will bee Morien­dum est, we must all die. Even di­vine Justice, and divine mercy herein agree in one, all men must die.

Aeschilus said of old,Nat. 99. l. 6. in fi­ne. Death only refuseth to be bribed by the very deities. The Goddesses with their guifts could not asswage Death, [Page 66] It admits not the sweetest and fairest hopes, and therefore Sene­ca said wisely, let us have that al­ways fixed in our minds, let us always apply this to our souls, Moriendum est, we must die; when? thou shalt never know better than presently; Death is the Law of Nature, and thou must pay this [...]ribute when death by law re­quires it; wherefore laying aside all other things, meditate seri­ously this one, lest when death comes thou shouldest feare his approach. Make death by a fre­quent meditation thy familiar, that when it shall so fall out that death shall call thou mayest wil­lingly and readily salute it with cheerfulnesse.

§ 26. The remembrance of Death is divers ways to hee renewed.

1. IT is reported that a dead mans scul dryed in an oven, and beaten to powder in a mor­ter, [Page 67] and so mixt with oile, doth speedely heale the Gangrene, and Canker. To bruise the braine pan, and other the bones of dead men, by an holy Meditation and Contemplation doth perfectly cure the Gangrene of the Soule.

2 Plato is said to out-strip the sages in this respect,S. Hiero. hu ut meminit in C. 10. Ma [...] in that with vivacity and courage he did con­template upon death and read lectures to his Schollers of it. Therefore he gave this as a law to his Schollers; that being en­tred on their journey they should never stand still or stop their cou [...]s he wisely intimated by this, that there departure out of this life should bee daily considered, and some progresse to he made every day more than other.

3 Nicolaus Christopherus Radzi­vilius a Prince of Poland affirmes, that in Aegypt those which did ex­cell others in age and wisdome, did daily carry about them dead mens bones set in ebony or some other thing, and did use to shew them to men, and by these they did [Page 68] daily exhort men to remember their ends, the Aegyptians also use at their banquets to bring in a deaths head, and end their mer­ry meetings with this sad Em­bleme, to have presented be­fore them the shoulder-blade of a dead man, with this heavie motto, Remember you must die.

4 The Great Cham of Tartarie, in the City of Bagdad, upon a Fe­stivall day which they call Rama­dam, shewing himselfe to the peo­ple riding upon a Mule, being richly apparelled investments of gold and silver cloth, his Turbant being all set with precious jewels, yet all his head and ornaments are hid under a blacke veile, by which custome and ceremony hee shews, that the greatest glory, and highest magnificence, will be sha­ded and obscured with death.

Baron. Tom. 7. An. 567.5 There was laid over Iustinian the Emperour being dead a large Carpet, in which in Phrygian work there were woven the lively Effi­gies of all the Cities that hee had conquered, and all the barbarous [Page 69] Kings he had subdued: and in the midst of all those great Battails, Trophies, and Conquests, there was the Image of Death. For, for certain, Death doth sport it self in Kingdomes; as he said,Pallida mors aeque pulsat pede &c.

Death onely strikes not poore men dead and clowns,
But lofty Turrets, and Imperiall Crowns

Martine the fifth Pope of Rome, Aulea O­tho Co­lumn a di­ctus. had this in a Badge or Symbol, In a great fire ready kindled, in which were throwne a Bishops Mitre, a Cardinals Hat, an Em­perours Diadem, the Crownes of Kings, a Dukes Cap of Mainte­nance and Sword; with this ad­nexed Motto, So passeth all worldly glory.

6 A man asked a Mariner up­on a time where his Father died?De remed. utriusque fortunae, l. 1. dial. 121. Fran. Petrarch. Cujus ope­ra hic sae­pius uten­dum, the Mariner replyed in the Sea; the other asked him, where his grandfather and his great grand­father died? the Sailer answered again at Sea; and (quoth the o­ther) art not thou then afraid to goe to Sea? The Sailor wittily [Page 70] replyed, and Sir, I pray you tell me where your Father died? He answered in his bed; but where died your grandfather, and all o­ther your Ancestours? in their beds replyed the other: then are not you afraid to go into your bed seeing all your forefathers died there; no, said the other; why, said the Sailor, by your owne relation the bed is the more dangerous in this respect, for there many more dies in their beds, than there doe at sea; and you may die there, as soon as I may at sea. A witty an­swer and well applyed. Let our daily Meditations be as Lipsius said when hee went sick to bed, ad Le­ctum, ad Lethum; to the Bed and so to the Grave: for many have died in their sleep, Death being but the elder sister of sleep.

7 Iohn Patriarch of Alexan­dria, Le [...]. [...]y­p [...]or. Episc. c. 18. in vita Io­an [...]s. which took his name from hi [...] Almesdeeds, in his health he commanded his sepulchre to be built but it was not fully finished; in so much that upon a great solemn [...] feast day in the presence of all the [Page 71] Clergie, when hee had ended his sacred Charge, One said to him (My Lord) your sepulchre is not yet built up, nor perfected; com­mand, I pray you, that it may be made speedily up; For your honour knows not how soone the Thiefe may overtake you.

8 It was not lawfull for any one to speake to the Easterne Em­perour, being newly created,Idem ibid. be­fore that a Mason had shewed him som sorts of Marble, of several colours, and had asked which of those he liked best to have his Se­pulcher made of. What was this else but to say, Be not high min­ded, o Emperour, Thou art a man and shalt die as the meanest beg­ger.Xiphili. in Domit. who in this ban­quet did not seeke to re­member death, but sport and va­nity.

Looke therefore so to the go­vernment of thy Kingdome which thou shalt lose, as that thou lo­sest not the Kingdome which is e­verlasting.

9 Domitianus the Romane Em­perour made a banquet to the chiefe of his Senators, and great Knights after this manner: Hee [Page 72] had all the roomes covered with black cloaths, also the roofes of the Chambers, the walls, and the pavement, the seats all black, promising mourning; In the chief place was a funeral bed, the guests were brought in by night, without any attendants, by every one there was placed a Coffin with every mans name upon it, & there were lāps added & set up, as use to be at funerals; the waiters at the table they carried the colours of the night in their habits and counte­nances, and compassed the guests with notes and gestures of Death; all this while supper was celebra­ted in great silence, and Domiti­ans discours was only of burialls and Death at the table, to the a­stonishment and affrightment of his guests, who feared what would be the issue of this his action. What followed think you after all this mournfull carriage and de­portment, onely Domitianus had provided a wholsome document for himselfe and his Senators, but never made use of it, so that it [Page 73] was rather judged folly than wisedome: The Egyptians doe better, who alwayes temper their feasts with some seasonable les­sons of Mortality.

§ 27. A discourse of New shifts made by Assan Bashaw in Grand Cayro for erecting of a Temple.

IN Grand-Cayro in Egypt there is a Turkish Temple, (which they call a Mosque) which was builded by this meanes.Rad [...]. Epist. 3. Itineris in palastin. pag. 176. Assan the Bashaw for the Grand-Seigneur of Turky, a man of a cunning head, and a covetous Heart, be­ing desirous his fame should be spread abroad through the world by some eminent structure, but willing to save his owne purse, went this way to worke. He com­manded it to be proclaimed in all places, what a mighty Tem­ple he was intended to build to God; And that this Temple migh [...] proceed with all happy [Page 74] successe, he published what large wages all they that would come and worke should have paid them: withall what an huge of­fering should there be offered; thereupon the time and place was appointed. This call'd an innumerable company of people out of all Egypt, and not onely from thence, but a world of peo­ple came from all other parts to Grand-Cayro. Against this great confluence of peoples comming, Assan the Bashaw had prepared a mighty number of new shirts and coats: now those which came to the offering, as also they which came to receive wages, were all cōmanded to passe through seve­rall little dores out of one great spacious court into another, and at each dore as they passed single, he had set officers to strip off their old garments and shirts, and n [...]w ones were put upon them, by force and command. By this his subtile craft, whatsoever any man had brought with him for his journey (as the manner [Page 75] in those parts is, to sow, or bind it up in his shirt or Turbant) he got it all in this manner to him­selfe; Now, it is wonderfull to thinke what a masse of money he gain'd out of so many thousan [...]s of people. And although all the people had rather have kept their owne habit (though it was not so gay and new as the Bashawes were) yet there were no com­plaints to be received, but so it was commanded, and so it was to be performed. Well, all the people lamented and grieved, and desired their old cloathes againe; but hee as a great politician laugh'd at them, and comman­ded all their cloathes presently to be burned in one generall fire; And out of the fire was taken such a masse of Treasure and mo­ney, as sufficed enough and e­nough to erect that great famous Temple.

Now observe just so do [...]h Death deale with us, hee takes away from us all our rich garments, and wraps us all in an empty wind­ing-sheet. [Page 76] Now,2 Cor. 5. v. 4. (as the blessed Apostle St. Paul saith) wee sigh being burthened, and are loth to be found naked, yet not wil­ling to be stript of our cloathing; but we strive in vaine, sterne Death (as that greedy Bashaw) is nothing mov'd with our com­plaints, will we, nill we, we must lay aside our old cloathing, put off; and be gone The same con­dition binds all of us, all that have a birth, must partake of death, there is a little distance, but no distinction.

But now heare how this cove­tous mans act was revenged. The Turkish Seigneur having Intel­ligence what was done by Assanus the Bashaw, hee presently di­spatc'd one Imbraim a Bashaw to him with Letters, and charg'd him sorthwith upon the receit of his Letters, to send his head to him in Constantinople: These fa­tall Le [...]ters the grea [...] Turke useth to write with his owne hand, and to seale them himselfe, and so to role them up in black-silke; The [Page 77] summe alwayes of these Letters is; Mitte mihi tuum caput. (i. e.) send to me your Head; which was effected speedily.

Marke now seriously: whoso­ever thou art, King or Kaesar, when as the Grand Ruler of hea­ven and earth sends to thee his black letters by Death his mes­senger, thou canst not resist nor plead excuse, thou mayest not: to entreat will not availe thee, fly or escape thou canst not: it is determined above. Doe thus then, and make a vertue of necessitie: what thou must doe by force, doe willingly, send thy head and thy heart too, not to a Tyrant, but to a Father, not to a man, but to God. Be not thou onely comman­ded to set thy house in order and dye, but willingly surrender thy selfe, for why should it not agree with thy will, when against thy will it must be, it is of necessitie to yeeld, it is of vertue and grace to resigne willingly.

§. 28. That each day is to be regarded, and warily observed.

MVsonius speakes it, that wee cannot spend the day as we ought, unlesse wee determine to use it, as if it were our last: It is wholesome counsell which Saint Austine affords us:Tom. 10 Lib. 50. Homil. 13 initio. Our last day we know not, because wee should look well to every day. God hath wisely appointed the day of our death to be uncertaine, that wee should no [...] be at any time secure, and that every one should reckon this present time, his last; but if you say, it is a melancholy thought to be poring and considering up­on death, and that it is the onely way to bring on death, you are mistaken much; A wise man will thinke with contentednesse of death, no otherwise than an un­derstanding Mariner will thinke of winds and waves as his ship sailes, as meanes to bring him in­to [Page 79] his Harbour; and yet the very thought doth not bring him thi­ther. This is all our folly and er­rour, wee will be tost amongst waves, and floods, and yet wee feare to goe, whither by nature and reason we are led. Nature di­ctates this to us:

One steers-man guides us all,
At our rising, or our fall.

And for Reason, who, that is en­dued with it will deny? What tossings, turmoylings, cares, di­stractions, miseries, dolors of bo­dy and mind, are not here? Be­hold an end of them, why fearest thou? behold the haven, why entrest thou not in? but indeed as men in prison would faine come forth, and might but for the Keeper, who locks them fast in; So mightest thou, but for thy say­lor; the love of this vaine life. He is to be dismiss'd, and as thou art able, so must thou often consider of that, which thou must once un­dergoe. And because thy last day is uncertain and unknown, suspect every one for it: rely upon none [Page 80] securely, by this course thy spirit will be more full of courage, thy life will bee more conformable, and thy departure more comfor­table, for what can terrifie, or di­sturbe him? to whom

The Prince of feares,
With joy appeares.

A secret sudden wound is most terrible, a meditated death layes us downe gently and joyfully.

§. 29. The Seat Royall of all our pride, is our Beere.

Gen c. 13. toti. ABraham that great Patriarch, when by Gods command, He went travelling up and downe, he desired nothing more, then to find a place to rest in,Heb. 11. and for the purchasing so much ground as would serve him for a place of buriall. This hee desired to have his owne, that he might possesse it, and wholly enjoy it. Hence he without any delay paid to the seller all the money which hee as­ked [Page 81] for it, without any deduction, of good and currant money, nor would it suffice him to have it pub­lickly pass'd over to him, but withall he would that all the In­habitants should be witnesses for his buying it. By which matter the pious man showed, that a mans grave or Sepulchre is truly his owne, which he might rather than any thing else call his pro­perly. By the example of Abraham, Every good man will chiefly care for to have a Sepulchre at the time of his dissolution; other hou­ses and lands, and possessions, want no chapmen, few men pur­chase after this manner, howe­ver, the grave is a sure and a qui­et possession.

Maximilianus the first Empe­rour of the Austrian Family, three yeares before his death, comman­ded his Coffin to bee made of Oke, and to be put into a great Chest, which was carried with him, in his Marches and travels, and provided by his Will, that his dead body wrapped in a linnen [Page 82] cloth should bee lay'd therein, without any embalming, onely his nostrils, mouth, and eares, to be stopped with lime or chalke; what meant this great Monarch? onely that having such a Monu­ment of Mortality before him, hee should say; Remember thou must die; And that he might daily say; Why doest thou, oh my soule, so enlarge thy thoughts? why doest thou possesse so much? why gapest thou still after more? whom so many Provinces and Kingdomes could not hold, this little Cabinet must include? and why thinke you he desired to have lime and chalke for his nostrils, mouth and eares? behold the costly Odours and Unguents in which he would be laid downe! Oh Maximilian, great once thou wert! and thy actions, and these very things at thy death speake the same.

Baron. Tom. 3. An. 326. [...]. 96.What shall I speake of the Cof­fin of Ablavius, which was a Prae­fect, and a great Prince amongst other of Constantine the Great his Courtiers, an insatiable devourer [Page 83] of gold, who meditated more of gold, than his grave, or heaven. Constantine on a time taking him by the hand spake thus unto him, How long, how long, said he, shall we heape together wealth of this kind; And as hee had spoke the words, with a Speare which hee held in his hand, he drew the de­scription of a Coffin on the ground; Hadst thou (said hee) a world full of such treasure, yet af­ter thy death thou shalt not have a greater place than this, perhaps lesse then this forme which I have drawne out; Constantine in this prov'd a Prophet, for this Ablavi­us was cut in small peeces, so that there was nothing left of him to put into a Sepulchre.

Charles the fift, Emperour of Ger­many, did imitate Maximilian whō I named ere-while, long before his death he sequestred himself from administring the affaires of the Empire; and having transferr'd the government and management of it to his Sonne, who was able for his yeares, and of judgement [Page 84] sufficient, hee himselfe went into Spaine with 12. followers onely, into the Monastery of St. Justus, to give himselfe wholly to Gods service, and forbade any to call him by any other name or title, then Charles onely, putting farre off the title of Caesar Augustus with the Imployment, and con­temned all honours whatsoever. And moreover it is registred of him, that before he relinquish'd the Empire, he commanded his Tombe to be made, with all fur­niture belonging to his buriall, and had it carried with him whi­thersoever he went, but privately. Hee had this funebrious accou­trements five yeares with him, wheresoever he was; I, even when he went to Millaine against the French, and had it diligently eve­ry night placed in his bed-cham­ber. Some that were about his Person, thought that therein hee kept his treasure, others judged that in it he kept some rare books, containing some ancient Historys; Others thought there was some [Page 85] great matter in it: but he him­selfe knowing for what purpose he carried it, would smiling say; He carried it about for the use of something which was deare unto him. So did this Charles daily meditate of death, that at every night, he should say, Vixi, I have lived; and so every morning rise with profit and comfort.

Many others have piously imi­tated this Emperour,Zach. Lip­pol. tom. 3. in vit. S. Re. 1. Octob. that for long time together have carried their Coffins, the monuments of their death, with them for contemplati­on. Genebaldus, for seven whole yeares together, had his bed made like a Coffine, in which for that space he lived austerely, and exercised himselfe in Mortifica­tion.

There was one Ida, Idem. tom. 3. in vita. S. Idae. 4 Sept. Hier. Epist. 103. a woman famous for holinesse, which had likewise her Coffin made long be­fore her death, which she filled twice a day with food and nourish­ment, and so often distributed it to the poore liberally: The study of piety, is the preparatory for [Page 86] death; No death pollutes a vertu­ous soule, he will easily despise all earthly things, who hath his thoughts fixed upon his dissolu­tion.

§ 30. What our life is?

IT is as a flower, as smoake, as a shadow, and as the shadow of a shadow; It is a Bubble, Dust, froth: It is as deaw, as a drop, as brittle ice; As the Raine-bow, a blazing Taper, a bag full of holes; A rui­nous house, deceitfull ashes, a spring-day, a constant Aprill; as a dash in musick, a broken vessell; As a bucket for a Wel, a Spiders web; As a drop to the Ocean, weake stubble; A Summers herbe, a short Fable, a flying sparkle: A darke cloud, a bladder full of wind; as a little Dove a taking her slight, a brittle Glasse, a fading Leafe, a fine weake thred, a Sodemes Ap­ple, &c. And if a shadow bee no­thing, tell me what is the dreame [Page 87] of a shadow? wee may make sixe hundred thousand of such si­militudes of frailty and incon­stancy, and all like to mans life; Me thinkes of all others he spake wittily that calls it, a very short dreame of a shadow, in briefe, let us see what life is? it is as one hath described it in this distich.

Somnus, umbra, vitrum, glacies, flos, fabula, foenum.
Vmbra, cinis, punctum, vox, sonus, aura, nihil.

(i. e.)

Life's like a dreame, a bubble, ice, or glasse,
Like fading flowers, vaine fables, with'ring grasse.
It is a shadow, dust, a point, a voice, a sound,
It's empty ayre; well look'd too, Nothing found.

Ah wretches! how seeme we to heape up wealth, to get honours, to follow and hunt after plea­sures? when all these are as soone vanished as our selves. Any of these, all of them are but as a dreame, and how short and vaine [Page 88] is that!Psal. 76.5. true is that saying of the Psalmist, the proud are robbed, they have slept their sleepe, and all the men whose hands are mighty have found nothing, they dreamt that they were mighty and rich; but what have they retain'd or kept of all they gaped after, or hoped for? these are but meere dreames and fancies indeed: and wakening they shall find their losse, and grieve in their punish­ment.

What therefore is life? I will declare it compendiously: the time, and length of our life, is a point, our nature is inconstan­cy, our senses are obscurity; Our whole body is but a rot­ting Concretion, our mind va­grant; Honours are but smoke; Riches are thornes; Pleasures are poyson [...]. And that I may summe up all in word; All things belonging to the body, are but a passing streame; all the minds endowments are empti­nesse; our life is a warre; the lo [...]ging of a traveller in a [Page 89] strange City, the shop of all mi­series, and our fame after death, is but oblivion: Ausonius delive­vers this well unto us;

Mieremur periisse homines?
Epigr. 3.
mo­menta fatiscunt;
Mors etiam saxis, nominibus (que) venit.

(i. e.)

Men being as moments (no won­der) though they're gone;
Death makes our names to faile, and Marble-stone.

It's a vertue to consummate our life before death knocks at our doores.

§. 31. That our life is a play.

OUr life is a Comedy, we the stage-players, one acts a King, another a Beggar, a third a Prince, another a Physitian, ano­ther a Clowne; What part is im­posed upon us we must performe, we get no Plaudite unlesse we act well: Well said Epictetus, Euch. c. 23 Thou [Page 90] art called upon the Stage, it makes not what part thou perfor­mest, so thou doest it well.

Sueton. in Aug. 99. Suetonius reports of Augustus Caesar, that at the end of his life, he asked his friends that were about him, if he had play'd his part well or not? They answered him, yes; why doe ye not then (said the Emperour) afford me a Plaudite?

Seneca well spake, of the life of man comp [...]red to a Play;Epist. 80. in Med. I will often practise my part, lest for want of use, I grow unskilfull, and so get discredit and shame.

Laertius in Zeno saith, that a wise man is l [...]ke a Player: that whether he acts Thersi [...]es or Aga­memnon, he should strive to per­forme both with diligence.

Wee are therefore to attend not so much what wee are, but what wee shall bee, when wee shall have layd downe our per­sons, and put of our Vizards, nor matters it when wee perform'd our parts, onely if we did them with discretion.

§ 32. The Type of Humane life.

BArlaam, an old man,Iohannes Damas­ceu, Hist, de his, c. 13. ad finem. declaring to King Iosaphat the deceitfull joyes of Humane life, described them to him after this manner; A certain man fled from a Unicern, which is a fierce cruell beast; in his flight he rush'd suddenly into a deepe pit, but in his fall, his hands being stretch'd forth, he caught hold of a tree, and by that meanes stopt his fall, while hee was in the tree, he contemn'd the danger he was escap'd from; but he saw two mice, the one was blacke, the other white, these two lay gnawing the roote of the tree, and had almost bit it in peeces; then, he casting his eyes about espyed beneath him a won­drous deepe ditch, and in it was a terrible Dragon threatning death to him, if he fell; and while he was looking about to save himselfe from dangers, hee [Page 92] spyed the heads of foure great ve­nemous Serpents, lying forth out of the sides of the ditch, yet hee neglecting all these dangers, hee lift up his eyes, and beheld some Honey dropping from a tree, wherefore he supposing himselfe secure, forgetting the Unicorne that followed him, the Dragon that threatned him, the Mice that gnawed the roots of the tree, the Serpents that waited him, and the sudden fall of that tree, hee greedily licked in the Honey, and these things (said Barlaam) doe set forth the folly of our lives: and thus he explained it;

The Unicorne resembles Death, which doth pursue all mankind eagerly; The Ditch is this world, which is stored with all sorts of mi­series; The Tree which he caught hold on, is this life terminated within certaine bounds; The two Mice are the night and the day, which eat up the root of the tree by little and little: The foure Serpents are the foure Elements, who if they be out of order, or [Page 93] molested, Death ensues; That great and terrible Dragon, de­signes the fiery Serpent the divel, who goes about, seeking whom he may devoure; The drops of Ho­ney, which the man so eagerly de­sired to tast of, are the enticing pleasures, and the rotten baites of sinnes, being once overcome with the alluring pleasures and deceitfull lusts, man neither fears the sudden fall into Hell, nor e­ver mindes the joyes of Heaven, but desires to perish in the gulph of these sensuall delights: this was Barlaams explication to Josa­phat. Oh how true! most true is all this! if we be wise, let us re­member our ends, for from every moment of time depends eternity.

§. 33. The Prologue, Narration, and Epi­logue of mans life.

THe Prologue of humane life, is to be borne; the Narrati­on, is to grieve; the Epilogue is [Page 94] to die. The Appendixes of th [...]se three are grones, and teares, or joy, which is worse than weeping. Seneca saith excellently:Consel. ad Polyb. c. 23. goe too (saith he) looke circumspectly upon all men, and you shall have cause and matter enough to weep; Poverty and exigency, and ex­treame necessity, calls one forth to his toylsome labour, another is vainly sweld, and puft up with Ambition, another feares in the middest of his wealth, a fourth is vexed with care, some are weak­ned with sicknesse and diseases, o­thers are turmoyling in great bu­sinesses, and are troubled with the confluence of Clyents; this man grieves that hee hath children, a second that he hath lost them, a third because he never had them. We shall weepe our selves empty of teares, before we shall want ob­jects for them. Seest thou not what a life Nature promises us? whose entrance, progresse, and egr [...]sse, is but a vicissitude of sor­rows, and an entercourse of mise­ries and teares; in these we be­gin [Page 95] our life, with these we go on, and with abundance of teares, and wailings wee goe out.

A great part of our life is spent in doing evill, a great deale spent and consum'd in doing nothing, and a great part of it wasted in doing other things, not the maine. Who is he that so prizeth a day, as though he should never have any more? Hence is it that we care­lesly forget things past, neglect things present, doe not fore-see things to come. Well, when it is come to the upshot, then, then shall we with griefe and sorrow know and understand, that what time was spent in sinne and idlenesse, to be utterly lost; Let us there­fore walke circumspectly, and lay hold on all times and opportuni­ties for our betterment. Let us judge each houre our dying houre. By this meanes we shall so order our lives, that we shall not be afraid to die, for while our life seemes to be prolonged, it fleets and passes away.

§. 34. That the longest life is but short at the best.

Epist. 77. in fine.MOst truly said Seneca, no mans life but is short. For if we respect the nature of things even Nestors and Statilia's were but short, who commanded this t [...] be inscribed on her tombe, tha [...] shee lived 99. yeares; behold the vaine boasting of an old woman what would she have beene, ha [...] she lived an hundred!

As (it is in the Fables) th [...] golden Flour-amour, or the Ama­ranthus, was planted next to th [...] Rose, and said to the Rose thus; O [...] what a comely flower the Rose is▪ O how beautifull! how amiable I doe take thee for a blessed flower, for thy sweetnesse, colour, an [...] comelinesse: Oh thou Queene o [...] Flowers! To whom the Rose replied; I doe indeed, oh Amaranthus, excell in splendor and sweet­nesse, but my time of flourishing [Page 97] is but short, and though no hand should offer violence to mee, yet I doe soon wither of my self: but thou art happy, for thou alwayes doest flourish, never diest: I had rather have lesse beauty, and longer life. Mans life is emble­matiz'd in this Rose, short and fading; and though no violence be offered to him, yet he fals of his owne accord into the grave. The Prince of Physicians said well, Arts are long and durable, Hippoc. initio A­phor. but life is short. Wee have but a little, and we spend a great deal of that little in luxury and idlenesse. O im­provident Mortals, the body wee carry about us is not our dwelling, but our June, it must be left, when once the Master is weary of our company. Therefore, ô my good Christian! hasten to live holily, and thinke every day an entrance into a new life. Who so fits him­selfe this way, shall meet death with comfort. That man never died ill, who lived well.

§ 35. That Procrastination is the greatest damage and blemish to our lives.

WE put off any thing but wic­kednesse, that not onely takes up the present day, but is like­wise promised the morrow. In sin wee are prompt actors, in other things usuall promisers and fair-speakers: then wee use to say, to morrow it shall be done or next week, or next yeere without de­lay; so doe dayes, moneths, and yeeres slide away; while we one­ly delay, and promise, but per­forme not. Seneca speaks admira­bly in this point.Lib. de Brev. vit. c. 4. Many shall yo [...] heare (saith hee) who say at fifty [...] will take mine ease, the sixtieth yeer [...] shall discharge me from all encumbran [...] ces. and what surety else desirest tho [...] of a longer life? but who will suffe [...] things to goe at thy disposing? Blushest not thou to reserve the [Page 99] refuse, and the dregs of thy rot­ten yeeres to God? and to desti­nate onely that time for his ser­vice, which thou art not able to manage in any other manner? It is too late then to begin to live, when it is time to leave off work. What senslesnesse is it to refuse to follow good counsell, till a man comes to fifty or sixty yeeres of age? and to resolve there to be­gin to live, where most leave off?

Sigismund the second, King of Poland for his delayings and sloth­fulnesse in matters of weighty consequence, was called Rex Cra­stinus: the delaying King, such sure are we, though wee know not that wee shall be to morrow, yet we hazard the mainer work upon such uncertaine probabilities. Wee put off all; most willingly would wee [...], if wee could, put off death too. But death's businesse admits of no delay, nor putting off; when Death knocks, the bars must speedily open. Therefore as the Proverbe saith, The onely [Page 100] way to be long an old man, is to be such an one betimes. The King of Macedon obtained such glo­rious Conquests by being speedy upon his actions. Wee lose the best, nay, all by deferring and de­laying. Chrysologus said well. Most men put off to do well,Ser. 125. Med. untill death debar them of time.

Wee come to death by de­grees, as men who sleep walking. The first day wee put off good du­ties, the second day wee doe them slightly, the third day wee forget them, on the fourth we are not a­ble to performe them.

O Mortals! to morrows life is too late, learn to live to day; give earnest to day: grieve to day for your sins. For who (except your owne conceits) hath promised you the morrow? that which may bee, ought to bee done to day, why should it be procrastinated to tha [...] which yet is not? may perhaps not be time? or if it be perhaps not thine? to deferre good actions hath always prov'd dangerous.

[Page 101]
Deferrings are obnoxious to our lives,
Iumb. vet.
You seldome see the slothfull man that thrives.

Let us make hast therefore, and let us but seriously thinke how speedily wee would foot it, if wee were sure there was a destroying Enemy behind us. Wee would strive to be formost that we might be furthermost from our pursuers. It is so, we are followed close; to hasten is to escape, so shall wee enter into eternall rest: It is the greatest comfort against deaths approach to have done all our worke before he comes to call for us.

To the Sick.

A Winter's at hand: leaves fall: Death 'gins to snatch
His Ax and spies thy Glasse spent: Sick man watch.
B What th' Presse to Grapes, that Sicknes is to thee,
If thou be ripe, as Grapes in Autumne be.
C The stouping Hern oft gores her towring Foe:
So outward grief oft frees from inward woe.
D Sicknes lays men along, as hail doth corn,
Better fall well then stand with shame an [...] scorn.
E Just now 'twas cloudy; now Sol shew his face,
Now clouds again. This is the Sick man case.
F To scape the Scorpions sting, and th' Ar­chers dart,
Sicknes and Death) I know no meanes, [...] art.
G A Sick man's like an Horse plunging i [...] sturdy waves,
Who knows if th'one shall scape the flood [...] the other the grave?

§ 36. Deaths haunt.

WIlliam the third, Duke of Ba­varia, a Patron of the poore, and Protector of all religious and godly men, being dead; though all men should have held their peace, yet the cryes and teares of the poore lamenting his losse, would have been sufficient Trum­pets to have blazon'd his Prince­ly worth: this prayse-worthy Prince (I say) when he He retur­ned from the Councell of Basil, where he, in the place of the Em­perour sate chiefe; returning to Munchen, dreamed such a dreame, as this following.

Hee seem'd to see a lusty great Stag, which carried upon one horne little bels, and upon the o­ther divers wax Tapers and Tor­ches lighted, there was a nimble Huntsman, and a pack of hounds, who withall swiftnesse and eager­nesse [Page 104] had this Stag in chase, at the last the Stag, having no other way leapt into the Churchyard, in which there was a Grave made for a Mans buriall which was o­pen, into which the Stag fell, and there was taken and killed: at the sight of this the Prince wakened, and was wondrous desirous to know what this Dreame should mean, on the next day, he told it to his Lords, and this Dreame was variously interpreted, which, when Duke William had heard; presently replyed, I am (said he) this great Stag, which Death so eagerly hunts, and will shortly and speedily take me, and end my days, and I will be buried in that Church. All things were ordered accordingly, and these presages had their events answerable. For in short space after, this worthy Prince did yield to Death, and commended his soule to God pi­ously, and was there inter [...]'d, where hee desired. A good Death is the introduction to a blessed E­ternity.

§ 37. Why, though wee daily are Spectators of Burials, yet we doe not me­ditate on Death?

THe Devill being skilful in the perspective art, useth this cun­ning policy, that those things which are furthest off, hee makes them seem neer unto us, and those which are neer unto us, he makes seem a great way distant from us. Thus he represents Death to us, that though it be so neere us, that it is ready to lay hold on us, yet it appeares a great way off, hence in a vaine security wee promise to our selves many yeares, and put the evill day far from us to our great disadvantage. Hence is it that wee looke upon other mens Burials, as though ours were not to be this long time, and though we are decaying daily, yet for all that; we fancy an eternity to our own souls.

Sir Thomas Moore, our Coun­triman, lest any age should pro­mise him a long life, and so worke security in him, exercised the thoughts of Death in himselfe by this fit similitude: As man (saith he) who is led from prison to the place of execution, though hee be led about, and seems to go slowly, yet he feares Death, and is as sure of it, as he that goes a neerer way; and though his legs be strong, his eyes quick-sighted, his heart lusty, though his stomacke be able for digestion; yet this one thought turns all into bitternesse, that hee is in the way to a certaine execu­tion. And what man is not a pri­soner in this kind? we are all go­ing on towards our long home: we are all in the way, and parted but by small distances, those which are dead have not so much left us, onely they are gone before us, but perhaps thou mayst say, I am healthy and lusty, and finde not, nor feele any the least sence of sicknesse, nor apprehension of Death; well! flatter thy selfe if [Page 107] thou wilt, for certain thou art in the way: and wee all are in the way with thee. But thou mayst say, thou art not yet thirty years old, what then? thou wast in the way at twenty, at ten, at five, at three, nay, even at the first yeare, and in the first houre: goe on perhaps thou mayst a little further, but thou wilt shortly come to thy end, but yet thou wilt say, thy sleepe is sound, thy meat and drinke doe excellently well relish and digest. Oh fond man! Death regards not such things. Wee are in the way, looke to thy selfe, presently thou wilt perceive the place of execu­tion, thou art led on; there's but a little time for thee to breath in; shortly shall all thy pompe, luxu­ry, and strength expire as well as thy selfe, all our life is but the pathway to death.

That Death may happy be, to live learn I:
That life may h [...]ppy be, I'le learne to die.

§ 38. To day for mee, to morrow for thee.

Delrii. a­dag. Tom. 2. p. 576. FRancis the first, King of Franc [...]: being taken by Charles the fifth, comming to Madrid upon a wall he read the Motto of Charles, which was Plus ultra, Still further: and writ under it,Hodie mihi cras tibi. Mine to day, yours to morrow. The Conquerour was not off [...]nded, nor angry, but gave notice that hee understood the meaning, for hee writ this in an­swer to it, I am but a Man, and know my selfe subject to morta­litie.

Elegantly spoke Greg Nazianzen My head (saith he) begins to be an Almond tree flourishing, and there­fore my Summer of Age is neer: the Sickle is made sharp for work, all my feare is, lest that terrible Mower should crop me off, and cut me downe while I sleepe securely, and am not ready for his stroke. But thou mayst [Page 109] say, Old men indeed may feare, but I am yong and green: be not thou deceived, Death is not limi­ted to any certaine age. The same Bier to day may carry an old car­casse, to morrow a yong one, to day a strong a [...]e [...]n an, to morrow a yong Virgin, or [...] Child. Seneca speaks to the purpose: Death (saith he) stands at the door of a yong man, as well as at the threshold of an aged man; for all men are registred and inrolled in Deaths Records: all must pay their tributes when Death cals forth, all must goe out, no exemption from his Edict. This is the last warning and ad­monishment that dying men groan forth, To day for me, too morrow for thee, and this is the Graves sen­tence. I fell yesterday, thou mayst this day. Remember Death! Oh remember Eternitie; which thou mayst either to day or to morrow begin but never End.

§. 28. If to morrow, why not to day?

THere is a Chaine, and that a we [...]ghty one, that holds us bound fast, to wit, the Love of this Life, which as it is not to be utter­ly cast off, yet it is daily to be weakned, and the vigour of it a­bated: that when it shall be re­quired at our hands to surrender nothing may withhold us, but that we be ready presently to doe that, which at one time or other must be performed.

Saint Augustine the Bishop of Hippo, went on a time to visit an­other great Prelate and Father of the Church, lying very sick, and at the point of Death, who had been formerly his familiar friend, at Saint Augustines comming, the sick man lift up his hand and said, that he was departing this world and going into Heaven;Possidonius in vita Aug. c. 27 Saint Augustine replyed that the Church [Page 111] would stand in great want of him and prayed that God would lend him a longer life. The sicke m [...]n answered again, if he never could be well spared, but if at any time he should depart, why not now?

The Death of all men is even and alike, but the wayes by which it comes, are divers, one dyes at supper, another in his sleepe, a third in the commission of some sin. One dyes by the sword, another is drowned, a third is burned; some are poysoned and stung to death by Serpents, others are kild by some fall, and some Consump­tions rid away: some are cut off in the flower and beauty of their age, some are destroyed in their swathling clothes; and some in their decrepit years: Others one­ly salute the World, and are gone. One mans end is commendable, anothers dishonorable; but let Death come never so gently or favourably, yet it never com [...]s without some horrour and affrightment.

But that which most of all e­strangeth [Page 112] us from liking Death, is that wee know the things pre­sent and delights in them, but whither wee are passing by Death and what things wee shall behold in the bowels of the grave wee know not, and wee usually trem­ble at the report of strange sights; therefore are our mindes to bee hardned with the daily exercise and meditation of eternity. Eter­nity (I say) is to be thought upon night and day, as he that will learn to endure hunger, must attaine to it by fasting by degrees; so the mind must be transferd from transitory things, that ever will be expert in the study of Eterni­ty. Let him every moment salute and imbrace the threshold of E­ternity, let this one be the onely square of all his actions. I read, I write, I meditate, I watch, I speak, I worke always to Eternity. Hee that ever intends to triumph eter­nally, let his meditation be al­wayes fixed, and setled upon it.

§ 40. Death is suddain, yet comely.

AS Palladius the Bishop of He­lenople testifies, Cheremon died sitting as hee was at work,Hist. c. 92. and well: Hee was found sitting with his worke in his hand, onely hee was dead. Any kind of Death is credited by a vertuous life.

Philemon, an ancient Writer of Comedies, as hee rehearsed his Comedies with Menander on the Stage,Mad. Phi­los. in Flo­rid. p 579 and strove with him for the Bays, he was not in any thing re­puted inferiour to him, He acted a part of a play, which he lately had made, and being come to the se­cond Scene of the second Act, thinking in it to stirre up more delight and liking in the people, On a sudden there fell such a vio­lent storme that the people could not stand to heare him at that time. but he promised the people, that on the next day they should heare it all finished. So on the next day there was a [Page 114] mighty company of people assem­bled, every one strove to place himselfe in the fitted seat either for sight or hearing: they that came something late beckned to their friends to make roome for them, they that came last were mainly streightned for room. The whole Theatre was cram'd with Auditors, and there was a won­derfull throng: their discourse was divers, some talked of what had bin acted the day before, o­thers that knew not the former a­ction came to behold the sequell. Nothing now was expected, but Philemon; well the time past on, ye [...] no Philemon appeared, some bla­med his stay, others excused it but when as most did thinke they had stayed longer then was fit, and yet so no appearance of the actor, they sent some speedy Messengers to call him, but they that went found all their expectations fru­strated, for Philemon was dead in his bed, and stiffe: and lay in his bed as if hee had bin meditating his part, with his hand on his [Page 115] Book; but his soule was fled out, and so his Auditory failed. The Messengers that entred were struck at first with astonishment of this sudden alteration, yet wondred much to see how comely hee was laid In his bed. Well, they returned to the people, and told them that Philemon who should have acted a fained part, had acted at home a true Play: for hee had to all worldly things given his farewell and Plaudite. Whereupon divers did grieve amd lament; the showre the day before was now seconded with a showre of teares, and the Comoedian was now tur­ned Tragoedian.

If wee looke onely on our pre­sent life, a then Death will be wish­ed for, and that man dyes well, who dyes without the feare of Death; but yet happier by far is he, that is found of Death so do­ing, and who dyes in his worke. So that Death it self shal find him busie. St. Cyprian the Martyr wisht,Hippo. 4. Septemb. p. 920. that hee might be offered to God by Death, as he was in preaching: [Page 116] he is worthy of prayse whom ne­ver the Devill or Death cuts off in their idlenesse.

§ 41. We must watch and pray.

BEcuse yee know not the time in which the Sonne of man will come. The Romans watched in their Armes, though some­times without their shieid, because they would have nothing to leane upon, because they would prevent sleep. Thou must watch oh man! and it is profita­ble to watch with the armour of God upon thy soule: the ardent prayers of Christians are their Armour of proof. Hope of long life is the leaning stocke that too many sleep upon. The usual words of the Romans, when they watched were these. Vigila, vigila; Mars vigila, Marc. 13.33, 35, & 37. (i. e.) Watch, oh soul­dier watch. By the usuall termes they stirr'd up one another to watch. By the same words, (oh my soule) doth God incite thee to [Page 117] wat [...]hfulnesse. The very heaven it self by his incessant motion, and constant course night and day ad­viseth thee to rouze up thy selfe. Wilt thou grow deafe to such a Lecturer, and give thy selfe to sleep? heare Christ himselfe saying, Watch, and pray, as (Saint Marke testifies.) Christ at the end of one Sermon did thrice repeat this clause in these words, 1 Goe to, watch and pray. 2 Therefore watch and pray, for you know not when the Lord will come: in the Evening, or at Midnight, or at Cock-crowing, or in the Morn­ing: Lest if when he should come suddenly, be should find you slee­ping. 3 What therefore, I say to you, I say unto all, watch. S. Mat­thew often speaks the same,Mat. 24.42, 25.13 c. 26.41. Watch therefore for ye know not what houre the Lord will come. And repeats it againe, Watch therefore, for yee neither know the day, nor the houre. And our Saviour inculcates the same at the Mount of Olives. Watch, and pray that yee enter not in­to tentation. Hee publisheth the [Page 118] same by Saint Luke, Watch, there­fore and continue in prayers, Luke 21.36. that same very word, Watch, how often is it doubled by Saint Paul? all these is thunder-claps may serve to rowze up our drowzie souls. Wee are deafe, nay dead, if we startle not at all these quickning voyces. Who ever thou art, if thou hast bin lulled asleep in thy sins awa­ken, Awake thou that sleepest, arise and stand up, and Christ shall give thee light. Knowest thou that fatall blow of Egypt? in the middle of the night the destroying Angell smote all Egypt. Remember the Lot of the ten Virgins, There was at midnight a great cry made, and those Virgins which were rea­dy, were admitted into the Bride-chamber; but those that slept were excluded: Canst thou but remem­ber that gluttonous abusive servāt? Did not his Lord come in a time, that he looked not for, and in an houre that he dream't not off? Canst thou but consider that good Master of the Family? He watched at all houres, lest at any houre the [Page 119] Thief should enter and spoyle his goods? Canst thou, oh canst thou but think on thy Saviour? Was not he borne in the middle of the night? The same, as many think, will about the same time come at the time of the general judgment. Watch therefore, oh watch! and thinke every day to be thy Exit from hence.

§ 42. Eight Verses out of the Psalmes of David, selected by Saint Ber­nard, which he himself used for the time of Death.

COnsider and heare me, (ô Lord) my God lighten mine eyes: lest I sleep the sleepe of death.

Lest mine Enemies say, I have prevailed against him. Psal. 13.3, 4.

Into thine hand I commit my spi­rit: thou hast redeemed mee, ô Lord God of truth. Psal. 31.5.

Then spake I with my tongue, Lord [Page 120] make mee to know mine End and the measure of my days,

What it is: that I may know what time I have here. Psal 39 3, 4.

Shew me a token for good, that they which hate me my see it, and be ashamed because thou Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted mee. Psal. 86.17.

Thou hast loosed my bonds, I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanks­giving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord. Psal. 116.17.

Refuge failed me: no man cared for my soul.

I cryed unto thee, ô Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge, and my portion in the land of the living. Psal. 142.4, 5.

A Prayer for an happy depar­ture out of this life.

O Almigh [...]y and Everlasting God, who didst give unto thy servant King Ezechiah length of days, when as hee in teares be­sought thy goodnesse. Grant I [Page 121] beseech thee to mee thy unworthy servant: before my death such a space and time, in which I may heartily deplore and lament all my sins, and that for them all I may, by thy infinite mercies, find free pardon [...]nd forgiveness, that when I shall die, I may live with thee in life everlasting. Amen.

Almighty, mercifull, and kind Father, I do humbly entreat thee by the death of thy Son my Savi­our Jesus Christ, to grant mee a quiet and blessed departure out of this miserable life; whensoever thou shalt please to call me hence.

Ano [...]her for the same purpose.

M [...]st mercifull Lord Jesus, knowing how great and grie­vous the paines of dying men are, and with what great dis­comforts the souls of such are in the Agony of de [...]th, Whither should I flee, but to thee, ô Lord my God? Deliver thou my soule that it neither faile, nor faint at that dreadful hour. Deal with me (I intreat thee ô Lord) according [Page 122] to the multitude of thy never fai­ling mercies: and according to that boundlesse love which made thee lay downe thy life for mee, who art life [...]t selfe, g [...]ant that I may always have the houre of my dissolution before mee, that I may doe that while I am in health, which may give me comfort in the pangs of death: Let my whole care and study be to learn Morti­fication, and to subdue all my pas­sions, and rebellious affections, so that I may live wit [...] thee in glory in thy heavenly Kingdome. A­men.

A Prayer that the Communion of the Body and bloud of J [...]sus Christ may be effectuall to his soule at the houre of Death, taken out of Hugo de S. Victore.

O Most sweet and loving Jesus, grant unto mee miserable sin­ner that my soul may be refreshed by thy most precious body and [Page 123] bloud: that I may always speake of thy most glorious name. Amen.

G [...]ant that I may always thinke off and apply thy sufferings to my sick soul, that so I may be refresh­ed in the evill day. Amen.

Grant [...]hat I may always have a care to imitate thy holinesse, and obedience, by patience and meek­nesse, that so all my words, thoughts, and works may be san­ctified. Amen.

Grant mee likewise, O sweet Jesus, a stedfast hope in thee, that though the outward man decay, yet the inward man which is crea­ted in holinesse m y be strongthe­ned, so that when I shall die thou mayst be my hope and my portion for ever. Amen.

The conclusion of the first Book to the Reader.

THus doe, thus [...]hink, (ô Man) and while thou are in health prepare for sicknesse, and le [...]e to die, either of them is of excel­lent [Page 124] skill, and art; ignorance of both these may cast thy soule into utter destruction: if thou failest in the performan [...]e of these, thou deprivest thy self of that Eternity, which the Faithfull shall enjoy, never canst thou amend an errour past this way: this shall be pu­nished whh Eternity.

Wherefo [...]e always manage thy affaires, so as, if thou wert at all times depar [...]ing. Dwell most fa­miliarly with thy selfe, and search daily all the secret passages of thy conscience, those things which thou hast about thee, esteeme of them as a Travellers Cloak-bag, but let them not be thy clog. Thou must carry no more out then thou broughtest in. Therefore be satis­fied with little, and approve thy selfe to God. Thou must passe hence. Each moment think thou standest at the doore of Eternity. Thou must be gone. Eternity is alwayes at hand. Pleasures are short, punishments are without end. The labour is but little, the reward everlasting.

These are the instructions wee have prescribed to healthy and a­ble men. Wee admonish them not to feare death, yet never to lay down the thought of it. So now we proceed to in­struct the sick, and weak.

To the Sick.

A Winter's at hand: leaves fall: Death 'gins to snatch,
His Ax and spies thy Glasse spent: Sick man watch.
B What th' Presse: to Grapes, that Sicknes is to thee,
If thou be ripe, as Grapes in Autumne be.
C The stouping Hern oft gores her towring Foe:
So outward grief oft frees from inward woe.
D Sicknes lays men along, as hail doth corn,
Better fall well then stand with shame and scorn.
E Just now 'twas cloudy; now Sol shews his face,
Now clouds again. This is the Sick mans case.
F To scape the Scorpions sting, and th' Ar­chers dart,
Sicknes and Death) I know no meanes, no art.
G A Sick man's like an Horse plunging in sturdy waves,
Who knows if th'one shall scape the floods the other the grave?

The second Book.

§ 1. The remembrance of Death is commended to the Sick. Wherein is contained, an Introduction to the fo [...]lowing Discourse, and whith [...]r sickn sse be [...] evill or not?

CAunus is a Town in Caria, situated in a pestilent ayre, and inse­c [...]ious to the in­habitāts. Wh [...]ch place when a merry conceited fellow called Stratonicus a Musician beheld, hee [Page 128] presently rehearsed that Verse in Homer. Iliad. 6.

Men like to falling leaves are found,
But green ere-whiles, now fall'n to ground.

He taunted their pale and wanne countenances, but when they of that place had afforded him but course entertainment because hee had disparaged their City; Hee wittily againe told them, Indeed I cannot fitly terme your towne sickly or diseased, where I behold so many dead men walking: this was more pleasant and smart then the former.

But why deny we it, or why are we lift up with pride? when indeed wee are but leaves, Iob speaks it plainly;Iob 13.25. Wilt thou (saith he) break a leafe driven to and fro? as if hee had said: I being but a leafe sub­ject to all inconveniences, which feare all storms and winds, which tremble and am blowne with one blast farre away. Doe not, ô doe not (ô God speedily make an end [Page 129] of me in thy fury; Thou knowest that I shall at once fall of my self. Are not men truly to be compared to leaves, when as their instabili­ty exceeds and out strips them? May they not have this title added deservingly, seeing that diseases & sicknesses of severall sorts doe in­terchangably drive them to ruine? Thus did Clemens Alexandrinus ju [...]ge. Go to (saith he) ô men of an obscure and fraile life, like to the generation of leaves. Weake, a workmanship as wax, like to shadow. Vaine, fleeting, having a life of a dayes continuance. Cer­tainly we are leaves, and no bet­ter when as one little fit of a Fea­ver distempers, alters, weakens, endangers us. What said I a fit of a Feaver? nay, a little Cough, a Crum of bread, a Drop of water are able to effect our ruines. But what is not health good, and sick­nesse evill? no, ô man, if you will credit Epictetus! What then? it is good to use health well: it is ill if used ill. It is possible by sick­nesse to gather fruits meet for thy [Page 130] God: nay, is it not to be done like wise by death it self wh [...]t thinkest thou of sicknesses? I will shew thee his nature, I will grow better by it, I will be quiet under it, I will think my self well dealt with all, I wil not flatter with my Physician, nor will I wish for death. What wouldest thou more? What is gi­ven to me, I will account it hap­py, prosperous, honorable, desire­rable. But some may d [...]ny this, and say, take heed of sicknesse, it is ill to be under it: to whom E­pictetus answers judiciously. It is all one, as if one should say and faigne to make three to be foure. It is no ill, if I rightly esteem of it, it cannot then hurt me, but ra­ther profit mee. So the like use may be made of poverty, sicknesse, war. May not a man gather bene­fit by any, by all of these? the same I may say of Death, is it not my appointed Steeresman into rest? is it not the Mess [...]nger that opens the ga [...]e to Eternity? is not Death that which takes off all our burthens, and easeth us from la­bour, from misery?

Let Truth honour thee Epicte­tus, how true are all these, and squaring with the Law of Christi­anity? This foundation being laid, we shal learn to remember Deaths Agony, and not to be affrighted at his comming.

But (oh my Reader) I would have thee know that these Docu­ments were not onely written for thy use in the time of thy sicknes, but I would have thee read these in the time of thy health, that they may stand thee in some stead when thou shalt be visited with sicknesse.

§ 42. The sickman speaks to his friends, to the Diseas [...], to the entrance in­to Death it selfe, to Christ our Lord.

DEpart (I pray you) as unsea­sonable with your vaine and fruitlesse mourning. Here is no place either for Complaints or [Page 132] Petitions. You may thinke I goe from you to soon. Too soon? look, that you bee not deceived. I was fit for Death's sicle, as soone as I was born: nay, before I was born. Why should I complaine? I know what I was born. Was I not a weak frail body? Cast forth to contume­lies, the food of Diseases, Deaths object? whosoever thou art take h [...]pes to thee, or undergo thy bur­then, perhaps thou mayest be de­jected to morrow, or if no, re­mov'd from hence.

To the disease.

ANd is Deaths Harbing [...]r ap­proach'd? must I now lie un­der sicknesse? the time is now come, I must put my selfe to the triall: Valour is not onely seene in a storme, or in a bat [...]aile; Cou­rage may be tried upon a pillow in a bed of affliction. I must be sick therefore; It cannot be avoi­ded. [Page 133] Well; I shall either end my Feaver, or it me. Wee cannot be always together. Hitherto I have onely trafficked with health,Homil. 13 in Evang. now I must exchange some time with my disease. Saint Gregory tels it to me, piously and truly. The Lord (saith he) knocks, when hee sig­nifies to us that death is neere us by troublous sicknesses, to whom we readily open, if wee receive with comfort his chastizements.

Some relations may cause mee to give admittance to this serious Embassadour.

It is reported of a certaine old man; who lay grievous sick, and when as Death made an approa [...]h to take him away, the sick old man entreated Death to forbeare his blow a little while, untill he could make his Will, and set things in readines for so long a journey. To whom Death re­plyed, ô crooked old man! couldst thou not prepare thy selfe in so many years? being so often warn'd by me? to whom the old man said [Page 134] again, I beseech thee lend me thy faith, for I doe not remember that ever thou didst admonish me; but Death answer'd briefly, then I perceive that old men will lie; An hundred, six hundred, a thousand warnings hast thou had from mee, when I daily in thy sight, to thy griefe, not onely tooke away thy equals (of which for years there are few left) but also before thy eyes young men, and little in­fants. Nay, I will appeale to thy own soul (forgetfull old man) didst thou want admonishments, when thy eyes grew dim, thy haires wax'd white, were f [...]lne off, thy nose lost its smell, thy eares grew deafe, and all thy other sences and members grew defective in their performances? and thy whole body languish'd & wasted? these, all these were Messengers from me, and shoul [...] have been as so many warning pieces to pre­pare thee to march on. These all have knock'd at thy doors, though thou wouldst not acknowledge thy selfe to be within. Often e­nough, [Page 135] and long enough hast thou bin admonish'd, I stay not: Come away and enter the Dance of Death now presently. He seldome prepares himselfe well, which prepares so extraordinary late.

To his Death-bringing sicknesse.

WHen I meditate on my life, & consider the multitude of my sins and the smalnesse of my good duties. Alas, alas! oh my God how am I straitned? and how am I beset and encompassed with sor­row? but it is better to fall into the Hands of the Lord, (for great are his mercies and his compassi­ons faile not) then that I should adde more days to my years, and more sin to my days. What an one I would have prov'd thou onely (ô Lord) knowest. Perhaps I might have Apostated, and falne from life. Since (ô death) thou art present, doe thy message unto me, rid mee from misery and the malice of men. I am ready and [Page 136] willing to part wi h life. onely let me retaine thy Grace (ô Lord) or rather let it preserve me, which I doe earnestly with all my heart beg of thee (ô sweet Iesus Christ, and through thee. Amen.

To Dea [...]h it selfe.

DEath, why in so long wastings dost thou like?
What needs there such great charge? I doe yield, strike
What need'st thou empty all thy quivers? when
One blast w ll drive, one puffe will stroy most men.

For indeed what is man? but a tossed and leaking ship, which one lusty wave sends to the bot­tome. There needs no furious charge of tempests, wheresoever thou (ô Death) placest thy mur­thering Ram, it will force passage. Mans bodie is wove up of weake, and fluid materials; glistering in outward lineaments, impatient of [Page 137] heat, cold; or travail: of it's own inclination apt to languishments, gathering corruption even from his sustentation; sometimes hurt by want, sometimes by excesse, his nutriment wants not discommo­dity, a brittle piece of mortalitie preserv'd and upheld with griefe and anxietie: holding his very spirit and breath at anothers di­sposing, which easily departs, full of innumerable diseases, and though he should want diseases to ruine him, yet of his own accord he would fall, perish, and descend to Death. Can wee wonder to see that die, in which Death is fed and nourish'd, and hath a thousand places to enter & possesse? and if man doth fall, is it any such re­markable losse? his very smell and taste, his wearinesse and watching, his humours, and food without which he cannot live, are all mor­tifero [...]s and deadly.

To Iesus Christ.

I Would not Death but life, hee seeks it right
(O Christ) who in thy love de­parts to light.

I am not afraid with them, whom thou speakest o in wrath Goe, &c. I will follow thee (ô loving Saviour) with will, with delight: and what should I doe else, when as thou thy self callest me to come and approach neerer? to be dissolv'd and to be with Christ is much the better This is the height of my desires,1 Phil 1.23. for Chr [...]st is to mee both in life and death advantage.

§ 3. Not always sweet things.

IN times past (as Pliny reports) on the Latines solemne dayes when as they strove for victory in their Char [...]ots in the Capitoll, Who conquered drunke Wormwood: be [Page 139] [...] [Page 138] [...] [Page 139] thou willing to take downe a cup of this bitter drinke that thou maist conquer.

He scarce deserves to tast the sweet.
Who with the sowre did never meet.

§ 4. To contemne Death is Christian valour.

NO man rightly governs his [...]ife, but he that knows how to leave it, Wee cannot be so stu­pid, but th [...]t we must needs know some time or other we must die. Yet when Dea [...]h comes, wee are frighted, tremble, grieve. But would not hee seeme to be a very Ideot, that would weepe, because he liv'd not unt [...]l a thousand yeers? and is not hee his equall who would li [...]e beyond a thousand? Thou wast not, thou shalt not be. Past and future ti [...]e are both at anothers Regimen. Wast not thou born to di [...]? Di [...] no this happen to thy Father? to thy Ancestors? [Page 140] to all that were before thee? Shall it not be laid upon all that come after thee? why should thy shoul­ders be exempted from the cōmon burthen? Thou wouldest not fear to drink, to eat, to play, to sleep with others, why then fearest thou to die with others? Look but up­on the long troop of those before thee, of those that follow thee, and those that goe along with thee, in the same houre with thy self. This is a faire prospective, View the known, and unknown World; and it is certain, that thousands each moment are born, and die, and by the same kinde of Death. Death perpetually hath bin a safe passage to rest. And there is nothing ill in Death but the feare of Death. If therefore we would be in quiet hereafter, it is best to have our souls ready. Shall I feare my end, when I know I am not without end? But you will say it is an hard thing to bring a mans minde to such an high passe to slight his own soule. It is easie to him: who knows to live, as he sung well.

[Page 141]
A just man's first or last,
Comes not too slow, or fast.

We deny not, but death hath some terrour in it, but therefore we are to learne how not to feare it. This is an infallible signe of a truly couragious soule, not to feare his going out. Hee truly knows whi­ther he goes with comfort, that knows from whence hee came in teares. Theodosius, of whom Saint Ambrose makes mention was such an Emperour, who used to say. I love that man who when he is to die, is grieved more for the Churches hazard, then for his own dissolution. That therefore thou mayst never feare Death, al­ways think on it.

§. 5. Examples of Death contemned.

NInachetus a great Ruler in Malaca in the Indyes, being [Page 142] commanded to leave off his office, hee took it for so great a disgrace being ignorant of true honour & vertue, that forthwith, he, of Aloes and other sweet precious wood builded a great funerall-fire hard by his seat of judgment all covered with rich Arras, from whence hee shining in his Robes of gold, and decked with Jewels discoursed to the multitude abou [...] him, of all the actions and passages of his life, and having laid open, and decla­red the benefits which hee had done for, and confer [...]'d on the Portugals in their extremitie: he complained that without any de­meri [...] on his [...]art, he was depri­ved of his dignity, then detesting the Portugalls plots (such Fire-brands doth ambition inject into the souls of men) hee, as a con­temner of their injuries, and of his own death) cast himselfe into the fire.

Aelian. l. 5. Var. Hist. c. 6. Aelianus records another ex­ample not unlike to this former, (saith hee) the end of Calanu [...] is not onely strange, but to be coun­ted [Page 143] a wonder, which was on this manner. Calanus an Indian Philo­sopher, who had bidden adieu to Alexander, to the Macedonians, and to this life, built him in the large Suburbs of Babylon, a funera [...]l Pile of costly sweet wood, as Cedar, Cy­presse, Myrrhe, an [...] Lawrell, and having fin [...]shed his daily constant exercise went into the Pile, and stood there encompassed with the wood; and the Sun shining bright upon him. Which d [...]ne he intrea­ted the Macedonians to kindl [...] the fire, which burning Calanus stood still, and fell not untill hee was dead. It is report [...]d that Alexan­d [...]r should say of him, That Cala­nus had overcome stro [...]ger ene­mies than himselfe. For Alexander had onely w [...]ged warre and con­quered Porus, Taxita, and Darius, but Calanus had overcome, travell and Death. And shall there be such courage in vain men against Death? and shall Christians assi­sted by God droop their s [...]irits? Let us but examine the mat er narrowly, if we will believe Sene­ca, [Page 144] Death is Natures best devise, & the sure remedy of all evils. And therfore let us make that a vertue that otherwise will be necessity. Certainly every wise Christiā wil do nothing unwillingly, hee doth avoid all necessities pressures, who is willing to doe what he must. Let us therfore with a good heart expect our end, or rather our be­ginning. Hee is always of an up­right heart, who knows how to de­spise Death.

§ 6. A minde ready for Death

ZEno the Stoick (as Suidas re­cords it) dasht his foot and wounded one of his toes, as he went out of Schoole, but hee supposing that he had beene called by others, struck his hand upon the earth with this word. I am comming; why ô earth doest thou call me? and so without any sick­nesse at ninety six yeeres of age [Page 145] the old man died. Zeno had so ac­customed himselfe to hunger, that hee would say, hee would eat but little, that he might [...]ie the easier, and sooner. This did Zeno, that his old age might be the freer from diseases and griefs, Hee ob­tain'd both, according to his desi­red wish. Wee need not wonder that our lives are so short, and our health so uncertain, when as wee wast both health and life at feast­ing and drinking Large Suppers may please the appetite, but they make work for the Physician, a ful gluttonous belly is the Embleme of a swelling, moving grave. O fools: by that way wee should pro­long, wee cut off and shorten our days. And it proceeds from hence, that wee will not be perswaded of the vertue of a Christian absti­nence.Vid. Leon. Less. Hyg. But experience pronounceth that saying to be true, the lesse thou eatest the lon [...]er is [...]hy life: but to the purpose, this by the way.

Vrsinus (as Saint Gregory re­lates it) being comforted with hea­venly [Page 146] Meditations, would often in his sicknesse cry out, I come, ô I come! I give thanks to thee (ô God) and as hee related to those that were about him, the joyes of Heaven, and the beauty of those Celestiall souls, he reite­rated the same words. Behold I come and so surrendred up his soule, and died.

A mind willing to surrender to Death speaks in the present tense. I doe come without any demur­ring or delays. It is too late to trifle time here. Nature is not a st [...]pdame, but a mother. Canst thou accuse her (ô my Theophra­stus) to be more unkind to men, then to beasts? Certainly men are her choicest pieces, and if shee could preserve any from death & corruption, men should pertake of the priviledge and benefit. For which is better, quickly to suffer, and to cut off all fear, or slowly to suffer, and still to be subjected to fear & horror? Nature then quits a man from a lingring torment when shee yields him but a short life.

[Page 147]
We all doe stay
For th' appointed day.

Why therefore art thou affright­ed? is thy life taken away? so is then the feare of death, and ma­ny evils, that betide the life of man? there is little difference (saith Plinius Secundus) betwixt suffering misery, and expecting it daily to come. onely this, that there is some meane in grieving, none in fearing For thou mayest grieve onely for so much as is hap­pened: but thou mayest feare for whatsoever may happen.

§ 8. Three things grievous in sicknesse.

IN every disease almost there are th [...]se three things incident. The feare of Death, the paine of the body, and the losse and privation of pleasures. But as in the rules of [Page 148] Physick, hot diseases are cured by cold medicines, and cold by ho [...], so are these to b [...]e cured by Ant [...]dotes. Let the si [...]k [...] b [...]ware here, that he mistakes not, or goes not a contrary way: There was a yong man who stood in need of old things to allay his heat, but he, when the Physicians were depar­ted, by the perswasion of the ser­vants of the house tooke hot in­gredients, and anointed his brest with Balme, and applyed many other hot medicines to his sick­nesse, which added fire to fire, and almost brought him to Death. To cure therefore the feare of Death and to remove it, is to love Hea­ven and the joys thereof: a li tle of divine love dispels all the smoak of vain feares. Who loves Christ, will be willing to lay downe his life, and shall be beloved of his Saviour.

2 To asswage and mitigate the paine of body is to have peace of conscience. An upright soule, and an entire conscience doth afford marvellous consolation to the sick [Page 149] bed. A pure conscience purged from dead works is a powerfull remedy against all tormentings. The sick man w [...]ll beare his sick­nesse the easier and more com­fortably, if he fixeth deeply in his mind this one thing. The most righteous Lord God hath imposed this affliction upon me, and there­fore I will beare. It is his good pleasure, let him doe as he thinks good.

3 The losse of pleasures will nothing trouble nor grieve him, who thinks upon heavenly, eter­nall pleasures. Those which wee leave, are light, vaine, sh [...]rt, and filthy, and commonly before they are left off, they leave their Lo­vers full of paine, oftentimes of diseases. But those, which our heavenly Countrey promiseth to us, and will performe, are infinite, firme, eternall, not fading. He ea­sily dis-esteems earth, whose aime is heaven.

§ 9. Sicknesse is the Schoole of Ver­tue and Monitor to E­ternitie.

THou sufferest wel (saith Bernard) if it works compunction. Sicknes is aswell the Schoole of graces: as the scourge of vices. While wee are lusty, and strong we rush into sins (as the horse into the battle) furiously; when wee are sick, wee better regulate our passions, curbe our affections: being healthy we are pestered with many hundred severall employments, and put God in our last thoughts. How many are chast and sober in sick­nesse? Who in time of health have furiously followed all filthy lusts and pleasures. These men were happier and safer under the rod, then they can be at liberty. God lays therefore many downe, that they may looke up, and confines them with a Fever or Consumpti­on, [Page 151] or such like that their souls may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Long sicknesse makes sober minds. In briefe, Sicknesse seems to macerate the body, but it meliorizeth the soul, & though as (Saint Paul saith) our outward man decay, 2 Cor. 4.26. yet our inward man is re­newed daily. Hence is it that though sicknesse do seem tedious, and burthensome, yet it is then Good, when it works holinesse in the Patient.

§ 10. Sicknesse is the Monitor to Eternitie.

WHat a good thing is it? that the evils of this present life should afford unto us a taste of everlasting punishments? By these light ones here, let us learn to keep our selves from those eter­nall ones. From which no Apo­thecary, no Physician, no Medi­cine, no Criticall day, nor Death [Page 152] it selfe (the Medicine for all evils and punishments here) can re­lease from. The ways to death are diverse, but once arrived to Eter­nity, there is no redemption,

Anaxagoras being very sick, his friends asked him whither he would be carried into his Coun­try, or not? no such need (said he) and added a reason; for eve­ry Countrey affords us a way to our grave. This answer of his may be as well applyed to Hea­ven, for wee may goe to Heaven from any part of the World. O the fortunate and happy scar-fire of Feavers! because short: ô the fearfull fire of Hell! because e­verlasting.

§ 13. In sicknesse we must always pray.

PRayer ought to be the sickmans constant exercise. Neither is it of too much difficulty for the sick [Page 153] party. It is an exercise that's per­form'd without toyle. For he may do it by his tongue to God: but if his tongue be dulled, or if griefe stops his voice, then his soule in all humble devotion is to be lift up to God with a quiet composure of body. Sometimes also ardent sighes do demonstrate secret con­ference with God. Sometimes the disease is so violent that it not onely depresseth the body, but also the soule and the whole man is fo [...]c'd as it were wholly to attend on it. In his case God accepts a patient and a quiet bearing of these dolours for Prayers. Sick­n [...]sse mixt with patience and mor­tification, are accep [...]able Sacrifi­ces in the presence of God. Hee prayes well, that suffers patiently. And he doth not onely pray unto God, but doth prevaile with God, who sends two such wise Embassadours as Compunction, and Patience. But further though the Sicke man be brought to that passe, that he nei­ther by voice, nor yet by hearty Ejaculations, yea, though his pa­tience [Page 154] be overcome, yet there is a way to pray left him. Can hee look about h [...]m, and hee shall see those that stand by him, and those that are about him, ready & prompt to pray for him: let but him in his sicknesse speake a word to them, ô my good friend, ô my dear brother, you see how I am conquered wi [...]h pains, I pr [...]y you lend mee your tongue and your heart; and read such and such a Psalme for mee to intreat God to be mercifull unto me. Which of his friends will not be ready and willing to performe these things for the sick? So though hee cannot by himselfe in words expresse himself to God, yet hee may, by the prayers of the faith­full. Therefore I repeat it again, In sicknesse always pray. Wee can ne­ver be too importunate with God.

§ 12. What wee must think and doe in dolors and sicknesse.

A Man that enjoys God, though [...]e be pressed with griefs, and full of sorrows, will not for all this curse God and die. Hee says not amisse, if hee use these or the like expressions I will hope well while I breath, and I will hope bet er things drawing neerer to­wards God and my dissolution. Seneca spake excellently well of G i [...]fe: saying,Sen. ep. 78 ante med. that of the Poet is known It's light if long: Its short if strong. No man's griefe can be great and long. So benigne our nature ha h bin for us, that she proportions the griefe, either makes it tolerable, or sho [...]t. For th [...] intention of the highest grief ha [...]h found an End. This is one comfort in the deepest misery that when you have felt it too long, it is customary, and so you loose the sence of it, by the continuation of it. But what vexeth most those, that [Page 156] are unexpert in bearing griefe, is, that they have not accustomed themselves to be contented in minde, they are too much addi­cted to carnality. Wherefore, ô my sick friend, learne by degrees to deduct thy soule from thy body: and be conversant wi [...]h [...]hy nobler and diviner part: and because there is no grief so violent, but admits of intermissions, there­fore, when thou art sick, and fee­lest pains, do not hastily leave off the exercise of prayer, or patience. Above all things looke, that thy morning Sacrifice, and some ex­amination of Conscience at the Evening, keepe their course. If thy voice fail, perform it in spirit.

Canst thou not frequent divine Duties, or receive the Commu­nion of the Body and Bloud of Christ? then set apart some time precisely, in which thou maist see God present with thee. Never let the night, or sleepe passe upon thee, before thou hast discussed and debated with thy Conscience, and quieted it. In those houres, [Page 157] that either thy grief is less'ned, or is not at all, take some godly book into thy hands, & read some select sentences fi test for thy present be­nefit, and meditate them seriously. Every day select one houre to thy selfe for prayer, and begin it, and end that little time in holy sighes, Ejaculations and Prayers devout­ly, humbly, reverently, and this houre will seeme to be spent in Heaven: but if thou canst not perfo [...]me this, which scarce any pain can hinder thee from, yet at uttermost let some time be allot­ted, in which thou mayst erect thy spirit to thy Creatour, and by s [...]a­ces lift up thy thoughts to Hea­ven. For these courses will mi [...]i­gate and diminish the grea [...]est anguish and grief.

At the Entrance and End of all thy pray [...]rs consecrate thy whole self to Gods divine good w [...]ll and pleasure. Nor all, nor any of these are so hard, but that a dying man may performe, much more hee whose sicknesse is not so urgent. Which yet, if you cannot, or ra­ther [Page 158] will not, do any of these yet however, while the extremity of the pain is upon, you be quietly, and thankfully patient. Doe not, (I pray you) make your burthen weightier then it is of it self: why should you adde to your own af­fliction? It is but light and e [...]sie, unlesse it be made heavy by your prejudicate opinion. Co [...]trari­wise, if you exhort and incou [...]age your selfe, and say, It is nothing, or it is but little, we will bear it, it will be at an end, th [...]n will you make it but little, by esteeming i [...] so. All things are censured by o­pinion, we grieve according to o­pinion. Every man is so miserable as he judgeth himselfe to be.

§ 13. Our thoughts are divers in the time of sickn [...]sse, and health.

LAcides the Philosopher, having omitted many houshould offi­ces, [Page 159] said, We dispute one thing in the Schools, and live otherwise at home. So men in health can administer and suggest comfort to the sick, but what sick man is he, that in his disease can suffici­ently comfort himselfe? I do much doubt my selfe in divers States. Ah! how glasse-like is our strength! how instantly doth one dash batter it? While wee are in health wee imagine to our selves bodies of brasse, all our discou [...]se is lof [...]y, and wee care e­ven provoke sicknesse; but when they approach, how do we flie? or how suddenly at the first grapling fall wounded and weak? Wee are but men then, by our own confes­sions, and our dying bodies have little or no vig [...]ur in them. I will not, cannot deny, but that our bo­d [...]es are fragile, but not so mu [...]h, but that with a resolved patience, they might indure the greatest of calamities were not their spirits as dejected, and poore, as their bo­dies are weake. This is our too much faintheartednes that makes [Page 160] so many desert vertuous actions, while wee make every difficult thing, to be intolerable, impossi­ble to be undergone. Virtue pe­risheth if Difficulty, which is the matter of it, be removed.

§ 14. In all Sicknesse wee must send holy sighs to God.

O Lord, Thou art my Fortresse and strength, and my sure refuge in the time of my trouble, Jerem. 16.19.

It is the LORD, Let him doe what seemeth him good. 1 Sam. 3.18.

O Father, prove thy servant to the end, and leave not off from the man of iniquitie. Job 34.36

It is good for me that I have been afflicted: for thereby I have learn'd thy Statutes. Psal. 119.71.

I take pleasure in infirmities: in reproaches, in necessities, in persecu­tions, in distresses for Christs sake: [Page 116] for when I am weake, then am I strong 2 Cor. 12.10.

O JESVS, who art my Love and my souls delight, cause mee for my love to thy name to be joy­full in suffering and dying. For I am no more mine, but altogether at thy rule and disposing.

§ 15. Certain faults of Sick men.

F [...]rst, to be eager and willing to hear curiosities, novelties, & trifles.

2 Not to be willing to heare ad­monitories and preparations towards Death.

3 To blame and complain of those that take the care of him.

4 To reject those things which are prepared for their good and reco­very.

5 To dislike their bed and lodging.

6 To believe that they are not well looked to, and thereupon to mur­mure, and repine.

7 Seldome to think of or speak of God or divine things.

[Page 162]8 Not to be given up, and to be resign'd and subject to Gods will in all things.

9 To thinke some things too grie­vous and beyond his faults, and not to be born with any Christian patience.

And what concerns it thee, (ô my sicke man) what is done in France, Germany, Italie, or Spain; rather shouldest thou seek what is d [...]ne in heavē, or how thou should escape hell & the torments t [...]ere­of. Let others whisper what they will among themselves; thinke thou on this. Suffer the dead to bury the dead; Let this be thy onely care, to secure thy soul; th [...]s is that one thing that is necessary: what hast thou to doe with new or curious trifles, for the most part false and fictitious? these are offen­sive to others, unprofitable to thy selfe. And why turnest thou away from those who tell thee of thy approaching danger? (I beseech thee) imitate not those old men whom thou knewest before a­broad, to whom it was death, to heare Death to be spoken off. I [Page 163] Pray thee, hast thou learn'd no further yet, but still to fear death? Hast thou got so much knowledge in so many yeares, to die freely, peaceably, and without vexati [...]n? Why tremblest thou? Commit thy self wholly to the will of God, and so thou hast done the hardest piece of thy work Even our whole life is but a punishment.

That wise Roman Seneca will counsell thee. We being (saith he) cast into the deep and trouble­some sea of this World, which is always tossing her waves and bil­lows, now lifting us up with sud­den advancements, now againe leaving us in the lurch to our greater losse: Continually tossing us, never are we safely setled: We are alwayes in suspence, and in­constantly floating; now and then dash'd one against another, some­times making shipwrack, always fearing; thus wee saile along this boysterous Ocean, exposed to all tempests, and there is no Port or Haven till we arrive at Death.

Many mens credulitie deceives [Page 164] them especially in those things whi [...]h they love, being willing to forget the remembrance of death. Daily before our eies we see spe­ctacles and objects of Mortalitie, as well of our friends, as strangers: but we still are otherways imploy­ed, and thinke that sudden, which might have have hapned every moment of our life. This is not the iniquitie of Natu [...]e, but the pravitie of our minds: being in­satiable in that which it cannot enjoy; and altogether disdaining to go out from thence, whither he was admitted to enter by request. Hee is unjust, that leaves not the Donor the disposing of his owne gift: He is greedy, who doth not account that a benefit which hee hath received, but says it is losse to restore it. Hee is ingrate who calls the end of pleasure, an inju­ry. He is foolish, which thinks no­thing but things present have pr [...]fit in them. He too much pens up and straitens his j [...]y [...], who thinks hee enjoys no more then what he hath and seeth Suddenly [Page 165] doth all pleasure leave us, it flows and passes, and is in a manner [...]a­ken away, before it come to us.

Let us [...]ll therefore contentedly enjoy what is b [...]stowed, and su [...] ­render it when it shall be deman­ded. Death snatcheth away all, some one time, some another; none escapeth him: Let our souls then continually watch, never dreading it, because necessary; l­ways expecting it, because [...]n­certain. It is hard to say whether it be more folly to be ignorant of, or impudent to stand out against the Laws of Mortality. All men, yea all creatures whatsoever, look towards death. Whosoever is born to the World is ordained to die, and to passe to Eterni [...]y.

§ 17. Three speciall Rules to be obser­ved by the sick.

I Concerning God.

IT is grand impietie to murmur any thing against God our h a­venly Fath [...]r, as though the dis­ease hee l yeth upon us were ex­treame and unreasonable. Wee ought rather to say with holy Iob, Even as it pleaseth the Lord, so come things to passe: Blessed be the name of the Lord: and to cry out with that devout multitude, He hath done all things well. For wheth [...]r God wound or heal us, certain it is hee ever beareth towards us the ten­der care and affection of a most loving Father.

II Concerning himself.

In the extremity of sicknesse [Page 167] there is not so much need of long and continuall prayers, as of con­stant and unwearied patience: For thereby that which is heavie and intolerable becommeth light and easie. Our chiefe cordials and sweetest comforts in our sicknesse are frequent sighes breathed up to Heaven, the Remembrance of the patient suffrings of the Saints, holy Prayers and Ejaculations sent up to Go [...], for constant pa­tience, and an happy departure out of this life.

III Concerning others.

The sicke man must be tracta­ble to his Physicians, whether cor­porall or spirituall. If any come to visit him, he must shew all pa­tience and calmnesse of spirit: and though his disease gripe h [...]m, ma­ny things trouble him, some dis­please him, others rellish ill wi [...]h him, all things be not done a [...] his beck, yet he must never murmur, but allaying the bitternesse of his afflictions with the sweet expe­ctation [Page 168] of a reward, expresse Christi [...]n submissi [...]n and patience in all his words and actions.

§ 17. Wherewith the sickman should quench his thirst.

MOst sick folk complain much of th rst, those especially who are sick of Feve [...]s. Here there­fore wee w [...]ll shew them a Foun­tain, whence they may drinke as much as they please.

An. 1590In lower Austria, there was a Thiefe, who had kild ma [...]y men, being taken, and brought to the Wheele, onely had his legs bro­ken, which was done the more to torment him with a lingring death and to make him the more terri­ble spectacle to all such Malefa­ctors: bu this tormented person p [...]oved himself a valiant man, and a stout Christian in the height of his torments For all his words argued patience, & penitence He [Page 169] began seriously to supplicate God, to entreat pardon for his sins, to be a Preacher of Mortification, and to dehort all other men from the like hainous sins. And the day being almost spent, when as there was a World of people assembled, there were likewise present some that knew him and comforted him, being glad to see him so pa­tiently to suffer, for he being laid flat for his punishment, that hee might get another life, he asswag'd his present suffering with the hope of future happinesse: and not one­ly so, but gave thanks to God, who in his anger had remembred mercy, and had chastened him, that hee might save him. In that space of his punishment, which lasted for above three days, hee re­qu [...]sted two things, that he might die maturely and Christianly, and that it would please God, to send a showre of rain seasonably to mi­tigate his heat and thirst. It is re­corded that he ob [...]ained both these requests for about Evening, there fell a plentifull showre of raine, [Page 170] and afterwards he ended his pains and his life.

Behold here (ô my Christian) thou thy selfe here hast also thy wheele, but a farre softer one, thou rollest in thy bed, as on a wheele, and without doubt though perhaps thy torment may be lesse, yet thy thirst is as great; that there may come down into thy soul a comfor­table showre, look up to Golgotha, and behold with the eye of faith thy Saviour upon the Crosse, from whose bodie flows Rivers of saving waters: here drink, here refresh, here satisfie thy selfe. The more freely thou drinkest of this, the more healthy will thy soule be.

§ .18 The sickmans Napkin or Handkerchief.

CHrotildis Queen of the Franks, (as Gregorius Turonicus re­late it) being cruelly used by A­malaricus her husband, sent to King Childebert her brother a white lin­nen [Page 171] cloth, all besmeared with her bloud in stead of a Letter, and as though she spoke thus to her Bro­ther: Canst Thou (ô Childebert) see this, and suffer it? Seest thou what thy sister endures, and wilt thou connive at it? wilt not thou defend her? wilt not thou vindi­cate her wrong? Behold here (ô sick man) Thy Saviour sends to thee two Handkerchiefs, all be-dyed with bloud, one he garnished in the Mount of Olives most libe­rally with his bloud, in the other from Golgotha, thou mayst behold how his face with sweat, with spit, with bloud, teares and blows was abused by sinfull men, both these Jesus sends to thee, all be-purpled with his precious bloud, and may speak these words to thy soul Your sins (ô mortals) have caused this sweat; these stripes this bloud. Can yee behold these, and can you but leave of your wicked lives? ô would wee were true Childeberts! and that wee would take an holy & speedy revenge upon our selves. Certainly, there is no man doth [Page 172] more truly grieve at the sufferings of Christ, then hee which begins to hate those things for which Je­sus suffered.

§. 19. The sickmans Bed.

THe sickmans Bed torments him, though it be as soft as that of Sardanapalus, though it be as that of Smindyrides upon Roses the base and effeminatish Sy­barite? a young man given up to all wantonnesse and luxu­ry. Who when hee had tryed how easily hee could lie upon the softest feathers, complained that they made his sides sore: and so made him a Bed of Rosie leaves, but this perfumed Gallant also complain'd of them, as too hard for his tender flesh.

Although the sick person have a bed all of Hares Wooll or down of Partridges, yet he will judge it uneasie. Well he must be excused; [Page 173] it is his anguish that forceth these complaints, yet wee can shew you harder lodgings then these. Saint Lawrence had a Grid-iron red fire hot to lie on, so Vincentius the Martyr and many others have been laid in smart lodgings, and yet the love they bore to their Lord, and the care they had of sal­vation made them to repute them easie and honourable.

The Persians in times past exer­cised a cruell kind of torment up­on Christians, which was called Scaphismus; because the poore Christians which were to be thus tortured, were laid betweene two boats, as in an hollow and long streight chest with their faces up­wards, their head, their hands, and feet were left out, onely; for their food it was mingled with ho­ney, which was poured into their mouth against their wils, onely to prolong their life, and augment their torments. For at certaine times they were expos'd to the heat of the Sunne, and had their eyes shut down, their head, hands, and [Page 174] feet were all anointed with milke and honey, so by this meanes, whole swarms of Flies and Gnats did cover these parts, so that they seemed as a blacke cloath, and the drink & liquour poured into their mouthes preserved life, and be­cause it did easily run from their entrails, it caused a noysome pu­trifaction in the lower boat, and Wormes were ingendred: so that the men that were thus laid, were stung without with Hor­nets, Wasps, and Flyes; and eaten within, with infinite companies of Wormes: Hence when their bodies came to be opened, they were found most miserably gnawn with these Wormes, and this un­heard off and most cruell torment would let the parties live to fifteen or seventeen days and some more. Consider (my sicke friend) this bed, this miserable lodging so full of torture invented for the Chri­stians. Oh how favourable are thy sufferings to these! how soft is thy Bed to this: thy disease is not to be reckoned any thing com­pared [Page 175] with these tortures? Be silent therefore, and be patient without murmuring, who partakes of the Crosse shall inherit the Kingdome: and Salvian spoke well, it seems to me a kinde of health,Epist. 5. not to be alwayes in health.

§ 20. The hope of a better life asswa­geth our misery.

I Demand of thee, (ô my sicke friend) with Seneca, why Won­drest thou at thy miseries? Thou art born to this, to losses, to cros­ses, to perishings, to hopes, to feares, to disquietings: to fear, yet to desire death; and what is worse, not to know thy own condition, & never to be in a durable state.

Ingenuous spirits strike off de­lays; they desire earnestly to bee gone, and break prison. They ac­custome their thoughts to sub­lime objects, and so easily despise these baser subjects. Therfore Plato cryes out, A wise man always sets death before him, this he wils, this [Page 176] he meditates on; this takes up his thoughts, how wel is that saying of Plato, concerning a better life, I (saith he) esteem him a wise man, whose study is to die in hope and confidence: being filled with cer­tainty of hope, that hee shall be enriched with great rewards when he is dead. This the Ancients saw in the dark, and can'st thou choose but see them in the Sun-shine? Why therefore (ô my sick friend) doe these terrene things molest thee? When as shortly Heaven shall be thy Mansion, let thy thoughts be there fixed, and what ever thy misery is: thou wilt lesse feel it.

§ 21. The true hope of a most blessed Life.

I Trouble thee not here with Poets or Philosophers, the busi­nesse is serious, I will draw most pure waters out of the fountaine of holy Writ, let therefore sor­row be gone, and confidently say [Page 177] it with the Doctor of the Gentiles, I know whom I have believed,2 Tim, 12 and I am sure that he will keep, and is able to keepe that for mee untill that day. What fearest thou ô man of short hope? Heare what Syrach's sonne saith also, Hee which feareth the Lord, shall not need to be daunted,Ecclus 34 16. usque ad 21. because the Lord is his hope. The soule of him that feareth the Lord is blessed. For the Lord is his hope, and his strength; The eyes of the Lord are upon them that feare him, hee is their mighty protection and strong stay, a defence from heat, and a cover from the Sunne at noon, a preservation from stumbling, and a helpe from fall [...]ng, he raiseth up the soule, lightneth the eyes, he giveth heal [...]h, life and bles­sing.

The Kingly Prophet even then when he saw his own death, how valiantly and resolutely did hee expresse himselfe? Psal 4, 9. I will lie downe (saith he) and take my rest, for it is Thou Lord onely, that makest mee dwell in safety: now what that was he speaks elswhere: saying, for thou hast beene my hope, and a strong [Page 178] towre against the enemy,Psal. 61.3, 4. I will dwell in thy Tabernacle for ever, and my trust shall be under the shadow of thy wings: but thou wilt reply, my impatience makes me distrust, take then with King David another re­medy. Psal. 71.5. For Thou art mine, ô Lord God, even my trust from my youth up. Neither did King David use this as a medicine for himself, but exhorts others to apply it to them­selves. Psal. 62.8. Trust in him alway all yee people, poure out your hearts before him, for God is our hope. Why canst not thou follow, Him who hath so often said it; Remember thy promise made to thy servant, wherin thou hast caused mee to put my trust, It is my comfort in my trouble. and say thou with Ieremiah, the Prophet. But I have not thrust in my selfe for a Pa­stor after thee.Ier. 17.16, 17. Be not thou terrible unto me, Thou art my hope in the [...]ay of adversitie. And also heare him elswhere. Ier. 31.16, 17. Refraine thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from teares, for thy work shall be rewarded, and there is hope in thine end.Iob 13. [...]5, 17, 12 Iob was most confident in this, Though hee [Page 179] kill me yet will I trust in him. And when hee was at the threshold of death, he saith, I have changed the night for the day. And in Ecclesia­sticus it is said, Ecclus 2.11, 12, 13. Know yee that none that trust in the Lord hath been con­founded, for who hath abode in his Commandements, and was forsaken? And who hath called upon him, and hath been rejected? Because the Lord is holy and mercifull, and will forgive in the day of affl [...]ction: Hee is the protectour of all such as seek him in verity.Osee 12.6 And the Prophet Hosea cries out, Trust in thy God for ever, for they that trust in him shall not be confounded, seeing the Lord is good to all that feare him, even to the soule that trusts in him.Lam. 3.26, 27. It is good both to trust in and to waite for the sal­vation of the Lord, for truly the Lord is good, and as a strong hold in the day of trouble, and hee knoweth all that trust in him.Nahum 1.7. And wee also know that when he shall appeare, we shall be l ke him, for we shall see him as he is,1 Iohn 3.2, 3. And every one that hath this hope in him purgeth himselfe even as he is pure. Have thou therefore thy [Page 180] hope fixed upon Gods goodnesse, for he will not forsake him,Psal. 116.9 that hopes in him, But as David speaks, Wee shall see the goodnesse of the Lord in the land of the living.

§ 22. Tranquillity flows from true hope.

Ps. 116.7. REturn unto thy rest (ô my soule) for the Lord hath beene gracious unto thee. Why faintest thou in such variety of laborious travels? behold the Lord is present to put an end to all thy pains; leave off therefore (ô my soule) to be any longer willingly miserable, and to waste thy selfe with such fruit­lesse toyles; sicknesse and death are the beginnings of rest to thee, thou mayest say perhaps, they are hard beginnings it is true, they are so; but thou knowest after stormy weather usually come the greatest calmes: so here, thy [...]est thus purchased, is rest eternall. [Page 181] Now perhaps Good-Friday wea­ries thee, but thou doest know that Easter is nigh, for aye to last. Goe on, and partake willingly some share of labour and sorrow, thou expects an Haven to arrive in, not onely out of this trouble­some World, but into that which is eternall in Heaven. Though thy labours be but (in thy appre­hension) now begun, yet they are sufficiently done; when, hee to whom thou hast laboured, ac­counts them so. Thou therefore (ô my soule) leave off vanity, and turn thee to thy God, who hath done great things for thee. Count if thou canst all his benefits, thou mayest sooner reckon the sands on the shore, by which his favours he hath laid open away to thy eter­nall felicitie. Saint Bernard com­mended that chiefly to his before his death; That they would firmly fix the Anchor of their hopes, in the safe bosome of Gods mercy. Let us have therefore that Verse of that sweet Singer daily in our mouthes. In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust, [Page 182] let mee never be confounded, deliver mee in thy righteousnesse.

§ 23. Patience is the whole armour of a Christian.

DEmosthenes being asked what was the chiefe ornament and grace of Eloquence answered, Action, being asked what was next to that, answered, Action, being asked the third time replyed, A­ction: so that as he gave the prime grace and credit to Action, so hee made it the onely grace of Rhe­torick. If I should be asked, what is the chiefest thing requisite for a sick man, I would say, and right­ly too, Patience, if it should be asked what is the most profitable for him, I would answer againe Patience, If again the third time, what is the most decent thing for a sick man, I would repeat the [Page 183] same, and say, Patience. This de­serves all the credit, shee should not onely weare the first, but also the second and third Bayes. Let us see what repute the divine O­racles bestow upon Pat [...]ence, our Saviour saith,Luke 2 [...] 19. By patience possesse your souls, nor doth S. Paul say little lesse, Ye have need of Patience that when yee have done the worke, Heb. 10.36. you might receive the promise. And Saint James, Let Patience have her per­fect work. Would you any more ô impatient man!Acts 14.27. By many tribulati­ons wee must enter i [...] t [...] the Kingdome of God. Where the thorne p [...]icks thee will grow a Rose to crowne thee. Truth it self proclaymes it, Whosoever sh [...]ll not take up his crosse and come after, Lu. 14.25 he cannot be my Dis­ciple. Admi [...] the [...]efo [...]e the Coun­cell of Saint Augustine, Suffer, what thou wouldest not,Aug. in Psal. 6. [...]hat thou mayest enjoy that which thou wouldest. Salomon beats upon the same,Prov. 3.11, 12. Despise not the correction of the Lord, and faint not, when thou art chastened of him. For whom the Lord loves hee corrects, and [Page 184] takes pleasure in him as in a sonne.

God delighteth not in destru­ction, but after a storme bringeth a calme, and for teares rejoycing; the Name of the God of Israel be praysed for ever. Therefore blessed are yee that weep, Lu. 6.21. for yee shall be comforted The furnace tryes the vessels of the potter, and so doth the tentation of tribulation righ eous men. Wherefore (ô my sick man) compose thy selfe to all patience. Patience is chiefly necessary for thee before any o­ther thing. Thy meat (perhaps) rellisheth ntowith thee, Patience will digest all. It is common, and one of the first things that befall sickmen to lose their palates, their sleep may be short and interrup­ted, Patience will give ease and rest. Doe sicke men sl [...]epe so well as healthy? doe paines tor­ment? patience doth mitiga [...]e. [...]re thy attendants negligent in their duties? usefull then is Patience. To satisfie a sickman in all things is very difficult. Perhaps there [Page 185] may want apt Comforters. Oh then embrace patience. Thy Lord Christ is the onely Comforter: though many things be wanting which may seeme necessary, pos­sesse but thy selfe with this one rich cordiall, and all will be well; all will be quiet. Ioachim Elector of Brandenburgh, comming to visit Charles the fifth Emperor, being troubled with the Gout, did admonish the Emperour to use the help of Physicians, to whom Charles the Emperour replyed; The best remedy for this sore is Patience: and so truly the onely remedy, and the whole Armour of the sick, is Patience: being guar­ded with this, hee will not much fear pains, diseases, nor death it selfe. Hee may encounter with all these Enemies, and come off a Victor. For Patience overcommeth all evils.

§ 24. We are but guests, at length we must be gone.

OUr life is but a way-faring, and pilgrimage. Wee are in a strange place, and at anothers dis­posing. We are often dismissed, be­fore we be well entertain'd, and our remembrance departs with us. We are but of yesterday, as a Post that passeth away and is gone, most richly Saint Augu­stine in this kinde. All of us are Pilgrims and strangers. Hee is a Christian which at home doth ac­knowledge himselfe a Pilgrime, our Countrey is above, there wee shall not be strangers. For here every one at home is but a guest. Will hee, nill hee, hee is but a stranger. Bu [...] hee leaves his house to his children. What then? as one guest his lodging to the next commer. Thy Father left room for thee, thou must leave it to the next generation. Neither while thou wouldst stay, doest thou, nor [Page 187] while thou wouldst stay, shalt thou If we must all be gone, let's doe something here that may abide hereafter. That when wee shall passe away, and shall come thi­ther from whence wee shall not depart, we may finde some good treasured up. Seeing therefore that wee are but guests, let it not trouble us to set onward to our travell. A traveller goes no way so merrily, as when hee goes homeward.

§ 25. The terme of life is certain.

THe number of his moneths is with thee, Iob 14.5. Thou hast appointed him his bounds, which hee cannot passe. Whatsoever thou doest (ô man) whatsoever thou endevourest, the days of thy life are numbred unto thee. Summon and convocate all the Physicians to thee, about thee, Podalyrians, Machaonists, Aescu­lapians, Hippocratists, and command all the Galens to revive, not all [Page 188] these can put one part of a short minute to thy yeares, beyond Gods appointed time. Empty all the Apothecaries shops, swallow up Gold, and Pearles, to extend thy life. Yet thou shalt not pro­mote the termes, which thou canst not exceed, be thou never so wary: decline from all dangers thou canst suppose, hinder the growth of diseases, yet thou shalt not in­crease the number of thy moneths. Thou mayest wish, vow, desire, it's nothing: the limits are appoin­ted, and (what stirre soever thou makest) thou canst not enlarge them. Thou thinkest perhaps the sand of the sea to be innumerable; but he hath that numbred, which hath thy yeares, moneths, dayes, houres, minutes reckoned from Eternity. Whatsoever thy skill, or industry may promise thee, they cannot enlarge thy space of time not a moment. Let there be provided for thee, the choice and most excellent diet, and let it be never so rarely drest, drinke the Creame of wine; never labour [Page 189] but for health; sleep just so long as thy Doctour prescribes thee, and as thy health invites thee. Be cold and hot to a just proportion, notwithstanding all these things thou shalt prove mortall, and when thou art come to the marke, (which God hath set up, and fore­seen from all Eternitie) Then thou mayest bid Adieu to all hu­mane things, and all worldly af­faires: and prepare thy selfe to give in account, for the Tribunall calls thee to Appearance. Seeke no delay here, no truce, no put­ting off, thou must goe, slinke not backwards. The account must be given, doe not excuse thy selfe, all delay is cut off, request not ling­ring. (ô God) the number of all mens moneths is with thee, his bounds are set which cannot, can­not (I say) be past.

Seneca was not ignorant of this (who said) No man died too soon,Consol. ad Marciam. c. 20. who was never intended to live longer then he did.

[Page 190]
He hath arrived at his set mark,
And now must lie alas ith' dark.

Every man hath his prefixed stint: hee shall remayne for ever in his Stanza. Let an hundred Physicians, six hundred friends, a thousand Kinsmen attend or hedge in thy bed; yet not one of them can helpe thee; One onely God can doe the deed.

It is concluded (ô man) it is fully concluded concerning thee, (ô if God be thine Enemy) it is concluded upon thee for ever. Thou per [...]shest for ever, if in this moment of death, thou beest not received into grace and favour, the last moment of thy life pro­nounceth sentence of thee: as thy death, as thy fall is, so shall thy resurrection, so shall thy life be to all Eternitie. ah! begin to be wise, and live to God, and what­ever thou doest, remember Eter­nitie.

§ 26. The first Objection of the sick man.

I Could easily have comforted my selfe when I was healthy and lusty, I then provoked these evils when they were absent, be­hold now the sorrow, that so often I have pronounced tolerable: be­hold the death! against which I have spoken many great words!

I thought otherwise while I stood healthy and strong, I think not so now being cast down upon my bed of sicknesse. It is no hing to provoke an absent Enemy, but it is a matter of difficulty to re­taine stou nesse of spirit to his face. We usually contemne death, but it is when wee think and be­lieve our selves free from his reaching darts: It is one thing to fight in thought, another thing to fight really. The Coward may performe the first, [...]ut none but [Page 192] Christian Champions the latter.

What saist thou (ô my sick man) why doest thou complain against thy selfe? why changest thou thy yesterdays minde, though it was good? what? as though it were the part of a Champion to be wise and valorous in the dark one­ly? but when hee enters the lists to be sottish and cowardly? A good Fencer will not reject coun­sell when hee is entred the Thea­tre, though before hee wanted it Stand (ô man) and be bold, thou hast overcome, if thou wilt; onely despaire not. Behold Iesus Christ thy rewarder, looking on thee, he is not onely a Spectatour, but an Helper. And hee reaches to thy hands all the weapons which thou needest use, but perhaps they are to thee as Sauls were to David, not fit, thou refusest the scourge, the thorns, and the Crosse: yet take the shield of Patience, under this thou mayst fight safe, secure. Com­mit the rest to thy good GOD. Thou knowest that of Abraham to [Page 193] his sonne. God will provide.

§ 27. Another Objection.

BEhold I die, which might have liv'd longer. Truly thou couldst not. For if thou couldst, why doest thou not? but [...]his thou mayst say, I hoped, or desired to live longer. And in this I b lieve [...]hee; What if thou hadst lived longer, thou hadst but then lived awhile? the spaces of this life are unequal and uncertain, yet they are all short. Some men have lived 80 yeers, what have they now more then he [...]hat lived eight? Unlesse you put cares, and labours, and griefs, and toy [...]ings, as advanta­ges into he b [...]rgaine? and what more had hee, had he [...] liv'd eight hundred, unlesse wee can reckon his vertues as we l as his yeeres. Unlesse in this kind reckond what were Methusalems 969 yeeres,Iam. 4.15. but a meere vapour which appeares for a [Page 194] while, No man ever lived either so long or so much, but he seem'd to himselfe to have lived but a while: and in plaine truth, woe live but a modicum at the longest here. Hee that delights to live long, let him seeke after that life, where he lives for ever: which is onely to be sought here, is not to be had here, but thou wilt say, I am taken away and die, while I was thinking to doe good. Why didst thou onely think it, and not act it, not performe it? perhaps this would alwayes have beene thy thought, never thy perfor­mance.

Many are there which referre all to thought, but set no [...] foot to begin, nor would doe should life be longer granted: believe thy selfe to be one of these. For if thou hadst begun to doe well, thou canst not doubt, though death may prevent thy further progresse, yet the estimate of thy labour shall not be substracted in the Registry of that Infallible Computist. Thy reward is entire, not onely of thy [Page 195] acts, but of thy wishes. Be of good comfort. The direct and shortest cut to eternall reward: is to die, well.

§ 28. Against other complaints of the sick partie.

MAnifold are the complaints of sicke folke, they f [...]arce speake without complaynings, without grudings. How often are these usuall phrases heard in the mouthes of [...]he diseased? alas! wretch that I am, so afflicted, so oppressed wi [...]h Dolours! how often doth hee sigh out, ah! and alas! but bring the businesse to the balance, and let it be well and strictly examined, and hee will then change his termes of Griefe, into these speeches. It is well; I am well, it pleaseth God, it seemes good in my Creatours eyes. Oh how happy! how blessed am I, though under the Rod! yet [Page 196] not of a Tyrant, but of a loving Father. God be praised, God be glorified. Heaven is the reward of all that doe the will of God. Oh! it is well, oh sick man! this is as it should be. Seneca admo­nisheth well in this case, Noli (ait) &c. Doe not (saith he) make thy evils heavier then they are, for why wilt thou desire to burthen thy selfe? it is better to withdraw these groanings, and repining words It was never worse with any man. What torments, what evils have I suffered, no man ever thought I should ever have reco­vered againe. How often have I been given for lost by Physicians? Though all these were true, yet they are past. What helps it thee to take up thy past [...]riefs, and to be miserable, because th [...]u hast been? I am wret [...]hed thou sayest, [...]ea, ra [...]her blessed, Blessed is the m [...]n whom the Lord chasteneth; Pro. 3.12 for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and del [...]ghts in him, as in a sonne. Hee sco [...]rgeth every sonne whom hee r [...]ceiveth. Despise not therefore the [Page 197] chastening of the Lord, because hee wounds and heals: he strike downe, and raiseth up again. Knowest thou not that the Chyrurgeons Lances are but for Medicaments, and Ini­tiations of recovery? Looke not thou so much upon thy wound, as to the hand that gave it. And then thou wilt confesse that this wound makes thee whole: bu [...] you will say, My g [...]ief is great an [...] heavy, It is as thou feelest it in thy ap­prehension, heavy if undergone with a feminine spirit. The enemy doth us most mischiefe wh [...]n wee flie from him: Every evill is most urgent to them that yield to it: flee from it. Thinke of those, as I may say) so many hundred thou­sand stout Martyrs, and not onely those, but also others whi [...]h have vanquished dangerous evils.Ibid. Se­neca doth report of one, who while his legs were cutting off, did con­stantly and undauntedly read on a book. Doest thou but behold the Martyrs Lamed, cut, torn, burnt, stab'd, fryed, roasted, broyled, dy­ing lingringly, with all manner of [Page 198] torments. Rub up thy memory on them, and then wonder that thy selfe so like them in other things, yet so unlike them in thy impa­tience. But you will say the dis­ease will not give you leave to do any thing. Is it so indeed? Look I pray: thy sicknesse holds thy bo­die, not thy minde: so thou art a runner in a R [...]ce, yet thy feet are bound, if thou canst use thy mind, and exercise thy spirit: thou wilt perswade, teach, heare, lear [...], seek, remember even in thy sicknesse. Furt [...]ermore, doest thou thinke thou doest no [...]hing, if in thy sick­nesse thou beest, tem [...]orate, and quiet? If thou canst demonstrate that thy disease is vanquished, or undergone, thou hast then (be­lieve me) done a great exercise in thy sick bed, and thy work is wel­nigh finished.

§ 29. The sick man to himselfe, against himselfe.

WHat shall I doe? doe I die be­fore I am gray-headed? is it not granted to mee which others enjoy, Old age? Behold we are all too expert in this Errour; to think that none but old men are for the Grave: a Biere is as well acquain­ted with young and strong men, as decrepit folks?Sap. 4.9. The crowne of old men is an upright life, the beau­tifullest old age is honestie. It is better to have the man then his haires to plead reverence. He is wondrous rich in the endow­ments of old age, who hath wor­shipped God, who hath exerci [...]ed wisdome, and liv'd well.

It is more glorious to be a se­nior in Virtue, then yeares. Who­soever comes to his appointed pe­riod, hath liv'd long, and died old: Wee have our Land-marks, [Page 200] and to touch them is to goe farre enough: but such is our covetous­nesse after long life, [...]hat when we are to die wee would seeme but young folks, and unripe to the ha [...]vest, th [...]ugh wee can number even then 80 yeers. But why do wee stand still thinking upon the paucitie of our yeers? when as in vain? God hath registred thy time in the Booke of Eternitie, which nor thou, nor any other can alter, or cancell. This is the sentence of God upon all flesh, and they that shall live after thee, are in the pleasure of the Almighty, whither thy time extends to 10, to an 100, or more yeeres, there is no complayning of life in Hell, and in the other World, none shall accuse God, because he gave them not a longer life: they shall condemne themselves in that they managed their life no better. Do thou thus, and think in thy mind of those eternall, that's a profi [...]a­ble losse, to lose a point of time, and to gain Eternity. Most gene­rously said the King of Macedon, [Page 201] I meet not my selfe by time, Curt [...]b. 9.12. but by Eternitie. Doe thou also consider thy selfe not as a bubble of time, but as created for Eternitie, which hath no limits.

§ 30. The sick man to God.

OH my God! the desire of my heart. I a most wretched man, a most vile contemptible worme, lie here fastened in my sick bed, without either the use or strength of hands or feet, an idle, empty, slothfull, unprofitable ser­vant, a lumpe and masse of un­fruitfull earth, which ha [...]e done no work for thee. Yet I desire (ô God) I desire to worke in thy Vineyard; to indure cold, heat, wearinesse, vexation, the Crosse, I desire to suffer hunger o [...] thirst, or any molestation, any heavines, or misery for thy sake.

I have learnt this by the Exam­ple of an holy man, who when he [Page 202] was visited with more sorrow and sicknes then was usuall, he was admonished by another friend of his to ent [...]eat God to deale more favourably, with him, to whom he answered (as it were in anger) but that I perceive your simplicitie, I should have put you from my com­pany, for saying such words. And p [...]esently hee cast himselfe upon the Earth, I give thee thanks (ô God) for these things which thou hast sent mee to suffer, En­large my sorrows, multiply my pains, send mee an hundred dis­eases? I know for certaine, thou wilt with all these g [...]ve mee pa­tience.

What can I say but this thing onely, It is too lit [...]le that I suffer. (ô God) adde (if it be thy good pleasure) more and more to them. I have deserved farre more bitter stripes, then thou (ô mercifull God) hast yet inflicted. Here (ô Lord) spare me not, burn me, cut me, teare me in pieces, onely save me hereafter. If I had an hundred bodies, I would adorne so many [Page 203] crosses wi [...]h them for thy sake; that I may please thee, (ô kinde Fa­ther) that I may be but numbred with thy Saints in Glory Ever­lasting, I weigh not what paines and miseries, I here undergo and suffer, a thousand without any ex­ception, so I may gain thee. Let thy will (ô God) be fully done. For I know that thy service is per­fect freedome, to whom both the will and the deed are acceptable, and how often dost accept the will for the deed, and rewardest it e­qually.

I am now by thy appointment, ô Lord, call'd to rest, my night comes in which I cannot worke. Yet although this my disease takes away from mee the power of working, yet it deprives mee not of the will, I will (ô Lord) I will and while breath or life con­tinue, for thy love I am ready and willing to doe or suffer as the holy Martyrs and pious Christians, have done and suffered before me. Say onely (ô Lord) what wilt thou me have doe? What must I suffer? [Page 204] for I offer a whole World full of good desires to thee, I will goe to the utmost parts of the Earth, nay, with read [...]nesse and willingnesse to the Indies, the tops of Moun­tains shall not let mee, the great Valleys shall not deterre mee. I will climbe these, travell through those; the vast heaps of snow shal not stop me, nor the lofty waves, I will passe through both. Nor rocks, nor fire, scornings, reproa­ches, disgraces, shame, accusati­ons all these, none of these shall be able to deterre my course for suffering in thy cause, nor will I for thy love (ô Eternall Wisdom) think much to be counted a fool, I will glory in the title, it is not blows nor death which I will de­cline for thy sake. Nothing shall be too hard, nothing too bitter, nothing unpleasant, nothing im­possible where the cords of thy love doe draw my soule. I shall goe through with all incumbran­ces, with all oppositions, by thy aid and assistance: and what I cannot doe by strength, I will [Page 205] performe in desires, wherein my hands or feet shall faile, thi­ther will I goe in desire, in affe­ction.

But all these wishes and wil­lings if [...]hey be brought to action, will they unlock and open Hea­ven gates? If I shall bring forth all these specious fruits, shall I then be worthy to be in the pre­sence of God? Ah! ô my Lord God! though I suffer and doe whatsoeuer thy holy Saints have done and suffered, or what they would have done or suffered, yet shal I not be worthy to abide in thy sight one moment: how much lesse then, when as I doe but offer up to thee these small and emptie desires. By what means, then shall I make my way ready for heaven? (ôh! infinite Goodnesse, if thou shalt not have mercy upon mee I am undone for ever. I shall never be admitted into Heaven, if thy mercy excludes me. There is ther­fore this one sanctuary, and this one refuge remayning to mee to save me from thy anger and just [Page 206] indignation. Thy mercy (ô Lord) is that vast Ocean, and immense Sea, into this I will throw my self, whensoever death shall cast me from the little Hillock of this world, and also while I do pos­sesse this little Tabernacle I will freely and wholly cast my selfe into that bottomlesse Sea of thy infinite mercies: bei [...]g fully as­sured, that herein I shall be safe from all the flames and flashes of Hell fire. I cry out therefore with King David.

Have mercy upon me (O God) af­ter thy great goodnesse, according to the multiude of thy tender mercies, blot out all mine off [...]nces.

Wash mee throughly from my wic­kednesse, and cleanse mee from my sinne.

So also in my greatest extre­mitie, in my last and uttermost houre of my life, when my soule must goe forth from her old de­cayed house, with all my arden­test and earnestenst desires I will and wish that one thing: yea, while I live and am wel in health, [Page 207] deliberately and affectionately, I thirst after those pleasant Rivers of waters, yea, at my gaspe I desire tha [...] my sigh may signifie so much to men an [...] Angels that I onely cry and sigh for this one favour al [...]hy hands.

Have mercy upon me (ô GOD) after thine own goodnesse, according to the multitude of thy tender com­passions, &c.

§ 31. The sick mans sure and true confidence in God.

IT is a serious businesse, and no childish art, to die, and well may the sicke man bee asked, wilt thou wholly commit thy selfe to the hazard of Eterni­tie? thou entrest into an un­knowne way, and whither wilt thou come? to wh [...]ch the sick may answer, [...] not to mutter as those wretches who say, I am compeld, I must, but rather in an upright course, let him say, I doe willingly [Page 208] and wholly give my soule, so I com­mit my selfe to Eternity, so I depart hence joyfully.

So, even so, let healthy men say and think, but especially such as are ready to die: both these may truly say hitherto I have be­gun to die onely, now I doe so. Now I begin my journey to E­ternity: and because Gods mer­cy knows no end, and exceeds all measure, I goe on without dread. In thee (ô Lord) have I put my trust, let mee never be put to confusion. I hope, never, never (ô Lord) and though there be a thousand wit­nesses out of the sacred Writt to confirme my hope in this point, yet let mee not despise the excel­lent Councell which that Roman wise man affords, That we should think of Death, and the returne from Death. Thus the Ancients have delivered their minds.

When that day shall come which shall separate my soule from my body, I shall leave this body, where I found it: but I my selfe shall be restored to God. [Page 209] Neither am I now without him, onely I am detained by this hea­vy earthy body of flesh: by these delays we make a preparation for that Eternall and better life. For as the wombe of our mother holds us nine moneths, and prepares us not for her selfe, but for that place into which we are sent, be­ing now fit to take breath, and to live abroad: so from the space of our infancie, to our old age, wee are fitting for another birth, ano­ther spring expects us, wee ex­pect another state. Wee are not here fit for Heaven but by di­stance, yet here wee are fitted for it. Wherefore undauntedly looke for that decretory houre: though last to the body, yet not to the soule. Whatsoever things thou doest here behold, looke upon them as bundels of trumperies not worth transportation. Wee must passe. The day which thou so mightily fearest as thy last, is but the birth-day of Eternity. The day will come that shall reveale thee: and will bring thee out [Page 210] of thy rotten, and flitting tent. Meditate now on diviner mat­ters. Natures secrets shall once be disclosed to thee: this darknes shall vanish, and light shall shine bright for ever. No cloud shall dim or obscure the serenity of that day, Heaven shall then per­fectly be seen: day and night are the courses of this lower Region, thou wilt then say, thou hast but liv'd in darknes, when thou shalt cleerly behold that light, which now thou hast but a glimpse off: and yet admirest at, though afar off. What will that [...]ivine Light seem to thee, when thou shalt be­hold it in its owne place? the thought of this will permit no base or sordid, no abjected or in­humane thing to reside in thy minde.

What can be more holy (ô Christians) let us always thinke on, and medi [...]ate these things, no good man dies ill, no ill man, well. Death is the nearest way to Eternitie.

§ 32. Constantly.

COnstantly (I beseech you) constantly, there is no pati­ence, where there is no constan­cy: but some may say, this is the second, third, fourth, or fifth, or ninth week, in which I have layn sick. Anoth [...]r may say, this is the second third, fourth, [...]ifth, or ninth moneth since I fell sick. There will not want others to object, that this is the second, third, four h, fifth, or ninth yeare, or more, that hee hath b [...]en visited. Oh good men! it is not the signe of a patient man, to call, to mind, and calculate so exactly his days, monet [...]s, and yeares of vi­sitation. Endure I pray you. En­dure and loose not the recom­pence of reward for a little suffe­ring, res rve your selves for bet­ter [...]hing. That's but a point of time in which I suffer. If I looke [Page 212] upon Eternity. All our travaile is short, our rest is everlasting. There have beene those who have been sick all their life long.

Saint Gregory commends one Servulus, who from his childhood to his dying day was troubled grievously with a Palsie, so that he could not lift up his hands to his mouth, or turn in his bed, and yet he got all the Bible by heart, by hearing it read to him, what was his life but a ling [...]ing death? and as he was daily dying, so hee usually had this speech ready, God be thanked. All his yeeres though so full of misery and pains, yet he held them as nothing to Eter­nitie.

There was a Virgin at Schee­dam, called Lydwina, who for 38 yeares together, was afflicted with divers diseases, even as that Beg­gar was at the fish-poole: thou mightest trulyer have said, this Maid to have beene dead then a­live, who spent so many yeares in and amongst so many sorts of troubles and diseases. Diversity of [Page 213] torments seemed to have jointly set upon her: scarce for those 30 yeers did she eat so much bread as one able man would have done in three days, and she was not one­ly troubled with extream sicknes, but also with great povertie and exigencie: Yet in her sicknes this Lydwine cried out constan [...]ly, Oh! good Jesus have mercy upon mee. She was wont to say that these 38 yeers of sicknes wee nothing rec­koned to Eternity.

But I will record another that past Servulus, or Lydwina, in the number of to ments and sicknes­ses. One Coleta a Vi [...]gin of Corbe [...]a, who indured an incredible mea­sure of pains for the space of 50 yeers, without intermission pa­tiently, and scarce slept one houre in eight d [...]ys toge [...]he [...]: she was tormented in her minde as well as in her bodie: and that, which shee reckoned amongst the kindnesses and favours of the Lord was, that her torments were answerable to those of the blessed Martyrs. One being still sent up­on [Page 214] another, she would usually say, ô could I at once, patiently suffer the furie of all Feavers together! This fearfull continuation of dis­eases for above 50 yeeres did this female creatu [...]e patiently go un­der, and bore comfort [...]bly, and to her they seemed nothing to E­ternitie. This blessed Maid said, as once, Saint Bernard, [...]y worke is but for one houre, or if a little longer I count it [...]s nothing for the love I beare to my Saviour.

That as well the sound as the sick may determine holinesse in their minds, and bring it forth in thoir works and actions, and from good words proceed to good deeds wee have added [...]hese prayers fol­lowing, for the confirming and e­stablishing them in those holy duties.

A Prayer to be said continu­ally of the sound, sick, and dying men.

MOst sweet Lord Jesus Christ in the union of that love, by which thou offeredst thy selfe up to thy Father, doe I offer up my heart and soule to thee, that thy good will and pleasure may be done of me and by me. Sweet Je­sus I desire and choose thy will to be done: let my sufferings be ne­ver so great, let sicknes and death approach, yet I commit my selfe wholly to thy faithful providence, and divine will. For I hope, and entreat, that thou wouldst direct me, and all that belong unto mee to thy glory and everlasting sal­vation. Amen.

2 A Prayer to conforme our selves to Gods will.

O Lord Jesus Christ, which for thy own glory and our salva­tion minglest j [...]y with heavinesse, and for our progresse in grace dost suffer us to partake of adver­sity and prosperity, I give thanks unto thee, that thou of thy good­nesse hast caused mee to be trou­bled, and to beare this affliction. I desire thy favour (ô Saviour) to let such fruit and benefit grow from it, as thou approvest and de­sirest, and th [...]t it may not be hin­dred by my impatience or un­thankfulnesse. Strech forth thy hand (ô Lord) and come and helpe mee [...]hy sicke servant; as once thou didst stretch it forth and sav'd Peter thy Apostle from drowning in the waves. So let (I beseech thee) thy arme of power save mee from sinking under this present cross & sicknes: according to thy power, so let thy will be (ô [Page 217] Lord) I entreat thee to let this present bitter Cup, so trouble­some to flesh and bloud to passe away from me: as thou diddest heare and deliver Ezekias, when hee cryed unto thee: Notwith­standing not my will, but thine (which is always righteous and holy) be done. Thou onely hast the power of judging and [...]iscer­ning, and thou knowest best the medicines to cure our diseases. Oh my most loving Saviour! re­prove, correct, and chastize me, burn me, cut me in pieces, onely save me everlastingly Let not the flames of hell lay hold upon me. I know thy rod comforts as well as thy staffe, thou doest I know chastize thy beloved sons, and by chastizements doest purge, exer­cise and provest them, before thou puttest upon them the crowne of glory. My heart, my heart (ô Lord) is ready, how, and when thou wilt be pleased to prove my patience, and subject mee under the rod. My trust is in thee, let me not be confounded for ever. I [Page 218] submit my selfe, and wholly re­signe my self to thy heavenly will and pleasure, though thou kill, yet wil I trust in thee. My lot is in thy hands, to dispose, let it fall to me in a good ground. Amen.

3 A Prayer to obtaine patience.

O Almighty GOD, Thou kn [...]w [...]st what a weake, frail, and vile piece of earth I am, yet the worke of thy hands, who was framed of [...]he dust, who am blown and withered by every blast of winde, and shall at last again re­turne to dust, there is nothing that I have wherein I can trust, for I have within mee the spirit stri­ving against the flesh, and about me the flesh against the spirit. I find motions of Anger, Impati­ence, Fearfulnes, Dissidence, and divers other perturbati [...]ns to rise within mee, if thou onely doest but touch me with thy hand. I desire therefore thy helpe (ô [Page 219] heavenly Physician) and that hea­venly medicine of thine (called Patience) to be communicated to me: ô! Patience it is the easement of all diseases.

Give mee (ô Lord) in all e­states to carry my selfe orderly, submissively, and to beare pro­sperity without pride, adversitie without repining, whither thou sendest health, or sicknes, I may entertain them as proceeding from thy fatherly hands, and so being assured they are good, be­cause they come from thee, & thou makest all things worke for the best to them that feare thee. A­men.

Let thy holy Spirit teach and instruct me. And so much the ra­ther, O Lord help, because there is none fighteth for mee but onely thou (ô God) and tha [...] thy strength may be perfected in my weaknesse. So that I may truly say, Thy rod and thy staffe have comforted me, and thy good grace assisting me, I may look upon thy Son and my Saviour Jesus with [Page 220] comfort, which shewed himselfe a pattern of all patience, to all pa­tient men grant this I beseech for t [...]y mercy sake in Jesus Christ. Amen.

4 A Prayer for the increase of Patience.

OUr life (ô Lord) is a pilgri­mage from Exile and Ba­ [...]ishment to our Countrey, and lest the pleasantnesse of the way should detaine or keepe us back, from comming speedily and com­f [...]rtably to thee (ô God) thou stirrest us up by Goads, and ha­st ns us by pricks in our sides, that so we may the more eager­ly desire rest, and to bee at our journeys end: therefore diseases, griefs, teares, mournings, sor­rows are as so many spurs to hastē our dull natures, and to encourage them to make speed to their quiet repose. Cau [...]e us (ô Lord) to forget the tediousnesse of the way, and to remember our Coun­trey, [Page 221] and if thou pleasest to lay on load upon our shoulders, lay on strength l [...]kewise and patience to carry it quietly and cheerfully, having all our intentions and hopes fixed upon thee, but seeing all things are at thy disposing. Make all things (ô Lord) worke together in thy unsearchable wis­dome, that I may never prove an enemy to thee. Amen.

5 A Prayer containing a full resignment of the sickman into Gods hand and will.

O Most comfortable and sweet Lord God, be mindfull I pr [...]y thee, and mercifully consi­der mee thy poore creature: but thou, Lord, art my creatour, be­hold (ô Lord) I doe wholly give and resigne my self unto thy dis­posing, and ordering, I am ready and prepared (ô Lord) to endure what thy fatherly hand shall lay upon mee. Deal with mee as thou [Page 222] pleasest in time, and for Eternity: Whatsoever thou (ô heavenly Father) hast determined upon me, and of me with all Humilitie I am resolved to beare. I will take all things well at thy hands, whi­ther Good or Evill, sweet or sowre joy, or heavinesse: and will for all give thanks unto thee. Keepe me (ô Lord) from all sin, and so I will neither feare death nor hell. Because thou wilt not destroy the work of thine owne hands, nor blot me out of the booke of life: no tribulation shall be grievous unto mee: be present (ô sweet Jesus) with me at all times, in all places, and let mee comfort my selfe in this, that thou only art my comfort and consolation, and if at any time thou shalt be pleased to withdraw thy comfortable pre­sence from me, yet then I will be comforted in thy tryall of me, be­cause it is for my good. Thy holy Name be now and ever, above all things (ô Saviour) magnified and blessed. Amen.

6 Another sh [...]rt Prayer to the same purpose.

O Love ineffable, ô sweet Je­su, my God, if thou wouldest give me my desire, and woul­dest promise to give what I should request, I would not desire any thing, but what I suffer. This, this I would desire and request a thou­sand time that thy most gracious will according to thy good plea­sure may be always done in me, of me, by me for evermore. Amen.

A Prayer for conformity of our wils to the divine will.

O Sweet Jesu! I neither desire Life nor Death, but onely thy will be done. I wait upon thee. If it be thy good pleasure (sweet Je­su) that I shall die, I doe humbly intreat thee to receive my spirit, and though I come in at Evening, one of the last amongst the Work­men, [Page 224] grant yet that I may be with thee, and receive everlasting rest in and through thee, but, if thou so pleasest (ô sweet Jesu) that my life shall be prolonged, I purpose then, and resolve, and for this I do intreat thy suffrage and the as­sistance of thy grace, that the resi­due of my life may be amended, & be offered up to thee wholly as a pleasing sacrifice, to thy glory, and according to thy good will. Amen.

Another Prayer to obtain the same thing as onely necessary.

O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech thee by thy love, whi [...]h invited thee so willingly to take all our burdens upon thee, that thou wouldest make me to take my visitation patiently, and thankfully, as com­ming by thy Fatherly providence, and according to thy good will, and proceeding out of thy love and affection towards me; give me as­sistance to take it quietly, to beare it patiently, to resigne my selfe to [Page 225] [...] [Page 224] [...] [Page 225] thy goodnesse, and well liking, and give mee that strengh and growth in grace, that I may not offend thee in the least: nor ever depart from, or dislike thy godly will: and (ô Saviour) unite my will with thy most holy B [...]neplaci­te, that what I wish may please thee. Amen.

A Prayer to obtain Patience.

O Lord my God, I confesse I have not lived as I ought to have done, & as by grace I might have done. I am sorry at my hea [...]t, and it grieves mee that I cannot grieve more. I humbly beseech thee (ô Lord) that thou wouldst not deale with me after my sins, but according to thy great mercies: thou ô God, which hast laid stripes on the outward man, give the inward man indeficient Patience. So that thy praise may never de­part from my mouth, Have mercy upon mee, (ô Lord) have mercy upon me, and help mee: for thou [Page 226] knowest what is good for my soul, and body: thou knowest all things thou canst doe all things, to thee bee prayse for evermore. Amen.

A Prayer after receiving of the holy communion to Je­sus Christ.

GLory and prayse be given to thee (ô Christ) who in thy gracious goodnesse wouldst vouch­safe to visit and cherish up my poore soule. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. Now I hold thee (ô sweet Love) I will not let thee go. I willingly bid Adiew to the whole World, and with joy I come to thee, ô my God. Nothing at all, nothing shall separate mee from thee (ô good Iesus) for I am joyned to thee, in thee I will live, in thee I will die, and in thee, if thou wilt, I will remayn for ever. I live, but not I, but Christ liveth in me. My soule now is weary of my life. [Page 227] I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. For hee is to mee in life and death advantage. Now though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, yet will I feare none evill, because thou art with me (ô Lord). And as the Hart desires the Fountains of wa­ters, even so longeth my soule aft [...]r thee (ô God.) My soule hath thirsted after God the fountaine of living wa­ters. When shall I come and appeare before the presence of God?

Blesse me, most loving Iesus, and now dismisse me in peace, because I am truly thine, and I will never for all time part with thee O could this happy union be now made! Oh! might I be wholly in thee. Oh! that my soul might f [...]r aye rest in thy imbracings, and partake always of thy presence. What have I any longer to doe or to be pestered with the World, (ô most loving Iesus?) Behold, whom have I in heaven but thee, an [...] whom have I desired on earth in com­parison of thee. Into thy hands (ô LORD) doe I comm [...]nd my soule, receive mee (oh sweet Love) [Page 228] that I may ever be with thee, and that in thee I may lye downe and take my rest; for thou onely ma­kest me dwell in safety. Amen.

The conclusion of the second Book, To the Reader.

WEe have said thus much hitherto to the sound, and sick, partly to recreate them, that they may live, to excite them, that they may watch, to streng­then them to overcome, that they might always be ready for Deaths assaults. It is better to try any course then to dye ill: An ill death is not onely [Page 229] the worst of all errours, but it is irrecoverable, inexpiable.

Now we come to dying men, and prescribe documents for them, not onely that they should read them when they are dy­ing, but specially in health to profit them against Death.

To dying Men.

A Death strikes, and with his Ax fels burly Okes
There's not a Tree that stands his single strokes.
B Fly hence: Your House begins to crack it falls
Get under ground: there yee'll find safer walls.
C Beast, Fish, and Fowle, wee catch with wiles and snares:
But Death hurls darts at us, and no Man spares.
D Be not d [...]smay'd, though Sculs from Hea­ven drop:
From mortall seed springs an immortall crop.
E As Waters from Aquarius pitcher drill;
So runs Mans life; Lib. a tryes, Wel or Ill?
F The Sun goes down, but 'tis to bring now day:
So man doth dye, that he may live for ay.
G The game's our own: The Deer's pent up:
No way to flie.
Dogs, Huntsmen, Darts, Nets, Toyls, all tell him, He must die.

THE Remembrance of DEATH is presented to dying Men. The third Book.

§ 1. The Art of dying compen­diously handled.

NOt to know how to die is the most wretched folly: that therefore wee may learne that, whi [...]h through all our lives we ought to learn, fiue things are specially considerable, which may make Death good.

First, a free and undaunted mind: this is a thing of great va­lue, on which do depend the rest. An offering of a free heart will I give thee. Ps. 54.6. Nothing doth more please God, no [...]hing more bene­fits man, then an undaunted, wil­ling, ready soule, and a generous confidence in God. Tergiversati­on, and giving back, argues a will nothing conformable to Gods. Therefore if at some time to be done, why not now? to get such a prompt mind for death is, to love and meditate on seriously the passion of our Lord, which every day is to be considered on with Prayers.

The second, a speedy and ex­pedite dispatch and disposing of our debts, and goods by will. It is an errour not to think of making our wils untill Death be entred over the threshold.

Discharge thy debts, dispose thy goods, before
Pale grimfac'd death doth come to knock at doore.

Saint Ambrose hath given us an [Page 235] excellent rule and method for the disposing of our own goods. Let there be (saith hee) sincerity of faith, quick sighted providence: or let charity be joyned with pru­dence, and prudence linked to charity: and let him that giveth an Almes, or taketh care that it be given, let him doe, that God may accept of the gift and the person giving.

The third is a speciall care of our salvation, let that be recko­ned of in the first place One thing is necessary. Luk. 10.42. Bl ssed Saint Augustine (the pattern of well dying men) ten days before his Death, admit­ted no Visitants, onely at a set houre his Physician, and a servant which brought in his dyet: and hee himselfe was poured out in prayers, teares, and sighes, hee conversed with GOD, concerning his life, and l [...]ft ad­monishments to us in these words, Nullus Christianorum, &c. Let no Christian depart hence untill hee have fully and worthily repented him of his sins.

The fourth is the receiving of the Communion; and to this the sicke party should bee ready and prepared, this great werke stould not bee too long put off, nor deferr'd till Death have possessed him, it is dangerous to neglect this: many die ill, because they seeme to d [...]sire, not to die so soone; hee that will ear­nestly repent him of his sinnes, let him do it early, and contrition of spirit is excellent to a sicke mans salvation

The fifth is a pious and entire oblation of himself to Gods good will. Every man p [...]rhaps cannot exhibit a mind undaunted in sick­nesse, but every man ough [...] to shew a minde conformable to the will of God. Let therefore the sick party often in the time of his visi­tation repeat these words of our Saviour.Mat. 11.26. Even so Father, because it seemed good in their eyes. So (ô Father) even so, &c. There is no feare of that mans perishing, who so effectually can reconcile him­selfe with the Judge.

§ 2. How to recover time ill spent and lost.

WHosoever desires earnestly to redeem lost time, let him turn away himselfe from all vanities, and seriously meditate upon Eter­nity, in which he shall see God: and in Him all things are to be f [...]und, and recovered that are lost: here let him fix his thoughts and expresse himselfe to God in these or the like terms.

O my eternall God! I do heartily wish, that from the day of my birth to the day of my dea h; I had lived be­fore thee in puren [...]sse, obedience, and holinesse: ô would to God! I had li­ved as all those men did, who by fol­lowing the practice of grace and ver­tue, did please God in all their trials and troubles. ô! that I could for thy love weep my self into teares, and be always helpful to the poore and needy; ô! that I could afford comfort to the [Page 238] comfortlesse! and love thee with that ardencie that all thy blessed Saints and Angels doe! for it is fit and due that all prayses should be gi­ven to thee. And now ô my God have mercy upon mee according to thy infinite wisdome and good pleasure. Of such the Psalmist hath pronounced, that they shal die ful of days, now (as Gregory saith) They die in a full age, who doe that worke in this passing and fleeting time, which will never fade or passe away, Hee hath recovered and repaired time that was lost, who hath truly sorrowed, that he hath lost it.

§ 3. How a short life is to be made long.

A Well minded man must look, not how long he can live, but how long he ought to live: the Wise man sai [...]h,Wisd. 4.13. Hee being made [Page 239] perfect in a short time fulfilled a long time. Well may hee say, hee hath liv'd long, which comprehends all perfection: for he hath finish­ed his course, which passeth to Eternity? he lives long who hath lived religiously; wee are not to reckon long life by the number of yeers, but by the number of vertues: he may worthily be said to have finished his time, which at no time would lose or leave his piety, his goodnesse: therefore an unwearied care and study of profi­ting and going on in goodn sse; and a daily indeavour to perfecti­on, is reputed and esteemed per­fection it self.

§ 4. There is an end of all things, bu [...] Eterni [...]y is endlesse.

WHy may wee not be cheerfull and sing some Elegies to, or before a sick man, especially if it be the custome of the place? Iaco­ponus [Page 240] an holy man of life, wri [...] certain merry Verses, in which very pleasantly he hath described the vanities of the world, and the precipices of Death, and I have here Englished them.

Cur Mundus militat sub vana glori [...]
Cujus prosperitas est transi [...]oria?
Tam citò labitur ejus potentia,
Quam v [...]sa figuli, quae sunt fragilia.
Why wars and strives the World for such vain glory
Whose great prosperity is transitorie?
So soone and sooner doth her power decay
Then Potters vessels or frail things of clay.
Dic ubi Salomon olìm tàm nobilis
Vel ubi Sampson dux invincibilis,
Vel pulcher Absalon, vultu mirabilis
Vel dulcis, Jonathan multùm ama­bilis.
Tell me where's Solomon that King so wise,
Or where now that stout Champion Sampson lies,
Or where is Absalon so faire to th' sight,
Or where is Ionathan so lovely bright?
Quo Caesar ab [...]it Celsus Imperio,
Vel Dives Epulo totus in prandio,
Dic ubi Tullius claus el [...]quio,
Vel Aristoteles summus ingenio?
Where is that lofty royall Caesar gone,
Or where that purpled, rich, high fed Glutton,
Where's Tully who in Eloquence did abound,
Or Aristotle for his wit renown'd.
Tot clari Proceres, tot rerum spatia,
Tot ora Praesulum, tot Regna fortia,
Tot mundi Principes, tanta potentia,
In ictu oculi clauduntur omnia.
So many high born Nobles, so grea [...] things,
So many Clergiemen, so many Kings,
So many Princes, so great Powers so high,
Are all shut up in th'twinckling of an eye?
Quàm breve festum est haec mundi gloria,
Vt umbra hominis sunt ejus gaudia,
Quae semper subtrahunt aeterna prae­mia,
In ictu oculi clauduntur omnia.
How short's the Feast of worldly glory found;
Our joys are but as shadows on the ground,
They doe substract from our reward on high.
And are shut up in th' twinkling of an eye.

All these are true, and most true is that, that they are all so soone concluded, and shut up. It is the saying of Saint Gregory, All the length of the time of this present life is but a point, being it is terminated with an end. And hee confirmes it again, saying, Whatsoever hath a period is but little and short. For that cannot seem to us to be long, that goes on with the course of time, till it be not: which, while it goes on by minutes, is driven on by them to its end: and may be decern'd from whence it may be h [...]ld, but is driven thither, where it cannot be held. Saint Augustine most cleerly, All the time (I speak not of this present unto the end of the World), but even of that from Adam [Page 244] to the end of the World, is but as a little drop compared to Eternity. All things have an Ex t, but Eternity hath none, none a [...] all. In the World there is no h [...]ng whose end is not neere? Banquets and Dan­ces end, all sports and laughters end, but never Eternity. In a mo­ment Vessels and Ships where they were but even now becalm'd and safe at Anchor, presently after are sunke and perish. The swarming Theatres for pastimes doe suddenly fall. In a trice all pleasures have their vanishings. In a minute all things shall have a grave. Why doe wee therefore follow, and pursue such short va­nities? That cannot delight a no­ble spirit, which is not durable: all things are concluded in the twinkling of an eye. Whatsoever had beginning shall have end. Onely Ete [...]ni [...]y is void of a pe­riod.

§ 5. The consideration of a dying Man.

JOb that M [...]ster of patience saith, The waters wear the stones, Iob [...]4.19, [...]0. and as the earth is washed away by the flouds, so shalt thou destroy man, Thou strengthenest him by little and little, and so hee passeth away for ever, Thou changest his beauty, and sendest him away. What a few Ce­remonies doth God use, when he sends men out of this World into another? He doth but change his beauty, and so hee is commanded to be gone elswhere. Then, cer­tainly when Death cals, the beau­ty is wholly chang'd; and as Hip­pocrates in his book of Prenotations observes, Man is alter'd, as it were cleane contrary to what hee was, his Nose is sharpe, his Eyes are hollow, and sunke into his Head, his Temples are falne, his Eares are drawne together, the [Page 246] ends of them turn'd backwards, the skin of his fore-head hard and rough with wrinkles, his counte­nance is wanne and pale, with some yellows, sometimes like lead, blacke, blew, h [...]s lips are loosed, hanging with weaknesse whitish, his teeth are blacke, his neck is consumed and growne lean, all things are changed; so that hee seems (as it were) to be another person; so when God hath chan­ged a mans countenance, he sends him to his long home. Passe on (ô man) passe on to thy house of eternity from such a little-little point of time, so many Volumes of Ages depend, which are not to bee reckoned up by any date of time.

§ 6. We ought to prepare for Death before it comes.

IT was a wise man saying, Mori­endum esse, antequam mori cogaris, (i. e) that thou shouldst die be­fore [Page 247] thou be compelled to die. S. Paul did [...]ot onely do so once, or often, but daily: affirming that of himself, I die daily. 1 Cor. 15 3.

Gregory the Great, the higher hee gained preferment in the Church, the more glorious beams of Sanctity did he send forth; this most vigilant Pastor did seem to be dead before death, for not long before his Obit, hee himselfe de­scribed his own condition. Such bitternesse of spirit, such an assiduous grievance, such molestation of the Gout doe afflict mee, that my body is as even dryed up already in the grave, so that I cannot rise up from my bed.

Cosmus Med [...]ces being at the p [...]int of death, whē as he was ask'd of his wife, why he shut his eyes before he was dead, Answered, I do accustome them to that, that when they shal be shut up by death they may bear it well. This is an ex­cellent kind of death, then to shut our eys especially, when any dead­ly pleasure doth intice them: be sure thou doest die, lest thou [Page 248] shouldst die, ô shut them betimes. Wisely did Seneca advise Lucilius, Doe that before the day of thy death, let thy sins be dead before thy selfe.

§ 7. Those that buried themselves.

PAcuvius being Governour in Syria for Tiberius Caesar, did daily so give himselfe to wine and feastings, that as hee was carried to his bed from Supper, his ser­vants wi [...]h great applause sung these words to him, Vixit, vixit, (i. e.) He hath liv'd, he hath liv'd. What was this, but every day to be carried about to his buriall? Seneca said well of him, That (saith he) which hee did daily out of an ill conscience, let us doe by a good one, that when wee are gone to bed, and about to sleep, with comfort and re­joycing we may say: Wee have liv'd: if God shal lend us the next mor­ning, let us entertaine it with cheerfulnessee. His a blessed and [Page 249] secure Possessor of himselfe, who expects the next morning with­out distrust or distraction.

Labienus the Historian for his inveighing writings termed Ra­bienus, was so hated that all his Books were burnt, Labienus not enduring this, and not willing to out-live his wit, did desire to be carried out, and buried in the Se­pulchre of his Ancestors where he did end and bury himselfe, and what is wonderfull, liv'd when he was buried, and was buried while he liv'd

Storax a Ne [...]politan not long since, a very rich man, delicate, and a prou [...], Governour or Over­seer for the yeerly p [...]ovision of Corne, having got this office by base and indirect means, the com­mon people hated him exceeding­ly, so that being overcome with hunger, they fell violently upon the man: he seeking to es [...]ape their fury and rage, did hide himself in a Sepulchre in a Church, but at last being found, and beaten with stones, was cut into small Gob­bets, [Page 250] and his very bloud was lickt up of many, so that his bones wanted a Grave. Hee had this E­pitaph made upon him.

Storax qui vivus subjit sepul­chrum,
Mirum, defunctus caruit sepul­chro.


Storax who living went into his grave
Strange, that being dead, no se­pulchre could have

Albertus the Great leaving Ra­ti [...]bon [...], came to Collen, where though strictly being devoted to Mortification and Contempt of this World, so that hee forgat all worldly delights, yet would hee continually visit the place of his intended buriall.

Severus President of Ravenna, while hee was healthy went into his Tombe, and placing himselfe in the middle betwixt his wife [Page 251] which he had, had and his daugh­ter, there died.

Philo [...]omus of Galata is said to dwel six yeers amongst the graves of the dead,Palladius c. 13. that by this meanes hee might overcome the feare of death.

Polemon of Laodicea, Suidas V. Pole. (as Suidas witnesseth) the Scholer of Timo­crates the Philosopher, the Master of Aristides the Orator, being 56 yeers of age cast himselfe into a deepe Sepulchre being urged thereunto by the bitter paines of the Gout, and there died of hun­ger: and before his death his friends, and neighbours lamenting his case, desired him to come forth by their help, it is reported of him that hee answered them thus, Provide me a more healthy body, and I will come up.

Wee may wonder at these but not imitate them, unlesse in this manner,Colos 3. as (Saint Paul speaks) ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. That Philosophers counsell is good. Vive latens, (i.e.) live hid. For as another said, Hee [Page 252] lives well, that lives retiredly. This man may be said to be profitably dead and buried, the private life is freest from incumbrances and inconveniences. Whose life is to publick, often dyes unknowne to himself. The private life is fullest of quietnesse.

§ 8. A consideration of our Sepulchre.

Phthia pro se­pulchro,
TErtia me Phthiae tempestas laeta locabit:


The third great sicknesse shall
Give me a glad funerall.

Thus said Socrates presaging of his own death, this word Phthia, is meant for nothing else but the Coffin or the grave, to which all must come.

No house may so truly be said to [Page 253] be ours, as our graves. This Iaco­ponus a religious man and plea­sant taught by a witty Act of his, A Cit [...]zen of Todi in Vmbria, had bought two young Chickens be­ing about to send them home, by chance he espyed Iacoponus in the Market, to whom he turning said, I pray you doe mee that favour and kindnesse as to car y [...]hese two Chickens home to my house, and be sure you leave them there and doe not deceive me, Trust me (saith he) I will doe as you have bidden me, and I w [...]ll carry them indeed unto the house, and so forthwith taking them, went di­rectly to his Parish Church, and came to his Sepulchre which was reserved for him, and in that (as well as hee could) hee hid the two Chickens. Well the Citizen com­ming home to his house, presently asked for his two Chickens, his servants all deni d flatly, that they saw no such thing brought thither; so the Citizen going againe into the Market, met Jacoponus again, And said to him, I thought indeed [Page 254] that thou wouldst not doe as thou shouldst, and that thou woul [...]st deceive me, but tell me in earnest where are my Chickens? to whom Iacoponus replyed, I carried them to your house as you commanded me, but said the other all my ser­vants and houshold know n [...] s ch matter: Come along with mee (good man) replyed Iacoponus, and I will make it appeare to be true before your owne eyes. So hee forthwith brought him into the Church, and to his owne Sepul­chre, and having removed a little stone (hee said) and friend is not this your house? so the Citizen was struck with the Action and re­ceived his Chickens, with this witty admonition. Iob spoke most truly, I know thou wilt deliver mee to death, where every man living finds his house.

§ 9. Nine formes of wils, or Testaments

PLinius Iunior said true, that what was commonly reported for truth was false, that every mans will was the looking glasse of his life and manners.

1 Ziska a Bohemian Leader, a great Souldier, and a resolu [...]e Commander, by his Will bequea­thed his body to Birds or Beasts, and hee wish'd his Souldiers to make a Drum head of his skin, and wish'd them not to spare the Couents or Monasteries, which they did accordingly. He died in the yeer 1424.

2 A certaine foolish woman gaue by Will to her Cat five hun­dred Crowns, that her Cat might have means to feed upon. Oh the madnesse! oh the folly of divers folks! It was Caesar Augustus that said of Herod, It was better to be [Page 256] Herod. Hog then his Son: and who may not as well say of this foolish woman, It is better to be her Cat, then her Servant.

3 A great Usurer being about to die, having cald the Scrivener, and witnesses, was desirous to make his last Will, which hee did in form following. Let my [...]o [...]y be laid into the earth from whēce it was taken, and let my soule be given to the Devils, at the hea­ring of which words his friends and all that were about him be­began to wonder, and began to admonish and to chide him, but he repeated i [...] againe and againe. Let my soule (said he) be given to Devils, because I have gotten my Goods by unjust means as by op­pression, extortion and the like: and let the Devils likewise take the souls of my wife and children, because they forc'd me to take so much usury to maintain their pride and clothing, and banketting, and luxury, and he said it and dyed. ô wretched man, thou madest these thy heires, fearfull to thinke of thy estate.

[Page 257]4 Saint Hierome doth stop the greedy covetousnesse of heires with this Apologie. A little Hog seem'd to grunt and repine at his Sires death, but when hee had heard the Will read, and percei­ved that hee had a great heape of Acorns, and certaine measures of Corn bequeath'd to him, hee was still; being asked why hee did so suddenly refraine his teares and griefe? Answered, the Acorns and the Corne had stopt his Cry. Truly here is the Weeping of many Heires even to this day, but when they heare what portions, what houshold stuffe, what moneys and other legacies are bequeath'd to them, they are presently glad, and care not much for the life of the Testator.

5 Hieron a Martyr the fourth day before hee was brought out to suffer, bequeath'd all his goods to his mother and sister; and his hand which was to be cut off, to Rusticius of Ancyra.

6 Hilarion at the age of 80 yeers appointed by Will to be his [Page 258] Heire, Hesychius (who was absent) in this manner following. All my wealth, to wi [...], my Bible, my Coat, and my Hood, I bequeath to my loving friend Hesychius, this was the catalogue of all his houshold­stuffe.

7 Anthony the Great made his will in this manner, No man knows the place of my Tombe, but your hearty love, but for my vestments let them be thus divi­ded; my Hood and my worn Coat I giue to Athanasius, which he gave to mee new,S. Athan. in vit. A [...]. [...]. 58 let Serapion have my other Hood, and you my Goats haire garment: and so farewell ô yee my bowels, for Anthony is going from hence: Hee had scarce ended these words, and his Schollers embraced him, stretch­ing out his feet a little he imbra­ced death with a cheerfull coun­tenance.

8 Iohn Patriarch of Alexan­dria, called the Elemosynary, writ his last Will in Tables in these words I thank thee (ô my God,) that thou wouldst not let mee [Page 259] have of all my treasure but onely one piece left, when I was named Patriarch of Alexandria, I found 80 hundred of Gold, and to them my friends added almost an innumerable sum of mony, which all, because they were Gods, I did give them to God, for I bestowed them on the poore, and so shall even that one piece thats left be like­wise given to them. Here that is most true. That the most expedite and quickest way to make a Will, is to give all the rest to the poore.

9 Here shall bee added the forme of a Wil for any Christian, onely let the name, year and day be only altered, all things else will suit and fit to all sorts of men.

I Achatius Victor do make spe [...]d to Eternity, from the yeer 1581, from the 15 day of the moneth of August, I have had my mind fix [...]d on Eternity. Now I commend my spirit to God, and because I can­not but commit my substance to the World, I doe commit my body [Page 260] to worms and corruption; of all worldly goods none are mine, onely [...]y good will, which I carry with me to the Tribunal of Go [...], my other things I thus dispose.

1 I forgive all mine Enemies with all my heart.

2 I am heartily sorry for all my sins and offences.

3 I believe in Jesus Christ my most loving Redeemer, and I de­sire to die in the faith of h [...]s Church.

4 I doe hope to have eve [...]last­ing life by the infinite goodnesse of God.

5 I doe love God with all my heart, and above all things, and I do wholly resigne my self into the most holy will of God.

6 I am fully prepared to be well or sick, to live or die, when­soever it shall seem good to God, Let Gods will be done.

Unlesse every Christian doe so dispose of his life and death, hee may be censured to die worse, then he ha h lived, The last houre per­fects [Page 261] and consummates, but it makes not, death

§ 10. Nine Epitaphs.

AVlus Gellius propounds to be read, the proud Epitaph of Naevius, the most vaine one of Plautus, A. Gellius l. 1. c. 24. the modest one of Pacu­vius, but we passe to others.

1 In one of the prime Cities of Germany, there are two Tombs neer to one another, one of an old man, another of a young man, many would think at the first rea­ding their Epitaphs to be the same. The old mans Tombe bears this Inscription, Et mortuus est. (i.e.) And hee is dead. which is the Epi­taph of Adam, and divers others: and the same words are upon the Tombe of the young man, Et mortuus est? And is he dead? Now the Reader in the Latine must obserue that the old mans is with a period, but the young mans with an Interrogation. So that a wise [Page 262] man will expound the old mans thus. This old man saw many Summers and Winters, and [...]eath seem'd because it deferd so long as though it would have spared him, for he had experienc'd many things, he had gone through ma [...]y miseries and changes of this life: but yet at length through all these yeers hee is brought to his Coffin and dust, Et mortuus est. And is dead.

Now he that will wisely under­stand the young mans Epitaph, must read it Interrogatorily, thus. This young man was eminent for wealth, for beauty, for strength of body, beloved of the Muses and Apollo, the White Chicken both of the graces and fortune, not yet 20 yeers old, secure from the Grim­face of pale Death, hee looked as if hee would have prou'd immor­tall, and as though hee would have deceiv'd all the Fates, and is he dead? That that old decre­pit man should be dead few grieve, none doe wonder, but that this flourishing young man should bee [Page 263] taken away all men wonder, most men sorrow: and could such a beautifull, gracious, active young man dies and is he dead? all men seeke and blame the destinies for being so impartiall.

To his I doe adde another, not to be numbred amongst the rest, but onely place it to exercise the wi [...]s of some, as well as it hath ti­red the wits of others, it is to be seen in Bononia, the words of the Epitaph are these.

A M. PP. D.

Alia, Laelia, Crispis, nor man, nor woman, nor Hermaphrodite, not a maid, not a young man, not an old woman, not shamefast, nor shamelesse, but all things not [...]a­ken away by famine, not by sword, nor by poyson, but by all things, nor is buried in the aire, nor in the water nor earth, but every where.

Lucius Agatho Priscius, nor an husband, nor a lover; nor a servant, [Page 264] nor sorrowing, nor rejoycing, nor weeping, who knows and knows not, nor this heap, nor this Pyra­mis, nor this Sepulchre, but all things, that are placed.

This is a Sepulchre having no­body within it, this is a carcasse not having any Sepulchre without it, but the carcasse and the Sepul­chre are the same to themselves.

Some have taken this Enigma­ticall Epitaph, to mean the soul of man, some the water of the clouds, others Niobe turn'd into a Stone, others have imagined otherwise. Some have written Commentaries on it, as Ioannes Turius of Brudges, and Richard White of Basingstoke in England, a Lawyer, whose booke was printed at Dordrecht, by Iohn Leo Berewout, Anno 1618

But to let these shadows and clouds passe, we wil put our wit to exercise in more plainer paths, and the reason why wee interlace our discourse with these, is [...] be­cause we would not too deeply af­fright or terrifie our studious Rea­der, and that wee may keepe him [Page 265] from disdain or disliking when he is weary; that wee may therefore behold the customes, and the wholsom admonitions of the dead look upon another Epitaph, which is to be seen at Naples, in these words.

2 This Marble memory is here placed for mee, yea, Reader for thee also, whosoever thou art, watch whilest thou wakest, and make seasonable hast to thy work, no man knows the set time. Fare­well.

3 The stone of Cajeta, exhibits this short Inscription.

Fui, non sum [...]estis non eritis;
Silvius Palladius
Vt moriens viveret,
Vixit at moriturus.
I was, am no [...]:
You are; shall not be.
Silvius Palladius
Who that He might live dead,
Did live as alwayes dying.

I will not omit that most short yet pleasant one of M. Posthumius a Knight.

M. Posthumius a Knight
Whither I goe, I know not,
I die of necessity,
Farewell all, that are behinde.

5 To learne us in the first place wisdome, and to make us despise vanity, this Epitaph following bestowed on a religious and no­bly descended Gentleman will serve fitly.

Ah Traveller! stay and read, I desire a word with thee.

In my life I plac'd this stone here against the time of my death, who lye here in a narrow space, and here in the dust and darknes do expect thee (ô my Guest) and the last Trumpet of the Angell at the day of judgment: but perhaps thou mayst aske my of-spring; I am one of the latter sons of Red [Page 267] Earth. So thou mayst enquire my Country; It was the World. My learning, it was a shadow; my re­putation; It was smoake my Age, Alas! a point, or if a little more produced, a minute. Wouldst thou know my wealth? 'Twas poverty, My Honours? 'twas contempt. My liberty? it was flattery. My desire? 'twas death, and true life after death, which I hope I, and thou shall enjoy. Be gone, and re­member death.

6 I will annex that sad and truly lamentable one, an Epitaph of a Brother who was killed by his brother.

Alas! alas!

Here I am laid a young man, before my time Deaths scorne, a Brothers Funerall, a Fathers grief, a Mothers teares, the Mu­ses lamentation, an example to young men, a sigh for old men, rottenesse, ashes, nothing to my self, but what to God? Ah! Tra­veller why enquirest thou? alas, [Page 268] now shall I heare what I feare, what I hope for, to morrow thou mayest know, travell on oh curi­ous Citizen.

Richardus de Marisco, Bishop of Durham, writ his own Epitaph, an holy one, and in those times witty and pleasant: It beares this in­scription.

Culmina qui cupitis, laudes pompas­que sititis,
Est sedata sitis, si me pensare veli­tis;
Qui populos regitis, memores super omnia si is:
Quod mor [...] immitis non parcit ho­nore potitis.
Vobis praepositis similis fueram; be­ne scitis.
Quod sum vos eritis, ad me currendo ven [...]tis.


You who preferments doe desire
Who for high prayse are set on fire,
Your Thirst would quickly quenched be
If that you would consider mee.
[Page 269]
You, by whom people stout are check'd
Be mindfull always, ne're neglect:
That cruell death no whit regards
Your Honours or your rich reward.
For I have been like you in grace,
(Grave Prelats) and as chief in place;
For you shal be even as I am
You run and hast unto the same.

This in those times was of sin­gular wit and learning, and sa­vours still of mortification; now I adde the Monument of a learned man.

Iustus Lipsius knowne by his writings, speaks thus from his se­pulcher to the living.

Seekest thou, who lyes here buried?

I my selfe will reherse it to thee. I was one who of late spoke with style and tongue, now it shal be lawfull for another. I am Lip­sius whom learning and thy fa­vour may cause to live. But I dy­ing am gone, so shall this also; and this world possesseth nothing that is everlasting. Wilt thou that I [Page 270] speake in a higher voyce to thee? All humane things are but smoke, shadows, vanity, the Image of a Play, and to speak in a word, no­thing: this is my last conference with thee, I would have thee hope, I am in glory. Iustus Lipsius liv'd 59 yeers, hee dyed in the yeere of Christ 1606, on the passion day of our Saviour.

So then both learned, and un­learned, rich and poore at length have all one Epitaph, which Mo­ses hath writ for them.Gen. 5. sapius. Et mortuus est, (i. e.) hee is dead. Emperours at their first Inauguration were asked, what kinde of stone they would have their sepulchre made off? The same thing almost doe I (ô Reader) enquire of thee. Choose, what forme of Epitaph pleaseth thee best? Wilt thou, nilt thou, some or other will doe this for thee, though against thy will, and will speak of thee when thou art dead, though living thou had­dest rather be silent, then write Funerall Elegies or Epitaphs. I will here exhibit a forme of a se­pulchrall [Page 271] Inscription which I doe think profitable for mee, for thee ô Reader, and for most Christi­ans, at least for meditation, onely change but a few things, and this it is.

Whosoever thou art (ô Reader) I have somthing to seek out of thee.

9 Knowest thou who may dwell in this narrow prison under ground? I am the sonne of corrup­tion, and the brother of wormes: This is my stock, aske not after my name, that's vanished with my life, which I spent after many teares and weak endeavours in books, which almost I shut up with my life (ô Guest) would I had now given my selfe more to vertue, lesse to vices, ô would I had before my death dyed more in my affections, now thou mayest, I cannot perform it. Whosoever thou art, for I cannot see in this darknesse; whilest thou canst, be ripe for death, before thy death, [Page 272] by this means thy life wil be more comfortable, by how oftner thou art in this exercise. Farewell (Reader) till the Trumpet shall sound from Heaven, at which time I do expect a joyfull resur­rection.

But least we should be ignorant, that it is not purple adornments, funerall pompe, nor the silken covering, nor the long traine of mourning friends, nor the brave Coats of Arms, nor the greatnes of Kinred, nor the prayses of the vulgar, not the wives lamentati­ons, nor the funerall Sermon, nor the title of the dead, though see­ming to live in Marble (for they have their Obit [...] too) nor all these make an happy death, but grace and vertue, and a minde, not bro­ken nor terrified withall the threatnings of death, to have lived well and uprightly, is the fairest Epitaph of all others.

§ 11. Nine Reasons to prswade us to die with a resolved minde.

ABove all things meditate and seriously thinke on the death of thy Saviour,1 Reas. and thou wilt then beare thine comfortably. Compare, I beseech, thy Bed to his Crosse, thy Couches with his Crown of thornes, thy meat with his gall, thy drinke to his Vine­ger, thy griefs with his torments, Thou art amongst thy Friends & Kinred, he in the midst of his e­nemies, thou art among all the hands for help, but he was left of all, land so died: for the recovery of thy health, what medicines, and helps are not used? but hee had nothing to quench his thirst. Yet he was Lord and chiefe, thou but a servant, the lowest, the vilest: all things that were laid upon him, he was guiltlesse off, and deserv'd [Page 274] them not; All things that thou sufferest, thou standest guilty off, and more. Wherefore thou hast no just cause to complain.

2 Cause.2 The chiefest favour of the greatest King, is a good death, but to die well is to avoid the danger of living ill. Now he dyes well, who dyes willingly. Who would not willingly rise from a rough hard bed? onely they refuse it who are laid warme in a soft Feather-bed: if thy life here had been full of grievances, evils and miseries, how willing wouldst thou be to passe to a better? if thy life hath bin prosperous and rich, it is high time that thou shouldst end, for fear prosperity, which hath de­stroyed so many, should also ruine thee: Death is the most unwel­come to ri [...]h men. Croesus had not come to the fire, but for his weal­thy old age. Many slaves (had they died) in their youth, had died free-born. Ah! how many and how great men who are con­demned in eternall flames! whom, if death had taken from hence in [Page 275] their infancy or youth, had en­joyed glory and immortality.

3 It is the joy of all the An­gels and Saints to have us with them: but say you, then must wee leave all our friends and associats here. O improvidently! Thou art going to them. Thy parents where are they? Hopest thou not that they are in Heaven? And that thou shalt also come thither. Do­est thou not also believe t [...]at ma­ny of thy Kindred and acquain­tance are in joy Coelestiall? And doest not thou live here in ho [...]e to passe from hence to them? but these things are not certaine, they are onely in hope; 'tis true, nei­ther doth any man hope for what he fecth or possesseth; & therefore God hath afforded thee matter to exercise this Vertue. He hath com­manded thee to hope for Heaven, never did he will thee or promise thee security, but thou mayest cer­tainly know thy self to be carried thither in hope, whereinto yet thou canst not see. The Creditor hath no reason to distrust a faith­full [Page 280] debtor. I say it affirmatively, that God hath made himselfe the debtor to thee. Consider serious­ly whose Creditor thou art, did not he speak it with joy, who said, I know whom I have trusted. 2 Tim. 12

4 Thinke also, ô man whose spirit droops or fails! that admira­ble alacrity, and ardent study and prompt willingnesse of the holy Martyrs for death, who lightly de­spised all the great preparations to death, who underwent the most cruellest torments even with smi­ling, and rejoycing countenan­ces. Surely nor death nor the pain of it is terrible, onely the feare of both makes both dreadfull. Wherefore wee prayse him who said, Death is not an evill, but it is evill to die naughtily. Children are afraid of Vizards and Spirits, because of their unskilfulness [...]; is Death a Vizard? turne the inside outwards, and thou shalt know it to be so. Yet neither Infants, nor Children, nor distracted folks fear Death. It is most absurd that reason cannot perform that resol­vednesse [Page 277] in us, which folly and childishnesse leads us too. Death is a Tribute and Custome that all men must pay. Why therefore art thou sad and disconsolate, when as thou payest no more then thou owest? and doest no more then every man else performs? No man here can plead exemption, or priviledge. No man hitherto hath gone scot-free, none ever shall: this is that hard Battle where none, none (I say) escape. The World (saith Saint Basil) is mortall,In Ps. 115 and the Region of dying creatures.

5. What is the continuation of the feare of Death, but the pro­longation and extent of torment? Doest thou live long? Thou art long under pain, but (say you) I cannot but feare the danger that is imminent, although it comes on but with a slow pace. Then therefore cease to feare, when as there is in it, that good, that may remove, and will for certain take away all feare. Tertullian spoke ad­mirably, That is not to be feared, [Page 278] that frees us from every thing that is fearfull, But thou wilt say, it is a most fearfull thing in a disease to see death creeping upon us by degrees. Oh thou worme! what wouldst thou? Did not thy Sa­viour for thirty three yeeres and more foresee his death? And art thou better then he? but because thou doest not fear death, but the fore-running incommodities of it. Hear Epictetus, who saith; Thou goest not out with a good courage, but trembling, because of thy riches, sil­ver vessels, and great friends: Oh unhappy man! Hast thou so hi­therto lost all thy time? What if thou be sicke? thou shalt learn to be vertuous by thy sicknesse. But who shall care for thee, wilt thou say? God and thy friends: but I shall lye hard, thou shalt but lye as a man; but I shall not have a com­modious house; then knowest thou not how to be sicke in inconveni­ences: but who shall prepare my dyet for me? They who provide it for others, but what will be the issue of my sickn [...]sse? What should [Page 279] be, but dea h? thou therefore canst not but know, that it is the signe of a degenerate spirit, and of a fearfull heart to feare not death, but the fear of death. Exercise thy self therefore against this: to this mark let all thy [...]isputatio [...]s tend, and all which thou hearest, or rea­dest: then thou shalt know, that death is the onely way to plant men into liberty.

6. How many evils doth death free thee from? to die is but to shut up the shop of al miseries. So that Pliny spoke well, Such is the condition of humane life, that death to the best men is the best Harbour: and the chiefest good for nature. Cae­sar speaks in Salust, In al miseries, death is the Rest; not the aug­mentation of them, and that it concludes all the mischiefs that Mortals suffer. Therefore a wise­man esteems his life by the qua­lity, not by the extent of it. For nature hath afforded us an Inne to lodge in, not to dwell in, and the usury of life is like that of mo­ney, to be alwayes paid at the set [Page 280] time. Why, how canst thou com­plain, if money be taken in when the Creditor pleaseth, if he limi­ted not the time? It was but the condition upon which thou recei­vedst it, to repay it at the plea­sure of the lender.

7 In the passage to death the prison is set open, why fearest thou to goe out? rather be glad, and be gone. Hitherto thou hast been a Captive, now thou shalt be free; the prison is now open, hast out. Why hast thou so long studied Phylosophy? if yet thou fearest this Phylosophy, to die? therefore receivedst thou this bo­dy, that thou shouldst restore it. And therefore shalt thou restore it, that thou mayest again receive it with great advantage. Oh how foolish is that mans hope, not to endevour for that happinesse! to depart with joy from hence, to that which always remayns. The pri­son is open, flye aloft to better fe­licity.

8 Death is the rode way, yea, it is the gate by which wee are ad­mitted into our Country▪ to eter­nall [Page 281] life, to immortall joy. Death is not so much the end of life, as it is the passage to life. Saint Bernard spoke true and elegantly, 'Tis true indeed the righteous man dyes, but securely: because his death as it is the Exit of the present, so it is the Introite to a better life.

9 But the cause of causes is the divine will of God, whom it hath pleased from all Eterni [...]y, that thou shouldst dye at such a time, such a place, such a disease. What wouldst thou more? so it pleased God, so it seem'd good in his sight. This is that will which cannot, will not will, that which is ill. Therefore as the sonne of Syrach said,Ecclus 18 21. Humble thy selfe before thou be sick, and in the time of sins shew re­pentance. Therfore I briefly reckon up all the Reasons thus, 1 Christs death 2 The favour of God. 3 the joy of Angels and Sain [...]s. 4 The examples of those that have gone before us. 5 It is the end of all things to be feared. 6 It is the end of all evils. 7 It is going out of prison. 8 It is an ingresse into pa­radise 9 It is the will of God.

§ 12. Death is not to be feared.

PErforme therefore (ô Christi­an) that with willingnes which must be done though against thy will. Those actions (though diffi­cult) if done willingly seem easie and feazable, and where the will concurs, there it leaves to be ne­cessity. A wise man instructs thee [...]hus. Agree: to what thou canst not withstand, go on securely without feare. Nature is a bountifull pa­rent, and makes not any thing dreadfull, nor delights in it. It is the errour of men, not provident Nature that makes Death seeme terrible. Wee feare death not for that it is evill, but because we are not acquainted with it: but if thou hast any generous thoughts, or any noble or high resolutions, slight those vulgar and base con­ceits, and looke upon high, and imitate those religious spirits, [Page 283] whose footsteps have beene setled in the rode-way to Glory. Wee have innumerable examples and patternes of men whose deaths have bin cheerfull and happy. Be not daunted with the words of them which affirme death to be neere at hand: Rather fol [...]ow him amongst the Ancients who gave this reply to Deaths Monitor, without any the least show of an­ger. Morieris, Thou shalt dye. It is the nature not the punishment of man, Thou shalt dye. I entred upon this condition that I should goe out. Thou shalt dye. It is the Law of Nations, that what thou hast lent thee, that thou must re­store. Thou shalt dye Thy whole life is but a pilgrimage, It is but comfortable when thou hast walkt long abroad, that then thou shoul­dest return home. Thou shalt dye. I thought thou wouldst have told mee some new or strange thing, but as for this, I came for the same purpose hither, every dayes travell invites me hither. Nature laid me out this stint at my birth. [Page 284] Why should I be angry? I am sworn to this. Thou shalt die. It's folly to feare what thou canst not avoid. Thou shalt die. Nor the first nor the last Many are gone before mee, some go with me, all shall follow. Thou shalt die. This is the conclu­sion of all our work. Whither the Universe shall passe, thither must I. All things are begot [...]en to this state. What hath had a bad begin­ning, must come to an end. Thou shalt dye. That is not so grievous, which is but once suffered. It is Eternall that vex us. Certainly death is to bee lesse feared now, then heretofore. For then the way to Heaven was block'd up; and all men griev'd and sorrowed at this, that ‘Noctes atque dies patet atri janua ditis.’ ‘Hell gates are never shut nor night nor day.’

But wee may sing this with joy, that, [Page 285]Noctes atque, dies patet alti janua Coeli.’ ‘At all times unto Heaven's a rea­dy way.’

Death therefore is to be enter­tained with an undaunted spirit, Whither it sets upon us violently, or easily; A vertuous life never thought ill of death, and that man loses nothing who gets all things.

§ 13. How the Saints of God may desire, yet feare Death.

LEt us behold Saint Paul, (sai [...]h Saint Gregory) how hee loves that, which hee avoyds, and how hee avoids that which hee loves. Behold, hee desires to die and feares to put off the tabernacle of flesh. Why so? Because although the victory makes his heart to re­joyce, [Page 286] yet the paine doth trouble him for the present. As a valiant man who is to fight a Combate, though he be armed, yet he pants and trembles, and by his palenes discovers feare, yet hee is mainly prick'd forward by valour and courage: So a godly and holy man being neer to his death and passi­on, is struck with the infirmity of his nature, yet is he strengthened with the firmnesse of his hope, and doth rejoyce that by dying hee shall live for ever. For he cannot enter into that Kingdom, but by the interposition of death: & yet hee doubts and hopes and rejoy­cing feares, and fearing is glad, because hee knows hee cannot at­tain to the prize, unlesse he pas­seth this midway obstacle. Hence it is that even the holiest men have in some measure feared deaths encounter. King Heze­kiah in the increase of his sicknes doth yet in teares lament,Esay 38.10 That in the midst of his days he shall go to the gates of Hell. What? did not the feare of death cause David to utter [Page 287] that speech,Psal. 102 25. Take mee not away in the midst of mine age? What shall we say of Abraham Iacob, Elias? Who as we are instructed by holy Writt, did something feare death. Elias flying from death,3. Reg. 19. yet did entreat for it under the Juniper tree.

Arsenius a man of an hundred & twenty yeers old, never assaul­ted with any disease, having ser­ved God fifty five yeers in a most austere life, being now at his d [...] ­parting, began to feare and we [...]p. Those that were present won­dring at it, said; And doe you (ô Father) l [...]kewise fear death, to whom he answered, ever since I entred in­to the state of Religion, I have always f [...]ared.

Seneca spoke excellently, often is it seen, that even the stoutest man though armed, yet at the first entrance into the Combat feares: so the resolutest Souldier at the signall of Battle, his knees and joynts tremble: so it is with the grea [...]est Commander, as also wi [...]h the famousest Orator at the com­posing [Page 288] himself to speake. This was observed in Charles the fifth Emperour, who, though hee was couragious in all warlike Expe­ditions, though hee was not over­come with the greatest dangers, nor frighted with the furiousnesse of warlike Chariots, nor ever shrunke his head out of the may­nest hazards, yet for all that, at the putting on of his Armour hee would something quake and shi­ver, and shew signes of some feare, but when once his head piece was on, his sword girded to his thigh, his Coat of Maile upon him, hee was as a Lyon, and like a mighty man of valour would set upon the Enemy.

Even so the best of men do de­sire and feare death, they would be gone out, but they tremble at it. But it is better to die with Ca­to, then to live with Anthony. Hee is Deaths conquerour, who quiet­ly gives up his Spirit when he is c [...]ld from hence.

§. 14. An ill death follows an ill life.

EVen as a tree falls that way, when it is cut downe as it lea­ned, when it stood: so for the most part as we have liv [...]d and bent our courses, so doe we depart. As we begun to goe, so wee continue a commendable death seldome shuts up a dishonest life. What things were pleasurable to us in the course of our lives, ee seldome dislike at the time of our deaths. A great Courtier of King Cenreds, who studied more to please his So­vereigne then his Saviour, being at point to die, he did not onely seeme to neglect the care of his soule, but also to put off the time of his death, but hee saw before him a great many wicked Spirits, expressing the Catalogue of all his hainous sins before him, at which sight in horrour for them [Page 290] in despaire he dyed While wicked Chrysaorius called out for a space, even for time but till the next morning, he departed. Herod A­grippa as his life was full of all impieties, so his death was mise­rable. So Herodias, a [...] History re­ports, who by dancing g t off Iohn Baptists head, had her owne head cut off by the ice. So Iezabel and Athaliah Queenes, so [...]ing Benhadad, Balihazar, and Antiochus, with 600 more, as their lives were naught and wicked, so were their ends w etched and odious.

The death of wise men is to be lamented, but much more the lives of the foolish,Psal 34.22. the death of sinners is the worst It being an irrevocable ingresse of a most wo­full eternity of torments. Foo­lishly doth he feare death, who neglects life. He who lives to lu­xury and rio, is dead while a­live.

§ 15. A good death follows a good life.

MOst truly said Saint Augu­stine, That cannot be reputed for a bad death, when as a good life hath always preceded. For nothing but the sequell of death proves it ill. A good crop of Corn doth sel­dome or never faile a plentifull sowing. A good life is the Kings high way to a good Death. That is the beginning, middle, and end. I may compare life and death to a Syllogisme. The conclusion is the end of the Syllogisme, so death of life: but the conclusion is either true, or false; according to the na­ture of the Antecedents. So is Death always either good or bad, according to the quality of our precedent lives. So Saint Paul doth most severely pronounce it. Whose end (saith he) shall be accor­ding to their works. 2 Cor. 1. [...] 15.

It is reported of a certain man of a most devout life who was found dead in his study, with his body so seated, that his finger was upon the holy Bible, and upon that place, where it is said, if the just man shall be taken away by Death, hee shall be in his refresh­ing: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints, whither it be slow or sudden.

The mellifluous Saint Bernard, being now neere to his dissoluti­on, Thus spoke to his Schollers, because (quoth he) I leave you no great examples of Religion, yet three things I doe seriously com­mend to you, which I have speci­ally at all times observed,

1 To trust my own sences lesse then others.

2 That being hurt or injured by any, I never fought after revenge.

3 I never did willingly offend any man, whatsoever fell out cross and thwart, I pacified, as I could. Now being nere Death, He w [...]it a Let [...]er to Arnaldus of Good-dale, to this effect, The spirit is ready, but the fl [...]sh is we k. P [...]ay you to our [Page 293] Lord Jesus, not to defer my exit, but keep me when I shall go; have a care to preserve with prayers your very footsteps, that when the betrayer shall come, he may find every part so well guarded, that he may have no place to fasten in you to wound you. Gerardus, both by nature & Religion, the brother of S. Bernard did publickly demō ­strate the same which we here af­firme, that a good death is always joyned to a pious life, but let us hear Bernard himself in this point, whom si [...]knesse made wise. Would to God I had not lost thee, but on­ly had sent thee before Would to God at last though slowly I might follow thee wheresoever thou art gone; for no doubt but thou art gone after them, whom about the midst of thy last night thou didst invite to prayses, as well in words as countenance of gladnesse, and didst presently break out into that of the Prophet David, to the won­der of those that stood about thee. Prayse the Lord from Heaven, prayse him in the highest, ô my brother, thy day sprung forth in the midst [Page 294] of thy night, that night was a time of illumination, and indeed thy night was turned to day I was cal­led to behold that wonder, to see a man rejoycing in death, and triumphing over death; O Death where is thy victory? Death where is thy sting? Now thy sting is turned into a Jubilee of mirth. Now there was a man, who dyed singing, and sung dying, Thou art now ô daughter of sorrow turn'd into gladnesse. Thou enemy of Glory art used for glory, and the gate to Hell and the pit to destruction are made the in­let into the Kingdome of Glory, and to the finding out of salvati­on, and that of a sinner and justly too; for that thou rashly didst use thy power against an innocent and just man; ô Death thou art dead, and caught with the same hooke thou so greedi [...]y swallowedst down, which voice is to be found in the Prophet. (O death I will be thy death, and will be thy destruction) strucke through (I say) with that hook, the faithfull p [...]ssing through [Page 295] thy loins, there is opened through thy sides an happy and joyfull way to life. Gerard my bro her fears thee not, thou meagre Effi­gies; Gerard my brother passeth through thee to hi [...] heavenly Countrey: not onely securely but joyfully and cheerfully with pray­ses. When as I was come, and he had come to the end of that Psalme with a loud voice, lifting up his eyes unto Heaven said, Father, in­to thy hands I commend my spi­rit: and often repeating the same word, Father, Father, and so tur­ning himselfe with a cheerfull countenance to mee: what a dig­nation is it of God to vouchsafe to be our Father? What a glory is it to man to bee the sonnes and heires of God? Hee so sung that he turnd my weeping into mirth, and beholding his comfortable joy, it made me almost forget my own misery. He cannot die ill who hath liv'd well.

§ 17. Like life, like death.

WHen as the weary Huntsman's laid to sleep,
Yet doth hee dream how's chase and game to keep.

To wit, what things we have been busied about all day, those usual­ly we dream on at night: in like manner to what we have accusto­med our selves to through our lives, those like us best in death. Hence is it that for the most part as wee have acted our parts here, so wee goe off from this stage of mortality.

There is an History of a Gold­smith, who was so excessively co­vetous, that lying upon his death­bed he dreamt still of gold, inso­much that hee neglected the ad­vice of Divines and other his Friends concerning his salvation, and hourely had his heart fixed [Page 297] upon his money. O wretched man, hadst thou but one point of an houre to work out thy salvati­on, and yet couldst thou not think upon it? as our dayes have beene employed, so will even our last of time: therefore those who have made Gold their God, or plea­sures or other vanities, their last end are sel [...]ome pious or comfor­table.

How much better did Socrates who even at last gaspe could not forget himself nor vertue.

Antiochus King of Syria did most miserably vex the Iews, and Ma­ximinus the Emperour with cruell Edicts, and most bitter tormen s resolv'd to put out the name of Christianity; but both of them by the divine Justice fell into a most lamentable and grievous disease, and when as neither of them had any hopes of life left them, the one besought the Iews, the other, the Christians; that they would pray for them unto their God. Both of them like to Asops Crow, which when shee was very ill, spoke to [Page 298] her Mother not o lament for her, but by her prayers to the Gods, she entreated her to pray for her health, to whom the other answe­red, which of the Gods is it, from whom thou hopest to be recove­red, when as there is none from whose Altars thou hast not stole some part of a Sacrifice.

Hence even as wee live so wee die: and so we shall be judged at last, either to punishment in hell, or to everlasting happinesse in Heaven.

§ 17. The wish for a good death.

Num. 23.10. LEt mee dye the death of the righ­teous, and let my last end, be like to his, Cals out the Prophet Ba­laam. How much righter had hee spoken, had hee said, Let mee live the life of the righteous, that my death may then be like his. It is ridicu­lous to desire to have a good [Page 299] death, and yet to shun a pious life; to live well is laborious, to die well happinesse; but the latter de­pends on the former. Hee which refus [...]th to passe through the Red Sea, shall never eat Manna, Hee which loves Egypts slavery, shall never enter into the Land of the living Piously and elegantly in this respect doth S. Bernard speak, Vtinam (inquit) hac morte frequen­ter cadam, God grant I may often fall by that death, that so I may escape the s [...]ares of death, that I may not be entangled in the mor­tiferous flatteries of a luxurious life, that I may avoid the sense and deceitfull pleasures of lust; that I be not overcome with co­vetousnesse: that I be not stirr'd and mov'd to anger, to impati­ence; that I be not overwhelm'd with the vexings and distraction of worldly cares and sollicitudes That death is good, which takes not life away, but changes it one­ly into a better.

This for certain is that death, that he expects and waits for with [Page 300] all his desires who eagerly pur­sues that life which shall never know death. To be dead to sinnes before death comes, is the best death of all.

§ 18. Sleep is the brother of death.

PAusanias relates that in the City Olympia, he saw a Sta­tue, called Night, in the forme and habite of a woman, This held in her right hand a white youth a sleep, and in her l [...]ft hand a black youth as if hee were sleeping, the one of these she called sleep, the other death, both of them were counted the sons of Night: hence Virgill makes sleep to be Deaths Kinsman.

Gorgias Leontinus, being very old, and expecting that hee was come to the mark of his life, was suddenly snatcht away by a con­trary sicknesse: before his death one of his friends gave him a Vi­sit, [Page 301] and found the good old man falne into a sleepe. When hee wakened hee asked him how hee did find himself? to whom Gorg [...]as replyed, this sleep begins to deli­ver mee up to his brother, (meaning death.)

Whosoever is a good Christian will never permit sleepe to passe upon him, before he hath conven­ted his own conscience, and ha [...]h washed away his offences by a godly sorrow: many have begun to sleepe and to die at once, and have ended their lives with their sleep, and therefore we are to look well to sleep which is deaths bro­ther, and as strictly as we can, not to go to it warily onely, but also chastly. Hee which sleeps not in chastity, shall not rise in chastity.

§ 19. The Fore-runners of Death.

DEath is the fore-runner of E­ternity, dolours and diseases are the most knowne Harbingers of dea [...]h If wee will credit Pliny, one manifest signe of death is in the height of sicknesse to laugh; in some diseases, an unequall and prickling; striking of the veins, and the eyes and the nose afford to us certain signes of death, according to Plinies experience, these are In­dexes of approaching death, when the sick party discourseth of jour­neys, when hee will not abide in his bed, when he folds the cover­lid, or when he puls haires out of it. There are beside these many other signes of death not counted vain, or false.

Augustus the Emperour a little before he died, complained that he was taken away by forty young [Page 303] men, That was rather a presage as Suetonius reports of death then of a distracted mind, for when he was dead, hee was brought forth by forty Pretorian Souldiers.

When Alexander the Great was about to saile to Babylon, there was a great winde which took a­way the ornament of his head, and the Dia em bound to it; the tire fell into the water, and the Diadem hung unto a Fen-cane, one of the Saylors went to fetch this, and because he would not have it wet, put it upon his head, and so brought it to Alexander; the Say­lor had a Talent given him for a reward: but presently after, by the advice of the Chaldees, his head was struck off, nor did Alexander long escape death, which the Diadem taken from his head portended.

In the yeer of Christ 1185, when that great and last overthrow was neer to Andronicus Cominaeus the Emperour, the Image of S. Paul placed by the Emperour in a Temple in Constantinople, wept a­bundantly; nor were those teares [Page 304] false presages for presently after the Emperours bloud was shed.

Moreover, Princes and great men have had strange presages of their deaths, as the howlings of Dogs unusuall, the roaring of Lions, the strangnesse of the striking of Clocks, Nightly noy­ses in Towers, and many other in­fallible signes of ensuing deat [...]. How innumerable are the signes of death (sai [...]h Pliny) and certain, but not one of security, or health? What do al they teach us, but this one thing, let us remēber that we are but men. Thinke on Eternitie whi her thou art poasting, thou must be gone shortly, thou art but a guest. Enquire the way. Looke thou beest ready: fit hy selfe for to appeare before the Lords Tri­bunall. How thou hast lived, so even so shalt thou be judged.

§ 20. What we must answer to Deaths Messenger.

BLessed Sain [...] Ambrose, having received the Embassadour of death, when as his friends wept and sorrowed, and desired him to pray to God to spare him a longer life, he answered them. I have not so liv'd as that it shames mee to live longer, nor do I feare to die because wee have such a Good Lord.

Saint Augustine did much re­gard this wise saying, and com­mended them to his Schollers as pure and savoury words, And S. Augustine himselfe was nothing troubled at the hearing of death, but said what great man can con­ceit any proud or great thing? when as men do die well as trees do fall, and other creatures.

That golden-mouthed Father Saint Chrysostome a little before [Page 306] his death, when he was in banish­ment, writ thus to Innocentius, this now is the third yeere that wee have endured banishment, being exposed to p [...]stilence, famine, war, to continuall incursions, to un­speakable solitarinesse: to daily death to the Heathens swords, and being about to die, hee fairely pronounced these words, Glory be to thee (ô Lord) for all things.

Saint Cyprian being condemned to death for Christian Religion with a noble spirit said thus, Thanks be given to God, who vouchsafeth to take me out of the bonds of this bo [...]y.

Let the dying man imitate these holy Fathers, & let him often say this, God be thanked, Glory be to God for all things, I have watch'd long enough amongst thorns, I have fought enough with beasts, I have toild enough in tempests. Now because I see an end of my wat [...]hings, of my fightings, and of my labour, God be thanked, Glo­ry be to God for all things. For [Page 307] certain Death is an advantage to the wise, and a gain to them whose lives are irksome.

§ 21. A sweet death but the worst death of all.

GEorge Duke of Clarence, was by his brother Edward the fourth King of England, for suspition of a [...]e [...]ting the Crown commanded to die: yet he had liberty given to choose his owne death: and hee chose a most sweet death, for hee caused a Butt of Malmsey, to be fil­led, and so placed himselfe in it, and others softly and leasurely let him bloud, and hee all the while [...]ucking in leasurely the sweet li­quour: So hee left this life being at last drowned in this swe [...]t but fatall ba h.

If wee look but upon the man­ners of men, alas! how many by ingurgitating themselves with pleasures intemperately, by drink­ing [Page 308] and gluttony do even drown themselves, but while they so doe sucke in with eagernesse, while they give their whole souls to draw in these vaine, short, filthy, irksome delights: alas! wretches as they are, they doe by little and little drinke downe their own de­struction, making themselves slaves to their bellies and filthy lusts; and by how much the more greedily they doe swallow downe these sugred baits, the sooner goe they to the land of darknesse, a [...] Iob hath it, They spend their days in mirth, and in a moment goe down to Hell. Most elegantly S. Augustine, all things (saith he) are utterly uncertain, but death; a child is cō ­ceived, perhaps it is born, perhaps not, but perisheth an abortive: if it be borne, perchance it grow­eth perchance not, it may be old, perhaps not, it may be rich, it may be poore, it may be honou­red, it may be an abject It may marry, perhaps not, it may have children, perchance none, it may bee sicke, it may be devoured by [Page 309] beasts, it may escape. But amongst all these perhaps and perchances, [...]in we truly say, perhaps or per­chance it shall die?

It is recorded in the Machabees of Alexander, 1 Mac. 1 6. and his fate is thus there described: and after all these things he fell downe on his bed, and knew that hee should die. Oh what force and energie is there in the words, post haec. After all these things, and in this, decidt. he fell, & specially in those & morre [...]tur, that he should die. Alexander had in hopes conquered a World al­ready, nay, worlds. He thought he had done things worthy of ever­lasting Annals: and yet after all these so many so great Trophies, hee fell downe not onely into his bed, but to his grave, he must be content with a small Coffin. Pe­tius Alphonsus relates i [...], that A­lexander being dead, Many Philo­sophers met to speake some thing to be engraven on his Monument. One hee utterd this. En modo qua­tuor ulnarum spacium ei satis est, cui spatiosissimus terrarum orbis non suf­fecerat [Page 310] (i.e.) behold now foure cu­bits is room enough for h m who [...] while ere the whole World would not suffice: ano her added, ye­sterday Alexander could have freed any from death, now no [...] himself. One beholding his golden Ch [...]st spoke thus, Yesterday (sai [...] he) Alexander of Gold made trea­sure, now change turns and gold makes treasure of Alexander. Se [...] the wise men exprest themselves, but they all concluded with that of the Machabees. Afterward, he fell down into his bed, and dyed. Juvenal sings thus of him.

Vnus pellaeo Iuveni non sufficit orbis. ...


The whole World though't be was
Will not content Philips great son.

But marke the largnesse of our thoughts, while wee prove forget­full of our own condition: oh! did we meditate on heavenly immor­tall [Page 311] things, while wee vainly dis­pose these transitory ones to our Nephews, and Kinred. Alas all this, this while we are extending our thoughts, death oppresseth us, and this thing which is called old age, is but a short circuit of a few y [...]ers. Why should wee therefore trust death? Consider but for what small matters wee lose our lives. It is not our meat, nor drink nor watching, nor sleep used in­temperately, but prove deadly: our foot hurt a little, the griefe of the eares, a rotten tooth, meat offending the stomach, a drop of an ill Humour, any of these may open the gate to death Is it a mat­ter of any great consequence or profit, whither we live or die? Ill sents, savours, tastings, wearinesse, nay, nourishment it selfe without which we cannot live, may bring in and usher in death. The body of man is weak, fluid, rotten, dis­eased, wheresoever it moves, it is conscious of it's own infirmity. It endures not every Climate, the Sea alters it, the change of ayre [Page 312] infects it, the least cause hurts it. Let us believe him therefore who said: Therefore, ô men, death is bet­ter then a bitter life, and eternall rest, then continued travell. There­fore I say, It is better to dwell in heaven, then to travell on earth.

§ 22. Death's Blessednesse.

WRite, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit, that they rest from their la­bours, and their works follow them: to die in the Lord, is to die the servant of the Lord, as the holy Scriptures speake of Moses, Moses my servant is dead, as if the Lord should say, although hee sinned sometime, and by sin made him­self not my servant: yet hee died my servant. He died in my service. Whatsoever hee was, whatsoever he did it was mine: for all the ser­vants work is the Lords: and such a joyfull Verse in that Song, wa [...] [Page 313] that of old Symeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, ac­cording to thy Word, In peace alto­gether: at whose entrance all the wars of the righteous men are ended: never for all eternity to be begun again. Such servants of God do all die in the Lord, which dying do as it were rest in his bo­some: and so resting sweetly are said to sleep in death. So blessed Stephen in the midst of that storm and showre of stones in such a great tumult and fury of those that stoned him, slept in the Lord. Acts 7.60. Ioh 11.11. So our Lord spoke of Lazarus, that h e did but sleep. So Moses the servant of the Lord died when God bade him, or as some ex­pound it, at the Lords speech, as if the Lord had kissed him, in this sence, as a Mother takes her In­fant in her Arms, and kisseth him being a sleep, and so lays him in­to bed smilingly; no otherwise did God with Moses, but by sweet em­braces, and smiles did lay him be­ing falne asleepe into Abrahams bosome. Where h [...]e shall give his [Page 314] children peace, saith the Psalmist. Blessed, yea for ever blessed are all they that so die, because they shall never be miserable (as Saint Bernard saith) The death of the righteous is good for the rest. Se­condly, for the newnesse of it. Thirdly, for the security of it. Blessed, yea thrice blessed are all such, for their works follow them: they shal follow them, as servants their Lord, as sonnes their father: as Schollers their Master, as Soul­diers their Generall; as Nobles do their Sovereigne. They shall follow us to Gods Tribunall. They shall be brought into the highest Courts of the Great King, and there shall be admitted for noble Courtiers. And as every one which is able for wealth and Nobility, is known by the number and adornment of his followers: so who desires to appeare before the King of Glory, let him be wel and richly furnished with such servants: And let him set them before him, and look that they be many and richly apparelled, and [Page 315] though our good works go before us in some kinde, yet they fol­low us in reward. The labour which we spend on them, and in them goes before: The reward which we have from them follows: He never can want comfort, that is well stored with such fol­lowers.

§ 23. A Dying mans farewell to the living, who must follow him the same way.

MAny are the things, for which I am sorry; Espe­cially the neglect of grace, and the time that I have ill spent. Oh how should I, how ought I to have beene more patient, more submisse, more mindfull of my death! ô how few and small sparkles of divine love have had irradiations in my soul! Have mer­cy upon me, ô God, have mercy upon me, according to the multitude of [Page 316] thy great mercies, ô infinite good­nesse, by the precious bloud of thy deare Son, be mercifull to mee a sinner: and ô you, whomsoever I have offended in words or deeds, Forgive and pardon mee. You have mee now heartily confessing my selfe guilty, and sorrowfull, and deny not to mee before I goe hence this viaticum, even the free forgivenesse of all my offences to­wards you. Doe not (I pray you) let your courage fall in the time of sicknesse, by my example, be­cause I am weak. Set your eyes upon the actions of holier men, and conform your selves to them, Emulate with ardency their pa­tience, humility, obedience. And I cannot but give you hearty thanks for all the good offices you have performed towards [...]ee, either by your hand, and work, care or councell, love and prayers. God, I beseech who art the foun­tain of all goodnesse, and the deep Sea of love, requite your love in­to your bosomes. God hath always used to be kind and good to them [Page 317] who do comm [...]t [...]hemselves whol­ly to his fatherly providence. O­bedience is a singular vertue, and indeed such an one as all others have resplendency from it. Pati­ence is that one thing that is ne­cessary for sick men. Humility is an excellent jewell, and con [...]empt of a mans own self. Poverty is ac­ceptable to Christ: but the Queen of graces is Charity. Yet amongst all these (me thinks) a sure confi­dence in God is of singular effica­cie, and a plenary resignation of a mans self unto the Divine Provi­dence: which Gods Word so highly commends, which the Kingly Prophet so often speaks of, which last of all, Christ himself by so many arguments taken from the Flowers and the Fowles doth endeavour to perswade to. None can ever know the streng h of this confidence, nor that tranquillity which follows, no, nor can believe it, but he, who at all times in eve­rything little, or great, fully hath believed in and trusted himselfe into Gods hand. And I am per­swaded [Page 318] that never was there man who did so referre himself wholly to God, who hath not found sin­gular and secret comfort within himself by it. Let us trust to and rely on God. And give our selves wholly to be disposed of by his infinite wisdom, Hee will provide for us, he will take care for us.

You see now, how I am cited to appear at Gods Tribunall: and must now give an account for 60 yeers carriage: All mine, deeds, words, thoughts are manifest and open to that Judge. No [...]hing ah! nothing can be hid from him, all the Acts of my passed life shall now be sentenced. O how I trem­ble! For it is a fearfull thing to stand before his Tribunall. Yet in this great streight I have some­thing to comfort me, although I be an unjust and naughty servant, yet I have a good Lord, nay, infi­nitely good, which though I have bin sinfull, yet I am his servant: so commending my selfe in [...]o his hands, and my soul to his mercy, I bid adiew to you all, wishing [Page 319] you al to have a care to your lives here, that wee may once againe meet in the Kingdome of Glory. Farewell.

§ 24. What a dying man should always speak and meditate in his heart.

IN thy sicknesse, ô good Chri­stian being asked how thou do­est, how thou feelest thy selfe, &c. take heed to thy answers, that thou utterest, let them be such as these. As God pleaseth, as it see­meth good to the Lord so is come to passe, according to Gods good will and pleasure, I am well, that is best, so God sees it good, Let his will be done in earth as it is in heaven, and that ô sick man and dying man that thou mayest have this familiarly in thy mouth and heart, use these three short Prayers.

1 The Lord be blessed for e­ver and ever.

[Page 320]2 Have mercy upon mee, ô Lord after thy great goodnesse, according to the multitude of thy mercies, though I be lesse then the least of all thy mercies.

3 O my Lord, and my God, I offer my self to thy good will and pleasure. Thy will, [...] Lord, be done. Amen.

Some in the time of their sick­nesse have had these prayers set before their faces in great Chara­cters lying in their beds, that night and day they might the more readily remember and use them.

Our Prayers are our Fore-run­ners to God, let us our selves learn of our Harbingers the right way, that so we may follow read [...]ly whensoever the Lord Eternall shall call us hence.

§ 25. Things to be specially observed by a dying man.

1 LEt h [...]m not rely upon, but renounce his owne merits, let him cast himselfe and all his sins into the boundlesse Ocean of Gods infinite mercy and com­passion.

2 Let him be sure to stand fast in the bosome of the holy Catho­like Church, and let him receive the blessed Sacrament seasona­bly, it being his viaticum, and the food of his soul.

3 Let him withdraw all his af­fections and love from fading and transitory things, and let his heart be united to God his hea­venly Father. Let him long for the promised Canaan, that there hee may for ever offer prayse to God his Creatour.

4 Let him offer up himselfe a lively sacrifice to the glory of [Page 322] God, for his most blessed will; to bear out of true love all the bit­ternesse and anguishment, and all the pangs of death, though for a long time, and though hee might live longer, yet for the love of God, he refers himself to his wise disposing, either for life or death.

5 Let him never forget the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ. Let him not rest till hee be united to Christ in his death, and let him in the depth of all his sufferings imitate our Saviour, to commend his soul into his fathers hands, that so as hee is made con­formable to Christ in his death, hee may be likewise in his Resur­rection.

But above all it is most safe for the dying man, that what hee would have to be his last words and actions, that hee begin to doe them in the state of his health.

§ 26. What a dying man must doe.

LVdovicus Blosius, a man of a most holy life, who refused an Archbishoprick when it was offe­red him by Charles the fi [...]th Em­perour, whose life may be seen by his works, amongst many other worthy pieces, hee gives a dying man these Instructions following.

Being asked what a dying man should doe, if hee had liv'd long in grievous sinnes, answered: though I should have lived forty yeers in my sinnes, and now my death approaching, if I shall truly acknowledge them, and be hear­tily sorry for them from the bot­tome of my heart, and resolve a­gainst them all for time to come, if I have but so much time, to put my self into Gods hands, and truly turn to him without all hy­pocrisie and dissembling, I shall depart hence holy and innocent, [Page 324] and shall finde God a mercifull Father unto me, and adds a short sweet Prayer for a sick man.

O Lord, I am that miserable wretch, whom Thou of thy Fa­therly goodnesse hast created, and by the most shamefull death of thy onely begotten Son hast re­deemed from the power of the Enemy. Thou Lord, Thou onely shalt rule in me, save me there­fore, ô Lord, for thy infinite mer­cy throu [...]h Jesus Christ, in whom I do believe to have immortality and glory. Amen.

These are Abridgments to die well, hee who knows how to be ready for death comprizeth all.

§ 27. Refreshments for a sick man.

GO my people enter in [...]o your cham­bers, shut the dores to you, hide your selves for a while, for a moment, untill my indignation be passed over, Isa. 26.20.

In my anger have I hid my face from you for a moment, but in ever­lasting mercies will I have compassion on you saith the Lord your Redeemer, Isay 54.8.

Why art thou so heavy ô my soule, and why art thou so disquieted with­in me? still trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks, who is the light of my countenance and my God, Psal. 42.6, 7.

We are the children of his Saints, and we do expect that life which God will give to those that keep the faith.

It is not the will of your heavenly Father, that one of these little ones should perish, Matth. 18.14.

So God loved the World, that hee gave his onely begotten Son, that who­soever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3.16

Now if any man sin, wee have an Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous, and hee is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours onely, but for the sinnes of the whole world, 1 John 2 1.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, [Page 324] whosoever heareth my Word, and be­lieveth on him that sent mee hath life eternall, and shall not come into judg­ment, but shal passe from death, to life. John 5.24.

All that my Father hath given to me shall come unto mee, and hee that commeth to me I cast not out of doors. Verily, verily, I say unto you, who so believeth in mee hath eternall life, John 6 37. & 47.

I am the resurrection and the life, Whosoever believeth in mee, yea though he were dead, yet shal he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall not die eternally, John 11.15. & 26. In my Fathers house are many Mansions, John 14 2.

If God be for us, who can be against us, who also spared not his own Sonne, but gave him for us, how then shall hee not give us all things with him? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God who justifies. Who shall condemne? It is Iesus Christ which is dead, yea rather which is risen a­gain, and sitteth at the right hand of his Father, making intercession for [Page 325] us, Rom 8 31. usque ad 35.

None of us live unto our selves, nor none die unto our selves, whether wee live, wee live unto the Lord, or whe­ther we die, we die unto the Lord, wh [...] ­ther therefore wee live or die, we are the Lords, Rom. 14 7 & 8.

We know that if this earthly house of our dwelling be dissolved, wee have a building from God, an house not made with hands, eternall in the Hea­vens: and for this wee sigh, desiring to be put on with our house which is from heaven, that if we be clothed we shal not be found naked, 2 Co 5.1, 2, 3

Now shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death, for Christ is to me both in life and death, advantage. But to be with Christ is much better, Phil. 1.20, 21, & 23

Our conversation is in heaven from whence we look for a Saviour, even our Lord Iesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious bo­dy, Phil. 3.20, 21.

This is a faithfull saying, and wor­thy of all acceptation, that Iesus [Page 328] Christ came into the World to save sinners, of whom I am chief 1 Tim. 1.15.

Whosoever endureth to the end, shall be saved, Matth 24 13.

Be thou faithfull unto death, and I will give thee the crowne of life, Apoc. 2.10.

These are pure and coole streams and fountains to asswage the heat of sin and fear of death. Hee swims safely, who baths him­self in these waters of comfort

§ 28. Holy Ejaculations and Prayers of a dying man.

HOly Eligius, a little before his death, embracing his friends with teares, spoke thus un­to them, Farewell all yee, and suffer me from henceforth to rest. Earth must return to earth, the Spirit will finde the way to God that gave it. So holding up his hands and eyes to heaven, prayed [Page 329] so a good while, and at last burst forth into these words. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. Remember Lord, that thou hast made mee as earth. Enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no flesh living be justified. O remem­ber mee thou Redeemer of the World who onely art without sin, and bringing mee from the body of this death, place mee in thy Kingdom. I know I doe not de­serve to see thy face, and tast thy favour, but thou knowest that all my hopes have bin in thy all-sa­ving mercies: and now (ô Christ) dying in the confession of thy ho­ly Name, I doe render my last breath, my soule into thy safe keep­ing. Receive me (ô Lord) accor­ding to thy great mercies, and let mee not be confounded in my hope, open to mee the gate of life, and let not the powers of darknes hold me, Let thy right hand bring me into thy resting place, and let me enjoy one of those Mansions, which thou hast prepared for those [Page 328] tha love and feare thee. And ha­ving thus prayed, hee departed, Oh could wee follow the example of this holy man, let us therefore call upon Christ in these or the like words.

Enlighten mine eyes (ô Iesus) that I sleep not in death, lest that mine e­nemy say unto mee, I have prevailed against him. Psal. 13 4.

O Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, put I pray thee thy Passion, Crosse, and meritori­ous death, betwixt thy judgment and my poore soule. O Remember not (Lord) our old sins, but have mer­cy upon us, and that soon, for wee are come to great misery. Psal. 77.8.

Oh m st sweet Jesus Christ our Lord, for the honour and vertue of thy most blessed Passion, make me to be numbred with thy Saints in glory everlasting.

Enter not into judgment (ô sweet Iesu) with thy servant, for in thy sigh [...] shall no flesh living be justified, and then let him utter these words.

I worship thee (ô Lord Iesus [Page 329] Christ) and blesse thy name, for thou by thy holy Crosse and Pas­sion hast redeemed the World O thou Saviour of the World save mee, which by thy bitter Crosse and precious bloud hast redeemed me.

Draw mee unto thee, ô Iesus who didst say, When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto me.

O most me [...]cifull Iesus, I pray thee by thy precious bloud which thou sheddest for sinners, to blot out all my offences. O let thy bloud purifie me, let thy body (ô Christ save mee) wash mee in thy bloud, and let thy passion con­firme my soule, ô good Iesu heare me, hide me in thy wounds, suffer me not to be separated from thee, in the houre of death call me, bid me to come unto thee, that I with all the rest of the glorious Saints may prayse thee. O my gracious Redeemer, I do wholly give up my self unto thee, Cast mee not out from thy presence. I come unto thee, reject me not. Cast me not [Page 332] out of thy sight, and take not thy holy Spirit from mee. Oh let not my iniquity cast me away, whom thy goodnesse did create.

As death approacheth neerer, so let the dying man pray thus.

O God according to thy will, so let thy mercy come unto me, bid ô God, that my spirit may ever dwell with thee. Oh let that voice sound in my eares, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise, Lord, Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, For mine eye [...] have seen thy salvation. Oh loving Iesus what is thine own, I beseech thee to take. O Lord Iesu! Make mee to be numbred with thyne Elect. O Iesus, thou Son of Dauid, have mercy upon mee. Lord, be thou my helper. Make haste, ô Lord Iesus, to come and help me. O Lord Iesus receive my spirit. Amen.

§ 29. The dying mans confidence in GOD.

HEre I doe confidently with S. Bernard, confesse and say, let others pretend their Merits, and others that they can, and have borne the heat of the day, yet I hold it good to keepe close to the mercy of God, and to put my con­fidence in the Lord.

And though I am conscious to my selfe, that my former life hath been full of sin, so that I deserve to be cast off by Gods justice, yet will I never leave off to trust in his infinite goodnesse, and [...]hat as hitherto his al-sufficient Grace hath administred strength [...]o my weaknesse, so the same will [...]et give me strength and power to [...]eare all things patiently and wil­ [...]ingly: And this my patience [...]hough small and little, helped by [...]he assistance of his Grace (whi [...]h [Page 332] doth infinitely exceed my thoughts) will mitigate my pains, and will bestow that eternall re­ward upon me in Heaven. This one thing (ô God) will I desire of thee, that thou wouldst never suffer me to fall from relying upon thy goodnesse: although I know my self to be weak, and undeser­ving. Yea, though I should come to that casting down, and terrours, that I did seem even to be utterly lost and left, yet I would call to mind that Apostle of thine Saint Peter, that was ready to sink at the first blast of winde, and to fall from his faith, and I would then even doe, as hee did, call upon thee and say, Lord save mee, and even then would I hope that thou wouldst stretch forth thy hand; and helpe mee, but yet if thou shouldst permit mee to be harder beset then Peter, (which I pray thee not to suffer, ô Lord) yet I, neverthelesse do hope, that thou wouldst looke upon mee with the eyes of thy mercy, and that thou wouldst turne and behold mee as [Page 333] thou didst Peter, when he had de­nied thee, and that thou wouldst not suffer thy whole displeasure to arise, but that thou wouldst help me and deliver my soul. This I know assuredly, that God will not forsake me without my fault. I know that of Saint Augustine to be most true. God can free and hath done for many great things with­out any desert of theirs, because he is Good: but yet he never con­demn'd one without great deme­rits, because he is just. Therefore in great trust and confidence, I do wholly rely upon him; if for my sins he suffers me to perish, yet his justice shall be glorified, but I hope, and certainly doe hope that his mercifull goodnesse will keep my soul, that so rather his mercy may be praysed then his justice, nothing can fal upō me but what God will. Now whatsoever hee wils, though it may seeme harsh and evill, yet is truly good. What­ever (ô God thou wilt, I will the same altogether, I will, ô God, I will,

§ 30. The last words of a Dying man.

AVgustus the Emperour when hee dyed dedicated his last wordes to his Empresse Livia. Livia, said hee, be all thy life long, mindfull of our Marri­age, farewell. How much trulier may Christians dedicate their last speeches to their Lord and Ma­ster Iesus Christ, saying, O Lord, Remember the time since my soul was espoused to thee in holy wed­lock.

Dionysius the Areopagite an ho­ly man of life, being condemned to lose his head, [...]earing the sen­tence of death with a generous resolution, contemning the scoff [...] of the multitude repeated the last words of our Saviour. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Saint Basil the Great, at the close of his life, when as he had furnishd all them about him with [Page 337] excellent admonitions, spoke the same words unto Christ, as the former Martyr had done

Saint Bernard as if he should shew to the sick man Christ Iesus, Oh thou Christian, saith hee, de­spair not of thy sicknes. Christ hath told thee what thou art to say in all the hazards of death, to whom to flie to, to whom to call on: In whom to hope, even in God the Father, which cannot despise the prayers of them that trust in him, doe thou therefore such works in the time of thy sicknesse, that thou mayest truly say, In thee (ô Lord) have I put my trust, let me not be confounded.

Therefore let the last words of the dying man be directed to God, to him our prayers, to him let goe all our desires Let all our hopes terminate in him, let him receive our last sighes, let the dying man say thus from his heart. To thee (ô Lord) doe I looke up, to thee I lift up my eyes, to thee I direct my prayers.

§ 32. The conforming of our wils to Gods will, is of great value, especially at the end of our lives.

LVdovicus Blosius gives this ad­vice for the conforming our wils to the will of God.

There is no exercise at our death can be more profitable th [...]n that every one should fully resigne himself into [...]he hands of his C eatou [...], humbly, lovingly, whol­ly trusting and relying in his infi­nite mercy and goodnesse. For it cannot but hee, that whosoever doth thus place his confidence in God before his departure hence, but that he shall partake of joy in the Caelestiall Kingdome. For those that shall be for ever with the Lord shall be freed from pu­nishm [...]nt. In this mind died that good [...]ief on the Crosse, which did no desire our Saviour to save [Page 339] his body, but wholly desired Christ to forgive his sins, and to give him the Kingdom of Heaven so fully did he resigne himself in­to Gods hands, so wholly did he offer himself to Christ, that hee should do with him as he pleased. And if it so fall out that when death is at hand, thy sicknesse is grievous and painfull, cast that also upon God, For the death of Christ wil yield us consolation in death, He is gone before, innu­merable others are gone before, why should it irk thee to follow?

§ 33. The dying man emulates the good Thief in Golgotha.

LOrd, Remember mee when thou commest into thy kingdome. Oh happy Thiefe! which didst profit more in the school of Christ in 3 houres space, then the Iscariot did in three yeers, thou goest before [Page 340] me in words, and for a forme of prayer, who wast to Christ in his greatest extremity, a Patron, and an Advocate. Good God! how deep are thy judgements! his friends and kinred are silent, his Disciples forsake him, The Angels appear not, neither is his mother suffered to defend his inno [...]en [...]e, and where are those eleven thou­sand and more fed by this cruci­fied Lord? What one out of so great a multitude does open his mouth in his cause? The maynte­nance of Christs Cause is therefore devolv'd to the defence of this Thiefe. One Thief pl [...]ads a­gainst another for Christs inno­cence, he mayntains it, takes of the others scandals, reproves the infinite multitude of pa [...]ricide. Did not the Son of God blush to have his Cause defended by a Thief? No! hee was so farre from being ashamed at his Oratory, that hee praysed him in publick, nor was his Rhetorick defective in Gods Cause; And wee ind [...]e justly; therefore wee receive the [Page 341] due reward of our deeds, but this man hath done nothing amisse.Lu. 23.4

O how justly may I say the same of my self? And I do justly die for my offences, for I doe but receive the wages of my works, but my Saviour, What had hee done? nothing at all worthy of death, nor of such torments. Let mee therefore, ô God, be heard when I use this forme of prayer. Lord, remember me, for now thou art come into thy Kingdome, and because thou art in thy Kingdome looke upon m [...]e now languishing and decaying, and adm [...]t mee to thy self when I depart. I beg this of thee (ô Jesus) by thy scourg­ing, Thorns and Crosse, by all thy [...]orments, and by thy precious [...]eath.

What therefore remaynes, but [...]hat I should for ever cast my soul [...]nto his bosome, whose dolour and [...]ains hee onely weighs and consi­ [...]ers? He knows what conduceth [...]o the health of our souls: and [...]ee from all eternity ha h deter­ [...]ined by what way wee shall re­turn [Page 342] to him. (O Lord) I have wai­ted for thy salvation.

§ 34. The Heliotropium, or Turn sole against all diseases and death the onely Medicine.

THis Herbe (as experience shews it) turns with the Sun both at his rising and setting nay, even in cloudy weather hee shews his love to the Sun, by night, as it were for grief, he shuts up him­self: for want of her beautifull Lover. Oh could mans will al­wayes so follow and attend upon Gods will, that at all times it should be conformable to it, and and follow it through all afflicti­ons and adversities, and not to turn aside in that great cloudy day of death. Upon this set day let the dying man imitate this flower, and let him f [...]x the eyes of his faith upon that glorious Sun of righ­teousnesse especially then. This [Page 343] doe our Saviours owne words teach us.

Even so Father, Math. 11.26. for so it seemed good in thy sight: so even so my [...]ying friend speak you, In all things that ever you doe, in all e­vils to be endured or suffered by the example of our Lord, say always. So Father, even so good Father, so be i [...] ô my Father, with often ingeminations, and special­ly when the pangs of death doe rage most violently, then even then subject thy will in all things to his, pronounce these watching, in health, in sicknesse, but at the pinch of death never forget them. Lord, thou knowest my heart, command it Lord: I have hoped in thee, I have said thou art my God, thou shalt mayntaine my lot, my he [...]lth, my disease, prosperity, and adversity, my life and my death are in thy hands, as thou wilt, so let all things be. It shall be pleasant to me ei [...]her to live or die according to thy good will be­cause thou art my Father. There­fore, ô Father, as thou wilt, or­der, [Page 344] dispose, permit all things to be done in mee, and of mee, as may be pleasing to thee, let not any thing in mee crosse or thwart thy heavenly disposing. So, even so, good Father, let thy will be done from hence-forth and for ever.

This herb is of wonderfull ver­tue to all sicknesse, evils and death. Hee is far [...]e from feare of destruction, that is in will so uni­ted to his God.


Prayers to be said of, or to be read to a man dying.

OH holy Jesus! my strength, my [...]efreshing, my defender, and my deliverer, in whom I have ho­ped, on whom I have believed, whom always I have loved, who art my chiefe pleasure: the for­tresse of my strength, & my hope even from my youth up. Lead me forth, ô [...]hou that art the leader of my life, and I will follow thee; stretch forth thy right hand of mercy to the worke of thine own hands, which thou the Crea­tour of all things didst make of the dust of the e [...]rth, and streng­thenedst with bones and sinews, to whom thou by death gavest life; The time is at hand, that dust must return to dust, and my spirit to thee my Saviour and blessed Re­deemer who gavest it me. Open (good Lord) to mee the gate of life, for for mee wretch didst [Page 346] thou the Lord of life hang on the tree, and wast reckon [...]d amongst transgressors: receive me, ô merci­full God according to the multi­tude of hy tender mercies, thou didst kindly and speedily enter­tain the penitent thiefe upon the Crosse begging of thee. I am sick and sore smitten, to whom should I run for cure, but t [...] thee ô gra­cious Physician, heal thou m [...]e, ô Lord, and I shall be whole, and those that put their trust in thee, shall not be confounded: in thee, ô Saviour have I trusted, let me no: therefore be put to confusion; But who, or what am I (most glorious God) that I should with such bold [...]esse speak to thee? I am a sinner borne, nay, and conceived in transgression, a rotten carcasse, an uncleane vessell, food for wormes. Spare mee, forgive mee (good God) what conquest woul­dest thou have to contend, or s [...]t thy selfe against me who [...]m wea­ker and lighter then the stubble before the winde, then the dust or the chaff driven too and fro with [Page 347] every blast? Passe by (ô Lord) all my transgressions, and rayse up thy poore dejected servant from the Dunghill Stand up (ô Lord) and for my defence rayse up thy self, and reject not the supplicati­on of thy poore weak servant. Let my prayers enter into thy pre­sence, and stretch forth thy hand, and com [...] and help. I am the man that travelling from Hierusalem, am taken and wounded of thieves, and left half dead, be thou, thou ô my Saviour the good Samaritan, and c mfort me I have grievous­ly sinned in the whole course of my life, and my sins are ever be­fore thee. From the crown of my head to the sole of my foot there is not one sound or clean member. O if thou by thy precious death on the Crosse hadst not helped my soule, I should have for my sins deserved eternall perdition; I, even I am partaker, ô sweet Iesu, of that inestimable Redemption; thou didst shed that most precious bloud for my sake, ô thou preser­ver of men, and therefore put me [Page 348] not away from thee. I am that sheepe which wandred and lost it self, seek mee (ô thou great Shep­heard) and take mee and conduct me into thy fold, that thou mayest be true in all thy sayings. Thou that hast promised that whensoe­ver a sinner shall repent and re­turn, thou wilt have mercy upon him. Truly Lord I am not wor­thy to be called thy son, because I have sinned against heaven and before thee: but good Father, re­store the voice of joy and glad­nesse to mee again, Comfort mee now after the time that thou hast afflicted mee, and for the yeeres wherein I have suffered adversity. Turn thy face away from my sins, and blot cut all mine offences, ac­cording to thy great mercies. Cast me not away from thy presence, nor deal with me after my iniqui­ties: but help mee, ô thou that art the helper of all that cry to thee for relief, deliver mee for the glo­ry of thy name: Grant in mercy, that I may dwell in thy house al the days of my life, to sing pray­ses [Page 349] to thee in Heaven with all thy glorious Saints and Servants for evermore. Amen.

The second Prayer to Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world.

O Sweet comf [...]rtable Iesus, the fountaine an [...] w [...]lsp [...]ing of mercy and tender compassion, shew and extend to me thy poore servant and weak creature, the riches of thy infinite mercies, help and succour mee in this my great need and necessity, my great Creatour and loving Redeemer Iesu Christ: put thy Passion, Cross, and precious death betwixt thy judgment and my sicke soule. I wholly give up my selfe to thy fa­vour, Cast me not away good Sa­viour in thy furie, I willingly come to thee for h [...]lp, ô reject not, ô despise not, ô refuse not to ad­mit thy humble Petitioner into thy grace and favourable prote­ction. Now! now ô Lord, accord­ing [Page 350] to thy good pleasu e and will, deal with me in mercie, and re­ceive my soule into thy hands in peace and love, thou hast redee­med mee, ô Lord, thou God of truth. O let the sound of those comfortable words enter into [...]y soule (sweet Saviour) This day thou shalt be with me in Parad se.

O Iesus, who was crucified for me receive me into thy armes of love and mercie, into those armes which were stretch'd so wide to embrace poore grieved sinners, unto those armes which I with the eye of faith see opened wide for transgressors. Draw my soul after thee, comfort it (ô thou Lambe of God) with thy al saving fa­vour receive mee in thy savour, and let my soule ever live in thy glorious courts in the highest Heavens. Amen.

The third Prayer of thanksgiving in any sicknesse.

GLory be to thee ô Lord Iesus Christ, the Authour and giver of life, who hast vouchsafed to call me to the knowledge of true faith in thee, Glorie be to thee who h [...]st always beene so full of plenteous redemption and mercie towards mee so grievously laden with all sorts of sins: which through all my life hast heaped blessings and kindnesses upon me. I give thanks to thee (n y most loving God) that according to thy good will and wisdome I am called out of this miserable and wretched life to appeare before thee How, ô how willing am I to tread thy Courts, and to behold the light of thy countenance, I doe wholly commit my selfe to thy divine shelterage, and blesse thy glorious name for giving me such a readie mind to depart. I do (ô most lo­ving Lord) in all humility beg [Page 352] and desire thee to binde up my soule in the bundle of peace, and embrace my soule in thy everlasting favour and mercy, t [...]ke my soule into thy protection hence-forth and for ever, to thee, to thee onely doe I commend my spirit, which art the God of spi­rits, I intreat thee (the everliving God) to give me an inheritance among those that be sanctified, Count mee in the number of thy Saints, and let my name ô hea­venly Father be registred in the book of life. Free me and deliver me f [...]om all the power of my ene­mies. Deliver mee from all my trouble and adve sity, because thou onely art the God which canst help those that are in misery and griefe, thou hast said it (ô b [...]essed Lord God) that we should call upon thee in the time of trou­ble, and thou hast graciously pro­mised to hear and deliver us, and taught us in thy wisdome to give glory to thy name. To thee there­fore be duly given all praise and glorie world without end.

The fourth prayer, to be s [...]id of those about the sick party.

O Iesus Christ, who didst die upon the Crosse for our Re­demption, in the depth of thy in­finite love, even of that gracious love, which made thee lay downe thy life, who wast the life of all; that they might be restored to life. Wee doe heartily d [...]sire and humbly crave of thee that thou wouldst passe by, and blot out all the sins and transgressions which this thy sicke servant our Brother N. hath committed, and that by thy most holy life, and merits of thy most bitter Crosse and Passi­on, thou wouldst be pleased to help all his infirmities, and to make his bed in the time of his sicknesse, and make him to feele and rellish thy infinite love and boundlesse mercies and let him apply them to h [...]s s [...]ule, and dis­spose graciously of us all, and e­specially [Page 354] of this thy weake crea­ture, whom thou art calling out of this miserable life, that thou wouldst prepare his soule quietly and peaceably to seeke thee, and that hee may give up his soul into thy hands with all patience, and contentednesse, in a full assurance of the pardon of all his sins, being grounded in hope, rooted in cha­rity, in a perfect state of mind, so that for ever thou mayst hold him in the armes of thy never fading love and favour.

O Lord Iesus Christ, wee beseech thee, take not thy helping hand and saving assistance from this our sick brother, who is now in the depth of sicknesse, and even at the point of death, who by weak­nesse and defect of spirit is not a­ble to lift up his voice unto thee. Think upon him (o Lord) in thy love and mercy, and give him, ô give the spirit of com [...]ort and con­solation, Deliver him from all evill, and grant hough hee doth at this time depart, yet let it be in peace, and sure confidence of thy [Page 355] love: defend him from the danger of the Enemy, at the time of his yielding up his spirit into thy hand, give him sure confidence in thee, and keep him i [...] perpetuall peace and safety, and lead h [...]m in­to the land of everlast [...]ng rest and quietnesse. Amen.

The fifth Prayer contayning the Acts of Faith, Hope, and Chari [...]y daily to be used.

O Lord Iesus Christ, I believe that thou art my God and my Redeemer, I doe b [...]lieve that for my salvation thou wast born of the Virgin Mary, and was cruci­fied, I doe believe what the holy Catholick Church doth enjoyne me, and I protest that I will l [...]ve and am willing to die in that faith. (Lord Iesus) I doe heartily grieve that I have so grievously offend [...]d thy goodn [...]sse, and I am sor [...]y, that I can be no more sorry so those great and many offences which I have committed against [Page 356] thee my Cr [...]atour and Redeemer. I do humbly [...]ray thee, that thou wouldst by thy precious bloud­shedding pardon and forgive all my sins: and I doe purpose if thou shalt enlarge my life to abstaine from them [...]ll, and to settle my self in a new cou se of holinesse of life, and if I have forgotten any of my sins, or if I doe not know them all severally, I implore thy goodnesse to disclose them to me, that I may speedily and sincerely repent me of them all, and above all forgive, ô Lord, forgive and forget them all.

I doe f [...]eely and willingly for­give all men that have offended me (ô my God) all their offences for thy sake, and I entreat whom­soever I have injured to doe the like by mee. If I have by wrong detained any mans goods, so far as I am bound and according to my ability, I desire that they should be fully sati [...]fied: I doe trust in thy eternall mercy, and in thy pre­cious bloud abundantly shed for me, that although I be altog [...]ther [Page 357] unworthy of my self, and no ways deserving thy gracious favour, that yet thou wouldst ransome me out of all mine enemies hands, and that thou wouldst lift up thy coun­tenance upon me, and fill my soul with everlasting comforts. I doe heart ly desire this of thee by thy bitt [...]r death and passion. Streng­th [...]n me (ô Lo d Iesus) against all the snares of Satan, and defend mee with the shield of thy mercy, because all my hope & confidence is in thy great goodnesse onely. I can plead no merits or deserts that can bind thee, but I finde in my selfe too too much sinne and vilenesse: but thy mercy (ô God) is over all thy works, and so in hope to partake of it, I do rest my self in hope: because thou art a God of hope to thee be all praise and honour ascribed from this time forth and for evermore. A­men.

The Epilogue, or conclusion of all being a Monition to the Reader.

THese prayers (my good Rea­der) made for the souls of men, I counsell thee if thou be wise in the time of thy health, with a li tle alteration to muse on for thine own good. There is not any thing of more efficacy in my judgement, to set us forward in a godly life, then to meditate of the f [...]ailty & miserablenes of our lives. That Prophetick speech of our Lord spoken to Ierusalem, may fitly be applyed to all dying men. The days will come that thine ene­mies shal cast a trench about th [...]e, and keep thee in on every si [...]e, and lay thee levell with the ground, & shall not leave one stone upon another, All [...]hese things may be seen easily in a man dying For do not great anxieties environ him? Doe not solicitous cares weaken him? Do not griefs lay him low? Do not wicked spirits encomp [...]sse [Page 359] him? Do not the terrours of sins past unrepented of cast him down? Do not future punishments astonish him? Do not all worldly things suddenly forsake him? And though the m st expert Physicians compasse his bed, Can any afford help, bu [...] o [...]ly that one Master Physician from Heaven? It is the decree laid upon all that are born to die, to spring up and soon de­cay, and that Great Disposer of all humane things knows nothing firme but himself, all things passe away in a Circle of rising, and fal­ling. Some thing may be long­liv'd in this frame, but there is no­thing e ern [...]ll, or everlasting. I desire thee therefore (ô my Rea­der) for Christs sake, and thy own happines to think of eternity: our life is but a moment, alas! it is no [...]o [...]e, and yet upon this mo­ment depends [...]ither everlasting good, or everlasting evill. Our trav [...]l is short, all pleasures doe quickly fade, onely Eternity knows no period; therefore re­member Et [...]rnity.


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