A Spiritual REPOSITORY, containing Godly Meditations, Demonstrated by 12. Signs of our Adoption to Eternal Glory.

By H. Drexelius.

And now Translated into Eng­lish by R. W. of Trinity Col­ledge Cambridge.

Psal. 119.97, 95.

O how I love thy Law! Tis my Medi­tation all the day. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me, but I will consider thy Testimonies.

LONDON, Printed for R. B. to be sold by most Booksellers, 1676.

ZODIACVS CHRISTIANVS locupletatus Seu Signa XII. Divinae PRAEDESTINA TIONIS Totidem Symbolis explicata Ab Hierem: Drexelio è Societate Insv.

COL: AGRIPPINAE Apud Cornel [...]ab Egmond. M.DC.XXXII.

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THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.

THe multitude of Books that have already to too much plenared the World with a variety of notions, hath been an Argument of no little pre­valency, to regulate my undertakings; and more particularly, when Imployed about a Concern of so great, and of so good Importance, by presenting unto the world a president for meditations: but before I did proceed in my undertakings, I thought it absolutely requisite to consult with grave, Learned, and worthy persons; not only with a particular respect to the Author of this Ensuing Treatise: (that most Heroick, and renowned person H. Drexelius) but with a particular rela­tion [Page]to this Treatise; to whom when I had Imparted my Resolution, they continued no longer my Incouragers, but presently became my strict obligers, and soon refuted my former objection, and further demon­strated that this divine Treatise, would he rather a Ʋniter, then a discomposer of pious Meditations. And now Christi­an Reader, give me leave additionally to speak a word or two concerning the Author. He was a person not only E­pedemically Renowned in Learning, but did Illustrate it in the three Theological graces, Faith, Hope, and Charity, and did continually endeavour to suppress that most crying sin of unsatiable Volup­tuousness, so that you see his whole pil­grimage upon this earthly Tabernacle, was an Optick of Vertue and Piety. And he that desires to know more of the worth of this Author, Let him but read that most Excellent piece of his, entituled Confiderations upon Eternitie, and who­soever doth so, I question not but he will be fully Convinced of the truth of what I assert, and that it may be as seed sowed in good ground, God out of his Abundant plentitude water it with the due from Heaven.

R. W.

Approbatio R. P. Provincialis.

ZOdiacum Christianum locupleta­tum, quem P. Hieremias Drexelius, Societatis nostrae presbyter, de duode­cim Praedestinationis signis conscripsit, atiquot ejusdem Societatis Theologis censum proba­tumque; Ego Christophorus Grenzing, Societatis Iesu per superiorem Germaniam Praepositus Provincialis, facta mihi potestate, ab admodum R. P. N. Generali, Mutio Vitellesco, in lucem dari permitto: fidem­que mea manu facio, & more Societatis con­signo. Monachii III. Idus Septembres. Anno M.DC.XXI.

Christophorus Grenzing.

Embleme. 1.

Inward Light

Thy word is a Candle vnto my feete & a light vnto my pathes. psalme. 119. v. 106

The first Signe.
Internall Illumination OR, Enlightning of the Understanding.
Set out by the Author, by a burning Taper. Under it these words of the PSALMIST.

‘Thy word is a Lanterne unto my feete, and a light unto my paths. Psal. 119.

BY that burning Taper is denoted, that in­ward light, which so clearly discovers un­to us the benefits of God, the vanity of the world, the [Page]shortnesse of life, the filthinesse of sinne, and the fading shadowes of all worldly pleasures, so that he, who be­gins to apprehend them with the eye of reason, cannot but earnestly gaspe after Heavens joyes, and cry out with the Kingly Prophet. Psal. 42. My soule is a-thirst for God, even for the li­ving God. VVhen shall J come and appeare before the presence of God? There be many that say, who will shew us any good? Psal. 4. Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us: and in thy light we shall see light.

First, I Wee have a Master within us the sight of Reason, which (be­ing as it were a bright beame, darted from the splendor of his counte­nance,) GOD hath placed in the better and nobler part of man, his soule. This light doth not onely di­stinguish us from beasts, but advan­ces us to a more noble condition, to a likenesse of God: This light set up in the soule of man is as it were an indelible and speaking Sermon, which ever and anon suggests this heavenly admonition, Not to doe [Page 3]that to another, which wee would not have done to our selves. For whatsoever wee doe to another, foe, or friend, wee must expect the like from him: with what measure yee meete withall, it shall be measurd to you againe: Luk. 6.38. For this cause ought wee neither by force nor fraud to in­jure another, either by robbing him of his goods or staining his reputa­tion.

Sdly, again, II this light demonstrates unto us both, all things created, and God Almighty the Creator, (though in a darke manner, under a vaile) wanting nothing, most perfect, most Happy, The everlasting Father en­rich'd with a full sufficiency of all good things, which without want to himselfe, hee imparts freely to all creatures. The beginning, the midle, and end of our happines, who dwels in light inaccessible, who is both amyable and powerfull in his works and Graces; whose will is his deed, who is all Mercy, and all Goodnes, yet withall an holy, severe, and in­corrupt Judge, who cannot be sedu­ced by smoothing flattery. The [Page 4]same God is all justice, whose mag­nitude, forme or fashion farre tran­scends the best humane expression; to whom nothing in the world may bee likened, neither hee can by any thing we see here be truely represen­ted. In comparison of whose Excel­lency all the beauties and fairest things in this world are meere dark­nesse, a shadow, which is a thing without substance and reality. To this most lovely and excellent beau­tie (I meane God Almighty) no­thing is more acceptable, then to be repay'd for all his benefits with the Tribute of our Love and Charitie.

Thirdly, This light set up within us discovers unto us the workes of God our Maker, such as are without us, viz. the vicissitude of times, of night and day, the glorious great­nesse of the spangled Heaven, the long journeys of the Sunne and Moone, which they dispatch daily with a speedy motion, the beauty of the earth decked with variety of flowers: The spatious windings and turnings of Rivers, the vast widenes and furious raging of the Sea, the [Page 5]diverse kinds of beasts, the great en­crease and store of fruits, all which God made not with hands, nor any labour, the onely cause they were made in that order & Excellency as they are, was Gods wil and pleasure.

Fourthly, Moreover this light of reason enlightned by a cleare and lively faith, discovers by an unde­nyable demonstration, that mans fe­licity consists in this; that hee at­taine as much as is possible here, to the likenesse of God his Maker, which is the only means to purchase Gods love and favour; for simili­tude or likenesse is the cause of love, and that picture is best that comes nearest [...]its patterne. This happi­nesse one day shall befall us, when wee shall bee made more like unto God, when wee shall partake of the beatificall vision in the other world, the land of he living. Jt doth not yet appeare (saith St. John) what wee shall bee, but wee know, 1 Ioh. 3. [...]. that when hee shall appeare, wee shall bee like him, for we shall see him as he is. From this sanctified light of knowledge in the understanding, [Page 6]from this thought, or full perswasion of seeing one day God face to face, springs joy, in the will, hereby our Hope is rais'd and takes its flight from Earth to Heaven, and by this too our hearts are enflamed with an ardent affection towards God, the Author of our happinesse, and the fountaine of all good. For what can be imagin'd more sweet or com­fortable to a glorified soule then to behold it selfe invested with the glo­rious Image of an infinite beauty to know for a certaine, that he is deare and precious in the esteeme of God, who is the patterne, according to whose likenes our soules were framd and wrought? But because this light of faith shines not alike to all, holy David (having found by experience, that every man partakes, not of this joy and happinesse) rejoyceth with thanksgiving to God for this special grace and benefit. Psalm. 4. Thou hast (saith he) put gladnesse in my heart, not every mans heart, but in mine and those who are predestinated by thee O goodnesse, to everlasting life, therefore (so he in another Psalme) [Page 7] wee will walke in the light of thy countenance, and in thy name will we triumph with gladnesse all our dayes, rejoycing and glad for this, that we are pluck'd out of the dark­nesse of sinne and ignorance, that wee may bee instructed more and more in the knowledge of thy most holy will, by our Obedience to which we (as Abraham once) shall enter with thee into a secret bond of friendship, and be called thy friends. O Israel happy are wee, Baruc. 4.4. for things that are pleasing to God, are made knowne unto us. Job when hee felt the weight of Gods displeasure, and and burden of mans contempt, when he was beset with the darknesse of Adversity on every side, then hee solac'd himselfe with the remem­brance of this spirituall light; Job 29.3. His light (saith he) shined upon my head, and by his light I walk'd through darknesse. Therefore (saith Eccles. Eccl. 2. Isaiah 58.) Yee that feare the Lord, love him, and your hearts shall be enlightned. Your light shall rise in obscurity, and the Lord shall alwayes give you rest, & shall fill your soules with the [Page 8]splender off his Grace; but if you turne from God, Eccl. 11.16 you shall bee in­volv'd with Egyptian darknesse: For error and darkenesse had their beginning together with sinners. Wisd. 5.

These words (sayes the spirit of God) sinners in hell utterd; and what are they may some demand. This Quere is not to bee branded with the note of an idle and fruit­lesse curiosity. Wee greedily listen to the report of those things which among other Nations have beene practised in Kings Palaces and Prin­ces Courts: to know what is done to the damned in Hell, if it bee not unpleasant to bee heard, much lesse will it be unprofitable to bee under­stood, especially seeing this narration is not, as the story many times of Novelties, doubtfull and uncertain. What then is the speech or language of the damned in Hell? Wisd. 5.6. Wee have err'd from the way of Truth, and the light of Righteousnesse has not shin'd unto us. Therefore we have err'd. This indeed is the consequence but where is the Antecedent? Come and let us enjoy the good things that [Page 9]are present, Ch. 2.6.7.8. let us fill our selves with costly Wine and Oyntment, and let not the floure of the spring passe by us: Let us crowne our selves with Rose-budds before they bee withered, and let us leave tokens of our joyfulnesse in every place. Be­hold this is the Antecedent made by them, an Antecedent of joy, they surfeited themselves on earth, the consequent or conclusion, a conse­quent of Eternall woe is made in hell. Silly Logicians, for when they had fram'd to themselves the Antecedent, they ought then to have subjoyn'd the consequent. Come and let us enjoy the good that are present (This the Antecedent) the conse­quent or conclusion should present­ly have beene added: Therefore we erred; for wee must either repent in this life or burne in the other. We must breake off our sinnes by Re­pentance, and not sinne without cea­sing. Here we must expect to beare the Crosse, not hope to weare the Crowne. Here we must fight, strive against the world, the devill and our owne lusts, hereafter triumph, ther­fore [Page 10]we have erred (It is a good and true conclusion, but fram'd too late) and the light of Righttousnesse hath not shin'd unto us. And what (may one demand) is this light of righteousnesse or justice: If it bee the property of Iustice to give to every man his due, (as the law de­clares it) then this cannot bee deny­ed that it is the Office of justice to give to all things that estimation is due unto them. Therefore, that light of the soule which sets a true estimation upon each thing may fit­ly bee termed the light of justice or understanding. And this is that the damn'd in hell complain'd they wanted here on earth. To judge then which were the richest and strongest Wines, to deck their heads with Garlands, and to provide deli­cates for their bellies: All these things they knew full well; but that these fading vanities were not to bee preferr'd before the everlasting de­lights, this they were ignorant of, and delighted in that stupid ignorance, which lul'd them in security whil'st they tooke their fill in shamefull and [Page 11]short delights, which yet they priz'd so highly, that in comparison of them, they lowly esteemed all the joyes of Heaven, set at nought those everlasting delights, while they re­solv'd not to forsake their surfetting and drunkennesse, their venerous wantonnesse, and other sinfull plea­sures of the flesh. So deare and pre­cious to them, the liberty they took in sinning, that eternity was of no accompt with them; they lightly re­garded or indeed never thought of the life everlasting. But this is a most unjust estimation of things. The light of the understanding illu­minated, with the knowledge of di­vine truths suggests a quite contrary lesson, teaching us that eternity a­lone is highly to be esteem'd, all o­ther things little or nothing to bee regarded. Therfore have we erred, this the voyce of the damn'd in hell and that they have erred, it is plain and evident to themselves, who feele the sharp punishment of their short pleasures, and to those who heare and reade of their bitter com­plaints.

Therefore the light of Righteous­nesse hath not shined unto us. This is a truth most free from all doubt­ing and exception. There be many that will not understand, because they are minded to doe evill and no good. They flatter and deceave themselves with a voluntary and pleasing ignorance, they love to walk in crooked and by paths. Such of this rank, and number were yee, O you Inhabitants of hell: Ye would not understand that yee might doe well; therefore now you may tyre your selves with howlings and bitter cries to all Eternity. Ergo erravi­mus, therefore we have erred, and the light of Righteousnesse hath not shind unto us. This is the Psalm, and these the dolefull notes which shal be for ever chanted by those spi­rits in the infernall pit.

Attend then O ye Christians, and lift up the eyes of your soules, and delude not out of a wilfull blind­nesse those rayes of Truth which God in his word hath manifested unto us. [...]rue. 12. The Lord give us strength and enlighten our eyes. By the ver­tue [Page 13]of this light, it will bee apparent to us, that men are not to bee more esteemd then God, nor riches more than Conscience, neither mans fa­vour, more than Gods. It will moreover direct our judgements in the choice of what is best for us, teaching us that no pleasure, bee it never so delightfull, is to bee prefer­red before heavens joyes, no tem­porary things before those that bee Eternall, and not subject to Na­tures law ‘And truly (sayes Chris.) there is not the thing in this world on which a man can fasten his af­fection, who hath had a tast of hea­vens sweet delights, wherewith hee shall be filled, when he partakes of the beatificall Vision.’

This light of the understanding, our good and Gracious God was pleased to infuse in a full measure in­to the mind of Saint Austine: l. 1. Conf. clo. ‘I be­ing advertis'd (sayes he) by Gods privy Monitor the Holy spirit, to returne (after my long wandring) home to my selfe, I entred into the closet of my heart: where I beheld with the eye (such as then it was) [Page 14]of my soule, the incommutable or unchangeable light of the Lord: hee that knowes it, or hath had a sight of it, that man hath had a glimpse of eternity. By that light (so the Father goes on) I found that I was farre remote from thee O God, even in a Region of dark­nesse, farre unlike to thee, who art all light and most glorious.’ From this light of the understanding and Justice little differs that light of de­votion, of which Saint Bernard thus,

‘Entreate the Lord (sayes hee) to give thee the light of Devotion, a cleere day in thy understanding, and that spirituall Sabbath of the soule, by meanes whereof (as a Souldier discharg'd by reason of Age) in all thy labours thou mayst live without sense or feeling of thy labour and paynes taken in Gods service, whilst thou dost run cheer­fully, Serm. 3. de Circ. (thy heart being enlarged with joy) in the way of his Com­mandements.’ And pray, that what thou didst before with anguish or bitternesse of heart, and restraint of [Page 15]thy will, thou mayst ever after per­forme with delight and alacrity of spirit. To this light of Devotion, the Kingly Prophet David invites us; Come, sayes he, and be enlight­ned, Psal. 33. tast and see how Gracious the Lord is. This inward light of the soule is pleasant and lovely; it is a slame full of comfort and delight, which discovers unto man daily more and more the nature of the Deity. As this light set up by God in mans brest growes greater and greater. So (what may seeme won­derfull to relate) hee who is not ca­pable of Augmentation, may finde growth in our understandings, hee may encrease, even God who is im­mense, without bounds and limitati­on, our eternall and mercifull Crea­tour.

SYMBOLVM. I.

Lux interna.

Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum, et lumen semitis meis. Psal. 118.

Embleme. II.

A preparation to death

I am in a straight betwixt — two haueing a desire to depart & to be with Christ. phis. i. v. 23.

The second Signe. A promptnesse or readinesse to die. Set out by a Scull, the Motto that of St Paul to the

PHIL. 1.23.

J am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.

BY the scull is set out unto us a mind prepar'd, and ever ready for what death soever. And be ye, saith Christ, like unto men, that expect their Masters returne from the wed­ding, that when hee comes and knocks, yee may open presently unto him. ‘The Lord then knocks (so Saint Gregory) when, Hom. 13. in Evang. afflicting thee with some sore disease, he denoun­ces the neare accesse of death, to whom we presently open, if we en­tertaine him thus comming unto [Page 18]us by sicknesse, with love.’ That man does not willingly open to the Judge thus knocking, who trembles to thinke of his exit from the body, when he shall be haled by his execu­tioner, into the presence of that God, whom hee remembers to have con­temn'd whilst he lived; the thoughts of standing one day before him as his Iudge, this fills the sinners con­science with horrour and dread. But contrariwise, he whose mind is setled with the Anchor of a firme Hope, and secured with the Conscience of his good works to man, and piety to God, that man opens without de­lay at Gods first knocke, he rejoyces that hee is now called to his desired Haven of rest, and for the glory of the future reward, even the everlast­ing joys of the heavenly Paradise, he rejoyces even in the midst of sorow, when his eyes are water'd with tears. Why doe wee not desire then to bee dissolv'd, Phil. 1. Aug. de doctrina Christiana and to bee with Christ? This no doubt is farre better, then that the time of our sad sojourning here be prolong'd. He cannot dy ill, that hath liv'd well, neither hee dye [Page 19]well, who hath liv'd ill, whose life hath beene a continued practise of impiety and profanenesse. And what is that we so much feare should be taken and snatcht from us? What is our life but a Scene of mockeries and follies, a sea of miseries? Be the shippe what it will wherein thou art carryed, bee it made of Gold or of Silver, of precious stones, or Wood, thou canst not avoyd the fury of the waves which will beate against it, many rockes shalt thou meet with, on many a shallow or shelfe wilt thou sticke. Blessed and happy is the man who hath sailed over this Sea; Blessed is hee who is escap'd the danger of it, and is now in the heaven of security and rest. If there bee any (as there are many) who in the middle or prime of their dayes are snatch'd out of this life by an unexpected death, they ought no more to complaine of this, then hee that hath soone and safely pass'd o­ver the Sea. Why then doe we feare death which is the end of our la­bours, and the beginning of our re­wards: The sentence of death is [Page 20]pass'd upon all flesh, by him who is the Iudge of Heaven and Earth. None escap'd it in the former ages, and none shall avoyd it in those that are to come. Many are gone the way before us, and wee must all follow their steps Wee were borne with this condition, and are bound by this Law to goe whether all men go, to the Grave. Death is the end of all men, the bound which no man shall passe. It is a remedy to many who are afflicted with misery; in that it cures them of their griefe, and translates them to glory. It is the Godly mans wish, desir'd by those who are predestinated to everlasting life, to these death gives a release from sorrowes, and sets a period to griefe, and beyond which their cala­mities and misfortunes shall not passe. It would bee extreame folly, and madnesse to resist the decree of a most bountifull and gracious Lord, to deny the payment of that Tribute which all do pay, to covet that free­dome which is granted to none. The Christians Divinity is of a higher straine, which teacheth us to have [Page 21]death in our desires, and to enjoy our life with patience.

The Swan (if we may believe So­linus) in her life time is sadd and makes a lamentable noise, Lib de mi­rabil: mun. but at her death is joyfull and sings. The Elect do the same, while they live, they sigh and mourne, they rejoyce in their death, being assur'd, that they shall for ever rejoyce and sing with the Saints and Angels in the Quire of Heaven.

Wee read of a Swan-like song chanted by old Simeon not long be­fore his death. Lord, Luke 2. now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. And why do we lament and mourn, when the cottages of our bodyes are ruin'd and pull'd downe? For wee know that if our earthly house of this Tabernacle were dissolv'd, 2 Cor. 5. wee have a building with God, an house not made with hand, Eternall in the heavens.

First, Who will not rise with hast and speed from an hard bed? They onely loyter and delay, who being delicately entertaind with the soft­nesse of their warme Feathers, can­not [Page 22]easily forsake their downy nest. What? art thou sicke of this life? art thou afflicted in it? I suppose then to passe to a better, thou wilt be contented. Art thou in a good con­dition, and dost thou flourish with health and happinesse? It will not bee hurtfull to thee, then, if death put a sodaine period to thy life, least thy prosperity prove thy ruine, and procure to thee, as it hath to many, a grievous though late destruction. Therefore (as Tertullian rightly sayes) ‘wee ought not to feare that, which delivers us from all our feares, and that is death.’

God is mercifull to a man, re­leases him from a long torment, when he shortens his life, and makes it as it were but a halfe a spanne. Therefore that Generous and N [...] ­ble Martyr, Cyprian hearing of Va­lerians decree against him (Thasci­um Cyprianum gladio animadverti placet, It is my wil that Cyprian dye by the sword) he hearing this, lifting up his hands and eyes to Heaven, said; Thankes bee to God who is pleased in mercy to quit mee from [Page 23]the bonds and fetters of this body. Lib. de bono Mor. ‘Saint Ambrose wonders at some men, who when they were to dye, would rather be thrust by force out of their prison, then led out of it by faire entreaty. And what is there (sayes hee) in this life but a continuall fight and strife with Anger, Lust, and Gluttony?’ Chrys. is of the same minde with him, what plea hast thou for thy selfe O man? Jn c. 1. ad col. Thou art invited to a king­dome, to the kingdome of the Son of God, and yet thou altogether delayest to come, and as idle per­sons use to doe, thou dost scratch thy head and yawne. What? if thou wert bound every day to meet a thousand deaths, wouldst thou refuse to under goe them All, so that at length thou mightst by them enter into Heavens joyes?’ And what wouldst thou not doe, what paine so grievous, which thou wouldst not willingly sustaine for Princely honour, for a Diademe or a Crowne? Now seeing thou shalt one day raigne with Christ, as a King, wilt not thou, then fly from [Page 24]it, court death, expose thy selfe nak­ed to the peril of a thousand swords, and leape cheerfully into the scorch­ing flames? Nay, contrariwise thou mournest, because thou art to leave this vale of misery, and teares, and canst bee content to set up thy Ta­bernacle to dwell here, so that in the meane time thou mayst pamper thy flesh with delicacies and good cheare. Good God! what a madnesse pos­sesses thy vaine thoughts, and yet in the meane time thou supposest death to bee the most terrible of all terribles. That which causes this folly, this vanity in our desires, are the delights of the flesh and earthly pleasures: for on the contrary he that grones under the burthen of poverty, and griefe, such a man with the Pro­phet David, desires the wings of a Dove, that so hee may flee away and bee at rest, being freed from all his miseries and distresses. It is with us Christians as with young Birds newly fledg'd, wee are loath to for­sake their warme nests, but the lon­ger they stay in it, the weaker they commonly prove, and more unable [Page 25]for flight. Now this present life is as it were a nest compacted of mud and mosse; bragge never so much of thy stately buildings, and pride thy selfe in thy Palaces emboss'd with Gold, and shining most glori­ously with precious stones, thy phan­cie may swell thee to a high conceit of thy selfe for these, my reason tells mee, they differ nothing from the Swallowes nests, winter defaces these, time and death thy pleasures. The truth of this is confirm'd by that Golden mouth'd Father Chrys. ‘All things (sayes he) doe fade and fall, and we with them, and for the most part the safer is our conditi­on, how much our fall and disso­solution is more suddaine. So the wise man, the just man is taken a­way, least wickednesse seasing upon his soule change it, being subject to alteration and decay.’ Hee be­leeves not the resurrection of his bo­dy, who hastens not in his desires to passe to the Heavenly joyes from earths sorrowes and miseries. If a house totter in a storme, and threa­tens every houre to quash us with his [Page 26]fall doe not wee speedily forsake i [...]? and if the ship we are in be in dan­ger of being sunke, in a tempest, what is more thought of, and more desird, then a secure and quiet Ha­ven? This world and all things in it are subject to ruine and decay: wee are tossed here with the waves of affliction, and stormes of griefe; even as if wee were riding upon the maine sea: Shall we not then think of an Haven of repose and rest? Why doe wee not greedily desire to goe to our heavenly Father? even to the place of blisse, where our company is desired by them that are neare and deare unto us, those glori­ous and happy Saints, who are secure and certaine of their owne welfare, onely carefull and sollicitous for ours. O how happy and blessed are the dead that dye in the Lord? Apoc. c. 1 19. be­cause they rest (as it were) in the bo­some of the Lord, and they thus resting their death to them is, but a sleepe. Acts 7. So wee reade of Stephen when he was assaild with a storme of stones, even in the midst of so great a tumult and noise of his enraged [Page 27]enemies, the Text sayes that He fell a sleepe, hee slep't in the Lord. So Our Lord and Saviour speaking of his beloved Lazarus uses these com­fortable words. Jo. 11.11. Our friend Laza­ras steepeth. Deut. 34: So Moses the servant of the Lord breath'd out his last breath where and when his Lord commanded. And as a loving Mo­ther kisses her tender infant sleeping in her bosome, and afterwards says it downe softly in it's Cradle to take its rest; so there be some who hold­ing close to the Scripture phraise, sticke not to say, that Moses was dandled (as it were) by the hands of the Almighty, was (if wee may so speak) with a kisse and embrace layd to sleepe in Abrahams brest. The Psalmist in a manner insinuates thus much, 1 27. Psa. 3. so hee giveth his beloved sleepe. And this gift is an inheri­tance which comes from the Lord, a blessing which he bestowes onely on his Elect. Thrice happy are these soules who thus sleep in death, Yea from henceforth (saith the spirit) that they may rest from their labours, for their workes doe follow them, as [Page 28]servants doe their Master, sons their Father, and Nobles their Prince; they follow them to Gods Tribu­nall, they attend them to the high Court of Heaven, where will bee admittance only for so noble a train. Whosoever therefore is predestinated to life, hee will commend death as the onely remedy to ease and sweet­ten Natures griefe, because he knows there is no other way to passe to hea­venly joyes; and for that such a man is alwayes prepared for death, he thus reasons with himselfe.

Why doe I tremble at the name of Death? 2 why should I feare to dye? I doe but walke that way, I tread but that common and beaten path, which my Fathers and all men have trod, why then should I alone desire that priviledge, which as yet has beene enjoyd by none? I will then doe that willingly, which, will I, nill I, must bee done. I know whatsoever is undertaken with a wil­ling mind, the burden that attends it is lessend, if not quite taken away, and where the cheerfulnesse of the will comes, there the vexation, which [Page 29]necessity commonly brings with it, findes no roome. Neither have I any just cause to decline or shrink at Death, sith by the meanes of it I cease to be that which I unwillingly am, and that is mortall and subject to corruption, I receivd this flesh, wherewith my soule is clad upon these termes of restoring it (when it was demanded) to its Lord, and I will therefore restore it cheerfully, knowing that I shall at the Resur­rection receave it againe with an ad­dition and encrease of glory. As yet I am detaind from the sight of my God by meanes of those delayes which Mortality does enforce, and which are but a praeludium to a bet­ter life. For that last houre which most men so dread and feare, is the beginning of that day which shall last for ever. When a man then is upon his death bed, and feeles the night of death approaching: Let him solace himselfe with these words There will come a day which will redeeme me from the darksome pri­son of the Grave, and reduce me to the comforts of everlasting life. I [Page 30]will therefore cheerefully and most willingly goe out of this world in assurance that I shall bee admitted into a better, with what great joy shall I entertaine that gladsome day, wherein I shall bee assign'd to my proper home, (here I am but a stranger) and wherein I shall bee snatch'd from the fetters of my bo­dy, and snares of the flesh to an everlasting inheritance in the hea­venly Paradice? I confesse, O Lord, the guflt of many and great sinnes wherewith my Conscience is stain'd, yet this is my comfort, that thy Mer­cy is like the great Ocean, wherewith the earth is bounded. Into this Ocean will I throw my selfe with bosdnesse and confidence, when I finde my thoughts dejected, and feele deaths approach, being assaul­ted by its forerunner, a mortall sicknesse: Thus casting my selfe in­to the bosome of the Almighty, and throwing my soule into the Armes of his Mercy; I shall quit my selfe of all the bands of this life's sinfull misery: And in an holy subjection to Gods will, I wish that death [Page 31]would hasten his approach; when­soever hee comes and knockes at my doore, he shall finde me willing and prepar'd to entertaine his message, and so to rest from my labours. I am no [...]uch an enemy to quiet and case, as to refuse after the toylesome working dayes of this life to keepe Holy-day, and to solemnize an eter­nall Sabbath with God and his holy Angels in heaven. And why should I not then rejoyce with gladnesse when I shall close the dayes of this sorrowfull life, which is nothing else but an Aegypt of Calamities, and shop of miseries? when I shall cut off that Yoke the world calls fortune being no more subject to casualties and vexations, and troubles, and be­gin a day which shall not bee shut up with night but be freed from all gloomy just and darknesse.

Most welcome will that Messenger be whom the King of glory shall send unto me to summon me out of this world, & to releaseme out of this dark prison to enjoy everlasting felicity, being loosn'd from the fettars of mor­tality, I then shall be enabled to per­forme [Page 32]those holy duties, which I could never doe so long as I was clogg'd with the burden of my flesh. The Bird needs no ejectment, but speedily flyes out, so soone as ever the Cage is open'd; even so I being long since cloid with the toyles of this life, most willingly (when God shall call me) will take my slight to those large and pleasant fields of immortall glory: I am solicitous about the place and manner of my death, but of the time alrogether carelesse: whether I dye to day or to morrow, this weeke or the next I [...]are not. His will bee done, who made me and all things of nothing. The will of God is my rule, accor­ding to which I square my desires and proportion my thoughts both for life, and death. No ill can bee fear'd, or expected from him, who is goodnesse it selfe, and the Author of our life and salvation. And may not the Potter doe what he lists with an earthen Pitcher, may he not break it if hee will, or polish it upon the wheele? I am an earthen Vessell made by the hand [...] that great Ce­lestiall [Page 33]Potter (be it spoken with Re­verence) shall I then complaine and whimper when hee that fram'd and fashion'd me, shall crumble me into dust, that he may cast me into a new mould, and turne my misery into joy, making me for ever blessed and happy? Is it his will I should spin a songer thred of life? I am content to doe it, so long as he is pleass'd to will it: Is God willing I should dye and be gathered to my Fathers? my will joyfully meetes with his, and I desire that death may arrest my be­dy without all delayes. I would not live a moment longer then God pleases.

My beginning is from God, and he is my end, the end of my Hope, and whatsoever hee shall send and think fitting for mee, I will enter­taine and receave it with a cheerefull alacrity, Phil. 1. imitating herein Saint Paul who thus sayes of-himselfe, Christ is to me an advantage both in life and death. My heart is enflam'd with the love of thee O my God, and I desire to be more enflam'd: Let my heart bee melted with this fire of [Page 34]love. No creature (O my most deare God) besides thee can make mee blessed, or any way happy: And when shall I appeare in thy presence? when (O my God) shall my winged Soule fly away from hence to thee, and be at rest. I fol­low thee, Blessed Saviour, I follow thee in my desires, which then are most earnest, when I come nearer to thee in any bodily griefe or Sick­nesse. Neither ought these desires to seeme strange in a good Christian; for as a Physitian (sayes Theophy­lact) when he sees his patient loath that diet be prescribed, and refuse to drink his potions he first tasts of them himselfe, that by his example he may induce the sick man to ad­mit of his Physick, so Christ our blessed Saviour, himselfe first drank of Death's bitter cup, that wee his Servants, his redeemed, his follow­ers might not bee afraid to pledge him but looke death in the face with that undaunted cheerefullnesse which becomes those who have God for their Father and Christ for their [Page 35]Redeemer. And now Christian Brother, although thou art of a fearefull nature, strive to excite and raise thy fainting Spirits with these or such like Divine expressions. Be speake God in the words of the Pro­phet David, and say with an em­boldened confidence, and with a spirit unappal'd with the feare of Death, I will receive the Cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. The Cup indeed is bitter, Psal. 116.12. it hath Wormwood in it, but my Saviour hath sweetned it, having first drank to mee of it when he suffered upon the Crosse for my sinnes. That Cup is Deaths fatall potion which Christ tasted willingly to purchase our salvation, and all must drinke of it without exception. All men must, why then should J alone re­fuse it? who ever hee bee whether Prince or Peasant, Bond or free, that hath entered upon the Stage of mortality, and hath begun to act his part in this lifes sinfull Tragedy, he must necessarily have his Cata­strophe, he must have an end that [Page 36]he may begin to Act a better part in the Theater of heaven, and be­ginne a new life which nver shall have end. Hence then all vaine and idle feares, A way all vexing griefe and tormenting sadnesse. The Cup which my Hea­venly Father puts into my hand, which Christ has temperd with his sweetnesse, and drank deepe of it, shall I not drinke off that; I who am, mortall, whose composirion tends to ruine, shall not I make it my study and a part of my daily bu­sinesse to learne to die? wee read that when Alexander and the Ma­donian lay sick of a desperate dis­ease, and some of his friends who were too scrupulous had suggested to him that his Phisition by name Philip intended to give him poyson in his Physick, The King when hee beheld Philip comming with his potion, he raised himselfe upon his Pillow, and thus entertained his Physition, with one hand hee gave him his friends letters to read, with the other hee took the potion from [Page 37] Philip, And putting it to his mouth hee fixed his Eye; upon the Physi­tians face, knowing that if guilt were in his Conscience, it would discover it selfe by the speaking blu­shes of his countenance, and when he was fully satisfied, that no mis­chiefe was intended by his Physi­tion, whose face spake him not guil­ty, in that it was not stain'd with a blushing confusion, the King with great confidence drank up the poti­on. Thus by Gods grace will I do in this lifes pilgrimage, my Iesus, my Physition, and my sweet Savi­our hath prepard and temperd for mee a Cup, which will cast mee into a long and sweet sleepe: whilst I drink of it, I will fasten my eyes upon his, and fix my looke upon the gratious countenance of my Crucified Lord: In the which I may read written in the bloody Cha­racters of his passion his excessive love to mee, and then with a Mar­tyr like and cheerfull spirit, I vvill drink off the potion, vvhich the more bitter it is, is better for us and the more vvholesome.

By this meanes deare Christian Brother, may the sting of Death be blunted, the force of his blow weakned, and Death it selfe may be conquer'd, if wee arme our selves against it by holy meditations, if it be often thought on, and never feared;

SYMBOLVM. II.

Promptitudo ad mortem.

Coarctor autem e duobus: desiderium habens dissolui, et esse cum Christo. ad Philipp. Cap. 1.

Embleme. 3.

Frequenting of the Sacrament

This is the bread which cometh downe from heaven, that hee which eateth of it should not die, Iohn. 6.56.

The third Signe. A frequent use, or receiving of the Sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord: Set out by a gol­den Cup with these words taken out of the.

6. IOHN 56.

This is the bread which com­meth downe from Heaven, that be which eatch of it should not die.

WEE read in the 2. Acts 42. that the primitive Christi­ans, who were converted to the Faith by Christ and his Appostles, were not daunted by the fury of [Page 40]their Enemies, not discourag'd in their profession by their persecutors malice but continued (as the Text speakes) in the Apostles Doctrine, and fellowship and breaking of Bread and Prayers.

And it is observed by some that when the religious custome of fre­quenting the communion flagg'd and ceased. Then that fervency of Spirit and ardor of love grew could, Then that Sanctity or holinesse began to decay which before shined in the lives and Actions of those Christians, who were burning and shining lights in their example and practice of all holy performances, here the Divell bends all the force of his endeavours, in this one thing he labours with all his art and cun­ning to hinder as many as hee can from the frequent use of the Eucha­rist or holy Communion. And good God how many obstacles, how many lets and impediments hath he invented, how many rubbs has he laid in our way to retardate our intentions and stop the progresse [Page 41]of our devotion, sometimes he shaks our Faith with the blasts of doub­ting feares, when this suggestion succeeds not and takes no effect, then he colours his Tentation and sug­gests to our soules that great reve­rence wherewith we should come to these reverend and holy mysteries, and that the seldomer we come, we shall tast and find a greater sweet­nesse in them. At other times hee proposes to us the example of o­thers who seldome communicate, and yet are thought good Christians Againe sometimes hee stires up his Instruments to vex and disquiet us with opprobrious speeches, that so he may prevent and hinder [...]s, some­time he presseth our thoughts with the lumber of worldly businesse, or troubles our heads with vaine and wandring thoughts and afflicts our hearts with the anguishes and terrors of a guilty Conscience, if all these will not doe, then he stirres up in us strife and hatred against our friends and Neighbours, by all which meanes he detaines our soules [Page 42]from all love and affections to Go [...] and holy duties, and makes our pre­pararion to the Sacrament hard and difficult, and full of paine and vex­ation. Some he deceives thus, hee perswades out of a pretence or shew of Religion to deferre that which they know ought not to be omitted. Thus this Grand Impostor being of a Serpentine nature, winds and turnes himseife into divers shapes and trickes, sets upon us with his cunning wilds and delusions. And hence it is that delay followes upon delay, and one good purpose and re­solution upon the neck of another, whilst wee deferre from day to day, from weeke to weeke, nay from yeare to yeare to come to Christ in this heavenly Supper, nay which argues our wickednesse and sinfull corrup­tion, we seldome come to this ban­quet but when we are driven and forc'd to it by the Lawes compul­tion.

We find Recorded Luk 14. that a certaine man made a great Supper and bad many, Verse 16 and sent at supper­time [Page 43]his Servant to say to them that were bidden Come for all things now are ready. And they all with one mind began to make excuse.

One said hee, had bought a farme, another Oxen, a third reply'd that he had maried a Wife. No man is at leisure when he is to come to Christ, who is lively represented in the supper of the Eucharist. To pretend the care of Wife and Fami­ly is an excuse that carries with it some plausibility, yet indeed it is at­tenced with great folly, shall we not for one houre lay aside all worldly thoughts and distempering cares, the care of our Farmes, Oxen, and Wives, and what else is deare and precious to us, that so we may the better imploy our selves in the study and performance of those things which concerne the eternall good and welfare of our soules.

If wee were call'd to plow or to some such toylesome worke, there would be some reason for it, if wee should choose rather to sleepe then digge: but being invited to sit down [Page 44]at a feast with Christ, where wee have none other food but his owne body and blood, to withdraw our selves from this banquet, to shunne this Feast is certainely a signe of an impudent madnesse.

If wee did fly from an angry God wee should shew that we descend from Adams race and lineage, Gen. 3. but to flye from an appeased and mer­cifull God, from a God that invites us with all love and sweetnesse to his Table adornd vvith heavenly dain­ties, to turne from so good a God, is the property not of men but beasts. But that our excuses may not vvant their varnish and colours vve do not palliate and cover our faulty Idle­nesse vvith filthy and illegall pre­tences, vve pretend not our Thefts nor the foulenesse of our Adulteries, to be the cause of our abstaining from this heavenly Feast: but our excuse is fram'd and built upon co­lourable and honest things. For it is no sinne to marry nor to take care for ones Family, to buy Cattle and purchase Land is a point of good [Page 45]Husbandry: But I pray tell mee, what good will all these things doe thee, what profit wilt thou reape by them, if in cleaving to these thou loosest God thy chiefest good, and endangerest thy salvation? Wee must take care when we pamper the body that we starve not the soule, and he that purchases a Farme or buyes a field with the losse of hea­ven is a worse foole, then he was of whom we read in the Gospell, who cared more for a full Barne then hee did for God.

When wee are Invited to dine or sup with some great man, we lay a­side all businesse for that time, and whilest wee converse with God the King of Heaven and Lord of the Angells at this supper of the holy Eucharist, Farmes, and Oxen, and Wife are to be neglected, all busi­nesse and worldly cares are to bee silenc'd and suppressed: yet we of­ten times proceed to that impudent bouldnesse, that we feare not to say wee cannot come, we should speake more truly in saying, wee will not, [Page 46]so long as we persever in this bold Impudence, can vve hope to pur­chase Gods favour, or tast the sweet of his goodnesse? Ah wretch­ed soules! miserable men that wee are, hurtfull to none more then our selves, vvee freeze with could and yet shun the fire, sick vve are and contemne him that can cure us, and the more need vve have of a Physi­tion, by so much the lesse vvee feele and are sensible of our malady and sicknesse.

Wee loath svveet Manna and hunt after stinking Onyons. Exod. 16. God in times past commanded the Israe­lits, to gather Manna every day, but to rest on the Sabbath: And vvee (God be praised) have our Manna far more precious then that of the Israelites, We have the vvord and his Sacraments; this Manna vvee may freely use so long as vvee have breath in our Nostrills before death surprise us, and our soules be tran­slated to enjoy an eternall Sabbath vvith God and his holy Angells. But poore deceived Wretches vvee [Page 47]follow our first Fathers steppes; A­dam [sayes Gerson] would not, when he might eat of the Tree of life, justly therefore was he puni­shed, afterwards he could not when he would;’ even so wee whilst wee may, will not accept of mercies: and herein we betray our proud and con­tumatious Arrogancy, wee post and fly with all hast to rich mens Feasts, but wee are hardly drawne and that seldome to the Table of Christ, wee are not more drousie and lesse active in any one thing, then in that which is the maine, even our soules salva­tion.

In other matters wee shew an active agility, in this only a senseles and dull stupidity which that God Almighty may correct and amend in us, he sends us to the Ant, an ex­ample of Industry and diligence; Prov. 6. Go to the Ant thou stuggard, Behould her wayes and be wise. She by the very guidance and Instinct of Na­ture, knowing that food is not to be got in Winter, gathers her food in Harvest and prepares her meat in Summer.

Thus ought we to doe with more care and circumspection of thoughts out of a religious providence and prospection to our soules good, should provide in the Summer of our flourishing youth, in the Harvest of this life, that v [...]t cum, that spirituall food which may bestead and com­fort us in the Autumne of our old Age, and in the could winter of Death.

Christ Commends unto us this Immortall food, Jo. 6.51. where he sayes; He that eateth of this Bread shall live for ever.

This bread is his body crucified upon the Crosse. He that feeds on this bread by the mouth of Faith, ap­plying to his soule for pardon of his sinnes, the merit of his Saviours death and passion, that man shall ne­ver see death, shall escape damnation. And they that are predestinated to Eternall life doe labour for this heavenly and soule quickning food, more then the Glutton does for deli­cacyes, whose Belly is his God.

Christ when hee gave us this vitall [Page 46]bread, this precious morsell, char­ging us to communicate oft, when he said Doe this &c. intended not it should be slighted with a prophane neglect. Our ordinary food, our daily repast, keepes the body in life and strength, which otherwise by meanes of our naturall heat would be impay'rd and presently consum'd. No lesse but rather grea­ter vertue is in this blessed Sacra­ment of Christs body and blood, by meanes of it, the life of our soule is preserved, which otherwise would be wasted by that devouring heat of our impure lust and concupisence which rages in the best; ‘There­fore Innocentius his Counsell may here take place. We must beware (sayes he) least by d [...]e ring too long to receive the blessed Sacra­ment, the food of life, we incurre the hazard of eternall Death, St. Hilary gives us the same advice; Let us feare seast being abstracted or separated from the body of Christ (i e. never communica­ting with the faithfull in the holy Eucharist) we be hereafter severd [Page 50]and banishd from God our Saviour we that never cease to sin should never cease to partake of the holy Communion:’ But this is our ma­lady, this one thing is our chiefe let and impediment, Rather then wee will cease to sin, wee forbeare to come to the blessed Communion; We had rather desert this heavenly Table then shake hands and bid a­dew to our petulant wickednesse. wee are unwilling to be led sweetly, as it were by the hand from our pol­lutions and impurity, to an holy conversation and practise of piety. Wee beleeved once the lying Ser­pent perswading us that we shall be Gods, but we give no credence, no beliefe to God, assuring us that if we frequent this caelestiall banquet.

Wee shall be converted and chan­ged into his divine nature, through the Sanctification of his blessed Spi­rit. Consider what Christ promiseth He that eateh my flesh and drink­eth my blood, Joh. 6.56. dwelleth in mee and J in him: Wee heare Christ pro­mising, but we do not readily be­leeve him.

Christ commands us to doe this in memory, of his death and Passion upon the Crosse, And no doubt his will is that we often do this: We conceive that his praecept is equall and just, but we contrary to what Christ intended, will not per­swade our selves, that this Com­memoration is often to be celebra­ted. All the ancient holy Fathers advise us in their writings to come often to this feast. Their Counsaile does not displease us but our Cor­rupt and vitious custome prevaile with us. All the holy Martyrs and Confessors in the Primitive times have shind before us in their Godly example, inviting us to the practise of those Saint-like and Re­ligious duties.

The light of their piety shines in our eyes, but we will not conforme our selves to them by a Godly imi­tation of their vertues.

But to discover farther the cor­rupt perversenesse of our natures, let us put case, That as oft as A man received the Communion, he were to receive withall a thousand [Page 53]Crownes: If this condition were annexed to his duty, there were no need of any Rhethoricall expressi­ons to allure him, those Arguments dressed in Gold would command his obedience by a sweet force and unresistable violence.

On these termes of conjuring, we should rather want a staffe to keepe the rude multitude off, then a goade to prick them on. Oh the blinde­nesse of man, we cannot see Gold but our affections are inflam'd with a love and desire of it, because wee consider not that mine that rich treasure which is wrapped up and onteinedhidden in the blessed Sacra­ment, therefore it is by us entertaind with neglect, and vilified, That vast masse of Gold in both Indies com­pard with this unvaluable Jewell, is but dirt and mudde.

It is beyond the pitch of the sub­limest understanding to set upon it a true value and estimation. For by vertue of this holy Eucharist (or Christs body and blood crucified, represented to us in it) our sins past of what nature or degree so ever are [Page 53]blotted out of Gods booke, sins to come are prevented, the strength of our imbred vitious corruptions is weakned, our understanding is en­lightned; Our will and affections stirred up and incited to the desire and love of God and goodnesse, our conscience is cleard being disbur­thened of its heavy load: And by meanes of it we are furnished with spirituall Armature against the De­vill. It corroborates our Spirits, that we faint not in adversity; It sustaines and supports our natures that wee fall not in prosperity. It confirmes us in the way of Godli­nesse with constancy and patience, Lastly by the holy Eucharist we re­ceive a pledge of future glory, and by it we get a rich purchase, the con­tempt of death, and desire of heaven, the moderation of affections, and loathing of our vices, and a love of vertues, the victory over our selves, and perseverance in good workes. But one may object, I dare not come by reason of my great pollu­tion, my thoughts are vaine, my heart is uncleane, and not w [...]rmd [Page 54]with the love of God, therefore I dare not come to the holy Commu­nion.

This excuse is either bad or to no purpose, for the more wicked thou art the lesse is thy accesse to it to bee deferr'd. Art thou uncleane, come first bewailing thy sins.) The [...]ucharist is a pure and living foun­taine, it will wash away thy staines, Art thou sick, come, for it is the only medicine and Antidote whereby the maladies and diseases of thy soule may be cured.

Art thou pinch'd with an holy hunger after righteousnesse. Come for the Eucharist is the bread of Angells. Is thy Soule benumm'd with a deadly chillnesse, with a Le­thargy of sin? defer not to come for the Eucharist is such a fire, such an heavenly flame, that will warme thy spirit and enflame it with devo­tion.

Do thy spirituall Enemies, the Divell or the Flesh molest and vex thee, distrust not but come, for here is an Armory, out of which thou may'st fetch weapons to wound and [Page 55]subdue any of thy Ghostly Adver­saries. Art thou sad and consumd with wasting griefe? Here is Wine that maketh glad the heart of man. Desirest thou delicacies? certainely there are not better then these which are exhibited in this banquet, and cheares the heart of Kings. Art thou in love with thy heavenly Country, dost thou long after it in thy desires, and art thou moving to it? Be­hold here is thy Viaticum, thy pro­vision for the way, more costly then that was which Elias had in his pas­sage to mount Horeb. If Christs Garment had such virtue in it, that being only to touch'd, it could stop an Issue of blood, what efficacy, what power may we conceive, to be in his body, when it is received and applyed by the hand of faith.

But you may say I am unworthy to partake of that divine food, nei­ther can I afford or give that reve­rence unto it, which is meet. I be­seech you deare Brother let us not cover and cloake our sloath­fullnesse with a colourable pretence 'of Reverence.

‘It is better (sayes Aquinas) to approach to this banquet out of love then out of a fond feare wholly to abstaine from it.’ Part. 3.2.80. Art. 10 and 3. St. Amb. expounds that Petition of the Lords Prayer; Give us this day our daily Bread, lib. 5 de Sac. c. 4. to be meant of the Supper of our Lord: ‘If it be daily Bread, why receivest thou it but once a yeare? Receive that daily which being received will profit thee. So live that thou maist be fitted to receive it daily, for he that is not fitted to receive it every day, is unworthy to receive it after a yeares space, when he has taken a surfeit in sinn and wickednesse. lib 4. de Sac. c. 6. For as St. Amb. in another place, if as often as the blood of Christ is poured out (hee meanes the Wine in the chalice, which is a signe of his blood) it is poured out for the remission of sins,’ It concerns mee to accept it ever, ‘with joy and thankfullnesse, and that my sins may be wiped out and par­dond. I that alwayes wound my soule with sin, ought alwayes to ap­ply to those wounds a medicine: Gemmadius Massi liensis deter­mines [Page 57]this point well.’

‘I neither praise nor discommend the Art of those who receive every day the holy Eucharist, yet I ex­hort and perswade all Christians, having first subdued their affecti­ons, and repented heartily of their sins, to communicate each Lords Day: Hee that comes with a mind not infected with the love of sinne, that man comes prepared.’

And who so casts off all affections to his former sinnes, that man cea­ses to hate and begins to love God. Surely he is most ungratefull to his maker, who for his sake, and in obe­dience to his Command, will not throw away and cast out the poyson of every pestilent and foule affecti­on, that so he may come prepar'd to the holy Communion, with those that will not do this, God is highly and deservedly displeased; as ap­peares by that parable of the great man that made a Feast and invited Guests who would not come, Luk 14.16. I say unto you, (said that Mr. of the Fa­mily) that none of these men shall tast of my supper, what Lord? not [Page 58]tast of thy Supper? why they are those that will not come and tast of it, and dost thou Judge this to bee a fit punishment for their obstinate Rebellion? so it is. Their doome proceeded out of their own mouths, They said, they will not, and God sayes they shall not. Thus by their ungodly and rebellious will they shall be punish'd. When the City of Samaria was straitned with a sore famine, which threatned a generall destruction, And Elisha promised, that within a few dayes, there should be great store and plenty of corne and other provision one of the lords of that City scoffing at his predi­ction, answerd. Though the Lord would make windowes in heaven, could this thing come to passe? to whom E [...]isha replyed, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shall not eate thereof. It happend to that proud Lord, as the Prophet foretold And thus at this day are many pu­ [...]ished, They see abundance or good store of this holy bread in the Eucharist, but they eat not of it. And thou, cold Christian, whose heart [Page 59]is frozen with hatred and malice' thou who now contemnest Gods Ordinance, thou shalt see the bread upon the Table, and the Wine stand by it, but God will not give thee grace to drink of this or tast of that. Thou shalt see and heare of many who have beene refreshd by this heavenly banquet, whilst thou in the meane time art starved and famished. Because thou hast exclu­ded thy selfe, thou art debarred from comming to Gods Table, by which thou mightst have beene plentifully fed and satisfied. However it bee thus with the ungodly and wicked, yet those that are predestinated to eternall life, that are the genuine and true sons of God, count it as a marke of Gods high displeasure to want this heavenly bread, and there­fore they neglect no opportunity, omit no occasion, whereby they may obtaine and purchase it, for they are not Ignorant, that the most pro­vident Creatour hath allotted its proper food to every creature, as to Eagles birds, to Lyons wild beasts▪ to the Horse Oates, to an Ox Hay, [Page 60]to sheepe Grasse, to the Whale fishes, to man bread that comes out of the Earth, but to those that are his Sons by the grace of Adoption, hee hath appointed better food, that is bread from Heaven.

This heavenly bread, this bread of Sons, this bread of Angells, Gods adopted Saints for the most part receive with an ardent desire, with most submissive reverence, and with that affection which becomes Gods beloved Children, who had rather shew themselves to be Gods sons by immodest piety, then appeare to bee his Enemies by an impious mode­sty.

If to any ones conscience, who is in the number of the praedestinate, Christ should thus speake by the still voyce of his spirit, whilst he is recei­ving the holy Sacrament.

Consider seriously with thy most collected thoughts, what and how great things I have done and suffe­red of my meere love to thee, to ex­p [...]ate thy sinnes. Lift up the Eyes of thy so [...]e, and behold with good attention the thornes that peirced [Page 61]my head and the many Sorrowes that rent my heart. My body was wounded with whips and nails, but my soule received its wounds from many great and unsufferable Injuries. For thy sake I had almost in the garden selt deaths stroke, There the lashes of my inward griefs did anticipate the whipping of He­rods Souldiers. Thinke not with thy selfe what, I suffered from my foes, when such heauy strokes were laid on me by my freinds. Thou Know­est upon how hard a bed I dyed for thee. If thou hads't not find I had not suffered. My loue (that thou mayst vnderstand the greatnesse of it) moued me to undergoe the most bit [...]er and Ignominious death, but none could he sound more bitter and Ignominious then that I did sustaine for thee the death of the crosse. Behold I, I, who am the son of God haue died for thee, poore sinfull man, and if that death had not beene sufficient, I would not haue refused to dye a thousand times more to have redeem'd thee from the power of death and Hell. But [Page 62]what wilt thou doe for mee if thou defirest my love should continue and abide in thee, answere it with the like affection, and as I loved thee so loue mee againe. I loued thee to death, my loue nailed mee to thee crosse, but tell mee how sar shall thy loue cary thee? when Christ our louing redeemer shall thus bespeake the conscience, what man, that is predestinate, will not returne this answer, drowning first his cheekes with a flood of teares; O my deare Saviovr, my most loving Lord, I will love thee euen to death, yea to the death of the Crosse, if thou shalt be [...]se pleased to call me to it. And O my Iesus, my most sweete Jesus, would to God I might be so honourd as to dy for thee but what am I that I should think my selfe worthy to dy for thy sake to set forth thy praise, and to aduance thy Glory; And how great is thy love, oh my life and joy, which moved thee to suffer so much alone and to dye for mee?

Such heavenly dialogues, such ho­ly sighs and groanes are wont to be [Page 63]the Colloquies that passe betweene Christ and the soules of Commu­nicants, who are his elect ones, his Sons and Servants. And by such inward and familiar discourses, is God united Intimately to their soules. And for this cause we make a frequent receiving of the holy Eu­charist, a sure and Infalsible signe of praedestination. If wee come to that sacred banquet with due pre­paration, with hearts purgd from all rantour and malice, and adorn'd with faith and godly purposes of new obedience, But for all that is taught us in Bookes and out of the Pulpits, the greatest part of Chri­stians are so lull'd asleepe and be­sotted with an evill custom that nei­therexamples of the godly, nor admonitions of Gods Saints can stir them up and mould them to a more fre­quent use of the Sacrament. Poore soules such men are to bee lamented withteares, whose hearts are so flinty, whose breasts are so chill'd and fro­zen as it were with Infidelity, that they shun this bright shining and most glorious Sun, not considering [Page 64]that they are deluded by the craft and subtilty of Satan who labours by all meanes possible to extinguish the fire of divine love in us, that wee being as it were stiffe with could with the want of love to God, may live like dead men, and dye in our sinnes, and never come to the land of the living, ‘but hee that loves Christ with an ardent affection, desires nothing more then to bee where Christ is so sayes Cassido­rus. Wee may laugh at him for fol­ly and Ignorance, who sayes he loves his friend, yet desires not his pre­sence.

SYMBOLVM. III.

Frequens Sacramentorum confessionis et cōmunionis usus.

Hic est panis de caelo descendens, ut si quis ex ipso manducauerit, non moriatur. Ioan. 6.

Embleme. IV.

Renouncing All Worldly things.

What things were gaine to me those I counted losse for Christ Philip. 3. v 7

The fourth Signe. The Renouncing and lea­ving all things, for Chirst: set out by this Sym­boll. An Altar naked and uncoverd. The words taken out of the

3. PHIL. 7.

But the things which were van­tage (or a gaine) to me those I counted losse for Christs sake.

OVR blessed Saviour pro­claimes by his holy Apostle; Hee that forsaketh not all things that he possesseth, he cannot bee my Disciple. Hee hath commanded us to renounce all, hee hath perswaded [Page 66]us to renounce all, hee hath perswa­ded us to leave all (to wit, in our affections) and to follow the ex­ample of his holy life, adhering to his Heavenly Doctrine. So let e­very one wh [...]ose high-borne soul speaks him to be of a more noble stock then to cleave and stick fast in his love to things of the Earth Let every-Christian say out of a set­led Resolution, I had rather be most sharply pinched with poverty, then in the least manner shew my selfe to be Gods enemy. I had rather be spoild of all my Goods, then want his soule saving grace, poverty hath beene the cause that many have turn'd rich Merchants. not of fine silke, nor of sweet and costly spices; but of Heaven and happinesse. The Kingdome of heaven (sayes our deare Saviour) is like unto a Merchant man, seeking precious Jewells, and when he had found one, hee went and sould all that he had and bought it.

That Merchant thought it not a losse but a great gaine, to loose all his wealth and substance. Indeed hee [Page 67]was no sooser but only a seller, be­cause by parting with his money he purchas'd a gemme of great price and value. He gave to Christ in his poore members a little earthly trash, and for this Christ gave him an Acquittance under his hand to repay him in mercy with the reward of heaven. Hee contemned his Gold, and had eternall glory in pawne for it.

He was ready, if God had beene so pleas'd, to have forsaken all his Lands and possessions, and for this willing readinesse and subjection to the will of God, hee has gotten a Kingdome which hath no bounds, being Insinite and ‘without all ex­tent and limitation.’

‘Hee that has a Jewell in his pos­session (sayes Chrysostome very well) knowes himselfe to be rich, although it be unknown to others, by reason that his Jewell is hid or shut up in a bagge.’ So it is with a faithfull Christian, he knowes him­selfe to be in a happy state, although the men of the world think otherwise from whose eyes his faith and in­ward [Page 67]vertues are hid. To speake truly, we were sent by God into this world, to negotiate, not to spend our time in florh and riot; and there is none so poore and indigent, but may do as that Merchant did, he may make a purchase of Jewelss which are inestimable, not to bee prizd or valued.

Hee that hath gotten Christ hath all things, hee has God for his friend who is all in all; A God of mercy and bounty who seeks us when wee are lost, and ‘desires not our goods but only to save us (as St. Aug. sweetly meditates) to be­stow upon us the riches of his mer­cy and goodnesse.’

Neither is there any that so a­bounds in wealth and large posses­sions, but that hee may without feare of losse throw away and dis­esteeme all those, to procure these u­nions, these gemmes of Gods grace. Yet this Merchandise, this trading for Grace, exacts not of us, that actually wee leave and forsake our riches, but that we be in a preparati­on or readinesse of mind, if need be, [Page 69]to part with them. The manner of this Negotiation is not to expend all our money, to give away our meanes in a lavish and prodigall profusnesse, but to be ever resolv'd with full purpose of our hearts ra­ther to have mercy or our soules sav'd, then by sparing our money to bring them to eternall woe and misery.

A good and faithfull Christian had rather bee a beggar then Gods enemy. We must not lay downe our soule for our money, but our money for our soules, eyther by a voluntary or free contribution of it, or by our patient suffering, when we are forced to leave or loose, our Mammon. And hee that can doe this resigne up his will to his hea­venly Father, and relye upon Christ for the pardon of his sinnes, that man is praedestinated, and is in the number of those that shall be sav'd. And not only the Doctrine of the Apostles but even reason it selfe moves and invites us to this. The Story relates of one Stilpon, Stilton. to whom when his Country was de­stroy'd, [Page 70]his Children slaine, his Wife taken from him, and hee only had escapt the hands of his enemies, his friend Demetrius put this que­stion, asking him whether he had lost all? ‘I have lost nothing, re­plyed hee, for I cary all my goods all my treasure about me:’ So said that Phylosopher Bias, Bias. whose soule was planted above the world, and admired not riches. Both these car­ried in their breasts and magazin of Vertues, not to be seene with mor­tall eyes, and farre above all eatthly treasures.

To do as the former did, in an Idolater or Heathen man may bee a note or marke of a generous mind but in a Christian 'tis a signe that he is praedestinate to eternall Sal­vation, when he can forsake all and follow Christ, and count him the chiefest gaine, That man is a true servant of Christ, who being strip­p'd of all his outward goods, yet dares say in truth and sincerity; I beare all my treasure about mee. All is within mee, for I have God, and so have all things, inward joy and [Page 71]comforts, which are a pledge of my future happinesse.

We read of a holy man by name Francis Assisinas who spent many nights with great delight in medi­tating and oft repeating these foure words Deus meus et omnia i. e. my God is all in all unto mee, let us imitate the example of this good man, and in all our extremity and want, let each of us glory and re­joyce in God saying with him, Deus meus et omnia, Having God I have all things, let other men seeke after this or that, let them in a greedy per­suite of their soules desires hunt af­ter pleasing vanities, I seeke. God and him alone, him I desire, and in him I will delight. O my God thou art all in all unto mee: I leave riches and honours and pleasures to others, let mee have God, and I shall have all things: Let other men enjoy their worldly treasures, let them be Lords of this world, I envy not, their stately piles nor their golden Mountaines, I covet not their curious and exquisite de­lights, God is all in all to mee. [Page 72]There is nothing so good, nothing so comely and pleasant which is not farre outstrip'd by that cheife and supreame Good, which is beauty and excellency it selfe, O my God thou art all in all to mee, what a variety of lusts burne in mee? how many fires glow in my breast? how am I scorchd with the heat of divers wanton desires? I am so pester'd with them that I may say with that lunatike man; Sometime I am cast into the fire, Mat. 17. sometime into the wa­ter; but what are those things I pursue with so eager a greedines; Alas they are vaine, fading, and fil­thy, and besides this, momentary, they never last long but either for­sake their owners or lovers before their death or desert them when they are dying, My God, my love, my joy, my all things, what is it I can desire with my greedy Appetite, which out of thy selfe, who art a rich storehouse of blessings, thou canst not afford unto mee? O my God thou art all things, in thee are all perfections and excellencyes. Thou art meat and drink, joy and [Page 73]rest to mee. Thou art my onely delight and comfort, my chiefest honour and glory, thou art all these and more then all this to mee; for although I finde and feele a satisfaction of my desires in a large supply of my wants, and helpe in my necessities; although I am re­plenished and refieshed with meates and drinkes, and enjoy those plea­sures my soule desires, yet this en­joyment, and those replenishings, and all other refreshments without God, would turne to discomforts. My God thou art all in all to mee [...] to enioy thee, to bee refresh'd and recreated by thee, is to enjoy all good things that conduce to mans felicity. But O my God, whilst I thus challenge a share in thee; I am oppressed with labour, afflicted with Griefe, and cares distract mee, my substance is diminished, I am out of favour with the world, my friends trouble mee, and I am vex­ed by my enemies.

Thus may a good Christian ap­peale to God, yet withall will he say [Page 74]with St. Paul, I feare none of these things, Acts 20.24. neither count I my life pre­cious unto mee, so that I may fi­nish my course with joy. For all those calamities rushing on me at once are not evills so long as I have Gods aid, and assistance who is our chiefest Good. Deus meus et omnia, So long as I have God, I have all things, and care for nothing else. Thou O my God, O Goodnesse it selfe, thou art my rest in labours, my delight in griefes, my security in the midst of my cares, Thou art wealth to mee in poverty, thou art a Castle of defence to shield me from the in­vasion and violence of my foes; a refuge in the time of trouble, when I am straitned by any calamities, Thou art all things to mee, even whatsoever my heart can desire or wish. Riches and plenty to mee, without God is poverty. But why do poore mortall men thirst after impure and muddy streames, whilst they pretermit and neglect the foun tame? we have a most cleare and soule-refreshing Spring, of which if [Page 75]wee tast with the mouth of faith wee shall feele how good it is.

This spring or fountaine is God, having him, wee have al things, that can fall within the compasse of our desires.

If our soules stand in this posture with God, if wee esteeme him our only and chiefe Good, when pover­ty whips us, when fortune frownes on us, although our joy may bee a little Ecclipsed, yet our sorrow shall be much abated, no casualty shall hurt us, and death shall not af­fright us, being out of the reach of both these, the only bug-beares of proud distrustfull worldlings.

There is a second sort of Chri­stians not inferiour to the former in content and happinesse. These with Lot and Abraham' have large possessions but adhere not unto them in their love and affections; They have Gold in their Chest, but God in their heart. And there­fore greive not immoderately, when having lost all, they are brought to extreme want and po­verty [Page 76]for indeed, that is lost with­out griefe, which is possest without love. But those things which wee love ardently, whilest they are in our possession, we bewaile the losse of them with bitter lamentation. So sayes St. Greg: That good which makes us truly good and hap­py, we gladly receive, and part with it not easily: for that cannot bee term'd our proper and true Good, which may be taken from us by the hand of violence. Go to now, Sa­tan, Act thy malice to thy height, do what thou pleasest, use all thy subtle shifts and devices; Act the part of a Messenger, faine thy selfe to be a post, or Carrier (Thou shalt finde to thy greife, that the whole race of Iobs family is not quite ex­tinct, yet there lives those who with a chearefull willingnesse can bid adieu to all their lost possessi­ons) Run therefore and tell such an one, cry aloud in his Eare, and say, Thy money and all thou had'st, is wasted and consumed by fire: Heare now what he will retort by way of [Page 78]Answer to thy Message, I had bin an undone man if I had not lost my money. Now that I am disburdned of this thick clay, I shall walk more nimbly, and and move with more Agility to heaven, which is my Country, a place of Rest and ever­lasting Glory. God hath eased me of a deare, yet a dangerous burthen, and hath put me into a more happy condition. And what God inten­ded for a Remedy to prevent sinne in mee, I shall not account that a losse, but a great gaine. Why then should I afflict my selfe in vaine with griefe and sadnesse for the losse of those things, which I ever enjoy'd with a mind willing to lose, and leave them, whensoever it pleased God to strip mee of these outward Comforts, and repay mee with spi­rituall and Inward consolations? Now I am more mine owne, whilst those things are no longer mine.

Heare this O yee muck-wormes, yee Foxes of the World, that have nested your selves and your soules in earth, and have drowned your [Page 78]thoughts in voluptuous delights, scarce ever thinking of Heaven, or future happinesse. Heare and con­sider what is the language and opi­nion of those who are predestinate to bee Heires of the cesestiall para­dice, who cannot sustaine so great a lesse, but that they will break out in­to this joyfull expression. It is no losse but usury, when for a small dammage we find a profitable re­turne, with great advantage, and whenby parting with a small pit­tance of earth, we obtaine Heaven.

SYMBOLVM. IV.

Renunciatio omnium.

Quae mihi fuerunt, lucra, haec arbitratus sum propter Christum detrimenta: ad Philipp. 3.

Embleme. V.

Patience in Tribulation

Blesed are yee that weepe now for yee shall laugh-Luke 6. v. 21

The fifth Signe. IS Perpetuall Tribulation at­tended with patience, Set out unto us by a Rose-Tree, which is full of Prickles, with this Motto.

LVK 6.21.

Blessed are yee that weepe now [...] for yee shall laugh.

WEE read in the Gospell of St. Luk, c. 16.25. that when the rich Glutton lay scorching in his deser­ved flames, Abraham objected this to his afflicted conscience.

Son, remember thou in thy life­time [Page 82]receavd'st thy good things, but Lazarus evill things, thou en­joyd'st pleasures, but hee suffered paines, now therefore he is com­forted, but thou art tormented.

Thus men have their changes by a speciall and infallible decree of God. Suffer we must either here, or hereafter in that other world which shall succeed this. Choose wee may which we will, either to suffer here or there, none shall escape, every man must and shall bee a sufferer. VVhen thou seest a man Orat. 3. de Lazaro. (sayes St. Chrys.) that loves virtue and goodnesse, yet groaning under the crosse and pressed with many troubles; think such a man happy, who for his sins in this life is cha­stis'd, that in the other hee may re­ceive an everlasting reward.’

It is impossible for a man who hath bid defiance to the world and to the Devill, and wages Warre with his lusts, to be at quiet & ease. God allowes not his Champion, (such is a daring Christian) to pamper his flesh with delights and [Page 83]wanton pleasures. Hee that hath entred the lists to wrastle with his corruptions, must not feed his car­nall desires with dainty and costly dishes.

This present life is nothing else but a continuall strife, a wrastling­place, a race, or war, combating with sin and greife: The life to come is a time of rest: this is deputed to la­bour and toylings, with daily dis­contentments and sorrowes.

‘There is no man who having strip't or anointed his body to wrastle, or to run a race, that will seeke or desire rest, for if thou de­sirest to sit still upon a soft [...]ushion why didst thou put off thy clothes and make that preparation? why didst thou denounce warre against the lusts of thy corrupt nature, Chrys. Ep. 2 ad ti T. if thou never intended'st to take up Armes to subdue the rebellious motions of thy flesh. c. 3.

Let not this trouble thee, that such and such men live at ease, and thou thy selfe subject to divers tentati­ons and layly miseries; otherwise [Page 82]you must charge St. James with a great error who sayes, My Bre­thren count it exceeding joy when ye fall into divers tentations: Tru­ly (said Seneca) that man of all men is most unhappy, who never tasted of the gall of adversity. It is an argument that such a man is contemned by God, as one that is weake and unworthy to suffer per­secution. No greater honour can befall a Christian, then to bee brought upon the Stage by God to grapple with affliction;

It is a certaine marke and badge of blessednesse, when one rejoyces in his suffrings, and when he is beset with evills and begirt with sorrowes, to lift up his soule to God with joy and cheerfullnesse, whilst teares run downe in abundance upon his Cheeks.

Indeed Christ knew full well if wee poore mortalls loaded with an heape of daily crosses have no other comfort besides the hope of our fu­ture reward, yet he as if wee were blessed and happy, sayes thus unto us: Bee glad and rejoyce. Not­withstanding [Page 83]this exhortation, Mat. 5. how doe wee break our owne hearts, and trouble others eares with vaine la­mentations and cryes, when we are afflicted? how do we whimper and complaine like Children, how do wee tremble and quake at every stroke of fortune? Never ac­knowledging with love and thank­fullnesse, the fatherly and gentle hand of God, who does not pu­nish according to our deservings, whose hand too is an healing hand, for hee wounds that he may cure us. We scarce have so much know­ledge as is in little boyes, who know and are perswaded, that a wound made in the body by a Chirurgion is an Introduction to, and the be­ginning of health, so that to many it often time proves a medicine.

God wounds to heale, not to kill and destroy us.

The blessed Apostle Peter doth witnesse this. If you (sayes be) suffer for righteousnesse sake, hap­py are yee, for this is thanks wor­ [...]hy if a man for conscience-sake1 Pet. 3.14[Page 86]towards God suffer griese wrong­fully: for what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, yee take it patiently; but and if when ye do well yee suffer wrong, and take it patiently, this is accep­table to God.

‘To this purpose Saint Greg. speakes thus: It happens for the most part, that every one who is ordained to eternall salvation, is cast downe and depressed with continuall adversity; is despised by all men, and thought unworthy of that Grace and favour which the world dispenses to those men who have no bliffe, and delight in any thing more then Riches and honour.’

However the elect be contemned here on earth, yet they are preci­ous in the esteeme of God, for that they shine inwardly with the lustre of grace and piety. They feare to bee honourd, and think not much to be dispis'd: Their bo­dies may be pin'd with fasting and abstinence, yet their soules are [Page 87]fat and replenishd with love and o­ther vertues. Their minds are al­wayes prepared for suffering. And being refolv'd to live and dye in their uprightnesse and integrity, they rejoyce with exultation when they are loaded with scorne and Ignominy.

Truly the eternall and most pro­vident Lord God, uses not to pam­per his servants with worldly plea­sures and delights: he tryes them by extremities, hee hardens them by crosses, and so fits and prepares them for himselfe, yet so, that in the meane time hee sustaines and up­holds them with his promise.

VVhen thou passest through the waters, I will bee with thee, and the floods shall not overwhelme thee, when thou walkest in the fire thou shalt not be burnt, the flame shall not hurt thee.

Indeed, God doth oft-tymes cast us into the water and fire, he per­mits us to be dipt in the one, and scorched in the other; he makes a tryall of us by the summer heat of [Page 86]prosperity and the winter frost of adversity; but yet those whom he has predestinated to life eternall, he will not suffer to be drown'd in the wa­ter or consumd in the fire. God is faithfull who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, 1 Cor 10. but will even give the issue with the tentation that you may be able to beare it.

Concerning this fifth note of predestination: Ludov. Blosius in his book of spirituall Institution sayes excellently thus. ‘There is not one more certaine signe of Gods election, then when one suf­fers affliction, and whatsoever God shall inflict on him, not with reluctancy, but with patience and humility, seeing that nothing can happen more profitable unto man, then to be afflicted with any calamity.’

‘This is that ring of inestimable price and value, which God be­stowes upon a soule betrothd unto him in a spirituall bond of Matry­mony. And it is a thing of so [Page 87]great worth to suffer the least trouble or persecution for God, that St. Crys. is bold to averre it for an undenyable truth, that there is nothing better in the world then to suffer for the Glory of God.’ Hom. 8. in c. 4. ad Ephes.

‘The Elect shall in this life drink of the Brooke in the way, therefore shall they lift up their head with joy: Now they are de­pressed and trod upon with scorne, that hereafter they may be advan­ced to Glory in heaven, like palme Trees, which shoote up the higher in groth, the more they are kept under and oppress'd:’ God would have us understand with a cleare and settled knowledge, that the good we seek, and for which we take such paynes, is not easily obtained, but is hard and Infinite. So that Marcus the Anchoret said not a­misse: ‘God Almighty being con­scious of our Imbecillity, and knowing well the finfull in­firmityes of our nature, how that wee are prone to sloth [Page 90]and subject to fainting humours, never bestowes any great blessing upon any, unlesse he first sustaines the burthen of some calamity.’ When Moses had obeyed Gods call and forsaken Pharaohs Court, hee presently was assaulted as it were by Troopes, with poverty, contempt, and treacheries from the King, with the feare of death, and therefore forced to fly for his life.

‘We see (says St. Greg) how that Gods elect live vertuously, & honestly, and yet are persecuted, they do well and suffer ill: from whence we may collect, with what severity the severe Judge of Hea­ven and earth, will punish the un­godly and reprobate, seeing that those whom he loves are by him so sharply correcttd. Thou art much mistaken, (O Christian man) if thou thinkst to goe to Heaven whole and sound without a bruise, and not having a bone broken: Looke about thee with an Eye of attentive observation, and thou shalt perceive & find that those who [Page 91]are rich in vertues, abound for the most part in afflictions, and those who abound in vices are stor'd with riches, and other worldly Com­modities.’

Tis true, that those Beasts which are destin'd to the Shambles, sport and tumble in fat-pastures whilst others are sweating under the yoke, and toyling in other labours, even so men who are assign'd by an eter­nall decree to heaven, they sport not with wanton worldlings in the faire and pleasant medows of earth­ly delights, but they lye here and there in corners, bewailing their sins with sighs and grones.

Most true is that of Ludov. Blc­sius, ‘whom God has decreed to translate to a better life, and to crowne with glory and ho­nour, he uses not to wash with a soft and gentle hand, but to plunge over head and eares in the salt Sea of Tribulation.’

Galen and Hippocrates have taught us how to preserve life and maintaine it in health and strength, [Page 90]Christ hath taught us to hate and lose it for his sake; so that what Themistocles once said of him­selfe, all the the Saints and Mar­tyres in heaven will hereafter con­fesse with joyfull and thankfull ac­clamation; unlesse we had lost our selves we had beene lost and un­done. By loosing their lives for Christ, many have obtaind salvati­on. And undoubtedly many of those who are now at Gods right hand in Glory had for ever perishd and beene tormented in everlasting misery, if God had not happily destroyed them here, that they might be happy for ever and ever; Hence it is that Paul when hee see­med lost to others, found that he had made a great gaine by his losse: I delight (sayes he) in my infirmities, in reproches, 2. Cor. 12. in necessities, in per­secution and in my distresses for Christ, for when I am weak then I am strong: Saint Bern. being as it were tired in his search and seeking for God, at last brake forth into this expression.

‘I may O Lord with an unwea­ried diligence compasse heaven and earth, the Sea and the dry­land, yet I shall find thee no where but on the Crosse, there thou sleepest, there thou feedest, there thou reposest thy selfe at noone-day.’ Let us therefore fol­low Christ our Lord as servants do their Masters with constancy, and patience, in a holy Imitation of his heavenly vertues, and we shall find to our everlasting joy and comfort, that our light afflictions which we suffer here for a moment shall work for us an eternall weight of Glory. When Athanasius was com­manded by Iulian the Apostate to leave his Country, he being ready to depart, behoding his friends and fellow Christians, to lament his banishment with bitter cryes and teares, did solace them in these words.

‘Be of Good comfort, my friends, this is but a cloud which will soone vanish:’ Indeed what­soever horror or griefe we sustaine [Page 94]in this life, it is a cloud that darkens all our contents; and it is but a Cloud, which shall be scattered and driven away by the serenity and shi­ning lustre of that everlasting day, wherein all teares shall bee wiped from our eyes.

Among the Ancients, those that were most laborious, would let no day passe without a line (as their manner of phrase was) i.e. no day slipt in which no good was done, so carefull were they to make a Pro­gresse in their study and improve their profession. But Christians being as Active as those were in the businesse of their calling, desire that no day may passe over their head without a cloud, that so they may have an occasion to expresse by suffering their love to their Lord God.

The Heavens saith Tert.) were to Job. Tert. Li. de. pat. c. 13 not only clouded, but also turnd as it were into Brasse, and Iron; and yet that holy man out of his quiver of graces did draw a shaft, which subdued the Devill, [Page 95]and put him to flight and that was patience, whereby hee over­came all Satans temptations. So that neither the driving away of his flocks, nor the death of his sons by the fall of the house, nor all the paines and torments which he suf­ferd in his flesh, could drive him from his patient resolution, to en­dure all this and an heavier bur­then if God should please to lay it upon him. How did God (as it were) erect in this holy man, a pa­geant whereon he triumphd over Sa­tan? what a glorious banner did he set up in signe of the Devills foyle, when that holy man at the report of each Messenger utterd no­thing out of his mouth, but God be thanked; This did torment the Devill, but was most pleasing to God. By this meanes Job recove­red all his losses with a double gaine and advantage: whilst wee are suffering for the truth of Christ with a good conscience, we are on our march to heaven and happi­nesse.

There be divers wayes that lead to heaven, the safest and most sure of all is the high way of the crosse: for through many Tribulations must we enter into the Kingdome of God. Act 14. And as the Potters Vessels are tried in the Furnace, so Tribu­lation is the tryall of the Just. On­ly the chaffe is wasted and consu­med in the Furnace, so the wicked are the worse for their afflictions.

The Gold is purified in the fire and the Godly are bettered by their misery.

This world is a furnace, the Righteous are Gold, Tribulation the fire, And God (be it spoken with reverence) the Artificer. I [...] the Gold which is under the hand of the Smith could speak, if it had so much sence to understand and know what the Goldsmith did pur­pose to do with it, which is per­haps to make a Vessell of it for a Kings Table, or a Princes Cup­boord; if the Gold understood so much, if it had a voyce, it would resigne up it selfe to the will of the [Page 95]artificer, it would say:

Let him do with me as he thinks fit, Aug. in Psal. 60. cast mee into what shape or fashion he plea­ses, throw me into what place hec will, therewith I must and will be contented: The Straw and stubble which the Workman uses to kindle that fire wherein I am melted, that is wasted and wholly con­sum'd, whilst I am onely purgd and purified.

Consider this all yee that repre­sent Chaffe and Stubble; ponder this all yee that are Gods Gold. In that fire wherein Straw and Stubbl is turnd into a black smoak Gold shines and is made the brighter.

In the very same affliction, the wicked blaspheme and accuse God of Injustice, in the which the righteous patiently bearing their Crosse praise God for his mercy and loving kindnesse, and withall gather strength from their adversity, as the fire whose flame is beaten back with the Bellowes, growes hotter, and is increasd by [Page 98]that very meanes whereby one would think it should be extin­guisht.

Vertue best showes it selfe in extremity, and flourishes when it is most tossed with the waves of misery.

If we run back in our thoughts, and take account of all those who from the very first Infancy of the world were deare to God, we shall assuredly find that they were all stampt with this mark, that they all sufferd affliction, which we make a certaine signe of Gods love and affection: God tried them, (sayes the wiseman) and found them wor­thy of himselfe, Wisd. 3. deseruing his favour and to have with him an habitati­on.

If wee look into the Scriptures, there we shall find Abraham di­versly exercised and chastised: Ioseph sold by his Brethren, and David persecuted by his ungratefull Son. We read that Efay was saw'n asun­der, Ezechiels braines dasht out a­gainst the stones, Ieremy stond, Mi­chah staine with the sword, Amos [Page 99]murderd by a nail struck into his Temples, Daniel. exposed to the Lyons, M [...]aboth [as Jeremy] was ston'd to death, Elisha mock'd and had in derision, Iob full of uscers sitting upon the Dunghill and spit at by those who should have com­forted him. Tobie strucken with blindnesse, Innocent Susanna con­demned.

Many more examples might be alleadged to confirm this truth. In what an Ocean of miseries was St. Paul plungd? of the other Apostles some were whip'd, some crucified, some slaine with the sword. None of Gods sons were ever spared. For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth and scourgeth every one (none ex­cepted) whom he receiveth. Heb. 12.6. For all those who will live Godly in Christ Iesus shall suffer persecuti­on.

Yet let every one who doth serve and worship thee (O Lord) know for a certain, that if in this life, hee be tryed by the Cross, hee shall bee crown'd in the other with glory and [Page 100]Salvation. Because that after a storm thou ever dost send a calm, & after teares and weeping thou fillest our hearts with joy and exultation. Therefore blessed is the man who is chastisd by God for his correction and amendment. For if we suffer we shall Raigne with him. 1 Tim. 2.12. Let then no man be afraid to be scourgd but rather least he be disinherited.

We are fitted and prepar'd for our eternall inheritance by losses and Crosses, by stripes and whippings, with which God doth exercise us in the way to heaven, least our thoughts being taken up with deceiving vani­ties, and so we delighting too much in fading pleasures here below, for­get our heavenly Country which is above, and whither we wish all to goe.

If thou be exempted from the lash of Sorrowes (sayes Aug.) thou hast no place in the list of Gods sons.

Throw away then all childish thoughts and vaine expressions, say not, my Father is better affected to [Page 101]my Brother, whom he suffers to do what he list, he loves him better then mee, because, if I stirr but one foot contrary to his command, I am presently whipped and corrected for it; Rejoyce rather when thou art chastised, because for thee, there is an inheritance reserv'd, a full, and everlasting possession of all hap­piness. God spares them in this life for a time, whom hee intends to damne to eternall paines. That man passes to a Prison through faire and pleasant Medowes who posts to destruction, and makes hast to ru­ine, living all his life long in plea­sure at ease. Some observe that Roses grovving next to a bed of Onions send forth a more fragant and delitious sent.

And even God that heavenly Gardiner, he hath his Roses which smell most sweetly. Such are men destin'd to Salvation, whose life and Actions savour of God and Good­ness.

These Roses God Almighty doth so plant in the Garden of the [Page 102]Church, that for the most part they are beset and begirt with weeds; for the more honest and Religious a man is, he shall find the more ene­mies, even wicked and ungodly wretches, who will boldly assault him with divers injuries: and the Godly are ever subject to most Ca­lamities. Thus the fragrancy of of Roses is encreased by the proxi­mity of stinking Garlick or Oni­ons.

Moreover it is affirmed by others versed in the skill of Herbs, and Plants, that a Rose which by A [...]t grows without pricks hath no smell Even so our vertues (chiefly pati­ence) would loose their fragrancy, would not be so glorious, if they did want the sharp pricks of adversity, which is the best Mistrisse whereby we learn and know how much wee have profited in the School of Christ.

That man as yet hath not begun to know himself who hath not be­held the face of his Soule in the glasse of misery and distresse.

Hee that hath tasted of Christs bitter Cup, hath gotten a good de­gree of knowledg.

Those stars shine by night which are not seene by day in the suns bright eye-dazling light. Iust so, True vertue which appeares not in the noone-tide of prosperity, shews its lustre in the dark night of Ad­versity. And to speak the truth, God our caelestiall Lord and Ma­ster is not so well pleasd with those servants who do with fidelity and carefullnesse what he commands, as with those who suffer Adversity with patience, And a cheereful reliance upon his Fatherly Goodnesse.

The Eagle to make tryall of her young Ones brings them to the Sun and concludes they are of a right stamp and breed, if they can en­dure his scorching beames.

The Refiner of Silver tryes his mettall by a touch-stone, and Christ tries his Servants in the furnace of Affliction. Wee may then upon better ground (then the Ancient Romans did) cry out and say; To [Page 104]do and to suffer hard and difficult things is the duty and property of good Christians. Christ our head did go before us in this way of suffe­ring, and we his members must fol­low him in the same way, with ala­crity and Patience.

SYMBOLVM. V.

Tribulatio perpetua cum patientia.

Beati qui nunc fletis, quia ridebitis. Luc. 5.

Embleme. VI.

Frequenting Sermons

The wise man shall increase his wisdome by hearing, pro: 1 v. 5.

The Sixth Signe. IS The faithfull hearing of Gods Word, exemplifyed by a Figg-Tree with this Subscription.

PROV. 15.

A wise man will heare and en­creaso in wisdome.

THe Figge-Tree which Christ so often named in his Sermons, at Christs command flaggd, and withered in a moment, wee may therfore rightly term itadutifulhearer of the heavenly vvord. And for this [Page 106]cause by it is denoted the hearing of the word of God, which wee may prove out of the very mouth of Christ to be a certain signe that we are predestinated to heaven and happinesse.

He that is of God heareth Gods word, Ioh. 8.47. (sayes our Saviour.) Saint Amb. upon the 1 [...]8. Psalme sayes well to this purpose.

‘How can the Word of God bee sweet to thy palate and pleasant to thy tast, which is corrupted with bitter wickednesse.’ That which we heare willingly, Isid. we doe without difficulty; But those are the only true hearers of Gods Word whom our Saviour pronounc'd hap­py when he said, Blessed are they that heare the word of God and keep it. In vain or to little pur­pose is that kept in our memories, which is not likewise kept in our lives. There are who retain what they heare: So that they never for­get, and yet their life and conver­sation is no whit amended. Like as the Hart desireth the water-brookes [Page 107]so doth the Soul of one, that is pre­destinated, pant after heavenly things, and desire to partake of Gods Ordinances, his word and Sacra­ments, he layes aside all businesse, breaks off his sports and omitssome­time to provide for his body its or­dinary sustenance, he has no thought of feasting, he is urgent with his Servants to go to Church to heare the Sermon, admits of no excuses, but forces them to their duties. Hee is not scared with a storm or tempest, neither cares he for faire weather, and prefers the Churches roofe before all the plea­sures which the fields can afford, and when he is come to Gods house, he is most attentive in hearing, but ne­ver weary, nor satiated with the word

A dutifull eare will attend to wisdome with all care and diligence So sayes the son of Syrach. Eccle. 3. And cer­tainly there can be no better nor no surer Wisdome had, then that which may bee gathred out of the vvord of God. ‘The devout soule sayes St. Ber. seeks after the word [Page 108]by which (if it consents to it) its er­rors may be corrected. The un­derstanding enlightned with the knowledg of God, out of which too, as it were a rich Mine, The Treasures of Vertue and Wisdom may be acquired, the vvill may be reformed, the affections made con­formable to the strait rule of Gods commandements, and the heart fil­led vvith unspeakable delight and comforts.’ The soul that is reple­nished vvith this heavenly food, how does it cry out vvith the Prophet Ie­remy. Jerem. 15.16. Thy words were found by me and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and re­joycing of my heart.

‘St. Chrys. sayes vvell and truly to this purpose. As to be hungry is a signe that the body is in health so to love the divine Oracles of the vvord of God is an infallible ar­gument of an healthfull soul.’ And ‘vvho can beleeve that his mind is in a good temper, Hom. 14. in Gen. not sick of a phrensie, who stops his eares from hearing the truth, and opens them [Page 109]vvide to fables the delight of fools? vvho vvil not say that he is sick of madness;’ Who vvhilst the Preacher is declaiming against sin in the Church is acting the same at home vvithout all remorse of conscience, and instead of hea­ring a godly exhortation to repen­tance is either carovvsing vvith his companions, or playing at Dice, or wasting precious hours in vaine talk and idle walkes, and if he does neither of these, yet whilst the prea­cher is sweating in the Pulpit, he is either hunting in the Woods, or sleeping at home upon a soft downy Bed; neither doth this drowsie Dor­mouse blush to be surprizd even at Noone-tide in his feathery nest.

This is the constant practise of many voluptuous worldlings. I am asham'd to think that this can bee writ or said of Christians, who ra­ther should be ashamd to Act what vve blush to speak on write. Such like practises are signes and notes of those whom God has ordained to destruction; They doe otherwise [Page 110]who are predestinate to life and salvation.

Witnesse that of St. Luke. And it came to passe (saith hee) that when the people pressed upon him to heare the word of God, Cap. 5.1. &c. It seems that this religious thirst, this holy hunger of hearing the word could not be pent nor kept in the Synagogues or Temple alone, nor yet within the Walls of the Citty. It brake forth into the vvide and open fields, there Christ found Au­ditors. Neither did the men and Women of those times feare the solitary corners of the dark deserts, for they ventur'd to go any where, and follow their teachers with the hazard of their lives. Many a­mongst us who dwell nere the Church will not do so little as step over their Thresholds not move a foote out of doores to heare those from whose Godly instruction they might reape benefit to their souls and consciences. They loath nothing more then the heavenly food, and being so near to the [Page 111]Temple, if they refuse now to goe to it, can we hope, that they ever wil doe as the primitive Christians did, who many times would loose their Dinners and Suppers to goe into a Wildernesse or some solitary place, that so they might gaine the heavenly repast and food for their souls.

In this sinfull Age of ours there is not such a want of Preachers as hearers, these are scarse, the other abound with us. We have an hun­dred excuses to palliate our absence from the Church, wee bolster our neglect of Gods service with world­ly pleasures, and some are not wan­ting among us, who therefore re­fuse to come to Gods house, the Church, fearing least by the loud voyce of the Minister thundring out Gods Judgements against mens sinns, their consciences should be awaked out of the deep sleep of Security, in which for a long time they have been lull'd, for he that is conscious to himself of any foul sin and wickednesse, feares even [Page 112]himself who is his owne Accuser, Judge, and executioner. The tri­bunal of his own conscience is as terrible unto him, as the Bench and Iudge upon it is to a guilty Priso­ner.

Hieremy once made great lamen­tation for the sinns of Hierusatem, and said; That even the wayes that lead to Sion lamented, because the solemn Feast was neglected. The wayes to our Churches may as well now mourn because the By­paths that leade to Taverns are worne with throngs of Drunkards, who sit laughing and quaffing there when they should be singing in Gods house with the Congregation. We see not that concourse of people pressing to heare Gods Law read and preached, they come not with that alacrity to this as they do to see a Play, or shew, or to gaze at a Wed­ding passing through the street. If there be a faire at the next Market Town they flock together and run to it, But Gods Messengers and Ministers, if they be not mock'd [Page 113]and flouted, their words are slighted, their Doctrine little estemed, for which God complains in his word. 2. Chr. 36. It is not to be denyed That there be many who come to Church and heare Sermons, but this with grief wee may say and must confesse, that there be few who de­sire from their heart to goe away betterd from the Sermon and re­formed in their conversation. They have eares but want hands, they heare and do not. They goe home not one jot the better for what they have heard. There be some that come to heare to satisfie their curi­osity, some to weare away the time, others to obey custome.

A sort of men there is who fre­quent the Church to inform their understanding, not to reforme their lives, to get learning and know­ledg, not piety and Religion. There be others that come to see, to feed their eyes vvith the aspect of those beauties vvhich they cannot find in other places.

Another sort come to be seene, [Page 114]and with fleshly enticements to al­lure mens eyes to gaze upon them. There are that entertain the words of the Preacher with detraction and derision, others come to pratle, some to sleep, or if they keep their eyes open, their eares are shut and dull'd with the presse of worldly thoughts and cares. There be a few and those good hearers who come with a mind prepared to receive wholesom admonitions, and draw near to the Preacher for no other end but only that they may return better by his Sermon. The end of their hea­ring is not to wrangle or dispute as they do in the Schooles but to win others to Christ by a Godly ex­ample in their lives. They heare with both eares fast tyed to the Preacher, and slak not in their at­tention til the Sermon be done, at which time they find in them­selves ever some change and altera­tion. They are more enflamed with the love of God, and moved to an hatred of sin.

There is none of so feirce a nature [Page 115]and disposition who will not be tam'd and brought to a gentle and mild temper, if he refuse not instru­ction, but lend patiently an eare to the Counsell of a Wise monitour. And Christs sheep, as they may be discernd many wayes and by di­vers marks from the Goates, so they are discernable by this, they have an eare-mark which discovers them, they heare the word of God with greedinesse, and practise it in their lives, with a constant and u­niversall obedience.

Those that are predestinate to salvation know fulwell what St. Aug. truly averreth. ‘That he is no lesse guilty that heares the word of God negligently, then he that should take the consecrated Bread in the Sacrament, and in a scornful disdain trample it un­der his feet.’

Therefore he that speaketh to us out of the puspit is not so much to be respected as he who dictates to the Minister, and suggests vvhat he shall speak.

What am I (sayes St. Aug.) but the basket of that heavenly Sower who poures into me what I sow or deliver unto you.

Attend not the vilenes of the Basket but the excellency of the seed, and the power of the sower from whom the seed has its effica­cy and vertue, to spring up in your hearts and to shew it self in your Godly and Religious practises.

A Christian is ever learning and never stands still, but goes on from one degree of knowledg and grace to another, he delights to fit at the feet of his Lord and Master, and with Mary to heare his word with that attentive heed, so that neither houshold employments, not a Bro­ther nor Sisters murmuring nor a­ny entreaty of his friends shall be able to draw him from the presence of Christ speaking unto him by the voyce of his Ministers.

Lastly we must consider, that it is a note of our Election not only to heare the word, but to remember and practise what we have heard. [Page 117]What good will a mans meate doe him if he casts it up, so soon as e­ver tis sent to his stomack? The Mother of our Lord, the Virgin Mary, is highly commended as for many other vertues so chiefly for this; Luk. 2.19. that she kept all the words of the Angell in her heart, J have hid thy word within my heart that I might not sin against thee, sayes David. They are compard in the Gospell to good ground, vvho hea­ring the vvord of God retaine it in a good and, Luk 8.honest heart and bring forth fruit with patience, for in­deed as to read and not understand, so to heare and not retaine in me­mory vvhat vve heare is vaine and fruitlesse and savours of great neg­ligence: We ascribe folly and mad­nesse to that Painter vvho having dravvn vvith great paines and much cost a curious Picture in Co­lours shall aftervvards dash it and vvipe it out vvith his sponge: So unseemly is it for a Christian to heare and bury vvhat he has heard in the grave of Oblivion. Therefore [Page 118]let every one of us endeavour so to remember, that our memory be not dull and drowsie but Active and strong in its commands to doe that which wee have lok'd up in our memory the treasurie of the head.

If yee know these things happy shall ye be if ye doe them. Ioh. 13. No man went to heaven ever for his know­ledg, but for practise. And he that refuses to know what he ought to doe, will never execute or performe his duty. The holy Scriptures are the pure and living fountain of sa­ving knowledg; And although divers draw Waters out of this fountaine not once or twice but ma­ny times, without intermission, yet it can never be drawn dry, there will be Water still, even Water of Comfort to refresh every thirsty Soule.

Such is the quality and condition of this rich Mine, that the deeper you dig and dive into it, it vvil af­ford the more profound mysteries concerning God and our salvation. The holy Scriptures are a spring of [Page 119]ever-living Water affording to the weary Soule inward refreshings, and heavenly consolations. Now as the Ant gathers her food in sum­mer, to sustain her in the hard Winter, so a good Christian whose heart burns with the fire of devo­tion in the time of peace gets a stock out of Gods Word, on which h [...]e feeds in the dayes of Tribulation. It is manifest by dayly experience, that the contemners of the Word have been, and are so punishd by God, that they themselves and o­thers seeing and feeling Gods hea­vy Judgement, for this sin have accknovvledged and confessed his Justice.

It is Gods will and pleasure we should submit our selves so farr as to be willing to be taught one by another. King David vvas a most wise Prince, in many things the ho­ly Ghost was his instructer, he knevv full vvell that Adultery and murder vvere forbidden in the vvord yet he never repented of these sinns until he vvas quickned and stirred [Page 120]up by Nnthans instructions. Christ had prcached to Paul out of heaven when he repressed his raging cruel­ty with this reprehension; Saul Saul, why persccutest thou mee, Notwitstanding this Christ sent Ananias to instruct him in the way to heaven. Act: 8. The Angell told Cor­nelius that God had accopted his Prayers and Almes, and with all sent Peter from Joppa to informe his understanding, when the Eu­nuch was sitting in his Chariot, and reading the Prophet Jsaiah, An Angel was not sent from God to be his Master but Philip. Moses whom a man may justly term Gods Secretary, who was privy to his secret Councells, yet as if he had beene a Child without knowledge, he was taught, and that with sharp and bitter speeches, by his Father in Law, a stranger, how to Govern the people in peace, and without all danger. Christ himself vvho is the eternall Wisdome of his Father, did sit in the midst of the Doctors, Learning, and asking them Que­stions. [Page 121]There is no Sex, on State, no condition or calling exempted by God from hearing of Sermons.

But thirdly, thou maist object and say, I am one of the learned, I shall heare no new thing, I know before hand what the Preacher will deliver in his Sermon. Here we may discover the pride of humane nature which is skilfull and witty to deceive it self. But let me move to such a man this question, who was ever so old and learned, who was not ignorant of many things, & might be further in structed? But suppose thy self to be a man fur­nished with all kind of knowledg, and to excell all men so farr in understanding, that thou canst not come home more learn'd from a Sermon: But what say you to the will and memory, may not it bee mov'd, this stirred up and quick­ned? Does not that sometimes need to be reformed, this to be con­firm'd and strengthen'd; Nothing so easy as for the memory to be deceav'd, and for the will to run in­to [Page 122]mistakes and errors (embracing evill for good, and shunning good for evill) unlesse both memory and vvill be supported by daily helps, vvhereby the former may be made firm, and the other freed from er­roneous conceits, that so vve may serve God, sincerely in all holines and righteousnesse. Therefore it is not only profitable, but also ne­cessary for all men to frequent the Church and to heare Sermons; The wicked have need of preaching that they may be corrected, and their lives amended; The good and Godly that they be not cor­rupted, the Ignorant that they may be taught, the learned that they may be admonish'd, that they may learne some new thing, or recollect in their memories old things which they have formerly learnd. A wise man will heare and encrease in Wisedom, and the eare of the wise seeketh learning. That Herod who was so famous for his wicked impie­ty, yet he was not so barbarous and foolish, but that he would heare Iohn [Page 123]Baptist his Court Chaplain joy­fully and willingly, and when hee had heard him, do many things gladly. In this Herod there was not only a willingness to heare, but also a long and unwearied patience, for he could not have done many things according to Saint Johns praescriptions, unless he had heard him oftentimes concerning divers, and many particulars. Neither are we to imagine that John the Bap­tist did only repeat, or set downe in a Catalogue, and rebuke the Kings vices, but to have dealt with him by Reason and Argumentation, that so he might not only point at the Tyrants faults, but also disswade him from them. The adultery of that King, and many other hainous crimes, such staines could not be wiped out by one or two Sermons, each crime required one or more for its purgation. A Soule that is hardned in wickedness (such was Herods) is to be assaulted and sha­ken with divers batteries. Thus did Iohn the Baptist, and notwithstan­ding [Page 124]all this Herod heard him gladly. And although Iohn did publikely cast this in his teeth, and openly affirme to his face, that it was not lawfull for him to have his Brothers Wife, and undoubtedly prov'd this by a continued and long discourse, yet Herod heard him willingly. Such and so great was Herods desire to heare the Bap­tist who did not spare the Tyrant, did not cover his other sinnes with the Mantle of Silence. Saint Luke witnesses as much, where he sayes. When Herod the Tetrarch was re­buked by him for Herodias his Brother Philips Wife, Luk 3.19. and for all the evills which he had done.

Hence we may inferre that Saint Iohn did freely inveigh against He­rods tyranny, his many murthers, and Tributes which he had cove­teously collected and prodigally wasted upon his ungodly Lust, yet for all this Herod heard him wil­lingly. So great was Herods pati­ence at the rebukes of this Preacher, that he was neither offended at his [Page 125]first Sermon which was more vehe­ment, neither at the second, nor at the third, nor at many others that followed, but still heard him wil­lingly. Saint Iohn never seemd to Herod to have preach'd too often or too long, neither was he condem­ned for his plaine expressions, or blam'd for his sharpenesse in his bitter Invectives, but Herod heard him gladly, and did many things ac­cording to the Baptists instructi­ons, and if he had but persevered, he should have had no cause to com­plaine of his unhappiness; for the Truth was fully revealed unto him, which stood him in no stead for want of perseverance. Seneca once lamented the want of freedome in declaring the truth in his times. Lib. 6. de Ben. I will tell you what great men stand in need of (sayes he) and what is wanting to those who abound in all worldly pleasures and contents. ‘They want a man to tell them the truth. See you not (sayes he there) how a desire of regaining their lost liberty, hurries some [Page 126]men into ruine, whilest there is no [...] a man to be found, who by his dis­swasions will divert them from po­sting to destruction’ But now as [...] that friends [so call'd] do frequent­ly practise, is to flatter and deceiv [...] others by their soothing speeches, and all for their owne ends and ad­vantage. Saint Iohn did not so by Herod, but shewed himselfe to be a Monitor of so candid a brest, and of so free an expression, that to con­ceale the Truth, and to tell a lye, was all one to him. He therefore daily and hourely sounded this in the Kings eares, Herod, it is not lawfull for thee, it is not lawfull for thee, &c. where are now those delicate ones, men of Itching eares, who if they suppose themselves to be struck at, but with one little word and that too wrested or not well understood, they are ready to fly in the Preachers face, and avoyd the Pulpit, They are worse in this re­spect then Herod the parricide and Adusterer, who did shun many a sin at the Baptists preaching, which [Page 127] [...]hey do not, but contemne their mi­ [...]isters Doctrine, and shun their Sermons which might be a medi­ [...]ine to heale their vices: thus did [...]ot Herod by Iohn Baptist. That man joynes hand with the Devill who is so proud, that he thinkes he [...]as no need of the hand of an hel­ [...]er. And he commends a Scholler [...]o be taught by a fool who ac­knowledges none but himselfe for [...] Teacher. But whoever he be that [...]s so wise in his own conceipt, as [...]hat he scornes to be taught by any [...]ut himself, that man shewes that [...]he has more pride then wit. Nei­ther can there be in him the love of [...]ertue, in whom there is setled an ungodly hatred and neglect of that [...]eavenly Doctrine, which, if heard with faith and good Attention, is able to translate our soules to that [...]lace from whence they came. Aloa­ [...]hing to heare the word preached [...]s the beginning or first step of our [...]eparting from God. Neither can [...]e be said or thought to love God, who rejects those wholesome pre­cepts [Page 128]contained in his word. Th [...] touchstone tryes Gold, and th [...] thoughts of mens hearts are revea­led by the Gospell of Christ. I [...] discovers unto us that we shall be judged not only by our workes, bu [...] also by our thoughts, which if sin­full are breaches of Gods holy Commandements.

Delight therefore in Gods word heare, and keepe it, Treasure it up in thy memory, and practise it in th [...] life.

SYMBOLVM. VI.

Auditio verbi Dei.

Audiens sapiens sapientior erit. Prouerb. 15.

Embleme. VII

Almes-deedes

And hee gaue euery man comande: ment concerning his neighbour Eccle: 17. v. 14.

The seventh signe That a man is in the num­ber of the elect is a boun­tifull and free heart, shewing it selfe in Almes-deeds, and mercy to the affli­ted.
This the Author sets out by a Plant which is call'd Ta­baccus: under it these words out of

ECCLESIASTICVS. 17.12.

God hath given every man a Commandement concerning his Neighbour.

THis Plant hath many sover­aigne vertues: it is famous for it's cure of wounds and Vlcers. [Page 130]Poverty is the bodyes Vlcer, sore and grievous: Sin is the Vlcer of the soule far more dangerous.

Almsdeeds joynd with faith in Christs merits conduce much to the curing both of our Bodyes and Soules. Put on (sayes Saint Paul) as the elect of God bowels of mer­cy: Col. 3. in which words he requires not only the hand of the giver; but also the affection. Psalm. 41. Blessed is the man that considers the poor and needy, the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble. This is ratifyed and confirmed by a Syllogisme ta­ken out of Gods word, it is this. He that borroweth is servant to the Lender: but the rich and allsuffi­cient Lord of Heaven and Earth, in and by the poor borroweth of man. The conclusion is evident: The minor proposition is proved by Salomon. Prov. 18. He that hath mercy on the poor lendeth unto the Lord: which is the same with this, the Lord borroweth of him that takes pitty of a poor man, Saint Aug. in one of his Homilies presents Christ [Page 131]unto us thus begging an Almes. ‘Give me of that which I have be­stowed on thee, I desire only mine owne. Give and restore. I have bin thy benefactor, now make mee thy debtor, and let me find thee an Vsurer. Thou givest to me of thy temporall Goods, I will restore to thee eternall. I will restore thee to thy self, when I shall give my self to thee in glori­fying thee hereafter, both in soul and body.’ Greg. Naz. Soares as high in a lofty expression. Shew thy selfe a God to the distressed, imitating Gods mercy. for a man resembles the deity in nothing more then in being pitiful to the poor, whom God has left and bequeathed to thy care, that thou shouldst be to him as a God, i. e. Iob. 29. an help and comforter. I was a Father to the poor, and when I knew not the cause, I sought it out diligently, I was an Eye to the blind, and Feet to the lame. So the holy man Job commends to us his charity for our imitation. Tobit, who was most [Page 132]deare to God, sayes thus in his ex­hortation to his Son. Almes doth deliver from death and suffereth not to come into darkness, Tob. 4.10.11. for Almes is a good gift before the most high to all them that use it.

Saint Chrys. professes that it is far better to be skil'd in this art of Almes giving, Hom. 33. & 6. ad Ant. then to know how to sway the Scepter of a King. It is almes that builds us in heaven ever­lasting mansions. It is that which makes us resemble God, being like to him in bounty and goodness. A merciful man is in Gods esteem very precious. Prov. 22. He that is prone to mercy shall be blessed, because he hath distributed his bread to those that were in need. So layes the wise man. And Saint Chrys. again tells us, ‘That bountifullness makes us not only like unto God, but that it is the Mother of Charity, and next to Faith, the only badg and cognisance of a Christian: for by it the disciples of Christ may be distinguished and known from men of the world,’ who have their [Page 133]portion in this life, and make me­ney their God: not considering what Christ enjoyn'd his Disciples Mat. 6. Lay up for your selves treasures in Heaven. Hear this, yee rich worldlings, whose only trade and practise is to get and encrease riches. Here is a new mart, a new way (and that taught us from heaven) to gather treasures and heap up wealth, which is the main of most mens desires, It is to scatter our money among Christs poor Members. Yee have hitherto bin mistaken in the true and right trade of getting. The way to be rich is to give, not to scrape and save, He layes up treasure in the world which is above, that distributs freely to the poor heer below. Neither is it ne­cessary that we give handfulls of Gold and Silver; give but halfe­pennies or farthings, give litle mor­sels of bread with a bountiful heart and good affection, and you shall find a larg recompence, a full en­crease in Gods blessing upon your fields, your Barnes and all your [Page 134]store-houses. The Roman censors used to visit and search in the dwel­lings of the Citizens if there were any Moths in their Garments, any Maggots in their meat, if there were any mould in their bread, or if it had bin eaten with Mice, into these abu­ses they search'd; Neither was their labour fruitless. The mulct set up­on each default made them look more carefully to their Provisions of Victual and other necessaries. But now in these our dayes, if the same course were taken, many would be found, who had rather feed the Mice then the poor Members of Christ. But let me tell them and all men: That there is now dis­covered a place to which there is an open & easie passage, in which nei­ther Mice nor Moths, nor Worms have access.

It is reveal'd to us by Christ in that 6th. of Mat. where he sayes: Lay up for your selves treasurs in Heaven where neither Moth nor canker corrupteth, and where Theeves neither break through nor [Page 135]steale. None of the Manna was corrupted but that which was re­serv'd and kept till the next day. And no mony is lost but that which we wil not throw away. Neither can any be with more safety kept then that which is committed to the hand of those that be in want or need. The bellies of the poor are the rich mans best Barnes. Whatsoever is laid up, there shal be receiv'd again with usury, neither is it in danger of fire. If Absolom had in time cut his golden locks, his hair had not prov'd to him an Halter: and if the great ones of the world would but cut out a portion of their mony to the reliefe of the poor and help­less, they should purchase as many friends as they have pounds or shil­lings in their Chests, or Purses: by hoording and keeping their Gold, they do to themselves this mischief, they hoord up baits for Theeves, & so multiply to themselves enemies, and encrease their dangers. This they do in not making the poor their friends.

The Son of Syrachs Counsel is excellent to this purpose. Loose thy money for thy Brothers, or Neighbours sakes, and let it not rust under a stone to thy destruction; Christs advice is, Luk 6. give and it shall be given to you again.

The faithfull are liberall, they beleeve Christs promise and obey his admonition. A well growes muddy if it be not often drawn: by taking up water out of it, it proves more pure and clean, and for that water you take out, the more comes in; So it is with a liberall and bountifull soul, much he re­ceives for a little which he gives. Christ is a magnificent rewarder of Beneficence. The elect Sons of God when they give a Dole o [...] Almes, if it were possible, they would give their heart with it, so free and bountifull are they to the poor and indigent. Hence it is, Christ pronounces the mercifull blessed, not those only who can and do give much, but those also who would have mercy upon all, would [Page 137]releive their wants if they had a competent store of wealth and Ri­ches.

Pythagoras once taught his Schol­lers this dark sentence, Like com­prehends its like; It is true in the common traffique and Merchandise of the world. One good turne re­quires the like, and commands the same: hast thou then a mind to find and purchase mercy? fish in the poores waters, cast in the Hook of thy beneficence, baited with good works, and thou shalt not fayle to meet with that mercy which will poure into thy bosome a full re­ward for thy charity. But thou maist object: by being thus boun­tiful to others, I shall want my selfe. O faithless and poor spirited wretch who hadst rather give way to thy diffidence then rely upon Christs word and promise. How many hath Avarice brought to ex­tream want? Never did Charity go unrewarded. God in a manner contends with our liberality, nei­ther will he be outstrip'd and over­come [Page 138]in bounty. Give and it shall be given unto you, 1 King. 17. sull measure, pressed down and running over The Widdow of Zarephtah was not at much cost in providing a small dinner for the Prophet Eliah, it was no more then a little dry cake and the Text tels us how much she, gain'd by it. So the Shunamite that entertain'd Elisha in her house, re­ceav'd more then she expended. So gainful a vertue is Charity: and so liberal a God we deal with, who is a God of justice and mercy, he is just and mercifull in the perfor­mance of his promises. But there be some and those not predestina­ted to salvation, who never give to the poor but with a froward and Malignant heart: Those give with a malignant heart, who only part with those things they cannot eat nor use themselves. If they have in their houses any stinking meat, mouldy bread or sour drink, any rotten or corrupted scraps, which one would scarce throw to Doggs, that they bountifully bestow upon [Page 139]Christs poor Members, wretched Soules! how do they out of a fond perswasion fool and deceive them­selves? This is not to offer Oyle, but (what Baruch by way of ex­probration alleadges against the Jews) Olive stones to God; who did not respect Cain nor his obla­tions, because he offer'd the vilest and meanest of all the fruits of the earth, whereas he ought to have ten­dred to God the best. Art thou so straitned in thy meanes that thou canst do but little? it will suffice if thou wouldst do more. God ac­cepts the will for the deed. Hast thou store of wealth, that thou canst do much? Beware that thy will move thee not to give a little. If thou canst not for the present help the poor with mony, feed him with hope of receiving good from thee, or sustain his family with comfortable and sweet words: if thou dost neither of these, afford him the pity of thy heart, by com­miserating his fortune and distressed estate. 'God rejected not those [Page 140]Israelites who having no better sa­crifice offered fine flower or Goates haire; but if they had Gold and offer'd those, they had deserv'd (sayes St. Chrys.) to be cursed for their wicked and deceitfull doings.

Again, some others there be who give not with a wicked mind, but infect and corrupt the oyle of their mercy, with the filth of their luxury, being as well prone to satisfie the desires of their lust, as they are rea­dy to releive the wants and heare the cryes of the needy. A people in Cilicia call'd the Anazarbaei, com­mit the charg and care of their O­live grounds to the custody of their Virgins, renown'd for their chast behaviour, who only there plant the Trees and gather the Olives. And let us who be Christians perswade our selves that this Olive Tree of mercy, and the Myrtle Tree of Ve­nus are of so different a nature that they will not grow together.

That Almes is not allowed of by God which is attended with the fil­thy pleasure of the flesh. A boun­tifull [Page 141]hand and a libidinous heart, both those joyn'd together cannot please God. There be others who are not drown'd as the former in the mud of carnall lusts, but poure out their Oyle fruitlesly with this intent, that they may be seen and commended. But let me ask such men this question, what they mean by not following our Saviours In­junction? Why does the left hand know what the right hand doeth? Job 15.33. Holy Iob compares such men to an Olive that doth cast her flowers And his comparison is very fit, for (as St. Gregory observes) ‘The Olive Tree though it bring forth abun­dance of blossomes, yet if it be sha­ken with a strong and violent wind brings forth no fruit. So he that is then only mercifull to the needy when he hath beholders, or does it to be seen, he looses the fruit of his good work by means of the blast of mens praise, at which he aim'd in bestowing his Alines.’ The elect servant of God, when he helps those that want, re­spects [Page 142]and cares for no other be­holder but God only, whose eye is spread over Heaven and Earth. Neither doth he expect commen­dation or praise, but from God a­lone who will be his reward and salvation. ‘Our charity to the poor (as St. Chrys. doth express it) hath Golden wings, but not Pea­cocks Feathers. It has admirers here on earth, but its rewarder is in heaven, whether it mounts with its golden wings and there finds Christ an advocate to cover its de­fects, who relieved him in his poor members.’

Charity is so far from desiring to be known, that if it were possible it would hide and conceal its doings from the eyes of the al seeing God; indeed a man truly mercifull is not so carefull that others may know how much he gives, as he is that God may know it, who alone can make him a just requitall and full satisfaction. Therefore St. Cypri­an said well, when he termed this bountifull mind to the poor and [Page 143]needy, a certain pledge of our fu­ture safety, ‘for that by it we make God our debtor, and engage Christ unto us who one day will be our Judge and Saviour.’

At that great Assises of the world the day of Judgment there will be a strict enquiry made concerning our Almesdeeds and mercy. Those whose hearts have been edgd with cruelty, being hard and unmercifull to the poor, Mat. 25. those shall hear to their endless woe & horror. Go ye cursed into everlasting fire. But those whom God by an eternall decree, has assign'd to be of the number of the Saints and to the company of Angels; They relying upon the promise of God and merits of Christ, may boldly challeng the reward of their service. They may stand with cheerfullness in the pre­sence of their Judg, And thus be­speak God with confidence. Give O Lord, because we have given to those that belonged to thee, and have had compassion on others, therefore O Lord have mercy upon [Page 144]us. We have in some measure done what thou hast commanded, there­fore we beseech thee repay what thou hast promised. The Judge he cannot, he will nor reject these de­mands, but will readily confess that he is a debtor to those his Creditors. Then the elect shall behold in Christs side that gaping and bloody wound, and in this written as it were with Golden letters these words; Come ye blessed, inherit a Kingdom. Whatsoever ye deman­ded, ye shall obtain: I acknow­ledg my promise which I will now make good by a reall performance: I commend you for your mercy shew'd to my poor distressed mem­bers: well have you done my good and faithfull servants, receive now your wages, the reward of your ser­vice, a reward which is beyond all price and estimation: Whatsoever you have done to any of mine you have done it to mee. Your commi­seration and pity has refreshed my body oft-times with meat and drink I was clothed with your Garments, [Page 145]I was received as a stranger into your houses, your love brok through the prison Barrs, that you might vi­sit me in my distress. I lived by your mercy, Therefore come ye blessed; you broke your bread to the hungry; Behold therefore an ever­lasting rich banquet is now provi­ded for you; you shut not stran­gers out of your doors, my will is therefore that ye be Fellow-Citi­zens, with my Angels in my cele­stiall Palace; you have cover'd the naked bodyes of my poor Servants and warm'd them with your fleece, come therefore and I will cloth you with the purple Garment of Im­mortality; Come ye blessed. O consider this all ye Servants of the Lord, what a Merchandise, how great a change wil this be, for Raggs, for Farthings, for scraps of Bread, to receive a Robe of Glory, the treasures of Heaven, and delight­full pleasures that shal never be en­ded. Ecele. 16.14. God (sayes the Son of Syrach) will give place to all good deeds, and every one shall find according [Page 146]to his works. These things as they are most true, so if men would per­swade themselves, and beleeve, they shall enjoy so in estimable rich bles­sings, certainly there would none be so stupid and sottish, as not to be willing to purchase Heaven at so easie a condition, and so cheap a rate. ‘Most true is that of Saint Austin; If thou desirest to play the good Merchant, give what thou canst not keep, that so thou maist receive what thou shalt ne­ver loose. Give a modicum, a litle that thou maist receive an hun­dred fold. Give to a poor man a peice of mony, that thou maiest receive from Christ a Kingdom; give a morsell of bread, that thou mayst obtain remission of thy sinnes at the hands of God, give thy Coat or Cloak, that thou mayst be clothd with Glory. Give that which is vile and of no estimation that so thou mayst enjoy with God an eternity of all good things in Heaven What a madness and folly is it (says St. In Mat. c. 6. [Page 147]Chrys.] to leave thy goods there from whence thou must depart and not to send them before hand thither, where thou and all men must go.’ Therefore by thy cha­rity and bounty to the poor, lay up thy treasurs in Heaven which is thy better Country.

SYMBOLVM. VII.

Eleemosyna cum benigno affectu.

Vnicui (que) mandauit Deus de proximo suo. Eccli. 17.

Embleme. VIII.

Selfe-Contempt

Except yee become as little Chil­deren, you shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven mat: 18. v. 3

The eighth Signe. OF Our being predestinated to Salvation is a vile esti­mation, or mean esteeme of our selves symboliz'd by a Cypress Tree under which is this motto.

MAT. 18.

Vnless ye become like litle Chil­dren, ye shall not enter into the Kingdome of Heaven.

THe Cypress Tree is always green and of a pleasant smell, it admits of no rottenness, and keeps all other things sweet and free [Page 150]from all corrupt stenches. There­fore sitly is this mean esteem of our selves set out unto us and signified by it; for that an humble conceit of our unworthiness kills the worm of pride (which lurks in us and cleaves close to our natures) neither does it suffer a man so to rot and be so corrupted as to please himself and glory in any work of his, or ability. Self love is the rot­tenness of the Soul, and the bain of Christianity. Psal. 101.5 The high looks and high stomack, I abhor sayes God by his Prophet David. And he that behaves himself proudly shall not dwell in my house. Men use to say it is a rare potion in which there is neither Sugar nor Poison, and cer­tainly there is no vice nor sin which can be imagin'd, in which the Poy­son of pride is not mixed and tem­per'd. This will be found true if the nature and quality of most sins be surveyd. Ec. 10.14. Pride (sayes Ecclesia­sticus) is the beginning of all sin, and he that hath it shall be cursed in all he does, untill at last he be [Page 151]overthrown. Pride the companion and nurse of a wicked disposition, discovers it self divers wayes in a multitude of vices, as hatred and carnal love, but above all it is obnoxious to the rack of Envy, for a proud man is ever envious. Nei­ther are there more anxious and stirring motions in the minds of a­ny then of those men who seek not so much their own praise, as conceive it to be due unto them. Vpon the least seeming neglect or disrespect, they entertain a suspition that they are contemn'd, and this contumati­ous humour (as they judge it) in others they reveng by tormenting cares, and disquiet thoughts in and upon themselves. They are such as are ignorant of their own vices, and take no notice of other mens ver­tues. By men thus blown up with the tympany of pride, piety and saith, and whatsoever is among men accounted holy, all are estee­m'd as things of nought; they are placed under fame, and their am­bitious desire of honour. These are [Page 152]highly priz'd while the other with Religion is trampled upon and scornd. pride a base though an aspi­ring sin many times is the cause of other sins and vlces, because it dares [...]e with an envious tooth, and de­tract from other mens famous acts, their learning, their vertues, their sanctity or holiness, & in so doing, they are like to those wornes, which ever [...]at into the best Pears and Apples. None personates the Devil better then a proud man, he labourd to be like the most high, to be like him in honour, equall in Majesty; this man endeavours alwayes not to be so much equalto his Neighbours, as to be prefer'd before them in re­putation and dignity. Iam. 4. But God ever­more resists the pro [...]d. As a Soul­dier that stands on the battlements of a walled Town, beats down with his sword as many as ascend to scale it; So & worse oft times God deals with the proud who are sometimes overthrown by God without any great force or resistance, even with the same facility as a Gardiner [Page 153]crops the slowers that peep above their fellows: So God can sum­mon a fit of an Ague, the Feaver, or small Pox to be his executioner and to take reveng of the proud ones who admit of no Superiours.

Saul in his humility was ad [...]an­ced to the Throne, but being poy­son'd with pride, he was immediatly cast down.

There be some men who out of a naturall Antipathy, hate Cats and Spiders and other small creatures: we are assured out of the word that God hates the proud: Every arro­gant man is an abomination to the Lord. Prov. 16. Prov. 10. And he that exalts himselfe is uncleane before God. But as the murrain or some other poysonous humor, breaks forth not in one on­ly, but in divers parts of the body: So pride contents not it selfe with one part or member alone, but has set up in diverse of them its seat and mansion, It possesses some mens eye, the Tongue of others, it has thrust it self into Ladies hands, for some there be that pride themselves [Page 154]in their Rings and fine white fin­gers. It sets upon most mens gar­ments, there is its mannor house, there cheifly it raignes. It sticks to some mens and Womens bands, so fast and Immoveable, that an hun­dred Preachers, though never so powerfull in their expressions, can­not stir it from that place of Resi­dence.

There is another sort of Men, who one would take to be sworne Enemies to pride, if they did not in a secret way teach by decking of them sumptuously, their Feasts, their houses, their Children, their Family and houshold stuffe to be proud. Thus pride mingles it selfe vari­ously in all our doings. Some­times we deject our selves even be­low the degree of baseness, we speak Honey and Roses, smooth deceiving words, we sprinkle our hearers with court holy-water, we creep at great ones knees that we may ride upon others heads, and when we are advanc'd to the throne of honour, a superiour or equall, is [Page 155]odious to us, and displeasing. Why art thou proud O dust and Ashes! Death with the least puffe of his killing breath can scatter thee from thy dwelling, and blow thee into thy Grave. Why dost thou thus (Suffenus-like) please and flatter thy selfe in wickednesse? Thou stinkest in the nostrills of God and men, and art most distastfull to the blessed Angels. Thou art made up of Dust and Clay, thou Son of Adam, thou art compounded of corruption, and yet thou castest forth the stench of Lucifers pride, which will bring thee to speedy de­struction. If not only the sweet smell of the Cypresse, but also its height and tallness be pleasing to thee, if thou desirest to climb upon the staires of fortune; Go, Ascend, but when thou art mounted on high, let me give thee this caveat; Despise none but thy selfe the sub­ject of sin, and the object of misery. It argues a brave and noble spirit to be on high, yet not to be advan­ced with an overweening conceit of [Page 156]that felicity. He is the only brave one worthy of Admiration, who when he is lift up can depress him­selfe by an humble demeanour in his life: and reaching Heaven with his faith and other heavenly vertues, in his selfe estimation and lowly opinion of his owne parts, creeps as low as earth, and would fall lower to do God or his friend any service.

‘Saint Bern. saith that Humili­ty is an individuall companion of Gods Grace: which Humility has in it a kind of Sublimity, it will not stoop to the bait of honour and preferment, and never growes insolent by any acquired glory.’ It is no great matter to be humble in an abject or mean condition. Humility in honour is a great and rare vertue, proper only to a Saint Heare ye this O ye Kings and. Princes, and Potentates of the Earth, and heare this all ye that are [...]earn'd and proud, ye that have riches and despise others. Humi­lity in honour is a great Vertue. [Page 157]And this is the property of true hu­mility, by how much holier a man is even in the judgement of God, to seeme more vile in his owne eyes, and to judge himself the more wicked. Abraham the freind of God most commended for his faith and holiness, Gen. 18. yet seemes to him­selfe but Dust and Ashes. St. Pe­ter who was eminent in graces, con­fesses himselfe to be a finfull man, nay the greatest of sinners. St Paul a chosen vessell, and the prince of the Apostles, termes he not him­selfe an Abortive, a thing borne out of due time and unworthy to be called an Apostle? To speak truly, there is no better and easier way to be exalted, then first to be cast downe and in a meane estimation of himselfe to be humbled. Pride is the ruine and death of all vertues, the downfall of men and Angels. O God what a change once was there betweene Heaven and Earth. The most beautifull Angell of all was thrown downe from Heaven, and a poor most miserable Begger [Page 158]was carried by the Angells thither. For from whence proud Lucifer fell, thither did Lazarus, poore humble Lazarus ascend, whom we beleeve to have rather numbred his vlcers, to have counted his boiles and botches, rather this, then to have cast up or made any Account of his vertues. And I doubt not but that out of a Genuine contempt of him­self, his patience seem'd more glo­rious in others eyes then his owne. Wittily & well said he who affirmd that little was his strength, who thought he was strong at all; And no strength at all has he who thinks he has much to this purpose saith St. Bern. thus, ‘'All things are wanting to him who conceives that he wants nothing.’ We may adde, that those men have no little or right to Heaven, and belong not unto God who are pleasd with no­thing but their owne gifts, who are most proud Censors of other mens lives, and partiall Iudges of their owne, they are deceiv'd in other mens matters and bleare-ey'd in [Page 159]their owne, assuming a voluntary and pleasing blindness. Woe be to these selfe flatteries. They will heare one day that heavy sentence, Goe ye Cursed, &c Heaven admits of no such Peacocks, who have long Tailes, but shorter Crests, great and swelling conceits of their owne do­ings, but a bad opinion of other mens Those that are predestinate to eternall life censure no mens lives, so rigidly as their owne, and condemne themselves more often then they do others: They are in­dulgent to all men, never to them­selves, and are most severe in cor­recting their owne manners. Wret­ched men that we are, we are but Dust and as it were a shadow that departeth, passing every moment to the region of darkness, the Grave, the mansion of the dead, yet out of a vaine ostentation, we run over our pedigrees, we number up the names of our Progenitors, as if they are the better men who reckon up most Ancestors. Man is like to vanity, sayes the Prophet David [Page 160] His dayes pass like a shadow, &c. Wheresoever we turne our eyes, there we may behold matter of Griefe and teares; if we look up­ward to Heaven there we shall see our Country afar off, but our selves driven and banish'd from it. Looke we downward to the earth, there we shall see a Pit which the Earth threatns unto us when we are dead, and though we now tread upon it with our feet, yet after a little while, our lofty heads shall be laid low in it. Look we upon our selves, we may behold a faire & red Apple, like that of Sodom, in which not­withstanding its beauty, there lurks a worme which in time will eat and consume that Apple at the heart: filth and rottenness and Death it selfe harbours even in our very bowells. Look we into our hearts, do we unbowell our consciences; there we shall find Cages of Vn­cleanness, and dunghills of Impu­rity, a nest of Snakes, Toads, and Vipers. Alas we abound in sin and infirmities, and yet we are not vile [Page 161]to our selves. We are overwhel­med with miseries, beset with folly and ignorance, and yet we desire to seeme happy, wise, and searn'd, and to be pointed at with the finger as if we were most eminent; These considerations of our sinfull frailty beget in the elect, a meane esteem of themselves, and the more they consider their miseries the more humble are they and vile in their owne eyes. And all things appeare unto them, (as they did to St. Paul) Drosse and Dung, because they themselves are so and worse in their owne opinion. They easily des­pise all earthly things, who have learn'd above all things to contemn themselves. And whosoever desires to be happy, let him inure himself to be contemn'd, and learne to con­temne all things but God and goodness which only is to be prizd and esteem'd in Gods Saints, who have studyed and practised that ex­cellent saying of St. Chrys. ‘It is as great a thing to think the most meanely of thy selfe, Hom. 3. in Mat. as to [Page 162]do and Act the greatest things that may be.’ Gods elect Chil­dren obey his voyce that said, He that will be great among you shall be lesse in the Kingdome of heaven, and whether he shall come there it is a question (it is a place only for the humble and meek.) The way of humility they likewise know to be rough and ruggy, and not easy at the first entrance, but within a litle while after it will prove more plaine, more passable and commo­dious. They are not ignorant they must climb up a litle hill to ob­taine their desired rost, this they do with all their best endeavours, they iove to be contemned, and snatch at such occasions as may cause a just or an unjust contempt from o­thers, and when they see themselves despis'd, they are glad and rejoyce, and insult more over themselves then any of their Enemies: they threaten not when they are despised to reveng their quarrell with the sword: they reveng not themselves no not with a word. None of [Page 163]them lifts up his hand against him by whom he was contem'nd, he draws not his Dagger at him but acknow­ledges with a cheerfull thankfulness, that he is benefitted by contempt and disgrace. In a word, Gods elect Children have throughly learn'd this lesson in Christs School, that the scoffs of men cannot make them less in Gods esteem, In whose o­pinion we are greater when we are little in the worlds favour. So great, and no greater is every man, as he is in the eyes of God who judges not according to mans Iudgement. We are little in Gods account if we be great in our owne, and contrari­wise if little in our owne esteeme, vve are great in his. The deeper the Well is, the purer is the Water; And the estimation vve have of our selves is more pleasing to God, by hovv much the more vile and mean it is. God brings downe the high loocks of the proud: and men of great aspiring thoughts shall be brought to shame and confusion. The way to prevent vvhich shame [Page 164]is to depre [...]s our selves, and to bu­ry all our proud conceits vvith the consideration of that heap of mise­ries, a mass of corruption, Igno­rance and defects vvhich cleave fast and close to our natures. They say that Mush evvill recover its lost sa­vour, if you lay it in such places as are stinch'd with noysome sents. Thus if we seriously ponder our filthy vileness, or the vile filthiness of our sins, if vve hate and loath them, and if vve humble our selves before God, desiring his Grace to further our amendment, let us not doubt to obtaine vvhat we request, and let us persvvade our selves, that by his Grace assisting us, we shall send forth the svveet savour of a­mendment of our lives.

A Religious man being once ask'd what vvay he had found as most Compendious for a Christian to attaine Heaven, replyed, ‘The best vvay is for a man alvvayes to accuse himself.’ I [...]de. virg. This is the only discipline, the chief practise of Good Christians: So sayes St. Aug. St. [Page 165] Ambrose affirmes that it is a cer­taine signe of our Election to think not well of our felves, and to ac­knowledg our wound. Greg. saith, ‘It is the property of the Repro­bate, alwayes to do ill, ever more to sin, and never to retract what they have don: for whatsoever they do, they do it (as it were) hoodwinked, without any care or regard, and never acknowledge their fact till they be quickn'd to it by their pu­nishment.’

The daily practise of the Elect is to make a privy search into their owne wayes, and to discuss all their Actions, driving them to the very fountaine, even their thoughts, which pass not without examination, and when they have don all they can, they are not secure, because they know God sees in them what they cannot descerne.

The Son of Syrach his Counsell is good. The greater thou ar [...] (says he) humble thy self in all things, Eclus 3.19. and thou shalt find savour before the Lord, for God is great in power, [Page 166]and is honourd only by the meek and lowly. To speak truly, the grea­test perfection that can be imagind is this for a man to know and ac­knowledge his imperfections. And he is more to be commended to whom his infirmities are known, then he that has travell'd through all the parts of the World, studied the course of the Starres; the vertue of all Herbs, and descended into the very bowells of the Earth by his search and enquiry into the myste­ries of Natures excellencyes, after this scal'd the Heavens in contem­plation of their greatnels, and yet for all this knowes not his owne weakness. Such a man may be pi­tied and reckond among the foolish.

‘Dost thou intend to build a house of a great height, i. e. dost thou desire to attaine to some e­minency, be sure that thou lay for thy foundation, humility. Eve­ry man is delighted with honour, desires to be mounted on high, to be eminent above his fellowes, Aug. de verbis doc. but the way to this is to climb up up­on [Page 167]Humilities short Ladder, and to Ascend by her steps. Our Coun­try is above, but our way to it lyes below.’

He that seeks after this heavenly Country with a ful bent of his soule and firme resolution, vvill not re­fuse to vvalk in that way vvherein all Gods Saints have gone to Hea­ven. ‘But vve may safely take up Saint Hierom's complaint: Hiere p. 27. many follovv the shadovv, but fevv em­brace the substance and truth of humility. There are a fevv and they most happy being predesti­nated to heaven, vvho the more they see and knovv themselves, are the more displeasing to themselves; and the more vile they are in their owne eyes, the more precious are they to God. They please them­selves most, vvho knovv themselves least. Greg: l. 35. Mor. c. 5. Many knovv much but know not their ovvne vvants, and so much the less are they in Gods eyes, by hovv much they are the greater in their owne. An humble acknowledgement of our ovvne [Page 168]vileness is a Causye or safe high vvay that leads to happiness. By descending into our selves, and humbly confessing our sins, We may ascend to Heaven, so said Cassiodorus. in Psal. 6. Humility is the first step to Glory.’

SYMBOLVM. VIII.

Vilis sui aes timatio.

Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum. Matth. 18.

Embleme IX Loue of our enemies
Bee not ouercome of evill but overcome evill with good. Rom. 12v. 21.

The Ninth Signe. IS The love of our Enemies: represented by two Javelins conjoynd or tyed together by an Olive branch. Vnder vvhich these vvords out of St. Paul to the

ROMANS c. 12.

Be not overcome with evill, but overcome evill with Good.

AN Olive branch was used by the Auncients for a signe or emblem of peace: and here an [Page 170]Olive bovv tvvisted and made into a Wreath binds these tvvo Wea­pons together, and hinders them from meeting by vvay of hostility: as love conciliates and conjoynes those in a fast band, who before Is­ved in hatred or enmity. Christ seriously exhorts us to the duty of love where he saith; Mat. 5. But I say un­to you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, that persecute and revile you, so shall you be the Sons of your heavenly Father. Aug. En. c. One may object and say that ‘this work is hard, and the taske difficult.’ But know, sayes St. Aug. that ‘the harder the work is the more gratefull will it be to God and profitable to us.’ There be many kinds of Almes which God in mercy and for Christs merits is pleasd to accept, Act. 10. as he did those of Cornelius, but no Almes more acceptable, no sacrifice so plea­sing to him as when from the very ground of our hearts, we forgive them that offend and trespasse a­gainst [Page 171]us. Christ when he hung fast nail'd to the Crosse, had his Tongue only free from the wounds of nayles and lash of Whips, and he thus hanging upon that cursed and shamefull Tree used that his sacred Tongue in prayer and supplication for those who had crucified him with their hands and revild him with their reproachfull Tongues. So eloquent and potent an advocate was he even for the Iewes and other his adversaries: Neither did Christ [...]n this want Disciples or followers though they were but a few that conform'd themselves to this his most godly practise. When Stephen pray'd for those that stond him, hea­ven presently opend as if the Saints & Angels in heaven were delighted with so rare a spectacle or sight, to wit, a man praying for those by whom he was murderd.

This protomartyr Stephen stood when he commended his owne cause to God, but pray'd kneeling for his enemies; and withall, Act. 7. Saw heaven opend and Jesus standing [Page 172]at the right hand of God. If it be lawfull (O Lord Almighty) for sin­full flesh and blood to pry into thy Actions by a curious enquiry, Give me leave blessed God, to put this bold question unto thee.

Lord, what is it that thou now doest? how hasty is thy mercy and goodness? how doest thou make hast to help and save us? how dif­ferent is the method of thy procee­dings from ours: with us the fight goes, before the reward or triumph: but behold now a Saint rewarded before he had fully conquerd. Be­fore Stephens mouth was open'd, Heavens Gates were unlock'd and opend, so that he presently, Saw the Glory of God. What man is there that liveth, that whilst he lives can see God and shall not see Death? This holy Martyr Stephen vvas yet alive in the flesh, vvhen he did partake of the beatificall vision. O vvonderfull mercy worthy of all Admiration. God never openly shewes himselfe to his Servants, but in Heaven, vvhich is his dwelling [Page 173]place; vvhy vvas it then that hap­piness broke (as I may so say) out of Heaven Gates and ran to meet Stephen in the mid vvay of his race? This Champion vvas as yet in the field, he vvas yet wrastling upon the stage of this world, and in this con­flict between life and Death, the flesh and the spirit, he prayed, and that for his enemies: O happy and powerfull Prayer, that could open Heaven! But let us weigh the cause why his reward was so hastily bestowd? It is this. Our remission and pardoning of Injuries, our ear­nest deprecation and interceding for our Enemies is so gratefull and pleasing to God, that now when Stephen was upon his knees, this most mercifull Lord layes aside his dreadfull Majesty, dispences with his royall law of crowning after victory, prevents this first Martyr with a rare and extraordinary mer­cy, and commands the most beau­tifull Queen of Heaven, Happiness, to step out of those celestiall doores, to embrace this blessed Champion [Page 174]in her Armes at the Threshold be­fore those doores, that so he that re­warded his deadly Enemies, his persecutors with love, and pour'd out prayers and teares to God in their behalf, might (contrary to the statute law of Heaven) be call'd to triumph, before Death was fully conquer'd. And this is a royall priviledge indulged only to those who can and do forget and forgive Injuries. Hence we may inferre, that to do an ill turne, not to suf­fer one is hurtfull to a man, and full of danger, for that thereby, he makes God his adversary and loseth his favour who is pleased with: and delights only in those that can suffer patiently, and readily forgive an In­jury. David a man of meekness and after Gods owne heart, who had fought with Lions, and Beares, and often got the conquest, yet he being so valiant, as that no feare or terrour could abate his couragious valour, when his raging and most cruell enemy Saul oftentimes fell into his hands, and was at his mer­cy [Page 175]yet he chose rather to spare then kill him, and bore as it were before him, this motto in his triumphant Banner. Jf I have rewarded evill to those that repaid my good will with discourtesies; Psalm. 6. then let me be overthrowne and fall before mine enemies. So St. Paul, although he was of that brave and stout spirit, that he challengd an Army of Spi­rituall adversaries with Death and Hell into the field, and bid them o­pen defiance, yet he was mercifull and gentle to his enemies, 1 Cor. 4. that he said, Being cursed, we blesse, being persecuted, we suffer, being de­fam'd, we beseech, &c. his ex­ample may be to us a Pattern of meek patience. It is the most noble and generous kind of re­veng to pardon, when thou hast power to punish. And it is a more glorious Act to overcome an Ene­my by silence, then by a multitude of words. Prov. 20. It is an honour for a man to abstaine from strife.

Ambr. saith, that to revenge, is not an Act of fortitude or cou­rage [Page 176]but of an abject minde and base cowardise.’ He that revenges himself, overcomes not, but is over­come by his enemies. And of this opinion is the Prince of Philoso­phers who sayes thus.

‘As it argues a weak stomack not to be able to digest hard meat that is put into it so it is an argu­ment of a pusillanimous spirit, Arist. l. 4. E. h. c. 3. not to be able to beare with an angry word.’ A man can not give a clearer testimony or demonstrati­on that he is a true Christian, then by loving his enemy. For the exer­cise of our vertues, our piety and patience, we have need either of a most syncere friend, or most sharp enemy, who is more Injurious to himself then thou or any man can be. Chrysostome said truly, ‘that a desire of Reveng in the heart is more hurtfull then a Viper whose poyson is incurable. Hom. 41. in Act. Neither is it a lesse evill to repay an injury then to offer it.’ He that strikes his Enemy, gives himselfe his deadly wound, and he that wounds [Page 177]himself, we count him a mad-man or a fool. This is to take coales out of the fire, but first to burne out owne fingers, and then throw them upon another.

Thus is the Author of any evill at first or last punished by it, when he against whom it was intended, escapes oftentimes unhurt, or unpu­nished. ‘Whosoever hateth another man woundeth his owne soule, and he that loveth not, Lact deira dei To 3. bideth in death.’ ‘But what soever may be said to the contrary; It is an hard thing for flesh and blood to love an enemy.’ To him that should make this objection, we may re­tort thus. ‘But it will be a more hard and difficult matter to burne in the midst of Gods enemies in everlasting fire.’ It may be hard to love him, whom you think wor­thy of hatred, but it will be an har­der and more Irksome thing to heare the voyce of him, who one day shall pronounce from his seat of Iudgement this heavy and soule­iklling sentence, go yecursed, & [...] [...]et then no man any more pretend [Page 178]difficulty and say, It is a thing intolerable to flesh and blood not to hurt him by whom ofttimes I have beene hurr.

‘Let such a man remember what one did say. He that will take no paines, will never climb a Moun­taine, and whosoever hates his e­nemy shall never go to Heaven.’ The superstitious Papists go in pil­grimage from place to place, and for the most part returne the worse. They offer large gifts at their Al­tars, and in the meane time harbour hearts in their brests as hard as their Altar stones, being full of hatred and malice: they put themselves to great cost and paines to procure a Jubile for the pardon of their owne sins, and yet they will not cast out their desire of Reveng, God, Chri­stian, hath appointed for thee a Iubile which thou maist solemnize within thy self, and within the walls of thy house. This is done by say­ing but one word from thy heart; I forgive: say this cordially, and God will forgive thee all thy offen­ces which thou hast committed a­gainst [Page 179]his Iustice. Forgive and it shall be forgiven thee; Lu. 6. for if thou shouldst give thy body to be burnt, and hast not Charity, in that thou hatest thine enemies, it would pre­sit the nothing; God would not be pleasd with thee, we count him rich who hath many debtors; our ene­mies that heap upon us miseries, owe us much, for that they ought to suffer much by, and from us. It is in our power now whether we will enrich our selves by them in pardo­ning and passing by their offences. But let me advise thee O man, that art apt to reveng, cast up thy ac­count, and see what thou thy self owest, and what others to thee. Consider how much it is which thou owest to thy God. Thy score is so great that I beleeve thou art not able to di [...]charge it, but by this onely means, Eccl. 28.2. by relying upon Christs satisfaction to his Fathers Justice for thy sins. Forgive thy Neighbour the hurt he hath done unto thee; so shall thy sins be f [...]r­given when thou prayest. Great [Page 180]are thy debts which God hath for­given thee: if thou shouldst be back­ward and unwilling to cancell a small debt due to thee from ano­ther, might not one justly suspect thee as guilty of great Iniquity? That saying of St. Hier. is common and well known: ‘Oh fearefull sentence (sayes he) if we remit not small things to our Brother, God will not remit great things to us. A man may expect the like mea­sure, or that pardon from God which he affords to his Brother.’ Forgive not, and thou shalt not be forgiven. Therefore O man, take pitty on thy s [...]ule, and if so be thou hatest not thy self, see, that thou extend thy love unto thine enemy. The ple sure or defight that is taken in Reveng, is not long, but that which followes upon our mercy to others, is everlasting. Be not I be­seech you, overcome with evill, but overcome evill with Good. Rom. 12. If thine enemy be hungry, give him meat, if thirsty, give him Drink, So shalt thou: heap cuales of fire upon his [Page 181]head, and the Lord will recom­pence thee againe; Overcome e­vill with good. St. Chrys. speakes excellently of this Victory.

‘In the Olympick Games con­secrated to the Devill, this Law was of force, to overcome by do­ing ill, by giving blow for blow, but in the Schoole of Christ, we are taught a quite contrary lesson, to do good for evill, for here not he that strikes, but he that is stroken, and beares it with pa­tience is commended by Christ, there he was crownd that shed most blood, here only he that is most patient.’

Humility and meeknesse would so guard us in our lives, that if we did but use either of them in our actions, no mischief should foile us, no hurt befall us, and no injury reach unto our persons, being fenced with these two vertues. Prov. 20.22.24.29. Say not then, I will recompence evill, but wait upon the Lord, and he will save thee. Neither say thou as he has done to me, so will I do to him. It is a madness [Page 182]by hurting another to procure thy owne hurt and dammage. And he that bites at the stone when he should look to the hand that sent it discovers too much in himself of the nature of the Dogge.

Nay for blindness of understan­ding and for want of Iudgement he that rages against his adversary, may be compard to an Owl or Buzzard, 2 Sam. 16. Therefore when thy enemie▪ doth curse thee, let him curse, for God hath bid him curse thee. with this consideration David comforted himself, when he was revil'd by Shimei. He that is condemned to dye, is not offended or angry with the Hang-man, but rather with the Iudge. And why poore wretched man, dost thou storme in a passion against thy executioner? Rather look up to the Iudge, even to God Almighty, who sent this Antago­nist to try thy faith and patience, and to chastise thee for thy sins.

The Devill without Gods per­mission could not have taken one small Sheep from Iob. Iob. 1. The Lord giveth, and the Lord hath taken a­way: [Page 183]the Lord, not the Devill; this was Jobs note. Iohn 19. Christ in like man­ner replyed to Pilate. Thou shouldst not have had any power against me at all, unlesse it had beene given thee from above. The same An­swer maist thou make to thy Ad­versary; most men have been more benefited by their enemies, then by their most loving friends. Take away tyrants, and there will be no Martyrs, and take away all enemies and men thereby will loose the re­ward of their patience. Dioclesian did not less amplify and enlarge the Church by the Sword and barbarous Cruelty, then Constantine did with Gold and liberality. That Lord of the family in the Gospell would have the Wheat and the Tares grow together; Mat. 13. Let both grow till the Harvest. But we are of another temper, of a forward and hasty dis­position, although it be to our hurt and destruction, so soone as we see a weed grow amongst our Corne, we cry presently tis a Thistle or Nettle, away with it to the fire, tares to the Furnace, our enemies we [Page 184]wish to helf. O my deare brethren bridle this unruly passion, be more gentle and moderate. It is not fit for you before the Harvest comes, to vent your hasty fury upon the fields at the time of Harvest it shall be said to the reapers: Gather first the Tares, bind them in bundles, and cast them into the Furnace. Let us not then provoke Gods patience to wrath against us, by being to hasty in the prosecution of the ruine of our enemies: Let us wait for the Harvest. Let us referre them and our cause to the Barre of Gods Iu­stice. This kind of weeds, this cockle these Tares shall not escape the cut­ting Hooke, they shall be throwne into the fire, but the Harvest is not yet, therefore Gods leisure must be waited on, his time expected. Christ when he taught his Disciples to pray and offer up their soules to God in the 7. Petitions of the Lords Pray­er, not without great cause he re­peated, and explained that which concerns the forgiving of our ene­mies which Injure us, and what did he give us to understand by that ex­plication, [Page 185]but that this Doctrine of forgiveness was often to be incul­cated and the duty ever practised. And truly we cannot too often re­peat, 'that which is never suffi­ciently, never well enough learned. David commending to us the excel­lency of Gods Law, speaks thus of it. Psal. 119. Thy commandement is excee­ding broad: indeed it is of a large and vast extent, in that it com­mands us to love not only those of our acquaintance, but also stran­gers, our enemies as well as bene­factours, our foes as well as our friends, and those that are unwor­thy of our favour, aswell as those that deserve our love and honour.

‘A man can give no such cer­taine argument that he is rich, by wearing about his neck a Chaine of Gold, as he that loves his ene­mies, demonstrates, and clearely proves that he is the Son of God. Chrys. hom. 2. in Ep ad Phil. But where is the man that has s [...]ch a command o're his passions, that when the waves of Anger rage and swell, does not curse his enemy with bitter execrations, even to [Page 186]the Pit of Hell?’ But this becomes not Christians who have given up their names to Christ, promising to be his Disciples, in imitating hivertues. It beseemes such to bridle their Anger, and to allay their unruly passions. Good counsaile is that of St. Ser. 3. Inter. 17. Hom. Aug.

‘Hast thou heard a reproach? it is but winde. Art thou angry, here rises a wave, when then the winde blowes, and the Waves rise, the ship is in danger: So is thy heart if thou givest way to the 'passion of Anger.’ Having heard thy selfe reproach'd, if thou studies [...] to be reveng'd, thou hast made shipwrack of thy patience. And why so? because Christ is a­sleep in thee upon a Pillow (as he was in the ship with his Disciples) Thou hast shut Christ out of thy thoughts, thou hast quite forgot­ten that when he was hanging be­tweene the two Theeves, he ent [...]ea­ted God with teares to pardon, not to imprison or hang his persecutors. Thou seest then how Christ sleeps in thee (as he did in the ship, when [Page 187]the storme rose) he sleeps in thee, who has left thee by his example a lesson, from which thou maist learne, not only to watch for thy e­nemies good, but to die for him if there be need.

Therefore by an active remem­brance of his vertues, stir up Christ in thy heart, and say to thy selfe, what am I poore worme that I should desire to be reveng'd upon any that has done me some harme? I will resolve rather to undergoe the stroake of death, then my enemy shall sustaine by me any the least harme. The soule that burnes hot with an eager desire of revenge, when it departs out of the body and takes its flight to Heaven, will cer­tainly be repeld by Christ, who by his precept and practise taught us meekness, not raging malice; being a Teacher of submission, not of persecution; the Master of Charity, (who did instruct us to pardon our enemies,) not of Hatred and Re­venge; those that practise these are none of his Disciples, they belong [Page 188]not unto Christ. But the revengfull soule wants both eyes and eares, it is deafe and blind, and carried wheresoever the violence of passion drawes it; of this constitution and humor were those of whom we finde mention made in "Plautus, In paen. Act. 3. Scen. who sayes ‘that the rich cormorants of those dayes were such, that if you did them a good turne, it was blowne out of their memories like a feather, but if you did them any the least displeasure, their impla­cable wrath would lye as heavy upon you as Lead.’ Indeed most men are of a leaden, obtuse, and earthy mind, sleepy, and drowsie in all things excepting injuries; they are watchfull in these and will be sure to repay them; upon the least blast of any offence or displeasure conceived to come from another, all courtesie and love flyes away, and vanishes out of their thoughts, but a contumelious word or any disgracefull Act sinks deep, as it were lead, into their hearts, and sticks there as fast and unmoveable, [Page 189]as malice and hatred can make it. Give me leave, my Christian Brethren, to speake what is true, and what I repeat with greife. The ve­ry Idolatrous Gentils overcome us with Goodness and pity to their enemies. Their testimonies and examples so convince our Consci­ences, that at the great day of Iudg­ment there will be no manner of excuse left for us.

Pompey the Great, Pompey. was not more renown'd for being Mr. of 3. parts of the World then for this (as Pa­ter culus doth witness) that he was constant to his friends, easily en­treated to forgive when he was of­fended, and most ready to accept of any satisfaction that was offered when Augustus the Emperour par­don'd Cinna who plotted his death, he bespoke him in these words. O Cinna once againe J will give thee thy life: First I gave it thee as an enemy, but now as to a traytor and parricide, and forthwith he also-conferrd upon him the Consul­ship. See now the event of this his [Page 190]Goodness; by this means he tyed Cinna to him fast in a bond of friendship, so that when he dyed he made him his Heire.

Phocion the Emperour, Phocion. a most Innocent man being condemnd to die, when the Sergeant came to him and presented a poysoned Cup to drink; his Kins-men and acquain­tance askd him what message they should carry from him to his Son: ‘My will and command is (said he) that my Son bury this Cup in oblivion, which the Athenians have now forced me to drink.’ To these may be added the example of Julius Caesar, Jul. C. who is reported by Historians never to have forgot a­ny thing, but Injuries. But which of us in this case either will seeme, or will really be guilty of forget­fulness.

The benefits we receive, we write in the Dust, which is blown away with every blast, but our ill turns in Marble, which is lasting and du­rable, these we never forget. No man will give place to Anger and [Page 191]self Revenge, although God urge [...]im with his command to it. God [...]id ever severely punish this desire of Revenge, and hath said expresly [...]n his word: Revenge is mine, I will repay it, when I think it sit. Deut. 32. Notwithstanding this Edict from God, what man is there who is not ready to retort and say. To me belongs revenge, and I will repay it. God opposes this bold reply once againe in the Scriptures. Rom. [...]2. Vengance is mine and I will repay it. Here flesh and blood dares once more oppose its maker, and say, nay Lord, Vengence I will challenge; it is mine, and I will repay it. Thou art too easy to be entreated, thy Re­venge comes slowly, and oftentimes too late. Thus out of a rash and wicked boldness we dare challenge Gods prerogative, and invade his royall priviledge. Out of his hand we snatch the Sword, which he only should draw to cut off our enemies, and being, the party offended, con­trary to all equity, we take upon us the property of a Judge.

Rufsinus Aquiliensis, Ruff. l. 3. n 77. Pelag. lib. n. 10. and many other Greek Interpreters tell us, that a certaine man having su­staind a great Injury, made his complaint to one Sisojus, a most Religious old man, a Magistrate in that place, so also he described with bitter and sharp invectives the manner of his Injury (being so me words of disgrace,) and withall be­seechd him, saying, "Suffer me to shew my selfe a man, and to re­venge my selfe on my adversary. But the good old man did earnestly re­quest him, that he would not by shewing himself a man, turne Devill: and also advised him to leave all Revenge to God, who is a strong and unresistable revenger of the wicked, who for the Injuries they do to Gods servants shall not escape, but be certainely punished. But I am resolv'd said the other, not to pardon my enemy, and never to desist, till I have done to him, as he hath done to me. To whom the old man once againe re­plied thus. I beseech you so prove [Page 193]your self to be a man, that withall you forfeit not the name of Chri­stian, and attend to what reason dictates to you, not to that which is enjoynd by the violent command of passion.

To this the other answers, yes, but reason tells us that he is not to be spard who wold not forbeare others.

To whom Sisoius thus once a­gaine. But my friend, this thing thou speakest of is not in thy power to will or do.

The right and power of the sword in this cause belongs only to God. The God to whom Vengeance be­longs, is the Lord of Heaven, and has power to do what he will with his Creature.: this liberty is deny­ed to us. And I suppose thou know­est what Christ has said, not by way of Counsel, but precept and command; That we owe to our e­nemies not only pardon, but also prayers, love and courtesies. [My Father,] retorted the other to this my mind is like the troubled Sea and will never rest, or be at quiet till [Page 194]I be avenged on my Adversary. Seeing therefore replyed Sisoius, thou art resolved to take revenge; Let me advise thee not to be too ha­sty: Let us I beseech you first pre­sent our requests to God in Prayer: upon this both fel upon their knees, and the old man Sisoius conceived a prayer in these words. ‘O God we present not our selves before thy Majesty, to desire thy help or assistance, for that at this time we have no need of it neither do we entreat thee to take any care for us; for we will looke to and provide for our selves. Vengeance belongs to us, and we will repay it, and we now are fully resolved to subdue our enemies, and to bring them under our feet, for the ma­ny injuries they have done us.’

When the good old man had fi­nished his prayer, the other was so astonied with a confused amaze­ment and shame, that instantly he fell downe at the old mans feet: and being thus prostrate, he wept bitterly, and promised that he [Page 195]would forgive his enemy, and not revenge himself, no not in word. And indeed this is the Command of our just God; this is the mark of Gods Sons, willingly and readily to pardon those that of­fend them; and when they have an opportunity, to requite the offence with a beneficiall courtesie. See (sayes St. Paul) that no man ren­der evill for evill, Thes. 5. but alwayes follow that which is good, both to­wards your selves and towards all men. Thus Paul; but Christ our Saviour, has left us a more strict Injunction, when he sayes more plainly. But I say unto you that heare me, Love your Enemies, Lu. 6. do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you. And as ye would that men should do unto you so do ye unto them. And if you love those that love you, what thanks, have you for sinners do the same. And if you do good to those that do good to you, what thanks have you for Sinners do the same. But I say un­to you, love your enemies, and your [Page 196]reward shall be great: and you shall be called the Sons of the most high, because he is bountifull, even to the ingratefull, and to the wic­ked.

These duties (good God) thou commandest, and largely doest thou promise; but O Lord how many be there that will not lend to thee an eare: how many are there in the World who prefer their lust and ha­tred before thy word, and therefore they most audaciously profess, they will not leave their malice, nor by any threats, be Esseminated into a facility of pardoning an offence. Nothing is more pleasant to them, then to pay their enemies with their owne Coyne; to requite wound for wound, and words for words. And if God should do by them, as he did by Salomon, offer to give them what they did wish, 1. K. 3. I beleeve they would not as he did desire wisdom, rather Revenge. They undoubted­ly would cry to God, and say; Lord give us the lives of our enemies, and it shall suffice us. Behold here a [Page 197]lively picture of the spirit of Re­venge which uses to contemne Gods Law, to esteeme little or nothing of his threats: and not on­ly not to suffer, but to returne an Injury, to be ragingly angry but for a small word, to follow the violent motion of an unruly passion, and to load an enimy with curses and execrations.

‘This desire of Revenge (sayes Tertullian) proceeds either from vaine-glory or malice. Lib de pat. c. 8.9.10.11. The former is every where by all wise men contemn'd: The latter is most odious to God, especially in this case, because it doubles and re­peats an evill, which was but once committed.’ For what diffe­rence is there betweene him that provokes a man by an Injury, and him that is provok'd, if he revenges himselfe, but only this, that the one is in the first place found guilty, the other in the second, both of wicked­ness and wronging God; in that they disobey his word, wherein we are taught, if a man smite us on one [Page 198]cheek to turne the other, and to tire our enemies in piety by our pa­tience; for by our patient bearing with their wicked doings; we tor­ment and vex them as it were with scourges and whips. Tell me, I pray you, whether or no we do not dero­gate from Gods honour, when we arrogate to our selves the power of revenging and defending our selves; God is the Arbitrator or Proctour of patience, and if you commit the managing and care of your abuse to him, he will be in thy behalfe: Revenger; commend your losse to his providence, and you will fine him a Restorer: trust him with th [...] cure of thy Grief, and he will be thy Physitian, or healer: At the houre of death commend thy spirit into his hands, and at the last great day he will be thy Rayser, and reuni­ting thy body to thy soule; he will glorifie both of them together in his heavenly Kingdome. But an impatient and froward man may object and say with him in the Poet: What? shall I alwayes be a silent [Page 199]Auditor: being so oft provok'd, shall I never repay the wrong that is done unto mee? so it is, (my Christian Brother) never think thou of requiting an Injury, although thou beest an hundred, nay a thou­sand times abused; if thou desirest to be reckon'd amongst Gods Sons, commit thy self, and thy cause to thy heavenly Fathers hands, and with a patient silence, suffer and beare with thy Adversaries malice. My Children suffer patiently the wrath that is to come upon you from God: Barue. 4.15. for thine enemy hath perse­cuted thee, but shortly thou shalt see his destruction, and shalt tread upon his neck. Thus did God once comfort his people by his servant Barue. And by St. Paul he sayes, He that has done wrong, Col. 3.25. shall re­ceive for the wrong which he hath done. But perhaps thou wilt farther say. well Sir, I will forgive but never forget the injury. Is it so in­deed? do ye think that God will be mocked! do you think this kind of liberality is pleasing to God? if it [Page 200]be so that you are resolved to do no otherwise, then expect the same measure of bounty at the hands of the Lord. Should a man, sayes Ec­clesiasticus, beare hat [...]ed against a man, Eeclus. 28.3, 4. and desire forgiveness of God, he will shew no mercy to a man that is like himself, and will he aske forgiveness of his owne sins: if he that is but flesh n [...]ish ha­tred and ask [...] pardon of God, who will entreat for that man? I suppose none. It is a vaine pretence of cle­mency and pitty to say I will not revenge such an Injury, and yet ne­ver forget it Whatsoever thou gi­vest, and forgivest, give and for­give it entirely, or else for ever dis­paire of mercy from God. you know what Christ threatens in the Gospell, So shall my heavenly Fa­ther do unto you, Mat. 81. [...] if ye forgive not every one his Brother from your hearts. To this some great one may object: All this I beleeve to be true, and I vvould readily vvithout much adoe forgive and pardon my enemy, but I am a man of publicke [Page 201]Authority. No man shall think to abuse me, and go unpunished. I must and vvill defend my honour vvhich is Ecclips'd, and my repu­tation vvhich is stained. Such an­svvers have fallen from some mens lips: but I beseech you, (Christian Brethren,) let us not play the Sophi­sters, and dispute the case in so se­rious a point that concerns our salvation: saye aside all painted phrases, and all expressions gilded vvith a pretence of colourable ex­cuses.

Saint Stephen was one that bare a publick office, yet he threw not back a stone against those that ston'd him: neither would he de­fend his honour, so, as to forfeit his Religion, but cried out with a loud voyce: Lord lay not this sin to their charge.

In like manner our crucified Lord and Saviour Christ Iesus did (not as the Son of man only, but also as the Son of God) utter these words with devout teares to his Heavenly Father. Father forgive [Page 202]them. There is no mortall man of so great Majesty and worth, but that he may without any the least blot to his reputation forgive an injury offered to his person, Thou shalt not seek revenge, Levit. 19. nor be mind­full of an injury from any of the Children of thy people. So God by his servant Moses exhorts all Ma­gistrates. But thou wilt say, I never gave that knave any cause of of­fence. It may be so, and I must tell thee, if a cause had bin ministred, that which thou sustainest could not be termed an Injury, but it would be said, that thou hadst hurt him, and he wounded thee. But what do you meane by talking of a Cause? wherein did Ioseph trespass against his Brethren when he told them his Dreame! And yet even Ioseph, the Viceroy of Aegypt; though so a­bus'd, in a generous and brave si­lence, buried all his injuries, and rewarded them with great benefits, which his Brethren who had sold him, received at his hands. But you will object and say. But Sir, the [Page 203]Injury is no small nor light one. But now, why do you exaggerate the greatness of your Ingury? if the offences which thou forgivest be small, thy praise will not be great. And unless thou be exercisd with great crosses and Jujuries, never expect to be famous for thy great vertues.

'Heare what St. Hier. c. 5. in Mat. 9. Hierome sayes God is (be it spoken with reverence) a Smith: ‘his enemies are his Files and Hammers, by which he purges and takes off our dross from us: and being thus purg'd, & polish'd, he stampes upon our soules the Image of holliness.’ But let me ask thee (whosoever thou beest that complainest of thy sufferings) hast thou been ston'd with Paul? hast thou ever been scourged, and cruci­fied with Christ? No, let this then teach thee humility and patience; In that thou art not in so bad a case as thy betters. But I am of a Noble, he of a base parentage; why should he not then feel the smart of my revenge; poore mistaken man, you [Page 204]are both of the earth, earthy, yours may be of the better meld, yet dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou re­turne, as well as thy poorer Adver­sary. If a desire of revenge over­come thee, thou art not of the Son of the nobles, but a servant of sin and wickedness. Ecclus. 28. Remember there­fore thy latter end, and cease to live in enmity, in debate and strife. Thou maist say after, all this. Al­though I Revenge not my selfe upon mine enemy, although I for­beare to do this, yet I cannot so Command my passion, as not to have a will and great desire to it. Thou maist, if thou wilt, command thy affections; But so long as thou doest minister to thy mind matter for thy hatred to feed on, thy thoughts before God are as bitter as Wormewood: thou bearest in thy brest nettles, Thornes, Thistles, with which thy conscience is mise­rably wrack'd and tortur'd Againe, Thou wilt say, I burne with the flame of revengfull thoughts. Let me tell thee, unless thou put out, [Page 205]and extinguish this fire betimes, thou wilt cause God to shut thee out of Heaven, to lock the gate of it upon thee, and to doome thee to that place of torment, where thou shalt burne in everlasting flames with the Devill and his cursed An­gells. A patient suffering of Inju­ries, is a Gate through which we enter into the heavenly joyes. But he that seeketh vengeance shall find vengeance of the Lord, Ecclus: 20. 1. Num. 12.19. Deut. 32.35. and he will surely keep his sins. Lastly thou maist object and say. I can take no rest night nor day, my meat and my drink are uncomfortable to mee, so long as I see Mordochey my enimy sitting and untouch'd, free from all misfortunes and grief, and plotting against me this or that mischief. O fond man, foe­lish to thine owne destruction, E­zekiel reports of certaine valiant men, Ez. 32 27. who went downe [...]o the grave with their weapons of Warre, and laid their Swords under their heads. See here a new and unheard kind of pillow, a sword. On such a [Page 206]pillow do all those that are greedy of revenge lay their heads to sleep, who never cease from wickedness, and take no rest or quietness in any thing, but in calumniating and fighting, in brawling with those whom they conceive to be their e­nemies. Thus Cain the first Scholler in the Devils School (as Basil calls him) he slew Abell with his bloody hand, to the intent that his Brothers glory being ecclipsed and darkned, his owne might shine the brighter, and be more firmely esta­blished. But he found a quite con­trary event. Esau, Saul, and Antio­chus, implor'd Gods mercy, begg'd his pardon for their sins, and that not without tears, and yet were not heard God rejected their Prayers. Esau found no place for repentance, Heb. 12. though he sought it with teares. In like manner Said and Antiochus, though they endeavored to take hold on the hornes of the Altar, even that of mercy, they were repuls'd and beaten off, and not undeserved­ly; for that they refus'd to spare, [Page 207]and to be pitifull to those from whom they had receiv'd any the least indignities. Eccl. 28. He shall have judgement without mercy, who, shewed no mercy, to others.

King Davids fall was foule and deadly when he committed 2. sins at once, Murder, and Adultery: but so soone as he had shew'd but the least signe of Repentance, and utter'd scarce two words when he said to Nathan, I have sinned a­gainst the Lord, 2 Sam. 12.13: The prophet Im­mediatly replied. The Lord hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die. How oft did Antiochus confess that he had sinned and not without bit­ter lamentation and howling, cry to the Lord for mercy and pardon; no doubt he made great vowes, and offer'd great gifts to God in his Temple, and promised if God would pardon, to amend his life for the future. Notwithstanding al these protestations he suffer'd a repulse: God did not encline his eares to this Tyrants prayers; & no wonder, For this tyranical King did differ much from King David. They behav'd [Page 208]themselves diversly and in a diffe­ferent manner towards their ene­mies. David was inferiour to none in Warre and conquest, his success and victories were great and many: he likewise overcame all in mercy and pity, in sparing those who did injure him either by opprobrious words or open hostility. He us'd his power in nothing less then in taking revenge against any; more gentle and milde was he to his foes, then Antiochus was to his owne people and Citizens; against whom he breath'd nothing but swords and fire, blood and revenge, and being thus unmercifull and full of cruel­ty, he found no mercy. The Phisi­tians use not to desert their sick pa­tients, untill they plainly perceive that their disease or malady is pass'd all hope of recovery, yet there is a certaine kind of disease, which when they discover in their patients, they presently bid them prepare for death, it being impossible for them to be cur'd. Even so it is in the soule: Although we are to dispaire of no mans salvation (be he never [Page 209]so wicked) so long as he has life and being, yet when his bowells do swim in the gall of bitterness, when his soule is inflam'd with masice, burnes with hatred and a desire of revenge, of this kind of sickness, St. John spends his Crisis, he tells us it is deadly. 1 Io. 5 There is a sin (sayes he) unto Death: I say not that a man should pray for it. These men seldome repent that are obstinatly resolv'd, and bent to revenge their private quarrells and distasts against their enemies. And in whom there is this bitterness of spirit, in them there is no sense or feeling of Gods Judgements, Ecc. 21. they are by them no whit terrified. Although all the learn'd and wise men in the world thunder against this sin with their pens, although all Gods Prophets, and Ministers pronounce heavy threats against it, and withall in­treat and perswade the men of the World to cover all their injuries with the mantle of forgetfullness, to bury them in the Grave of forgive­ness, and to embrace one another [Page 210]in the Armes of love and tender affections; notwithstanding, all these exhortations, threats, and pre­cepts, the ungodly ones, who are fitted to destruction, shun and de­cline all the wayes of amity and re­conciliation, they (not fearing the wrath of God, not regarding his Ministers) go on boldly in their re­vengfull purposes, and labour to re­pay to their enemies for bad turnes the like requitalls.

When neither the Prophets, wisemen, nor any of Gods Messen­gers could be heard, but still men went on in their malice, at last the wisest and the fairest among the sons of men, the Prophets instru­ctour, the King of Angells came with great power and Authority from his heavenly Father, not so much to perswade, as to command us to this union, a peaceable agree­ment among our selves, he came al­so not to counsaile us, but to im­print this law of love in our hearts: and yet miserable wretches we are, we kick and rebell against our Sa­viours [Page 211]Doctrine, we reject his law. He in his Fathers name commands us thus. But I say unto you, Mat. 5. love your enemies; we his rebellious Subjects retort and cry unto him. ‘O Christ you speak in vaine to us, your commands are to no pur­pose; although we be Christians, yet we in this will shew our selves worse then Heathens, we will take revenge and not attend to thy words.’ This is the blasphemous answer of proud worldlings to Christ, who exhorts us to love our enemies, but none will obey his voyce. But I say unto yee, resist not evill: Thus Christ. what? Re­sist not evilf? Then we shall be branded for Cowards; thus we out of an impudent boldness. Pray for them that persecute, and revile you that ye may be the Sons of your Fa­ther which is in Heaven. This is Christs advise, but we count this a Jejune and frigid Prayer, and are loath to purchase that royall Title at so deare a rate as we esteeme it. Doe good to those that hate you: So [Page 212]Christ enjoyns, but we are ready to reply: Thou commandest Lord, that which is against the very grain of nature, impose upon us a taske which may be done with more fa­cility, Forgive & ye shal be forgiven. Thus Christ againe. Our Answer is this, we cannot, and that you may know we cannot, know that we will not bridle our Anger with the curbe of Reason; we will not hold in our Teeth, nor containe our hand. And who can command his thoughts? we are therefore re­solv'd to meditate and practise re­venge. If you forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will al­so forgive you your trespasses.

This is Christs loving and sweet admonition to us, but we ungodly miscreants make ansvver to this, vve would vvillingly dye, so that vve might first see our enemies perish. O my Christian Brethren do you hate Heaven so, that you vvill vvith a speedy course post to Hell? have you banish'd that Petition in the Lords Prayer out of your thoughts? [Page 113] Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us? From this you may inferre that either your enemies are to be loved, or that you cast a snare upon your selves, as oft as you put up this re­quest to God. As vve forgive o­thers, so Lord do thou forgive us. But we forgive nothing, out of an implacable hatred to mens persons, vve are ever forvvard to punish and revenge the least affront, or hurt vve receive from them; Therefore O Lord forgive us nothing, but pu­nish so oft as vve offend.

This is the language of our Esawes, the Reprobate, not of Gods elect ones, vvho although they re­ceive never so great hurt and dam­mage from their enemies, yet they are ready to call to God and say vvith their Saviour, Father forgive them, &c. And Lord lay not this sin to their charge. I forgive all, I remit all, and vvill revenge none; This is the voyce of Iacob, of one ordain'd to life and salvation. But before I put a period to this discourse [Page 214]I must entreat all those who shall peruse this, and not love their ene­mies, to tell me ingeniously, whe­ther they beseeve these things to be true: Certainly they vvill ansvver, affirmatively, unless they can ima­gine that Christ vvill deceive us, or that Truth it selfe can lye. If then these things be true, nay most true, what wicked contumacy then are they guilty of, vvho out of an obsti­nate spirit make a mock at Gods word and contemne his commands? Christ calls, and commands, Love not only your friends, but also your very enemies; if they have vvrong'd you, pardon and remit al their inju­ries. Christ may command, yet you are stifly resolv'd, to hate and perse­cute, not to pardon your enemies, and detractors. What is God and Christ? is Heaven and happines of so little vvorth in your esteeme, that the promise of so great a re­vvard, cannot vvrest and extort from your tongues, and hearts this one vvord, I forgive, I remit, and the Lord pardon that man his sin, [Page 215]whosoever he be that has done me any wrong? What? for all this which has bin delivered, do ye stand yet as stocks without sense, and voice without any motion or incli­nation, to forgive and pardon? Does your Iron brest yet breath Reveng? Doe ye yet cry, the Devill, or the Gallowes take him, that has wrong'd mee? Doe ye still wish mischief to him, do you still hate your ene­my? And will not ye hearken to Christ, listen to what he commands? If you are fully minded not to cast out this poyson, enjoy your malice, but let me tell you for a certaine, doe what you will, take what course you please, you are in the road vvay to hell, and out of that vvhich leads to Heaven. Faith and loye lead to this; malice and hatred to that. For most true is that saying of a learned and devout Author. ‘He that ceases not to hate his enemy, can­not love God.’

SYMBOLVM. IX.

Dilectio inimicorum.

Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum. ad Rom. 12.

Embleme. X.

Detestation of Sins past

I will come vnto thee quickly & remoue thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent Rou: 2. v. 5

The tenth signe, IS A detestation, and loathing of our former sins. The em­blem of which, he makes Whips and scourges, to shew, that vvhen vve truly hate our sins, vve subdue them and our lust, by chastising our selves; Ps. 69.10. (as David did) with fasting and religi­ous duties. Vnder that Emblem vve have these vvords.

APOC. 2.

I Will come quickly, and unless thou repentest, I will remove thy Candlestick from thee.

ST. Augustine covnts it an abo­minable vvickednes for a man to record his former sins, and to [Page 218]glory in them with a certaine joy and delight, when as he should ra­ther greive for them, and use the best meanes to release his soule from their power, and his consci­ence from the guilt of them. Lib. 5. de lib. arb. For as the same St. Aug. truly affirmes: He that beates his breast, out of a seeming sorrow for his offence, and does not correct his ill life and manners, that man rather hardens his heart, then removes his sins. David mourning for his transgres­sions sayes thus of himself. Psalm. 51. My sins is ever before mee: and therefore he entreats God so earnestly to cre­ate in him a cleane heart, and to renew a right spirit within him. Happy and blessed are those men who so lament, and with a generous hatred, so detest their sins, that they grieve for this, because they can grieve no more, nor so much as they should, and are therefore sor­rovvfull for that they sorrovv less, then they ought or vvould. And truly this sorrow which is according to God, 2 Cor. 7. or Godly sorrow, worketh [Page 219]repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of, i. e. stable and firme; which is to be noted with an attentive consideration. For many recover and obtaine salvati­on by their Repentance, but not a firme and stable salvation. They relapss into sin againe and so lose their former joy and comfort. Therefore Christ expresly com­mands us in St. Luke, Lu. 13 not to let our Repentance slip, when we have attain'd to it, but to keep and pre­serve it, unless ye have repentance ye shall all likewise perish. For we must not do with our repentance as we do with money, which is bor­rowed for a sett, and certaine time; this we must returne, but that we must not part with, when once we have gotten it into our possession. Not unfitly said Aquinas. ‘True and serious repentance, Part. 3. c. Que. 48. Art. 8. does not only expiate and blot out our sins past, but also preserves us from sin to come.’ That man hath not repen­tance, who hath not a firme purpose never to commit his former impie­ties. [Page 220]Christ when he had cured the man sick of a Palsy, comanded him to take up his Bed & walke; Io 5. Mar. 2 which the poore man did. Thus ought we to do, we must take up our Beds, remove out of our soules all vitious habits, so shall we walke more nim­bly and with freer spirits in the path of Gods commandements. Every occasion of sin must be avoyded and shun'd, that we may run with more safety to the mark that is pro­posed to us, and that is everlasting happiness. The prodigall. Son in the Gospell being almost pin'd to death with hunger, and pinched with extreame want concluded pre­sently of a course which was safe for him. I will arise (sayd he) and go to my Father. Here most of us voluntarily lose the use of our hands and feet, we are active and operative in our Tongues, but slow in our performances: we talke much, but do little, being like to those that bend a Bow, but never shoot. We propose to our selves many things, but do nothing at all: We [Page 221]sigh and mourne, when we have acted some foule and gross offen­ces, but take no care at all to pre­vent the like sins from being com­mitted by us: We desire to have our wounds closed up, but we stench not first the blood: we apply a re­medy to our sins, but correct not our affections, which if let alone, will hurry us to the practise of our for­mer evill courses: We grow old in deferring and posting off Repen­tance. So whil'st we are proposing to our selves good courses, and pro­mising our amendment, our life wasts and vanishes, and at last death surprising us, laughs at our folly, who for so many yeares have beene a willing and purposing holy duties, but never performed any. Such was St. Augustine before his conversion, but he continued not in this lazy temper. He maturely did [and that before he was old] what he saw and knew must be don. L. 8. con­fess. 11. ‘I said [so he in his confessions] within my self, See that it be done now, now let it be done; [he means [Page 222]Repentance] And when I had spo­ken this to my self, a resolution and purpose followed my words. Presently upon this, I suspended my Actions, so that I neither did, nor did not: yet I relapsed not in­to my former vices, but drew very neare to the brinke of my old corruptions, and then I made a stop, taking as it were breath.’

‘Those wanton toies, and foolish vanities, my ancient loves, with which I formerly too often dallied, these seised upon my thoughts, and spake as it were thus within me in silent, whispering to the eare of my flesh. What will you now leave us?’ The Good man left them, and shook off the yoak of their tempting instigations, so de­testing with hatred his former pra­ctises, that he became a nevv man, leading a life in all holy conversa­tion and Godliness. It cannot be denyed, but that many of us do of­tentimes begin to lead a better life, but we only begin, vve spin not out this thread: vve continue not our [Page 223]resolutions to the end; we pro­ceed not in our beginnings, and first undertakings of Religious courses, but fall back and returne to our old vomit and uncleaness. And I doubt not but that in many Christians there might be found (if we would peirce into their secret intentions) pious indeavours, holy thoughts and good purposes, but most of us are like to the old Athe­nians; we (as they did) make good decrees, but faile for want of con­stancy in our executions, or if we begin to execute, we persist not in our undertakings, We prescribe to our selves very honest and whole­some wayes of living, but we are discouraged, and falter in those wayes, by reason of any the least trouble or molestation. We pro­pound great matters to our selves, and things that are holy and vertu­ous, but being entis'd by the alure­ments of our Rebellious flesh, solli­cited by the invitations of our loose companions, or moved by the least temptation from the Devill, we [Page 224]presently yeeld our selves captives; and without any the least reluctan­cy, we suffer our selves to be draw'n back to our former polluti­ons, discovering hereby both our unsettlednesse and impatiency. Per­haps (my good Christian brother) thou hast decreed with thy selfe to live for the time to come a more chast and sober life, to avoid every occasion which may lead thee to sin, as bad company, naughty hou­ses, or the like; It may be too thou hast put on a resolution to shut the casements of thy soule, thine eyes from gazing on beauties, the pro­vocations of lustfull affections, and to subdue the petulant humor of thy unruly flesh. It is well, and perhaps thou hast set forward one foot in the way of vertue, thou hast begun to speak modestly, and to lay aside al wanton and Idle books, which are full of obscene discourses. All this is well. Thou hast happi­ly too resolved to bridle thy hasty passion, to keep down thy choler, to refrain from anger, to cast out of [Page 225]thy mind all hatred and envy, and malice against thy neighbour; very Good. Thou hast also begun to rule thy Tongue, to be silent, when thy companions calumniate and slander others, to forbeare when they mock and scoff at mens in­firmities. All this is very good and agreeable to the rules of true repentance. But how far better is it to persevere in those good cour­ses? How many be there now, who yesterday contain'd them­selves within the bounds of mode­ration; repulsed the violent rage of Tongue and lust, brake the stomack of their Anger; had the victory o­ver themselves; who to day rush, (as an horse into the battell) into their former looseness, put their necks under the yoak of their lusts, give the Reines to their unbridled tongues, boile in Anger, and serve their vices as they did before; But let such and all men know, That is not a true Repentance, which is not constant and firmely set upon good purposes. That which is other­wise [Page 226]is rather an inconstant, desul­tory levity of the mind. Oh what brave sword-men, what fine sen­cers are wee! we shew much Art, dexterity in our skirmishes; we make great flourishes before hand, but when we are to fight in ear­nest at sharps, when we are to en­counter with our adversaries, and to shew our skill and cunning in guar­ding our selves from their blowes, then we slinch and run away like cowards, and those wounds which we should avoid undauntedly in the field standing, those we receive in our backs, and flying the faces of our Antagonists. Againe, what brave Racers are wee! At our first setting forth we spread our Armes, and move our feet with A­gillity, till we sweat by meanes of our labour and paine, and anon be­fore we are halfe way, we faint and falter and give over running. Alas thus do we poor silly mortalls. How often do we venture upon many brave undertakings, how many things do we begin with [Page 227]praise and commendation, and sometimes go on in acourse of god­liness, to the joy and comfort of our friends that love us, yet we languish by degrees, at length we fall, and finally lye in our accusto­med sins. In vaine does the Tree flourish and triumph in its blos­soms, promising much fruit, unless it bring it forth. The Master­builder layes the foundation to no purpose, unless he erect upon it walls and roofe, all which compleat and make a perfect house. What doth it profit the Mr. of a ship to set up the Mast, to fit the tackling, open the Sayles, and order the men that use the Oares, all this care and industry will not advantage him, if he launch not the ship into the deep from the shoare, or make a short returne so soone as it is laun­ched? And truly we are most of us like to those builders, who lay a foundation, but erect not an house upon it. With some unskilfull O­ratours, we begin with a plausible exordium, but seldom come to a [Page 228]good conclusion. We often set up our sailes with the foolish Marri­ners, but so soone as ever a storm begins to rise, we returne to the Haven from whence we came. This saying is much and frequent in our mouths, I will do this or that, I will amend my evill courses, & yet we do just nothing, and mend too late when our Glass is run, and our time quite spent. when we receive worthily the Sacrament of the Bo­dy and Blood of our Lord Iesus, then we have in a manner begun our race, then we have set footing in a new course, but how often is it seen (may it be spoken with griefe) that we run but halfe-way, and then either stand still or lye downe panting, and weary of well-doing.

And thus fainting in the mid'st of our course, we spend the remain­der of our dayes, not like those who had made a solemne promise to God of forsaking their evill wayes. This promise we make when we partake of that heavenly banquet, I meane, the holy Eucharist. Man is [Page 229]counted the most prudent of all creatures, but Polybius once said, he thought him the most foolish; for other creatures observe, where, and from whom they receive any hurt, and shun them.

Therfore having escap'd the gin never ventures himselfe in that place againe. The Wolfe will never rest himselfe in that hoie, where he has been hunted; the Dog re­members the Cudgell, wherewith he has been beaten; But man (as if he were made up of oblivion) for­gets the dangers he has escap'd and will lay his hand upon the hole of that Aspe which stung him; he will unadvisedly put his foot into that snare out of which he is escap'd, and which he knowes will be his ruine. God complaines by his Prophet Jsay of his peoples forgetfullness, where he sayes, Thou hast not laid these things to thy heart, neither hast thou remembred thy latter end. Yet I said when my people had don all this against mee, Returne, and they would not convert nor be tur­ned. [Page 230]Contrition and sorrow for sin without correction and amend­ment of our lives, Bern. 3. de vig. nat. dom. will do us no good, sayes St. Bern. when one man builds and another pulls down, they get nothing but their labour for their paines; And he that having touch'd the dead is wash'd from his pollution, and touches the same corps again, receives no benefit at all by his Washing. Amend­ment is the companion of true con­trition in the penitent, and it disco­vers it sefe by these effects: by the re­strayning of our disorderly apetites mortyfying our luxuriousness, de­pressing our pride, and forcing our bodies to serve God in all purity and holiness, which before served the Devill in a constant practise of prophaness▪ we promise many times to performe all these good duties, but before the day goes a­bout, nay sometimes e're an houre be passed, we forget our promises, and lick up our vomit by returning to the mud and filth of our former sins, and from a godly sorrow and [Page 231]mourning for impieties. We pass to our former madness and Iovial­ties, saying with them in Isay, c. 56. ult. Come let us take wine, and fill our selves with strong drink, Ex. 9. and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. We are almost of the same disposition with Pharoah, who so soon as the Rain, and Haile, and Thunder had ceased, hardned his heart and multiplied his sins. E­ven after we have obtain'd pardon, oftentimes we grow worse then we were before that God had forgiven us.

How often does it come to pass, that by reason of sinnes strange me­tamorphosis, in the morning we are like sheep for our mild and well­temper'd meekness, but in the e­vening, we appeare to be Lions and Tigers for our cruesty and sierce­ness? How often are we Angells in the morning, in the evening scarce found to be men, but incar­nat Devills. Thus we assume shape after shape, and change one vizard with another, and that we use more [Page 232]frequently, which is most deform'd and ugly. Thus from vessells of honour, we turne our selves into vessells of shame, like changlings, we lose our name, and alter our condition; we were borne to be sons of God, but we make our selves the sons and servants of Sa­than. ‘But as sick men [sayes St. Chrys.] unless they alwayes live orderly and observe a diet, receive no good by their Physick: No although for three or foure dayes they observe the rules and precepts of their Physitians, even so sin­ners, unless they be alwayes sober and watchfull in prayer, will reap no benefit by two or three houres correction and amendment.’ I have seen young Chickens lately hatch'd and fledg'd, running about a Yard, and catching at flies and wormes, which to them are great delicacies: whilst they were thus busied in hunting after their prey, a Kite hoverd over the place, ho­ping to make them his; And thus that winged pyrat hanging in the [Page 233]Ayre, and playing in an uncertaine motion upon the wing, watched narrowly, and observed the careless behaviour of those little creatures, and at last when an opportunity was offer'd, fell dovvne into the Yard with that swiftness, as if he had been shot from heaven, and sei­sing upon one of them vvith great violence, did fly speedily avvay vvith it trembling and quaking at the approach of death. The orher Chickins beholding this, betooke themselves vvith all speed and ce­lerity, [vvhich vvas caused by feare] to their common sanctuary in di­stress, and that is the shelter of the Hens vvings: but there they lurk'd not long, for presently all danger being forgotten, and all feare laid aside, they refusing to be any lon­ger hid, fly out from under their seather'd shield, and as they did be­fore, run up and dovvne the Yard, hunting after their food; Anon comes the theef [I meane the Kite] againe, and forthvvith snatcheth a­nother up in his bill, The rest ter­rified [Page 234]with this, betook themselves againe to their known Asylum, their mothers wings; but with them the feare of danger lasts not long. They came out the second and third time, thus sporting with their destruction, & offering themselves a prey, untill that ravenous bird had carried all of them away.

No otherwise doth death sport and play with us. Here he snatches a Neighbour, there A kins-man, now a friend or brother. we grieve and sigh for our loss, and because we conceive (and that not without just reason) the danger to be imminent, and neare at hand, we sometime tremble too, and promise amend­ment of our lives and manners.

But how long I pray you does this trembling last? How soone are our sighs spent and our teares dryed up? when a day or two is passed, we betake our selves to our old follies, we hunt after flies, and now having forgotten our sighs and tears, we begin againe to quaffe and sing, we practise a fresh our bribe­ry [Page 235]and extortion, we burne anew with our old lusts, we move againe in the circle of our former vices, running a round from sin to sin; we fly once more to our ancient custome of viti ous living, thus lulling our selves asleep upon the bed of security, till at length we be forced to shed our last teares, when death shall fix his ugly talons in our bodyes, and our soules are po­sting to eternall torments; then it is to late to will or do. Then our only comfort will be this, if we have done any good in our lives; and what we suffer'd with tormen­ting paine, we shall then remember with a delightfull pleasure and con­tent to our great consolation. Al­though this be a most certain truth, yet few there be that will beleive it we detest our vices to day, and re­peat our sins to morrow, whereof we repented before, or worse. Thus do we play with God, and dally with our salvation: we have no sooner bewailed our sinfullness, but presently Act those foule enormi­ties [Page 236]which we had bewail'd with bitter cryes, and lamentations. Thus we draw sin as it were with a Chaine, of which Esay complai­neth in these words, Woe unto them that draw Iniquity with coards of vanity, and sin as with Cart-ropes. This is our custome, this our daily practise, to heap sin upon sin, and still to grow worse and worse. As it was said of Antiochus Epipha­nes, that he was good in his child­hood, naught in his youth, but in his man-hood, and old age vvorst of all. By these degrees, and steps, do vve sink into the bottomless pit of Hells everlasting torments. For vvhen vve have vviped out the staines of our most grievous sins, vvith the spung of Repentance, and cast this poyson out of our soules and consciences by an humble con­fession to God [vvhich is called by one the soules vomit,] for one vveek vve are vvarme, perhaps in our devotion, but flag the second, and are quite cold the third. So at length Gods holy spirit deserting [Page 237]us, vve fall againe into the grave of our sins and vices. And in so do­ing vve resemble the Moone, each month, each vveeke, nay every day vve are decreasing or increasing, vve are either at the full or in the vvane, never at a stand, but alvvays changing. Euripus that ebbs and flovves so oft in 24. houres, is not fo floating and uncertaine as vve are in our lives. Hovv oft, and hovv many of us do change into the vvild from good Olives? O the volubillity, and inconstancy of mortall men, uncertaine as for­tune the feigned deity of the hea­then, which when it once ceased to be good, grew by degrees, to be [as they observ'd] stark naught. The wicked workes a deceitfull work. [sayes Salomon] the vulgar transla­tion reads opus instabile, Pro. 11.18. Pro. 4.18. an un­stable and unsettled work, intima­ting the wickeds inconstancy in their doings But the way of the righteous shineth as the light that en creaseth, and shineth more and more unto a perfect day. And [Page 236] [...] [Page 237] [...] [Page 238]Gods elect Children who are pre­destinate to salvation, do so turne from their sins by hatred and dis­daine, that they never returne to them againe. They think it not safe so to sport with the great God, as to lament their sins past to day, and commit the same which they bewail'd, to morrow. They never forget the frownes of an offended God, and never but with sighes re­member the great offence which he pardon'd. And for this cause they are in Gods speciall favour and grace, who in mercie forgets that he was offended by us, if with griefe of heart, we remember that we have offended him, and so shun and a­void all sin, for the time to come.

SYMBOLVM. X.

Detestatio praeteritorum peccatorum.

Veniam tibi cito, et mouebo candelabrum tuum de loco suo, nisi poenitentiam egeris. Apoc. 2.

Embleme XI

Propension of our Will to good

I haue inclined my hart to performe thy statutes alway euen vnto the end psal. 119. v. 112

The 11 Signe. IS A propensity of the will to Good, set out by an Anchor with these words of the Psalmist.

PSAL. 119.

I have enclin'd my heart to keepe thy testimonyes, even to the end.

THis propensity of the will to good, then exerts and shewes [...]t selfe when a man is fully resolved, and firmely purposes in his soule, not to offend God by committing any greivous sin, although for his resolution, he be forced to lose all [Page 240]his goods and his life, before which he preferrs obedience to Gods Commandements. Psal: 119. I have sworne and am stedfastly purposed to keep thy righteous Iudgements. This vvas holy Davids, and this is a good mans purpose. Ludovic us Granatensis determinatly sayes thus. ‘It is a certaine signe of reprobation, vvhen a man sinnes vvith facillity, vvithout any sense of his danger, vvithout any re­morse of conscience or grief, that he has displeas'd his gracious God.’

That man is vvicked in an high degree, vvho does not seriously desire to vvill that is good. To vvill to be good is a great part of goodness. He that has this vvill, has made a good entrance into Religion.

Those that are predestinate to Heaven and happiness, as they ne­ver will any thing that is evill, So they vvill only that vvhich God almighty vvilleth. Every houre, nay every moment they cry out with Saint Paul. Lord, what wilt [Page 241]thou have me to do. There is not any thing that I will refuse to suffer for thee. I will not esteeme any thing too bitter, too sharp, or hard, nothing too difficult and unsuffe­rable, so long as I may advance thy Glory; I will overcome and master all by enduring and suffe­ring whilst I have God for my de­fender and guid: and what I can­not obtaine by force and might, that I shall accomplish, and get by my earnest desires and prayers. Whither my feet cannot carry mee, thither shall my thoughts flee. And as the Marigold to the Sun, so to thee, O my God, will I turne, Psal. 39. by subjecting alwayes my will to thine. In the volume of the book, it is written of mee, that I should do thy will, O my God: Thy law I have placed within my heart, it is settled in my memory, fixed in my understanding, and planted in my will.

St. Bernard being ever most rea­dy and prompt to obey Gods vvill, Ser. 3. de qua. deb. sayes in a certaine place; I a poore [Page 242]and miserable man have but one mite, that is my will; and shall not I devote it to his will, give that to him, Who by giving himselfe for me, restored me to my selfe who was lost? It is just and meete that the divine wil should be the rule & Anchor by which our wils ought [...] be regulated and fixed. Excell [...] is that saying of Epictetus an hea­then man. ‘I have (sayes he) so fra­med my will that in all things it is conformable to the wil of God. Is it his will to scorch mee with a burning feaver? I presently sub­mitt, and say, so will I; would he have me attempt any difficulty? I wil. would he have me enjoy the goods of this world? I wil. Not enjoy them but to be poore. I will. Is it his will I should die? I will. And seeing now my will is chan­ged into Gods, so that what he wills, I will, no man may will or hinder me from doing that vvhich is Good.’ Oh! hovv may this brave spirit in an heathen put us to the blush? vvhat a shame is it for [Page 243]Gospell not to discerne those things which are seene by those who were wrap'd up in the darke night of blindness and Ignorance. Let us then as we outstrip them in know­ledge, so exceed them in Devotion and say, Thy will be done. Thine O our God, thine (not ours) be [...]ne by us in earth as it is in hea­ven. wherefore a me your selves, 1 Mac. 3.58. and be valiant men, and be ready to fight against the Nations (your sins and vices) and encourage your selves in the fight, and in all your distresses, with the words of Iudas to his brethren. As the will of God is in heaven, so be it. v. 60. The Towne clock or that which be­longs to the Church is a president for all the rest in the Towne to go by, by it they are set. And why should not the wills of men, like so many little Clocks, move accor­ding to the direction of that great one in heaven? Why should they not follow only the will of God? It is beyond all thought and ex­pression. It cannot be said or Ima­gin'd [Page 244]how pleasing and gratefull a thing it is to God Almighty when a man renounces his owne will, and makes Gods will the rule of all his Actions. Acts 13.22. J have found (sayes God) David the Son of Iesse, a man after mine owne heart, who will do all things that I will. It seemes by this Text that God had been long a seeking, and that now he seeks to find a man of that will and affection who only loves that which God likes, and wills and nills that which God willeth and forbiddeth. Having found such a man: God is much delighted and pleased with him, and expresses his joy in that joyfull exclamation, oh, I have found a man, After my long search, I have a man which will do all things that I will and command. And hence it was that Christ the only begotten Son of God subjected his whole will to his Fathers, Ioh. 6. for so he sayes of him­selfe. I came down from heaven, not to do mine owne will, but the will of him that sent mee. That [Page 245]man is farre from ordering and squaring his life & Actions by the rule of Gods will revealed in his word who will neither come when God calls, nor obey when he com­mands.

A wise man feareth and de­parts from evill, Pro. 14. Pro. 30. but a foole goes on, and is confident. He eates and wipes his mouth and then saith I have done no evill. He that is thus desperatly perverse and foo­lish, hath pawned his foule to the Devill, and yet laughs & is merry, he has lost heaven, and is not sen­sible of his misery, he spends his dayes in a wanton jollity, as if he had lost nothing. Thus like a fool that is going to the Stocks or house of Correction, he playes and sports while he is posting to damnation.

But on the contrary those that are destin'd to eternall glory, have their minds so confirmed and establish'd in good and the love of it, that they dread even the very shevv of evill, [...]nd the shadovv of sin. That [Page 246]vvhich displeaseth God shall in no vvise please them. The bent of their soules is so carried to that vvhich is pleasing to him, that they neither think nor speak of any thing else. It is the subject of their discourse, and object of their thoughts, and though they dis­please all men by their performance of any good duty, they vvill do it so long as they be certaine and sure it is pleasing to God. And vvith out all doubt their vvills are so enflam'd vvith divine love, that they can upon better grounds cry out vvith Epictetus. ‘My God, my love, be it farre from mee not to vvill that, that thou vvillest, or to nill that vvhich thou vvouldest not have me to doe. Thy will is my will, nay my will is no more mine, but now begins to be thine, and therefore thy will is now to be followed, because it has begun to be mine. It is my duty to will that which thou willest, and O my God I do will it. vvilt thou have me sick? I will, or poore? I [Page 247]will. Afflicted with tormenting paine and griefe? I will. Or loa­ded with Injuries and contumeli­ous speeches? This also O Lord I am willing to beare. Is it thy will I should be contemned and despised? This too willingly I'le suffer, although this is greivous to flesh and blood. Wilt thou have me left like a Cottage in a Gar­den of Cucumbers, destitute of all helps and comforts? In this like­wise I vvill subscribe to thy good vvill and pleasure, for I knovv that I am in the hands of a mer­cifull and indulgent Father. wilt thou have me suffer the pangs of a troubled mind, vvhich are to the vvicked the previous flashes of Hell torments? These deare God vvill I endure patiently, and vvould undergoe this burthen cheerefully even till the day of Judgement, if thou Lord do'st think it fit and convenient for me, vvilt thou have me spoil'd and bereav'd of those things I love next unto thee? my God I con­fess [Page 248]it is an hard task to relinquish in our affections, and to sustaine the loss of those things on vvhich vve have set our hearts, yet even this I vvill endure, because it is thy vvill I should suffer. Wilt thou have me die? All difficulties we know strike saile and stoop to this, at which Nature shrinks, yet I refuse not to die an hundred deaths on this condition, that I may breath out my last breath in the armes of thy divine will, and be compassed with the embraces of thy mercy. Wilt thou have me die before my time, before the thread of life be spun out? This I will too, though nature be not willing to it? Wilt thou have me go to Heaven and shake off the fetters of mortallity, vvherevvith I am clogged, and held fast in af­fliction? I vvill, O my Lord, I will. Wilt thou send me to Hell? Ah good Iesus! that thou shoul­dest will this▪ I have deserved it by my wicked deeds whereby I ser­ved the De vill with that willing­ness [Page 249]as if, I had a will to go to his place, but O my sweet Iesu! when thou did'st shed thy most precious blood for me, thou plainly shewd'st that thou wert un­willing I should be sentenc'd to that place of torments, and by vertue of thy merit, my nature was sanctified, my vvill changed. But if it were so (as indeed it can­not be) that I must choose one of these two either to be happy that thy just will should be frustrated, or damned that it might be executed and fullfil'd, I proclaime and pronounce to the praise of thy Justice, that it were better for me to be damned, that so thy will, o God, may be in me ratified. But o eternall goodness, I know & am perswaded that thou willest not my death, because thou there­fore vvould'st have thy Son die upon the Cross that I might not dye an eternall death which is a perpetuall banishment from thee the fountaine of all bliss: Where­fore I beseech thee deare Father [Page 250]by the merits of the bitter death of thy Son, preserve me from the bands of eternall death. Behold the wounds, behold that blood, that precious blood which was shed for me, and by which thy Iustice was satisfied: who would'st not spare thy Son that I thy poore servant might be re­deem'd from destruction. O King immortall and of eternall glory, do with me novv what thou pleasest, and so sanctifie my vvill that it may yeeld it selfe to be govern'd by thee in all things. The Issues of thy will shall be sweet and pleasant to me. What­soever thou willest, most gladly will I doe.’ Psal. 106. My heart is ready O God, my heart is ready. Such servants, the great Lord of heaven does love who observe their Ma­sters nod with so vigilant an eye, that the will of their Lord is their Law and rule, by which their lives and Actions are regu­lated, who likewise can with cheer fullness say, It is the Lord, let [Page 251]him do what he pleases. There is nothing better then to feare God, nothing sweeter then to take heed to the Commandements of the Lord. Eccl. 23. God delights in those servants who observe his pre­cepts, and keepe his commands with all care and diligence. Who are ready at his beck to obey, and bow when he would have them bend; who likewise though most afflicted can in one day cheere­fully, even a thousand and more times cry and say with heart and voyce. God's will be done, and let him doe whatsoever he plea­ses. Thus whatsoever these good men will, God wills the same, for they most constantly and rese­lutely will not that, which they know God wills not but hate and abhorre it. By this meanes such holy minded men obtaine what ever they desire, because they de­sire nothing else but this that they may conforme themselves wholly and onely to Gods good will and pleasure. They know how true [Page 252]that is which St. Hierome once said when he writ to Paula con­cerning the death of Blaesilla. God is good, and all that a good God doth must needs be good. Neither doe men who are well minded, who have good and holy wills, ac­count any thing evill which comes from a good God. Are they in health? They give thanks for this to their maker. Are they rich? even in this they acknowledge the vvill of their Lord, and praise their loving Father.

Are they bereav'd of their deare friends by death? They lament and bewaile their loss, but because they know this to be the good pleasure of their Lord, they sustaine and suffer it with a joyfull mind and are contented. Is their onely son, taken from them? This is hard, but to be en­dured, because he is taken away by that God, from whom he was sent or rather lent. Does poverty (which is a sore burden) lye hard upon them; or sickness which is [Page 253]heavier then that? does contume­ly or contempt, afflict their pa­tient soules? doe whole troopes of Injuries provoke their spirits? for all this, and in these great ex­tremities they suffer no other spee­ches to fall from their Tongues but this, What the Lord hath pleased, so hath he done, and it is well done God be praised; God be Blessed for it. With such san­ctified and reformed wills ever subjected to Gods, the righteous are settled and staied as it were with an Anchor, in the mid'st of many Tempests, Stormes, and Changes, which shake the minds of those that are not built upon Christ, who is a strong foundati­on. But the godly relying upon Christ, his all sufficient merits, and throwing themselves upon God by an entire subjection to his vvord, by suffering vvhat he vvills, and doing vvhat he commands, standing in this ho­ly posture of their soules, they expect their last houre, the houre [Page 254]of their change, and think every misfortune and calamity short and little, that shall be seconded vvith an happy state and condition, which shall be eternall and never have end.

SYMBOLVM. XI.

Voluntatis in bonum propensio.

Inclinaui cor meum ad faciendas justificationes tuas in aeternum, propter retributionem. Psal. 118.

Embleme XII

Moderation of our passions

Thy desire shall be subiect to thine husband, and hee shall rule over thee — Genesis — 3.16.

The twelfth signe, IS The moderation of our affections set out by a vvell-tuned Lute. The vvord or motto an­nexed to it.

GEN. 3.16.

Thy desire shall be subjest to thine Husband, and he shall rule over thee. i.e. The sensitive appetite shall be subject to the command of Reason.

THey that be Christs have crucified their flesh with the vices and lusts thereof: Gal. [...]. So sayes St. Paul. Elegantly Saint Bern. commenting upon Christs words inviting us to come unto him. He that will come after [Page 256]me, let him deny himselfe. It is sayes hee, as if Christ had said. ‘He that desires to enjoy mee let him despise himselfe, and he that would do my will, must learn to forsake and break his owne. We may be wearied in the fight, but after victory we shall be crown'd.’ And this is the way to gaine life to die daily to our selves, and to mortifie our affections: where and in whom they live, there reason is dead. And therefore holy David prai'd thus unto the Lord. Psal. 119. Open mine eyes that I may see the wondrous things of thy law. As if he should have said; I know o Lord that in thy law are hid and conteined great and sublime mysteries, but I am a poore sinfull man, cumbred and pressed vvith the burthen of my flesh: subject to divers affe­ctions and lusts, neither am I Ig­norant how great is their power and strength: they molest my thoughts, and blind my under­standing. Doe thou therefore of [Page 257]thy goodness open my eyes, and dispell the mist of error which is spread in my foule by meanes of my affections. Concerning these raging passions, Seneca sayes not amiss. Ep. 85. et 116. ‘It is far more easy to stop their beginnings, then to master or rule their violence, for as the body that is cast down head­long from an high Tovver has no command of it selfe, nor power to resist, or stay its selfe before it falls to the ground: e­ven so the mind if it has thrown itselfe upon any base passion, if it hath yeelded it selfe captive to any untamed affection, as of An­ger, Love, Hatred or the like, will not easily repress its unruli­ness, nor hinder its force but shall be hurried by the precipitate humor of that affection, even to commit the foulest sins to which his nature is prone. It is the sa­fest way therefore to prevent the beginning of any passion,’ to kill it in the bud, and to stifle it in the Cradle before it gets strength and [Page 258]grovvth.. As an enemy is to be driven out of the borders of the City, for vvhen he has gotten vvith. in the gates, or come vvithin the Walls he vvil shevv little mercy to the captive Citizens. Pro. 16. He that is slow to Anger, is beter then the a strongman, & he that ruleth his mind, is beter then he that win­neth a City. Blessed are the peace­makers, L. deser. doc. c. 2. sayes St. Aug. ‘Those that make peace in themselves, those that compose the tumults, and stirrs that arise in their ovvn brests, and subject them to the command of Reason. Blessed are they who tame the lusts of the flesh by prayer and abstinence, so that they become the kingdom of God or his house, wherein all things are in order, no confusion to be found, vvherein Reason gui­ded and enlightn'd by Gods spi­rit has the sole command, the sen­ses of the body obeying vvithout any the least reluctancy or con­tention.’

This invvard peace vvas pro­claim'd [Page 259]by a Quire of Angells, when Christ was born, but it is not to be obtain'd easily but by much strife and paine. This was presignified by Gods giving his law to Moses with the loud voice of a Trumpet, Ex. 19. an instrument of War.

A man would suppose that gentle and soft musick had bin fitter for this religious work; The Trum­pet fits better with the Camp then a Church. But to leave off these nice expostulations and disputes, we must know that God did this to teach us, that as our life is a warfare, so we are cal'd by God not to sit still at ease, but to fight our battells against our sinfull lusts, we are call'd by him who gave the Law to Moses, which Law we cannot observe and keep, unless we oppose, and fight against the Law's Enemies, which are our lusts. None ever subdued his flesh by flattering it, none ever conque­red an enticing Devill, or the soo­thing world, but by resisting both [Page 260]with those weapons, which God prescribes in his holy Scriptures. strive then we must, and fight with every corrupt affection which is adverse to Gods Law, and so to be esteem'd an enemy. He that is only angry with his sins and fa­vours his affections, he cuts off the boughs of a bad tree, but spares the Root, & so long as this remaines, the boughs will againe shoot out. Thus Chrys. commenting upon those words of our Saviour. He that looks upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her in his heart, sayes, that Christ in this precept forbids not only the disease it selfe, but strikes also at the root of it. The root of Adulstery is unchast lust. And therefore he does not only con­demne Adultery, but concupi­seence likewise which is its Mother or Nurse. So he forbids not murder alone, but Anger also which is oftentimes the spawne or cause of it, or contumelious and reproachfull speeches which occa­sion [Page 261]many quarrells, and the spil­ling of much blood. Anger and love are two violent affections that admit of no lawes, but those that are severe and serious: they are not easily tam'd by gentle and smooth precepts. Anger does not like other vices which sollicite by flatteries; it suatcheth away our minds, and drives them furiously into dangers. And although scarce any man be found so cruell, who having wounded his enemy with a sword, desires to bury his hand in the vvound and never draw it out; yet Anger is such a weapon that can hardly be dravvne out when it is driven in. Anger is dareing, and feares not to act any sin, and having design'd a man for destru­ction, is never pacified till it draws his hearts blood. An angry man is like the fire-stone which if it be strook against the flint, spits fire immediatly, & is hardly quench'd. An angry man stirreth up strise, Pro. 29. and a surious man aboundeth in transgression. So sayes Salemon. [Page 262]Anger and wrath are abominable things, and the sinfull man is sub­ject to them both. No plague or murraine has destroy'd so many men as these two, Anger, and Wrath. Anger slayes the foolish man, and envy the man of low degree.

Therefore my beloved Brethren, L. 4. de civ. c. 6. let us not (sayes St. Aug.) bring so great an evill upon our selves, as to harbour that which is the disease of the soule, puts out the eye of reason, alienates us from God, makes us forget our famil [...] ­ar friends, the beginning of Wars, the Author of our calam ities, and the worst of Divells, who is so much the more to be abhorred, as he is most misceivous, letting al­most none escape his hands. Ep. 18. This affection (sayes Seneca) sets most mens hearts on fire, it is engen­dred as well by hatred as love, and no less conversant is it with our serious discourses then with our merry sports and Iests, equally it mingles it selfe with all these. [Page 263]And it is not so much to be re­garded from what cause it pro­ceeds, as into what mind it enters. As it matters not how great the fire is, but where it lights; for dry stubble or any the like combustible thing, will take fire at a spark, and break forth into a great flame. Notwithstanding all this, there is nothing so hard and difficult which the mind or spirit of man cannot overcome, and there are no affections so feirce and un­tam'd, which may not be master'd and kept under by the Rod of dis­cipline. The mind can effect any thing which it commands it selfe to do. Although the work be not very easie to keep Anger within its bounds, and with it to avoyd madness, ravening, cruelty, rage and the like passions which are its Attendants and Companions, yet that Work has been, and it must be done.

What Seneca sayes of Anger, may be applyed to those two fa­mous and well knovvn furies [Page 254] Envy and Pride, the same too may be verified of those two most im­pious Sisters Luxury, and Glut­tony, and of all the whole brood and band of other vices. All which may be subdued by bringing the mind to that settled and happy tranquillity that there may be in it a sweet concord and harmony of all our desires, not swerving from the rubrick of Gods commande­ments. "Blessed is the man who indulges or grants a little liberty to his affections, that he may serve sin the less, and God the more. And happy he that nailes, as it were, his passions to the Cross, that he may place Reason in her Throne to act the Queen or Mrs. over any rebellious passion. Those slaves who are confin'd to the Oares in Gallies, have some re­mission (though it be but short) from their laborious work: they rest sometimes; but they that serve their affections, they never are at quiet, they are ever rack'd and tortur'd, and one commotion of [Page 265]their tumultuous thoughts follows upon the neck, and at the heels of another: which is fitly express'd by the Prophet Hier. c. 16. You shall serve strange Gods night and day which shall never give you rest. To avoid all these mischiefs and tumults in our selves, let us follow that counsaile of Ecclus. c. 18. Go not after thy lusts. An unruly horse must be curb'd with a Bit, but a resty Jade must be quickned with a Spurre or Whip. Thus must we deale with our affections, whereof some when they are slug­gish must be stir'd up and driven forward, others being too violent, must be held in and restrain'd. No man can discover a greater ha­tred to his Soule, then he that loves himselfe with that eager and hot affection, that giving the Reines to immoderate and unlawful plea­sures, he has neither command of himselfe, nor can deny himselfe those things which he oft desires to his owne great hurt and prejudice. But let such men of unhappy a [Page 266]temper and constitution, know what St. Rom. 8. Paul fore-tells shall be­fall them. If ye live sayes he after the flesh you shall dye, but if through the spirit ye mo [...]tifie the deeds of the flesh, yee shall live. None beares greater rule then he that is Lord over himselfe, that can Master his corruptions: nei­ther can there be a greater slave­ry then to be a servant to passions, nor a greater triumph then that which attends the victory got­ten over our selves. That man hath overcome his affections who is not a servant to their com­mands. "And he is a servant to them, (sayes St Amb.) who is broken with feare, L [...] de Iac: et vit. bea. entangled in pleasure, led with vaine desires, exasperated with indignation, and dejected with griefe. Neither is there any servitude or slavery more unbeseeming the brave spirit of man, then that which is voluntary, as when one serves his lust, another his Avarice, a third his ambition. ‘A good man (as St. Aug. wit­nesseth) [Page 267]although he be a servant, yet is free; a wicked man although he be a King, yet he is a slave, ha­ving so many Masters as reigning sins.’ Yet there is not more one kind of lusts and desires then there is of countenances amongst men, who agree all in essence, yet differ in their outward shape and fashions: So their affections are diverses; for some are affected with this thing, & others with that, nei­ther are we equally delighted with one and the same object. This man burnes with lust, that with the love of Gold; one man is stifled with envy, another with malice. This man kills himselfe with drinking too much, another with his sports, a third with Idleness. So vaine are our Inlaginations, that no man thinks he shall be de­stroy'd by that happiness which he has phancied to himselfe. As if a man that is drown'd in Wine should be less suffocated or cho­ked, then he that is drown'd in water. To imagine this is vaine, [Page 268]Saint Greg. L. 4. in Sam. c. 4. asserts truly. 'That is pleasing to a reprobate mind, what it desires with eagerness, but in hell that which was sweet here, is full of unpleasing bitterness; poore wretched man that is delu­ded with shadowes, whose heart is so over rused with wanton concu­piscence, that he catches at decei­ving waters, which pass by his mouth when he thinks they are su­rest. But tell me fond man, what felicity is there in lust? St. Amb. tells us, it is hotter then a Feaver, it enflames more, and sinkes men into greater danger. The danger of it is not discover'd till a man repents of his madness, when the eye of his conscience is opend, then he blushes with an inward blush, at the shamefull filth of his wick­edness. Then God begins to be feared, and the sinner then de­sires to conceale his filthiness, but cannot, (for his deformity lyes open in the eyes of God from whom no secret is hid) now does that wicked wretch (gall'd with a [Page 269]guilty conscience) tremble at the fearefull apprehension of Gods Indgement which is terrible to none, but those who in their life, whilst they went on in a constant course of sin did neglect and con­temne it. Beside this odious and staining sin of lust, there is another corrupt affection which beares a sway in most of us, & that is the desire of money, a Spur to all wick­chness. This thirst is so violent and hot, that it is not satisfied with gaine, but rather encreased by it: Neither does it lesse torment the mind when it has obtain'd what it seeks, as when it seeks to obtaine what it coveteth. And when other sins grow old with Age, this of Coveteousnesse bloomes, and blossomes, and is then in its youth and vigor, when a man is drop­ping into his Grave. A gaine ha­tred and envy are two pestilent dis­eases and not easily cur'd as other affections, unless they be strangled in their first birth in their Cra­dles. But those men that are ser­vants [Page 270]to Gluttony and slaves to their palat, have a froward Mrs. which is by so much the more im­perious, by how much he that has given up himselfe to her service is more observant of her commands.

And because Luxury is nere of kin to Gluttony, this latter does the more hurt to chastity, by how much the more it is pamper'd with delights, And fed with varie­ty of dainty dishes.

Shew me the man, and I will commend him as he deserves, who can glory with old Tobias and say I have kept my soule pure from all lust and concupiscence. [...]. 3. He that doth this hath tuned his In­strument into a blessed harmony & concord. Saul spared King Agag & only shut him up in Prison, sent (when he ought to have brought him) to execution. Thus we do by our Affections, we use them with too much clemency which is dis­pleasing to God, whereas we should exercise towards them much cruelty. They are to be [Page 271]slaine, and we kill them not, but only confine them to Prison, vvhen vve take care chiefly, not that they be extirpated, but that they break not forth in that open rage and violence, vvherewith they disquiet and distract our soules. Thus whilst we forbeare to slay an hidden and close enemy we Arme him against our selves; and by this meanes, that which was in the beginning but a slip and errour, by degrees becomes a custome, which at length growes unto a necessity, which is not easi­ly subdued and brought into subjection; So by little and little being oppressed on all sides by a domesticke enemy, we cry out in our extremity and say; I cannot here in this particular overcome my selfe. I cannot want those things to which I have beene long accustom'd, I die if I be bereav'd of this delight. Thus our small errors degenerate into bad and inveterate manners, and because we stifle not our affecti­ons in their first conception, but [Page 272]suffer them to spring and sprout, at length they grow to a Wood and thicket which cannot by any strength or force in us be rooted up. However we must not dis­paire, but know that custome may be weak n'd by another which is better, and our Crowne will be the more precious and sweet unto us, the harder our fight is with our sins and infirmities, and we may promise to our selves the victory, if we sight under Gods shield; if desiring to be conquerors, we grapple with our vices, and begge of God in our prayers, to help and assist our weakness. Let but M [...] ­ses strike the waves of the Sea with his Rod, God will take care for the rest, and Israell shall pass safely over, Ex. 14. when the Aegyptians shall be drown'd. The Amor [...]e and the Canaanite shall be driven out of our coast, if we do but in­ure our selves to fight and often skirmish with our enemies. Sit still we may no [...] in sloath and Idleness. Iob 7. The life of man upon earth is a warfare sayes Iob, let [Page 273]no man trust himselfe, for none has a more dangerous and trea­cherous enemy then himselfe, with whom to make a truce is not very safe: Neither can it be secure for us to lay downe our weapons and shut them up in our Armories, untill we put off our flesh and lay that up in our Graves.

He that has a desire to get the victory over his Adversaries, must perpetually watch and sleep in his Armes. Saint Cyprian sayes ex­cellently to this purpose. ‘It is the greatest pleasure to a man to have overcome his pleasures, nei­ther can there be a greater and more noble victory then that which we obtaine over our lusts, and affections: for he that over­comes his enemy is indeed the stronger, but this is in respect of another, but he that overcomes his lust, is stronger then himselfe, in that he overpowers his owne weakness.’

The Musitian never leaves handling his Jarring strings, un­till [Page 274]he has reduc'd them to an har­monious concord. And a man predestin'd to salvation, never ceases to allay the tumults, and reconcile the differences between Reason and his affections, till he compose the quarrell in a religious peace; If we may beleeve Plato, ‘our body is (as it were) an Harp,our Reason the Harper or Musi­tian, who now playes upon these strings, anon upon those, some­times it has to do vvith the eyes, sometimes with the Tongue, in proposing certaine Lawes and prescriptions to both, now it stops the cares, then it binds the hands, and is still employed in mana­ging and ordering the senses; sometimes an affection of Lux­ury begins to rise, this is present­ly suppress'd by casting upon it the bridle of Chastity. At other times an affection of impatiency, does start up and swell like a bli­ster or bile; Reason lets not this alone, but launces it, and lets out the corruption.’ Saint Paul was [Page 275]a skillfull Musitian as appeares by that confession of his. 1 Cor. 9. ‘I cha­stise my body and bring it into subjection. And thus Gods elect ones are principally employed in tuning their Instruments, in win­ding up or letting down the pins. Now they strive with their Anger then reprehend Envy, now they stir up and awaken their drowsi­nesse, by and by they bridle their Laughter and wantonnesse, and if griefe be predominant, they mi­tigate it with lenitives, with the comforts that do spring and arise from Gods promises, and the con­sideration of his providence. With the forenam'd and like strings of passion, Reason like a good Ar­tist is ever busied, remitting some, and intending others, till all at length they become harmonious, free from debate and dissention. Those that are mark'd for heaven, Gods chosen people never give way to their loose affections, They are the greatest Admirers of o­ther mens vertues, and the har­dest [Page 276]Censurers of their owne infir­mities, and ever shew the least pity to themselves; for if upon a privy search and enquiry into their owne bosomes they find any unlawfull desire or any lust, that domineers in their brests, they presently sentence it to death and Crucifie it: This therefore is a signe that we are predestin'd to eternall life, if we crucifie the flesh with its imbred vices and lusts. They that do this belong to Christ.

To whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be ascribed, as is most due, all Glory and Honour from this time forth and for e­ver more.

Amen.

SYMBOLVM. XII.

Moderatio affectuum.

Sub te erit appetitus eius, et tu dominaberis illiut. Genes. 4.

AN APPENDIX To the twelve Signes of PREDESTINATION; Concerning the paucity or small number of those that are predesti­nated to sal­vation.

SAint BERNARD shall put an end to the former discourse, Ser. 2. de Oct Pasel. who sayes, ‘the Lord knowes who are his, and he only knowes, whom he hath chosen from the beginning of the World. But what man is there that knoweth whether he deferves love or ha­tred? Therefore if it be certaine that a man in regard of his daily infirmities cannot be alwayes [Page 278]certaine of his Salvation, who then will not be much delighted when one shall offer to his consi­deration the signes of Election?’ And what rest can our Spirits find in themselves untill we have got­ten some sure testimonies that we are predestinated to eternall joyes? Faithfull and true is the word, most worthy of all acceptation, which commends unto us infal­lible testimonies and pledges of our salvation. In this word indeed there is ministred comfort to the Efect, and all manner of excuse is taken from the reprobate; For when the signes and markes of our predestination are discovered, he that neglects them is manifestly convinced, that he disregards the state of his Soule, and makes no­thing of Heaven, the Land of the living. By right such a man ought to blame none but himselfe who will not understand nor be saved. God has not by a blind Chance predestined these to Heaven, and those to Hell. knowne unto the [Page 279]Lord are his workes from the be­ginning of the world. Act. 15. Prosp. Resp 3. ad Ob­ject. Gal. And Pros­per saies, That good men are not necessitated to perish, because they are not predestinated, but therefore not predestinated to life, because God foresaw that by their wicked deeds they would deserve death, Li. 1. ad simplic. St. August. consents with Prosper in this; God saies he, did not hate Esau as a man, but as a man full of sin or as a notorious Sin­ner, For God hates nothing in man but sin; he saies also in ano­ther place thus, It is sin alone that obstructs our way and stops our passage to Heaven: We all hasten and post to one end or marke, and there be divers paths and maine wayes in which we move and run to that end, and many perish in their race. The way that leads to life is narrow and thorny: The way of perdition is spred with Roses, soft and easie, it is a descent into pleasant valleyes, whereas the other is climbing up of high and rugged Mountaines. [Page 280]Truth it selfe, or Christ who is the truth calls unto us in the word, Mat. 7.27. he exhorts and admonishes us to en­ter in at the straite Gate, for broad is the gate, and wide is the way that leades to perdition, and many there be who enter in it, but strait is the Gate, and narrow is the way which leads to life, and few there be that find it. Luk. 13.23 In another place he does advise us to the same pur­pose, Strive to enter in at the strait Gate, for I say unto you that ma­ny shall strive to enter in and shall not. Truly the way is narrow that leads to happiness, it is so narrow that but one can go in it, Gal. 6. And that without a companion. For every one of us shall give an accompt to God for himselfe. 1 Cor. 3. And every one shall beare his owne burthen; every man shall be rewarded according to his owne workes. This overthrowes that ab­surd opinion of the Papists con­cerning workes of Supererogation.

Againe our Saviour even sigh­ing uttered these words, Mat. 20. et 22. Many [Page 281]are called, but few are chosen. This one small word, Few as if it were a terrible clap of Thunder, has roused a great part of the world from the Lethargie or dead sleep of security. It has driven some out of populous Cities into Dens and Wildernesses: and how ma­ny hundred thousand Martyrs has it forced by a secret violence to expose themselves to the furie of Tormentors, whereby they were cast into Prisons, put upon racks, burnt at Stakes, hang'd upon Gib­bets, and devoured by beasts? Their only voice was this, We feare not to die, but accompt death easy, so long as we hope to be glorified with the Few Elect. Let the sword rage and drowne it selfe in our bloud, we weigh it not so long as we may be numbred among the Elect, who are few in number, but for ever blessed. And which of them durst not say? If J alone could be hanged upon an hun­dred Gibbets, I would not re­fuse [Page 282]this shamefull torment, If I could lay down an hundred necks upon the block, and subject them to the Hatchet, I would not sub­tract or withdraw one; To die an hundred deaths would be a pastime to me, I should esteeme of my torments as Recreations and sports, so long as I may be admit­ted into the society of those Few which shall raigne with Christ in everlasting glory. From this spring did issue that generous and brave exclamation of Ignatius, let Fire and the Cross, wild beasts and all the torments that the De­vill can invent, come and surprise me, so long as I may enjoy Christ. This little word Few utter'd by Christs owne mouth, has filled many with that horrour and a­mazement, that though they were men of most impure lives, yet sea­ving the pleasant Meadows of lux­urie and voluptiousness they shut themselves into the house of mour­ning and sadness: thinking it better to be saved with a few, then [Page 283]to perish with many. It doth not lessen our paine to perish with a multitude. This Paucity of those that shall be saved was in all ages proposed for a caution unto us. Concerning this even Noe a Prea­cher of righteousness (so he is cal­led by the Apostle Peter) prea­ched an hundred yeares before the Flood, 2 Pet. 2. but all or most of them be­ing obstinate in their wickedness, out of that great & infinite num­ber of men only eight persons were saved in that wooden Prison or ship (call it which you will) the Ark: And amongst those Few there was a Cham who was wicked. For as Roses grow not without Prickles and Thornes, so the ungodly are ever mingled in the societie of Gods Saints. And if God being about to overthrow Sodom, Gen. 10. would upon Abrahams request have spared that land, if he had found but ten righteous men in it, which could not be found, we must conclude that honesty and vertue there was very scarce. [Page 284]Therefore the Angells charged Lot to make hast out of it that he might be saved. Gen. 19. Thus out of the great flame in which the two most flourishing Cities of Sodome and Gomorrah were consumed, only three escaped, and to this day the Signes of Gods wrath are extant in the places where those Cities stood. But we have another story in holy writ, which clearely de­monstrates the paucity or fewness of those that shall be saved.

When Moses led out of Aegypt six hundred thousand men on foot, besides Women and Children, a promiscuous multi­tude also following the Campe, only two out of so great a number came into the fruitfull land of Canaan; to the rest the wilderness was a capacious Grave, in which as in a Common burying place for the dead, many thousand of the Israelites were interred.

But that Aegyptian Tyrant who pursued them with a bloody furie, Exod. 14. intending to stay their journey, [Page 285]was with his whole Armie bu­ried in the womb of the red Sea. Ier: 10. Behold how many thousand soules are here swallowed up by the devouring waves! Who will not feare thee O King of Nations? When the Children of Israell had corrupted themselves in worship­ping a Calfe which they set up contrary to Gods Commande­ments, Exo. 31. Moses being full of wrath and griefe proclaimed, ‘He that is for the Lord, let him joyne himselfe to me,’ and in that there were slaine three and twenty thou­sand men. A great slaughter it was and only caused by that gol­den Idol which they worshipped, such and so great is one sin (especi­ally that of Idolatry) in Gods e­steem. When Joshua had over­thrown the City of Iericho by compassing it seaven times, Ios 6. and causing the people to make a great shout against it, whatsoever was in it both of men and beasts, all pe­rished and were destroyed by fire and sword, and at last the City it [Page 286]selfe was turn'd to ashes, and utter­ly consumed, only one house (which was Rahabs) being preser­ved.

When Gedeon prepared War a­gainst the Midianites, Iud. 7. out of thir­ty thousand Souldiers, three hun­dred only were chosen for that fight, the rest being rejected. God measures not his people by their number but by their vertue and goodness, it is not a multitude of men, but good men that are plea­sing to him. Neither is the way to destruction very long, it is run o­ver in a breath, by one deadly sin we become guilty of high Treason against his divine Majesty, and deserve the eternall flames of Hel. Thus for one libidinous act, Iud 20. forty thousand of the Hebrews, and fifty thousand and six hundred Benja­mit's were put to death and slain by the sword.

How many thousands of the Bethshamit's but for looking into the Arke out of a wanton curio­sity were flaine with a great 1 Sam. 6 [Page 287]slaughter? we read v. 19. that there were slaine fifty thousand, threescore and ten men. This scarcity of the Predestinate or those that are Elect is no less evi­dently set out unto us in the se­cond of Samuel, where we read, that when Absolon rebelled against his Father, 1 Sam. 15. and had raysed a great Army against him, a Messenger ran to King David and told him, that all Israell followed after Ab­solon and clave unto him with one heart, and with one joynt consent. And when Sheba had stirred up a furious multitude against his King, immediatly after this there came another report to Davids eares, That all Israell was divided from David, and joynd to Sheba, Look into the world with a strict observation, and you will find and see now the very same thing. Christ our Lord and King has shewed us a way to Heaven, a way be-sprinckled with blood & signed with the foot-steps of his bitter passion, his Head is covered with [Page 288]a Crowne of Thornes, and if we look upon him with the eye of meditation, we may see him carry­ing his reproachfull Cross upon his innocent shoulders which did not become such a burthen, laid upon him for our sins, let us consider too his wan and pale countenance, his sad and mournfull eyes, swim­ming in teares mingled with blood thus attired; and in this sorrow­full habit, he ascended to Mount Calvarie, exhorting us to follow his example; and to beare the Cross with patience and humility. But alas how few are his followers, how few are there amongst us who do take up his Cross, and by a chearfull suffering of affliction, conforme themselves to the ex­ample of his meekness? The whole World lyeth in sin and wickednesse: most men follow with their whole heart not Sheba, but Satan. There be but a few that go up to Golgotha with Christ. To this which has beene said (to prove the small number of [Page 289]the predestinate) we may add that which we find recorded in the se­cond of Samuel concerning Da­vid when he had numbred the people, 2 Sam. 24. God was so displeased with him, that he slew by the plague and pestilence seventy thousand men. And indeed all these sad passages were shadowes of future things, and as it were a prologue and Exordium of that heavenly Sermon wherein Christ declared the paucity or fewnesse of those that shall be saved. Mat. 7. Luk. 1.3. Now take a Survey of the Jewes, recko­ning from Abraham to the last day of the World, and you will easily perceive that the hundred forty and foure thousand which are mentioned in the Apocalyps wil be scarce the thousandth part of all the Iewes that might be num­bred. So that we may conclude upon this ground that one Iew a­mong a thousand shall not be sa­ved. And what is affirm'd of the Hebrewes may be also asserted proportionably of all other Nati­ons. [Page 290]For what Christ did foretell concerning the Iewes is to be ap­propriated to all others of vvhat Country or Nation soever they be. For Christ did not say that only the Ievves should go in that narrovv path vvhich leads to hap­pinesse, but he pronounced [put­ting no difference betvveen any] That few there be who find it. To confirme this truth, almost all the Prophets and their joynt accla­mations: Is. 5. Isaiah saies, Hell hath inlarged it selfe, and hath o­pened his mouth without measure, and their glory and their multi­tude and their pompe, and he that rejoyceth among them shall descend into it, Is. 9. for wickednesse burneth like a fire, it devoureth the Briars and the Thornes, and vvill kindle in the thick places of the Forrest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoak, for Brrars and Thornes shall cover the vvhole earth. And vvhere I pray you, do not the Briars of Luxurie grovv up even into a [Page 291]Wood? Where do not the thornes of worldly cares, and of anxious thoughts for money (not for heaven) spread them­selves & increase? Truly the land is infected by its Inhabitants, be­cause they have transgressed my Lawes, perverted my Ordinances, and broken my everlasting Cove­nant. Is. 56. For they all look to their owne way, every one for his ad­vantage. Hieremie with no less lamentable complaint bewailes this small number of good men, where he sayes; Ier. 5. run to and fro by the streets of Ierusalem, and be­hold now, and know, and inquire in the open places thereof, if ye can find a man, or if there be any that executeth Iudgement and see [...]eth the truth, and I will spare it. c. 6. They are all rebellious Tray­tors, walking craftily: they are Brasse and Iron, they are all de­stroyers. Not only the rich men, but what is to be admired, even the poor men have learned to be wanton and proud, and even po­verty [Page 292]which used to be the Mistris of Sobriety, is now familiarly con­versant with sin and iniquity.

They are all corrupted, the Brasse and the Iron, the Silver and the Tin, all are tainted, full of drosse and Corruption. Ier. 8. I heark­ned and did listen, but none spake a right (how truly may this be said of our age.) no man repented him of his wickednesse, saying, what have I done, every one turned to their Race, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

Wo unto the land, wo unto the men of it, for the Land is full of Adulteries, &c. the Prophet Michae in like manner laments the scar­city of the Righteous. Mic. 7. Woe is me for there is no Cluster to eat, [i.e. there is no godly man left] the good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright a­mong men. When David consi­dered this, Ps. 14. his eyes ran down with teares, God looked downe from Heaven (sayes he) upon the Chil­dren of men to see, if there were [Page 293]any that did understand and seele after God. But they were all gone out of the way, they are al­together become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one. Now let a man attentively consider the lamentable state and condition of the times wherein we live, and the divers corruptions of mens manners, and he will cer­tainly conclude with himselfe that the dayes of Noah are wheel'd a­bout and come againe.

For as in the dayes before the Flood, they did eat and drink, Mat. 24. Marrie, and give in marriage un­to the day that Noah entred into the Arke, and knew nothing till the Flood came and took them all away. Even so now vertue is ei­ther banished from all quarters and places of the Earth, or where shee is admitted, she sojournes not as an Inhabitant or Inmate, but as a guest, and is entertained as a stranger not to rest long in a place. But vice has gotten a large dominion; it rules and raignes in [Page 294]all the Kingdomes of the World. Injustice palliated or cloth'd with the Robe of Iustice, sharp-sigh­ted Envy, which is Eagle-eyed in the discovery of others vices, these play their parts every where with great boldness, and Luxurie a sin odious to God, and distastefull to all honest men, which used here­tofore to seek Corners and darke places to act its uncleanness, now displaies it selfe in the verie face of the Sun.

Thus the number of honest men is much abated and lessened: it is nothing if compared with the number of wicked ones which is infinite. This is confirmed by that saying of Byas, Good men are rare, but many are the ungodly these excell the other in number. Saint Ambrose in a manner speakes the same words, In compa­rison (sayes he) of the reprobate small or little is the number of the Elect, for we may See every where and at all times a multi­tude of Sinners, there is every [Page 295]where a great sort of men that run to Hell from happiness; Lam. 1. Truly the ways of Sion do mourne, but the paths that lead to Babilon do laugh and sing: indeed if a man cast his eyes upon the way which leads with a downfall and descent to Hell; he shall find that it is so stuff'd and crammed with Tra­vailess that one crowds and presses another. Thus most men hasten to the flames of Hell as it were to a banquet, or marriage, corrup­ting each other by the vitious ex­amples of their lives, The vvay to Vice is not only plaine and ea­sie, but also a dovvnfall vvith a Vast precipice; But the vvay that leads to vertue is hard and uneasie, and those that vvalk in it are fevv, and those strangers not acquain­ted vvith the World, and it's vaine delights.

The Prophet Isaiah presaging of this, utters these mournfull vvords. Is. 24. Surely thus shall it be in the midst of the earth among the people as the shaking of an O live [Page 296]tree, and as the Grapes when the Vintage is ended. By this Pro­phecy the rarity of good Christi­ans is intimated to us, they be­ing compared unto a few little boughs and Olive branches which are left for the use of the poor when the Vintage is ended; but the great plenty of the ungodly who are Satans instruments to a plentifull increase of Grapes and Olives. There is no truth (sayes the prophet Hoseah) nor mercy, Hos. 4. nor knowledge of God in the Land: But swearing and lying, and mur­ther, and stealing and adulteries do abound, so that blood toucheth blood. By this and the former in­stances we may perceive that the paucity or small number of good men was ever deplored by the Prophets

The Apostles teares for this do mingle with the Prophets, for they too bewaile the scarcity of the godly. 1 Ioh. 5. St. Iohn affirmes, That the whole world lies in wicked­nesse. And St. Peter demands.

If the godly shall scarcely be saved, 1 Pet. 4. where shall the ungodly and Sinne: appra [...]? Paul complaines. That all men seek their owne, Phil. 2. Mat. 11. and [...] the things that be Christs. Christ himselfe said, The King­ [...] of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force, Neither did he forbeare to threa­ten.

Woe unto you rich men, for you have your Consolation; Luk. 6. Luk. 8. Woe unto you that be full because ye shall hunger, Woe unto you that laugh now, because ye shall mourne and weep. Againe we find it recorded in St. Luke.

That part of the good seed fell among stones, Luk. 7. this was dried up and parched; part of it was sowen among thornes and Briars, this was suffocated and Choaked; and part fell by the way side, which was trodden under foot; how little a part and portion of it was sow­ed in good ground whereby it was preserved? So of the ten Lepers [Page 298]that were cured, Luk. 14. only one retur­ned with thanks in his mouth.

Those that were invited to a great Supper began all to excuse themselves for not accepting of the invitation.

When the Pool of Bethesda was stirred by an Angell, Ioh. 5. but one of many impotent diseased men, were healed: Ioh. 7. Amongst the Ie wish Senators, only Nicodemus was bold to beg the Body of Christ. And out of many rich misers that lived in Iericho, out of so many Camells laden with heavy bur­thens, only Zacheus laying down his bunch (as Beza speaks) he ca­sting off the burthen of his riches, and having entred in at the strait gate made restitution of all that he had gotten by extortion.

Only Mathew out of the re­ceipt of Custome, Luk. 19. and Mary Mag­dalen out of a Stews are reported to have bin translated from the state of Sin to a better life of in­nocency and holiness. St. Paul when he preached at Philippie a [Page 299]City of Macedonia, Act. 16. had many hearers but found no doers, that did follow his instruction: On­ly Lydias heart was opened, and she obeyed his precepts.

The same Paul being at Athens disputed of Christ in the Syna­gogue, Act. 17. and found many Auditors there, and those learned ones, but with all many scoffers, but there were none but Dyonisius and Da­maris that beleeved his sayings. In the famous Councell of the seventy two High Priests and El­ders, Luk. 23. there vvas scarce one vvhich did not thirst after Christs blood and seek his ruine; So our Savi­our vvhen he vvas crucified had many Spectators, but fevv lovers of his Cross, and imitatours of his sufferings; So at this day Sermons do abound amongst us, but vve see little amendment or Change of manners. The flame of mens vices is only tonched not extingui­shed, they scarce endure to be pointed at, much less to be extir­pated. All this proves that of our [Page 300]Saviour to be true, Many are cal­led, Hom. 19. in Evan­gel. but few are chosen; many (sayes St. Gregorie) came to the Faith, but few are brought to the Kingdome of Heaven. Indeed there is in the sloore of the Church more Chaffe then Wheat, more leaves then fruit, many twigs in the Vine, but few Grapes; many Thornes, but few Roses in our Gardens; many flints, but a few Iewells: so the number of those whom the divine providence will advance to happiness is small, if compared with that infinite multi­tude of the wicked which shall be doomed to eternall paines. Hierc­mias Prophesie is true and fit to our purpose. Jer. 12. The whole Land lyeth wast because no man setteth his mind upon it (or thinketh on it with his heart,) By this is implied that our thoughts are flitting, and wavering, and cannot abide to fasten upon the serious cogitation of our future good, they wander where they please, and roave up and downe; and hence it is that [Page 301]there is so little feare of Hell a­mongst us, our desire of Heaven is cold and not lasting. That of the Psalmist may be fitly applyed to CHRISTIANS. They thought meanly of that pleasant Land; Ps. 106. So do these slight and contemne Heaven, then which nothing is more desireable; but because our thoughts seldome or never mount up thither, and we disdaine this blessed Kingdome as a thing un­known, and Coldly do we de­sire it, as if it were a thing not worthy our estimation hence it is that the Devill, that Tartarean Gyant or Behemath, takes cou­rage and gets strength against us: He trusteth that he can draw up Iordan into his mouth, Iob. 40. and he is confident whilst we neglect Hea­ven, that he shall swallow us up to our everlasting perdition.

The holy man Job, he was of another temper then such Christi­ans are, Heaven and the day of Iudgement were ever in his thoughts, and therefore said to [Page 302]God, I feared all my workes knowing that thou do'st not spare sinners, Iob 9. as if he should say, I sus­pect all my words and deeds, yea and my very thoughts, I set a watch before all these whil'st I remember daily Gods memo­rable Iustice. The consideration and thought of which made that good old man Hilarion to tremble when he was dying and going to appeare before Gods Tribunal. Hieron in vita illius c. 38. There was a little heat left which warmed his body, neither was there any thing left of a living man but only fence and feeling, and yet he spake chearfully to his fainting soule, Get thee out my soule, get the out, doest thou now feare, doest thou now doubt? Thou hast served Christ these seventy yeares, and doest thou now feare to die and approach to his presence? This good mans Soule did not feare to die or be seperated from the body, but was afraid when it thought of Gods severe Iudgement before which it was [Page 303]to stand and be examined: consi­der this, O ye Christians who lead sinfull and wanton lives. If this Religious man did tremble for feare of failing of his Salvati­on, do ye delight your selves in the vanities of this world, going on securely in your sins, and heaping up Gold and Silver? Go to now, teare and consume one another with the tooth of envy and ma­lice; hunt after, Honours and let preferment and glory be the only ayme of your endeavours, please your genius and flatter your selves in pleasures; say (as some world­lings have done) The earth hath he given to the Children of men, and we will inhabit it; let others if they please labour to be Citizens of Heaven. Go feed your eyes with pleasing objects, give your thoughts the Raines, and deny no­thing to your raging and lustfull affections, let them excurr and fasten where they please, let them have what they desire: imagine that to be lawfull, which ye like, [Page 304]and deny your body no pleasure that it wants and craves. Take care only that you may live here voluptuously without any paine or griefe, and walk in the sight of your eyes, Eccle. 11. and in the wayes of your heart; But know that for all these things God will bring you to Judgement. And though a man live many years, and rejoyce in them all yet shall he remember the dayes of darkness, because they are many; all that commeth is vanity. Therefore labour by your Faith and good workes, 2 Pet. 1. to make your calling and Election sure.

Ye have heard what be the signes of Predestination. First not to love our friends only, but also our Enemies.

2ly. To relieve the poor not on­ly by our bounty but also with an affection of commiseration & pity.

3ly. To suffer all adversity pa­tiently, relying upon Gods pro­vidence, and submitting our selves to his will in all our extremities.

4ly. We must preferr the riches [Page 305]of Heaven before the goods of this world.

5ly. and 6ly. We must not only attend to the outward admoniti­ons of men, but also the interior or inward instructions of God, and yeeld obedience to both.

7ly. The sins and offences of our life past are so to be deplored and bewailed that ever after we for sake them for the time to come, and never commit the same a­gaine.

8ly. Let no man think that he pleaseth God unlesse he be dis­pleasing to himselfe.

9ly. And let no man perswade himselfe that he loves Christ so long as he loves not his mysteri­ous presence in the Sacrament.

10ly. We must resist our viti­ous affections in their first begin­nings, not suffering them to grow into a feirce unruliness. He that doth this is an Emperour, having the command over himselfe which is the best, and greatest conquest.

11ly. Our wills must be set up­on [Page 306]goodnesse, otherwise, they will waver and totter in the uncertaine and giddie motions of our desires.

12. And lastly we must ever meditate on our last end, for death when it is oft thought upon is less hurtfull, and least feared, That man will not die unwillingly, who seriously thinks of dying daily. And this is the way to attaine to that life which is immortall and shall never be closed up with death. Now let every man put questions to his owne conscience, let him search by a strict examination and inquiry whither he hath found in himselfe these signes of Predesti­nation, whereby he may beleive that he is in the way, wherein the godly walke to Heaven.

The way of Sinners is plaine and smooth, Ecclus. 21. but the end thereof is Hell and darknesse, notwith­standing this, so many and so great a company run to their de­struction in this plaine and plea­sant way, that they make good by their practise the saying of Christ, [Page 307]wide is the Gate and broad is the way that leads to perdition, and many there be that enter in at that, and walk in this; certainly they are many, we see that they are many. It is delivered in the writings of many learned Authors that a certaine Anchoret being once in an Extasie did see the soules of men glide and drop into Hell like to Snow and Raine. So that the damned Spirits may not unfitly demand (as one affirmes they did) whether the world did persevere and continue in that state in which it was? for indeed so many soules go to that place of Torment, that a man would scarce beleive there could be so many men living on the earth.

Vincentius Ferarius a Domi­nican Preacher discoursing out of the Pulpit concerning the small number of the predestinate con­firmed all that he said by a re­markable passage, Vid. Phi­lip Disy. To 5. his words were these or to this effect?

Before Christs comming into the [Page 318]world in our flesh there had pas­sed above five thousand yeares, it which time the whol wo [...]ld being given to much wickedness pe [...]shed in their sins, excepting a [...]ew Is [...] ­elites that were saved, by the Co­venant of faith wh [...] God made with Abraham & [...] seed. So now likewise in the time of the Gospel under Christ, how many men & women die & are d [...]med for want of Faith? A [...]so how many Iewes. Turkes, how many Pagans and Infidells perish for want of the knowledge of Christ? Besides these, how many Christians be there vvho have pertaked of Bap­tisme, and have an outvvard shew of godliness, yet wanting the power of [...] in their lives, being proud and covetous, and luxurious wanton livers? Hovv many [I say] be there of these that never pertake of Heavens joyes? Faith and Baptisme joyned with a good life will bring a man to salvation the way that leadeth unto it. And to hope to be saved vvithout these [Page 319]going in this way is high presump­tion. These things being so, I will conclude this point with that ex­hortation of our Saviour, strive to enter in at the strait gate. The strait gate of Paradice is the Will of God, we must squeese and contract our selves by repentance and humility, wholly denying our selves and doing Gods will, if we have a purpose to enter into Para­dice. The wide gate is our owne Will, which we must renounce by a cheerefull and constant submis­sion to God, and obedience to his Commandements. The broad way that leads to Hell is a worldly conversation, to live in surfeting & drunkenness, to spend our dayes in Luxury and wantonness, to be re­vengefull and never to forget or forgive injuries, &c. This is the common practise of the world; therefore Few there are that shall be saved We find a story among the Popish Legends of which we may make some use; It is of Bertoldus a Franciscan, an Eloquent Prea­cher [Page 310]in Germany: This man de­claiming in a Sermon with strong invectives against a certaine sin; there was a Woman then pre­sent who heard this sin ripp'd up and the foulness of it laid open, and Conscious to her selfe of be­ing guilty of the same, was stoken with so great sorrow and perplexi­ty in her soule, that she presently in the mid'st of the people fell into a Swoon, but afterwards comming to her selfe againe, and standing up with horrour in her counte­nance, and palenesse in her cheeks, she related what shee had seene don at the Tribunall of God; but among other things she affirmed this: That shee saw brought be­fore it sixty thousand soules of di­verse Nations, Christians and Barbarians who had died severall deaths, and of all these but only three were saved, the rest were throvvn dovvn to Hell to be for ever tormented.

The truth of this story vve will not now discusse, but let us all [Page 311]beleive this to be most true, That many enter in at the broad gate, and many walk in the wide and spacious way that leads to perditi­on. Therefore St. Chrisostom said well to this purpose, Tom. 3. Hom. 24. et Tom. 5. Hom. 40. glossing upon our Saviours words, There be many more that enter in at Hells Gate, but yet the King­dome of Heaven is greater, al­though the Inhabitants be fewer; And how many think you are in our City that shall be saved? I know (said he) that what I say will not be pleasing to you; yet I will not forbeare to speak it; Amongst so many thousands, there are scarce one hundred that shall be saved; Nay I doubt of that too: For what malice may we find in young men? what Idleness and drowsiness in the auntient, &c. Thus Chrisostom a most wise and holy man, a great Doctor of the Church, and he spake this of An­ [...]ioch a most populous City, and at that time when the fervency of that spirit and heat of Zeale, [Page 312][which warmed the hearts of the Primitive Christians] was not yet extinguished and decayed: who then can wonder novv that Saint Paul should so solicitously exhort and admonish us; Phil. 2. To work out our salvation with feare and trembling? Luk. 13. seeing that Christ too has so cleerly advised us, To strive to enter in at the strait gate; Strive [sayes he] who is truth it selfe; Strive, i. e. labour, endea­vour with all your strength and povver to enter in at the strait gate, by bringing forth fruit wor­thy of Repentance. We must not look to enter in with faint and cool desires, but vve must use the utmost of our best and most vi­gilant endeavours, such as vvill break through all difficul­ties, and vvade through the deepest vvaters of trouble and af­flictions. For unlesse vve be car­ried onvvard to Heaven vvith a fervent intention of mind and spi­rit, and unless a man force him­selfe to go forvvard, he vvill ea­sily [Page 313]start backward as not able to pass through the straites of that narrow gate, being combred with a load of worldly cares, and pestred with the burthen of his unsatiate lusts: In our strait passage too we are like to meet with many Ten­tations and persecutions which the World and the Devill raise a­gainst those that labour to enter in at that gate which leads to hap­piness. And as Watermen that Row against the Wind and Tide, buckle themselves to their Oares with all force and might: So those men (who in their laborious pas­sage to Heaven, shall meet with many assaults from their violent and malitious enemies) must stand fast to their faith, never relinquish that, whose power is such that no strength of their enemies shall be able to master it. If they let go this hold, give up this faith, their Soules like unto a Boat driven with the Tide, will be hurried into a Gulf from which they shal never be recovered. 1 Cor. 10. Awake therefore to [Page 314]live righteously and sin not. 1 Cor. 15. That man truly awakes and watches who does alwayes, and in all pla­ces so order his life and Actions that he accompts every day to be his last day, and in all his thoughts, words, and Workes, has such a care not to violate his Conscience as if he were to die each day. And in­deed thus should we do: And let us all do that whil'st we may, and have time to do it, i. e. repent; which those that are in Hell would faine do, but cannot.

Whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap, Gal. 6 And he that sowes to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap Corruption, but be that sowes to the spirit shall of the Spirit reap life Everlasting.

LAVS DEO.

A POSTSCRIPT. To all tender-hearted Christians, who are weake in Faith, and desire to get assurance of their Inte­rest in CHRIST.

MANY are the titles which God in his Holy Word fast­ [...]eth to his Elect ones, for whom [...] Kingdome is provided: l. Io. 15.14 2 Lu 12.4. 3 Acts 16.17. 4 Ps. 83.3. Psal. 135.4. 5 Mal. 3.7. some [...]f them are plaine and positive, as there he calls them his 1. friends, [...]nd 2. Servants; others more [...]struse and figurative, as when he [...]iles them his 3. sucret ones, his. [...]. peculiar Treasure, and his 5. [...]wells, &c. Which latter appel­ [...]tion is Analogicall, built upon [Page 316]this ground or reason; for that as Jewell, are rare and precious, ha­ving in them a lustre, a lightsome brightness, which is not to be found in ordinary stones, so Gods Saints in Comparison of World­lings (that have no right to Christ, nor his promises) so they are as the Israelites were to the huge host of the Syrians: they in comparison of these are as a little flock of sheep, 1 King 20 27. and Gods Children if compared with the Syrians of this World are a small number, as hath been demonstrated in the former Trea­tise.

Againe they are precious and deare in the Esteem of God, whose Image they beare in their Soules his Image of Holiness; and Righteousness, Luk 1.71. containing a conformity of their wills and acti­ons to God's: and Likeness being the Mother of love, they must needs be deare to their heavenly Father, whose mercy and Iustice they represent and set forth in their lives.

In the last place they are his Jew­ells because of that light and lustre which is in their soules. For when Christ visits a soule in mercy, and unites himselfe unto it by his spi­rit (which is the first union be­tween God and us) then that bles­sed spirit comes into the soule with discoveries; The first union be­tweene Christ and a Soule. it reveals unto it it's maine sins, the danger, and filthi­ness of them; It reveales likewise this truth, that without Christ there is no salvation: This discovery moves the soule to griefe and sor­row for it's sins, it forceth teares from the eyes; Gen. 1.2. and then the spirit of God moveth upon the face of these waters; In this flood of teares the soule (as I may so speak) sailes to Christ; and when it ap­prehend [...] it selfe by reason of it's Corruption, to be in the suburbes or Iawes of Hell, Gen. 8.9. it flies with the Dove to the Ark, to the saving promises of the Gospell [which are the Anchor and staie of our soules,] it takes hold on Christ, and applies to it selfe for pardon [Page 318]of it's sins, the merits of his pas­sion, Resurrection and Ascention: The Application of which merits to our soules and Consciences, The se­cond Vni­on be­tween Christ & the soule. is the second union which is between us and Christ, the Vnion of Faith. And now having a tast of the goodness of God in the peace of Conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost; a soule thus united to Christ, is ready to cry out with that dying Martyr; None but Christ, None but Christ; and with Saint Paul, it counts all things but loss and dross in comparison of this great and incomparable purchase. Phil. 3.8. This change in a soule thus trampling upon the World with scorn and contempt, and prizing Christ above all earthly riches, proceeds from that inward illumination of Gods Spirit [pro­per only to the Elect] convincing the soul of it's sinful wretchedness, and discovering Gods Mercy, rea­ched out unto us in Christ: who in his first approaches and accesses to an Elect soule to be sanctified, [Page 319]breakes into it's dark roomes im­mittendo Spirituale lumen, Note a­gainst the Illumina­tors to the time that this light ne­verdictates any thing repugnant to the Word. by setting up as it were a Candle in it, by clarifying it with spirituall 1 Tim. 1.14.6.11: light, and ravishing it with joy and Heavenly delight.

For when Christ is united to a Soule by his spirit, and that soule to Christ by a justifying Faith, which is ever attended with the band of 1 Tim. 1.14.6.11: Love; by vertue of this spirituall Vnion it being joy­ned to God in an holy Commu­nion, in a Communion of his Graces, in a participation of his piety and Goodness, in a Com­munication of his strength and comfort to siritaine it in all affli­ctions, I say, by vertue of that Vnion, and this blessed Commu­nion, a Soule rejoyceth in God a­bove all things with a 1 Pet. 1. joy un­speakable and glorious: a joy that can triumph and glory in the Cross; rejoycing in tribulations. Such a joy filled the brest and warmed the spirits of the Prophet David, as appeares by that passage [Page 320]of his Psal. 94.19. In the multi­tude of the Sorrowes which I had in my heart thy comforts have re­freshed my soule.

Thus when Christ is in the heart, & wedded to it by Faith and love, he turnes Water into Wine, as he did at the marriage of Cana, Ioh. 2.9. for when there are nothing but discomforts and terrors with­out, then Christ cheares the heart within; when there is nothing left but the water of affliction, then Christ turnes that water into in­ward Consolation. In the multi­tude of the sorrowes, &c.

This was D [...]uids case, and this is the happy condition of Christs servants. They receive the word in much affliction with joy in the Holy Ghost. Thes. 1:6. They greatly rejoyce though they be in heavi­ness. 1 Pet. 1.6. And as this joy is Divine and heavenly quoad originem, in regard of the principall Author of it, flowing from a divine and hea­venly fountaine, that is Gods bles­sed Spirit, so it is also celestiall [Page 321]and divine quoad objectum, be­cause it fasteneth on divine and Caelestiall objects. A soule thus filsed with joy, rejoyceth in no­thing more then Gods favour and in the smiles of his gracious coun­tenance, and greeves for nothing less then the loss of worldly goods so long as it enjoyes God recon­ciled to it in Christ, Augus [...] ­nus. so long as it finds Lucrum in conscientia, it cares not for damnum in crum [...] ­nâ: A sanctified believing Chri­stian slights all losses whilst he hath God in his Conscience, and is assured of this, that he is Christ's and Christ is His. 1 Cor. 23. Aquin. [...] Q. 28 1.

Now because that Joy (as the Schooles determine) ariseth from the Conjunction or fruition of the thing or person we love, it will follow that, when this Joy [which I have proved to be divine] is set­led in us, it is accompanied with a perswasion [on which it is buil­ded] that God is our God in Christ Jesus, by an eternall Ele­ction; for we cannot, neither do [Page 322]we usually rejoyce in things that either are not known, or are un­certaine, being built upon conje­ctures, which are ever attended with doubtfull feares. When our Saviour in his instructions to the seaventy disciples, willed them to rejoyce because their names more written in heaven; Luk 10.20. He intima­ted thereby that a man may at­taine to a certaine knowledge of his Election, which our Divines call a certainty of Faith [in oppo­sition to the Papists assurance by Hope,] or a speciall certainty: when by Faith resting on the me­rits of Christ as having satisfied his Fathers Iustice, and fullfilled the Law for us, we apply to our selves the promise of Salvation, because we find in our selves by a reflexive knowledge, the perfor­mance of the condition annexed to the promise, and accordingly [...]eleive without doubt, or wave­ring that remission of sinnes and, redemption from Hell, pur­chased by Christs death or his [Page 323]passive obedience, and life ever­lasting obtained by his Active, belong unto us. Particular Faith and its proper­ties.

This particular faith is a Jewell of great worth, for God and Christ, Heaven and happinesse depend upon it; and as it relates to the promises held forth in the Gospell unto us, it is made up or compounded of these three In­gredients. First, a consident per­swasion that if I be not wanting to my selfe, not neglectfull of the meanes, and so faile not on my part, Christ will not faile in his. Secondly, a forceing of all the powers and faculties of Soule and Body to performe the condition on which the promise is made. Thirdly, an Applying the con­ditionall promise by way of com­parison and selfe-examination to my particular present Estate and condition, and thence draw­ing this sweet Inference upon sight of the condition in my selfe, that I am such a one to whom the promise belongeth, and shall have [Page 324]a part in it if I persevere in well-doing, and doe in the profession of godliness, as the Kine did which carried the Ark to Bethsh [...]mesh, who took the strait way, and ne­ver stopped nor staied, 1 Sam 6.12. not turned aside to the right hand or to the left.

Now for the comfort of tender Christians, who find in their lives many turnings and windings, many slips & failings, sins of na­turall infirmitie, of suddain sur­reption, and daily incursion, as lustfull motions, distrustfull thoughts, a disorder in the Pas­sions or the like, against which they strive, and bend the force of their best endeavours to sub­due them, but cannot, by meanes of that Body of sin, Rom. 6.6. that lump of flesh, that principle of weakness, which they cary about them; for the comfort of such, I must add this by way of a Corolarie or ap­pendix to the former Treatise, (which pointeth at a Collective perfection scarce to be found in a [Page 325]Christian,) It is this, Peccatum non dam­nat quod [...] nen placet August. That such frailties and Infirmities if they be bewailed daily in an humble con­fession to Christ, if they be stro­ven against, and by a constant use of the meanes [as prayer and fasting] be in part mastred, though a compleat conquest over them be not atchieved, they shall not sepe­rate us from the love of God which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. Rom. 8.39 Who [as St. Paul intimates Rom. 5.6. [...] &c. when we were weak died for us.

The Holy Ghost hereby assu­ring all such weak ones, that such sins as these, to which their weak­ness betraies them, shal not damne them, so long as they be resisted with a strict and constant opposi­tion, with all the vigour and acti­vity of their soules, so that they be neither allowed of, nor conti­ [...]ued in by a daily practise.

It remaines in the last prace, that I compleat what I in a man­ner promised in my preface, that is for the better establishing the [Page 326]hearts of good Christians, to dis­cover more particularly then hath been done before, the inward tokens and outward fruits of sanctification, whereby they may attaine to an assured knowledge of their Election. And then for a Conclusion subjoyne some quali­fications which may [by Gods helpe] sustaine the drooping Spi­rits of those feeble Christians who either find not in themselves all the Signes that have been set downe in the preceding Trea­tise, or are burthened with the troubles of an unquiet conscience, which is incident to the best and dearest of Gods Saints.

The Casuists prescribe unto us 2. Two wayes to attaine to the knowledge of our E­lection. wayes whereby we may come to the knowledge of our Election, That our names are written in the Book of the living. The First is by taking flight from Earth, & by ascending as it were into Hea­ven, there to prie into Gods Ca­binet, to peep into his Closet, and to enquire into the deep and hid­den [Page 327]Counsell of God; this way is dangerous and not to be attemp­ted, Deut. 29.29. it being [besides the difficulty and danger of it] forbidden by the Word. This Posi­tion was delivered by the Doctors in our Vniversity at the death of that Fa­mous and learned Man Dr. Whaly.

The Second, Is by descending into our selves in a privy search of our owne hearts, and so to climb up as it were by degrees and steps to Gods eternall Counsell con­cerning the welfare of our Soules. This second way alone is to be practised, and it teacheth us by certaine signes and infallible testi­monyes in our selves to collect or gather what is God's eternall pur­pose concerning our Persons, our Soules and Bodies. Those testi­monies which we call for their infallibility [...] are of two sorts. The first is, The Testi­mony of Gods Spirit; The Se­cond, The Testimony of our spi­rits, of both which we read at once Rom. 8.15. The same spirit bea­reth witness with our spirits that we are the Sons of God.

The Testimony of the spirit is [Page 328]effected in us by an application of the promises of the Gospell, in the forme of a practicall Syllogisme thus; Whosoever beleeveth in Christ shall be saved: Ioh. 6.47. Now when the Spirit shall [as J may so speak] break into the dark roomes of the soule with light and disco­veries, opening the eye of a mans understanding, so as to perceive, and know that there is no other way to Heaven but by Christ, and by stirring up the will and affecti­ons so, as to make an assumption with freedome of Spirit, without hesitation or doubting, and to say, I beleeve, I renounce my selfe, all my delight and comfort, my joy and confidence is in Christ, my stay and trust is in his all-sufficient merits, from hence will result a blessed Conclusion; Therefore shall be saved, and, I am the Child of God. To say thus is the Testimony of the Spirit, per mo­dum causalitatis, by way of cau­sality, to use the Scholemens phrase, because it proceeds no [Page 329] from flesh and blood, Mat. 16.17. from the strength of our owne Will, but from the operation of the Holy Ghost, stirring us up to beleeve, to embrace the promises, and to cry, Abba Fa [...]her, as St. Paul there speakes. St. Bernard hath an excellent passage to this purpose, which runs thus in English. Rom. 8.15 Bern. Ep: 107. Who is just but he that being loved of God returnes love to him againe? which is not done but by the spirit of God, revealing by Faith unto man the eternall purpose of God that concernes future salvation. Which Revelation is nothing else but the infusion of spirituall grace, &c. He meanes the Grace of Faith (as he expressed himselfe before) which is understood by that mark in the forehead of the hundred forty and foure thousand which stood with the Lamb in Mount Sion, Rev. 14.1. and it is the only or chiefe marke of E­lection. And as I take it, Christ is therefore said in one sence to be the saithfull witness, Rev. 1. Rev. 1:5. [Page 330]because by his spirit he stirres us up to beleeve, which is accom­panied with that inward experi­mentall Joy and inexpressible Peace of Conscience, by the which he in a manner witnesses to (that is assures) our soules, that we are his, and shall infallibly one day (if we persevere in the Faith) partake of his happinesse.

The Second Testimony of our Election is the Testimony of our Spirit, of the heart and Conscience purified and sancti­fied in the blood of Christ: And it leads us to an assurance of Gods eternall love, and to a cer­tainty of our salvation two wayes; (as we are taught by Masters in these great Mysteries.)

First, By inward tokens in it selfe which are so many earnests of the spirit of Christ:

Secondly, By outward fruits which break forth in our lives and Actions.

The former are speciall Gra­ces of God in the Spirit or soule [Page 331]of man, whereby he may be assu­red of his Adoption, that he is God's Son. These tokens are of two sorts; The one respecting our sins, The other Gods mercy in Christ who is the propitiation for our sins. 1 Joh. 2.2 [...]. The first are in re­spect of our sinnes

  • Past.
    3. markes of Electi­on in re­gard of sin Godly sorrow.
  • Present & To come.

The signe or inward token which respects sins past is Godly. sorrow, which St. Paul fully de­scribes, 2 Cor. 7.10. It is the mother, grace of many heavenly graces, and it springs not from the Apprehension of Gods wrath but of his love and good­ness. It is that whereby a man grieves for sin as sin, for that thereby his good God is offen­ded and displeased, Vpon which displ [...]asure followes the loss of his Grace and favour, which we feel and find in the desertion of our sad soules, when they are a­frighted with the ugly sight and horrour of our sins. The Holy [Page 330] [...] [Page 331] [...] [Page 332]Ghost that we may not be de­ceived in judging the Truth of this godly sorrow, hath se [...] down in the forenamed Chapter seaven fruits thereof or markes whereby it may be discovered.

Amendmen [...] of our lives is the Sum of all those particulars which are so many degrees and effects of true Repentance. It is a sure mark that will never faile for sorrow for sin may faile; and ha­tred of sin may faile and deceive us, but Amendment never failes; be that amendeth is only the true Convert. Secondly, That token which is in regard of sins present, 2. The combate betwean the flesh and the Spirit. is that Combat between the flesh and the spirit, Gal. 5.17. and proper to those who are regene­rate, who are partly flesh and partly Spirit.

It is a fighting and striving of the Vnderstanding, Will, and Affections with themselves, whereby so far forth as they are renewed, they carry the man one way, and as they remaine in part [Page 333]corrupt, they hurrie him flat con­trary, Gen. 25: 26. yet commonly Grace like Jacob taking hold on Esaues heel pulls sin backward, and brea­king out in holy resolution, shewes it selfe in Godly actions and for the most part getteth the Masterie over sinfull provo­cations. Of this Temper was St. Augustine who in one of his Sermons de Tempore confesses thus of himselfe to the glory of Gods powerfull grace; Serm. 45. in Rom. 7. Canne serv [...]o legi peccati dum concu­piseam, sed mente Servio legi Dei dum non consentiam, i. e. with my flesh, I serve the Law of sin whilst I covet and lust, but with my spirit I serve the Law of God whilst I do not consent.

Thirdly, 3. Care to prevent sin The token which respects sin that is in futurition or to come, which lies hid or ra­ked up in the Embers of our cor­rupt natures is a care to prevent it. That this is a marke of Gods Children, 1 Ep. 5:18 appeares by that testi­mony of St. John in his first [Page 334]Epistle; 3 Ep. 5.18 He that is begotten of God keepeth himselfe, and that wicked one toucheth him not. This care of keeping our [...] from the contagion of sin shewe it selfe not only in ordering th [...] outward actions of the body ac­cording to the rule of Gods will and Commandements, but even also in regularing the very thoughts of the heart, so as a righ­ [...]eous man is afraid to think that which the wicked is not ashamed to Act. And this watchfullness over our thoughts, so as they be chast and pure, is an infallible note of the sincerity of our hea [...]ts.

The tokens which concern Gods mercy in Christ are speci­ally two. 2dly.

The first is when a man feeles himselfe distressed and loaded with the burthen of his sins, The first token that concernes Gods mercy in Christ. Luk 4.23 or when he apprehends the heavie displeasure of God in his Con­science for them, then farther to feel how he stands in need of Christ [our heavenly * Physitian] [Page 335]and withall heartlly to desire, yea to hunger and thirst after recon­ciliation with God in Christ (and that above all things in the world that can be wished or desired) this is an infallible signe that God hath chosen that foule out of the world, Ioh: 15.19. and to all such Christ hath made most sweet and com­fortable promises John 7.38. Rev. 21.6. John 4.14.

The Second mark which con­cernes Gods mercy in Christ is a wonderfull and strange affection [if we respect the intensivenese of it] wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God, The 2d. whereby a man doth so esteem and value, and set so high a price upon Christ and his righteousness, Phil. 3. [...]. that he ac­counts the most precious things that are, to be as Dung in compa­rison of it. So that he would not lose those sweet contents, and ravishing comforts which he en­joyes in his Soul and Conscience upon the fruition of Christ, he would not part with these, [...] not [Page 336]for a moment, to gaine as much. Gold as would lie in the Vast Concave between Heaven and Earth. Indeed there is no com­parison between a finite and an Infinite good, between that which is fading, and that which is ever­lasting.

Christ is an everlasting posses­sion. Rev. 1.8. The consideration of this kindled that holy flame in the brest of Saint Paul, of which we read Phil. 3.8. whereby he set Christ upon the highest throne in his affections, and trampled in scorn upon all worldly Commo­dities; The loss of which did not moue him so long as he enjoyed Christ and the riches of his grace and goodness

And those good Soules who are so affected to Christ, and va­lue all worldly goods at no more then their owne price, they being nothing else but so many empty Vanities if compared with fu­ture hapiness, such men ever have in them a love and longing de­sire [Page 337]to the coming of Christ, This love and desire to the comeing of Christ is a Signe of the truth of our our affection to him: [whether it be by death or to Judgement] and that to this end that their joy may be perfected by a full participation of bliss and fellowship with him, in whom their Soul delights. And such men when they lie upon their Death-beds, retaining the com­fortable memory of a well acted life, behould death without dread, and the Grave without feare, and embrace both as necessarie guides to endless glory.

Thus much of the Inward Signes of our Election or Adop­tion by Christ. J pass now to the Outward token, after whose discovery (and that with brevity) I shall wind up all with certaine Corollaries or Qualifications of the former Doctrine for the esta­blishment and comfort of tender Consciences.

The Outward Token of our Election is New obedience, New obe­dience. an holy frame of the Soul, and such a temper of Spirit whereby a [Page 338]man in consideration of Gods great love unto him in making him a reasonable Creature, a Christian, and providing Christ and Heaven for him, endeavours to shew his thankfullness by o­beying God's Commandements, and making these the Rule of his life and Actions. 1 Ioh. 2.5. Hereby we know that we are in Him [i. e. Elected by God in Christ] if we keep his Commandements. This Obedience must have have these qualifications to attend it, other­wise it may be suspected as un­sound and imperfect.

First, How our Obedience must be qualified. It must not be perfor­med with limitations and restri­ctions to some few of Gods Commandements, but unto them all without Exception.

Herod heard John Baptist wil­lingly, and did many things gladly, yet rejected and made light of the Tho [...] shalt not committ [...]dultery. seventh Comman­dement, Mar. 6.20: many such Herods are there amongst us. But they must know that the [Page 339]badge or mark of sound obedi­ence is it's Vniversality, it stret­ches it selfe to all Gods Com­mandements, Ps. 119. v. 6. Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy Com­mandements. As he that amends repents, and he that obeys be­leeves; so he that saith he beleeves or gives assent to the Infallible truth of God's word, yet being be­witched with any sinful Custome, enticed by any Commodity, or hailed by any pleasure, gives him­selfe scope and liberty to live in the breach of any one of Gods Commandements, be it secret or open, as constant neglect of the duties of Religion in private, usu­all swearing or Lying, secret thoughts and practises of Vn­cleaness, unsatiable desires of earthly greatness and abundance, unjust increase of Riches by bi­ting Vsury, Bribery, or other se­cret indirect courses; A man that allowes himselfe in these or the like practises contrary to Gods [Page 340]will revealed in his sacred word, in heart he is an Infidell, though in name he be a Christian. He hath an evill heart full of unbe­liese (as the Apostle speaks Heb. 3.12.) that having embraced cer­taine Truths not prejudiciall to it selfe, upon vaine and worldly considerations, and to which it may assent without crossing it's desires and purposes, in others slips the Collar, and departs from the living God by a refusall to yeeld Obedience to the Truth of that Command which shall any way oppose his carnall affection. Ia. 2.10. That of Saint James must be held by us for a maxime most true in the Schole of Divinity. VVho­soever shall keep the whole Law, and yet faileth in one point is guilty of all. For he that acknow­ledges not God's soveraignty to be the same in every Commande­ment, but breakes one willfully and customarily, keeps none at all for Conscience sake out of an humble acknowledgement of [Page 341]Gods supreame Authority: And if occasion or an opportunity should invite him to sin, he would be as ready to transgress in the rest as in any one.

Wherefore God, Heb. 4.12. who is a dis­cerner of the Spirit, judges him according to the disposition of his heart; at whose doore sin lyes within, lurking, and readie if a strong temptation should knock, to break forth into open act. To conclude this first qualification of our new Obedience, I say, with a reverend and learned Divine; Obedience, to many Commande­ments is indeed before God no Obedience but a flat sin, if [...] man wittingly and willingly carry a purpose within to break any du­ty of the Law. Againe, He that repents of one sin heartily and seriously, doth truly repent of all: And he that lives but in one known sin without repentance, repents of none indeed, although he pretends never so much refor­mation of life.

Secondly, 2 Qualifi­cation. As this Obedience must be Vniversall in regard of the Object which is the whole law of God, so also it must be in re­gard of time. It must reach and extend it selfe to the whole course of a man's life after he has made his peace with God, and washed his soule in the laver of Repen­tance. Non confideratur in Chri­stianis principium sed finis; Saies an ancient Father. God respects not so much the beginning as the end in Christians. Many for want of constancy and perseverance are now in Hell who made a faire shew in the world, and began to set footing in the race of Piety. Such as the course of a man's life is, such is the man. Our failings in this or that particular do not prejudice our estate before God, if so be we renew our Repentance daily, and make not a trade of sin. It is not our falling into sin but our lying in it will damne us. There be those now in Heaven that have beene greater sinners [Page 343]then some of those that are in Hell: The reason or ground of this difference is only Repentance. Heaven is no place for unrepen­tant sinners. No uncleane thing shall enter there. VVithout aro Doggs, &c. Rev. 21.27.22.15.

Thirdly, 3. Qualifi­cation. It is required in new Obedience that it be also Vni­forme, that it proceed from the whole man; which is David's [...] His Holocaust mentio­ned in that paenitentiall Psalme. Ps. 51. v. 19. And this Holocaust or whole Burnt-Offering we then offer up unto God, when every faculty of the Soule, and every member of the body are contributaries to set forth His praise, and advance his glory. When our understandings are seasoned with high thoughts of God, when we exalt him in our apprehensions to the highest degree of Majesty, and, debasing our selves (with that good Patri­arke) to the lowest that may be, Gen. 18.27. even to Dust and Ashes, we sub­ject our wills to God's will by an [Page 344]humble resignation of our selves to his divine pleasure, and in a chearfull readiness either to do or suffer, whatsoever in his holy wis­dome he shall think fit for us. When our affections are chiefly set upon God, when we only feare his displeasure (as a good Child is afraid of displeasing his Father) and tremble at the very thought of sin whereby we may lose his favour; when upon this ground we are no less afraid of sin then of Hell, and had rather be punished there without sin, then sin here without punishment, Gen. 39.9. and with chast Joseph stick rather at the sin then at the Judgement, (which is ever sins attendant) as those who if there were no Hell would shun the offence, whereby the smiles of a loving God might be turned in­to the frownes of an angry Lord; In a word when we love God a­bove all things and for the love of him can suffer the losse of all things here below in hope of en­joying him one day above where [Page 345]there are pleasurs for evermore: And when we love whatsoever God loveth; when his love is made the rule of ours, so that we can love the poorest Saint on earth above the richest Di­ves, when we behold God's I­mage stamped upon that poore Lazarus, the Image of his Holi­ness, an inclination to all good and a freedome from all wicked­ness, If our soules be thus tem­pered, if the faculties be so well tuned, This is that rea­sonable service commen­ded by St. Paul. Rom. 12.1 then are they a sacrifice ac­ceptable to God. And when all the members of our Bodyes are attemperd to our soules, so as each and every one of them serves God in that way and in a full discharge of that work and duty for which it was made and created.

When all the powers of our Soules and al the parts of our bo­dies shall thus comply in a reve­rent devotion, so as when we are to act in the sacred affaires of God, to offer or present our selves in any of his immediate services, [Page 346]as hearing of the word, publike or privat Prayer, and receiving of the Holy Eucharist, when our whole body shall strive (as we are bound in Conscience) to testifie the inward Veneration of the Soule, by a bare head, b [...]nded knees, lifted up eyes and hands, with a cherefull and vocall sound of Gods praises with our tongues, when the whole man shall thus ferve God as it seemes St. Basil did, of whom my Author records thus much, that he was like a * [...] well. * [...] strung and tuned Instru­ment plaid on by Gods holy spi­rit, which did ever sound and set forth the Glory of God, If we be thus Vniformely in tune, so that there is no jarring between the parts of our bodies and the facul­ties of our Soules; Then our O­bedience is entire and sound, which is more acceptable to God then whole burnt sacrifices; and this Obedience with the forena­med Signes is an undeniable and sure marke that we are adopted to be God's Sons.

If any desire further resolution in this point, desiring to get as­surance that he is elected to life, let him peruse with attention and a fixed Meditation Christ our Saviours Sermon in the Mount, Mat. 5. The 15. Ps. and the 1. Ep. of St. John (which are parcells of Scripture dictated by the Holy Ghost to the Pen-men of God for this purpose) and if he finds in himselfe those Graces and Ver­tues commended in them to our practise, he shall not doubt of that future blessedness which our Saviour promised in that Sermon to his Disciples.

Now to annex some Corolla­eries by way of caution to all ten­der Consciences which may start at the former positions and be somewhat troubled, when they find not in themselves upon scarch and enquiry, all the fore, named signes. 1. Corola­rie.

First, let such poore soules know that fire is fire if it hath heat, though it want flame. Therefore [Page 348]if a man finds in himselfe one or more of the forenamed tokens and not all the rest, he must not set a black marke upon himselfe, nor con [...]lude that he is rejected of God: for there is an infancie and Childhood in Grace as well as in Nature: and he that in his first conversion hath one Grace truly wrought in his heart by the Holy Ghost, may conclude that he is partaker of the Spirit of God though in a lesser measure and de­gree of sanctification, Rom. 8.9. and having the spirit of Christ, he may with safety inferr out of the word that he belongs to Christ, and so in the number of those that shall be saved.

For in the second place we must know and beleeve that the first materiall beginnings of the conversion of a sinner, 2. Coro. or the sma­lest measures of renewing Grace have the promises of this and the life to come annexed unto them. By beginnings I understand all those inward motions and Incli­nations [Page 349]of Gods Spirit that fol­low after the work of the Law up­on the Conscience, and spring up in the heart upon the medita­tion of those sweet invitations to repentance, and of the promses to receive pardon for the merits of Christ, all which are revealed and exhibited in the Gospell un­to us. That such inward moti­ons of running to Christ, and shunning all things that may dis­please him, that these seeds of re­generation intitle men to all the promises of this life and of that which is to follow, if they rest not in these small beginnings, but la­bour to increase them: this is con­firmed by many Texts of Scrip­ture, and expresses of our Saviour, Vid. Mat. 17.20. Es. 42.3. Mar. 10.21. Mar. 12.34. Mat. 5:5. Jo. 7.37. Rev. 2.6. Ps. 10.17. Ps. 145.19.

In the Third place I must add for the comfort of all those who have that [...] with the Canaanitish Woman (as Chrys. 3 Coro. speaks Hom: 16 upon Gen:) [Page 350]who have an earnest desire to plase God in all holy duties and services, and express that desire by the heat of their endeavour to Obey his holy will and Comman­dements, yet faile through weak­ness in many particulars, and fall sometimes into some scandalous sins, such men must not for this admit of any desperate thoughts to doubt of their salvation, but try and examine themselves by these two Rules, the only stay and suc­cour of a poore weak sinner.

First, Let him examine him­selfe whether he feels and finds in his soule a disliking of his sins as sins, as they are repugnant to Gods will revealed in his Word.

Secondly, whether he finds in himselfe a desire of reconciliation with God his heavenly Father, whose love and favour he prizes above all worldly riches; If he de­sire to be reconciled to this end and purpose, that after reconcilia­tion God may be glorified by his Conversion, and if this desire be [Page 351]seconded and backd by an indu­strious use of all those meanes which God hath apointed for our progress and increase in Grace, That man need not doubt, if he persevere in that Godly course, but that God will make good un­to him all his laving promises, which he hath made unto us in his son Christ Iesus. Let such an humble sinner look into that of Mala: 3, 17, where it is written, That God will spare them that feare him as a Father spares his Child, who accepts the thing done as well done if the Child shew his good will to please his Father, & do what he can: 2 Cor: 8.12. And thus God in mercy, who admitteth the will for the deed, accepts the endeavors of the whole man to obey for per­fect obedience it selfe.

Lastly in the fourth place if there be any [as without doubt, 4 Coro: Isa: 42.3. and to my knowledge there be many] who are like the Prophets smoking flax and bruised Reed, whose faith resembles a spark of [Page 352]fire, wrapped up in flax, or raked up in the Embers, being smothe­red with doubtings, which arise from their imbred corruption, like also to a bruised Reed being feeble and weak, and so find not in themselves that testimony of the spirit, that strong perswasion that their sins are pardoned, I shall for their comfort add this Coro­larie, A weak faith, asa­ving faith. and so conclude; That a weake faith whereby a man is per­swaded that his sins are pardo­nable, and seriously desires in his heart to obtaine the pardon of them, but as yet cannot say that without doubt they are pardoned, such a faith may as truly appre­hend Gods mercifull promises for the pardon of sins, as a strong faith, though not so firmely with that soundness of Application. Even as a man that hath a palsie hand can stretch it out as well to receive a gift of a King, as he that is more sound, though not with that firmness and steadiness in retention. That such a weak faith [Page 353] quo ad substant [...]m, if we respect the very Essence or being of it is a true saving faith may be proved by these three undeniable reasons.

First, The promises of salvation or life everlasting is made to the desire of reconciliation, a desire that is not faint but constant and Serious, proceeding also from an heart that is touched with shame and sorrow for it's sin. This hath been proved already in the first Corellarie out of many Texts in Scripture, as Ps. 10.17.

Secondly, The hungring and panting desire after Grace is a sanctified affection, and when one affection is sanctified, all in some degree or measure are sanctified, and when all are sanctified, the whole man is sanctified, and he that is sanctified is Justified, and he that is justified if he perseveres in the performance of all holy du­ties, shall be saved.

Thirdly, God who more re­specteth the Truth and sincerity of our faith, then the strength and [Page 354]perfection of it, accepts the will to repent and beleeve, for the deed, as hath been already illustrated out of that noted place, 2 Cor. 8.12. Therefore, this desire of re­conciliation which is an Ingredi­ent of a weak faith, and no flee­ting motion of the heart, but pro­ceeding from a bruised spirit, ever bringing reformation with it, such a desire is true faith indeed in Gods acceptation, and this touch only of the Hemme of Christ's Garment will fetch as much ver­tue from him to cure our bloody Issues, as if we embraced him in our Armes with those good men Joseph and Simeon, Mat: 27.59. Luk. 2.28. or could say with that Christian Champion St. Paul [who out of a strong faith did outbrave Death and Hell] I am perswaded, &c. Rom. 8 v. ult.

To conclude all, Let me exhort every one who with the Spouse in the Canticles beholds his belo­ved Leaping upon the Mountains and skipping upon the Hills, 2 Cant. 8. [Page 355]which apprehends him a farr off at a greater distance by reason of the weak-sightedness of his trembling Faith; Let such a one suffer the word of exhortation, Let him la­bour for a closer and neerer com­munion with Christ; never re­sting till he beholds Him with the spouse there standing behind the wall. V. 9. To this end and pur­pose, he must often meet Him in the Ministry of the word, and the Administration of the Sacrament of his bodie and blood: A Sa­crament, whose neglect (I am perswaded) is the Cause of the great want of Faith and Charity amongst many in these daies, who are in name but not indeed and Truth Christians.

A good Christian is of a fruit­full, spreading, and growing con­dition; He is ever climbing upon the degrees and steps of Grace, never resting till he attaines to that perfection in the knowledge of Christ till he can say with love and Cherefullness; My beloved [Page 356]is mine and I am his. Cant. 2.16 Blessed is the man that hath attaind to this assurance; yea blessed is the man that hath the Lord for his God; who is a God not only of the Mountaines but also of the Val­leys.

A man that is sunk low in an humble conceit of his unworthi­ness, and findeth a weakness in his faith by reason either of a want of knowledge in the Mysteries of salvation, or by reason of the Temper of his body, a melancho­ly sadness darkning his thoughts and stifling his spirits, all which encrease feares and multiply doubting Jealousies, such a de­jected soule winged with strong desires of getting that assurance of Gods love and favour, which is in well-grown Christians, need not doubt but that God in mercy and tenderness of affection looks upon this smoaking flax as if it were a flame, and will in his good time either blow up that spark, en­crease that faith, and bring it to [Page 357]perfection, to a Joy in beleeving, Rom. 15 13. or else perfect it in Heaven with that beatificall Vision, when he shall see God face to face in his Caelestiall Palace; which sight is the essentiall happinesse of Gods Saints. To this happinesse God of his infinite mercy bring Vs, for the merits of his beloved Son Christ Jesus.

Amen.

‘Initium bonae vitae, cui vita etiam aeterna debetur, recta fides est; Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides, cujus fidei merces est vi­dere quod credis. Augustinus de Verb. Apost. Ser. 27.
FINIS.

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