A PRIEST To the TEMPLE, OR, The Countrey PARSON HIS CHARACTER, AND Rule of Holy Life.


LONDON, Printed by T. Maxey for T. Garthwait, at the little North door of St Paul's. 1652.


BEing desi­rous (tho­row the Mercy of GOD) to please Him, for whom I am, and live, and who giveth mee my [Page] Desires and Performan­ces; and considering with my self, That the way to please him, is to feed my Flocke diligently and faithfully, since our Sa­viour hath made that the argument of a Pa­stour's love, I have re­solved to set down the Form and Character of a true Pastour, that I may have a Mark to aim at: which also I will set as high as I can, since hee shoots higher [Page] that threatens the Moon, then hee that aims at a Tree. Not that I think, if a man do not all which is here expres­sed, hee presently sinns, and displeases God, but that it is a good strife to go as farre as wee can in pleasing of him, who hath done so much for us. The Lord prosper the intention to my selfe, and others, who may not despise my poor la­bours, but add to those [Page] points, which I have ob­served, untill the Book grow to a compleat Pa­storall.


A Table of Contents to the COUNTRY PARSON.

CHAP. 1. OF a Pastour.
p. 1
2. Their Diversi­ties.
p. 2
3. The Parsons life.
p. 6
4. Knowledges.
p. 10
5. Accessary Knowled­ges.
p. 14.
6. The Parson Praying.
p. 17
7 Preaching.
p. 21
8 On Sundays.
p. 28
9. His State of life.
p. 32
10. In his house.
p. 38
11. The Parson's Courtesie.
p. 49
12. Charity.
p. 52
13. Church.
p. 57
[Page]14. The Parson in Circuit.
p. 60
15. Comforting.
p. 66
16. A father.
p. 68
17. In Iourney.
p. 70
18. In Sentinell.
p. 73
19. In Reference.
p. 75
20. In Gods stead.
p. 79
21. Catechizing.
p. 81
22. In Sacraments.
p. 88
23. The Parson's Compleat­nesse.
p. 94.
24. The Parson Arguing,
p. 101.
25. Punishing.
p. 104
26. The Parson's Eye.
pag. 105.
27. The Parson in mirth.
p. 115.
28. In contempt.
p. 116
29. with his Church-war­dens.
p. 120
30. The Parson's Consi­deration of Provi­dence.
p. 122
[Page]31. The Parson in Libetry.
p. 127
32. His Surveys.
p. 131
33. His Library.
p. 142
34. His Dexterity in ap­plying Remedies.
p. 147
35. Condescending.
p. 157
36. Blessing.
p. 160
37. Concerning detraction.
p. 165.

ERRATA in the Country Parson.

Page 14. l. 9. compiled. Pag. 50. l. 3. dele and. 57. l. 12. Desk. 75. l 4. and 110. l. 2. judgment. Country 111.10. much, they 122. l. 12. dele right 131. l. 19. Survey.


A Prefatory View of the LIFE and VERTUES of the AUTHOUR, AND Excellencies of This BOOK.
To the Christian, more designedly, to the Clergy-Reader of the same Time, and Rank, and Mind, and in like Con­dition with the Epistler. Grace, &c. and Recovery, and Profit by the en­suing Tract.

My poor and deer Brother,

DO not expect (I humbly beseech thee) the High and Glorious Titles of Com­panion in tri­bulation, and in the patience [Page] of JESUS, &c. I could most willingly (if I thought that I could truely) give thee them; knowing, that what lustre I cast upon thee, would by rebound lite upon my self. But my mouth is stopped: Let God be true, and the Iustice of God be Iustified.

1. The reading of those piercing Scriptures 1 Sam. 2. & 3. chap. Jer. 23. Exek. 3. & 33. Hos. 4. Mal. 2. 2 The view of this en­suing Tract; which (mee thinks) is not a Book of 37 Chapters, but a Bill of seven times 37 In­dictments against thee and me: a strange Speculum Sacerdo­tale; in its discovery (me thinks) something resembling the secret of the holy Urim: As if this good [Page] Bezaleel had invented a living, pure looking-Glasse, in most exact proportions of Beauty, that should both present it self as a Body of un­blemished perfections, and shew all the beholders deformities at once: that should shew thee both Aaron in the Holy of Holyes, before the Mercy-Seat, in all his pure Ornaments: and Hophni or Phineas, ravening for their Fees of Flesh▪ and wallowing in their lust at the door of the Tabernacle. 3 The reflecting on common Con­versation in the day of our prospe­rity, and the paralelling the Book of mine own Conscience with the Authors Book (in both which I finde my self (not to say Thee) written highly defective in every [Page] duty the good man commends, and not a little peccant in every parti­cular taxed by him.) These three have convinced, and even inforced me to confesse, that I am sure mine (and I fear, thy) sufferings are not the meer sufferings of pure and perfect Martyrs, but of Grie­vous Transgressors. Not only under the rods of Gods just judg­ment, but the scorpions of his heavy displeasure, fierce wrath, and sore Indignation. Not only from the smoaking of Gods jealousie, or the sparks of his Anger, but the flames of his furnace, (heat seven times more then ever,) yea, even from the Furiousnesse of the wrath of God. Psal. 78.50.

Gods sinking the Gates, his de­stroying [Page] the wals, his slighting the strong holds of Zion; his polluting the Kingdom, his swallowing the Palaces, his cutting off the Horn of Israel: Gods hating our Feasts, his abominating our Sabboths, his loath­ing our solemnities, Esa. 1. Gods forgetting his Footstool, his abhor­ring his Sanctuary, his casting off his Altar, are (to me) signes that the glory of God is departed to the Moun­tain, Ezek. 11.23. That God hath in the indignation of his anger de­spised the King and the Priest, Lam. 2. It must be acknowledged sure! that the hand of God hath gone out against us, more then against o­thers of our Rank at other times; at least, that God hath not restrain­ed violence against us, so as [Page] he did that against those of our Profession in the dayes of old: The portion of the Egyptian Priests (that served the Oxe, the Ape, and the Onion,) e­scaped sale in time of the Fa­mine. Learned Junius (in his Academia, Chap. 4.) sayes, that the Philistines spared the Schooles of the Prophets in their Warrs with Israel: and that the Phoenicians, Calde­ans, and Indians were tender over such places: Thus then did God restraine the spirits of Princes: yet that God (who in his own Law, Lev. 25.32. gave the Levits a special priviledg of redeeming Lands (sold by themselves) at any time, when [Page] other Tribes were limited to a set Time) hath not stayed; the mad­nesse of the people against us, but that our portions are sold unto o­thers without Redemption.

We must acknowledg, that Gods word hath taken hold of us, Zec. 1.5. That the Lord hath devised a device against us, hath watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us; For, under the whole heaven hath not been done, as hath been done upon Ierusalem, Dan. 9.14.

Let us not flatter our selves pre­sumptuously! The punishment an­swers the sin, as the wax the seal, and as the Mould owns the Figure: And let us own both. It is very dangerous to blesse our selves too boldly; God has cursed our Bles­sings, [Page] Mal. 2.2. And that he may blesse to us our very Curses; Let us take with us words and say, To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, and multiplyed pardons; to us shame and confusion, as at this day. The most com­pendious way to get what belongs to God, is, to take to our selves what belongs to us. If we would Iudge your selves, and every man, knowing the plague of his own heart, lay Gods Dealing to heart; and accepting of our punishment, give glory to God, and humble our selves under his mighty hand; then shall God exalt us, and accept us and take away our Reproach.

If we shall confesse our sins, that like Simeon and Levi, we have [Page] been Brethren in evil, have broken the Covenant of Levi, have done violence to, and been partial in the law, have made our selves vile, and therefore are justly, by God, made contemptible and base before the people, Mal. 2. If wee shall con­fesse, that wee neither understood nor valued our High and Holy Calling as Christians, much lesse as Ministers of Christ; That we did not thrive kindly, when Pro­vidence had planted and watered us in those Horns of Oyl, the two Universities; or removed us into Countrey Cures, we did not fructifie (as this Book will shew) in any proportion to his encourage­ments, & therfore are justly cashie­red out of his service, and stript of [Page] his Rewards: God is faithfull and just to forgive us: For, Job 33.27. He looks upon men; if any say, I have sinned, I have perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; he will de­liver his soul from the pit, his life shall see the light.

And now, let none think, that this Confession will give advantage to the Adversary; They may take, where none is given: They may say, Let the Lord be glorified: By their own confession, we of­fend not, though we devour them, because they have sin­ned against the Lord, the ha­bitation of Justice, Ier. 50.7. But they will finde at last, That to forsake the Levite is a sin; That [Page] it is a bitter thing to Help for­ward affliction, when God is but a little displeased: That Ierusalem will be a cup of trem­bling, and a burdensome stone to every one that cryes but Downe with it. Woe to thee, O Assur, the Rod of Gods anger; The staffe in thine hand is Gods Indignation. Thou, Lord, hast ordained him for judgment, and established him for correction; Even for Our corre­ction, to purifie Us sons of Levi from our drosse; (Howbeit, hee meaneth not so) and by his hand, who punisheth us not onely for that which is sin, to put on us Martyrs Robes; by that contri­vance both Chastning and Covering our sins; As the Persians use [Page] their Nobles, beating their Clothes, and saving their Persons.

There can be no credit lost by giving glory to God: Did A­chan lose any thing by confessing that God had found him out, and his Garment, and his Wedg? Hath not Adonibezek got a Fame of Ingenuity, for acknowledg­ing Gods Art of Justicing, in that most exact way of Coun­ter passion or Retaliation? which is so frequent in these times, though it is not considerd. What lost Luther by confessing his perso­nall defects as to God, (Though he yeilded not a jot in his Cause, as to men?) What Enemy ever up­braided that to him? or this to the ingenuous learned Caje­tan? [Page] his humble and seasona­ble Confession upon lasting re­cord in his Coments on the 13. ver. of the 5. chapter of Saint Mat­thews Gospel: Ye are the salt — if the salt have lost, &c. The French Army had ta­ken Rome, when he was about that Text, and offered great a­buse to the Clergy there. Which he Christianly Resenting, inserts this passage, Wee Prelates of the Church of Rome, do at this time finde this truth ve­rified on us, in a speciall Mea­sure▪ Being by the just judgement of God become a spoyle, and a Prey, and Cap­tives; not to Infidells, but to Christians; because wee, [Page] who were chosen to be the Salt of the earth, Evanuimus, were become light persons, and unsavoury, good for nothing but outward Ceremonies, and Ex­terna Bona, the Revenues Tem­porall. Hence it is, that both We, and this City be trodden under foot this sixth of May, 1527. And that Excellent CHARLS the Fifth is Honou­rable for no one thing more, then for acknowleding the Hand of God upon him, both at that pinch which made him pant out, Jam me ab omnibus desertum vi­deo: And upon a lesser occasion then that, namely, when his Do­mesticks had left him all alone late at night, and he would needs hold [Page] the Candle to SFLDIUS, shewing him the way down the stairs, and up to God, he said; Thine eys have seen me environed with great Armies; now thou seest me abandoned of mine ordinary Servants. I acknowledge this change to come from him with whom is no shadow of change, From the mighty hand of God, and I will by no means withstand it. And it is report­ed, That the Scotish Presbyters, sensible of God's hand upon them, are at this time making their Ad­dresses to God, by Confession of their sins respectively; God grant that (both we and) they may do it right. Though I shall still strive with them about the justice of the [Page] First Cause; yet about the just­nesse of our persons will I not strive with them, nor about any other matter, save onely who shall confesse themselves greater sinners to God. I have silenced David, Psal. 51. and Ezra, and Ne­hemiah and Daniel in their 9. Chapt. and cited onely these to confirm my self (and thee, Brother) in this duty of giving Glory to God in this manner, Et confiteantur Tibi omnes populi: Even so, True and righteous are thy judg­ments in all the world, O Lord God Almighty; yea, mercifull are they, and far below our deservings.

I hope no man will think, though I speak thus, that I give him leave to construe my words Mathe­matically, [Page] as if there was not an atome, or hair of a good man, or man of God in our Church. There were divers primitive (and are at this day, Blessed be God, The Lord make them 1000 times more then they are,) holy and heavenly souls, vessels chosen and fitted for the service of the Sanctuary. I shall be bold to instance in Three, who died in peace; few considering (some did) that they were taken away from the evil to come, lest their eys should see (what their spirits foresaw) what is come on us, on whom the days, not of visitation only, but of vengeance, even the ends of the world are come.

The first of these was Thomas Jackson D. D. late President of Corpus Christi Colledge in Ox­ford, [Page] and sometimes Vicar of St. Nicholas Church in Newcastle upon Tyne; two places that must give account to God for the good they had, or might have had by that Man; as all Scholers must for his neglected Works.

The second was Mr. Nicholas Ferrer of little Gidding in Hun­tington Shire, sometimes fellow-Commoner and Fellow of Clare-hall in Cambridg.

The third was the Author of this book, Master GEORGE HERBERT, Fellow of Tri­nity Colledge, Orator of the Uni­versity of Cambridge, and Rector of Bemmorton in Wiltshire. All three Holy in their lives, eminent in their gifts, signall Protestants [Page] for their Religion, painfull in their severall stations, pretious in their deaths, and sweet in their memories.

First, I will give thee a briefe of some confrontments common to them all, and then some of their, at least this Authors proper excel­lencies apart.

1. They all had that insepara­ble Lot and signe of Christ and Christians, Isa. 8.18. Heb. 2.13. Luke 2.34. To be signes of Contradiction (or spoken A­gainst) men wondred at, and rated at by the world. Doctor Jack­son in two particulars suffered much. 1. He had like to have been sore shent by the Parliament in the year, 1628. for Tenets in [Page] Divinity, I cannot say, so far dri­ven by him, as by some men now they are with great Applause. His approach to Unity was very neer. Grant me, saith he, but these two things, That God has a true freedom in doing good, and man a true freedome in doing evill; there needs be no o­ther controversie betwixt the Op­posites in point of Providence and Predestination. Attrib. Ep. Ded. 2. He had an Adversary in England who writ a book against him, with a Title not so kind [...] as might have been devised. It was this; A Dis­covery of Dr. Jacksons follies: which he bound as an ornament up­on him, (as Job says) that is, never answered but in the language of the [Page] Lamb dumb before the shearer, si­lence and sufferance. And he had one in Scotland who also girded at him, without cause or answer.

And for M. Ferrar, he was so exercised with contradictions, as no man that lived so private as he desired to doe, could possibly bee more. I have heard him say, valuing (not resenting his owne) sufferings in this kind, That to fry a Faggot, was not more martyrdome then continuall obloquy. He was torn asunder as with mad horses, or crushed betwixt the upper and under milstone of contrary re­ports; that he was a Papist, and that he was a Puritan. What is, if this be not, to be sawn [Page] asunder as Esay, stoned as Jere­my, made a Drum, or Tympani­sed, as other Saints of God were? and after his death when by In­junction (which he laid upon his friends when he lay on his death­bed) A great company of Come­dies, Tragedies, Love Hymnes, Heroicall poems, &c. were burnt upon his grave, as utter Enemies to Christian Principles and pra­ctices, (that was his brand) some poor people said, He was a Conjurer.

And for our Authour (The sweet finger of the Temple) though he was one of the most pru­dent and accomplish'd men of his time, I have heard sober men cen­sure him as a man that did not [Page] manage his brave parts to his best advantage and preserment, but lost himself in [...] humble way; That was the [...] remember it.

The second thing whe [...] al Three agreed, was a singular sincerity in Imbracing and transcendent Dex­terity in Defending the Protestant Religion established in [...] Church of England. I spe [...] it in the presence of God, I have not read so hearty, vigorous a Champion against Rome (amongst our Wri­ters of his Rank) so convincing and demonstrative as D [...] Jackson is. I blesse God for the confir­mation which he hath given me in the Christian Religion against the Atheist, Iew▪ and Socinian, and [Page] in the Protestant, against Rome. As also, by what I have seen in Manuscript of Mr. Ferrar's, and heard by relation of his Travels over the Westerne parts of Chri­stendome; in which, his exqui­site carriage, his rare parts and abilities of understanding and Lan­guages, his Moralls more perfect then the best, did tempt the Ad­versaries to tempt him, and marke him for a prize, if they could compasse him. And opportunity they had to do this, in a sick­nesse that seized on him at Padua, where mighty care was had by Physicians and others to recover his bodily health, with designe to infect his soul. But neither did their physick nor poyson work [Page] any change in his Religion, but rather inflamed him with an holy zeale, to revenge their charity, by transplanting their waste and misplaced zeal, (as they were all three admirable in separating from the vile, what was precious in every sect or person under hea­ven) to adorn our Protestant Religion, by a right renouncing the world with all it's profits and honours, in a true crucify­ing the flesh, with all it's plea­sures, by continued Temperance, Fasting, and Watching unto Prayers. In all which ex­ercises, as he farre out-went the choicest of their retired men, so did he far under value these deeds, rating them much below such [Page] prices as they set upon them. Up­on this designe hee help'd to put out Lessius, and to stir up us Ministers to be painfull in that excellent labour of the Lord, Ca­techising, feeding the Lambs of Christ: Hee translated a piece of Lud. Carbo; wherein Carbo confesseth, that the Here­ticks (i. e. Protestants) had got much advantage by Catechizing: But the Authority at Cambridge suffered not that Egyptian Iewell to be publish'd.

And he that reads Mr HER­BERT'S Poems attendingly, shall finde not onely the excellencies of Scripture Divinitie, and choice passages of the Fathers bound up in Meetre; but the Doctrine of [Page] Rome also finely and strongly con­futed; as in the Poems, To Saints and Angels pag. 69. The Bri­tish Church pag. 102. Church Militant, &c.

Thus stood they in aspect to Rome and her children on the left hand. As for our Brethren that erred on the right hand, (Doctor Jackson speaks for himself) and Mr. F. though he ever honoured their persons (that were pious and learned) and alwayes spoke of them with much Christian respect, yet would hee bewaile their mistakes, which (like mists) led them in some points back again to those errors of Rome which they had forsaken. To instance in one: He that sayes, [Page] preaching in the pulpit is abso­lutely necessary to salvation; fals into two Romish errours. 1. That the Scripture is too dark. 2. That it is unsufficient to save a man. And perhaps a third, ad­vancing the man of Rome, more then they intend him, I am sure. But the chiefe aime of Master F. and this Authour, was to win those that disliked our Liturgy, Catechisme, &c: by the constant, reverent, and holy use of them: Which, surely had we all imitated, having first imprinted the vertue of these prayers in our own hearts, and then studied with passionate and affectionate celebra­tion, (for voyce, gesture, &c:) as in God's presence, to imprint them [Page] in the mindes of the people, (as this Book teaches,) our prayers had been generally as well beloved as they were scorned. And for my part, I am apt to think, That our prayers stood so long, was a favour by God granted us at the prayers of these men, (who prayed for these prayers as well as in them:) and that they fell so soon, was a punishment of our negli­gence, (and other sins) who had not taught even those that liked them well, to use them aright; but that the good old woman would absolve, though not so loud, yet as confident­ly as the Minister himselfe.

Lastly, The blessed Three in One did make these three men a­gree in one point more. That [Page] one spirit, which divides to every man gifts as he pleases, seems to me to have dropt upon these three E­lect vessels all of them some uncti­on or tincture of the Spirit of pro­phesie. Shall I say, I hope, or Fear Mr. Herberts lines pag. 190. should be verified?

Religion stands one Tipto in our Land,
Ready to passe to the American strand.
When height of malice and prodigious lusts,
Impudent sinnings, Witchcrafts and distrusts
(The markes of Future Bane) shall fill our cup
Unto the brim, and make our measure up:
When Sein shall swallow Tyber, and the Thames
By letting in them both, pollutes her streams:
When Italy of us shall have her will,
And all her Kalender of sins fulfill;
Whereby one may foretell, what sins, next yeer,
Shall both in France and England Domineer;
Then shall Religion to America flee:
They have their times of Gospel, even as we.
My God, thou dost prepare for them a way;
By carrying first their Gold from them away;
For Gold and Grace did never yet agree,
Religion alwayes sides with poverty.
We think we rob them, but we think amisse;
We are more poor, and they more rich by this.
[Page]Thou wilt revenge their quarrell, making Grace
To pay our debts, and leave our Ancient place
To go to them; while that wch now their Nation
But lends to us, shall be our disolation.

I pray God he may prove a true prophet for poor America, not a­gainst poor England. Ride on Most Mighty Jesu, because of the word of truth. Thy Gospel is a light big enough for them and us: But leave us not. The people of thine holinesse have possessed it but a little while, Isaiah. 63.15. &c.

When some Farmers neer the place where Master Ferrer lived, somewhat before these times, de­sired longer leases to bee made them, hee intimated, that seven yeares would be long enough, troublous times were coming, they [Page] might thank God if they enjoyed them so long in peace.

But considering the accustomed modesty of Dr. Jackson in spea­king of things not certain, I much admire that strange Appendix to his Sermons, (partly delivered be­fore the King) about the Signes of the Times, printed in the year 1637. touching the great Tem­pest of wind which fell out upon the Eve of the fifth of No­vember, 1636. He was much astonished at it, and what appre­hension he had of it, appeares by these words of his: This mighty wind was more then a signe of the Time, Tempus ipsum admonebat, The very time it selfe was a Signe, and [Page] interprets this Messenger's voice better then a Linguist, as well as the Prophets (were any now) could do. Both wind and time teach us that truth often mentioned in these Meditations. Thus much the Reader may understand, that though we of this Kingdom were in firm League with all the Nations of the earth, yet it is still in God's power, we may fear in his purpose, to plague this Kingdome by his owne immediate hand, by this Messenger, or by like Tempests, more grie­vously then he hath don at any time, by the Famine, Sword, or Pestilence, to bury many [Page] living souls as well of supe­riour as inferiour Rank, in the ruins of their stately Hou­ses or meaner Cottages, &c.

And what shall be thought of that which fell from his Pen in his Epistle Dedicatory of his At­tributes, written November 20, 1627, and Printed 1628, in these words, or more? If any maintain, That all things were so decreed by God be­fore the Creation, that no­thing since could have fallen out otherwise then it hath done; That nothing can be amended that is amisse: I desire leave to oppugne his opinion, not onely as an er­rour, but as an Ignorance, [Page] involving enmity to the sweet Providence of God; as a fore­runner of ruine to flourishing States and Kingdoms, where it grows common, or comes to full height.

Was this a conjecture of Pru­dence? or a censure of the physi­call influence, or of the meritorious effect of these Tenets? Or rather, a Prediction of an Event? Let the Reader judg.

In these they did agree: The se­quell will shew wherein they differed.

This Authour, Mr. G. HER­BERT, was extracted out of a Generous, Noble, and Ancient Family: His Father was RI­CHARD [Page] HERBERT of Blache­hall, in Mountgomery, Esq descended from the Great Sir RICHARD HERBERT in Ed­ward the Fourth's time; and so his Relation to the Noble Family of that Name, well known. His Mother was Daughter of Sir Ri­chard Newport of Arcoll, who doubtlesse was a pious daughter, she was so good and godly a mother; She had ten children, Job's num­ber, and Job's distinction, seven sons; for whose education she went and dwelt in the University, to recompence the losse of their Fa­ther,Dr Dōn in giving them two Mothers. And this great care of hers, this good son of hers studied to im­prove and requite, as is seen in [Page] those many Latin and Greek Verses, the Obsequious Parentalia, he made and printed in her memory: which though they be good, very good, yet (to speak freely even of this man I so much honour) they be dull or dead in comparison of his Temple Poems. And no marvel; To write those, he made his ink with water of Helicon, but these Inspirations propheticall were di­stilled from above: In those are weake motions of Nature, in these Raptures of Grace. In those he writ Flesh and Blood: A fraile earthly Woman, though a MOTHER, but in these he praysed his Heavenly FA­THER, the God of Men and Angels, and the Lord [Page] Iesus Christ His Master; For so (to quicken himself in Duties, and to cut off all depending on man, whose breath is in his nosthrils) hee used ordinarily to call our Savi­our.

I forget not where I left him: He did thrive so well there, that he was first chosen fellow of the Col­ledge, and afterward Oratour of the Universitie. The Memorials of him left in the Orators Book, shew how he discharged the Place: and himself intimates, Church, pag. 39. That whereas his Birth and Spirit prompted him to Mar­tiall Atchievements, The way that takes the Town; and not to sit simpering over a Book; God did often melt his spirit, and [Page] entice him with Academick Honor, to be content to wear, and wrap up himselfe in a gown, so long, till he durst not put it off, nor retire to any other calling. However, propably he might, I have heard (as other Orators) have had a Secretary of States place.

But the good man like a genuine son of Levi (I had like to have said Melchisedeck) balked all secular wayes, saw neither father, nor mother, childe nor Brother, birth nor friends (save in Christ Iesus) chose the Lord for his por­tion, and his service for employ­ment. And he knew full well what he did when he received Holy or­ders, as appears by every page [Page] in this Book, and by the Poems call'd Priesthood, and Aaron: And by this unparalell'd vigilan­cy which he used over his Pa­rish, which made him (sayes that modest Authour of the E­pistle before his Poems, N. F. who knew him well) A Peer to the primitive Saints, and more then a pattern to his own age.

Besides his Parsonage, he had also a Prebend in the Church of Lincoln; which I think (be­cause he lived far from, and so could not attend the duty of that place,) he would faine have resigned to Master Ferrer, and often earnestly sued to him to discharge him of it; but Master F. [Page] wholly refused, and diverted or directed his charity (as I take it) to the re-edifying of the ruined Church of Leighton, where the corps of the Prebend lay. So that the Church of England owes to him (besides what good may come by this Book, towards the repair of us Church-men in point of morals,) the reparation of a Church-materiall, and erection of that costly piece (of Mosaick or Solomonick work,) the Tem­ple; which flourishes and stands inviolate, when our other Magnifi­cences are desolate, and despised.

These things I have said are high; but yet there is one thing which I admire above all the rest: The right managing of the Fraternall [Page] duty of reproof is (me thinks) one of the most difficult offices of Christian Prudence. O Lord! what is then the Ministeriall? To do it as wee should, is likely to anger a whole world of waspes, to set fire on the earth. This, I have conjectured, was that which made many holy men leave the world, and live in wildernesses; which, by the way, was not counted by Ancients, an act of Perfection, but of Cowardise and poor spiri­tednesse: of Flight to shade and shelter, not of Fight in dust and blood, and heat of the day. This Authour had not only got the cou­rage to do this, but the Art of doing this aright.

There was not a man in his [Page] way (be he of what Ranke hee would) that spoke awry (in order to God) but he wip'd his mouth with a modest, grave and Christian reproof: This was Heroicall; Adequate to that Royall Law, Thou shalt in any case reprove thy Brother, and not suffer sin upon him. And that he did this, I have heard from true Reporters, and thou mayst see he had learned it himselfe, else he never had taught it us, as hee does in divers passages of this Book.

His singular Dexterity in sweetning this Art, thou mayst see in the Garb and phrase of his wri­ting. Like a wise Master-buil­der, he has fet about a forme of [Page] Speech, transferred it in a Figure, as if he was all the while learn­ing from another man's mouth or pen, and not teaching any. And whereas we all of us deserved the sharpnesse of Reproofe, [...], He saith, He does this, and he does that; whereas, poor men, we did no such thing. This dart of his, thus dipped, pierces the soul.

There is another thing (some will call it a Paradox) which I learned from Him (and Mr. Fer­rer) in the Managery of their most cordiall and Christian Friend­ship. That this may be maintained in vigour and height without the Ceremonies of Visits and Comple­ments; yea, without any Trade of [Page] secular courtesies, meerly in order to spirituall Edification of one ano­ther in love. I know they loved each other most entirely, and their very souls cleaved together most intimately, and drove a large stock of Christian Intelligence to­gether long before their deaths: yet saw they not each other in many years, I think, scarce ever, but as Members of one Universitie, in their whole lives.

There is one thing more may be learn'd from these Two (I may say, these Three) also: Namely, That Christian Charity will keep Unity of souls, amidst great differences of Gifts and Opini­ons. There was variation con­siderable in their Indowments: [Page] Doctor Jackson had in his youth (as if he then had understood Gods calling) laid his grounds carefully in Arithmetick, Gram­mer, Philology, Geometry, Rhe­torick, Logick, Philosophy, O­rientall Languages, Histories, &c. (yea, he had Insight in He­raldry and Hieroglyphicks,) hee made all these serve either as Rub­bish under the Foundation, or as drudges and day labourers to Theo­logy. He was copious and defi­nitive in Controversies of all sorts. Master Ferrar was Master of the Westerne Tongues; yet cared not for Criticismes and curiosities. He was also very modest in points of controversie, and would scarce venture to Opine, even in the [Page] points wherein the world censured him possessed. Our Authour was of a midle Temper betwixt, or a Compound of both these; yet having rather more of Master Ferrer in him: And to what he had of him, he added the Art of Divine Poe­sie, and other polite learning, which so commended him to persons most Eminent in their time, that Do­ctor Donne inscribed to him a paper of Latine verses in print; and the Lord Bacon having translated some Psalmes into En­glish meetre, sent them with a Dedication prefixed, To his very Good friend, Master GEORGE HERBERT, thinking that he had kept a true decorum in chusing one so fit for the Argument, in respect [Page] of Divinity and Poësy (the one as the Matter, the other as the Stile) that a better choice he could not make.

In summ, To distinguish them by better Resemblances out of the Old and New Testament, and antiquity: Me thinks, Doctor J. has somewhat like the spirit of Jeremy, Saint James, and Sal­vian. Master Herbert, like Da­vid, and other Psalm-men, Saint John, and Prudentius. Master F. like Esay, Saint Luke, and Saint Chrysostome; yet in this diversity, had they such an Har­mony of souls as was admirable. For instance, In one who differ'd in some points from them all, yet in him they so agreed all, as [Page] that Master F. out of a great li­king of the Man, translated him into English, Master Herbert commented on him, and commen­ded him to use; And Doctor J. allowed him for the Presse, It was Valdesso's no Considerations.

It would swell this Preface too much to set down the severall excel­lencies of our Authour: His con­sciencious expence of Time, which he ever measured by the pulse, that native watch God has set in every of us. His eminent Temperance, and Frugality, (the two best Purveiors for his Liberality and Beneficence,) his private Fastings, his mortifi­cation of the body, his extem­porary exercises thereof, at the [Page] sight or visit of a Charnell House, where every Bone, before the day, rises up in judgement a­gainst fleshly lust and pride: at the stroke of a passing bell, when ancient charity used (said he) to run to Church, and assist the dying Christian with prayers and tears (for sure that was the ground of that custome;) and at all occasions he could lay hold of pos­sibly, which he sought with the diligence that others shun and shift them. Besides his carefull, (not scrupulous) observation of appoin­ted Fasts, Lents, and Embers: The neglect and defect of this last, he said, had such influx on the children which the Fathers of the Church did beget at such times, [Page] as malignant Stars are said to have over naturall Productions; Chil­dren of such Parents, as be Fa­sting and Prayers, being like I­saak, and Jacob, and Samuel; most likely to become Children of the Promise, Wrastlers with God, and fittest to wear a linnen Ephod. And with this Fasting he imp'd his prayers both private and pub­lick: His private must be left to God, who saw them in secret; his publick were the Morning and Evening Sacrifice of the Church Liturgie, which he used with consciencious devotion, not of Cu­stome, but serious Iudgement; Knowing, 1. That the Sophism used to make people hate them, was a solid reason to make men [Page] of understanding love them; Name­ly, because taken out of the Masse Book: Taken out, but as gold from drosse, the precious from the vile. The wise Reformers knew Rome would cry Shism, schism, and therefore they kept all they could lawfully keep, being loth to give offence; as our blessed Savi­our, being loth to offend the Jews at the great Reformation, kept divers old Elements, and made them new Sacraments and Services, as their frequent Washings he turned into one Baptisme; some service of the Passeover into the Lord's Supper. 2. That the home­linesse and coursenesse, which also was objected, was a great commendation. The Lambes poor [Page] of the Flock are forty, for one grounded Christian: proportionable must be the care of the Church to provide milk; that is, plain and easie nourishment for them: and so had our Church done, hoping that stronger Christians, as they abounded in Gifts, so they had such a store of the Grace of Cha­rity, as for their weak Brethren's sakes to be content therewith.

He thought also that a set Li­turgy was of great use in respect of those without, whether erring Christians, or unbelieving men. That when we had used our best arguments against their errours or unbeliefe, we might shew them a Form wherein we did, and desired they would serve Almighty God [Page] with us: That we might be able to say, This is our Church, Here would we land you. Thus we believe, see the Creed. Thus we pray, baptize, catechise, celebrate the Eucharist, Mar­ry, Bury, Intreat the sick, &c.

These, besides Unity, and other ac­cessary benefits, he thought grounds sufficient to bear him out in this practise: wherein he ended his life, calling for the Church Pray­ers a while before his death, saying, None to them, none to them at once both commending them, and his soul to God in them, im­mediately before his dissolution, as some Martyrs did, Mr. Hullier by name, Vicar of Babram, burnt to death in Cambridge; who [Page] having the Common-Prayer Book in his hand, in stead of a Censor, and using the prayers as incense, offered up himselfe as a whole Burnt Sacrifice to God; with whom the very Book it selfe suffered Martyrdome, when fallen out of his consumed hands, it was by the Executioners thrown into the fire and burnt as an Hereticall Book.

He was moreover so great a Lo­ver of Church-Musick, That he usually called it Heaven upon earth, and attended it a few days before his death. But above all, his chief delight was in the Holy Scripture, One leafe whereof he professed he would not part with, though he might have the whole [Page] world in Exchange. That was his wisdome, his comfort, his joy, out of that he took his Mot­to; LESSE THEN THE LEAST OF ALL GOD'S MERCIES. In that he found the substance, Christ, and in Christ Remission of sins, yea, in his blood he placed the goodnesse of his good works. It is a good Work, (said he of Building a Church,) if it be sprinkled with the Blood of Christ.

This high esteem of the Word of life, as it wrought in himselfe a wondrous expression of high Reverence, when ever he either read it himselfe, or heard others read it, so it made him equally wonder, that those which pre­tended such extraordinary love [Page] to Christ Jesus, as many did, could possibly give such leave and liberty to themselves as to hear that word that shall judge us at the last day, without any the least expression of that holy feare and trembling, which they ought to charge upon their souls in private, and in publick, to imprint upon o­thers.

Thus have I with my foul hands soiled this (and the other) fair piece, and worn out thy patience: yet have I not so much as with one dash of a pensill, offered to describe that person of his, which afforded so unusuall a Contessera­tion of Elegancies, and set of Rarities to the Beholder; nor said I any thing of his Personall Rela­tion, [Page] as an Husband, to a loving and vertuous Lady; as a Kins­man, Master, &c. yet will I not silence his spirituall love and care of Servants: Teaching Masters this duty, To allow their Servants daily time, wherein to pray pri­vately, and to enjoyne them to do it: holding this for true generally, That publick prayer alone to such persons, is no prayer at all.

I have given thee onely these li­neaments of his mind, and thou mayest fully serve thy selfe of this Book, in what vertue of his thy soul longeth after. His practice it was, and His Character it is, His as Authour, and His as Object: yet, Lo, the humility of this gracious man! He had small [Page] esteem of this Book, and but very little of his Poems. Though God had magnified him with extraordi­nary Gifts, yet said he, God has broken into my Study, and taken off my Chariot wheels, I have nothing worthy of God. And even this lowlinesse in his own eyes, doth more advance their worth, and his vertues.

I have done, when I have besought the R. Fathers, some Cathe­drall, Ecclesiasticall, and Aca­demicall men, (which Ranks the modest Authour meddles not with,) to draw Idaea's for their severall Orders respectively. (Why should Papists (as Timpius) be more carefull or painfull in this kind then we?) If it do no other good, [Page] yet will it help on in the the way of Repentance, by discovery of for­mer mistakes or neglects; which is the greatest, if not the onely Good that can probably be hoped for, out of this Tract: which being writ nigh twenty years since, will be lesse subject to mis­construction. The Good Lord prosper it according to the pious intent of the Authour, and hearty wishes of the Prefacer; who con­fesses himselfe unworthy to carry out the Dung of Gods Sacri­fices.

A Priest to the Temple: OR, The Country PARSON his CHARACTER, &c.

A PASTOR is the Deputy of Christ for the reducing of Man to the O­bedience of God. This definition is evident, and con­taines the direct steps of Pastorall [Page 2] Duty and Auctority. For first, Man fell from God by disobedience. Secondly, Christ is the glorious in­strument of God for the revoking of Man. Thirdly, Christ being not to continue on earth, but after hee had fulfilled the work of Reconcili­ation, to be received up into heaven, he constituted Deputies in his place, and these are Priests. And there­fore St. Paul in the beginning of his Epistles, professeth this: and in the first to the Colossians plainly avouch­eth, that he fils up that which is be­hinde of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh, for his Bodie's sake, which is the Church. Wherein is contained the complete definition of a Mini­ster. Out of this Chartre of the Priesthood may be plainly gathered both the Dignity thereof, and the Duty: The Dignity, in that a Priest may do that which Christ did, and by his auctority, and as his Vice­gerent. The Duty, in that a Priest [Page 3] is to do that which Christ did, and after his manner, both for Doctrine and Life.

CHAP. II. Their Diversities.

OF Pastors (intending mine own Nation only, and also therein setting aside the Re­verend Prelates of the Church, to whom this discourse ariseth not) some live in the Universities, some in No­ble houses, some in Parishes residing on their Cures. Of those that live in the Universities, some live there in office, whose rule is that of the Apostle; Rom. 12.6. Having gifts differing, according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophecy according to the propor­tion of faith; or ministry, let us wait [Page 4] on our ministring; or he that teacheth, on teaching, &c. he that ruleth, let him do it with diligence, &c. Some in a preparatory way, whose aim and la­bour must be not only to get know­ledg, but to subdue and mortifie all lusts and affections: and not to think, that when they have read the Fa­thers, or Schoolmen, a Minister is made, and the thing done. The greatest and hardest preparation is within: For, Unto the ungodly, saith God, Why dost thou preach my Laws, and takest my Covenant in thy mouth? Psal. 50.16. Those that live in Noble Houses are called Chaplains, whose duty and obligation being the same to the Houses they live in, as a Parsons to his Parish, in descri­bing the one (which is indeed the bent of my Discourse) the other will be manifest. Let not Chaplains think themselves so free, as many of them do, and because they have dif­ferent Names, think their Office dif­ferent. [Page 5] Doubtlesse they are Parsons of the families they live in, and are entertained to that end, either by an open, or implicite Covenant. Before they are in Orders, they may be received for Companions, or discoursers; but after a man is once Minister, he cannot agree to come into any house, where he shall not exercise what he is, unlesse he forsake his plough, and look back. Wher­fore they are not to be over-submis­sive, and base, but to keep up with the Lord and Lady of the house, and to preserve a boldness with them and all, even so farre as reproofe to their very face, when occasion cals, but seasonably and discreetly. They who do not thus, while they remem­ber their earthly Lord, do much for­get their heavenly; they wrong the Priesthood, neglect their duty, and shall be so farre from that which they seek with their over-submissive­nesse, and cringings, that they shall [Page 6] ever be despised. They who for the hope of promotion neglect any necessary admonition, or reproofe, sell (with Iudas) their Lord and Ma­ster.

CHAP. III. The Parsons Life.

THe Countrey Parson is ex­ceeding exact in his Life, being holy, just, pru­dent, temperate, bold, grave in all his wayes. And because the two highest points of Life, wherein a Christian is most seen, are Pati­ence, and Mortification; Patience in regard of afflictions, Mortificati­on in regard of lusts and affecti­ons, and the stupifying and deading of all the clamarous powers of the soul, therefore he hath throughly [Page 7] studied these, that he may be an ab­solute Master and commander of himself, for all the purposes which God hath ordained him. Yet in these points he labours most in those things which are most apt to scandalize his Parish. And first, because Countrey people live hardly, and therefore as feeling their own sweat, and consequently knowing the price of mony, are offended much with any, who by hard usage increase their travell, the Countrey Parson is very circum­spect in avoiding all coveteousnesse, neither being greedy to get, nor ni­gardly to keep, nor troubled to lose any wordly wealth; but in all his words and actions slighting, and disesteeming it, even to a wondring, that the world should so much va­lue wealth, which in the day of wrath hath not one dramme of comfort for us. Secondly because Luxury is a very visible sinne, the Parson [Page 8] is very carefull to avoid all the kinds thereof, but especially that of drin­king, because it is the most popular vice; into which if he come, he pro­stitutes himself both to shame, and sin, and by having fellowship, with the unfruitfull works of darknesse, he dis­ableth himself of authority to reprove them: For sins make all equall, whom they finde together; and then they are worst, who ought to be best. Neither is it for the ser­vant of Christ to haunt Innes, or Tavernes, or Ale-houses, to the disho­nour of his person and office. The Parson doth not so, but orders his Life in such a fashion, that when death takes him, as the Jewes and Iudas did Christ, he may say as He did, I sate daily with you teaching in the Temple. Thirdly, because Countrey people (as indeed all ho­nest men) do much esteem their word, it being the Life of buying, and selling, and dealing in the world; [Page 9] therfore the Parson is very strict in keeping his word, though it be to his own hinderance, as knowing, that if he be not so, he wil quickly be disco­vered, and disregarded: neither will they beleeve him in the pulpit, whom they cannot trust in his Conversati­on. As for oaths, and apparrell, the disorders thereof are also very mani­fest. The Parsons yea is yea, and nay nay; and his apparrell plaine, but reverend, and clean, without spots, or dust, or smell; the purity of his mind breaking out, and di­lating it selfe even to his body, cloaths, and habitation.

CHAP. IIII. The Parsons Knowledg.

THe Countrey Parson is full of all knowledg. They say, it is an ill Mason that refuseth any stone: and there is no knowledg, but, in a skilfull hand, serves either positively as it is, or else to illustrate some other knowledge. He condescends even to the know­ledge of tillage, and pastorage, and makes great use of them in teaching, because people by what they under­stand, are best led to what they un­derstand not. But the chief and top of his knowledge consists in the book of books, the storehouse and magazene of life and comfort, the holy Scriptures. There he sucks, and lives. In the Scriptures hee [Page 11] findes four things; Precepts for life, Doctrines for knowledge, Ex­amples for illustration, and Promises for comfort: These he hath dige­sted severally. But for the under­standing of these; the means he u­seth are first, a holy Life, remem­bring what his Master saith, that if any do Gods will, he shall know of the Doctrine, Iohn 7. and assu­ring himself, that wicked men, how­ever learned, do not know the Scrip­tures, because they feel them not, and because they are not understood but with the same Spirit that writ them. The second means is prayer, which if it be necessary even in tem­porall things, how much more in things of another world, where the well is deep, and we have nothing of our selves to draw with? Where­fore he ever begins the reading of the Scripture with some short inward ejaculation, as, Lord, open mine eyes, that I may see the wondrous [Page 12] things of thy Law. &c. The third means is a diligent Collation of Scripture with Scripture. For all Truth being consonant to it self, and all being penn'd by one and the self-same Spirit, it cannot be, but that an industrious, and judicious comparing of place with place must be a singu­lar help for the right understanding of the Scriptures. To this may be added the consideration of any text with the coherence thereof, touching what goes before, and what follows after, as also the scope of the Holy Ghost. When the Apostles would have called down fire from Heaven, they were reproved, as ignorant of what spirit they were. For the Law re­quired one thing, and the Gospel ano­ther: yet as diverse, not as repugnant: therefore the spirit of both is to be considered, and weighed. The fourth means are Commenters and fathers, who have handled the places controverted, which the Parson by [Page 13] no means refuseth. As he doth not so study others, as to neglect the grace of God in himself, and what the Ho­ly Spirit teacheth him; so doth he as­sure himself, that God in all ages hath had his servants, to whom he hath revealed his Truth, as well as to him; and that as one Countrey doth not bear all things, that there may be a Commerce; so neither hath God opened, or will open all to one, that there may be a traffick in knowledg between the servants of God, for the planting both of love, and humility. Wherfore he hath one Comment at least upon every book of Scripture, and ploughing with this, and his own meditations, he enters into the secrets of God treasured in the holy Scrip­ture.

CHAP. V. The Parsons Accessary Knowledges.

THe Countrey Parson hath read the Fathers also, and the Schoolmen, and the later Writers, or a good propor­tion of all, out of all which he hath complied a book, and body of Di­vinity, which is the storehouse of his Sermons, and which he preach­eth all his Life; but diversly clo­thed, illustrated, and inlarged. For though the world is full of such composures, yet every mans own is fittest, readyest; and most savo­ry to him. Besides, this being to be done in his younger and prepa­ratory times, it is an honest joy e­ver after to looke upon his well spent [Page 15] houres. This Body he made by way of expounding the Church Catechisme, to which all divinity may easily be reduced. For it being indifferent in it selfe to choose any Method, that is best to be chosen, of which there is likelyest to be most use. Now Catechizing being a work of singular, and admirable benefit to the Church of God, and a thing required under Canonicall obedience, the expounding of our Catechisme must needs be the most usefull forme. Yet hath the Par­son, besides this laborious work, a slighter forme of Catechizing, fit­ter for country people; according as his audience is, so he useth one, or other; or somtimes both, if his au­dience be intermixed. He greatly esteemes also of cases of conscience, wherein he is much versed. And in­deed, herein is the greatest ability of a Parson to lead his people exactly in the wayes of Truth, so that they [Page 16] neither decline to the right hand, nor to the left. Neither let any think this a slight thing. For every one hath not digested, when it is a sin to take something for mony lent, or when not; when it is a fault to discover anothers fault, or when not; when the affections of the soul in desiring and procuring increase of means, or honour, be a sin of covetousnes or ambition, and when not; when the appetites of the body in eating, drink­ing, sleep, and the pleasure that comes with sleep, be sins of gluttony, drunken­ness, sloath, lust, and when not; and so in many circumstances of actions. Now if a shepherd know not which grass will bane, or which not, how is he fit to be a shepherd? Wherefore the Parson hath throughly canvassed al the particulars of humane actions, at least all those which he observeth are most incident to his Parish.

CHAP. VI. The Parson praying.

THe Countrey Parson, when he is to read divine services, composeth himselfe to all possible reverence; lifting up his heart and hands, and eyes, and using all other gestures which may expresse a hearty, and unfeyned devotion. This he doth, first, as being truly touched and amazed with the Majesty of God, before whom he then presents him­self; yet not as himself alone, but as presenting with himself the whole Congregation, whose sins he then beares, and brings with his own to the heavenly altar to be bathed, and washed in the sacred Laver of Christs blood. Secondly, as this is the true reason of his inward feare, [Page 18] so he is content to expresse this out­wardly to the utmost of his power; that being first affected himself, hee may affect also his people, know­ing that no Sermon moves them so much to a reverence, which they for­get againe, when they come to pray, as a devout behaviour in the very act of praying. Accordingly his voyce is humble, his words treatable, and slow; yet not so slow neither, as to let the fervency of the supplicant hang and dy between speaking, but with a grave livelinesse, between fear and zeal, pausing yet pressing, he per­formes his duty. Besides his exam­ple, he having often instructed his people how to carry themselves in divine service, exacts of them all possible reverence, by no means enduring either talking, or sleeping, or gazing, or leaning, or halfe-knee­ling, or any undutifull behaviour in them, but causing them, when they sit, or stand, or kneel, to do all [Page 19] in a strait, and steady posture, as attending to what is done in the Church, and every one, man, and child, answering aloud both Amen, and all other answers, which are on the Clerks and peoples part to an­swer; which answers also are to be done not in a hudling, or slubbering fashion, gaping, or scratching the head, or spitting even in the midst of their answer, but gently and pausa­bly, thinking what they say; so that while they answer, As it was in the beginning, &c. they meditate as they speak, that God hath ever had his people, that have glorified him as wel as now, and that he shall have so for ever. And the like in other answers. This is that which the Apostle cals a reasonable service, Rom, 12. when we speak not as Parrats, without reason, or offer up such sacrifices as they did of old, which was of beasts de­voyd of reason; but when we use our reason, and apply our powers to the [Page 20] service of him, that gives them. If there be any of the gentry or nobili­ty of the Parish, who somtimes make it a piece of state not to come at the beginning of service with their poor neighbours, but at mid-prayers, both to their own loss, and of theirs also who gaze upon them when they come in, and neglect the present ser­vice of God, he by no means suffers it, but after divers gentle admoniti­ons, if they persevere, he causes them to be presented: or if the poor Church-wardens be affrighted with their greatness, notwithstanding his instruction that they ought not to be so, but even to let the world sinke, so they do their duty; he presents them himself, only protesting to them, that not any ill will draws him to it, but the debt and obligation of his calling, being to obey God ra­ther then men.

CHAP. VII. The Parson preaching.

THe Countrey Parson prea­cheth constantly, the pulpit is his joy and his throne: if he at any time intermit, it is either for want of health, or against some great Festivall, that he may the bet­ter celebrate it, or for the variety of the hearers, that he may be heard at his returne more attentively. When he intermits, he is ever very well supplyed by some able man who treads in his steps, and will not throw down what he hath built; whom also he intreats to press some point, that he himself hath often urged with no great success, that so in the mouth of two or three wit­nesses the truth may be more establi­shed. [Page 22] When he preacheth, he pro­cures attention by all possible art, both by earnestnesse of speech, it being naturall to men to think, that where is much earnestness, there is somewhat worth hearing; and by a diligent, and busy cast of his eye on his auditors, with letting them know, that he observes who marks, and who not; and with particulari­zing of his speech now to the youn­ger fort, then to the elder, now to the poor, and now to the rich. This is for you, and This is for you; for particulars ever touch, and awake more then generalls. Herein also he serves himselfe of the judgements of God, as of those of antient times, so especially of the late ones; and those most, which are nearest to his Parish; for people are very atten­tive at such discourses, and think it behoves them to be so, when God is so neer them, and even over their heads. Sometimes he tells them [Page 23] stories, and sayings of others, ac­cording as his text invites him; for them also men heed, and remember better then exhortations; which though earnest, yet often dy with the Sermon, especially with Coun­trey people; which are thick, and heavy, and hard to raise to a poynt of Zeal, and fervency, and need a mountaine of fire to kindle them; but stories and sayings they will well remember. He often tels them, that Sermons are dangerous things, that none goes out of Church as he came in, but either better, or worse; that none is careless before his Judg, and that the word of God shal Judge us. By these and other means the Parson procures at­tention; but the character of his Sermon is Holiness; he is not wit­ty, or learned, or eloquent, but Ho­ly. A Character, that Hermoge­nes never dream'd of, and therefore he could give no precepts thereof. [Page 24] But it is gained first, by choosing texts of Devotion, not Controver­sie, moving and ravishing texts, whereof the Scriptures are full. Se­condly, by dipping, and seasoning all our words and sentences in our hearts, before they come into our mouths, truly affecting, and cordi­ally expressing all that we say; so that the auditors may plainly per­ceive that every word is hart-deep. Thridly, by turning often, and ma­king many Apostrophes to God, as, Oh Lord blesse my people, and teach them this point; or, Oh my Master, on whose errand I come, let me hold my peace, and doe thou speak thy selfe; for thou art Love, and when thou teachest, all are Scholers. Some such irradi­ations scatteringly in the Sermon, carry great holiness in them. The Prophets are admirable in this. So Isa. 64. Oh that thou would'st rent the Heavens, that thou wouldst come down, [Page 25] &c. And Ieremy, Chapt. 10. after he had complained of the deso­lation of Israel, turnes to God suddenly, Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself, &c. Fourth­ly, by frequent wishes of the peoples good, and joying therein, though he himself were with Saint Paul even sacrificed upon the service of their faith. For there is no greater sign of holinesse, then the procuring, and rejoycing in anothers good. And herein St Paul excelled in all his Epistles. How did he put the Romans in all his prayers? Rom. 1.9. And ceased not to give thanks for the Ephesians, Eph. 1.16. And for the Corinthians, chap. 1.4. And for the Philippians made request with joy ch. 1.4. And is in conten­tion for them whither to live, or dy; be with them, or Christ, verse 23. which, setting aside his care of his Flock, were a madnesse to doubt of. What an admirable Epistle is the [Page 26] second to the Corinthians? how full of affections? he joyes, and he is sorry, he grieves, and he gloryes, never was there such care of a flock expressed, saye in the great shep­herd of the fold, who first shed teares over Ierusalem, and after­wards blood. Therefore this care may be learn'd there, and then woven into Sermons, which will make them appear exceeding reve­rend, and holy. Lastly, by an of­ten urging of the presence, and ma­jesty of God, by these, or such like speeches. Oh let us all take heed what we do, God sees us, he sees whether I speak as I ought, or you hear as you ought, he sees hearts, as we see faces: he is a­mong us; for if we be here, hee must be here, since we are here by him, and without him could not be here. Then turning the dis­course to his Majesty, And he is a great God, and terrible, as great [Page 27] in mercy, so great in judgement: There are but two devouring ele­ments, fire, and water, he hath both in him; His voyce is as the sound of many waters, Revelations 1. And he himselfe is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12. Such discourses shew very Holy. The Parsons Method in handling of a text con­fists of two parts; first, a plain and evident declaration of the meaning of the text; and secondly, some choyce Observations drawn out of the whole text, as it lyes entire, and unbroken in the Scripture it self. This he thinks naturall, and sweet, and grave. Whereas the other way of crumbling a text into small parts, as, the Person speaking, or spoken to, the subject, and object, and the like, hath neither in it sweetnesse, nor gravity, nor variety, since the words apart are not Scripture, but a dictionary, and may be con­sidered [Page 28] alike in all the Scripture. The Parson exceeds not an hour in preaching, because all ages have thought that a competency, and he that profits not in that time, will lesse afterwards, the same affection which made him not profit before, making him then weary, and so he grows from not relishing, to loa­thing.

CHAP. VIII. The Parson on Sundays.

THe Country Parson, as soon as he awakes on Sun­day morning, presently falls to work, and seems to him­selfe so as a Market-man is, when the Market day comes, or a shop­keeper, when customers use to come in. His thoughts are full of ma­king [Page 29] the best of the day, and contri­ving it to his best gaines. To this end, besides his ordinary prayers, he makes a peculiar one for a blessing on the exercises of the day, That nothing befall him unworthy of that Majesty before which he is to present himself, but that all may be done with reverence to his glory, and with edification to his flock, hum­bly beseeching his Master, that how or whenever he punish him, it be not in his Ministry: then he turnes to request for his people, that the Lord would be pleased to sanctifie them all, that they may come with holy hearts, and awfull mindes into the Congregation, and that the good God would pardon all those, who come with lesse pre­pared hearts then they ought. This done, he sets himself to the Consideration of the duties of the day, and if there be any extraordi­nary addition to the customary ex­ercises, [Page 30] either from the time of the year, or from the State, or from God by a child born, or dead, or any other accident, he contrives how and in what manner to induce it to the best advantage. After­wards when the hour calls, with his family attending him, he goes to Church, at his first entrance humbly adoring, and worshipping the invisi­ble majesty, and presence of Almigh­ty God, and blessing the people ei­ther openly, or to himselfe. Then having read divine Service twice fully, and preached in the morning, and catechized in the afternoone, he thinks he hath in some measure, ac­cording to poor, and fraile man, discharged the publick duties of the Congregation. The rest of the day he spends either in reconciling neigh­bours that are at variance, or in visiting the sick, or in exhortations to some of his flock by themselves, whom his Sermons cannot, or doe [Page 31] not reach. And every one is more awaked, when we come, and say, Thou art the man. This way he findes exceeding usefull, and win­ning; and these exhortations he cals his privy purse, even as Princes have theirs, besides ther publick disburs­ments. At night he thinks it a ve­ry fit time, both sutable to the joy of the day, and without hinderance to publick duties, either to entertaine some of his neighbours, or to be entertained of them, where he takes occasion to discourse of such things as are both profitable, and pleasant, and to raise up their mindes to appre­hend Gods good blessing to our Church, and State; that order is kept in the one, and peace in the other, without disturbance, or interruption of publick dvinie offices. As he opened the day with prayer, so he closeth it, humbly beseeching the Almighty to pardon and accept our poor ser­vices, and to improve them, that [Page 32] we may grow therein, and that our feet may be like hindes feet ever climbing up higher, and higher unto him.

CHAP. IX. The Parson's state of Life.

THe Country Parson conside­ring that virginity is a high­er state then Matrimony, and that the Ministry requires the best and highest things, is rather unmarryed, then marryed. But yet as the temper of his body may be, or as the temper of his Parish may be, where he may have occasion to converse with women, and that a­mong suspicious men, and other like circumstances considered, he is rather married then unmarried. Let him communicate the thing often [Page 33] by prayer unto God, and as his grace shall direct him, so let him proceed. If he be unmarried, and keepe house, he hath not a woman in his house, but findes opportuni­ties of having his meat dress'd and other services done by men-servants at home, and his linnen washed a­broad. If he be unmarryed, and sojourne, he never talkes with any woman alone, but in the audience of others, and that seldom, and then al­so in a serious manner, never jestingly or sportfully. He is very circumspect in all companyes, both of his behaviour, speech, and very looks, knowing him­self to be both suspected, and envyed. If he stand steadfast in his heart, ha­ving no necessity, but hath power o­ver his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart, that he will keep himself a virgin, he spends his dayes in fasting and prayer, and blesseth God for the gift of continency, knowing that it can no way be preserved, but only by those [Page 34] means, by which at first it was obtained. He therefore thinkes it not enough for him to observe the fa­sting dayes of the Church, and the dayly prayers enjoyned him by auctori­ty, which he observeth out of humble conformity, and obedience; but adds to them, out of choyce and devotion, some other dayes for fasting, and hours for prayers; and by these hee keeps his body tame, serviceable, and healthfull; and his soul fervent, a­ctive, young, and lusty as an eagle. He often readeth the Lives of the Primi; tive Monks, Hermits, and virgins, and wondreth not so much at their pa­tient suffering, and cheerfull dying under persecuting Emperours, (though that indeed be very admirable) as at their daily temperance, abstinence, watchings, and constant prayers, and mortifications in the times of peace and prosperity. To put on the profound humility, and the exact temperance of our Lord Iesus, with [Page 35] other exemplary vertues of that sort, and to keep them on in the sunshine, and noone of prosperity, he findeth to be as necessary, and as difficult at least, as to be cloathed with perfect patience, and Christian fortitude in the cold midnight stormes of persecution and adversity. He keepeth his watch and ward, night and day against the pro­per and peculiar temptations of his state of Life, which are principally these two, Spirituall pride, and Im­purity of heart: against these ghostly enemies he girdeth up his loynes, keepes the imagination from roving, puts on the whole Armour of God, and by the vertue of the shield of faith, he is not afraid of the pestilence that walketh in darkenesse, [carnall impurity,] nor of the sicknesse that destroyeth at noone day, [Ghostly pride and self-conceite.] Other temptations he hath, which, like mortall enemies, may sometimes disqui­et him likewise; for the humane soule being bounded, and kept in in her sen­sitive [Page 36] faculty, will runne out more or lesse in her intellectuall. Origi­nall concupisence is such an active thing, by reason of continuall inward, or outward temptations, that it is e­ver attempting, or doing one mischief or other. Ambition, or untimely de­sire of promotion to an higher state, or place, under colour of accommodation, or necessary provision, is a common tem­ptation to men of any eminency, especial­ly being single men. Curiosity in prying into high speculative and unprofitable questions, is another great stumbling block to the holinesse of Scholers. These and many other spirituall wickednesses in high places doth the Parson fear, or experiment, or both; and that much more being single, then if he were mar­ryed; for then commonly the stream of temptations is turned another way, into Covetousnesse, Love of pleasure, or ease, or the like. If the Parson be unmarryed, and means to continue so, he doth at least, as much as hath been [Page 37] said. If he be marryed, the choyce of his wife was made rather by his eare, then by his eye; his judge­ment, not his affection found out a fit wife for him, whose humble, and liberall disposition he preferred be­fore beauty, riches, or honour. He knew that (the good instrument of God to bring women to heaven) a wise and loving husband could out of humility, produce any speciall grace of faith, pa­tience, meeknesse, love, obedience, &c. and out of liberality, make her fruitfull in all good works. As hee is just in all things, so is he to his wife also, counting nothing so much his owne, as that he may be unjust un­to it. Therefore he gives her re­spect both afore her sevants, and o­thers, and halfe at least of the govern­ment of the house, reserving so much of the affaires, as serve for a diversion for him; yet never so gi­ving over the raines, but that he sometimes looks how things go, de­manding [Page 38] an account, but not by the way of an account. And this must bee done the oftner, or the seldomer, according as hee is sa­tisfied of his Wifes discre­tion.

CHAP. X. The Parson in his house.

THe Parson is very exact in the governing of his house, making it a copy and mo­dell for his Parish. He knows the temper, and pulse of every person in his house, and accordingly either meets with their vices, or advanceth their vertues. His wife is either re­ligious, or night and day he is win­ning her to it. In stead of the qua­lities of the world, he requires onely three of her; first, a trayning up of [Page 39] her children and mayds in the fear of God, with prayers, and catechi­zing, and all religious duties. Second­ly, a curing, and healing of all wounds and sores with her owne hands; which skill either she brought with her, or he takes care she shall learn it of some religious neighbour. Thirdly, a providing for her family in such sort, as that neither they want a competent sustentation, nor her husband be brought in debt. His children he first makes Christians, and then Common-wealths-men; the one he owes to his heavenly Countrey, the other to his earthly, having no title to either, except he do good to both. Therefore ha­ving seasoned them with all Piety, not only of words in praying, and reading; but in actions, in visiting o­ther sick children, and tending their wounds, and sending his charity by them to the poor, and somtimes gi­ving them a little mony to do it of [Page 40] themselves, that they get a delight in it, and enter favour with God, who weighs even childrens actions. 1 King. 14.12, 13. He afterwards turnes his care to fit all their disposi­tions with some calling, not sparing the eldest, but giving him the pre­rogative of his Fathers profession, which happily for his other children he is not able to do. Yet in binding them prentices (in case he think fit to do so) he takes care not to put them into vain trades, and unbe­fitting the reverence of their Fathers calling, such as are tavernes for men, and lace-making for women; be­cause those trades, for the most part, serve but the vices and vanities of the world, which he is to deny, and not augment. However, he resolves with himself never to omit any pre­sent good deed of charity, in consi­deration of providing a stock for his children; but assures himselfe, that mony thus lent to God, is placed su­rer [Page 41] for his childrens advantage, then if it were given to the Chamber of London. Good deeds, and good breeding, are his two great stocks for his children; if God give any thing above those, and not spent in them, he blesseth God, and lays it out as he sees cause. His servants are all religious, and were it not his du­ty to have them so, it were his pro­fit, for none are so well served, as by religious servants, both because they do best, and because what they do, is blessed, and prospers. After re­ligion, he teacheth them, that three things make a compleate servant, Truth, and Diligence, and Neat­nesse, or Cleanlinesse. Those that can read, are allowed times for it, and those that cannot, are taught; for all in his house are either teachers or learners, or both, so that his fa­mily is a Schoole of Religion, and they all account, that to teach the ignorant is the greatest almes. [Page 42] Even the wals are not idle, but some­thing is written, or painted there, which may excite the reader to a thought of piety; especially the 101 Psalm, which is expressed in a fayre table, as being the rule of a family. And when they go abroad, his wife among her neighbours is the begin­ner of good discourses, his children among children, his servants among other servants; so that as in the house of those that are skill'd in Musick, all are Musicians; so in the house of a Preacher, all are preachers. He suffers not a ly or equivocation by any means in his house, but counts it the art, and secret of governing to preserve a directinesse, and open plainnesse in all things; so that all his house knowes, that there is no help for a fault done, but confession. He himselfe, or his Wife, takes ac­count of Sermons, and how every one profits, comparing this yeer with the last: and besides the com­mon [Page 43] prayers of the family, he strait­ly requires of all to pray by them­selves before they sleep at night, and stir out in the morning, and knows what prayers they say, and till they have learned them, makes them kneel by him; esteeming that this private praying is a more voluntary act in them, then when they are called to others prayers, and that, which when they leave the family, they carry with them. He keeps his servants between love, and fear, according as hee findes them; but generally he distri­butes it thus, To his Children he shewes more love then terrour, to his servants more terrour then love; but an old good servant boards a child. The furniture of his house is very plain, but clean, whole, and sweet, as sweet as his garden can make; for he hath no mony for such things, charity being his only per­fume, which deserves cost when he can spare it. His fare is plain, and [Page 44] common, but wholsome, what hee hath, is little, but very good; it consisteth most of mutton, beefe, and veal, if he addes any thing for a great day, or a stranger, his garden or orchard supplyes it, or his barne, and back-side: he goes no further for any entertainment, lest he goe into the world, esteeming it absurd, that he should exceed, who teacheth others temperance. But those which his home produceth, he refu­seth not, as coming cheap, and ea­sie, and arising from the improve­ment of things, which otherwise would be lost. Wherein he admires and imitates the wonderfull provi­dence and thrift of the great house­holder of the world: for there be­ing two things, which as they are, are unuseful to man, the one for smal­nesse, as crums, and scattered corn, and the like; the other for the foul­nesse, as wash, and durt, and things thereinto fallen; God hath provi­ded [Page 45] Creatures for both; for the first, Poultry; for the second, swine. These save man the labour, and doing that which either he could not-do, or was not fit for him to do, by taking both sorts of food into them, do as it were dresse and prepare both for man in themselves, by growing themselves fit for his table. The Parson in his house observes fasting dayes; and particularly, as Sunday is his day of joy, so Friday his day of Humiliation, which he celebrates not only with abstinence of diet, but also of company, recreation, and all outward contentments; and besides, with confession of sins, and all acts of Mortification. Now fasting dayes containe a treble obligation; first, of eating lesse that day, then on other dayes; secondly, of eating no pleasing, or over-nourishing things, as the Israelites did eate sowre herbs: Thirdly, of eating no flesh, which is but the determination of the [Page 46] second rule by Authority to this par­ticular. The two former obligati­ons are much more essentiall to a true fast, then the third and last; and fasting dayes were fully performed by keeping of the two former, had not Authority interposed: so that to eat little, and that unpleasant, is the naturall rule of fasting, although it be flesh. For since fasting in Scrip­ture language is an afflicting of our souls, if a peece of dry flesh at my table be more unpleasant to me, then some fish there, certainly to eat the flesh, and not the fish, is to keep the fasting day naturally. And it is ob­servable, that the prohibiting of flesh came from hot Countreys, where both flesh alone, and much more with wine, is apt to nourish more then in cold regions, and where flesh may be much better spa­red; and with more safety then elsewhere, where both the people and the drink being cold and fleg­matick, [Page 47] the eating of flesh is an an­tidote to both. For it is certaine, that a weak stomack being prepos­sessed with flesh, shall much better brooke and bear a daught of beer, then if it had taken before either fish, or rootes, or such things; which will discover it selfe by spitting, and rheume, or flegme. To conclude, the Parson, if he be in full health, keeps the three obligations, eating fish, or roots, and that for quantity little, for quality unpleasant. If his body be weak and obstructed, as most Students are, he cannot keep the last obligation, nor suffer others in his house that are so, to keep it; but only the two former, which al­so in diseases of exinanition (as con­sumptions) must be broken: For meat was made for man, not man for meat. To all this may be added, not for emboldening the unruly, but for the comfort of the weak, that not onely sicknesse breaks these ob­ligations [Page 48] of fasting, but sicklinesse also. For it is as unnatural to do any thing, that leads me to a sick­nesse, to which I am inclined, as not to get out of that sicknesse, when I am in it, by any diet. One thing is evident, that an English body, and a Students body, are two great obstructed vessels, and there is no­thing that is food, and not phi­sick, which doth lesse obstruct, then flesh moderately taken; as being immoderately taken, it is ex­ceeding obstructive. And obstru­ctions are the cause of most disea­ses.

CHAP. XI. The Parson's Courtesie.

THe Countrey Parson owing a debt of Charity to the poor, and of Courtesie to his other parishioners, he so distin­guisheth, that he keeps his money for the poor, and his table for those that are above Alms. Not but that the poor are welcome also to his table, whom he sometimes purpose­ly takes home with him, setting them close by him, and carving for them, both for his own humility, and their comfort, who are much cheered with such friendlineses. But since both is to be done, the better sort invited, and meaner relieved, he chooseth rather to give the poor [Page 50] money, which they can better em­ploy to their own advantage, and sutably to their needs, and then so much given in meat at dinner. Having then invited some of his Parish, hee taketh his times to do the like to the rest; so that in the compasse of the year, hee hath them all with him, because coun­trey people are very observant of such things, and will not be per­swaded, but being not invited, they are hated. Which perwasion the Parson by all means avoyds, know­ing that where there are such con­ceits, there is no room for his do­ctrine to enter. Yet doth hee of­tenest invite those, whom hee sees take best courses, that so both they may be encouraged to perse­vere, and others spurred to do well, that they may enjoy the like cour­tesie. For though he desire, that all should live well, and vertu­ously, not for any reward of his, [Page 51] but for vertues sake; yet that will not be so: and therefore as God, although we should love him onely for his own sake, yet out of his infinite pity hath set forth heaven for a reward to draw men to Piety, and is con­tent, if at least so, they will become good. So the Coun­trey Parson, who is a diligent observer, and tracker of Gods wayes, sets up as many encou­ragements to goodnesse as he can, both in honour, and pro­fit, and fame; that he may, if not the best way, yet a­ny way, make his Parish good.

CHAP. XII. The Parson's Charity.

THe Countrey Parson is full of Charity; it is his pre­dominant element. For many and wonderfull things are spoken of thee, thou great Vertue. To Charity is given the covering of sins, 1 Pet. 4.8. and the forgive­nesse of sins, Matthew 6.14. Luke 7.47. the fulfilling of the Law, Romans 13.10. The life of faith, Iames 2.26. The blessings of this life, Proverbs 22.9. Psalm 41.2. And the reward of the next, Matth. 25.35. In brief, it is the body of Religion, Iohn 13.35. And the top of Christian vertues, 1 Corin. 13. Wherefore all his works rellish of Charity. When he riseth in the [Page 53] morning, he bethinketh himselfe what good deeds he can do that day, and presently doth them; counting that day lost, wherein he hath not exercised his Charity. He first con­siders his own Parish, and takes care, that there be not a begger, or idle person in his Parish, but that all bee in a competent way of getting their living. This he affects either by bounty, or perswasion, or by au­thority, making use of that excel­lent statute, which bindes all Pari­shes to maintaine their own. If his Parish be rich, he exacts this of them; if poor, and he able, he easeth them therin. But he gives no set pen­sion to any; for this in time will lose the name and effect of Charity with the poor people, though not with God: for then they will reckon up­on it, as on a debt; and if it be ta­ken away, though justly, they will murmur, and repine as much, as he that is disseized of his own inheri­tance. [Page 54] But the Parson having a double aime, and making a hook of his Charity, causeth them still to de­pend on him; and so by continuall, and fresh bounties, unexpected to them, but resolved to himself, hee wins them to praise God more, to live more religiously, and to take more paines in their vocation, as not knowing when they shal be relieved; which otherwise they would reckon upon, and turn to idlenesse. Be­sides this generall provision, he hath other times of opening his hand; as at great Festivals, and Communions; not suffering any that day that hee receives, to want a good meal suting to the joy of the occasion. But spe­cially, at hard times, and dearths, he even parts his Living, and life a­mong them, giving some corn out­right, and selling other at under rates; and when his own stock serves not, working those that are able to the same charity, still pressing it in the [Page 55] pulpit, and out of the pulpit, and never leaving them, till he obtaine his desire. Yet in all his Charity, he distinguisheth, giving them most, who live best, and take most paines, and are most charged: So is his charity in effect a Sermon. After the consideration of his own Parish, he inlargeth himself, if he be able, to the neighbour-hood; for that also is some kind of obligation; so doth he also to those at his door, whom God puts in his way, and makes his neigh­bours. But these he helps not with­out some testimony, except the evi­dence of the misery bring testimony with it. For though these testimo­nies also may be falsifyed, yet con­sidering that the Law allows these in case they be true, but allows by no means to give without testimony, as he obeys Authority in the one, so that being once satisfied, he allows his Charity some blindnesse in the other; especially, since of the two [Page 56] commands, we are more injoyned to be charitable, then wise. But evi­dent miseries have a naturall pri­viledge, and exemption from all law. When-ever hee gives any thing, and sees them labour in thanking of him, he exacts of them to let him alone, and say rather, God be praised, God be glorified; that so the thanks may go the right way, and thither onely, where they are onely due. So doth hee also before giving make them say their Prayers first, or the Creed, and ten Commandments, and as he finds them perfect, rewards them the more. For other givings are lay, and secular, but this is to give like a Priest.

CHAP. XIII. The Parson's Church.

THe Countrey Parson hath a speciall care of his Church, that all things there be de­cent, and befitting his Name by which it is called. Therefore first he takes order, that all things be in good repair; as walls plaistered, win­dows glazed, floore paved, seats whole, firm, and uniform, especi­ally that the Pulpit, and Deck, and Communion Table, and Font be as they ought, for those great duties that are performed in them. Se­condly, that the Church be swept, and kept cleane without dust, or Cobwebs, and at great festi­valls strawed, and stuck with boughs, and perfumed with in­cense. [Page 58] Thirdly, That there be fit, and proper texts of Scripture eve­ry where painted, and that all the painting be grave, and reve­rend, not with light colours, or foolish anticks. Fourthly, That all the books appointed by Au­thority be there, and those not torne, or fouled, but whole; and clean, and well bound; and that there be a fitting, and sight­ly Communion Cloth ‘of fine linnen, with an handsome, and seemly Carpet of good and cost­ly Stuffe, or Cloth, and all kept sweet and clean, in a strong and decent chest, with a Chalice, and Cover, and a Stoop, or Fla­gon; and a Bason for Almes and offerings; besides which, he hath a Poor-mans Box conveniently seated, to receive the charity of well minded people, and to lay up treasure for the sick and needy.’ And all this he doth, [Page 59] not as out of necessity, or as putting a holiness in the things, but as desiring to keep the middle way between su­perstition, and slovenlinesse, and as following the Apostles two great and admirable Rules in things of this nature: The first whereof is, Let all things be done decently, and in order: The second, Let all things be done to edification, 1 Cor. 14. For these two rules comprize and include the dou­ble object of our duty, God, and our neighbour; the first being for the honour of God; the second for the benefit of our neighbor. So that they excellently score out the way, and fully, and exactly contain, even in ex­ternall and indifferent things, what course is to be taken; and put them to great shame, who deny the Scripture to be perfect.

CHAP. XIV. The Parson in Circuit.

THe Countrey Parson upon the afternoons in the week­days, takes occasion some­times to visite in person, now one quarter of his Parish, now another. For there he shall find his flock most naturally as they are, wallowing in the midst of their affairs: whereas on Sundays it is easie for them to com­pose themselves to order, which they put on as their holy-day cloathes, and come to Church in frame, but commonly the next day put off both. When he comes to any house, first he blesseth it, and then as hee finds the persons of the house im­ployed, so he formes his discourse. Those that he findes religiously im­ployed, [Page 61] hee both commends them much, and furthers them when hee is gone, in their imployment; as if hee findes them reading, hee furnisheth them with good books; if curing poor people, hee supplies them with Receipts, and instructs them further in that skill, shewing them how acceptable such works are to God, and wishing them ever to do the Cures with their own hands, and not to put them over to servants. Those that he finds busie in the works of their calling, he commendeth them also: for it is a good and just thing for every one to do their own busi­nes. But then he admonisheth them of two things; first, that they dive not too deep into worldly affairs, plung­ing themselves over head and eares into carking, and caring; but that they so labour, as neither to labour anxiously, nor distrustfully, nor pro­fanely. Then they labour anxiou­sly, when they overdo it, to the [Page 62] loss of their quiet, and health: then distrustfully, when they doubt Gods providence, thinking that their own labour is the cause of their thriving, as if it were in their own hands to thrive, or not to thrive. ‘Then they labour profanely, when they set themselves to work like brute beasts, never raising their thoughts to God, nor sanctify­ing their labour with daily prayer; when on the Lords day they do unnecessary servile work, or in time of divine service on other ho­ly days, except in the cases of ex­treme poverty, and in the sea­ons of Seed-time, and Harvest.’ Secondly, he adviseth them so to labour for wealth and maintenance, as that they make not that the end of their labour, but that they may have wherewithall to serve God the better, and to do good deeds. Af­ter these discourses, if they be poor and needy, whom he thus finds la­bouring, [Page 63] he gives them somewhat; and opens not only his mouth, but his purse to their relief, that so they go on more cheerfully in their voca­tion, and himself be ever the more welcome to them. Those that the Parson findes idle, or ill imployed, he chides not at first, for that were neither civill, nor profitable; but always in the close, before he departs from them: yet in this he distingui­sheth; for if he be a plaine country­man, he reproves him plainly; for they are not sensible of finenesse: if they be of higher quality, they com­monly are quick, and sensible, and very tender of reproof: and there­fore he lays his discourse so, that he comes to the point very leasurely, and oftentimes, as Nathan did, in the person of another, making them to reprove themselves. How­ever, one way or other, he ever re­proves them, that he may keep himself pure, and not be intangled [Page 64] in others sinnes. Neither in this doth he forbear, though there be company by: for as when the offence is particular, and against mee, I am to follow our Savi­ours rule, and to take my bro­ther aside, and reprove him; so when the offence is publicke, and against God, I am then to follow the Apostles rule, 1 Timothy 5.20. and to rebuke open­ly that which is done openly. Be­sides these occasionall discourses, the Parson questions what order is kept in the house, as about prayers morning, and evening on their knees, reading of Scripture, catechizing, singing of Psalms at their work, and on holy days; who can read, who not; and sometimes he hears the children read himselfe, and blesseth, encouraging also the servants to learn to read, and offe­ring to have them taught on holy-dayes by his servants. If the [Page 65] Parson were ashamed of particu­larizing in these things, hee were not fit to be a Parson: but he holds the Rule, that Nothing is little in Gods service: If it once have the honour of that Name, it grows great instantly. Wherfore neither disdaineth he to enter into the poor­est Cottage, though he even creep into it, and though it smell never so lothsomly. For both God is there also, and those for whom God dy­ed: and so much the rather doth he so, as his accesse to the poor is more comfortable, then to the rich; and in regard of himselfe, it is more humiliation. These are the Parsons generall aims in his Circuit; but with these he mingles other discour­ses for conversation sake, and to make his higher purposes slip the more easily.

CHAP. XV. The Parson Comforting.

THe Countrey Parson, when any of his cure is sick, or afflicted with losse of friend, or estate, or any ways distressed, fails not to afford his best comforts, and rather goes to them, then sends for the afflicted, though they can, and otherwise ought to come to him. To this end he hath throughly dige­sted all the points of consolation, as having continuall use of them, such as are from Gods generall provi­dence extended even to lillyes; from his particular, to his Church; from his promises, from the examples of all Saints, that ever were; from Christ himself, perfecting our Re­demption no other way, then by [Page 67] sorrow; from the Benefit of affli­ction, which softens, and works the stubborn heart of man; from the certainty both of deliverance, and reward, if we faint not; from the miserable comparison of the mo­ment of griefs here with the weight of joyes hereafter. ‘Besides this, in his visiting the sick, or other­wise afflicted, he followeth the Churches counsell, namely, in perswading them to particular confession, labouring to make them understand the great good use of this antient and pious ordi­nance, and how necessary it is in some cases: he also urgeth them to do some pious charitable works, as a necessary evidence and fruit of their faith, at that time especi­ally: the participation of the ho­ly Sacrament, how comfortable, and Soveraigne a Medicine it is to all sinsick souls, what strength, and joy, and peace it administers [Page 68] against all temptations, even to death it selfe, he plainly, and ge­nerally intimateth to the disaf­fected, or sick person, that so the hunger and thirst after it may come rather from them­selves, then from his perswa­sion.’

CHAP. XVI. The Parson a Father.

THe Countrey Parson is not only a father to his flock, but also professeth himselfe throughly of the opinion, car­rying it about with him as ful­ly, as if he had begot his whole Parish. And of this he makes great use. For by this means, when any sinns, he ha­teth him not as an officer, but [Page 69] pityes him as a Father: and even in those wrongs which either in tithing, or otherwise are done to his owne person, hee considers the offender as a child, and for­gives, so hee may have any signe of amendment; so also when af­ter many admonitions, any con­tinue to be refractory, yet hee gives him not over, but is long before hee proceede to disinherit­ing, or perhaps never goes so far; knowing, that some are cal­led at the eleventh houre, and therefore hee still expects, and waits, least hee should de­termine Gods houre of coming; which as hee cannot, touching the last day, so neither touching the intermediate days of Conver­sion.

CHAP. XVII. The Parson in Iourney.

THe countrey Parson, when a just occasion calleth him out of his Parish (which he diligently, and strictly weigh­eth, his Parish being all his joy, and thought) leaveth not his Mini­stry behind him; but is himselfe where ever he is. Therefore those he meets on the way he blesseth au­dibly, and with those he overtakes or that overtake him, hee begins good discourses, such as may edify, interposing sometimes some short, and honest refreshments, which may make his other discourses more welcome, and lesse tedious. And when he comes to his Inn, he refuseth not to joyne, that he may [Page 71] enlarge the glory of God to the company he is in, by a due blessing of God for their safe arrival, and say­ing grace at meat, and at going to bed by giving the Host notice, that he will have prayers in the hall, wi­shing him to informe his guests thereof, that if any be willing to par­take, they may resort thither. The like he doth in the morning, using pleasantly the outlandish proverb, that Prayers and Provender never hinder journey. When he comes to any other house, where his kindred, or other relations give him any au­thority over the Family, if hee be to stay for a time, hee considers di­ligently the state thereof to God­ward, and that in two points: First, what disorders there are either in Apparell, or Diet, or too open a Buttery, or reading vain books, or swearing, or breeding up children to no Calling, but in idleness, or the like. Secondly, what means of [Page 72] Piety, whether daily prayers be used, Grace, reading of Scrip­tures, and other good books, how Sundayes, holy-days, and fasting days are kept. And accordingly, as he finds any defect in these, hee first considers with himselfe, what kind of remedy fits the temper of the house best, and then hee faithfully, and boldly applyeth it; yet sea­sonably, and discreetly, by taking aside the Lord, or Lady; or Master and Mistres of the house, and shewing them cleerly, that they respect them most, who wish them best, and that not a desire to meddle with others affairs, but the earnestnesse to do all the good he can, moves him to say thus and thus.

CHAP. XVIII. The Parson in Sentinell.

THe Countrey Parson, where ever he is, keeps Gods watch; that is, there is nothing spoken, or done in the Company where he is, but comes under his Test and censure: If it be well spoken, or done, he takes occasion to commend, and en­large it; if ill, he presently lays hold of it, least the poyson steal into some young and unwary spirits, and possesse them even before they themselves heed it. But this he doth discretely, with mollifying, and suppling words; This was not so well said, as it might have been forborn; We cannot allow this: or else if the thing will admit inter­pretation; Your meaning is not thus, but thus; or, So farr indeed [Page 74] what you say is true, and well said; but this will not stand. This is cal­led keeping Gods watch, when the baits which the enemy lays in com­pany, are discovered and avoyded: This is to be on Gods side, and be true to his party. Besides, if he per­ceive in company any discourse ten­ding to ill, either by the wickedness or quarrelsomnesse thereof, he ei­ther prevents it judiciously, or breaks it off seasonably by some diversion. Wherein a pleasantness of dispositi­on is of great use, men being wil­ling to sell the interest, and in­gagement of their discourses for no price sooner, then that of mirth; whither the nature of man, loving refreshment, gladly betakes it selfe, even to the losse of honour.

CHAP. XIX. The Parson in reference.

THe Countrey Parson is sin­cere nnd upright in all his relations. And first, he is just to his Countrey; as when he is set at an armour, or horse, he bor­rowes them not to serve the turne, nor provides slight, and unusefull, but such as are every way fitting to do his Countrey true and laudable service, when occasion requires. To do otherwise, is deceit; and therefore not for him, who is hear­ty, and true in all his wayes, as be­ing the servant of him, in whom there was no guile. Likewise in a­ny other Countrey-duty, he con­siders what is the end of any Com­mand, and then he suits things faith­fully according to that end. Se­condly, he carryes himself very re­spectively, [Page 76] as to all the Fathers of the Church, so especially to his Dioce­san, honouring him both in word, and behaviour, and resorting un­to him in any dufficulty, either in his studies or in his Parish. He ob­serves Visitations, and being there, makes due use of them, as of Cler­gy councels, for the benefit of the Diocese. And therefore before he comes, having observed some de­fects in the Ministry, he then either in Sermon, if he preach, or at some other time of the day, propounds a­mong his Brethren what were fitting to be done. Thirdly, he keeps good Correspondence with all the neigh­bouring Pastours round about him, performing for them any Ministeri­all office, which is not to the pre­judice of his own Parish. Likewise he welcomes to his house any Mi­nister, how poor or mean soever, with as joyfull a countenance, as if he were to entertain some great [Page 77] Lord. Fourthly, he fulfills the duty, and debt of neighbour­hood to all the Parishes which are neer him. For the Apostles rule Philip. 4. being admirable, and large, that we should do whatsoe­ver things are honest, or just, or pure, or lovely, or of good report, if there be any vertue, or any praise. And Neighbourhood being ever reputed, even among the Heathen, as an ob­ligation to do good, rather then to those that are further, where things are otherwise equall, therefore he satisfies this duty also. Especially, if God have sent any calamity either by fire, or famine, to any neigh­bouring Parish, then he expects no Briefe; but taking his Parish toge­ther the next Sunday, or holy-day, and exposing to them the uncertain­ty of humane affairs, none know­ing whose turne may be next, and then when he hath affrighted them with this, exposing the obligation [Page 78] of Charity, and Neighbour-hood, he first gives himself liberally, and then incites them to give; making together a summe either to be sent, or, which were more comfortable, all together choosing some fitt day to carry it themselves, and cheere the Afflicted. So, if any neighbouring village be overbur­dened with poore, and his owne lesse charged, hee findes some way of releeving it, and reducing the Manna, and bread of Chari­ty to some equality, representing to his people, that the Blessing of God to them ought to make them the more charitable, and not the lesse, lest he cast their neighbours poverty on them also.

CHAP. XX. The Parson in Gods stead.

THe Countrey Parson is in Gods stead to his Parish, and dischargeth God what he can of his promises. Where­fore there is nothing done either wel or ill, whereof he is not the re­warder, or punisher. If he chance to finde any reading in anothers Bi­ble, he provides him one of his own. If he finde another giving a poor man a penny, he gives him a tester for it, if the giver be fit to re­ceive it; or if he be of a condition above such gifts, he sends him a good book, or easeth him in his Tithes, telling him when he hath forgotten it, this I do, because at such, and such a time you were charitable. This is in some sort a discharging of God; as concerning [Page 80] this life, who hath promised, that Godlinesse shall be gainfull: but in the other God is his own immedi­ate paymaster, rewarding all good deeds to their full proportion. ‘The Parsons punishing of sin and vice, is rather by withdrawing his boun­ty and courtesie from the parties offending, or by private, or pub­lick reproof, as the case requires, then by causing them to be pre­sented, or otherwise complained of. And yet as the malice of the person, or hainousness of the crime may be, he is carefull to see con­dign punishment inflicted, and with truly godly zeal, without hatred to the person, hungreth and thirsteth after righteous punishment of un­righteousnesse. Thus both in re­warding vertue, and in punishing vice, the Parson endeavoureth to be in Gods stead, knowing that Countrey people are drawne, or led by sense, more then [Page 81] by faith, by present rewards, or punishments, more then by future.’

CHAP. XXI. The Parson Catechizing.

THe Countrey Parson values Catechizing highly: for there being three points of his duty, the one, to infuse a com­petent knowledge of salvation in e­very one of his Flock; the other, to multiply, and build up this knowledge to a spirituall Temple; the third, to inflame this know­legde, to presse, and drive it to practice, turning it to reformation of life, by pithy and lively ex­hortations; Catechizing is the first point, and but by Catechi­zing, the other cannot be attained. [Page 82] Besides, whereas in Sermons there is a kinde of state, in Catechizing there is an humblenesse very sutable to Christian regeneration, which ex­ceedingly delights him as by way of exercise upon himself, and by way of preaching to himself, for the advancing of his own mortification, For in preaching to others, he for­gets not himself, but is first a Ser­mon to himself, and then to others; growing with the growth of his Pa­rish. He useth, and preferreth the ordinary Church-Catechism, part­ly for obedience to Authority, part­ly for uniformity sake, that the same common truths may be every where professed, especially since many remove from Parish to Pa­rish, who like Christian Souldiers are to give the word, and to satis­fie the Congregation by their Ca­tholick answers. He exacts of all the Doctrine of the Catechisme; of the younger sort, the very words; [Page 83] of the elder, the substance. Those he Catechizeth publickly, these privately, giving age honour, ac­cording to the Apostles rule, 1 Tim. 5.1. He requires all to be present at Catechizing: first, for the authority of the work; Secondly, that Pa­rents, and Masters, as they hear the answers prove, may when they come home, either commend or reprove, either reward or punish. Thirdly, that those of the elder sort, who are not well grounded, may then by an honourable way take occasion to be better instructed. Fourthly, that those who are well grown in the knowledg of Religion, may examine their grounds, renew their vowes, and by occasion of both, inlarge their meditations. When once all have learned the words of the Catechisme, he thinks it the most usefull way that a Pastor can take, to go over the same, but in other words: for many say the Ca­techisme [Page 84] by rote, as parrats, with­out ever piercing into the sense of it. In this course the order of the Ca­techisme would be kept, but the rest varyed: as thus, in the Creed: How came this world to be as it is? Was it made, or came it by chance? Who made it? Did you see God make it? Then are there some things to be belee­ved that are not seen? Is this the nature of beliefe? Is not Chri­stianity full of such things, as are not to be seen, but beleeved? You said, God made the world; Who is God? And so for­ward, requiring answers to all these, and helping and cherishing the Answerer, by making the Question very plaine with compa­risons, and making much even of a word of truth from him. This order being used to one, would be a little varyed to ano­ther. And this is an admirable [Page 85] way of teaching, wherein the Catechized will at length finde de­light, and by which the Cate­chizer, if he once get the skill of it, will draw out of ignorant and silly souls, even the dark and deep points of Religion, Socrates did thus in Phi­losophy, who held that the seeds of all truths lay in every body, and accordingly by questions well or­dered he found Philosophy in silly Trades-men. That position will not hold in Christianity, because it contains things above nature: but after that the Catechisme is once learn'd, that which nature is towards Philosophy, the Catechism is to­wards Divinity. To this purpose, some dialogues in Plato were worth the reading, where the singular dexterity of Socrates in this kind may be observed, and imitated. Yet the skill consists but in these three points: First, an aim and mark of the whole discourse, whither to drive [Page 86] the Answerer, which the Questionist must have in his mind before any question be propounded, upon which and to which the questions are to be chained. Secondly, a most plain and easie framing the question, even containing in vertue the answer also, especially to the more ignorant. Thirdly, when the answerer sticks, an illustrating the thing by something else, which he knows, making what hee knows to serve him in that which he knows not: As, when the Parson once demanded after other questions about mans misery; since man is so miserable, what is to be done? And the answerer could not tell; He asked him again, what he would do, if he were in a ditch? This familiar illustration made the answer so plaine, that he was even ashamed of his ignorance; for he could not but say, he would hast out of it as fast he could. Then he proceeded to [Page 87] ask, whether he could get out of the ditch alone, or whether he needed a helper, and who was that helper. This is the skill, and doubtlesse the Holy Scripture intends thus much, when it condescends to the naming of a plough, a hatchet, a bushell, leaven, boyes piping and dancing; shewing that things of ordinary use are not only to serve in the way of drudgery, but to be washed, and cleansed, and serve for lights even of Heavenly Truths. This is the Practice which the Parson so much commends to all his fellow-labou­rers; the secret of whose good con­sists in this, that at Sermons, and Prayers, men may sleep or wander; but when one is asked a question, he must discover what he is. This practice exceeds even Sermons in teaching: but there being two things in Sermons, the one Informing, the other Inflaming; as Sermons come short of questions in the one, so they [Page 88] farre exceed them in the other. For questions cannot inflame or ra­vish, that must be done by a set, and laboured, and continued speech.

CHAP XXII. The Parson in Sacraments.

THe Countrey Parson being to administer the Sacra­ments, is at a stand with himself, how or what behaviour to assume for so holy things. E­specially at Communion times he is in a great confusion, as being not only to receive God, but to break, and administer him. Nei­ther findes he any issue in this, but to throw himself down at the throne of grace, saying, Lord, thou knowest what thou didst, when [Page 89] thou appointedst it to be done thus; therefore doe thou ful­fill what thou didst appoint; for thou art not only the feast, but the way to it. At Baptisme, be­ing himselfe in white, he requires the presence of all, and Bapti­zeth not willingly, but on Sun­dayes, or great dayes. Hee ad­mits no vaine or idle names, but such as are usuall and accustomed. Hee says that prayer with great devotion, where God is thanked for calling us to the knowledg of his grace, Baptisme being a bles­sing, that the world hath not the like. He willingly and cheerfully crosseth the child, and thinketh the Ceremony not onely innocent, but reverend. He instructeth the God-fathers, and God-mothers, that it is no complementall or light thing to sustain that place, but a great ho­nour, and no less burden, as being done both in the presence of God, [Page 90] and his Saints, and by way of un­dertaking for a Christian soul. He adviseth all to call to minde their Baptism often; for if wise men have thought it the best way of preserving a state to reduce it to its principles by which it grew great; certainly, it is the safest course for Christi­ans also to meditate on their Bap­tisme often (being the first step into their great and glorious calling) and upon what termes, and with what vowes they were Baptized. At the times of the Holy Commu­nion, he first takes order with the Church-Wardens, that the ele­ments be of the best, not cheape, or course, much lesse ill-tasted, or unwholsome. Secondly, hee considers and looks into the igno­rance, or carelesness of his flock, and accordingly applies himselfe with Catechizings, and live­ly exhortations, not on the Sunday of the Communion only (for then [Page 91] it is too late;) but the Sunday, or Sundayes before the Communion, or on the Eves of all those dayes. If there be any, who having not re­ceived yet, is to enter into this great work, he takes the more pains with them, that hee may lay the foundation of future Blessings. The time of every ones first receiving is not so much by yeers, as by un­derstanding: particularly, the rule may be this: When any one can distinguish the Sacramentall from common bread, knowing the In­stitution, and the difference, hee ought to receive, of what age so­ever. Children and youths are u­sually deferred too long, under pretence of devotion to the Sacra­ment, but it is for want of Instructi­on; their understandings being ripe enough for ill things, and why not then for better? But Parents, and Masters should make hast in this, as to a great purchase for their children, [Page 92] and servants; which while they deferr, both sides suffer; the one, in wanting many excitings of grace; the other, in being worse served and obeyed. The saying of the Catechism is necessary, but not e­nough; because to answer in form may still admit ignorance: but the Questions must be propounded loosely and wildely, and then the Answerer will discover what hee is. Thirdly, For the manner of receiving, as the Parson useth all reverence himself, so he administers to none but to the reverent. The Feast indeed requires sitting, be­cause it is a Feast; but man's unpre­parednesse asks kneeling. Hee that comes to the Sacrament, hath the confidence of a Guest, and hee that kneels, confesseth himself an unwor­thy one, and therefore differs from other Feasters: but hee that sits, or lies, puts up to an Apostle: Con­tentiousnesse in a feast of Charity is [Page 93] more scandall then any posture. Fourthly, touching the frequency of the Communion, the Parson ce­lebrates it, if not duly once a month, yet at least five or six times in the year; as, at Easter, Christmasse, Whitsuntide, afore and after Har­vest, and the beginning of Lent. And this hee doth, not onely for the benefit of the work, but al­so for the discharge of the Church-wardens, who being to present all that receive not thrice a year; if there be but three Communions, neither can all the people so order their affairs as to receive just at those times, nor the Church-Wardens so well take notice who receive thrice, and who not.

CHAP. XXIII. The Parson's Completenesse.

THe Countrey Parson de­sires to be all to his Parish, and not onely a Pastour, but a Lawyer also, and a Phisi­cian. Therefore hee endures not that any of his Flock should go to Law; but in any Controversie, that they should resort to him as their Judge. To this end, he hath gotten to himself some insight in things or­dinarily incident and controverted, by experience, and by reading some initiatory treatises in the Law, with Daltons Justice of Peace, and the Abridgements of the Statutes, as also by discourse with men of that pro­fession, whom he hath ever some ca­ses to ask, when he meets with them; holding that rule, that to put men [Page 95] to discourse of that, wherin they are most eminent, is the most gainfull way of Conversation. Yet when ever any controversie is brought to him, he never decides it alone, but sends for three or four of the ablest of the Parish to hear the cause with him, whom he makes to deliver their opinion first; out of which he gathers, in case he be ignorant him­self, what to hold; and so the thing passeth with more authority, and lesse envy, In Judging, he fol­lowes that, which is altogether right; so that if the poorest man of the Pa­rish detain but a pin unjustly from the richest, he absolutely restores it as a Judge; but when he hath so done, then he assumes the Parson, and exhorts to Charity. Never­thelesse, there may happen somtimes some cases, wherein he chooseth to permit his Parishioners rather to make use of the Law, then himself: As in cases of an obscure and dark [Page 96] nature, not easily determinable by Lawyers themselves; or in cases of high consequence, as establtshing of inheritances: or Lastly, when the persons in difference are of a contentious disposition, and can­not be gained, but that they still fall from all compromises that have been made. But then he shews them how to go to Law, even as Brethren, and not as enemies, nei­ther avoyding therfore one anothers company, much lesse defaming one another. Now as the Parson is in Law, so is he in sicknesse also: if there be any of his flock sick, hee is their Physician, or at least his Wife, of whom in stead of the qualities of the world, he asks no other, but to have the skill of healing a wound, or helping the sick. But if neither himselfe, nor his wife have the skil, and his means serve, hee keepes some young practicioner in his house for the be­nefit [Page 97] of his Parish, whom yet he ever exhorts not to exceed his bounds, but in tickle cases to call in help. If all fail, then he keeps good correspondence with some neighbour Phisician, and enter­taines him for the Cure of his Pa­rish. Yet is it easie for any Scho­ler to attaine to such a measure of Phisick, as may be of much use to him both for himself, and others. This is done by seeing one Anato­my, reading one Book of Phisick, having one Herball by him. And let Fernelius be the Phisick Authour, for he writes briefly, neatly, and judiciously; especially let his Me­thod of Phisick be diligently peru­sed, as being the practicall part, and of most use. Now both the reading of him, and the knowing of herbs may be done at such times, as they may be an help, and a re­creation to more divine studies, Na­ture serving Grace both in comfort [Page 98] of diversion, and the benefit of ap­plication when need requires; as al­so by way of illustration, even as our Saviour made plants and seeds to teach the people: for he was the true householder, who bring­eth out of his treasure things new and old; the old things of Philoso­phy, and the new of Grace; and maketh the one serve the other. And I conceive, our Saviour did this for three reasons: first, that by familiar things hee might make his Doctrine slip the more easily into the hearts even of the meanest. Se­condly, that labouring people (whom he chiefly considered) might have every where monuments of of his Doctrine, remembring in gardens, his mustard-seed, and lil­lyes; in the field, his seed-corn, and tares; and so not be drowned altogether in the works of their vo­cation, but sometimes lift up their minds to better things, even in the [Page 99] midst of their pains. Thirdly, that he might set a Copy for Par­sons. In the knowledge of sim­ples, wherein the manifold wise­dome of God is wonderfully to be seen, one thing would be carefully observed; which is, to know what herbs may be used in stead of drugs of the same nature, and to make the garden the shop: For home-bred medicines are both more easie for the Parsons purse, and more famili­ar for all mens bodyes. So, where the Apothecary useth either for loosing, Rubarb, or for binding, Bolearmena, the Parson useth da­mask or white Roses for the one, and plantaine, shepherds purse, knot-grasse for the other, and that with better successe. As for spices, he doth not onely prefer home-bred things before them, but condemns them for vanities, and so shuts them out of his family, esteeming that there is no spice comparable, for [Page 100] herbs, to rosemary, time, savou­ry, mints; and for seeds, to Fennell, and Carroway seeds. According­ly, for salves, his wife seeks not the city, but preferrs her garden and fields before all outlandish gums. And surely hyssope, valerian, mer­cury, adders tongue, yerrow, me­lilot, and Saint Iohns wort made into a salve; And Elder, camo­mill, mallowes, comphrey and smallage made into a Poultis, have done great and rare cures. In cu­ring of any, the Parson and his Family use to premise prayers, for this is to cure like a Parson, and this raiseth the action from the Shop, to the Church. But though the Parson sets forward all Charitable deeds, yet he looks not in this point of Curing beyond his own Parish, except the person bee so poor, that he is not able to re­ward the Phisician: for as hee is Charitable, so he is just also. Now [Page 101] it is a justice and debt to the Gom­mon-wealth he lives in, not to in­croach on others Professions, but to live on his own. And justice is the ground of Charity.

CHAP. XXIV. The Parson arguing.

The Countrey Parson, if there be any of his parish that hold strange Doctrins, useth all possible diligence to re­duce them to the common Faith. The first means he useth is Prayer, beseeching the Father of lights to o­pen their eyes, and to give him pow­er so to fit his discourse to them, that it may effectually pierce their hearts, and convert them. The second means is a very loving, and sweet usage of them, both in going [Page 102] to, and sending for them often, and in finding out Courtesies to place on them; as in their tithes, or otherwise. The third means is the observation what is the main foundation, and pillar of their cause, wherein they rely; as if he be a Papist, the Church is the hinge he turnes on; if a Scismatick, scandall. Wherefore the Parson hath diligently examined these two with himselfe, as what the Church is, how it began, how it procee­ded, whether it be a rule to it selfe, whether it hath a rule, whether ha­ving a rule, it ought not to be guided by it; whether any rule in the world be obscure, and how then should the best be so, at least in fundamen­tall things, the obscurity in some points being the exercise of the Church, the light in the foundati­ons being the guide; The Church needing both an evidence, and an exercise. So for Scandall: what [Page 103] scandall is, when given or taken; whether, there being two precepts, one of obeying Authority, the other of not giving scandall, that ought not to be preferred, especially since in disobeying there is scandall al­so: whether things once indifferent, being made by the precept of Au­thority more then indifferent, it be in our power to omit or refuse them. These and the like points hee hath accurately digested, having ever besides two great helps and pow­erfull perswaders on his side; the one, a strict religious life; the other an humble, and ingenu­ous search of truth; being un­moved in arguing, and voyd of all contentiousnesse: which are two great lights able to dazle the eyes of the mis-led, while they consider, that God cannot be wanting to them in Doctrine, to whom he is so graci­ous in Life.

CHAP. XXV. The Parson punishing.

WHensoever the Coun­trey Parson proceeds so farre as to call in Authority, and to do such things of legal opposition either in the pre­senting, or punishing of any, as the vulgar ever consters for signes of ill will; he forbears not in any wise to use the delinquent as be­fore, in his behaviour and carri­age towards him, not avoyding his company, or doing any thing of a­versenesse, save in the very act of punishment: neither doth he e­steem him for an enemy, but as a brother still, except some small and temporary estranging may corroborate the punishment to [Page 105] a better subduing, and humbling of the delinquent; which if it hap­pily take effect, he then comes on the faster, and makes so much the more of him, as before he aliena­ted himselfe; doubling his regards, and shewing by all means, that the delinquents returne is to his advan­tage.

CHAP. XXVI. The Parson's eye.

THe Countrey Parson at spare times from action, standing on a hill, and considering his Flock, discovers two sorts of vices, and two sorts of vicious persons. There are some vices, whose natures are alwayes cleer, and evident, as Adultery, Murder, Hatred, Lying, &c. [Page 106] There are other vices, whose natures, at least in the beginning, are dark and obscure: as Covetousnesse, and Gluttony. So likewise there are some persons, who abstain not even from known sins; there are o­thers, who when they know a sin evidently, they commit it not. It is true indeed, they are long a knowing it, being partiall to them­selves, and witty to others who shall reprove them form it. A man may be both Covetous, and Intemperate, and yet hear Ser­mons against both, and himselfe condemn both in good earnest: and the reason hereof is, because the na­tures of these vices being not evi­dently discussed, or known com­monly, the beginnings of them are not easily observable: and the be­ginnings of them are not observed, because of the suddain passing from that which was just now lawfull, to that which is presently unlawfull, e­ven [Page 107] in one continued action. So a man dining, eats at first lawfully; but proceeding on, comes to do un­lawfully, even before he is aware; not knowing the bounds of the acti­on, nor when his eating begins to be unlawfull. So a man storing up mony for his necessary provisions, both in present for his family, and in future for his children, hardly perceives when his storing becomes unlawfull: yet is there a period for his storing, and a point, or center, when his storing, which was even now good, passeth from good to bad. Wherefore the Parson be­ing true to his businesse, hath exact­ly sifted the definitions of all ver­tues, and vices; especially canva­sing those, whose natures are most stealing, and beginnings uncer­taine. Particularly, concerning these two vices, not because they are all that are of this dark, and creeping disposition, but for ex­ample [Page 108] sake, and because they are most common, he thus thinks: first, for covetousnes, he lays this ground, Whosoever when a just occasion cals, either spends not at all, or not in some proportion to Gods blessing upon him, is covetous. The reason of the ground is manifest, because wealth is given to that end to supply our occasions. Now, if I do not give every thing its end, I abuse the Creature, I am false to my rea­son which should guide me, I of­fend the supreme Judg, in perver [...]ing that order which he hath set both to things, and to reason. The ap­plication, of the ground would be infinite; but in brief, a poor man is an occasion, my countrey is an occasion my friend is an occasion, my Table is an occasion, my appa­rell is an occasion: if in all these, and those more which concerne me, I either do nothing, or pinch, and scrape, and squeeze blood unde­cently [Page 109] to the station wherein God hath placed me, I am Covetous. More particularly, and to give one in­stance for all, if God have given me servants, and I either provide too little for them, or that which is un­wholsome, being sometimes baned meat, sometimes too salt, and so not competent nourishment, I am Covetous. I bring this example, because men usually think, that servants for their mony are as other things that they buy, even as a piece of wood, which they may cut, or hack, or throw into the fire, and so they pay them their wages, all is well. Nay, to descend yet more particularly, if a man hath where­withall to buy a spade, and yet hee chuseth rather to use his neighbours, and wear out that, he is covetous. Nevertheless, few bring covetousness thus low, or consider it so nar­rowly, which yet ought to be done, since there is a Justice in the [Page 110] least things, and for the least there shall be a judgment, Countrey, peo­ple are full of these petty injustices, being cunning to make use of ano­ther, and spare themselves: And Scholers ought to be diligent in the observation of these, and driving of their generall Schoole rules ever to the smallest actions of Life; which while they dwell in their bookes, they will never finde; but being seated in the Countrey, and doing their duty faithfully, they will soon discover: especially if they carry their eyes ever open, and fix them on their charge, and not on their preferment. Secondly, for Glut­tony, The Parson lays this ground, He that either for quantity eats more then his health or imploy­ments will bear, or for quality is licorous after danties, is a glutton; as he that eats more then his estate will bear, is a Prodigall; and hee that eats offensively to the Compa­ny, [Page 111] either in his order, or length of eating, is scandalous and uncha­ritable. These three rules general­ly comprehend the faults of eating, and the truth of them needs no proofe: so that men must eat neither to the disturbance of their health, nor of their affairs, (which being overburdened, or studying dainties too much they cannot wel dispatch) nor of their estate, nor of their bre­thren. One act in these things is bad, but it is the custome and ha­bit that names a glutton. Many think they are at more liberty then they are, as if they were Masters of their health, and so they will stand to the pain, all is well. But to eat to ones hurt, comprehends, besides the hurt, an act against reason, be­cause it is unnaturall to hurt ones self; and this they are not masters of. Yet of hurtfull things, I am more bound to abstain from those, which by mine own experience I have [Page 112] found hurtfull, then from those which by a Common tradition, and vulgar knowledge are repu­ted to be so. That which is said of hurtfull meats, extends to hurtfull drinks also. As for the quantity, touching our imploy­ments, none must eat so as to disable themselves from a fit dis­charging either of Divine du­ties, or duties of their calling. So that if after dinner they are not fit (or un-weeldy) either to pray, or work, they are gluttons. Not that all must presently work after dinner; (For they rather must not work, especially Students, and those that are weakly,) but that they must rise so, as that it is not meate or drinke that hinders them from working. To guide them in this, there are three rules: first, the custome, and knowledg of their own body, and what it can well disgest: The second, [Page 113] the feeling of themselves in time of eating, which because it is deceit­full; (for one thinks in eating, that he can eat more, then afterwards he finds true:) The third is the obser­vation with what appetite they sit down. This last ru [...]e joyned with the first, never fails. For knowing what one usually can well disgest, and feeling when I go to meat in what disposition I am, either hun­gry or not, according as I feele my self, either I take my wonted pro­portion, or diminish of it. Yet Phisicians bid those that would live in health, not keep an uniform diet, but to feed variously, now more, now lesse: And Gerson, a spirituall man, wisheth all to incline rather to too much, then to too little; his reason is, because diseases of exina­nition are more dangerous, then diseases of repletion. But the Parson distinguisheth accor­ding to his double aime, ei­ther [Page 114] of Abstinence a morall ver­tue, or Mortification a divine. When he deals with any that is heavy, and carnall; he gives him those freer rules: but when he meets with a refined, and heavenly dispo­sition, he carryes them higher, even somtimes to a forgetting of them­selves, knowing that there is one, who when they forget, remembers for them; As when the people hungred and thirsted after our Sa­viours Doctrine, and tarryed so long at it, that they would have fain­ted, had they returned empty, He suffered it not; but rather made food miraculously, then suf­fered so good desires to mis­carry.

CHAP. XXVII. The Parson in mirth.

THe Countrey Parson is ge­nerally sad, because hee knows nothing but the Crosse of Christ, his minde being defixed on, and with those nailes wherewith his Master was: or if he have any leisure to look off from thence, he meets continually with two most sad spectacles, Sin, and Misery; God dishonoured every day, and man afflicted. Never­thelesse, he somtimes refresheth him­selfe, as knowing that nature will not bear everlasting droopings, and that pleasantnesse of disposition is a great key to do good; not onely because all men shun the company of perpetuall severity, but also for that when they are in company, in­structions seasoned with pleasant­ness, [Page 116] both enter sooner, and roote deeper. Wherefore he condescends to humane frailties both in himselfe and others; and intermingles some mirth in his discourses occasionally, according to the pulse of the hearer.

CHAP. XXVIII. The Parson in Contempt.

THe Countrey Parson knows well, that both for the generall ignominy which is cast upon the profession, and much more for those rules, which out of his choysest judgment hee hath resolved to observe, and which are described in this Book, he must be despised; because this hath been the portion of God his Master, and of Gods Saints his Brethren, and this is foretold, that it shall be so still, un­til things be no more. Neverthelesse, [Page 117] according to the Apostles rule, he endeavours that none shall despise him; especially in his own Parish he suffers it not to his utmost power; for that, where contempt is, there is no room for instruction. This he pro­cures, first by his holy and un­blameable life; which carries a reve­rence with it, even above contempt. Secondly, by a courteous carriage, & winning behaviour: he that wil be respected, must respect; doing kind­nesses, but receiving none; at least of those, who are apt to despise: for this argues a height and eminency of mind, which is not easily despised, except it degenerate to pride. Third­ly, by a bold and impartial reproof, even of the best in the Parish, when occasion requires: for this may pro­duce hatred in those that are repro­ved, but never contempt either in them, or others. Lastly, if the con­tempt shall proceed so far as to do a­ny thing punishable by law, as con­tempt [Page 118] is apt to do, if it be not thwar­ted, ‘the Parson having a due re­spect both to the person, and to the cause, referreth the whole mat­ter to the examination, and pu­nishment of those which are in Authority;’ But if the Contempt be not punishable by Law, that so the sentence lighting upon one, the example may reach to all. or being so, the Parson think it in his descre­tion either unfit, or bootelesse to contend, then when any despises him, he takes it either in an hum­ble way, saying nothing at all; or else in a slighting way, shewing that reproaches touch him no more, then a stone thrown against heaven, where he is, and lives; or in a sad way, greived at his own, and others sins, which continually breake Gods Laws, and dishonour him with those mouths, which he continual­ly fils, and feeds: or else in a doctri­nall way, saying to the contemner, [Page 119] Alas, why do you thus? you hurt your selfe, not me; he that throws a stone at another, hits himselfe; and so between gentle reasoning, and pitying, he overcomes the e­vill: or lastly, in a Triumphant way, being glad, and joyfull, that hee is made conformable to his Master; and being in the world as he was, hath this undoubted pledge of his salvation. These are the five shields, wherewith the Godly re­ceive the darts of the wicked; lea­ving anger, and retorting, and re­venge to the children of the world, whom anothers ill mastereth, and leadeth captive without any resi­stance, even in resistance, to the same destruction. For while they resist the person that reviles, they resist not the evill which takes hold of them, and is farr the worse enemy.

CHAP. XXIX. The Parson with his Church-Wardens.

THe Countrey Parson doth often, both publickly, and privately instruct his Church-Wardens, what a great Charge lyes upon them, and that indeed the whole order and disci­pline of the Parish is put into their hands. If himselfe reforme any thing, it is out of the overflowing of his Conscienee, whereas they are to do it by Command, and by Oath. Neither hath the place its dignity from the Ecclesiasticall Laws only since even by the Common Statute-Law they are ta­ken for a kinde of Corporation, as being persons enabled by that Name [Page 121] to take moveable goods, or chattels, and to sue, and to be sued at the Law concerning such goods for the use and profit of their Parish: and by the same Law they are to levy penalties for negligence in resorting to church, or for disorderly carriage in time of divine service. Wherefore the Par­son suffers not the place to be vilifi­ed or debased, by being cast on the lower ranke of people; but invites and urges the best unto it, shewing that they do not loose, or go lesse, but gaine by it; it being the great­est honor of this world, to do God and his chosen service; or as David says, to be even a door-keeper in the house of God. Now the Canons being the Church-wardens rule, the Parson adviseth them to read, or hear them read often, as also the visi­tation Articles, which are grounded upon the Canons, that so they may know their duty, and keep their oath the better; in which regard, consider­ing [Page 122] the great Consequence of their place, and more of their oath, he wisheth them by no means to spare any, though never so great; but if after gentle, and neighbourly admo­nitions they still persist in ill, to pre­sent them; yea though they be te­nants, or otherwise ingaged to the delinquent: for their obligation to God, and their own soul, is above any temporall tye. Do well, right, and right, and let the world sinke.

CHAP. XXX. The Parson's Consideration of Providence.

THe Countrey Parson con­sidering the great aptnesse Countrey people have to think that all things come by a kind [Page 123] of naturall course; and that if they sow and soyle their grounds, they must have corn; if they keep and fodder well their cattel, they must have milk, and Calves; labours to reduce them to see Gods hand in all things, and to beleeve, that things are not set in such an inevita­ble order, but that God often chan­geth it according as he sees fit, ei­ther for reward or punishment. To this end he represents to his flock, that God hath and exerciseth a threefold power in every thing which concernes man. The first is a sustaining power; the second a governing power; the third a spi­rituall power. By his sustaining power he preserves and actuates eve­ry thing in his being; so that corne doth not grow by any other ver­tue, then by that which he conti­nually supplyes, as the corn needs it; without which supply the corne would instantly dry up, as a river [Page 124] would if the fountain were stopped. And it is observable, that if anything could presume of an inevitable course, and constancy in their opera­tions, certainly it should be either the sun in heaven, or the fire on earth, by reason of their fierce, stong, and vio­lent natures: yet when God pleased, the sun stood stil, the fire burned not. By Gods governing power he pre­serves and orders the references of things one to the other, so that though the corn do grow, and be preserved in that act by his sustaining power, yet if he suite not other things to the growth, as seasons, and wea­ther, and other accidents by his go­verning power, the fairest harvests come to nothing. And it is observe­able, that God delights to have men feel, and acknowledg, and reve­rence his power, and therefore he of­ten overturnes things, when they are thought past danger; that is his time of interposing: As when a Merchant [Page 125] hath a ship come home after many a storme, which it hath escaped, he destroyes it sometimes in the very Haven; or if the goods be housed, a fire hath broken forth, and suddenly consumed them. Now this he doth, that men should perpetuate, and not break off their acts of depen­dance, how faire soever the opportu­nities present themselves. So that if a farmer should depend upon God all the yeer, and being ready to put hand to sickle, shall then secure him­self, and think all cock-sure; then God sends such weather, as lays the corn, and destroys it: or if he depend on God further, even till he imbarn his corn, and then think all sure; God sends a fire, and consumes all that he hath: For that he ought not to break off, but to continue his dependance on God, not onely before the corne is inned, but after also; and indeed, to depend, and fear conti­nually. The third power is [Page 126] spirituall, by which God turnes all outward blessings to inward ad­vantages. So that if a Farmer hath both a faire harvest, and that also well inned, and imbarned, and continuing safe there; yet if God give him not the Grace to use, and utter this well, all his advantages are to his losse. Better were his corne burnt, then not spiritual­ly improved. And it is observa­ble in this, how Gods goodnesse strives with mans refractorinesse; Man would sit down at this world, God bids him sell it, and pur­chase a better: Just as a Father, who hath in his hand an apple, and a piece of Gold under it; the Child comes, and with pulling, gets the apple out of his Fathers hand: his Father bids him throw it a­way, and he will give him the gold for it, which the Child utterly re­fusing, eats it, and is troubled with wormes: So is the carnall and wil­full [Page 127] man with the worm of the grave in this world, and the worm of Con­science in the next.

CHAP. XXXI. The Parson in Liberty.

THe Countrey Parson ob­serving the manifold wiles of Satan (who playes his part sometimes in drawing Gods Servants from him, sometimes in perplexing them in the service of God) stands fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. This Liberty he compas­seth by one distinction, and that is, of what is Necessary, and what is Additionary. As for example: It is necessary, that all Christians should pray twice a day, every day of the week, and four times on [Page 128] Sunday, if they be well. This is so necessary, and essentiall to a Christian, that he cannot without this maintain himself in a Christian state. Besides this, the Godly have ever added some houres of prayer, as at nine, or at three, or at mid­night, or as they think fit, & see cause, or rather as Gods spirit leads them. But these prayers are not necessary, but additionary. Now it so hap­pens, that the godly petitioner up­on some emergent interruption in the day, or by oversleeping himself at night, omits his additionary prayer. Upon this his mind be­gins to be perplexed, and troubled, and Satan, who knows the exigent, blows the fire, endeavouring to dis­order the Christian, and put him out of his station, and to inlarge the per­plexity, untill it spread, and taint his other duties of piety, which none can perform so wel in trouble, as in calm­ness. Here the Parson interposeth with [Page 129] his distinction, and shews the per­plexed Christian, that this prayer be­ing additionary, not necessary; taken in, not commanded, the omission thereof upon just occasion ought by no means trouble him. God knows the occasion as wel as he, and He is as a gracious Father, who more accepts a common course of devotion, then dislikes an occasionall interruption. And of this he is so to assure himself, as to admit no scruple, but to go on as cheerfully, as if he had not been interrupted. By this it is evident, that the distinction is of singular use and comfort, especially to pious minds, which are ever tender, and delicate. But here there are two Cautions to be added. First, that this interruption proceed not out of slacknes, or cold­ness, which will appear if the Pious soul foresee and prevent such inter­ruptions, what he may, before they come, and when for all that they do come, he be a little affected [Page 130] therewith, but not afflicted, or trou­bled; if he resent it to a mislike, but not a griefe. Secondly, that this interruption proceede not out of shame. As for example: A godly man, not out of superstition, but of reverence to Gods house, resolves whenever he enters into a Church, to kneel down, and pray, either blessing God, that he will be pleased to dwell among men; or beseeching him, that whenever he repaires to his house, he may be­have himself so as befits so great a presence; and this briefly. But it happens, that neer the place where he is to pray, he spyes some scoffing russian, who is likely to de­ride him for his paines: if he now, shall either for fear or shame, break his custome, he shall do passing ill: so much the rather ought he to pro­ceed, as that by this he may take into his Prayer humiliation also. On the other side, if I am to visit [Page 131] the sick in haste, and my neerest wayly through the Church, I will not doubt to go without staying to pray there (but onely, as I passe, in my heart) because this kinde of Prayer is additionary, not ne­cessary, and the other duty over­weighs it: So that if any scruple arise, I will throw it away, and be most confident, that God is not displeased. This distinction may runne through all Christian duties, and it is a great stay and setling to religious souls.

CHAP. XXXII. The Parson's Surveys.

THe Countrey Parson hath not onely taken at particu­lar Survey of the faults of his own Parish, but a generall also of the diseases of the time, that so [Page 132] when his occasions carry him a­broad, or bring strangers to him, he may be the better armed to en­counter them. The great and na­tionall sin of this Land he esteems to be Idlenesse; great in it selfe, and great in Consequence: For when men have nothing to do, then they fall to drink, to steal, to whore, to scoffe, to revile, to all sorts of gamings. Come, say they, we have nothing to do, lets go to the Tavern, or to the stews, or what not. Where­fore the Parson strongly opposeth this sin, whersoever he goes. And be­cause Idleness is twofold, the one in having no calling, the other in wal­king carelesly in our calling, he first represents to every body the neces­sity of a vocation. The reason of this assertion is taken from the nature of man, wherein God hath placed two great Instruments, Reason in the soul, and a hand in the Body, as ingagements of working: So [Page 133] that even in Paradise man had a calling, and how much more out of Paradise, when the evills which he is now subject unto, may be prevented, or diverted by reasonable imploy­ment. Besides, every gift or a­bility is a talent to be accounted for, and to be improved to our Ma­sters Advantage. Yet is it also a debt to our Countrey to have a Calling, and it concernes the Com­mon-wealth, that none should be i­dle, but all busied. Lastly, riches are the blessing of God, and the great Instrument of doing admirable good; therfore all are to procure them ho­nestly, and seasonably, when they are not better imployed. Now this rea­son crosseth not our Saviours pre­cept of selling what we have, because when we have sold all, and given it to the poor, we must not be idle, but labour to get more, that we may give more, according to St Pauls rule, Ephes. 4.28. 1 Thes. 4.11, 12. [Page 134] so that our Saviours selling is so far from crossing Saint Pauls working, that it rather establisheth it, since they that have nothing, are fittest to work. Now because the onely opposer to this Doctrine is the Gal­lant, who is witty enough to a­buse both others, and himself, and who is ready to ask, if he shall mend shoos, or what he shall do? Ther­fore the Parson unmoved, sheweth, that ingenuous and fit imployment is never wanting to those that seek it. But if it should be, the Asser­tion stands thus: All are eitheir to have a Calling, or prepare for it: He that hath or can have yet not im­ployment, if he truly, and seriously prepare for it, he is safe and within bounds. Wherefore all are either presently to enter into a Calling, if they be fit for it, and it for them; or else to examine with care, and advice, what they are fittest for, and to prepare for that with all diligence. [Page 135] But it will not be amisse in this ex­ceeding usefull point to descend to particulars: for exactnesse lyes in particulars. Men are either single, or marryed: The marryed and house-keeper hath his hands full, if he do what he ought to do. For there are two branches of his af­faires; first, the improvement of his family, by bringing them up in the fear and nurture of the Lord; and secondly, the improvement of his grounds, by drowning, or draining, stocking, or fencing, and ordering his land to the best advan­tage both of himself, and his neigh­bours. The Italian says, None fouls his hands in his own businesse: and it is an honest, and just care, so it exceed not bounds, for every one to imploy himselfe to the ad­vancement of his affairs, that hee may have wherewithall to do good. But his family is his best care, to la­bour Christian soules, and raise [Page 136] them to their height, even to heaven; to dresse and prune them, and take as much joy in a straight-growing childe, or servant, as a Gardiner doth in a choice tree. Could men finde out this delight, they would seldome be from home; whereas now, of any place, they are least there. But if after all this care well dispatched, the house-keepers Fami­ly be so small, and his dexterity so great, that he have leisure to look out, the Village or Parish which ei­ther he lives in, or is neer unto it, is his imployment. Hee considers every one there, and either helps them in particular, or hath gene­rall Propositions to the whole Towne or Hamlet, of advancing the publick Stock, and managing Commons, or Woods, according as the place suggests. But if hee may bee of the Commission of Peace, there is nothing to that: No Common-wealth in the world [Page 137] hath a braver Institution then that of Justices of the Peace: For it is both a security to the King, who hath so many dispersed Offi­cers at his beck throughout the Kingdome, accountable for the publick good; and also an honou­rable Imployment of a Gentle, or Noble-man in the Country he lives in, inabling him with power to do good, and to restrain all those, who else might both trouble him and the whole State. Wherefore it behoves all, who are come to the gravitie, and ripenesse of judge­ment for so excellent a Place, not to refuse, but rather to pro­cure it. And whereas there are usually three Objections made a­gainst the Place; the one, the a­buse of it, by taking petty-Coun­trey-bribes; the other, the cast­ing of it on mean persons, espe­cially in some Shires: and last­ly, the trouble of it: These are [Page 138] so far from deterring any good man from the place, that they kindle them rather to redeem the Dignity either from true faults, or unjust a­spersions. Now, for single men, they are either Heirs, or younger Brothers: The Heirs are to prepare in all the fore-mentioned points a­gainst the time of their practice. Therefore they are to mark their Fathers discretion in ordering his House and Affairs; and also else­where, when they see any remark­able point of Education or good husbandry, and to transplant it in time to his own home, with the same care as others, when they meet with good fruit, get a graffe of the tree, inriching their Orchard, and negle­cting their House. Besides, they are to read Books of Law, and Ju­stice; especially, the Statutes at large. As for better Books of Di­vinity, they are not in this Conside­ration, because we are about a Cal­ling, [Page 139] and a preparation thereunto. But chiefly, and above all things, they are to frequent Sessions and Sizes; for it is both an honor which they owe to the Reverend Judges and Magistrates, to attend them, at least in their Shire; and it is a great advantage to know the pra­ctice of the Land; for our Law is Practice. Sometimes he may go to Court, as the eminent place both of good and ill. At other times he is to travell over the King's Domini­ons, cutting out the Kingdome into Portions, which every yeer he sur­veys peece-meal. When there is a Parliament, he is to endeavour by all means to be a Knight or Burgess there; for there is no School to a Par­liament. And when he is there, he must not only be a morning man, but at Committees also; for there the particulars are exactly discussed, which are brought from thence to the House but in generall. When [Page 140] none of these occasions call him a­broad, every morning that hee is at home hee must either ride the Great Horse, or exercise some of his Military gestures. For all Gen­tlemen, that are not weakned, and dis­armed with sedentary lives, are to know the use of their Arms: and as the Husbandman labours for them, so must they fight for, and defend them, when occasion calls. This is the duty of each to other, which they ought to fulfill: And the Par­son is a lover and exciter to justice in all things, even as Iohn the Baptist squared out to every one (even to Souldiers) what to do. As for younger Brothers, those whom the Parson finds loose, and not ingaged into some Profession by their Pa­rents, whose neglect in this point is intolerable, and a shamefull wrong both to the Common-wealth, and their own House: To them, after he hath shewd the unlawfulness of spen­ding [Page 141] the day in dressing, Comple­menting, visiting, and sporting, he first commends the study of the Ci­vill Law, as a brave, and wise know­ledg, the Professours whereof were much imployed by Queen Eliza­beth, because it is the key of Com­merce, and discovers the Rules of forraine Nations. Secondly, he commends the Mathematicks, as the only wonder working know­ledg, and therefore requiring the best spirits. After the severall know­ledg of these, he adviseth to insist and dwell chiefly on the two noble branches therof, of Fortification, and Navigation; The one being usefull to all Countreys; and the o­ther especially to Ilands. But if the young Gallant think these Courses dull, and phlegmatick, where can he busie himself better, then in those new Plantations, and discoveryes, which are not only a noble, but also as they may be handled, a reli­gious [Page 142] imployment? Or let him travel into Germany, and France, and observing the Artifices, and Manu­factures there, transplant them hi­ther, as divers have done lately, to our Countrey's advantage.

CHAP. XXXIII. The Parson's Library.

THe Countrey Parson's Li­brary is a holy Life: for besides the blessing that that brings upon it, there being a promise, that if the Kingdome of God be first sought, all other things shall be added, even it selfe is a Sermon. For the temptations with which a good man is beset, and the ways which he used to over­come them, being told to another, whether in private conference, or [Page 143] in the Church, are a Sermon. Hee that hath considered how to carry himself at table about his appetite, if he tell this to another, preacheth; and much more feelingly, and judi­ciously, then he writes his rules of temperance out of bookes. So that the P [...]rson having studied, and mastered all his lusts and affections within, and the whole Army of Temptations without, hath ever so many sermons ready penn'd, as he hath victories. And it fares in this as it doth in Physick: He that hath been sick of a Consumption, and knows what recovered him, is a Physitian, so far as he meetes with the same disease, and temper; and can much better, and particularly do it, then he that is generally lear­ned, and was never sick. And if the same person had been sick of all diseases, and were recovered of all by things that he knew; there were no such Physician as he, both for [Page 144] skill and tendernesse. Just so it is in Divinity, and that not without manifest reason: for though the temptations may be diverse in di­vers Christians, yet the victory is alike in all, being by the self-same Spirit. Neither is this true onely in the military state of a Christian life, but even in the peaceable al­so; when the servant of God, freed for a while from temptation, in a quiet sweetnesse seeks how to please his God. Thus the Parson consi­dering that repentance is the great vertue of the Gospel, and one of the first steps of pleasing God, ha­ving for his owne use examined the nature of it, is able to explaine it after to others. And particularly, having doubted sometimes, whe­ther his repentance were true, or at least in that degree it ought to be, since he found himselfe sometimes to weepe more for the losse of some temporall things, then for offen­ding [Page 145] God, he came at length to this resolution, that repen­tance is an act of the mind, not of the Body, even as the Ori­ginall signifies; and that the chiefe thing, which God in Scriptures re­quires, is the heart, and the spirit, and to worship him in truth, and spirit. Wherefore in case a Chri­stian endeavour to weep, and can­not, since we are not Masters of our bodies, this sufficeth. And consequently he found, that the essence of repentance, that it may be alike in all Gods children (which as concerning weeping it cannot be, some being of a more melting tem­per then others) consisteth in a true detestation of the soul, abhorring, and renouncing sin, and turning unto God in truth of heart, and newnesse of life; Which acts of re­pentance are and must be found in all Gods servants: Not that weeping is not usefull, where it can be, that [Page 146] so the body may joyn in the grief, as it did in the sin; but that, so the other acts be, that is not necessary: so that he as truly repents, who per­formes the other acts of repentance, when he cannot more, as he that weeps a floud of tears. This In­struction and comfort the Par­son getting for himself, when he tels it to others, becomes a Sermon. The like he doth in other Christian vertues, as of faith, and Love, and the Cases of Conscience be­longing thereto, wherein (as Saint Paul implyes that he ought, Romans 2.) hee first preacheth to himselfe, and then to o­thers.

CHAP. XXXIV. The Parson's Dexterity in applying of Remedies.

THe Countrey Parson knows, that there is a double state of a Christian even in this Life, the one military, the o­ther peaceable. The military is, when we are assaulted with tempta­tions either from within or from without. The Peaceable is, when the Divell for a time leave us, as he did our Saviour, and the An­gels minister to us their owne food, even joy, and peace; and comfort in the holy Ghost. These two states were in our Saviour, not on­ly in the beginning of his preaching, but afterwards also, as Mat. 22.35. [Page 148] He was tempted: And Luke 10.21. He rejoyced in Spirit: And they must be likewise in all that are his. Now the Parson having a Spirituall Judgement, according as he discovers any of his Flock to be in one or the other state, so he applies himselfe to them. Those that he findes in the peaceable state, he adviseth to be very vigilant, and not to let go the raines as soon as the horse goes easie. Particularly, he counselleth them to two things: First, to take heed, lest their qui­et betray them (as it is apt to do) to a coldnesse, and carelesnesse in their devotions, but to labour still to be as fervent in Christian Duties, as they remember themselves were, when affliction did blow the Coals. Secondly, not to take the full com­passe, and liberty of their Peace: not to eate of all those dishes at ta­ble, which even their present health otherwise admits; nor to store [Page 149] their house with all those furnitures which even their present plenty of wealth otherwise admits; nor when they are among them that are mer­ry, to extend themselves to all that mirth, which the present occasion of wit, and company otherwise admits; but to put bounds, and hoopes to their joyes: so will they last the longer, and when they de­part, returne the sooner. If we would judg ourselves, we should not be judged; and if we would bound our selves, we should not be boun­ded. But if they shall fear, that at such, or such a time their peace and mirth have carryed them fur­ther then this moderation, then to take Iobs admirable Course, who sacrificed lest his Children should have transgressed in their mirth: So let them go, and find some poore afflicted soul, and there be bountifull, and liberall; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. [Page 150] Those that the Parson findes in the military state, he fortifyes, and strengthens with his utmost skill. Now in those that are tempted, whatsoever is unruly, falls upon two heads; either they think, that there is none that can or will look after things, but all goes by chance, or wit: Or else, though there be a great Governour of all things, yet to them he is lost, as if they said, God doth forsake and persecute them, and there is none to deliver them. If the Parson suspect the first, and find sparkes of such thoughts now and then to break forth, then without opposing directly (for disputation is no Cure for Atheisme) he scatters in his dis­course three sorts of arguments; the first taken from Nature, the second from the Law, the third from Grace. For Nature, he sees not how a house could be either built without a builder, or kept in repaire [Page 151] without a house-keeper. He con­ceives not possibly, how the windes should blow so much as they can, and the sea rage as much as it can, and all things do what they can, and all, not only without dissolution of the whole, but also of any part, by taking away so much as the usuall seasons of summer and winter, ea­ring and harvest. Let the weather be what it will, still we have bread, though sometimes more, somtimes lesse; wherewith also a carefull Io­seph might meet. He conceives not possibly, how he that would beleeve a Divinity, if he had been at the Creation of all things, should lesse beleeve it, seeing the Preserva­tion of all things; For Preservati­on is a Creation; and more, it is a continued Creation, and a creation every moment. Secondly, for the Law, there may be so evident, though unused a proof of Divinity taken from thence, that the Atheist, [Page 152] or Epicurian can have nothing to contradict. The Jewes yet live, and are known: they have their Law and Language bearing wit­nesse to them, and they to it: they are Circumcised to this day, and expect the promises of the Scripture; their Countrey also is known, the places, and rivers travelled unto, and frequented by others, but to them an unpenetrable rock, an unac­cessible desert. Wherefore if the Jewes live, all the great wonders of old live in them, and then who can deny the stretched out arme of a mighty God? especially since it may be a just doubt, whether, considering the stubbornnesse of the Nation, their living then in their Countrey under so many mi­racles were a stranger thing, then their present exile, and disability to live in their Countrey. And it is observable, that this very thing was intended by God, that the Jewes [Page 153] should be his proof, and witnesses, as he calls them, Isaiah 43.12. And their very dispersion in all Lands, was intended not only for a punishment to them; but for an exciting of others by their sight, to the acknowledging of God, and his power, Psalm 59.11. And therefore this kind of Punishment was chosen rather then any other. Thirdly, for Grace. Besides the continuall succession (since the Gospell) of holy men, who have born witness to the truth, (there be­ing no reason, why any should di­strust Saint Luke, or Tertullian, or Chrysostome, more then Tully, Vir­gill, or Livy;) There are two Pro­phesies in the Gospel, which evi­dently argue Christs Divinity by their success: the one concerning the woman that spent the oynment on our Saviour, for which he told, that it should never be forgotten, but with the Gospel it selfe be preached [Page 154] to all ages, Matth. 26.13. The other concerning the destruction of Ierusalem; of which our Savi­our said, that that generation should not passe, till all were ful­filled, Luke 21.32. Which Iose­phus his story confirmeth, and the continuance of which verdict is yet evident. To these might be added the Preaching of the Gospel in all Nations, Matthew 24.14. which we see even miraculously effected in these new discoveryes, God turning mens Covetousnesse, and Ambitions to the effecting of his word. Now a prophesie is a won­der sent to Posterity, least they complaine of want of wonders. It is a letter sealed, and sent, which to the bearer is but paper, but to the receiver, and opener, is full of power. Hee that saw Christ o­pen a blind mans eyes, saw not more Divinity, then he that reads the womans oynment in the Gos­pell, [Page 155] or sees Ierusalem destroyed. With some of these heads enlarged, and woven into his discourse, at seve­rall times and occasions, the Par­son setleth wavering minds. But if he sees them neerer desperation; then Atheisme, not so much doubt­ing a God, as that he is theirs; then he dives unto the boundlesse Ocean of Gods Love, and the un­speakeable riches of his loving kind­nesse. He hath one argument un­answerable. If God hate them, either he doth it as they are Crea­tures, dust and ashes; or as they are sinfull. As Creatures, he must needs love them; for no perfect Artist ever yet ha­ted his owne worke. As sinfull, he must much more love them; because notwithstanding his infi­nite hate of sinne, his Love over­came that hate; and with an ex­ceeding great victory; which in the Creation needed not, gave [Page 156] them love for love, even the son of his love out of his bosome of love. So that man, which way soever he turnes, hath two pledges of Gods Love, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established; the one in his being, the other in his sinfull being: and this as the more faulty in him, so the more glorious in God. And all may certainly conclude, that God loves them, till either they despise that Love, or despaire of his Mercy: not any sin else, but is with­in his Love; but the despising of Love must needs be without it. The thrusting away of his arme makes us onely not embra­ced.

CHAP. XXXV. The Parson's Condescending.

THe Countrey Parson is a Lover of old Customes, if they be good, and harm­lesse; and the rather, because Coun­trey people are much addicted to them, so that to favour them therein is to win their hearts, and to oppose them therin is to deject them. If there be any ill in the custome, that may be severed from the good, he pares the apple, and gives them the clean to feed on. Particularly, he loves Procession, and maintains it, because there are contained therein 4 mani­fest advantages. First, a blessing of God for the fruits of the field: Se­condly, justice in the Preservation of bounds: Thirdly, Charity in loving [Page 158] walking, and neighbourly accom­panying one another, with recon­ciling of differences at that time, if there be any: Fourthly, Mercy in releeving the poor by a liberall distribution and largesse, which at that time is, or ought to be used. Wherefore he exacts of all to bee present at the perambulation, and those that withdraw, and sever themselves from it, he mislikes, and reproves as uncharitable, and unneighbourly; and if they will not reforme, presents them. Nay, he is so farre from condemning such assemblies, that he rather procures them to be often, as knowing that absence breedes strangeness, but pre­sence love. Now Love is his busi­ness, and aime; wherefore he likes well, that his Parish at good times invite one another to their houses, and he urgeth them to it: and som­times, where he knowes there hath been or is a little difference, hee [Page 159] takes one of the parties, and goes with him to the other, and all dine or sup together. There is much preaching in this friendliness. A­nother old Custome there is of say­ing, when light is brought in, God send us the light of heaven; And the Parson likes this very well; nei­ther is he affraid of praising, or praying to God at all times, but is rather glad of catching opportuni­ties to do them. Light is a great Blessing, and as great as food, for which we give thanks: and those that thinke this superstitious, nei­ther know superstition, nor them­selves. As for those that are ashamed to use this forme, as be­ing old, and obsolete, and not the fashion, he reformes, and teaches them, that at Baptisme they pro­fessed not to be ashamed of Christs Cross, or for any shame to leave that which is good. He that is ashamed in small things, will extend his pu­sillanimity [Page 160] to greater. Rather should a Christian Souldier take such oc­casions to harden himselfe, and to further his exercises of Mortifica­tion.

CHAP. XXXVI. The Parson Blessing.

THe Countrey Parson won­ders, that Blessing the peo­ple is in so little use with his brethren: whereas he thinks it not onely a grave, and reverend thing, but a beneficial also. Those who use it not, do so either out of niceness, because they like the salu­tations, and complements, and formes of worldly language bet­ter; which conformity and fashio­nableness is so exceeding unbefitting [Page 161] a Minister, that it deserves reproof, not refutation: Or else, because they think it empty and superfluous. But that which the Apostles used so diligently in their writings, nay, which our Saviour himselfe used, Marke 10.16. cannot bee vain and superfluous. But this was not proper to Christ, or the Apo­stles only, no more then to be a spirituall Father was appropriated to them. And if temporall Fa­thers blesse their children, how much more may, and ought Spirituall Fathers? Besides, the Priests of the old Testament were commanded to Blesse the people, and the forme thereof is prescribed, Numb. 6. Now as the Apostle ar­gues in another case; if the Mi­nistration of condemnation did bless, how shall not the ministration of the spirit exceed in blessing? The fruit of this blessing good Hannah found, and received with great joy, [Page 162] 1 Sam. 1.18. though it came from a man disallowed by God: for it was not the person, but Priesthood, that blessed; so that even ill Priests may blesse. Neither have the Ministers power of Blessing only, but also of cursing. So in the old Testament E­lisha cursed the children, 2 Kin. 2.24. which though our Saviour reproved as unfitting for his particular, who was to shew all humility before his Passion, yet he allows in his Apostles. And therfore St Peter used that fear­full imprecation to Simon Magus, Act. 8. Thy mony perish with thee: and the event confirmed it. So did St Paul, 2 Tim. 4.14. and 1 Tim. 1.20. Speaking of Alexander the Copper­smith, who had withstood his prea­ching, The Lord (saith he) re­ward him according to his works. And again, of Hymeneus and A­lexander, he saith, he had delivered them to Satan, that they might learn not to Blaspheme. The formes both [Page 163] of Blessing, & cursing are expounded in the Common-Prayer-book: the one in, The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. and: The Peace of God, &c. The other in generall, in the Commination. Now blessing dif­fers from prayer, in assurance, be­cause it is not performed by way of request, but of confidence, and power, effectually applying Gods favour to the blessed, by the interesting of that dignity wherewith God hath invested the Priest, and ingaging of Gods own power and institution for a blessing. The neglect of this duty in Ministers themselves, hath made the people also neglect it; so that they are so far from craving this benefit from their ghostly Father, that they oftentimes goe out of church, before he hath blessed them. In the time of Popery, the Priests Be­nedicite, and his holy water were o­ver highly valued; and now we are fallen to the clean contrary, even [Page 164] from superstition to coldnes, and A­theism. But the Parson first values the gift in himself, and then teacheth his parish to value it. And it is observable, that if a Minister talke with a great man in the ordinary course of com­plementing language, he shall be e­steemed as ordinary complementers; but if he often interpose a Blessing, when the other gives him just oppor­tunity, by speaking any good, this unusuall form begets a reverence, and makes him esteemed according to his Profession. The same is to be observed in writing Letters also. To conclude, if all men are to blesse upon occasion, as appears Rom. 12.14. how much more those, who are spiritual Fathers?

CHAP. XXXVII. Concerning detraction.

THe Countrey Parson per­ceiving, that most, when they are at leasure, make o­thers faults their entertainment and discourse, and that even some good men think, so they speak truth, they may disclose anothers fault, finds it somwhat difficult how to proceed in this point. For if he absolutely shut up mens mouths, and forbid all dis­closing of faults, many an evill may not only be, but also spread in his Parish, without any remedy (which cannot be applyed without notice) to the dishonor of God, and the infecti­on of his flock, and the discomfort, dicredit, & hinderance of the Pastor. On the other side, if it be unlawful to open faults, no benefit or advantage can make it lawfull: for we must [Page 166] not do evill, that good may come of it. Now the Parson taking this point to task, which is so exceeding useful, and hath taken so deep roote, that is seems the very life and sub­stance of Conversation, hath pro­ceeded thus far in the discussing of it. Faults are either notorious, or private. Again notorious faults are either such as are made known by com­mon fame (and of these, those that know them, may talk, so they do it not with sport, but commiseration;) or else such as have passed judgment, & been corrected either by whipping, or imprisoning, or the like. Of these also men may talk, and more, they may discover them to those that know them not: because infamy is a part of the sentence against malefa­ctours, which the Law intends, as is evident by those, which are branded for rogues, that they may be known; or put into the stocks, that they may be looked upon. But some may [Page 167] say, though the Law allow this, the Gospel doth not, which hath so much advanced Charity, and ranked backbiters among the generation of the wicked, Rom. 1.30. But this is ea­sily answered: As the executioner is not uncharitable, that takes away the life of the condemned, except besides his office, he add a tincture of private malice in the joy, and hast of acting his part; so neither is he that defames him, whom the Law would have defamed, except he also do it out of rancour. For in infamy, all are executioners, and the Law gives a malefactour to all to be defamed. And as malefactors may lose & for­feit their goods, or life; so may they their good name, and the possession thereof, which before their offence, and Judgment they had in all mens brests: for all are honest, till the con­trary be proved. Besides, it concerns the Common-Wealth, that Rogues should be known and Charity to the [Page 168] publick hath the precedence of pri­vate charity. So that it is so far from being a fault to discover such offen­ders, that it is a duty rather, which may do much good, and save much harme. Neverthelesse, if the punished delinquent shall be much troubled for his sins, and turne quite another man, doubtlesse then also mens af­fections and words must turne, and forbear to speak of that, which even God himself hath forgotten.


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