THE SPIRITUAL BEE, OR A MISCELLANEY Of Scriptural, Historical, Natu­ral Observations, and Occa­sional occurrencyes, Applyed IN Divine MEDITATIONS.

By an Vniversity Pen.

It is my Meditation all the day long. Psal. 119. 97.

OXFORD, Printed by A. & L. Lichfield, for Edw. & Joh. Forrest, 1662.

To the Much Honored Sr. COPLESTON BAMPFIELD High Sheriff for the County of Devon.

Much Honored Sir,

I should not have known how to have skreened my self from the imputation of Overvaluing this Paper, if I had thought it had merited your Acceptance, much less your Patronage: for, in refe­rence to the latter, as I esteem custom no sufficient Warranty, for men's making the Portal a [Page] guard & defence to the City, judging themselves sufficient­ly secured from those assails to which they are otherwise liable and exposed, by place­ing some Name of Repute in the Entry; so I could not but account it, as highly above the infirmities as the bulk of this pamphlet, to deserve the Pas­port of your Name standing in the Front, to induce the world (which is that I designe in this Dedication) to be at least Civill to it: And in reference to the former, could these Lines change their hue and put on Red, they would but in type represent that Consci­ousness of many imperfections which Guilt hath made legible in the Authours Countenance: [Page] So that waving all plea of Ti­tle by desert, to your accept­ance as well as Protection, I must cast my self entirely up­on your Pardon; which I pre­sume I shall not be long in suing out, having anticipated the severest Award any other Judge can passe, by a more rigid Censure of my own, which I hope will procure fa­vour for him, who is

Much Hond. Sir,
Yours truly devoted in all Christian Ob­servance.

To the Christian Reader.

Reader,

IT is the happy advantage of our Contenplative Life above all others, that we can never find the leisure to be truly and en­tirely Idle; and when we have a Writ of Ease given us from more ordinary and necessary oc­casions, even in our relaxations and remissions, the Mind inured to Speculation will find out some matter or other to work on, and busie it's self about; and it can as little be wholy reposed from that activity and motion, as the Sea from agitating and moving its self, or the eye while open from seeing. This small Collection of Thoughts which thou art here presēted with, hath [Page] the issue of my improvement of that advantage (Losse of Time in its smalest parcels, being that which I have alwayes desired to reckon in the heaviest Jtem of those things I am accountable for to my Discretion) being on­ly the product of my retire­ment home into mine own bo­some, in those intervals, & res­pites which have been afforded me from other Litterary Em­ployments, quibus in occupati­onis exilium missus sum: (which consideration will also furnish me with an Apology for that Inequality of style which the more judicious reader may observe the various parts of this Abortive to be formed with) & I confesse scarce any thoughts did ever with so great a relish steal my time & mind away as [Page] those which I have thus expend­ed. My Papers would easily have afforded to have swell'd the size, but I would not presume to entrench further upon thee, till thy candour towards this were secured.

As I judge it vainly impru­dent to have recourse to those known and usuall pretences of, preventing false Copies, impor­tunity of Friends, casting in their Widow's mite &c. so com­monly served up as excuses, and Vouchees of Publication (though I might perchance use some of them with more grounds then some, who im­pose upon the vulgar by set­ting up their cry at greatest distance from their Nest, like Lapwinges) So likewise I deem it tediously formall to make [Page] Defensatives & enter cautions against the Critick and the cen­surer (the Zoilus & Momus:) Although, as they are wont to rub Hives with bitter herbs to defend them from venomous creatures, so I could wish I had an Antidote against some Rea­ders that make it their busines, like Flies to seek out and stick upon sore places only, or which is worse, like Spiders, to gather and by an innate virulency con­coct into poyson that, which of it self was of an innoxious nature: However, while I lye post sipa­rium, and my writing is like that upon the Wall to Beltsha­zar, where the hand only was seen not whose it was, my Cur­taine will be instead of a Sheild as well as a vaile.

As for this manner of writ­ing [Page] some have thought it as ad­vantageous to publike improve­ment as any; having observed that it hath been the unhappy fate of Polemicall and contro­versall bookes rather to enlarge & widen then close differences, in so much that their usefulness otherwise doth seldome counter­vail and expiate for their dis­advantage this way: and for Doctrinall writings their nu­merousness doth rather oppresse then benefit, rather satiate then satisfie the Reader; and I have sometimes thonght the case to be much the same here, as it hath been observed concerning being versed in Books of History that it makes men wiser then those of Policy, as furnishing us with Instances as well as Rules, and [...]. as it were upon the Stage [Page] dressing up and personating the Precept so, as that our mindes shall have a more full and ad­vantageous prospect of it.

I doubt I am justly jealous in fearing it a self flattery to think here may be that variety which may not be wholy without profit: That Divine whose aime is only to please, never pleased me; and yet withall I ever judg­ed it impossible for a man to pro­fit that pleased not. If wax may be here hiv'd up as well as Ho­ny, yet both may be some way usefull. Where the grounds from which I have made my startes do not afford such plenty of be­neficial thoughts (which is to be imputed to the poverty of that treasure of which the Authour is owner) yet there perchance what is discoursed may admi­nister [Page] the happy occasion of bet­ter thoughts in others: and the Honey which drop's from the dryest of these leaves may not be wholy unimproveable.

I had once thought to have marshall'd and rang'd the things according to their na­ture under their distinct Titles, but upon second thoughts I wa­ved this piece of Herauldry, as deeming it needlesse with such curious and nice Ceremony to seat every thing in it's proper place. Farewell.

THE Spirituall BEE, OR A Miscellany &c.

I.

THERE's a very little Viper at Amyclae (saith Solinus) which is disregarded for its smalness, but hurts the more easily because slighted. And they say of Witches that [Page 2] they beg and are pleas'd with smal things to be given them; but they thereby procure a power to work what mischief they please on the Donours. The Devil comes often a pleading for some sinnes sub forma pauperis; Is it not a little one? and being listned to, he can improve the smallest grant to his great advantage in our hurt and discomfort. As he represented it to Eve 'twas but tasting an Apple; which prov'd the ruine of Mankind. Therefore when he shooteth this Shaft, let us take it up and retort it on himself again: if he make the smalnesse of the thing a consideration to tempt us to a compliance, let us make use of it to facilitate [Page 3] our resistance; if it be small to yield to, it is little to resist, and tis easiest to deny Satan in the smallest things, whom we must not gratify in any. So long as we shew no kindnesse to him he can never hurt us: But if we give him the least corner of our soules but to so­journ in, he will soon litter a whole hellish brood of sins in a small roome, and by an in­creased force, get an absolute rule. If he have easie admit­tance at the smalest passe, Gad, behold a Troop comes; as the whole power of an Army may fall in upon a City at a narrow breach. A little spark may be so fewel'd and managed as to set on fire a whole Town. 'Tis therefore an excellent saying [Page 4] of the son of Syrack, he that despiseth little things, shall pe­rish by little and little. Let me crush the Cockatrice in the Egge, that I feel not the mor­tall stinges of the Serpent when engendred; and stran­gle sin in its Infancy, that the first breath it takes may be likewise the last, and it may expire in the first motions; that though it be conceived, yet it may prove abortive. Happy shal he be, O daughter of Baby­lon, that thus taketh thy chil­dren while young, & dasheth them against the stones before they are arrived to a more a­dult and unresistable growth.

II.

I have sometimes seen a [Page 5] blazing Comet much outshin­ing other Starres, and attract­ing the eyes of men to behold it with wonder; which yet by its decay, and vanishing a­while after hath appeared to have had no true place among the Starres, but in the lower Regions; to have been no­thing else but a slimy Mete­or, and notwithstanding its glaring lustre, secretly to have sent forth vapours of a viru­lent and malignant nature. How many in our dayes have been seen and gaz'd on with admiration, who have shined with glorious beames, which yet by their fall have at length discover'd themselves to have been Exhalations, only guild­ed with rays, and counterfeiting [Page 6] Starres by an exceeding splen­dour (for often doth the Hy­pocrite outgoe the Saint in Appearance, as much as he com's short of him in Reali­ty) Many have had a shining zeal in those exercises of Religion that lye open to the view, and so have gotten and kept up an high esteeme and credit, but not trading on a so­lid stock, but taking up their Saintships all upon trust, no wonder they prove Bankrupts at last. The foolish Virgins made a great blaze with their Lamps, which yet by their going out appeared to want Oyle. These Falling-starres shall never shine in the Fir­mament of Heaven. Let all therefore try & assure to them selves [Page 7] the fixednesse of their station, the consistency of their substance; and making just al­lowances for that ascititious and imposturous Light, which Interest, Profit, worldly cre­dit and advantage, slavish fear of God, may have vested them with, examine what re­main's of what is true and firmly grounded. Let me ne­ver deceive my self or others with a false Light: I had ra­ther be a true starre, though the smallest, and shining un­discern'd (as the Stars in the Milky-way, which cannot be seen without a Galilaeo's Tube) then be the most glori­ous Comet. Lord, though a spiritual Falling-sicknesse may cast me into a swoune for a [Page 8] time, yet let it never mortally seize on my vitals.

III.

Justinian the Emperour hav­ing had his Nose cut off by his Enemies, when he was their prisoner, and afterward recovering his liberty and his Empire, when ever the wipe­ing off the filth from it, put him in remembrance of the injury, he caused still one of his enemies to be brought before him, and put to death. A holy Revenge would well be thus exercised against Satan; whenever the working of our corruption remindes us of that cursed depravation of our Natures which that Arch-E­nemy of our salvation was the [Page 9] Authour of, to slay a Lust and make it fall a sacrifice to the zeal of our indignation; if there be any Agag or Ruling one, let not our eye spare him, but bring him forth and hew him in pieces. This will be, by a spirituall Chymistry to extract an Antidote out of the Viper, to make a soveraigne Treacle of the Scorpions own flesh; to pave our way to heaven with the scul's of our Enemys: in a sense, by a holy guile to make Satan cast out Satan: to turn an overthrow into a victory, and raise a Trophee out of our ruines; to rise by our falling. As Peter could then perfectly conquer his self-confidence when he remembred the sad story of his foul fall in the [Page 10] Priests hall; and could give a more humble and modest an­swer when Christ asked him, lovest thou me more then these? Thus St Paul, when he found Satan knocking for entrance, fell a buffeting himself.

IV.

Finding my Friend in a pas­sion of anger, I gave him a check, and endeavoured by some motives to reduce him to moderation; but I percei­ved he was the more incens'd and that after the attempts I made to slake & lay his heat, it was become greater then before. Passion is deaf to all advice but what may seem to encourage it; this Wild-Fire [Page 11] makes that its Fewel, which was intended to quench it, and turn's that into food, which was design'd for Remedy. Wa­ter cast on the Smith's forge doth the more enflame it, and makes it burn the fiercer: a Torrent is so farre from being restrained by what is set to stop it, that it swel's the high­er and spread's the farther, Pontem indignatur. To encoun­ter a man in the boisterousnesse of his passion, is, to enter the combat with such creatures as St Paul fought with at Ephe­sus; to cast reines on the waves of the Sea when it ra­geth: and to use rational en­deavours, is to call a Souldier to Councel in the heat and fury of a Battel. The method [Page 12] therefore both most kindly and most effectual is, to give place to wrath while the tem­pest rageth: not to apply our selves to the cure of it in its Paroxysme, not at too great a disadvantage to meet it with reason and counsel when it comes forth armed with fu­ry and hooded with blindnesse: when the Fire hath got a full conquest, & the flame is out­ragious, we seek not to quench it with water, and so save the house, but by pulling down the next, make the want of fewel diminish the flame. The violence of Anger is best broken by giving way, and yielding to it, (as a Flint is easiest broken on a Cushion) and time is the best Lenitive to mollify it.

V.

It hath been observ'd, that those who have the longest freedom from diseases & least infested with their assaults, do most hardly escape when a disease once tak's hold of them; Nature being easiest subdued where it hath not been quickned by exercise and opposition: and hence it is that Feavours are generally more pernicious here in Eng­land then other where in pla­ces about us, because that di­sease is lesse familiar to our natures, then to those in our neighbour country's.

Temptations usually are most dangerous where least [Page 14] frequent, and their assaults most effectual on those who have seldomest experimented them: they are then most to be feared when their power is increased by a strength gathe­red from long discontinuance, and the edge of our resistance rebated by a long restivenesse: when our shield is laid by, and may have contracted rust, then those fiery darts are with most difficulty repell'd; when our Bow is unbent, and our hand in our bosome, no wonder if our disadvantage be great in the enemy's onset. Hence Satan hath this Stratagem a­mongst others, not to be fre­quent in his assaults there, where former Alarmes have excited to care and vigilancy, [Page 15] and set continual watch and ward: but to attempt entrance rather, where a long quiet hath bred security, and lessen­ed the power of Defence: where he bestow's his visits seldomest he is least fear'd, and consequently least provi­ded against. Let me not think my self secure from those temptations with which I have been little exercised, lest I find my self most overpowr­ed there where I least suspe­cted Assault, and adde to those Advantages, of which Satan hath otherwise too many over me, that of mine own Secu­rity.

VI.

I read of an African beast, call­ed the Dabuh, Scal. Exer. adv. Card. 217. which they take with Musick; for being charm'd with the sweet soun­ding of it in his eares, he suffer's his feet the while to be fetter'd; and so his death is the Minstrels pay: And the folly of the Larke is pitti'd by us, which while it playeth with the Feather and stoupeth to the Glasse, is caught in the Fowler's net. Ther's a spiri­tual charmer which by the pleasing delights and allure­ments of the world, cast's us into security, and then we are with ease enchain'd in his shackels: a Syren that sing's [Page 17] us to death. This is that, which hath by sweet and soft conquest enervated the Samp­sons, overcome the David's, subdued the Solomon's; that, in whose triumphs have been led the most resolved and ge­nerous spirits, the stoutest and ablest Champions. Do thou (with the wise Graecian) stop thine ear to the Musick of Pleasure, for it is Magick; trust not her flattery's, O my soul, for her kisses are but to betray thee, & there are snares in her smiles: when she fawn's, on thee & windeth about thee, cast off the Viper; in the end she will bite as a Serpent: to relish her sweetnesse is Mor­tall, for she is the high-way to Death, & if thou affect her [Page 18] thy face is set towards Hell, and thou art in the road thither. Lord, if I am at any time al­lur'd into Satans nets, and his bolts are cast over me, do thou knock off my chains, and loose my bands (as thou didst to Paul and Silas) break the gins and deliver me, that my soul may escape as a bird out of the snare of the Fowler.

VII.

Alexander the Great was wont to say of Homer's Heroick Poem, that, it ought to be sung only to a warlike nati­on, & at the noise of a Trum­pet, not when it sounds a Re­treat, but when it call's to the Battel: For it is not for mean [Page 19] spirits to resent motions of Generosity at the recounting of affairs which have no lesse Difficulty in the Conduct then Beauty in the Discripti­on. What he said of that ad­mired Poem, may with more aptness be apply'd to the Gos­pel of Christ; Tuba est Chri­sti Evangelium; it proclam's a warre, sounds an Alarme, and call's us to the Campe; to make every place a Pitcht­field, every day a day of Bat­tel against those many and in­cessant assaults, both from in­testine and forraigne force. And who but those that are inspi­red with a heavenly courage, can bear the Thunder of that sound, that calleth them, to love them that hated them, to [Page 20] doe good to them that Perse­cute them; to take up a hea­vy crosse, and follow Christ naked, to glory in reproach; to hate Father and Mother, and (which com's to the quick) their life also to be Christs Disciples. How many refuse to take up the weapons and enter the Lists; and cry these are hard saings, who can bear them? And those who engage in the encounter, when they find the greatest enemy they are to Combat with is Self, many throw down their armes, and fall to caresse and embrace that which they should Duell with.

VIII.

The Deepest Waters move most silently & undiscerna­bly; and the Spheres have the swiftest motiō, yet move with­out noise: The Starres, though vast and glorious bodyes, yet distance makes them seem very small; and many Stars as in the Galaxie, shine unseen: The Moone when that side towards the Earth is darkned, towards heaven shines bright. If in some mens conversa­tion I seem to discern little, or nosplendour, let me not be too rashly forward in my cen­sures of their estate; it may be I doe not approach near enough to them: perchance [Page 22] our heavenly Father may see that in secret which doth not discover it self openly; he may have a bright-side heaven-ward, though toward Earth he seem wholy Eclips'd: Per­chance he hath so much more of the Publican in him, then of the Pharisee, as to think it a good work to conceal his good workes; and therefore is so farre from making his pray­ers in the open streets, to be seen of men, that he thinks his Closet scarce private enough when the dore is shut: and so farre from proclaiming his Alms-giving by sound of Trumpet, that he will not let his left hand know, what his right doth, when it dispenseth them: The Flax may have [Page 23] fire in it though it be but smoaking, and doe not break out into a flame. As most men doe seem better then they are in truth, so some are better then they seem to be. I had rather be good and not seem so, then seem good, and not be so: For the Publican went home ra­ther justified then the Pha­risee.

IX.

THe unjust Steward in the Gospel,Luke 16. having wasted his Master's goods, and by high dieting his own Lusts brought a plentifull estate to a Con­sumption; and being thereup­on accused and discharg'd his Stewardship, casteth about [Page 24] with himself what to doe, and findeth he was reduced to a great extremity, not knowing how to digge, and to beg he was asham'd; get a sustenance out of the sweat of his brow he could not, and turn beggar to crave it he would not. Lord, when I enter into a serious review with my self, and cast up my accounts, I find the endowments, gifts and ad­vantages, the goods thou hast entrusted me with, to have been very carelesly Stewarded by me, and I have forfeited the benefits both of them and of thy service: Digge I cannot, I know not how to earn a re­ward of glory by my own righteousnes; but I am not ashamed to begge; my spirit [Page 25] is not soe stiffe and incompli­ant, but that I can come once and again to beg relief at thine hands for Christ's sake; yea, I am not ashamed to be a dayly beggar at this door; for I know, the more importunate I am in cravinge, the more bountifull thou wilt bee in giving.

X.

THe Book which St. John eat, while in his mouth was sweet and pleasant, but in his belly became bitter: & we read of waters in Miletum and els­where, fresh at the top and bitter at the bottome; and of a Lake in Phrygia whose wa­ter make's those that drink it [Page 26] strangely jocund and full of Laughter, but such as it ends in their death: The Bee hath hony in the mouth but a sting in the taile. While wee are pleasing our selves in carnall contents, and rowling a sweet morsel in our mouths, we should doe well to consider whether it will not be bitter­nesse in the end: there is noe earthly pleasure which hath not the inseparable attendance of Grief, and that following it as closely, as Jacob came after Esau, houlding it by the heele: Yea, worldly delight is but a Shadow, and when we catch after it, all that we graspe is substantial sorrow in it's roome. The hony shonld not be very delightfull, when [Page 27] the sting is so neare; better want it then feele the smart and venom that attendeth it. A naile in the temples may be the Entertainement, where Faire speech was the Usher and butter in a lordly dish the first course, to make way for it. These Gnats that make a pleasing sound awhile flying about our ears, wil bite us ere they part. Let me rest on nothing that hath not a real and unmixed pleasure in it, and then I shall find I must leave this world, and take a higher flight; here is no such thing for me to rest the sole of my foote on, all things have both the salt­nesse and turbulency of the Sea in them. I will not bid adieu to innocent delight, but nei­ther [Page 28] shall it have any thing of my heart; if I unwarily presse too much on Roses in the pul­ling, the prickles may run in­to my fingers. I will honestly enjoy my delights, but not purchase them at so dear a rate as my own Danger and hazard. That Mortal laughter and dancing which the bite of the Tarantula causeth, is only cured by Musick: The best remedy against the Mad­nesse of Laughter is the voice of that wise Charmer; God can cure and retrench the exorbi­tances and profusenesse of our spirits in wordly delights.

XI.

LEt us contemplate Prayer in it's journey between [Page 29] Earth & Heaven (as Jacob did the Angels ascending and de­scending:) It ascendeth light­ly mounted on the wings of Faith, but it come's ever lad­en down again upon our heads; it goeth up, it may be, in a shower of teares, and descendeth in a shower of blessings: it is wafted into heaven with groanes (for these have a force to open heaven gates, and that prayer fly's fwiftly that is carryed on the wings of a Groan) and those Sighes re­turne again laden with com­forts (like the Southern winds in Egypt whose winges are charged with the sweet o­dours of Spices.) They goe out weeping but never come [Page 30] weeping back, for where the Spring and Seed-time is wet, the Harvest is clear and joy­full, they that sow in teares reap in joy.

XII

I Have somerimes wondred, & almost judged it another Miracle, that Balaam was no more appalled & amazed at that most strang uncouth Mi­racle to heare a voice come from that mouth which was wont only to Bray, and to see himselfe outreasoned by that, which was remarkable for no­thing so much as it's stupidi­ty and dullnesse (almost as though He and his Beast had exchanged natures:) that his [Page 31] knees did not tremble, and heart become like a stone, nor did he so much as alight off for it: but as though no strange thing had fallen out he giveth the beast a wrath­full answer, without any Sym­ptome of wonder. Although perchance being a Sorcerer he might be not wholy a stranger to converses not much differ­ent from this, which might make it seem lesse uncouth; yet I rather think that the transport of Madness which so possessed this Prophet, and the covetousnes which blind­ed his eyes, left no roome or capacity to reflect on the unnaturalnesse of the acci­dent. And then see how sense­lesse and stupid Lust and Pa­ssion [Page 32] make us. Many are so eager in the pursuit of their carnal desires, so wholy pos­sessed with contrivances, to compasse, and Hopes to at­tain their satisfaction, that they regard not any provi­dences though never so strang and remarkable that enterfear & crosse them in their course: though God meet them in the way with a drawn sword, though he speak from heaven in a voice of Thunder against them, they are not astonyed or appalled: they may storme and rage at the impediments that traverse their unlawfull pursuits, and at the blocks which are laid in their way, but they take no notice of the Hand of providence which [Page 33] casteth them there, though it be perchance as visible and miraculous as that which wrote Beltshazzar's Doom on the Wall.

XIII.

WE read in Agellius of a Souldier,Noct. Att. lib. 4. c. 20. who riding forth to a Muster with a horse as lean and carcaselike as if he had been newly raised out of a Charnel; and himsef so well habited & full that he might have been a very sufficient burden for a more able beast; & being demanded by the Cen­sors whence came such a great disproportion, between the Meagernesse of the one, and the Grossness of the other, [Page 34] answer'd that it was because He tooke care of himself, but his Servant tooke charge of his Horse. Most men have lan­guid and infirme souls while their Bodyes are in a vigorous athletick habit: Their spiritu­all parts are reduced to mea­gernesse and Consumption, whiles their Sensual parts are Full even to a Plethora. And whence is it? because their Souls have noe share in their care and treatment, they do not mind them as their own charge: their time and dili­gence is all laid out on their Bodys; these are the Darlings they pamper, and which in­grosse all their thoughts and care; or if through a vouch­safement they expend any the [Page 35] other way, they soon rescue themselves as from an Usurpa­tion and encroachment. But surely, souls so weakned and emaciated will not be able to stand the least brunt in the day of Battle with the Ene­my's of their salvation, la­bouring under the pressure and weight of a so much in­dulged Flesh. Let me have a lean, unhealthy, neglected, deformed body, no matter, so I may find my soul sound, in good liking, strong, and beau­tifull in the eyes of God.

XIV.

HOw many weary and te­dious steps doe many Mahometans tread in their [Page 36] long Pilgrimages which mul­titudes of them yearly take to Meccha, the place where their grand Seducer Maho­met was buried? and that meerly for the increase of a carnal imposturous Devotion. (that they may be reputed Hoggees i. e. Holy men, as such are ever after styled) And how many a deluded Po­pish Pilgrim measureth thou­sands of tiresome paces, ad­ventureth through many dan­gers, endureth many hardships and severe and grievous En­tertainments, in a journey to the Holy Land; and is con­tent at last when come in view of Jerusalem to pay a great Entrance-Tribute to the Turkes for admission, and all [Page 37] meerly to see the Sepulchre which enclosed our Saviour's body, and the place which once had the markes of his footsteps. I am a pilgrim not by choyce but by an unhappy Necessity; my Journey is to­wards a Holy Land the hea­venly Canaan; I Seeke a Ci­ty which is from above, the New Jerusalem: which my Saviour not only hath but al­ways doth blesse with his pre­sence; not in his low, abject, humbled estate; but in his ex­alted wonderfully glorious presence. Shall I complain of the tediousnesse of the way, the Terrour of incident dan­gers, the sweat the toile and laboriousness of the travel to be undergone, where the con­tentment [Page 38] and delight at jour­ney's end is so infinitely tran­scendent? What Red Sea can have so much horrour? What wilderness so much dismal & sad amazemēt, what occurren­ces can be so fearful, hardships so grievous, dāgers so terrible, what condition so necessituous or State so bewildred, as will not be rendred Amiable and desirable when leading to the sight and enjoyment of our Saviour? No Tribute either of sorrow or death its self, but is an easie Purchase for admit­tance, not to his Sepulchre but his Throne▪ not to see the place where the Lord lay, but where he raigneth; and not to look on, as an Alien, but to Enter and possesse as a Deni­zon.

XV.

SOme are so Curious as to conjecture that Christ's Prayer which he made after his withdrawment from his Disciples, was not meerly Mentall but vocall, inferring it from the manner in which the Evangelists relate it, he prayed Saying; which they will have to imply an audible speech and voice.

However, whether we have so great a Pattern for it or no, I think there is some advan­tage to be observed that se­cret Prayer hath which is vo­call above what is Mentall only, (although it be all one to God who hath an ear to hear [Page 40] what the heart prayeth as well as what the Mouth.)

1. In that by joyning a voice to our Mentall prayer, our Affections are more a­wakened and quickned; as we find by experience, that the Sense of a Misery when coop­ed up in our own thoughts may not expresse it self in teares▪ (which are the Lan­guage of grief) but yet when we vent it to others, in our recounting it, we cant't re­fraine from weeping.

2. It limits the mind more and keeps it more fixed and intent upon what is spoken.

3. We find somtimes that vehemency of affection doth force us to it, for when our passion & devotion is ardent, [Page 41] and the fire is kindled within us, it breaketh forth into out­ward expressions, complaints or tears. I may adde lastly, that we can sometimes better form, or at least draw out in better order our conceptions of what we pray for in an au­dible voice.

XVI.

WHen the Assyriant were blinded they were easily led into the midst of Sama­ria. A benighted Traveller is easily deceived by false lights and Ignes fatui, to follow their guidance which do but con­duct him inro bogges and lakes.

What great advantage did [Page 42] the Romish Foxes make of this policy these late years among us; first extinguishing our lights, and then by subtle E­missaries playing their tricks in the dark: dealing with us as the Philistines did with Sampson, first putting out our eyes and then making sport with us: Surely it was this Dragon's taile that drew down more then the third part of the Starres from our Firmament, and cast them to the earth to be stamped upon. And whither would our new lights have led us? were not most of our new principles and opinions mere Decoys, and Captains chosen (though silently) to lead us back in a return into Egypt? But now those evil [Page 43] Spirits that haunted us in the night do withdraw and disap­pear. Had not the mercy of Providence seasonably pre­vented, we might by that time our eyes had been open have found our selves in the midst of Samaria.

XVII.

I Saw a Painter having made the Picture of a Face smi­ling, on a suddain with no more then one dash of his pencil make it seem to weep. How near are the con­fines of Joy & Sorrow, which with the change of a line may be made to sit both on the same countenance: their na­ture is much more distant, [Page 44] then their Abode. In the twinkling of an eye, in the turning of an hand, sadnesse may justle out mirth; and deep sighes may be fetched from that breast whence loud laughter made it's eruption. Pleasure may die in the same moment that gave it it's birth, and a suddain succession of grief may turn it's cradle into a grave. The Tears which an enlarged and vehe­ment passion of joy had run over with, may in the middle of their course find an Arrest and be made to Minister unto Grief. In the flight of a mi­nute, in the beating of a pulse, the dilating of the Heart by a Diastole of Pleasure, may be turned into a contracting it, by a Systole of Sorrow.

XVIII.

LIvy tells us that the Galls when they had once ta­sted of the Wines of Italy, were so much taken with the pleasantnesse and lusciousness of them, that they would not after rest contented with a bare commerce and trade thi­ther for this Wine, but fixed their resolutions by conquest to get possession of the Land which brought it forth (and that was the inciting occasion to their Invasion)The like we read was the occasion of that inun­dation of the Lom­bards into Italy under Alboinus their King. P. Diacon. l. 1. c. 1. Thus the Antepasts of glory do but pro­voke the desires and erect the appetite of the believing soul: he is so far from being satis­fied by foretasts, that they do [Page 46] but augment his thirst after a plenary fruition. He is not con­tent with so small drops that are derived unto him at so great a distance from the Fountain: nor are those de­grees of grace and comfort which he gaineth by holding commerce with Heaven upon earth by those two factours Prayer and Faith, by trading in the worship and ordinances of God sufficient to allay the hunger of his appetite: he cannot drink his fill nor slake his thirst at those cisternes: A holy insatiable­nesse doth so enlarge the ca­pacity of his soul that the more he hath the more he longeth for, and the wide­nesse of his increasing desires [Page 47] is proportioned to the large­nesse of his receivings. There­fore his resolves and aimes are by a holy violence and con­quest to get a possession in that spiritual Canaan from whence these grapes are brought him as prelibations; that he may there drink of that wine of the Kingdome, and of those Rivers of plea­sure.

XIX.

CHrist is wont still to back his checks and reproofs with a Reason. As to the Disciples going to Emaus, Luk▪ 24. O Fools and slow of heart: but why so? Ought not Christ to suffer, &c. to the [Page 48] Disciples in Simon's house, Mat. 26. Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work: for the poor you have alwaies with you, not me: for she did it for my burial. To Mary in the Garden, touch me not, John 20. Why? because I am not yet gone to the Father. Lastly, to Peter for drawing his sword, Mat. 26. John 18. he subjoynes to his reprehension a fourfould rea­son. 1. He that takes the sword shall perish by the sword; therefore 'tis an unjust at­tempt to resist and hinder my passion. 2. The cup which my Father hath given, shall I not drink? therefore impossible.

3. Can I not ask my Fa­ther and he would give me [Page 49] more then ten Legions? there­fore the attempt is foolish.

4. How else should the Scri­pture be fulfilled? therefore 'tis undue. Our Reproofs would have a more effectual operation, if they were thus still attended with reason; The ears of men are generally very tender and delicate, and a reprehension grateth on them if not attemper'd by a due conveyance. A smart re­buke if not clearly evidenced to be just by being backed with sufficient reason doth but irritate and imbitter the mindes of men: the Plaister maketh the wound rage if this Ingredient be not in the compost; the cauterisme doth more hurt then the dis­ease. [Page 50] The reproof even of a righteous man though it be an excellent oyle (to allude to the Psalmists expression) yet may break the head, if unduly ad­ministred.

XX.

Many there are that are wont to bestow visits on others, not so much out of a motion of love and kind­nesse, as, either not to be re­puted negligent in the for­malities of common courtesy, or to make the wheels of Time seem to move the faster by trifling it away; or to make discoveries and observations, that they may by prying, ga­ther up a stock of discourse for [Page 51] the next. The visits which men for the most part bestow on God in his worship are out of principles analogous to these; not out of any princi­ple of sincere love & delight; but either that they may not seem wanting at least in the formal and Customary Exerci­ses of Religion, or to passe a­way the time only, or it may be where they should be Bees to suck hony, to play the Spi­ders and suck poyson; to ga­ther up matter to defame and calumniate and raise an evil report on the things of God.

XXI.

AMong the Prospects which the Scripture o­pen's to us of Eternity, my contemplation sometimes pla­ceth me in the midst of that great Gulph fixed between Lazarus in the bosome of A­braham, and Dives in the midst of foul Fiends, with eyes directed, now to the consideration of the one, then of the other. Whither are all the Rich man's joyes fled in which his soul was steeped and inebriated? what's be­come of his heightned de­lights, his Musick and Masques, Unctions, Feastings ample buildings, and large and jolly entertainments, his [Page 53] train of attendants, the pur­ple and the fine Linnen, his wanton pleasures and the whole Pageantry of his hap­pinesse? On the other side, where is the misery and con­temptiblenesse, the naked­nesse and hunger, the aches the soars and the stench of the poor man? These things are all vanished: and the Scene is altered. Their past condi­tion is changed into a present as different each from other as Heaven from Hell; and the present is fixed in a stabili­ty as unalterable as Eternity. Let us consider and weigh their Purchases in the Bal­lance of the Sanctuary: The Rich man's exchange is, the pleasures of sin which were but [Page 54] for a season for those dreadful pains which are the reward of sin, and which never shall have a season either to miti­gate or conclude them; a seeming Paradise for a real dis­mal Dungeon; moment any contentments for eternal tor­ments: Delights that are as empty as froth, and as short-lived as the age of a Minute, for sorrows so heavy and acute, that no Metaphor can equal or Hyperbole transcend them in expression, so durable that they shall run parallel with Eternity. The Poor man's ex­change is, from a small weight of infelicity to an exceeding weight of glory, from a Wil­dernesse to a Land flowing with plenty; from a Cross to [Page 55] a Crown; from tears without their saltnesse, sorrows depri­ved of their sting, griefs as short (at longest) as the span of life; to pleasures untainted, joyes in the most exalted and subli­mated quintessence, a happiness as much without a period as Eternity it self. And who but joyns with that Ecphonesis of the Father? O miserable hap­pinesse of the one that concluded in everlasting misery! O happy misery of the other, that ended in everlasting happinesse! I had rather with Lazarus begge in raggs, then be in Dives's coat ruffling it in Silk,, and fa­ring deliciously every day: his low estate is so far above my contempt, that it is the ob­ject of my wish, rather then [Page 56] Dives's, which is so far below my envie that it fall's within my pity.

XXII.

THere may be Livery and Seisin taken of a whole Lordship only by the delivery of a turfe of earth: and a Deed of Gift of the whole may be executed only by giving a par­cel of the goods. The Rent that is given may be small and inconsiderable, yet if it be an anknowledgement of Homage and Fealty and ward­ship, it is of great conse­quence. The smallest Grant that we make to Satan, may give him a right to the whole; if he be complyed with in the [Page 57] least temptation it may be e­nough to admit him to a full possession and dominion over us. Where this Serpent harh but insinuated his head he can with ease wind in his whole body after: Therefore see thou grant him nothing, lest he make his advantage of it to the claim of all. 'Twas said of Hannibal, he knew well how to conquer, but knew not how to improve his conquests: Sa­tan is well skill'd in either; he will easily lose no ground he hath got; he will be sure to prosecute a victory, and improve an advantage.

XXIII.

IT is strange how Peter who not long before had been so daring as to draw his sword on a whole Regiment (as though he were his Master's Champion) and notwithstand­ing all his resolves and pro­testations of not forsaking Christ, yet how on a suddain he was infected with the air of the Priest's Hall; for as soon as he had got in thither, as though a contagion had seized on him his temper was changed, and while he did but warm himself at their fire, his zeal and respect for his Master was abated and chilled. Many times our foot [Page 59] in the Devil's snare and we are grievously entangled, where we thought we might have been safe enough: we venture upon occasions of sin, and put our selves within Sa­tan's circle, thinking we are sufficiently armed & secured by peremptory resolves and engagements, little consider­ing, either the plausible and insinuative nature of sin to work it self in, the treachery and deceit of our hearts to betray us to an admission of it, or the craft and importu­nity of the Tempter to win upon us. Hard it is to avoide infection in the company of those that have the Pestilence (especially evil men having so much of that quality, [Page 60] which they say is in those who have the Plague on them, that they desire to taint others;) hard not to be seized by evil though by gentle and insensible degrees in the society of the wicked. Evil converse cannot but leave a tincture of corruption upon us if rare, if more fre­quent a deep and double dye. The Spirits and manners of men are by a secret bewirch­ing inchantment transformed into the conditions and fashi­ons of those with whom they communicate. It is not easie to retain our fresh taste (like fishes) while we live in salt waters. We may say generally of Rivers that they never run within [Page 61] the same bancks without mi­xing their current, (though the River Savus streameth together with the Danow in the same channel without blending his waters with him, as Mr. Blunt assureth us.) Wa­ters passing through the earth have a quality and savour de­rived to them from the na­ture of the Soils and Minerals they have their course through.

XXIV.

WE read of some rhat by use have brought them­selves to swallow Poyson without harm, yea, and to make their food of it. And Albertus tell's us of a Girle [Page 62] that fed continually on Spi­ders: So strange a power hath custome to alter the temper of the body, and to change almost it's very Oeco­nomy: The like effect it like­wise hath on the souls of men, in reference to those pernicious sins which have most of the poyson of the old Serpent in them; from which their in­clinations and dispositions were at first utterly averse and abhorrent, but by custome and habituating themselves to them, they come to make them at last matters of daily practice: which perfect con­quest over all good inclina­tions of their mind and re­luctancies of their consciences that they may arrive to, the [Page 63] Devil leadeth them by these steps; beginning by wicked suggestion, he offers the poy­sonous Pill, but being guil­ded; so Pleasure is ushered in; Pleasure draweth on con­sent, consent maketh way for practice, and practice bringeth on custome, which by excuses, palliations, defences, obstina­cy, and lastly glorying and boasting, correcteth, evirtua­teth and rendereth ineffectual all motions or endeavours of conscience from within, and all influence of Applications from without. But such Ve­nomous creatures can live no where but in Hell, Heaven is a countrey will never admit them (as they say, Ireland, Majorca and some other pla­ces [Page 64] will not enterrain any poysonous thing.)

XXV.

I Have seen a pretry deceit used to keep some from their meat, that they dare not eat, by laying shreds of Lute-strings on it which have appeared like Worms; and from their drink by putting into it the counterfeit of a Toade. Satan often playes this part, & useth such a wile to affright the children of God from their Father's Table, and to make rhem out of con­ceit with duties: he presents to their sight, the corrupti­ons of their performances, and so representeth them that [Page 65] they shall appear formal though never so zealous, proud or hypocritical though attend­ed with never so much humi­lity and sincerity. When thou hast done thy work then he cometh to thee with his So­phistry to put thee into a di­strust, that what thou hast done will turn to thy great hurt, and opening the parts of thy duty telleth thee, here thy corruption wrought, there thy pride discover'd it's stirrings, here thou wer't as cold as if thou cared'st not whether thou wer't heeded or no, there thou hadst lost thine heart; and is there not death in the pot, thinkest thou? or expectest thou wages for what deserveth stripes? These [Page 66] sleights he useth to dishearten believers from their services, and he hath this great advan­tage that they are usually ve­ry apt to suspect themselves; their humours are stirred to his hand, and therefore he may the more easily work on them; they are ready to give credit to any that comply with their pensive apprehensi­ons; and therefore are easily induced to use Satan's Perspe­ctive, which at one end magni­fies the evil of their perform­ances, and makes it seem greater then it is; at the o­ther end extenuates the Good and makes it appear lesse. It is easie for Satan to press him down that is already sinking, & to dye that soul sable black, [Page 67] which is of a dark and sad hue before. Thou that art not ig­norant of Satan's devices, shew him that thou seest the So­phistry, and understandest the cheat.

XXVI.

THere is that we are wont to call Good nature, which however desirable, yet doth very much prepare and expose those in whom it is found to temprations: [...]. for it is nothing bnt a pliable, yield­ing, waxen frame, which is so much the more subject to evil impressions rather then good, as wickednesse is more insinuative then virtue: such flexible twigs are easily bow­ed [Page 68] into crookednesse; such a soft temper of mind is easily wrought and moulded to a compliance with any the most dangerous suggestions, as the soft grisly head of the Infant is framed into any fashion by the Midwife & Nurse. Their facility and bashfulnesse oft betrayeth them to a Grant of that which yet they secretly condemn themselves for not denying; and they know not how not to comply with the desires of the boldest and most unreasonable Insinuatour. That bashfulness is dangerous­ly bold which durst offend God, lest it displease Men. Nothing more laudable then a firm inflexible temper when found in the way of righteous­nesse. [Page 69] Let me never be abash'd to deny what another is so shamelesse as Sinfully to ask: Let my heart be wax to the impressions of goodnesse, but marble to those of evil: as pliant as an Osier to the hand of Virtue, as stiffe as an Oake to Satan and his Instruments. Let a righteous and just Re­quest be as a command to me, let me obey it as a Law though it be but a Desire: but let an unjust and wicked demand be cast back by me with abhorrency. If my Friend in any thing be a Factour or Spokesman for Satan, let me bid him, get him behind me (as our Saviour did Peter.) I'le use him as Moses did his Rod, while a rod he held it [Page 70] familiarly in his hand, but when it began to wind and hisse and shew it self a Serpent, he cast it down and ran from it Better lose my Friend then my Innocence; and safest to keep at a distance from him when he breathes contagion. I may be an Adversary to his uice while a friend to his per­son, like that Archer Alcon who when the Dragon was en­folded with the Child, could strike his Arrow in the one and not hurt the other.

XXVII.

I Find both by the course of God's Providence and and the instructions of his word, that he hath some­times [Page 71] a Rod to lay on the back of Friends and Favours to bestow on enemies. But surely God know's who he is dealing with; and then he favoureth these in Anger, and punisheth them in Love. He gave the mutinous Israelites Quailes, but so sawc'd that they might wish them out of their mouths before they swallowed them. God fatneth some for the day of slaughter (as the old Heathens were wont to deal with their Sacrifices, first to feed them, then Crown them, and at last kill them:) and lifteth many up high that their fall might be the great­er; who might apply that ex­pression to their case, thou hast lifted me up, and cast me [Page 72] down; And others he casteth down that they may by a hap­py rebound rise the higher. I would rather be dieted with the three Children's fare, bread and water, then on Israels Quails; rather gater crumbs under the table with Lazarus as God's friend, then sit at it, as Dives's guest: And I chuse affliction and adversity with Love, before happinesse and prosperity without it. Lord, as I pray, that thou wouldst not rehuke me in arger (I do not deprecate thy Rebuke (my sins call for it) but thine An­ger, this word hath the Ac­cent of my desire, not that) so likewise, that thou would­est never bestow mercy on me in judgement, or blessings with a curse attending.

XXVIII.

SOmetimes I have inter­mitted or deferred the performance of duty upon ap­prehension of some present indisposednesse and unaptnesse: I have thought; better not set mine hand to God's work then spoile it: better omit mine offering then give the lame and blind in Sacrifice; the next time I'le make a­mends when I am fitter to do it: And the next time per­chance the task hath been more irksome to me, and my Plea of unfitnesse hath seem­ingly more strength then be­fore; so that what before I did deferre, now I could be [Page 74] content should be wholy neg­lected. Have I found thee, O mine enemy? here the Serpents head discovers it self. Here­after when this plea is put in it shall be cast back without hearing: I will check the least thought of loathnesse toward the performance of the work I have stinted my self unto: A lame prayer may get to hea­ven: I may by rubbing and chafing my heart get a warmth in it. If I put forth my strength, I may break asunder the cords and withs with which I am bound, The Spirit may come and fill my sails, and I may have the wind with me, though the tide be against me. However, that Rule of Physitians is well applyed, to [Page 75] practice here, who advice weak and nauseating stomacks to eat, though they have no present ap­petite, because they shall feel the effects thereof in their fu­ture increasing strength.

XXIX.

THe Turks have a saying concerning the Tartars (whom they repute a very wise Nation) that other Na­tions) have their wisedome written in their Books, Busbequ. epist. but the Tartars have devoured their books, and so have wisedome lodged in their breasts which on all occasions they can draw forth to practice. Many Chri­stians have the Word of God written in their Bibles, [Page 76] but they never (as St. John) swallowed the Book. The Laws of God are best inscribed in the Tables of the Heart, the soul is the best Phylacterie and Repository for them, and Pra­ctice the fairest Transcript of them. He is a good Text-man whose life is a comment on Scripture.

What actual benefit can there accrue to us of Gold in the Mine or Pearls in the bottome of the Sea, except we digge for the one and coyne the Bullion of it into Mo­ney, Il vin nel fiasco non cava la sete del capo Wine in the bottle quencheth not a man's thirst. and dive for the other that we may have them to ap­ply to our use. He to whom the Word of God is not as his necessary food, that doth not tanquam saeer Helluo, devour, [Page 77] digest, and convert it in suc­cum & sanguinem, is like him, who as long as he had Plato's book of the Immortality of the soul in his hands, he was a Platonist, but as soon as he had laid it by, he became an Epi­cure again. As we use to say of some Physicians, that they are better acquainted with Galen then with the Disease; so of such we may say, that they carry their Wisedome rather in their Book then in their Heart.

XXX.

ONe of the most Tragical and sad arguments of humane Misery, that is wont to be brought on the Scene, is [Page 78] that of the Purchase of the un­happy King Lysimachus, who made an exchange of his Crown & Kingdome for one draught of Water: which bargain the constraint of that necessity he was reduced to, doth suffici­ently excuse; for now his soul sat on his lips being forced out of his body by a violent Thirst, & a Kindome was not an over­rate in the purchase of that aquavitae by which the King's life was redeemed (though the water when drunk might be distilled through the Alem­bicks of his eyes in sorrow for so great unhappinesse.) Who then will account that a hard saying in the Laws of Christ that commandeth us to forsake all and follow him; where the [Page 79] is Life; not a temporal Life only, which is alway subect to the changes and incursions of fortune, exposed to labour, infirmities and diseases of the Body, infested with more troublesome and incessant distempers of the Mind, al­way either languishing under chilnesse of Fears, or burning in Feaverish Desires; a Life still besieged with tempta­tions: but an Eternal Life, which is not only free from all those Evil Attendants with which the other is rendred miserable, but possessed also with an unconceivable Felicity. Who would not goe and sell all that he hath for the pur­chase of such a Pearl? who would not disesteem all [Page 80] though he were as great a Monarch as Adam or Noah for the gaining of that living water which he that drinketh of shall never thirst more, for out of his belly shall flow [...]i­vers to life eternal? yea, who would not barter his Trifles for an immarcescible Crown?

XXXI.

THey say of Trifoile that by observation guesses may be taken from it of the future season of the weather; that when it generally bear's many flowers 'tis a sign of plenty of rain and showers to succeed, and when few, it portendeth great drought. No better prognostick can be ta­ken [Page 81] of what Heaven designeth concerning a people, then from the Lives of Christians; if they are fruitful and plenti­full in good works, that is a forerunner of God's bounti­ful effusion & showring down of mercies, but when they are generally barren, 'tis a sad sign of approaching judge­ment, and of God's making such a Land dry and barren for the iniquity of them that dwell therein.

XXXII.

'TIs said of an Eastern King that he was so fat & gross that he was not sensible of pain when Needles were stuck into his body: And the Nu­midian [Page 82] Bears, they say, are so fat that they feel no stripes though bloud be drawn from them. Those who, as the Psal­mist phraseth it, are enclosed in their own fat; who are puft up with a worldly prosperity and wallow in a voluptuous plenty, are so insensible and obdurate, that, though every new sin that is committed by them fetcheth bloud of the soul; & every wilful sin be to it as the Dagger driven up to the haft in Eglon's bowels, yet they feel it not. See how stupidly and senselesly the Epicurean Car­nalist runneth himself upon the pikes without fear or feeling, Job 15. 26. He runneth upon God, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his buckler, but [Page 83] whence such a grosse stupid insensiblenesse? v. 27. because he covereth his face with his fat­nesse, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks: He hath so gor­ged himself and is so plunged in sensual delights, that all sense is drowned and lost in him. God no where threat­neth a more benummed and Lethargick frame of Spirit, then where he say's, Make the heart of this people Fat.

XXXIII.

IT hath alwaies been the fate of Neutrality to please neither party; and those who would compound and medley themselves to comply with op­posite interests, are disliked [Page 84] and maligned on both sides: therefore the Praetor of the Samnites wisely observed in Livy, Media via nec amicos parit, nee inimicos tollit, the middle way neither procures friends nor removes enemies: As the Flying Fish, which be­ing partly Bird, partly Fish, is still persecuted in the water by the Fish, and in the aire the birds have an enmity against him. Thus Alphonsus observ'd of the Senenses, that being Neuters in the Italian Warre, were afterward made a prey on both sides; comparing them to such as dwell in the middle story of a house, an­noyed from beneath by smoke,, and by urine from a­bove. Such is the condition [Page 85] of the Religious Hypocrite, who will give God his out­side, but bestow his heart on some other Treasure; who will serve the Devil and his Lusts under Gods Livery; who will give him the courtship of the lip and knee; but his Heart fall's down before some other Idol; and in his breast he re­canteth what his tongue and gestures pronounce: And in this Scenical & artificial dress he applaudeth himself secretly for thus Acting his part with two faces, for his wise and crafty compliance to the doubly gainful service of two Masters. As though he had found out the Polirick Art of Atoneing the opposite Inte­rests of Heaven and Hell, and [Page 86] marrying and compounding them in one common temper. But alas! nothing hath more in it of Folly; for because he is a Saint though only in pro­fession therefore the world ha­teth him which hateth Sheeps cloathing though upon a Wolves back; Chi pecora­si fà il lupo la mangia. He that makes himself a Sheep, the Wolf will eat him. and because he hath the form only denying the power therefore God ha­teth him the more, in whose eye, simulata sanctitas est du­plex iniquitas, sin appears double, when beheld under a Mask of Holinesse: The world hateth him because he seemeth good, and God be­cause he no more then seem's so. Religion is the best Ar­mour in the World, but he that maketh a cloak of it, will [Page 87] find when God calleth him to a reckoning that the stuffe will cost him dear. He that under a specious and vain pretension of Sanctity hides a Nest of Lusts, will at length find him­self as much deluded in his close contrivance, as that Cardinal Campegio was in Henry the Eight's time, whose twenty richly covered Sumpter-horses, being by chance overturned in Cheap­side, discovering nothing but a petty Magazine and Trum­pery of old Bootts and Shoes and Marrow-bones, exposed him to the just scoffe of all. Better timely uncase thy self, throw off thy Vizour and shew thy self what thou art, then appear to be what thou [Page 88] art not: but 'twere best of all for thee no longer to perso­nate and meerly act a part, but truly to be what thou hast en­deavoured to seem.

XXXIV.

YOung Lapwings when hatched are (as it were) so impatient of delay, that be­fore the shells open of them­selves; they break their pas­sage through those walls not enduring to be pent up by their confinement, & as soon as their head and feet are at liberty, they run away with the remainder yet upon them. Many we have seen whom a stronge confidence grounded on but weak abilities hath put [Page 89] forward before their time; who have rather rushed out then been sent forth; that have put out on their voyage before their vessel hath been sufficiently ballasted or rig­ged: Envoys that have gone forth before they have had In­structions, like Ahimaaz who would needs be running, though without a command for it, and if Examind can give as little an account of what Message they bring as he could: Such, as are like un­thrifty Heirs, when they should be gathering Know­ledge, spend faster then they get; their expences exceed their receivings: Such who venture to set up, though all the stock they have, if any, is [Page 90] (perchance) a borrow'd one: who enter on an Embassy without credentials. Such Lapwings as these that goe from under the wing of their Dam while their heads are green and the shell on them do soon run wild: The con­clusion is that as the enter­prise was rash, the progresse uneffectual and unprofitable, so they reap in the end blush­ing and discomfort. The pro­tection of a flock against ra­venous heasts is a weighty charge, and though young Da­vid could slay the Lion and the Bear when they set upon his sheep, yet every ruddy youth is not sit to be a Shep­heard. Where a rare precocity of understanding anticipateth [Page 91] years and supplieth age, yet methinks (that I may here ap­ply what one said) they might tarry at Jericho till their beards are grown. I ever thought it more safe to be drawn forth and forced by importunities to set our hands to that Work for which, who is sufficient? ra­ther then to rush on it un­called as that for which any might be sufficient that would think himself so: It is obedi­ence to goe when we are cal­led, but to be running forth before a Gall, is a too forward officiousnesse, arguing pride and boldnesse. If such Novices would goe and learn what that of St. James meaneth,Jam. 3. 10. My brethren be not many teachers, they would find it would give [Page 92] Writ of ease to their too for­ward Adventures.

XXXV.

OUr Saviour (Luke 4.) would not give the De­vil Audience even where he spake truth, I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God; refusing to have the Father of lyes bear witnesse of him, be­cause he knew he used that truth only to countenance er­rour: And on the same ac­count the Apostles (Acts 16, 17.) silenced the Spirit of Di­vination, and set a gagge in his mouth when he would have defiled the Gospell by preaching it. Mat. 4. 6. we find the Devil quoting Scri­pture, [Page 93] but strangely maimed & perverted, to make it serve his own turn; for one part is left out, the other misappli­ed. We may be sure this Im­postour hath never any Er­rand but deceit, whatever Mes­sage he seems to bring: This Lyar alwaies mixeth some truth with his Tale that may make way for it to enter into belief. For Vice and Falshood must still borrow the assistance of Vertue and Truth. There is alwaies true corn strewed under a pit-fall; and they are full and weighty ears which we daube with lime to de­ceive the poor Birds in a snow. In Lottery's there are some few prizes among many Blanks to keep up the Game. [Page 94] Even in the dunghill of Ma­homet's Alcoran there are some jewels, and Sergius hath bespangled & decked it with some parcels and branches of Scripture and Christianity.

Et partem veri fabula quae­que tenet.

This great Deceiver Satan, dealeth as Cheaters are ordi­narily wont, who to make their Impostures more currant and passable, use some means to gain a credit before they can cozen. Alchymists bring forth sometimes true and real Gold out of their furnaces pretending it made there, which was secretly convey'd thither, that they may the more easily impose upon be­lief. Let me beware of Satan's [Page 95] hook though covered with ne­ver so specious and pleasing a bait. Though his Pills be guilded, yet they are poyso­nous. Though he take the co­vering of an Angel of Light on him, yet by a circumspect eye the black Fiend may be discerned under it: There suspect him most where his pretences are most plausible.

XXXVI.

THe Cinamon Tree is killed by water, which quickens other Trees and makes them fruitful; and Narne (as Pliny saith) becomes the dryer for Rain: It is likewise reported that the ground about Ar­magh in Ireland grows more [Page 96] barren by being manured. I find as great a wonder that St. Paul tell's us of,2 Cor. 2. 16. that the same doctrine should work the savour of death in some, which to others was a savour of life unto life: and that the preach­ing of the Crosse which is to them that are saved, 1 Cor. 1. the Power of God, should be to another sort which perish, Folly. The same Light of the Word which gives to sound eyes com­fort and refreshment, increas­eth the distempers of those eyes that are sore and makes them smart the more; and the Warmth of it (for 'tis a Fire, which hath both these qualities) may exhale a fra­grant savour from those hearts that are as a garden which the [Page 97] Lord hath planted; and noy­some streams from such as are Corrupt. Thus, what stayes the stomack of one man will (as Physicians tell us) make another to regorge: and the sweetest Hony procure's in some the most bitter choler.

XXXVII.

I Have sometimes wondred at a strange perversenesse of the Israelites, who when God Slew them then they sought him, and returned early: but when they had Quails to the full, Ps. 78. 34. and Manna in abundance then they repined and tempted him most. Like some Doggs which if you stroak them they will snarle and be ready to turn upon you, but if you strike them they crouch and fawn: [Page 98] or like those things in Nature which being gently handled wil sting (as Nettles) but being crushed hard they will reflect no smart.Terent. That Father in the Comaedian hit upon the right cause of his Son's untoward­ness, Malè te docuit meafacili­tas multa: and Servants are no where more apt [...] (as Philo phraseth it) so to behave themselves as if they had no Master, Philo. [...]. then where they most experience his Lenity and Goodnesse. We may daily observe it, that the too gentle disposition of Governours [...],Clem. Alex. is apt to cause and cherish those discontented & Rebellious humours, which a rigorous se­verity curb's and restrain's. [Page 99] Yea, the Man after God's own heart, while he was kept in Chase and hunted on the Mountains like a Partridge, was so jealous and sensibly con­scientious; that, for but cut­ting off the skirt of his unjust and causelesse Pursuer's gar­ment, as though the same In­strument had wounded the tendrest part of his soul, his heart smote him: And yet when brought to his ease and plen­ty, and Courtly jollity, he boldlyadventures to flesh him­self in those Crimina devora­toria salutis, Tert. Adultery and Murther: Whole Camels will goe down now, where a Gnat was strain'd at erewhile: and these foul sins though mingled with Bloud are not so soon [Page 100] disgorge by Repentance, as a more innocent action was be­fore. Thus a condition of pro­sperity and affluence and im­munity from evil, doth as it were debauch the mind and make it grow wanton by ex­cess; whereas nature when kept under restraint and de­pression, is capable of just o­bedience: as in the body, a high and full Diet breed's ma­ny noxious and superfluous humours, whereas a spare feed­ing keeps it both clean and healthfull. We are most fruit­ful in a Low estate; as Trees in an humble Vally are fertile, but on a high Hill more bar­ren. There's as much variety in the tempers of our souls in reference to the different con­ditions [Page 101] of Adversity and Pro­sperity, as there is in some Fountains, which in the night are warm, in the day-time cold: or that Indian Taddy we read of, which is sweet be­fore the Sun riseth on it, but when warmed with it's beams it becometh Sower. Twas when he was pamper'd in the Land flowing with milk and Hony, that Jesurun waxed fat and kicked; and became more Unruly then he had been be­fore, while under the Disci­pline of the scourge in a dry and barren Desert.

XXXVIII.

MAn that was once in ho­nour, and placed little lower then the Angels, having lost his Birthright, is now be­come [Page 102] lower then the Beasts that perish; and the Scripture now sendeth him to School to them; to the Ant to learn In­dustry, to the Ox and the Ass to learn Duty to God, to the Dove to learn Innocency, to the Serpent to learn Wise­dome. But how many do de­scend so far even below their Degraded Estate, that they transcribe these Patterns not in the Good but the evil; & whereas they should make use of them as Tutours and Mo­nitours, they degenerate into the very Nature of beasts, and make Nebuchadnezzar's pu­nishment their option. We know that Centaures made up of half Man, and half Beast came not from Thessaly, but [Page 103] had their original in Pindar's Poetick fancy, he was the Prometheus that fashioned them; and Galen considering the ut­ter irreconcileablenesse of the fiction with principles of Ana­tomy, is very angry at his Vani­ty in it: But we may find ma­ny such Monsters in Morality, if we consider the strange dis­composure that is in the Souls of Men; where the difference is only, that here the Prodigy is more wonderful, in that the Beast is placed above the Man, Passion and Lust above Reason. How much rather should men endeavour to advance their Natures above their present Sphaere, to recover and raise them rather then thus depress them: and if they will needs [Page 104] forsake their Humanity, to as­sume the nature of Angels, & succed to that voided Rank which the Prinee of the morn­ing was willing to leave.

XXXIX.

POpe Alexander the Fifth, who had been so bounti­ful to the Poor, that he had left little or nothing to him­self (Records do not abound with many such Popes) would often take occasion to say mer­rily of himself, that he was a rich Bishop, a poor Cardinal and a beggerly Pope. Many are thus retrograde in Christi­anity; like Nebuchadnezzar's Image, the further off from the Beginning the more their worth and goodnesse decay's, as in that, the further from the [Page 105] head the courser the Metal; their first commencing Chri­stian had a golden beginning, they went on to a Silver pro­gresse, and in the conclusion they are all earthy: Or as we see salt Candles, they blaze a while at first kindling with fair hopes and a clear lustre, but they soon wear out to Leaks and Snuffs; and expire at last in smoke and stench. True Saints goe up the Hill to Zion, every day bears them a step nearer Heaven; but these goe down the Hill, and are fur­ther from Salvation in the e­vening of their life then when they first believe: Whereas they should be like the Sun going on from strength to strength, till they come to [Page 106] their Meridian lustre, they ra­ther resemble him as he was in Ahaz's time when he stood still; for in this subject the case is one, where non progre­di est regredi, he that doth not goe forward in Christianity, goes backward; He is already come to a decrease of good­ness, that doth not strive after an increase of it. Many the higher they rise in the World, the more they descend and fall in goodnesse; and their true riches decrease & are im­paired by the increase of out­ward Acccessions: like Trees which as they advance higher in growth, their Roots propor­tionably goe deeper down­ward into the Earth; and as Stars which the higher they [Page 107] are the more their beams are contracted and narrowed. The Devil effects on them what he did but tempt our Saviour to, no sooner are they raised to a high Pinacle, but straight it follows that they cast them­selves down; and being plac'd on a Mountain where they have a more large and Allu­ring View of the World, they fall down before Satan.

XL.

I have sometimes observ'd such a thing as a proud Humility in the world. Some will reject a merited Com­mendation only with a desire to be commended for reject­ing it, and that their Esteeme may grow by their seeming restraint of it's increase; these [Page 108] look one way and rowe ano­ther, and shun praise with a greater vainglory; they hate pride, but so as that there is pride in their very hatred of it. 'Twas a smart reproof of Diogenes, who trampling on Plato's rich Bed out of con­tempt, was told, that he tram­pled on it with more pride then Plato possessed it. Some are wont to enquire into the ble­mishes and crimes of their own Actions and discourses, on purpose or hear that it was wel done or spoken, & without blemish: There may be an e­quall vanity sometimes in praising and dispraising our selves; for as they who com­mend themselves desire con­sent, and seek after others ap­probation, [Page 109] so likewise many times they who balme them­selves, seek after opposition and desire they may be contradict­ed: Such have petty Arts and contrivances to lay a foundation for a Reputation where they would seem to be undermining it, and closely to raise an e­steem where openly they seem to design the ruining of it. Be­cause the way to be exalted is to be abased, therefore they will seem to cast themselves down in their own opinion that they may rise in the e­steem of others. While they seem to be pouring contempt on themselves, they are drink­ing in the waters of vanity: Their humility and modesty is only Scenical, a dresse and [Page 110] Mask; & usually at times they are discern'd through their vizour; their dissimulation is not of perpetuall continuance (ficta citò in naturam suam recidunt) As the Devil some­time said to Job, touch him in his body and see if he will not curse thee to thy face; so touch such a man a little in his re­putation and see if he will not grow impatient, make an as­sault upon his esteem & see if his vanity do not cast off the Mantle and betray his humour which he feign would have concealed. There's no more Critical Indication of our Hu­mility whether it be serious or only Personated, then by this, whether we are content to hear dispraise not only from our selves but from others.

XLI.

I meet with an excellent advice of a Heathen (soexcellent,Anton. [...]. that I can't but think it proceeded from a higher Dictate then that of his own spirit, as likewise many other sayings, both of the same and other Stoical Au­thours) to procure that which in the issue is the Goale, which all men's pursuits do drive at, Contentment; [...]. To will nothing but what God wills. Methinks, this is like a North-west pas­age or a shorter cut to a Trea­sure greater then that of the Indies, to a haven of Satisfa­ction and Rest, which men seek to arrive to generally by a wide compasse of vain con­trivances: [Page 112] This is such an ex­cellent Elixir that the very touch of it turn's all into Gold. This is that Panacéa & Uni­versal remedy that preventeth and removeth all discontents, frettings, tumults and disqvi­ets, murmurings and discou­ragements of the soul, and put's it into a temper so equall so calm and serene, that it doth in a measure anticipate its future Happinesse by a present enjoyment. For when our will is thus as it were resolved and melted into the will of God, we have all that we desire and nothing can happen to us but what we will, and what more needeth there to make us hap­py here? This is a higher de­gree then meer submitting our [Page 113] selves to God's will, (which yet is a high attainment,) for it makes the divine will and out's te be the same: This is the ready way to procure rich­es and honours and pleasures, not by using endeavours to Adde to our Wealth, Repu­tation, and Carnall enjoy­ments (for thus we find by experience, that he that hath most, hath greatest want in his store) but by a more compendi­ous and lesse tiresome way, by Detracting from our desires & by reducing them to a due proportion, and thus we shall find it true, that He hath most that hath as much as he desireth; as he is not Rich that hath much, but he that hath enough, nor he Indigent [Page 114] that hath little, but he that craves more; for we are not rich or poor, happy or unhap­py, honourable or mean so much according to the proporti­on of what we possesse as of what we desire. Therefore I com­mend his answer, who when his friend wished him, that the Gods would give him whate­ver he desired;Jambl. in vita Pythag. nay rather (saith he) that they would give me to desire but what they give.

XLII.

WHen Nebuchadnezzar straightly begirt Jeru­salem and they were reduced to extremities, the Jews made a solemn Covenant with God to dismisse their Servants and set them free: but no sooner had the King removed his [Page 511] siege and left the City open, but they reverse and repeal their Vow, & bring back their Servants to their former bon­dage.

How often do we find such whom God hath beleaguer'd with an Affliction, or planted his battery against by a disease, and seemed to have marked out fordeath make Covenants and Promises of a future re­formation, and of putting away their sin, which yet when he withdraws his terrours, and puts up his Arrows, or causeth the sicknesse to retreat, those tyes do no more bind them then the Withs did Sampson, but they arise and goe out & doe as at other times: while their backs smart under the Rod and they sit on the mar­gent [Page 116] of the grave, their spi­rits stoope, their passions are broken and the heat of them asswaged, their thoughts are humbled to a Sobriety; then to be liberall of Promises is an ea­sy Bounty: but when the storm is over and they return to their former freedome and delight in sensible Converses, then they are hidebovnd and restrain'd in performances, & rescind former engagements: the sighes of their sick-bed which they turned into peni­tent groans are now vanished into air and forgotten; the sad reflections on their former vanity's, the serious Recol­lections of their way's, which they were reduced to when the flesh sat uneasily upon them, and dwelt in sorrow, are [Page 117] now as little thought on, as the dolorous accents of their grief. When they are come newly out of the Furnace of affliction, while the smell of fire is yet on them they are scrupulous and tender; but it is but as those who come out of a hot stove, that shrink from a cold aire at first, but by de­grees are soon brought to their former hardiness of tem­per if the soul be not chāged, though there may for a while some religious colour appear in the man's face, he will at last return to his former habit.

It was therefore wise ad­vice which Theodoricus Bishop of Coleine gave to Sigismund the Emperour, who demand­ing how he might be directed the way to heaven, he an­swered [Page 118] If thou live so as thou promisedst in a painfull fit of the Gout or Stone. The Israel­ites when they had been hum­bled with the voice out of the fire, the uproar in all the Ele­ments, the thunder, darkness and terrour of Mount Horeb, were very prodigal of their promises, All these things will we doe: but God foresaw, though they spake as they in­tended in that distresse that they would after be no lesse niggardly in their performan­ces, O that there were such a heart in them! and what peo­ple ever more rebellious then they? Never was a heart hard­er then Pharoah's; and yet up­on the repetition of every Plague; how Couchant is the Lyon! how doth he fawn and [Page 119] crouch to the Power which his stubbornness incensed! at e­very stroak, how he cryes out, Spare me this once and I will offend no more! And at length when Death had made all Ae­gypt at once to ring with Pas­sing-Bells, & his Palaces were even invaded by that king of terrours, he suddenly gives the Israelites a dismission, and as it were thrust's them forth as if he could not be soon e­nough ridde of them, Rise up, get you forth from among us: And yet no sooner were they gone but the stream of his Pa­ssion hath a reflux, being only diverted by that Judgment, and he makes after them with the whole Posse of his Coun­try to fetch them back again.

Lord, let never my holy [Page 120] resolutions go away with my Afflictions, nor my Health dispense with the Vowes of my Sicknesse: Let me not, when I have in my distresse found Sanctuary in thy mercy as a Votary, in my enlarged condition indulge my self the loosnesse of a Libertine: Let me quit my credit, and faith­fully pay my vowes, and dis­charge the Bonds I have entred into with thee in my necessi­tous and low state. Let Im­munity from evil never ren­der me such a stranger to what I were in distresse, that I should recoyle from my pro­mises, and disown them.

FINIS.

The Spirituall Bee: Or A MISCELLANY, &c. The Second Part.

I.

IT is now no new advertise­ment, that the Spirit of God himself doth in Scripture make use of heathenish speeches and observations, and apply them to a Spirituall use. Thus St. Paul took notice of a Paganish Inscription of an Altar [...], and begun his Sermon to the Athenians on that text: [Page 2] and in the same place v. 28. he quotes one of their Poets, Ara­tus, [...]. As also Menander 1 Cor. 15. 33. [...]. And Callimachus (or Epimeni­des) Tit. 1▪ 12. [...] &c. And James 1. 17. we have a perfect Hexameter verse, [...] &c. and a double Jambick 2 Pet. 2. 27. Surely the warranty of such an Ex­ample will give good ground for our making use of the borrowed helpes of humane Writers in Sacred things, so we deal with them as God commandeth the Israelites to deal with the Canaanitish cap­tives, Deut. 21. 10 11. if they would wed them, to shave their head and pare off their nailes &c. if we devest [Page 3] them of their paganish super­fluities. For surely it would reflect injuriously upon the wisdome of God to think that he hath given the Gold and treasures of Arts & Learning, the spoiles of the Aegyptians, to be converted and made use of only for the making of a golden Calfe (such are all other subjects compared with di­vine) rather then to be appli­ed to the use of the Sanctuary, and the Service of God, as Ex­od. 35. to the building and adorning of the Tabernacle: so be, that they be made to passe through the fire (as the Midianitish gold and silver, Num. 31. 22) and be through­ly refined and purg'd from [Page 4] their heathenish drosse. He that furnished Cyrus with treasure and riches of secret places, Is. 45 3. for the building of his Temple, Ezra 1. 2. doubtlesse had an eye to the framing and edifying of his Church in that light of knowledg and litera­ture with which he hath imbe­lished such writers. Hagar must not bear children to her self, and her Mistresse Sarah obteine none by her; and as long as this Handmaid hath her eyes towards her Mistresse in due subserviency, and is observant of her direction, while she seeks not to rule in the house, why should she be cast out? Elias did not nause­ate or reject the food that was brought to him by a Raven, an [Page 5] uncleane creature under the Law.

II.

The Mahometans are wont at their entrance into their Mosquits (or Churches) to put off their shoos and leave them behind them: and so when they bein their devo­tions they stop their ears, & fix their eyes, that their thoughts be not diverted. When we enter into the house of God we ought to take heed unto our goings: the shoos we are to put off (as Moses when he en­tred upon holy ground) are worldly and carnall affections; we must devest our-selves of all earthly encombrances, not bring that into God's presence [Page 6] which may profane his Sanctu­ary, but wash our hands in In­nocency before we compasse his Altar: much lesse may we car­ry into his house any resoluti­ons of sin, or allowed and che­rished inclinations to it; for this were to enter not only with shoes on, but with feet filthy & bemired, which cannot but pollute the ground we tread on, and cause God not only to be angry at, but loath and abominate us. And when we are engaged in duties of worship, a strict guard must be kept on our Senses, that they be not inlets to that which may steal away our Hearts, and through their trea­chery our Sacrifice be not found (what the Heathens [Page 7] counted Prodigious in their Victimes) without a Heart.

III.

A Vine which is one of the most fruitfull of Trees, (made use of by God to com­pare the Christian unto) if it be left to its naturall excre­scencies, unregarded and un­pruned, shootes forth into many superfluous branches and stemmes, and spendeth its most g [...]nerous strength that way, and so becometh weak and fruitlesse. If God should leave the best Christian to the vitious exorbitances of his own heart and affections, and not curb and prune them, and retrench the extravagancy of [Page 8] his desires, his strength would be spent on that which profi­teth not, and he would soon grow barren and uselesse. There is need that both by his restraining grace he reduce and limit our desires, and by the sharpnesse of afflictions he cut short and check their excre­scencies. Jonah grew fond of his Gourd, and God smote it, and therein nipt and restraind the unrulinesse of his Spirit, which would have spent his love and delight on a silly plant. Hezekia's pride was grown to such a height, that he must needs vent it by boa­sting of his treasure; but God blasteth it by sending the Chal­daeans to plunder him. When mine heart doth irregularly [Page 9] run out after vanity, let the smart of thine hand correct my wandrings, and tame the wildnesse of my affections. Better I should bleed by thy pruning hook, then be cut down by thy Axe as withered and fruitlesse, and cast into the burning.

IV.

WE may observe that Light­ning doth work with more potency and force, where it meeteth with the greatest resistance; and acteth more on that which hath hard and firmly compacted parts, then on what's soft and yeil­ding, and giveth easie passage to it: hence it is, that it hath been sometimes said to passe [Page 10] through the scabbard without any effecton it, and to melt the sword in it; hence also, the hard Oak and firme Cedar are exposed to its force, and feel its effects, when the Bay which is of a more yielding tender nature, is passed over untouched by it. The Judgments of God in their working are much accommodated to the temper of the Subjects on which they light. Where they meet with a stubborn, unpliant enemy, they fall with greater force, and are most pressing and heavy; they will break, where they cannot bowe: the foolish heart (Prov. 19.) fretteth against the Lord, he is carelesse and rageth; but whats the ef­fect? The man that hardneth [Page 11] his neck when he is rebuked, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy: those that are as wild Buls in the net of God, their own fury and rage doth but the more entangle, per­plex, and weaken them; but where God meeteth with souls of a soft, complying, and obe­dient temper, his dealings are accordingly gentle, he afflicteth them lightly, and doth not stir up all his wrath, he doth but shake his rod over them, with which he lasheth the backes of others. In this respect, because God doth thus wisely & care­fully distinguish between the different states and tempers of the Patients he dealeth with, he is said to correct us in Judg­ment.

V.

AN indiscreet, imprudent reproof hath usually a double ill effect first, in that by the fault of the manager (as a good story may be quite spoild in the relating) the acti­on in its selfe good, is rendred for the present irksome and tedious: as a plaister laid on the wrong side may only smart, when on tbe right it would have cured. And next, in that it leaveth a prejudice behind it very disadvantageous at the like future occasion. A good stock of prudence and caution is in no duty more requisite then in this of Christian re­proof, which requires such an [Page 13] exact observation of circum­stances, time, manner, persons, &c. to a wise management of it. As I desire never to act that tacite part of a Flatterer, with silence seemingly to sooth and cherish him that deserves reproof; and by a Friendly Cruelty to betray him into a security: so I think it both more safe and more wise to tarry on the shore, rather then lanch forth, when I know the wind will be contrary, and beat me back againe with bruises and rents. Where the person hath so much of the swine and dog in him, that he will trample under feet instruction and re­proof, and turn againe and rent me. Christs prohibition warneth us not to dispence [Page 14] holy things, Luk. 7. 5. nor to cast pearls to him. When the dose mee­teth with such tough ill humors, that it doth but stir and anger them, not purge them out, there mostly it is more wisely withheld then administred.

VI.

CHrist I find before his pas­sion, Mark. 14. repeateth the same prayer thrice,Math. 26. 44. Father if it be possible &c. which yet is so far from a Tautology, that there is in it the divinest Art of Rhe­torick. For the reiteration is a great evidence of the strong intention and affection of the mind: as it was the overflowing of compassion, which doubled the Compellation in that, O [Page 15] Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets; and of love, in that, Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to sift thee: and the sweet Singer of Israel is no where more Patheticall, then where he twice doubles the Note, Sing praises to our God sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises; all crowded within the compasse of one verse: he found so much melody on that string, that he could not leave harping on it. Heaven cannot be proof against a Peti­tion so often darted towards it, it pierceth the more forcibly where it is so by renewed ap­plications driven home. In a strong Prayer a force is used up­on Heaven, the violent take it by force, and when the strokes [Page 16] come so thick, and are so ur­ged by redoubling, there can be no resistance. But further I observe likewise that our Sa­viour's latter prayer is some­what longer then the rest (as the wave which comes last swells highest) his mind was inflamed to a greater fervency in the progresse; insomuch that at last his ardency brake out into a sweat, a sweat of bloud. But how often do I find that my vigor and fervency rather loose then gain ground of my deadnesse and coldnesse in the continuance; my hands fall and my desires sinke; the sailes flagge, which at first setting out (it may be) seemed to have a full gale. This yeildeth suspicion, that the work is not [Page 17] so naturaliz'd to me as it should be: for [...]ll naturall mo­tions increase their swiftnesse the more near they draw to their pe­riod.

VII.

IN Civill converses, those whom we are not acquain­ted with, we cannot find that pleasantnesse and relish in their society, as we do in their converse which familiarity sea­soneth with a delightfull gust; because where we converse as strangers it is with some di­stance, and as it were under check and restraint (as in a strange country we will not adventure any thing abroad without guard or convoy) and so not without a kind of unea­sinesse: [Page 18] but where as familiars we have more freedome and openesse. If we transfer this Experience to our spirituall Entercourse with God, we shall find the case very coinci­dent; surely it would be far more gustfull and delightfull unto us, if we did not by our neglect of it keep our selves still as strangers to him. Frequency in our Accesses would breed a familiarity, that we might converse with God with that freedome with which friends open their bosomes one to ano­ther; we should be more enlar­ged in our Addresses, and that would make them have a more pleasant relish to us. By often treading the way, we shall beat out a path to the [Page 19] throne of grace, free from that uneasinesse and discourage­ment which in unfrequented waies we meet with: want of Vse maketh that irksome, which otherwise would be pleasant. He who bestoweth the fre­quentests visits on Heaven, finds himselfe most welcomed there, and hath the best enter­tainment; and he who cometh oftnest, will still desire to come oftnest. Therefore let those who esteem that, as void of delight in its selfe, which their own negligence only rendreth so, learne to judge righteously, and impute the ef­fect to tis genuine cause: Man­na is here to be gathered, if they would come out and bring pots to vessell it up. The [Page 20] Table lies spread, and Christ bids his Guests be merry;Cant. 5. 1. Eat▪ O Friends, drink, yea drink a­bundantly; but they stand off as strangers, and will not be among his Friends.

VIII.

SAltpeter, though it self observed to be of a fiery nature, yet being mixt with lue-warme water, at first it contesteth with it, but when overcome and dissolved by it, the water becometh abun­dantly more cold then other­wise it would have been. And that water which hath been warmed, and after returneth to its native temper, becoms more cold, and more subject [Page 21] to be frozen, then that which hath not felt the fire. The con­victions of the Spirit of God, where they do not work a thorough change, the heart be­cometh afterward benumm'd into a greater coldnesse and deadnesse. A spirituall Relapse is very pernicious: where God hath been knocking and sent a­way with a Repulse, in judg­ment he will suffer another bar to be clapt on that dore, and make the sinner more hard­ned. He that hath conquered the good motions and desires which heaven kindled in him, is given over to a more repro­bate sense (as the temper of Iron is more hardned by be­ing quenched after it hath been heated in the forge.) No sin­ner [Page 22] doth more eagerly wal­low in the mire, then he that returneth to it after he was once washed: and the Dog will not easily again cast up that Vomit which after his first disgorging he hath licked up. Where the unclean Spirit after his depar­ture for a season, in his return findeth the soul empty of Christ, swept and voided of all graci­ous dispositions, and garnished with whatsoever vice may suit the entertainment of so un­clean a Guest, his reentrance as with new Attendance, and his Hold is rendred sevenfold more impregnable then be­fore; he taketh to himselfe the black company of seven other spirits worse then himselfe, and that mans last estate is worse [Page 23] then his first. Lord, let me ne­ver quench those sparkes which I should be alwaies quickning and kindling into a flame, lest by so doing. I make my selfe fewell for a flame, that shall never be quenched.

IX.

PLiny (as his Nephew tels us) out of curiosity praying into the mountaine Vesuvius, Plin. Epist. l. 6. c. 16. that he might discover the manner and causes of those fiery Eru­ptions (in Natures Kill) was devoured by them, and made fewell to that, by which he thought to have encreased his knowledge; and so found his death in his too bold advance in quest of that Mystery of Na­ture. [Page 24] Surely to be too curious in our Enquiries and resear­ches into the Mysteries of God, cannot but be dangerous. God hath drawn a Veile over some things, and if we are so bold as to go about to lift it up, he may justly strike us with blindnesse, even in those things which were before ex­posed to our view. If we longe after such Forbidden fruit, God may by a flaming sword set to turn to all points of the Compasse keep us not only from the tree of Life and Knowledge, but from all o­ther trees in his Paradise. Mo­ses might come to the Hill, but not to the burning Bush, Come not hither; if he had, it might have proved a consuming fire [Page 25] to him. If the waves of the Sea have their limits set, hither to shall ye goe; much more man's presumption and curiosity: And what security can he give himself that will boldly invade the Privacy's which an infinite wisedom hath lock [...]d up in concealement, and breake down the Enclosures which the All­mighty hath set up. Cannot we be content to be admitted into his House except we ran­sack his closet and Cabinet; to be of his court except we be his Secretarys? If we have an eare to heare where God hath no tongue to speake, he may justly cause us to have no eye to read where he hath a hand to write. T'is dangerous presumption to breake open God's Seale; to goe [Page 26] in quest after the knowledge of that, which he hath therefore, hidden that we might not know it. He who is not content to look on the Sun where his rayes are refracted through a cloud, will but loose his sight by staring on him in his naked brightnesse.

X.

ONe that had a thorne run into his foot, of which he took small notice, till it after caused an Inflamation, and Gangrene, which soon seis'd on his whole legge, was yet unwilling to undergoe an ex­cision to prevent it's further spreading; but at length it seized on his vitalls and pro­ved [Page 27] mortall. The event of this disaster when told me, made me consider, how many inlets there are unto death, and how the most contemptible thing may be Harbinger to that King of terrours: examples of the like kind are frequent in story, of Fabius choaked by a hair, Pope Adrian by a gnat flying into his throat, Anacreon by the stone of a grape &c.Sir. T: Nor­ris Presi­dent of Mun­ster. Camb­dens Eliz: One of the bravest Spirits that Eng­land ever gave a Cradle to, or Ireland a Grave, haveing re­ceived a light hurt, beneath his high mind to stoop to the dres­sing of it, by neglecting it lost his life: And we read of ano­ther whom the prick of a nee­dle under the naile of his thumbe sent out of the world. [Page 28] Surely I cannot be certaine this day whether death may lodge with me before the next, if the least pricke of my foot may make way for it; if the smallest passage be a dore wide enough for it to come in at and the soul to goe out at. Any thing from the bowe of death, when our appointed time is come, may be a sure Arrow to hit the marke; a thorne may be as mor­tall as a sword. Though nature had never expos'd our bodyes to the assaults of an army of 300 diseases (for so many Pliny's List informes us we are infested with, and a more exact accountant would finde upon enquiry that the number might be set much higher with­out any errour in the stating [Page 29] of it) yet that variety of In­struments, chances, states, and circumstances of life which we lye open unto, might adminis­ter sufficiently unto the wombe of death. Let me be prepar'd for that by every thing and at all times, which may come at any time & by any thing, must come one time or another. I shall not hasten my death by being still ready fot it, but make it lesse terrible and de­prive it of it's sting. He that lookes for death daily, shall never meet it the sooner, but the better and the more joy­fully.

XI.

SHimei when eager in the pursuit and search after his Renegades, was unmindfull of the injunction Solomon had laid on him, and the limits he had confined him to, and so ventured the losse of his life for the finding of his servants. God hath made lawes that might li­mit and circumscribe the waies and actions of men, and hath menaced death for the transgression of them; but most men are so earnest in the pur­suit of transitory things riches and pleasures (which are but servants and should not com­mand our desires) that they minde not the bounds which [Page 31] God hath prescribed them. While they are in the heat of their range, and carier in sin, there is no time for a sober weighing of that startling ques­tion, What will the end of these things be? or for a serious re­flexion on the terrour of that threatning voice, the soul that sinneth it shall dye. The Volup­tuous man will as little own any bounds set to moderate his pleasures, as rivers do acknow­ledg their bankes when they swell and spread themselves out of their due channell: the Ambitious man is as vast and wide in his aimes and hopes as the boundlesse Ocean: the Co­vetous trades-man can inch his measure, and foist in false weights and use the ballance of [Page 32] deceit, while he mindeth onely his gaine, and considereth not that his conscience is fold in the bargaine Lord let me ne­ver endanger the losse of my soule in the unlawfull or un­warranted pursuit of any temporal good.

XII.

IN the rebellion of Corah, Da­than and Abiram wherein they rose up against Moses and Aaron to bereave the one of his rule, the other of his priest­hood; it was a dismall terrifying sight to see their punishment; the earth to open under them and swallow them up alive and close her mouth on them; that which is wont to be only a [Page 33] grave to be their executioner: insomuch that I do not won­der that the people (which by God's command were all called thither to bespectators) all that were round about fled at the cry of them; for they said, lest the earth should devour us also: for though they were not guilty of the conspiracy; yet the horrour of such a sight could not but affrighten them to seek for se­curity. If we might in like man­ner se how rebellious impeni­tent sinners goe hence into the pit of destruction, if we might in visible manner behold how hell open's her mouth to re­ceive them, and how they fall into the wombe of death which is closed upon them to all eter­nity; surely it would make us [Page 34] tremble and flee, endeavour to avoide the danger and seek out for a refuge, lest it should devour us: their destruction would put us on vigorous en­deavours of working out our salvation with feare and trem­ling; and the sad evils of their death would be a meanes to re­medy and cure the sinfull evils of our life. That which we cannot see by an eye of sense, we may discerne with an eye of faith, let it therfore haue the same effect on us as believ­ed that it would as visibly seen.

XIII.

A Subtle Lawyer desireth no more advantage in an [Page 35] hold which he would take in a conveyance then many words; somewhat he will finde to fas­ten on, and will so blanch the matter, that that shall seem plausible at last, which at first had no such appearance. I date the beginning of the Fall from thence, where Eve tooke the boldnesse to hold chat with the Serpent; if once we enter into a discourse with the Tempter, and proceede so far as to listen to him, we are halfe wonne al­ready; there is a ready passage for him from the eare to the heart. Where such a Sophister is admitted to reason the case, and our eares are open and our tongues free, the matter is as sure given up as if it had been yeelded without dispute. [Page 36] Evill and Errour is of it selfe insinuative and plausible, much more when managed by so subtle and perswasive a Rheto­rician. If the divell be enter­tained in our Parlor he will soon get a lodging in our bed-chamber, if we give him easy entrance into an Outworke, he will soon possesse himself of the City. Therefore stop thine eares at the voice of this Hellish Charmer: Assoon as he ad­dresseth himself to a tempta­tion send him going with an Avoid Satan.

XIV.

IT seemed strange to me when▪ I first understood [Page 37] that some venomous things would yeeld an Antidote to their own poyson, and that the viper will offord a remedy against the deadlinesse of his own stinge; and since I have learned that it is a frequent thing in Chymistry to extract Alexipharmacall Medicines out of things which in them­selves are most noxious and destructive; thus the Artist will make Mercury and Anti­mony, deadly poysons, by the power of his operation to yeeld remedy's of rare vertue: We read of a Plant also in the West Indies whose leaves are venomous, and yet the root of it, is an excellent Antidote. Let me not then wonder that he who brought all things out [Page 38] of nothing and light out of darknesse, can educe good out of evill: that this Omnipotent Chymist can out of sin draw a Restorative Elixir, and make the poysoned darts of Satan prove Antidotal; that he can make our disease afford a Me­decine; that he can out of the Gall and Wormwood of Af­fliction extract a Quintessence of Pleasure, and sublime tears into spirituall Joy. Let me admire and adore thee Lord, not only for thy grace and love in our Salvation, but for thy Power and Wisedome in the methods of it.

XV.

THe Apostle compareth those subtile Impostures by which Factours for Hell drew men aside from the faith to the embracing of strange Doctrines, unto Witchcraft. Gal. 3. 1. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you. And 2 Tim: 3. (wher [...] he painteth out the condition of the last dayes in such lively colours, as if the state of our unhappy ages had been present before his eyes) he parallel's the se­ducers with Pharaoh's sorcerers and Magicians, Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses. What strange effects of this [Page 40] Sorcery have we seen in our daies? did Satan ever play so much above board and act so openly upon the stage as in these times he hath sometimes even laid aside his maske and adventured to appear in his own shape. And of what little availe have the Countercharms of sound principles formerly in­stilled been to many on whom God hath suffered these Im­postours to practise their Ma­gick? And how have the De­vil's Instruments by this black Art, and Spirituall Necroman­cy, raised out of their graves errours long since dead and buried, and putting a new guise on them made them walke up and down again? And many have been wrought up­on [Page 41] by such an unhappy Fasci­nation, that (as Machates (mentioned by Phlegon) sup­posed he had caressed and hap­pily enjoyed his Spouse, when it was but a dead and rotten carcase; So) they have fallen in love with and espoused that for truth and religion which is but Heresy long since laid in it's grave.

XVI.

I Read that the Mahometans have set houres for their daily Oraisons, in which they are so constant that not any secular matters, whether im­pediments of businesse or di­vertisements of pleasure do [Page 42] keep them from praying five times a day; whether they are fixed at home or abroad moving in a journy, when their stinted times come they apply themselves to their (O that I might call them, true) devo­tions; and this doth every one, from him that bears the Scep­ter to him that carryeth the Sheephooke. How many are there called Christians that cannot afford to pray so many times in a weeke, in a month, as those Infidels in a day; that can be content to crowd a whole Sennight's devotion into one Prayer; and count them too lavish in their expences of time that make greater allot­ments of it for that businesse then they: yea, some think it [Page 43] enough if they summe up their lives and expire their last breath with a, Lord have mercy upon me. Christ commandeth us to pray for Daily bread. E­very day Manna must be ga­thered from Heaven. It is as necessary to the Spirituall life of our soules as our often re­peated meales and refections to the subsistance of our bodys. We justly deem it strange and wonderfull in some that we read off, who have lived with­out meat, some whole Weekes, others Months, others years, (and a creditable authour telleth us of one who lived 15 years withous eating or drink­ing.) But here a long fasting and Abstinence from this Spi­rituall refection is a thing so [Page 44] frequent that it meriteth not so much admiration. But what ac­count Quercetan giveth of the former, that in such strange fastings the inspired aire hath been sufficient in attraction to afford nourishment to such bodys; is more truly applica­ble here; for the soules of such are (like Chameleons) fed on the air and vanity.

XVII.

VVAlking in a hot sum­merday, I was some­what annoyed with a multitude of flies and gnats humming about me; drive them off wholy from me I could not whatever means I used, yet I [Page 45] could hinder them from set­ling on me.

And thus I find it sometimes with the thoughts and motions of my heart; evill suggestions are very busy within me, and though they much infest me and are troublesome to me, and I endeavour to drive them away, yet I cannot free my self wholly from them; but they shall not rest there: the birds might light on A­brahams sacrifice, but they were soone driven thence. Though Satan and the Cor­ruption of my heart do send forth a noxious Offspring, yet my heart shall not harbour nor cherish them. Evil mo­tions may arise within me or be injected into me against [Page 46] my will, but I will not be Nurse to foster the breed, nor host to lodge or entertaine such hellish guests. As Vagrants that range the Country are wont to be served, whom though we cannot prevent from pas­sing through our town, yet we do not permit them to make any abode there, but whip them away, and so send them to their own home: I cannot hinder them from passing through me, but I will looke to it that such straglers shall have the Law executed on them, that they do not either make their stay there, or re­turne thither any more. These Malefactours may come to me for harbour or shelter but the only thing I shall do with [Page 47] them, shall be to make their Mittimus and send them a­way.

XVIII.

THe Rabbines tel us, ac­cording to their wonted vanity, that Aaron Exod. 32. intended not to make a Calfe, but cast the golden earrings in­to the fire to consume them; but by the operation of Satan working by some Egyptian Magitians in the camp the form of a calfe came forth.

But surely it is very usuall for that old Serpent thus to o­ver-act us, and make us unwit­tingly advance his interest, while we thinke with innocent intentions we drive on a good [Page 48] designe; to use Zeale without knowledge as an Instrument to promote his own cause under the pretext of God's: Where men thinke they are building a Church for God, to make it a Chappel for himself. Peter thought he had uttered that which would have pleased Christ, Master pitty thy selfe: yet the Devil (it seem's) had made him his spokes-man, get thee behind me Satan. That de­signe which to gaine Proselytes and Assistants had pro aris stamped upon it in the front, ho­linesse to the Lord written on it; when the other side is seen, sometimes proveth to be only pro focis, for the advancing of a carnal Interest which some have set up to be promoted [Page 49] and driven under that Maske: Hence hath it proceeded, that what David said the zeale of thy house▪ hath eaten me up, may be by a prodigious Inversion truely applyed to some, their zeale hath eaten up the house of God.

XIX.

SErpents which in the cold of Winter growing impo­tent and languid retire them­selves to their dens and ca­verns, unable to hurt, or to stand out against the least resi­stance; when warmth returneth with the Sun, renew their for­mer strength and vigour, re­linquish the holes and retire­ments [Page 50] in which they lay folded up, can use their force and their stinge again and appear dreadful to the most armed opposition. Those Temptati­ons which in the season of Ad­versity, we seemed to be wholy freed from, or had lost all their efficacy and force, that it was an easy conquest to subdue them; when the Sun shine of Prosperity cometh on, it cherisheth▪ and envigeurateth them, their number is augmen­ted, their strength more prevai­ling, and their assaults more frequent; scarce a step we take in which we are not in danger of a Serpent's stinge.

XX.

SOme Christians have been earnest and curious that they might know the very day of their conversion; the time of their Spiritual Nativity, when there was an accesse of joy among the Angels in Hea­ven because a new Saint was borue to it; the day from which as the Epocha of their salvation they are to date the beginning of their Happinesse; that they might set a marke upon it, and make it signal in their Calendar in a scarlet-Text as the Day of their Second Birth. But let it not be so much my care to [Page 52] know when I commenced Be­liever as to assure my selfe that, the day is past, and the happy work wrought. The voice by which God raiseth a sinner from the dead, is not always accompanyed with thunder and Tempest, but sometimes it is a still voice: He sometimes co­meth early and preventeth Satan's harvest, and stealeth into the Creatur's bosome si­lently and undiscernedly be­fore any Giant-sin hath deflour'd the soul; and then by no token can we retrive or finde out the determinate season, by the most careful search. Some in the Spiritual travel of their second birth have few or no painful panges, while others have sharpe and grievous [Page 53] throwes which make them re­member the time as long as they live; as the women of Is­rael were sprightful and quick and lively in ther delivery▪ un­like the Egyptians. The streams of grace may be large and full, where yet the head of it may be undiscovered, as the river Nilus hath a great and plenti­ful current, yet his springe is unknown: The Sun may rise with his head veil'd under a cloud, and unobserved, and yet after appear in full strength and glory. S. Paul had his eye upon the Goale,Phil. 3. 13. and forgetting those things which are behind, press [...]d forward towards those things which are before: and (in allusion to his practise) we should not so much busy our [Page 54] selves to know where we first made our start, as minde the running of our Race.

XXI.

LEt us observe the several steps and descents which Eve made in her fall, that brought with it the ruine of Mankind.

First, she enter's into a dis­course and holdeth parlee with the Serpent at the forbidden tree, and so setteth her selfe out of God's guard.

2. She listneth to the plau­sibleness of his pretexts, is mo­ved with the doubts which he starteth, and giveth credit to [Page 55] his false and sly insinuations, and believeth his lying sugge­stions.

3. She looketh on the fruit with a longing eye as pleasant and desirable. The heart is soon bewitched when the eye is fas­cinated, when the object fin­deth easy admittance there, it soon set's the affections on fire, and the fumes from them cloude the understanding and make the will to warpe.

4. Her longing must be sa­tisfyed; she tooke of the fruit; her hands execute the com­mands of her perverted Will.

5. And she did eat; And what els could be expected but that when she had received the cup so willingly at the De­vil's hand she should drinke off [Page 56] the poyson? But Lastly, she gave also to her husband with her: The Devil that before was a modest begger without door, now he is entred command's the house; and she is so officious for him as to become a Tem­pter herself, desirous to diffuse her sin beyond her personal con­finement See by what win­ding staires we were led down into these depths of misery we now are in.

Therefore give not place to Satan, not for a moment; re­tire not the least step: stifle his primitive and seemingly inno­cent motions; play not about the bait lest thou be caught unawares: Yeeld not at first lest thereby thou unwittingly part with thy strength to re­sist [Page 57] him in his following▪ ollici­tations: If he loosen the roots of thy Faith at first the next gust of temptation may cast thee quite down. If we stop not the journey of sin by a sea­sonable Arrest at it's first stage, the further it goeth the more stronge and numerous it grow­eth, like a River which the far­ther it runneth from its spring the more it enlargeth it's streā and windeneth the Channel. David walking on the Battle­ments of his house in a loose and careless manner, gave his eye liberty, and in that free gaze it soon ran out of God's keeping, and through amorous and light glances on Bathshebah let in Adultery, and so holy David became one of the fooles [Page 58] in Israel; neither rest's he there, that was a Pearle in his eye, it soone becometh bloud­shot, and by degrees he com­passeth a cruel, yet deliberately plotted murther. Absalon at first only entertained some ambitious thoughts, and a se­creet desire of anticipating his future hopes and Antedating his style of King; but the swel­ling imposteme soon ripened and brake out to his own de­struction in Rebellion, incest and murther. One sin is the decoy to another; and though God never pronounced an, increase and multiply, on it, yet nothing is more fruitful: The giving way to it is as the pour­ing out of water, which before might be kept within the [Page 59] bounds of what contained it, but when poured forth it's course is uncontroulable, and we can­not limit it; it is not for us to say of sin hitherto it shall goe and no farther.

XXII.

THe Panther is wont to be taken by the Hunters by two sorts of wiles; sometimes by wine in which he hath so much delight that he will drink of it to inebriation: at other times they are wont to lay glasses for him, which while he tarryeth to behold himself in, he is with ease overtaken and destroyed.

[Page 60] Satan make's men drunke with the pleasures of sin, and then dealeth with them as he pleaseth: By immersing and drenching themselves in carnal delights they are transformed into swine, (which the drun­kard to a proverb most resem­ble's) swallowing in the mire, and are a prey open and expo­sed to him that goeth about seeking to devour. Sampson ha­ving his mind weakned and inebriated by a too-fond and strong affection to his Dalilah, was thereby betrayed to the loss of his great strength, and laide himself open to the un­resisted assaults and insults of them, of whom thousands before could not effect that which a handful did then. But where [Page 61] he cannot allure to gross sen­suality, he compasseth men with a device no less effectual and more refined: This mighty Hunter of soules setteth a glass before them, wherein they may view and contemplate their own excellencies; and that usually so falsly flattering as that it shall represent a fair beautious image to the most deformed mishapen face: He know's that the reflection on his own perfections with admi­ration was his own ruine, made him measure the distance be­tween Heaven and Hell by a fall, and changed him from an Angel to a fiend; and from a personal experience made use of this sleight to intrappe our first patents in his first grand [Page 62] Attempt to destroy Soules, in which he found such answer­ble successe, that no wile ha [...]h been ever since more practised, by one hath he more filled the Region of darkness with lost souls: By this he setteth the Creature in the Throne and maketh him in a direct way advance himself above his Creatour. When an unballa­sted spirit is so overset and swel­l'd up with fond and vaine conceits of it's own excellen­cies, 't is easy for him to over­turn it: When he hath set the soul on a Pinnacle there to be presented with a large view of it's glory, and to gaze on it's own perfections, the weak head scon grow's dizzy and addle through pride. These entrap­ments [Page 63] the Devil had practised on the Publican and the Pha­risee, the one he had made to run into more enormous and grosse sins, the other he had set his glasse before, and he was so taken with his own image, that he could find no other matter to fill his prayers with, but the recounting of his own perfections. Lord, suffer not Satan by any of these wiles to ensnare me; Not to intoxicate me by the pleasures of sin, and so weaken, & shave off my locks, lest the Legions of Hell be upon me: Let me not drinke of the Devil's wassel, his wine is a mocker; my Soul, looke not on it when it is red, When it giveth it's colour in the temptation, for in the end it will bite like a [Page 64] Serpent, and hurt like a Cocka­trice: Pride goeth before de­struction, and a high minde before a fall; therefore also lay thine hand upon thy mouth, for God hateth an haughty eye.

XXIII.

WHen Nathan had gi­ven holy David a re­lation of the cruel extortion and injustice of the rich man in wresting the poor man's ewelamb out of his bosome,2 Sā. 12. how doth this anger kindle presently and his passion rise against the wickednesse of the injury; insomuch that he straight resolve's, and backe's [Page 65] it with an oath, that the man should surely dye who had done that thing: But in the issue it soon proved that David was a little more nearly concerned in the matter then he was a­ware of, when the Prophet came home and closed with him with a Thou art the man. The sentence he had pronoun­ced was on his own person, and righteous David had un­wittingly been the judge to condemne David▪ the Adulte­rer and Murtherer; at his own barre, out of his own mouth. Doe not we thus often con­demne our own vices in other men's Persons, and passe a just censure on those sins in them which we have inconsiderately indulged in our selves? Many [Page 66] do severely sentence worldly mindedness, sharpely declaime against coveteousnes, brand and defie the sensualist, pro­nounce condemnation on the Hypocrite, & can with heat en­veigh against such other sins; whereas if they would turne their eys inward they might see what they thus condemne within their own bosome; and their sentence would be no where better applyed then to themselves.

When I read the relation of Judas's cursed treachery, his coveteousnes and dissimula­tion, in selling his Master for thirty pieces of silver (the price of him that was valued) betray­ing him into the hands of the Jews to a grievous Passion and [Page 67] Death, making a kisse the Pro­logue to the hellish part he a­cted: how doth mine anger boyle and mine heart rise a­gainst his wickednesse? How severely is Pilate condemned at my tribunal for sentencing my Saviour? And I pronounce the Iewes a thousand times worthy of that scourging, and buffeting and death, which they inflicted on Christ. But if I seriously reflect on my self may I not finde a traiterous Judas within mine own home? I may startle, and disown it; Judas himself would not an­swer to his name, but put it of with a, Master, is it I? But surely it will appear I may re­turn upon my self with a, Thou art the man, if I consider, that [Page 68] I have betrayed Christ to my lusts and delivered him into the hands of his enemies: I have sold him by preferring the plea­sures of sin, the satisfaction of my carnal defires, the drosse of the world before him; by ad­vancing some fleshly interest above him: And I have by mine hypocrisy made a kisse the covert of my treachery. I by my sins have pronounced Pi­late's sentence on him, let him be crucified: Every transgres­sion hath been a thorne, and naile, and spear to him; I have spit in his face by despising his ways; and by my vanity and pride have cloathed him with the purple, the crown of thorns, and reed of reproach: he hath been wounded not only for, but [Page 69] by my transgressions: Though he pronounced a consumma­tion of his sufferings on the cross, It is finished; yet by these new [...] and afterings of sufferings, I have acted over the Tragedy on him again, as though it had not been finished. Therefore, as Seneca said of himself, that if he would seek a foole [non longè quaerendus, meipsum invenio] he need not goe far for him, one might be found within his own skin: So I need goe no farther then my self (though I cry Hosanna to Christ) to seek a Judas, a Pilate, a Jew.

XXIV.

GAleacius that noble Mar­ques of Vico, was so effe­ctually wrought on and perswaded by an elegant simi­litude in a Sermon of Peter Martyr's, that he soon after laid down all his honours in­terests and relations at the feet of Christ, and by a voluntary choyce took up his cross, and became a Convert. Perhaps the same thing nakedly and ba­rely proposed would not have made so easy and great im­pression upon him, as it did set forth and adorned in that Rhe­torical dresse. The same pas­sage [Page 71] in a different habit, may be vigorous and piercing, or languid and dispirited.

Hearers are generally like Bees, they go all to the flowers; therefore our discourse may be profitably as well as plea­singly strowed with them, so they yeeld as much hony as they make a fair shew: The food will be received more readily when thus candied and sweetned, as Pliny say's the Elephants eat their provender the better if the manger be garnish'd with flowers. The as­sistance of oratoury (so it be duly applyed, and come in on­ly as an Auxiliary) is no way to be sleighted and rejected; for by this chiefely (among se­cond means) the Preacher [Page 72] in the affections of his Audi­tors, by this he thunder's and lighten's in them (as Pericles was said to doe by his elo­qnence.) The palme may some­times strike more effectually then the fist. The potion will down in sack which otherwise would have been nauseated; and bitter Pills under the co­vert of somewhat that is tooth­some will be admitted. The fea­thers that impe the arrow make it fly the faster and pierce the deeper. Surely it could not be without the help of this Art that Christ was so graphically describ'd, and (as it were) painted forth in his crucifixion before the eyes of the Galatians (Gal. 3. 1.) [...]. Although the Imposture of that [Page 73] Rhetorick,Which make's me think on Homers descrip­tion of Paris II. [...]. deserve's more reproof then commendati- which worke's on the Affe­ctions alone, and not at all on Reason or conscience; and so kindleth a strange fire in the Heart, (thorough the glass of the Fancy rather then the Judgement) which God will not own in our Sacrifice: As likewise the wantonness of that, which is as gay and gawdy in the dresse of every sentence, as a young Scrivener is in flow­ring a Capital letter with his luxuriant pen; Truth (speci­ally divine) will not be deck'd thus like a strumpet, although it refuse not that her native beauty should have the advan­tage of a decent matronlick or­nament. [Page 74] The pearles of the Kingdome of Heaven should be set in Gold (not in Lead) though not so curiously wrought and embelish'd, as that the Artifice should hide the native lustre of the Iewel. Comely and neat apparel is an ornament to the body, but if either gaudy or course, a dis­grace.

XXV.

A Spartan haveing long bu­sied himself about the car­case of a dead man to try if he could settle it firme in an up­right posture; perceiving how ineffectual his endeavours [Page 75] prov'd, sometimes the head falling into the bosome, some­times the armes flagging downward, and the whole, at last, falling to the ground▪ told the slanders by (who smil'd at his unsuccesful attempt) Ther's wanting ( [...]) something within, meaning a Soul. Thus it is in dealing with those who are dead in trespasses and sins; if we endeavour to hold up their countenances heavenward, and would have them fix their eye on Eternity, and an immortal estate, we can't hold them to it one moment; they presently incline towards the earth a­gain: if we would set them on their feet, and make them up­right, if we would set their hands at work in deeds of righ­teousnesse, [Page 76] justice and truth; and have them to stretch out their armes to the relief of those that are in distresses; all is in vain; while ther's no spi­rit nor principle of motion; something is wanting within. If God's dreadful threatnings be sounded in their ears with a voice of thunder they hear it not; if Hell be set before their eyes in clear and visible representations, they see it not; if a scourge be laid on their backs their dead flesh feel's it not.

XXVI.

'Tis a true and pithy pro­verb which is in use a­mong the Levantines, that Heaven and Hell are seated in the heart of man. Every man is a little world within himself, and his soul is the scene and Theater in which are represen­ted, the Processe of a Court of Iudicature, the pronouncing of a sentence of condemnation or Absolution, a binding and loosing, and according to that awarde, an execution; in which, conscience (as in the former it sit's as a deputy Iudge under God, so in this it) act's [Page 78] the Executioner; and there are in the Heart a Paradise of plea­sure, streams of comfort on the one hand; on the other, a gib­bet, fire and a racke. Doth not he find a Heaven within him, that hath that certain and sincere and untroubled happi­nesse▪ those gleams of joy and refreshment which a good conscience is authour of? Let popular noises, vulgar suffra­ges & opinions, outward com­motions and attempts be what they will, they can no more disturbe or raise a wrinkle in this inward calme and Pacifique Sea, or correct and restrain that transport of comfort that ari­seth from the triumphs and applauses of Conscience, then all the thunderings and storms [Page 79] in the lower Regions can dis­compose the serenity of those which are above the stars: This made Paul and Silas sing in their prison, while the foundati­ons of it were shaken by an earthquake. And doth not he carry a very Hell in his bo­some, whose soul is rent and distorted with those convulsions of horrour and terrour, di­stracted, by those fearful ama­zements, pierced, by those sharp Agony's which a guilty conscience punisheth him with? Though he seek relief by di­version to wordly businesse. by consorting with merry socie­ty, by running for Sanctuary to false and flattering opinions, by rolling himself in his uneasy chaine of fire; yet he may as­soon [Page 80] forsake himself, as by all his Arts and methods get out of these suburbs of Hell.

XXVII.

OLd Ely who was so mild towards the notorious sacriledges, Adultery's and in­cests of his sons, of which all Israel rang, how uncharita­bly doth he misconstrue poor Hannah's devotion, and upon what a weak ground (only, seeing her lips move without noyse) doth he build the hea­vy charge of drunkness against her: But afterwards perceiving his errour, he recant's, and turne's his condemning Han­nah into praying for her.

[Page 81] Thus it often happen's, that those who are most mildly in­dulgent to their own, are most sharpely censorious of others (As the Hedge-hogge hath sharpe prickles without, but is smooth and soft within: And the Snakes in Syria, doe sting forreigners, but will not hurt any of the inhabitants, as some say.) He whose judgement is suborned or bribed by Affection to a too partial and soft Gent­lenesse; will on the same ac­count, where the subject is dif­ferent, be as much warped and bias'd to a contrary extreme of a too unjust rigour: For the case is much alter'd with the persons that are concern'd in it: If nature or affection be allow'd to passe the sentence, [Page 82] and in judging offences to ac­cept the persons of the offen­dours, the judgment must needs be partial: The same eye which was so blear'd that it could not discern a beam in one case, will be so quicksigh­ted as to spy a moate in the other. And how apt is hasty and in-considerate zealt to pass a grievous censure, where there is no other ground for it but meer misprision? Those that are too forward and rash in their reproofs before they have taken sufficient estimate of the ground on which they are to level them, are often guilty of a zealous breach of charity. Let me imitate Ely, not in committing but amending his fault, and if in my haste I have [Page 83] prejudic'd or injur'd another by an unjust censure, let me not persist in my errour, but be as unquiet till I have made satisfaction for my offence, as I was till I had committed it: Let me in coole blood make the best reparation I can for the wound I have given in my heat and distemper'd zeale.

XXVIII.

A Dr. Spigelius, Fab. Obser. Cent. 5. that incom­parable Anatomist, while (at the marriage of his only daughter) he was gathering up the broken reliques of a Glasse, it hap'ned that a frag­ment of it scratched one of his [Page 84] fingers; but the hurt because of it's seeming slighteness be­ing neglected, created at last an inflammation which posses­s'd his whole arm, and rais'd a swelling under it, and in the conclusion (though he might seem by his excellent skill in Physick to have command over death it self) by an Empyema brought him to his grave. Thus the least wound given to our souls by the smallest sin, if neglected and slighted may by degrees fester and gangreen into the intolerable torment of a wounded spirit: And the lightest hurt if we have not ti­mely recourse to our spiritual Physitian and to the balme of Repentance, may grow to our irremediable woe. If we wash [Page 85] not our wounds with our tears while they are fresh and make not speedy application of the playster of Christ's blood, a scratch may soon contract such a purulency as may ripen it to an ulcer: Specially considering that the flesh of the minde (pardon the grosseness of the metaphor) is not easy to heal, being full of evil, corrupt, and morbifick humours which will make the least hurt fester and ranckle. Neither must we con­tent our selves with a palliative cure, a skinniug over the wound; for that leave's it secu­rely to gather all superfluous and noxious humours to it self, as to an Abscessus, which will in the issue exulcerate and in­flame the minde.

XXIX.

GOld in the Oare, as it new­ly comes out of the mine, before it hath pass'd through the fire, can hardly be discern'd from stone or a piece of hard­ned earth; but yet when it hath felt the furnace, and is by it purged and separated from its dross, it come's out the most pretious of metals; In somuch that the flames seem rather to make then purify the Gold. Ma­ny who before they were cast into the furnace of Affliction, had so much dross and impuri­ty, and earthliness cleaving to them, that little of Heaven was [Page 87] discernable in them, come out of it wholy unlike themselves: That searching and penetra­ting flame, separateth the pre­cious from the vile, divideth between them and those cor­ruptions which are most clo­sely and intimately combined with and embraced by their Spirits: They enter into the fiery trial earth, and come out Gold: This endue's them with that holiness and humility by which they are prepar'd for that high perfection of beauty and glory, which they shall be vested with when they enter that great and glorious city, whose streets are paved with pure Gold, and whose founda­tions and gates are precious stones. The hue and complexion [Page 88] of their souls who thus pass thorough the fire, is altered; they have abandoned and laid aside all their carnal adhaeren­cy's, repaired the breaches of their consciences, the decays of their graces, their neglect of duties, their coldness in reli­gious services: Though before they were bound and fetter'd by their lust, yet they come forth, (as the three children out of Nebuchadnezar's Furnace) free and at liberty.

XXX.

'TWas an inference that de­served laughter which one made, who reading in the [Page 89] subscription of some of S. Paul's Epistles, Missa fuit Romae, presently thence con­cluded that surely Mass was said at Rome in S. Paul's days. Pointz a Jesuite cry's out, ther's no hopes of prevailing with these Hereticks because it was long since Prophecy'd of them. 2 Chron. 24. at illi Protestantes noluerunt audire. ('Tis well (as one say's) Protestants were heard of in the old Testament as well as Jesuites, whose name by good hap one of them hath found out Numb 16. 24. even as Erasmus found Friers in S. Paul's time inter falsos fratres.) Many there are whose dictates are as little favour'd by Scrip­ture, and who are not asham'd to make as ridiculous a claime [Page 90] to it's patronage: That will not bring their opinions to the word of God, but draw it to their opinions; and force their own sense out of it, with as much violence and torture, as that whereby Chymists endea­vour to extract that out of Me­tals which God and Nature never put into them. Such would make the divine oracles ( [...].) to speak to the patronizing of their own inter­est; and would suborne God for a witness to their errours. As Caligula dealt with Jupiter's statue, taking off the head of it, and placing his own in the roome, so they substitute the devices of their own brain in place of the sense of God's word. Yea, sometimes such [Page 91] interpretations and Glosses are given as doe not only cor­rupt but contradict the Text, and that with as open and de­clar'd an enmity, as that of the Papists, when they make in one of their Pope's Canons by the word statuimus to be meant Abrogamus. Such might with greater shew of reason pretend either to a new Reve­lation, or to have found what they deliver in some of those (spurious) writings, the Epist­les of Paul to Seneca, the Go­spel of the Hebrews, the Acts of Paul and Tecla, &c. rather then in the Old or New Testa­ment.

XXXI.

'TIs as strange as true what we are told of the Taran­tula an Insect not unfrequent in Italy, that if it happen to bite any, usually with a won­derful fit of mirth and laugh­ter by degrees they dye away: And nothing but Musick can cure them. A Viti saltus doth the like in those who are feiz'd by it, their humours and spi­rits being so distempered, that they are continually dancing till death take's hold of them, and conclud's their comick mirth in a Tragical Catastro­phe. Methinkes the case of [Page 93] those is much the same who are bitten by that Infernal Serpent; All whose years are spent in mirth, and their days in laughter, but in a moment they goe down unto the grave. Let us see a little how the hu­mour worke's, and look on the image of this spiritual Phrensy, and listen to this crackling of thorns. Let out hearts chear us, say they, and let all care be extinguished in laughter; let a solemne aspect ne're be enter­tain'd in our countenance, and let a sad looke be perpetually banish'd: Let a serious speech be interpreted the raising a Mutiny against the reigne of Mirth, a sigh be punish'd with manacles, and the dropping of a tear as the venting of a Pas­quil: [Page 94] Let him that break's not out every way in jollity (like the wheele of a well-couch'd firework, that flye's out on all sides) be baulked as a male content; as one that would blend and dash our wine with water, or that would corrupt the charmes of our Musick with discord. Let us own no care but how we shall multiply and vary our methods of delight; how to make the ensuing day glide away with more softness and jollity then his forerunner; how to sublime and exalt plea­sure, & extract an Elixir from all the flowers in the Paradise of Delight; let us eat our bread with joy, and drink our wine with a merry heart, for there is nothing better then this: Let disports [Page 95] and Revels, feastings and dal­liance be our daily and nightly entertainments.

Rejoyce o young men in your youth,Eccl. 9. 11. and let your heart chear you in the day of your youth, and walke in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes. But listen, and you shall hear a clappe of thun­der; Know that for all these things God will bringe you to judgement. Your Joy is but a flash, your mirth vanisheth in the noyse, your disports do but impe the wings of Time, your feasts are but Running banquets, short delights, your Ordinary's are pleasant, but the Recko­ning is Ruine, your Dalliances do not embrace content, your Musick is as empty as sound. [Page 96] What is the summe of your misery, the frolicksome exces­ses and extravagancy of your mirth are the Harbingers of anguish and sorrow; these symptomes are the Progno­sticks of destruction, the end of these things is death: Eternal wrath is entail'd upon your momentany delights, and no­thing can cut off the entaile but an act of soveraign mercy: The Kisses of Pleasure (like Joabs to Amasa) are but a glo­sing to maske the conveyance of the Sword into your bowels. Surely that laughter well de­serve's experienced Solomon's definition of Madness, which is thus the forerunner and symptome of destruction:Prov. 26. 18 Which (as he speake's [Page 97] elswhere cast's arrows and fire­beands, and death, and all in sport.

XXXII.

WE read of Agrippina that the course she took to destroy her husband Claudius was, by tempering poyson at a banquet with the meat which he most delighted in,Suet. Claud. a Mushrome (boletum medi­catum avidissimo talium cibo­rum obtulit.) And we know that what is venomous, being mingled with Wine, worke's more furiously and incurably then with Water. The Devil's great business is, to search into [Page 98] our tempers, thoughts, incli­nations and affections, that finding which way the pulse of our soule beate's he may apply himself accordingly; that he may suit and attemper his temptations so, as most effe­ctually to work on the humour that abound's most in us; that he may lay his poyson in our daintyest dish; and bait his hooke with what he is sure we will swallow with most eager­ness▪ If he finde's the heart bent upon Riches, he will pre­sent such a man a golden Idol for him to fall down unto (as Nebuchadnezar set up an I­mage of gold for his subjects to worship:) When he entred Iu­das to hurry him to that horrid treachery, 'twas a silver Key [Page 99] that let him into his heart, and he knew that the Bagge which he carryed was so closely hug­g'd by him, that poyson would be best convey'd to him in a Cordial of gold. Are unclean and wanton desires accustomed guests to his soul? The Devil will be the Pander to his lust, and by effectual contrivances will so order things as that they shall fall in with the cur­rent of his affections: Thus he endeavoured to compass Da­vid's death by the poyson of a look; & when he found Amnon's soul hot with this Feaver, he by Ionadab's mouth inspire's a crafty fetch into his head of feigning himself sick, whereby he inveagled his sister. Hath pride and Ambition the throne [Page 100] in his heart? How doth the Devil sublime his thoughts, and raise them up to high and soa­ring hopes, engaging him in such designes as cann [...]t be com­passed but by wading through deep and enormous sins: Thus Haman that he might engross the favour of his King, and shine with a lustre of glory free from that shadow which the contempt of an unbended knee seem'd to eclipse it with, is draw'n to contrive a cruel epi­demick plot against the whole nation of the Iewes; and which prov'd in the upshot most fatal to himself in an advancement which his ambitious thoughts had never proposed to him.

XXXIII.

THe Universal Center to which all the thoughts a­ctions, and contrivances of Men, tend, the Point to which they are all directed is Con­tentment; this is the great Spring to all the various moti­tions of Mankinde: And how­ever distant and contrary their ways and courses, their incli­nations and constitutions are, yet here they all meet and con­center in this one reconciling object: They doe perhaps pro­pound to themselves as several Idaea's thereof as they have different faces, but their desire [Page 102] is one and the same. Content­ment is that which the Learned▪ seek's to attain in his industri­ous quest after knowledge, this Jewel the Merchant seekes in his dangerous voyages, the Ambiti [...]us in his passionate pursuite of Honour, the Cove­teous in his unwearyed heaping up of treasur [...], the Lascivious in the pleasing charmes of beau­ty, the Conquerour in his ear­nest desires after victory, the Polititian in his deep designes and crafty knacks. But alas! The misery of men is that they would find that in the variety of the creatures, which is no where to be found but in the unity of the Creatour. It is not in the Wise Solomon's dear bought Experience, in the [Page 103] Rich Fooles full Barnes, in am­bitious Haman's state & Gran­d [...]ur, in Ahab's ravish'd Vine­yard, in Sampson's lovely Da­lilah, in Nebuchadnezar's Rule over the World, in Achito­phel's deep-pated Witt. It is peculiar to God's Wisdom to engross all content in his own hands that he may dispose of it by retail to the children of men, and enforce all, either to purchase it of him or want it. Hence it is that men generally waste themselves in desires, tire themselves with labours, form new projects, and yet all this while spend their mony for that which is not bread; and take up with glassebeads instead of that pearle of price. I condemn their desires as unjust, not because [Page 104] they are without prudence▪ No matter though they be unsa­tiable, if they were not blind and fix'd on objects too scan­ty and disproportion'd. God as he is the only Principle of Being, so he is the only Foun­tain of content; I will there­fore desist from all vaine, a­mazed and unsuccesful pur­suits of it within the bounds of finite things where it is not to be found, and procure a Pa­tent of it from him who hath reserved the Monopoly of it to himself.

XXXIV.

ONe say's of Italy, Gue­vara. that though in it there be a great many Sanctuary's to pro­voke and stirre up to prayer, yet the people thereof have little or no devotion▪ And in this respect he compare's it's condition to that of Bells, which call men to service & never enter into the Church themselves. Many there are who can teach others to know and practise that, which them­selves have learn'd to know only not to practise: (Like Scheub [...]lius, that great Mathe­matician, but by Book only, [Page 106] not by Practice; who being re­quired once in an Army to make use of his Quadrant, knew not the difference be­tween, umbra recta, and umbra versa:) Whose lives and Do­ctrines are so little relative; that they are a downright con­tradiction to each other. Their precepts are a Directory for the way to heaven, but their exam­ples if follow'd would lead to Hell. They never ruminated on that prudēt advice of wise Solo­mō, if thou be wise, be wise for thy selfe; carrying their wisedome as birds doe Meat to their young, not in their breasts but in their Beakes: Like the holy Paraemiast's sland [...]rer, though they speak well yet there are se­ven Abominations in their heart: Prov. 26. [Page 107] At the best they are but Fooles that have learn'd to be wise by rote only, not for themselves, and their Clergy will scarcely save thē at the tribunal of the Judge of all flesh who hath no other peculiar respect for him that know's his wil & doth it not, but a greater number of stripes to reward his learned folly. Such, what they teach is good war­rant for our practise, but what they doe is unsafe President for us to live by, because they say and doe not. Where I meet this unhappy conjunction of a bad life and good Doctrine (a Light shining but not burning) the one may excite in me indigna­tion & pity, but the other on­ly merit's my practise (though we are all more apt to tread in the footsteps of Example then [Page 108] Precept, so Apish is our na­ture) what he saith well be­long's to all, but what he doth ill should be left only to it's Authour as his crime, not fol­low'd by others as their rule.

XXXV.

THough our Laws make so great a difference be­tween and elder and younger brother, that the elder hath assign'd to him the maine bulk of the estate; yet it doth not so intirely goe into his propriety, but that the Father chargeth it with requisite provisions for the younger: The measure whereof if it be not determina­tely [Page 109] limited, the greater enga­gement his Father's confidence in him lay's on him not to fru­strate it by a too contracted and narrow dispensing. God who is the common Father of all, never so far either grati­fy'd the lusts or disregarded the indigency's of men, as by a large affluence to designe an indulgence to the excess; and luxury's of some and in the mean while no way to provide for supply of the necessary wants of others: No, he hath given an Abundance to the Rich upon this Proviso that the Poor is to have his Dole out of it: God hath plac'd them in the midst of such Affluence not as Proprietary's but rather as Stewards, the things that [Page 110] are in their possession are not meerly and intirely their own, though they have the dispen­sing power given them: And according to their Receipts so must be their disbursements, if they expect joy and reward at the last great Auditing of their Accounts. They are God's Almoners and must re­lieve the poor out of their sur­plusage. Though God's hand of Providence doth not deale out to the indigent their portion immediately, yet he hath gi­ven a right to be supplyed out of the Largesses of the others. And the Scripture's silence in a punctual limiting the pro­portion of our charity and as it were trusting it to our hands should the more engage us, [Page 111] not treacherously to deceive that trust by scanty allotments: Forasmuch as thereby we not only detain the Rights of the Poor, and turn their Lot into instruments of supply of our pompe, excess or covetousness; and so sin against them; but also against God, in the un­faithful management of that Trust wherewith he engageth us to take care for a supply of that part of his family which is bare and needy.

XXXVI.

I Find it to be more hard to combate Pleasure then grief, and that I am more easily foi­led [Page 112] by the insinuating and vi­ctorious nature of that, then overthrown by the open and harsh violence of this: For grief where it make's it's onset can't hold any intelligence within me to facilitate a surprisal, but Pleasure hath a treacherous party in my bosome that have secret compliances with her, a thousand Passions that favour her Admittance and by all en­deavours seek to frustrate my resistance: The soul barrica­do's itself against grief, and by all wards seeke's to keep off the fury of it's assaults, but to pleasure it ly's open and naked, and upon saying siege or re­trenchment, it soon hearken's to the summons; it admit's of Parlyes, Truces, Corresponden­cy's, [Page 113] and Compliances here; whereas in the other war, it fight's it out to the last, with­out quarter; that is like the strife between the Torrent and the Damme, alway's strugling to force one another, but this is like that between Wind and Tide, which sometimes strive, sometimes come about and are both of aside. The will keep's it's forces firmly united and closely conjoyn'd when she en­ter's the lists with that; but when Pleasure is to be resisted they are divided and dissipated and not easily rallied. The soul's resolution will not be born down by force, but it gently serrender's to the de­light that would corrupt it: It soon come's to a Treaty here [Page 114] but the stormings of grief it firmly opposeth. Therefore I will adventure to pronounce it, though it be a bold Apho­risme that it is more easy to live on the dunghil of Iob with pa­tience, then in the midst of So­lomon's great affluence and soft contents with moderation: Those pathes wash'd with butter (as the Scripture phraseth it) must needs be more slippery, and ranke, then the way that hath blockes and crosses in it, or that is strewed with the salt of af­fliction.

Surely if we goe out upon an Inquest, and retrive the ex­amples of those, who have marked the way's that lead to destruction with their bloud, we may return with that in [Page 115] our mouths. Adversity hath slain her thousands, but prospe­rity her ten thousands. D. Bal­canq lett. frō Dort. King James once asking a Gentle­mā of note, what the people talked of the Spanish Navy, was answer'd, Sir, the people is more afraid of the Spanish match, then of the Spanish Powder. I more fear Satan's kinde offers and courting addresses, then his hostile attempts.

XXXVII.

IT may be observ'd that our Saviour sometimes where the beams of his Deity have broken forth doth straight cast a cloud [Page 116] over them and shut up his great and Divine miracles with, See you tell no man: He will not permit his glory to appear in it's full and unalloy'd lustre, but draw's a Curtain upon it. How far different from this is the Spirit of many we meet with, whose only desire is that they may dazle the eyes of others with their splendour; who would have all they doe taken notice of and set on Record, and e­steem that treasure to be as good as not possess'd and en­joy'd which is unknown: That look on a vertuous modesty only as a fine innocent qualifi­cation, serving a little to com­mend and set off a man under the defect of more real merits: They desire always to be on [Page 117] the stage, and to be acting some part that may procure them some renowned Title: Glory is the Center to which all their actions are directed, and they care not how crooked the lines they draw and pathes they proceed in are, so they all con­center in this. Their great aime is to gaine Admiration; and that I may so far gratify them, I will wonder at them, but it shall be only because of the folly and vanity of their hu­mour; it were a wrong to our selves to envy them, because they are indeed below deser­ving it, or to pity them, be­cause they think themselves above meriting it. In truth, they are but the wonder of fooles, and the fooles of wise [Page 118] men. Christian modesty tea­cheth a prudent man, not to expose himself to the greatest advantage of view, nor to live at the highest rate of his va­lue: Some Talents are best im­proved when laid up: And so­lid and true esteem and reputa­tion grow's the more by being suppressed. Many a rich mine is enclosed in the entrails of the earth, and many a fair Pearl ly's in the Sea's womb which never came to view, or shall come.

XXXVIII.

THey who indulge them­selves the divertisement [Page 119] of reading Romantick storys & fables, do experience, that though they know all to be false and fictitious, yet many times they can't hold from ha­ving as violent Passions as if it were true; and as if they saw that really before their eyes, which they are sure is but painted: Sometimes they are under a transport of Joy, some­times of Sorrow, as it pleaseth the Romancer to tell his story of good or unhappy fortune: They are in fears when extre­mity of danger is represented, and in hopes when a good issue of the matter seem's to open itself, and that with as lively a sense, as if they were in good earnest interessed in the Affair: And though still they can re­flect [Page 120] on all as the dreams and fancyes of another man, yet when they find themselves so truly afflected they are ready to think them their own proper concernments. This plainly evidenceth what vain, irratio­nal things our Passions for the most part are: How eager and vehement they may be in the pursuit of that which is as empty as shadows and dreams: And it would be a good Lesson from this Experience to learn how little we are to trust their Impostures and the Represen­tations of our deceitful Fan­cy's there, where the matter is of a more concerning and weighty nature: It being an approv'd Rule in Prudence, ne­ver to trust those entirely who [Page 121] have deceiv'd us, though but once. How great folly is it in us, to permit our selves to the hurry, of these blind and hood­wink't, yet impetuous guides? In this instance likewise, methinks we have an insight into the mi­sery & unhappiness of our Na­tures, what a strange & secret violence Sense exerciseth over Reason; what a tyrannical power Passion usurpeth in the Soul: How extremely contagious the neighbourhood of the infe­riour faculty, the Imagination, is to the higher and more refi­n'd the understanding part of the soul: Certainly, there is in man more of the earth out of which he was taken and fram­ed, then of that living spirit which was breath'd into his no­strils: [Page 122] Ther's more body then soul in this proud creature which think's himself created to have dominion over all o­thers.

XXXIX.

SAint Paul when he was breathing out threatnings and committing Murthers in the high roadway to dānation, was met by God, & by a sud­dain arrest made stand, thrown off his horse, and forced to sur­render up his heart heart▪ Some­times God set's a stop to a sin­ner in his hottest cariere, when he is (like that Son of Nimshi) driving furiously, and break's [Page 123] his course on a suddain while in his full speed: His procee­dings in this work are not al­ways gradual and leisurely, but he delight's sometimes by a speedy rescue to recover those entirely that were deepely sunk into the jawes of Hell; and by a mighty surprize to bring them on their knees to begge for peace whose hearts are full of rage and war against Him and his Laws, so that the sud­deness of the work may seem to anticipate all previous promptness, dispositions, and inclinations to good. How soon do we finde the Jailour (Acts. 16.) anointing those wounds which a little before his own scourge had inflicted on the Apostles: And that pro­ling [Page 124] extorting Publican Zac­cheus from a grinder of the fa­ces of the poor is on a suddain become a charitable refresher of their bowels.

XL.

QUeen Elizabeth before she came to her Crown, being kept in restraint as a Prisoner, hapned to hear a simple Milkmaid sing chear­fully in the field, while herselfe was more enclined to sadder Aires of sighing, then singing; which occasioned her to say, that that poor maid was happier then herself. Peace and freedom of heart and contentment is [Page 125] more often to be found in a cottage then under a high and magnificent roofe: The grea­test outward splendour and pompe cannot secure against misfortune, or give one night's sleep (though it doe disturbe many) or satisfy any appetite of reason or nature or religion; all which the meanest fortunes may afford. Worldly glory and grandeur only make it possible for a man to be made more profoundly and extre­mely miserable: It is the un­happy Priviledge of being ad­vanced to a great height that it make's a man lyable to a greater and more sadly calami­tous fall (As the Shell fish is carryed up by the Eagle high into the aire, only that he may [Page 126] be the more surely broken in the casting down.) A great condition is exposed to great crosses and misfortunes; but rags and a mean fortune can have but small ones. However, it is certain that greatness of state is but a great vanity; and high fortune is nothing but danger, trouble▪ and tempta­tion. I would rather chuse a mediocrity then the highest condition: There I am high enough where I can best stand upright, and where my fall can be lest miserable & dangerous.

Fata si liceat mihi
Fingere anbitrio meo,
Temperem Zephyro levi
Vela, ne pressae gravi
Spiritu autennae tremant. &c.
Sen. Oed. Act. 4.

XLI.

IT is storyed of Primislaus first King of Bohemia that being rais'd from a very mean birth to that top of dignity, he always kept his country shoes by him to minde him from whence he took his rise to that advancement, and prevent pride and insolence. And we know Agathocles would always have his table furnished with earthen vessels in memory of his being raised from a Potter to be King of Sicily. Methinks every man carry's that about with him that might temper and allay his pride and vanity [Page 128] were his advancement never so high, either in external things, honour, and riches, or internal endowments gifts and accomplishments of minde; were he no stranger to that great and necessary work of selfreflection: For let him con­sider his Extraction, his soule was drawn out of nothing, and his body formed out of the slime of the ground, a clod of earth kneaded into humane shape: If he would think on his relations, corruption is his Father, and the worm his mo­ther and sister (J [...]b. 17. 14.) Surely that mā must needs for­get his rise, and alliances, that entertain's pride and vain glo­ry; and he need only study and minde himself to learn to be humble.

XLII.

IT hath been a matter of no small debate where Paradise was situated; some placing it beyond an immense Ocean, others by an extravagant fancy have made a room for it near the Moon's Orbe, some in the third region of the aire, others have set it under the Aequi­noctial, most in or about Me­sopotamia: But the enquiry is as fruitless as it is curious; and the certainest determination we have of it, is that which pla­ceth it in Terra incognita, I mean out of the Sphear of our knowledge. All the Paradise [Page 130] that now the Scripture speak's of is that third heaven into which S. Paul was rapt. I will not employ my self to seek where that Paradise was which we lost, while I know where that is which I must busy my self to seek. Our sin set the guard of the Cherubins and flaming Sword at the entrance of that, and hath since spoiled and defaced it's glory; our Sa­viour hath opened a free pas­sage to this, and hath prepared it for a reenstatement of us in happiness; and this which our second Adam hath purchased doth in as great a portion sur­pass that which the first Adam lost, as the highest heavens do excel the beautifullest and ri­chest earth: For that Paradise [Page 131] was but as a transient repre­sentation and type shadowing forth the much more excee­ding and abiding glory of this our heaven.

XLIII.

IT is observable in what man­ner the contention between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's is related Gen. 13. 7. and there was a strife between Abraham's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot's cattel (and immediately follow's in a strange seeming dependance at first blush) and the Cananite and Perezite dwel­led in the land: Which surely the Spirit of God inserted as no [Page 132] small aggravation of the unsea­sonableness of the strife, that they should fall out and quar­rel while the Heathens lived so near them and were looking on, and so expose their Religi­on to contempt and reproach. How great an aggravation have our dissentions and diffe­rences receiv'd from the neigh­bourhood of those that are Ad­versary's to the Truth who have delighted themselves to look on, and see our scuffles, and have clap'd their hands at the sport, saying Aha, so would we have it▪ from hence also taking occasion to reproach and vilify our Religion. As S. Paul say's of speaking with several tongues, 1 Cor. 14. 23. would not he that come's in say you are mad? So when those [Page 133] that are without hear of so many dissensions and brawles such jangling opinions among us, will they not think us mad? They will not easily be induced to believe there is a Church or Temple of God building, where there is such a noise and clatter of knocking of hammers & iron instruments. Surely Sion can as ill be built with discord of Hearts as Babel could with dis­cord of tongues. God is not wont to be in the whirlewind of dis­sensions and uproars but in the still voice: And that Heavenly Dove the H. Ghost, like the Halcyon build's his nest only in a calme. Though the garment of the King's daughter the Church be of divers colours, though there be variety of gifts, yet it [Page 134] should be like Christ's garment without seam; in veste varietas sit, scissura non sit. Lines the nea­rer they approach to the Cen­ter the nearer they come to one another, and those are at grea­test distance from God who are furthest off from one another in uncharitable differences.

But have the Canaanite and the Perezzite been meerly loo­kers on, or have they not had an other interest in the strife, by strong and secret influences causing and fomenting diffe­rences and contentions, and kindling sparks into a flame? Surely the hand of Joab hath been in all this matter: To this sower of tares we are in great part to impute the stirres and disturbances which new Di­sciplines, [Page 135] new Doctrines, Sects and Schismes have raised among us: Who hath been diligent in improving that rule in the Machiavelian Politicks, Divide & impera, making divisions & disuniting that he may bring the broken parties more easily under his own Mastery.

Let the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength and Redeemer. Ps. 19.

READER,
THat the remaining pages might not be left vacant and naked, I have inserted a Poeme, which I in­treat thee to receive with the same Candour, with which I desire thou wouldst accept the rest.

THE SOVLS VALEDI­CTION TO THE WORLD.

[...], I desire to be dissolved,’Phil. 1▪ 2 3.
COme Death, and antedate thy blow;
Why are thy Charriot wheels so slow?
Is Time grown slugge? or hast no dart
To smite through such a willing heart?
Oh! that some kind and wish'd disease
Would hast my unexpir'd release;
[Page] That Agues shakings, Cholick's wind
And Dropsy's water were combin'd
To make this claiey Cotte to fall,
And storme its too well temper'd Wall;
Or that a Feaver's Fire would burn
And turn't to ashes for my Urn▪
What's Life? a span of nought but trouble,
Lesse, like its Hierogliphick Bubble,
In frailty then in emptinesse;
Its reall Ills have no redresse
But by the shadows of false Joies:
Its Good's exceeded by alloyes
Of much more numerous misery:
Nor doth 't in Aequinoctiall lye
Of night of Griefe and day of Pleasure;
It drinks in Sorrow in large measure,
But tastes of Joy; it gleanes of this,
Of that its fertile Harvest is.
Now Hope deceives, then double Doubt
And baser fear do justle'tout:
Now griefs disturb, and cares divide,
Now passions blind, and errors guide.
Had my life by Methus'lems fate
Ten Ages thrown into one date,
My sorrows would renew, till death,
As oft as I renew my breath.
[Page] I'me weary of the World, and can
Not rellish more its husks and bran.
How dath this grand Impostor cheat
Blind mortals, giving stones for meat,
Scorpions in lieu of fish, and Aire
In stead of food, Chamaeleo'ns fare!
How doth she trash obtrude for treasure,
For true delight counterfeit pleasure!
She makes her bastard bullion price
To barter for rich Merchandise,
(As foolish Indians are deceiv'd
For Beads to be of Gold berev'd.)
Goe, rifle her Exchange, and there
Thou'lt find but toies and trifling ware:
Ransack her Chequer, and thou It see
Drosse and adulterate coines there be.
The temptingst fruit sowr rellish leaves,
And at the rotten Core deceives:
The fairest Apples thou canst cull
Vanish to cinders if thou pull.
Every grain of Gold hath Clay
Mixt with't, and pounds of base allay.
What poison and what mortall Ills
Men swallow under guilded Pils!
Vaine pleasures do but so content
Our feaverish minds, as to torment
[Page] The more, improving hot desire
To a more fervent ravenous fire;
As waters in a Hectique please
Greedily swallow'd with false ease,
But the deceit of that relief
Is follow'd with redoubled grief.
Blith mirth, and unctuous delights,
Daies spent in jollity▪ and nights
In downy soft reposes be
Sirenian baites, and vanity
That fair and slattering Glosse doth borrow;
Specious and complementall sorrow.
When will my thread of life be spun!
Time shake thy Glasse, thy sands don't run;
The wings of Hours unpinion'd are
Else sure they'de move more swift by far.
Oh that I might find heavens eares
Not proof to th' Rhetorick of my tears:
That 't would no longer me deny
The easie priviledge to dye!
A thousand drags and nets are cast,
And Stratagems and Engines plac't,
To circumvent poor mortals way,
Who, had Hell no Arts to betray,
No sleights or force, too pronely do
By inward promptnesse Death pursue.
[Page] What treachery, what traps and snares
The world hides in her smiles or teares!
Do charming looks smooth up her face?
She would but kill by an Embrace:
Or if the Crocodile do weep,
Purpose of death she still doth keep.
How oft by kind and fond addresse,
By glosing words and fair caresse,
Hath she attempted me, and I
Alas! too often did comply:
My easie soul too oft did yield
Her soveraign conquering look the field:
But soon I found that I was led
By fair speech to a Bankrupt bed.
Her strong Protests of pleasures great
Rais'd hopes but to a sad defeat.
The Honey (I remember't well)
Had in't a tast of Death and Hell;
And every traiterous kisse bred smart,
Masking a sword aim'd at the Heart.
All her sweets had bitter closes,
Thousands of thornes did guard her Roses.
Her Gemmes were flaring glasse I found,
When viewd in a full light all round.
Oh that my Leases date were here
Determin'd, and that slight debt were
[Page] To Nature paid! this Tenement's woe
My inmate soul would fain forgoe,
Tis a small boon, an easie suit,
No great Almes; Oh that heaven would do'it
Alas! how I'me divided here
Amphibious 'twixt hope and feare!
Now hopes do raise, and Joies tide in;
Then fears deject, and griefs begin.
Now faith absolves, and love inflames,
Then guilt condemns, and folly shames.
Now heaven shines, and clear light guides;
Then errors darken, doubt divides.
Alas! my actions all are stain'd
By flesh, and every word profan'd
By sinfull and corrupted breath,
And every thought doth merit death.
How oft my lab'ring Mind would dart
Desires to heaven from my heart,
But heavy clogs do dragge it back.
And make its strong endeavours slack.
Oft have I spread my ready wing
(As Larkes when going to soar and sing)
And thought to mount a pitch as fair
As ever towring Hawk i'th' aire;
But flesh's leash and tiresome weight
Did check and soon restrain my flight.
[Page] How wavering and unconstant is
My heart: how apt to leave its blisse
In wild persuits! how apt to change!
How often doth the vagabond range!
Maugre the fetters and the tyes
Of all my vowes, my watchfull eyes,
The discipline of my strict care,
Tis often gone ere I'me aware.
At the bright flame of golden Trash,
At Honour's every glittering flash,
At Pleasure's wanton fires, my mind
Too ready to dissolve I find;
And melting like to easie wax,
To break resolves as threads of flax.
These Ills that are upon my breath
Entail'd, nought can cut off but Death;
Oh that 'twould charitably smite
This breast that ope's so fair a white!
Would the salt humour of mine eies
(Like Aquafortis) break the tyes
And chaines that shackle me, I'de vye
Flouds with the boundlesse Sea, and dye.
Oh! might I have so full a fight
Of Heaven as by strong rapture might
Oppresse my weak mortality,
And stretch my heart stringes, till that I
[Page] Do feel them break a passage free
For my glad soul unlinkd to flee
On flaming charriot of Desire!
Oh! I'de rejoyce thus to expire,
And in these beames my Death to find,
To cinders Phoenix like calcind.
Or that by large and lavish grief
While woing heaven for deaths reliefe
In silent tears (tears without noise
Are louder languag'd then a voice)
My heart might quite dissolve and melt,
Till in the swelling streame I felt
My soule to make its vent, and fly
Wasted to Heaven in one great Sigh.
FINIS.

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