[Page] A Christian Legacy; Consisting of two Parts:

  • I. A Preparation for Death.
  • II. A Consolation a­gainst Death.

Nullum sacrificium est Deo ma­gis acceptum quam Zelus Animarum. Greg. Mag.

1 Cor. 10. 17, 18.

He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord; for not he that com­mendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

By EDWARD HYDE, Dr. of Divinity, and late Rector Re­sident of Brightwell in Berks.

Printed by R. W. for Rich. Davis in Oxon. 1657.

To the Reader.

Christian Reader,

WHen first made a Mem­ber of Christ, (though it were at the very en­trance of your life) you did then receive your summons for death; for you were ba­ptized into the death of Christ, buried with him by baptism into death, Rom. 6. 3, 4. And that same Baptism, as it still gives you a Rejoycing in Christ Jesus our Lord; so it bids you, by That rejoycing to die daily, 1 Cor. 15. 31. And indeed you are not fit to live, till you [Page] are prepared to die. You are not tru­ly fit to live, unless you live to God; and if you live unto him, you can­not be unprepared to die unto him. The Man lives to himself, and dies, as he lives, to his own corruption; but the Christian lives to his Saviour, and accordingly dies to his glorious Re­surrection; For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord; And whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lords, Rom. 14. 7, 8. It is a great priviledge to live to Christ; but a far greater priviledge to die to him. By living to Christ you get the victory over your enemies, and the terrours of their insolency; but by dying to him, you get the victory over your self, and the terrours of your own conscience: By living to Christ you get the conquest over life; but by dying to him, you get the conquest over death: Neither shall the world [Page] be able to make you live unquietly; nor the Devil be able to make you die uncomfortably. So that if you do not want the preparation for death, you cannot want the consolation a­gainst death: And in this respect it were much to be wished, That all the Lords people were Prophets, or if they had rather, Preachers, to reason with themselves, as S. Paul reasoned with Faelix, of Righteousness, Temperance, & Judgement to come, Act. 24. 25. That all their Trembling or Quaking, might begin and end here, and none remain till hereafter: The reasoning about Righteousness, how it would confound our misdemeanours against our Bre­thren? The reasoning about Tempe­rance, how it would confound our misdemeanours against our selves? The reasoning about Judgement to come, how it would confound our misdemeanours, or rather outrages against our God? All these would be speedily confounded by such kind of [Page] reasonings, though all have been such as have affrighted Earth, and amazed Heaven. And truly much better were it, that our reasonings should confound our misdemeanours, then that our misdemeanours should con­found us; and make us even ashamed, with Josephs Brethren, to see the face of our own Brother in this world, and much more afraid, with Israels enemies, to see the face of God our Father, in the world to come. However, whether we will thus turn preachers or not unto our selves, yet it is not to be denyed but there are some men who are bound to preach, not only to themselves, but also to others; according to that charge committed to them, and that trust reposed in them, Luk. 22. 32. Et tu conversus, confirma Fratres: And when thou art converted, strengthen thy Brethren; For that Minister is not truly thankful to God for his own conversion and confirmation, who [Page] makes it not his chiefest business to convert and to confirm others.

Knowing therefore the terrour of th [...] Lord, we perswade men, 2 Cor. 5. 11$ They that most know the terrour o [...] the Lord, ought most to perswad [...] men, to be ready to appear before him that they may not be terrified at hi [...] appearing; and they most know tha [...] terrour, who most know it not only Rationally or Doctrinally by their st [...] ­dies, and contemplations, but als [...] Experimentally or Practically, by the [...] summons, and by their sufferings: Fo [...] as sickness is a summons unto death, [...] is suffering an experimental dying [...] Those therefore who have most fe [...] either sickness or suffering, have (in a [...] probability) most known the terrou [...] of the Lord, and they ought most [...] perswade men; Under the notion [...] sickness, the Author of this small Tre [...] tise may own to know the terrours o [...] the Lord; for he looks on himself [...] one newly come from the dead, an [...] [Page] yet still going to the dead; and there­fore the fitter to put others in mind of dying: nor is he troubled that his writing is so full of weakness and in­firmity, which is the Indisposition of his body, if it may be thought full of conscience and empty of curiosity, which is or should be the Disposition of his soul; For it is proper for a sick mans hand to sympathize more with his heart then with his head, and to de­light rather in lineaments of reality, then of phansie: Wherefore you may here expect such a hand-writing as ap­peared to Belshazar, Dan. 5. which sets down nothing but Numbering, and Weighing, and Dividing; Numbering of your daies, Weighing of your sins, and Dividing of your self. This is like to be the main subject of the first part of the Legacy, which is to be the preparation for death; after these (God enabling) shall follow several com­forts and consolations, 1. Against sick­ness, which numbereth your daies.

[Page] 2. Against Judgement, which wil [...] number your sins. 3. Against Death which will divide your soul from you [...] body, and bring it to Judgement: And these are intended for the second part of the Legacie, as the Consolation a­gainst death: God make both these a [...] they are intended, to him that write [...] them, and to those that shall rea [...] them. So prayeth,

Yours in our common Saviour [...]

E. H.

Errata.

PAg. 4. l. 6. stud [...]es, r. studie; p. 10. l. ult. man, r. for man; p. 73. l. 21. Scil. Bonam, r. sa [...] Bonav. (sc. Bonaventur) p. 128. l. 12. cuie, r. cur [...] p. 190. l. 24. to him, r. to have; p. 231. l. 13. 20. now here, r. no where; p. 345. l. 18. but most [...] worthy, r. but more unworthy; p. 364. l. 13. T [...] Common-Law, r. The Canon-Law.

The Preparation for Death; consisting of Three Chapters, Mene, Tekel, Peres;

  • Mene, or Numbring of your Daies.
  • Tekel, or Weighing of your Sins.
  • Peres, or Dividing of your Person.

CHAP. I. Mene, or Numbring of your Dayes.

Consisting of four Sections;

  • 1. Of mans Mortality and Immortality.
  • 2. Of the Knowledge of mans mortality.
  • 3. Of mans Vanity, and the Know­ledge thereof.
  • 4. Of the Difficulty, Necessity and Ex­cellency of that knowledge.

SECT. I. Of Mans Mortality and Immortality.

MANS Life is but a Race of mortality, and is then only well Run, when it comes to a blessed End. Others may run Faster, but he makes the best Speed, that first gets to Heaven: So run [Page 2] that ye may obtain, 2 Cor. 9. 24. Now a Blessed Immortality may be obtained two waies. 1. In Affection, 2. In Fruition; This latter is to be expected at Gods leisure, but the former cannot be too soon obtain­ed; The very first step of Mortality should thus tend towards Immortality; For as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his Death, Rom. 6. 3. when we were yet scarce entred into our own Life, we were Baptized into his Death: which shews, that in truth we were not so much born to live, as we were born to die; Well the man may think him­self born to live, but sure the Christian (that is baptized into the Death of Christ,) must know that he was born again, only to die. For thus we all brought a body of death with us into the world, Rom. 7. 24. as well as a breath of life, Gen. 2. 7. And must therefore learn to dye in the beginning, as well as in the end of our daies: Saint John saith of himself, And when I saw him, (that is Christ,) I fell at his feet as dead, Rev. 1 17. So is it with us, when we truly see Christ, we sall down at his feet as dead, and yet do not lose our Station, but only mend it; For whereas before we stood in our selves by thus falling we stand in our Saviour. [Page 3] No Christian is a loser by being dead with Christ, no more then Christ was a loser by his own death: For indeed, death is the on­ly way for them both, to a Joyful Resur­rection: I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Rev. 1. 18. The Death was but for a short time, but the Life is for evermore; This is such a Funeral as ought to be kept without Mourning, and is better solemnized with Joy and Triumph, then with Sorrow and Lamentation. For this Mortal must put on Immortality here on Earth, or it will not be fit to put it on hereafter in Heaven; This Mortal must put on Immortality, be­fore it put off it self; Immortality in Af­fection, or it will never put on Immortality in Fruition.

SECT. II. Of the Knowledge of mans Mortality.

THE Knowledge of Mortality is more then a Science, it is also a Sapience; O that they were Wise, that they understood This, that they would consider their latter end, Deut. 32. 29. Here is Sapience and [Page 4] Science Joyned both together: Sapience is a knowledge of Principles, Science is a know­ledge of Conclusions; This knowledge of Mortality is Both; Teaching a man to joyn his last Ending to his first Beginning. The se­rious studies of Mortality, will make a man in His Moment to imitate God in his Eter­nity. It will make us Alpha and Omega in our Nothing, as God is, in his All. So to think of our First, as to think of our Last. For this is for a man to consider his latter End: To know the greatness of Mortality he is under, from within him, from without him, from above him, from below him: from within him, by the contradiction o [...] his nature, those irreconcilable contrarie­tics in his constitution; From without him by the Contentions an [...] Violences of wicked men, his irreconcil [...]ble Enemies; who a [...] wicked men, have their feet swift to sh [...] blood; and as Enemies, will yet make the [...] swifter to shed his blood; and as irreconcilea­ble Enemies, will not give over that swif [...] ­ness, till they have shed it: From abo [...] him, The God of heaven calling for hi [...] Breath, which he did but lend him for t [...] Run his Race: From below him, The D [...] ­vils of Hell sorry to see him Running t [...] wards Heaven if he be Tending thither, an [...] [Page 5] so desirous to interrupt his course, or glad of his running towards Hell, if his Race tend that way, and so willing to Precipi­tate and Hasten him thither.

This consideration of Mortality is ful­ly expressed by the Psalmist, as it ought to be Practised by us, Psal. 39. 5. Lord let me know mine end, and the Number of my Daies: so the Septuagint, The Number of my Daies: you cannot know a Number with­out Joyning the First and the Last unites both together. So is it also in knowing the Number of your Daies, you must take in your last day, or you cannot have your full Number: Omnem crede Diem tibi di­luxisse supremum: But the Hebrew saith, The measure of my Daies, now a measure is in continued quantity, but Number is in discrete quantity. It seems it is not yet fully Resolved in the Text, by what quan­tity the length of mans life is to be taken, whether by Magnitude or by Multitude; For if it be taken by Magnitude, it is so small a measure that it may seem almost indivisible, but a span long; And yet even so, it is rather taken by Multitude; for, what is a span but a Multitude in Magnitude, the space betwixt the thumb and the little fin­ger, when they are severally extended to [Page 6] make one measure? And therefore the Septuagint saith, Behold thou hast made my daies old: Such as are already past and gone; For whiles tis yet passing over, it is no day, you have but only the present mi­nute of it; when you have the whole day, you have nothing left, it is gone before you can have it: So is your life, it is but a mi­nute whiles you have it, and if it be more, you have it not: It is gone before it comes to be more, or can be more in your Ac­count. And therefore in this case of Num­bring our Daies, we must fetch our Arith­metick from Heaven; no Artist on Earth can teach it us, but only the Spirit of God; so teach us to number our daies, Psal. 90. v. 12. A very Unquoth Arithmetick, to number that which is not; To number daies whiles they are yet Passing, which cannot properly be numbred till they are Past: And yet without this Arithmetick there is no applying the Heart unto wisdom: Diu Fuit, non Diu Vixit, He had a long Continuance, but he had a short Life, is true of every one that Numbers not his Daies till they be spent. Here must be Numerus Nume­rans, before Numerus Numeratus; The Number Numbring, before the Number Numbred.

[Page 7] God Numbreth the stars, and calleth them all by their Names: Yet the stars first Are, before they are Numbred. But man Numbreth his Daies before they Are: The Number is before the thing Num­bred. He Numbers not what is past, that he may prolong, but what is to come, that he may Redeem his time: And it neerly concerneth him so to do, for his Daies are like a shadow that declineth, Psal. 102. 11. The shadow when it is declining waxeth longest, for the Sun is setting: but then pre­sently it waxeth nothing, for the Sun is set. So is the life of man, as a shadow, (nay as the dream of a shadow,) it never seemeth long, till it is declining: and then, in a short time it is nothing at all: where­fore it is all one for a man to measure his shadow, and to measure his life, Both then be­ing of shortest continuance, when of longest ex­tension: which made the Psalmist desire a­bove all things to know his frailty, Ps. 39. 4. That I may know how Frail I am: or accord­ing to the Hebrew, of what Time or Age I am; which is thus glossed by Aben Ezra, How long I shall stand among the Inhabitants of the Age. Not one word of the gloss, but reads a large Lecture of Humane Frailty; How long I shall stand: To wit, thus totter­ing [Page 8] and shaking, ready every minute to fall and tumble into my Grave: Among the In­habitants, such as are to be turned out of doors at the pleasure of their Land-lord; Of the Age, which is alwaies going away, and to be known only by its succession, not by its continuance: This is the true way to keep me from being one of those who are called Viri de Tempore, or Homines Seculi, Psal. 17. 14. Men of the Age, or men of the Times; even to think mine own life in this to be like time, that it is of no consisten­cy, to be measured only by its succession, not by its continuance. Every man is Vir Seculi, a man of the times in his condition; but it is only the wicked worldling is so in his conversation. Dupliciter Aliquis est in seculo, per corporalem Praesentiam, per mentis Affectum, (saith Aquinas) A man may be said to be of this world in two Re­spects, either for the presence of his Body, or for the Affection of his soul: All men alike are of the world in the first Respect, but only wicked and ungodly men in the se­cond: For he that knows himself a son of Eternity, will scorn to make himself a slave of time. Shall my soul submit to my bodies Vanity, because my body is made capable of my souls Eternity? Oh no; Ra­ther [Page 9] let Eternity pass from the soul to the body, then Vanity pass from the body to the soul; That was taken from the Earth, the proper place of changes and chances, but This came from Heaven, where is neither chance nor shadow of change: For if I would have God Remember my Time, I must remember his Eternity: Remember how short my time is, Psal. 89. 47. Remem­ber how I am as the Age or Time, (so the Hebr.) That is, alwaies passing away: The Chaldee Paraphrase thus: Remember that I am created or made of dust: There's the cause of this Fluxus in corpore, of the Secu­lum or Age within us, whereby our bodies are alwaies in motion, never at rest: For like as Saint Augustine ingenuously confes­sed time from the first instant of the creati­on, yet because he could not place any succession in the Heavens, before they were distinguished and had an orderly motion, he placed it in the Angels, saying, There was successio in mente Angelicâ: succession in the mind of the Angels. So may we say, were there no Time, no Age without us, There would be Time and Age within us: For there would be motion in the bodies of men; and wherever there is motion, there must be also Time to number the parts of that mo­tion. [Page 10] There is therefore time within us, because of the continued motion of our bodies, that tends to the Rest in the Grave, the dust naturally returning thither from whence it came; In so much that Gabriel is not afraid to say, Christus si non fuisset Passus, stante miraculo fuisset senio mortu­us, (Bid. in 3. sent. dist. 16.) That if Christ had not been put to Death by the Jews, yet he would have dyed at last meerly of Age, unless you will suppose him kept alive by mi­racle. But sure we are, This is true of all mankinde else, whether it were true of Christ or not. Every man making what haste he can, to be Resolved into his first dust, so that he needs no enemy to destroy him, having a civil war in his own body, till he hath destroyed himself.

SECT. III. Of mans vanity, and the knowledge thereof.

IT is Good for every man to call to mind the Vanity of his condition, that he may be the more careful not to admit Vanity either into his Affection or into his Action: or man is subject to a Threefold Vanity. [Page 11] One in his Condition, Another in his Af­fection, a Third in his Action; his Conditi­on is Vain, in that it is unsatisfactory; his Affection is Vain, in that it is unlimited; his Action is Vain, in that it is unrighteous: This made the Preacher say, Vanitas Vani­tatum, & omnia Vanitas; Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity, Eccles. 1. 2. Solomon said this as a Preacher of Repentance unto himself, & his saying is Registred, that he might also be a Preacher of Repentance unto us. Nay indeed in this respect should every man be a Preacher unto himself, for it is [...] in the Foeminine Gender, to shew that [...] Nephesh is to be understood Anima pre­dicans, and we may thus translate the Text, Vanity of Vanities, and all is Vanity, saith the preaching soul. Kimchy in his Roots thus expounds [...] Hebel Vanity, Res quae non est quicquam, A thing which is nothing; and he there tells us that the Jew­ish Doctors did so call the Breath that cometh out of mans mouth, for that it is such a thing as presently ceaseth, and cometh to nothing. But in his Com­mentaries upon this place, be saith, Vanity is that which hath no subsistence; no stabili­ty, and will not endure the Touch, as if you touch a Bubble it is gone; wherefore the [Page 12] Ancient Latines properly called man, Bul [...] lam, a Bubble, That is Vanity, in Kim­chies Gloss; And Aben Ezra goes further saying thus, That All things are called Va­nity, even those which seem most firmly Root­ed, and to have the surest subsistence: Ho [...] ­much more the Actions of men which are b [...] meer Accidents, and the thoughts of m [...] which are but Accidents of Accidents?

And it is much to be observed, Tha [...] what the Son here speaketh of all things i [...] general, The Father before him had spo­ken of man only in particular, Psal. 39. 6 [...] Certe omnis Vanitas omnis Homo consiste [...] Surely every man in his best consistency is a [...] Vanity. That is, in his Sons Language, Vanity of Vanities. And again ver. 7. Certe in Imagine seu simulachro ambula [...] homo: Surely man walketh in a vain Imag [...] or shew: His best works are more for Ap­pearance then for Subsistence. Virtue is more looked after, in its Appearance then in its Existence, Secundum Apparentiam magis quam Secundum Existentiam; A Distinction ingenuously delivered by A­quinas, but shamefully Justified by us, who had rather walk in Shew, then in Substance, in Vanity then in Reality: But yet the Psalmist speaks more plainly, Psal. 62. 9. [Page 13] Surely men of low degree are Vanity, and men of high degree are a Lye: to be laid in the Ballance they are altogether lighter then Vanity: Where it is evident, that if Man were put in one Scale, and Vanity in the other, Man would be found lighter then Vanity it self. O my God, weigh not my best Righteousness in the Ballance of thy Sanctuary, without putting my Sa­viours merits into the Scale; For if I be lighter then Vanity, How can I hold weight with a blessed Eternity? The Jews observe that the Father spake one thing concerning mankinde, which he left to his Son to explain after him, and that was this, Psal. 144. 4. Man is like to Vanity; for he tells us not to what Vanity, whether the greater or the lesser; but his Son comes after and explains him, saying, that he is like to that Vanity which is most Vain of all others, Similis Vanitati Vanissimae; like to that Vanity which is Vanity of Vani­ties. Again, the Son spake one thing of man-kinde, which is best explained by the Father; to wit, that of Eccles. 6. 12. All the daies of his Vain life, which he spendeth as a shadow; For, he telleth not what sha­dow; but here the Father explaineth the Son, saying, A shadow that passeth away, [Page 14] Psal. 144. 4. His daies are as a shadow that passeth away. Both Father and Son agree in this, that man is Vanity in the highest degree, so that no words are able sufficient­ly to express it, and no Heart able suffici­ently to conceive it. He lives in the shadow of Life, and that shadow of Life is quickly and easily changed into the Darkness of Death; In the midst of Life he is in Death, and had need take care lest in the midst of Death, he be in Hell: In the midst of Life he is in Death through the Vanity of his Condition, and had need be the more care­full, lest in the midst of Death he be in Hell, through the Vanity of his Affecti­ons and of his Actions; For it is a most terri­ble expostulation, which remains upon the File, against all men whatsoever, whiles they shall remain in their own Va­nities, Jer. 2. 5. Thus saith the Lord, What Iniquity have your Fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after Vanity and are become Vain? This walking after Vanity, as it is the great Sin, so it should be the great Vexation of our souls: not only that it makes us be­come vain, but also that it casteth an Aspersion of Iniquity upon our God: ac­cording as Saint Basil hath spoken most di­vinely [Page 15] in his Sermon concerning the love of God and our Neighbour; The Devil will at the last day object it as matter of Re­proach against our Lord and Saviour, that we have Despised and Disobeyed him; and will very much Boast that he neither created us nor dyed for us, and yet that we have been his diligent followers in the breach and con­tempt of Gods Commandments: And this Reproach (saith he) against my Lord, is more dreadful to me then the Torments of hell, that I should give the enemy of the Lord occasion to Blaspheme him, who Dyed for my sins, and rose again to make me Righ­teous.

SECT. IV. Of the Difficulty, Necessity and Excel­lency of this knowledge of Mortality.

IT neerly concerns man to know Vanity, That he may know himself, and much more that he may desire to know his Saviour; And therefore it is no won­der that this knowledge is invested with very great Difficulty: For our Mortal having put on Sin, cares not to put off it [Page 16] self: David had been long pursued, and was like to be cut off every moment by his rebell Subject and ungracious Son, before he learned this Prayer, Lord let me know mine end: And though when he heard of Absoloms death, he said, Would God I had dyed for thee, O Absolom my son, my son, yet he did not thereby so truly shew a desire of his own Death, as a Horror for his sons Damnation: He knew that a wilful Rebel dying in his Rebellion, was not to be punished only with one death, but was to undergo a second death. The like is to be said of dying in any other wilful sin whatsoever, unrepented; And therefore it is not possible for any man to desire God to part his Soul from his Body that he may Die, till he hath parted Sin from his soul, that he may not be afraid of the second death; for he cannot but say Leave not my soul destitute, or naked and bare, Psal. 141. 8. But let it still be clothed with my Flesh, and its Insirmity, till thou shalt be plea­sed to cloath it with my Saviour and his Righteousness: For better is it for me to Live in misery, then to dye in it: Better for me to live in the Infirmities of my Body, then to dye in the Iniquities of my Soul: Hence proceeds the great Difficulty of [Page 17] learning this lesson, because our own fear makes us unwilling to learn it: But this same knowledge, as it is opposed by great Difficulty, so it is extorted by a far great­er necessity: for our Mortal must put off both its sin and itself; nay must therefore put off its self, that it may put off its sin: Excellently Theodoret, and most like a Christian Divine, in his Questions upon Ge­nesis saith, God would not suffer Adam to eat of the tree of life after he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, that he might not suffer sin to be Eternal. Therefore death is to us a Reme­dy, not a Punishment; it is a Medicine to cure us of our sins, rather then a Judgement to corment us for them. Our Flesh is not so neer our Body, as our Sin is neer our Flesh; and therefore God hath in mercy appointed us to put off our Flesh, that with it we might put off our Sin. Thus is it most necessary for us to know our Mortality, That we may know an end of our sin and misery; and this knowledge as it hath a great necessity, so it hath yet, a greater excellency: For he that knows truly how to put off himself, cannot but also know how to put on his Saviour; And sure there can be no knowledge of like necessity with this, and much less of like excelleny with it: yea doubtless I count all [Page 18] things but loss, for the excellency of th [...] Knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, saith Saint Paul, Phil. 3. 8. And let my sou [...] say so too. For all other knowledge i [...] excellent either from the Object or from the Subject; but this only is excellent from the term or end of it; one knowledge is more excellent then another, either for the ex­actness and perspicuity of the Demonstration (saith Aust. 1. de An. c. 1.) or for the height and sublimity of the notion; either for the certainty of the Subject, or for the excellen­cy of the Object. In the knowledge of earth­ly things, the science hath its excellency from the Perspicuity of the Demonstration; In the knowledge of Heavenly things th [...] science hath its excellence from the Sub­limity of the Notion: Thus far Ari­stotle could go, but no further, That som [...] sciences were more excellent ratione sub­jecti, others ratione objecti; but we must here add a third excellency (unknown in Philosophy, yet undoubted in Christian Di­vinity) ratione termini: For the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord is most excellent of all others, not only from the Object, for that he is the brightness of his fathers glory, and the express image of his person, Heb. 1. 2. And from the Subject, for that h [...] [Page 19] is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, John 1. 9. But also from the Term or end of it: For this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent: Joh. 3. 17. Did they not know their own temporal Death, they would not care to know thy eternal Life; Did they not know the Vanity which themselves have contracted, they would not so heartily desire to know the Glory which thou hast provided; Did they not know themselves, they would not labour to know their Sa­viour; and yet all the world cannot shew us any knowledge like this knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, which thus begins in Majesty, goes on in Perspicuity, and ends in Glory.

CHAP, II. Tekel, or weighing of our selves[?] and of our sins.

SECT. I. Weighing of our selves.

WHiles man is in the st [...] of Nature, as he [...] under the Curse a [...] Dominion, so is he also u [...] ­der the Blindness a [...] Darkness of sin: for he [...] ­ing he doth hear and doth not understa [...] and seeing he doth see and not percei [...] Act. 28. 16. Therefore it is necessary t [...] the soul first weigh her self, before the [...] weigh her sins. Now the soul may [...] weigh her self in her own Ballance, but [...] the Ballance of the Sanctuary; by consid [...] ­ing not what she is in her own, but w [...] [Page 21] she is in Gods account: Quanti pretii est Anima cujus Redemptio est Dei Filius? Of how great price is the soul of man, which could not be Redeemed but by the Son of God? Of how great mischief is sin unto the soul, which doth make it forfeit the benefit of that Redemption? I should not easily debase my soul by sin, if I did but consider seriously, what she is in Gods Account: what she is in the Account of God the Father who created her after his own likeness: what in the account of God the Son, who Redeemed her with his own blood: what she is in the account of God [...]he Holy Ghost, who Sanctifieth her, that [...]he may be sealed to the day of Redemption, Eph. 4. 30. O veneranda Trinitas, O ado­ [...]anda Unitas; per te sumus creati vera Ae­ [...]ernitas; per te sumus redempti; summa tu Charitas. This consideration will bring the soul to know the state of Grace, and then she will never be at Rest till she know her self to be in that state. For if the soul be [...]ot in the state of Grace and Salvation, she must needs be in the state of fin and dam­ [...]ation; A third state of souls is not Reveal­ed, may not be Phansied. Holy Ignatius Determines excellently concerning this [...]oint, in his Epistle to the Magnesians; I [Page 22] say there are two several Stamps and Im­pressions of men: some are of the True some are of the False Stamp; The Godl [...] man is of Gods own stamp, true curran [...] mony; The Ungodly man is of the Devil [...] stamp, a piece of counterfeit and false coin [...] ( [...]) Not that God made two seve­ral sorts of men in the Creation; But tha [...] the Devil hath since got a power over a [...] wicked men by their own Election; so tha [...] the ungodly and unbelievers do now be [...] the Image of the Prince of Darkness. Th [...] Godly and the [...]aithful do bear the Imag [...] of God the father, and of our Lord Jesu [...] Christ. Thus far (in effect,) S. Ignatius, S. P [...] ­ters second Successor in the Bishoprick o [...] Antioch, and had from him learned thi [...] Divinity; who in his first Epistle, firs [...] Chapter, and third ver. Blesseth God for ha­ving begotten us again to a lively hope, there­by teaching, that those can have no live­ly hope whom God hath not begotten again [...] The same is also Saint Pauls Divinity, (fo [...] the spirit of Verity is alwaies the spirit o [...] Unity, speaking indeed by several mouths but still one Truth) who plainly contra­distinguisheth the state of Gentiles and th [...] state of Christians, the state of Nature an [...] [Page 23] the state of Grace, Eph. 4. 13, 17, 18. So that we all either walk as Christians, till we come in the Unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; or we walk as Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding Darkned, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

Nor is it enough for a man to know the state of Christians in General, but he must moreover labour to know his own state to be truly Christian in Particular: according to that of the same Apostle, 2 Cor. 13. 5. Examine your selves whether ye be in the Faith, Prove your own selves; know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be Reprobates? The words import a standing Relation of the soul to God, as he is the giver of Life and Salvation, as if he had said, Examine your selves whether ye be in that Faith, without which it is im­possible to please God: whether ye so come to God, as to believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, Heb. 11. 6. Examine your own selves whether ye be in that faith, by which Christ [Page 24] Jesus dwelleth in you, and you in him. The [...] is no man to be excused from this Exami­nation, from this Self-tryal, much less to b [...] Exempted from it: For the Apostle speak­eth very Passionately concerning it, an [...] we may take this for the meaning of h [...] speech: Have you been so long called [...] the faith of Christ, and do you not yet kn [...] whether ye be truly in that Faith? If you [...] not know it, then examine and prove yo [...] ­selves; If you do know it, then examine a [...] prove your Faith; For you must know th [...] Jesus Christ is in you, or that you are in a m [...] miserable condition, such as is the condition [...] Reprobates, not of good Christians: whereby is evident that every man is bound to kno [...] his own Spiritual state or condition; wh [...] ­ther he be in the state of Sin, or in the sta [...] of Grace; whether he be in the state of S [...] ­vation, or in the state of Damnation; wh [...] ­ther he be in the state of Faith, or in the sta [...] of Infidelity: Nor is this knowledge gott [...] by looking abroad, but by looking at hom [...] not by searching into Gods secrets, but o [...] own; So saith the Apostle, Rom. 10. 6, 7, 8, [...] The Righteousness which is of Faith speak [...] on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who sh [...] ascend into Heaven? (to wit that he m [...] reveal to me from thence Gods will co [...] ­cerning [Page 25] my salvation) for that is to bring Christ down from above (to deny that Christ is already come down from heaven, of purpose to shew us the way up thither) Or who shall descend into the deep? (to wit, to rescue me from the power of death and hell) that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead, (to deny that Christ is risen from the dead, and hath conquered the power of death) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. As if he had said, What needs any man trouble himself about cu­ [...]ious Questions, to know whether he be in [...]he state of Salvation? for thats a thing which he can best know from his own mouth, and from his own heart. If his [...]eart be true to his Saviour by a lively Faith in his death and Resurrection; And if his tongue be true to his heart by a [...]oyful Profession of that Faith; If his Faith [...]e agreeable to the word of Christ, and his [...]fe be agreeable to his Christian faith, ei­ [...]er by his Innocency or by his Repentance; [...]f his Inner man be true to Christ, and his [...]uter man be true to his Inner man; He [Page 26] needs neither Rove in uncertainties, no [...] Dive into Curiosities, nor distract him­self with Perplexities, for he is undoubt­edly in the state of Salvation; The Spiri [...] of God saith to a man in such a condition Thou shalt be saved; Upon these Premise [...] of Faith and Obedience (here specified b [...] Confession) it would be Unlogical, an [...] much more Untheological, to deny th [...] Conclusion, the state of Salvation, Tho [...] shalt be saved. And if you shall yet de­sire to know whether you have a tr [...] Faith or no, I must tell you, that as th [...] life of the Soul is the life of the Body, s [...] Faith is the life of the Soul: For Chri [...] dwelleth in the heart by Faith, Eph. 3. 17. And as life is known to be in the body b [...] its sense and motion, so also is life known t [...] be in the Soul: First, by its sence, for [...] hath a feeling of its own sins and groan [...] under the burden of them; It hath a feel­ing of Christs merits and mercies, and r [...] ­joyceth in the comfort thereof. Second­ly, by its motion: The Affections are the fee [...] by which the soul moveth: Hence tha [...] saying, Anima est, non ubi Animat, sed u [...] Amat, The soul is not where it lives, b [...] where it loves; consequently the soul tha [...] placeth its love in God, hath its life in God [Page 27] Omnia sunt Vita in Deo, quae non vivunt in seipsis, saith the Angelical Dr. most Angeli­cally, All things are life in God, even those things which have no life in themselves. Crea­tures that are dead in themselves, are alive in God: Creatures without life are life in him: Creatures that have life in them­selves, yet in God have a far better life. Thus men in themselves have but a Mo­mentany, a Corruptible, an Indigent, an Inglorious life: But men in God have a life of Eternity, of Incorruption, of Al-suffi­ciency, and full of Glory: wouldst thou then live Eternally, Incorruptibly, Content­edly and gloriously? Go out of thy self, O Devout soul, and live in God: Go out of thy self by thy Affections, which will carry thee from earth to Heaven, from thy self to thy Saviour, and will make thee, whiles thy body is below, mount up on high, Pla­cing thy heart where thy Treasure is, (for Christ alone is the Treasure of Souls, who alone is the Saviour and Lover of Souls) even in Heaven; nay in the highest part of Heaven, at the right Hand of God. This is the Apostles advice, Col. 3. 1, 2. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God: set your Affections on [Page 28] things above, not on things on earth. And we may very well turn this Advice into an Argument, to prove that we are indeed Risen with Christ, because we do seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God: because we do settle our affections on things above, not on things of the earth; but withall we must carefully observe the nature of this proof.

For 1. It is not a Violent, but a Volun­tary motion of the Affection that is her [...] required; the things above are such as w [...] seek with Desire, and find with Delight [...], Quae sursum sunt q [...]aerite, seek those things which are above. No [...] turn Seeker after mens new Phansies, b [...] after Gods old Mercies, Psal. 25. 6. Th [...] Tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses, f [...] they have been ever of old; It is in the He­brew, Quia à seculo ipsae, No Verb at a [...] to signifie any Time, to shew they were b [...] ­fore all time, from everlasting, and sha [...] continue beyond all time, to everlasting. [...] is the consideration of these everlasting me [...] ­cies that maketh the soul to seek after G [...] the father of mercies: Not the Fear of he [...] but the Love of heaven: It is not a Viole [...] but a Voluntary motion. That is the first.

[Page 29] 2. Secondly, Again, It is not the moti­on of one Affection, but of all; for [...], set your affection, is spoken Indifinitely, and therefore, since in a matter necessary, Universally: It is not some affections for God, some for the World; for so had wicked Balaam Num. 23. 10. saying, Let me die the death of the Righteous, And yet he loved the wages of Unrighteousness, 2 Pet. 2. 15. But all the affectious must be for God. For as a man cannot live the life of nature and have his Heart divided, so much less can he live the Life of Grace. Therefore all the Affections; His Affecti­ons are settled Universally. That is the second.

3. Thirdly, This motion of the soul is not without Deliberation and great Judge­ment. For it is grounded upon the con­sideration and belief of Christs Resurrecti­on [If ye then be risen with Christ] The consideration That Christ hath opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers, makes him Believe. The consideration That Christ sitteth on the right Hand of God in the Glory of the Father, maketh him Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right Hand of God: His Judgement goes before his Affection; the [Page 30] word [...], requires no less; He hath seriously computed with himself, and sees there is but one Pearl of great Price unto his Soul, and for that he will sell all that he hath to buy it, Mat. 13. 4. 5. His Affections are settled judiciously on Christ, that's the Third.

4. Fourthly and lastly, This motion of the soul is not without right Order; for it be­gins from a right Principle, and therefore must needs end with a blessed conclusion. He is not moved with the Fear of Gods Majesty, but of His mercy, Psal. 130. 4. But there is forgiveness with thee that thou maist be feared. The Unregenerate fears God for his Vengeance, but the Regenerate fears him for his Forgiveness: He looks not on God as he is in himself, A consuming Fire; but as He is in His Son, a still small voice. God is a still small voice, only in his Enternal Word. In him he wil speak Peace unto his Peo­ple and to his Saints, Psal. 85. 8. But if he speak not in His Son, Then he is a God speak­ing out of the midst of the Fire, Deut. 4. 33. And his Voice is accordingly with Thun­derings and Lightnings, a voice great in Power, and full of Majesty, such as breaketh the Cedars of Lebanon, Psal. 29. and is able to rend our stony Hearts, but by no means to comfort and raise up our dejected Souls. [Page 31] Wherefore the true Believer looks upon God in Christ, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. The right hand of God is terrible in it self, but not now Christ is sitting at it: The Psalmist cals upon God to pluck His right hand out of his Bosom, to consume his Adversaries and his bla­spheming Enemies, Ps. 74. And which of us is not so much Gods enemy as to be spee­dily consumed, Did not the son of God, our blessed Saviour, sit on his Fathers right hand, to keep him from plucking it out of his Bosome to consume us? Or when he plucks it out, to interpose betwixt us and it, That God cannot strike us but through the loins of his only begotten and only beloved son: So secure is that Soul which is in Christ, That it may draw neer with a true Heart in full assurance of Faith, Heb. 10. 22. Even to the right Hand of God: Tis an orderly motion of the Soul, Going to God in Christ, That is the fourth. If your Affections carry your soul to God thus Voluntarily, thus Universally, thus Judiciously, thus Orderly. Tis an invin­cible argument, an undeniable Proof that your soul lives in God, and therefore may comfortably from him expect Everlasting Life; For you may then say with Saint [Page 32] Paul, Gal. 2 20. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; And the life which I now [...]ive in th [...] Flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Many men have measured their Faith by the strength of its perswasion, and have mi­staken Themselves, for they have taken Phancy for Faith: but never was any man mistaken in his Faith, who measured it by the strength of its Affection. This is the surest way to know whether you have a true Faith in Christ, and whether your soul doth truly live in him by that Faith: And if you shall yet further ask, what de­gree of Faith is required to make the soul ascend up unto its Saviour? I must an­swer, it is not the measure or the Degree, but the Sincerity of Faith that maketh it a sa­ving Faith, and placeth the man that hath it, in the state of Salvation: wherein we may see the infinite Goodness of God to­wards the souls of men: For were such or such a degree of Faith required to justi­fie a Sinner, no man could ever have any comfortable Assurance of his Justification; for no man can exactly know the Degree of his own Faith; And he that believes the most stedfastly, had need to say, Lord I be­lieve, [Page 33] Help thou my Unbelief, Mar. 9. 24. He may undertake for the Sincerity, He can­not for the strength or measure of his Faith.

But now since it is the True and Lively Faith that justifies, it is enough that a man only know he doth truly believe, and so rest and rely upon the merits of his Savi­our, for his justification. For this is the Apo­stolical Benediction, Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, Eph. 6. 24. Sincerity, not sufficiency of love is the Touchstone to try the Soul, whether it be in the state of Grace. The Apostle saith not in Abundance, for fear of disturb­ing the Peace of souls, (for who can tell when he loveth the Lord Jesus Christ abun­dantly, considering how often He sins against Him?) But He saith, In since­rity, to establish and confirm the Peace of Souls; For every one that Loveth, know­eth the sincerity of his own love, the Soul being an Infallible judge of its own Act in the Quality, when it may easily be mista­ken in the Quantity. Saint Peters threefold denyal of his Master, had stopped his mouth from Professing the Abundance, but not from Professing the sincerity of his Love; Yea Lord (saith he) Thou know­est that I love Thee: Iohn 21. 15. He [Page 34] knew well the sincerity of his own Love, or He durst not have appealed to the Sear­cher of Hearts to be Judge of that Sinceri­ty, As if he had said, Though I do not know That I love thee sufficiently, yet I do know That I love thee truly and sincere­ly: And thou knowest it too: nor could [...] truly say, Thou knowest that I love thee, if I did not know it my self: O happy man, whose conscience bears him witness, That he Truly Repents, Truly Believes, and Truly Loves. For He can promise to himself not only Admittance to God, but also Acceptance with Him. For if he can say from the bottome of his Heart [...] Lord I repent, He must be comforted i [...] This, That He who came to call sinners to Repentance, Mat. 9. 13. will not re­ject a Sinner that is Repenting: He tha [...] promised to spare a whole Nation for one Converts sake, (Jer. 5. 1. if but one of them did Seek Truth who had formerly de­spised it) will much more spare that soul in which himself hath wrought a true Conver­sion; For he cannot despise the works of his own hands, though he cannot but despise and abandon the works of Ours. Those words then of the man that was born blind, God heareth not sinners, had little [Page 35] reason to Trouble Saint Augustine for fear no mans Prayers should be heard, for that all are sinners, which made him find out this exception rather then exposition, Ver­bum coeci adhuc inuncti, i. e. nondum illumi­nati, & ideò non est Ratum: This was the saying of a blind man before his eyes were ful­ly opened to see, or his heart was illuminated to know the truth, and therefore it holds not: But we need no such exception: for this is one of those common Notions which the Devil and Sin could not blot out of the hearts of men: and therefore we find it in ef­fect avowed by a Heathen Poet, Hom. Il. a. [...], God heareth those that obey him, and consequently heareth not the disobedient and unrighteous, which is all one with this, God heareth not sinners; and this may be verified (saith Aquinas) de Peccatore in quantum est peccator, (22ae. qu. 83. art. 16.) Of sinners as far forth as they are sinners, for so God heareth them not, yet he may and doth hear them as penitents: God heareth not such sinners as are willingly and wilful­ly under the Power and Dominion of sin, such as are habitually sinful, and still remain in the state of sin: For A man may be a sin­ner, yet not be in the state of sin. That notes a [Page 36] Momentany Action, but this a standing Relation, or a setled continuance; status notat Dispositionem cum quadam immobili­tate, (saith Aquinas.) That makes a man unworthy of Gods Favor, but this makes him uncapable of it: So saith the Prophet, What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy Flesh is passed from thee? when thou dost evil then thou rejoycest, Jer. 11. 15. These words shew the state of sin, and the miserable condition of that state; The state of sin is the working of lewdness with many, and rejoycing in that work; neither Reluctancie before it, nor Repen­tance after it; And the miserable condition of that state, is, not to have to do in Gods house, i. e. Not to have any right to the Word & Sacraments; for the Holy Flesh here (saith R. David) is the Flesh of Gods Altar. An Impenitent sinner hath nothing to do with that Holy Flesh; and if he will needs intrude himself to have to do with it, yet it shall not be Holy Flesh to him, he shall have no benefit of its Holiness: Nay to him it shall be in its effect, what it is alrea­dy in his account, an unholy thing, Heb. 10. 29. Impura es ipsa, ac proinde non potes non impurare omnes oblationes tuas, saith Trem. [Page 37] Thou thy self being in the state of impuri­ty, canst not but make all thy offerings im­pure. Thy Prayers will be turned into sin, Psal. 109. 7. And how then can thy sin not be turned into Death? Therefore he that will offer to God an acceptable offer­ing, must first offer himself: For if God accept not the person, he will not ac­cept the offering. The Lord first had re­spect to Abel, then to his offering, Gen. 4. 4. Wherefore it neerly concerns every Christian to forsake all his sins, and to assure himself that he is in the state of Grace and Acceptance with God, for that else he cannot be assured that either his Prayer or his Prayses will be accepted: And how shall we better know the state of Grace, then from his mouth, whose hands, nailed to the Cross, made it? And whose side, Pierced on the Cross, poured it forth to us? And he plainly tells us that our state is either of God, or of the Devil, John 8. 42. If God were your Father you would love me: From whence we may infer, they that do love Christ have God for their Father, and consequently are in a Good, in a Happy state: But v. 4. 4. Ye are of your Father the Devil, and the lusts of your Father ye will do: From whence we may infer, they that [Page 38] will needs do the lusts of the Devil, have the Devil for their father: Not simply they that do the lusts, but they that wilfully do them. The Text it self gives us this Distinction, saying, [...], ye will do them: For there is a great difference betwixt [...] and [...], Facio, and Volo Facere; I do, and I will do. For Saint Paul saith of himself, the evil which I would not, that I do, Rom. 7. 19. and yet proves that he is in the state of Regeneration, notwith­standing his doing it: Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me, v. 21. Sin may dwell in me, but I may not dwell in sin: If I do that evil I would not, it is because sin dwelleth in me: But if I will that evil I do, it is be­cause I dwell in sin, and am one of those of whom it is said, ye are yet in your sins, 1 Cor. 15. 17. He saith not, your sins are in you, but you are in your sins; not, they pos­sessed by you, but you possessed by them: not, they have a being in you, but you have a being in them. This Regiment of Satan doth not come to Quarter with you against your will, but you have made an Invitati­on to them, and Provision for them: they find the house swept and garnished, and look upon it as their own; and so have [Page 39] their Habitation with you, as that they also have Dominion over you. And in this respect doth our blessed Saviour say to the Jews, ye shall dye in your sins, That is, in the Guilt, and under the Bondage of your sins, unless by faith in Christ you get out of that Guilt, out of that Bondage; for so it is said, If ye believe not that 'I am he, ye shall dye in your sins, John 8. 24. To live out of Christ, is to live in sin: and to live in sin, is the way to die in sin: and to die in sin, is to die eternally: For he that dies in sin, is an eternal sinner, and is therefore justly punished with eternal death. Pecca­vit in suo aeterno, saith Saint Greg. He sin­ned in his eternity, and yet his whole life was but a span-long. The reason is, He that sins impenitently, would sin eternally, if he might live eternally. He sins eternally in his Resolution, though not in his Action, and shews whose child he is, by doing the works of his Father, and wilfully doing them, The works of your Father ye will do. A man may do the lusts of the Devil, and yet be the child of God: but he cannot wil­fully do them, and continue in that wilful­ness, but he must be the child of the De­vil: He alone hath Right in him, and he will claim his Right: He will claim him as a [Page 40] Father claims his child. For this is the specifical difference betwixt the Regenerate and the Unregenerate; Both are sinners, but the one sinneth eagerly with desire, and Habi­tually with delight; the other desireth not to sin, and delighteth not in sinning. Though he may sometimes do the work of the Devil, yet it is against his will, for he Desires and delights to do the work of God. And thats the reason our Blessed Saviour hath taught such a man to call God his Father, and he would not have taught him to call God so, were he indeed not so: For truth teacheth no man to tell a lye, much less in his Prayers: wherefore in that we are taught to say Our Father, it is evident that we are bound to be in the state of Regeneration, or we have no right to say our Prayers. For we are not taught to say Our Father in respect of our corporal Creation, (for so God is the Father of the wicked as well as of the Righ­teous) but of our spiritual Regeneration: That God is Our Father by spiritual Ge­neration, for that according to his Abun­dant mercy he hath begotten us again, to lively hope, 1 Pet. 1. 3. For of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, Jam. 1. 18. And if God be Our Father by Spi­ritual [Page 41] Generation, then are we also his sons by Adoption, and can rightly and truly say Our Father, and all the Petitions after it, without giving the Lie to our own Consciences. Whereas a man that is in the state of sin, cannot truly say any one Petition of the Lords most Holy Prayer. He cannot say, Our Father, for he will not be the son of God: He cannot say, Hallowed be thy name, for he delights to profane it: He cannot say, Thy Kingdom come, for he fears nothing more then its coming: He can­not say, Thy Will be done, for he resolves against the doing it: Wherefore if you ask me how shall sinners not yet converted say to God, Our Father: I Answer, if they truly desire to be converted, and to be­come his children, they may say so, as the Prodigal son resolving to arise and go to his Father, though he were not yet come unto him, had a right of calling him Father, Luke 15. 18. For an unfained desire of conversion shews a true convert, God accepting the will for the deed, As work­ing in us to will, no less then to do, of his own good pleasure. And the best man that is, will meet with inextricable Difficulties, if he Ground the Truth of his conversion upon the Ability of his Performance, and [Page 42] not upon the sinceritity of his desire. Saint Bernard tells of a very Religious Monk, who undertaking to say his Pater Noster without the least A vocation or A version of his thoughts from God, (which another professed that he could not obtain to do, by all the fasting and prayer that he had used for many years) convinced and condemned himself by his own mouth, be­fore he had gone over half the petitions, interposing such an Impertinency in his prayer, as plainly shewed that his mind was on earth, whiles his tongue was in heaven. I conclude then, that only those sinners among the sons of men have no right to their Pater Noster, but do hypo­critically and falsly say the Lords prayer, who neither are, nor desire to be the chil­dren of God; who so are sinners, as that they also are in the state of sin, and desire to continue in that state: For how can that man have a right to pray, who before he praies, hath set his heart against his God, and whiles he is praying, doth set his own tongue against his heart?

SECT. II. Weighing of our sins.

EVery man shall bear his own burden, saith the Apostle, Gal. 6. 5. And it will con­ [...]ern every wise man to see he hath no greater burden then he is able to bear. Of all burdens, none is so heavy as sin: [...]or other burdens can only press down to [...]earth, but this presseth also down to hell: Therefore above all other burdens, it is a [...]oint of wisdom to be rid of this burden of [...]in. But how shall we rid our selves of it? Who will take it from us? who will bear it [...]or us? The Psalmist hath told us, Psal. 55. [...]2. saying, Cast thy burden upon the Lord, [...]nd he shall sustain thee. If it be thy wi­ [...]est course to cast upon him the burden of [...]hy Body, then much more the burden of [...]hy soul: Say then to him as Hezekiah did, O Lord I am oppressed, Undertake for me, Isa. 38. 14. Thou didst bear the heavy [...]urden of thy Cross, that thou mightest [...]ear the far heavier burden of my sins; This is the burden that most oppresseth me: this is the burden that I most earnest­ [...]y beseech thee to undertake for me, and to take from me; thou didst admit of one to help thee bear the burden of thy Cross, but [Page 44] of none to help thee bear the burden of my sins; Therefore I can flee to none for hel [...] but to thee alone; Thou only wert able to [...] satisfie the Justice of an angry God, and [...] beseech thee to make me a joyfull Partake [...] of that blessed Satisfaction. One Ange [...] was enough to strengthen thee to bea [...] the burden of the sins of the whole world [...] But all the Angels in Heaven are no [...] enough to strengthen me to bear the bur­den only of mine own sins; therefore I slee [...] unto thee to undertake for me; Be thou my [...] Pledge, my [...], to pawn Lift for Life, soul for soul in my stead, That [...] who have forfeited both life and soul i [...] my self, may Recover them both in my Pledge, in my Undertaker. But I may not hope to be so easily rid of my heavy burden by desiring to lay it upon another shoulders, unless I first lay it on mine ow [...] Heart. For if my Saviour were so ex­ceeding sorrowfull for my sins, it is grea [...] reason I should be sorrowfull for mine own Sins, which alone caused his greate [...] Sorrow: And How can I be sorry for my Sins, till I know the burden of them How can I know their burden till I have weighed Them in the ballance of the San­ctuary? There I shall find, that sin is direct­ly [Page 45] opposite to the Goodness of God, and therefore must needs be as odious to Him, as His own Goodness is amiable to Himself: There I shall find that the wilfull Sinner is a Rebell against the King of Heaven, doth despise the Golden scepter of his mer­cy, and would put him down from the Throne of his Majesty: There I shall find that every Sin Unrepented separates from God; Isa. 59. 2. Your Iniquities have separated betwixt you and your God;) Grieves his Holy Spirit, excludes and expels Grace from the soul, nay excludes and expels the soul from it self, bringing Darkness on the Understanding, Pervers­ness on the Will, Forgetfulness on the Me­mory, Debility and weakness on the Power of Action; So that by Sin the soul is nei­ther rightly Intellective, nor Retentive, nor Affective, nor Active: Most ingeniously the Casuist, Dicat Saluberrimum Peccavi, cujus Singulae literae indices illi esse possunt miseriae in qua constituitur. Let the Sin­ner frequently and Heartily cry Peccavi, the several Letters of which word will put him in mind of His several losses and miseries by His sins; as for example; P Praemiis omnium meritorum privatus: e Egestate oppressus: c Coecitate mentis [Page 46] percussus: c Charitate divina spoliatus [...] a Amaritudine repletus: v Viam perdi [...] ­tionis ingressus: i Iram Dei meritus [...] (Reginaldus de Prudentia in Confessario [...] cap. 5.) Innumerable are the miseries o [...] the impenitent sinner, yet reducible All t [...] these seven Heads: 1. That he loseth th [...] benefit of his former righteousness. 2. Tha [...] he is oppressed with many wants; (an [...] above All with the want of Repentance.) 3. That he is smitten with blindness in hi [...] Understanding. 4. That he is out o [...] Gods Favour. 5. That He is full of bit­terness. 6. That he is in the way of Pe [...] ­dition. 7. That he is under the wrath o [...] God; And the word Peccavi in Latine [...] will put Him in mind of All these [...] and as it will shew him His Disease, so [...] will also Help him to his Cure. For H [...] that truly crieth Peccavi, doth truly fe [...] the burden of his sin; and thereby hath a [...] interest in that gracious invitation, an [...] more gracious Promise made by our ble [...] sed Saviour, Mat. 11. 28. Come unt [...] me all ye that labour and are Heavy-laden (there's the Gracious Invitation) and I wi [...] give you Rest. (There's the more graciou [...] Promise;) Wherefore let me ever b [...] sure, cordially to say Peccavi, I have sin­ned, [Page 47] and let me conceive this to be the meaning of my saying, I have sinned not on­ly ignorantly or negligently out of com­mon Infirmity, but also Impudently against knowledge, Presumptuously against consci­ence, Unthankfully against the means of Grace, Scandalously against the Power of Grace: There have been in my sins the Three great Aggravations of sin, Contempt, Ingratitude, and Scandal: I have sinned with greater Contempt, because God hath revealed himself farther to me then to Others; With greater Unthankfulness, because God hath given me greater light and strength of Grace to resist Sin, then he hath given unto others And with greater Scandal, because I have given occasion unto others of inceasing the number and burden of their sins: For though it is a great Impudence to commit Sin, yet is it a far greater impudence to Conceal or to deny it. By committing sin I do grievously offend: but by con­cealing Sin I do shamefully, (or rather shamelesly) Affront my Maker; In committing sin there is a fowl disagree­ment of mans heart from the Law of God; but in out-facing it, there is yet farther a more horrid disagreement of mans [Page 48] Tongue from his own Heart; O how Great, How Grievous is this Schism, this Division, when a man is divided both from his God and from Himself? from his God by Apostacy, from Himself by Hy­pocrisie: Not to do what is bidden him, thats his Apostacie: To deny what he hath done, thats his Hypocrisie. We read in Jeremy the Prophet, of a People in whose skirts was found the blood of the souls of the Poor Innocents, and yet they boasted of their own Innocency: But shame was the end of their boasting; for so it follows, Behold I will plead with thee, bècause thou saist I have not sinned, Jer. 2. 34, 35. Here were some far from God by commit­ting sin: but further by denying it: con­trariwise, Luke 18. 13. we have gone far indeed from God by sin, but neer him by repentance. Far from God by com­mitting sin, but neer him by confessing it. He stands afar off whiles he saith God be mercifull to me a sinner; but by so saying he presently gets neerer; He would not lift up his eyes, but he did lift up hi [...] heart to Heaven: O the modesty of a true Penitent, who takes the ready course to be Acquitted, and yet acquit [...] every one besides himself! He dares no [...] [Page 49] harden his Forehead, for fear that should harden his Heart: And though he hath made his soul odious in the sight of God by sin, yet he will not make his sin more odious in the sight of God by his Impenitence; For what shall we say of that wicked woman in the Pro­verbs, who committeth her wickedness in secret, and when she cometh forth wipe­ [...]eth her mouth and saith all is well, Prov. 30. 20. What shall we say of her? We must needs say that by wiping her mouth she defiled it: For had she come into Gods presence with a Penitent heart and an humble confession, though her sin had [...]tuck upon her lips, it had not stuck upon [...]er Soul; But now wiping her mouth, [...]nd saying all is well, she hath multiplied [...]er sin, and increased her wretchedness: [...]or whereas before with Unchaste Magdalen she had seven Devils, now she [...]ath eight, and the last Devil is worse then [...]l the rest. A dumb Devil, that Seals up [...]er lips, and permits her not to cry out to [...]e Son of God for mercy: so that in [...]ch a wretch, The end is far worse then [...]e beginning: The beginning is sin, but [...]e end is worse then sin: Can there be [...]y thing worse then sin which is directly [Page 50] opposite to Gods own Goodness? Yes, there can, there is; Impenitency in sin i [...] worse then sin: For whereas sin oppo­seth the Goodness of God, Impenitency defyeth it: By committing sin I do dis­please my maker, but by defending it [...] shall despise him: Wherefore I will ab­hor my self in dust and ashes, not seek t [...] cloke or disguise my wickedness, but ac­knowledge and confess it, saying, Peccavi, I have sinned: I have sinned Impudently Presumptously, Unthankfully, Scanda­lously: but God forbid I should sin Im­penitently: This is the fittest Arraignmen [...] of a sinner at the Bar of Gods justice wherein there needs no witness to accu [...] him, no judge to condemn him: H [...] own conscience is a thousand witnesse [...] and himself his own judge to pronoun [...] the Sentence of Condemnation: So, it w [...] with Job, saying, I have sinned, wh [...] shall I do unto Thee, O thou preserver [...] Men? Job 7. 20. As if he had said, the [...] needs no evidence but mine own for [...] Conviction, Peccavi, I have sinned, I a [...] fully convinced of my sins, and the [...] needs nothing to my Confusion but [...] Conviction, what shall I do unto thee thou Preserver of men? q. d. I am no [...] [Page 51] at my wits end, at the end of my wits, though at the beginning of my Trouble: I have hitherto done I know not what, and now I know not what to do: I have heretofore troubled my conscience, and now my conscience troubles me: Because I have sinned against my Maker and my Preserver, against him in whom I live and move and have my being: I have sinned against thee O thou Preserver of men, and what shall I do, since by my sins I have put my self out of thy Protection and Preservation? What shall I do? but confefs my Sin, with as much sorow, as I committed it with Delight: For I am un­der a grievous guilt, a heavy load, an Unsupportable burden, and give God thanks for placing me in a Church which hath taught me thus to confess my Sins, the remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable: and thus to pray for deliverance and redress, Re­ceive and comfort us who are grieved and wearied with the burden of our sins, much like that Prayer of the greek Church, [...], O Lord raise me up and make me right and straite by [Page 52] the hand of thy saving Help and Mercy, who am now bowed and pressed down to Earth (I had almost said to Hell) with the grievous and deadly burden of my sins: Thou didst lay thy hands upon the woman that had a spirit of Infirmity 18. years, and was bowed so together that she could in no wise lift up her self, and immediate­ly she was made straite, and glorified God, Luke 13. 11, 12. The burden of Ini­quity hath been more years upon me, then the burden of Infirmity had been upon her, and hath not only Bowed, but also Thrown me down, and still keeps me under: Thy Hand O Lord is not shortned that it can­not save, and loose me from the burden of mine iniquity, as it did her from the spirit of her Infirmity: sweet Jesus lay thy mercifull hands on me, that I may be Immediately made straite, as she was, and Glorifie God: For this is a grievous and [...] deadly burden, [...], A grievous, and yet withal, A Fa­tal Burden; A Burden that brings grief with it, and Damnation after it: such is the burden of any wilfull sin whatsoever, till Faith and Repentance have unloaded the conscience. Most divinely Saint Chrysostom: If all my Righteousness be as Filthy rags, [Page 53] Isa. 64. 6. [...], what shall be said of my filthi­ness and of my unrighteousness? Surely if my best righteousness hath the aspersion of sin, then are my sins most exeeeding sinfull: But we all generally herein are like the Pharisees, ready to bind Heavy bur­dens and grievous to be born, and lay them on other mens shoulders, Mat. 23. 4. whereas this is a burden that we should [...]her lay every man on his own Heart: The evil of our neighbours Heart we can­not know, and yet are very desirous to know it, though that knowledge tend di­rectly to our damnation, either for our ma­lice or our Curiosity; The evil of our own hearts we can know, yet care not to know it: though this knowledge immediately conduce to our salvation, either by our Humility or by our Repentance: For that man is worse then Simon Magus, who is in the very gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity, and yet scorns to say to the Suc­cessors of the Apostles, Pray ye unto the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me; Acts 8. 23, 24. For whatsoever God hath spoken in his word against impenitent sinners, he cannot but fear will come upon him, and it is just [Page 54] he should know it will so, that he may not still continue in his Impenitency: Sin doth at first grieve the God without us, ma­ker of Heaven and Earth, but at last it will grieve the God within us, our own Consci­ences; It is at first Vastans Conscientiam, to waste thy Conscience, that from a little conscience thou maist have no conscience: It will be at last Aggravans Conscientiam, to burden thy Conscience, that from no Con­science, thou maist come to all Conscience. It is best then for the sinner to be his own [...]n­demner, that he may not be his own exe­cutioner: For it is a sign he is in Bethesda, in the house of Grace, if he find his Con­science, (like those waters) Troubled within him: For being Impotent by reason of his sins, whether Blind or halt, or wi­thered; whether Blind in his Understanding, or halt in his Affections, or withered in his Actions, He cannot be healod till He step into the Troubled waters; which though they are the worst to let him see his Face, (for all will appear in broken lineaments) yet are they the best to help him heal his soul: Be not afraid then to step one step further into these waters, as long as it is a good Spi­rit from God that troubles them: The Disciples being in a storm, and seeing Jesus [Page 55] walking on the Sea, and drawing nigh un­to the ship, were afraid, till they heard and knew his voice, then they willingly re­ceived him into the ship, and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. So when thy soul is in a Tempest, though Jesus himself be coming nigh, thou wilt be afraid, but when he is fully come, thou wilt most willingly receive him, and im­mediately upon his reception, Thou wilt be at the Haven of a Blessed Rest: for himself will say unto thee, Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me, John 14. 1. A true Believer should not be troubled, for by his faith he is more then Conqueror: And yet he is often troubled; for by reason of his weakness, and of his unworthiness he doth sometimes not perceive the conquest of his Faith: His own Conscience so con­vincing him, that he cannot but be much troubled at the conviction: [...], saith A­ristotle. There is a twofold Redargution or Conviction; The one proceeding from the Confutation of the Cause, the other from the Confutation of the Person. The Cause is often overthrown, when yet the Person still retains his former confidence; [Page 56] The Arguments of men may Confute, and yet not Convince; they may convince, and yet not Extort the acknowledgement o [...] a Conviction: But the Argumentts of the Conscience are truly and fully Convictive, because they are truly and fully Demon­strative: And that in such a kind of De­monstration of which the Philosophers words are most really verified, [...], Demonstration is not to confute the man in his Person, for he may be Con­tumacious and Refractory, but to con­fute him in his Reason and in his Judge­ment. Such is this Demonstration of Conscience, It seizeth on the inward man; If that plead the Cause, if that Dispute and make an instance against the Respondent, no sophistry, no elusion, no evasion will serve his turn, but his heart is troubled, his countenance dejected, and his tongue silenced, so that he can say nothing in ex­cuse, much less in justification of himself, but is forced to flie to his Saviours Al-suf­ficient Merits, and Al-saving mercies, (and it is a happy violence that so forceth him) saying with the blind man in the Gospel, Je­sus thou son of David, have mercy on me. And though many charge him that he should [Page 57] hold his peace (even very many sins and unworthinesses) yet he cries the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mer­cy on me, till Jesus stand still, and com­mand him to be called, and say unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? Then will his Answer be, Lord that I might receive my sight, not so much to see mine own sins, as thy mercies, thine infinite, thine undeserved mercies. Thus I would receive my sight, to see the light of thy countenance, and I shall be whole. This was that admirable prayer in the Greek Liturgies. [...], Lord appease and allay those in­visible tumults of mine own breast, which so much disquiet and torment my soul: O­ther enimies may be resisted, and haply vanquished, but this internal enemy is altogether inexpugnable, and alwaies gets the victory over us. Appease these invisi­ble wars: we are much frighted with vi­sible wars, but the invisible are infinitely more terrible, for these will frighten even the Souldiers themselves, who make it their Work, no less then their Profession, to disturb and frighten others: And they are called invisible wars, not only because they alone can see them who feel them, [Page 58] but also because they are the most fatal and dangerous, even as an enemy is most dangerous when he is least seen; most to be feared, when he is least to be discovered. Conscience doth then war most dange­rously, when most privately, most un­suspectedly, and doth then most hurt thee, when it doth least wound thee, when it wil [...] not strike, till it be too late for thee to ward the blow: For then Sin lyeth at the door, Gen. 4. 7. Robets, it layeth down o [...] coucheth like some wild beast, at the mouth of his Cave, as if he were asleep, bu [...] indeed watcheth and waketh, and is ready to flie at all that come neer it: So is sin in [...] mans Conscience, Couchant rather then Dor­mant; it sleeps Dogs sleep, that it may take the sinner at the greater advantage and flie the more furiously in his face Conscientia dormit respectu motionis, non ob­servationis; Conscience may seem to sleep, whe [...] indeed it doth not, for when it sleeps it is only i [...] regard of motion, not in regard of observation. When it doth least check thee, it doth mos [...] observe thee: It spares thee a while, to tor­ment thee for ever; It spares thee here, to torment thee hereafter; A most cruel mercy to observe the sin, and let alone the sinner To Register the wicked deed, but not to [Page 59] Reprove him that did it. And this is all the mercy that a seared, a benummed Con­science doth afford when it doth most be­friend us. It will not cut, that it may kill: It will not convince, that it may confound: It will not accuse, that it may condemn. Wherefore I will awaken my Conscience to Arraign me here, that it awaken not it self to Condemn me hereafter: for that must, that will prevail at length, and that with such an evidence, to which I shall not be able to plead not Guilty, and much less to withstand the Guilt. It will come upon me as Poverty upon Solomons slug­gard, like an Armed man, not only as a Valiant man, with power to overcome me, but also as an Armed man, with frights and terrors to over-aw me. David a man of war, who said he would not fear though an Host encamped against him, nay encompassed him round about, Psal. 27. 3. & 3. 6. yet durst not look one sin in the face, but when Nathan had said un­to him, Thou art the man, and his own con­science had attested the saying, he presently gives over the thought of Denyal, or Ter­giversation, and much more the spirit of contradiction, and Prostrates himself be­fore the mercy seat, not being able to [Page 60] stand in the Judgement, and cryeth out, I have sinned against the Lord, 2 Sam. 12. 13. He had sinned once by commiting his sin, and durst not sin again by lessening it: He neither desired to extenuate the guilt of Sin in himself, nor to aggravate it in another; and they generally go both toge­ther, no man being so ready to accuse and condemn his Brother, as he that is re­solved to Acquit and Justifie himself; Spi­ritual Pride causeth thee to think thy bro­ther the greater sinner, but indeed it makes thee so; But consider awhile proud Justitia­rie, is it not practical Blasphemy in the high­est degree, for thee to set and settle thy self in Christs Judgement Seat, and there to become a Judge of souls? He that said Judge not, that ye be not Judged, hath in effect told thee, that if thou dost Lord it in his Tribunal here, thou shalt tremble and quake before it hereafter. The Joints o [...] thy knees (with Belshazzars) shall then be as loose, as is now thy tongue. The words o [...] the Psalmist are much to be observed, Psal. 109. 30. He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that con­demn his soul. Christ will leave his Throne at the right hand of God, rather then fail to stand at the right hand of the poor; and [Page 61] what poor they are he takes such a care of, Himself hath told us, Mat. 5. 3. The poor in Spirit. The Kingdom of heaven is most theirs who least assume it to them­selves: Who think they are not worthy of a being upon earth, they shall be surest of a being in heaven; they think themselves not worthy to kneel upon the earth, be­cause it is the footstool of the most high God, much less worthy to look up to heaven, because it is his Throne; but he thinks them most worthy to be Translated from the earth, and to be admitted into heaven; saying, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. These are the poor that our Saviour Christ doth alwaies stand by, (and indeed they alone do constantly stand by him, though others pretend more to be his servants.) And why doth he alwaies stand by them, or (as the Text speaks) at their right hand? even to save them from those that condemn their fouls, or as it is in the Hebrew, to save from the Judges of his soul, or to save his soul from Judges. To save him from the Judges of his soul, for though they condemn him, yet he will ac­quit and save him: or to save his soul from Judges; That is, (as our other Translation reads this verse,) To save his soul from [Page 62] unrighteous Judges: For no Judge can b [...] so unrighteous as he that Judges anothe [...] mans soul; For his Judgement proceed [...] not out of inclination to Justice, but meer­ly out of pride or malice, so that it is [...] perverse Judgement: It proceeds not fro [...] a lawful Authority, but from Self-wi [...] and Presumption, so that it is an usurpe [...] Judgement: And it proceeds not accord­ing to the Rules of Prudence and Discreti­on, but of folly and madness, so that it i [...] a foolish and rash Judgement. Christ i [...] the only Over-seer and Bishop of o [...] souls, 1 Pet. 2. 25. Do not presume to go [...] visitation in thy Saviours Diocess: Judg [...] no mans soul but thine own: So shalt tho [...] not be Judged of the Lord, for two Rea­sons, For not Judging others, and fo [...] Judging thyself; Here at home thou mai [...] rightly Judge, and as rightly condemn nay if thou dost but Judge, thou must con­demn, it being all one for a sinner t [...] Judge his own soul and to condemn it And the more he Judges the more he co [...] ­demns. Like Ezekiels Vision, chap. 8 [...] The more he looks, the worse he likes, v [...] But Turn thou yet again, and thou shalt s [...] Greater Abominations: and v. 13, Is [...] again the same: so is it in the Vision of ou [...] [Page 63] own sinful souls; This must still be the Epi­phonema, the Burden, the concluding sentence, Hast thou seen This, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see great­er Abominations: Though thou hast al­ready seen most wondrous strange & hor­rid sins, such whose very thought must needs affright the soul, and therefore whose guilt must needs oppress it, yet thou must still look to see Greater Abominations: when thou hast seen all manner of wicked­ness in thine heart, and sins there as Fire­brands of hell for Torment, but as the stars of heaven for multitude, some of the greater, some of the lesser magnitude, but yet altogether Innumerable, and every one too too Great; when thou hast seen all this, and imagined more then thou canst see, yet this saying must be the conclu­sion of all, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see great­er Abominations then These. Thou canst not turn to look upon, or rather into thy self, but thou wilt still find out some new Abominations, and if thou find none, it is because thou thy self art the Abomination of Desolation; so Abominable, as reserved to Destruction; or because thou art all Abo­mination, and therefore thinkest nothing [Page 62] [...] [Page 63] [...] [Page 64] Abominable; as that Breath which is mo [...] corrupt and unsavory, can least discern [...] own corruption and Unsavoriness: whi [...] is therefore the greater, because the le [...] discerned: But let us a little view this v [...] ­sion more particularly, and in it our ow [...] hearts; we may here observe the wickednes [...] of Israel, both towards God and toward [...] Mans: towards God by Idolatry, 1. I [...] worshipping of Baal, (here called th [...] Image of Jealousie, ver. 3. & 5. becaus [...] it made God jealous, and we know Ido­latry is forbidden with this reason, Fo [...] the Lord thy God is a jealous God [...] 2. In offering Incense to creeping thing [...] ver. 10. 3. In weeping for Tammuz [...] ver. 14. 4. In worshipping the Sun [...] ver. 16. Towards men by cruelty, ver. 17. For they have filled the Land wit [...] violence.

And is not all this Idolatry the sin o [...] thine own heart? is not all this Cruelty the sin of thine own hand? First for the Ido­latry, the sin that thou thinkest thy self least guilty of, when Thou followest thine own Phansie in serving God Thou worshippi [...] Baal, (Nomen Idoli, quia illud colentium Do­minus) Thats now thine Idol, nay indeed thy Lord and Master, and hath gotten [Page 65] Dominion over thee, nor is there any Image more dangerously worshipped then [...]hine own Imagination; God is a jealous God in all Idolatry, but in none so much as when thou makeft thy self thine own Idol.

Again, when for vile and base respects, or sordid advantages, thou transgressest the Duties of Piety, Justice, or Charity, Thou then offerest Incense to Creeping things, [...]ay thy self art creeping on Earth, when [...]hou shouldest be ascending into heaven: [...]. When thou bemoanest thy temporall Losses with too much pensiveness of Thought, as being much more grieved for the wasting of thy treasure, then of thy conscience, Thou then weepest for Tammuz; for he was among the Aegyptians as Ceres among the Romans, The God of the Har­vest: And lastly, when thou dost basely temporize for thine own ends, Having mens persons in admiration because of advantage, Jude 16. Thou maist properly be said to Turn thy face towards the East, and to worship the Rising Sun; Thus will thine own heart (if thou look into it) accuse thee of Israels Idolatry, and in the next place thou must hold up thy Guilty hand at the Bar, and be arraigned for his cruelty; For [Page 66] if Saint Augustines Rule be true, Qu [...] non Pavisti, occidisti; whom thou hast [...] fed, thou hast starved; whom thou ha [...] not filled with meat, thou hast fille [...] with violence: whom thou hast not Re­lieved, thou hast Destroyed: we need n [...] send thee among the outragious Plundere [...] to take thy share in this accusation [They have filled the land with Violence.] For i [...] that thou hast not helped those who hav [...] been wronged, thou hast helped to wron [...] them; in that thou hast not fed the hungry thou hast starved them: in that thou [...] not taken in the stranger into thine hous [...] thou hast thrust him out of his own; [...] that thou hast not cloathed the naked, tho [...] hast stripped him: Thus shalt thou be a [...] raigned, and condemned at the last day, no [...] only for thy Commissions, but also fo [...] thy Omissions, Mat. 25. 41, 42. But an [...] if also for thine Omissions, then certain­ly and much more for thy Commissions For making others hungry, and thirsty, an [...] poor, and sick, and naked; Thus if thou sha [...] look impartially into thine own Bosom thou wilt there find this Vision, thou wi [...] there see all these wicked abominations; b [...] turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greate [...] Abominations then these, which are indeed [Page 67] the effects of these; not only dismal repre­ [...]tations of thine own sins, but also a [...]e dismal representation of Gods judge­ [...]nt; Thou hast been guilty of sins un­ [...]rthy of a man, and now thou must ex­ [...]ct to feel a judgement worthy of God: [...]sd. 12. 26. my Flesh trembleth for fear [...]hee, and I am afraid of thy judgements, [...] 119. 120. This is the very abomina­ [...]n of desolation, when a man finding [...]self under the terrors of Gods impar­ [...]l, and inevitable, and insupportable justice [...]ks under the burden, and hath so many [...]smal Fiends rather then thoughts for [...] inmates of his despairing soul. This was [...]ins case, which is therefore so expresly [...] down, that it may not be ours, Gen. [...]13. And Cain said, My punishment is [...]eater then I can bear, or my iniquity is [...]eater then that it may be forgiven; The [...]rds will admit both interpretations: for [...]e same word signifies both Iniquity and [...]ishment, and indeed it is iniquity alone [...]at makes the Punishment (for were it [...]t for sin, though we might be Afflicted, [...]t we could not be Punnished) and that [...]akes it intolerable: For a wounded [...]irit who can bear? Another may [...]ound my body, but it is only my self [Page 68] that can wound my soul; The sores of [...] body may be very painfull, but it is only sins, the sores, the wounds of my soul [...] are intolerable: A wounded spirit who bear? Prov. 18. 14. O thou who [...] wounded for our Transgressions, and w [...] blood is the only balm to heal the wo [...] of our Souls, make us in Time to thirst [...] gasp after thy blood, that so we ma [...] recovered of all our wounds; Give u [...] hearty Sorrow for our sins, but wi [...] gives us thy immortal comforts in [...] Sorrows: Sorrow for sin is a G [...] Sorrow, nay A Sorrow according to [...] ( [...] 2 Cor. 7. 10.) [...] Godly Sorrow, because it begins from [...] and ends in God: and it is a sorrow [...] cording to God, having him not only fo [...] Efficient and final, but also for its fo [...] cause: A sorrow according to the ex [...] ­ple of the Son of God, Mat. 26. My [...]ul is exceeding Sorrowfull, even Death; The soul of the God of Life was rowful unto the Death: [...] my soul is encompassed round about with row: whence so much Sorrow to him [...] was the only Joy of heaven and earth, [...] proclaiming his indulgences on earth, [...] [Page 69] made an eternal Jubile in heaven? [...]ence so much grief to him, who is the [...]ight of men and Angels? even from the [...]ath of God against sin, though himself [...]d never sinned: Because of this was he [...]rrowful and very heavy. Was the bur­ [...] of my sins heavy upon my Saviours [...]l, and shall it not much more be hea­ [...] upon mine own? Did he cry out for [...] sins, as if God had forsaken him, and [...]all I still be silent and not fear that [...]od will indeed forsake me? I Knowledge [...] fault (saith the true penitent) [...]d my sin is ever before me, Psal. 51. 3. [...] if he had said, my sins are ever [...]ore Almighty God, and shall they [...]t be also before me? they are open in [...] sight, and shall they not be so in mine? that we would consider how far we have [...]t-gone David in his sin, and yet how far [...]ort we come of him in his Repentance? [...]r sin, though it is the work of darkness, [...]t may not hope to be covered or con­ [...]led by it; it is never invisible, but al­ [...]ies comes to light: God sees it, man him­ [...]f sees it: and happy is the man who sees [...]n due time; for that is the only way to [...]ake God not see it, but turn away his [...]es from it: yet if he see it never so late,

[...]

CHAP. III. Peres, or, Dividing of our Per­sons.

SECT. I. The Soul Divided from the Body, while[?] it lives by a Voluntary Separation conversing with it self, and with it [...] Saviour.

A GOOD man can neve [...] want Good company; so [...] if he may not have it fro [...] his neighbour, he may hav [...] it from himself: Me Interr [...] ­gans, mihique respondent quùm solus essem, tanquam Duo essemu [...] Ratio & Ego, saith Saint Aust. (lib. 1. R [...] ­tract. c. 4.) Unde hoc opus Soliloquia nomi­navi; I did Question and Answer my self [Page 73] as if we had been Two, Reason and I, whence I called that work, my Solilequies: And indeed a mans safest way of talking, is to talk with himself; so will his tongue not defile his body (as Saint James complains,) but purge his Soul: not set on fire the course of nature, but thirst after the wel­springs of Grace: not it self be set on fire from Hell, but inflame the soul with the love & desire of Heaven: He that talks most with himself, is like to answer for himself: For the right Judgement of things is made by the Conscience, which looks not on Time, but on Eternity. The soul must Answer by it self alone without the body, [...]nd therefore had need consult with it self [...]lone about its Answer; not admit the flesh [...]nto consultation, which will deprave the [...]udgement, and cannot rectifie it. Mundus [...]egacosmus intrat in microcosmum, i. e. [...] Animam, scil. Bonam in itinerario men­ [...]is; This Great world was made to enter in­ [...] man, the Lesser world (for the soul is [...]ble to receive it all, and yet still must [...]ontinue empty) But man himself was [...]ade to enter into a better world: Enter [...]ou into thy Masters Joy, Mat 25. 23. [...]he world above is too big to enter into [...]s, we must enter into it: Therefore it is [Page 74] better to know this world then to love because by knowledge this world ente [...] into us: but it is better to love the wo [...] above then to know it, because by lo [...] we enter into that world. And surely is like to have the happiest entrance, t [...] soonest knocketh at the door: For so [...] there will be, who will say, Lord, L [...] open unto us, who will have this answer, [...] rily I say unto you, I know you not; Mat. [...] 11, 12. Wherefore it is necessary that t [...] soul be divided from the body, even wh [...] it dwels in it, that so it may by a volunta [...] both prevent and facilitate its violent se [...] ration: For if she be accustomed to the o [...] she will never fear the other. Thu [...] may be a Separatist, and be no Schis [...] tick: by Separating from my self, but [...] from my brethren. The Jews pha [...] much of Gods speaking with his own J [...] cial house, and when they find him spe [...] ing in the plural number, (not know [...] the mysterie of the Trinity, or not ca [...] to acknowledge it) do only tell us, he is [...] sulting with his own Judgement: ( [...] Solomon Jarchi on Cantic. 8. v. 5. & [...] How much more ought man to con [...] with his own soul, that by so doing he [...] also consult with God? For the soul, [Page 75] more it descends into it self, the more it ascends unto its Saviour; God alone have­ing the Priviledge to be within the Soul, as the Soul alone hath the priviledge to be within the body.

Therefore let me have frequent Collo­quies with mine own soul, that I may have frequent Colloquies with my Savi­our: my Colloquies with my self will wean me from the love of earth: my Col­loquies with my Saviour will make me in love with heaven; my Colloquies with my self will shew me the Vanities of the world, the Infirmities of the flesh, the Ma­lice of the Devil, and the sight of these will make me say with the Psalmist, O that I had wings like a Dove, then would I flee away, and be at Rest, Psal. 55. 6. When the spi­rit of a Dove will not give me Rest, such may be the wickedness of men; yet the wings of a Dove will give it me, such is the goodness of God: when condescending to man by patience and meekness will not, then ascending to God by prayer and me­ditation, will give Peace and Rest unto my soul.

My Colloquies with my Saviour, will shew me his Al-sufficient merits, His Al­mighty power, His Al-saving mercy; [Page 76] And the first of these will make me Aban­don the worlds Vanity, that I may retire to his Al-sufficiency: he hath ascribed suf­ficiency to his Grace, 2 Cor. 12. But he hath reserved the Al-sufficiency to himself. The second will make me acknowledge mine own Infirmity, that I may rely on his Omnipotency, as saith the Apostle, most gladly will I glory in mine Infirmities, that the Power of Christ may rest upon me, 2 Cor. 12. 9. For if the power of Christ rest on me, sure I cannot but have rest in it. The third will make me not fear the Devils malice, whiles I place my whole trust and confidence in my Saviours ever­lasting and Al-saving me [...]cies; For blessed be his undeserved goodness, I have a Sa­viour who is able and willing to save, a Jesus whose name is salvation, whose pre­sence is salvation, whose work is salvati­on; they are all three Joyned together, John 11. 21, Then said Martha unto Je­sus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not dyed: He is Jesus, there's Salvation in his name, thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, Mat. 1. 21. If thou hadst heen here, there's Salvation in his presence; My brother had not dyed, there's salvation in his work: [Page 77] therefore must my soul be alwaies neer my Saviour, that it may never be far from his Salvation: It must converse with him, and therefore it must be united to him by the spiritual and blessed Union which is wrought by Faith, by Hope, by Charity. For without this Union I may not hope for that Conversation.

The Union or Conjunction of the soul with Christ by Faith is expressed, and in that required, Eph. 3. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: Not in your Heads by Phansie, but in your Hearts by Faith: not float in your Brains, but sink down into your Breasts: Where­fore let me be sure to cherish in my soul this heavenly gift of Faith, by refraining my mind from vain Curiosities, and bring­ing into captivity every thought to the O­bedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10. 5. and by clean­sing and purging my will and affections (for true faith is in the will no less then in the understanding) from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7. 1. For Impiety doth directly dispose the soul to Infidelity; And they that are men of corrupt minds, (though of never so clear Judgements) are also reprobate concern­ing [Page 78] the Faith, 2 Tim. 3. 8. The Union of the soul with Christ by hope is expres­sed, and withal required, Isa. 26. 3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect Peace, (Heb. Peace Peace, the peace of a Good Conscience here, of a blessed eternity hereafter) whose mind is staid on thee, because he trusteth in thee: & v. 4. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Iehovah is everlasting strength: God takes it for an honour to be trusted; & he that most trusts him, most honours him: and he that least honours him, least trusts him; Offer the sacrifices of Righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord, Psal. 4. 5. He that offers not the sacrifice, cannot have the trust; For he that doth not think it sit to honour him, cannot think it safe to trust him: therefore let my hope in Christ be such as becometh a Chri­stian, and much more such as becometh Christ: such as becometh a Christian, not provoking him whiles I trust him; & much more such as becomethChrist, trusting him with what he cares to be trusted, that is, my soul; and for what is worth his trust, that is, my Salvation.

The Union or Conjunction of the soul with Christ by Charity is expressed, and in that required, 1 John 4. 16. And we have known and believed the Love, that God [Page 79] hath to us; God is love, and he that dwelleth [...] love, dwelleth in God, and God in him; here we must observe, that the soul is uni­ [...]ed unto Christ, not by every kind of love, [...]ut by a Right, a Great, a Firm love: a right [...]ove, which loves him before all things, for [...] loves him upon this ground, because he [...]oved us first, We have known and believed [...]he love which God hath to us: A great love, which loves him above all things, so that [...]he soul wills not for it self but for God: [...]ares not to know any thing but by him, [...]or desire any thing but for him, nor do [...]ny thing but with him; nay yet more, [...]ares not to live, or move, or have any being [...]ut in him and to him alone; He that tru­ [...]y Loves, dwells not where he lives, [...]ut where he Loves, He dwelleth in Love: Thirdly and lastly, a Firm Love, which loves God beyond all things, by a [...]ove that hath an everlasting continuance, [...] love not capable of being corrupted, and therefore not of being interrupted: For where the love of God is without corrupti­on (as in Heaven) it is also without Interruption; where it is a pure love, there it is also an Everlasting Love: A love so desiring an Union, as to be fully resolved against a separation: He that dwells in [Page 80] Gods love, will not endure the thought o [...] being put out of his dwelling: And He tha [...] dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God i [...] him. Excellent is the Rule of the Casuist [...] Spiritale bonum divinum consistere in Ami­citia inter Deum & Hominem, ac per hoc i [...] consentire, conversari, convivere & colloq [...] cum Deo; (Cajetane in summula, verb [...] Acedia.) The Spiritual good of man, o [...] the blessing of the Soul consists in this, th [...] a man hath friendship with God, and conse­quently that he lives for him, to him, wit [...] him, in him; Lives for him by consent, t [...] him by conversation, with him by cohabi­tation, in him by contentation: And this i [...] the friendship that the good Christian hath with Christ, whiles he converseth with him, or rather is united to him, by Faith, Hope, and Charity; For according to Aristotles rule, 8. Eth. c. 5. there may be [...], but not [...], There may be Good will in those that live far asunder, but Friendship only in those that live together; [...], An habitu­al, not an Actual Friendship: And he proves it by this Proverb, [...], That the neglect o [...] want of Friendly salutes, and compellati­ons, hath dissolved many mens Friendships: [Page 81] So is it also in this Spiritual Friendship: he that will have Christ for his friend, must be sure constantly to live with him, whol­ly to rely on him, and daily to call upon him: for want of friendly compellations hath made many lose his friendship, first falling into a strangeness, then into a sullen­ness, and at last into a plain dislike and discontent with their Devotions, which makes them not care to have their con­versation, where they do not expect to have their contentment: Wherefore above all things, O my soul, never let go the ex­ercise of thy Faith, Hope and Charity, that thou maist never let go thy Saviour. Thy faith will best exercise it self about his bitter passion: thou wilt see him in the gar­den sweating blood, Thou wilt see him on the Cross dropping blood, with his feet nai­led fast to stay for thee, with his hands stretched out to embrace thee, with his Head bowed down to hear thee, with his side ready open to receive thee: This will be the best exercise of thy faith, that God having already punished thy sins in his own beloved Son, will not in mercy, cannot in justice punish them again in thee his most unworthy servant; Hence will thy heart be filled with compassion for [Page 82] his sufferings, and much more with com­punction for thy sins: Hence will thy mouth be filled with Thanksgivings to him for suffering, and thy whole Life with a blessed conformity to his sufferings; Knowing it is a faithfull saying, For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him, 2 Tim. 2. 11, 12. Thy hope will best exercise it self about his powerfull Resur­rection; Thou wilt there see a great Earth­quake, and a great Man-quake; Thou wil [...] there see a great Earth-quake which open­ed the Graves, so that many of the bodi [...] of the Saints which slept, arose, Mat. 27. 53 [...] And That Earthquake will much more open thy Heart, to let into it th [...] Blessed Hope, that is full of Immortality & no less full of comfort, the hope of a glo­rious Resurrection of thy body to the lif [...] everlasting: Thou wilt there also see a grea [...] Manquake, the keepers of the sepulchre [...] the Roman Souldiers, trembling and shak­ing for fear of the Angel, though (poo [...] mercenary Souls) they were soon afte [...] bought out of their Fright, and as soo [...] bought out of their Faith: A little pa [...] more then ordinary made them forg [...] [...]eir Fright, and forgo their Faith: It mad [...] [Page 83] them turn Preachers, though it kept them [...]rom turning Christians: but their Do­ [...]trine was accordingly fit for Mammons Chaplains, fit for money Preachers, It was [...]he denying of Christs resurrection; when [...]we meet with such Preachers, we have rea­ [...]on to be afraid of such Doctrine. Souldi­ers can easily teach others to serve them, but they can hardly teach themselves, much less others, to serve God: And now you may also, (if you please) see a third Quake, more terrible then the other two; not a quaking of Earth, nor a quaking of bodies, but a quaking of souls, in the first Sect of Quakers; They who before qua­ked for fear of an Angel, now much more quaking for fear of Devils: But be not you, O Christian Souls, afraid of that sight, The Angel himself saying, Fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus which was cruci­fied, Mat. 28. 5. not seek, much less help to crucifie him: This reason doth no less concern all other seekers, that seek Jesus which was crucified, then it did the women: They may well seek without fear, for they are sure to find with joy: They shall find that their Lord is risen, and calleth them to rise with him: Immediately in their souls, Immortally in their bodies, Incorruptably [Page 84] both in souls and bodies: This will be th [...] best exercise of thy hope, that Christ th [...] Head being risen, will make thee his mem­ber, partaker of his joyfull Resurrection which consideration made our Church com­pose a choice Hymn of purpose for Easter day, to express the joy and exultation o [...] true Christian souls for the Resurrection of Christ: And I suppose none will con­demn her of singularity or novelty con­cerning that Hymn, although it is not to be found entirely either in Greek or Latine Liturgies: for there is no doubt of her com­municating with the Church of Christ, whiles she communicates with the Spirit of Christ; And in this Hymn she immediately communicates with the Spirit of Christ, be­cause it is all taken out of his Word, Rom. 6. 8. and 1 Cor. 15. 20, &c. And though the Hymn it self may possibly be taken out of good Christians mouths, yet surely the Joy of it can never be taken out of their hearts, That Christ Rising again from the dead now dieth not, Death from henceforth hath no power upon him; and in that it hath no power upon him, I am sure it shall not long have a power upon me; And that other, Christ is risen again, the first fruits of them that sleep; [...] [Page 85] [...], saith Theophil. He that goes first, sure hath some to follow him; There cannot be first-fruits, but there must be after-fruits: This is my Hope, the head be­ing risen will not leave his members for ever in the dust; My soul and my body cannot be now so unwillingly parted, in the Death, As they shall hereafter be joy­fully United in the Resurrection from the dead: Lastly, Thy love and charity will best exercise it self about his glorious Ascen­tion: Thou wilt there see hin attended on Earth by his Disciples, ready to receive his Instructions; Thou wilt there see him at­tended in the Air by a Cloud, ready to re­ceive his Person; Thou wilt there see him attended in heaven by millions of Angels and glorified Souls, ready to congratulate his reception: If these considerations will not make thee love the Christan Faith that teacheth such heavenly mysteries, it is be­cause thou hast dull affections; If they will not make thee love thy Saviour Christ, who hath prepared such heavenly mercies, it is because thou hast no affections: This will be the best exercise of thy love, to in­flame thy soul with the contemplation of those Unspeakable joyes, which cannot more Inflame, then they will content it: [Page 86] Christ ascended into heaven, What hast thou to do but in heart and mind thither to ascend after him, that thou maist conti­nually dwell with him? He is gone to pre­pare a place for thee; what hast thou left to do, but to prepare thy self for that place, and beseech him to assist and bless thee in that preparation?

SECT. II. The soul Divided from the body, when it dies, by a violent separation.

THE Soul of man had no subsistence before his body, and is therefore un­willing to have a subsistence without it. Creatio & infusio sunt simul respectu animae, is the Tenent of the School, The soul is not created till the body be fitted to receive it; so that in the same instant wherein it is Created, it is also received into the Body: And thats the reason, That coming cloathed into the world, she is so much troubled to think that she must at last go, as it were, na­ked out of it: Hence it is, that though we [Page 87] groan in this tabernacle, being burden­ [...]d with the miseries, and much more with the sins of our Flesh, yet we do not desire to be Uncloathed, but cloath­ [...]d upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of Life, 2 Cor. 5. 4. That is, we would so lay aside our burden, as not to lay aside our Flesh; and would have our mortal bodies, not by Death put off their mortality, but by a change put on Immortality: Wherefore the Union of the soul with the body being altogether natural, the separation of the soul from the body must needs be against nature: Con­sequently, it is not possible that a meer natural man should deliberately desire to die: for nature cannot desire its own de­struction: and therefore a deliberate desire of Death cannot possibly proceed from nature, but from grace, which alone can make a man both live contentedly, and die comfortably: & where there's a great mea­sure of grace, there is also a great measure of contentment in life, and of comfort in death: In so much that if we do not wil­fully shut our eyes, we cannot but see: if we do not wilfully shut our hearts, we cannot but believe: if we do not wilfully shut our mouths against the truth, we [Page 88] cannot but confess, that Godly and Relig [...] ­ous men do continually dye with more P [...] ­tience and comfort then we dare live; b [...] the original of this Patience & of this Com­fort is not from the man, but from th [...] Godliness: For thereby alone he is able t [...] say with Saint Paul, For me to live is Christ and to dye is gain, Phil. 1. 21. To me t [...] live is Christ, for I die unto sin; to me t [...] die is gain, for I have lived unto righteous­ness. Or else as Beza expounds that place mihi enim est Christus & in vita & in mor­te lucrum, Christ is a gain to me, both i [...] life and death. To talk of gain in death to a natural man, were to make him mad, or to think you so: for he loseth his soul he loseth himself; but to talk of gain i [...] death to the spiritual man, is to make him the more sensible of his spiritual comfort and Condition: for the less he hath of the Flesh, the more he hath of the Spirit; So that though death takes from him his Bo­dy, yet it gives him his Soul; though it take from him his Soul, yet it gives him his Sa­viour. Be it then that death takes from him all things but his God, yet sure that it gives him. Christ is my gain whether [...] live or dye. For whiles I live, I live unto him the only Author, Preserver and Re­deemer [Page 89] of my life, that when I shall dye I [...]ay die unto him the only Joy, & Comfort, [...]nd Repairer of my Death; that whether I [...]ve or dye I may still be his: Thus did ho­ [...]y Job comfort himself against the miseries [...]f his life, and the terrors of his death, [...]aying, I know that my Redeemer liveth, Job 19. 25. as if he had said, I know that I [...]m as one forsaken and forlorn, yet I [...]ave a Redeemer. I know that I seem as [...]ne ready to be swallowed up by death, yet he who swallowed death it self up in victory, he liveth, I know that my Redeem­ [...]r liveth; and hereupon do I ground my Faith, my Comfort, and my Assurance; my Assurance is infallible & undeniable, for [...]t proceeds from knowledge, I know; I am as sure that my Redeemer liveth, as that I shall die; my faith is firm and immove­able, for he is mine, none shall ever sepa­rate me from him, he is my Redeemer; my comfort is heavenly and immortal, answera­ble to those Divine fountains of Faith and hope from whence it floweth; it is the com­fort of eternal life; for in that my Re­deemer liveth, I am most confident, that in him and by him I shall also live; for when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in Glory, Col. 3. 4. [Page 90] An assured hope, a constant faith, an im­mortal comfort; these were Jobs only sup­ports in his greatest afflictions, (and his were so great, that we can scarce ima­gine, but sure we cannot endure great­er:) never was his body in worse case, ne­ver was his soul in better. Afflictions in the body then have the right end for which they are sent, when they make our souls magnifie the Lord, and our spirits re­joyce in God our Saviour. The devil in­tended to have added to Jobs misery by in­creasing the Torments of his body, but he did indeed add to his happiness, by increas­ing the Devotion of his soul: Mans extre­mity is Gods opportunity: he then most helps us, when we can least help our selves; when I am weak, then am I strong, 2 Cor. 12. 10. and by the Rule of Proportion, when weakest then strongest; when weak­est in my self, then strongest in my Savi­our: yet dare I not venter to stay till the weakness of my body give strength unto my soul. For had not Job been a man perfect and upright in his health, he would scarce have shewed so much perfection and uprightness in his sickness. What then should be the work of my health; but to prepare for sickness? what should [Page 91] be work of my sickness, but to prepare death? Then shall I so live as prepared death, then shall I so die as prepared Judgement: then shall I so live and die prepared for Christ and his Kingdom Grace in this world, of Glory in the [...]ld to come: Let me snatch away this [...]ry from my adversary, Lest the King [...]odom say, I have made Abraham Rich. [...]. 14. 23. Lest hell and the grave say, I [...]e thrown this man upon his knees: no [...]nk to him for his devotion: it is bare [...]ed and necessity, meer extremity and [...]r that makes him devout: Happy is [...]t man whom this worlds Afflictions [...]ve driven neerer to his God; but much [...]ppier is he that hath made this approach his maker by voluntarily Afflicting mself: for seldom is there so much sin­ [...]rity, but never is there so much Glory that Repentance and Devotion, which oceeds rather from compulsion then [...]om election, rather from necessity then [...]om choice. Let the mercies of God in­ [...]te me to Repentance and amendment of [...]e in my health, and let me not expect his [...]dgements in my sickness; lest instead of [...]eing amended, I be confounded: For if be afflicted in the flesh, and not com­forted [Page 92] in the spirit, then will death, w [...] was appointed to the end, be but the ginning of my afflictions: For what [...] we say? was Jobs body (now becom [...] most as loathsome as the Dunghil w [...] he sate upon) a fit embleme of Immo [...] ­lity? and yet whosoever shall look into own soul with an impartial eye, will [...] there much less hope and comfort of e [...] ­nity, then Job found in his body. [...] how then can he contentedly compose h [...] ­self for Death? I answer, he must do as did, cast but one eye down upon himsel [...] lift up the other to his Redeemer: when looks down upon himself, he finds not [...] but worms to destroy his body, v. 26. [...] when he looks up to his Redeem [...] then in my flesh (saith he) shall I see G [...] What a strange contrariety is here, Wo [...] and Flesh, Death and Life, Destruct [...] and seeing God! The Worms are [...] loathsome that turn to Flesh; The Deat [...] not terrible that ends in Life; The D [...] ­struction is most welcome that ends in [...] ­ing God: but yet still, worms in the­selves are worms; death in it self is death [...] and destruction is destruction: and wor [...] as worms are loathsome; death as deat [...] terrible: destruction as destruction can [...] [Page 93] welcome; and the body is invaded by [...]ms, captivated under death and de­ [...]ction, when the soul is separated from and therefore we cannot but look on [...] as a violent separation, which com­ [...]s a Rape upon Nature, and conse­ [...]ntly must needs be an unwelcome [...]est, such as we are unable to exclude, yet much more unwilling to entertain. [...]erefore the soul while it is in the state conjunction with the body, though it now by reason of sin in a miserable state, is that state natural, and consequent­ [...] desirable: nor is it easie to define how it need be made miserable, before it can made not desirable; for we may easily [...]ern a very great desire of life in most [...], because the greatest miseries are not [...]e of themselves fully to expel that desire: [...]t the soul whiles it is in the state of sepa­ [...]ion from the body, is in a state altogether natural, or rather contra-natural, for [...]s as long as she continues so, she hath [...] the perfection of her own nature: it be­ [...] as natural for humane spirits to be with [...]ies, as for Angelical spirits to be with­ [...] them; which Aquinas hath excel­ [...]tly proved in this manner; (Ia. p. q. 89.) [...]all Intellectual Substances the Intel­lective [Page 94] Virtue or Facultie is from t [...] fluence of the Divine Light; which [...] the farther it is diffused from God more it is divided in it self; and the n [...] is divided, the more it must needs [...] ­minished. Hence it is that those Intelle [...] Substances which are farthest from [...] such as are Humane spirits, having th [...] share of the Divine light, hav [...] so the weakest Intellectuals: and [...] ­quently are not able to understand [...] by such universal forms and represe [...] ­ons by which the Angels are able t [...] [...] ­derstand them. Therefore it is nece [...] that the Souls of men be united unt [...] [...] ­dies, thereby to be made capable o [...] universal forms and representations, such as are imprinted in the Angels had God given unto men no other w [...] understanding, then he hath given [...] Angels, they, not being able to under [...] distinctly by such universal forms a [...] Angels, could not have had a part [...] and distinct knowledge of any thing, only a general and confused knowle [...] so it is clearly for the better, that Hu [...] Souls be united unto Bodies, because i [...] ­duceth to the bettering of their u [...] ­standing. But this reason conce [...] [Page 95] the soul of man no longer then whiles it is here on earth; whereas it is evident that the desire of Re-union with the body, accom­panieth the soul also in heaven: for though she there understand by a far more excel­lent and noble way without the Body, then she doth here in the Body: yet doth she still desire Re-union with the Body, and not think her own bliss so compleat, till she may have it in and with her old companion, her first friend and acquaint­ance. Excellently the same Aquinas, (12ae. qu. 4. ar. 5.) Desiderium Animae separatae totaliter quiescit ex parte Appeti­bilis, quia habet id quod suo appetitui sufficit, sed non totaliter requiescit ex parte Appetentis, quia illud bonum non possidet secundum omnem modum quo possidere vel­let, & ideo corpore resumpto beatitudo cre­scit non intensive, sed extensive. The desire of the separated souls that are in Heaven, is fully satisfied as to the object, or the thing that they desire, for they have all the blessedness that they can wish: But not as to the subject or their manner of desire­ing, for they have not their blessedness so as they do wish it, because it is not yet communicated to their bodies: where­fore after the Resurrection of the Body, [Page 96] the blessedness of Glorified Souls is said t [...] increase, though not intensively, as if t [...] bliss should be greater in it self, (for th [...] are already admitted to the vision and fr [...] ­ition of God,) yet surely extensively, b [...] ­cause it shall be greater in respect of the [...] that enjoy it, when it shall be commun [...] ­cated from their Souls unto their Bodies And therefore the Glorified Souls of me [...] do exceedingly desire, that their Blessed­ness should be so communicated, becaus [...] their supernatural Bliss doth not extin­guish, cannot exclude their natural De­sire, which is, to be united to their Bodies Accordingly Aquinas tells us, that to th [...] perfect consummation of mans Bliss, is re­quired, not only a perfect Disposition o [...] his Soul, but also of his Body; and tha [...] both antecedently and consequently to hi [...] Blessedness. Antecedently, or before he i [...] Blessed: for else his Body would clogg hi [...] Soul, and divert it from the Beatifical visi­on: And Consequently, or after he i [...] Blessed; for the Soul cannot but commu­nicate her Bliss and Glory to the Body: (12ae. q. 4. ar. 6.) Therefore that which was a Natural Body at the separation, shall be made a Spiritual Body at the Re­union: and being once made a Spiritual bo­dy, [Page 97] the Soul shall have Power to keep [...] [...]o for ever, according to that of Saint Aug. [...]am potenti naturâ Deus fecit Animam, ut [...]x ejus plenissimâ Beatitudine redundit in [...]nferiorem Naturam Incorruption is vigor; With so powerful a Nature hath God en­dued the soul of man, that when her self [...]hall come to be perfectly Blessed, she will be able to Transmit her Bliss and In­corruption to the body. Wherefore let [...]y soul be separated from this natural bo­dy, by which it is corrupted, that it may [...]e united to that Spiritual body by which [...]t shall be perfected.

[Page 98] The Second PART: OR, The Consolation against Death.

Preface.

HE that will fully comf [...] the Soul of man agai [...] Death, must comfort against sickness, that co [...] ­monly goes before it; [...] against Judgement t [...] alwaies follows after it. So that this [...] consolation must branch it self into these t [...] Chapters.

The Comforts of the Soul against Sickn [...] The Comforts of the Soul against Death [...] The Comforts of the Soul against Judg­ment.

It is as easie for those in health to g [...] advice to the sick, as it is hard for the [...] to follow it. But every one that can g [...] Advice to the sick, cannot give them c [...] [Page 99] fort in their sickness. The best that any of us can say in this kind, is, The Lord comort you. And yet surely there are some men who are obliged, if not enabled by their Calling, to speak more comfortably then others, no less to body-sick, then to sin-sick Persons: Those men whose peculiar Duty it is to visit the sick, and consequently to comfort them: For they may not do as Jobs Friends did, come to Grieve with him, and then help, not to As­swage, but to Encrease his Grief. For they by so doing, are lookt upon, not as Gods, but as the Devils Instruments, though they were of the Posterity of Abraham, and there­fore undoubtedly instructed in the true Reli­on, according to that Testimony given of Abraham, by God himself, Gen. 18. 19. For I know him; that he will command his children and his houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. Yet these men were so faulty in their conferences with holy Job, that God himself saith of them, they had not spoken right concerning him, and that his wrath was kindled against them, Job 42. 7. Whereby it Appears, that Jobs former exclamations against them, proceeded not from the impo­tency of his Passion, but from the justness of his cause, when he said, ye are forgers of [Page 100] lies, ye are all Physitians of no value, Job 13. 4. Medici Idoli, so Jarchi ex­pounds the word, and parallels it with that of Zach. 11. 17. where we tanslate it the Idol shepheard, and may here so too, The idol Comforters; Men that made a shew of Comfort, but afforded none at all, no more then if they had been but meer Idols: Nay thats not all, they afforded him dicomforts instead of comforts, wherefore he calls them also miserable comforters, Job 16. 2. He­brew, consolatores molestiae, troublesome comforters are you all; And sick men may, (in this Brain-sick age of ours,) quickly have enough, if not too much of such com­forters; Men that scarce can settle others con­sciences, having so much unsettled their own: Which made Saint Paul come with a Benedi­ctus in his mouth, (and surely it was in his heart before it was in his mouth, when he considered what a great mer­cy it was in God, towards those in distress, to give either true comforts or true comforters, saying, Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our Tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort where with [Page 101] we our selves are comforted of God, 2 Cor. 1. 3, 4. The Apostle begins here with thanks­giving according to his accustomed manner in all his Epistles, but contrary to his custome doth he apply this thanksgiving wholy to him­self, The reason was, (saith Beza) Because the Corinthians did begin to despise him for his Afflictions; (the common course of the world, to despise that Church that is in Af­fliction) Therefore he answers confidently for himself, that though he had been much af­flicted, yet he had been much more com­forted: and he rejoyced the more in his comforts, because God had comforted him for that very cause, That he might be able and willing to comfort others.

Having thus considered the Author of all true comfort, and the Instruments he is plea­sed chiefly to use in comforting, and how they are bound to comfort, as his Instruments: It follows that in the next place we consider the comforts themselves; Which are then most given from God, when most wanted by men; For it is very observable, Jer. 33. That Gods promises to the Jews were then Greatest, when their own miseries were so: For he there promiseth to the captivity, A gracious Return, a joyfull State, and a settled Government, when they were even now [Page 102] transplanted from Jerusalem to Babylon; Surely to teach them and us, that his promises were to be understood spiritually in Christ, and so to be fulfilled; That when they had least comforts in themselves, They might have greatest comfort in their God; that in the greatest temporal miseries, he did use to afford the greatest spiritual mercies; That when the body is most afflicted, the soul is, or should be most comforted: Thus we look on sick­ness, as a very great discomfort of the Body: And yet even that may be made a greater comfort to the soul; And truly from those very considerations for which it is a discomfort to the body, and they are Three, Because it afflicts the Flesh, Because it weakens the Flesh, Because it wasts the Flesh:

CHAP. I. The Comforts of the soul against Sickness.

SECT. I. The sickness of the Body is a Comfort to the soul, in that it Afflicts the Flesh.

THIS age loves Paradoxes, that is, (strange opinions) And these may justly be thought the strangest of all others, which seek to make us in love with sickness, that cannot but make us out of love with the world and with our selves; but be it so, since we could never have a fitter time to be out of love with the world, because now it is so bad, nor with our selves, because we help to make it worse: Welcome then a sickness to [Page 104] comfort the soul, since health is made [...] uncomfortable to the body, as bad times [...] worse men can make it: And indeed in th [...] respect sickness is a comfort to the Sou [...] whiles it afflicts the Flesh, in that it bring [...] us to God, and God to us: For man bein [...] afflicted in his body, and finding no re [...] in himself, immediately makes his addresse [...] to God, that he may find rest in him: T [...] ­tianus told the Heathen Greeks so much that when thy were sick, then they woul [...] send for their gods to be with them, a [...] Aggamemnon did at the seige of Tro [...] send for his ten Counsellors; [...]: And sure­ly they who never think of God in thei [...] health, yet are desirous he should think o [...] them in their sickness: In their Afflictio [...] they will seek me early, Hos. 5. 15. Wherea [...] before it was, They will not frame their d [...] ­ings to turn unto their God, ver. 4. And [...] affliction make those seek God who be­fore did not regard him, then surely it can­not but make those who did seek him be­fore they were afflicted, to seek him much more in their affliction: Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord (saith David) for he shall pluck my feet out of the net, Psal. 25. 15. When his feet were most at liber­ty [Page 105] he desired not to look much away from God, for fear of falling into some snare: But when his feet were intangled in the [...]et, then his eyes were ever towards him.

The Prophet Jeremiah prophecieth con­ [...]erning the Jews, that after their return from Babylon, They should serve the Lord [...]heir God, and David their King: He means [...]he Son of David (saith Kimchi) the Messiah: And surely whereas before their Captivity they often fell into idolatry, yet after it they were never guilty of that sin: And who will not call that a happy Capti­vity in which they left their Idolatry be­hind them? So is it also in our distresses, it is a happiness, not a misery, which brings a man neerer and neerer to his God: Ismaels Name bids him believe that the Lord will hear his affliction, for so saith the Angel to Hagar, Thou shalt call his name Ismael, because the Lord hath heard thy affliction, Gen. 16. 11. But Israels faith bids him believe that the Lord will not only hear his affliction, but also bear it: In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them; Isa. 63. 9. What Comfort like the comfort of Salvation? What greater Comfort of Salvation, then that Christ is with us, ready to save us? [Page 106] It is he that is here called the Angel [...] Gods presence, or of Gods face; first b [...] ­cause in his eternal Priesthood he doth a [...] ­waies minister before the face of God, m [...] ­king Intercession for us, Heb. 7. 2 [...] Wherefore he is able to save them to the utt [...] most that come unto God by him, seeing he e [...] liveth to make intercession for them. Second [...] because he is the express image of God, i [...] so much that whosoever hath seen him hath seen the Father, John 14. 9. This A [...] ­gel of Gods presence is most with us in o [...] afflictions, and is therefore then m [...] with us, that he may be afflicted with u [...] Our groans are His groans, Our sighs a [...] His sighs, Our tears are His tears. T [...] Psalmist did say, Put my tears into thy Bott [...] Psal. 58. 6. But we must say farther, put m [...] tears into thine eyes. For as Christ is th [...] Angel of his Fathers face, so he looks upo [...] every true Christian as the Angel of h [...] own face: & loves to be there most, whe [...] he most sees his own face, his own image.

And will you know when he most see [...] his own image in you? It is then when [...] sees himself fully represented, not only i [...] your doings, but also in your sufferings In all your Affliction he is Afflicted. Le [...] your soul then rejoyce for a double cause [Page 107] that it hath so good a Companion, that it [...]ath so great a Comforter. For lest you [...]hould be troubled at the hiding of his [...]ace, he hath taught you to see his face in [...]our own; For when you can most truly [...]ay, Behold and see if there be any sorrow like [...]nto my sorrow, Lam. 1. 12. Then do you [...]ost truly resemble him, who was called A man of sorrows, Isa. 53. 3. This is the first comfort of the Soul in Sickness, when it Afflicteth the Flesh, because that Afflicti­on brings us to God, and God to us. A second follows, Because that Affliction makes us conformable to Christ our Savi­our. Justine Martyr (in his second A­pologie for the Christians) hath observed, that there is scarce any Prediction or Pro­phecy concerning our Saviour Christ the Son of God to be made man, but the Heathen Writers, (who were all after Mo­ses) did from thence invent some Fable, and fein it to have been Acted by some one or other of Jupiters Sons. Only The Prophecies about the Cross of Christ they have taken for the ground of no Fable; [...], They have not among their Fictions told us of any one of Jupiters sons that was Crucified, [Page 108] that Acted his part upon the Cross. And he gives this Reason for it, Because the myste­rie of the Cross was so Covertly foretold, that the Heathen could not understand it. And indeed we do not find in all the He­brew Bible so much as the direct name o [...] a Cross, or Crucifying: There is mentio [...] made of a Tree, and of Wood, but not of a Cross; of Hanging and of Lifting up, but not Crucifying. However, we may we [...] suppose, that if the Heathen had under­stood the Prophesies concerning Crucify­ing the Son of God, yet they would have thought such a Disgrace not fit to have been Fastened upon any of the sons of their Idol gods; And therefore would rather not have any such Narrative, then have the reproach and shame that accompanied it. But we Christians see the only Son of the only true God, being found in fashi [...] as a man, humbling himself, and become Obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. And that for this Reason, That all they should follow the example of his Pa­tience, who do hope to be partakers of his Resurrection: For so himself hath said, He that taketh not his Cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me, Mat. 10. 38. [...], He that taketh it not of himself, [Page 109] without anothers proferring: He that ta­keth it not as a thing belonging to him, but rather as a burden imposed upon him: He that taketh it not where he finds it, but on­ly when it is offered him; For that is the proper signification of [...], to take a thing of your own Accord, whereas [...] is properly to take a thing from anothers hand: And it is observable that our Saviour here saith, His Cross, not My Cross, to shew it belongs to us, no less then it did to him: And without doubt he requires every Christian to take up the Cross so willingly, as if it were a matter of choice, not of necessity: such a Treasure as he would take up of himself if it lay in his way, and not tarry till another should bring it him. So desirable a thing is Christs Cross in it self, (though not so to flesh and blood,) were it only for this Reason, that it makes us conformable to himself: It makes a man here on eatth conformable unto him who is the very beauty of heaven; Insomuch that my zeal to the truth bids me say, whiles the Conscience of mine infir­mity makes me afraid to say it, I had rather with the Martyrs and Confessors have my Saviours Cross, then with their Persecutors, the Worlds Crown: And though I much [Page 110] distrust mine own shoulders, yet dare [...] not disclaim so holy a burden; And indeed if I would adore any Reliques, it should be a piece of that shoulder, which did first help bear my Saviours Cross, for that of all others was certainly most like him, and therefore most worthy of Adoration. But if conformity with Christ in Affliction be not, yet surely conformity with Christ in Glory is exceeding comfortable: And that is yet a third comfort of the Soul in the sickness of the Body whiles it Afflict­eth the flesh, because Affliction is a ne­cessary condition of our own Salvation: so saith Saint Paul, Rom. 8. 17. For in that we are Joint-heirs with Christ, we must look to come the same way that he did to this Inheritance: That is, we must look to suffer with him, that we may be glorified with him. This consideration alone, That Affliction was so necessary a condition of Salvation, troubled the most Reverend, and most Religious, and most Learned Bishop Davenant, upon his death­bed: A man of singular Uprightness and Integrity, and of so exemplary Godliness, that thereby he truly honoured God, de­lighted Angels, and converted many men: yet this man upon his Death-bed [Page 111] having no sin to trouble his Conscience, had this Text to trouble it, Heb. 12. 6. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. For not being able on the suddain to Recount his own chastenings, he had some short doubtings in himself concerning Gods love towards him: He thought he had not drank of his Saviours cup; and therefore could not see how he should sit with him in his Kingdom. And yet surely our Sa­viours words, ye shall indeed drink of my cup, Mat. 20. 23. were verified concern­ing Saint John, no less then concerning S. James, though but the one was murder­ed by Herod, the other dyed peaceably in his bed: For even he also was a Martyr in the Preparation of his Soul, (as appeared by his Banishment,) nay indeed he was also a Martyr in the Affliction of his body, though not by a corporal Martyrdom in shedding his blood, yet by a Spiritual Mar­tyrdom in crucifying his flesh, and so be­ing under a continual Death by a daily Mortification: Martyrium horrore qui­dem mitius, sed diuturnitate molestius, as saith Saint Bernard: Which kinde of Mar­tyrdom, though it hath less of the Horror, yet hath it more of the Trouble. For the burn­ing coals were not the less hot, because [Page 112] when Tiburtius walked upon them bare­footed, he thought himself to have walked upon Roses, (as saith Aqu. 22ae. qu. 123. art. 8. c.) Nor is the constant Practise of mortifying the flesh, the less to be account­ed a Dying daily, because Saint Paul looked on it as the work of his Rejoycing in Christ Jesus. Excellently Saint Hierom, Recte dixerim quod Dei Genetrix Virgo & Mar­tyr fuit, quamvis in Pace vitam siniverit; I may justly say that the mother of our Lord was a Virgin and a Martyr, though she ended her daies in Peace. For indeed true and constant Virginity is in it self a kind of Mar­tyrdom, in that it is a mortifying of our members that are upon earth; wherefore Saint Paul saith [...], Col. 3. 5. That is, make them dead, which is yet more ex­press in the word [...], Rom 8. 13. That is, Put them to Death. And doubtless such a righteous soul that daily chasteneth himself in the school of mortification, might have seen Gods Rod chastening him by his own hands; but yet he not seeing the Rod in anothers hand to chasten him, (for he dyed before the late Overflowings of un­godliness made the world so full of misery, and yet more full of sin) He could not but have some doubtings concerning Gods [Page 113] chastisement, and that made him have likewise for a time, some Doubtings, though no Distrust concerning Gods Love; because the Text saith so expresly, Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth. And why then should not we say, O Lord, let us taste and see thy chastisement, that we may taste and see thy love? O taste and see that the Lord is good, Psal. 34. 8. You will taste his goodness in the most bitter Po­tion, you will see his goodness in the most bloody scourge, if you do but seriously consider that Whom the Lord loveth, he cha­steneth, and consequently whom he most chasteneth, he most loveth. Where­fore since thy loving kindness is better then life; Psal. 63. 3. though thy chastisement take away my life, yet I desire not thou shouldst take away thy chastisement, as long as that giveth me the true sense and feeling of thy loving kindness. Gods Rod [...]s it self a very good Lesson, and doth here accordingly set down a Two fold Do­cument, Documentum Amoris, Documen­tum Salutis. A Document of his Love, for loving and chastening go together; And to be without Correction, is to be without Filiation, v. 8. But if ye be with­out chastisement, then are ye Bastards, not [Page 114] Sons: And a Document of our Salvation; For his chastisement is as it were a Plow­ing and Tilling of our Souls, to make us bring forth more fruit, even the fruit of unfeigned Righteousness, and the fruit of everlasting Peace, ver. 11. It yeildeth th [...] Peacecable fruit of Righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby: The peaceabl [...] fruit of Righteousness: These words may be called Eshcol, For they are a whole clust­ster of grapes, (Num. 13. 24.) yet not to be carried between two upon a staff, being no less in effect then That Etern [...] weight of Glory: or indeed, the who [...]e Kingdom of Heaven: for if you Press these Grapes, and squeeze out the wine tha [...] is in them, you will find Righteousness an unfeigned Righteousness, which is th [...] Kingdom of Grace: And you will fin [...] Peace, an Everlasting Peace, which is th [...] Kingdom of Glory: And this is the who [...] Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom [...] Grace, and the Kingdom of Glory: An [...] as unfeigned Righteousness is the way t [...] bring us to Everlasting Peace: So is cor­rection and chastisement, the way to brin [...] us to unfeigned Righteousness: Where in we shall see very much to exercise o [...] Piety, but nothing at all to disturb ou [...] [Page 115] Patience; For all chastening is but for a few [...]yes, ver. 10. whether it be by our [...]thers on earth, or by our Father in [...]aven; For neither takes the Rod out [...] delight, but only out of necessity: and [...]erefore is soon ready to throw it away [...]ter a little chastening: And a chastening [...]at is but for a few dayes cannot call [...]r many groans: A chastening that is [...]t for a little time, cannot require any [...]eat patience: And though our Fathers [...] earth chastening us after their own plea­ [...]re, may chastise us both unjustly and [...]measurably: unjustly as to the end, un­ [...]easurably as to the manner of their [...]astening: yet surely our Father in hea­ [...]n doth not so: He chastens not unmea­ [...]rably, because much less then we deserve; [...]even the Damned souls in hell are pu­ [...]shed citra condignum, saith Aquinas, with [...]uch less then condign Punishment) [...]d he chastens not unjustly, because for [...]r Profit, That we might be partakers of [...]s holiness: And therefore if we owe sub­ [...]ction and reverence to the Fathers of our [...]esh, much more to the Father of spirits: [...]nd the rather because the Reward of our [...]tifulness to them is but the prolonging [...] a momentary and a miserable life: But [Page 116] the Reward of our dutifulness to the [...] ­ther of spirits is to live blessedly, and live eternally, ver. 9. & 10. Therefo [...] we must be sure in this case, to follow o [...] Saviours advice, John 7. 24. Judge [...] according to the Appearance, but judge rig [...] ­teous judgement, For what though no cha [...] ­ning for the present seemeth to be joyous, b [...] ­grievous, ver. 11. yet doth it not foll [...] because it seems not so, therefore it is n [...] so: Ab eo quod videtur, ad id quod est, n [...] valet consequentia: To argue from th [...] which seems to be, to that which really [...] were a most absurd way of argume [...] For this would prove the greatest Hyp [...] ­crite to be the most Religious man, beca [...] he most seems to be zealous of Religio [...] So neither may we think that chastening not joyous because it seems not so: [...] though it bring grief to the body, yet [...] suredly (being rightly taken) it bring joy unto the soul. And this is a very su [...] ­stantial Reason why we should not repi [...] that God hath annexed Affliction as [...] necessary condition of our Salvation; y [...] may we farther to this, add these oth [...] Reasons.

First, because though our present affl [...] ­ction be never so great, yet it is nothing i [...] [Page 117] respect of our future Glory: so saith Saint [...]ul, Rom. 8. 18. For Ireckon that the [...]fferings of this present time are not worthy be compared with the Glory which shall be [...]vealed in us: If you will compare them in [...]eir Continuance, The one is momenta­ [...], the other is eternal: If in their Quantity [...]e one is little or nothing, the other so [...]eat that it may be reputed All in All: If [...] Quality, the one scarce deserves our no­ [...]ce, the other challenges both our atten­ [...]ons and affections: So that in all three [...]spects, The Comparison is very unwor­ [...]y: the one are not worthy to be compared [...]ith the other.

Secondly, because our present Affliction [...]nduceth to the assurance of our future [...]lory. Therefore Saint Peter exhorteth us [...] rejoyce in the fiery Tryal, and gives this [...]eason for our rejoicing, In as much as we [...]e Partakers of Christs sufferings, That [...]hen his Glory shall be revealed, we may be [...]ad also with exceeding joy, 1 Pet. 4. 13. [...] is a siery tryal, but that Fire will both [...]rge your soul, and Prove your Faith: [...]our soul being purged, will let heaven it [...] you; your faith being proved, will let [...]ou into Heaven; For it will testifie unto [...]ou, That Christ would not have made [Page 118] you partaker of his sufferings, if he had intended to make you partaker of his gl [...] Let him then punish temporally, tha [...] may spare Eternally: Let him chastise body, that he may save my soul, and unto me the Joy of his Salvation.

Thirdly and lastly, because our Pre [...] Affliction conduceth to the increase of Future Glory. Justine Martyr in 79. Quest. ad Orthodoxos, Asks the Re [...] why, when Josiah is commended in Scripture above all the Kings of Is [...] and Judah, for his zeal to Religion, 2 Reg. 25. yet himself was slain by the sw [...] and his sons after him carryed into Ca [...] ­vity: which was a greater misery then fell any of the worser Kings: and he g [...] this Answer to his Question, [...]: time of recompence and reward for th [...] who do the works of Righteousness, is in this, but in the next World: And ind [...] they may here expect to suffer for t [...] Righteousness, but not till hereafter to Rewarded for it: And they must with greater comfort expect this, because th [...] present sufferings are for the increase their future reward: according to t [...] [Page 119] [...]f 2 Cor. 4. 17. For our light affliction which [...] but for a moment, worketh for us a far [...]ore exceeding and eternal weight of Glory; Our Afflictions can work for us, when [...]e cannot work for our selves; our [...]ufferings can do more then our Doings. We dare not say that our Actions shall, [...]ut we dare and must say, that our Afflicti­ons shall work for us that exceeding and [...]ternal weight of glory. This is indeed a very great comfort to the Afflicted, that Affliction is a necessary condition of their own Salvation. And yet there is another comfort not far short of this in the Do­ctrine of Piety, but before it (if possible) in [...]he Practice of Charity, That our Afflicti­on is the ordinary & usuall means of others Salvation; for sure this must needs be a very great comfort to every good Christi­an, that God should make him the happy [...]nstrument of bringing others unto Christ; Saint Paul was so zealous of his brethrens Salvation, that he could have wished him­ [...]elf accursed, to have procured their eter­nal Blessedness, Rom. 9. 3. And Dives was so careful of his brethren, that he de­sired Abraham to send one to them from the dead, to testifie unto them, lest they also come (saith he) into this place of tor­ment, [Page 120] Luke 16. 28. If you cannot arriv [...] to that pitch of charity which Saint Pa [...] brought with him from the third Heaven [...] yet you may be ashamed not to have tha [...] Charity which Dives had with him whe [...] he was in hell; That Charity was so great as to make him look upon the Salvation o [...] his Brethren, as the Alleviation of his ow [...] eternal Torment: How much more wi [...] it make thee look upon it as the Alleviati­on of thy Temporal Affliction? Saint Pa [...] tells the Colossians, He did rejoyce in his sufferings for them, Col. 1. 24. How were his sufferings for them, unless it were to confirm their Faith? and if his sufferings did confirm their Faith, how could he eve [...] sufficiently rejoyce in them? according as h [...] saith, Who now rejoyce in my sufferings; he would not stay so long for his Joy, as ti [...] his pain and sorrow was past, nor did thin [...] it enough to rejoyce after his sufferings, bu [...] also in them: who now rejoyce in my suffer­ings; [...]; (saith Saint Chryso­stom citing this Text [...] in Gen.) If he rejoyced in his Afflictions, when cou [...] he be sorrowful? Let us accordingly exa­mine the reasons of his Joy, for this Do­ctrine is so much against flesh and blood, [Page 121] that if we can not prove it to be rational, we shall scarce admit it to be Religious: The reasons of his joy were three; for Christs sake, for his own sake, and for [...]heir sakes: 1. For Christs sake, because [...]hey were the afflictions of Christ, not in [...]is own Person, (for of those afflictions it [...]s said, Isa. 63. 3. I have trodden the wine­ [...]ress alone, and there was none with me) but [...]n his members; not in his naturall, but in his mysticall body. 2. For his own sake, because there was a want and imperfection, and a kind of emptiness in him till he did [...]uffer; therefore he saith, And fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in [...]y flesh; That is yet empty which must be filled up; that is yet wanting which is be­ [...]ind. 3. For their sakes, therefore he saith, [...]y sufferings for you, and for his bodies [...]ake, which is the Church; His sufferings did conduce to their salvation, not by way of merit or satisfaction, as if he had meant [...]o jussell Christ from his cross, but by way of example or imitation, because he was so well contented to be crucified with him and for him. This example of piety, and pati­ [...]nce, and perseverance, was so much for [...]heir Edification, that he saith it was for [...]hem: accordingly as he saith again, [Page 122] 2 Tim. 2. 10. Therefore I endure all thin [...] for the Elects sake, that they may also obta [...] the salvation which is in Christ Jesus wi [...] eternal Glory; O the admirable priviledg [...] of a sanctified soul, to pay a Debt of s [...] upon the score of Grace! Suffering is [...] Debt that I owe for my sin (and bles­sed be the mercy of Heaven which accept of a Temporal, in exchange for an etern [...] suffering) but if I suffer so patiently, s [...] contentedly, so thankfully, as that I bene [...] others by my example, Then do I pay th [...] Debt of sin upon the account of Grace [...] Then do I endure chastisement for othe [...] sakes, as well as for mine own; I endure [...] things for the Elects sakes, that they may [...] so obtain the salvation which is in Chri [...] Jesus; as if he had said, That they seei [...] me possess my soul in patience, may al [...] learn to possess theirs so too; for the sa [...] Christ who is All-sufficient to me in m [...] sufferings, will be as All-sufficient to the [...] in theirs: Though the merit of my suffer­ings cannot advantage them (for the sa [...] ­vation is in and of Christ Jesus, not in a [...] of his servants, but onely for them) yet t [...] example of my sufferings may advantag [...] them; my sufferings can do them litt [...] good, but I that suffer may do them muc [...] [Page 123] good; And indeed we cannot doubt, and therefore may not deny, but that God [...]oth oftentimes visit his choisest servants with the sharpest afflictions both in health [...]nd sickness, meerly for others sakes: that [...]hose whom before they had examples of [...]iety, they should now have examples of [...]atience; that those who had followed Christ so far, as they had most benefited others by their doings, (for he went about doing all manner of good) might also follow him a little further, even to his Cross, and most benefit others by their sufferings: A thing in it self very desirable to attain, and therefore very comfortable when attained; For any man may in some sort advantage his Brother by his doings, but onely the good Christian by his sufferings: the doer may be the saviour of the body, but it is [...]hiefly the sufferer that is the saviour of [...]he soul; God having appointed three wayes for man to benefit his neighbour; By speaking, by doing, and by suffer­ [...]ng; but as speaking is out-vied by doing, so doing is out-passed by suffering. If thy affliction divert not thee out of the right way, it may be a means to convert ano­ther to it; Justin Martyr confesseth that the constancy of the Christiaus in their suf­ferings [Page 124] was the chiefest motive that conver­ted him to Christianity; (Apol. ad Sena [...] Rom.) saying to this effect, I my self (saith he) was once a Platonist, and did gladly hea [...] the Christians reviled; but when I saw they feared not death, nor any of those miserie [...] which most frighten all other men, I bega [...] to consider with my self that it was impos­sible for such men to be lovers of pleasure more then lovers of piety; and that made [...] first think of turning Christian.

O what an immortall comfort will it be unto thy soul, to be a means of converting or confirming others by thy sufferings, when thou canst no longer by thy speaking nor by thy doing! for so shalt thou sav [...] two souls together, thine own and th [...] Brothers; and by saving his soul fro [...] death, shalt hide a multitude of thine ow [...] sins, Jam. 5. 20. This being the priviledge [...] true Christian patience; To hide other me [...] sins from us, and much more to hide ou [...] own sins from God; for though it cann [...] expiate any one, yet it can hide a multitu [...] of sins.

But let us in a word sum up thes [...] comforts of the soul from the affliction affliction [...] the body, and they will appear to be thes [...] four: First, it brings us to God, and Go [...] [Page 125] to us: Secondly, it makes us conformable with Christ our Saviour: Thirdly, it is a necessary condition of our own salvation: Fourthly, it is an ordinary means of others [...]alvation: Joyn all these together; and when thy flesh is most afflicted, then let [...]hy spirit be most comforted, and most thankfull to God for his spiritual and im­mortal comforts, which in that they have been spiritual, do plainly shew they shall be immortall.

SECT. II. The second comfort of the Soul in sickness, is, that it weakens the flesh.

IF I would rejoyce as a man (at the wea­kening of any) it should be at the wea­kening of mine own enemies; if as a Chri­stian, it should be at the weakening of the enemies of my God; Here then in the weakning of my flesh I may have true joys, for as much as that is both my Gods and mine own enemy: 1. It is Gods enemy, Rom. 8. 7. The carnall mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be; Sapientia car­nis, [Page 126] saith the vulgar Latine) The wisdo [...] of the flesh is enmity with God; what th [...] is its Folly? The minding of the flesh, fai [...] the Greek. If the mindings of the flesh [...] enmity with God, what then are the a [...] ­ings of it? and we may see the reason [...] the enmity, For it is not subject to the L [...] of God; [...], the word spea [...] two things: first, being in order, then b [...] ­ing in subordination; the flesh will not [...] ordered, and therefore it will not be subo [...] ­dinate: It is an obstinate, a perverse R [...] bell, that hates all subjection, and therefor [...] much more hates the Law that requires i [...] It is admirable to think that Christ to [...] our flesh, that he might be made unde [...] the Law; but we as long as we are in th [...] flesh desire to be above all Law; the reaso [...] is, the purity of his flesh, the corruption [...] ours; [...], saith S. Job [...] 1 Ep. 3. c. 4. v.) Sin is a transgression of t [...] Law; and not onely so, but also a privatio [...] ordetestation, or abolition of the law; [...] is both; And the flesh is guilty of such si [...] for as it sins against the Law by transgres [...] on, so it would fain sin without the Law b [...] abolition; and doth not onely forsake t [...] Rule of obedience, but also as much as [...] possible destroyes it, by wishing there wer [...] [Page 127] no Command to restrain it, no Lord to over-rule it, no Judge to over-awe it.

Thus is the flesh not subject to Gods Law, as a wilfull Rebell is not subject to the Law of his Supream Governour, not [...]onely by an actual transgression, but also by an habitual detestation of it: This is the Reason why S. Paul puts Christ against Belial, 2 Cor. 6. 15. For Christ was obedient to the death, but Belial will not endure to think of obedience: Therefore [...] and [...], unrighteousness and undutifulness are put as terms convertible; for Beli­al is no other but sine Jugo, one without a yoke, that is, without law: One that looks upon Law as a yoke, and will be sure not to put his neck under it; such a Belial is the flesh, and is therefore Gods enemy; for to be without Law, is to be without God, since Law is no other but the Reason of God, or at least, Reason derived from God; Divine Law is the Reason of God, Humane law is Reason derived from God.

But secondly, the flesh is also mine ene­my; for in being Gods enemy, it must also be mine: whereof the Apostle would fain make us all sensible, when he concludes his discourse concerning the flesh with this terrible Epiphonema; So then, they that are [Page 128] in the flesh cannot please God, Rom. 8. 8. A [...] what was he himself when he said this (sait [...] S. Chrysostome, [...]. in Gen.) was he n [...] in the flesh? yes, He was in the flesh as [...] cloathed with it, but not as one besotted by i [...] [...]. He saith not, the [...] which are compassed with the flesh, bu [...] they which are captivated under it, th [...] minde nothing but the things of the flesh they cannot please God; Non utique utiquei [...] substantia sed in cute, as Tertullian e [...] ­pounds it: Not they which are in the sub­stance of the flesh, but they which are in th [...] cares of the flesh; They which care onely for the flesh; for that is properly to be i [...] the flesh: to be governed by the flesh, o [...] rather buried in it; To have all ou [...] thoughts of it, all our desires for it, all ou [...] delights in it, all our longings after it: The [...] that are so, are in the flesh; & they that are so in the flesh, do not truly look after God, and much less care to please him: Therefore either Siricius must recall his first Dogma­ticall Epistle, wherein he saith in effect that to marry is to be in the flesh; or St. Paul hi [...] Apostolical determination, 1 Cor. 7. 9. It i [...] better to marry then to burn: And it is no matter whether you speak concerning the [Page 129] marriage of Priests, or of other men, since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were Priests (as the first born of their families) and yet S. Ig­natius, after he had as highly extolled Vir­ginity, as it is worthily to be extolled, is contented at last to pray to God, that he himself, though a Virgin, might sit at the feet of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob in the king­dom of heaven, which were all three marri­ed men: whereas if to marry were indeed to be in the flesh, & consequently not to please God, those holy men had been better never to have married, although by their marry­ing they had this priviledge, to be the Pro­genitors of Christ; For much happier was the blessed Virgin her self, in the judge­ment of S. Augustine, that she did bear our Saviour in her soul, then that she had born him in her body: He that pleaseth God doth bear Christ in his soul, in whom alone God is well pleased; and we are sure that those men pleased God, or they should ne­ver have enjoyed him: we must then say that Siricius was no infallible Doctor; for if to marry is to be in the flesh, it cannot be better to marry then to burn; For it is certainly much better to burn here, then to burn in Hell; and to be in the flesh is no­thing else but to provide fewell for Hell [Page 130] fire: For such as do not desire to please God, sure do not please him; and such as do not please God here, cannot enjoy God hereafter; such men need no enemy to de­stroy them, they have already destroyed themselves; they are buried alive, they have changed [...] into [...] and made their body the sepuchre of their soul; and therefore saith St. Chrysostome, The Spirit of God calls them not Men, but onely Flesh Gen. 6. 12. And God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh ha [...] corrupted his way upon the earth [...], He dot [...] not now vouchsafe to call them men, but onely flesh; And doubtless, whosoever hath most of the corruption, hath most of the flesh; and whosoever hath most o [...] the flesh, hath least of the man in him; and he that is all flesh, and no spirit, is in trut [...] all beast and no man: which made o [...] blessed Saviour in his Sermon concerning the necessity of Regeneration, say unt [...] Nicodemus, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, John 3. 6. so flesh, as it is nothing else; the unregenerate is nothing but flesh so far from being spirituall, that he make [...] his very soul carnall. Tell me now whether it be possible for any other, to be so fatall [...] [Page 131] mine enemy as is mine owne flesh; For other enemies can only hurt my body, but my flesh can and doth also hurt my soul; making it the soul of a beast rather then of a man: And the breath of such a soul is Articulated into a voyce, saying, Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry, Luk. 12. 19. If thou hadst the soul of a Hog, [...], saith Saint Basil, what else couldest thou say unto it? And as the flesh makes a man here fit company for beasts, so it will make him hereafter sit company for Devils: of which the Apostle hath accordingly forewarned us, Rom. 8. 13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; ye shall die whiles you live, and much more when you are dead; you shall now die spiritually, but you shall then die eternally: The want on widow is dead while she liveth, 1 Tim. 5. 6. And much more so is the wan­ton soul: Nay, twice dead, saith Jude, ver. 12. Feeding themselves without fear, twice dead: Feeding themselves after the manner of swine, without fear, (not [...] but [...], as the Greek Criticks distinguish) and fed as swine onely to the slaughter, fed not for life, but for death; D [...]plicem hic mortem notari, unam in qua nati sint, al­teram in quam sua defectione inciderint, saith [Page 132] Beza; Here is mention made of a two-fold death. One in which their corrupt nature had plunged them; Another in which by a corrupt life they had plunged themselves: Carnal men that live after the flesh, are twice dead whiles they live, and yet after they are dead, cometh infinitely a worfer death: what a mercy then is it of God to send us sickness to weaken the flesh which is an enemy, that cannot be conquered till it be weakened? weakened in its affections, in its infections, in its defections: The af­fections of the flesh are as the sons of Zervia to David, too hard for us, 2 Sam. 3. 39. Though we be anointed as he was, and have received the holy Unction, yet they will commit their outrages, and it will be a long time before we shall get so much mastery as to slay but onely one of them at the Horns of the Altar: The infections of the flesh are to us as the Leprous men were to the Samaritans, so exceeding dan­gerous, that we have little reason to en­dure their company, 2 Reg. 7. 3. Onely we cannot do as the Samaritans did, shut them out of our Gates; they will come in whe­ther we will or no, and will bring their le­prosie along with them; Lastly, the defe­ctions of the flesh are to us as fatall and [Page 133] deadly as the defection of Abner was to [...]osheth, 2 Sam. 3. 10. which translated [...]e Kingdom away from him; onely we [...]ve a greater loss by these defections [...]en he had: for we lose the Kingdom of [...]eaven. The affections of the flesh are [...]isterous, the infections of the flesh are [...]ngerous, the defections of the flesh are [...]eadly; O then for the blessing of a sick­ [...]ess to shelter my soul from this storm, to [...]eliver my soul from this danger, to reco­ [...]er my soul from this death!

SECT. III. The third Comfort of the soul in sickness, is, that it wasts the flesh.

THe more the body is pampered, the more the soul is starved; therefore [...]ith St. Paul, Flesh and blood cannot inherit [...]e Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 15. 50. [...], [...]ith Epiphanius Haer. 42. He speaks not [...]is of the flesh, but of w [...]cked men in the [...]esh, [...], sait [...] [...]he same Author in another place, Haer. 66. [...]e speaks of the works of the flesh: And [Page 134] yet is he not fully satisfied, but gives moreover a third exposition, [...], he speaks not of [...] slesh which is sanctified, and labou [...] please God, but of that flesh which is [...] in sin, and seeks onely to please it s [...] Let me not then complain of the wasti [...] of my flesh, since that so much tends the advantage and improvement of [...] spirit: For I must decay in my natur [...] that I may increase in my spiritual streng [...] be an imperfect man in my self, that may be a perfect man in Christ Jesus Ephes. 4. 13. The fulness of Christ ca [...] not well be in me, without mine own em [...] ­tiness: For as in Philosophy there is [...] penetration of bodies, so in Divinity the [...] is no penetration of souls; If I will ha [...] my Saviour be in me, then I must not [...] in my self: for he hath said, If any man w [...] come after me, let him deny himself: that is his body and his spirit, saith Hugo; Corp [...] in divitiis, & deliciis, Spiritum in intellect [...] & affectu; Let him deny his body in no [...] regarding riches nor delights; Let hi [...] deny his spirit, in not trusting to his ow [...] judgement, in not following his own affe­ctions; [Page 135] Let him thus deny himself both in [...]ody and in spirit, that he may be fit for my Cross, and that my Cross may fit him [...]or me: And who will not upon this con­sideration say with holy Ignatius (Epist. ad Rom.) [...]: Let me be meat for wild beasts, so God be a portion for me: Let the beasts devour me, so my God receive me; Let my foul disease destroy my body, so as my God receive my soul; I will make no provision for my flesh, and take no care of it, if so be by putting that off, I may put on the Lord Jesus Christ: the unruliness of the flesh rejects him as a Lord to Govern; The uncleanness of the flesh hinders him as a Jesus to save, (for he is of purer eyes then to behold iniquity, Hab. 1. 13. And therefore of purer hands then to touch it, and of a purer heart then to save it) Last­ly, the undutifulness of the flesh hinders him as a Christ to instruct (for he will teach none that saith not to him as Samuel did, Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth, 1 Sam. 3. 10.) I will therefore gladly put off my flesh, that I may put off my unruli­ness, my uncleanness, my undutifulness: Thus I will gladly put off my self, my un­ruly, my unclean, my undutifull self, that [Page 136] I may wholly put on my Saviour as Lo [...] as Jesus, and as Christ; as Lord to gove [...] me, as Jesus to save me, and as Christ to i [...] ­struct and to direct me; Christus susce [...] fidelem ad curandum, docendum, tuendu [...] dirig endum, saith Hugo: Christ hath u [...] ­dertaken the true Christian, to heal him, to teach him, to defend him, to direct him To heal him as Jesus, to defend him a [...] Lord, to teach and to direct him as Christ (I know that the Messias cometh which is cal­led Christ; when he is come, he will teach u [...] all things, Joh. 4. 25.) And all these mercie [...] will he most readily bestow on me when [...] most want them, and fly to him to supply my wants; when I am most sick, he will most heal me; when I am most weak, he will most defend me; when I am least ca­pable of other instructions, then will he most teach and instruct me; when I am least able to guide my self, then will he under­take to direct and lead me in the way ever­lasting: There are some things that he hath to teach me, which whiles my strength is in me, I am not fit to learn: I must there­fore be content to lose my strength, that I may gain these Instructions. There are three impediments in men, which either keep them from the knowledge of Gods [Page 137] Truth, or hinder them in knowing it (saith Aquinas) hebetudo ingenii, Occupationes Temporales, torpor addiscendi, Their na­turall incapacity, Their temporall distra­ctions, and their spiritual slothfulness; All these proceed from the grossness of the flesh; Let that vanish, these will vanish with it. The natural dulness as to heaven­ly things, decaies with the nature; The temporall distractions vanish with the time; The spiritual slothfulness is shaken off with the flesh that brought it on the soul. Thus I must confess my flesh needs be much wasted to make me live well, but much more to make me die well: for whiles that is in its vigour and lustiness, it will scarce afford me time to pray, much less sincereness and fervency in my pray­ers: I will then rejoyce in the wasting of my flesh, because it will promote the work­ing of Gods Spirit: Nor is this my onely comfort, that whiles I wast in flesh I grow in Grace; but I am also comforted in this, that whiles I wast in my flesh, the shame wasts that deforms me, the sin wasts that depraves me, the burden wasts that depres­seth me; For mans flesh is Deformed, De­praved, and Depressed by the sin that dwelleth in it.

[Page 138] First, Mans flesh is deformed by sin for had there never been sin in the flesh, there would never have been deformity i [...] it: neither deformity from the want, no [...] from the indisposition of any member; s [...] brought in both deformities: and though at the Resurrection God will take awa [...] from the bodies of the wicked the defor­mity that is in them, from want or defect of any of their members, for he will ju­stifie his own Creation; yet he will not take away the deformity that is in their bodies, proceeding from the indisposition or defect of a due proportion in their members; for he will not justifie their sin, and therefore not abolish that deformity, which is in punishment thereof: St. Paul tels us, There is a natural, and there [...] spiritual Body, 1 Cor. 15. 44. And yet he speaks of one and the same body: [...], saith Epiphanius, Haer. 64. not another, but the same body which i [...] now natural, shall then be spiritual: And in­deed St. Paul himself speaks of the Indivi­duum Demonstrativum: This corruptible, this mortall; Magis enim expresse non potera [...] loqui, nisi eutem suam manibus teneret, saith Tertullian; He could not have spoken more expresly, unless he should have [Page 139] pinched up his flesh with his own fingers to shew it us. Accordingly, Ruffinus saith, the Church did providently profess the Do­ctrine of the Resurrection, in saying, Hu­ [...]us carnis resurrectionem, the resurrection of this body or of this flesh; to wit, this same flesh in Substance, but not in Quali­ties: It is now the flesh of a natural body, and is accordingly clogged with corrupti­on, mortality, infirmity, and gravity or grossness; It shall then be the flesh of a spiritual Body, and accordingly Incorrup­tible, Immortal, full of Power, and full of Activity: For these are the four Proper­ties assigned to the body at the Resurrecti­on; 1 Cor. 15. [...], called by the School, Impassibili­tas, Claritas, Agilitas, Subtilitas; The contraries whereof are in the same body as long as it is a natural body, to wit, Cor­ruption, Dishonour, Weakness, and Gross­ness: which are all as so many natural De­formities of or in the Body, whereby it be­comes unamiable to it self, and unproporti­onable to the soul that doth inform and should govern it: So that though the body be never so beautiful in outward appear­ance, yet whiles it continues in the state of disobedience to the soul, it continues also in [Page 140] the state of deformity; And disobedience will not be out of it as long as sin is in it: Corpus gloriosum est ex totali subjection [...] ad Animam, saith Aquinas, The body is not glorious till it hath learned a total sub­jection to the soul, even as the soul is not glorious till it hath learned a total subje­ction to its God: And the same Author asserting, That the Body of man hath a most convenient disposition, makes it good by this distinction, Non simpliciter sed s [...] ­cundum comparationem ad finem, not simply but in comparison of the end for which it was made, that is, the operations of the soul, Therefore though Heavenly Bodies are much more beautifull then is mans body, yet a Heavenly Body had been less conve­nient for a man then an earthly body, be­cause a Heavenly Body had been impassi­ble, and consequently incapable of Sense; And the soul of man knows nothing natu­rally, but by and from the Senses: Where­fore as an Artificer making a File or Saw to cut, doth not make it of Glass but o [...] Iron; for he looks not after the beauty, but after the use of it, and cares not that it is the less beautifull, so he may have it the more usefull: So did God in making man not a Coelestial, but a Terrestrial Body. [Page 141] Wherefore if the necessity of Nature hath [...]ut mans body under a comparative defor­ [...]ity, to make it the less glorious; How much more hath the corruption of Nature [...]ut the same Body under a positive De­formity, to make it the more inglorious?

Secondly, mans flesh is depraved by sin; As it is deformed, so it is also depraved by [...]t; Nor may we here alledge, as before, the necessity of nature; for though the de­formity of mans flesh may in some sort be ascribed to the condition of his nature; yet the depravation of it, may not; for God may be the Author of a comparative de­formity, for that is but a lesser good; but by no means of a positive depravati­on; for that is in it self, an Evill, or a Sin; and he cannot be the Author of Sin. Wherefore it is a dangerous Position, which some late Divines have greedily em­braced, and as violently maintained, That there was the same inordinate propensity in the nature of man to the works of the flesh be­fore the Fall, as is in it since the Fall; One­ly then it was restrained and fettered by ori­ginal justice, or righteousness, but is now let loose by original sin; This opinion is in it self dangerous, because it casts a blasphemous aspersion upon God; For he is the Author [Page 142] of Nature, and therefore the Author o [...] the necessary conditions thereof, as w [...] those that flow from the matter as fro [...] the Form; but in its consequences it i [...] no less then damnable; For if it be grant­ed, that the rebellion of the sensitive Ap­petite against the dictates of Reason, dot [...] flow from the very principles and being [...] the flesh, then it must follow, that it can­not be a sin; for what is natural is no sinfull, sin being no less a Monster o [...] nature, then a Monster is a sin of na­ture; and consequently, that a man ma [...] in and of himself attain to such a perfecti­on of righteousness, as to say meerly ou [...] of humility, not according to the truth forgive us our trespasses, A tenent anathe­matized by the second Milevitane Coun­cil, (in which Alypius and St. Augustin [...] were present, as appears by the Synodica [...] Epistle,) in the? Canon, in these words, S [...] quis asserat haec verba dominicae orationis demitte nobis debita nostra, à sanctis di [...] humiliter non veraciter, Anathema sit the very same with the 117. Canon in th [...] Council of Carthage, as it is set forth b [...] Balsamon, who thus puts it into Greek [...] [...]. And when yo [...] see Binius and Balsamon so well agree, yo [...] [Page 143] may look on the Tenent, not as Anathema­ [...]ized by one Council, but by the Catholick Church: Therefore we must conclude that [...]his inordinate desire of the flesh against [...]he spirit in man, is not a condition, but a [...]orruption of his nature; and entered [...]ot into the flesh, till sin entered into the spirit: Then, and not till then, did the body refuse to be subject to the soul, when the soul refused to be subject unto God: then that which before was a body of life, was presently made a body of death, Rom. 7. 24. Not of Gods, but of mans own making: God made the body, but man made the death: The soul in that it is united to the body, hath by nature an in­clination to the things of the body; but it hath onely by sin, not by nature, an inordinate, an unruly inclination to them: The desires of the flesh are from nature, but it is only from sin there is a de­pravation and irregularity in any of those desires. Thirdly, mans flesh is depressed by sin; for it cannot be depraved by the guilt of sin, and not be depressed by the burden of that guilt: Wherefore we may justly complain of a weight that is upon us, whiles we cannot but complain of the sin that doth so easily beset us, Heb. 12. 1. [Page 144] Man now groaning under a two-fold burden, the one of his flesh, and the othe [...] of his sins, which is the heavier of th [...] two, and makes the burden of the fles [...] the more burdensome and unsupportable And as in sin there is macula, reatu [...] poena; The pollution, the guilt, the punish­ment; So in the flesh because of sin ther [...] is Deformity, Depravation, and Depressi­on; Deformity from the pollution, Depra­vation from the guilt, and Depression from the punishment of sin: I will therefore be glad and rejoyce in the wasting of my flesh, as I would rejoyce in the deliverance from my blemish that most deforms me from my corruption that most deprave [...] me, and from my burden that most de­presses me: It is a sweet contemplation of Aquinas, (12ae. q. 42. art. 5.) That spi­rituall things, the more we consider them the greater they appear, so that we may lose our selves in the consideration of them (if at least we can be said to lose our selves, whiles we seek and finde our God) But Corporal things the more we consi­der them, the less they appear, and vanish by degrees, till at length they are quite los [...] in their consideration: So is it with my flesh; the longer I consider it, the more i [...] [Page 145] wasts, and becomes less in my opinion: And therefore it is but reason that the [...]onger I wear it, the more it should wast, [...]nd become less in its own substance, till [...]t length it come to nothing.

CHAP. II. The Comforts of the Soul against Death.

THere is nothing more profita­ble for us then to think of death; yet of all our thoughts that is the least welcome, and the most terrible: for death is the King of Terrors: when nothing else will draw us unto God, that will frighte [...] us to him: when nothing else will frighte [...] us from our beloved sins, that will mak [...] us affraid of sinning: whence it is the wis [...] mans advice, Remember thy last end, an [...] sin no more: Excellent is the Casuis [...] distinction of Articulus mortis verus [...] Praesumptus, That there is one point o [...] death in Truth, another in Presumption Articulus mortis non intelligitur solus il [...] [Page 147] in quo quis moritur, sed etiam ille in quo [...]ori probabiliter timetur, saith Navar. The point of Death is not only that where­ [...] a man doth actually die, but also that wherein he may probably dye; so that any [...]mminent danger, any dangerous sickness [...]s to be looked on as the point of Death; Nay, yet further (according to the Chri­stianity, though not the Criticism of Ca­ [...]uisticall Divinity;) there being not one moment of our life exempted from the [...]anger of Death, the point of Death doth [...] effect pierce through our whole life, [...]uch more should it pierce through our [...]earts: As many mischiefs as are in the [...]orld, so many dangers; as many dangers, [...] many Deaths: Let this wicked world [...]en have this priviledge, That though it is [...]e worst that ever was to teach a man to [...]e, because its doctrines are so dubious; [...]et it is the best that ever was to teach a [...]an to die, because its practices are so [...]ngerous: Welcome then all ye mischiefs [...]d outrages of ungodly men, for their [...]es that suffer them, though not for [...]eir sakes that do them; We can easily [...]sh the one less sin in their doings, [...]t we may not wish the other less bene­ [...] in their sufferings: See the admirable [Page 148] Providence of God towards his Prophet he throws him into prison to keep him from starving, Jer. 37. 21. (for by tha [...] means he had a piece of Bread when ma­ny others had not, even till all the bread i [...] the City was spent:) He keeps him in pri­son, to keep him from being butchered by the sword of the Chaldeans, Jer. 38. 28. Finds out an Ethiopian to be his preserver when the Princes of Judah were his per­secutors, ver. 7. (more charity in one Pr [...] ­selite, then in many Apostates:) yet woul [...] not let Ebedmelech prevail for his enlarge­ment, lest the Prophet should have lo [...] his life (as the rest did, when the City wa [...] taken) by gaining his liberty: Carcer [...] obsonio & pro Asylo; quid ni & mors [...] lucro? When his prison was his Grana [...] and his Dungeon his security; tell me wh [...] could be his loss; for sure Death wo [...] have been his gain: Do your worst the [...] O ye ravenous Wolves that seek to d [...] ­vour the flock of Christ; Well, you [...] deny them a place to live, but sure yo [...] cannot deny them a place to die; And th [...] look upon the troubles and afflictions [...] their life, as so many Calls or Summons [...] Death: For God saith unto them mo [...] particularly, as he did to his Prophe [...] [Page 149] Jer. 18. 2. Arise, and go to the Potters House, and there I will cause thee to hear my words: They are sent to the Potters House: that [...]s, they are bid to consider their own frail­ [...]ty and mortality, that so they may the more attentively hear Gods Word (The Word of Piety and Patience that he is preaching unto them) and the more bene­fit by hearing it; For many a man that will not hear Gods Word in Gods own House, will hear it in the Potters House, when he shall consider that his body is no other but a polished Potsheard; to day a very weak and brittle, and to morrow, per­haps, a broken Vessel: For Theophilus (lib. 2. ad Antol.) gives us this very si­militude, As a Vessel in the hand of a Pot­ter when it is faulty in the making, is there­fore broken that it may be fashioned and formed again, till he make it perfect and compleat; So is the Vessel of mans body, broken in pieces by the hand of God, be­cause it is now quite out of order, that it may be formed and fashioned again, and by that means become a glorious and an incorruptible, and an immortal body: wherefore it is not amiss going to the Pot­ters House, not only for Gods sake, but al­so for our own; For we need not fear be­ing [Page 150] broken by that hand which alwaye [...] mends in the marring: Mans hand often mars in the mending, brings a Deformati­on instead of a Reformation, but Gods hand alwayes mends in the marring: What then have you else to do in this world, but to live innocently, and to die comfortably, that so you may live in the Faith, and die in the hope of a better world? The day will come when a little innocency will go further with you then the greatest Patri­mony; therefore keep your Innocency, though you lose your Patrimony: Facile contemnit omnia, qui credit jam se esse mo­riturum, saith St. Hierom: He that thinks himself a dying man, will be sure to keep himself an Innocent man; and will rather forsake all here, then carry guiltiness away from hence; He can easily contemn the smiles of this world, and therefore can­not fear the frowns of it: For he believes that Rule of the Casuist to be true, though not pleasing Divinity, Mortem potius fer­re debet quam consentire mortali peccato, That he is bound rather to suffer death, then to consent to any deadly sin; The reason is plain, for that the death of the body is as nothing to the death of the soul: All death is the privation of some life: The corporal [Page 151] death is the privation of the life of nature; the spiritual death is the privation of the life of Grace; the eternal death is the privation of the life of Glory; yet is the Eternal Death not called the third, but on­ly the second Death; because the spiritual Death is indeed no other then the Inchoa­tion of the Eternal, and awaits onely the corporal Death to be its completion. Apoc. 20. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first Resurrection, on such the se­cond death hath no power: But it hath a power on the rest, though it hath not yet the exercise of that power: The second death hath power on a wicked man whiles he lives, though not the exercise of that power till he dies: Therefore the wicked and ungodly man hath great reason to fear the first, because he cannot but expect the second Death: But whosoever hath his part in the first Resurrection (and it is our shame if we have not a part in it, for let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2. 19.) is blessed and holy, and blessed in that he is holy: His holiness being to him the Incho­ation of blessedness, and the life of Grace the beginning of the life of Glory: such a man hath little reason to fear the first [Page 152] death, because on him the second death hath no power, and not having power on him while he lives, shall much less have power on him when he dies: yet do not Divines think it necessary to exempt the most righteous man that is, from the fear of death: They onely think it necessary that he be furnished with comforts greater then his fears: Comforts enough to con­quer his fear, though not enough to expell it: Suarez is of opinion, that the blessed Virgin her self received extream Unction, and Fillieucius saith positively, that if you will suppose a man by special priviledge preserved from all sin, yet it will not fol­low that he should not need extream Un­ction, because he is capable of the principal effect of it, which is, Confortatio contr [...] mortem, a comforting and strengthening against Death: And though many Divines do much doubt whether there be any suc [...] aertue in extream Unction as to comfort [...]gainst Death, yet none do doubt but even [...]he most righteous may need such com­ [...]orts: Our Saviour himself had an Angel strengthening him: Thou hast need of more: and blessed be his goodness, he hath given thee more: Thou hast his Spirit, God the Holy Ghost to strengthen thee: Nay, [Page 153] thou hast his death, to comfort thee in thine; and thats the onely reason why when Christ himself so much feared death, yet many Christians have willingly embra­ced it, because death was not conquered to him, but it is now conquered by him to us: yet, Not my will, but thy will be done, is the greatest degree of perfection we can ra­tionally expect, when this bitter cup shall come to be tasted; For certainly that could not but relish very ill to any mortal pa­late, had not the Saviour of the world him­self tasted it, and by tasting the bitter Po­tion therein, sweetned the Cup to those that should tast it after him: Solus Chri­stus sensit amaritudinem mortis, in cujus anima omnes vires ac Potentiae fuerunt per speciale miraculum conservatae, saith Ga­briel in 3. sent. Dist. 15. Christ alone did feel all the sharpness, and tast all the bit­terness of Death, in whose soul alone all powers and faculties were preserved in their full vigour and sense by special mi­racle; But we will not argue the case whether the pains of death be most felt in the sensitive or intellective parts of the soul; and whether they that have the strongest senses have alwayes the strongest pains; For sure we are, what are the pains [Page 154] of death none do know, but those that can­not come to tell us; yet we have reason to believe that they are so violent as to be able to shake the tallest Cedar of Libanus, much more the shrubs of Carkemish: To terri­fie men of undaunted resolutions, much more such as have too much guilt to have too little fears, or else the Church would never have taught us to pray, O Holy and mercifull Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour for any pains of Death to fall from thee; Thou art our Saviour, we cannot fall from thee but we must fall from our salvation; and the pains of Death will make us fall from thee, unless thou shew thy self our mer­ciful Saviour to sustain us in the hour of Death, as thou hast sustained us all our life. And why didst thou taste the vinegar at thy death, and not till then give up the ghost? (John 19. 30.) but to teach me to pray, O my God, let me not taste the vine­gar, when I am to give up the ghost, since thou thy self hast tasted it for me: so saith thy Apostle, Heb. 2. 14, 15. For he also him­self took part of the same flesh and blood, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the De­vil, and deliver them who through fear of [Page 155] Death were all their life time subject to bon­dage: We see here a two-fold effect of Christs death: The one was to conquer the Devil that had the power of Death; The other was to deliver us that were un­der the fear of Death, and fled to him for deliverance; The Devil had the power of Death till he was conquered, and he was not conquered till the death of Christ; till then he kept the keys of Hell and of death, but then Christ took them away from him, and doth ever since keep them: Apoc. 1. 18. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen: and have the keys of Hell and of Death: Then let me not fear to pass through the gates of Death whiles my Saviour keeps the keys of it to open the Grave; Let me not fear to pass by the gates of Hell, whiles my Saviour keeps the keys of it to shut the Gates: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear none evil, for thou art with me, Psal. 23. 4. Thou art with me to uphold me in that walk that I fail not; to direct me in that valley that I stray not; To enlighten me in that shadow that I stumble not; Christs guidance cannot but afford a very safe conduct, which is not unfitly expressed by [Page 156] these four words, Educit, Deducit, Addu­cit, Introducit; He brings out, He brings on, He brings to, He brings in: First, E­ducit, he brings the soul out, to wit, out of the Body; for it may not go till he call, and then it must; O my soul, never be affraid to go from thy body, when thy Saviour calls thee to go along with him: Secondly, Deducit, He brings the soul on, to wit, on the way to Heaven; And himself (saith Justin Martyr in Tryphon) did pray to his Father to guide his soul at his death, that we might know how to pray to him to guide our souls, Psal. 22. 20, 21. Deliver my soul from the sword, my Dar­ling from the power of the Dog, save me from the Lions mouth: He thus prayed on the Cross immediatly before his death, (for it is the Tradition of the Church, That Christ said all the 22 Psalm upon the Cross, though the Evangelists mention on­ly the first words of it) to teach us to pray, when we die, That God, who alone can, would deliver our souls from the Dog and from the Lion, [...] That he would turn away the evil Angel, (who is compared to a Dog for his impu­dency, to a Lion for his violence) least he [Page 157] should catch our souls at their going out of our bodies; We know the Devil is cal­led the Prince of the Air, and we may be sure he would not let any mans soul pass from earth to Heaven, were not he ready to convey it thither, to whom is given all power in Heaven and in Earth, and over Hell: Thirdly, Adducit, He brings the soul to, that is, to God; Man when he dies, his body returns to the dust, but his spirit returns to God that gave it; All spirits return to God at the hour of death, either as to a Father, or as to a Judge, and Christ brings them all to him; The spirits of wick­ed men as to a Judge for punishment; The spirits of good men as to a Father for mercy; Whence that admirable prayer of our Church for the sick, That whensoever his soul shall depart from the body, it may be without spot presented unto thee through Jesus Christ our Lord; Christ presents all souls unto God; but the souls of the impenitent and unbelievers, in the spots they have contracted by their sins; The souls of those who by Faith and Repen­tance have laid hold on his Righteous­ness, he presents without spot: Those souls that are in their sins shall be rejected; those souls that are in their Saviour, shall be re­ceived; [Page 158] There is no man at that day but will be speechless, who hath not the Eternal Word to answer for him.

Fourthly and lastly, Introducit, he brings the soul in, that is into the state of Eternal blessedness, to see and enjoy him who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto (unless Christ bring him in) whom no man hath seen or can see, to whom be honour and power everlasting, Amen: 1 Tim. 6. 15, 16. No man hath seen him or can see him in this corrupti­ble body, but the Saints now do see him in their incorruptible souls, and do ascribe unto him his honour and power everlast­ing: Accordingly the Angelical Doctor makes it his business to confute those, who said that the souls of the Saints sepa­rated from their bodies, do not come to their bliss till the day of judgement, quod quidem apparet esse falsum autoritate & ra­tione, which (saith he) is apparently false, as we can prove, both by authority and by reason, (and all the world is not able to afford better proofs, or gain-say them) 1. By Authority; for the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 5. 6. Whiles we are at home in [Page 159] the body, we are absent from the Lord; and he gives the reason of that absence in the next verse, for we walk by faith, not by sight; whence it appears, that as long as a man walks by faith, & not by sight, not see­ing the divine essence, he is not yet present with God; but the souls of the Saints when separated from their bodies, are present with God; for it follows verse the eighth, We are confident, and willing rather to be ab­sent from the body, and to be present with the Lord; whence it is manifest, that the souls of the Saints separated from the bo­dy, do walk by sight, seeing the essence of God, and consequently enjoying ever­lasting blessedness: 2. By Reason; for the understanding in the exercise of its ope­ration, needs not the body, but only for some phantasms or representations; but it is manifest that the divine essence is not to be seen by the help of any phantasm or representation: Wherefore since the immediate bliss of the soul consists in the Vision of the divine essence, it can­not depend upon the body, and conse­quently the soul without the body may be, and is undoubtedly blessed. Thus Aqui­nas, 12ae. qu. 4. art. 5. Shewing himself in this an exact Scholar of the Text, and as [Page 160] great a Master of Reason: And truly i [...] we rightly consider the matter, that Christ hath opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all Believers, what can shut it against a belie­ving soul departing hence, but onely sin [...] And that cannot shut it, neither for its guilt, nor for its blemish and pollution; For the guilt of sin is taken away from the believing soul by the imputation of Christs Righteousness; And the pollution of sin is also daily diminished in it, by the ope­ration of Christs Spirit during life, and quite taken away from it at the hour of death, even at the very instant of its de­parture; This is the judgement of some excellent School-men; So Gabriel in 3. Sent. dist. 15. Animae, in mortis instantia, datur impeccabilitas & impassibilitas. God gives to the soul at the very instant of death, impeccability that it cannot sin, and impassibility that it cannot suffer; O what a happy instant will that be, where­in we shall be delivered from our sins, and from our sufferings! And agreeable to this, Alexander Ales our own Country­man of Merton Coll. in Oxford, and Tutor both to the Seraphical and to the Ange­lical Doctor, gives the distinction of Gratia Baptismalis, Poenitentialis, Finalis, (Par. 4. [Page 161] qu. 15. membr. 3. art. 3.) That some Grace [...]s Baptismal, which rules and governs in the soul by vertue of the Sacrament; some Poenitential, which causeth an imperfect subjection and conformity of the will to God, and this takes away all mortal sin; And some Final, which makes the will and all its faculties wholly subject and confor­mable to God, and this takes away both mortal sin and also venial; But this grace is given only at the last instant of our life; for which reason happily it is called final Grace, as coming only at the end, only to men departing hence, to fit and prepare their souls for God: For nothing impure or unclean can enter into the Kingdom of God; and therefore the soul, before it can enter in thither, must be quite purged from all manner of impurity and uncleanness, which is accordingly done (saith he) by fi­nal Grace; For though other grace doth conquer sin, yet it is only final Grace that quite expels it; The soul not being whol­ly freed from that disorder which it hath contracted from the body, till it again de­part from the body; If this be so, what have I to do, but to long for a happy de­parture? that is, to make the best use I can of Baptismal and Poenitential Grace, that [Page 162] my soul may he delivered from the domi­nion of sin; and to expect that final grace which shall deliver it from the very inhae­sion of sinfulness: To bless God that hath given me grace in life to purge my soul from sin, and that will give me grace in death to perfect my soul in Righteous­ness: That he parting all sin from my soul, before he part my soul from my body, I may at the end of my weary pilgrimage, lay me down in peace and take my rest; Lay me down in that peace which this wicked world cannot give, and this tumul­tuous world cannot take away; the peace of a good conscience here, of a blessed eternity hereafter; And take my rest in the bosome of the earth my mother, but in the arms of God my Father, even that Rest of which it is said, Heb. 4. 3. For we which have believed, do enter into rest: A Rest into which neither our disturbance can en­ter with us, nor our disturbers after us, un­less as they have troubled others by their sins, so at length they trouble themselves much more, by their Repentance; A Rest into which he hath already entred, who is both able and willing to keep us in everla­sting rest: A Rest of a quiet, of an unin­terrupted sleep; For so he giveth his be­loved [Page 163] sleep, Psal. 127. 2. The Grave is a place of corruption in it self, but to the servants of God it is a place of Rest; Thence were Church-yards anciently cal­led sleeping places, Coemiteria or Dormi­toria, wherein the bodies of the Saints were laid to their last Rest: The An­cients did think fit to name their burying places from the rest, not from the corrup­tion that was to be found in them: Atha­nasius tels us, that a man may be said to be corruptible both spiritually and corporal­ly; Spiritually when he sins, as the Scrip­ture saith, They are corrupt, and become abominable in their iniquities; And Corpo­rally when he dies: which corporal cor­ruption (saith he) hath three Names, [...]. Mors, Pu­trefactio, Interitus; Death, Putrefaction, and Destruction: The death is when the soul is separated from the body; The Pu­trefaction is when the flesh of the body decays; But the Destruction is when also the bones are consumed; And he saith, that the body of Christ was subject only to the first corruption, which is by Death, not to the second by Putrefaction, and much less to the third by Destruction; The like is Damascens Divinity; (lib. 3. de orth. fid. [Page 164] cap. 28.) [...]. This word Corruption imports two things: Either the separation of the soul from the body, or the Total dissolution of the body; (for he hath joyned [...] and [...] in one.) From the first the body of Christ was not exempted; from the second our bodies cannot be exempt: The body of Christ which knew no sin was subject to the first degree of corrupti­on; But our bodies that have been all over infected with sin, and defiled by that infection, are also subject to the other two degrees of it. Christ tasted of death, Heb. 2. 9. But we must swallow it down; He fed on death, for he tasted it at his own plea­sure: Death feeds on us, for we must tast it against our wills; and not only tast it, but also eat it down: Corruption first seiz­ed upon our souls, and from thence pas­sed to our bodies; It was to our greatest disadvantage that it seized upon our souls; But it is to our greatest advantage that it seizeth upon our bodies: For unless they should be quite destroyed, sin which first caused mortality, would in the corrupt re­mainders and Reliques of our bodies, it [Page 165] self have a kind of immortality, whereas Righteousness alone is, and ought to be immortal: And therefore it is very pro­bable that those who shall be found alive at the last day, (of whom the Apostle hath said, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Cor. 15. 51.) shall have a change, not only Equivalent to a Death, but also to a Total Destruction; For sin must totally be destroyed: And therefore also our bodies that have lodged it, and have been defiled by it; That there may not be left the least monument of sin in the New World, wherein shall dwell nothing but Righteousness, 2 Pet. 3. 13. And now me thinks I can find a Paradise in Golgo­tha, ever since my Saviour hath been there; and bid hearty welcom to those worms which shall destroy that flesh which would have destroyed me; For I can now safely conclude, that neither in regard of my soul nor of my body ought I to fear Death; which certainly is not so formidable in it self, as it is generally in the worlds opinion: For if the Rule be true, Nomen quasi Novimen: The name of every thing is that whereby it is best known and discern­ed; then by the name of death we may best know and discern the nature of it: And [Page 166] these are the chief Names whereby the Scripture expresseth it, A Sleep; A Change, A Departure, A Dissolution; and none of all these Names is terrible; and why then should the thing it self be so? But if there be any terrour in the thing, yet we are sure that in the Text there is a comfort greater then the terrour.

First, Death is called a Sleep, Mat. 9. 24. The maid is not dead, but sleepeth; And though wicked miscreants who belie­ved not the Resurrection, laughed at our blessed Saviour for calling death A sleep, yet let all good Christians rejoyce that it is so, and give him thanks for making it so: It is a comfortable Gloss which the third Toletan Council, cap. 22. gives up­on those words of John 11. 35. Jesus wept; For they say, Dominus non flevit Laza­rum, sed ad vitae hujus ploravit Aerumnas resuscitandum, Jesus did not weep that La­zarus slept, but that he was again to be awakened to see the miseries, and feel the mischiefs of this wicked world: Twas said before, verse 11. Our friend Laza­rus sleepeth: And he that said it, having made his death a sleep, was troubled that he should awaken him so soon from his sleep: In vita vigilant Justi, ideo in mor­te [Page 167] dicuntur Dormire, saith St. Augustine: The good man when he dieth is said to sleep, because he watcheth and waketh all his life; but a wicked man sleeps all his life, and awakens only at his death: Soul take thy rest, saith the rich worldling; He lulls his soul asleep: but what follows? Thou fool, this night is thy soul taken from thee; Thy sleep shall soon be over, toge­ther with thy life, and Vengeance and Death they shall awaken thee; For hast thou slept all thy life, and wouldest thou also sleep at thy death? Hast thou slept all the while thou wert here, and wouldest thou also sleep, now thou art going hence? Hast thou slept when God bad thee awake, and wouldest thou also sleep now that he bids thee die? No; Thou mayest not any longer expect rest, ease and tran­quillity; For thou shalt certainly have disconsolation at thy departure, grief in thy passage, and shame at thy journeys end, when thou shalt appear before Gods Judgement-seat, and shalt not be able to give any account at all of thy life, (no more then the Souldiers could of Christ, Mat. 28.) for thou wert asleep: Thy Death would have been a sleep, if thy life had not been so.

[Page 168] Secondly, Death is called A Change Job 14. 14. All the dayes of my appointi [...] time will I wait, till my Change come: Th [...] Sept. [...], I wi [...] wait till I be made again: If death be thy making, Tell me what can be thy mar­ring? A happy change doubtless, which is nothing but a new making of that which is quite out of Order: And thus saith St. Chrysostome did Symmachus expound th [...] words, [...], [...] my holy Nativity, or my holy Natur [...] come; The nature which I now have i [...] full of corruption, full of unholiness, so that my own flesh is not so neer me as i [...] my sinfulness; O for a regeneration of my body as well as of my soul, that I may be born again in my flesh, as I am in my spi­rit: Nor is there any thing that can mor [...] truly sweeten the thought of death, the [...] this consideration, that it is a change; For we are already in so bad a condition, that we cannot well fear our Change should be for the worse; And if we be truly sensible of our own condition, it is most sure tha [...] our change will be infinitely for the bet­ter: For so saith the Apostle, Phil. 3. 20 [...] 21. For our conversation is in Heaven, fro [...] whence we also look for the Saviour, th [...] [Page 169] Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body; as if he had said, we find nothing on Earth worth conversing with­all, therefore our conversation is in Hea­ven: we know that our body is now vile and loathsom, and therefore we look for the Lord Jesus Christ to Change and Fa­shion it like unto his Glorious Body; Here are two great changes, which the men of this world, that are most given to change, least care for; A change of the soul from being on Earth to be in Heaven, [for our conversation is in Heaven.] A change of the body from Vileness to Glory, [who shall change our vile body, that it may be like his glorious body.]

Thirdly, Death is called, A Departure; and so doth Abenezra expound the fore­named word in Job, [...] Chaliphathi, my change; that is, (saith he) [...] Halicathi, my departure: For the Jews express mans Birth, as a Coming, and his Death as a Going: So Eccles. 1. 4. One generation goeth, or Passeth away, and another cometh; Generatio vadens, and Generatio Veniens: The first is put for the Dying, the latter for the living Generati­on of mankind. And the first Council of [Page 170] Nice, can. 13. speaking of Dying men useth a word that only signifieth going forth, [...], De iis q [...] exeunt; And again, [...]; If any man be ready to Depart hence not to deprive him of that necessary Pro­vision which God hath appointed as hi [...] food for his last journey; meaning the Holy Eucharist; for though many me [...] now account it as nothing worth, yet the Primitive Church thought there was great danger to that Christian soul that went hence without Receiving it, (and much more without Desiring it) or they would not have dispenced with all their Ecclesiastical Discipline to restore a sid [...] person to the Communion, which they did again deny him upon his recovery, till he should give the Church full satisfaction: But thus we see they looked upon a Chri­stians Dying, only as upon a Going out of his body; exit è corpore, saith Saint Hierom, of devout Lea, she is gone out of the body, when indeed she was dead; And what then, though I go out of my self, (and yet 'tis but the worst part of my self) as long as I go to my Saviour? why should I not joyfully sing with good [Page 171] old Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy ser­vant depart in peace; since, I have the very same Ground and Reason of my [...]ong that he had, even this, For [...] [...] have seen thy salvation, Luk 2. [...]. [...]. [...] do as clearly see thy salvation [...] [...] Eye of Faith, as he did with the Eye of Flesh; and so far I have the advantage of him; he saw himself embracing his Savi­our, I can more oversee my Saviour em­bracing me.

Fourthly and lastly, Death is called A Dissolution, Phil. 1. 23. Desiderium habens dissolvi, Having a desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ: Two very great comforts at once; the first, That I shall be dissolved; the second, That I shall be with Christ: Which two being joyned [...]ogether in All true Christians, haply made Saint Cyprian take Saint Pauls Dis­ [...]olution for an Assumption; for whereas [...]he Apostle saith, 2 Tim. 4. 6. The time [...]f my Dissolution is at hand; The good Fa­ [...]her recites him, saying, The time of my Assumption is at hand; not to furnish [...]ur Criticks with a various Lection, for [...]aint Cyprian was not Pur-blind, to read [...] for [...]; nor hath the [...]hurch been so false as to change the read­ing, [Page 172] but to furnish our Divines with various Exposition; For Death, as it is Dissolution in regard of the body, the [...] is the first Comfort, To be dissolved; So [...] is an Assumption in regard of the soul there is the second comfort, To be wit [...] Christ. For the first, let Themistius spea [...] (a Heathen Author) [...]; we say, Th [...] Death is a Dissolution, for the same rea­son that we call the body a Bond, becau [...] it binds, and manacles, and fetters th [...] soul; and who would not be Dissolve [...] or Loosened, that is in Fetters and Bonds The wanton desire of imaginarie Liberty hath brought many into Thraldom: A [...] 'tis a wonder if the serious sense of re [...] Thraldom, should not in an ingenuo [...] soul, increase the desire of true Liberty Bring my soul out of prison, that I m [...] praise thy Name, Psal. 14. 2. v. 7. 'Tis Vassalage, a meer Bondage not to prai [...] Gods Name; If others hinder me fro [...] praising it, they make me a Bondma [...] though they may pretend to have stretch [...] not only their Purse-strings, but also th [...] Heart-strings, and to have expended [...] only their money, but also their blood [Page 173] the Purchase of my Liberty: If I hinder my self, (whether by my sins, or for my pleasures) it is I that imprison my self; And because my flesh cannot but hinder me, it cannot but imprison me: for the service of God is perfect freedom, and therefore the soul cannot be truly free, till she come thither, where she shall do no­thing else but serve him. A privative li­berty, not to be enthralled in bondage, a Heathen could see in Death: But a good Christian may farther see also a positive liberty, To have his soul and his spirit en­larged, according to that of Psalm 119. v. 32. I will run the way of thy Com­mandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart: when the heart is most enlarged, it is most at liberty; and the heart is most enlarged, when it most runs the waies of Gods Commandments: most readily, be­cause without the sluggishness of the flesh; most speedily, because without the [...]og and weakness of the flesh; most in­cessantly, because without the weariness of the flesh: This is my first comfort in Death, that I shall be Dissolved or Loosen­ed from all my Bonds and Impediments; and yet this second is far greater then this, That I shall be with Christ: For Saint [Page 174] Paul spake not these words Personally lest I should think that this Personal privi­ledge was to pass away with himself (ac­cording to the rule of the Law, Privilegi­um personale transit cum persona; But [...] spake them Doctrinally, that I should be­lieve, what was at that time true Do­ctrine for his Instruction, and comfor­table Doctrine for his Consolation, was for ever to be so to all true Believers, both for their Instruction and for their Conso­lation: For it is evident, That the Con­vert-Thief upon the Cross cannot be looked upon as a priviledged person, and yet it was also pronounced concerning him, Dying in the true Faith of Christ, though he had not lived in it, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise: He was so to depart from himself, as without doubt to be with his Saviour in Paradise, not in Purgatory: Bellarmine himself confesseth, de Purgatorio incertum est: And none ever durst say, That the hu­mane soul of Christ was at all in Purgato­ry; But sure we are, That he is not now there, and as sure that they that are dissol­ved to be with him, cannot be where he is not. I am unwilling to go from this Ar­gument, because I am willing to come to [Page 175] my Death, as to my sleep for rest: As to my Change for Advantage; As to my De­parture from all Inconveniences for relief; As to my Dissolution from all Impedi­ments for redress: The Eyes of my body are content to be closed, so as the Eyes of my soul may be the more opened: There are two Eyes of my soul, as of my body; the one of Contemplation, which is as the left Eye; the other of Affection, which is as the right Eye. When the Eyes of my body are nearest shutting, the Eyes of my soul will be nearest opening; and from see­ing the light of Nature, I shall go to see the light of Glory: As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, saith holy David, Psal. 17. 15. teaching me to lie down in this faith; and again, I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness, comforting me, That I shall rise again in this Vision; For if the former part be my faith, the latter will surely be my Vision. I know that I shall part with my dearest Relations, but I also know, that I received them upon this condition, to part with them. And be­sides, there is none of these but will be infinitely bettered to me, by losing these; for he hath said it, who is able to make good his word, Mat. 12. 50. [Page 176] Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my Brother, and Sister, and Mother. Tell me, if there be any Relations nearer and dearer the [...] these; and tell me, whether these can be so comfortable in Earth, as they are in Heaven. What loss is it then to me, though Death take from me All, while it gives me him who is All in All? The Spirit of God saith unto every faithful soul (Psalm 4. 5. 10.) Hearken O daughter, and consi­der, forget also thine own people, and thy Fa­thers house; so shall the King greatly de­sire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord God, and worship thou him. Non est ergo magnum [...] ­tu obliviscaris & dimittas Populum tuum, & Domum Patris Tui, ut te totum ejus ser­vitio submittas; Quoniam ipse dimisit Coe­lum, & se totum dedit, ut tibi serviret; saith Hugo. He requires no great thing of thee, To forgo thy Fathers house on Earth for his sake, who did forgo his Fathers house in heaven for thy sake; He was thy Lord, and yet did that to serve thee; Thou art his servant, and wilt thou stick at doing this to serve him? But you will say, Herein consists my greatest perplexi­ty; For I know that I must go to him as my Lord to Judge me, but I do not know [Page 177] how I can stand in that Judgement, that so I may find him my Father to receive me, and my God to save me: But for this, I refer you to another Chapter, as being a Piece of Divinity that most concerneth another world.

CHAP. III. The Comforts of the Soul against Iudgement.

SECT. I. The terrours of the last Judgement.

THere is a time for a Minister to be a Boanerges, a Son o [...] Thunder, to proclaim God [...] final Judgement against Im­penitent sinners, that he may bring them to an earnest Repentance, fo [...] that Impenitency is the high-way to dam­nation: But there is also a time for him to be a Barnabas, a Son of Consolation, t [...] proclaim Gods mercies to the Penitent that he may bring them to a lively faith [Page 179] for that true faith is the high-way to salva­tion.

Galatinus reports, That the Jews did use to give a strong intoxicating wine to those that were condemned to die, that by di­sturbing their judgements, they might have the less terrible apprehensions of their approaching Death; wresting that Text of Prov. 31. 6. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts: A miserable way of Comforting was this, to take away the pain, by taking away the sense and the understanding; To quiet the conscience, by drowning it: Had it not been more mercy in the Jews, to have given the guilty a bitter potion to awaken his conscience, then a pleasing potion to benum and to be­sot it? For it is good the soul should weep with Mary, (John 20. 11.) when she cannot readily find out Christ, because it is sure, the weeping soul can never lose him: Wherefore it will be requisite, that I first set before your eyes the terrours of the last Judgement, that you may see your sins; and then the comforts against those ter­rours, that you may see your Savi­our.

As concerning the terrours of the last [Page 180] Judgement, they are set down in few words, but many Frights, 2 Thes. 1. 7, 8. When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty Angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, in that day. Observe the terrible manner of this Grand-Assizes; The Judge shall visibly come down from heaven, and bring his Posse Comitatus with him, even his mighty Angels, to execute his final Sen­tence; which shall be a Sentence for the punishment of sense, [they shall be punish­ed with an everlasting Destruction] and for the punishment of loss, [from the presence of the Lord.] That is, A Sentence for all punishment that is imaginable, and for more then is endurable: And this Judge shall come down in flaming fire, a Real, a Material, a Corporal, not a Metaphorical, or an Imaginary, or a Spiritual fire; and this fire he shall bring along with him from heaven, not expect it to meet him from hell, (that shall lose none of its own [Page 181] former flames, but receive more) and therewith consume this corruptible and corrupted world, 2. Pet. 3. 7. And after that, throw all the Divels and wicked men into that same fire, and then throw the fire it self, with them, down into hell, there to increase the torments of those miscreants for ever, that had before fire from hell to torment them; but then they shall also have fire from heaven to encrease their torments. God, as he shall be glorified and admired in his Saints, because of his unde­served mercy; so shall he also be glorified and admired in those sinners, because of his righteous Judgement: And therefore, though their Judges fire will be so terrible, because of the flame, yet their own sins will be much more terrible, because they alone minister the fuel to that fire; For the Books shall be opened, (The Book of Gods Remembrance, and the Book of their own Conscience) And they shall be Judged out of those things which are written in the Books, according to their works, Rev. 20. 12. Then in both Books shall they see such works Registred, as call for a Judgement worthy of God, because they had not on­ly an Impiety, but also an Impenitency un­worthy of man: And as they shall first [Page 182] see those works to their terrour; so sha [...] they after feel them to their torment: no [...] a work that had putrefaction and corrupti­on in it, but shall have its worm after it For corruption of sin begets a worm in th [...] soul, as corruption of Death begets worm in the body: Vermis oritur ex putredine, [...] mordit illud in quo oritur, saith Bonaven­ture; A worm is begotten of filthiness, an [...] feeds on that which beg at it; so is the wo [...] of conscience, it is begotten of corruption even of sin, the only corruption of the soul & it frets, and corrodes, and gnaws, and bit [...] that soul which gave it being. So that there must needs be all manner of terrours, ter­rours from within, where their worm dieth not; terrours from without, and the fire [...] not quenched, Mark 9. 46. And to all these terrours, we must yet further add this ter­rible example out of Saint Peter, 2 Pet. 2. 4. For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and deli­vered them into chains of darkness to be re­served unto Judgement: Here is a kind o [...] an imperfect speech, called' [...] his passion caused him to break off, with­out making the Inference; but our own consciences will thus make it up for him; for if God spared not the Angels that sinned; [Page 183] much less will he spare men (the more ig­noble creatures) that would not repent them of their sins; and if he cast the An­gels down from heaven into hell, then sure­ly he will not admit wicked men from hell into heaven; and if he delivered the An­gels into chains of darkness to be reserved unto Judgement, then much more will he deliver those wicked men, whom he hath brought to Judgement, to be cast into that daarkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; For there was before an inner darkness in their sin, and it is but just there should be an outer darkness in their punishment. They that before would not see the light, then shall not see it; for though they shall dwell in everlasting burnings, yet shall they have such fire as shall only afford Heat to scorch them, not Light to comfort them; For then shall the fire that is prepared for the Execution of Gods Judgements upon sinners, be divided by the Word of the Lord, saith Saint Basil; All the light that is in it, shall be for the comfort of the Saints; that is, shall return back to heaven again, from whence it came down, (as was said before) but all the Heat that is in it, shall be for the torment of the sinners: So that in heaven shall be [Page 184] all the Light, and none of the Heat; in hell shall be all the Heat, and none of the Light: (Saint Basil in his Sermon upon the Judge­ment to come, [...]) There will Pashur, that injuriously smote Jeremiah the Prophet, not be Pashur, noble and excellent, but Magor-missabib, fear round about, Jer. 20. 3, 4. Est enim Pashur idem quod excrescens Princeps, vel scindens seu aperiens locum; Magor vero Pavor, saith Zegedine: Then shall those who now on­ly make way for their own Greatness, only give way to their own Fears: They that now think they have not room enough to live, shall then think they have too much room to Die. This is so certain a truth, that it is set down by way of History, as if it were already done; not of Prophesie, as if it were to do, Rev. 6. 15, 16. And the Kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, & the chief Captains, & the mighty men, and every bond-man, & every free-man, hid themselves in the Dens, and in the Rocks of the Mountains, and said to the Moun­tains and Rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the Face of him that sitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? We may answer, [Page 185] They who now are most likely to fall; for it is evident, that they who now are a ter­rour unto others, shall then be a terrour to themselves; the great men, the mighty men that now engross all, will then think they have too much; for they will wish the Rocks and the Mountains to fall on them, and think that weight nothing to the bur­den of their sins: They will desire to be hid from the face of him, in whose presence is the fulness of joy; and from the wrath of that Lamb, which alone delivereth from the wrath of God; They will be afraid to see their Redeemer, how much more to see their Judge? They will not know how to look upon him as a Lamb, such as he is in himself; much less will they know how to look upon him as a Lyon, such as their sins have made him: They will be terrified at the thought of their neglected Delive­rance, and much more at the voice of their denounced Damnation.

But I dare not proceed further in these terrours, for fear they should prove great­er then the greatest of our comforts, as we are able to receive them, though not so great as the least of our sins, as we have despitefully committed them: For it is not proper to bring a soul laden with sin to a [Page 186] servile, but to a godly sorrow; not to a sorrow that worketh fear to confusion, but that worketh repentance to salvation: A sorrow that is not without hope, as well as not without fear, and hath hopes as far greater then its fears, as it hath fears lesser then its sins. For a sorrow that is without hope, is but the beginning of Hell-tor­ments; And it is not safe bringing our souls too near hell-gate, for fear the Devil should lay fast hold of us when we are there, and pluck us quite in: Nay indeed it is not necessary; for we are bound to be­lieve, that our blessed Saviour Descended into he [...], that he might keep us from De­scending thither: All our labour then must be to enquire which is the best way to pre­vent these terrours, that they may not seize upon our souls; and if they have seized us, which is the readiest way to expell them.

SECT. II. The best way to prevent the terrours of the Day of Judgement.

THE best way to prevent these ter­rours, is to practise what we have been taught to pray, even to lead a godly, a righteous and a sober life; A godly life, ac­cording to Gods Eternal Order, the Order of Religion; a Righteous life, according to mans external Order, the Order of Go­vernment; and a sober life, according to our own internal Order, the Order of Reason: But because some will the less regard this, or any other sound Divinity, if it be taught them by the Church (there­by shewing themselves, in one and the same act, no less unthankful to Gods mer­cy, which gave them a Church to teach them the true way of godliness, then un­dutiful to Gods Authority, that they will not be taught) it is necessary to shew how God taught it the Church, before the Church taught it us; for so saith Saint Paul, Tit. 2. 11, 12. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared [Page 188] to all men, teaching us, that denying ungod­liness and worldly lusts, we should live sober­ly and righteously, and godly or religiously in this present world; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts: Not Gods Ordinances, Gods Sacraments, Gods Authority, not the un­doubted exercise of godliness, making all these by our denyals to be thought un­godliness: Such a denyal as this, must needs be Antichristian, and will justifie Hyppolitus his gloss, who in the Greek word of denying, (' [...],) hath ac­cording to its numeral letters, found out the number of the Beast, 666. We can­not deny the exercise of godliness, as if it were ungodliness; Heavenly practises, as if they were earthly and worldly lusts, but our denyal will help make up the number of the Beast: If we will needs be deny­ing, let us deny our selves: for that de­nyal will make us live soberly, and righte­ously, and religiously in this present world; soberly in regard of our selves, by subduing our Affections to Reason; righteously, in regard of our Brethren, by subduing our Actions to our subdued Affections; and religiously in regard of our God, by sub­duing both our Reason and our Affections to Religion. Thus if we do, we shall not [Page 189] be guilty of any inordinate work, and consequently we shall not fear any punish­ment, which is but the act of some vio­lated or offended Order, Vindicating and Revenging it self: I say, if we live sober­ly, and righteously, and godly in this pre­sent world, we shall not need live, and much less die in fear, lest any of those or­ders, under which God hath placed us, should rise up against us to punish and to depress us: But whiles we are under guilt, we cannot possibly be above fear; for it is the property of all Order, to suppress the contrary Disorder, and consequently to punish it; and sin being a breach of these three Orders, the Order of Reason, the Order of Justice, and the Order of Reli­gion, is accordingly punished by them all; And therefore the sinner that hath not his sin forgiven him, cannot be exempted from the fear of all these three punishments; nei­ther from the fear of internal punishment by the remorse of his own conscience, which proceeds wholly from the Order of Reason, (for it is from Reason that a man hath a conscience, first to admonish him, and at last to torment him, because he would not be admonished) nor from the fear of external punishment by the hand of [Page 190] outward Government, which will never leave stretching it self out, till it hath reach­ed the Malefactor, and brought him to suf­fer according to his doings: nor from the fear of eternal punishment, proceeding from the wrath of God: So nearly doth it concern us to ful [...]ill all righteousness to­wards God, our selves and our neighbours, that we may be exempted from all fear of punishment, either from God, or men, or from our selves, that is to say, our own consciences: This is the best way to pre­vent the terrours of the Judgement to come, even to keep our selves in the first innocency, the innocency of Obedience; but because we have all lost this, and do continually lose it, we must therefore the more earnestly follow, that we may the more happily apprehend the second inno­cency, the innocency of Repentance.

For there is no protection against fear, but only innocency; which since we can­not have by our Obedience, we must seek to him by our Repentance: And therefore it will not be amiss for every good Christi­an to follow Saint Pauls example, who saith of himself, Acts 24. 16. Herein do I exercise my self, to have alwaies a con­science void of offence toward God, and to­ward [Page 191] men; [...]; we may look upon this as Saint Pauls Asce­ticks (although here is not one rule con­cerning a Monastick life) or as his exerciti­um quotidianum; for so Beza, ipse me exerceo, Herein do I exercise my self. His daily exercise was this, to have a conscience void of offence towards God; which they cannot have who are guilty of superstiti­on; and a conscience void of offence to­ward men, which they cannot have who are guilty of faction. Good Lord, how few is the number of those (in such an in­numerable number of Christians) who have a conscience void of offence, both to­ward God, and toward men; since there are so few, who are not guilty, either of su­perstition or of faction? Herein a man must exercise by himself, that will exercise himself; for in such depravations and distempers of the world, what he gets of the company, he may chance lose of the exercise: and indeed, since the exercise wholly concerns the conscience, it is most fit that every man exercise both himself and by himself, and accordingly Catechize his own soul, how far he hath had a con­science void of offence toward God, and consequently in that regard toward him­self [Page 192] (for in loving God, he loves himself, and therefore there is no Text that saith, Thou shalt love thy self, but only, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self; for the Text that saith, thou shalt love the Lord thy God, includes in it loving thy self, which cannot be but in relation to God; And lastly, a conscience void of offence to­ward men; every one must examine him­self, how he hath observed his Order to­wards God by Faith and Obedience, in be­lieving his Promises, in doing his Com­mands: How he hath observed his Order towards his neighbour, by Justice and Charity, whether that Order be Civil or Ecclesiastical; for he can shake off nei­ther, and therefore must satisfie both: Lastly, how he hath observed his Order to­wards himself, by Temperance, Soberness, and Chastity, bringing his body under his soul, and bringing his soul under his God; for he cannot [...], unless he doth [...]; He cannot be wise to be sober, unless he be sober to be wise.

Thus he must examine himself concern­ing all these three Orders, and what he findeth concerning any of them defective in his Obedience, he must labour to make [Page 193] up speedily by his Repentance; for which cause our Church doth laudably require the distinct rehearsing of all the ten Com­mandments, and the people after every Commandment, to ask God mercy for their transgression of the same, that so we might be sure to pass by no one sin unre­pented; which they can scarce do, who yet are called to repentance upon more strict terms then we are, since the second Commandment is not in so great repute with them, as to have any Interrogatory concerning it: But he that heartily asks God forgiveness for his transgressions against every particular Commandment, since every sin is a transgression of some Commandment, is sure to pass by no sin whatsoever without Repentance; for he doth really and explicitly repent of those sins which he knows and remembers, and doth virtually and implicitly repent of all the rest: which is a thing we should all make sure of, since there is nothing but In­nocency can arm us against Judgement; and there is no innocency, but either in obedience, or in repentance: wherefore, it being impossible that any man, conceived and born in sin, should quiet his conscience by the perfection of his obedience, (for in [Page 194] many things we offend all, Jam. 3. 2. an [...] having offended, must fear to be punished it is most necessary that we all labour to quiet our consciences by Repentance: a [...] bless God, who though he hath require [...] Obedience, yet hath also granted Repent­ance unto life, (Acts 11. 18.) and woul [...] not have granted it, if he would not have accepted it: Do then as did that godly Centurion Cornelius, (a fit pattern no [...] only for all military, but also for all seden­tary men) give much Alms to the people, (for sure if there be not a redeeming, ye [...] there is a breaking off sins by Alms-deeds and iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor, Dan. 4. 27.) and pray to God al­way; that is, be so far from taking away what is another mans, as to be ready to give of thine own; give of thy substance [...] thy Brother, (for his Poverty hath no [...] disannulled his Fraternity) give thy self to thy God, and it shall be with thee, as it was with Cornelius, thy Memorial shall be with God, thy Comfort with thy self, thy Conversation with an Angel. No ma [...] can be exempted from the terrours of [...] dreadful Judgement, but he that dares trust God with his soul; and no man dares trust God with his soul, that is not either Inno­ [...]ent [Page 195] or Penitent: And if you will ask me, [...]hich of these two dares trust him most, [...] who my self am laden with sin must say, [...]he Penitent; For the Innocent offers un­ [...] God his own Righteousness, but the [...]enitent offers unto him his Sons Righte­ [...]sness; and certainly, he dares most trust [...]od, who offers him that Righteousness, [...]hich he is sure God can least refuse in [...]dgement.

SECT. III. The[?] best way to expell the terrours of the Day of Judgement.

THE greatest happiness of a Christi­an, is not to be troubled in Consci­ [...]ce; but the next to this, is speedily to be [...]livered from all his troubles: He is hap­ [...]st that prevents the terrours of a guilty [...]nscience; but he is next happy that ex­ [...]ls them: And we have all most need to [...]k after this, for there is guiltiness enough [...]thin the most innocent soul to betray it, [...]d open the doors to let in these terrours, [Page 196] and therefore we must labour to see th [...] be faith enough in the guilty soul, to exp [...] and thrust them out again. And surely the Doctrine of Justification by Work though it pretend to be a great friend Righteousness, yet is it, in this respect, great enemy to the Righteous, w [...] can never attain to that perfection Righteousness, as to be able to stand up his own legs in the last Judgement: The [...] ­fore Saint Paul imputeth our peace [...] God, to Justification by faith, Rom. 5. Being justified by Faith we have peace [...] God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: [...] is a League that cannot be broken, a Pe [...] that cannot be disturbed, which is thro [...] our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the [...] from heaven said, This is my beloved S [...] whom I am well pleased, Mat. 3. 17. [...] that voice cannot but speak comfort to according to the Learned Zanchies g [...] lib. 4. de Tribus Elohim, cap. 1. [...] beneficia iis paucis verbis docet Pa [...] Christum nobis Communicari, Dilecti [...] Reconciliationis, Adoptionis, seu Reg [...] ­tionis; Three (great) blessings in [...] few words doth the Father himself [...] us, are communicated by Christ to good Christian; the blessing of Love [Page 197] [...]e is beloved in himself, we beloved in [...]m; the blessing of Filiation or Adopti­ [...]n, for he was his Son by nature, we his [...]ns by adoption and grace: And the [...]lessing of Reconciliation, for God is well­ [...]leased with Christ for his own sake, and with us for Christs sake. For, wherefore [...]d there come forth blood and water out of thy side O sweet Jesus? was it not that [...]he water should wash my soul, and the [...]lood should heal it? I confess, that I have [...]ierced thee by my sins more deeply then ever the souldiers spears pierced thee; yet [...]et me still look on thee by a lively faith, that the Scripture may be daily more and more fulfilled, which saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced, John 19. 37. Thus did holy men heretofore look upon thee; nor had Saint Bernard any other answer to return to the Devil when he accused him, as he supposed, at Gods Judgement-seat, but only this, Fateor, non sum Dignus Ego, nec propriis possum meritis Regnum obtinere Coelorum; Caeterum duplici jure illud obti­n [...]ns Dominus meus, Haereditate sc. Patris & merito Passionis, Altero ipse contentus, Alte­rum mihi donat, ex cujus Dono jure illud mihi Vindicans non confundor; in vita S. Bernardi, lib. 1. cap. 12. I confess that I [Page 198] am not worthy, nor can I plead mine own merits, why I should obtain the Kingdom of heaven; But my Lord having a double right thereto, one from his Father by in­heritance, the other from himself by the merit of his Passions; he being contented with one of them, hath given the other unto me; and I claiming heaven by his gift, cannot be confuted, and much less confounded in my claim. Thus hath Saint Bernard taught me to answer the Devil; and sure he is too old, too cunning a Sophi­ster to be answered by any Fallacy: There is no silencing him but by a down-right Truth, whose evidence is undenyable, and whose power is unresistable. Nay yet more, Thus hath Saint Anselm taught me to answer God himself, in the form of Vi­sitation of the sick, antiently used in this Kingdom, (for Saint Anselm that used it, was Arch-Bishop of Canterbury) who after some questions to the dying man con­cerning his Faith and Repentance, thus concludes his exhortation, for the quiet­ing and setling of his conscience: (I will put the words into English, as thinking it most reasonable, that what equally con­cerns All, should be in a Tongue equally understood by All.)

[Page 199] Therefore still give him, (that is, your blessed Saviour) thanks, whiles your breath is in your body, that he was pleased to die for you; place all your confidence in his death; commit your self wholly to it, involve your self wholly in it, cover your self wholly with it: And if God go about to Judge thee, say unto him, Lord, I object the death of my Saviour Jesus Christ, between me, and thee, and thy Judgement; If he say, That thou hast deserved damnati­on; then say unto him, Lord, I object the death of my Jesus between me and my evil deservings; And I bring with me the merit of his most worthy Passion, instead of the merits which I should have had, but alas I have not: Then let the sick man say thrice, Into thy hands Lord I commend my spirit; and let those that stand by, say so with him; and let him die securely, for he shall never see the Eternal Death.

Thus did the antient Church think it not only comfortable, but also conformable Divinity, That Christ alone should answer all Objections that were made against the soul; And yet a Church much antienter then this, did believe and teach the same truth, even the Church in the Apostles times, Heb. 3. 6. Whose house are we, if we [Page 200] hold fast the confidence, and the rejoycing o [...] the hope firm unto the end. Whose house ar [...] we; that is, all we that are Christians, the whole Catholike Church; for particular men and Churches are but several stones in this living building; it is the whole Christi­an Church that is the House of Christ: And that is his House upon this condition, If it hold fast the confidence, and the re­joycing of the hope firm unto the end; as if he had said, By the same means that we are built up in Christ, we are still preserved in his building; By the same means that we are contained, we are also continued in his House; that is, by Faith and Hope in him: By holding fast the confidence, and the rejoycing of the hope unto the end: By lay­ing hold on my Saviour, I get into his My­stical Body, and by keeping my hold, I continue in it: The Syriack translation in­stead of Confidence, here saith, The un­covering of the face, to shew that there is not left in the true Believer, the conscience of any one sin unrepented or unsatisfied, (through the All-sufficiency of his Savi­ours satisfaction) which may make him cover his face, either out of shame, or out of fear to look upon God; either out of shame, because of his own unworthiness, [Page 201] (for by faith he hath his Saviours worthi­ness to make him confident) or out of fear, because of Gods unplacableness, for by hope he hath a cause to rejoyce, not to fear; therefore it is said, The rejoycing of our hope: And the same Apostle moreover, gives the reason of this saying, Chap. 4. v. 15, 16. For we have not an high-Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin; Let us there­fore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need: What is the hope that we can rejoyce in, but the hope of Eternal Life? And we have this hope, because we have a great high-Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, v. 14. He is passed in before us, to make way for us to follow after him; Nor ought we to be dismayed at our infirmities, since he is touched with the feeling of them; for himself was tempted, to strengthen us in our temptations; that in his strength we should encounter them, and by his strength should overcome them: Let us there­fore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, &c.

Wherein we have set forth the manner [Page 202] and the reason of our going unto God; The manner, it must be with a holy confi­dence, in the righteousness of our high-Priest, [Let us come boldly] The reason is two-fold, the first concerns our God, be­cause he hath erected a Throne of Grace to pardon us, not of Judgement to con­demn us [unto the Throne of grace.] The second concerns our selves, That we may ob­tain mercy and find grace, to help us in time of need: What help so welcome, as that which helps in time of need? What time of need so much wants help, as that where­in we can neither help our selves, nor have any else to help us, the Hour of Death, and the Day of Judgement? In this time of need it is, that our high-Priest doth chiefly help us; he will make intercession for us, when we shall not be able to speak for our selves, at the hour of death; he will make answer for us, when we shall not be able to answer for our selves, at the day of Judgement: What though the Devils will then busily accuse me, as long as his righteousness shall be interposed in answer for me? what if my conscience doth condemn me, as long as his satisfaction doth acquit me? Why should not my soul joyfully say, I will go forth, (even out of [Page 203] my body) in the strength of the Lord God, and will mention thy Righteousness only, Psal. 71. 16. Though I dare not go forth in mine own strength, for fear I should fail in my journey, or miscarry at my jour­neys end, yet I dare go forth in his strength; Though I dare not mention mine own Righteousness at the Bar of Gods Justice, yet I dare mention my Saviours Righteousness [I will make mention of thy Righteousness, even of thine only:] Having therefore boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the Vail, that is to say, his Flesh, and having an high-Priest over the House of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assu­rance of Faith, Heb. 10. 19. Here are three singular benefits, that all they have who have Communion with Christ, to assure them of their entrance into heaven, when they depart from the earth; The first is, That the door is opened unto them, and they have such a right to enter as cannot be doubted, must not be denyed [Having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.] The second is, That the way which leadeth thither is a safe way, keeping all from death that walk in it, [A new and [Page 204] lively way.] And also, A ready way, such as they may hope to walk in, notwithstand­ing their infirmities, because he hath made it plain for them, for he hath consecrated it for us through his flesh. The third is, That the House whither they are to go, is wholly disposed and ordered by their high Priest, who both guides them in the way, and is ready to receive them at their jour­neys end, [Having an high-Priest over the House of God] These being the Pre­mises, That the door is open, and we have a right to enter; that the way is both safe and plain; that the House whither we de­sire to go, is wholly ordered by our own high-Priest, who guides us thither, and is ready to receive us there; what else can be the conclusion but comfort and confi­dence? what have we else to do, but to draw near with a true heart, in full assu­rance of Faith? A true heart, that is true to its Saviour, by believing in full assurance of faith; that is true to it self, by drawing near according to that belief: And sure­ly, the Apostles invitation is as urgent for us to draw near to the Church Trium­phant, as to the Church Militant, because all power is given to our Saviour Christ, as well in heaven as in earth, Mat. 28. 18. [Page 205] He hath power over the House of God in heaven, as well as over the House of God in earth: And where he hath power of the House, we need not be afraid to enter: For as he hath made the passage for us, to pass from the bondage of sin and Satan, to come into his Kingdom of Grace: So much more hath he made the passage for us, to pass from his Kingdom of Grace, to come to his Kingdom of Glory: And if we have already passed from Death to Life, much more shall we pass from Life to ever­lasting Life: If we have already passed from Nature to Grace, much more shall we pass from Grace to Glory: For the distance betwixt Nature and Grace is much greater, and harder to be passed, then the distance betwixt Grace and Glory; for na­ture scarce affords a capacity of Grace, but grace is the very Inchoation of Glory.

[...]

[Page 208] Profitable; If thou wilt not help us for our miseries which we have deserved, yet help us for thy mercies which thou hast promised; For thy Goodness is more willing to forgive, then thy power is to punish: And thy blood cryeth much lowder for pardon and forgiveness, then our sins can cry for punishment: Thou hast not yet forgiven so much as thou hast promised; and thou hast not promised so much as thou hast purchased: One drop of thy blood had been a full and sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, but thou wast pleased to shed many drops of it, to shew that there was satis­faction still left for the sins of many worlds: Lord, hath thy blood satisfied for more sins then we can commit, and shall it not satisfie for those sins that we have forsaken and do detest? Hast thou purchased mercy for more then do repent, and wilt thou not shew mercy on those to whom thou hast given Repentance? Hast thou been so long calling us, that thou shouldst at last reject us? Hast thou so long promised salvation, that thou shouldst at last deny it? Thou hast purchased Re­demption for us by thy blood, thou hast promised it in thy Word; Thou hast pur­chased [Page 209] more then thou hast promised, and hast thou promised less then thou wilt per­form? I am thy Debtor for the Purchase, and I owe thee more then I am able, if not more then I am willing to pay: But thou art my Debtor for the promise; I could not oblige thee by my desert, but thou hast obliged thy self by thy Word, and the Ob­ligation is much the stronger for being of thy making, then if it had been of mine. This is the Obligation that I trust to, the Obligation whereby thou art obliged to thy self, to thine own blood, to thine own truth, Help thy servant whom thou hast Re­deemed with thy precious blood, and to whom thou hast promised the benefit of this Redemption in thy Word: Thou wilt Judge me for those sins for which thou thy self hast satisfied, and is it possible that the sentence of thy Judgement should dis­annual the merit of thy satisfaction? How comfortable are those words of thine to my guilty soul, The Father Judgeth no man, but hath committed all Judgement to the Son, John 5. 22. For when I look upon the Father, I must needs say of him, Our God is a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 29. He is as fire, and I am as stubble, easily consumed; my sins have made my soul combustible, [Page 210] which his goodness had made impassible; Have so much fewel about me and within me, that I cannot but dread the fire: there­fore I do most exceedingly rejoyce, that the Father will not Judge me, but hath committed all Judgement to the Son; For in the Son I cannot but see Flesh of my Flesh, and Bone of my Bone; And since no man yet ever hated his own Flesh, Ephes. 5. 29. I will not think that the Saviour of man, will be the first to hate that Flesh in me, which he hath in himself; I will then no longer stagger at those words of the Apostle, That the Lord the righteous Judge hath laid up a Crown of righteousness for them, and will give it to them, and to them only that love his appearing, 2 Tim. 4. 8. For now I my self cannot but love it; I cannot but love his appearing as my Judge, when my soul doth magnifie him as my Lord, and my spirit doth rejoyce in him as God my Saviour: For to me, being thus prepared and disposed as I ought, it is all one to look for that blessed hope, and to look for the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might re­deem us from all iniquity, Tit. 2. 13. He gave himself for us, that he might redeem [Page 211] us from all iniquity; and therefore it is no­thing else but looking for that blessed hope, to look for his appearing to the com­pleating of our Redemption. Divines tell us of a three-fold Advent or Coming of Christ to Holy and Religious men; Adven­tus ad Redemptionem, Consolationem, & Re­munerationem; his coming to their Re­demption, to their Comfort, and to their Reward: His first coming was in the Flesh, when he took on him their Nature; His second coming was in the Spirit, when he imparted unto them of his grace: His third coming will be in Power, when he will impart unto them his Glory. His first coming was to Redeem them, his second coming to Comfort them, and therefore his third coming cannot be so much to Judge as to Reward them: Himself hath said no less, John 6. 40. This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: Lord, thou hast opened mine eyes to see thee here by Faith, and wilt thou not hereafter open thy self, that I may see thee by clear Vision? And what priviledge is it, that I may have everlasting life here, where it is not, if I may not have it here­after, where it is? And yet for strengthen­ing [Page 212] my faith, thou hast said much more, to shew that I cannot believe enough of thy goodness, John 3. 36. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life. And again, John 5. 24. He that heareth my Word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlast­ing life, (it is as sure as if he had it alrea­dy) and shall not come into condemnation, (though he shall be Judged, yet he shall not be condemned in Judgement) but is passed from death to life. He is already passed from the Death of sin to the Life of Grace, and shall assuredly pass from the life of Grace to the life of Glory: And indeed, what is the summe of the whole Gospel, but the Promise of Eternal life up­on condition of Faith in Christ? This is the Record, that God hath given to us Eter­nal life, and this life is in his Son, he that hath the Son hath life, 1 John 5. 11, 12. Have I life, in having thee my Saviour, and can I lose it in having thee my Judge? O the immortal comfort that my soul en­joyes, to think, that though I have been to my Master in heaven, a far worse servant then Onesimus was to Philemon, not only to run away from him, but also to rob him, yet upon my true Repentance, my Saviour will say to his Father on my behalf, as [Page 213] Saint Paul did to his friend, If thou count me a Partner, (and truly, he is his Partner in the same God-head) receive him as my self, (now he is invested with my righte­ousness) if he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account: (Saint Paul to Philemon, v. 17, 18.) O Lord, I owe thee so much, that I can never say suf­ficiently, and much less may leave off say­ing, Forgive us our debts; yet since thou hast already put my debts upon thy Sons account, how wilt thou let them lie still on mine? Didst thou not punish thy Son, that thou mightest spare thy servant? Or canst thou in Justice punish the same sin twice, once in my Surety, another time in me? It was the great necessity of thy of­fended Justice to punish the sin; and is it not as great a necessity of thy satisfied Ju­stice, to spare the sinner? I will not then say, He is to be my Judge, whose Majesty I have honoured, whose mercy I have embraced, whose glory I have promoted, whose good­ness I have proclaimed, whose presence I have desired, for if I have done any of these, yet twas not I, but the grace of God which was with me, 1 Cor. 15. 10. And yet for that very cause alone I must needs con­fess, that those are thrice happy, who have [Page 214] so far been assisted by Gods grace, that they can, not Pharisaically, but Truly say this; for though it was his meer mercy to give the grace, yet it is in some sort his Justice, both to continue, and to regard his own gift; So saith Saint Paul, God is not un­righteous, or unjust, to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed towards his Name, Heb. 6. 10. where this is in effect his argument; He that desists from a just work, justly begun, is unjust; But God is not unjust; therefore he will not desist from those good works he hath be­gun in you, so far as not to perfect them, and much less so far as not to reward them, But I am contented to pretend to no such happiness. This is the immortal comfort of the Righteous; Let my soul look after the comforts of the sinner, wherein I am not like to have the less remedy, because I am sure to have the more company: I will say then, He is to be my Judge, whose Ma­jesty I have contemned, whose mercy I have neglected, whose glory I have hin­dered, whose goodness I have denyed, whose presence I have shunned: But withall, he is to be my Judge for those sins for which I have already Judged and Con­demned my self; and will he for these, [Page 215] Judge and condemn me the second time? This is scarce agreeable with his Justice, much less is it agreeable with his mercy; For the Apostle saith, If we would Judge our selves, we should not be Judged, 1 Cor. 11. 31. I ask, how should we not be Judg­ed? not temporally? that were not to be loved; For whom he loveth he chasten­eth, Heb. 12. 6. And Saint Peter saith, That Judgement must begin at the House of God, 1 Pet. 4. 17. and sure we are, that his love begins there, and comes down to particular men but as they are parts of his Family or Houshold; we must therefore say, That if we would Judge our selves, we should not be Judged Eternally; For most universally true, is that Rule of the Civil Law, Favores sunt Ampliandi, all matters of Favour are to be enlarged: Gods mercies if they could be with Restri­ction, they could scarce be without Repen­tance; and what a cruel mercy were this, not to Judge Temporally, that he might Judge Eternally? I say then, I have Judged my self for all my sins, and therefore believe that I shall not be Judged of the Lord; that is, not so Judged as to be condemned in the Judgement: For sin, as it must be Judged, so it can be Judged but once: If I [Page 216] have Judged my self for it, I shall not be Judged of the Lord: I shall then be enabled to pray in Faith unto my Saviour, Enter not into Judgement with thy servant, Psal. 143. 2. And I am sure, that pray­ing thus in Faith, I shall find him my Ad­vocate, and not my Judge. Why should I then be dismayed for fear of that Judge­ment, wherein he is to be the Judge, who at first suffered for me as my Surety, that he might satisfie his Fathers Justice, and my debts: Hath ever since prayed for me as my Intercessor, and will at last Plead for me as my Advocate?

SECT. V. Comforts against Judgement, from the man­ner of the Judges proceeding.

THere is none that is guilty, but the Law will; none that is innocent, but the Judge may condemn him: what then can be the comfort of a Malefactor, but that he shall have his Tryal by a fa­vourable Law, and by a more favourable Judge? And this is my comfort against the Judgement to come, That my Judge will proceed to a favourable Trial with me, because according to that Law which will not easily condemn me, and with that mind which will readily acquit me: For I have confessed my sins, and therefore may not doubt but that He is faithful and just to for­give me my sins, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1. 9. He is faith­ful to forgive my sins, because himself hath promised forgiveness; He is just to forgive my sins, because his Son hath purchased forgiveness; And how shall he then not cleanse me from all unrighteousness by his Holy Spirit, and seal unto me the assurance [Page 218] of that forgiveness? And if I be cleansed from all unrighteousness, why should I not be rid of all my fears? How can I look upon him as an angry Judge, when I have found him a most merciful Father? If God will not withdraw his Anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him, Job 9. 13. That is, the Angels (saith Jarhci) that are the Helpers of Egypt; for he there takes Rahab for Egypt, (as indeed it may sig­nifie,) which we interpret Proud; And proves out of Dan. 10. 13. That particu­lar Nations have particular Angels, as it were their Patrons in heaven, ready to in­tercede on their behalf: Some late Divines have unadvisedly enlarged those Patrons, finding out amongst men some tutelarie Saints, which having righteousness over and above to serve their own turn, are able to spare enough to help others: Hence that strange kind of Invocation, O Thomas Didyme succurre nobis miseris, ne damnemur cum impiis, in adventu Judicis: O good Saint Thomas help us, that we be not con­demned in the last Judgement; when alas, the Saints will have enough to do to help themselves; and the best of them all may say to his Petitioner, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? [Page 219] 2 King. 6. 27. But be it so, that there may be Phansied such lofty and puissant Helpers, for they can never be Proved; yet sure we are, that if God withdraw not his anger, even those Helpers must stoop under him; as it is said, Job 4. 18. Behold he put no trust in his servants; that is, his Saints, his best servants; for the Text makes it an universal Negative, admitting of no exception; and we may not doubt it con­cerning any man, when we cannot deny it concerning any Angel, as it follows, And his Angels he charged with folly: There­fore if these mighty Helpers cannot in this day of anger help themselves, much less can they help me: If God withdraw not his anger, they must stoop; and if they must stoop, all that lean and rely upon them, must needs fall. I will then look after such an Helper as may be able to stand himself, and to support me; for else it can­not be worth my while, and much less worth my Devotion to pray to him for help; and truly I can find none but the Eternal Son of God, who is able to with­draw the anger of his Father, because he was able to satisfie his Justice; and yet having him my Helper, it will not be safe for me to argue and dispute, but only to [Page 220] pray and deprecate, as it follows, v. 15. Whom though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my Judge: And what is the supplicati­on that I would make unto him? Even that which his own holy Spirit hath taught me to make, and will cause him to hear, That he will not be extream to mark what is done amiss, Psal. 130. 2. Lord hear the voice of my supplications; for what? even for this, that thou shouldst not mark ini­quities; as it follows, If thou Lord shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou maist be feared. This is the favourable pro­ceeding by which I hope to be acquitted; for why hast thou taught me to believe the forgiveness of sins, unless I may attain what I do believe? And if I may attain forgive­ness of my sins here, how shall I be con­demned or punished for them hereafter? since that is no forgiveness, which either holds guilty to condemn, or holds as guilty to punish and torment: I do then believè that God will proceed in Judging me, not according to the Law which requires an absolute obedience without sin, but accor­ding to the Gospel which admits of Repen­tance for the forgiveness of sins: Thus [Page 221] hath the Doctor of the Gentiles long since determined, Rom. 2. 16. In the day when God shall Judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel; Not ac­cording to the Law which will condemn all that have been guilty of any sin, but according to the Gospel which will con­demn none but the unbelieving and impe­nitent sinners: For the Gospel pronoun­ceth sentence of Absolution to all that Be­lieve; So Mark 16. 16. He that belie­veth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned; Where damnation is denounced, not for breaking the Law, but for rejecting the Gospel: And again, John 3. 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The words speak four such truths as the Angels desire to look into, and men can never enough look upon, yet four Miracles rather then Truths. 1. That God who was provoked to inflict Death, should offer Life, and that Everlasting Life. 2. That he should offer it to the world which had so provo­ked him. 3. That he should offer it, by sending his only begotten Son away from himself into the world. 4. That he should [Page 222] so send this Son as to give him, giving his only Son, the Son of his love, to give life to those that hated him, and more deserved his hatred; That whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. Since then I know that I believe, why should I fear that I shall perish? Why should I think that I shall not have this everlasting life, which the Father hath promised, the Son hath purchased, and the Holy-Spirit hath sealed; for I can say, with a thankful heart and a chearful voice, In Te Domine speravi, ne confundar in aeternum, Psal. 71. 1. In thee O Lord have I put my trust, let me never be put to confusion, deliver me in thy righteousness: I pray not to be delivered in mine own righteousness, but in thine; Deliver me in thy Righteousness O God the Father of heaven, for thou hast promised deliverance; Deliver me in thy Righteousness O God the Son Re­deemer of the world, for thou hast pur­chased deliverance; Deliver me in thy Righteousness O God the Holy-Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, for thou hast sealed both the Promise and the purchase of deliverance; Deliver me in thy Righteousness, O Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity, three Persons and one [Page 223] God, for I trust on thy Promise, on thy Purchase, on thy Seal for deliverance: For with thee is the Fountain of life, in thy light shall we see light, (Psal. 36. 9.) My soul desires nothing but Life and Light; for as a Spirit she was made for Life; as an Intel­lectual or Rational spirit she was made for Light: And she must go to God for both; She must go to him for Life, for with thee is the Fountain of Life; and she must go to him for Light, for in thy Light shall we see Light: And the Life is before the Light, even as Living is before Seeing: The soul cannot work before she sees, and she can­not see before she lives, so that Life is in truth given before the work, and cannot possibly be given for it: And will you know who gives both Life and Light? Saint John will tell you, John 1. 4. In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men; Life and Light both proceed from the Eter­nal Son of God; and Life before Light; I had Life in him, before I had Light from him; He purchased the Life, before he gave the Light, and therefore sure he hath not given the Light to take away the Life. I know it is said, That we must all appear before the Judgement-seat of Christ, that every one may bear the things done in his bo­dy; [Page 224] according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad, 2 Cor. 5. 10. And I con­fess I have done very bad things in my bo­dy; but since my Saviour hath already born them for me, must I still fear to bear them for my self? Christ is called The Mediator of the New-Testament, Heb. 9. 15. It is not said, The Mediator of the New-Covenant, (as in other places) but of the New-Testament; for a Covenant doth wholly depend upon mutual conditi­ons, which if either partie fail, the Cove­nant is broken, and made of none effect; But a Testament is a thing meerly of Grace and Liberality, without any con­dition; and so may be fulfilled, meerly out of the goodness of the Testator: And this goodness is the support and comfort of my soul; I am afraid of the Covenant, and I flie to the Testament, even to that Testament by which I am made a child, an heir, even an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ, Rom. 8. 17. Wherefore I cannot but hope that he will Judge to me the In­heritance which he hath already given me by his own Will and Testament: For I look for him to appear the second time with­out sin unto salvation, Heb. 9. 28. not only without sin in himself, for he never had [Page 225] any, but also without sin in me and all his members, from whom he hath taken away all: For the death of Christ is doubly be­neficial to all true Believers; First in re­spect of his Priest-hood, that he hath expi­ated their sin. Secondly in respect of his Testament, That he hath given them an Inheritance; I dare not deny the first, the benefit of his Priest-hood; for he is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; And why should I doubt the second, the benefit of his Testament, since he did therefore take away the sin, that he might give the Inheritance?

I confess, that the unrighteous shall not in­herit the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 9. whether Fornicators, or Idolaters, or Adul­terers, or Thieves, or Covetous, or Drunkards, or Revilers, or Extortioners, or guilty of any other kind of unrighte­ousness like to these; but my belief is, That I having repented of my unrighteous­ness and forsaken it, shall no longer be ac­counted as unrighteous: For so it follows, such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus; and by the Spirit of our God; In that it is said, ye were such before ye were washed, and justified [Page 226] in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and sancti­fied by the Spirit of our God, it is evi­dent that after your Justification and San­ctification you are not such. Be it then taken for granted, which cannot be deny­ed, for truth himself hath said it, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof at the day of Judgement, Mat. 12. 36. yet sure, not if they have given an account of it already; or rather, Christ hath given an account for them, in that they have by a lively faith embraced his All-sufficient satisfaction, and by an earnest Repentance are admitted to it and instated in it: Their sins shall be laid open before the face of men and An­gels, as Davids, or as Saint Peters, to the glory of Gods Justice in acquitting them; not as Sauls or Judas's, to the glory of Gods Justice in condemning them.

If it shall be Recorded, (for it is a Problem of Divinity, that the Text hath not so positively determined, but that learned men think they may abound in their own sense concerning it) I say, if it shall be Recorded how David and Saint Peter sinned, it shall also be Recorded how they repented: If it shall be declared th [...]t Demas did forsake Saint Paul, having [Page 227] loved this present world, 2 Tim. 4. 10. it shall also be declared, that the same Demas did afterwards repent and turn back again to Saint Paul, whiles he was still a Prisoner of Jesus Christ, and then became his fellow­labourer, Epist. to Philemon, v. 24. For without doubt, as much as they shall be terrified at the sight of their sins, so much they shall be comforted at the sight of their faith and repentance. In Christo simul summum Gaudium & summa Tristitia, saith Gabr. in 3. sent. dist. 15. In Christ there was the greatest Joy and the greatest Sadness at the same time, though not in the same respect; his Joy was from his union with God; his Sadness was from his union with man, and the imputation of our sins: And possibly (think some) it may be so with the best Christians, in that great and dreadful day, when their bodies shall be re-united with their souls, and all their sins represented, whether of Body or of Soul: They may have the greatest sorrow (say they) in regard of themselves and of their own sins; and yet have the greatest Joy in regard of their Saviour, and of his free­grace: Saint Paul prayeth for Onesiphorus, That he may find mercy of the Lord in that day, 2 Tim. 1. 18. Therefore it is probable [Page 228] he shall need mercy in that day, though he shall not need so much as he shall find: And Saint Peter speaks of blotting out sins in the times of Refreshing and Restitution of all things, Acts 3. 19, 21. that is, at Christs second coming; for till then there will not be a restitution of all things: And this consideration, though it is not cause enough why the living should pray for the dead, (and yet without doubt, it is one of the best causes that can be alledged) yet sure it is cause more then enough why the living should pray for themselves, even af­ter their Justification, and still say, For­give us our trespasses: For it seems there is some kind of forgiveness, at least a gene­ral Absolution, reserved until the day of Judgement. What is it then? will there be the same terrour to the just and to the unjust? No doubtless: And this may appear from the very Titles which are given by Saint Paul to the day of Judge­ment, Rom. 2. 5. And they are three, A day of Wrath, A day of Revelation, and A day of Righteous Judgement. The day of Righteous Judgement doth equally concern all sinners, whether they have been Penitent or Impenitent; but the day of Wrath concerns only the Impenitent [Page 229] sinners; and the day of Revelation doth likewise chiefly, if not only, concern them: I say, the day of wrath concerns only the Impenitent sinners, such as after their hardness and impenitent hearts, have trea­sured up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath: But to those that have faithfully and penitently served God (for true Faith never yet went without Repen­tance) it will be a day of Exultation and Redemption; he hath called it so, that hath made it so, Luke 21. 27, 28. Then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory, sc. to Judge the world: But what then? must ye therefore (that have been his Disciples and Followers) be terrified, as if he were coming to take Vengeance of you? No, you must then look up, and lift up your heads, for your Redemption draweth nigh: This same day, that is to them a day of Vengeance and a day of Wrath, is to you a day of Redemption, to lift up your heads, and much more a day of Ex­ulcation to lift up your hearts: And so also the day of Revelation, doth chiefly, if not only, concern those who are con­cerned in the day of wrath; for, as for the Believers and the Penitent, if there [Page 230] shall be any Revelation of their sins (for some do doubt it) it shall be so in order to Gods Justice, as not to their punishment: For the Text plainly saith of them, I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more, Jer. 31. 34. And so again, All his transgressions that he hath commit­ted, shall not be mentioned unto him; what­ever shall be done concerning the Revela­tion of his sins, shall be done only that Gods Justice may be cleared in his Absolu­tion, not that his soul may be terrified by the Representation. What then, though I shall see, with Ezekiel, a hand sent unto me with a Roul, a dismal Roul, written within and without full of all the sins that ever I committed in Thought, Word and Deed, as long as I shall not see written therein, Lamentations, and Mourning, and Wo unto the sinner? For Christ Jesus that came into this world to save sinners, will assuredly in the next world compleat that salvation: I will then willingly say with Saint Paul, Quorum primus Ego, Of whom I am chief, 1 Tim. 1. 15. Or with the antient Missal. (Dominica secunda post Epiph. feria quarta) Quorum primus Ego Ego sum, Of whom I, I am chief. The earnestness of my Repentance, shall bring [Page 231] me to an often Repetition of my sins; I will rather add to their number in my con­fession of them, then diminish from it; I will rather say, That I am a double sinner, then that I am no sinner: For being a Pe­nitent sinner, that is, one of those sinners that Christ came to save, as I have been chief in the sin, so I shall be chief in the salvation: The more I have seen mine own sins, the more I shall see the salvation of my God: It is a most comfortable observation of Divines, That our Saviour Christ is now here in all the Bible called invisible; And therefore that Doxologie in 1 Tim. 1. 17. Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever, Amen; is to be expounded of God the Father, be­cause the Word invisible is in it; and our Saviour Christ is now here in all the Bible called invisible: And truly, blessed be his mercy, I have hitherto found it so; for when I have most seen my sins to trouble me, I have most seen his salvation to relieve me: And sure I am, that though my sins should be never so visible at the last day, yet they shall not be half so visible as my Saviour: For I shall then certainly with Saint Stephen see Jesus standing on the [Page 232] right hand of God, Acts 7. 55. I shall see him standing up, as ready to give sentence; but surely that sentence will be for me, not against me; For he is not willing to give sentence against me; but sure he cannot give sentence against himself, that is, against his Word; For a sentence against his Word, is against himself: His Word therefore being the truth, because it is his Word, who is the truth: Therefore the sentence that shall be given at the last day, can be no other then what is given already, in Gods Word and in mine own con­science; His Word hath pronounced a merciful sentence, and I must never leave Rectifying my conscience, till that pro­nounce sentence according to his Word.

SECT. VI. Comforts against the last Judgement, from the sentence that shall be pronounced.

A Sentence that is resolved on before the hearing of the cause (though not pronounced till after it) must needs be the sentence of an unrighteous Judge, and is most like to be the sentence of an un­righteons Judgement; But shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18. 25. And how then can we now have comfort from the sentence he will pro­nounce at the last day, since he cannot re­solve upon a sentence before the hearing of the cause, nor can we know before hand what is his resolution? I answer, The cause is heard here, and the sentence is pronounced here, though many men will not take notice of it; And that which shall be pronounced hereafter, shall not be a new sentence, but a Publication of the old; which may not unfitly be called an old sen­tence, since it hath been twice pronounced here already, once in Gods Word, ano­ther time in our own consciences; For the [Page 234] Spirit of God doth here Judge us in Gods Word; And the Son of God will not thwart or contradict the Judgement of Gods Spirit, but only ratifie and confirm it: The word that I have spoken, the same shall Judge him at the last day; John 12. 48. that is, the sentence at the last day shall be but a declaration and confirmation of the sentence that is already spoken in the Word: And haply in this respect it is said, That the Apostles shall Judge the world, not only in regard of their persons, as all other Saints shall Judge it, by ap­proving the sentence of the righteous Judge; but also in regard of their Do­ctrine, which shall be the rule of Judge­ment: Wherefore if we can have com­fort from the sentence that is already passed upon us by the Apostles, we may have also comfort from the sentence that will be passed upon us by their Master: And tru­ly, if we be not Hypocrites or Apostates, but true and constant Christians, we may have very great comfort from the sentence that is already passed upon us by the Apostles: A comfort which no partial Judge here can give us, though he resolve to come with omnia bene, and to admit of none but of white suffrages: for in vain doth [Page 235] the spirit of man set it self to absolve [...]hose whom the Spirit of God doth con­ [...]emn: And a comfort, which no unrighte­ [...]s Judge here can take from us, though he [...]esolve to write his sentence, as Draco did [...]is Laws, in Characters of blood: For in [...]ain doth the spirit of man set it self to [...]ondemn those whom the spirit of God [...]oth absolve: For this is the sentence [...]assed upon us by the Apostles, He that [...]elieveth on the Son hath everlasting life, [...]ohn 3. 36. The whole Doctrine of the New-Testament driving at this, That true [...]aith in Christ, as it is not to be supposed without a true Christian life and conversa­tion agreeable to the faith; (for it is in [...]ain to profess Christian, and to live Athe­ [...]st, or to act Infidel) so it cannot but de­ [...]iver the true Believer from the guilt and [...]urden of all his sins: For all the whole Gospel is nothing else but a Sermon upon [...]his Text of our Saviours own choosing, John 11. 25, 26. I am the resurrection and [...]he life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; And whosoever [...]iveth and believeth in me, shall not die for [...]ver: Words properly used by the Church, as they were spoken by Christ himself, at the burial of the dead: For they are the [Page 236] chiefest comfort against Death, because they are the chiefest comfort against Judge­ment: And so hath the beloved Disciple explained them, that leaned in his Masters bosom, and thence got this soul-healing and soul-saving Divinity; But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fel­lowship one with another; and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin: And again, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 7. and 9. Here is the true comfort against Judgement; for if my soul be cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness, I shall have reason not to dread, but to desire the com­ing of my Judge: And this Christian con­solation cannot be separated from the true Christian Faith, that is to say, Faith in the blood of Christ which cleanseth us: And this Christian Faith cannot be separated from a Christian conversation, walking in the light; nor from a Christian Communi­on, we have fellowship one with another: nor from Christian Repentance and Con­trition, if we confess our sins: And where­soever we find this Christian Faith, and Christian Conversation, and Communion, and Contrition, we may not deny the [Page 237] Christian Consolation: For God himself hath said, Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, Isa. 40. 1. They that are Gods people, may not be deprived of Gods comforts: And what are his comforts? but (as it follows) that our warfare is accomplish­ed, and our iniquity is pardoned: The beginning of the pardon, is the end of the war; her warfare is accomplished, and her iniquity is pardoned, do both speak one and the same comfort unto the soul, do both signifie one and the same peace: Completa est malitia ejus, saith the Vulgar translation, for militia, by a small mistake of the letter, as we may suppose, but none of the sense; For our malitia is our mili­tia, our iniquity is our warfare; The Hebrew word here used, signifies not only the work, but also the time of war: And Rabbi David saith, the Prophet here means The time that Jerusalem was to pass in Banishment or Captivity: So that if we joyn the Text and the gloss together, we shall find, that sin is a time of war, of ba­nishment, and of captivity: Of war with God; of banishment from God: And of captivity, not under God, for he can be no Tyrant, but under the Devil: A sad time certainly, as full of fears and jealou­sies, [Page 238] as empty of joyes and comforts; an [...] therefore that must needs be a joyful time wherein this warfare, this captivity, thi [...] banishment is at an end, because our sin i [...] pardoned: To say this, is to speak truly to the heart, which is the Hebrew expres­sion for speaking comfortably: All other comforts go no farther then the ear then the outward man, that his stock is in­creased, his request granted, his cause ad­vanced; it is only this comfort that enters into the heart, and revives the inner man, that the time of his warfare, banishment, and captivity are at an end, because his sin is pardoned: And this is the comfortable sentence that is already pronounced in Gods Word, That he pardoneth and absol­veth all them which truly repent, and un­feignedly believe his holy Gospel: All our labour must be to get this same sentence derived from Gods Word into our own consciences; And then surely, in the mouth of two such witnesses (the least whereof is no less then a thousand) it is no doubt but the testimony will be fully and firmly established: For as the word doth witness the thing infallibly true in it self; so will the conscience witness it insallibly true to us: The use of a witness is either [Page 239] for information in defect of evidence, or for confirmation in defect of assurance; and an infallible witness is both these to­gether; For he gives evidence from his te­stimony, and assurance from his infallibili­ty: Such an infallible witness is a good conscience, that is grounded and establish­ed on the Word of God, and thence collecteth this comfortable sentence; Who­soever truly believeth and heartily repent­eth, shall not come into condemnation; But I do truly believe, and heartily repent; therefore I shall not come into condemna­tion. The major proposition is clear by the testimony of Gods Word; the minor is clear by the testimony of our own con­sciences, which can certainly tell us whe­ther we be hypocrites or true Believers; whether we be Sheep to hear the voice of Christ, and to follow him, that he may give us eternal life, John 10. 27, 28. or whether we be Goats to follow our own hearts lusts, so to persist and perish in our sins: and the conclusion cannot but follow the premises. Read over the sentence that is set down, Matthew 25. and thou wilt easily, by comparing thine own actions with that sentence, see whether at the last Judgement thou art to be set on Christs [Page 240] right hand or on his left: Thou wilt easily see which part of that sentence concerns thee; And that part which thine own conscience pronounceth of thee here, thy Judge will both pronounce and confirm hereafter: I hope that with Mary thou hast chosen that good part, and if so, can­not but assure thee, it shall never be taken from thee, Luke 10. 42. For Christ will never reject any man that hath sate at his feet to exercise his humility and patience; and heard his Word, to exercise his Piety and Obedience: He will never say, De­part from me, to those who here did love his company, and enjoy his communion: And what is their work who are of his communion, but to know, and love, and praise him? And they that are thus of his communion on earth, can you think he will excommunicate in heaven? Saint John sets forth this Judgement of the con­science very fully in few words, 1 John 3. 19, 20, 21. saying, v. 19. And hereby, (that is, by loving in deed and in truth, not in word or in tongue, as appears from the former verse,) we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him; That is, we know that we truly love him, and therefore may be well assured of [Page 241] his love; For he that loves is assured of love; for which cause Beza thus renders Saint James his words, Mercy rejoyceth against damnation, James 2. 13. For he that is truly merciful, hath a special promise to assure him of mercy, that he shall not be condemned in the last Judgement; and this hard-hearted Age of ours would doubtless much more incline to mercy, if we did seriously consider, that the sentence of condemnation (Mat. 25.) is denounced against the unmerciful; not against the unjust for taking away, but against the unmerciful for not giving; but yet if against the unmerciful, much more against the unjust; for as justice is before mercy in order of nature, so is also injustice before unmercifulness; wherefore though we discourse of assuring our hearts before God more then any others, yet we must needs have a much less assurance of his love, because we our selves know that we do love only in word and in tongue, not in deed and in truth; as it follows v. 20. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater then our heart, and knoweth all things; and there­fore can and will condemn us much more then our heart; for this is the true mean­ing of the words, not (as they are com­monly [Page 242] explained) That we ought to op­pose the greatness of Gods mercy being ready to acquit us, against the sentence of our own heart that is ready to condemn us; For indeed the words are not spoken to comfort a distressed, but to terrifie a guilty conscience: It being the Apostles intent to perswade us above all things both to get and to keep a good conscience, that we may not condemn our selves, and then we may be assured that our God will not con­demn us; as it follows, v. 21. For if our heart condemn us not, then have we confi­dence towards God, sc. that he will not con­demn us; For the whole argument in brief is this; If our conscience now con­demn us, God will also condemn us at the last day: But if our conscience acquit us, God will also then acquit us; the consci­ence acting Gods part before hand, in con­demning the guilty, and acquiting the in­nocent; whether they have the first Inno­cency, that of Righteousness; or the second Innocency, that of Faith and Repentance: and the same Doctrine is again re-inforced, 1 Iohn 4. 17, 18. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of Judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world: Here is both the good Con­fidence, [Page 243] and the ground of it, the good Conscience: The confidence is, That we may have boldness in the day of Judgement; The ground of that confidence is this good conscience, Because as he is, so are we in this world; for this is in effect the Syllo­gism: Whosoever is here like him in Piety, shall hereafter be like him in Glory: but we that truly believe in him, are here like him in Piety, therefore we shall also be like him in Glory: He that hath that Good confidence, upon this Good conscience, as he may not be ashamed of his hope, so he shall not be disappointed of it; for he is sure to stand in the last Judgement, because he hath the Eternal Son of God to support him; on the one side with his All-sufficient merits, on the other side, with his All-sa­ving mercies: Two such supporters, to which he cannot trust too much, for which he cannot glorifie Christ enough, though he glorifie him world without end. Amen.

Deo Trin-Uni Gloria, in secula seculorum, Amen.

A sick mans Cordial, composed of three Ingredients.

  • I. Contemplations.
  • II. Ejaculations.
  • III. Devotions.

Contemplations on Isaiah 53.

Verse 3. O MY Beloved Sa­viour, wast thou despised and reject­ed of men, and shall not I learn to de­spise and reject my self, that I may be like to thee, appro­ved of thee, and received by thee? Wast [Page 245] thou a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs, who knewest no sin? And shall I, who came into the world with sin, look to go out of the world without sor­row?

Verse 4. Didst thou so patiently bear the griefs, and carry the sorrows that were due for my sins? And shall not I patiently bear the griefs and carry the sor­rows that are due for mine own sins? How could I have sorrows, if I had not sins? and why should I not have patience, now I must have sorrows? Wast thou stricken and smitten of God and afflicted, who wast his only begotten, and most dearly Beloved Son? And shall I look to escape the scourge who heretofore have been his ene­my, and still am his undutiful and unwor­thy servant?

Verse 5. I will look upon my wounds and maladies, as upon so many cures and remedies; Upon my bruise, (for I am all over nothing else) as upon so much soundness, since both wounds and bruises are inflicted, not as satisfactions for my sins, but as checks and amendments of my sinfulness: For he was wounded for my transgressions, and bruised for mine iniqui­ties; therefore my wounds and my bruises [Page 246] are not now to pacifie the wrath of the Father, but to make me conformable to the Son: And the chastisement of my peace was upon him; therefore I will not repine at my chastisement, since I have my peace; It being indeed but a chastisement to cor­rect the sinner, not a punishment to avenge the sin: And since I am healed in my soul, I will not fear being wounded in my body; For with his stripes I am healed, and mine own stripes do but make me the more to see the want, and the more to crave the be­nefit of his healing.

Verse 6, & 7. I have been a sheep in my strayings, for I have turned to mine own waies; O make me also a Sheep in my suf­ferings, not once to open my mouth when thou shearest me, clipping off all the comforts of my life; no nor when thou slayest me, bringing on all the torments o [...] my sickness; no nor when thou slayest me, bringing on all the pangs and horrour [...] of my death: That as my Saviour was op­pressed and afflicted, yet opened not his mouth; so I may be kept from murmur­ing and repining in all my oppressions and afflictions: For I may well be as he was, Meek and Patient, since thou hast laid min [...] iniquities on him; but if I follow not his [Page 247] Meekness and his Patience, I fear I shall again lay mine iniquities upon my self.

Verse 8, & 9. He was cut off from life, whose generation was life; & what can I ex­pect but death, who had it in my very birth? who was corrupted when I was generated, and therefore not only in regard of my death, but also in regard of my life it self, must say to corruption, thou art my Father, and to the worm thou art my Sister and my Mother. Who shall declare his Generation? For he was begotten of his Father before all worlds; But who shall declare my cor­ruption? for I was corrupted when I was begotten by my Father, before I came into the world: He was taken away by death, but he was taken away from a mortal, a miserable, and a contemptible life; so let me be taken away (good Lord) from mor­tality, misery and contempt, to Immortali­ty, Blessedness and Glory.

My life hath not left much for my death to take away from me; Lord let my death take from me all that is left but my Saviour, and let it fully give me him.

He was brought to prison that he might be Judged, and he was brought to Judge­ment that he might be condemned; and his [Page 248] death was his Release, both from Prison and from Judgement: Lord make my death so to me: make my death my Re­lease from prison; for whiles I am in the body, I am imprisoned, fettered with the bonds of sin and corruption: But bring my soul out of this prison, that I may praise thy name; then the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me; (Psal. 142. 7.) A most happy Goal-Delivery for my soul, for then the Righteous shall compass me about, and not sinners; nay more, then I shall be com­passed about with Rightousness, who now am compassed about with sins, and that not so much with other mens, as with mine own sins: Thus make my death my Release from Prison, and make it also my Release from Judgement: For thy Son hath been Judged and condemned for me, that I might escape the Judgement of thy condemnati­on: Lord I ask not that thou wouldest not Judge me (for after death comes Judgement, Heb. 9. 27.) I ask only that thou wilt not condemn me when I shall be Judged: And this is agreeable with thy very Justice (though I wholly appeal unto thy Mercy) not to condemn and punish the same sin twice: Thou hast already con­demned [Page 249] and punished my sins in my Savi­our; O then let me escape thy condemna­tion and thy punishment: He was Judged for mine Unrighteousness; O let me stand in the Judgement for his Righteousness. For the transgression of my people was he stricken: Lord thou hast placed me among thy people, and therefore I must believe that he was stricken for my transgressions; Nay, thou hast brought me nearer to thee, and made me one of thine own Family, ha­ving admitted me thy servant: Nay, thou hast brought me yet nearer to thee, and made me one of thine own Inheritance, having adopted me thy child. I deser­ved not to be among thy people, and I am placed among thy servants; I deserved not to be among thy servants, and I am accept­ed among thy children. O then correct me good Lord, as a Father in thy Pitty, to amend me, not as a Judge in thy Fury to confound me: Thou didst redeem me with thine own most precious blood, that thou mightest convert me: And how then wilt thou Judge me, being redeemed with that blood, that thou maist condemn me? Well may my sins be condemned of thee who art the Righteous Judge; for I who have been the sinner, and who still am an [Page 250] unrighteous man, cannot but condemn them, and my self for them: But surely thy precious blood can never come under condemnation; nor my soul, whiles thou lookest upon it as washed with that blood.

Thus thou hast given me a pledge of de­livering my soul from the terrours of my death by conquering them; and from the severity of Gods Justice, by satisfying it; And thou hast also prepared a deliverance for my body: for in that thou madest thy grave with the wicked in thy death, thou hast sanctified the grave as a Repository for my dead body, till my flesh shall be to­tally wasted therein, and with my flesh, all the sin and wickedness which hath so long dwelt in it, and cannot be destroyed before it: And thou wilt at last raise me from thence after thine own likeness, that I may come from the grave, as thou didst go to it, not having violence in mine hand, nor de­ceipt in my mouth, nor wickedness in mine heart.

Lord let it be thy pleasure thus to de­liver me; Make hast O Lord to help me: Take away all my sin from my soul, and then (as soon as thou pleasest) take away my [Page 251] soul from my body: That having no unrepented sin in my life, I may have no unsufferable sorrow in my death; but may find com­fort in it, deliverance by it, and glory after it.

Amen.

Contemplations on Heb. 12.

Verse 1, & 2. IN my troubles and di­stresses, either of my body or of my soul, I cannot bestow my time better then in looking about me for help: And in looking about me for help, I cannot bestow mine eyes better then in looking up to heaven; For my help cometh from the Lord who hath made heaven and earth, Psal. 121. 2. And if I look up to heaven, I shall soon spie there a bright cloud, even a cloud of witnesses, to enlight­en me, that I stumble not in my waies for any darkness of my understanding: And if I look up yet higher through that cloud, I shall behold a far greater light, even the [Page 252] Sun of righteousness to enflame me and to quicken me, lest I should sit still, when I am bound to be walking, for the dulness of my will, and the deadness of my affecti­ons; for above that cloud dwelleth he who is the brightness of Gods glory, and the express Image of his person, Heb. 1. 3.

Wherefore my sight may not be termi­nated or bounded by this cloud of wit­nesses: But through it I must be looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of my Faith, if I desire the comfort of my faith when I most want it, even in the day of my visitation, and at the hour of my dissolution.

And indeed, where should a good Christian fix either his eye or his heart, but only on Christ? And I may here see Christ in his Mystical body, that is, in his Church, the cloud of witnesses; And Christ in his natural body, that is, in himself, Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith: And the same Christ in either body, destitute, afflicted, tormented.

O Lord, how many arguments are here alledged to perswade me to behave my self with great constancy, humility and pati­ence, in those conflicts and agonies which I [Page 253] must expect as a Christian, unless I will re­nounce communion with Christ, and em­brace an unwarrantable and an unprofit­able Christianity? I think there is a Lyon in the way (as said Solomons sluggard) ready to devour me; and I see nothing but briers and thorns in it, ready to in­tangle my feet, and to tear my flesh; But God telleth me, it is the ready way to hea­ven, and the Race that I must run if ever I hope to get thither; Let us run with pati­ence the race that is set before us: If it be my race, then I must run it; if it be set, then I cannot remove it; if it be set before me, then I cannot decline it.

And truly I cannot deny but it is set be­fore me by the dispensation of Gods Pro­vidence, and the indispensable Duty of my Christian vocation: And therefore I give him hearty thanks, that he hath so plain­ly shewed unto me the manner of running this race, and the reasons that I have to run it.

The manner of running this race is two­fold.

First, I must forsake my self, and all my selfishness; that is, all those things to which I have naturally an immoderate desire, and in which I have naturally an immoderate [Page 254] delight; let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us: For what am I, or what is my flesh but a weight that doth beset me, rather then befriend me, even an unprofitable, and an unsufferable burthen? And what else com­eth from me, or cleaveth to me, but only sin? Which living in me, cannot but work with me, (Operari sequitur esse,) and working with me, cannot but defile my purest and my best works.

Secondly, I must fix mine eyes and mine heart only upon my blessed Saviour, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith: Looking to and on nothing else, either within me or without me, but only Christ, whether in the way of my san­ctification, for he is the Author of my faith, whereby alone my heart is purified and sanctified; Or in the way of my salvati­on, for he is the Finisher of my Faith, whereby alone my soul is saved.

It is he that hath brought my soul from Infidelity to Faith, whereby I now see through a glass darkly; It is he that will bring my faith to a clear vision, whereby I shall see him face to face.

The Reasons I have to run this race, are drawn from that grand Topick which works [Page 255] so much upon all the world, that Pelagius thought thereby to shift off Original sin from mans nature, and to put it only on his imitation; This Topick is the Common­place of example.

And first, I have the examples of all those holy men that were before Christ, who through their faith in Gods promises, and constancy in their faith, possessed their souls in great patience whiles they lived, and resigned their souls in great comfort and contentment when they dyed: This innumerable company of Saints, is here called a cloud of witnesses; and it is such a cloud as must needs at some time or other drop down many cool showers, able to al­lay, if not to extinguish, the flames of my greatest fiery tryals.

Secondly, I have the example of Christ himself; he is the Author of my faith, he is the Captain of my salvation, that marcheth before me to this battle, instructing me by his Word, encouraging me by his Promises, supporting me by his Assistance, confirm­ing and rejoycing me by his Communion: And this example of our Saviour Christ, is recommended to me in three respects: First, because of its powerful efficacy in working; for he is the Author and Finisher [Page 256] of my Faith: And he that worketh my Faith, will also make my Faith work this patience: Secondly, from its exact con­formity with my present condition, in that no misery hath befallen me, which did not first befall him who made and redeemed me: Nay his Cross was much heavyer, his shame was much greater then mine can be: yet he endured the Cross patiently, de­fpised the shame couragiously, and by this patience and courage, is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God: Third­ly, from its unavoidable necessity, in re­gard of my present Obligation: For it is not left to mine own choice, whether I will consider this or no, but I must needs consi­der the example of Christ, or I cannot be a good Christian.

Verse 3. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. What though mine own heart be given to contradict this rigid way of suffering? yet he that is greater then mine heart, hath gone before me in the very same way, and hath passed through far greater contradi­ctions.

He looked on the Joy that was set before him, not on the contradictions that were [Page 257] round about him, and he now lives and reigns in his glory, and hath promised that if I do suffer with him, I shall also raign with him, 2 Tim. 2. 12. He is at the beginning of my sufferings, either to inhibit and stop them, that they shall not invade me: or to proportion and stint them, that they shall not overwhelm me: if he shew me not a way to avoid them, he will give me a cou­rage to encounter them: nay moreover, strength to conquer them: and an adver­sary, though he may be more securely avoided, yet he is more gloriously con­quered: He is also at the middle of my sufferings, to encourage and support me in my conflict, lest I should be wearied and saint in my mind, as I cannot but be wea­ried and faint in my body: he had but a weak Cyrenian to help him bear his Cross, but he himself doth help me bear mine: He had but an Angel to strengthen him, but he sends the Holy-Ghost to strengthen me.

Lastly, he will be at the end of my suf­ferings to reward me: nay he himself, who is now my shield to succour me, will at last be my exceeding great reward to con­tent me: my exceeding great reward in all respects, for exceeding my best abilitie [Page 258] to deserve him: exceeding my best capa­city to receive him: exceeding my best activity to enjoy him as he is in his own greatness: Be it then that my affliction is very great, yet sure I am my reward will be infinitely greater: but indeed my af­fliction cannot be great in it self, it is so on­ly in my opinion: The spirit of truth saith, it is but light and momentary; For our light affliction which is but for a moment, 1 Cor. 4. 17. It is light, and therefore not great in quantity; It is but for a moment, and therefore not great in continuance: And well may this light and momentary affliction work patience in me, since it doth work glory for me: Nay a far more ex­ceeding and eternal weight of glory: Though it be light and momentary in it self, yet it is weighty and eternal in its re­ward: For our light afliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more ex­ceeding and eternal weight of glory; whiles we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, (and so is also the smart and misery which is felt) but the things which are not seen are eternal; (and so is also the glory which shall be en­joyed:) These are Reasons sufficient [Page 259] why I should gladly follow the Apostles advice, consider him that endured such con­tradiction of sinners; for so shall I not be enforced to endure the contradictions of mine own sins, whiles impatience suggests one temptation to me, and infidelity ano­ther: For though these two sins are in­separable companions, because there can­not be impatience without some kind of infidelity, yet are they such twins as were Pharez and Zarah, (Gen. 38.) They cannot come into my soul, but they will make a breach betwixt themselves; (one drawing this, the other that way) nor can they tarry in my soul, but they will make a breach betwixt my God and me.

Therefore the holy Apostle in this case appealeth to mine own conscience, saying, Verse 4. ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: thereby calling me to witness against my self, that I am yet far short of my duty in my strivings against sin, because I have not resisted unto blood; whereas flesh and blood are to be resisted in the first place, as being that weight which doth so easily beset me, and must therefore be soonest laid aside.

I ought then in this quarrel to under­take a double strife; A strife against my [Page 260] self, and a strife against my sins: for whiles I strive against my sins, my flesh and blood will strive against me: And if I do not re­sist so far as to thrust away my flesh and blood, how shall I thrust away my sins? If I do not lay aside my self, how shall I do to lay aside my greatest weight?

But least I should not regard this appeal, (for Appeals to the conscience are often made, but seldom regarded) in the next place, he appeals to Gods most holy Word; plainly shewing, how earnestly that cal­leth upon me to be patient under Gods hand, and zealously enforceth many Rea­sons for my patience.

Verse 5. And ye have forgotten the Ex­hortation which speaketh unto you as unto children: I am called upon to be patient, not as a servant for fear, but as a child for love: He is pleased to invite me by way of exhortation, he might have enforced me by way of command; yet I may not forget his exhortation, unless I would have him forget my supplication; for if I re­gard not his speaking to me as unto a child, how shall he regard my speaking to him as unto a Father? Wherefore if I desire with joy and comfort to say Our Father; I must be attentive and obedient as a child; [Page 261] nor can I forsake the temper of my pati­ence, but I must forfeit the benefit of my [...]iety; and consequently lose all the com­ [...]orts of my Devotions, which yet alone, in these times of rapine, are left me for my [...]nsequestrable comforters.

I may not then neglect to hear this Ex­hortation, which calls upon me to be pati­ent; much less may I neglect those Rea­sons which are alledged for my patience; and powerful Reasons they are.

First, because chaistisement is an effect of Gods love; for Verse 6. whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Was ever yet any man angry with God for loving him? and why then should I be angry and offended at the effects and tokens of his love? For thy lo­ving-kindness is better then the life it self, Psal. 63. 3. What then, though thou take away my life by thy chastisement, if so be thou give me thy loving-kindness which is far better? What is my life in it self, without thy love? O then take away my life as it is in it self, and give it me as it is in thy love: I desire not to live in mine own life, but in thy loving-kindness.

Secondly, because chastisement is a proof of my adoption, Verse 7, & 8. For what son is he that the Father chasteneth not? But [Page 262] if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye Bastards, not Sons.

If I be not one of his Sons, what expe­ctancy can I have of his inheritance? And if I be not under his correction, how can I be assured I am one of his sons? Where­fore let me rejoyce for being under the discipline of his chastisement, as for being under the care of his Fatherly protection: And let me be afraid of not being chastised on earth in this mortal life, as I would be afraid of being bastardized from heaven, and declared illegitimate as to the inheri­tance of immortality.

Thirdly, because chastisement is a testi­mony of my obedience Verse 9. We have had Fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Would I be accounted an obedient child? I must shew my self so, not only by my doing, but also by my suffering; For my active obedience may be very much for mine own sake, because I expect a Blessing; but surely my passive Obe­dience is meerly for my Fathers sake, be­cause I know my duty.

If therefore I desire to be truly dutiful [Page 263] to my Father in heaven, let me shew him reverence whiles he punishes me, and not only whiles he cherishes me: And let me consider him to be the Father of spirits, and I shall be sure to shew him this reve­rence; for I shall never deny him the sub­jection of my spirit, and much less of my flesh; I shall be willing to trust him with my soul, and shall not desire that he would trust my soul too long with my body.

This the natural man looks on as the high-way to destruction, but the spiritual man knows it is the way to salvation; for thus did Christ himself pass to life, even by being obedient unto the death: Let me labour to follow his example, for I have no reason to hope to fare better then he did, and sure Iam, I cannot fare worse: Let me accord­ingly desire to kiss my Fathers hand then chiefly when it holds the rod wherewith he strikes me; or rather, let me desire to kiss his rod: for it is much better for me, that his scourging should testifie my obedi­ence, then extort it: And if my weak and sinful flesh, whiles it is yet wedded unto my soul, shall deal with me as Jobs wife did with him, and say, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die; Let me [Page 264] be sure to give her the same answer as he did his wife, Thou speakest as one of the fool­ish women speaketh; what? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not re­ceive evil? Job 2. 10. This is the true way, not to bless God and die, but to bless God and live: for so it is in the Hebrew, Bless God and die; And Jobs wife speaking in that holy language, had her tongue sancti­fied, though not her heart, in so much that she did not say, Curse God and die, though she meant it, but bless God and die: I say, this is the way not to bless God and die, but to bless God and live, and I may well say it again and again, for so saith the Apostle, Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of Spirits and live?

Fourthly, Because chastisement is a fur­therance of my sanctification: Verse 10. For they verily for a few daies chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our pro­fit, that we might be partakers of his holi­ness: Good Lord, can I not be partaker of thy holiness, until thou chasten me! then let thy hand spare me no longer; for in thus sparing, it will most severely pu­nish me, since there is no greater punish­ment, either in this world, or in the next, [Page 265] then not to be partaker of thy holiness: Our fathers on earth by chastening us after their own pleasure, and not for our profit, do often make us partakers of their sin, even of that impatience whereby they do either unduly or unmeasurably chasten us; But our Father in heaven is never peccant either in the manner or in the end of his chastening; not in the manner, for he takes no pleasure in scourging us, and therefore cannot do it either unduly, or unmeasurably: Not in the end, for he aims only at our profit in scourging, that he may brush away, or strike off some excre­scencies of our flesh, or some adherencies to it, thereby to make us partakers of his holiness in a far greater proportion and measure, then otherwise we could have been.

Fifthly, Because chastisement is a furthe­rance of my salvation; Verse 11. Now no chastisement for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterwards i [...] yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteous­ness unto them which are exercised thereby. If I look no further then after mine own Joy, it is most evident that I cannot en­dure, much less desire chastisement; because that for the present is not joyous but [Page 266] grievous; but if I look after my Masters joy, I must enter into it the same way that he entred; he entred into his joy by suffer­ings, and so must I. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke 24. 26.

He suffered that he might enter into his own glory, which was undenyably his from all eternity; and shall I hope to enter into that glory without suffering? Ought Christ to have suffered, and ought not the Christian to expect suffering?

Surely, it hehoved Christ to suffer for these three Reasons,

Propter Remedium Peccatorum.
Propter exemplum Virtutum.
Propter complementum Scriptura­rum.
For the expiation and redress of sin, by his Merit.
For the propagation of Righteousness by his Example.
For the fulfilling of the Scriptures by his Obedience.

As the Seraphical Doctor teacheth.

Now tell me which of these Reasons is not a fit and sufficient ground for my sufferings.

Have I not Brethren to be edified by my [Page 267] example, who seeing my patience in the day of my visitation, may also glorifie God in the day of theirs?

Hath not my God a Word to be fulfil­ [...]ed, which hath expresly said, That we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God? Acts 14. 22. Have not [...] my self much sin to be redressed and amended? For though I will gladly im­pute the expiation of all my sins only to my Saviours sufferings, yet I may with humility, and (I hope) not without some truth, impute the amendment of many of them, to mine own sufferings.

The ground hath been tilled, and the tree hath been pruned: And why should not this tilling and pruning yield the peace­ [...]le fruit of righteousness unto me that have been exercised thereby? I have been [...]ng and often ploughed (as it were) [...]nd broken up, and harrowed by the hand of God, and why should I not be some­what amended and improved by his good husbandry? I have been long and often [...]ned (as it were) in my flesh by his [...]harp knife, cutting off my superfluities, [...] make me the less sinful, and the more [...]ruitful: And why should I not bring [...]rth good fruits in due season? even t [...] [Page 268] peaceable fruits of righteousness, or the fruits of righteousness, which bring forth peace, the peace of a good conscience here, and of a blessed Eternity hereafter.

Therefore earnestly desiring to walk in this righteousness, I will hope to lay me down in this peace: And at the end of my wearisom Pilgrimage, to take my rest in the arms of Gods Eternal mercy, though now I groan under the hand of his Justice; For so laying me down to sleep, none shall ever be able to take either me from his arms, or my rest from me.

Amen.

The sick mans Ejaculations.

To the Reader,

THese Ejaculations are Eighty in number, and they are like mans years in Moses time, when they come to that same number, full of labour and sorrow; though this latter age of the world will not let it self tarry so long for labour, nor others tarry so long for sorrow: And they are therefore called Ejaculations, be­cause they are as it were so many dartings of the soul, (upon some reflexion or thought either of mans misery, or of Gods mercy) sent up towards Heaven: All aiming at one mark, though from several occasions, and af­ter several waies; That is, at the rest of the soul in God: Nor may you here look for [Page 270] curious method, but for Religious matter: sometimes you will find the sick mans soul troubled for fear of death; sometimes almost inflamed with the desire of it; sometimes be­moaning the disturbance of his body; some­times fearing the distemper of his soul; sometimes affrighted with the thought of Judgement; sometimes rejoycing against it. If you find any thing to comfort you in your extremity, thank not me for speaking to my self, but thank God for speaking to your soul: And be not troubled that your Passions, like these Ejaculations, are not orderly, so as they be Religious: Trouble and sorrow can­not look after Order, but they must look after Religion: And a sick mans expressions are not so much beholding to his head to make them Methodical and Eloquent, as to his [...] to make them affectionate and devout: And God grant your sickness may make yours so.

Ejaculations.

1. GRant Lord that I may be dead unto sin, before I am dead unto the world; that being planted together in the likeness of thy Sons death, I may be also in the likeness of his Resurrection: That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father; so I walking in newness of life, may have a comfortable death here, and a glorious Resurrection hereafter.

2. Destroy in me, O God, the body of sin, before thou destroy in me the body of flesh; that I may be justified from my sins whiles I live, and freed from my sins when [Page 272] I shall be dead: Make me to lie down in comfort, because by my death I shall whol­ly die unto my sins: Make me to rest in hope, because by my Resurrection I shall wholly live unto my God.

3. Make me to look upon my sickness, (my tedious and terrible sickness) as up­on thy Visitation, that I may bear it pati­ently; Make me look upon my death, as upon my Release, that I may take it com­fortably.

4. O thou who wouldst be crucified before thou wouldst be glorified, and didst suffer pain to enter into Joy, make me submit to thy Cross, that thou mayest prepare me for thy Crown: Make me contentedly to suffer with thee in this world, that I may triumphantly reign with thee in the world to come.

5. O Lord I have Judged my self, let me not be Judged of thee, so as to be con­demned; for it is agreeable with thy Mer­cy to save the sinner, though thou de­stroy the sin: And it is agreeable with thy Justice, not to punish that sin in me, which thou hast already [Page 273] punished in my blessed Redeemer.

6. O Lord thou didst make thy beloved Son perfect with sufferings, and I cannot hope thou wilt let thy unworthy servant be perfected without them: O then let not my sufferings betray the imperfecti­ons of my flesh, but conduce to the perfe­ctions of my spirit; and make me ever willing to suffer, since thou canst and wilt make me perfect by suffering.

7. O thou God of peace that broughtest again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do and suffer thy will, working in me that which is well-pleasing in thy sight, and working for me that which is profi­table for my salvation, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. (Heb. 13. 20, 21.)

8. O blessed Jesu, the chief Corner-stone, on which alone is laid for us the foundati­on of a blessed Eternity; the Rock upon which thy Church is built, and all our souls relie: Be merciful unto me, and [Page 274] give ear unto my prayers, and to my sighs and groans when I cannot pray: Be unto me a fountain of comfort whensoever my heart is in heaviness, and my body is in pain, that my soul may have continual health, and joy and rest in Thee, and in thy Merits and Mercies for ever­more.

9. Lord make me desire the dissolution of my earthly house of this Tabernacle, that I may have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; for I know that whiles I am at home in the body, I am absent from the Lord: Make me therefore willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be pre­sent with thee my God; for in thy pre­sence is the fulness of joy, and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore: And make me labour, that whether absent or present; I may be accepted of thee, through the righteousness of thy dear­est Son, my only Lord and Saviour, Amen.

10. Give unto me true sorrow for my sins, that thou mayest give me true comfort in my sorrows: Grant I may have peace in [Page 275] thee, whiles I have tribulation in the world; and make me be of good chear in all my tribulations; for thou hast overcome the world, and wilt not let the world overcome me.

11. O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast overcome the sharpness of death, & opened the King­dom of heaven to all Believers: Make me [...]ot to fear death, since thou hast made that [...]n Inlet into thy heavenly Kingdom: My-sins had shut the gate of Paradise against my soul, but thy Merits have open­ed it again: O let me earnestly desire to enter in, for thou art gone thither before [...]e, that thou mightest be there ready to receive me, and retain me with thy self for evermore, Amen.

12. Lord when shall this corruptible put on incorruption, and this mortal put on im­mortality, that in me may be brought to pass that saying, Death is swallowed up in Victory; O death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death was sin, till sin was expiated: The strength of sin was the Law, till the Law was fulfilled; But thanks be unto God which hath given me the victory through [Page 276] our Lord Jesus Christ, both over my sins and over his Law, in this great contestati­on: Having imputed my transgressions unto my Saviour, that my sin might be expiated; and having imputed my Savi­ours righteousness and obedience unto me, that his Law might be fulfilled: Therefore being justified by faith, I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also I have access by faith into his grace, and rejoyce in hope that I shall at last have access into his glory.

13. O Lord Jesus Christ who art the Resur­rection and the Life, be unto me Life in Death; be unto me Resurrection from the Dead; and so guide me through Death, that it may be my passage into everlasting Life, there to see, and to bless, and to enjoy thee, who art the Redeemer and lover of souls, and livest and reignest the King of Saints, with the Co-eternal Spirit in the glory of God the Fa­ther.

14. My soul truly waiteth still upon God, and still shall wait upon him, for of him cometh my help; He verily is my strength and my salvation, even in weakness and in [Page 277] destruction: He is my defence so that I shall not greatly fall: And if through mine infirmity I do fall, by his power I shall rise again, and be able to stand fast, being supported through the Merits and Mercies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

15. O Lord see the blood of thine immaculate Lamb which taketh away the sin of the world, sprinkled on my soul, that thou mayest see no sin in it: And when thou seest that blood, let the destroying Angel pass over me, never to return again; and let the Comforter come unto me, and re­main with me for ever.

16. O dearest Advocate, be pleased to inter­cede and plead for me, and to answer all the accusations which the Devils will al­ledge, and mine own conscience will wit­ness against me in the day of Judgement: That I being made the monument of thy Mercy, who am the purchase of thy Blood, may bless and praise thee among thy Re­deemed in the Land of the living for ever and ever.

17. O thou Eternal Son of Righteousness, [Page 278] who risest with healing in thy wings, heal thou me, and I shall be perfectly healed: Shew me the light of thy countenance, to dispell all the mists and clouds which now threaten to bring darkness upon my soul: Turn thy merciful eyes towards me, that I may see thy glorious face in thy heavenly Kingdom, where no tears shall dim my sight, no sighing shall interrupt my speech, no fears shall disquiet my heart, and no sadness nor amazement shall disturb or discompose the blessed rest of my soul with thee, the longing desires of my soul to thee, and the infinite delights of my soul in thee, and in thine All-sufficient Merits, and All-saving Mercies for ever­more.

18. O Saviour of the world, save me, who by thy Cross and precious blood hast Re­deemed me: Help me O my God at all times, but most especially at this time, now I am least able to help my self, or my friends to help me: Intercede for me by thy precious death and passion, in all my distresses, but then most when I shall least be able to speak for my self, at the hour of Death, and in the day of Judge­ment: Be now, and then, and ever my [Page 279] defence, and make me know and feel that there is no other name under heaven given unto men in whom and through whom I may expect health and salvation, but only thy Name O my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

19. O Lord God, which art the giver of all good things, and never repentest of the good gifts which thou hast given, give un­to me health and ease, as long as they shall be blessings from thee, and give me thy grace to desire them no longer: And when thou most takest from me these or any other comforts of this mortal life, then Lord most increase and multiply upon me the joyes and comforts of a blessed Immor­tality.

20. Lord I am desirous to go out of my self, and out of this vale of misery, that I may come unto Mount Sion, and to the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of Angels, to the general Assembly and Church of the first­born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the Media­tor of the New-Covenant: O thou who [Page 280] hast prepared these immortal joyes for my soul, prepare my soul for these joyes, that being made a Citizen of thy heavenly Je­rusalem, I may be able to joyn in consort with the Angels thy first-born there, and with the spirits of just men made perfect since them; who now both together make but one Quire, and are alwaies singing Hallelujah, and worshiping him that liveth for ever and ever.

21. O blessed Jesus, thou only comfort of miserable and distressed sinners, consider my distress; Look upon mine adversity and misery, and forgive me all my sin. O thou blessed Mediator betwixt God and man, intermediate for me: Let the unspotted righteousness of thy life, be an acceptable sacrifice for the multiplyed unrighteous­ness of mine: And let the bitter pangs of thy death, keep from me all the bitter­ness of the temporal, and much more the pangs and horrours of the eternal Death: Thou didst taste the gall and vinegar when thou gavest up the Ghost; therefore I be­seech thee keep me from tasting it: Thou didst seem to be forsaken of thy God, O let not me b [...] forsaken of thee: But grant that I putting my whole trust and confi­dence [Page 281] in thy Merits and in thy Mercies, [...]ay from henceforth most chearfully serve thee in all holiness and pureness of living, and most faithfully persist in thy service by a resolved constancy, contentedness, and patience of dying; That I may yet more and more know thee, and the power of thy Resurrection, and the fellowship of thy suffer­ings, being made conformable to thy death, that so I may attain to a joyful Resurrection of the dead, to give praise and thanks unto thy holy Name, world without end.

22. O thou Eternal Son of God, who didst take upon thee the nature of man, that thou mightest lead a miserable life, and un­dergo a shameful death; I beseech thee sweeten unto me all those present miseries of my life, which thou hast already sancti­fied, in that thou hast born them; and all those possible horrours of my death, which thou hast already conquered, in that they durst assail thee to bear them: That I who of my self am in death even in the midst of life, may through thee my blessed Saviour, find life in the midst of death, and glory after it, to glorifie thee who art the Lord of death, and the Giver of life, Amen.

[Page 282] 23. O holy Jesus thou only Redeemer of souls, who by 'thy death hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life. I most humbly beseech thee, that as by thy special grace preventing me, thou dost put into my mind good desires of departing hence and of being with thee; so by thy continual help I may bring the same to good effect, and at last joyfully depart in thy peace, for that mine eyes have seen thy salvation, my heart hath believed it, and my soul goeth hence to enjoy it, and with it, thee my blessed Redeemer, who with the eternal Spirit art most high in the glory of the Father, one God everlasting, Amen.

24. O thou who layedst down thy life for my Redemption, make me ready to lay down my life at thy command; Teach me more and more to despise the Treasures and the Pleasures of this world, which have in them a double vanity; that they are transitory; that they are not satisfa­ctory: As they cannot give me true con­tent whiles I possess them, because they are not satisfactory; so let them not cre­ate in me any discontent when I must [Page 283] have them, because they are but transito­ry: O make me lay up for my self a stock of Treasure and of Pleasure in heaven, by [...] true and lively faith, working zealously [...]or thee, relying wholly on thee, and [...]onging earnestly after thee for ever.

25. Lord where is my Treasure, but only in him that bought me? who is my ever­lasting Portion, that only God could give me, and men cannot take from me. And where should my heart be but where my Treasure is, even in heaven and heavenly things? I will therefore from henceforth live by the faith of the Son of God who died for me, and gave himself for me: And li­ving by that faith, though I may dwell on earth, yet I shall live in heaven, nay in the uppermost part of heaven, even at the right hand of God; there will I live alwaies with thee, O my blessed Redeemer, adoring thy Excellency, reverencing thy Majesty, loving thine Authority, enamou­red with thy Perfections, and joyfully de­pending on thy Mercy: That though my continuance be still with men, yet my conversation may be with thee my God and Saviour, by love earnestly longing for thee, by hope wholly trusting on thee, by [Page 284] desires stedfastly cleaving to thee, and by delight alwaies rejoycing in thee: So shall my soul, when it departs out of this earthly Tabernacle, be received into thine everlasting habitations, there to bless and enjoy thee, who with the Father and the Holy-Ghost livest and reignest, one God world without end, Amen.

26. O Lord, who hast called to thee all those that travel and are heavy laden, and hast promised to give them rest, have mer­cy upon me thy distressed servant, who now am in a restless condition: what ease and repose thou denyest unto my body, I beseech thee give unto my soul, that though my flesh doth not enjoy the sweet and comfortable rest of sleep, yet my spirit may enjoy that everlasting rest and repose which is alwaies to be found in thee: O grant that a promise being left me of enter­ing into thy rest, I may not come short of it through my unbelief; but that by going out of my self and living in thee, I may forthwith enter into that internal rest which is to be enjoyed here in the presence of thy grace, and may continue and abide therein till I shall come to that eternal rest which is not to be expected till here­after, [Page 285] nor to be enjoyed but only in the pre­sence of thy glory.

27. O Lord God, the God of my salvati­on, teach me to cry day and night before thee, that so thou mayest still save me: and let my prayer enter in, whither I am not worthy to enter, even into thy pre­sence: Incline thine ear unto my calling, since thou hast inclined my heart to call upon thee: for my soul is full of trouble, and my life draweth nigh unto hell: But draw thou nigh unto my soul, & I shall be delivered from all my troubles; and though thou hast put my lovers & my friends away from me, and hid mine acquaintance out of my sight, yet let me ever see the light of thy countenance, and I shall not be trou­bled for not seeing them; and make me re­joyce in thine everlasting love, and I shall find no want of my other friends & lovers.

28. O Lord I cannot deny, but that having been at enmity with thee, I deserve to be cloathed with shame, and covered with mine own confusion as with a Cloak; But O cloath me with thy Sons righteousness, and therewith cover my shame and my confusion. I am unworthy in my self to [Page 286] pray for mercy, for Judas-like I have be­trayed my Saviour, O make me worthy in his blood, not only to pray for it, but also to obtain it.

29. O Lord my foot hath often slipped, but thy mercy hath hitherto held me up, that I have not fallen into the pit of destructi­on: Let thy Mercy O Lord still hold me up, and in the multitude of sorrows that I have, or shall have in my heart, by reason of my sins, let thy comforts evermore re­fresh my soul; For thou makest me find trouble and heaviness, that I may call upon thy Name; and I do call upon thy Name, that thou mayest deliver my soul: O Lord I beseech thee deliver my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before thee in the Land of the living: That I may walk carefully and conscionably before thee, be­cause thou seest all things; That I may walk reverently before thee, because thou rulest all things; That I may walk thank­fully before thee, because thou givest all things; That I may walk comfortably be­fore thee, because thou savest all things, and wilt in mercy save me: O let me so walk before thee here in this world, as one [Page 287] that hath a hope to live with thee here­after, in the world to come: Let my soul awake from the sleep of sin, to give glory to thee, because I trust that when I shall awake from the sleep of death, I shall re­ceive glory from thee.

30. O thou worthy Judge-Eternal, I tremble at the very thought of thy Judge­ment, and how then shall I tremble at the sight of my Judge? For mine own mouth doth most grievously accuse me, and mine own heart doth most impartially condemn me, and mine own conscience cannot but set its seal to the justness of my condemna­tion: But I believe that thou wilt come to be my Judge, who hast already come to be my Saviour, and I therefore pray thee to help thy servant whom thou hast Re­deemed with thy most precious blood; O Lord in thy Justice, when thou shalt be most ready to condemn me, remember the Mercy whereby thou didst come to save me; and hear thine own precious blood crying out to thee for my salvation, and hear not my grievous sins crying out against me for my condemnation; for what wilt thou do with thy Mercy, which mo­ved thee to shed thy blood, if thou wilt [Page 288] not forgive sinners? what wilt thou do with the Merit of thy blood that hath been shed, if thou wilt not save sinners? O Lord I appeal unto this Mercy which hath promised forgiveness of sins, and to this Merit which hath purchased salvation for sinners, and in this Mercy and in this Merit I cannot but hope to stand in the Judgement.

31. If the Lord himself had not been on my side, now may my soul say, if the Lord himself had not been on my side, when the Devils and mine own conscience rose up against me, they had swallowed me up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased at me; Yea the waters had drowned me, and the stream had gone over my soul; but praised be the Lord which hath not given me over for a prey unto their teeth; My soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the Fowler; the snare is broken, and I am delivered; My help standeth in the Name of the Lord, which hath made heaven and earth; and which hateth nothing that he hath made.

32. O Lord Jesus Christ, which upholdest all things in heaven and in earth, make me [Page 289] evermore to put my whole trust in thee; in the state of health and prosperity to trust in thee for preservation; in the state of sickness and adversity to trust in thee for deliverance and relief; in all states to trust in thee for grace and benediction: That in the distresses of my body, I may be comforted for the salvation of my soul; in the distresses of my soul, I may be com­forted for the mercies of my Savio [...]: Let me submit my soul to thee in piety, by doing righteously, that thou mayest not punish me; and having failed of that, let me submit my soul to thee in patience by suffering contentedly when thou dost punish me for my sins: Let me not despair of thy Mercy, when I have most provoked thy Justice, that thou mayst in Justice remember Mercy, and in Mercy remember me; Let me never say in my heart through impatience or infideli­ty, There is no God: Let me never wish in my heart, through impenitency, that there were none: Let me not say in my heart [...]efore I sin, There is no God, least I sin with greediness: Let me not wish in my heart, there were no God, after I have sinned, lest I sin without Repentance: But make me set thee alwaies before me, [Page 290] both in thy Majesty as coming to Judge me, that I sin not; and in thy Mercy as willing to save me, that I despair not when I have sinned: And be thou al­waies with me by thy special grace, that I perish not in my sins. O thou which art the joy of Angels, be also the joy of my sinful soul; speak salvation to me, who can speak nothing but damnation to my self: Be unto my sinful soul sanctificati­on from sin, that thou mayest be to my sanctified soul salvation from death: That I may at last stand with that great multi­tude who shall stand before thee cloathed with white robes and palms in their hands, to cry with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever & ever, Amen.

33. O Lord, who art so merciful unto sin­ful man as to vouchsafe to be his Guide and Governor; and so constant in thy Mercies as to guide and govern him all his life even unto death; I beseech thee to be my Guide in this my greatest perplexi­ty, now that my body is as it were bitten with fiery Serpents, and my soul dwelleth among Scorpions: Now that torments and tumults are without me, temptations [Page 291] and discontents are within me: O be thou [...]igh at hand, that none of all my outward [...]r inward vexations may either disturb my [...]fety, or betray my innocency: Let God [...]ise in my heart, and let all his enemies [...]ere, that is, all my impatient thoughts, [...] scattered: Like as smoke vanisheth, so [...] them vanish at the presence of God; [...]nd my soul be joyful in the Lord, it shall [...]ejoyce in his salvation.

34. O God, thy Charets are twenty thou­ [...]nd, even thousands of Angels, O set [...]me of them compass me about, as they [...]d thy servant Elisha, whiles I am living, [...]nd let others of them carry my soul into [...]brahams bosom when I shall die, as they [...]d thy servant Lazarus: That these thy [...]inistring spirits, which are sent forth to [...]inister for them who shall be heirs of sal­ [...]tion, may also minister for me thy most [...]worthy servant, not only in my sick­ [...]ss, to succour and defend me, but also in [...]y death, to direct and convey my soul; [...] by thy appointment they have brought [...]e to those everlasting mansions, where I [...]all together with them, alwaies behold [...]e face of my Father which is in heaven, [...]men.

[Page 292] 35. O Lord, thou hast commanded me t [...] break off my sins by repentance; but I hav [...] broken off my soul from thee by sin, an [...] widened that breach by my impenitency. Wherefore it is but just that I who have s [...] often grieved thy Spirit, should now at [...] grieve mine own: For I have often re [...] ­turned to those sins, which by mine ow [...] mouth had so terribly accused me, and b [...] mine own default so grievously wounde [...] me: But I beseech thee to fill my hea [...] with Repentance, which I have so ofte [...] filled with sin, and let me have that sorro [...] here, which may keep me from confusio [...] hereafter: For if thy servant Peter we [...] three whole daies, nay all his life long, f [...] denying thee thrice, out of a sudden pass [...] on: What tears, what repentance is nee [...] ful to the washing away of my sins, wh [...] have so often denyed thee upon deliber [...] ­tion? If Mary Magdalen wept so gri [...] ­vously for seven Devils, shall not I mu [...] rather for seventy seven more unclean sp [...] ­rits? She was not then thy servant, wh [...] she entertained those impure guests; I ha [...] been a long time thy friend, thy brothe [...] thy son, and yet have given these thi [...] enemies my best entertainment; She [...] [Page 293] [...]ot in the Devils again, after they had [...]een cast out; but I have swept and garnish­ [...]d the room for them; make me therefore [...]ood Lord all my life long to wash thy [...]et with my tears, that thou mayest wash [...]y soul with thy blood, and so at last pre­ [...]nt it without spot and blemish before [...]he heavenly Father, in thine eternal and everlasting Kingdom, Amen.

36. Lord let me often find the influence of thy grace in heavenly thoughts, that I may often feel the influence of thy mercy in heavenly joyes: I have many sad and dismal sorrows from my self; O give unto me true comfort in my Saviour; let my trouble be in the day when thou wilt hear me, and not in the day when thou wilt Judge me: There is no trust but may de­ceive me, save only my trust in thee; there is nothing in which I may not miscarry, but only thy Mercy: O Lord let my trust be so in thee, that though I have mis­carried in all the desires, and designs, and delights of this world, yet I may not mis­carry in thy Mercy, but may have the joyes and delights of the world to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

[Page 294] 37. Be thou exalted Lord in thine ow [...] strength, so will I sing and praise th [...] power: Thy strength is that whic [...] strengthens souls, and thou lovest to shew thy strength in our weakness; Lord let thy strength be made perfect in my weakness so shall I most gladly rather glory then re­pine in my infirmities, whiles the power of Christ doth-rest upon me, and my soul doth rest upon thee and thy Mercies in Jesus Christ.

38. O Lord who forgivest the sins of the penitent, and coverest those sins which thou forgivest, I beseech thee to accept my repentance, and to cover all those sins which I desire thee to forgive; That I may have the blessing of him whose un­righteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered: For if my sins should be all dis­covered to my self, they would fill me with fear; if they should be discovered to others, they would fill me with shame: And how wilt thou discover them either to my fear or to my shame, since thou canst not forgive them, unless thou cover them? O then be pleased so to cover my sins here, as not to discover them again hereafter; so [Page 295] to hide my transgressions in the day of thy Mercy, as not to lay them open in the day of Wrath: Or if thy Justice shall re­quire that all my sins be revealed in the day of the revelation of thy righteous Judgement, let the atonement also for my sins be then revealed, which I have labour­ed to make, and thou hast promised to ac­cept through the Merits and satisfaction of thy Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

39. O thou who art gracious and righteous, and in thy righteousness teachest the up­right the way of innocency, and by thy grace leadest sinners in the way of repen­tance; Have mercy upon me thy most unworthy servant, and grant that my great defects and wants of the first righte­ousness, that of Innocency, may be supply­ed by the fulness of the second righteous­ness, that of Faith and Repentance: And make mine eyes look so diligently to thee, that I may never again want care in look­ing to my self; Order my steps in thy Word, and so shall no wickedness have do­minion over me: Order my heart in thy Faith, and so shall I have dominion over all my wickedness; for though my fears shall force me to say, O wretched man [Page 296] that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? yet my Faith will be able to suppress that saying, and suggest unto me this heavenly comfort and tri­umph, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

40. O Lord I am in the midst of many troubles and sorrows by reason of my suf­ferings, and much more by reason of my sins; but thou hast promised that the righteous shall rejoyce in the Lord, and put his trust in him, and all they that are true of heart shall be glad, (Psal. 64. 10.) O then make me true of heart, that I may trust in thee, and be truly righteous: And give unto me true righteousness, that thou mayst give unto me true joy: There is no true righteousness but the righteousness of thy Son: There is no true joy but the joy of thy Spirit: O thou Father of Mer­cy, give unto me the righteousness of God the Son my Redeemer, that thou mayst give me the joy of God the Holy-Ghost my Comforter, to be with me and to remain in me for evermore.

41. O Lord thou hast brought upon me so much misery, that I cannot love my con­dition; [Page 297] And I have so much sin, that I cannot love my self: Wherefore I beseech thee to fix my love wholly upon thee, that my soul may thirst for thee, and my flesh also may long after thee, in this bar­ren and dry Land where no water is, either to cleanse, or to refresh, or to revive me; That looking for thee in holiness, I may behold thy power and glory: For my soul cannot truly thirst for thee, till my flesh also long after thee, since whiles my flesh is in love with the profits and pleasures of this life, my spirit cannot but lose the de­sire, and neglect the pursuit of the life ever­lasting: O Lord thou hast taken away from me most of the profits, and all the pleasures of this life; O take from me also the love of it; That I may not fear to lose that life which I do not love, nor love that life which I am sure to lose: but let me so love thee, as to live in thee, that I may not fear the loss either of my life or of my love.

42. O Lord I am assaulted by vexations without, and by temptations within; and to whom should I flie for succour but only to thee, who art not so displeased for my sins, but that thou wilt be appeased by my re­pentance? [Page 298] O give unto me that repen­tance which thou wilt accept, and take from me that displeasure which I so fear, Thou canst defend me with thy favourable kindness as with a Shield; O Lord I ask no other defence, but only this defence of thy Mercy, to defend me from my self and all my sinfulness: to defend me from thy wrath and from all the punishments of my sins: Though thou leave me destitute of all other defence, yet let thy loving-kind­ness evermore defend me, according to that eternal love wherewith thou hast lo­ved me in the Son of thy love, our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

43. O Lord thou hast hitherto guided me by thy counsel, and thou wilt hereafter re­ceive me with glory: Therefore have I none in heaven but thee, because none else can receive me with glory; and there is none upon earth that I desire in compari­son of thee, because none else can guide me with true counsel: O Lord pardon my strayings from thy directions as thou hast been my guide, that thou mayst re­ceive me into thine habitation, and be my glory for Jesus sake, Amen.

[Page 299] 44. O Lord make my soul willing to depart and go from hence, because it here dwells among the enemies of my peace; even among mine own sins and fears, which disturb the peace of a good conscience here, and threaten to destroy the peace of a blessed eternity hereafter: Make me to long for that blessed minute which will re­store to me perfect innocency, and will transmit me into everlasting peace; even that peace of God which passeth all that I do understand, and will fullfill all that I can desire: Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart to this peace, that thou mayest at once deliver me from all my troubles, for his sake who hath shed his precious blood to purchase this peace for me, Jesus Christ the only righteous, Amen.

45. Lord give unto me an earnest repentance to cleanse and purge my soul from dead works, that thou mayest give unto me a true and lively faith, to settle and establish my soul in the light of life. That ac­knowledging and bewailing mine own de­merits and unrighteousness, I may by the Merits and Righteousness of my blessed Redeemer, obtain remission of all my sins [Page 300] whereof I now stand guilty before thy Judgement-seat; and the assurance of that remission sealed unto my conscience by the testimony of thy holy Spirit; that I may not be terrified with the thought of death, being delivered from the terrours of Judge­ment, and having that righteousness inter­posed in answer for me, which cannot but answer all the accusations of the Devils, and all the attestations and convictions of mine own conscience: O my blessed Advo­cate, do thou come to plead for me, and then come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.

46. Lord make me daily more and more to see the manifold miseries of my pilgrimage, whereby I am a stranger to eternity, and a so journer with vanity, burdened and clogged with a heavy weight of flesh, and a far heavyer weight of sin: That I may heartily pray to be delivered from all those burdens and miseries, and not be afraid least thou shouldst hear my prayer; but that my soul providing to return into her own Countrey, may accordingly have longings and earnest desires after the Land of Promise, and after the heavenly Je­rusalem, and after thee my God, who [Page 301] there livest and reignest world without end, Amen.

47. Lord make me patiently to undergo this punishment of my body, but earnestly to long for the deliverance of my soul: Make me thankful for that small ease and refreshment thou givest me on earth, but much more for the eternal rest thou hast provided for me in heaven; grant that though I have affliction in the world, yet I may have peace in thee, and may rejoyce in that peace, for thou hast overcome the world: grant that though I am weak in my body, yet I may be strong in my soul, for thou art the strength of souls: grant that though I find pain and anguish in my flesh, yet I may find joy and comfort in my spirit, for thou art the God of spirits: grant that I may not look on thy hand scourging me with an evil eye, whiles I be­lieve that the thoughts which thou thinkest towards me, are thoughts of peace and not of evil: and that though thou givest me a sad beginning, yet thou wilt give me an expected end; (Jer. 29. 11.)

48. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him; and I [Page 302] may well bear it patiently (nay rather, take it thankfully) since it is his great goodness to punish temporally, that he may spare eternally: For he will at last plead my cause, and execute Judgement for me; he will at length bring me forth to light out of this dismal darkness, and I shall behold his righteousness, and he will not behold mine unrighteousness: Then shall I say with great joy, Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquities, and passeth by transgressions, and retain­eth not his anger for ever, because he de­lighteth in Mercy: Therefore he will turn again, he will have compassion upon me, he will subdue mine iniquities, before he suffer death to subdue me; and he will cast all my sins into the depth of the Sea, before he will cast me into the deep of the earth, (Mich. 7. v. 9, 18, 19.)

49. Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine holy One, and I but only of yesterday, and for a moment? I shall not die, whiles thou art my Resurrection and my Life; O Lord thou hast ordained these pains and sicknesses for Judgement, and O mighty God thou hast established them for correction: O Lord let them [Page 303] prove so to me, as Judgements to advise me, and as Chastisements to amend me; for thou art of purer eyes then to behold evil, and therefore sure of purer hands then to embrace it; and thou canst not look on iniquity, & therefore sure wilt not encourage it: O then let this thy visitati­on so purge away all evil and iniquity from me, that thou mayest both encourage my soul in my life, and embrace it at my death, (Hab. 1.)

50. O thou the high and lofty one, that in­habitest eternity, whose Name is Holy, thou that dwellest in the high and lofty place, but with him also that is of a con­trite and humble spirit, to revive the spi­rit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one; be pleased to look upon the great humiliations of my body, and the unfeigned contritions of my soul; That thou mayst dwell with me, and I may be revived in the spirit, whiles I am daily put to death in the flesh: And do not contend for ever, neither be thou alwaies wrath, least my spirit should fail before thee, and the soul which thou hast made; for the iniquity of my conversation thou wast wrath and smotest me; but for the [Page 304] abundance of thine own mercies heal me, and restore comforts to me and to my mourners; and give unto me true joy and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord (Isaiah 57. 15, &c.)

51. O Lord I have been long cloathed with filthy garmens, even by the corruptions and pollutions of the flesh: And Satan is standing at my right hand ready to tempt me here, and to accuse and torment me hereafter; But O Lord I beseech thee to say unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen his servant rebuke thee: And take away the filthy garments from me, and say unto me, behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will cloath thee with change of rayment, even with the wed­ding-garment, the righteousness of that immaculate Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ; so shall I appear before thee with comfort, stand before thee with confidence, and re­main before thee with joy for evermore, (Zach. 3.)

52. O Lord thou hast left me a Promise of entering into thy Rest, O let me not come short of it and not enter into it; But since [Page 305] I have a great high-Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, an high-Priest touched with the feeling of my infirmities, let me through him come boldly to the Throne of grace, that I may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need, (Heb. 4.)

53. O Lord my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, I desire to come unto thee from the ends of the earth, where I have inherited lyes and vanity, and things wherein there is no profit; but I beseech thee cause me to know thy hand and thy might, and take not away thy peace from me, even loving­kindness and Mercies, Jer. 16. v. 19, 21, & 5.

54. O Lord the Hope of Israel, let no dis­tress whatsoever make me forsake that blessed. Hope which thou hast given me; for all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from thee shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord the Fountain of living waters: O Lord I have often forsaken thee by my sins, yet let me not be ashamed, because I return again to thee by my Re­pentance; [Page 306] O Lord I have often departed from thee by my transgressions, yet let me not be written in the earth, because I now at last thirst for thee the Fountain of living waters: Heal me O Lord and I shall be healed, save me and I shall be saved; so shalt thou be my praise now and for ever­more, Jer. 17. 13, 14.

55. O Lord my soul is heavy, and my body is sick unto the death; But do thou bring me health and cure, and reveal unto me abundance of peace and truth; cleanse me from all mine iniquities whereby I have sinned against thee, cause my captivi­ty to return, and have mercy upon me, ac­cording to thine infinite mercies in Jesus Christ, (Jer. 33. 6, 8, 26.)

56. O Lord thou hast added grief to my sorrow, for I have fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest; yet dost thou forbid me to add sorrow to my own grief, and to say, wo is me now, because that which thou hast built thou hast broken down; and that which thou hadst planted thou hast plucked up, even this whole Land; Therefore thou forbiddest me to seek great things for my self, for behold thou hast [Page 307] brought evil upon all flesh, and how shouldst thou not bring evil upon my flesh, which is the most sinful of all? O then suffer me not to be a seeker of mine own discontents, rather then of thy re­dresses, whiles I look after great and good things, in such miserable and wretched times, but make me thankful that thou hast hitherto given me my life as a prey unto me in all places whether I have gone, that remembering what thou hast given me, I may not repine for what others have taken from me; assuring my self, that there is yet another life to come which thou wilt give me, not as a prey that I should fear losing it, but as an inheritance that I should long to possess it in thee and with thee for ever, Amen. Jer. 45. 3, 4, 5.

57. O Lord bring my soul out of this pri­son of the flesh, and the shackles of sin and misery, that I may wholly and entire­ly give thanks unto thy holy Name for all thy Mercy and great Deliverances, and most especially for this the greatest of all, That thou wilt deliver me from my self, from the burden of mine own flesh, from the bondage of mine own corruption, [Page 308] from the thraledom of mine own body: And wilt set me at liberty that I may do nothing else but serve thee, whose service is perfect freedom, and whose wages are life, and light, and joy, in beholding thy presence for evermore; for I earnestly de­sire only those Mercies wherein thou dost infinitely delight, who lovest to shew Mercy to penitent sinners in the Son of thy love, our blessed Lord and Saviour Je­sus Christ.

58. O Lord pour not out thine indignation upon me, blow not against me in the fire of thy wrath, but deliver me from this brutish and burning disease; or if thou wilt in thy Justice make my body as fewel for the fire, yet in mercy deliver my soul from the everlasting burnings, (Ezek. 23. 31, 32.)

59. Grant Lord that I being risen with Christ, may seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; that I may henceforth set mine affection on things above, not on things in earth; alwaies remembering that I am dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God, and alwaies rejoycing, that [Page 309] when Christ who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in glory, (Col. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4.)

60. Lord make my tongue sing of thy praises whiles I have breath; and when I shall be breathless, make my heart bear two parts, to fill up that blessed Harmony; that my soul may praise thee whiles it is in the state of union with my natural bo­dy; and much more when it shall be in the state of separation from it, and shall be joyned in consort with the holy An­gels, and with the beatified spirits: And most of all, when it shall be in the state of re-union again with that same body be­ing made spiritual: That I being at last all spirit, both in soul and body, neither my heart may be wearied in thinking, nor my tongue in speaking thy praises to all eternity, Amen.

61. I will thank thee O Lord my God with all my heart, and I will praise thy Name for evermore; for great is thy Mercy towards me, and thou hast delivered my soul from the neathermost hell, and wilt receive my soul into the highest heavens, there to give thee thanks and praises for evermore.

[Page 310] 62. All the daies of my appointed time will I wait till my change come, (Job 14. 14.) Lord grant I may so wait, that I may re­ceive my wages, and that my change may come seasonably, speedily and happily: A seasonable change not to find me unpre­pared for it: A speedy change to deliver me from the pains of sickness, and from the pangs of death: And a happy change to let me in to the fruition of thy glory and eternal life, Amen.

63. By thine unknown sufferings, O my blessed Redeemer, intercede for me in all my pains and sufferings, that I may find Mercy and obtain Relief: And make me alwaies remember and confess that my sins are far above my sufferings, so shall I suffer patiently; and that thy Mercy is far above my sins, so shall I suffer comfortably, and hope for a joyful end of all my suffer­ings.

64. Lord grant that my conversation may from henceforth be in heaven, that my soul may be prepared to go thither, and know how to busie it self there; that I may with joy look for the Saviour, the [Page 311] Lord Jesus Christ from thence, who shall change my vile body, that it may be like his glorious body, according to the work­ing whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself, (Phil. 3. 2.) O Lord work that blessed change in my soul, to subdue all its carnal affections by a heavenly con­versation, before thou workest that miser­able change in my body, to subdue its na­tural constitution by an unnatural destru­ction: And according to that mighty working whereby thou art able even to subdue all things unto thy self, in the first place subdue all my sinfulness.

65. Lord speak the word only and thy ser­vant shall be whole; speak the word of comfort in my distress, and the greatest comfort in my greatest distress: say effatha to my heart that it may be opened to re­ceive thee; say effatha to the heavens that they may be opened to receive my soul; yea say unto my soul thou art my salvation, for thou only who art All-suffici­ent, canst speak unto my soul, and thou on­ly who art All-merciful, wilt speak com­fort to it: And though for my sins thou art justly displeased, yet for thine own Mercies thou wilt not long continue in that [Page 312] displeasure; for thou hast proclaimed thy self to be the Lord, The Lord God, mer­ciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping Mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin: Lord say unto me thy unworthy servant, that my sins are forgiven me, and that I may go hence in peace, for my faith hath saved me, even that faith whereby I wholly trust in the Merits and Mercies of thy eternal Son Je­sus Christ.

66. Hear my prayer O Lord, and consider my desire, hearken unto me for thy truth and righteousness sake, and enter not in­to Judgement with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified; And let not mine enemy persecute my soul; and (if it be thy will) let not my disease smite my life down to the ground, nor lay me in the darkness, as men that have been long dead; But if it be thy pleasure to torment and to destroy my body, yet let not my spirit be vexed within me, nor my heart within me be desolate: But make me so remember the time, and thy works past, that I may be comforted in the time and thy works to come; that stretching forth [Page 313] my hands and lifting up my heart unto thee, I may lay hold on thee by a lively Faith, Hope and Love, and at last come to enjoy thee by a blessed vision, comprehen­sion and fruition; And my soul gasping [...]nto thee as a thirsty Land, may be satisfi­ed with the dew of thy heavenly blessings for evermore.

67. O Lord remember that I am the work of thy hands, the image of thy counte­ [...]ance, the price of thy blood; And have mercy on me as thy work, as thy image, and as thy purchase; for the paternal bowels of God the Father that created me; for the bleeding wounds of God the Son that redeemed me; and for the unutter­ [...]ble groans of God the Holy-Ghost that sanctifieth me, O Lord hear, O Lord for­give, O Lord strengthen me in my sickness, receive me at my death, and acquit me in the Judgement, Amen.

68. Hear me O Lord, and that soon, for my spirit waxeth faint, hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit; O let me hear thy loving­kindness late in the evening of this life, and betimes in the morning of Eternity, [Page 314] for in thee is my trust; shew thou me the way that leadeth in the truth, and unto the life, for I lift up my soul unto thee: Deliver me O Lord from mine enemies both corporal and spiritual, for I flie unto thee to hide me; Let thy loving Spirit lead me forth out of this Land of unrighte­ousness, and lead me into the Land of righteousness: Quicken me O Lord for thy Name sake, (and then most, when I shall be nearest death) and for thy righte­ousness sake bring my soul out of all her troubles that I may give thanks unto thee, with those blessed spirits which lived here in thy fear, departed hence in thy favour, and now are with thee in eternal joy and glory, (Psal. 143. v. 7, &c.)

69. Deal thou so with me O Lord God, ac­cording to thy Name, that in the greatest bitterness of my soul, I may both see and confess that sweet is thy Mercy: O deliver me, for I am helpless and poor, and my bo­dy is tormented without me, and my heart is wounded within me, (Psal. 109. ver. 22, 23.) but be thou ease to my body, and joy to my heart in Jesus Christ.

70. O Lord I confess to thy glory and min [...] [Page 315] own shame, that when I call to mind the [...]oulness of mine own transgressions, I am [...]shamed; when I call to mind the exact­ [...]ess and severity of thy Justice, I am afraid [...]o lift up mine eyes to heaven, or to look [...]owards the place where thine honour [...]welleth; But O look thou down upon [...]e with the eye of pity and compassion, [...]ho am altogether unworthy to look up [...]nto thee with the eye of hope and confi­ [...]ence, and relieve me in my sickness, and [...]eceive me at my death for thine infinite mercies in Jesus Christ.

71. I will alway give thanks unto the Lord, [...]is praise shall ever be in my mouth; yea my soul shall make her boast of the Lord, [...]or I sought him and he heard me; yea [...]e delivered me out of all my fear: I had [...] eye unto him and I was enlightened, I [...]ave tasted and seen how gracious the [...]ord is, blessed be my soul for trusting [...] him, and blessed be his grace for working [...] my soul that trust, to rely and depend [...]pon his Mercy for evermore, (Psal. [...]34.)

72. Lord touch my tongue with a coal from [...]hine Altar, to take away the pollution of [Page 316] my lips; and touch my heart with the im­mortal flames of thy love, to take away the deadness and dulness of my thoughts; that both tongue and heart being purged from the filthy dregs of flesh and sin, I may in my greatest infirmities labour to praise thee according to the greatness of thy glories: And because I cannot suffici­ently praise thee whiles I am in this corru­pted and corruptible body, take my soul in thy due time away from hence, that I may in thy heavenly Jerusalem sing unto thee acceptable and immortal praises for ever and ever, Amen.

73. Righteousness and equity, O Lord, are the habitation of thy seat; O let righteous­ness and equity be fixed in my heart, that thou mayest therein fix thy habitation Mercy and Truth shall go before thy face; O let Mercy and Truth be alwaies in my soul, (Mercy to forgive, Truth to be for given) that when my soul shall go out of my body, it may joyfully go before thy face, and rejoyce in thy presence for ever more; for blessed are the people O Lord that can rejoyce in thee, they shall walk in the light of thy countenance; Lord thou hast given me the first part of this blessing [Page 317] to rejoyce in thee here on earth, O give me also the second part of it, that when I shall go hence, I may walk in the light of thy countenance hereafter in heaven, Amen.

74. Who am I O Lord God, and what is this my house of clay that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God, but thou hast spoken also of thy servant for a great while to come, even for the daies of Eternity; that thou wilt at last bring me to thy self: For thy words sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them and enjoy thee: And now O Lord God, the Word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said; for thou O Lord God hast spoken it, and with thy blessing let the soul of thy servant be blessed for ever, 2 Sam. 7. 18.

75. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant Mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; to an inheri­tance [Page 318] incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us: O Lord let me not fear being deprived o [...] my earthly inheritance by death, whiles [...] find in my self the work of this Regenera­tion, and cherish in my self the hope of this resurrection: But let me ever be kept by the power of God through Faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, that I may therein greatly re­joyce, though now for a season I am in heaviness through manifold temptations, 2 Pet. 1. 3. That the tryal of my faith being much more precious then of Gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, may be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

76. O thou who hast given me the soul of thy Christ and of my Jesus to sanctifie me, the body of Christ to nourish and strengthen me, the blood of Christ to re­deem me, the stripes of Christ to heal me, the agonies of Christ to comfort and to re­fresh me, give me also the wounds of Christ to hide me, that thou mayest not Judge me; or the Merits of Christ to cover me, that I may be acquitted in the Judgement: O Lord who didst not despise man trans­gressing [Page 319] and falling from thee, do not de­spise me repenting and returning to thee; but as thou hast opened unto me a door of faith and repentance unto life, so shut not that door against me now I am desirous to enter in by it, and to come to thee; O Lord I believe, help my unbelief: O Lord [...]repent, increase my repentance; and give unto me that repentance whereby thou wi [...]t accept me, and that faith where­by I may receive and embrace thee for ever.

77. The Lord make me faithfully to remem­ber, and thankfully to consider, and con­stantly to believe, that he who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for me, will also with him freely give me all things; or rather, hath already with him freely given me all things that I was capable to receive, and now is en­larging my capacity, that he may en­large his own bounteous liberality: He is making me capable of receiving more, that he may freely give more: He hath made me capable of receiving himself, his Son, his holy Spirit, by Faith, Hope and Love; He will now make me capable of receiving and enjoying himself, his Son, his holy Spirit, by vision, comprehension and fruiti­on; [Page 320] A vision that shall see him as he is in his excellent glory; A comprehensio [...] that shall fully receive and firmly retai [...] him; And a fruition that shall perfectl [...] enjoy him, and perfectly rejoyce in him One God, Father, Son, and Holy-Ghost world without end, Amen.

78. Abide thou with me O Lord Jesu [...] Christ, for it is towards evening with me and the day is far spent of this my toilsom and troublesom life; And though my eye be holden that I do not see thee whiles I have sad communications with mine own heart, yet be thou pleased still to tarry with me, and to sit at meat with me, and to bless to me the holy repast of eternity, and mine eyes shall soon be opened to see thee, and my heart shall be opened to re­ceive thee; And do not vanish out of my sight, till thou hast brought me to see thee in thy heavenly Kingdom, Amen.

79. God be merciful unto me and bless me, and shew me the light of his countenance in my passing through Death, and be mer­ciful unto me, in bringing me to everlast­ing life: The Lord bless me and keep me, the Lord make his face to shine upon me, [Page 321] and be gracious unto me; The Lord lift up [...]is countenance upon me, and give me [...]eace: God the Father preserve me in my [...]assage by his Almighty power: God the [...]on guide and direct me by his All-seeing wisdom: God the Holy-Ghost assist and comfort me by his All-sufficient Grace and Goodness, and bring me to everlast­ing life, Amen.

80. Now the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, that I may abound in Hope, through the power of the Holy-Ghost, (Rom. 15. 13.) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly King­dom, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. (2 Tim. 4. 18.)

The sick mans Devotions.

To the Reader,

DEvotion is seldom Cordia [...] when it is constrained, and i [...] is commonly constrained, when either Fear or Pa [...] makes a man devout: For then he may seem to have taken up Sauls resolution, 1 Sam. 13. 12. Therefore said I, the Philistines will now come down upon me, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord; I forced my self therefore and offered a burnt-offering: So is it too too frequently with those men who neglect the motives and means of prayer whiles they are in health, and leave all their [Page 323] suplications to be made in their sickness, or any other great extremity: for whiles [...]y vainly fear, lest custom should make [...]ir prayers uncordial or undevout, they [...]erably find that compulsion doth indeed [...]ve them to be so: since therefore either [...]tom of praying will steal away thy heart, thou fondly thinkest; or contempt of pray­will harden thy heart, at I flatly averr; now in good time what thou hast to do; a phantastical fear is no excuse for run­ [...]g into a real mischief: Whiles thou [...]ishly fearest lest thy heart should be stolen, [...] impiously causest thy heart to be harden­ [...] Consider therefore what the Prophet [...]uel hath taught thee to say, and do, in thy [...]resses to thy Maker; since God hath set [...] appointed him to direct and guide thee [...]y Devotions: And do not as Saul did, [...] without a Priest, or with a Priest of [...]e own choosing (perhaps of thine own [...]ing) offer thy burnt-offering, lest Samuel [...] at the end of thy sacrifice, and say unto [...] as he said unto him, v. 13. thou hast [...] foolishly, thou hast not kept the com­ [...]dment of the Lord thy God, which he [...]manded thee; this reproof, as it doth [...]rly concern thee, so it will undoubtedly si­ [...]e thee; for when God hath given thee a [Page 324] sure Guide for thy Devotions, (even such a Church, as neither the wit of man can prove, nor the malice of Devils can make guilty, either of Faction or of Superstition.) If thou wilt not go along with this Guide, but wilt needs gad after thine own imaginati­ons, thou dost indeed follow Saul in his sin, and art like to follow him in his punishment; thou appeasest not wrath, but provokest it; thou forsakest God, and take heed he forsake not thee: Wonder not then if you find many of Samuels words, that is, much of the Churches dictates, in these Devotions, but know it is because God hath taught Samuel to pray, that he might teach you; And having taught you to pray by Samuels Devotions may perchance not hear your prayers, (eve [...] as he accepted not Sauls offering) out o [...] Samuels Communion: However you may certainly by this gleaning of some few grapes see what store of good wine was and is in th [...] whole Vintage: And I hope you will no [...] have good wine, only to see and to look upon but also to tast, and to make good use of it Or confess, it is your own wilfulness tha [...] you, (I will not say, your prayers) are ei­ther Faint or Dry for not tasting it.

The sick mans confession of his sins.

I Confess unto thee, O Lord God Almighty and most merciful Father, that I have sinned against heaven and against thee, and am not worthy to be called thy Son; nor to have any portion in thine in­heritance, because I have been hitherto so unthankful for thy Mercy, so unreverent towards thy Majesty, and so undutiful to thine Authority: wherefore innumerable troubles are most justly come upon me, and my sins have taken such hold of me, that I am not able to look up, yea they are [Page 326] more in number then the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me: But O Lord let it be thy pleasure to deliver me, make hast O Lord to help me, and comfort the soul of thy distressed servant, for unto thee O Lord do I lift up my soul, gasping for that Mercy and Forgiveness which thou hast promised to Repentant-sinners, for the Merits of thy dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Or this.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Je­sus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men, I acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness, which I from time to time most grievously have com­mitted by thought, word and deed, against thy Divine Majesty; provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against me: I do earnestly repent, and am hearti­ly sorry for these my mis-doings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto me, the burthen of them is intollerable: Have Mercy upon me, have Mercy upon me most merciful Father, for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christs sake; forgive me all that is past, and grant that I may ever hereafter serve and please thee in the new­ness [Page 327] of my life, or in the contentedness and patience of my death, to the honour and glory of thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

The sick mans Absolution or Remission of sins, to be pronounced by himself alone, when he cannot have the benefit of a Mini­ster to absolve him.

HAve mercy upon me O God after thy great goodness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences; wash me throughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sins, and absolve me from the guiltiness of all my transgressions according to the Promise of Mercy by thy Word, the Pur­chase of Mercy by thy Son, and the Pledges of Mercy by thy holy Spirit, made and given to Repentant-sinners, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy-Ghost,

Amen.

Or this.

Almighty God our heavenly Father, [Page 328] who of his great Mercy hath promised for­giveness of sins to all them which with hear­ty repentance and true faith turn unto him; have Mercy upon me, pardon and deliver me from all my sins, confirm and streng­then me in all goodness, and bring me to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Then likewise he shall say.

O Lord open my heart, that thou mayest open my lips.

O Lord open my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

O God make speed to save me.

O Lord make hast to help me, That I may with a thankful heart and with a chearful voice sing and say unto thee,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy-Ghost,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end, Amen.

Praise ye the Lord; I praise the Lord.

The sick mans Psalm. (Psal. 6.)

1. O Lord rebuke me not in thine in­dignation, neither chasten me in thy displeasure.

2. Have Mercy upon me O Lord, for I am weak, O Lord heal me, for my bones are vexed.

3. My soul is also sore troubled, but Lord how long wilt thou punish me?

4. Turn thee O Lord and deliver my soul, O save me for thy Mercies sake.

5. For in death no man remembereth thee, and who will give thee thanks in the pit?

6. I am weary of my groaning; every night wash I my bed, and water my couch with my tears.

7. My beauty is gone for very trouble, and worn away because of all mine ene­mies.

8. Away from me all ye that work vanity, for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.

9. The Lord hath heard my Petition, the Lord will receive my Prayer.

[Page 330] 10. All mine enemies shall be confounded and sore vexed, they shall be turned back and put to shame suddenly.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

As it was in the beginning, &c.

The sick mans first lesson. Job 19. 25, &c.

I Know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day up­on the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for my self, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.

His first Canticle.

I praise thee O God, I acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

O praise our God (ye people) and make the voice of his praise to be heard.

Which holdeth our soul in life, and suf­fereth not our feet to slip.

I will go into thy house with burnt­offerings, [Page 331] and will pay thee my vows which I promised with my lips, and spake with my mouth when I was in trouble.

O come hither and hearken all ye that fear God; and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.

I called unto him with my mouth, and gave him praises with my tongue.

If I encline unto wickedness with my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

But God hath heard me, and considered the voice of my prayer.

Praised be God which hath not cast out my prayer, nor turned his Mercy from me.

Praise the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me praise his holy Name.

Which forgiveth all thy sin, and healeth all thine infirmities.

Which saveth thy life from destructi­on, and crowneth thee with Mercy and loving-kindness.

Praise the Lord O my soul, whiles I live will I praise the Lord, yea as long as I have any being, I will sing praises unto my God.

Lord make me so to praise thee here, whiles it is my duty; that I may exactly know how to praise thee hereafter, when it [Page 232] shall be my reward: For therefore with Angels and Arch-angels, and with all the company of heaven, do I now laud and magnifie thy glorious Name, because thou hast given me an assured hope, that I shall with them hereafter, evermore praise thee and say, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Heaven and Earth are full of thy glory, Glory be to thee O Lord most high.

The sick mans second lesson. John 5. 24.

VErily verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.

His second Canticle.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for calling me to the knowledge of himself, and to faith in his Son, and to Communion with his holy Spirit: Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief: And grant me so per­fectly [Page 333] and without all doubt to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that my faith may never be reproved; and my person and my prayers may alwaies be accepted in thy sight through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Or this.

In thee O Lord have I put my trust, let me never be put to confusion; but rid me and deliver me in thy righteousness, incline thine ear unto me and save me.

Be thou my strong hold whereunto I may alway resort; Thou hast promised to help me, for thou art my house of defence and my Castle.

As for me I will patiently abide alway; and will praise thee more and more.

My mouth shall daily speak of thy righteousness and salvation; for I know no end thereof.

O what great troubles and adversities hast thou shewed me? and yet didst thou turn and refresh me, yea and broughtest me from the deep of the earth again.

Therefore will I praise thee and thy faithfulness O God, playing upon an in­strument of Musick; Unto thee will I sing upon the Harp, O thou holy one of Israel,

[Page 334] My lips will be fain when I sing unto thee; and so will my soul whom thou hast delivered; and ever wilt deliver according to thine infinite Mercies in Jesus Christ.

The sick mans Creed, or the Confession of his Faith, by way of prayer.

I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; Grant me Lord so to believe in thee my Father; that as a Father pittieth his own child, so I may find and feel that thou art pittiful and merciful towards me.

Grant me so to believe in thee as my Lord and my God, that I may find the eter­nal comfort of being thy servant; and that as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters; even so my eyes may wait upon the Lord my God, until he have Mercy upon me.

Grant me so to believe in thee as my Father, God and Maker, that I may al­waies rely on thy Fatherly Goodness; that I may alwaies submit my self body and foul to thy Almighty power, and that I [Page 335] may commit my soul unto thee (not only in well-doing, but also in well-suffering) as to my saithful Creator.

Grant me so to believe in Jesus Christ thy only Son my Redeemer, that from this Jesus I may have salvation; from this Christ I may have the holy Unction; from this thy Son, I may have spiritual adoption.

Grant me so to believe in God the Holy-Ghost, that from this God I may be inspired with true godliness, from this Holy-Spirit I may be sanctified, and made a member of the Catholike Church, and both live and die in the Communion of Saints: And that from this spiritual Com­forter I may be filled with spiritual com­forts and consolations for evermore, even with the immortal comfort of the For­giveness of my sins, of the Resurrection of my body, and of the translation of my soul to the life everlasting, Amen.

Or this.

O blessed Lord God, who fillest heaven and earth with the Majesty of thy Glory, and with the Riches of thy Mercy: Let not my sinful soul be empty; but let me evermore be filled with dreadful apprehen­sions of that great and glorious Majesty [Page 336] wherewith thou wilt hereafter come to Judge me: And with comfortable appre­hensions of that great and gracious Mercy, whereby thou hast already come to save me; that I may never want grace to pre­vent and keep me from sinning; nor Mer­cy to pardon and forgive me all my sins; nor the testimony of thy holy-Spirit to as­sure me of that pardon and forgiveness: That though thou kill me, yet I may put my trust in thee, and even at the hour of death may be able to say with a strong heart, though with a weak voice, I believe in God the Father my Creator, in God the Son my Redeemer, in God the Holy-Ghost my Comforter; That this my Father will provide for me health and ease, and all other comforts of this world, as far as they shall condu [...]e to his glory and to my sal­vation; And hath provided for me a Portion and Inheritance in the world to come.

That this Redeemer hath redeemed my soul from the bondage of Sin and Satan, and will also at the last day redeem my body from the bondage of death and cor­ruption.

That this Comforter will not leave me comfortless, when I most want and most [Page 337] ask his comforts; but that he will be with me according to his Promise, and will keep me in all places whither I go, (of sick­ness, of life, of death) and will bring me at last to the Land of Eternal rest, for he will not leave me till he hath done that which he hath spoken to me of, Gen. 28. 15. till he hath translated me from his holy Church-Militant, to his holy Church-Triumphant; And to that Com­munion of Saints whereof he is the only head, who is the King of Saints: And to that blessed company of sanctified spirits, which have mercifully received the for­giveness of their sins, do earnestly expect the resurrection of their bodies, and do incessantly enjoy the life everlasting,

Amen.

The sick mans Collect for the Day.

O Sweet Jesus, who comest from the bosom of thy heavenly Father, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach delive­rance to the Captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised, shew also these thy Mer­cies at once and together, in shewing Mer­cy on me, who am now broken and bruis­ed, and under great blindness and cap­tivity.

The eye of my soul is so dim by reason of my sins and of my sufferings, that I cannot clearly see thy Merits; The hand of my soul is so weak, that I cannot eagerly reach after them, nor strongly take hold of them: Thus am I a captive under mise­rable blindness and weakness: But shew thou me the light of thy countenance, and that will recover my sight, and release my captivity: For in thy light I shall see the true light everlasting, and in thy counte­nance I shall enjoy it: O thou Son of righteousness, which knowest not any going down, and gives [...] [...]fe, food, and gladness unto all things, vouchsase to shine into my [Page 339] mind, that I may not either through the weakness of the flesh, or the assaults of the Devil, any where stumble to fall into im­patience or infidelity, or any other grie­vous sin, but may be able to stand stedfast­ly through thy supporting, and to walk on constantly in the way of Piety and of Pa­tience, till by thy good guiding and con­ducting, I may at last come to the life ever­lasting: As thou still holdest open the eyes of my weak body to behold the light of nature, so be pleased daily more and more to open the eyes of my sinful soul to behold the light of grace, till thou bring me to enjoy the light of glory, there to glorifie and praise thee for ever,

Amen.

The sick mans Collect for Peace.

O God which art the Author of our peace for thine own Mercies sake, but the Author of our troubles only for our sins; Give unto me thy unworthy servant that peace which this wicked world cannot give, and which this tumultuous [Page 340] and troublesom world cannot take away; and defend me in all the assaults of my af­flictions both corporal and spiritual, that I surely trusting in thy defence, and whol­ly submitting to thy providence, may not fear the power of any adversity whatso­ever, through the might and for the media­tion of Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

The sick mans Collect for Grace.

O Lord our heavenly Father, Al­mighty and everlasting God, which hast safely brought me (through many dangers, and troubles, and diseases) to the beginning of this dangerous and desperate sickness, defend me in the whole continu­ance of the same with thy mighty power; and grant that herein I may fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, whereby I may become either impenitent­ly sinful, or uncomfortably miserable; But that all my doings and all my suffer­ings being ordered by thy Governance, I may alwaies do that which is righteous in [Page 341] thy sight, and suffer that which may be profitable for mine own salvtion, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

The sick mans Letany.

O God the Father of heaven, and of all Mercies, have Mercy upon me a miserable sinner: And grant that in the greatest extremities and anguishes of my body, I may find the greatest comforts and refreshments of my soul: Grant that when I am most tormented in my flesh, I may be most relieved in my spirit: That though my loins are filled with a sore dis­ease, and there is no whole part in my body, yet my soul may magnifie the Lord, and my spirit may rejoyce in God my Saviour; for he hath regarded my low and miserable estate, and he will relieve it.

O God the Son Redeemer of the world, and of my sin-sick and sinful soul, have Mercy upon me a miserable sinner; and take away all my sins, that thou mayest [Page 342] take away all my miseries: As thou hast made me a happy Believer, so also make me a joyful partaker of thy Redemption: and then most especially, when I shall most feel my self as it were swallowed up of grief and destruction, through the pains and torments of my increasing sickness, or the pangs and horrours of my approach­ing death: Be thou my comfort in di­stress, my strength in weakness, my health in sickness, my joy in sadness: Be thou my life whiles I am living, and my Resur­rection from the dead: that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I may fear no evil; for thou art with me to conduct me through the dan­gerous downfalls of that valley; to direct me through the dismal darknesses of that shadow; and to sustain me in the dread­ful dissolution of that death: O thou who now sittest on the right hand of God making intercession for me, reject me not when I am making intercession for my self; for through thy death I hope for life; through thy life I hope for glory; through thy glory I hope for eternal glory: And in that hope do I now commend my spirit into thy hands, for thou hast redeemed me, O God thou God of truth: And [Page 343] thou wilt save me O God thou God of Mercy, because I have believed thy truth, and do rely upon thy Mercy: Therefore do I wholly resign my self, body and soul unto thee, submitting them both to thy good will and pleasure either for life or death; beseeching thee to Receive my soul and to Restore my body; and to grant that I may be able to stand upright in the dreadful Judgement, being support­ed by the arm of thy All-sufficient Merits and All-saving Mercies, to bless and praise thee O my blessed Redeemer, world with­out end.

O God the Holy-Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son, have Mercy upon me a miserable sinner, and give unto mean assurance of thy Mercy, that thou mayest give unto me an abatement of my misery: O thou which art the Comforter of thine Elect, give unto me daily more and more the heavenly comforts of mine Election; and in the greatest agonies and distresses of my body, transfix my soul with the most joyful apprehensions and the most firm perswasions of thine everlasting Love and undeserved Mercies towards me in Jesus Christ: That neither the appre­hensions of a sad and miserable life, nor [Page 344] the fears and terrours of an uncomfort­able death, may ever be able to affright my soul, nor to disturb that sweet peace, res [...] and repose which my spirit now hath and desireth to have in thee the God of spirits who givest unto those souls that are o [...] thy Communion, the antepast of eternity the blessed anticipation of immortal joy [...] O my God, my Stay, my Comforter, unto thee do I flie for the comforts of immor­tality: Like as the Hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee O God: My soul thirsteth for God even for the living God; when shall [...] come to appear before God? when shall I drink my fill of the waters of life to quench my thirst? O let my tears no longer be my meat day and night, whiles mine own troubled thoughts say unto my soul, Where is now thy God? for surely my God is in heaven; whatsoever pleaseth him that doth he in heaven and in earth [...] and though for a while in the evening of this life I have sadness upon earth, yet in the morning of eternity I shall for eve [...] have joy in heaven, Amen.

O Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity three persons and one God, have Mercy upon me a most miserable and wretched [Page 345] sinner, and therefore most miserable and wretched, because a sinner: because I have sinned against heaven, and against thee the God of heaven: But since thou hast given me grace through the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; I beseech thee that through the stedfast­ness of this faith, I may be absolved from all my sins, and also be defended from all adversity, which livest and reignest, one God world without end, Amen.

Remember not Lord mine offences, nor the offences of my fore-fathers, neither take thou vengeance of my sins: spare me good Lord, spare me thy most afflicted, but most unworthy servant, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with me for ever.

Spare me good Lord.

From this and all other evil and mis­chief of my body, from the more afflictive and contagious sin of my soul, from the crafts and assaults of the Devil, either against my body or against my soul; from [Page 346] the fear of thy wrath, and from the sen­tence of everlasting damnation,

Good Lord deliver me.

By thine agony and bloody-sweat, help and assist me in all mine agonies: By thy Cross and Passion, make me conquerer in all my sufferings: By thy precious death and burial, sweeten my death, and sanctifie my grave: By thy glorious resurrection and ascention, raise me up again at the last day, and glorifie me; and by the coming of the Holy-Ghost give unto me now amidst the torments of my life, and the terrours of my death, the immortal comfort of a blessed resurrection to eternal glory; And in this my distress, by this thy special as­sistance help and comfort,

Good Lord deliver me.

In all time of my tribulation and adver­sity, which thou hast now sent me: In all time of my wealth and prosperity, if thou shalt be pleased once again to send it me, in the hour of my death, and in the day of Judgement,

Good Lord deliver me.

I that am a sinner, do beseech thee to [Page 347] hear me O Lord God; And that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church universally in the right way: And to deliver this thy distressed and oppressed Church from all her sins, and from all her troubles, and to restore her to her former Truth and Peace,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord.

That it may please thee to let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, and the Son of man whom thou hast made so strong for thine own self, and so will not we go back from thee; O let us live, and we will call upon thy Name; Turn us again, O Lord God of Hosts, shew us the light of thy countenance and we shall be whole,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord.

That it may please thee to defend and strengthen all Bishops and Ministers of thy Church; That notwithstanding the manifold oppositions, contempts and persecutions of disobedient and gain­saying people, they may still uphold thy true and lively Word, and thy holy and blessed Sacraments; and by their preaching, and administring, and their li­ving, [Page 348] and dying, may set them forth and shew them accordingly,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord.

That it may please thee to be a Father to the Fatherless, whom my sins have help­ed to make so, and whom my repentance cannot, but thy Mercy can relieve: To be a husband to the widow, a comfort to the comfortless, and to relieve all that be desolate and oppressed, and to shew thy pity upon all exiles, prisoners and captives, especially those that suffer imprisonment and captivity, or banishment for the cause of righteousness, for the Doctrine of a Catholick Faith, or for the duties of a Chri­stian life,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord.

That it may please thee to have Mercy up­on mine enemies, persecutors, and slander­ers, to turn their hearts, and to forgive their sins, and to save their souls; and to make me forgive, as I desire to be forgiven; and to make me desire to be forgiven, as I stand in need of forgiveness; and to make my waies to please thee, that thou mayest make mine enemies to be at peace with me,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord,

[Page 349] That it may please thee to give us all true repentance, that thou mayest forgive us all our sins, not only our negligences and ignorances, but also our perversnesses and profanesses, and to endue us with the grace of thy holy Spirit, that we may lay aside our own animosities, self-interests and worldly advantages, and joyn toge­ther with one heart and mouth to praise thee, and to glorifie thy holy Name, not looking after fond pretences and fading va­nities, but looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God, and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

I beseech thee to hear me good Lord.

Son of God, I beseech thee to hear me. O Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world, take away my sins also, inwhom alone there is a world of sin; and grant me thy peace, and have Mercy upon me: O Christ hear me, and as thou camest to redeem me when I was utterly lost, so I beseech thee suffer me not to be lost now thou hast redeemed me.

Lord have Mercy upon me.
Christ have Mercy upon me.
Lord have Mercy upon me.

[Page 350] And remember me according to the fa­vour that thou bearest unto thy people; O visit me with thy salvation, that I may (once more if it be thy will) see the fe­licity of thy chosen, and rejoyce in the gladness of thy people, and give thanks with thine inheritance, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

The sick mans Benediction.

BLessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel, which only doth wonderous things.

And blessed be the Name of his Majesty for ever; and all the earth shall be filled with his Majesty; and my soul shall be fil­led and revived with his Mercy, Amen, Amen

The Lord Jesus be within me to strengthen, without me to assist, before me to direct, behind me to defend and protect, beneath me to uphold and sustain, above me to receive my soul.

Let the power of the Father preserve [Page 351] me, the wisdom of the Son guide and én­lighten me, the operation of the Holy-Ghost quicken and revive me in my passage through the gates of death, and bring me into everlasting life.

The blood that ran from the wounded heart of my blessed Saviour, which hath purchased for me abundance of grace in my life, of comfort in my sickness, and of hope in my death, wash my soul from sin and from iniquity, that it may be present­ed without spot or blemish before the righteous Judge of men and Angels, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy-Ghost,

Amen.

The sick mans Valediction.

LORD I am willing to forsake all to follow thee; O let me follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth: I willingly forgive all men, and heartily desire all men to forgive me; that though I came into this world hating my God, yet I may not go out of it hating my Brother: for God [Page 352] (with whom I hope to dwell when I go from hence) is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him, 1 John 4. 16.

I follow after, to apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Je­sus.

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. Phil. 3. 12, 13, 14.

The sick mans Preparation for his Depar­ture.

I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand, 2 Tim. 4. 6.

Now therefore I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee: that I may find grace in thy sight, and [Page 353] consider that I am one of thy people.

And he said, my presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

And he said unto him, if thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence; for wherein shall it be known here that I have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with me?

And the Lord said, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken, for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

And he said, I beseech thee shew me thy glory; so saith my soul O Lord; and be­cause no man shall see thee and live, I de­sire to die, that I may see thee, Exod. 33. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Unto him that is able to keep me from falling, (into the pit of everlasting de­struction) and to present me faultless be­fore the presence of his glory with exceed­ing joy, do I recommend my soul, even to the only wise God our Saviour, to whom be glory and Majesty, dominion and pow­er, now and ever, Amen. Epist. of Saint Jude, v. 24, 25.

The Lord shall preserve me from all evil; yea, it is even he that shall keep my soul.

[Page 354] The Lord shall preserve my going out, and my coming in, from this time forth for evermore, Amen. Psal. 121. 7, 8.

The sick mans Departure or Dismission.

ARise ye and depart, for this is not your Rest, because it is polluted; it shall destroy you, even with a sore de­struction, Micah 2. 10.

Return unto thy Rest O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

I will walk before the Lord in the Land of the living, Psal. 116. 7, 8, 9.

There remaineth therefore a Rest to the people of God. Heb. 4. 9.

Lord I willingly go out of this world, that I may enter into that everlasting rest, Amen.

I have set God before me, he is at my right hand, I shall not fall;

Therefore my heart is gland, and my glo­ry rejoyceth, my flesh also shall rest in hope;

[Page 355] For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore, Amen. Psal. 16. 8, 9, 10, 11.

To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.

Lord now lettest thou servant depart in peace, that he may rest in hope, rise in joy, and reign in glory,

Amen.

A sick mans Resignation.

Psal. 31. 5.‘Into thine hand I commit my spirit; thou hast Redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth.’

THere is nothing more the duty of a good Christian, then whiles he lives to possess his soul in patience, and when he shall die, to resign his soul in comfort. And indeed, he must possess his soul in patience, that he may resign it in comfort: He must possess his soul in patience, as not being fully contented, [Page 357] much less fully delighted, with his present [...]ndition in this world; wherein he can­ [...]t but see very much to trouble him, but [...]thing at all to satisfie him: Help Lord, [...]h the Psalmist, (Psal. 12. 1.) in great [...]ation of his heart; and we may gather threefold reason why he is so vexed; [...] the godly man ceaseth, the faithful fail, [...]d they speak vanity: Defectus sanctitatis [...] affectu, veritatis in intellectu, sanctitatis [...] [...]ffectu, saith Alensis. The defect of holi­ [...]ss in the will, of truth in the understand­ [...]g, of innocency in the action: This is [...]e threefold defect that makes the good [...]ristian possess his soul, not in delight as [...]on choice, but only in patience as upon [...]cessity; because he wants holiness in his [...]ill, and cannot love God; because he [...]nts truth in his understanding, and [...]not know God; because he wants in­ [...]grity in his action, and cannot honour [...]od as he is bound and desires to do. This the reason that he possesseth his soul, not delight but in patience; and the trouble [...]at he finds in his possession, makes him [...] think himself of a Resignation: The [...]ssessing his soul in patience whiles he [...]es, makes him Resign his soul in com­ [...]t when he is to die: And here we have [Page 358] the form of that comfortable Resignatio [...] Into thy hands I commit my spirit, thou ha [...] redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I hop [...] no man will say, that this set form of th [...] Resignation of his soul, doth stint Go [...] Spirit, which teacheth him how to Resig [...] his own: For sure we are, that he use [...] this same form, of whom it is said, G [...] giveth not the spirit by measure unto hi [...] John 3. 34. And if a set form did not co [...] ­fine the spirit in him who received it not b [...] measure, much less can it confine the spir [...] in us, who have it measured from him Well may set forms teach us rightly t [...] commend our own spirits to God, but the [...] cannot possibly make us confine his Spirit. Had there been any such inconveniency [...] using of set forms, the Spirit of Go [...] would not have provided us so many se [...] forms of Prayers and Praises in the Psalm and other parts of the Text: so that no ob­jection can be made against set forms o [...] Prayer, as such, which may not be retorte [...] to some undervaluing, if not underminin [...] of the Scripture it self, the very light o [...] our eyes, the breath of our nostrils, and th [...] joy of our hearts: We may not then hear­ken to this objection, above all the rest unless we will say, That the Spirit of Go [...] [Page 359] did intend to confine himself: Or the Son [...]f God did intend to confine his own Spi­ [...]it in us, when he absolutely prescribed a [...]t form in his own most holy Prayer, com­ [...]anding it to be said, Luke 11. 2. when ye [...]ray, say, Our Father: nay yet more, un­ [...]ess we will say, that the Son of God did [...]ntend to confine his own Spirit in himself, when he used this very particular form, [...], Into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke 23. 46. For it is the very same Greek Text in both places, and the very same translation in the vulgar Latine, though we in English have seemed to make a Ver­bal, but not a Real difference: And there­fore it is evident, that our blessed Saviour by using this set form, hath sanctified it for our use, and taught us thereby how to Resign our souls to him that gave them; And indeed, the Spirit of God had suffici­ently sanctified it before; so that now we have this Resignation doubly sanctified to us by the spirit, and by the Son of God; so happy a thing is it for us seriously to consider, and much more sincerely to love it, to give it a place in our meditations, and much more in our affections; And indeed it doth challenge both; nothing so fit to [Page 360] busie our contemplations as these words, Into thine hand I commit my spirit; nothing so powerful to work upon our affections as these words, Thou hast Redeemed me O Lord God of truth: But since good Medi­tations do produce good affections, and good affections do increase good medita­tions; it is manifest that God hath joyned them together, and therefore we may not put them asunder. And indeed the whose verse concerns one and the same thing, considered in it self, and in its cause; Resig­natio, Resignationis causa; The Resignation of the soul, and the cause of that Resigna­tion; The Resignation of the soul, Into thy hands I commit my spirit; The cause of that Resignation, Thou hast Redeemed me O Lord God of truth: The Resigna­tion of his soul is as ours should be, re­markable for its seasonableness, for its ful­ness, for its willingness, Resignatio Oppor­tuna, Plena, Voluntaria; It is first opportune or seasonable; secondly full or plenary; thirdly free or voluntary: First it is an op­portune or seasonable Resignation; for he was now in great danger, and in greater distress; Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me, v. 4. He was al­ready partly ensnared, and did fear lest he [Page 361] might in time be wholly entangled in the miseries and mischiefs of this sinful life, if he should retain his soul too long, and that makes him think of Resigning it: He well understood his dangers and his distresses, and that made him look towards his De­liverer, and after his Deliverance: Tis not unseasonable at any time to resign our souls to God; for he may call for them when he pleases, and we ought to be rea­dy at his call; But it is most seasonable, when we see our selves either in imminent danger, or in irremediable distress; then it is proper to follow the example of Eliah, 1 Kings 19. 4. He requested for himself that he might die; and said, Satis est nunc Do­mine, Accipe animam meam; It is enough now O Lord, take away my life: It is enough for me in regard of this world, saith R. David; It is enough for this wicked world; for I have lived too long to see so much wickedness, and to be able to redress none, and yet desirous to stay longer to help increase All; Thus far in effect a Jew could go; but let Christians go farther in their Gloss, and say more­over, It is enough for thy glory, and enough for my salvation: It is enough for thy glory, for thou hast miraculously pre­served [Page 362] me in my life; it is enough for the good of mine own soul, for thou hast made me sensible of, and thankful for thy miraculous preservation: And when can I better desire thee to take my soul, then now it actually hath this sense of thine un­deserved Mercies, and this thankfulness for them? Yet Tremelius, seeking for the reason of this prayer out of the tenth verse, thus pithily enlargeth his Gloss; Abjectio Tui Foederis, Cultus Tui Destru­ctio, Prophetarum tuorum coedes, & mei per­secutio, faciunt ut mortem expetam: That the children of Israel have forsaken thy Covenant, thrown down thine Altars, slain thy Prophets with the sword, and seek my life to take it away; These things that have hitherto made me weary of life, do now make me even desirous of death: Nor may we think so Religious a Prophet would have carried with him the guilt of Impatience, much less of Uncharitableness to his grave: For it was the indispensable necessity of Gods Truth, and the un­feigned zeal of Gods glory, that extorted from him this most grievous complaint; And indeed, when the true Religion and worship of God is in danger or in distress, though we our selves be in neither, yet is it [Page 363] not fit for us to admit of the comforts of this world; then if any say, Fear not, for thou hast a Son, thou needest not be trou­bled that the Philistims have gotten the conquest over Israel, for thou art in a hap­py condition, thou hast a goodly inheri­tance, and a Son to inherit after thee; yet must thou not answer, neither regard it, un­less thou wouldest have a weak dying wo­man rise up against thee in Judgement, 1 Sam. 4. 20. Then must Ichabod be all thy saying, that is, where is the glory? not where am I, what will become of me, or of my Family? But where is my God, where is his glory? For if the glory be de­parted from Israel, how can a true Israelite desire to abide in it? Thine eyes are not opened to see thine own and other mens wickedness; thine heart is not opened to be sorry for it, and to repent of it, unless thou be ready in such a case as this, to cry out and say, Wo is me, that I am constrained to dwell with Mesech, and to have mine ha­bitation among the Tents of Kedar, Psal. 120. v. 4. This was the method of his prayer, who questionless prayed with Gods Spirit, Psal. 119. First, Give me understand­ing according to thy Word, v. 169. Then, Deliver me according to thy Word, v. 170. [Page 364] till he had a right understanding of his mi­sery, he knew not how to pray for his de­liverance: But as soon as he fully saw the one, he could not choose but heartily pray for the other: Resignatio opportuna; This Resignation of his soul was opportune and seasonable; that is the first.

And as his Resignation was opportune and seasonable, so it was also full and ple­nary; In manus tuas; Into thy hands: as if he had said, I desire to reserve nothing in mine own hands, but do resign all into thine: The Common-Law is very careful that a Resignation be whole and entire, without any reservation: And Navarr tells us, that he that hath anothers Resig­nation, must be very cautelous in allowing him any thing out of his living, for fear there may be a suspition of a Simonaical contract: (Potest quotannis Resignanti quid Donare, si id faciat ob Amorem Dei principaliter coram Deo, absque tamen ullo pacto: And again, Gratitudinem erga Re­signantem Caute exercere debet, ne praesuma­tur id facere ob Confidentiam;) Will not ehe Law be satisfied without a full Re­signation, and do we think God will be satisfied without it? Or what were it for him to accept of part of thy soul, but to [Page 365] allow himself to be but half a God? Thou must therefore either Resign all to him, or keep all to thy self: For thou canst not divide the Sacrifice, unless thou wilt divide the Deity: And since thy All to him is no­thing, thou canst not give him less then All, but thou must profess him worthy of less then nothing: He hath required All thy soul, and All thy might, and All thy strength; and it is a most abominable un­dutifulness, and a more abominable un­thankfulness, not to give him what he re­quires, since thou canst not give him what he deserves; Therefore it must be a full Resignation, Resignatio Plena; that is the second.

And indeed it will be full, if it be free; it will be Plenary if it be Voluntary, which is the third condition, Resignatio Volunta­ria; it must be a free and a voluntary Resignation; [I commit my spirit,] If I would reserve any thing to my self, it should be my spirit; the innermost part of my self, but I also commit that; and as I commit it into thy hands to dispose as thou pleasest, so I freely commit and commend it to thy disposal: A man may renounce his property upon Compulsion, but he Re­signs it properly upon Choice or Election. [Page 366] And so do good men give up their souls to God, freely and willingly, whereas wicked and ungodly men do it against their wills; Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee, Luke 12. 20. As if it were taken away by force, not volun­tarily Resigned; which was a great sin in him, that he did not willingly resign his soul to God, who created it; but a much greater sin in thee, if thou do not willing­ly resign thy soul to the Son of God who Redeemed it, and who alone can save it; especially when he himself hath taught thee this form of a Resignation; whence it was that in the Gospel on Palm-Sunday, the Priest in the Latine-Church was to make a stop when he had read these words, Jesus when he had cryed again with a loud voice, yielded up the Ghost: He was here to pause, and to say his Pater Noster, Ave-Marie, and In manus tuas Domine Com­mendo spiritum meum, before he proceed­ed to the next verse; As if it were Un­christian-like in us not to Resign our souls to our Saviour Christ, when we see him as it were Resigning his soul, meerly to pre­pare a place for ours: I ask then, Darest thou trust thy soul in thine own hands? Is it not already much the worse for thy [Page 367] keeping so long; and will it not still be worse if thou keep it longer? Canst thou resign it now as pure as thou didst first re­ceive it, and will it not contract the greater impurity, the longer thou deferrest and de­layest thy Resignation? Consider that Saint Paul saith, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Heb. 11. 31. wherein every word hath its weight, a weight too heavy to lay upon thy soul: [...], It is the most terrible of all ter­rours, for it is spoken of death: [...], To fall: None are properly said to fall into Gods hands at their death, but they that would needs keep themselves out of his hands during their life: They then fall into his hands, because they did not be­fore deliver their souls unto him; whereas those that desire to live unto God, do wil­lingly give themselves into his hands, and do still continue in his hands whiles they are here, and so cannot be said to fall into his hands when they go from hence: Those only that go out of his hands in their life, are truly and properly said to fall into his hands at their death: And they find how fearful a thing it is to fall into his hands; because they find him a living God: He seemed to them as it were asleep before; [Page 368] and his own good Spirit complaining that he had so long born with such miscreants, useth their own words in his complaint, Psal. 44. 23. Awake, why sleepest thou O Lord? Nay he seemed to them little less then dead, Psal. 14. 1. The fool hath said in his heart there is no God: It is in the Hebrew, there is no Judges; if a God to see him ( [...]) yet not a Judge to punish him; They either thought him as it were asleep in not re­garding their wickedness, or as it were dead in not revenging it: But now they find him a waking and a living God: That his eyes are open to see them, and his hand stretched out to reach them: and therefore they must needs be infinitely troubled, that they are against their wills, fallen into his hands.

For though King David chuseth rather to fall into the hands of God then of men, 2 Sam. 24. 14. yet is it only in regard of this, not of the next life: In this life he would not willingly fall into the hands of men, of ungodly, unpeaceable, unpla­cable men, for their tender mercies are cruel, Prov. 12. 10. But in the next life, he would not fall into the hands of God: And it is an admirable observation of Saint [Page 369] Chrysostom upon that plave, [...] We that are under perse­cution fall into the hands of men; but they that are our persecutors fall into the hands of God; And this of the two is the more terrible fall. O my God, though thou let me fall into mine enemies hands, yet let him never fall into thine: Draw thou near to him in Grace and Mercy, and draw him near to thee by Faith and Repentance: Be thou reconciled unto him, that he may be reconciled unto thee, and willingly give himself into thy hands: For it is so fear­full a thing to fall into thy hands, that I cannot but pray against it, even for my greatest persecutors: I cannot hate mine enemy so far as to wish him that mischief: O then let me not so far hate my self, as to bring it upon mine own soul: Let me willingly commit and commend my spirit to thee every day, that being in thy hands all my life, it may not fall into thy hands at my death: Not fall into thy hands as a Malefactor that fled from thee, to be Judged and Tormented: But be received into thy hands as a child that flies to thee to be pardoned and protected: For when we have said all, and tried all that we can [Page 370] say, this is the only way to be a good Chri­stian, and that according to the first and best patterns or presidents that have been given us of Christianity; for so its said of Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazard­ed their lives for the Name of the Lord Je­sus Christ; It is more in the original, [...]; Qui tradiderunt animas suas; Men that have gi­ven or delivered up their souls for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ: He that will be a good Christian, must endeavour to be as ready to deliver up his soul to Christ, as he desires Christ should be ready to receive it: And we are very much encouraged so to do; for we cannot be so ready to give our souls, as he is ready to take them, which puts me on the second general part of my text, (for I am willing to form my thoughts upon this argument into a fare­well-Sermon for a Vale to the world) Re­signationis causa, the cause of this Resigna­tion, for thou hast Redeemed me O Lord thou God of Truth: Wherein we have indeed two causes; First the fulness of the Redemption, For thou hast Redeemed me. Secondly, the faithfulness of the Redeemer, O Lord thou God of truth.

First, the fulness of the Redemption; for [Page 371] it had a threefold fulness; a fulness of Ex­cellency, a fulness of Appearance, a fulness of Redundancy; which is Bonaventures distinction concerning our blessed Saviour, (lib. 3. sent. dist. 13.) Quod est loqui de Plenitudine secundum Excellentiam, & se­cundum Apparentiam, & secundum Re­dundantiam: We may speak of the fulness of Christ according to its Excellency, ac­cording to its Appearance, and according to its Redundancy; for Christ had a ful­ness of Excellency from his first concepti­on; And he had a fulness of Appearance from the discent of the Holy-Ghost upon him; for then his excellent holiness was made apparent to all the world, by the testimony of the Father and of the Holy Spirit: And he had a fulness of Redun­dancy from the time that he sanctified his disciples and servants, by the communica­tion and participation of his holiness: And this same threefold fulness is in this Re­demption; A fulness of Excellency or Per­fection in the nature of it; [...], hast Redeemed; A fulness of appearance or manifestation from the Author of it, Thou, thou hast Redeemed; And a fulness of Re­dundancy from the subject of it, me, Thou hast Redeemed me. First there is a fulness [Page 372] of Excellency or Perfection in this Redem­ption from the nature of it, [...], Thou hast Redeemed; So saith the Master of Greek Criticisms, [...]. This word is properly used concerning the Re­demption of Captives, that are Redeemed with a price: For they that are otherwise delivered then by a price, [...], are said rather to be Rescued then to be Redeemed: (Eustath. in Iliad. a.) Here is then a Redemption as excellent as the price that was paid for the Captives, and that was the blood of the Eternal Son of God: A price that was infinitely more worth then all the whole Creation both in heaven and in earth, which hath in truth no other preciousness but what it hath from this price; is no farther precious then as it is sprinkled with this blood.

Secondly, A fulness of appearance or manifestation in this Redemption from the Author of it. Thou, thou hast Redeemed; Thou whom God hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, and who art the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, Heb. 1. 2, 3. This heir of all things came to make us par­takers of his inheritance: The same God [Page 373] that made the world by his Power, and governed it by his Wisdom, Redeemed it by his Mercy: He that was the bright­ness of the glory of God, and the express image of his person, was pleased to make himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man to humble himself, and be­come obedient unto death, (Phil. 2. 7.) That by his death he might destroy death, and by his rising to life again, might re­store to us everlasting life: But that's the third fulness in this Redemption; A ful­ness of Redundancy, from the subject of it; Me, Thou hast Redeemed Me; Thou, Me: Heaven and Earth are meet together in the Mysterie; But Heaven and Hell are met together in the Mercy of this Redem­ption: God and Man in the Mysterie, but God and sinful Man in the Mercy of it: Me in my Nature was a great mysterie; but Me in my Sins was a far greater mer­cy. Thy love did seek me when I did not deserve it; Thy care did keep me when I did not observe it; O let neither Love nor Care forsake me now I do desire it: And indeed thou hast promised not to forsake us; And that is the second Reason we are so willing to Resign our selves to thee, the [Page 474] faithfulness of our Redeemer, O God thou God of Truth: Thou art power­ful in thy performances as God, and faith­ful in thy Promises as the God of Truth: As none can resist thy power in perform­ing, so none may distrust thy truth in pro­mising: It was thy Mercy that made thee promise, but it is thy Truth that maketh thee keep thy promises: Mercy and Truth are together in God, as Cruelty and False­ness go together in man; Though I have no right to thy Mercy from it self, yet I have a right to thy Mercy from thy Truth; And thine own Holy Spirit hath taught me to claim this Right, Heb. 13. 5. For he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee; He said it to Joshua, yet will have me believe, he said it to me; for though that promise in its occasion was particular, and concerned only Joshua and those with him, Josh. 1. 5. yet in its document it was uni­versal, and concerned all the faithful ser­vants of God that should be to the end of the world; for that promise was made to Joshua as Leader of the people, and therefore belonged in common to him and to them, even to the whole Church of the Jews: And by the same reason belongs to us now as it did to them, even to the [Page 375] whole Church of the Gentiles; For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, or Gentile; For the same Lord over All, is rich unto all that call upon him, Rom. 10. 12. If we call upon him as Joshua and the Israelites did, we have the same interest in his promises as Joshua and the Israelites had; He will be as rich in Mercy to us, as he was to him and to them; or else in vain hath his Apostle said, For whatsoever things were written afore-time, were written for our learning, that we through patience and com­fort of the Scriptures, might have hope, Rom. 15. 4. Where is the comfort of the Scriptures if it be not in the Promises? or what promise can be the ground of our hope like this, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee? A promise which he made in Mercy, as Lord over All, and therefore rich in mercy to All that call upon him; But a promise that he keepeth in truth, as being the same Lord over All; That is, one and the same constantly in himself, and therefore not diverse in his Word, nor in his Promises: O God thou God of truth: As God, thou art a Creditor to All by thy Mercy, All borrow of it, All depend on it, All are obliged to it: But as a God of Truth thou art a Debtor to All, that is, [Page 376] to All that call upon thee; for the Pro­mise, though it be universal, yet it is condi­tional. Thou art a Debtor to All by thy Truth: they have an Interest in thy Pro­mise, claim it as their Right, look to it as their Treasure, look on it as their Com­fort: Debitor fidelitatis, non Justitiae, God is to man a Debtor of faithfulness, though not a Debtor of Justice: A Debtor of faithfulness, because of his own Word, though he cannot be a Debtor of Justice, because of mans Merit: As he is God, he hath provided Mercy, (for as is his Maje­sty, so is his Mercy) But as he is the God of truth, so he hath moreover assured it: In this assurance did Saint Paul comfort himself, 2 Tim. 1. 12. For I know whom I have believed, and I am perswaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed un­to him against that day; [...], Depositum meum servare; God is contented to be our Depositarius or Trustee, to keep that which we commit to him, so it be worth his trust, or fit for his keeping: And nothing is fit for his keep­ing, which hath relation to this day, or any thing of this world; but only that which hath relation to that day, or to the world to come: Therefore I may com­mit [Page 377] nothing else to him as to my Deposita­ry or Trustee, but only my soul, which alone can remain and a bide till that day: And if I commit my soul unto him against that day, he will see it then forth-coming as safe as I can desire, and more safe then I can deserve: This is the [...], The Depositum, Saint Paul speaks of; And the word used by him is a Noun derived from the Verb used in my Text, [...], I will Depose, Into thy hands will I Depose my spirit; Saint Pauls [...], wholly a­grees with this [...], his Depositum with this Deposing; The thing that he commits to Gods trust, is, his spirit, his soul, which he commits into his hands, as the only Trustee of souls: And it is much to be observed, that the word [...], in the Greek Text, is not in the Present, but in the Future-Tense, so that it is to be rendered, not I do depose, or commit, or commend, but I will depose, or commit, or commend my spirit; to shew to us mans uncessant Dutifulness, and Gods uncessant Faithfulness. First mans uncessant Duty­fulness; for this act of Resigning the soul, is a continued act; it is a thing long in doing before it can be well done; It re­quires great preparations, greater delibe­rations, [Page 378] and greatest Resolutions; And af­ter all our Preparations, and Delibera­tions, and Resolutions, it is still a motion that is rather in fieri, then in facto esse, ra­ther compleating, then compleated; that hath more perfection from the time to come, then from the time present or past; more perfection in the Purpose, then in the Performance; in the Resolution, then in the Execution; [...] I will commit: No man can so fully Resign him­self to God as he ought; and though our blessed Saviour could and did, yet to teach us this Document of humility, he also speaks as if he had not done it; for he saith, [...], as well as David, I will commit; As if something were still behind, something still more in the Resolu­tion then in the Execution: For though the grace of union in Chirst was infinite, the grace whereby he took his humane soul; yet the habitual grace was not infinite, the grace whereby he resigned his soul; But God is infinite, as in himself, so also in his Obligation; and an infinite Obligation requires an infinite Satisfaction, which to a Finite nature must needs be rather in the Purpose then in the Performance, for which cause our blessed Saviour himself thought [Page 379] fit to say, not [...], but [...], [...] I do commit, but I will commit my [...]pirit: O Lord let me never think I can [...]o too much, when thine own Son hath [...]ught me that I can never do enough: He said I will do it, when he had done it; [...]hall I say, I have more then done it, when cannot do it? Did he speak by way of [...]xtenuation in his works, and shall I [...]hansie a Supererogation in mine? Did [...]e seem to intimate something less in his [...]erformance then was in his Obligation; [...]nd shall I dream of Performing more then was Obliged? O let me never come to [...]at height of Impiety as to neglect my [...]uty, much less to that height of Impu­ [...]ence as to over value it: Let me never [...]y, I Do, or Have done; but only I will [...]o, accounting it thy greatest mercy to my [...]oul, that thou givest the will to do; and [...]he greatest security of my soul, that thou [...]cceptest the will for the deed.

Secondly, Gods uncessant faithfulness; for David could not have said, I will com­mit, by a continued act of giving, if he [...]ad not believed Gods uncessant faithful­ness in a continued act of receiving; Gods faithfulness is as everlasting as himself: And that makes him look upon his trust as [Page 380] never fully discharged, but as alwaies new­ly undertaken; And he would have us be­lieve that he is as careful of it, and as faithful in it, as if he did every moment newly undertake it; for this same [...], in the Future-tense, which doth shew mans continued act in resigning his soul to God, doth also import Gods con­tinued act in receiving souls that are re­signed unto him; that he is alwaies ready to Receive them, and alwaies as careful to Retain them, and will be as faithful to Re­store them: He Receives them by his Mer­cy, he Retains them by his power, (non [...] is able to pluck them out of his hands, Joh [...] 10. 28.) He will Restore them by his Truth; And he will Restore them infinite­ly better, then he can Receive them; con­trary to all other Trustees, who generally Receive much better then they Restore [...] Never any man gave his spirit to God in his life-time, though but for an instant, b [...] an holy Contemplation or Affection, bu [...] he received it again much better then he gave it: How much more shall he that gives him his spirit at his death by a full and free Resignation, receive it again infi­nitely better at the last Resurrection Wherefore let us pray unto him that h [...] [Page 381] will be pleased to make us ready to resign [...]ur souls to him without reluctancie, and [...]areful to resign them without spot or [...]emish, being throughly washed by the [...]ars of our own Repentance, and by faith [...] our Saviours blood, that so he may [...]ceive them into his Mercy, and sanctifie them by his grace, and satisfie them with [...]is glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord [...]nd only Saviour, to whom with the Fa­ther and the Eternal Spirit, be ascribed all [...]onour and glory, be performed all boun­ [...]en duty and obedience, from this time [...]orth and for evermore, Amen.

Quod de te per te loquimur, da transeat ad te,
Utque tui simus, nos age, solus habe.
FINIS.

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