DAILY THOUGHTS: OR A MISCELLANY OF MEDITATIONS, Holy & Humane.

The third Edition much enlarged,

By Jos: Henshaw, Dr of Divinity.

LONDON, Printed by W. H. for T. A. and are to be sold by G.B. at his shop in S. Dunstans Church-yard in Fleet-street, 1651.

TO The READER.

IT is not out of desire of be­ing known, nor out of a desire to bee thought to know, that I doe commend this small Tract to the world; but to take up [Page]the roome of worse thoughts in thy head, and of worse Bookes in thy hands; it is the work of younger yeares, and the fruit of idle times, not of a serious study, and no otherwise do I publish it to view; though I am perswa­ded it would conduce much to the peace of the Church, if Bookes of this nature were more in use: it were to bee wished that inferiours would imploy their time rather in holy Meditation of those truths which are already re­ceived [Page]in the Church, than in making themselves, or shewing themselves able to defend them; not that I would commend an ignorant devotion to any, or desire men to know lesse good, but more to practice that good which they know; nor turne Reli­gion into disputation, but turne their disputation into action, and obedience; they shall finde in the last day that it is holinesse, not knowledge, (I doe not say holinesse with­out knowledge) that must [Page]bring them to Heaven; Su­premo illi judici non scripta approbanda, sed facta; not the disputer, but the doer of Gods will shall be justified: men while they spend their time in disputing what they should doe, they too often neglect to doe even those things which are without dispute; in this Book if there be little paines, yet there is no hurt; nay, it is thy owne fault if there rise not some good to thee from it, which if thou second with pra­ctice, [Page]will bring thee to an eternall good, which I wish thee.

IOS: HENSHAW.

Daily Thoughts.

MAke the Word of God the Rule, and God him­selfe the Pa­terne of all thy actions; con­template God and thy selfe; what He is, what Hee requires thee to be, like Him in a de­gree, though not a perfection; in a perfection of sincerity, though not of degrees. Do no­thing against thy word, and let [Page 2]thy word be regulated by God's Word; do not ill for compa­ny, nor good onely for compa­ny.

LEt thy talke not bee much, and that profitable: be spa­ring of oaths and promises, and performe both: shun jests in holy things, and abhorre lies though in jest: speake to the capacities, but not to the hu­mors of men; so frame thy talke, as one that is going shortly to give an account of his words: detract from no man but thy selfe, speake well of all men till thou knowest o­therwise, and where thou canst not speake well, be silent: me­ditate [Page 3]often upon the shortnesse of thy life, and be carefull so to imploy it, as that thou doest not make thy account long; measure the length of it as the Scripture doth by a Bubble, and a Shadow, and a Flower light and vanishing; but yet to comfort thy self in this pre­sent state with the remem­brance of the future; that if this life which thou hast bee short, yet that which thou ho­pest for, is eternall.

My life is like a Bubble, but a blast.
At first God breath'd into me, and I live;
And like a Bubble, I doe daily wast,
and am like water powr'd into a sive;
Lord, since I am thy bubble, when I die,
Like to a bubble, let me ascend on high.
Or if you will, my life is like a Flower,
And like a Flower for a while I stand;
I am, and am not in an other [...]owre,
For I am gather'd by the owner's hand;
Since I am so, why am I so corrupt,
That do not know how soon I shal be pluckt
But of all Flowers, most of all me thinks,
Resembled in the Marigold am I;
And like the Marigold that wakes and winks,
Still as it sees the Sun, am borne and die;
But her's my comfort, with that flower when
The Sun appeareth, I shall blow agen.

AFfect not to set out thy selfe to the world, nor to thy selfe; speake not thine owne praise, nor greedily heare it from others, nor too ea­sily beleeve it: spend thy time rather in pressing forward to what thou shouldst be, then in idly contemplating, or conten­ting [Page 5]thy selfe with what thou art; thinke meanely of thy selfe, and that thought will both make thee modest (for he that suspects himselfe is not bold) and eager in the pursuite of that goodnesse or knowledge wherein thou supposest thy self defective; be ready rather to give, then to take an applause, and if thou art apt to thinke thou deservest well, check it with thinking how many de­serve better.

LEt thy thoughts be such to thy selfe, that if it should be suddenly ask'd, what thou think'st on, thou mightest not blush to tell; stifle sinne in [Page 6]the first warmth and quick­ning, before it shape too farre: a twig may be pluckt up with one hand, which the whole bo­dy cannot wag, when it is a tree; even evill thoughts are evill, and though yet they bee not, yet cherished, will spread into evill actions.

BE not easily provoked, and easily be friends; give no occasion of exceptions thy self, and doe not easily take excepti­ons at others; and be ready to make satisfaction to those that have just exceptions against thee; it is a greater vertue to forgive one injury, than to do many courtesies; because it is [Page 7]harder: and it is harder, because more against nature; for many a man will doe for another, that will not suffer for him; there­fore it is a greater perfection to bee contented to suffer, than to be willing to do, unlesse it be to do for those of whom wee have suffered, for our enemies, which is the highest.

AFfect the company of those who are abler then thy selfe, and desire rather to partake of others sufficiency, than to publish thine owne; in meaner company thou maiest bee admired more, but in this thou shalt profit more: it is better to learne wisdome [Page 8]from those that are wise, then to be thought wise by those that are ignorant: be studious rather of being able, then of being so accounted; not to picke up thy knowledge, espe­cially thy opinions, from other mens discourse; but with paines and industry rather to search out the knowledge of truth thy selfe, then lazily to take it up from others.

IN Religion examine, but not broach opinions; ever in­cline to Antiquity, and suspect novelty; in middle things ever submit to the Authority thou livest under, and let the Churches opinion be thine.

MEasure not equity and right by friends and pro­fit, nor do wrong, either to get or to doe a courtesie; not up­braid others with the kindnes­ses thou doest for them, nor for­get the kindnesses which o­thers doe for thee: be sparing of receiving a curtesie where it is an ingagement, and of doing one where it is dishonoura­ble.

BE not wilfull nor wavering, not change but upon good reason, not obstinate against reason; not beleeve every re­port, not to report every thing [Page 10]thou believest; not grant every thing which thou canst not an­swer, but suspect rather thine owne insufficiency that cannot defend it, then cry downe the matter as not to be defended.

BE sparing of thy commen­dations, especially of thy selfe; commend no man unde­servedly, that is flattery; not thy selfe, though never so deser­ving, it is vaine glory.

DO not admire or applaud what thou understandest not; do not seem to understand where thou dost not; it is bet­ter to acknowledge thy igno­rance, [Page 11]and learn; than falsly to profess learning, and be still ig­norant.

DEsire rather to doe well, than to heare well; if thou canst, preserve to thy selfe a good report, but be ambitious onely of a good conscience; do not measure thy selfe by other mens reports, nor measure o­ther men by thy selfe; aske thine owne heart, and not their tongues, what thou art.

LAbour to resorme thy selfe first, let other mens finnes rather be the subject of thy griefe, than of thy discourse; so [Page 12]speake of other mens sinnes, as that thou detract not from the person; and so excuse or miti­gate the slip of any person, as that thou seem not to counte­nance the sin.

DOe not thinke thou art good enough, so long as thou art not knowne to be o­therwise, and never thinke thy life so good, as not to need men­ding.

SAy nothing but what thou meanest, and promise no­thing but what thou art able; not to intend what thou spea­kest, is to give thy heart the lye [Page 13]with thy tongue; not to per­forme what thou promisest, is to give thy tongue the lie with thy actions.

DOe not greedily find frult in any, nor reporoachfully publish it; but rather by a hiddenand oblique way to insi­nuate his error to him, than de­tractingly to blaze it; seeke not the advancement of thine owne wit by another mans fol­ly; not alwaies comply with the fortune, and censure him that is downe, not event, nor con­demne that as unadvisedly ta­ken which succeeds ill.

PUt not off devotion and the Duties of Religion with want of leasure; nor the needy, and duties of charity with want of abilitie; in both, though never so straightned, thou mayest doe somewhat, though the lesse; a sigh or a grow in the one, and a cup of cold water in the other thou thou canst not be without.

WHen thou promisest, think thou mayest bee taken at thy word; be nothing in a word; bee nothing in a complement, which thou da­rest not stand to in earnest: as [Page 15]there is lesse sinne, so there is lesse wrong in denying than in not performing: to deny is at most but a discourtesie; not to performe is an injury; for if thou denyest, bee may seeke to others, if thou deceivest, hee failes of all; it is lawfull for thee not to promise, it is not lawfull for thee to breake pro­mise.

OBserve what is good in a­ny man, and learne it; what is evill, and eschew it, if any thing good in thy selfe, to be thankefull for it; or evill, if evill of punishment, to beare it; if evill of sinne, to repent of it; not deride any mans im­perfections, [Page 16]but thank God that they are not thine; not to scorn any friend for an errour; but be sorry that he is wrong, and be so much his friend, as to en­deavour to set him right.

FOr a servant ever to speake well of his Master; if ill, to speake the best; if ill to him, to impute it to his ill deser­ving, is a duty, yet a commen­dations; to thinke obedience a vertue, not servitude, and that it is not the least mastery, so farre to command ones selfe, as to bee contented to submit to the command of others.

DO courtesies for others as gifts, not looking for re­quitall; receive courtesies of others a loanes, and meaning to repay; what favours thou doest for others, to forget them; if thou receivest any, ever to remember them; not to requite the injuries of an e­nemy with the like, nor the good turnes of a friend onely with the like.

SPeak not censoriously of thy betters, nor scornefully of thy inferiours, not vaine glori­ously of thy selfe, not to boast of thy selfe that which thou ne­ver [Page 18]didst, nor to assume to thy selfe the praise of that learning and wit, which is not thine owne; not slightly and under­valuingly to speake of other mens vertues, and not at all of their vices; not to thinke su­perciliousnesse majesty, or a grave reservednesse wisdome, as if thou wouldest bee therefore thought wise, because thou say­est little; not be a riddle which is rather to puzzle curiosity, than to benefit society, which man was made for; and there­fore be such rather as men may make use of thee, than be troub­led to know thee.

BE covetous of nothing but of doing good, and bee pro­digall of nothing but good counsell; be slow in beleeving ill of any, but slower in speak­ing it.

IN place of judicature, looke not whose cause comes be­fore thee, but what: and judge even thy brother, not as a bro­ther, but a Judge: not mea­sure the sentence by the relati­on: not sell judgement, nor doe a profitable wrong: it will ne­ver repent thee that thou art the poorer for doing right.

BE milde to all, but know when to bee severe; there is an unseasonable meeknesse; I know not which is worse, to be angry unjustly, or not to be justly angry; if by the first thou maiest wrong an innocent per­son, by the other thou makest a guilty: sometime to be silent at it, is to encourage a fault; it may be a due chiding would re­forme that offence which takes heart with sufferance.

AFfirme not any thing out of humor, or because thou hast affirm'd it; it is a greater disparagement to stand in a lye [Page 21]then to recant an error: to erre is but a weakenesse, and the case of all; to acknowledge an er­rour is a vertue, and the praise but of a few: but to maintaine an errour is a sinne, and it is a greater offence to justifie a sin, than to fall into it.

LOve, but not be fond of the body; to love it is a duty, to be fond of it is a sinne: let the fare be such as may neither impare the health of it, nor the devotion: the apparrel neate, not chargeable, not mimically in, nor ridiculously out of fa­shion: such as may agree with thy estate, thy yeeres, thy pro­fession: not at all to invent and [Page 22]slowly to take up a fashion, and that rather because thou would'st not be singular, then because thou likest it, & as may shew thee willing to bee con­stant, but not obstinate.

LEt thy recreations be short and diverting, such as may rather fit thee for businesse, than rob thee of time: long and tedious sports doe rather take away the stomack to seri­ous things than whet it he that makes recreation a businesse, will think businesse a toile.

SUbmit to every fortune, and like it, not place felicity in [Page 23]wealth and greatnesse: to bee without, and yet not to want these: or to want, and yet not desire them: to be able to man­nage a great estate, and to beare a meane: to like Gods will even when it crosseth thine: cheerfully to passe over crosses, yet to take notice of them: to be patient, but not without sense: to be sorrowfull but not without hope: not to grow great by corruption, nor to grow proud with greatnesse; nor to grow strange to others in a high estate, or thinke God so to thee, or you so to him in a meane: not to ebbe and flow with thy condition, and bee ei­ther supercilious or dejected, to take the changes of this [Page 24]World without any great change of thy selfe; he that is contented ever with what he is, makes himselfe happy without a fortune.

THinke of death as a thing certaine, (it may be) at hand: that Physicians dye; that Kings in this are Subjects: some like crude fruit are pluckt off by casualty, others like over-ripe, drop off with age: old and young, there are graves of all sizes: to en­deavour therefore rather to pro­cure eternall life, than to pro­long this: and use meanes rather to sweeten death, then to de­ferre it.

LEarne not to thinke of the things of this world as of things of continuance: and to use the things of this World, not as an owner, but a Stward: so thou wilt be neither loth to leave them, nor afraid to ac­count for them.

DOe curtesies to thy friend, not with hope to receive greater: and receive curtesies of thy friend, as if thou hadst done none: think of requiting the good which thou receivest, though thou deservest it: ex­pect no requitall of that good which thou doest, though un­deserved, [Page 26]lest failing of what thou expectest, thou repent of what thou hast done, and so lo­sest the praise of thy goodness, by looking after the reward of it.

COmmend no man to his face, and censure no man behind his back: if thou know­est any good thing of him, tell it others: if any ill, or vice, tell it himselfe: so by telling o­thers of his good parts, thou wilt procure for him a good o­pinion: and by telling him and admonishing him of his faults, thou wilt make him de­serve that good opinion.

ABstaine not onely from ill, but from the appea­rance of it, lest thou heare ill underservedly, or doe ill una­wares.

LEt thy discourse be neither light nor unseasonable; such as may call either thy goodnesse in question, or thy judgement: if thou canst not speake well, say nothing: so it others be not bettered by thy silence, yet they shall not bee made worse by thy discourse.

THinke meanely of thine owne sufficiency, though others thinke not so, look much upon thy defects, and little up­on upon thy good parts: and thinke that thou art short, not only of what thou oughtest, but of others: that that which thou knowest, is nothing to that of which thou art igno­rant: and therefore to labor rather truly to know thy selfe, than to make those small parts superficially known to others.

SCorne not to be better'd by the good example of others, and be carefull not to make o­thers [Page 29]worse with thine; do no­thing in which thou would' st not be imitated: and imitate nothing which thou knowest is not fit to be done; it is a fault to doe what thou shouldst not, it is none, to learne what thou shouldst doe of any.

THinke in the morning what thou hast to doe this day, and at night what thou hast done: and do nothing up­on which thou maist not bold­ly aske Gods blessing: nor (as neere as thou canst) nothing for which thou shalt need to ask his pardon: let thy first care be not to do ill: thy next care, to repent of it: account often [Page 30]with thy selfe, thy last account will be the lesse, bee not afraid to looke upon thy score, but be afraid to encrease it: to des­paire because thou art sinfull, is to be worse, because thou hast been so bad.

Be thy life like his that must
Account, and hath it but in trust;
Let the actions of thy youth
Answer not the times, but truth;
Let thy words by modest, few,
Thy opinions firme, not new;
Thy mirth plausible, not vain,
Not abusive, not profane;
Live not onely to the eie,
Sin is sin, though none be by;
Witnesses do onely prove,
Not make guilty; and true love
Of vertue, more esteemes in ought
So to be, then to be thought;
'Tis weaknesse to eschew the scarre.
N [...]t the ulcer, and preferre
[Page 31]
Esteeme to truth; deeds must be
Such as God approves, not wee;
Be in private what you seem
In publike view; and not deem
All things lawfull, that are hid,
Not what's seen, but what's forbid,
—is unjust;
And onely what we may we must.

BE not wicked with advan­tage: nor be drawne to do a gainefull sinne: not thinke that godly which is gainefull, but thinke that gaine enough which is with godlinesse: hee that makes his commodity the measure of his actions, for a morsell of bread that man will transgresse.

EVer learne to be contented with what thou hast, in as much as there is nothing which by the appointment of God doth not happen unto thee: and to dislike what God doth, is to doe what God dislikes; and make that a sinne, which was before but a punishment, and, as it might have been used, a blessing: to finde fault with God, is to make a fault in our selves; that which God doth may be harsh, it cannot be un­just: or if that state which thou hast be bad, yet that which thou hopest for, is better.

THinke not well of thy selfe though others thinke so: yet give no occasion to any to thinke otherwise, and give the glory of both to God, both of thy good parts, and their good opinion.

EVery morning take leave of the things of this world, as thingking thou mayst part with them before night: and every night to examine the imploy­ment of that day, as thinking thou mayst account for it be­fore morning: hee that is pro­viding for his going, will lesse increase his account by tarry­ing: [Page 34]we doe not commend his providence, that hath his fur­niture to buy when hee should take horse.

MAke not a neighbours fault greater to men then it is, nor thine owne lesse to God; to excuse thine owne sinne is to double it: detractingly to ag­gravate anothers fault, is to make it thine own.

BUfie not thy selfe in search­ing into other mens lives; the errours of thine owne are more then thou canst answer for: it more concernes thee to mend one fault in thy selfe, than [Page 35]to finde out a thousand in o­thers.

BEE carefull not to fall into sinne, being fallen, not to lie in it; being surprised, not to stand in it: confession is some part of satisfaction; by denying a little sinne, thou ma­kest it great, by truly confes­sing a great sinne to God, thou makest it none.

IF thou hast lived long, think thou hast the longer ac­count, thinke thou hast had the longer time to provide for thy account, and therefore hast the greater sinne, if unprovi­ded; [Page 36]where God fort eares a great while, he expects a grea­ter increase: as where men give long day, they expect larger payment.

PErforme not the things of Religion, either out of vaine glory, or custome, since the goodnesse of these is not measured by what is done, but by what minde we doe it with; Cursed be hee that doth the worke of the Lord negli­gently; there is that curse up­on negligent doing, which up­on unwilling leaving of it un­done is not; there is little dif­ference between not doing what thou shouldest, and not [Page 37]doing it as thou shouldest; to doe thy duty for shew onely, or in shew onely, is to doe thy du­ty, and be still undutifull: if that which thou doest be right, if the minde with which thou doest it be not so, all is wrong, and thou forfeitest the accepta­tion of what was good, by the ill performance.

TWo things do not trou­ble thy selfe to know o­ther mens faults, nor other mens estates: the estate of thine owne soule, and the amendment of thine owne faults, let that be thy study; not thinke any sinne lesse because it is hid: re­member that to him that shall [Page 38]judge theo it is open, and that in the last day God will not measure his judgement by ours, the day of judgement will con­demne many a man whom wee have quitted.

DO not practice Religion in shew onely, yet shew it in thy practice; thinke no sin little; nor no good which thou doest great, it is from the ac­ceptance of God that it is good at all: hope for, but not chal­lenge a reward of thy well do­ing, yet not for it selfe, but for what Christ hath done; mea­sure thy self not by what others are, but by what thou oughtest to be: remember thy sinnes [Page 39]with griefe, and thy goodnesse, the one, for that thou hast been so bad, the other, that thou canst be no better; and though thou canst not attaine to perfe­ction on earth, yet aim at it.

LAbour not onely to know what thou should'st be (that most men do) but to be so; nor at all to know what other men are; thou shalt not answer for it: be carefull if thou canst, to make others better by thy good counsell, or at least, not to make them worse by thy exam­ple.

BE ever contented with thy present estate, but, if thou canst, better it; doe not cor­ruptly thrust thy selfe into any place; and being in, do nothing that may thrust thee out; make the execution of thy office, a discharge of thy conscience, not an improvement of thy estate; and desire any place rather to do good, then to grow rich: give no bribes to procure an unjust thing, nor take none to doe one: and if thou art in the place of judicature, remember thy office is to give sentence, but not sell it.

DO not make any sinne lesse by custome: for as men do at first lesse like sinne, so with continuance they do lesse feele it, as those that are accu­stomed to carry burdens, are lesse sensible of the weight: and if thou doest now the same things with more ease, do not thinke that the sinne is more light, but that thou art more hardned: and thy case is so much more desperate, by how want of sense is neerer to death, than paine: feeling is an argu­ment of life, thou art a dead member if thou hast lost thy feling: but here's the misery, that thou hast lost thy feeling [Page 42]in regard of sin, but not of pu­nishment.

FIx thy desires upon such things as may not shame thee in the obtaining; and compassethy desires by such meanes as may not shame thee to own; though that which thou seekest for be good, yet while the way by which thou seekest for it be evill, thou sha­mest the end by the way; and shamest thy selfe in the end.

THinke no sinne little, and make it not great by itera­tion: what is a mountaine of earth but an accumulation of [Page 43]many little dusts? What is a floud, but a concurrence of ma­ny little drops? a little pricke being neglected, may fester to a Gangreen: by how much that in which thou sinnest is lesse, by so much thy sinne is the greater, that wouldest disho­nour God for so little a thing.

THinke of death as a thing thou must meet with: and of thy life, as a thing thou must part with: and not to love too well that life, that keepes thee from a better: nor at all to feare that death that leades thee to a better life: this life is a journey, and the World an uneasie horse, that with much [Page 44]jolting, and some falls, brings you to your home, and why art thou unwilling to alight: love rather that passage that leades to eternall happinesse than that life which keepes thee from it, and not without continuall misery.

STudy rather to make thy selfe fir for any imployment and place, than to thinke thy selfe so: and be preferred by thy desert, not by purchase: slip no lawfull meanes to doe thy selfe good, and use no un­lawfull; hee which groweth great by buying, doth likely continue that greatnesse by sel­ling.

MEasure thy wealth by thy minde, not by thy estate: a contented minde is ever rich; but measure thy expence by thy estate, not by thy minde; not what thou wouldest do, but what thou art able to doe: thinke not frugality a dispa­ragement, nor out-run thy self to keepe pace with others: this is to procure that which thou fearest: and least thou shoul­dest be thought meane, to be­come so; many times a slow pace performes that journey, whilst galloping tires by the way.

LEt thy thoughts be such to thy selfe, as thou art not a­shamed to have God know them: and thy words such to God, as thou art not afraid to have men hear them; and let thy whole life be such toward God and man, as that thou neither dishonour God by thy ill life, nor draw others to the same dishonour of him by thy ill ex­ample.

PLeasure not thy selfe by wronging others: nor with the unjust Steward, make thee friends with other mens mo­nies: lest while thou wouldest [Page 47]buy other friends, thou sell God; come to promotion, if thou canst by friends, not by money: if thou deservest it not, thou wrongest others: if thou deserve it, thou wrongest thy selfe.

THe goodness of the mind, is witnessed in the out­ward actions: the goodnesse of the outward actions, is deter­mined by the intention and minde: inward goodnesse with­out outward showes of it, is like a Tree without fruit, use­lesse: and outward shewes of goodnesse, without inward sin­cerity, is like a Tree without heart, livelesse; that thou art [Page 48]good inwardly in thy heart, is thine owne comfort: that thou dost ontwardly professe this goodnesse in thy life, is o­thers benefit; thou thy selfe art not the better for that good nesse which thou dost not make shew of, others are not the bet­ter for that goodnesse of which thou makest no shew: so in­ward sincerity is required in re­spect of God, outward profes­sion only in respect of men: by the first thou art a true Christian; by the other it doth appeare that thou art so

NEither undertake much, nor talke much, and that to the purpose; deliver thy minde rather in profitable lan­guage, than curious; by this, happily, thou wilt gaine more applause, but by the other thou wilt doe more good, and it is a greater vertue to do well, than to hear well.

DO nothing which thou dis­allowest; disallow thy self some things which thou maiest doe, but nothing which thou oughtest to doe: give no liber­ty to thy selse in unlawfull things: use not the utmost [Page 50]of that liberty which is given thee in other things; and so use thy liberty in what thou art permitted, as that they may not hinder thee in the things thou art commanded.

PRomise nothing which may prejudice thee in perfor­mance; performe what thou hast promised, though to thy prejudice; thinke thy selfe bound by thy word, though without oath or witnesse: if thou art not well able to per­form, consider thou wert able not to promise: a good man measures his promises by his ability, but hee measures his performance by his promise.

ACcount it the greatest knowledge truly to know thy selse; and the greatest con­quest to subdue thy selfe: not give way to thine owne lusts; not boast of thine owne parts: to doe nothing that is ill, nor vainegloriously to tell of what thou doest well: in all things to approve thy selfe a good man and a Christian, but not boast of it.

PLace not Religion in talke only, it is an easier matter to give counsell, than to follow it: sometimes we have known men to fall into those sinnes [Page 52]from which they have with great paines converted others: but Christianity (as we say of charity) begins at home; it was Christ's to S. Peter, Art thou converted? strengthen the Brethren, but first bee conver­ted himselfe; he may happily save others that is not saved himselfe, yet hee will sooner save another that goes in the way of salvation himself: good Doctrine is weakned much with ill life; hee that will doe good upon others, must first be good himself.

SPeake nothing which thou would'st wish to recall: and do nothing which thou shalt [Page 53]need to repent: condemne no­thing in a humour; nor main­taine nothing out of faction; never defend a false cause, ei­ther to revenge a wrong, or to do a pleasure.

THinke onely the present time thine, for that which is past is none of thine: and that which is to come, it is a question whether ever it shall be thine: so the certaine time of thy life is very little, and the account which thou shalt cer­tainely give of this life very great; and thy account is made greater by tarrying, but thy life lesse; so that to put off the finishing of this account, till [Page 54]a farther time, is to make thy selfe a greater account, and have lesse time to doe it in; nay thou shalt answer for the neglect of that time wherein it might have beene done, and it may bee denied another time to doe it.

MEasure not goodnesse by good words onely, a Par­rat may bee taught to speake well; good words cost us no­thing; and men are for that Re­ligion that is cheapest: it is an easie matter to speake like a Christian: Satan himself can talke Scripture: Charity con­sists not barely in knowing, or discoursing of what is good, [Page 55]but in practising what wee doe know; in religion not to doe as thou sayest, is to unsay thy religion in thy deeds.

EVer expect death, though not wish for it; let thy last houre find thee rather willing to goe, than contented to tar­ry; put not off amendment till another day, thou art not sure to see an end of this; pro­vide that thy death bed amy ra­ther finde thee fitted for God, than fit thee; and so order thy estate, and thy soule in thy health, that when death comes thy mayest have nothing to doe but to die.

IN point of reformation, first plucke out thy owne More: spend not thy time in exhorting others to the keep­ing of the Commandements, and breake them thy selfe; measure not thy goodnesse by anothers want of it: nor mea­sure thy want of goodnesse by others store of it; God doth not so: though thou art not so good as the best, yet while thou endeavourest to be so, thou art good enough; God who workes in us both to will and to do, doth in some case accept the will for the deed.

REckon nothing which thou hast, thine owne; nor nothing which thou doest, at thine owne disposing: and use all, not as a Master, but a ser­vant, remembring thou must one day answer for them to their Master.

DO not murmure at thy condition, if mean; nor measure Gods blessings by thy wants, but by thy deserts: if God be better to others then he is to thee, yet while he is better to thee than thou deservest, hee is good enough.

IN Christianity, not, thinke to attaine the end without the meanes; and if the same meanes doe not in all produce the same effect, not to impute it to any alteration or deficien­cy in the meanes; but in the subject: the means is the same, the parties are not: all men are not alike hardned in sin, there­fore all are not alike hard, or easie to bee converted; sinnes are compared to diseases; all diseases are not mortall, some humours spend themselves, o­thers are not recovered, but with expence and danger; and the same sickenesse is not remo­ved with the same ease in bo­dies, [Page 59]because there is not in all the same temper: that physick doth but stirre the humour in some bodies, which in others would utterly expell it: it is with the sicknesse of the soule, as of the body, all sinnes are not equall; all men are not e­qually sinnefull: either the sins may be lesse, or of lesse conti­nuance: for custome, as it be­gets a greater liking of sinne, so it leaves a deeper root; con­tinuation of things makes them partly naturall, therefore wee call custome another nature; setled impieties, like set led hu­mours doe not easily ftirre; though the means are the same, yet while the subjects is not; it is no wonder that the effects are [Page 60]not: there must bee the same disposition of the matter, as well as of the agent: it is nor enough that the word bee the same, if the hearers be not; as as the same physicke doth not worke or cure alike, nor the same seed thrive alike in all grounds, so neither doth the same word save alike, or pre­vaile alike withall. Sodome would have repented with those meanes which Corazin did not; in thine impeniten­cy therefore not to accuse God or the meanes, but thine owne selfe; in thy conversion, not to thanke thine owne selfe, or the means, but God, and the meanes under God.

REnember that as there is [...]e death which thou must prepre to meet, so there is a­nother death which thou must study to avoid, the death of the soule; the naturall death con­sists in the dissolution of the soule from the body, the spiri­tuall death, in the dissolution of the soule from God: and one day, of soule and body from God, which is the second death: now as wee say of the naturall body, that the way to be young long, is to be old betimes; so the way to live not long, but ever, is to die betimes; if thou die but once while thou livest, the death of sinne; thou shalt [Page 62]live eternally after tou art dead.

LOve nothing in this world too well, no not thy selfe; thinke of the pleasures of this World, either as sinnes or oc­casions of it; and the other more necessary things of it; though they have thy presence, let them not have thy heart; and use them rather because thou wantest them, than be­cause thou likest them: and so provide, that thy death may be the beginning of thy happi­nesse, not the end of it.

[Page 63]
Ever suspect, ever feare
For to be too happy here;
Left in heaven thou have lesse,
(If any) for this happinesse;
Seldome haue I known
To have Heavens more then one;
All the pleasures of this life
They are usefull, but a knife:
I may warme me by their fire,
But take heed of comming nigher;
Yet in this is danger still,
He that warmes, is after chill;
Oh JEHOVAH, but with thee,
Is there true felicity,
All this sublunary treasure
Yeeld but counterfeit of pleasure;
Silken cares, Kings of clouts;
Full of torments, feares, and doubts;
Trifles, dangers, baited books,
Sha dowes, onely shape and looks,
Of what we call: worse than naughts?
Snares; temptation, if not faults;
Whether it be birth, or place;
Beauty, and the pride of face;
Honour; wealth, or higher yet,
That they call a favourite;
Like a shadow on the Sun,
Have their being, and are done,
From anothers like or frown;
So they rise, and so go down;
[Page 64]
They are got and kept with feares;
And are parted with, with teares;
And accounted for with borror,
And then Dives is the poorer;
When the finall day shall come;
(A dreadfull day indeed to some)
And we answer for their use.
Then to want them we would choose;
So then much of these to aske,
Is to beg thy se [...]f a taske,
A beggery, for thus to be
Is the greatest poverty:
All thou hast is on the score,
What is that but to be poore?
Adde to this, it doth not last;
And happinesse is torment, pass't.
It may be present, so thy host
Is but may be at the most:
In Heaven onely is there blisse,
That ever shall be, ever is;
Worldly laughter is not mirth,
Born and buried in the birth;
Where O God there wants thy grace
Mirth is only in the face,
O God thou art, only thou,
To morrow, yesterday, and now;
To thee my self, my time I give,
All that I have, all that I live,

DEliberately to move to a­ny businesse is proper to man: headily to be carried by desired, is common to beasts; in civill actions be led by thy reason, not by thy appetite; in divine action, by Religion; and doe nothing that may for­feit either thy reason or thy honesty: measure the good­nesse of things by their lawful­nesse not by their profit; nor be drawne to doe ill for advan­tage: not intend thy particu­lar good, with the forfeiture of the genreall.

IN religion publish nothing which thou datest not stand to; nor libell against the truth: if thou think it is not the truth, why doest thou publish it? if thou thinkest it is the truth, why art thou ashamed of it? such are between two rocks, either of which splits them; for either they sinne in publi­shing that which is a lye; or else having published it, they sin in being asham'd or afraid to stand to it, which they think is the truth: true Gold flies not the Touchstone, a good mans actions are such as hee feares not to be discovered; it is a signe their workes are ill, [Page 67]when they dare not own them; Oderunt lucem, is our Saviours note of such; if it be the truth, they ought not onely (in some case) to owne it, but to die in it: if it be a lye, they ought not to live in it, much lesse to give it life: every lye is a sinne, but to print a lie, is to justifie a sinne; and in Religion to print a lie for truth, is to father a lie upon God: a good man will publish nothing in God's name, to which he dares not set his own.

MEasure not thy selfe by what men say of thee; they may mistake thee; it is their sinne, not thine if others [Page 68]slander thee: to bee ill spoken of, and undeser vedly, is nei­ther thy fault, nor alone thy case; Christ himselfe was thought a Wine bibber: and Saint Paul mad: if ill tongues could make men ill, good men were in ill taking; never re­gard what any can say against thee, but thine owne consci­ence: though all the World condemne thee, while God and thy selfe doe not, thou art in­nocent enough: the wicked­nesse of ill tongues doth but dirt themselves; the mire that is cast upon thee is not thine; care not to have ill men speake well of thee; it may be if thou wert worse, thou wouldeft hear better: Parcit cognatis maculis [Page 69]similis fera: the Devill doth not accuse his owne: if thou wert one if them they would speake more favourably: bee carefull to bee cleane to God, what ever thou art to the world, and bee slow in soyling and blacking others: if they are not so cleane as thou could'st wish, their foulnesse bee to themselves: let them bee never the fouler for thy mouth: they that are forward in censuring and accusing others, are usually such themselves.

TO all thy promises need no other bond but thy word: nor no other witnesse but God: be carefull never to [Page 70]promise any thing of which thou shalt wish to be forgiven the performance: nor plead either want of ability or testi­mony: an honest man doth not promise more than he meanes: nor a wise man more than hee is able.

BE not a servant to those things which thou shoul­dest command; thy mony, thy body, and thy appetite, or thy sensitive part: but use thy e­state, to serve thy body, and thy occasions, and thy body to be subservient to thy soule; and thy soule to serve God: thus while either of these serve in their proper office, God is [Page 71]serv'd in all: if thou art com­manded by the first of these, thou art neither thine owne Master, nor fit to be God's ser­vant.

REsolve nothing but upon good ground, nor alter thy resolution but upon good rea­son; not inconstantly to wa­ver, nor obstinately to perse­vere in things; to heare others judgements besides thine own, and if right, to submit to them; not to thinke it a disparage­ment, that there are wifer than thy selfe: to thinke it a fault rather to stand in an errour, than to fall into one, not choose to defend a lie, rather [Page 72]than descend to yeeld to others it that which is the truth: to maintaine an opinion because it is thine, not because it is true, is to maintaine thy selfe, not the truth; and to prefer thy selfe to the truth.

SO farre intend thy profit as that thou still subject it to your religion; not make thy commodity the sterne of the conscience; he was not the best Disciple that had the bag; so procure or continue to thy self a place upon earth, as that thou lose not thy place in heaven.

LEarne not to examine thy selfe by what thou art not; as the Pharisee, not like other men; and while some others are worse, to thinke thou art well enough: wee measure crooked things by that which is straight, not by that which is more crooked: the rule of goodnesse is Gods Word, not other mens deeds: not to mea­sure the straightnesse of thy life, by the crookednesse of anothers: hee that measures his beauty by anothers defor­mity, may still be unhandsome enough: if a Drunkard shall measure himselfe by some de­bauchednesse, hee will seeme a [Page 74]sober man: in the day of judge­ment, God will not examine thee by what others were, but by what thou wert commanded to be.

PLead not for licenciousness of life, under liberty of con­science; as if Christian liber­ty consisted in doing what they lift: or that Christ hath so freed thee from the yoke of the Law, as that thou art not still subject to the commande­ments; not thinke that Christ was therefore obedient unto the death, that thou shouldest be tyed to no obedience of any thing during life; that the me­rits of our Redeemer hath ob­tain'd; [Page 75]not that the Comman­dements of God should not stil be observed; but that tho not sufficient observing of them, should not be imputed.

MAke not other mens sinnes thine by imitating them; nor thine, other mens, by teaching of them, doe nothing in which thou wouldest not be followed; follow nothing of which thou canst not well justi­fie the doing.

AFfect not too much bu­sinesse, especially other mens; yet to hate idlenesse: to use recreations, but not [Page 76]dwell in them: to affect rather what is needfull than curious; not to overdoe; and in all these things to suffice nature, not hu­mor it.

BE slow in choosing a friend, but slower in changing him when thou hast chosen: bee courteous to all, but inward on­ly with a few: thou maiest use that freedom to a friend, which thou wilt not to every acquain­tance: thy acquaintance is but thy neighbour, but thy friend is thy selfe.

SCorne no man for his mean­ness, and humour no man for his wealth; doe nothing to please any whereby thou shalt displease God: never be drunk to please the company, or think it uncivility to part sober: or to cease to be a good Christian, that thou maiest be thought a good companion.

BE displeased with nothing which God doth, and as neere as thou canst, doe nothing wherewith God is displeased, doe all thou doest as in Gods presence, and speake all as in his audience; and let neither [Page 78]thy words nor actions be such, as to which thou maiest wil­lingly desire Gods absence, or not desire his assistance.

IT is the goodnesse of God to us, that is the cause of the love of God to us: and it is the goodnesse of God in us, that is the cause of the love of God in us: confesse that the good which thou re­ceivest is not for thine owne sake, nor the good which thou doest is not by thine own pow­er; it is the mercy of God that mooves him to do for us; that inables us to doe that which pleaseth him.

ACcount that good which is lawfull, not which is profitable: and endeavour ra­ther to serve God then thine owne turne in all; make these two the rule of thy selfe, justice and godlinesse, and thou shalt fulfill the duties of both Ta­bles, God and thy neighbour.

NOt repiningly to complain of thy sufferings of this life: since it is partly in thy power to make them blessings: and if to make them blessings be in thine own power, then that they are otherwise it is thy owne fault: God intends [Page 80]amendment in it, if it doe not amend thee, thou makest it a punishment, not be.

LAbour to see thy own mor­tality in other mens deaths: and thy owne frailty in other mens sinnes; and since thou must shortly die, bee afraid to sinne: and so order thy sinnes, as thou mayest not be afraid to die, that thy sinnes doe not bring thee to a worse death, and that this death may lead thee to a better life.

DOe what thou art comman­ded, not what others doe: make no mans example a rule, [Page 81]not the best mans: all may erre: and be that in all things followes him that may erre, will be sure in some things to fall into errour.

CAll to minde often what thou hast done: and then compare with it what thou hast suffer'd, and what thou hast re­ceived: and when thou shalt finde, that thou hast received more good than thou hast done, and hast done more e­vill than thou hast suffered: fear that there is lesse good be­hind for thee, and more evill: and therefore betake thee to re­pentance and a new life: and by that thou mayest prevent [Page 82]the evill which thou hast deser­ved to suffer, and procure to thy selfe, though not deserved, a reward of that good which thou hast done.

LEt it not trouble thee that some others have liv'd lon­ger than thy selfe; not the length of thy life, but the goodnesse is the measure of thy happinesse: if thou hast lived well, thou hast lived long e­nough; if thou hast not lived well, thou hast lived too long.

NEver thinke it too soon to repent, thou doest not know how soone thou mayest [Page 83]die, and after death it it too late: hee that puts off his a­mendment with hope of living, loseth eternall life in a pre­sumption of this.

INtend rather the effecting of a publike good, than a particular, for by intending only thy particular good, thou mayest doe wrong to the pub­like, whereas thou canst not effect a publike good without thine owne good in particular; for what ever is beneficiall to the whole, cannot be prejudici­all to the parts: so then thou being a member of the whole in performing a generall good, even by that thou art so farre [Page 84]good to thine owne particular, as thou hast an interest in the generall; whereas by seeking thy private good with the neg­lect of the publike, thou doest both decline from the common nature of things and from the nature of goodnesse, which is by so much the more good, by bow much it is good to more, and dost rather that, which is good to thee, then what is tru­ly good in it selfe: this is to make thine owne selfe and thy advantage the rule of goodness, that thou should'st make good­nesse the rule of thy self and thy actions.

THinke that in death thou doest not lose a life, but exchange one; death is but a change; and therefore not to feare a change, that art every day so acquainted with chan­ges; every change is a kinde of death, in as much as that which it changeth from, doth die to what it was: if the beasts and creatures themselves did not change from what they are, how should wee bee fed? Nay, if their skinnes and cloa­thing did not change from its naturall use to them, how could it be usefull to us: if the Sunne his selfe did not change his place; if the Yeare, and [Page 86]the parts of the Yeare, did not change, how should we ei­ther have life or necessaries? thou then that doest thus sub­sist by changes, why doest thou feare a change? especially con­sidering that other things be­ing ever altering in them­selves, doe yet ever continue alterable; whereas wee chan­ging but once, and for the bet­ter, shall ever after remaine immutable: so that to bee loath to change, is to contra­dict what thou dost: to feare a change, and yet love a life that is full of changes.

IF God hath made thee handsome, let not that make thee proud: beauty is an or­nament, doe not thou make it a snare: why shouldest thou have cause to wish that thou hadst been ill favoured: shew nothing naked of thy selfe to o­thers but thy face, and that onely that thou mayest bee knowne, not seen: be courte­ous to all but not familiar: stay not to heare thy handsom­nesse prais'd: much lesse to praise it: thinke no time so ill spent about thy selfe, as in dressing: nor no money, as in fashions, yet in neither bee ri­diculous, allow for both: ac­knowledge [Page 88]no beauty in thy selfe, but of the minde, nor strive for none: if God have made thee beautifull in others eyes, let it be thy care to make thy selse so in his: beauty without grace, is the greatest deformity.

IN Gods house and businesse forget thine owne: be there as a member of the Church, not of the Common-wealth: empty thy selfe of this world, thou art conversant in the next: let all thy senses have no other object but God: let thy eares be open, but thy eyes shut: if anothers beauty draw thy eyes from God, that beauty is be­come [Page 89]thy deformity, and hath turn'd God's eyes from thee.

LOve no woman but a wife, and use no familiarity with her, but in publike: thou knowest not whither it may grow; many have thought no hurt in the beginning of those things that after have procee­ded to impiety; and in all thy behaviour, examine not what thou doest, but with what minde thou doest it, else that which happily in it selfe was indifferent, is to thee unlaw­full: to a good mind, all com­pany is safe, and all familiarity is safe.

[Page 90]
'Tis the mind that makes a fault,
Else such things would not be naught;
He that can (and is no ly [...])
Sport and talke without a fire;
Can be courteous, can be kind,
And not kindle in his mind;
And can touch a womans skin
As his own, not stir within:
Doth salute without delight,
And more would not, if he might,
Nor scarce that; whom thus to bill
Manners treacheth, not his will:
Nor with hand, nor lip, nor eye,
Doth commit aduliery;
But see and salute each other
Woman as he doth his mother;
As the Nurses harmelesse kisse
To her child is, such is his,
Without pleasure, without taste,
With a minde, a thought as chaste
As Turtle; till thy minde be such,
Do nor look, nor sport, nor touch,
Or at least till this thou can,
Sport, and talk, and play with man;
Not with woman, for [...]f fair,
Thou wilt findk, or make a snare;
Nay, although thy minde be such,
Do not toy, nor sport, nor touch;
For although thy thoughts be good,
Yet thoughts are not understood
[Page 91]
But by actions; so therein
May be scandall, if not sin:
Who exactnesse will fulfill,
Must forbeare things seeming ill,
Not that are, but might have been,
Or that may be construed sin:
Men judge thee ill or innocent,
By what's seen, not what is meant:
Then untill all mindes be such
Think a look, a smile to much.

LOve thy neighbour as thy selfe in the kinde, unfai­nedly; but love thy friend as thy selfe in the degree: doe as much as thou canst, but love more then thou canst doe; hee that doth but little for his friend, because his ability is so, loves more, than hee which doth much, but lesse than he is able.

REvenge no injury though thou canst; and requite every courtesie if thou canst: yet shew that thou art willing to requite a courtesie where thou art able: and shew that thou art able to revenge a wrong (if thou canst) though thou art not willing; so by shewing that thou couldst re­venge this, thou wilt happily prevent another; and by not revenging it thou wilt prove thy selfe better then thou shewst; for to revenge a wrong done is to doe a wrong to God; so thou wilt be guilty of doing that which thou com­plainest of, and therefore un­justly [Page 93]complainest of that which thou thy selfe doest.

LEt thy conceit of thy selfe be low, but thy desires high, even as high as heaven; thinke thy selfe not worthy of the least good, yet by the grace of God capable of the greatest: thinke often upon Christs death, it will sweeten thine; and account it his, he accounts it so: he died not for himself, but for thee, and if thou live not to thy selfe, but to him, then he lives not for himselfe neither, but for thee, to make thee partaker of eternall life, which already thou hast in the certainty, though not in the [Page 94]fruition, and believest all this and more, very humbly, but very confidently.

THat thou mayest avoid sin, avoid the occasion of it as he that complaines of heate removes farther from the fire: omit no opportunity of doing good: and doe no evill though thou hast opportunity, it is a greater commendations of thy goodnesse, that thou mightest and wouldst not.

MEditate often upon thy death, thou wilt like it the better: and often upon the next life, thou wilt like this [Page 95]the worse: thinke of this World as a thing in trust, and provide to discharge it: ac­count nothing thine owne but as being shortly to give an ac­count of it to the right ow­ner.

BE not angry without cause, be merry without offence: admit a seasonable anger: and shunne an unseasonable jest: be moderate in both: doe not for­get thy selfe in thy anger, nor thy friend in thy mirth: by the one thou wilt be burthen­some to thy selfe, by the other to the company.

LOve the body, but subordi­nate to the soule: the Te­nant is more noble than the house: the most beautifull bo­dy is but a body of earth: and the jewels which adorne it are but stones in the earth: and the gold and silver which it prides in, are veines in this earth; the cloaths which thou wearest, were the cloathing of some beast, or the labour of some Worme, or at the best, of a man like thy selfe: thinke then with what vile things thou art made fine: which yet doe but make thee so in the esteeme of others, not truly so in thy selfe: and doe but hide those [Page 97]parts which thou art ashamed to shew, not adorne that inner part which doth truly shew thee: therefore to bee so much a Christian to preferre that part which thou hast common with Christ in respect of his humane nature, thy reasonable soule: or so much a man, not to prefer that part which thou hast common with the beast, an earthly body.

IF thou art a Master, let thy family beaw'd rather by thy example, then thy word: bee angry for small faults it will prevent greater: commend and encourage those that doe well, they will doe better: com­mendations [Page 98]of former goodness is a provocation to more.

THinke upon this life as a current, ever running: doe not hope to live long, but be assur'd not to live still, and account it thy comfort that thou shalt one day dye: to wish thy selfe ever upon earth, is to wish thy selfe ever out of heaven.

BE imploy'd onely in such waies as thou wouldst not blush to bee met in: Thamar goes disguis'd, when to play the harlot: tell nothing of a­nother which thou wouldest [Page 99]not have told him: believe nothing of another which thou mayest not tell: doe not con­strue seriously what is spoken but in jest, and forbeare those jests, which may bee construed to earnest: heare no ill of a friend, but reply; and speake no ill, though of an enemy.

IN thy house, let thy enter­tainement be free, not cost­ly; bid thy friends welcome to thy ability, not beyond it; never make one meale so, as thou must bee faine to fetch it up out of many: bee hospita­ble, but provident: thinke nothing too much for thy friends, which is not too much [Page 100]for thy estate: hospitality bids thy friends welcome; and providence makes thee able to bid them welcome: if hospita­lity bee the life of neighbour­hood, providence is the life of hospitality: hee is not thy friend that expects more than thou art well able; thou art not thine owne friend if thou doest lesse, to live above thy meanes is folly; to live too far below thy means, is a disparage­ment: doe all like thy selfe, so as may neither weaken thy res­pect, nor thy estate.

LOve not ill company, lest thou learne, the ill of the company; it is hard, not to be [Page 101]like the company thou keepest: it is rare, if we deny not Christ in Caiphas his house; with So­lomon, it is hard having the E­thiopian without her Idols: wee see people change their complexion with the Climate: Vessels smell of the liquor they containe: by ordinary com­munication in the wayes of sin­ners without a great deale of care you will communicate with their sinne: With the fro­ward thou wilt learne froward­nesse: he that goes to the mee­tings of wicked men, will come a wicked man out: or to say the best, worse than he went in: for thy conversation, let this be thy rule, if thy company be better, imitate them; if worse, [Page 102]convert them: if equall, and as thou art, joyn with them.

FEed the poore often at thy dooro, sometime at thy Ta­ble; whatsoever thou givest to Christ in his members, hee will one day give backe againe to thee in thy person: it is but just if God deny thee thy daily bread, if thou daily deny him the crums.

LEt it not trouble thee what is talk'd of thee when thou art absent, more then what will be talk'd of thee when thou art dead: an ill report doth not make thee an ill man; be careful [Page 103]to do no nothing that deserves to bee ill spoken of, let it not trouble thee to be ill spoken of undeservedly.

LEt thy prayers bee frequent, thy wants are so; and thy thanksgivings frequent, thy blessings are so: pray daily at home, and if thou canst, at Church: God is every where, but there hee hath promised to be; misse not the confession and abosolution, unlesse thou hast no sinnes to confesse, or carest not to bee forgiven them.

THinke not the worse of the ordinances of God for the sinnes of the Preacher; those that are ill themselves, may yet be instruments of good to other;s God hath promised his blessing to the thing, not to the person; the sacrifices of Elies sonnes were effectuall for the people; it is not the peoples fault that the Preacher is wick­ed, and as it is without their fault, so it is without their prejudice; it was our blessed Saviours of the Pharisees, Af­ter their sayings doe ye; we must follow their sayings whose deeds we may not; thou may­est not refuse the word of God [Page 105]from any, if they teach what they should, though they doe not what they teach, the wicked­nesse of the messenger doth not abate the power of the meanes, as the intemperance and de­bauchednesse of the Physician doth not hinder the working of the Physick.

REmember often that thou art a Christian, and do no­thing that may disprove it; be not a law to thy selfe, but bee regulated by that which is a law to us all, the Word of God, stu­dy not how much to make thy life longer, but better; consider that the longer thou art here, [Page 106]here, the longer thou art from God; let it be thy care rather to lead a good life than a long; endeavour to thy ability to doe well, and grieve that thou canst not doe better; doe not wrong to others; forgive the wrongs which others doe thee; strive what thou canst to keep a good name, but rather a good consci­ence; if men mistake thee, comfort thy selfe that God which shall reward thee, doth not; looke upon the necessities of others, not as a stranger, but a member, as thou wouldest have God looke upon thine; be good to all, God is so; but with a difference; Especially to the houshold of faith; cherish no sinne in thy selfe, and coun­tenance [Page 107]none in another: ac­quaint thy selfe rather with the commandements of God, than the decrees; and conclude of thy salvation to thy selfe, ra­ther by a diligent observing of his revealed will, than by searching into his secret will: let not the changes of this World, to preferment or want, make thee either sond of thy life, or weary of it: be conten­ted to live, but bee desirous to die, To bee dissolved and to bee with Christ; And though thy body bee not yet in heaven, let thy heart be there.

LEt thy first care bee to bee good thy selfe, thy next [Page 108]care to make others so: be not a Christian in shew only, yet in every thing shew thy selfe a Christian; doe nothing but what is good, and speake no­thing but what is truth: hee is the best Christian that speakes well, and doth as hee speakes.

He is the true and reall Christian whose
Most holy words are seconded with deeds;
Who lives Religion over, and well knowes
Christianity consists not all in creeds;
Pinns not his life, nor faith to others sleeve,
Beleeves what's writ, and lives as hee be­leeves.
Slow to revenge a wrong; not to forgive;
Whose goodnesse is not onely to the eye;
Thinks rather how to die, than how to live;
And yet is dead to sin before he die:
And who lives here on earth, and dies to sin;
When he is dead his life doth but begin.
Who doth not what he likes, but what he may;
And asks, what may I, to, not of himselfe,
But of Religion and the Scriptures say,
Who is his own rule, runs upon a shelfe;
Who though he might, he would not bee de­boise
Is good, not of necessity, but choice.
That makes not opportunity his bawd;
(Occasion sometime doth invite a sin)
To may and will not, is the Christians laud;
He's guilty that is out and would be in;
But being tempted, or but not withstood
Not to be evill it a double good.
That can revenge a wrong, but doth forbear it,
And to be slow to malice, is not sloth;
Speaks only what is truth, but will not sweare it;
Nor second every trisle with an oath;
That likes no vice though follow'd with a throng
Who measure truth by voices doth it wrong.
Some good he doth, yet sain he would do more;
To would be better is an act of grace;
His mind is rich to Christ, his power is poor;
God mend his power, & he will mend his pace:
Mean time God likes the will, & in his Son
What we would do, is in th'acceptance done.
If yet he doe, (as who did never ill,
Who is without his errors?) yet is this
The errour of his frailty, not his will:
He doth indeed, but grieves to do amisse;
To sigh and grieve for what we cannot do,
Is to come short, and yet to do it to.
You'll say them Christianity is hard,
What good was ever easie? where the gaines
Are greatest, likely there the way is bar'd;
Double renowne is bad with double paines:
Who so doth follow Christ, doth pitch a field,
'Tis less praise not to fight, than not to yeeld.
Worldly advancements are not had with case;
And want is the inheritance of sloth:
Wouldst thou do less for heaven than for these?
'Tis fit who would have one, he should have both
The gain with hardnes, thus it is les hard;
The danger's great, and so is the reward.

LEt it trouble thee more to doe a fault, than to hear of it: if thou art ill spoken of by another; first call thy selfe to account; before him, it may be thou deservest it: bee more sorry that it is true, then that [Page 111]it is knowne; if false, it is not thy fault that thou art bely'd; it is thy comfort that it is a lye: doe not thinke to bee ever free from censure, here, not some­times from faults: hee is the best man that erres seldomest, hee is more then a man that ne­ver errer.

IN Religion receive no opi­nion upon credit, and vent none upon discontent: be of that opinion that may save thee, rather then that may raise thee; let not the doores of thy lips move upon the hinges of another mans tongue; speake what thou thinkest, not what others speak; so follow good [Page 112]men, as remembring they are but men; goe rather the way which you ought, than the way that is gone; make others companions but not copies, or so far copies as they agree with the Originall.

TAke whatsoever God doth, thankefully; and do whatsoever hee commands cheerefully; labour to make a good use of ill accidents: hate every mans sinne, love every mans person, and love no mans sinn for the persons sake.

FEare rather to doe ill, than to suffer for thy ill doing: [Page 113]he that truly feares sinne shall never feare punishment; think upon the goodnesse of God, and thou wilt love him, and thinke upon the justice of God, and thou wilt feare him, and so by consequence, love that which may free thee from this feare: and so between these two, thou wilt feare to doe any thing a­gainst him whom thou lovest, and thou wilt (at least) not love to do any thing against him for fear.

IF the actions of another re­flect to thy harme, examine not what is done, but what was intended; and if he intended no ill, thinke hee hath done thee [Page 114]none, though in effect he have; willingly doe no wrong. wink at those wrongs that are unvil­lingly done thee, God doth so, and measures what wee doe by what wee meane to doe: hee that shot at a marke and kil'd a man, by the Law of God was not held a murtherer: God workes in us both to will and to doe, as hee doth sometimes accept the will for the deed; so bee doth usually measure the deed by the will.

DO not easily entertaine a friend, nor easily part with him; think him no true friend whom one injury can make thineenemy; or that accounts [Page 115]every errour an injury; he must have no friends, that will have a friend with no faults: make no man thine enemy by doing him wrong; become not an e­nemy to every one that wrongs thee, account every man thy neighbour, though thine ene­my, that needs thee.

IN Religion looke to the end but by the meanes; thinke not to partake of what God hath promised, but by doing in some measure what hee hath commanded: though heaven be had without our desert, yet it is not had without our paines; then mayest thou hope that God wil be as good as his word [Page 116]to thee, when thou sincerely en­deavourest to be as good as his Word commands thee to bee towards him.

DO nothing which is ill, nor every thing which is law­full; measure not thy liberty by the lawfulnesse of the thing, but the expediency; many times an unseasonable good, though it bee not ill in it selfe, yet it is in the occasion of it; he which will at no time forbeare to do something which he may, will at sometime do something which he may not.

BE content to heare of ano­thers praises before thee without repining; and to tell of anothers praises without detra­cting: to speak well of all men, or not at all: for as it is flattery of speak that good of another which is false: so it is detracti­on, to speak that ill of another unnecessarily which is true.

FOrgive the willfull injuries of any, yet tell him of them, by shewing him of his fault, thou shewest him his duty; do not love him less for it, but trust him lesse: but if he be tho­rowly sorry for it: be thou tho­rowly [Page 118]satisfied; God askes no more for thine: consider that to suffer wrongs is common to thee with Christ; and to for­give wrongs proper to thee as a Christian: God doth suffer such wrongs to be, that he may exercise thy patience: and hee commands thee to forgive those wrongs, that thou mayest exer­cise thy charity.

SO live as thou mayest not be afraid to die, as thou mayest bee assur'd of a better life after death: do nothing which shall need an excuse, or feare a wit­ness, and so use this world, as remembring you must account for it in the next.

LEt thy discourse bee ever of goodnesse, but not of thine owne: or of the good, which thou hast received of God, not which thou hast done: if thy talke bee good, thou doest at once both shew goodnesse, and teach it.

BEE good without much noise: bee provident with­out perplexednesse: be merry without lightnesse: bee boun­tifull without wast: live to the benefit of all, but to the service only of God.

[Page 120]
If now thou act not perfect yet with these,
(As where is there perfection here below)
Yet they may do enough to make thee please,
God accepts what we can, for what me owe;
Whilst thou endeavour'st to be what tho shouldst,
If thou want'st power, 'tis enough tho wouldst.
The clearest water is not free from mud;
The Sun is not exempted from [...]lips;
Here our perfection is but mingled good;
And he is more then man that never slips:
In all we doe, we something do amisse,
And our perfection imperfection is.
For the condition of our present plight
Is, that we would he better than we are,
Not a perfection ever but a height,
And we are good, but not without a scarre;
All things are like our selves, a mixture, then
God doth not look that we should not be men.
FINIS.

GLORIA DEO.

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